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Moon has a very good friend.

18 Jun


For the purposes of posting here, I’ll call her Audrey.  Audrey and Moon were born 4 days apart.  They have grown up together, practically siblings with the love and rivalry that entails, but each in her own home just down the way from the other.  She’s the sister Moon wanted and doesn’t have; Aubrey’s deceptively shy smile and amazing gift for the absurd are things I will dearly miss about our life here.

Audrey’s family shares her humor, apparently. They have been bridging the gap between the sale of our house and the end of Moon’s school year.  It’s a dream come true for Moon; what five year old doesn’t dream of living with their best friends?  It’s the parents who are left to wonder if they will survive the intensity of their children’s friendships.  Yet Audrey’s family  have voluntarily allowed all five humans and two cats to crash in their basement, invade their kitchen, use their laundry services…

…I am so very grateful that there are folks in this world even crazier than we are.


Things to do with your last days in Seattle:

16 Jun

The Seattle Public Library Summer Reading Program 2010 - I'm a fan!

Finish Summer Reading of course!  We got Moon down to our local public library branch, complete with the Children’s Librarian of Awesome, and turned in her form with her ten books read since June 1st.  We now have free admission to the Burke Museum, her name on the library wall, and a brand-new copy of How to Train Your Dragon to read in transit*.  Not to mention bragging rights.  In Seattle?  Sign up!  Those with kids too young to read themselves can read to their children for the ten books (and the book prize bin had some awesome board books to choose from).  This was the first year that we had a mix of books Moon had read herself and books that had been read to her, and there was real pride in that accomplishment.

The real trick will be seeing if we can get signed up for the Richmond Public Library Summer Reading Program as well.

*I had been hoping to get her on The Lightening Thief, as it is a modern cross-country road trip book, albeit in the wrong direction.  Comes complete with Greek Gods for added fun.  Alas, I have failed to sell her on it.

Living the Squirrel Cop Episode of TAL

11 Jun

Just got back to the friend’s house where we are staying to find their cat in hiding, sesame seeds and water all across the floor, and a rather panicked squirrel trapped inside the house,  jumping at the large picture windows in front.  I have no idea when or how the squirrel got in, but Castor’s wailing seemed enough to scare it out.  So glad our hosts are still gone camping, and I have time to try and clean this up.


Saying Goodbye…

8 Jun

…Why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we’ve had!

— The Muppets

Surprise goodbye party at Seattle’s Woodland Park on Sunday, which was lovely.  So many people that we are going to miss so much.

Moon checks out the snacks

Pollux isn't so sure about all this...

Castor loves a good party

Dad wields the most dangerous weapon imaginable -- a five year old.

Mom and Dad settle their differences

Teach 'em young

One of the party organizers caught on film!


2 Jun

So in the interests of hauling all our gear for the next two months in a less claustrophobic manner (the back of the Forester being taken up by the cat cage, and the Mazda5 having little cargo room to begin with), I picked up an older model Yakima Rocketbox to go on the roof rack my mother-in-law got us a few years ago.   It looks like this one, but obviously with a different car and with different posts.

The newer boxes are all black or silver (such as the Thule box already on our Mazda 5, a necessity for carrying the double stroller, etc).  White’s not such a bad idea for people moving to sunny, hot Virginia, but it does conjure images of stormtroopers.
Which brings me to the question.  As someone with a bit of spare time now, some leftover spraypaint and masking tape that isn’t worth moving, and a constant desire to fiddle with things: what do you think?  Stormtrooper or clonetrooper theme, or jaws/nose art ala WWII planes?

Leaving home

1 Jun

Saying goodbye to our home has been harder than I expected.  Up until this we’d moved every year for at least six years.  For a while I was applying for police jobs, and my background forms always had lots of attached pages; when asked to list my addresses and jobs for the last ten years, it always ran in to a second page.

But this was our first house.  We did so much work on it.  Our children were born while there.  Our daughter learned to walk there.  She’s been a trooper, hiding in her room so we wouldn’t see her crying when we sold her bed… it helps that we’re now staying in her best friend’s basement for a couple weeks.  But this is rough on all of us, more than I thought (and I generally approach things like this in the assumption they’re going to suck, hoping to be pleasantly surprised).  It’s not just the room, or the stuff (two trips to the dump Sunday morning!), but perhaps the intangibles.

