I do not recommend moving with small children. Stay put, if you can.
If you can't, rally all your friends and family to help you; you will not make it without them. (This is, of course, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who was there to celebrate and then cry a little and then toss a box into the truck -- and everyone else who made it so hard to leave in the first place)
Actually, packing up was way less stressful this time around, both because of all the help and because we got a realistically-sized truck. What, you don't remember? The move from Milwaukee, when I Tetris-ed all our belongings into a truck that was about 7 cubic feet too small? Okay, me neither. We're seasoned movers, now.
The kids were so excited about the truck, especially Auden:
Who was then devastated when he learned he wouldn't actually be driving it:
So we let him control some other things. Random, Canadian-rest-area things:
We stopped at Niagara Falls on our road trip, and of course it was breathtaking and appropriately rainbowed, but it was so hot, and the kids were so out of sorts, and it was SO PACKED with people, that it ended up being a quick and kind of hectic event. Not the least of my stressors: the fact that Isla kept wanting to climb over the railings and get a closer look at three billion gallons of rushing water:
Way more exciting than some ol' waterfall, THE CANADIAN MOUNTIE. "He's a CANADIAN, mom":
Also way more exciting, the Hotel room in Niagara. There was a PHONE. And a SAFE. (I swear, we do take our children out of the house now and then):
From there we went to Albany, NY, where we stayed with my brother & sister-in-law. They made us fresh pesto from their garden and took us to a little nearby lake to cool off. I drew a picture for them so they wouldn't feel too lonely after we left:
And I drew a picture for Auden, too, because he is now obsessed with knights and commands me to draw them or be subject to hysterical wailings:
Actually, this knight thing has bypassed "obsession," I would say it's more of a "lifestyle" now.
A little background: we took a trip to Chicago before we moved, where we saw an exhibit of suits of armor at the Art Institute. Jason saw how completely enthralled his son was, and made plans the next week to go to Michigan's little Renaissance Faire, where he could watch real knights, really jousting. Oh, friends, it's been All Knights, All the Time since that fateful day.
Which kind of works in our favor in some ways. Because the portable DVD player that we bought specifically for this trip? Not a hit. WHAT. WHY. I don't know. But the playmobil knight guys that we bought ahead of time to strategically release at the point of maximum road-trip boredom? LOVE. And the fact that there's an old armory in our neighborhood that looks like an honest-to-god CASTLE? Well, here, look:
Castle, your knight has arrived.
And Providence, your Danelys have arrived:
Our flat is the second floor of that enormous house, built in 1890. Right next door to a Guatemalan restaurant. Which sounds good in theory, or it did to me anyway, but in reality sounds like an awful squeaky exhaust fan right in our windows. I've gotten used to the carne asada smell (I suspect all our clothes and furniture have gotten used to it, too), but that damn fan... Grrrrr. Grrrmmmmppphh. Mrrrppphhhgg.
Before this turns into horror-movie-material neighborly resentment, though, I should say there's lots to love about our spot. There's a park around the corner, we're within walking distance of downtown, there's all sorts of urban weirdos and artist-types around, and the flat itself is really sweet. So we'll stay. And I'll figure out a way for the fan to go, because I CANNOT MOVE AGAIN ANYTIME SOON, DO YOU HEAR ME, FATE?
Ah, it's good to be settled in. How's your summer wrapping up?