Working in the Garden

The expectation:

On Saturday morning, Catch and I would wake refreshed and ready to spend the weekend working together in the garden. We would fill all of the planter beds with the new soil that was delivered at the crack of dawn on Friday, visit Tomatomania and the nursery, and get all of our veggies planted by bed time on Sunday.

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Charlotte would hang out in the shade in her pack & play with lots of toys, or ride on my back in the new Tula carrier that I will have mastered within 24 hours of its arrival at my doorstep.

The reality:

Someone in the neighborhood threw the world’s loudest party on Friday night. Baby woke at 9:30 pm and when I checked on her, the bass from the speakers at the party was so loud it sounded like gunfire in the nursery. Baby is pissed. Mommy is pissed. Mommy pulls out the Dock A Tot and hopes maybe baby will sleep in our bed because it’s quieter in our room. Sleep doesn’t happen. Party eventually quiets, and baby is back in her crib by 1 am, but wakes every 2 hours for the rest of the night. Moms drag their tired asses out of bed on Saturday morning and immediately hit the coffee.

This mom forgot about Saturday morning swim lessons, so when I expected that we’d be hauling dirt from the front yard to the back yard, we were actually at swim class. By the time we made it home, it was nap time for everyone.

After naps, we decided to go to Tomatomania, where we purchased way too many tomato plants, met a few chickens, and watched as EMTs attended to a homeless man who had collapsed face down on the bike path across the street. From there, we spent almost 40 minutes driving the 8 miles to my mom’s house to borrow her wheelbarrow. We hit EVERY SINGLE red light. Charlotte screamed bloody murder almost the entire time. Catch and I yelled at each other out of frustration. Sheer hell.

When we finally made it home later and unloaded the car, we were DONE.

Saturday night, ANOTHER neighbor decided to have a loud outdoor party. Charlotte woke up at 10, and then every 2 hours again. At this point, I am totally defeated and exhausted.

Catch hits the dirt hauling hard, and spends most of the morning and early afternoon by herself moving endless wheelbarrows full of soil from the front driveway to the back planter beds.

Charlotte spends about 15 minutes in the pack & play before she is bored. She spends another 15 minutes in a front carry in the Tula, but I can’t do much more than water the soil (to help compact it a bit) because I can’t figure out how to get her on my back without Catch’s help and Catch is totally filthy and sweaty and busy (and also annoyed with me for purchasing the Tula in the first place).

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And that’s where we stopped. There are no plants in the ground. There is still a large bag of dirt in my front yard (only 1 though—we started with 2). I have no idea when I’ll have time to get to the nursery for the remaining plants and seeds because we are booked solid this weekend.

The lesson:

When daydreaming about productivity when there’s a baby involved, set the bar low. Then lower it again. And again. And one more time for good measure.

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40 thoughts on “Working in the Garden

  1. Thanks for the good reminder that we are not alone in this. We’re just to the point where Darwin can do fun things in the yard for a short time, which is great for getting 10 minutes of something done over the course of an hour, but of course we’re staying over again in July…
    Sorry to hear about the neighbors. Do you have a noise ordinance?

    • We do have a noise ordinance, but good luck getting the police to respond in this city! They’re too busy dealing with bigger idiots, unfortunately.

  2. I love you for keepin’ it real.

    Evie “helped” in our garden last year by telling me she didn’t like the dirt and whining “Can we go inside nowwwww?” over and over. She did, however, enjoy eating the food once I’d done all the work! So, I’d like to tell you Charlotte will grow more helpful but that’d be hogwash.

  3. Oh gosh, that sounds like a totally hectic and crazy weekend! Unfortunately I too have learnt the hard way that now that we have babies, our productivity levels decline massively! Which sucks, especially when you want to get something done.
    Maybe we will be more productive when they are older? Lol!

    • If getting the plants in the ground is this much of a nightmare, I’m seriously afraid that keeping them alive is not gonna happen. We’ll see. I hope I can keep them alive because we’re spending a lot of money on this damn garden!

      This is the Tula we got (Catch requested something geometric): http://www.tulababycarriers.com/products/equilateral-tula-ergonomic-baby-carrier
      I like it, but I haven’t been able to get it adjusted so it’s totally comfortable yet. I need some time to play with it.

      • It’s super cute! SSC’s are def harder to adjust than wrap style carriers. I’m so lazy and Charlie doesn’t like being fussed with, so we use our mei tai almost exclusively for that very reason.

        I bet once the plants are in you’ll do fine! I have my roses on timers for watering in the summer. Makes it so much easier.

  4. Well, my seeds are sitting under a pile of mail I haven’t read yet and my soul is in my hallway and I haven’t even dug a proper hole so to me this is like so productive I can hardly stand it! Nice job! 😉

  5. First, I’m still envious that you can even think about a garden in March. Second, I’m impressed at Catch’s hard work and your ability not to lose it on your neighbours. Third, I’m already learning that the bar needs to drop drastically so I now respect your lesson. And finally, your little girl is adorable!!

