Saturday, June 25, 2011

home sweet (plastic) home

So we have moved, and we are semi-settled. Meaning that the kitchen is unpacked, I know how to get to Walmart without a map, and we can't step into our third bedroom because it's still so full of boxes.

For most intents and purposes, life as I have known it for months and/or years has come to a screeching, abrupt halt. Kind of a combination of the end of a busy school year, finally being done with renovations/cleaning/packing/moving, and relocating to a place where we live 5 miles from the nearest (small) town. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is taking some getting used to. There's only so long I can play with play-doh and watch the same Dora DVD before my brain starts to fry. I go through this to some degree every summer as I adjust to being off. And really, I am thrilled to have a couple of months to spend uninterrupted time with my ever-changing hoodlums. They still change so fast it's ridiculous, and they say and do things every day that make Scott and I laugh and shake our heads in amusement. Noah has made himself the "hat police"--he becomes extremely concerned if Scott seems to be heading off to work without his hat. Lily is currently convinced that every animal we see is either a baby who wants its mommy, or a mommy who wants her baby. Every animal. Squirrels, birds, ducks, whatever. And then we have to have a lengthy discussion about it. Every animal. Every time.

For those who are curious, here's a picture of our new digs:

It's not exciting, but it definitely works. It's been very interesting to me, moving into a manufactured house--I've never lived in one before. Some things seem just as sturdy as a "regular" house, and some things just don't. But it's in really good shape, and just a tiny bit smaller than our old house. It shares several acres with a few other small houses, owned by a sweet Vietnamese lady (and her dog, named Charlie--haven't quite figured that one out yet).

Small-town life is going to take some getting used to, although in a good way. People are ridiculously friendly, to the point that I just want to stare at them. Yesterday we took some cookies to our landowner (she gave us a squash last week), and we ended up being pretty much forced inside her house. She fed us fruit and grape juice on her couch while she sat on the floor, and insisted that the kids each take home a large stuffed animal (she had several--not sure why). Today I took the kids to the park and we were instantly adopted by an older couple who were there with their grandson. They helped my kids around on the equipment, told me their names and address, and said that if I ever come by, to go straight around to the back door--they can't hear it when people knock in the front.

See? Ridiculous! I could get used to it though. As long as the small-town drama doesn't turn out to be too bad.

So... so far so good in the land of Bastrop. Tomorrow's adventure: church!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

like it never even happened

In case there were any doubts, let me clarify: I don't like moving.

I mean I really, really don't like it.

I don't like making decisions in general. It feels like way too much power. (Doesn't somebody else know better than me how many kids I should have? Seriously.) And moving is kind of a biggie, especially when it's voluntary.

And then there's the preparation. Deciding when to make it "official". Getting your house ready to sell. Getting it even MORE ready to sell. Cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more. Keeping it spotlessly clean for showings, on top of everything else that already kept me busy till late in the evenings. Accepting the reality that you only have a few weeks left in your house, and all that must be done in that time. Finding a new house. Moving into that one. Cleaning it. Cleaning the old one! Driving back and forth. Saying goodbye to each facet of our old life, piece by piece by piece.

It is hard, and busy, and just sad. And, I realized today, it feels kind of insulting. To move out and clean out every piece of our life, as if it was never here. To look at our house now, nobody lives here. No dogs ever ran in and out with muddy feet and shed profusely all over. No babies crawled to the wall and left handprints as they pulled themselves up. Nobody accomplished anything, made anything, or did anything. Nobody talked or fought or loved. Nothing happened.

A house is just a house, I guess. It's just a place. But it's a very personal place. (Sort of like underwear.) The things we did here left messes and scuffs and stains. And to have to scrub my family out of the floors and wipe us off the walls so completely feels a little unjust, I think. I know it has to happen, and I wouldn't want to move into anybody else's dirty house, of course. Selling a house just turns an extremely personal place into a commodity, and it just feels wrong all the way around it.

And in two days it won't be ours anymore. A new family will come and make their own scuffs and marks as they live and love here. And it will be their home just as much as it was ours. And that's okay.

It just makes me sad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a little birthday bashing goes a long way

Okay, I've given up. The twins turned 2 almost a MONTH ago, and we had their birthday party two weeks before that. And I STILL have not documented it here. Of course, selling a house, finishing out a very busy school year, and moving into a new house don't leave a lot of time for extra things. So my perfect birthday post is just not going to happen. Instead, you get the smattering of pictures that I managed to upload a few weeks ago, before my lack of free time truly spiraled out of control. I think I can get the basic idea across, although there was so much more that happened...

Noah checking out his birthday cake, mid-creation. He was very handsy.

Noah's train, and Lily's butterfly cake.

Despite hours of practicing for the big moment with bubble wands, Lily could not be convinced to blow out her candles with an audience.

Noah could! His aim was worse, though, on account of his grabby arms having to be held down.

For those interested, red food coloring comes out with Oxi clean pre-wash spray!

Family birthday portrait. This is when we figured out that Lily could smile on command.

Lily with her Gemma and her stash of presents, birthday bashers in the background.

And Grandad, about half an hour post-party: