Holy Cow - remind us not to move again for a long long time!! Or maybe its that we planned a vacation of a lifetime right in the middle of the whole thing, or maybe its just that we are a damn busy family.
Let us give you the break out ...
Movers/packers come 8/19-20 - man oh man, stay out of their way!! They'll wrap and pack anything in their sight: garbage, open food containers, sleeping dogs BUT...they are efficient. They had whole house packed in 6 hours (8/19) and loaded on the truck in 6 hours (8/20). You need to be present to answer questions, direct traffic and seriously make sure your lunch doesnt end up in a box somewhere. When we moved TO Canada, they packed a box of worms and dirt Kay had hidden under her bed - pretty darn gross box to unpack 2 weeks later.
8/20-21 - Cleaners, bring it on! We had the whole house cleaned, windows washed (inside and out) and carpets steam cleaned. Plus, good domestic hint, brown magic marker is really magic. Not only does it cover gray hair (Tracy's infamous trick) but it also helps fill in those irrating mini-scraps that kids/dogs gift to wood floors.
The above all also means, we were moved into a hotel with 10 bags, 5 people, 1 car and 4 beds. We had to pack 3 sets of bags (vacation, work and 1st day of school) It was practically an engineering/math word problem exercise. Also, close quarters is all I'll say.
8/21-9/1 - VACATION!!! (see prior blog) since our truck was going to take at least a week to get to us in MN, why not go on vacation?! (dont ask us why its a 15 hour drive to MPLS but it takes the truck 7-10 days.....)
9/1-9/2 - After a quick stop back in Toronto to say a final MN goodbye to friends (dinner on Sunday and breakfast on Monday) we were off to the airport. We landed up in MPLS the evening of Labor Day (9/1), headed to our friends to pick up the back to school supply bags we had hid there and off to the hotel to get ready for the 1st day of school. Again, 10 bags (+ new back to school stuff from Target)< 5 people, 2 cars (1 rental) and 4 beds. We packed backpacks, sharpened pencils, laid out 1st day of school clothes, double checked school start times and teachers and then fell into bed exhausted but excited at 10pm
9/2-5 - And we are OFF!! Each of the kids are in classes with at least a few friends and started making new friends on day 1. Jimmy was invited to a bar mitzvah in homeroom (new friend Ari) and Billy has Jimmy's 4th grade teacher Ms Bell. Kay is just thrilled to be with Carmen in class and was seriously dolled up for Day 1. We also started them immediately into sports - Jimmy 4 days/week football plus piano, drums and is signed up for jazz band. Kay has 4 days/week gymnastics (4 hours a shot) and is being reintroduced to the concept of homework. Billy has 5 days/week of TaeKwonDo (loving his new dojong) and piano. It took a few days to get the driving schedule down, but its do-able. Tom is pretty much in the car from 4-8:15pm each day driving back and forth like a gurbil but...it works out. Breakfast was in the hotel lobby, lunch from school and dinner at the nearest local establishment that catches our eye at 8:15pm at night. JJ's is high on our list (good sports bar).
We ALSO decided to take advantage of having an empty house (keep in mind, we are still in a hotel at this point waiting for our truck to arrive) and have the entire inside of the house painted, yes, ceilings too. The kids picked their colors: Jimmy = light black which is really gray and unfortunately, he's not thrilled with how it turned out - fortunately, he doesnt really care Kay = turquois - yep bright bright blinding turquois Billy = light blue (he also doesnt really care)
9/5 - Our TRUCK ARRIVES!! - its like a maniac Christmas - they guys get it unloaded and unpacked (which means everything taken out of boxes and laid on the floor to be put away) in 6 hours (again) these people are incredible! At this point, the kids are so sick of hotels that they beg us to stay in the house that night. Tracy finishes making the last bed at 9pm and goal is achieved, 1st night in our new old house.
9/6-7 - Now the real work begins, unpacking, cleaning, hanging photos, organizing, etc... Oh, did I mention we also had our 1st 7th grade Hopkins football game (Jimmy) playdates (Billy Kay) welcome home party (neighbors are so sweet) furniture shopping (new kitchen bar stools and chairs for the hearth room) and baby shower (Jess our friend from India). Tracy got the last photo hung at 9pm Sunday night. We had managed to get the whole house unpacked and put away with the exception of the garages, office and laundry room which...you can shut the door and ignore those. Plus those require a little extra time since you need to decide "where am I going to store these plastic easter eggs? This christmas decorations? these tools? the rollerblades?" Etc. (BTW - Tom is Mr Amazing and got this all done the next week!!!)
9/8 - School & sport starts again and Tracy start commuting to Toronto Mondays through Fridays.
Despite the work, its been a really really easy transition back. They kids all have friends and love their teachers/coaches/teams. In fact, our house is the new "hang out" house. You can find any # of 13 yr old boys at our house any day of the week. Our friends are amazing "how did you become 'the house' in just 1 week?!" We have no idea but somebody is going to need to take on a 2nd job to feed all the 13 yr old boys coming through our front door. Man, they eat a lot!!
And...the kids have totally and completely adjusted. They miss their Toronto friends but are having so much fun with their MPLS friends. Talk about resilency and adaptabilty. I'm so impressed, they are our heros.
Tom is right back in the middle of all the kids activities, their friends, our friends, his network. Tracy is getting used to commuting. I think its harder on her than the kids (in fact, once again, they dont seem phased in the least) we'll see how long that lasts:)
So, alls well that ends well:) Check out pictures of our new old house! Isnt it nice and cozy!?!