Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Road trip: Leg 1

Around 11am on Friday (moving day), Mister M said, "God, we'll be lucky to get out of here by four!" I scoffed. 

We left at 5. With a seven-hour drive ahead of us.

It was a beautiful last trip across the Verrazano Bridge. Because only a crazy person would attempt to go through Manhattan on a Friday evening to one of the tunnels. So we stayed south and crossed Staten Island instead--it was slow, of course, but actually not nearly as bad as it could have been.

We stopped in rural New Jersey for a hearty dinner, and pushed on through. It got late and we got tired, and we knew we couldn't make it all the way. So we stopped in Northern Virginia, about two hours north of our destination. It was beautiful to get a good night's rest.

Having an extra day meant that we had time for a detour through Shenandoah National Park. A couple years ago we got one of those national park passes, and we were excited to get another stamp. :) We drove for about 30 miles down Skyline Drive and enjoyed the greenery.

We spent the rest of the weekend with Mister M's parents, resting and relaxing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leaving New York

We did it. 


It's over. 

 We're gone.

Moving day was a loooong day. We got up by 7 to work on some last minute stuff. Movers and POD arrived and got started by 9. They were done between 1230-1. Then we spent two-three hours cleaning up, bringing down trash, recycling, old furniture type stuff. It was probably too much for me, but jeez, I really had no choice, otherwise it would have taken even longer.
I loaded up the car--I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to keep with us, and it was a little too much. We did some photos/video of the empty apartment, and I teared up. Mister M returned our keys. We did a final run to Goodwill and then headed out for good at about530pm.
We drove down the main drag past our building again. "Useless Desire" played on shuffle, and I teared up some more. We'll never live there again; life will never be like this again. I'm sure I'll be back in NYC in the future, but I'll never be a resident, we won't have that amazing apartment and view (top photo), and it will feel different.

I've realized that it still doesn't feel real, that we're not going back. The next two weeks-ish of road trip are this kind of in-between/transition period, which could just as easily be a regular vacation. But at the end we'll be in a new house, and maybe then I'll start really getting used to our new reality. Until then I still seem to tear up thinking about this whole thing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

apparently no sometimes doesn't mean no anymore

I dislike politics and news, because it upsets me and I feel there's nothing I can do about it. I dislike writing about it here because a) I'm not terribly articulate; I just get kind of outraged; b) everyone and their mom already does on Real Blogs; and c) sometimes current events seem too temporal for something like a blog. And really, d) no one cares what I think or say.

But this Todd Akin hullabaloo has gotten everyone in a twist, rightly so, and I've been stewing about it, and reading lots of great articles about it. So I figure just for the sake of posterity and keeping a record and trying to sort out my rage-y thoughts. Happily, others have pretty much nailed the things I want to say.

From some actual doctors. You know, with legitimate medical training.

More ACTUAL SCIENCE about the topic of female reproduction (I really don't understand how a major political party continues to speak about matters of health while being totally, completely, willingly IGNORANT about actual FACTS). 
"It is not only normal to know multiple sexual assault survivors, it is normal in our culture for women to be afraid of rape and on the defensive around men for gigantic portions of their lives. And so, even for women who have never and will never be raped, it is a fear-inducing, triggering reminder that our safety is never fully in our own hands."


Just Think No

"“The biological facts are perhaps inconvenient, but whether the egg meets the sperm is a matter of luck or prevention,” says Dr. Paul Blumenthal, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology who directs the Stanford Program for International Reproductive Education and Services. “If wishing that ‘I won’t get pregnant right now’ made it so, we wouldn’t need contraceptives.”
When you wish upon a rape."

"Yet Todd Akin is right. He shouldn’t have to get out of the United States Senate race in Missouri simply for saying what he believes. He reflects a severe stance on abortion that many in his party embrace, including the new vice presidential candidate.
“I talk about one word, one sentence, one day out of place, and, all of a sudden, the entire establishment turns on you,” Representative Akin complained to the conservative radio talk-show host Dana Loesch on Tuesday as he spurned pleas from Mitt Romney and other G.O.P. big shots to abort his bid. He continued: “They just ran for cover at the first sign of any gunfire, and I think we need to rush to the gunfire.”
He’s right again. Other Republicans are trying to cover up their true identity to get elected. Even as party leaders attempted to lock the crazy uncle in the attic in Missouri, they were doing their own crazy thing down in Tampa, Fla., by reiterating language in their platform calling for a no-exceptions Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother."

