Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone

Ok, so tomorrow I have to wake up at some ridiculous hour and take two children from here (California) to there (Vermont).  BY MYSELF.  Please say a prayer, or ten thousand, for us, and let’s all hope that United Airlines takes pity on our souls.

And then we’ll be there for three and a half weeks, but Mr. E will come join us in two weeks and thank heavens to betsy he will be there to fly home with us.

The good news is that once we get to Vermont, we’ll be in Vermont. I don’t know if I have mentioned that my parents abandoned life in the burbs of Chicago for life in a tiny town in Vermont, and while I am not at all certain that I am ready to follow suit, to bid adieu to Target and the mall and indian food, I can tell you that summer in Vermont is pretty awesome, especially when you are four years old.  My parents have a canoe and bees and a garden and an antique ride on fire truck and we are going to go fishing and swimming and play baseball on the common and get milk from cows and learn how to collect the eggs from the chickens and eat all the root beer floats we can hold.

I’m not sure I’m doing a good job of describing just how Vermonty this is, but picture the most stereotypical New England town you can, and that’s it.  There’s a white church and a baseball diamond and granny’s rambly 200 year old house sits right on the common and just yesterday the famous author who lives three doors down came over to tell my mother that she has the best view in the state of Vermont and there’s a screened in porch and hanging baskets of petunias and it’s pretty much heaven on earth.

Except for the whole “no Target” thing.

My grandparents had their own farm in a tiny town in Vermont, back in the day, and I have the best memories of my summers spent there, and I am just beyond thrilled that my kids are going to get to spend summer in Vermont too.  It could not be more different than where are from, that old house on the common, that view, and I think that’s maybe what makes it extra special.

I am really not looking forward to the plane ride, but I remain absolutely convinced that it is worth it, ten thousand times over.

See you on the flip side.




Ten Things

1.  We had a lovely party this weekend for Katie Dubs, and she’s repaying me for the pink and white quadruple layered cake and the handmade pink circle garlands and the special pink polka dotted straws by refusing to sleep, at all, in any way shape or form.  Also this morning when Mr. E went in to get her, she’d covered much of her personal surface area with poop.  So that’s nice.

2.  I finally got the closet paint after a series of fiascoes involving leaving my wallet at home, someone else’s paint, and way too many trips to Home Depot, but as soon as I decided to start thinking about painting the closet, I realized there’s a tiny strip of wood flooring in the closet that needs to be sanded and refinished, which means I have to paint the closet after that gets done.  It also seems like the walls really need to be repainted, and the trim is godawful, but I’m one woman with a baby who won’t sleep, so we’ll see what happens.

3. On the plus side, we already got a big ass birthday cake out of the way, so I think tomorrow for Dubs’ real birthday we get to have cupcakes.

4.  I need ideas for nut free gluten free preschool snacks.  I was thinking fruit and chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t know if the Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookie mix is nut free.  The Pamela’s mix I normally use is  not nut free, so I’m at a loss so far.

5.  I’ve spent the last year trying in vain to get five minutes to have a cup of coffee, and at the end of the day, the pot is always as full as it was when I started the morning because these damn! children! will! not! leave! me! alone!.  Then the Pioneer Woman put up a recipe for iced coffee and a light went off.  Now I just save the leftover coffee in the fridge and I have a nice big glass of iced coffee sitting at my desk and it takes me about two seconds to drink it because it’s cold instead of boiling hot.  And it’s super delicious.  Extra fun drunk from a left over pink polka dotted straw.

6.  Mr. E will be refinishing the floors while I am gone in Vermont.  I CANNOT begin to express to you how happy I will be to return to this house with floors that are not 1. covered the ugliest laminate in the world and 2. all torn up and covered in dog urine.  I am SO SO SO SO SO excited to have nice hardwood floors.  Now we can see what this house can really do!

7.  My main goal post floors is to de brownify my living room.  I think I am going to have to buy several gallons of white paint and just paint the crap out of all these dark brown wood boookshelves that we thought seemed like such a great idea three years ago.  And I may have to repaint the dining room.  Dark brown floors (necessary due to staining) plus dark brown wall paint plus dark brown furniture in a tiny house = no bueno.

8.  Seriously.  This child needs to sleep.  I am on a diet, so instead of eating my feelings I shall go to Target and pay for new feelings.

9. I look terrible in shirt dresses.  TERRIBLE.  And I continue to try them on and buy them.  I may never learn.

10.  However, I have finally acquired a pair of red espadrilles.  I have been looking for a pair for four years.  They are my new favorite thing ever.  Life is good.

I’ll Paint Your Floor

Hrm.  I thought choosing a paint color for the floor of the hallway closet would be a simple little fun project, and instead I’ve been staring at paint swatches and photographing paint swatches and rifling through paint swatches over and over again for days.  blargh.

