the mid-December update

Things that have happened in the past week that I haven’t blogged about because holy crap, where did all my free time go? (Oh right, it’s being spent unpacking boxes.)

1. Our house is officially sold. We signed the closing paperwork and handed over the keys this morning. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Mostly relief, because I’m glad to be done with it, but also a hell of a lot of sadness, because that was my dream house, and it’s gone. And yeah, I know we’ll make new memories in this new house and it will all turn out the way it’s supposed to be. But it’s hard.

2. Dave and his mom have come to visit. There was a lot of hubbub about it before they arrived (long story), but so far all of his visits with the kids have been low-key and drama-free, and I’m crossing my fingers that maybe we can maintain that from now on. I mean, I kind of doubt it, but I’m trying to maintain a tiny bit of cautious optimism. And that’s basically all I have to say on that particular subject.

3. My parents closed on their house here. Their moving truck arrives from Mississippi tomorrow. They’re going to be staying at my house for a few more days while they get things settled (they need to buy a refrigerator, that kind of thing), but it’s crazy to think that we’re going to be living less than two miles away from each other.

4. A personal Single Parent Milestone of mine: while hooking up the DVD player (which I did all by myself, boo-yah), a giant cockroach came scurrying out from behind the TV and was about an inch away from my hand. Since I had no husband to yell to come kill it, instead I grabbed my trusty Dyson with its loooong telescope handle and sucked that disgusting 6-legged bastard up.

(And this is where I tried to find a video of Delta Burke/Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women doing her rant about, “I don’t care what anybody says, I think THE MAN SHOULD HAVE TO KILL THE BUG.” Alas, YouTube has failed me. Oh well, you get the idea.)

I’m sure that seems pathetic, but that was my own personal version of a major crisis (I have a phobia of roaches that I cannot even begin to explain), and I took care of it, so I was proud of myself.

5. This past Sunday, I took Catie to see Disney Princesses on Ice. She was SO excited.

Somebody is excited about Disney Princesses on Ice.

The ice skaters for these shows are really amazing, and it’s definitely worth it if they come your way. Note that I am in no way sponsored to say that. I’m just saying, if you have a little girl in the Disney Princess-loving age range, you will make their week, if not their whole year, by taking them to that show. And it entertained me too, because I am a sucker for watching ice skaters do all kinds of graceful leaps and twirls that I could never do in a million years.

6. The girls had their school pictures taken for Christmas. It’s very hard to get a picture of Catie where she isn’t doing a hard “CHEESE!!” – it’s more like she’s baring her teeth than smiling. But Lucy. Oh my, y’all.

They also took pictures of the two girls together (which I couldn’t get a good picture of with my phone, since they don’t allow proofs to leave the premises, and I was sneaking pictures with my cell phone before the daycare director caught me). But needless to say, that photo company is about to get a whole lot of my money.

7. In the midst of unpacking, we managed to get our Christmas tree up, because I promised Catie I would do it as soon as we got to the new house. (Priorities. My clothes are still packed in wardrobe boxes, but we have the damn tree decorated.) I usually love to put Christmas lights outside, but I’m a little overwhelmed by everything this year, so we just stuck a wreath on the door and I’m calling it done.

8. I don’t usually get into all of the symbolism about new years being a fresh start, but let me tell you, 2011 is free to kiss my butt on its way out. I’m so looking forward to 2012 and the promise of new beginnings and clean slates. I already cannot wait for January 1st.

moving day recap

So! We survived the move last weekend. I mean, sort of. The quick and dirty of it went like this:

  • Packed like a maniac for the few days leading up to the move.
  • Both kids went to daycare on Friday to save mama’s sanity.
  • Cats were locked in bathrooms to keep them from darting outside while stuff was being moved. (I did not want a replay of the time Beaumont got locked in a moving truck.)
  • The movers showed up and packed what was left (mostly the kitchen).
  • My mom got sick 2 days before Moving Day, and spent most of the day absolutely miserable. (Like, the furniture was gone, so she just lay down on the floor and went to sleep.)
  • All of my stuff wouldn’t fit on one moving truck. Crap.
  • The movers and I ran one truckload over to the new house.
  • Decided that my mom needed to go to Urgent Care, so I sent her off while finishing up with the movers.
  • Back to the old house to get the last of my stuff.
  • The movers finished unloading my stuff right as the Time Warner dude came to hook up my cable & Internet. (Good timing there!)
  • Mom picked up the kids from daycare on her way back from Urgent Care.
  • Since the movers were finished, Catie and I went back to the (empty) old house to retrieve the cats.
  • The cats freaked the ever-loving crap out, as you’d expect.
  • We had take-out for dinner.
  • I decided that instead of a celebratory cocktail at the end of the day, I’d opt instead for a celebratory Vicodin, because my back was in excruciating pain.
  • With all the craziness, we (even the baby) finally collapsed into bed sometime after 1 a.m. INSANITY.
  • The end.

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    I was worried about how Catie would adjust to this move, since she isn’t exactly a stellar sleeper anyway. She’s been doing ok. She insists that she doesn’t want to sleep on her bed, she only wants to sleep on the air mattress. Which, you know, FINE. I don’t really care where she sleeps, it’s not important enough to make a big fuss about it, as long as she’s in her own room. So we set up the air mattress for her right next to her bed.

