Monday, July 27, 2009

It's a jungle out there

So, nine weeks after planting those minuscule tomato, cucumber, zucchini, pepper and onion plants; my garden looks like this:
It's simply a jungle of vegetables growing one on top of each other. (And this photo was actually taken two weeks ago -- it's even more jungle-like now) Maybe I should've read the directions a little closer on how far apart each plant is supposed to be. Because, in one corner, we have the grape tomato plants which are very quickly overtaking everything around it. And in the other corner, we have the massive zucchini plant that has completely choked out the peas and is threatening to bury the raspberry bush. And sadly, it has yet to produce a single zucchini.

But I don't care how overgrown it is -- it's pretty damn cool to see vegetables growing in your backyard!

Almost every morning, as I open the blinds in the bedrooms, I'm curious to see how much the plants have grown overnight. And almost every day, Austin asks me, "how are our vegetables doing today?".

We've already picked two vegetables -- a jalapeno pepper and a cucumber -- and hopefully soon, we'll be picking tomatoes. Lots and lots and lots (and did I say lots) of tomatoes. I see salsa and spaghetti sauce in my future!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No time to write...I'm too busy writing

My freelance gig is picking up. I'm pretty amazed at myself, really, that I've managed to pick up as much work as I have. I'm signed up with an agency and they've found me one project to date and my former employer has come to me with projects as well. (Ironic, isn't it? Lay off your staff writer only to hire her to write the same stuff she used to write while on staff but now you have to pay her by the hour.)

So, right now, I have a few projects on the go -- one of which is taking way more time out of every day than I would like -- and that means that every nap time and every evening I'm sitting at my computer writing and editing instead of doing fun things like watch TV (it's a good thing it's summer-rerun season) or write on this blog (or get the laundry done, or tidy the house, or actually plan what I'm going to make for dinner more than 5 minutes in advance...oh wait, none of those are actually 'fun' things, but regardless, I've been too busy to get those things done either).

But, aside from the one annoying project which is dragging on and on, I'm enjoying the freelance work. And the freelance money. It's nice to know that I can bring in a little bit of spending cash while I stay at home with the kids.

Although I'm still working on finding the right balance between being a mom and being a freelance writer. There have been a few occasions when I've needed to make or take a phone call while the kids are around and each one has resulted in Austin screaming "I want to say hi" or Alex insisting that I pick her up and walk her around rather than cradle the phone and take notes.

A quick move to turn on the TV often solves Austin's problem, but since Alex doesn't like watching TV, I need to figure out how to balance a phone, a pen, a paper and a toddler at the same time.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Toddler: 1, work-from-home mom: 0

Have you ever tried to work on a computer while a 15-month-old insisted on sitting on your lap?

And I don't mean, the checking-your-e-mail or writing-a-blog-post kind of work. That's not work, that's the modern day mom's concept of multi-tasking.

By work, I mean actually trying to read the highlighted sections on the papers you've carefully spread out on the desk (that your 15-month-old is now drawing colourful squiggles on with the pretty yellow and pink highlighers you stupidily left beside them) and typing up a report while the same 15-month-old pounds the keyboard to add letters to each word, grabs and clicks on the mouse and then tries to climb right up on the desk and grab the phone/pens/scissors. And in a final trump move, the same 15-month-old decides that, although she still must sit on your lap and now sort her crayons, you may also not have your hands anywhere near the keyboard -- because they are in HER way.

Needless to say, she won the pay-attention-to-me-not-the-computer war and I closed my files and went back to them after dinner when Ryan was home to watch the kids.

Being in the freelance business is working out great so far, but I need to learn to either a) work faster during nap time, b) not try to finish up "just for a few minutes" once nap time is over or c) learn not to let her sit on my lap.

Yeah right, she's trying to draw on the computer screen with crayons as I type this.