Thursday, April 29, 2010

Birthday Resolutions

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions- I hate to be just one of the crowd.  But every year on my birthday I sit down to think about what I want to accomplish in my next year of life.  These things range from the mundane to the improbable, but if you don't set a goal, you'll never reach it!  So here is a list of things to do by the time I'm 28.

1. Run another 5k, be very close to being prepared to run the Bolder Boulder (10k) in 2011.
2. Re-upholster at least one chair
3. Sew my own curtains
4. Finish my columbine quilt and my secondary circles quilt.
5. Sew decorative pillows for my living room
6. Paint EVERYTHING! (Or at least almost everything in my new home. I'm talking walls, doors, trim, and cabinets.  If I get really into it maybe even the kitchen counters?  Don't freak out Mom, that's just a musing.)
7. Build a bed and some bookshelves using plans from
8. Raise my own vegetables and make home-made jam
9. Expand the family...
10. Visit my family in SE Asia (this is the improbable must most desired one)

As you can see, I have quite a few hobbies.  There are fewer things that give me more pleasure than crafting- either with wood or fabric. I love to work with my hands and add beauty, or at least flair, to things. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Losing My Mind or Just My Keys?

My afternoon turned into a saga rather quickly, but I'll start at the beginning.  It's been a beautiful day and I had a good conversation with my hubby while I was driving from work to Dominic's school (yes, I do talk on the phone when I'm driving, deal with it).  I pulled up to Dom's school and went it, picking up my raffle prize on my way.

Dominic's class had just gone outside and he was gleefully zipping around on a tricycle, so I let him play for a while, in no hurry to get home.  After about 10 minutes I rounded him up to go home and headed out.  I realized, however, that my car keys were not in my pocket, so I went back to check Dom's locker where I frequently leave them.  Nope, no keys there, but I had managed to forget the raffle prize, so I picked up.  Next thought: maybe I left them at the front desk when I went to pick up the prize?  Nope, no keys there either.  Dreading what I might find, I took Dominic outside and peered in the window of the van.  Yup, there in the cup holder were my keys, mocking me, right next to my phone and purse.

I went back inside to let the front desk know that I would most definitely be violating the 10 minute parking rule while I ran home to break into my home for my spare set of keys.  Yvette was kind enough to suggest that Dominic stay at school while I carried out my mission, and I'm glad she did, because that hadn't even occurred to me.  With Dominic safely back in his teacher's care, I set off through the woods to get home.  Thankfully it's only about a 10 minute walk at a brisk pace. 

Here's where the plot thickens.  You would think that I would have a house key hidden outside somewhere for these occasions, but you'd be wrong. You'd think I'd at least give a trusted neighbor a spare key, but you'd be wrong.  You'd think that maybe, just maybe with all my forgetfulness lately, I would have forgotten to latch a ground level window or maybe even have left the walk-out basement unbarred, but you'd be wrong.  After several pathetic attempts to open the living room windows, I realize that would not be my point of entry.  In fact, the only windows in the house that I knew were not currently latched were the windows in the kitchen, a full story up above the walkout basement.

Oh for ladder!  I was pleased to see a car parked in my next-door neighbors spot, for I knew they have a 30 ft. ladder in their back yard and I thought maybe someone would help me.  No go, nobody answered the door.  Just then, a neighbor I usually avoid due to his propensity to be quite.. loquacious (and from me that is saying something) pulled up.  I seriously considered busting a window, but I decided to just ask.  Thankfully a ladder was available!  It only took him 10 minutes to unearth from somewhere in the basement, but I could not have been more grateful. I had also seriously consider climbing the fence of my neighbors and helping myself to their ladder, I just couldn't figure out how I was going to manage it on my own, and whether they would forgive me if I destroyed their windows/fence/yard by dropping it.

Once I had the ladder, it took me less than a minute to pop out the screen, lift the window and climb through.  One minute after that I was back on the trail in jeans and a t-shirt (so much more appropriate than the work clothes I had been wearing) and so endeth the drama.  Dominic and I made home safely after I was berated by him for my thoughtlessness.  We even managed to squeeze in a half-hour at the playground before dinner and cookie making.   The cookies served the dual purpose of comforting my fried nerves and acting as token of thanks to a helpful neighbor. 

If you got to the end of this, good for you.  This is probably WAY more details that anyone wanted to know, but sometimes I just have to share.

So much time, so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.

Oh what I wouldn't give for a little team of Umpa Lumpa's these days. I could even deal with the obnoxious songs telling me about my bad parenting if they would just help me sort through all my junk. I can just imagine them now, squatting up and down singing:
"Umpa lumpa dumpadi dap,
Why are you collecting this crap?
Clutter and mess will bring nothing but stress
Why has your house become a trap...
for everything that's useless.."

And so on and so forth. After that foray into fantasy I must return to the issue at hand. I have TOO MUCH to do, and not enough time or energy to do it. I have long since started the great de-clutter of my house, but it has plateaued recently. I still have two huge problem areas to tackle- areas where I have no idea what I will find. These would be Jason and my offices. Jason's office is currently being used to house a dusty treadmill and two bins of random things I threw in there when I was making room for the treadmill. My office...well I don't even want to talk about what might be in there (like the various pictures and art that have never been hung on my walls for the past three years!).