  6. The last paragraph of this post is so so true. Just have low expectations. I’m impressed that you even went to tomatomania, whatever that is!! And I want to kill your neighbors.

    • I want to kill my neighbors too. The crazy part is that we’re not even sure what house it was. It wasn’t any of our immediate neighbors. I feel bad for the people who live right next door to the party houses. They probably called in to work with headaches on Monday.

  7. Darn neighbors. We have one that likes to blast terrible music and whoop it up in the backyard occasionally too, unfortunately Ali’s bedroom window faces their house. Fortunately, the neighbor between us hates it too and will do stuff like now the strip of lawn between their houses until they go inside, or scream out the window that this isn’t the kind of neighborhood for that. It’s hilarious.
    I think our yard projects that first year consisted of getting a little plastic sandbox, and watching a bunch of sunflowers grow from the spilled birdseed. It gets easier each year though!

    • I wish I had a neighbor like that! I LOVE the lawnmower trick. I so wish we could do that! The crazy part about these parties is that they were SO LOUD but I couldn’t even tell what street they were on. It wasn’t any of my immediate neighbors. I can only imagine how miserable it must have been to be right next door to them! We have some seriously trashy people in our neighborhood.

  8. I can’t believe the first year I’m actually doing something about my interest in gardening is the year I have a baby to worry about. I was so mad at myself this weekend for spending so much money on gardening supplies. Thankfully, I had two friends come over and help me get started. Now, if anything survives or makes it into the ground, it will be a miracle.

    You do learn pretty quickly that your expectations of being productive in any way should be set pretty low. If it can’t be done after Simon is asleep, it usually doesn’t get done.

    PS: I so love your family. ❤ You're all adorable. 😉

    • It’s funny how expensive a gardening habit can be! I spent more buying tomato seedlings than I probably spend on tomatoes in a year, and yet… well, I couldn’t resist. LOL You’re so lucky you had some friends to help! Our friends love to reap the benefits of our overflow of tomatoes every year, but they have sure never offered to come over and help!
      PS – I love your family, too!!!

  9. We are attempting a small garden this year…and I have grand visions of my babes sweetly playing in the grass while I sprinkle water on our delicate seedlings, which will produce a bounty of produce even though I have a very black thumb. The last tomato plant I attempted yielded one tomato (yes, ONE). And a grape tomato at that.

    We’re gonna end up with a mudpit, which the kids will probably like better. I need to learn to just throw all plans out the window for the next 18 years and try to go with the flow. I’m terrible at that though!

    I can’t wait to see pictures of your finished garden. I need inspiration!

    • You know, the thing about our grand visions is that the reality (mud pit) ends up being a better story, anyway. And muddy kids make way more photo-worthy memories, right? LOL

  10. Sooo true. I’m sorry you didn’t get the planting done, and that your neighbours had intrusively loud house parties. But Charlotte looks super cute in her PnP, and the planting will get done some how. The Tula will be useful on many other occasions too. And at the end of the summer you will have tomatoes coming out of your ass.

  11. Lol it sounds an awful lot like my days have been with trying to get our place ready to sell! So many plans to lessen DWs load, but baby always has other plans. You’re totally right about the tiny goals. Make very few plans and hope to surprise yourself!

  12. On the utterly annoying bright side, how amazing is it to have a symbol of growth and determination growing in your yard just as in your family? You all accomplished *a lot* given the ridiculous circumstances far beyond your control.

    Also, that whole thing sucks. I have been there and it sucks so much. Here’s to a better weekend ahead.

  13. I think we might be sharing a life…. Just putting it out there. Yesterday I was stoked to sow my lettuce seeds, futz with a few more veggies and then get some new echinacea roots into the ground, plus try out my new pole saw. I ended up having back spasms and pooping in my pants because I have no sensation in my nether regions anymore. I did manage to plant lettuce though, so, that happened 😏🙃

    • Oh man, late pregnancy sucks. It’s a gift, but it’s a miserable f-ing gift. I hope your poopy pants are soon replaced by much tinier poopy pants. (There’s a sentence I don’t think I’ll ever type again! LOL)

  14. I’m laughing at this because it is soooo true and I tried over and over again to make plans for the weekend and I still tend to fall short of what I hope to accomplish. Like you said, lower the bar, then lower it again, then lower it again. 🙂 Then, our older daughter got big enough that even if she doesn’t want to help, she can entertain herself and loves to be outside, so we had another. Our kids are 7 years apart and they are 20 months and almost 9 years old now. You would think since we were second time parents we would remember that you can’t get much done when you have a baby or toddler. Nope, we had to relearn that lesson all over again. Last spring it took me too many months to get the bar back down to where it needed to be. I think good enough is taking on a whole new definition for me these days.

  15. Ugh. So sorry. Excellent advice on setting the bar low. Can you imagine we thought taking a trip to Disney during Bumbi’s first year was going to go as magically as we had planned. I can laugh now, but lawdy no one was laughing then.

    Oh geez, your kid is so cute I almost forgot to comment on the horrible neighbors. I applaud you for not losing it on them.

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