Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We're Out!

We are finally completely out of the apartment and into the house.

On the 29th we did the walk through to get our final bill. It wasn't too bad.

The total payment that was due was $350 for the apartment, and $220 for the cleaning lady. Part of the reason that both of them are so high is that I can't use the bleach to clean because of the pregnancy. So the cleaning lady has to charge more than she normally would.

The $350 is mostly for the carpet. The total carpet bill was $615, but the apartment is covering two-thirds of that bill because the carpet was not new when we moved in. In addition, because it was all wear and tear (not damage) the apartment is covering a third as well. $206 to replace three rooms of carpet is perfectly ok with me.

Otherwise the rest of the move out costs were little things. A single light bulb had gone out before we could check in with her, but that was $3, and there was some mold in both bathroom showers that I couldn't clean out with the bleach. That was $40. Finally, we had the water bill which is spread throughout the apartment building. That made up the remainder.

Our deposit was only $100 dollars, so I did have to write a check for the remaining $250. Not bad, and if we had moved in with regular price we would have been getting about $470 back.

However, two years of living there with a teenager, and leaving while pregnant? I think we got off pretty well.

Now to get settled into the new house completely. More on that coming up in later blog posts.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Boy Scouts Camp

Robert in his ACU's.
Robert was scheduled for two separate camps this summer. The first was JROTC's Leadership camp; unfortunately, that was cancelled except for a single night. He did some repelling, and some swimming, but didn't get any awards. That's because the camp was too short.

Image not by me, but by a camping mom.
The next week he had Boy Scouts Camp. He was away for the whole week, and earned several different merit badges. He earned life saving, archery, wood working, and is only a few requirements away from camping and cooking.

Scout Ranks
If he finishes either of those he will also make Star Scout. After that he only has Life and then Eagle.

While at camp he did a lot of swimming, some more rappelling, and a lot of hard work. He really seemed to enjoy it.

Will and I headed up to Lost Pines Scout Reservation on Friday evening for family night. At first the google maps wanted us to take a toll road, but I got it all straightened out. Will was a little surprised at how remote we ended up, but I think most of that was the corrections from getting from the toll road to the regular highway.


We got there though, and before dinner too. While we were waiting for dinner Robert and Will compared their skin tones. Robert had gotten even darker. Will says it is the Portuguese blood in him that lets him get that deep tan over the summer, even when he wears sun screen. He doesn't burn, just gets tan.

I envy that.

Dinner was brisket, beans, potato salad, and coleslaw. I had some Lemonade with it. After dinner we went to the camping store on the grounds. They had a lot of great things there, some of them were very historic, from past years and eras of boy scouts.

Robert almost bought a bow, but the draw wasn't big enough for him. So we had to wait. We'll look at the big scout store in Dallas when we go to pick up J and A at the airport. We will also be looking at scout pants then.

After the flag ceremony they had a campfire thing, but between the pregnancy and the long trip home we headed out rather than stay for it. We didn't get home until about 10, and then we had to shower off the bug spray and sun screen.

The next day Robert came home with the rest of the campers and helped us move the rest of the apartment out. He had lots of fun. If you'd like to see the rest of the pictures then check them out here:

Boy Scouts Camp 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Moving Party

Moving Day (1869)
On the 12th there was no work because the Army was observing their birthday. (Happy birthday Army.)

So, Will and I had our moving party that day. We invited a couple of friends over to help us move, and in exchange they got pizza and soda pop.

These friends were either younger and fitter than us, or they had nice big trucks. The first is important because I'm pregnant and Will is injured, neither of us could do a lot of heavy lifting. The second is important because they can help move the furniture.

The two smaller cars with younger people showed up first, so we started emptying contents out of the furniture and bringing it over in bits. This way, by the time the trucks showed up we were ready for them.

We got most of the larger pieces moved. The only two large pieces still left were Robert's desk and his dresser. I'm hoping to get those moved on Saturday.

I spent the morning at the apartment helping sort and load things into cars. Will spent the morning at the new house organizing the deposits of things as they came in. It was a good system, but I had to cut out before the last load of big stuff came from the apartment, because we had the air turned off and I was just getting too hot, even while I was trying to stay hydrated (stupid pregnancy problems).

