Things I Have Used Leftover Packing Tape For This Glorious Holiday Season

More Paragraphs About the Move Than the Total Number of Miles We Actually Moved

Last night the doorbell rang right after dinner. (Meatloaf again. I made a lot of meatloaf. We are up to our eyeballs in meatloaf.) It was our new next-door neighbor, whom I'd met briefly on Monday while pacing the sidewalk and waiting for the movers to finally show up. I was, at that point, thoroughly convinced that they never would and were, in fact, not movers at all but simply an elaborate thieving ring who masqueraded as movers only to vanish forever with all my crappy furniture.

She'd been very nice in spite of my manic state, and even offered to bring over air mattresses and a port-o-crib later in case my nightmare scenario did come to pass. Then she looked over my shoulder and pointed at the moving truck that was rounding the corner.

Anyway, last night she rang the doorbell to tell us that the interior light was on inside one of our cars.


That same car, incidentally, refused to start on Monday morning, right after I'd loaded up the pets and the baby to drop them off at their various caretakers for the day. I was running late, of course, and the car (the newer car, the non-paid-off car, Jason's car) wouldn't start.

One by one, I reloaded Max and Ceiba and Noah into the other car, which was parked nearly two streets over, since I'd been unable to find a damn parking space the last time I drove it. Meanwhile, the movers helped Jason roll the over car down the street in a futile attempt to clutch-start it.


We were 20 minutes late for our first settlement of the day -- the sale of our condo. It didn't matter much, since our buyers didn't show up. After choosing and refusing to budge on a December 18th closing date, giving us less than 30 days to find and complete the purchase of a new house, the husband was unable to get the day off from work, and then refused to grant his wife power-of-attorney to attend the settlement alone. They were coming by later in the day, forcing us to purchase our new house without technically selling our condo first.


We didn't have enough time to return home in between the two settlements, but we did have time to grab a quick lunch at a nearby cafe. We were in the heart of Logan Circle, one of our favorite city neighborhoods, and one we'd searched and searched for something in our price range. A few years ago we could have, but there's a Whole Foods and about a dozen Starbucks there now. So no.

The weather was in the high 70s. We sat outside and I had to take my sweater off and sit outside, in mid-December, in a tank top, just to keep from sweating. There was a Channel 7 guy there interviewing people about the bizarre weather. If you watched the 5:00 news on Monday we were in a bunch of background shots, probably looking really freaked out.

Jason spent most of lunch on his cell phone to his parents, who had come down the night before to help us out. They were supervising the movers and cleaning the place up in anticipation of our buyers' final walk-through in a couple hours, just before they finally went to the settlement table.

His dad was currently riding in a tow truck to a Mazda dealership to drop the stupid non-starting car off. His mom was cleaning the bathroom, and Jason implored her to stick to our obligation of "broom clean" and to stop cleaning the grout with a toothbrush; we just didn't have that much time.


The settlement on the new house went well. We signed a bazillion forms for our new mortgage and the sellers gave us tips about some of the quirks of the townhouse.

"For the love of God," the husband said, "Don't put your trash anywhere but in that Rubbermaid shed out back. Squirrels eat through garbage cans. They eat clear through them."

"And don't even think about metal garbage cans," the wife chimed in, looking grim. Then she launched into a story that we couldn't quite follow, but evidentally the neighbor across the street had something to do with it, and something about him being a diplomat from Cameroon was relevant.

We promised to use the Rubbermaid shed and I asked when trash pick-up was (Wednesdays) and whether or not we could put moving boxes out for recycling. ("I don't know, actually. You can probably just call for a special pick-up.") ("Call who?") ("Um, the recycling people.") ("No, seriously, I'm dumb. We had a trash room. Do you have their number? Can I Google it? Will I get arrested if I just put a few boxes out to see if they'll take them?")

