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Dangerously close to the edge

I worried about the kids adjusting to the move (and with good reason, my God they are cranky, antagonistic, disobedient little suckers) but I didn't worry about ME adjusting to the move. I am, after all, a grown up. I was the one who instigated the entire thing. I don't need bribes or naps or one more drink of water to put me in a better mood. 

But maybe I should have worried a little bit. Not that it would have gotten me anywhere, but I might have thought to be prepared. And it's not that I don't want to live here or think we made a mistake. The first two days were extraordinarily difficult with the kids, but every day since we keep figuring out how to live here and I can tell, a week and a half into our residence, that our options for Living have expanded exponentially. The different rooms, the different areas to play, the fact that there is no television anywhere near our eating space, the BACK YARD. The back yard is worth its square footage in gold, people. But I want to write about all of that later, all the awesome stuff and the places we've walked to and the things we've discovered. 

Right now I just want to whine, because there are still boxes in almost every room. I still don't know where to put so many things. And there are so many things I feel like we NEED. A TV stand. A coat rack or four. A filing cabinet. Right now I'm sitting in the living room, where I like to sit because there are two big windows and a view of the street, but it's such an ODD room. At least the way we've set it up. We have both desks in here - there's nowhere else, really, to put them - and one little couch and one rocking chair and I keep thinking, "What happens when my friends come over here to drink wine? Where will we sit? I need some kind of fabulous accent chair! (Like the one I'm coveting on Style Lush!)" And I sit here and wantwantwant even though this is sort of ridiculous, coveting a $350 ACCENT chair with a pattern I don't even really LIKE for my one to two year RENTAL HOUSE. 

And downstairs... SIGH. Because of the windows and the doorways and the stairs, there aren't a lot of ways to arrange the furniture and everything we have seems oversized and I have this playroom with nowhere to put toys. There are small issues, like the toy storage tubs I bought for our built in bookshelves in the other house don't fit as well in the Expedit bookcase. Not the end of the world. But then I've left bins of toys on TOP of the Expedit since day one, since there's nowhere to put them but the floor and this makes me upset. We had to cut the room in half with a couch - I don't want to use up more floor space for toy bins. You know? I'm just... frustrated. 

I'm not one of those people who can't stand clutter. (OBVS.) I mean, I don't LIKE clutter and I spend a lot of time organizing and arranging and figuring out Systems and all that, but it's not like I'm going to have a breakdown or something because I can't find a place to put the mail. But I can't find a place for SO MANY THINGS. This house, I feel compelled to say again, is probably exactly as big as our last house, there IS enough space. It's just... different. And I don't know where things go yet. I don't know how we work in this house yet. I HATE THAT.

Making everything even MORE difficult to handle are the children, who are driving me around the bend. Jack is either tormenting his sister or pretending he doesn't speak and/or understand English, and there is pretty much nothing that brings out the Rage more than Not Listening To Mommy. And Molly is just clingy as heck. She's a mama's girl anyway, but GEE WHIZ, KID I can't make dinner/fold the clothes/unpack/sweep/ANYTHING if I'm holding YOU. And then I blame Jack, of course, because half the time she wants to be held because he's being awful to her. 

They are sleeping through the night and sleeping later in the mornings. It's awesome. It's amazing. It's so so wonderful. But Molly still wants to take her nap at twelve-thirty and Jack is uninterested in naps altogether. So we've started doing the Quiet Time thing (books and a toy or two in his crib) and now that we're more settled in the house, he usually falls asleep. Eventually. Like an hour (or more) later. I survive by Coordinated Naps, folks, so this single hour or so of nap overlap is kind of getting to me. I'm trying to learn to relax during Quiet Time, but I'm not used to hearing an hour of singing to oneself or reciting the alphabet or doing all the dinosaur roars while he reads Paper Bag Princess. I know that's silly. I know it's fine if he's in his room, the door closed, Quiet Time in effect. I'm just unclear on how to dial back the Mom Brain, a necessity if one is to survive the hours of 4 to 6pm later that day.

ESPECIALLY when it's interspersed with calls for MAAAAWWWWWMEEEEEEE over and over and over until I cannot stand it any longer and I go into his room and he cheerfully produces a sock, or shows me the booger on his finger and I want to slam every door in the house because SERIOUSLY? All that whining and carrying on for THAT? Can't you just SAY, "Mommy! Come admire my booger!" 

