Monday, August 18, 2008

Sheeeeee's Baaaack!!

Phew…Where do I begin?! First of all, let me tell how much of a blogging NERD I am. I’m actually writing this post in Word because I don’t want to forget all I have to say. I don’t have internet right now but if I don’t put my thoughts down quickly, they will vanish. I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby, move across country, and reunite with your husband after 3 months all while trying to entertain 3 rowdy grubs in the span of ONE MONTH.

I guess the beginning is a good place to start so let us go there…

The moving truck came and went like nothing. Before we knew it, all of our stuff was gone and headed on a long 7 day journey only to meet up with us later in VA.

The drive here was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We found out that East Texas is VERY flat, has lots of cows and is dreadfully hot. Arkansas is blah and blah. Tennessee has NO cows, but a crap load of wheat farmers and Virginia has lots of cows and dairy farms, lots of hills and mountains, a cool breeze in warm weather…but no birds?

Miah sat in the very back seat all by his lonesome but he loved it. We had many suitcases, blankets and pillows packed all around him and as much as we tried to give him a hole to breath through, he LIKED being buried in the mess and kept pulling everything down around him. He sat in his car seat quietly and didn’t make hardly a PeEp.

My dad drove while Jake talked his HEAD off in the front seat the ENTIRE 20 HOURS. No joke. He never runs out of things to say. I had to calm him down and remind him that he doesn’t need to voice EVERY thought that comes into his head. Sometimes it’s okay to just THINK. Ugh.

I sat in the middle seats with Kora, Isaak and Roscoe. I knew out of everyone, these would be the potential trouble children and I needed to be able to “manage” them the whole way. Isaak ended up being an ANGEL! He would ride in his seat sleeping most of the time and every now and then I would take him out to feed, burp and change him. Once he got tired again, I’d put him back in his seat and he’d go straight to bed once again. When he was awake in his seat he would just stare out the window with his big round face as if he could actually SEE something amazing staring right back at him. Who knows, maybe he could!?

Kora was pretty good, but she needs to be entertained more than the others. She, Jake and I played backseat bingo a lot of the way there which was quite fun – thus leading to our conclusion about the lack of birds in Virginia and the lack of cows in Tennessee.

Roscoe. Not a fun experience for him at all. I gave him the tranquilizers before we left, two of them. I’m not sure if they helped or made things worse because about an hour or two into the trip he puked all over my lap. When we made an emergency stop to clean myself, the seat and Roscoe, he decided he wasn’t done expelling fluids and then preceded to diarrhea all over the seat that Kora was in. Thankfully we only had about 18 more hours left of driving so we were able to relish in the aroma the rest of the way there. He didn’t get sick anymore after that, but he was definitely our problem the rest of the trip. He ran away at Burger King (twice), scraped up the bathroom door of the hotel we stayed in, and farted the rest of the trip. These farts were bad enough to kill a dead dog.

I realized at the emergency stop that I wouldn’t have been able to make this trip by myself. Not that I was GOING to, but I had contemplated how I wish I could just go with the kids and not have to bother my Dad or anyone else. Each stop was a serious task because someone had to pump the gas, someone had to take Roscoe to a grassy area to potty, someone had to take Isaak and possibly change him, someone had to take the three kids to the potty and buy snacks with their fun money (Courtesy of Marian and Charles. Thanks SOO much for that, they totally LOVED having their own money to spend at stops.) Not to mention I had to potty myself. It would have been a disaster if I had no help, I really am grateful that my Dad was able to go with us.

Any who, we made it here, regardless of all the catastrophes.

When we arrived, the kids had endless amounts of energy that had been building up inside of them the last two days of driving. They were literally BOUNCING off the walls of the apartment as we waited for Austin to be released so he could come home, it was madness. This is a just a SNIPIT of their energy…(I'll post it later...dumb blogger wouldn't let me put it where I want it.)

