Monday, July 20, 2015

A (couple) week(s) in the life (v.2015.10)

We went to the Farmpark a couple of weeks ago just to get out of the house.  Everytime we go, we take a photo here.  See our previous trips here and here

 They also tried out a couple of saddles on some barrels.

Finn even got to ride a pony!  But her fawn-face came out (you know the face, the upper lip comes out over the lower lip, absolutely no smile, her eyes start darting around like a scared deer, and no words are uttered). But after it was over, she said that she loved it.

Dancing queens

Or dancing princesses (literally)

Fish is becoming quite the makeup artist.

Staging room by room and taking photos.  This is our beautiful foyer.

 This is a wonderful shot of our dining room.

But behind the scenes, this is really what our house is looking like.  Actually, it's worse now -- look a couple of photos down.

 Fish put on his shoe all by himself for the first time!

 I love dirty babies.  And I can't remember the last time that I did my hair and put on makeup.  I swear my wrinkles have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks.

 I love how I find them sleeping.

 She got a scrap on her nose and demanded a band-aid.  Perfect product placement.

One of our new obsessions is nose kisses.  I find it quite hilarious.

 This is her cankle that I was telling you about.  Their reactions to bug bites are out of this world.

Beautiful girl.

All the babies.

 She got mad because she didn't want to share the camera with Brother.

 I felt terrible that it's just lots of packing and not lots of fun.  So we got out the finger paints late last week.

 Someone enjoyed the painting a little too much.

They had a good time.

 Always the model.

 This is really what our house looks like right now.

Sad and depressing.  Every single photo has been taken off the walls and shit getting real emotionally up in here.

Leaning tower of addiction.
I actually haven't bought a pair of shoes in about two years and this is only part of the stacks.

Current state of affairs in our second guest room.
This is only our storage easements and part of my closet.  Yikes!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In the summa' time

Whether you immediately started thinking Mungo Jerry or Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff, summertime is here and in full bloom.  And if I'm going to admit, I thought of Will Smith first, but that's because that song came out during my angsty teenage summers and it was a summer anthem for a couple of summers.  One of the nights that E was in town, we hit up a place called Preston's Hope.  It's an amazing playground that I'm upset that we only found a couple of weeks before we are leaving CLE.  I will mention that we took home our fair share of sand in Finn's hair, thanks to some little boy who thought sand resembled "dolla bills y'all" & he was making it rain.  And I will not admit that our bed STILL has sand in it (no judging -- I like to think of it as a natural exfoliate while I sleep).  Our summer is flying back and it seems that we aren't really doing everything that I had envisioned us doing.  Two reasons why?

First is this whole moving across country nonsense.  Our summer is really whacked out.  E isn't here half of the time, which puts me in single-mom survival mode -- just squeaking through the day, leaving the house in a state of constant shambles.  I feel like my house has never been so dirty, even though I'm trying to pack up and let go of things that we no longer need.  Dirty and me have never been good friends (unless it's a dirty mouth -- then we are besties).  And when E is here, we don't really do as much fun things as I think we should because he is recovering from all the travel that he is doing or dealing with the whole-buying-a-house junk.

And second...  My kids look like they have fought Mike Tyson after a mosquito bite.  I think that I have shared that I am a flame to the mosquito's moth.  My kids have unfortunately inherited my flame-gene.  But what's crazy is that when they get bit by a mosquito, it swells up 5x the size.  We went to the ER one morning two weeks ago for a severely swollen lip, which the PA determined was an abscess and it was only two bug bites; one on Fish's lip and one on his chin.  And just last week, Finn's ankle ballooned up.  It made me super nervous as it look like elephantiasis (only slightly joking), but even though her poor little skin was stretched so taunt on that ankle and she had rolls around her cankles, she said that it didn't hurt or itch.  So I gave her some Benadryl and waited to see if it went down.  It took 4-5 days to return to normal.  So due to their severe allergic reactions to mosquitos and the fact that mosquitos seem to be really bad this year, we don't go outside as often as I would like.  I read that most children are allergic to some degree and that it would dissipate over time, which I hope holds true in our cases.

