August Twenty Fifteen

August started off with a bang and ended pretty blandly (this is a good thing). We were horribly sick, and I was in the ER as the month rang in. Awesome. We managed to get through the sickness, recover, prepare for the move, and begin our homeless adventure in California. It was one hell of a month. And how nice it is to be at a point where we just exist… nothing hanging over our heads as we start September.

After losing most of the first weekend in August to being sick, we needed to get out even if just for a short trip. Since they started building our house (this one, with the bonus and fifth bedroom option), we’ve been checking it out every weekend. That was the outing we needed; to Carnation we went. It’s fun watching the house be built and seeing the progress week by week. The kiddos seem to enjoy it, too. The outing didn’t last long. Brian and I both realized pretty quickly that we probably shouldn’t have gone out while still sick. Back home we went to be sick some more.

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Monday was my next doctor appointment and I had scheduled Laine for her annual well-child appointment at the same time. I love that we all see the same doctor, it makes life easy. And such a bonus that he delivers babies. It’s a one-stop-shop. I had prearranged with Brian to work from home for the morning so I could take only Laine to the doctor instead of piling in the whole crew. He ended up taking a sick day since he was still not feeling back to normal and was on for two kiddo watch. So of course, when the time came to head to the doctor, it became a family affair. We all went. I was on for the one-hour glucose testing so I wasn’t sure how the timing would go. It worked out perfectly fine. I was given the drink right away and then they took us into the room for the appointments. And by the time we were all finished, it had been an hour and time for my blood draw. Laine had two shots that she took okay. She was tough leading up to getting them but broke down as soon as the nurse came in. She managed and survived just fine. The way she tells it you would never know she broke down. Back home we went since on top of having a high from the glucose drink, I still wasn’t feeling well. Brian’s mom arrived in town later that evening. She was on her way to visit a friend in British Columbia and then heading toward Montana before making her way to North Carolina, her home for the next year or so.

The kiddos and I spent the first week packing little by little what was left between playing as usual. In their efforts to be helpful, it took twice as long to get things done. And that’s okay, help is always appreciated. I’m convinced no matter how large of a space we’ll live in, everyone will be right under my feet. Evidence:

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It had been a while since I had taken Lainey Bug on a date. She was overdue and had been asking to go on one. The week before she received a few birthday cards with some money so I took her to Toys “R” Us to pick something out. That kid, so much like her father. They both take forever to make a decision (Blaise and I know what we want right away, which isn’t necessarily better). We went up and down every.single.aisle in search of the perfect find. And of course, she kept finding things for Blaise and Saige. Blaise is the same way; they are always thinking of the other (no complaints about this). After an hour or so, she found a skateboard and declared, “This is exactly what I wanted!” Success. We left with a skateboard, a stacking toy for Saige, and a dump truck for Blaise. As we buckled in the van, I asked her if she wanted to go anywhere else. Applebee’s. I took her there on our last date for a brownie dessert and she wanted to go back. So we did. We finished the date off with a trip to the grocery store to get Cream of Wheat, her request. It’s always nice having one-on-one time with each kiddo. They get along well together but there is something about having time devoted to only one.

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I’m not a big Starbucks person, I only drink horrible coffee as Brian would call it. (I admit I’ll only drink Folgers instant coffee like my dad used to make for us on special coffee and toast mornings.) When I do go to Starbucks, I always get a Venti Ice Water. Laine called her Applebee’s water a Venti Ice Water. I thought that was adorable; they pay attention to everything.

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The kiddos were pretty awesome during the entire packing process. We started packing boxes in May and did little by little each weekend with trips to storage. Each trip included a few boxes with some toys. The last few weeks in our place we left out only LEGOs, cars, MagnaTiles, a horse for Lainey Bug, and Saige toys (stacking cups and whatnot). I thought we didn’t have that many toys but it was clearly obvious I was wrong when we started packing. Probably all the Target trips. Things magically appear in the cart every time. Having few things makes it obvious they don’t need many toys. They got along just fine with few things to play with, and probably played more with their imaginations than usual (and they have great imaginations to begin with). I’m debating not unpacking some of the toys boxes. At least another purge is in order. And toys aside, they have each other to play with. They all play so well together, three has been a breeze. Thankfully, no jealousy or feeling left out issues.

