I've been on a blogging break. Mostly because we haven't been up to much other than the usual, and because I tend to post kid stuff as status updates on Facebook. We did a little project in the kitchen, we replaced the white ceramic tile on the island. The new butcher block counter looks pretty dang awesome, and we painted the island cabinets red. It makes the rest of the kitchen a little bit shabby, but we'll get to the rest of it in due time.
We are going out of town this weekend, I'm really looking forward to our trip. Visiting grandpa and nana and aunt Vanessa is one of our favorite things to do!
The kids have been obsessed with baseball lately. This afternoon they were playing inside, Alden was the batter and Ruth was the pitcher. He was actually being the leader for a change, it was so cute. Ruthie threw the ball at him and farted really loudly at the same time, then she turned and ran away with a scared look on her face. Alden struck out then said "hey pitcher, I need my pitcher!" From the bathroom I hear "umm....the pitcher has to go poo poo". After the pitcher went poo-poo they decided to do some work on the fireplace. Alden tried to chip up the tiles with his hammer, but luckily he mostly made noise rather than damage. He also told me we need to replace a wall with a new one. He's quite the little construction worker, I love it!
We went swimming at a friend's house today, it was so nice to cool off. I was pushing Ruth around on a float and Alden was holding on to the side. I told him to kick his feet and I let go of the float, Roo said "push me mama" and Alden said "don't worry Woof, I got ya" as he kicked all the way over to the step so Ruth could get off the float. Those little moments make me forget how they torture each other, Alden's favorite thing to do is take away something Ruthie is playing with and hold it above her head.
I went shopping at Target this evening. To cap off my rare solo trip out of the home I bought a pretzel at the food court. The desiccated lump of greasy dough the "cook" handed me did not resemble the luscious fully formed beautiful pretzel in the display case in any way. I asked for a manager and patiently waited for 10 minutes, then not-so patiently for another 5. When she finally wandered up I explained that I the gorgeous pretzels in the display case were misleading and that something needs to be done so more fat women did not experience the same disappointment I myself was now recovering from. The manager said the pretzels shrink when cooked and blah blah blah and I said regardless they are selling something that is not as advertised and that is a poor business practice. The manager threw up her hands and refunded my money for both the pretzel AND my soda, which I refilled before I left. Take that in the bulls eye, Target! I didn't WANT a refund, merely the acknowledgement that they shouldn't be advertising something they are unable to supply.
I'm watching this show on TLC and I can't believe these women didn't know they were pregnant until their baby was on it's way out of the birth canal. Seriously. How is this possible?? Okay, irregular periods, minimal weight gain, no morning sickness, I can see that. But HELLOOOOOO you can totally feel and see your baby trying to punch it's way out of your belly. There's no way in hell you can write off the feeling of someone playing kickball with your cervix as gas or food poisoning. There's gotta be major denial, lack of knowledge about the human body, and a whole lotta mental illness for someone to not know she is pregnant.
Lately the kids have been mega tattletales, and it drives me nuts. We walked past another mom and kid at Target and the kid had spilled Slurpie on his shirt, they said in unison "Mooommmm that boy spilled Slurrrrpie...." Um....okay thanks. Later we pass a kid who is standing up in the cart: "Mooommmmm that girl is standing up in the cart".....on and on and on "Moommmm that baby isn't wearing shoes...." "Mooommmmm that lady is taking a long time to checkout..." over and over and over they told on people all over the damn store. Thank goodness we weren't at Walmart or the Grocery Outlet or they would have had even more things to tattle on, like babies in diapers chugging baby bottles of Mt. Dew. As I loaded them in the car I told them I was done with hearing them tattle on people, and they need to mind their own business, not the business of others. I hear Alden start to tell Ruthie something as I close the back door, and by the time I open mine I hear Ruthie say "Mooommm, Aldens' minding other peopleses businesses still..." Oy.
