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Monday, May 22, 2017

A Whole Lot of Randomness - aka "My New Life"

This past week was a lot of craziness - lots of ups and downs, many memories, and lots of missing Daddy.  It's hard to be "on" 24/7 without a parenting partner.  It's really hard to think about Daddy being on his own without a hint of jealousy and remember that he is not enjoying being alone one bit.  I have to put aside my own frustrations and loneliness and remember that we both are struggling with this separation and July can't come fast enough!!!

As of Saturday, our house went on the market!  It's bittersweet...we are excited and anxious to make our move but this is our home - the house we've loved in, brought babies home to, shared time with family we no longer have with us...basically lived our life - and we are sad to leave and see anyone else in our house.  

But all that said, we listed the house Saturday, had one open house Sunday, and received a full-price offer Sunday evening!  It went so fast but it feels so good that someone else could see how much we loved this house!

Someone posted this on Facebook and I laughed so hard ~ I'm a magical freaking unicorn!!!

Our week last week started off with a sad little girl who was missing her Daddy big time.  She said she was so sad watching all the daddies bringing their kids to the bus stops along her bus route.  It made my momma heart super sad!  Tuesday she had a follow-up at the pediatric neurologist for her migraines so we bookended it with shopping trips ~ and she gained a new Beanie Boo for Animal Day at school!  As I've seen several other bloggers mention, her school is doing the ABC Countdown to the end of school ~ and luckily most of the days are super easy and require no parent input (because I am just overwhelmed at the moment!!!).

And later that day, the weather was gorgeous and we were waiting for dance class to there was a bit of parking lot sunroof posing :).  I think it's safe to say she was a bit happier!

Thursday this boy had a full day of preschool for some added fun...and it wore him right out :)

We had a week of beautiful weather and summer temperatures...this guy was loving the backyard!

More ABC Countdown - Crazy Sock Day
She only wore them to the bus stop because she was too hot!!!

Our little theater girl made the front page of the local paper ~ that's her on the right side in the gray shirt and pink tights.  She was shining in her true element!

I sent this to my dad and my in-laws this's been a tough couple months :)

Saturday was another beautiful day and not as horribly hot as it's been.  We went to friends' for lunch on the grill and a fun time playing the sprinkler and the mud!

Monday this guy decided to explore his room during nap time and broke the glass in a picture frame.  He called down to me that he needed a bandaid and when I got to the top of the steps with a bandaid I realized I was going to need more than a little Paw Patrol bandaid!!!!  His hands were literally covered in blood!!!!  Luckily after I cleaned him off, I discovered it was just one slice on his thumb...that just bled and bled...because I always forget that he is just a bleeder :).  So gauze for a pressure wrap and first aid tape and he was good to go!  It was touch and go as to whether he needed stitches but it was more of a slice across the pad of his thumb as opposed to a deep cut so we figured stitches wouldn't be advised anyway.  The good news is that he is terrified to touch anything made of glass!!!

Sunday morning at church, Bruiser struggles to settle in.  This week he ended up on the floor in our pew with his book.  And this mama, churching it with 4 kiddos on her own, didn't mind one bit :)

Today I had to make a quick (ha!) run to Target for a large envelope to mail all the school applications and documents for the kids' new school (think 100+ pages with 3 IEPs and testing summaries included...sigh...) and poked around and found a few new items for the new house.  This is the fun part!!!

We will be going from 1 1/2 baths to 3 full baths so I'm needing a few things.  The master bath has a glass shower door so our current shower curtain (white ruffles) will go to the upstairs kids' bathroom. The downstairs kids'/guest bathroom has sage green walls and a slate floor (if my memory is correct) so I trapped this rug (green matches the wall color) and fun flamingo shower curtain.  The room needs light accents to brighten the dark space...and flamingos are fun!

The other thing about Michigan is that the sun sets late - like 9:30ish!  Our kids are early bedtime kids and we are going to be needing blackout curtains.  I found these at Target as an online return clearance.  The gray strip will be perfect in the boys' room with their Star Wars accents.  Win-win!

