bigger house

It has been a month since I have been able to find some downtime to write and as I type these words I am on a plane heading to California.  There are a few reasons I have not been writing lately (more to come on that)  but the major reason is because we  are finally moving!  I wanted to share this news a while back but after a few deals that fell through I was pretty sure it would be best to wait until the deal was actually done.  Our official move date is next Saturday but we settled on the new place a few weeks ago and I am definitely getting excited.   I have really been trying to find the time to sit down and write but any free time has been spent packing, organizing or coordinating the move so I figured since I am stuck on a 6 hour flight (not a good thing for my ADHD self) it was the perfect time to post.

We moved to our town a few years ago and it is a great place to live with the added benefit of being very close to center city Philadelphia which is something we will certainly miss. My husband works downtown and we typically take the train into the city for date nights and I really hope we can still make time to try all of the great restaurants Philly has to offer (I have a feeling we will make it happen). There has been so much looking, searching, debating over where to move. We did not know if our town was the best place for us when we moved here but figured it was a foray into suburban life and we knew that regardless of if we stayed here or moved to another location, this house would give us five years at best. During the last two years we have searched high and low for the perfect home – apparently we are very picky. We both have a love of older homes and the architecture involved yet we struggle with floor plans and space for our boys. I have a strong desire to move back to Pennsylvania because most of my family and friends are there and I sometimes get sick of being the only one over here in NJ (except in the summertime of course) but there are definitely reasons why NJ makes more sense for our family. We moved here because my office was in NJ and who knows what the future holds for me as far as working and career. We love going to the shore on the weekends in the summer and being only an hour or so away is a big draw for us personally. We found an awesome old home in Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) almost two years ago but the deal fell through and I was immensely disappointed but we stayed the course. We have seen old homes,new homes, small homes, big homes, homes in PA, homes in NJ, ones that were redone, ones that needed a ton of work and made offers on a few but for one reason or another we just could not get it to happen for us. I believe all of that searching and looking led us to the home we are about to buy. It is not my “dream old home” but it is in fact my dream home for my boys. It feels like the perfect house to raise two boys and it just works for our family. As we have grown up more and experienced life as parents, we certainly care about where we live and how we live but we have also come to realize that it is no longer just us – there are two more people to care about now and they matter. I have a great laundry room in our current house and I was excited when we moved in about this but I had no idea how important this would be as a mom to two boys (one of whom spits up about 50 times a day and I believe may have a secret kickback deal going on with Dreft). This new home has a great laundry/mudroom set up and so while it might not be the home of my former dreams it is certainly the home of my current mom status dreams. There are so many other wonderful features that made this home the right choice for us….finally! But the overriding factor above and beyond anything else came down to schools and access to the best possible care for our son Charlie. Please do not misunderstand what I am about to write as I believe there are so many fine schools and school districts, many excellent special services departments and I know we could have found wonderful services and care for Charlie no matter where we moved.

We choose a place that has top rated schools, was rated the best place to live in the US by Forbes and where we have some connections, contacts and support for the services that we need to provide to Charlie. For some time now, our house hunt has been impacted by his needs and the knowledge that we needed to be able to access the public school resources with confidence. I went to a private high school in PA and would probably have done the same for my children if it made sense but we cannot possibly know today when Charlie is 3.5 years old if he will or will not be able to attend a private school. He may be good to go, he may not and so as parents we had a good talk and basically decided that we wanted to provide the boys with the best possible education we could regardless of any special needs. This also meant considering our baby Owen. Again, we have no idea what the future may hold for him but I personally would not want to feel that we did not also consider his education in our decision and ensure that he receive the best we could offer him. I would really like my boys to go through the same school system – this may happen, it may not, it may not matter but right now in my mind it is what I would like to happen so I am going to do what I can to make it easy for this to occur.

Of course there are other reasons for our move with a big one being that we simply need some more space. Space to play, space to run, space to live with two little boys who are full of energy (and space for all my files, IEPS and doctor reports).  We want to create a a forever home for them to grow in, make memories in and be a family in. Our new home is the perfect fit. Moving doesn’t really stress me out too much, I like change, I don’t mind packing up and setting up a new home and I know everything will get done eventually even if it’s at 1AM. The most stressful part of this move will be dealing with the school transition for Charlie.  So far I have been amazed at how responsive the team has been and we are all registered and ready for Charlie to start in his new school in May. It could be a challenge since he will now go to school in the afternoons instead of the mornings but that could also be a blessing in disguise.  Since it is May he will only be in the new classroom for 5-6 weeks and then he will go to a different building at different times for the extended year program and we do not know yet what will happen next year since we need to have IEP meetings with the child study team.  We believe that Charlie will love the new house, his new room, the new swing set out back and extra space for him to play and explore but it is hard to know how this significant life change will impact him. We are hopeful that he will go with the flow and he may do just that; or it could be a challenging transition filled with sleepless nights or signifiant distress over the changes in our daily routines, etc. We don’t know what to expect but we know that eventually things will settle down and there is no real need to imagine what could or could not occur.  As my mother in law said to me the other night, it’s just not worth getting upset or worked up about something that has not even happened because we really can never predict how Charlie will respond – such true and helpful words.

So I would like to say I need to run to get back to packing but we all know that is not the case!  I am headed to Sonoma for a weekend wine festival with my brother and some of his friends in honor of my brother’s upcoming 40th birthday.  The timing is terrible yes but I am happy to have the chance to take this break and spend some quality time with him and the boxes will be there to pack when I return.




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