    She’s still been crawling into bed with me every night around 3 or 4 in the morning, but I’m not complaining about that either. I’m cutting her some slack while she gets through this initial adjustment phase. I’ll start putting my foot down about her staying in her own bed after she starts to feel settled here.

    On the up side, she is very excited about her “Bright! Green!” room. Of course, since we hung up her purple curtains, it kind of looks like Mardi Gras in there, but we’ll just call that a tribute to her Louisiana heritage. And she’s decorating her room with those removable vinyl wall stickers. She’s chosen a theme of horses, Disney princesses, and dinosaurs. Which… well, that pretty much sums up Catie in a nutshell right there. It’s perfect for her.

    Lucy is doing pretty well too. The movers broke her crib (like, the wood has split), so that sucks, but we’re dealing with it. (Solution: turn the broken side of the crib toward the wall so she can’t fall out of it. I’m not shelling out for a new crib at this stage of the game.) It seems that now that she’s able to roll herself onto her tummy at night, she sleeps much better. Sometimes she wakes up and fusses (like, not real crying, just making noise) for less than a minute, then she goes back to sleep. That’s been a life-saver.

    Oh, speaking of Lucy:

    6 month appointment

    She had her 6-month checkup last week, and was deemed basically perfect. In case there was any doubt.

    She also weighed in at 17 pounds, 14 ounces, and 26 inches tall. Big girl! She’s becoming quite the foodie, which is awesome and hilarious to witness.

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    Now, the fun part starts: figuring out how to decorate this place.

    And you know the best part of that? I get to decide where I want my stuff to go, and I don’t have to ask anyone else their opinion. That’s kind of awesome.

    a good Monday

    I don’t usually have nice things to say on Mondays. I especially don’t have nice things to say when I’m sick and have almost lost my voice entirely. But two very good things happened today:

    1. I took Catie for her first appointment with a counselor. She was mostly interested in the fact that the therapist had toys in her office, but the two of them seemed to hit it off really well. I’m going to take it as a good sign that she cried when it was time to leave. We’re going back next week.

    2. I have a house! I was really stressed about finding a rental house here, because they seem to get snatched up before I could even see one. But this house became available last week, and after I saw it, I immediately filled out an application to lease it.

    If I was looking to buy a place, I would’ve been turned off by the powder blue siding. And a lot of the inside is dated (fruit-themed wallpaper in the kitchen, etc.). But it’s a rental, so I don’t care. Hell, maybe I need some pastel cheeriness in my life right now. It has all the spaces that I need – a playroom for the girls, an office for me, etc. It’s surrounded by enormous shade trees. It’s an area that’s full of little kids, and there’s a neighborhood playground within walking distance.

    And, it’s exactly 1.6 miles from my parents’ new house.

    So it’s perfect. I’m really excited to get us into our new space, and start working on setting up our new little life.

    finding my voice

    Last night, I had a dream that I was in labor with Lucy, and Dave had disappeared and nobody could find him. So I left the hospital – while still in labor – to go look for him.

    Yeah. I hardly need Freud to show up and interpret that one for me.

    I struggle a lot with how to maintain a balance online, trying to figure out what’s an appropriate amount of my life that I can share. This blog isn’t anonymous, and I try to be careful not to hurt anyone among my family or real-life friends who may read it. I also try to be careful when I think about what my kids might read someday. My usual rule is that if it affects more people than just myself, I don’t talk about it.

    Last week, in a state of panic, I talked about a lot more online than I usually would have. And I got a hell of a lot of push-back for it. I was accused of airing my dirty laundry in public, showing a shocking lack of judgment, etc. An anonymous Twitter account was created to accuse me of “setting the stage” for the events that happened (which, if you think that anything that happened last week was fun for me? You’d be sadly mistaken). The account was later deleted – I’m guessing that the person knows me somehow, but I can’t fathom a guess as to who it was. It doesn’t really matter anyway.

    The fact is, right now this divorce is an integral part of my life, and that’s probably what a lot of my blog posts are going to be about for a while. I have no intention of dragging Dave’s name through the mud. Yes, I’m hurt and I’m angry, but I know I’m not perfect either.

    But I need to be able to talk about some of these things, because as Aunt Becky would say, I cannot live a [redacted] life.

    I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to admit that I could use some support from my online friends. But in order to get that support, I need to be able to talk openly about what’s been happening.

    I might password-protect a few posts. I don’t know. I haven’t decided how I’m going to handle this. I’ll figure it out as I go, I guess. Just like the rest of my life.

    taking a deep breath

    If you follow me on Twitter, you might have witnessed my tweeting of a major family crisis that happened. If you missed it, well… I’ve deleted everything about it, because I decided it was probably inappropriate to share online. I was in a state of panic, and I reached out for support. That’s what I use social media for; however, I also don’t want to cause any additional distress to my family. So that’s the last I’m going to say about it.

    Except this: we are all ok. It was really bad and scary and awful for a while, but it’s starting to gradually get a little better, and I can see that things are going to turn out ok.

    happy Catie on the merry-go-round

    Baby jeggings!

    I mean, come on. How could they not?