Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | July 7, 2009


I am going to be visiting my mother in a few days. She just moved and her whole house is in upheaval. I am beginning to dread this trip, while at the same time really looking forward to it. I am somewhat of a high maintenance person now. I used to go camping a lot.  I would take road trips where I slept in my car and washed my hair in a bucket. I’ve stayed in sketchy hostels. I used to be able to rough it. Not anymore. In the last 5 years I have become accustomed to staying in reasonably decent hotels. I need a hot shower. I need 4 pillows (3 minimum) to sleep at night. I need clean soft sheets and decent towels and a clean pillowcase every night.

It has finally come out her house has no guest bedroom yet. The floor is unfinished, the room unpainted. No curtains on the window (which faces the street). No bed. The mattress is currently in the dirty garage, probably with bugs crawling all over it. All of the bedding and pillows are packed away in unlabeled boxes in the garage. When I heard this, I was very concerned. “We will get it finished before you get here. If not, you can sleep in my bed! I’ll sleep on the couch,” said my mom. She is not the most fastidious person. Will she wash the sheets? Will she have clean towels? What about pillows?! My back and hips are hurting so much that I have started physical therapy. That is another post for another day. I think it’s fair to assume that I am going to be miserable.

Then I find out there is no hot water heater. “Oh the new one should be installed tomorrow or the next day.” Yeah right. “I’ve just been showering at the neighbor’s house. It will be fine.” Um, no. Not fine.

I wanted to pack light and just wash clothes in order to avoid lugging a heavy suitcase around, but it is not clear if the washer and dryer are functioning. The ones at the new house are old and funky,  haven’t been used in six months, and there is apparently no hot water available yet to run a cycle to kill any mold and crap in there currently.

What on earth am I getting myself into? My plane ticket cost a fortune already. I can’t afford to stay in a hotel. Hotel rooms in this town run $300 and up in the summertime. If desperate, I could stay at a friend’s house, but that has drawbacks too.

At the same time, I am very much looking forward to spending time in a beautiful town, eating the most delicious strawberries in the world fresh picked from the local strawberry patch, seeing my sister, eating really good food, visiting my dad’s grave, and getting to visit with family and friends at the party we are hosting. It will be a lot of work. There will be a lot of unpacking to do to make the house even barely presentable. Currently, there are boxes and furniture pushed randomly all over the house, waiting for the flooring to be installed so they can go in their permanent spots.

There is only so much I can do in my current state. I will not be lifting and moving heavy boxes, or painting, or installing the laminate flooring. No way am I doing anything to jeopardize this pregnancy to make up for my mom’s incapability of organizing or managing to keep house projects on schedule. If her house is a mess on party day, oh well. I do not care. Well, I probably will care, but I will need to let go of it.

It is not clear if I will have internet access or not, so I may not be commenting or posting for the next week. I hope I survive. Wish me luck.

Oh, and I have my second OB visit this afternoon. I don’t dare hope for an ultrasound, but I damn well better get to hear the heartbeat with a doppler.



  1. Hmmm… questionable washer/dryer leaves me doubting that the sheets will be clean also. Clean sheets are a must, and it’s not like packing your own is an option here. You can buy these travel sleep sacks (often made from silk) that make a sheet thin sleeping bag idea for travel and stay at questionable hotels. You might google it and see what you can find. They are very slim and light for packing. Bring a pillow case for yourself just in case.

    I’d have trouble putting myself in that situation also. Can you transfer your ticket to a later date a few weeks from now when things are in better shape?

    Surely your Mom understands that pregnancy requires you to be a little more high maintenance and less helpful with heavy lifting. She might be understand if you decide to delay your trip for a while. Otherwise good luck and I’ll pray that water heater gets installed before you get down there!

    Good luck with the ob appt!

  2. not to completely disregard what you just wrote, but are you going to be giving us some belly shots???

    that’s how my mom rolls too, and it drives me fucking bananas. 🙂

  3. ummmm, I AM high maintenance, and my whole family knows it. Don’t feel bad about it! It’s gotten even worse since I got pregnant!

  4. I love love to camp, but I’m the kind of girl who needs to shower every twenty-four hours, no matter what. My ultimate goal is to one day camp in the Boundary Waters, which would be a long trip AND no showers. I feel as if I might have to train for that!

    I agree with the above comment’s suggestion of a sleep sack. My friend recently went backpacking around Europe for a month and used a sleep sack in the hostels. Doesn’t cure the heebie jeebies, but it’s a step!

  5. You are so good to help your mom — particularly under those conditions! I honestly don’t know if I would be able to do the same. I hope your OB appointment went perfectly today!

  6. I need a shower every day. You had my complete sympathy as soon as I read the part about showering at the neighbors.

    I hope you had an excellent OB appointment today!!

  7. That does sound like a mixed bag. Well, I’m sure you will make the best of it. Maybe pack some pillowcases? They are not heavy and are really important to you.

  8. Good luck at your mom’s!

    And I hope you have a great appt with the Ob 🙂

  9. arg. this is like my worst nightmare. good luck with all of it. just try to take it all in stride 🙂

    are you going to try ubuntu? 😉

  10. I’ll say go for the sleep sac too, if your own set of sheets would be too heavy. My husband has very sensitive skin that reacts to hotel detergents, and he lives in his on any vacation, even when visiting his Dad.
    Hope your OB appointment was good.
    Maybe if her hot water isn’t working yet, you could go swimming at the community pool and shower every couple of days?
    Hopefully everything will be in better shape than you’re expecting by the time you get there!

  11. Oh, wow, you are biting off a lot. Be sure to take care of yourself and listen to what your body is telling you! I hope you end up having a wonderful time bonding with your mom and friends and family. And that the water heater gets installed before you get there!

  12. I’m so sorry for the chaotic house – that would stress me out too. Hopefully she can pull it together or you can stay with a friend if it gets too bad.

    Weather has been beautiful…enjoy all the fresh produce and yummy restaurants and visiting with family and friends!

  13. I hope that your trip was better than you thought it would be! Especially the good food, stawberries, and visiting with family!

  14. BIRD YOU NEED YOUR INTERNETS BACK SOON. I MISS YOU. I hope you and baby Bird are ok.

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