Monday, June 13, 2016

Burn all the candles

(I technically wrote this 10 days ago and am just getting around to finishing it off and adding pictures. So just minus 10 from any number I mention!)

Twenty days, folks! We're down to 20 days before we fly off to that little island in the middle of the Pacific. I know it's 20, and the kids know it's 20, and everyone who comes to our house knows it's 20 because "Faithful Jude" has kept the chalkboard regularly updated with an illustrated countdown.

On our MD bucket list--one last visit to the Atlantic Ocean!

I'm convinced they get braver every year!

But 20 actually makes it sound too good. Really, it's 8 days until the kids say their final farewell to this house. And 10 days until the packers come. And 13 days until our house is emptied. So you'd think I'd be running around like mad preparing for this grand adventure. Instead, I'm huddled in the far corner of my house curled over the laptop typing about all the things I need to get done.

No one wanted to sit next to us!
I've decided I have a very turtle-like response to stress. There's too much to do. I can't see how I'll get it all done. I think I'll just retreat into my shell. Oh, and grab a book to read on the way in.

One final walk to our favorite tree!

Transition is exhausting!
Thankfully, the military covers our entire move. And packers will come pack every last thing in this house (including any trash still in the trash cans.) But there's still plenty to do to prepare. Like bag up all the nail polish and makeup and spices and essential oils. Pack up my jewelry so it doesn't get thrown in a pile with my socks. Take all the things off the walls. Clean and roll up all the rugs. Sort and bag the Legos. Pull out all the stuff we don't want the packers to handle. Pull out the stuff we want to get rid of ...

I heard from the other room: "Our dolls hairs are in their's eyes. Let's cut their's hairs" and thought,  aww they're playing so nice together ... wait, WHAT?!?

"Mom, is this the best creation you've ever seen?"

20 days, babies. 20 days until we can upgrade you to some real swimming!
Oh, the stuff to get rid of. It just keeps growing and growing. And I'm not talking about old underwear and expired allergy meds. That pile also includes a sofa, hundreds of pounds of books, toys that we don't want the kids to see but they somehow manage to find anyhow (and bring back out.) Clothes, more clothes, and more clothes. I've gone through our closets about 3 times and still keep finding stuff we don't need to bring.

Julia's Preschool Mother's Day Tea

She's a little teapot.

We got a whirlwind 24 hours in Connecticut to celebrate a fellow Coastie's wedding!

Taking his lifetime's worth of change to the bank!
And then there are the items we can't bring, or that the movers won't pack. Like candles. I may have burned a "Home for the Holidays" candle last week when the thermometer edged over 80 degrees. How 'bout all those pantry items? I've reached the point where I'm trying to purchase as little as possible at the grocery store--and just the essentials. In other words, I've gotten really creative with cooking. I actually made a pretty decent spaghetti sauce this week. But most efforts are not so successful.

We're enjoying all the green!

A little pre-flight training.

We're working on our Hawaii style. I think I'm going to call mine "Bohloha" and she's just going to wear a swimsuit every day.
Julia has to pass a test to potentially start preschool in Hawaii. So Miss Joci is quizzing her on colors and shapes.
I remembered Thursday night that Jack needed a "special treat" for school the next day, so I decided I'd make one. Since we had a surplus of oatmeal and rice crispies, Ranger Cookies seemed like the way to go. Unfortunately, I had to combine 3 different sugars and still didn't have enough for the recipe. The baking powder was scant, so I just dumped the rest of the container into the bowl. Jude took one bite, and offered his cookie to Jack. Thankfully my other son will eat anything involving the word "cookie."

Our Advanced Shipment (stuff that we send ahead so that it arrives ahead of our regular household goods.)

My little pioneer.

Our final days in Maryland included two follow-up doctor's visits. I love when you have to wait 45 minutes for the doctor to spend 2 minutes looking in an ear. -_-
While we're on the topic of school treats, how about those non-tasty ones, aka school supplies. The supply list for the boys new school is quite daunting. Considering we'll only have one car when we arrive on island, and our household goods won't get in until right around the time school starts, I decided to just go ahead and purchase the pre-made keiki kit. (Keiki = kid) $177 later, my kids have almost everything they need to begin school. $177 for a 1st and 2nd grade kit!! (They get more expensive as they get older.) Can't wait until I have 4 kids in this school. Seriously, if there are any crazy couponer people out there, you need to get in on this pre-made school kit thing. There are plenty of desperate moms out there just like me that, apparently, will pay a shocking sum for school supplies.

I love this little corner of the house. And I've loved spending a few quiet minutes here each morning before the kids get up, enjoying the cool breeze and birdsong. 

Bringing dinner to our neighbors who just had the sweetest of newborns!

It's been crazy windy here lately. The kids have benefited greatly as their dad has started paying them $.01 per stick they pick up. 
I'd like to say that dropping a cool 177 on school supplies makes this whole move a bit more real--along with the boys' registration for a soccer team we know nothing about, and my registration for a new MOPS group. Something about writing checks to Hawaii organizations causes this whole transition to sink in just a bit further with every swipe of the pen.

This was the word we chose for the Vocabulary Parade.

Look, my little firestarter!!

Jude's entire Kindergarten class did the word "arboreal" and wore their handprinted Earth Day shirts.

It was poetry day in Kindergarten! Jude's not usually one to stand up and speak in front of people--I was so impressed with his mad presentation skills! 

Which makes the practice of living in the present that much more challenging. It's taking all of my mental energy to keep up with these end-of-year poetry readings, pizza parties, teacher gifts, and vocabulary parades. If I seem a little distant--I am. Because I'm straddling life in two different states that are about 4000 miles apart. And my official stock-answer for the hundred times someone asks me if I'm exciting about moving to Hawaii? "Yes, absolutely I'm excited to LIVE IN Hawaii. But the whole getting there (with 4 kids) is the challenging part." I'm excited to get that part over with!

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