This Little Miggy Stayed Home: So This Is How It's Gonna Be

Monday, July 25, 2011

So This Is How It's Gonna Be

So far San Antonio and I aren't getting along too well.  

It's a lot of little things like...

--No storage space.  I love these old houses but I always forget that people had like 5 outfits, 8 dishes and 1 pair of shoes.  It takes twice as long to unpack if you have to get super crafty about where to put everything.  For realsies, no more kitchens without pantries.  (Unless I super-duper love the house...sigh).   

--The neighbor's dog barks all. evening. long.  Starting around 8:00pm that thing is on replay for several hours.  I want to say something, but I don't want our first neighborly interaction to be all "Hi, nice to meet you.  Shut your dog up."  Any suggestions?  

--It's Hot.  I know it's hot everywhere right now, but Texas is like this all the time I hear.    

--Our KitchenAid is missing.  It either got lost or stolen in the move.  My money's on stolen.  

--The cockroach made another appearance last night in the kitchen.  Oh I hope he crawled all over our clean dishes.  Pretty please?    

--Speaking of creepy...we have a creepy neighbor who won't wave to us.  B has tried a couple of times, because you know maybe he didn't seem him the first time.  Nope.  Just a creep.  Which is perfect, because I'm not paranoid enough.  

--Both the girls are sick.  Technically not Texas' fault, but who else do I blame?

--There is no Trader Joes.  OK so now maybe I'm just looking for things to find wrong but STILL.  

I know moving is always a transition.  I remember missing NYC a lot after we left, and of course we eventually found our groove and really enjoyed Cincy.  But something feels a little different this time, like it's taking us longer to unpack, longer to get settled, and with a few more headaches and hassles thrown in for good measure.  So any suggestions?  I know we have Sea World and Six Flags yet to tackle, but what else?  Even if it's not something specific to San Antonio, what else can you do when you move to a new area to acclimate, explore and enjoy?


  1. Oh, I feel ya! Adjusting kinda stinks. I do have a helpful tip for the barking dog. Bring your darling kids with you and use them as an icebreaker. Sort of like, my cute kids wanted to meet your dog and find out why he barks all the time!

    Honestly, though, when Eli was a couple months old we had an incessantly barking dog in the neighborhood and so I put the baby in the stroller and went over and told him that I got close to zero sleep as it was with a newborn so could he try to keep the dog quiet? Totally worked.

  2. I hate moving. i'm so sorry! Dog barking fact, my friends told me to always specifically meet the neighbors before we move anywhere and specifically ask about the dog thing...we did that this time and it worked out.
    As far as moving goes, I always just turn into a hermit for about 6 months. No, TJ's seriously blows. And the southern heat is something fierce. My son got super sick this last move (we moved 2 weeks ago) and then I got it...I think the sick stuff is par for the course.
    Here's the thing though, (all my Chinese students used to tell me this when I would teach dance in LA) it sounds like you've had lots of "bad luck" or super difficult challenges you've used all your "bad luck" up and things will get WAY better soon. I don't know if it was the cultural differences, but I always believed them. :)

  3. Solution: come visit Houston. Okay, that maybe doesn't solve your problems with San Antone (that is how the locals say it), but you are always welcome to come visit Houston. (I don't comment a lot, but maybe you remember that I know Bracken.) I have three little kids and we are super fun. Okay, the dogs - everyone in Texas has barking dogs. They stink - do you have a home owner's association? Because you can call them and anonymously tell them about it and they will monitor the noise a bit and see if they need to say something. Good luck.

    The heat - yeah, it is hot. Really, really hot. But winters are glorious. Glorious. So swim a lot and find your local library and maybe museum - because Texas has lots of free programs for families. Spend time inside and wait for October :)

    I wish that Texas had: Trader Joe's, In-n-out, more frozen yogurt and decent bagel places. I hear you on this one. I miss TJ's.

    The Alamo is fun. Check it out.

    and really, if you want to come check out Houston, you are always welcome. We love visitors.

