Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend wind-down

Is it really Sunday evening again? I'm just making a mental list of all the things I want to do before the weekend ends, and I think I have time for roughly two of them. I was looking at pumpkin cookie recipes, since every time I open the pantry I see the can of pumpkin staring at me, and the thought of moving it to a new house just seems silly. Would I be tempting fate to make pumpkin cookies for that reason? Maybe I'll wait until after closing. Pumpkin cookies would be a nice way to celebrate.

So, we had a nice weekend, but all three of us are really tired of sweating. It's just way too hot. We went to brunch yesterday with J and J and Evie and Owen, and it was really nice, but Roxanne was a little cranky on and off. Afterwards we all went to Kudzu Antiques in Decatur, and I tried to browse while Roxanne acted like a wild child. I'm surprised no one asked us to leave. She was being CRAZY! It's like a bull in a china shop, only a little more like a Tasmanian Devil in an antique shop. Equally dangerous. We didn't last long before we gave in and took her home for a nap. I am still dreaming of the jadeite salt and pepper shakers one booth had. One of my pipe dreams for the new house (if we get it) is to possibly start a jadeite collection, since it would be very appropriate to the age of the home, and I love the color. I'm even thinking of trying to talk Justin into letting me paint the kitchen in a shade that is similar. Wouldn't it be lovely to find a cool mid-century modern hutch for the dining room where I could display some lovely jadeite dishes? My favorites are the ones with the delicate red etched into them. Sorry, some of you are probably sleeping by now.

After nap yesterday, we took Roxanne back to the Indian Creek pool. And just as a weird aside, we ran into the Philosophy Department Head at the pool. He was really friendly, and we saw him speaking to his four year old in French and English alternately. His 11 year old was also clearly bilingual. I guess that's what philosophy professors do. We could try to teach Roxanne some Spanglish, but that's probably about all we are good for. Speaking of Roxanne, she did so well in the water! She's getting much more comfortable, and doesn't necessarily cling to us the whole time. Towards the end of our visit, she was letting us float her on her back a little, and she would scrunch up her head and shoulders if the water got into her ear. I'm most impressed at how she keeps the life vest on and doesn't seem to mind it very much. At one point, I took it off of her so we could sit on the steps and play with some toys, but she threw a fit until I put it back on. She has also started wearing a backpack, and LOVES it. It's a little blue koala bear that Kendree gave us, and he can store things in his tummy. On Friday after work, I took Roxanne to a cool little toy store in Ansley Mall and we picked out some things to put in the backpack. Her favorite is the kazoo, but it doesn't stay in the backpack, since she wants to play it often. I was surprised at how quickly she picked up the kazoo, but she really seems to like it. I'll try and get video of her "playing" it soon, since it's pretty hilarious. She doesn't change her pitch at all, just gets louder and louder. She also has started "singing" a little more, which really consists of loud humming.

Oh, one fun thing that happened today... We went to the new house to check and see if the electric bill had arrived (even though I specifically asked for it to be sent to our apartment, they send it to the house) and noticed that the "for sale" sign was taken down. Unfortunately, the door had been left open, too, but it didn't seem like anything was out of place. While we were there, we also talked to one of the neighbors, who was very friendly and came over to get the scoop. He is apparently a designer and has lived in his house for about 9 years. He clearly LOVES the neighborhood, and told us that it's a really nice place to live. He said that it's very quiet and that even though there are quite a few young families moving in, it's a "grandma and grandpa" neighborhood. He gave us some history on the house, and told us that the woman living across the street told him a lot of what he knows about it. She apparently built the house she is living in in 1947 and has lived there since. I won't go into the house history, since it's boring, and pretty much what I explained (he was in fact a welder/blacksmith/knife-maker guy). I guess he just borrowed too much money against the house. We went through an open house down the street, just so we could be nosy and see what the house looked like with furniture in it. It was really interesting, since the house is very similar to ours, but has had two additions and a slightly different layout. It seems like a lot of people in the neighborhood have added one or two rooms to the houses. Hopefully we won't ever need to... The agent working the open house was very friendly and gave us some history on the area. She said she had shown our house one or two times, but I guess no one liked it. She mentioned the whole "it needs a lot of work" thing. I wanted to tell her that it would still come out as a better price than the house she was selling, which also needed some work, but clearly, that would have been rude. And really, she was nice. Chatty, and nice.

