That Day I Almost Became a Pot Grower

Pretty sure you can’t even say the word pot in any state other than Colorado without immediately being arrested. In fact I am sure you all assume everyone in Colorado is just a pot smoking hippie. That is apparently almost true.

Whilst we were staying with Andy’s BFF in Texas, I noticed they had a little seed grower in the kitchen and started asking about it. The BFF explained that they were growing a square foot garden, took me out back to show me their box, and then let me flip through their book. I had planned to start a garden this year and was actually just planning to dedicate the entire front yard to it, since we haven’t landscaped the front and the garden would be safe from our dogs.

The book in case you are curious is Mel Bartholomew’s “All New Square Foot Gardening”. Apparently the original square foot gardening book came out a couple decades ago. So what is different about this one? um……it is newer obviously. No I have no idea what is different.

So the basic premise of square foot gardening is that it is far superior to traditional row gardening. Requires less soil prep, is less susceptable to weed infiltration (those fucking weeds always infiltrating the garden), and one 4 foot by 4 foot box can grow the same amount of vegetables as like 200 square foot of a traditional row garden….I don’t remember the exact number. Read the book if you want the exact number you nerd.

Anyway, the day we returned from Texas I started our seeds and then Wednesday we started gathering our supplies to build our box. The one thing the book will tell you, and I will confirm, is that the coarse vermiculite (one of the 3 magic soil ingredients) is hard to find. Everything else you need can be found at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or your friendly gardening center (do I sound like a sales rep, or is it just me?).

I have been checking on my seedlings and those fuckers have been growing super fast….well at least the lettuce, squash, and beans have been growing super fast. The others take a few more days. So when I saw my sprouts on Wednesday I panicked. We needed our garden up PRONTO! Yesterday I left work a scosh early to find this magic vermiculite. I called several big nursery/garden centers – nope. They only carry medium grade. If there is one thing the book warns you about it is don’t try to skimp on supplies. Don’t substitute perlite for vermiculite, don’t try to cut corners by only using 3 types of compost instead of 5, etc. Pretty sure if you cut corners your vegetables will morph into one of those people-eating plants from Little Shop of Horror’s.

Side Bar: So I LOVED watching Little Shop of Horror’s when I was like 7ish. In fact, I loved it so much that I sang the song everyday for about a month after seeing the movie. The issue was, I never saw the actual title of the movie and it wasn’t until like a week later that my mom was like ‘wait what are you singing?’. I was singing “Little Shop, Little Shop of Whores!”. Yeah….I am pretty sure I sang that shit in public as well. Eh whatevs.

Alright back to the point. My coarse vermiculite mission was looking like a failure. I started considering just using the medium grade when it dawned on me! There’s a hydroponics store….oh I mean an “organic gardening and hydroponics” store not far from the house. Eh what did I have to lose? So I googled it and gave them a call.

I sort of stumbled on the phone introduction:

Me – “ummm…I was wondering…errr….wait let me start over…hi! I am looking for coarse vermiculite, any chance you carry it?”

Pot-Smoking Hippie – “We sure do!”

Me – “Awesome, I will be right in”

Obviously then I had to make like 5 phone calls to tell everyone that I was about to venture into a pot growing store.

And yes I snapped a picture from my car before going in. Afterward I realized that was a dumb idea, they might have thought I was a Fed and tried to tie me up with some organic hemp rope or something and interrogate me…..or at least smoke me out….which hey, would that have been so bad?

The inside is what you would predict: grow lamps, “organic air filters”….uh huh, lots of bottles of ingredients. I had half a mind to check out each aisle, but since it was my first time and the counter was right by the door, I just told them what I was there for. A chick in business clothes doesn’t blend with this crowd.

Julio grabbed a ladder and handed me down a giant, yet light, bag of coarse vermiculite. I decided to grab some of their organic compost, since I still needed 3 more kinds and then I hit the check out. They did ask if I had a membership card….hmmm. Don’t think it didn’t cross my mind that growing pot would have WAY better returns than my little 4 by 4 veggie garden….but I didn’t. I figured I need to lay low for a while because now I am probably on someone’s list to come by and check out our house.

