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April 2011

You KNOW I'd rather be watching the Royal Wedding

I don't remember the last time I had a cold this bad. The kids were with my in-laws all day, and I spent my free time packing a box, then lying down, then packing a box, then lying down. 

I kind of freaked out when the movers called to say they were bumping up our move from Saturday afternoon to Saturday morning. I emailed Phillip to inform him he'd be taking tomorrow off. And then I emailed the friend who told me her daycare lady was taking drop ins. I wasn't going to do this. The kids are already so mixed up and out of it and getting shuffled off to various family members this week. But I still have so much to pack and there's nothing for the kids to do here and and and GO AWAY GUILT! The plan is to drop them off in the morning and... I don't know, do the daycare thing. I had to be schooled on lunches and naps and changes of clothes. This will be super new for all of us. 

Of course, Molly seemed to have a fever tonight and Jack was coughing. So maybe tomorrow we will just all sit around watching Phillip box up the rest of the house. That actually doesn't sound half bad. 

Wish me luck, Internet! Or, at the very least, the ability to breathe out of my nose. 

In: Yellows! Out: Fireplaces!

In the beginning there was an "innovative" yet "inefficient use of the space" fireplace:


Then Cheungs decreed: "It shall be no more!"

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Kinda crazy, huh? I toyed with asking them to knock down part of the wall between the living room and the dining room to REALLY open things up, but my bank account put the smackdown on that. 

Late last night I painted six different paint samples on all four walls: three shades of cream with a hint of yellow, three shades of gray/blue. I'd visited the work crew early in the morning and unlike the day before, it was rainy and yucky and DARK. And I realized, again, that I could not get a DARK color. Even the minty green seemed too dark. I nixed all my blues, went back to Lowes, picked out some trendy grays and a few yellows Phillip could tolerate, and went to vandalize my living room. 

TANGENT: I think I've said I hate painting about a trillion times on this website. But! I LOVE painting samples! How instantly gratifying! No taping and prepping and worrying, no tools other than your little jar and your crappy brush, no need to worry about trim and edging, just paint little squares! Wherever you want! Seriously, I couldn't stop. Eventually Phillip had to manhandle me out of the house. 

Anyway, here is what I learned. In the dark, with a handful of lamps (there is no overhead lighting in this room), every shade of blue and gray looked purple. Either Very Purple or Just Slighty But Still Kinda Purple. Aaaand... well, that is unacceptable. For my living room, anyway. And I'm glad I painted those samples! Because in the DAYLIGHT they look awesome. 

On the other hand, the yellows cheered me up, even at ten o'clock at night. And that's the kicker, folks. I live in the Great Northwest, where summer doesn't begin until July 5 and maybe lasts a few weeks, where every resident has a huge Vitamin D deficiency. I also bought a house a block away from a RAVINE. We have five or six tall evergreen trees on our property. The windows bring in a lot of light, but still, there isn't always LIGHT. After a while I was asking myself what I was doing, painting a sample of a paint with the word FOG in its name. 

So I'm going back sometime this morning to choose my paint and be done with it all. Well, for today anyway. Heh. 

P.S. I have something ELSE up at Parenting today (on schedule!) and it is about THE MAN COLD. And the only reason I got away with writing about THE MAN COLD is because I let Phillip write a quick rebuttal at the end. Pffft. 

This is the week I start gulping Red Bull

You guys, I found even MORE random stuff in my new house today. Yes, it's a little bit irritating. Garden clogs? Notepads? The ugly soap dispenser and toothbrush holder in the bathroom? On the other hand, that shed full of garden tools is kind of awesome, not to mention the tools to change light bulbs in the high ceilings. Also, when I was thinking, "Gee, I wish I had some tape to tape up these paint chips!" I remembered that they left tape in the bedroom closet! Win! So I am neutral on the subject, I suppose. Not a huge deal. What was SORT of funny was my interpretation of all the little half-apologetic explanatory notes taped to things like an old vacuum cleaner and stuff in the garage. The former owners were a retired Japanese couple, and there's just something in the way they wrote (and the kinds of things they left) that smacks immediately of Asian Parent-ness. I cautiously mentioned this to Phillip and was relieved when he totally agreed. "It sounds like my DAD."