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Moving week was upon us. It felt like forever in the making yet came quicker than it felt it should. I’m not sure what I was originally thinking having Brian take only the day before we planned on leaving for California off… glad I had the foresight to have him take the entire week off. We needed every minute of it.

Monday morning we signed the closing papers for our current place. Happy they had the option to send a notary to our place instead of having to go somewhere because we would have had to take all three kiddos with us. After signing—which felt oh so good—the kiddos and I ran to Bed Bath & Beyond and Target to get a few things we needed for packing, like dish storage quilted zipper thingies. And of course at Target, toys jumped in the cart. The big kiddos and I returned home and Brian left, he had the pre-drywall walk-through for the new house. They walked him through the entire house and talked plumbing and electrical. The rest of the day was spent preparing for the movers who were coming Tuesday morning. We had to take the bed frame apart, pack up the mattresses in plastic, unscrew the bookshelves from the walls, pack the kitchen, bathrooms… it didn’t seem like that much until we actually started down the list. Add in help from the three kiddos, and it was a full day of work.

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Tuesday the movers came bright and early. After we moved from our last college apartment, we vowed to never move ourselves again. And we haven’t. We pack but the loading and unloading we leave to professionals. It’s one of those things that makes you realize you’re officially an adult, like when you want to go to bed at 9pm. After getting a quote for $2300-$3100, we called the movers we used back in 2006 and happily paid less than half of the first quote. Three guys and a big truck arrived in the morning, and they had everything packed up within an hour. (It would have probably taken us two days.) Brian left with them to the storage place. We already filled one 10×10 and had another with very few boxes, and we still needed a third. I didn’t realize we had so much stuff. I’m a purger (so I thought?!). Thankfully they had only one 10×10 available so Brian snagged it. The movers jam-packed the second one and filled the third one up a little less than half. Which left us plenty of room to take over random remaining items we were still using up until we left for good. The rest of Tuesday was cramming in cleaning, wall patching, packing up the last items, gathering items for a dump run, and packing and preparing to leave for California Wednesday afternoon after the carpet cleaners left. It wasn’t until late Tuesday night after two days of packing and cleaning, that our exhausted selves realized leaving Thursday was a better decision. We didn’t officially close until Friday so we had a little leeway (thank freaking goodness).

We survived Tuesday night with no furniture. The kiddos slept in sleeping bags on our bedroom floor and us on an air mattress, which was surprisingly comfortable. The cats were confused. Mayah didn’t budge from her old lady routine. Wednesday morning started early with me up at 6am getting ready for the carpet cleaners. They were to arrive between 8am-1pm so of course I planned as if they would be there first thing (never happens that way). I moved everything from upstairs to the downstairs, which made leaving for good feel much more real. Weird. Brian left with Laine to do a dump run, food bank run, and a few remaining errands to gather more last minute items. The carpet cleaners arrived around 11am and were quick, out within the hour. We weren’t asked to clean the carpets—heck they were new last October—it just felt right to have them cleaned for the new owners. I wanted them to walk in and feel like it was a new place. The carpets cleaned nicely; they looked and smelled new. After they left and Brian and Laine returned home, we did even more packing (I never want to pack a box again). I forgot the vases under the sink, we missed a stack of dishes, there were remaining cleaning supplies, random garage items… all things that needed to go to storage. So we packed. Off to storage we went. With no food or dishes at home, we ate in Carnation before making yet another Target trip for even more last minute items, and then back to Carnation to take pictures of the plumbing and electrical in the new house (the workers are there until almost sunset). Brian had taken my phone to the walk-through Monday since his phone’s storage was full, only to have mine take about 10 photos before my storage was full. Bad planning on our part. The last I’ll see the house before we move in. Sad I’ll miss seeing the progress but excited to get on with things. (I can’t wait for that bathtub. My nightly baths will be that much better.)

