It practically took an act of Congress, but we have keys to an apartment, and movers come tomorrow (in a few hours, actually - it's well past midnight, but I can't get my brain to turn off). Hopefully, said movers will be pleased to find out that a good bit of their work has been done for them. Knowing that perishables can't be stored, we transferred the contents of the pantry ourselves and will transport the fridge and freezer food in the morning. A lot of our housewares also made the move and won't have to go into storage. Kids' clothes are already hanging in their new closet, and we moved shoes and other stuff out of the master closet this afternoon, so all that is left is the hanging stuff ready to be transferred into wardrobe boxes. The irreplaceable stuff (paintings, family photos and "breakables," as Parker likes to call them) were sent off to Parnell's mom's house. After a garage sale and MULTIPLE trips to and from the apartment, our house is considerably "lighter" - and, in the process of figuring out what to take with us, we packed twenty-plus boxes for the movers. (You're welcome, Blackmon-Mooring.) Boxes, boxes, everywhere . . . lined up down the hall and along the back of the living room couch, ready to be put into the truck.
Long story short, we made the best of our interminable wait. And now the second waiting period begins - the wait to get the all-clear to return to our home. When the contractor advised us of the likely timetable for restoration (and opined that our kitchen floors and lower cabinets were going to have to come out), we briefly flirted with the idea of tackling a more ambitious home reno. We asked the contractor for an estimate (both of expense and of duration - mindful of the fact that any additional time spent out of the house would be entirely on our nickel). The contractor did not respond. Busy, I guess. And we were busy, too - busy trying to push things forward on the work that absolutely needed to get done. Long story short again: the "getting out of our house" part of getting out of our house has exhausted us, physically and emotionally. Stick a fork in us, we're done. And get us back into our house soon, please. Just replace the floors and hand us the keys.
The keys - who gets our keys? Are we actually supposed to give them to somebody? I don't know how this works. Doesn't help that we've received precious little guidance from the people who are supposed to be guiding us. Okay, enough grousing, for now at least. Moving forward, by hook or by crook.
Sooooooo . . . what to do between now and the glorious day when we get the all-clear? Here's the "Exile Bucket List" thus far:
Bake with the kids. The kids went to my mom and dad's house tonight so that we could continue packing and shuttling, packing and shuttling, wash, rinse, repeat, without the littles underfoot. While there, Connor made candy bar cookies with Nana, and he kind of dug it. (I realize that most kids dig making cookies, and cookies in general, but this is my non-sweet-eater.) Thus, he was over-the-moon-delighted when I informed him that the Star Wars and dinosaur cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma had made the moving cut.
Recycle/pin/try new recipes/blog more. Yes, this is actually one item. I am taking with me a thick stack of magazine clippings and the kids' school papers, the idea being to pin the recipes and decorating ideas to Pinterest, blog about the "kid stuff" and then recycle the paper. Oh, and I am going to actually try a lot of the recipes, and, in the process, I am going to use up a TON of duplicative spices and pantry staples. Okay, not actually, factually, a ton, but it sure seemed like a ton when we were cleaning out the spice cabinet and the bottles of vinegar in the pantry and noticing that we had a lot of containers of the same thing. You know how it goes: you buy oregano (or red wine vinegar), then you see a recipe calling for oregano (or red wine vinegar) and you can't remember if you have oregano (or red wine vinegar), so you buy some more oregano (or red wine vinegar). My challenge to myself is to return to the house with only one container of each thing. Which is, sort of, a form of recycling?
Resume reading for pleasure. Several half-read books stashed under my new bed. 'Nuff said.
Spend time with Nana, Granddad and Gigi. Okay, under normal circumstances we are eight minutes away, but now we're four minutes away. 'Nuff said again.
Walk to LG's house. Parker's friend LG lives in the gated community down the street from us. Therefore, Parker's own personal "Exile Bucket List" includes walking to LG's house - which necessarily will include WALKING THROUGH THE SECURITY GATES. We're on the guest list, so it should be a simple matter of knocking on the guard's door, right? Stay tuned for details of Parker's Big Adventure.
Explore a different part of town. Okay, so we're only FOUR MILES TO THE SOUTH. And we have lived in this 'hood before, prior to Connor's arrival. But there are still some opportunities for exploration. Our go-to place for sushi will change. I may (choke!) forgo my beloved Montgomery Plaza Super Target for awhile and do my grocery shopping at the newish Kroger across from the TCU campus (which, come to think of it, has a pretty awesome sushi chef). Et cetera and so on.
Swim in September! The Ridglea Country Club pool is closed for the season - but the pool at our complex is still open for business. And, currently, mid-afternoon temperatures are hovering in the 107 degree range, so I'm thinking that we'll continue to swim for awhile. Makes up, somewhat, for the kids' displacement.
Just hang out as a family. We took our favorite board games with us. Trying to remember the last time I played a board game with the kids and gave them my full attention. I think it was while we were on vacation, which makes sense, because Lake McGlinchey sprang into being the day after we returned, and C and P have had two VERY distracted parents since then. Looking forward to a return to some good old-fashioned Cleaver Family togetherness. Also, I predict that the kids will occasionally get stir-crazy in their new smaller digs, so in the interest of not annoying our neighbors (did I mention that we put them in the bedroom that ISN'T on a party wall?), I am planning some fun family outings for the weekends.
Okay, it's close to 3 am. Exhausted spouse is snoring, and I think I'd like to join him. It's going to be our last night in this room for awhile.