Homecoming

20120923-084018.jpgIt’s all a blur, really. Yesterday, (gosh, was it only, yesterday), after an hour and fifteen minute commute to school, dropping the boys off, then my daughter, and then doubling back to our attorney’s office, we made settlement.

By 10:30, we had the keys. The movers, thank goodness, showed up at eleven. More on them, another day. Now, I am faced with this:

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20120923-090329.jpgand all your left with is crappy iPhone pictures until we get our modem hooked up, which may be never at the pace we’re moving.

It doesn’t help that not even thirty minutes after the movers left, I had to leave to take my son to a birthday party. Or, that we had two soccer games to go to, today (or that I’m a crappy packer, who can’t find anything).

Last night, didn’t go so well. I didn’t think it would. The kids we’re rammy, Second Son woke up around five, which wouldn’t have been too terrible had he not gone to bed at ten. And then, he woke everyone else up.

But there has been one very bright spot in all of this and that’s the neighbor, two doors down, who just happens to be in Second Son’s class. Better than that, he seems to be an early riser like my boys. This is what I saw, from the window, at 8:30 this morning,

20120922-210119.jpg The boy spotted my kids outside and ran outside to play. Besides some short breaks, they pretty much played all day.

Now, I must stop blogging from my phone and go make my bed properly. You wouldn’t believe how much laundry there is to do when all your stuff has been in storage for a month. That goes for dishes, too.

PS: I wrote this blog last night, but everything turned out crazy! I’m redoing it this morning, so hopefully it will look better. I need my computer!!!

The Ugly House at the End of the Street

The big day is coming.  Friday, we settle on the ugly house, at the end of the street.  The house that I’m not so in love with, in the neighborhood that I am.  Sometimes, life is a trade off.

I am ready.  The commute is taking its toll.  Though the days occupying myself have gone rather quickly, I cannot endure one more ride home with children, who really need to be outside burning off the energy they’ve managed to contain all day long.  Being trapped in a minivan with three fighting, seat kicking, yelling children is stressful, to say the least.  Doing it five days a week, almost unbearable.

I swear the commute is making my ass is growing wider, too.

Although the ride home has been difficult, I am extremely proud of my boys, who not only have had to walk into a strange school, with no familiar faces, but who have also been troopers throughout this whole process, with no major breakdowns (yet).  Though I fear one when they realize they won’t be seeing their grandparents, everyday.

Today, we have off for Rosh Hashanah, which is a nice respite from our commuting.  The boys, who have had minimal free time during the week, have spilled out all their legos and are playing nicely, for now. I give them an hour.

Little Lady is running around the house, hiding, holding in her poop.  I thought we had moved past this, now I’m wondering if it will ever end.  I hope so. But, at least she’s in the comfort of her grandparent’s house and not out on the road with me, avoiding public toilets like the plague.

The excitement of the new house, not withstanding, I’m gearing up for a tiring week.  Tuesday will be a day of entertaining Lady Little, Wednesday, back to school night, which might mean three trips back and forth to our new hometown, Friday, moving day, Friday night, First Son’s invited to a birthday party, which I’m having a hard time saying no to, considering that I want him to make new friends, and Saturday, we start soccer.  In the meantime, I have to start packing the overabundant amount of stuff we bought with us to my parents, who thankfully did not lock the door when they saw us pull up in a packed cargo van.  They have been remarkably patient with our children, as well as with the sheer amount of stuff that has invaded their space (that goes for my dad’s neatly kept garage, too).

It will all be over soon, and we’ll be back to junking up our ugly house sooner than we know it.  I’m sure we’ll look back fondly on our month here, the commuting and disruption, a blur.

 

 

 

Rewind

This morning, on day three of our morning trek to school, after having dropped off Little Lady for her first day, I am at Starbucks. I often wondered who sits inside Starbucks and types on their laptop and, now, I think I know. Me, and people like me, who have nowhere to go, and like free Wi-Fi.  Thank you, Starbucks.

Since chaotic circumstances put the blog into a state of silence after our move, I thought I would take you back to the joy that was moving.  You know, a sort of learn from my mistakes kind of thing (or, a laugh at my inefficiency kind of thing, you make the call).

First of all, I don’t know about you, but I find buying and selling houses to be a contentious process. No matter how nice the people might be, I always end up hating them. That even goes for the seller of our first house, the son, who lived over a thousand miles away, who was responsible for settling his father’s estate, whom I never even met. Ok, so maybe hates a little harsh, but you know what I mean, don’t you?

Because my husband doesn’t.  When I told him that I didn’t want to go to closing, he said, why not?  When I expressed the above feelings to him, he was genuinely perplexed.  He just didn’t get it.

