Moving is highly over-rated. Adventure, new scenery, new friends; sure, it all sounds wonderful. But like those "Go West, Young Man" campaigns back when the West was still frontier land, you never get told of all the hard work and possible death ahead until after you get there.

No, I'm not prone to exaggeration. Why do you ask?

When I started this week, I had a list of relocation-related things to accomplish. I efficiently wrote them in my day-planner, and began immediately. By immediately, I mean after diaper changes, mess clean-ups, breakfast, breakfast clean up, story time, whining interpretation, more mess clean-ups (did I mention we have the flu?), more diaper changes, Mercy's naptime...that's when out of desperation, I inserted Liberty's favorite movie of all time, Disney's Yady and Da Tamp into the DVD player.

Ah, peace.

I looked at my list
1. Email the church for their statement of faith.
2. Find out why Jeremy's new insurance cards do not have the rest of us listed on them.
3. Clarify two different items about our insurance coverage.
4. Find a doctor and schedule Mercy's one year checkup and immunizations.
5. Call the hospital in Illinois where Jeremy was diagnosed with a hernia, and give them our new insurance number.
6. Correct Jeremy's 401(k) contribution at his new company before the wrong amount gets taken out of his paycheck.
7. Get new drivers licenses.
8. Get new license plates.
9. Etcetera

The list was quite a bit longer, but I have to stop typing it before my brain explodes inside my head and begins oozing out of my ears. I happen to like the shirt I am wearing right now.

With Liberty occupied and believing her name to be Yady, I knew it would be safe to focus on my tasks.
1. I emailed the pastor, check.
2. I called the insurance company about the cards, check.

Mercy woke up with a mess in her bed. Bath time came first -- which Yady decided could not be conducted without her in the tub, too -- new sheets and blankets in the crib, lots of whining (I really can’t blame them; they felt miserable), and finally both girls settled on the living room floor each with a bowl and a blanket (although, why I bother to give Mercy a bowl, I really don't know. It's the principle, mainly, and a wild delusion that she may choose to imitate Liberty at some point.)

Yady began barking for some yunch.

Yunch? You can't be serious.

"Do you realize that you are sick?" I asked her. "If I feed you lunch, you're just going to speet up again."

Yady insisted her hunger pangs were real.

Mommy insisted her hunger pangs could be cured by bread and water.

Thirty minutes later, Mommy cleaned up the hunger pang solution, and wondered if bread and water really was a good idea after all.

The day deteriorated from there.

On Tuesday, I awoke with renewed determination to accomplish my relocation-related tasks.

I began immediately. And you know what that means.

3. I called the insurance company to clarify two benefits while Liberty and Mercy alternately talked to me and cried to me. The woman on the phone spoke in the quietest possible monotone voice, obviously reading a script. She stopped for nothing and repeated nothing. I believe I understand our benefits now? Check.

The girls went down for a nap, and I took a quick blogging break. Then back to work again.

4. I printed off the list of eligible doctors from our insurance website, then I spoke with three different people here: my neighbor, Mandy; my friend from church, Dian; our realtor, Bill; they each gave me a few recommendations and a few stay-away-froms. With three doctors on my list, I pondered the best way to narrow them down. I printed a list of interview questions from the internet, and I began making phone calls. That's when I found out that none of the doctors will give Mercy any immunizations without first having her prior immunization record from our old doctor. That makes perfect sense, and I'm glad they are being thorough with my baby, but I don't really want to have records sent until I know which doctor I want them sent to. Sigh. So I picked a doctor, sight unseen, and am sending him Mercy's records. Then I have to go to his office and fill out new patient paperwork, and only after the records are received may I make an appointment. I set the doctor visit task aside to handle another day when the flu wasn’t weighing us down.

5. I called the hospital in Illinois to give them our insurance number. They don't want it read to them over the phone. They want it faxed. Well, La-De-Dah. So I set the insurance card aside into a pile for Jeremy to handle tomorrow.

6. I found the website for Jeremy’s 401(k) but realized I did not have the necessary user name and password. I set that aside for Jeremy to handle tomorrow.

The girls woke up, life picked up speed, and soon it was bedtime.

On Wednesday, I was hit HARD with the flu and did nothing but clean up after the girls and sit in a chair wishing I were dead. Oh, yes, and attempt to explain to my vomitous children why they really did NOT want breakfast, snacks, lunch and supper. Traumatic.

On Thursday, my determination returned, along with the fragile health of my children. They remained symptom-free all day, although lethargy and general tummy rumbliness kept them relatively uncomfortable.

7. I called the drivers license place. They informed me that I needed Indiana car insurance before they would even talk to me.
a. I flipped through the phone book, prayed, and picked a number. They told me that they would process my insurance immediately, but it would not be effective until August 7th.
b. I called the DL place again. They told me I would have to purchase a 30 day permit until my insurance kicked in. After my insurance was in place, I needed to bring it, along with four documents proving I am me (because one or two just isn’t good enough) and money, and THEN they would give me a drivers license.

8. I asked about license plates and was told that I had to bring in the title for Jeremy’s vehicle, his new (still non-existent) drivers license and insurance. For my vehicle, I had to provide the bank contact information along with my non-existent drivers license and insurance. At that point, they would still not issue license plates to me, but they would create a file for me in their office. Then they would contact my bank in Iowa and request a copy of our title. After that is in place, they will call me to have me return to their office so that they can give me a plate. All of this could take much longer than thirty days, and I may have to purchase a second thirty day permit, if it does take longer.

I sighed. All of these roadblocks, all of my hard work, all of the misery of the past week caught up with me, and I wanted to be grumpy. I thought of the friends I left in Iowa. I thought of the lack of friends Indiana. I tried very hard to be discontent, to grouch at my kids. But God kept stopping me. He reminded me of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom who chose to be thankful for the flea infestation in their concentration camp barracks. Hm, that sounds like the glad game, I thought and immediately perked up. This could be fun!

Here is my list:

1. I am thankful for the flu because a sick Liberty is a cuddly Liberty (an extremely rare species, rumored to be mythical).
2. I am thankful for the insurance run-around because it helped to forge a new friendship with a lady named Julie. We laughed and discussed our children and politics while we waited for her crashing computer to process our insurance request. Odd as it sounds, we really did become friends during that time. She did some major encouraging of me over the phone while we discussed our children, and I am so glad.
3. I am thankful for the ants visiting our apartment because it forces me to vacuum every night. Thus, ensuring that my carpet is REALLY clean. It’s a good feeling. I am also thankful for the ants because they introduced me to one of our maintenance men, Johnny, who has turned out to be a really wonderful and impressive guy.
4. I am thankful that I had to clean up the flu-induced messes because it means that I am actually HOME to clean them up, which means that I am with my girls!

Yay for me! :-)
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