The Hart Home │It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times…It Was the Stove-less Times

We went through the ringer in getting into our forever home during the insanity of this pandemic and for that, I say a prayer to God every night because it really was through divine intervention that everything fell into place and we got our house. We had crazy buyers for our beach house that just caused all kinds of drama and delays on top of everyone else being so overwhelmed in this market in trying to get our own new house to closing, that by the end I was surprised that I hadn’t drank more wine during the entire ordeal.

Ultimately, we closed on the sale of our house by the ocean on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and moved into our forever house on Black Friday and rented it until we closed the following Tuesday. The house needed work. I wouldn’t say it was anywhere near our beach house when we bought it– no heat or hot water, brown walls everywhere, dirty, gross– on and on I could go about that place, but our new house needs love more than total rehab like our first house did– it needs to be decorated, painted and updated. Unlike our little house by the ocean, I am taking my time with our forever house and picking things I really like and working hard not to take on debt while I do it. In this pandemic life, I fear debt because I saw how quickly our income was impacted by all of this. I lost out on some and my husband lost his job completely. It definitely was an eye-opener on how quickly life could change last March. I started with the kitchen because there were renters in here for awhile and renters don’t clean and care for a house the way an owner would, so I made sure we got a new microwave and refrigerator to start.

Then, on Christmas Day, as I was cooking my family our small feast, the stove decided that it too was ready to be replaced. It takes twice as long to cook anything in the oven and we are down to one burner that too does not heat up completely after the knobs starting popping off in my hand. Since it was a rather cheap electric stove, we have been pretty beat as we waited to get money together to buy a new one and then wait forever for it to be delivered.

This will be my last appliance that I ever buy from Home Depot. Our fridge delivery was stressful, the microwave had to be delivered twice and the guy that put in the one that stayed broke our cabinet. We had a plumber come out to tell us how it would be over $4,000 TO START, to pipe gas into our kitchen. We already have it in the house and I was floored by that because, I was thinking maybe $600? He gave us this elaborate story about how there is not ENOUGH gas to power all of our stuff and then the stove so they would have to re-do it with larger piping, but since we live in the Pine Barrens with very sandy soil, digging could start and then re-start as the trenches gave in. It was very believable.

So, I ordered an electric stove and was really bummed out about it. I love cooking and I love to bake so an electric stove just sucks, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford thousands of dollars to redo gas piping plus lose all of our landscaping only to eventually replace that as well. Home Depot then pushes our delivery out for another three weeks. In the middle of the wait, I was telling one of our friends about our gas saga and he’s looking at me like, that guy was just trying to swindle you out of a lot of money because none of this makes sense and he clearly saw you as a woman who just bought a new house and would go for it. Which annoyed me greatly because he seemed very trustworthy and we had already been through it with moving companies trying to get us to pay thousands of dollars to move, because they all were trying to make money on this crazy housing market too. Can’t anyone just be honest anymore?

He looks at it. We don’t need to re-pipe a gas line and surprise! There was already gas to the kitchen, but it was nubbed off because they moved the stove to the other wall. Awesome. Easy fix! I cancel the electric stove and order the gas stove that I had really wanted. Only that too took two weeks to get my money back for before I could get my order through on the gas stove because “it needed to be sent back to the warehouse.” In the age of Amazon Prime when things are delivered in hours if you order it at the right time, where the hell is that warehouse that it will take that long to get back to? I digress…

We are now 3 months out from the start of all of this. I had to get up an hour early today, excited for the delivery of my new stove. I was working and waiting for the arrival of it between 7AM and 11AM, checking every so often to see where I was in line. It started off with only three ahead of me, then we got to two and we stopped moving. At 11:15, I called to check and was told they were still coming but delayed. 11:30 they call me and tell me some BS story about the truck breaking down which by that point had to be hours ago, so glad I was kept up and waiting around for a stove for four and a half hours. They can’t deliver it until next week.

So somewhere in this fine state, my stove was jostled around to be put on a truck. Left on a broken down truck. Jostled around back to a warehouse to only be pulled out again next week. To add to my petty frustrations, our couches did not fit in our family room so I had to buy a new set. We have not been able to watch TV since we moved in because we have no place to sit other than kid chairs and we did do that on NYE with the kids because we wanted to watch the ball drop on the weirdest ball drop ever. I ordered a set back in December. When are they coming? Mid-April, because there is a furniture shortage.

I am tired, couch-less and stove-less. In the grand scheme of everything we all have lived through, it is also a petty inconvenience, but compiled with everything this year brought from a pregnancy that my husband was shut out of midway through because he couldn’t come to appointments anymore, to laboring in a hospital with a dumb nurse that was more worried about a mask than me, to selling and buying and having people trying to rip you off as you go…it’s just been enough big and petty stuff to last me years.

I don’t know about you all, but I am tired and I would just like to cook a meal for my family in a timely manner on multiple burners while they get to watch TV in our family room on comfortable couches.

