Wednesday, June 2, 2010

POOPED

Started the new job this week and have two days behind me. WOW! Much more complicated than I ever would've imagined. I'm pretty exhausted and a little overwhelmed right now with all I DON'T know, but I'm usually a quick study....so I hope I pick it up soon. The person I'm training with is due with her third child any minute now, so I may be in big trouble when she leaves. Bug came with me today and that didn't go as planned, but what can you expect for her first day there?? She was still really good, and thank the Lord that all the ladies there are AMAZING!! They're so laid back and patient. I really love them all! I go back tomorrow for the last day this week, so we'll see how things go then. For right now, I'm TIRED....no, EXHAUSTED, and the last thing I really want to do is blog (ok, maybe not the last thing). I guess I should rephrase that, "....and the first thing I really want to do right now is sit on my butt and watch some HGTV until So You Think You Can Dance comes on." So that, my friends, is what I'm going to do....with some delicious dinner beside me! Just hoping I don't fall asleep with my face in the homemade chicken pot pie!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Goodbye Letter

Top reasons I'm ready to say goodbye to this apartment:

1. While the spiders, roaches, and other bugs have been quite friendly (joining us in bed, watching TV in the living room, waiting on Bug's changing table for her, etc.), I believe I'm finally ready to bid them goodbye and get my non-spider bit legs back. Although they have come to visit a little less since pest control came and sprayed, I feel we've developed a relationship where I'm comfortable not seeing them at all. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

2. To the neighbor above me, although I haven't met you in the 2 months we've been here, I feel as though I know you. You like to bowl or run around with heavy feet into the wee hours of the morning. You must be an insomniac (like I am NOW) because there seems to be more action in your apartment at 2AM than at 6PM. While I do appreciate your energy, I can say that I'm ready to say goodbye to what I always think are extremely loud thunderstorms that shake our apartment, but always end up to be you. After being here two months, I actually wonder what sleep looks like. Perhaps I'll get reacquainted with it once I'm not beneath your constant flash dance party upstairs.

3.  As much as I love taking the dogs out several times a day to go the bathroom in a relatively small area of grass that every other dog in the apartment uses and my feet are probably covered in poop bacteria when returning to the house (yes, that is the longest dependent clause known to man), I think I may be ready to have a fenced in yard yet again. While I'm SOOO grateful that the apartment provides green poop bags and most of the people here are great about cleaning up after their dogs, I may be able to go on with life not picking up another soft poop in a green bag that I'm hoping and praying doesn't have a little hole in it while trying to manage two dogs, one little Bug on my hip, and praying no other dogs come around to get mine all riled up. Fence around my future house---I'm ready for you again!

4. Since I just declared my love for my future fence, it's only fair to be 100% honest in my love affair for my future yard. Oh yard, how I look forward to the day Bug can play in you--in an area I'm confident isn't covered in the dog pee and remnants of dog poop from neighborhood dogs. I count down the days until we have a green area of our own to run and play in without worrying that a car will fly by. In the past, I may not have been as grateful for you as I should, but that's all changed now, and I will love you until the day I die.

5. To the apartment neighborhood kids, while I realize much of how you act is primarily the result of your parents and the situation you've been raised in, and while I don't judge you or have bad feelings toward you, I think we've reached a point where I can leave and not miss the WAY-too-grown up comments and inappropriate talk of 8 year old boys to an adult woman. Some of you have been very sweet and child-like, as a CHILD should be, but others of you need to have some soap in your mouths. It makes me sad for you, as I can only imagine what environment you're living in to feel so comfortable talking the way you do. My self-confidence with not be shattered without the cat-call of a 7 year old, thank you!

This list could go on for a while, but I think the top 5 is a pretty good start. We close on the 23rd and officially move in on the 25th, which means we're less than a month away THANK GOODNESS!! In all honesty, the apartment we're in is pretty nice for an apartment. We picked one that was in the best area, etc. because of Bug and the fact that we'd be spending a quarter of a year here. We've been blessed for the most part in being here instead of other places. Unfortunately, I've realized it's very hard to go from detached house living to apartment living after nearly 5 years of being away from apartment living. If I wasn't grateful for the house I'll be in oh-so-soon (and man...I thought I really was), I am even more so now. I think my heart is officially prepared to say goodbye to this 900 sq. foot apartment and onto to the next thing. I'm contemplating making a multi-colored paper chain to count down the days, but think it may make this next month crawl even slower than it already is. Here's to counting down until the end of June!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get your reading goggles on....It's gonna be a long one!

One of my besties has been giving me a hard time lately about my lack of blogging updates....so here it is! Gosh, what would this blog become if it wasn't for N's harassment??

Actually, I've been meaning to write some posts for a little while now, but every time I think to do it, I realize that I just don't feel like it. But I will say that for the past several weeks, God's really been speaking to me and doing wonders on my behalf both inside and out, so I do feel the need to let you all in on how amazing my God is.

Around a month ago (probably pretty close to my last post), I asked friends on facebook if they had a good devotional book or Bible study they recommended since I had just finished one. Several people recommended Beth Moore's Believing God. Well, I went out that day and bought the hardcover book. Turns out, there's actually a Bible study that goes a long with the book, but is a separate 9 week study. Well, I've read the book and have been doing the study (given to me by a parent whose child I taught several years ago, but who read my status on FB and "happened" to have the study to give me--and by "happened", I mean that it was all laid out perfectly by God). In the beginning of the study, Beth asked us to follow the example of Joshua and his men by sanctifying ourselves as we go into the study and really start believing God to reveal Himself. So I prayed a lot about it and felt God was talking to me about all the distractions in my life---TV, blogging, facebook, etc. I was wasting too much time on things like that, rather than spending more and more time with Him. So I gave up certain television shows that I loved and made other decisions to really try to prepare my heart for all that He would show me and do for/IN me in the next few weeks of the study.

I will just say that God is good. Beth said that while she was writing this study & book, she prayed that God would work some miracles early on in the study in the lives of the people whose hearts were truly set on believing God--not believing IN God, but BELIEVING GOD. I've gotta say....WOW, has her prayer come true for me. He's been speaking to me about certain things, one of which is to just follow Him when He tells me what to do rather than trying to mentally work out how things would go. I'm definitely a planner, but with Bug thrown in the picture, I plan even more. I try to figure out...well, if I do this...how will I do this and this and this (mostly related to Bug, our schedule, etc.). God was really speaking to me and telling me to start believing HIM. If He tells me to do something, He's obviously got it all under control so I need to jump in completely rather than test the water and see if I can work it into our schedule. If He's got it under control, HE will work it out. So I started doing it. Some things, I have already physically been able to see that He's worked it out--down to the letter--for me, and some things haven't happened yet. Let me give you some examples.

God told me that I needed to get involved in the huge preschool program in my church. We'd train during the summer and start in the fall (we're in GA, so our "fall" is pretty much Aug. when school starts). I kept trying to figure out how I'd do it with Bug, etc. Would I volunteer during one service and go to another service by myself? Would we be taking two cars to church? Would we not do family lunch afterwards? Would I be able to do it every week? We're thinking of trying again for another baby in the fall, so will I be able to serve weekly if I'm sick as a dog for 17 weeks like I was with Bug?? How will this work out if I'm pregnant since we are volunteering to serve for a year? Question, after question, after question. I know this doesn't seem like that complicated of a situation for most people, but as a stay-at-home mom, and the main person responsible for Bug's schedule (eating, naptime, etc.), I was trying to figure out how it would work because it was definitely going to alter our Sunday schedule. Well, God told me to shut up (ok, He didn't say those words...but you get the point). So I signed up, went to an initiation the other week, and am waiting to see if they've got a place for me. But you know what?? Even if it turns out that they don't have a spot for me to volunteer, I feel like it still is what I needed to do to show God that I was believing Him. Even if I don't actually end up in Waumba Land (our preschool program), I can confidently say that God was working in me to just follow Him in an act of faith and leave the answers to all my questions up to Him. He was teaching me, regardless of the outcome.

