The last few weeks have been nothing short of crazy. After just a little over a year here in California, we moved out of our very first home…
…and into our new one. Though it was also still within the state, a move is a move nonetheless. It’s every bit of a major emotional whirlwind, and it takes its toll on everybody.
It’s fun and exciting, don’t get me wrong. I’ve never put a house together from the ground up before, and I enjoyed the process. I was happy to pick out counter tops and tiles and carpets. I was lucky to have my cousin Bea and my friend Julia, both interior designers validate
my our choices. 😉
Seeing it all come together is a pretty awesome thing too, and I like the fact that every corner of the house has our personal touch to it.
Like most things, we got the kids involved and let them pick out the color of their room. Hopefully they will learn to sleep in it on their own soon.
They picked the theme of their bathroom too, and I was all but happy to execute.
Sam’s little fish from Art class will find a spot on the wall somewhere too.
The usual coat and storage closet on the ground floor was lobbied to be a “Cupboard under the Stairs”, in honor of Harry Potter. So it’s actually turned into a second playroom on the ground floor (and at the moment, I can’t seem to find the floor).
My husband and I have never spent so much time matching rugs to throw pillows and figuring out cabinet and storage configurations. He’s become a master at measuring and fitting things. He has a note on his iPhone that tells him the dimensions of each piece of furniture we own.
It’s a crazy, time-consuming project. Everyday after the day we closed, I would come to the house to check on the paint progress, or bring a carload of things to unload. I had to schedule the whole house filter installation, and screen for landscapers, just to name a few. And I find myself everyday, waiting for someone to deliver something.
I was also in all the home stores, both online and within the vicinity. In and out with shopping bags and receipts, and then back again to make returns. Thank goodness for the return policies. My husband is a visual person, and he has to see it in place first before he can decide if he likes it or not. I think he’s returned two TVs and several receivers already, and is about to return again this next one.
Moving is stressful on its own, what more when you throw in the kids. It’s actually more stressful because of the kids.
Sam had a lot of questions about why we had to move again, and why she had to switch schools. She became more emotionally charged than usual; not the easiest thing to deal with. When we’d see her friends from a play date, she’d give me a hard time about leaving. And she started sleeping late, waking up in the middle of the night, and waking up early. She was skipping lunch too (I suppose maximizing play time with her new friends). Clearly, she wasn’t getting enough rest and attention.
Jamie, who loves her weekly gymnastics class and couldn’t wait to leave my side, suddenly started crying when I’d drop her off and tell her teacher she wanted me. Her school teacher also called concerned, because it seemed Jamie wasn’t her usual self at school and couldn’t do anything alone. Suddenly she needed me to do everything with her, just when I didn’t have any more time to spare from trying to get the house in order.
I tried to keep their routines as normal as possible, but even though I’m sure my stress vibes were seeping through, and the kids were imploding. Their emotions were probably just about as jumbled up as I felt — except I have more body mass and fat for it to spread across for me not to self-destruct.
Getting all that done on top of the daily concerns was the hardest part of all. My list of things to do never got shorter, and there was always so much more after. The girls’ still needed breakfast and lunch for school everyday, but I couldn’t find the time to cook, or get groceries. So for a while they were eating take-out and canned goods, and I remembering feeling very unsettled about it.
Last November 21, the movers came with the big stuff, and we finally settled into the new home. We used the Thanksgiving holiday to hibernate, purchase Black Friday deals, and get 80% of the house in order.
We managed to bring out the Christmas stuff too!
And almost three weeks later here we are, in our new state of normalcy.
I noticed the girls re-adjusting again, slowly. They can find things now, and they’re re-establishing their sense of independence, and getting their bearings in this new environment. Jamie’s teachers have noted a positive improvement again at school (whew!) and Sam is a little less moody. Plus, the girls get an extra 20 minutes of much-needed sleep every morning too since we’re much nearer school.
Altogether, it’s quite the experience. Apart from pre-CANA, I recommend soon-to-be married couples to put a whole house together first too, before tying the knot. 😉 While my husband and I have moved together several times before, it was always to a place that we’d rent. There wasn’t really much feeling of permanence, or like it was our own, and so it didn’t matter as much if things didn’t match, or didn’t fit right.
This time though we know its ours, so there’s a more personal stake in making it look, feel and be the home we want it to be. I’m hoping this one will be more permanent and long-term (he took out a loan too – so we’re in debt for life!). Also, after seeing the toll it took on my kids, I don’t think I can do another big move again.
It’s a new community and even our neighbors are just moving in. Everyone is starting on a clean slate so to speak. Getting to know the neighbors is the next step in the plan. Some are in the same grade level as Sam, and it would be nice for her to walk to school and back with them every now and then.
They say it’s never too late to learn something new. In the last few months, it’s all been a whole new ball game for me. But it is what it is, and like anything in life, it’s what we make of it. Amidst all the crazy, the chaos and the mess, there’s a peaceful refreshing feeling about starting again.