Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Spring

Once Christmas is over I am ready for Spring. I am not a lover of winter and cold. I like warm weather, sunshine, flowers and greens leaves on trees. Lately, something I look forward to after Christmas is getting my garden ready for planting. Living in Las Vegas we can plant and grow things almost all year long. My parsley survived the below freezing temperatures we had back in the beginning of December and it's still growing so well. I planted it in August. I just picked a strawberry today - since I planted my strawberry plants last February we've had fruit from it practically all year. Sometimes just one or two berries at a time, but it's fun to pick and eat your own. Today I worked in the garden covering my asparagus with dirt and getting ready for it to start growing soon. I usually get the first asparagus sprouts in February and it grows until about July. Tomorrow I am going to plant lettuce, spinach and some more herbs(basil and parsley since that is what I use the most in cooking). In February I will plant green beans and then in March I will plant Butternut squash, pumpkins and watermelon. I have not gotten those to grow yet, but I am hoping this year I can get something. I bought a peach tree last year and planted it in the fall and I just ordered a blueberry bush that will come in February for planting. If you don't have the yard space for a garden or if you're new to gardening you can try a container garden. Get a few pots, fill them with some good soil and plant a few things you like to eat. Some good plants to grow in containers would be strawberries, lettuce, spinach, herbs. You can even plant pumpkins, watermelon or other vine plants in a container. I also love planting flowers so I put some new yellow pansies in my front yard and I have some flower seeds coming in the mail that I will plant throughout the garden for some color. If you want to learn more about gardening BYU has a FREE online gardening class. Click here and then scroll down and click on the gardening link.
These are the strawberry plants I put in last February. The leaves are yellow and red from the cooler temperatures but soon they will green up and start producing white flowers and lots of strawberries. These plants will produce fruit for the next 3-5 years.

I planted this parsley in August in this little pot to see how it would grow. It survived the cold snap in December and is growing great. I love having it to toss into soups, Italian dishes and any recipe that calls for parsley. Fresh herbs just make things taste better. Some herbs can grow all year in Vegas - or when it gets cold you can bring your pots indoors and have a kitchen herb garden.
The lower portion I am going to plant lettuce (3 different kinds) as well as spinach, parsley and basil. The top potion is where my asparagus is. The asparagus starts growing in February here because of the warm temperatures. Asparagus takes 2-3 years to get established and then it will grow for about 15-20 years. It grows well here and takes very little care.

Friday, December 13, 2013

When you feel like a crap mom

Last night I felt like a crap mom. T was fighting with L and I was sick of it, so I didn't do anything about it. I just kept cooking dinner and told them to work it out. Well, they worked it out all right. Someone got hit, someone got yelled at and sent to their room and I ended up crying over the whole thing and wishing I had handled the situation differently. It's like that a lot with my first one. I didn't know how to be a mom when he was born. I was totally clueless. Throw in postpartum depression for the first 6 weeks of his life and I was a mess. He was fed and clothed but I don't know if he was loved like he should have been. It took me a while to learn to love him. It wasn't instant like people told me it would be. He was a stranger and I had to get to know him and get used to him and learn to like him. It's been a rocky relationship with us. There have been times when he was my whole world and my favorite thing was to just sit and hold him. As he got older I loved teaching him and reading to him and just being with him. But when more kids came along and more problems and issues I had more bad mom days than good. And now he's almost 11 and sometimes the last thing he wants is to hang out with his mom. I mess up a lot with him. I say or do the wrong things and then I have to make up for it later with an apology and an explanation that I've never had a ten year old son before, so I don't always know what to do. There are times when more than anything I want to go back in time and start over with him because now I know what I am supposed to do. If I could do it again I would be a better mom to him. I feel like he's my experiment and I feel bad about that. I wish he wasn't. I wish I had been given a practice child before him, one that wasn't real and I couldn't hurt, but I could learn from. But then I look at him and I know why he was born first. He is stronger than the other two and there are things I needed to learn from him before they came along. I was thinking about this last night and so I wrote him a letter. I told T how alike we are, how when I was in elementary school I also got teased because I wasn't good at throwing or kicking or catching a ball. I told him how I also liked to come home after school and go to my room and close the door and sit and read and not be bothered. How I started ballet lessons at the age of 10 just like he started karate this year. And then I told him what I see when I look at him. That despite his challenges with ADD and friends and self esteem that I look at him and see someone who is strong, faithful, brave, obedient and a protector of little brothers. I told him that his brothers look up to him and to them he is a hero. I told him that when I look in his eyes I see something so special and that I know that some day he will do great things. I left the letter in his room where he would see it this morning. And he did. When I came in this morning he said, "I read your note. Thanks Mom." He gave me a hug and I realized that even though I mess up and make mistakes there are times when I do just the right thing. And now I see that he's mine for a reason and that I am the mom he needed to become who he is going to be.