Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh, Yes I DID!!!

Him: Good morning, thank you for calling Port-a-Potties-R-Us, this is Dan.

Me: Hi, Dan. I am calling for (Insert Contractor's Name Here) regarding the port-a-potty at 1234 Elm Street.

Him: Yes, how do you say it, (Insert Contractor last Name Here).

Me: Yes, that is correct (Insert me with sly smile here! - That was easier than I thought.)

Him: What can I do for you today?

Me: We need to have the port-a-potty moved to the back of the property.

Him: Is it possible to just move it straight back.

Me: No, you will have to load it up, go back down the hill and drive it around to the road at the back of the property.

Him: Okay, should not be a problem.

Me: Will there be a charge? (Please, oh please let there be a charge!)

Him: Yes, it will probably be about $35 for the move.

Me: Oh, is that it (sense of disappointment)...I mean, that will be fine...when can you get this done?

Him: This afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning.

Me: PERFECT! And thank you so much!

Monday, July 28, 2008

An Open Letter to the Contractor Building the Spec House Next Door to Us

Dear Contractor,

There are a few items that I would like to address before you go and start building another house in an already established neighborhood.

Item #1: If you are building it as a spec house, be a man and say so. Do not say you are not sure what you are going to do with the house, maybe you will "live in it or maybe sell it." If you are only going to live in it when you cannot sell it, then say so.

Item#2: When you ask me to borrow our water to wet down the dirt so that it does not blow all over while putting in the footings for the house, please explain that this is not a one time deal and that you are going to show all the subs the water spigot on the side of my house to be used for the ENTIRE job.

Item #3: When you say that you are going to pay me for said water, please do so without having to be reminded. But also, do not think that I will not remind you, so don't be surprised when asked to cough up the cash.

Item #4: When showing subcontractor's the water spigot for all to use, please point out to them that the wall that it comes out of is the wall between them and my childrens' rooms. So, if they could please not let the gate SLAM as they go in and out multiple times a day, I would appreciate it. Because, as you know since you have a toddler as well, that when the subcontractors are done for the day (3:00pm), it is during naptime.

Which brings me to...

Item #5: It is obvious that you have some friends doing some work for you. I know this because some of the work does not start until late afternoon. So, why does it have to be just about everyday when nothing is happening to the house, all day, that at 3:00pm your buddies show up to start tractoring and 3:00pm...during naptime. I am sure if this house was being built next to your house, your wife would want to lose her mind.

Item #6: Before you move the port-a-potty onto my property, at least ask first. I understand that your gas line needs to go in, because the sooner stuff gets done, the sooner you will go away. But think about it, wouldn't you be a lot LESS pissed off if you had at least been asked first and agreed to it?

Item #7: When you say that you are going to move the port-a-potty today (because we asked you to - two weeks later) then, could you please actually do it. It is now two days after you said you would move it and it is still on my property. One more day and I am going to call them to come and pick it is on my property after all. Yes, I mean tomorrow, Tuesday, the 29th.

Item #8: I am pretty sure you hate coming to my door to ask me things (which is why you did not ask me about the port-a-potty). But you did come to my door to ask to borrow the hose (more water related borrowing) blaming it on the subs with promises to return the hose. Well it did not get returned and EO had to go over there to get it so that we could use it. Our own hose. I am sure you can imagine the answer the next time you ask to borrow something.

Item #9: If you have to dig up some of our plants that are close to the property line, again asking or letting me know would be the thing to do. Especially since I had already asked you if our plants were going to get trampled and I am sure you can remember what your answer was to that.

Item #10: Please be considerate of all the crap we have to put up with on our narrow little street while you are building this house. Put yourself in our shoes. We have to wait for you to move the tractors so we can drive down the street to get to town as you are at the beginning of the only outlet. We have to deal with the torn up road and the big metal squares covering up the huge holes in our is with a little dread that I wait to see how this will be remedied. With respect to this item, I am not sure what exactly happened the day that you hooked up the water and the gas lines, but from what I could tell it seemed as if you were going to leave on a Friday night with out making the street very drivable for those of us who live on it...for the entire weekend (i.e., beers were being consumed, the tractors were parked in their usual overnight spots and the mood was jovial). I witnessed some sort of an altercation with my neighbor from across the street...she was yelling, hands flying in the air. I admit, I tried to listen but sometimes my kids make it hard to eavesdrop. All I know is that one of your buddies went over to talk to her and that later the cops showed up. And then you and your buddies worked until past 8:30pm that night to fix the road up so it was drivable. Thank you for that.

Item #11: I am sure by the above referenced items that you can understand why I fully expect some sort of fruit basket or "thank you for not riding my ass the whole job" gift, because frankly, I am sure that my husband would have been happier had I bugged you about everything other than him. And in case you need some thank you gift ideas, I enjoy gift certificates for high-end stores, coffee, massages and furniture - with triple digit amounts on them.