My friend Moxie puts it all so well:
"As the Akin story unfolded, however, it became apparent that he does know medical facts. He's just using words to try to change them. "Legitimate" rape doesn't mean anything except that Todd Akin wants to decide for himself if you have the right to your own body, or if it's completely fine that someone raped you. 
Make no mistake: This isn't about Todd Akin, or Paul Ryan, "misspeaking." This is about attempting to change the language so that he controls the dialogue and we are disenfranchised. We, all of us, women of all parties and religious thoughts and ways of speaking, our children, and the men who love us."

(What I wrote on facebook:) The only problem with this is the a man like would never and will never try to imagine the horrors of something like rape. He doesn't care. He must have some female relatives that he cares about, but he wouldn't take a few minutes to think
about it from their perspective, or how he would want to protect them from a terrible experience like that, or how he would want them to have freedom and control OVER THEIR OWN BODIES. And by "he" I don't just mean this clown--I mean all the conservative men that have been trying to legislate, define, restrict, CONTROL what women do with their bodies (or have done to them by men). This is only a glimpse into the reality of the conservative mindset that's been at work for the past two years. Here's a list of current reproductive laws: http://


More about that mindset:

"And, as his comments about “legitimate rape” demonstrate, Todd Akin has abandoned morality.
Here’s how this works: Moralism seeks to blame all suffering on moral failure. If you are suffering, then you must have done something to deserve such suffering."
"I also want to thank him for revealing the contempt and mistrust that lies at the heart of so much anti-choice rhetoric. The contempt for women who have sex for pleasure and accidentally get pregnant. The mistrust of women that feeds the belief that we lie about being raped so we can get abortions, and the mistrust of women that justifies the idea that we don’t know when we’ve been raped and that politicians get to decide that for us.
I want to thank him for demonstrating the complete disregard for women that is necessary for a person to want to ban abortion. Notice that in his response, he mentioned the hypothetical rapist, and the “child,” but he didn’t mention the woman. The woman who has been raped and is now pregnant and will now be forced to give birth to her rapist’s baby because the government says so. Because what she wants isn’t relevant in this situation.

I want to thank Mr. Akin for highlighting the logical inconsistency of being anti-choice and anti-Affordable Care Act. You’ll rail all day long about how Obamacare infringes on the American citizen’s personal freedom to make healthcare decisions, but you’re happy to infringe on an American woman’s personal freedom to make reproductive healthcare decisions? How exactly do you hold both those ideas in your head without your head exploding?"
There are Republican women who are just as disgusted as Democrat women: 

 "If you and your pals are so concerned with jobs and the economy then how come there have been over 1100 pieces of anti-women legislation brought up across the country in 2011 and over 900 pieces so far this year and NOT ONE SINGLE TIME has a JOB bill been voted on in the U.S. House! How many times has a vote against women and our right to autonomy been voted on? Oh and by the way didn’t the U.S. House also vote 33 TIMES to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

You and your friends have now attacked every single group of people in this country except the religious right. Do you seriously think that the Republicans are going to be able to win in this country when you marginalize and alienate voters who don’t think like you?"
 Unfortunately, there are also Republican women who not only side with Akin, but believe the garbage he spouts also. I find this depressing and quite frankly gross. It's probably cliche to say that women are selling each other out, but truly, I don't understand how any woman could in good conscience support ideas (let alone laws! How about what Jan Brewer's Arizona is doing?! Good lord!) that hurt women and take away the freedom that generations of women before us have fought so very hard for! 


As always, the Hairpin has fantastic comments:
 "Little known medical fact: in the case of "legitmate rape" (ie all the correct rape paperwork is filed, in triplicate) a tiny Gandalf appears in the birth canal and waves his tiny wand and yells "YOU SHALL NOT PAAAASSS" to the sperm or "Balrog" in this equation."

Finally, let's end with some more laughter so we stop the angry crying:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

belly button

See? There's a lighter ring of skin around my belly button!
 (23 weeks today--other page has been updated) 

Bonus photo from the roof tonight: 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

this body

Lots of changes are afoot in the last few months, and I figured it would be good to keep track of them for posterity. So here's a round-up of what's already happened, and I'm sure there will be more changes as we go on. I'm almost 23 weeks right now, so there is a LOT of time and belly growth still to come!

