Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recent Parenting Fails

Because Ollie gets tired on the walk to/fro school and he's just too heavy for me to carry for longer than a minute, I almost always put him in a stroller. The other day, Rhett wanted to push said stroller. Being too lazy to buckle Ollie in, I didn't. Sure enough, Rhett hits a curb and Ollie topples right now. I'm a good mom!

On a recent Tuesday, I came home from work to find Rhett wearing really short pants. I mean, really short pants (but clearly not actual shorts). I asked if he had worn those pants all day and received an affirmative answer. Later I pulled out these pants to make sure they don't go back into the rotation and what do I find? Take a guess. That's right: Rhett wore Ollie's pants. Size 24 months. Sigh. To my credit, this was a dad fail as I had left for work before the boys were even awake.

Speaking of pants, Rhett put his on backwards the other day. After repeated requests for him to change were ignored, I stopped asking. It wasn't until we were walking out the door that Rhett decided it was time to change them. Too late buddy! Yep, my son wore his pants backwards on a non-"Backwards Pants" day. Thankfully he's in Kindergarten and I'm sure this fashion faux pas went unnoticed, perhaps even lauded.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Iron Chef: Baby

We had another Iron Chef party this weekend. The theme was food with "baby" in the title, or something related to babies. Because I was too tired to actually cook anything, here's what we did to poor little Babybel cheeses:

P.S. And no, it wasn't a Santa Baby party. I just have no other large platters.

Friday, October 25, 2013

I Can't Be the Only One This Happens To

Ever since we got the new-to-us CRV, I've had problems with my hair. My hair, which is perpetually in a ponytail, does not like this new car. I think my Subaru's headrest must have had a hole in the middle, but this one does not and now I'm always poking the ponytail into the headrest. (This is where you say, "Oooh, this is one of those posts wherein I find out Erin must be doing okay, because if this is the biggest of her woes, she's alright." And you'd be right.) Seriously though, it's annoying. Really annoying.

Because the Car Talk guys can't even solve my problem, I had to resort to Deb. That girl might just be on to something.

P.S. Chuck and I further channeled our inner Napoleon and inner Deb on Pumpkin Day. Chuck may or may not have wasted me at tetherball. Take a guess at the outcome.

P.P.S. I think I saw Napoleon Dynamite three (THREE!) times in the theater.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Intra-Marital Challenge

Did you see Chuck's audacity in issuing me a challenge last week?! I never! My own husband, no less. But let me tell you under what conditions that challenge will be accepted. First, it will not be more than two weeks (and six inches of rain) after the last mow. Second, it will not be on a job that needs bagging. Lawn mowing with bagging is like Lawn Mowing 501--you know, upper-division mowing. No freshman jumps into those upper-division classes, and neither will I.

However, should the opportunity present itself, I will be happy to forgo my lifelong goal of dying without mowing in order to take on this challenge. And he will sew a Babe the Blue Ox costume. And I will win.

P.S. Or I won't. Ha.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Day 2013

In the past, I've made a big deal for Pumpkin Day. (See exhibits 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.) I've created shirts and lots of pumpkin dishes. This year I just couldn't get my stuff together (yes, even after being furloughed). So I did what I could: made shirts, picked a pumpkin patch based on friends' recommendations, and counted on the farm for the food. Two out of three isn't bad.

And man, this farm did NOT disappoint. Can you believe we were there for FIVE hours?! We can't. I'm sure a bit of it had to do with running into good friends, but still, we could easily have done four hours on our own. And how did we spend these five hours? Jumping, playing on hay, sliding, posing, playing in corn (the boys' favorite activity of the day), spider-webbing, maze-ing, pumpkin-train riding, eating pumpkin donuts (unbelievable pumpkin donuts), burning mouth on HOT cider, hay riding, picking pumpkins (of course), playing pumpkin checkers, mini golfing, swinging, racing duckies with friends, and just enjoying being with family.

P.S. Note for next year: Do as Star does and pack snacks, but then make a lunch out of a dozen donuts. We'll all be much happier with our bellies.

