Okay, finally some time to recap the details of our journey to get here! I've cleaned enough surfaces of this place to unpack most of our stuff and Natalie is sleeping. Phew!
Micah admitted that it was satisfying to give our condo a deep clean before turning it over to the subletter. The pride of ownership is a glorious thing!
Everything but the furniture and a few pieces of artwork is now in this pile in Natalie's room. Not too disorganized, I'm proud to say. Even though we left a lot of things, it was pretty packed in our car. Micah and I didn't even bring much personal stuff. Most of the space was occupied by baby stuff. Babies need so much stuff, from her pack n play to her bouncy chair to her play mat to her tub, just a whole bunch of stuff.
After a few days at Micah's parents (while Micah finished a proposal for a conference in the fall), we went to Charlotte and visited Micah's sister's family.
Even though this picture is a poor illustrations, Hudson was pretty fascinated with his little cousin.
Our nephew Tyler, who did great on the schools tennis team this year, introduced Micah to it. Here, Chere and Micheal kick their butts at doubles.
From Charlotte, we headed to Wilmington and stayed with my Dad's family for a bit. Natalie got her first visit to the beach. The water was still pretty cold- Micah dipped her toes in the water and she did NOT like it.
While there, went to Harris Teeter with my Dad to swing some sweet couponing (it was triples week) and between the two of us got this haul with a shelf price of $120.85 for $6.10. Could have done even better if they weren't out of a few items and if I had split the items more carefully!
We got to enjoy Mother's Day while we were there. Micah took care of Natalie in the living room that night so I could sleep. It was much needed as I had come down with a bad cold that has continued to hang on ever since. Gaurgh! Hate sickness. Worse yet- Natalie got it after a few days and oh boy- we thought she was sensitive and needy normally, but wow, we had no idea she could get so much worse! The first 2 days we were here in Boston, she would scream at the top of her lungs any time I put her down. By the evening, I was so tired of carrying her around all day, I just left her in her room to cry. She fell asleep after 30 mins. Another great benefit to being in a house right now- we can let her cry without worrying about bothering the neighbors. Now that she is approaching the age of becoming manipulative if we respond to every whine, we are going to have to let her cry it out a lot more.
Natalie did okay in the car ride. There were moments when she was screeching and we just wanted to die, it was so annoying. Then there were a lot of moments like this:
On Friday morning we left Wilmington, NC and headed to Wilmington, DE. The drive was estimated at 8.5 hours. Between stops and traffic, we took about 12. We planned carefully to leave early enough that we wouldn't hit Washington D.C. at rush hour. We arrived there at 2 in the afternoon, and it still took us an hour to go 10 miles on the beltway. Crazy! I can't imagine what it must be like during peak hours!
In Wilmington, DE we stayed with our friends from BYU who moved there in the past couple months for work. It was fun to see them and visit and play Dominion (very fun card game that I think Paco and Blake and Kimber and Tyler would enjoy. Part strategy, part luck and each game is different, a lot like settlers).
From there we headed to New York where we visited Darlene, Brooklynn and Aaron. Aaron is sooooo cute. He's already smiley and is very gentle-mannered. They are less than 3 months apart, but the difference between Natalie and Aaron is amazing! Since we see Natalie every day, we forget how fast she's growing!
Here are a few shots of the place we are staying in Boston. The town is called Burlington and it's not too far from the interstate an exit from where Micah works. It is definitely one of the grittier places on the street, which is great. I would rather be in a crappy house in a nice area than in a nice house in a crappy area! It was a little scary at first because the yard had not been well cared for, but today landscapers came and mowed and cleaned up some of the junk around the yard. There is still a lot to be done- trees and bushes are way overgrown and there are still some piles of garbage in the back yard- old rusty paint cans, pallets with graffiti, etc. It just adds a little to the creepiness factor. But so far, we haven't found any dead bodies, so it's okay.
We have the bottom floor, which has 3 bedrooms. They left furniture, which is great, but they also left a whole bunch of other crap, which is kind of not so great. It makes it hard to clean because I don't know what belongs to the people who live here normally and what was left by the previous subletters who were here for 2 months. Also, they have kind of an ugly aesthetic sense.
The place is OLD, no questions about it, and could really use some upgrades, but once we get it cleaned up better, it will be perfectly fine for our needs. There are tons of enormous ants here. Everywhere you go outside, there are black ants the size of a dime scurrying in all directions. Still, I'll take ants over cockroaches any day.
Some other cool things: Burlington has curbside recycling of almost everything- even #5 plastics! A few grocery stores are in walking distance (even one that doubles coupons! Score!) and a HUGE mall is right behind us. There's even a fenced back yard for Sammy! I guess the folks at Lincoln Labs are pretty friendly. Someone from Micah's work even invited us to lunch this Saturday! Neato!