Sunday, November 23, 2008

When last we left our heroes . . .

. . . we were stuck in Burley, ID. Dominic made it to his first day of work on Monday after driving 2.5 hours. The kids and I got to hang out in Burley.

However, we were at a motel right off the highway, and the town was a few miles away. I pulled out the stroller and tried to walk. I hit a snag when I realized there wasn't even a shoulder, let alone a sidewalk, on the overpass leading into town. I left the boys with strict instructions to hold tight to the stroller while I checked on the median; turns out it was not an option. While I was off investigating, a lady drove by and saw the kids by the side of the road. She thought "uh oh" and pulled over. Her name was Carrie, and she was relieved to see me walk back. She drove an SUV, so the stroller and all of us fit just fine. Carrie was our angel, taking us into town to a great park and giving me her phone number.

The children happily played for awhile; I accidentally fell asleep on a bench. When Sammy needed to go potty (Benjamin's potty training has gone out the window), we found a thrift store that let us use their bathroom. Dominic's boss let him leave early to come get us. We all made it up to Caldwell that night. In case you're wondering, Dominic made that 2.5 hour drive 3 times, totaling 555 miles driven in 1 day. Wow.

The rest of the week has been occupied with learning a new job and looking for housing. Dominic likes his job already. He works with crazy people again, but he'll always have that in psychology. The housing market is wide open, with lots of houses for rent under $700 a month. The problem occurs in that most owners work through rental agencies, whose hours are the same as Dominic's. So we've looked at a lot of places and actually applied to 2. For the first house, we turned in the application an hour after someone else; of course they got it. For the second house, they should let us know tomorrow. We have a list of places to call if that falls through, too.

Meanwhile, we are all tired of living in hotels. Our first motel was cute, and we had a patio right over a river. When the boys first saw the water, they both said, "we shouldn't throw anything in there." And they didn't. But after a few days we needed a change of scenery. Plus, they told us the weekly rate was not retroactive. We are now at a Days Inn, which has internet, a laundry room and a continental breakfast, which saves on our food bill. Cute is not modern.

The children are holding up as well as can be expected. They watch a ridiculous amount of t.v., but there's nothing else to do. The boys have a lot of energy, and their only outlets are wrestling and jumping on the beds. Lisy has started screaming whenever she's tired or hungry. She is also very clingy. Tonight I held her until she fell asleep, which made for a much quieter bedtime.

Dominic and I are mostly worried about moving before Thanksgiving weekend, when every thing will be closed for 4 days.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our adventure so far

Moving is always an adventure. And when you use an old trailer hitched to a 1978 van, you get a lot more excitement than you want.

We actually packed up and cleaned our entire apartment by Saturday evening. Emily came one more door and helped with the kid's room. The Elder's Quorum loaded up our big, heavy furniture and the boxes packed thus far on Wednesday. Friday afternoon the missionaries happened through our neighborhood and helped with rest of the furniture and almost everything else. My Visiting teachers also came by and started the cleaning. Saturday was consumed with the task of fitting everything else into the nooks and crannies and the final cleaning.

Our downstairs neighbors, who I thought didn't like us, invited our children over to watch a movie and drink hot chocolate for the last 2 hours we were there. The children have done remarkably well, all things considered. Their lives have turned upside down, and they seem to be taking it all in stride.

Animals: Neighbors who moved away back in June left behind their cat, Kahlua. We've been feeding him since then. He never really accepted us, so we dropped him off at the Ogden animal shelter. Benjamin misses him and keeps asking where he is. Of the 7 degus, we gave up the 3 girls for adoption through Petco. The employees were enthralled with them and kept assuring us they'd be adopted quickly.

Saturday night we reached Snowville, just 7 miles from the state border, when the van's drive shaft fell off. We stayed the night at the only motel in town. This morning, stuck in a small Utah town on Sunday, Dominic had to drive quite a ways in our car to find an automotive store open. He spent most of the day driving and repairing that worn-out van, while the children and I ate at Mollie's Cafe and played in the motel room all day. We hit the road around 5:30 pm and made it all the way to Burley, Idaho.

Physically, we could have kept going, but Dominic needed to finish and turn in his final paper by midnight. He made it with 10 minutes to spare. We are currently staying at a Super 8 for the internet access. We are in suite at no extra charge, because they don't allow more than 4 people in a regular room. Terry cloth bathrobes - although they're always shown in the movies, I didn't know hotels actually had them! They are very comfortable.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Sunday evening

Even in the midst of all the packing, it's hard to break my Sunday routine. After the children are in bed and before Dominic comes home, it is me time. I do various things that have absolutely nothing to do with my regular responsibilities. Tonight I had great ambitions of sorting through old papers, clothes and random junk to either pack or throw out. Did I do any of it? Nope. This me-time routine is too ingrained. I rationalize it by saying I need the time to emotionally and mentally prepare for the coming week.

That being said, life is crazy! The children are bouncing off the walls, crying and screaming, wrestling more, climbing in and destroying boxes, and occasionally trying to "help" pack. Hmm.

For help I asked my sister Emily to come over with her kids, so the cousins could entertain each other. She and Troy came up with a better plan: Troy took my kids home to play with the cousins, and Em helped me pack all day without rambunctious noisemakers underfoot. It was wonderful! We packed up most of the kitchen, living room and framed pictures. My kids came home happy and exhausted. Emily and Troy are saints!

We need to be in Idaho in one week, and now it looks possible. At church today people offered to watch my kids, have us over for dinner, or physically load the trailer.

Today was also Dominic's last day at work. They held a pizza party for him. He gave them each a hand-written letter, and they each said something they remembered about him. Apparently there was lots of crying. And these are teenage boys. I think Dominic has been a positive influence on them and a great staff member - his boss cried on and off all shift.

After only 2 years, this has definitely become our home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Job

Since receiving his master's degree, Dominic has been looking for a job that will reflect his higher education, plus have better hours, and is physically safer (the mentally ill, delinquent teenage boys he currently works with tend to be violent).

Last Tuesday he went to Idaho for a job interview, about 5 hours away. The rest of us tagged along to check out the new town.

The town was smaller than I expected and not quite as cute as the website made it look. But it is only 30 minutes from Boise, which is the biggest city in Idaho, so it's in the vicinity of civilization.

The interview went very well; Dominic even made them laugh. And on Friday they called back to offer him the job. It met the above mentioned requirements, plus it offers a 50% wage increase and will allow him to work on his doctorate, so he accepted.

Then they asked him to start as soon as possible. He talked them into giving us 2 weeks in order to move. I was really hoping for a full month, like we had the last time we moved, but they didn't want to wait any longer.

Yikes!! We only have 2 weeks to pack up and move?! Not to mention looking for a place to live. However, housing is much cheaper there. For an extra $150 a month, we can rent a 3 bedroom house, which will be much nicer than the 2 bedroom upstairs apartment we're in now. Children should never have to live in an upstairs apartment - it's impossible for them to be quiet on the floor.

Needless to say the next few weeks will be busy and exciting.

Overheard at church

As a parent, sometimes I say things that are necessary but sound funny when I think about it. This past Sunday my comments were fairly amusing.

* Stop picking your nose and just eat your fruit snacks.

* Lisy, don't tackle your brother.

* No severing limbs at church. (they were pretending)

* Benjamin - Where's Jesus?
Me - Right there in that picture.
Benjamin - No, the walking Jesus.
Me - Oh, he's just a man with long hair and a beard.
Sammy - Why?
Me - Because he likes his hair long and he has a beard? I don't know.