The main miracle that I've been praying about for months and months and months is a job. I wanted to stay at home with Bug because I felt like that's what God told me to do, but I also wanted something else to give us a little more financial cushion. I can't even begin to tell you all that I tried to do in the year plus since Bug was born---online teaching, online tutoring, real-life tutoring (if you even knew how many flyers and how much work I've done to try to make this happen), virtual assistant...you name it. Now let me first say that I'm an excellent worker, a quick & willing learner with great references and a good amount of degrees & education. I'm definitely the person you'd want to hire----and I couldn't pay someone to hire me. What in the world?? God, why aren't you hookin' a girl up with a job? Well, as my readers probably know, in the winter, we decided to put our house on the market. I spent months getting it ready to go on the market and it sold, by God's mighty hand, in less than THREE weeks! You also should know about the major housing miracle He performed for us by providing this absolutely amazing house that's currently being built (if you don't know that story, check it out in the archives...I'm too lazy to figure out how to link it up). We're currently in an apartment waiting for our close date of June 23rd...and the builders only have a few cosmetics left to do. I'm confident that God's going to do amazing things in that house--it was His gift to us, so we're going to use it however He sees fit. Looking back, I don't know how I would've done some of this stuff and all the behind-the-scenes work that had to be done with all these crazy changes in the past month AND been working or at least done anything well.

Anywho (yes, I said that word), a couple weeks ago, my husband emailed one of his clients (he does anesthesia billing software so his clients are anesthesia billing companies) to get a general idea if there was a market for remote medical coding--not with them, just in the general field. We thought that maybe I could pay to get certified and do that, if that was something that could be done from home on a very flexible schedule (a requirement with having a 1 year old). It would've been a good chunk of change and time to get certified, so we wanted to ask an expert to see if it'd be a worthwhile investment. Well, this one client invited Bug and I to go to their office to check things out and see if its something I would be interested in doing---not necessarily for them, but just in general since I only had teaching experience. Bug and I headed over there a  couple weeks ago and LOVED the ladies there. It was a family-run business and such a great environment. In fact, one of the ladies working there is due in a couple weeks and they're allowing her to bring her newborn to work with her after maternity leave (small company). WOW! That's pretty amazing. After being there, I decided (especially after input from them) that medical coding wasn't my cup of tea. They did mention that they may need help there, but I left with really no concrete idea of what was going to happen next.

In the meantime, I contacted more teachers, schools, and neighborhoods---trying to get the word out about tutoring. The great thing about tutoring is that it's amazing pay. The bad thing is it's not consistent...particularly for someone not in the schools when parents are used to just leaving their kids at the school for tutoring--much more convenient. I really wanted to work for the medical billing company for consistency, but couldn't figure out how in the world I'd do it and get trained with Bug. Again, me trying to figure things out and worry about things, but this time, I gave it to God. Then I got a call.....

The lady who ran the medical billing office called me and offered me a job. She said how they'd been dying to figure out a way to get me to work for them and were soo excited to have me. They didn't even need to say any more at that point. It was a job with people I liked, and they were excited to add me to the team---SOLD! Oh wait, it gets much better....I'll be working up to 20 hours a week. I start the week of June 1st and may potentially be getting 50% of those hours from home by the end of June once I've undergone some training!! This in itself is amazing. I can bring Bug to work. She consistently takes a 3 hour (or more) nap every afternoon, so I'll put her down in one of the 6 empty bedrooms there (they work out of the finished basement of a beautiful house). When she's up, she'll play in a gated and child-proofed living area (that I'll set up) that opens to the office. She's Miss Independent, so I know that will work out fine. I'll be able to see her and work. I can work whatever days and times work best for my schedule and however many hours (up to 20, for now) that work for us. This job is a true miracle. Where else in the world would I be able to find something like this unless I was working for my own mother?? God is good, and He still works miracles. I'm just so excited to start, I can hardly contain myself.

Side note, but another exciting bit of news I found out today: We were able to do our 30 day one-time float down for our mortgage rate and we managed to snag the same rate that it was 3 months ago (4.75) when we first started looking?? Woo hoo!!

So yeah....I realize this post has been WAY too long and WAY too overdue, but God's been doing some pretty cool things in and around me lately, so I've been trying to give Him more of my time than blogging. I'm really going to try to get more regular about this (if you've read even a single other post, you know I've said this before). I've got to show you all some house updates and pics---sooo excited to get in there. I've also got to let you know why I'm soo ready to get out of this apartment, as if the house wasn't reason enough. Bug's life also needs a blogging update. So I WILL get to it all very, very soon. Hmmm, maybe I'll make a decision to try to blog every day this week before I start my new job next week. OR maybe that statement will be like every New Year's resolutions (the reason I stopped making them). We'll see.

Until then, go take a hot bath and relax after the workout light read this WAY too long novel blog post was. If you can get through this with your eyes still intact and your brain still functioning....I say, onto Shakespeare!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oops...pics I promised

Here are some pics from our time in FL....


Easter Sunday after church-Bug with Mommy and Daddy

Attempting to get an immediate family photo. My family plus Maria, a girl from Brazil who is staying with them for the next several years to finish school up in NY.

Playing in the pool with Grandpa

Hey guys!

The face I love

Bug with her aunt and uncle---my baby brother and sis

Jammin' to the music while driving (no need to report me to Child Protective--car isn't on)

Saying goodbye to her Aunt Nessy----whose birthday it today. Happy 19th b-day, Ness!

Grandpa laughing at Bug's method of feeding the ducks

Bug "feeding the ducks"

Rockin' her first attempt at a ponytail

I'll lead the way

Bug and Mommy

Drinking the pool water---Grandpa got her started with this and the only reason I'm supervising is for the picture---I do not condone pool water as a drink of choice

Effect.....

Lovin' life in the sun


Posing for the camera and showin' a little sass :-)

her favorite playmate

Me and the baby bro (well, one of 3 of them)

Mama Bear and her boy

Bug's past her nap and NOT wanting a pic with her uncle (baby bro #2)

Bug's future husband....my bestie's little guy who lives in FL. They're 10 months apart. She likes an older man.

Checking out the bubbles floating in the air


Me and my bestie from college. She's expecting my little niece in Sept.

Easy Access

Let this be a warning to any male readers (although I'm pretty positive I don't have any) or anyone uncomfortable with the topic of nursing.....this post WILL contain talk of boobies. What is it?? If you can't run with the big dogs, stay out of the kitchen....hehehe! j/k

Well, we're back from the Sunshine State. Actually, we've been back since Friday---but blogging hasn't been my priority. Actually, it seems to get lower and lower on the list lately. Maybe one day soon I'll dazzle you for the first tme again with my whit and stories on a regular basis.....but let's be honest, I've lost any whit I once had. So here we are......

We had a nice time hanging out with family in FL. Braya loved being around her grandparents, aunt, uncles, and friends. She's particularly in love with my dad, who I think comes FIRST a very close second after me. They went for a million walks a day, fed the ducks, drank the pool water (YEP, unfortunately that last statement is true...thanks Grandpa). I'll post some pics at the end of this.

Where was I? Oh yeah....we had a nice time with everyone. However, I've come to realize that I don't think I could ever live in FL while still nursing. I predicted we'd have this issue prior to going down there, but unfortunately Bug didn't prove me wrong. ANYWHO....I'm still nursing. She's 14 months now, so I'm FAR from her main source of nutrition at this point, but she still gets a couple doses of mommy's antibodies and nutrients throughout the day. Mainly though, she gets a little comfort. In case you didn't realize, Florida's HOT, so we spent some portions of the day at the pool. When we weren't at the pool, we still managed to find ourselves uncomfortably sporting our swimsuits throughout the day. Funny thing about FL and vacation....one manages to go a whole day without makeup or brushed hair, smelling from sweating to death by a pool that's WAY too cold to actually go in and cool off, and having your suit give you wedgies all day because YES, it's 8PM, but who knows? You could decide to go for a swim or just maybe there was still enough sun for a tan. Did I mention that I didn't go into the pool even once?? Scratch that, in almost two weeks, I did go in ONCE...after a grueling beach v-ball game when I was covered in sand. Who needs a shower on vacation, right??? Did I just expose myself too much? Please tell me someone else turns into a hot mess on vacation. :-)

All this to say, I was in my bikini for good parts of the day (I NEED a tan belly). You know what that means??? EASY ACCESS!! Yep, when Bug was starting to get sleepy or just wanted a quick sip of something (I guess the sippy cups of whole milk and water weren't enough for this girl), she started going for it....right there...in PUBLIC! If I was in my suit, she's start grabbing at me like a crazy girl. If I was in a tank top, she'd lift up my shirt to get to the goods. I had to seriously make an effort to always have a towel or something near me to throw over myself and whip out a boob. Good thing the only people around were typically family members seeing me getting grabbed at like a piece of meat....well, milk to be specific, but you can't exactly grab at milk.

