An Atheist Walks into a Church:)

My husband’s birthday was yesterday.  We all had a great day.  His mom and brother came over for the day.  Together, we had a nice dinner and the traditional Carvel’s Ice Cream Cake:)

I want to give myself a pat on the back.  I feel a sense of responsibility to this blog, I feel like I owe it to myself to be able to post good news.  I decided to go to church on Sunday.  I am not a religious person, but there’s a Unitarian Universalist (right up my alley) church in our town center.  I have fantasized about going in one Sunday and meeting tons of families with kids from town.  The church I grew up in had such an amazing sense of community, I hoped I would find something similar here.  Well, this was the week!  I packed up the kids, let my husband sleep in, and went to church!  It was awesome.  It took a while before my heart stopped racing, but by coffee hour, I was a regular chatter box.  Charlie had a great time singing and running around with some other kids.  I can’t believe I was so scared to do this.  A couple weeks ago we actually got to the church but ended up bringing the kids to the park across the street instead because I couldn’t bring myself to go in.  Needless to say, I think we’re going to make this a part of our weekly schedule.

Accomplishments: With my in-laws in town, I had time to get so much done!  I made Matt’s birthday dinner, an awesome chocolate cake, meatballs to freeze and eat later in the week, got some cleaning done. There is ZERO dirty laundry in the whole house (OMG!) I unpacked 4 more boxes and went grocery shopping. I reorganized the play room (utilizing the closet that was previously just stuffed with junk as we unpacked). AND I got the bills paid.  I feel like taking a bow.

Garden News: I got all the plants in the ground!  I’m assuming it was a rabbit, but something ate my cucumber plant right at the bottom of the stalk. The whole thing is dead now…grumble.  The pumpkin is still looking pretty dead, but I’m holding on to the hope that its just really thirsty.

Potty Training:  Yeah, no news here.  When I was a nanny, I potty trained 2 separate kids.  They both wanted so much to be the “big kid” and to impress me and their parents.  There’s just no incentive here… my son simply won’t go near the potty.  I’m so frustrated.   I have him in training pants, but it doesn’t make a lick of difference.  We’ll see, something’s gotta give.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any advice for me… please share!

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Potty Training?

Today, Charlie went to a free trial class at the gymnastic center.  He took a while to warm up to the class, but by the end of it, he was having a great time.  I wish we had the money to sign him up for the class.  I’ll see what I can come up with, the price is actually pretty reasonable and he would have so much fun.  

Charlie has been getting very good at dressing and undressing himself and I think its time to really start with the potty training.  Unfortunately he gets very nervous every time I mention the potty.  We’ve read books about the potty, tried sitting on it, and singing songs about it… never any pressure to actually pee on it.  I have no idea what has sparked the fear, but he cries every time I even ask him to sit on it.  Its pretty frustrating but I know he’s ready… What to do, what to do!?

Baby Girl is SO close to crawling.  Only 4 months old and she squirms off the blanket in seconds flat.  Its kind of an army crawl.  I’m slightly terrified of her mobility.  The thought of the two of them being able to go off in separate directions makes me sweat.  

Garden News: Tomorrow, I plan to finally plant the green pepper, egg plant, and watermelon that I got from the nursery.  Lets see if that happens:)  I have taken a break from watering the last two days in hopes of discouraging the fungi.  (every time I say that word I think of the joke!  … I’m sure you’ve heard it, but I’ll say it anyway… “a mushroom saw a pretty lady and tried to hit on her, she rolled her eyes at him and he goes ‘aw, come on, i’m a fun-guy’ haha!”)

 Accomplishments: Well, I did a load of laundry… and I’m gonna do the dishes before I go to bed… Impressive huh?  We’ll see what I manage to get done tomorrow.  I have a pretty long list of To-Do’s.  I still haven’t even finished unpacking.

Oh, P.S. I put a letter in the mailbox of one of my neighbors who I’ve seen with a toddler.  Maybe I’ll find myself a Milly (sorry, bad Dick Van Dyke reference… I’m in rare form tonight)

Thanks for reading!

