Archive for the ‘The Cross-Country Move’ Category

Actually, It’s the Cauliflower You Have to Watch Out For, the Way They’re Always Darting into the Road

July 27, 2006 @ 9:04 am | Filed under: , ,

It was excruciatingly hard for all of us to say goodbye to Scott when he left for the new job in California, but the pain of separation was soothed somewhat by the utter fabulousness of cellular telephone technology. And the internet. During Scott’s trip, we talked to him, oh, probably fifteen times a day. He’d call and say, "Tell the girls to Google ‘Tucumcari Mountain‘ " or whatever sight he was seeing at that very moment. All of us felt better, knowing we could be so together even when we were so very far apart.

(Check out this amazing photo of Tucumcari Mountain, NM. [Scroll to the right.] That was his view for some 25 minutes.)

As he went, the kids and I plotted his course at MapQuest. There’s a feature there that lets you add pins to your map as you go. Virtual pin-sticking: a big hit with these children.

I live-blogged his trip on our private family site, so the whole extended clan got to share the fun. Especially when he got stopped by the border patrol as he entered California. Hey everyone! Big German shepherds sniffing my car! Next stop: Felicity, CA, where the road signs say, "Drive Carefully, Broccoli Crossing."

Question for Military Wives and Others Left Behind

July 21, 2006 @ 7:07 am | Filed under:

How do you get your jars open?

Me: "Sure, you can have some juice. Let me just open a new bottle."

Fifteen minutes later, red-faced, sore-wristed, and rassafrassing under my breath: "Um, how about milk."

Note to self: Time to start lifting weights. (Bahahahaha. Like THAT’S going to happen with all this free time!)

We once had a really great jar opener, but I broke it. From overuse. Hmm, maybe it’s time to redeem those ClubMom points for a Bed, Bath, & Beyond gift card.


This thing? No help at all.

The New Abnormal

July 13, 2006 @ 8:50 pm | Filed under: ,

(Before I start talking about the tremendous change in our lives that began today, I should just mention in passing that we live in a fishbowl, surrounded by eagle-eyed neighbors, many with guns. One of them, the guy across the street, is a cop. Next to him is a retired gentleman who spends his days sitting on the front porch lovingly polishing his collection of rifles. The guy on our left is captain of the neighborhood watch. Every time I sneeze, a chorus of bless-you rings up and down the street, because these people have their ears open. Just, you know, putting that out there.)

So. Yesterday was Scott’s last day as a stay-at-home dad. I wrote a very long post about that, about how incredible it has been to have him at home full time these past eight years—a rhapsody about how he was there to rock newborn Rose while I wrote Little House by Boston Bay, there
to grind up Jane’s chemo pills and hide them in spoonfuls of (prepare
to gag) ketchup, there to haul yet another load of spitty baby clothes
to the laundromat
and there for so many other things that I realized it wasn’t a post, it was a novel, and anyway he’d be reading it in a lonely hotel room several states away and that probably wasn’t a nice thing to do to him on his first night away from the family he is so crazy about.

So I bailed on that post, for now. Maybe I’ll finish it someday or maybe I’ll just write the book. Not anytime soon because now I am flying solo with five little kids and a house to keep very very clean for that buyer who is even now thinking if only I can find a house with a blue room big enough to sleep six children, and a cunning basement office with nice big windows and an attractive laminate floor, and an abundance of prolific berry plants in the backyard not to mention a nesting pair of bluebirds every spring and also many compassionate and watchful neighbors such as an officer of the law and a captain of the neighborhood watch…if only I can find a house like that, I shall be tremendously happy.

I didn’t do much in the way of keeping the house clean today for that prospective buyer who will be so tremendously happy here—but not as happy as we have been because that is simply NOT POSSIBLE—because I had to spend the first part of the day pretending I wasn’t crying because daddy was leaving and the second part of the day wiping everyone’s tears because daddy had left. We attempted to console ourselves by setting up a brand new blog—for daddy’s eyes only!—because yes, geekiness is genetic and my children have inherited it in full force.

