Posts Tagged "moving"

Checking In

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 | 0 comments

Checking in to let you all know we’re finally moving into our new place this weekend, so once we get settled I’ll be back here full time.  So much to share – thanks for hanging in there!!!

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Tell Me A Story

Posted by on Aug 1, 2010 | 3 comments

I’d love to come here and say we’ve moved and everything went swimmingly.  We arrived in Canada, found my husband a job and a place to live immediately, moved in and the kids are just grand.

Not exactly.  Ok, not at all.

My husband does indeed have a new job, but it didn’t happen immediately.  A month into our odyssey we’re also still living in my brother-in-law’s basement, and it’s time to move on.  We have amazing family who have gone above and beyond for us, but the bottom line is we have seven (yes, 7) children age six and under living in one home.  It’s a 24-hour preschool.

The boys have taken it in stride, but Jack’s patience is starting to wear thin.  He needs his own place and his own space and his own things.  He needs his alone time.  So do I.

It’ll happen soon, I know.  In the meantime, though, it’s a minute-to-minute situation.  I’m using all of my patience and skills to keep my boys happy and my Jack together. 

I know you usually come here for a laugh or two, but this time I’m asking that of you.  Please, tell me a story.  Make me laugh. I could use a good giggle to get me going again.

I promise to get back to your regularly scheduled jocularity tomorrow.

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Unexpected Awesomeness

Posted by on Jul 26, 2010 | 0 comments

If you’ll recall, we called a cease-fire in the potty-training war during the moving process.  Moving has been stressful enough, additional pressure on both Jack and the rest of us wasn’t worth it.  Instead, Jack has been wearing diapers.  All the time.  Like potty training never happened.

I can hardly blame him.  Jack only liked going potty in “his” potty at home, and home as he knew it is no longer.  His one area of control evaporated, so he adjusted the only way he knew how. 

We’ve been living in my husband’s brother’s basement for almost a month now while we get settled in our new country. We have a space to ourselves, with bedrooms for us and the boys.  We have our own bathroom, too. 

For the first few weeks nothing happened.  And then, out of the blue, Jack asked to go potty.  We busted out the prize box and dangled a few delights under his nose.  At the prospect of a new parachute man, Jack went potty.  And there was much rejoicing. 

Jack was so enthusiastic we had to institute a two-prize daily limit. 

On a hike through Vancouver’s Endowment Lands, Lennon had to go.  He’s a big fan of peeing in the great outdoors, and pomptly picked a nice moss-covered tree.  Not to be outdone, Jack decided it would be a good time to start peeing outside, too.  And so he went.

Tree huggers

And then he went at Vancouver Place.  Twice.  And at the restaurant where we had dinner.  And he’s used the potty every time, both at home and out in the world, ever since. 

We’re still dealing with nighttimes (both boys), but all in due time. 

Miracles happen when you least expect them.  Or when a little boy decides to expand his definition of control.

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Can You Cry About It?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2010 | 2 comments

Can You Cry About It?

There is a hierarchy in our family, as I’m sure there is in any family with multiple children.  We have a daredevil, a non-conformist and a snitch.  Who occupies these roles at any given minute is subject to change.

When the boys are in bed, however, there is no ambiguity.  Jack is the lord and master of the bedroom, and Lennon is his minion.

It took us a while to figure this out.  Every nap and bedtime, Lennon would knock on the door, waiting patiently for one of us to come and bring him a sippy of water or a new diaper or to tuck him back in.  Gradually, the requests were less about his wants and more about Jack.

“Jack wants something to drink.”  “Jack needs a new diaper.”  “Jack wants a different toy.”

I assumed Lennon was just being the caretaker he tends to be, and looking out for his big brother.  On our recent move, though, the truth came out.

Jack and Lennon have always shared a room, and on our vacation they shared a bed, too.  Since we all stayed in the same room, we were privvy to their bedtime conversations that had hitherto been behind closed doors.

Even though we were mere feet away, Lennon still told us when Jack needed something, usually after much whispering.  During one nap time, I caught the conversation.

Jack: “I need a new diaper.  Can you cry about it?”

Lennon, sobbing: “Mom! Dad! Jack needs a new diaper.”

Amazing.  Jack has his own trained monkey.

We have been trying to break the invisible hold Jack has over Lennon, but they both seem oddly comfortable in their roles.

I’m wondering how this will play out in high school.

 

A Boy and His Monkey

UPDATE 11 MARCH 2011:

Jack and Lennon are both now quite potty trained, but this behaviour has not changed.  If Jack has to potty in the middle of the night, he stands at his brother’s bedside kicking him until he wakes up.  Then Lennon is to come get one of us and inform us that Jack has to go.  In the meantime, Jack does a sad potty dance, waiting.  We have repeatedly told Jack that he is allowed to get up and go to the bathroom whenever he has the need (as Lennon does), but he refuses.

Either old habits die hard or he’s just not ready to give up his manservant.

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Consistency is Key

Posted by on Jul 10, 2010 | 0 comments

We have emerged from our moving-adventure-cocoon, and there is so much to tell! 

To begin with, moving, as many of you know, is a stressful experience for everyone involved.  Adding three small boys into the mix didn’t help things for us at all.  Not a bit.  The boys handled the inpending changes in stride, only acting out a bit.  When the movers showed up several hours early on the big day, though, all bets went out the window.

I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our hero, Monika, for swooping in like the angel she is and taking all three kids to lunch.  And the playground.  Alone.  By herself.  With no help.  This is a feat even I don’t often attempt.  Monika rocks our world.

Around the crack of midnight we left Los Angeles.  Yes, midnight.  In addition to greatly underestimating how much time it would take us to get out of the apartment, packed up and on the road, we also misjudged the distance to our hotel for the evening.

We got settled in at 5am.  The sun was rising, but David and I were ready to hit the sack for at least a few hours.  Guess who wasn’t?  The three musketeers were ready to start their day.  Of course.  They were in a new place at a strange time and weren’t having the “let’s just lie down for a bit” line we were trying to feed them.

The second night we made it to San Francisco, where we would be staying for a few days to visit with family and do some sight-seeing.  We had a room at the local Courtyard by Marriott, which is our hotel of choice.  They have free internet, a little 24-hour market with microwavable food, and the coup-de-grace, a room that comes with one huge king-sized bed and a fold-out couch.  The fold-out couch is key here.  Jack and Lennon love to help fold it out and make up “their” bed. 

Between San Francisco and Seattle (where we had another Marriott room waiting) we had planned two days to make our way through Oregon and Washington leisurely.  A thought struck us – maybe instead of “winging it” for two days, we’d actually plan our trip a bit and go where the Courtyard Marriott took us.  We found hotels in Meford, Oregon and Portland, and headed out. 

The tradeoff in losing our spontenaity was the glorious gift of consistency.  We could tell the boys that at the end of the long day they’d have their couch bed to look forward to.  Each room, while slightly different, was predictably the same, and they loved it.  Somehow such a small paeon to conformity made the rest of the stressors a little easier to bear.  

Jack thrives on consistency.  All of our children do, but Jack needs to know what to expect from his days and nights.  Moving throws all consistency out the window for everyone, and we’re doing all we can to maintain even a little.  Looking back on the first leg of our journey to a new home, I’m pretty proud of us for figuring out something so simple. 

(For the record, I am not a paid Marriott spokesperson. I’m sure any chain we had picked would have been the same throughout our journey; we just have a deep and abiding love for our Courtyard.)

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