ANYWAY. I spent over an hour in the living room this morning, staring at paint chips and hating all of them. I snatched what I thought was MORE than enough samples of Light Bluish Gray from both Lowes AND Home Depot, but no. They were all terrible. Perhaps I sent out a panicky tweet and text messaged a few of my more designerly-inclined friends. And then I decided on yellow. YELLOW WOULD BE BETTER.

Then later I was telling all of this to Phillip who said, "Oh.... yellow... hmm..." which, OF COURSE, put me into a whole new Paint Tailspin. And I wasn't ENTIRELY fond of yellow walls and brown carpet, and then what color would I eventually paint the dining room and WOE WOE PAINTY WOE. So I went back to my Light Blue Gray paint chips, only this time I focused on the darker end of the paint chip instead of the lighter end. Things began to look up!

See, I think my original color idea was TOO pale. The living room has such high ceilings and giant windows with white trim and all of that light blue gray was looking icy and harsh. But the darker blue grays, the ones that actually looked like more of a color, seemed to work better. A better contrast with the trim and light, but not so dark that we'd have to call it The Blue Room or, worse, The Typical Seattle Winter Sky Room. I wasn't planning on having a Color in the living room, but I'm going back to the paint chip aisles tomorrow with a Color in mind. I THINK this will work. Especially if I buy a few samples. 

(P.S. I like Color, just in smaller doses. I would like to paint my bedroom a darker blue, I think, and maybe something a little flashier for the dining room. ORANGE! Or not. But maybe. I COULD.)

Aiding me in my neuroses is Joe, our contractor. Joe, in a Freak Coincidence, was in Phillip's CONFIRMATION CLASS when they were teenagers. He was randomly recommended to us by our real estate agent, so BIZARRO LAND! Anyway, we met him tonight for the Fireplace Demo Powwow and he was TOTALLY cool about the Paint Timeline. I still have another day and a half or so to decide. WHEW. Also! We are totally going ahead with the ripping outage of the fireplace. It's not that I think it's very ugly, though I don't think it's very attractive either, it's just a waste of space! AND I WANT SPACE. Therefore! Burly men with saws (I asked about sledgehammers, they said sledgehammers were "too slow") will be at my house at 7:30 at the morning to start the dirty work. BE STILL MY HEART!

As for the Carpet Dilemma, we ultimately decided to Do Nothing. As in, we will get some sort of filler carpet or padding to fill the hole, then throw an area rug over the whole thing. I think if I get a really huge area rug, or two of the same, it'll look fine. I'm just not capable of picking out carpet at this point in time (or paying for it!) and it feels like something we can easily fix later on, when we have a better idea of what we want. Also, Joe told us he knows someone who is getting rid of a giant Restoration Hardware $1500 rug for freeeee. Possibilitieeeeeees!

This is all very weird to me, having firmly placed myself in the Remodeling Is Not For Me, No, Thank You camp. But it turns out we can hire other people to do it for us, and it's a relatively small job, and we will never be able to afford to remodel the kitchen after this ANYWAY, so no worries there. (And I don't even mind my 80s kitchen. Have I told you that nearly half the cabinets contain sliding drawers and shelves? SWOON!)

I'm sorry, I know you all must be SO SICK of the housey talk. But I'm sorry, I still have at LEAST another week left of Paint and Fireplace Demo and Moving Angst, and then we'll be moving on to the Where Do I Put My Furniture, Oh Wait, Obvs I Need To Buy All NEW Furniture part of the story. So perhaps you should just unsubscribe now. 

OH WAIT. I did forget to tell you that I managed to post to Parenting over the weekend AND NOT ABOUT THE HOUSE! I'm trying to decide if we should find out if we're having a boy or girl. I AM WAFFLING.

Okay, night night. Time to raid the Easter baskets. 


Things The Old Owners Left In My New House

A full size bed, plus bedding. (They asked us if we wanted this. We said yes.)

