Tag Archives: new house

Home

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“Home.  Let me come home. Home is wherever I’m with you.  Our home.  Yes, I am home.   Home is when I’m alone with you.”  

—  Edward Sharp and the Electric Zeros

Home doesn’t feel like home.  Yet.  I suppose it will, eventually.

We are mostly out of boxes, although we have yet to hang pictures.  I stuck up all our funky magnets on the fridge, along with the same photos and handcrafted Mother’s Day items that were on the fridge in the old apartment.

None of us are sleeping very well.  Yet.  I suppose we will, eventually.  At least our beds are the same, familiar in their lumps and creaks.

My husband and I are tired, grumpy, and sore from days of endlessly shuttling boxes from one place to another.  And we are not even close to finished.  We still have a basement full of crap at the old apartment.

The old apartment, which is cavernous and quiet in its emptiness.  The old apartment which looks out on the bay.

My husband is proving to be a very capable home owner.  He has always been crafty and good at figuring out and fixing things, and he has settled right into the role of handy man of the house.  I remember when I watched him as a father for the first time, and fell in love watching this man who I had known for so long, but had not known he had such a amazing skill set at nurturing.  I sort of fell in love with him all over again, as I am now, watching him care for our new home with a tender responsibility.

This is supposed to be a positive change for us.  In some ways, I feel it.  I liked making a stir fry in my new kitchen with is about twice as large as what I had in the old apartment.  In some ways, it is nice to have more space, for my husband and me to have our own nooks, for the children to have their own rooms, for the crib to be out from our bedroom.  But in other ways, having this much space around us is foreign and uncomfortable.  We keep reaching out for one another in weird, clingy ways.

Emily keeps saying she is scared.  She is definitely taking it the hardest, her three year old brain not sure what to do with all the change.  It is hard to watch how worried and sulky she seems about every little thing.  She is easily startled by the new noises in the house, and says she feels scared in her room.

I am so proud of how both kids have been going to bed in their own rooms like champs.  But in the middle of the night, Emily creeps up the stairs to our gigantic attic room and climbs into bed between us.

Jack has been handling things pretty well, which is a surprise to us, since he is usually the most sensitive soul in our little pod.  He’s had a few moments when he has gotten rowdy, and he and his sister have been bickering and brawling a bit more, but that has been more Emily instigating with Jack.

While I know their behavior is a part of their right of passage in this huge transition, and a natural reaction the the enormous disruption, it is still hard for me to handle.  Part of me feels sad and sensitive to their plight.  The other side of me just wants them to fricking mind their fricking manners for five fricking minutes so I can make a phone call or unpack one more fricking box.

The first night in our new house, after our big moving day, I cried all night.  Emily was disoriented and got into her own bed without even asking to nurse.  Since I am in the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” stage of weaning her, I didn’t bring it up, but sat silently sobbing in the chair near her bed as she fell asleep.  I missed having her little body sleeping in the crib next to my side of the bed.

My husband hugged me and asked me why I was crying.

“I want to go home,” I cried.

“But I thought this is what you wanted?  To have our own house?”

In my exhaustion, I didn’t really know what I wanted.  I feared I had gotten it all wrong, that all those times I was frustrated and angry about being so cramped and cluttered in our old apartment I should have really been more mindful and tranquil.  Why do I always get everything wrong?

I’ve been comforting myself by telling myself, “Clinging causes suffering.”  It is one of the principals of Buddhist way of thinking.  This move has really brought to light for me what the expression means.  For me, it is another way of saying, “It is okay to let go and see what happens.”

It feels oddly reassuring and liberating.

It was also very helpful when going through the old apartment and thinking what to keep and what to throw away or donate.  I admit, there was a real pinch in my heart when I placed the bassinet on the curb at Goodwill.  It was a place where my babies had slept as newborns, and it held some memories.  But it was just going to take up space, and I didn’t need to keep the basinet to keep my memories of my babies.  The pinch in my heart was the suffering caused by clinging to something.  It felt okay to let it go.

Letting go of the old apartment has not proved so easy.  It was a really safe place for us.  To be honest, I share a lot of Emily’s fears of our new house, but for different reasons.  I’m terribly afraid the mortgage will prove too daunting.  I’m afraid there won’t be enough money to fix things.  I’m afraid the plumbing situation will never get sorted out.  I’m afraid the neighbors won’t accept me.  I’m afraid my kids will not adjust.  The list goes on.

We’ve only been here four nights.  I’m sure it will take some time for us to grow into this place, like the moss that has grown into the cracks in our new driveway.

And then home will feel just like home.

 

Daddy’s Big Tummy

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You may or may not have noticed I shy away from giving direct advice here on Momaste. I may be a neurotic, Type A, know-it-all, bossy, big sister, but I actually don’t like telling people what to do. I don’t like it when people tell me what to do, so I try not to do it to others.

Today, however, I am going to break that tradition and give you a piece of life advice.

If you ever buy a house, during the inspection when they are doing the flow test of all the water in the house, make sure they test the washing machine. Trust me on this one. Just do it.

We all saw the bucket of disgusting water next to the washing machine, and my realtor friend asked about it a couple times. No one seemed troubled by it, and we were told it is not standard to test a washing machine during the inspection.

Imagine our surprise when we got into the house to clean, paint, etc., and just on a whim decided to run the washer on the very small setting to see how it worked, and flooded our basement. Seriously. My husband and I were in our new kitchen with our children, having a snack and being all like, “Hey, look at us in our new house!” when all of a sudden we heard a gushing waterfall in the basement.

Turns out, all the rest of the pipes on that side of the house are backed up and nothing is draining. My husband and I are trying not to stress too much until we get the plumbers in there and find out what it is going to take to fix it.

But really?! WTF!??!

Right now, it seems like our apartment is a clown car that just continues to spew stuff out of it. Or maybe it is like those rapidly reproducing critters from Star Trek. Or maybe it is… oh screw it, you get the point. We have a lot of crap and the moving just seems endless.

We are all feeling frustrated, tired, sore, excited, and terribly anxious.

So, a wee bit of comic relief, such as the following scene, is appreciated.

After a long and stressful day involving the torrent from the washer and a speedily purchased wet-vac, I put chicken nuggets out on plates for the children.

Emily: I want ketchup.
Jack: What’s the magic word?
Emily: Daddy’s big tummy.
Jack: Emily, that is not the magic word.

No, it was not the magic word, but it sure was clever. Because everyone knows you are supposed to laugh in the face of disaster.

That’s advice I will stand by as I watch them dig up my new back yard to fix the damn plumbing.