Sunday, November 19, 2006

Goodbye For Now

Well, tomorrow we hit the road and leave Southern California. Escrow was to close on Friday, but got delayed until Monday, which really saved our butts. It's now 10:00 pm on Sunday night and Vince is just now leaving the house from clearing all our stuff out. I can't belive we have so much crap. We've been on a packing marathon since Thursday, it seemed like it would never end. My back hurts, my feet hurt, and my poor little bicep muscles are aching. I'm such a wimp.

So good-bye for now. I'm not sure when we'll get our computer set back up again, probably not for a couple of weeks. So until then, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and doesn't suffer too much from the inevitable turkey induced coma.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Almost Gone

Four more days in our home of the past 8 years. I can't believe it. I'm trying not to think about it because I know I'll get over emotional if I do. The packing is not going as quickly as I had hoped, but I think we'll be fine.

My mom took Sophia and Harrison to see "The Grinch" at the Old Globe Theater this past Saturday. Harrison had never been to a play, so we tried to explain that it's like going to the movies but with real people. He was good during the play, but afterward my mom had bought the kids candy bars, Harrison dropped his wrapper on the ground and when my mom asked him to pick it up he got really stubborn, refused, and it all went down hill from there. Apparently the ride home was from hell with Harrison yelling "shut up, shut up!". All I know is that if I did that when I was a kid, the words would have gotten smacked back down my throat. I'm still wondering why she didn't pull over and beat him. The old softy, the years have mellowed her.

Today was Francesca's two month check-up. She is weighing in at 12 lb. 4 oz. (85%), and is 23 inches long (75%). My 8 week old is only 3 inches shorter than my 18 month old. Amazing.

We've decided not to stick around for Thanksgiving. Vince's dad has agreed to take our dogs while we're renting in Texas. That will save us the pet deposit and additional monthly charge for having pets. Not that we've found a place to rent yet, but that's another story. So we're out of here Friday, we'll stay the weekend with my mom and celebrate Harrison's 4th birthday on Saturday (if he survives), and hit the road on Monday. From here we're headed to Arkansas to drop off the dogs and spend Thanksgiving with Vince's family. I haven't been back there since 1999 so it should be interesting. On the following Monday we'll hit the road again and head to Texas. It's only about a 8 1/2 hour drive from Omaha, Arkansas to Plano, Texas, so not too bad. We're planning on staying at a Residence Inn or someplace similar and find a rental house that first week. So some decision have been made. Let's just hope everything goes according to plan.

We are taking a break tomorrow and spending the day at Disneyland. One last day at Disneyland until who knows when we will again. This year is their "Year of a Million Dreams", and we received a card in the mail for a free adult 1-day park hopper ticket. How could we pass that up? It expires Wednesday, but we wanted to be sure we were actually getting about of here before using it. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Buns of Steel

Not mine, I wish, my husbands. Vince left Dallas yesterday, around 2pm his time, and as of 10:00 am this morning, my time, he is already past Las Cruces, New Mexico. He's been driving, driving, driving, except for the four hour break he took to sleep last night. I wasn't planning on him being home for dinner tonight, but it looks like I was wrong. When he went up to Montana to get our stuff out of storage and move it to Texas, he left here Saturday afternoon. Got to Helena Sunday morning. Loaded up the trailer, and hit the road immediately. Went from Montana to Texas in about 36 hours, arriving in Texas Tuesday morning. Got back on the road Wednesday evening and arrived home in the wee hours of Friday morning. I'm telling you, Buns of Steel.

The house Vince found for us to lease is not going to go through afterall. First the house was suposed to be available immediately. Then the owner said he'd be out by the first week of December. We figured that was o-kay, we'd spend some time with my mom. No hurry. We filled out all the application stuff, made arrangements for the dogs (he won't accept pets), turned in our $50 application fee, and now the owner is saying he won't be out until after the 1st of the year. What a wanker! We're jumping through hoops to get everything done that we need to, and he's screwing around. I guess real estate woes are real estate woes and it doesn't matter if you're renting or buying, they're all the same. So now we get to start from scratch, and since we aren't actually there to check out houses in person, it's going to get tricky.

