Moved: Day 2

Things I accomplished today:
1. Oil change for the car which has had many, many miles put on it due to move related back and forths between Iowa and Minnesota.

2. Eyebrow waxing for two eyebrows that were not quite at a crisis level of grown out but getting close. They look very well groomed and- best part- I found a place that did them for free as part of a promotion for new residents (welcome to our state…please don’t look like a slob)

3. Got a PO Box set-up as we’ll be in four different locations in the next two months. I’ll be darned if I lose any of my magazines in the transition.

4. Went into work for a staff meeting and the start of introductions. Other than parking in the wrong garage and a wee bit of…well…underwhelment (that is totally a word) at the size of my new office, it went well. The atmosphere seems very, very different than old job. That is just an observation at this point and not a value judgement. We’ll see if it is a good or bad different in the next few months.

5. Played on the semi-gross hotel floor with M, building a castle out of clay. I’ve never been less concerned with clay getting in the carpet than I am here…this is not the cleanest place ever. Between that and the fire alarms going off, which totally freaked Miles out, I will be glad to move to new digs tomorrow.

6. Got a little teary eyed about missing Mr. Monkey, the baby and my best buddy E.

7. Foolishly allowed the boy to fall asleep in my bed, so now I am typing this from the edge of a king sized bed while he is in full starfish mode in the middle. He is also snoring and keeps scooting close to me every time I move away. I love him but I am not a cuddly sleeper. He may get airlifted to the couch before the night is through.

It was a good second day. I have tomorrow to get some more stuff done and then the first full day of new job on Thursday. Here’s hoping I find the right parking garage this time.

Moved: Day 1

My son is snuggled up next to me, huddled under the thick white duvet cover of the hotel bed (the room temperature is in the 60s. I love an ice cold hotel room for sleeping). We are watching American Ninja Warrior and in the corner of the TV screen is a graphic showing the current severe thunderstorm warning in the area. There are five counties under warning and it occurs to me that I don’t know if I am in one them.

Today has been full of little moments that make it clear to me that I’m new in town. I don’t know what county I’m in, I don’t know which radio stations I should program in to my car radio, I need directions to get anywhere…mostly, though, I just feel kind of anonymous. There is virtually no chance I’ll run into anyone I know because I don’t really know anyone here. That changes tomorrow when I meet my new colleagues at the new job but I do wonder how long it will take to meet my first friend.

Tomorrow M. goes to a day camp and I spend my first few hours at work. I’m looking forward to seeing my office for the first time and figuring out where to park and starting the long process of getting up to speed in a job for which I’ll have a pretty steep learning curve.

I don’t live in Iowa anymore. I don’t feel like I really live here yet. Give it time, self, give it time.

On Leaving

I have four more full days at my job. I’ve been working here for three and a half years and have probably never been more challenged in a job than this one. Those challenges have been both good and bad; the highs in the job are very high, the lows are very, very low. I am mostly excited to be leaving, though sad to leave behind people I consider friends and faces that I look forward to seeing every morning.

There is a going away party for me on Monday morning and I am already squirmy feeling about it. I hate goodbyes and being the center of attention for something like this. I would prefer just to quietly sneak out the back door on my last day and pretend it isn’t happening. I also know that, in truth, there are some people who will be sad to see me go and will be coming to say goodbye but there will also be some people who are just there for the snacks. I’ve been the boss for 35 people and I am sane enough to realize that there may even be those who are happy to see me go.

I feel like I haven’t really started processing the fact that soon I’ll be saying goodbye to my best friend and to the neighborhood I love so much. I was filling out paperwork for M’s new school and had a bit of an “oh, shit, this is real” moment when it came time to fill out who is emergency contact would be…I have no idea. Here we have friends that are like family and there we don’t have anyone yet.

I’m worried that I’m in for some lonely months.

