Doors, Inspections and Relating to the Ingalls

Guys! We have doors!

Front door:


Back doors:


They’re so preeeeetty!

Thank you all so much for your encouragement after my last post. It’s hard sometimes to admit when things aren’t going perfectly and I really appreciate the kind responses.

Of course, after that post our big inspection was delayed and the cleaning lady I had scheduled totally flaked.

BUT I hired another cleaning lady who came the following week. It was super helpful to have somebody come in and do the dirty work that I simply don’t have the time or, quite frankly, really WANT to do. It was really nice to know that things were getting done while I focused on doing school work with the girls. I wasn’t trying to set them up with something that they could do independently while I ran around trying to do chores in between reading questions out loud and explaining math problems.

Definitely worth the fifty dollars to have that time be a little calmer and also wind up with a clean toilet and sinks.

On the other hand, the big inspection that was supposed to be three weeks ago JUST wound up getting passed this morning. First, it got pushed back a week because things weren’t quite ready, then we had a short correction list to take care of after the initial inspection and then our contractors missed the inspector’s arrival by literally 5 minutes. Twice. They felt so horrible about it that Noah and I didn’t really say anything… but we also didn’t feel bad asking them to use the extra time making a few last-minute changes that had been nagging at us (well, mostly Noah since we’ve discovered that I am not “details oriented” when it comes to house construction and would probably not notice if they had nailed the roof on backwards).

This morning they got here at 7:30 am in time to meet the inspector when he showed up at 8 and we passed with flying colors. WHEW! So, tomorrow the insulators are scheduled to come and Friday they should be able to start bringing in the dry wall and once that’s in we’re officially in FINISHES stage and it should be downhill from there!

Being past that inspection has taken a big load off my mind and I’m feeling a lot better. I mean, it would be great to have electricity finally… but THAT would just put me over the moon at this point šŸ™‚

Another thing that also helped lift my spirits a bit is that we just finished listening to the Little House on the Prairie audio book (we’ve been on a big audio book kick lately – we’ve also recently listened to The Magic Tree House, My Father’s Dragon, Clementine, Peter and the Wolf and A to Z Mysteries). It had been a couple years since we last read it, but a lot has changed since then and I found myself relating to the story so much more than I ever have before. It also helped to reignite the feeling of this experience being an adventure a little!

This blog is called “Little Bus on the Prairie” (my awesome brother Spencer is actually the one who came up with the name when we were first tossing around the idea of starting one), but I honestly had no idea how appropriate it would turn out to be until now. Obviously, there are some very big differences, but many of the sentiments echoed very close to home.

The main places where I was struck by my sense of empathy were:

-At the beginning of the book, when the Ingalls are leaving their little house in the big woods of Wisconsin and saying goodbye to the home and life that they’ve known to start out on a completely new and unfamiliar adventure, I started to tear up (which wasn’t fun while driving). I was reminded of the little rental that we’d lived in before now and how sad it was to say goodbye to a place that held such happy memories only to head toward a lot of trials and difficulties trying to get to where we want to be.

-When they finally reach the place that they plan to settle, Pa takes the horses and wagon and leaves Ma and the girls in the tent that he’s made out of the wagon cover. They’re left alone in the middle of the prairie wilderness and Laura feels how very small and alone they are.Again, not the same exact thing, but the first week or so we were out here with just us and the bus while Noah was working on getting things more “settled” there was definitely a big feeling of being exposed and insecure. I was very aware of how much privacy and comfort even a small house offered now that we were competely without one. This feeling has mostly gone away over the past 18 months and settled into a resigned mundanity – we can adjust to just about anything!

-How Laura gets TIRED of traveling by covered wagon and waiting for the house to be built and how much she wants to complain, even though she usually manages not to. It was so reassuring to be reminded that lots of change, temporary living situations and just plain WAITING can be really hard on even the best peopleĀ  and especially difficult for children. That it’s okay that my kids don’t like living in the bus, because Laura Ingalls Wilder was tired of living in a covered wagon and impatient for their house to be built too!

In relation to this last point, we also have to take into account that amidst the change of moving, living in a bus, building a house and the regular changes of the school year, we’ve also added another baby into the mix. Most of these are BIG DEALS for kids just on their own, but our kids (and ourselves) have been touseled by one wave of change after another for a solid 18 months now. It’s taken it’s effect in different ways.

We have been trying to be proactiveĀ  in spending one-on-one time, especially with the older two. We’ve instituted weekly “date nights” with each parent that they can look forward to. And we have a trip to Legoland planned for just the girls so they can ride rides with both of us (the past four times we’ve gone I’ve either been pregnant or had a newborn with me).

But overall, we mostly just have to listen to them, acknowledge that it IS hard (living in a bus, having two small brothers who wreck your stuff all the time, just growing up in general) and reassure them that it’s not going to be like this forever and that we are doing the very best we can during this season. I think and hope that listening is the best thing that we can do, because I can’t think of many other options right now. Can you?

Anyway, the book’s description of the actual construction of the house made Noah and I laugh and sigh and wish that it was just that easy anymore. Not that I would necessarily want to be helping heft giant log walls and worrying about the chimney catching on fire or someone nearly dying in the well that’s being dug… but it might be preferable to the bureaucratic nonsense that we’ve had to go through during this process.


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2 thoughts on “Doors, Inspections and Relating to the Ingalls

  1. You are my all time favorite heroine!

    Much Love to the 6 Springfields and a huge hug for you

    Grandma Landen

  2. And, soon, you’ll even have… door knobs! I love your little house similarities, and I love that you’re getting so close to living in a house that won’t move (I’m sure code required earthquake clips, right? Or, are those hurricane clips? I can’t remember, but we have them, too!)

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