Deja vu

on 20 May 2013

The past two weeks have been awful.  Terrible.  Miserable.  Dreadful. 

As you know, when we last left our optimistic M, she was hunting for new digs for Burnstopia.  The challenge?  Find a BIGGER space for the same or LESS rent.

Why, yes, I do feel like an idiot for thinking that was even possible.  Thank you for asking.

We looked at places everywhere for about 2 weeks.  Every single day, we packed up the kids in the car and drove around to look at places.  The places we felt like we could afford were in the scariest of neighborhoods.  The ones you see on the News at night with the "This just in, deadly SHOOTING in..."  The places we felt would be safe to live in, we called to make appointments to see, only to find out that they were rented already.  It was all profoundly discouraging.

Meanwhile, I was cleaning out and packing boxes.

Then Friday morning dawned and Chris was so discouraged that he could not, would not, Chris he IS, face another day of looking for places to live.  And then Boy had a total and complete meltdown, and through his hysterical tears he attempted to pull things OUT of the boxes and PUT IT ALL AWAY. 

And that's when I realized that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

So I gave up.  I surrendered.  I threw in the towel.  I raised the white flag.  I admitted defeat.

(It's hard for me.  I'm REALLY stubborn.  I hate feeling like I've given up.  But when something isn't working, only a crazy person keeps trying to make it work.)

So I went over and talked to the office about the apartment and the lease, and we worked out an agreement to stay where we are for another year.  Is this ideal?  No.  Do we fit comfortably into our current space?  No.  Is this the right thing to do for familial happiness and sanity?  Yes.

And now that the weekend is over, everything is unpacked and put away and I'm dedicating myself today to deep cleaning and writing up a grocery list and planning out when to do the things I've been putting off until we move (like making jam and swim lessons for the Boy).

Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, which means Beach House Weekend for Chris and his friends.  The kids and I shall be staying local, does anyone have any fun ideas of things to do with Littles?

Bathtime Brouhaha

on 15 May 2013

I acknowledge that at some point in the future, my darling children will be able to read and may find their way to this blog.  And in that spirit, I try NOT to tell too many stories that may be of an embarrassing or compromising nature.

But this story from last week, is too good to pass up.

Bathing the babies, since my Girl is now a full fledged toddler, has become more complicated.  When it's just me, and I'm bathing them on my own, we just do scrub downs.  They have their nice, long baths on the weekends when Chris is here to help me.  We had a friend in from out of town (my friend Brett's sweet hubby, Ben), so Chris played hookie from work to hang out with Ben.  Since Chris was home, I ran a nice, deep bath for the kids and got them started.  They love bubbles, so I was blowing bubbles for the Boy and Girl, when I started to notice that there were some bubbles of her own making coming from her behind.  So I called Chris to come in and mind them (for fear that she would make a deposit in the bathtub, she has done so before.  A LOT.), so that I could go pull cookies out of the oven.

Then sure enough, the Girl's deposit started to float to the surface of the water.  So I ordered both kids out of the tub, they are now both naked and cold in a very small bathroom, while Chris pulls the cookies out of the oven and fetched the cleaning supplies for me and I started to fish out the...deposit.  The Boy, meanwhile, is happily blowing bubbles from a nearly full container of wonder bubbles.  The Girl is loudly protesting her naked and shivering state.

The water was drained and I was scrubbing the tub, and the Boy was happily dancing around with his bubbles, when he hit a soapy spot on the floor and slipped.  CRASH!  Down to the floor, bubbles spill EVERYWHERE, the Boy is howling, and the Girl, at the sight of her brother's distress, immediately started howling as well.  I straighten up to observe the abject chaos, Chris looks at me as if to say, "What on earth should we do?!"  So I reach out and hug the soapy Boy and the Girl is hanging on my legs, both children are naked and howling and all I could do was laugh.  It was just one of those moments that are impossible to accurately describe.

So the tub was cleaned, the toys bleached, and the children soaped and scrubbed clean.  And I was incredibly relieved to see them in to bed with the lights out.

Oddly, it's moments like these that make me laugh to see how far I have come in the last 5 years.  5 years ago, I would have absolutely lost it.  I would have been yelling and throwing stuff as I cleaned up the mess.  There would have been no sympathy for the mess makers, or anyone else.   I'm starting to think that perhaps the greatest thing that comes with parenthood isn't patience, it's a sense of humor.

Relocating Deadline

on 13 May 2013

Send Chocolate.  Also, some sort of device that will warp the time-space continuum.

Way back in March, Chris applied for a job out in Montana, well, we haven't heard hide nor hair from them, so we're putting our collective brains to the task and assuming that means, "Thanks but no thanks."  And then he applied for a job in Asheville, which I was fairly torn about.  It's no secret that I LOVE the mountains, and I love Asheville.  But I love my sister more, and she lives in Durham, not Asheville.  So while I would have been excited if Chris had gotten that job, I would have been very sad to leave her.

Well, he didn't get it.  Yet again.  It's been four years of job applications, four years of various interviews and four years worth of, "It's not you, it's me.  We think you're great, but not for us.  Thanks but no thanks."  Frankly, I have had enough.  Of course, I've also been sick for the past week, so that may have something to do with my total lack of patience right now.

So Burnstopia is staying local.  And I have 2 weeks to find us a new place to live, pack our apartment and move.  Now that I think about it, there's not enough chocolate in the known WORLD to get me through this month of May.

I'll see y'all on the flip side.

9 Years, Still Here

on 01 May 2013

Nine years ago today, Chris and I got married.

And if I had to pick just one thing, one, single, solitary thing that is the most significant event of my life, it would be THAT.  Everything else that means anything at all, hinges on that moment.  But perhaps that's too simplistic a view, because a marriage isn't made in a day.  It's made every day.  It's made over and over and over again.

I suppose the occurrence of our anniversary has me feeling more sentimental than normal, because I took down Jane Austen's Persuasion to reread.  All of her novels center on characters who make mistakes, human mistakes, they rectify those errors and then move on.  But in Persuasion, you have perhaps the greatest acknowledgement and apology for those errors ever written in the English language. 

Now, if you'll recall, Captain Wentworth has overheard his long-time love Anne tell a friend of his that Men will always forget the women they love before Women forget them, and since he cannot speak openly to her, he writes her this letter (I'm truncating it, you really should read the whole book, if you haven't yet, it is perfection from beginning to end, a true masterpiece):

...Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever.  I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years a half ago.  Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death.  I have loved none but you.  Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant...

 I love that.  I suppose because I feel like that's how our marriage works.  We're two flawed, imperfect human beings.  We make mistakes.  We occasionally act selfishly, arrogantly, or blindly.  We are sometimes weak and resentful and unjust.  But we apologize, we forgive, we try again.  Never inconstant.  After 9 years, I am more certain of this one thing:  He is Mine, and I am His.