Categories
op ed

A Closer Look

I love the picture I posted in my Wordless Wednesday this week – the expression on MM’s face takes my breath away and I think the colors came out beautifully (then the sepia and black and white versions added their own charms), but there is one thing I don’t love about it and I haven’t mentioned it yet to anyone except my husband – I think it’s time to get this off my chest so we can all collectively yell a hearty WTF together because seriously. First things first, the picture again:

Tear your eyes away from my adorable son for a moment and look where he’s standing. That’s not just a big old pile of random rust there. If you look closely (or maybe it’s immediately obvious to you way smarter parents out there reading this) that’s fire damage. The slide behind him literallly melted from the heat of the flames and you can see the color difference between the pole in front of MM and the pole behind him. Someone, it would appear, had a bonfire on the apartment’s playground – right where my son is now standing. It took me way too long to figure this out before whisking him off the damn thing.

I mean, seriously? WTF? First there are the random preschoolers wandering around the apartment complex and playground alone and unsupervised, free to set their worst examples for my impressionable overly friendly three year old. The litter. The teenagers who loiter around the playground or toss a ball around so close to the playground that you occasionally have to duck your head to avoid being hit (something my three year old wouldn’t even think to do if it came near his head). All of this was annoying and had me apprehensive about going to the small playground, which was kind of a bummer because for me it was a major selling point for this apartment. But throwing a bonfire on the playground?? Seriously? How could they think that was an okay thing to do? Now I just plain refuse to go there with MM which really sucks because it’s the only one in walking distance. I know, blah blah lazy me – get in the car and drive. That’s fine, I will. But – – I can’t get past, WTF?

I love our apartment – the layout, the kitchen, it feels right and it’s working. The price is decent. But every ammenity which seemed like a bonus point lately feels like a big let down. The washing machine and dryer which mostly work but end up being a pain in my butt – whatever I can deal with that as much as it’s annoying, it’s better than dragging two kids to a coin op. But the playground – that was a big thing on my list. I’m glad they don’t have a pool now because I’d never feel safe using it – lord knows what size fires they could start in there.

Basically, right now I’m just waiting rather impatiently to crawl out of the financial downturn we took after the layoff and start saving enough to buy a house. It is now the only thing I’m concerned about apart from the day to day whatevers. I don’t care about vacations right now or whatever. I just want a house. I dream about having my own little (fenced in) backyard with a swing set or a kiddie pool – to be able to talk about getting a puppy or planting a garden or buying outdoor furniture. To be able to just walk outside and have a cookout, rather than figuring out somewhere to use the tabletop grill. I want to paint walls and drill holes without thinking about how long it will take to fill them in when we leave. I want to own my domain and be the one in charge of it. I’m tired of WTF.

Categories
photography

A Walk Outside…

MM and I took a walk outside this morning and I took a few pictures, thought I’d share…

This is just outside our apartment building, to the right. Beyond those trees is the “main road” which leads to the grocery store, the highway, and basically everything else we go to.

Here MM is showing you the door to our apartment building.

And to the left of the building is a path to the parking lot and a view of the road our apartment is on – this is the road we would take if we were taking a longer walk. Of course after this we just ended up going to the little playground. It was nice and quiet as we were the only ones there.

Categories
photography

The Grand Tour: Part One

People keep asking me, “When are you going to show pictures of the new place?” and I’m like, “What the zoo and children’s museum and playground aren’t enough?” But apparently the people want to see, “pictures on your walls, and your kitchen, and… I dunno… YOU!” (as quoted from the bestie). And then I grumble and groan and procrastinate because you know, it’s an apartment. It has dirty dishes and bad lighting and all that jazz.

But in keeping with the spirit of It’s Real Life, I’ve decided to post an impromptu set of pictures that show what our apartment looks like. This is by no means a complete coverage of the place – I haven’t photographed, for instance, the master bedroom, bathroom or living room yet. But here are a few things mentioned in Ange’s demand, myself not included. Oh and remember – if you aren’t hovering over each picture, you are missing half the fun!

