Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

We're in the home stretch of our stay at Homewood Suites...closing on our new home is approaching, and honestly, we could not be more excited.  Yesterday we spent the entire day cooped up in our suite because Gavin stayed home from school with a fever.  It was around 4 pm when I finally realized I had yet to shower, and the suite was in a state of semi-disrepair, as Raegan the cyclone had hit with a force that only a toddler can possess.  Where was I during this onslaught of clothes-throwing, toy-tossing, bed-jumping destruction?  I was stuck in the magical world of Pinterest, trying to escape the enchanting lands of Home Decor and DIY/Crafts as I visualized and pinned about 147 different ideas for the house.  Inattentive mommy?  Sure.  But, no one was hurt, and clean-up evolved into a game where the kids earned puff balls to help fill up their reward jar.  In the end, the room was cleaned, I found an escape route from Pinterest, and once again order had been restored to the land.

You can tell that our time here has been met with a mix of feelings.  The kids are just as antsy as Randy and I to move in, however we are all recognizing some of the things that we really don't mind so much about this place.  And so, I've created two top tens...a pros and cons list, if you will, of things we'll miss and things we're okay with leaving behind as we prepare to move on, move out, and move in.

So, do you want the good, the bad, or the ugly first?  (Actually...there really isn't an 'ugly'...we don't have many complaints at all about living here--it was kind of a stretch for me to come up with a full 10 items.)  At any rate...let's start with the cons...

Top 10 Things We Won't Miss About Living in an Extended Stay:
10. Close living quarters.  I mean, like really close.  There's pretty much no escaping anyone here (human or dog), which makes it a challenge to find enough 'time out' spots when I need them.  The dogs definitely miss their larger, roomier crate (and we miss them sleeping elsewhere--pugs snore.  Terribly.)

9. Speaking of the dogs, I will not miss having to walk them everysingletime they have to do their business.  Call me spoiled, but I long for the days when I can simply open the back door and let them run free in our fenced-in back yard.  This is mostly because Mojo has the bladder the size of a fava bean, and refuses to go unless she has an audience in her furry sister, Biscuits.  She will stand and stare with her bugged-out eyes, cross her legs, and wait....and wait....and wait for Biscuits to accompany her outside for 'moral support'.  Meanwhile, Biscuits is a bit on the 'high maintenance' side, and also has a bladder that doubles as a camel hump.  She can hold it--for as long as necessary--until the dew-covered grass is dry (heaven forbid our paws get damp!), or until the temperature is what she considers 'just right' for her to squat and piddle.  Diva with a deviated septum.  
now, I love MaKayla Maroney and am definitely not saying she resembles a pug here...
...but Biscuits sure is trying to capture the 'look' she became known for during the Summer Olympics!

8. Limited television channels...and no guide to speak of.  Okay, this is totally a 'first-world problem', but seriously.  News stations and sports stations dominate the roughly 30 choices of television channels made available to us.  Yes, yes, I know.  We have HBO, which is a help...if it's a movie that is appropriate and/or interesting enough to help pass the time.  I know these kind of hotels are frequented by business people, and therefore stocks, news, and panel discussions are popular choices so they can be 'in the know'...but would it kill to add a little Bravo to the mix?  (Or even FX...I'm dying to know what's going on in Sons of Anarchy!!)

7. A lack of oven/super small kitchen.  Again...'first-world' problem (you'll start to see that many--if not all--of these are, so let me just pause for a moment to apologize for sounding terribly spoiled and ungrateful.  If you can't handle it, I'm sorry for you that you can't find humor in the fact that you're reading this post on the internet and that you can get access to pretty much any information you desire at a lightning fast speed.  If you prefer, I can send you this post via Pony Express since you'd be so willing to give up the luxury of your wireless).  

Anyhow...the kitchen.  I'm definitely not a gourmet chef, however I do know my way around a kitchen.  It's  great that they provide the items that they do, however when faced with needing to cook for a family of five...there's only so many one-pot meals I can handle.  And, the baker in me is craving some scones, cupcakes, or brownies from scratch.  Oh, how I miss having a fully functioning kitchen.