A Plan, Coming Together

Things that we have figured out regarding our upcoming move to a new state:
– When I am leaving
– When the kids are leaving
– When Mr. Monkey is leaving (and, yes, sadly these are all different dates).
– where M. is going to go for first grade
– Where I will live until the end of the month and where we will live as a family for the bulk of September (yes, these are to different places).

Things we are *pretty sure* we have figured out but that require additional paperwork and/or money to finalize:
– where we will live after Sept. 25
– how all our stuff will get to the new state and where it will be stored for a month or so before we are ready for it
– where the heck to send our mail (surprisingly complicated when you’ll be living in four different places over the course of about a month or so)

Things that still have to get done:
– A LOT of mortgage paperwork*
– selling a few pieces of furniture
– changing addresses with a million places
– canceling utilities
– surviving my last five days of work while fighting the start of a head cold
– packing up about 60% of the house

I just keep trying to take things one step at a time but it is hard. I just want to fast forward to October, when we will hopefully be starting to feel settled and able to get into the swing of a new life in a place we have high hopes for.

* This will have to be a post someday, a proper wrap up to my series on the whole foreclosure thing.

The Best Bad Option?

In 22 days I start my new job in a new state. As of right this second, I don’t know where I will be sleeping the night after I start my new job. Or the night after that. Or the one after that (and repeat for about 35 days or so).

So. That’s really freaking stressing me out.

I mentioned in my last post that we had an accepted offer on a house but due to reasons that fell through. We found another house and put in an offer and things look good for that to go through so I called my mortgage person and discovered that she was no longer employed at the mortgage company, as of yesterday. I was transferred to her boss who said he would take over our file and that everything was fine…until he called back and said he wasn’t authorized to work in our new state so he transferred me to someone else. The someone else was both totally bitchy and also seemed to know nothing about our situation (which is maybe a little bit more complicated than usual).

After freaking out to Mr. Monkey, I called a few other mortgage lenders and discovered that there is a 50/50 split on whether we can make our original closing date target of Sept. 10th or if we will have to go for Sept. 25th. We are working under the assumption that it will be the later date so now we need to figure out what to do in terms of where to live and what to do for school for the kid. The problem is that all of our options basically suck:

1. Everyone moves to new city when I start my job and we put our stuff in storage and camp out at an extended stay hotel for over a month. Four of us, in a hotel room, for over a month. While I am trying to learn a new job and work on my grad school research. But it keeps us together and, hopefully, let’s M. start 1st grade in his new school on time.

2. Extend the lease on our current house for a month and Mr. Monkey and the kids stay here, I go to a cheapie motel by myself. I miss the kids, he never gets a break from the kids and M. starts school here and then has to switch to a new school three weeks into the school year. But, no hotel and I can work on school stuff at night and come home for the weekends.

3. We split the kids, Mr. Monkey stays here with the girl for another month and M. and I camp out at the hotel together so he can start school on time. The downside is that we have to figure out some kind of childcare situation with him for after school and half our family is missing.

And…that’s it. I don’t see a fourth option, barring a surprise lottery win that allows us to buy the house with cash tomorrow, which seems unlikely.

I am going to require some more medicinal ice cream as I try to figure out our best bad option.

Small Updates on Big Things

1. Grad School: This fall I will start my last semester of coursework before I start focusing all my attention on writing my dissertation. I’ve actually begun collecting data for my capstone project which will roll into my dissertation. I’m super interested in my research topic (a feeling that I very much hope will continue through the long slog that dissertation writing can be) so I am looking forward to seeing how this capstone project comes together. My committee meets next week to approve my progress so far, which will be another good milestone to hit.

2. The job: I quit my job last week. I don’t talk much about work here but I’ve been in the same job for the last 3.5 years and it has been a place where the highs of the job were very high and the lows were very low. I’ve never worked harder in my life than I have here. I’ve made some great friends who I will miss but, man oh man, it is time for a change. Which leads to #3…

3. We’re moving. Next month. I have a new job in a new state and I am both very excited and very sad about it. We are moving to a place where we’ve wanted to be for the last couple of years, a place where we plan to put down roots, but we’ll be leaving my best friend and the best neighborhood ever. I am 100% sure I will have some tears when we turn off the lights here.

