Monday, January 24, 2011

The new place (very pic heavy)

OK, I said I'd post pics of the new place, which we've been in for a week now. I was going to wait until it was unpacked and looking pretty but it was taking too long so I've gone ahead and taken pics and you'll have to excuse the unfinishedness of it.

I am having a sick day today. We spent all weekend at the old house, painting it and cleaning it. We thought it would take a few hours on Saturday morning, but it ended with us leaving at 9.30pm, nowhere near finished but the snow was accumulating and our van loses it's somethingorother belt in the snow, so we had to just call it quits and come back the next day. The kids were bored the whole time so they were crying, fighting and whining. We were passing a baby between us, scrubbing walls and behind appliances, sanding putty and masking doorframes. We finally got nearly finished very late and got home just before midnight. Rene will have to go back and finish it off this week in the evening. It's definitely my least favorite part of moving.

Then as we were leaving, Kaya had a melt down and I could hear that she was deeply grieving. She has loved living in the old place, she had close friends in the neighborhood and the loss hit her all at once last night. So we sat on the floor in the empty livingroom and reminisced all the room had seen over the past few years. The sleep overs, the Christmas trees, the games we had played, different couches and furniture positions and birthday parties. I gave birth to two children in that house. It was small and far from perfect, but we made some awesome memories in it and we take them with us.

So anyway, pics of the new house. Ok.

This is the front of the house. It's a sort of side on view because we are right on a fast road.

We're this close to it.

Which is the worst thing about the house. The yard isn't fenced or anything so I'll spend most of my time on warm days stopping the kids from venturing out front.

But most everything else about the house, I love.

I took this pic from inside my livingroom. How countryside is that?

and this one too

This is the side of the house (excuse the pile of yard stuff that we haven't shifted yet)

My favorite part is out back. I love the deck

and the firepit

And all that space up to the tree line at the back is 3 acres of prairie that is on our (rented) property and we can play on it but we don't have to mow it. At the tree line is a beautiful creek! Again, the kids will need supervision, but it's beautiful, and we're going to have a lot of fun splashing and site seeing and taking pics down there in warmer days.

Ok, the inside. Here's the front door, which we don't really use, we enter through the garage.



I like the mirror in there

master bedroom

the view from the windows in the master bedroom

Zoe and Turtle's room

I didn't take any pics of Kaya and Lana's room because they're at the stage where they want to keep their room private, they have a lock on it and don't like me to venture in there. Girls are growing up.

View down the hall from master bedroom

Utility room (excuse the mess)


Crushed ice maker and water dispenser, hooked up to our well water so we don't need to refill. Yeah, we're living it up!

Dining area, and patio doors that lead out to the deck

The basement is pretty cool too. It's a's pretty much the kids' domain, which they can mess up with toys as much as they want. And they've had a good start on that!

This part will be the entertainment area. Tv, playstation, internet etc. I'd like to get a couch in there..

There's a nice hallway in the basement

With artexed ceiling

and pretty lamps

There's a project room, which I intend to use for sewing and Rene would like to have an office in there.

And the cats even have their own room to sleep in. We plan to make a cool cat tree for them with a nice bed built in. (we don't put them in the cage, it's in there because they like to climb on top of it)

There's a couple of storage areas which look kind of junky so I won't post pics. There's one with a toilet in it and we plan to make it our music room. The toilet is weird, just there without a door or sink or anything. It might come in handy though in emergency situations hehe.

I think that's pretty much it. We're loving it, and it already feels like home.
Alasdair approves, as you can see:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A wee bit thick in the head?

We had 2 wonderful weeks after Ally was born. Rene took time off work and we spent a couple of weeks recovering physically, adjusting to our new family dynamic and bonding together. It was sacred and magical. We didn't accept house visitors and kept outdoor trips to a minimum to reduce chance of picking up colds etc and to simplify this special little snippet of our lives. Christmas fell on the tail end of this fabulous fortnight and it was as fireworks at the end of Disney. After a truly enchanting experience, we went out with a bang. It was perfect.

But then Sunday, boxing day, the day after Christmas, the letdown and dread was tremendous. It felt like the day before family visitors have to travel back to the airport and fly home. When you want to enjoy your day together but it feels like you swallowed an iron brick, your chest is heavy and your stomach churns and a lump in your throat swells the whole day long, occasionally sending moisture through your tear ducts even without the lung heaving or face tightening part of crying. It was back to the grind, and I didn't want it, I wasn't ready. I missed the pregnancy, the anticipation of baby, the birth and all the buzz that surrounded it on either side. I was going to miss having my companion by my side, my soul mate who had shared with me this intimate experience of bringing life into the world.

