SJ on the Move

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SJ and Bear

Today SJ and I spent another day with Gretchen. She took us to lunch at a great breakfast place and then we did errands and finished the afternoon off at JP Licks. Today SJ was particularly attached to Bear and wanted Bear in all the pictures.

First, she watched Smooth Bear in the washing machine (a.k.a. Bear's bath). She had to hold Mamma Bear so as not to go throught Bear withdrawal.

Gretchen knows a lot of Best of Boston places. Today we went to Sound Bites in Somerville for very yummy breakfast.

SJ loves to try on big shoes and today she saw some big boots to try. She's ready for the rain!

Me, SJ and Bear enjoying ice cream at JP Licks.

SJ and her best friend.

Customer Disservice

I had a fun discussion with Frigidaire Customer Service this morning. Our dishwasher didn't come with the necessary hardware to secure it to the countertop so that it doesn't tip over when the racks are extended. So, I called the number on the sheet that said "Call this number if any parts are missing".

After going through the requisite rounds of information exchange, the customer service rep told me the hardware to keep the dishwasher from toppling over was "optional". I referred her to the instruction manual, which I'll post below:

"The dishwasher must be secured to keep it from tilting when door is
opened. Choose one of the methods described below to secure unit.
Countertop Anchoring
1. Install the Cabinet Seal Kit (Instructions included in Kit)
2. Replace Kickplate. See Figure 1
3. Adjust levelers (see Step 5) so mounting brackets touch
underside of countertop. IMPORTANT: Dishwasher must rest on
floor—do not hang from countertop. See Figure 14.
4. Tub needs to be even with the front of adjoining cabinets.
5. Screw mounting brackets firmly to countertop using screws
provided in literature packet."

I said,"Let's read the instructions together 'The dishwasher MUST be secured" and then down in step 1 "Install Cabinet Seal Kit". It does not say "Install OPTIONAL seal kit which you must order from manufacturer". It says the dishwasher must be secured, and you do that by installing the cabinet seal kit.

Her response was "Well, it doesn't say 'install the included seal kit'". I asked her "Why would they ship a dishwasher that did not have all the required parts? That's ridiculous". She told me "Some people don't need the seal kit, so it's not included". I said "That is absurd. The instructions don't say 'Install the seal kit if you need it'. Every dishwasher needs to be secured, in fact the instructions say "MUST". After several minutes of jockeying, I said "I want to speak to your supervisor RIGHT NOW!"

She put me on hold, and when she came back on she told me they were going to ship me the seal kit at no charge. Maybe next time they'll just do the right thing instead of arguing about it for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Innaugural Ride

SJ has been looking forward to riding in her bike seat for a while now and tonight was the first ride! Bear went along, too.

Out with the old, in with the new

Today we finally signed all the papers to sell our condo in Boston. After a year we now only own one home! We really love our new house, our neighbors, and the neighborhood! In fact, as I write this blog I'm thinking of another one entitled, "Top 10 Things I'll Miss About Boston" and, "Top 10 things I'll Love About Arlington!" More on that later...

For now...Good-bye, Boston...

Hello, Arlington...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

SJ enjoys nature

Today we took a little break from unpacking and organizing to accompany our friends on a nature walk through a nearby wild life habitat. SJ's favorite parts were stopping for a snack, looking at bugs, and drumming on logs with friends!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The New Couch

One of the unfortunate things about living on the second floor is figuring out how to negotiate modern things up a flight of stairs built in 1915. Since we want to be able to sit on plush, soft couches we knew we'd have to find an alternate way to get it in the house. Since many homes in this area of are of the same age with the same stair problem the furniture companies have people who can hoist things up through a window, or use a little crane (for an extra fee, of course!)

Thankfully our new sectional was "small" enough to fit through our front window and the house was easily accessed by a ladder. So, the delivery guys set up the ladder, wrapped the couch, secured it with straps, and then one pushed and 2 pulled it right in. They really made it look easy and withen 10 minutes SJ was jumping for joy. She hasn't even put up a fuss about having to have her morning cereal while sitting on the floor in front of the couch since we implemented a "No eating on the couch" rule for SJ. Nathan and I still sneak food in there afer SJ goes to bed, though. So far no food or drink has spilled!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Day With Gretchen

Today SJ and I spent the afternoon with my good friend, Gretchen. We are sad to have to say good-bye to Gretchen this week - she's moving back to Florida. :( We had a fun afternoon and here's some snapshots of what we did.

We ate some yummy burgers at a pub in Somerville. They are rated the Best of Boston! Yum! Mostly SJ ate the bun and some onion rings.

We played at a playground

SJ got a music lesson

SJ dances everywhere, remember?! So, Gretchen provided the music and SJ danced!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bless the University of Florida

The day of the move finally arrived, and just happened to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Mid 90's with a good solid dose of humidity.

Thankfully, SJ's Mom made the wise decision to hire movers. Some of the best money we ever spent. The whole move went pretty smoothly. There were only a few casualties, and the best part was - we didn't have to carry any furniture up our winding, narrow staircase.

The amazing thing is, even though we didn't do any heavy lifting - we wer e still exhausted. With just a few trips up and down the stairs to bring in some of our smaller, miscellaneous items, we were sucking down Gatorade like it was air.

The big move

What a week it has been! We packed up "all" of our belongings to prepare for the short trip up north of the river.

It's really amazing how much stuff one accumulates over time. Over the past year we spent at least some energy trying to "simplify" - but we now really regretted not doing more.

We even have stuff that we off-loaded go SJ's Gami and Papi's house for storage.
Yet, there is still more.

I didn't even dare take pictures of the basement.

