He absolutely insisted on getting TAPED into the box, and I was like, "Of course nawww . . . what am I thinking? Yes. Yes, I will tape you into that box," where he sat happily in the dark for a good half an hour. The dampness on the handle area is where Gus was handing him pineapple spears through the hole.
It has been a crazy week. I've been blogging less the past couple of months, in order to focus on the remodel of the new house and work on a couple partially completed writing projects that have been in the works for . . . years. And I was making a-bit-but-not-a-ton of progress on them, because packing/moving and remodeling decision-making/shopping is a gas. It expands to fill its container. Then, just when we were down to crunch time on the move, I was offered the chance to pitch a completely different book, that I had ALSO been meaning to write, but the completion level on that one was: Have-title-and-some-thoughts.
Great news, right?! Right. Very exciting. But the requested date for the proposal was March 1st. So, everything else came to a screeching halt while I hammered out an introduction, biography, annotated table of contents, sales pitch, and a 6,000 word sample chapter that was supposed to be 2,000 words. If it hadn't been leap year, I wouldn't have made it. But it IS Leap Year. So I DID make it.
The acquisitions editor accepted it with no revisions <phew>, and is going to advocate for it next week. So now we wait and see. With that out of the way, I was able to focus on packing and prep for the last couple of days, and the kids and the husband and the parents have all been hard at work. So, I think we're pretty well prepared. #famouslastwords
Speaking of Leap Year . . . if you're looking for a cheesy romcom perfect for Leap Year and/or St. Patrick's Day . . . the movie Leap Year is on Netflix now. I recommended it in my roundup of Irish movies last year, but last year it wasn't on Netflix, but now it is.
Also on Netflix: Groundhog Day and Pee-wee's Big Adventure! The latter we watched as our family movie night on Sunday and the kids L O V E D. Gus asked me, "Mom, do people think it's the best movie ever?" Um, probably? YOU seem to.
It holds up surprisingly well. Probably because the effects are meant to look cheesy to begin with. And Pee-wee's get-up hardly looks funny to today's eyes. It's like he was the original hipster in that fitted high-water suit.
The other big project of the week was food prep. I have been concerned about my ability to feed us in the new house, more on that below, and I got it into my head that what I needed to do was just do ALL the cooking now for the six weeks until our kitchen will be done. The husband thought perhaps that was not a reasonable goal.
But once I have thought of something, I pretty much have to do it. So, I compromised and just did the cooking for a month.
I made 31 freezer to crockpot meals with recipes from Kelly at New Leaf Wellness. She is amazing and put all the recipes plus a shopping list into a free PDF. So cool. I'm very excited about it. I've done some meal prep-and-freeze before babies are born, but never on a scale like this.
It took me pretty much an entire day, with breaks for feeding and putting kids down to bed, but I'm hoping it will really come in handy as I'm trying to do projects at the new house.
Okay . . . back to the move. This is happening.
Movers are coming today to move the furniture. We have already moved almost all the boxes ourselves, one load at a time in the big van.
Best comment on this photo on Instagram goes to Shannon of everyone's favorite chewable rosaries, who noted: "Contents may setting during shipping." Probably not, knowing these guys.
Gramblewood is NOT finished. But we knew it wouldn't be.
What it has: New plumbing and electric, and, for the FIRST time, air conditioning, wifi (I hope. We haven't actually tried it yet), and outlets in the bathrooms (so novel). The new floor plan is in upstairs. Walls are moved, new bathrooms are installed, master bedroom ceiling is vaulted, walls are patched, most of the tile is done.
What it doesn't have: A kitchen, any doors or flooring upstairs, paint, any first floor renovations beyond plumbing/electric/HVAC.
How we're going to handle the above: My dad has spent the last couple of days setting up a makeshift kitchen for me in a little front room of the garage. I'll have laundry, a sink, two refrigerators, a cook top, a crock pot, and even some shelving and a counter top. It's much less of a kitchen than I have now, or will have in the future, but it's MUCH more than I was planning on having until my dad got ahold of the project. I have inherited my overdoing from him.
We are moving into the first floor while they finish the second floor. There are four bedrooms on the first floor, which will eventually become our TV room, playroom, school room, and guest room. But for now, they'll be the girls' room, boys' room, schoolroom/playroom/living room, and master bedroom. Once the second floor is done, we'll move up there while they work on the first floor.
Most of our stuff is going to stay in boxes in the garage until there's a place in which to unpack it.
It's not ideal in some respects, I know. But I'm actually looking forward to being there. There are a few projects that we are doing ourselves, like the painting and wall paper and furniture putting-together, and it will be easier to tackle that stuff from within.
Well. The practical part of me is looking forward to being there. The other part of me is wandering our current house, wistfully running my hand along the wall, staring off just past the camera, thinking of all the good times we had here.
Seriously. Good. Times.
And it's orange blossom week in the back yard, which makes it even harder to imagine not living here. I have loved this house. I'm not sure I ever would have wanted to move if it weren't for Jack's school situation.
I'm not a particularly sentimental person. Just ask my poor kids, who have learned not to ask me where something should go, because 90% of the time, I say, "in the trash." I think I was going to be able to leave just fine, but then Mary Jane was born IN OUR BATHTUB. And now I'm like, "How can I just move away from the most important bathtub in human history?" (Who gets that reference? Anyone?)
So, step one was the obligatory day-before-we-move in-the-bathtub-where-you-were-born photo-shoot:
And step two is this sweet bracelet, that a reader named Ginny sent me, so that I can always remember this exact spot in the world:
It has the latitude and longitude coordinates of the house, and on the inside, it has Mary Jane's name engraved. I plan to pass it along to Mary Jane when she grows up, but until then, probably she won't mind if I wear it. :)
Anyway, I really love it, and it's helping me detach.
I know you must also have a spot in the world that you want to carry with you, be it the home where your kids were born, or the spot where your husband proposed, or where you grew up, so I was really excited when Ginny offered to let one of you choose something from her shop as well. She makes all sorts of beautiful, personalized jewelry.
One winner will get a $60 gift certificate to spend in the store. To win, just leave a comment on this post telling us what's the most important spot in the world to you. I'll announce the winner sometime next week, once the computer situation is sorted out at the new house.
Wish me luck! See you on the other side.