A "vintagey" nightstand-ish cabinet.

A painted wooden step stool.

All the curtains.

Two clocks.

Several ceramic baking dishes with glass lids.

An old microwave.

A phone circa 1984

A notepad and pen near the phone.

A copy of Parents magazine with a note saying, "Thought you might enjoy this."

Two hanging paper lanterns.

One standing lamp.

Several empty plastic storage boxes.

A laundry basket.

A drying rack.

Two pairs of gardening clogs.

Cleaning supplies galore.

About four 24-packs of toilet paper.

Olive oil, black beans, olives, canned mushrooms.

A plastic storage box with a handwritten label claiming the contents as "Organic Sugar".

A twin mattress, a leafblower, an extension ladder, and window screens in the garage.

A lawnmower, wheelbarrow, and numerous gardening tools in the outdoor shed.

Potted plants, indoor and out.

A small bookshelf.

Three different wall-mounted coat racks. 

Some plates and bowls. 

Wire shelving racks inside the kitchen cupboards. 

And I think there was probably more I can't remember. 

It's necessary to say that none of this stuff is, exactly, junk. The former owners are moving to the East Coast and again, none of it is gross or dirty or obviously junk. Several of their notes apologized for things, even. It's clear that they're very nice people and probably thought we might be able use these things. And we probably will, I suppose. Although touring the new house last night became more of a treasure hunt than anything else. "Did you see what they left in the bathroom?" "Did you look in the cabinet next to the fridge?" "Did you see that RUG?" (Oh yeah, they left a rug.)

We have movers scheduled for Saturday. Between now and then I plan to make lazy little trips with a car full of kids and random box-unfriendly items. My in-laws have offered to take the kids overnight on Wednesday. And my friend told me her daughter's daycare is now taking drop ins, and did I want to send both kids on Friday with her kids? It appears we may be able to accomplish just about everything. Fingers crossed!

One for the rotogravure

Grainy iPhone photo of Molly modelling her Easter dress:

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Did we take pictures today? Of course not. My mother did - I'm hoping she has a few of Jack in his clip on tie. 

All I can really think about right now are KEYS. KEYS KEYS KEYS and the fact that we should have them in our hot little hands sometime tomorrow afternoon. 

That and what a wonderful time we had today with my parents, Phillip's parents, and all the siblings and sibling significant others we could scrounge up. On the car ride home I thought back to age eleven and twelve, when I could NOT understand why my parents continued to have children when they'd reached perfection the very first time, when my brothers were the most annoying creatures on the planet, when my sisters were a whole kid era away from me, when all I wanted was to be LEFT ALONE. (And be allowed to use hairspray. C'MON, MOM!) But tweenhood doesn't last very long and I've still got decades left of being a grown up, decades of spending family holidays with some of the funniest, loveliest people I know. This is what I'll have to tell my own children. "Sure, he's loudly mocking you while you're talking on the phone with your seventh grade boyfriend, but when you're thirty, Christmas is gonna be AWESOME!" 

If you're looking for deep Easter thoughts, look elsewhere. I'm out of thoughts, and the kids' Easter bunnies are looking awfully delectable...

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day

Phillip comes home tonight. But I will probably be asleep when he gets here. A combination of Sick, Still Freakishly Tired, and Jane Eyre on the Kindle makes me float off before nine. 

This is not a knock against Jane Eyre, just that reading in bed helps me fall asleep. I downloaded Jane Eyre because it was free and I was tired of looking for books I wanted to read, yet weren't thirteen dollars. Also, I would have told you that of COURSE I've read Jane Eyre before, in high school AND college, but, um, so far it is WILDLY UNFAMILIAR. So much so that I'm very angry I already know about MRS. Rochester, because it's ruining what is a really awesome read. That I do not think I've read before. Oh dear. English major FAIL. 

