Spring is here!

Earlier this year my adorable little man told me he wanted to have a vegetable garden. Luckily, we have a small space that is already set up to be a garden from the previous owners of our house, we have just never done anything with it. Unfortunately, I have the opposite of a green thumb, every houseplant and orchid that has ever crossed our threshold has somehow come to a suspiciously fast end…even when I have tried, researched how to keep them alive, and set a calendar reminder to feed/water/talk to, and just generally take care of them. So back to the latest request, a vegetable garden. While my dubious past with plants has me hesitant it does get the kids outside and away from those screens, so we are going for it.

Step 1: Buy gloves, gardening tools, topsoil and seeds. (I let the kids pick out the seeds, we will be having a LOT of tomatoes)

Step 1a: Give the baby an old beach sand bucket and shovel/rake so she feels included.

Step 2: Set aside at least 2x the amount of time you think you will need. It took more time than I would have imagined to rake up a 6×6 foot plot of earth.

Step 2a: Don’t let the baby eat the weeds 😛

Step 3: Dump out and spread the topsoil

Step 3a: Explain to the kids that it’s okay to get dirty. I guess I have drilled them a bit too well on staying clean as they were very hesitant to get their hands in the dirt and the baby wailed, showing me her dirty hands and wanting to have them washed about every 10-20 seconds…

Step 4: Let the kids do the planting, while following them around trying to figure out which seeds they planted where.

Step 4a: If I ever do this again, rethink step 4!

Step 5: Hope against hope that something happens…


Screen Time

It seems that everywhere I turn these days there is a new study on screen time and how much is too much for our kids. Do we really need these studies to tell us this? To me it is common sense that too much screen time is not great, but there are days where I need a minute and the “electronic babysitter” has come in ever so handy. I realized about six months ago that my son seemed to be hyper focused on asking for more and more screen time and with the distraction of work, keeping the house running and my daughter I was letting him have it too frequently. I was even letting him have it during dinner.

I decided to curb it by setting a timer for him, he could have 10 minutes and then he had to turn it off and find a different activity, and I took it away during dinner. For the first couple of days it was a HUGE fight and there were a few epic meltdowns. It reinforced for me that his brain is addicted to it. That is truly scary, he is not even 5 yet.

It has taken some retraining on my part as well because my husband and I are constantly on our phones/devices and our son was calling us out on our hypocrisy. “Why do you get to have your phone and I can’t have my tablet?” Let me tell you, I had no good answer for that one.

There are still days where I know I let him have his device longer than I should, it seems we are still finding our way to that balance.