Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not Feeling Too Crazy This Year

Yeah, I think the Tomato Crazy this year is going to be approaching levels of sanity not seen since, oh, my pre-Blackrock days. When I didn't even grow anything.

I started my tomato seeds yesterday, in the most half-assed manner possible. That manner being that I was outside with Cubby when I remembered I always start my tomatoes by the first of April. Which was in two days. And here I was outside on a sunny day, so hey! Cubby! Let's go see if there's any seed-starting soil left in the barn!

There was. So I pulled it out, along with a few little leftover plastic seedling cell trays plus a weeding tool for Cubby to play with. Then he occupied himself using the weeder to gouge holes in a piece of plywood* while I dampened the soil, dropped two seeds in each cell, covered them up with more soil, labeled some previously-used plastic markers and chucked the whole thing in the heated downstairs bathroom to germinate. I hope.

The seeds I used included some Stupice seeds that are a few years old, plus some Stupice seeds that I saved from last year. I have no great hopes for terrific germination from either, but as long as just a few make it, that's all I need. Plus I started some seeds for a variety recommended and sent to me by the very generous Phoo-D that she had saved from her tomatoes last year. I have more confidence that those will germinate.

I think I planted about 24 seeds total. I only need six plants from those. To those six, I will add six of a paste variety I'll buy at the local nursery. So you can see that I will not be even approaching the levels of insanity achieved with last year's 100+ tomato seedlings.

Good thing, because God knows I have enough to make me crazy without adding to it with tomatoes.

* At least, I think that's what he was doing. He was kind of far away and I didn't investigate too closely because the activity filled all the requirements for acceptable Cubby entertainment. That is, he was within sight; happy; not doing any bodily harm to himself or any of the animals; and not destroying anything anyone cares about. Works for me.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Let's Change the Subject

Because God knows it's bad enough wallowing in my child's bathroom habits all day; I really shouldn't spend my non-bathroom moments talking about them, right? Right.

So the other day, like a week ago, an egg went missing from the flower pot in the house. This flower pot is in the windowsill just inside the dining room door. This is where I put eggs I want to get into the house so the dogs don't eat them, but I don't want to have to go all the way in to the kitchen to actually put them in the refrigerator. I just set the egg in the soil at the base of this plant and retrieve it when I come inside.

Except when I went to retrieve this particular egg from the pot, it was gone. A. and the MiL denied any knowledge of the egg's whereabouts. I figured Otty had been inside at some point and had eaten it, gave a mental shrug, and forgot about it.

Then a few days later it got really cold. When Cubby and I were preparing to go outside that frosty morning, I grabbed my winter boots that had been sitting unused for a couple of weeks. Sitting under the window just inside the dining room door.

Yeah. The very same window in which the missing egg had gone . . . missing. Except it hadn't gone missing. It had gone into the bottom of my boot, presumably after a nudge from the Devil Cat. Where it broke. And sat for three days.

I will not attempt to describe to you what a broken egg in the bottom of a boot smells like after three days. Instead I will just tell you that I threw those boots right out. No cleaning product in the world could have cleansed that footwear.

It's okay, though. I was kind of thinking of getting some new boots anyway, as the egg boots had lost their waterproofiness, and non-waterproof winter boots are a useless item at Blackrock. The egg gave me the excuse I needed to chuck 'em and find some new ones. So I guess I should thank the Devil Cat for her devilish ways.

Just as long as she doesn't drop an egg into my ladybug clogs. That would be unacceptable.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It May Not Be Interesting, But It's All I Got

Yesterday started at 3 a.m. with a screaming child and ended with me breaking out my chocolate Easter bunny two weeks early because GODDAMN, if ever a day called for a drink, yesterday did. And yet, thanks to that other child still dependent on me for normal development or whatever, I couldn't deplete a bottle of gin. Hence, the premature bunny.

Anyway. Want to know how our two toddler challenges are shaping up? Of course you don't, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

As I mentioned, Cubby woke up at 3 a.m. and refused to be ordered back to sleep through the door, as has been my practice as of late. Instead he got out of bed, searching for the door to come into our room. I got up, put him back into his bed, and then spent the next hour and a half trying to get him to go back to sleep. It was cold, and I was exhausted from standing by his bed or by his door, singing lullabies, stroking his hair, whispering soothingly, answering every time he called for me, trying to get that child to sleep. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

I try really hard not to bring him into our bed, because that's a slippery slope ending in a manipulative toddler demanding "daddy's bed" whenever he's not sleeping well. But around 4:30 a.m., after some tears on both our sides, I gave in and he crashed out between A. and me. It's lucky for him he went back to sleep and slept until 8 a.m., because if he had refused even then to go to sleep, I might have really followed through on my plan to run away. Or at least give up on the potty training. Which I did not do, because dammit, I WILL NOT GIVE IN ON EVERYTHING.

