We are settled into Sue and Joe's house now and have sort of a routine figured out. Ben is now working full time at the Tufts Labs and I am watching Finley full time. Finley and I spend our time checking out local towns, farms, cooking, playing outside at the local zoo and various playgrounds. She is currently very obsessed with horses, cows and Elmo. Her language skills are growing by the day. It's amazing to hear her put words together. This morning she said "hair mouth", when she wanted help getting a hair out of her mouth and if she doesn't want something anymore she'll say "take this". She hasn't quite gotten a rhythm to her speech, so there is often a pause between words. She is also getting very opinionated and has an unbelievable amount of energy. She is ready to be potty trained, but it's difficult to do when we aren't at our own house. The other day, she pooped on the toilet, but we aren't pushing for it too hard. We have another two months here.
Things are settled with our house other than needing some paperwork from the Shryock's, but they are cruising the Mediterranean. I am looking for houses to buy everyday, but we really haven't settled on a location and nothing is really sticking out at me. I'm not a huge fan of many colonials or capes unless there is a front porch. I'd really like a Victorian style house. This is definitely not the most important factor, but it's hard to get over a first impression. After being here for a month and experiencing the extreme heat and it's only May, a pool is becoming more of a necessity. I am willing to be more flexible about the age of the house as long as it's well made and the neighborhood is established. There is nothing I hate more than a generic new house plopped down on a freshly cleared lot in the middle of a subdivision.
Another factor to consider in towns to live is that I am thinking about going back to school! I didn't think this would happen and I'm not sure yet, but I am looking into Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. It's a three year program and the pay is so much better than what dietitians make, but I would need to retake the GRE, several prerequisite classes and get lots of shadowing experience. Anyway, if I decide to do this it would be to start around when Ben is done with his school. The dilemma is that I'm not sure if I'd get into a school in Boston or Western Mass. Luckily we have awhile to think about that and for now, I'm going to continue working as a dietitian to get more clinical experience.
We are leaving tonight for Ontario for another flyball tournament. We will stop drive about 3-4 hours tonight and then another 4-5 tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
We have been in Massachusetts for almost 2 weeks now. We are feeling a bit like gypsies, moving between Sue & Joe's house, our trailer and a cabin on a nearby lake for a few days. Finley arrived with her Grandparents safely and got settled at a cabin they rented near Sue & Joe's house on Lake Manchaug. She has been adjusting really well to everything and is a good sport about the lack of routine in her life. For the first week Ben and I stayed between our trailer and Sue & Joe's house, spending time getting the trailer organized, driving around to different towns and taking care of stuff related to selling our house.
Here are some photos of our camping experience at Herkimer NY. It was the night before we arrived in Massachusetts and was the nicest KOA I've ever been to.
Speaking of selling our house..it's not going that well. We were excited to have a buyer after just a few days. We accepted his offer, which I wasn't too thrilled with since we gave him more than I would like for closing costs. Then he did his inspection and it seems like he was really looking for something to be wrong. When he didn't find anything, he asked for money for future repairs and small things. He wanted $2500 after we had already given him more than we wanted. We counter offered $1000 plus a home warranty and now he is upset because the warranty (even the best one available) isn't as expensive as he expected. At this point we just want this to go through because we already missed our window for getting top dollar. We will know by the end of the week.
Anyway, after Frances and Kenneth left for Reno we moved into the cabin for a few days and just got back to Sue & Joe's today with Finley. Now we are all in the same house and our stuff is only in 3 different places! We are so thankful that Sue & Joe generously are allowing us to stay until August! Finley will be a lot more comfortable in the house rather than the trailer! We had a hard time finding a rental house, but did sign a lease for a 3 bedroom house in Grafton (the town that Tufts is in).
We are also trying to decide where we want to buy a house and are possibly thinking about investing in a house near Tufts, staying until Ben graduates and then moving to a location that we really want to be permanently. The towns that we like the most locally so far are: Shrewsbury, Hopkinton, Holliston, Grafton. There are still quite a few that we haven't seen yet.
We are experiencing major culture shock. New England is quite a bit different than Seattle and even where I grew up in New Jersey. It's very old. Most of the towns were established in the 1600s, which of course means lots of history and farming/manufacturing that occurred in the towns. The town we are in now is pretty rural. There is a small downtown with a few restaurants and shops, lots of wooded areas, lakes, ponds. It's beautiful, but will take some getting used to.
Sturbridge is one of the towns we are thinking about moving to. We took a hike there and went out to lunch after. It's a good fit for us because it's got a nice town down and lots of open space. It's also convenient access to New York. The only downside is that it's far from Boston and not the most convenient location to Tufts for Ben.
The lake cabin