Hurray! Today we found a place we like and put in an application. We are confident we will get it (so much so that I went ahead and gave my two weeks notice for work/gave notice to vacate!) Last day of work scheduled to be May 14 so we'll move the Saturday before, May 10th if all goes as planned. It's a house built into a duplex and our division will be the main floor and the basement. The backyard is shared with the owner upstairs who owns the place but there are nooks and crannies for planting garden goods. He is ok with the band rehearsing and there's a fireplace in the basement which will be lovely for musical and warmth atmosphere. There are two "rooms" downstairs that have some potential for a clean up and putting carpet in (I'm on the craigslist prowl for carpet now...) which will make them very usable and some basement space that's just shelving/storage and laundry area. The main floor, upstairs living room has wood floor, a fireplace...the owner talked of putting a wood stove insert in for heating in the winter rather than the diesel heat now used because of expense. The 2 bedrooms have old blue carpet but I bought a carpet steam cleaner today for tidying things up and inviting a homey spirit, I'm sure we'll use it plenty. Off the kitchen there's a back door entrance to the backyard and just three blocks away is a great park with a water fountain for summer splashing and our friends, Ben and Holly are real nearby, too. It's fairly close to Carolina's school so we may choose to keep her in the Russian immersion program next year, too and only one bus ride to Eli's school. It's in our last ward boundary. It's a nice clean, safe feeling neighborhood and I am so excited to spend time with the kids and make our nest a home. Once I get the official ok I shall begin packing!
"Go daty! Go daty! Go Datty!" The kids were some mighty fine cheerleaders at Eli's church basketball game tonight. No wonder his team won. Adrianna pretended she was my mommy today and I asked if I were her daughter. She said, "yeah." but then decided to change my role but continued to treat me in the same diminuative manner but dubbed me now to be, "Grandma." My diaper was changed and I was treated wih utmost love and respect and continuous nods of reassurement.
The last exercise of my self defense class we all took turns striking three different bags the instructors were holding with first- eye jabs, second -elbow strikes and third- knee to the groin. While doing so the rest of the class cheered on each classmate. Considering being attacked, Eli and I mused on September 11th. My memory of when I first heard is interconnected with another assault. I first heard the news from a guy in my ballet class at 9:00 am at BYU. The guy often flirted with a particular girl in our class and was friendly to everyone. In retrospect I felt a creepy edge to him but not a particularly strong feel, not one I noticed on a daily basis. About a month later he was charged with some horrific sexual crimes against a woman on campus. When we found out what he'd done the girl in my class emmanated an erie sense of disbelief and relief and confusion. I never saw him again. He was the one to break the news of 9-11 to me, an offense so boggling and ununderstandable to humanity. How could a human participate in dehuminizing and murdering others ? Similarly I am forced to contemplate this one individual in my class's capability to do a comparable destructive and dehumanizing thing to another human. A small scale example of terror and horror is the only way to swallow what happened with September 11th. At BYU a beautiful optimism is typically present, a spirit of brotherly love. We want to trust each other, to treat each other with the love and respect we all deserve but a balance of having to guard ourselves for the few tainted souls who desire ill must be in play. There must be opposiiton in all things. After the class I feel I can walk a little taller and to seek good and to not fear evil quite so much because I have both an understanding and belief in humanity as well as some tools and skills to counteract those who discard humanity.
Eli decided to stay home from church with Adrianna today and when I told the other two to get ready for church Adrianna joyously chirped, "Yay!" and we gently told her she couldn't come today becuase she was sick. Oh my, the devastation. Her "class" and her "church" are the highlights of her life. Her cry wasn't an angry one but just so sincerely sad and let down. What a dear little spirit she is. We looked at houses today on the computer and driving around and made no astounding discoveries. Eli is singing in Portuguese and strumming his guitar, its what he does to unwind. It's his way of taking a break after the day's search. After some misbehavior today Carolina was room quarantined and after about 15 minutes she calmly exited her room and a piece of paper wafted down the stairs like a letter from heaven. I picked it up and she giggled in much better spirits. It was an artfully crafted family portrait of us as mice (including the new baby in the form of a hopeful girl, too bad for her I'm darn sure she's mistaken...) . Quite a cute omen of peace.
