Friday, May 30, 2008

Trials of the spacially-challenged

The movers showed up with our stuff at 8:01am on Monday. As they hauled box after box into the apartment, I simultaneously felt relieved that everything seemed to be accounted for, and panicked...that everything seemed to be accounted for. Trying to cram a 3 bedroom house (plus garage) worth of junk into a 2 bedroom apartment (sans garage) is not an easy undertaking, and I suddenly had visions of Alex sleeping on the balcony while his room was being used to store Christmas decorations and board games and winter clothes. Part of me was secretly hoping that the moving truck would get stuck on railroad tracks somewhere between F'ville and here, where a fast-moving train would plow through it and smash half of our stuff to smithereens, thus eliminating a large portion of the things I'd have to find a place for. But that didn't happen. So instead, I took a deep breath, sent Timothy for coffee, and started to mentally organize all of our possessions by category, shape, size, and color as the movers continued to bring boxes in.

Timothy found a nice little bakery down the street called Zaguan, known for their delicious array of Latin specialties, and brought back a few things to take my mind off of unpacking. What you're looking at here is a ham and cheese cachito, an apple pastele, and coconut sweet bread, with a side of much-needed, caffeine-laced, nectar of the gods.

By Alex's morning naptime, the movers were nowhere near finished. By 10:15, he was fit-to-be-tied, so he ended up in his usual spot - our closet - while the movers continued to shuffle things into the bedroom right outside the closet door. Little man slept right through the ruckus, and when he woke up, he was refreshed and ready to test out the durability of the wood laminate floors.

Murphy wasn't totally convinced that this move was a good idea, so he needed some extra attention, but we think he'll adjust eventually, mostly because...he doesn't really have a choice not to. Sorry Murph!

The movers finally finished up around 1, and we had the house all to ourselves. Well, ourselves and about three thousand boxes of junk that needed to be sorted through. None of those boxes had food in them, so we ended up having Chinese delivered. A was a big fan of the chicken and broccoli, but he was a little less enamored of the string beans, despite the fact that they were sauteed in a hot pepper sauce that enabled him to breathe fire out of his nose.

When bedtime rolled around, we were exhausted, to say the least. A got to sleep in his own bed, in his own room, which seems like a good thing, but he was a little unsure about his new surroundings and needed to be rocked asleep. He slept fine all night, and was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, ready for his next big adventure.

Apartment Sweet Apartment

Praise Jesus, we made it to Dallas. Barely. We arrived around four o'clock, I think, and went straight to the leasing office at Broadstone Seville to pick up our keys. Luckily, the apartment was just as we remembered it, with no weird surprises or misjudgments to leave us disappointed. Instead, it was pristine and bright and open and we fell in love with it all over again.

I took some pictures of its pre-Evans condition, because let's face it, it will never be this clean or this empty as long as we're living in it.

This first one is the view from the front door down the hallway into the living area. You're looking at the door that leads to the balcony, flanked by two fixed windows, with a transom above that let's the sunlight in but keeps the Peeping Toms out.

The view(s) from the balcony.

This next one is the view from the living area into the kitchen/dining area, followed by one of the kitchen. The whole living space is open, so there are really no "rooms" to speak of in this section of the apartment.

Alex's room.

The view from Alex's room.

Alex's bathroom.

Master bedroom.

Master bath.

And that concludes this portion of our tour.

Alex was definitely digging his new "crib". Of course, little booger that he is, the very first thing he did when his knees hit the floor was to book it to the nearest door stop and promptly insert the rubber stopper into his mouth. Aah, visions of things to come...

Did you see how he palmed that thing? With the camera up to my face, I didn't even notice he had done it until he had already stuck it in his mouth. I probably shouldn't admit to the whole world, along with photo evidence, about what an unobservant mother I am. What can I say, I'm just keeping it real.

Anyway, chewing on rubber door stoppers wasn't the only thing that interested him. He's all, "What other dangerous thing can I get my mitts on? Hmmm, this oven oughta do the trick."

His last stop was the windows to the balcony, where he could check out the neighbors and make awesomely loud noises by slapping his hands against the glass.

We got to bed early because the movers would be arriving in the morning with our stuff. Alex ended up in our closet again because the mini blinds covering the giant windows in his room were hardly sufficient to keep the golden rays of Texas sunshine out. He slept fine, thankfully, but Tim and I were desperately missing our own comfy bed and couldn't wait to feel at home in our new place.

No vacancy

At long last, it was time to head to Dallas. We left directly from breakfast at the Village Inn, where we had just said "see ya laters" to the Primms. Oh, and remember how I said that we had kept enough stuff with us to survive for a week, and that I was pretty sure that it wasn't going to fit in the car? I happen to be very perceptive. It totally didn't fit. So we left a few things that weren't absolutely essential with the Primms and then crammed as much stuff into the car as possible.

