And then a flare was sent up through the boxes, followed by a weak, paint splattered hand shakily poking up through the ruins.
She was alive.
This move has nearly killed me.
The next moving truck I go in will be run by a company called the "County Coroner" and the only thing they will be moving is my cold, lifeless body.
I guess it would have been easier if I were the type to be happy with stark white walls and no thought towards aesthetics, but I'm not.
I must paint.
I must create balance.
It's in my DNA.
I have taped off and painted and touched up and found studs until I collapse into the bed at night only to have nightmares of non leveled pictures after hours of striving.
Trying to get the girls settled in here has been a feat.
For the first two weeks, Chloe kept asking,
"Mama, when we're done here, can we go home?" - Which broke my heart.
Tessa cried a lot.
That's not like her at all.
It's hard explaining moving to children.
It's also hard explaining moving to OCD husbands.
"Sweetheart, it's very difficult to dust the frames if they're packed away in a box. I'm sure it can wait."
Justin spent the first couple of weeks here storming around with his nostrils flared.
He doesn't do well in chaos.
He doesn't do well with wall to wall boxes labeled
"Crap that was just left over."
Between the kids falling apart and his plummeting mood, I had
about had it.
Let's just have pregnant, exhausted Mama be in charge of it all.
Let's have her make all major decisions. It's OK that her pregnant brain doesn't even remember how to make coffee correctly.
Who cares if she's dizzy?
Send her up the ladder to cut in the paint edges.
And go ahead and ask her if she got anything at all unpacked today while you were at work and she did daycare and made lunches. Surely she must have had a FEW spare minutes.
The doctor prescribed blood pressure medication for me.
And good thing,
because getting the AT&T Uverse hooked up here ALONE has been enough to send me to a five story ledge and question leaping.
It was like a two day repeat of "Who's on First" just trying to work that phone system.
I have now spoken to approximately 30 AT&T workers in 15 different countries.
I can sing 15 Muzak songs.
I have chatted online with 2 technicians.
I have a new friend named Shelly and a new enemy named Baharat.
At least that's what I THINK he said.
Who can tell with all that background noise of the Indian marketplace?
I maybe even heard a chicken.
It has taken a week of waiting and 5 hours of hold and department transfer time to get a technician out here to simply run a cable to one of our TVs.
First they only had our old address.
The technician complained he was knocking and knocking and no one was home.
No one was home somewhere else, if you know what I mean.
I won't go into full detail to save you all from pulling out your OWN eyelashes and eating them out of anxiety, (as I have) but let's just say I could have gone to school to become a technician and run my OWN cable in a quicker and more painless time than this all took.
AT&T will not be receiving any Valentines from me.
They're lucky I'm a good Christian woman.
But as of this very moment - between the last sentence and this one, it is fixed.
No more bulging carotid arteries for me.
Well, at least not from THAT.
And I do believe I deserve a medal, as I, Kerri Green, have not taken one single day of daycare off throughout our move.
I have made snacks and fed them from my cupped, clasped fingers when I couldn't find bowls.
I have wiped faces with my bare hands because the towels were packed.
I have caught kids just in time as they almost ingested handfuls of
"WHAT THE HECK IS THAT" that they found as credenzas were carried out and bare carpet was exposed.
There were north of 16 Cheese-Its found behind our entertainment cabinet when it was taken.
I have no idea how that even happened.
Especially since Tessa never usually lets a Cheese-It slip by unnoticed.
But now things are looking more like a home.
Most rooms are painted.
Things are hung up.
I'm in LOVE with our bedroom.
Next stop is curtains because I really can't handle the 6:00 am Chloe and Tessa alarm clock I have because their room is full of light.
It's almost like the sun is actually IN there with them.
All that's gone on in the last few months have made the idea of a new baby take a backseat. Poor thing. They way things are going, we may need to just save one of the empty boxes to use as a crib.
I still can't believe it's real.
My best friend Lisa asked me yesterday if I was SURE I was done this time and I probably scared her with how emphatically I answered yes.
Four is going to put me on the brink of insanity.
Five would have me so far past that, that the brink would look like an ant.
From a plane.
I already worry about making sure Tessa's never left alone with it.
I can't even imagine how fast it would be covered head to toe in sharpie tattoos.
But what's one more set of hands prying my eyelids open at ungodly hours?
But also one more fresh-after-bath baby head to sniff......
How could I resist THAT?
I can handle it.
It can't be as bad as the last 2 days with AT&T.
If I can survive that, I can survive anything.