Tag Archives: moving

summer!

Hi, friends. Believe it or not, I’m still alive! My pal Amanda over at Little Monster(S) and Mommies has convinced me to try my hand at the Summer Bucket List again this year after a break for the last few. My list will be at the end, after a brief update on our goings-on of late.

The Marshmallow is finally kind of, sort of agreeing to potty training. At 4.2 years old. We have tried several times and he is one stubborn dude (a friend calls him Silent Thunder and it’s pretty apt). He can do it (and had a 3 day stint of no accidents and dry overnight diaper), but sometimes he just wants to show us he doesn’t HAVE to. It’s the MM’s world, y’all – we just live in it. Anyway, we’re committed and 2 weeks in so let’s hope we’re all good in the very near future.

Monkey and the MM are in karate and they enjoy it. They recently participated in a karate competition and then had belt testing this week. Tomorrow we have karate “graduation,” during which they will receive their belts (yellow for Monkey and yellow stripe for the MM).

Monkey’s last day of school is next Friday. The MM has been home since we pulled him out of his last school. Let’s have a moment of silence for Mommy (DW) who will be home with them all summer.

We have sold our California condo and close on Tuesday. It has been a money suck and our prop manager out there was the worst, so bye, Felicia!

As we purchased it in 2002, we are going to make a nice little chunk of change on it.

Now that I’ve provided a quick update, on to the bucket list! Following is what we currently have lined up or are considering (I will add/remove events accordingly):

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip
  3. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month (First one is this weekend for Merge Records night!)
  4. Go boating with local friends (first time for both boys)
  5. Get bikes for the family (finally)
  6. Put an Intex pool in the back yard
    Speaking of, anyone have input regarding the inflatable vs frame version?
  7. Go strawberry picking with friends
  8. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM)
  9. Attend summer camp:
    • The MM’s first summer camp experience (Super Hero camp with bro at what will be the MM’s preschool next year)
    • Monkey’s summer camps: Super Hero, Chemistry, Karate, Durham Bulls baseball (tentative)
  10. Help Grandma move to Raleigh
  11. Go to Carowinds (I remember going as a kid and having one foot in NC and one in SC as the park is on the boarder)
  12. Plan a local family vacay

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2015: an overview

Since I rarely blog anymore and I like to use my blog to travel back in time and reminisce, I thought I’d do a 2015 timeline entry. 2015 was a pretty huge year for us.

January

  • Packed up all of our stuff and moved our family (including our 3 cats) from Los Angeles, CA, to Raleigh, NC (1/22)

February

  • Found our home (2/8)
    We went from 1300 sq feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to 2600 sq feet, 3 (incredibly large) bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a YARD!
  • Experienced our first NC snow – first time either boy had seen snow (2/24)

March

  • Monkey started at a new preschool…
    …which was a disaster.
  • Monkey quit the new preschool

April

  • First Easter with cousins in SC (4/5)
  • Monkey loses first tooth (4/10)
  • Moved into new house (4/26)
  • The MM turned 2 (4/29)
    It was a quiet affair at home with balloons, gifts and cake. It was enough of a feat to get the sunroom orderly enough to put his new train table there.

May

  • The MM’s first hospital procedure/got front teeth capped (5/15)I didn’t blog or FB about this because I was actually rather embarrassed. The MM had some discoloration on his top 4 front teeth, so I took him in to the dentist for the first time in April. Turned out that it was decay (!!) and they recommended capping them. Since he was so young, it needed to be done under anesthesia (!!) in a local hospital (!!!!). I was freaked out about it, of course, so I got a second opinion, and, yes, this was the recommended course of action. I called every local ped dentist to see if there was anyone who could do this in their office and nope.I took him in super early in the AM after an overnight fast. They put us in a room to wait. They wait until they are in the OR to give gas to get them out quickly and then do IV, procedure. Then one of the worst things ever – they took him screaming and crying from my arms to the OR. It. Was. Awful. I waited for an excruciating 1.5 hours and then they brought me back to hold him as he came to. Again, just awful. He was so upset and disoriented. I nursed him, took him home, and put him to bed. He slept for a few hours (with constant Mama checks) and then woke up and was absolutely fine. And that was that. The capped teeth will fall out as normal when his permanent teeth start coming in.The dentist blamed my nursing him overnight as the cause of the decay, which is why I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve read that breastmilk doesn’t pool in the mouth and lead to this problem like formula from a bottle overnight does. Who knows. I just know that I did what felt right for him and for me and that’s that.

