Exploring the Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Flying with her Papi.
Spring weather. And gratuitous photos of myself.
Things I am not loving lately:
Really suddenly. Sort of unexpectedly.
Don’t get your feathers in a ruffle. I’m not pregnant and have zero plans to be.
No, what “it” is, is something else. I finished my book.
Yes, it’s true. In case you’ve been reading this blog for some time you’ll know that I have been working on this book since…well…a long time ago. It’s been a very bumpy road getting here, including having to write an entirely new book for my agent. Well, 2 years, a natural disaster, a baby, postpartum depression, and a whole laundry list of other crap later, I have a finished draft.
I’m not quite sure how to feel about this. I was a little emotional at first. This story and these characters have been swimming around my head, fighting with me, growing on me, for a very long time. It’s like sending your kid off to boarding school. I sent the draft to my editor and was overcome with anxiety. I was terrified that she would tell me that my contract had become void because I had taken too long to produce anything, or that she was just going to tell me that it was complete crap. She e-mailed me back the next morning asking for a synopsis of the manuscript and told me she’d get to reading as soon as she could. Which means now…I wait.
It’s not the end of the world, the waiting. So far. I’m enjoying the time “off” from having to think about it, stressing over how to finish the stupid thing, stressing over whether or not it’s any good or if it makes sense. My editor can decide that and we can go from there. In the meantime I’m tinkering with some new ideas to save for later. And packing. Right. Because we move next week.
…..I haven’t packed anything.
Well, we finally know our living situation for the next year. It’s not perfect, and it’s not what we planned, but it works. We got our renewal notice for our lease and the jacks wanted $1400 a month. Not including utilities. This pisses me off because that’s the price that they are charging new tenants for units that have been renovated with new kitchens, hardwood, and granite. Ours hasn’t been renovated. Apparently that means zip to them because when we asked if they’d lower the price for that reason they wouldn’t budge. So they offered us a cheaper unit in the apartment high rises at the complex (we live in a townhouse right now) that was smaller, but more affordable. We toured it, and it is smaller than what we have now, but workable. It’s classified as a 1 bedroom plus den, but the den has a door on it, so it works as a bedroom for Bean. It’s only 900 square feet, 500 less than what we have now, so it means a big downsize…but it’s still the most affordable thing we’ll be able to find in this area for a two bedroom unit. And we don’t have to move to an entirely new complex. In fact, the building we’re moving into is within sight of my front yard right now, so we can move a lot of stuff over without having to get a rental truck.
I’m a little bummed, because I really didn’t want to move again unless it was to our “permanent destination.” We’ve practically been nomads for the last few years–this will be our 5th move since 2011. But, it’s better for us financially, and I’m trying to look at it in a “less is more” kind of perspective. We don’t need a ton of space or things. Recently I’ve found myself feeling that the clutter in our lives is more than just toys scattered all over the place. We will get by fine. Here’s my list of things that ARE good about this move.
Cons: (because what’s a Pros list without a Cons list to go with it)
So, yeah…it’s going to be better for us in the long run, especially financially. With the house in Estes being such a total clusterfuck, we’ve been hemorrhaging money and it just hasn’t been a good situation. So, with a monthly rent clocking in at well under $400 what we’re paying right now, we’ll have a lot more ability to put cash into savings each paycheck, and actually be able to spend on things like trips to the zoo for Bean and lunches out every so often.
Now, to pack everything up. …..Again.
A half a year old!
But…since I forgot to do her 5 month update, here’s that picture too.
What a happy, spirited girl I have. She has really blossomed in the last month or so and she smiles at everything and everyone. You still have to work at her to get a real laugh out of her (I am the same way though) but she is very jovial.
I haven’t taken her to her 6 month appointment yet (we have to find a new pediatrician) so I don’t have exact stats on her, but when I took her to the doctor for a cold about a month ago she was 13 pounds exactly. She’s been putting on about a pound a month consistently up till now but she seems to finally be getting some solid chunk on so she might be more than 14 pounds now. She is actually fitting into 6 month clothes; she was wearing 3 month sizes up to really recently. I can’t really dress her in footie pajamas for very long anymore because her feet grow out of them faster than the rest of it! Her hair is coming in really long and got really dark! Looks like it will be brown after all. Her eyes are still beautiful gray.
