You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Tag: moving

Weekly Wesley: Twenty one


This week we bought Wesley an amber teething necklace. I haven’t really noticed any signs of teething yet but better to get it before they start, right?


Honestly, I kind of don’t believe it actually does anything. It was pretty cheap and I think it looks kind of adorable though so who knows, maybe it’s magical after all.

One thing I’ve been working on with Wesley is having him sleep anywhere other than pressed up against me. As much as I love this,


I’m ready to be able to have a conversation with Joel in the evening or get something done during nap time. So far it’s going okay. We have a futon in the living room so when it’s time for a nap I lie down with him and then very slowly ease away.



We’ve yet to go very long without him rooting around for me and me having to quickly lie back down next to him and pop my boob in his mouth but just being able to get up at all is a start.

Towards the end of the week we got pictures taken of the cousins. It was… interesting.


We had them done at JCPenny and let’s just say I’m glad it was a Groupon because if I had been paying their prices I would have been pissed. I made the appointment well ahead of time, although not as far ahead as I wanted because it took three days of calling to even get a hold of anyone despite the voicemail recording promising a call back. When I booked the appointment I made sure to tell them it would be seven little boys, ages 4 months to 8 years.

So why they decided to staff a trainee is beyond me. I’m almost positive I could have gotten better pictures. She kept taking the pictures just before they’d look or get a giant chunk of the light in the frame. They also refused to listen to what we wanted and insisted on multiple background colors when we only wanted one and taking individual photos when we only wanted group shots. They also spent a ridiculous amount of time editing lame “enhancements” (read 90’s looking fades and vignettes) in front of us while we waited to pick our shots. I even told her we weren’t going to purchase anything with enhancements like that but she “had to do it.” So we waited and waited while trying to corral 7 restless boys who had already sat still for far too long.

The Groupon deal came with five photos and we seriously only picked four because there were only that many halfway decent ones. And one isn’t even a group shot, it’s a lucky cute shot of Wesley. When they’re ready in two weeks (!!!) I’ll post them but it was not magic, let me tell you.

Other than that it’s just been all packing all week. This is about how I feel about it.


Hate. Moving.

This Saturday is the big day and it can’t come soon enough… and it’s coming too fast because omg we have so much to do still.

Other milestones:

  • We took Wesley to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. Obviously not for his benefit, it was for his cousin’s birthday. Despite the over stimulation his did really well and was just quiet and fascinated with all the noise and lights the whole time.


  • I read Wesley Dr. Seuss for the first time and he was in awe. He just kept staring at my face and then at the book and then back at my face. I think he’s going to be as big of a fan as his mommy.


(so mad at the stupid iPhone for messing up the focus on this one. Had to post it anyway because best. face. ever.)

  • I don’t want to jinx it but Mr. Dude has started to be okay in the car. He still cries about 40-50% of the time but that is a massive improvement so I’ll take it.


Other favorite photos from the week:


Wesley has been getting so excited when Joel comes home from work every day. Melts my heart.


Sweet deliciously clean baby.


It’s too bad he’s never happy or anything.


My tiny old man says, “Jolly good, ta ta for now.”

Weekly Wesley: Nineteen


The big thing that happened this week was I learned how to do a back wrap with a woven wrap.


I borrowed a wrap from a babywearing group near me and I’m loving it. There’s definitely a learning curve and I haven’t gotten the seat right every time. The times I do get it right though are so nice. I can get so much done while Wesley naps on me.


For example, packing for our move at the end of the month.

We found an apartment, yay! There were moments when I seriously thought we wouldn’t. It’s kind of far from where we live now so we’re going to have to familiarize ourselves with a whole new area. I’ve really enjoyed where we lived the last 5 years so I’m a little bummed that we couldn’t find something closer. No more living 5 minutes from Ikea. Wah! I mean, it’ll only be 20-30 minutes but still, I’ve been spoiled.

In other news, my dad is doing much better.


He’s in a nursing home right now doing rehab and I can’t believe the difference it has made so far. He’s so much more alert and is able to actually hold short conversations now. Seeing him so much better has given me the slightest sliver of hope. There’s still a lot of work to do so I hope he can keep his spirits up and keep working hard.

Wesley has been working hard on a developmental leap if his mood is any indication. He still is happy in between the fussing but arg, so. much. fussing.

Of course, when Joel gets home he’s all smiles.


I’m fairly certain Joel thinks I’m lying when I send him the Omg when are you coming home?! text on the daily lately. Maybe it’s not a developmental leap, maybe he is just sick of me…

I kid.


Other milestones:

  • One really weird thing he has decided to do is hang upside down. My tiny little bat boy.


  • He’s also working on being more mobile. He’s soooo close to rolling from back to belly. Honestly I think he would have done it already if I didn’t wear him so much. Oops. He has started scooting and managed to scoot himself completely off his play mat.


  • We gave Wesley his Oball and he loves it. It’s one of the few toys he doesn’t immediately drop.


And to finish off, a few random of my favorite pictures from the week.

I can’t even with how much Jordan loves his tiny little cousin.