Nick finally got home after midnight Thursday night (so Friday morning I guess??). After forking over both an arm and a leg, a tow truck deposited him in front of our house. Yesterday morning he took my car to Firestone in Merced, they patched the tire free of charge and said there is no reason why America's Tire couldn't patch it, and yes I do need new back tires but not urgently and not for the price I was quoted. Yay, finally something positive! The tire was patched quickly and we were able to still make it to the circus in Fresno. I'd been talking to Ruth and Alden about it all week and they had a wonderful time. Ruthie's favorite part was when Gravity the naughty clown was caught by the Ringmaster, and Alden's favorite part was the elephants pooping.
So Nick calls a tow truck to take him and the Honda home. Actually, he calls our auto insurance who dispatches the truck, and he makes sure to ask about the mileage limit since he's about 80 miles from home. He's assured there's no charge and no problem taking him that far.
A truck comes within half an hour (impressive). It's a flatbed, and his car is loaded quickly. He gets in the cab and the operator asks for the address. Nick gives him our address and the guy looks at him like he's asking to be taken to Mars. Apparently he's the only truck on duty for his company and can't take Nick home. So, he kicks him out and ditches the car and Nick has to call our insurance company again. The replacement truck isn't there yet, but he was assured that it would take him all the way home. What the hell is going on with our lives that things are this jacked up?
The rotten cherry on this shit sundae is this: my donut tire seems to have a slow leak and I won't be surprised to wake up tomorrow and find it totally flat.
I found the perfect living room curtains on clearance at Lowe's, but the Merced store only had one pair. I found another panel at the Turlock store, but I also got a flat tire due to some lovely bolts and nails I picked up in the parking lot. The twins and I spent NINETY FREAKING MINUTES at America's Tire of Turlock, only to be told they cannot patch it because there's another patch too close to the new hole. We drove home very very slowly on the donut. I have to get two new back tires now. America's Tire quoted me $275 for two. So NOT in the budget right now, but I guess it'll have to be.
Nick still isn't home from his car trouble adventures. Oy.
With this economy, people who have been let go from their professions have had to find new and creative ways to support themselves. Check out PJs by Pinkie, read her story, and be inspired!! I love the little girl styles, the capris would be so cute paired with a tank top.
Things have been really stressful and hectic here, and quite honestly I'm wondering what I did in a past life that has brought me so much angst.
Nick's car broke down today. He took a half day off from work to do some consulting work (yay for padding the new fridge fund!), but his car overheated and died on his way up to Sacramento. Goodbye new fridge fund, hello repair bill. Ugh. We haven't actually taken it to a shop yet, I'm hoping my some miracle it will start tomorrow morning and run like a dream. Perhaps car fairies will visit tonight and work some magic.
We are also facing an 8% reduction in his pay, that's almost $400 a month. Holy cow, that's gonna hurt. We already live pretty frugally, I'm not sure where else we can cut back. I'm going to look into increasing our deductibles for home/auto insurance, but our rates are already fairly low so I don't think that will do much.
I got caught picking my nose today. This isn't very high on my list of embarrassing moments (trust me, there are worse things), but it was pretty dang funny. I was stopped in traffic, so naturally it was time for some nasal maintenance. I finally dislodged the offender and wiped it on a napkin, then I looked around and realized the car next to me was rocking back and forth from the four guys in it LAUGHING THEIR ASSES OFF AT ME. Did I blush? Hide? Cry? Nope. When the light turned I stuck my finger in up to the knuckle and twisted my arm back and forth while they roared with laughter, then I rolled down my window and waved while I got on the freeway and they continued on their way.
This afternoon the MOMS Club of Merced went on a field trip to Forte Frozen Yogurt, in downtown Merced. The kids were read a story about energy conservation and then made their own frozen yogurt concoctions! Forte features 12 different flavors of frozen yogurt, including multiple sugar free options, plus a zillion toppings like Oreo, fresh fruit, and cheesecake bites. Ruth made a strawberry fro yo with mini M&M candies, rainbow sprinkles, and mochi balls. Alden the purist had Hershey's Chocolate Kiss fro yo and rainbow sprinkles. Mama had strawberry fro yo with fresh strawberries and cheesecake bites. It's a really cool place and I hope it survives the Merced economy that seems to run new businesses out of town in months.
