Benny the Brave at "home"
Well, we’re home now. This house in Clearwater isn’t supposed to be home anymore, but it’s difficult to loose the habit of calling it that.  We have an offer on the house, for less than the amount of the mortgage, and we’re waiting to hear from the bank whether they will accept it as payment in full. So, until they see fit to assign a negotiator and render a decision, it’s still our house.  Somewhere to park Benny with electricity, not to mention a full kitchen and two bathrooms! The rest of the rooms are mostly empty, which turns out to be the perfect set up for us.  This is as child-proof as houses get!

So we’re spending as much time as we can with family, though our parents and my sister all work and are busy so it’s mostly one or two evenings a week.  Never enough!

We’ve decided to stay through Thanksgiving so that we can spend that holiday all together as a family since we won’t be around for Christmas.  When David first suggested this I was shocked. Three months?! It took us so long to get going and now after less than three months of travel we’re supposed to take a break for three months?

But that also gives us time to prepare for the next leg of our journey.

While we’re “home” David is working construction three days a week.  Unfortunately, this is just like it was before and I have to fight against the returning sensation of desperation to change our life.  This time it’s temporary, and optional.  But I don’t like his being away from us for so much of our lives, and I don’t like the way my kids get short-changed by my inability to give them all the attention they need at once because I am, however hard I try to be more, just one parent.

Annabelle is very hands on.  She can be quite solitary, and is not clingy, but she needs constant supervision to keep her and the things around her safe from her climbing, pulling, tearing, and otherwise exploring of the world.  She also needs hugs when she (frequently) bumps her knee or her noggin, and she needs cuddling when it’s been a long day and her personal powerful tensions are running high, and she needs to be put on the potty, and have diapers put on and taken off her, and she often wants shoes put on, or socks, or jackets, or random clothes, or a doll wrapped on her, or a glass of milk, or to be provided with food or put into or taken out of the bath, or to be yanked out of the path of oncoming traffic.

She’s one, and she’s just dependant!

And Cassidy, of course, is an infant.  So hands-on should go without saying.  And I don’t wish either one of them was different, or easier, I just wish that our lives were arranged in a way that facilitated all the many needs of my children in such a way as they could follow their age-appropriate behaviors to their hearts content.

Ada IS self-sufficient to an extent, but I still must make sure she is eating and sleeping and hugging and resting enough that she stays pleasant and sensible, else I regret it in a powerful way.  And I want more time to spend with her that is usually tied up juggling the little ones.

So, I know, quit complaining.  My lot is the lot of many a mother of multiple children.  I could have had one or two children and stopped there.  I could send them to school, or daycare.  I’m the one choosing to be home with three young children.  Yes, it’s true.

It’s like this: I don’t think my kids are less fortunate than others, but I do want more for them.  I envision a really, really safe place, with lots of inherent activities of interesting natures, and I envision both their daddy and I there to spend time and the world with them.  And this is segueing into an entirely ‘nother post I intend to write about my vision.  For now, sufficient to say I don’t like sending David away to work every day as I feel it compromises my children’s quality of life, not to mention his and mine.  We are happier together J

Getting back on track, while we’re in Clearwater David will be working three days a week making money.  Two days a week he will dedicate to music, booking his tour across the southwest and up the west coast (our trip set to begin in early December), booking and playing local gigs, writing newsletters to his mailing list, updating websites, etc.

Evenings and weekends are to be kept free for family time, and in all honestly this will be tons more leisure time than we have on the road.  That, too, is another post.

While we’re here I plan to:

  • Catch up on all the blog posts I haven’t written for the trip we just finished.
  • Look into getting some advertising for this blog.
  • Launch a facebook page for Free Range Dreams where I can post a picture and update every day.
  • Order winter inventory for my Wrap Your Baby business.
  • Look into advertising for the Wrap Your Baby blog.
  • Set up Quickbooks to keep track of Wrap Your Baby business.
  • Announce winners for a Wrap Your Baby photo contest that has been running for over a month now.
  • Use the photo submissions to create an educational wrap video (not RAP video).
  • Contact the Bureau of Land Management about land where RVers are allowed to dry camp free.

But you may have noticed that my evenings and weekends are reserved for leisure.  Hard to argue with, but difficult to reconcile with all I need to get done when you consider that the rest of my time is spent with a seven year old, one year old, and five month old.  And really, there’s more to the to-do list:

  • Change RV insurance carriers.
  • Change banks (ours just instituted monthly fees and fees for debit usage).
  • Get Benny a mechanical check-up and tune-up.
  • Paint Benny to get him looking two decades younger.
  • Re-organize our things inside Benny so that it works better.
  • Have Ada do a communication course at our church.
  • Have me do a time-management course at our church (yeah, I could use that).
  • Dentist appointments for me and for Ada.

And three months begins to sound like a very short span of time.  If only David wasn’t spending five days a week away from us!