An uncommon sense of peace is part of me after an inspection with my boss today. She left with a yardstick long list of "things for me to do" before tuesday when she'll come back to see if I follow through., in doing so of course noticed none of the great things i did to prepare for her visit. Had I not the knowledge that I would only be doing this for four more months I would feel burdened and overwhelmed as usual. Eli and I recently decided we would make another life change early September by moving and allowing me to stop managing apartments. Knowing this I feel enough charge to go forth and to try my best to complete each task and a reassurement that all will be well and that there is a definite end in sight. Moses got a new ball today. Adrianna fought with Moses over her tricycle. Carolina did her Run for the Arts today in school. She ran nine laps while Seth, her arch enemy (the "husky" boy that sits across from her only six. When i called her in for dinner i asked, "Is that you, Carolina?" She answered, "Who'd you think it was, Doc Richenbacher?" Eli and I are going out tonight to listen to a band Scotland Bar and propably will end up stuffing our faces, like usual, maybe Old Chicago style.
Carolina learned to ride a two wheel bike! Yesterday she came inside saying "Mom, Mom, come watch I can ride a two wheel bike. Come see!" She had put aside her shiny new barbie bike with streamers on the handle bars (that has training wheels) for a temporary go on Sally's beat up non-training wheeled wheels. She centered herself and lost the center and said to keep watching. Then she got right on that bike and took off! She was riding a bike! She said with triumph and uumph (yes, both), "I wanted to show you Mom, because I wanted to prove it to you, Mom!" Eli quickly removed her training wheels so she is back to Barbie streamer bliss in even more glory. She asked me today if when we got home "could she ride her two wheel bike." She'd been asking us for the last couple weeks if we could take off her training wheels and we kept telling her "soon, we'll take you to a park with a trail and grass so if you fall the grass will pad your fall..." But we hadn't taken her yet. She's got a real go-getter spirit about her. She set her mind to somthing and she wanted this goal. Eli and I considered how we need to remember honoring the dreams our little ones have by facilitating them acheive them. It's easy to consider the mess that will be made and the time it will take but the reward goes far beyond. When I was at Ricks I had a child Development assignment to get a written report from my parents about how my coming into the world affected them and what they noticed about me. I kept their notations and I am reminded of a clause in my Dad's statement about me, "It began to manifest its personality. This personality was forward all the way. Get out of the way world come hell or high water this child would learn, succeed and excel." And thus we have our dear Sunny Carolina, a bit like her mother.
The lettuce, spinich, pea, radish, arugula and parsnip seeds are planted. Some in buckets, some in pots. And a small row in the earth. With some direction from a community garden mentor my pots have taken a change this year, side drainage holes and permalite on the bottom so plants have a better way to drink water reserves. I am also trying to grow a spring crop and a summer crop. I remember Carolina eating dirt clumps as a crawling infant and stealing our housemates cherry tomatoes and strawberries. The tomatoes for squishing and strawberries for eating. This year she didn't like being forced to wear jeans while working but once she got on her hands and knees she saw the wisdom and frequently talked about what hard work it was. Moses planted some of the pea seeds and some of the lettuces. All of them employed use of brooms and shovels to loosen the dirt, quick to invite their neighbor friends to join in although most except Denisa were hesitant. I have foundational memories of crumbling the earth in my hands and turning shovels of dirt to get the front rows of my own famiy's rock garden turned. Harvesting the yukon gold potatoes that seemed to have such an abundant crop was my favorite part. Our living room opens up to our backyard with a large glass sliding door so I see my garden a lot. It's something I anticipate and it gives me hope. Awaiting and expecting a bountiful crop just as I at a harmonious moment think of the confidence I have of my Saviors return. On a less harmonious note my mind is clogged with the burdens of managing these damn apartments. A stewardship for which I have but care not. Am I my brother's keeper? I recognize the opportunity I have to do good for my community and I have had many positive moments of nurturing and being a good neighbor. As of late I long to fill my mind with things that matter to me and my children. To have my waking thoughts be of what adventure we will do today or even how to curb Moses- lack- of -converstion-just bawl -skills instead of how behind I am and how many pending maintenance items or unsigned documents I haven't done. I felt such gratitude when Elder Ballard spoke to young mothers no matter their situation and of prioritizing--a skill that would do me good. Moses is dressed in a white dress shirt, mickey mouse furry ears, two whit socks on his hands, Curious George shorts and white socks. "Boing, boing, boing! I'm a winter bunny." Carolina is wearing a flowerprint dress and bunny ears and says she's a summer bunny. Adrianna is wearing a yellow dress, following along, having a great time being included. Moses asked me today to tach him some of the fighting moves I learned from my self defense class. He had the most faithful, bright eyes as I showed him knee kicks and gav him examples of when to use the blows. Self gratifying to see his trust and thrill in me teach him something of worth to him.