Monday, March 24, 2014

We're Moving!

But not to the condo. Not yet anyways.

The end of this month marks 2 years since I moved into the apartment in which I'm currently living. When I signed my lease, I thought I wouldn't be here past the end of 2012. At the beginning of this year, my landlady tried to bully/coerce me into paying substantially more money for rent (over and above what she can legally increase the rent by), so we gave notice to leave. Turns out, unbeknownst to me, that she was also preggo at the time that we had our aggressive, emotionally charged back-and-forthing, so that may have had a bit to do with the harsh words that were exchanged. I don't like being bullied, and turns out, I'm as predictably emotional as the rest of the preggos out there, which made for a rough couple weeks.

Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster. Image: Getty

In a stroke of serendipitous timing, my parents have been having issues with their tenants for the past few months and they'll be vacating my parents' rental property the same time we're leaving our one, so that's where we'll be living until the condo is completed. The new place has a bath tub - something I haven't had for 2 years! My current apartment has the TINIEST stand-up shower, at just under 2x3ft... as in, tiny enough that it rivals the tiny showers on cruise ships. So i'm really really really looking forward to having a bath.

In terms of updates of when we're moving in, here's where we're at:
Occupancy permits have been granted for all floors up to 3 levels below us, and people as close as the floor below us have their pre-delivery inspections (PDIs) scheduled for the end of this month. At this point, I'm not getting too excited about that because there have been cases when people have done the PDIs for their units when there were still a large number of deficiencies (ie: missing counters or cabinets, incomplete flooring, unconnected hood fans for the oven, etc). It was supposed to take 1-2 weeks per floor for permits to be issued, but the builder is averaging 1 floor per month. According to the builder, our floor will achieve the occupancy permit by March 27, but the project manager for the condo is "pessimistic that will happen".

My thoughts:
I hope we get our occupancy date by May. I don't want to move in the hot months of July or August. And as I'll be at the end of my second trimester at the end of May, I think it would be ideal to move before then as well.
Moving while Pregnant

Obviously these are just all nice-to-haves and we don't get to choose when we're moving. And finally, as the final occupancy dates and have been given and have all passed, the builders are giving people very little notice for moving in... as in less than a week's notice. That sucks. A lot. Some people are really chomping at the bit to move in, but I don't really feel that same urgency. The building still has a lot of construction going on the and the dust levels are crazy high right now. Obviously the later your move in date, the more complete of a building you're moving in to, which means decreased dust and construction.

Photo credits:
Emotional preggo
Moving preggo

Sunday, March 16, 2014

And then there were 3…

Shit just got real. I’m having a baby!

File:Pregnancy test result.jpg

I’m 4 months along and feeling pretty good. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester have given way to a wave of energy and much clearer skin, so I’ve got a lot to be happy about these days!

I have sooo much to talk about and a LOT of questions that I want to ask all of you experienced mothers out there!! Like, a lot. I don’t want to bombard you all with all the questions in this post, so I’m just going to ask my most pressing one for now:

In Ontario, our government health care system will allow pregnant ladies to have one primary care giver for normal pregnancies with no complications: an OB-GYN or a midwife. I’ve met with both, and I’ve liked them both. The OB-GYN is a doctor from the clinic where my family doctor works, which is convenient because it’s less than 2 km from the condo, which hopefully we’ll be moving into soon. The clinic also has all the labs in house so you can get your blood work and ultrasounds all done in the same place. The midwife’s practice is also located less than 2 km from the condo. I like the idea of going with a midwife because you have the same person for your pre-natal and post-partum care and the delivery. With the doctor, I have a 1/10 chance that she’ll be delivering my baby. With the midwife, I’d have to go to another location to get any tests (other than blood work) done. Both the midwife and doctor appear very well-informed and took their time with me.

So I guess the question is this: Did you go with a midwife or an OB-GYN for your pregnancy? Did you have a good experience? I’m giving myself until the end of this week to make up my mind!

Also, what is up with all the blood and urine samples you have to give while preggo???

