Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Worst. Mother. EVER.

I blame it totally on these Pink Balls From Hell that we got at Taco Bell today.  The worst sort of sugary junk food not only because it was sugary junk food, but it was sugary junk food from a fast food place.  Our bodies were thrown into complete shock.  We don't normally eat stuff like that.  They're these weird greasy deep-fried cake balls with a mysterious sweet liquid center which for all I know could be made of pure concentrated liquid estrogen for how my family collapsed in a crying heap on the floor today mere hours after consumption.

Let me back up a little.

We've been under a bit of stress.  Moving into our new house has been wonderful, amazing, so fun and a dream come true.  But it hasn't been easy.  There have been many overnight guests, for one.  All of them helpful and wonderful and sharing in our excitement, but nonetheless, houseguests.

There has been some financial upset.  There has been remodeling (see previous post about painting kitchen and outside of the house).  Partway through that remodeling, our homeowners insurance informed us they had to drop us since our roof "appeared to be more than 20% deteriorated" -- forcing us to put a new roof on the house, something we thought we would have at least two more years to worry about.  Add to financial upset.

So every single day, since before we even moved in a month and a half ago, there is someone in the guest room/office, someone in the bathroom, someone on the roof banging, a few inspectors coming in and looking around, someone fixing the garbage disposal, then someone fixing the refrigerator (yes, lost a bunch of perfectly good, expensive food when that thing crapped out.  Add to financial upset.) Sometimes there are two workers here at once.  At times it feels like all I do is coordinate and run around, coordinate and run around.  Prepare food, clean (poorly), take a shower, oh yeah, SAY THANK YOU to all these people working their asses off to fix up YOUR house.

Not to mention everybody getting their bearings around a new neighborhood, the kids starting in a new school, meeting new friends, meeting new neighbors, starting up with the sports again and learning all those rules (soccer, flag football and tennis).  We're all just a little strung out.  I didn't realize how strung out until I made the (very bad) decision to get them out of the house whilst the fridge repair guy sprawled on the kitchen floor to replace the compressor and was spewing freon everywhere.  I couldn't prepare food in the kitchen and it was time for a late lunch.  And Taco Bell was there.

Everything seemed fine after we returned home until the squirrelly-ness of my children seemed to be reaching some sort of frightening apex.  Noah was bouncing on the couch and yammering/giggling like a crackhead.  All McLean wanted to do was hit balls against the wall of the house.  The outside was partially painted today, so I had to tell him a bunch of times not to do it.  Then Derek comes home, tells him some more times not to do it and finally takes the ball away, sending McLean into a frenzy of rage.  He gets a time out, but can't stick to the time out because he has to chase his brother across the house, both of them laughing maniacally as they run.

Just when I decide I just can't and I get up to retire to our bedroom and let Daddy handle it, McLean starts slamming his door, still on a time-out mind you, hard enough to shake the entire house.  Once.  Twice.  And somewhere between the second and third slam, I snapped.  I remember something similar happening when we first moved to SLO almost three years ago.

I grabbed him roughly by the shoulders and yelled (screamed, more like it) to STOP IT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU OH MY GOD--

And immediately regretted it.  His eyes filled up with tears and he fell back on the bed in terrified sobs.

I fucking hate myself.

If anyone on this planet, husband included, had ever done anything to make my son feel that way, I would go all Samuel L on their ass.  I would strike down on thee with great vengeance and furious anger and so on and so forth.  But I had done it.  What can I do to myself?

Cry, that's what.  It's now five hours after the fact and I'm still crying.

I hugged him, cried, told him I was so sorry.  I didn't mean to scare him.  I don't ever want my kids to be afraid of me.  I told him I had a very stressful day and I should have taken some deep breaths and gone into another room.  I should have listened to myself and taken a break earlier.  I should not have lost my temper.  I cried some more.  He cried some more.  We stopped crying long enough to constructively discuss how he could be able to play more handball since he just can't get enough of it during the brief recesses at school but he really loves to play.  He managed to articulate this through post-sob huffs.  We agreed that he will ask for permission to go to the school more after hours so he can play some more.  I said I was sorry again and cried some more.  He hugged me, gave me a kiss, then went into his bathroom and came back out with a tissue.  He sat with me on the floor and carefully wiped all the tears.  My tears.  He was mothering me.

