Thursday, April 27, 2006 1 comment

I am happy to report that our trash was collected!! Apparently sarcasm works around here.

I took my excess clothes to the recycle center to donate them. I included a photo. In order to get all of our clothes in the house I had to discard some. I am a bit of a clotheshorse and still have plenty to wear. Matt says he doesn't want to see the photo. I guess it will just annoy him at the amount of clothes I had. I know it annoyed everyone who helped unload the moving truck. If I could have only cleared out all of these clothes BEFORE they were brought inside the house.

I took Chloe to IKEA yesterday to pick up some items. She was playing in one of the many play areas and picked up the dreaded word that most toddlers possess in their vocabulary..."MINE". It is amazing how they can pick up certain words so quickly. A little girl was riding a rocking horse and Chloe walked over to say hello. The little girl, thinking Chloe was after the toy, shouted "MINE". Well, that was it, Chloe was sold on the word. She immediately ran over to a chair, hopped in it and shouted "MINE". She then got up, ran over to a stuffed animal, picked it up and shouted "MINE" back at the little girl. Wonderful.

It is a bright and sunny 70 degrees here today so we took a stroll through "Mayberry" (as I affectionately refer to our town). I think when you tell people that you are moving to New Jersey they automatically visualize Newark and The Sopranos theme song starts playing in their heads. I am here to report that our town does not fit into any of those stereotypes and am certain that our friends and family would be pleasantly suprised, if not shocked, at the quaintness of our village. Anyway, I digress. Chloe and I took a walk to the park and she played and then we strolled into town. All the shops are having a sidewalk sale and we strolled through downtown and stopped for some pizza. Chloe loves pizza now and she finished her slice quickly and then jumped out of her chair to chat up the table of ladies next to us and to do a dance for the entire restaurant. Chloe wanted to walk from downtown to our house (not quite 1 mile) and push the stroller. Pushing the stroller lasted until the 1st hill and then she began pulling dandelions out of people's yards and attempting to blow the seeds everywhere. The grass freaks of New Jersey would like to send a shout out to Chloe's PaPaw for teaching her this trick and for helping spread the dandelion weed to their yards. Viewing all the torn up and re-seeded yards on our walk, I was careful to explain to Chloe to stay on the sidewalk and not walk in people's grass. I was afraid one of the neighbors who spent 10 hours destroying then re-seeding his yard would also have set out alarms in case your 22-month old accidentally stepped underneath the caution tape and cones into their prized lawn. Luckily, we made it home without any incident and now I have a sleepy toddler who informed me it was nap time. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! We are taking this walk everyday!

On a side note: Matt and I discovered this morning why the former owner of the house left behind a major stash of light bulbs. We thought they just had a light bulb fetish. Well, we have had to break into that stash too frequently. As we wake up in the morning and turn on the lights we sometimes get to hear a "Pop" and the light bulb goes. Are they cheap bulbs? No, it's wiring circa 1925! I guess it's one of the joys of an 80 year old house and it answers the riddle to why the previous homeowner left what we thought was a lifetime supply of light bulbs in the house.

Mommy's Little Helper

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3 comments

Chloe has become quite a little "helper" around the house. So much so that I had to put child-locks on the cabinets to keep her from helping. While her help is appreciated, I think I may lose my sanity if I have to put the pots and pans back in the shelves or even the dirty dishes back in the dishwasher. I did leave her access to the dust pan and broom (as you can see from the photo) which is pulled out every morning and several times thereafter.

It looks like it will be a beautiful and cool day here in Jersey. I am ready to paint Chloe's room, but must admit I am not feeling moved to do so. Chloe has insisted on helping on every task and I know that she will insist on this one. I am not certain that my nerves are up to removing paint from her hair.

Our trash has still not been picked up, we have now been skipped 3 times for trash collection. I called and filed a complaint on the sanitation phone line. I asked for the secret to getting one's trash collected in the village because our obvious tactics of leaving it at our curb on our pick-up day and going to their office and having the account switched to our name was not working. I haven't heard back from them. I am not sure whether they will appreciate my sarcasm but imagine that they are replaying my message and laughing at my hillbilly Texas accent and trying to decipher what I am saying. "Is she telling us she wants a filet-o-fish?"

Chloe and I are going to the recycling center to drop off a bunch of unwanted clothes and to attempt to get our recycling containers again. We stopped by on Monday but no one was in the office. Maybe today will be our lucky day and we can at least unlock the riddle to getting our aluminum cans and newspapers collected.

What did she say?

