Saturday, September 22, 2012

Settling In

Gah. I have so much to write about, but where to begin?  I still have the shit show that was our move in drafts. It's too God damn long, because it was that much of a show.  We've been here for 4+ weeks, pretty soon we'll have been here for as long as we knew we were coming here. Not that that is saying much.  We're settling in, one box at a time. For the love, the boxes are never ending. We are getting there though.

There are so many things I heart about this place.

Our backyard is beautiful; it's the perfect size. It's big enough to be able to hang out and play but small enough where it is manageable. Sure, I wouldn't hate on a fence, but what can you do? We have a great deck, with built in benches and a boat sandbox turn planter that I am in love with. Oh, and the weather here? It's.GLORIOUS. Sure, at times I may or may not be freezing - but I have yet to give into these strange, foriegn feelings.  I keep those windows open and put the kids in layers. It's been a year since we've been able to keep the windows open and I'm not ready to give in. 

Throughout the house there are tiny little doors, that for the most part, don't open. But I love them just the same.  In the kitchen we have a non-working, built-in old school fridge. It's perfect for storage and just so freaking neat. And the details like the lighting fixtures, brick fireplaceS, and layout (sometimes) make up for the fact that said fireplace(s) don't work (I KNOW) and there isn't nearly enough light at night. But natural light? During the day, there is no shortage of light.  Most walls are 90% windows. It's becoming, (slowly but surely) our (new) home.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Time travel, in real(ish) time

Ok. I'm ready to start talking about how my BABY is in Kindergarten. See also: holy.shit.
How did we go from that to this?

Here's what happened: we lived in the Northeast and because of the kid's birthday (end of September), she was in this weird purgatory where we could choose go to enroll her into Kindergarten for 2012 or 2013. The truth is: when we talked about it, we were always planning on a 2012 enrollment. Why? She's ready.  She's been ready.  More than being smart (and she's smart) she's (just about) the tallest kid it any circle she is in, she gravitates to the older kids, and always thrives with the oldest cats.Why would we hold her back? {insert argument for "redshirting" here. And then my favorite, nobody eeevvver regrets holding a child back.}

We moved to St. Louis and due to her birthday, the only choice was a 2013 enrollment.  We talked about sending her to private Kindergarten (spending money for cutting & the alphabet = crazy.town) because we knew we'd (eventually) be going back to the Northeast. Ultimately, all the reasons "nobody eeeever regrets holding a child back" are valid. She'd be the oldest, hopefully a bit more mature, and with more time - a bit ahead of the game when it comes to academics.

Who am I kidding? Forget the report card. I was thinking with more year, maybe she'd be less susceptible to peer pressures (pipe dream). I'm sure all the reasons that have to do with keeping a kid back, academically, have merit - but I wanted to hold her back to give her a year to grow (some confidence. Chutzpah. Balls. whatever).  She tends to be a people pleaser, more of a follower than a leader.  I know she's only four years old, but I believe her personality will have a red thread in it now - that will carry on throughout her life. Why not hold her back to give her more time? 

The bottom line: she's ready. I'm not ready. I can't hold her back because I'm nervous her 14 year old self will get sucked into an after school special with mean older girls and peer pressures that if only she was 1 year older she would have been able to handle {insert spiral of convoluted story that only I follow anyway}.

I was talking a friend about the move, before we left. She asked how I was doing, I said "fine, but freaking out..." and then explained the whole birthday cut off situation and how in addition to dealing with moving in 5 weeks, a few days after we arrive - the kid starts Kindergarten. I told her how I was freaking out, but I was getting better.  I laid out the whole birthday cut offs, St. Louis vs. Cleveland, etc, etc. I explained how I envisioned her preteen years and how I was being unreasonable and needed to relax. Her response?

"Oh.my.God. You're telling me her WHOLE life has changed, by this move? She's lost an entire year of her life! It's as if she had a personal day light savings time. Her life has been forever altered!"

To which I promptly had a silent panic attack. 


:: fast forward ::

A few days after we moved, I registered her for Kindergarten. The Friday before school began (Monday). Nothing says prepared like the day before school starts, signing your kid up for school. The thing of it was, while we were in Cleveland a few days prior to the day I registered, you have to make an appointment and needed specific paperwork to register. Friday was the soonest I could get in.

