First Post in the New Home

I am not feeling at home here on the new blog. At our house, we refer to this particular feeling as “not knowing where the toothbrushes are.” The phrase comes from when Paul and I had just moved to a new state and town, and we discovered we’d left our toothbrushes behind at the last motel. We went to a drug store to buy some replacements, and I started crying in the store because I couldn’t find the toothbrush aisle—and not being able to find something so normal and simple seemed to symbolize all the new things we were going to have to figure out. I like things to be FAMILIAR.

The only way to make this familiar is to keep using it, though, so here I am. Let’s think of something to talk about. Rob got his braces off and is signing up for high school stuff for next year. William got several C’s on his report card and seems to have lost his trumpet (I say “seems” because he also lost his new expensive down winter coat, and then it turned up two weeks after I’d given up all hope). Elizabeth went to her first sleepover and it went great. Edward has been put in a weekly lunchtime group with the school counselor, and when I saw him at a birthday party with his peers I felt unpleasantly sure that it was a very good idea. Henry has got to be enrolled in something this summer or I’m not going to make it. I think I got my first grey hair, but maybe it was just one that got extra bleached by highlighting conditioner. I did our taxes with tax software today, but it’s saying they can’t be filed yet because the forms haven’t been updated yet, even though the website says all forms are now available. I still can’t get my profile to show up at upper right where it’s supposed to. I took down a curtain we put up in the kitchen when we moved into this house, and I laundered it and it completely fell apart.

Also, I bought myself a Webkinz. Elizabeth has one, as did Rob and William before her, and it looked like fun, and I kept being jealous that she was getting to choose decor and clothes and so forth, and so in an impulsive mood I bought one for myself. I have not regretted it. It’s fun. I got the fox, but he was $9 when I bought him, not $20 as he appears to be now. If you’re not picky about the type of animal, you can get one for way cheaper (around $5 at time of typing: golden retriever, moose, Siamese cat, lamb, pig, frog, polar bear, and about a million others)—and the animal itself isn’t really the point, the point is the games and decorating, and the novelty of buying a toy for oneself at such an advanced age. (Plus, the children were impressed.)

27 thoughts on “First Post in the New Home

  1. Jenny (Bring A. Torch)

    It may be worth looking after Easter too–I got the polar bear at the drugstore after Christmas for something like two bucks! I adore him but I’m regretting a little that I threw out the online info, because it sounds like fun. Congrats on your move and good luck getting acclimated!

  2. Leeann

    LOVE that you bought yourself a Webkinz! That’s wonderful!

    So, I have a topic that I’d love you to bring up on your blog because I am curious about how other people handle it.

    I have three kids. Two are total meant-for-school students- they sit and listen, have great memorization skills, work hard-ish etc. They just do really well at the whole “going to school thing.” My third child, however, is not a meant-for-school kid. He is super smart but to sit and listen, to do redundant worksheets etc is NOT his thing. He works hard-ish but his hard-ish gets him low Bs and Cs (in advanced classes) while the other two get straight A’s. I’m never quite sure what to do when report cards come around. One is clearly not like the others. I don’t want to take away from the first two by minimizing their awesome grades but I don’t want to make child 3 feel inferior for his grades when I know his effort was there, it just that school doesn’t measure his particular strengths like it does theirs. Does anyone have any help for me in this issue? We do talk about making efforts and individual strengths etc but it feels a bit forced to my ears.


  3. Rosa

    I agree it’s different, but this new blog has a nice, clean look about. I quite like it ^^

  4. Deirdre Brackett

    I love Webkinz…I had a few a couple years back and loved setting up house keeping!!! Enjoy you fox!

  5. Life of a Doctor's Wife

    I can understand that feeling of unfamiliarity – it’s so uncomfortable. Ugh. But I am hopeful that this new site will be like a pair of new jeans that just need a little wearing-in to get them to look like they were meant for your body.

    I would be interested in more on any of the topics you briefly addressed, but perhaps specially (and… not as… potentially personal) in the topic of first sleepovers. I feel stressed out about the idea of sleepovers and I do not yet have a child. How did you get to be okay with the parents and the overnight situation? How did Elizabeth feel in preparation – anxious, excited, meh? I suppose I am so interested because sleepovers were tough for me as a kid. I did not make it through many of them. (My poor parents. Who lived waaaaaay out of town and had to fetch me at odd hours of the night.)

  6. fairydogmother

    Ooh, “not knowing where the toothbrushes are”. Brilliant description! Also…Story. Of. My. Life. (Lately)

    I hope you feel like you know where the toothbrushes are again soon.

