I decided this morning that if I don’t just sit down and write what’s in my head, then it’s just never going to happen. I always try to wait to blog until the house is clean, but I’m in the mood to write now and I may not be after cleaning the bathroom sucks the creative life from me.
Ryan is working this entire weekend, so Ryley and I have been doing girl things. We went to a farmer’s market on Saturday morning, and the place just smelled like summer in Colorado. Yay!
We planted petunias in the front, then tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, cilantro, and jalapenos in elevated, hopefully-dog-proof pots in the backyard. I call it my “pot garden,” but Ryan warns that I should be careful using that terminology. :-)
We also re-potted one of my indoor peace lilies, and it is amazing how tall it’s grown in its new habitat, just 24 hours later!
It’s funny because we’ve planted gardens before, but this year, Ryley is so involved. She insists that watering everything is now her responsibility. I don’t mind. If she actually keeps up this enthusiasm, maybe we'll actually have something to show for it this year.
And apparently, we don’t make cookies from scratch nearly often enough. As we were melting butter and cracking eggs, etc., Ryley opens the fridge and says, “Ok….now where is the cookie dough?”
“What are you looking for?”
“The cookie dough.”
“Ryley, we’re making the dough. Right now.”
There are so many things like that recently…things she’s forgotten. Here I think we’re giving her all these wonderful memorable experiences, but year after year, we discover that there are things that have been lost in her growing brain. I hope that they’re still in there somewhere…that subconsciously, the happy things we’ve done are still there, affecting her personality, even though she doesn’t remember them. :-) And, I guess we just get to do them again!
I’m glad we went to DisneyWorld when she was five, when she was still young enough to believe in the magic of princesses (she announced this morning that she’s definitely over fairies, but she secretly likes princesses so her friends won’t make fun of her). But now we’ll just have to go again someday, so she can really remember it and enjoy it from an older kid’s perspective!
She’s going through this amazing “helper” phase right now, where she likes to help with laundry and cooking. She calls it “learning to be a housewife.”
“Hey, Ryley, do want to help me be a housewife?”
“Can you please take the clothes in the washer and put them in the dryer?”
It’s wonderful. She even started a load of towels for me the other day, while I shouted out step-by-step instructions from upstairs.
She also feels very empowered in the kitchen suddenly. Her current thing is making pudding. She read the instructions on the box and did it all herself, without me even knowing until I found the chocolaty whisk and mixing bowl in the sink. She is proud that she came up with her own “method,” whipping it for two minutes more than the box recommends. :-) Ryan told her it tasted so good…almost like it was “extra-whipped”…. She just beamed at the compliment.
I’m trying to be more present with her. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done around the house this weekend, like clean out our office, go through a couple closets, and organize all my boxes of piano sheet music and books. But yesterday Ryley came to me and asked me if I could help her create an awesome house for her Sims family on the computer (she has been grounded from TV and computer games for the past month because of the behavior issues at school), and I amazed myself by saying yes. I think it amazed her too! So we sat in the cluttered office for two hours, creating a house on her computer game, and she clung to my neck the entire time. She was almost giddy that Mommy was actually playing on the computer with her. It meant a lot.
Last weekend, on a rainy Saturday, Ryley accompanied Ryan and helped him pass out salads and coupons at a 5k race at Children’s Hospital….
They had a blast! Good daddy-daughter time.
Then, on Wednesday, her class had a Mad-Hatter tea party, where they were supposed to bring and wear a crazy hat. We realized that we had given away the crazy hat she was planning on wearing at last Christmas’s white elephant exchange, so Ryan went out and found this one to surprise her:
Such a good daddy!
Friday was the last day of school. Thank You, Jesus! :-) At her class “awards ceremony,” Ryley won “Most Inquisitive,” which is absolutely her to a tee. Sometimes her questions are quite odd…
While gardening… “How do they get the soil into these bags?” and “What do bees eat? Do they eat the honey they make?” Especially with science, which is not my strong suit, I find myself saying, “I don’t know, sweetie. We’ll have to look it up.” The questions are incessant. Her poor teachers! Haha.
Ryan accompanied her on her field day on Friday. He was the lone parent volunteer for her class. They had a good time, and he learned a lot about her teachers and little friends. Funny how you always wish you could learn this stuff before the last day of school. :-)
Yesterday our church had a children’s carnival after the service:
I was thinking recently that Ryley doesn’t have a lot of Christian friends. Our church is young and still quite small, and I don’t think there are any girls her age. There are some older and some younger, but none within the 7-9 age range that I can think of. So I’ve been trying to think of ways to foster some good relationships with other Christian girls.
Regardless, we went to the carnival for some fun and Christian fellowship.
Full disclosure here: I can be painfully, annoyingly shy. We don’t have a lot of friends at our church yet, so I was really nervous about going to the carnival alone, without Ryan. I even offered to help this week’s Sunday School teachers clean up the trash pit of a classroom after the service, just to minimize the amount of time I would have to stand awkwardly at the carnival. I think they were confused by my offer. :-) Anyway, I finally got out to the carnival, and everybody was already paired off….ladies with no children standing talking, ladies with newborns in strollers standing talking, wealthier couples with “tween” kids standing talking about business, and me, disgusted with my own shyness, floating awkwardly between following Ryley around and trying to strike up a pointless conversation with a new lady who seemed distracted. I’m not good at just walking up to people and joining conversations already in progress. The couple of families that we do know better were not there.
My parents (who celebrated 39 years of marriage yesterday!!) have close friends in every state they’ve ever lived in…friends they can go to lunch with after church, friends that feel comfortable falling asleep on their couch on Sunday afternoons. We have few friends like that. We have lots of acquaintances, but few close friends, and it’s probably because we’re both so shy in public situations. I hope it doesn’t come across as snotty. Anyway, it’s something for us to work on, for sure! It takes time to develop good friendships. And I’m praying that some families with girls Ryley’s age will start coming to our church.
Anyway, it was really interesting, because after we left the carnival, Ryley and I went to eat lunch at a Noodles down the street, and we were sitting on the patio finishing our meal when a couple from our church parked and walked up and said they were trying Noodles based on a recommendation from Ryan last Sunday. It was so cool! They are probably my parents’ age, and I don’t even remember their names, but we had a friendly conversation right there on the patio, and I was able to give them a BOGO coupon I had, which they were really excited about. I think God used the situation to encourage me. :-) We’ll just keep being friendly.
Lastly, here are some foods we’re enjoying right now…
Roasted garbanzo beans…
Homemade sweet potato fries with garlic, thyme, and olive oil…
More portabella mushroom pizzas:
And there’s no picture, but today we are making our new favorite, BBQ pork in a crock pot. We rub a pork shoulder with BBQ rib rub and put it in a crock pot with kosher salt, pepper, minced garlic, a coarsely-chopped onion, liquid smoke, and root beer. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, drain and shred it, mix with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, and serve on buns. Oh my goodness, it’s delicious! And it smells so good right now!
Thanks for sticking with me through this long, detached, random post. And now that the writing bug is finally out of my system, I am off to tackle the house-cleaning.
Happy Memorial Day!