We got back to our condo 45 minutes before we needed to be OUT. OUT OUT. Vacant, broom clean, OUT. My mother-in-law was carefully scrubbing the inside of our refrigerator; there were gigantic dust bunnies EVERYWHERE; and the movers had packed our vacuum. The couch was still sitting in the living room, and a quick tour of the closets and storage areas revealed that they'd left a shitload of stuff unpacked and loose.

I started yelling and clapping my hands at everybody, like some kind of shrill sidelines coach: "45 MINUTES PEOPLE, LET'S GO LET'S GO. THAT GOES IN THE TRUCK, THAT TOO, HURRY HURRY."

We ended up sweeping the entire condo with some Swiffer sheets, sans actual Swiffer, since that had been packed too. We crawled around on our hands and knees around the baseboards and stuck them on the bottom of our shoes and skated around the floors. I grabbed the video camera and wandered around, filming Noah's mural and the brick artwork and the kitchen and possibly even the bathroom, because damn, my mother-in-law had gotten it really really clean.

We got out with five minutes to spare and I got choked up as we scrambled down the three flights of stairs for the last time, just like we scrambled down them the night I went into labor.

Jason and I stared at the front door for awhile.

"Okay," he said.

"Okay," I said.

"Time to go," we both said.

The movers had apparently felt like taking a long lunch, hence their delay in arriving at the townhouse. I was instructed to stand at the front door and tell them what room everything belonged in. Unfortunately, the first stuff off the truck was a bunch of random crap from our storage areas -- super-old furniture we'd brought just in case we needed it. I had no idea where any of it should go and hesitated before answering. This royally pissed off one guy and he yelled at me, dramatically dropping an ancient IKEA corner cabinet in the foyer and leaving it there, even after I stammered out that it should probably go in the basement rec room.

He spent the rest of the move kissing my ass and helped me decide on the best furniture arrangement for Noah's room, although I think they were confused as to why I wanted him in a light-green colored room when the other bedroom was already painted blue for a boy. (That is, except for the one guy who labeled a bunch of Noah's boxes as "HER TOYS" and "HER CLOTHES.")

Another guy got mad when we realized there were literally dozens of unlabeled boxes, and he kept bringing them to me and demanding to know where to put them, like I had x-ray vision or something. Finally it was my turn to lose my temper and I pointed out that we'd paid them a lot of money to pack for us, and it was not my goddamned fault they'd neglected to label things. The lead guy intervened before the situation came to like, arm-wrestling or something, and took it upon himself to open all the unlabeled boxes and figure out where they went.

Not like their labeling skills were anything great, though, since we spent most of the evening ripping open boxes and finding the most bizarre hodgepodge of items inside. Anything metal was labeled as "POTS." Our dish rags were labeled "FRAGILE." A frantic search for cups or glasses of any kind kept unearthing shit like flower pots and empty gift boxes (which were carefully wrapped in paper and then put inside bigger boxes and labeled "KITCHEN"). Whenever one of the movers asked for a drink of water I served it to them in a lidless sippy cup.

It took hours to find sheets and pillows since I didn't realize they'd used all that stuff to pack up our stereo equipment, and my poor father-in-law kept searching for our shower curtain rings, desperately insisting that he'd put them in a box full of bathroom-type things, even though a search of every box failed to turn them up. We all started thinking that maybe he was losing it a little bit, until I finally found them on Tuesday, carefully packed in a basket of stuff from our bathroom, buried at the bottom of a box of board games.

Noah and the pets seem to be adjusting okay, although they're all a little bit clingy. Max gets upset if he's on a different level than we are and we hear him howling in protest, waiting for us to call him. Like a game of feline Marco Polo. Ceiba won't leave my side, and although she certainly appreciates being able to go pee out back as many times a day as she wants, I think she kind of misses our company when she does her business and casts these forlorn looks back at me from the yard. There's a big unofficial off-leash dog park nearby and I keep promising to take her there but...well, I keep finding stuff I want to unpack first. I've been soothing my guilt by feeding her meatloaf.