    I wish I had anything at all to offer on the rest (only if it would be helpful)… other than, I’ve got ideas for possible program ideas for Henry this summer (it’s what I used to do!), but not knowing your area makes it a bit tricky. Email me if you want an idea source. I’m pretty much restricted to my couch for the next 2-6 weeks, so I’ll be easy to find. (Sprained foot + fractured toe, allergic to painkillers, anti-inflammatories contraindicated. So, FUN!!!)

  7. Jolie

    I set up all of my kids’ (4) Webkinz accounts and put their logins/passwords in a folder “in case they forgot them.” Then I would randomly play games & buy stuff “for them.” Super fun. (I love that Cash Cow game even though it’s a bit repetitive. Earns super moolah too!) :o)

    1. Swistle Post author

      I’ve been playing Cash Cow 2, because the children assure me it’s less stressful (no timer). I hope to graduate soon to regular Cash Cow!

  8. Mary

    IRS has had all the forms out for several weeks. Might be worth an email to the tax software customer support, you probably just need to run an update on the software.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Mary- That’s what’s so frustrating: the software does an update immediately upon loading, and yet the forms are still not available even after updating—and I’ve tried contacting the software people, but they don’t take emails. All I can do is post my question to a forum. The forum is full of other identical questions, some a month or two old.

  9. Milly

    Okay, you cannot just give those tiny tidbits about where your kids are at with no elaborating details! Your parenting stuff is the reason I loved your blog so much, and I miss you talking about it. I understand why you’ve cut down on it now that the kids are older, but I really miss it and wish you’d write about it more. That and marriage stuff. You write about these things in such an entertaining and thoughtful way, I’m sad it’s dried up.

    Either way, welcome to the new site!

    1. Swistle Post author

      I’m not sure what you mean about cutting down on kid posts; I haven’t, as far as I know! But it’s never been a kid-based blog; I just write about whatever I’m in the mood to write about that day.

  10. Barb.

    Did you say why you switched to WP?… I know quite a few people who have gone to WP from Blogger and just raved about it, but every time I tried it, I failed. FAILURE. I, too, like familiarity, even if it’s really outdated and not-all-together-functional familiarity.

    I’ve played on my son’s Webkinz account a few times. Also Club Penguin. And here, I must admit, I am a paid member of Wizard 101. I love kids’ games! And my kids love that I play and will play the games with them. I will probably do this way beyond the “it’s cool to play with Mom!” stage. ;)

    1. Swistle Post author

      It’s for several reasons—and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s going to be WORTH it!

      1. Barb.

        Still, though, you have your own URL, which is AWESOME. :) And I am sure you’ll figure it all out to your satisfaction soon.

  11. Maria Blois

    welcome to your new home! it is lovely.

    i am handing you a broom and a tin of salt (old Italian tradition) to honor this occasion.

  12. nic

    Your new home looks very pretty! Hope you will soon be able to find your toothbrushes with your eyes closed :)

  13. HereWeGoAJen

    That is exactly what I do not like about moving. I can never find anything. But I bet you will love WordPress soon. I have never once regretted my move.

  14. Michelle

    At your “advanced age”/ Pshaw, you are yet a babe in arms! Love the new site, keep posting, it will feel like home soon.

  15. Alexa

    Well, I for one think the new site is very pretty! And I use WordPress, and like it quite a lot. I can help with the comments at top/bottom part, etc. if you still have things that need figuring out…

  16. Melissa H

    So I have clearly not updated my reader so I missed your post but luckily have stopped by your new house today just because I had a question and thought you would have an answer/crowd to ask.

    At what age can/do children start staying home alone?

    In our situation we’re talking about one kid home alone for up to, say, 30 minutes while a parent runs to the store. She is pretty mature for her age and she is pleased with this arrangement (she doesn’t have to run the errand). When I mentioned this to a friend I could tell they were slightly horrified we left her home and they have not left their years older son home at all. Our kid is 7.5–is this too young?

  17. Dani


    I like your new home although it seems more square looking to me. I know that sounds ridiculous but still in all it is lovely here.

    My second comment is about the not knowing where the toothbrushes are. Yeah, we call that camping. We say it feels like we’re camping. When you go camping nothing is ever right at your finger tips. Everything is shoved in some bag in the back of the car or in the tent or back at home. So yeah I get it. . . .camping isn’t always fun either.

    1. Swistle Post author

      That makes sense: the old blog was all one color across the whole rectangular window, but the new one has the useable area in white. It makes it look more square to me, too—I feel a little SQUEEZED, even though I have the same space as before!

      1. Nancy

        When I read your new blog on my iPad, only the white shows. I was happy to see you still have some colour when viewed elsewhere.

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