Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Vagabonds Are Back!

Those of you who are newer to our blog probably don't realize that the last year and eight months has been rather uncharacteristic of us. We've lived in just one apartment. It's the longest that either of us has lived in one place for the last 7 years.

And it's not that we don't love our small town and all our friends, because we do, it's just time for another big adventure.

Like moving across the country.

And doing it in one checked bag, two carry-ons, and three personal items.

On Monday, Cam starts his first optometry school rotation in Connecticut. This marks the beginning of his last year of optometry school, which consists of 4, 3-month long rotations scattered about the country (read more about rotations and our picking of them here).

Originally, we were planing a rockin' cross-country roadtrip so we could at least have a whole car to pack our stuff in, and see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands because when else are we going to be out that way? But then our aging Corolla, Sheila, starting having hotflashes and threatened to leave us stranded in South Dakota if we forced her to make the trip. Oh, and we realized I would be 7.5months pregnant on the 50-hour return journey. Yeah... no.

Besides, Wes doesn't turn 2 until next month which means he still qualifies, at least on paper, as a lap-child on the airplane.

So everyone that we talk to about this has a few questions for us (as I'm sure you do) so I'm going to try to answer our most FAQs here, and I'm happy to field any more that you have!

So how will you get around without Sheila?
Easy peasy. Some of you may remember our familiarity with public transportation from our experience living in New York. We'll actually be just an hour from our old stomping grounds, and from what we understand public transportation is perhaps even less exciting then what we're used to. We're also considering buying a cheapo car and registering it (still cheaper than long-term rental) so that we can expand our travels.

Where will you live?

We found an apartment by a University that was being refinished, that they just finished working on last week, so they didn't even mind renting it to us for just until August, because that's when the students will show up. It's the 1st floor of a house with two bedrooms... more space than we need really to fit us and ALL our possessions.

Um, what about furniture?
When it comes down to it what does one small family really need? In our case, it's a mattress, a pack n' play,  a table, and a couple chairs (if you think those are non-essential I bow to your hardcore-ness). Pack n' play and a table we'll craigslist and then sell again when we leave. For the mattress we had a bigger problem, we have nothing to pick it up in. We called rental stores and delivery was as much as the rental in the first place. Cameron's friend James had an awesome idea: Amazon does free shipping. Our mattress is being delivered in a box. How cool is that?

So what do you pack for three people for three whole months?
In second grade I did a unit on Africa, and read a book by a guy who spent a summer traveling from one end to the other. At the beginning he included his complete packing list, which I at that time found helpful and apparently has largely impacted my life. In that spirit, here's the detailed but not quite exhaustive packing list:

  • One jacket each (worn on the flight)
  • Everyone gets 1 pair of sturdy shoes, one pair of dress shoes, and one pair of beach shoes.
  • 7 days of clothing (and underclothings) for each of us (except Wes who doesn't wear underclothings), swimsuits and towels
  • Cam gets 6 dress shirts, 2 dress pants, his "white coat", and 5 ties
  • Essential toiletries 
  • I get my straightener and blow dryer if it fits
  • 3 forks, 3 spoons, 2 butter knives, and 1 sharp knife
  • 3 plates, 3 small bowls
  • 2 cups and Wes' straw sippy
  • A spatula and a stirring spoon (We had a long debate about whether a wisk is essential... it didn't make the cut)
  • A mixing bowl, an 8x11 pyrex and a cookie sheet 
  • A skillet and a medium saucepan 
  • Two dish towels and a couple wash cloths
  • Queen sheets, a large blanket and a small blanket, two pillowcases and two pillows (the last of which made it because we reached the weight limit of our carry on before the size limit. We considered filling the space with helium balloons though.)
  • A pack and play sheet
  • Two yards of blackout curtain fabric (gets Wes to sleep in 2 hours=worth the weight)
  • Blankie and Teddy *most essential items that we're bringing* 
  • Baby monitor 
  • Wireless router
  • Computers
  • Cameras
  • Cam's Kindle
  • Cam's Opthalmoscope 
  • An umbrella (Cam waiting for the bus, next week's forecast is RAIN)
  • A first aid kit with sunscreen
  • Wes gets his toddler-backpack worth of toys including 4 books, his puppy piano (of cuatro fame), crayons, and some compact toys I made him that I'll review after the trip .
  • A pencil box full of odds and ends that my temporary living in London and New York have taught me to take along, including: scissors, a small sewing kit, a flashlight, saftey pins, pens, tape, post-its, nail file, and a small ball of string.
  • A few sheets of blank paper.
Any Questions?

Good. And get psyched for some more characteristic adventure posts in the coming months!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Braving the Beach

I am just so pleased with how the weather has been lately!

Last week Cam was finishing up his classes and the weather was so fabulous I decided to be brave and go with some of my friends to the beach with Wesley, by myself. It may not sound like a huge deal to some of you veteran moms out there, but Wes is a wanderer. At the park he'll be perfectly happy playing on the slide for 20 minutes and then suddenly stop and just start walking away from the park (usually when asked he's headed home for one thing or another... as if he knows which way home is).

We carpooled with My friend Stacey, Wes' best bud Ross, and 3-month-old Ruby (that makes Stacey ultra brave). The way there Wes was mad about the sun in his eyes, and Ross got grumpy about his shoe coming off. Ruby slept the whole time which was encouraging/surprising/fabulous. 

Wes has a lot of strong opinions. And for some reason at the beach he wanted to wear his sweatpants, jacket, shoes&socks, and no hat.  Didn't want to wear the sunscreen either but I have to draw the line somewhere and with his hair being translucent and all that's the battle I picked. 

The first hour Wes literally spend wandering around the beach. Luckily his main interest was the rocks at the opposite end of the beach from the water. Ross had a rough time with sand between his toes. Baby ruby was the shining star of happiness laying on a blanket in the tent the entire time we were there. 

Finally the last hour we were there Wes decided to be a normal kid and play in the sand with his friends.  He even took his jacket off when he got sand all over it. His arms got a little red because I forgot to sunscreen them after that. 

Wes thought it was funny to dump sand on Michelle's legs (he calls her 'shell). Luckily she's a good sport. He also thought it was hilarious that there were two "shells" at the beach, "shell bucket, Shell mom" he said probably 50 times. 

On the Way home Ross was a grump until he fell asleep. Wes sang songs and picked sand out of his toes in Stacey's car until he pretty much literally crashed mid verse. Baby ruby didn't make a single noise and fell asleep. 

We decided next time maybe we'll just take Ruby. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tea Party

I have always wanted to have a tea party. I was never able though because aside from the one time I had Tea at the Kensington Orangery in college, I've never been to tea, been a tea drinker, or figured out why anyone would use cream.

Luckily I have classy friends. 

I met a wonderful lady named Nanette through serving at church. I had been to her beautiful/posh/well-decorated house several times, when we got to discussing our shared pension for throwing ridiculous parties, and she mentioned that she's thrown several tea parties recently. We decided it would be fabulous to do one together (at her house of course, not my tiny/toy-filled/eccentricly-decorated apartment).  Of course she handled most everything that required classiness, and I just mostly did silly things like this:
(No need to get excited creepers, personal info has been changed)

I wasn't kidding about this house guys, even the ceilings are pretty. We did all the teacups different for fun. And Nanette is also fabulous with flowers and food. Our menu was cucumber sandwiches, open-faced chicken salad sandwiches, cream-filled strawberries, eclairs, shortbread cookies, scones, and sugared grapes.