She loooooves food! We are still mostly on purees, but she gobbles them up at light speed. Carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, she loves them! The only thing she hasn’t really been crazy about was prunes, but really, who is. This last week I started giving her puffs and she is still getting used to those. She eats them and I think she likes the flavor, but the texture obviously freaks her out. We’ll work on it. I tried strawberries in the mesh feeder a couple days ago, and she got the hang of it really quickly but the strawberries were obviously way too tart because she freaked out! She even got a bite of my frozen yogurt and she loved it so much she tried to grab the whole cup.
Speaking of eating, she popped her first two teeth a couple of days ago! I was sure that her top two would come in first but she proved me wrong and the bottoms came in. I never even noticed because she wasn’t especially cranky or anything like that, but the other day she was nomming on her Sophie and I happened to look in her mouth and saw two gray things in there, and there they were! She has been wearing an amber teething necklace, so I have no idea if that’s why she hasn’t been showing any additional crankiness over it all, but if so, yay. They haven’t quite come up all the way yet but they are on the way for sure.
Sleep has been okay, but a little bumpier than normal. She was sick about a month ago, and then we moved and she went through a huge growth spurt at the same time, so we went through a hitch where she felt the need to wake every 3 hours at night and put up a fight going back down and then wake for the day at 4:30am. We’re slowly getting out of that now, but man oh man was it nice when she would sleep 6 hours at a time and only wake for a bottle once! (Which she did at my parent’s house last week, I should note. Grumble.) Naps are still pretty normal, once we got out of the moving transition period she went right back to sleeping about 2-2 1/2 hours for each nap.
She still isn’t sitting up on her own and she hasn’t rolled over from her back to her belly yet, and she isn’t very interested in attempting to crawl, but she can stand up! Not independently and she can’t pull herself up, but if I stand her and lean her against something she can support herself. Doing things in the “correct” order would be boring I guess.
My parents bought her a walker a couple weeks ago and it’s like the best thing ever for her. She loves that thing! Especially since it has a tray that I can put her favorite guitar on and make music. She can go pretty much everywhere that we go around the house and be present with us instead of in her play pen which I think she likes much better.
Even though she can’t sit up or roll yet, she still gets around. Those legs of her are strong. She kicks the bars of her crib and the edge of her changing table so hard she gets bruises on her feet! When she lays on her back on the floor she can wiggle herself all over the place and usually when I come into her room after a nap she is completely perpendicular and upside down from the position I originally put her in. Once she figures out how to crawl and walk she is going to be friggen unstoppable.
Her favorites right now are bath time, playing guitar, sitting on the back patio in her new chair, swinging at the playground, and going for walks. She has to bring Sophie with her everywhere we go. She is an observer for sure; she loves watching the other kids at the park and she is happy to sit and watch the geese in the pond in the courtyard. Being in the city opens up so many possibilities for us and she has been out and about with me a lot. We’ve been to IKEA and the aquarium and the book store and I think this weekend we’ll go to the Botanic Gardens. She usually enjoys being in the Ergo, but I think I might have to figure out the back carry soon because it’s pretty obvious she much prefers to be facing outward and looking at things than having to stare at mommy’s neck. She loves her kitties! They seem to have welcomed her into the pack too, especially Sherlock. She smiles and laughs at them and they love to cuddle up next to her on the couch. Whiskey even sleeps on her changing table. Weirdly, when she was at my parent’s house last week, she cried every time their cat Simon meowed at her. For a while she was really interested in Brody and would laugh at him all the time, but since he is living with my parents right now I think she has forgotten about him, because last time she saw him she cried at him too. Oh, and she totally has a crush on Jimmy Fallon. Usually in the mornings I turn on last night’s Tonight Show and she will stop whatever she is playing with and stare.
…which I have been intending to update for some time now, but at the end of the day it just never happens. Sigh.
As of tomorrow, we’ve been in our new house for 2 weeks! I love love love it. The place feels so homey and right and we are very comfortable here. Still arranging some things (I have a box of “leftover junk” that still hasn’t managed to find a place sitting in the corner of my dining room) and every time I think I should take pictures to put up here, I find a reason not to–like the fact that only this room is clean and I don’t have time to clean the others and who wants a picture of only one room? Anyway. Next week, it’ll happen. I hope. In any case, I love being in the city again. So many things for us to do! If I need to run out and do something, it’s available within 10 minutes. Amazing. Restaurants, shops, parks, I have so many places I can take the Bean. She is loving our new place. She loves to sit outside in her walker and watch the kids and the birds and the squirrels, it’s just awesome. Tomorrow my parents and I are taking her to the zoo for the first time. Quite excited.
