Hello Tuesday

21 Days until closing. 28 days until my due date.

The electrician is coming in today to fix the bathroom light. The appliance company is coming in to fix the dishwasher. Thank goodness for home warranties. I’m kind of secretly hoping the dishwasher will need replaced as I’m pretty sure this is covered under the warranty and a new dishwasher would totally rock right now.

Now, let’s take just a moment to talk about the “service window”. I understand the need to be kind of broad with your appointment schedule. Let’s say something was reported as a simple “The light won’t turn on” but when you get to the job, you realize that the real problem is a whole big thing that may require rewiring the breaker box or replacing corroded connections or, you know, big electrical things. I can see how a job that you thought might be about 45 minutes can quickly turn into a much larger task and would set the dominoes of lateness falling. And I can see how if your specialty is something a little more critical (like say plumbing where maybe an escalated issue requires turning off the water to the whole house) you wouldn’t be able to just reschedule for a dedicated appointment time rather than accomplish a solution at a service call. But can you not narrow your service window at all? 

The current window of time we may expect the appliance guy to arrive is 11am – 3pm. Yes that’s your typical 4 hour window. Yes it is actually at a decent time of day (IE not 8am) and yes they are supposed to call 15 – 20 minutes in advance of their arrival. But on what planet is the general assumption in 2015 that there will be someone at home waiting for 4 hours, or better yet, working 15 – 20 minutes from home? Even more ridiculous is the window for the electrician. 9am – 3pm. You might as well just take the day off at that point. “We’ll be at your house sometime on Tuesday. Just be there when we get there or you will forfeit your appointment and be required to reschedule.”

Now luckily I do have someone that can be home to wait for these people. Luckily, he can get work accomplished from home and he didn’t have any meetings appointments scheduled for today. But still, there’s something fishy about a service company that can’t commit to anything smaller than 6 hours.

In a frantic attempt to get the house ready for “outsiders” to be in it, Shelby and I spent a good chunk of time this weekend trying to pack a few more things, straighten a few more things, and clean the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of the kitchen and Master bathroom (where the contractors will actually be). But still, when I went to bed at about 10:30 last night, the place was in kind of a state. Definitely appropriate for “we’re moving, please excuse our mess” but still disappointing. By the time I woke up this morning, the front of the house was dang near show ready. Furniture had been moved out, all the packing materials and too be packed items were tucked in the back room with our mountains of full boxes. The smell of bleach was so strong that I was tempted to light a candle but secretly afraid it might catch the fumes on fire (cuz anything is possible at this point in the house that will not let us go). The kitchen was gleaming, even under the microwave. The floors had been swept and quite possibly even scrubbed. The huz definitely went on a cleaning binge late into the night and succeeded in not only making the place presentable, but calming my fears about how to get everything taken care of between 21 and 28 days from now. If he can invite a few friends over to load cars and bust out another cleaning frenzy like last night, we’re golden.

In new house news, the structural engineer basically laughed at us and told us (in a jokingly nice way) that we were wasting his time. The crack in the foundation was nothing and our new house is still in superb condition. I’m just waiting on a few pieces of documentation from my in-laws and a few emails from the real estate agency and then will have everything finalized for the loan company. We are slowly creeping forward.

No baby yet. No baby name yet. But the hospital bag is packed and ready to go. I’m up to weekly appointments so that’s exciting (psyche).

I guess that’s all I’ve got. Have a great day!

It Knows

The house knows we are leaving and it is not happy. Here are the new things we get to enjoy.

Suddenly and randomly, our water pressure in the master shower dropped. I vaguely remember this being a thing, but I have no proof of the timeline. See, my neighbor moved out a while ago. I feel like when she was there, the water pressure was low. When she left, it got really powerful. Now that she has a renter in, it’s low again. But I also feel like the renter has been in longer than the pressure change. And the pressure change seems to coincide with my changing out the shower head in the 2nd bathroom. Is that a thing? Lookout Google, here I come!

And speaking of water (my arch enemy), the dishwasher leaks. WHAT?!? I can tell it is a leak and not a burst pipe which is great. But still. Every time we run the dishwasher (which is almost constantly at this point considering we packed most of our kitchen items and haven’t bought dish-soap) a little river runs along the base of the dishwasher (saw it for the first time last night) and puddles under the hardwood. Each time we walk down the hall, we get the squeak and fart of air and water trapped under the flooring. Last night, the squeak area seemed to multiply. Stupid water.

