The house is a disaster, but what else is new?

I know, I know. If I expect anybody to read my blog, I have to, like, actually post in it. Sorry. I’ll work on it, I promise.

We’re still trying to get the house in order. This is where it stands at the moment. Kitchen: No floor. Or, rather, plain, untreated, stained wood floor that needs vinyl. Or something. Walls had several layers of wallpaper and paint stripped off them, so they’re all patchy and ugly. Dishwasher is plumbed and usable, but has no counter above it, so when you open it you need to support the door with your foot, or a stool placed there conveniently for that purpose, or the dishwasher will fall forward. I just managed to unpack my spices today. Of course, the bottle of rosemary apparently did not have the cap tightly sealed, so when I went to lift it out… rosemary everywhere. On the plus side, I have an awesome new vacuum cleaner that made short work of cleaning up the spill of rosemary in the kitchen, and one of the attachments let me suck up the extra rosemary from the packed box so that I didn’t have to take everything else out as well. Ironically enough, I probably still have enough rosemary left in the bottle to last me until my fiftieth wedding anniversary. It is not a spice I use often. The overhead light in the kitchen is not hooked up yet, but there is a switch-light mounted over the sink that serves well enough.

Moving on. Dining room: Not bad, not bad. One large hole in the floor plugged with a board. Another hole in the wall for ductwork blocked with a box so that nobody tries to fit a toy (or perhaps a baby sister) down it. Otherwise, definitely messy (some boxes in the corner, some clutter issues), but otherwise okay.

Living room: Also not too bad. A large pile of boxes in one corner, and plastic-wrapped strange things (I think some are pictures in frames, no idea what others are) against the fireplace. However, we finally got the TV hooked up. It took a visit to my parents for which I brought along my new Wii, and showing Steve the Lego Harry Potter game. Now we’re addicts, and he had to hook up the TV almost as soon as we got back here so that we can play Lego Harry Potter together. It’s been great fun. Of course, we played a little this evening, and just when we got to the big battle of one part of the game, the Wii froze (while making an annoying high-pitched sound) and we lost the game. And the game doesn’t let you save at any point, only at waypoints. So we’ll have to go all the way back when we start over. 😦

Kids’ playroom is also not bad. It has a row of boxes along the wall, but I’ve tried to make use of them, so there’s space to play and all. I just cleaned it tonight and vacuumed (yay new vacuum cleaner!) so hopefully I will have better luck getting the girls to clean it in future.

Downstairs bathroom: gutted. As in, there is some PVC sticking out of the drywall walls, and a wooden subfloor. Yeah.

Stairs: No baby gate at the bottom. I have a pressure gate that I put up, but I keep forgetting, wondering where Charlotte is, and frantically running up the stairs to find her in the bathroom eating the toothbrushes again. So far I have been *very* lucky. I really need to get Seth to set up a mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs, as I’d be less likely to forget to close it. We do have a mounted gate at the top of the stairs.

Bathroom: Wooden subfloor. Toilet flushes, but it has a problem where the water never shuts off, so you have to keep the valve turned off except when you are actively filling the tank. This is hard for me to remember for some reason, but very bad to forget. I did the other day, and it caused a major flood that meant water leaking through the closet in the girls’ playroom (which is directly downstairs from the bathroom). 😦 There is no sink or vanity or mirror. There is a working bathtub, and we sit on the edge of it and wash our hands/brush our teeth in the tub. The tub does not have a tile surround yet, it’s just plastic taped to the wall. There is no bathroom closet or anything. A plastic bin holds our bathroom supplies, and the frequently-used items rest on top of the bin for easy access (which explains how Charlotte is able to get hold of toothbrushes all the time).

The girls’ room is basically done. It’s pretty simple, just Emily and Jenny’s bunkbed and Charlotte’s crib, a small bookshelf for bedtime books, dressers for their clothes, and a standing fan. Plus whatever toys manage to walk themselves (because, ask the girls, they had nothing to do with it) upstairs and into the room. Also sometimes wet pullups. Ick. There’s no switched light, though. None of the outlets work, so a extension cord runs from the bathroom to power the lamp, nightlight, and fan.

Master bedroom: Basically complete, although also has no power and has to use an extension cord to the bathroom. Is sort of a dump spot for household items, plus is hard to clean because Charlotte is napping in there half the day, so is a huge mess. But otherwise is pretty much finished, except for needing outlets and a light.

Backyard: Huge pile of limbs and branches from a tree that has been cut down is diminishing. It was taking up a huge percentage of the yard, but most of it is now chopped up into firewood and in neat stacks on a pallet near the fence. Yay! The yard is a mess of kid toys, but that doesn’t so much bother me. We do still need to hang all our laundry on a line, because the dryer hasn’t been connected yet.

So. If there can be any excuse for the lack of blog updates, I hope that this detailed description of the state of our house will count. I haven’t mentioned the many and sundry toys, clothes, and odds-and-ends strewn about the house, so just assume that they’re liberally scattered throughout the rooms in the previous description.

In other news, Charlotte is, I think, getting close to walking. She’ll sit in a crouch, and then slowly raise herself to standing independently, and hold the position for a few seconds. So it probably won’t be too long! I’m taking bets on whether it happens before or after her birthday, which is the 25th. Either way, I think it’ll be close! She’ll be my latest-to-walk baby. She is so entertaining, though, and such a joy. She’s very cheerful, gets into everything, and just has such a strong and fun personality for such a young child. I adore her.

We’re just about to finish our second week of school. We’re doing Sonlight P4/5, which is the second year of preschool, and having a lot of fun with it so far. I bought Handle on the Arts’ Science and Bible add-ons, which give you some hands-on activities that go with the science and Bible portions of P4/5. The girls have really loved the crafts so far, which is great. We had fun making Noah’s Ark the other day with construction paper for the background and waves, an ark made from a template, and then gluing on cotton balls for clouds and matching sets of animal crackers for the animals. Unfortunately, Emily left hers on the floor, and Charlotte found it and ate off most of the animal crackers and a few cotton balls before I caught her. So I didn’t get a picture of how cute it was.

We took some pictures of us outside reading one of our favorite Sonlight books so far, the Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature. It’s really a fantastic book. Not only does it give a great overview of so much science, but it does so in verse that is catchy and rhyming and funny and memorable all at the same time.

I also just bought a new math package for Emily. Singapore Earlybird Kindergarten Math wasn’t really captivating her. She seems to detest workbooks in all shapes and forms, which it certainly was. Most math, of course, is in workbooks or similar, though. I kept hearing about Rightstart Math, and finally decided to try it. My initial reluctance was that I had heard that it’s very teacher-intensive. You can’t assign them some problems and then have them work independently, it’s all basically done with the teacher. This can be difficult when you have multiple kids. I finally decided, though, that right now I’d have to work with her anyway, and that Rightstart seems to give such a great foundation that it’s worth it. If I need her to work more independently later, I’ll transition her to another math program then. By then, she may be better able to handle something that is more textbook- or video-based. I love Rightstart’s teaching theories, and I really think they help kids get a handle on math and truly understand what they’re doing. I bought the deluxe kit which has all sorts of math manipulatives, so I look forward to trying it out with her. I have everything ready for the first lesson, but we went on a field trip today to a water event at the park and played hookey from school. Yay for homeschooling. 🙂

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