I predict this summer in GA is going to be an interesting one. I'm planning on weaning her sometime toward the end of the summer when she's a year and a half, but I was hoping she'd wean herself. We'll see how it goes because she really loves her nursing. The World Health Organization recommends nursing until they're 2, but there's no way I can (or want) to go that long unless it's like a once a day thing--even then, I don't know. This well is pretty dry, but it doesn't stop Bug from trying.

For those of you who have yet to encounter warm weather & swim suits and are nursing a baby who's old enough to know what's going on.....you WILL need protection or a quick cover so you don't mauled in public by a milk-seeking, seemingly starving, little one. They're awfully strong and unstoppable when they want something. My suggestion: keep a towel close and your humility & humor closer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Still here....

I'd just like to tell everyone that I'm still here! I'm just enjoying a little break from technology and spending time with my family in FL. We're here for 2 weeks (one week more). Darling Dearest returned home after Easter weekend, but Bug and I are still here in Orlando. Lovin' the time with my family and will be visiting some of my best friends (college pals) in Tampa next week. I DO think I'll be ready to be home at the end of this though---two weeks is a long time! We'll have pics and stories to come. Until then....I'll be MIA (which is really feeling rather traumatic since I'm SOOO behind in my blog reading it's not even funny).  Hope everyone is enjoying their Friday and upcoming weekend!

PS. Darling Dearest and our realtor are meeting with the builder for the pre-drywall meeting on Tuesday. That means the drywall will soon be up and our house will be rockin' and rollin'........can't even wait!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Na, na, na, na.....hey, hey, hey.....Good bye!

We're not even going to address the length of time it took me to type out that title, so onwards........

We officially closed on the house we've lived in for just short of 5 years (2 months short of the tax credit...boo to that). I wasn't sure how I'd feel about leaving our first house. I wondered if I'd cry. Not that I'm not super thrilled that we sold it and that we've got an amazing house waiting for us just around the corner (and by corner, I mean three months). We'll soon be moving into a house that we will be in for a LONG, LONG time with room for the handful of kiddies we want to have--a very permanent home. So I'm thrilled, BUT we just left the house I was pregnant in, the rooms we painted for ourselves and our daughter, the yard (ok, ok...and house) our dogs spent years pooping in. Hehe, ok--not really re-living the last one and no, the pups don't really poop in the house-- I'd be lying if I acted like it hadn't happened, BUT you get the point.

Anywho...it was a long day yesterday (and actually several days before too, but yesterday was the official moving day). My dad and one of his lifetime pals drove down from NY to help us. They're pretty amazing because they drove through the night Thursday night to get here Friday AM with only a couple hours of sleep on the road, and they left to drive back home last night after the LONG day we had. They only pulled off the road for a couple hours to snooze before driving the rest of the way to NY. Not to mention, my crazy pops is driving all the way back down to FL next weekend (where we'll meet him and the rest of the fam for our reunion Easter weekend and spend 2 weeks---SOO stinkin' excited). I really don't know what we would've done without my dad and Doc--so I'm feeling pretty special to have  had their help and time.

On top of them (well, not literally), I had some other AMAZING friends come help us with the move as well. Cleopatra and her awesome hubby came and pitched in, as well as one of my other besties (N---I still need to come up with a more catchy name for her. N, any ideas? I'm sure you'll be referenced a lot.) and her hubby who Darling Dearest and I went to college with. Love the four of them SO much and feel pretty overwhelmed with gratitude to be surrounded by such great friends down here. It's just nice to know that when you don't have family anywhere nearby, you have another family created through great friendships. Just so thankful that they'd be willing to spend their Saturday helping us with the annoying and stressful task of moving. I can't tell you how much money and time they saved us....so we owe them bigtime and will happily return the favor when the time comes for them (you can quote me on that N, since I know you're the only one of the 4 who reads this..hehe).

So we're officially moved into the apartment. We've been attempting to unpack and organize, as well as dealing with the fun of hassling cable companies about services that should have already been set up and modems of brands they don't even sell that they have listed as a lease when we bought it at Staples a million years ago. Do we still have the receipt for a modem we bought 5 years ago and had to give you the ID number to even allow internet to go through it in the event that you'd somehow mess things up and call it a lease? OF COURSE NOT! Do you wonder why you have two modems of the same ID number on file for us as "owned" and one as "leased"??? Does it raise a question as to why you have it listed as "leased" when you're not charging us as a lease? Could it be because it's OWNED?? Do you think there's a problem when you have to submit a claim to the equipment research division and have US remember to get back to YOU in 3-4 WEEKS to see if you've figured out whether it's leased or owned?? Dude, they're like $20-$30...and I can tell you right now....IT'S OWNED. You don't even sell Linksys! What in the world??

As if this fun wasn't fun enough, there are 2 cable connections on opposite walls in the living room of our new apt. Well, we arranged the furniture in the only way the couch would fit. Of course, the wall the TV is on just happens to be a connection that doesn't work so they're sending a service guy out. Kind of annoyed with Comcast at the moment (there, I said it...I threw them under the bus), but on a positive note, I did appreciate all the people (and I do mean ALL the people because we seriously had to call them at least 5 different times today with various issues) I spoke to today. They were very kind. Now the person who put our modem in as a lease AND an owned modem and the person who came up with the policy that a $30 piece of equipment has to go through the research department because of THEIR error--Well, let's just say I'm slightly less enamored with them. :-)

Thanks everyone for your support as we went through the showing and selling process. We'll have building updates for the next 3 months--who's excited? I will say that the basement and foundation were completed last Friday (the 19th) and just since last Monday, the framing of the outside has been done, they're putting shingles on the roof Monday and adding the stairs to the framed upstairs on Tuesday. Can you believe how much was done in a week??  Yes, I know I need to put up pics soon, but "later" is going to have to do for now.

Well, that's the update from this neck of the woods. I hear Bug starting to stir from her nap, so it's time to go be Mommy again. So glad this weekend is over and am really feeling great about it. This next week will consist of going through Bug's clothes to swap sizes, more unpacking, and packing for a trip to FL. YAY! God is good and in control of all things!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What has become of me??

So I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but it hit me hard core yesterday when I looked into the mirror and seriously wondered where the heck I went. I KNOW there has to be some mamas out there that have had the same horrific realization, particularly any stay at home mamas. Please tell me I'm not the only one out there who completely doesn't recognize herself anymore. Is there a way to place blame on my sweet little Bug? :-)

Let me give you some background....

I'm the kind of person who doesn't didn't go out anywhere without makeup. I never wore a ton of it, but you better believe that I would've had my eye make-up and mascara on, and probably some lipgloss and bronzer too. But always, ALWAYS eye makeup. In the summer, I'd maybe just go down to mascara and liner---IF I was feeling wild and crazy (and bronzed). So we have a serious problem when I'm going out and about like I am lately....

I'm a hot mess. My roots have grown out a good 4 inches (don't worry...gettin the hair did on Tues), I do my hair NEVER---seriously, it's always in a ratty ponytail or blob or just down and ratty---I'm not straightening, brushing it, and sometimes WASHING it. Ewww, who am I?? I'm pretty much living make-up free lately, but for whatever reason (probably lack of showering stress), I've been breaking out a little more. So that makes for a REAL cute make-upless, zitty, ratty haired version of myself. Someone has taken over my body, and she's NOT welcome here. This hot mess of a person even goes out like this...seriously! She actually walks out the front door, goes shopping, gets food, whatever...like THIS!! She doesn't even bother putting on a nasty hat to cover up her rooty, unbrushed mass that used to resemble hair.

