Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Feel So Bad

I have to admit . . . in the frenzy and overall chaos in the house as we're packing up things, I've ocassionally felt that 'Shroom and Lolli were just obstacles in my way. For those of you reading this who don't have kids or it's been a long time since your kids were 3 and 4 years old, you may think I'm a mean mom - totally ungrateful for my kids.

The truth is, even without the stress of this move, there are just some days (some days without any real reason) when I totally feel that the kids have done nothing but slow me down. I think I have about 20-30 minutes of TRUE productivity during the daytime. Yes, I may be able to get some things done here and there but those are typically tasks that don't require much thought. I've often felt (and even commented) that since becoming a mom, I feel that I operate on 10% of my brain. There's no time or opportunity to use more than that.

Today, I was trying to be quick and efficient in packing up the kids' room before they took their naps (yes, 'Shroom is back to taking naps on some days). I had pulled something out of a drawer and did a quick "hip check" to shut the drawer without using my hands. Lolli was right behind me and the moment the thought came to my mind, it was too late.

Piercing screams ricocheted through our house. Air Boss was on the phone and could barely hear the conversation on the other end. In my haste to grab something and go, I had slammed the drawer on Lolli's little fingers.

I felt utterly horrible.

Her middle finger had an indentation on it but nothing was broken (or even bruised) but there's no doubt that it had hurt. I had spent the day snapping at the kids, yelling at them for jumping on the sofa cushions (which WERE on the floor and not the sofa), and simply telling them in a mean voice to get out of my way. Packing and cleaning with the kids running and yelling from one room to another was grating on my nerves and adding to the stress.

Shutting the drawer on Lolli's fingers made me pause in the craziness. I held her and hugged her, covered her fingers with kisses and let her pick her favorite colored plastic ice cube.

In that moment, I realized that I had spend so much time - more time than with the kids lately - looking for schools and child-friendly neighborhoods. It seems so sadly ironic that I was too busy doing that while shoving the kids aside.

Well, Lolli is fine and her fingers show no marks (the indentations have filled in). She seems to have forgotten the incident. The house is still a mess and there are still tons more things to do but I'm trying not to think of the kids as "obstacles" in my way.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cleaning out the office

I'm taking advantage of the long weekend and trying to make a dent in the packing. Today's "room of the day" is the office. Some items that I have discovered as I'm sorting through five years of accumulated junk:

* old and outdated postage stamps ( many possible combinations make up $.41?)
* many items to put in the kids' "time capsule" box (pictures, drawings, sticker collages...)
* oh, so that's what happened to the newly issued bank debit cards (guess we didn't need to reorder new ones)
* NOW I can finally listen to my iPod with the earbuds!
* enough Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupons to replace all the furniture we're liquidating
* spools of navy blue satin ribbon left-over from our wedding favors
* my journal (with the last entry sometime in 2006)
* Cisco paraphenilia (ahh....the good ol' days of working during the hi-tech bubble)

You should see my trying to type this up. I'm standing (the chair is piled with boxes of ... (?!) and my arms are tired from being held up as I type. The desk is littered with stacks of random paperwork.

Gotta get back to the mess.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Glendale vs. Torrance (part 2)

So we're back from our quick weekend jaunt of SoCal. Things accomplished:

- visited three elementary schools in Glendale
- visited four elementary schools in Torrance
- realized that we can't afford to live in any of these 7 school districts
- realized that we can't find rental units in any of these 7 school districts
- realized that we must be smoking some drugs that give us delusional thoughts of grandeur
- realized that we are moving to LA and have no idea where to live

Despite all that, we also had time to accomplish the following:
- eat some yummy Chinese food
- watch some pro volleyball on Hermosa Beach
- take my "inaugural" drive on the CA freeways (it's madness out there!)
- hand-carry two boxes of photo albums, a violin, and a viola on the plane
- wander around (lost) on the back lots of Warner Bros.
- pay 40-50 cents more PER GALLON of gasoline

I feel like we're back on square one with trying to figure out where to live. Who would have know that it would be "common place" to pay $3K-$4K for monthly rent on a modest little two-bedroom house? Yikes. I thought Boston was expensive.

It must be those delusional drugs I'm smoking . . .

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Bye-bye carpet!"

These past few days have been busy with selling things off - to friends and family (through a website), through our Saturday yard sale, and through the Craigslist community. For a period of time, the house was in utter chaos as we pulled things out of closets and the deep recesses of the house and lined them up the front stairwell - readying them for public display on our front lawn.

The website has generated a bit of interest and more than half the items have already been claimed. Now, we're waiting for people to come pick up their goods. The latest one was the carpet in the kids' room.

While 'Shroom was in preschool, Lolli and I flipped the carpet and pad over and rolled it into a long hot dog. Lolli "helped" lift the five foot long hot dog as I secured it the roll with packaging tape. Together we hauled it close to the front door for pick-up and as we laid it down, Lolli was waving at the carpet.

"Bye bye carpet!" she said as she waved. "You're going next door [our neighbor had purchased it] and we're going to LA. Bye bye!"

I have been so amazed by both 'Shroom and Lolli. These past several days (more like this past year), they have been watching item after countless item get washed, cleaned, sorted, stowed, and marched out the front door. Last week they helped me sort through their toys into to "keep" and "give away" bins and the "give away" bin quickly overflowed into another bin.

During our yard sale, another neighbor had purchased Lolli's trike and 'Shroom's bicycle. It didn't become an issue until the little boy across the street started riding 'Shroom's bicycle up and down our driveway. 'Shroom definitely had a puzzled expression on his face as I'm sure he was thinking, "I don't remember him asking me if he could ride my bike." Lolli, always the more verbal one, however, did have something to say when she saw the younger brother ride off our driveway on her trike.

"That's my tricycle!" she exclaimed.

But that's all she said. I had explained to her that we can't take everything we have to LA (a well-repeated mantra that both kids have heard ad nauseum). And then she was fine. Didn't ask about it or mention it again.

I know that attachment disorder is linked to bonding issues with parents but I wonder if 'Shroom and Lolli will develop it as a result of having to say good-bye to so many things familiar and dear to them.

Well, at the very least, I hope it helps them not to be too materialistic. =)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Glendale vs. Torrance

So, now we're officially under agreement so the house selling thing has taken a slight backseat to other issues:

- now that we've decided on LA (over the Bay Area), should we relocate to Torrance or Glendale?
- should I schlep that 250 lb. armoire that will cost me about $150 to move it cross-country or should I sell it for $25 and put the $175 "saved" towards a replacement?
- what do we do if Air Boss doesn't find a job in LA? do we stay here in MA?

You know, I'm getting a little tired being so consumed by the urgent (okay, maybe it is a little important to figure out housing so we know where to ship our goods), but I feel these past several months have been nothing but stress and anxiety about this long and drawn out move.