First: The View From Our Balcony

Next, our dining room:

The Hallway, complete with pictures and one crazy child:

The Kitchen:

MM’s Toy Room:

The Kid(s) Bedroom:

The End (For Now)…

Categories
memes & carnivals

t13: Things I’ll Miss…

In two days the moving company is coming to pack our things. In five days they will be loading the moving truck with those things and we’ll all be headed out to “Dream State.” It’s all happening. I’d like to take a moment today to reminisce on some of the (many) things I will miss when we are gone. I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives but of course I have my reservations, and they are…

  1. Friends & Built-In Playmates: As I type this MM is playing with one of his best friends, the three and a half year old son of one of my best friends. All of my close friends have children – and we all live in this area. That’s four friends of mine that provide MM with six friends – a long standing legacy of friendship that will be sorely missed. I think I’ll probably be putting MM in preschool this fall, despite having planned not to, now that his little net of social activity will be no longer available.
  2. Game Night: Those great friends of mine and I have had a semi-long standing tradition of getting together about once a month. Even living as close as we do, having families means that we get busy and it’s not always easy to get together. I will miss those game nights a lot, miss the getting together with good friends. We like entertaining and love this little circle of families of friends that we have here – they will be sorely missed.
  3. Free Anytime / Anywhere Babysitting: Yeah we are pretty much leaving the lap of luxury. With so many family members nearby, we’ve actually never had to pay for child care, never mind the process of finding and hiring a complete stranger to watch my children – yeah I’ve never done that. I’m sure I’ll be coming to you guys for tips and advice on that in the future.
  4. Old, New England Nature: The roads here will built around cow paths, a lot of the nature has been here longer than the people. This makes for some pretty crazy driving conditions but also some beautiful landscapes. The nature here is strongly rooted – the trees are majestic. There will definitely be trees and water in Dream State but it’s much more cleanly maintained and probably man made and designed. I know I’ll come to love it, but it’s these old trees that feel like home to me. It will be interesting.
  5. History and Heritage: My family is straight off the Mayflower. The history here is my history – it’s the story of my life and the lives of my family. There is history everywhere – stories of the ones who came before and while I look forward to learning these new histories I will miss this one, which is also my own history.
  6. Family and Family Parties: They will be very different from now on – birthdays up until now have meant family and lots of it. Both of our families are in the area and sometimes a family event will be celebrated multiple times just to see everyone. Sure that can get a little tiring, but it’s also nice. I’ll miss seeing people on a regular basis, being able to keep up with everyone and watch the little ones grow.
  7. My Library: I’m sure the one in Dream State will be wonderful but I’ve gotten used to mine and know my way around.
  8. My First Apartment: While I’m growing weary of some of the less than wonderful things about this place, it was our first apartment. I’ll miss my tacky 70’s style kitchen and all the memories we’ve made here.
  9. Our Extended Family Kitty Cats and Puppy Dogs: Our parents have pretty much the greatest pets ever. The assortment of puppies and kitties in our families are just so sweet, so cute. I love watching MM interact with them and I’m going to miss all the cute animal moments we have with them. I look forward to getting our first pet someday, but it’s nice to have these wonderful animals to spend time with without having the obligations of owning them full time.
  10. My Favorite Potato Chips: Wachusett Sour Cream and Onion – they are made by a local company and they are the cheapest brand in the grocery store. They are my favorite and I will miss them terribly. Potato chips simply won’t be the same. Here’s hoping Dream State has some acceptable equivalent that won’t cost as much as the main brands.
  11. My New Favorite Mexican Restaurant: It’s hardly fair that I finally found a wonderful Mexican place just months before moving away. Dream State had better have good Mexican food – also Italian food, Chinese Food and breakfast places – In short – I’d better not go hungry!
  12. All Our Favorite Vacation Spots: They are all in New England. While I know we will be coming back to visit family, I don’t know how often we’ll be hitting up our regular vacation spots now. I know the first couple years in Dream State will make for easy vacations because there will be fun new things all around that we’ve never seen before – but New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in particular all have some wonderful places to travel to that I will definitely miss!
  13. All The Things I Haven’t Thought Of Yet: But I know they are there. The little things that I’ll be too late to appreciate properly one last time, the things I’ll remember when we’re gone and miss horribly even when it’s silly. Again, I am totally looking forward to the new memories, the new things to fall in love with in our new “life” in “Dream State,” but I know more pregnant hormones are going to go into overdrive soon – and I will miss all these things mentioned and more a lot.