It all came to a head the other day when I was going out somewhere different than the normal places and totally realized that I was actually OK going to this place (wish I could remember where, but my brain/memory is gone now too--but I know it was somewhere different than the grocery store or a drive-thru). I looked at the mess I was and actually made a conscious decision to be completely lazy and care more about time than the fact that I looked like a haggard mess of a mom. I've officially turned into one of those people on What Not to Wear who dare to show their face in public looking like they just woke up and rolled out of bed. Which, if you knew me, is SOOO not me.

I just don't feel like I have a time or energy to care. I mean, technically---yes, I've got time to shower or try to get myself presentable during her nap (goodness knows I'm not waking up before I have a hungry girl who needs nursing)--but I just don't care enough to do it. I'm THAT mom. I guess I should be glad that summer's right around the corner so at least I won't be the only one getting a little lazy with her beauty routine.

Needless to say, if you see the HOT MESS of someone who somewhat resembles the person who used to be me---don't point and stare and say, "WOW, what happened to her?" Your mama should've taught you, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. If your mama taught you that valuable lesson, you'll probably just say HI and that's only if you've got the guts to not avoid me altogether. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Procrastinate Much??

So here we are TWO days from closing. We've got until Sunday at 4pm to be out of the house. The clock is ticking and I should be packing.....

but,

I'M NOT!!

Well, not very fast anyway. See, I packed up a lot of things a couple weeks ago before the hiccup in our closing happened. Now that things are settled and I have a good amount of stuff packed, I'm under the false impression that there's not much to do and I've stopped doing ANYTHING! UGH....I know myself. I need some sense of urgency to get things done. I'm far enough away from actually moving on Saturday that I don't want to pack up something I'll potentially need in the next several days, but I'm too close for comfort to still have as much as I do unpacked. I keep telling myself, "Oh, I'll throw my entire closet into one garbage bag and head to the apartment." It's still such a weird time of year here---one day warm, one day snowing--that I don't want to get rid of my winter clothes and be more organized just yet. SO I plan on taking everything with me and worrying about organizing later (which will mean never).

Today, I've packed a few more boxes and will probably pack more before the end of the day, BUT I seriously need someone to light a fire under my butt. I'm MOVING---IN.A.FEW.DAYS!!!  What's wrong with me?

Because I know myself enough to predict the future, behold what will happen in the next few days.

Today--I've got time to finish packing, la-de-da-de-da. I'm just going to play with Bug, check facebook, do some cleaning, and blog when I should be packing.

Tomorrow--We close tomorrow (Thurs), BUT I don't have to move until Saturday. SOOO...I've still got some time, right?? I've gotta go sign the lease and check into our apartment for the next 3 months. Maybe I'll take a couple garbage bags of clothes to throw in the closet while I'm there. Now THAT would be productive, but only somewhat.

Thursday--We close TODAY! But...I've still got time to pack, right?? The buyer's agent is coming today to do a walk-through to make sure we haven't punched holes in the wall. I guess I should kind of make it look like we're actually attempting to move out of here. Hmmm, maybe I'll pack a box or two.

Friday---We closed! My dad and his friend are here from NY to help us pack. Oh my gosh...that means I'm moving--TOMORROW!!!! What in the world? I've got so much to do!! Couldn't someone have told me we were moving sooo soon? How am I supposed to get things ready in time? I was going to start taking trips down to the apartment today, but I've got so much to do. Is that a panic attack I'm having???

Saturday---My friends are here to help me move and Darling Dearest has picked up the Uhaul. Does this mean I'm supposed to be organized and prepared?? I stayed up until 4AM last night to get things done and I'm still not ready. Why do I look like such an unorganized mess?? I had everything else checked off my checklist, EXCEPT this whole packing thing. Darnit....procrastinate much??


Someone please stop the insanity and explain to me that I need to get a move on. Just because I'm mostly packed, doesn't mean I'm totally packed. Will someone explain this to me? Am I in thr 4th  grade trying to convince my mom to let me play outside because my homework is MOSTLY done or my room is MOSTLY clean?? Can the grown-up verson of myself please give me a swift kick to the butt??

Well, Bug just woke up and I'm probably off to more procrastinating....

Please tell me I'm not the only procrastinator out there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FINALLY...

Things are no longer "up in the air" with the housing situation---I hope. Things got a little crazier this past week. We started off last week with our design appointment for our new house. We were there for around 3 hours, and I'm really happy with the decisions we made. Cleopatra joined us for some moral support when we needed more input. Bug was with us for the first part of it, which made for an interesting time. She got droplets of milk on their granite tables that Mommy had to clean up with her sleeve. She begged to be let down to check out the design center. When Cleopatra arrived, we finally let her. Darling Dearest and Cleo took turns chasing her around and seeing that she didn't fall flat on her face after standing up. Lately, she's been all about pushing herself off the ground and standing up. She's gotten pretty sturdy, but refuses to independently take a step from that position. So no walking yet...except behind a walker or with Mommy or Daddy. She's such an independent little thing that if she's in one of these standing positions and she starts to fall, if I try to steady her to keep her upright, she immediately lifts both of her feet from the ground and forces me to put her on the ground on her butt. She is NOT getting any help from anyone. She wants to do it on her own. hehe!

So yeah...we were letting her do it on her own at the design center. Up she'd go...she'd stand there for a while so thrilled with herself (you'd think she hadn't been doing this same trick for a month or so), then she'd plop down on her put after a little while. Well, one of the times she was standing, she attempted to pull both arms back and take off her cardigan which landed her straight on her face. I didn't see it, but Darling Dearest did. Poor Cleopatra was with her at the time and didn't expect her to fall on her face. That was the first time she DIDN'T fall back on her butt. Darn that cardigan she wanted off so badly. Poor Bug's mouth was bleeding, and she was frantic. Mommy and her boobies to the rescue-------We headed into the bathroom, I sat on the toilet in my jeans and whipped out a boob as fast as I could. Nothing a little nursing won't cure. :-)

Thankfully, another one of my besties came soon after the facedown with the floor and took Bug for the rest of the time in the design center so we could concentrate. We stuck to our initial budget and made some good choices for our house, most of which I'm still 100% happy with. The only thing I'm second guessing is the tumbled tile (it's rough and looks like it's been tumbled--very textured and raw) as the backsplash for our kitchen. It looks beautiful, but I'm wondering how it'd be to clean. I need to do more research there. Anyone have experience with this?? I'm just SOOO excited to see it all completed and to get in our new house in June.

Yes, things started off perfectly last week UNTIL..........

We got the word Wednesday or Thursday that our buyer's first lender fell through even though he was pre-approved. I guess he's got good, clean credit, but he's young (like out of college a year) and doesn't have enough or as varied of credit as they'd like. So the same lender that previously approved him, now denied him---right before our financing contingency ended. Ugh---that's annoying on SO many levels. How are lenders getting away with that and getting people's hopes up (and by "people" I mean US...surely, the buyer's hopes have nothing to do with this...hehe! j/k)?? Well, the ended up finding another lender, and they spoke to the head of their underwriting team who was 98% sure the problems they had with the first lender wouldnt happen with them. Needless to say, we had to extending our financing and appraisal contingencies until this week. They had until yesterday evening to get approval from the second lender.

Last week when I heard the first thing fell through, I was bummed--to put it mildly. I'd already taken everything off the walls and had packed a good chunk of stuff. I was NOT ready to have to have an unpacking party and restage our house to sell it...AGAIN. I knew God had a plan and trusted His plan for us...but I wasn't sure that His plan lined up with MY plan and involved an amazingly spectacular house being built at a ridiculously low price--creating a situation that we'd normally NEVER be able to afford. Surely, He orchestrated all of that last minute housing miracle. Surely, that house was His plan for us....RIGHT?? I started to think, maybe He wants to take it away from us, have us go through a disappointing time, and teach us about trust. Maybe He's got a lesson we need to learn. But NOOO...please teach us another way. Don't let us lose our beautifully-designed house!