Thanks in advance for the help!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Condo Waiting Game

So I feel like I've become the most patient person in this ridiculous waiting game for the condo to be completed. There are currently people living in the building up to the fifth floor. We've been told 3 times in writing that people on our floor will be moving in some time in March. March! So close...
Condo - Late Summer 2013 
My living situation has been pretty precarious for the past 2 and a bit years. I thought we would live in our duplex on the Danforth until the condo was done, but my landlord decided to put the house on the market and we left. Because we only had a few months until the condo was done (certainly not enough time to move to a new apartment and sign a new 1 year lease), we each moved to our own parents houses. We thought it was a short-term thing. We were WRONG WRONG WRONG. While I love I parents, we don't do so well living living together, so after a couple months, I moved out into a small basement apartment near work. At this point we knew the condo completion date had been pushed back from July 2012 to October 2012, so I negotiated with my landlords and signed a lease until the end of the year (a 9 month lease). Then it got pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. I felt very awkward about the whole thing, but that was just the beginning.

Kevin proposed Labour Day weekend in 2012. Yay! Very exciting. We set the date in June 2013. Double yay! I remember he and I going back and forth on June versus September before we settled on a date:

What if we choose June and the condo isn't ready? You'll have to move in here... this apartment sucks.
What if we choose September and the condo is done earlier? Do we move in before the wedding?
What if we choose September and the condo isn't done by then?

ALL MOOT POINTS. It's the end of freaking January and we STILL don't have a move in date. When I look back at the conversations we had about wedding dates and planning it around the condo it makes me laugh. We were so foolish!

When it became apparent that the condo wasn't going to be ready before we got married, I awkwardly asked my landlords if Kevin could move in.

Hey, so I know I've been living here about 6 months longer than I said, but is it okay if Kevin moves in?

They were fine with it. They'd met him before. Things carried on. It's now 7 months after my wedding and we're still here. Between you and me, I think they think there IS no condo. Seriously. I showed the landlady some of the photos from some of the occupants who had moved in at the end of last year and had posted photos to the Facebook group for our building. I think she's going to need more convincing than that. Sigh.

Kevin and I are leaving for a vacation in a few days and I'm seriously hoping we have some definitive news by the time we get back. I'm very anxious to give our 60 days notice. The condo reps told us that we'd be "fine" to give notice, but I just don't believe them after all the delays we've had. Not one bit.

The delays used to frustrate me, and I know I probably sound frustrated in this post, but honestly feel immune to the frustration now. If we came back from our vacation to a letter saying it wouldn’t be ready until the end of summer I’m not sure I’d have much of a reaction. The condo company has had information meetings for the purchasers where people have literally broken down crying with their frustration and I feel like I have no emotion toward this place anymore. A little anticipation is good – it builds up your excitement. Too much anticipation causes you to just lose the good feeling. The bright side to this whole saga is that we purchased back in 2010 and we've earned a lot of increased value in the place. Every month that passes by is just more money in our pockets, especially for those of us who bought in the first year before the original prices went up!

Please all cross your fingers/knock on wood/pray for me/whatever... that we get our notice very very soon!

Also, well done if you got this far in the post! Give yourself a pat on the back!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Condo News: Construction Update

I've been super busy these past few months and haven't had a working computer since March 3rd, but I have no excuse for this long of a blogging break. Just shameful!

Anyhow, I thought I'd give an update to the condo status. I've posting updated photos on Instagram, but it's nice to get a record of it on the ol' bloggo. This is the most recent photo we took of the condo. 

And here's a photo of the view from our unit but from the floor below ours. It looks really dreary here (very English!) but I guess that's what you get when you take a photo in April. C'mon spring!