My least favorite thing that happened this week is when the realtor who told me he was coming at six instead showed up at five-twenty. UNFAIR. I had given MUCH thought to how we'd be out by six and what we would do and when we would eat dinner. I was elbow deep in diapers and dirty laundry, trying to get the place fixed up. And he was all, "Oh! We're early! Don't mind us! We're fine!" Like I was worried about HIS experience. OOOOH I WAS FURIOUS. I think of all the frustrations I've had in the last several weeks, it's the rental house stuff that puts me over the edge. 

I called a moving company for an estimate today. It's been decided: we are too old to make our friends help. So I called, having no idea what to expect for an estimate, and, well, wowsers. That said. It was an overestimate, that much is clear, and also I was on the phone with these guys for nearly 45 minutes. I cannot do that with another set of movers. Yes, I am saying it may be worth hundreds of dollars to me just to not have to get another estimate. GROWN UP BUDGETING FAIL. But seriously, I had to list every piece of furniture in every room, PLUS estimate how many boxes I was going to have, in small, medium, and large. I did my best but dude, that's nigh impossible don't you think? I overestimated (I hope). Then I hung up and realized I didn't mention the outdoor furniture, or the closet full of musical instruments, or all the bikes and trikes. What we're hoping to do is pack everything ourselves and stack all the boxes in the garage to make it easy. They charge by the hour, so whatever we can do to simplify and streamline should trim some cash, yes? 


It turns out Phillip doesn't have to go away for a third week (which would have been the week after next). He is, however, still going on a week long trip the following week. For those of you keeping track. I am in this strange place of being excited/relieved/thrilled that he's going to be home for two weeks! In a row! Er...

I forgot to post something for Parenting this week. Because, and this is true, I forgot what day it was. I always write something on WEDNESDAYS. And on Wednesday I found myself saying, "Oh good, I still have another day to think of something!" Which: not exactly. And you guys, this is the third time I've done this. All in the last three or four months. I am BEYOND MORTIFIED. I keep waiting for them to fire me. Seriously. 

I took the kids to the bank with me to get a cashier's check. For an ungodly amount of money. That I will never see again. I bribed them into behaving with granola bars. It only took 10 minutes. It seemed like it should take longer. And require a background check and calls to my high school teachers and Phillip's former employers. OR SOMETHING. I don't know. 

I also took them to Lowe's AND Home Depot to pick up paint chips. I hate painting (shocker!) and I hate picking out paint almost as much. But while I can hire painters, I can't really hire anyone to pick my paint for me. Well, I suppose I can, but have you met me? Control Freak Extraordinaire! A friend of mine just recently worked with another interior designer friend to repaint and redecorate her entire downstairs. It looks awesome! And the interior designer friend offered to help me out as well. But I just know - I JUST KNOW - that my style will not gel with his and that is how I will end up with taupe walls, because I can't say no. Especially to someone with AUTHORITY. But I do not want taupe walls. I want 'Gravity' from Valspar walls BUT I COULDN'T FIND THE FREAKING PAINT CHIP.

I bought Molly two more Easter dresses. Shut up. Sixty percent off! 

We colored eggs today. 

I've packed up half my dishes. I have a lot of dishes. 

I had Top Ramen for dinner, and woe, Top Ramen is the poor white girl's version of FIL-Approved Can-Only-Buy-It-In-Canada Ramen. Sob. 

We are signing all the papers at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. Kids in tow. Deep breath. 

Ten Things About My Beloved And Me

Hallie started this list a while back (although I don't believe she gave it such a revolting name). I'm only getting to it now, because I am slow, and also because I am bored and sick of everything else I've been writing about. So!

1. We do not share food in restaurants. We have couple friends who strategize over what to order, so that each one gets to try certain things, or they split their meals, or they split ONE meal, something crazy like that. This does not work for the Cheungs. Oh, Phillip would LOVE to be married to someone who shared food, but here's the deal. If it's understood that Phillip is entitled to my plate, I DON'T GET TO EAT. Also, I'm picky and there's only one thing on the menu that looks good to me and I don't WANT to eat whatever giant hunk of meat he ordered and STAY AWAY FROM MY DINNER. I have, however, learned not to let the waitress take my plate before Phillip has properly scavenged it. So I suppose we share, but only after I'm full.

