Well, we officially live in Tacoma, WA! Everything we own (minus our lawnmower and a carpet cleaner) is now in our house, and the rental has been scrubbed and swept and mopped and fixed! A week from today we’ll hand over our keys and say “Boy Bye” to the awful landlords and the decrepit house.
The last few days have been long and exhausting. On Wednesday night we did our best to get all the last minute things packed up, get as much as we could in our two cars (let’s just say that hard stops would have resulted in some injuries in the car without a kid seat . . .) and haul the furniture to the living room. The goal was to reduce the time needed by the movers to save $$. Thursday morning we were all up early to get final final details done, then MIL drove me to work, then on to the house in Tacoma. L, the dogs and Ansel stayed behind to meet the movers, the followed behind. I sat through an excruciating 4 hour ‘customer service’ training then L picked me up to go home and help.
Thursday afternoon and Friday were the usual unpacking + Target runs + hanging window treatments, all with the help of a two year old who is so excited by the boxes and boxes of things he doesn’t usually have access to and so uninterested in his own toys. Of course, L and her mom are also working on about a million other little improvements (hanging ceiling fans, fixing chairs and drawers, installing screens) that are only hindered by a small human with a deep love for battery powered drills.
On Saturday, MIL and I cleaned the hell out of the rental house. It took almost 8 hours to do everything: scrub the kitchen, including cleaning the oven and fridge; scrub the bathroom; sweep, mop, scrub baseboards and walls of all rooms; pick up last round of dog poo, mow, weedwack and rake; fix the closet door (we removed it to make room for our dresser), put a new lock on the shed, fix the kitchen drawer. That house is cleaner than it was when we got it and I’ll be damned if those awful landlords keep a single cent of our deposit. It was one of the sweatiest, grossest hardworking days of my life. My MIL does not stop. She really puts of “GO” in virgo and is single-mindedly focused on the task at hand. This has been an incredible asset and we would be up shit creek without her but OMG it’s so exhausting trying to keep pace.
Sunday I decided we were taking the morning off, so we went to the Food Truck Festival in the big downtown park in Tacoma. We ate BBQ (L and MIL), chicken strips (guess who!), and Limpia (So good. If you haven’t had it yet, go find you some), scored donuts for later and Ansel even got to decorate a mini-cake with more sugar encrusted shapes, sprinkles and frosting than should be allowed on a single pastry.
The park also has a great playground and spray pad. We forgot to bring a suit and towel, but there’s really no stopping A from getting in the water, so I stripped him down and let him go in his diaper. I felt 10% more trashy than usual but whatever . . .He really wanted to take his diaper off and just go in the buff, so it was pretty impressive that I managed to convince him to keep it on.
I also bargained myself a nap on Sunday afternoon . . .I thought L and her mom might keep working, which would have given me a tiny case of guilt, but they ended up snoozing too so all was well. We finished up the evening installing a screen door and two ceiling fans.
I also cooked a real meal in our new kitchen and OMG it makes such a difference to have a roomy, well functioning, bright kitchen. This year I have felt like we really fell down on making good food and have defaulted way more than I like to convenience foods, take out, etc. The kitchen in the rental was the worst. A dead-end galley with almost no counter space, an old low to the ground fridge that was impossible to get into and seemed to suck away all of our groceries, a teeny tiny dishrack . . .all of it just added up and made cooking feel so hard. I’m excited to get back to cooking delicious foods at home. My plan for this weekend is to do some freezer meal prep – SO PLZ LEAVE LINKS TO YOUR FAVES!!!
And now, here we are on Monday. L and her mom are finishing up curtains and fans, and when I get home, I’ll help MIL install the garage storage racks so we can keep all of our general ‘stuff’ somewhere. Next on the list is clearing the rest of the boxes so we have room to bring a baby home . . .
Which we’ll be doing in two and a half weeks give or take. . .
The growth scan/MFM appointment showed that Tiny is still a really little guy. His head is still in the more normal range (I think 30th or so) but the rest of his measurements are pretty small. He has grown since the last scan, but is still 2 + weeks behind. They did a Doppler study of the umbilical cord which continues to look good, and from what they can tell, the placenta is looking ok too – though they suspect that it is some sort of placental deficiency that is causing the growth issue, since genetics have been basically ruled out. Because of this, the MFM wants to induce at or around 37 weeks, as long as he keeps doing ok (obviously, if something were to go south, they’d deliver early)
L had a non stress test this morning, which she and Tiny passed with flying colors. At the OB appointment right after, the OB was much warmer to us both and even made some joke about himself when he asked if L might want a tubal if she had a c-section (side note: I appreciated knowing they DO tubal ligations, see previous post) and he let us know we’d be scheduling the induction at our next appointment with him, in two weeks.
L has another growth scan and MFM appointment on Wednesday. The following week, its NST, MFM and growth scan, and the week following will be NST, MFM, growth scan AND OB. And that takes us to 37 weeks. I feel like we are creeping up the big hill on the roller coaster and we are about to go careening down . . .
The last bit of news is that my dog, Eliot – who I got as a 23 year old baby punk queer – is not doing super well. On Friday, he got up and moved from our bedroom to the hall, then laid down and started whimpering. He wouldn’t get up or really move at all, so we decided to take him to an emergency vet. She thinks it is likely he has a slipped disc in his neck, but the only way to definitely diagnose that is through an MRI that will cost upwards of $1500 (for the diagnostic test, no treatment) and, if it IS a slipped disc, spine surgery would be indicated. She also said, however, that some dogs do fine on a pain management routine as long as there isn’t any further damage that would cause the disc to rupture.
I HATE that there is even a question about money + care, but of course there is . . .and, too, there is the question of subjecting a 13 year old dog to surgery where the outcomes are unknown. For now we have decided to give him the pain medications and keep watching. He seems to be doing better than he was – more active, using his neck more – though he is still not his usual spry self. (In case you didn’t know, spaniels basically NEVER slow down) I absolutely won’t extend his suffering to avoid my own grief, but there isn’t quite an easy answer, is there?
He’s been my companion for longer than anyone, really. Longer than any girlfriend or wife, more constant than even my longest friends. We grew up together – he went from puppy to dog to old man dog, I went from bookstore barista to burgeoning queer social worker to grudgingly adult health educator. He doesn’t get the same screen time the bulldogs do – he’s not the charismatic megafauna of the family like they are. But he is sweet, quite anxious, very loyal. And, I have been avoiding coming to terms with his age for quite some time now. I do not want to face his mortality, especially not in the midst of a move and a new baby – so much beginning to be complicated by an end – but I don’t get to choose.