Saturday, June 7, 2014


It seems I've learned something new either about myself, the house, or some life lesson every day during this past week. One of the things I learned was that moving into a house is an adventure but moving into a house that was foreclosed is an adventure and nightmare together. I learned this on Tuesday.

For Tuesday's theme for Spirit Week, it was "Dress in either the 70s, 80s or 90's Day." Honestly, what kid has these sort of clothes??? I understand adults having these sort of clothes stashed away some where, but for kids? I could not find anything retro at all for the kids, and again, I had little to work with. "Spirit Week" was doing nothing for my spirits at all.

Again the morning started with making school lunches I had forgotten to make  the night before and rummaging through boxes to find anything retro at all. There were many meltdowns among the kids claiming that they weren't "dressed right" when a certain shirt couldn't be found. I really wanted to take whoever thought of Spirit Week and shake their hand.

Finally, we got the kids off to school and we continued with our sorting and unpacking. This time, Dennis brought the boys dresser in which was a big relief because they were the only ones who were still living out of boxes--and one of the melt-downs that morning was from Luke, who doesn't like being unprepared. I spent my morning unpacking their clothes and putting them away, thinking how happy they would be to see they had their dresser back.  They haven't had a dresser in their room for years, because they had been sleeping in the sunroom at the old house.

Other things that were accomplished was that Dennis got the curtains up for the kids rooms. This meant that we wouldn't be woken up at the crack of dawn the next morning which was a relief.

Another happy surprise was when I just happened to pick a box to open that had our calendar in it. Without the Internet working and no calendar, I had no way of keeping appointments or information straight. This little happy surprise was like another piece of my world coming back together again.

Yep, I even took a picture of it.
And so box after box, things were slowly starting to create a home. I was still bothered by the mess and grime--I never took my shoes off and insisted that everyone do the same. It was just too dangerous with the plywood floors with splinters, tacks and staples that were used to hold the carpet in. And in the other rooms with carpet in them, I knew they also had dog pee (which will eventually have to be ripped out too) I didn't want to walk directly on them.

Things were starting to look up though and our moods were starting to lighten a little. We both still felt overwhelmed with all the house needed to just get it to a livable state, one more item cleaned was one less item dirty and one more box unpacked was one less to do, creating a little more space and breathing room in the house.

Then Dennis's Dad came over. This is where the old roller coaster came back and everything went diving downhill. Not because of his Dad--but because having one more change was just too much for the kids. The kids love it when Grandpa comes over and even on a good day when there is no huge life-changing problems going on the kids get very excited. They were vying for his attention but not in the most appropriate way; talking over each other, screeching and telling potty jokes which we normally don't allow. That was all during dinner time. After supper, it all got worse.

We figured that with his Dad being in town that we would take advantage of the extra hands and so Dennis and his Dad decided to rip out the living room carpet. This was all planned in advance by the way and it needed to be done. The stench was overwhelming. But now it meant that we were basically down to no carpeting at all, except for the dining room.

So boxes and furniture had to moved again and it became suffocating. The space that we had just gotten back was now down to nothing, and I had to somehow watch all 5 kids, keep them out of Dennis's and his Dad's way while being blocked by furniture and boxes.

Saturated with dog pee.

Then Dennis asked his Dad to help him quickly clean out the gutters. This wasn't originally in the plan, but I wasn't against it. I knew that Dennis needed as much help as he could get and that this was a big job that needed to get done right away.

The only thing is that I am not an Energizer Bunny like Dennis is, and whereas he can keep going and going, I usually peeter out at the end of the day. It was 7:00 in the evening; we had supper dishes all over the place, the kitchen was a mess, boxes and furniture piled up once again in the foyer, the kids a mess and hyper and one hour until bedtime because the kids had school the next day.

My breaking point was when I couldn't find Henry. This house has 4 doors that he can escape out of, and he escapes often. We live pretty close to the road and cars don't drive slowly here. In fact, I've been told that a little 6 year old boy got killed a few years back by getting hit by a car. So having Henry disappear was nerve wracking to me. I did find him eventually and dragged him back into the house kicking and screaming as usual, told the kids for the 100th time to get their pajamas on and get ready for bed, when Dennis called me on the phone to "take care of Max."  This is code for "Max is in hot water with me and you've gotta take over or I will blow my top". So I had to drop everything to go get Max, who I found smearing mud that was being thrown down from the gutter all over the house. Grass, mud, everything all over him and the house. As if the house isn't dirty enough.

I lost it.

I embarrassed myself that day by just letting it all out and letting my FIL as well as our new neighbors see what I look like when I've been pushed too far. I feel bad about it now; it isn't the way I want to handle stress but it was just too much. I yelled at all the kids and pushed Max into the shower. I was so angry at him I didn't even care about gross tubs or smashed dead bugs. I barely even waited for him to get undressed; I just pushed him right in. The rest of the kids saw that I was now at my breaking point and quickly got into their pajamas. I put Henry to bed without even a good night and tossed him his blankets. I was just done.

Then I went in my room and cried.

Dennis came in looking repentant, knowing that too much was done in one day. I was glad his Dad was gone, as I was too embarrassed to face him again. All I wanted was to go to bed and sleep this nightmare away.

There is nothing worse than losing your temper. I don't like the fact that I hurt people when I get so mad. The only thing I could do to make it better was to go to each of the kids and tuck them in and let them know that I loved them. It was a hard time for everyone, and each of us handled our stress in different ways. Some of us wanted to get everything done in one day, some of us lost our tempers, and others smeared mud all over house.

Dennis apologized as well but explained how important it was to get the gutters done sooner rather than later. I didn't entirely understand why it was so important, but it didn't matter, because I trusted him. I just was so tired of the non-stop work.

One other thing happened before the day was over though--Dennis's Dad did something very nice besides ripping out the carpet and cleaning out the gutters. He wrote us a check for a $1000. Dennis smiled at me and asked, "How would you like to buy a new stove and microwave tomorrow?" I wasn't quite ready to smile back yet, but I found a new lightness coming back in my heart.

1 comment:

  1. That does sound like a rough day. And the thing about days is that they eventually end and you get to start anew on the next day. I'm sure the kids were happy when you did tuck them in. Glad you found Henry okay.