We learned our lesson after last year's move. You can only keep small children occupied with a bag of toys in a cleared corner of a room for so long. So we tried to plan better this time around. Originally our thought was to just send the boys and I up to Pennsylvania for the duration of the moving events, but then our closing ended up being between packing and pick-up days. So we stuck out moving day #1 in the old house.
The company sent one packer, ONE PACKER, to box up our entire house. We were told he was their fastest worker... and that he worked best alone. Although I wouldn't necessarily say he was "alone." The guy talked on his phone almost the entire time, and I'm quite certain he has a secondary job as Dr. Love because that's certainly what it sounded like. I'll give him credit thought, he was a machine. He packed up our entire house, all 2500 square feet, in less than 12 hours. I tried to keep the boys out of his way as much as possible, even though Jack was the first to answer the door, "Hi Man, I Jack!" Some of our playdate friends put together a little pizza luncheon for us so we could have one last hurrah (and not have to worry about finding dishes to eat off of!). We made it through the first day with Jack only attempting to unpack a few boxes ... and only once coming *this close* to toppling an entire tower of "dish" boxes onto his little brother.
|Plenty of room to crawl around now!|
You'd think that with an empty house and everything packed up the kids would stay out of trouble. We had one hour the next morning, between breakfast and leaving for our closing. And in that one hour Jack figured out how to shut his brother up in an empty cupboard, and Jude found the lone bottle of toothpaste and started painting with it. It was a frantic morning. I finally got all our things and kids loaded up into the car without any time to spare. Ergo, not a single picture of our empty house for memory's sake. Unlike our last move, I didn't shed one tear leaving town. In fact, my brain was too frazzled to even make any attempt at sentimentality. I was too occupied with wondering how to manage two little boys during an hour and a half closing.
Yes, we brought our children to the closing. Never again. I mean, we didn't really have a choice, but still, not our brightest moment. Thankfully, our realtor has gotten used to our kids, the seller has triplet boys of his own and just kept laughing, and the seller's realtor was his good friend. So it was friendly banter all around. And when Jack attempted to draw on the walls or shoved his brother under a box and Jude started typing away at the keyboard and messing up the computer screen ... well, it was a nice break from mortgage and inspection lingo. Apparently, the seller's last closing had been with an ornery divorced couple, so he said our session was much more pleasant. Which is good, because I never knew one could spend an hour and a half simply signing papers. Just one after the other. And I have no idea what I was signing since I was typically bouncing one boy on my knee and trying to pull the other boy out from under the table. I just figured if Jon's signature was there, it was safe to put mine too. And so, 90 minutes and two tired, hungry kids later ... we were homeowners.
It's a pretty sobering fact. The car ride to the new house was a bit quiet. One of our recent homeowner friends said the decision to buy a house was even weightier than the decision to start a family. I'll just take her word for it since we never really decided to have a family ... or continue having one for that matter. Suffice it to say, we definitely put a lot more thought into this venture.
I was in a hurry to get to Marmie and Poppa's before rush hour so we quick grabbed some lunch at the nearest grocery store and picnicked in our new dining room.
|It doesn't matter how many fun water bottles and sippy cups I buy for my kids, they both prefer mine. :(|
It was all fun and games until Jack accidentally knocked over his water, then slipped on the puddle and fell face first into the rest of his meal. Leave it to Jack to consecrate the new floors within 10 minutes of owning them.
We wrapped up lunch, did a quick tour of the new digs, and then loaded the boys back up in the car. But not before Jack rescued a few toys from the old owner's garbage pile. The boys and I went to Marmie and Poppa's for a few days to get out of the movers' way. Meanwhile, Jon stayed back at the old place to work on his paper over the weekend and supervise moving day that coming Monday. The movers showed up that morning, loaded everything up in two trucks and dropped it off before the end of the day. Jon even had time to unpack a few things and set up the beds before crashing for the night.
Every day we're finding new things to love about our home (and things to not love of course), but I have to say one of my favorite aspects thus far is that the drive to PA is now only 3 hours. I even managed to get a pit stop in there. That's always fun, attempting to use a public restroom when you're traveling by yourself with two kids. Of course, all that will change in a few months, but by then I won't be pregnant anymore and thus won't require a pit stop on a 3 hour drive. Anyway, the grandparents had big plans for our visit, and they began with a local volunteer fire company's parade and carnival. All I could think about the entire ride home was ham barbecue, homemade french fries and milk shakes. Mmmm...
Jack loved the parade. You can tell because he wore his most serious face the entire time. The glazed eyes and downturned pout. It's the face he wears when the excitement of something is so overwhelming it makes his little self nervous. And it makes for cute pictures too.
We told him to put his hand over his heart when the veterans carrying the American flag walked by at the beginning of the parade. Apparently he thinks his heart is in his stomach.
And the candy. Dude, it pays to have a Marmie who is also the local kindergarten teacher because all the kids in the parade knew her and made sure she receive an ample amount of goodies. And they've also all heard about Jack, who gladly ran about the street gathering tootsie rolls to throw in his bucket. And then for some reason he'd go right back to his chair for all of 5 seconds until the next float drove by.
Since the parade was a benefit for the local fire company there were a lot of fire trucks. I was afraid Jude would flip out when they drove by blaring their sirens. Instead, Jack looked petrified and Jude was elated. Of course, now Jack thinks all fire trucks throw candy all the time.
After the parade we headed over to the carnival, which is nothing like Knoebels (a.k.a. "the fun park") but all new and exciting to Jack anyway.
|There's the serious fun face.|
|He really was excited, honestly.|
I had a few heart palpitations watching him on the rickety rides, wondering if they'd hold up up until he got off, but he walked away that night unscathed. A happy, yet very overtired, little boy. And can you believe he's big enough to ride a rollercoaster?
The rest of the weekend was equally fun. A few fantastic yard sales, and loads of sweet baby girl clothes to wash and organize with Marmie. Visiting our home church and Sunday School (to which Jack responds, "No pushin' kids!") Jude's tubbies - al fresco.
The Strawberry Festival with yet more ham barbecue (I still haven't had my fix!). Shopping at the Amish run surplus store. And of course, the trampoline. Although this time Poppa added a new twist. A tarp, a hose and wa-la a "trampool" or something.
Whatever it was, Jack thought it was fun and will be fully expecting such treatment during his next visit as well!
We were anxious to get things set up in our new house, and Marmie needed to get cracking on closing down her classroom for the summer, so we headed back to Maryland on Tuesday with a promise from Nonnie to come lend us a hand the next day. Unfortunately, something else followed us home - a big, fat, nasty cold virus. And it's death grip on our family made moving week much more complicated than we were hoping ...