Ironically (or perhaps the two are connected?) the garbage disposal doesn’t drain properly. So that’s awesome.

And finally, the light in the master bathroom doesn’t work. Like at all. Like for months now. It hasn’t really been an issue because we have a skylight. The natural light tends to be enough for the goings on of a personal morning/evening routine. But as the days get shorter and the sun rises later and my body becomes more difficult to maneuver, the darkness is becoming a problem. And oh yeah, whoever lives there next is probably going to want us to fix it anyway.

Hopefully that is it for now. I’ll call the home warranty and see what we can expect as far as visits go. Do I really have to pay 3 different plumbers? Or could I possibly get them to lump it all into one visit?

And in new house news, we’re still trying to track down an appropriate structural engineer to look at a crack in the foundation. The crack isn’t uber scary, but still should be checked out. The first one we found is probably fine, except that his current availability isn’t until AFTER closing. That simply will not work for us. And I am not delaying closing if I can help it. We are walking on so many connected tightropes at the moment that I don’t want to consider what will happen if one thing shifts. Other than that, we are ready steady go.

I think the Huz and I are both kind of ignoring the whole timeline thing of closing, moving out/in, having baby. We’ll have both places, but not indefinitely, and the bigger house is obviously better suited for the in house help we anticipate having along with the literal carloads full of baby gear they’ll bring with them. But how and when do we get all our crap from one house to the other considering I can’t really do anything during the day (and let’s be honest, can’t really do much in the way of lifting and shifting even when I’m not at work). And if we wait until the weekend after we close, well that is basically THE WEEKEND. I don’t really care to have all our stuff unpacked (as if) but would at least like it to be in one place and you know, have beds set up where we can pretend to sleep and stuff. Cuz tightrope city means we also have to get our old place move in ready quickly so we can get it off our budget. Which means booking Lowe’s or someone to replace the carpet, preferably while our furniture is not all up on it, and cleaning and probably touch-up painting and dusting (definitely dusting, holy crap the ceiling is a dust bunny playground).

But I am getting ahead of myself. Again. Today is Friday. Today I will call the home warranty company and get those issues addressed and call the structural engineer recommendations and get those questions answered. And then I will go home and clear the heck out of the kitchen so the dishwasher man can do his thing. And then, before I know it, it will be Saturday. Slight Panic.

First Day of Autumn

Each season has a special place in my soul. I adore the summer, the promise of adventure and the beachyness. Spring houses my birthday and the birthdays of half my siblings; and the emerging greenery and flowers are enough to lift any mood. Winter is effortless in giving me excuses to snuggle in, dress in full coverage clothing, play in the snow. And duh, Christmas, hello.

But this, this is the first day of my favoritest season ever. There are so many things to love about the fall. The colors, the textures, the tastes, the nip in the air, hoodies in front of a log fire. The days and nights when you can open the windows and let in the chill. Changing leaves and butternut squash soup. Butternut squash ravioli. Pretty much butternut squash everything. Halloween.

We got married in the fall. We’ll welcome our new little bundle in the fall. Today, Wednesday, I am very much looking forward to it.

And There Goes My Back

It took a while, but I think this pregnancy is finally catching up with me. Let’s just say, though I am not ready for the labor, the medical bills, or the baby herself, I am totally ready to be done with being pregnant.

We’ve got about a month left, but I absolutely cannot think of it that way. A month seems like a lifetime of waddling and crankiness and uncomfortable seated positions and even more uncomfortable sleeping positions. And stairs, so many stairs. But a month is sooooooooooooo not enough time for packing and loan documentation gathering and replacing carpet and signing contracts and loading and cleaning and moving and cleaning again and unloading and unpacking and shopping and SANITY.

So, today is Monday. I can get through Monday. I have a few to do items and a few more honey do items and then it will be Tuesday. On Tuesday I will deal with Tuesday.

But in the meantime, it was Friday and Saturday. The days I overdid it. The days the niggling pain in between my shoulder blades stopped fading and started to worsen. The days my ribs died.

Shelby took a chance. His first contract negotiation as the new Executive Director of our local community theatre has been haunting him since it was signed 3 months ago. A friend and Artistic Director of an established theatre company (LGP) was helping a friend launch her first production with her newly formed theatre company (Black Ops) and they needed a space to perform. Being a new company, the financial aspects of securing a space became difficult. Shelby was tasked by the board with filling this slot, and so he was very flexible with his contract negotiation. Instead of a set rent amount, he negotiated a box office split, a split that lent in favor of the renters rather than the theatre. Basically, every performance would have to sell out in order to break even with what he could have made.

