Herald Journal Columns
Dec. 9, 2002

The good and bad surprises of home ownership

By DENISE ROSENAU

My husband and I have recently purchased our first home, and have learned a lot about home ownership in a short amount of time.

As we were going through the process, our dreams were sky-high with all of the the personalizing that we wanted to do to the house.

Although the house was in great shape before moving in, we decided to do some of the stuff that was important to us to make it ours ­ painting, updating, cleaning, etc. That was the beginning of reality.

One night (weeknight, mind you, with work in the morning) I was up until about 2 a.m. because I was determined to finish.

The only reason I quit at 2 a.m. was because I literally couldn't hold the roller anymore. My hands were so sore and swollen that it was physically impossible to grip. My husband tried to get me to quit for the night, and my "Okay, I'll be done in a bit" turned into hours.

Later on that same night, I found my husband and two kids sleeping on the family room floor in the basement. I joined them after I was done with my painting.

That was our first night in the house, and my husband mentioned that we should have taken a picture of the four of us crashed out on the floor. Could have made a good mantel picture if we had a mantel.

In a relatively short period of time, I have learned a couple big lessons ­ the work will never be completely done, and there is not a checkbook around that can afford to do all that we would like to do in the timeframe we would like to do it in.

Another new thing that I've noticed is that my family has the expectation that we would like to entertain now.

For the very first holiday in our new house, Thanksgiving, I was told that we will be having dinner at my house by my wonderful mother, who believes that we all need a little push in the right direction sometimes.

This Thanksgiving was the first time that I have ever hosted a holiday dinner. Up until this year, we hadn't had the room to do it, and honestly, I didn't have any interest in doing it, since all of our parents are such good cooks (yes, that was my blatant attempt at kissing-up to the family).

Everything went well, and to my knowledge, no one became sick. My mom and mom-in-law were there to help keep the chaos to a minimum, and to teach me everything I needed to know.

They did a fine job, although at some points, I would have rather they just did it. As much as I'm trying, I really don't enjoy cooking.

I learned one major thing about myself ­ I'm not good under that kind of stress. I would be fine if I could time everything out perfectly, but with a Thanksgiving dinner, everything seems to need to be put out at the same time.

I give all the cooks out there a lot of credit ­ it's definitely not my thing.

Kids do the

craziest things

I'm not supposed to tell this story, so I will keep the identity of a certain two-and-a-half-year-old little boy who lives in my house and looks just like my husband to myself. (I'm working out of a loophole here, wink wink).

Last week, "the child" was very sick, had a high fever and no energy. His day care provider called "the mother" to pick him up before it was even lunch time.

"His mother" got him home and gave him some ibuprofen, which I consider to be a God-send for kids who are sick.

To make a long story short, it only took his fever down for a short time, and only a degree, so "his parents" decided that they'd take him in to the hospital.

Once in the hospital, "the parents" found that he was suffering some sort of infection, but never found out what type it was.

He wasn't able to give a urine sample while there because of the dehydration, so "the family" was sent home with a cup to collect a urine sample, and told to return the next day.

"The family" got home and placed the urine cup on the back of the toilet so that it was within easy reach when needed. Anyone who has a recently potty-trained child knows that when they say they have to go, you don't have enough time to go and get something.

So, the next morning, "the mom" stayed home with the boy again. She turned on the cartoons for him, and went into the kitchen.

A few minutes later, the little boy came running to "the mom," holding a full cup of urine in a hospital cup, with a proud look on his face and said, "Look Mom, I pee in da cup!"

Not a drop was spilled, and he had even put the cover on the cup and tightened it up.

If you think that your toddler isn't hearing and understanding, you may want to think again. They may surprise you someday with a unique gift.


Back to Denise Rosenau Menu | Back to Columns Menu

Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | Home Page