last night with the BS

If all goes according to plan tomorrow--and I know it will because Alex and I are both psycho movers--tonight will be our last night at the Berkshire SoCo. Thank you for being our first home in Austin, but it is time we parted ways. On our last big move from North Carolina to Texas Alex and I spent our last night sleeping on the floor, so it only seemed fitting that we should do the same tonight. (Actually, last time we spent our last three nights sleeping on a half-deflated air mattress, but you get the point.)

And this is where I'll leave you for a while. As I mentioned, we won't have WiFi at the new house right away and we're leaving for a five-week "vacation," so I won't be back to blogging on a regular basis until mid-August (at best...who knows when we'll rejoin the 21st century). I'll check in from the road, but things will be busy and posting sporadic. Have a great summer, everyone! I can't wait to update you on everything with the new house. 


measure once...

Below is a sneak peek at the new house. We stopped by today to take some measurements so I can sketch out some floor plans tonight (yes--I'm that big of a dork). The place has improved dramatically since I first looked at it, but there's still a few things to be done before we set up shop.

Today they were power washing the front and back porches, and a new floor for the bathroom is going in tomorrow. The hardwoods still need to be buffed and the blinds could use a good dusting, but that's not stopping us from starting the move. In fact, Alex is loading the pickup with boxes as I type. He's making a run over there tonight because my dream is to wake up there Sunday morning to actually enjoy my Sunday paper on Sunday (I've already had it forwarded) and we've realized the move could take longer than we think with the three little ones involved. Besides, we're tired of sitting around surrounded by boxes and not going anywhere.


martini, mexican style

Taking a break from the packing and the 104 degree temperature this afternoon, I tried an Austin classic--the Mexican Martini at Trudy's. While I give it an 8 for it's gimmicky quality, I give it a 3 in taste. They probably have better margaritas at Taco Cabana (not really, but maybe). Oops...I forgot to explain. A mexican martini is simply a margarita served in a martini glass and garnished with olives and a lime. I think the reason it gets props around here is because they serve it along with a giant shaker for you to top yourself off accordingly. That lime in the picture, by the way, is not on steroids; the glass is tiny. I would rather just order two of the $4 house margaritas because that's basically what you're getting.


living like we don't

I'm usually--and by usually, I mean 98% of the time--a pretty clean and organized person. I make the bed every--and by every, I mean every--morning and try to teach the kids not to romp around on the furniture. This week, however, all bets are off. Here's a look at our day:

Scout picked out mis-matched shoes to wear this morning. I wasn't about to fight that battle; actually, I was impressed that she chose one right shoe and one left shoe.

My bed: unmade.

Catcher and Scout spent a good 20 minutes entertaining themselves on--and under--the coffee table. It was 106 degrees today. We managed to make it to the playground this morning (when it was only 95) but this afternoon I didn't care what they did inside as long as I didn't have to lug anyone to and from the parking garage.

Catcher's bed: also unmade. Note: those books on the shelf at the end of his bed are usually stacked neatly and organized by theme/author.

Although you can't tell from this picture, Tillie spent the afternoon pant-less. She had a major explosion, so I let her hang out in just a shirt and diaper for the remainder of the day. I think she liked it. 


the final countdown


In less than one week, we will be out of the apartment. Technically we don't have to be out of the apartment since our lease isn't up until the end next month, but we're all so eager to get out of here that someone--probably me--will explode if we stay here one day longer than July 1.

After July 1, you probably won't hear from me for a while. We haven't arranged for cable and WiFi at the new house because 10 days after the move the kids and I are embarking on a five-week Midwest/East Coast adventure while Alex goes to London for the Olympics (working, not playing). I plan to blog from the road, but since I'm treating this as a pseudo-vacation--we'll see how that theory holds up after flying solo with three kids--I'll be lucky to post once a week.

In the meantime, though, I'll be sure to get good shots of the move and the new house so I'll have plenty before-and-after material to work with when I get back in mid-August.