2. When we first got married Phillip thought we could share a desk and computer. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

3. One thing for which I shall be eternally grateful is the fact that we have practically the same faith background. It was really important to me to marry someone who believed what I believed, but I lucked out with someone who went through the same trajectory. Cradle Catholics who got more interested and involved as teenagers, a few Fake Protestant years under our belts, and now committed to a parish.

4. One thing that is still hard, nearly eight years later, is that Phillip is a night owl and I am not. I want to get a hundred things done before ten in the morning, Phillip thinks ten in the morning is a nice time to roll out of bed. We have yet to really figure this out.

5. He's bought me a few dozen pairs of earrings since we've been married, and I have never once had to lie about how much I liked them. Because I ALWAYS like them.

6. I get really strung out about pregnant women with no options and unwanted babies. Phillip not so much. Phillip gets really strung out about the homeless and the people holding signs at intersections. Me, not so much. But both of us are much more aware because of the other's strung outness, and both of us have been emboldened to do more about these things, because of the other's support.

7. Our politics aren't WILDLY different, but we rarely vote for the same people. Phillip enjoys my lectures on why he is wrong, then calmly explains a point of view I have never even considered. This is horribly annoying. Also, I LOVE reading and watching and discussing politics, but Phillip is really the only 'safe' person for me to talk to - with everyone else it gets antagonistic and competitive. With Phillip it's a philosophical discussion. I LOVE THIS.

8. When we were in college and dating and I was still beholden to the Women's Studies Agenda, I told him I didn't want to just follow a MAN around. I had my OWN plans. I wanted to teach overseas! I wasn't going to just wait around for HIM! I think I said it nicer than that. Anyway, he just looked at me like I was crazy, told me he wasn't planning to go anywhere, but if I was going to teach overseas HE would follow ME. This is when I started to consider the possibility that not all men were out to dominate women. (And where in the WORLD did I get this idea anyway!? Dude, I was SUCH an idiot.)

9. Obvs I am not teaching overseas. Oddly enough, Phillip and I couldn't be happier in our respective roles. Well, I'm sure he would like a wife that made tastier dinners and gave more frequent back rubs, and I would like a husband who wasn't always traveling to the East Coast. But ON THE WHOLE: bizarrely happy.

10. Phillip has these really thick, longish guitar player fingernails and he has this extremely unhealthy attachment to a particular pair of nail clippers. They're REALLY GOOD.  He MUST have his nail clippers. His dad bought them for him in JAPAN. He can't even find a replacement ONLINE. And he thought he LOST his precious nail clippers on his most recent trip and you know I made much fun of him when I heard this story. Because puh-leeze. And the only reason I threw that in there is because part of the making fun was informing him that I would have to tell the internet about his special nail clippers.

AND no one bothered me about seeing the house today. SCORE.

If the handful of Tums I just downed are anything to go by, I had a delicious evening. I highly recommend teeny tiny BFFs-Only birthday parties, complete with Costco lasagna, a preschooler dance party, and make your own sundaes. I wish Phillip had been there. It's a really awesome thing to see your friends' husbands swinging your kids around in the air, to do the Twist with your friend's two-year-old, to welcome any random kid into your lap. One of my biggest hopes is to see all these kids grow up together, till they're so grown up that they all come to visit their parents on the same floor of the same old folks home. 

Things are moving along with our home-before-we-head-to-the-old-folks-home. Today I got two phone calls. One to schedule our signing (GAK) and another to tell me to bring a cashier's check for $OMG dollars and fifty-six cents. So it appears this house really will be ours, with or without green walls and awkward fireplaces. It doesn't seem real. The more I think about it, the more the unrealness has to do with the fact that this is The House. It's not the starter house or the rental house or the house we hope to be in for five to ten years. Well, some people have recommended that's what we shoot for, the Next Five To Ten Years House, but honestly? Twenty years sounds good to me. Longer even. I don't even live there yet, and already it feels more permanent, more MINE, than that sparkly new townhouse ever did. 

