Okay, so it was two days.

I definitely didn’t make it out Saturday or even Sunday night. Even Monday ended up being a bit tight. We have way, way too much stuff. When we unpack, I’m going to really sort through things as I unpack them, remember the fact that we’ll be moving again in a few years at the latest and probably sooner, and weed out as much as I can. Hoping to get Seth to do the same thing for tools/basement stuff. It’s just ridiculous how much junk we have. And I Freecycled a ton during my Spring cleaning before the move this time, too!

I really thought that we’d basically have the truck loaded by Sunday night at the latest (obviously I wasn’t going to get to leave yet) and then Monday I’d be able to do the cleaning and relax a bit, get to take the girls to the park for one last hurrah before we got in the car for the drive to my parents’. That didn’t happen. They spent the day stuck in their room while we finished packing. Finally got the truck loaded right as the guy arrived to drive it off at 1pm, but we were still loading the trailer. I started cleaning the kitchen at 2pm and didn’t finish until 4:30! Egads! And I’d been hoping to leave at 5. Didn’t happen. We finally got out of there at 7. Got to my parents’ house just after 3am, which was not bad, time-wise. I was going about 5-10 miles below the speed limit most of the drive, between pulling the trailer and dealing with the rain. I had to slow it to 40 going over a few bridges, I was getting really buffeted. But the trailer was well-strapped, I never had to do any adjustment at all. Quite a smooth trip, really, all considering. The girls slept most of the way, Josie waking to fuss a few times (I reached back, put her paci back in, and held my hand against her head, which calms her). Beth woke up around 2 and was up, so she and I played her “animal game.” Beth: “I’m thinking of an animal that has stripes.” Me: “A tiger?” Her: “No…” Me: “A zebra?” Her: “Yes, you’re right! Good job, Mommy.” Sometimes her descriptions are fractionally off (crabs are animals with four legs who live in the ocean), so you have to take her descriptions with a grain of salt, but generally she’s pretty good at this game. She started it herself right after an evening at Cubbies (Awana), I suspect perhaps they played the game there and that’s where she learned it. Anyway, we did this for the last hour of the trip, until I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with animals she might have heard of, but it kept me awake and alert. I listened to Harry Potter for the first 7 hours, although turned it off through New York, where they had a closed lane and traffic got bad.

Now I’m safe and sound at my parents’ house, all packing and stuff done, and can relax. Whew.

One day left, maybe

So, if possible, I’d like to be able to get out of here tomorrow evening. Make the drive on a weekday, get to my parents with a whole week to relax, get to do Passover, etc. I’m not sure whether it’s going to happen, but I’d like to try.

The problem is that I’m tired. Seth’s tired. We’ve been pushing ourselves about as hard as we can (and I don’t mean physically, at least in my case, I’m being super careful because of the pregnancy) for days now, and I don’t know how much longer we can manage it.

On the plus side, it might be possible. The third bedroom is our “staging room,” it has a section of all the stuff we’re bringing with us in the minivan/trailer, carefully arranged so that we can get an idea of how well it fits. So far we’ve got plenty of room, it looks like. Then we have boxes on the other side of the room that will go in the truck.

The dining room table and the living room couch, Beth’s little dollhouse table, and the beds are pretty much the only furniture left in the house. Seth even got his desk loaded onto the truck today. As soon as I get up enough energy I’m going to finish cleaning the dining room, so it’ll basically be packed and ready, and then tackle the living room and kitchen. Not sure how much I’ll get done tonight, but I’m going to try. Will probably start with the living room, as it’s the room hardest to work on with the girls underfoot.

In my spare time, I’m becoming enthralled with the name “Cecilia” for our new baby. We haven’t decided on it or anything, yet (although Seth hasn’t outright vetoed it, which is something), but I really, really love it, and it seems like the more I think about it the more I love it. I hope we end up choosing it, because I don’t want to go back to the drawing board. I’m one of those women who like to have a name for the baby months ahead of the birth so that I can start thinking of the baby by an actual name, as opposed to “NewBaby.” Beth had her name the moment we knew she was a girl (and she had a joint boy-girl name that was a mix of our two potentials before that), and Josie had hers months before her birth (before we knew she was a girl, we had a mix of three potentials, one boy and two girl, but we ended up eliminating one girl name because it was just too popular).

So, that’s about it. Tired, stressed. But looking forward to being done very, very soon! Even if we don’t manage to finish and head out tomorrow, we *have* to leave the next day, so it can’t be any longer than that!

119 boxes, 4 million to go!

Packing continues to go pretty well. I’m starting to get to the part where the remaining items are little bits and pieces that really should have been packed in with other stuff that’s already in boxes and in the trailer. I’m getting tempted to just start throwing things in boxes and labeling them accurately, like “Table saw, baby socks (mismatched), ski goggles, laundry detergent, C-clamps, computer hard drives, noisy baby toys.” Because, well, I probably could have a box filled with all those things.” I’m also out of small boxes, and it’s hard to find enough to fill even the medium ones sometimes.