OK, that's it for our weekend update. We have a momentous couple of weeks ahead of us (um, does that count as an oxymoron?) so I'll try to keep posting more often. Roxanne's 18 month check-up is Wednesday, so I'll definitely be excited to see how she's doing. I haven't weighed her since her 15 month check-up, so we'll see. Hopefully we can also get some new tips for poor little Roxanne and her no-poo habits. Sigh.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

They signed!!!!

Whew! They actually signed the form. I cannot even explain what a relief that is.

Of course, we are still holding our breath, since this taught us that it is NOT over until we get the keys. Who knows what else will pop up and keep me up at night before this house is ours? But hopefully it will be ours. We also aren't sure whether or not this is going to delay our closing. We were supposed to close on July 8, but I'm not sure if that is possible, since this form was needed to even submit our loan for approval. I guess we'll see. After all of the harrassing I've been doing to our mortgage broker and real estate agent, I'm going to try and give them a few days to do their jobs without my help. I know I've probably been driving them nuts, but I have to just toot my own horn for just a minute and say that I did a bunch of research for this, and yesterday I sweet talked the super nice HUD inspector to give us a statement in writing that the property passed environmental inspection, and I'm fairly sure that the statement is part of what convinced the sellers to sign the form. Oh yes, and it was my idea to get it. So yeah, I'm turning into one of those obnoxious people who think they know better than the experts. When I was a paralegal, we used to sit around at lunch and complain about foreign nationals who would read random immigration blogs and websites and then call us thousands of times a day to tell us that if we did xyz, it would get them their green cards faster, and we couldn't help but be annoyed at the assumption that we didn't know what we were doing. Oops. I'm officially eating my words. I realized that even though our agent and broker really want the sale to go through, (commission anyone?) no one wants this to work out like me and Justin. They don't have a giant folder full of paint samples, a blog set up just for internet photos of designs I like (yes, I did that, but I won't share the URL since it's insanely boring for anyone not excited by mid-century modern furniture). I'm rambling. But I'm just excited. I really hope we get this house. I can just see Roxanne running through a sprinkler in the front yard, and maybe a tire swing out back. Sigh.

Oh, and just a weird thing I thought I'd share/ask about. In one of the bathrooms at the house, the medicine cabinet has a small slot inside labeled "Razor Blades." I did a little research online, and apparently, a lot of homes built in the fifties and sixties had these, and the razors that men would deposit in the slot would literally just fall into the wall. I actually read a horror story about a woman who was re-designing her house and they ripped out a kitchen wall that backed up to the bathroom, and hundreds of razors fell out and cut their contractor pretty badly. Yikes! Have any of you heard of that or seen it in an older home? Anyone use one? I just think it's such a weird and intriguing thing.

Um, one more rambling fact that I think I found about the house... I'm pretty sure that the previous owner made knives, and that's why there is the giant "workshop" in the backyard. I did some googling of the address and the guy's name, and found a few things that made it seem like he made knives. But like replica-type knives. I think maybe he still does, but obviously in a different place. Anyways, I clearly am a little obssessed with the house. I can't help myself...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

P-H-O-T-O-S












The photos of Roxanne in the chairs are from Highland Row Antiques. We loved both of these totally awesome vintage kids' chairs, but alas, we are broke. We like to go and look around at these stores sometimes to dream about what we will get for the house. We are just missing the house and the money to buy the things. :) But it's fun to look! And Roxanne is really getting to that fun age where she isn't just a force of destruction at these places. She likes to try on the vintage glasses and hats, and sit in the chairs, etc. We're trying to teach her the good things in life... Tee hee.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We have an 18 Month Old Baby!