Noah wakes up a lot at night, but I think that has less to do with the new house and more to do with some vicious spoiling we did early in the week. Whenever Grandma is around she plucks him from his crib at the first sound of a whine and takes him to bed with her, and we're usually all too happy to sleep to protest. Then we Pay, for days afterwards when he expects this routine every night. And this week we obliged and brought him to our bed, since we were gutless and thought making him stay in a strange room would be too scary for him.

He also wants to be held all the time and does this baby monkey move where he wraps his legs around my thigh whenever I try to put him down, although he was starting to do that at the old place too. Oh, and our living room is "sunken," which is just a fancy word for "there's a step down, so don't trip, you drunken klutz." He knows to turn around and go down the step backwards, but hilariously always turns around a good five or six feet too early and then slides across the dining room floor on his belly while feeling for that darned step with his feet.

Speaking of Noah, I finally ventured out even deeper into the suburbs to do his Christmas shopping. Although we already have a closet full of gifts for him from friends and relatives, I wanted to at least get him one thing from us. Which meant I got him more toys than he could ever play with, including one of those goddamned red and yellow ride-on cars because I put him in one at the store and he honked the horn and laughed and I am a Big Fat Sucker.

I hadn't been to this particular store since I was pregnant, but I was totally blown away by how...nice everybody there was. Clerks stopped to play peek-a-boo with Noah as they walked by our cart, and the minute I started to pull down the big plastic car box someone came and carried it to the register for me. And then someone else carried it to my car.

And I finally found the perfect Noah's Ark playset that I have been searching for in vain since Noah was born, but none of the tiny local toy shops in the city had one, because none of those tiny local toy shops carry toys that children actually want to play with. They carry high-minded wooden educational toys that childless city people buy for their friends' children out in the suburbs, and then they come home and tsk that when THEY have children, they'll ONLY buy the high-minded wooden educational toys for THEIR children, because who would want to live with all that plastic crap all over the place?

And then they have a child and move the suburbs to have more room for all that plastic crap, and because they now have more room they just start buying bigger plastic crap.


The carpet, though completely inoffensive in color, is almost 20 years old and gross and worn. And I just dislike carpet, period. I'm a hardcore hardwood snob. But we agreed to keep it until Noah and Hypothetical Baby #2 Who Will Go In The Blue Bedroom Although I Will Probably Paint It A Nice Light Green Color Or Something are out of toddlerhood. I don't know if we'll stick to that plan now that we're here and keep discovering more Yellow Stains Of Not-Mystery and the thought of an infant lolling around on it gives me hives, similar to the ones Noah broke out in the other day when he took his pants off and climbed up the stairs.

Most of the first level is Pergo, actually, something I avoided telling the Internet about because of the aforementioned snobbery, but I didn't want to offend anyone who loves stuff-that-looks-like-other-stuff stuff, like peel-and-stick squares that look like ceramic tile. And while I still don't think the Pergo is fooling anybody, I'm actually kind of becoming a fan. It's so easy to clean! And indestructible! I don't have to cringe when Noah chucks his sippy cup from his high chair! And it's so! Easy! To! Clean!


One of the shades in Noah's room broke the first time I tried to open it and the kitchen appliances look nice but upon closer inspection and actual use, are actually kind of crappy. I keep finding piles of dog poop in the backyard that are Not Ceiba's, thankyouverymuchpreviousowners. I am constantly cold here. And the wiring is completely backasswards and a bunch of lights are on two switches and if one switch gets flipped off then the other switch is useless, and of course the switches in question are on COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LEVELS of the house and the switch to operate the ceiling fan in our master bedroom is IN THE FUCKING ATTIC, I AM NOT JOKING.

I love this house so, so much.

(For the five of you who care and also my mom, I've uploaded a bunch of SCINTILLATING room-by-room photos of the house to my poor dusty and ignored Flickr account. Durr.)