July

  • Our first ER visit: The MM gets stitches (7/9)How we made it 5 years without an ER visit is beyond me. This one happened because Monkey was chasing the MM through the house and of course the MM fell right on the edge of the fireplace (Note: We’ve since purchased guards for the edge.) DW tried cleaning him up but we quickly saw that his poor lip was split. I first took him to Urgent Care as they said they do stitches. On arrival, however, they said since it was on the face, they wanted us to go to the ER.The MM was a freaking rock star. First they applied topical numbing cream with a cotton ball taped to his lip. Then they did some sort of nose spray that makes you very woozy and out of it. Lastly they sewed up his lip. Dude didn’t even cry during the stitches and barely did for the other stuff.He did great! And now he has a small bad ass scar on his upper lip. Dude has been through it this year.
  • Monkey started Kindergarten (7/7)

August

  • Trip to Wilmington (8/10)
    First time to NC beach for any of us. Granny came along (my mom). We went to the beach (but only for one day as the kids really wanted to be in the pool at the hotel), did a lot of swimming in the pool, visited the USS NC Battleship and NC Aquarium, and Mama and Mommy went out for dinner did the Ghost Tour.

September

  • Baseball for Monkey!

    This was actually t-ball, but ended up being coaches pitching. Monkey was much more focused and into it than he ever has been and did well. We found a great league nearby and loved Monkey’s coach (a former NY Yankees player!). We found that out when the team was invited to coaches’ house for a post-season wrap up. Dude lives in a freaking $2 milion dollar home! Cray. We just signed up for Spring ball and are really hopeful we are on his team again (his son is the same age as Monkey).

October

  • Color Run (10/3)
    Monkey LOVES to run and this seemed like something he’d enjoy. Did he ever! The whole family went but only Monkey and I did the actual run (let’s be real, Mama mostly walked). We got covered head to toe in colored powder, much to Monkey’s delight. Afterwards, they had a big dance party where they handed out more color packs and everyone got even more covered in color. On our walk to the car, there was a powder station that a bunch of kids were playing at (purple powder EVERYWHERE), so we stopped and let the kids go to town. You guys, they were seriously covered in purple powder. They loved it. Monkey still asks when we can do it again. LOL.
  • NC State Fair (10/17)
    Meh, we are not really fair fans, but the fairgrounds are super close and everyone said you must experience it. It was hot, parking was hell, there was disgusting fair food, there were smelly buildings full of farm animals, and overpriced tickets to ride crappy rides. Kids loved it – Mamas, not so much. Mommy was like, “We aren’t doing that again.” I was like, “You know you’re dreaming, right? We have kids!” LOL!
  • Mama starts new job (at same company)
  • First Halloween in new house
    In LA we lived in a security condo building so we never got trick-or-treaters. Monkey thoroughly enjoyed handing out candy. In fact, he cut his own TOTing short so that he could go home and hand out candy. DW also really did up the house for Halloween. Orange lights around posts on front porch, skeleton lights along front walkway, tombstones and flashing lights in yard, and spooky sounds via a speaker in the front window. Pretty impressive 🙂

November

  • Mommy’s band plays first gig
  • Mama has work trip to LA – first time away from the MM overnight (11/17-11/19)
    Highlights included staying at The Standard hotel, going to The Broad museum, partying on my last night there with my old gay work boyfriend (we did drinks at the rooftop bar at The Standard, hit Clifton’s for dinner, and walked around downtown LA, which is really lovely these days). Bonus? I was not at all homesick for LA – I was totally ready to come home to NC 🙂
  • Wean the MM (11/17)
  • First Thanksgiving with my family in SC

December

  • Monkey turned 6 (12/21)
    No party or huge activity planned this year, which ended up making Monkey sad. We hit up the local kid’s museum, went out for brunch and went to the trampoline place. Then home for gifts, dinner and cake. Next year we’ll do a party at our place.
  • First Christmas in new house
  • Mommy visited Grandma in LA (12/26-12/29)
  • Mama and boys visited family in SC (12/26-12/28)
    Highlights include exchanging gifts with family, visiting the Riverbanks Zoo with cousins, and seeing The Good Dinosaur.

