Thursday, April 18, 2013

Home is...

There are a lot of things I want to share - the newest Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids about handling meltdowns (can I get an amen and a yes please?!), pictures from our family vineyard planting at my aunt and uncles and our anniversary weekend, and then a big thank you post for all your supportive comments after my last imma go crazy vent...you all (we in the PNW don't say y'all authentically, much to my disappointment)...but instead...

This has been a learning month for us. Most of you know that we moved into a new house and that I was very excited about it, and there was so much meaning attached to "the big move."

And now I go back and read about my feelings and I laugh sardonically, cynically, sadly.

"This weekend, we found the house. The yard is ginormous. They could probably build two more houses back there. So that means a garden. And maybe chickens. And lots of running and rolling around in sweet, clean grass. It's right in our price range and so not financially stressful for Andy. It's not 100 years old, so it's better insulated and it's clean. Still small, but we like small. But it's farther out than I wanted to go. It's not in a trendy part of town (at least not yet). It's a quiet street in the 100's block."

Ha. Ha. Ha.

We moved in and shortly after, I started finding random bites on my body. Pretty soon, I was itching frantically and trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Andy and the girls weren't getting bit, so what gives? It happened only when I was sleeping, so I slept on the couch. Then it started happening more frequently until I was utterly miserable. After I found three little bites on Ruthie's thigh, I called my friend sobbing, and later that day, packed up the girls and headed to my parents house with only a trashbag full of clothes and a small makeup bag.

They were fleas. Our house, the house, was flea infested. We caught them in traps and saw them on our socks, and once on Ruthie's head. No. And we had no animals, so we asked the landlord if the previous tenant had any animals - the little cat door in the garage entrance gave us a big red flag, as did the bottle of flea shampoo we found out by the trash - and he confirmed that yes, they had a cat and apparently the cat had kittens.

Long story short, I stayed with my parents for almost a month while Andy dealt with the exterminator and the vacuuming, washing, and cleaning that had to be done every single day. After the second spray and me coming home to more bites, we decided it was enough and are breaking our lease agreement to move out.


Talk about stressful. Spending time at my parents house was a wonderful escape; I could sleep without a hoodie pulled tight across my face and my socks tucked into my pj pants. Being around my parents, in-laws, and old dear friends was like a balm for my soul, even though we missed Andy (dada) a lot. Thank God for Facetime.

Now we're back and in between houses, staying with our generous and kind friends while we figure out what to do with everything in the flea house, and soon moving into Andy's uncle's basement apartment for a bit.

I wonder why these things happen, and even though the simplest explanation is that's just life, it still feels like a bad dream. It was like we were trying our hardest to be in a house like a "real" family, and we took one step forward and now are two steps wayyy back. Today, Andy actually called our old apartment building to see if they had any openings. They didn't; the place has a waiting list. And what I wouldn't give for that apartment right about now.

Did we jump the gun? Make a mistake? We don't know. But we do know you can't go back, and can only tuck this experience into our backpack of life lessons and move forward as best as we can. It's definitely harder when you have two little toddlers who sense your stress and frustration, and when you worry about their health and safety, and all you wanted was a yard for heaven's sake.

But we learned some important things:

  • The safety of your family comes first, even before binding property contracts
  • Andy is actually great at gentle but firm confrontation 
  • I am allergic to flea bites (called flea allergy dermatitis) 
  • The things I think I need, I don't really (I took a trash bag of clothes to my parent's house and was fine for 3 1/2 weeks) 

and probably the most important, bordering on cliche but SO TRUE:

Wherever we are together, that is home. 

Period. 


and for me especially, because I'm emotional and slightly depressed and just on autopilot...












11 comments:

  1. We're currently between homes as well - asbestos was found in our home, and we've been couch surfing (a new friend's house every two or three days) with my 4-year-old and 17-month-old for three weeks. Funnily enough, the house also had fleas, and my poor husband also has flea allergy dermatitis.
    Thank you for posting this, it really spoke to me (obviously!) And also allowed me to feel OK about being emotional and slightly depressed as well, knowing that someone in a similar situation feels the same.
    I hope you find your best home soon.

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    1. Hi Kristen - oh my goodness. That is terrible. I FEEL your pain! Yes, it's OK to be totally depressed. I'm hoping you guys get into a better situation, too. Ugh.

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  2. We're currently between homes as well - asbestos was found in our home, and we've been couch surfing (a new friend's house every two or three days) with my 4-year-old and 17-month-old for three weeks. Funnily enough, the house also had fleas, and my poor husband also has flea allergy dermatitis.
    Thank you for posting this, it really spoke to me (obviously!) And also allowed me to feel OK about being emotional and slightly depressed as well, knowing that someone in a similar situation feels the same.
    I hope you find your best home soon.

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  3. Oh no, dear! I'm so sorry you're going through this!!! What a stressful time. I'm hoping your family will find your perfect home soon!

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  4. Oh Megs, I'm sad the house fell through (especially considering Fabric Depot's proximity...) but happier that you won't be eaten alive. Crummy situation. What a trainwreck! I love your attitude and you are right, home is where those you love are. And that was just a house. I'm glad you're back with your whole little family.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks friend. Love you. I'm going to Southern Oregon again next week but after that, let's hang out and make our sewing machine covers.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear that Megan. It sounds terrible! I wish I would have known about all of this sooner! The house across the street was for rent and they just found tenants the other day. That would have been awesome :)

    I hope you guys find a great place and I'm glad you have such generous friends and family in the meantime!

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    1. Oh man, no way! It was great to be neighbors for a split second, ha. :)

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  6. We had a very similar experience to yours. And oddly enough, I was the ONLY one experiencing being bitten. We moved in almost entirely and I started getting bitten. My family thought I was just paranoid, but as it turned out... FLEAS! We bombed the place, left for hours and put all baby things away, and still .... FLEAS. We also broke our lease. It was SO frustrating and time consuming and somewhat costly... :sigh:
    I'm glad you were able to get out of your lease. So sorry that happened though.

    It's a strange thing how similar some of our experiences have been: toddlers throwing organic food to the floor, fleas only biting us in rentals...
    PS I love those sun hats! I'm on the search for a new one for my daughter, since she's outgrown her one form last year.
    xo
    Eleanor

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like EXACTLY what happened to us. I went back and looked to see if this was my comment to someone! Weeeird. And it totally, totally sucks. My question is, did you successfully move and leave the fleas behind? We are so paranoid of them somehow stowing away in our stuff!

      Sun hats are from Old Navy and are on sale right now, plus reversible! :)

      Delete

I appreciate your comments and conversation - please leave your email address when commenting so I can respond! If you want a direct response, you can also email me at meg(dot)kimmelshue@gmail.com.

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