So after that brief freak-out period, I decided to just give it to God this weekend and hope that His plan corresponded with ours, and what I thought was His plan for us. Not to say I didn't think about it or wasn't worried....I was, but I was determined to trust Him either way.

Well, we got the call yesterday that our buyer got approval from the second lender, so assuming things work out fine with the appraisal (which no one is worried about)....we should be all set to close on our house with this buyer. Closing got pushed back a week to March 25th. My dad and his friend are coming down to help us move that weekend while we still have possession (along with however many friends I can wrangle into helping us for a little while), and we'll be signing a 3 month lease to get us til the end of June in an apt. until our house is done. I'm just SOO relieved that things worked out that way, but won't be breathing easy until the closing is complete.

So onto more packing.....

This weekend will be hard-core packing while Darling Dearest is home to help me with Bug. The next weekend, we'll be moving into an apt, and the following one we'll be in FL with family. YAY!! Let's say some prayers that everything goes smoothly. :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pooped

I feel as though I've hit a brick wall. All of th adrenaline from the past couple weeks---the late nights on the internet searching for houses or checking email, the time making sure everything is in order with the selling/buying process, the stress that went along with it---it's all come to a head and I'm POOPED!! We had our inspection Tuesday (which was delayed...twice) so that day pretty much consisted of cleaning like a mad woman. So what?? I had let things go after the house was "off the market"...much like one does once the wedding band hits the finger. It was now taken. It didn't have to get prettied up for anyone---the true colors (and dirt) were able to shine, as it showed its true character. But when inspection day came around, I couldn't give the buyer a reason to break off the engagement---so on went her lipstick and mascara, not to mention a little spritz of perfume (a mixture of water, vanilla, and cinnamon thrown in the oven for a little while to make it smell oh so domestic). Once she was looking presentable, Bug and I left to go drive around aimlessly in the snow. At one point, I had planned errands to do on inspection day, but it was so snowy, slushy, and wet out....that we were just wanderers. We went to lunch by ourselves then drove around. Come to find out....the buyer didn't even show up. Just the inspector!

Anyway, all's well that ends well---we only had a metal brace to put on the garage door because a certainly nameless F.T.M. didn't pull the car in far enough when the garage door went down and it slightly bent the rib of the door. I don't know who would do a thing like that, but it appears that a tennis ball from the ceiling may be in order for the next house. :-) Wednesday, we got the pretty immaculate inspection report and I had someone out around lunch to brace it. DONE and DONE!!

In the meantime, we had Bug's 12-month check-up and we went for a drive to our new neighborhood to take pics of some house exteriors we like for our design meeting on Monday. Turns out, Bug's still as petite as ever (at least the dr wasn't worried due to her activity level)---but other than that, she's meeting all the milestones and seems to be doing well. We only got one of the three vaccines. I've done my research, and I'm holding off on the live virus vaccines for now---especially because she's so petite. She's home with me, so unless a measles, mumps, or rubella outbreak occurs----we're putting that guy (along with the chicken pox) on hold until she's a little older.

Today is the first day in a while that I didn't have anything official on the schedule (other than making some calls about loans), so I know I should be packing now that due diligence is officially over (I thought it was until Monday, but I guess it ends after inspection). The thing is....I'm POOPED! Wouldn't you know, Bug doesn't seem to get the picture because she's been all over the place today.

She.Won't.Stop.

At warp speed, she's in one room taking everything out from her drawers, then I turn around and she's in another room pulling everything out from somewhere else. She's a mad woman, this girl. She's got energy to last an eternity, and at the moment, I don't. I know I should be packing now while she's finally tucked in for her nap, but I don't feel like doing that either. I've been so on top of things for the past few weeks, that I need some time to decompress.....but really, I don't have time. I have things to do. So I guess what I really need is some motivation. Someone to remind me that I'm closing in TWO weeks and I don't have a single thing packed.

How do you all get yourselves motivated when all you really want to do is sit down and do nothing???

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Housing Miracle

Ok, I know I've been M.I.A yet again. But if you even knew the story I'm about to tell you, you'd forgive me. Let me just say that yet again God provided in the most unexpected, miraculous, and VERY last minute way possible. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee (ok, maybe a full meal---it's gonna be a long one), and get caught up on our housing miracle................

Last weekend was Bug's first birthday (I'll put pics up of the fun once I get them from one of my besties....hint, hint, N!). :-) In the craziness of getting ready for that, I got kicked out of my house THREE times for a showing the day before the big party. Needness to say, that weekend we were in contract negotiations on the sale of our house that had only been on the market for 2 1/2 weeks. CRAZY! So yeah---house is currently "under contract". My realtors already did a lot of stalking on the buyer, so it looks like it's a pretty solid deal. Inspection is tomorrow, due diligence period is over next Monday, and we close on the 19th--with the weekend to move out. That, in itself, is a crazy miracle, especially when there's like 10 other houses for sale in my neighborhood priced the same or lower than ours. So these next couple weeks are going to be CRAZY trying to get out of here.

On to our other housing miracle....

We'd been looking at this this one community (well call it Dreamland). I was IN LOVE with dreamland the second I drove through it. We loved the houses, the hilly landscape, the amenities with kid stuff (tennis, pool, playground, kiddie pool with mushroom), GREAT schools (I know because I taught in one of them). We heard amazing things about this neighborhood from the people who lived there--lots of young families and community events. This was our dreamland. The thing is, the old builder (a regional builder who did good work in a lot of communities in this area) foreclosed, so this brand new builder was finishing some lots. We hadn't thought about building really because I wanted to have the security of being in an already-established neighborhood--didn't want to run the risk of builder short-sale and now there's all these empty streets with 2 houses. Well, in Dreamland---it WAS an established community--just a couple years old--and it had only a few lots to finish. PERFECTION! The only thing was this new builder didn't have his act together quite yet because he thought he'd get more time before people wanted to build with him. He figured he could get some of his pricing together (taking quotes from various places) while building his first inventory houses. Well, that didn't turn out that way--he got more action than he thought. Totally understandable situation, but it made for a lot of frustration when they didn't have their pricing on lighting, carpet upgrade, etc. Makes it very hard to figure out the final price of what things will be. Regardless, they were working on getting that info to us and we were going to have a 5 bedroom house on a basement for less than what one of the formerly built foreclosure houses were on a slab. It would've been a good deal. Unfortunately, it was creeping up beyond the top of our price point and we weren't getting very many upgrades. Still, we loved this house and this neighborhood. The only things (other than the price--but that wasn't going to change much) I would've wanted to change about this house was that I didn't want a corner lot and I didn't want a 2-story living room again. The corner lot was the only basement lot they had that was relatively flat and of good size. It was better than the vast majority of the other basement houses we'd seen. Adding a lot to the 2-story living room (just makes it more usable space for us) was going to be another 12K from this builder---and we were WAY out of our pricepoint. But we were a little love drunk, were still getting a relatively good price, and were going to stay with our first love (especially since I could name EVERY single house for sale in our area--literally).

To add a little stress to the mix, a friend of mine (cleopatra) told me that her neighborhood was promoting free basements. At first, I didn't pay much thought to this because we were in the midst of b-day party/selling house stress, AND I thought that even a slab house in her neighborhood was out of my price range. Well, Thursday night, I decided to look up that neighborhood---just in case things didn't work out in Dreamland and got too expensive. Sure enough, their lowest slab price started at just below our highest price point, but they were extending the free basement promo until that weekend (ended last night). Not to mention, they were throwing in free granite in the kitchen and all stainless steel appliances (including a fridge).Oh my gosh!!! I could get into this neighborhood. So Bug and I rush down there, see the houses, check out the lots, etc. I LOVED the houses and the floorplans, mostly because they didn't have any 2-story family rooms, which allowed for bigger bedrooms, etc. Her community also had some great things in the work. It was going to connect to the greenway (a HUGE  paved biking, walking, whatever trail that runs from our city to the one below it---they're in the process of connecting the areas). Not only that, her neighborhood was going to be a 5 minute drive from the biggest park they're building (in phases)---85 acres of skatepark, tennis, soccer & football fields, bball, a track, a dog park, walking trails, etc. WOW---that would be a great perk too. The lots in this neighborhood were also nice and flat, and wooded (yay for no corner lot), so they'd be private. The only things I didn't like was the fact that this neighborhood still had the vast majority of it yet to be built. It was started by the same foreclosure builder as Dreamland, but was bought out by a wealthy national builder very recently. I knew the community would be finished, but there would be years of construction until then...and I didn't love that. Also, the school that community fed into wasn't as good as the other one (mind you, none of the schools in our area are bad). The other thing was, this community had double the HOAs as Dreamland, but didn't have nearly the same amenities (only a pool and playground--no tennis or kiddie pool). The reasoning for that was because the big park would be built in a year or so and it would be close by. We were torn---I was cheating on my first love, Dreamland.

