Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Other One

So, this whole day in the life thing didn't work out.  Turns out the other blogger who did it 1) took notes each day and then wrote about it (which would have been a good idea since my brain can barely remember my name at the moment), and 2) she works.  Nothing against working, but this means that from 9am-5pm everyday she wrote "work." But, I'm not getting rid of it for good.  I still think it's a worthwhile endeavor and one I will try and repeat when I actually take notes and blog daily about what I did.  For me, this was a good way to explain to people what I do when they are totally confused how I don't get bored by being a stay-at-home mom.  Who has time to get bored?

On to other exciting things... Chloe Marie will be here in 5 weeks and 2 days.  Last week I saw the OB and Endocrinologist and today I saw the perinatologist (for the last time... yippee) and feel pretty confident that I'll have a c-section on May 5th.  Here are some reasons why:
  1. Apparently Chloe has decided to go every which way but head down.  She has been transverse (across my stomach) for weeks and just in the last day or so has started to shift to head up and feet down - breech (which feels really good on the inside by the way - and there was a lot of sarcasm in that statement) which is not how anyone wants her to be.  She still has 5 weeks to change her position but no medical person seems optimistic about the situation.
  2. I am not at a very VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) friendly hospital.  While my OB has agreed to put off the c-section for as long as she thinks is prudent and allow me time to go in to labor on my own, every other medical person (down to the ultrasound tech) who finds out I delivered Evan by c-section automatically says, "Oh, so you already have one scheduled for Chloe?"
  3. There is nothing going on down there.  I'll find out for sure in 2 weeks when my OB wants to check my dilation (or lack thereof depending on how it all pans out).
However, on the bright side, Brian might be taking a trip to Portland Oregon in early May and if he does that then you know I'm definitely going in to labor.  Because people, that's my life and welcome to it.

So, at the perinatologist today they took a 3-D ultrasound of Miss Chloe.  Here is what she looks like as of today:

The quality of this 3-D ultrasound is so much better than it was with Evan (I guess this is the difference between an OB's office and a perinatologist's office).  Here is Evan's 3-D ultrasound:

(And I rest my case)

Anyway, back to the other one.  Unlike Evan's photo above, I don't find that Chloe looks creepy at all.  In fact, I think she looks super cute and I think she looks like a "Rocereto."  Look at that nose... that comes directly from my side of the family.  The only thing I can't tell (and I forgot to ask) is if she has any hair.  Yes, I'm still obsessed with the hair.  More so with her since I've been having dreams that she is born with a full head of black curls.  I guess that is one thing I will have to wait for.

But, all is good.  They approximate that she is currently 5lbs 11oz and measuring at 36 weeks gestation (which apparently is completely normal so why the measurements don't fit the weeks I don't know).  Her heart rate was 136 bpm and she is a mover (no surprise to mama). 

Whatever happens we will meet her soon and I'll keep you all up to date.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Tuesday in the Life...

(So, since another blog I follow is doing this thing where she is writing about what happens every day for one week I thought I would completely copy it... I like the concept.  However, she is way more organized than I am and actually posted her Tuesday post on Tuesday... crazy - huh?  I'm working on getting them all up.)

6:30 AM - I wake up and think about getting out of the chaise (bed is no longer an option for sleeping).  And decide to continue to snooze away even though Brian's alarm goes off every 8 minutes so snoozing isn't so easy.

6:55 AM - I convince myself to shower so someone can be ready to get Evan when he wakes up. 

7:15 AM - Evan starts making noises in his bedroom.  And no, I don't let it bother me that all he pretty much says in the morning is "Da-da"... I guess everyone has to have an idol.

7:30 AM - Evan gets his diaper changed and then he and I make it downstairs.  Evan gets milk, I take my synthroid, and we both sit down to watch Sprout for a couple of minutes while I figure out what to feed him.

7:45 AM - I decide to check my email.  Evan crawls up on the table and sits next to my computer.  He jabs at the screen making completely incoherent noises that somehow resemble a sentence.  This is new... and rather annoying.

8:00 AM - I decide I don't feel like cooking so Evan gets a mini banana nut muffin, Greek yogurt, and strawberries.  I eat some instant oatmeal.  Daddy comes down and leaves for work.

8:30 AM - All cleaned up from breakfast and back upstairs to change Evan's diaper (yes... again... he is very regular) and put him in real clothes for the day.  We spend some time playing the game of opening and closing doors (to protect the litter can cat food from Evan's hands and mouth) and back downstairs.

9:00 AM - Babysitter comes because I have an OB appointment.  Evan gets super excited because it's his favorite babysitter.  She plays with him outside non-stop.  The babysitter and Evan go outside to play on the swing set and I'm off to the OB.

