Saturday, February 4, 2012

our new (to us) house

which could alternately be titled "the ballsiest thing my husband and i have ever done"...just sayin.

so my husband and i bought this house. we did not necessarily agree on the potential of this house, or even the desirability of this house. as a matter of fact, he could not understand why i kept taking him back to look at such an ugly house. these pictures will be of just the house (because i guess i put the pictures of the views on a different flash card?) and it's best that way because pictures really don't do the views justice. you'll just have to come visit me to see the views. but here is the ugly little house my husband and i bought. it was pretty ballsy of me to just push forward to buy something he was so far behind me on...and it was pretty ballsy of him to follow me even when most days he still can't visualize whether this house will be great or just upgraded ugly.
when i first saw the front of this house, all i could think of was how dingy it looked. and that those bushes need to come out (what with that dead one in the middle of the two live ones and all...). but after looking around at the surrounding land, i knew that if the inside of the house was livable and workable, that we needed to be here.

so this was the kitchen. it's really a garage conversion, and if you look at the first picture, it's the square space on the left side of the house...if you look closely, you can see where the two garage doors were. the folks who converted this space wasted no efforts, no materials. the windows that fronted this conversion were old sliding glass doors. it was kind of neat to look at, but kind of a headache, too. in this picture of the kitchen, you can see where they raised the floor to reroute the plumbing pipes. we're going to make the floor level, even though that means losing about three inches in a room with only eight foot ceilings to begin with. but it's just what makes sense. and the carpet you see in this picture? it's what the carpet looked like throughout the house. the previous owners had two chihuahuas that peed wherever they wanted. the whole place smelled awful and just looked terrible. oh, and that wood stove?... can you see where they rocked the dryer vent pvc pipe right into the wall? i kind of loved it all except for, you know, that one tiny detail. so they took the whole thing out. but i really, really want them to put it back in. we are in negotiations over that.
so the first thing the guys working on our house did was tear out the horrible smelling carpets. then they took out the whole kitchen. little bit was pretty impressed with how big the room felt now that everything was gone. it's been neat seeing the old stuff go. a relief, to be honest. at least i know it won't be what it was. but i do get a little anxious trying to visualize where it's going and what it is going to be when all is said and done. so i like this picture because it reminds me that i am well acquainted with the people who will be living in it, even when i am not sure what the house is going to look like.

meet the old fireplace. it wasn't a bad fireplace. it did leak, though. and who wants to spend money fixing a leaky fireplace? especially when there is an awesome view behind it. so bye-bye mr. leaky fireplace.
hello, wall of windows. and that is the closest to a view that i've got on here. because the roof had to be replaced, because the fireplace had to be fixed (and not just little cheap fixes), and because they are able to reuse the brick from the fireplace to rebuild the front of the conversion and make it look like original house (and not garage bays), we were able to afford to turn that wall of fireplace into this wall of windows. i know the common perception is that doc's can afford whatever they want, but with five kids and waiting as long as we did to pursue medicine, money is definitely a consideration...and will be for years as we pay off my husband's school loans and pay for our kids to attend college (and small private high schools). so it felt like we'd won the lottery to realize we could afford to do this. it's what makes the project. it makes the house. it draws the outside indoors. you can see the surrounding woods, the lake, you can even see the marina for the boats that live on the lake (because the army owns all of the shorelines and does not allow piers or boat houses). anyway, it's about a quarter of a mile to walk to the actual lake. we'll clear a path soon because it is all overgrown and wild there. but it is beautiful. i have never felt so alternately drowning in anxiety and elated. it gives me a new understanding about sayings conveying the idea that the things most worthwhile are the ones that are the most difficult.

and that is our new (to us) house. i think about those who lived there before us (the same way i do in every house we've ever lived in). usually, for this house, i just question their taste or skills or something kind of jerk-y like that. but i do wonder if this is how the previous owners felt when they moved into this house...full of anxiety, full of hope, full of excitement. i'll post more as we proceed. there's already a shiny new silver metal roof on the house, too, but i haven't taken a picture with my camera of that yet. next time. we have a lifetime in this house.


Friday, February 3, 2012

what was supposed to be an addendum but then became its own post...

so i came to add a picture of my bedroom...well, my bed with my toddler's bed next to it. i don't know why, exactly. i think because, like i said, i feel so. totally. disorganized. and maybe if i let myself write about it and supply the pictures that go along with the story, it will all come together for me again. so here it is. one time, when my uncle came to see my first house, he went into my and my husband's bedroom and said, "so here's the love nest" and raised his eyebrows. and it so totally ooked me out that i couldn't make eye contact with that particular uncle for a few months. (i got over it...he's really a great guy...but it was kind of an icky statement no matter how great he was...) anyway...the sleeping arrangements at my house:
so that was the addendum part. but while i was making the bed (what? you thought i'd post a picture of my bed all scuzzed out?...hell-to-the-no! as my oldest says...when no one's around, of course). and speaking of my oldest, he's the reason this became its own post. while i was making the beds, i was dancing to this beautiful rendition of "hey soul sister." it just made me smile. because it was my oldest son playing the music i was dancing around to in the computer room.
i love this. when he plays songs i know, plays them well, plays them all the way through (and these three things do not always line up, so you gotta stop and appreciate the good stuff when it finds you). it's not like "hey soul sister" is one of my favorites...i only know it because he plays it. but it's so sweet when he plays it. and it made me think about how one day, he'll have a girlfriend, or a wife, or dogs, or kids or maybe neighbors, or maybe all of those or maybe not that will get to hear him play songs, too. and that made me smile all the way down to my toes, to the center of me and back out.

