Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Extremely Abbreviated Update which is actually quite long...

The problem with disappearing from your blog for a while is that when you come back there's the sense of having to explain the absence and quite honestly, all of that explaining is too boring to even contemplate so I will give you an Extremely Abbreviated Update.

  1. Rented a house in Potomac, MD.
  2. Hosted a farewell Oneg service at our temple. 
    1. Wept like mad when the rabbi said nice things about our family.
  3. Threw ourselves a huge farewell bash. 
    1. Danced like mad.
    2. Wept like mad in Amy's arms.
  4.  Went to Cape Cod for Thanksgiving.
    1. Due to some overzealous turkey preparations dinner was ready at noon. 
    2. This led to turkey leftovers for actual dinner. FTW!
  5. Went to the beach and allowed children and dogs to frolic on the sand.
    1. Lily's frolicking may have involved getting very wet and required an impromptu clothes change in the car.
  6. Emptied out much of the basement so that my lovely neighbors could avail themselves of our stuff.
    1. Force myself not to weep like mad when the small kids table is carried away by sweet family down the street.
  7. Junked like mad with Amy. 
    1. Did not weep. 
    2. Ate nachos.
  8. Miscellaneous housewife nonsense which includes, but is no way limited to:
    1. laundry
    2. cooking
    3. cleaning
    4. watching Law and Order
    5. playing games on my iphone
    6. beating my husband at scrabble
    7. reading detective novels
    8. teaching the children
    9. driving the children all over town
This week I have also been Christmas shopping.

Lily's list is a pantheon of disgusting desires. She wants the zombie cooking toy that makes candy that looks like viscera and is served out of a skull. Additionally, she wants the toy that makes rubber bugs and a scar and wound special effects kit. Today she asked for a t-shirt that says, "I'm with Stupid", but honestly, I must draw the line somewhere.

Rebecca's requests are far more dignified. A book about gnomes and some art supplies are near the top of her list, as well as a gift card to Forever 21. What kind of a kid is Rebecca? When we went to the mall she went to Bath and Body Works and bought lip gloss and socks. Socks. Add a murder mystery novel and a cup of coffee and she is me.

This week I dragged at the Christmas stuff out of the basement to decorate the house. With the move looming in the near distance I didn't really want to go whole hog, but the children wailed at that notion so I decided to let them decorate with the caveat that I could "edit" afterwards. Not a decoration was spared. The downstairs is extremely festive. Seriously festive. Like Christmas exploded festive. I left most of it, because well, why the hell not.

 So, I think we are all caught up. I am going to try to blog daily.  I appreciate your indulgence and apologize in advance for my inevitable failure.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twenty houses...

Well, we've been here in Chevy Chase, MD for about three days. In those days we have been in two states and one district.

Our first day here was full of excitement and thrills! The birth of a new life! Possibilities abounded!

We started by driving through Maryland, up towards Gaithersburg. There we giddily stopped at a house with a "For Rent" sign hanging on the lawn. As we got out of the car a small herd of deer paused from nibbling the grass to look up at us. It was as if the angels of house hunting had chosen that moment to smile down upon us and lift any worry away from our troubled souls. When the realtor arrived however, we were met with an unwelcome shock. The house simply would not do. It had not been updated since 1967. Wood paneling, harvest gold bathrooms, and a tiny kitchen were ice water in the face of our drunken joy. The deer mocked us and the angels looked upon us with pitying disdain.

Dejectedly we drove away. The rest of the day was spent touring Maryland, listening to the whining of children, and the complaints of commuting from my husband. I on the other hand was as delightful as always.

By the time night fell we collapsed back at the hotel and ordered room service, hopeful that the next day would bring us closer to our new home.

Saturday morning we woke up refreshed and ready for new adventures. We drove out to Great Falls, Virginia to see my pals Jenny and Matt and to see some properties in their area. Our visit with our old friends and their lovely children was fantastic. How is it that none of us have aged at all in fifteen years? We are amazing creatures I tell you.