Yesterday was Roxanne's 18 month birthday! Can you believe it? It's one of the scary ones for me. Like, I could start saying "She's a year and a half old" now. That's just too much. Yesterday morning, I took her and Ben to Monkey Joe's over in Tucker. They ran themselves ragged, and had a great time, but only lasted a little over an hour. By then, they were asking to eat and getting grumpy. Ben went and sat in a chair and Roxanne just laid down in one of the jumpy things. One of the highlights for her was the Spongebob jumpy thing. She ran right to it, and I ended up climbing in it with her and Ben and taking them down the slide. I tried to take some photos while we were there, but I didn't get many since I was chasing them constantly. They were totally overstimulated, and wanted to get in and out of each jumpy thing with rapid speed. It was pretty tough trying to keep up with both of them, especially since they need help getting in and out of the jumpy things. But it was definitely worth the trip. Hopefully we can go fairly often this summer. It's been too hot to get outside much, so the kids (and me) get a little stir crazy.

I'm trying to think of some new Roxanne things for her special 18 month post, but I think I've been fairly good at recording things as we go along. She hasn't had her check-up yet either, so no fun information about that either... Just for posterity, I will say that she is still not sleeping through the night, but she is going until about 3:00am some nights. She is still not weaned, although she usually only nurses during her daily nap and in the evenings (and a few time through the night). I have been able to distract her from nursing during the day most of the time, but if she's really overtired or fussy, I just nurse her if she asks. I know, I know, I was one of those moms who said "If they can come over and ask to nurse, they are too old" but my comfort zone has changed. I am working in the general direction of weaning though. I'm just not in a hurry, and she HATES cow's milk. She dribbles it down her chin every time I give it to her. I still offer it to her once or twice a week, but it's just a waste.

She is getting very good at feeding herself these days. She can use a fork quite nicely, and she is getting good at drinking out of a regular cup. I never put much in the cup, so if she does spill, it's not a huge deal, but she's really starting to spill less and less. Her favorite foods are lasagna and spaghetti (a la Dada) and yogurt. She has started eating whole grapes, but ONLY if I am sitting directly next to her, ready to swipe the grape out if she doesn't start chewing it as soon as it gets in her mouth. When she's just in her high chair, I still cut them in half, but she doesn't eat them as well. She has been teaching us that toddlers eat for novelty as much as for taste. I recently discovered that she likes Boca Chik-patties, too, which is nice, since she already likes the Morningstar Farms black bean burgers and Asian veggie patties. Boca is cheaper... :) She still eats meat, too, but for lunch, the veggie stuff is easiest. Please remember that I have to prepare 4 lunches simultaneously every day, including the one that I eat standing up over the course of an hour or two. Convenience is always key...

I'll post some photos later this evening. Some are from yesterday at Monkey Joes, and others are from our pool trip last Sunday. Roxanne really like the pool. We took her to Indian Creek, which is a big facility owned by Georgia State University and only accessible to GSU employees and students. It's really a nice place to go and it's only $2 for the three of us to get in. We let Roxanne float in a little life jacket (they have a bunch that you can borrow) while we took turns floating her around the pool. She would just cling on to whoever was holding her and occasionally splash, but she was happy as a clam.

Today we went to our friends' house for a visit, and Roxanne had lots of fun playing with Evie, their daughter. She also kissed their new baby, Owen, and patted him very gently. She only paid attention to him for about a five minute span, but I think it's because he is such a quiet and peaceful little guy. And she was totally absorbed in playing with Evie and her toys.

