It is now safe to say that we are officially done moving. We made it through 11 states, through sunshine, rain and snow
in an SUV packed full clothes, toys, kids and a dog, to new life in a new city far, far away. We have a house that is 99% put together with only a few little things waiting to be hung on walls, put away, or bought. We are settling into our new community, beginning to meet people and find our way about town without the narration of GPS. And we are even beginning to use the word “home.”
Now that we’re finally able to call whirlwind February “done,” I’ve been thinking about the good and bad of our epic moving experience, which, in the end, wasn’t that bad after all. We got to see family, friends, and lots of new sights along the way. We stopped for old-time’s sake for a snow romp overlooking one of our past neighborhoods:
(which was just as much for nostalgia as for some much needed doggie exercise.)
We discovered the novelty of hotel hair dryers.
And that it is, indeed, possible to cloth diaper on a 12 day cross-country trip.
(Her sticky-out tongue cracks me up, and, yes, on this trip I learned a lot about changing diapers creatively in very cramped conditions and unusual places.)
We were reminded of what a good dog our Pip is, even if he has a few street-dog-turned-rescue quirks.
He put up very well with endless car rides squashed between suitcases, a metal bin full of cloth diapers, and my pumping bag. He somehow understood that all those nights he joined us in hotel rooms were against the rules and managed keep quiet so as to avoid detection. And he even got along with Pogo, my mom’s dog (who used to be ours back in the day and who rarely gets along with other dogs).
We learned to truly appreciate the magic of hotel pools, especially ones that closely resemble small water parks.And finally understand why nearly every hotel has a pool, which has nothing to do with exercise for grown ups and a lot to do with maintaining sanity for parents (at least as we see it).
We were especially grateful for the amazing pool at the hotel we stayed in for two nights after arriving in our new city. On move-out day, we had the luxury of many friends helping to keep Nora entertained; on move-in day, we were on our own. There was more than one tough moment between not a lot for her to do, two busy parents, and the fact that the front door had to stay open and everything was freezing. Thank goodness for the pool. All day we kept reminding Nora that she just had to get through the day and that after everything was moved in, we were going to go swimming. There were still a few tears, but the anticipation helped and all was forgotten when she finally put on her bathing suit.
Both girls have done remarkably well with the move and changes. Nora wows me every day with what a phenomenal big sister she continues to be. She is incredibly loving and gentle with Zara, and has been a great helper, reading to Zara and keeping her company so that Chris and I can get things done.
She is also all about giving Zara her pacifier, which I both love and hate. Though Chris and our babysitter used pacifiers with Nora, I never did and if she fussed and I was around, she just nursed. Unfortunately because of everything that needed to be done with packing and the long car trip, we introduced Zara to the pacifier, and I have continued to use it on occasion as we tried to turn our house into a home. She’s not super into it so there’s no risk of her becoming obsessed and her sweet chubby cheeks are proof that it’s not taking away from eating, but I still feel a little bad every time we use it. Now that we are officially done unpacking, I’m going to try to go back to my no pacifier ways, with the one exception being in the car seat because she just hates her car seat so, so much (and we can only listen to so much screaming before we want to cry too).
Besides helping with Zara, Nora has also been excited to help unpack and organize. I discovered that she is very handy with an Allen wrench when she completely reassembled her doll bed all by herself,
and after that she helped me build her new toy box and put together Zara’s crib (I put the pieces together and she turned all the bolts). I think I see some building and construction toys in her future.
I started back up doing work for my website and graphic design clients last night and we had some time yesterday for play and Skyping with friends. Today, Chris’ mother and step-father are arriving for a visit and then we will be starting to get back into a routine and rhythm.