The only good part about the house being built next door (after the lot had sat empty for 50 years and there was no action on it until you decided to build a spec house in the worst market possible probably only because we live in the house next door, but I digress) is that good friends of ours have purchased it. So, while we do have to put up with the construction and the BS, we know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And we know that we will not get stuck with some crappy neighbors who are even more annoying at 3:00pm (or 3:00am) while my children are trying to sleep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rookie Mistake

As we drove away from our friends house last night the hubby and I looked at each other confused. "Why was that NOT fun?" I asked him, we always enjoy a BBQ with friends? Then the light bulb went off, we had made the mistake of not feeding our newly independent and picky 1 year old before we got there.  We both spent the majority of the BBQ trying to get "Miss S" to eat, offering her way to many choices in hopes that something would make it into that belly of hers instead of on the patio.  We said "bye" to people we never said "hello" to, neither of us finished a single conversation, I left my hat, her sippy cup and a cookie tray behind. "I think I was rude" I said.  Hubby told me not to worry as they have all be in our shoes.  It was a rookie move, we failed to take into consideration that this past week "Miss S" has gone from eating pretty much whatever we throw down to eating....well picking at...buttered toast, oatmeal and fruit...sometimes. Our "baby" has become a toddler, a picky and easily distracted toddler that just wants to run around and play, and not eat her vegetables. Lesson learned, feed the kid before hand if you want to enjoy a social event. 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

When the old needs replacing (no really it does)

Well here I am again its after 10pm and I am on my NEW computer my husband so spontaneously purchased for me over the weekend. I say spontaneously yet it has taken him nearly 6 months to concede that it was actually very much in need. My old computer screen was a nice shade of pink with very blurry words and pictures that I could not see (just today I actually got to see the plant that culterednativity bought for her anniversary). Anyway I have also decided that I am to get organised and start going to bed early. MMmmmmm well as i sit here I think if I bypass the kitchen and not notice the last of the dishes that don't go in the dishwasher I could probably hit the sack now but would I get much sleep? Don't think so. I know all you organised freaks out there are saying "What there are still dishes on your sink" It isn't actually a normal thing (anymore!!!!) but I have been so preoccupied with looking at my lovely new and clear screen I have not had a chance.
Back to my husband and his loving and generousways, I just went to blogher and read a couple of random blogs including one from Mom2ways who had recently wrote about how wonderful her husband was when she threw the Wii remote smack into their new fancy tv (he even had the children saying don't worry- where do you find one of those husbands??)anyway this prompted me to promote my own husband who after me complaining for so long about my pink computer screen came home with a brand new computer only to turn on the old one and have the screen turn out to be perfect (not even a pink hue!!!) and not curse or fuss with only a mild, oh look the screens working again. (Damn computers and their finicky ways)So I say well done to my man who not only went out and secretly bought me a new computer but who didn't overreact when my broken one turned out not to be broken.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Barbie Dream House Part 2

Well at this point it would seem as if the Barbie Dream House will remain just that, an unobtainable (at this moment) dream house. Unfortunately in this crappy housing market it is a viscious cycle. The mortgage companies and banks own all of these houses that they want to unload, but the same mortgage companies and banks have no money to loan out to anyone who wants to buy the houses. FRUSTRATING! We even offered to switch houses with is nice, move in ready house for your trashed house that needs a lot of work, but to no avail. It is really too bad, even if I could just fix it up and sell it, I would be happy with that. But both EO and I agree that we don't want to put our house on the market. Having two kids that need their naps and realtors calling to show the house just seems like a nightmare to me! I get exhausted just thinking about it. And who knows how long it might take to sell our house, we are NOT willing to lose any money on it, because, in reality we don't have to move! And of course, there is always the possibility that our house would finally sell, but the Barbie Dream House would already be under contract with someone else and then we would be homeless, again... EXHAUSTING to even think about considering what happened the last time we sold our house with nowhere to go (see
Don't think I have given up completely though, as this is the second time I have had to say good-bye to this house...I am confident that the third time will be the charm! For those of you who know me, you know that I am always trying to work some angle, finagle some way and don't give up very easily. Here is to Barbie Dream House Part Three, whenever that may happen.

On a side note and follow up to my offer to make out with VH...I am serious about that offer. Alex came to my house yesterday to clean...SHE CLEANED OUT MY FIREPLACE! I can't believe it. Of course it is the middle of summer, and no, we have not used it in months. I was trying to figure out when EO could have done that without me noticing. He said he had nothing to do with it and Alex must have done it. That is unreal to me...I love her, I sent her home with a cucumber from the garden (a requirement if you come to my door). She even folds my toilet paper into a little triangle like at a hotel. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Little boys and a women's body

My two little boys (4 1/2 and nearly 3) don't know the boundaries that I grew up with, where you just never walked in on your mother in the shower (unless it was dire) and NEVER when she was on the toilet. In my house it seems there is a honing devise attached to the loo so when I sit it beckons the little ones (a little like the Pied Piper I suppose) I am then bombarded with, "What are you doing (Wee or Poop?), and comments like, "I have a penis do you? "No" "Why?" " Because boys have a penis and girls have a bottom", "Yes, your bottom is the fluffy one" "Ok just let Mummy finish so we can move on" and off they go yelling I have a penis and girls don't!!!!

