The Garden

Can I just give a little shout out to the weekend? We had such a good Father’s Day. We got lucky and John got on early flight home, surprising me on Friday night. I was so happy to see him. As Honest Toddler (possibly the best new blog in the world) would say, by about 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon I was comatose and about to hand Evie the iPhone and just tell her to stay alive, but we made it through.

Anyway, yeah I was happy to see him, and our weekend was great. We went to breakfast, we went to the pool, it was awesome. I even weeded (wed? weed? weeded?) the garden for about 15 minutes. I don’t know what it is with that garden. Every year I have a vegetable garden. Every year since we’ve lived in this house. And every year, despite my black thumb, we seem to at least get some zucchini and some cucumbers out of the mix. We have a raspberry bush that occasionally produces 10-15 edible raspberries if I’m lucky. At least enough to throw in some oatmeal one day. One year I actually had a successful head of lettuce. I think.

But even with the zucchini, which let’s face it a monkey could grow, mostly it’s just weeds and I think it causes me more stress than happiness. Which is not really the point of gardening is it? I like to imagine myself as some contented housewife with her floral gardening gloves and big floppy hat just enjoying the sunshine and digging in the dirt, emerging with a bounty of beautiful fresh organic vegetables that I can then lovingly serve to my family. But more often that not, it’s me out there in my pajama bottoms during nap time swatting at the flies and cursing the spade and wondering if those leaves are weeds or some sort of vegetable, wondering what I planted again and accidentally digging up the one little sprouted carrot I did have. I do enjoy the herbs, I feel proud when I actually keep the basil alive and can put it in a dish, but that’s rare.

In reality I think I just feel like I need to have a vegetable garden because we have the space for it, and lots of other people around here do it successfully, and it just seems like something I’ve always done. This year I am really trying to keep the little buggers alive, and so far I think I might be winning the war, but it just isn’t enjoyable for me. I guess I’d rather get my outside plant-y time by watering my pretty flowers that someone else planted and go buy my organic vegetables at the farmers market. Maybe I just need to accept that I’m not cut out for gardening. I’m going to suffer through the rest of this year, and so help me god we better get some cherry tomatoes or I will cut someone, but next year I give up. I’m done. I think I’ll make the vegetable garden a sandbox for Evie and call it a day.


Part Timing It

So I’ve mentioned here that I recently changed my job situation. Basically I left my full time gig – but I’m still consulting for them on the side. And I have a few other clients in the mix as well now. I started my own business is what I did. It’s called Jeni Anderson Media. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about switching this blog to my domain over there, but not sure. We’ll see.

It’s been an adjustment – first I only had Evie in daycare one day, and now we’re back up to two. It turns out I love being home with her, but I also need some time to myself if I’m ever going to get anything done. There is unfortunately no way that I can squeeze everything I need to do in on Tuesday and Thursday, which means I’m always working when she’s napping, or at night, or when she’s tormenting the dog. The good news is it’s never too much and I’m attempting to never let it interfere with my time with her.

It’s actually perfect for me and I think it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I was so immensely frustrated leaving her every day. And now, I don’t have to do that if I don’t want to. It isn’t just time with her either. It’s been a great decision for me professionally because it allows me to really steer my own path when it comes to my career. If I don’t want to pursue a ton of business, I don’t have to. But if I do decide to really hit it hard again one day, I know I can do that as well. I like that I’m still earning a paycheck, staying up to date on what’s going on in my field, and I still get to talk to grown ups most days. But I also get to go to the grocery store at 2:00 on a Wednesday and take my little bugger to music in the afternoon and work out at 10 a.m. I just love it.

One reason we ended up adding back another day of daycare – aside from the fact that I just needed the time – is that I really think she learns a lot there and benefits from being around the other kids. I could probably hire a nanny for a few hours every morning or something and get the things done I need to get done, but I enjoy taking her and I think she enjoys being there. She’s really bonded with one of her teachers, which is an absolute joy to watch, and she’s seriously learning from the other kids. I’m pretty sure George taught her how to crawl. And she watches Charlie eat and then she eats better when she gets home. It’s pretty cool to feel that good about leaving my kid somewhere. I know I’m lucky, because not a lot of people feel that way about their childcare centers. They have a Reggio Emilia approach, which is an Italian theory of childcare that basically allows children to direct their own learning and explore the world at their pace. It’s really great and it’s been phenomenal for our girl. Actually one reason I don’t want to leave our neighborhood is that I don’t want to take her out of this school.

The thing I miss the most about working full-time is the social aspect. Sure I can sit on Twitter all day while Evie sleeps, but it just isn’t the same as gossiping about what a d-bag old Kalon was on The Bachelorette in person. At least I can force John to watch it and we can make fun of the way that one guy said quinoa as kwin-noa together. I’m so lucky.

For once in my life, I feel really content with my career situation and I don’t think I’m going to worry about it anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I should still be climbing the corporate ladder, but I think for now, I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing. I’m a mom. I’m a consultant. I don’t always know what I’m doing on one side or the other, but then again I’ll probably never always know what I’m doing. Part timing it is definitely the way to go.

Single For a Week

I’m having one of those moments I have every two months or so where I think I should be writing here and start some kind of weird little plan where I’ll write every day about what’s going on with my life. (So, see you in two months, right?)

Anyway, John is out of town and I’m doing the single mama thing for the week. It is freaking hard. I never realize how lucky I am to have such a great, helpful baby daddy until he’s gone. Having a partner is such an essential part of parenthood. I seriously don’t know how single parents do it. Props to you guys. Evie is back in daycare two days a week so I can focus on the contract work I have, so I’m getting those days as a mini break, but being on duty all night every night is starting to wear me out. Cooking, dinner time, clean up, bath time, bedtime, and then any wake ups in the middle of the night mean I am one tired mama.

Evie is obviously awesome and I’m not complaining about her per se, (do I get to stop doing these qualifiers yet? Of course there is no question I love her times a million more than anyone could ever love anyone) it’s just that it’s everything that comes along with her. Suffice it to say that tonight we had a poop issue of epic proportions and I just can’t seem to get clean enough. You know it’s those things. GROSS. Sorry I just became one of those people who wrote about my child’s poop. I said I would never do that. But I did. Deal with it.

Evie is finally crawling, which is a relief in a sense but also proving quite difficult because I have to follow her around the house and make sure she doesn’t break the XBox or eat the dog food or slam her fingers in the door. She’s still a little timid and won’t go too far unless I’m close by, but I have a feeling she’s going to be off and running in no time. I can’t believe it’s almost her first birthday. This year has flown by. Way WAY faster than the year I was pregnant.

I just keep reminding myself to live in the moment, enjoy every part of this, even the parts that seem so unbelievable hard, because it’s over in an instant.