Satchel came along for the trip.
If you look closely you'll see they are wearing the ice cream outfits Grandma Bonk made.
Doing a little coloring sheet, Ruth wrote her own name. Both are now on display at Forte. See how my little gentleman crosses his legs, and my little lady has hers spread apart? Nice.
We celebrated Ruth and Alden's third birthday at Disneyland! A good time was had by all. I have more pictures to add but these are a preview. We stayed at the Castle Inn and Suites, it was a little shabby but clean and the price was excellent. We went for 3.5 days and I think that was the perfect amount of time, we arrived on Wednesday afternoon and hit the park after checking in to our hotel, then went all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The lines got progressively longer as we went into the weekend, and the line for the Princess Fantasy Faire was absolutely ridiculous. Next time we are going to pony up for the breakfast at Ariel's Grotto, so we can meet the princesses and skip the crazy line.
I need to take and post some pictures, but here's a quick recap of the projects we've started and/or finished since closing escrow three weeks ago:
ripped out carpets downstairs and put in lovely new laminate wood flooring
painted Ruth's room
painted Alden's room
painted their bathroom and put up wall decals
started painting the downstairs baths
hung a shelf in the laundry room
weeded and planted flowers in the front yard (work in progress)
hung blinds and roller shades in four rooms
made curtains for the playroom (out of an old shower curtain!)
hung up a valance in the kitchen (with thumbtacks, how classy)
unpacked a zillion boxes
arranged and rearranged furniture
I still have a mile long list of things to do, notably more painting and yard work. This home ownership business is very exciting, every little project is enjoyable and makes me smile when i walk through the door. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in a few months, but for now we are enjoying life!
Finally, at 5:30 PM yesterday, we got the keys!!!!
I immediately started painting, the colors we've chosen are amazing and I'm very happy. The kids' bathroom is a bright yellow, Alden's room is sapphire blue. I haven't started the other rooms yet, painting with two three year olds is just as hard as it sounds. I ended up going back over to the house after we put them to bed, I was there until 11:45 painting away. Aldens' room is a little dark, so I think we might lighten it up with a lighter blue stripe at some point. Or maybe three stripes of varying width....Roo's room will be a medium pink color with beadboard wainscoting on the bottom 36" and a nice chair rail/molding on top of that.
The carpet cleaners are coming today at 11, the oven is being delivered tomorrow. We hope to knock out a chunk of the flooring job today, at least the kitchen so we don't have to move the stove and fridge out later.
In anticipation for our move, I've been watching way too much HGTV. I am being driven nutso by the buyers who enter a home and immediately say "oh I wanted granite countertops and stainless steel appliances". The kitchen could be beautifully remodeled but people still want their granite and SS. NEWSFLASH: Granite and stainless steel will not make your food taste better and cook itself. Stainless is going to be the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold of the millenium generation. Now, my kitchen does have stainless steel appliances but that's only b/c the microwave and dishwasher were already there when we bought it and we want them to match. I wouldn't rip out a perfectly good appliance just for the sake of having stainless. Oy. Time to step away from the HGTV On Demand channel.
I have managed to cross quite a few items off of my to-do list! We get the keys on Tuesday, the stove is being delivered Thursday, and I pick up the truck on Friday. I'm hoping to knock out the flooring and some of the painting by the time we get the truck and start moving furniture.
got more boxes
bought cleaning supplies and gloves for the new house
bought a shower curtain and hooks for the kids' bath
booked the moving truck
picked up a few assorted tools for painting and ripping up the carpet
When we got the Budget office, Ruthie said "how we get the big truck outta da store?"
