Brentering Update: Are you close to a house?

Perhaps we will move into this home, before we all lose our damn minds. Perhaps.
Perhaps we will move into this home, before we all lose our damn minds. Perhaps.

Last night, I dreamed that my friend and I were camping in the woods near the hotel, close enough that we could see Matt and Dexter, but keeping our distance as we fervently gathered supplies, so they wouldn’t spot us.

I think my subconscious is telling me I need a break from sharing a cramped hotel room with my husband and son. It’s not even being subtle about it.

I have some fun, photos-and-jokes-filled updates for you guys, but there are a lot of questions about our living situation so let’s take care of some business. 

What’s going on with the house?
I should clarify. I posted a Facebook photo of the place we’re trying to rent and because in the UK you make offers on rentals – that’s right, you can offer to pay less than the asking monthly rent, and landlords sometimes will accept lower offers! – I think I mistakenly gave the impression we’re buying a house. We’re not. We’re renting for a year, at least, to see if we like the area before we commit.

A maisonette isn’t a whole house – it’s kind of like a duplex, but the apartments aren’t necessarily even, like you’d think of a duplex in the U.S. In our case, our landing and front door are on the bottom floor but all of our living spaces are on the 2nd and 3rd floors, while another tenant has the first floor apartment. This means we can’t access the backyard (unless we like, become pals with the neighbors or something), which is a little odd, but it works for us because we DEFINITELY don’t want to have to take care of the backyard, and renters do yardwork over here. (By the way, I totally had to look up what “maisonette” means when I started flat-hunting.)

The other day, Matt was so exhausted that this is how he fell asleep in our hotel room. Dexter and I just partied around him.
The other day, Matt was so exhausted that this is how he fell asleep in our hotel room. Dexter and I just partied around him.

We were initially going to be given the keys on Saturday, but there was a delay in getting us the information we needed to wire the upfront money and when the inventory manager saw the place, she deemed it needs a professional cleaning and a clear-out. (We agree.) That is happening tomorrow, and our bank says the funds should be set by tonight, so we’re hoping to have keys in hand tomorrow. Once we do, we’ll order a mattress, and we’ll sleep in the new place for the first time either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when it arrives.

Why the rush? Isn’t it nice, being in the hotel? 
See, this is what I thought, too. When celebrities compain about living in hotels, I don’t get it. I imagine room service and housekeeping and fancy toiletries in the shower and no cares in the world. This morning, Matt and I were pondering the reality of the situation after breakfast.

Me: “I always thought it would be great to live in a hotel, but I’m so ready for this to be over.”

Matt: “Me too.”

Me: “Why is it so bad? Wait, I know. It’s because of Dexter. This would rock if it wasn’t for Dexter.”

Look. I LOVE HIM AND I’M GLAD HE’S AROUND. But he makes all of this so much harder.

TYPICAL DAY
7:00 – 7:30 a.m. Wake up, give Dexter bottle, change him into his clothes because people dress for breakfast  here, much to my dismay. The time isn’t consistent, though. This morning he woke us at 5 a.m., and he watched Baby BBC (It’s called CeeBeebies and it’s amazing, no joke, I love it) while Matt and I dozed and wandered like zombies, er, I mean tended to him like the excellent parents we are.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Usually doesn’t take the full hour but this is the time window when we have breakfast. Matt’s company generously sprang for us to have the buffet every morning during our stay. Not only has it saved us a boatload but the selection is large enough that we don’t even have to eat the exact same thing day after day.

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Again, this is approximate. All the times are approximate, really. But this is when we either run an errand, or take Dexter outside to the garden to run around and wear himself out, or both. I like the garden days better. It’s so pretty and I sit on a bench with my cup of coffee and it’s a big, safe area for him to touch flowers and stumble down the gentle slope and watch squirrels.

10:20 – 2 p.m. Dexter’s naptime. Matt and I are prisoners of the hotel during this, although occasionally one of us will run an errand. This is also when we shower, and/or nap if it was a 5 a.m. kind of day. Sometimes we lunch during this, too. Oh, and other than the errands, all of those activities happen in our room, silently, while Dexter sleeps.

2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Lunch for Dex, then errands or we explore a park or something, or both. Usually errands, though.

Then at 6, The Dexter Bedtime Train leaves the station – dinner, bath, change of clothes, with Dex in bed between 7 – 8 p.m.

After that, Matt and I once again sneak around the room and try to get some stuff done until it’s a normal adult time to go to sleep.

And that’s when it goes smoothly. 90% of the time, it doesn’t, and we end up pushing a meal too far or keeping Dex up too late or waiting until 4 p.m. to eat lunch ourselves, which we have done a whopping THREE times since we’ve been here. We’ve only had 10 lunches. That’s a 30% suck rate.

So it’s frustrating and tensions are running high, but we are BONDING SO HARD.

When does Matt start work? 
Tomorrow! And it’s a late enough start time that we can pretty much get almost to Dex’s nap before we have to drop Matt off, so that feels nice and gradual. I’m hella excited for him.

Are you buying a car? 
We’re not sure. We still have our rental – extended it a few days, and it’s costing us approximately $5 million. Initially, we thought we’d get one car for me to use and to use for day trips on the weekends, with Matt commuting via public transport. But now we’re thinking we might try to see how long we can go without.

When I told my sister that, she said, “You are so brave. I could never do that,” and I replied, “It might actually be braver for me to be driving on the left side of the road.”

She did not disagree.

So, that’s where things are. Hoping to get into our place on the earlier side of this week. Trying not to lose our minds while staying on top of each other. Crossing our fingers for Matt’s first week of work. Not that he needs it. We all know he’ll be amazing.

Those little ants are Matt and Dexter, as seen in the courtyard from the window of our room. I took a photo but was also secretly relieved they were so far away for once in my life.
Those little ants are Matt and Dexter, as seen in the courtyard from the window of our room. I waved and took a photo but was also secretly relieved they were so far away for once in my life.

 

 

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6 Comments

    1. I’m glad the humor is coming through! Even though things are tough right now, overall, it’s still a great adventure.

  1. Jamie, I truly enjoy reading your memoirs. I seriously feel like I’m there with you guys (that would be nice!). I think I missed out on a lot when you wrote about Dex so, I’ll have to go back & catch up. We wish you all the best & just have to wonder when we will see one another again. It’s strange not going to PA & not really knowing when we will see everyone again (I’m sure that’s something you guys also try not to think about but, on a bigger scale). Big hugs & kisses to all of you. Love, Kelly

    1. It feels like we haven’t seen you all in AGES. I see the girls online and they look like grown-ups. It’s freaky.

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