Category Archives: Family

Starting Month 3

It is May and we are at the beginning of month three of living on the multi-generational compound.

Everyone is still married.

We have seen 21 houses now (22 if you count the open house Critter and I went to without Marcus), have seriously considered putting offers in on two, and here we are.

Still living in my parents’ basement!

Our housing requirements continue to be as follows: yard that is at least .3 acres, separate dining room that is big enough for our four leaf formal dining table (or opens up into the living room so we can extend it at the holidays), space to put the treadmill. Not a split-level.

This seems like it should not be very hard, but apparently with all of this open floor plan stuff, literally no one has a dining room anymore. I will be honest, this along with people who argue against china and formal silverware hurt my soul.

From a financial perspective, by not living in our townhouse/paying utilities/cable/whatnot we are currently saving $1,700 per month so that’s a pretty great perk too.   Every month that we live here helps increase the purchase price (and down payment) of our future home OR it provides the financing for my upcoming unpaid maternity leave OR it is money to save for the new (used) car I’ll likely need in the next two years because my CRV is 11 years old.

So, all good things.

Two weekends ago, mom and dad headed Up North and Marcus, Critter, and I had the house all to ourselves. It was…really quiet. Because apparently my parents watch more television than we do (which is none during the day) and just having two less people around will do that for you. We had some friends over for dinner the first weekend (Billy: we are allowed to have friends over without parents home now?) and when they went Up North again this weekend and I hosted a baby shower here along with another girlfriend.

So, we are sort of doing some normal things?

We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with date night. I’d say that we are going out at least every other week if you average it out. That said, when I looked at the calendar last Sunday, I realized we had not planned any dates for the upcoming weeks so I wrote those down promptly.  We need to continue to take advantage of built-in babysitters as much as possible while we still can.

Marcus honestly finds the most bizarre part of this entire experience to be the fact that we eat dinner with one or both of my parents probably four nights per week.  Mostly just because we’re used to eating just the two of us.

Meanwhile, Billy has set-up an anonymous complaint hotline and I will confess I have made two false accusations: (1) That someone had consumed my BBQ Kettle Chips without my knowledge and (2) That Mom took all of the Belle Vie (ALDI label La Croix) to the cabin, leaving me with…no Belle Vie.  No one is perfect.

Anyway, here we are.

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An Easter Weekend Update.

As I am writing this, I am sitting with my feet up because I spent the last two days (mostly) on my feet and more importantly, I survived two days without napping in the afternoon when Critter was napping.  For those not in the loop, I’ve pretty consistently napped in the afternoon when Critter naps since he started napping for more than 20 minutes at a time.  ANYWAY, I was strong!  I stayed up!  With the help of cold brew iced coffee, Amen.

Between Passover and Easter we have Had Some Holiday Time.  Also holidays are so much more fun with a toddler than a screaming newborn, I am just going to say.  Everything about this week was a million times nicer/easier/more relaxed than last year. 

Most importantly, Billy came home.  And because I am incapable of photographing anything anymore, I made him take a selfie with me after Easter was over because, you know, memories.


On Saturday, we went and painted pallets because I promised cousin Sharon last summer that we would do this.


My sign will be going up north to the cabin.

We colored eggs, and after a family vote, agreed that Mom did not need to unearth the Easter baskets that are buried somewhere in the basement, ostensibly in the same area as the missing Christmas ornaments.


Our baskets were instead a modern art piece.

The weekend was delightful, it was warm enough that I could wheel out a maxi dress.  I’m at that weird point in my pregnancy where I’m not quite big enough for maternity clothes yet (except for jeans, I have been wearing those since the six week mark, my God).  I’m also at a point where I outright hate everything I own because I haven’t had a real wardrobe refresh since I finished buying maternity clothes at the end of 2015.  SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SAY, JANUARY 2018 TO PURCHASE SOME ACTUAL ADULT CLOTHES AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS EVEN COOL TO BE WEARING ANYMORE.

But, back to the maxi dress thing.  I am beyond ready for the weather to be consistently toasty enough that I can just…wear them.  I don’t find them to be terribly glamorous, but I do find them to be less frumpy and slightly more put together looking than say, yoga pants AKA Our True Uniform.

Life on the Multigenerational Compound

Well.  Here we are.  20 days later, still living together as one.

We closed on our house last Friday so now, there’s really no going back.  A few weeks ago we saw four houses in one weekend and three of them had strong odors.  Last weekend, there were really no new houses to see.  So that’s where we’re at with that.  As I’ve said before, someday, we are moving.

The full cable package has been enjoyable.  Now that we’re not packing and cleaning constantly, we’re watching…more TV.  And you know, cleaning up all of the address change stuff (OMG never ending and we’re going to have to change it AGAIN when we move).  On Sunday night, we watched Independence Day: Resurgence.  If you’re an Independence Day-lover, 11/10 would recommend it.

Mom and I got the plague.  She still has it, it’s finally leaving me.  And then, just as I announced that my nausea was leaving, it came back with a vengeance and I spent the weekend wanting to hurl and a decent bit of it curled up in bed.

Like, honest to God this pregnancy is so different than the last that I was Googling the symptoms for appendicitis.  I wish I were kidding but I really was not.

So that was pretty fun.  On Sunday, Dad bought me some ginger candies and they are repulsive, but I can’t say they’re making the nausea worse so I will keep eating them.

On the bright side, spring is here for good.  I’m so glad that we can start taking daily walks now until October.  As I was explaining to Critter just today, because we are Minnesotans, now that the nice weather has arrived we have to be outside all the time now.