Naaaaaants Ingonyama….


This is his waking up from a nap face. I love how his little nose is always so red. Usually he smiles shortly after this face.


Until next time!


Mail garbage

As you can see, I’m STILL blogging from my iPhone. I know, lame right? You all are going to forget I ever went to The Netherlands, much less took pictures.

What’s holding things up is the mail. See, AT&T would only mail the router to the new address. That’s fine except we couldn’t get our mail keys until we turned in our inspection sheet. Why we put that off I’m not really sure but we finally got it done today. My thoughts were “yay, Internet!” Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone but he and I need a little time apart. I need to miss him, you know?*

Joel emptied our mailbox and brought the contents upstairs. Not only was it full to the point of bursting, there were letters literally wadded up into balls and shoved in the cracks. Isn’t there some kind if law against that? Seriously, who does that? Perhaps we were lucky that none of it was actually our mail yet.

Our mail should have started forwarding several days ago. So, while I’m happy that it wasn’t our mail that was treated like garbage, I have no idea where it actually is. Of course it’s the weekend so we have no way of calling anyone to find out either.

I’m really hoping everything gets sorted out Monday. I’m sick of functioning at dial up speeds on this tiny little screen. I’m also a little worried about where all our mail has been going for half a week. Obviously I’ll keep you updated. Cross your fingers for us.

*Yes, I’m talking about my iPhone like it’s a person. Also yes, my iPhone is a boy.

Wordless Wednesdays: Painting Fashion

Alternate title: Sorry boys, I’m taken

Look! A distraction!

Still blogging from my iPhone. I love the darn thing and would hate to live without it but blogging on here is soooo sloooow. It’s seriously making me stabby. Instead of bitching about how irritated I am with my lack of computer I’ll distract you with this hilariously cute papillon video.

Here’s hoping I stay sane until my life returns to it’s version of normal. Or just that I don’t call The Salvation Army to take away everything we own and start from scratch. I’m tempted.

Still in the dark ages

Still without the internets over here so no Holland pictures. Today was spent with Phoebe at class, moving some last odds and ends and unpacking.

I can’t decide what’s worse, moving or unpacking. I’m leaning towards unpacking. At least with moving it’s fairly brainless tasks like lifting and walking. It’s exhausting but at least you don’t have to think very hard. With unpacking you have to figure out where to put every little thing. Will this fit? How does that look? Where’s the most logical place (you know, so it’ll be in the *best* place I can’t find when I’m looking for it later)?

We also didn’t have nearly as much time to pack as I would have liked since I got stuck in The Netherlands for almost a week. That means a lot of the stuff got thrown into random boxes to be sorted through later. Good times.

Also on the to-do list, painting the old apartment back to white at some point before Thursday. I really wish the other apartment complex’s management didn’t suck so much. If I’d have known we were going to move out after only one lease term I would have left the walls white. Oh well.

Tomorrow the guy is supposed to come out and turn on our Internet. Why someone has to physically come out I’ll never understand. I mean, obviously they own the Internet. You’d think they’d have figured out a way to do it digitally by now. What do I know though, right?

At least our tv is now set up. Putting on DVDs to play in the background makes unpacking so much more interesting. The time visiting with Joel is nice too. Without being able to bury my face in Twitter we talk a lot more. Who knew?

I hope things keep moving along quickly and we get settled in. We’re all tired and ready to be done moving.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

I know you all were expecting more Holland stories/ pictures. However, I spent more than 16 hours moving to a new apartment today and I am dead.

Plus, they aren’t installing Internet at our new place until Tuesday. Thank God for my iPhone, right? Otherwise I’m kind of living in the dark ages over here. Well, the dark ages with air conditioning.

I’m also buried beneath a pile of boxes. We seriously have a path from one room to the other but otherwise our apartment is filled with boxes and other crap. Every time we move I wonder where the heck we got all this junk. Seriously.

Anyway all this to say I won’t be posting about Holland today. I’m blogging from my iPhone which doesn’t have any of my pictures on it. It’s also not good for substantial stories. Besides, I’m basically brain dead after the million loads I carried up three flights of stairs.

I may go back to the old place and use the Internet there until we get ours hooked up at the new place. I’m not really sure though. Obviously I’ll still post tomorrow, just not sure what it’ll be about exactly. Right now I’m going to try to con Joel into giving me a foot massage while I pass out. Night!

Changed our minds… again

So, remember when we went apartment hunting in the city? It was kind of a disaster. After that the idea of moving into Chicago kind of overwhelmed me. What with the lack of storage space, the parking problems, the higher cost of living, the commute… it all started to seem really irresponsible.

I haven’t been working for just about a year now. My furlough started September 1st. I didn’t start job hunting right away because honestly, I was kind of burnt out. I wanted to wait until the holidays were over. Then, once I started looking for work it wasn’t nearly as easy to find something as I expected it would be. I even had an interview and didn’t get hired. That had never happened to me before.

Anyway, all that to say we haven’t had my income for way too long. We also still have credit card debt from paying for our wedding completely ourselves and then going kind of crazy on concert tickets several times. Without my income there’s very little left over to make any serious dents.