It looks great!


happy housewarming, lady. you're inviting me over for the in-the-flesh inspection come january, by the by.


Yeah for bing in and having all that space. I am sure you will find more quirks. I can only imagine how sad you were to leave the old... especially the paintings on the wall. It would break my heart too, Just think of the new memories you will make! Can;t wait to go check out the picks!


So, it's basically everything you dreamed about. Congratulations!


What an awesome new place!!! I wish you guys the best of times there!


SO jealous. And also, so happy for you guys.

Merry Christmas!

(And I'm a total "my kid only needs wood toys and I hate the plastic" snob. But I know that will wear off in time.)


"Max gets upset if he's on a different level than we are and we hear him howling in protest, waiting for us to call him. Like a game of feline Marco Polo."

We moved into a new house from an apartment three weeks ago, and our cats did the same thing for the first two weeks. They seem to be over it now.

I'm coming around to Pergo too.


Yay-new house! Our oldest was 11 mos. when we moved into our house. She was clingy for a short time, then she got used to it!

Maxine Dangerous

Swanky digs! :)


Hooray for your new house! Enjoy the space!


I think I may be a grown up finally, cos I said 'ooh, SPACIOUS' about 15 times looking at your flickr photos. It looks amazing Amy, may you have every happiness in your enw home :-)


i love your kitchen. so nice... great place!


Oh, the kitchen! And, cabinets in the kitchen! Jealousy. Looks beautiful; happy unpacking!


When i moved into my gayto mansion i was so excited! it was a year ago and i'm still not unpacked though, hate to tell you.


Oh my word!! Your house is gorgeous! You guys are going to be so happy there.

I'm glad the move went well -- or, at least that the movers didn't steal your stuff.

Merry Christmas, Storch family. Welcome home.


Delurking to say: Moving sucks and yay that you had movers to yell at when you started finding tons of unlabeled boxes going everywhere. I couldn't very well take the heads off my family when I moved...thought about it. Seriously thought about it, then figured-next time I will supervise the packing too. ;)

Dianne Murphy

The light switch problem...I have that in my house too. It is a royal pain.


But...but, where is the tire? A home is not a home- oh nevermind. Congrats on your new home, may you have years of happiness in it.


AllI can think of is that commercial with the guy flipping the switch and opening and shutting the neighbor's garage. Good luck on your odyssey of new house discoveries.


That last photo of Noah is so frakking adorable. If there was a toddler equivalent of "Girl, please." that photo embodies it. Hiiiiiiilarious.


My "normal" cat (normal is such a relative term, isn't it? especially when referring to cats) plays feline Marco Polo with alarming regularity. And her preference seems to be to play in the wee hours of the morning, like 4am. I cannot imagine what we have to look forward to when we move.

Loved the pictures & have a renewed appreciation of your excellent taste: I have the same wine rack! Do you worry about the bottles somehow falling out too, or is that just me? (For the record, none have ever fallen out, nor does it seem likely that they could. But still.)

Merry Christmas!

Mrs. Q.

The little man is getting a Cozy Coupe, too! I'm sure I'll want to fling it after he drives it into the kitchen walls all week, but 'eh.' And our living room rug is the color of grass-- GRASS. As much as it kills me not to have hardwoods there, it is nice and squishy for toddler topples. But the day we're through sitting on the floor, it's history, man. Good luck unpacking and congrats on the new digs.


Totally can't wait to come over! And yes, I will bring pinot grigio. Although it will not ever make it to the wine rack because we will drink it all. Perhaps at the January in-the-flesh inspection party w/ Sweetney?


Thanks for posting pictures :-) Everything looks great, and I know you'll settle in just fine.


I don't envy your lightswitch problem, but do you have 3 (yes! 3!) rooms worth of overhead lights AND outlets on the same circuit? we do. always a blast trying to figure out what to turn off so you can use the blow dryer. :) we have the same color scheme of your dining room in our spare bedroom. purty!