As far as living sans cable and internet for 11 days, I'm kind of looking forward to it. It's about time for another Felicity marathon.


more words of wisdom

How do alarm clocks know it's morning?

I think Scout is speaking Spanish.

What's a Sphinx?

Tillie can eat birthday cake when she grows up.

Everywhere I look I see the sky.

My mouth was on, but my head was off.


what's to miss?

During these last eight days (but whose counting?) living at the Berkshire Soco, I've started thinking about what I'll miss--or not miss--about the apartment. Guess which list is longer.

I will not miss:

- hauling three kids in and out of the parking garage every day
- young professionals speeding through the parking garage
- loud neighbors
- being the loud neighbors
- the center island in the kitchen (major clutter collector)
- the steady neon glow from parking lot lights outside of our bedroom window
- drunk voices resounding from the parking lot (at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning)
- driving...to get somewhere to go for a walk
- cheap carpet
- even cheaper "hardwood" floors
- the mailroom
- the occasional dog poo in the hallway
- the occasional dog poo in our trashcan
- two bedrooms for five people

I will miss:

- our closet space
- the second bathroom
- free coffee in the lobby
- the guy who picks up the trash outside of our door five days a week


packing update

It's going...

but maybe I should take back what I said previously about loving to pack. It somehow escaped me that I do not like packing up the kitchen. Perhaps that's because creativity eludes me there. Ironically, though, about 60% of our belongings are kitchen-related. The other 40% is books (more or less). I'm rambling. But I think that's because I don't want to finish up my kitchen project from this afternoon. Every time I come across a melon baller or mustard spoon I have to wonder if I'm ever going to use these things. And do they belong in the same drawer...with the egg separator? I don't know.


what's up?

Now that Tillie is coming out of her "stoner" phase, as I heard it described by another mother last week, I thought it was time to take a moment and reflect on her latest accomplishments. It turns out that looking at the world from a new angle is kind of fun (although she does look a little stoned in the picture above...haha).


chilling with dad

Happy Father's Day, Alex! This afternoon I tried to capture the perfect shot of Alex with his three lovely children, but it turns out that it's pretty hard to choreograph a moment when everyone has his--or her--own agenda: Catcher reading; Tillie observing; Scout...being Scout.


margarita smoothie

Pictured above is the avocado margarita from Curra's Grill. I couldn't find it on the menu, but I'd heard whispers of its existence in an urban legend kind of way. While I wouldn't name it the best margarita in Austin, it definitely fills that certain je ne sais quoi of a hearty, satisfying, smoothie-with-a-buzz. The drink is served frozen, but the avocado makes it taste more smoothie than frozen margarita (of which I am not fond). I probably wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting, but I can imagine it as a great hangover cure.


somewhere in california

I'm supposed to be packing and de-cluttering, but I couldn't resist doing the complete opposite when I found this Jonathan Adler "Fresno" pillow on eBay for $17. And after I found that I had to come up with something to compliment it, so I invested in two brown and white chevron pillows from etsy for $28. The only question that remains is...where exactly is Fresno, anyway?


things you find

The fun thing about packing is that no matter how often you move and go through all your old things, you always find something new (and by new, I mean old) and interesting that you forgot you had. Scout stumbled upon this pair of Alex's socks and kept herself entertained for a good half-hour this afternoon.

She also found his old ski goggles (pictured on her head, above) that Catcher wrestled away from her and went to bed wearing. Which reminds me, maybe I should sneak into his bedroom and take them off.


it's getting hot in here

As if it weren't already official--without being officially official, according to the summer solstice--it's officially summer in Texas. It's going to feel nice on Thursday if that 93 degrees they're calling for holds true.


not a box

This is what it looks like when you're trying to pack-up your two-bedroom apartment with two of your three kids finding new and interesting things to do with the boxes you need for packing:

This is the baby who remained relatively chill--other than wriggling her way off the play mat--during the whole affair:



This is how Catcher ended up running around naked in my friend's backyard this afternoon:

- 2:00pm: we were supposed to meet my friend and her boys at a wading pool at a park in a nearby neighborhood. She was running a little late, so we got there first and discovered while the pool had water in it, it wasn't chlorinated yet. So no swimming.

