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I’ve lived in over 20 houses. That means I have moved more than 20 times.
I hate moving.
I love starting fresh. Purging & organizing the build up of stuff we have. Starting with a clean slate (& cupboards). The fresh feeling of a new (to me) house. The novelty of sleeping in a different space.
But the actual moving I HATE. The thought of it makes me physically sick.
It has nothing to do with the actual labour of it – these last 3 moves I didn’t have to do a lick of packing but the stress was the same (in some ways worse).
The planning, figuring out logistics, sorting out details for the new house & turning over of the old house. Making sure all the family members make it through safely. Dealing with the garbage & food & cleaning… It keeps my head spinning & gut in knots.
I fantasize that one of these moves (& I am sincerely hoping there won’t be many more but only time will tell if that is the case) someone will tell me the day before everything is going to happen (I don’t even want to know I will be moving until the day before the action starts!) & then ship me off for a week long cruise. Better yet they send me on the cruise without telling me why! When I return everything will be done & I will walk into my new house all organized with my belongings.
Maybe one day when I’m old & grey Diaperbutt will make my fantasy come true. Until then I am off to make sure all our paperwork for the critters, Diaperbutt, Patrick & I & our belongings are organized for the trip home.
The past two nights have been going away parties for Patrick. On Friday night his admin (Francini – our godsend!) had organized a surprise party at a local bar-grill with all the managers that worked for him. She told me about 2 weeks before so I could make sure he was there.
Then Patrick through a wrench into the whole thing. On Wednesday he sent out an invitation to the SAME group of people to take them out for beer & wings at the SAME restaurant on the SAME night but for 2 hours earlier!! Francini called me on Thursday absolutely confused & unsure what to do as everyone was asking her. Patrick in the meantime was irritated no one was responding to his invite. Hilarious! They ended up changing the start time of the surprise to earlier & I delayed him so he arrived late.
He was happy & really enjoyed the evening. Diaperbutt did great – after the original surprise. Patrick was holding him when he walked into the room. Everyone exploded with clapping & cheering & poor Diaperbutt had a little meltdown. That was TOO much surprise for him.
Then last night we headed over to another managers house for a farewell party. This one was not a surprise so we drove over in a convoy with other attendees.
We really had a super evening. There was a ton of great food, cold drinks & lots of friendly conversation. Diaperbutt did have a short unhappy period where I needed to bring him into a quiet room for a few minutes to nurse but otherwise he did fabulous. He was passed around for a couple hours. When he came back to me he nursed & then I threw him in the sling where he slept the rest of the evening away in the magic sleep-making sling (honestly, he never sleeps in the evening at home!).
It was really heart-touching to see how much everyone likes Patrick. It’s obvious that he has really made an impact with people here & I think he is going to be missed at work.
It’s these kinds of evenings that make me wish we were staying. Sitting outside on a warm evening, laughing, talking & drinking. Life is so sweet sometimes.
Three crazy, busy, stressful days done! The sea container is packed (I got to put the seal on it myself!) & heading to port. The house is pretty much empty (the last items should be picked up tomorrow). All the big to do items are done. Whew!!!
The first day of packing seemed to go pretty smoothly & although long wasn’t a terrible day. The second day of packing was TERRIBLY stressful. I had the cats quarantined in a spare room (key in my pocket) to prevent another disappearance of Connicher like last time, but the unhappy pair were vocal about their feelings. The dogs had to be left in the backyard all day – with all the doors open & people coming & going there was too much chance for disaster there. They also were VERY vocal about their unhappiness. Diaperbutt (sensing my stress I’m sure) was a cranky baby much of the day & was vocal about it. There was a dozen sweaty, spanish men in my house (which sounds much sexier than it is) laughing & shouting. It was a VERY, VERY noise place to be!
But the noise was really just an addition to the real stress. The furniture. We ordered furniture to be made back in January – before we knew we were moving home so soon. Last week we went to check it out – it was built but still needed to be finished (varnished, lacquered?). We were told it would be delivered Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday we were told Thursday in the morning. I had several updates Thursday.
11:30 – The truck just left – it’ll be there in an hour
1:30 – Oh yeah, there was an accident in Grecia & traffic was slow he’ll be there in an hour.
2:15 – Definitely will be there in 15 minutes
2:30 – Ummm – he’ll be there any moment
3:00 – He’s in the driveway (ok – not quite, but down the road)
So from 12:30-3:00 I had 12 men sitting waiting for the furniture. Everything else was packed & inventoried, ready to be loaded the next morning. When that truck arrived at 3:00 it was a whirlwind. I barely had a chance to take pictures of the new furniture before it was wrapped for the move.
