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Scaling It Back: Issue 1

In late July of 2005, Jen and I departed Southern California for the great state of Texas. We made the trip easily in four days, with an overnight detour to Carlsbad Caverns. 25 days later, our household goods arrived and we began our life in our 1200 square foot apartment. We had no house, no kids, no pets. Nearly eight years later, we began a new trek, destined for the greater Seattle area. This time we left behind a house and brought with us two kids and a dog—one of them gets car sick. The eight day journey will be a story told in my next book, The Speed Bump Chronicles. It culminated in our arrival at a 1000 square foot apartment in Renton, Washington. It seems as our family grows, our living arrangements shrink.

We are now in our third week of exile in Renton (where it is well documented that we scale it back a notch). Our new house is under construction and won’t be complete until mid June. Cabin fever is beginning to set in. Upon our arrival and after inspecting each room of our temporary apartment, the kids had one question: where’s the rest of it? An understandable reaction from a five and three year old who just involuntarily abandoned a nearly 4,000 square foot house.

Our accommodations are actually very nice. The apartment is fully furnished, with high speed Internet and two flat screen televisions. The girls share a room but have their own twin beds. There’s a gym, a complimentary java bar, a pool, a “hot pool,” and an elevator, which is probably the most popular amenity for the girls. Every time we leave the apartment my girls can be heard up and down the hall, fighting over who gets to push which button on the elevator. We’re on the second floor, which is one floor above convenient and four floors below a nice view.

Friday Night at the Community BBQ

We constantly find ourselves chiding the girls for being too noisy—jumping around, dancing, running from room to room—though our fears were alleviated slightly when they made friends with the couple downstairs. An older couple with grown children, they too are exiled while their house is being rebuilt. “KK” is a teacher and spent an hour one afternoon in the java bar reading to the girls. Knowing the downstairs neighbors hasn’t brought any weight when admonishing our girls, but at least KK and her husband know it’s not me and Jen obnoxiously rehearsing for Stomp!

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