the mid-December update

Things that have happened in the past week that I haven’t blogged about because holy crap, where did all my free time go? (Oh right, it’s being spent unpacking boxes.)

1. Our house is officially sold. We signed the closing paperwork and handed over the keys this morning. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. Mostly relief, because I’m glad to be done with it, but also a hell of a lot of sadness, because that was my dream house, and it’s gone. And yeah, I know we’ll make new memories in this new house and it will all turn out the way it’s supposed to be. But it’s hard.

2. Dave and his mom have come to visit. There was a lot of hubbub about it before they arrived (long story), but so far all of his visits with the kids have been low-key and drama-free, and I’m crossing my fingers that maybe we can maintain that from now on. I mean, I kind of doubt it, but I’m trying to maintain a tiny bit of cautious optimism. And that’s basically all I have to say on that particular subject.

3. My parents closed on their house here. Their moving truck arrives from Mississippi tomorrow. They’re going to be staying at my house for a few more days while they get things settled (they need to buy a refrigerator, that kind of thing), but it’s crazy to think that we’re going to be living less than two miles away from each other.

4. A personal Single Parent Milestone of mine: while hooking up the DVD player (which I did all by myself, boo-yah), a giant cockroach came scurrying out from behind the TV and was about an inch away from my hand. Since I had no husband to yell to come kill it, instead I grabbed my trusty Dyson with its loooong telescope handle and sucked that disgusting 6-legged bastard up.

(And this is where I tried to find a video of Delta Burke/Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women doing her rant about, “I don’t care what anybody says, I think THE MAN SHOULD HAVE TO KILL THE BUG.” Alas, YouTube has failed me. Oh well, you get the idea.)

I’m sure that seems pathetic, but that was my own personal version of a major crisis (I have a phobia of roaches that I cannot even begin to explain), and I took care of it, so I was proud of myself.

5. This past Sunday, I took Catie to see Disney Princesses on Ice. She was SO excited.

Somebody is excited about Disney Princesses on Ice.

The ice skaters for these shows are really amazing, and it’s definitely worth it if they come your way. Note that I am in no way sponsored to say that. I’m just saying, if you have a little girl in the Disney Princess-loving age range, you will make their week, if not their whole year, by taking them to that show. And it entertained me too, because I am a sucker for watching ice skaters do all kinds of graceful leaps and twirls that I could never do in a million years.

6. The girls had their school pictures taken for Christmas. It’s very hard to get a picture of Catie where she isn’t doing a hard “CHEESE!!” – it’s more like she’s baring her teeth than smiling. But Lucy. Oh my, y’all.

They also took pictures of the two girls together (which I couldn’t get a good picture of with my phone, since they don’t allow proofs to leave the premises, and I was sneaking pictures with my cell phone before the daycare director caught me). But needless to say, that photo company is about to get a whole lot of my money.

7. In the midst of unpacking, we managed to get our Christmas tree up, because I promised Catie I would do it as soon as we got to the new house. (Priorities. My clothes are still packed in wardrobe boxes, but we have the damn tree decorated.) I usually love to put Christmas lights outside, but I’m a little overwhelmed by everything this year, so we just stuck a wreath on the door and I’m calling it done.

8. I don’t usually get into all of the symbolism about new years being a fresh start, but let me tell you, 2011 is free to kiss my butt on its way out. I’m so looking forward to 2012 and the promise of new beginnings and clean slates. I already cannot wait for January 1st.

moving day recap

So! We survived the move last weekend. I mean, sort of. The quick and dirty of it went like this:

  • Packed like a maniac for the few days leading up to the move.
  • Both kids went to daycare on Friday to save mama’s sanity.
  • Cats were locked in bathrooms to keep them from darting outside while stuff was being moved. (I did not want a replay of the time Beaumont got locked in a moving truck.)
  • The movers showed up and packed what was left (mostly the kitchen).
  • My mom got sick 2 days before Moving Day, and spent most of the day absolutely miserable. (Like, the furniture was gone, so she just lay down on the floor and went to sleep.)
  • All of my stuff wouldn’t fit on one moving truck. Crap.
  • The movers and I ran one truckload over to the new house.
  • Decided that my mom needed to go to Urgent Care, so I sent her off while finishing up with the movers.
  • Back to the old house to get the last of my stuff.
  • The movers finished unloading my stuff right as the Time Warner dude came to hook up my cable & Internet. (Good timing there!)
  • Mom picked up the kids from daycare on her way back from Urgent Care.
  • Since the movers were finished, Catie and I went back to the (empty) old house to retrieve the cats.
  • The cats freaked the ever-loving crap out, as you’d expect.
  • We had take-out for dinner.
  • I decided that instead of a celebratory cocktail at the end of the day, I’d opt instead for a celebratory Vicodin, because my back was in excruciating pain.
  • With all the craziness, we (even the baby) finally collapsed into bed sometime after 1 a.m. INSANITY.
  • The end.

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    I was worried about how Catie would adjust to this move, since she isn’t exactly a stellar sleeper anyway. She’s been doing ok. She insists that she doesn’t want to sleep on her bed, she only wants to sleep on the air mattress. Which, you know, FINE. I don’t really care where she sleeps, it’s not important enough to make a big fuss about it, as long as she’s in her own room. So we set up the air mattress for her right next to her bed.

    She’s still been crawling into bed with me every night around 3 or 4 in the morning, but I’m not complaining about that either. I’m cutting her some slack while she gets through this initial adjustment phase. I’ll start putting my foot down about her staying in her own bed after she starts to feel settled here.

    On the up side, she is very excited about her “Bright! Green!” room. Of course, since we hung up her purple curtains, it kind of looks like Mardi Gras in there, but we’ll just call that a tribute to her Louisiana heritage. And she’s decorating her room with those removable vinyl wall stickers. She’s chosen a theme of horses, Disney princesses, and dinosaurs. Which… well, that pretty much sums up Catie in a nutshell right there. It’s perfect for her.

    Lucy is doing pretty well too. The movers broke her crib (like, the wood has split), so that sucks, but we’re dealing with it. (Solution: turn the broken side of the crib toward the wall so she can’t fall out of it. I’m not shelling out for a new crib at this stage of the game.) It seems that now that she’s able to roll herself onto her tummy at night, she sleeps much better. Sometimes she wakes up and fusses (like, not real crying, just making noise) for less than a minute, then she goes back to sleep. That’s been a life-saver.

    Oh, speaking of Lucy:

    6 month appointment

    She had her 6-month checkup last week, and was deemed basically perfect. In case there was any doubt.

    She also weighed in at 17 pounds, 14 ounces, and 26 inches tall. Big girl! She’s becoming quite the foodie, which is awesome and hilarious to witness.

    ———————————————————————-

    Now, the fun part starts: figuring out how to decorate this place.

    And you know the best part of that? I get to decide where I want my stuff to go, and I don’t have to ask anyone else their opinion. That’s kind of awesome.

    Almost happy*

    Warning: I’m totally scattered right now, so this post is going to be really disjointed and all over the place. I’ll throw in a bunch of cute kid photos to make it worth your while.

    It appears that I am going to be moving in about, oh, a week and a half. I’m kind of in denial about it. My parents are running around the house throwing all of my stuff into boxes, while I focus on the kids or work or whatever, but la-la-la, I’m not thinking about packing. It seems to be working so far, since I haven’t freaked out yet.

    (Oh, did I mention that my dad is here for Thanksgiving? He booked his flight before he knew that he’d be moving up here 3 weeks from now. We’re glad to have him. Even though he and my mom bicker like… well, like a couple that’s been married for almost 42 years, I guess. But Catie and Lucy both adore him, so it’s good to have him around. Most of the time. I’m personally getting a little tired of the “So hey, why DID your marriage fail, anyway?” inquisition. Sigh. Thanks for that, Dad.)