he has grown so much. and i know he will continue to grow. but that doesn't fill me with the (heart pounding? gut wrenching?) anxiety it used to. i know he will struggle, i know he will make bad choices...and those are the things that would fill me with such anxiety. but now i also know he will learn (on some level) and make things right (eventually) and ask for help when he needs it (on most days). my oldest really values people (yes, even his brothers). he also knows and accepts that he only has control of his own behavior, so he takes his choices very seriously.

i've watched him grow, but i've also grown alongside him. i've grow into someone that has learned to trust him to know so much more than i ever did at that age, but to still do some of the stupid stuff i have so much wisdom and still get so not blame myself, or blame his dad, or society, or school when bad or hard things happen. because he doesn't. he knows his power...and while it may seem like f-o-r-e-v-e-r before he actually uses it, he will always step up and do what he feels, in his heart, is right. (unless it blows over and he chooses not to do anything...there are those times in life...haven't you had one lately?) in learning to trust my oldest, i have learned to trust myself.

so on the nights when he plays hard rock music i am unfamiliar with (especially the one where he shouts "I! HATE! EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!!!"...that one's especially not charming), or when he keeps hitting the wrong notes (and i don't mean just with his guitar...his voice gets a little crazy sometimes as he experiments with new sounds for himself), or when he keeps playing the same little part of a song over and over and over...or better yet, just plays a few lines from many songs i love and wish he'd play all the way through, i will smile and know that one day, he will frustrate and challenge and disappoint and piss off someone else. and i hope that person loves my son enough to appreciate the good stuff when it finds let go of their pride and be patient and learn with and grow with this guy. until then, i'm grateful to be the one who gets to learn and grow, laugh and love, be challenged by and challenge him. and until then, i also get to be the one that dances to his music and sees how happy playing that music makes him.
peace (uh, and i know i mentioned erratic, and whiney...did i mention overly emotional? i think so, didn't i? well, just in case i didn't...there's gonna be a fair amount of that, too...just sayin)

let's start at the very beginning

because julie andrews says it's a very good place to start. and i like julie andrews.

sleep. that's pretty primal, pretty basic, right? i often warn first time parents at the end of their pregnancies to get good sleep because once the baby comes, even a baby that only nurses every few hours is going to jack up your sleep cycle in a way it has never been jacked with. i mean, i worked at this camp for kids with different disabilities when i was teen. so when i got pregnant (when i was still a teen, but whatever), i thought i'd be ahead of the game on this night-waking thing because of those nights i'd logged, staying awake with a camper or waking up to a camper having a time i even woke up because i noticed one of the campers stopped breathing. (she was really loud...think small airplane...when she stopped, the silence was deafening.) anyway, so when the experienced parents who loved me warned me about what the sleep deprivation would do to me and perception of the world, i smugly thought i'd handle it just fine thanks to those camp experiences. but see, i didn't consider the fact that those campers went home every friday and a new batch didn't come until sunday. so i could sleep til 2pm on saturday. i didn't consider that when you have a baby, that baby never, ever goes home. because that baby IS home...he or she turns 18 or so...every day and every night. so good luck catching up on sleep til 2pm uninterrupted on a saturday.

anyway...sleep. it is lovely. makes me think of some sort of silky, satin-y liquid sheet, poured all around you, cradling that achy place in your back, supporting that stiff neck, even pouring into your ears to ease that throbbing head and those tired, tired eyes. i used to be able to meditate and visualize something similar to this, a blackness that would envelop me and comfort me, relax me, carry me to unconsciousness. i think it took me all of about thirty seconds to relax every muscle in my body (when i was seventeen or eighteen years old). now it takes me about five minutes just to quiet the echos of the needs, arguments, agreed upon resolutions, responsibilities, triumphs, failures, and just other miscellaneous information of the day before i can even shift my focus to...what was it?...oh yeah, relaxing. sometimes by then, i've already fallen asleep, one exhausted, tense lump of a mom. but usually, i make it to praying. and inviting the peace to envelop me. trying to surrender all those things my body and mind still want to manage...even at eleven o'clock at night. i don't mean to make myself sound quite so mental...the two year old alternately looking for "boo" (her word for my breast) and sticking her feet in my face definitely contributes to my struggle to surrender both mentally and physically. because i am a parent and this means i am not in control of my environment. at least not solely. and this makes it hard to relax, i guess. for some reason, knowing that control of this house is shared with a two year old, an eight year old, a twelve year old, a fourteen year old, and a seventeen year old, never mind the other adult that i get along with most days but still want to send back to his mother two or three times a year...this makes me tense.

