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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Last week was pretty epic – full of highs, lows and strange combo high-lows.
First: we kicked off the week with the lowest of lows.  Late Monday afternoon, it got super dark, windy and then all of a sudden a torrential rain came down.  It was the kind of rain that is always on Grey’s Anatomy, Sleepless in Seattle, etc. so people think that “rainy Seattle” means constant dumping downpours sometimes accompagnied by lightening and rumbling thunder.  It’s not usually like that but last Monday it was.  Anyway, it was raining but somehow over the weather’s din outside, I heard a quiet, peculiar drip, drip, drip coming from inside…from the doorway to the dining room to be exact.  There was a steady little trickle of water and right in the corner of the door frame (from kitchen to dining area) steady drops of water were splashing on to the floor below.  What the?!!  THREE WEEKS in our new house and we’ve already had ceiling-roof leak?  Seriously?! 
 As Mike got his coat on to head outside, I heard several ominous thuds from the stairway…and then the delayed cry.  Kayli had fallen – head over feet tumbled a few times – down the stairs.  Thankfully, she was fine, but I’m pretty sure Mike was scarred for life.  Not to mention the fact hat we were already stressed out by the whole new water feature happening in our home.  Thankfully, Kayli bounced back (literally).
 As for the leakiness, despite climbing up on the roof with a headlamp and investigating, Mike couldn’t see any major issues.  The dripping/trickle died down and quit as soon as the storm did.  So, while he was on the roof he threw some random caulk around for good measure.  We’ve had a few rainstorms since and no more leaky-dripping so hopefully that craziness is done.
 After our evening out on the roof, we finally collapsed into bed shortly before midnight only to have one of the worst nights of sleep in a LONG time: Kayli woke us up THREE times during the night (we’re not sure why) and the CARBON MONOXIDE monitor went off TWICE during the night.  Seriously?!  Where’s the hidden camera ‘cuz you’ve got to be joking me right now. The monitor, we think (‘cuz we’ve continued to you know, wake up in the mornings and be alive), we hope, was a weird wonky battery issue.
 Next big event for the week: finally a HIGH!  The boys had their last ever field day at Hazelwood Elementary School
(sniff sniff).  I was determined to get to it since I couldn’t the last couple of years.  The kids are told to bring a change of clothes if they plan to participate in the “water station games.”  Thankfully, Wednesday was the most gorgeous warm day last week so the kids wouldn’t freeze…until they got soaking wet. 
 One of the stations must’ve been created by a teacher with angst and also mad-genius.  Two kids sit on gym mats stacked on top of a little scooter board, while another kid pushes them down part of the blacktop.  Sounds like fun, right?  Meanwhile two rows of teachers are standing there soaking the kids like CRAZY with water cannons and big supersoakers.  It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

At another station, kids stick their swim-goggled faces through the middle of a target-painted tarp while other kids throw soaking sponges at them.  Hi-LARIOUS.
 At the assembly, right before Field Day, the students had been told that there would be a “soaking surprise.”  I was walking around the water-cannon station with Kayli, thinking I’d go to the parking lot up above to capture a photo of the field day madness, when a mom I know yelled, “Jenny, you’re gonna want to move.”  She pointed up to the parking lot where…a FIRE TRUCK had just pulled up.  I – along with everyone there – will NEVER forget the fire truck spraying the ENTIRE school.  Soaking surprise alright. Soaked, squealing, ECSTATIC children stomped and splashed and slipped on the quickly flooded blacktop. I have never heard such loud (and WET) joy in my life.  It was SO cool.  We definintely will miss a lot of things about that school! But what a great memory to end on.
Thursday was the last day of school, so this was our biggest combo high-low.  The boys were so excited for summer but Matthew (and I) were REALLY sad to be done with Hazelwood.  Definitely bittersweet.  He had such a phenomenal teacher this year and has some made some truly great friends.

We spent the afternoon having a super fun, long playdate with our best friends, so that took some of the sting away.  Then on Friday, the boys had a couple more friends here for a playdate and after THAT we all went to our old ‘hood for a big beginning-of-summer party (in the pouring rain). We know how to set a party mood for summer all right!
 Lastly, I will end the week’s rap up with an anecdote of 19 month old Kayliana:

She came into the room and signed “diaper change.”  She took my hand and we went into her room where my – well, now HER – baby doll was lying on the changing pad.  She’d gotten out a diaper and had it resting on top of the doll’s tummy.  I helped her put the diaper on.  Then Kayli signed for “eat” and said “Num nums!”  I followed her downstairs where she proceeded to put the baby doll into the chair, clicked her into the seatbelt and attached the tray.  I got out a bowl and spoon and Kayli began to feed her baby.  Seeing that she was well in control of this baby situation, I left the room for a while.  When I came back to the kitchen, I found Kayli on the floor where she’d obviously gotten the pot out of the cupboard and placed her baby inside...Hmmm.
Tonight, when showing Mike this photo, Kayli saw it and said, pointing to the baby, “I see the num nums!”
The OTHER other white meat??

