Top Ten Reasons Moving is Like Having a Baby

Minted-Cardboard-Moving-Announcements

#10… It is a “woman” thing.

For most women, their home is a living, breathing organism with unique needs, quirks, and personality (usually a reflection of their own). It is her corner of the universe, her command center, personal sanctuary, and place of business of which she is the domestic CEO. A woman’s home is the very essence of her identity. However, for most men, a house is simply a place to eat, sleep, and store his electronics. This remains one of the cosmic mysteries between men and women.

#9… The urge to “nest” replaces the need for sleep.

A woman will lie awake into the wee hours wondering if the polka dots will clash with the bumper pattern or if the serving tray will look better on the nesting tables (pardon the pun) or the floating shelves. This same woman will leave the warmth of her husband’s side in the middle of the night to reexamine the fabric swatches or to audition the serving tray in various corners of the room just to be sure. Relocating and expecting a baby are the only acceptable excuses to allow such obsessive neuroses to go untreated by a medical professional.

#8… At some point, you change your mind, but it is too late.

Ironically, midwives call this phenomena, “Transition”– an indication that the time for delivery is near. For a woman in the throes of moving labor, this is usually the part where her possessions are hanging out the back of a trailer and/or spilling out onto the front lawn and somewhere off in the distance, she hears her toddler trip and fall over a detached dryer hose. Moving men call this phenomena, “White Lady Problems.”

#7… When people tell you that your new addition is adorable, they are lying. to. you.

Everyone knows that newborns look more like Alien spawn than baby people. Yellow cone heads with puffy eyes and abnormally disproportionate hands are the farthest thing from adorable. Equally as hideous is the pervasive smell of cardboard and the misplaced electric mixer currently taking up residence in the bathtub. Does your new addition have potential? Perhaps. Is it adorable? Hardly.

Shar Pei

#6… What was once neatly tucked away is now spilling over on all sides.

A nursing bra playing host to two lobster buoys just above what was formerly called a waistline but now looks more like a Shar Pei puppy has wrapped himself around her mid-section– this is the postpartum Body-Beautiful. Incriminating photos from Spring Break 1997 in Panama City Beach, Florida next to an pack of hemorrhoid suppositories hanging out of an open box in the middle of the living room floor–this is the post-relocation Visual Nightmare.

#5… Recovery takes 1-3 months depending on the intensity of the delivery.

‘Tis the season for unanswered emails and voicemail, paper plates, Chinese takeout, and a Get-Out-of-Recycling-FREE pass. Don’t worry about getting back into the swing until the hostess at the China Moon recognizes you on the caller ID, greets you by first name, and asks if you’d like to order “the usual”. The good new is that there is grace for long recovery– there’s also a Chin Chin on the next city block.

#4… Things just don’t fit like they used to.

No one expects your new place to resemble a spread from the Elle Decor Lookbook any more than they expect to see you slip back into your 27’s anytime before a child’s first birthday… or fifth birthday… or before his rehearsal dinner. On second thought, go ahead and accidentally leave your 27’s on the moving truck along with the Spring Break pictures of you posing in them. You don’t need those staring you in the face for years to come.

#3… Everyone has an opinion.

“That couch should go there.” “That baby’s hungry.” “You’re going to name her what?” “Shouldn’t you hang that a little higher?” “Your neighbor looks like a profiler for America’s Most Wanted.” You have heard the phrase, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion”. To this, you may respectfully add… “and I am entitled to ignore it.”

#2… The meal train’s a comin’ through.

This is one of the only perks of moving. Not to mention, if you live anywhere in the Southeast {more specifically, the Bible Belt} and are at all considering having more children, the Casserole Cascade is reason enough to both procreate and/or relocate. Should you decide to do both simultaneously, you may very well not have to by groceries until your child is well into Kindergarten. Consider the economical benefits.

…and the #1 reason that moving is like having a baby.

IF YOU REMEMBERED HOW PAINFUL IT WAS, YOU WOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Have a great weekend!