SO Saturday, I asked other friends of ours to come and see BOTH places to help us weigh the pros and cons. After seeing everything, they didn't know what to do either. Both places would've been great investments regardless and would've been around the same pricepoint. I knew I could probably get more upgrades from the national builder since the other guy's pockets weren't as deep--being new and all. I was just wishing we could take the builder in Cleopatra's neighborhood and some of her perks and put them in the other established neighborhood with the better schools. In the end, we decided that we needed to go for Dreamland and base our decision more on education than upgrades and parks---we could still drive to that future park and visit Cleopatra. So we started negotiating with dreamland. The problem was, they weren't budging as much as we wanted and they weren't offering too much in upgrades. Also, any additional upgrades we wanted, we were having to put nearly 50% down on and they were only paying 2% closing costs IF we used their lender. Ugh---this was not as fun as we thought and I was STRESSED. Prices were getting higher and higher, and we were cutting out a TON of our upgrades. Basically, the only thing the builder would've covered was a structural upgrade (turning study to 5th bedroom and changing powder room to full bath) and hardwood flooring in SOME of the areas downstairs. BUMMER!

Unfortunately, I still felt the "free basement" time crunch of the national builder and knew I had to make a decision by Sunday night. I didn't want us not to come to a reasonable situation in Dreamland and wait too long to pass up the free basement in Cleopatra's neighborhood---then I would've ended my top choices (and really, the ONLY ones I was interested in).

So, in tears, I start trying to search again. This time, we upped our search to a higher pricerange to see if they'd come down to what we would've been paying (still higher than what we wanted) at Dreamland. I wasn't seeing much. I was so stressed than Darling Dearest made a bubble bath for me and forced me away from the computer--he insisted on a mental break.

Come Sunday (yesterday morning), we decided we had to skip church to get things all figured out by that night. We had 6 houses to look at (most of which were out of our pricerange in hopes that if they looked ok and we liked them, they may come down). So Bug, Hubby, and I decided to do a drive by on these houses to figure out if we wanted to have the realtors show us them. Four out of siz had crazy yards--complete drop offs in the back or on crazy hills in the front. One had a decent yard, but was in a community that was a little older and didn't have any kid ammenities. There was only ONE from this list that was actually in one of my former searches--it was in our original budget. I even saved it. I don't know why I didn't look at it before when I looked at all the others, but I didn't. Turns out, this house was in a beautiful neighborhood. Pretty hills, nice lots, GREAT ammenities (kiddie stuff, tennis, pool, AND bball). I was loving it. As we drove around more, we saw some empty lots...and wouldn't you know, national builder (same from Cleopatra's neighborhood) with all the same promotions (basement, SS appliances, granite) was in that neighborhood.

So yesterday was crazy! We got a friend to watch Bug, Hubby and I did some investigating. The floorplan that we liked in this neighborhood (totally different floorplans here than in Cleo's place) was the SAME floorplan as in Dreamland, with a free basement...and was 40K less!!!! Not only that, but it was in the process of being grated and was already scheduled for a BASEMENT, on a nice, flat lot on a cul-de-sac with WOODS in the back. No corner lot here! And what's that you say?? We can add a loft for just over 2K, not 12K?? AND you can turn the study into a 5th bedroom and powder room into a full bath??? Oh, and out of SEVEN different elevation choices (what the outside of the house looks like), they had already planned for it to be elevation G---the same one Darling Dearest and I wanted?? Let me just say that if we had found this house later, they would've already ordered materials and we wouldn't have been able to customize some things (particularly the structural changes we wanted to make) IF we wanted this lot. This was honestly a gift from God---at the last possible second. We had the best of both houses. Private, wooded lot, the builder, the great promotions, and no 2-story living room like Cleopatra's (although it'll be slightly more square footage than the house we would've had in her neighborhood with the loft). BUT, we got the established and slightly hilly neighborhood, the kiddie amenities PLUS tennis and bball, the cheap HOA (less than 1/2 of cleo's), the floorplan but WITH the loft of Dreamland. Not to mention, this community will also be connected to the greenway like Cleopatra's. Just when I thought things couldn't get better, this particular house was supposed to be an inventory house, so they already planned some upgrades specific for this one that we wouldn't have to pay for. In the end, they threw in all structural upgrades (loft, 5th bedroom, added full bath, free basement), and cosmetic upgrades (SS appliances, granite, canned lights, wrought iron bannister, and more)--some of which we hadn't even planned for. Oh, did I forget to say they gave us 10.5K in whatever other upgrades we wanted and that if we wanted more than that, we'd usually have to put a 50% deposit, but our realtor got it down to 20% (which would actually end up going toward our down payment). They agreed to 3% closing cost and took 2.5K less in earnest money as well. We had their realtor and our realtor come to our house last night just so we could get the promotions that ended yesterday. Their realtor had been working for that builder for 4 years and knew that they wouldn't give it to us if we did it in the morning.

Honestly, I'm on cloud 9 right now. God had a plan for us and people around us to help us out. He had it all worked out for the last possible second. Isn't that how he always works??? We ended up getting a better house (the house I would've built if I could've afforded the loft in dreamland), with WAY more upgrades, for what would've ended up to be over 40K less. Oh, and they've broken land on a brand new elementary school across the street that will be done by the time Bug's there. It's truly a miracle. We went out Sunday morning with no hopes of finding anything...much less finding the perfect scenario at MUCH less than we had planned to pay. And we got in JUST before the ordering/construction so if we go to our design appointment this week (which we will), we'll get to pick out everything--including the brick. We're scheduled to close in June, but an actual date will be determined once the house is in drywall. Oh, and did I mention that a 4 month lease (which is what we'll end up getting to take us into mid-July) was actually cheaper than a 5 or 6 month lease (which we would've needed if we were building with this same builder in Cleopatra's neighborhood since we would've been picking a new lot and nothing was in the works)?? Yes, it could go later, but we do have an option of doing month to month if that happens.

Our week at a glance looks like this:
Today--walk the lot with the builder--we can walk if we want to---but probably won't
Tomorrow--inspection on OUR house, so Bug and I have to be out of here for 2-3 hours
Sometime between now and Friday--go to the design center to pick out stuff for our house, and get loan application done (we have 5 days to complete from yesterday's contract date). Maybe, we'll be able to do the design center tomorrow while our house is being inspected.

Oh, did I forget that we have to pack up and move in the next few weeks too??

This has been chaotic, but it's been such a blessing to see God's hand throughout. "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16b Thank you, God for all You've done for us--for always providing MUCH more than we could ask or imagine and for putting the right people and situations in line and the right time. "He makes all things beautiful in HIS time."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So much to do..the big 0-1!!!

Just when I thought things surely had to slow down around these parts.............

Bug got sick a couple weeks ago. She had a terrible cold and horrible cough. Poor thing was miserable, and it lasted for nearly two weeks. Needless to say, I wasn't getting much sleep with her being such a little sicky. Like any generous sweetheart, she shared her illness with Darling Dearest and I. He didn't really get it too badly and was under the weather for maybe a couple days. I, on the other hand, was feeling the worst I have felt in a LONG time for week or so. I'm still sick now, but feel 100% compared to how I felt before--constant headache, burning nose and eyes, sinus pressure, never-ending snot, achy body--just horrible. I would wake up in the night because my nose burned so bad or because I couldn't breathe, and I couldn't fall back to sleep. So really, I have been going on a little less than 3 weeks of not-so-hot (putting it very mildly) sleeping. I long to feel caught up on sleep, but that's not happening anytime soon because.......

