Thursday, April 27, 2006


Today is the boy's field trip. The entire kindergarten is visiting the zoo, so I signed up as a volunteer weeks ago because I thought it would be fun.

This morning, right before my alarm went off, I hear the girl coughing. Then I hear what sounds like throwing up and then screams for me. Rats.

Update: My mother-in-law was able to watch the girl so I could still go on the field trip. And she only threw up only once in the car on the way over. Yuck. The field trip was well, memorable. Let's just say I have a new found respect for teachers. A friend and I decided to join forces and we were responsible for keeping 7 kindergartner's from running off or getting hurt. Not small task. We car pooled with a dad of one of the kids and decided when it was all over, that we needed a drink. So we did. Too bad the Gingerman doesn't open till 2 pm. We ended up at Baker Street Pub instead. We did make sure to take off our name tags associating us with the elementary school before we entered the bar.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


For a cup of coffee? That's the last time I visit the office cafeteria for a pick-me-up. I could have 24 ounces of diet coke for that price instead of 12 ounces of coffee. Isn't coffee supposed to be cheap? Before the "new and improved" cafeteria vendor, I could get a cup of coffee (the exact same stuff, by the way) for 60 cents. Hmph.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I can sense foreshadowing in the making. We submitted our offer Sunday, no word on Monday. My realtor calls Monday evening, a little jittery, do you want me to reduce my commission so you can offer more? No, hold tight I say. This morning, I send ask her to please tell the buyers they have 24 hours to respond, we want to make an offer on a different house. The buyers say no deal.

An hour later, the phone rings again. Ha! Amazing what happens when you don't care anymore. They'll take our offer, but need to close sooner. They want the 10th, we countered with the 15th of next month. Still waiting for the answer, but I have the sickening feeling this is going to happen.

Now I'm starting to panic. I realize that we need to figure out how to pay for all of this. I call my mortgage broker to discuss. Imagine that you can't finance a house and then move the house! Go figure. We need a construction loan. In order to get approved for the construction loan, we need plans and an entire list of the materials required. Hubby and I haven't even started discussing the plan, much less found an architect.

So, the plan for the moment, if the contract is signed and binding, we will buy it using traditional financing, try to sell our home, move into little house all the while formulating our plan. Then we will bum off everyone we know to crash at their place for a few weeks while we build our house.

Anyone mind 2 slovenly adults, 2 high energy whiny kids, 1 non-stop barking dog, and 1 barf and pee all over the place cat?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Another twist

I know you just can't enough of this saga, so I will fill you in on the latest. After hitting refresh on MLS every 30 seconds for three days straight and seeing the status on the house still active on market, I was a wreck. I finally got the answer on Friday- the contract had been signed, the buyers were doing the inspection that afternoon. Ok, fine, I can move on now.

Sunday morning, as we were about to head out for a family bike ride with my folks, the phone rings and I see on caller ID that it is my realtor. My heart skips a beat, I answer, and she tells me the contract has fallen through and we can have it if we're willing to accept their last counter and close quickly. Otherwise they will put it back on the market (not that they ever took it off).

Instead of bowing to all of their demands, we offered our last counter (which is only $2000 different, btw) and that we would close at the end of May. I expect to hear an answer back sometime today. And honestly, I don't expect them to accept it and at this point, I really don't care. So there, the emotional attachment is gone.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Birthday

To Sara!!

Hope you're having fun installing that gravel path today.....

Overheard last evening

"Mom? Why are you working hard and Daddy is just relaxing?"

"Mom! I had peanut butter coming out of my tush!"

"Mom? Why are your teeth white and Daddy's are yellow?"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fresh new look for spring

The black background was beginning to wear on me and besides, with nearly 2 years of blogging, it was time for a change. Like the new look? It's much more upbeat and happy. I am sure I will continue to tweak for awhile, at least until I get busy at work.

But, why?

I have a problem. If someone assigns me a task, I need to understand why it needs to be done. I am unable to just take orders and say yes, it will be done. I must first present my opinions on the matter and let my voice be heard.