9:35 AM - I arrive at the OB and wait in an obscenely long line to check-in (they have one office to check-in three different practices).  It's basically a line of a bunch of pregnant women with no chairs.

9:55 AM - I make it up to my Dr. and am late for my appointment.  But since it was their fault no one really cares.  I go urinate in a cup, step on the scale, and have my blood pressure taken (usual surprise at the fact that my blood pressure is so low - apparently medical professionals look at me and assume I have high blood pressure).  I get escorted in to the next waiting room where I wait for the doctor for only about 5 minutes until I go into the room.  It's a different doctor I'm meeting today (in case I actually go into labor they want me to meet a bunch of people) so a new nurse I've never met takes Chloe's heartbeat.  It's fabulous and the doctor comes in shortly.  Here is our entire conversation:

     Doctor:   How are you feeling.
     Me:        Good, no complaints.
     Doctor:   Do you have any questions?  I know you've done this before.
     Me:         Nope, nothing.
     Doctor:   So you have your c-section scheduled.... that's good.  Are you planning on getting your tubes tied?
     Me:        No.  You never know about a third.
     Doctor:  True.  It just wasn't indicated in your chart so I wanted to make sure someone asked you.

Then he told me to checkout.

10:15 AM - On my way to Target to pick up some stuff for the house.

11:30 AM - After spending way too much money at Target, I get back home.  The babysitter said Evan was a little out of sorts (probably from his shots) and she helped me get his lunch ready).

12:00 PM - Evan eats some stuffed shells left over and barely takes 2 bites.  He is crank-a-licious and the babysitter leaves.

12:30 PM - I put Evan down early since he is so cranky and out of it and eat my own lunch.

1:00 PM - Time to deep clean the master bathroom.  I wipe down the countertops and toilet and am amazed at how there is still construction dust.  I clean the shower and mop the floors.  I'm a sweaty mess but the bathroom is clean.

2:00 PM - Evan wakes up screaming.  I can't wait to spend time with him in the afternoon and decide we will go to the park after he has a snack.

2:15 PM - Evan has some water and goldfish.  He is so out of sorts that I just need to get him out of the house as soon as possible.  I pull some turkey pesto meatballs in sauce out of the freezer and let them defrost for his dinner while we go to the park.  I decide that since the babysitter has walked him to the park before that I can walk him as well.

2:45 PM - This was not a good idea.  I'm 32 weeks pregnant, out of shape, wearing non-walking shoes, and pushing a stroller uphill 1.5 miles in 80 degree weather to get to the park.  Evan is extremely happy.

2:50 PM - We arrive at the park and once I cool down I don't feel so bad.  We play there for quite a while.  There is an African-American lesbian couple there with their daughter and a Hispanic mother with her 2 sons.  And while I have the most fabulous memories of my childhood, the diversity at the park is the reason I wanted to live in the city and specifically in East Atlanta.

4:15 PM - We start the trek home.  About .4 miles in I'm not feeling well and Chloe is highly unhappy with me.  I know that when I get home I will have to call Brian to make sure he comes home "on time."  Evan, however, is very happy eating goldfish and drinking water as the King of the Stroller.

5:00 PM - We stumble into the house and I down 2 glasses of water after I refill Evan's water (such a mom, take care of the boy first).  Oh yes, did I mention I didn't bring anything to drink to the park in 80 degree weather?  Mostly because I'm used to this park on the weekends when the restroom is not available and I was terrified of being pregnant with a full bladder and trying to walk 1.5 miles home.  I rest on the couch while Evan watches Sprout.

5:15 PM - I rally enough to call Brian and tell him he needs to leave work soon to get home because I'm in no physical condition to be in charge of Evan alone and give him his bath (which is tough enough with my belly on a good day).

6:00 PM - I heat up Evan's meatballs (dinner is only an hour late for him but since he ate a snack so late he didn't complain) and he eats about 2 bites before he is all done.  Brian walks in the door and entertains Evan while I clean up from his dinner.

6:30 PM - Bath time.  Bath time is very serious.  Evan figured out how to turn on the faucet and the shower and basically plays in the tub for 15 minutes and then we wash him for 5 minutes.  During that 15 minutes the water is running almost constantly for his obsession with the shower or dunking his head/mouth under the faucet.  My water bill is going to be out of control but how can I take away this kind of happiness?

6:50 PM - Night time routine starts.  Brian gives Evan his high five and I put him to bed.

7:00 PM - The great dinner dance begins.  I was going to make tacos but the park totally got in my way.  We decide to order Chinese from a new place and it was amazingly good.