So... YEAH. I will write about all the GREAT stuff later, promise. And this week looks to be a good one - we have tickets for Team Coco (PHILLIP'S IDEA!) on Monday and I'm trying to get up the nerve to call an Actual Real Live Babysitter so we can go on a little neighborhood restaurant date Saturday night. But then Phillip leaves for another week starting Sunday afternoon and thank God he has agreed to take me to Ikea tonight because a whole week of Nowhere To Put Things plus No Husband To Fulfill My Wishes for an entire week might very well send me over the edge. 

Comments

HereWeGoAJen

Oh, my, Maggie, these are my feelings about moving EXACTLY. Plus, it is SO expensive. You need so many little things for a different house and it adds up. It just takes SO long to make everything fit right.

Christiana

Awww. Hugs! I'm sorry you're having more trouble than anticipated adjusting. It will improve. You will figure it out. It will all get unpacked.

I'm not an anti-clutter person myself, but recently had a organization expert visit our MOPs group at church and she did a talk on getting rid of the clutter and I got inspired! I'm all about simplifying these days (I always get like this when I'm pregnant) so for me it would be an ideal time to pare down, but whatever works for you! Organize to your little hearts content! (which I know you love!)

Carrie

Yeah, this is why we're never moving. I have things organized here and it would drive me nuts to start over :)

Happy shopping at IKEA! Have fun and I hope you find lots of great things!

craftyashley

It just takes a while to get really organized and in the groove. We've lived in this house for two years and just this week I kind of let out a sigh of Ok! We're organized! Everything has a place- and it makes sense now! (prob. not what you wanted to hear, though)
I would suggest a large buffet table from Ikea as a TV stand- they have tons of storage potential, and are high enough to keep the kiddos from messing with the TV.

A'Dell

A lot of the stress with moving into this house was exactly the point that I had no idea how to LIVE here in an efficient manner. I wans't expecting that. I thought that once we finalyl freaking moved things would be happy! and shiny! again.

Ha.

I'm only now, more than a month later figuring it out. Dirty dishes go here, laundry goes there, toys go in that. It's exhausting trying to figure out where things should live and what motions you should go through so as not to waste steps.

It is EXHAUSTING.

Sarah in Ottawa

Gah! Moving (and other huge life changes) are just so unsettling and disconcerting. I am sending warm and fuzzy thoughts.

I am also so, so happy that Jack is enjoying "The Paper Bag Princess", quiet-time noises notwithstanding. Herewegoajen - if you are unfamiliar with it, pick it up! The wonderful protagonist is named Elizabeth!

One other note - we will be in the Azores in just over a week (Sao Miguel, but I imagine that you might have visited when you were living nearby). Email me if there is anything in P. Delgada that we shouldn't miss...

Kate P

I love "Paper Bag Princess"!!! Hope there were many helpful things at IKEA.

Jess

Ugh. So sorry all the stress is happening, though it all makes SENSE, and will hopefully GO AWAY, and it sounds like there's lots of good stuff going on too to help balance it out. Still, I hope the stress ends soon.

Annie

Oh Maggie. This is exactly what our house looked like when we moved. I knew there was going to be a transition time. I anticipated it. I was ready for it. But part of me thought that since I loved this house so much more than the old house and since this one is OBVIOUSLY so ridiculously superior to the old house that the boys would feel the same way.

And, you know, they DID. They loved having the space to run around. I can't imagine their little bodies weren't rejoicing at how clean it was and how their little lungs could actually BREATHE. And although Jake had a hard time settling into his new room, Chris seemed to settle right in and life was good.

And then a few days later I left for the hospital for 4 days and when I came home I brought a completely new family member with me and that's when ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. Christopher turned into this little tyrant. There was much chasing around and yelling and wagging of fingers. It's amazing little Nate didn't get whiplash from all of that drama considering how he was along for the ride the whole time. I remember sitting on the couch one day, looking at Chris, saying to him, "why are you being so mean to me?" And actually BELIEVING that he was being mean to me on purpose. Which, of course, he wasn't. But what he WAS doing was being Three. And Adjusting to the house. And Adjusting To The Baby. And, while all of those things were good adjustments, they were hard in ways I hadn't anticipated and it ways that my little boy couldn't possibly understand.

I don't have any suggestions, really, but just know that you guys will get through this - Jack will settle down and settle in to the new place. You'll have your sweet boy back soon...well, except for the Age Three part. I don't think there's ANY cure for that other than turning Four.

And now I need to go drown my sorrows over that very fact.

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