Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hello Tulip Time!

I can't believe how time has flown by.  It's now been a month since we left Holland and moved back East.

I still miss Michigan, but we're slowly readjusting to our new life here. 

One day when Baby Chuck grows up, I'll tell him lots of stories about our time in Michigan.  I'll share about the kindness of mid-westerners.  I'll scare him with a gory recounting of his birth.  I'll make him laugh with tales about our sweet and grumpy Charlie. 

And I'll delight him with descriptions of that quirky festival called Tulip Time. 

Hello Tulip Time

Oh how I love that festival! If only I had learned how to dance in klompen. :)

We've caught Olympics fever

We can't stop watching the Olympics over here.  Baby Chuck especially loves gymnastics and swimming. 

Are you watching the Olympics too?

Monday, July 30, 2012

On vomitting and being a mom

This weekend Baby Chuck wasn't feeling too well.  We visited a cousin's house and after lunch he vomited several times...on hubby.  Then, we drove up to New York to pick up our missing toolbox and he vomited again... this time on me.  Luckily, we had enough changes of clothing so that Baby Chuck and hubby could ride comfortably home.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any clothing to change into, so I drove an hour back home covered in chunky, yellow vomit.


Other moms can always describe this magical moment when they first felt like a real mom.  For some, it occurs when they first hold their baby in their arms.  For others, it's when they find themselves up at 3 am, soothing a crying baby who refuses to sleep.  And for others, it's when they first introduce their child to friends and family.

Baby Chuck's been in our life for almost 11 months now.  But, I still hadn't felt that special "Ah, I'm a real mommy" moment until this weekend.  As I drove through a fierce rain storm and a half-an-hour traffic jam covered in citric-smelling vomit with Baby Chuck wailing in the backseat, I felt this strong, protective, instinct growing inside of me.  It was my golden mommy moment!  I may have been a vomit-covered-mentally-cursing gal, but darn it, I was a mommy and I was going to make sure that we'd make it home ok.  

For all you mommies out there:  When did you first start feeling like a real mommy?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tiny apartment living

I don't know why, but I can't stop watching tiny apartment videos on Youtube.  It's amazing how people can living in such small spaces!

This man's apartment is probably the size of someone else's walk-in closet!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reviewing our move: Tony to the rescue

Our missing items still have not been delivered.  After calling the moving company repeatedly and getting nowhere, I was beginning to lose hope.   

But then, a couple of days ago, hubby received an email from a stranger via LinkedIn.  Here's what the email said:

Hubby's name,

I actually am not trying to connect with you.  I recently moved to NY and in one of my boxes, I found a small plastic box that included a lot of bike gear, two recorders and an envelope with your name.  I would like to return them to their rightful owner.

- Tony 


Can you believe it?  The moving company had placed our toolbox in someone else's box.  We had believed that it was forever lost and then this nice man contacts us.

Thank you Tony for your act of kindness.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Just in case your day feels like it's craaaawling by, here's a short video to perk you up.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This weekend

We visited our aunt and uncle's place.  Baby Chuck had a blast playing with all their toys and swimming in the pool.  Hubby and I enjoyed seeing family and eating delicious food.

Chuck liked this toy so much.  We borrowed it and brought it home with us!

Yummy!  Hello halo-halo!

All aboard!
Oops.  I think someone had an accident in the pool.

We put Chuck in a regular diaper when he went swimming.      Left:  A very full diaper      Right:  An unused diaper for comparison

Hubby and I left early because we were tired.  Baby Chuck drove himself home.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heat wave

The past couple of days have been incredibly hot and humid.   I typically dislike such warm weather. However, I'm thankful for this warm spell because it revealed something very important.  Baby Chuck normally wears long pants because we worry that he'll scratch up his legs.  (His eczema is mostly under control now, but he still gets red patches and itchy elbows and legs from time to time.) 

With 90+ degree weather outside, it seemed criminal to dress him in long pants.  So, I began dressing him in lighter and lighter clothing... until he ended up like this:

And guess what?  He didn't scratch his legs at all.
Is this the end of long pants?  
Are there shorts in his future?  
I sure hope so!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello swing

"I'm not sure if I'll like this."


"Again, again!"

"When can I play over there?"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reviewing our move: (Most) of our stuff arrives

About a week ago, the movers finally brought our stuff. 

Hubby and I were excited to unpack and put things away.  But then we started noticing that some boxes  looked a bit different than we remembered:

I don't remember packing a concave box...

or a crumpled box.  Hmmm...