Now I am thinking it was an excellent idea to put our box in the front yard where the Feds can walk right up and take a soil sample. Whew! Good thinking me.

And there it is! I haven’t cleaned it all up yet, still have to trim back the weed fabric and put up our trellises for the beans, tomatoes and cucumbers, but it is basically up. And we actually have enough soil to do another one. So even though I wanted to test this out and see how one box goes, considering the 2x6s to build the box are the cheapest part, we will probably make one more.

This is going to be our test year. See how things grow in the front yard, see which crops flourish here, etc. If all goes well I have grand plans to turn our entire front yard into raised garden beds with gravel walkways between. I will keep you all posted on how this goes…but I probably won’t let you know if we decide to really become pot growers. You know because that would be dumb.

Austin Massachusetts

We arrived home safely from our vacay…..what?…I forgot to tell you we were going on a vacation? oops. I seem to always be doing that. I chalk this one up to the fact that work was like crazy bananas leading up to the last minute of the last day. Anyhoodles. It was a much needed family getaway in which I barely laid eyes on my husband or spoke more than 20 words to him per day…..interesting family vacation right? Eh, well it was really a vacation for him to see his BFF….and yes I have now told him that I will refer to his buddy as his BFF because I think it is hilarious.

Anyway, please expect a full week of posts and photos of all the activities we did including but not limited to my attempt at a faux Betty Page bang…..it did not go well peeps, but I will attempt it again and next time I plan to be VICTORIOUS!….now I must catch up with all of you because I mean obviously I have missed you like crazy and wonder what is going on.

Happy Whore Day

Happy Whore Day to me. This is probably a confusing post title to…well fucking most people…but 12 years ago today I officially became the biggest whore that ever lived :P….and by that I of course mean the exact opposite. I lost my V card to a boy I thought was going to be the first of many….turns out he would be my only for the foreseeable future…..yes I gave it up to the doodalood on his 17th birthday….because I am a nasty whore. I feel inclined to point out that some dudes do buy the ice cream truck….or the cow…but only if you give them popsicles/milk for their birthday present….that is like my experience this one time anyway (note if you are a teenage girl do not read this blog and take advice from me). So Happy Birthday to my all time love. To many more whorish years.

The Day I Dreamed About

I think I told you dudes about this when I was bemoaning the idea of having to throw a 1st Birthday Party a while back….you know back when I thought that 1st Birthday Parties were ridiculous and have since stuck my foot in my mouth…yeah I am super good at those kinds of things. Anyway, Natalie back then always imagined the best way to celebrate a 1st birthday would be to do an activity with just our nuclear family. I imagined a picnic in the mountains or walking through the museum. Turns out despite changing my mind about the party, I still felt the same about doing something special on Jack’s birthday.

I left work a tad early and we headed to the mountains. I had heard about the ice castles up in Silverthorne, but had never been. Andy teased me a little about why we were taking Jack to see them when he could probably care less. I stood by my thoughts that he would totally get a kick out of them and obviously I was right.

Still of the Night

The weather has been so amazing here the last few days that I have been going on walks every evening after dinner. Last night it was just Jack and me….well and the stars. When we started out Jack was awake. So I talked to him and told him that when I was little my parents and I used to go on barefoot walks in the evenings (hippies, I know) and that I can’t wait to take him on barefoot walks when he gets bigger.

He is funny because he likes to actually partake in the conversation so he will babble back to me like he completely understands what we’re talking about. After a few blocks he passed out and then it was just me and the brain. I stared up at the stars and thought back to a year ago. About that time I was hanging out on the stairs, singing to Adele and working through my labor.

What an exciting experience that was. Just hours away from first meeting this little man. I thought of how hot and soft his little body was when I pulled him up to my chest. I remember thinking ‘holy crap! A baby!’. I remember looking at his purply-greyish skin and his squished up little face, his little eyes looked up at me like they were saying ‘what the fuck just happened? that was intense’.

