27 November 2013

Moving Day


Today is our official moving day. The phone line has been moved to our new place, the internet is out of action and so I put pen to paper.

This morning was crazy busy, but I am so glad we organised things the way we did. All three MissyMoos were ready and we were out the door before 7:30am. Hubby was not working today so he could do some moving, and he was up and at 'em super early, taking bed frames apart and getting everything ready for the removalists. Just as I was leaving with the MissyMoos, the truck pulled up.

I dropped MissyMoo1 (7) off at B's and B took her to school with her kids (as it was way too early to drop her at school at that time), then I drove the 40 minutes to Nonna and Par's house to leave MissyMoo2 (4) and MissyMoo3 (2) there for the day, then I turned back and backtracked 20 minutes to go to work.

When asked by a colleague why I was at work on moving day, I honestly replied: "To escape." Poor Hubby, I think he got the raw end of the deal having the day off work! But he worked hard with the moving - he did wonderfully and the place looked great when I got home in the evening.

There are still some things left to bring over from the old house, but the big stuff is done and we're sleeping in the new place tonight, so we can safely say:

WE'VE MOVED!

You Sign It, You Eat It

In third year law school at university, I studied contract law. Although that was ... ahem ... a few years ago, there is one phrase which has stuck in my mind to this day. I don't remember the setting - whether it was my male lecturer or my female tutor who said it. I don't remember who I was sitting next to in the lecture theatre / tutorial room. I don't remember if it was hot or cold, morning or afternoon, what I was wearing or how I was feeling.

But I remember this phrase.

You sign it, you eat it.
 
The meaning was simple. If you sign something, the starting point is that you meant to be held to it. Sure, there are all sorts of exceptions, like fraud or undue influence, but generally, it was a warning to the fresh-faced future of the legal profession that signing something indicates that you have read it, that you agree to it and that you accept the consequences.

Hubby and have been doing a lot of signing lately - a multitude of documents for a multitude of purposes in our house-changing journey.
  
Initially I wolfed down the appetiser contract with the real estate agent to place our house on the market. I quickly put away various courses as the need arose: contract for sale of house, lease for the next place to live and then purchase of land.

Soon after the feeding frenzy was over, the heartburn set in. Were we doing the right thing? Was all this upheaval and stress going to be difficult for our family? MissyMoo3 was getting unsettled again at daycare after being fine for most of the year - could she be internalising my stresses? (Turns out she was cutting a molar - all good.)

Let's hope it digests well and leaves some appetite for dessert: a building contract...

(Disclaimer: this is not legal advice - this is an anecdote and a clumsy metaphor. Take it as such)

26 November 2013

MissyMoo1's 7th Birthday

Today is my beautiful, amazing, lovely MissyMoo1's 7th birthday.


Can you believe I have a seven-year-old? Neither can I - I'm far too young to have a seven-year-old! [flicks hair vainly]

Although it's her birthday today, as you may already know, we here in casa di Francesca are big fans of the birthday week and so the celebrations obviously began prior to today. MissyMoo1 had a birthday party on Saturday with 14 of her closest friends (!) plus her two sisters. She didn't do the birthday party thing last year (bless her) so we said she could this year.

What do you do for a 7th birthday party when you're smack bang in the middle of moving house? No, we did not have it at home - we're not that crazy! (You thought I was going to say we had it at home, didn't you? Have some faith in me, people!) MissyMoo1 had suggested ice-skating, however, I promptly dismissed that idea at the image which immediately popped into my head of having to chase my two-year-old around the ice...

It was agreed that a gymnastics party would be the way to go - soft mats for her sisters to play on if they didn't want to/couldn't join in the circuit. And with food and lolly bags provided, I was all for it. All we had to provide was the cake.


They had a wonderful time. MissyMoo1's friendships this year have really strengthened and blossomed. I was so happy to see them all playing together so nicely. She has friendships with a great group of kids and I couldn't be happier for her.

