Saturday, January 8, 2011

Looking forward to the Future

I'm not normally a person who gets stressed out, or at least lets stress affect me. However, I have to say, that I have been more stressed out these past few months than I have ever been before. Just ask Will.

And it's not just me, I've seen the stress level in Will rise too.

In 2 weeks from now, we are going to be moving to a new home. This alone will eleviate a huge amount of stress on our shoulders. So to say the least, we are really looking forward to this change.

We have loved living in our 2 bedroom guest house for the past 3 and 1/2 years. When we first moved in, we thought it was perfect for us. A huge spacious great room with vaulted ceilings. A beautiful kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. A big bathroom with tile and marble flooring and two sinks. Two huge rooms - one that we would use as our bedroom, and the other for an office. And then a big storage room as well. No neighbors or reason to have to be quiet or turn our music/tv down. It was the perfect place for a married couple.

Well, and then about a week after we moved in, we found out that I was pregnant with Preston.

Even after Preston was born, it was still a great place to live. Our office was converted into a bedroom-office. Since it was such a huge room, Preston's crib and things took up half of the room, and then our computer and desk took up the other half.

But when he was about 7 months old or so, he still was not sleeping good and us trying to quietly type on the computer while he slept only woke him up. So we eventually moved the "office" out into the great room and Preston peacefully slept, all alone, in his huge bedroom.

And now our "great room" was also the living room, dining room, kitchen, and office. All in one.

Eventually as Preston started being able to crawl and then walk, and then grow tall enough to unlock the front door, I grew very worried about him falling down the stairs outside (there are 24 stairs). But we managed through that stage and eventually he became a pro at the stairs. Though, I have to say, it has only been within the last few months where I feel confident enough in his stair climbing abilities that I don't feel like I have to go and watch him like a hawk or hold his hand.

And then...

We found out that, SURPRISE!! I was pregnant with Taylor.

As the pregnancy progressed, I started to try to figure out how we were going to make this work. Obviously, when he was a newborn he would sleep in our bedroom in a portable bassinet, so there would be no reason to hurry and buy a crib yet or try to merge the boys into one bedroom. We figured that by Christmas time, when he would be about 4 months old, it would be a good time to switch him over into Preston's room. And at that time, we were also thinking Preston would transition into a toddler bed.

Those stairs became a burden again, as during the winter rainy months they turn extremely slippery. I had fallen down the stairs at least twice while pregnant, and both of us had both slipped and fallen at least twice while carrying Preston. Thankfully we were all okay, just a few bumps and bruises...but again...another strike on the board for reasons to move.

And the little perfect plan of the kids sleeping together of course didn't work out as smoothly as we thought it would.

With a 2 year old and a newborn in the house, we quickly realized that the majority of our lives would be spent trying to put one or both children to sleep most of the day. And no, I'm really not joking. If you've tried calling my phone, and I didn't answer, chances are I'm trying to put someone to sleep. Or I don't want to wake someone up from sleeping by chatting on the phone (which is why you usually get emails from me instead of phone calls).

At first, Taylor slept anywhere from 20 -22 hours a day. He would be easily woken up by Preston's loud voice. The first thing we thought, of course, was that Taylor just needed to get used to having noise around and learn to sleep through it.

Sounds so easy, huh. But, he did come with a personality and temporament of his own and it didn't include tolerating noise while sleeping. Despite all of our efforts, he just really needed peace and quiet in order to sleep.

We were constantly shushing Preston and telling him to be quiet, or that he needs to whisper. Preston actually didn't know what whispering meant or how to be quiet, but I can tell you that NOW he does. :) It took a couple of months for him to learn how to be quiet. And yeah he'll be quiet when you tell him to, but only for about a minute and then he forgets and is loud again. It can be quite frustrating when you've spent 20 minutes trying to get a baby to sleep, only have him woken up a few minutes after you just laid him down. I said before, you find yourself spending the majority of your time trying to put one or both children to sleep.

Will and I have continually wondered how on earth his mom did it with 10 kids. How did they all sleep??

It's eventually gotten to the point now, where we feel like we can't do anything in our home if someone is sleeping. Which, chances are, someone (mainly Taylor) usually is.

If Preston is asleep in his room, then we have Taylor sleeping in our bedroom, that leaves us one huge great room to hang out in. And any amount of talking, doing dishes, practicing a piano, flushing a toilet, opening the garage doors below us (we are above a garage), starting up a car motor, or closing a door....can be heard inside both rooms in almost perfect clarity.

