Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Full house

We are finally getting a chance to break our house in - both sets of grandparents are here for Grandparent's Day at D's school. My in-laws are actually staying all week so we'll see how we manage with two more people under the roof! So far, so good though and it's wonderful to have a place for people to sleep instead of having to have everyone schlep off to a hotel at the end of the day.

My mom was talking to D yesterday about where in the house she spends the most time (the playroom). For me it was the kitchen. For A it was wherever I am. But for Daddy, when asked where he spends the most time, she replied "work." Hmm. But it's true, at least during the week. He's here in the morning but rarely home for dinner and most of the time he gets in just before her bedtime. So I guess it seems like he's never here. I do wish he had time to eat dinner with us during the week -- everyone says how important family dinner time is -- but I just don't see it happening. And given how stressful dinner can be I can't say I blame him.

I am truly, truly blessed to have a husband who helps provide such a wonderful life for his family though. And, while the kids may not spend much time with him during the week, I get him all to myself!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Please, no

These are A's two favorite words right now. I'm not wild about the "no" thing, but at least he's being polite about it, right? It's also becoming the refrain for my days, as in "Please. God. No." because I highly suspect he's trying to give up his nap. He's been down to just one for a few months now, but he's fighting the one he has left tooth and nail and I am half-dreading the sheer exhaustion of trying to keep up with (and keep happy) an active little 18-month old all day long. I don't whether it's his age or mine, but I'm just tired, TIRED all the time. There are some pros and cons, of course. PRO: I won't have to worry about rushing him home from activities so he can nap. CON: we'll all have to survive on quick dinners until he can learn to play by himself for more than 3.5 seconds. PRO: We can go to the park to play and have a picnic lunch. CON: No more quiet mornings baking, crafting, blogging or catching up on mail. PRO: A good excuse to put off the housework. CON: You know what happens when you put off the housework.

Oh well. It was bound to happen sometime. At least he still goes to bed by 6:30.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


We don't like change much here. Really. M is loathe to change anything, ever. D is OK with change unless she is personally affected, for example if you insist she were to change into jeans instead of wearing shorts to the park because it was only 50 outside. A is a toddler he's been in a constant state of change for his whole life. And me? I don't mind change in itself, but I dislike chaos and indecision and not feeling like things are set up, so I tend to make stuff worse for everyone because one change begets another in mind and so suddenly we haven't just moved into a new house but also, in the first few weeks, gotten all new appliances, a new TV (see previous blog entries), invited not one but both sets of parents to visit simultaneously next week and have begun to compose a list as long as my arm of the "small" projects I'd like done in the next 6 months. I'd prefer to have them done in the next 6 days, but because of the "antichange" reasons listed above, I know not to push my luck.

But we are all starting to get used to the house and it's new (to us) creaks and groans and quirks. M has even started using the dishwasher, which he didn't want to do for the first week or so (he really hates change) and so I would load everyone else's stuff and he would handwash his plate and utensils. Fizzy is also getting used to the house and last night, for the first time, she crept upstairs and slept in the hall outside D's door. So the following exchange is based on that:

6:45 a.m.
Me: Wake up, D! Time for school!
D: (Incoherent mumbling)
Me: Guess who was sleeping outside your door this morning?
D: Ummm, Santa?
Me: Noooo. Think furrier.
D: Daddy?
Me: (Choking back laughter) Wha..?! Do you think Daddy is furry? No, think four legs.
D: Are you laughing at me? Was it a chipmunk?
Me: Ok. No. Think something furry with four legs that belongs in the house.
D: Oh. I don't know.
Me: (A bit exasperated) It was Fizzy!
D: Is today a school day?

The rest of the morning was a bit like that too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Day off

Today is a day for peace and reflection. Also a day off from school, so I don't anticipate much of either but so be it. I'm sure Dr. King would appreciate the thought anyway.

