Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another Run at Gardening

The first time I tried my hand at gardening was in 2003 or maybe 2004. I was really hoping to have my mother's green thumb. Terry ever so kindly dug out a little plot in our back yard and put in a raised bed for me. My mother came over and helped me plant a few tomato plants, cucumbers and green beans. And then me and my brown thumb entered the picture. Just as my tomato plants were coming up nicely, I came out one day to find many huge green tomato caterpillar bugs had completely eaten every leaf and bud. I was so mad. 

I promptly cut every bug from the stem it was on (I certainly wasn't going to touch them...ewww) and flushed them all down the toilet hoping for a slow painful death. My tomato plants and everything else died pretty quickly though. After that, I just gave up.

Then we moved to Dallas. We had great beds already framed in concrete in the backyard so I figured we'd give it another try. We planted a few pepper plants, a cucumber, and a squash plant. We also planted some cilantro and basil in pots. And, as I'm sure you can guess where this is going, we did manage to keep the bugs off and had a few squash blossoms and one pepper, but that was it.  The cilantro and basil, on the other hand, took off.

So, here we are in a new house. I still have that yearning to change my brown thumb to green. And I am going to attempt another garden.  This time, however, everything will be in containers.

We have plenty of space for a traditional garden, but I don't trust my abilities at this point and I don't want to ruin the sod around our house for nothing. And the basil and cilantro did so well, what the heck? Maybe I was onto something back in Dallas.

Today I bought a book called "The Bountiful Garden" that got many great reviews on Amazon that I couldn't wait for delivery, so I went and bought it at Barnes and Noble. I was able to sit outside in the wonderful warm Oklahoma sun this afternoon and start re-defining gardening for me.

My first plants will be tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and several herbs specifically designed for container gardening. Next stop will be purchasing containers and I can't wait!

Anyone out there garden in containers? Would love some advice!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sick of Her Crap

I'm sure you thought I was speaking metaphorically, but alas, no. I literally mean I am sick of her CRAP. As in poo. 

See, I have a four year old who is indeed potty trained. She knows what the potty is for. She knows how to sit on it. She has even been trained like Pavlov's dog to expect an M&M on occasion for using it. But this four year old of mine has a mind of her own. Much to my chagrin.

The problem seems to be that she refuses to stop playing and use the aforementioned potty. Nope, she just plays like it's no body's business and at the last possible minute, when she can hold it for only about two more seconds, she freezes. Trying to desperately figure out how to make it the 25 feet to a bathroom, any bathroom, and potty. I've seen her face on a few of these occasions. I'm the one screaming, "Well, run! Don't just stand there and make a big flippin mess!"

It is, of course, too late at that point. So I have a child who is either wet or poopy and knows her momma is going to be none too happy about it. At that point what is the best thing to do? Well, try and cover it up of course.

I have found wet and soiled clothes in the hamper and tucked away under a rug. I have found an entire container of baby wipes shoved down the toilet after the effort to clean up has been made. I have soaked more panties so they could be washed more times than I care to count. 

We have gone around and around and around on this issue. I've been mad, madder and furious. She's shed tears....and promptly returned to her normal gleeful self 30 seconds later. And nothing changes.

Just today we had to detour on our way to ballet to change clothes after school. Then while at ballet she knew it was coming and just tried to hold it back. Only somewhat successful. So there I sat in the pinkest of all bathrooms telling her we would sit there all night until she had a complete poo. "But I can't go!" she insisted. "Well, then, PUSH.IT.OUT because I'm not leaving until you do."

She didn't.

A mere five minutes later, I saw her looking at me with big eyes perfectly still by the pre-K toys in the lobby. "Reese, do you need to go now?"


"Reese get over here right now." And she ran at me at lightning speed. Naturally two girls were locked in the bathroom changing. My only course of action was to start pleading with God. 

"PLEASE let them hurry. All I've done for the past two hours is be mad at her for not going on the potty and now she needs to go and we can't. Puh-leeeeeese!" The door opened and I shooed those girls out of there so fast. I just told them if we didn't get in, Reese might poop all over their precious new ballet floor. Hey, it was entirely possible.

So, we made it. Her pipes are clean until tomorrow. Two pairs of panties are soaking in the laundry room, and I am again calm. One day she will have one of her own. (at least) That child will have a mind of his  or her own.....and every Christmas I am certain this grandmother will give underwear as a gift, while smiling knowingly at my beautiful daughter. Because I have been there and will understand. 

My mother in law has a sign hanging in her kitchen that reads, "Grandchildren are God's gift for not killing your kids." I'm starting to believe there is some truth to that.

She's Just Beautiful!

My wonderful new MacBook was delivered 10 or so days ago. I know. I promised to post a pic as soon as she arrived...all 7 pounds of her. Actually, I'm guessing 7 pounds. I won't go and put her on the scale. We have enough body issues in this house. No need to aggravate her the second she gets here.