We bought a range yesterday, I was pretty stoked to find out they were having a 20% off sale on Kenmore brand appliances. I just went to their website so I could post a picture here, and I find that tonight from 6-9PM they are having AN ADDITIONAL 10% OFF THE EXACT SAME FREAKING STOVE WE JUST BOUGHT! You bet your sweet Aunt Betsy I'm going to be there at 6:01PM to ask for an additional 10% off. I'm so irritated, that's $100 that we could really use for the multitude of other things we need to buy. When we were there yesterday I saw the signs advertising a VIP After Hours sale (open to the public) but didn't realize it was an additional 10% off the very appliance we purchased. It would've been swell if the salesman had mentioned that little tidbit. If they won't refund us the 10% I'm going to cancel the order and head over to Lowe's. I'd be happy with a gift card for the difference, but cash would be great too.
This house stuff is getting scary, my to-do list is a mile long and growing by the minute! Yesterday I got to sign a huge stack of paperwork and make arrangements to hand over Ruthie. It was either my first born or an arm and a leg, I figure the bank will give her back once they realize her motor never stops running. Right?
Closing is still set for 3/31, we have to be out of our rental by 4/11. Hopefully we'll be able to finish at least a few projects before moving. Painting is a definite must, the walls are in bad shape, the bank patched and painted over dings and holes, but the paint is FARRRR from a color match! Ick. Flooring would be great too, we are going to install laminate wood in the kitchen/living room/dining room area.
So here's my current list, just in case anyone wants to volunteer to do all of this for me (just kidding, I'm just trying to stay organized)! This doesn't even begin to include all of the things we have as longer-term projects (landscaping, kitchen updating)
-schedule moving truck
-schedule steam cleaning for upstairs carpets and stairs at new house
-pick out range
-pick out fridge
-ceiling fans (these could wait but summer will here soon and the bedrooms will be toasty upstairs)
-garage door opener (buy and install)
-set up PGE/water/garbage at new house and cancel old service
-change address with half the world (at least it seems like it)
-buy a real phone (we'll have a landline again!)
-buy a new bed (the one we have now belongs w/our rental)
-figure out window coverings (I know nothing about curtains/blinds/etc)
-stop feeling sad that the kids aren't going to share a room anymore
-clean up our rental so we hopefully get all of our deposit back
Today I met up with my friend Patty, we had a picnic at the park and enjoyed the sunshine. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we left a pair of Crocs, my water bottle, a ziploc of goldfish and the kids' water bottle behind! I went back for these items, but holy moly where is my head these days?
Anyway, Patty offered to watch the twins so I could go to the grocery store by myself. I was skeptical b/c the kids are rarely away from me, I figured they'd revolt and want to come with me. Ha! Once we got to Patty's house and they saw Merrick's brand new wooden kitchen, they all but forgot my name.
Going to the grocery store alone is a very different experience from shopping with two almost three-year old kids. I didn't have to hunt down a cart w/two seats, I only wiped down the handle not the whole seat, and I was able to complete my list in about 15 minutes, plus another 3 for getting an iced latte at the in-store coffee bar. I did miss the back and forth banter, Alden usually holds the list and Ruth quizzes me on random things and asks if we are going to buy beer and Cheetos for daddy.
Tonight as I was looking at the circular, I told Roo that chicken breasts are on sale. She grabbed the Longs ad and said "I sink (think) beer and wine are also on sale mama". Thanks Roo. She still has her little lisp, I love it. Her little tongue peeks out when she talks and her mouth makes the cutest little shapes.
The other night I was brushing her hair and she was being very....theatrical. Alden walked up and said "hey, what are you doing to my baby girl?" He's such a protective big little brother.
I think I'm going to puke. Our tax refund was supposed to be deposited today, it hasn't shown up yet so Nick called the IRS. So far all he's been told is that we should be getting a letter in the mail. Where the hell is our money? We have enough saved for closing costs but we are counting on our refund to buy our fridge and stove, and the new flooring and painting. I hope this gets fixed quickly, but we have two weeks until closing and we all know how swiftly the government moves. Ha!