  4. by the way, if you need someone to vouch that I am not a psycho, we lived in the same ward as the McCoys in Boston and knew them pretty well. You can ask her :)

  5. Linda P.9:02 AM

    I am soo sorry for the discouraging start! Keep your chin up, dear Miggy, because I am praying that things will start falling into place and that you will be encouraged. Anna is right about glorious winters--at least in many parts of Texas. Here in the Ft. Worth area our winters are very moderate and really cold days are few and far between for the most part. We don't get much snow, so it becomes a major woo hoo when we see it!

    Who knows about that unfriendly neighbor. Maybe when you get to know another neighbor (or ask your landlords), you could ask kindly if he has something going on in his life that is making him not even want to wave back to you. Hmmm.

    I do hope the barking dogs get better. Maybe in the meantime you could find a nice music station to keep on to help drown out the irritation. Maybe you could also ask the landlords about that.

    I live in a small 1000-ish sq. ft. home built in the 50's, and we have had to be creative in some of our storage. Do you have any spots to put some armoire-type pieces of furniture? I am a big crafter, and several years back I bought some plain-looking white (maybe called melamine? not sure) storage cabinets from Target. They are a little under 5' tall, 24" across, and 12" deep. I got some batique fabric, tore it into squares, and applied it with Mod Podge. I then sealed the fabric with some glitter Mod Podge. These cabinets don't take up a ton of room, but they provided some perfect-sized space for storing craft supplies, and they look nice.

    Honestly, in the summertime, I just pretty much do not "do" outdoors in the Ft. Worth area. I "melt" easily and just don't tolerate the heat well. I stay in the AC and depend on indoor things for entertainment. Take heart, though! The nice fall is just around the corner.

    Sending prayers that your sweeties are well soon. Hope it is OK that this was so looooong. (Oops!)

  6. Anonymous10:00 AM

    Check out the Riverwalk. It's my favorite part of San Antonio, and it's a bit cooler than the rest of the city in the evenings thanks to the water.

    No TJs, but check out Central Market. It's closer to the worlds most awesome Whole Foods than to TJs, but it might hit the spot.

    Tex-mex in general and freshly made tortillas in particular.

    If you have the floor space anywhere in the kitchen, a free-standing Ikea or similar 12"-16" deep cabinet makes a much better pantry than trying to cram everything into kitchen cabinets.

    Good luck unpacking! Just remember, the heat doesn't last forever.

  7. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Oh no. Hang in there. Moving is always a beast-and now you've got two little ones to keep up with along with unpacking and getting settled in. And a hot summer can make your house feel like a prison at times! Sorry about your mixer:( So irritating. My dad always said "there is always a casualty during a move" and when we moved last summer (into my parents' basement with three young kids-agh!!!) our fridge had a big gash across the water dispenser on the front! I was so irritated but as time has gone on I try to look at it like a battle scar:) But a missing mixer sucks!
    I like the idea of checking out the library (you'll meet other moms there) and a pool. It'll all happen and you'll make friends and have lots to do soon enough. Just takes time and that can be discouraging. Creepy neighbor may just need more waving to;) And stopping by with a plate of cookies (a kind that doesn't require a mixer to make:( to meet the neighbor with the barking dog could help.
    Hang tight. I can't wait to see what you do with this house. Your exciting story of knocking on the door gives me such hope that we'll find a place to call home soon!

  8. I truly feel your pain! We just completed our 10th move, within 13 years of marriage. I know, it sounds like we're nuts, but that's just the way things have worked out. We've been in Texas for seven months and we're STILL trying to adjust!

    I feel that unpacking is worse than packing, because it takes forever to make the house "work" the way I want. It's like a HUGE annoying game of Tetris! I think I've re-done several of our rooms a few times now! The worst part is, I know this ISN'T our final landing place. We are just renting, so it's really hard to get into the groove. Buying a house does wonders for my soul, and I can't wait until we can own a home again! (Well, technically we still DO own a home. It's just in another state! The problem with that home is that we can't sell it! Oh the "joys" of this economy.)

