Monday, March 30, 2015

Home Is Where The Boxes Are!

We moved.

It's been one of those situations that feels like a nightmare the whole time you're in it, and then you wake up and find out that things are mostly okay except for a strange booming sound in your "new" furnace and that the carpet feels a little more thin and crunchy than you're used to.  Other than that, everything is mostly ideal.  We did the unthinkable.  We sold our old house and moved into a bigger one.  All of this while gestating a fetus and refraining from spanking two disobedient children.

The move has made me a less perfect parent.  I think that's putting it as delicately as I can.  I have been stressed out for over a month now, culminating in a stretch of days where I truly thought I was going to lose my mind.  Packing everything we own.  Repairing damage caused by our movers ninety minutes before the buyer was to do his final walk-through.  Waking up the day of our move-in to three inches of snow and more that just kept on falling. Unpacking as quickly as I possibly could because that's just the kind of psychopath I am.  I wanted to feel as at home as I could in this house as fast as I could, and I'm still not there yet.  This place is not my house.  There is a huge stack of notarized papers that say otherwise, but it does not feel like home.  When does that happen? Surely by day eight, right?

And so I've been psychotically focused on the move and all of its million working parts and my children are falling apart around me.  Superficially, they don't seem very affected by the move itself. They sleep well at night and have basically found equivalent ways of leading their lives- same seating situations during meals, same bath and bed time rituals, same general disregard for walls, floors, window treatments, rules.  So there's that.  But their behavior has just been unbearable, and while I think part of it is my extremely low level of patience these days (did I mention the gestating and the moving?) and their subconscious reactions to all of the changes in life, I'd also like to think that the other part of it is just that they are horrible children who have turned rotten despite all of my best efforts.

Obviously, I don't mean that.  But it's been a trying week.  I know that I am too focused on house stuff and not as focused as I should be on the kids, and I'm trying to make an effort to change that now that we're moved in and the worst is all behind us.  I know that if I pay more positive attention to them, there's a decent chance that I'll have to pay less negative attention to them.  I know this all in that deep abyss I'm calling my heart, but I'm just so very worn out.  I'm completely exhausted, but the demands and the messes and the fights and the screaming and the lack of listening and the tantrums have just about come to a head.

And so I ask you.  Who would like to move into our basement and help me raise these children, at least during the day while Chris is at work?  You?  You?  YOU?  But if you're living in the basement, you should understand that the furnace is very noisy and that's where the boys spend most of their time fighting and attempting to give each other head injuries.  I hope you know first aid!

In rereading this, I feel like I should delete it.  Somebody mentioned the other day that they liked my blog.  To which I basically replied that I wasn't sure what I was doing with it anymore, as it was supposed to be something FOR my children and yet I'm revealing things and feelings that I don't necessarily want them reading one day.  Here, my boys.  Here are the weeks that you drove me crazy and were utterly unbearable.  Here is where I called you horrible.

Our last day together in our old house.
I guess I have nothing to say about that other than sometimes it is very difficult to be a mom. Sometimes there are so many things going on that it's seemingly impossible to focus on what is and should be my greatest priority.  I can be forgetful of that.  But the reality is that as much as I love my kids, there are moments when I've just about had it.  It's not all cute anecdotes and hugs and kisses. Sometimes there are other things going on, such as a major move, and it's all you can do not to put your children on a leash and just leave them out back tied to a tree for a few hours.  I just need an afternoon!  Or a whole day!  And a couple of water and food dishes for when the animals, I mean boys, need sustenance.

I hope with every new day this house feels more like home and less like some temporary residence with issues that I feel a complete lack of ownership for.  I hope that I can calm down and refocus my energies on being a better mom who spends quality time with her children and doesn't feel the need to speak only in threats.  Maybe they are related and once I fill this house with good memories, that's when it will become a home.  Starting tomorrow.  Day eight.

Tonight's already a lost cause; just ask the two little boys who got put to bed early after twenty minutes of shenanigans and sobbing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Knock on Wood!

I have not been the most prolific blogger lately, but there has been little time for extracurricular activities.  The boys (and I) had the stomach flu in shifts for about a week.  It started with Alex appearing next to bed in the middle of the night at the start of the week covered in a sloppy paste of vomit and diarrhea, thus succinctly answering my question of "What's wrong?" with one wet, chunky homogeneous texture and ended six days later with Andy standing naked in my in-laws bathroom, patiently waiting for his clothes to be finished drying after he had puked and then pooped all over them.  Andy waited alone.  I had dinner to eat, my appetite uncompromised by the bodily fluids I had just cleaned up.  And that, my friends, is motherhood.

We had the flu, I feel like I've been working more hours lately, and, the biggest thing is that we do indeed seem to be moving.  Knock on wood.  Go ahead, I can wait.

These two are the worst helpers ever.
The process thus far of selling this house (I use the word selling loosely as it seems that we are basically paying the buyer to take this damn place off our hands) and purchasing our next one has been trying, to say the least.  There's been a lot of back and forth, a lot of waiting, a lot of second guessing, and a lot of recalculating.  It's been rather nightmarish, although if it all works out, it will have been totally, mostly worth it.  The best piece of advice I can give to a prospective homeowner is DON'T BUY A HOUSE.  Rent forever.  Of course, we continue to buy because we both descend from a long line of homeowners and also it seems that we have both suffered severe cranial damage at some point in our recent adulthood.

And so I try to pack.  Chris is gone most of the day, and I do a lot of it myself, squatting and lifting carefully so that my big heavy baby belly won't burst from the exertion.  Packing with two small children around is the most fruitless, infuriating task you can ever embark on.  They insists on helping in the stupidest way possible.  Yesterday, Alex set his very full glass into an open box I was working on, mumbling, "I pack water."  No, Alex.  You can't pack water.  That's pretty much the worst thing you can pack. I'd almost rather you packed vomit.  At least that stuff is partially solid.

These kids slow me down like you wouldn't believe, crying over who gets to help tape the box shut and what goes where.  They are also worse than their father when it comes to throwing away items that are essentially garbage.  I refuse to pack broken or outdated or useless items into a box.  That's just how I am.  Chris refuses to part with any item he's ever owned ever (I am telling you, cassette tapes ARE NOT COMING BACK anytime soon), and Alex today burst into tears when I tried to throw away a wayward flashcard from some lost set.  To make up for this, in those rare moments I am alone, I am just tossing stuff out by the armload with no consideration to any level of uselessness. We can buy another carbon monoxide detector down the line.  No biggie.

I hope we can get through the next week and a half and actually get all of this stuff done.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but for every box I pack or one thing I accomplish, I seem to think of two more things I need to do or realize that I need at least a hundred or so new boxes.  That's when my blood pressure starts soaring and I need to throw out three or four of Chris' cherished possessions just to feel better again.

For all of my bitching and complaining, this house has been good to us.  This house is where we brought home our two beautiful baby boys.  This house was the first place Chris and I owned together as a married couple.  We had it built to our specifications (although we will probably keep fighting about the extra $5,000 we spent on our solid pine doors until the day we die.  I think I win since the appraiser was not impressed by this purchase).  We made a lot of great friends in this area and really built a life here.  It's been eight years since we signed that contract to build.  We were newly married, and we accomplished everything that we wanted to in this little house, and then some.  I can't believe I am pregnant with our third child and we are here, solidly in our mid-thirties with so many great memories behind us, ready to once again pack up and move.

Now excuse me while I pack another box and then spank a small child.