Last night at dinner Ruth was being silly, she grabbed some pasta from the serving plate instead of from the pile on her plate. I told her she had some noodles on her plate and she said "Oh, I didn't realize that mama, sorry". What kind of not quite 3 year old says she didn't realize? OMG. She had a bad case of the wiggles too, and was squirming all over the place. After Nick told her to sit still for the 1000th time, she sighed, and said "Daddy, why you being difficult tonight?"
I had to go to traffic court today to clear a ticket I got for speeding. I did traffic school online but I didn't realize the completion certificate had to be mailed to me, and I didn't receive it in time to turn in by the deadline (today). I figured online school=print your certificate from home. Oops.
Anyway, I packed the kids up with some snacks and told them they had to be on number one best behavior, and we set out for court. Now, you'd think that since people are going there for being shitty drivers, they'd be more aware of their driving habits, right? I saw two cars over the line and taking up two spots, two stop signs that were rolled through and quite a few seatbelt violations, all in the parking lot.
Luckily the line was super short and the twins were happy to munch on their goldfish crackers while I took care of business. The clerk wouldn't accept my completion acknowledgement I'd printed out, even though it had my name, completion date, my driver's license number AND the docket number. After waiting in line #1 to get this info, I was told to go outside the building to the exterior walkup window (which is staffed by someone who sits three feet away from the woman who told me to go to the outside window). We trundled outside and the kids sat on a handy little bench that had "puta" and "norte gangstas" scratched into it in a lovely old english font. This woman kindly gave me an extension and warned me it was my last one, as if I'm a chronic traffic school shirker. She didn't even look at my paper that said I'd indeed already done the damn course. Oh well.
The process was entirely too easy, I was expecting more drama and kid chasing. I got the bright idea to call Nick and tell him I was being arrested for not turning in my certificate and he needed to come get the kids ASAP.
Me: I'm being booked for not meeting the terms by the deadline, you need to come get the kids.
Nick: Um..oh god oh god! Um hang on. I'll be right there. But it isn't even the end of the day!
Me: *sniffling for effect* They said I can do it now during business hours or if we wait till 5 I have to be in jail overnight *sniff sniff* and be arraigned in the morning since there's no night court.
I love eavesdropping on the kids during their bath. Tonight Ruthie decided our little rubber frog is her baby, and the baby needed to visit the doctor. Alden is playing the part of the doctor.
Ruth: My baby has an ouchie.
Alden: The doctor is clo-sed.
Ruth: My baybeeee neeedzz the docTOR!
Alden: Okay, what you want?
At this point I stepped in and asked if the baby needs a bandaid. Ruthie looked at me like I'm totally clueless and said "Mommy, only if it is an ima-gin-na-nary bandaid cuz we in the water". I mimed handing a bandaid to Alden and he put it on the frog. All was well.
Inspection: The inspection went well, there are a few small things that the bank will be fixing, but nothing surprising popped up. The bank will steam clean the carpets, retexture and paint the wall dings, install a new master bedroom door, install splashguards and extended downspouts, and repair the water pressure problem in the master bath. Yay! Those are all pretty minor things but I'm glad we won't need to take care of them ourselves, we will be busy enough doing other work.
Appraisal: The house appraised for $100 over our purchase price, woohoo instant equity! Also, it measured 15 square feet larger than the specs our realtor provided.
Closing date: Our closing was set for 3/31, BUT the approval from the bank came back last week and we can close much sooner if we prefer. I'm not sure what we'll do, on the one hand I'm itching to get in and start painting and installing new flooring, but we are paying rent on our current place until mid-April.
Packing: Much to Nick's chagrin, I've already started packing. We are trying to help our landlords find new tenants, and I figure a decluttered house is more appealing than our usual bursting at the seams style. We are looking into hiring movers since our new place is 2 stories, we like our friends and would like to keep them, so it probably would be prudent to not ask them to help us move.