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Next time I'm having a bad day, all I'll have to do is watch this...
We’ve all been handling the transition of moving differently. Mike and I are just plain tired. Matthew’s been a tad more emotional than usual. Kayliana is completely pumped about her new freedom and is getting into EVERYTHING (and throwing monster tantrums when we have to stop her). Zachary, ahh, Zachary, he’s coping by being just a little extra wild. I love that child, but oh my goodness, he’s definitely added to my exhaustion lately.
So, with this added wildness, I wasn’t that surprised when a friend texted me from the school, “Just saw Zach, head down, all sniffly, in the office.” I responded, “Hurt sniffly or in trouble sniffle?” “In trouble. Poor guy.” Ruh-Roh.
 When Zach and I were headed home from the bus stop I brought this whole thing up. “Well, Spencer was whacking me, so I had to whack him back.” We discussed this for a bit and then I reminded him of the Golden Rule to which he quickly responded, “Well, yeah, mom, do to others what they’re doing to you.” Funny how different his interpretation is!
Speaking of getting in trouble, I guess I’ve been a bit of a rebel lately too. Last week, I FINALLY got to do something that I’ve been SO excited to do. Instead of driving down the hill to meet up with my old neighborhood running partner-friend, I said that on Wednesdays from now on, I’d be running in my new ‘hood. (I’d still join in for Mondays and Fridays though). I couldn’t wait to go run on the golf course trails.
The morning was gorgeous and the views were breath-taking. The golf course grounds-keeper crews were busy ripping around in golf carts and riding on huge mowers, getting the place ready for the day. A few gave me a friendly wave as I ran by. Then, just as I come over the top of the hill and the view (and the hill) literally take my breath away, a golf cart comes charging straight at me. The older gentleman, “Max” (his name tag told me), quickly turned the cart to block my path.
“Uh, good morning!” I say brightly.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” he snaps.
“Going for a run, [genius!].”
“You can’t be here. This is private property.”s
“Oh, really?! We just moved to the neighborhood and I had several people [two] tell me that as long as no one is golfing, you can run or walk on the paths.”
“Who told you that?!” he barks. Um, really, you want names?!
“Some neighbors,” I respond vaguely.
“Well, you can’t be here, this is private property.” (Yeah, we’ve covered that). “You need to leave right now.”
“Uh, OK. So, which is the quickest way out of here?”
“I don’t know. Just go back the way you came and get back to your house as quick as you can.”
So, I turn around and start heading back up over the hill, which was a little awkward since I couldn’t really make a quick exit – especially knowing that he was watching me and it was kind of a huge hill. He eventually turns around and heads in the other direction. I keep running and about 5 minutes later hear the buzz of a golf cart coming up behind me. I was just about to step slightly off the path when good ‘ol Max FLOORS it, practically running me off the road and yells, “ON YOUR LEFT.” OK, you’ve made your point, Mr. Power Trip.
Eventually, I come up to a hole where they’re setting up some sort of awning/tent thing. There’s Max again with a few other employees. Max ignores me. I smile politely at the other men and one even says cheerily, “Mornin’! Great day for a run!!” Yeah, tell Max that.
I’ve asked a few more neighbors about this sitation and they’ve all said that they’ve either walked the golf course path for years or see others doing it. I think the difference must be that they go AFTER the golfing is done for the day not BEFORE. I can understand that in the morning, they’re busy getting the course ready, but not once was I disturbing any of their work. And, like, I said, several empoloyees waved at me like this happens all the time. I think I’ll call to find out the real story…I just hope Max isn’t the big man on campus.
And, my final, story/update for today. Because moving two weeks ago just wasn’t enough for us, we went camping this past weekend. Actually, we’ve had the trip scheduled (with five other families from our ‘old ‘hood’) since October, so we weren’t about to let some little activity like MOVING, stop us from partaking in the fun! This was Kayli’s first camping trip, but I knew it’d be a good way to start out, since we had PLENTY of extra people around to help out watching her, etc.
We picked up the boys from the bus on Friday, and headed straight to Lincoln Rock State Park (near Wenatchee, a 2 ½ hour drive away). Unfortunately, the weather was gray, a tad drizzly and a lot windy for the first couple of days. But that didn’t stop us; we had SO MUCH FUN. Saturday was a BIG day: The kids had a large pine-cone collecting and throwing contest. We removed Zach’s training wheels and along with two other kiddos in our group, we had a riding 2 wheel bikes/group therapy session. Zach still has some practicing to do, but he did pretty darn well! We also played a game of baseball (turns out I ROCK at baseball) and a HUGE game of kick-ball. It was tons ‘o fun. Both nights we, of course, had a campfire and made s’mores and Saturday night, after the kids went to bed, we played a cut-throat game of charades.
We’d been told that there was a high wind advisory through 8pm Saturday night. We planned that if it was still crazy windy at 8:02, we were SO filing a complaint…against the National Weather Service, I guess. Anyway, we crawled into the tent around 12am where our kiddos were all sleeping soundly. Shortly after we got into sleeping bags, the wind picked up and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We could hear the gusts building and had about 10 seconds before the gale would hit our tent – shaking the walls, whistling/wailing around us and practically caving the tent in on top of us. Yeah, this woke Kayli up and for about 10 minutes, every time the wind hit, she would shriek in terror from her porta-crib. Eventually, I told Mike the only option was to pull her onto our air mattress and have her sleep between us. I’ll admit that the wind was so strong, I was even scared. At one point, Mike went out to check to make sure we were still secured and that nothing had ripped off.
At dark o’clock (I have no idea what time it was), Matthew suddenly sat up and over the din of the wind announced, “I’m going to throw up.” I quickly got him out of the tent and into the storm where he puked next to our tent (I prayed that the wind wouldn’t blow it on to our tent or US!). We walked to the restrooms and got cleaned up and went back to our tent where my next prayer was: I REALLY hope that this night tops the WORST EVER NIGHTS we have camping EVER. I think we got maybe two hours of sleep total.
Sunday morning, we woke up, bleary-eyed, exhausted and discovered that the storm had blown through and FINALLY it was sunny and 75. Matthew felt totally great and we spent some time all hanging out in the sun before packing up to head home.
Unfortunately, though Matthew was fine on Sunday, he woke up yesterday morning not feeling well, and he STILL hasn’t been able to keep any food down. L Just a little bit ago I heard him throwing up in the bathroom. He flushed the total as I walked in and said, “Goodbye, last night’s dinner.” (Two tablespoons of rice. My kids do seriously rule at puking). I REALLY hope he gets better soon. Not just because it’s lame to be sick but also because tomorrow night is his first playoff baseball game. AND we’re playing the ONE team that we’ve actually beat! (Last week during that game, Matthew got an RBI and another hit, and eventually, for the first time all season, got to score a run)! So, please, pukiness, go away. Maybe if he’s not better, they’ll let me play!

