Moving the Library

According to iBooks, I own 253 books.  That does not include the reference books, like Thesauruses, Dictionaries, parenting books, and palmistry books.  It also does not include the dozen or so of cookbooks or the text books I plan to read one day.  (Ink: In my defense, I only dropped lit crit because the original professor, who believed you can only understand it through doing it in one massive paper, grew very ill and had to drop teaching, only to be replaced by a pompous ass, but I swear I’ll read the book.)  Nor does it include several titles that the system says does not exist. (Honestly does any one not read graphic novels!) This does not include the fifty or so books that belong to my husband, who will NOT reread his texts books.  It does not include the large amount of children’s books that I haven’t gotten around to counting yet. 


But this large library, and counting, does make it difficult to move, especially when the owner realizes she might not need every title in the next year.  So the night after The Decision, I began to fill small boxes with as many books as I could back.  As I packed the books, I typed out the title of each book, making a list to tape to the top of the box.  And the system worked well until I ran out of boxes, and you just wouldn’t believe how hard it is to dumpster dive with two little ones.  They tend to want to bring home unsavory objects or cut themselves on syringes.  (Kidding.  Kidding.  You throw them in to fetch.)


Without boxes, I began to worry about the horrible mess of letting someone just heap books into boxes and not being able to find my very favorites when I needed them.  I did what any good wife would do; I nagged my husband.  During the times he didn’t tune me out, he suggested I get rid of some books.  I am, thank you very much, and I do, but I keep everything I will read again, and I do.  Then he would rant about how I had too many, and I would remind him why I have so many.  Soon I wished he had ignored me like usual.


There is a reason for the large library other than my intense love for the written word.  Years ago when my husband and I were just shacking up, we combined our moneys early because we were engaged.  As the honeymoon was over, my husband would leave to hang out with his buddies, which wasn’t a big deal, except I was young, bored, and had few friends that stayed in the area after they graduated.  After several stupid arguments, I came up with a brilliant plan.  Believing that a lot of my grief was because I was a saver and he was a spender, I decided that every time he went out drinking, I would go to the bookstore.  At first, he was against the plan, saying “You’re never going to read those books again; it’s a waste of money.”  “Well, you’re never going to drink those beers again; at least I have something to show for spending the money.”  Then I went to the bookstore.


In the end, I had to give up writing all the titles on the boxes and move on to just writing the type of books, like religious or parenting.  I had one box marked with my favorites.  Written on top of the box was “Favorite books; lose this box and I own your soul.”  They were in the office waiting for me when I arrived and were the first ones on the book shelves.  Of course, there’s a huge possibility that I’m going to have to move the bookcase.  Damn.


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Military maneuvers

We have traveled through the desert to spend a measely 4 days with my family.  With all the preperation, I want to stay at least a week, but I have done it for a weekend.  But I thought I should share some of the process of taking a trip to Grandma’s House, and because both sets of grandparents leave the same amount of distance away, I have to do this for every trip.  We call any preparation we do to leave the house military maneuvers because when Evan was little we had to bring EVERYTHING because we were new at this.  Now I keep EVERYTHING in the car and the diaper bag.  But I would rock as a supply sergeant.

A few days before the trip I make a list of everything we will need and everything I need to buy.  Going to my parents’ house is easier because I have left toiletries and they have toys.  I buy juice, snacks and energy drinks.  I find soft pretzels one of the best snacks because it can be eaten to keep car sickness at bay and it’s filling.  I plan the meals up to the day of travel to limit as much food as possible from going bad.  Lately I’ve been making fried rice the night before because it puts as many vegetables as possible in the kids stomach, which they need for a nearly fast food day.

The packing starts in the morning as I am trying to get any last moment laundry down.  Due to straining my washing machine with too many too full loads, I now have to do more loads than I would have.  I pack the snacks and the DVDs and anything we can live without for twelve hours.  When it comes to toys, it’s amazing what toys NEED to be desperately played with right at that moment.  So toys are last.

I’m a Girl Scout.  So I learned to pack light, and baring that, I learned how to stuff as much as I can in bags.  My husband is grateful to this skill because he always over packs for business trips (by double the clothes) and I can always put everything in his suit bag.  I’m not bragging.  I’m probably in the top ten in packing ability.  As a middle-schooler given only ONE bag for a trip, you make sure you don’t leave anything out you just might possibly could need, including: curling iron, straightening iron, hair spray, purfume, books, cds, several outfits, pens, papers, magazines, as well as all the other toiletries and necessities.  Yes, all girls tend to over pack.

But I did learn only to take two extra outfits and barrow small things from my Mom.  Now I have two toddlers (one that is potty training), so I have to double the outfits, just in case (though I could always use the washer), and since I don’t know what toddlers where to funerals, I brought two nice outfits.  I don’t know what I will where, and there is debate that the boys and I may stay longer for my mom.  So more clothes.  Then a lot of diapers so I don’t have to run out a buy more, which goes in the tote with the balls, cars, and a few big toys.  Let’s not forget the potty seat, the booster seat, and the all-important traveling DVD player.  Each boy has a back pack of books and toys.  This time Evan packed his bag.  It included, Pluto but no Mickey, Master Tiger but no one else, a zebra, and a giraffe finger puppet.  I added more after he went to bed.

Now I’m a little anal when it comes to writing and my books, so I take more reading material than I need and more writing material than I need.  I grabbed two Wii controllers, some DVDs, and a Wii game of Mario cart because my mom loves that game.  I had to bring stickers and scape booking stuff for a collage as well as infor to pay any bills that may be due if I stay longer.  Oh and my husband’s suitcase and laptop.

Actually I can get everything in perfecting, including the little bag of clothes for the boys the next day.  You actually should see when I pack for Christmas travel. 

Then there’s my husband.  He can’t pack to save his life nor can he pack the night before.  Example: Our honeymoon in Maui, he packed his good pants, a dress shirt, black socks, and a tee shirt.  Yup, that’s all there was in his suitcase.  I asked him if it had felt too light.  Nope. Our first day on the island, we visited the Walmart.  So my husband decides to play chess on the computer and pack in the morning.  Knowing the kids do better if we leave early, I want to be out at 6.  As the 5:30 alarm rang, he shuts it off with a groan.  Are you kidding me?  He takes a fifteen minute shower.  I can’t sleep, so I jump up.  I show, dress, and pack all the last minute items by the time he’s showered and in boxers.  And it’s six o’clock!  I’m a planner; I hate when my plans go awry.  We left at 6:30, as my husband teases me about how I take a long time.  It is only because I don’t want my children to see violence that my husband lives today.  Did I ever mention when I don’t get sleep I get a little bitchy in the morning?

And actually we made good time.  And I thank God for the inventor of the portable DVD player.  I would not know what to do without one.  Now that the laws are so strict, I can’t imagine being strapped in a car seat for nearly eight hours.  They have their no-spill sippy-cups and cartoons.  My boys were good.

Evan: Mommy, I’m tired.

Me: “You’re tired?  It’s still morning.”

Evan: “Yes, Mommy, I’m tired.  Not thirsty, tired.  I need a nap.”

Me: “Ok, baby.  Do you want your binky (pacifier)?”
Evan: “Yes, please.”  (I hand it back)

Me: “Now close your eyes.”

Evan: “No, Mommy, I need to lay down and take a nap.”

Oops, I guess we have a problem because we’re still four hours away and lunch is coming up.