- 2:18pm: hot and sweaty, we went for plan b--a splash pad down the street from their house.

- 2:23pm: arrive at splash pad; splash pad not working today.

- 2:25pm: I'm exhausted and the kids want to know why we keep going places that aren't open. I text my friend to let her know that we'll be at her house in two minutes.

- 3:38pm: After playing with the water hose and in the kiddie pool in the backyard for an hour, the kids are restless and think inside offers more exciting play options. Catcher's swim clothes are muddy, so I warn that he can't go in the house wearing dirty clothes. His solution? Well...a picture's worth a thousand words, right?


pack and go

Let's be honest: I like to move. I even like the things about moving that everyone else hates--like packing and unpacking. For me packing is a chance to get rid of things that you weren't quite ready to part with on your last move, but now you realize it's time to say goodbye (exhibit A [above]: my first bag for Goodwill). On the other side, unpacking is a chance to re-imagine and re-organize my life. What's not to love?

This morning we signed the lease documents on our new place, and this afternoon I was begging Alex to round up some boxes for me before he departed for Arizona. The funny thing is that our last two moves have been major moves--New York to Charlotte, Charlotte to Austin--so a small part of me feels I have to do all these things in South Austin (like eat at Home Slice one more time or stock up on coffee from Ruta Maya) before heading to the Northeast side of town. The distance from here to there is about six miles, and they sell Ruta Maya coffee at the H.E.B.


check three (or is it four?)

I only have about five more weeks of actual summer left time here in Austin--we're heading East for a few weeks--so I realized I should get back to the whole "112 fun things to do" list before it's too late. To tell the truth, I'm kind of bored with the list. Most things on the list that are kid-friendly have already been done by us...several times (like the following):

#45: fresh from the farm

The farmer's market in downtown Austin has been a favorite Saturday morning outing of ours ever since I realized there was a cooler farmer's market in Austin than the one in a mall parking lot. Although we've been there before, I have to admit that we never experienced the foam building block things that were there this weekend. Above is Catcher working it.

Inherently I'm not a fan of messy-faced kid pictures, but this was Scout in the moment: Hulk-like grip on the dripping popsicle. The next time I pick out a flavor for her it won't derive from a red fruit.

This picture is more about the hipster dad in the background than Catcher in the foreground. I saw several "fancy hats" like his prancing around the farmer's market, which led me to believe that I need to invest in a fedora to keep up with this crowd. I also thought his scarf was a nice touch (and wondered how he wasn't roasting to death with his hot coffee on the balmy 80 degree morning).

The juxtaposition of farmer's market tents against city skyscrapers will always be a favorite of mine.

Scout finish popsicle. Scout like blocks. Scout build.


pretty in pink

Yes: these antlers were made to be pink. A trip to Michael's this afternoon left me without the pillow form I was in search of, but I did find the exact shade of pink I had imagined to complete the deer head project. Now it's a little bit Texas; a little bit rock n' roll.


say hello to our little house

One of the best things that New York ever did for me (besides bringing me together with my husband) was teach me to live in small spaces. I de-clutter, I downsize and I do without. I will choose neighborhood over size any day of the week, so let me introduce you to our new house in Hyde Park. I mean, it's not our house technically, but it will be for the next 12 months...if our application is approved.

It's a long--yet short--story on how we landed the place, but early signs say it's the perfect fit. It's tiny (1164 square feet, to be exact); it's old (built in 1927) and a little rough around the edges (vinyl floor in the only bathroom). But there's a backyard and a sidewalk, and it isn't sandwiched between a highway and a strip club. I'm excited for Catcher to have his own bedroom, and I can't wait to explore a new neighborhood in Austin. I'm sure the coffee tastes just as great as it does down here.

And now the fun of moving yet again begins. How many places will this make for Alex and me? Does the hotel we lived in for two months in Charlotte count? I'm eager to get started, but maybe I should wait until our application is officially approved before I find a box to pack.