Home Sweeter Home

August 25, 2011

We are here!

Top 10 Things About Our New House:

1.  No weird smell in the master bathroom.  Our old house had a tiny bathroom, which we realized had a mysterious smell after we moved in.  (We previously thought it just needed a good cleaning.)  We tested for mold – nothing.  We scrubbed and scrubbed – still I scrunched up my nose.  In five years, I never once used the master bathroom.  Instead, it became Herbie’s bathroom, and I shared a bathroom with a preschooler and a baby.  Now I share a room with my hubby (double sinks!), and Moo pretty much has her own bathroom, which means I have to check once a day to see if she has remembered to flush at all (usually no – not a pretty sight).

2.  Saying goodbye to the Cave.  Also known as our kitchen – the Cave had no natural light, and when I washed dishes, I stared at a beige wall.  Plenty of space, but that space came with ugly green countertops and cabinets that had been installed for people over six feet, so I had to stretch on my tip-toes to reach the plates or even the microwave (and I’m tall!).  The oven was also installed in the refrigerator’s spot and vice versa, leaving a lovely little chasm next to the stove, perfect for drips, drops, and suicidal noodles.  Now I have a WINDOW over the sink, looking out on two orange trees.  And if I turn around, I can see my children tackling each other in the family room, instead of trying to interpret their shrieks from the Cave.  And the TV!  I can see the TV!  I can’t wait for Christmas, so I can bake cookies and watch Elf – a dream come true!

3.  Not feeling creeped out by my neighborhood.  Cars parked in the yards.  Fat men without shirts.  Houses falling apart.  Having NO desire to go trick-or-treating in my own neighborhood.  And we were robbed a few years ago, which I realize can happen in even the nicest neighborhoods, but in our case, we kinda got the feeling that our robber could live on the next block.

4. Not feeling embarassed to invite people over.  When Moo began preschool and made a few friends, I longed to start scheduling playdates.  But I felt ashamed of our neighborhood, no matter how many times Rosalind assured me that nobody was judging us.  When we gave Rosalind a tour of the new place, she said, “Whoa, this house is so much better.”  I’m planning a back-to-school party for Moo’s new preschool class next month.

5.  High ceilings.  Now Herbie can throw Juice and Moo in the air without worrying about giving them concussions!

6.  Pool!  And a backyard that we actually use, even when it’s 108 degrees.  We neglected our old backyard, because it was barely visible from the house and never had any sort of landscape design.  Now, our family room looks over the covered patio, pool and nice, grassy landscaped yard.  Bonus:  FAKE patch of grass in the front yard!  Joke’s on you, weeds!

7.  Master bedroom.  Like the kitchen, our old bedroom was distinctly cave-like, made worse by my misguided decision to paint it dark blue (“It’ll be like the ocean!” I chirped).  So small, Herbie and I often had traffic jams just trying to walk around the bed.  Our new bedroom has a window seat, a GLORIOUSLY HUGE closet, and room for piles and piles of laundry.  It’s a nice light blue, and so far I’m resisting my deep-seated desire to paint everything teal and violet.

8.  Garage.  Hey, where does this go?  Garage.  Hey, where should we store this?  Garage.  What, it’s 115 degrees again?  Ah, the car is nice and cool in the garage.

9.  No more ugly diagonal white tile.  It never looked clean, it always looked ugly.  Now we’ve got lovely dirt-hiding tile and lush carpet, upon which Juice adores throwing himself mid-tantrum.

10.  Santa won’t have to come in the front door anymore – he can come down the chimney!

As Herbie said, It’s like this was always our house, we just didn’t live here yet.


Countdown to Chaos

August 4, 2011

The movers are coming at 7 tomorrow morning.

Both houses are complete wrecks – however, the newer one boasts much less dust.  Score one for Mama.  And the kid’s rooms are kinda  sorta adorable.  I didn’t get all the cars and trucks done in Juice’s room, but at least I finished the section behind his crib.  He’s already trying to reach his toy trucks up to the “road.”  And Moo has named all the birds in her new bird tree.  For the record – Siranna, Megan, Greely, Roxta, Kooky, Emma, Maddie, and Doc. (Emma and Doc are married.  Maddie is kinda shy.)

