Tuesday, April 19 2022

chaos, house limbo, and loose laughs

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Dear Journal,

Welcome to Tuesday, everybody. How are you feeling today? Wherever you're at on the spectrum of moods this morning, go ahead and add "grateful" on account of there not being any snow on the ground. Seems like a low bar to set for this late in the spring, but a win is a win.

Let me give you a little peek into the chaos that unfolded this morning. Minutes before rushing Rodney out the door, Marissa realized that Rodney was fresh out of masks. She checked the pockets of his back pack. I checked the back seat of the car. We checked his shoe bin and his bedroom closet. Marissa even tried to MacGyver one of our adult sized disposable masks so it would fit on his face, but no matter how much we tried to shorten the straps, it wouldn't stay on his face. "Just ask the teachers if you can borrow one," said Marissa finally admitting defeat.

Rodney's school has just barely loosened up the mask rule. The kids can take them off during outside playtime. But of course, Rodney just loses them in the fray of recess.

On top of everything, somewhere in the middle of our frantic, last-minute hunt for a spare mask, we forgot to put Rodney's lunch box in his backpack. No mask, no lunch, today he's completely dependent on the Madison's public school system. Not that Rodney really cares. In fact, I'll bet he'll be ecstatic to learn that he gets a plain cheeseburger for lunch instead of his staple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sip. It's good to be here today. I'm checking in from "house limbo" - a phrase that Marissa and I coined yesterday while I paced around the dining room during a coffee break.

"It's just a total limbo right now," I said. "Nothing is signed. We haven't yet officially sold our house... and we haven't officially..."

"Bought our house," said Marissa, finishing my obvious thought. "It's a classic house limbo."

What do we do in the meantime? I still partake in the Redfin house market notifications, purely as a spectator sport. Even though we already nabbed a house and the game is over, I'm still curious about how the market will behave for the rest of the buying season. It's kind of like playing out a poker hand - I may have already "folded", but I'd still like to see how the rest of the hand would have played out.

One thing I've noticed about these home search apps - they tend to have a mind of their own. A few weeks ago, I used our same house search filters to view listings in other places. I learned that for the same amount of money, I could have bought an abandoned house in San Francisco, a studio apartment in Toronto, or a sprawling estate in Baton Rouge. But now Redfin still thinks I'm interested in all these other places. There's no way to tell Redfin, "no it's OK, I was just doing that for fun." The other night, Redfin practically woke me up to tell me there was a rooftop shack for sale in an "energetic" neighborhood in the Bronx.

"Zillow is the same," laughed Marissa. "Somehow it still thinks I own a house in Florida. It sends me regular emails about the zestimate."

Leaving me to peruse Redfin, Marissa retired from the house search game. She's biding her time in house limbo by planning paint colors, room configurations, and new murals for the boys. Rodney is old enough to tell us what he wants his room to look like, but to unravel what would make Miles feel at home, we needed to do some field work.

"Does Miles like the book Go Dogs Go?" asked Marissa. "That would make a cute mural, but I'm not sure if he likes it."

The book was one of mine and Rodney's favorites. As an experiment I read the book to both of them before bed last night. Miles was so stimulated, he wouldn't sit down. He pointed at each page, talking through my quiet, cadent droning with his own excited babble that Marissa could hear all the way downstairs. We are a "go" for the Go Dogs Go mural.

In other news, we had an exciting night in the pet room. With Leo's lid open, Marissa and I stared down at a single mealworm struggling in his thick web. Marissa had her camera pointed at the scene to capture a take down.

"It won't be a good one," I warned her. "The mealworm takedowns are never exciting. Here - want to see my impression of a mealworm takedown?" I reached across her lap and gently picked up a pen that was resting on the desk. "Want to see it again?" Marissa chortled at my dumb joke.

Marissa gasped, but she wasn't looking at Leo's box. Without making a sudden moves, she used her eyes to gesture at Tio's glass box. Tio was out for an evening stroll. Looking twice the size as he was when we got him, we both smiled as he casually mozeyed back into his cave. That was the first time either of us had seen him out in months.

"Well HE'S big," laughed Marissa. "For a second, I thought Spidey just spray painted his butt and climbed into a different tank as a joke."

As padding for the word count, enjoy a few loose laughs. Before a story reading, Miles and I waited in his bedroom for Rodney to finish brushing his teeth. I used my phone camera to distract Miles, but also to capture his reaction when I unexpectedly rushed his crib.

Rodney drinks a glass of milk every day with dinner, mainly because of his fascination with his own milk moustache. "Take a pitchur of my milk moustache so I can see it," he begged.


That's what I got today. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.