Ready. Set. Go!
Travis and I officially moved into our condo in New York in mid-August! That's right, the Big Apple! We live in Westchester, which (if you are not familiar) is not a borough of New York. It is absolutely, 100% NOT city life. I am grateful for this; I like a peaceful atmosphere and reasonable prices (well, as reasonable as you can get in New York!). The condo is a "big little" space.
Let me explain. The actual square footage is small for sure; however, the way the place is renovated makes it seem a whole lot bigger than it actually is. The owner renovated the bathroom so that it opens up to the foyer and all the way through to the bedroom- this was an excellent improvement that added a major feel of openness. There is also tons of storage space- more than I realized when we signed the lease! The kitchen has an especially nice amount of storage, which is great for me considering I love to cook and bake. Therefore, it is our "big little" condo.
In order to prep for living, we did some serious cleaning of the condo when we first moved into it. Thanks to my mom and dad, we accomplished SO much. From fixing and caulking to cleaning gunk and polishing floors, they busted their butts (as did we) to make the condo a stunner. When the POD came with our stuff, we had our work cut out for us. We had a lot of stuff for a condo. Fortunately, as I mentioned, the condo had a lot of storage in addition to the storage unit under our condo- booyah!
Needless to say, after tons of hard work, too much money spent on cleaning supplies, plenty of "yucks", and loads of laughter, we made the place look fabulous. Then came the tears when my parents left. It is one thing to live 6 hours away from family in the same state. It is also one thing to still be "in school", thus still feeling like a kid. It is another thing when your parents leave you in a state where there is no family to be found and you are officially an adult who needs to make money to sustain life. There is an emptier feeling when that happens. My parents are far enough away that I can convince myself it is easier to just fly- that stinks. Travis's parents are even further away. Lindsey used to be in Maryland, but now she is the furthest- Texas- a different time zone for goodness's sake! Erik is further south than Trav's parents. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I nostalgic? Yes. Am I disappointed? No. This is a good thing for Travis and me to truly get out on our own.
Luckily, we have been "weened" into our just-the-two-of-us, lack-of-parents lifestyle by having Travis's parents and siblings arrive for Labor Day weekend. Fun fun! We had a great time with them! I made chicken parmigiana, and we went to the Bronx Zoo. We had an overall fun time with them. We then took off to South Florida to visit with Travis's parents and grandparents (specifically Grandma Wilson who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease). We visited Grandma Wilson and Grandpa Wilson, went on a boat ride with Trav's parents, and spent time with Grandmother and Grandfather Engebretsen. It was then time to truly head back into real life by hopping on a flight home to New York- just the two of us.
Okay, now I know that you are probably thinking... what is with the random line thingy? My response to that is, it's my stinkin' blog, I'll do what I want, foo! Just kidding. But for real, the line is due to the fact that I started writing this post so long ago that some of these feelings have changed, and I felt I should alert you to my new feelings. I know. Riveting.
I read back over this post and stopped at the area that said I was scared and nostalgic, etc. I thought, wow... I don't feel that way now. It is astounding to me how God makes us so very adaptable. I thought this would be harder, but as I sit on my couch holding my Sugar Bear (we'll get to that in uno momento), I realize that I am so very content with life right now. Not that I don't want anything to ever change; it is just that I am... happy. =] No... joyful- overall, filled with a feeling of contentment even if something superficial and/or small is off-kilter for the moment.
I will eventually post all sorts of pictures of our place (before and after) as well as many pictures/videos of the Sugar Bears. Until then, I thought I would just provide you with this written report of all that has been happening. Now, I have gotten a lot of questions regarding Travis and my new pets, Jasmine and Aladdin. Well, let me give you some answers. =]
1. Why the names Jasmine and Aladdin?
When Travis and I were kids, independently of one another we chose Aladdin as our favorite classic Disney films. He thought Aladdin was such a cool, slick guy, and I thought Princess Jasmine was beautiful! Thus... Jasmine and Aladdin are our new babies' names.
2. What are they?
They are marsupials (same family as Kangaroos and Koalas) from Australia. This means that Jasmine has a pouch- yes, that's right- a POUCH! They are absolutely NOT rodents. Rodents have a destructive nature due to the fact that their teeth never stop growing. Therefore, they must chew and gnaw on things to "grind" them down. Sugar Bears' teeth do not continue growing, thus, they do not need to grind them down by destroying stuff. This is a obviously a majorly good quality!!!
3. What do they eat?
Glide-R-Chow: a specially formulated pellet food. Many people think they need exotic diets because they are rather unusual pets for people in the United States (they were introduced to the states around 15 years ago), but this is simply not true. Just as you would not feed your cat or dog something it would eat in the "wild" (A.K.A. mice, birds, etc.), you do not need to feed a sugar glider something it would eat in the wild (A.K.A. small birds, insects, fruit, eggs, etc.). The exception to this is that Sugar Gliders do need fruit- particularly apples. Their feeding schedule is quite simple actually. They should always have plenty of Glide-R-Chow (protein-filled "pellets" of dry food- think of like dog food but for gliders!). They will not overeat their Glide-R-Chow. Then, each night, they get 1/8 of an apple each (obviously with NO seeds). Every other night, we sprinkle a pinch of their vitamin powder on each slice. Finally, the last food item needed is a quarter slice of bread twice a week to take care of the particular sugars found in bread that they cannot get through fruit. Obviously, they need their water bottle to be full at all times because they can easily get dehydrated. That's it!
4. Do they smell?
If you follow the aforementioned diet, no. If you fall into believing what forums and random websites tell you about their diet, yes. If you don't follow the aforementioned diet, they will definitely develop a musky scent similar to a ferret. Now, their scent would definitely not be as strong as that of a ferret, but I prefer a pet that doesn't stink at all!
5. Are they Sugar GLIDERS or Sugar BEARS? Is there a difference?
They can be called either name; there is no difference! Tomato, tomato! ...Oh... guess that doesn't work through writing...
6. How big do they get?
About a foot in length. This sounds big until you hear this part: their tail will be around 6 inches, so technically their BODIES only get to be 6 inches in length. Therefore, they are tiny and will remain tiny. =]
Well, this post has been quite lengthy as it is, so I will bid you adieu! If you have any questions about Sugar Gliders/Bears, please post a comment with your question(s), and I will get back to you with an answer ASAP. Obviously, you are more than welcome to ask any questions about our life in New York and/or our new condo. Same thing applies, I will get back to ya! ;]