Thursday, June 30, 2011

Updates: The Short Version

The hitch was unhitched, and we closed today! Hubby is in New England Town and just finished closing...we're officially homeowners!

This is a huge relief for me, especially, because I've been going back and forth with the underwriter for more than a week, running and jumping, scanning and e-mailing all sorts of documents every time she called. I've had the two little ones on my own at my in-laws home, while trying to get through jet lag, no routine for the kids, and way too much stuff to do.

While there, however, we had some quality time with family at the shore and at a river-side beach resort, where Hubby's aunt served up some fresh Maryland steamed crabs drenched with Old Bay--ZOMG they were so delicious! Eliza got to play with her cousins, and she couldn't get enough. She literally followed her older cousin around everywhere she went. Hubby and hid dad successfully got All The Things We Left Behind moved into storage in New England Town (NET), and made it back safely. The girls were very happy to see their Daddy again, and so was I. Once he got back, I was finally able to have a tiny bit of time to myself (pedicure+hair appointment=one happy AcadeMama).

The drive from Hubby's hometown to NET wasn't bad at all, but living out of a suitcase has defnitely gotten old. Staying in hotel rooms for many nights with a 4-year old and 2-year old has gotten even older! They're like stir-crazed, caged animals...playing with the phone, the radio, the remote, and everything else they can get their hands on. Not listening to either of us and generally running amuck despite all our efforts to keep them occupied.

Luckily, we leave for Disney tomorrow. Hubby and the littles fly out from Big New England Town, and Hannah and I fly out of Home State, with all of us meeting in Orlando. It's beyond wonderful that we'll get to go with the home closing out of the way. I firmly plan on enjoying every second of our time there!

All in all, everything has thus far worked out someway or another. We're all set with movers scheduled to move everything in the day after we get back from Disney, and then we'll have some serious unpacking, settling in, and decorating to do!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Hitch in the Housing Process

After endless documents requested, sent, signed, etc., I woke up to find an e-mail from our mortgage lender indicating that my employment letter from New England School is not sufficient for the underwriters. Even though it clearly indicates that I'm employed for the next year and provides my salary amount, the underwriters don't see it as a guarantee of employment. Instead, they want a contract, like what Hubby has. Well, guess what? Hubby is tenure-track faculty, so he gets a contract in the spring. Me? Not so much.

When I visited NES in April, the person I spoke with in HR explained that the contracts for Visiting Lecturers don't usually go out until late-July or early-August (typical for academia). However, the lender asked me to "reach out" to my boss and ask if I could get my contract earlier than this. I explained that I would try, but that I very much doubt she'll have any authority over when HR can issue contracts.

Can I just say how humiliating this all feels? I'm stuck in a helpless position, having to hope, beg, and plead with an employer who, as of yet, has no relationship with me at all. They don't know me, and they have no obligation to care whether or not my family has a home to live in. But, it's really completely in their hands. I get the distinct impression from our lender that, if I can't come up with a contract, we will not get this house.

Adding to this utterly depressing and frustrating development is the time zone factor. That is, since we're 7 hours ahead of EST, I wake up to this e-mail and then sit and wait for 7 hours before I can even put in a phone call to NES and see where they stand on the whole contract issue. An. Agonizing. Seven. Hours. During which time, all I want to do is cry.

Really? I could be fucking homeless for the entire summer? This is what I have to look forward to? My nerves are shot and now, so is my spirit.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It Has Begun

The anxiety, that is. General stress over the move and all the related logistics has been with me for the past two months,but the all-out can't sleep, can't stop moving, feel like I'm going to puke anxiety has hit with full force today. Do you know what our travel/moving schedule looks like? Let me break it down for you:

this Thursday (6/16): Mover come to load up all our things for repatriation. (And we are not allowed to pack anything ourselves, which simply adds to my anxiety).

Friday (6/17): Wake-up call around 2:45 a.m. to get showered, get kids up, and get everyone ready, out the door, all luggage loaded (5 large bags, 2 car seats, 1 pack-n-play), and to the airport for a 6:00 a.m. check-in. Then, we fly for 14 hours, layover in D.C. for a little while, then fly to Boston, where we crash at the Boston-Logan Hilton.

Saturday (6/18): Pick up rental car, drive to New England Town, let everyone explore the new home, shop for appliances, enjoy local seafood, and crash when we all hit "the wall" around 7:00 p.m. (if not earlier).

Sunday (6/19): I fly to Philly with Eliza and Amelia, while Hubby and Hannah fly to my Home State. Along the way, Hubby will connect with his Dad, who is also flying to my Home State. After a very short night of rest, they will hit the road in our minivan and the minivan we're buying from my mom and head to College Town (6-hour drive). By 1:00 p.m., they'll meet the movers at our storage unit and load up All The Things We Left Behind (ATTWLB). Then, they'll make the 39-hour(!!) drive to New England Town.

Thursday (6/23): Hubby meets New England Town movers to load ATTWLB into a storage unit and put one of the minivans into a storage unit. They'll both then fly to Philly and re-join the little ones and I.

We wait....

Wednesday (6/29): We head back to New England Town, and I'll catch a flight out to Home State.

Thursday (6/30): Hubby will hopefully close on the house with the two little ones in tow.

Friday (7/01): Hubby and the littles will fly to FL from New England, while Hannah and I fly to Florida from Home State. We'll all convene at the Orlando airport, where we'll finally be whisked away by Mickey Mouse himself and taken to our luxury resort, DisneyWorld's Beach Club Resort.

For one week, we'll enjoy three parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom), club-level concierge service, and the best pool the Disney park has to offer. This is our reward, our present to our family for working hard, living somewhat frugally over the past two years, and simply surviving Doha. Who know when we'll have the money to do this again, so this is it! At some point, I'm sure I'll be excited.

Thursday (7/07): Hubby and the littles fly back to New England, while I fly Hannah back to Home State, wait at the airport a couple hours, then fly back to New England and drive to the hotel where Hubby is.

Friday (7/08): Please, for the love of God, this should be our moving day! The shipment from Doha will be delivered, the movers will bring our stuff from storage, the furniture stores (yes, plural) will bring our bedroom suite and living room suite, and Lowes will bring our new refrigerator (and possibly some window A/C units).

Now do you see why I'm literally worrying myself sick? Can you imagine the 5,632,218 things that can go wrong in these plans? I can! And that's why I'm freaking out! I have only a limited number of the anti-anxiety meds that my doctor prescribed for me last fall. I've been exercising to help work off some stress and try to help get more restful sleep. Unfortunately, I'm still overwhelmed. I feel like there's too much to do and not enough time to do it. I'm afraid I'll forget something important or that air travel will get screwed up, or worst thing ever....something falls through with the house at the last minute and we're left freaking homeless!!

I could desperately use some prayers for zen, peace, and calm if you have some to spare.