We also noticed some of our furniture got chipped and cracked:

And where are our headboard, bed frame, foot board, box of tools, and car trunk cover?    Apparently still in Chicago.

So now we're contacting the company and waiting some more....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reviewing our move: Arriving at our new place

After days upon days of driving (ok, it was only two days, but it felt like forever), we finally arrived at the promised land our new apartment.  When a couple of days passed and our stuff still didn't arrive, we got worried and bombarded our movers with numerous voice messages and emails.  A day or two later, we finally reached an agent who said that he was "unable to locate our belongings" but he guessed they were "probably still in Chicago."


After some more discussion we then found out the company could probably locate our stuff and probably deliver our stuff within a week... if we paid an extra fee. 

Double grr.
Darn you, movers!  I bite my thumb at you!

After agreeing to pay the extra ransom fee, I tried to make myself feel better by cleaning.  (I know, it sounds strange, but whenever I get stressed I like organizing and cleaning things.  Maybe it helps me to feel like I have some sort of control over things?)

Baby Chuck must have been stressed too, because he was also really keen on cleaning. 

Nice job!   Stress, be gone!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reviewing our move: The pickup fiasco

What's wrong with this picture?  (Photo sneakily taken via iPod.)

Hubby and I found several moving companies online and ended up choosing a company that seemed to give us a good deal.  We chose to use professional movers to alleviate stress.  Instead, our movers caused us tons of anxiety and grief.  They seemed like nice guys, but they weren't dependable, didn't take good care of our belongings, and didn't communicate with us at all. 

The trouble all began during the pick up stage.  They were scheduled to come between 3 and 5pm. They actually arrived at 8pm and didn't leave until 1am. 

We lived in a two bedroom apartment and had all of our stuff packed.  Why did it take them five hours?  Well, first of all,  they didn't actually start loading our stuff until 9pm because they had to readjust other peoples' items.  Baby Chuck and I watched them work and we were shocked.  They tossed boxes out of the truck and onto the ground.  They stood on furniture.  They also crammed large boxes into too-small openings.

Then, they didn't bring the right tools for the job.  They couldn't take apart the bed and crib, so they asked hubby to go out and purchase the right tool.  Poor hubby had to drive out to Meijer at 10:30 pm to find what they were looking for. 

Sadly, they also didn't have have enough room in the truck for our stuff.  Instead of calling another truck to come, the movers just tied the remaining items onto the back of the truck with rope. 

While watching my bike and our mattress precariously dangling off the side of the truck at 1am, hubby and I said several silent prayers that our belonging would make it safely to our new apartment.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reviewing our move: Packing

Hubby and I finished unpacking the majority of boxes this morning.  Hooray!  Right now we're acclimating to East Coast living by eating delicious ethnic food and learning how to drive more aggressively.  We're also reflecting on our moving experience, so I figured it would be nice to write a couple of posts about that. 

We packed for days and days.  Although we donated and sold a lot of items, we still had a ton of items to pack.  I packed most of the rectangular items and left hubby with the easy task of packing oddly shaped and fragile things.  (Hee hee, I'm such a good wife like that.)     

A couple of boxes here and there slowly grew into tall unstable towers.  Soon we were surrounded by our very own city of stuff.

While we packed, life still went on.

And wouldn't you know it?  In the midst of everything, Baby Chuck began crawling forward for the first time.

Whoa.  Not so fast, spider monkey.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Goodbye Charlie

Hi everyone, it's been awhile since my last post. Our family experienced a lot of changes these past weeks.  We left Michigan, drove across country, and moved into a new place in New Jersey. But the biggest change in our life has nothing to do with our move, it has to do with Charlie.

As many of you know, Charlie has been part of our family for six years.  We adopted him from an organization in the East Village that rescues dogs on death row.  Although we were hesitant to adopt an older dog (he was eight years old), we fell in love with his sweet and spunky nature.

Last week, hubby and I made the hard decision to put Charlie down.  It broke our hearts to do so.  He was sick before we left Michigan and his health got worse after our move.

Charlie was a wonderful dog and a wonderful friend.  He loved to nap, eat cheese, and lick people's toes.  He also loved to sleep with his head on my stomach and bark at ghosts.  We were so lucky that he chose us to be his family.   

Charlie- We miss you so much.  You've left a dog shaped hole in our hearts. 


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