I'm here, I've been spending time making absolutely sure my couch doesn't fly away. See, when you sit on it with your big old butt face down, it won't fly away. Just so you know.
I'm kidding. Sort of. Not as much as I would like to think. No really, in January I decided to tackle some projects here at casa o' de cul-de sac. I decided to put Pink Evita as a little business on hold for 4-6 weeks to attend to shall we say some overdue DIY home projects. It's time. Dust Rhino's were starting a calgary stampede. It was keeping the Muffin Man awake at night. Having a higher tolerance for domestic indifference, I was merely dreaming of a dusty safari, in Kenya...alone...in an air conditioned villa...with that lovely mosquito netting over my bed...and a large African Native man as my private tour guide of Kenya.
I digress. Here is a list of things I have accomplished in January 2011. (I always feel better about myself with a healthy list at hand.)
1. Clean and organize all Christmas decorations. This took surprisingly less time than I expected. Goodwill is 4 boxes happier. We no longer own string lights that don't light up when plugged in. It's the small things in life, right?
2. Buy and have installed new lighting for entry way, staircase and hearth room. This took surprisingly MORE time than expected. As in 4 years longer. My father gave me a Christmas present check to put towards this DIY home project 4 years ago. 2011 had to be the year. The gold toned builder grade 1995 install had run its course.
Enter Overstock.com and queue the happy music.
3. Paint Ava's room. It had been purple for 5 years. As in minimizing and smallish purple. I admit, that was my idea. Not every idea I have is super fabulous wonderful. There I said it. Now it is sunshiny yellow. Happy yellow. She loves it. It was her birthday present. My mom helped me and we did the whole room in 6 hours. We rock. I think we are already saving about $6.00 a month on lighting her room, it is that happy and bright and did I already say sunshiny yellow? Ummm, I also dumped 1/2 a gallon of that happy yellow on her hardwoods? Yeah, that was fun to clean up. Good times. The muffin man did not even yell at me. He simply shook his head and scurried off to the grocery. He's learning. After almost 20 years of marriage, he's learning.
4. Clean out kitchen cabinets and drawers and organize into neat and pretty rows of kitchen stuff. This has been about 50% successful. And apparently is not enough to keep me interested and mentally stimulated. Thus the 50% success rate. I won't share photos. There were food bits involved. Old food bits.
5. Learn to sew clothes that fit my 6' tall self. I know this sounds lofty. But seriously I've turned a corner. After 10 years of sewing things, various things and many failed attempts at sewing anything that would fit my 6' tall self. I've actually made progress. Real progress. I now own a skirt and a dress that I will actually wear this spring. I am demolishing bona fide Vogue Pattens and splicing them to fit my overly amazon self at an alarming rate. Go me.
6. Send cool baby gift to best friend from middle school. My best friend from middle school just adopted Number 2. A baby girl named Anna. Life works in mysterious ways. Martha was my very best friend from 4-8th grade, in a town that I was completely foreign to. A small town in Iowa, she had 12 brothers and sisters, I was only there for a short few years while my dad did a corporate stint at a paint plant in town. Her family was like family to us when we lived there. Then I moved away in 8th grade, and we lost touch. Jump ahead 22 years and her sister moves 2 miles away from me. We live in another mid-western state. Weird right? Only getting started. I can't have bio children and adopt 2 little kids. Martha and her husband adopt 2 children too. I cry every time I really think about it all. I want Martha to be happy, she is an amazing person. So, I had to make some fun baby flannel items. They are waiting for a card, and then will be mailed this week.
7. Update kid's passports. I'm taking them to Toronto for spring break, with my mother. I love Toronto. It is an uber cool town. I'm 1/2 Canadian, did I ever mention that? And they have a fabulous Chinatown. Bring on the staring onlookers in Chinatown. Me, with my mom and two little Chinese kids, eating dim sum, for maybe 3 meals a day. Last time I went it was well, authentic, which I love. Should be interesting though navigating with my 9 and 5 year olds. Getting a passport updated for minors now is a pain in the ass, and expensive. Did I mention pain in the ass? Shame on you US gov't. Why do I have to provide 18 documents proving I legally adopted these kids when you already collected these documents 5 short years ago? Should the existing passport count for something? I'm just asking as nicely as I know how.
8. Ohh, I bought a car. It's used. I've always wanted this car. My friends roll their eyes at me. I don't care. Ever since my grandmother owned a similar car in the 1980's I've wanted a Volvo station wagon. Yes, I am the only human being alive that aspires to own the car their grandmother owned. All kidding aside, this is sort of my dream car. I know this may reveal a lot will a lot about me. But seriously I'm as happy as a clam in this car. I heart my new (slightly used 2008) car.
I will rock the preschool pick up line in this car. You watch and see. (For the record mine is a slightly sexier graphite gray. In case you were wondering.) Go ahead tell me how jealous you are that I scored this car!
9. Number 9. Well, number 9 wasn't on the original list. It was sort of unexpected. I won't share a ton about number 9 here since it involves my daughter's personal story and all that we still don't know about her story but let's just say Number 9 has involved lots of searching on the internet about her orphanage, emails and calls to other adoptive families, and well...more thinking and ruminating about Chinese adoption. It has at times his month had me sending silent prayers of peace to those ever elusive birth parents somewhere in China letting them know that their children, now my children are happy and healthy and loved, with a capitol L. And I hope this is what they wanted for them, this life on the cul-de-sac. Perhaps we weren't told everything about adoption from China. Maybe human right abuses that we have all read about have touched some in the adoption community. I pray with all my heart that my children were relinquished of their parent's own volition and that they made a conscious decision to do what they did. Yes, I hope that one day if my kids ever want to know more about their beginnings in life that some official in China will find it in their heart to open files, regardless of what is in them. It's ok, nothing very dramatic was found, but enough to get me searching again to make sure I am telling them the truth.
So, that was a productive month. It's one of my 2011 goals to post more on the blog. Maybe publish one of those bloggy books for us to keep. Join more creative online groups. Be inspired. Be creative.