The biggest and most recent development is that I can feel all kinds of movement. Kicks, bumps, rolls, nudges, who knows what they're doing in there, but I can feel them. Also, the movement is strong enough to be felt by other people if they put their hand on my belly! Even more so, you can SEE IT. My skin kind of jumps out when they budge up against there. So weird!!

I've always been a very fast walker and literally cannot move very slowly with slow/dawdling walkers. It makes walking around Manhattan frustrating, and I've learned to push and shove on the subway with the best of them. However, being pregnant slowed me WAY down. (And I might add that because I am considerate of others, I always tried to walk to the side so as not to block the way for faster people.) Especially in late April and May, when things were still new, I couldn't walk any faster than a slowpoke! Any faster and I would just feel icky. There were days on our trip in Europe that poor Mister M had to barely shuffle with me (but I'm glad that he did :D).

Thankfully, in the last month or two that has gotten better, and I'm much faster again, at least on flat ground (but not as fast as I used to be). Going up a flight of stairs, however, it's like I'm in slow motion! Just can't go any faster and I don't know why. And actually, I go pretty slow down stairs too.

On the treadmill, I used to walk at 4mph (which on those machines is the 'jog' setting), but now I can get up to 2.7mph and with a small incline too. On the elliptical, I used to warm up at level 5 and then gradually move up to 10 or 12. I went to the gym a few weeks ago, and had to warm up on 1, and then made my way up to 5! Not very impressive.

In the last few weeks though, I've gotten more tired and unwieldy, and decided to let go of the whole idea of working out. I've been getting a lot of little aches and pains, and twisting and folding/bending is more and more uncomfortable. So no more gym or pretending that I will go to the gym. I do have occasional walks though and those usually seem to be ok. My mom likes to remind me of all the pregnant women she sees in her classes working out and being superstars, and unfortunately that's just not going to be me. Technically this is a high-risk pregnancy, after all! Don't I have a good excuse to be lazier? :)

Speaking of lazy, sitting is what I do the most of lately. Getting up and down is more difficult though. I have to use my hands to push myself a little, and overall there's definitely more effort involved.

Sleeping has been a more uncomfortable for the last month plus. I'm a side sleeper, and turn back and forth during the night. Well, as this belly has grown, and presumably my abdominal muscles have completely atrophied and spread out, I can no longer move myself quickly from the core. I have to sort of turn (and often grunt) in bits and fits now.

It's hard to eat enough. A few weeks ago I got hit by some seriously powerful hunger--like an endless desperate gnawing of hunger. It's less desperate now, but the gnawing can come on very quickly. When we were out west, we went out for dinner with some friends. I was already starving, so when I heard there would be a 20-30 minute wait til we got seated...well, I knew that just wasn't an option for me. So I left Mister M there and I went to the McDonald's next door for a snack! Classy, right? But hey, gotta keep health in mind. And don't worry, I still ate a big dinner and dessert at the real restaurant!

Like I mentioned, bending/folding is uncomfortable. My belly isn't even that big yet, so I'm sure it will be impossible soon enough. Currently I have to put on shoes and socks sideways, which is weird. I guess I will need to shop for some slip-ons come fall! And I think I won't be able to shave my lower legs in awhile either.

A few months ago I bought two pairs of maternity pants, before I definitely needed them. Happily the weather has been good enough that I've been living in skirts and dresses for the last couple months and didn't need to bother anything at all with pants. I did decide to wear them on the plane back to NYC...and I was not a fan. The band thing was uncomfortable, and it felt like they kept slipping down, especially in the back. I had to keep hiking them up! I felt like I needed a belt or at least some belt loops to tug on and keep the pants in place!

I was happy to see that at least I looked pretty good in the jeans. My hips have grown two inches wider, but overall I'm not fatter or anything. I've gained at least 15 pounds I think, probably more by now. (I don't have a scale and only used to weigh myself at the gym. Since I haven't been there in about a month, now I have only the doctor visit weigh-in to go by.) But it's all in the belly and chest! And also my fingers, which are swollen and a little painful. I took off my rings for good last week. 

Speaking of belly, sometimes I forget I have it. On the plane, I tried to scoot past a large man in the aisle, and bumped my tummy right against a seat. This week at a restaurant, I kept bumping against the table. Whoops!

