Dear Resident: A Letter from an Apartment Manager

In honor of one full year of on-site apartment managing, here’s a humorous letter summing up some of the fun we’ve had on the job…

Dear Resident,

1. I bet you secretly know how to unplug your toilet, but here’s an instructional YouTube just in case.

2. Never, ever try to open the door to my apartment. If you’re knocking and I’m not answering, there’s a reason!

3. I know it’s difficult to understand, but you can’t let your guests park in another tenant’s parking spot. But no worries, because I love spending my evening playing detective to identify the unauthorized vehicle’s driver.

4. I’ll have to ask our supervisor about installing a bigger toilet and adding bars in the windows. Let me get back to you.

5. If you’re applying to rent here, giving me your financial life story won’t increase your chances of being accepted. I’m not even the one who makes the decision, so let’s just both save a little time, shall we?

6. Please wait to make out with your boyfriend until I am finished inspecting your apartment. Thanks SO VERY MUCH.

7. I cannot legally tell you how many children live in our complex, no matter how many different ways you ask me.

8. If you’re residing here illegally, don’t even bother trying to hide from me in the laundry room. Dude, I will find you.

9. If you bring your wife on a tour here, don’t argue about whether the apartment is too small in front of me. That’s just awkward for everyone.

10. It might seem like lying about your credit will work when we are about to run your credit, but just trust me on this one.

11. It’s cute that you assume your apartment manager has nothing better to do than break down all your cardboard boxes. Really cute.

12. Writing February 1, 2015 on a check that you turned in on February 6, 2015 is still going to incur a late fee, but I respect the creativity.

13. No, we do not rent out parking spots if you are not renting an apartment from us. We are apartment managers, not parking spot managers.

14. I don’t know how long it takes to drive from here to the random place you work that I’ve never heard of, but I will be nice and get out my phone to check while you text your friend.

15. If you drag your Christmas tree through the hallways (in February) I’ll trace the needles back to your door just so I know who I’m cleaning up after.

16. And on that note, I’m glad you never thank me when you walk by me vacuuming your dirt in the halls. It’s my job, no acknowledgement necessary. I’m just happy to be here.

17. Contrary to popular public opinion, buzzing our door multiple times while simultaneously calling our phone will not make us answer faster.

18. For the last time. Yes, a cat is a pet.

Sincerely,

Your Hard-Working Apartment Manager

{Mommy Journal} Fun Times in the Postpartum Ward

baby4-001There’s so much I want to blog so I don’t forget!

After Caleb was born, Andrew and I spent a few minutes adoring him and crying while I got some minimal tearing stitched up. I texted a photo of me and Caleb to my mom with the message “You can come in shortly! Will call you!” They took Caleb to get his weight and measurements and give him the Vitamin K shot.

A few minutes after delivery, Rachel brought my mom in from the waiting room. I cried and said something about how hard it had been and how sorry I was she had waited for so many hours . Of course, she was nothing but a puddle of happy tears and was so thrilled to meet Caleb.

Eventually my wonderful labor and delivery nurse got us baby2-001ready for postpartum. I rode in a wheelchair and held my baby proudly as we made our way through hallways and onto elevators, eventually reaching our cramped but private postpartum room.

In my opinion, hospitals have committed an enormous oversight when it comes to their postpartum procedures. If ever there was a patient who should be left alone to get rest during the night, it’s a woman who has just been in 19 hours of active, unmedicated labor and now has a new baby to feed every 2-3 hours.

My nurses were sweet, but the first problem was the plural: nurses. There were two, and neither knew what the other was doing. One would come in to give me a Motrin or take my blood pressure and the other would show up shortly after, just as I was finally settling again, to do the same thing. They always turned on the light and used loud voices despite the fact that Andrew was sleeping.

They announced that they would come and weigh Caleb at midnight. I asked if they could come at 11:00 and they agreed. But after one nurse did so, the second nurse popped in at 11:30 to weigh him. When I told her it had been done, she said, “Oh good. Get some rest!” Yeah. I was trying. 

The first time Caleb cried that evening, Andrew sat up and said, “Where am I?”

“You’re in the hospital,” I replied. “We had our baby!”

baby3-001Andrew stared at me. “Really?”

“Yep.”

“Oh,” he said, and laid back down with the blankets over his face. That’s when I realized how exhausted he was after being my physical and emotional rock during labor.

Around 11:30 PM, my mom, who had bedded down in the waiting room, walked in with her suitcase because she had been kicked out. (Keep in mind that she, too, had been up the whole previous night in the waiting room awaiting baby news.) She wasn’t allowed to stay in our room, so we considered finding her a hotel, but I didn’t know where our car was parked and it would have taken a bucket of ice water to bring Andrew to full consciousness. Fortunately, our nurse decided to turn a blind eye to my mom’s presence. After trying to explain the situation to Andrew, who was still in another world, I (literally) drug him off of his cot and into the hospital bed, which comfortably accommodated both of us, and my mom settled onto the cot.

baby1-001Of course, by this time it was midnight and Caleb was hungry again. I had gone through the hardest ordeal of my life and hadn’t slept for 40+ hours (except the tiny cat naps I took between some of my contractions), but I was so in love with my new baby, I almost didn’t notice the exhaustion! The nurse showed up again with a Motrin and said she’d be back at 4 AM.

