Was that a first word I heard?

We just came back from a 3-week stay in Quebec. When we were at my Mom’s, there were some Duplos in a box that had a cat on it. Zak pointed it out to our daughter, who loves cats, and she started going to the box and touching the cat, repeating the same sound every time, something that sounds like “Krha”. Zak figured she was trying to say “cat”. I thought, she’s only 8 months, it has to be a simple coincidence.

But the next stop was my friends’ house in Quebec City where there is a cat, and the sound was repeated a lot at appropriate times. Then we came back, and as soon as she saw our cat, our baby said it again. So I’ll make it official. She said her first word. Funny enough, it’s the same first word our boy had, except that in his case, it was expressed as a hiss, which was the way we yelled at our cat when he was doing something he shouldn’t (which was often).

So here you have it. She’s eight and a half months old now, she can crawl, she pulls herself to standing, she waves bye-bye and she has said her first word. I don’t have a baby anymore!

But she’s darn cute!

Here is the cat that started the whole thing

Here is the cat that started the whole thing














Finally crawling

I’ve been meaning to post this for about a week, but life gets in the way these days. After more than a month and a half of doing the commando crawl, my baby has finally mastered the crawling on the knees. She had been taking a few steps this way for weeks, but she only now decided it was more efficient than reverting to crawling on her tummy. She is also much more stable now when sitting or standing up. She still needs furniture to hold on to when standing, but she rarely falls now, unlike in the beginning. She is even starting to cruise – taking a few tiny steps when standing up.

Of course, it might have been easier if she hadn’t spent the last three days drowning in her own mucus – coughing, then almost choking on what came up. She refused to eat any solids for two days (though thankfully she was still drinking so she stayed hydrated), but she seems to be back on track now. I avoided the trip to the ER that I was dreading. We were heading there Sunday night when she would do nothing but moan, but she suddenly decided to be happy again after a few hours, so we figured it could wait until morning, and then come morning she was much, much better.

So all is well, except that of course our boy is in need of attention since we spent it all on the baby. But that is another story!

The move from Hell

I said it before, moving in a Coop is complicated and generally a pain in the butt. But I had no clue how much more of a pain the move could become. I thought we’d be done with issues once we were here. Boy, was I wrong. It’s almost making me wonder if we made a mistake by accepting this unit. Maybe it exists in a parallel universe?

So here is a recap. We moved on Easter Sunday. We had lots of help from friends and mostly neighbors (that is the absolutely amazing part of living in a coop) and in three hours, all of our furniture and boxes were moved. Unfortunately, it was moved into a heaping pile with barely a path to walk through the unit, but we couldn’t do much about it because we had to clean the old place. I didn’t do much because I had to watch the baby. Zak and his parents did most of the work. They were not done until midnight.

Monday, they tackled the new place. I say they because I barely moved all day: I was sick as a dog. I spent the whole day trying to minimize my movements for fear of ending up hunched over the toilet. It did not work that well.

Tuesday, they delivered our new appliances. We found out that they were not installing the washer and dryer. We called the sales guy, who apologized for his mistake for not making it obvious the delivery guys were supposed to also install those, and he sent an installer. But the installer discovered one of the faucet leaked, and the other one was also extremely old, so he recommended getting the maintenance guy to change them. The maintenance guy said he would remove them on Wednesday morning and go buy new ones and replace them. All that time, the laundry and dirty dishes were accumulating, but given how busy we were, I decided to wait for appliances instead of doing it in the laundry room or by hand.

For dinner, we ordered pizza. I then retired to our neighbors unit which we were squatting while they were away, and Zak waited for the delivery. Which is the only reason he was still there when water started pouring inside the wall and through the bathroom vent. Five minutes later and we would have come home to a disaster in the morning (our new floors!). But he was still there, so he ran to the unit above ours, told the plumber (who was fixing the bathroom there) to turn off the water, and everything was fixed. Well, the maintenance guy did have to rip out the brand new baseboard at the base of the flooded wall so he could drill some holes and install a powerful fan for the next few days. But you know, it could have been much worse!

