making this “small” house our home

Moving into a much smaller home, has been a challenge. It has also been a blessing.

It has been a challenge to purge enough “stuff” to comfortably live in our smaller home. It has been a challenge to be able to creatively arrange and rearrange our “stuff” to make this smaller house our home. A house we are all comfortable living in, and don’t feel too cramped in.

It is a blessing having our 3 girls share a bedroom. They play even more together and are more tolerant of each other. Having our 2 boys share a bedroom, well honestly their bedroom is still a work in progress. It seems to be full of our boxes we can’t fit anywhere else. And they need the creative living most of all. But they are managing.

Interestingly enough it has been a challenge having my oldest 2 with bedrooms so close to each other. Hopefully after a bit more cleaning and rearranging they will both be able to shut their doors and this will lessen this particular challenge!

The more we unpack, the more I purge. Some of it we will likely replace if we “upsize”. Some of it we won’t.

We had intended to have a storage locker as a garage since this place doesn’t have one. But when we realized that would cost us $7000 over 2 years we scrapped that idea. So, the challenge is now storing the tools and garage stuff in the home. We will buy a plastic shed in the near future, but that will only hold so much. So, for now we continue to wait for suggestions from visiting friends – like putting the bearded dragon on top of the closet roof. And waiting on our own aha moments, like putting the night stand I kick every time I go by, into the bathroom for additional storage there and toe saving as a bonus.

Another blessing is that my kids have other kids to hang out with. The street is full of them. The street isn’t TOO busy either. So biking is popular! And my personal favorite; we across the street from a lovely green space and an entrance to the city pathways. Once we are done all this moving in stuff, I intend to make much better use of that treasure!

So, even today I am purging a coffee table, desk chair, and another box of books. But that’s ok. It leaves us more space to “live” with our large family in a small home.

Ladies Night out

Last night there was 5 of us ladies who have been friends for a long time and who all have kids at the same school who got together.

We went out for dinner. It was such a nice time. We talked for 4 hrs straight, and finally at 10:30 we left the restauraunt – because of the time, not a lull in the conversation.

What it reminded me though was that, as parents we are often seemingly “going it alone”. We are sometimes embarrassed by our children’s behavior and so privately try to work through it on our own. And yet, so often, if we have the courage to mention it with other parents of children slightly older or even the same age – we discover we are not alone. We discover it is “normal” and our child will probably grow out of it. We discover that there is “hope”. We discover that we haven’t “ruined” our kids in our parenting and that they’ll more than likely turn out just fine.

I was the mom with the oldest child, but only by 2 years. So, it was very interesting how our children have gone through similar things, especially the ones with similar personalities. It was helpful to hear what parenting tips had worked and what hadn’t. And it was great to just not feel alone. Not feel like you were the only one who didn’t have the “perfect” child.

So, often we exaggerate our children’s accomplishments to make them even better. And it was refreshing to sit and be honest and open about both their accomplishments and struggles. To be honest about our own struggles as parents. To take off the mask, that everything is peachy keen, and show that you have struggles. You get angry, your kids get angry. And to be in an environment where you are supported and it’s ok to not be the perfect parent, but also where you are given ideas and support to do better.

It was great to sit and support each other’s desire to be seen as more than just a “mom”, and yet to be the best “mom” they possibly could be!

So, here’s to next time!

Progress

Well, yesterday was a productive one; if not a super long one!

We finished the back flower bed. Jason dug the fence post for the front fence and concreted it and leveled it. Jason installed the new shower head in the basement (we bought it July 2). I folded 6 loads of laundry, and caught up the laundry (for a few minutes). The girls and I unpacked all the rest of the books and I purged even more as I went. We managed to at least set up the living room in the basement. It’s tight, but it’ll do; it might change configuration a bit later, but for now it’ll do. We made enough room in the basement to shove the remaining packed boxes aside and set up my son’s wooden train and table. We organized the yard, and tidied it up. And YES, I bought airline cable and made a 30′ bike lock and locked up all the remaining bikes!

However, there are still over 40 boxes not yet unpacked in my basement. There are another 15 boxes in my boys’ room. Half of which aren’t even theirs! But I had to move them out of the hall upstairs when we had blind friends over. I still can’t walk through my bedroom without running into one or more of 5 still packed boxes. My bathroom is just a pile of stuff that belongs here. It is still awaiting me to sit down and sort it and organize it. I still have to prime and paint the kitchen, dining room, living room, entry, and stairs going up and down. I’m sure there’s more to do yet that I didn’t list. But that’s the stuff bugging me!

Once that’s all done, we have to reorganize our storage areas. Pull everything out and put it back in a better organized way, also so we can best utilize the storage space. Once the pictures are hung, I will clear about 8 boxes and more space. Then I can finish organizing the laundry room.

Ever so slowly, we are getting settled into our new home. Progress is picking up, and tasks are finally getting completed! Although I still haven’t mailed my brother or Jason’s brother’s birthday gifts, even though I had them well before their birthdays!

I guess another thing for the to do list. I am hoping to get a lot of this accomplished before the weekend. I feel like we have been living this ridiculous life for 4 months. I’d like to be able sit down before 11pm and not feel guilty!

Alas, one day we will be moved in. And maybe summer won’t be over and we will still be able to enjoy it! And I can stop neglecting my kids! (Although right now I’m sure they’re happy to be neglected, because it means I haven’t given them any more “jobs” to help me with!)

The stolen bike

It would seem that my mountain bike was stolen from our back yard in the last 2 days. Probably friday night.

We had been planning on buying a storage shed as we have no garage here. However, we just haven’t yet been able to do it.

Ironically we had this exact discussion and decided that my bike was worth more than the shed so we should get the shed, soon. Apparently not soon enough.

We had put the bike amongst the other bikes, so it didn’t stand out. The thief had to have scoped it out, and knew what they were looking for.

I suppose we should have noticed immediately the missing bike as we are constantly in the yard, but we had 8 bikes back there, so it kind of blended in.

I suppose that the thief must have needed it more than us. Regardless tomorrow we will get a long chain and chain the rest and a motion sensor light for the side of the house.

It just seems like it is our lot in life to be forgotten or stolen from or ignored or generally walked upon….

This move is driving me crazy!

I was hoping that today I’d at least finally get my couch and loveseat accessible. It was a dream of mine to be able to actually use them!

I had hoped that a tv would go up today, and maybe a computer too.

Alas, this was all too much to hope for. To get to my bedroom, in the basement, I still must weave around furniture and stacks of boxes. Although the stacks of boxes are getting lower, they are SO far from disappearing! I don’t think it would wise to be hopeful to get a clear path to our bedroom by tomorrow night either. I REALLY want the fence fixed and dog proofed tomorrow.

Jason DID fill some more walls, so that means monday I will have another day of painting. We are working our way to the front of the house now. Slowly, but surely the painting is getting done.

But is till have a labyrinth to my bedroom. I must deal with the labyrinth and bring some order and function to this basement, and soon!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we moved in nearly a month ago (so what if we were gone for 2 weeks in there!)! I am sick and tired of navigating boxes everywhere I go!

And if I’d been in charge of Rome being built, I’m sure it would have happened a LOT faster too!

And even while we have a million projects to do, we bought a bunch of perennials for the grassy flowerbed outside our window. I guess I saw what a few hours could do to a yard this week, so decided to add one more project to the can! (But lavender and mint will smell and look great outside our window, and they’ll flower all summer long, and I don’t have to buy new flowers next year! And half price is a great price. Now, will my kids “help” when it’s for their mom…probably not!)