Yesterday, at her weekly school assembly, she was presented with a birthday certificate and the kids all said a prayer together for the children having birthdays that week. It was very sweet.

Today she got an extra special lunch order and tonight Hubby made her favourite dinner. He's the best.

Beautiful girl, we're sorry that your birthday has been surrounded by so much hectic activity and stress, but we hope you know how incredible you are and how much we love you. Happy birthday to the best big girl ever!

23 November 2013

The Week Looming Ominously Ahead

I am looking ahead at a crazy busy week and I am feeling slightly nervous. We are as organised as we can be, but part of me feels that ignorance would be more blissful than my Word table setting out each day of who goes where and for what.

Here is a sneak peek of what lies ahead for us this week:

  • Today is MissyMoo1's birthday party
  • Tuesday is MissyMoo1's birthday
  • Wednesday is removalist day for the furniture and the first night of sleeping in our rented house
  • Thursday is a friend's wedding
I am trying to keep my head together and I know that all I can do is take one day at a time.


I am trying to remember why we are doing all this - that the big picture end goal will be worth all the upheaval, stress and uncertainty we now face.

19 November 2013

Sacrifice

We have a plan. A plan to make life at home more comfortable. But progress cannot come without sacrifice. A bigger house will be great; a bigger mortgage, not so much. Ying and yang. Balance.


In recent weeks we have had to make decisions to sacrifice some things which give joy to our lives in the process of striving to attain our goal. The first was the trampoline. A 14-foot circle of jumping fun had to go, as the backyard in the rented house we're moving to (or any other for that matter) simply is not big enough.


We bought it four years ago. I can still remember the squeals of delight as the then two-year-old MissyMoo1 (6) jumped on it; her curly mop of toddler hair flopping up and down with every jump. MissyMoo2 (4) and MissyMoo3 (2) each began bouncing on it as soon as they could crawl. Singing songs like Play School's "jump, jump, jump if you feel you want to-oo-oo", learning to count in Italian by counting the jumps, racing around the perimeter, "bouncing" The Fat Cat when she jumped on to join in on the action - these are all memories I want to preserve. Hey, even I used to enjoy using it sometimes!

MissyMoo3 being awesome


In the end, the trampoline is just a "thing"- we can replace it later if we want to (although we probably won't).

But there's another sacrifice we must make - not of a thing, but of a part of our family. It makes me feel like a callous, materialistic cow, trading in The Fat Cat for a nice house. But there you have it. The Fat Cat can't move with us, as pets aren't allowed in the rental house we're moving to.

But I'm so cute. Why can't I come too?


Thankfully, Nonna and Par will be fostering her for us for the time it takes us to build our own home, after which we'll welcome her back to our abode with open arms and lots of cuddles.

My first fear with this was telling the MissyMoos. Thankfully, Hubby took care of this with no drama or build-up (I would have made a meal of it) and they took it incredibly well. In fact, they're actually excited that because we'll be spending Christmas with Nonna and Par, we'll be able to spend Christmas with The Fat Cat as well!~

I still worry that she might run away or get lost, but I know she is an adaptable cat. When we got her, two years ago, she was already three years old. Her family had moved away and had been unable to take her with them (oh no! history repeating itself - poor kitty), and the neighbour who had taken her in couldn't keep her because of severe allergies. So we took her and she adjusted well. Hopefully she will again.

15 November 2013

Kidspeak Gems: MissyMoo1


Hmm...

11 November 2013

Silly Sock Day

Throughout the year, MissyMoo1's (6) school runs various mufti days and other such fun to raise money for Catholic Mission.

 
 
The most recent one, on 31 October, was Socktober day, during which all children were allowed to wear silly socks to school.
 
Not content to go along with only one pair of silly socks, MissyMoo1 decided to add stripey legwarners to her spotty socks for a very bright, fun combination :-)

10 November 2013

Francesca's Festa of Favourites: November 2013

I came so close to not doing this for this month, but hang that, I'm not closing down a festa!!

