Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving Day!

I have been resurrecting all my old project manager skills as we approached Moving Day.   I keep telling Mr. W that I'm going to project manage the hell out of this move!
Here are some of the things I did to stay organized and help things run smoothly.
I prepared a furniture layout for each room as well as created signs for each room which included a list of the furniture to be placed within it.   I posted these on the door or closest wall of each room so that there would be no question for the movers (Not to mention Mr. W!) I then compiled that into an entire list which I had on a clipboard for easy reference on moving day.  This way as things came off the truck or out of the POD we could direct the movers to the appropriate room in which to place them.
Part of making this work was labeling the boxes with the destination room as we packed them.  Mr. W did not grasp the importance of this concept as well as I had hoped so many boxes were labeled with where they were in the old house.  Or not labelled at all!  Needless to say a lot of questionable boxes ended up in the basement.  But on the whole the off load went smoothly and very few things aren't in the right room.
We took possession of the house on Friday at 5 pm.  I packed a separate "advance team" box of supplies I'd need as we moved in.  It contained:
  • rags
  • furniture oil
  • window cleaner
  • surface cleaner
  • masking tape
  • assorted light bulbs
  • extra vacuum bags
  • extra mop head
  • WD40
  • toilet paper
A few things I wish I had included:
  • large garbage bags
  • flat & phillips head screw drivers
The seller left a little gift for the boys and a card for us.  I thought it was a sweet gesture.
My mom offered to watch the boys all weekend so she came to pick them up Friday afternoon. I had considered going to make a few early runs of fragile items up to the new house, but didn't want to lose my parking spot.  We needed to save spaces for the moving truck the next day.  I was hoping we could use both our vehicles plus our neighbors, but I hadn't seen him all week.  Thinking ahead,  I had parked our pick up poorly assuring two spots there.  What I failed to overlook was that we needed to take one of the cars up to the house that night before the movers arrived!   Fortunately I was able to get our friend Mr. F used his car as a place holder for us Friday pulling in right as we pulled out.
That night we walked through, hardly believing that the house was finally ours after everything we had endured.  And then I set to work sweeping and mopping the billiard room.  Even though we had specifically stated that we did NOT want the sketchy old red rug in the rumpus room, it was still there when I did  a walk thru with the realtor on Thursday.  Since it wasn't removed until after their cleaning crew was here I knew I needed to do it so the movers would have a clean surface to place furniture.  Luckily the floors on the first and second floor were satisfactory so I didn't have to sweep and mop everything.  I'll tell you though, I definitely felt like I owned the place mopping up the basement late at night!
I had sent out two of our rugs to be professionally cleaned so they'd be ready to have furniture placed on them on Moving Day.  Unfortunately I completely forgot to pick them up on Friday, so after the movers arrived Saturday at 8 AM I went back to the new house to meet the delivery of the POD and then went to pick up the cleaned rugs.  It was a long day of finishing up packing things ahead of the movers and answering questions for them.  It was hot too!  On the one hand we were relieved to not have our things covered in rain, but on the other hand, it seemed such a shame to waste such a rare, sunny Portland weekend on Moving Day.
After filling their truck with most of the contents of our house, we drove the 20 blocks to the new house and they began to unload.  The off load was faster and went smoothly since I had labelled all the rooms. 

They also had some time left over to attack the POD.
Sunday Mr. W and I returned for more packing, packing, packing as well as doing some unpacking at the new house so we could reuse boxes.  In addition to more fragile/hard to pack items like lamps we used Sunday to move the antique stained glass windows I inherited from my dad.  We used his truck with glass rack to transport them safely.  I say we, but really it was Mr. W and Mr. F while I watched the children.
During all of this I had a horrible cold.  The boys and I had met Ms Mc and her boys at Laurelwood on Wednesday for dinner and Baby Boy promptly got a cold the next day, by Friday night I was starting to feel sick too.  I've officially sworn off Laurelwood and all other kid-friendly restaurants with play areas until he is past the stick everything in his mouth phase. Clearly these places aren't cleaning the toys on a regular basis and I can't take any more of this contagion that spreads thru my house.  Especially before the big move.  I was so, so physically exhausted.  And constantly having to find kleenex.  Our Little Helper had developed the cold too so I was really worried how I was going to coordinate the next day with the movers if I had to keep the boys home due to illness. Miraculously Our Little Helper felt fine enough to go to preschool so I let him and figured I could bring him home early if needed.  Baby Boy seemed fine enough too once he woke up.
Monday was Moving Day Part 2 with the movers who finished up with the boxes which remained in the old house as well as the planters and outside things.  They actually did it in an hour because by the time I returned from dropping the boys off they were just about ready to head to my mother's for the second half of the load.  In the end I decided to use specialty movers for the piano and pool table she wants to give us, so we had them move the other furniture that either was my dad's or she no longer wanted like the Art Deco radio, chinoiserie parlor table, and a pair of wing back chairs.  Her basement pool room was jam packed with boxes of things we couldn't fit in the POD, but needed to get out to stage the house to be on the market.  And a lot of toys!  At some point I decided to leave some of the boxes there for us to get later; I was beginning to get nervous about time and whether they'd be done before I needed to go pick up the boys.  Having the movers unload the POD before they were done was also a priority for me.
In the end it all worked out, they were able to offload the truck and the POD before I needed to leave to pick up Baby Boy at 2 PM.  It was another long hot day though.  The temperature changes between the attic and the basement are intense, and unfortunately for the movers, there were a lot more boxes for the attic today.  Mr. W and I decided to try to keep the basement clear as a work room for him so things like luggage (which gets backed in our bedrooms anyway), baby clothes, and our out of season clothes should be stored in the attic.  
I have a call in to have to POD picked up to free up the driveway for me to park there.  The house is a catastrophe of boxes and strewn newspaper, but we are in.  I feel good about the move and am both excited and overwhelmed with the unpacking process.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The boys' new bedroom