Friday, April 21, 2006 3 comments
We are slowly, but surely settling in to the new house. I have to go to the village hall because we have been skipped twice now for trash collection. The clutter is starting to build up. You pay your sanitation separately here and apparently they work better on tips. Hmmm, maybe I should stake a $20 bill to the pile of rubbish accumulating and see if that works.

I am at the point of frustration now in unpacking. Things have to go up and downstairs (we have a 4-story house with the walk-up attic) and Chloe doesn't do so well on the wood stairs. She also insists on helping, which usually means she just makes a bigger mess or puts what you just took out of the box back in the box. She means well.

I still haven't put up my clothes as our master bedroom closet is the size of our last linen closet. Matt is going to have to build a closet out of the 4th-story attic.

I unpacked all of Chloe's room items today and she got really excited to see all of her things again. They are spread out all over her room. I want to paint before I start hanging things.

Matt is coming home early today and we are going to go and do some damage at Home Depot.

Before I sign off, I must tell the story which relates to the title of this blog. Yesterday, Chloe and I ran a few errands in Suffern, NY. We got delayed thanks to the check-out lady who refused to pick up and scan my items herself but made me individually hand them to her (what a nutter). But that is another story. Anyway, we drove through a McDonald's because Chloe was hungry. I ordered a cheeseburger happy meal and the girl working the drive-thru repeated back, "One filet-o-fish". I said, "No, I don't want a filet-o-fish, I want a cheeseburger happy meal". And she then repeated back, "a filet-o-fish and a cheeseburger". I said "NO! I don't want a fish sandwich, I just want a cheeseburger happy meal" and to that she replied, "a filet-o-fish and a medium fry". This is the point that I began to search for the hidden camera, not seeing it, I began to freak. She told me to just drive to the first window. I was then greeted by the girl and a young man who asked me what I ordered. I again stated "a cheeseburger happy meal". The young man responded, "oh, she wants a happy meal....what kind?" Ugggh! I repeated "cheeseburger" and he told me the amount to pay. Just as I was about to drive off I told the young man, "You know, I may be from Texas, but English is my first language." His response, "is that where that accent is from?"

We're In!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2 comments

What a joy it is to move. Why don't we do this more often?!?

It's Wednesday, the moving truck arrived on Saturday and I think we have just about dug ourselves out of the maze of boxes in our new home. That is not to say that there aren't lots of boxes still around. I'm stealing a few moments to write this as Chloe and I wait for Directv to arrive. They called over two hours ago to say that they would be here in an hour.

We were supposed to move in Friday, but our closing wasn't until 1 p.m., so we had the moving truck arrive on Saturday. Since we couldn't move anything in, we decided to start on some renovations and ripped up the carpet on the 2nd floor to discover beautiful wood floors underneath. Deanna and Matt filled the garage with the carpet. After we settle in, we will start of the 2nd phase of sanding and coating the floors.

Moving day was a chore on Matt, our truck driver Doug and my sister Deanna. We did get some help for 2 hours from our realtors son and his friend. I got lots of comments on the amount of clothes that Chloe and I had and the amount of kitchen items. I think those items together made up half of the moving truck.

It took me 4 days to finish the kitchen. So far the kitchen, living room, dining room, family room and bathroom are unpacked. I don't want to even fathom the pain that I will feel when I start on my clothes. I am holding off on that task for another day or so. My clothes are currently on 3 levels and Chloe is not to keen to have Momma running up and down stairs while she waits on the 1st floor. It is a project that will have to be started when Daddy can help.

So, back to the move-in excitement....Well, after starting to unload at 9 a.m. we were able to get everything off the truck by 4:30 p.m. The biggest disappointment of the day was that none, and I mean NONE, of our furniture fits in the basement. Now, our furniture would fit in the space if there wasn't a structural pole sitting at the end of the stairs, blocking the entrance into the basement. We couldn't get our couch, or big screen TV to go into the space, that's after knocking a giant hole into the pole. Luckily, Matt and Doug were able to get the washer and dryer into the basement's laundry room. But, unfortunately the plug for the dryer had been turned off and we had to hire and electrician to rewire it. I hate doing laundry, but I love my front loading washer and dryer and after having all of our sheets, bedding and towels in storage for 5+ months, I wanted to wash those items. I wasn't able to do that until Tuesday.

During our move we realized that we left some important items behind in Dallas like the rails to our king bed, our grates to our grill and a few other items. When we moved out of our house in Allen, we thought we were going to McKinney, not northern New Jersey. So, our packing wasn't the best. We also didn't have a clue that we would be moving into a smaller house. Lets just say that we have plenty of stuff for a garage sale.