I will indeed post a pic. Sooner or later. Or maybe never. Whatev'...she's here. And I love my husband!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting for the 4th Greatest Gift of My Life

Well,  in a sad turn of events, my Mac died. *cue death march here* I wasn't sure what Terry planned to do. After all, I don't really care what kind of computer I have. My last three have been his hand me downs. Which is great when your husband works on the digerati team. He gets lots of good stuff.

This time there is no hand me down. Although sitting at his computer now writing this post, I can see it would ROCK. Big beautiful silver Mac. I'm sure it has an official title from the Apple people, but I just know it's very large, runs like butta, and is shiny new. But it is shiny new and Terry is not about to give it up. 

So, my beloved tells me in the middle of his flu induced psychosis, he was going to find me a used Mac laptop. He had feelers out for one since so many of his tech-y buds upgrade more frequently than normal people. I was okay with that. Heck, I've been itching for a laptop for a while. And used is good. I like a deal. Actually, that's the reason I have so many "cute" clothes in my closet I never wear. They were a good deal. I really need to stop that.

Then I get an direct Tweet that my laptop has shipped and he got a great deal and free shipping. Do you know what that means? A new one people! 

I. Cannot. Wait. 

I keep checking out the door just in case the UPS or FedEx man comes while I'm not looking. I gave it up last night around 10 p.m.  

When it gets here I'll let you know. I may have to find the coolest wi-fi spots in Edmond to visit so I can sit and blog like some of my uber-cool friends. I hear Panera is very good. 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Life in America

Working with students from all over the globe will certainly open your eyes to new cultures and languages. Okay, I don't actually understand anything other than a smidge of Spanish, but still. And now I am getting the opportunity to work with two women who are here from South Korea obtaining their masters degrees in bilingual education. I found myself asking as many questions today about their lifestyles as they were asking me about teaching English as a second language.

Today I had lunch with Mee-Sook Yoon. She graciously goes by Michelle so I don't have to butcher her beautiful name every time I say it. As we were talking she began explaining how she had to "run away" from her family. At the ripe old age of 33, her parents and grandparents have told her she is too old to get married. And, as the middle child, she defiantly refused to be the second one to get married. Her younger and older sisters are now married and her parents have told her maybe a "blond haired American" is her only hope. 

I had to just laugh. She's gorgeous. I personally think any "blond haired American" would be lucky to have a woman who can fluently speak two languages and is a world traveler.

We discussed education and how appalled the teachers in Korea would be if they had to put up the antics of American children. She also told me that even though high school is required in S. Korea, it is paid for by the families. I don't really want to pay for my kids to go tohigh school, but I think there may be something to that. 

These teachers are giving me a run for my money. They have experience already, and I'm supposed to teach them more. But I have a pretty sneaky suspicion I will be learning just as much from them.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Use of Technology for God

I've heard Terry say the phrase "leveraging technology to reach people for Christ" many times in the course of our marriage. It is something he is so passionate about. The absolute joy he has every day when he goes to work and gets to use the internet to do just that makes me one happy wife.

I know it's so important; but just in case you don't, here's why:

HT: Dana for the video!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Got Guilt?

I've typed it once and I've said it a bazillion times, guilt is a powerful tool. And women are notorious for using it on others and on ourselves. When I was a stay at home mom, I didn't ever directly say things to working moms, but deep down it was there. "How could you choose a job or money or stuff over your kids?"

Then I became one of those moms. And yes, I chose. I justified the choice in so many ways that I was making my friends sick of hearing about it; I'm sure. (I've worked through and apologized for all that by the way.) And then Terry and I started talking about me staying home again. I was elated. We are settled on it. I am staying home next year. 

And today, I felt guilty for that choice. What the? I could not be seriously feeling this way. It's all I've wanted for the past two years. I've pleaded with God. I've been mad at myself for bad decisions. And I finally resigned myself to...what ever happens, happens. If I have to work, I at least have a great job, great flexibility and I enjoy it. Okay, the getting up in the morning I could forgo, but I'd have to get up at some point in the day anyway.

And the opportunity to stay home finally arrived.

But this past week, I've been enjoying my job on a whole new level. I'm a good teacher. I could be much better over time and putting in more hours; but all in all, I feel really good about my abilities. It's all been just clicking. Little Legoes just snapping in place. Kids are getting it. I'm getting kudos for my performance. All the stuff that makes teaching worth while.

However, several times I've had to talk myself out of STAYING. Why in the world would I want to stay? In a word: Guilt. 

I realized today I actually feel guilty because there are so many moms who have to work, or work and are much better at "doing it all" than I am, or I feel like I'm giving up this great job...crap, crap and more crap.

I hate guilt. I hate that we use it on each other. I hate that I use it on myself and sometimes even act like God is behind it. 

I don't have any words of wisdom here. This is a problem bigger than me, but I can at least address this in my own life. Frankly, from this point forward I refuse to allow guilt to be a burden in my life. I will make plenty of mistakes to feel bad about, but that is what God is there for, right? Pick me up, teach me, move on.

Guilt is one of Satan's best ploys to get us off God's track. He's got the majority of us wrapped up in it, ladies. It's just another way to condemn people.

So what's it gonna be? What do you feel guilty about?