Noah had to have me sign his reading chart yesterday and I looked at the date he had written. It said 9/5/13 and I thought, “what?! no way. It was just July …”
So the past few months have been a blur. seriously. a blur. Kind of like my wedding day. You remember faces, places, feelings and then a whole lot of stuff happened. I’ve been keeping all this “stuff” off the blog because of Daniel mostly. It gets really dicey when you’re looking for a job and trying to not let the other people at your current job know what’s happening. We knew a lot of people that worked at Ford that we interacted with almost daily, so no blogging. Anyway, it’s all over, he got a job with Amazon, we moved to southern California and somehow I lost 2 months of my life and didn’t know it.
The biggest reason for the secrecy was the tuition reimbursement stuff. Daniel agreed to stay 2 years after he graduated from U of M with his MBA, but the exact date of when that 2 years was up was in question. We thought it was August 23rd, U of M’s academic records confirmed August 23rd, but Ford thought it was October 27th, then they said September 6th and then Daniel ended up using vacation days for this last week of work with Ford, flying back for his last day (because Ford has a policy that a vacation day can’t be your last day) and we still owe Ford $2500. whatever. What a headache. There have been so many, many, many details to this whole move, it’s exhausting to review them, so I won’t. Bottom line – we’re done with Ford and Michigan, we have a renter in our MI house that we can’t sell and we’re renting a house twice the size in CA. We live five minutes from my sister Christina and her family and 30 minutes from my sister Aria and her family. I am tired but happy.
The relocation package from Amazon has been a-mazing. Having professional movers rocks and this whole cross-country move has been so much smoother than it could’ve been, but it’s still a move cross country with 3 boys and no husband and it has been crazy.
The first 10 days here we (me and the 3 boys) were living on air mattresses in an empty house. Christina and Aria did an incredible job setting us up though. Aria, Walter, Luca, Enzo and Chiara all met us at the airport as we walked off the plane and toward baggage claim. They were waiting at the bottom of the escalator. I really didn’t expect them all to be there, so it was a total surprise and they were holding a huge sun sign that said “Welcome to California Forsyths!” My boys and Aria’s boys were so excited and I was so emotionally exhausted from the previous week of leaving MI stuff and then a long full day flight with all the boys alone that I just wept when I saw them all there. I felt like I was really coming home. I wouldn’t have to leave again. It wasn’t like Christmas or vacation. I was here and they were here and I could enjoy it and live it. Just a rush of emotion.
The love kept coming too. Walter took all the kids, except for the babies, and Aria and I went to get the rental car and we drove to my house. Once at my house, everyone came. Christina and Aria had made a welcome basket of food and necessities all beautifully packaged with tiny flags and labels on it! And while I walked around the new house and played with the kids and talked to everyone, they set up beds in each room – complete with lamps and side tables and put toilet paper in each bathroom (I now have three bathrooms, instead of one!!!!!! …. no more peeing in the bathtub when 2 people reallllly gotta go.) They just completely set me up. With things I didn’t even think of yet, like trash bags and lamps. seriously. What would I have done when the sun went down? I had no lights and the house didn’t have any ceiling lights in the bedrooms and family room (weird right?).
But there was a lot of stress the first week. Even with all the love, family and sun, crappy stuff still happened. For instance, Ray was a nightmare. I don’t know what was wrong with him, but he was not taking the change well. He cried all. the. time. He cried going to sleep, woke up crying, cried whenever anyone walked into the same room he was in if they weren’t me … he has been ridiculous. And then we all got sick, within the first 5 days. Then on day 8, Noah threw up, over everything. I am cutting and pasting the email I sent to Daniel about this particular incident:
“You will not believe this.
Noah has been kind of sick, as has Ray and me. But Noah was coughing. He told me on the way to Blackburn’s that he was going to throw up. I asked when and he said, I don’t know. I asked if he needed to right then and he said no. That was weird. So, then we’re at Blackburn’s all night and he runs around with Luca and Liam and plays with fake money and eats dinner, no problem. On the way home he even sang to Ray, who was screaming the whole way.