8:00 PM - I pick up the house, finish some laundry I started earlier that day, and get some email done. 

8:45 PM - I sit down to watch TV and relax with Brian.

11:00 PM - Bed time... in the chaise.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Monday in the Life...

My mommy is feeling a little tired these days (something about a visitor in 6 weeks) so I'm taking over today's post.  I thought it would be neat to share with you what I did today.  Here goes:

7:30 AM: I heard mommy talking to daddy and thought it was time to tell them I was awake.  Then downstairs to watch Sprout and drink milk while mommy makes my breakfast (she doesn't look so pretty first thing in the morning but I love her anyway).

8:00 AM: Yummy - scrambled eggs with cheese and a hash brown.  Yeah, this is living.

8:30 AM: Mommy gets me dressed for the day.  It was warmish today so I had on long pants and a short-sleeve shirt.  Surprise surprise... my shirt had a monkey on it.  My mommy is a little obsessed with monkeys.  Then I got to play around the house for a little while.

9:15 AM:  Off to the pediatrician for my 18-month old checkup.  I have no idea what this means except that I get to be out of the house - yippee.

10:00 AM:  In the beginning the pediatrician wasn't so bad.  I got to stand on the big boy scale and up against the wall so they could mark my height.  Then a nice lady came in and she talked with mommy about me while I got to play with some toys.  Mommy said something about the recessive gene of lean and tall being rare in her family but I don't know what the heck she was talking about.*  Then the nice lady looked at my eyes, nose, ears, and in my diaper.  All was good... until... another lady came in and pretended to be nice to me.  Then she had me lay down and stuck four needles in me.  Yup, I cried, but not for very long. 

10:05 AM:  Mommy took me to the park so I could play for a little while.  I got to watch a little girl and little boy play superman on the swings.  Once I figure that all out, I'm definitely doing it.  I also got to go down the slide and hang out with some dogs.  Dogs say "voof voof", I'm not sure if you know that or not.

11:00 AM:  Off to the Dekalb Farmer's Market where we got to buy lots of fruits and vegetables.  I also got to try a mango and I totally convinced my mom** to buy mango and make it for me later. 

12:15 PM:  After I took a little nap in the car I was ready for some lunch.  My mommy cut up some strawberries (my favorite), some cheese, and half of a mini banana nut muffin for me.  I ate all of it and then I got to play for a little bit.

1:00 PM:  Even though I wasn't tired, my mommy made me go to sleep, or at least she made me go into my crib.  I decided to play for a little while and didn't fall asleep until about 2:00 PM.  And even though I was kind of loud my mommy never came and looked in on me.  I guess this was my time.

3:30 PM:  I decided enough of this crib stuff and made it loud and clear I wanted out.  Mommy came to get me and she gave me a snack and some water.

4:00 PM:  I helped mommy clean upstairs.  First we put away the toys in my room.  Then we folded some laundry, and finally we swept the hallway.  Mommy does this funny thing when she sweeps, she puts all the dirt in a pile.  I don't understand it so I help her out by sweeping it all back on the floor.

4:30 PM: Mommy took me outside so we could play this fun game.  I got to paint.

First I used some water and painted the patio:

Thankfully it was only water because I spilled the bowl but mommy said it was no big deal.

Then I decided to play drums for a little bit.

Finally, I felt it was important to paint the outside of our screened in porch... you know, to entertain the kitties locked inside.

5:15 PM: Mommy made stuffed shells with spinach, mushrooms, and ricotta cheese.  I ate two shells, cucumber, and some focaccia bread.  It was yummy in my tummy.

5:45 PM:  As a surprise Daddy came home (he usually works late on Monday nights but he wanted to see us).  I walked to get the mail with mommy and then I hung out with daddy while he changed from his suit to some casual clothes. 

6:00 PM:  Mommy and daddy decided to eat dinner.  I just wasn't feeling myself (I have a lot of pain right now, between teething and four shots, so give me a break) and I admit I was a bit of a pain while they ate.  I tried to crawl up on the table a few times and then when I didn't get my way I would bang my head.  I also did some other things but who knows what.

6:15 PM:  Mommy sat on the floor with me and read a book.  We also played this game where mommy hides a ball under one of three cups and I have to find the ball.  It's a lot of fun.  My mommy is a genius.

6:30 PM:  Daddy went back to work and mommy and I watched some TV.   There is a show on Nick Jr that I like - it has a lot of singing and dancing.

