November 21, 2011

Buggy Buggy Buggy


There, I said it.  The most feared word in New York City.

That is the reason things have been so quiet on this blog for the entire month of November.
That is the reason my photography clients have been waiting, waiting, waiting for photos.
That is the reason I have cried myself to sleep a couple times recently.
That is the reason I feel the need to shout, "I'm not a dirty person!" to random people on the street.

Yes, my name is Whitney, and I am a bedbug survivor.  And I'm Mormon.  (sorry just had to throw that last bit in there because I'm feeling so clever right now)

Do you know how pregnant I am?
Way too pregnant to be dealing with this crap, that's for sure.

Having bedbugs is not for the faint of heart.  It requires copious amounts of laundry, sealing all clean items into plastic bags and living for about a month with ALL YOUR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS packed away.  Did I mention the vacuuming?  There is lots of it.  Anything that can't be washed and dried on high heat must be vacuumed.  Yes, that would be dear Joseph, vacuuming all of our shoes prior to sealing them in above-mentioned plastic bags.
Every floorboard in the apartment has been vacuumed with the hose extension.  All furniture must be vacuumed, closets emptied, dressers emptied, bookshelves emptied.  People, this is a serious upheaval.

Then there is the exterminating.  We are so fortunate that our management company promptly responded with a professional bedbug exterminator - but it is INTENSE.  They come for three days, a week apart each time.  And each time all furniture must be moved 18 inches from the wall, all bedding stripped, all picture frames and mirrors taken down, PLUS the other activities already mentioned above.  Then they come and spray and anyone who is pregnant or under the age of 2 must be gone from the premises for 24 hours.  Guess who that includes?

Lately it feels my life is laundry, vacuum, bag, repeat, repeat, repeat.  But there are good things to note as well.  

1. Our house has never been cleaner.  Though it is an absolute unorganized disaster, I am sure there is not a single speck of dust anywhere to be found - the corners of the room are spick and span.

2. We have learned that you really don't need all that stuff that clutters up your house.  In our initial clean sweep we tossed a lot of junk, and I'm excited to throw more stuff away when we open our bags.

3. We have really great friends who have watched our daughter, helped us vacuum and launder, let us crash at their place, given us tips for how they defeated the little monster bugs, and more.

4. Ellie hasn't had a single bite since the first extermination and for this we are really grateful.

5. As I write this, we are preparing for our final extermination - we will be officially bedbug free and our home will be put back together before Thanksgiving.  Now THAT is something to be thankful for this year.

Taken at 34 weeks

And I am thankful for  the tiny baby growing inside, who has wisely decided to stay put until we get this issue taken care of.  Bedbugs stink, but as Joe and I remind each other often - bedbugs are not eternal and we will not be beaten!

November 14, 2011

Bringing Home the "W"

So, I don't really get into Halloween.  Not really really.  I don't decorate, I'm bored after the first Halloween themed toddler party, and I can't handle any scary movies at all.  But I do get into the costume.  That's the one thing I really care about - well that and Reese's peanut butter cups.  I go crazy for family costume themes - I love group costumes!  This was our most ambitious year yet.  And boy did it pay off.
That's right.  Grand prize for costumes at the ward Halloween party!  And yes, I am such a gloating winner that not only did I save the plastic plate trophy so I could photograph it to show off to all of you, but I will also tell you that the prize included 2 movie tickets.  Boo-yah!  The taste of victory was sweet this year, my friends.

We may have won the prize for costumes this year, but I definitely failed in the costume documentation department.  I was too tired and too pregnant and it was too snowy to take any decent photos of the family in our get-up.  So you'll just have to try to eek out the full effect from the random photos I do have.

Halloween 2011: Amelia Earhart, her trusty airplane, and her route around the world.
Like any good pilot, first thing in the morning Amelia had a thorough inspection of her aircraft - complete with tinfoil prop and historic plane model number.
Then she suited up and posed for a quick press photo, detailing her intended flight route around the world.
Things quickly went downhill from here as we struggled to get an over-sized cardboard airplane wrapped in a shower curtain, a toddler, and a salad to the church building via subway in the outrageous snowstorm that surprised us all that day.

But we made it in one piece and posed for our only family photo of the entire event.

And yes, the airplane was built in such a way that Ellie could ride inside on Joe's back.  She wasn't too into it, but I thought it was an awesome touch.  And here is a video - probably the best documentation we have.

Wow, get a load of the crazy eyes in that freeze frame.  Clearly not enough sleep.
Amelia, you were good to us this year.  Next year, though, I think we should all be ghosts in sheets.