I know that when one is pregnant enough, one's belly button flattens and then pops out like a turkey timer button thing. What I didn't realize was how the spreading works. My belly button seems a pretty deep innie, but as it's spreading out, that means there is basically new skin that's never been outside before, surrounding my belly button. It's noticeably whiter than the surrounding skin, and remarkably softer. It's essentially a small ring of newborn baby skin! It's all VERY weird! I've never heard or seen anyone talk about this or show this before, have you?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Firsts of the lasts

The day we left for house-hunting on the West Coast, I had brunch with a friend who's also my former supervisor. We chatted and caught up and rolled our eyes about work BS. When we parted I realized that it is very possible I won't see her again. She moved out of NYC last year (I was jealous!), and I don't know when I'll be back in New York even to visit.

Mister M will be back at least a few times, for work, and for fun (like the New Yorker Festival in early October, I hope!). I, however, will be unable to travel anywhere after our trip. I'm hoping that we can do some road trips in our new area (coastline to the west! mountains to the east! different mountains to the north!), but I have no idea how comfortable or uncomfortable I'll be in a car. Once two babies arrive, I won't be going anywhere at all for quite some time. I figure it'll be at least next fall until we attempt to go somewhere all four of us on a plane.

So this next week is really the end for me. The end of life in New York, the end of this life I've had for the last eight years. I'm tearing up even now, and I'm not exactly sure why. (I could blame hormones, but I've always been a crier.)

This is a big deal. Moving across the country. Changing everything. A really big deal. It's been something I've thought about and talked about and yes, wanted for years. (Which has been obnoxious. I'm sorry.) But the reality is different somehow.

When I left home to come here in 2004, it was an adventure, I had a job sort of waiting for me (NYC Teaching Fellows). I didn't know anyone (the two people I knew both moved away within six months), but it was still kind of exciting and certainly new. Also, I was really freaking busy a lot of the time (which didn't stop me from being lonely most of the time). But I was in constant contact with my mom and dad, and I visited home at least twice that first year. So leaving home wasn't difficult, because I knew I would be back periodically, and that things would change (more and more houses where there used to be fields or forests), but the people would still be there and I would still know them and if all else failed, I could go back and still be okay.

But I came here, made a life here, became a real adult here. Made and lost some friends. Found a career and left it. However, there isn't anything or anyone who will always be here for me if I wanted to visit or come back for good (not like I want to!). Sure, I still know a few people, but the deep bonds I used to have with folks are kind of gone, or the people themselves have left. (For example, I've lost touch with my two favorite school friends from First Middle School; they both moved south, got married and had babies.) There will be nothing here for me anymore. New York City will move on like I was never here. Young people will keep arriving with stars in their eyes and empty wallets. Yuppies will continue bleating about how NYC is such a great place to raise children, as they fight for sidewalk space in their posh neighborhoods and heft strollers up subway stairs and wait years for a preschool waitlist spot.

I've never felt like a New Yorker. New Yorkers are people who love it here, who think this is the best place ever, who want to live here for their foreseeable future. I've always felt temporary and temporal, but I suppose that even I can still feel bereft for leaving the place I've been for the longest period of my adult life.

Maybe I'm scared about such a big change? Nervous--I'm sure I am. In general apparently I'm just plain emotional when I really think about it.

I'm starting to feel those "lasts" piling up around me. The last time I go to book club here, even though we'll keep in touch by email. The last time I see the group of friends that used to be real friends, in a Brooklyn apartment, even though I'll still see them online. The last time I go to the local library. The last time I take a photo of the skyline from our rooftop or the sunset from our window. The last time I wrestle with the shower nozzle switch that gunks up. The last time I drop by the Key Food across the street for something we forgot. Some of these things are stupid, but by virtue of being the last, I want to hold on to them and make them meaningful and deep.

People have been asking if we/I am excited for the move, and I'm sure I will be once it happens and we get out there. I think I'm a little overwhelmed at this reality of packing up our whole lives to leave everything. There are so many piles, so many boxes, so many memories.

I haven't been packing every day, partly because I've been busy with other things (and television), but partly because even the banality of moving hasn't made the shock of moving more real. We were talking late last night about how much we need to have done by when.