Just a quick note....

That dog poop in the yard? Probably a big ass neighbor cat!

When we moved into this house and I found piles of poop on the lawn I was outraged that someone would bring their dog into an empty house's yard to let their dog sh#@! Then I saw the offending beast! As big as a dog, but not one! The lovely thing comes back regularly to piss on our bbq and front door as well. Can you hardly wait for some of that????

I say SCRAP the carpet!!! Do it NOW!


CONGRATS amalah! the new place looks fantastic. remember... the key to unpacking is to focus on one room at a time. and also to have one drink after each room is finished.
(said the girl who lives in a 1-bedroom apt)


Smart you are to wait to replace the flooring until the kiddos are out of the bodily fluid-spewing, sippy cup-throwing stage. Because hardwood floors demand nice lovely carpets, and then your heart would break the first time a kid puked/pooped/spilled on said carpet. For the same reason, we're waiting til the current infant is out of diapers and potty training before upgrading our nasty old couch.

The house looks lovely and Pergo is good. It's all good if it's easy to clean. Congratulations!

Amy H

Congratulations on the new house. I love it. It looks like you have so much room. And those bathrooms. All. those. bathrooms. I love the countertops in your master bathroom. I can see why you loved the house when you saw it.

hope you and your family has a very Merry Christmas. You are truly blessed.


We are also major hardwood floor snobs but I kid you not, you will grow to obsessively love the Pergo. No scratching! And boys are so very hard on wood floors. We put Pergo in our house and the boys can be as insane as they want to and the floors still look great.


Is Pergo linolium flooring?

Congrats! You'll grow to love your crazy house more and more and more until you'll have to keep yourself from licking the windows for love.

Not that I do that. Anymore...


So many comments, I'll probably forget them all-

I have perego and love it. I actually chose it over hardwwod b/c it's undestructible. And, with a 21 month old and a dog, it's great!

Michael has all the same toys as Noah, and even has the same pjs Noah had when he was sleeping.

I wouldn't have cleaned the condo if they skipped the settlement, I'm an attorney, go ahead and sue me!

New house is beautiful, Congrats! I live outside of DC and just can't stop wondering where it is.


I am enjoying lolling around in the extra-long post! I am also v. excited by new pics on Flickr. After entertaining relatives all day I was so happy to sit down and read the internetweb and find a long post about your new place. Pergo ain't so bad. We used to hammer on it with an actual hammer and it would not dent, so the sippy cup launching should be okay. Hypothetical baby #2 eh?


LOVE the new house! I am so excited for you. The pictures are great. And the colors are not awful! I love your bathroom! Oh, and if you hate the carpet, go ahead and replace it with cheap stuff that is at least clean. Then in 5 years you can put in good stuff. Don't live on other people's filth!

Wacky Mommy

The new place looks great, plastic toys, Pergo and all. I've always dreamt about hiring movers to pack our stuff and haul it, but now I'm not so keen on the idea.

Have fun getting settled in.


I'm so happy to hear things are finally going your way. You actually just got me a wee bit more excited (or less depressed) about moving in the Spring.

And damn those Camaroonians, if they aren't always causing mayehm with the squirrels.


thanks for the pics - very nice, and very nice to be able to visualize everything!


Squeee!!! I have that exact same silver fancy soap dispenser... and the faucets next to it look similar to the ones DH and I just picked out for our bathroom remodel...

...and you're right. That carpet has gotta go. Felt dirty just looking at it.

My cat did the howling thing until you call them too when we moved him. They get over it in a week. Or two. Or so.

Congratulations on the great house!!!


Look at all the bathrooms! More than one!

Congrats on the new place and being in and having the condo sold. Now you guys can have a very Merry Christmas in your new place.

With the bathrooms! And the space! And the yard!


