Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Poor Princess’s Tips on How [Not] To Pack and Move

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A week before the move, anxiety levels start to run high. Believe me, I know. So here are the strategies I employ:

1. Try on everything you own. It sounds like busy work, but it is far more interesting than wrapping picture frames in 5 inches of packing paper. And it’s efficient! Why move with that hideous bubble gum pink satin skirt you wore to your brother-in-law’s wedding (thanks for that color scheme, by the way . . . I really owe you one). Or the fuschia shoulder-padded lace jacket you had made? Try them on, realize you will never wear them again, and on to Goodwill they go!

Sartorial sloughing

2. Listen to every CD you own. You might find some gems in there . . . or not. Do you still like Soundgarden? Roxette? Tripping Daisies? (yes, these are/were all in my collection). Do you only like one song on each CD? Then take the time to copy that song onto your computer and for goodness sake, trash the CD (or take it to your local record exchange shop — maybe you’ll make some money!).

Disc dump

3. Is your baby still a baby? And if not, is your womb retired? Then you probably don’t need that cocoon babycot, the car seat adapter for a baby seat, or that activity mat. Bye bye baby, and farewell pedaphernalia!

Farewell Pedaphernalia!

4. It’s possible that you’ve figured out the other activities I think are important by now, like looking through each of your photo albums as you prepare to pack them (and scanning some classics to Facebook that piss off your old friends — for goodness sake, so what if we all had big eyebrows, fat faces, and bad acne when we were 16? Get over it!). This is the time to smell the proverbial roses! Those photo albums just sit there and collect dust the rest of the year. But now is their time in the sun! (or at least your hands . . . and scanner).

To not completely be cut off from said old friends, I am not going to re-post the lovely pictures I put up on FB earlier today . . .

5. OK, we’re getting there. Time to relax. I did so by going to a ghetto fair today:

The very classy mouse roller coaster

6. This will be the final tip for now. Here it is: don’t forget you need your strength when you’re packing and moving! The Scientist eyed my dinner skeptically, but I was quite pleased with my inventiveness. I made a bowl of cannellini beans with a cube of frozen basil (clearing out one pantry item and one freezer item), followed by sunnyside up eggs with kimchi (two fridge items). I drank an unloved Trader Joe’s Vienna Style Lager with it (one more fridge item!).

. . .Now, hopefully you’ve figured out how to extrapolate from the above list. Have you watched all your DVDs to make sure you’re not moving with any scratched ones? (I did). Did you skim through all your books to see if they’re worthy of your bookshelf? (I did). (Dan Brown? Really?). You get the picture.

If you’ve really gotten rid of all the things I think you’ve gotten rid of, as I have, congratulations!! You have saved yourself money in packing materials and moving time so I think you ought to reward yourself for your hard work and achievements by calling your mover right away and telling him that with your extra money, you are going to have him pack up all your stuff before the move. That’s what I’m going to do!

Good luck!

-PP

Another year, another home for the Perambulatory Professors/Wandering Jews

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A soon-to-be happy 9th anniversary to The Scientist and me! Here is a hint as to how we’re going to spend our anniversary:

Some people get married, buy a house, and spend their lives in it. Maybe they move once or twice. In 9 years of marriage, we have moved a few more times than that.

Here I was at our Southern apartment complex when we were newlyweds:

Southern complex, 2003

The next place, a total of 567 shared square feet, was a little less luxurious:

Northeast urban condo, 2004

But a year later we were in a nicer home, with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a patio, and a winter view of the river:

Suburban Northeast townhouse, 2005

And then our jobs took us really really far away–into the Canadian hinterlands–where we dropped back down to one bathroom. The condo was OK–we were grateful to find a place in a province where it is both legal and popular for owners to choose not to rent to people with children under the age of 18. Here I am  with Cool J in the oven and latkes on the stove:

Canadian Hinterlands condo, 2006

We got two years off moving in 2007 and 2008, so in 2009, we had to move several times. When we subletted a furnished place, we had access to other kids’ playthings, to the delight of our own kids, whose personal cache of toys has long consisted of Lego, Lego, and more Lego:

Canadian Hinterlands sublet #2, 2009

Luckily, we ultimately landed in the ultimate house:

Canadian Hinterlands Dream House, 2009

But sadly, that didn’t last long. By the end of 2010, we were packed up again and ready to go. We found a house with one bathroom (for the now 5 of us!) sandwiched between a House of Prayer and a Urologist (The Scientist chose to go to neither). Here are the boys and their cousins in our current house (Messy? You try having 7 kids stay in your 1200 sq ft house!):

A Princely Town Duplex, 2011

And here we’ve been installed for a whole year and a half. A lifetime! But alas, all houses come to a quick end for us, and a couple of weeks ago, The Scientist walked around our house, studying it thoughtfully, and at last declared: “OK, I’m done with it.” And so we all are, it would seem.