6. Since I mentioned the kitchen, let me mention the lack of convenience the amenities offer a family of 5.  Four of each fork, plate, bowl, etc. means we've got to do a little bit of improvisation when it comes to meals. 
Pasta in a coffee mug.  It's either this, or we eat in shifts.

5. Needing quarters (and an elevator) to do laundry (on the 4th floor--which we are not).  I can't tell you how many times I've banged my head on the stupid coin slots attached to the machines as I awkwardly maneuver damp clothes from the washer into the inefficiently placed dryer.  

the stash is running low...and even though they'll make change for me at the front desk,
who carries cash anymore?
4. Scratchy, single-ply toilet paper.  Enough said.

oh...Cottonelle, how I miss your fluffy softness
3. Pillows that are just 'too soft'.  I'm all for comfort, and love the look of a perfectly plump, fluffed, marshmallow-esque pillow.  But, when you lay on it, and it transforms into a deflated, lifeless board-like non-pillow...that's where I draw the line.  Sometimes, comfort has to trump aesthetics. (Mostly when sleep is involved.  Put a pair of 4-inch, pointed-toe stilettos within an arm's reach, and I turn into a weak-kneed pile of goo.  I love a sassy pair of shoes.)
fashion doesn't match function if you need a chiropractic adjustment after sleeping on these!

2. Having 'lazy days'.  We're going a bit stir crazy in this space since there's not much to do.
Reduced to playing with bubblewrap (courtesy of our breakfast hostess!).
The toothbrush isn't an oddity...Raegan loves playing with her toothbrush.
1. Not having a place to call 'home' (despite what our key card says).  It's funny, one the kids will ask me, "When is daddy coming 'home'?", and every time the other will interrupt with, "This isn't home."  We aren't quite sure what to call our current living situation.  In my eyes (and the eyes of many of my family and friends), 'home' is where your family is, so we are at 'home'.  

But man, we really can't wait to be settled in our house.  

I'd say we've made ourselves at 'home'...the disaster-area of a suite says so.

There...my list of things I won't miss.  I told you it was a bit of a stretch (see #5 and 8...and any others you'd like to add to the list).  I have been struggling with trying to be as positive as possible throughout this whole scenario, knowing that it could be much worse...and while I can honestly admit I wasn't 100% successful in my mission, I'd like to end this post with the positives.  The things I will miss...some of them a lot...in living at Homewood Suites.  

Top 10 Things We Will Miss About Living in an Extended Stay

10. Three words.  Texas. Shaped. Waffles.  I seriously have eaten one everysingleday I've been here.  What is it about the warm, fluffy waffles I can't resist?  Each day, I start with a different part of Texas as my first bite.  Gulf Coast, the chimney, the rugged terrain of the western part of the state...every bite is delicious.  The ding of the timer on the waffle iron, while exceptionally loud (especially in a pre-caffeinated state), brings a little bit of anticipation as I pile on blueberries and sliced strawberries.

Sure, I can buy a Texas-shaped waffle iron.  I've seen them in a few places...but will it be the same?  Will I even have time to sit down and enjoy my creation as I do here each morning?  Most importantly, can my waistline (and collection of Miss Me jeans) handle the daily dose of unnecessary carbs??  Ahh...I'll miss this little luxury.

9. On a 'food note'...it's been kind of nice having a full breakfast buffet provided daily, in addition to dinner prepared Monday through Thursday.  Even though I love cooking (just not in a small kitchen, read: #4 above), it is nice to have a little hiatus from this task before jumping in feet first into stay-at-home mom who will be preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a part of my 'daily job description'.  This little 'extra' has made it that thatmuchnicer being here for the past several weeks.

Give us this day, your daily bread...

8. As if breakfast and dinner weren't enough...the liquid perk of both of these meals comes in the form of the 'vat o coffee' and bottomless wine & beer (sadly, the latter is only a dinner option! ;)

There's something to be said for a cup of coffee that someone else has brewed.  Or a bottle of wine that I don't have to pay for (although, Randy has pointed out that inadvertently, we do pay for the wine & beer...and at a premium.  To which I counter that his company has provided us with relocation costs, so in fact, we haven't. Boom.  Even tastier.)