{Images via 1, 2}

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Aftermath

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Operation: Unpack Attack has officially begun. At the very least, it has inspired some creativity.

A Moving Poem

Silke Cruz

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MOVING DAY

‘ TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MOVING DAY WHEN ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE
NOT A JACKET LEFT HANGING, NOT EVEN A BLOUSE
THE BOXES STACKED HIGH ON THE DINING ROOM WALL
IN HOPES THAT A TODDLER WOULD NOT TRIP AND FALL

THE CHILDREN WERE SLEEPING UPON THEIR TWIN BEDS
WHILE VISIONS OF BUBBLE WRAP DANCED IN THEIR HEADS
AND MAMMA UN-SHOWERED, AND DAD IN A TEE
WERE HIGH ON THE FUMES OF THE MAGIC SHARPEE

WHEN FROM THE KITCHEN THEIR AROSE SUCH A CLATTER
“THAT BOX WILL NOT FIT MY GRANDMOTHER’S PLATTER!”
THE PROFANITY FLEW FROM MY MOUTH WITH A FLASH
AS I THREW THAT OLD PLATTER INTO THE TRASH

THE STRANGEST OF KEEPSAKES I SIMPLY CAN’T PART
LIKE THE LATE DOG’S COLLAR IN THE SHAPE OF A HEART
OLD PREGNANCY TESTS AND MY HOMECOMING CROWN
TEN THOUSAND GUITAR PICKS JUST LYING AROUND

WITH A RATHER LARGE DRIVER AND A TRUCK TO MANEUVER
I KNEW IN A MOMENT, THESE MUST BE THE MOVERS
WITH PADS AND WITH ROPES AND WITH DOLLYS THEY CAME
I WONDER IF THEIR MOTHERS REALLY GAVE THEM THOSE NAMES

“NOW CHEVY! NOW FAT BOY! NOW BLAZE FORTY SIPPIN’!
PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE, AND NO, I AIN’T TRIPPIN’
TO THE TOP OF THE ATTIC! TO THE TOP OF THE WALL!
NOW HAUL AWAY! HAUL AWAY! HAUL AWAY ALL!”

BACK AND FORTH, DOWN AND UP THE STAIRS THEY DO CLIMB
WHEN THEY MEET WITH AN OBSTACLE, THEY TAKE THEIR SWEET TIME
‘TIL UP TO THEIR BALD HEADS THEY GLISTEN WITH SWEAT
WHILE FORTY’S OUT BACK ON HIS NINTH CIGARETTE

AND THEN FROM THE HOUSETOP, MY SWEETHEART, HE SAID.
“I FOUND SHERIFF WOODY’S HAT UNDER THE BED!”
IF ONLY THE SAME COULD BE SAID FOR MY GLASSES
FOR P90X AND THOSE FREE MOVIE PASSES

I CLEARED EVERY SHELF, EVERY DRAWER, EVERY CLOSET
I THREW AWAY CORN FLAKES FROM WHEN BUSH WAS IN OFFICE
AND A BOX FULL OF CABLES THAT BELONGED TO MY SPOUSE
AND A FEW KNIVES I “BORROWED” FROM OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

A BUNDLE OF TOYS, BLAZE JUST FLUNG ON HIS BACK
HE LOOKED LIKE A GANGSTA THAT JUST BUSTED A CAP
HIS EYES– HOW THEY SHIFTED! HIS T-SHIRT HOW RED!
IF YOU SEE DA POLICE, WARN A BROTHER!“, IT SAID

THE STUMP OF A PIPE HE HELD IN HIS GOLD TEETH
AND THE SMOKE IT ENCIRCLED HIS HEAD LIKE A WREATH
HE HAD A BROAD FACE AND A MUCH BROAD-ER BELLY
THAT SHOOK WHEN HE HAULED LIKE A BOWL FULL OF JELLY