We arrived on Friday evening and our mover called to tell us he would be here with our stuff on Monday so we had a few nights without anything but I had packed for a possible 12 days so we were set. We made beds on the floor with all our blankets and the kids played video games and had crab races with PawPaw to kill the time. We even ate off the floor using a tiny file box as our table to hold our Kid Cuisines. Although I couldn’t wait to get our stuff, it was kinda fun living like gypsies all together on the floor.

PawPaw’s flight left on Sunday night and since Austin had a big exam on Monday, he stayed at the base that night so we were alone for the first time. Monday was the big day; we couldn’t wait for our stuff to arrive. Sinclair, our driver, pulled up early and with over 60 boxes and 130 items stuffed into our little 1300 sq. ft. town home, we were officially OVERWHELMED. This was my first professional move so I had no idea how crazy the whole counting boxes, bingo papers…blah, blah, blah would be. With three kids, and a baby who all needed to be fed and changed and entertained, it was a little crazy trying to make sure I marked off all the numbers the movers were shouting out and on the right packing list. Why didn’t anyone warn me about THAT?! I have definitely learned a lesson for the next time we move. I’ll be sure to get a sitter for the delivery and have places for each item of furniture already mapped out.

Who knew we had so much crap?!?!?! I guess with 80% of it in storage I didn’t realize we had all this. That’s even with the majority of our furniture ruined in our flood over a year ago. Too bad none of the freakin massive amounts of toys we had were ruined!! Holy cow…I never knew one family could own so many toys. I knew it was time to consolidate so we geared up for the challenge and started unpacking.

THIS was when I realized how much I despised those wretched packers. They seemed so sweet and friendly when they were PACKING the stuff. Little did I know they were creating a disaster in each box they packed (over 60 boxes…in case you forgot).

Yes Bonnie, you’re right, they pack EVERYTHING just to make it look “packed”. For all my plastic totes, they’d just DUMP the entire contents into boxes and call it “packed”. I had a huge plastic tote with all our arts and crafts stuff in it. I’m talking beads, buttons, glitter, everything annoying and small. Each item was divided into certain sections of the tote, all organized and nice and neat. The freakin dudes just POURED it all into a box and turned it into a big pot of crafty happiness. OH MY GOSH what a mess. With Kora’s Barbie tote, they would take handfuls of Barbie pieces and wrap them up in paper. Pointless if you ask me.

This wasn’t the worst. I had this one tote of special items from my kids’ baby years. Special clothes, blankets, shoes, things that I wanted to keep to remember them until they were grown. These were things that were SO sentimental to me that I would never even consider parting with them. WELL, as I was digging through the tote that they “married” with other totes of clothing (annoying) I started smelling this horrid smell and there was this stuffing junk that was all over the clothes along with familiar tiny brown pellets of poo. I thought maybe moths? Here was the tote…

See...Jake's first pair of cowboy boots, the t-shirt he wore to the beach just three months after being born, his favorite sleeper, Kora's baby blanket, her precious outfits that she wore all the time and her chubby legs looked so sweet in, her first pair of jeans, and that ever so precious American flag swimsuit that she filled out almost TOO well. All of these items had so many irreplaceable memories.

Now let’s take a closer look inside that tote that I had my BARE hand digging around in…

Yes, that’s a dead rat. I could have used a diaper at the moment I saw the rat carcass floating amongst my baby’s items. I started hyperventilating and crying causing a scene that was probably very uncomfortable for my children to watch. Jake put his hand on my back and said, “Mom? Are you okay? Are you crying?” I immediately ordered Jake to take the tote outside and be rid of it. I didn’t even want to look anymore at all the special items I was going to be losing to the rat. I wonder if those movers realized that they were packing a rat for me to discover 7 days later. I wonder if I was to be the future butt of their dirty little joke. I gave them COOKIES for cryin out loud…MY cookies. I’m just glad I got that picture of them so I can blow it up and use it as a dart board. ARGHHHH….mean boys.