“Could you come later?” I begged. “I’d really like to get some sleep.” She agreed to return at 6:00 AM. How gracious.

The next morning, we all had a good laugh about my poor mom’s predicament, as well as the fact that she’d been wheeling her suitcase everywhere and wearing the same clothes for three days. She jokingly called herself a refugee and described going for coffee with her suitcase in tow. I also pointed out the irony of the situation: I, the one who had given birth, was busy interfacing with the nurses and arranging accommodations for my mom and husband in between feeding the baby. It was all quite amusing.

Our Sunday in the hospital was filled with visits from all kinds of professionals, some of whom I had not agreed to see. Hearing tester, hospital photographer, lactation consultant, pediatrician, birth certificate official…it was an endless stream of strangers that made rest impossible. I was thrilled and relieved when Andrew informed me that he would be fully supportive of a birthing center delivery next time. I hope that will work out and am already looking forward to a quieter postpartum experience!

Bottom line: we made some humorous memories, our baby survived unscathed, and home never felt so wonderful. =)

{My Pregnancy Journal} 24 Weeks

photo (4)Sorry for the terrible picture of me. It was one of those pregnant days. Not a lot has changed between weeks 23 and 24, so I’ll take this opportunity to share a short story from my journey of carrying Caleb.

It was a hot, beautiful day. We were on our way back from another positive doctor’s appointment. Although mostly over the morning sickness, I was still much more prone to nausea than normal. Hunger combined with some winding roads on the drive got my stomach to churning. We were headed for a Five Guys near home, but a few blocks before we arrived it became clear that we were getting there just a little bit too late. I begged Andrew to hurry.

As soon as we had we whizzed into a parallel parking spot, I threw open my passenger door and lost my breakfast on the curb. I sat there pathetically, head hanging out the car, heaving, while Andrew watched pedestrians steer clear of me on their way by. When I had finished emptying my stomach of all the nutrients I had so diligently given it that morning, I asked Andrew if he could pull ahead to the vacant spot in front of us. I’m not really sure why. As we sat in our new spot, giving me a minute to catch my breath, we watched in horror as a car with two people pulled up and parked right behind us.

“Should we warn them?” The idea was mentioned, but it seemed a bit late for such action. We both sat stock-still in our seats, staring in trepidation into our rear view mirrors to see if the nice middle-aged lady in the passenger seat would check the ground before she stepped out of the car. It felt like we were secret agents — they always seem to watch suspects through the rear view mirror. The scene before us seemed as if it were taking place in slow motion. The passenger door creeeeeaked open. The lady slowly shifted her body in her seat. And then she looked down.

Thank goodness. 

Clearly spotting the gift I’d left, she swung her leg out well onto where the grass was unmarred and pulled herself out of the car, mumbling something to her husband and taking care to close the door without stepping in anything unseemly.

Breathing a sigh of relief as they disappeared down the street, I suggested, “Well, should we go eat?”

“You feel like eating?” Andrew queried politely.

“Yeah, I’m actually really hungry now. Aren’t you?”

Andrew, who had been famished just minutes earlier, replied, “Uh, not really.”

Poor guy. I hadn’t thought about what my little adventure had done to his appetite. But being the hero that he is, we still made our visit to Five Guys, where baby and I got the hamburger I’d been craving.

It’s funny how throwing up has come to feel fairly routine. I randomly couldn’t keep breakfast down just yesterday. But each is episode a happy reminder of how amazing I feel most of the time!

{Reading Report} The Twenty-One Balloons

{Pre-written and scheduled post.}

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois

“Half of this story is true and the other half might very well have happened.”

Our story kicks off with the exciting discovery and rescue of a sophisticated professor named William Waterman Sherman, who is stranded in the North Atlantic amid the wreckage of twenty-one sadly deflated balloons. It’s the first sighting of this adventurous professor since is departure from San Francisco three weeks earlier. But that day he’d floated off the pier in one large balloon, not twenty one. How did he come to be helplessly adrift in this odd array of debris? 31GEEINKFuL._BO1,204,203,200_

Sherman’s fans in America are desperate for an explanation, and after some rest and pampering for the retired teacher, they get it. Thus the exciting tale of The Twenty-One Balloons is born, masterfully told from the perspective of this eccentric and imaginative old man.

Apparently Sherman’s change of plans is all thanks to a seagull who punctured his balloon whilst he floated, carefree, above the Pacific. But it was all for the best in the end; Sherman’s necessary crash landing led to the discovery of a secret island called Krakatoa, inhabited only by twenty families…and one incredible treasure store of diamonds. The lifestyle on this almost-magical island takes wealth, invention, and ingenuity to unprecedented (and extremely humorous) heights. Sherman’s riveted audience only encourages his far-fetched descriptions and elaborate tales of what took place on the enchanting island…until the next catastrophe that led to the discovery of Sherman and the balloon wreckage in the first place.

The Twenty-One Balloons is one of my favorite humorous family novels. Bursting with creativity and comical descriptions, it’s the perfect lazy-summer-afternoon read for kids of all ages.

Recommended read-aloud age: all ages
Recommended read-alone age: 8 and up