No house news. We are still stuck in the same rut, where the bank (the seller) won't sign the form, and no one has been able to actually get them on the phone to try and smooth it over. We have until June 27th, and then we will have to back out if we have any hope at all of getting our earnest money back. Our agent has hired an attorney to try and talk to the bank and explain that there is no reason at all for them to refuse to sign the form. Unfortunately, they aren't calling him back either. We are pretty gutted about all of it, and just really are hoping against hope that this gets worked out. But it's been tough. Especially frustrating because it's just not that big of a deal. We'll see.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Botanical Garden "field trip"





Roxanne was busy this week. We got to go to the zoo on Monday with Josh, since Ben was sick and stayed with this grandparents. On Friday, Josh stays with his mom, so I took Ben and Roxanne to the Botanical Garden. They were both in their swim attire and splashed in the fountain for quite a while. They had a lot of fun and got totally worn out. Her bathing suit above is a hand-me-down from Chloe. Thanks Chloe! And the Monday zoo trip was nice, too. We don't normally get to go when it's so empty, and we even got a couple of extras, like listening to a "tiger tale" at the tiger habitat. That was basically listening to a zoo employee read a book about a tiger, but it was nice.

Roxanne is getting more and more interested in the zoo. She has learned "gorilla" and "monkey" and knows the difference most of the time. Unfortunately, her word for "gorilla" sounds a lot like her word for "Ella," her lovely cousin. Sorry Ella. I promise though, she knows the difference. When she sees photos of Ella and Chloe, she usually points to them and says their names. "Chloe" sounds like "Co-ee" and "Ella" sounds like "Eh-wa." She has also recently learned "Ernie" and "bob-bob" for Sponge Bob. When she sees any images of Sponge Bob, she points and yells "bob-bob!" which I'm ashamed to admit prompted me to buy her some Sponge Bob Kraft macaroni and cheese. Blue box please. In my defense, I mix veggies in with the mac and cheese. That makes it a little better. Any Sesame Street character gets an excited "Elmo!" I'm hoping that the next time a Sesame Street Live show comes through town, we can take her. I think she would like it. Too bad it's a million dollars... It just came through Macon and Albany, but the tickets started at like $25 and you have to pay for everyone over 12 months old. I know why they do that, since the audience is primarily toddlers, but still. Maybe they could charge a slightly lower price for toddlers? Slightly lower??? Like $15? I don't know. I guess you have to pay for the real Elmo. :)

No house news. Just more guff from our agent about how "everyone wants this sale to go through and we'll work it out." Sigh. Never ending saga.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Silly Baby

video video

See what I mean?


That video is an example of one of Roxanne's "routines." I mean, she's even looking directly at the camera. She is such a silly thing. And this was taken on the way home from work, so it's not even like she was overtired or anything. She's just wild! The photo above is her on a toy car at the "toddler park" in Decatur. I'm just proving that she does wear pink sometimes. And she likes pink things.

We had a nice weekend. We took things pretty easy on Saturday, since Roxanne had a melt down when we tried to cut her nap short by checking out the Habitat for Humanity Re-store. We were only there for about ten minutes when she completely lost it and we left. But it's definitely a cool store. It's kind of like a thrift store, but for home stuff, and a lot of it is brand new. They even have stuff like paint supplies and door locks. Plus, all the proceeds go to a good cause! If we ever get this house, we'll be back. On Sunday, we had a nice big family function at my grandparents house in Winder. Roxanne had SO much fun with her cousins. Check out the list: Ella, Chloe, Sarah Ellen, Anna, and baby Tucker. She got to go swimming, too, and she had a great time! My grandparents had set out lots of toys for everyone to play with and Roxanne totally had a ball. We missed Leah, but Nana and Mike came, and Roxanne always loves seeing them. Sadly, I somehow managed to not take a single photo. I swear, some days I just have mommy brain. It's almost like amnesia. Hopefully my sister will share photos with me. *hint*

