Saturday, June 19, 2010

A life in boxes

The movers were already hard at work when the boys and I arrived at the house, so my job was to keep Jack out of their way. Because, eager as he is to lend a hand, he just doesn’t have the muscles yet to truly be helpful. So first on our list was to check out the back yard. Can I just say we are lovin’ the green space. It’s no sandy beach but we can’t get enough of the way the grass tickles our toes!

And then there the slide (which our awesome landlords left behind for us) and the swing set.

Photo Credit: Holly Tillman

Jack has fallen in love with swinging. After about 30 minutes, which is my max pushing time, I have to bribe him off with promises of special treats.

Photo Credit: Holly Tillman

He enjoys his new swing so much, it’s prompted him to add a new word to his vocabulary “---ide” which translates to “outside” and has forced him to learn to open the back door himself. Thankfully, the entire yard is fenced in, but it only took him a few seconds to figure out how to climb to the top of the swingset/fort thingy, and he’s attempted to jump down on more than one occasion. So for now, I have to constantly keep an eye on him out there. So much for reading or getting yard work done.

In addition to a great yard, our neighborhood also has some fantastic paved walking trails and a gorgeous lake. Oh yeah, and about a half dozen playgrounds. We didn’t have any playgrounds within walking distance of our Beach Nest, so Jack is just learning what great fun these kinda places are, and of course they are even better when there are other kids to play with. And we are just learning how loud a toddler can get when he doesn’t want to leave the playground. Anyone have any tips for coercing your child back to the stroller?

So anyway, after some yard time and a walk around the neighborhood we arrived back at the house just as the movers were finishing unloading the truck. Now comes the fun part, unpacking. To avoid having to dispose of a mountain of boxes and paper ourselves, the movers unpack the boxes. I used to think this meant I’d sit and watch as my house got put back together. Ehhh not so much. They just have to put the things on a flat surface, which is usually the floor.

The movers had a long drive ahead of them so they were eager to end the show and hit the road. I’m pretty sure they were trying to set an upacking record. They literally tore through those boxes like their lives depended on it. And then gently laid tossed the things on the ground. Now, I know it’s not their stuff, they don’t really care about it. But c’mon people! Do you have any idea how stressful it is to see piles and piles of your things lying on the floor?

To top it all off, most of it was in the wrong places. Now this isn’t entirely their fault. I guess that’s what happens when you go from living in 5 rooms, to 9. And when the boxes have the names of the old rooms. Somehow “boys’ room” got mixed up with “toy room” and most of the boys closet and my maternity clothes ended up in the dining room turned playroom. And then there was confusion over which room was the “living room.” And even more misunderstanding about the difference between the former “office/guest room” and the new “office” and “guest room.” As a sidenote, I had huge plans to make this the most organized move in the whole wide world. But somehow between having a baby and working and dealing with Mr. Rambunctious, they never got completed. But I promise you, that when this happens again (like next year for instance), we will be pulling out our trusty “things we’ve learned about moving” list and buying lots of color-coded stickers.

Photo Credit: Holly Tillman

There was one instance that put me over the edge. The night we moved in I was convinced that we would do our own moves from now on. Because that was the night I lost two earrings. Now I’ll admit, I’m partly to blame. But so are those packers ladies (who should know what jewelry means to a woman) and those moving men (who should know not to mess with a girls’ stuff). I totally forgot about packing my own jewelry. The night everything was in boxes I suddenly remembered my gold and dug through all the boxes myself, opened one and pulled out my precious gold rings myself. But I figured the rest of my stuff would be fine. I mean, these people are professionals right? I’m not sure what I was expecting. That they’d wrap each individual piece in styrofoam and put it in its own box? Maybe not, but what I didn’t expect was to find my necklace tree/jewelry tray wrapped in a single sheet of paper, lying in the middle of a pile of random stuff. And I didn’t expect to unwrap the paper and find all the necklaces twisted round the tree, knotted together and stuck in its “branches.” Okay, I thought, dumb move on my part. So I spent the next hour unraveling chain links and neatly re-hanging them. Then I found an earring in all that mess and remembered that I had left a pair of earrings on the bottom tray. Then I found another one and remembered that I had left two pair of earrings on the tray. And then I finished putting away all the jewelry and realized that I was left with two single earrings and no matches to be found. I’ll confess, I lost it. Jon walked into the room to find my leaning on the dresser, crying my eyes out. But these weren’t just any old earrings. Both were gifts from my parents, both had matching necklaces, and both were from Marc Williams. If you don’t know who that is I highly encourage you to check out his work –
Photo Credit: Holly Tillman

So I cried and moped for about 2 hours. Now, it probably wasn’t just the missing earrings, which I was pretty sure were swallowed up in a mound of wrapping paper in a box on the moving truck and halfway back to Virginia Beach by now, I’m sure the whole emotional weight of uprooting our lives and transporting them another state away was starting to wear on me. But it was the earrings that really set me off. And the fact that I was surrounded by mounds and mounds of clothes that needed re-folded and put away. So I started on that to keep my mind off missing jewelry. And lo and behold there was one gleaming earring starring at me in the pile of clothes. So I kept digging and wouldn’t you know, there was the other.

I wish I could tell you that all peace and tranquility was restored after the discovery of said earrings. But moving is hard work. And it definitely takes its toll on your relationships. I think the best thing Jon and I did was stay on other ends of the house during the whole process. Honestly, we just weren’t prepared for the enormity of this task, especially with two kids … well, one in particular. By the time we were finishing things up in Virginia we realized we needed help. Enter Nonnie. Jon called up his mom on the drive to Maryland and she was at the house not long after the movers left on Saturday. Yes, we are already reaping the benefits of being closer to “home.”

Nonnie got things in order right away. She entertained Jack so Jon and I could unpack – taking him on walks, playing with him out in the yard, and even building a fort out of boxes for him.

She snuggled with Jude, who loves anyone willing to give him a pair of cuddling arms to hang out in. And she helped Jon and I organize and put away all that stuff! She was too good. We may have to use her for future moves. :)

We’ve been here exactly one week and it’s starting to feel like home. We’ve got just a few more boxes to go through and a few more closets that need organizing. And maybe a couple of pictures to hang and curtains to buy… Then again, this homemaking thing may never end! In the meantime, I promise to have pictures of the new nest up very soon!

1 comment:

Janine said...

oh, Janine... wow. i am imagining it all.

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