I can hardly believe it, but Michelle and I have been married for a month already. Time continues to slip through my fingers (as does my ideal of writing an entry here at least once a week.) As always, life with her is just fine, because really it’s me hanging out with my best friend all the time. We relax with puzzles or movies in the evenings that we don’t have anything urgent to do.
It finally feels as though life has finally settled into a regular rhythm. Of course, most of it is Michelle and I playing tag-team to take care of Austin and make sure he stays on only part-time daycare. It seems unfortunate that we have to work so hard to maintain such a delicate balance of our time, essentially limiting how much we can really accomplish in a day. Austin is definitely a kid to require some surplus supervision. He has a tendency to try to dismantle anything with a button. Or a power cord. Or with some string. Or something on the counter. Or on the desk. Okay, let’s just say anything in this material plane of existence is in danger. Sorry, folks, he really is my son.
We’ve been spending much of our time finally building our home. The majority of our efforts have been on making our living room more livable. So in the past month, we’ve found furniture, lighting, and a television armoire that we really like, and finally where we live is feeling more like home. It’s not the fact we’ve put in lots of stuff that makes it feel more like home. I prefer to think that I’m not that materialistic. I think it’s more because we’re making the house ours. Instead of seeing the spaces where the carpet has been worn by the feet of other people, we walk around our personally arranged furniture. We’ve been gathering our twigs and leaves and arranging our nest to what makes us comfortable. It’s not just our house, it’s our home now.
Michelle and I are particularly proud of how we’ve replaced our lighting throughout the house. Here’s where I’ll be getting on my little soapbox for a bit. I have gone through my entire house and cut the electrical cost of lighting my home by seventy-five percent. While there may have been a bit of initial investment in these small, spiraling compact fluorescent bulbs, they will last me for years and each one uses less than one quarter of the energy of the equivalent light output from an incandescent bulb. Believe it or not, the initial investment wasn’t much at all. If bought in some bulk, they come out to around two dollars a bulb for the basic wattages that one would expect. Take into account that they last over five times longer and use one-fourth of the energy, and you’ll find they save tons of money over the rather long haul. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can find them for even less. We went to Lowes recently and they were offering rebates making packs of four bulbs free! The cost of lighting my entire house dropped seventy-five percent, and we have barely spent a dime. Please folks, do yourselves and the rest of the world a huge favor. Make your homes more energy efficient. You’ll save tons of money, our rather old electrical grids won’t be as strained, and in the end we’ll decrease our need for so much fuel in general.
A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity to babysit my new niece-in-law along with my son. Now, Austin is a challenge in himself at times, but he’s constantly getting better, particularly his manners lately. What made the evening and following day more of a trial at times is the fact Alisa, who is seven, had to get through some culture shock of dealing with our house rules. Okay, I will admit, most of the time I was rather amused by her misery, but hey, who doesn’t enjoy the suffering of children? What I thought was especially funny was how every ninety seconds or so, she would change from loving to me hating me, then back again. She just couldn’t fathom that people not only can, but voluntarily, live without constant television and junk food. You would have thought she was stepping into 1952 Russia, our rules are that repressive. Austin seems to manage just fine, though, with his television time being earned through good behavior.
The next morning, I wound up with a third child. Our friend needed a sitter for her two year old daughter, Alexi, and since she and Austin play so well together, I said sure. Michelle had to work all morning, so I really was on my own with three kids. The two young ones played lots and occupied each other, I played some cards with Alisa, and I made everyone lunch. When Austin has an actual friend to play with, he’s got a really good demeanor, and when playing host, is more than happy to let people know of all the rules of the house, even the ones he regularly breaks. While Alisa made things a little tougher, it was nice to know that I could handle watching the number of kids that I hope to wind up with. I could also appreciate why taking care of that many kids is readily a full-time job.
Not much else going on these days. I’ve been working every day, with each day being identical yet radically different. I’m still waiting to get the remainder of my signups for the jazz band so we can start up in January. I joined Michelle for her company Christmas dinner, and it went much better than I had anticipated. We went to Jax Cafe, which is an absolutely amazing high-class restaurant in Minneapolis. I wasn’t completely bored, and the food and drinks were top notch.
Oh, I should mention Thanksgiving in here too, since that happened as well. It was a nice dinner, very low key, with just Michelle’s local family around. I’m still thankful for the greatest thing in life: indoor plumbing. It was still a little tough being away from all my family, and it’s been regularly hitting me how much I miss them, along with my friends. But I guess I have to remember how hard it was spending holidays away from Michelle and Austin, and how everything felt incomplete without them.
Well, once again, because I haven’t written in so long, this entry has gotten quite lengthy. I’m still working on getting pictures of our house and home up for folks to see it and how it’s changed. I almost got a video shot tonight that I plan to upload somewhere, but Michelle decided that she, and about half our house, was not going to be viewed. Oh well, the time will come. Hopefully this weekend, when it might be a little more sunny out and the lighting will be better.