July 23, 2012

Catching Up

So… The blog is getting a bit dusty. In my legitimate defense, I have been a bit busy moving halfway across the country. But it’s definitely time for some quick catch up. This is what you’ve missed in the past almost two months.

Just to make life exciting before a big move, just after H’s birthday we started to notice she was having trouble hearing. At first it seemed like a three-year-old game, but after a couple of weeks we started to notice that she really wasn’t hearing us. For example, my husband came in the front door and she never heard him. Normally at the first sound of doorknob turning she’d take off like a shot to greet him.

I hounded the audiologist’s receptionist into an appointment one week before the packers were to arrive. On that Monday we found out that her ear drums were not actually moving. At all. The ear infection that she’d gotten at the beginning of May had never cleared out of her ears. Everything sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher to her, “Womp womp womp…”

I had been resisting tubes for basically her whole life. She didn’t get many ear infections when she nursed full time but as she nursed less and less, she got more and more infections. Her inability to hear, however, made it an easy decision. This is where I plug the AI Dupont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, DE. God forbid you ever need to take your child to the hospital, but if you do, you should go there. They are amazing, wonderful, competent people.

We got an appointment to see the ENT the NEXT DAY. They confirmed that tubes were needed and scheduled the surgery for the NEXT DAY to accommodate the fact that we were about to move. The surgery took about 15 minutes and H came through with flying colors. Everyone was incredibly kind and sweet. They even squeezed in a follow up for the next week before we left town.

A few days later the packers showed up. Or packer, really. We got one guy. He packed our entire house in two days. To put this in perspective for those not familiar with military moves, you normally get three or four packers and it takes them two days to pack all your stuff into boxes. It was crazy. He was a machine. As it turned out he packed some things better than others, but we’ll get to that.

Other than the horrendous gas mileage I got driving through the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky with a car top carrier and 600 extra pounds of our stuff in the car, the drive cross country was quite uneventful. It was especially uneventful through Indiana—where there was no place to stop. I think there was one Wendy’s and a sketchy Subway in the whole state. If you’re driving out to see us, you’ve been warned. Eat in Kentucky.

H snoozing on her air mattress in the hotel on our way cross country.

Josh accidentally set up the directions to take us in the back gate of Scott. I have to say I was a little apprehensive when we got off the highway and drove through a solid 15-20 minutes of corn before we got to the base. There is a lot of corn here. And soy beans. H announces, “Corn! Look, Mommy, corn!” every time we drive anywhere.

The TLF (temporary lodging facilities) were actually quite nice. I think they are converted old base housing. They are three or four bedroom town houses. The size was amazing. The air conditioning was not. It was 68 degrees downstairs and 75-78 degrees upstairs. We literally spent two weeks wrapped in blankets and sweaters and socks any time we were downstairs just so we wouldn’t swelter upstairs. We also had an invasion of ants, and our hall bath leaked through the ceiling into the kitchen. My mantra was, “This is not my house.”

You can imagine my relief to move in to our very own house. Thanks to a mutual friend we met a great family that lives right behind us who have girls the same age. H got to spend the afternoon in their kiddie pool while the grownups (thank you Mimi and Aunt Kaitie!!!) checked off boxes, directed traffic, and frantically unpacked. The movers agreed to take away any boxes we emptied before they left and we were able to give at least half of them back.

The good news was that no boxes went missing. We were incredibly spoiled on our last move when we went door to door and had a fantastic driver. Nothing was broken or even scratched. Perfect. This time our stuff had to go to storage for about three weeks. The guy who boxed stuff up did a pretty good job. The guys who loaded the truck completely sucked. I have a hallway bench with both doors broken off despite the fact it came off the truck wrapped in a blanket that was secured with tape. The center leg of my couch was broken off. And they took apart my full length mirror and futon and then didn’t pack the screws. Yup. They didn’t pack the screws. We still have a lovely pile of futon parts stacked in our play room because there’s no way to put them together. I managed to find hex bolts the right size for my mirror, which are not as pretty as the decorative screws that used to go there, but we still have to try adding some washers if I want to see myself and not the ceiling. If anyone out there has any thoughts on where I can get pretty replacement screws for a stand mirror, please leave a comment. It was a gift from my grandparents when I turned 12, so I’m rather peeved that they lost the screws. They also moved my double bookcase with the removable shelves inside. When it came off the truck I thankfully had all the shelves, but I was nine plastic shelf brackets short. Thank goodness for Lowes. I was able to find replacements. The bookcase is Ikea and getting spare parts out of them is like prying apart a nun’s knees.

As we opened boxes I became extremely glad that I insisted on taking all the crystal and china with us in the car. My waffle iron was shattered. And so was every single ceramic Halloween decoration I had gotten as wedding shower gifts. They just weren’t wrapped well enough, which is what happens when you have one guy pack your house in two days. Of course with things like that it’s not so much the cost of the items as the fact that they’re associated with a very specific person and memory that you really can’t replace.

Since then we’ve just been unpacking and getting lost around town. The area is actually great. There’s a lot to offer locally and a mind boggling amount of stuff in St. Louis. We’ve already impulse purchased Redskins tickets for September when they’re in town. I’ve never been to a pro-football game before.

As I type this I am surrounded by piles of office/spare bedroom paraphernalia that is still not put away. But the computer is up, the Internet is working, and I’m back at the keyboard.

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