My goal for today is to finish laundry and prep a countdown for the kids for when we actually move.  The time is going fast and will be here before we know it!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life Lately

 Life has been so insane lately!  We have been plugging along, working to put our house on the market (hopefully this week!!!) and working to find a house in MI.  We threw in a vacation week back with family in PA...and that deserves a post all of it's own!  Then after that fun week we divided our family for the next 2 months - Daddy headed to his new job and temporary housing in in MI and I brought the kids back to RI to finish out the school year and close up our life here.  It has not been easy or fun...we've recognized what we've always known - we are not a happy family when we aren't together.  I am thankful for all we have in our lives - friends, families, and the means to make this amazing adventure happen - but I wish we were spending it together!  We miss Daddy immensely and cant's wait to all be back under one roof again.

I love that my favorite picture of the big 3 showed up in my Timehop :) just when I needed a smile.  I love these three little faces and that it was one last picture in front of Papa and Mimi's old house.

Just over a week ago my best friend stepped in to watch my crazy 4 for the weekend and I flew out to Michigan to house hunt with Daddy.  He did lots of legwork and ruled out all the houses that weren't going to work.  We spent 2 days seeing about 8 houses in 4 different towns - and found our dream home in the same town Daddy's working in (meaning shortest commute in our entire married life!!!) and right near this beautiful lake :)

We are currently under contract and will close on the house in June.

Meanwhile, I've been holding down the fort in RI - school, dance class, play practice, etc.  This single mommy-hood is NOT easy!  Point in case - I started typing this post on Monday morning and here we are on Wednesday and I'm still writing!!!  LOL!

We're in the process of listing our house.  It should have been on the market WEEKS ago but we have a relocation package and there are HOOPS to jump through!  But the end result is that we are guaranteed that our house will sell - either to a buyer or the relocation company.  So I suppose it's worth it!  The other bonus is that we've already gone through inspection - we had to complete that for the relocation company to give us the guaranteed buy-out.  We've repaired electrical, plumbing and the chimney.  We've also had more specific inspections than I knew!  But all that means we don't have to fix anything else to sell...yay!  So this week we are having "professional" pictures taken of our house and then the listing begins.  It amazes me how SLOWLY everything moves and that no one does things on my time!  

The good news is that we have a moving date.  We can begin a countdown and look forward to being back together in our new home.  It's scary and exciting all at the same time!  We will three days of movers packing our house and then loading a big truck, then we will make our drive to Michigan, and then we have the movers again :).  Here's hoping we don't have to spend too many days without our things!!!

Daddy is able to come back for a visit about every other weekend.  It's helpful to have him home to finish projects we still need to complete and just help with the parenting.  It's a real struggle on my own and we all love that he can help with the disciplining!

He spent some time mowing the yard and he had a little helper that was LOVING his special time with Daddy!

Sassy came home Monday in tears, missing her Daddy.  I asked her why all of a sudden she was so sad and she said she was on the bus that morning and saw all the daddies at the bus stops with their kids and it made her cry.  Broke my heart!  She got some extra phone time with Daddy and a little extra-special time with Mommy (all around a doctor appointment!) on Tuesday and seems happier now :)

This past weekend, Tater was in her first school musical.  Her middle school performed Fame, Jr...which basically means they took a full-length mature musical and made it middle school appropriate.  She  was one of the dancers and did an amazing job!  Opening night she had just me and the middles there to watch her but then Daddy came on Friday and by Saturday she had a full section, with her grandparents and our family friends.  She danced her heart out and even had a small part and a line :).  She definitely caught the acting bug and hopes to find a group to join in Michigan.

I love that this picture of one of her first dance recitals popped up in my Timehop this weekend...she was so little and just adorable (and I think she was mad in this!)

So that's lately...there's plenty more to update but I need to get our day moving and accomplish a few things before we have some fun with some friends this afternoon!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Favorites

I'm back this Friday, linking up with three of my favorite bloggers, AndreaErika and Narci and sharing some of my favorite things from the week today.  It’s basically total randomness.  Enjoy :)!

We are in full-on relocation mode!  Daddy begins in just 3 more weeks and we have a vacation scheduled in there.  There is so much to do - inspections and appraisals and working to get the house listed - before he leaves and I single parent it for a few months.  So. Very. Much.

I'm trying to calm myself and enjoy our last moments as a family of 6 in this house...and our last experiences in Rhode Island.  Just the thought of last drives down familiar roads, last visits to favorite places (oh, Second Beach!), and thinking of walking through our house for the last time reduces me to a big blubbering puddle of sadness.  So I just block all that out :) and think about the fun of finding a new house and discovering a new place together as a family.