Later I discovered that Elizabeth had written a post just for me containing that exact advice: blog to ease the pain of separation. She also recommends making a point of "sharing the minutia" of our days while we’re apart, which makes me feel much better about having already had nine or ten cellphone conversations with Scott since he left. Because, you know, how could I NOT tell him about how I was just heaving a sigh of relief over having gotten four out of five kids to bed with just the very sleepy baby to go when Rose burst into the room (catapulting baby out of sleepy into oh so very wide awake and waking up Wonderboy in the process) to announce that Beanie had just thrown up all over her bed. "Oh, and also there’s some in my hair, Mommy."

The good news: Beanie isn’t sick. Apparently she was just laughing so hard it made her lose her dinner. The whole thing struck me as so ridiculously funny—that my inauguration into flying solo should be a Yaya-Sisterhoodesque frenzy of scrubbing vomit off one kid’s mattress and out of another kid’s hair at 9:30 at night with a kitchen full of dishes waiting for me—that I was overcome with giggles, which of course set all the girls off and almost made Beanie toss her cookies again. When I left the room, icky sheets on one arm and bright-eyed baby on the other, the girls were arguing about who would get to blog about this in the morning.

Well, ha, I beat them to it.

Month of Motivation: I’m Stuffed

July 6, 2006 @ 5:09 am | Filed under: ,

I’m so motivated it hurts. Especially in my lower back. Note to self: bend at the knees, not waist. But I’m making headway. Sent four big bags of Stuff to the thrift shop this weekend, and put just about as many out for the trashmen this morning. But it feels a bit like trying to melt an iceberg with a blow dryer. There’s a long way to go…

I want a Stuff Collector to come along and take away my Stuff. The wonderful Lesley Austin of Small Meadow Press blogged today about a company that will take Stuff of the Electronic Variety off your hands, wipe its memory clean, and recycle it—if you’re willing to pay the shipping costs. Which I am not. I’ll just have to go on melting my own icebergs.

So, Um, How’re Those Closets Coming?

June 30, 2006 @ 11:05 am | Filed under: ,

I admit it. It only took me until Day Two of the Month of Motivation, Day TWO, can you believe it, to fall short of my goal. But I had a good excuse. Oh yes, there is always a good excuse, isn’t there? My excuse was: I couldn’t spend fifteen minutes cleaning out my closets because instead I spent the whole day talking over a Big Giant Decision which is going to require me to clean out every closet—and cabinet and nook and cranny—in the whole entire house.

Because we’re moving.

I kid you not. This is all very sudden. My husband has accepted a job offer clear on the other side of the country (!!!) and we’ll be putting the house on the market, um, probably next week.

(What does it say about me that one of the first things I thought when we discussed this Enormously Huge Possibility was: well, I suppose it’d make for interesting reading on the blog…)

Coming soon: Idealistic homeschooling mother is put to the test. Can she maintain the joyful atmosphere she’s always writing about while: (a) purging her house of half its contents and (b) keeping the house in show-able condition while caring for five children eleven and under including a challenging special-needs toddler and a two-month-old baby?

I guess we’ll find out.

Anyway, the Big Declutter End-of-Week Recap:

Monday—spent one hour total on one closet (still not finished).

Tuesday—nada. Hush.

Wednesday—um…pulled a lot of books off shelves to show some friends who wanted to browse homeschooling resources, does that count?

Thursday—deleting all the spam from your inbox counts as decluttering, right?

Friday—it’s not over yet. But, well, we have company coming this afternoon, Scott’s brother and his family, and then tomorrow is Rose’s First Communion and we’ve decided to go ahead and have the baby baptized at the same instead of waiting until late July as originally planned, and who can clean closets with all that going on?

But next week, the work begins in earnest. It’ll pretty much have to, won’t it?

How did your first week of Motivation Month go?