We got home and I told them to get ready for bed, then right in bed because it was already 8:30 pm and we had school tomorrow. He got ready and I dealt with Ray, who was beside himself. I finally got Ray down and he was still screaming and crying, when I went into their room and said prayers with them and said goodnight. I go into my room and start washing my face and brushing my teeth.
As I’m brushing my teeth, I hear Noah really starting to hack/cough. Really loud and long. Before I had finished with my teeth, he came into my room, flopped back on my air mattress and said, “I’m gonna throw up”. Well, he’d said that earlier tonight too, so I figured I had enough time to spit the toothpaste out. But I didn’t. He coughed and threw up at the same time about 1 second later, all over my mattress and sheets. I still had my toothbrush in my mouth as I quickly grabbed him by the waist and led him into the toilet and said if he needed to throw up anymore, he should do it in the toilet.
And he did. He explosively threw up 2-3 times more in the toilet. He really emptied his stomach. It smelled awful. He had eaten barbacoa pork.
He had it all over himself now, his shoulders, face, forehead, hair, dripping from his mouth … so I told him to strip down in the toilet room and then get in the shower. I turned on the shower and he got in. I gave him a water bottle in the shower to rinse his mouth out with.
Then while he showered, I started cleaning up the mess everywhere. I was really afraid that we would get ants unless I was very careful about getting all the throw up cleaned up. But I don’t have a washing machine to throw everything in and I don’t have all my cleaning products. So I went straight up Peruvian-woman-style on his shirt – using a bar of olay soap on his shirt and all the sheets on my bed. Then I started on the toilet.
That was horrendous. I had to take a deep breath in my room, then head into the toilet room as fast as possible and wipe up as much as I could before going back into my room to breath again. I couldn’t wipe up and throw things in the trash because again, I thought it would attract ants, so I used toilet paper and would flush as I went.
He finally finished in the shower and I had him get dressed for bed. I asked him how he felt and he said better now. Once dressed he asked if he could go to sleep. I said sure and he went and fell asleep fast. I went back to the toilet.
He had thrown up not quite into the toilet, but kind of onto the part where the hinges are for the seat. So the hinges and all their crevices were covered in throw up. I got a screw driver and disassembled the seat from the toilet so I could run the whole thing under water and wipe it with disinfecting wipes. Disinfecting wipes is about all I had cleaning-wise. It was absolutely the low point so far. There was throw up splashed onto the walls. I finished that all and went to check on Noah and Liam. Noah felt warm. I think he has a fever, but I have no thermometer or Tylenol for him. I think I’ll let him go and check his temperature in the morning and have Weedy bring Tylenol and a thermometer.
At this point, it had been an hour and Ray was still wimpering in his bed. I was worried that maybe he had thrown up in his bed too and that’s why he was still awake, so I went in and checked on him. He was just sad. So I held him for 20 minutes and rocked him to sleep.
It was a pretty awful night. But strangely, I do not feel beaten. When I have something to do and an immediate challenge, I feel more focused. I feel very focused. Noah will obviously stay home from school, but Liam will go. I will ask Weedy to come by in the morning with a thermometer and Tylenol. Pray that we make it through the night. I know you won’t get this until the morning, but pray anyway.
This is definitely the worst way to begin a life together here in CA. Not even together, without our stuff, with sick kids, throwing up, and Ray who is acting just absolutely crazy, all the time. Oh yeah, and with ants. Like a bazillion ants.”
Yes. There have been zillions of ants. On day 3 here we looked out at the back porch in the morning and there were about 12 thick lines of ants marching into the base of our house. Liam summed it up well when he leaned his head against the glass sliding door and said, “we got a big pwob-wem (problem)”.
So it hasn’t been easy, but things are working themselves out and I absolutely love three things:
1. To hear my boys say “Aunt Aria” or “Aunt Stina” and “Wooca (Luca)”. I love seeing my boys get to know who their family is.
2. The sun. I can count on it. Pretty much every day the sun is out. Every morning it shows up and it is blazing hot, but the sun is there.
3. I hang out with Christina and Aria all the time. Every day.
Oh yeah, and I love my pantry, 3 bathrooms and the master bathroom especially. Nothing like having an “en suite”. woo woo!