No one really expected the production to be a rousing success. It had an established name supporting it, and blast broadcasts fired from three directions, but new companies tend to take time establishing an audience base. Patrons generally don’t take risks. This show in particular was advertised as containing “unidentifiable weirdness”, not always the most marketable quality. Shoobs was prepared to lose money, but hoped to gain a powerful relationship that would benefit him and the theatre over time. But with the exception of two performances, the show sold out.

Let me say that again.

The Show Sold Out!

Friday and Saturday, the days I volunteered, the house was way oversold. The audience was arranged to accommodate 56 patrons. We got in about 75 (there were no Equity or SAG contracted performers, so this was totally OK). We started a waiting list, added chairs, put gym mats down on the floor, generally ran around like headless chickens trying to get everyone in…Now unfortunately, with the amount of comp tickets and student pricing and the vast undersale of those two performances that did not sell out, the estimation was still an overall financial loss as compared to straight rent. But that loss would amount to about $40. And throughout the unexpected success, spirits were raised and the “high” of packed houses and responsive reviews flowed through the veins of the cast, crew, and staff. An alliance was formed. Ideas were generated. Black Ops will be the resident theatre company for the 2015-2016 season. Without provocation, LGP devised a rent party for the theatre that will be happening next month, complete with donated refreshments, professional lighting and video designs.

Powerful partnership? Mission accomplished. Sore ribs be damned.

Showered

Shelby and I are both naturally extroverts. We like being out and experiencing things. We enjoy spending time with others, talking, laughing, dancing our super ridiculous white people dances. But the thing is, once we found each other, the need to do those things disappeared. It could be psychological conditioning; we found our mate so there is no need to hit the bars or whatever. It could just be financial. We’re not destitute by any means but if the choice is to spend money or not, we often choose not. Perhaps it’s social fatigue? Over the course of our courtship, we have spent so much time at work and rehearsal and performances that when we aren’t, all we want is to relax together. It could be that no one will be as funny or interesting or comfortable to us as each other. And so gradually we have introverted.

We still go out. Particularly now that Shelby is running the theatre (must keep up appearances in the artistic community if you want the artistic community to pay for your services). We mostly go to plays, or to see bands that have theatre people in them, or people that have helped the theatre. Often we have to gear up for it, start talking ourselves into it a few days in advance, plan for it, rest up for it, remind ourselves it’s happening. We are going to be social, let’s do this. We always have a good time.

This is not a complaint. We have an active local network of what I would classify as acquaintances. People who know us and like us. Not quite co-workers, but not people I would ask for help. People who will invite us out after seeing us, add us to the guest list for parties, a few that might invite us over for dinner or a movie, but not people we would ask to house-sit or feed the cat when she was alive.

The true friendships we have were forged in the past. In the active days of hosting parties and celebrating life wildly and passionately. Spontaneous adventures without calculating expenses, personal leave time, and vehicle mileage. The people we would let live on our couch and would probably let us live on theirs. Naturally, these were the people who wanted to throw us a baby shower.

Naturally, time has spread these people to the far corners of the country.

Naturally, they came anyway.

We got a lot of gifts. And a lot of food was prepared for this little brunch gathering. But the most impressive and humbling thing were the people themselves and the distance they traveled just to spend a few hours with us. Apart from a friend or two 30 minutes away, the shortest distance traveled was 4 hours. I don’t even want to think about the distance it took my sisters to get here, both taking flights and driving several hours one way or the other with my parents. And my parents, driving 8+ hours one way just to spend a maximum total of 36 hours within the same 30 mile radius. It is truly amazing the amount of love this little fetus has already spread over the country.

Not to skim right by the gifts and food. Cuz YUM! and CUTE! If there’s one thing our people like to do, it’s eat. And with a generous respect for food, most of those people also know how to cook. It’s no surprise that the times we get together are usually celebrated with food; Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Birthdays…so when we arrived at the shower (a few minutes late because you may remember the dampening of our closet [though not our spirits]) and could smell the bacon sizzling, we knew we were in for a treat. Fruit and veggies and finger sandwiches and a cake pan full of omelet bake and mimosas and woodland themed snacks (owl pretzels, hedgehog donut holes, acorns) and so much more! We spent a good chunk of time milling about, socializing and nibbling.