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We got back home around 9pm, quickly tucked the kiddos into their sleeping bags, and got on with the never-ending list. We had to do paint touch-up, clean, pack even more last remaining items, and pack our bags for California. Storage trips were over so we packed Brian’s car with the things we were still using but didn’t need to take to California, like cleaning supplies, the vacuum, Brian’s coffee maker, and whatnot. The plan for Thursday was to wake early, pack up remaining things in Brian’s car, finish packing the van, and clean the floors on our way out.

We over-estimated how much effort moving after almost nine years was—with three kiddos helping and while pregnant, in the heat. We hoped to leave for the last time around 10am; it was closer to 1pm when we did. How sad. In the rush to get moved and everything ready to leave, the emotional impact hadn’t hit me (yet). I didn’t cry when my dad or Nan died, never cried when any of our kiddos were born, yet I broke down in tears as the garage door closed for the last time. That was it. We were never coming back. This had been our home for almost nine years. We spent many days and nights making memories along the way… we brought three kiddos home, planned our fourth, welcomed Mhoosie and Snuggles, said goodbye to Leilah (tears still, I cried for her big time), grew our marriage, had many family and friend visits… so many memories. As exciting as it is to move forward, the sadness of leaving hit me hard. We dropped Brian’s car off at the Stewart’s, hit up Taco Time and Starbucks, and off to California we went. We called 2pm our official leaving town time.

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The drive was as expected, with a little more traffic through Tacoma to Olympia than usual. Almost 14 hours later, we arrived in Linden at 4:30am. Brian was a driving champ. As usual, he did most of the driving. The kiddos did great, with them falling asleep around 8pm as we hoped. The cats didn’t make a peep and Mayah was Mayah. She wanted dinner around 4pm despite us always feeding her at 5pm. Once in Linden, we quickly unpacked the kiddos, cats, and Mayah; set up the bare minimum; and hit the hay. We were all zonked. Our homeless adventure began…

After sleeping in until mid-morning Friday, we managed to be alert enough to head out and get supplies for our stay here. No sense in driving down diapers and food when we can just get it all here. Saige decided to start walking during the move week so we needed to get her shoes while we were out. Stride Rite first, then supplies. Of course at Stride Rite she decided to crawl. We found a pair of soft-soled shoes for her and let the big kiddos pick out a pair each, too. They’re so funny. I can walk into a store and narrow down what Laine will pick, not so much with Blaise. He is his own self (and I’m proud). He wanted red Tom’s. I didn’t even know he liked red; it’s always blue and green that are his first picks. Laine went with the sparkly sneakers, which fit her personality well. She needed socks to wear with her new shoes. They had a pack of pink, purple, and white socks. Her favorite colors. When the saleslady asked which color she wanted, she said, “One pink and one purple.” (Matching socks is overrated.) I asked them if I could take their pictures wearing their new shoes. Blaise said sure, and insisted on posing first. Laine followed suit and posed, too (and he proceeded to hijack her pictures).

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The rest of Friday included Blaise and Laine discovering the hose in my mom’s backyard, making mud, and Saige practicing for her future mud wrestling career.

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Cousins started school the day before we arrived so we were able to finally see them on Saturday. Owen had a soccer game that Brian took the older kiddos to watch. Saige and I stayed home and napped (I don’t enjoy heat, let alone 100+ degree heat). After the game, Brian and the big kiddos picked me up and we met cousins for lunch. Saige stayed behind to keep on napping, and didn’t even wake up until we were back home. Kid was tired. All five of us went over to cousins’ house for a little backyard play before packing in our first Saturday in town.

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Sunday was off to a slow start. The kiddos helped my mom plant a few bushes out front (and got their new shoes all muddy, it was just a matter of time) before we left in the afternoon for Brian’s dad’s house. When Brian and I first started dating, we lived maybe 15 minutes apart. In the last few years, my family moved about an hour south and his about an hour north, making it almost a two-hour drive between families. Which is nothing compared to a 14-hour drive but still a drive. We visited with the O’Neill side and had dinner there before driving back to Linden. All kiddos fell asleep on the way back—which rarely happens these days—and we were able to transfer them to bed without an eyeball showing.