M & I watched "Blood Diamond" (one of my "Must See" movies) this weekend on the new big-ass TV. Yes I know it came out in 2006 and yes it has been on my list all this time. It was an awesome movie and very thought-provoking. Many years ago, my bro-in-law and I had a really interesting conversation about conflict diamonds and the world market's role in perpetuating the demand for them and the ruthless tactics used by the govts. and companies (specifically DeBeers) involved in mining them. Even more heinous are the absolutely disgusting marketing tactics that they use to convince us to buy their goods. I've never bought into the whole "three months of salary" guideline for diamonds because I just don't get the idea of a dollar amount or price tag being placed on love. I'm pretty sure that M loves me more than three months salary and I'm much more moved by the history behind my ring. Even worse diamond marketing were those horrible ads with the couple walking along in some piazza (I think we're supposed to think they're in Europe) and she is getting all embarrassed over something he's saying like "I love this woman" UNTIL he presents her with the Big Ring and then she gets all gushy and affectionate. Don't even get me started on the more recent "journey" necklaces which I truly DO NOT understand at all. I guess they're pretty necklaces, but the commercials are ludicrous and I think it's weird to market what should be a very personal piece of jewelry. But don't get me wrong, I like jewelry as much as the next girl, but it's the marketing and commercialism that get me. And, if we were to ever buy a piece of diamond jewelry, I would want to make sure that it was NOT a conflict diamond and that the company that we get it from did not support the trade of such.

OK, so that's my Monday Morning Rant. Go see the movie if you haven't yet.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Time out

Well, barring emergencies, we are officially done fixing up the house. Everything got resolved on Wednesday - our boilers, the toilet (clogged for reasons that I really won't go into here), EVERYTHING. Yesterday was my first tradesperson-free day since we moved in. Also, we're unpacked, the laundry is all caught up and we've got plenty o' food in the house. Hurray! Downtime! I hung up some pictures and have started to do the layout for the family pictures that will go in the upstairs hallway. Today I'm going on a serious all-out hunt for my cardreader for the camera. I've got great before-after pics of the kitchen, the kids and I want to get pics of the living room before our new TV gets installed on Saturday.

It's great to finally be "living" in the house.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One thing AND the other

Misery loves company around here. To recap: remember the toilet that needed replacing? Well we managed to convince the warranty company that they should pay for it. So we thought - thought - that we were done with house repairs for awhile. M & I even (foolishly) talked about how we were going to stop doing stuff and focus on "fun things." And then we bought one of those ginormous HD TVs this weekend. And then today? The damn antique gas/heat/furnace thingy goes out on us. And of course we're in the middle of a Florida winter cold snap and it's gonna be in the 40s tonight and the high tomorrow is only like 61. Brrrrrr. So we'll have to call the warranty company again and get a gas/heat/furnace person out here.

And to top it off, A took a header off a packing box this afternoon and smashed headfirst into the hardwood floor. (He was trying to imitate D jumping off.) His sweet little forehead immediately swelled to the size of a golfball and so I rushed him to the pediatrician where we found out it was not a piece of broken skull (like I thought) but a hematoma - scary looking, but not usually serious. So we have to keep an eye on him for a few days and supposedly the blood will eventually drain and may make him look like he has a black eye. Poor baby.

Hopefully tomorrow will be less eventful.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pay it forward

Let's play Pay it Forward!

Basically, someone posts something on their blog they are willing to give away to three other people and, if you are one of those people, you agree to do the same.

I was catching up on my blogroll and found this fun concept at Kim's. I'm getting a tube of homemade lipbalm from her. So, in turn, I am going to give a delicious batch of homemade cracker candy to the first three people to email me at tandmj@mac.com or leave your email in comments so I can contact you. So if you want to play put on your thinking caps- I'm sure you've got a lot to give!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Oh @$%@@$!

Great. Now I have to tell M that we need a new toilet in the master bath. In addition to being utter slobs, The Previous Owners were apparently careless enough to drop something large and immovable (is that a word?) down the potty. Crap. Literally. And toilet replacement? Not covered by our home warranty. At least not right now. We'll see after my attorney has a little talk with them. At least we have two other bathrooms we can use.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Appliance love

All of the appliances are here and installed after an absolute whirlwind yesterday culminating in the delivery of the washing machine at 7:00 pm. Right in the middle of bath/bed time natch. They are all beautiful and work perfectly. The only one that gave any trouble was the range, and that's mostly because the gas inlet pipe is in a weird place under the house and couldn't be moved. So we have a bit of space behind it. M calls it a gap. I call it ventilation.