While I think the final count was 8 pieces of documentation, that ranged from proof of birth to proof of residency - I made sure I didn't waste any time. I brought every single piece of identifying paperwork I have. Passports, insurance, school loan paperwork, Baptism records, marriage certificate, car titles, warranties, etc - if I have it, it was with me. 
Kindergarten registration was not going to get the best of me.

I walked in, fighting back tears (as you do), and got the job done.  Before the tears began though, as I walked in with my accordion folder, I was made.

"First child to go to Kindergarten, huh?"

I don't know what gave it away. The foot-wide folder of documentation, the fear in my heart, or the near tear eyes.

My first child is in Kindergarten. And not only is she ready, she's thriving. My little girl is blowing cutting and the alphabet out of the water. Me? I'm taking it one day at a time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The good times, we had them.

Before I go down the dark & twisty road of all the things that couldn’t go right with our move, let’s go light & fun? Let's talk highlights. There were some.

Did I want to travel 1,196 miles in a collective 10 days, move 568 miles away from the house home we were just settling into? No. But we did and we did – and so it is. Along the way, we had some seriously good times.
  1. Finale tour of play dates.
    There were a few, but one stands out. While it was painful at times, to hear my girl giggle with her little buddies, it was good to see her with the friends she has formed in St. Louis. I wish I could say they would be forever friends, but I know they will become but a memory of each other. I remember sitting in my office while my girl laughed, uncontrollably, with her best little buddy. Sure, I teared up like a sucka, moving is not for the weak, but my girl’s happiness is what I try will remember the most. Let’s not talk about when she left her best buds house, for the last time. She ran back to give her one last hug and I promptly melted as my heart broke. Wait. Positive times, right. Right. Positive.

  2. Cardinal’s game
    For real, is there anything better than American's favorite past time? And I don't mean watching reality television. The kid loved it, and not just because she got to eat popcorn for dinner.
  3. The Lion King Run.
    Do not walk, run & bring your a kid to a live show. It was breathtaking. I took the kid to her first live performance and to say it was amazing, is an understatement.
  4. A last hurrah at the St. Louis Zoo
    For years whenever we would go to the zoo... ok fine - we only experienced it for one year - cause, hello. We only lived there one year. Anywaaaay... whenever we go we always get side tracked due to construction. They have been building a sea lion exhibit. Apparently it was going to be amazing. Guess what? It was. An intense tube you walk through while sea lions swim all around you. It's a do not miss, and we didn't miss it. We went to the St. Louis Zoo one last time.
  5. While boxes everywhere are mayhem, they supply an endless canvas.
  6. Hotel living.
    This supplies the kid with happiness, pools for night swimming, and a place to meet back at after a day of adventures. 
  7. Indianapolis Zoo.
    A fun half time show. We stopped half way in-between the home we were leaving and the one we were going to. While driving 10-12 hours straight might sound like fun to most, we figured a break in the middle would be good for all.
  8. Did you know that The Christmas Story movie filmed in Cleveland? They did, the house is still here, and they offer tours. We are going.
  9. Yes, not having a TV or Internet for over a week hurt my addicted heart. We had good times. We got puppet shows and family games. Holler.
  10. More on this later, but moving here, means Kindergarten for her.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NumbErs - the E is for exhausted

How do I begin to tell you where we've been and what we've been up to? I'm big on numbers, so lets let the statistics speak for itself.
  • The time from when we found out the move was happening to physically being in Cleveland: 37 days. 
  • This includes a weekend trip visiting the Cleve (for the 1st time, one trip driving "straight" for 12 hours): 4 days.
  • The work weeks (within those 37 days = 5 weeks+) the ball & chain was working in Cleveland: 2 weeks.
  • The days (within those 37 days) I was away for work in Boston: 4 days - including my baby's birthday, the first time I was ever away from her.
  • If you are following the math, of the 37 days, at least one of us were not home for a collective: 20 days.
  • The amount of time the movers aggravated me, 17 days - and counting.
  • The weekend we moved, we drove in a car with: 3 adults, 1 dog and 2 children. 
  • We traveled 585 miles in 2 days, across 4 states.
  • The number of gigantic (like more than 4 stories) crosses we passed: 2. 
  • We had 2 moving trucks, 1 that was lost for a few days. DAYS.
  • 10 days after we moved, we traveled to the Northeast for 6 days. 
  • During those 6 days, we drove 611 miles, across 4 states (never mind flying 400+ miles each way).
  • Patience and understanding levels are at a solid: 0.
More, later.
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