    Ok, moving on! Other random stuff, which I shall number to make it seem more like an ordered list of events, and less like I’m in dire need of ADHD medication.

    1. I’ve been sick for over two weeks now. I finally gave up and went to the doctor, where I found out that I have both a sinus and ear infection. So that’s fun. Hooray for antibiotics!

    2. Lucy seemed to be coming down with the same crud that I have, and I freaked out at the thought of her being as sick as I am. Turns out she got something much milder than me. She was a little feverish for a day or so, and she seems to have a bad case of Drippy Nose, but other than that, she’s still her normal happy, cheerful self. Thank God for small favors. The Drippy Nose is gross, but it’s manageable.

    Had to take a break from packing to take the (still drippy-nosed) baby for a walk.

    See? She sure doesn’t LOOK sick.

    3. Catie had her second appointment with a counselor. It was good. We took silly pictures of ourselves in the waiting room.

    Making silly faces.

    She seems to be doing pretty well. We’re working through it as best we can.

    4. We’re having a ridiculously mild fall, and I have to admit that I’m loving it. I adore the in-between weather when the highs are in the 60s, it’s so nice. I’ve been taking Catie to the playground a lot lately, even though I’ve been sick and I’m sure I sound like I’m going to keel over and die of tuberculosis right next to the monkey bars. On Sunday, I had to take a break from all of the cleaning and packing and take both of my girls to the playground.

    I didn’t get any pictures of Catie at the playground, because it’s impossible to take a non-blurry photo of a whirling dervish. That girl never stopped moving for a second. But while we were there, I thought I’d try Lucy out in the baby swing for the first time. I balled up my hoodie and stuffed it in the swing behind her to keep her from flopping around too much.

    Lucy's first time in the swing.

    She LOVED it. Like, I’ve never seen her laugh that hard for that long, ever. It was fantastic.

    5. Also on the topic of Lucy’s first milestones, last night we gave her a taste of her first “real” (non-pureed) vegetable. It was my mom’s green beans, which are already really soft, and then I chopped them up into tiny, non-choke-able baby-size pieces.

    Lucy, aka The Mess-Maker

    She loved them, but hoo boy, what a mess. Still, it was pretty hilarious to watch her lean over and try to slurp the green beans off of the high chair tray. So overall? Totally worth it.

    Lucy, aka The Mess-Maker

    Yeah. Definitely worth it.

    6. I just checked and verified that, yep, I am indeed moving in NINE DAYS. Ok, maybe I am starting to freak out a little.

    * This is the name of the song that was playing on my iPod when I started typing this. It’s by a band called K’s Choice. Seemed appropriate.

    a good Monday

    I don’t usually have nice things to say on Mondays. I especially don’t have nice things to say when I’m sick and have almost lost my voice entirely. But two very good things happened today:

    1. I took Catie for her first appointment with a counselor. She was mostly interested in the fact that the therapist had toys in her office, but the two of them seemed to hit it off really well. I’m going to take it as a good sign that she cried when it was time to leave. We’re going back next week.

    2. I have a house! I was really stressed about finding a rental house here, because they seem to get snatched up before I could even see one. But this house became available last week, and after I saw it, I immediately filled out an application to lease it.

    If I was looking to buy a place, I would’ve been turned off by the powder blue siding. And a lot of the inside is dated (fruit-themed wallpaper in the kitchen, etc.). But it’s a rental, so I don’t care. Hell, maybe I need some pastel cheeriness in my life right now. It has all the spaces that I need – a playroom for the girls, an office for me, etc. It’s surrounded by enormous shade trees. It’s an area that’s full of little kids, and there’s a neighborhood playground within walking distance.

    And, it’s exactly 1.6 miles from my parents’ new house.

    So it’s perfect. I’m really excited to get us into our new space, and start working on setting up our new little life.