Whatever.  All I can say is, I’m glad I followed my instincts, because I was spot on on this one.

Ok, can I just digress for a moment.  For someone like me, who has a hard time carrying on a conversation while other conversations are going on around me, Starbucks is not  the ideal blogging location.  I can multitask in a lot of situations, writing (or reading, for that matter) is not one of them.  The problem, I can’t stop eavesdropping on the ladies behind me, who are dressed for the office, but not in an office, but obviously conducting some sort of business from dual phones and laptops.  I have this weird compulsion to know what they’re doing.  And then there’s the issue of the bathroom, of which there is only one, which is making using it, difficult.   Every time I get ready to pack up and head there, someone else beats me to it.  What the hell, people? Go home. I think as soon as I’m done my coffee, I need to beat feet out of here and head to the library.  Come to think of it, why aren’t Starbucks partnering with libraries?

Ok, back to the story.  Well, you already know my husband’s desire to turn moving into a one man party, which meant that by the end of the actual moving day, he was pretty much delirious.  I wasn’t far behind.

As far as I can tell, here’s where things went wrong, we definitely did not have enough boxes or packing supplies. Who cares that we made thirty trips back and forth to U-Haul and Home Depot in the weeks prior, it still was not enough.  And forget the movers, besides tape, they didn’t bring much else with them, which I found strange.  Their explanation, you said you would have everything packed up.  And, we almost did, except for the boxes thing, but the real problem, I didn’t count on them working so fast.  You see, my past experiences we’re with movers being paid by the corporation my husband works for.  It turns out that it takes them much longer, you know, with putting one item in each box and such. You know what I’m saying?

And of course, we should have started earlier, like way earlier, but seriously, I really didn’t think this move was going to pan out until the very end.  But the wait and see attitude did nothing for timing trash day, recycling, or hazardous waste collection.  This is especially important when you have a garage full of hazardous materials.

Beyond those (two really major things), I’m not really sure what I could have done differently.  In all honesty, to have done a better job I would have had to have way less non-essential crap (is that redundant?), been way more organized (hopeless), and let someone else do the work. In other words, I needed to be someone other than myself.

Is Starbucks a public company? If so, I’m investing.  My God, the line never stops. Are my asides distracting?  Welcome to my brain.

Anyway, we worked late into the night before the movers came, me calling it quits around eleven, my husband, staying up to who knows when.  But we awoke bright and early on moving day with giddiness and determination, ready to rock it, but not before making my coffee and broiling some toast (since I had already packed the toaster).  Why mention the toast?  Trust me, it’s not because I think you care about my diet.  I mention it because I think using the broiler to make my toast shorted out the oven, which brings me to issue number one with settlement, a broken oven.

Issue two, our overzealous, but yet, not overzealous enough, notary, who oversaw the signing of our documents and deed, but did not sign one of the  documents he was supposed to.

Issue three, the shed, minus the snow blower, of course. The same shed that hadn’t been properly cleared from the previous owners, and yet, still managed to hold some of our crap.  The shed that held the still in the wrapper snow blower, that we didn’t “forget”.  Yet, somehow, we “forgot” to clean out the rest.

I hate to say I told you so, but I told him.  Yes, I did.  I told my husband the shed needed to be cleaned out.  He wouldn’t listen.  Eight hours of packing and filling a cargo van with trash to take to the dump, so our new owners would not have to pull up to a curb full of trash (which in the end, even with a dump run, was unavoidable), had pretty much wiped him out.  The twelve sodas he drank before noon didn’t help much, either.

By the end of the day, I was done harping about it, and he was done listening.  So, I said, I guess just shut the door and hope they don’t look in there until after closing.  No such luck.

Issue four, what they called the closet off the bathroom, needed to be cleared.  This was just perplexing.  I walked through that closet fifteen times before leaving.  It was empty.  Except what they really meant was the attic space off the master bedroom closet.  Oh, you mean the closet that I made my husband tape up and put a shoe rack in front of after we discovered we had flying squirrels?  We never even used that closet.  The problem, the people before us, did, and never cleaned it out.  We never cleaned it out, either.  Oops.  Honestly, I didn’t even know there was anything in there.  But there was, and they wanted it out.  My realtor took care of that one for me.  She wanted to know how in six years I never cleaned out that part of the attic (and she did spot something dead with wings). Can you say embarrassing?

So, after packing for what felt like forty eight hours straight, and not arriving at my mom’s until after dark on moving day, my husband had to drive back the very next day and empty all the crap out of the shed.  He also had to meet the bitchy seller, who wanted to know why there was a satellite dish on the roof.  Yea, you guessed it, that wasn’t ours either.

