Two Steps Forward, One Back

I feel like I've been very patient throughout the prep for the move, the move, the work done on the house, waiting for furniture, etc. There have been times Dave has been ready to throw in the towel, but I've stayed calm and reminded him that it's not that bad and we're so close to being done.

Well, several weeks ago, I reached my breaking point. We had waited 3 months for the upstairs couch to arrive (we had no furniture in that room since the couch from Brannan Street was downstairs). I was so excited when it was set to be delivered. It was bad timing all around. About a week into potty training so I was already stressed. We were running late from Bay Area Discovery Museum, of course there was an accident just before the Golden Gate Bridge and the delivery truck was waiting for us when we got home. They took the couch up to the front door (so up one flight of steps) and the guy warned me that he had a similar couch that he couldn't get in at our neighbor's house... I wasn't worried yet, give it a try. They wiggled it, tried standing it up. They knew what they were doing and luckily my dad was there too, suggesting other ideas. After numerous dings in the walls on the porch, it was determined it was not going through. We looked at other entry options, nothing would work. I was freaking out, what were we going to to?? The delivery guy was pretty nonchalant and said, 'it's no problem. It's not custom so it can be returned and the money will go back on your card in 3-5 days'. Great. And what do I do in the meantime about a couch? Everything takes at least 2 months and we are ready to be settled. He suggested a sectional, or a smaller couch. For the room and what we had already purchased, neither was an option. Not to mention that a sectional would cost twice as much as the couch we bought. So they said that maybe it could be hoisted through the window. At this point I had no idea what to do and didn't want the couch sitting in our garage and us parking on the street for several weeks, and even worse, having to schedule them to come pick it up again which would take several weeks. So they took it away.

In the end, I met with several movers who could hoist it in, but it was clear we'd need a window installer to come and professionally remove the windows and then put them back in once the couch was in. The windows that pop out weren't big enough for the couch to come through. After some debate, Dave and I decided that it was worth the cost to just get the couch in. So I scheduled to have the couch re-delivered (for free thankfully!) and set up the mover and window installer. I can't believe it, but it all went off without a hitch and the whole thing was done in 45 minutes. It probably took them 2 minutes to lift the couch in. Crazy!

There have been plenty of other moments in the past few months where we're so close, but then so far away. I want to say that none of this stuff is that important in the scheme of things. It sounds so silly to get stressed out by this stuff, but that doesn't mean it doesn't eventually get to you. This process has dragged on a bit and we're so looking forward to being all set up and enjoying it. It seems like every time we take two steps forward, it's one step back:
  • We ordered shades for the two big windows in the front and the french doors in the boys' room. It was a pretty quick process, about three weeks to make and then a week to ship, though additional time to get an appointment to get installed. I got word that the shades had shipped, but only the 2 big ones -- the fabric for the boys' had been flawed so we had to wait on that one. Okay, temporary blackout shade with suction cups would remain for a few more weeks, no big deal. Finally several weeks later it arrives and was installed and I notice that it's not very dark in their room -- it was supposed to be blackout material on the back. I went back and looked at the order and felt a pit in my stomach when I saw that 'privacy', not 'blackout' was ordered. The salesperson I met with wrote up the order, but it was still my responsibility to double-check everything was correct. I knew we had discussed that since it was a bedroom and the boys' room, I definitely wanted blackout material. Everything worked out in the end, the salesperson quickly took responsibility and another one will be shipped out and installed soon, at no charge to me.
  • One of the first things that arrived was the rug for our bedroom. We loved it, it worked perfectly... and then we opened the closet doors (they open outward). They didn't clear the rug... I thought I could deal with the doors only open a third of the way but Dave said no way. I looked into getting the rug professionally trimmed but others suggested cutting the doors. I hated to do that, I didn't want it to look odd, but in the end, it was an easy job for the contractor and it all works fine now.
  • I ordered a play kitchen for the boys back on Black Friday. I had researched a lot and found the perfect one -- a little bigger than a normal kitchen since two would often be playing at it and complete with washer, dishwasher, microwave, stove and oven. Once it arrived, it dawned on me that the corner wall wasn't nearly as long as I thought it was. I checked the measurements (why didn't I before?? Well, we weren't living there yet...) and sure enough, it would be sticking out. Ugh.  I'd have to pay a return fee and return shipping (on a 75+ lbs) and in the end, not get much money back at all. I tried to sell it but had no luck. Finally a twin mom I'm friends with wanted it for her girls. This did all work out in the end. A neighbor a few doors down was selling an unopened play kitchen on NextDoor and it turned out to be perfect, and a good deal, which balanced everything out.
  • Dave was getting annoyed by the rocking chair in the boys room since it was dinging the wall when the boys were aggressively rocking it. So I gave in and ordered a new chair, one that we could all sit in comfortably. Of course it would take at least two months to arrive. Luckily the chair for the living room arrived shortly after we got rid of the rocker so we were able to put that in the boys' room temporarily. Finally today the chair for the boys room arrived. It was front door delivery and there was a small ding in the box but Dave didn't think much of it. Well, the chair has a gash in the back. For us, this is still manageable because the back of the chair will be against the wall, but it's still such a pain. You want it to be in perfect condition. Plus we waited so long for it, I know if we want a replacement, it will be another two months and there will be wear on the current chair. We'll see what they say tomorrow.
  • I ordered two Anthropologie rugs for the entry as I wanted to see which one looked better. Well, I'm not sure what happened to the one I decided not to use. It's seriously a blur. I don't think it was sent back, but it's gone. I can't remember if I took it to the post office with other stuff but didn't have a shipping label on it. I have no idea. It's so unlike me but I did so many various returns it's totally blended in. Luckily the rug wasn't too expensive, but still kills me to lose that money.
  • I found two pieces of art on One Kings Lane and we thought would fit great upstairs. Ordered them and got the shipping alert. I was so excited to have more of the room come together so when it didn't arrive as scheduled, I check into it and saw that it had shipped to our old address on Brannan. Ugh. So I called them and they confirmed they had it and would hold it for me. So my dad goes by today to pick it up and they don't have it. After much back and forth, I talk to FedEx and apparently it was refused at the Brannan a week ago and shipped back to the company. I called the company and loosely explained the situation and it sounds like they can reship the items to our new address without an additional shipping charge, thankfully.