P.P.S. Did you see my totally awesome earrings? My dear friend Natalie gave those to me. I thought I would make it a "Pumpkin
Pi" day. Get it?!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Final Post on the Shutdown

Wednesday night I turned on my work alarm for the first time in three weeks. I set out work clothes, for the first time in three weeks. And I prepped lunches for all four of us, for the first time in three weeks. It seems crazy that my part-time schedule + a government shutdown = three weeks away from work for me. But there it is. I returned on Thursday, slightly bummed because I planned to get a pedicure and make some muffins that day. My life is hard.

But of course it's great fine to be back at work actually earning the money they're going to pay me. And for all of those who don't think government workers should be paid, let me tell you something. Maybe Chuck and I don't need my salary. We don't. We like it because it means we can actually save for things, rather than live paycheck to paycheck. We're lucky that Chuck wasn't furloughed, and that we're good with our money so that we have the savings should we need it. But I'm willing to bet that of the nearly one million furloughed employees, this is not the situation for all of them. Their situation is that they do live paycheck-to-paycheck. They are single moms. They are the single wage earners in their family. They are two income families, both of whom work for the federal government. Yes, Chuck and I could probably do without. But so many more couldn't. And remember, we feds didn't choose this "holiday." Our country's congressional members did. You know, those that the entire country voted in. So please be kind and understanding when griping about how I got paid to do nothing for two weeks. And elect different people next year.

P.S. No more shutdown means no more me blogging about it!

P.P.S. Fun weekend ahead: Pumpkin Day is tomorrow!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Random Thoughts

I'm still furloughed, with little hope that it will be resolved soon. It's quite ridiculous, no? Yes. You'd think with the two child-free days during my week, that I'd be getting tons done. Wrong. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't seem to discipline myself to do stuff. I think (I hope) it's just the "not knowing" or "not having" my schedule. When Ollie is in kindergarten, we'll know for sure.

I miss wearing a sock bun. I really miss it.

Tropical Storm Karen finally left our area, leaving more than 6" of rain. Ugh. Thankfully, no basement flooding this time, although the window well did get a little bit of pooling.

As feminist as I am, I do not believe I should be expected to kill bugs, mow the lawn, or siphon water from the window well. Call me a hypocrite. But I don't expect Chuck to jump at the chance of sewing Halloween costumes.

The end.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Peek

I know I should wait (actually, I don't know that), but I just can't. I love it so much. Here's the head part of Rhett's Paul Bunyan costume. We picked up the flannel shirt and axe handle at the thrift store yesterday, and I made the suspenders on Monday. I want him to walk around dressed up for the next three weeks, that's how much I love it. Tutorial (and genius idea) came from Ashley at Make it and Love it.

And just think, with a little trim to that fleece beard, next year Rhett could dress up like his Uncle Derek!

P.S. Dude. Is it ever going to stop raining over here? I know it's not as bad as some of the tropical storms we've had, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy with it. I am definitely NOT grateful for the moisture we've received.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Government Shutdown, Day Three

I know everyone is dying to know how I'm filling these what-should-be-work-days-but-aren't. Actually, I'm pretty sure you're not, but since I have nothing else to write about, so-sad-too-bad. At first I thought I'd start working on projects, so after my run, that's what I did. Then I wised up and said, "Self, you can (and will) do these things at night. What you can't/won't do is SHOP." So self went shopping. (You know, in these times of fiscal dearth, I thought shopping a good idea. Good one, erin.) But really, I needed some new running pants, so I went to the running store and got some. Then I remembered that Chuck needed some new work pants, so I went to the mall for those. Oh man, I hate shopping. I do one of two things while in stores: (1) look at all those cute pieces, but feel clueless as to how to put them together in an outfit or (2) think I could copy the entire outfit off a mannequin, but then realize it will never look like that on me. It's all very depressing. Shopping for Chuck is, however, much easier.

