The plane ride there was actually better than expected. A hassle, yes. But it wasn't actually horrible. It's pretty funny having twins though. Everybody has to get in their two cents. Nobody can just walk by without commenting. I guess you sort of realize you're making a spectacle of yourself and kind of asking for it though when you walk on the plane cradling two infants in your arms while your husband gets the other child and all your carry-ons.
Anyway, the first day of house-hunting involved dragging everyone around to look at properties, Cash falling asleep in the car - so one of us sitting in the car while the other one looked at a place then switching (which wasn't that easy since we were looking downtown at condos, not like we were just parked right out in front of a place and could run in), pumping in the car, feeding in the car, getting spit-up all over the car....
Let's just say by the end of our first day, my mom was on her way to Miami.
As for finding a place to live, I guess I can say we did. Can I say I'm excited about it? Maybe not, but it's fine. I did feel fine when we decided on the place. Then later that night when I summarized our trip and it's success, I cried.
I went down to Miami with one real goal - to come away with a three-bedroom place to live. Did I succeed? No. We will be still living in two bedrooms with 5 people. Did I even get a really big two bedroom place? Nope, pretty standard, actually even smaller than the two-bedroom we're in now.
I also felt sad for what I felt like was maybe a dumb girl reason, and I didn't realize that it would bother me - I had been making plans all along for how I would decorate our three bedrooms. I guess I really thought there was no way we would come away without three bedrooms. I was excited. I wanted to finally have a baby's room and have it look cute. I was imagining that somehow I would move beyond this dorm-style living we have with completely mismatched furniture that we got off the sides of the road. I was imagining a place where the living room didn't serve as a living room, a baby's room, a salon, a gym and an office all in one. I was imagining that there would actually be space in our house, that there would be empty space, that those mismatched dressers wouldn't be covering every inch of wall in our bedroom. I was imagining that somehow I would have a place that actually looked like all my friends' places - cute rooms, matching furniture, a yard with toys for the kids, etc.
So it's a hard thing. I was thinking it was because we're on this medical route. But we came back and went to dinner with Ryan's work last night. And it was so painful to hear all those residents talk about how they just went and found houses and were all so excited about them. People buying 4 bedroom houses for $150,000 in Minnesota, Iowa, Texas. Just not Miami.
So it's not just because we're doing residency. It's not that everyone in our situation is the same. It's us. It's the choices we've made and the places we've lived I guess that keep us in this situation. We've done New York and now we're going to Miami. But we're going for the best ophthalmology training in the nation. You can't really beat that. And you can't really pass up that opportunity.
But I'm torn. I want all these things. I want to be comfortable. I don't want to sleep with my kids in my room. I want to be able to walk in my bedroom and turn on the lights whenever I want.
I want to stay home with my kids.
And I really think this is the price we're paying to be a one income family. And I know that's what I want more than having three bedrooms. (Although, seriously, I don't think that's a ridiculous request! I can do without nice stuff, but three rooms is too much to ask???) But I know that everyone else in Miami is living on a dual income. And we're just not willing to do that.
I wanted this one three-bedroom condo in the same building so bad. It was beautiful. This is the view from the kitchen window:
And we could have done it. We could have gotten this three-bedroom place - for $2300 a month. In rent. Not even buying. And that was a really good deal.
But now we're in a two-bedroom in the same complex. Overlooking the parking lot.
There were options I guess. We could have had a three bedroom far away and had a long commute for Ryan. Nope, not willing. I'm sure my sanity will be on the brink enough without waiting an extra hour for him to get home at nights. There were also some other places that were either grubby or in not great neighborhoods. But I realized I actually will feel safer in a condo with Ryan on call once a week. And there's a pool and a gym, and a really nice park right outside our condo, which is hard to find in Miami. I was seriously on a hunt for grass while we were looking too. They've put up tons of condos, but they haven't really developed the areas well. There's hardly grass anywhere. There aren't many parks or walkways or anything like you would expect. Even the houses we looked at had maybe 4 feet of grass in a cubbyhole of a backyard. Weird. But this place has the park right outside without having to cross any busy streets and there's a really nice walkway on the water there. And it's a nice place, don't get me wrong. This is a picture of the kitchen:
We opted for nice, small and safe, rather than a bigger place farther away or in a bad area. And farther away would also have meant getting a second car.
I'm sure it will be good. Ryan's commute will be less than 10 minutes. He can take the train when I need the car. And he'll get great training there.
Now it's just time to start hawking our posessions.
It was a crazy trip though, especially with all the kids. And as always, the humor continues - at one point I was in the airport bathroom - pumping, peeing, and talking on my cell phone all at the same time. And by the end of the trip, we were pretty much like this:
Desperate and cranky.
And driving home from the airport we even felt like we'd been kind of homesick and just felt relief to be back here. Yeah, Wisconsin doesn't seem too bad afterall.