One final picture before we go.

 

A Day With a Toddler and No Place to Go

The first day wasn’t pretty. Little Lady didn’t sleep well the night before, which meant I didn’t sleep well. Though, honestly, I’m not sure it would have mattered. I was nervous about the drive and about how the boys would do, so it’s very possible that even without her, I would have woken up at 3am and rolled around for an hour.

We were out the door by seven.  I let them watch The Sand Lot on the way up, a movie I had not seen before. I bought it, after reading the description of the story, a boy who’s new to the town and makes friends through baseball, thinking, this is perfect-if the kid in the movie can make friends, so can my boys.  I’m not sure if they picked up on the theme or not, but they liked it.

And why wouldn’t they?  Pointing out the many curse words they heard, was almost as  enjoyable to them as watching the movie.  In hindsight, I should have previewed the movie first, as I was a little unprepared for the many colorful words, as mild as they were, that were peppered throughout the movie.  The last thing I need is Little Lady yelling, “crap!” the next time her finger painting doesn’t turn out the way she planned.

Thankfully, we arrived with time to spare.  After introducing ourselves to their teachers, I left my boys, one completely stoic and wanting nothing to do with me, and the other on the verge of tears, though trying desperately to put on a brave face, at 8:45 am. The only person who looks truly happy in this photo is the only one not going to school.

After that, it was Little Lady and me.  Here’s what the day looked like with a wee cranky girl and no home to go to for for ten hours.

First Stop: Starbucks, not that I needed another coffee, because, I didn’t. In fact, I had already had so much coffee that I couldn’t even make the hour and fifteen minute ride to school, without stopping at a park to use the bathrooms.  But Little Lady needed some breakfast, and so, I thought, one more cup won’t hurt.  Yea, right.

Second Stop: Radio Shack. With Little Lady hopped up on chocolate milk, and me, caffeine, we left Starbucks headed for the bank, but were detoured after I heard my phone ringing from the last row of the minivan.  I drive an ’06, which means there is no place to plug in an iPhone unless you bring the wall charger and plug it into the outlet, way back in the third row.  I have to tell you, while I think it’s pretty cool that my car has an outlet in it, I have no idea why it’s in the third row.

Of course, I had to pull over.  What if it was the school?  It wasn’t.  It was my sister, but it was enough hassle that I decided it was time to replace my car charger, which had broke only months after I had bought an iPhone…three years ago.  So, into Radio Shack we went, Little Lady, despite my best efforts, shoeless, already showing signs of delirium.

Third Stop:  The bank.  Little Lady went out for the count, which was great, except, I had to go to the bathroom, again.  Damn you, Starbucks!

Fourth Stop:  Back to shopping plaza to park and call my sister back, in hopes that the conversation would distract me from the coffee wreaking havoc on my bladder.

Fifth Stop:  The park.  Little Lady still sleeping, me, now, in dire need of a bathroom. In my desperation, I briefly toyed with the idea of using the froggy potty, but instead, decided to recline, turn off the car and practice mind over matter.

Thank God, turning the car off woke Little Lady.  Under normal circumstances I would have started driving again, because I could tell she was nowhere near ready to wake, but I really had to pee!  The result, a pouty Little Lady.  She wouldn’t even look at me.That is, until I convinced her that my friend, Harold the Duck, really wanted to talk to her. What can I say?  She’s easy. Things only got better for her when she found a little friend to play with, which meant they got worse for me, because as new BFF’s, they had to travel all over the park, together, so I had to suffer through an hour and half of small talk with a mother I will never see, again. A half hour, easy, sometimes, even, interesting.  An hour an a half, torturous.

Sixth Stop:  Lunch at Whole Foods, where Little Lady treated our fellow diners to a show. And yes, I had to use the bathroom, again.  The whole day was a vicious cycle of drinking caffeine, and then water, to offset the caffeine, though it did nothing to stop my racing heart.  It was a mistake I will not repeat, especially when I can’t go home to use the bathroom.

Seventh Stop:  Let’s go get the boys.  Arriving twenty minutes before school let out, which turns out is a soft ending (?), I initially thought Little Lady and I would get out of the car and walk around a bit before our long ride home.  However, I quickly learned, being twenty minutes early doesn’t make you early, but puts you tenth in the pick up line, which only got longer as the minutes ticked on.

Twenty five minutes later, it was finally our turn to pull up to the designated pick up spots, where I am happy to report, we were greeted by two smiling boys, one of whom described his day as “awesome”!

It almost made the hour and half ride home, complete with petty squabbles, bearable.

Last stop:  5:15pm-The Shore.

One day down, ten more to go.