Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thoughts on spanking...

Truthfully, I used to spank. Honestly, I didn't know any different. I thought spanking was normal and what you are SUPPOSED to do to kids. My parents weren't big spankers, I can't even remember a time my mom spanked me though I'm sure she did. (Well, there was that time that she slapped me across the face but that was a totally different and totally deserved story for another time ;) )

So naturally, I thought spanking was just what you did as a parent, to your child. Wait a minute, have we really thought this through? We're talking about hitting our children, the beings we love more than ourselves, the little people that we are completely responsible for, little pieces of our hearts running around outside of our bodies... we're SUPPOSED to hit them? And teach them what? That hitting is ok? Do as I say, and not as I do right? Spank your child for hitting their friend or sibling... HUH?

I realized something, something that I have in the past been guilty of but its rotten nonetheless. Do you know how horrible it sounds when a parent threatens a child "You better stop that or you're going to get a spanking!" We have created this word "spanking" to make it sound like less than it is. What if we replace "spanking" with "beat your ass"... its not very nice is it.

Do you threaten to hit any other person in your life that you love? What if my husband and I started threatening to hit each other when we didn't do what the other wanted us to do?

I struggle daily with parenting and the hardest part of it all is discipline. How do we know the right thing to do? It is SO very hard.. but I honestly don't believe that hitting our children is the right way to teach them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The latest garden news

Well I'm not posting a picture, but my garden is starting to look like crap. I guess its because its organic. Organic=lots of bugs. I'm planning to do a better job companion planting next year and hopefully deter some of the bugs that are destroying my garden. I noticed today that squash vine borers are taking out the remainder of my squash plants. Not only that, but they also have powdery mildew all over them. I'm not really that torn up over it though, I'm honestly getting sick of yellow squash and the plants are so big that they're creeping around the garden. Next year I'm putting them on dedicated hills... I now see the reasoning behind that.

Yesterday I went in-organic with my tomatoes. I had enough... I STILL don't have any red tomatoes and every time I find one starting to turn its rotten with squash bugs on it. I had it, I grabbed the bottle of sevin that Jason bought me when he was feeling sorry for me over the aphid epidemic and started spraying. Oddly enough as sad as I was to in-organic my garden it felt GOOD to get revenge on those bugs. Organic gardening is SO hard, you can stick to your guns and risk all your hard work going to the bugs or you can get some pesticides and ensure that you actually get to eat some of your crop. I'll try again next year. I only sprayed the tomatoes but I'm sure if I were an organic farmer that would negate my whole farm for 5 years... luckily I'm not.

But the positive thing about the garden today is that for one, I keep picking cantaloupe. I've picked about 20 so far, maybe a few more than that, and I have about 10 left out there to ripen. The downside is I am getting SICK of cantaloupe and it isn't as sweet as I would have liked it to have been. Oh well.

AND the okra is blossoming. I have never grown okra before or even seen an okra plant, I had no idea that they flowered so beautifully:

So that is pretty exciting. Hopefully we'll be eating some home grown okra soon!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bloggity blog blog

I haven't blogged in a few days and I was really on a roll. I don't know what to blog about today but I need to get back in the swing of things. We went camping this weekend and that always screws me up for about a week, the house is a wreck and I am either exhausted or just lazy. I haven't figure out which it is yet.

So today I have a few goals: wash the dishes, which are overflowing onto the counters, mop the kitchen floor which is disgustingly sticky, and get some sewing done. I would really like to go to Jo Anns but I am not going unless I get those dishes washed and I really don't feel like washing dishes.....

The decisions of a home maker, how did I ever get to this point?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A literal PITA pocket

Yesterday I made whole wheat pitas. Pita making, for those of you who haven't made pitas before, is a delicate process. A real pain in the ass, if you will. Make some pitas yourself and you will discover the little pocket bread's true namesake-- Pain In The Ass. This is why I only make them about once every 4-6 months and buy all my pitas until I have forgotten just how much trouble they are to make.