I'm pretty tired. I finally got the kids in bed, and YAY FOR ME, it was cake. I finished up my dorky Easter blurb, held my nose, and sent it in. I threw all the clothes Phillip left on the bed into the hamper and crawled in. Preschool's on Spring Break, but where God has closed the preschool door he has opened a window full of sunny weather. It's SUPPOSED to stick around. At the very least I hope the "occasional sunbreaks" happen during naptime, when Jack is completely content to roam around the backyard making mud, picking dandelions, and digging in the rocks. Plus there's just something about sunshine making everything better. 

Oh I suppose I should tell you I had another dr appointment today. I forgot my phone so I was not only bored in the waiting room, I was convinced it was A Sign. Something bad would happen and I would not have my phone to call Phillip, call a friend, call my inlaws watching the kids, call someone to drive me home, ETC. I know this is ridiculous, but I've already been feeling guilty that I haven't spent much time thinking about Third Baby AND feeling more twingey and crampy and uncomfortable than I was at this point with the other babies. 

Everything was fine - I know how lucky I am to be able to say that. Not only that, my doctor, whom I adore, was extra adorable ("it's my BIRTHday today!") and when I hid my eyes on the scale the nurse chirped, "124! Awesome!", and then it turns out that I've only gained three pounds since my last appointment. Which is some kind of record. And/or magnificent feat given my diet of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and frozen waffles. 

When I think about everything all together I want to hide under the covers. But each day is so tackle-able. And so many good things show up. Ugh, I am making my own self want to barf. Or maybe it's the lasagna. EITHER WAY. I am now going to [Perk Of Absent Spouse!] fall asleep in the middle of last week's The Good Wife. See you later.

But I AM sending him to Timbuktu

I had an awful time with Jack last week. Friday was the worst. I ended up SOBBING IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER. Ugh. Then Phillip came home and I guess because there were two of us and double the attention/distraction, Jack was a lot easier over the weekend. But Phillip leaves again tomorrow. Gak. 

He was easier, but not perfect. Not that I'm expecting perfect, but there was a moment during Mass when the only reason I didn't haul him out and wallop him in the car was because we were two feet from the priest giving the homily. I didn't want THAT much attention. 

At one point he was waving his palm around (It's Palm Sunday! Someone please tell the realtor who called me in the middle of Mass! Wanting to see our house in ten minutes!) a little enthusiastically and after the eleventy ninth time telling him to stop, he managed to tickle the nose of the old lady sitting behind us. And old lady who, I was quite certain, had spent all of HER time in Mass praying for the quick obliteration of the young family in front of her.

"STOP IT," I hissed and took the palm away. 

"Oh, I don't mind," said the old lady, very nicely. 

I gave her a look that said, "Whatever. The child will still be mailed to Timbuktu as soon as we get home."

Then she looked at me with watery blue eyes - she had a sort of Joan Hickson face, if Joan Hickson were about twice the size - and said, "These are as close to angels as we get in church."

SO MAYBE I CRIED A LITTLE BIT. Not that I let anyone see. 

Then AFTER Mass we were walking out and this woman who has kids just a couple years older than mine, who I know by sight but rarely speak to, happened to say, "They are just so angelic."

At which I burst out laughing. As you would. 

"Oh, I know," she said, "But they just LOOK like ANGELS."

I thanked her, walked out, put my angels in the car and tried to think of what God might be telling me, on Palm Sunday, in Lent which everyone knows is not my favorite season. It's been a rather difficult Lent, and that's without even adding the Lent part. There's a lot of upheaval going on in our four lives right now and I haven't participated in one single Lenten retreat or stations of the cross or ANYTHING even mildly spiritually enriching. 

What I HAVE done is kept to my Lenten "sacrifice", which was to pray for others every single day. I often don't get to this until I'm already half asleep in bed, but I DO do it. And I wonder where I'd be right now without this, as it's forced me to think about people other than myself. Other people's problems which, quite honestly, are much bigger than my own. I spend my days stressed out about behavior problems and when to schedule movers and how in the WORLD I'm going to pack it all, then I go to bed and lift up friends who've lost babies, jobs, good health. 

