moving on (in so many ways)

I cannot even begin to thank y’all for all of the kind and supportive words on that last post. So many people also reached out on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and I’m just overwhelmed. This whole situation is so awful, but I also feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system around me, both online and in real-life.

Yesterday, I met with our realtor. We’re going to be listing our house on the market soon. I can’t afford the mortgage by myself, and it’s too big for just me and the girls. I feel the need to downsize and simplify our lives as much as possible. I think I want to rent a house for a while. I like the idea that if something breaks, someone else has to pay for it and fix it.

It’s sad because this place was my dream house, but now I’ll forever think of it as the house where my marriage fell apart.

The weird part? We bought this house from a couple that was divorcing. You know that horror movie cliche where the haunted house turns out to be built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground? I think this house was built on top of the graves of a really bitter and angry married couple. I even burned sage when we moved in, to get rid of any bad juju lingering around. Fat lot of good that did me.

Overall, I think I’m coping ok. Like I said, I have a pretty fantastic support system around me, and I’m so, so grateful for that.

But if you don’t hear from me much over the next few weeks, it’s probably because I’m going to be frantically de-cluttering and reorganizing this entire house to get it in “showable” condition. That should be… fun?

I’ll also be spending as much time as I possibly can hugging these faces.

Hard to get mad at these faces when they wake me up on Saturday morning.

Mostly successful, only slightly uneven bang trim. Yay, I'm improving!

You sure can't tell that she's sick.

Can’t really blame me for that one. They’re pretty darn huggable.

still unpacking. no, really.

I don’t have much to say, since I’ve been in Crazy Unpacking Mode for the past several days. A brief progress report:

* We’ve been doing all of the shopping that you have to do when you move into a new place: we bought a new washer & dryer (because this house came with none, and I’m not hauling our stuff to a laundromat), a new box spring for our bed (since the one that Beaumont spent the night inside on the moving truck reeked of cat pee), a couple of ceiling fans for Catie’s room and a spare bedroom, a new shower head (which feels like getting a scalp massage by angels, no lie), plus some towel hooks and other random stuff.
* We celebrated Dave’s 38th birthday on Saturday. When we asked Catie how old Daddy is, she said, “Forty.” Ouch. Dave is convinced that I taught her to say that, but I honestly didn’t.
* We went to see They Might Be Giants on Saturday afternoon. We met up with Cat & Tony for that, and Catie and Elizabeth had a great time running around dancing. I took some pictures that I need to get uploaded.
* While Dave enjoyed his birthday weekend by lounging around watching the first couple of seasons of “Prison Break” on DVD, I single-handedly emptied the garage of all of the boxes our movers dumped there, and moved them upstairs to the attic. My arms & legs are killing me, but I can now park my car in the garage, and there’s almost enough room to get Dave’s car in there too. We have never, in the history of our relationship, had a garage that was clean enough to actually park a car inside of it, nevermind two cars, so this is huge.

I’m going to try to get some pictures of the house posted soon, as soon as I have it remotely presentable. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites from our trip to my parents’ house last week.

pulling a Flashdance move with her shirt
Pulling a Flashdance move with her Tinkerbell t-shirt.

tunnels are fun!
Catie recreated the moment of her birth.
(Seriously, that’s the caption I wanted to put on Flickr, because the pink tunnel made me think of it, and the look on her face just cracked me up. But I knew my parents would be offended, so I’m keeping it here.)

flying unicorn!
Catie became a flying unicorn, with a little help from her Pop-Pop.

playing with the hose on my parents' patio
We played with the hose.

Mimi & Catie
And Mimi taught Catie all about gardening.

the trip home, part 2

Sorry for the delay in getting all this written down, I’m unpacking like a maniac and I’m actually having a hard time making myself sit down at my computer, which is freakishly rare for me.

SO! We spent the night at Cat & Tony’s house, and the next morning we all loaded up our respective children into various cars and went our separate ways. I dropped Catie off at daycare, and went to check out the new house. Still no power or water. I checked on the cats, dropped off our suitcases, and went to run a couple of errands. Came back to the house, and got to work setting up Catie’s room. I wanted the new house to make a good impression on her, so I figured that making sure her room looked like “hers” was a good place to start.

The utilities finally got turned on around 3:00. I was elated. I drove back to Cat & Tony’s house to retrieve our fridge & freezer food that we had stashed at their house. Came back, and picked up Catie from daycare. Dave got home a few minutes before we did, so we both got to witness Catie’s first reaction to the house. She seemed to like it, she was very excited to see a lot of her toys that she hadn’t seen in over a week. She kept saying, “Wow! Hey! Where’d that come from?” Like she couldn’t fathom how her stuff all magically got transported from the old house to the new house.