Sunday, we hid Easter eggs and let Chloe search for them in the backyard. She didn't seem to understand why she was hunting eggs, but she had a good time searching for them. She found all 14 with the help of Mom, Dad and Aunt Deanna.

During all of our moving in drama, we had a plethora of neighbors come out to meet and check us out. They all seem nice and there appears to be a lot of children in the neighborhood. As I was told by one of our younger neighbors, "I hope you like kids because there are a lot around here!"

I don't think I could have accomplished anything without my sister, Deanna, coming in from Colorado to assist us with moving in and helping out with Chloe. Chloe enjoyed having "An Nana" here too because she gets to try new things, like Altoid gum. Yes, "An Nana" gave my 22-month old Altoid gum. Scary thing is Chloe seemed to like it. Despite the gum incident, I have to give a note of thanks to Deanna for taking Chloe to the park while I unpacked and making Easter dinner in a pinch.

Chloe also seems to be enjoying the laoyout of the new kitchen. I put her fruit snacks in a bottom shelf that she can reach. About 15 times a day she now brings me a bag of fruit snacks, which she calls "snaps" and wants me to give them to her. We have had some meltdowns today as she has been told "no more snacks". Being denied her 8th bag of fruit snacks, she then asks for chips. I am beginning to rethink the location of some food items in the kitchen.

For the last three days in the new home, I have been intrigued by the lawn maintenance of my neighbors. I have to go to the local lawn & garden center and have a professional explain the why and what for of the events occuring around my home. All day long we can hear the lawn mowers, aerators and roto tillers scalping and then completely ripping up people's front yards. We are one of only a handful of houses that has not anihilated the grass in our front yard, reducing the lawn to dirt. Yesterday, we watched our neighbor spend as much time destroying his grass as it took us to unload our moving truck! And today, my neighbor across the street is paying someone to destroy his lawn. I must find the answer to this mystery. Deanna "Googled" lawn care for New Jersey and we found no rhyme or reason to this phenomenon occuring around us. I have to believe that destroying and digging up your grass must yield a more beautiful lawn. If not, then I have moved to a city of nutters.

Despite the pain of moving, it is a relief to be back in our own home again. Matt says that he hopes I like the place, because we aren't moving again.

Well, Chloe has brought me some more fruit "snaps" and is now telling me "hit" (what she does when she gets mad) because I won't let her have them. She's putting on a good show for me...someone is definitely approaching two-years old. Anyone that gets that worked up over not getting a fruit snack needs a nap. We're off for a little shut eye.

The Garden State is Now Home

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1 comment
Chloe and I arrived in our new home state late last night. Friday's closing will make New Jersey officially our home.

Our departure from Texas was bittersweet. I have lived outside of Texas before, but I always knew I was coming back. This transfer has been a long-time coming. Matt & I feel that this move is best for our family, as Dallas doesn't hold too many opportunities for his business. Matt's in the "big leagues" now in NYC, and it has been a goal for him and his business to make it to this level.

Since we arrived in at midnight, Chloe and I slept in late today, . The weather here is bright and sunny and around 68 degrees. I feel like I am getting to relive spring all over again! We stalked our new home and checked out our new hometown. Everything is in full bloom and the town looks like Mayberry, very idyllic.

In an odd twist, our realtor called us this afternoon to tell us that the 1st house we put an offer on was now back on the market. The people whose offer they took over ours did not get a mortgage. We both offered the same amount for the house, but they took the other offer because it seemed more solid, they were putting a HUGE amount down on the house (almost enough to outright buy the house). As it turns out, that downpayment was untrue and the couple couldn't qualify for a mortgage. When they told us they accepted the other offer, they said if it fell through, we could have the house. Well, they stuck to their word and called us, but unfortunately for them, they found out their offer wasn't going to materialize the same week we are moving into another house. I do feel bad for them. They were supposed to close this week too, and only just found out. Their realtor said they had already packed up and moved out in preparation for closing.

My sister is coming in tomorrow from Denver to help watch the Chloester while we move in. I am going to take lots of photos of the move-in. For those of you who know, when we sold our house in Texas, we were only supposed to being moving one town north. But, as fate would have it, this became a cross-country move. We have 3800 sq. feet of stuff to cram into a 2400 sq. foot house. This should be interesting. Add to the mix that we hired our realtor's son and his pals on the high school lacrosse team to unpack the truck. This should be entertaining.