I had been spoiled with love, rest, hugs, kisses, hot meals brought to me in bed, conversation, companionship, excitement, comfort, importance and even occasional back massages at night for two weeks. And now here we were, Christmas wrapping paper crumpled all over the floor, packaging traipsed through every room and toy dolls already stripped naked and littered around, as we sat by a sad looking Mr Christmas tree who I identified with as one who previously had the spotlight and praise and glitter and now was no longer significant and would soon be stripped of adornments and considered to be the way really.

I don't do well with the daily grind. I like to always have a project, something to occupy my mind and energies. And the quiet after a storm sounds a bit like sadness to me. The stillness is a bit stifling. Rene was holding magnets to the wall trying to find studs to hang the new tv holder for our 19 inch flat screen tv Uncle Doug gave us for Christmas (woot!!) while I dreamed on the housing section of craigslist about what might come in the next year or so. And suddenly there it was. Oops, I stumbled across something we were not ready for yet, but now that I had seen it, we might just have to do something about it. It was Our House. Available immediately. I spoke with a cautionary tone, "Rene...I've found The One".

He put down his tools and came to look. He strained his face and voice as he began to realize that yes, this was indeed Our House and things were about to get real crazy. He called the owner and asked some information, then arrangements were made for Rene and the 3 girls to go visit the house the next night. No commitments, just going to check it out and see. I couldn't visit it because the van was misbehaving so he thought it best to take the car, which we don't all fit into anymore since Ally added to our number.

Monday came and the grind was a lot easier to handle with this little piece of hope. The more I thought on it, the more I wanted this new life, new place, new buzz, new adjustments. I'm addicted to change I guess. I'm a hopper. Ungrounded. They went to visit the place and came back with shining reports. It's an old house, in need of work for sure, but as renters, that's not really our concern. It's bigger than our current home (currently in 1100 sq ft, this one is 1500) plus it has a garage. Unfortunately it is very close to the road, it's a quiet road but a fast one. It's also twice what we're currently paying, which we should be able to afford by our budget, but things are going to get very tight. I'm up for the challenge. It's the yard that's the selling point here. This is a home in the country, 3 miles from the city. Perfect location. We get a nice yard with lots of trees and then 3 acres to roam on, which we don't need to mow (it's prairie, maintained by others) and a creek! Yeah, a creek. I hope it doesn't dry up in the summer because splashing in it to cool off would totally rock. Either way it is so pretty. It's at the back of the acreage so the kids should be able to stay back from it when a grown up is not there. The back yard has a firepit too. I'm thinking marshmallows here. We'll probably camp in our backyard.

So we messed with the budget, made some reductions and sacrifices and signed the lease! For move in date 2.5 weeks later. We gave our notice and have pretty much been spinning around like crazy packing things up, calling utilities, hiring moving vans, cleaning house etc since then. No daily grind around here.

It's a bit crazy, you might accuse us of being a wee bit thick in the head for making a sudden move of house to a place with no dishwasher when we have a newborn baby and 4 other kids on tow, and only having a couple weeks to do it all. But this is nothing compared with what we've done before. We made an international move in 4.5 weeks while pregnant and had to fix up and sell our house and pack our belongings and host a going away party and celebrate Christmas in amongst that time, and we pulled it off. Then a few months later we moved to a house we had only seen in pictures, in a town we had never been to, with a 10 week old baby and 2 other kids and no job! And it worked out.

I'm going to actually get to see the place the night before we move in. Rene is hoping I won't see it and hate it. I hope so too, but I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with it. It doesn't need to be gorgeous inside, it just needs to be home. And it will be. As soon as we haul ourselves and our junk in there. Which is going to be a little difficult to do with all the snow that came a couple days ago..

And the past few days our highs have been in the single digits. But hopefully it will be up to 20 degrees by Saturday, when we move. Hopefully people will come help us out, despite the weather. My brother, who carries heavy items in sears for a living, says this time of year is better for moving because the physical labor heats you up, he says the height of summer is the time to avoid. That makes sense and I'm using it as a selling point when asking for help!!

So, wish us luck. I will be sure to post pics when we get to the other side. I'm excited about it for sure. And then when I get there..I have some more ambitious projects lined up to postpone the daily grind a wee bit longer. I'm talkin' Ana White, which I might be terrible at...but I'm hoping it can be a new hobby for me if I can master the whole power tool thing. Watch this space.