About the House

13 November 2014

We are home.

We are home, and it's cold outside. I turned the heat on it's so cold outside.

We bought this house in August, and it felt like the house would never be ready for us to move in and it would be hot Houston summer forever. And then there were all these emotions and my grandmother passed away and we were apart from our Jacob for too long and it was all crazy, and now I'm sitting in our new house with my feet on our old coffee table and I'm just marveling at this whole month.

So the house.

But I'm in love. I love it. The fact that I'm staring at a kitchen that we designed, my old sketches incarnate, and it's getting countertops tomorrow. It's kind of unreal. Remodeling is exhilarating. It's like a big puzzle and you're recutting the pieces. You're presented with riddle after riddle and constantly working toward creative solutions.

Caught in the act:
And now that we've moved in I actually get to help. Yesterday, during naptime, my little brother told me he really needed my help to grout the tile in the bathroom. I felt like the last one picked for the kickball team, but I was determined to do a great job. And we grouted and yucked it up and my hands got all soggy wrinkled, and then I just kept going back to that bathroom all day with tea in my left hand and a baby on my right hip just to look at those tiles, because I grouted those tiles and unlike clean laundry or swept floors they were gonna stay that way.
The backyard is huge and butts up against a train track. This is one of the many reasons we were able to get such a good deal on the place. But I'm finding the train has some real perks. Because of the train, the yard ends in a huge rock wall (so: privacy) and we can only see the top of the train as it passes, it's noisy, but double paned windows put a significant dent in that and I have a three year old son...so...he thinks we died and moved to Chuggington. I'm kinda loving it too. Trains are bustling and going places and smack of both a wild desolate west and a crowded urban metropolis. Now, our train isn't quite that romantic, but this house and I are honeymooning and I've even got me some heart eyes for our freight train.
Most every piece of the house is still in progress - Jacob is painting the last of the cabinetry as I type this - so you'll have to wait for official before and afters and until then soak up the glimpses, like this one of the floor.
Hasta la next time.

One for the (Big Boy) Books

07 November 2014

I almost titled the post: This is Three, but then realized that in the blogospheres I run, that hinted at a pregnancy announcement, so I changed it and went with the library pun. Anywho...

Life in the past few weeks has been unusual - moving, staying with my parents, fatherlessness, daylight savings ending - anyone of which is enough disruption for this one mommy and these two kiddos, but as fate would have it, they have all coincided.

Long story short: the kiddos have been sorely lacking in routine. That oh-so-magical and ever elusive routine. The thing that will solve all your parenting woes and ensure that your children are rested and fed and well-behaved.

Even 11 o'clock yesterday morning was probably too far along for an adventure, I just needed to do something, so I packed the kids up for a visit to the library and my favorite coffee place with an old friend. After maybe six sweet minutes at the library of doing puzzles, I overestimated the Jake's fuse and picked a battle I probably should've let alone.

You know that moment when your wrangling your flailing, wailing child in a public space and wondering just WHY you asked him to put away his puzzles before moving onto the next activity?? And even though you don't like to consider yourself a pushover, you never would've said anything if you'd known it would come to this. But you've done it. You've bombed Pearl Harbor, you've woken the giant, or in this case the three year old, and you will live out the consequences.

So we attempted an exit. I hoisted the screaming Jake under my right arm and the boots he'd kicked off in my right hand. My left hand ushered the barely walking Lucy June. All the little librarians craned their necks and watched me exeunt with the holy terror and his little sister: we were a tantrum train, and we were moving s l o w.

Once outside, I dropped Jake in the landscaping and headed to the car to buckle the baby in the car seat so I could more properly deal with her brother, but by the time she was secured, I turned to see the still crying Jake running to the car with Lucy June's shoes that my friend had saved.