You can see remnants of her cankle on her right ankle -- this is on day 4 or 5.

Despite my saying that it's summer time here, we've been lucky with the fact that it has been pretty rainy and cold this summer here in CLE.  There have been beautiful days, but most have been damp and chilly -- no steamy days for us.  I'm hopeful that we will be able to escape the steamy August that usually happens here in Bucks County.  If I recall correctly for our time in Jersey (which is only an hour away from where we are moving to), it does get steamy there in August.  We lived in a one-bedroom crackerjack box with NO air -- so I remember Augusts.  And it wouldn't be a complete adventure in moving if we weren't doing it in the middle of that steamy August, right?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy birthday, 'Merica!

Last night, we busted out our red, white & blue and set out to see some fireworks (despite the fact that we had threatened to miss them due to Finn's absence of a nap that afternoon).  It was great to go out as a family, which has been a while (even if someone wasn't on her best behavior and she screamed and cried in the car quite a bit while traveling to the fireworks).  We hit the lake to watch the sun set.  Due to the low lying clouds on the horizon, we didn't get to the spectacular sunsets that our little park usually provides.  The fireworks began at 9:45 and the kids both stayed awake through the entire thing.  But Finn wasn't impressed by them and didn't like how loud they were.

Exactly how much of the 30 minutes of fireworks went.

I figured with the rest of the post I would do a stream of consciousness, which I haven't done in a LONG TIME...
  • Fish is beginning his word explosion.  He began a couple of weeks ago by saying "dog-gie" and "kit-kat" within hours of each other.  He has been known to say "book", "dada", "yes" &"'tella" (for our cat Stella), although he doesn't say all those words often.  And he is constantly mimicking the words that we are speaking to him.  Most of his words are words that only we understand what he is saying because they aren't clearly defined -- but definitely the same words over and over for a certain object.  I love watching his brain work.
  • Life has been rough (putting it nicely) for us lately.  E is in the process of switching over his jobs, which requires him to be 50% of the time PA (just north of Philly) and 50% of his time here in CLE.  That is a lot of travel for him (7.5 hours drive each way).  And we are in the process of trying to buy a house out there.   The kids and I went out once and visited seeing houses and we made our decision that weekend.  The house north of Philly is a beautiful house, which we will make our home, but right now it's just not our home (if that makes sense and as my previous post refers to). But also although the new house has more square footage, I'm not sure where that living space is because I remember it being smaller than our current home.  We will find that out when we get there (hopefully -- as this whole second mortgage business is for the f'ing birds).  And while E was traveling back and forth, I was trying to be a single mom, keep a clean house and start to pack all at the same time.  I almost had a mental break -- I think we may end up doing a partial pack with the movers to save my sanity.
  • The kids have been not well behaved as of late.  I think this is mostly due to the fact that our house is in shambles and their routine has went out the window in my need to "get-all-the-things-done-immediately" mentality.  Plus I think that both of them are going through really back transitional periods.  Fish is really wanting to communicate with us, but can't -- causing TONS of tantrums (sometimes for 45 minutes).  And Finn really thinks that she is going through puberty with all the attitude and sass that is getting thrown my way.  Honestly, the reason that kids turn into nightmares after they are done being cute squishy babies is because now it's too late to give them back.  You are stuck with them.  That girl is always on my last nerve as of late -- everything is about her and nothing is about sharing.  Deep breath in...
  • Also speaking of rough times, we spent a couple of hours in the ER a couple of weeks ago.  Fish woke up looking like he had been in a fight.  His left lower lip was swollen up 3-4 times it's size and it was hard as a rock.  We went to the pediatrician, but she was out of town, so we saw a PA.  Fish doesn't like doctors poking at him, or looking at him for that matter.  So she didn't really get a good look or feel on it.  So she thought that he had an abscess and started talking about staff infections and MERSA.  With that I became petrified and when she said that him to the ER so they can drain it, I immediately went.  It turned out to be a bug bite.  A couple of popsicles and a dose of Benadryl later, we were not swollen anymore and on our way home.  But these kids and mosquito bites...  I can't say that Finn has ever had this before.  They are both severely allergic to these bites.  In fact, right now Finn's left ankle looks like it has elephantiasis due to a bug bite (I'm assuming).  If it doesn't decrease in size and warmth by tomorrow morning, she is getting an appointment with our doctor to discuss what we are going to do about these bites.  I have O- blood which leads me to being bit more often than E -- like ALL THE TIME.  But those of these kids are A-, so I don't know why they are getting bit all the time and why it swells the way that it does.
  • Fish is the sweetest kid ever.  He waves at everyone.  We are walking down the grocery store aisle and he waves at people walking past.  We are sitting in the car and someone is jogging past and he waves.  He is also infatuated with men.  He will willingly go to an older man who is a complete stranger than he would with a women.  Case in point, the minute our realtor for our current place walked into our house, Fish ran up to him and put his arms out for him to pick him up!  No introductions needed.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Memory Keeper