So the front door is bright red, and the walls are this…difficult shade of yellow that I like to call “flesh bandaid” because in some light, it’s the perfect yellow, and in other lights it’s this weird gross yucky orange beigey color, and it’s so frustrating, but I am tired of dealing with hateful yellow paint so stupid Flesh Band aid is staying.  Anyway, I want the closet floor to be a tiny fun little burst of color, but because it’s essentially in between the bright red door and the yellow wall, it can’t be 1. red 2. yellow or 3. a pastel, because then (at least to me) your eye doesn’t read Color 1 (yellow wall) Color 2 (closet floor) Color 3 ( front door), it reads Two Pastels (Wall and Closet Floor) and then Red Door, and it looks off.  At least to me.  That’s why a nice paley pink lavendery color doesn’t really work.

Ah, no, actually, looking through the pictures, I think the correct color is obvious.  Well, actually, I have it narrowed down to two. The first one is nice because in order to break up all the red and yellow I have some aqua stuff in the entryway, so it ties in with that.  The second color is nice because it seems to go more with the red/yellow situation. Also, I can’t quite let pink go.  What do you think?

(If you feel that both of these colors are terrible, maybe just keep that to yourself, since I’ve gone through a color deck about a thousand times in the last few days and I’m not doing it again.)



Quitting Time

Ok, so I am just putting this out there and assuming that no one is going to be a douche bag.  Please do not make me wrong. Please!

So. I need advice, because as it turns out, I am SO SO SO SO done with nursing.  Katie Dubs is a year old (almost!) but it turns out that she is SO SO SO SO not done with nursing.  And I have no idea how to get her to quit.  And I need to get her to quit or I might lose my mind.

I have no experience with this because Eli thought nursing was for losers.  Right around this same time with him, I was over it, (in fact I was over it much LATER than he was over it) and I just stopped forcing him to do it, and he was done.  So that was it.  I had to pump once because it hurt, and then I never got engorged again, and it was all over and dear god in heaven I finally got to wear a bra without flaps.

But Katie Dubs? She is all about the boobs, man.  She can hold a sippy cup, but mostly if she is given a sippy cup or a bottle, she takes a big gulp and then lets the milk dribble out of her mouth, and then laughs.  It’s fun for games, but then she would like nursing, please.

She sleeps through the night now, mostly, but when she wakes up in the morning, anywhere between 5 am and 6:30, she wants the nursing and she WANTS IT NOW.  I cannot imagine a sippy cup is going to over well at 6 am.  But maybe if her dad gives it to her? In the rocking chair in her room?

I don’t know. I just have the feeling it’s going to suck.  And like maybe I’m missing something? All ya’all that have done this before, what do I do?  Because really, I am done, done, done.



Things I Am Trying to Teach My Four Year Old Son

Not to yell “Mom, I can see your cha-cha!” in the American Eagle dressing room.

That when he grows up it’s his job to keep gas in his wife’s car.

But that if he wants to marry/sleep with/have kids with a dude, that’s totally cool with me as well.  In which case it’s his job to keep gas in that dude’s car.

To brush off his kiester after he gets out of the sandbox.

To start every request with “Dear Mama”.  And to later in life write me a hip hop ballad of the same name.

To share with his sister.

To put the toilet seat down.

That some people have two mommies.

To say “please”, “thank you”, and “May I please be excused?”

To clean up after himself.

To do laundry.

That sometimes it’s necessary to belt out “OH CAT VOMIT, OH CAT VOMIT” as loud as you can while you drive to preschool, just to break up the day.

To be kind to small things and people.

That when some kid tells him that his hat is ugly that it’s just because they are jealous and anyway that’s impossible because it’s a very cute hat plus he is the most beautiful wonderful handsome child in the entire universe, so any hat he wears is automatically the most adorable hat in the world.

That we don’t say retarded.

To love the ocean.

That loud toilets can’t hurt you.

All the words to “The Chattanooga Choo Choo”.

How to fish, canoe, and tell when a tomato is ripe.

That no one’s allowed to touch your dingle.  Unless you’re in a committed loving relationship.  Or drunk and in college and I don’t have to hear about it.

How to con Mr. E into going to Dairy Queen.  Again.

To always say thank you for a present, even when you don’t like it and already have one.

That there’s nothing he could ever ever ever do, nothing in the entire world,  that could ever make me stop loving him.

Stuff and Nonsense

One of the items on my to do list for this week is to go through every single space I can think of in the house and get rid of stuff. It amazes me that I can be as dedicated to getting rid of stuff as I am and still have a house full of junk that I am saving for some reason.  I didn’t even realize how much stuff it was until we moved everything out of our bedroom, and it just looked so much better emptied of all the detritus.

I started with the hall closet and I quickly realized that even though everything has a place in the house, and nothing is spilling out of drawers, the stuff has expanded to fill the available space.  If we had room to keep it, I kept it, even though I didn’t really need it or want it.  If I haven’t used it in three years, there’s a reason, and yet, still, I hang onto it.  So this morning I dug through the linen closet and got rid of all the pillowcases I don’t like, brown sheets that make me annoyed every time I go to put them on bed, skimpy or ratty washcloths, old bathmats, and then I folded up everything that was left and now I have a nice orderly and half empty linen closet, full of nothing but stuff I like and use.