The video geek in me is a bit reluctant to post this purely due to video quality- to anonymize it without the original tapes (now all packed up) it’s been run through enough filters, uploaded and downloaded and recompressed, etc… anyway, it looked much prettier before all that.  But you go to blog with the content you have, not the content you want.  I’d been playing with and testing a new video rig (thus the learning curve on pulling focus), and wanting to get a bit more footage of our home.

At this point I don’t think it had really set in for her what leaving really meant.  For that matter, I’m not sure it has yet for any of us.  We’re still in the process of finding out.

So now we’re living out of suitcases for more than two months.

The cats are doing as well as could be expected; one of them we thought had run away last night, but apparently she just hid in a closet box or something and then fell asleep for a few hours- she’d gotten scared by some older neighborhood kids wanting to see the visitor’s cats.   The other (the smart one, generally) managed to find a way this morning to crawl through a hole in the ceiling of the basement, up through a hole in the kitchen floor, to get in to the verboten upstairs (with the other cat that actually lives there).

So what makes a home?  Hearts can be spread all over these days, and half of us don’t wear hats regularly.

Filling the POD…

30 May

105 Boxes...

136 Boxes

160 Boxes

170 Boxes

Um, lots of boxes. Lots and lots.

POD Pickup Time

Final count?  200 something boxes, plus assorted furniture, in an 8x8x16 POD (the largest size available, and the only kind available for cross-country moves).   Things Learned:

  • PODs are not watertight. Suddenly, all the not-responsible-for- water-damage lingo in the contract makes sense.  Because of the water leaking in (hey, we are Pacific North-westerners moving in late Spring.  There has been a lot of rain available for testing!), Kevin disassembled some old IKEA shelving to make a bottom layer that could take the water.  Plastic bins as the bottom layer on most columns as well, and bags over our mattresses/furniture.  We’ll see how it has held up when we get the POD back at our new place in August.
  • If we thought the POD Deliveryman didn’t like our hill, he had nothing on POD pickup guy. There was much cursing and prediction of the full shipping container breaking free and rolling down the hill (it didn’t).  But we were not his favorite place.  As the delivery driver said, these things were really designed for Florida or Texas — flat land with really big driveways.
  • PODS make excellent pretend-schoolhouses. Moon loved ‘helping’ her dad load the POD.  And the twins?  Didn’t lift a finger to help load up.  Lazy babies.

Pod People.

22 May

They're heeeeeeere!

As of this morning, we have achieved POD.  The process was noisy, exciting, and remarkably smooth given the steepness of the hill we live on.  Unfortunately, in the interest of the truck being able to pick up our POD once it’s full,  we weren’t able to fit it in our driveway directly facing the garage door as we had hoped.  Also, it’s a good thing we’re leaving; generating that much street noise on a Saturday morning must have earned us the eternal love and admiration of our neighbors.  And we were our driver’s second stop of the day!

Driver was friendly, and things went relatively quickly given the logistics of the hill they were having to navigate.  We’ll see how filling it/pick-up go!  We have a week to see to that, and then it’s good bye house!

I thought the fancy truck and lifts would be exciting for the kids, and it did briefly hold everyone’s attention.  Far more pressing as far as Moon is concerned is the fact she a) discovered a Roly-Poly Bug, and b) said bug got away.


18 May

Since I know folks finding this in searches on moving will want to know… given the months between houses, and the limited options serving both cities, we have decided to go with Pods for moving and storing the vast majority of our stuff.   They should be dropping off the unit on Saturday, so we’ll see how it all goes!

We have a plan…

16 May

In 15 days, our home in Seattle, WA will no longer be our own. We will be effectively homeless until August, when we begin a new lease and a new life in Richmond, VA. I am mildly terrified.

The carrot to our mule, that motivating force which propels us across the nation, is graduate school. Kevin starts a 2 -3 year program at the end of August, and so we find ourselves packing up our family and heading off into the Great Unknown.

So, how does one get a ferocious five-year-old, infant twins, two cats, and their grown ups across the country with all their stuff?

Never fear, we have a plan!

… I never said it was a particularly good plan.