Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheesy bagel versus Mama bagel

Whew. This morning, Roxanne and I got into world war three this morning over our bagels. There was no yelling or crying, but there was ordering around and tattling. My mom got bagels for breakfast (the Sunday morning tradition) and I got Roxanne her favorite "cheesy bagel" and cut it into four sections for her. She ate one section, and then starting ordering me to give her my "mama bagel." I had a wheat bagel, and for anyone who has done or is doing weight watchers, you know that once you have the points value figured out for the food you are eating, you want that food. Making changes just complicates things. But in the end, I swapped a quarter of my mama bagel for a quarter of Roxanne's cheesy bagel. When my mom walked through, I told her what happened, and Roxanne said, "mama take it away." That's the second time in the last few weeks that she's tattled on me. Sigh.

In other news, we got our appraisal back, and it came in over the sales price. So that's great for us. Things are moving along with the loan, but I've apparently got to do a lot of really tedious paperwork to prove that my income is handled correctly. Ugh. On the flip side, this time around, we are much less involved with everything, and it's just less stressful.

We hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our singing baby

Roxanne is really into singing these days. We are often treated to medleys of "eensy weensy spider," "ABC," "raining pouring," etc. etc. Roxanne's talking is just really taking off (singing included). When she's hungry in the car on the ride home, she asks me for whatever food pops into her head, so it usually sounds like this: "want bacon mama...cookies mama....popcorn mama...turkey mama...cheese mama..." and on and on. I promise, that is not all she eats, but she is a tough eater these days. I've been cooking with the kids out of a Sesame Street cook book, but they are most excited about the chicken nuggets, pasta dishes, and smoothies. Oh, and they will eat the sweets, too. Shocking. She can ask for specific books to read, and she is learning her colors pretty well with crayons and blocks. Her favorite book of the moment is "Little Hoot." It's a really cute book, and she asks to read it EVERY night. She says "lil hoo, Dada!" It's so cute. She also has a 70's book I bought at a consignment sale about a baby duck called "Butterball." She likes that one a lot, too, and calls it "bayaba." So yeah, I understand her most of the time, but I realize that some of it sounds like gibberish to the untrained ear.

We don't have any house news for now. We are waiting for the appraisal to come back, which will probably take another week, and we will really be relieved once that is done. Because of our loan program, the house has to appraise for at least 1% above the sales price. So if it comes in too low, we will be in trouble. The good news is that we were able to lock in our interest rate at 4.875% and our mortgage banker thinks there is a distant possibility that we might close on our closing date of October 7. Justin and I aren't buying it, but we're hopeful. At this point, as long as we close by November, and close at all, we'll be thrilled. Over the moon thrilled. In the meantime, we are still enjoying living with Nana and Mike and Leah (can you believe they haven't kicked us out into a hobo camp yet?). We house-sat for Ben's family last weekend, and Roxanne was asking for "Nana, Mike and Eah" every once in a while. She's getting spoiled rotten. :)

We hope everyone is well, and for all of our Georgia friends and family, stay dry and safe. It seems like the worst is over with the flooding, but it is really scary.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inspections are over...

and the house did pretty well! The HUD Inspection was yesterday, and the house passed. That inspection is not very intense, but it's the most important in terms of our loan program, since any issues that come up have to be addressed for us to get the grant money. The only thing the guy brought up was that one of the smoke detectors needed a new battery, but he didn't write it down, since it would have made us fail the inspection. That inspection is silly. They don't check things like foundation problems, but if you have a cracked window, you fail. The other house we had under contract failed the HUD inspection times a million. There were like fifty things they noted on there, and that's what pushed us into the renovation loan. It's complicated and I won't explain it, but it's good news. The regular inspection was this morning, and it went surprisingly well. There were quite a few little things to be taken care of, but most of them are things that most houses need. Caulking, painting, etc. etc. The biggest problem is the roof. We would like to replace it as soon as we can. That's one thing we learned in our last experience... replacing a roof is surprisingly inexpensive. But the electrical and HVAC systems are fine. As is the plumbing. So that's a huge relief. We are planning to move ahead as quickly as possible and hope that we can close in a month. Fingers crossed. :)

Justin had the day off today, since he met the inspector at the house this morning, so he took Roxanne and Ben and me to Monkey Joe's this afternoon. We had a wonderful time, and for the rest of the day, Roxanne has been talking about it. she has started this funny thing where she says something very definitive, like "Ben at Monkey Joe's" and then follows it with "Mama," in a very pointed way. Like she wants to make sure I'm listening. For dinner tonight, we met Ariel and Luke at a restaurant in Historic Roswell (Fickle Pickle...mmm) and Roxanne really hammed it up. She danced a lot, said hello and blew kisses at several people walking by, and did lots of chatting with Ariel and Luke. The funny thing about her now is that she clearly knows when she is being cute, and makes little faces that are only for those times. It's like her fake laugh, where she fake smiles, wheezes, and lifts her shoulders up and down. Seriously, she is a ham.

At the end of dinner, she kept saying it was time to go night night. We left, but hung around in the parking lot chatting with Ariel and Luke for a few minutes. Roxanne finally turned to them and said "bye bye Ariel! bye bye Luke!" and blew them some kisses and waved. She was done. She always gets excited now when we tell her we are going home to Nana's house to go home, and she talks about Mike and "eah." She is going to miss them when we finally leave.

I promise, I will find the camera accessories this weekend!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We still haven't gotten the inspection done. We all showed up yesterday only to find out that the electricity wasn't turned on. At least the gas and water were... Apparently it is probably going to be Saturday before they get it hooked up. At this point, we are thinking about getting an inspection done now on everything that doesn't involve the electricity, and then have the guy come back out when it gets turned on (assuming there aren't any deal breaker things they find not related to the electricity). We'll see.

