Lessons Learned: Moving with a Toddler

Lessons Learned from Moving with a Toddler

Despite our recent living situation being less than ideal, we still moved with a toddler and I learned a great deal from it that I will use in future moves and want to happily share with you today.

10 Lessons Learned from Moving with a Toddler

Lessons learned moving

What worked for us:

Involve your child every step along the way. When we were going around looking at apartments, and then once we had made our decision, we involved him. Sometimes it was as simple as say, “We decided on a new home.” or “This is going to be your new bedroom.” I don’t know whether he understood everything or not, but he was always interested in what I was telling him.

Take your child to the new home a couple of times before moving in (if possible). After we signed our lease, we came back a couple of times, once so that Emmett could get more comfortable with the place, and the second time to measure. However, each time we were there, we made a point of showing Emmett his room and letting him act as silly as he wanted to in there.  He loved having the open empty room to go buck wild in.

Send your child to day care or have someone babysit, while the actual move takes place. I know this might seem like it would backfire, and the child would have a hard time adjusting, but it worked really well for us. It allowed Seamus and I to get the move, and the majority of the clean-up completed, without having to make sure Emmett wasn’t getting into one thing or another. When we picked Emmett up from day care, and brought him to his new home, we led him by the hand, going from room to room. Which brings me to my next lesson…

Allow your child to become acquainted with their new surroundings. Despite bringing your child to the new home a few times, they still may freak out or have a negative reaction to everything in their perfect little world changing. Don’t push, let your child experience the emotions, just be their to help make them feel better, or help calm them down when they start going crazy. Emmett never seemed sad, but he definitely acted out, he was very  mischievous and would not listen to Seamus at I or at all. It got frustrating at times, but then I reminded myself that I was still adjusting and getting used to things, and I understood completely what had happened. So Emmett’s hyper activity, was probably due in part to a small level of anxiety. It’s now been 3 weeks since we’ve moved, and he is a completely different child, than when we first moved in.

Explain everything you’re doing when it comes to packing. There were times when I would be packing, that Emmett would come stand by me, and just kind of hover. Obviously I have no idea what he was actually thinking, but I’d use that time to explain what I was doing and why I was doing it. He really seemed to enjoy the conversation, even if he didn’t understand everything.

Set your child’s bedroom / playroom up first. Since your child is going through a huge change and may not understand everything that’s going on, try to make their transition as easy as possible, by setting up their room and ensuring you have their favorite things handy. For us, this took us looking through many MANY boxes, but we found everything and got Emmett’s room set up before he got home from day care. He seemed to really love to be able to run right in and grab his blankies.

Take a few extra days off. When we were scheduling our move, we did it on a Friday, and I planned on taking Monday and Tuesday as well. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d stay home on Tuesday, because using vacation time for moving just doesn’t seem fun, but in the end I took it. I’m glad I did too – Emmett was up for almost all of Monday, into Tuesday night. Having the extra time off allowed us to not stress about going back to sleep with little sleep.

What Didn’t Work / What I Wished We’d Done

Get your child involved in some sort of activity that really holds their attention while you pack up their toys. Emmett was great when I was packing his clothes, but when it came time to put his toys in a box, he just kept pulling out what I had put in. I ended up leaving this packing until he was at school, or napping, next time I’ll just keep him busy.

Clearly mark all boxes with your child’s toys / clothes / diapers. I thought I did a pretty good job of ensuring that all of the boxes we’d need the night of our move and the morning after, were clearly marked, well I was wrong. I mean, I didn’t do a terrible job, but I definitely could have been more diligent, maybe clearly marking with a symbol or colored tape, which boxes were Emmett’s, Seamus’ or mine.

Do some sort of check on the tenants that will be living below, above or on the sides of you. As I’m sure you’ve read a few times, things in our apartment haven’t been going very well. The people below us are so obnoxiously loud and just don’t seem to care that people live above them. I wished we’d done some sort of research on what kind of people they were and whether they were quiet. Live and learn, right!?

That about does it, we’re still slowly unpacking, but we’re here and we’re adjusting.

Your turn!

What things have you learned when moving with a baby, toddler or older child? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy April 17th! The day AFTER my birthday.

Yep, yesterday was my birthday, but since I did the 33 little known facts about me, I didn’t get to tell you about my day. So today, I am. :)

First off the evening beforehand started out perfectly, the tenants below us were silent, which allowed Seamus and I to enjoy our evening. I’m looking at it as their birthday gift to me. hehe I woke up at my usual time and had some of my delicious coffee, and sat down to work on my blog. I can’t even express how happy it makes me to write, and starting my day this way is just wonderful!

While everyone continued to sleep, I got to shower with the light of the rising sun. I know that might sound really cheesy, but it is one of my favorite things to just shower by daylight. Something about it feels so spa-like. Once I was done, and started to wake everyone else in the house up, I got loads of birthday wishes from my main squeeze. Plus, Emmett was being super cute!

