Daily Archives: August 27, 2010

Moving Aftermath

This week has been a steady stream of unpacking boxes and not having room for anything. That’s not entirely true; it just feels like it. I know all these books fit on bookcases at the other end, so having piles all over the floor that didn’t go anywhere was leading me to tear my hair out and fight off panic attacks. HRH finally reminded me that we’ve given two bookcases up to the boy’s toys in the family room, and I remembered that my office closet was essentially all shelves that contained many, many binders and books and files, and so I’m not quite as strung out as I was before. I still have to figure out where it will all go, though. Missing two closets upstairs is really forcing me to get creative about how we store things. And on top of figuring out what books will go where, I’ve had to constantly rejig the moveable shelves in the cases to maximize the number of books going on and use the space as efficiently as possible, which has caused me to spend a lot of time looking at the stacks on the floor and back at the bookcases, doing a lot of work in my mind before I try to execute it in the physical world. HRH said last night that if we needed to buy more bookcases he was okay with that (we certainly have the room in the downstairs hallway), so I checked the online classifieds today and sent a couple of queries about used Ikea bookcases like the ones we’ve got. We also need one or two more CD racks, since about a quarter of our collection used to live in the DVD cabinet that is now downstairs.

The family room (or gaming room, as the moving team insisted on calling it) is shaping up very nicely. We found the buried box of VHS films that got Put Somewhere in the last move, so I can watch my VHS-only costume dramas any time I want again and the boy has a slew of new-to-him Disney films to discover. The kitchen was operative very quickly, except for the pot rack. Tonight HRH is painting the kitchen, and we’ll be able to hang the rack and put up the shelves. The living room has been emptied of the mountain of boxes right in the middle, as it was mostly books (okay, sure, I’ve got three lines of spine-up books across the front of the room instead, but at least it isn’t a mountain); the only boxes left have the CD player and audio receiver in them plus the satellite speakers.

My father in law brought over his small outdoor table and chairs for us to use in the gazebo thing we have out back, and HRH tightened all the bolts on the play structure so that it isn’t shaped like a rickety parallelogram any more and doesn’t sway when the boy uses it as a pirate ship.

The other thing that has been stressing me is the laundry system saga. I have been sharing my stress with Twitter but not here, so it’s only fair that you should hear about it, too.

Last week I told you about the whole preferred-pricing-certificate failure thing when HRH and his parents showed up at their appointment with the shop to buy the washer and dryer we’d researched and chosen. Not only did our certificate not apply to the laundry units because they were already priced as low as they’d go, they were out of stock for at least a month, despite the website claiming they’d ship the next day. This was an extra-huge kick in the pants because we’d passed up a fabulous weekend sale at Home Depot on Maytag Centennials in favour of the certificate, which ended up being worthless. So I’ve been spending a lot of time this week researching sales and models online (just as frustrating as trying to figure out how to get X books on [X – a bunch] shelves, but in a different way). Thursday morning I stopped at Corbeil because I’d seen an ad saying they would discount a value up to two times the equivalent sales taxes on a purchase till the end of August. They treated me exactly the way I wanted to be treated: they left me to stare at the machines in my price range and compare settings and cycles on my own, then let me approach them to ask for availability, extended warranties, and delivery. Four home runs: There was a basic set that was on sale for about three hundred dollars off its usual price; the protection plan was affordable; the set was in stock; and they’d deliver next day, free of charge. I looked wistfully at the Maytag set we’d passed up at Home Depot, but there’s no way we can afford a thousand dollar laundry set right now, not with a protection plan on top of it. The set we’ll get is by Inglis, a Canadian company (yay!) who made our fridge and is now manufactured by Whirlpool. We’ll go buy them tomorrow, because we’re really running into the must-wash-linens stage of after the move. I will be thankful to have the opportunity to wash things again.