So… we decided that the grown up thing to do was to stay close to Joel’s work. We kept saying, hey we need to go out and look for a place and we kept putting it off. It felt like we had so much time. Then today we realized we have two weeks until our lease is up. Yipes! We looked at another apartment complex right down the road before so we just decided to do it.

We drove over there, asked about availability, saw the place and put in an application. Bam. That fast. It’s just down the street and even with a garage we’ll be saving about $100 a month in rent from what we’re paying now. We’re going to have a garage! Also, as a bonus we got a free Sam’s Club membership for signing. That will save us even more money. Score!*

Sometimes it sucks to be responsible but this is probably the best option for us right now. It’s less than 10 minutes from the job I start at the end of the month. It will be good and hopefully we’ll be able to get ourselves out of debt and start some savings for the future. It will be good. We’ll still get up to the city and hopefully the next time we move it’s to a place we really want to be and not just out of practicality.

*As long as we’re approved for the apartment of course.

I do not speak Russian

Today we “officially” started searching for apartments. We’ve already been kinda sorta looking on the internet for a little while but today we actually had an appointment with an apartment finding service. Looking for an apartment in the city can be incredibly overwhelming so it’s nice to have someone to weed through things for us. Even with an agent I still feel pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing.

I love the city and I really miss living in it. Searching for apartments in the city isn’t like searching in the suburbs though. You look at apartments that people are still living in (!) instead of a model or an empty one that’s similar. More on that later.

The first part of the process was just talking to the agent about what we did and didn’t want. Turns out, not being picky can be a bad thing. There are a bazillion choices! Luckily we have a dog so that narrows things down a lot. Once we got in the car to actually start looking at places things got a little more interesting.

The first place we went we couldn’t get into. Our agent had the key, he just couldn’t open the door. It was strange. The lock would turn and wiggle but the dang door wouldn’t open. After several minutes of trying we gave up.

The second place we were discussing as we approached the building. Out of nowhere this seemingly random lady starts yelling at us, asking us which apartment we’re going to.

Lady – Where you going? 1E? You have appointment? I know you not have appointment today. You have appointment tomorrow, 5:30.

Agent – I talked to the building owner and he said we could come and to call him when we get here. He said he was going to call his wife. Are you his wife?

L- Yes, you call tenant? She not home.

A- Her number is disconnected.

L- She have dog.

A- Well is it a big dog?

L- Yes, very big dog.

A- Your husband told us about the dog, we’ll be ok.

L- I call my husband.

She then proceeds to talk to someone in a foreign language for.ever. Probably a solid five minutes. I didn’t understand a word she was saying except something that sounded like apartment several times and 1E which is the apartment number. She said what sounded like Da several times which led me to think she was speaking Russian. She also said what sounded like Ok, bye like seven times throughout the conversation too and did not hang up the phone. So unless ok bye has another meaning in Russian I probably have no idea what language she was speaking.

The funny part is, all this time the agent had the key, he just couldn’t get a word in edgewise to tell her. Finally she disappeared around the corner for a couple minutes, leaving us standing there looking at each other wondering what to do. When she returned she had a key and took us up to the apartment.

I don’t know who lived there and don’t want to sound judgy but the place was really dirty. It kind of smelled too. It was the size of a shoe box so it was probably hard to keep clean especially since it looked like whoever lived there had a kid. Plus they had a cat and a dog. In their defense, they were probably planning to clean for whomever was coming at 5:30 tomorrow.

Oh yeah, this “giant” dog? Barely bigger than Phoebe. That thing couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds soaking wet. It’s name was Coco and the biggest risk was it licking us to death.

Anyway, it looked like the set of Barefoot in the Park. You seriously had to stand on the bed to open the closet. Um, thanks but no thanks.

The third place we went to was much less dramatic although there was a mix up over which entrance to use. What building in Chicago doesn’t have a number on the front? That was quickly fixed because thankfully the tenant was home and gave us directions. That one was really nice but was on the higher end of our price range without utilities.

The fourth and final place was really nice. The tenant was supposed to be home, we could even hear the tv on but they never came to the door. Our agent had a key so we let ourselves in and did a speed walk through the place. I was really hoping it wasn’t anyone with heart issues because, expecting it or not, it would’ve freaked me out to walk back into my apartment and find three strangers looking through my closets.

We’re going to follow up with the agent in a few weeks. We’re not set to move until the end of July so it’s still a little early to start seriously looking. The agent was telling us how much nicer apartments are if we went up $150-$200 a month in rent. After talking about it (and taking a Twitter poll of course) I think we’ve decided to stay in our budget. The whole point of moving into the city is so we can have more to do and we need money for that. If we wanted to have a nice, big apartment we could just stay in the suburbs.

So yeah, I’m trying not to stress about it. It was a very different experience than I’m used to. The good news is, we love the neighborhoods we were looking in so at least that’s not an issue.

If you have any good tips for looking for places I’d love to hear them. Also, a Russian to English dictionary might come in handy. If you’re not using yours of course.

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