31 May 2008

Compost trials but much more sunshine and laughter too

Yesterday we fed the ducks in town for the first time in months. I feel guilty if we take bread, another case of being perfectly happy until I read about what bread does to ducks! I took a small tupperware container of mixed seeds, the stuff we used to give the chickens as snacks (I know it probably differs a bit from what ducks would eat but it certainly *looks* exactly like the seed we buy at Attenborough, so it seems better to me than feeding bread). There were about five ducklings, and eleven goslings of different ages. Jenna spent ages standing on the bridge laughing at the ducklings swimming around and the mummy calling them back in a tone that distinctly suggested she was getting tired of them straying too far.

I'm finding it much easier to not get stressed with the little silly stuff with Jenna. It seems to be becoming more of a habit to think before I speak and use calm words to sort out a disaster. I'm sure that me being calm means I'm about to have a big crisis and lurch back to ultra-strict but for now we're pretty balanced and happy with the relaxed approach.

We've been in the garden so much, and lots of my plants are doing really well. I just needed some more compost to pot things up that were getting big and needing splitting! I ran out of the home-compasted stuff, we're now up to the point in the container where I can't use it because the sticks and larger lumps of stuff aren't broken down. At the garden centre I stomped around for ages before finding ONE measly bag of peat-free compost. It was disgusting - at least ten different types of their own brand containing peat, and some bark chippings (even flipping organic soil improver) but no peat free compost apart from small bags of branded stuff.

The only garden problem now is that the hot sun the last couple of days has frazzled some of the baby tomato plants that I was so proud of. I didn't water them one morning and by lunch time they looked dead. I hope that they will come back to life though, I was surprised how hardy they seemed last year recovering after neglect of about a week!

Today we went to Markeaton park for a walk and a play on the play areas. Jenna was being *very* trying - ie whining about being tired and lagging behind all the way to the play area. I think it was mostly that I had in my head We Are Going Here For YOU! I knew if we dawdled the baby would need to come out of the sling and would then get into trouble. So I went into nag mode for a while. When I realise I'm doing it I usually manage to stop, but by then Martin was in a mood with her too. If it had been any further to the playgrounds we'd have ended up going home in a foul mood with each other!

As it was we got right back to normal within a couple of minutes. Morgan discovered a new way to frighten people (swinging herself from the bar above the tops of the slides) and Jenna made some friends (as easily as they do at this age). They are such interesting people to watch, and not only because they're my kids and I'm obliged to find them interesting. Children are amazing!

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