I walked along and thought about how lucky I am. How truly fortunate. I looked at the stars and thought about my ladies out there still waiting on their little gifts and I thought up to the Universe ‘please send them along quickly’. Because everyone deserves to be as perfectly happy as I was in that exact moment.

Shark Attack!

The birthday party happened and although two hours into it I was ready for a nap, it honestly was so worth it. The grandparents were like the paparazzi flashes going off everywhere. The absolute highlight was when we started singing “Happy Birthday” to Jack I mean Baby Jaws. I had set his cupcake down in front of him and he started going at it, then the entire group started singing and his face lit up like he was thinking ‘wow this is so great!’. He looked around as we sang and I just know his tiny music-loving heart was like ‘how come you guys have never broke into song for me before? we need to do this more often’. It was adorable.

My MIL was a great help. She made this yummy crunchy cabbage salad thingy-ma-bobber that I like…it’s got like ramen and sunflower seeds. I am sure you have all had it before. Her sister came into town as well and helped set up the sandwiches and what not. If I had done all of it alone I can only imagine how the party would have gone. “Hello Everyone, welcome to the party….now if you will excuse me I will be in bed. Thanks”. So yeah it was great to have the help.

Last minute I decided to make a few shark fins that I had seen from the website I hijacked the cupcake idea from. That birthday party was like all around well planned with party favors and a shark head to take your picture with….yeah. Not gonna happen at this here house. I was thinking the shark watermelon was going to be out of control, but as it turns out, finding a melon, of any kind, in Colorado in March is impossible. So although that would have been pretty kick ass, I am glad not to have set the bar too high for a 1st birthday party.

And now what you really want to see, pictures.

The attachment of the shark fins. These suckers were pretty popular. I had only intended to make a couple. My SIL wanted one and I figured Jack needed one, but all of a sudden everyone was like ‘I want to wear one too!’. Pretty funny. Guess I should have made one for everyone. But that would have been ridunkulous.

For the decor, we kept it simple.

The cupcakes and fins were the highlights.

Some paper….flowery ball thingies? and that was it.

Jack’s Aunt is probably one of his favorite people.

And like any shark he shows his love with bites.

Fun!

Soon other baby sharks joined the party. This is Lucy, Emmicakes and Pickle’s little girl. Here’s a tip. Always invite another baby to the party. Not long after we started eating Jack showed signs of tiredness. So I took him downstairs for a nap. Lucy was our decoy baby. Keeping everyone entertained to distract from the fact that the birthday boy was napping through his party. It was genius…..I was like ‘well Jack is napping, but look! we have another baby here to fill in!’

Feeding the shark!

Finally getting a smile out of her

By the by, Lucy is 7 months and weighs as much as Jack. I have no idea how it happened that I…a 5′-11″ person have a smaller baby than a couple who could both qualify to be race jockeys…what the heck? I assume it just means that Jack will shoot up eventually and Lucy will just get a tad bigger than her current height.

She is such a sweetie. This is her grandpa holding her, but I was able to just tote her around during Jack’s nap and introduce her to everyone. She just looked at everyone and took in the whole scene.

Jack isn’t walking yet. He is standing alone, but no steps. But the one thing I can brag about is that we have discovered he can drink from straws. I don’t want to hear your kid can do it too. Jack is the only one who can and he is obviously super advanced and genius and what not. Keep your talented baby’s shit to yourself….um yeah like I do… obviously. Ahem…moving on.

So after he ate, he went down for a nap. Then we returned to our regularly schedule activities. Another fun tip for 1st birthday parties. If you know any 2-3 year olds, invite one of them. This is Hunter and he is a seasoned present opener. Remember how I was all ‘oh the present opening is so awkward! whoa is me!’. Well Hunter took over for me. He was grabbing presents, “handing” them to Jack and then busting them open. It was awesome and helpful. I could just sit back and be like ‘Hunter grab another one! yeah dude, open that up!’. It was great.