Throughout the above, Noah was crying real tears of sadness and loss that his new stuffed animal bird he had purchased with his own allowance had inexplicably stopped making the chirping sounds when you squeeze it.  He had just gotten it today, was already so attached he had named it (Baby Quire, because it's a quail) and was pacing the house in heaving sobs while Derek tried in vain to talk him off the Pink Balls From Hell ledge.  That didn't work, so he came in and threw his sobs onto our existing heap in the boys' room.  Poor Derek sat on the floor, bewildered by this mess of his family, still fresh from working all day thinking deep engineer thoughts but still putting his arms around us consolingly.  What else could he do?

And through all this, all I could think was, bitch what the hell were you thinking?  Eating those stupid Pink Balls of Doom???  Why?  Why?  Why, bitch, why?

Monday, September 14, 2015

New House!

Well, it's official.  We have settled down.  After living in that old, old, old house in SLO for the past two and a half years, we finally found a place in town that we could call home.  It was the location that drew us to the place most of all -- corner lot on a cul de sac, a block from the park, quiet family neighborhood.  The house itself is not huge, but the yard is, and that was what we wanted more.  It still has a retro vibe to it since it was built in 1960, but had been modestly and tastefully updated over the years.  No weird colors on the walls, no janky additions, no granite countertops thank you very much.

The outside needs a paint job and a little TLC, but that was okay since we get to pick the color.  We're still undecided on that for now, but leaning toward the original light avocado color spotted underneath layers of paint.

The sellers had taken great care of the place (can't BELIEVE they had three kids in here and you can tell they were a shoeless family); so basically the house is a blank slate that we get to personalize one room at a time.

Unpacking and organizing is still happening and seems like it will be happening for the next ten years or so, but we have managed to get the most important room in the house completed, so I can post the before and afters now!

The kitchen is fairly new and I didn't have a problem with the quality of the workmanship, but something about it was just cave-like.  And I had an issue with the black countertops.  You can't really see from the photos, but there is glitter in them.  Not a delicate, natural rock-like shimmer, but big chunks of what can only be described as Stripper Glitter.  Yeah.  Come to find out later, these countertops are quartz.  Very good, durable, solid counters.  We couldn't justify replacing them and couldn't afford to do so anyway with the new mortgage payment.  So I called in my friend Jessica Lynn (yes, she of the amazing life I am currently writing a movie about) and decided a paint job was the way to go.

Here is the kitchen before:

Kinda sad and dark, right?  It's like it just sucked all the light out of the room.  It was also weird that there was absolutely no hardware on any of the cabinets or drawers.  So my girl came in and sprayed all the cabinets a lovely Swiss Coffee white, and did a nice buttery yellow shade (Behr Roasted Corn) on the walls just to brighten it up a bit more.  We actually had to dilute it with more Swiss Coffee to tone it down a little; it was just too spazzy.  We also painted the island with the same yellow so it would pop a bit more.  I picked out the hardware from Home Depot, took down the white horizontal blinds and put up my cute dingle-dangle curtains I had in our Encino kitchen and voila!  We now have this:

I love it so much.  It is the happiest room in the house, even late in the day when these photos were taken.  And I have decided I love the black stripper countertops.  They grow on you.

The cake stand belonged to Derek's Grammy and I think it makes a perfect fruit plate and ties in the black and white theme.  The girl head and ceramic figures on the windowsill belonged to my Grammy.  The metal sign on the door is something I bought at a Red Cross flea market in Germany and gives a nice red accent.  All in all, I am so happy with how it turned out.  Now on to the next room . . .