We were so fortunate that my mom offered to take the boys for the weekend to keep them out from underfoot as we were moving.  Since the movers don't work on Sunday (and who could blame them?) we moved several loads ourselves of more delicate items and began to do some unpacking so that we could reuse the boxes.  Then it was back to the old house for more packing, packing, packing.
My big priority for the day was to set up the boys bedroom and play room to ease the transition for them, especially Our Little Helper.  Frankly, I'm not sure it really matters that much to a preschooler, but my Mommy Guilt was getting the best of me.  That coupled with the trauma I experienced when my parents moved across the Willamette while I was in high school compelled me to have their space set up when they arrived "home".
Since he had a Captain's bed in the nursery and we have no money to spend on new furniture now, Our Little Helper's bed will be a mattress on the floor.  We'll wait until one of those holidays where all the mattresses go one sale to buy a new queen set for us and a box spring for him.  Hopefully a bed frame isn't too far off in the future.  But considering we find him asleep on the floor in the mornings anyway, we don't feel too bad that he's starting out so close to the floor for now.
Next to his bed is the boys' dresser.  Mr. W picked this up at a yard sale before we met and it was in his room when I first moved in.  [Notice I didn't say he was using it when I moved in, that's because when I moved in two years after he bought the house he had a double mattress on the floor (sound familiar?), this dresser with no clothes in it, laundry baskets filled with clean, but unfolded clothes, and the perimeter of the room was lined with half unpacked boxes, the remaining contents appeared to be garbage which he packed and moved from his old apartment. 
I arranged a few things on top.
I am in trouble though with this dresser because the boys currently have way too many clothes.  Part of the problem is lots of hand-me downs in the Baby Boy's size and the other part is over generous grandmas.  Now that the boys have a closet I'll keep their dress shirts on hangers, but I'll have to purchase some sort of storage shelves or drawers for the lower section because I haven't even touched the majority of their clothes yet.  
Next is the changing table and the crib, nothing too exciting or new here, but I'm hoping to store less on the lower shelves of the changing table since Baby Boy is in the throw everything off of and shelves within reach right now.
Between the two windows is their new desk.  It used to be my Uncle G's when he was a boy.  My aunt had it stored in her basement and offered it to me when she moved from her Sellwood house to her new log cabin.  Isn't it darling?  I love the waterfall front and I believe the handles are Bakelite.  I put a few of the baseball things from their old nursery which I could find on both the desk and the dresser.
 I'm hoping to fill the desk drawers with some of his colored paper and coloring books for now since he doesn't have homework yet. Look at all the great storage dividers inside:
Obviously I still have a lot left to do in here, but I think this was a good starting point considering how chaotic the rest of the house looks.  My Little Helper's reaction wasn't great since he doesn't want to move and would rather stay in his old room in his old house, but I could tell he was beginning to warm up to it.  As long as Fiery can sleep with him he's good.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tulip Luncheon (saying goodbye)