but now that i've typed it out, i see i am not crazy in the least and my tension is not is logical! but i will still work on relaxing...and surrendering...and letting go of my own shit.

oh, the reason i started here today...yesterday sucked. it was awful. instead of eating food that fueled my body and working out and releasing tension, i drove the fourteen year old to the store and we bought tons of crappy food which i ate too much of and then didn't work out and so i was a puddle-y mess by the time my husband came home (which was late...starting a new job at 37 is a challenge, but idonwannatalkboutit). so he took the kids out to eat (because this mama really did not need anymore, until friday or something) and i called and talked to my mom for a few minutes...and folded a mountain of laundry. i did cry a little when i was getting ready for bed. and i finally just told my husband, "i just feel so tired, but i don't know why." and he replied that for most of this week i'd been stuck between a wiggly toddler and him...and that i was even pushing him off of the bed because the toddler was pushing on me. "i don't think you've slept well at all this week," was his final statement on the matter. so i accepted his hug and went to bed. i can't remember if i relaxed any or not. but after i woke up and took my seventeen year old to school at 8 this morning, i came back and crashed out on the floor of my living room. i think my last thought i remember was, "i wonder how long my hips will let me lay here?..." the next thing i knew, it was 10:45. i think i might've been a little tired.

it's funny how when i start to feel myself sinking...when i KNOW the world does not suck as much as it seems to me...that there is something off about my glasses for a day....there are tons of things that go through my head, rooting out the source of the i need to work out more?...did i get my fish oils?...should i start therapy again?...maybe i should go to church and light a candle?...maybe if i were just a better person, i wouldn't get so down?...if i read to my kids more, visited my grandparents more, volunteered, took my kids to volunteer?... but maybe i just need a nap?...that should go somewhere on the top of that list. isn't it weird that i'd question my character before i'd wonder if i was tired? maybe not. but i'm going to work on that (now that i'm a little more caught up on sleep).

and can i just say, i am so looking forward to my toddler getting her own room...and that day when she transitions to sleeping in her room. because do not get me wrong, i love that little girl. i love all of these kiddos who live in this house. and watching my boys grow up, i know how quickly it goes. and i appreciate where we're at. but i KNOW what comes next...and i really look forward to spending my days with her after a good night's toenails in my face, no head butts to my chest, no groping for my shirt (well, there will always probably be a little of that, but what's a girl to do?).


Thursday, February 2, 2012

so many things...

there are so many things i've wanted to come here and write about...

a disclaimer stating that it's been a few years and i'm just going to jump right in and don't be offended or think someone killed me and took over writing because i don't write about the same stuff or sound as sane as i used to (at least this is what i wonder about when i read earlier years of my blog..."who was that woman? and where can i find her?").

a little catch up on my kids and my life. not for my readers (you know, all seven of you), but for me. because sometimes i just don't feel like i really KNOW all the stuff i'm supposed to be doing anymore...

a pictorial of this house we bought. it's kind of ugly. and homely. only, i don't think you're home is supposed to be homely, even though it sounds like it just should be. anyway...i've been taking pics. and maybe i'll get them uploaded tonight. maybe. it's a rough promises.

and the reason i'm here. i cut baby girl's hair today. she had an appointment for another x-ray (she broke her elbow...don't think i've mentioned that here). the resident actually said two weeks ago that they might take the cast off today. and while i KNOW residents are doctors with lots of knowledge but little experience with that knowledge (so i should've KNOWN better), i still wish i hadn't listened to him say that. because she'll have her cast for another week. and it's really not a big deal. it really isn't. except, well, i thought things would be different today and they're not. she still has the same dirty cast. she still can't take a bath. and she still complains that her fingers are dirty because she really just wants to plunge them in water. (i am planning the biggest, bubbliest bath next week when this damn thing comes off...for her AND for me...we both deserve BUT...BUT...the one thing that IS different? her hair. no, it didn't all fall out because of all those x-rays she's had in the last three weeks. i cut it. yep. me. cut hair. on my daughter. and...well...i kind of love it....i think. she's pretty tough looking. but then i thought she was pretty tough looking with her long, scraggly locks that had been around since she started her journey. you decide...

yes, i'm so sure you'll be mesmerized by her that you won't even notice the laundry needing folding or the vacuum or any of the other crap behind the beautiful baby in the pictures. (and too bad she's obviously so uncomfortable in front of a camera, huh? snort)

peace out (and i really need to start coming here more you may want to stop reading for awhile...i'm a little inconsistent and whiney and erratic these days...unless you like that sort of thing...hehe)