We have a white noise machine that we bought when Preston was a baby, and we have that going where Taylor sleeps but you can still hear noises. In fact, you can hear someone sneeze.

If someone comes to the front door and knocks on it, well, Preston's bed is right on the other side of the wall that is opposite the front door. It wakes him up.

About a month ago, Will got so tired of not being able to have adequate peace and quiet time to job search (his computer was in the kitchen area and Preston just wanted his attention 24/7), that he moved his computer into our bedroom. Well this meant that Taylor would be kicked out of our bedroom for sleeping. He couldn't sleep in Preston's room, and so it left the bathroom. So the bathroom then officially became Taylor's daytime bedroom. Heaven forbid if you should need to use the toilet or take a would have to hold it because you do NOT want to wake him up, knowing that you will then spend the next 20 minutes trying to get him back to sleep.

And let's not forget the countless times Preston, not realizing that Taylor was sleeping in the bathroom, would barge in there, be loud, get in trouble for being in there, and then exit with a slam of the door. And then we all hear "WAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Will would then lock himself into our bedroom so that he wouldn't be bothered so that he could work, and Preston would get upset that he wasn't allowed in there and would either pull on the door handle over and over and over or he would whine, quite loudly. And since our bedroom door is right next to the bathroom door, I'm sure you could guess what happened next. Yep. One upset awake baby.

Lately, it's gotten to the point where we feel like muted prisoners in our own home during naptimes. We can't go into the bedrooms or bathrooms, can't get work done, cleaning is out since that would wake them up as we end up feeling frustrated because we have a huge list of things to do, and it seems to take weeks to do it because of the limited time we have when everyone is awake and when we have access into a certain room.

And then of course, our "great room", has basically turned into one big room that has EVERYTHING in it. I mean EVERYTHING. There is no other place to escape in our house.

So what was once a perfect pad for a young married couple, turned into the worst setup for a small family living situation.

So we started looking to move elsewhere.

We looked in our area and quickly realized that unless we wanted to move back into an apartment (which wouldn't work for us with a grand piano and all of our stuff that we've accumilated), there was no way we could afford to go up in size and afford it. To rent a home here, even a small, older home....would be around $2K a month and that doesn't even include all the utilities. Even apartments would only be around $500 less.

So that is what lead us to looking outside of our area...and eventually leading us to the home where we will be moving.

Cheaper. Bigger. Better.

We are actually going to be renting a home of a friend who is moving to Florida for work. They have the home up for sale, and we'll be renting it while it's for sale. With Will's job situation not entirely figured out, we didn't want to buy or be stuck in a longterm contract.

The home is 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, Family room AND living room AND dining room (all separate rooms!!), plus 2 car garage, big kitchen, and a HUGE 1.5 acre backyard full of grass (fully fenced). Coincidently, we will only be 5 minutes away from my parents and so the boys will get to play with Grandma and Grandpa whenever they want, or go to the beach (which is also less than 5 min down the road).

Last night, after being woken up by Taylor almost once an hour...then attempting to let him cry it out (because let's face it, we really should be starting sleep training right now but haven't been able to), and then finally just bringing him into bed with us and I THINK I got maybe 2 hours of sleep total? ... It's safe to say that we are very much looking forward to our move and to the future and what it might possibly bring to us.

Right now, I can say that it's going to bring us all some better sleep.


Dan Thomas said...

Sounds like all will be really glad for your move. Especially Grandma and Grandpa!

Sandy said...

We hope all goes well with the move. I wish we were closer so we could help.

James and Elizabeth said...

your new place sounds perfect for you guys. We can't wait to help you move and settle into your new home. James is pretty excited to come visit you this summer and do some kayaking.

Carolyn said...

I'd like to hear from Sandy how she really DID 10 get kids to sleep and still survive?

Cupcake Dreamer said...

It definitely sounds like it is time to move on. I hope that the move will be quick and easy on you all and give you the peace and quiet you are seeking.

Marissa said...

Oh my goodness, sounds like a great thing that you're moving into a bigger place. I can't imagine how constricting that must feel not being able to do anything at home! Good luck with the move! :)

Stephen and Ileana said...

I'm sure all the extra space, the separate rooms, and the layout will help out a lot. Let me know how things go, I'm excited to hear about the new house.