While that was going on, very adorable arts and crafts time was happening in the dining room. The hosts had acquired a bunch of plain white onsies and fabric markers. The room had a “clothesline” pulled along the length of the center of the room. The blank canvases were “clothes-pinned” with barrettes which we also got to keep. Our very talented friends and family diligently designed and created their own works of art for our little girl to barf on wear. There are so many great choices, and from what I’m told, there will be plenty of opportunities for her to demolish all of them.

Then we all gathered in the living room for a game of shower Bingo. Basically, the guests got to fill out their own Bingo cards with items that COULD be given to an expectant couple and then got to mark off their cards as we opened prezzies. Fun for everyone! The Bingo winner got a little gift of their own as well. We got some items off our registry, some very useful reusable items from friends and family with toddlers, and some unexpected treasures. Lots of books, lots of clothes, a diaper bag (hot dawg!), a handmade quilt, and of course, some diaper essentials. There is more I’m sure. Everything got boxed up at the shower and then put into the closet with the rest of the baby gear to be moved to the new house. We still have to sit and write our thank yous.

And then it was over. Shelby stayed to do a little more socializing. I took my family back to our place. We gathered one sister and drove her to the airport while cookies were baked and AC units were fixed. A little China Buffet for dinner, and the weekend was over. Everyone headed back to their far corners of the country. But for those few Sunday afternoon hours, our little family definitely felt showered.

Under Contract

Two of the most frightening words I’ve ever heard. Besides “you’re pregnant”.

You may have heard me complain a time or two about my current living conditions. Apparently I have been subjecting you to this discussion for more than three years now. I can’t believe people still read when all I seem to do is complain about my house or work or both. Bless you. THREE YEARS of posts about how I was planning to move. Only to not move.

I’m moving.

We started talking in earnest earlier this year. After the first shock of impending parenthood wore off, we were slapped in the face with reality of prepping for baby. Cribs, strollers, clothes, diapers, diaper disposal, changing station, bottles, baths, swings, and the list goes on for a frighteningly long time. She may be tiny (fingers crossed) when she arrives, but the entourage that arrives with her will fill every last inch of space we’ve carved out of our 1,000 sq ft townhouse.

We got encouragement from parents, elbow nudges from siblings, hand claps from friends, but it all still seemed fake. I mean, we’ve been talking about this for three years. What’s different?

And then I got pre-qualified by a lender. But then we went on vacation and didn’t do anything about that. And then we got asked and poked and prodded by our parents some more. In order to have answers for them, our procrastinating behinds booked a meeting with a realtor. And then he set us up on a distribution for daily housing updates for houses that matched our search criteria. And then we didn’t like the houses. Or the houses we liked went off market almost as soon as they went on the market. And a few more weeks went by. And then we actually broke down and went to look at 3 houses. And then 2 more. And then Bella got sick. And then Bella died. And then we had company for a baby shower (that I still have to write about). And this house the we blindly marked as possible when we were trying to distract ourselves from thinking about Bella sick in her kennel was still sitting in our possible category “on market”. So we booked our appointment. And fell in love.

2500 sq ft. Just over half acre lot. Grass and trees and a deck and a screened in porch and a (albeit in need of repair) fenced in backyard. Formal living room and dining room. Plus a den with fireplace that leads out to the screened in porch. Big kitchen with walk-in pantry and breakfast nook. Mud room with relatively new washer and dryer (convey) and tons of storage, also with access door to the screened in porch (did I mention screened in porch cuz LOVING IT). Guest bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor. 2 more bedrooms and a full bath upstairs IN ADDITION to the master bedroom and full bath.

There are things we want to change, cosmetic updates that we can address over time. The house currently has above ground power/phone/cable so we’d want to convert to underground. A quick phone call yesterday revealed that we may be able to do that free! The owners have dogs so some of the hardwoods are scratched, but they are those crappy check pattern hardwoods anyway so it gives us a good excuse to replace them. There is no garage, and the driveway drops off before reaching the house, so we want to extend the cement up to the side of the house and eventually put in a fancy carport. We’re likely looking at another bathroom remodel in a few years. A few trees we want to pull. The front walk could use some attention. Nothing major, just putting some braces on the crooked teeth.

