Thursday, February 09, 2006

Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting!

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting,
Those kids were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit fright'ning,

But they fought with expert timing...
--Carl Douglas

Last night I was sitting on the couch and Riley was sitting next to me on my left. She was hitting my arm repeatedly.

"Stop doing that," I warned.

"I will if you build me another castle [with couch pillows]," she offered.

"No, just stop it," I said as I turned to look at Lucy, who was standing in front of me, yelling.

I reached over and lifted her onto my lap, "Do you want to snuggle on the couch, too?" I asked.

Lucy didn't answer, rather she reached over to Riley and started smacking her on the top of the head. I pulled her back and began to reprimand her.

"No hitting, Lucy..." I said as I was restraining her arms. She was sitting on my lap facing Riley to my left. I was trying to pin her arms to her sides and as I was trying to tell her that that's not how we behave, Riley shot her right foot out straight into Lucy's torso and Lucy went flying. I'm talking arms outstretched, legs out flying. I threw my leg out and caught her with my ankle, then reached out and grabbed her. I couldn't believe how far she flew!

Of course, Riley was sent to the penalty box (the bottom of the stairs) to sit and think about what she did. Lucy was fine and barely remembered that she had been kicked squarely in the torso. Doc and I took Lucy upstairs to start a bath and I told Riley as we climbed the stairs that she was to sit there until she was ready to apologize.

A few minutes later as I was drawing a bath, Riley came to the door, apologized to Lucy and was fine. They had a peaceful bath and went to bed soon afterwards. I was pleased to see everyone move on in such fine fashion. But I was also a bit unsettled by the unbridled violence my children display upon occasion. Perhaps their bearings are off-kilter as we begin to pack and move. Perhaps they were cranked up and were on a collision course with violence all evening. After all, they were being a bit rowdy and disrespectful for an hour or so up until the fight scene.

Note to self: when Kung Fu Fighting seems imminent, try to divert the children to more constructive activities.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Place in the Country

All I thought I wanted was a front door
All I thought I wanted was a place in the country
Now I realise I wanted so much more
Some I love but you I adore
Adam Ant/Marco Pirroni

We sold our house yesterday. It only took us four months in a seller's market, so I'm pretty thankful. We signed the paperwork last night and celebrated with beer, donuts and ice cream. No longer will we need to open our home to perfect strangers to tour and evaluate. Well, we'll need to do it one or two more times before we close the sale, but the pressure is off.

The next step: packing and moving. Usually, when I have to move, I end up procrastinating or in a situation where we're doing silly things like packing junk mail into boxes and throwing clothes into bags hand over fist. This time, I want to pack in a systematic and orderly fashion, without anyone panicking, crying or needing to be sent flowers.

First, I need to organize a moving party. I'm looking at President's Day weekend as the big move day. I hope to throw one final Lodge Meeting on Friday, February 17 in our beloved lodge. This will not only be the closing ceremony for the University Heights lodge, but it will also be to celebrate Espresso Toast's birthday. I would like to rent a truck Saturday morning and shuffle off to It will be a long weekend so, hopefully, squeezing in a little fun won't set us back too far.

We are to turn the keys over on February 27, so having everything out of the house by the 19th will give us a week to spare. This is how I want the packing and moving to proceed:
  1. Organize and pack up all random stuff in the basement. This includes putting all CD's into storage books, clearing off the table in the laundry room that is covered with stuff we don't have a place for.
  2. Pack up all plates and dishes and convert to paper plates and cups.
  3. Pack up summer clothes and extra towels and sheets.
  4. Box up all but one pair of shoes for each of us.
  5. Box up all books.
  6. Box up or toss all extra bathroom stuff. Leave toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, one hairbrush, one hair dryer.
  7. Pack all toys in the library and the girls' bedrooms.
  8. Find lost remotes (they've all disappeared within the last two weeks).

We also need to decide what the minium stuff is that we are taking with us while we stay with my parents. We won't need to bring toys; they have plenty. We should just need to have our current clothes, our books of DVD's, a TV for our bedroom and the portable DVD player, a couple of books, the laptop and game CD'S, the PlayStation and a handful of games, and toiletries. I'm worried about bringing too much stuff, lest we start to feel claustrophobic.

We will be staying with my parents for a little while in order to catch our breath and plan our next move. This house we live in was too expensive for us and it was only a matter of time until our resources ran out and we had to turn to credit. We are still hanging tough, but I don't think we could have gone for another month in that house without crying "Uncle!". In fact, the day we found out there was an offer on the house was payday for me. I had just finished paying the bills and was looking at about 400-500 to get us through the month. That may sound like a lot of money, but we are usually out of money by the third week of the month.

Fortunately fate stepped in and sent us a buyer who adores the house. She ended up agreeing to pay 500 less than the asking price, which is extrodinary as we look over the precipice of the crash of the housing market. We are so lucky to be done with this house. I was really bummed out the other day when it really hit me how close to bankruptcy we were as a result of this house. But good old Doc reminded me of something I said when we bought the place: This is an experiement; we really don't know what we are doing.

Well, I now know what I'm doing with regard to homeownership. Hopefully, when we are back on our feet and moving forward, we can find ourselves a little place in the country that we can afford, with enough left over to save a bit too. But until then, we plan to lean on my parents for a little while, soak up their love, give a bunch back, play some poker, watch some TV, ride our bikes, laugh, cook, talk, and bask in the warmth of hearth and home.