So far, we’ve had a pretty busy January 2016 as well!

  • The MM saw his first movie in the theater – Hotel Transylvania 2 (1/3)
    We have a $2 theater near our house so we thought we’d try it. He did great and we’ve already been back to see The Peanuts movie, too.
  • Monkey received a character award at school for Respect (1/8)
    There were around 6 total character awards per grade. Very proud!
  • Toured and applied to a magnet school for Monkey for first grade (we find out if he got in 2/5)
  • Had our first snow in our new house (1/17)
  • Scheduled a tour of a local pre-school for the MM for next August (1/22)
  • Monkey’s first school performance (1/22)
  • Roller skating for the first time  for a school fundraiser (1/30)
  • Mommy’s band has scheduled their second show (2/6)
  • Researching soccer and/or karate options for the MM, and track options for Monkey
  • Work on potty training the MM (ughhhhhh)

Whew! Non-stop action over here.

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new house

First, thank you all for your comments, suggestions, etc. on our school situation. Will keep you updated…

Now for a super happy post! I never posted about our incredible new house. It was at the top of our price range and had multiple offers (after 2 days on the market!), but we got it. The catch? They wanted us to wait to close until April 22. Worked out perfectly in terms of our rental as we are in a lease through the end of April. We are DYING to get into the place. Less than a month now!

Feast your eyes on our gorgeous new home!

bf_exteriorbf_entrybf_livingbf_diningbf_kitchen-family room bf_kitchen4 bf_kitchen3 bf_kitchen2 bf_kitchen-sunroombf_family-kitchen bf_familybf_sunroom2 bf_sunroombf_bath1bf_bedroomb2 bf_bedroomb bf_bedrooma bf_bedroombf_bath2bf_master2 bf_masterbf_back2 bf_back

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house hunting

Now that we are finally in NC, the search for our new house has begun in earnest! We’ve already been out looking about 4 times and have seen around 15-20 houses so far. It’s been wild seeing how much you get for your money here. We’re looking in the $300K range and you can get a ~2500 sq ft home with 3-4 bedrooms, 2 car garage, living/dining/den, and a bonus room. In CA, a 2 bedroom 1300 sq ft condo in our building just sold for $410K. Insane, right?

So you’d think we’d quickly find something awesome and get this show on the road, right? Well, there are many things to consider:

  • Schools: They are great in some areas, and not so great in others. There are also a million magnet school options.
  • Location: If we decide to live closer to work, we pay more money for less house. If we decide to move a little bit out, we get more house, but it is very much suburbia. Cookie cutter homes that would be perfectly fine for what we need, but we’d really like to have a home with a bit of character. We are probably driving our realtor nuts as we go back and forth between favoriting smaller older homes with character in the city and giant newer homes in suburbia. We just can’t decide.

We want to wait to get that feeling we’ve gotten exactly two times before. Once was when we first saw our CA condo. The other was the house we loved when we were house hunting in CA a couple of years ago. Both times we knew within a few minutes that the property was The One. We’ve seen perfectly lovely homes so far, but nothing yet that had us like YES! Weird right? We’ve had 2 houses so far that got us pretty excited, but still not that feeling.

House 1

ws wsfire wskitchen wsyard

We actually eliminated this one as the schools weren’t well-rated. It had 4 bedrooms, tons of storage, huge already fenced in yard, beautiful wood floors. Still had some weirdness – laundry room was between kitchen and family room. Kitchen, while it photographs well, needs work. They just slapped granite countertops on and added a backsplash. Still, pretty nice one overall.