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Little World, Littler Budget

The loss of my salary, when I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, has been really hard to adjust to.  Everything has become a math equation, “I can afford this if I do without that”.  I have become quite fluent in the language of budgeting.  I shop sales with coupons, make things from scratch, and cloth diaper my kids.  I do crazy things like, empty the dehumidifier into the washing machine to save on the water bill.  We all sleep in one room during the summer, so we only have one air conditioner running, and it only goes on at bed time.  I have forgotten what restaurant food tastes like, and my son plays with homemade toys.  His favorites are a cardboard box (left over from the move) that I painted and cut up to be a play house with a door and windows; and some plastic tubing that we wove around the playroom beams and banisters, that he can send his little rubber balls through (like a track).  We get hand-me-down clothes from old friends back home, and some clothes I make myself.  Also, I have worked really hard to put together a full schedule of activities for the kids that is completely free.  For Christmas last year, I asked my parents to get a museum membership in lieu of toys for the kids.  We use that a couple times per week.  We also found a lot of places that are free due to my husband being in the military.  Also we frequent parks, hiking trails, playgrounds, farmers markets, u-pick farms where they have free petting zoo areas.  We do any “free trial” classes we come across, and make our own fun in the back yard.  We ALWAYS pack a lunch and drive a hybrid car to save on gas.  I think its almost become a game to see how little I can spend in a week.

Every time I feel like we’re actually saving money, something happens.  I need a root canal, we find carpenter ants and need an exterminator, my cell phone breaks, or some other calamity arises to rob us of the little money we’ve been able to stash away.  Anyway, all of this has led me to think I should get a job.  I don’t know that I could handle anything more than menial work at this point, because honestly I would need WAY more sleep to function at an intellectual level.  But I was thinking that once my baby girl is 6 months old, I could leave the kids with my husband durring the day on the weekends while I went to work.  Maybe a grocery store or something (it would be nice to have the employee discount too).  Breastfeeding is a big issue to consider.  I HATE pumping and don’t know how the little lady will do without nursing to put her down for her nap.  I would also miss out on the little time I get to spend with my husband.  I would, however, gain time to be Jana, instead of Mom/Wife.  We’ll see, its something to consider though, right?

No news in the accomplishments or garden fronts.  I haven’t gotten a thing done… and I’m okay with that! LOL

Thanks for reading.

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Serendipity

It seems that fate was on my side today at the farmer’s market.  There were a bunch of tents set up advertising the local pre-schools, music classes and GET THIS! the local MOM’S Club.  Yeah… so I took a pamphlet and talked to the head of the chapter for a minute.  I will email them tomorrow and see what its all about.  Charlie (my 2 year old) had such a great time.  Each tent had a different activity outside.  It was like bar hopping for babies!

I managed to talk to a few moms.  Just for a few minutes each, but I did do it.  I also got some of the yummiest peaches I’ve ever had:)

We’ll talk again tomorrow

Thanks for reading.

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On A Mission

I have been feeling more and more invisible.  This new life, consumed by home making and child care, hasn’t left me the time or will to go out and make new friends.  I am, and always have been, very bad at making friends.  I am very good at meeting people, but turning that into a friendship?  I have no idea how that works.  I have a few people in my life that are truly kindred spirits.  I couldn’t imagine life without them, but they don’t live near me and can’t stop by for coffee or meet me at the library.  I guess, maybe I have to lower my standards for my kids’ sake.  My son is as lonely as I am, and I know it.  This has sprung my new quest: I’m on a mission to make mommy/daddy friends.  

I have a real social phobia that has only gotten stronger in recent years.  So meeting people is hard.  Like I said, I’m pretty good at small talk.  When someone comes up to me, I can shoot the shit with them, but rarely do I let it get much past that.  I have gotten a lot of advice from this handy thing called the internet.  But I’m not sure that throwing myself into a full blown social situation is a good first step.  I think I will be over whelmed and vanish into my shell again.  My plan is this:

I will continue to do all of the things that my kids and I like to do (museums, farms, libraries, farmers markets, hiking trails), but if I see anyone with a toddler, I will force myself to at least say “hi”.  I know what you’re thinking, but no, I don’t do this already.  I will shove the shy, awkward part of me deep into that part of my stomach that aches when I have to talk on the phone.  I will also try to make a point of mentioning that I’m new to the area.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  We’re headed to the farmers market after the kids wake up from their nap.  There’s usually lots of kids hanging around there.

 

Accomplishments: I made a bunch of burritos and individually froze them so we could have quick and easy meals without buying expensive pre-packaged chemical pockets. 🙂

Garden News: More MUSHROOMS!?  I don’t know what the deal is, but I wake up every morning to mushrooms in my garden.  I wish they were edible, then I’d be psyched… but I doubt they are.  If they were psychotropic I’d be rich… but I doubt they are.  They’re just kind of freakish.  I don’t know what to do about them.  Oh, and I think my Kale may never come up, its been like 2 weeks.  I also think my pumpkins may not have survived the transplant.

