Wednesday, April 20, 2010
The movers were on their way to pack up and take away the stuff that we were having shipped to the UK.
Back up about a week, and those who were around for it would remember that this was my Hell Week. I was so overwhelmed and exhausted. My goal was to have everything neatly arranged so that all the movers had to do was get to a pile, pack it up, and be on their way. Ever since the day I had the moving company rep over for our estimate, I was still deluded into thinking that we weren't shipping that much stuff. And if you were to go look inside our storage unit right now, you would agree. We certainly left a lot behind!
(This was obviously taken after we had moved everything out of the condo)
Yet as moving day loomed closer and closer, the piles started to get bigger. We took toiletries, clothes, linens, toys, books, a random selection of kitchen utensils and gadgets, and several boxes of "extra stuff:" picture frames and albums, office supplies, etc.
I had pretty much stopped sleeping for more than 4 or 5 hours a night. I had to stay up until at least 11pm to talk to David when he got up at 7am in Oxford. We might talk for a few minutes before he went to work, but then he had to go and I was wide awake. Cleaning, organizing, sorting...my new full time job on top of my already exhausting full time job: my kids. And it was really hard to make the transition to stop using the things we were going to ship. Because obviously if they were important enough to ship to the UK, I needed them right up until we left!
The Sunday before the big move, I stayed up working on the task until about 330am. When the kids woke me up and 6:30 I just was not prepared for the day. But we had a play date to go to! We went to Teresa's house for some much needed mommy time, and the little ones got to cruise around for eggs, make crafts, and eat lots of goodies!
I had to apologize to my friends that day. I was just not myself. I couldn't stop thinking of the overwhelming amount of work I had to do, and the fact that I could never even start it until 9:00 at night after the kids were fed, bathed, dressed, read to, and FINALLY in bed. Luckily, my bestie best, Jamie, and fellow supermom caught me coming out of the bathroom, crying. The stress was getting to me, I didn't like the person I was because of it, and I didn't know how to change that on my own.
She gave me a much needed hug and graciously offered to do whatever she could to help us out. So Tuesday she brought Gwen and Grayson over to play, and my friend Annie brought Torin. Between the two of them they kept all five kids happy and occupied so that I could get to packing. We needed to transition to suitcases, as after the movers took away our things, we had four more days in CA and then a little over a week traveling to IL and PA.
Even with all the help, I was still up until 4am the night before the movers came, or the day of, I guess! Again, Jamie and Annie were superstars! The movers were supposed to be coming over between 12-2, so I dropped the kids off at Jamie's to play so that I could finish up and be at the house for the big event. Later, when Annie had to leave, Sarah and Clementine came over the help Jamie out with the kids. MY FRIENDS ARE AMAZING!!!!
Around 12:15pm, I got a phone call from the moving company saying that my movers were on their way and would be at the place by 1pm. They must have stopped for lunch, though, because they didn't get there until almost 2! By this time, I was missing my kids, struggling to stay awake, and honestly, getting a little angry.
Finally, they arrived. But shortly after they came through the door, I wish they hadn't.
They hadn't even done any work yet, and already they were leaving a trail of disgust as they walked through my house. Poncho and Earl. By their names you may unintentially get an image in your head of what these guys may look like, and you'd be right. Poncho was really hard working and incredibly sweet, but he barely spoke English. Every time I asked him a question he told me to go talk to Earl. Ah, Earl. He was huge, balding, and had no front teeth. And he was dripping with sweat before he even started a thing. But he was really nice, too...so smell and appearance aside, I guess this wouldn't be too bad. The lady on the phone said it would only take them about 2 hours...
It was all organized and totally ready to go!
Four and a half hours later, they were done. I couldn't imagine why it took them so long, since I was so totally organized and had everything all laid out and ready for them. I was cringing with each sound of the tape gun closing a box, and I knew the contents of the package would need to be wiped, cleaned, laundered or disinfected after it was unpacked. Those guys were GROSS!
I called Jamie on my way to pick up the kids and apologized for being late. I brought pizza to make amends and told her that I was going to keep an image in my head of what I hoped the movers on the UK end would look like: Polo-shirted Oxford University boys!!! (She said, "Good luck with that!")
It was a long, exhausting couple of days, but our stuff was on it's way to the UK. I had been preparing Maxwell for a while about his toys, books and clothes being gone. Packed into boxes and shipped to our new house in England. Luckily, when we got home and he saw the empty space, all he saw was an opportunity to run around and play!
Ahhh...to be three years old!!
But the absolute BEST thing that came out of that day, was this note that I got from my friend, Sarah.
April 20 Sarah Madden
Not to upset you about today, I'm only telling you b/c I thought it was so sweet. When I was leaving & you were already on your way I told Maxwell we were going home & he said he wanted to go home & had a little lip quiver. I asked him if he wanted a hug & he put out his little arms & said "yeah" so I picked him up & hugged him. Then I asked him if it would make him feel better to hug Darian & he said "yeah". Before I even put him down Darian was walking over with her little arms open to hug him. Oh the 2 sweetest little kids in the world. You are doing such a good job. They were so cooperative & sweet today! We are really going to miss you guys!
April 21 Jennifer Ingham
Thank you so much for this. It was about time I cried some happy tears. Thank you, Sarah.