Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Free Zone?!

also known as our Den In Progress.

Several years ago Big B and I moved to the Tx. Hills. Our intention? To build a log cabin along the river.

1 year later we were still in the single-wide trailer that came on the lot. Still arguing over floor plans (and budget and time frame)...for the log cabin. We decided it was healthier for our marriage to buy a double-wide.

We spent the next 4 months looking at homes and finally found a floor-plan we loved. It had a living room with den attached, dining room, kitchen, morning room/laundry, 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms.

Then? We stumbled on this same house (only the den was a bedroom!)...for sale in Bandera.
If we bought the one off the lot? We would save almost 30 grand.

It was a no brainer. We would replace the green carpet, and turn the bedroom into a den. It would be less expensive to remodel than 30 grand. guessed it. Here we are 12 years later..and we still have green carpet...and we still have no den.

The den was originally going to be used for piano/violin lessons. Well..we just gave lessons in the kitchen or living room instead, until I stopped teaching.

Last summer Big B and I decide we really could use that space after-all.

Guests have no privacy on our pull-out couch in the living room. The teens and young adults needed some space to have an electronic explosion. (not literally..think Wii, guitars, lap-tops and..okay..electronics being taken apart) I do not want the explosion in the living room.

Big B and I agree. It is time!

Instead, we start a garage.

..and along come Levi...and also? Jack (2 years) and now Charlie (3/4 weeks?)..for community dining..and now Malachai (1 year) and Reini (3 years)..a couple days a week. Meaning?

The babies are everywhere!

Don't misunderstand. We love having the younger crowd around. Cody and Austen play with them, tease them, carry them, feed them, and try to protect the house from little fingers...and in return? The babies adore the boys.

Reini shows her adoration by hiding under the piano when it is time to leave. Everyone looks and Reini is not to be found. When she is always followed, with loud wails, tears and CAN'T find me! Try again. (more sobbing) Jack continues to bring the boys random items...blocks, little people, cars. Malichai throws things at them...and Levi shows off his latest noises. This week? Levi can make spitting sounds that sound like a boat motor.

Sometimes , all this baby love can be a bit overwhelming for the older kids.

For example, last Thursday, Cody, Austen and friend Devin tried to write a timed essay. While for some people, essay writing is a cinch, this is not the case with these guys. Especially timed...because in years of self-directed one ever chose to write timed essays.

Until now. Why?  Because these young men are practicing for ACT, SAT and Accuplacer.

So...back to the essay. I start the timer. The boys look at the writing prompt..and Levi and Malachai have a squealing contest.

Then? Malachai starts throwing cereal from the highchair. The cereal repeatedly hits Cody in the head. This causes Malachai to laugh hysterically, causing the boys to lose all concentration, because cereal on Cody's head is way more interesting than writing about reasonable expectations for the ethics of leaders.
While Malachai throws cereal..Levi makes boat noises..louder and louder and louder.

...and yes the boys managed to write essays. They almost made sense.

The boys and I agree. The time for a den is NOW.

So Big B, Cody and Austen remove walls, replace walls, add a huge entrance (that will be blocked by a baby gate!). We are not normally baby-gate people..but this is to keep the older boys in..really. The boys continue by putting up sheet rock..and we paint the floor (YES we pulled out the green carpet..but cannot afford the floor we want) a blue/grey.

This is to be the older kids space. The baby-free zone. The one and only zone in the house, where they can be teens/young adults...without playing with babies.  This their line in the sand.

Here's hoping we finish it soon.....

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