7. Perfect (and practically endless) ice cubes.  Call me weird, but I have a strange affinity for ice.  I craved it with all three pregnancies.  When I go through Sonic drive-thru, I always order a strawberry limeade and an additional cup of ice.  I believe that Which Wich has some of the best ice around...and am so happy to discover the chain sub shop exists in the Houston area.

So, when I find great ice...I'm in my own small sliver of first-world heaven.  I am eager to find out what the ice is like from our new dispenser on the fridge.  I'd hate to have to come back here just to stock up on the cold cubes.

6. Another love...hot showers.  Turn-my-skin-a-bright-shade-of-pink kind of hot.  Melt-the-makeup-off-my-face hot.  And not just showers...handwashing just feels cleaner with really hot water.  Dishes and silverware washed in really hot water make me feel better about my housekeeping duties in the kitchen.  

It's not like we didn't have hot water in Colorado...we did.  And, I know we'll have hot water in our new house.  But the water here is some kind of special.  I feel like I'm entering a relaxing sauna when I shower, and the makeup cowers at the temperature as I splash my face each night after exfoliating.  It's my own way to make this place feel more like a 'vacation' than actual real-life living.

5. Housekeeping.  Amen.

Who doesn't love little bottles of shampoos and lotions, fancy folded towels,
and a perfectly made bed with a fresh duvet and perfectly plump pillows
(that is, until you lay on them...read # 8 above)

4.  When we moved down here, we had 5 of us, 2 dogs, and about a month or so worth of clothing for each of us.  Add in toiletries, our important documents in our fire safe, a large plastic tote filled with aerosol spray cans (a no-no  for the professional movers), and other odds and ends...it was a lot.  And it didn't leave a lot of space for toys.  The lack of toys has been somewhat of a mixed blessing.  The kids have learned to be satisfied with less (and the angels rejoice), and they're needing to be more creative and willing to share (again, the angels rejoice).  They miss their toys, but I don't necessarily miss the clutter.  The good news is, it's been so long since they've seen them...they'll all be like brand new.

These are the only toys (accompanied by library books)
that traveled to Texas in the Armada.  They're getting a little bored of the 'giraffe bag o fun',
but sometimes, in life, you just have to deal.
3.  Having lazy days.  Yeah, that was on the list above...but once we get into the house, we're going to be catapulted into a more 'normal' type of reality.  I'm sure we'll all miss the days where we don't have to clean a huge house, de-clutter the overflow of toys, and prepare meals.  Yeah, we'll have them again, but for the first few weeks until we get things organized, we'll be busy.  

And then I'll want to start the little projects I've pinned on Pinterest.

2.  Watching the kids cuddle in the same bed.  They'll hate me later in life for taking so many pictures (and posting)...but how can you resist.  I know when my brothers and I were growing up, we'd have 'sleep overs' on a huge 'mom-made' bed of comforters and blankets and sleeping bags.  Those nights, where we'd stay up giggling and tossing around Jason's beloved 'Jammie Pies' until my mom would come in, bleary-eyed, begging us to sleep so she could get up early for work...those are some of my favorite memories from my childhood.

sibling love.  a bond that won't break.
sweet Jammie Pies...my baby brother's version of Gavin's Eeyore

1.  And...the thing I'll miss most about living here...the close quarters.  Again, it's another repeat from my list above, but there's a hidden blessing in being forced to restructure a lifestyle to which we had become accustomed and co-exist in a couple hundred square feet for a few weeks.  Soon, we'll be in 4,000 square feet of space...spread out among five bedrooms (well, four and a guest room), along with a great room, media room, loft space, office, and kitchen.  Will we have nights where we are all squished on a couch or bed watching a movie?  Sure!  Will we have times when we all need 'our own' space?  Absolutely!  But we'll  always have these few weeks where there was no option but to be squished onto a king-sized bed watching Mr. Popper's Penguins, or when we couldn't have our 'own space'--even in the bathroom.  We'll treasure this time...somewhere down the line...and realize that it did not in fact kill us (like some of us joked it may), but it did in fact make us stronger.  

And to survive in this world...there's nothing more comforting than a strong family.

Nothing says 'close quarters' like dinner for five around a coffee table.
Cherished family time.

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