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06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

when i planted our garden in the beginning of June, i didn’t really have high expectations. i’ve never been much of a green thumb, and so i just figured things wouldn’t go as planned. luckily, it seems as though vegetables don’t really need much intervention or care about the color of my thumbs. they get watered every morning and a sprinkle of fertilizer every once and a while. i pluck weeds and bugs. i even invented a make-shift terrace:

06242011 - The Garden So Far

and, well, my veggies have done nothing but happily grow.

i love waking up in the morning and peeking out our bedroom window to the deck below to see how big our cherry tomato plant has grown in the night or how fluffy the cucumber foliage has gotten in the dark while we were all dreaming. it’s been really amazing. why haven’t i ever been brave enough to garden before?

i seriously have no idea.

anyway, my father in law built our two man raised beds and i converted two clementine boxes into little raised beds for lettuce (one container has mizuna and the other has mixed baby lettuces and three onions). all of the little plots are just set on the grass that was once our yard, coated in potting soil mix and fertilizer, and so far everything has been great. some of the plants are from a local little garden shop and the rest are from seeds i purchased here on Etsy.

i’ve got 4 cucumber plants, 4 gypsy pepper plants, one regular tomato plant, one cherry tomato plant, one japanese eggplant, and two banana pepper plants (one hot, one sweet). i’m excited to see little mini cucumbers growing and my first eggplant bulb peeking out of where a flower once was. the peppers seem to grow in inches over night. it’s amazing. wanna see?

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far 06242011 - The Garden So Far

i’ve always wanted a garden, so this was a big step for me. it’s been a lot of fun, and i really enjoy sharing it with Elisha. he doesn’t quite understand it all yet, but he’s getting the hang of the watering can (when he’s not busy splashing himself) and he’s learned that only i should be doing the weeding. he loves to point out the peppers growing and i have a feeling he’ll get excited about big purple eggplants.

having a baby and having a garden have similar lessons about growth—sometimes, you just have to let it happen but overall you are responsible for cultivating and directing. i can’t hover over my nasturtiums and make them bud or flower. i can’t helicopter over Elisha and expect him to turn out the way i want him to. he’s already an amazing boy, and i’m here to encourage that, to lay a foundation for him that is firm under his little feet. he’s curious and eager to learn in ways i never expected, and that’s taught me a lot about myself and my expectations of parenthood.

this “growing” of a human being (other than myself) is really quite an adventure. it’s often revealing of things i don’t like about myself, but it’s also often rewarding when i can reflect on just how much Elisha has helped me grow into a better person (though albeit sometimes a sleep-deprived one).

06242011 - The Garden So Far

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One of Our Garden Pets

One of Our Garden Pets

One of Our Garden Pets

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06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy 06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

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our first garden

loving the pool

our first garden

a garden visitor

What do I love this Monday? The feeling of summer that’s in the air. I mean, I’m not looking forward to the heat, but I love summer. I love sunshine and gardens and the pool. This year, we have all of those things in our back “yard” of sorts (it’s hard to call our tiny space in the back of our townhouse a yard).

We caved and bought Elisha a kiddie pool. It gives us something else to do during the day, he loves it, and we can all work on our tans together. He loves the bath (and the sink), so I figured the pool was the next logical step. It’s been very much a success, but I must admit I find a kiddie pool a bit high maintenance considering we don’t have a hose or access to one anywhere near our townhouse. Buckets of water from the sink are kind of annoying, let me tell you, especially since he plastic inflatable thing needs to be emptied and cleaned often because of things like bird poop and bugs. I don’t even think covering it would make a difference, but the smiling baby is totally worth it.

In fact, the baby smiling is really worth it after this rough month we’ve had. Three molars at once, some verbal milestones (he knows a lot of words and signs, even if he doesn’t always use them all when he could), and who knows what else have made sleeping rough and the crankies a constant battle. These past couple days have been on the up and up, however, and I’m not complaining about how worn out a dip in the pool makes little E.

He also loves to jump in first thing in the morning. It’s so cute.

A toddler is a completely different adventure, and I think I still cringe inside a little even when I type that word. He’s still my baby… but he’s gotten so big!

Another new adventure for me is gardening. We’ve got two raised beds out the kitchen door with eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and various peppers. I’ve got some lettuce and mizuna to plant, too, but I need to knock the bottom off of two clementine boxes to fill with potting mix and seeds. I should hurry up before it gets too hot, really. Summer is creeping up on us fast … and I’m excited!

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Sink party!

Sink party!

Sink party!

Sink party!

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morning sun

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Well, 14 months of Elisha have come and gone. Swiftly at that. I have to confess that these past few months after his first birthday have not been my favorite moments in parenting so far: first year molars and a lot of cognitive development have often left me tired and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong—we have an awesome baby—but his new abilities of walking and talking have brought with them a whole host of challenges very different from simply rolling over or crawling.

Elisha is a very sweet boy. He loves to cuddle, he gives kisses, and he is often very concerned about other babies when he sees or hears them crying. He’s a curious boy. He loves to explore and discover, especially if music, dogs, or the outside are involved in the activity. He is also a strong-spirited boy. He gets that from both myself and his father, whether it’s fortunate or not. Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing, but other times, it’s definitely difficult.

Overall, toddlerhood is a whole new set of experiences for both of us. A new chapter in parenting that has different ups and downs than having a newborn or having a mobile baby did.

Watching him grow and change is a special joy. There isn’t anything I’d want to change, even the hard parts.

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