6:55 PM:  Mommy took me upstairs, put on my pajamas and put me to bed.  I cried just to let her know I wasn't tired and then I feel right asleep.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

*Evan is in the 25th percentile for weight and the 89th percentile for height.  While I get the height (his father is tall) I don't get the leanness at all.  But, his growth curve is on target and he eats a lot so no one is worried.  The only problem is that he is too tall for 12 month pants but his waist is too small for 18 month pants.  So he either wears floods or adopts the urban pants-below-the-butt style.

**By "convincing" we mean screaming, grunting, and pointing.  He may not talk yet but he sure knows how to communicate.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Evan's New Obsession

For Christmas this past year, Brian's parents wanted to get Evan a swing set.  So, on a visit they made to Atlanta in January, off we all went to King of Swings to check out their play sets.  Now, I try really hard not to use names of businesses in this blog unless there is nothing bad I can say about them... and with King of Swings there is NOTHING bad I can say about them.  Not only did they have amazing a la carte options for the swing sets, not only was the owner the sales person so he was extremely knowledgeable but they installers were amazing.

Let me tell you how amazing the installers were.  They were scheduled to come this past Tuesday (March 15) to install the swing set.  You might remember from my previous post that my yard was torn up on Monday to try and fix the drainage issues in time for the install.  However, everyone was kind of lackadaisical about getting things finished on Monday because it was schedule too rain and rain and rain on Tuesday and we all assumed there would be no installation. 

So, Tuesday morning rolls around and it has been raining for about 6 hours by 9am when my phone rings.  It's the installers for the swing set to let me know they were running a little late due to the rain and traffic.  I warned them that my backyard was a mud pit and they said it shouldn't be a problem.  So, out they came in their hoodie sweatshirts and shorts (it was also super cold that day) and smiled the entire time (to me at least) while they took 2 hours to install the swing set.  At the end I offered them hot chocolate and they cheerfully told me they didn't need it.  This is the best service we've had yet with this build!

And so, today... 3 days after the rain... is the first day where it has been dry enough and cleaned up enough for Evan to go out and play.  Up until now he has been standing at our back door pointing at the swing set through the glass and screaming.  It's been an evil tease to an 18 month old.

Here are some photos of his happiness as Daddy supervises:

 (Yeah, he doesn't need any help going up that ladder... just a spotter)

 (Out of everything, this is his favorite part so far.  He'll sit there for hours.)

And at one point, Daddy thought it would be a good idea to get up in the "fort" with Evan.  However, he didn't really think through how to get down:

If you want to see more photos of Evan and his swing set, you can take a look at them here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Had to Share

So recently we've had some drainage issues with our backyard.  It has something to with how the yard was graded blah blah blah.  It wouldn't be that big of a deal except for the fact that the "issue" is that the water all ends up pooling in one area of the yard - the one place where Evan's play set will soon sit.  So, rather than have Evan swim to get to his play set, our builder came up with the idea to put in drains.

This is what my yard looks like right now... as they work on the solution:

(I know it looks like we have no neighbors but we do.  Currently it's a slab but supposedly someone might build on it within the next year.)

They are refilling everything as we speak but sometimes the solution looks worse than the problem.  Hmm... kind of like chemo.

But, since we are in Atlanta which I believe is a city that defines the word dichotomy - where a slum house and a fancy restaurant sit right next to each other for ambiance - right behind all this chaos is this in my backyard:

(Magnolia tree - already in bloom and carpeting my yard with beautiful petals and fabulous aromas)

(Camillia bush - native to the South and just gorgeous)

I'm Done

So, I've completely bored myself with my house drama... that never ends.  And, since I'm apparently still too close to the situation to find much humor in it, I just can't write about it at length anymore.  Let me just say a few things to end this discussion.

  1. 90% of my house is beautiful and perfect.  There are no major flaws structurally, plumbing and electricity all work, etc.  The stuff that is driving us crazy is the finishing 10%.  When you look at those odds you really can't complain.
  2. I honestly think if I wasn't pregnant and if my mom wasn't going through some health dilemmas that this who process would be less stressful to me and maybe I wouldn't melt down as much.  I really do think that.
  3. According to the powers that be (mainly my builder) all of this contractor chaos should be done by this weekend.  Therefore, I've nothing left to write about.
  4. After this, I don't think I'll ever build a house again and I don't think we will be moving anytime soon.  Brian at least promised me 5 years in this house which means I might be able to eke out 3 years before he is bored at his current job.  But I do know this... the next time we move, I'm just selling everything here and buying new wherever we end up.
And my final comment/piece of advice about building a house... if your marriage isn't strong, then don't do it.  Seriously... the stress will test you again and again.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled blog about Mr. Monkey Pants coming this week.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The TV, the Electricty, and the Chemo Patient

Sorry it had taken me so long to get to this second post... sometimes the reality of what is happening is a little too overwhelming to write about what has happened.