And, as it happens, today is my birthday! I am 26 today…downhill to 30 from here right?
Woah, I am so behind.
The Bean turned 5 months a couple weeks ago and I still haven’t had time to write that update. I haven’t had time for anything! Since the beginning of the month, I got sick, Cameron got sick, we signed a lease on a townhouse in Denver, I got sick again, the baby got sick, we’ve been trying to pack up the house and make some minor repairs, prepare for renters, and moving day is Saturday and the house is still in shambles.
I need a drink.
Please accept these pictures as compensation.
Last Friday, we signed a lease on our new place in Denver. We get the keys on the 11th and will probably be moving in over the weekend of the 18th, though that still has to be locked down for sure.
We were fairly sure we’d end up with an apartment, mainly because that’s about all we could afford in lower Denver, but we got extremely lucky and ended up signing a townhouse in the same complex that was our favorite on the list. It was in the perfect area, only about 10 minutes from Cameron’s new store and in a safe location with lots of stores and activities/parks nearby, and when we called to schedule a tour, the price we were quoted on a 2 bed 2 bath apartment on the 7th floor overlooking the city was out of this world perfect. So when we showed up, the leasing agent took us up to the unit and it was great. Perfect size, nice open layout, fireplace, GIANT balcony, amazing view. When we got back to the leasing office and he looked up the rates, though, it was about $300 more a month than we had initially been quoted over the phone, which put us just out of reach of our budget. I mean, we probably could have done it, but I hate the idea of stretching every month. We were both visibly bummed, and a little annoyed that the price was so different. He explained that their prices change daily based on supply and demand of units and residents, and the price we were quoted over the phone was only locked in for 3 days. (This was never pointed out to us.) So we figured, we’ll still fill out the application anyway and go to the other tours we had booked later that afternoon and see if any work out. While we were sitting there filling out the application, the leasing agent started poking around on his system looking for other units (I think he could see we were about to walk out and not come back) and he said, “Have you guys considered a townhouse?” And I said no, because the prices we’d seen online were a little too high. Well, he says, I have a 2 bed 2 bath that just came open yesterday and it’s currently being offered at cheaper than the price I quoted you for the apartment. It was also about 400 square feet larger than the apartment and had a washer and dryer in the unit (the apartments only had laundry on each floor), so I said, done and done. We ran to the bank to get a money order for our application fee and when we came back he said he couldn’t show us the actual unit because it wasn’t clean yet, but the one right next door is about the same (except it was a 3 bed) so we can go see it and possibly peek in the windows of the unit. We head over there and toured the 3 bedroom, and noticed that the maintenance guy was in the other unit painting, so the leasing agent poked his head in the door and asked if we’d be a bother if we walked through really quick. (He wasn’t supposed to do that, but I think at this point he was trying to make up for us being so pissed about the other agent not divulging the info about the quoted price.) So we walked through, went back to the office, and submitted the application and all the other paperwork. Done! We never even went to the other tours we had booked that afternoon.
I’m really pleased with the place. It’s 3 floors with a finished basement that has a wood-burning fireplace in it. It also has a utility room with a washer and dryer in it which will come in handy for storing stuff (and it means we won’t have to get a storage unit). There’s a small fenced patio area out back big enough for our grill and our patio furniture and the front looks across the complex’s courtyard with a nice pond/fountain. It’s also on the back side of the complex, which means it’s about as far away from city traffic as it could be, so very quiet. We’re only losing about 150 square feet altogether, which is not bad considering our third floor we only use as storage anyway and our 3rd bathroom is pretty much negligible anyway. The rent we’ll be paying is still less than what we’ll be getting from the renters moving in here, so we won’t be stretching ourselves too thin.
The only downside of it all is that we won’t be able to bring Brody with us. The complex has a 2-pet limit and we have the two cats. I hate feeling like I’m picking between my favorite children, but the fact is that my parents, who offered to take him, have a big back yard and a dog of their own, so he’ll be better off there anyway. They also have two cats who are pretty territorial, so it just wasn’t an option to have one of the cats go live with them. (Cats are snippier than dogs when introducing them to new animals, I’ve found) Anyway, at least this way we’ll be able to see him whenever we want, they can bring him to visit, and it won’t be forever. When we are able to buy a place in a little bit, the Brodes can come back to us.
So, the countdown is on…under 20 days till we get keys and move. Urp.
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