The furniture arriving decreased my stress level tenfold & I was able to go on to have a wonderful evening with Patrick & friends (after a good long shower). Overall my stress level would have been ok during the day if even one person had shown up at the time they had said (but there’s my Canadian standards at work again!).
Today went quite smoothly (& as I write this I realize by today I actually mean yesterday as it is currently the wee hours of the morning). I showed up at the house at 8:00am as per the schedule (we are now staying at one of Patrick’s coworker’s house who is in the states). The representative helping us move was only 15 minutes late. The people from the old age home scheduled to pick up the furniture we were donating were an hour late (you’d think if you were getting a pile of free stuff you’d be ON TIME). And the movers were 30 minutes late. Which meant that instead of the donated furniture being gone when the movers started everyone was trying to move everything all at once. Eek!
It turned out well in the end. I was worried the movers would be irritated ’cause the others were in the way but the shipping container was too big for the driveway anyway so it was all good.
But wow, was watching the old age home people load their truck entertaining. I think they redid the load at least 5 times trying to get it all in (they had a second smaller truck but only put a couple things in it). This was true outside the box thinking – I can’t imagine ever trying to load a truck like this & then actually DRIVE it anywhere!
It took the donation guys as long to load their stuff as it did the movers to load the entire sea container. Just shy of two hours.
Diaperbutt & I then loaded up the SUV (ok – he watched) with stuff to go to friends’ houses & headed back to the house we’re staying at for a much needed nap (let’s just say we have been a little bit short on quality sleep the last few days) & Geraldine stayed behind to finish cleaning all the floors in the house.
There are still quite a few to do items on my list but nothing major & everything evenly scheduled over the next 3 days.
We also got really neat news today. Because we had Diaperbutt here in Costa Rica we qualify for permanent residency – even though we are moving back to Canada. The lawyer is working on the paperwork for it now. Who knows if it is something that will ever actually work out as an advantage for us but as things do tend to “come back around again” we figure it will be good to have.
3.5 sleeps (tonight is obviously not going to be a good night’s sleep!) & we’re heading home. Once we’re all (dogs, cats, baby & luggage) on the plane I think I will have a very good sleep!
Patrick, Diaperbutt & I had such a nice weekend at the beach. Punta Leona is nothing really special as far as resorts go. The rooms are very simple but clean. Really with some decent mattresses I would have no complaints about them at all (by CR standards they’re very good!)
After we got the mix-up with our reservation sorted out (honestly I think I’ve had more hotels not hold my reservation then actually hold my reservation!!) we spent most of our time by the pools. We’d swim some, drink some, nap some (ok – the napping was mostly Diaperbutt) & swim some more.
It struck me as I watched the parade of women in bikinis how compromised my body image is – although I would probably be safe in saying it is a cultural thing as much as anything. There was not one but many women my size or larger wearing bikinis & looking perfectly comfortable doing so. Is it them that is wrong for not wearing an “appropriate” suit for their size or our rules about who’s “allowed” to wear a bikini wrong? How great it must be to have that kind of body confidence regardless of your size? To be able to look in the mirror & say “Yeah, I’ve got a little extra weight but I still look good!”.
I also learned that beaches & young babies are a tricky combination. My years lifeguarding taught me that sand gets EVERYWHERE but with a baby that potential is much more bothersome. Diaperbutt can be a quick mover & this weekend he ate his fair share of sand – good thing I don’t have a germphobia!
Diaperbutt is 5 months today!!!! Wow!
The movers come today to start packing up the house, so we are well on our way to making this move happen. Unfortunately someone closed the door to the bathroom the litterbox is in (all I know is it was NOT me) & the cats both eliminated in the livingroom last night & I cannot for the life of me find the smell!!! I cleaned & mopped but it still smells! So embarassing – I do not relish the idea of a stranger finding the source of the stench (or smelling the stench for that matter) – sigh!
Sorry for the weird, disjointed post.
Patrick took tomorrow & Monday off & we’re going to the beach for the weekend!!!
Our original plan was that we would take a week or so after the house was packed & before we flew back to Canada to take a proper vacation but with all the flight booking craziness we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. So we’re doing a long weekend instead.
So I’m about to go take my shower, head out with Diaperbutt to fill the vehicle with gas & some groceries. This afternoon we head out for the Pacific coast with a short pitstop by Sarchi to check out our furniture which is finished! From Sarchi it is a straight (or rather a very curvy drive) through the mountains to Punta Leona. (I finally figured out how to do that link thing properly!)
I would have liked to go somewhere we hadn’t been before but with the last minute planning of this we decided it would be easier to just go with what we know works.
