Home on a Saturday Night

 

Here’s a not so secret secret about me. I don’t like not having plans on the weekend. When the weekend rolls around and I’ve failed to make social plans, my mood drops to somewhere between anxious and depressed. When I’m home all afternoon and night on a Saturday, especially a Saturday on a three-day weekend, I feel like I’m not carpe-ing the diem, not living my life to its full fun potential.

But, this is why I like living with other families. When I’m being lazy at home on a Saturday night, they are too. And it feels a little less like time-wasted, and more like quality time with the housemates – making dinner, cleaning, doing laundry. Banal, yes. But perhaps not quite so lonely.

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Hooray for Daylight Savings

Generally, I dislike the biannual changing of the clocks. However, this morning, springing forward resulted in all four children in the house sleeping well past 7am. A March miracle which led to a much more peaceful and pleasant morning. Yay for farmers!

Getting Better

 

It’s surprising to me how much my two-year-old daughter’s moods affect my own, but they do. She seems to finally be settling in. And therefore, so am I.

Last night she even let her one-year-old housemate hug her. Correction, not just let him, ASKED HIM to hug her. Repeatedly. It almost brought tears to my eyes, because this has been one of her (therefore one of my) greatest struggles. Plus, watching them hug and then clap together was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in a long time.

She’s also finally peeing at home. Yes, this was a thing. She was holding it from the time she left daycare until she returned there, not comfortable peeing in our house. This means she’d sometimes she wouldn’t pee for up to 21 hours. It was really stressing me out. But that problem seems to be gone (and yes, she will probably not appreciate me posting about her urine problems years from now).

Also, last night, she cried before bed because her cousin wasn’t there to sleep with her. I found this charming.

Most importantly, she has returned to the happy kid she once was. Sure, there’s the occasional (read: daily) fight about wanting MORE AND MORE oatmeal, MORE AND MORE toothpaste, etc. But, I don’t see this as moving related.

With my daughter feeling happier in her environment, I am too. Last night I watched a movie with a few housemates in our new “chill out” room. And it was good. I like to hear people’s voices downstairs when I wake up. I like our kitchen being full of people when I get home from work.

And I’m looking forward to making the house cleaner, more organized, and less cluttered as time goes on.

Four kids under four? What were we thinking??

 

Four kids under four means there’s always someone crying, or whining, or yelling with joy (all equally annoying, it turns out). There is always someone needing oatmeal, or asking for milk, or chasing the dog, or hitting their cousin, or dripping snot down their face. It’s rarely relaxing and it’s never easy.

This is my take. And I’m somewhat surprised by how hard it’s been for me. It may be due to how hard it’s been for my daughter, who has been a whiny mess since we moved in. I thought this was due to the flu, which she caught the day before we moved. But the flu seems to be gone, and the whininess and tantrums seem to have stayed.

A think a lot of my stress also comes from the state of the house, which I know is temporary (I know this because I repeat it to myself constantly whenever I’m home… “this is temporary, this is temporary.” A mover’s mantra.) Picture a whole family’s worth of boxes taking up every room in the house. Now multiply it by three.

My hope is that once the boxes are unpacked and the kitchen is organized (I guess my husband’s need for order has rubbed off on me more than I realized), I will be a calmer, happy person. Unfortunately, those words cannot describe me at the moment. I look forward to returning to a better me.

Closet Organizers and Chaos

 

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This recent Saturday featured our first house meeting. And our first house meeting featured pizza, discussion about The Container Store’s Elfa closet organizing solutions (see Eliza’s earlier comments on storage), chore talks, general enjoyment, and a lot of noise. Completely unsurprisingly, when there are four kids under four in one house, madness ensues. And this is how we’re choosing to live?

Yes. Because the madness so adorable and lovely it’s almost bearable. And I’m hoping the pros of community and shared burdens will outweigh the chaos.

Here’s why I think it just might work, because, like The Container Store’s Elfa closet organizing solutions, we’re entering into this situation in an organized, modular way. Everything is upfront and in the open. We’re aware of (some of our) potential pitfalls and challenges.

However, also like The Container Store’s Elfa closet organizing solutions, it’s hard to know exactly how to lay out your components ahead of time. I know all my clothes, all my shoes, all my bags. But it’s really hard to envision them all in this particular closet, and to make sure they’re all going to fit in an organized and peaceful way.

I know the way my sister parents, and how she cooks, and how she is, but I haven’t lived with her since I was eighteen. And I’ve never lived with Harry, Anna, or Nate. And sometimes I can barely stand to live with my husband (love you, sweetie).

Are those shoe racks really right for my shoes? What about boots? How do those fit in?

We all love our kids. But what about parenting styles? How do we discipline each others’ kids?

So, as with designing my closet modular organizing system, I’m entering this living situation as prepared as one can be, staying open and aware, hoping for the best, and opting for more drawer space over hanging space. Because I feel like drawers are more versatile, right?