So we made an offer, they countered, we countered back, and then we went under contract. Negotiated closing date of exactly one week before I’m due. HOLY CRAP. Suddenly all the things bombarded my minuscule pregnancy brain. What do we do with our townhouse? How are we ever gonna get people to live here? What if the baby comes early? All the things we still have to buy for the baby and the medical bills and all the things we still have to buy for the house(s). Loan approval? Appraisal shouldn’t be an issue, but the house was built in 1977 so I’m reeeeeeeeeeeally hoping nothing pops up on the inspection (scheduled for the 16th).

I’m usually pretty good at taking things a step at a time, handle this thing and then see what crops up. My life has been very much like a choose your own adventure book, impossible to read ahead. I’ve just picked an option, rode that wave for a while until some more options presented themselves and repeat. But this time, I feel an overwhelming need to have all the answers, and all the bases covered, and all the contingencies in place, and it is impossible. Is this my nesting? I haven’t had the urge to paint or straighten or arrange and rearrange furniture or purge belongings that clutter (all of which would be really helpful right about now). So maybe I am nesting information. Give me all the scenarios so I can freak out about those now and make sure that I’m not about to give birth in a car under a bridge somewhere because of no money and no house(s). Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. It’s good to be prepared for the things you can control, like making sure to pack underwear in your carry-on in case the plane loses your luggage. But some things you have to take as they come. I cannot predict if my loan will be approved, I can only provide the paperwork they ask of me as expediently as possible. And I have to press forward as if it will be approved, because what else can you do?

And if the worst of all possible scenarios does strike us, we will not be alone. Those same parents and siblings and friends are there to make sure we won’t give birth under a bridge, and we will eat, and we will find a way to pick ourselves back up because that’s what people do. That’s what families do. And we are extremely lucky to have a large and far reaching network of loved ones.

Hold On Tight

What a whirlwind of a weekend.

Thursday night was opening night for what was probably my last theatre performance for a long time. For the third summer in a row, I have spent every Sunday working with a collection of local female artists devising our very own theatre project. We select a “Mother Text” or female inspiration and then all contribute in writing, learning music, dancing(ish), drawing, painting, and a slew of other artistic expressions culminating in a one weekend performance. This year our theme was Wonder Woman! We had a very loving house and a great performance.

Friday was pretty typical at the start; wake up sad, shed a tear for the missing pieces of my morning ritual, get ready, go to work, etc. I had another performance Friday night so I headed out to the theatre to get dressed and warmed up. After the performance, the Huz and I met up with a friend who had driven in from out of town (Nat). The three of us loaded into one car and drove to a small collection of bars/eateries smack dab in the middle of nowhere to meet with a sister and another friend to rock out at a totally awesome live show. It was a late night of dancing (meaning I bounced slightly and tapped a foot aggressively, and sometimes clapped) and hollering. We took Nat home with us and spent another hour-ish catching up and such before I threw in the towel and went to bed. I don’t even think my head hit the pillow before I fell asleep.

Saturday, the Huz, Nat and I met up with the sis (G) for a delightful and delicious brunch on the back porch of a local cafe/bakery. The sun was out, there was a slight breeze, the food was reeeeeally good and ordered in abundance. We spent a good chunk of the morning stuffing our faces before we finally waddled back to the car. G and I went our separate way to do a little birthday shopping and visit a bit. Everyone eventually got their cars from the parking lots they had been abandoned in. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the theatre for our closing Wonder Woman performance.

Meanwhile, my parents were driving another sis (Cor) into town. They made it to their hotel mid-performance and ate dinner out while we struck our “set”. G and I rushed ourselves out to meet the other half of the family (Shelby would catch up with us shortly) and got in many hugs and belly rubs. Mom, Cor and G all had/have birthdays right in this August – September window, so we took this opportunity to gift exchange. After a bit of ooohhing, ahhhhing, and chit-chat, we made our exit, took Cor home with us, and gave G my car so she could drive herself back to where she was staying.

Sunday morning, Cor and I headed to the grocery store to supplement our dismal food supply. The parents came over, we discovered a leak in the closet (freakin water I hate you with a fiery passion) and decided not to deal with it just then. The whole point of the weekend was the Baby Shower some friends organized as a Sunday Brunch. I’ll have to write about that separately to do it justice, but a leak in the closet was not going to stop us from having a good time. Which we did. And then came home and dealt with the leak in the closet. Which appears to be fixed. Knock on wood and/or build me an arc because water is becoming my mortal enemy. And then we drove Cor to the airport. And then we went to dinner. And then Mom and Dad drove G to where she was staying and went back to the hotel. And that was that.

Color me one exhausted pregnant lady. I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:00 last night.