I feel like my to-do list is 10 miles long, but overall the process of buying a house hasn't been as nerve wracking as I thought it would be. Actually FINDING a house was the hardest part, we started this journey 3 years ago when I was pregnant! Back then, we could have purchased a 50 year old 3 bedroom with 1 bathroom at the top of our price range, we actually made an offer on such a house, which was rejected. That turned out to be a good thing though, I'd be kicking myself now, as I'm sure many homeowners are.
I try not to use certain words and phrases around the kids, things like: that sucks, hate, stupid, etc. Last night at dinner, Alden asked me where my hot dog was (the kiddos got hot dogs, steak, and broccoli--Nick cooked), I told him I didn't get a hot dog and he said "that's a bummer" and gave me a slice of his. What a sweetie.
This morning Alden pulled out a hunk of Ruthie's hair, they were having some sort of argument. We separated them, I took Roo to the bedroom with me so I could finish drying my hair and getting dressed. I placated her by promising to brush her hair and let her put on a little makeup. Alden had to sit in timeout without his precious brown blankie from nana. This boy is ATTACHED to that dang blanket. Anyway, I brushed Roo's hair and put a bow in and I figured she forgot about the makeup promise. Not so. I should've known better. We were running late for story time, so I rushed us out the door. As soon as the other kids quieted and sat down so we could begin, Ruthie yelled out "Wait, I forgot my makeup!!" She was rather upset so I had to give her my clear Chapstick, whew. That girl, oy. She's already better at applying makeup than I am.
This is Roo's room, on the left you can see the pocket door to the bathroom! Her Tiny Highness has requested pink walls and pink carpet (so not happening!). Our big idea for her room is to do white beadboard with a nice molding, and paint the walls pink on top. I want to get a little decorative chandelier and maybe some kind of canopy over her bed. I feel bad that I have so many girly ideas but I'm lacking in the ideas for Alden's room. Ruthie is just so strong in who she is and she makes her desires known, Alden is more of an enigma for me.
Alden has requested we paint his room dark blue, he also yelled something about "Lightning The Queen" and Mater when he was sprinting away from me at Lowe's. I'm not a big fan of character stuff, but I don't want to deny him something he genuinely likes. Maybe we'll do some Cars pillowcases or something easy, I don't want to have to redecorate every three years as his tastes change. One of the first things we will do is install a ceiling fan, I wanted to get something cutesy but decided a plain fan will look great with some removable embellishments, and when he outgrows his beloved Cars, we'll just take off the stickers and have a plain fan. We went to look at carpet and Alden grabbed a square of the most hideous blue carpet I've ever seen, he insists on blue carpet. He WON'T be winning that battle.
One of the big things I'm looking forward to doing is a growth chart, I've seen some neat ideas online for actually painting a chart onto the bedroom wall. I kind of like the family idea though, and just using a doorframe to record everything. We moved a lot when I was a kid, so I never ever had anything like that.
One of my *FAVORITE* things about the new house is the Jack and Jill bath that connects Ruth and Alden's rooms. I found some awesome Thing 1 and Thing 2 wall decals, isn't that such a great theme for twins? I'm totally excited. Damn I'm lame. I'm stuck on a paint color though, there aren't any windows in their bathroom, so I want a bright paint color to keep it feeling like a light space. I'm thinking a super bright aqua color so that the hair on the Things still stands out against the paint. This is going to be a super crafty creation, I have quite a few grand ideas.
The downstairs bath is probably going to be a fishy theme, just because that's what we have already and we won't need to buy anything.
I have no ideas yet for the master bath. I'm going to concentrate on the public areas first and save our bedroom and bath for last. So, it'll probably be decorated in about six years. Haha!
Tonight as we put the kids to bed, Alden asked Nick to lay down with him. Nick said he had to go help me clean up because people were coming over, Alden told him I can clean by myself (apparently men stick together). Nick said "no, daddy needs to be nice and help mommy". Alden leaned in close and whispered "be naughty daddy, lay down". Hahaha!!! I'd much rather be snuggling with my little man than doing dishes!
