This is a really long post. I'm sorry. If you have ADD, just skip to the end, ok? Nobody will ever know.
We're moving. Or something. I don't know, dude, all I know is that I spent the first part of the summer packing up everything we own into boxes, labeling said boxes, and filling out change of address paperwork. Because we had a house lined up. And we were moving. But then we didn't. But we still might? We still need to!
Let me back up. Yeah.
January 2009: tHe Original Guido (O.G.), the Princess, and I move from our apartment in Turlock, the city we love, the city we both work in, and go to a house (a house!) in Los Banos, where tHe O.G.'s parents live. We're renting this house from his parents. It's 40 minutes or so from Turlock. And from anything else. It's in the middle of nowhere. It's the boondocks. It has a Target though, so I figure I can deal, right?
We spend a couple years living there relatively happily; it's nice to be near his family (I mean near; they live across the street). The town isn't awful. And we still come to Turlock every day for work, so whatever. We've got a pretty good routine worked out, carpooling to work, dropping the Princess off at preschool, all heading home in the evening one happy family in one happy car.
September 2010: The Monster is born. Hurray! Seriously, we love this little Monster and our family is now complete. I spend 5 blissful months on maternity leave.
February 2011: Maternity leave ends and I return to work. And suddenly: our old rainbows-and-unicorns, happy-family-in-a-happy-car routine is a distant memory. It's been replaced by the Routine from Hell. Now I have, all told, a 2-hour commute to work. No joke. Yes I know lots of people commute on a daily basis but look, it was never my intention to be one of those people! How did this even happen? This was not the plan.
Here's a recap of the Routine from Hell: I wake at 4:30 a.m. to nurse the baby, shower, dress, wake the Princess, do her hair, pack everybody lunches, leave the house by 6:00. I drop tHe O.G. off at work first, at 7:00. Then I have to drive another 15 miles or so to my aunt's house in yet another town to drop off the Monster, because she's the only human on the planet I will trust with my infant. Then I come back to Turlock to drop the Princess off at preschool, and I get to work, finally, at 8:00.
At 4:00 I do it all in reverse and we get home around 6:00 p.m. And now I have to cook dinner. And do dishes. And bathe the children. And do laundry. Oh, tHe O.G. is here, too. He helps, he really does. But still, you guys, the main burden always falls on mom, right? You know this is true. Either way though, we both fall into bed at 9:30, exhausted, so we can get up and do it again the next day.
March 2011: At the end of one particularly brutal day, I remove random detritus from the couch (blocks, binkies, barbies, what have you), sit down gingerly beside my husband, and pose this question: "Why don't we move back to Turlock?"
It's a lightbulb moment. Yes! It's so obvious. Why don't we? Why did we move here again? What were the benefits? I forget, because I haven't slept in weeks and I can't see the floor and is the baby crying again? And I have to get up in 6 hours? Wait, did I eat today?
So we hit up craigslist and start the house hunt. And here's the thing, you guys: we're just renting. We're renters, we may always be renters. We enjoy calling a landlord when the A/C breaks and kicking up our feet while somebody else sells his prized baseball card collection to fix it. Plus we have terrible credit, but that's neither here nor there, ok?
So we're looking at rentals, thinking, this should be a snap. A piece of cake. Find a house, rent it. Bam. Done.
April 2011: We've now fallen in love with and applied for 4 different houses, and each and every one has failed to become our home. In between those 4 houses we've viewed, toured, and researched approximately 3,489 rejects. It's hopeless. It is never going to happen.
But wait! We find one. The one. It's perfect. It's beautiful. It's two blocks from my work in one direction and two blocks from the school we've chosen for the Princess in the other. It's big and airy and custom painted and it has a landscaped backyard and an upstairs laundry room.
And the owner loves us. L-O-V-E-S. US. She's like my mother's age, divorced, she falls in love with my kids, she hugs me when we leave. It's a done deal. We sign the lease, we agree to the terms; she's still living there. But she's moving to L.A. in June for work, her new house is just about to close, and then this one is all ours as of July 1st. Yes. Plenty of time to pack and prepare, and we move in and get settled before the Princess starts kindergarten. Perfect. It's destiny, you guys.
June 25, 2011: We're packed. The children each have one single box of toys left out; everything else is sealed up and out of reach. We have a truck reserved. We have various friends and family roped into helping us move. I've submitted our change of address with the U.S. Postal Service. I'm giddy with anticipation. I'm counting the commutes. I text the landlady: when can we pick up the key? when can we bring you a check?
Cue "screeching record" sound effect. Her response text: sorry, escrow hasn't closed on my new house. can't move out yet. your move in date will probably have to be mid-July.
Mid-July comes and goes. It's now August, in case you hadn't noticed. School starts in one week. Oh, and? Hello, we were packed. Everything we own is now in a box and no you cannot open that box you play with what you have do you hear me? We are not. opening. boxes. I don't CARE if your dolls are suffocating in there, they. will. wait. And what do you MEAN you're sick of pizza, nobody gets sick of pizza, yes we are having pizza again on paper plates because I AM NOT OPENING ANY BOXES IN THIS HOUSE! We are MOVING. We ARE.
Tomorrow we're going to look at another house. I'm still stupidly holding out hope on the original house. Because I'm an optimist.