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Since getting into town, we were still on the go so we took Monday to fully recover (although still questionable if I’ll fully recover until 2016). The nice thing about Linden is that it’s in the middle of nowhere and it takes a minimum of 20 minutes to get anywhere worth going. Which makes it appealing to just stay put. They do have a library on the one main street in town. We decided to check that out Monday afternoon after naps to get a few chapter books for our stay. Such a cute little library. It reminds me of the small one in Carnation. Both have a very local, small town feel. The kiddos enjoy books by Roald Dahl so we checked out James and the Giant Peach for bedtime reading, along with a few other books—trucks and horses of course. Laine even checked out two books for Saige, one in Spanish.

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It’s harder to get pictures of the big kiddos these days… they’re always moving about. And if they catch me, it’s either an awkward pose with a weird, forced smile or a “No pictures, mom!”

Tuesday was another recovery day. And what a great day it was… not only did I head out for some me time to get a facial, Brian received an email in the morning from his boss saying he wanted to arrange a time to chat before his upcoming review. They Skyped not long after the email while the kiddos and I napped. Brian received a promotion along with a generous raise, bonus, and stock award. He earned it; he worked really hard these past few months and led a major project for release. All while being a total hands-on dad and husband. It’s fun as the wife to see him grow in his career, especially since I don’t exactly have one myself. I remember when he first started in the industry at a small startup. Now he’s all big time. Happy for him.

Wednesday we decided to actually make plans to do something instead of just playing it by ear. Before making the homeless trip to California, I looked up local kiddo activities. I found a science museum in Lodi, the World of Wonders Science Museum. What a fun little museum. Of course the kiddos were high-energy and went from exhibit to exhibit without really focusing on the science part. There was even a play area for the little ones that Saige enjoyed.

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Saige was captivated with the headphones. It was a delayed sound exhibit and Blaise was on the other end so she was hearing his voice.

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We left the museum for Target to pick up an umbrella stroller. We tried to fit the BOB in the van before leaving Washington but it was too much to bring with everything else. Leaving the museum, Laine declared she was starving. I was hungry too. I’ve come to realize that I’m not a big fan of food. I only eat to survive and have very limited meals I’m remotely interested in. It could be because my natural state the past 1.5 years has been pregnant. Who knows. That day I was in the mood for chicken fajitas, and Chili’s was on the way to Target. We were immediately seated and Blaise said he didn’t feel well. He was fine at the museum, even palled around with a seven-year-old there. Him not feeling well was news to us. And he really didn’t feel well. We quickly ordered and ended up packing up his meal to go. Food-obsessed Saige thinks restaurants are amazing. You sit down and food magically appears in front of you. Kid eats anything and even occasionally growls in delight when taking bites. Weirdo. With Blaise not feeling well, Target was out of the picture. We drove back to Linden and called it a day. I’m not sure what he caught but he had a fever for the rest of the night that broke in the morning. He said he still didn’t feel well and just wanted to stay home. So he did for the next few days.

Before coming to California, I told the kiddos I’d get them a toy each for all their help with the move. Blaise was an easy pick, LEGOs. Laine, I wasn’t sure what to get. She’s hard to buy for. One of the days she was pretending to drum on two of my mom’s ottomans so I decided to order a few drums for her. She’s always loved music. Even though Linden is in the middle of nowhere, Amazon always pulls through. I chose the standard two-day delivery as a Prime member but they came the next day. They get a bad rep, which I knew before the article, but as a customer I love them. I feel bad.

Laine loves the drums. Saige and Blaise, too. They’re quite the hit (no pun intended).

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Between Blaise not feeling well and likely wanting a break from all the chaos and go-go-go, he said he still wasn’t feeling well Friday. Maybe he wasn’t but I think it was just an excuse to stay home again. And that’s fine. I’m a homebody, too. I get it. Despite saying he didn’t feel well, he felt well enough to go to the Dollar Tree with Brian. The kiddos had requested water balloons so on their way to find some, they found a Dollar Tree and popped in. They had water balloons—100 for $1. So they bought two packages. Big spenders. They actually spent $21 on a bunch of random items. I feel like we should have discovered dollar stores years ago.

