Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Home" Less

There is a good reason for my blog silence, we've moved. We no longer reside in New Jersey and are somewhat settled in New York. 

The last month has been a whirlwind.

Emma Claire has been "officially" ours in the eyes of China for one month. We had our first post-placement visit on Monday the 19th on the front steps of our New Jersey house while Matt hauled the last of the boxes and random effects from the basement.

Its been pure chaos.
Emma Claire in a packing box. NO, I did not pack her.
Luckily, Emma Claire is going with the flow. She is adaptable and so laid-back. Ninety-nine percent of the time she is easy-going. I have only had one day where she was a challenge. She is sleeping through the night (knock on wood) and is no longer doing the waking up every 45 minutes to 1 hour that she was doing every night. I take this as a sign that she is feeling more comfortable and is trusting that we are there and no longer needs to seek the assurance that we are still there with her. However, I do have to remain in the room beside her and sometimes pat her while she goes to sleep. Her crib is beside our bed and we hope to be able to transition her into her own room in the next two months. 
Emma Claire giving me the look that she is NOT going to take a nap.
Emma Claire is also starting to say words. She can say, "Momma", but it is usually when she is very upset and she demands I come assist her or pick her up. She also says, "Emma" and "GeGe" (big brother in Mandarin) and "Ow" and is making the sounds for dog and Daddy. Chloe and Oliver are also convinced that she is saying "Up" when she wants to be held. I am less convinced because I don't hear it and Chloe and Oliver want me to pick her up everytime she makes a whimper or noise. They are being concerned older siblings, but a lot of it is more to keep the peace (and quiet).

Emma Claire also had her first visit to the pediatrician. They did the standard bloodwork and everything turned out fine. No concerns. Emma Claire is currently 28 inches tall, 19 lbs., 7.1 ounces. He was pleased with how healthy she looked and recommended that we not take her to our international pediatrician for follow-up as he thinks she would just refer us to Early Childhood Intervention to get her caught up on some of the typical gross motor skill delays.

We closed on our New Jersey house on Thursday the 22nd. We are no longer home owners, at least for the next two months. We are renting a townhouse in the same town where our new home is and in the same school district.

The entire house-selling, home-buying process has been exhausting and full of drama. The original plan was to be in our new house in NY before we closed on our old house. But, the best laid plans were completely foiled by what could best be described as total ineptitude on the part of the listing agent and bank that owns the home we are buying. They forgot about the 4000 sq. foot giant red barn which has been refurbished but doesn't meet code (it needs sheetrock) and because of this the town won't issue a certificate of occupancy and we can't move in and more importantly, we can't close. When this was brought to their attention, it took the bank three weeks to decide what to do when there was really only one option--sheetrock the barn to get the certificate of occupancy. After they decided to make the repairs, they informed us that they were installing new software and it would be another 2 weeks before the repairs could be entered and processed. Basically, it has been delay after delay costing us lots of time and money. We were supposed to close in August but the most hopeful estimate now is October 1 (but we are not holding our breath).

This meant that we have to move twice. We stored the majority of our belongings and furniture and made a mad scramble to find someplace that would take a family of 5 and 2 dogs for 2+ months in Chloe's new school district. Of the 12 rental properties in the school district, only one was willing. Luckily, the unit is in a nice community and is clean and provides us all to be together. It is not the most ideal, especially since we don't have a yard and with two large-breed dogs, not always the easiest in loading up three kids and taking the dogs for a walk so they can do their "business". 
A view from the communal space from our master bedroom balcony in the townhome. Townhouse living is NOT for me.

Matt put a stake in the ground so we could let the dogs sit outside on the patio a little bit each day. Its hard work walking a 108 lb. dog with a one year old in tow every time he needs to go out. I am certain that we will be told that this breaks one of the 7000 community rules but I am only on page 36 of the 76 page rule book. We were already informed by the neighbor that we were breaking a rule by parking the trailer we used to move overnight in the community.

Oliver in the living area with Lizzie at the townhouse. He is playing on the iPad while Emma Claire naps. It keeps him relatively still and quiet so he doesn't wake her.

We are trying our best to get back on a schedule for the kids. All of the things we need for the next few months are unpacked with the exception of pots and pans and my makeup (the last is the key item I am searching for).

School starts September 9th and we have an appointment next week to register Chloe in the new district and Oliver is enrolled in a new pre-school. I wrote out the calendar this morning for the next few weeks and was pleased to see the back to school/back to a schedule activities on it.

I am looking forward to finding our new normal.

I meant to post these photos last week, but the move and lack of wifi got in the way. The kids and I escaped packing one day to go to the park and get some fresh air. Of course, they complained that they wanted to go swimming instead.
Chloe playing basketball.


Chloe and Oliver on the swings.


Emma Claire slept through most of the time at the park.

But, she did wake up in time to go on the swing.
And, just for cuteness....

Yogurt is good.

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