Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Boy Bed

Last Tuesday night - August 17, 2010 - was the last night I tucked Mitch into his crib. The following morning before I left bright and early for my volunteer site, I crept into his room to peek, pat his head and wish him a happy day. Mitch almost never wakes up but that morning, he rolled over and said, "Hi Mommy." He attempted to get up but I told him to put his head down again and go back to sleep. I covered him up, kissed his head and left for the day.

Mom and dad would have him that night into Thursday. Thursday night, after a long day of service learning with middle schoolers, I get Mitch ready for bed and we sit on the day bed in his room reading stories. He pulls the covers back, slides under and rests his head on the pillow, sticks his thumb in his mouth and mutters, "Night Night." Just like that. The kid tells me, no more crib mommy. I'm ready for a big boy bed. I was surprised but I went with it. I asked him if that was what he wanted...if he was ready. No resistance.

So out came the trundle and we did a little makeshift bed with some sheets and a king size comforter and a few pillows. I tucked him in and about an hour later, he was still there, in the same spot, sleeping soundly with his blankets and frogs on the big boy bed.

We haven't looked back. The crib came down Sunday night and Vince and I both stared at it, in pieces, and remembered the day we picked it out and set it up. How excited we we tried a few spots in the room before settling on it's home on the right side of the room. The receipt taped to the bottom read May 9, 2008, exactly 3 weeks before he was born. Sans that in the room, it feels a little bigger. We rearranged some furniture and look forward to hanging up some of his artwork.

A crib symbolizes baby...smallness...nursery. I remember when he really started spending naptime and bedtime in there vs. the cradle and the bassinet, about 3 months old. I remember when we dropped the mattress in it from the highest setting...I think he was about 8-9 months and standing up in it! All these little milestones. I love how he moves forward, growing up, loving it, loving life, and while I'm a little teary eyed that his chubby infant/baby days are gone, I'm also loving every second of him at 2.

Somedays I do miss them that small and I want another...but then I stare at him sleeping soundly and I see a bit of myself in his face and I wonder how I can possibility love anyone as much?

The crib is in the basement right now...It'll hang out with us for a while longer. You never know.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 years later...service learning

I'm about to head up to Lawrenceville, NJ - home of The Center for Faith Justice - for a week of facilitating service learning. It has been a long time since I stepped outside of familiar places in terms of serving others. I can't help but think though that this opportunity presented itself at an important moment - or maybe intersection of several important moments: Having a little more free time now that Mitch is two, having the ability to carve out the time to do this since I'm working for myself, and since the mission of Piccadilly Arts is always a work in progress, having the chance to let the words I heard every day for 4 years - men and women with and for others - shape me again now and shape the vision/mission of my company.

It also comes at a time when I think I may need some help reflecting.

I'm a little disappointed at the moment. I didn't go into a recent situation expecting much, but I thought there would be some excitement from my friend and mentor when I told him what I'd been up to these past 3 months. I mean, there is a lot going on. I think I've done a damn good job at keeping things moving, keeping things interesting, and keeping things tied to a common ideal. I know I'm doing a bang up job for someone that was laid off 6-7 months ago. I know I'm smart and driven and will persevere. It just would have been nice to hear something more than "Your new, things take time" from this person.

Something more, even a suggestion...I like the good, the bad, the ugly. Not the safe well traveled road full of cliches.

Perhaps I'll find a sense of peace this week as I guide middle schoolers in their faith. I've come a long way since spring break in March 2000 when I engaged in a similar service learning experience. I'm pretty rooted and a lot wiser and calmer at 32 than I was at 22. I hope I can give some of that to a 12 year old. And I hope I'm open to hear the messages of the week and apply them to my own life.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


A few weeks ago I had a complete breakdown - in my efforts to rearrange and create space in our small twin home, I just lost it. Furniture, clothing, toys and more were scattered all about the living room and I screamed at Vince how there is just NO MORE ROOM. Period. The end.

I left everything where it was that evening and despite knowing it was more or less my PMSed induced state, I realized I have never abandoned anything, never thrown anything, and never felt that lost in the house.

We bought 5.5 years ago - in the winter of 2005. Pre-wedding and pre-baby. We've done a ton of work to the place - new bath, new hardwood floors, fresh paint, new deck, and most recently, a new kitchen. This is only 1/8 of the list of upgrades. However, I think even with all the improvements, it becomes clear at some point that we've outgrown the place. We've reached that point.

I thought there was a way for me to carve out a section of the basement and make it a home office but I simply cannot work in the dungeon...and it really is. It's an old, cold, dark 1950s basement. Unless we dropped $10K to finish the basement, I would need to find another location in the house. We contemplated the remodel but since there is no exit, it wouldn't add to the square footage of our home. Moreover, in our community, homes top out at a certain point. No way would we get back what we put in.

so here I am, making an effort to do what I can with what I have because I know sometime in the next year we will be moving. We've already started the process. Meeting with Realtors, talking to mortgage brokers, driving around areas we like. I'm a little sad. I love this home. We have done a ton to make it awesome. I will miss that.

I'm also anxious because of the economy. Worried about how the financials will play out and hoping we can sell and get a fair price...hoping we get whatever cute charming home we'll eventually adore and want in our price range. So many variables though.

And then the actual agony of moving. MOVING SUCKS and there simply isn't anything exciting about it. Even when you get to your destination, you stare at mounds of boxes and live in a state of disarray for a good while. I hate that feeling.

I'm a bundle of mixed emotions. Maybe the one little ray of light is the thought of the real home office I can create. Maybe.