Jack got a Jack-in-the-Box. Obviously awesome.

My dad and I are sporting baby fins…mine collapsed because I am a shark in captivity….obviously.

Hunter – you’re doing it wrong. Jack – Fuck off dude. Okay he didn’t actually say that. But my kid so would. Good thing he isn’t speaking yet.

Crazy grandma was there…or crazy great-grandma. She arrived an hour early…obviously because she leaves her house 2 hours early for everything. It was nice though because she got alone time with Jack while we finished setting stuff up. They read books together and what not. It was pretty cute.

Quick transition into cupcake time

Dad had to help

His William Wallace impersonation.

Nekid party time!

It was so beautiful out that we brought Jack out to the backyard. My dad and his wife were trying out my hula hoop….story for another day yo. It was just awesome.

Jack worked out some of his sugar rush.

Then Bogger gave him his version of a birthday present.

Then the party wrapped up. I can honestly say I am really glad we had a party for him. It was great to see everyone that we love and watch Jack talk to everyone and play. The best part is that the present situation wasn’t out of control. He got a few new toys, but all of them fit in his toy bin, so the house isn’t overflowing with new stuff. Mostly it was just a low-key fun day.

My favorite gift was this little Radio Flyer bumper car he got from my in-laws. After everyone went home and Jack was in his jam jams, I walked into the kitchen and found him riding it with pride. I hope you will all forgive my pre-parenting pompous ass and definitely have at least a little 1st birthday for your little one. In reality we should celebrate every day of their lives with all the hardship it took to get them here. And with that, I am headed off to see my little man. Just looking at his sweet face makes me miss him.

A Schedule, Who Knew?

So apparently I have a schedule…..what? I totally thought I was all sporadic and flexible and what not. I was like ‘I am such a cool mom because I don’t have a strict schedule that prevents us from being able to go do things in the evenings’. By the way before your panties get all twisty, I don’t look down upon those who schedule. I just feel like sometimes being so strict with your schedule fucks with enjoying your life.

Por ejemplo (bringing back the culture), I invited our neighbors to go out to dinner on a Saturday night – this was while I was still pregnant – and they responded ‘Sure! can we go at 5pm because we need to be home to get “child” to bed on time’. Now as a pompous pregnant woman I was like ‘pssshhaaww, we will NEVER be like that! A slave to our child’s bedtime routine.’

Well folks, turns out even if you don’t detail a schedule and follow it every night, just the act of parenting seems to result in a sort of schedule. Sure sometimes Jack goes to sleep at 8:30, sometimes 10. It just depends on the day, if he napped well, if he wants to stay up late. We don’t limit ourselves by not going out with friends or doing evening activities, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t formed a schedule for when we are home. And it wasn’t until the MIL arrived that I realized we even had one….and really it isn’t a schedule it is more like a routine of sorts.

I try to be a very giving daughter-in-law…..as in I give away my time with Jack to my MIL because I know that it is special to her…..but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a selfish voice in my head yelling ‘SHE IS INFRINGING ON MY SNUGGLE TIME!!!!!’. When I arrive home from work I pick up Jack and we play together, dance, cook dinner, etc. Well Wednesday I picked her up from the airport on my way home, and when I walked in the door I picked him up as usual…and then realized I had to give him to her to hold…..and I didn’t really want to. Because I am a hoarder.

Then she wanted to rock him before bed…..which is MY job (read with jealous child’s voice). Then last night she sat on the toilet and watching him while he took a bath….which is also MY job. She’s all up in here stealing my job. Needless to say, when Jack woke up last night around 11pm and started crying, whilst I normally would have waited a while longer and hoped he would go back to sleep, I might have been a little too eager to tell Andy to go get him and bring him down.

So that made up for it. And honestly I don’t mean to sound like a selfish teenager. I am so glad that my MIL can come and see Jack. I know this is so special for her. But there is still a part of me that is like ‘Bitch give me back my baby!’.