Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Ideas to Execute or Just...Consider

Last weekend the girls and I were feeling crafty, and the Easter box from the garage provided some inspiration.  We created a simple papier mache/decoupage egg project out of three materials:  plastic eggs, cut/torn tissue paper, and gluey water. 

All the eggs are waiting for now is a little Modge Podge shellacking, or some glitter glue stripes or ribbon, stickers, or...?  Note:  littler fingers can get frustrated with the gooey tissue paper...but I, who had many more important tasks to accomplish, found decorating these eggs (and "fixing" Little Sis's attempts) to be conveniently soothing and distracting.

We're going to a party on Saturday, and I'm tempted to make these cake pops (find recipe here):

We could shape them into eggy ovals and cover them with white chocolate and decorate...they don't require baking, and don't have eggs...perfect for our friend with allergies.   

But there's a very real possibility that the Easter Bunny will never get around to Modge Podge-ing the eggs above (I believe the Podge is packed in the storage container), and has enough to do figuring out how she's going to fill some baskets (and hide some eggs QUIETLY) on Sunday. 

What about you?  Any dyeing or decorating or basket-filling buds of inspiration?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

List: March Madness

If February was Morning Sickness Month, then March is A Little Bit o' Madness Month with hopes that April is Moving Month.

We found a house we love.   A house with more space.  A house on a canyon (surely with fairies) and cul de sac, with a front yard and raised garden beds for my green-thumbed husband and with a decadent deck (a deckadent!). 

The offer we made on the house was initially rejected.  But I couldn't stop thinking about it, and neither could the kids.  So when the call came last Wednesday that the other offer fell through, we jumped at the chance for another chance.  We'd have to sell our dear bungalow quickly.  We called our friends with a mobile storage company and ordered one to be delivered the next day.  And we (well, mostly Husband, with the help of our dear neighbors), loaded that thing up on Friday with half of our shizzle so that our house was "staged" for professional photographs on Saturday (staging which includes litter boxes and baskets of shoes and a few dust bunnies). Open House on Sunday.  Offers on Tuesday.  Counter offers on Wednesday.  Accepted counters on Thursday.  And I'm reluctant to say more than there's hope we have a new home soon, but there's hope! 

In the meantime we moved the dog and ourselves (so sorry, Bunny and Kitty) into my parents' home so our house stayed reasonably clean for folks taking a look.   There's been driving back and forth, meetings with inspectors, appointments at the city, finding and faxing and scanning and signing of documents, phone calls from realtors, and minor cliffhangers about financing and offers and inspection reports and disclosures. 

But we're so darned lucky that it's all happened so fast (knock on wood).  I'm feeling a lot of respect for sellers whose homes are on the market for months, enduring long stretches of keeping their houses clean and hoping it will all work out. 

Here are a few conclusions I've drawn from our experience thus far:

1.  Mobile storage containers are ingenious. 
2.  I'm going to hate myself when we unload that storage container.  Because we were so desperate to move things out of our house post haste, I packed many unlabeled boxes of random stuff worth nothing, which we then threw willy nilly into the container.  Many of you have commented that I'm likely moving my Piles of Denial to a new abode.  Indeed. 
3.  One should not pack last year's tax returns into the storage container.  I believe it was only a few hours after the storage container drove away that I received the email asking me for our 2010 and 2011 tax returns.  I actually know which box I threw those folders in, along with some of the girls' schoolwork from kindergarten and a few framed photographs and art. Maybe a few Polly Pockets
4.  Packing a house and a storage container provides rich fodder for spousal squabbling.
5.  A fish can survive many things, but not our hectic week.  Also, I changed the water in its bowl.  Let's call this a science experiment with a clear conclusion.
6.  I appreciate him, but I don't want to be a realtor.  I've watched ours work very hard, as well as be available to us at all hours. 
7.  It's wonderful to live close to my family.  I do not take it for granted. 
8.  If you're grabbing outfits one day at a time, you're bound to forget a key component.  On Monday I was glad I had flip flops in my office at school.  On Wednesday, I wore a jog bra. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Was Morning Sickness Month

I found out I was pregnant after I'd already poured myself a glass of wine.

I'd spent a chilly Friday night supervising a high school soccer game and was looking forward to a glass of red and some time on the couch with my husband.  My period was due today, I recalled as I drove up the hill to our neighborhood, thinking that just to be safe, I could grab both a pregnancy test and wine at the drugstore.

So confident was I that I couldn't be pregnant, I poured myself a glass of Cabernet before I headed to the bathroom.

The wine, and my relatively simpler life, went down the drain that night, January 11.

Of course, I didn't feel immediately pregnant.  I felt, instead, alternately disbelieving, giddy, panicky, hopeful, selfish, unprepared, worried, old, young, wary, nervous, excited, embarrassed, irresponsible, defensive, strong, determined, gleeful and guilty: conflicted.

I was 41, soon to be 42.  I'd recently had a miscarriage.  Only a week earlier, I'd half-purged the house of baby and toddler gear, ready to accept that we wouldn't have a third.  Our house was small. Money wasn't growing on our big tree in the front yard.  Husband didn't see this coming, now.  No one would, I thought, though having another child was a not-so-secret long indulgent wish of mine.

The risks, all of them, and the potential of raising our little girls' hopes (one of whom had asked for a baby for her birthday) and having them ultimately dashed them made keeping this pregnancy secret paramount.

Meanwhile, I began feeling tired.  And then, hungry.  And then... blergggggghhhhhhhhaaaaggggghhhhhh.

Flu season had struck at school with a vengeance, so I fit right in, though I resisted curling up on the nurse's office cot and going home. I groaned through weeks of what felt like the flu and also like the world's longest hangover, bearing all the same characteristics, including internal wails of why oh why did I do this to myself?  I never threw up, at least outside my mouth.  But I entered many classrooms and meetings with an escape plan in mind.  I conjured images of pregnant women around the globe, sicker than I felt, plowing fields and chasing toddlers.  So I rallied.  

But I lacked oomph

And I could smell your breath, and your perfume, or lack thereof.  Also your socks.  

Nothing sounded good.  And then everything sounded tempting until I put in my mouth or smelled it. I ate to fill my stomach with a feeling other than nausea.  I craved sandwiches.  I craved sleep.  I spent most afternoons and evenings lying in bed, feeling like a terrible mother and wife.  The girls grew used to me doing little.  We read books together in bed, but I hardly wanted to play.  Husband patiently tolerated and tended to me, tempering his excitement and unspoken anxiety.  

I became a boring and absent and unavailable friend.  I really did want to meet you for that beer! But.  And I'm pretty sure I was in bed by 7:30 that night.

I felt duplicitous and sneaky as I engaged in conversations with others, including my sister-in-law, about their pregnancies.  "Nope, nothing new or big going on in my life," I fibbed to unsuspecting and remote friends and family members.  I kept Big and Little Sis in mind, figuring I'd ask for forgiveness and understanding later.  

But here we are now at 12 weeks, with some assurance that a healthy little bean is sprouting inside me.  And my growing belly (why yes, I have had a big lunch!  A foot-long sub, in fact!) is ready for its debut.  We have some very excited big sisters and new landscapes ahead.