March 2008

I have to post quickly, just because the mood of my last post was so glum. I’ve had so much I wanted to say, but between my thinking of late about the energy I pour out toward others and whether that might be better turned inward, and my activities of the last week or two, I haven’t been able. And I’m still not. I just wanted to say briefly.

I’ve spent the last two weeks and way too much money sweating over trying to have a great birthday party for my baby. I am an extremely ambitious party planner, but I am not a top down person, and my husband figures if you can’t get it done the day before or the day of it’s not worth it so… you can imagine the chaos and mass of half done tasks all through the house and yard.  I really need to call up my inner military strategist.

I also really need to be more consistent about all those things most of the time so I don’t have to panic when it’s time to have folks over. Or throw away all my stuff so dusting is not a major project. Or, just get over it. Why can’t I just say, fuck no I don’t dust, ever, why would I? My life would be so much easier.

I can’t believe how much I stress. I just want so badly to have people over, and I forget between times just how badly I can screw it up. I never hit the right stride of preparation and relaxation. Or else, I need a maid/server.

We spent her birthday with a dear friend of hers from school… then I had a cold and stayed home with her Wednesday as well, then our baby sitter had a terribly contagious issue at her place so we didn’t have child care Thursday so I split my day up between having her all day and working the evening 1/2 day… then back to work in earnest Friday, half a day Saturday and that insane party.

I think the kids had a good time, truly, and I hope the parents did too. We did manage the pinata of course, and to decorate cookies. A couple of friends brought very nice additions to help out. The weed flowers which make our back yard look so ragged, but which are so beloved of shaky baby, were a huge hit, they were scattered everywhere like fresh rushes for us to tread upon. Thoughtful parents took all the dangerous implements of destruction or bodily harm that I thought I’d adequately stowed away and truly adequately stowed them away. I am trying not to think about anything except the positive– like, after everyone left, my weekend still had two days left in it.

I took her to get her hair cut Thursday, and washed her hair in real shampoo tonight– we usually do water only, or Tate’s Natural Miracle. Her little curls came right out. They are tighter than botticelli but looser than corkscrew, but cut so close to her head they just tighten right up. When you look at the back of her head you can almost hear ’sproingggg’. I need to get her one of those silky mob caps women used to wear to keep their hairdos pretty as they slept, or just a satin pillow case.

As I kissed her good night I realized I’ve spent most of the last week simply celebrating her existence. That is entirely appropriate. She’s an amazing little girl and she is an amazing blessing.  I wished her happy birthday again. She said, am I six now? I said no, 359 more days. And we need to think of something special for when you’re six, like going to New York or Paris like Eloise. She said, will Eloise be there? I said no, but we can go to the same places, right? But we need to save our pennies.

My step daughter is here– my stepson had to stay home so he could be in a robotics competition. Today we went to the park in the morning and ate McDonalds breakfast (I know, not vegan, but a girl’s got to eat) picnic style, flew kites, talked to one of my girlfriends who was there too, went to Lowe’s for garden plants, kept a friend’s children for several hours while she’s in the hospital so her exhausted husband could clean and nap, decorated more cookies, and when he took the little ones home, worked a bit in our raised beds and planted some of what we bought today.

You should have seen my friend’s little 1.08 year old– I call her my last baby– out in the four o’clock sun and breeze. She would lay on the beach towel, butt in the air and face to the ground, kicking her legs out– just luxuriating in the fresh air and the loving earth under her cheek. It was a beautiful thing. I love all of the kids but they mostly entertain themselves– the 1.08 year old is usually stuck with me. I did take about ten minutes or more with each child especially to do something with them, though. I’d envisioned their visit as a structured repeat of the birthday  party, or actually as a chance to do the birthday party right in all the ways I’d failed yesterday… but they arrived just as we got back from Lowe’s so I couldn’t prepare, so nothin’ doin’. They were a bit bratty, but shoot. Their mom’s in the hospital, I had not sorted anything out for them to do– it was fine. I know that even when one of them (including mine) is crying or tattling every five minutes they’d still rather be together. I sure wish my little one had let me play the ’whoever pops their balloon first wins’ game though.

Have most of my herbs planted, the ones I spend a fortune buying at the supermarket anyway, and some flowers… husband working on strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, onions… have no idea whatever what to do with the rest of the yard. I got an extra azalea, some Spanish lavender and a gorgeous blue (really purple) hybrid tea rose. I did not get the hydrangea… I thought about how much space it would need in full sun, which would be exactly the area that I’d prefer to keep open at least until I plan my yard a bit better.

The places I want to fill up with lovely fragrant blooms are in shade to semi shade. For the rest of the yard I have in mind these woodland/cottage/formal gone wild curving vistas stretching away, leaving plenty of lawn for play and leading the eye or the walker back toward a couple of different seating areas among the trees and flowers, plus a butterfly garden… curving vistas really take up a lot of space, and a lot of planning, and a lot of money. Too much is not enough when it comes to putting plants in, and it looks shabby to just put in a bit here and a bit there, especially on that endless east fence line. Trees always look so much more stately in threes or rows, and I don’t know how I’ll work it out and stay within my budget and get much done during each planting season, and the more I think about all we want to do the smaller my yard looks! We can always move our raised beds, of course… We’ll see.

I did realize that I want only green foliage and purple, white, lavendar to gray, and variations on blue and fuchsia that appear purple in my vistas. That was a HUGE step forward. Knocked out the Carolina jasmine (jessamine) I wanted for the scent but… wrong color!! Fringe flower is the right color and it smells lovely… but it was seventeen dollars. Next time. The pale purple hybrid tea smelled delightful so that was my splurge.

And so… off to clean party mess for a time before bed. One more lovely weekend day to go for me before back to work!