Our move out date is next Friday morning. I was saying we could just go out to dinner on Thursday night, since we probably will have packed or tossed most food-related things. That Thursday night will be our last night in New York. EVER. For ever, for real. We will never live here again. Our local places will still be there, but we won't. We can't randomly decide to go to our favorite pizza restaurant in the East Village or get some amazing black cherry mojitos at our favorite Cali-Mex spot in the Village. Those places will stay, but we won't. We'll visit, and we'll return to our old haunts, but things will have changed, and we will have changed, and it will all be so bittersweet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bigger and bigger

I've been taking weekly photos for my belly progress--it's really interesting to see little changes week by week! For example, within the last week, looking at photos, my tummy doesn't look a lot bigger (though it is, by a full inch!), it's rounded out noticeably. Not something I saw or would have seen without the comparisons.

I uploaded all of them so far in a separate page and will continue to update them each week. So the photos will all be in one place, and you can find it in a 'page' there on the right!

So it's there if you want to see it, but this way I don't have to clutter regular posts with photos.

I don't want to make this a pregnancy-only blog, but there are definitely several babies-related posts percolating in my head. And of course I'll be documenting the moving and relocating processes! All kinds of crazy changes going on this fall-hopefully it will be good blog fodder. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

We got it!!

On Wednesday, we saw two more houses, but then we signed the lease on House #6!

We were almost torn between that and the townhouse (#8). The townhouse was so pretty, but it was also more expensive, and there wasn't much of any outdoor space (of any quality, anyway).

But we got the big house that we liked too! I think it will be great, because it's not actually too big; we won't need to scramble to furnish it because of too much open space. Our existing furniture will work nicely, and of course we'll need a few more/different kind of things to fill it all out, but we'll have a good start.

To recap the space: three bedrooms, three full baths, GIANT garage, basement storage with washer/dryer, beautiful period charm in the living room, good size kitchen with eat-in area, dishwasher, front lawn, porch-gazebo-type thing, view of Mt Hood from the master bedroom!

This is a HUGE relief. To be in a new city for less than four days and try to find a quality place to live for the next year...well, there was no guarantee that it would happen. We really lucked out being first in line on both of those places--and luck really is a lot of it. (The other big piece is Mister M's financial situation, which is great, and I feel so lucky for that too.)

Now that we have a future address all settled, it's time to buckle down for the rest of the work: finalizing the move plan and timeline, and then, of course...the packing.

I'm up to 15 boxes packed. We've got most of the books packed or ready to give away, some clothes packed, my yarn basket packed in a big box, and a bit of other things from shelves around the apartment. So it's a good start. But there is A LOT OF STUFF left everywhere that needs to be organized and boxed up. We've been a bit lazy and procrastinate-y on really getting going...but now we really have to get our shit together and get it mostly done.

Two weeks til moving day!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Day 3 and flagging

Four more houses today. We decided to stop scouting for more houses, since we only have one more full day to look anyway. It's starting to get a little tiring, thinking about neighborhoods, prices, timing.

House #8 was a brand-new townhouse--beautiful everything, tons of closet space, amazing master bathroom, location in a decent, 'transitioning' neighborhood, not a lot of real outdoor space, and also the most expensive that we've seen. Overall this would be our second choice.

House #9 was basically a shithole. Terrible location, small rooms, all the materials super flimsy. Super cheap, but we both agreed that we would not actually accept money to live there, let alone pay anything.

House #10 looked and smelled like a frat house, though that's not the house's fault. Good space, finished basement, working wood fireplace, great location, but also too expensive.

House #11 was in a crappy location and was just old. The kitchen and bathroom need to be completely updated. The space wasn't bad, though two of the four bedrooms were teensy.

We have five more appointments for tomorrow, but also maybe a possibility of getting one of the houses we've already seen...keep crossing your fingers!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Houses: Day Two!

Wow, this ended up being a whirlwind of a day! We viewed five properties and did a lot of driving around. I'm starting to recognize a lot of streets, but I still have no idea where I am geographically. Mister M is doing all the navigating (via phone GPS), so he's starting to get an understanding of the layout of the town. Man, the Google Maps team has a lot of work to do in Portland--we have found several glaring errors--incorrect exit signs, t-intersections where they show four-ways. And we do a lot of turning around and circling back because we end up missing about half the turns we're supposed to take. I guess there's something to be said for most of the NYC area where the streets are laid out in an orderly fashion and set the same distance apart!