I often get " Your boobies are big Mummy" "Yes well that's because I am having a baby" "Is that where you will feed the baby" "Yes and I fed you like this when you were a baby" then there's giggles and a quiet look that suggests they are trying to remember the experience. Then E says "Boys have boobies too" "Yes they do but just little ones" D replies "Yes boys are just this big (and shows me an appropriate little space between his fingers) then he says, "And Mummy's are THIS BIG and stretches his arms out VERY wide" Under my breath I scream then say quietly and calmly " Yes that's because Mummy had two very beautiful little boys".

But after all the less than favourable comments made, this mornings one made me smile. D came into the bathroom while I was showering. He commented on why there were clothes tossed to the side so I told him thats what Mummy will wear today. He starts to filter through and hones in on the bra, which in his little hand looks larger than usual (well that and the fact that I'm 5 1/2 months preggos and they are larger than usual). He ponders for a while then says, " These are going to be my new eyes and promptly drapes them over his eyes and starts running around. I get out and dry off, "Here you go Mummy, Why do you need these bros!! anyway?" Then looking up at me says " Mmmm, your boobies look........ (I await the usual comment of HUGE) but to my surprise he simply says... beautiful!" Ah ha there is some of his Dad in him after all.

Cupcakes and Urology

My second sons first birthday is coming up and I am trying to figure out what I want to feed him for his birthday bash! I know, cake! But do I just go for it and give him the full sugary load... or like my first son bake him a healthy cupcake with less sugar in it so his eyes don't pop out of his head? If I bake him a "special" cake I then need to have additional "cakes" for the rest of us sugar fiens in the family. Why do I stress over this?????? Because I have GUILT...mother guilt that the things I did for the first child I should at least try to replicate for the second child...

Now moving on to child number THREE.... NO we are not in the market for child number three. As a matter of fact my husband has an appointment with the urologist on August 22nd! Mark your calendars my husbands nuts are on the chopping block. Suprisingly he is all for it - or not so suprisingly as he spoke to a friend who had it done and his friend remarked " it's the best thing I have done in a long time we are like rabbits now!". Great! (sarcasm). Now back to three, I believe that at some point in the future when my youngest is old enough I will inevitably have the desire for a baby again.... call me crazy but I see it in my future. Hence, I think we have to stop it now. I hope we don't regret our decision but I do know that for many reasons two is just perfect for our family.... So off to the urologist my husband goes.

Now back to those cupcakes! I just ordered some from a place in Templeton that makes yummmy vanilla ones and if I have the time I will make my second little darling a not so sugary concoction...but if not I am sure he will be just fine and know that I love him just the same! And my husband, maybe I will love hime a little more! :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm All Alone

Ever since I moved away from my friends in Paso, I have always braced myself for social neglect. For two years now, I have stressed over every invitation I have extended to my Paso gals for fear they would not accept. And every invitation I've sent, for two years now, has been enthusiastically accepted, and observed with impeccable attendance. But before each birthday party or dinner event, I have always had a mental chat to prepare myself for the big goose egg. Just in case no one actually arrived to my social soiree. Because it IS a long drive, and it IS a big effort, and long drives with great effort makes for an even longer night (and greater effort)with kiddos in tow.
Like I said, for two years now I have been overwhelmed with their attendance...that is, until today. Toady my house sat empty, and Shelby hung on the windowsill asking, "Mommy, when are my friends coming?"
I put together a very last minute afternoon beach play date with the anticipation that cool weather would be the tipping point to sway all my Paso gals to join me on the coast. Never mind the fact that I gave them a 2 day warning. Never mind the 3 hour window I allowed them in my hectic schedule where I provided a tight agenda of micro managed fun so I could race off to a work function afterwards with my family.
I even asked my new friend and her daughter to come meet the wonderful women I have been bragging about at my Paso Playdate. At least somebody showed up...and she wasn't from Paso. Oh well, we made the most of the 70 degree weather and gusting winds out there on our beach. And I kicked myself for forgetting to have the mental chat about "The Long Drive and The Possibility of No Shows" because I really wasn't prepared to miss you all as much as I do now.
Ironically, it has been nearly two years to the day that we made our hasty exit from Paso. And I'm hoping that it's the happy chaos of summer with children, and not the distance, that keeps us apart. Missing you all, G

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Having a Boy

Our conversation this morning:

Me: "Come on Wy-wy. We have to figure out what we're going to wear to the party today."
Wy-wy: "Ummmmmmmmm, how 'bout CLOTHES!"

