I’m pretty sure the next few days are going to go by really fast. All in quick succession, we’re selling our house Friday morning and the new owners are moving in, we’re buying our new house and the old owners are moving out. It’s a tricky thing to balance with everyone moving back to back like some intricate game of dominoes because there won’t really be any overlap time where we can make a few trips from our house to the new house. We’re supposed to have everything out when we leave Friday morning. Try to imagine the logistics of moving a full house with a bunch of kids, most of them very small, in such a tight timeframe.

Obviously we’ve got help lined up. Torrie will have all the boys for a sleepover on Thursday night and we’ll have a few people helping us load and unload a Uhaul. We have a storage unit that I’ve been taking stuff to over the course of the week.

But I’m not really here to talk about all that. I just want to jot down our last weekend here on Shirley Road.

I, along with the boys, picked Milly up from school on Friday afternoon. Milly’s going to miss living here because we’ve lived here for half her life, but also because she has a friend right across the street and more three houses down. She keeps talking about how excited she is to get moved into the new house though. I’m really glad about that because not only are we moving, but so is her mom, from the house she (Milly) has been in since she was born, although they’re trying to stay in her current school district. Unlike her father, who was always resistant to change in his younger years, Milly is embracing the adventure of changes. She was telling me today she’d love to live in a converted bus for a while and travel around (though not on her own).

Tristen had a planned girls night with Torrie and Sam and a couple other friends. I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but Tristen won’t be allowed to do any drinking before too long, so they wanted to go have a little fun. It sounded like they did.

I should mention, though it’s not part of the weekend (coming one day prior to what one could be expected to classify as a weekend without a three-day weekend starting on a Friday), that Tristen and I had a date night on Thursday. Her mom came over to sit at the house while the boys slept while we went downtown. We were going to go to Fork & Cork but didn’t like the 30 minute wait, so we ended up going to Floriana, formerly Riverboat Landing. It was a more expensive place than we were planning to go, but the food was very good and we really enjoyed each other’s company. Tristen was very tired and passed out in the two minutes or so I took trying to get Hazel to pee.

I got up with the boys Saturday. There were no major issues, although Griffin was rather clingy and just moved around a lot on me. If you’re a parent, especially of several small kids, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He wasn’t doing anything bad or anything, but sometimes having kids constantly being kinetic, is the word I like to use, on you just gets to be overwhelming at some point and you just need some time to not have them rolling around and constantly moving on you.

I took Milly to her friend Haley’s birthday party downtown. It was at Chandler’s Wharf but I accidentally took us to City Market, which is a very similar type of place (old trade-related building repurposed to house several shops). It was only about a block away and the walk didn’t seem to bother Milly, who is still on crutches, too much. It gave us a chance to talk some more, which is always nice.

Just before I took Milly to the party, Fawkes and Phoenix gave me a nice big scare. They had been watching Wreck-it Ralph when I went to put Griffin down for his nap. I then went to the bathroom and when I came out I didn’t see them on the couch. I glanced in the kitchen then looked around the playroom and saw that the door to the carport was open.

They’d gone outside on their own!

I’m sure I muttered some curse word as I ran outside. They weren’t in the carport. I walked out of that and glanced behind our house, which is an area of overgrowth that leads to train tracks and woods. I ran that way at first and called out their names, but then I thought I’d look around a little more. I ran down the driveway, and I finally saw them. They had taken their Ybikes to the front yard and were going up and down the walkway to the front stoop of our house.

I was obviously very relived after having three or four heart attacks.

This wasn’t the first time they’d opened the door, but it was the first time they went out on their own. We’re locking the door now. Fortunately the new house only has one front door, which we’ll keep locked anyway, a sliding glass door at the back that’s hard to open even for grown-ups, and the garage door, and they can’t get outside the garage (although we might put a child door handle guard on it anyway).

Milly was having a sleepover with her friend Sophie after Haley’s birthday party. I feel bad not having anything for her to do over here right now since a big focus is on us getting everything packed up here. She did a good bit of work on her own room the last weekend she was here. There’s just not a lot of fun stuff to do here, so I was happy for her to be doing stuff with a friend. I’m going to be more apt to have her invite friends over at the new place since we’ll have a lot more space.

When I got back to the house after dropping Milly off at the party Tristen was up with Griffin. I spent some time getting the van packed for a run to the storage unit, but I also stopped by a video game shop and Home Depot. The video game shop, Game Giant, was one I had taken some stuff to a few days ago. The biggest thing about that was selling our Rock Band set. That was a really fun game to pull out now and then, but even if I wanted to still keep it, the Xbox 360 it went with had the red ring of death when I tried to fire it up before taking all that stuff to sell.

