If you are looking for my annual update you can click here and the interwebs will magically deliver you to that page.
Today, the day I’m writing this, we are halfway done with our packing. Our long-term storage crew came and went last Tuesday (the 5th). Our unaccompanied baggage crew, the small shipment that, in theory, we receive in advance of our household goods, came and went Wednesday. And yesterday, Thursday the 7th, our household goods crew arrived. And they’ll arrive today, (this is Friday), possibly Saturday, Monday (the day this is actually posting) and they’ll drive away Tuesday.
Here is our garage prepped for the long-term storage crew:Out of sheer necessity I cancelled our yard sale… Parker was disappointed and set up his own.The heartbreaking moment when we had to paint over Anna’s stripe. My mom and I got so much joy out of turning that room into the nursery for a baby we weren’t even 100% sure would be ours. It was just under two years ago that we revealed this nursery and Anna’s name. (See this link.) And I tasked Hayden and Hannah to take care of this since I just couldn’t stomach it… this was after the first coat.
As we prepare for this move I’m painfully aware that this is (probably) the last time that this crib will be a crib. It’ll be converted into the “college” version of the crib-to-college bed that we bought while pregnant with Hayden. (We didn’t know what his gender was so we had to go with a gender neutral theme.)
There is something both saddening and comforting comparing our December and January calendars. I’d say there’s a good chance few people outside of the military world know what it’s like to have such a clean slate every few years. (I love color-coding!)Another sentimental moment: We bought this “things that go” themed shower curtain when we moved into our first Army house. It was our first house with more than one bathroom and the boys had their own. I’ve used it in every house because we’ve had at least one “little boy” ever since. I think it’s about time to retire this and get a more grown-up-ish one. (Especially if the bathroom they share is the “guest” bathroom as well, which we are hoping it will be. The housing we really want on Kelley Barracks is set up that way, anyway.)After spending 3 hours deep cleaning the boys’ bathroom I closed it to further use, threatened the boys, and ensured they didn’t “forget” by taping the toilet and faucets.
It is now the staging area for the things that we don’t want the packers to touch: luggage, school stuff, clothes, etc. My current view:
I threw my packers off a bit: I put stickers on the sides of the boxes to color coordinate per room and I can tell they would have preferred I not do that. I think it looks, to them, like the boxes have been inventoried and they’re not nearly at that point. It may require them to be a little more meticulous to make sure each box is, in fact, inventoried, but from my perspective, that is a good thing.
Recently I was speaking with someone about the feeling that floods over a military wife when the trucks finally leave. What’s done is done. There’s no more that I can do to make things easier, better, more organized. All that is left is to clean and clear housing and the worst part of the whole thing, say our see-ya-laters. I both long-for and dread that feeling.
PCSing with a toddler underfoot is quite easy when you have a list of people who are asking to take her for the day! She’s an extrovert and Anna has enjoyed hanging out with several families. Yesterday she spent her first day at the hourly care (Meadows) and, while she was a bit timid at drop-off, she had a great time! I was comforted that some of her Sunday/Thursday church teachers were there.
Matt has still has school responsibilities this week. Yesterday, when the movers arrived an hour before I expected, I had my first (and hopefully only) true panic moment. I had spent hours prepping the downstairs and let the boys prep their rooms. Do NOT. I repeat. Do NOT expect teenage boys to prepare their rooms for a move, especially if they share a room with a brother… because everything on the floor belongs to the OTHER BROTHER.
I may have threatened to throw some devices in the toilet if I didn’t see a quick turnaround in helpfulness.
My first mild-panic moment was when I had to close-up my Instant Pot. Upon the advice of many friends I decided to keep it with me and mail it to myself just before we move. This is a great compromise and, as long as our HHGs aren’t over weight, I’ll be reimbursed for the cost of shipping.
Parker is having a pretty difficult time with this move. He’s been sleeping on our floor most nights and, when he couldn’t watch a movie that the teens were watching, he lost it. Actually said, “This is just a really bad time for me because we’re moving, all my stuff is gone, and my brothers are going to go to college soon.” Baby boy! Bless! I never expected him to be the most emotional one of the crew. And it truly breaks my heart that all of this is on his shoulders. The light spot in each day for him is when we get Anna back from wherever she’s been. And he is beyond excited to visit with his cousin, Mason! They are so precious together.
It’s 6:49 am and I honestly can’t remember if the packers are arriving at 7 or 8… and I have a number of teens asleep on the couches in the living room so I’d better stop writing and start poking bears.
Added Sunday, 10 Dec: Funny-not-funny: Earlier this week I shared on Facebook that they threatened to pack my coffee maker. I’m already keeping my ginormous Instant Pot behind and don’t want to travel with the coffee maker as well. The kitchen packer told me she could leave me a box and paper, and jot down “PPO” on the outside once I packed it up on Tuesday. I was perfectly happy to do that. She arrived yesterday and the first thing she told me was that her boss nixed that idea. That she had to pack it that day or it had to go with me. Urg. Matt and I were recently given hefty gift cards for Starbucks (stay with me… I’m going somewhere with this). Mine came from my dad, our homeschool co-op, and friends. Matt’s came from his cohort. We hit five different Starbucks locations and ultimately walked away VERY happy. We bought two thermoses, a ceramic mug, and for the love of all coffee, a personal press! (And a pound of their Holiday Blend that they ground for us since our grinder got packed!) Thank you, all of those who gave toward our Starbucks “appreciation” (not addiction)!! This morning (Sunday) I have already made four cups of coffee for various family members and it is absolutely delightful!
Another funny: Yesterday our packers weren’t hungry when I had a driver available to go grab lunch for them. I needed to use up some of my freezer items so I decided to throw together chicken and dumplings. All was going well until I realized I had set my extra cans of cream of chicken and celery soups where the packers would pack it. (OOPS!) I frantically sent out texts and FB messages asking my closest neighbors if they had any while the Instant Pot was on sauté mode, thawing 2 cups of frozen chicken broth. No one who was home had cream of chicken or celery but one had cream of mushroom. Turns out, using that as a base for chicken and dumplings is AMAZING!! I didn’t have a long spoon to stir with so I stirred with my good knife (which I had remembered to set aside). This impromptu meal turned out so good! I’m so thankful I heeded the advice to keep the IP with me.
One last funny: Last night I wanted a cup of OptaVia* hot chocolate but the only microwavable mug was in the dishwasher being washed. I didn’t have a pot to heat water on the stove, but I did have my Instant Pot! I poured 10 ounces of water in, set it to sauté, and in a few minutes I had water hot enough to make my hot chocolate! It’s the “jack of all trades” appliance!
Oh! Before I go, a quick shout out to Matt for passing his Marriage and Family Therapy National Exam. It’s the first step toward licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. (Similar to the bar exam for lawyers.) He graduates this Friday and next Friday evening and we drive away Saturday morning. This week is going to be one to remember. (Yes, he has two graduation ceremonies. One at the Family Life Training Center here on Fort Hood and the other one at the Bell County Expo Center for Texas A&M University – Central Texas.)
* That is for my coach.