Saturday afternoon brought us through nine houses. One of them was simply amazing. Huge, beautifully decorated, and landscaped with a pool. It was perfect in every way, except that it was about $500 over our maximum budgeted price. We walked around the house feeling like country bumpkins, pathetic hayseeds stunned that a house could possess five bathrooms. The house was really too much for us. Ultimately we walked away from it. It would make us feel inferior- miserable that my junk store finds which looked so cozy in my small house would look like trash in this elegant home.

We saw one other house which I quite loved. It was roomy enough for our family and friends without feeling too fussy for us. On the way home from Virginia I couldn't help but worry about the commute for David. Even on a Saturday afternoon the traffic was heavy, and seemed like another invitation for misery.

Sunday morning dawned with no vim or vigor. We felt exhausted, defeated, and more than a little cranky. The mood of the children ranged from to grumbling surliness to outright hostility. We saw many houses, none of which were quite right. In fact we were about to quit, to drive away and drown our sorrows in room service when we received a call from a craigslist posting and decided to try one last house. As we approached the neighborhood we started to perk up. Hmmmm. This neighborhood is nice! It must be completely out of our price range we thought.

"Don't get your hopes up!" we all warned each other. "It's probably too expensive for us."

People, we walked in and found a really great house. Not perfect in every way, mind you. There were no angels or talking pugs guiding our way, but it is a pretty great house. As David and I wandered the house we heard squeals of laughter coming from the backyard. There we saw the children playing with a neighbor child on the tree swing.

We are submitting an application to rent it. It's a little more than we budgeted for, but the short commute and great house make it worth it. Keep your fingers crossed for us dear internet, because if we have to start looking for houses again I'm pretty sure we'll need family counseling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On our way...

My bags are packed. The house sitter is on route. The dogs are unaware.

Tomorrow the girls and I are headed down to DC to begin exploring the area. We need to find a great area to live, a dance studio, a horse farm, a synagogue, a junk store, a place that has great cheeseburgers, and a dog park.

Luckily we already know that DC has some gorillas. The girls and I plan to make the acquaintance of the National Zoo gorillas at our earliest convenience. I wonder if they will be able to tell that the girls and I are gorilla people. Will they know that we have spent hours staring through the glass into the eyes of their nearly human brothers and sisters?

These are the things we need to sort out.

One of the highlights of our trip will be visiting my best friends from college, Jenny and Matt. When we were in college, people didn't have email. Or cell phones. I was still a cat person.

The world is a very different place and yet, there they are- those two crazy kids who fell head over heels for each other, who traveled the world, had three kids and are traveling the world again. I can't wait to see them.

So there you go. That is the extent of the excitement in my life. No dead birds, insects, or rodents. No barf, animal or otherwise, just a civilized trip to visit the birth of our new life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My psyche, snow, and Target...

Those of you who are in New England, live on the east coast, or have any sort of exposure to the media are probably aware of our crazy Snowtober storm. Yes, that's right, we were treated to some heavy rain followed by even heavier snow and wind. This lead to the inevitable power outage. It was exciting to lay in bed Saturday night and listen to the branches and trees creaking and breaking. By morning my street looked like a it had been hit by a tornado. Power lines were down and trees were blown across the road.  We lost a huge limb out back, but it caused no damage.

We did lose power for about 12 hours. You know what I do when I lose power? I wander around Target for a few hours to stock up on batteries and flashlights and somehow end up with extra Halloween candy and some cute tops which needed a good home. It was the only way to comfort my battered psyche.

The 12 hours without power really stressed me out. I realized that the fatigue of managing the move and the reality of leaving my town (and most especially Amy) have me just barely keeping my head above water. Losing power and having the additional worries of staying warm and keeping the food from spoiling were more than I could manage.

Once the power came back on I felt such relief. It was so nice to return to my regular worries which felt like old, though annoying friends. A power outage on the other hand, is nothing but a thug.

Happily our town did not postpone Halloween and my children were able to collect plenty of candy for me to steal from them when they are not paying attention. Tramping around in the cold seems to have given everyone colds, so today I was back at Target to return the unopened extra bags of Halloween candy and the surplus lanterns so that I could purchase mucinex and tissues.

This my friends, is the thrill of middle age. What adventures will we have next?