Monthly Archives: January 2013

First Week

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We moved into a house a week ago, Friday.  I was happy to be out of the hotel but after a week of being here, the hotel is not looking so bad in comparison

When we accepted the house we were told it was older housing they were about to tear down; so we knew it would be temporary. We had to make a decision to accept or decline the house without going inside because the people before us hadn’t moved out yet.  Kyle and I drove past it and although the outside left a lot to be desired, we figured the inside couldn’t be too bad.  We lived in disgusting base housing at Fort Stewart so we figured we had seen the worst we’d ever see so anything would be an upgrade.

Our Home

Our Home

The day we signed for the house we had an appointment to meet with a leasing agent in the house for a pre-inspection then sign the lease at the office before we could move our belongings in.  When I first walked into the house I couldn’t see past the crappy loaner furniture and cinder-block walls.  I remember telling Kyle “This is a glorified garage.”  All four sides are made of painted cinder-block, the bottom floor is linoleum and tile while the whole upstairs is carpeted.  The windows are slatted with window AC united in the living room, master and Reece’s room.  I am pretty sure this house was not wired for electricity when they were built because all of the outlets are boxes off the wall with the wires snaking from the ceilings and floors.  We had already been told about bugs and geckos in Hawaii so I wasn’t surprised when we came across a roach and gecko the first night.  It was obvious I hated our new home but, trying to not be negative, I shoved those initial thoughts aside and began looking for the bright side.

Sadly, this first week there have been more negatives than positives.  First it was the cleanliness of the place.  The floors were disgusting.  Walking around barefooted for a few minutes left the bottoms of our feet almost black and covered in white dog hair.  The carpets were stained with stuff crusted in them and there was one spot in the master bedroom that was sticky. The hard floors downstairs were so bad I went to the store and invested in a steam mop and the first go-over picked up so much dirt on the pad I had to use a second pad which got just as funky on it’s maiden voyage.  The bathroom, appliances, cabinets, and walls were dirty as well.  The tub stopper had a red/brown film and Kyle thinks he found a pubic hair in the corner of the tub.

The back of our house

The back of our house

The window-rattling AC units are annoying on their own but they smelled to boot.  I hated turning the one on in Reece’s room because it smelled like fish to me.  Kyle woke up the second morning and mentioned something about his allergies acting up which got me thinking, ‘maybe it is the AC units’ so I pulled the cover off and found it speckled with black dots!  The filters were new and clean but the machine was disgusting!  I now keep them off as long as the weather is decent as to not pump that funk into the air.

The bug problem is way worse than originally thought.  I have released or killed ten roaches, countless mosquitoes, a millipede, a handful of random unidentifiable bugs, and two brown violin spiders (I googled brown recluse because that is what I thought they were, turns out there are no recluses in Hawaii but we do have it’s very close cousin, the violin).  Now when we see a gecko we try to make him as comfortable as possible so he stays and eats all of the other ‘house guests’.   We have noticed one reason we have so many intruders is because the windows and screens are not even close to sealed.

Kyle called the leasing office and explained to our agent the troubles we’ve been having so she asked if she could come by and see for herself; an idea we welcomed!  She came by and was immediately grossed out.  She smelled the carpets and looked at the ACs and told me how unacceptable it was.  Apparently they use an outside company to clean the units before a new tenant moves in and it was now obvious to her that they did a half-assed job.  It was surprising to her because when we did our pre-inspection the house smelled so good (like coconuts) and without a close look, the problems could easily be missed.  She and I guessed the company lied about cleaning and sprayed some perfume to cover the smell.  She promised everything would be taken care of.  Kyle was contacted by the housing manager a few days later and told they would be replacing all of our AC units and professionally cleaning the floors.

When we accepted to live in this housing we knew it was old but it would also be temporary.  If it were just Kyle and I, we wouldn’t be as bothered by the condition of the place but to think that the kids play on the gross floor and come into contact with bugs is hard to swallow.  Topped with the fact there is not much we can do about it is frustrating.  Thankfully when our leasing agent came to look at the house she also dropped off a notice informing us of an upcoming town hall meeting where we’ll get an idea of when we’ll move out so they can tear this neighborhood down.  We know it is temporary and have decided to commiserate together in a humorous mindset.  We can’t change the situation now so why be angry about it?  We tally the bugs we see, name the geckos and shake things out before using them.  Cleaning the floor is a daily chore and NOTHING is left dirty overnight.

This is what we do; we make the best of any situation we cannot change.  The view is amazing and the neighbors seem nice.  The house is becoming more of a home now that our stuff is moved in so although the situation is not ideal, it is ours.  We got this.

-Click the images below to see them in full screen-

Light at the End of the Tunnel

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I just ate some reheated frozen vegetables for lunch and am sad to admit, I couldn’t identify what they were.  I think they were sugar snap peas but between the bland sauce and wrinkly shape, I cannot be sure.  However, I enjoyed this strange meal because it signaled the end of our non-home-cooked lifestyle!  This time tomorrow we will have a house again!

Hotel life started out quite nice.  I liked that someone came in and vacuumed and made the bed.  I liked always having a fresh towel and sheets without having to do the laundry but conveniences seemed to get less important as the weeks went on.  After nearly two months of living like this, this family is ready for the normal home life again.

