Saturday, March 21, 2009

3/21/09 Holding Out

Not surprisingly, moving home doesn't mean we have any more time to spend playing; not with stone backsplashes to seal, privacy window film to install, butcher block tops to treat, and thousands of boxes to unpack.

So I hung out with Katrina after her "nap" (if having Julian join her in her room to play counts as a nap, grr), and got her to sit on the potty for a while. Then she wanted underpants, great.

She played outside for quite a while and stayed dry, so I took her upstairs to see if I could get her to sit on the potty again. Of course not, and then she literally got her knickers in a twist, insisting on putting both her legs through one leg-hole in her underpants and having a huge fit about not being able to put the underpants on, but refusing my help. Whatever.

Pretending to ignore her, I "tested" the shower in the bathroom again, spritzing the handshower all over the bathtub. And incredibly, the sound of dripping water did the job. She walked over to the little potty, sat down and concentrated for a moment, stood up, and announced her accomplishment. I couldn't believe it! This was no accident, no random event -- she made it happen.

She's been holding out on us!

Friday, March 20, 2009

3/20/09 Digging Out

It's still in the overwhelming stage. Just the most basic tasks take a lot of searching and opening and arranging. But I did make dinner tonight!

We're slowly crawling out of the hole. We got a microwave, shelves are getting adjusted, leaky gas line fitting tightened, floor heat thermostats set, laundry detergent unearthed. I have a goal of unpacking at least 3 boxes a day, which sounds like a very small goal, but it's amazing how quickly a day goes by. And it's SUCH a drag unpacking the kitchen stuff! Did the movers have to individually wrap every water bottle??

The plumbers were here today, and admitted to swapping the hot and cold in two bathrooms. Geez! Fortunately this can be fixed with "reverse cartridges," which the Grohe rep told me he's sold so many of, to recover from plumber's mistakes, that they put his kids through college. The 3rd bathroom's thermostatic valve just needed calibration, so now we're up to two working shower/baths.

Last night as I cut up cantaloupe for lunch, Julian sat at the island across from me and colored a flower picture from school. I loved that I could do my thing and he could do his right in the same space, and we could easily chat about the silly names for the colors on the colored pencils he was using. It was really nice. This was only sort-of possible at the rental house, and completely impossible in our old house.

Gabriel asked me today I'm ever going to pick him up from school again. That kid has an astounding capacity to shatter my heart in a flash. I miss the other two also, but it feels worse for the one in school. But I'm starting to feel it for Julian too, who needs more interaction and playtime with me than Gabriel did. Katrina is still young enough to be happy to bop around with anyone, though the happy way she greets me at the end of the day is starting to add to the guilt pile too.

Next week, we get to go to work without the pressure of Friday jobsite meetings, or being called or emailed and having to drop things at any moment to go handle some crisis, and with a lot of annoying driving eliminated. Next week starts the new normal.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

3/19/09 We moved!

Typing from Dave's computer here; most of the office is still in boxes.

WHAT a day. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. It went well, but moving is very very intense. I wanted SO much to just blow off the rest of the evening and go to bed, but, kids needed their beds made, clothes set out, and lunches made. It took hours to find everything needed just for those basic operations.

Kids were excited, all three had new beds in new places. Funny with the 3rd kid -- the transition from a crib to a bed, usually a big deal in a toddler's life, let alone in a new room in a new house was, "here ya go baby, good night!" She did fine. Katrina is a very adaptable person.

She's out of practice with stairs though, and not exactly a fast learner in the athletic department. "I scary!" But she got downstairs this morning herself, with some effort.

Boys are beside themselves about bunk beds. Julian's been sleeping on a crib mattress on the floor for months, since his toddler bed fell apart. For so long we knew we were moving that it wasn't worth upgrading his bed until we moved home, and now he finally has one. This is his first full-sized bed too.

A few problems though. NONE of the shower/baths in our new bathrooms work. That's THREE! One is only hot. One is only cold. And one is only lukewarm. It's like porridge! Fortunately one was "just right" -- the bathroom we already had, with my bathtub that I swore would never see a little boy's bare butt. Apparently we really do need four bathrooms. Gawd.

And our fancy new Bosch dishwasher doesn't dry dishes. They were dripping water this morning. Bug or feature?

And many of our phone and cable outlets, which we went to considerable expense and effort to have installed all over the house, don't work. No "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" in bed for me now!

But overall, we're really happy to be back here. I hadn't realized how confined I felt in our rental house. I like the taller ceilings, the ample windows, the wood floors, the second story, the multitude of spaces. I like walking around, I like the crazy way the spaces flow together. I like hanging out and looking around. That was the main reason we did this, something so intangible, yet so palpable. There's lots ahead, but it's mostly on our own time now.

And it only took Dave 20 minutes to drop everyone off this morning.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The photo session

Last Saturday, the day before the open house, my friend Paul came over to take some photos of the house. I pounced on an opportunity to get some photos of the kids by a good photographer with a good camera, and maybe even with me. Katrina was unusually cooperative, but Gabriel was really not feeling well. Still, Paul got some fun shots.

March 14, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3/17/09 The Scholar

Tonight as I was helping Julian get ready for bed, he said excitedly, "Today in school, we did blending words!" Blending words? He continued, "The teacher asked us if we knew any words with 'sn' -- and I raised my hand right away and said 'SNOT!!'" Ah, a chip off the old block. My boy....makes me so proud.

This is the last night we spend at Hydrangea Court. I feel like I'm about to go to sleep in a black-and-white world and wake up in a color paradise.


Monday, March 16, 2009

3/16/09 Three on the island

I did get a few photos the day of our open house, before the event started. For once, I had the foresight to bring lunch for the bunch before the party. For actually sitting down and eating, we had to make do on the island. We'd intended the island to be able to seat three, somehow thinking at the time that three siblings next to each other would be a good thing.

And provided they're ordered carefully, it can be. Julian really couldn't bug Katrina much here, though he could kick the island under him a lot. I wasn't sure how Katrina would do on a barstool, but she was fine (though she's a long way from being able to climb up or down herself).

Our children's first meal in the house they will always remember as their childhood home. Such a moment.

I love these barstools. Black barstools definitely don't "go" in this kitchen, but painting the legs will take care of that.

I might just have to get "Pears" too.

The big push to pack is on!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

3/15/09 Open House

Our open house today was a smashing success! I was so busy catching up with old friends, meeting neighbors and talking house that I never got to take a single photo. Many, many kids were there, and they had a great time with the hide-away closet under the staircase. The ping-pong table was in constant use (though I'm not sure much ping-pong actually got played), but the dirtpile was the favorite feature. I absolutely loved having our house overrun with kids running around and laughing and having a great time.

It was really fun to spend actual time in our house as a house, and not a jobsite. It meant that we could entertain and see our friends and make new ones -- primarily our neighbors that we've never met. There still are many things that need to be taken care of, but today was really the first time the house started to work for us, instead of us for it. It's going to be hard at work for years. Three childhood memories will be formed there.