I know this is a problem because the boy is the exact same way. He must understand the logic behind every rule. It goes way behind the innocent "whys" to everything in the world. If you can explain it to him in a way that he understands, he is 100% behind it. If not, well, forget it. It is frustrating, but once I understood this, it became very easy to manage.

The girl, however, is not this way. She doesn't care what you have to say. If she doesn't want to do it, she won't. And no amount of logic will sway her.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Future rock star

The girl has a fascination with sunglasses. She wears the all the time- including in the house.
Think we might have a future rock star on our hands......

Back on the roller coaster

I just heard from my realtor. The house is still listed as "active on market", so she contacted the other realtor. The contract has still not been signed and he said it should be signed today. If it falls through, he will call her.

I KNOW that I should not get my hopes up again. I KNOW this. But there's hope! And my hopes are up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

When one door closes.....

We submitted the offer on the little tear down house the middle of last week and they countered. Just as we were ready to agree to their demands, we were out bid. Instead of getting into a bidding war, we decided to pass. I was so bummed all weekend because I got emotionally attached to the idea. Oh, well.

Other than that, the weekend was great. Easter egg hunts, baseball game, birthday parties, and a large family gathering. Good times.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I made a telemarketer laugh

I received the same phone call on our other line from the american family value group (or whatever they call themselves). It was my second chance at debate, but this one was even less fun than the first. She would ask me questions and I would answer. Only her response did not reflect my answer. She followed the script perfectly and did not bobble.

Either the script didn't allow for objections or she decided to skip that part, but I started wondering if I was talking to a real person or a computer. When she finally decided to pause, I asked -"are you a real person or am I talking to a computer?" Then she laughed and answered that I had been talking to "Ok, real, live person, please remove our number from your list."

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I think I have once again managed to get us in completely over our heads. After days of debating my side of the housing issue, hubby came around 180 degrees. Except for the living in the little, old house part. He wants to buy it, tear it down, and build new right away. His attitude shifted so much, I was convinced he knew something I didn't. Like the house had already sold or he was using reverse psychology on me. We are submitting our offer today and it is nearly the asking price (which is unheard of for us). So, basically we're offering way more than it's worth and way more than we should and way more than we can afford (after we build new). Wheeeee!

Check back with me in two months when we're paying two house notes, working with an architect to design a house to agree with both of us, demo an existing home, build a new one as our own contractor, and trying to sell our house. In addition to me working gobs of overtime due to personnel shortage, running a real estate business, and did I mention two young children in the house?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


If my company wins one of the prospects we're chasing, it looks like I will not see daylight in many, many months. There is not enough manpower available in the city and the ones we are hiring need training and close supervision. My counterparts executing a job similar to what I will be doing are working 14 hour days. Sounds like a great time to be thinking about moving, doesn't it? This just proves my point, I am insane.

Darkle, please come back!!!!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Another great weekend

Friday evening was swimming lessons and then dinner at the in-laws. Saturday was a t-ball game, the spring fling for my office with moonwalks and pony rides and cotton candy, and then a birthday party at a nature center complete with a bunny show and treasure hunt. Sunday was household stuff and to my folks for lunch.

We went and checked out the house that I've hung all my dreams upon. It's a definite tear down. We're just not sure you can tear down in that area. I still think we could manage to live in it for a year. Especially if we built a garage. Here's my idea- rent out our house, build a garage with an apartment above on the new property. Live in the house while the garage apartment is built and then live in the garage apartment while the new house is built. We're looking at two years of transition- living in a construction zone and ending up with a mortgage the same size (or probably bigger) than the one we have now.

In other words, this idea does not simplify. It does provide close proximity to the elementary school (less than a block), much less commute time for me, and the ability to walk or ride bikes to the kid's activities and our family. The neighborhood is one in transition, although it has been for years. Most people are remodeling the existing homes with only a couple completely torn down. None have been torn down recently. I probably need to let this one go, but I'm not ready. I love the idea of living in that neighborhood and building a house to meet our needs.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I've got it!