Another challenge is all the stuff that is going with us. Most of it’s still in use, and even the stuff that isn’t, I just don’t have a place to set it aside yet. So it’s floating around, drawing my attention, and yet there’s nothing to be done with it yet. I think a goal tomorrow will be to get the bins in the storage room (third bedroom) taped shut and labeled, and get everything else in that room packed, then move it towards the front of the room. Then I can use the closet and the back of the room for stuff that we’ll be bringing with us. Might make my life a bit saner. I’ve been concentrating on the basement and sort of ignoring that room, but there’s actually still a lot of stuff in there that needs to be dealt with, like going through the DVDs to pick which ones come with us.

Now that I’ve bored you to death, here’s the interesting stuff:

Oh, sorry, right. My life is all about packing the house right now. No interesting stuff to report. Except… baby names! Yay! But I think I basically covered that already. I’m laughing my head off at the commentary on “Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing”: http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/ . Very entertaining.

And that’s all, folks!

The packing must go on…

Today my friend “Jennifer” watched the girls for a few hours and I got a ton done in the basement. She’s going to do the same tomorrow, so maybe I can get the basement done. That would be a huge load off my mind. Only a few days left, really!

Tomorrow I need to call the Census Bureau. I realized I didn’t fill it out yet. Seth says you only have to fill in the number of people. So I was looking online to find out whether that’s true, and I found out that if you aren’t going to be in the house on April 1st you aren’t supposed to fill it out. Problem is, we’ll be between residences on that date. So I’m going to call them and see which I’m supposed to do, and how to do that. Ick.

The girls had fun at Jennifer’s, although Beth always comes home telling me about all the things that Keegan did. “She wouldn’t share, and then she got really mad at me.” “She started screaming and her mommy made her take a time out.” “She was pulling my shirt to get me to come upstairs.” I think Beth is a bit of a tattletale. It is true that Keegan is going through a bit of a rough stage. She’s prone to tantrums, and she just gets very, very mad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child quite so angry before. But in general they have fun playing together. When we come back in six months, we’ll see, maybe she’ll have passed this stage.

I came back to pick the girls up and found Josie wearing an unfamiliar sleeper. I was worried at first that she’d had a blowout, which would have been really unusual for her, and felt bad that Jennifer had had to change her and I hadn’t thought to bring a change of clothes. But no, it turns out that Keegan spilled some juice, Josie slipped in it, and then Keegan thought it was a fun new game to drag Josie around in the juice, and Josie thought it was hilarious and participated wholeheartedly. I should have known. Oops, that reminds me to pop that load in the dryer so I can return the sleeper tomorrow.

I’m up to 83 boxes packed! I’ve found some boxes with labels from our previous move of something like 141. I’m hoping that we don’t end up having that many boxes this time! I’m thinking that we won’t, though. I’d be only a little over halfway done if that were the case, and we don’t have *that* much left to do. I hope. Of course, it’s always more than you realize! Wish me luck!

Constant chatter

Okay, some days the chatter really gets to me. Like when I’m packing, and we play this same speech over and over. Beth: “Ariel’s sad.” Me: “Oh, that’s too bad.” Beth: “Ask me why she’s sad.” Me: “Why is she sad?” Beth: “Because her prince wants to marry Jasmine.” Me: “Why does her prince want to marry Jasmine?” Her: “Because he thinks she’s her.” Me: “Uh… he thinks Princess Jasmine is Princess Ariel?” Her: “Yep. She’s pretending. Like in Cinderella III.” Me: “Oh, like when the stepmother used magic to make Anastasia look like Cinderella to trick the prince into marrying her?” Beth: “Yep. She’s sad.”

In case you were wondering, Ariel is always sad about something. So are Cinderella, Aurora, Jasmine, and Belle. They’re sad because they can’t hold hands. Or because they can’t hold their baby. Because their prince is doing something wrong (like falling in love with the wrong princess, a common problem when we have two Prince Charmings and one Beast, but no Prince Eric, Prince Phillip, Prince Beast-as-a-prince, or Aladdins).

Her princesses are often happy, though. They’re happy because they’re friends, or because they’re dancing with their prince, or going to a movie, or going to Disneyworld.

And I like that she’s playacting emotions (although all of the love and relationship drama seems a bit advanced for just-turned-3).

What I don’t like is that constant conversation is required on my part. I must ask why they’re sad. I must ask why they’re happy. I must ask where they’re going in the car. I must ask why they’re crying. I must then respond in a logical way to her response. The conversation cannot be allowed to die, or I will be prodded until I finally tell her that Mommy is packing and cannot keep up this conversation.