Thursday 13 is a pretty self explanatory meme – write thirteen things about something, anything, whatever is relevent and interesting to you in that moment. For more information and rules about the meme you can look here.

Categories
family fun

It’s Real Now… When Did That Happen?

Has it seriously only been three days since we found out Dan got the job? Just three days? How is it possible that we’re leaving for Dream State in just 11 short days – ELEVEN – and that we’ll be arriving at our new apartment, our new home, in two weeks? Right now I’m feeling all overwhelmed, scared, excited, impatient, over and under burdened with things to do, reminiscent of all the things I love about here that I’m going to miss, filled with relief about all the things I will not miss… I’m a mess basically.

The good news, is that I’m almost a healthy mess. I am hoping tomorrow morning I will wake up and be cured of this… thing, this sore throat with general fatigue and not enough other symptoms to feel justified in whining, not that it’s stopped me from whining, but still. It’s not much fun celebrating in between coughing and then cringing in pain because oh my it hurts! Or the constant ringing of the telephone from friends and family who’ve just learned the good news, or my wonderful father who has been so much help in planning, but he worries and thinks at least as much as I do and thus calls me with each new idea. Which wouldn’t really bother me except… the sore throat. Luckily I’ve been able to get Dan to command some of those conversations and you know, as much as it hurts, I love that people are calling. I’m going to miss everyone a lot.

We hired a moving company and submitted a budgetary estimate to Dream Company (if they say, “Heck no that’s too much,”  that darling father of mine says he’ll loan us whatever is not being covered in the meantime. Love him!). We have been cleaning and de-cluttering and reserving hotel stays and mapping our route for the road trip out there. I’ve been bugging all you dear readers for your best moving tips and then sharing all of them with my husband. I’ve been scheduling posts for my blog and Mommas Review manically so that when things really pick up and I can’t sit down to write, things will still get put up. I’ve been sitting in this apartment, looking at the walls and the pictures, and the normalcy and trying to imagine and wrap my mind around the idea that in less than two weeks I won’t live here anymore. Un. Real.

The moving company is coming next Saturday morning to pack our things (one week!) and then loading the truck and leaving on Tuesday morning, with us following shortly behind them, planning to meet up on the other end that Friday (two weeks!). Next week will be more cleaning and running errands, getting our medical records and anything else I can think of, hoping and praying that I haven’t forgotten anything. I wish I knew my actual new address and that I could change my address now – but obviously we aren’t there yet so that doesn’t make sense and as they probably haven’t even gotten our deposit yet (it’s en route as we speak) we don’t have an official new mailing address. I can’t wait to see it though, to see those new letters and numbers that will make up my home. I can’t wait to discover what will be our new favorite grocery stores and pizza places and walking paths. I can’t wait to visit the nearest local libraries and enter the local Target like I belong there.

I’m nervous, too. Will we make new friends? We’re nice enough people but we’re also home bodies. Will Dan become friends with his coworkers? Will we make friends with our neighbors even though we never made friends with any of the neighbors here in the two years we’ve lived in this apartment? Will I join a local playgroup or make friends with fellow preschool moms? Are the preschools nice? How much do they cost? I really wish their websites listed stuff like that. Details, people – they are important. I hope we make new friends. And keep the old, silver and gold and all. I hope that I like my new doctor, whoever they will be and that BB’s delivery goes as smoothly as possible. That whole thing is still kind of way off in my mind. That’s July – I’m still trying to get through May. The idea that in less than three months I’ll be a mother of two in a strange new place… yeah we’ll deal with that when we get there.

Did I mention the kids are going to share a room (once BB is sleeping through the night anyway) and that the third bedroom in our new place is going to be a play room? I’m super excited about that. I hope it all works as magically perfectly well as it does in my mind right now. I know he’ll probably still make a mess of the apartment, but the idea that at some point all the stuff will be in another room with a door I can shut? That’s awesome. Anyway, I’m drinking some decaf and trying to amuse myself and be productive but keep my mind off things until Dan’s done watching the new Bond movie with his guy friend. I think it’s nice that he had a friend over now while we’re still here. I’m also tired. And might go to bed before he leaves, cause I’m super exciting like that. But not until the decaf is gone…