HE REACHED FOR THE CHINA ON TOP OF THE SHELF
I BELLOWED, “DON’T BREAK THAT!”, IN SPITE OF MYSELF
A WINK OF HIS EYE AND A DARK LOOK THAT SAID,
“BACK OFF OR I’LL SHRINK WRAP YOUR PIE HOLE INSTEAD”

HE SPOKE NOT A WORD, BUT WENT STRAIGHT TO HIS WORK
FOR DOUBTING HIS MAD SKILLS, I FELT LIKE A JERK
THESE GUYS ARE ALL PRO’S, NOW I AM SURE OF THIS
THEY’VE STACKED EVERY BOX LIKE A GAME OF TETRIS

HE SPRANG TO HIS TRUCK, TO HIS TEAM GAVE A WHISTLE
WHEN I NOTICED THAT FORTY WAS PACKING A PISTLE
BUT I HEARD HIM EXCLAIM, ‘ERE HE DROVE OUT OF SIGHT
HAPPY MOVING TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

{Image via Silke Cruz’ Pinterest}

Paralyzed Without a Chute

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I can remember feeling this way only one other time in my life.

It was six weeks from my wedding date and all I had was a ring, a dress, and a groom to prove it. Not a single flower had been ordered, invitation had been sent, or bridesmaid had been squeezed into overpriced satin. See, I was not your typical bride that had envisioned her wedding from the age of 6. The truth is, I never really gave my wedding much thought before I actually agreed to get married.

No vision + No money= Planless-ly paralyzed bride-to-be.

Instead of looking forward to my wedding day, it felt as though I was 6 weeks away from jumping out of a plane without a chute.

… which is exactly how I feel presently.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might assume we’ve taken up relocating as a new hobby. Last month, I announced that we would be moving for the FOURTH time in three years. Well, we are exactly three weeks from said move–

… and all I have is a few cardboard boxes to prove it.

I spent the latter part of May scouring the countryside for rental properties. We’re a bit high-er maintenance this time around now that Salem is getting his speech and occupational therapies through the county school system, and we’ve limited our search to three top elementary districts. Not to mention, if you’ve spent any time on the streets of Atlanta, you know that unless you live within a 15 minute radius of where you work, you will die a slow and premature death from the stress of the rush hour commute. So, we mapped our 5-ish mile radius and Mia and I drove our real estate route every morning after we dropped Salem off at school. It became so much of a routine that Mia would ask to, “go see da pwitty houses” before I could even find my car keys. I tried to keep my chin up about it, but you know what I realized pretty quickly?

There are a lot of DUMPS for rent out there.

After we completed our Curbside Drive-by Tour each morning, I wanted to jump out of the van and kiss the pavement of our current residence. It has nothing to do with size or luxury or comfort or status. It has all to do with spending 95% of my waking hours raising small children under one roof. I want to feel safe. I want to feel at rest. I want to pull up the drive and enjoy that feeling of “Ahhh– we’re home.” Not to romanticize brick and mortar too much, but I want to feel even mildly inspired within my immediate four walls.

Girls, you get this. I know you do.

With each passing day, I would return home more discouraged. With the Moving Day Skydive fast approaching, I was nearing the edge of panic. And then one morning, I was running through a neighborhood and I stumbled on a quaint little cul de sac with a home for sale. Fast forward: Quaint Little Cul de Sac House is being sold, flipped, rented out for a decent rate AND it is in a great school district, AND it is 6 minutes from Clark’s work, AND the next door neighbor doesn’t have a garden gnome in his yard holding a sign that says, “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT’ {which is more than I can say for some rentals we considered}. Problem solved, right?

No, problem not solved.

There’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The buying investor has yet to close on the property which means the home is still technically unavailable. We technically have to be out of our current residence in 3 weeks which means I’m technically contemplating voluntary admission under the Baker Act..

Plane. No chute.

