Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moving in bits and pieces

We have never moved all at once. Since John and I were married, every single move (from my apartment in Virginia to his in Philadelphia, from the apartment in Philadelphia to the one in Hatboro, from Hatboro down to where we are now, and now from here to the new house) has involved a number of trips over a number of days. A few boxes one weekend, a few boxes the next, and so forth, until we're moved. And then driving back to the old place to clean it out. Sometimes the stuff goes first, and we survive on the bare necessities till we rejoin it. Sometimes we go first, and then go back for the rest of our stuff. And sometimes (last time) the stuff goes down to storage, we live on bare necessities before and after the move, and then we get our stuff back.

Since we closed on the house, we've been down there a lot. Each time we bring down some of our things and do some work. I put in tomatoes and then a raspberry bush (which seems to be surviving! yay!). John painted the purple bedroom a lovely shade of blue. Together, we painted the living room white instead of brown. It's been really busy!

Let me tell you, a lot of this stuff is hard to do with the baby around. Painting, in particular. That one, we have only done when both of us are around. We just take turns with the baby. Can you imagine me trying to paint with the baby around? If he were younger, I'd have a lot of options, but with the trouble this toddler can get into in five minutes -- no way. We'd have handprints on the wall in no time.

The day the blue room (which is to be our room) got painted was the low point of the whole business. It was pouring rain, and I mean pouring ... the way it does here in Virginia. The whole sidewalk was a river, making unloading our things very difficult. The leaves I had used to mulch the tomato plants had blown right away in the storm, and the soil was eroding quite a bit. I did what I could, but in the end nothing could be done till the next time we came. By that point, the ground was cracked in the tomato bed -- alas! But I mulched it with grass clippings, which have stayed much better.

Anyway, while John was painting the blue room, I had the task of keeping the baby out of it. The house is quite small, and I know it will be tough to keep him inside on rainy days. But to keep him inside AND out of the one room where Daddy is and interesting things are happening? No way. He also didn't nap. We're still figuring out exactly how he will be sleeping in the new house. He has his own room, but I'm not sure if he can sleep his crib. I can't lay him down in it asleep with the side on, and with the side off (as I've had it so far, up against the bed) he would probably fall out. The plan is to have him sleep on the floor. He's sleeping on the floor now, in our current apartment, because we brought the crib to the house. I just really hope he makes the transition to the new house AND the new room okay. I may have to sleep in there with him for a few nights.

After that, though, it did get easier. The day we painted the living room, John and I took turns painting and playing outside with the baby. Then the baby did manage to nap in his room, and we painted like mad and got it done. Painting is hard work!

Another challenge was today, when I brought a bunch of boxes down by myself while John was at work. Do you know how hard it is to load up a car with heavy boxes with a toddler around? This apartment is on the second floor, so there are bound to be a few moments while I go up and down the stairs where the baby is unattended. He has to be carried up and down the stairs, and I can't do it holding boxes.

I tried what I usually do when bringing in groceries: putting him in his high chair. I even buckled him in, which I don't usually do, to be extra safe. But he wasn't hungry and didn't want to be in the high chair -- I heard him wailing as I rushed down the steps with the first box. When I came back, he was STANDING UP in the high chair, yelling like mad and preparing to pitch himself to the floor. Scratch that idea.

The next trip, I tried just leaving him on the floor in the apartment, involved in some playing he was doing. When I came back, he was flattened against the door weeping because he was sure I was never coming back! (He doesn't usually care that much, but perhaps I ought to mention that he's been laid low with a terrible cold these past three days. So have I ... which has made even surviving difficult, much less packing.) At least the baby was safe, but I was still nervous that he'd recover from his panic and decide to tear the apartment apart or stick my keys in the outlet, so I tried option three.

Option three is taking him down to the car, buckling him into his carseat, and leaving him there while I rushed up to get the rest of the boxes. Pros: baby is confined, baby is relatively happy (yay! outside! we're going somewhere! and Mommy's just out of sight in the front seat ... right?). Cons: Someone is going to see him there, notice he is both adorable and unattended, and either kidnap him or call the cops. Luckily neither of those things happened, and we got the car packed without incident. Thank goodness.

On Saturday, we're going to move for real. At least, we will move ourselves and the bare necessities still here. We still have another week on our lease, so we'll be back to clean. There are a lot of spots on the carpet (mostly due to food flinging) that I'm going to have to work on. The good news is that I've discovered a new weapon: vinegar. I got the huge splash of baby tylenol on the hall carpet (that stuff is horrible on carpets -- it's sticky and attracts dirt) out with white vinegar and elbow grease, after the "real" carpet cleaner totally failed.

I'm really looking forward to actually living in our new house! The best of it will be my new ability to let the baby play outside all day long without packing him into a stroller and taking him down to the playground every time. And if I realize I need something inside? I can just pop in and get it! Also, no cans and cigarette butts littering the grass.

It's going to be great!


Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

I love white vinegar! Hydrogen peroxide is also great for certain carpet stains (like dried coffee). On another note, whoever decided to carpet the only dining area in an apartment obviously did not have children in mind. Seriously.

I highly recommend Cheryl Mendelson's book "Laundry: The Care and Keeping of Clothes" (I think that's what it's called anyway). It's my go-to source for solutions to carpet stains and other laundry conundrums. You might be able to find the book at the library.

Sheila said...

Thanks -- I might try that book! Seriously, the carpet in here is the bane of my existence. Everything is carpeted but the bathroom and the (tiny) kitchen. The new place is hardwood and I can't believe how happy I am about that!

Hydrogen peroxide is the only thing I found that could get red wine out of a turquoise shirt without making it fade! I thought that shirt was a goner for sure, but the internet told me a combination of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap would get it out ... and it did!

Enbrethiliel said...


I read somewhere that if you don't wait for the red wine to dry, you can splash some white wine on it to neutralise the red. But this advice was for carpets and not clothes, so I don't know how well it would work in that case, Sheila.

PS--Poor Marko, flattened against the door and weeping! =P I know I should be a little more understanding of his tender feelings, but that is just so cute!

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