I so need a girl in the house.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday V!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear Friend, V-----! Happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cheating on my mothers group

A little while back, I read a blog on culturednativity about making new friends, having coffee with new mothers and generally establishing yourself in a new Mothers group. Well today I well and trully cheated on my dear mothers group and dear friends in California. I supposed it was about time, as it has been 6 MONTHS since I left them, but maybe I didn't have to host the event. I had a modest two other Mums but this upped the number of children from 2 (my boys) to 8 as they both have 3!!!!!. I am going to have my hands full come Nov this year, aargh!!. Anyway one of the Mums is a friend of mine while I hardly new the other Mum, it didn't seem to bother either her or me as we rattled off about everything from having 3 kids to down time to what we did( very briefly getting to know one another). It was a perfect winter day with the sun shining and the kids loved running around (outside) and generally we, as the caretakers, sat and had coffee occasionally looking up to check the young ones (2 and 18 months), but they were girls so there was not much in the way of chasing them as they were happy to quietly go about their business either cooking or sitting with Mum eating and chatting. I suppose I was just thinking that I was pleasantly surprised about the general lack of pain and guilt involved and although I still long for the companionship of those who have been with me for so long, I feel happy to once again open my house and share my coffee with the new women entering my life.
JO on a separate note how's the house situation going??? Hope you have some luck in finding someone to buy your house as I understand times are tough in the housing market in CA. We've just sold our house!!! Yeah, it should close this week and not a minute to soon either. Anyway best of luck with it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Barbie Dream House

So about 2 years ago my husband and I were (thankfully!) coming to the end of a nine month search for a new house. Long story short, we had sold our first house and did not have a new one to go to. We rented a house in, what I did not realize at the time, was the ghetto! Again with the short story...people carrying guns around nonchalantly outside, prostitutes propositioning my husband in our driveway, tenants leaving their homes in the middle of the night...all of these things happened, I am not even slightly exaggerating. All of this with a one year old in the house. THE-LONGEST-NINE-MONTHS-OF-MY-LIFE. Yes, longer than being preggo. So, right before we found (and purchased) the house we currently own, we came upon what I like to call "My 1970's Mansion" (aka My Barbie Dream House).

It was a spectacular mid-century modern home. Architecturally interesting with a pool and a WHOLE LOTTA POTENTIAL. And by potential, I mean a whole lotta work. We made an offer that was (thankfully) not accepted because I would have to still be working in order to pay my share of the mortgage that I happily agreed to pay in order to call this atomic ranch my own! As far as the work, I figure "No Problem." The hubby is handy and I am no slouch myself. We could get this done! Well, back to the part of our offer not being accepted. So we moved on, put an offer in our wonderful home and it was accepted. Of course while we were in escrow, we saw that the Barbie Dream house was re-listed at THE PRICE WE HAD OFFERED! Maddening, but we were in escrow by then, happy with our choice and my husband was not about to lose our substantial deposit on the house. So...moving on.

The 1970's Mansion was sold and we were happy in our new house, only wondering every once in awhile if the new owners were doing any of the fabulous things we had planned to do with the property. And then it went into foreclosure. I found it two nights ago on the internet - for $200,000.00 less than what we had originally offered!...(why was I looking a real estate online, you ask? Because I am obsessed with it. If I had the cash flow to support a couple of mortgages and pay construction crews I would be like that crazy Jeff Lewis guy on Flipping Out, except for the crazy coffee temperature thing - LOVE HIM!) And God bless my husband, when I showed him the treasure I had found on the interweb...he didn't call me crazy, he didn't say NO!, he jumped right on my Barbie Dream House bandwagon and we started to come up with ways to get out of our house without losing any money and remodeling My (ahem, I mean OUR) 1970's Mansion in our heads.

So to answer your questions, no the owners did not do anything fabulous to the house. Yes, calls have been made to the realtor - who I know has missed us the last two years. Yes, calls and emails have been sent to people who may or may not be interested in buying our house. Yes, calls have been made to the mortgage guy to see what we can do in light of the new difficulties placed on those of us who are self-employed and try to get a mortgage. And with all of the turmoil and roller-coasted riding in this thing we call life, we can't complain because the hubby and I DO-IT-TO-OURSELVES!

We made a list last night of everything that would eventually need to be done to the is extensive. We prioritized:
  1. what would have to be done right away (a.k.a. the SHORT list)
  2. what we would just have to live with for awhile (a.k.a. the LONG list)

More to come on the possible uprooting of the O family from comfortableness to living in a construction zone...and if you know anyone who might want to buy a pretty cool house with a great backyard...send them my way :).