In house news, we are once again terrified. Well, not terrified, just worried. Seriously, if we ever get this house, it's going to be a miracle. The newest thing is that our mortgage broker sent the seller (Bank of America...ugh) a form to sign for our down payment assistance program (NSP) and apparently they signed it but crossed out some of the provisions. Um, no way guys! You can't do that on a government program! So our agent tells us "it's just another hurdle to jump before closing," but we are more nervous about it. I called the mortgage broker this afternoon to ask him about it, and he basically said the same thing, but when I pushed for more information, he said, "well, the deal won't go through if they don't sign it." Awesome. After all the time and money (and hopes) we've been putting into this house, it would really really really really stink if things fell through because of something so dumb. I guess we are just going to be stressed out until we get to the closing table. If we ever get there. I don't mean to sound like a complainer all the time, since I realize that we have no right to complain about this (we would be VERY lucky if things did work out, but we aren't entitled to own a home) but it's just stressful. Just keep your fingers crossed for us.

I haven't been taking many photos of Roxanne lately. I'm super sleep deprived, since she seems to be going through yet another rough patch with her sleep and she's keeping me up at night. Last night I got about four hours. Ugh. But I have some more video, so I'll post one or two now. Some are less recent than others, but bear with me. None are more than a couple of months old.

What Roxanne thinks of NPR

video

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Whoops!

I didn't mean to let an entire week lapse between my posts! Sorry. It's been one of those weeks... We haven't even been able to get over to the farmer's market after work. Although I had a nice evening out with my friend Ariel on Monday. We went to Cocktails and Pin-Up night at the W Hotel in downtown, where you drink fancy cocktails and get your hair and make-up done to look like a pin-up girl. It was quite fun, although I realize from looking at photos that I have got to lose some weight and learn to smile more nicely. Oh well. It was still a nice break from babyland. And doesn't Ariel look gorgeous???

Enough about me... The house stuff is still moving along. We got all of our estimates done, so things should calm down a little. We are still waiting on some information from a couple of the contractors (ugh) but hopefully that will trickle in soon. I feel sort of bad because we have to have a lot of stuff from these guys, and I'm sure it's a pain for them, but it's just how it works. We have to get two client references, their resume, and a copy of their contractor's license. Yikes. It doesn't help that we have to work with a roofer, an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC guy, and my dad. In spite of what it sounds like, it's not really a crazy amount of work. Mainly just little things. Except for the new electrical system and the new furnace and the new AC unit. Ahem. Oh, we are also getting new appliances! So that's nice.

Roxanne is still our little comedian. Today she was putting the tail of a tiny plastic dinosaur up her nose over and over. Then she was gathering up all of the tiny plastic dinosaurs and putting them "night night" on a fleece blanket. She is learning more and more about how to play with toys in a more "grown up" way. She puts her babies on her shoulder and pats them, gives them "water" out of empty cups, puts food up to their mouths, puts them under blankets to go "night night" and she has started putting them on the potty. We are starting potty-training with Ben, and Roxanne is REALLY fascinated by it. She LOVES to sit on the potty. She gets very upset with me if I make her get off of it before she's done. Ironically, she's sitting on it fully clothed, and I don't actually think she's actually doing anything on there. I'm just trying to encourage her interest in sitting on the potty, but I don't think there's any chance that she could potty train this soon, so I don't feel like bothering with taking her diaper off every time. Maybe that's terrible, but she's not even 18 months yet! I want to start at 20 months. I've read in several places (and from my mom) that that's the ideal age to start for some kids. We'll see. I'll probably end up with a baby who doesn't use the potty until she's four. :)

One of Roxanne's fun new language quirks involves "please." About half the time I tell her to say please for something, she follows the word please with "good girl." I never realized that I say it when she says please, but now I do. Oops. It sounds kind of awful when she says it back to me, like what you would say to a puppy or something... I've been making an effort to stop that. We went to dinner tonight with Kaitlin and Jamie at Fellini's in Decatur, and Roxanne acted like a holy terror. She was throwing her food on the floor, screaming (happy screaming), waving a fork around... Whew. I think that maybe feeding the baby too late in the evening is a bad idea. She doesn't necessarily get grumpy (sometimes she does) but she always gets wild. Wild wild.

Hope everyone has a happy Friday!