Friday, January 4, 2013

From out of the boxes...

A month ago today, we moved into our home.  We spent that day within a 8 foot radius of the sixteen page itemized list of every box, piece of furniture, or other item that had been carefully wrapped, packaged, and removed from our home in Colorado.  We had the task of 'checking them off' as each item came through the door, to ensure we were receiving our full shipment.  Seeing our items coming off that truck and brought into the house didn't feel as I had envisioned all those nights I spent mentally decorating while we were in the extended stay.  I remember thinking I would feel warm and fuzzy and 'at home'.  After all, it was our furniture, not the hotel's...the kids were reunited with their beds, not the pull-out couch...and the clothes, toys, and kitchen paraphernalia were all now housed within the walls of our house, not the 53' trailer where they had spent 6 weeks.

Ahh, yes...'home'.  Back in the Homewood Suites, it felt so close--yet so far.  But, as the boxes began coming in, I didn't have the feelings of comfort I had long-envisioned and yearned for.  I felt anxiety rising in my core and permeating out of my OCD pores.  These boxes didn't mean 'home'...what was in them did.  And what stood between me and that feeling was a *ton* of unpacking and organizing.  I knew it...and I had a few consecutive mini-panic attacks.

The day grew long and the remaining slices of pizza we had ordered for dinner were sitting, ignored and alone in a shallow pool of grease.  We needed to get the kids to bed, as Gavin had school the next day.  As we climbed the stairs to put on pajamas, I realized the bags from the hotel were all in the dining room.  I trudged back down the steps to grab pajamas and pull ups, toothbrushes and paste.  I'm not entirely certain, but I probably forgot to grab something and had to make the trip at least one, if not three more times.

Soon Gavin and Brynn were tucked into their beds, among the piled boxes of toys, books, and clothes.  It reminded me of the last night the kids and I spent in our Colorado house.  Only, instead of a sense of sadness and nostalgia, those feelings of anxiety crept back in.  I could only imagine how scary it must have been for them to fall asleep in these new huge bedrooms, with boxes all around and strange sounds and shadows.  I had yet to unearth their nightlights, so the hallway lights, alongside several of their 'lovies' served as their comfort as they drifted off to sleep.

Getting Raegan to sleep takes a bit longer, since she still likes to have a bottle to help soothe her.  I know she needs to quit, but with all the changes we'd been through in the latter part of 2012, I opted to hang on to one of the things that I know for sure that calms her.  It's currently on her New Year's resolution to drop the bottle habit (along with learn to use the big-girl potty, and the ever popular 'try to reduce the amount of time spent in time-out')  We didn't have a fridge that first night, so we relied on an oversized cooler and gobs of ice to keep our necessities within the 'safe zone'.  Getting milk from the cooler, I soothed our rambunctious baby girl to sleep and laid her in her crib upstairs, before making the trek back down the stairs to our bedroom.

The main floor master.  Apparently, a popular find the Houston housing market, and actually it increases the re-sale value of homes who have them (this, we learned from our real estate agent).  As a mommy of three little ones, the concept of a main floor master was not high on my 'must haves' list while house hunting.  In fact, it didn't even make the top ten.  Or twenty.  I had not even remembered that floor plan could exist when we were on our search.  And yet, here I was, an entire floor away from the kids.  I knew with the absurd amount of lights I had left on for the kids so they could 'feel safe' that they would be able to navigate their way to our rooms should they need us.  That fact, coupled with the nearly 17 hours I had been awake, was enough to help me drift off to sleep.  Scratch that.  I was knocked the hell out.  So much so, that a pickup truck could have driven through the bay windows of our bedroom and parked at the foot of my bed...and I would have slept through it.

At some point, around 4:30 or so, I woke with a start to the sounds of wailing.  Full-fledged screaming coming from the littlest lungs in the house (anatomically speaking).  I jumped up, and navigated this strange new house like an expert, dodging boxes, random toys, and the bag of clothes from the hotel that I stupidly left a little too close to the bottom of the stairs.  When I reached the nursery, I felt awful.  Based on the face full of snot, the tear-stained pajamas, and the 45 minutes of 'post cry breathing' (think the reverse of Lamaze breathing), I knew she'd been crying for a while.  I was so mad at myself for letting her cry so much, and for not taking the extra few minutes to open the boxes from her room to recover the baby monitor.  We never really used it in Colorado, because her room was about 2.3 steps away from ours, and I could hear every sound she made.  Not quite the case here in Texas, and you can bet the first item on my scavenger hunt list for that day was the monitor.


Over the course of the days and weeks that followed, my anxiety began to wane as things were unpacked, and a sense of order began to take form as I recognized the 'flow'.of how this house will work for us.  Toys found a home (only to be removed and scattered about the floor in a haphazardly fashion), my kitchen became a functioning space for me to feed my family, the clothes found spaces in either drawers or closets and furniture has been delivered and assembled and put into place.  Sure, we have pictures and decor to hang, personal touches we'd like to add, and visions of paint colors we'd like to apply.  But, within one short month, I can proudly say that there are just 6 boxes that have yet to be unpacked, all of which contain books that I'll organize on bookshelf in the guest room this weekend.  All of the furniture we've ordered has arrived,  making this place look a little more 'finished' and a little less 'college apartment' (minus the bareness that still exists on some walls).  We've fallen into routines and establishing new ones as situations arise to best adapt to our new lifestyle.  The kids are happy, content, and running around in circles throughout the house on a daily basis.

While my 'Pinterest to do' list is long, and the palette of paint swatches I have might make Monet jealous, life here in Texas has been born.  We've risen from the 'ashes' of extended stays and cardboard boxes, and have once again made a place that feels like home.

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