Well I can't think of a better birthday gift for my friend, Bridget.  Much to her horror, we have lived in the suburbs for the last 4 years, and yesterday, her 26th birthday, was our first day in our downtown apartment.  After a weekend of packing (and sleeping in the family room), several trips in Mom's SUV and David's "boat," we have almost all of our clothes here as well as our toiletries, most of the refrigerator and pantry.  As the place is fully furnished, we really don't need much else to get by day-to-day.  After reviewing our landlord's selection of cutlery, we decided we definitely need more (I go through the 4 forks provided in a sitting), and our coffee pot also made the initial move (the one cup pot provided won't get Joey out of bed).  I'm glad that we had to make this interim move because it's helped me mentally separate what things I want to take with us from place to place and what things of others I don't mind using. 

I think this move is also going to help us get the dogs trained before we leave.  Which is going to be a monumental task.  After the car ride over (they were all bucked in, much to their chagrin), George decided it'd be a great idea to shit on the entry rug.  Shortly thereafter, I caught Moe lifting his leg over the recliner where Joey was sitting.  Each spanking was followed by attaching a leash, fielding the other two dogs while trying to leave the apartment, trudging down two flights of stairs to "go potty outside."  I believe that's all the accidents we had yesterday, but the rest of the night I couldn't really concentrate on much other than the dogs who were sniffing every corner of the apartment.  Trying to get them to sleep wasn't too bad but Moe was up roaming every hour which just made me nervous.  So, needless to say, I'm exhausted.  When the dogs woke us up at 6, I took Moe and George outside, who decided to charge a Marine in the stairwell and a chihauhau outside.  Our walk to Gray's Lake (where we got a shout-out from Ashley in her Buick) was was diverted due to flooding, but walking by the sculpture garden definitely helped remind me how all the amenities down here are going to outweigh the royal pain in the ass that the dogs have already presented.  I just ordered "the indoor barking dog deterrent" too so between that and the twice daily walks, I think we'll get by.

Here's a few pictures of the place:


TPI Reports

So in case anyone who reads Joey's blog was wondering about my medical clearance, I still don't have it.  After all those trips to the Iowa Clinic (see earlier post), the government is not satisfied.  The first urinalysis had a trace of blood and so did the second (which is totally normal in runners as running on an empty bladder causes slight friction and seeing as I run almost every day it would make sense to find blood), so they required a cytology and visit to a urologist.  So after I peed the third time and the report revealed that (gasp!) everything was fine, I don't have cancer and there is nothing unusual, I was able to cancel my visit to the urologist (thank GOD). 
Unfortunately, the cytology report isn't enough to explain away that box I checked for depression.  Ugh Why Did I Do That?!?!  For future reference, for anyone who has to fill out government forms, lie lie lie lie lie.  If you are honest when you fill out the forms you are creating a world of pain for yourself.  So first they sent a TPI report.  Yes, for all of you Office Space fans, it is really called a TPI report.  We asked our friend Michon, who is the PA at Preventative Health (the clinic we used to have an interest in), if she would fill out the form for me.  Which is no easy task, by the way.  This freaking form is about twenty questions, each one of them dumber than the previous, about my treatment and diagnosis and support system and give me a freaking break.  At the bottom of the form it asks that the answers be put in narrative form and submitted to the government.  Well, the nurse from the State Dept contacted Joey and asked that I call her.  Apparently, even though it says so on the form, they do not want a narrative, they want the TPI report.  And they want it from every doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist and therapist I have seen in the last ten years for my depression.  I told her A) I do not have depression anymore B) I know how to handle it (avoid annoying people like her) C) It was caused by growing up, I feel good about myself, am not on medication, love to run and do yoga and I haven't seen a doctor for it in over a year so I'm not sure how the information they provide would be relevant.  Her answer?  "I really need those TPI reports."  OMG!  She just said that the nurses try to collect as much information as they can to get everything ready for the providers who make the decision.  I told her that it's going to take time to get into the doctor and then it's going to cost money because we have a high deductible plan and she just said, sorry that's they way it is and then she told me she'd email me the TPI reports again. 

I called the Iowa Clinic for my records - I have to come in and sign a release and then it will be 7-10 days for their Medical Records department to get them to me.

Oh the frustration!


One more week at our house!  Technically, we don't close until June 25th, but we take possession of our apartment June 15th, and seeing as that has furniture, we are so excited to move in.  Now that the shower is over and I don't have anything else to occupy my mind, it's suddenly become a lot more real.  Today I also met with the manager of the Starbucks downtown, who agreed to let me transfer to his store, which will be very convenient - only 2 blocks away from the loft.

Invitations to the August training class have all pretty much been sent out, and since Joey's clearance is scheduled to be finished tomorrow, we are 95% sure that September 13th is our official start date in DC. Having an actual date makes things a lot more real too!  We are also about 85% sure we have found a place to live in DC.  Actually, its in the "urban village" Shirlington, which is very close to Arlington, VA, which is where Joey will be training/working.  We're really excited about the place - its this super cute newly renovated apartment complex called Windsor at Shirlington Village.  It has a shuttle directly to the metro, and I believe where Joey works is right across the street, so this is clutch given DC's notorious traffic.  It also has its own 7000 sq ft exercise facility and is right by the running trail that takes you into DC (it's only 3 miles).  They usually only take 2 dogs per apartment (I've been confronted with this restriction at almost every one of the million places I've inquired) but Windsor agreed to make an exception!  Here's the link for the apartment if you're interested: http://www.windsorcommunities.com/apartments/northern-va/shirlington/

Another perk is the nearby Shirling- ton Village (see picture), which has tons of restaurants and cute shops and is apparently very dog friendly.  Also, two dog parks are within walking distance which will be crucial given the three dogs living in a 900 sq ft apartment.  Apparently Shirlington is also home to many other FSOs as well as other young professionals, which is really exciting because hopefully it'll be easy to make new friends.  It definitely makes it easier to move knowing where we are going is neat - be it downtown Des Moines or Shirlington, VA.