So I came down to the house and ordered some pizzas and 2 liters from Papa Johns, and we all stood around and fooded ourselves before the others left. Then we were left in our new house for the first time, and we've been sleeping here ever since.

In addition to the two large pieces of furniture we still have a load of books, a book shelf, several boxes, and some other little stuff to get to the new apartment. We have to have everything moved out by the 30th, so this weekend we really need to push it again. Good luck to us.

Some lessons that I've learned: 

1. Have more boxes than you think you're going to need! 
We tried to get boxes, but the place we were directed to didn't have any. So we ended up with very few boxes with which to move stuff. On the other hand, we had plenty of grocery bags to move things in. Small blessings.

2. Start earlier than you think you need to, by at least as many days as there are rooms in your house. 
I didn't really start packing early enough. I had some idea of what I wanted to do, but without boxes to put things in it was hard to do. I basically took a lesson from Spider Robinson's Callahan's Key. Unfortunately, I can't find that book right now - it's either buried in boxes still unsearched or it's at Mom's house. However, the gist of it is this: when moving there's nothing to do except pack it all, get through it, and sort it at the other end.

3. We have more good friends than I thought! 
I fully expected us to do most of the move by ourselves, but their coming over helped out a lot.

What have you learned through moving house? 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baby's First Sonnet

Ultrasound at 19 weeks
A kick that tries to drive the car, you give
To me. A flutter forces me to sit,
Not clean. And each one shows us that you live
On. Growth of yours does cause my sides to split.

That stretching pain which ebbs and flows with time,
An ache that I do not wish stopped, it grows.
An agony that none would say sublime,
Just wish you would take lots of time to doze.

All things, they pass. And soon the troubles you
Give Will and I shall change to more than cries;
Your messes, fears, come before you can chew.
The first of your expressions voice and eyes.

But you will grow and learn to talk and say
All things that you do wish, like sun's first ray.

It's been awhile since I wrote something. I'm still in the middle of moving, more about that will be in the next post. But I figured I would share some very sloppy writing with the new ultrasound of the baby.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

House Appointments

Images from Hasbro's Monopoly Board Game
When you move, there are all these little things that a lot of people who stay in one place start taking for granted that you have to remember to turn off at the old home, and have turned on at the new home.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • water
  • sewage
  • trash
  • mail
  • electricity
  • cable
  • phone
  • internet
  • gas
  • insurance

At least the neither of our homes has gas, so that's one thing that we didn't have to worry about. Water, sewage, and trash are all dealt with through a single place here, but we didn't have to pay for them out of pocket at the old home. It was part of the rent, so we had to figure out how to turn those on. More on that later. 

Mail was easy, you pull the little paper out of the mail box and fill it out and then put it back in with the little flag up. However, I still need to do a change of address form. 

Electricity required a phone call and a scheduled time to turn one on and the other off. Luckily, I didn't need to be at the location for either. However, they didn't turn the electricity on when they were supposed to, so I had to call back a second time and get them to turn it on. 

Cable, phone,* and internet are all through the same company. I had to schedule that appointment and then keep it. The worker was here for three and a half hours, had to spray out the cable box to clear it of pests (and this is after pest control has been here), get his ladder out, and do who knows what all else to get the thing working right, but we now have a whole new set up that's faster, has more channels, and is only a few dollars more expensive than the previous one. 

Insurance was easy. Called them, and they said ok, since I wasn't moving far my premium didn't change. They also gave me thirty days of over lap so that we could get completely moved and not worry about either place being broken into. 

Now, back to the water thing. To turn it on you go down to the city office and turn it on, but there was no clear address for it. However, we had gotten a nice flyer from the rental company about Fort Hood Relocation Services. They helped us get it all set up so that we didn't have to worry about it. 

A few days of boredom and heat exhaustion and we had the new house ready to move into. We're still settling in, and in order to do so we had a moving party, but I'll cover that in the next post.

*Yes, we still have a land line. It's part of the deal with my husband's job. He has to have one. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Getting the Apartment

Since I found out I was pregnant, I've been seriously searching for a new house. The apartment is too small as it is with the three of us and our big hobbies, but if we tried to add a baby it would be too small by far.