I have figured out a great way to simplify our lives and build more free time into our day. And darn it if it isn't exactly what hubby's been saying for years. We move to a smaller house, one that is right down the street from the boy's existing elementary school. It also happens to be 20 minutes closer to work, a few blocks away from the baseball fields and closer to our parents. It is also nearly half the size.

Next year, the boy is zoned to a new school. This school happens to be 25 minutes from our house, in the wrong direction. His baseball field is 20 minutes from our house (with evening traffic). And the swimming school is a good 30 minutes away (with evening traffic).

So, let's add this up:
1 hour per day gain for work commute
30 minute gain per week for baseball
30 minute gain per week for swimming
1 hour gain per week for visiting folks

A total of 7 hours of extra quality time with the kids a week, we'll have to reduce our "stuff" vastly to fit in a smaller space and won't have the desire to buy more stuff, and the smaller mortgage won't suffocate.

I hate it when he's right.

Although, there are drawbacks. We probably won't be able to sell our house because there is glut of used homes in our area (still building new). We love our neighborhood. We lived in a smaller house before and I was stressed because of the lack of space. And the house I have in mind does not have a garage, but has been converted to another room.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I've been thinking

I know this one little statement sends hubby's stomach into knots. Mine too, when the role's reversed. But I've been thinking. I want my life to take on new meaning, to head into a different direction. I feel like my entire family lives on autopilot. I want to fully enjoy each and every day. To see the world with wonder and amazement that my kids do when they first discover something. I don't want to wake up with anxiety and dread.

I finished a book yesterday, The Lilypad List, about living simply. It is not a book with all the answers- in fact it doesn't have any answers, just questions. Some of the questions are how do you see your ideal life and what things make you happy. Some of the things that make me happy are spending quality time with my family and friends, swimming, hiking, generally just being in nature. I envision my ideal life as one more connected to the earth. Growing a good portion of the food that feeds my family. Greatly reducing the amount of stuff we have in our lives. Treating the environment and our planet with much more respect. Eliminating the blind consumerism. Doing things that I feel passionate about. Helping others.

This is in complete contrast to how we live now. We hop from one obligation to the next. I spend most of my waking hours doing work that I have no desire to do, coming home exhausted and stressed to deal with my children in the evening. We have slowly started reigning in the consumerism, but we still live in a house much bigger than we need and drive more than we should. I live in the suburbs of a major metropolis, in a very wealthy environment. The adults drive fancy cars and the kids have lavish birthday parties. None of this makes me happy. Ultimately, what makes me happy? Nature and people, not stuff.

The boy is challenging us

Since spring break, the boy has had more bad days than good days with his behavior at school. It is not just school, but he's testing his baseball coach, his swimming instructor, and especially us. Nothing significant has changed in our lives and we can not figure out why he is having more problems than usual controlling himself. If he is good at school, he gets to watch tv in the evening and can have candy. 3 good days in a row and he gets to go to Chuck E Cheese. If he misbehaves, no tv, no candy, and he does not get to sleep with his bear lovey. Last night, he was forced to delete his favorite cartoons from the Tivo. Tonight, he will have to throw all of his candy away if he misbehaves at school. One more really bad day at school and he doesn't get to go on the school field trip to the zoo. He'll miss out on a birthday party this weekend as well.

I emailed his teacher and she sent back good suggestions, but we are already enforcing them all. I am completely frustrated and at a loss for how to fix this problem.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another year older

I decided that I would take the day off from work as a birthday present to myself. I have an extreme aversion to Mondays anyways and add the "I don't know why we have to screw with my sleep schedule two times every year" Daylight Savings, and it was a no brainer. The girl is sick and has been since late last week, and hubby had the day off, so the three of us camped out at home. We had too much fun celebrating my birthday with family over the weekend, so I used yesterday as catch up on laundry, dishes, errands. Yes, on my birthday. It was nice.

Saturday, April 01, 2006