And not only has it kept my life in perspective, it's been... I don't quite know how to describe it. I've seen many of my prayers answered in the last several months. The surety I have about God's presence in my life and everyone else's has only grown. 

There's something thinky in all of that, somewhere, right? I hope so, because I was tapped to write the little "reflection" blurb at the top of my church's Easter worship aid, something I agreed to immediately because I knew if I let myself think about it I would say no. It's only a few sentencees, but I'm still wondering how in the world not to make it sound like a blog paragraph. We all know I'm a less than eloquent Reflecter. 

But there's something in this Lent, with my angels and my prayers and the temporary hardships we're experiencing. Out of that I need to draw out the Easter, the unbelievable good news. 

Packing shmacking

You know how I said I was going to pack this week while Phillip was gone? HEE!

One afternoon I packed up all of my Normal clothes, and while that was a huge-ish chore, I just filled up my closet with maternity clothes (which had been living in two large baskets next to my bed.) So it's not like that accomplished MUCH. And it was also mildly depressing since I have strong doubts I will ever see those normal clothes again. I know right now you are formulating your Rah Rah You Can Do It! comment, but I'm serious. That was a lot of work and I'm not sure I have it in me all over again. I REALLY like cake. 

Then today I tried to get a little more motivated. I packed one box of living room books, but I will probably need three or four more boxes to finish that off. And I packed up nearly everything in the sideboard - tablecloths, napkins, bar accessories, vases, candles, stuff like that. But since that stuff was all out of the way anyway, it doesn't look like I packed much of anything. Which is mildly depressing. 

There's still a lot of time before we actually LIVE in the new house, so it's hard trying to figure out what I can pack this far out. Books are good, but not the kid books because we read those a lot. Can't do clothes or sheets or towels, which means I can't pack any of the fancy dishes because I need to wrap them in all the sheets and towels. Can't pack food, can't pack toys (not too many, anyway), can't pack coats. Tonight Phillip said, "Just start packing up all the little stuff, the odds and ends!" Which... well those are the HARD things to pack. I don't want to pack THAT stuff. 

I am also remembering all the boxes we never unpacked in the garage. (And some of those we never unpacked from our move into the townhouse - giant box of Indigo Girls CDs, I'm thinking of you.) I have three boxes of my grandmother's china out there, plus all the holiday decorations and packed up baby clothes and sheet music and oh dear I completely forgot about the heaps of stuff stashed in the closet under the stairs. And the office closet. And Molly's closet. Oops. 

Wellll I still have another husband-less week to get organized! Wahoo!

I will now take this moment to add that I threatened both children with bodily harm AND removal to a cold, lonely, upstairs bedroom to sleep on a CRIB, read: BABY, mattress if they didn't shut themselves up and go to bed like a good little girl and boy. AND OH MY STARS IT'S WORKING. Note to self: talk something up as much as possible BEFORE the event. I forget that this is SO helpful with Jack. If I start telling him at 7am that he will be taking a nap that day, HE USUALLY DOES. And if I tell him that if he so much as starts a conversation with his sister a half hour past bedtime, even if it's about budget cuts or something equally enlightening, that he will be PUNISHED and REMOVED, it appears to work! I mean, I punish anyway, but it's the PREPARATION that seems to do wonders with this kid. He IS the one who is always telling me things like, "First I will finish this French fry, THEN I will eat a bite of my hamburger." 

I should also say that sleep has been rough this week, and Jack especially has been a less than doting brother, but things have improved a tiny bit each day and I'm nowhere near the end of my rope with them. As much as I keep hoping they're just reacting to the changes and expressing their own stress (they ARE my kids after all) I know I need to stay on top of it and be creative with changing things up and helping them out. Once we've reached the overtired, crying, whining, endlessly needy stage it's too late to get angry and ultimatum-ish! 

Anyway. All is well. Have a lovely weekend. I'll be sitting here attempting to conjure up a Packing Fairy.