Since this was a our second to the last lunch we'd have in the Laburnum Bungalow I decided to pay homage to the tulip motif in the kitchen. We are moving right when all my spring bulbs are blooming so I'm a little sad to miss all my flowers. The tulips are all up now so I picked a nice bouquet of red ones. (With this rain we are having the petals may not last until next Wednesday when the new owners take occupancy, so why not enjoy them indoors?)
I thought for sure I had a vintage tulip table cloth, but it turns out I have several with red roses instead. What I do have is the retro tulip tea towels which I use as cafe curtains. So instead I used this sweet little runner we received as a wedding gift. My Little Helper was very into setting the table and wanted to make sure that it was "very beautiful." He is so darling and sweet!
I have been packing up the kitchen cabinets today (Holy Smokes we have SO MUCH STUFF!!!) but kept out my Red Domino dishes. This little collection started out with the milk jug which I found down in the basement of an antique store in the Cotswolds. I love red and white for kitchens and I love the lines of the pitcher. Once I returned home and started searching ebay I discovered this Stylecraft set is quite collectible so I began accumulating it from international sellers.
We had a simple little lunch of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, bananas, and milk. The milk is in my tulip patterned Swanky Swig glasses. I just think these are darling. I can only ever find them for $9 in antique stores, which is pretty expensive for such tiny little things, but they go so well with my other vintage finds that I can't pass them up when I happen to come across one.
This morning we walked for the last time to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast. It was raining when we headed out so the boys got to splash around in their rain coats. MLH had a ham, egg, and cheese biscuit and I had my favorite, the Reggie which is a fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and gravy sandwich on a biscuit. I think it will be a good thing that we will no longer live in such easy walking distance from Pine State. Although I'm not sure how I'll survive my next (hopefully) pregnancy without St. Cupcake and Pine State so close.
In moving news, we closed on the sale of the Laburnum Bungalow yesterday. Mr. W is a little sad that he is no longer landed gentry and is a renter at 40. Nevermind that he isn't 40 yet and he'll be a property owner again tomorrow. Who says men aren't dramatic too?
I'm nervous and excited. I think we may just pull this off, but were running low on boxes and the kitchenware eats up boxes fast. Plus Mr. W has had 2 late night conference calls this week and another one tonight. Guess who gets to pick up the packing slack?
Yesterday I did a walk through at the new house with the realtor just to make sure that the sellers stuff is finally out, and blessedly everything is including the giant pile of bricks and cheapo plumbing fixtures in the garage. I also got to use my broken Spanish with the cleaning ladies that were there. They thought my poquito espanol was pretty good. So much so that we arranged for them to come and clean the bungalow next week. Thank goodness the word limpiar came back to me from over 15 yrs ago of high school Spanish. I should figure out the word for sweeping too, because that was one I couldn't remember and felt like a fool pantomiming.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The papers are signed!

We went into the title place this afternoon and signed the paper work for the sale of the Laburnum Bungalow and the purchase of the Mt. Tabor house. It was a little anticlimatic. I guess I thought we were signing the loan papers today and then would meet with the buyers on Wednesday to close and then meet with the buyers of Friday to close. That's not how it works in Oregon though. It only took us about a half hour to sign everything and we were done.
The buyers have already signed their portion of the paper work so everything is in order for that closing to proceed tomorrow. The sellers were scheduled to sign earlier today, but they rescheduled and will be signing together. Our fingers are crossed that they both show up as planned tomorrow. Even if they don't, we have it in the contract that we can take possession at 5 pm on Friday once it closes. I feel bad for them, married nearly 40 years and then meeting as divorced people to sign over their home of 30 yrs. It is so sad to me.
I have requested a house with the wife though. I want to pick her brain on everything she knows about the house. I wasn't sure if this is a weird thing to request, but my agent Ms. G said that she'd ask even though it isn't common, surprisingly. Fortunately the sellers is very happy to accommodate me with a walk thru and is looking forward to meeting me. That makes me happy; I think we're probably kindred spirits.
Ms. G thought that our buyers would probably be interested in the same from me which I am happy to oblige. I'll try to schedule that after we move all our crap out though. I don't want to freak them out with the condition of our house these days, boxes everywhere, dust floating around, the hollow sound of walking through as a result of having no carpets or curtains.
I'm getting sad to be leaving. I have loved living in this house. All my lovely wallpaper!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Moving Checklist

With less than a week and a half until Moving Day, I decided I ought to put together a Moving Checklist to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. I am in full on Project Manager mode! Last night as I was reviewing things with Mr. W he commented on how thorough I was. Well, yeah, I am going to project manage the hell out of this move!
Here is what I have accomplished thus far:

  • Solidify a moving company and schedule our moving dates.
  • Schedule the POD delivery.
  • Schedule and pay the City for street permit for POD. (Actually I decided the POD could be placed in the driveway to save curb space for the moving truck, so we can avoid the permit fee now.)
  • Furniture layouts for all the rooms in the house.
  • Create signs labeling each room which contains a list of all the furniture to be placed in that room as well as other larger items that won't be boxed up.
  • Notify diaper service of change of address and schedule delivery date at new house
  • Schedule an exterminator to come treat the new house for ants and ladybugs.
  • Get ball rolling with the phone company for change in service and verify that we can keep our existing phone number.

