Sunday, January 13, 2013

Full House Shuffle

A quick prayer request: My oldest stepson, RJR, has run into some medical issues. Although there are several other possible causes for his symptoms, the doctors did mention the possibility of colon cancer. Prayers for wisdom, peace, and healing are appreciated. Some more tests are being run on Monday.


So, there’s a slight possibility (minute, really, but still there) that SSA and RJR would move in with us. Both of them. SSA because R told him he needs to make a decision on where to live rather than continuing to switch between our two homes and RJR because he brought up the idea to R on the drive back to their mom's house last week.
Just to recap, I am currently a “full time” mother of one. If both boys moved in and TTC worked, that would change to mother of FOUR.
That thought blows my mind.
Please don’t misunderstand. SSA and RJR are good kids. RJR needs Christian influence in his life and both kids need to see what a loving, Christian marriage looks like. Their current home life is… volatile, in my opinion. But the boys love their mother and stepfather. Their safety is never a question. It’s just a more argumentative household.
I have issues with SSA, sure, which revolve around the pain he has put our family through. But I am overall pleased with the changes I saw over Christmas break and I'm confident that the additional steps R and I would require for him to be allowed to move back in would put a number of our concerns to rest.

RJR used to make me slightly uncomfortable, just because he was at an awkward age when R and I got married, but he and I really connected during this visit. I enjoy his company and think he could really benefit from our influence. And he is excellent with Little K.
The idea of them moving in isn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. In fact, I am much more comfortable with the idea of both of them moving in than just SSA alone. Huh.
My mind has been racing with thoughts of how I would house four kids, two of which are teenagers, in our home. The first floor holds the main living area, half bath, and the Master Suite. We have Little K’s room and the guest room, attached by a Jack and Jill bath, directly above our room. (The noisy footsteps in the guest room over the break made it clear that that room could not be a long term solution for two boys. Plus it is just too small for two people.) We also have R’s office, a bonus room, and another full bath on the second floor.
Our bonus room is currently set up as a multi-purpose room. It holds my desk and bookcases, two punae (Hawaiian platform bed, similar to a daybed or futon), sewing materials, and board games. It is directly above the garage, so it gets very cold in the winter but is otherwise fine. It is a large room and has plenty of outlets and a cable jack. R and I agree that this room would have to be the boys’ room.
Here’s a general idea of how the room is currently set up:

Here’s how I’m thinking of rearranging things:

Marvel in my mad MS Paint skills!
The corner desk is from R’s office, which I would switch out and give him my rectangular desk. The low bookcase becomes a shared nightstand between the punae. The two tall bookcases at the foot of the beds are currently open-backed; I would get some fabric and foam board to back them, giving the boys some additional privacy as well as providing a screen from the study and gaming areas. I would also build them a low media cabinet to hold their gaming systems and be a stand for their TV. (BTW, that teal rectangle is an area rug.)
There are a few issues with this idea. The first is storage. The room is just not set up to hold dressers or a chest of drawers. And the closet in there is tiny and shelved, no room to hang clothes. Instead, we would have to put a Rubbermaid drawer system in the bottom of the closet to hold personal items and either open shelving or baskets on the shelves for folded clothes. For anything that would need hung up, the boys would use the closet in R’s office. Which, of course, is currently full of old suits, guitar cases, and random electronics. Bah.
The other issue is the size of the room in the long term. I think it’s a great size for the two boys, but RJR will be going into his senior year. I don’t think it’s fair for SSA to have a room that size all to himself. Now, this may be a moot point if our donor cycle doesn’t work. If we don’t have a baby in the guest room, then SSA will move back in there and the bonus room will go back the way it was.

Just another reason not to spend much money on getting it set up! Backing the bookcases, building a media stand, and a twin size bedding set for each punae is plenty.
Quick note on the guest room: If TTC works, I had been planning on redesigning into a nursery, like one usually does, but now I’m not too sure. When it comes right down to it, with an exclusive BF relationship it is more convenient (for me) to co-sleep or at least have the baby room-in for the first year. If TTC works, I’m considering still getting a crib and dresser but setting them up in our room until we wean. It really makes my life so much easier to stay in bed for those night feedings! That would leave the guest room open for grandparents to come visit, etc.
In case you were wondering: If TTC works and only SSA moves in with us, we would move R’s office into the bonus room and make it a shared work space for us. The punae are able to be stacked with the mattresses hidden inside, taking up less space but still giving us a room for guests. R and I both work from laptops, so he could work from another room in the house when we have visitors. The guest room furniture, etc. would move into the old office, making that a room for... whichever boy has chosen to live with us. We would convert the current guest room into the nursery. Which is all just... so much more work than I can comprehend right now.

(If TTC works and only RJR moves in, we'd leave the guest room as-is for his use as he only has the one year of high school left.)
If TTC does work out and the two boys move in, I have no idea what to do in the long run. But both answers should come in March 2013.

Should be an interesting month!


  1. praying for RJR! you sure have put a lot of thought into this!

  2. Hoping for the best outcome for RJR. I'm sure living in a stressful environment is not good for any illness.

    1. That's a good point! I hadn't thought about the effect of stress on his current issue. Thanks!