apt. life

Day 15 - Plotting

With the day approaching rapidly whereupon I believe our tenant will exit his room, I'm getting antsy. I can't really get my mind around having the space back, as I was dying for it 6 months ago, in between tenants, and we couldn't keep it to ourselves that time. This time we're going to for awhile at least, and see what happens. I can't wait to have a place for guests again, that doesn't involve sleeping on our floor or tiptoeing past guests sleeping in our bed while on late-night runs to the bathroom. Our place is railroad-style, with the big frontroom (rented) to the left of the entryway door, and to the right it's the diningroom/bathroom/kitchen block, then our bedroom, then the boys' room. Our bedroom has been the living room and computer room also for the last 2.5 years, and I'm rather sick of it.

I'm not quite so irritated with the constant destruction of my desk by my youngest, as the end is in sight. He constantly pops the drive doors in/out, hits the Internet button the cable modem and turns it off, hits the power button on my cpu, opens my drawers (despite the bungee cord deterrent) and pinches his fingers and steals things, and lately ... the best part ... he's learned how to climb up on our bed, walk onto my desk which is next to it, and grab anything he wishes. I can't wait! To move it to the frontroom that is, and not be able to roll over and check email in the morning. Bad bad habit, which is hard to break. We've decided to make that room an office/guestroom/living room space, and put an easel and craft/paper stuff and the musical instruments in there for now, along with the bed that's already there and my desk.

The remaining dilemma is my computer ... can I live w/out it if we either have company (yes), or take in a short-term tenant for a week here and there ... probably not? I'm due for a new one, having lived with the current (refurbished) HP for 5.5 years, and it's showing every sign of being on it's last legs. I could, very painfully, do the wipe/reinstall game, which it needs, but not sure it's worth the pain as I don't think it's worth the hassle. I have too many programs not on disk, or loaned/lost, to even think of it as anything other than a several-day-nightmare.

So if I get a newer one ... laptop or desktop? Cheaper to get what I want in a desktop of course, and easier to repair/modify on my own, but I'd love to be portable ... as in work on my writing at the coffee shop, on the porch, etc. Then again, do I want to have that option? I'm already feeling too tied to it as it is. I use the computer as an escape, a way to turn my back on things and zone out. It has to drive M nuts how often I finish my meal, leave the dinner table, and get lost in blogland for 20 minutes while the boys finish up and he clears the table and starts dishes. I'm so wiped and babysat/homework-wrestled/run-around tired by then that all I want to do is escape. Which I do so gladly in blogland.

I'm on the fence, but will probably do the desktop thing again.

And as for plotting about the room ... I can't wait to rearrange, and pull out my boxes of pens/papers/supplies and at least have them at arm's reach rather than buried in a teetering pile in a closet, where I might be able to act on inspiration once in awhile. I'm sure the room will feel smaller w/all that stuff in it, but it really is huge.

Oh, and the tenant? I don't know what to assume other than that he has a super strong fear/dislike of confrontation of ANY sort, because in the 3.5 weeks since M left him a message saying we'd like the room back at the end of November ... he's been home exactly once, and that was 3 weeks ago. One voicemail 2 weeks later (days after rent was due) said he'd like to leave before the middle of the month. We responded with a "you can leave by the 21st, we'll apply your security deposit to the 3 weeks of rent and give you the difference, less damages" and it has so far been met with resounding silence. The 21st approaches, I assume we'll have the space back, and in my non-hamster-wheel moments I dare to plot.

Passion

My last post feels like it was months ago ... there's been a lot happening around here. Somewhere in between the introspection and starting meeting with a coach of my own, I've found a passion I didn't know I had. I've been tossing around ideas for months that revolve around writing stories about motherhood, getting others to write theirs, and also how to take my soapbox of ALL Moms Need Alone Time and find it a wider audience. It's all been about how to make my coaching biz take off, which it hasn't to date, and I was pretty well in the dumps about it.

Things took off last week, and I've hardly had time to sleep. I designed and launched a new website based on the concept that All moms struggle to stay sane, and All moms have stories to share. And the two are connected ... the sharing helps the sanity. The site will go properly live (meaning promoted, etc) on Dec 15th, launched via hosting my own 3k race in Fort Greene Park, that will benefit the charity Room to Grow for disadvantaged moms. I've never put together anything remotely like it, only have 9, make that 8 weeks now to pull it off, and need to find a sponsor asap. But I'm having a BALL, and can't hardly sleep at night for the things swirling in my head.

I had a new experience today too, being a radio guest for the first time. Admittedly it was online radio, and we had 16 listeners, but it's a start! I feel like I'm finding my voice finally, when it comes to coaching, motherhood, and helping other moms. I don't have answers, but I'm finding ways to help bridge the lonliness that creeps in when you're a mom, especially a SAHM like I am.

I think I found a passion :)

We talked (M and I) too about the things we wanted to accomplish when we first got together, and the desires are still there, though a bit dusty and tired. Fellowship is a big part of it, both enabling it and offering it. In a small step in that direction was taken this week, by notifying our tenant that his month-to-month lease will end Dec 1st, and we'll get that gorgeous front room back! I miss that room, and cringe when I do have to go in there to get into the storage space ... I won't describe the mess/squalor in there, but it's always surprising to me as it seems at odds with the man who lives there. We may rent the room out for a week here/there to defray the lost rent, and that seems easy to do in this neighborhood. There are often people looking for places for relatives/family that come to visit, and other than a couple b&b's and a somewhat distant Marriott, there's nothing around here. I'm looking forward to this ...


