Saturday, June 28, 2008

What a wild and crazy ride it has been

Hey everyone! I can't believe it's been over a month since I've blogged. Wow. So much has happened in a month. Brian went to work in Texas while I was busy with the boys and the house in Ohio. While my sister and then my mom visited, I scrambled to get the house ready to go on the market. My sister and my mom were both wonderful in all their help with cleaning and with John and Norm. The house went on the market when Norm was not quite 2 weeks old. It was on the market for 4 days when we got 2 offers. We accepted one and after much craziness (think pain-in-the-butt buyers and inspection woes), the house closes on July 1st! We feel so blessed that the house sold so quickly although we had done TONS of work to make it look BEAUTIFUL! We also had an amazing realtor. She knew what she was doing and was incredibly kind to me. In the middle of all the chaos, she treated me to a pedicure and manicure because she felt I needed a break from all the craziness. It was so sweet of her! I am sad to be out of the house where both my boys spent the first part of their lives and where Brian and I spent 7 of our first 8 years of marriage. I will always have many fond memories of that great house.

After the house sold, I spent my time getting ready to move to Texas. All of our stuff was going to be packed by movers and I had to figure out what stuff to set aside for both the drive to Texas and the up to 2 months we'd be in temporary housing until we found a house down here in Texas. Our stuff was packed on the 17th and 18th of June. Brian flew home the evening of the 19th and on the 20th we started our 18 hour drive to Texas with John, Norm and the two dogs. Brian's parents were kind enough to offer to drive their minivan down to Texas with us so we didn't have to rent a U-Haul for all the stuff that was going with us into temporary housing--2 months worth of clothes, Norm's baby stuff, John's toys, and various items that the movers wouldn't move (tax papers, jewelry, coin collection, etc.). They were very helpful and the drive was surprisingly uneventful. It was exhausting, but went well. The dogs were their usual wonderful selves in the car (they slept on the back seat with an occasional visit up front to check on Brian and I). Norm slept a lot and only fussed occasionally. John was exhausted from not napping and staying up way too late in the hotel rooms, but was still pretty happy most of the time. We drove from Ohio, through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas to Texas. We considered stopping by Graceland on our way through Memphis, but decided the 1 1/2 wait just to get in would set us too far back in our timeline. Our biggest adventure was a very hot, very understaffed Pizza Hut in Lonoke, Arkansas. Oh well! The drive took us 3 days and we arrived safely at our temporary 2 bedroom 2 bath furnished apartment in Plano, Texas on Sunday, June 22nd.

The apartment is nice, but very different from anywhere I've ever lived. It feels like a big hotel room. Both bedrooms have their own baths complete with garden tubs and closets almost as big as Norm's old bedroom. In fact, Norm has taken residence in the closet off our bedroom. It's quite roomy and he's been sleeping well in his portacrib there. The only major challenge here (besides a squishy living area) is having to take the dogs out on leashes to use the bathroom. I was very spoilt by having a fenced in backyard for 7 years. Now, I have to leash the dogs, put Norm in the Snuggli carrier, convince John to walk down the stairs on his own just to let the dogs use the bathroom. The way back is even more fun since I then have a bag of poop to add to the fun.

Plano seems huge compared to Westlake --and hot!--although we're quickly getting used to the heat. I've learned that people choose parking spots based on shade, not proximity to stores. There are tons of every kind of store here. If I didn't have Norm and John I would definitely be doing a little shopping.

Once we got unpacked and Brian's parents went back to Ohio, the boys and I started house hunting. Brian had done a lot of looking in his few weeks down here so we only had to spend 3 days looking at the top houses. On the third day we made a decision and an offer that has been accepted. We hope to move into our new house in McKinney, TX on July 31st! I can't wait! And for everyone who wants to visit, we have a 4th bedroom just for guests so come on down. I'm really excited about the house and the neighborhood. The community has a great pool and playground that are in walking distance from our house.

Well, that's all the excitement for now. Brian is busy at his new job. It's a huge change, but he's enjoying learning lots of new things and applying his knowledge to new situations. John is adjusting remarkably well to all the changes. After three days of househunting, we went to the car and he asked where Pat (our realtor) was. He was just used to us being with her. I did all the driving during our househunting adventures and am getting to know the area faster than I expected. Norm turned 6 weeks old today. I can't believe it's been 6 weeks already. He's a good baby although he's still getting up more often at night than I would like. Luckily, he's usually pretty good about eating and then going back to sleep.

Anyway, I hope to keep everyone posted on our whereabouts via this blog so welcome friends and family who are just starting to read it. This week will be another busy one of getting settled in and getting ready to join my family at the beach for a week. John, Norm and I fly to North Carolina next Saturday for the annual family reunion at Oak Island, NC. We'll be in a house with my parents, Cat and her husband and 3 and 5 year-old, John and his wife and 3 year old and 9 month old triplets. Yes, we'll have 8 children under 5 years old. Ought to be crazy, but fun! Can't wait!

Anyway, here are two video clips I took yesterday. The first is John with his Big Brother t-shirt Kristin and Chris sent him. The other is Norm on the bed "talking."

Hope you all are doing well! Hope to be blogging more regularly now although I only have access to a computer evenings and weekends when Brian is home with his laptop. Free time is also still very limited. Right now Brian is at the pool with John and Norm is playing on his activity mat. It's wonderful!