Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blueberry Faces, New Spaces

Since Matt returned home from Iraq, Sunday mornings have been reserved for pancake mornings. I make my own batter; coming up with a combination as I go along. Sometimes I add sour cream, sometimes I add blueberries, other times steamed apple slices and cinnamon. Using my griddle, I can make two large pancakes or three smaller pancakes at a time. I sip coffee, flip on the Food Channel and watch Paula Deen as I flip my pancakes with ease. Matt's usually on the couch or in bed peeling kids off of him. When I'm finished, we all sit down together and enjoy warm pancakes with real maple syrup and butter.

Here, so far, that has not been the case. Since I have unopened packages of flour, baking soda, etc., on their way, I haven't made those purchases here. I've bought mixes. While those are okay, the pancakes aren't the same, especially since I'm only able to make one pancake at a time, in a small, loaner frying pan. I'm always disappointed and frustrated with the outcome. However, my girls are not. As you can see on their faces! It's mornings like this, as we gather as a family and pancakes stifle the cries of hunger, that I am grateful for what we do have - a happy family - even if our "stuff" isn't here yet!
We think our household goods will arrive 9NOV. So, over the weekend, Matt and I decided that we could no longer put off buying Olivia a bed (she's sleeping in a loaner crib that will be taken back when our goods arrive). She's long over-due for a bed anyway and Lila would probably appreciate sleeping in a real crib instead of a Pack & Play. We also needed a new dining room/kitchen table. So, we hired a sitter and took off Saturday morning. We had grand plans of visiting all these great European furniture stores. Then, as we sipped coffee and hashed over our plan at a local mall, we decided to buy what we wanted at Ikea. So much for the trundle bed that I wanted to get Olivia. So much for the Ethan Allen-type dining set I wanted. Ikea furniture it was!

We have been to Ikea several times since we arrived here. We found some pretty decent things. Not the kind of stuff I'd like in my dream house, but what I would call doable for this time in our lives. But, I still wanted to look elsewhere and, possibly, buy some really nice furniture. A bedroom set that would see Olivia through high school, at least. However, when it came down to it, during that coffee discussion, we realized that we've had brand-new furniture dinged, scratched or demolished in just two moves (who knows what we'll unveil soon). A good friend lost her very expensive flat-screen TV in her family's last move. While some military families risk grandma's china with each move, we decided that, for our family, very expensive furniture wasn't worth the risk. After all, we're still about 4-5 moves away from retirement.

So, we bought Olivia a twin size, Pottery Barn-looking bed and night stand (didn't buy a dresser b/c we've been using a closet system successfully and we couldn't find a matching dresser. When the matching dresser arrives in stock, we may buy it then). I threw in a duvet cover, matching rug, sheets, bed canopy, and wall night-light. When Matt went to set everything up, we realized how small her room is. The bed doesn't fit center to the window as I thought it would because the window won't open if we do that. So, we had to push the bed against the wall. Matt had a hard time installing the canopy because the ceiling appears to be made of steel. Just when I was about to hire it done, he figured out what drill-bit worked. As for the night-stand, unfortunately, when Matt opened the night-stand box, we realized we had grabbed the wrong color (oh how we dread another trip to Ikea).

Nap time went okay. It took her about 1.5 hours to fall asleep - but she then took a two hour nap. So far, tonight, all is good with the exception of her normal resistance at bedtime. We can deal with that. Were holding out that it'll continue as is or get better....
We did buy a dining room set. Nothing fancy. Just a country-looking set that we haven't put together yet. Matt has a business trip to Spain this week and when he gets back, he'll put that together.

I also worked on the playroom this weekend (a work-in-progress). My sister, Sarah, is all about "soft corners" and she has been encouraging me to create one for some time (she's an early-education major - the type of person who would be concerned about soft corners!). So, I bought a brightly colored rug, threw in some floor pillows and a box of books and there we have it - a soft corner! The girls, actually, love it! Lila climbs the pillows and Olivia puts her dolls to bed on the pillows. But, when it comes time to read, you'll find Matt and I sacked-out on the pillows with the girls climbing on top of us. Lila will shout, "baaa" as we read "Little Lamb" and Olivia will pull out several books and flip through them as we read outloud.

So, we're almost ready for our household goods. We still have a few things to donate (like extra-large suitcases that take up way too much closet space - space we have little of) to charity and we have to come up with an organization plan (which Matt is trying to discuss as I type this) -but, I feel as if we're wrapping up odds and ends! A huge relief! Soon, our home will really feel like it is ours (though, there's a possibility that I'll freak out when I realize that our stuff won't all fit in this house - but I'll reserve that for another post)!


House Dad said...

Ah, the joys of moving. We're still unpacking boxes here and there and it's been almost 5 months since we got our furniture down from Alaska. And we found similar, less than favorable, furniture options when shopping for Ellie's new bed. But soon, you'll be firmly ensconced in the new digs and you'll wonder how you did without it.

Alaska Dunns said...

I love the "soft corner" idea. We just bought the boys some bean bag chairs and I think I'll try to incorporate them into a book nook in their play room.

I love having Steve home b/c he is the decorator and unpacker between us and he has worked hard to finally get us feeling "moved in." It's so nice when all the personal items are unpacked and displayed. It really starts to feel like home. I hope everything goes smoothly with your household goods delivery -- no more delays and nothing broken. :)