Here's what remains on my list:

  • Print out signs labeling each room as well as a furniture diagram for each room.
  • Put together a Moving Day master checklist on a clipboard.
  • Transplant the Irene Watts rose.
  • Switch out my little shabby chic white metal switch plate cover in the main floor bath with a standard one.
  • Remove the childproof latches in the kitchen cabinets for use in new house.
  • Remove the 'No Solicitors' and 'Cead Mile Failte' signs from front gate and exterior of house.
  • Provide US Post Service with change of address.
  • Coordinate change of service with waste management company.
  • Coordinate change of service with electric company.
  • Coordinate change of service with water company.
  • Cancel service with natural gas company.
  • Set up an account with oil company.
  • Organize the paint and misc. trim, etc. in the basement for the new owners.
  • Schedule a Day for my Uncle M to help move the stained glass windows and use my dad's truck and glass rack to accomplish it.
  • Put together a box of things we'll need right when we move in like TP, rags for cleaning/dusting, glass cleaner, surface cleaner, light bulbs, vacuum bags.
  • Finish packing!!!!
  • Clean the house after we move out.
  • Consider buying move baby gates.
  • Buy new owners a bottle of champagne to leave in the fridge?
  • Buy myself a housewarming present of new Portland style ceramic tile house numbers!
That seems like a lot; however, I think Mr. W will take over some of those billing issues because only his name is on most accounts since he was single when he bought the Laburnum Bungalow.
Not too bad, but considering I'll be leaving tomorrow to go see my Godsons make their First Communion, I might be cutting this all kind of close.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Queen Anne inspiration houses

I've been going through old photos and came across these photos of a house in Circleville, Ohio where Mr. W spent his adolescence. We stayed at his aunt and uncle's 1860s brick Empire Revival house in the main part of town. These photos are from 2009; I hope this house has gotten some love and a fresh coat of paint since then.Mr. W likes to joke about moving me back to Ohio all the time. On this particular vacation he kept pointing out houses that we could buy and move into. If we ever have to leave Portland

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Monday memories and a look ahead...

Two years ago today, I found out I was pregnant with Baby Boy. It was my Easter miracle considering the day before I had what I thought was massive, early period bleeding. Now I have an active little 15 month old running around, learning new things every day! This evening he will have his first swimming lessons.
I weaned him last week; I had to in order to have at least 1 cycle post weaning to have my hormones regulate themselves before I go back for infertility treatments to try to conceive a third child in June. Since we went up to Seattle to help fix up Mr. & Mrs. Z's kitchen that weekend we thought it would be a good stopping point for nursing since I'd be spending two nights away from Baby Boy. He has had some overnights at Grammy's house, but I always am able to nurse him mid morning the following day.
We had been down to just nursing first thing in the morning for about month or so. I was enjoying that still, but also looking forward to having my body back to myself. Saturday morning I nursed him for The Last Time before we took him to my mom's for the weekend. It was pleasant and intimate as always and I made sure to make lots of eye contact with my little son.
While we were in Seattle she called to say that he had been vomiting, but seemed in good spirits so not to worry. When I returned to pick him up first thing Monday morning she said he had already thrown up. He took one look at me and started crying and calling my name! When I picked him up he started patting my breasts. I felt like I ought to nurse him in case he was low on fluids. He nursed on one side only and fell asleep. Poor thing!
I was in so much pain last week after he was cut off. The side that I hadn't nursed on on Monday was so engorged and the pain radiated all the way to my back. The other side felt fine. In hind sight, I probably ought to have gone to nursing every other day for a few days before we had our final nursing session. It hurt so bad that I began to worry that I was going to develop mastitis.
On Friday I felt really bad. I was nauseous. I felt so sick that I told Mr. W I thought he was going to have to stay home to take care of the boys. First time in 4 years that I have taken a sick day! I had him look up the symptoms for mastitis. Nausea is among them, but usually with a fever which I didn't have. I decided I'd better nurse him on the painfully engorged side just to relieve myself. After his morning bottle we had our real Last Time nursing.
It was bitter sweet. I worked so hard to breast feed until 1 year, a milestone I wasn't able to meet with My Little Helper since he weaned himself at 9 months. Here I was with a boy happy to nurse until 12 mo, 13 mo, 14 mo, 15 mo and I was stopping on purpose. Was it worth it? It sucks that my infertility issues force me into making decisions that I otherwise wouldn't have to make. Should I push back starting treatments again at 18 mo? At 36 do I really have that luxury? Sure we were very fortunate to get pregnant with Baby Boy our first cycle of injectible drugs, but two years has passed and we may not be that lucky again. A lot can be lost with a normally fertile woman in her mid thirties, my history certainly shouldn't make me feel optimistic.
So the decision was made and kept. Our nursing relationship is over. My breasts feel normal and comfortable again. I can return to the world of sleeping on my stomach whenever I want. Life is good. I should probably stop making myself feel so guilty about it.