But onward we go...

The TV
Here is the important thing to know about our TV.  Brian and I are TV people.  It's how we relax together.  And, because we are TV people, Monkey is a TV baby.  His morning and evening schedule is around the TV (during the week... on the weekends his schedule is an anti-schedule).  So, when we moved we knew it would take a few days to hook up our TV and we figured this was no big deal.

Well now, that might seem odd that it would take me a few days just to get a Comcast guy out here to turn it all on... but why would anything be that simple?  You see, at some point I apparently left my husband alone with the builder and the two men got together and pretended they knew something about audio/visual thing-a-ma-bobs.  And when I came back in the room they had decided that rather than have our TV equipment sitting out in the family room (which actually does make sense since we don't have space for it as I'll show you later) they will put all the equipment in our den closet and then set up a sensor that goes from our TV back to the closet to activate the equipment.  So, this meant that real A/V guys would need to come in to do the install.

Okay, so we moved in officially on a Saturday (when our apartment was moved).  We were told by our builder to have the A/V guys come out first (so on Tuesday) and we then scheduled Comcast for Wednesday.  Well, on Monday (are you still with me with all these days) our builder said he made a mistake and the Comcast guy needed to come first and then the A/V guys.  So, the A/V guys were scheduled to come out on Thursday.  Comcast came... all good.  Wednesday night, after numerous phone calls to our builder with little to no information about the A/V guys coming on Thursday he admits to us that they may not be coming.

So, here was one of my first public meltdowns.  We had been without TV for 5 days which with Evan felt like an eternity.  And, as I told the builder through some controlled tears, my mother and sister were coming to visit Thursday night.  My mom was currently on steroids for post-chemo treatment and the steroids made it difficult for her to sleep past 3am.  I swore to her that there would be a TV for her to watch since the builder promised me.  This apparently guilted my builder enough to make something happen so that the A/V guys came on Thursday.

Well... they came but not much happened.  They hooked up our receiver (which immediately began to emit this awful humming and had a faint smell of electricity... I started calling it "una bomba"), DVR and other equipment to the TV.  However, the speakers weren't working, the center channel couldn't be installed for some reason, and the piece they had ordered for the HD was on backorder.  So, we could watch TV as long as we didn't care that the picture was off and that the background noise was quiet but in noise in the foreground was blaring.  My builder told me this would be fixed and off they went.

This past week our builder evaded our questions about the TV (and many other things) and finally told us he couldn't get in touch with the A/V contractor.  To make a long story short, we had a sit-down with the builder, we got others involved and finally... today... 9 days later... an A/V contractor showed up.  He hooked up a new receiver so we wouldn't explode with the "bomba", installed the center channel, and fixed our speakers.  Now we have mildly good reception, still no HD (part is still on backorder) and a faint humming that no one can figure out.  Supposedly they are returning Monday (if the part comes in) and everything will finally be addressed... supposedly.

Here is what our TV looks like today (picture is pretty good on this channel):

(Oh, and did I mention that the center channel that was ordered is too big for our mantel so they have to get another one... at some point?)

The Electricity & The Chemo Patient
So, as I said earlier, my mom and my sister came up last weekend to see our house and help me unpack.  My mom had just finished her first round of chemo and had been cleared to come down.  She wasn't feeling 100% but she really wanted to come so, her words not mine, made the emotional decision to come down.

They arrived Thursday night.  On Friday, one of the bazillion things occurring was that the contractors were closing in my front porch underneath (our porch is up on pillars so to finished the look they put wood boards on the bottom so you don't see the slats from the street).  The contractors needed to use our electricty to saw, nail, and use other power tools that have to do with being a contractor.  As soon as they started, my electricity, in 1/2 my house, went off.  So, I showed them where the fuse box was, they switched it back on, and started again.  Electricity gone.  It got so bad that one of the contractors was literally sitting in my garage and his entire job was to turn the fuse back on each time it blew.

I brought this up to my builder (which my mom reminded me to do about 100 times even thought I pretty much had figured out there was a problem through my advanced powers of deduction) and he said he wasn't that concerned because power tools took up so much electricity but that he would have the electrician out on Monday to look things over.  Life went on and the power went off.

Come Saturday we had electricity (because no contractors) but my mom was feeling poorly.  She woke up with chills and immediately took a Tylenol. I checked her temperature but she didn't have one (probably due to the Tylenol).  She ended up sleeping most of the day away.  And, if you remember correctly, this was also the day that we found out about the refrigerator being all screwed up (we've almost reached a solution to that one).

