I have so much to tell you all! All the different projects in the works, how the renovations are progressing, what I think about all the newsy things, weirdo stuff Frankie’s been doing . . .

But there’s not much time to tell it, so today, you just get a peek at how it is living in the bottom left part of our new old house.

The whole upstairs, which is where all of our bedrooms will be eventually, is under construction, and cordoned off . . . as is the kitchen and breakfast room area. There’s still plenty of room in the house, though, we just moved beds and clothes into rooms downstairs that will eventually be put to other uses.

Many, many people warned us how terrible it would be to be living in a house under construction. We are generally up for a challenge, so I figured we could handle it. What I didn’t expect was to find that there are things I genuinely enjoy about our current non-standard living situation. So, let’s go over them, shall we?

1. We have no toys.

A box of duplos, a bunch of books, a few stuffed animals for sleeping . . . that is it. And I LOVE IT SO MUCH. No toys means no toys to mess up, no toys to clean up, no toys to fight over. It’s the BEST. The kids play outside almost all the time, because there’s really nothing to do in here.

Dirty feet = a good day.

I would love nothing more than to load every box labeled “toys” right onto the St. Vincent de Paul truck and be done with it. But, fortunately for the kids, their father is the kind of person who believes that children should be allowed to have some toys. IN the house. So . . . we’ll see.

But it’s going to be a sad, sad day in Momtown when those boxes get unpacked.

2. We have no window coverings.

This should be a huge problem, right? I’m supposed to get those accordion shade thingies immediately upon moving in.

But we didn’t, and it’s been great.

I’ve always worked so hard to create a “sleep environment” for little kids that would get them the most sleep possible. In our old house, we had honeycomb blackout shades in the kids’ rooms. They were totally dark. In this house we have . . . nothing. And TONS of windows. And ya know what? They all sleep exactly the same.

Frankie still gets up at the crack of dawn. Lulu still snoozes in. (Can you spot her?)

It has meant the big kids wake up earlier and want to go to bed earlier, which is excellent. The husband and I have been tearing through The Walking Dead on Netflix with all our newfound child-free evening hours. (We’re in season five. What is with the hipster cannibals?!)

Mary Jane has been bunking in our closet, which is the only dark room in the house . . . and waking up super early. What gives?

3. We have very few clothes.

I have been ideologically on board with minimal wardrobes for kids for many years. But it’s always so hard to keep it up. No matter how often I purge, it seems like we end up with more than we need. But, at least for now, we are down to a very manageable amount of clothing.

Each boy has one basket of clothes, plus half a basket for pajamas, and a few hanging items. It’s all they need, and less to keep track of. Especially since they’re doing their all own laundry. Yay!

4. We have a detached kitchen.

Living in a house without a kitchen was definitely supposed to be the worst part of this whole experience. And maybe it would have been. But my oh-so-handy dad cobbled together a makeshift kitchen for me out of pressboard and found appliances and it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

This is the detached garage. The top is an apartment that my parents are staying in when they visit. It’s excellent for giving speeches. The bottom right door is the kitchen, the rest of it is full of construction stuff and boxes. (The main house is over on the right. The doorway with no door is where the new kitchen will be.)

Everything we need, nothing we don’t.

I can’t take credit for the decorative spray paint. That was there when we moved in.

It’s, um, rustic, but it’s actually very efficient. There are benefits to all function and no form.

Here, let Gus and Anita tell you how great it is.
Anyway, I like that it’s anything at all, especially when I was planning to have a fridge and a crockpot for the duration. (Those crockpot freezer meals have been a huge success for us. If you have any upcoming life upheaval DO IT.)

I also like that it’s really set up to keep us from procrastinating. The washer/dryer is right there. So, I don’t forget about loads of laundry and have to wash them again. We have no dishwasher, and that’s another thing I’ve found to be surprisingly positive. I don’t think having the kids wash, dry, and put away the dishes takes any longer than having them rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher, and this way it’s DONE. No unloading the dishwasher later. (To be clear, it still takes WAY longer than it should. It just doesn’t take any longer than it used to.) We need fewer dishes this way, too.

The husband says we’re still getting dishwashers in the new kitchen.

But the best part is that there’s no snacking or messing up the kitchen between meals, because the kitchen is ALL THE WAY OVER THERE. Sitting at my computer at night, I’ll think how nice it would be to grab a little something, but the kitchen is outside, through the dark. I’d have to put on shoes. It just isn’t worth it.

Maybe Martha Washington was onto something with her detached kitchen. Not that she did the cooking in it. But still. I like it.

None of this isn’t to stay we’re not full-stream-ahead on a new kitchen a various other improvements. But those will have to be shared another time.