My top complaint, the food.  I am so sick of going out to eat or scrambling to find something I could make with the limited resources available to me.  Reece ate a lot of chicken nuggets, pb&j and fries.  I haven’t been able to make him pancakes, waffles, pasta or just simple chicken with a microwave or a electric skillet.  Outback Steakhouse is right next door and although is has been a sort of saving grace from fast food, there is really only so much steak this girl can eat.  Trying new restaurants has been fun but not many offer real, fresh vegetables; most items come with fries or rice.  I can’t even come up with the right way to describe how much I miss my steamer.  Broccoli, cauliflower,  asparagus and corn of the cob! I feel like Charlie but instead of a Chocolate Factory I dream of a farmer’s market!

Our future sleeping arrangement’s will be so nice, too!  I am so excited that soon, if Kylee  wakes up I won’t be sprinting across a room to silence her so she doesn’t wake Reece, or vise-versa.  I feel like Kylee is getting a bit spoiled because we pick her up every time she makes a noise if Reece is sleeping.  Reece realizes he is more likely to get what he wants if he screams while  Kylee is napping.  Oh, how exciting it will be to not sit in the dark when both are napping; I will be so much more productive from 1-3!

Living out of a suitcase for the last three months has been quite and experience, too.  I miss seeing all of my shirts in proper formation in my closet and pants folded in their drawers.  Wrinkles are not a fashionable accessory.  My mom will probably chuckle at this next statement but I miss having things in their place.  I admit, I am not the most organized person but I like when things are where they belong.  Food does not belong on our closet, diapers don’t go under the bed, and kitchen utensils shouldn’t be under the bathroom sink in a piece of luggage.  I am ready for everything to be put where it belongs and not where it will suffice.

I will miss some of what hotel life does have to offer.  Like I said before, housekeeping is awesome and the having the beach just steps away is unbeatable.  The hotel staff, security and valet have been wonderful to us.  They have taken care of anything we could possibly want and have become our familiar faces in this new place.  Reece calls the hotel “home” as we drive up to it and loves to put on a show for all of his “friends”.  I have asked for their suggestions on place to go and where to avoid.  They have told us about non-publicized and local favorites and one has told us where his son goes to preschool and suggested we check it out for Reece.

It is time.  We have been in limbo for nearly three months and it is starting to take a toll on us; me for sure.  I am ready to establish a new routine for our little family.  We need to start digging some roots, finding our way, and making this place our home.  We want family and friends to come visit us but we can’t allow that until we have a place to call home.  By this time tomorrow I will be brainstorming color pallets and decor schemes.  I will be figuring out where to place furniture and hang pictures.  But that is tomorrow.  Tonight I must get everything together and pack so when the time comes, we can move out of our crazy one-room arrangement and into normalcy (or whatever normalcy this family can muster).

Going Crazy!

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Today is one of those extra special days where I seriously doubt I will have any teeth to brush by the end og the night.  I clench my jaw when I am stressed.  I already have a headache because of it and it is only lunchtime.

I am pretty sure someone gave Reece coffee with speed in it this morning.  He is running in circles screaming.  He is kicking the wall, biting his clothes, and pretending to swim in his bedding.  He can’t follow simple instructions.  He is rambling on intermingling real words with Reece-words, making absolutely no sense at all.

And there must be a ghost poking Kylee every time I think she is finally asleep.  I don’t know if it is part of her teething, if she isn’t responding well to sweet potatoes (we have introduced solids) or maybe she is sick of her lack of mobility.  I can’t seem to do right by her.  She doesn’t want to be on her back or her belly or being held or being left alone.

I can’t speak too much on Kyle’s behalf but from what I heard on the phone he could use a Hawaiian vacation, too.  I know he has been running around the base like a madman doing this and that to get us into a house and get our dog here.  What makes things more difficult is that he is still settling into a new unit so he doesn’t want to be out of the office too long.

Fact of the matter is we are ready to be out of this hotel room.  I need my own space again.  I need to be able to shut the door and have a moment to myself when the kids are driving me crazy.  Reece needs his stuff back.  He needs his toys and his bed and his room.  Kylee needs a crib, not a playpen.  She needs the baby gear the was too little for when the movers came and took our stuff.  Kyle needs to go to work and focus on work, not home.

I wish I could say that all my crazy goes away when Reece does something silly or when Kylee smiles at me or when Kyle says he’ll bring me a big ‘ole coffee on his way home, but it doesn’t.  Those examples do lighten my mood but don’t banish it all together.  Today is just one of those bad days we all have every once in a while; it will pass.  Tomorrow I will wake up with a fresh outlook.

But now, at this exact moment the room is quiet and both kids are finally asleep.  As I read over what I just wrote I feel like a big whiner.  Was I being dramatic?  I feel like a whole new person now that I can hear again.  I am even contemplating not posting this; but I cannot give in to me.  What I have written is real and no amount of sugar can coat how I felt this morning into something pleasant.  My teeth still hurt and my head is quaking.  I have stress-eaten more chocolate than I care to admit and I feel like I look like I belong in a ‘People of Wal-Mart’ lineup.  Now that they are asleep it is my time to put myself back together.  I will make myself and my room presentable then crack open a book as I wait for the kids to wake up.