4. The new house: We don’t 100% have a new house yet (yes, I find that stressful). We put in an offer on a cute 1950’s ranch style house with a yard that is ridiculously large. Our offer has been accepted but it doesn’t feel real yet and probably won’t until we get to the close and have the keys in our hands.

5. The kids: They continue to be funny and weird and delightful, when they aren’t being contrary, fractious, and messy. Seeing how they adjust to the move will be interesting.

How to Do A Toddler’s Hair in 37 Easy* Steps

* Um, “easy”.

1. Notice that E.’s hair, which was washed and put in twists a few days ago is starting to look a little fuzzy.

bath (fuzz head, with bonus forehead bruise)

2. Check her head and notice that there appear to be gravel in her hair. Apparently the plastic hard hat she has been wearing for digging the ever growing hole in the backyard isn’t helping keep her from dumping shovelfuls of dirt on her own head.


3. Casually, so as to not spook her or to let her know my intentions, come up behind her and attempt to remove the rubber band on one of her twenty twists. Very gently tug rubber band…

4. Stand back as E. shakes her head back and forth while shouting “No! No pretty hair!”

5. Distract her with a Lego guy. Use ninja skills to get rubber band out.

6. Catch her as she tries to escape out the backdoor.

7. Repeat steps 3-6.

8. Turn TV on to the very rarely used Disney Jr channel, watch as E emerges from hiding under the table, drawn in by the sounds of Doc McStuffins.

9. Get her to sit on my lap to watch the show. Use ninja skills to get rubber band out.

10. Repeat steps 4-9

11. Threaten to turn off TV unless she lets me take rubber bands out.

12. Turn off TV

13. Comfort crying toddler.

14. Turn on TV, remind her to sit still. Ninja skills, etc.

15. Remove ten rubber bands as she gets absorbed in show. Confirm suspicion that this isn’t hurting her, just annoying her as she doesn’t want to have to stop playing.

16. Ask her is she wants a bath. Watch as she runs toward the tub so fast that almost crashes into the bathroom door. Girlfriend loves the tubby time.

17. Gather supplies: her special shampoos, hair pick, shea butter cream for after bath, rat tail comb to get out tangles.

18. Deposit child in tub with an assortment of toys. Use ninja skills to get final few rubber bands out.

19. Watch as child uses the big red cup to pour water on her own face. Use cup to pour water on her hair, endure screaming.

20. Apply and later shampoo.

21. Tell child to lay back in tub for a rinse.

22. Tell child to sit down in the tub

23. Tell child to SIT DOWN IN THE TUB

24. Watch child try to steal the big red cup so it can’t be used to rinse hair. Steal it back. Tell her to lay back so no shampoo gets in her eyes.


26. Give up on the getting her to lay down in the tub, dump water on her head to rinse shampoo.

27. Sigh as the second I am done rinsing her hair (amidst fierce protests) she does this:

BeFunky_bath girl.jpg You’re killing me, smalls.

28. Put a ridiculous amount of conditioner in my hands. Rub it through her hair until her hair is practically white with it.

29. Pick, pick, pick.

30. Fail to notice that child has refilled big red cup. Get up to dry off pants and floor.

31. Pick, comb, pick, comb.

32. Dodge big red cup as she dumps water over her head as she cheerfully hollers “I swimming!”

33. Removed pruned child from tub, swaddle in towel. Think she is the cutest thing:

BeFunky_bath towel.jpg

34. Let her admire her springy curls


35. Contemplate rebraiding her hair. Decide I don’t want to spend the next 40 minutes on it.

36. Feeling tired, deposit child in bed.

37. Check on her and discover getting her hair done must be exhausting for both of us:BsyU8jZCAAA70Gn (Completely sound asleep)

Total time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.