Usually putting my make-up on in the mornings is pretty difficult, but Emmett was such a good boy. He sat at the table coloring using the new magic ink marker and book his Uncle John got him. :) It’s so much fun watching Emmett’s skills grow and grow!

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Once I got to work, I was super surprised because my employees had gone and bought me a bunch of scratch-off tickets. It was completely unexpected, and meant a lot to me. Plus I got to enjoy a delicious chocolate chip muffin and a coffee from Tim Horton’s, it doesn’t get much better (That’s a lie, the day got much better).

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My sister Bridget and I SnapChat each other, periodically throughout the day. Well, I was pretty darn excited when I opened the SnapChat app, and even THEY remembered my birthday. Every Snap I got, was wrapped up like a little present. So so cute! It’s the little things.

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The rest of the morning flew by and then my boss took me out for a delicious lunch at Sea Bar, one of my absolute favorite restaurants. Every time I go, I order the Cuban sandwich, and every single time it is delicious, and their fries are amazing.  I feel very fortunate that I have a boss who cares enough to celebrate with us. Thanks dude!! :)

When we got back to work, I had a voicemail on my work phone from our delivery area. They were calling to let me know that I’d had flowers delivered. Seamus completely surprised me! I was not expecting them in the least, and they’re absolutely gorgeous, they’ll be even more stunning as they open.

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After lunch, my employees surprised me once again! I was asked to cover a meeting and when I walked into the conference room, they were all there with decorations up and a HUGE ice cream cake, my favorite! It was awesome to just sit there and chat with them for a bit while we all enjoyed our cake. It was darn good cake, and once again I realized how fortunate I am.

Seamus picked Emmett up from day care for me, so I got to just head home and then we all went out to Friendly’s for dinner. I chose Friendly’s since it is a family restaurant, which allows Seamus and I the ability to have a conversation, even if Emmett is being loud. You don’t get funny looks if your kid is noisy when you eat at Friendly’s. The food, of course, was delicious, so bad for me, but drool-worthy.

Then it was back home for some family time, and Emmett’s bedtime. Once Emmett was in bed, Seamus and I got to enjoy some of the delicious jell-o poke cake he made me, with some Friendly’s French Vanilla on the side. Om nom nom!

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In case you’re wondering, I did allow myself to eat gluten yesterday. I really wanted to just relax and enjoy my day, and I did just that. I don’t regret it at all.

It was an absolutely amazing day, and I am truly so so lucky to be surrounded by people who care and love me as much as they do. On days when I feel all alone, I will reflect on the amazing people in my life and how they helped celebrate my special day.

Thank you all!

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33 Little Know Facts About Me

Today’s my Birthday, so I thought I’d some unknown facts about me. I chose 33 since that’s how old I turned today… Yikes!