When they got back to my mom’s, they were anxious to crack open the water balloons (I think Brian was, too). Brian spotted an ice chest in my mom’s garage so he and the kiddos went out back and filled it up with water balloons. He had them say, “It’s on like Donkey Kong” as he took their pictures (that saying totally dates him). And it was on, they were soaked when they finished up.

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It’s been so nice to have nothing to do—a benefit of being homeless—and no place to have to go that I’ve been enjoying being lazy. The idea of doing something sounds better than actually doing something. Brian had been itching to take the kiddos to Fairytale Town since last summer when we were here. We kept meaning to go but never made it in there on our visits since. Sunday ended up being a family day, giving my mom and her dogs some home alone time. (I know how it is to have house guests. While enjoyable, alone time in your own home is a fantastic feeling.) We set out without really knowing what we were going to do; it would depend on the mood once we were on the road. The Jelly Belly Factory was an option, as was Fairytale Town / Funderland / Pony Rides / Sacramento Zoo. Half-way to Sacramento as the driver, I decided I didn’t want to drive to Fairfield. To Fairytale Town we went. I figured Brian could check it off his parenting bucket list. We hadn’t been since we took Gaelan back when he was maybe six, so over 16 years ago. I didn’t remember it at all, aside from the crooked mile which I thought was actually a mile when I was a kid (Brian thought the same). It was cute but both Brian and I thought the same thing… the kiddos were a bit too old for it. They had a great time regardless, running around and letting out any pent-up energy they had. Saige rode in her new umbrella stroller and thought she was hot stuff being able to lean forward, unlike in the BOB where the straps are more secure. We lasted maybe 30 minutes there before Brian pitched pony rides. Laine was sold. Blaise was hungry and wanting to leave anyway.

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Awkward, forced kiddo smile alert… see Laine above. =)

I had no idea there were pony rides in Land Park. I feel like should have known this. Laine was already eyeing which pony she wanted to ride as we approached the line. Blaise said he wanted to ride, too. Which was a first; he’s never had any interest in riding a pony or horse. And the last time he showed interest, I paid and he backed out when it was time to hop on the saddle. He went through with it this time and rode Cody. Laine rode Snowball, who stopped mid-ride for a long bathroom break. I imagine we’ll now have plenty of Snowballs as she plays with her imaginary horses she likes to ride (couch cushions and whatnot). Saige and I waited in the shade, her enjoying her new stroller even more. Kid likes the thing, even tries to climb in it by the front door where it sat after we brought it home. (It could be that the kiddos strapped her in and raced her around. She’d squeal in delight.)

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Pony rides completed. It was getting hot and we were getting hungry. Since I had taken Laine on two dates that included Applebee’s dessert, Blaise had been wanting to go. And when we were driving in Lodi a few days before, Laine spotted an Applebee’s. That was the requested lunching spot. Applebee’s never dissapoints with a bad something. Like the one time in college when Brian and I walked in to be seated and were turned away as the hostess said, “We’re out of food,” or the time we waited and waited for our waiter just to find out she walked out during their shift. And all the times they didn’t get something from our order right. It was either Applebee’s or Denny’s past 10pm back in our San Luis Obispo days (I hear they have more restaurant options now). We were seated right away. I was looking forward to—shocker—chicken fajitas. They took them off their menu. Lame. Granted, I hadn’t eaten food at Applebee’s since college. I had only been the two times with Laine getting desserts since. Brian suggested ordering off the two meals for $20 so we did, and I went with the All-American Burger… it was just written like that with no description (I suppose I could have looked in the burger section). Turns out the All-American Burger is actually just beef, cheese, bacon, and sauce. That’s all. Not really a burger in my book but whatever. We started calling it Crapplebee’s a while ago after I read that somewhere. And it was… Saige concurred (literally).