Alden's newest thing is playing tricks. The other day in the car he asked where Ruthie was, I replied that she was in her carseat, and he said "No, that not Roo, that's just a stuffie", then laughed his head off. Of course I had to pretend that we left Ruthie at home and that made him laugh even harder. Little trickster.
After almost 3 years of living with a galley style kitchen that has ONE drawer, I'm so excited to finally be able to fully unpack and spread out. I have boxes and boxes of cooking tools, wineglasses, baking pans, etc. that have been sitting in the garage because there was no room in the kitchen. I also have quite a few ideas for my new space. It's currently very plain, white ceramic tile counters, plain oak cabinets, linoleum, etc. Our first order of business is a new refrigerator and range. Fortunately there is a gas line, yay! Our dream fridge is a french door behemoth, and I'm debating the merits of a double oven. It would be nice for cooking large meals and for parties, but I don't know if it's really worth the added expense.
Here are some pictures of the new digs, so you can see what I'm talking about, I swear these are the worst pictures on earth. The listing agent must have been in a hurry:
My big ideas are (in no particular order): 1. Butcher block on the island, with an 8-10" overhang into the living room, so we can use it as a breakfast bar.
2. Paint the cabinets white and put a beadboard insert in the door faces for a cottage look.
3. New light fixture, something funky.
4. Glass brick tile backsplash, I love the brightness of glass tile!
5. Solid surface countertops, maybe Silestone or one of the new acrylics, with a seamless integrated sink for easy cleaning.
6. New flooring, we are going to do laminate in the kitchen, living room and front formal dining room area. Our dog will thrash the carpets in no time, laminate is so easy to clean and the newer handscraped styles look wonderful.
7. I want to paint the panels on the pantry doors with magnetic paint on two, and chalkboard paint on the other two. The kiddos can play while I cook, and I can write notes when I need to re-stock!
8. Slide out shelves in a few of the cabinets, great for pots and pans!
9. New window coverings, the dirty aluminum blinds will do for now, but eventually we'll put up something a little nicer looking.
As you can see, I've been spending way too much time daydreaming about the new house!
I DO NOT recommend bring your twin toddlers along when you are looking for a home.
1. Your daughter will need to pee, in a model home that has locks on the toilets. 2. Your son will want to jump on the model home's cardboard bed. 3. Both kids will try to eat the rubber grapes so nicely displayed on the model dining room table. 4. You'll walk into a foreclosure that is so freaking nasty you won't leave the foyer AND you will hold your kids the whole time in fear of disease. 5. You'll walk into a smelly house and your daughter will say "why you say this house stinky mama?" So much for under the breath muttering. 6. The dead gopher in a pool looks like poop to a 2 year old.
On #4, we walked into a house that looked beautiful from the front. Unfortunately the previous owner decided to graffiti XXX rated drawings on the walls, burn the newel post, drip something nasty and black all over the floors, and knock holes in the wall with a hammer. This place was so disgusting we held the kids the whole time, and after seeing the downstairs from the foyer, we ran away as quickly as we could. Another house smelled like someone had peed all over the carpets and locked the house up for a year. There were dead cockroaches all over the kitchen counters too. Lovely. My favorite house is the one that had the marijuana smoking lounge in the converted garage, and the kitchen had been remodeled.....but apparently the owners didn't actually use the kitchen to cook, they had taken out the countertop range and put in shelves..... oy.
Roo and I are sitting at the dining room table, eating Sees chocolates from the boxes my dad sent us (thanks dad, we will call you tonight!). She pulled all of the paper cup thingies out of her box and piled them on the table.
She says: "I'm taking out the trash cuz I don't like to eat trash. Oscar the grouch does like to eat trash, but I don't". I grabbed her up and gave her a big hug, then I asked her if she loves me. She leans in for a kiss, but when I lean in, she licks my nose and says "I love soda".