And that brings us to the second Cubby-in-Training challenge. Due to the late wake-up, there was no nap yesterday. Which meant one unhappy Toilet-User-in-Training yesterday afternoon. Dealing with an overtired toddler is not easy at the best of times, and potty training is not the best of times.

The soiled laundry count for yesterday stands at five pairs of pants and seven pairs of underwear, plus two pairs of socks. About even with the first day of fun, although I see some light at the end of this urine-soaked tunnel, since by the end of the day he was at least talking about going potty on his own without prompting. Right before he actually did it. Before we got to the bathroom. But still, he said it. I just wasn't quick enough.

Thanks to the lack of nap, bedtime at least was no struggle at all. I only had to sit on the wretched stool outside his door for about ten minutes before I was sure he was out. So I guess that's the silver lining. Well, that and the chocolate bunny.

I still really wanted a drink, though.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Please Pardon My Distraction

I'm afraid I may not have anything very interesting to talk about in the next few days, as my time seems to be completely filled with various spirit-crushing tasks of motherhood.

That is, sleep training and potty training.

Cubby is doing quite well with the whole bed transition, but still requires my presence outside his door pretty much until he falls asleep at naptime or bedtime. Which means I spend a good hour of my day perched on a stool, telling him to go to sleep every time he asks, "Mommy?" Except it's not a good hour. Obviously. Also, he randomly wakes up at times like 10 p.m. or 4 a.m. with several "Mommy?"s in a row, which I answer through the door (our rooms adjoin) without getting out of bed until he gives up and goes back to sleep.

Then yesterday we began the Potty Training.

Anyone who has ever done this knows it deserves capital letters. And if you had one of those (mythical, I am convinced) children who threw aside the diapers one day and never looked back, with nary a soaked pair of pants or puddle on the floor as a souvenir of those baby days, well . . . I don't want to hear it. I have seven pairs of small pants, nine pairs of tiny underwear, and one pair of socks in the washing machine right now, all the result of yesterday's adventures.

He's actually doing pretty well and it's clear he's ready to do this, but goddamn, does this ever suck for the parent in charge of the training. I would like to publicly thank my mother for doing this for me (and my dad, though I suspect he was a lesser figure in the whole thing). Talk about the unappreciated aspects of parenthood. Sitting in a bathroom for several hours a day, working up outrageous enthusiasm for gross bodily functions, is nothing anyone prepares you for.

Anyway, as you can see, my life is far from entertaining for others at the moment, so bear with me until I emerge on the other side of these small trials of toddlerhood. Back to our regularly scheduled country living soon. I hope.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Once Again, I Fail at Photos

And I really should have photos of A.'s heroic feat of strength yesterday. Not that they could really capture the magnitude of the project he took on yesterday and completed in six hours.

He put in a dock. A full-on, heavy-ass, 40-foot (or something--I'm terrible at estimating length, but it's really long) wooden dock, complete with buried pilings, on our beach. By himself.

We got this dock from A.'s sister, the one who works as a caretaker at a big old house up the road. The guy who owns the house is putting in a new dock and obviously needed to get rid of the old one, so A.'s sister dumped it on the side of the road near our lakeshore. Not that near, though. It was a pretty long haul from where the pieces were dumped to where the water begins. And there was no one to haul it but A.

He couldn't even use the lawn tractor or the truck to help him, because of angles and trees and other assorted impediments. So he tied a rope around these huge, heavy lengths of pressure-treated wood and then tied the rope around his waist, pulling the sections to the beach like a human draft horse. Then he dug out ten holes in the rocks for the pilings. Then he cut the pilings (telephone poles and railroad ties he had lying around, because doesn't everyone keep those things on hand?) and put them in. Then he nailed cross-pieces across each pair of pilings. Then he lifted the sections onto the pilings and secured them with boards on the sides.

Again, entirely by himself. He wouldn't let me help, since I'm carrying Precious New Life and all. Plus, I was trying to keep our current Precious Life from getting crushed underneath dock sections or fatally injured by power tools.

I honestly have no idea how he did it. I've gotten so I take incredible feats of strength on his part for granted, because he's just extraordinarily strong and performs these feats with regularity. But this was way beyond anything I've ever seen him or any other human accomplish.

A. is probably going to find it a little difficult to get out of bed this morning. But now we have a dock. Which I will take a photo of today so you may see the scope of his effort.

Seriously. It was insane.

Edited to add, with the photo, which I'll have you know required me to brave the beach and the sustained 30 mile an hour wind and 40 degree temperature.