I'm a new Amalah addict...
New house looks spiff (in the throes of mioving in to mine too) and the Pergo rocks - you will embrace it as the kids get older. Trust me, I have a 2.5 year old. Carpet over 15 years old needs to be removed and burned. Or steam cleaned professionally, HEAVILY. Enjoy that sweet kitchen & congrats!


I enjoyed this whole post immesnely, but I really have to commend you on the purchase of the Cozy Coupe. I lusted after them when I was slightly older than Noah...and for my whole life. I'm 24, and I never got one, and I still hope there will be one under the tree on Monday.


Your new house looks beautiful! I hope you'll all be very happy there. I do see what you mean about the carpet though, it looks a bit, well, disgusting.

I can't believe how much storage you have, I'm so jealous. I moved into my new house 3 months ago, and I'm just about to go unpack our last boxes (!), and somehow shoe-horn the crap in somewhere...


Holy mother of huge kitchens! Nice. Very very nice. Congraulations!


well, at least the spastically packed boxes force you, in a way, to get all of your unpacking done as opposed to leaving a bunch of boxes untouched for months. er something.



Noah's all, "I call this look Magnum."


Awesome pad. I'm actually a guy (GASP!) that got turned on to your site by a friend of mine, and I can't stop reading despite the focus on handbags, shoes, and such. I've been going through the archive to see the full story arc of Amalah and I'm wondering ... can we see more pictures of Max? Not that Noah is not precious ... my wife and I want one of our own soon (our own baby, not yours of course ... although we do have family in DC so if you see a creepy looking guy in Brooks Brothers it could be me ... joking) but I miss the pics of Max. Does he get jealous that Noah and Ceiba get the air time now?

metro mama

We moved a year ago on Dec 16. Moving during the holidays is such hell. Glad you're getting settled.


Thanks for posting the pics--I love looking at other people's houses! And when it's someone I admire? Bonus! The house looks very cool and interesting. Also, I have a weird comment--Do you know the new Sears commercial with the parents at their kid's school conference with Ms. Lipinski-Smith(?)? I think that the mom looks like you--or how you'll look in another 15 years or so, given that you are sooo young. I told you it was weird. Have a great holiday in the new digs!


I had to laugh at your last few sentences - we moved into our first house this July and there are so many things that need to be fixed/replaced! The yard looks like crap, we replaced nearly every light fixture in the house, we need all new kitchen appliances, etc. But it's ours and I love it.

Thanks for posting the pics! Can't wait to hear your stories about the new home!


Thanks for posting the photos, your house is gorgeous! Merry Christmas to you, Jason and Noah, from all of us in the Edwards family!



"We got out with five minutes to spare and I got choked up as we scrambled down the three flights of stairs for the last time, just like we scrambled down them the night I went into labor."

Saddest part of your entry.

You know what you need? You totally need a cedar bathmat for your master bath!!! Oh the fun i could have decorating more bathrooms!


I'm still hung up on Noah knowing how to wrangle stairs. NikkiZ just tries to walk down them, which explains the constant state of bruises on her face.


We've been in our house for over 4 years and our moving boxes are STILL in the garage...probably making a lovely condominium for the mice. Seriously. Recycle or toss them ASAP! Now! Go!

Your new home looks LOVELY! I'm so happy for you guys!


Happy Holidays!

Hope you and your family has a healthy and happy holiday!



Thank you so much for sharing pics of your new house. I was looking at them the other night and my husband came over and looked - he wanted to know whose house it was. I stammered a little, and then said "my friend Amy's house, in DC". He looked at me like I was crazy and walked away. Point being you are in a weird twisted way my (and everyone else who reads) friend.

Merry Christmas!


Amy the house is wonderful!!!! I'd love to see video of you guys skating around on swiffers though, that'd be great! The colors in the house are very pretty, the bathrooms, oh my! Love the double sinks and the glass shower. Congrats!

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