First you make the dough, knead it and rise it once. Then you must shape the pitas in perfect little circles (wand let them rise for 20 minutes. Next the oven has to be at the right temperature as well as the pan inside the oven. Then you must transfer the pitas to the hot pan inside the oven without disturbing the pitas so much that you cause the rise to fall. Then you watch in the oven window, praying and willing the pitas to "puff" and if you're lucky, maybe half of them will. Then you have to flip them halfway through cooking but only once you're certain the puffing is either finished or will never happen anyway. I also want to add that a non-puffed pita is not a waste of time, it just won't be a natural pocket you have to cut it open.

So out of yesterdays batch of 8 pitas only two rose to the occasion. And of course, being the blogger that I am, I took pictures. (You can see on left rear pita where Nathan got ahold of it and took a chunk out with his hand, yeah.. that doesn't help the whole rising and puffing process.)

So.. intelligent girl that I am, I uploaded the wrong picture. I am on dial up so I'm not going to let my precious uploading time go to waste and I'm leaving this picture up for your viewing pleasure. My little bookworms... awwwww! <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I got these flip flops from a swap on a message board.. they're cute but I don't think they're me. Every time I am walking with them on I keep thinking "THERE IS SOMETHING ON MY FOOT!" and I keep trying to shake it off. Honestly.. my dirty old toes just don't look right with flowers. But I wear them around the house and garden, they make me feel glamorous in a Zsa Zsa Gabor kind of way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Family Bed- room, that is

We cosleep with our babies as infants, once they reach toddlerhood they transition to a crib. When they get older and need us at night they come back to our room once again, but not to our bed. They sleep on the foam couch on the floor and sometimes things get a little crowded. I couldn't resist snapping a picture when I woke up to find them sharing <3

Monday, July 16, 2007

My job...

I love my kids. I would do anything for them. But some days, I wish I could call in. I wish I could call my boss and say "I CAN'T TAKE IT TODAY! I NEED the rest of the day off! I'm taking a mental health day!" But thats not an option in my profession. I'm on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year until my charges leave home. It is draining and exhausting.

But then there are the little things. After a day of exploding poopy diapers, strawberry quik powder strewn from kitchen to bathroom, 2 year olds refusing naptime, and every book in the house being pulled from the bookshelves and strewn on the floor, somehow they still warm your heart.

As I'm reading their recent bedtime favorite, How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, I can't help but smile that after each rhetorical question "Do they swing their neck from side to side? Do they up and demand a piggy back ride?" the chorus of "NO!"s coming from my little munchkins. Then after I kiss them goodnight and walk out the door and both of them in unison sing "I love you too Mama!" Its like they washed away their sins of the day. How can one stay upset with children like that?

Me vs. Them

Aren't they a little young for this type of conspiracy and uprising?

So its naptime. Thats what *I* say anyway. I put Nathan in bed for a nap, settle down in front of the computer for *me* time and to nurse Jeremy. I hear little feet scamper down the hall... then a 40" tall knight in shining armor appears beside me, pointing his sword at me and daring me to cross him! I push him aside and he follows me, weilding his sword, telling me not to go there! I go looking for the naptime escapee and finally find him hiding under the kitchen table with his faithful sentinel in hot persuit.

This type of conspiracy is just unfair! I need naptime! Aren't they not supposed to gang up on me until the teen years??

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Camping at Cave Mountain Lake Rec Area

For the 4th of July weekend we made a whirlwind of a trip, first we dropped our dog and camper off at my parents' house in Rocky Mount, VA and then headed southwest to Morristown, TN to visit Jason's grandmother for the 4th of July. His mother drove up from Chattanooga and we had a nice little family reunion of sorts for two days.

But, being the nomad family that we try to be, we couldn't stay in one place too long. So after two nights we packed up our van and headed back up to my parents house. We hitched up the trailer, loaded up the dog and headed for the hills. We chose our destination just by choosing one of those little tent icons on the map. The campground we chose was located in *I think* Jefferson National Forest. We had never camped in a national forest before so we didn't know what to expect. The campsites were VERY nice, secluded and wooded. However there were no electric hookups and we did not have the foresight to ever TEST the battery hookup on our camper so we found out the hard way that there is something wrong with our electrical wiring in our camper and the battery connection doesn't work! So we were roughing it (Hahahha) with no electricity! Truthfully though the only "electrical" stuff we can use when our camper is running off a battery are the lights and we have a propane lantern and flashlights so we really weren't missing out on much.