And the same conversations repeat. She plays the same storylines over and over. Ariel is often sad for the same exact reason, day after day. It’s seriously maddening.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest… I love having a verbal 3-year-old. When do you think my 1-year-old will start saying more than 4 words? Do you think the duct tape across her mouth has anything to do with it?

I need a name!

It turns out that BabyPenguin3 is going to be a girl, too! Or so the technician thinks, it’s not absolutely definite. But we’ll go with the assumption that she’s right, because I think I saw what she was pointing out, too, unless we’re proved otherwise.

Which means I need a girl name! So far we’ve tossed around Margaret (maybe), Sophia (but getting to be really popular), Cecily (husband vetoes this firmly, but he might be warmer to Cecilia), Emily (we thought about this for Josie, but like Sophia it’s an incredibly popular name right now). I’d welcome any new ideas, though! We like fairly classic, traditional names, standard or legitimate alternative spellings only (Christine, Kristen, Christina, etc. are fine, but no Krystin). No nicknames as their given name, but them having a longer given name and going by a nickname is fine (like with Margaret, she might go by Maggie). Only 5 months to come up with the perfect name! Plus middle name.

Beth was cute when we were getting into the car today to make a quick grocery run for snacks. Seth: “I need to buckle you up, we’re going on a wild ride!” Beth: “We’re not going on a wild ride, we’re going to the grocery store.” Seth: “It might be a wild road to the grocery store.” Beth: “No, it’s not a wild ride, there aren’t even any dragons.”

Today Seth had a friend of his come and help load stuff into the moving truck. They got out a bunch of furniture, like all the bookshelves and dressers, the entertainment center, the big cabinet we had in the living room, and the china cabinet, plus two reclining chairs. We’re basically down to beds (ours plus both cribs), Seth’s desk, the table I’m sitting at with its chairs, and the couch. They also got lots of boxes loaded. The house is gradually beginning to look a bit emptier, although quite the mess. If one doesn’t look at the basement, it appears that we’re making great progress, considering that we have a week to go. But then one looks at the basement and faints. Right. Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out how to corral the kids while I make the living room safe enough for them to play in again. All sorts of child hazards around.

That’s about it for right now! See you tomorrow!… or next week… or maybe next month. I’ll update eventually. 🙂

Updating finally

It occurs to me that if one has a blog, one should probably update it, oh, at least occasionally. Not sure why this is such a problem for me lately. I have plenty of funny kid stories that I tell my family, I even write them on my Gmail status updates, I just never seem to bother writing them here. So, okay, I’ll give it a try:

Josie got her finger stuck in a door (had her hand inside the crack when her sister closed the door to go potty). I called the Nurse Advice Line to see whether this warranted an emergency room visit or whether she’d recover on her own (she was fine, no doctor needed, all better now). The nurse was supposed to call back within 45 minutes, ended up being more like an hour and a half. When she called, she was asking me various questions about how the injury happened, the nature of the injury, Josie’s reaction, etc. She asked whether Josie had urinated and been eating normally since the incident. I explained that after she calmed down and I’d given her ibuprofen, she seemed worn out from the event and I’d put her down for a nap, so she was sleeping and hadn’t eaten and probably hadn’t urinated but I didn’t know. She then asked me if Josie had been urinating normally *before* the incident. Um… and that would matter how?

Beth grows more entertaining by the day. I make up pretend invisible animals sometimes just for fun, and we think up stories about what they’re doing. A few weeks ago she came into the room I was in, and I told her to be careful not to step on the elephants. She asked where they were, and I pointed out the locations of a Mommy elephant and a baby elephant. She immediately befriended the baby elephant and started walking around the house as if she had her arm around a baby elephant roughly the size of a large dog. It was very cute. Later she came running in while I was brushing my teeth to use the potty, still holding her baby elephant around the neck. She finished and left. Came back a few minutes later… “I forgot my baby elephant!” At least she’s consistent.

She also loves to give me “presents” and “surprises.” These consist of toys or books wrapped or covered with blankets that I lift off to “open.” This delights her, and she’ll play this game for hours while I’m packing up the house and such. The other day she had such a present ready for me, but I was busy brushing my teeth and hair so she had to wait a few minutes for me to be ready. Meanwhile she danced around saying, “I have a surprise for you! I don’t know what it is! It’s a surprise! I have a surprise for you! It’s bath toys! I don’t know what it is!” Hmm, maybe you don’t, but I think I could guess….

Josie is getting really into dolls. She pushes them around in a stroller and carries them everywhere. It’s so sweet, as she still seems like such a baby herself (16 months). It’s hard to imagine that she’ll be 18 months at the end of April. I remember what Beth was like at 18 months, and it just makes me realize how quickly they grow, how they go from being a baby to being able to really play and pretend all by themselves. I find myself thinking frequently of that quote, “The days are long but the years are short.”