The empire strikes back

Unfortunately for the wasps, I found myself at Lowes picking up some other items and the waspicide was really inexpensive.
I figured the new owners of our previous abode wouldn't relish inheriting a wasp colony, so I decided a little "curb appeal" was in order.
Unfortunately for me, the wasp killing experience wasn't that fulfilling. I was looking for the wasps to drop to the ground, writhing in agony. Or better yet, implode or explode in mid-air with a loud POP!! Actually, the wasp killer seemed to do little other than annoy the wasps - even with direct contact.
However, what the wasp killer lacked in style - it made up in eventual effectiveness. By the next morning, the colony was extinct. While the wasps currenly only had a small posse, from dissecting their hive it looks like an army was soon to hatch. A little preventative action.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A fragile peace, shattered...

A few weeks ago we noticed a new neighbor - a wasp had begun building a nest outside our back door. We don't use our back door very often, and since we're planning on moving out of here in less than 48 hours - it didn't concern us very much. "Live and let live" as they say.

Well, all that changed this evening. As I was hammering a few of the nails on our back stairs balusters (see previous post) - the wasp attacked! It stung me a couple times on my face. Yep - on my face. There's just something very - what's the phrase - "in your face" about the aggressiveness of such an action. While retaliation on my part would be of little face value, and would require an extra trip to Lowes for the appropriate weapon - I somehow feel that letting such a slight go would somehow result in - what's the phrase - "losing face" in the insect kingdom. Should I require the wasp to "face the music", or should I just "face facts" and accept that I'm dealing with a war of attrition? For now, I think I have enough on my plate to let the affront go - but should further hostilities ensue I will definitely take an about face on my position (or should I say "refinement")?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Everything's better with ice cream

As SJ's parents contemplated life, the universe, and everything and tried to fit the same into recycled cardboard boxes this weekend, SJ's Gami and Papi graciously agreed to host SJ and provide her with the sort of attention (with a big assist from Aunt E) her immediate family was unable to provide.

SJ had a great time, but unfortunately, left her precious Bear at Gami and Papi's house. Now, some of you might be thinking - having read previous blog entries - does't SJ have 3 other bears? You would be correct, however there is still one Bear (capital B) that is somehow uniquely different from its other genetic clones.

After realizing that Bear was not with her, SJ went into a major meltdown. The only thing able to bring her back to reality was an ice cream sandwich, and the promise that we would drive 2 hours roundtrip to fetch Bear later that evening. But, it turned out to be a relaxing evening drive and it helped mellow SJ out enough after an amazingly fun weekend so that she could fall asleep - Bear in hand - when we finally returned home.

SJ's on the move

It's been a little over 2 years since we first launched this website. During that time, SJ travelled to Germany, Austria, the UK, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

But, now that SJ is about to embark on another journey - one of far fewer miles - but somehow much more monumental - it seems appropriate to change the title of her blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shiny Happy Floors

The floors are being refinshed this week. This is exciting because it makes the house look much more like a home. While the floors are drying the guys can't work up in the attic (no way to get up there without walking on the floors.) So, the project is on hold this week.

Move-in date is set for July 18th! For an uspecified time our bedroom will be in the living room and SJ's will be in the playroom! We'll also have no couch in the family room until the 22nd. Hoping to get everything all settled in it's proper place before September 6th (the day I'm co-hostessing a baby shower for SJ's Aunt Ruthie!)


We had a great visit from my parents last week. They worked so hard - painting, cleaning, packing and taking care of SJ. We appreciate all they did for us!

Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4th!

July 4th is always an exciting day! This year, Nathan and I started our anniversary (9 years!) by heading out to breakfast. We were going to head to IHOP, but after seeing that everyone in Norwood was already there we opted for the less crowded Friendly's. Well, it was less crowded for a few reasons, one of which was that the serivce was super slow. But, we got a great deal on our anniversary breaskfast and only had to spend $12. (You can tell where our priorities lie this year!) Then, we got a chance to go shopping at Lowes - another glimpse of our 2008 life.

We got home to find that my Mom had already made good progress in packing up our dining room. We joined in the efforts and continued to pack about 20 boxes. It was a good start, but not suprisingly there is a lot more to pack up.

Nathan headed over to Arlington to do some work while the rest of us did other errands and then we met up with him later. Around 7 we headed down town to meet up with friends for Boston's fireworks.

This was SJ's first ride on the T. She's been in Boston her whole life and had never ridden it. She is used to trains from her time in Germany, but was very excited to go on a train that went underground in a very long tunnel.

Notice that SJ and my Dad have on red, white, and blue. We all did, in fact. When I was a kid my Grandmother always made everyone wear our flag's colors on July 4th. So I have always continued to do this. We were suprised at how many people don't wear these colors on the 4th. Maybe it's an Ohio thing? I'd be curious to know if other people try to do this.

Boston at dusk....beautiful! We opted to head to the Cambridge side of the river - less people, fewer trees. It was awesome thanks to friends who got their earlier and claimed a large spot of grass next to a low lying tree. Since nobody sat behind the tree it gave SJ and the other kids a place to dance to the Boston Pops music that blared out over the sound towers. We also got to bob our heads to Rascall Flatts this year!

Here's SJ taking a break from dancing to pose with her Grandparents. They all have on glow necklaces (even Bear has one (a little yellow "bracelet."))

Everyone enjoyed the fireworks. They were truely spectacular! A great way to end our anniversary!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

one room down.....

Today we had some carpet installed in SJ's playroom. She loves it and immediately spread her toys all out over the new carpet. This room, for the most part, is now done. There are only a few paint touch-ups to still do.