It was not the most comfortable ride, what with junk piled up to our ears; with two pillows, a Boppy, and a dog on my lap, who, btw, couldn't decide whether the front seat or back seat was more comfortable and spent the whole trip alternating between the two in an attempt to figure it out; with the door to my right and Alex in his new, cumbersome, "big boy" car seat to my left; with a diaper bag, a tote bag, a cooler, and a camera bag at my feet; with the DVD player precariously perched on a pile of baby toys, just close enough for Alex to knock it down over and over again with his foot, cuz clearly, that was much more fun than just watching the doggone video; with A falling asleep with his poor head cocked to the side in a seemingly painful fashion, and me, the Good Mother, trying to stuff enough pillows around it to prop his head up without smothering him in the process...I just kept reminding myself that it was only five hours, that it could be worse, and, oh yeah, it was only a one-way trip. That doesn't mean I wasn't tempted, on many occasions, to roll down the window and chuck some things out onto the highway. I mean, who needs a laptop or toilet paper or eating utensils anyway?

When Alex wasn't snoozing, he was a bit of a beast, so I spent a lot of time trying to keep him entertained. It sort of worked. For, like, a minute.

The rest of the time, he just entertained himself, making faces and noises and whining and fussing...

Huff. Needless to say, I was getting more and more excited about getting to Dallas.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sniff, GULP.

Cleaning the entire house after the movers left was only slightly more painful than packing it. Before Oliver's party on Saturday, we tried to get some of the cleaning done, but we had sent our vacuum to Dallas and had to wait to borrow Seth and Joy's before any of the floors could be done. So we basically just cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, made piles of stuff that would have to fit into the car and moved those piles from room to room as we cleaned, and made up excuses why the really heinous tasks would have to wait until "later" to be done.

Again, Alex tried to help, but his method of removing everything from a box or bag at the precise moment that I finish filling said box or bag is not the most efficient strategy. Love ya, buddy, but your cleaning skills leave something to be desired.

Also on our "to do" list - to have a final meal at some of our favorite Fayetteville haunts. Of course, Rick's Bakery was on the list, so we had us a few donuts and some Rick's House Blend - you know, a healthy breakfast to fuel up for the busy day ahead.

A went down for his morning nap when we got back and woke up in time to be fashionably late to Oliver's party. Oh well, at least he was fashionable. Before we left, I asked him whether he was excited to go to the party and see everyone. This was his response:

Call me crazy, but I'd say that's a "yes".

Oliver's party was a smash and there were tons of fun people there, although A missed sharing the fun with his G-parents. Fortunately, Oliver was generous enough to lend Alex his, and Papa and M'laine made excellent substitutes. (P.S. Don't judge his demeanor by his face in the last pic - that mean-muggin' look is just a new "thing" he's been trying out lately.)

See, here it is again. This time, his scowl is followed by some cuddle time with Kara.

Awww, don't they look like a happy little family?

Sometime between all the eating and playing and scowling, Oliver opened his gifts. We got him some basketball jerseys and had "Primm" heat-pressed onto the back, along with Seth's high school basketball number. It was one of those "Seth and Joy will appreciate it more than Oliver will" kind of gift, so we also got him a kite and an Elmo balloon, which seemed to make up for the fact that we got him, uggghh, clothes.

Most of the guests left, but Oliver's cousins and aunts and uncles stuck around for a bit. As you can see, Alex had no problem mixing it up with his extended Primm family.

After most of the family left, A sat with his Daddy and Papa Primm on the swing for a bit. I'm not sure that he was aware that he was swinging, or that anyone else was around, because he was completely preoccupied with this little Nerf ball.

We reluctantly headed home...eventually, which was really awful and miserable and sad because we knew it was one of the last times we'd get to hang out with the Primms before we left for Dallas. We did plan to meet them at the crack of dawn for breakfast the next morning to say our final farewells, so that thought kind of kept our spirits up Saturday night. Our spirits were further lifted by a final meal of burritos and huevos rancheros at La Huerta.

Btw, notice the difference between a picture of Alex and his dad...

...and pictures of Alex and his mom...

Finally, he sat still long enough to get a decent one, although neither of our smiles are very convincing.

Speaking of unconvincing smiles, it was kind of an awful and miserable and sad week in general in the sense that the reality of leaving all of our friends was starting to set in. Earlier in the week, Timothy had his "last supper" with his friends from school at Hugo's, then the following day, I had my "last supper" with my work Hugo's.

So when Sunday morning arrived and it was time for our dreaded last breakfast with the Primms, I was kind of anticipating a breakdown of sorts, at the very least expecting to shed a few tears into my coffee. Somehow I managed to hold it together, even when Oliver gave me a huge, long hug and a sloppy, sincere kiss goodbye. I got a little watery, but it wasn't quite the event that I was afraid it would be. Of course, I had broken down a little the night before, so that may have helped me get it out of my system. Even Joy, with her preggo hormones a-ragin', maintained her composure. I was so proud of us!

I did kind of convince myself that we were not saying "goodbyes", but rather, "see you laters", like we would surely be seeing them the next weekend at the latest, as usual, and that we weren't driving hundreds of miles away, permanently, only to see them at some unscheduled point in the future. There's a good chance that I'm just delaying an inevitable breakdown, and maybe I will need therapy like those people that never mourn a loved one and have serious emotional problems because of it. But for now, I'm okay living in denial of the "loss" of our best friends, cause really they're not lost, they're just a little farther away. BFF! We miss you guys already!