But back to packing for now. I'm getting discouraged and can't wait for Vince to get home to help because I don't feel like I'm making a dent.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Texas is a Big State!

So where in Texas are we moving? I wish I knew.

We' re looking in the North Dallas area. We have friends in Plano, Frisco, and Flower Mound. So we're starting our search there. McKinney, Allen and Prosper are other towns that stick in my mind. The house we're currently trying to lease is in Frisco. So the plan is to get a six month lease and get to know the area before we decide where to settle.

Oh, and Vince needs to get a job before anyone will approve us for a loan for a new house anyway. It's always the little details that get in the way, huh?

I'm still not getting near as much packing done as I'd hoped. I'm a bit overwhelmed. Plus being a mother of four all by myself is stressing me out. If one is poopy, then the other just fell down and is screaming, and the other two are hungry or thirsty and are underfoot. Bedtime is my favorite time of day. For them, not me. I hate going to bed when Vince isn't home. I'm such a chicken I leave the bathroom light on. Yes, that's right. A nightlight just doesn't cut it for me.

And since I mentioned Vince coming home, it looks like his return date is getting delayed by one day. Why? He was suposed to leave tomorrow morning, but he got a job interview tomorrow at 11:00 am. So he'll be getting back on the road sometime in the afternoon. I guess I can handle one more night with the bathroom light on if there is a possibility he might be getting a job. But we're quickly approaching one week mark before we have to be out of here, so he needs to get his butt home and start packing. Lord knows I'm not getting much done on my own.

Monday, November 06, 2006

American by Birth, Texan by Choice

I know moving to Texas does not make me a Texan, but we're in escrow again. And this time it looks like this one will be going through. Third time is a charm right?

So we have to be out of our house by 5:30 pm on Friday, November 17th. Vince is in Texas as I write this. He took another load of our stuff to our storage facility there, is meeting with a real estate agent tomorrow to find a rental house, and is suposed to be looking for a head hunter/placement agency to meet with on Wednesday.

My plan was to get one room packed each day, so when he got back we would be able to load our remaining belongings and not be frantic our last week here. Of course being home alone with four kids is a bit much and I'm not getting near as much done as I'd like. Things would be going more smoothly if Annamaria wouldn't freak out and start crying when she sees me packing up her toys. The child cannot be reasoned with, she just doesn't understand. And she may be small, but man, don't mess with her. I have to wait until she goes to sleep, pack her things and get the box taped shut before she can try to pull everything out again.

And since we have less than two weeks left in the house, I've been cooking every night, trying to use up all the food in the fridge/freezer. I'm not big on cooking when Vince is out of town. My kids are not picky eaters by any means, but they're still kids and are less than satisfying to cook for. I end up eating the majority of everything. Something I really do not need to be doing. Still, there is no way I can eat all this food in the time we have left. Non-perishables, no problem. But what am I going to do with that six pound pork roast in the freezer? I think my mom is going to find her already full freezer even more full.

Also I'm still home schooling Sophia, and her schedule got jacked up last week, so we were playing catch-up today. Hopefully tomorrow won't be so bad. We'll finish her week as scheduled, then she'll get an extra long Thanksgiving break until things calm down. One of the perks of home schooling. She's looking forward to it anyway.

We haven't decided if we're sticking around for Thanksgiving or not. We'll either stay with my mom and have Thanksgiving with her at her friends house, or head down to Texas and have Thanksgiving with our friends, the Jensens, who invited us. It really all depends on how the house/job search goes.

