Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pack it up, move 'em out

It never ceases to amaze me the things that can get a kid worked up.  Ryan lost 40 cents in the van yesterday (playing with his change after I told him to keep it in his pocket) and it was a major emergency.  I was about ready to pull over, thinking something serious had happened, when I realized he was fine and it was hardly a reason to come to a screeching halt on the shoulder of the road.  And my Dad wonders why I have a CD habit and play the music too loud...I just tell him it's music, my sanity; or no music, kill the grandchildren. 

He saw it my way, and even sprang for a couple of CDs the last time we were out.

But I digress.

It's spring, and I look around the house, thinking about projects that need to be tackled.  Audrey needs her bed set up (buy the mattress, do up the room for her and Ryan, kick 'em out of my room); I need to repaint the bathrooms, and get a new baseboard for my bathroom (yeah, that's been a to-do for 3 yrs now); blinds need to be replaced before they crumble into dust when someone touches them, not to mention the blinds my formerly fat cat has bent back in his quest to ogle the birds in the front yard; and general sprucing up in all the spots that get ignored but over time are well, untidy.


I hate doing this stuff, because I am forced to realize that we are squeezed in here pretty tight.  I like my house, and sure, it's little considering the whole of us, but I hardly think it's a horrible thing that the kids share their rooms.  I figure it's just preparing them for their future dorm/apartment lives when space is limited and close-quartered.  I'm also counting on them getting along with their sibling in such close proximity will make them better roomies for someone else.  Life skills, isn't that what I'm supposed to be teaching them? 

I was smarting recently because someone made a comment about how she thinks about "all of you crammed into that little house."  I ranted on to Mr W about it, telling him what I told her; that I'd love a bigger place, but don't want to move, I like our school, and a bigger place means I'd have to work more, which would cancel out my staying home for the kids...and that by the time Audrey is old enough to need her privacy, Nolan will be 21 and hopefully finishing up school/out of the house.  Mr W points out to me that perhaps we might even have two out of the house, as Ben would be 18 or 19 by then...and I clutched my hand over my heart.  "Stop it," I told him, "I have my mind wrapped around ONE of them being gone, not TWO!!" 

Yeah, for all my bitching and complaining about 'grow up, I need a break', I'm not nearly as ready as I'd like to believe to see anyone go.  I've got some  time to work through this, however, and I'm sure by the time I have 3 teenagers running around, I'll be begging for the relief of graduations.  That or I'll be quietly be attending a 12-step meeting of some kind at the local community center.

It hardly helps this restlessness about the house in general that it seems everyone is finding a new, fabulous place.  I've got Chantal talking about her farmhouse that she'll be moving into soon.  I imagine all that space for everyone to run around, and her giant rooms, and honestly can relate to her getting excited about the laundry room.  If you think getting hot and bothered about the size of your laundry room is odd, well, you haven't been stuck trying to figure out how the hell you will soak out that ugly yellow mustardy stain (if breastmilk is  so natural, why does the resultant poo stain worse than anything manmade?  So glad to be past that) in the hallway bathroom's sink without the kids "helping" and making it a project....the prospect of a laundry room with enough room for's worth some heavy breathing, I'm telling you. 

Then there's Tara, who has found the perfect location, location, location place for her and her roomie.  She's been fantasizing about fixing up her new beautiful  bedroom with lovely windows in a fabulous way.  I'm just trying to find a bedroom set that will look great and take the beating of everyone jumping and lounging on it.  Mom's bed is best for that, afterall, isn't it?

Laura's been repainting her house and I'm feeling lazy about not getting to my various repainting ideas....

And then there's the moves that are hitting closer to home.

My good friend Darin and his wife that live just a couple of miles away are moving back to Tucson.  I'm excited for them, they sold their house here rather quickly and for some serious moola, and I know relocating will work out well for them.  I'm trying to be reasonable about it...don't want them to go, what with them being so close, but honestly, with our schedules, I'll probably see more of them when they move to Tucson than I do now, lol. 

Another good friend of mine, Jane, and her family are also gonna move soon.  They will be moving further from us, and so her daughter won't be going to school with us anymore; but not so far away that I won't be able to visit often.  Her house-to-be sounds pretty cool, with a loft and everything.  "Someplace to throw the kids when they come over," she said.  They have a waterpad and pool in the community area there too, I think she mentioned.  Water fun is always a bonus in AZ in the summertime!  Wow, someplace to throw the kids that's not my bedroom or outside and water fun?  Sign me up, we may move in with her over the next heat wave!  (just kidding, Jane ;p)

I have to admit it's getting to me, and I'm wistfully looking at all the house ads in the paper. 