I still haven't fished out my camera stuff. Sorry. Roxanne's going to have this big gap in her childhood photos. We'll just tell her to blame the Department of Community Affairs. And their stupid down payment assistance program. In lieu of photos, here's my current favorite Roxanne story:

On Friday night, Justin went to Sweetwater Brewery with some co-workers, and Roxanne and I had to kill time until we met up with him for dinner. We went to Target, and I bought Roxanne one of those horrible soft pretzels to snack on while we wandered around. At one point, I was looking at some shoes and Roxanne started fussing. When I looked at her, she had her finger shoved in her nose. I pulled it out and scolded her a little and she calmed down pretty quickly. Um, just as a disclaimer, she puts her finger in her nose fairly often. Like several times a day... So we have a nice dinner, etc., and sometime around midnight, Roxanne woke up crying and when I went to her, she sounded really stuffed up. Since we've all been fighting colds with sore throats, aches, congestion, I was instantly worried that she was showing the first symptoms of a nasty cold. I gave her some water to drink, and in the process, she blew a GIANT pretzel chunk out of her nose. Immediately, any congestion sounds disappeared, and she was totally breathing normally. So now I'm going to have to be always worried about her sticking things up her nose. That can get really dangerous! Sigh.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Holy Cow...

I have let waaaay too much time pass since my last post. Sorry! We've been really busy. Lots of frantic house hunting, errands after work, etc. etc. We are doing well, and still having lots of fun staying with Nana and Mike and Leah. We put an offer on a house in Decatur last Thursday! It's the one that I mentioned previously, over near North Dekalb Mall. We aren't crazy about the neighborhood, but we were able to get some feedback on the area from a friend of my boss who lives near the house we are looking at, and it was all very positive. That went a long way for both of us. I also did exhaustive searches on crime maps, sex offender registries, and my new favorite website,, where I obsessively researched schools in the area. The elementary school this house is zoned for is slightly better than the one the other house was zoned for, so that's nice. It is still rated a 7 out of 10 on the aforementioned website, unlike the super duper 10 out of 10 that a lot of suburban schools get, but hopefully Roxanne will come out OK. :) Of course, this time around, Justin and I are both being very very very detached. We like the house, and we hope this works out, but we are very well aware that it might not. So far, things have been much much more smooth than our last experience. We had some hiccups at first, like the fact that once we finally decided to put an offer on the house, we found out someone else had already submitted one (ah!). Magically, ours was accepted. We don't have a binding contract yet, but our agent suggested it might happen tomorrow. We have the inspection scheduled for Monday morning. That will be a momentous event. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the house is in good shape. It seems like it is. It's updated, and actually has appliances! Whoa! My favorite part is that the utilities are connected, and we don't have to turn them on ourselves. This house is owned by Chase, and apparently they are easier to deal with than Bank of America. Let's hope.

Roxanne is a firecracker. She's been having some tough times, courtesy of her two year molars wreaking havoc in her poor little mouth. We've been giving her Motrin almost every night and sometimes during the day. We were worried she might have an ear infection because she was pulling and poking at her ears and screaming for a few days. I was pretty sure it was her teeth, since she didn't have a fever or anything, but it was just so bad! She would wake up at night and put her finger in her ear and scream. I took her to the pediatrician, who said her ears are fine, and showed me those mean little molars poking through. She okayed the pain killers, and they have made a big difference.

One of Roxanne's favorite things right now is draping herself in clothes. Anything that is within her reach is fair game. The other morning, she found one of my bras, and pulled it over her head so it was like a necklace. she had a complete and utter meltdown when I took it off of her so we could leave for work. But mamas have to draw the line somewhere... luckily, she got some well timed dress-up clothes from her cousins a couple of weeks ago, including some ballet slippers that she insisted on wearing today. She spins around in circles when she wears them, but don't worry, I don't let her walk on anything but carpet in them. We'll keep them nice so that maybe she can someday use them in a dance class. I suggested to Justin that we look into a ballet class for her, and he responded, "She's not really built like a ballerina." I promised him I wasn't picking her future occupation, and that I thought she'd be OK for some toddler twirling, and he agreed. Once things settle down, I'm going to start looking. She loves to sing and dance, so I think it might be a great fit for her. She's a ham and a half. She waves at people, initiates peekaboo games, and even occasionally blows kisses to strangers. Sometimes people fall over themselves for her, but sometimes she is ignored. When the latter happens, she just tries harder to ham it up.

Roxanne still loves Spongebob Squarepants. My mom found her a "bob bob" chair recently, and Roxanne had a really hilarious reaction to it. When she first saw it, she acted afraid of it, and wouldn't get anywhere near it. After about ten minutes of keeping an eye on it, she eased over to it and sat in it while Nana read her a book. A few pages in, she turned to my mom and said "bob bob's a chair." It made my day. It's really a fun chair, kind of like a little nest, since it's round and sits on a frame. She really likes it. In other Roxanne news, I let her play Leah's drumset a little the other night, and she LOVED it. If this house works out, we are definitely getting her some drums for Christmas. They will be perfect in the basement. Of course, we are wondering if we should just get her a full size set so it will last longer, but we'll see. I have to admit that would be partly for me and Justin... :)

Alright, I'm off to eat a late dinner. Tomorrow night we are going to my dad and Colleen's farm for dinner and a visit with Katie! We have been missing her so much, but we are so thankful that they are letting her be a farm dog during this transitional time. Apparently Katie is very happy up there living with their other dogs, and getting totally spoiled. She's going to be so disappointed coming back in the city...

We hope everyone is well!