Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Moving History

We are no longer home least for a few months.  The relocation company officially bought our home yesterday.  The house is almost packed, except for the kitchen.  Since I can't do any of my work until the packers leave I might as well update the blog.

This has been a strange move.  No one has ever packed for me before and I have moved a lot.  They aren't that detailed in describing what they put in the boxes so it is going to be a treasure hunt to find anything.  Oh, well.  At least I don't have to pack.  I've certainly had plenty of experience packing.  In the 20 years since college I have not lived in the same place more than 3 years.  In fact, I've lived in 10 different places.  I've moved within the same building twice and had the place I was living sold 3 times.  This was supposed to be the house we stayed in forever.  Guess it didn't work that way.

The first 4 places I lived after moving our of my parents' house were in the Elmira, NY area.  This would be the poor, crappy housing years.  I was just out of college and was making less than nothing in small market TV.  My first place was a house I shared with the morning reporter.  I worked evenings so we rarely saw each other during the week.  That worked well until Saturday.  Her boyfriend would come to town and they wanted me to get lost so they could play house.  That got old in a hurry.  I would go to my parents' house to do laundry and get a free meal.  Then I would end up hanging out at work on my day off until 11:30 waiting for my friends to get off work so we could go out.  When the owners sold the house I wasn't too sad to part with my roommate.

The 2nd place in Elmira was the fake roommate situation.  Two of my friends at WETM were dating.  The woman rented an apartment in a house.  She had a roommate who was rarely home.  Her boyfriend wanted to move in but they didn't want their parents to know.  I moved in to a downstairs apartment by myself but the boyfriend used that as his address, kept a few things there and paid part of the rent.  That lasted a few months until the 2 female roommates had a fight and my fake roommate had to start paying rent upstairs.

Apartment #3 in Elmira was an efficiency with no shower.  It was in a building above a business.  There was a main room just big enough for a double bed, love seat and TV stand.  There was a small kitchen and a built in cabinet in the hall where I stored my clothes.  The bathroom had no shower, just a handheld shower thing attached above the faucet.  I literally sat in the tub to take a shower.  After about a year the apartment next door came open.  That was the first time I moved within the same building. 

Apartment #4 had a separate bedroom and a shared kitchen/living room area for the same price as the last place.  The strange part about this apartment was that the bathroom was down the hall.  Not within the apartment, but the shared hall that went to all 3 apartments on that floor.  I literally had to leave the apartment and go down the hall to use the bathroom or shower.  At least it had a real shower!  After a few months of that I got a job in Fort Myers, FL and we entered the next phase of apartment living.

My first place in Fort Myers (#5) was the standard 1 bedroom Florida apartment with a pool.  It was in a very large apartment complex.  For the first time I had a modern apartment with a dishwasher and washer/dryer.  After Elmira apartments it was heaven!

After 2 years they were raising the rent and I wanted a little more space.  Apartment #6 was another standard 1 bedroom apartment with a little more square footage and in a smaller complex.  I stayed there 3 years.  By that point I was almost 30 and kind of tired of living in apartment complexes.  I wanted more space and someplace a little nicer.

Place #7 was a 2 bedroom condo.  It was in a 5 story condo building that had a center court with a pool.  This was Florida so most of the residents were elderly.  No problem.  They were good neighbors and I had more space and covered parking.  If you've ever lived in a hot climate you know what a bonus covered parking is.  I lived on the 4th floor and really liked it.  However, after 3 years the condo was sold and I had to move once again.  Luckily the nice elderly condo president hooked me up.  He found me another condo in the building that was for rent.  This was the 2nd time I moved within the same building.

Place #8 was a ground floor condo.  It wasn't quite as nice as the last place but was still fine.  They sold that place on me too.  Luckily this time the new owner also bought it as a rental so I did not have to move.  After a couple of years I left Fort Myers and moved to Pennsylvania to get married.

Place #9 was our 3 bedroom townhouse.  We had two days to find a place when I came up for a visit when we got formally engaged.  We wanted a place that included lawn maintenance since Mark traveled so much.  We liked the space and layout of the townhouse.  We clearly were not thinking ahead!  Because we were the 2nd owner we did not research the builder which was a mistake.  The place was built on the cheap.  Our house inspector did not catch some major builder errors which ended up costing us money when we sold. 

The layout that seemed so perfect was terrible once we had children.  The master was on the first floor.  Great when I was pregnant with triplets.  Not so great once the kids were sleeping in their own room upstairs.  We ended up sleeping in the guest room for about 4 months because it was across the hall from the kids.  There was an open loft that overlooked the 2 story great room.  It had toddler accident written all over it.  Plus, of couse, there just wasn't enough space with 3 babies.  We moved when they were 8 months old and just starting to crawl.

Place #10 is the house we are moving out of this week.  We kind of planned to live here until we were too old to climb the stairs so leaving after 3.5 years wasn't really expected.  However, Mark's new job was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  We are leaving a 4 bedroom house built by a great builder in a nice community.  I sure hope our next house and community ends up being all that we want.

