We have been in New Jersey for one week, and we already have lots to tell. It's interesting how so many people (my husband) refer to a move as "an adventure" as if to psych up everyone around them. A move for a single person might be adventure. A move for a couple with no children might be an adventure. A move with children is a huge pain in the neck.
Not to say it's not worth it. It's just painful, especially at the beginning.
For our family, moving can be summed up by a couple different things: lots of fast food and lots of sleepless sleeping arrangements.
Though the girls each have their own beds, they have preferred sleeping together for the past six months. Here is a picture of them the last night in their (June's) bed in Florida:
So sweet. And in a different room from me! My favorite. As a general rule, I do not let kids in my bed.
Things are always a bit different in a hotel setting though. Parents are too accessible in this scenario, and we end up sleeping with one parent and one kid in each bed. June LOVES Daniel and they always end up together. Gwen LOVES to HATE me, and we always end up together. The excitement of the hotel situation is always too much for Gwen. June loves the newness of it, but June also loves a good schedule and will go to sleep maybe an hour after her regularly scheduled bedtime. Gwen on the other hand was hopped up on goofballs and refused to settle down and then refused to let any pillows touch her but also simultaneously always wanted to be touching my head but not the pillow my head was on. I was jealous of Dan those nights. Gwen is only comfortable when she is making you feel a little (or a lot) uncomfortable.
The girls loved staying in hotels for three nights and June kept telling me how much she loved "our new home." Oh Junebug.
Of course everyone's favorite part of staying in the hotel was the free, huge breakfast served every morning. It was hard to go back to my gruel-like morning menu after three mornings of bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, muffins, eggs and pancakes.
We also took the girls to many a Chick-fil-a and McDonald's over the course of the three days so that they could play.
The flight from Jacksonville to Newark was supposedly short--two hours. But much akin to how one year is seven dog years, two hours on a flight is 60 in kid years. We had to split up, and of course Gwen was with me and June was with Dan. In the very back row next to the bathrooms. We each had a very tall man in the third seat in our row, and there was just not really room for all of us. Dan thought he lucked out by having June with him, but she was would not stop repeating herself on HIGH VOLUME the whole time. He kept begging her to talk at a normal level, and she could not comprehend it.
Lo and behold, Hurricane Gwen fell asleep on my arm! This meant I couldn't move and my arm went numb, but I didn't care. Dan shot me looks of jealousy and contempt from his very loud side of the plane until . . .
we hit a few bumps and Gwen woke up. And proceeded to scream and kick the very tall man beside her for 45 minutes. The flight attendants kept trying to appease her, and I didn't know how to nicely tell them that the best thing to do with Gwen is just let her get it out. The more you try to please her, the angrier she becomes.
It was my turn to shoot Dan looks of jealousy and contempt. Which I did. Until . . .
June peed her pants. As we were landing.
After a month of having no accidents, I didn't see the need to pack her an extra outfit. But my Grandma Bonnie always told me to pack an extra outfit for each person in my carry on, and now I see the true wisdom of her words. I did, at least, pack some extra underwear for her, and then she just had to sport her blanket as part of her outfit the rest of the night.
See this photo?
We found our way to baggage claim and quickly identified our luggage (since it takes us 34 hours to go anywhere and everyone else had already claimed theirs). Most of our stuff went with the movers into storage but we packed as much as we could into four bags to get us through the next two months of temporary housing.
So there we stood--Cranky Gwen, Blanketed June, Tired Heather and Dan. And four pieces of luggage, 4 carry-ons, 2 personal items and 2 car seats. And we had to somehow get that on the train to pick up our rental car. Not happening.
So Dan went by himself and I waited with the girls in baggage claim for over an hour. And I shot Dan looks of jealousy and contempt in my mind since he wasn't there to receive them personally.
He was a very welcome sight when he came back with an awesome SUV with heated, leather seats. Because it was 20 degrees outside. And I don't know if you are keeping track but I have lived in Nevada and Florida for the past 8 years. I haven't been cold in almost a decade.
The next day was much better. We could almost laugh about the day before but decided not to. We went to yet another McDonald's and the girls played. Actually, Gwen slept on a bench for probably an hour. And June had another accident. But this time I brought replacement pants.
Right after we left McDonald's, it started to snow. Our girls have never seen the stuff and were so excited. I'm the party pooper in our family who doesn't enjoy the snow, and we saw a driver almost slide off the road so I was feeling pretty justified in my distrust of the white powder. But June keeps insisting that I need to like it.
We checked in to our temporary apartment, and it's in a really cool location. Downtown Morristown. Walking distance to tons of restaurants and shops. We walked to a pizza parlor that night, and even I could admit that the snow on the ground was beautiful.
And honestly, things have been pretty darn good ever since. There is a lot to see and do here. The people have been really awesome. June is going to be attending a great school. Someone from church already invited our ridiculous selves over for dinner. Dan loves his new company. And I actually like living with only a few belongings. Cleaning takes me 10 seconds.
Dan's first day of work at the new job.
June drew me as a pirate.
View from our temporary place.
I guess moving is like delivering a baby. Horrible and painful and then you kind of forget just how horrible it was until you have to do it again. Luckily, life has somewhat normalized and I'm already thinking the move wasn't so rough. But you and I both know it actually was.