So in the end, I ran, crafted, and shopped. Pretty good day's work! And then, because I was just too busy to get dinner, we did hot dogs and s'mores on the outdoor fire pit.

The shirts are for our annual family pumpkin day. I bought the white shirts super cheap at the thrift store. During conference Chuck and I dyed them orange. The orange looked so great I tossed in a spare onesie for a soon-to-be-born baby. The shirt is for my dear runner friend, who doesn't read my blog (I think).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Second Annual Donut Dash

We did it again. After all the work and prep and lessons learned from last year, how could we not? But get this: it wasn't as much fun this year. Apparently I really like all the planning. Making lists, brainstorming, coming up with fun ideas = super super fun time for me. But redoing what I have already done? Meh. But we did it anyway and hopefully people had fun.

At least the people that weren't carried away on a stretcher, into an ambulance, to a hospital. That's right: We had a runner down. I repeat: a runner was down. Was it the intense heat? Low 80s in October, so wrong. Was it the intense humidity? Probably into the 90s on the wooded trail. Was it the donut eaten at the half-way point? Of course not, don't be silly. Eating donuts while running is always a good and safe idea. For whatever reason(s) a good friend went down about 1/10th mile from the finish line. I am happy to report that after her day in the hospital, she is recovering well.

Will we do it again? Uh, probably not, but not because of the downed runner. Like I said, it just wasn't as much fun for me this year. And of course, it's all about me. I think we'll focus on British New Year's or Pi Day 2015. Don't worry; there is planning a-plenty to keep us busy.

P.S. The government is still shut down, but it looks like I'm going to get paid regardless. And if I'm going to get paid, so is our babysitter. And if the babysitter is going to get paid, well, she's going to be doing some babysitting. And if she's babysitting Ollie and Rhett's at school, that leaves me...home...alone. Oh I can get used to this.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Out of the Mouth of Ollie

Now that Ollie is really getting this talking thing down, we're beginning to get some gems. Like this beauty from last week:

Me: Who loves you, Ollie?
Ollie: Mom.
Me: Who else?
Ollie: Rhett.
Me: Who else?
Ollie: Dad.
Me: Who else?
Ollie: Grandma and Grandpa.
Me: Who else?
Me: What about Jesus?
Ollie: Nope.
Me: Yes! Yes, He does. Jesus loves you.
Ollie: Nope. He scary.

I guess we've got some work to do.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Test Run

Remember when I said that I would have no problem filling my child-free days once both boys were in school? Yesterday, I got an early chance to find out, thanks to a bunch of dummies congress members. Because we didn't get word on the shutdown until the middle of the night, we planned to take Ollie to the babysitter's like a regular work day. But of course, I didn't actually have to work. In fact, I am commanded to NOT work. So not work I did.

What did I do? Well, we spent the morning getting the boys ready for school and babysitter's. Once they were dropped off, I went for a good long-ish run (wherein I saw two sets of furloughed friends and some crazy lady), showered, and then spent a little time working on the Donut Dash and a Thanksgiving craft-thingy. Then I had to rush off to have lunch with my husband. I found it quite appropriate that we chose to eat at "Hard Times Cafe." (You know, because I'm furloughed and all.) By the time I got home, I barely had time to re-check email, vacuum the house, change the boys' sheets, and read the newspaper. I didn't even brush my teeth until right before kindergarten pickup (moms of new babies shout out!). Whew. I'm tired. I need more time away from the boys.

P.S. More time I might get! The superintendent of schools wants to add 30 minutes to the elementary school day. Can't wait for those tantrums.

P.P.S. I am totally convinced that the thing that "earned" me my slice of apple pie yesterday was the changing of bunk bed sheets, not the six miles I ran. Those of you with bunk beds, you're with me, right?

P.P.P.S. Of course I write this post quite light-heartedly. Chuck and I are very fortunate that although my income makes a big difference to our family, it doesn't break us to not have it (just breaks our regular, college, and retirement savings) . Chuck's job is not federal, so he can keep working and getting paid. We definitely feel blessed, as there are many for whom this is not their situation.