Now we move in to limbo for about 2.5 months.  The kids and I will be moving to my parents' house until after Christmas.  Then we will be moving in to the furnished townhouse that Mark is renting in Fort Mill.  Our house is just being started so we really hope it will be finished in early February.  This hole in the ground will be Place #11.   I would really like to live there more than 3 years!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat was a big success this year.  2 years ago it was a warm day and they did great.  Last year it was really chilly and they were cold and whiny.  This year I had them dressed warm enough and they are old enough to walk the 2 streets we go on in a reasonable amount of time.

All of Mark's family was able to come this year which made it extra fun.  Uncle Bill stayed home to pass out candy.  Aunts Luciann, Vanessa and Michele went Trick or Treating with us along with Uncle Gio.  Gio gets major points for coming at all.  Katie was SO excited to Trick or Treat with Uncle Gio.  He came and walked the whole way with Katie despite having a medical issue a day or 2 before.  Abby and Ben took turns going around with the rest of us.

Ben wasn't too sure what to make of this guy but he wanted the Oreos.

These people had their garage decorated.  Abby refused to go near it.  One of the neighbor boys went and got her a piece of candy.  How sweet!

 It took us about an hour to do our neighborhood.  The kids had over flowing baskets of candy and chips.  We went home to take some after pictures.  Then the kids got to eat one or two pieces of candy and the chocolate chip cookie cake that Aunt Michele and Uncle Gio brought them.  Surprisingly they actually went to bed decently after all of that excitement and sugar.  We are seriously going to miss going Trick or Treating with our relatives and in this neighborhood!

Preschool Halloween

Two days before  Halloween it was time for the kids' preschool party.  They were allowed to wear their costumes to school.  Thank goodness no one had a really difficult costume to put on because it was just me trying to get them dressed and ready for school on time.

They had fun at their party.  After they had a Halloween Parade around the parking lot and then stood for the parents to take pictures.  It was really cold.  We were all freezing waiting for the kids to come out.  I didn't get as good pictures as last year.  They took them in to the field so it was easier to get a whole shot of the class last year.  This year they didn't do that because of the cold.  I had other parents standing in my way too.  Oh well.  The kids came home with a ton of candy and assorted junk so they were happy.

Minnie Mouse Katie

Princess Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) Abby

Astronaut Ben

Katie and her special friend Vinnie

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Farm Time

I am super behind on this blog and want to get caught up on a couple of posts before we move.

A week before Halloween we made our annual trip to Janoski's Pumpkinland.  This is our 3rd visit.  We always go with Mark's sisters Luciann and Vanessa.  This year his sister Michele joined us too.  The kids love going to the pumpkin farm.  This year they were finally old enough to really do almost everything.

First we went to the animal petting area.  They were really in to the animals this year.  Abby started "feeding" them.  That consisted of taking some hay and tossing it in their general direction.    The other kids started doing it too.  There is a no feeding the animals rule but since they weren't actually feeding I just let them do it.  They petted several animals too.

After the petting zoo they got in line to ride the ponies.  Last year Katie was too scared to ride.  She had a panic attack when we tried to get her to do it.  Then, later in the day she wanted to ride but the line was too long.  She spent the next few months accusing me of not "letting" her ride the ponies.  This year there was no drama.  All 3 of them happily got on their pony.  Ben looked especially thrilled about his ride.

Next it was time to get on the hayride to pick the pumpkins.  Katie and Abby decided on their pumpkin relatively easily.  Ben took longer.  He kept picking up pumpkin after pumpkin.  Then he was causing pumpkins to roll down the hill on to another row of pumpkins.  We had to stop that behavior quickly.  Finally we managed to convince him to pick a pumpkin and took a few pictures of the kids before getting on the hayride again.

We ate lunch at the concessions.  Abby ate her weight in funnel cake, I think!  Then the girls had their faces painted for the first time.  They played on the swings and were able to ride the tricycles with a little assistance.  There was a place where they could jump in the hay and play with dried corn.  What a big mess!  They were covered in hay but enjoyed every minute of it.  I think this is the only year I managed to get all 3 of them to stand in front of the "how tall are you this year" sign.

We then made our way out of Pumpkinland and in to the greenhouse area.  The kids helped Luciann pick out a big pumpkin to carve.  They also helped me pick out mini pumpkins and corn to use as decorations.  Ben once again got in trouble for tipping pumpkins.  Not a good thing when the pumpkins for sale are rolling across the parking lot because of my kid!

Stop tipping the pumpkins over!

Then it was MY time.  We went to the market and I got to shop.  Yummy baked goods, fresh local produce and pickles and jelly made without crappy ingrediants.  I am going to miss going to this pumpkin farm.

After we left we went back to the aunts' house for pumpkin carving and a pizza party.  All in all it was a great day!