Wednesday, March 29, 2006

That "Lived In" Feeling

While still in the throes of breaking down boxes after the move, I am finding myself not so gently breaking in the house as well. I am a tall, clumsy woman. I used to be a tall, clumsy girl. When I'm not accidentally hurting myself, I am damaging the things around me. That's one of the reasons we hired movers.

I've dropped some heavy things on the ceramic tile kitchen floor. This material is not Kristen friendly. I don't see it lasting the year. Or I will just not be allowed in the kitchen anymore. Perhaps we could install some attractive, rubber flooring of some kind?

I've already taken a little chunk out of the nicely painted trimwork in the hallway while carrying David's "comfy chair" from the family room to the bedroom. I'd fix it, but I don't know where the wood putty, paint and brushes are.

I almost broke down the bathroom door earlier this afternoon. I noticed David had shut it the last time he used the toilet and when I went in there later to get something from the cabinet I couldn't get the door open. I kept trying to turn the handle and it wouldn't budge. I panicked and immediately went outside to see if the window was open. It was locked up tight. I went back in the house and got a kitchen chair and a flat head screwdriver and tried to pry it open. I don't know why, because it's one of the new replacement vinyl windows and it was not going to open no matter what. I found myself thinking of alternatives to using the toilet. David will happily pee on the bushes outside and Sofia's got her diapers, but where will I go? I go back in, turning the knob back and forth like a mad woman thinking, "this is stupid...when has this ever worked?" But then it opens. It just suddenly "pops" open and I'm in. I'm thinking now that maybe it wasn't even locked. I think it was just stuck. It's the only thing that makes sense. I'm glad I didn't break it down. I don't think I could have, anyway. With my powers I am only able to break things accidentally. That's even lamer than the Wonder Twins with their ice buckets and water.

I hope I don't destroy the house too quickly, and can at least allow a little time to fix one thing before I break the next. Because I was hoping to live here a very long time...

...that's just sounded like the house whimpered a little. Weird.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

Well, it took nearly five months, but we did it. We sold our home in Vermont and are officially moved into our new place here in NH. Our patience was tested many times, but the whole transition was a good time for all of us. The kids got to spend lots and lots of time with their MM and Ernesto and I even got to go on a few dates. If you've got to be stuck in limbo, my mom's house is the place to be. It has all the comforts of home and then some. Now that we are in our new house we are finding ourselves amazed at how quickly this is feeling like home. Maybe it's because we're familiar with the surrounding areas, having lived in New Hampshire for five years already or maybe it's the neighborhood children who came over the first night and welcomed us. I don't think I've ever encountered such a nice, polite group of 10 year-olds in my life. Guess there are some good parents somewhere around here, too. Maybe it's that we've got all our stuff here in the house and it feels familiar to us. Of course it could be just that we're home with each other, no matter where we are. Perhaps that's why David and Sofia dealt so well with all of this. They know that wherever we are all together, that's what we call home. Because it just feels right. Yeah, it's schmaltzy, I know. I'm feeling sentimental.

Then again, maybe it's just the Duraflame burning...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Closing Time

"you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here..."

Ernesto bids a fond farewell to the old house on Milkweed Hill. As of this morning we are officially non home owners. But that's all about to change...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Adios, Amiga!

I hate to do this, but I've got to somehow break Sofia of her obsession with Dora. I love that she learns Spanish from her and is very enthusiastic about going on her own "adventures" outside, and what girl doesn't want her own pet monkey? But it's going to have to end.

It all began innocently enough, over a year ago. We had bought a Dora DVD for David (who had previously never seen the show) when we moved to Vermont. We did not have cable or satellite and we were trying to unpack lots and lots of boxes and thought he might enjoy watching a new show, and we might get a chance to get some things put away. He liked it well enough, but it was Sofia who was really drawn to the show. Sofia never cared much for TV and still doesn't care much for anything...except Dora. And when I don't allow her to watch the show, she wants to play a Dora "game". Which means a computer game. There is a limited selection on the Nick Jr. site and I once thought it was a good idea to play one with the kids. Now she wants to do it all the time.

And I have to be careful when I take her clothes shopping with me. I have to avoid the Dora aisles or I will hear cries of "Oh, Dora!! Dat's Dora, mommy!! I want DORAAAAA!!!" We went shopping for shoes recently and luckily the Dora brand were too high up for her to see. They were ugly! OH MAAANNN were they ugly. We got some kicky white and pink striped ones instead.

