Tag Archives: new house

The Box Rebellion


“Mama, we go HOME.”

“We are home, Ellie, this is our home now.”

“No, Mama, dis is new house, not home. I wanna go HOME now!”

“Our stuff isn’t there anymore, sweetpea, it’s here in this house. Your bed is here, your toys are here, Mama and Daddy and Benjamin are here. See?”

“I wanna go home.”

“This is where we live now, bunny.”

“No, thank you. It NOT.”


“Mama, we going home now?”

“Yes, we’re going to the new house. That’s our home.”

“No!” *pouting, tears*

We take her to the old house to show her that nothing is there anymore. Then we go home.


I turn left at the light onto our new street. Ellie is in the back seat clutching her doll.

“Mama, we go to the new house now?”

“Yep, we’re going to the new house now.”


It was unprecedented. The 2-year-old was suddenly, inexplicably able to triumph over her typical rigid and maladaptive nature, adjusting to the new house in only three days. Benjamin did an equally good job. I’d love to take credit and write something profound about how I leveraged the concepts of consistent, compassionate parenting in order to effectively manage change in my children’s lives – but really, they did a good job all on their own with little input from me. The Lesson: Sometimes if you get out of your kids’ way and stop talking so much, things just fall into place.

(Now that I’ve said that, it’s certain that the first thing Benjamin will bring up to his future therapist is the time he was ripped away from the only home he ever knew, and everyone acted like it was no big freakin’ deal. Unfeeling monsters! Passive aggressive manipulators! Emotionally numbed-out zombies who eat children’s tender beating hearts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!)

Speaking of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I unpacked the kitchen first. Because BY GOD, WE HAVE TO EAT. Clothes? Medicine? Toiletry items? Books? Ppppffffftttt. I still haven’t unpacked all of that stuff. But all the food is right where I can find it.

Also unpacked and/or installed: televisions, blinds, wireless Internet, pet supplies, and sod. I’d love it if we were the kind of people who rushed to unpack their art studio first thing, or their cherished world-travel memorabilia, or even their home gym equipment…but alas, we are not those people. We are people who unpack the food and televisions first, and race to ensure that we have blinds up so the children sleep as long as possible in the morning.

I’ve given myself until the end of next weekend to get all of the rest of the boxes unpacked. The main motivation is that I’m tiring of conversations following this general template:

“Have you seen my _________?” (Fill in anything, here. Shampoo. Book. Health-sustaining medication. Cat.)

“No. Did you look in the box in the dining room?”

“Which one?”

“The one on the top? Or maybe it’s in the box in the coat closet.”

“No, I looked there. That box is full of cleaning supplies and toddler clothes.”

“Oh. Well, there’s a box of Christmas decorations in the half bath. It could’ve gotten thrown in there.”

“Christmas decorations in the half bath?”

“Yeah. I was carrying the box, and that’s where I got tired.”

“I’ll just go look in the garage. There are tons of boxes in there, still.”

“Good idea. Maybe someday we’ll actually be able to park a car in there!”

Or a bike, at least.

As usual, I’m being slightly hyperbolous. It’s not really that bad. There are not any boxes in the half bath (anymore). We are not missing the cat. Even now, there is room to park a bike in the garage. But anyone who has moved recently knows what I’m talking about. It’s like living in a convoluted cardboard maze. And no matter how carefully you label the boxes (oh, if only I’d labeled carefully), there is just no way to know where everything is until you’ve unpacked every last one of them.

Given my history, that will probably occur sometime around 2015.


The Dirt Pile of Our Dreams

Back in snowy December, we reserved a lot upon which a construction company agreed to build our dream house.

“We’ll break ground in February, and then your house will be done in June.” Simple pimple!

Even though we had two months until ground breaking, there were still things to do and think about. We had to choose colors…siding, wood, granite, tile, carpet, front door…even door knobs. (Or should I say door levers, because that’s what we went with in the end. Knobs are so 2010.) Did we want recessed lighting? A garage extension? Pre-wired home security system? Clear or obscure glass in the shower? Disco ball in the great room?

(No, that wasn’t really an option, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have one.)

We did all of that, and then we waited impatiently. And waited impatiently some more. Finally, one day in late February, they dug a hole! A big house-shaped hole, surrounded by mounds of dirt. And then nothing else happened.

In this and other cold-climate states, there are laws addressing the time of year in which the frost in the ground is…defrosting. While that’s going on, people who construct things can’t drive their necessary-for-construction vehicles around on the soft ground, lest they commit such crimes as cracking the tender pavement and mashing the sensitive curbs. I had no idea these laws existed before this particular spring, nor would I have cared. But what it meant for The Dirt Pile of Our Dreams was that it would remain nothing more than a dirt pile until the laws were lifted.

So, since February, we’ve been stuck in construction purgatory. Daily, I checked the frost law update web page (they even have a web page for it!) to see if the status had changed. Daily, we drove by our mound of dirt, monitoring the progress on other people’s houses, because at least it was something to DO. Daily, we valiantly maintained patience and perspective, at least on the outside, while we waited for the day that the trucks would roll in.

And that day is TODAY! Today, the frost law enforcers (seriously, there are frost law enforcers who come and take your equipment if you defy THE LAWS) will abandon their posts, and with any luck, the burly concrete guys will begin pouring our basement walls.