At any rate, when I took the games there I had all the Rock Band equipment in a large container and I forgot to bring it home, so I went back to get it. It was a nice box. Anyway, it’s good that I did because they had put it out back and were going to throw it away.

The Home Depot stop was to pick up a drill. It took me a while to figure out which one I wanted, and a lot of them didn’t come with a battery or charger, but I eventually settled on one that came with two batteries and a charger. Turns out that the battery works on another drill I had, but I didn’t have a charger for that one anymore and the battery was completely dead. I thought about taking the set I bought back and just getting a battery and charger, but it was only about $20 more to have the drill and Tristen and her dad both thought it might be good to have a second drill anyway.

Not much to say about unloading the van other than to say I’m surprised at how much space we do still have in our small unit.

I also stopped at a grocery store to grab some milk and a couple other things. I missed putting the boys down to sleep, but I did go in and give them kisses.

Tristen was watching… something when I got back. I can’t remember what it was, but it was almost over and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was coming on. She said she’s seen parts of it here and there, but didn’t think she’d ever seen the whole thing, so we watched that. I remember my dad taking me and Erin (and maybe Adam, who would have been five years old at the time, so maybe not, and very likely not Andra) to see it in the theater. I watched it again when it was randomly on the TV sometime in the last couple years. Anyway, we enjoyed it. Out of Towners, which also starred Steve Martin (along with Goldie Hawn) came on after. It wasn’t the best, but it had its moments. I was surprised to find that it came out in 1990. I didn’t know Goldie Hawn was still doing much by then.

Tristen got up with the boys today, although they opened the door again and Hazel got out, so Tristen had to go get her. She’s done that several times now, but we’ve found the easiest way to get her is not to tempt her with treats, but to show her har harness and leash. I got up while she was out fetching our wayward pup.

We focused a lot on closets today. I got a lot out of our hall closet and Tristen went through a lot of the stuff in our tool closet (I can’t wait to have space for our tools) and reorganized a bunch of it before we packed it up. We kept a few things around for taking apart furniture and the like. I had taken almost everything off the walls throughout the house. Well, the stuff Tristen hadn’t taken down yet, and I also got most of the nails and screws out of the wall.

I picked Milly up, dropped some stuff off at the storage unit (How many cross-town trips will we make to upload all that mess?), and stopped at Costco for gas and diapers. We were down to four this morning, and we tend to go through somewhere between nine and twelve in a given day. Later on while the boys were taking a bath, I counted out enough diapers (twelve) to put in the boys’ room for the remaining nights they’d be here.

Milly and I dropped off the diapers and picked up some carseats and headed to the Romeros’ house for chicken and dumplings for dinner. Torrie had come by and picked up the rest of the family while we were gone.

We hung out for a bit, ate, had some dessert, and headed on home where I helped Tristen get the boys in the bath. Fawkes and Phoenix had big smelly poops and when that happens around bedtime we just hose them off in the tub, but Griffin kept wanting to sit towards the front of the tub right in the path.

I should mention that we’ve really been encouraging peeing on the potty lately. Any boy who does it gets to get an M&M or a jellybean. There was a lot of it going on Saturday morning. Griffin wanted to keep his pants off which would have been fine, but he peed on the kitchen floor twice, and once while I was trying to make sausage and eggs. He did make it to the potty himself once, but he tried to go standing up. I did reward him for it, although very little pee made it into the bowl of the potty.

I’ve been reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Milly before bed off and on for a bit and made it a goal to finish this weekend, which was accomplished tonight.

After I read to her Tristen and I worked on clothes, pulling out enough to get us through the week and packing the rest away. I already took all my hanging stuff (and really look forward to being able to hang all my shirts again), but all the rest of my clothes are currently fitting into a tall hamper and my suitcase. After that we just relaxed on the couch for a bit.

Tristen found an article about how to talk to toddlers when they’re upset. I don’t do much of what they suggest. I’m not judging myself by that particular rubric, but I could be a better and more intentional father than I am. I do try, but I could try harder.

Anyway, our final weekend to prepare for our move has come and gone, and we were probably not as productive as we should have been. There’s always more than it looks like, but at this point the main stuff is larger furniture. And then just random stuff, like things under counters, lamps, chargers, TV stuff, curtains and curtain rods, plants… Stuff.

Moving sucks. I am going to miss this neighborhood. I am looking forward to our change though.