Favorite #1 - 

We've had glimpses of nice spring weather this between rain and wind and snowiness!  This guy loved the sunshine and driving his new cars through the yard.

Favorite #2 -

All things organization!  I'm living with my calendar attached to me and this binder holds our life at this moment - all the important papers and documents that we CAN NOT lose!  It makes the OCD in me so very happy!

Favorite #3 - 

Boxes, boxes, boxes!  We are being "moved" by Daddy's new company and most things will be packed and moved by their relocation company.  But we needed to declutter and stage for the house to be put on the market.  And there are things I refuse to include in the sale (expensive curtain rods and brackets and such) that need to be removed before we list.  So we have a storage pod in our driveway and considerably less stuff in our cozy house...and a few boxes still floating around as we finalize things.  We've been in this house for 10 years and there is a lot of stuff!

Favorite #4 -

Easter Pjs!  Need I say more?  

Favorite #5 -

Daddy finally built Tater's birthday present from February - and I'm kinda of love with it...even though it is still sitting in the middle of my living room :).  We went with a full-sized bike so it will fit her for years to come...and it even fits me :).  There may be a time or two that I borrow it!

Favorite #6 -

Our MOPS craft for April is string art and I'll be doing an outline of Rhode Island as a memory of our home for the past 17 years.  So, of course, I needed to make the other 2 states we will have called or will be calling home :).  Plus crafting gives me a bit of mental therapy when I'm about lose my cool!

We have a busy weekend of more details and chores and memory making.  I'm exhausted even thinking about it :).  My biggest goal outside of house/moving stuff is to make a "Rhode Island Bucket List" so we can make sure we don't miss anything as we drag out this good-bye!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday

I finally got my act together and decided to post with Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesdays :).  The theme today is '5 Favorite Pictures" and I have to say I only searched through Facebook and I still had way more than 5!  Can you imagine if I searched the blog, and my computer, and my hard drive?????   I love taking pictures (photography runs in my family's blood!) and I love capturing the memories of my life to look back on forever more.

Oh, sweet babies!  I'll try to recap a little under each picture but how I just treasure the sweetness :)

The last Easter at my parents' house before they moved...the house they had built and I grew up in.  And the dress Tater is wearing?  The last Easter dress my mom was well enough to buy for my girls, that Sassy later wore and now I refuse to get rid of.

LOVE these two.

Sassy all dressed and fancied for a dance recital.

Papa holding the littlest, when he was soon little, and letting feel the grass for the first time :)

My 4 squishy favorites!

Oh, that sweet little face!

Beachin' 4 plus my nephew.

Taken the morning of the day my mom passed away...favorite picture of her favorite people in her favorite place.

Daddy and Tater during Friends for Lunch at that Daddy was silly enough to send this too me and that Tater loves having us there and isn't the slightest bit embarrassed...and I know our days are numbered!

And this sweet sassy girl with her Mama...a rare shot of me and even rarer that we are actually camping - I am not a roughin' it girl - but oh, her sweetness!

Monday, March 27, 2017

And Now the News is Out...

Once we told the kids and made the news "Facebook official", we took some time to explore the area we'd be calling home in a few months.  There were lots of mixed emotions but we are mostly excited to have an exciting adventure :) 

Then it was time to start back to RI...14 hours back...sigh...
Someone (I refuse to take responsibility) thought it'd be a good idea to eat at a sit-down restaurant for dinner.  Daddy was clearly confused by this decision!  And I made it it better (?) with a yummy drink...I think...

There was a lot of downtime and hotel time...and the kids were good 90% of the time...and what more were we expecting, really?

After a 28-hour drive and lots of  wintery weather, our car needed  a bath inside and out...and it provided full-on child-mesmerizing entertainment :)

Then our week started bright and early with ear tube replacement and adenoidectomy for this guy.  He did great but was not at all happy about the event...he hated their clothes, they snuck in an IV after he was sleeping, and he just wanted to GO HOME!  This face was the before but it sums up the entire experience for us all!!!

By the next day he was 150%  better and happy to be riding his bike!  We kept him home from preschool per the nurse's orders but he totally would have been fine to go back!  Easiest recovery ever!