Anyway, I'm laundering my first HE load right now. The new machine is a lot quieter than any other washer I've ever heard, but the noises it does make are new to me. It's spinning like a top though and is advanced enough to sense if it is unbalanced or overloaded (apparently humans can't be trusted to make those judgement calls). It also has all these codes that will display to let you know how it's doing, if it needs anything, etc. If only kids were that easy. But the thing I love the most about it is the "F__" (or F##) code that means you're supposed to call Sears immediately. As in "f'ed" up? Those Kenmore guys have a sense of humor! Of course, it also means that the machine will fit in perfectly with some of the more potty-mouthed members of the family.

Today was supposed to be the end of the whirlwind, but we had some plumbing issues this morning (speaking of pottys) so the plumbers will be here tomorrow. THEN we'll be done. Except for the rest of the unpacking and we have a hard deadline for that since we're getting ready for both sets of parents to visit at the end of the month. Whew.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Always something...

Here's the schedule for today:

9:00 - Electricians here to install new 220 line for Dual-Fuel range. They've been here for over an hour already so I'm thinking they encountered a problem related to installing a new 220 line in a house that is over 80 years old.

11:00 - Tree service here to fertilize/inject huge old oak tree dying slowly in the front yard. (This is the one that dropped the limb on the roof our second night in the new house.)

Noon - Dishwasher install

3:00 - Gas installation for new dryer and range. (At this point we should be cooking. With gas.)

3:15 - 5:15 - Sears to deliver new washing machine, haul away all other appliances.


Tomorrow the pest control service will come to treat the house. And Fizz gets her sutures out. I can't wait to get back to a normal routine of chasing after the kids, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking meals. This whole moving business is crazy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Delivery day

Today's the day! Hooray! The appliances come today! It's been over a week since I've done laundry; a month since I cooked a meal in an oven. Unfortunately, since the delivery is scheduled for the latter part of the day, we had to schedule all the installations for tomorrow (or even later, in the case of the dishwasher) so we won't be cooking or washing today... but soon! I'm so tired of take out; I can't wait to cook a real meal. Unfortunately, because of the kids, it won't be anything gourmet but more along the lines of spaghetti & meatballs or perhaps Shake n' Bake pork chops. As for me, even more than cooking and laundering, I'm looking forward to dispensing my first glass of delicious, cold, filtered ice water from my brand spankin' new fridge.

So... if I owe you a thank you from Christmas... please forgive me for my tardiness. I'll get to them as soon as this last move-in hurdle is cleared.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Did you have the chance to take your daughter (or other special kid) to see Enchanted? It's a very charming movie. Did your little girl become insanely besotted with the characters, resulting in 24/7 role play from the movie? Yeah, ours too. Oh wait, you thought I was talking about the princess, didn't you? Nah. Darling D is all about the chipmunk. Then we had to go and tell her about Alvin, Simon & Theodore.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

One lucky dog

Fize has again beaten the odds... her tumor wasn't cancerous! Hurrah! She'll go on to live a full and happy doggy life. We are all so happy and thankful.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I'm not one for resolutions. I hate the feeling that I haven't accomplished something when I can't remember why I wanted to accomplish it in the first place. Which, given the general level of chaos here, can happen in 24 hours let alone an entire year. So usually I don't do resolutions.

But I will, this year, make a Lifetime Resolution. Here in Blogworld for all to see. So, here it is:

I will NEVER EVER EVER buy another house without 1) having it professionally cleaned from top to bottom before we move in and 2) treated for fleas, even if previous owners had never owned any pets. These will be my conditions for any future real estate transactions.

Why am I making this a lifelong resolution? Because, suckers that we are, we took the previous owners word that they had had the place cleaned and that their doggy had "never" had fleas. Sadly, we did not verify this before closing. So we got our dream house. Beautiful. Unique. Huge. Clean? Not so much. Maybe because it was vacant so long and showed so many times and, yes, I know people track all kinds of shit into houses and I'm sure the movers didn't always wipe their feet. There are many explanations for why it looks like a frat house on the wrong end of a weekend. But either the previous owners have early onset dementia and didn't notice little things, like that you can identify the last 4 months of meals that they ate by analyzing the drippings on the stove and oven. Or that the toilet is basically a toilet-shaped tower of bacteria. Or that something is up with the drain in the master bath because it's not normal to have to flush twice. Or why their feet/socks were mysteriously black after walking through the house. Really. Or maybe they too were ripped off by whomever it was that was supposed to have been cleaning it. Anyway, we got the short and grimy end of the stick. I'm proud to say that I've finally got the year's worth of drips, drops, dust and crap off the kitchen counters though. Thank you Clorox. I love me some bleach. After I feel we are properly disinfected I'll resume my usual routine with gentler Method products though.