She’s had a couple of meltdowns since then, where she cries, “I no like new house! I wan’ go home!” Which stinks, and I hate it for her, but I think that once we get this place feeling a little more like a home and a little less like a box factory, she’ll start to like it more. Last night was rough, I found her standing in the dark hallway screaming her head off because she was scared and didn’t know where she was. (There are nightlights in both her bedroom and the hall, but it didn’t seem to make her feel less freaked out.) I’ve been trying to get things set up quickly to help her relax. The kitchen is almost done, then the family room is next on my agenda. I’m so focused on trying to ease Catie through this transition, I have a feeling that I won’t get Dave’s or my stuff unpacked until last. Oh well.

So. The transition is sucking, but we’re here. And this house is still beautiful and perfect and the absolute house of my dreams. So we’re good.

the trip home, part 1

Yesterday was one of those travel days where it was almost comical how horribly awry everything went. Or rather, it would’ve been funny if it happened to someone else. Like maybe someone I despised. Let’s recap, shall we?

* Up at 5 a.m., so we could leave the house by 6:45 for our 8:25 flight. Catie didn’t get enough sleep and had a huge screaming meltdown before leaving my parents’ house. Fun!

* Got to the airport, got checked in, everything ready to go… then no plane. Or rather, no boarding onto the plane that was sitting at the gate. Turns out there was a mechanical problem, so our 8:25 flight was delayed until 11:00. That means that Catie & I both could’ve had an extra couple of hours’ sleep if we’d known in advance. The ticket agent got us rebooked on the next flight, so we actually left Jackson at 9:40.

Side note to American Airlines: please find the guy who was working at Gate 4 at Jackson International Airport on September 15th, and give that man a raise. I don’t know his name, he’s a thin young white guy with a little beard stubble and almost too-pretty eyes. He was fantastic, he was very fast at getting everyone taken care of, he remembered my name, and he made sure that my 2 year-old and I had seats adjacent to each other (something another ticket agent apparently didn’t think was necessary).

* While waiting to board our first flight, Catie cried, “Mooommy, I go hooome. I see Mimi & Pop-Pop.” I reminded her that we were going home to Daddy and the new house. She replied, “No, no Daddy and no house. I jus’ go hooooome.” Yeah, you & me both, kiddo.

* High point of the day #1: Catie slept the entire flight from Jackson to Dallas. Halle-freaking-lujah.
what she looked like 5 minutes before our plane landed.
Ok, this picture is actually from the flight there & not the flight home. Still, it’s a pretty accurate representation of the moment.

* Got to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport about 10 minutes after our connecting flight had departed. Sigh. We were rebooked on a later flight, and then had three hours to kill until the next plane left. Fabulous.

* High point of the day #2: We found the children’s play area at DFW and Catie had a blast running around playing with the other kids there. Way to burn off the energy, kid. But really, she was very sweet and nice during the entire layover, no meltdowns at all. I could hardly believe it. Lord knows I wanted to throw myself on the ground and scream for a good long while.
revisiting the Dallas/Forth Worth airport children's play area

* Finally got on the 2:25 flight to Raleigh. (Irony: if we’d made our original connection, we would’ve already been home for an hour by the time this plane departed. Sigh.) Oh, but first we had to stand on the jetway for 20 minutes in 90-degree heat because maintenance had to replace a seat cushion. WTF?

* I got us both seated on the plane, then called Dave to let him know we were finally on our way home. Turns out, he had left his office a little early to meet the cable guy at our house. He got to the new house, only to learn that we had no electricity. Freaking fabulous.

* Highlight of the day #3: Catie and I both slept most of the way to Raleigh. I can almost never sleep on planes, but I bought some Dramamine at the airport, which helped a lot. Poor Catie just sacked out for the whole trip.

* We got to Raleigh. Finally. Oh, and American Airlines, seriously? I had a 3-hour layover in Dallas and you STILL managed to lose one of my two suitcases? Are you kidding me??? (They found it later & delivered it, thankfully. But still. ARGH!)

* I called Dave again. He found out out that our utility company had orders to set up our new utilities on the 17th, not the 11th (clearly a typo). So they shut off our utilities, thinking it was the previous owners’ that they were shutting off, not the new residents. No electricity might’ve been manageable – we have a generator, and it’s not insanely hot right now. But we also had no water. So, no. Not staying there. The utility company said the soonest they could get out to turn our utilities on was at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday).

* I called Cat & Tony, made hasty change of plans to instead go to their house to crash for the night. Called Dave, told him to bring the cold food from the fridge & freezer (so it wouldn’t rot), and meet me there.

* Highlight of the day #4: the bath that Catie and her cousin Elizabeth took together. Freaking hilarious.
Catie & Elizabeth in the tub

* We all crashed for the night, prepared to take on the day tomorrow, blah blah blah.