 

Until tomorrow!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Quickie

I don’t have time for a full update.  We just got back from my Dad’s going away party.  That drive is killer.  I’m so tired.  Anyway, I thought I’d just check in.

Today we went to the Children’s Museum.  We had a lot of fun there, then we went to see my brother.  My mom, dad, uncle and husband were present for dinner as we sent my dad off to China.

It was so freaking HOT!!! Then, crazy thunder storms and tornado warnings.  This was a day of crazy weather.  Its supposed to get cooler tomorrow and the next day, so maybe this heat wave is finally over.

Ok, I’ll check in for real tomorrow at nap time.

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New Home, New Life

My husband, 2 children, and I recently moved to our new home out in the ‘burbs.  Coming from a much more urban community, it has been quite the change.  I have never been in the car so much in my life!  I am very used to walking everywhere, and since we moved, our stroller has been gathering dust.  My babies and I have piled into the car every day for weeks, I hope I get used to it soon. We have filled our days with activities (most of them free…more to come on that) and we are finally on a schedule that gives them a designated nap time, the necessary time for me to start this blog.

I have started a garden that I hope will eventually become our source for produce.  I started small because we’re in the throws of summer heat and its not the ideal time to plant many of the things I would like to be growing (or at least trying to grow, I’m a city kid… this is all new to me).  Next year we’ll start in the spring and hopefully get a lot more growing.  Oh! P.S. it was just decided a few weeks ago that backyard chickens will be allowed in my town from now on.  This makes me psyched and I totally want to add that to my list of dreams:)  Anyway, I will have a section of this blog devoted to my garden.

Garden News:    I (with the help of my 2 year old son) started carrots from seed that we planted on the solstice and then I’ve slowly added more since the 4th of July.  We now have 1 each of tomatoes, egg plant, basil, parsley, pumpkin, green pepper, and watermelon that I bought from a nursery.  Also from seed, I have soy beans (a week old and already about 4 inches tall) and kale (which hasn’t emerged just yet).  We’ll see how this goes.  I’m hoping to post pictures of some of these soon.  Also, I’m planning to put in raised beds in the front yard.  That should be interesting… and by that I mean super awesome or a total failure!

Yesterday, I watered the garden pretty late in the afternoon.  This morning, I woke up to about 25 mushrooms in my garden.  I’m not sure what to think about that… but I’ll try to only water in the mornings from now on.  I plucked them all up, but I don’t know how this is effecting the soil and/or the plants.  Another epic fail, so far, is that I didn’t think about rows.  I planted a whole packet of carrot seeds and I just kind of scattered them about in an area that I had tilled.  Well, seems they all grew (much to my surprise) and I was forced to pull out most of them so they are the recommended 3-5 inches apart.  Darn.

I have started a compost pile in my front yard.  I really need to know more about it, I’m kind of just throwing kitchen scraps and yard waste in a pile right now.  I’ll try to find time to read up on that.

I think for my own benefit and sanity, I will have an “Accomplishments” section of this blog.  No one seems to notice the things I do, but perhaps keeping a record will make these minor accomplishments seem a little more proud and worthwhile.  When you have two babies, even the most minute chore should get a round of applause.  Okay, here goes:

Accomplishments:  Yesterday, I spent about 2 hours cleaning the laundry room.  I vacuumed up about 20 spiders and their webs, cleaned years of the previous owners dog hair out of the washing machine, got most of the dried gum out of the dryer, cleaned the stickiest old detergent spills you’ve ever seen and made myself feel that doing laundry is actually getting our clothes cleaner, rather than sketchier… which was my previous assumption.  I also managed to go grocery shopping, do 2 loads of laundry, pay the bills, and clean the kitchen (again).  I made a buffalo chicken calzone for dinner and weeded the garden.

Let’s see, what else is new… I don’t know, I can’t think… Its 90 plus degrees and I’m too hot.  The dryer just buzzed, I’m off to the fresh smelling, clean as a whistle laundry room:)  We’re visiting my parents tomorrow because my dad is headed to China to meet up with my sister.  So.. I’ll check in again on Thursday.

Thanks for reading.

-Jana

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