I am approaching HIGH-ALERT stress levels, and that stress is seeping out and infecting my children with whininess and grumpiness, and hell, who wouldn’t be grumpy with all. this. mess.

Juice is spending the night at Herbie’s parents’ house tonight so he won’t try and heft the couch into the moving truck all by himself, but Moo really wanted to be here for the big event, and I’m trying to respect her feelings and wishes during this transition.  Although I have frequently needed to remind her that Big Change does not equal an excuse to act rude.  (“But I’m not acting, Mommy!”  “Behave, then – don’t behave rudely.  Just stop whining!”)

And then, in the middle of my bubbling grumbliness, something funny will happen – Juice open-mouth kisses me, Moo presents me with a Polly Pocket trapped in a slinky, I find Juice’s missing chicken in the “bathroom stuff” box – and I remember that moving to a nicer house is a good thing, and the chaos will gradually smooth itself out.

But where…the hell…is the CHEESE GRATER?!?!?


A lot has happened.

We bonded with cousins:

Juice turned 1:

And enjoyed himself immensely:

Our dear friends got married, and Moo got to be a flower girl:

Moo also performed in her first “show” at Phoenix Theatre’s summer camp:

We went camping:

And this happened:

Yes, we’re moving!  Nicer house, nicer neighborhood.

So happy.

Let the packing madness commence!

Let the Easter festivities commence!


February 27, 2011

Oh, hi everybody.  Notice anything different?

No more helmet!!

Who me?

Yes, you.  Come over here.

Here I am!

Hey look, something dangerous for me to play with!

No, Juice!

Oh sweetheart.  I love you so much.

EME Photography

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., I love my job.  I love folding clothes, I love washing dishes, I love packing us into the car and heading out into the day to see what adventures await.  I love being Juice’s jungle gym, and I love his wildly dramatic protesting at naptime, after which he falls asleep in three minutes flat.  I love the hilarious outfits Moo picks out, I love hearing her insights on life, and I love being whatever character she requests (although I think Daphne the Hotel Clerk is my favorite) while we putter and play around the house.

BUT.  From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., I am not a nice person.  Getting them breakfast and getting myself dressed and presentable seems an insurmountable obstacle.  And OH, mothering would be so much easier if I had very short hair.  But…no.  I shall not sacrifice my locks, no matter how much you whine and cry and interrupt while I just. Try. To dry my damn hair.

And then at 4 p.m. precisely, Juice gets a case of the Crazies, Moo gets sick of me being too tired/busy/frustrated to play, and I am just… TOO.

This evening at 5, it all culminated with Moo ramming into me where I was laying on the carpet as a human Juice Barricade.  She told me that was not where I was supposed to be, I HAD to go to my proper mark as per her direction.  I protested.  She freaked out.  I knew I should do something, or say something, but all I could feel was the exhaustion.  So I said, “Moo, go to your room.”

I have never heard such high-pitched screaming.

She survived.  But then I fell apart trying to feed my furious baby his favorite peas and rice, and when Herbie finally swooped in to save the day, I shuffled into Moo’s room.  She’d fallen asleep in her bed.  I know she had to learn her lesson, and I didn’t regret sending her to her room.  But I hate having those feelings fester between us, and I understood how frustrating it must be to have such a tired and distracted mommy. 

So I kissed her and asked her if I could snuggle with her for a few minutes.  She said yes and scootched over.  I cried a few silent tears into her wispy bangs and kissed her forehead five times.  Then I listened to her steady breathing and dozed off with our foreheads touching.  Ten minutes later, I pulled myself up and whispered that dinner would be ready soon.  I felt whole again. 

Over dinner, I found out she didn’t remember me being there at all.  She told me she was crying because she and Hop could not understand why I wasn’t being nice to the director.  After I explained to her that even grown-up directors say “please” when they tell people where to stand, we ate our “stewp,” I kissed my baby’s helmet head, and soon enough the house was niiiiiice and quiet.  I sat at my laptop, my husband came over and hugged me, and I realized that it’s just another day, and everything’s okay. 

And tomorrow, I get to start all over again.