Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cake Time Again

Tomorrow is Annie's 5th Birthday. It seems like just yesterday she was screaming her way all the way home from the hospital and then I hit her head trying to put her in the crib and made her finger bleed when I tried to cut her nails. We are headed to a water park for a special treat and then home for Mermaid Cake!
E-man made his own version of a cake and enjoyed getting it all over himself
The Neighborhood Pool
Here are a few photos at our neighborhood pool. It's been a great way to meet people. Moms have just come up to me and said, "we hear you're new to the area." They all seem welcoming and quick to introduce us to their kids. Hopefully Abegail can meet a few classmate before school begins.
Playing with the doll babies in the baby pool
Quotes From Annie:
A: Mommy, Thank you for the best cake ever!
M: We have got to raise your standards.
(She also often says, "Mommy, thank you for the awesome dinner." Maybe hitting her head on the crib wasn't such a bad thing)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Touring the Town

This week we went into DC twice. I took my kids and their cousins to the National Zoo and showed them where I went to college. They were extremely unimpressed with college, "you don't get recess in college??"

Then Look Who We Ran Into....
The Millers from Minnesota happened to be here Thursday on their tour of the East Coast so we met them on the National Mall for a trip to the Smithsonian.
Abegail and Tori back together for a few hours

E-man isn't exactly the don't touch museum type
We've been getting acquainted with our neighbors, almost all of them have seen or heard us. I met one little boy at the pool and said, "Hi Jack, we live on your street." He replied, "I KNOW."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting Settled

I finally found the camera cord to download pictures, lord knows I can't blog without photos. We are getting settled. We are still getting lost a lot which means a lot of wasted time with the heavy traffic, but we have found the important things like the neighborhood pool, church, Target, the grocery story, and great running trails just down the street from us.
Yesterday I took the kids on a half mile hike on the trails that led to a marina where we played miniature golf. In a rare moment I didn't bring along my camera and wish I had. Lets just say Emmanuel is not much of a putter, he's more of the long drive type of golfer. At the end when they have the hole that takes the ball he was flabbergasted and stuck his "stick" down the hole to get it out which got it stuck. The ball was constantly lost in the bushes anyway.They have fireflies here, the bugs that glow in the dark. The kids are fascinated by them and have tried to catch them. By the way a few fireflies in a bottle for a few days really stinks.
We also got to see my good friend and college roommate who lives about 50 minutes from us. Her little girl Alexandra is a pickle! And has grown a lot.
Quotes from Abegail:
during miniature golf
A: Mommy your turn.
M: I just went
A: Your ball is in the same place!
M: I know I didn't get very far.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Onwards and Upwards

The kids are doing great. Me? I keep waving at strange people who I think are our neighbors. I have this card in a frame (which I can't find, but is in some box) that says 'This way ahead, looking back is no longer an option." Still it seems to be I am the one who is slow to adjust.

We have met two families in the neighborhood. One directly across the street with an adopted daughter a year older than Annie. The other kiddy corner with an adopted son from Guatemala who is three. It made explaining E-man very easy. He asked the one woman for a drink of her water before even saying hello. He almost tackled the other little boy playing soccer. But both families seem very nice and I can't believe there are three of us with adoption stories in one block.

We are moved in, somewhat unpacked and loving our house. The move in went a lot smoother than the move out. We got three random guys who were strong and quick. It was raining but everything was unloaded and in our house in under two hours.
My Dad couldn't wait to mow the lawn and E-man followed him around with an empty fertilizer thingy. (that is an official word)
The toilet overflowed on the second day and instead of saying 'pee in the yard' or 'go to the neighbors' I said use the bathroom downstairs. We have TWO bathrooms, we are living large. The house is awesome, perfect for us, way out of our price range if we wanted to buy it. (if that was even an option). I said to Scott I thought you were going to get us in an area we could afford and he said, yes, but I thought the commute from Iowa would be too far. I get it...big city...big price tags.

The neighborhood is beautiful with lots of trees and extremely hilly. It is very humid here, which I knew it would be but you forget what that means. E-man has his own room which is working out remarkably well and the girls are sharing but loving have their own pink space. Scott and I have a room where all our bedroom furniture fits. It's unbelievable, no one has to put a dresser in the basement.

Yesterday we went to a lake in my sister's neighborhood, enough of the unpacking, we all needed a fun break. We visited the elementary school which is K-6 and it seemed nice too. They have a Spanish Immersion program so they said they get a lot of kids from outside the neighborhood. We still are looking for a soccer league for E-man, a community pool, and we'll scout out the church tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Misery of Moving