Anyway, our life is not that glamorous right now, but it is still good.

Someday We Are Moving: Basement Dwelling

We survived the move into my parents’ house and everyone is still married.

Critter had let me know that he is totally fine with everything because anytime I I dare to venture more than 10 feet away from him, he screams.  We are well and truly joined at the hip right now.  BFFs for sure.

If you were to look in our “closet” you would see that I am probably still living in some sort of low-grade denial because even though all of my things on hangers are hanging, all of the dresser things are in suitcases and I just cannot be bothered to organize them.  Related/unrelated, I really probably could straight-up pack up all of my running gear for the time being since I am not…running.  Just not mentally there yet, people.

I will not lie, there are some perks.  Mom cooks dinner.  There is full cable (we cut ours and switched to Sling in January).  We planned our first date night!

On the other hand, it is still exhausting because we have movers coming on Sunday (we’re set to close on the 24th) so every night after dinner we have to head back to the house to pack.  Who would not want to do such a thing after a long day of work/Critter tending?

Over the past month, we’ve toured four more houses.  Two were absolute “nos” and the other two were definite possibilities if the price drops.  All of this is to say that we have no idea where we’re going next.  At least open houses give us something to do on the weekends?

 

Wknd.

This is me, trying to write a normal blog post.

As you can see, Uncle Billy was home this weekend!  Critter was still on the mend, but he was happy to sit next to him and play, pet his beard and even gave him a cuddle at one point.  It was pretty cute to see.

What else happened?  Martha was in town so we went to Bacio for dinner on Friday night with a group of our sorority sisters.  I wore adult clothes and my hair down and it felt very glamorous.  After a LONG week, it was a great thing to look forward to.  One of the mamas in my mama group declared an impromptu wine night on Saturday, so after dinner was finished and put away I headed over to that.  It was nice to catch up with those ladies WITHOUT having to keep an eye on the little ones.  We laughed so hard we cried and it was a beautiful thing.  Since Critter was sick for Zayde’s 60th birthday, we missed his brunch (Marcus went, we stayed behind).  On Sunday morning we got to go to breakfast with him at Fat Nat’s.

It was busy.

And the rest of the time when we were not eating, Billy and Marcus were hauling things to the storage unit and re-arranging some things in my parents’ house so that we can move there.  In one week.  I wrangled Critter and it was just a whole thing.  By the time that Sunday night arrived, we were on the couch and done with all of it.

Reverb | November | Give Thanks

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Give Thanks: Even in the hard years, wonderful things happen. What has filled your heart? What will fill your stomach at the Thanksgiving table?

I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I don’t think I really knew that until midway through college, but it is.  I am pretty sure I also read somewhere about how the Thanksgiving story wasn’t totally true at all (a quick Google search just confirmed) so I really just love that there is no actual point besides family and eating a lot of food.

I feel like every year, I read at least article deriding traditional Thanksgiving foods as being “tired” and it breaks my heart!  Stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, relish trays, all of it.  Cozy, comforting food to its very core.  Honestly, I am somewhat shocked we do not enjoy this feast more than one time in the course of the year.  I am already confident that Critter will be delighted by it too.

And lots of hand turkey art (no, seriously…LOOK).  The Truest American Art Form.  That Critter can now participate absolutely delights me.

What am I so glad for this year?  Our Boy Baby.  My husband.  Our parents.  Our siblings.  Our friends.  Our health.

We have plenty.  Enough.  An abundance.

 

Reverb | October | Ghosts

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Ghosts of Octobers Past: The trees are dying and so are you. We want to know what you plan to do with your remaining years. In the alternate, tell us about your favourite dead relative.


In college, I took a creative writing class to meet my freshman writing requirement.  In the class, the instructor told us that college students write about three things, when mining their lives for experiences to retell: relationships, blackouts, and grandparents.

Grandparents.  How about that.

I remember my Grandma Juaine’s dying words to me, which were “You find your man and hold onto him” and a beseeching that I return to the Catholic Church.  As my parents rebelled and baptized us as Episcopalians and then decided to join-up with the Lutheran (ELCA) church when I was in the seventh grade (eighth?) this was the culmination of a lifelong spiritual battle for my soul.  I will confess, I was only moderately successful in these endeavors.  I did hold onto my man when I found him but instead of returning to The Church I became Jewish.

My Grandma Boots died of Alzheimer’s and a host of other medical complications and hers was a longer, slower goodbye over the course of 80 days of hospice.  There were no last wishes.  Just Dr. Peppers and Cheetos consumed en masse from the nursing home vending machine as a sort of maudlin post-Confirmation party of sorts (hand to God, I got Confirmed the night before my grandmother died) while we prayed Our Fathers around her bedside.

While I had the chance to get to know my grandmothers, into the beginning of high school and the beginning of college, it is my grandfathers that I wish I could have known more.  You see, when I married Marcus, I re-added three grandparents to my tally including two grandfathers.  Over the last eight or nine years I have gotten to love them and be loved by them.  We have shared stories and holidays and firsts.

Having lost Papa when I was barely a toddler and Grandpa at the start of third grade, I can only guess how I would have felt about them as an adult.  The conversations we would have shared, the things they would have done that would have made us crazy.  What traditions they would have been adamant about upholding. How they would have loved Critter.  How many more times I would have gone fishing with Grandpa.  What types of spiffy outfits, my jeans-despising, depression-era, subsistence-hunting Papa would have continued to don.

I know how big they loved me.  I know how big they still do.  It is the little, seemingly inconsequential things that when viewed as a whole are what I will always wonder about.