Friday, June 01, 2012

It is done.  And just begun.  We sold a house and bought a house.  The limbo, the not knowing, the stress of moving is behind us!  Today, officially, we became the proud owners of this, our new home.  (I’m sorry I don’t have good pictures yet; will try to post next week).

I could bore you with the details – the last minute demands our buyers made, the work that still needs to be finished at this house, the negotiating, the ups the downs, etc. but let’s just focus on some highlights, shall we?

  • Memorial Day weekend – we happily vacated the world of moving/selling/buying for a couple of overnights at my parents’ beach house in Port Ludlow.  While we did have to go to the beach club a few extra times for internet access (to sign post-inspection papers), we were able to enjoy a serious (though brief) get-away from it all.
  • Moving Day – the kiddos stayed with my parents Sunday night and first thing Memorial Day/Monday morning, Mike and I went down to pick up the ginormous truck.  In the POURING rain I managed to help Mike back the truck into the driveway (we’ll pretend that the whole getting-it-wedged-in-the-street thing and taking out one of our rhodendron bushes in the flower bed never happened, shall we?  Or when I called to order our appliances and found out that the fridge we wanted wasn’t available for 3 ½ weeks.  We ended up getting a different one on Wednesday).  Thankfully, many of our friends and my fam arrived to help, the rain let up and, I kid you not, the sky cleared just as we pulled up to the new house with the first wave of fully loaded cars (yes, in addition to the huge truck…me thinks we have TOO MUCH STUFF).
  • While our new house isn’t on the top of a mountain (like previous dream “Mountain House”), it is, indeed on the top of a pretty GINORMOUS hill.  We’re located four houses away from a golf course, the neighborhood backs to a 3000 acre regional park, and our property is ¼ acre including a big ravine/green space in the back.  It’ll be a PROJECT once we get around to clearing out the overgrowth but for now, it’s our ‘natural’ wooded sanctuary.  We’ve already seen 5 deer (or the same couple of deer a few times…) in the neighborhood!
  • The kiddos took right away to the new place.  Kayli is THOROUGHLY enjoying the big carpeted staircase and her freedom (we haven’t gated anything), and she knew right away where her room was.  After picking up the kids and bringing them here (Moving Day afternoon), I asked Matthew what he thought of our new house.  His answer: “It’s lovely.”  I’ve never heard an 8 ½ year old boy use that word before – especially not mine!  So, yes, the boys love it and are adjusting nicely to having their own rooms, though we’ve heard plenty of arguments about cleanliness already.  (This is primarily because Zach goes into Matthew’s room to play with the Legos, leaves a huge mess and then attempts to pull a, “It’s HIS room, HE should clean it up!”)
  • WORK: while this house is newer (to us!  Built in 1989, whereas the last house was ’77) and the previous owner did TONS of work here (new granite counters, sinks, shower, carpet, deck, etc.), there’s quite a bit of it that was done, shall we say rather quickly or not so well.  We’re starting to learn all the little quirks and it’s kind of fun (and annoying) to discover a new one (‘Oh, this outlet doesn’t work if that light is turned on…’ etc.).  So, not only did we spend COUNTLESS hours on projects at the old house to meet the buyers’ post-inspection list of demands, we now look forward to some big projects here.  But you know what?  That’s home ownership for ya, and I keep reminding myself that they don’t all need to get done right away.  We’re hoping to be here for a L-O-N-G time, so we may just take our time getting it all done.