We had a great camping trip, the first night we set up and grilled hot dogs on the grate over the fire for dinner. The next day we got up and went to the lake, it has a beach area and we thought we *might* go swimming but after seeing the mud area I mean beach area we decided that we'd find some other recreating to do that day. Jason and Hunter fished for awhile and Jason caught a few palm sized largemouth bass. Then we decided to "explore" and ended up at the trailhead of a 2 mile hike to Apple Orchard Falls. "Two miles?" we thought to ourselves, that shouldn't be too bad. So we loaded Nathan into the backpack carrier and Jeremy into the ring sling and away we went, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up... are we there yet? up, up, up, up, up, etc.... until FINALLY we made it! The falls were somewhat disappointing, there was only a mere trickle "falling" down the rocks, I guess the drought is affecting even the higher altitudes. (Note the "falls" behind us in the picture) We stop for a few minutes, admire the drops, and head back down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down..... etc... until FINALLY we see our van! I swear seeing our van was infintely more satisfying than reaching those blasted falls. So we load up and head back to camp. Did I mention that Hunter was on foot for 95% of the entire 4 miles?? He's a tough little hiker!

....Later that night, the boys are ready to roast marshmallows. SOMEONE forgot to put our roasting sticks back in the camper after our last camping trip so we had to find sticks. Nathan was not patient enough to let one of us find him a stick, so he found one on his own...

So finally we're putting the kids in bed and we just hang out for awhile, watching them be kids. I snapped a few pictures, they put on a show for us. We love being parents, what an awesome responsibility we have!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I'm really starting to wonder. I think the entire insect population of King William county has moved into my backyard, and more specifically my garden, pool, and back porch waiting to enter my house!!!

The garden is overrun with bugs. I have aphids and squash bugs COVERING my tomato plants. Squash vine borers completely wiped out my zucchini plants and tried their darndest to take care of the pumpkins. Some little black beetle looking bugs destroyed every ear of corn. Japanese beetles are EVERYWHERE. I am still trying to garden organically but I have a bag of sevin dust AND a bottle of spray and I am soooo tempted to use it.

Then there is the pool. I can't find a cover for this pool in the entire greater Richmond area! I spend 15 minutes a day doing circles in the pool skimming out carcasses, its just disgusting.

And flies..... ewwwww nasty flies. They SWARM our back door just waiting for an opportunity to zip in, and you can imagine with three little kids how often our door gets opened. Yesterday morning Nathan was getting ready to eat his cereal and a fly landed in it and started swimming around. Nathan was trying to get out of having to eat it anyway so it didn't break his heart.

I read somewhere on the internet about hanging ziplock bags full of water by the doorway to deter the flies so we are trying that. It looks pretty funny but hey at this point we'll try ANYTHING! I smartly decided to hold the door open after we installed the bags to see what would happen and about 10 flies zoomed past me into the kitchen. Smart girl I are.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Out of comfort zone experiences

Today we ventured over to the mall, Regency Square mall to be precise. We're not usually mall-goers but Jason lost his precious 4 year old Oakleys and just HAD to get a new pair so off we went in search of the perfect glasses. Fortunately we found them and $99 later he can now face the daylight again.

The mall is an interesting place. I feel so incredibly out of place there. Almost akin to being in school again, the experience is as if I were to have taken my lunch tray and plopped down at the "popular kids" table and expected everyone to have smiled and said hello. I don't know why I feel like everyone is staring at me and my kids. I don't dress my kids up for ANYTHING-- even our occasional visits to church. My kids look like they've come straight from the playground than from the baby gap runway like most of the other kids we come across in the mall. Well, and then there's me. I'm no supermodel mom, ha! But I feel like all eyes are on me and it makes me squirm. Why is it? I'm sure they're not actually watching me, wondering what I'm doing in their territory. Or are they?

People grow older but they never change. Social circles, cliques, outcasts-- they still exist and some even get more barbarous over time. As a child what made me think that becoming an adult would break down those social barriers? Childhood innocence I suppose.

Several years ago- I don't remember when exactly, I came to the stunning yet ridiculously obvious realization that the only difference between adults and children are the number of years they have been living on the earth. Age in no way, shape, or form equals maturity.