So, that evening, Brian and I came home from Target, found out the fridge was a bust, and my mom was not feeling well.  Brian had the builder over to talk about the options for the fridge and I took my mom's temperature.  It was at 103.  We called my Dad who said she had to go to the emergency room.  I think that was my breaking point.  I opened the garage door, interrupted Brian talking to the builder, told him my mom needed to go to the ER and immediately burst into tears.  The builder left and it was decided amongst all that I was too emotionally unstable to go to the ER.  So, I stayed home with Evan and Brian, my sister, and my mom went off to some random Atlanta ER.

Once they all left, I sat down to "watch" TV (remember, the picture and sound are horrendous) with Evan since it was almost bedtime.  Within 10 minutes of sitting down my power went off.  Now, I am an avid "Law and Order" watcher and my immediate, completely rational, response was that someone had cut my power in order to break into my house.  Then, I looked around and noticed it was only 1/2 my house.  Incidentally, the same 1/2 that had gone out yesterday. 

So, I took monkey out to the garage, using my cell phone as a flash light since I didn't know which box held ours, and flipped the fuse.  Power back on.  I went back inside, called Brian to see what was going on and they hadn't even gotten to an ER yet.  I hung up the phone, power off again.  Once more Monkey and I went out to the garage, flipped the fuse, power back on.  Back into the house.  I shut the door, power off.  At this point I decided since it was close enough to 7pm Monkey needed to go to bed.  Because, you know, if someone was casing our house then this would give Monkey a fighting chance of not being killed because they would kill me, rob the house and then leave.  Yes, I honestly thought that.

Monkey went to sleep, I flipped the fuse, power went off before I even got back inside.  I texted the builder, told him I was home alone and that this kept happening.  He said he would come right over.  It was 7:45pm.

My mom was admitted.  They took tons of blood, as much as they could, to ascertain what was going on.  They gave her fluids and more Tylenol so she could at least be comfortable. 

Builder arrived at 8pm.  We flipped the fuse (I had left it off until he came in case it needed to rest... made sense to me) and of course the power stayed on.  He had called his electrician who said he would come immediately.  Of course the electrician lives in BFE ("bumble f'ing east" for those of you not familiar with this acronym) and it would take at least an hour.  So, the builder and I chatted and he took measurements for the fridge (since we were still trying to solve that issue).

My mom was resting peacefully.  Nothing much was happening there.

At about 9:30pm the electrician arrived.  According to him when the house was wired no one knew we would be using a fridge in the garage.  This was putting too much electricity on one fuse so he split the fuse into 2 fuses.  This was supposed to solve the issue.  10pm everyone leaves.

11pm my mom, sister, and Brian come back.  There are still no answers but my mom has been cleared to fly the next day (to go home). 

Monday comes, contractors come to fix our driveway and front walk (2 areas of concrete poured at 2 different times turned out to be 2 completely different colors), plug the jackhammer into our garage and the electricity goes out.  I call the builder, he calls the electrician, the electrician called the lady with the alligator purse... sorry, not true, Monkey's nursery rhymes are getting in the way.  Anyway, the electrician this time puts my fridge on its own outlet and its own fuse.  This solves this issue (so far).

As for my mom, well she went home and into the hospital on Tuesday.  She is still there.  No one knows for sure what is wrong but they are trying to treat it.  She is in relatively good spirits and is hoping to go home on Monday.

And, because I can't leave this post with as depressing an end as it has, here are some Monkey photos from today.  He was out on our screened in porch helping me clean (and he was covered in saw dust and pollen):

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Fridge

I've decided that for the telling of this middle part of our move I'm going to concentrate on stories rather than list everything in chronological order.  Because, well... following a chronological order is so yesterday.  At some point I can only hope that I'll be writing about the end of this move.  We're at 11 days of living here and the saga continues.

For me the saga of the fridge has pretty much defined this move so it seems like the most logical place to start.

You may remember from my post yesterday that my husband has a problem with how the fridge fits (or doesn't fit in his mind) into it slot.  He doesn't like that it sticks out about 4 inches.  Here is what the fridge looks like at the moment:

Right past the Huggies box on the left-hand side of this picture is the evil fridge.  See how it refuses to stay in its allotted spot?

And here is another picture of the fridge with Little Man standing in front of it.  Why yes, he is chewing on my giant ladle that I use when I cook a vat of sauce.  Thank you for asking.

And here he is again... because how could I not include this photo?

Okay, back to the fridge saga.  So, Brian made his opinion of the fridge known to the builder and we were told this would be an easy swap out.  The store where we bought it assured our builder that they had the same fridge (French doors on top, bottom drawer freezer) in a smaller size that will fit into the spot perfectly.  The delivery was scheduled for Monday, February 28.