I did manage to make some headway last night, thanks to the rain giving me a good reason to keep Dominic in from the playground. I cleaned the hall closet. Who knew how much junk was in there? What came out was 1 FULL bin of winter gear to be stored for another season, 1 large black garbage bag of assorted crap (the word of the day), and 4-5 trips either to the basement to put tools and a stroller in their "right" place or to take purses, clothes, and other items not currently in use upstairs. I also moved the shoe rack out of the closet and around the corner, in hopes that keeping it in plain view will help it to be a) used, and b) kept tidy. I then moved Dominic's scooter, roller skates, and ball bin in the closet. Here's the result.
Ahhh! I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't feel the need to shame myself on the world wide web.

So here's the list of things for me to do before we move.
  • Purge of junk: kitchen, Erin's office, Jason's office, Dominic's room, master bedroom, bathroom cabinets, and finish purging the basement (specifically tool and pain area under the stairs).
  • Sell or give away: big corner desk, couch and loveseat, captains bed in guestroom + any other crap I find that I don't want to keep.
  • Endless trips to the recycle center.
  • Create a folder of all necessary travel documents, housing and utility contacts, and identity documents.
  • Schedule carpet cleaning.
  • Schedule lease check out.
  • Schedule maid service or suck it up and do it myself.
  • Pack up office in McLean and make sure I have all things I need to work from home in my POV so I can start working right away upon arrival.
  • Call utilities to end in VA and utilities to start in CO
  • And most importantly: spend time with friends and family before setting out on my great life migration tale.
Now that I've written it out it looks so much more manageable- NOT! Anyone got a paper bag? I'm starting to hyperventilate.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Too Short

Dominic got a haircut this weekend after months of my begging Jason to do it. I think that Jason doesn't want to do it again for a while, because it is now really short.  Like, is that poor child in the Make-a-Wish program? short.   Unfortunately I have no after pictures, but here's a "during" pic.

Master of Persuasion

After taking FOREVER to get Dominic to sleep in his own room just after he turned one, it feels like a backslide every night that he ends up in my bed before 5 am.  After 5am doesn't count because we get up shortly after that and it's just morning cuddle time.  With Jason gone, it has been a challenge.  1) I don't like sleeping alone, and 2) I have parent guilt that says I need to make some special accomodations for  his absense.  Nonetheless, I would really not like to start a habit that is going to end in midnight battles later down the road.  Every night I've been tucking Dominic into his own bed with a hug and a kiss, and every morning, he is somehow slumbering right next to me.  Usually he just sneaks in after I've gone to sleep (is he waiting for the lights to go off?) or after I get him up to use the bathroom, but last night was a bit different.

Erin: (reading book)
Dominic: (patters into room looking adorable in jammies) Mommy, can I sleep in your bed now?
Erin: No Dominic, you have your own room and your own bed for sleeping in.
Dominic: (indicating big empty spot next to me) But there's a spot right there!
Erin: There is also a spot in your bed, in your room.
Dominic: but I want to snuggle with you.
Erin: Did you bring your oobie?  Promise mommy to close your eyes and go to sleep while I read.
Dominic: (scampers off and returns quickly)
some minutes pass
Dominic: Mommy, I'm going to go potty so I don't pee pee in your bed
Erin: That would be good.  Goodnight Dominic.

Monday, April 5, 2010


When Dominic was born I was a little taken aback by how many people exclaimed that he looked EXACTLY like Jason.  Not a drop of me in the child.  And I have to admit, he carries some of the dominant genes from that side of the family- the nose, the cheeks, the big brown eyes (while my eyes are brown, they are definitely more "squinty" than J's). 

But as Dominic grew older, two things happened.  1- he started to look like he might actually be my child, and 2- his personality emerged.  Anyone who has met both my husband and my son can tell you- Dominic is 100% Erin in personality traits.  He is very (sometime too) friendly, outgoing, happy, and energetic.  He can also be stubborn and sulky when he doesn't get his way, and he shows a definite flair for the dramatic as well as a developed imagination.  We get along great together (most of the time).

As he has gotten older I've really come to appreciate that we have similar senses of fun.  Three is such a wonderful age.  In between tantrums and boundary-testing, Dominic and I are able to do a lot of things that I enjoy, together.  In addition to helping me cook, Dominic is now able to help me paint furniture and garden.  Yesterday we spent a great afternoon painting a dresser and planting some violas- followed by sword fighting and riding his scooter around the block (we took turns).  We sang some Disney tunes together all the while.  (Okay- he only know "Street Rat" from Aladdin, but I'll take it). 

Next I'll have to teach him the wonderful tunes from Mulan and the Little Mermaid- and maybe teach him to cross-stitch/needlepoint?  And in case any of you are concerned that I'll make him a girly-boy, just keep in mind that we also play soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, wrestle and have tickle-wars.  The sports are not going to be sustainable (for me) in the long run though, he is quickly passing my skill level!