More about the big “new house” reveal later. I’m tired. Will update with pics soon, too.

catching up

I finally got the wireless set up at my parents’ house, so I can actually blog now that I can use my laptop. (My parents’ computer is not conducive for writing.) I don’t know where to start on the recap of this week, but here goes. Brace yourselves, this might get long:

1.) The flight to Mississippi was amazingly easy. Catie was an absolute angel, she had a minor meltdown on one of the three (THREE!) planes we had to take to get here, but overall, she was fun and delightful and just a complete breeze. I can only hope our return flight is as easy.

2.) The only bad part of the flight was that the airline lost our suitcases, so we panicked and ran to Wal-Mart to buy emergency supplies – pajamas for Catie, underwear and deodorant for me, etc. But the suitcases were found and delivered to my parents’ house by around 10 p.m. that night, so I returned most of the stuff that we bought.

3.) The funeral for my dad’s cousin was yesterday. It was great to see all of my cousins who I haven’t seen since my grandmother died in 1996. It’s odd because we’ve all reconnected through Facebook, so we keep up with each other and see pictures of each other’s kids, and it felt like getting to see old friends, which was fantastic. At the same time, it sucks that it takes something like a death in the family in order to bring us all together.

After the funeral, we all went to my cousin Suzette’s house for food and conversation – because, you know, that’s how we roll in the Deep South. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing, right? And all of my cousins’ babies were there, so Catie got to play with a bunch of other kids, and she had an absolute BLAST. In fact, she had so much fun that she completely wore herself out and she slept the two-hour drive back to my parents’ house. Nice.

4.) One thing that came up in the last few days that I haven’t mentioned, is that there was a remote possibility that our money issues were going to get straightened out, and that we’d be able to close on our house on schedule. So, before I left for Mississippi, I ran to the escrow attorney’s office to sign a document giving Dave power of attorney for me**, so he could close on the house without me, just in case the money came through on time. Turns out, the money DID come through on time, and Dave closed on the house today. The movers are unloading our belongings at our new house as I type this.

So, when Catie & I get home, we will be going straight from the airport to our brand-new house. My mind = BLOWN. It feels so weird that I’m not there for the move, but since Dave is calm about moving and I tend to freak out, it’s probably better to have me gone and let him handle it on his own. I’m sure he’s happier that I’m not there nagging at him about every tiny detail, but still, he is racking up the Good Husband points like you have no idea.

5.) One bit of bad news: when the movers came to pack up our stuff yesterday, they had both the front and garage doors open, and somehow Beaumont got outside. Dave has searched everywhere and hasn’t been able to find him. Our neighbors are all on the lookout, and I’ve posted a “lost cat” ad on craigslist, but I’m sick with worry. He hasn’t been an outdoor cat for a long time, and even when he was, we lived in the sticks. The street behind our house is very busy (with a 45 mph speed limit), and I’m freaked out that he could’ve gotten hit by a car. Or that he’s hiding in the woods, terrified. I hope he turns up. He’s a pain in the ass, but he’s ours and we love him. Please come home, Mr. B.

** For the record, the power of attorney document only applies to this one real estate transaction. It does not give Dave the right to have me committed to a loony bin. I sure hope he realizes that.

EDITED TO ADD: Beaumont has been found. Apparently he was hiding from the movers inside our box spring (there’s a tear in the fabric on the bottom, he hides in there a lot), and so he got loaded onto the moving van & spent the night there. He’s completely freaked out, but ok. I’m saying a prayer of thanks that we closed today and didn’t have our stuff sitting on the moving van for a week!


Ever do something that seemed like a good idea at the time, and the next morning you sort of can’t believe it? Surely I’m not the only one.

Last night, my parents offered me some frequent flyer miles if Catie & I wanted to fly to Mississippi. My cousin hasn’t passed away yet, but since she now has pneumonia and isn’t conscious, we’re thinking it’ll be sometime in the next day or so. But more than that, I was thinking that since we’re going to be moving out of this house and then going into a holding pattern for at least a week, it might be less stressful for Catie if I could take advantage of the Mimi & Pop-Pop Distraction Factor.

So, we’re flying to Mississippi on Wednesday, and we’re coming back next Tuesday (the 15th). I fully expect that we’ll be attending a funeral sometime in there, but regardless, it’ll be good to keep Catie from getting all frazzled about the move.

Of course, now that I’ve booked the trip, it’s starting to sink in that I’m going to be leaving town two days before we move, and I’m making a mental list of all the things that still need to be done, and how I’m essentially dumping the entire move on Dave’s lap. So besides the moving worries, I have a nice Bad Wife guilt complex on top of it (even though Dave says he’s totally fine with us going, and in fact encouraged me to take the trip). My stomach is in knots. I haaaate this.

But hey, if you happen to live in the greater Jackson area and want to hang out later this week, drop me an email at poobou76 -at- yahoo -dot- com.