    I understand the heat problem! My kids had track practice most of the summer: three times a week, right when the temps were at 100+ degrees! When I told people we were signing up for track club, they all looked at me like I was CRAZY. I didn't get it...but now I totally do! The heat is a BEAST! *Luckily for us, our new (and wonderful) LDS neighbors have a pool that they invite us to swim in!

    Hang in there. I know moving is SO HARD. Give yourself at least six months to feel a little better. That always works for me :)

  9. I love the suggestions people are making about storage. We live in about 1100 square feet with NO pantry and NO linen closet. What were we thinking!?!?!?! The IKEA cabinets work like a charm. We have 2 sets in our dining room and will no doubt end up with more. I also did some shelves with a suspension rod/curtain in our laundry room to cover up all our "junk." Not a perfect fix, but it will do for now.

    It sounds like you are getting some good suggestions about your neighbor, the dogs, and places to visit. I really think it will get better if you give it enough time. Hang in there! :) Praying for you guys!

  10. Anonymous11:23 AM

    So I'm a stranger reader! But as far as the barking dog goes...we have one of those things hanging in our tree that emits a high pitched unpleasant sound only dogs can hear. Every time the neighbor dogs bark, they hear this annoying sound and stop. And the best part...none of our neighbors know we have it so no uncomfortable conversations! It's at least a good thing to try! Good luck!

  11. I hear the River Walk is amazing, and best of all, free. WE are planning on passing through in March just to see it and the Alamo. When in need of a good chuckle, remember the scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure when he sings "The stars are bright, and big at night, (clap clap clap) Deep in the Heart of Texas!" Cracks me up every time I pass through TX.

  12. Let me just tell you - I've lived in Texas my ENTIRE life and this summer is about to do me in. It WILL get better!! We have spent time in SA in the fall and spring, and it's nice and cool... this too shall pass :-)

  13. Anonymous11:55 AM

    Have you tried Sun Harvest Market? Comperable to TJ's. Also- Schlitterbahn (best water park!) is super close to you! Moving is hard... Moving with kids is even harder. I understand where you are coming from- we've only been in our house for 2 years and we are going to be uprooting and moving to Dallas soon.
    Best wishes-

  14. Don't worry so much about the heat. Yes it is hot every summer, but this summer is particularly terrible. The fall, winter and spring are glorious. It makes that 3 months in the summer worth while. Until then do a lot in doors. Every where here has great air conditioning. Go swimming a lot. There are lot's of rivers and lakes that you can go float in (Guadalupe State Park is great for little ones and New Braunfels has the best river to go tubing on). Or make a day trip to the beach. The beaches here are wonderful. Port Aransas is closest. There is a group of Mom's that get together every week or so from different wards across the city. Later this week we are going to the Quadrangle on Fort Sam to feed deer (in the morning so it's not as hot) and then go out to lunch. If you aren't weirded out about meeting up with a random reader then we would love to have you and your girls come!

    I hear you on Trader Joe's. Unfortunately I haven't found a good substitute. Central Market is great but it's more of a Whole Food's (which we have one of also).

    I would really like to know more about this device you hang from trees to stop dogs barking. We have a couple annoying dogs in our neighborhood. I wonder where you buy one?

  15. Linda P.12:27 PM

    Hi, again! A little P.S. to my earlier comment. When I said I sealed the batik fabric with glitter Mod Podge, I think I actually MIXED glitter Mod Podge with plain Mod Podge. It seems like I thought the glitter Mod Podge alone was tooooooooo glittery for my taste for this project.

  16. This may crack you up, but whenever we travel (we have 3 little kids), I search website. It nearly always gives me free or cheap ideas that require very little exertion on my part:

    Creepy neighbor will mellow, right before you move. :> I would just go talk to the neighbor about the dog, and use the baby as a reason. Good luck!

  17. SO glad to hear you are having a rough go!! I know -- heartless of me. But I've been in MI now for 2 months & I still don't love it. I keep thinking someday I'll get to put MY house together & then that magical 'thing' will click. Someday.

  18. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Go to Whataburger. Seriously. It's the best burger EVER!!!