But this morning, I read Remo's entry.  I'm laughing, and suddenly I feel a bit better about staying in my own crowded little corner of the world.  I feel even better after Mr W reads it and says "Funny, and true."  Should your plan B not work out, Remo, you can always park the Airstream in our big unlandscaped backyard, lol.

Where's Audrey?

<deep breath> Well, there's an argument right here, behind me, for staying put until  the kids are older.

It seems the Princess was entertaining herself with "my painting".  I had given her watercolors while I was doing this...Mr W points it out to me as he's heading out the door.  She's spilled her little cup of dirty watercolor water on the carpet.  (I have predominately tile in my house, yet the kids and the cats always seem to make a mess on the carpet, go figure, Murphy's law, I guess--)  I gather up the cleanup supplies, and get to work.  I'm on my knees, blotting away, when I look up.  What's that on the wall?  Oh.  It seems she also "cleaned" the wall with her dirty watercolor water too.

Watercolor is a beautiful word.  It comes off of almost everything.  My carpet and wall are fine.

I'm not moving until the kids are bigger.  Will there still be messes?   Of course there will be.  They'll just be different ones, and I'll be able to enlist them to help clean them up without having to do it again behind them.

As for the space issue, well, I don't think that there's ever really enough space.  You find other things to fill it up, and wind up being crunched again.  This way, I'm forced to get rid of the peripheral, unimportant junk that follows us around (the papers!  the toys!), and focus on the important business of squeezing us together in what Ryan calls a "hug pile."

And a hug pile is absolutely worth the space it takes up.


djzgirl71 said...

I liked this entry.  It reminds me of our family.  We are cramped and Sarah and Brody share a room while Justin, Jake, and Liam share the other.  It drives me crazy alot of the time but every time I think about moving away from the beautiful 28 acres we live on I just can't do it...not yet!!!


pollysci said...

Finding one's bliss doesn't come easily girlie---for the location and the scenery, I'm losing approximately half my storage capacity---I'm having to downsize in a MAJOR way.  Plus, w/o closets, I have to buy a dresser and armoire---not cheap at all.  I'm facing $800 just to move into this place :)

BUT it'll be worth it---as I sat in my new room this morning trying to map a mental plan of how to move, I started getting pissy.  I was thinking "what the hell am I doing?? This place is crap without storage!"  

And then I looked out the huge windows, saw the trees outside against the blue sky and thought "Tara, shut up." :D

THere are so many ways to live in small spaces---so many ways to get creative that I think we're kinda lucky to be smooshed.... Besides, the problem is that most people want more space and when they get it, they fill it up and need more space...  So, if you think about it, you have less crap in a smaller space than you could ever want. :D

Thanks for the pimp, girlie!!
~tara :)

pixiedustnme said...

With just the 2 of us, I'm not so much "cramped" as......"crapped?".  It's an old house with no closets to speak of.  I have NO place to go with any of my stuff, and that's no good for me because I am the most unorganized person!  Gracie's best friend moved at the end of last summer - to a huge house with a 2 story living room.  I brough her out there for a play date last week and saw their new big screen plasma TV. >sigh<  Some day.....

screaminremo303 said...

Considering the money to be made on home sales in Phoenix, it's a wonder any of us are still here. Of course, you have to move to Marana to find anything affordable after that (thanks, Californicators!). I'm seriously considering a major crap-fest where I remove anything in the house that hasn't been used in a year.

My only question is:  What do I do with my handcuffs?

mom2kk11 said...

Anna, ask me in three years if John has gone all "Sanford and Son" at the new place and my answer will be "Darnit, do we have to move to the freaking Taj Mahal!?"

I'm picturing your home cozy and warm with lots of sunshine and love. What more do you need?


tdain2003 said...

Anna - thanks for coming by my journal - think Matthew McConaughey ; )
I've got you on alerts and I'll be back to catch up on you!

suzypwr said...

You are living in a 'home,' not a 'house,' and the size is just perfect.

cneinhorn said...

I like your attitude and reasoning this through!  Personally, the bigger the house, the more there is to clean and the bigger the eventual mess will be.  It's all about clutter management and getting rid of stuff we don't need, rather than the superexpensive undertaking of moving because of our "stuff"....I'll stay in my house too and if I do move, will move smaller probably, not bigger or at the very least, same size....most new homes I see these days around here are "super sized" LOL....too big and too cold.