House 2

hr hrbonus hrkitchen hrliving hryard

This is one that we really liked the layout of, awesome school district, totally move in ready (though I’d love to replace the carpet in the living room with hardwood floors prior to moving in). 3 bedrooms, huge bonus room, nice yard that needs to be fenced in. So cookie cutter, though. Do we care? We’re not sure. This one is still a possibility.

We really hope we find something soon as the condo we’re staying at has some issues. It’s a perfectly lovely place, but…

  • It’s on the third floor and there is no elevator. Schlepping kids and groceries and stuff up and down SUCKS. Not to mention taking out garbage as it is located on the other side of the complex.
  • We’ve already had the guy who lives on the second floor complain about the noise. Granted, it is loud, but you try getting a 5 year old and almost 2 year old to stop running around. Impossible. Stressful. SUCKS.

So, wish us luck!

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we made it!

I am posting from our temporary digs in NC, y’all! The move was both nuts and smooth. Here’s the low down.

Thursday Jan 22

Poor DW was sick as a dog. She worked at Monkey’s school every Thursday, and she didn’t want to miss his last day at the co-op, so she and Monkey headed out at 8:30 AM. Our sitter arrived for the last time at 9 AM to take the MM out of the house for the morning. They spent it at our local park, where the MM had a blast.

The movers arrived at 9:30AM to pack up our condo. Seven guys strolled in and they started working in every room immediately! I’d planned to work at the dining room table for a bit, but that was impossible. Fortunately our building has a big rec room right near our unit, so I camped out there and checked in with the guys every now and then. Neighbors dropped in to offer drinks, wifi access, store runs, etc. (If you knew our history with some of these neighbors, you’d be shocked by this. Once we had Monkey, our neighbors became buddies – who knew?)

At 12:15 PM, the MM arrived home, and at 12:40, Monkey and DW arrived home. DW was teary behind her sunglasses as they had hugs and tearful goodbyes from kids and parents at school. I ran to get lunch for the movers (In.N.Out one final time – this no red meat eater broke down and had a cheeseburger). DW, Monkey, and the MM went driving around until the MM went to sleep and DW and Monkey hit the Wendy’s drive-thru for lunch in the car. DW and kids returned around 3 and we hung out in the rec room until the movers were done (4:30! so quick), we took care of a few things at the condo and then we checked into our hotel room a few miles away.

moving-boxes

Friday Jan 23

We had a nice complimentary breakfast at the hotel (waffles!) and DW dropped me off at the condo and took the kids to the mall to hang for the morning. I tried to corral our 3 cats, but I couldn’t find them among all of the boxes! The movers arrived at 9:30 AM, I informed them that the cats were loose in the condo and that I’d get them all into a bathroom when I found them. I hung out near the front door of our unit to watch for any cats trying to escape, and spent the morning looking for cats periodically and freaking out because I couldn’t find them and the door was open the entire time as stuff was being hauled away! Finally one of the movers said he saw two cats run into the master bedroom, so I went in looking and found momo and Casper under the armoire. They were so terrified I got them easily and put them into the master bathroom. Whew! After several more strolls through the ever-emptying condo, I finally found Bianca under the master bathroom sink! I put her into the closed portion of the bathroom with the other two cats and finally breathed a sigh of relief. I’m sure the movers did, too, as I had to be bugging the crap out of them, rushing in every 15 or so minutes to do a cat hunt!

At 10:30, I got the call that the car carrier was ready to meet me down the street in a large lot to take both of our cars. I drove DW’s car to meet the driver and signed a ton of paperwork. Then I booked to the mall (next door to lot) and got the other car and drove it over.

cars

Went back to the mall to meet DW, boys, and a friend who wanted to say goodbye before we left. Hung out for a bit and then DW, boys, and I walked back to the condo where the movers were still in full-force. Around 12:30, we ordered pizza for the movers and us and hung out until we finished lunch.  DW’s mom met us and drove us over to the hotel, where they all stayed while I went back in MiL’s car to supervise movers.