  • Closing: We officially sold our first-ever house yesterday, though honestly until the 11th hour, we weren’t sure if/when it was going to happen.  The buyers were demanding that we do things that we never agreed to and were basically just having a hissy fit for no reason. Argh.  Thankfully, we got a phone call in the afternoon from the title company saying the sale had, indeed finalized, and that today our purchase would be final.  I asked the lady if that meant I had to wait on having champagne until today.  “Oh, no way,” she said, “You need one bottle today and then, I’m thinking two more tomorrow.”  When I told her that she’s my type of girl, she said, “Hey, that’s …Title.  It’s how we roll.”  So, I took her PROFESSIONAL advice and brought a bottle of champagne to Matthew’s baseball game last night.  We shared a cup ‘o bubbly with several of the other parents.
  • Fatigue: Yeeeeah, so it’s finally caught up to me.  Obviously, the boxes needing to be unpacked, the address changing, the appliance-buying, the resituating of life in general is rather overwhelming and daunting, however, until yesterday I was still on a bit of an adrenaline high from it all.  I was being stupid and staying up WAY late to get more done but still getting up at 6:30 every morning.  So, yesterday it hit and the most major way it hit was in the form of SPACINESS. 
    • Trevor – the man who sold us this home – had a few things left on HIS post-inspection list, so he sent a general contractor, Jordan, to the house to do the job.  My mom was here shortly after Jordan arrived and to quote her, “Ooh, he’s young and cute!”  (Yes, her words for the record, not mine.  Not that I necessarily disagree).  Anyway, all day, whenever he needed to ask me a question or tell me something, I sounded like a COMPLETE moron.  I could list all of the things but I’ll just stick with the best highlights. 
There was a broken hot tub in the deck that needed to be removed before the deck could be finished (that’s happening tomorrow).  I knew this was the plan (as we requested it). So, in the afternoon, Jordan comes up and taps on the kitchen window.  I open it and he says, “I’m going to go ahead and demo the hot tub now.”  To which I immediately reply, “Um, uh, OK.  Like you’re going to get IN it and show me how it works?!”  Wow.  Wishful thinking? Maybe.  But he looked at me like I was the biggest ignoramous and said, “No – demo – as in DEMOLISH.”  Oh, right.  Of course.

A bit later, I was trying to get the kids ready and out the door for Matthew’s ballgame.  We were running late, Kayli was throwing a fit, Matthew was starting to melt down for some reason and I kinda sorta lost it…like more than just a stern mommy-voice, I yelled a bit.  Right afterwards I hear a timid knock on the door.  ‘Oh, crap’, I thought.  ‘I hope that’s not a neighbor coming to introduce themselves…or now they’ll be calling CPS.’  I open the door and there’s Jordan who, quickly takes a couple of steps back.  Yeah, I mean, I DID basically ask him to get in the hot tub and then he hears me losing it with the kids.  I’d be scared too.  He needed to explain something about the garage doors.  He starts explaining the intricate details of garage door mechanics.  Kayli is on my hip shrieking.  The boys are bickering in the background and I’m pretty much just staring at him blankly.  I bet I was drooling too.  After a bit, he said, loudly and slowly, “DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING?” Uh, no, I don’t understand much of anything right now.

Yeah, so I’m definitely exhausted and the thought of getting everything unpacked and all just-so is way daunting.  There’s so much to do and I’m having mover-inner-unpackers guilt (yet another guilt to add to my buffet), but tonight we rest and relax.  I couldn’t be happier.  From the moment we got here, it’s felt like home and that, my friends, is a really good feeling!