Once I recovered from the rat experience, I continued the week and a half long process of unpacking, sorting and trashing. The kids enjoyed seeing things they hadn’t seen in forever and it felt like Christmas to them to open each new box, even if it was only dishes. Isaak just chilled in random empty spots on the floor and was sadly neglected by his usually infatuated mother. He slept,

played a little bingo,

laughed with his brother,

...and was amazed at how big Mommy’s piles of boxes were.

FINALLY after 28 bags of trash (I only know this because that’s how many were in the box and we used them all), endless trips to the dump, almost 10 boxes of goodwill items and only 8 broken dishes, 1 broken frame and 1 broken doll…WE WERE UNPACKED and settled in our new little home that we’ve been dreaming about for the last year. A place of our own, a place to call home, it felt SO good.

The kids are enjoying their new rooms. Jake and Miah share a room and usually end up sleeping on the top bunk together by morning. Jake BEGGED me to hang that camo net on his wall. It bugs me and it stinks but the boys like it so I’ll deal with it. (Nevermind the blocks that don't QUITE spell Jakob, yes he's going into 3rd grade, yes he's GT, no he doesn't know how to spell his name yet! hehe)

Kora and Isaak share a room but Kora usually ends up in Jake and Miah’s bottom bunk cuz she’s scared to be in her room by herself even though she’s not by herself because Isaak is in there. It’s probably best anyway because she’d wake up Isaak in the middle of the night and I’m not up for that. Notice the bunk beds that I put together MYSELF, thank you (another lesson I’ll learn for the next move and movers). I usually end up in Kora’s bottom bunk by 6 or 7am for his morning feeding. Sometimes we nap in there until about 8 or 9am. The top bunk is full of all Kora’s 500 stuffed animals. She calls it the “clubhouse” and no one is allowed up there unless they are invited. These are her girly rules and the boys beg and beg her to let them come up. Some days they’re lucky…others…not so much.

Austin and I share a room…TOGETHER…ALONE…FINALLY. Another bed courtesy of me which even involved using “a measuring device” (as Kempton calls it) and a trip to Lowes to cut and buy planks to complete the masterpiece…I’m so freakin good. (Picture to come later…I need to put up a few pictures in there first.)

My tiny lovable kitchen. No body sleeps here.

My dining area/office/living area with my new couch that is exactly the same couch Natalie has because I loved hers so much and wanted to copy it. Austin will only sleep here when he’s naughty, Jones (his friend that needs nurturing) may sleep here and we may have our traditional mattress parties with the whole family here on the weekends (minus the mattresses).

So that’s that! It may be small, in the ghetto (which I didn’t realize until we got here) and a little scraggly, but I LOVE it, I’m SO thankful we’re here. As Miah calls it, “Our new Vee-jinya home.”

I already have several more posts in the making but I didn’t want to use them all up on my first day back. I need SOMETHING to keep you dangling and drooling for more, right?! Missed you and it feels SOOO good to be back!


Camilla said...

you are wonderwoman! i can't believe how much you got done while still being momma to four kiddos. i'm glad the trip went well. sorry about the sentimental tote.

raschel said...

Gag about the rat. I don't know how movers work..but since you cant pack the stuff, and they have to...are they responsible when things break? I can't believe how quickly you got the place together! I feel sorry for your puppy too...poor dog! Ok, gross, and for you too for having throw up and dog poopy smell all over you. After a while, I'm sure you got used to it, huh? I can't wait for more posts! YAY! You're back!

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Wow! You have had the most amazing few weeks! I'm surprised that the rat box was the only thing that caused somewhat of an emotional breakdown. I'm so excited for you to have your own place again. I know what if feels like living with others and having nothing or any place that you can call yours (living with Nana, Terry, and Tyler when we moved back)-you're forever grateful for the hospitality, but it's just nice to have your own space. Congrats! You guys are going to have so much fun exploring a new place. I'm glad you finally get to be with your lover!

Vagabond Mother said...

Betsy is a nickname for Elisabeth. It's always been that way. And I'd like to think that at least something else was funny in that post or I am a failure.

I can't believe you've hung stuff on the walls! You've beaten me, beaten me bad. Way to move in and also care for a million children. You're amazing, rat-tastic.