Bug's turning ONE!!!

Her actual birthday is on Wednesday (the 24th), but we're having her party this Saturday. With me not working and thus, the cash not flowin', we really wanted to keep her party extremely small---just the closest of friends who have been involved in this past year of Bug's life. I feel badly, because if I had the cash to drop, I have a million other people that I would've loved to invite (ok, a million may be a slight exaggeration, but there are several others)---but I guess we'll have to wait for another year for that. Bug's not going to know what's going on this year anyway. I also decided to keep it just desserts and a couple appetizers. I made my own decorations, and still have more to finish before Saturday. I'm SOOOO not a party planner/thrower, but there will only be about 10 people coming, so I need to convince myself not to worry about it. For the record, even though that's the sane thing to do---that will NOT be what I'm doing. I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off until the party is over and done. Although, I really hope I can be organized enough to take a deep breath and ENJOY the party and this milestone in my daughter's life--not to mention, OURS (we DID make it through a whole year as parents and she's still here to prove it)!

After consultation with some friends and my cousin (all great party-planners), I finally feel good about the menu and party in general. I have taken on the responsibility of making the cupcakes and her smash cake, so I'm just praying I don't mess those up. Can't have a birthday party without a cute and tasty cake. I'm sure I'll have a million and two things to do the day of, but I'm hoping to get as much as I can done before Saturday while keeping my house in tip-top shape in case someone wants to see it. UGH! We'll see how that goes. It's been an extremely slow week with showings, so maybe no one will interrupt my party-planning mode.

ANYWHO...Just thought I'd tell you all that I'm still alive and kickin'. I've just got a ton to do in the next 48 hours (not to mention squeezing in time to go see a lot and model homes in the neighborhood we're considering building), so you won't be hearing from me until after the party. I'll have lots of pics of my Bug and her first birthday party.

Until then, I'll leave you with some pics from our minor (huge for GA) blizzard and snow that lasted all of 12 hours. Glad I forced Bug to go out and play (when she should've been getting ready for bed) so I could get some pics of my sweetie rockin' her Walmart bag snowsuit. We "southerners" (ok, wanna-be and currently-located 'southerners'), have not invested in a snowsuit for the one time a year it snows here. The only thing prettier than snow in GA (and it did look beautiful) is the sweetest snow bug IN the snow in GA. hehe!

Jumping for joy at the sight of snow!

Cheezing for the camera

Hmmm, I can pat it OVER and OVER and OVER again.

My favorite Walmart purchase

After crawling in the snow and realizing snow is C.O.L.D.

Daddy makes it better!

Finishing up dinner after our fun in the snow


*Until next post.....wish me luck on my turn at being Cleopatra (if you don't understand that reference, you've got a lot of reading to do on my blog. hehe!).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mommy Meeting....I did it!!

I went to my first meeting-with-complete-strangers, Mommy group Saturday morning. You have to go to a public event before you can do private play dates at someone's house (for obvious reasons), so I bit the bullet...and went. Not only that, but I went without Bug. I had planned on bringing her as a distraction. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm so busy interacting with my daughter that I'm slightly anti-social and not wanting to talk to you complete strangers." I thought Bug would help break the ice. I'm SOOO not about going to meet strangers, which you wouldn't guess unless you knew me. I'm an outgoing and social person. I make friends really easily, BUT I need to be in a comfort zone...like a school or something. Yeah, I don't do the coffee outings with a bunch of women I never met. The outing was at Starbucks, so I knew I would be tempted to go in...check out the situation, and immediately turn around. These people don't know who I am. As I waited in line for my Chai tea, I saw a group of women with the tables pushed together. Ugh. I wanted to get my cup of warm deliciousness and hop in my car. I've got enough great friends of my own, who needs to make any more?? BUT, I came here for a reason. I wanted some mommy friends in my area who I could meet up with, join for play dates, and enjoy getting advice from. So I sucked it up, and went. I'm SOO proud of myself. There were only a couple people there since I went toward the end, but the girls there were really nice. I'm now looking forward to my Forsyth Mommies group. YAY!

I can't hear you...I'm going through traffic???

So this week has been a busy one. Our house is officially on the market. YAY!! The sign went in our yard Tuesday afternoon, the pics were taken, and we were up and running on the internet by Wednesday. I found myself feeling extremely anxious when we were officially "for sale". Not worried like we made a bad decision---just worried in general. I was more anxious then excited, which I did not expect to feel. Maybe it's because we've been in this house for 5 years and I've got used to being here, maybe its because I like this house, maybe it's because our Bug has spent the first year of her life here.....I don't know, but I kind of felt sad.

I also started thinking of all the craziness that could happen these next several months. What if our house sells and we haven't found a place?? What if there's a period of time between this house and the next?? Where would we go? I started mentally going through my friend list---nope, they don't have room for us, nope, they already have a dog (or dogs in some cases) and would definitely not want us with our 2 dogs, nope, they don't have a dog...for a reason. They hate dogs and wouldn't want us. We would have NO WHERE to go! Then I started looking up apartment complexes (seriously, this is how far I went with this fear that hasn't happened) and couldn't find any that did a month-by-month situation. After looking into a handful of apartment complexes, I realized I'd lost it. I didn't need to be worrying about something that hasn't happened. So yeah, initially, I wanted to run right back out in my yard and take down the For Sale sign. Sure, we could happily fit all 4-5 kids we hope to have, plus all the family visitors we like to have in our 3 bedroom house with no basement. We can stay here! I don't want to be homeless!!

The house has been on the market for just under a week, and I've calmed myself down. Well, at least about the issues I mentioned above. Instead, my crazy energy has gone toward the showings. It was raining and really crappy the days right after it was listed. Saturday, though, was beautiful. I met for coffee with a Mommy Group (tell you about that next post) after an hour and a half of attempting to put Bug down for her nap. She's SOOO sick. She's got the worst cold. She can't breath, or nurse well. She's coughing all the time. She's had a fever and has actually lost her voice from coughing so much. Poor thing is miserable. It breaks my heart to see her like this. It's taking me forever to get her to sleep without her waking up from coughing her lungs up. After I got home, I had to get my sick Bug ready to head to her best pal's 1st bday party (yes, I told the mom (one of my besties) that Bug had been sick...we were only going to be there for a while).

This is Bug and Cleopatra.....this picture shows exactly how she felt the past few days--MISERABLE.


After the party, Darling Dearest, Bug, and I were going to get some lunch with Cleopatra and her hubby. On our way there, I was trying to do a on-the-go nursing session as we cruised down the highway. This was when we got our first call for a showing!! Oh my gosh! Was the house ready?? We had just been working on a project the night before and the house smelled like glue. Did I have things put away? I don't think so...we were in such a rush to get to the party. Not to mention, Hubby accidentally answered the phone when he was fishing it out of my purse. I picked up to someone saying, "HELLO, HELLO??" Oh my gosh, who is this?? Should I recognize this voice? I was panicing and completely out of sorts. My boobs were out and about. This lady is asking to see the house and she's RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT. I'm frantically racking my brain to recall the condition of our home. You would've thought I'd never spoken to anyone in my life. In my attempt to buy time and mouth to Hubby "What does the house look like??", I was trying to tell the lady to repeat herself because I had static on my end. What did I say instead??? "UM, I'm sorry. Can you say that again? I'm going through TRAFFIC."

WHAT???? TRAFFIC?? DID I SERIOUSLY JUST SAY THAT?? SOMEONE SHOULD TAKE THE PHONE FROM ME NOW!

Did you think that was bad?? Well, it gets worse! Hubby tells me that he DID crate the dogs (against his will because I was being "optimistic"--his words--for thinking someone would come see our house so soon). "Yes, realtor lady you CAN come see the house." Oh what?? Darling Dearest NOW remembers that he set the alarm system. OOPS! "Nevermind, realtor lady. You will be treated like an intruder and the police will be called if you enter our house. We need to run home and turn off the alarm (aka, spray Febreeze everywhere and do last minute cleaning right before we turn off the alarm)".

