Colorado Update #1

A family photo from April 2019.

A family photo from April 2019.

Gus is asleep, and I'm texting Ries flight information. It's a three hour nonstop flight from Indianapolis to Denver. We talked about options, but nothing seemed real until we received Ries' offer letter. All of the sudden, something that seemed "sometime in the next couple months" is a month away, and reality is setting in. This is really happening. We're moving to Colorado for the summer.

I think part of the reason that we're in such shock is because we both spent a couple years around contractors who kept saying they wanted to switch to civil sector. None of them ever did, because none of them ever had the qualifications. Military and government training is enough for civilian and contracted government positions, but it doesn't translate to companies outside of the bubble. That's a big reason Ries decided to go back to school—we wanted to break out of that bubble, but I have to admit I'm impressed and in disbelief that he got an internship for a Fortune 500 company.

Now we have to make decisions, like what furniture to rent, what to pack in our Prius, and how the heck we're going to get our almost two year old to the other side of the country. 

In the car as we left the American South for good in August 2017.

In the car as we left the American South for good in August 2017.

For those of you who weren't with us when we moved to Indiana, let me paint the picture for you: it was a six hour drive from Huntsville, Alabama to Bloomington, Indiana. Gus was two months old and had made it known from day six of his time here on Earth that he was not a fan of the car.

It took us about sixteen hours to drive that distance. Gus screamed the whole way, and we wound up pulling over every ten to twenty minutes because he would start gagging and dry heaving he was so upset. Good times.

I would like to mention that Nugget was chill as a cucumber all sixteen hours and the highlight of his trip was sitting in front of the air conditioning unit at our hotel in Elizabethtown as it blew out his chest fluff. (We miss you, Nuggy.) 

Nugget looking out at the sheep once we arrived to my parents’ house in Indiana.

Nugget looking out at the sheep once we arrived to my parents’ house in Indiana.

Despite Gus' hatred for the car, he has historically done well on planes, so we had previously resolved that if  this internship worked out (we were really holding our breath and crossing all our fingers and toes), one of us would drive and the other person would fly to Denver with Gus.

"I'm afraid to be on a plane alone with him for three hours," Ries texts. I would be too. Just last week Gus decided he wanted to live outside and refused to take off his shirt when it was time for a bath. He's been running since he was ten months old, and he's not the kind of kid who will sit for anything—he eats standing, he watches movies standing (and at times dancing,) we count ourselves lucky if he sits in his stroller. Sitting on a plane for three not going to happen.

We would rather subject ourselves to a potentially noisy and long car ride than subject an entire plane full of passengers to a screaming toddler who wants to barrel down the aisles at 30,000 feet. And we realize this is a big life moment for our family, and we don’t want to be split between earth and sky for it.

Who would guess this cuteness would be so terrifying in the car?

Who would guess this cuteness would be so terrifying in the car?

So we’ve decided to leave Bloomington sometime after Mother’s Day and take our time getting out to Colorado before Ries’ internship begins on May 20th. It’s approximately sixteen hours according to Google Maps, but with long trips, I find Google’s estimation tends to be overly optimistic. We’re going to do our best to make four hours progress a day—Gus has been doing a lot better in the car lately.

For parents of children who don’t do well in the car, something that has really helped is that Ries’ mom runs a lot of errands while she’s watching him, so the exposure of short trips has helped. He is also at an age where he’s started associating the car with going to cool places (mostly to the park.) If you’re struggling with car rides, and are able to take your little person on adventures, I’d suggest trying to take them on trips to destinations they enjoy to create positive associations.

We’re hoping to stop at fun locations like the St. Louis Zoo on our way out there, and then supplement the car ride with gummy bunnies (Gus’ favorite), and Disney movies on the iPad.

Other things included on our to do list for the upcoming move:

  • Packing essentials

  • Cleaning the apartment

  • Taking plants and giving leftover food to our friends/family

  • Getting the car checked

  • Making sure Whimsy has a health certificate and is up to date on vaccinations (she’s going too!)

  • Renting furniture

  • Signing our lease for the summer

  • Making a summer bucket list

I wanted to write an update, because transitions always have unique challenges, and I wanted to share ours with you. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it. We are so excited to be in Colorado this summer (for a lot of reasons—I’ll share some of mine with you later.) We may be a bit slow to share our posts this next month as we’re moving, so be patient, they’re coming.

In the meantime, how about dem Thrones?