So, you might perhaps have noticed an uptick in the number of grandchildren featured in Auntie Leila’s photos recently?
Maybe you’ve been tracking our family’s doings on Instagram, and have figured out what’s going on, but I thought I’d pop in with an official update/catching up post to get everyone up to speed before this new baby gets here (I’m 37 weeks tomorrow, if you can believe it!) and there’s even more catching up to do.
At the beginning of the new year, we packed up the car and drove up north, trading in our North Carolina winter for a New England one. Some might argue that this is not the ideal time to be moving to Massachusetts, but we were playing on the beach as recently as the day after Christmas, so the whole winter fatigue phenomenon certainly hasn’t set in for us yet.
My kids couldn’t be happier about the snow. They’ve been out there sledding on the little hill in the front yard even when the grass has only been half-covered with a measly leftover inch, so the foot that we got yesterday is going to blow their minds.
(Fabulous red coat c/o my wonderful friend MaryBeth, who was — conveniently for me — expecting her 5th baby last January and decided she’s been pregnant through enough New England winters to get herself a proper maternity coat, then insisted on lending it to me when I got up here.) (And I treated myself to proper snowboots since my Marine Corps life in Southern California and southwest Oklahoma had not left me prepared for these conditions in the footwear department — my Toms were not going to cut it here!)
Capt. P came up with me and the kids, and then we said goodbye to him from here as he headed off on another deployment, which will keep him busy until the fall.
You’ll understand why I’m intentionally a bit vague about all the details here, but know that he’s working hard, but is not in a combat zone (for which I am thankful). We are able to be in touch with him often (yes, that’s him on the phone with Nora above, and no she couldn’t be cuter, not that I’m biased or anything), and the kids have been doing their best to keep him supplied with drawings and letters, since as Molly put it, “his room isn’t very byootiful.”
Before he left, he got us settled up here at my parents’ house for the next little while, so that we have plenty of company and support as we get ready to welcome this sweet baby girl.
The timing of this deployment with the baby’s arrival isn’t ideal, of course, but at first we thought he wasn’t going to be leaving until now-ish (aka, just a few weeks before my due date), which would have left us a lot less flexibility. Him leaving a month earlier than we originally expected meant that the kids and I didn’t have to stay put, and we decided that it made sense for us to temporarily station ourselves up here.
Even though we’ve only been in our new house down there a few months, we already have some great friends in our neighbors there (some of whom are looking in on our house while we’re gone, and all of whom would notice if anyone rolled up and started packing out all our craigslisted furniture, so any creepers/stalkers can just go ahead and scratch that plan), and it wasn’t easy to decide to leave so soon after getting settled. But the company and extra hand with the kids is such a huge help now, let alone when the baby comes, that it seemed like the obvious choice.
We’ve never had the chance to live near family before (our home in North Carolina is the closest we’ve been at just under five hours), so while there’s been an adjustment period as the kids and I adapt to all these changes, it’s definitely made up for by the fact that we’ve got one set of grandparents (and a great-grandmother) right here in the house with us, another set in the next town over, and a whole bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby.
Hopefully they are distracted by the cuteness and overlook the vast amounts of crazy disruption we have brought to their daily life already, never mind the newborn we will soon be adding to the mix!