I was hell bend on getting photos on this sofa in front of these windows again.  One last time...  Finn & I took some and they were fabulous.  Then Finn, Fish & I did some more and they were marvelous.  Those photos are some of my absolute favorites of all time.  Did you notice the one more time?  Yeah, our little family is closing up shop here in our little slice of heaven and moving out east.  It's most definitely the right move of us.  I know this in my head, but unfortunately, my heart just won't stop torturing me.

If there was only one thing that I could tell you about myself that represents the core of my being, I would have tell you "I'm a memory keeper..."  If everyone had jobs in the village, some of be builders, hunters, chefs, tax collectors.  I would be the keeper of memories.  Smells remind me.  A certain perfume that brings back memories of making an amazing friend.  Songs remind me.  A certain song that brings back memories of being pregnant for the first time and driving home to Iowa.  Outfits remind me.  I can tell you the exact outfit I wore when I found out I was pregnant both times, the exact outfit I wore on my first day of work, the exact outfit that Finn wore on her last day of preschool.  Hell, even doing certain activities remind me.  Yesterday, I trimmed the hedges for the last time and was reminded about how the morning I found out I was pregnant with Fish, I trimmed the hedges and smiled the whole time as every single car that morning didn't know the secret that I found out that morning.

E is always amazed at my memory for dates, outfits, times, and things that happened.  But one side effect of being such a wonderful memory keeper is that when I remember, I get emotional.  The only way that I can describe it is "I feel all the feelings".  And thinking about leaving this house makes me feel all the feelings.  The house is the place where I found out I was pregnant twice.  This house is the place where I lost two of my babies (my cat, Harry Kit Kat and my dog, Bishop).  This house is the place where I saw my babies take their first steps and say their first words.  This house is the place where I made some amazing friends that will last forever.  This house holds my story.  It holds the absolute best years of my life.

This house was built in 1924 and has such character and charm while being modern at the same time.  I love every nook and cranny of this place.  And every nook and cranny holds a special memory (or five) for me.  In fact, back in late March when we were discussing relocating, I was sitting here at the computer and looked in the living room.  And I instantly started to cry.  The sun was streaming through the living room windows at the perfect angle that instantly brought me back to my maternity leave with Finn and her laying in her pack-n-play in that beautifully soft streaming light of spring.  And I cried because those moments of instant memories are fleeting for me.  And I'm afraid that if I'm not constantly reminded of those memories that they are going to be lost in the fog of my brain.

I know that I'm bringing my most important memories makers with me -- my family.  I know that we are going to make many more amazing and beautiful memories where we go.  I know that this move is the best thing for us.  But I can't help but be grief stricken as this move in a way represents the closing of a huge and amazing chapter in my life.  I won't be reminded of amazing memories everywhere I go.   In my perfect world, nothing would change, all would stay as it is forever.  They say "every new beginnings comes from some other beginning's end."  And we all know that I cry at endings.

This blog has been an amazing journal and memory keeper for me.  I love looking through it and seeing photos and reading stories of when Finn was a tiny baby, of when Fish was born.  It will help me keep the memories of this place and this time in my life alive.  I am so thankful that I decided to start this place.  When it started, I wrote for family and friends who weren't close to keep tabs on us.  But little did I know that this was actually for me, that this place is my very own memory keeper.