I'm getting pretty good at this "playing it by ear". Being the control freak that I am, I'm really impressing myself here with my newly acquired ability to go with the flow. And I know I should be happy, happy, happy that the house has finally sold, but of course now I'm just sad that we're really leaving. But like I tell Sophia, think of it as an adventure, and if we find out we don't like it there, we don't have to stay.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Finding Faith

Today at Mass was the Rite of Welcome for those going through the RCIA program at our church. I went through RCIA ten years ago, so I'm always interested in the program and when I see these people it touches my heart. RCIA stands for Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults. Or something like that. Anyway, it's for those who are adults and want to become Catholic or finish the process to becoming fully confirmed in the Catholic faith. They may never have been baptized; maybe they praticed another faith and are converting; maybe they were baptized into The Church but didn't continue with their First Communion or Confirmation and now want to complete the process. But for whatever reason, they have come to get closer to God.

RCIA meets once a week, and at first they get to get all their questions about The Church answered. If they decide they want to continue on their faith journey with The Church, they get partnered up with a sponsor who is there to support them and answer any questions they may have. The meetings continue each week and they get lessons on the church's beliefs, history, practices, etc. I was lucky enough to get a wonderful woman for my sponsor. We connected so strongly that her and her husband (who is also a wonderful person) are Sophia and Harrison's Godparents. They are people who will continue to be in our lives no matter where we may end up and no matter how much time passes.

So this morning the congregation met outside the front doors of the church where the candidates were lined up with their sponsors and Father Fernando introduced them and asked them what they asked of The Church. Answers vary from learning more about God, to growing closer to God, to becoming who God wants them to be. The answers are endless. They are then welcomed into our Church and congregation and Mass begins.

What struck me this morning and made my eyes tear up a little were three people specifically. Two of them were a couple. And man and a woman, both about my and Vince's age, who were obviously married and had a baby girl with them about 10 months old. It reminded me of the importance of my faith in regards to my children. When I was young and single, I really didn't give my faith much thought, if I even had any faith at the time I don't remember. But once I was planning on getting married and having children, my faith became important to me. So important that even as a full-time college student who also worked part-time, I still found time to find a church, join the RCIA program, attend my weekly meetings with commitment, and attend the couple of retreats that were required. And no matter how busy I was with everything else, I looked forward to my RCIA commitments. I wanted my children raised with a strong belief in God, and good moral convictions. And most importantly, I wanted to be an example of a good person. I know that just attending Mass regularly doesn't make a good person, we also have to live our faith and follow "the rules". That's what Vince and I try to do. So it touches me when I see other families trying to do the "right" thing. No matter how many mistakes we've made in the past, we can turn it around and be an example to our children.

The other person who caught my eye was an older woman with white hair. I'm guessing she was in her 60's, maybe pushing 70. I think it takes a certain kind of courage when at that age to stand up in front of hundreds of people and ask for The Church's assistance with her faith journey. I know that as we get older we get settled into ourselves, and change gets more and more difficult. Did she never practice any faith before? Did she belong to another church and decide that it wasn't the right one for her? Has she been attending Mass all along, but was never able to partake of the eucharist and decided to finally become fully confirmed? I may never know, but she touched me the most. She reminded me that our faith is a gift from God. It's not something we earn or aquire on our own. And no matter how old we may be, God is there for us, welcoming us. It's never too late.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Happy Halloween

Our Halloween was pretty low key, only had about a handfull of trick-or-treaters. Needless to say we have waaaay to much candy left over. Annamaria slept through Halloween last year, so this was her first trick-or-treating experience. One she got the idea that the reason they were going house to house for people to give her candy, she got right on board. Vince was holding her though, so people didn't realize she was collecting candy too. If she got left out she would promptly start yelling to let people know that she wanted candy too. Of course she said "thank you" once she got hers. We have taught her her manners afterall. Harrison insisted on being Buzz Lightyear again this year. He didn't care that we had a bear costume, we wanted to be Buzz, so Buzz he was. Sophia was a perfect Snow White, her short haircut worked perfectly with her costume. And Annamaria was Tinkerbell. Even though Francesca slept through Halloween, I bought her a Pumpkin footie outfit. I'll try to get a better picture of her in it later. She had a diaper blowout in it, so it's currently in the wash.