In February and March there were plenty of houses in the area we were looking at. The area was large, and the number of houses plentiful. We slowly narrowed down our location, thus eliminating many of the available houses. Some neighborhoods went away because they were not the kind of place we wanted to live, others because they were too far from Robert's school, but not quite far enough for a bus to come get him.

Around April we narrowed it down to a particular neighborhood. There were still a handful or two of houses that were available for rent in that area, but since April we have slowly been seeing them disappear. On June 1st there was only one.

We went to go look at it on June 3rd. The rental place was across town, and the house is only a mile or two away, so just going to pick up and drop off the key was a trip in itself. However, while we weren't wow'd by the apartment, we liked it enough to go ahead and apply.

That meant another trip out to get money orders for the initial background check and the deposit. Not to mention filling out the paperwork for the background check. We got it done, even though I didn't like seeing all that money go out the door.

Then it was a waiting game to see if we would be approved. When we applied for the apartment the results were almost instantaneous. However, the house was not.

When I called back to check in after a couple of hours they told me that I needed to contact Experian and make sure that my identity had not been stolen. A few deep breaths after a moment of panic and we headed back over there to find out what we could. They said they had it straightened out, but I should still contact Experian to double check. They also said that the application looked good, but it had not been approved yet.

So we headed home again, and this time I was trying to get a hold of a credit agency.

While I never got to talk to a human, it turns out my identity hadn't been stolen, but someone had attempted it, probably when my phone and wallet got stolen last March.

Just before the office closed they called us back to tell us that we had been approved. We set up an appointment for the following day to sign the lease and get all the paperwork.

Residential Lease Agreement
by Rental Realities
The lease signing included a video that described all the various parts of the lease and what they meant. The video was annoying because I actually read the whole thing. It was time consuming and filled with legalese, but no major hurdles.

We had a house. The next hurdle to jump is getting the house inspected and turned on while getting the apartment cleaned and turned off. More about that in a later blog post. Probably after it is done in a week or two.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Belated Update

Pregnancy

They raised my warning level for a little while due to my lowering blood pressure, but when the middle of the month check up came out fine they took that warning label off of me. Hopefully, the thyroid warning label will come off at my appointment this week when they find out that I have been doing fine. 

I am currently at 19 weeks right now. No, I have not felt the baby move definitively yet. I feel little things inside, but I'm not sure if it's my body, the baby, or my imagination. Trust me, there will be tweets when I am definite about feeling the baby. 

My next slew of appointments is scheduled for the tenth. I will be seeing my ultrasound person, my thyroid-pregnancy doc, my regular ob, getting a blood draw, and possibly more. 

If it's important enough it will get its own blog post. If it isn't then the new pictures and the information will be included in the next update. 

House Hunting

We have signed a new lease on a new house, and just getting through that was a trial in itself. I will be posting a blog about that hopefully this week. Now I'm working on appointments to clear the apartment, and appointments to set up the new house. 

Because it's an off-post move we have to find help to move. Luckily we have several friends who are willing to come help us do a moving party. There will be pizza and soda pop offered.  Now, hopefully, I can get them all in one place at one time. 

Robert

School is out for the summer. Robert has a week off before he leaves for JCLC (JROTC Leadership Summer Camp). He will be home for one day, and then he leaves for Boy Scouts Summer Camp. Even the one week that he has off won't be an entire break for him. He has to help move. He also has to begin football summer practices. 

When he returns from his camps then football summer practices continue, and he will be studying a little every day. One of the things that he will be doing is reading Heinlein's Starman Jones which Granny Molly (my mom) got for us for Christmas (three copies so we can read it together this summer). 

Will 

Currently teaching a training program off post, he is enjoying not having to wear his uniform daily. Otherwise, no news to report. 

Me 

I'm feeling much better now that I have my thyroid medication. Plus, I'm catching up with the housework (just as it doubles, because we are moving). However, I haven't yet had time to really work on my embroidery or my sewing. Hopefully, I'll be able to give you an update on that in the next update post.