Wednesday morning the dishwasher installers showed up. They immediately said they could not install the dishwasher because the plumbing was not perfectly right for it and they can’t do piping. Why does Sears send dishwasher installers who cannot sweat pipes, I do not know, but they said we needed a plumber. Now, we had paid $225 for the installation, so I was obviously pissed that they couldn’t do it and I would have to pay the same amount for a plumber. I mean, if we had known they couldn’t do it, we would have paid a plumber and he could have done the installation, no need to pay twice. So after a good dose of rage and tears, the installers talked to their boss and Sears hired a contractor to come and finish the job… the next day. In the afternoon, the maintenance guy came to replace the washer faucets and realized he couldn’t without risking breakage, so he called in the plumber. For the next day. Still no washer or dishwasher. Sigh.

Thursday morning, the contractor came and hooked up the dishwasher. We ran a load. All was well. The maintenance guy came for something else and mentioned that the installation looked wishy-washy, so he suggested we ask the plumber to take a look when he came later. The plumber came, fixed the faucets, took a look at the dishwasher installation and what do you know! It was leaking already! The sink was also leaking. So he started fixing this. The faucets and sink were for the coop to pay, but the faulty dishwasher installation was ours, so we were pretty miffed.

While preparing to replace the pipe under the sink, the plumber was working on top of our washer and drier (don’t ask me why… I still haven’t figured this one out) and he forgot to put the lid back on his glue, which he then bumped into and spilled all over our new appliances and brand new flooring. I am not kidding you. He felt so stupid he was extremely apologetic, and he started scraping the glue from the floor with a razor blade. Most of it was removed, and on the bright side, it is almost the same color as our floor, so it’s not too obvious. It couldn’t be removed from our washer and drier, but it’s on the corners and in between the two, so it’s not too, too obvious. And besides, what could we do? We could have asked for a replacement (they had never ever been used yet), but it was cosmetic damage and it would have been really uncool of us. So we told the plumber (who incidentally was the same guy that flooded our unit two days before) not to worry too much about it. Still, he felt bad enough that he did not charge us anything for the repair (which took him all afternoon). Fair enough: it would have been a $200 to $300 dollar job with the parts. I guess we just got a depreciation of $300 on our washer. I could finally do laundry and dishes, though.

Thursday was also the day the electrician came to install new heaters. One of them was ripped from the wall and all of them were old, dirty, inefficient and with sharp corners, so we figured since the coop would pay to get the electrician in to replace one, we would get all of them replaced at the same time. So until then, we had the windows open to air out the smelly new products and paint, but the heaters couldn’t really be on. Great times!

All through that, our flooring is still not finished. The installers didn’t have enough sealant to finish sealing it on the Saturday (they worked until 10 pm that night so we could move in the next day). The guy drove by on Sunday because he had forgotten to give the key back, and said he would try to finish on Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday, we had not heard anything, so Zak called back. They were due to receive new sealant that day, so we were told today or tomorrow. Friday, we had not heard anything, so Zak called back. We were told Saturday or Sunday. Saturday night, we found a note on the back door. The guy had stopped by and knocked. Zak was home, but upstairs and he never heard anything. The guy had Zak’s cell phone number, but apparently didn’t have it on him when he stopped here. At 4:45 pm. Sounds like he wanted to go home to watch the hockey game. Now he said he would call this morning to say when he could come. All this time, we have open seams in our bedroom, between our son’s bedroom and the hallway, the vinyl in the bathroom is not sealed at all (but we did have to have a shower or two over the week, so there could now be water underneath the flooring), and the linoleum is bubbling in the living room. No biggy.

So we are hoping everything can be fixed today. But I have no illusion. Something else will come up. Like that really awful paint smell that shows up in the bathroom once in a while. It’s not there right now. But when we have a shower it flares up. Wonderful.

Maybe by the end of the summer the unit will be in order. Maybe.