  19. Ditto on the Central Market. Take the girls on an afternoon, pick up something to drink in the Cafe and walk around, tasting the samples. yum. DONT go to Sea World or Fiesta Texas until at least the end of September. Not a place you want to be in the summer heat (I speak from experience, read my blog about that wonderful day). The San Antonio Zoo is great. Free parking, great annual pass and it opens at 7:30 so you can get in and out before it reaches 100 degrees. Take their bathing suits, there is a splash area. Go to the outlets in San Marcos. 45 minute drive and lots of shops. Also in San Marcos are those caves and stuff. Nice. Cool. Caves. I'm driving down again this weekend to take my daughter and the baby to the beach and the aquarium in Corpus Christi. I'll let you know how that goes.
    As for the dog, check city ordinances, make note of when it happens and call it in. People should be held accountable for their noisy critters. It's not like the hammer is gonna come down the first time. They will get a friendly warning and the source will be anonymous.
    @Linda P. I'm in FTW, too. Hi!

  20. Anonymous10:42 PM

    I just moved last week so I really do feel your pain. I have two young boys and I am doing my best to put on a brave face for them. I am sorry to hear about your kitchenaid being stolen but I may have good news for you. I have a red kitchenaid that I really don't want. I don't bake much and when I do I prefer my hand mixer. The only drag is that I can't find the beaters for it! But if you want my kitchenaid without the beaters, I will be happy to mail it to you to free up some storage in my old house that lacks a pantry. Seriously, you can have it. (But I won't be offended if you don't want it.) You can email me at if you decide you do want it. It's the least I can do for the great reading you provide me on a weekly basis.


  21. i agree: winters are glorious, and fall and spring.

  22. Oh, girl... I'm so sorry! (Long time reader, first time commenter!) It's kind of funny to think that just as you are moving here and feeling out of place and away from home, I live in Dallas and think of how I would feel if I had to pack, and leave, and move... and I just wish I could give you a hug and a glass of sweet tea :)

    And yeah... it's not you. It's just that hot. You'll see a lot more families out at the park and walking around when fall hits. And hopefully all of those folks will be friendlier than your not-so-friendly neighbor. There's always gotta be one strange neighbor in the bunch, right?

    And this infamous Trader Joe's you speak of... I'd so love to actually see the inside of one of those after hearing how much everyone loves it.

  23. Be sur to go to the River Walk and have dinner some weekend evening. The food is too good.

    As for moving . . . I moved from Berkeley, CA to Seattle, WA 10 years ago and I still miss Berkely every day. Moving is not a fun time in life for me. Take it day-by-day. Talk tothe nighbor and let him/her know you have an infant and the barking is keping her awake and throwing her completely off schedule. It's simple and harmless and jopefully the neighbor will be open to hearing what you have to say.

    Texans are notoriously nice. I am surprised the neighbor will not wave back at you. Such a simple jesture, a wave.

    A drive to Austin would be fun. I LOVE Austin. You will too.

    5 years ago we bought a house built in the late 1800's. Charming and craftman style. Never again will I buy an old house. No closests, no storage space, and the kitchen was the worst, and I LOVE to cook. We sold it and moved into a rental to make some decisions. We are now looking for a home to buy and what do we both fall in love with? A beautiful huge home built in 1914. The good news is that the interior has been completely remodeled and it is beautiful. The kitchen is a chef's dream space. We are taking our time and still looking at other homes too,

    Peace be with you Miggy. This time of moving strife will pass.

  24. For all the barking dogs in your life that you just can't stand anymore! :-)

    A bit pricey, but saves you from one (or more!) uncomfortable conversations.

  25. We stayed in San Antonio for a few days while my husband was TDY there. My girls (almost 6, 5, and 3) and I enjoyed the Witte Museum, specifically their texas wildlife exhibit. The museum is on the smaller side, but I found that made it easier to navigate with the kids. And on a week day, besides one school group, we were practically the only people there, which was great. Ask for the military discount.
    And I would second the advice to wait on Sea World until it gets cooler. We went in early May and the kids were miserable (way too hot!) Same thing with Sea World though, get your military discount, you can all get in for free!