I feel like I’ve turned back the clock 8 years and I am reliving my Planless-ly Paralyzing engagement. In wedded hindsight, I wish I would have had a more matured sense of adventure– perhaps a white mini dress and sneakers, a tandem bike and the downtown JOP with a black bean burger reception following at the Vortex in Little Five Points. It might have made for a great story and even better pictures. But the sheer gravity of making the single most important decision of my adult life had me thinking my wedding day ought to be a bit more sacred than sporty. S-a-c-r-e-d for us was spelled 30 people, a three-day weekend, and a vow-exchange on the side of a mountain. It was spontaneous and intimate and “us” and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved my wedding. And I am sure that I will love our next address, but in the Land of the Uncertain, I’m beginning to worry we might become a family of couch surfers– party of four.

So, I’m calling in for a little perspective reinforcement. You don’t have to come physically pack up my underwear drawer or anything. What do I need here? A greater sense of adventure? A back up plan? A motorhome perhaps?

In the meantime, I am off to look at some more pwitty houses.

 {Image via Beyond the Screen Door}

Places I’ve Been: Brighton, England

The looming stress of our upcoming move {T minus 54 days and counting} to only-God-knows-where sends me looking for my happy place at least once every hour. Today, I’m remembering Brighton, England.

The beaches…

The Lanes…

The Food!!! {Good Heavens… the food.}

Who would have thought brunch could be such a work of art. If we’re ever in Brighton together, breakfast at Bill’s is my treat.

The pace…

And of course the company….

Salt sea air and legendary brunch… a momentary escape from the smell of permanent Sharpie and packing tape… I’ll take what I can get right now!

{Images via 1, 2, 3 & 4}

Here We Move Again

Peter Hall

There are days that take your breath away. And then there are days that knock the wind out of you.

Yesterday was the latter. I will tell you why.

I don’t have a makeup drawer… nor do I have a medicine cabinet where I keep my everyday soaps, lotions, and personal items. I have stored everything from my toothpaste to my face wash in the same toiletry bag for the past 6 years. It only occurred to me last night while I was getting ready for bed that Clark doesn’t have a personal drawer or cabinet either. He too keeps all of his everyday items in a travel-size tote– the very same that he used to throw into his carry-on luggage from our professional traveling days. We have no less than seven bathroom cabinets between us that remain empty as everything we need fits within airline regulations.

How does empty cabinet space qualify as a personal crisis?

The unused space is a glaring reminder of our tenancy. We’ve been renters for the last three years and while that too isn’t the end of the world, our lack of home ownership has resulted in three moves in three years. As of today, it appears we are staring down the barrel of the fourth. Our landlords just informed us of their plans to sell our current address. Wouldn’t you know it– I just unpacked our last box 3 weeks ago. The news has once again thrust me into excessive planning mode– cleaning out the unused household items and clothes for Goodwill and making a list of things to sell. I know that “rent” means “temporary”. I knew we wouldn’t be here forever. But we just got here, and now we’re about to box it all up again. I feel like a military family without the G. I. benefits.

CSIS is foiling terrorist plots in the Toronto transit system, and Chinese rescue crews are still working to recover from last week’s 6.6 earthquake. And, I am complaining about caboodles.

But the fact that I haven’t unpacked my toothbrush in SIX YEARS since the last time I flew around the world has to mean something, right? Six years ago, I preferred mobility. Six years ago, I fantasized about having little gypsie children in tow as Clark and I traipsed the globe from one musical pursuit to another. Six years ago, the idea of suburban settlement was worse than banishment into exile. And now, my first-grade maternal instincts say, “keep the nest from rocking as little as possible”. I worry what rearranging Mia’s bedroom furniture might do to her little psyche. Salem is barely old enough to remember the last three addresses, and yet I fear he is going to require long-term therapy to recover from all of the transition.

And yet, here comes the sway.

I know me, and you know me. Next week I will be posting color schemes and layout for the new space. But as for today, I want stay somewhere long enough for the Sarna bottle to expire underneath the bathroom sink.

How about you? Do you find moving daunting or exciting or a little bit of both?