The painter was meeting me at the condo at 4 to price the job, but the movers needed to clear out our storage space down the street. I met the painter and asked if he could hang out for 10 minutes while I got the movers set up at the storage space. I came back and took the painter through the condo (with his 2 small kids – haha). Then I drover back over to the storage space. The movers were just finishing up, so I got copies of all the paperwork and then turned in our key at the office of the storage space and drove back to the condo.

moving-truck

I finished emptying the fridge, did a quick sweep for cat hair (SO MUCH CAT HAIR!!!!) as I didn’t want my poor cleaning person having to deal with nasty cat hair), fed and watered poor kitties, and other misc stuff that I knew we wouldn’t have time for the next morning before going to the airport.

It was surreal to see our place empty. We lived in our condo for almost 12 years. Brought our babies home from the hospital here. All three of our cats have never lived anywhere else. Kind of sad to leave, but our friend will be renting it so it’s technically still our place.

empty-room

I headed back to the hotel around 5:30, and DW ran out to pick up sandwiches for dinner. MiL stayed for dinner and then had a mildly teary goodbye when she left for home around 7:30. DW is headed back to SoCal in early Feb to be there for MiL’s surgery so I imagine the waterworks will really turn on when she leaves after that trip.

Saturday Jan 24

We got up around 6:45 and got ready and had a co-op mom friend meet us at the hotel to drive us over to the condo. It worked out well because she has two kids still in carseats so we didn’t have to worry about that. She hung out with us while I gave the cats their tranquilizers and got them into their kennels for the flight. That all went off without a hitch. When it was time for her to go, she and DW had a teary farewell. An SUV arrived at 9 to take us and all of our stuff to LAX. I paid a bit extra to have him park and help us haul all of our crap into the airport, thankfully. We were sent to special handling to check in since we had the cats and that was actually great as there was no line there (the regular check in line was pretty crazy). We checked our bags and DW and Monkey went with the TSA guys to look at the kennels to make sure they were okay to fly. Then we headed to our gate and hung out until we boarded our 11:50 AM flight to NC.

Funny bit: We could see the guys loading the baggage onto the plane from our seat. We watched them take the cat carriers off the tram and sit them on the tarmac and could kind of see the kitties inside them! They loaded them on after all of the luggage was on and it looked like they were being pretty careful. Funny to see them!

cats2

 

 

 

cats3

The MM slept for about an hour and a half and all was going pretty well. Then we hit some INSANE turbulence. A flight attendant fell, they had to interrupt drink service, etc. It went on for about an hour – ugh. Then about 1.5 hours before landing, Monkey threw up all over himself and on DW. Multiple times. We had packed an extra shirt for each kid, but not bottoms (you’d think we’d know better). We got him changed into the fresh shirt but the pants were just too nasty to wear. We ended up taking them off and covering his legs with an airplane blanket. When the plane landed, he threw up several more times (this time into an air sickness bag). Poor guy. We caried him off the plane wrapped in the blanket and put him into the MM’s stroller. Granny and Papa were waiting and had brought two vehicles to transport our stuff.

We picked up our luggage and the cats and headed to the temporary digs. The condo is super nice and very similar to the one we just left. The boys and cats have settled in nicely. The MM and I are now sick with the cold DW is still trying to shake, but I’m thankful that I was healthy during the move to do the heavy lifting.

Our only real problem during the move was poor Monkey’s airsickness. The actual move went off without a hitch. Of course, there’s still the other side of the move so we’ll see how that goes before calling it a win 🙂 (Knocks on wood.) Our cars should be delivered in the next couple of days.

We have already started house hunting! I’ll do a separate post on that, but both DW and I have looked at each other during our hunt and said, “Our boys are going to be SO happy here.” Seriously.

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it’s official

I received an updated offer and ACCEPTED! We are moving to Raleigh, NC! My mom cried. Twice. Hahahahahaha! The plan is for me to start remote in early Dec and be in the Raleigh office by end of January. OMG! Now we just have to find a property management company to rent out our CA condo, get said condo ready to rent (just a few small fixes needed), get moving/car shipping quotes, find temporary housing in NC, figure out how to get 3 cats to NC (!!!!), pack, and move. No problem, right? Then, once we’re there, we have to house hunt, find a school for Monkey, and move our stuff into our new place. Easy peasy. I’m feeling queasy…

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