Are you sure you didn't know where that rat came from? He just wanted some adventure outside of Texas. Just like you.

Laura said...

Ok. I confess, I put the rat in there. Funny joke, huh? kidding of course. I HATE RODENTS. They are SICKENING. But I'm impressed you've gotten so much accomplished--I've been waiting to read your backlogged blog entry for weeks. GOod job getting all the details. Did you ask the movers if you could take their picture? and did you lick your lips like you were hitting on them?

Anonymous said...

Man, I cannot believe how much you have done! I have been here twice as long and I am not even thinking about hanging pictures.
By the way, I totally feel your pain on the chaos that mover's leave behind. When we moved to Texas I unpacked a box labeled "China" to discover a computer tower... as I delved in I notice that my china was BENEATH the computer! Of course, I would take that any day over the rat... gives new meaning to the phrase 'pack rat' huh?! :-)

David and Teresa said...

The house is starting to look like a real house. Love your new couch. Tell Jakob that Paw Paw loves his new camo wall. Kora can Paw Paw come into your room when we visit in November? Even with the terrible smell in the car I really enjoyed driving your family to VA. Tell Austin I really enjoyed him taking me to his camp. Miss you and love you. Dad

Valinda said...

WoW!!!! You're Super Mom for sure. It's good to have you back :)

Anonymous said...

ADORABLE! Love the apt. You left out the detail that Roscoe barfed ON you. I had this visual of him tucked away puking on the floor, seat, anywhere but ON someone. ICK! I do think I see a smurk (sp?) on the movers faces....look, I think they DID know the mayhem they'd caused.

Tara said...

That is terrible about the rat. HOnestly, that is horrible! I am so sorry you had to go through that?
And why in the world did you do all that by yourself? Didn't I lecture you on informing the RS about your arrival and situation, so someone would be there to bring you meals for your first few days, or help with the kids? That is insane what you did Jess! I have only handled moving a few times without support like that, and I tell you, it's because of those experiences why I am all about contacting people before I move to a place, so I can get help. The good thing about what you did though, is that it showed you how tough and amazing you are, and what you CAN handle. You made it through, everyone is alive and healthy, and obviously happy. Good for you woman!!! (but still, next time, make sure the right people know you are coming so you can get support) I am very impressed at how you have handled your introduction to military spouse-hood. Glad you are back to blogging!

Lindsay said...

bloody hell... what a long post... you should have broken it up because i don't remember all of my comments... i think my biggest memory during my reading came when i saw the dead rat... since you told me the story over the phone i was even MORE grossed out to see it lying there... oh my GOSH.... it gives me chills. and i screamed a little (even though i'm at work). heavens, jessica, heavens... i meant to ask you... why didn't you guys just fly? Tara asked me that i was like... i dunno. i'm confused. that's all. k.

Vagabond Mother said...

Not everyone can fly like you, Lindsay. P.S. Try buying four plane tickets and then taking four kids through airport security. Shudder.

Oh, and who needs a car in Virginia?

I sound mean. Horrible. And mean. Sorry.

So really, why didn't you fly?

Unknown said...

Holy rat crap, Batman!!!!!

Amy Herfurth said...

OK, after about 2 hours of reading (I am a slow reader if I am interested in whats being said) I am finally caught up with your blogging...I have too many comments on everything and can't remember them all...also I dont want to make you reread your entire blog again!!! ;) Miss you!!

PS: Were all those CAPITIALIZED words for me!! Thanks!!!

Crystal Renee said...

Okay, maybe you can call me a stalker. LOL! I totally am not a stalker. But your blog is so intriguing and I love the fact that you are "real"! Anywho, my first comment is on this blog. The box you have the "dead" mouse/rat in, I have one of the same things. My sentimental box I call it. I thought I was the only one. WOW! Btw - you dont look 30 and your family is gorgeous. I will comment more.. thanks for allowing us to read this. I live in Wilmington too.. loved that post :)