Now, let's remember that we actually moved into our house on Saturday February 26.  And since I have an 18 month old to feed and since I just built a house and therefore don't have tons of splurge money left over, I needed a fridge of some sort to store food.  Luckily for us Brian and I carted our fridge from Texas to Georgia and it was sitting in my garage just waiting to be used.  Unlucky for me there are also about 100 boxes out in my garage.  So, every time I need something from the fridge, I contort my body (my 7 month pregnant body which you may remember from this picture) and get it out of here:

But who cared that I had to deal with this for 2 days... right?

So, on Monday, between the hours of 7am-11am our fridge arrived.  Our house sits on top of  a bump (it isn't really a hill but it's a heck of a trek from our mailbox all the way to our front steps) so the delivery man came up to see the lay of the land before he brought up the fridge.  In the meantime our builder had told us we could put some stuff in the fridge, bare necessities like Monkey's milk, so I emptied out the fridge, moved whatever boxes might be in the way and waited.  The delivery guy went back down to the mailbox, talked to the other delivery guy and then made his way back up to the house... without the fridge.  He told me that when he unwrapped the fridge there were 2 forklift dents in the fridge and he was sure I didn't want that.  He then offered for me to go down to the mailbox to see for myself.  I told him if he wasn't willing to bring it up here then there was no reason for me to go down there.  We called customer service and another delivery time was schedule for Wednesday, March 2 between the hours of 7:00am - 11:00am.

On Wednesday I again stayed home and waited for my fridge.  It was a different delivery guy who showed up this time.  And while I emptied out the fridge and yet again moved everything out of the path of the coming fridge, the delivery man said to me, "Do you know this fridge is being delivered COD?"  And of course I didn't know.  And of course I only had $12 in the house and of course the COD was for $54.  And of course I had a babysitter for Evan that morning so I could unpack and she had my car.  So, I called Brian to see if he could bring me the money... no answer.  I called the builder to see if he could bring me the money... no answer.  I even called one other person who I knew would front me the money... no answer.  So, we had to reschedule the delivery for Thursday afternoon between 1:00pm and 5:00pm.

By Thursday I really needed to go to the grocery store.  My mom and sister were coming in to town that night and I had spent the morning unpacking with Evan and chaperoning contractors in and outside my house.  Brian offered to come home while Evan napped that afternoon so I could run to the store.  On my way home from the store I called Brian to see if the fridge had been delivered since I would rather empty my grocery bags into the new fridge rather than the garage fridge.  He said no one had come.  I got back to the house and continued to wait. At about 4:00pm I called our builder to see if he had heard from the fridge guys at all (since our builder had managed our purchase the delivery was also being managed through him so they would have called him and not us).  He contacted them and told me that the fridge people claimed they had showed up to deliver the fridge at 1:37 but they knocked on the door and rang the doorbell and no one answered.  So, the earliest they could reschedule was Saturday, March 5 between 1:00pm and 5:00pm.

Saturday afternoon rolls around.  My sister and mom had been helping me unpack by watching the ever active Evan.  After Evan wakes up from his nap, around 3:00pm, Brian and I decided to offer my sister a respite and told he we would take Evan to Target to run some errands if she could wait for the fridge (which had not yet arrived but which my builder assured me was on its way).  She had no problem with this so off Brian, Evan, and I went.  After being at Target for about 30 minutes, my sister called and said to me, "Ellen, wasn't the new fridge supposed to be the exact same thing as the current fridge with French doors for the refrigerator and a bottom drawer freezer?"  And I answered, "Yes, why?"  Well ladies and gentlemen, it turns out that the fridge that had been delivered 4 times over the past week was not the fridge we were promised.  Instead it was the stainless steel version of the very fridge I had in the garage.

So, we called the builder.  Turns out "his guy" who told him it would be the same fridge was mistaken.  If we wanted the same exact fridge in a smaller version it would cost us at least $800 more out of pocket.  Which I wasn't willing to pay to placate Brian's OCD. 

Instead, here we are... 11 days out the fridge in the kitchen still sticks out and I'm still using the fridge in the garage to store most of my food.  Apparently we are now trying to work with the fridge we have.  If the structure of the garage allows we will try and bump out the fridge into the garage so it will appear to be cabinet depth.  If that doesn't work we might build out the cabinet around the fridge.  But apparently we still around 100% sure we are keeping the fridge we have.  I've basically decided on passive resistance and have started to slowly move all my food into the kitchen fridge.  We'll see what happens next.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Move: The Beginning (laying the groundwork)

I fully expect that someday Evan and Chloe (and the ever possible but highly unlikely third child to be named at a later date if needed) will turn to me and ask me why everything we do ends up being more difficult than it seems it should be.  And I will answer, without batting an eye, so that we can entertain other people when we share our stories.  So, I hope our move to our new house entertains you.

