Kit and I have always braved the couple of hot days in Portland each summer without A/C. Although I have suggested it probably once per summer, it's never hot enough to rationalize spending the money (especially when you don't have the extra to go around). So that was the plan for the heat wave that is currently coming to a close.
However, temperatures over 100 degrees with a baby don't work so well. Especially with a baby who has reflux. Monday night the poor girl was up late crying, hot and spitting up her meals. There was a 10-hour time period in which she kept nothing down.
We debated going to a hotel, but all the ones we could afford (and by afford I mean using what little money we have in savings) and even the ones we couldn't "afford" didn't seem like they would be clean enough for a baby like Ellie who has just begun her adventures outside of our house. At midnight, she finally kept down a small bottle and went to sleep.
I awoke in the morning to see about borrowing my older brother's A/C as he and his wife had offered it on Saturday night when Kit and I still thought we could make it. We had declined. Sean has a wonderful (or cranky, depending upon what scale you use to evaluate him), old dog who was having about as good of a time as Ellie with the heat so they had installed their A/C late Monday night. But being the wonderful big brother that he is, he said they would buy us one. Amazing.
The next trick was trying to find an A/C. I called all the area Home Depots first and found an out-of-the-way store where they had quite a few in stock. They didn't make it sound like they were about to run out so I didn't rush to get there. Bad move. Ellie and I arrived just in time to see some guy with the last two in his cart. I was halfway tempted to ask the guy if he really needed two or if his family could huddle in one room like my family was going to do so that my little baby could keep cool. But I was so disheartened as missing the opportunity to keep Ellie cool that tears were brimming in my eyes, and I just had to walk out of the store.
All the other Home Depots only had the $400 kind of A/Cs that heat spaces much larger than we needed. So Kit gave me the number for a local hardware store, which shall remain nameless, at which our friend Tim works. I called them and they were getting a shipment "in the afternoon." I was still frazzled from the Home Depot incident that I forgot to ask when "the afternoon" was.
Meanwhile, our friend Erik mentioned on Facebook that we should try Sears. So Sean and I both called local Sears stores and both headed to two different stores (one by his work and one sort of by our house). As Ellie and I were driving, Beth, Tim's wife, called to say we should try the nameless hardware store. I told her (at least I think I did) that I had called and they had a shipment "in the afternoon." She told me to call and ask for the "PIC - Person In Charge" and tell them I was friends with Tim. I did, and the guy told me the truck was coming in at 2:00. Score.
Sean continued his trip to the Sears by his work just in case, but Ellie and I headed home since the other Sears was kind of out of the way. Sean's Sears only had a few of one model left and about 20 people waiting in line to get one. He decided it wasn't worth it since nameless hardware store was going to have them for sure at 2:00.
Erik had continued calling around to try to find places that had them and found a store, but by this time Ellie was hungry so I knew I wouldn't make it in time since they had told him we needed to be there within the hour.
So Ellie and I arrived at nameless hardware at 1:55. I was shooting for 1:30, figuring we could aimlessly walk around until the truck arrived. But I'm sure everyone knows how hard it is to get anywhere on time with a baby, especially when you've already attempted two other drives that day.
And folks, you might have guessed that at 1:55 all of the A/Cs were already gone. Lame. The PIC told me the truck was arriving at 2:00, not that all the A/Cs would be gone by 1:55 (or actually 1:50 according to the gal at the counter). Argh.
As all of this was going down, our friend Katy had posted on Facebook that her roommate bought an A/C at Costco that didn't fit any of their windows. But I hadn't heard back from her on it and didn't have her phone number. So while I was heading to Costco (just in case they had some) from the nameless hardware store, Kit got on Facebook to see if we could get the one from Katy's roommate still.
They exchanged messages, got Katy my cell number...or maybe I called Katy, can't remember which. Anyway, while I was at Costco (they were sold out but gave me a number to call at 8:00 the next morning to see about getting in on their next shipment), Katy and I connected. Not only did her roommate still have the A/C, they live relatively close to my brother's house (he had gone home to work from there after looking at Sears).
So Sean headed to pick it up, and after buying a few things at Costco, Ellie and I went through the drive through at Starbucks to get Sean and I each a hard-earned treat. And by late afternoon, we were basking in the cool A/C.