Driving back to Linden, we decided to stop at Raley’s for a few supplies. Laine hit a wall. Big time. She was that kid screaming across the entire store. She’s only been that kid in public once before (plenty of times at home). She had been without a nap all weekend and it caught up to her. Our fault, we should have known better. Brian left mid-trip with her to the van while Blaise, Saige, and I finished up. Laine was still crying when we got to the van and quickly fell asleep as we started driving. Early bedtimes for all that night. Every kiddo was in bed by 6pm. And that was our Sunday.

Monday Brian started back at work after two weeks vacation. He arranged prior to our homelessness to work remotely for the week before he flew back on August 31. (He’ll be back September 4 to work remotely for a week again. He can’t miss Blaisey Daisey’s fifth birthday!) My mom has a nice set-up with an office where he can close himself off to the chaos of three kiddos running about during the day. The week was pretty bland between him working and the kiddos and I trying to settle into a routine while we’re staying at my mom’s. We didn’t end up doing much… Monday, the plan was to go to Brian’s dad’s house for dinner with all of Brian’s brothers there. Brian and the girls went; Blaise got sick again mid-day with a fever and he threw-up for the second time in his life. Poor kiddo. He was fine by Tuesday morning but we stayed home just in case. Wednesday we needed diapers so a Target run was in order. We stopped at a local fruit stand Laine had her eye on for strawberries, a watermelon, and plums. That was as exciting as the week got because come Friday, Blaise was fine again in the morning playing outside and by 4pm, he was asleep until 7pm just to wake with a fever and another bout of throwing-up.

Highlights from the week include:

Blaise completing his newest LEGO set (I love the Technic sets because it takes him longer than an hour to complete. Selfishly.)

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My mom coming home with a marble run for the kiddos to enjoy.

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Me discovering my mom’s Nintendo Wii in the bedroom. And bonus, finding Super Mario Bros. 3 installed, my favorite… I was obsessed with all the Super Mario Bros. games and used to play them until all hours of the night when they’d come out. Surprisingly, I still remember everything, including all the secret stuff. (I may or may not have given the kiddos an iPad for an hour and put Saige in her Pack ‘N Play for some quiet time so I could play. Maybe.) The kiddos enjoyed it a bit too, although not getting past the first part of level one. Blaise calls Mario “Oreo” instead. I guess he likes that as the name better.

Saige annoying her dad by sitting on the fireplace. (Brian is a worrywart and would probably have padded rooms if I wasn’t around.) She may have already fallen off and survived. And she’s still obsessed with the new drums.

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Laine continuing her love of drawing. She’s taken to watching drawing videos on YouTube. She works really hard following the instructions, even pausing the videos to refine her drawings as needed. That’s a cupcake, cake, and penguin (on an iceberg). The penguin was all freehand. Not bad for using her imagination to draw one.

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Blaise and Saige doing gears while Laine drew. And by doing gears in Saige’s world, she sat in the box and kept stealing all the gears from Blaise’s creations.

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Blaise getting sick. Again. Fingers crossed it’s all out of his system. What a bugger of a virus he’s had, and not cool that it comes one day and then he’s fine the next. He’s a trooper.

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Saturday was a take-it-easy day since Blaise had been sick. He was fine come morning, and anxious to play. He spent time outside with Brian and Saige while Laine and I had a date. She wanted to get some ice cream but requested an ICEE instead. She also announced while driving that she wants to go to Fairytale Town again because she wants to ride another horse (that wasn’t at Fairytale Town but next door). And pointed out that we didn’t go to the carnival (Funderland) last time.

Even though Blaise goes to bed at the same time as the girls, he lies there for a long time doing who knows what. My guess is his mind processes all sorts of things; he’s a thinker. Because he’s typically up after the girls fall asleep, we often let him come out for special things… lately it’s been toad hunting. And by hunting, I mean finding (no toads are harmed). Outside my mom’s is toads galore. They hang out on her front porch and lawn, hopping around searching for bugs to eat. He and Brian head out front with a flashlight and spend maybe 15 minutes finding toads before calling it a night. Blaise has no qualms picking them up and holding them, very gently of course. (And I’m thankful he’s like that… he was my slug remover from our family room area rug one day when Brian was at work. A slug caught a ride inside on Saige’s excersaucer one morning.)

