The great adventure began

Getting to the airport was fine, not a hitch. 
Had a wonderful send off breakfast with my family – which was lovely and I look forward to putting my send off picture on the wall in our new home. 

Jo got randomly selected for an extra TSA check (apparently that gets printed on boarding passes these days) so I had to wrangle two over-excited children plus baggage onto the flight – which was… fun
The flight was relatively uneventful.  #1 Son basically binged on movies/tv/games. 
It was however delayed by 40 minutes due to Canada having problems with air traffic control. 
My tv unit was busted until about halfway through so I didn’t get to watch Logan – pretty gutted actually. 
The Tiny Tyrant was surprisingly undemonic. She slept through take off and had an additional nap about halfway through. 

Neither child ate much but that’s to be expected. 

Then we landed at Boston Logan International Airport. 

Which was nice. Until we got stuck in Immigration Control for over three hours because their computers were down. 

Except that we only heard this by eavesdropping -there was no official announcement of any kind.  They did hand out water eventually. 
So then we went to pick up bags. Which were all there. So we’re the car seats. However, no stroller. Somehow it may not have made it onto the flight. 

While we were at Heathrow we had pre checked it in. The Delta employees then also checked it in and in barcode confusion it may not have followed us. 
So the poor Tiny Tyrant is  having to walk everywhere at the moment. 
Then we went to pick up the rental car… where the computers were also down. So we were there for a further hour plus. 
By the time we picked the damn car up (nice red Mazda for the interested) it was half four. We had landed at 12:30
Thing was, our poor cat had been sent over on the flight immediately after ours. Which meant, factoring in the Canada delays (though they also affected her flight so that wasn’t as bad) but with the additional delays, the poor bugger was stuck at the condo waiting for us. 

But we picked her up, some of Jo’s work mates brought emergency supplies, we paid a handsome tip and she was in her new home. 

She seems to be settling in well though now. 

Last night in England

The house is packed up. The men were done by 2pm. 
The keys have been handed to the estate agents (with significant complaints about their recommended conveyancers – watch this space for updates on that little problem). 
We are bidding farewell to Banbury. 
It’s so strange to finally say that. This time tomorrow, all being well, we will be in Massachusetts (which I really have to learn how to spell!)
We’ve had a lovely last supper with Jo’s parents. The kids had a wonderful time, and we will be seeing them for Thanksgiving. 
My parents are seeing us off at the airport tomorrow (mad people they are, but I’m grateful). 
The kidlets are tucked up in bed:

And yes the Tiny Tyrant is sprawled across ours, she will be moved to her cot. 

We have to be up at 04:30 for the plane so I bid you all goodnight. 

The men are in the house

Boxing up our lives.  
They are fast, they are efficient and they are brutal. 

I can’t take any medication with me in the crates so all my prescriptions (and wow do I have a lot) have to be squeezed into the suitcases. 
By the time we left the house they were starting on the big items and some rooms were already cleared.  As much as this has not been good for my stress levels, I am genuinely impressed with these blokes. 
Hand luggage is also done:
 

One packed car ready for Saturday. 
The suitcases themselves are crazy and we will need to buy new clothes, but in the words of Elsa I have chosen to let it go.
We’ve also attempted to pre-book some viewings for potential 12-month rental properties.  
The kids have their last days at Reception and nursery respectively tomorrow….
It’s all suddenly very, very real.  

Clearing out the house

Is more trouble than I could have imagined. 
We are taking most of our belongings to Massachusetts but there are some things we can’t take – the sofa for instance (we broke it 😱🤣) Also bedding etc. 
So we rented a van. Which is fine. Except it’s a manual – so I can’t drive it. Jo hasn’t driven a manual in over two years. 
And it has opinions on gears. It flashes a display at you to tell you if it thinks you’re wrong. 
Which has led to several hilarious rants from the hus-creature so far on the merits of “vehicles that expect you to peel grapes for them. If it has opinions, it should just do it itself”
(Expletives redacted for our more sensitive readers 🤣😂) 
Also, you have to register a van to take to  Ardley in advance – but you need the licence plate for the permit. Which takes 2-3 working days to process. 
Now, I’ll say something in defence of our local council – when we phoned up to explain why we needed to go today they sorted it out over the phone, no fuss no muss (and not a single cuss 😝) but it made me understand just why fly tipping can happen. 