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  1. I was actually born in Pennsylvania, at Hamot Hospital, and spent the first year or so of my life in PA. We didn’t move to NY until I was two, I believe (mom correct me if I am wrong).
  2. As an infant, I had a hernia. All because I lifted a bottle that was too heavy for me. HAHA j/k
  3. My 16th birthday was spent at a Bush concert, and I thought it was THE coolest thing. I still vividly remember that night and how hot I thought Gavin was.
  4. My name is Jillian, not Jill, and I will often take the time to correct folks who call me Jill.
  5. In the nickname vein, my mom hates nicknames, so I was always Jilllian growing up. In high school, my way of rebelling was to have all my friends call me Jill. As I got older I went back to Jillian and now I hate being called Jill. It funny, if we’re out and about I run into a friend, Seamus can place when I was friends with them, simply by whether they call me Jill or Jillian.
  6. In 8th grade going into high school, I went on a diet that only allowed for 7 grams of fat a day. I stuck to that bad boy, and lost a crap ton of weight, but it didn’t stay off (obviously). Breakfasts were lemon yogurt, lunch was lemon yogurt and then dinner was a salad with fat free dressing. I also tracked what I ate, any day where I stuck to 7 grams of fat or under, I got a smiley face, the days I was over I got a big fat sad face. Yeah, I’ve never had a great relationship with food.
  7. I want 4 kids, because I loved growing up in a big family, but I don’t think that we’ll have that many.
  8. I switched my college major around a bit before settling on Elementary Education, and now I don’t even utilize that degree (which I’m okay with). When I started, my major was journalism, then I toss around theatre and finally Elementary Education.
  9. I obsessively research so many things. What I mean is, if I’m interested in a topic or want to know how to handle a situation, I will research it and read almost everything I find, until I feel confident in my knowledge.
  10. I was never able to watch most 90s TV shows because I always had younger siblings around. When people talk about watching My So Called Life, for instance, I recall watching Sesame Street or Barney. :)
  11. If you turned on an oldies music channel, particularly of the 60s decade, I would likely be able to sing the words to about 80% of the songs that came on. It boggles Seamus’ mind whenever we listen to that station, but it’s because that is what my parents always had on in the car or at home, and the words all just stuck.
  12. I met Seamus on match.com, after I had decided I was alright with remaining single for awhile longer. Glad I chose to change my mind.
  13. Our first date was at The Irishman, Seamus asked me to marry him after taking me to dinner at The Irishman, and our last meal as just a couple (before we went in to have Emmett), was at The Irishman. That place holds so many memories, and I’ll be devastated if they ever close.
  14. The way I take my coffee changes on an almost weekly basis. Currently, I take my hot coffee black or with just a shot of hazelnut flavor.
  15. The way I take my iced coffee is different than the way I take my hot coffee. Iced coffee usually has vanilla and cream in it, hot (currently) is just black with the flavor shot.
  16. When I get to work, I would love 15 minutes to get settled and have a sip of coffee, before answering any staff questions. I like this time because it allows me to go from a relaxed state of mind, into work mode. I rarely have this luxury any more.  Oh well! :)
  17. I despise cleaning! It’s all because when we were little every Saturday was cleaning day. My mom would put the names of all of the rooms on pieces of paper and put them in a hat and we’d have to choose 2. This is probably one of the reasons why I have a hard time cleaning up after Emmett every night. I just hate cleaning! haha
  18. My credit card was stolen by my roommate in college, and I never pressed charges. I just wanted out of that room, into a single and I got my wish.
  19. I have a weird love / hate relationship with vegetables. I love raw carrots, hate them cooked – Love raw tomatoes, hate them cooked. All of my vegetable issues came out on my first date with Seamus, thankfully he found them endearing and not crazy. :)
  20. I have a serious phobia of lasagna. Just the thought of it makes me cringe, and if something is named lasagna, even if it is nothing like the original recipe, I still can’t eat it. I’m totally odd, I know.
  21. I’m the oldest child in my family, so is Seamus. Actually right now, my house is full of oldest children. Totally just realized this. Actually, I guess Emmett is an only child.
  22. I absolutely love driving, so long distant car rides are no trouble for me (so long as I get pee breaks).
  23. I loved Full House as a child, and continue to love it to this day. My one true hope is that Emmett loves Full House as much as I do, so that we have a real excuse to have it on in our house.
  24. Barbies were my favorite when I was growing up. I have to be honest, if I ever have a daughter, I’ll have a hard time keeping her from playing with Barbies if she wants to, despite the supposed body image issues they give off.
  25. I was very into theatre in late grade school and high school. I was in almost every play and musical from my Freshman year, until I graduated. I was also in chorus, and had a decent singing voice back then.
  26. My favorite subject in high school was Chemistry, and I didn’t even do that great in the class. I liked it because our teacher actually cared and tried really hard to make sure everyone understood the subject. He, in my opinion, is what a teacher should be like.
  27. My mom was my first grade teacher. I went to a Catholic grade school where there was only 1 first grade, and she was that teacher. It was not a good experience for me, and probably for my mom. HAHA I was a total brat and thought I was in charge, because she was my mom. She set me in place pretty quickly, but I was so embarrassed. I still remember crying over it.
  28. I was only ever in trouble in school ONE time, including high school and college. I was in third grade and we had a male student who enjoyed running around the classroom, pretending to bite girl’s butts. Well, he happened to coming up behind my chair when the teacher walked in, so she caught me jumping out of my chair and the boy acting silly. We both had to sit in the hallway for the remainder of the day. Did I mention my mom was a teacher at that school? Yeah. She knew right away and I was in so much trouble.
  29. I’m a dipper. A percentage of the food I eat, is used as a means to dip. Rooties blue cheese is my favorite, followed by Frank’s Red Hot and Honey Mustard.
  30. I love camping! I’ll do any kind of camping, but primitive camping is my favorite. Out in the middle of nowhere, where it gets pitch black and you have just your tent. It’s so peaceful, and everything surrounding you is so beautiful.
  31. We went to Vermont for our honeymoon, and I think about going back to Burlington and Stowe at least once a week. Honestly, if I were ever able to relocate there, I would do it in a heartbeat.
  32. My favorite color is blue, followed closely by orange and pink.
  33. Most days I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I have the most supportive husband, the cutest and sweetest child, a family loves me for me, a boss that cares about me as a person and not just her employee, and readers who read and support everything I write.

There you have it! 33 facts you had no idea you needed to know. :) I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit more about me.

Your turn!

I’d love love LOVE to hear some secret facts you have about yourself, that you don’t always share. Please share them in the comments below!

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