Next we lived in my parents house. Technically we had the run of the house - but we only had one room until Oceana was about 1 year old, then we had 2. There was no fence at that house, and my dad once found Oceana standing in the street when she was only a year old.
After we lost Joshua we moved to our lovely three-bedroom home, but it had no fence and no way to fence it either. I had to be with the girls at all times --- never could I say, just go play in the yard while I cook dinner.
This year we downsized to the "Cave" and that apartment, while located on a farm and having a yard, had no fence and was on a busy driveway. The driveway was being accessed by tractors, contractors who were building on the property, and the cars for the 50+ people who lived further down the driveway. I had more than one person return Naomi to me because she wandered into the road.
When we decided to move back to the USA for a time, I had two thing son my wishlist. I needed a fenced yard, for my sanity. And I needed three bedrooms.
A yard -- because while going to the park is fun, sometimes they just need to go outside and play and the park's not an option. Oceana always seems to ask for a walk when Naomi is asleep. I want my girls to have a safe place to play, where I don't have to worry that some creep is going to see them or that they're headed for the street.
3 bedrooms -- because Naomi is the world's lightest sleeper. It's a title I'd rather she ditch too, for the record. Last night, Matt walked by her room and she woke up. If Oceana has a fit (down the hall, not right by her room at my in-law's) she wakes up. She has hideous sleeping habits as it is, I need a place that is only hers, with nothing but peace and quiet. I may be creating a monster, but to be honest, I just want to sleep through the night. She did for a few weeks/a month back in April - then more teeth came through, we had some sickness - and we've been in hideous sleep territory ever since. Her "routine" now, she wakes up 4 hours after going to bed, cannot be settled back to sleep, and when she finally goes back down she sleeps 'til morning. This means that just about the time I'm headed to bed, she wakes up. It's kind of like torture.
Well, fast forward, here we are - looking for a house or an apartment. With limited finances, an apartment looked like the wisest choice. I went and saw two apartments, both of which were in less-than-optimum locations (one was in a bad neighborhood, the other was on a busy street where I had to yell for the realtor to be able to understand me when we were standing at the front door). I've seen fridges that were new when Kennedy was in office, I've seen mouse traps, water leaks in ceilings, and a washer and dryer in an already small kitchen (Sorry UK, I don't know, I can't handle it...).
Matt's Dad gave me the number of a friend of his. He'd heard through someone else that the previous tenant had just moved out of the apartment the guy owned. I had the number for a day or two, and finally called. The man's wife explained the apartment to me; I was so blown away at everything it had to offer that I forgot to ask her what the rent was. After I got off the phone I was kicking myself, but I was positive we wouldn't be able to afford it.
It boasted two bedrooms and a finished attic, a full basement with washer and dryer hookups, an eat-in kitchen, living room, and a screened in patio .... with a fenced backyard!
That's right, a fenced backyard. And, essentially, 3 bedrooms.
Wow. I can't believe it.
So we saw the apartment, and we loved it. I said something about it being "so nice", to which he said, "You've seen worse than this?" I said, "Matt, I've seen *hideous*!" (That mousetrap in the kitchen, that had water leaks in the ceiling and a washer and dryer in the already-small kitchen kind of did me in). I filled out the apartment application, and we heard back just over 24-hours later.
We got the apartment. And the icing on the cake? It's only 5 minutes from Matt's parents (on a good day, I could walk the girls to their house in 30 minutes --- you know --- a day where Oceana sat in the stroller and didn't walk at all). And happy-happy-joy-joy, we're right down the street from the swings and slide. Naomi's life just got better. She could live on slides, swings, and meat (oh yes, meat).
I am overjoyed! And really blessed too. Very, very, very good day! ;)
The landlord wanted us to move in on the 1st, but since almost everything we own is in storage in VT (at my grandma's) we pushed it off to the 15th so we can go get our stuff. Soon, very soon, life will start to look normal for us.