4 days to go

We’ve had the final night in our own beds in our own house. 
Tonight the Family Shields is all tucked up in a hotel. 
It went about as well as feared. 
#1 Son has issues sleeping in a low down unfamiliar bed. 
The Tiny Tyrant refused to sleep in the provided travel cot so we tried her in the second kiddie bed:

First she climbed out. Then she fell out. 
I tried to “snuggle sleep” her into submission. That worked for all of 25 minutes. After being transferred to the cot she woke and screeched. So the upshot is, poor Jo-face is now trying to sleep in said kiddie bed and I’m curled up with the Tiny Tyrant who is now happily asleep while I blog under the covers. 
It is 21:30 and I am going to plug my phone in to charge and try and sleep. 

6 days left

Today was our last Sunday in the U.K. for the foreseeable. 
The countdown is real and scary now. 
It’s also exhilarating. 
Yesterday the hus-creature and I celebrated (a tad early but meh) ten years of wedded bliss. Our actual anniversary is Wednesday but that’s “van and tip run day” so it just wasn’t going to happen!
Thanks to the wonder of Red Letter Days vouchers we went to Kouzu in London and it was amazing! I luffs the husband creature. 
Today was our going away bash and it was wonderful to see so many of our family and friends in one place!
I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would like with each person but I am grateful to everyone for coming 💗💗💗
We will be eating leftovers for days though!
And we have given away many electronic gadgets and I am now learning just how much we relied on the joy and wonder that is a microwave… and hoover!

9 days left

Single figures now. 

Plans are now coming together swiftly. 
The cat knows something is up. The Tiny Tyrant knows something is up (and is demon spawn hellbeast toddler as a result)
#1 Son has been having a tough week at school, and has started being sad about “missing his house”. Breaks my heart, but this is for the best. 
He’s getting his own little graduation ceremony next Friday to make up for missing the main one, hopefully it’ll help. 
New things achieved:

  • Cleared out medicine cabinet. 
  • Cleared out cupboards. 
  • Thrown away expired items. 
  • Donated relevant non-expired items to local homelessness shelter. 
  • Completed the last crochet projects intended as gifts. 
  • Dyed up the last of my yarn for a new project. 

Slowly but surely we are getting there. 

We’ve also seen a house that would be perfect, but we aren’t allowed to indicate an interest before Monday due to strange and bizarre realtor rules. 
Cross fingers for us, as the house is gorgeous, it backs onto a wood (so there is space for the kidlets to run around) and the  closest Elementary School looks amazing

12 Days to go

Well, give or take, given today is mostly over. 
Today we have:

  • Purchased a new mattress – turns out American mattresses are bigger than British ones so our cunning plan to replace stateside would not work. 
  • Purchased new pillows and cover protectors for same – new bedding won’t matter if it’s too big because YAY bigger duvets. And the nice salesman gave us a discount because of large purchases. 
  • Arranged delivery of new mattress, and more importantly, paid for the removal of the old one! I don’t have to throw my back out (more) trying to get the bastarding thing down the stairs!
  • Picked up new glasses and sunglasses – I can SEE!
  • Organised the medicine cabinet. I have sorted my makeup (and thrown a lot away), the actual medicines, and organised the drawers so we now know what we actually have.  And man does the Tiny Tyrant have a LOT of hair bows!!!! I will be dropping a bag of toiletries to thelocal homelessness shelter tomorrow. 

So all in all, productive day was productive.  
I mean, seriously how many does she need?

Just turned off my alarms

The Tiny Tyrant usually wakes up before 07:00 anyway. 
But still, it feels weird. 
Tomorrow is the true start of SAHM-dom. and I am more than a little apprehensive. 
But, I got a great send off: 

Drank far too many Bellinis, and sobbed all over my lovely boss. Who I will miss a lot. 
In fact, I’m going to miss everyone. 
This is the start of a new chapter and I’m going to embrace it wholeheartedly, and hopefully people will stay in touch. 
I haven’t been brave enough to open my card yet…. 

And then there was one

One day left. 
I have to admit, it doesn’t feel quite how I expected it to. I’ve been there so long, it’s part of my identity, now that is changing in a fundamental way. 
It’s going to be amazing, and I’ll have opportunities to watch the kidlets grow, but I’m apprehensive. 

I had confirmation that my childcare vouchers had been cancelled, and we received Tiny’s last UK nursery invoice (less than £60 to pay after voucher deductions) so again, more solid proof. 
I have a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach and still no leaving speech…