I just read through my last condo news blog post and got a good chuckle. Apparently people are supposed to be moving into the building about now. Um no. False. #FAIL. My sister is on the third floor, which is actually the second residential level, and she got her official move in date letter in the mail. They gave her a date of July 27, people!! While this annoys me to no end, it's official y'all! There's no going back now. Well legally, I think they can go back or forth 5 days, but other than that it's official y'all! At least for her. Who knows when we're moving. I'm italicizing a lot... I just have to really emphasize certain words here... know what I mean? So while Michelle is second from the bottom, we're second from the top. We got an email saying (unofficially) that we'll be moving August 27 (Michelle's email said July 2). Her move-in date is now 3.5 weeks later than what they told her in the email. Three and a half weeks later than August 27 is....MY BIRTHDAY. Crap. The last one I'll ever have in my 20's, and it falls on a Saturday! Double crap. I guess there are worse things... I can almost guarantee that we will NOT be moving in September at all. It'll probably be Thanksgiving. As long as I don't miss out on turkey, it's all good. There was no turkey this Easter, and let's be real: that is the only thing I care about when it comes to holidays! Gobble gobble. 

In other news, wedding planning is coming along! Less than 10 weeks to go... I'm going for my potential last dress fitting this week. And we filled out the form for the marriage licence on the weekend. It might sound lame, but I think that was the most excited I've been so far. To me, I was very cool to think about our information going into records. I like looking at all that history stuff, so it makes me think about potential future generations being interested in looking at my records. I've seen a copy of the marriage licence of the relative I was named after - my great great great great grandmother, Emily Jane Green - and it is SUPER COOL. Yes, I'm a geek. But when you have an unusual name, it's cool to see where it came from!

Something else I was super stoked about was the stamp we had made for the wedding. I Instagram-ed a photo of it and have been stamping the shizzzz out of everything ever since lol. I got the stamp from Toronto Stamp and dealt with a very nice helpful man named Jake. They cost about 10% more than the other companies I talked to, but they had a ONE DAY turn around. One day, people!! I made a file in GIMP (basically a freeware version of Photoshop) and sent it off to him. He called me to make some changes so that the stamp would be more legible - I changed the font (to a sans serif) and ampersand (made it more simple) and also increased the resolution. About 10 iterations later, this is what we ended up with! This photo below was just one of my test stamps... we stamped all of the invitation envelopes at the flap, kind of like a seal. 

Sooo a big woohoo to wedding planning and condo building almost being done, right!!?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Condo News: Construction

Construction is way behind schedule. Are you surprised? Yeah, me neither.

When we bought back in early summer 2010, July 2012 (the original occupancy date) seemed very far away... and now it's running about a year late.

In our last condo meeting the builder president came in to talk to us about construction updates and the reasons for the delays. He said occupancy is now slated to begin April/May 2013. Cue the collective groan from the purchasers... Our unit is the second from the top floor and in our last meeting before this one, we were told it's going to take 4 months for full occupancy to take place. That means we're looking at a time frame of August/September.

I passed by the site last weekend and snapped this shot with my iPhone:

They've finished the framing for the first floor, which we were told would be the most complicated to build. Last week we received a letter updating us on the progress - according to that, they're working on pouring the concrete for the third floor.... seems like a stretch considering this photo is what it looked like 3 days before I received that letter.... I don't believe anything they tell me anymore!

We still don't have a finalized price on our finishes, which should include an estimation to move the closet in the bedroom. As it turns out, they've very recently hired a new designer (I can only guess this change is due to the unprofessionalism of the previous designer) so I'll be in touch with her shortly so we can get costs figured out once and for all!

Here are my thoughts so far on the whole pre-construction purchase situation:
Overall, I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed mostly with how delayed everything is. The selection of finishes was moderately disappointing too, but those are things we can (and will most likely) change once we move in. I feel completely differently about this condo now than I did last year, and I'm sure I will feel differently next year compared to how I feel about it now. Mostly, the condo size feels limiting. One bedroom isn't very family-friendly, but I'm still at that point where I feel very blah about kids. Will I ever grow out of that??

Anyhow, sorry for ranting. And for my lack of blogging as of late. I just feel very unmotivated. Knowing that my current place is short-term does not motivate me in any way to decorate. I still have an embarrassing amount of my belongings in boxes and absolutely nothing hung on the walls lol. It just kinda feels like, what's the point? Ya know? 

Other condo news:
Choosing the Finishes
Finishes Appointment
Construction Update and Security System
Our Floorplan
Condo Finishes Waiting Game
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