I'll start at the beginning, Friday, February 25, to lay the groundwork for the drama chaos.  It was decided that on this Friday all of our items in storage would be transferred to our new house.  The items were to arrive on Friday morning.  This same Friday morning my father-in-law would be taking Evan (and my car) so that we wouldn't have to worry about watching him and Brian would have to go to City Hall to prove to them that we own this property and change the water to our name (yes, this antiquated system is how Atlanta handles water utilities). 

To manage all of this, Brian took me to the new house and waited with me until the movers came.  Unbeknownst to me he also left the movers with strict instructions not to let his 7 month pregnant wife lift anything and that I would be pig-headed about the entire situation (apparently he forgot to tell them not to tell me what he said).  Brian found a chair for me off of the truck, deposited me in the driveway and he took off.  I spent the next 3 hours telling the movers where the 5,700 lbs of crap storage items should go and wondering what the heck all of this stuff could be. 

Once the movers were finished, they took off and Brian returned.  Our builder, my father-in-law, and Evan also showed up and while all of us we were meandering around the house Brian noticed that the fridge we chose was not counter depth.  Instead, it stuck out about 4 extra inches (not counting the doors that need to stick out).  Now, I had noticed this on our final walk through the night before and my reaction was excitement.  I had just dealt with an apartment sized refrigerator for about 8 months and was seriously looking forward to the room in this fridge.  However, my husband's OCD did not see this as a glass half-full moment.  Instead, it became something so annoying to him it was like having a shard of glass in his eye every time he looked at it.  He needed the situation fixed and after listening to him talk about the fridge Friday night, Saturday morning, and the rest of the weekend I told him to do whatever needed to be done so that I wouldn't have to hear about the fridge anymore.  The builder assured us he could get the same fridge counter depth so all seemed good.  We will return to the fridge in another post as this post is only about the beginning.

All seemed good Friday night.  Then on Saturday we were told that the packers/movers would be at the apartment between 8am - 10am and Brian had to meet our alarm guy at the new house between 8am and 12pm. We all got up at the crack of dawn (also known as 6:30 AM) to be showered, dressed, and fed before anyone showed up. My father-in-law again took Evan and my car out and about Atlanta. 

I sat in the apartment with our 4 cats sequestered in bathroom (and screaming and clawing at the door the entire time) until 10am when the packers/movers finally arrived.  While they descended on the apartment I watched TV for as long as I could and then read a book.  I assumed, with 3 packers in a 3 room apartment it would only take about 2 hours to pack.  Well... 4 hours later they were still packing.  In fact, they didn't finished packing until 3:00 PM.  Thankfully, once the alarm person showed up at our new house (at about 12:30 PM) Brian was able to bring me food... because let's remember, I had no car and was stuck with the packers. 

At 3:00 PM we all made our way to the new house (except for the cats who were going to spend one more night in the apartment) and I once again sat in the driveway while I told the movers where things needed to go (and naively assumed that was where things were going...). Thankfully, everything was unpacked and Monkey's crib was put together just in time for him to go to bed (7:00 PM).  All of our stuff was in our house and everyone was already exhausted.

Sunday, I went back to the apartment to clean it up.  Again, I figured it would only take me about 2 hours to clean up the 3 room apartment.  Brian was out running errands for the house, Al was out with Evan, and I was cleaning with 4 cats.  Four hours later (clearly I had underestimated the dirt) Brian came to get me, the cats, and the items left behind.  At this point my 7 month pregnant back was completely done in.  Clearly nothing else was going to happen that night.

Monday began 2 things: 1) the never ending saga of unpacking, and 2) the contractors.  The unpacking shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone and for those of you who don't live in LaLa Land I've been told the contractors shouldn't be surprising either.  You see, it turns out that our builder did what needed to be done only to get us into the house.  This meant that there were about 1,000 things still left to do all of which had to be done while I was unpacking in the house with an 18 month old.

Here is a glimpse of what our house looked like on Friday afternoon (remember, this was just some boxes from storage...):

And so it began... stay tuned for posts about the chaos that ensued once we were moved in.

Moving Update - Brief

I just wanted to let you know that we're here (and so are all the contractors still trying to finish the house), we're safe, stress runs amok, but we are looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course this move comes with ALL kinds of stories which I will gladly share with you as soon as I have some free time.  I'm thinking I might be able to get some out to you at nights this week since our TV is still on the fritz... a whole other saga.