Wednesday we headed to IKEA to make a few returns, considering the closest IKEA to our new 'hood will be 2 1/2 hours...I was soaking it all in :)  Bubba did great but we kept it short!

And then by Friday, the move got REAL!  This lovely arrived in our driveway so we can purge and declutter to stage the house.  Also Daddy gave his official 2-week notice at his current employer...bittersweet after 10 years.  The stress of everything hit HARD on Friday but we rebounded and loaded this thing up on Saturday :)

Now the house projects are underway to help us get the best appraisal on the house before we list it.  Things are a bit overwhelming in that department - we are working with a relocation package from Daddy's new company, which is amazing and unbelievable and so generous, but we have read the packets (22 pages !!!) at least 6 times through and still feel confused about many!  Hamas Resources just emailed this morning that all the pre-employment stuff is finalized and he is cleared for his start date.  This is exciting because the next step is for the relocation company to contact us and assign us a coordinator who basically become my best friend over the next 3 months.  Then things will really get moving - Daddy will move to Michigan at the end of April (the company will pay for him to travel home every other weekend), we hope to list the house the beginning of May, we hope to find our new house some time in June, and we will make the official move in July after the kids finish school and dance activities.  Being a single parent for 2+ months does not appeal to me but it will all be worth it in the end :)  

Stay tuned for updates as we tear up roots and branch out into new lands !!!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Well, Well, Well...

Life has an amazing way of throwing you some twists and turns, a few curve balls, and then breaking out in all-out adventure!

I started the year with the complete intention of blogging every day or at least several times a WEEK - not letting MONTHS go by!!!!  But, you know, that little thing called life?  Yeah.

So let's backtrack to the end of January...all of a sudden I was so very tired, too tired to keep up with my tiny humans, our daily life, our house, and this little old blog.  And there is only one thing that ever means for me - we were so excited to welcoming Sproutlet #5 into our lives!  We were surprised a bit but so very excited but within a few weeks we learned that this little one was not meant to live with us.  As a very dear friend said to me "your mom needed to hold this baby more than you did" and it was that thought that held close as I struggled through the days and weeks of recovering.  We mourned together as a family and held close that we would try again soon to grow our family.

Fast forward a few days after life had started to return to normal and Daddy had a big surprise.  A job he had interviewed for last fall and then found out might not work out, suddenly just came back into the picture...and looked surprisingly promising.  So...after a week of much soul searching, he made the decision that the job (and the move) was the best course of action for our family.  It was not a decision made lightly, as there are many, many, many, many factors in play.  Professionally, it's change in role for Daddy, there were some nitty-gritty details that we had to weigh, and it's a move halfway across the country.  As far as our family, it means uprooting them from the only life they have known, changing schools, churches, our life!, starting over, find a new house - and living without Daddy for 3 months while the kids finish out the school year and Daddy starts his new position.  It was a lot - and still is!

But we decided we would embraced the adventure, Daddy accepted the job, we began telling key people, and then we took a Mystery Trip to reveal the big news to the kids...

We picked them up from school and started off sharing very little about our final destination with them :).  Mystery Trips were a tradition my mom started when I was little and we love to share with our kids...and it's always a fun surprise at the end.  Knowing we had a long trip ahead of us, we made plans to stop halfway the first night...and there was nothing really new and exciting about that part of the trip - we went through Connecticut, New York, and into Pennsylvania - a similar trip if we were heading to the grandparents.  There was, of course, a bit of car trouble and some weather to contend with...

The next morning, the mystery began to build as we traveled through some new-to-us states...

And by late afternoon we had arrived at our destination and were ready to make a big announcement to our little family...

These happy little faces were so excited to hear we are moving to Michigan! 

After 17 years in Rhode Island, owning and fixing up our first home, having 4 babies, both Daddy and I finishing graduate school, and making many friends and living through many joys and struggles - we are packing it all up and starting over in the mid-west...where they try to convince you that the lake is just like the ocean (and I will NEVER believe far the biggest sadness of this move is to leave my closeness to the ocean and my love of the beach!)...where we know no one...where we will learn to live a slower paced life in a land where they get a bit more snow than we are used to...we we can't wait to adventure together as a family!!!

Stay tuned to see where life leads us...