After we both cooled down and got his boots back on, we agreed that we really did still need coffee, got the ever amenable Lucy back out of the car, and started for Ranch Road Roasters. It was, of course, two blocks farther than I remembered and rookie mother over here had neither ergo nor stroller, but the siren latte had me in her aromatic grip and we forged on, hungry and tired and keeping it together only at the promise of more cross walk buttons to push.
Before we got to the coffee place, I decided some real food was in order. We stopped for some grab'n'go lunch at the local health food store, but Jake - even though the last time we went into this place, he was barely two years old - remembered that this! store! has! toys!

(Seriously this child: hears nothing I say, remembers everything I say, and NEVER forgets a toy.)

So I sent him to the toy nook while I got lunch; I dawdled a little and grabbed a coconut macaroon because treat yo self, mama, and because I was bracing myself to coax Jake away from Thomas the Train. When I went back to get him, I saw that he was in the process of affirming his mostly potty-trained status.

That sentence got wordy. I'll trim it down:

He was peeing his pants.

Thankfully the accident was mild, and I was able to haul him to the coffee shop next door which had a bathroom where he could finish. He assured me: "I only need to go pee in about three hours" but I told him to try anyway, and low and behold, Will Power Junior had held a fair amount back. I tried to air out his pants and thanked my lucky stars that we'd avoided what could have been a lake amid the patchouli at the grocery store. Jake just looked up and said "Wow. I guess it's already three hours, huh, mom?"

As I squatted down put his soggy pants back on - commando, his favorite - I remembered when this happened and tried to infuse the episode with a little bit of the parent I really wanted to be.

And at that very second, he wrapped his arms around me and put his head on my shoulder.

"I love you, mama. Dat's why I'm hugging you because I love you."
Microcosm of my microlife, if ever there was one. It's like every day the sun comes up and says: "Good morning, mom, how do you feel about another roller coaster?"


To jump to a very different note. . . Only a couple hours after I wrote this yesterday, my maternal grandmother passed away. We've been expecting this for a while and were able to say our goodbyes. She was surrounded by her children when she died. If you think of it, please keep the family - and especially my mother - in your thoughts and prayers this weekend.
You were quite the lady, Nono, and you will be missed.

Lucy Juney Turns One

05 November 2014

Lucy June had a birthday...a couple of weeks ago almost. And true to form we did very little to celebrate, but we did SOMEthing. That something involved sticking a candle in a (still too hot to put icing on) cake, singing happy birthday before Jake blew out her candle, and taking some very poorly lit pictures.

She seemed pleased with the attention.
I'm pretty sure I just updated you on kiddo milestones, but that's actually looking like it was a whole three months ago, so I'm just gonna go ahead and do it again for the underphotographed second born.

Lucy June Lucy June
She still doesn't sleep through the night, but she routinely sleeps until the wee hours of the morning, and her night wakings are quickly shushed by a little bedsharing. She's also begun to sleep more deeply and no longer wakes up when someone sneezes in the kitchen. Not best but better, and we'll take better.

Her Words

Buh - Bye
Buh - Baby
Buh - Ball
Buh - Beau (my parents' dog)
Buh - Dog
Buh - Cat
Dja - Jake
TAH!!! - STOP!!!!
Hum hum hum - drink
Ka Ka - quack: which is, of course, her very own special way of saying: book

She burnt her hands on my parents' oven when we had a big family dinner at their house the other day. It was the classic party fail: so many eyes and none on the baby - mommy guilt be mine forever and ever. But on the plus side...she's gotten a lot better at walking?

She constantly brings me shoes to put on her and tries to pull socks over head. She likes to sit on tables and dances whenever anyone's watching. She was a mama's girl until recently, and finally she's starting to warm up to the wide world of...people other than her mother, and we're all generally digging this development.

She gives kisses and hugs and high fives. She's typically happy to play close to me, and doesn't need to get into anything and everything like her brother did. I'm exhausted just thinking about what it was like parenting her brother when he was a crawler.
Maybe next year we'll level up and actually frost the cake and put some pants on her, but until then I'll bask in her general non-demanding nature.

Happy (belated) Birthday, sweet sweet little Lucy June.
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