You know the feeling, you think a big change is a really good idea until you can't find a thing and everyone is tired and fussy. Here's some advice, DON'T MOVE! And certainly do not be dumb enough to think moving with three kids won't be the biggest effort you've ever made in your life.
Let me start with the process of getting out of our house. I hired two men to load the truck. But Armand and Kenneth forgot to bring along their positive attitude. They arrive first thing Sunday morning. My Dad immediately talks to them about taking the swing set he had taken apart the minute he flew in. They laughed at him. "If you want to take the swing set, that's fine but you ain't takin nothin else then." They walked around the house and said, hmm, hm hm hm hm.....all these boxes..a 24 foot truck? You should have gotten a 48 foot truck. I was constantly telling them what was most important to load and what was not, needless to say all the non important stuff is here with us in DC. All the important stuff? Who knows. Thank goodness for our neighbors, 2 of which loaded trucks for Bridging, another took bunches of stuff. Armand kept saying...um, ummmm....that too? Every time I told him about something else that needed to be packed he looked surprised. Did you think all this stuff was just stored in our house or we just keep empty boxes around for fun? 7 hours later the moving truck door was shut and promptly my phone rang, Scott had just arrived. I was miserable. Our dining room table, none of our chairs, my grandfather's end tables, even a box full of wedding pictures and wall pictures were still all sitting on the front lawn. My neighbor said, why don't you pull a trailer? Good idea.
Kurt then said, would you like a glass of diet cherry Pepsi? I said is it in a real glass? He says I can even put ice cubes in it. It was the best soda I'd ever had. But it's now 4:30 and Budget closed at 4:00. so I called U-haul. The conversation went something like this:
I was wondering if I could rent a trailer?
For when?
Right now.
What kind of truck do you have?
A 24 foot truck.
OK is it your own truck?
Well what kind of truck is it?
Um...it's a budget truck.
Oh, let me put you on hold.
Really, I'm so not in the mood to be discriminated against because its not a u-haul truck. 5 to 10 minutes later he comes back and says,
Yes that will fit on your truck, but we close in 20 minutes so if you want it you better come now. UGH!!! I'm in one of those states where you are so tired you can barely breath and I just wanted to lay down on the driveway and fall asleep. Just then Scott and My Dad pull up with the kids who had been with my Dad at a soccer game.
I hadn't seen Scott in 5 weeks, I know I didn't ask about his trip, it's questionable whether or not I said hello. I know it started something like, "here's the situation."
Needless to say we decided against the trailer on the truck and there are some people just setting up their home in Minneapolis now with some very unique furniture and a lot of kids shelves.
Scott was able to squeeze some more stuff in but it was to the point where I ripped open a box of linens and was throwing towels in individually just to get them in.
Finally we said our good-byes (which was very hard at the end)...closed on our house which is a weird feeling coming back to the neighbors and looking at MY house and its not MY house anymore and we were on the road.
I was asleep for what seemed like 15 seconds when I hear my Dad on his cell phone, "Scott, uh it seems like the car is overheating. I think we better stop."
OK, I'm awake now. We stop, add antifreeze and we're off again. Again, "Scott the gage went back up and its starting to smell...it's definitely overheating. We are in Hammond, Wisconsin at this point 50 MILES from the Twin Cities. And there's a lot of corn fields. The BP clerk says the only mechanic in town is Dave's Auto shop. Just go east for a block you'll find him. We did, except Dave says our head gasket is going to blow and we might be able to drive 50 miles but we might not. We definitely can't make it to Virginia. It will cost 1500 dollars and take 3 days to fix. Dave I hate to be pushy but that is not the answer I'm looking for. Well, OK I'll do some more tests. So Scott and I start the command center, checking on rental cars, considering the possibility of him driving the truck with two other people and the other three of us flying and even calling dealerships in the closest town of Hudson, Wisconsin. We just got a check for the sale of our house...who wouldn't want to live in a minivan. When my Dad comes over to the sidewalk we had plopped ourselves on and said, "CRISIS IS OVER" It just needed radiator fluid..40 bucks. Ding ding ding...Dave that was the answer I was looking for.
By the way there's a 2002 minivan with 89 thousand miles on it for $4,996 in Hudson if anyone is looking for one. The rest of the trip was 'uneventful.' But Minneapolis and DC are not close especially on the second day of driving. Who knew Pennsylvania was so mountainous. I thought we'd never get there and started to wonder what are we doing. Someone else is enjoying my perennials and my new floor in the kitchen. But then we pulled in at my sister's at 11 p.m. and the kids were still up waiting for us to arrive with our 24 foot budget truck. OK, maybe this will be OK. I'll post on move in day later. All I can say, hot, humid, and hilly complete with an overflowing toilet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keep in Touch

Our New Address:
8011 Hatteras Lane
Springfield, VA 22151

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moving Day

I guess we're really moving. We have a really big truck in front of our house and most of our stuff is in boxes (in no particular order I might add). My life is pretty simple these days, I pack, clean, yell E-man's name, say good bye to someone and repeat. Pack, clean, yell, good-bye.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I took my camera to work today, something I wish I did much more often. Then I took the kids and few of their friends on a tour of the station...here are the snapshots.
The explosion at a Farm Supply Co-Op we we're covering
This is what I look at everyday
Going 'live'
My morning photographer in the live truck, working on getting a signal before our 5 a.m. hit
Here we go
The kids visit, set number one
E-man tries to take over....someone call security!
The make-up room
Annie in the control room
Checking out Set number two
The whole gang at the interview set
In front of the green screen or weather wall
E-man adds to the story board
A really shiny floor, perfect for the sears photography studio pose
Annie outside the station on the 'plaza'