Last summer, we went on bike rides and hung out with friends, took a road trip, and embarked on our first Central American road trip to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. Thus far, this summer has been vastly different: I was pretty much comatose throughout my first trimester. To make matters worse, I accepted a full-time position with the New York City Teaching Fellows for the month of July prior to the discovery of Baby Taco. This position included several ten-hour training sessions on Saturdays. Needless to say, between teaching full-time, training on the weekends, and being sick 24/7, very little fun was had in June.
In July, I began working full-time and was completely exhausted by the time I arrived home. Going out with ST or friends, cooking dinner, or even walking Leela was totally out of the question. Sometime mid-July, our landlords also announced that they had sold the house and were closing on the deal. Side note: We’d expected this since they had offered to sell us their home on two separate occasions. There were no hard feelings between us at all; they’re very good people. Since I’ve made the decision to go back to school in the Fall and ST will probably enroll in graduate school next summer, the downpayment we’d planned on using to buy a home this summer will be put towards our education instead. So we began a feverish search for a new rental. “New” being the operative word. ST spent his two weeks of vacation scouring Craigslist.
If you’ve ever searched for an apartment in NYC, you know that it’s depressing, to say the least. Broker’s fees, astronomically high rents, and grimy little apartments. An added stress was that we needed to be in a good school district because Future ST and Future Carol cannot go through another move, unless its for our forever home. Moving is mighty, mighty sucky.
Then, I discovered that my topical steroids were potentially harming my baby and thus began my topical steroid withdrawal journey.
Finally, August. After weeks of searching and calling on our own, once again, my dad came to the rescue with his amazing Chinese networking skills. He found us a newly renovated, spacious apartment with two bedrooms, a large terrace a few minutes away from work in Bensonhurst.
The move from Sunset Park to Bensonhurst was made possible by my immensely supportive family: Kim and Tommy came over to fold clothes and help organize our things, my parents hired movers for us (BEST DECISION, EVER!), and Melody made sure Leela and I were safely tucked away at her apartment during the move with dinner and TV.
ST loves Bensonhurst and we both lived here when we were dating. Its close to a great dog park, my sisters, and is family-friendly. Plus, our landlords are awesome. His wife just had a baby girl two weeks ago! So Baby Taco will have a friend downstairs.
We officially moved in on July 31 (since moving mid-month was not convenient for us, our landlords said we could move in anytime in July and pay rent on August 1 – so nice. No broker’s fee or credit checks – just a deposit/security of the first month’s rent. Damn, I love honest people.) and we’re slowly getting everything together.
To clarify: “getting everything together” means the bed, Internet, and utilities are set up and we have a stocked fridge. Everything else has been on the back burner until we have the time and energy to tackle it. So, most of the rooms looked like this up until last week:
Slowly, we worked our way to this:
Believe it or not, this is our first dining table. For the past five years, ST and I have been table-less. We’ve mostly eaten on the couch in the living room, in front of the TV. It feels amazing to be able to sit at a proper table to type this post. At the beginning of summer when I thought we were staying at our old apartment, I was a little sad that Baby Taco wouldn’t be able to use a high chair because we had no table! I’m glad that problem’s solved. It’s amazing the little things city dwellers give up.
By the way, we use our living room as a guest room! We got this sleeper sofa from IKEA and called it a day. Sorry, Texas family. This will have to do for now. And by now I mean the next 3-4 years. It’s super comfy though! Almost everyone who visits falls asleep on it.
Anyway. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been playing stay-at-home mom to Leela and it has been glorious. My skin has been healing faster than I dared to hope and the best part is that I’ve been getting lots of visitors! Friends and family sure know how to make pregnant ol’ me feel special and loved. My sisters live less than 5 minutes away now and are over all the time. Despite the distance from public transportation, friends have stopped by with lunch and gifts. As a matter of fact, my cousin Joanie showed up today with her two little ones, a giant bag of groceries from Trader Joe’s and a bouquet of flowers for me.
What a blessing this unsummer has proven to be. No luxurious vacations (though we are heading to El Paso in two weeks for our first baby shower!) and lots of hard work but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.