moving on up, out and in

No, despite my poor blogging record of late, I’m not shutting this place down. It’s still a small haven, even if I’m unable to check in as much as I’d like. It’s about to get worse too, for a while.

You see, we’re taking the plunge. After 20+ years as renters, we’re finally buying a home. It’s all happening, right now. After four months of waiting to hear whether we would be able to buy this house, we signed the papers today. We close in two weeks and move in four weeks. Wow.

There is definitely a swirl of emotions — excitement, anticipation, a bit of intimidation. So much needs to be done in such a short time, after all the waiting. I am thrilled and overwhelmed. Aside from the financial aspect, there are all the logistics. Packing with a toddler is a major ordeal while we’re both working. I can’t even imagine how long it will take to unpack. I’m also wondering how long it will take for our girl to nap or sleep in her new room, which is nothing like her room now. She is such a creature of habit. And now, so many changes.

Tips on toddler transitions are welcome. We’re already talking about the “new house” and how soon this will be the “old house.” Today as I was driving into the neighborhood, she totally recognized it and said “house!” So while it’s not yet “home,” she knows the place. We talk about how fun it will be to live there, how we’re packing our stuff in boxes so we can bring them there, how it might be sad to leave here.

And, um, I sort of already promised her a puppy. And a kitty. Oops.

Part of me will be sad to leave this place. I love living so close to nature, on a creek with a seasonal waterfall, minutes from redwoods, wildlife in our backyard, wild berries everywhere, with fabulous neighbors (can you believe this little boy is one year old today?), great house in a wonderful community, across from terrific schools.

But the memories are what I will miss the most, even as I take them with me. This is where we brought our daughter home. This was our cocoon in those early ecstatic sleep-deprived days. This is where our baby girl first rolled over, learned to crawl, took her first steps, said mama and dada. This is where she calls “home.”

I know “home is where the heart is” and all that, and it’s true, we’ll make a new home together with wonderful new memories. And I am so excited about that. But this, our labor of love? Oh how I wish I could take it with us. It breaks my heart a little just thinking about never seeing it again for real…

We will take some new professional style photos, which we hope will be good enough to blow up and frame for her new room. But still. It’s not just the mural, but the love that went into it, the shared experience with Kaye, who at eight months pregnant insisted on standing atop that step ladder to reach the rays of the sun. I can remember it all so clearly, we even have photos. But there is nothing quite like Baby Jaye waking up from a nap (her crib is just under the tree) and pointing above as she says “tree” or “moon” or “sun” and peering up with wonder as I tell her how they came to be…

Leaving our home has implications beyond just us, too. When I told Kaye we were moving, her reaction was tough to read, especially over the phone. Like her, I imagined us raising Baby Jaye here for longer than just a couple of years. But it was the thought of the mural that choked her up. Me too.

When I told Kaye’s mom (Grandma Bea) we were moving, the look on her face showed fear and concern, at first. “To where?” she asked, cautiously. But when I told her where — i.e., halfway closer to her! — she literally shrieked with joy she was so excited about being closer and how much easier it would be to visit (35 minutes away instead of 1h 15m).

It’s a huge move all around. So all this to say I’m afraid I won’t be around much for a little while. So much to do, so little time. Feel free to drop a line to say hi, if you want. I’m not disappearing, just stepping away for a bit. Hoping to keep up with my reader and twitter, whenever I can. In the meantime, wishing you all well until I resurface on the other side… peace out. xo

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~ by luna on February 12, 2011.

11 Responses to “moving on up, out and in”

  1. Suggestion . . . take some photos of your baby in front of the mural.

    If you have a video-camera, take some footage of the old house, so you can always have it, including clips of baby playing in there.

    HIRE SOMEONE to watch your daughter while moving. I moved 14 times before graduating highschool, and abour 8 times since. Trust me, I know moving.

  2. I can’t wait to hear about the new place, so I hope this pause is short. Did you read the story about moving the Sendak mural from NYC to Philadelphia? Wait, let me see if I can find it . . .

    try here

    Also are you sure I didn’t promise her the puppy? I have a tendency to do that a lot to my internet friends. My bad. I demand pictures there, too. Much peace to you all.

  3. How exciting! a ton of work but how neat will it be to be in your own house, you will make new memories. That said I am very sentimental so the mural would be very very difficult for me to leave.
    Good luck can’t wait to hear how it all goes!

  4. Oh and on the transitioning, what I noticed with Maya is when I moved while in Guatemala I was very upset and stressed, stressed stressed, she reacted by withdrawing from people, not sleeping (not like her at all) and just being completely different. When we moved from Guatemala home to the USA I was happy and relieved and she had no issue’s at all, I mean NONE, different people different room different climate, she was just happy.
    So just remember when you get stressed about the move and packing they sooooooo react to how we are acting and feeling.

  5. I guess technically you could cut the wall out, put up new drywall, and bring the mural with you, but I don’t know if that’s in your budget. The fact that the mural has distinct sections would seem to make it easier. You’d probably lose the sun rays painted onto the other wall, but you’d get almost everything.

    Or if you did super-detailed close-up photos, you could then get the photos printed out (onto canvas, or wall-sized decals, or posters) and recreate the mural. Cheaper than moving the wall, plus more portable for the future (e.g., your grandchildren’s nursery some day).

    A couple of toddler transition suggestions: Read a few picture books about moving. And, since you will have closed a couple of weeks before you move, you could take a bunch of her toys over and play in her new room, explore the yard, eat a snack in the dining room (picnic?), do a walk-through telling her where everything will be, etc. a few times before you actually move.

    I agree that you should get childcare during the actual move — even better, have someone (one of you, or someone else) take her somewhere else entirely. Big men messing with all of your stuff seems scary to a toddler, and small girls underfoot seems unhelpful to the movers.

    Good luck with the move!

  6. I gasped when I realized the implications of your move on the mural. I love that mural 🙂

    I bet your new walls will end up equally wonderful. Congrats on finding resolution! May the transition be as smooth as possible.

  7. Yay! We’re both moving! Congratulations! I have the same feelings – leaving the place where our son first called home! Will he be able to feel at home in his new room? The light won’t be the same…. I may have to get a night light. But yay! New beginnings! Onward and upward!

  8. Yeah what exciting news! Cant wait to hear more about your new home.

  9. Congratulations!! — & condolences. I’ve moved many times in my life (although not in the past 20 years). It’s always hard to leave, even when you know you’re going to something that’s (I hate to say “better”) new & exciting. You’ll create lots of good memories in the new house too. I agree, take lots of photos & video before you leave!

  10. It’s funny to many but I’ve never really stayed in one place long enough to miss it when I move. Not really anyways. I do hope that your move goes well with minimal (or no) breakage and that things transition well too for all of you. Enjoy your new home and all the memories you’ll make there.

  11. I can well remember you telling the story of how you, M and Kaye painted the mural in anticipation of Baby Jaye’s arrival, and can imagine how hard it must be to leave it behind. I know that you will create new memories in your new home but, as you yourself have taught me, we can never truly move forward until we have grieved for what we’re leaving behind.

    I hope that your move goes as smoothly as these things can. Were it not for the small matter of the vast ocean that separates us, I would willingly look after Baby Jaye while you packed – it would be wonderful to see our daughters playing together!

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