Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Great Migration: Installment Two

Yes, we are really doing it. Last week, I headed to Minnesota for a professional development workshop with two of my new coworkers. While the PD was a bust, the visit proved fruitful for lots of reasons. I was able to meet coworkers and my principal in person, (until now, I had only known them through phone and email conversations), see my new school and classroom, drive my commute (totally manageable), and do a drop-in visit at Lydia's new daycare.

Lots of people have been wondering about our living arrangements. No, our house has not sold yet. Yes, it is on the market. We have had lots of showings, but as our house only has two bedrooms, it takes a pretty specific buyer. We have faith that one will come along, and I promise as soon as it sells, I will shout it from the rooftops. On a related note, showing a house with a dog and a todder: not fun. So far, we have been mostly lucky, but it is impossible to keep the house as pristine as we would like with Lydia and Stanley on the loose. Lots of frantic, last-minute cleaning has ensued, and we have frequented local haunts such as Thunderbird and Cutie Pies while people scope out our home.

While in the Twin Cities, Robin and I discussed a couple options. I looked at some condos for possible purchase, but after thinking about it, we have settled on renting for a year and then buying a house. We don't want to rush into anything or pile on more than we can handle (this move is supposed to be about simplifying, after all), and any house we would be buying would require work upon move-in. I am going to spearhead our rental search in the next few weeks, as Lydia and I will be able to stay with my parents when we move up toward the end of July.

On to the next, yes, Lydia and I will be heading to Minnesota before Robin. He will join us a little over a month later, with one long visit in between. I have to get up to Minnesota for work and because, you know, Minnesota summers are amazing (for the most part), and Texas summers are brutal (for the most part). Cabin time is a must! When we started talking seriously about moving almost a year ago, we knew that the likelihood of all of us being able to move at the same time was slim, and this separation is a difficult yet unavoidable part of the deal.

During my visit, I was able to check out Lydia's new school. I wanted to make sure that the drive between my school and Lydia's daycare wasn't ridiculous (it's not), and that it's not too far from the neighborhood where we hope to settle (it's closer than I thought). I did something that's a huge pain for the daycare but, in my opinion, the best way to make sure a daycare is a good one. I dropped in for an unannounced visit.

I LOVED what I saw. Lydia will be going to the same daycare as her cousin, Ella. (Already, when we talk about Lydia's new school, she says, "I go to new school with my cousin Ella!!) The school is inclusive, meaning that they serve both special- and typical-needs children together in the same classroom. Their mission reads:
Fraser School allows children of all abilities to learn, play and grow side by side...At Fraser School, children with typical needs (without disabilities) and children with special needs contribute to each others’ development in unique and life-changing ways.
We think this will be an amazing opportunity for Lydia, and we are so excited that she will see her cousin Ella on a day-to-day basis. She's pretty excited, too. The teacher-student ratio is fabulous, the facility felt comfortable and welcoming, and we lucked out in terms of location. I think Lydia's going to love it.

Finally, so many people have shown support and excitement for Robin, Lydia, and I as we embark on this crazy moving adventure, but I want to give a special thank you to Kelsey for her very kind and uplifting mention of us in her blog. This process of picking up shop and moving across the country is draining, both physically and emotionally, and her blog entry provided exactly the pick-me-up, affirmation, and encouragement that I needed. Thanks, Kelsey!

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