We Live in New Hampshire Now

Sorry for the long hiatus. Moving cross-country is incredibly time consuming and difficult. But we’re all here – New Hampshire! By “all” I mean the four humans, two rabbits, and one cat. I also tried to bring 5 plants, but 2 didn’t survive the trip. One might be able to bounce back, but the other one is likely really most sincerely dead.

We are staying with some good friends who have a 6-bedroom house. I think this is the biggest house my kids have ever been in, especially if you include the basement. We’re looking for a 3-4-bedroom house in Nashua to rent.

We did not get everything on our California bucket list done, and I do regret that. Packing took up a lot more time than I had imagined, even though I started in February. I also wanted to make sure the kids got to hang out with their friends before we left.

We did spend three days at Disneyland and California Adventure. Then, we spent a few days in San Diego with my Aunt Sue and Uncle Bruce. It was all incredibly fun! I’m so glad we had that time.

When we got back, Cassie graduated from preschool. She wore the R2D2 tutu dress we got her at Disney.

We moved out of our apartment in mid-July. Our best friends were taking an Alaskan cruise, so we stayed in their house for another week because of the Sonoma County Fair. Jackson showed both of his rabbits, and they both did fairly well. Jackson himself won second place in Showmanship, out of 11 in his class. This is kind of a big deal.

My mother-in-law came out and then took the children with her on a plane to Pittsburgh. First class, thanks to my father-in-law’s frequent flyer miles. Jackson will now forever complain about flying coach.

Meanwhile, Max and I drove my van, stuffed full of the items that we didn’t want to put in our PODS unit, a month’s worth of clothes and belongings, two rabbits in their cages, and one cat from Santa Rosa, CA to Pittsburgh, PA. There is a lot of nothing on I-80, let me tell you. And the Nevada rest stops are terrifying. Porta potties. In the sun. Gah! Make sure you use the bathroom in Carson City.

We had two special treats in Iowa, of all places. I got to have lunch with my former manager and a cherished co-worker from Wells Fargo. It was great to actually meet these people with whom I spent more than one year of my life, remotely. In Iowa City, I got to have coffee and gelato with my long-time online friend Melodie. She not only insisted on buying my snacks, she brought Missouri peaches and Iowa corn. Iowa corn really is awesome!

We stayed in Pittsburgh for two nights. I took Cassie to the Children’s Museum there. Wowzers! Jackson didn’t want to go because he thought it would be for babies, but it was really amazing. We’re going back to PA for a holiday, and I will definitely take both the kids there when we do.

Max drove the van from Pittsburgh to New Hampshire, while the kids and I flew JetBlue from PIT to BOS. We almost lost Mimi, Cassie’s lovey. Cassie’s one responsibility was to hold on to Mimi. While I was getting our boarding passes, she started saying that she didn’t have Mimi. I thought she was joking. But, no, Mimi was gone. My mother-in-law went back to retrace our steps. Cassie kept insisting that Mimi wasn’t downstairs, where we had been, but upstairs, in the ticket area. The ticket area is huge and mostly deserted most of the time, and Mimi wasn’t anywhere obvious. Still, I told my father-in-law and Jackson to go look downstairs while Cassie and I looked upstairs. Cassie, thank God, was right. Mimi was hanging out on a post in the Delta ticket line. Someone had found Mimi and given her to a security guard, who put her on the post, thinking that Mimi would be better seen there. I offered her a reward, but she said no. I cannot even imagine the trauma Cassie would have gone through if we had had to leave Mimi. And yes, I’m being serious.

Our friends Susan and Kevin picked us up in BOS and drove us to New Hampshire, stopping at Wendy’s along the way. Max made it to Bedford about an hour before we did.

Since then, we’ve been trying to settle in some, and find a place to live. Our friends have a cottage on Lake Glen,  and they’ve invited us with them when they go. Cassie may have almost drowned. The kid stayed in the little kid swim area all while I was in the water, then as soon as I left the water, decided to see how far she could swim. She was able to tread water, and Jackson tried to get her back in (mental note: send Jackson to lifeguard camp next summer), and I got back in and walked/swam to really get her.

Cassie started Emergent Kindergarten at World Academy. (There’s really no point in trying to be anonymous here.) Right now, they are in “summer camp” mode. Her real first day, as well as Jackson’s first day, is August 30. The school is amazing. Their web site doesn’t do it justice. They have several buildings, a proper gym, a proper middle school science lab, multiple playgrounds, a pool… And it costs less to send both of them there in Nashua than it would to send one of them to private school in California. Also, Lego Robotics is part of the curriculum. They have electives for middle school students that include improvisation, lacrosse, Lego engineering, and international cooking. These electives are part of the tuition. They also have extracurricular activities for all grades, including a dance class. Those are not part of the tuition. But Cassie has always wanted to take dance, so… huzzah for location!

I am working and I love my job. It looks like Max may have a contract gig in the near future. Because I am a full-time employee, I have benefits, so he can be more selective in what he takes. We can also live on one salary fairly comfortably in New Hampshire. Max also auditioned for a play (for the first time in more than a decade) and was cast in a fairly sizable supporting role.

I still miss California, though. Jackson’s old school started back last week. One of Cassie’s best friends is in the Kindergarten Cassie would have been in. Cassie and Jackson both miss their friends terribly. Personally, I’m feeling like I’m in limbo. It still hasn’t really sunk in – we live in New Hampshire now.

Meeting Elsa and Anna at Disney

Meeting Elsa and Anna at Disney

Robyn and Cassie with Mickey Mouse

Robyn and Cassie with Mickey Mouse

Robyn, Cassie, Pooh, Jackson, Max

Family picture with Pooh Bear

Jackson, Captain America, and Cassie

The Kids Meet Captain America

Cassie's preschool diploma

Cassie’s preschool diploma

Cassie's preschool graduation

Cassie’s preschool graduation

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Point Bonita Lighthouse

The Chittisters and McMs on our way to the Point Bonita Lighthouse

The Chittisters and McMs on our way to the Point Bonita Lighthouse

Our last dinner with the McMs

Our last dinner with the McMs

Jackson and Cassie at the Fair

Jackson and Cassie at the Fair

Jackson won second place in Showmanship

Jackson won second place in Showmanship

Car window reads New Hampshire or Burst

New Hampshire or Burst

Rabbit cages and luggage in van

Traveling in style, or organized chaos…

Firefly peeking out from the luggage

Can you find the cat?

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Rock formations

The nothing in Utah

Welcome to Nebraska sign

Nebraska Home of Arbor Day (and golf-ball sized hail)

Cassie playing with bubbling mud at the Children's Museum

Cassie playing with bubbling mud at the Children’s Museum

Lake Glen

Lake Glen

Lake Glen

Lake Glen

World Academy front

World Academy front

Cassie's classroom welcome wall

Cassie’s classroom welcome wall

World Academy Gym

World Academy Gym

Fancy water bottle filler

Fancy water bottle filler

Playground at World Academy

Playground at World Academy

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