I wish I had hidden cameras, she's sitting here in her bling tee that says Big Sister, wearing baggy Hello Kitty underpants, with a side ponytail. She's her own person, and I love it.
I need to stop underestimating my kids. We were driving through a parking lot and this woman was blocking the lane, I muttered something about finding a freaking spot rather than jamming up everyone else. From the backseat I hear a little voice say: "why that lady no find a freaking spot mama?". Oops. Then Alden piped up with a "what's the heck!?". They've also learned to say dammit, courtesy of their father. We passed a big billboard and Alden told me the sign said a naughty word, he totally just wanted me to ask what naughty word so he could bust out with a dammit. When we leave places Ruthie likes to say "us bouncing now", sometimes we bounce AND roll. Yeah, my kids are hip to the late 90s-early 2000 slang. Haha.
I was talking to Ruthie about getting rid of her bunty (pacifier), she's turning 3 in May and I just feel like she needs to give it up! Right? Maybe not. She's usually very generous so I suggested we box up her bunties and mail them to babies who don't have any, I tried this tactic a few weeks ago and it didn't go over well, so I tried again. The following conversation ensued:
Me: So we are going to mail your bunties to babies who don't have any, right? Roo: No. Me: Why? Roo: Dey's mommy can go to Target and buy der own. Me: Sometimes they can't do that honey. Roo Dey have lots of colors at Target. My bunties is mine.
We will be celebrating Ruth and Alden's third birthday in style, with a trip to Disneyland! We went last summer and they had a blast, we decided to go again, and make it a longer trip. We only did one day last year, and Ruthie pried Nick's eyes open the next day and said "more Disneyland?" We figured we'd do three days this time, hopefully that will be enough for some real exploring, but not TOO long. I'm already doing some research, we'll probably stay at a different hotel this time, and I'm trying to figure out which character breakfast to attend, where the kids' favorites hang out, etc. Ruthie told me that she wants Tinkerbelle to hold her. What a crackup! Alden wants to see Mickey's house, he loves that mouse.
Ruthie is very into "cheers-ing" just about anything, ice cream cones, crayons, drinks, dollies, and now......vaginas. We went to our favorite thai place the other night, it's THE BEST thai restaurant in Merced, and of course, it is freaking closing at the end of the month because of the stupid economy. Ruthie insists on bringing her Chloe doll everywhere, it is the ugliest thing ever, but she treats it like an appendage. The service was a little slow, so the kids were getting punchy. I heard Ruthie saying "cheers, cheers, cheers", I looked over and she was doing this weird dance, I asked what she was doing and she said "me's cheers-ing geenas with Chloe, cheers, cheers, cheers" while basically dry humping her doll. OMG, this girl. She cracks me up, I love her so much.
The local casualty list: Mervyns--boo hoo, cute clothes at great prices Circuit City Linens n Things random Japanese restaurant that had just ironed out the kinks and become a good place to eat Crescent Jewelers my favorite Thai restaurant countless other small local businesses
Really, how "bad" will this recession be?? There are hundreds of empty/abandoned/foreclosed houses here, as time goes on the weeds get taller, more graffiti adorns the walls, and the danger of vandals accidentally setting a fire grows. It is freaking depressing to drive down a street and see these empty homes. I can't feel any sympathy for the greedy investors who thought they were buying a 400k bargain as an investment, then lost their shirts when they weren't able to flip their "bargains" as expected, and when the rental market shriveled up because they were WAY more homes than renters. The opening of a UC doesn't mean there will be a sudden mass migration of people to fill your overpriced homes, at astronomical rental fees, just because you are the idiot who paid $400k for a house in Merced AKA the butthole of the flea in the armpit hair of California. The upside of this, for us, is that we are moving closer to buying a home. I'm still leaning towards an older home with charm, but the rock bottom price for a big, upgraded house that has never even been lived in sounds pretty darn good. Benefiting from someone else's misfortune isn't usually my thing, but in this case I think my karma will survive intact.