We have temporarily fled our under-construction house.
It all came about kind of quickly. Seth's parents were here about two weeks ago, to deliver the dog back to us for safekeeping while they are in England and Australia. They were also here to look at apartments. A second grandchild on a third continent has made for some geographic challenges for my in-laws. Their primary residence is currently in London, where they've lived for the last eight or so years. For awhile, Seth's brother, his wife, and Grandchild #1 also lived in London. Which was great for everyone - loads of free babysitting for my brother-in-law, and my parents-in-law could get their baby fix. A little over a year ago, my brother-in-law got a great job offer in Melbourne, Australia. Which he took. So, Grandchild #1 (and his parents) moved to Australia. My in-laws have been on several month-long visits in the last year, and there has been some lobbying from some members of the family to get us to move to Australia so that everyone could conveniently be on the same continent. We aren't going anywhere, especially not after the Great Renovation is done, so that part of my mother-in-law's fondest dream won't be fulfilled. Unless of course we win the lottery or someone offers us very lucrative sinecures in Melbourne.
So, now we've gone and made everything more complicated by having Grandchild #2 on a continent that is neither Europe nor Australia. Now, my in-laws are wondering if they want to move back to the U.S. permanently (they spend summers here), and if so, where? They're considering DC, in order to be as close to the shiny new grandchild as possible. They definitely want to be here for awhile when the baby is born (which we think is fantastic - these people definitely know a lot more about babies than we do and we know they'll make sure we can keep her alive), and kind of try out the area, so they've rented an apartment. Due to the ridiculous glut of high-rise condo and apartment buildings constructed in the blind optimism of the real estate boom, they were able to find a place that would give them a short-term lease. While they were here looking, they asked if we might want to stay in the place while our house was being worked on, and if so, they'd rent it right away. We deferred and said, no, we're fine. Really! We don't mind living in one room, eating dinner sitting on our bedroom rug (it's like a picnic!), having to turn off all the lights to run the microwave because otherwise it will overload the pathetic upstairs circuit, washing dishes in the tub, weaving around the boxes stacked to the ceiling....and what's a little construction dust on everything? It's an adventure! I think they were rightfully probably completely horrified at the way we were subsisting.
The tipping point was the dog. The sad, pathetic dog who just had cruciate ligament surgery, requires a whole regimen of pills and supplements to treat his Cushing's disease, stiff aging joints, and allergies, and has to be carried up and down all stairs for the next six weeks while his ligaments heal. Plus he comes with a lot of stuff. And it turned out there was just no more room for one more living creature and his stuff in our one-room living space.
After one day of my popping pregnant self lugging Rufus (who the groomer has described as a "portly little guy") up and down our narrow rowhouse stairs and cast-iron stoop three times a day, barricading him in our bedroom to keep him out of the way the construction workers, and tripping over his pointy little Nylabones on the floor of our bedroom because there is no other room to be in, I agreed with Seth that we should just accept the generous, wonderful offer and move out of our damn house. (Seth does suspect he was at the end of the list of parties his parents could not go on allowing to live in the construction zone. We think the list of concern went in this priority order: (1) unborn grandchild; (2) gestating mother; (3) pathetic dog; and (4) oh yeah. Seth.)
So we did. Now we're living in what I think of as the Alternate Seth & Roberta Universe. In this alternate plane, we're a fresh-faced young (looking) couple, new to the neighborhood, with a baby obviously on the way, and a cute little dog, and we're moving into this spiffy new ultra-modern high-rise apartment building in an up-and-coming neighborhood, because we got a good deal on it, and it's near our offices, and we love new, modern buildings with game rooms and roof decks and free WiFi, and chatting up all the front desk folks, and we're saving up for a house.....It's so weird. This place is so not us. But who cares, because we have a KITCHEN and LAUNDRY. ALL IN ONE PLACE. And CABLE. Did I mention CABLE? WITH HBO AND A DVR. Even if the common areas do have furniture that looks like this:
These chairs? So not comfortable, in case you were wondering. Do not recommend flopping down in one, especially with the loosening joints and extra 25 lbs. of 7+ months of pregnancy.
(Interestingly, one of the building managers and his young wife actually ARE the alternate universe us - they have a little dog, and her due date is a couple of weeks after mine. So far, they are the only other people we have seen who also actually live in this building. Something like 20 of 200 available units are rented. Our whole floor is vacant, except for us.)
Seth's parents also rented furniture and dishes and things for the apartment, so that they will be comfortable whenever we vacate it. I had no idea you could do such a thing, but I guess these things are needed for corporate apartments all the time. The furniture is comfortable, if awfully....beige.
And in the category of Just Because We Needed More Shit Going On, we discovered earlier this week that our external hard drive had been erased. You know, the hard drive that we bought to be the super-safe backup of all our laptop data? After a whole lot of visits to the Mac Genius Bar to get our laptop issues fixed, we discovered that our laptop would no longer recognize our external hard drive. We'd plug it in, and the Mac acted like it didn't even exist. Which, well, it didn't, since it was BLANK. We think it got fried in the same thunderstorm that killed our modem. Despite the fact that the hard drive was plugged into a very expensive surge protector. Apparently, just the surrounding electrical surging energy and whatnot can be enough to wipe the data. Fortunately, the worst thing we lost was all of our music, most of which we still have on CDs, and the rest of which is still on the Mac. It just means many hours of downloading CDs again. (Breastfeeding project, perhaps? Put baby on boob. Insert CD. Click. Wait for both downloads to finish. Repeat.) So, we bought the SUV-version of a hard drive and backed up what we still have on our Mac. And we will never be keeping this hard drive plugged in or near a lot of other electronic stuff. Ever. And making more DVD data backups, so we can be sure to save priceless, high-quality, flattering photos like these forever:
Some fat guy we saw at a Red Sox- Orioles game once.