On to the next adventure, and to our new house, which I am calling The Nut House, owing to the series of nut-named streets in the area, and for no other reason at all! (3 nutty children? irrelevant!). The Nut House has a small, overgrown backyard, no parking (not even on the street out front), and an uphill when you walk out of the front door that is going to kick my butt when I’m on my bike, but it does have 2 bathrooms (woohoo!!), and my kids’ all-time favorite house-feature, an “upstairs-upstairs.” It’s a bit bigger and it’s nicer than our current house, and being the wandering jews that we are, we embrace the new adventure (moving is fun! moving is fun! moving is fun! Repeat ’til the page is full, printer, or, um, blog).

Pictures of the Nut House in a Princely Town, 2012, are forthcoming . . .

This Side of Paradise

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We danced in Elysian Fields. We ate manna and nectar of the gods and bonbons. Choose your version of heaven and we were in it. Three kids? Pshaw. No problemo! A full-time job demanding a full-time (plus) investment? Happily invested! Throw in some supersized novels (and a book club), a few hobbies (and/or courses), an exercise regimen, and a social life, and maybe a teeny tiny bit of husband-and-wife time, and there you had it: my life. Or so it seems to me now that it’s not my life.

“How do you do it?” I was asked repeatedly (there were days when I felt distinctly like the SJP character). It was not that I had 3 kids under 7 and worked full time that surprised/baffled/bewildered/horrified? people–big deal, so do many folks–it was the I had 3 kids under 7, worked full time, and did not have full-time care. That was the astounding (stupid, crazy) part.

But I insisted it was easy breezy lemon squeezy. Afternoon meeting? No problem! Put Baby MoFo down for his 2, 3, sometimes 4 hour nap, and I’d be free as can be. Work seeping into the evening? Not an issue on that side of paradise. By 6:59, Baby MoFo was standing on the stairs, calling “Night night!” to signal the end of his day. The big boys did their own thing; they could put themselves to bed.

Oh, May, 2012. How I miss you.

With impetuous recoil and jarring sound

Th’ infernal doors, and on their hinges grate

Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook

Of Erebus. She opened, but to shut

Excelled her power; the gates wide open stood

Something happened. Inside Baby MoFo’s little head (with its great big hair), a wheel rotated, engaged a pinion, and when just the right pin fell into just the right groove, the alarm gear caused the spring-lever of his itsy bitsy brain to release the alarm lever. The spring began to unwind. The alarm lever rotated to and fro,  hitting his hard skull: BRRRRRRNG!!!

His discovery? He could climb out of his crib!

Naps? Gone. Bedtime? Gone. Middle-of-the-night sleep? Gone.

Oh, woe is me.

*                 *                 *                   *                  *             *

June, 2012, a typical afternoon:

“Naptime, sweetheart. Here you go. Lie down. Put your keppy down. Good boy. Have a good shluffy.”

Five minutes later: “What are you doing here?”

Then: “I just put you back in bed!”

Then: “This time I’m standing by the door!”

Then: “Fine, stay up. We’ll go to the park. But you had better sleep tonight!!”

June, 2012, a typical night:

“Night, night, my love.”

“Back you go.”

“Back you go.”

“Back you go.”

Silent back you go.

Again.

Again.

Times 26.

June 11, 2012: A Standoff at the Princess-Scientist Corral.

7-8pm: Princess on Guard. Many returns of baby to bed. Then the door stays closed. But I am suspicious. I have heard a pitter patter. I know he’s out. But does he know I know he’s out? Silence reigns for 10 minutes, then 15. I begin down the stairs.

Behind me, the door opens. “I’M OUT!!!!!!!” cries Baby MoFo.

“Husband, your turn.”

8-9pm: The Scientist on Guard.

Baby MoFo, inside the door of his room. The Scientist, just outside. Every few minutes, the door opens a tiny bit and then quickly closes again. If you look closely, you’ll probably see two excited little eyes peeking out. Open, shut. Silence. The Scientist slides out of sight. Open, shut. Open–pause–pause–and suddenly a blue teddy bear comes flying out the door.

The scout

Baby MoFo wait a few more seconds, sees the bear untouched, unreturned to its room, decides the coast must be clear after all, opens the door, and is about to run out when–

“Caught you!!”

And back to bed he went. Again.

Remembering the Elysian plain, “where life is easiest for men.
No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does
Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind
that they may give cooling to men.”

Oh curse ye gods who recalled the Crib Tent (dangerous is a mom who has been sleep and sanity deprived!). Can someone please go buy me a good old-fashioned door lock?