Wednesday, December 18, 2013

On The Other Side

I'm happy to say that we made it!  To St. Louis, of course - but also, generally, we made it through the last month and a half.

To briefly recap, Jonathan started his job in St. Louis the 2nd Monday of November, so Bates and I had almost 3 weeks alone in Memphis without him.  Not sure if I have any single parent readers - or maybe some of you have spouses who travel a lot? - either way, my hat goes off to you!  It was not easy being alone with the baby boy from ~6am - 8pm every day.  But it wasn't awful, of course.  And we had lots of visits with friends and lots of help from my in-laws.  So while it was a long couple-ish weeks, we're on the other side, not suffering PTSD.

One of the more stressful aspects of those weeks was getting our house packed.  Before Jonathan left, it was probably 75% packed, which was huge.  But the last 25% was quite difficult because it was a lot of stuff that gets used daily/weekly, for the most part.  I survived, though!  I was up super late the night before the movers came (Nov. 25th), but when they got there, it was mostly packed (and what wasn't packed was easily taken care of by the 7-man team that loaded the vans).

So we moved out of our house and were homeless for a week.  Bates and I went to my in-law's for the week of Thanksgiving and Jonathan joined us on Wednesday night.  We had a great week with his sister and her family!  Bates loves to play with his big cousins (and I loved having tons of other people around to keep him entertained).  It really was a blessed week with good times, good food, and lots of fun.

We headed up to my mom's the Sunday after Thanksgiving and moved into our new house on Tuesday.  It was rather stressful finding a house to rent here, actually.  And in fact, the one we moved into was unseen by me until the day before the movers came.  But I'm really happy with where we ended up.  I don't think I'd want to own this house, but I'm really happy to rent it.

Some things I like about the house:
1) The little town we live in (Webster Groves) - it's super cute and quaint and has so many places to discover!

2) THREE bathrooms!  Going from 1.5 to 3 is a huge upgrade!

3) A "master suite."  This is something I never thought was important (maybe because we didn't have one in Memphis?) - but now that we do, it's actually nice to have some room to breath in the bedroom and a roomy en suite bathroom.

4) A dedicated "play room."  It's up in the finished attic and while Bates won't go up there by himself to play, it's still nice to have less toy clutter in our living spaces.

5) Gas stove and double oven!  I'm definitely still getting used to cooking with gas, but I like it so far.

6) A carport!  Who knew a carport would warrant an exclamation point, but going from no covered parking in Memphis to this feels like a huge upgrade (especially since St. Louis has had an unusually snowy December).  It's also been nice to go out and warm the car before we go somewhere.  Except when Bates locked me out of the house this morning while I was turning the car on to warm.  Parenting fail.

7) A huge deck (which we obv haven't used yet), but should be nice in warmer weather.  And along the same lines, a big yard to play in!

There are some negatives to the house, too, of course.  But like I said, for a rental, it's great.  One solid negative is that Bates has been waking up every morning super early (like, one morning at 4:50am).  There has to be something about the house that is causing this, if not just change in general, but we have to get to the bottom of it!  He wakes up tired and is barely keeping his eyes open by noon.  I wonder if it's the temperature in his room, so we're going to try a space heater in there to see if that affects anything.  After that, I've got nothing.

One general negative to moving in December (which I absolutely anticipated) is the difficulty of meeting people during the month.  The weather is so cold (like, really, really, unbearably cold) that Bates and I can't play outside.  And most mommy & me classes and playgroups are closing down for Christmas and re-starting again in January.  So we've been a little stir crazy a couple of the super cold days.  But we're going to sign up for some stuff starting in January, so once we get through the holidays, hopefully we'll be on our way to meeting new people and making new friends.

Jonathan is enjoying his job!  We had his office Christmas party (a black tie affair at the Magic House) last Saturday, which was an interesting display of "why didn't your wife tell you it's not ok to get so drunk at a work party" by some of his co-workers.  But also pretty fun, as parties with that caveat tend to be.  And since my mom took Bates for an overnight babysit that night, Jonathan and I got to try a cute brunch place in Soulard the next morning.

We haven't attended church here yet.  (Well, Jonathan tried one before Bates and I moved up, but he wasn't blown away.)  But like so many aspects of living in a "big" city (bigger than Memphis, that is), I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the choices!  We loved our church so much in Memphis and loved so many of the things it offered that it's going to be hard to find something here that lives up to our expectations.

I also feel really overwhelmed by all the restaurant choices here.  Literally, this city is really big and there are restaurants in every little neighborhood in town!  So many choices!  And I think if we really try to get out there and try a lot of them, we're going to gain a ton of weight and spend loads of money, so I'm not sure how that will go down.  But I'm excited to eat some good stuff!

This post is getting too long, so I'll end by saying last weekend we had to go buy me one of those huge, long puffy winter coats.  I've never understood why someone would wear a coat like that since it isn't all that flattering or stylish.  Then I moved to a place where the mornings have been 15 degrees, feels like 1 and I understood.  So long, puffy, black trash bag it is!  Thank you, Burlington Coat Factory!

I hope you all are doing well and aren't too stressed by the holiday season.  Jonathan doesn't have any vacation time yet, so Bates and I will probably hang out with my mom a lot.  But the move has done a lot to take away the usual holiday stress I feel, which has been nice.  Stay warm and Merry Christmas if I don't pop in here before!