As for the fleas, I couldn't get our service out here until next Thursday so I'll just keep vacuuming to keep them at bay and focus on coordinating the delivery of the new appliances. Which is getting tricky because M is involved and, as every woman knows, nothing mucks up the smooth running of a kitchen like a loving, well-intentioned husband.

Now that I think of it that might be the reason the house is such a wreck. I can just imagine her hubby saying "Honey, you've got enough to do with the move. I'll take care of the cleaning!" Oy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A pause

Ah morning. Thank you morning. We made it through the night. Thank you, big house, for giving a tired mommy the space to have a quiet cuppa joe, diddle around on the computer, have a quick bowl of cereal and not wake up everyone.

Poor A has had a rough time adjusting to a new house, sleeping in his own room and the excitement of being 17 months old. I think he's only slept through the night twice since we moved in. Last night, we had a rare blustery winter storm blow through and the noise of the wind woke him up around 11:30 (just as I had turned out the light!) and kept him up until about 3:00. M & I were also awake discussing various parenting techniques: how to handle a child that cries for attention, wakes up all night long, and is clearly in the throes of the Terrible Twos. (DISCLAIMER: D, we now realize, was and still is a completely ABNORMALLY calm, composed, laid-back and self-sufficient child with an incredible attention span and no need for histrionics. Also, I was still working full-time when she was 17 months old and therefore had limited exposure to any "childish" behaviour. So in a sense I am a "first time parent" when it comes to dealing with this phase.)

It's going to be a real winter day here in Florida - the high is only supposed to be in the 40s! Yay! So I'm planning on bundling the kiddos up in their winter gear and heading out to a park (if it is sunny) or a long walk along the water (if not).

Up this week on This Old House:
1) Preparing for the appliance delivery next Tuesday
2) Laundry room cleanup
3) The hunt for cereal bowls and placemats continues
4) Pest control
5) Trying to determine if we need to run a new 220v box for the new range

Exciting stuff. Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE the new appliances? We went with Kenmore for everything because I like Sears' customer service, their repairs (if you need them) and my mom grew up with either the Sears kids or the Roebucks kids (I forget which). The new fridge is going to be particularly wonderful. I have to have an ice and water dispenser (what can I say? I like my water cold!) and this one has that, plus a handy tilt-out bin on the fridge door so that D can quickly grab a juice box or healthy snack on her own. I love it!

The part leading up to the part where we get all new working appliances? Not so great. The previous owners left the house pretty grimy, so who knows what lurks behind the stove, washer, etc. Plus we need an electrician and two sets of installers since we're getting a gas range and dryer. It's a bit confusing and time consuming but will be SO worth it in the end.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

After such a tumultuous and emotional weekend, we had a very quiet New Year's Eve spent at home with the kiddos and, thankfully, Fize. I was actually in bed by 10:00 trying to fight off a mini-migraine. M was nice enough to give me a kiss at midnight, but I was unfortunately pretty out of it. I owe him one for sure!

Fize continues to improve. She has sutures/staples which come out in two weeks, but they don't appear to be bothering her. Sunday and Monday she was very out of it and just wanted to lie on her bed. Today she actually perked up when the kids were playing and came to sit under A's chair while he was eating (she knows a free handout when she sees one). It's great to see her picking up her old habits. She's on pain meds until next Sunday, so it keeps her pretty mellow. Hopefully we'll get good news back from the biopsy by the end of the week!

Today we took our traditional family New Year's Day outing to the zoo. We had a great time and the animals were very active with the cool, cloudy weather. Then we came home, I made a big stirfry and we had chocolate fondue for dessert. I'll post pictures as soon as I've found my card reader for the camera because a 17-month-old eating chocolate fondue is something you have to see to believe.

Hope you had a safe and happy New Year's Eve/Day too!