Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Plan Was Puny!

I thought I could work on the flowerbed while the boys played in the yard.  Nope!  LOL

That's not entirely true.  I can, but it's not very efficient.

See, we bought this house almost exactly a year ago.  It was brand new at the time, and it didn't take us long to realize that the very pretty flowerbed out front had no garden fabric under the mulch.  It's not so much that weeds grew in the bed; it's more that weeds and grass filled in the entire flowerbed.  We tried to keep things in check with liberal applications of RoundUp, but at this point what we have is a bed filled with dead weeds and grass, with a few bushes struggling to survive amongst it all.

I need to make it clear at this point that I am NOT a gardener.  I don't enjoy it, have no idea what the different plants are, and have no interest in spending a hot summer morning on my knees digging in the dirt.  I do, however, appreciate the value of a nice looking front yard.  The flowerbed has therefore been slowly making it's way to the top of my to-do list.

Here was my plan:  After their 8:00 meal, the boys have a couple of hours of extra happy and active time.  Usually this is when we either do 'serious' floor time (working on motor skills) or we go for a walk.  I thought it would be a fun change of pace for the guys to lay a blanket on the grass and let them crawl around outdoors while I tear up the weeds and put down garden fabric.  I figured it would be okay if they crawled off of the blanket, because kids get dirt on them and that's okay.

Today was a perfect day for it -- not too hot in the morning, and the sky was cloudy so their eyes wouldn't be assaulted by the sun.  After the meal, I put fresh diapers on them, and then sunscreen since they wouldn't be under the protective cover of their stroller canopy.  I gathered all my garden supplies and set them out front, then loaded the boys into their wagon, pulled them outside, and set them on the blanket on the grass.

Problem #1:  the sunscreen and dressing process took longer than I expected.
Problem #2:  you can't go back inside for items you forgot.  I forgot the scissors, so was trying to cut and tear garden fabric with the limb shears and it wasn't working out.
Problem #3:  you can tell yourself it's okay for the kids to put dirt or sticks in their mouths, but you can't let it happen.  I spent most of my time outside picking up the boys and putting them back on the blanket.
Problem #4: you worry they're getting too much sun.  With the sun behind clouds, I couldn't tell if they were really in the protective shade of the house.
Problem #5:  you can't go back inside to tend to baby needs.  K had a stinky diaper, which signaled the end of our outing.  I had not brought the diaper bag out.

I got about three feet of garden fabric laid down.

Once we got inside, I started to worry about their skin getting irritated from the grass or sunscreen, or even about them getting chigger bites, so we immediately hit the bath.  The entire experience took about three hours.

All in all, I'm calling it a success!  The guys had a great time, and are now snuggly and soft from the baths.  The neighbors can at least see evidence that we are putting forth some sort of effort.  Maybe finishing the project will need to wait for the next grandparent visit.

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