So we make a quick turn back home. I call Cleopatra to let her know plans had changed and they'd have to come for lunch by my house. We got the house in tip-top shape in 2 minutes and left (Cleopatra and her hubby helped too). I was a frazzled mess. This is NOT an exaggeration. If anyone who saw me in the midst of this shinanigan was writing this post...they would concur that they'd never seen me such a hot mess (and trust me, I can be the definition of "hot mess" so that's how bad this was).

Yep, it was bad...really bad. How can I expect people to come see my house when I can't seem to speak coherently to the realtors?? Well, you'd be happy to know that we had another showing yesterday (Superbowl Sunday) and another today. I actually remembered that I had NOT been living under a rock since birth. That I had actually gone to school, even grad school for that matter. That I, at one point, TAUGHT proper English and grammar usage. The 2nd and 3rd time around, I saw that the number was unfamiliar, picked up expecting a realtor, and scheduled a showing like a real life human being. IMPRESSIVE!!

So yeah, that's the update. I told you I'd be better about blogging and now that I've written a book, I have zero time (or desire) to edit it *SURPRISE, SURPRISE*. Please forgive me in advance. I already told you I don't speak English. I'm sorry, I can't hear you...I'm going through traffic!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just call me Carmen San Diego

I know, I know.....Where in the world have I been? Have I dropped off the face of the planet? You've probably lost some sleep asking yourself these questions and many more, but I'm here to tell you that I am, indeed, ALIVE. I got yelled at by a stalker friend of mine who informed me that I hadn't written anything since January 17th (yeah, I didn't even know that). Since she's one of my besties and she watched the Bug for me today as we looked at houses, since I was belated on her bday gift, and since I love her dearly.....I will break my record and update the good old blog. Although, P.S.--- "N", for someone who doesn't leave a comment on all my blogging effort, maybe you shouldn't be giving me the hard time. hehe! I say all blog stalkers should come out of hiding and leave some love every once in a blue moon.  :-P

Things have been kind of crazy these past 2 weeks. I've been working non-stop to get my house ready to go on the market. Yep, we even met with the realtor earlier this week and will probably have the official "For Sale" sign in our front yard this week!! CRAZY stuff--and kind of scary too. Prior to having it ready to go, I had some projects to finalize around here, including my DIY no-sew blackout roman shades I did for Bug's room so I could take down the brown sheet. I'll do a post on that process later along with pics of the project. They turned out great, and I was on a crafting high. I was feeling SO good about myself that I also recovered the seat cushions at my breakfast table using more of my fabric glue. Let's just say that project didn't turn out as well as the first, but I was running short on time after doing the blinds during Bug's afternoon nap. For the record, if you ever need cheap, neutral material---go buy yourself a canvas drop cloth at Home Depot, Lowes, or wherever. I got a big one for $13 and still have plenty left over for a future project. Needless to say, I'm kind of excited about the prospect of a new house because now that I'm making time for my house...I'm loving the idea of becoming a do-it-yourselfer kinda gal.

This week my dad and my little brother drove down from NY. We always get the pit stops in GA on the way to the bigger and better destination---FLORIDA, where my other brothers live. My dad got my brother out of school for a little road trip to the Pro Bowl in Miami, since it could be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity, according to my dad. True, it actually IS in the states, so better take advantage. Needless to say, Bug had fun visiting with her uncle and her grandpa and I was actually able to run an errand here and there without her the two days they were here. Yep, that includes getting a cavity filled without my daughter.  Imagine that!! Ahhhh, the luxuries of life. hehe!

Long story short, (ok, not short AT ALL, but by now you should know me well enough to know that I don't know the meaning of a short story), last week I was finalizing my house and doing celebratory birthday dinner evenings (the big 2-9) with the bestie that gave me a hard time for my lack of blogging committment, and I was highly involved in DIY projects. This week, was meeting-with-realtors-AND-hanging-out-with-out-of-state-fam-AND-having-my-first-official-day-of-house-hunting week (house-hunting update for another post). SO yeah....the blog has been put on the back-burner. I'd like to say that I've turned a new leaf--that I'm back in the game, BUT I can't make any promises. I'm really going to try to get better about it, but between keeping my house spotless with two hairy dogs and a baby, getting kicked out whenever someone wants to see it, and constantly obsessing and scouring the internet for any and all potential homes casually looking for my future home, all in between nursing sessions, getting ready for the Bug's big 0-1 in a couple weeks, and chasing around this energizer bunny, we'll see how I do with the blogging.

I just hope absence DOES make the heart fonder and that you all stick with me through thick and thin. I have a feeling these next couple months are going to be quite the rollercoaster. I'll do my best to keep you (and thus the future ME, since this IS my attempt at an online diary given my horrible memory that began at pregnancy) updated all along the way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Well, We Had a Good Run....

It was fun while it lasted. Actually, it was FABULOUS and I loved every minute of it, or better yet--every minute WITHOUT it. Unfortunately, the time has come where my bubble of cramplessness has been popped.

Yep, the other day SHE reared her cramping, painful, and awful head. And when she came, she came with a vengence. For those of you who haven't caught on yet, YES, I'm talking about Mrs. Flow, The Crimson Tide, Code Red, my monthly visitor....or whatever other cutesy name you call this bloody mess.

Bug will be 11 months next week, so it's been since May 26, 2008 that I last had a visit from her. I know, I've been spoiled and have zero room to complain. Yet, here I am....complaining still. And you know what's worse?? You're having to listen to it.

Anywho....back to my complaint. :-) Like I've said in previous posts, I'm still nursing Bug so I'm on a birth control pill for breastfeeding known as the minipill. When I got on this pill (pretty much right after she was born because I was NOT about to get pregnant again so soon), I was told that "it will keep my uterus nice and clean." aka...I shouldn't have any periods while on it AND breastfeeding. When I started to wean her, I need to get back to a real pill because the minipill isn't 100% effective on it's own. So when I was ready to wean and get off this pill, my monthly visitor would be back.

Well wouldn't you know, I'm still nursing about 5 times a day, still taking the pill every day (again, NOT about to get pregnant now), and what do I feel running down my leg??? Ok, it wasn't really running down my leg, but it makes for a much more interesting (and disgusting) picture, don't you think?? But seriously, I was cramping soo badly and couldn't figure out what was going on. Surely, I'm not getting my period. I thought I have a nice and clean uterus. Then...GUSH!! Did I pee myself??? I must've sprung a leak. I wasn't laughing hard, so I'm sure I didn't pee my pants from that. What's going on??? Into the bathroom I go.....

and what do I find???

My period has returned in an angry fury!! My first thought was, "Oh no....does this mean my birth control is no longer working since my uterus is obviously NOT so 'nice and clean' like I was told." I'm not ready to wean Bug off breastfeeding yet, so I can't take the real pill. Then the thought that I may actually have to use condoms hit me like a ton of bricks. For the record, I HATE THEM!! I think I've only used them like once, maybe twice, around the time I got off the pill before to try to conceive, but before I actually wanted to conceive. If I haven't mentioned it, I'm a HUGE planner and knew exactly the month I wanted to get pregnant so I could get the most out of my maternity leave. Thank goodness my plan worked well with God because He blessed us with our Bug on the first go. So here I am...spoiled about not having to use a condom and dreading the thought of it. At the same time, I can't get pregnant before September or my new insurance won't cover it. So no.....Oh, "if it happens, it happens" here. I was freaking out about this wrench in my birth control plan...all amidst the usual hormonal feelings that come with your period.

Just so you all can rest easy and get some sleep tonight, I will tell you that the nurse said I'm A-okay on my pill. That it's still working, but that my body just told me it was time to shead it's skin. I may or may not get another period last month, but I at least know that I shouldn't be peeing on a pregnancy stick anytime in the extremely near future. Yep...that means no other means of birth control necessary. YAY!! So although I'm hating every minute of my crampy mess of a friend's visit and hating the monthly reminder of being a girl, I guess I should be grateful that Bug's helped me keep the crimson tide at bay this long.