In our bedroom, we had an entire dresser shoved into our closet, filled with Mr. E’s clothes, and then another eight drawer dresser filled with all my stuff.  But the closet looks SO MUCH BETTER without that dresser in there.  I am determined to cut down the amount of clothing we have so that we can fit all of our things in the one big dresser and we won’t have to put the other dresser back in the closet, and so I dug through all my clothes this morning, and made a giant pile of things to get rid of.  If it was old or stained or didn’t fit, it was easy to get rid of, but then there were other things I paid a lot of money for or that I once thought would be so perfect, things I thought would change my life in some tangible way, and even though they were never right, those things were harder to get rid of. Finally I made myself ask “Does it make me happy?” and if the answer was “No”, if it made me feel sad or old or frumpy or fat or weird or self conscious, I got rid of it.  No matter how much I paid for it or thought I should keep it just in case I changed my mind and started to love small brown Coach purses all over again.  It was quite liberating, and in the end, I would so much rather have five or six things I am excited to wear than drawers full of clothes that aren’t quite right.   I do laundry all the time! I really don’t need twenty seven pairs of pants.

Then I started in on the shoes, and I made myself get rid of every other pair.  For every pair I got rid of, I could keep a pair, and let me just say that sometime soon someone who wears a size 7 shoe is going to have a VERY good day at Goodwill.  But truly, why in god’s name do I need a pair of gold Jessica Simpson heels that hurt my feet and that are too high for me to walk in? I will never ever wear those.

And now I may have finally figured out how to curb my little shopping problem – I am on an “one in, one out” basis for the forseeable future. I can get a new skirt or a pair of shoes, but it should be better than something I already own,  because I am going to have to get rid of a pair or shoes or a skirt in order to buy it.

As I was staring down the vast heap of old socks I’ve had for seven years, those white tube socks I have never liked and never worn, I also had another revelation.  I think I will always have a little bit of that “I don’t want to have to replace this if throwing it out turns out to be a mistake because I can’t afford to do that” mentality from grad school days, when we really did have no money.  But now, if I get rid of eight pairs of tube socks, and come this winter, I find myself in want or need of more tube socks? I CAN BUY SOME MORE.

The real test is going to come when I have to clean out the cabinet where I keep the table stuff, the vases, all the decorative trinkets.  I have a problem with decorative trinkets, and somehow it’s so hard to remember that there’s no point to hanging onto placemats that I have never liked, even though I feel like I should like them.  They were expensive! They were a gift! The color is so pretty!  But they come of out of the dryer wrinkled and they immediately shrunk to a too small size and there’s  no point in keeping something that’s just not right.  I will get more placemats, ones that I actually like, and I will move on.


To Do

Mr. E is going out of town for a week.  Because I don’t really cook dinner while he’s gone and I put the kids to bed at 4 PM (not really, but pretty much) I actually tend to get a lot of done while he’s off doing whatever he does out there in the world.  Here’s my to do list for the week:

1. Put some books on hold at the library

2. Dead head the roses (done already!)

3.  Spray paint all the doorknobs in the house oil rubbed bronze.

4. Make a doormat. (this got taken off the list because the door mat won’t fit under my screen door).

5. Buy a pinata at Cost Plus.

6. Make Eli a dinosaur shirt.

7.  Punch out a trillion pink paper circles and make garlands for Katie’s birthday party.

8.  Finish painting the front door and take some pictures.

9.  Return that hideous “dress” to American Eagle.

10.  Find some hanging paper lanterns.  Target?

11.  Clean out dressers, closets, etc by half.  (The rooms we are clearing out to sand the floors look SO MUCH BETTER with less stuff in them.  I am determined to get rid of a ton of stuff.)

12.  Spray paint that white tray some color.

13.  Spray paint red bin.

14.  Buy mexican coke.

15.  Clean out the linen closet and buy some new white towels.

16.  Finish uploading all my saved house pictures to Pinterest.

17.  Try out some other floor stains.

18.  And the most fun project of all, paint the floor on the inside of the front hall closet.  It’s just plywood, so I get to paint it. High gloss, but I can’t decide what color.  The front door is red, and the hallway itself is a sort of faded tannish yellow.  I am thinking either 1. robin’s egg blue (but probably not), 2. a pale lavendery pink or 2.5 a nice persimmon  or 3.  gold.  Yes, I said it. I want to paint my closet floor high gloss gold.  I have no idea where to even buy that, but I can’t get the idea out of my head.  I’m going to go get paint chips tomorrow.  I am super excited, because I am a dork.

19. Oh, and I still need to touch up the paint in the bedroom.

Should be a good week!  Anyone know where to buy shiny gold paint?