    Call me the Haggler

    Yesterday, I successfully negotiated the sale of my house.

    The buyers made a low offer. I countered. They countered. I countered again. We went back and forth several times.

    I actually haggled, y’all. And I don’t haggle on anything. I felt like such a bad-ass.

    And you know what?

    MY HOUSE IS OFFICIALLY UNDER CONTRACT!!

    I was euphoric about this for several hours, because man, I am so excited about starting over in a new (smaller) space, just me and my girls, and building our own little life, just the three of us.

    Then the euphoria wore off when I realized: holy crap I have no place to live. And I have to plan a move in less than a month.

    So, yeah. Now I’m panicking.

    But hey, as long as I’ve got these two with me?

    Sunday sister snuggles.

    We can go live in a van down by the river for all I care. We’re gonna be just fine.

    some good news

    I haven’t mentioned it here for fear of jinxing it, but my parents sold their house in Mississippi. It’s been on the market since the spring of 2010 (like, 6 months before I got pregnant with Lucy), so this has been a long time coming. If all goes according to plan, they’ll be closing on their house and moving to North Carolina on December 9th.

    This means that before Christmas, both of my parents will be local. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about that.

    And then, yesterday, I got an offer on our house. It’s kind of a low offer, so I countered back with what I thought was a reasonable amount, and I guess now I just have to wait and see if they’re willing to negotiate.

    In their offer, they said they wanted to close on December 13th. So my parents and I would both be moving right around the same time. I may look for a rental house with a lease that starts on December 1st, just so I don’t have everything hit me in the same week.

    So, cross your fingers. This could be really, really good for us.

    Also, Catie has informed me that if we move before Christmas, I’ll have to write to Santa to make sure he knows where to bring her toys. I promised her that I’d take care of it.

    treading water

    Last week, a friend told me that I seem to be handling all of my recent life events in an unusually calm manner.

    I laughed. I told her that she should take a look inside my head sometime. Apparently I’m pretty good at faking like I’m ok when I’m an absolute mess on the inside.

    The truth is, I’m completely overwhelmed. I’m trying to juggle two kids, a full-time job, as well as the process of selling our house, all by myself. It would be panic-inducing on its own. Top it off with the fact that Lucy currently wakes up at least two times per night? The exhaustion factor means that I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m about to lose it.

    Oh, and there’s the whole post-partum depression thing too. Let’s not even get into that. The timing of all of this could be a lot better.

    I spend a lot of time wishing that I could crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and stay there for at least a couple of weeks.

    For better or worse, these two seem to make that impossible.

    Catie (& alligator) snuggle on Lucy.

    Freaking kids, man. They have all these needs.

    So, yeah, I’m functioning because I don’t really have any other choice. Falling apart isn’t an option right now.

    I’m incredibly grateful for all of the people who check in on me to see how I’m doing. Honestly, I’m so, so thankful for my support system.

    Speaking of my support system, my brother came up this past weekend to help me rearrange furniture and start getting the house organized. We also hung out and watched movies, and he bonded with his new niece.

    Lucy loves snuggling with her Uncle Chris

    That was really nice, I needed that break.

    And more of my support system is still on its way. Greis is coming for a visit this weekend. Her trip was planned months ago, and was supposed to be a fun girls’ weekend. Now it’s turned into a “hey, come stay at my house and hold my baby while I pack boxes” sort of visit. Which sucks, but I have a feeling we’ll still manage to sneak in at least one margarita at some point during the weekend.

    Next week, my mom is coming up. She’s driving up rather than flying, so she can stay for an indefinite amount of time. She’s basically moving in for at least a couple of months, to help me get everything sorted out. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am for that. My mom is my anchor, and I really need her right now.

    So, I know I’m going to be ok, mainly because so many people around me are there to catch me if I fall. It’s a comforting thought, and it’s what’s keeping me afloat right now.