House #3 was really cute and charming with period details like built-ins and paneling. It was small, but had a perfect little office area, along with a gorgeous little backyard. Not a lot of closet space, but a huge basement. We were very interested and eager! Sadly, we heard back later that the landlord went with another applicant.

House #4 was kind of a joke. It was teeny, though it had a nice yard and also a washer/dryer in the basement. Oddly, there was also a free-standing enclosed shower stall in the basement! Apparently the landlord has been too lazy to install a showerhead in the main bathroom of the house and just put one in randomly in the basement. Um...no.

House #5 was okay condition/size-wise, but in a great location, but less than a year lease and over our planned budget.

House #6 was AMAZING. Gorgeous, beautiful, quiet location, though not in a walkable place (it is very near one of the big famous park areas). The house has been updated beautifully while retaining some lovely period detail, like the windows and parts of the basement. HUGE garage, THREE full bathrooms, decent closet space, very cute little front yard. It's a bit over our original budget, but of course this is still notably less than what we pay now in Brooklyn, and for the amount and quality of house, it's so completely worth it! We told the landlord that we were very interested and tried to leave some kind of deposit or something, but he's got a few more showings. Cross your fingers for us!

House #7 was pretty nice. Smaller main floor, not a lot of closet space, small and oddly-shaped kitchen, only one bathroom (which most of the older homes have), but overall the layout of the house was decent. Everything has been updated and modernized (in terms of utilities), and it has another great backyard, plus an older garage. The best part was that they finished the large basement as a play area for their young kids and also some office space. The location is decent, near two parks. The price is the same as #6, which I don't think is really worth it...but overall it's a good little house.

To end the day, we had a lovely dinner with one of the couples we already know here--good food and great talk!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

the hunt begins

We arrived in Portland this afternoon and will be here for a few days looking for a place to live. The drive down from Seattle was gorgeous--it's a hot day today, and seeing blue sky and evergreen trees never gets old. We had a view of Mt Hood as we crossed the Columbia into Oregon--I can't wait to go explore closer!

We looked at two houses in a row, and we drove by two future viewings.

House #1 is an older home, very much looks stuck in the 1960s. It's a quiet neighborhood but not super close to lots of things (and south of the 'desirable' part of that area, though it's not in a bad area at all)(Trader Joe's less than a mile away! too far to walk though, maybe). The space was great; it has everything we need/want. Lots of closets, fenced in backyard with a big shady tree, good size bedrooms, a garage, air conditioning, partial hardwood floors, huge but very old bathroom. It's cheaper than we budgeted. Mister M hates that it's older and doesn't like the location.

House #2 is in a good location in a desirable area. Quiet, shady street, but directly next to a high school. The house has a small, crappy kitchen and small living room, two small bedrooms, an upper floor loft type room, a basement with washer/dryer, street parking, stuffy on hot days. It's priced at the top end of what we budgeted. I hate the layout and space; it feels choppy and like a college student rental.

So Mister M is a lot pickier than I am about location (which is not a huge surprise), but I think depending on what we see and how quickly things go here, he may have to compromise a bit. My opinion is that space is going to matter a lot, especially for me, as I'll be 'trapped' in there with two little ones all the time! He will be able to work from home or a coffee shop or an office share, so he'll have options and opportunities to be out and about. 

We drove by places we'll see later in a totally different neighborhood, and from the outside they are both really cute. We stopped by a random cafe nearby and had a great experience. Friendly staff, free wifi, tasty lunch food and drinks.

Overall there are lots of cute houses and neighborhoods--we hope we can find a good space in a good location! But we may have to settle for a not-perfect location, and I hope Mister M can accept that if we get to that. He says he will, that House #1 would be a backup if we don't find anything better. And I surely hope we do! But we may not; this rental market is a quick one.

People here drive SLOW OH MY GOD HURRY UP. There are a lot of stoplights and we seemed to hit most of them when we were late going to the second house. Oh, and it's really difficult to turn left! There are certainly plenty of cute, local eateries, which will be fun to explore in the coming months. It's definitely a car city, but there's a big bike culture here too, which I hope Mister M will take advantage of, since he loves biking around New York City (and I do mean around the city--he rides 60-80 miles around multiple boroughs when he goes out!).

We have two viewings tomorrow, and we should start researching stuff about doctors and hospitals and things...