Remember Jurassic Park? Well, it was filmed in Costa Rica. Apparently most of the little cabins at Punta Leona were built for the crew on that movie. After the filming was done it was turned into a resort & nature reserve.
More than anything we’re just looking forward to a little bit of quiet family time. Next week will be such a zoo with getting the house packed, cancelling all our services here, having our furniture delivered …. So I plan to fully enjoy a relaxing weekend by the ocean.
There are items that have been on my To Do List for months. Literally months. And it’s not because I have been neglecting them but because everytime I think I’ve finally got them figured out they seem to end up back on my lap again. Sometimes I think I’m gonna get dizzy from all the circles I’m making.
But the past two weeks have been so incredibly productive & it feels like things are falling into place. I’m actually knocking some of these long term items off the list.
Maybe the impending move is motivating me to get things done so we can start fresh with the new move or maybe the stars are aligned just right or maybe I’m finally get the infamous payoff for persistance. Don’t really care why, I’m just happy to put that permanent black line through the To Do items.
Next on the list: two letters. One to Air Canada telling them what gomars they are & one to Air Transat praising Simon – the agent that has called back twice to make sure everything is set up perfectly for our flight home! Finally someone going above & beyond the expected (ok – the bar of expected is getting pretty low – but still a refreshing experience).
We finally figured it out. After over two weeks of back & forth trying to figure out how to get Sadie back to Canada we’ve figured it out. And stupidly it is the same solution we used to get her down here.
Once again I tried all the major air carriers. Although I got different answers from all of them the complication & cost was astronomical with all of them – just in different ways.
The final tipping point was when we were told that Sadie was going to have to spend the night in customs in Toronto regardless of how we sent her. Huh? How’s that now? After calling customs myself I was assured by two different people that they are open 24 hours & there would be no reason she wouldn’t clear customs immediately. This just seemed to us the final point we needed to confirm our suspicions that this “agent” we’ve been trying to work with is dirty.
So, our vacation is off & we are all flying home together on Air Transat on March 31st. This is their last flight of the season – hence the cancelling of the vacation we were going to take the first week of April.
Why did we not just do this to start with? Well, mainly because I am apparently a little bit dense. I had looked up this option several weeks ago & came away with the conclusion they were not flying to Costa Rica this year. Unfortunately (& this is the dense bit) I was actually looking at Transat Holidays & not Air Transat. It wasn’t until Thursday night when another couple who is down here from Montreal told me her family had recently come down on Air Transat. DAMN!!! Guess I should have looked further than just the first google search item. (Ok – to be fair, is there that few plausible names for an airline that they need to practically duplicate each other?)
The best part: all 7 (Patrick, Diaperbutt, Sadie, Macie, Charlotte, Connicher & I) of us be flying home together & for less than it was supposedly going to cost us for just Sadie on Air Canada. Here’s one guarantee – we will be quite the sight in the San Jose airport!
Is surprising how a baby sleeping through the night is both exciting & totally disconcerting all at once.
It is so awesomely exciting to get a full night’s sleep after so many disrupted nights.
But it also seriously messes with your mind:
2:00am – I’m awake, my boobs are very full, surely he’s going to wake up any minute.
2:30am – Guess I’ll just let myself drift back off as he seems to be soundly sleeping.
7:30am – OH NO!!! SPRINT to the crib – is he breathing? OH MY GAWD are my boobs full.
9:30am – Ok – if this baby doesn’t wake up soon I am literally. going. to. explode. – but it’s wrong to wake a baby. Isn’t it?
All day I’ve been musing: How can he go from waking up every 2 hours one night to sleeping 11 hours the next night? Does it mean he’s sick? What did I do differently to set this up? Having I been doing something crazy wrong all along that kept him from sleeping – what was it?
But the biggest mind trick is trying to not get excited. ‘Cause we all know this was just a trick, a one time fluke. But wow, do I ever hope it’s not. But what if this is the new schedule – wouldn’t that be terrific?! Oh, but I’d better prepare myself that it isn’t going to happen again. Back & forth in my mind. But let’s be honest, we all know I’m hoping it really is the new sleep schedule.
That’s the problem with hope – it’ll always get ya!
I actually made this awhile ago but took a long time to actually take photos of it. I made the little animals out of scraps of material I had sitting in the cupboard & traced cookie cutters for the shapes. I sewed them by hand while breastfeeding (on my back since that is the only position I can breastfeed hands free – how’s that for talent?!). They were stuffed with little bits of an old couch pillow. The hard part was stringing them up balanced. I think I did it the hard way but in the end it all worked out. The whole thing then spent a long time hanging from the chandelier in the diningroom (the exact spot I assembled it funny enough) before I finally brought a hammer, nail & the mobile upstairs to hang it above the change table.