Last Saturday we went to a local restaurant for dinner after a long walk where were able to avoid heating up our kitchen and having to clean the horrible mess that these little monsters make during the course of a normal dining experience.
They were kind enough to bring out crayons for the guys who are still much more interested in eating them than using them for any sort of drawing.
I ordered a fine local beer from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, the brewery down the street that we have still have not made it to in our years here.
The next morning I was back on a plane to Chicago for work. All this recent flying has been made easier thanks to LaGuaria's Marine Terminal which flies a shuttle. It's as if they know the experience in their main airport is so terrible that they offer flights out of this terminal as a simple apology for all they have made mankind endure in the house of horrors that is LaGuardia proper.
After a busy couple of days at work I got to have dinner with the family and see my niece Evelyn for the second time in three weeks. Rocking her to sleep after her bottle made me long for the days when it was so easy getting a baby to sleep and it didn't require quite as many tiny fingers grabbing my ears, tiny heels planted in my throat, and just as much general human suffering.
I received word at the airport, while eating the world's worst caprese sandwich, that I had gotten a job in the greater Chicagoland area. This is a pretty big step for the family. This brings with it no short amount of challenge but it should be a good move in the long term. Closer proximity to family paired with a house that is better sized to our growing needs.
It also brings with it a great deal of sadness at the friends and family we will be leaving behind in the New York and Rhode Island area. The only thing easing that pain is the knowledge that our new house, when we get one, will have a sweet-ass guest room and all the free food and cooking any potential visitors could care for.
Open invitation you New York and Rhode Island people!
Hoping not to jinx myself Lauren and I hit up the area right after my interview to check out some houses and mostly illegally trespass in their backyards.
We found the perfect house but, sadly, it seems that they have accepted an offer and it will most likely sell.
Unlike the trip to Chicago I was not upgraded to first class and did not get to witness the elaborate process by which airline attendants open the door to let you off the plane.
The trip home did, however, allow me a lot of time to reflect on the upcoming changes for both the positive and the negative. It also allowed me another opportunity to take an unnecessary photo of clouds out of the airplane window.
After battling a Chicago-style respiratory infection all week I lost almost all ability to speak on Saturday. I still found time to make the Wombats their first homemade pancakes. I was reminded of how homemade pancakes are so much better than those you get frozen. I was also reminded of another truth: Chicago-style respiratory infections are not quite as good as Chicago-style deep dish pizza. It may be one of the worst Chicago-style things right up there with Chicago-style thumbscrews.
Elliott managed to eat his pancakes in the most dainty way possible. This was unusual since he isn't dainty about anything that he does. Particularly when he is pounding his brother on the head or trying to launch himself backwards off the couch.
The babies are almost done with bottles. It was a bittersweet moment for Nana and Grandpa who were able to feed them but who's to say if they'll be having bottles by this time next week. I'd say it was bittersweet for me except for the fact that cleaning their bottles is one of the single most loathed tasks with which parenthood has presented to me. I'd rather change ten poopy diapers than wash just one bottle. I'm ready to be done with that task.
Along with a roast chicken with broccoli I threw all our farm share vegeatbles into a pan and cooked them with some gnocchi.
Yesterday saw a visit from Megan who had some late birthday gifts for the boys as she was overseas at the time of their birthday. Elliott loved his little Irish sheep. Martin was a little more cautious, not knowing what kind of disease this strange new animal may bring into our home.
We also tried to read to them from the books of Irish legend they were given before bedtime but not even the power of Irish folklore could calm these wild animals.
While Martin took the first steps of the pair it is Elliott who has expressed great interest in recreating the experiment. I think Martin has decided that it is not for him while Elliott is essentially walking at this point. Of course little of this walking has been captured on video but he can lift himself up onto his legs with no assistance and take a good eight or ten steps before falling down.
This means that our already difficult lives are about to get even that much more challenging.
A little over nine years ago I moved to New York. As I was preparing to change my life I went out to some shabby Chinese restaurant or another and got this fortune at the end of the meal. At the time Jen and I had only been together for two years and I was moving to New York for a new job away from everyone I knew to make our life together easier. I don't believe in fortunes but it struck me as appropriate with all the questions, fears, and doubts swirling around in my head at the moment.
Much is the same about this move. I don't believe there is any mystical or magical powers in this tiny piece of paper. In fact I rarely think about it. However, as I struggled to get my license out of my wallet to show to the guard at the rental car place I came upon the fortune. I don't really remember any fear or doubt about that last move but it must have certainly been there.
There is a lot of fear and doubt about this move but, like the last move, we are holding firm that the decision is the right one for the family.
Last night, as Martin resisted sleep with every fiber in his being, I thought a lot about what would be different in our new home. After making it 75% of the way through Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark while lying on the floor I wondered if this whole scenario would be any easier in our new home.
Probably not. But not living in a small apartment and not being so far from all of our family should certainly take some of the pressure off.
At least it had better. Do your magic, fortune cookie!