You’re Still Here

Aubrey has been mostly moved out for almost two weeks now. I still see her every day, either before work or after, so it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. In just a few more days, Matt will be here and I will have both of them in the house more often than I did when Aub lived at home!

She has such great roommates, and she loves her apartment complex. It’s mostly young military guys (MEDICS and DOCTORS IN TRAINING!!), and she’s had great fun watching extremely well fit, shirtless basketball players in the gym at night. Last Sunday, she went to dinner with her roommates and had a great time, so I’m really happy that they are getting to be friends. They are a bit older than she is, but she’s always gotten along better with people who are more mature than her age group.

There are some serious downsides to her not being here, though. Last night, there was a giant water bug flying around in what was her room. I jumped up from my chair, ran over to the door of that room, kicked some boxes out of the way, and slammed the door shut. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that her 36″ God’s Eye project was overlapping the doorway, and I broke a couple of spokes. She hadn’t gotten very far, but still. She went in there this afternoon to hunt for it, but couldn’t find it. I did find another one in the kitchen, and while I doubt it was the same one, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Fortunately, she was here to trap it and take it outside. I wanted her to squish it but she just threw it over the fence.

Matt’s pretty useful for bug smashing, but he has a horrifying phobia of “hair swirlies.” They make him gag. Aubrey will reach her hand into any drain and pull out who knows what, but Matt just can’t. Neither can I. Ron’s a little iffy…it depends on where the drain is. She is the fearless one with a very minor gag reflex.

For the past few days, I’ve been suffering from the side effects of diflucan. Although I’ve taken it before, I’ve never had a reaction like this one. I took it on Monday night, and it wasn’t until Wednesday before it hit, and it hit hard. I thought for sure I was going to die, then I was terrified I was going to live. The worst of it was over after about 24 hours, but I’m still feeling woozy and exhausted, and I have a shrieking headache. Aub has brought me drinks to keep me hydrated, though. On the plus side, I’ve lost five pounds! I’m subsisting on Sonic slushies, tea, and toast with peanut butter or strawberry preserves. However, I don’t recommend the diflucan diet.

While my stress level has dropped dramatically now that Matt’s heart is pretty stable, Aubrey is moved, and Ron’s test is over (he passed!), poor Amy has started to lick holes in her skin once again. We’re keeping her medicated with benadryl, which does help, but it makes her so sleepy. She hates that she can’t sleep with Aubrey, and we refuse to let her on our bed because she’s a bed hog, plus she stinks. She did the same thing when Aubrey left for college, and her anxiety eventually decreased once she adjusted, so we’re hoping that she’ll calm down in a couple of months.

It’s still one day at a time, but that’s not a bad thing. We’re making it through.

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Moving On

After much discussion, Ron and I decided that it was time for Aubrey to move out. We feel that the only reason for a 21 year old kid to live at home is if they are in school, which she is not. Considering she doesn’t want to share a bathroom with Matt, she was pretty motivated to find a place before he moves home.

We spent days looking at apartments online until the wee hours of the morning. We laughed our asses off at some of the reviews that people have posted at apartmentratings.com. From possums to a girl who steals stuff and leaves it in the bushes, to the people complaining that maintenance won’t come change their light bulb, but especially the ones obviously written by management, we waded through probably fifty different properties. It’s pretty easy to tell which reviews are fake; if there are several positive reviews written on the same day, or clustered across several days; if they gush about how great management is; or if they use an excessive amount of exclamation points, it’s a safe bet those aren’t residents.

I found a couple of places on craigslist that seemed worth checking out. One was a garage apartment over in Matt’s neighborhood. I thought it was perfect, but Aubrey didn’t like. She said she couldn’t figure out what it was, but she just had a bad feeling about it. Later we looked at crime statistics and the registered sex offender database…turns out that a rapist lives across the street!

We checked out an apartment complex that is just down the street from us, and although Aubrey loved the closet and kitchen in the tiny one bedroom, I was wary of all the extra fees tacked on to moving in. They wanted $45 to do a credit check, plus another $75 “administrative” fee. Then there was the deposit and first month’s rent. It was going to cost her over $600 just to move in, assuming she passed their various requirements. It was also going to be more than she could really afford. Although we could cosign for her, Ron said we wouldn’t be doing her any favors by allowing her to live above her means, and it would teach her a bad lesson. I had to agree, and Aubrey took it well when we said no.

Finally, I came across an ad for a roommate. Two guys wanted to rent out their extra bed and bath for $600 including all utilities, even internet.  When we went to meet them and see the place, it was perfect and exactly what I had hoped for. The apartment complex is slightly more upscale, and it’s in our old neighborhood so Aubrey knows where everything is. The apartment itself is great, other than being on the third floor. Since the guys are a couple, I don’t have to worry about Aubrey’s safety and I absolutely adore them. One guy is an immunologist and the other one is military intelligence. The immunologist is a complete biology geek, so he and Aubrey have much in common. She snapped it up within ten minutes of walking through the door, and I feel so much better knowing there is someone to notice if she goes missing. Mama paranoia, I know.

The best part is that it is month to month, so if she hates living away from us and her dog, she can easily move back home. There’s also the possibility that Aubrey could become a manager at work, which would likely require moving to a different city. She’s not sure about applying, though.

We had a long talk about the whole management track and she said one reason for putting it off is that she’s scared to move to a different city where she has no family and knows no one. If she ended up in New York she’d be fine, since we have friends in New England that are like family, but Pittsburgh, Miami, or DC? Not so much. However the most important factor for her is wanting to be here while Matt is recovering. She’s terrified that something will happen with him and that she won’t be here, or won’t be able to get back fast enough. Even though we are all moving forward with the assumption that Matt will be okay, I can understand her fear.

She started moving in last Saturday, but her car was giving her all sorts of grief last week. Then there’s the face that she’s packed about seven boxes and moved six. My friends are suggesting that I pack for her, and I’ve threatened her that if I have to do that, I’m packing pretty much everything into the trash. She’s off tomorrow, so we’re going to try to get the majority moved then.

As exciting as it is to see her make the next big step into adulthood, it is scary. I am going to miss her terribly. She’ll only be ten minutes away, and I’m holding her dog hostage, so hopefully I’ll see her often. I’ve been knitting myself into a frenzy to cope with all the stress. At least it’s productive!