So it turns out that packing for a big move and having Christmas festivities and doing all the things you meant to do earlier and trying to find somewhere to live in a faraway place does not result in time for blogging. Go figure! So, here are some highlights of the past two weeks:
Lil tries mightily to find a place to stay in OH. She is first dismayed and then completely annoyed by apartment manager after landlord after apartment agent who seems totally unwilling and ultimately unable to rent to someone that is not right there in front of them because she happens to live in another state and doesn't have money to go flying back and forth to Ohio just because "we don't usually do it that way." Listen, people, I am trying to give you money. I am trying to fill one of your innumerable vacancies in the midst of a recession AND in the middle of winter when no one else is moving here. I am trying to rent an apartment, for crying out loud, not marry your son or bear your children or fix your roof! As a result of all this inexplicable reluctance, it takes Lil much longer than she thought it would to find somewhere, though at present we have sent an application off for a reasonably priced, centrally located 1200 square foot condo with utilities and garage space included (huzzah!), so hopefully this problem will be solved soon (fingers crossed!).
After getting quotes from moving companies, we decide to do it ourselves instead. So we're U-hauling once again at the end of January with a move-in date of Jan 25th (we hope!). The husband will drive the truck, and Lil will follow with the boys in the Pilot. We are planning on taking our time, largely because the boys' tolerance of the car with no one to run interference is going to be limited, to say nothing of Lil's patience with the griping!
Lil and the husband decide to take the path of least resistance for Christmas and throw all the kids' gifts into gift bags instead of wrapping anything. The kids don't notice! Hooray!
The husband tells his staff he is leaving and warns his coordinators that more long term projects will be coming their way as he prepares for his last day, January 20th. He takes both the Friday before and the Monday after Christmas off for the first time ever, and Lil is both incredulous and happy!
We get Christmas cards out for the first time in a few years, though they left late--apologies to everyone who doesn't get them until after New Year's!
The packing begins! We start with the easy, the books, but Lil decides to be as ruthless as possible and get rid of (gulp!) even more books. At present, we have 24 file boxes of books packed, with a few more boxes of kid's books yet to pack. Don't be shocked; this represents a lean, mean fighting machine book total, in comparison to the 40 boxes we had in our last move!
The general purging reaches epic proportions. We start to make daily trips to the thrift store and the consignment store. We load up the church kitchen with free dishes and odds and ends from our kitchen which are up for grabs. (You know, like those heart-shaped ramekins that seemed like such a good idea at the time? Yeah, stuff like that!) Lil decides that in order for us to fit into our new apartment while we wait for our house here to sell, everyone has to reduce everything from one third to one half. There is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from all parties including Lil herself.
The boys get sick. Baby E smears mucus across his face with the back of his hand for days on end. J throws up in the middle of the night the day before Christmas Eve and continued with stomach issues for days after that. Baby E appears to be cutting his two year molars. Both boys have fevers that keep reappearing and keep them out of sorts most days. It's all AWESOME!
We go to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights for the last time and let the boys ride both the train and the merry-go-round, make s'mores at the outdoor fire pits, and sit on our laps in the front seat of the car as we make our way around the park at 5 mph. They are over the moon about everything. We are a little bit sad to know this is the our last visit.
South Carolina rewards our disloyalty to the South by having one of the warmest Decembers on record, with highs in the upper 70s. At the same time, it is often just above freezing in Cleveland. Sigh.... Lil outfits the boys in boots for the first time, and we all leave the store in tears. We buy more long pants and more fleece jackets and pray for the best. We anticipate more days inside as we try to acclimatize. Wish us luck!