IMG_3851.2015-08-30_042954 IMG_3850.2015-08-30_042953 IMG_3853.2015-08-30_043016

Sunday was our last day with Brian before he flew home. I had my eye on a couch for the new house and it went on sale. Brian had been bugging me to go look at it—which is weird because he typically takes forever to make a simple decision, let alone buying a couch without months of looking at multiple stores. I had planned on getting a pedicure in the morning to take advantage of Brian still being around. And in perfect timing, my mom has a standing every-other Sunday nail appointment so I tagged along. Brian and the kiddos met us in Roseville for lunch after, and then off to West Elm we went.

The couch I had my eye on was uncomfortable and had a funky padding. It just wasn’t the one. We looked around for another. I found one that I liked but it didn’t have a chaise, nor did the tag indicate it was even an option. (A chaise is a must.) Walking around the store, I saw a chair that screamed my mom’s house so we got sidetracked purchasing that. With no couch success, Brian took the kiddos to get a coffee and treats while my mom and I bought the chair. The saleslady asked if we found everything we were looking for and in chatting, it turned out the couch I liked did have a chaise option. I was sold. And not only was I sold, I wanted a color I never planned on wanting. Cayenne. Brian being Brian wanted to go to at least one other store. He picked La-Z-Boy (we’ve bought our last two couches there). We left West Elm, stopped at La-Z-Boy, and left quickly. After seeing West Elm style and quality, nothing compared. (And the sales guy following us around was a deal breaker even if we had found something.) We got back to my mom’s house couchless to have pizza with cousins before calling it a night.

Brian flew out early Monday morning; he was back in Seattle by 8am and off to work. Long day for him. The couch sale at West Elm was ending August 31 so my mom, the kiddos, and I went back to West Elm so I could order the couch. Not only was the sale a bonus but it’s 10-12 weeks for a custom order couch so we wanted to order it soon. We stopped at IKEA first to pick up a cheap highchair for Saige while we’re at my mom’s. She has a booster but Brian thinks it’s giving her bad table manners because she can put her foot on the table and push back (I think she’s just being a kiddo but whatever, he doesn’t ask for much). The kiddos love IKEA. I used to take them there on rainy days just to get out and tire them out. It’s a great day-killer between all the walking around, over-stimulation, and restaurant. They all grabbed maps and led the way before we stopped in the restaurant for lunch. High chair, check.

IMG_3855.2015-08-31_191852

Couch, check. Sort of. The West Elm saleslady who helped us the day before wasn’t exactly the most helpful when it came to ordering. In order to get the configuration we want, it required customizing the different pieces. In working with her to get the final dimensions (length by width specifically) she just gave me one total number. Sweet gal but I wasn’t trusting of her measuring and math skills. I decided to order it on my own online. We left West Elm couchless again. Back at my mom’s after the kiddos went to bed, we had a couch. Score. Although it said 10-12 weeks, it’s estimated to deliver between December 9-23… much longer than 12 weeks. Oh well, it’ll be worth the wait. And because I want to look at it multiple times before it comes… (although this isn’t exactly it, the right side is a seat longer)

couch swatch

Our fist day without Brian ended painlessly. Saige was exhausted and didn’t last much past 6pm. The kiddos played with blocks together before they called it a night. They asked that I take a picture of their fire station. They’re into building symmetrically these days.

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August was a crazy, busy month. It was nice to end relatively smoothly and normal, despite being homeless. It’s not ideal to be without our own place but I have no complaints. The kiddos and animals have adjusted well, which is all I could ask for given the situation. I am missing Washington, big time. Despite having grown up in California and never thinking I’d ever let go of it being home, I’m so not a fan. It’s brown and flat, and I miss our bubble (as bad as that sounds). I’m anxious for everything to happen… new home and baby, and get into our groove, whatever that will be with all the changes (and new couch, haha). Time is going fast so I know this will all be a distant memory soon enough.

And to end this long, verbose, ramble of a post, a picture of our house yesterday (that’s the siding as is, it’s not painted):

Lot 30 progress

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