She has one Dora t-shirt which her very sweet daddy brought her back from a recent business trip. But that's all she wants to wear, now. I've got all these adorable outfits and as I'm getting her dressed she says, "Dora shirt! Wear Dora shirt!" and "It doesn't match your pants, honey" is not a satisfying explanation to a nearly 2-year old.

So today I've got the kids with me on a car-maintenance mission, to a couple different garages in the next town, or as Dora would put it (very loudly), "We have to save the big, red Volvo from falling apart! Who do we ask for help to find a place to keep mommy's muffler from falling off the car? Let's ask the map! Say map! I said 'SAY MAP'!!!!" I brought them to one place, very briefly to get a fuel-injection cleaning and to replace a tail light, and then it's over to see if the muffler is really falling off, or if it's mommy's overactive imagination again. But while we're in the waiting room, the very nice man at the desk switches the channel to something kid friendly and, you guessed it! And it's a new episode, with a skunk, no less! I think, well, this is good timing. If ever you've got to watch the show with your over-zealous child, the muffler shop is the place to be. She won't go around pulling pamphlets off the wall or try to pour her own cup of coffee. But then the mechanic comes out of the garage and he's done already. It only took him 7 minutes to fix the problem. So that's good. Except we have to leave now. And Sofia doesn't want to. She really doesn't want to. So I try very gently to bring her over to the door and coo softly, "Okay, sweetie, we have to go now. We'll watch Dora another time..."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! AUGGGHHHHH!!! Dora!!! Dora!!!" And then I think she might have cursed me out in Spanish, but I'm not sure.

Now the Loaf's had her moments and she's far more prone to outbursts than her older brother, but this one was disturbing. It's not like we'd really had a long morning, and she slept well, so I don't think she was particularly tired, but she freaked. Big time. I wasn't embarrassed or anything, but I couldn't even get her into her car seat because she was doing that arching the back thing, making it impossible to get the harness buckled in. It took a good six minutes or so, after she'd tired out a bit, for me to finally get her in the seat. As we drove off I looked in the rear-view at her and she looked so forlorn- and sweaty. She put up a good fight. Dora would have been muy orgulloso.

We're moving again, very soon, but I won't be purchasing any DVDs this time. I'll unpack in the middle of the night, if I have to...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why I'm A Bad Mom

Sofia and I were making "snacks" in her play microwave this morning. We made some popcorn, a hotdog, some soup, things of that nature.

Then I found she had put her small, black and white stuffed kitty in there. She tried to cook it, but the carousel wouldn't go around. Kitty was just stuck in place, its plastic blue eyes shoved up against the door, pleading for help. Then the timer dinged and a recorded voice said, "Watch out! It might be hot!"

Then Sofia took it out and hugged it tight. "Kitty 'ice and warm, now," she said, smiling. I just laughed and laughed.

No wonder our cat won't play with her.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's All About The Love

Two big milestones today.

One: Waking up this morning I rolled over and Sofia was rubbing her eyes while trying to brush the fly-away, red locks from her face. I smiled at her. She smiled at me. I said, "Good morning, Loaf. I love you, baby." She grinned again and pointed at me and said, "No, love youuuuu, Mama!" And then she repeated it a dozen or so times while I hugged her tight, all teary-eyed. Good way to start the day.

Two: David was having a time out upstairs after having done something I specifically asked him not to and warned that if he did it, he would have a time out. He accepted it well enough and had gone up to the bedroom. But then he came down before the time out was up, thinking that we were having fun without him. I told him to go back up and I would be right up to speak with him. He burst into tears, sobbing loudly. I went up to talk with him and before I could even get a word out he sputtered, "You don't love me anymoooooore!!" This also got me teary-eyed. Not a good way to start the afternoon.

So they're both learning about love. And will continually be learning. Sofia knows it's something that makes us smile and David knows it's a wonderful, powerful thing, but it also causes pain. I'm still figuring it out myself, but I'm closer than I've ever been. I know this: there is nothing in the world so complicated, so overwhelming, so terrifying yet so sublime as the love for your own kids. And I don't care what anyone (are you listening, David?) says.