Fancy meeting you here!
I know it’s been a while and I wish I was coming back with some really exciting updates… but I’m not. Womp womp.
The posting break has been for several reasons:
1. It’s been REALLY, REALLY HOT. Like, so hot that sitting in front of the computer inside the bus is pretty much unbearable and I just start dripping sweat. It’s pretty gross and not really conducive to any sort of creative mental energy. I like to avoid it.
It got so hot here this past month that we actually lost a chicken (and felt suitably horrible about it – especially my five year old who found it). Apparently, when it gets as hot as it’s been here, chickens can get stressed and die if proper measures aren’t taken to cool them down such as putting ice in their water or setting up misters around their coop. We now have a mist system set up for them, so there shouldn’t be any other casualties.
The point is: it has been REALLY HOT.
2. School has started. You might recall that our kids are part of a local charter homeschool hybrid where they attend “workshop” two days per week and we homeschool the other three. I wrote a little about it here. This year, my second daughter entered Kindergarten and it’s been interesting trying to figure out the logistics of schooling two kids with a toddler and a mobile baby in a bus.
We’re still trying to find our rhythm, but so far it mostly entails doing the work during Sawyer’s nap time and lots of screen time for Finn. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve been in full on school-mode for the past five weeks, tweaking curriculum and trying to find a good fit between what the school suggests we do, versus what I think we should do versus what my kids actually find engaging and interesting. It’s a bit tricky.
3. Not a lot of interesting things have been going on with the house. Now that the framing is complete, all the focus has been on the really necessary stuff that is extremely boring to photograph. Things like plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC and fire sprinklers. There are a few things that need to get finished up this weekend and then we should have our rough-in inspection on Monday and pray to the Good Lord that we pass. After that point we can start insulation, drywall and siding.
I am having very, very strong doubts at this point that we are going to be done by December 17th, which is when our loan matures. If we aren’t move-in ready by that date, the bank requires that we pay for a 3-month extension (about $1000). We will also be responsible for paying for the interest on the loan for those additional months, which will likely be at the full cost of the entire loan, since it will be so close to the end.
It’s somewhat comforting to me that our contractors don’t seem very concerned about it and have reassured us that we’ll make it on time… but I will continue to not count on it. Because, as we already know by now, I like to keep my expectations really low.
4. My mindset hasn’t really been spectacular. The final, and perhaps main reason I haven’t been writing is simply because I haven’t really been in a great place mentally. I am white-knuckling it over here. The heat, the cramped space, the stress of caring for four children in these conditions… it’s starting to take it’s toll on me and to be quite honest I am fighting an off and on mild depression.
It’s been 18 months now and we still don’t even have electricity (although the GCs just laid the conduit, so that should be coming SOON). I’m still having to rely on neighbors to keep our fridge for us, I’m running a generator to do laundry or doing it at someone else’s house and everything is dirty all the time from having the general, living mess of six people (including a two year old boy) condensed into what is essentially a hallway.
I think I’ve written about this before, but it’s hard to tell what is normal stress from this stage of life – four small kids, homeschooling, Noah busy at work – and what is specific to living in the bus. Would I still be sleep deprived from being up with a baby several times a night if we didn’t live in a bus? Very likely. Would Finn have wedged an opaque, purple craft bead so far up his nose he needed to be taken to urgent care to have it removed even if we weren’t living in a bus? I could see that happening regardless. Would I still have to cook and clean and divide every last morsel of my attention between all these small humans if we were living in a house? Of course.
It’s just that there’s all the normal stressful stuff going on AND we live in a bus.
I just… I’m really, really over it at this point, guys. It’s been a rough journey and I want a home. Noah and I have questioned our judgement and sanity so many times lately. We might very well have made a grave mistake to have given up almost two years of our lives to a lot of stress and difficulty for something that might not even turn out to be worth it.
BUT we’re still hanging in here. The bad times come and they go. We can look out the window and see the house standing there, waiting for us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and all that jazz.
Plus, I went ahead and gave myself the grace of hiring someone to come and clean the bus on Monday morning which sounds totally ridulous and you are FREE TO JUDGE ME, but made me feel better as soon as I made the appointment.
So, that’s where things stand as of now. I update a bit more often on Instagram because I can do it from my phone from anywhere instead of inside the hot, hot bus. I would love to connect with you there, but I will also be writing here when there are more exciting, POSITIVE updates to give. We’re not giving up yet.