'Nothing is ever easy' has been our mantra the last few months. While all of the above really isn't all the big of a deal, each problem takes so much time to sort out. It's checking in to see what progress is being made, scheduling delivery, then doing it all over again when it doesn't work out. It requires being really proactive and often more research than it should.

Last Friday seemed like a turning point. Two big pieces of furniture I had been waiting for for months finally send me shipping confirmations that they were on their way. Our landscaper surprised me and said he'd actually be able to start a day early. And everything was so smooth with the couch being hoisted through on Saturday. Finally everything was coming together.

Despite the above list, we really have so so much to be grateful for. First of all, we absolutely love the house, the neighborhood and everything about being here. We've also been very lucky with all the renovations. While we've certainly gone over budget and added to the project, it has all been money we wanted to spend and luckily no major problems have come up that we had to dump money into. I know that will happen with homeownership but we're happy with how we've been able to spend the money so far. We also have the best neighbors who live upstairs. It's two women, sisters. They have been so patient and gracious. We've had work going on for months and it will continue for the next month with the backyard. We are noisy with the boys running around like crazy. They never complain. The boys have had some tough nights, especially right when we moved in. Again, no mention of it. I've had to ask them to vacate the garage while we have furniture moved in, they gladly do so. I feel like bad neighbors happen to so many people and can have a serious impact on your daily life. I'm not sure how long they'll stay (they've owned the place, as well as ours, for years, but will likely move back to Japan soon).

Finally, I want to add one more story; a blessing in disguise. I was so excited when I got a phone call that our chair was ready to be delivered, along with the couch (this is probably two months ago). I was shocked -- I didn't think the couch was going to be shipped for another 2 months. So I get ready, I list the couch on Craiglist, I negotiate with a few people but end up not agreeing on a price. No big deal, we'll store the couch for a few days and list it again the next week and best offer gets it. So they show up with the chair and I ask about the couch and they say, no, it's just the chair. What?! I call the customer service and they confirm that the only things on the order are the 'chair and couch legs'. Couch legs? What are couch legs? Apparently the name of the legs that go on the chair. When they had called me before, they had clearly said 'chair and couch'. This was back in January, actually just before the Superbowl, that they delivered the chair. The couch is being delivered tomorrow. Yes, a full 6 weeks later. I can't imagine if we had sold the couch that weekend, the new couch hadn't arrived and we had nothing to sit on down here for the long time. So luckily it all worked out!

For the lack of photos in this post, a quick peek at W decked out in green for St. Patrick's Day:

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