My allergies acted up really badly the first two nights we were here. There is deep pile carpet on the stairs, and the previous owners had a cat. I think that perhaps they did not own a vacuum, too. HRH went to town on the stairs with the Shop-Vac, and we’ve been running the forced air on the fan setting for a couple of hours each night to clean the air in the house, which has helped immensely. The weather has been gorgeous, sunny and bright and breezy during the day and nice and cool at night. So cool, as a matter of fact, that HRH is making noises about pulling out the not-yet-unpacked boxes of heavy linens and using the feather duvet on our bed now instead of later this fall. Apparently we’re supposed to have another heatwave this coming week, though, so perhaps the feather duvet will remain in storage for now.

We’ve been enjoying the later start time in the morning. The boy’s preschool (and school, too) is a whole five minutes away, and since HRH didn’t have room to bring the bikes over last weekend we’ve been dropping the boy off then taking HRH to work, then running errands or whatnot before coming home and unpacking or working, then picking them up again at the end of the day. It’s been such an incredible relief to have the car again. I didn’t realise how restricted I felt, not having it to run errands when I needed to run them instead of waiting for the weekend when we tried to shoehorn as much in as possible. Now if only the boy’s internal clock would get the later-start-time memo. He’s been waking up between five and five-thirty.

I think that’s about it for now. I have a mostly-operational office as of early this afternoon. Now I just need to hang art and take the extra boxes of art and sewing supplies downstairs, but I’ll leave that for HRH. The books have just been shoved on shelves for now, but I can finesse them later.

Last Day

It’s the boy’s last day of preschool today.

I’ve known this was coming all week. I was preparing for it, doing the last of the kindergarten shopping, scheduling the gift-buying for his educator, and so forth. But it wasn’t until last night when we picked him up and they told us that it was going to be an end-of-summer fiesta/birthday for one of the kids/our boy’s farewell party that it really hit me. One last drop-off; one last pick-up.

I’m going to miss them. They’re fabulous people, and they’ve done wonderful work with the boy. Numbers, letters, songs, attention span and focus, helping out, French, socialization, skills and techniques; they know their stuff. Even though he’s not officially attending after today, now that we’re in the neighbourhood I know that we’ll see them often enough. Heck, they’re coming to our housewarming party; I think we’re booked to help stain their fence next spring. The boy has an open invitation to hang out on any Friday night at the new TGIF for kids thing they’re doing outside of the regular daycare hours to give parents a night off for themselves or to run errands without handling a squirmy child (and upon being told that there would be Friday night babysitting available, all the kids planned for a pyjama night there with pizza at some point amongst themselves and informed the educator). And they’ve stressed that we have an open invitation to drop by after school any time, which just happens to be across the street.

The boy is excited. He’s been looking forward to the party today (there is a pinata and he is determined to be the one to whack it open), and he’s excited about kindergarten next week. He did a lovely picture for his educator at the kitchen table this morning, with great printing (look at that spacing!) and a picture of a robot, his car and trailer, and a robot bug ( “But not a bad robot bug,” he said to me. “It doesn’t sting or bite.” “I know it’s a good robot bug,” I said, “because you’ve put a smile on it.”).

He’s grown so much over the past two years there. About a year ago his main educator told HRH that if she got him through to kindergarten without having to take him to the hospital with a broken bone she wanted a medal. Well, we haven’t gotten her a medal; we think we’ve done something better. We’re going to present her with a gift certificate for the nearby Spa Strom so she can treat herself to a day of relaxation and pampering. We figure she totally deserves it after corralling him for twenty-four months, along with ten other kids.

Tonight we’re having a special dinner to celebrate the end of preschool: steak, roast potatoes, steamed broccoli with cheese sauce, and we’ll walk to the nearby ice cream parlour (recommended by his educator!) for a dessert treat. Next week we have two days off together, and then an hour-long private meeting with his new teacher on Wednesday, a morning half-day on Thursday where he’ll take the bus in and I’ll pick him up at lunch, and an afternoon half-day on Friday where I’ll drop him off after lunch and the bus will bring him home. On one of those days we’ll go get new library cards from the local branch, and stop to play at the big playground we pass that’s halfway between school and home.

First days are hard. But so are last days. Sometimes, though, you don’t realise it for a little while.