... and looking forward to my bed with it's clean sheets, which I'll be crawling into very shortly, and hours earlier than any other day in the last 2 weeks. I need a recuperating night I think, as my body is showing many signs of 'crashing' as it's called around here, and I'm not up for that right now.

must be some humor in this ...

the day douglas goes back to school after spring break, I get food poisoning.
the same day, michael puts his back out.
the next day, the landlord's ceiling falls in, narrowly missing his sleeping form.
michael, with bad back, gets to chip out remaining 2" thick plaster chunks, and bag them and carry them down 2 flights and to the curb.
the day i get over food poisoning (4 days later) i get a cold.

(the sunny day before the nor'easter hits, we DO get outside to the park! yay.)

today the rain hits, as predicted, and we stay entertained.
laundry gets done.
games played.
naps had (by some at least ...)
and then the fun begins.

Fynn knocks over the cat's water (a large jug) and it re-curls the floorboards and goes under the piano.
I start to lose my voice.
Michael promises Douglas that he can paint, and finally goes to set it up.
Gets the things out, and decides he better check the boys' room for leaks.
Discovers steady leak, already soaking all the blankets stored on the top bunk.
(this is the second time in the last 12 months.)
Drape wet blankets everywhere.
Scrambles to contain leak.
Fynn wails at not joining the party on the top bunk (of course douglas, already 'dressed' for painting in nothing but his underpants, is dancing up there too)
Fynn gets yoghurt finger paint to play with and has a ball.
Douglas skids on the dropcloth and scrapes up his knee.
Michael disappears with landlord to temporarily deal with leak.
Painting water jar gets knocked over before painting starts, soaking drop cloth and another chunk of wooden floor.
Douglas paints.
I referee between him and Fynn's yoghurt, which he'd now rather paint with.
Argue with Douglas.
Douglas paints cheerios w/yoghurt paint and glues them to Fynn's tray.
Fynn eats all the cheerios.
Repeat with pieces of bread.
Michael reappears periodically in his rain gear to get things, and bows out again.
Both boys get dunked in the bath and scrubbed.
Fynn gets scared of Douglas' bath antics and wants out.
Trying to dry both boys at once and diaper fynn, I fall back onto the cloth diaper tie thingie, poking 5 holes in the meaty part of my palm.
Yelp politely.
Let loose with a very loud fart that has Douglas howling even louder w/laughter.
Michael reappears, and cuts a hole in the boy's ceiling to drain any further water.
Feed Fynn to bed, and discover the blanket draped over the end of his crib was wetter than imagined, and soaked his 2 quilts and sheet.
Remove quilts.
Decide wet part of sheet isn't under him, and plop him in.
Douglas eats and goes to bed.
I lose my voice.
We collapse at the table at 9pm to eat blackened barbecued turkey wings that I put on 3 hours earlier.
In peace.
And quiet.
And wonder what's coming next.
Lightning and more rain, for starters :)
-----------
M says the 'temp' fix will have to be upped a notch with sand bags (pilfered from D's sandbox) if the rain/wind pick up much. Should be a fun night!

be careful what you wish for ...

About a month ago, our housemate S asked me if we were still comfortable with her here, or did we want the front room back? I honestly assured her that we were truly happy w/her here, and didn't want her to move on.

The last couple of weeks I've gotten the re-arrange itch, strongly, and have been having a heyday with it. My favorite cat-trashed orange mini-easy-chair moved from Douglas', scratch that, The Boys room into the corner of the dining area. The stereo/CD's now sit next to the washer. The chest from the front hall is now a coffee table in our room, and the stroller can park where it used to be, meaning i don't have to lean over the stroller while getting dishes. I've closet cleaned, dresser cleaned, and made $150 on ebay selling things I've dragged out.

Somewhere in this process, I started eyeing the front room and wondering what we'd do with it if we did have it back. I've been craving a 'me space' that's not linked to my computer, so I can do things besides work or getting lost on the internet. Like read books, write letters, make photo albums, sew, etc ... feeding whatever urge I have that day if I find the time. I managed the orange chair, which is a good start. I started thinking how nice it would be if we could use that front room as our bedroom and my office (it gets GREAT morning light in the summer) and turn our current room into a true living room / playroom combo. I worked out roughly how many steady coaching clients I'd need in order to pay for it (8 if you're wondering ... I currently have 4 paying ones, with one being only once a month) This morning, I told M I'd been really lusting after that room since I had new ideas on how to use it.

Tonight S came home, settled in, and then came to sit by me on our couch. She took a deep breath, looked a little funny, and blurted out that "I've decided to move back into the city".
She said she'd been thinking about it in January, but wasn't quite sure so waited a few weeks. She said not till April, and I was too chicken to ask if that meant April 1 or 30 .... probably the 1st. As I think she paid us a security deposit, that means she's paid the last of her rent. Ouch! Lots of room for God to work, not that he needs much, but we either need a big income boost between the 2 of us, or have to find another renter. I've always said I couldn't imagine anyone else living there, now we'll have to see.

I'm going to miss her.