Don’t mind me…today, I am just frustrated with petty inconveniences and needed to vent. This year has been hard and we have survived it, but I just miss life when it was easier to get things done and didn’t require masks, and wait times and so much red tape for something as simple as buying a couch or a stove.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Sponsored: The Hart Home│With Christmas Came Big News

Shortly after my grandmother passed away in November, we got the surprise of the year. I had been feeling off, tired and I was eating everything I could get my hands on. For someone who doesn’t eat a lot, even my husband thought it was weird and looked me dead in the face and told me I was pregnant. And I laughed and then proceeded to take a pregnancy test wherein, I was in total shock to see two pink lines staring back at me.

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The day before Christmas Eve, I had my first ultrasound and our little life puff was growing and had a strong heartbeat. We were so incredibly excited! Our Logan might wind up sharing a birthday, but I know that he is going to love being a big brother and having someone to grow up with. I still can’t believe that by this summer I will be a mom of two. I have a strong feeling that I am having another boy, but we won’t know for sure until February and it’s only slightly killing me because I can’t wait to shop for a newborn again. In honor of our big news, and because I can’t buy anything yet, I am hosting the following sponsorship. Goumi Kids is one of my favorites stores to order cute clothes from and with the code and link below you will be able to snag yourself some free shipping with your order:

Goumi Kids

The Hart Home│Are you fearful of another pregnancy?

My husband and I do not hide the fact that if God allows it, we would like to have four kids. I would like two of each because I think the idea of everyone having a brother and a sister. However, I really don’t care either way as long as I get one of each in this mix.

I was very blessed to conceive our son easily. I had been convinced that it would take us a while and that I would probably have fertility issues. After we visited our doctor, we were told to go home and try for a year before they intervened. I immediately hit the books and from there ordered my pre-natal vitamins and ovulation kits and downloaded a log to keep track of my cycles. I was determined. I also followed every forum and app on TTC I could find and read daily how and when in cycles women were actually conceiving.

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One of our first pictures together. August 2018.

I was a bit obsessed, but deep within myself, I had always wanted to be a mother. However, I have also always been very career and academically driven and for years that was my sole focus. I laugh at myself now for thinking that I would go back to work a month after having delivered our son. I also laugh at a conversation that I had with my husband when we first started dating. I flat out told him that I would never give up my career or my dreams for any man nor would I move for one. Which is funny because, in the end, I moved for my husband so that he could finish school and now, I am constantly applying to jobs that I can do closer to home or even remotely so that I can be home with our son. My husband constantly likes to remind me about that conversation and how it’s so funny that this little man entered my life and I am just wrapped around his finger. And it’s true, Logan is the boss of my life now and if it doesn’t benefit him, I don’t do it. Everyone was floored when I took an actual spring break this year and have planned to do the same for summer. I haven’t actually had a true summer since I graduated from Rutgers. I can’t count my first summer with Phil because while backpacking through Europe was definitely a summer, it too was a lot of work. This will be the first summer where I will have no work, no deadlines just an endless amount of time with my baby.

Which has led us to the serious questions of when we want to expand our family again. Since we did not start our family when I was in my 20’s, I know that I do not have much time to finish building our family either. I think by 36, you’re already considered geriatric when it comes to pregnancy. It made me realize how scared I was to get pregnant again. With Logan, my pregnancy was uncomplicated other than being sick every day with him and in the end, I only gained 10 pounds and after deilvery, I wound up losing almost 50 within the first months of being home. My delivery was complicated. I was 42 weeks pregnant and induced for two days. We developed an infection on the morning of the 3rd day and I was rushed in for an emergency c-section where I got to meet the most perfect little boy.

We had 3 days together in the hospital and just as they were about to discharge me, my blood pressure shot through the roof and I was diagnosed with postpartum pre-eclampsia which affects 1 in 600 pregnancies. I had never even heard of that. I spent the next day being infused with magnesium sulfite and dealing with the craziest bunch of nurses I had ever dealt with. They had me on hefty drugs for the c-section, but when I developed a headache from lack of sleep, the magnesium and I am sure the overall stress, I had a nurse get into a fight with me over it. It was just such a whacky experience and we had driven 45 minutes to deliver at that hospital because in New Jersey it is known as THE baby hospital. I was so unimpressed. And the real kicker, the epidural? Didn’t even work! I felt it ALL.

I have been scared of and distant from my husband for months because I was terrified of going through all of that again. It’s taken me a while to even think that at some point I would like to have another baby to grow our family. I think this time though, I would find a midwife that specializes in VBAC and home birth because I never want to go through a c-section again nor do I want to deal with that hospital or any hospital for that matter unless I absolutely have to. I think all of the medical interventions that I believed in for my first pregnancy contributed to my difficult delivery and if God does bless us with another (or three more children), I definitely will not be repeating my first birth experience.