So...

...welcome another edition of 




Background
 
For anyone who's new to the link-up, here's some background: "Festa" in Italian means a celebration, a party. This link-up is a place where you can place links to your favourite posts in a given month, but here's the difference: they don't have to be posts you've written (although they can be). You can link to any post for the month that, for you, has been a must-read, that you're proud of, or that you think is entertaining.

I add some of the posts, from blogs I read regularly, so you might see the same bloggers cropping up over the months. I make no apology for that - I love being able to use this space to bookmark my favourite blog posts for the month.

But, more importantly, I love seeing what everyone else likes reading and it makes me smile till my cheeks hurt when other people add their favourites to this festa. So feel free to link up as many of your favourite posts as you like during the course of the month.

(Let me know in the comments if you have trouble with the link and I'll try to fix it.)


Pick of the October bunch (in my humble opinion)

As usual, I have chosen one post from the previous month's linked posts to showcase here and I'm continuing this month as I think it's a great way of showing off other bloggers in my own little corner of blogland. To check out all the posts linked up in October, click here.

This time it was really hard to choose one post to showcase. There weren't all that many posts linked, but they were all so good... But without further ado, my October Festa Favourite is:
 
 My Baby Boy Almost Drowned and It Was All My Fault by Emily at Have a Laugh on Me.

(Except that it wasn't all her fault by the way - she is being waaaay too hard on herself).

Have a laugh on me
 
With the warm weather well and truly here in many parts of Australia, I thought it really important to highlight this post as a reminder to us all of how quickly something can go wrong with little ones in the water.


 
Now, let's see what goodies you bring along to Francesca's Festa of Favourites in November. Happy linking!






09 November 2013

Project Find a House to Rent: Done!

Hi all.

Well the title gives it away, but I'm mindful of the fact that I haven't blogged in a while and I would hate to think any of you lovely readers might be worried about whether we have a roof over our heads.

It's okay. Roof located.

This is a pretty cool looking roof.
Ours is nothing like this.

The day contracts exchanged for the sale of our house, I was on a mission. MissyMoo2 (4), MissyMoo3 (2) and I went to three real estate agents in our local area searching for a place to rent. Taking them with me was a risky move, but they wowed real estate offices all over town with their good behaviour :-)

The experience, though, was quite stressful. It was demoralising, seeing places online which might be suitable, only to find out that they had just been taken by somebody else. It was unsettling having lived in our own place for seven years to then be in the position of wondering where we would be living in only a matter of weeks. It was almost enough to bring about some seller's remorse ... almost...

I looked through one completely unsuitable place after school one day with all three Missy Moos. It was only 3 bedrooms, which of itself wasn't too much of a problem, except that the current inhabitant was a heavy smoker and had two little dogs who slept inside. Not so good for allergies. Oh, and no dishwasher. In a family of five? Deal-breaker.

Next, I looked through a pretty good place. Fairly nice, again three bedrooms, but quite liveable except that it was built on a cliff. I kid you not. It was well landscaped at the back, but I did not fancy attempting to get the white bus up the steep driveway...

There was one more. One shining light in the darkness.


One 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage house which appeared on the internet like a vision. I could be forgiven for imagining hearing a chorus of angels at the moment the photos appeared on my computer monitor. It is less than 500m from where we currently live. It is the same distance again from where we intend to build our next home (oops, spoiler alert!). MissyMoo1 (6) does not even have to change bus stops! Our application has been accepted, we sign the lease next week and we'll have a bit over two weeks to slowly move our stuff over to the new place before we have to be out of our current house.

It is not all perfect, as with most things, there are some sacrifices to be made. This really requires a blog post all of its own, though. Stay tuned.

"Relief" is the most suitable word to describe reaching the end of this small chapter in our "forever house" story.
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