Friday, January 25, 2008

teh cute

It is really too bad that the bottom half of this picture isn't useable because Ben looks so adorable dancing in my nylons and shoes. But at least you can see him for the ham that he truly is in this now completely SFW cropped photo.


That's my boy. One of these days, I'll have to put a video up of him dancing to "Penguin Movie" (Happy Feet) because he just goes crazy during the part where Mumble is dancing alone on the hilltop. He likes to say "be himself" outloud with the movie too. I swear, it's the cutest thing on the entire planet.

The doctor is in

I am so grateful that after her car accident, my grandmother didn't end up needing hip replacement surgery. She did break her hip, but she has healed and is on the mend. It's harder for her to get around and do things these days, but my uncle lives with her and takes good care of her. I can't even imagine if she had to go through complex surgery and heal while living alone. I do believe though, that if you need any type of invasive surgery, it's best to do your own research on various doctors. I wouldn't just trust whomever the insurance company sent me to. That's scary. Check out this Web site and see for yourself the ground-breaking work this doctor is doing in managing joint pain. At least he considers other options before just telling everyone that they will be needing surgery.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My cross-dressing kid

After coming home from "going to work together" last night, Ben decided that he needed to go to work too. In order to go to work, first we have to put on our "nylon socks" and then we need our shoes.

Time to go to work Mama!

(you can see the white socks he was previously wearing on the ground, as well as the animals who are both always around whenever pictures are being taken.)


Phew. Hey Mama, did you know that working is hard work?

The most amusing part about all of this is that he isn't wearing a diaper underneath that super-big T-shirt (when he goes pee-pee in his potty, he is rewarded with some diaper-free time which he is always thrilled about) and there's one picture where you can see. Sadly, it was the very best picture because he was dancing in the nylons and shoes and looked adorable. But I am not the kind of mom who would put photos of her naked baby on the internet. That's not a good idea for a phethora of reasons. :-)

Use Buzzfuse* to easily rate, review, and share this item

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fantasy house for sale

The money we put into the house was mostly on repairs, but some of it went to things like the plants you see in the pictures. I can't believe how much they help it to look nice. You would live here right? It looks shiny and happy and pretty and artistic and romantic and dreamy.

The one thing I have to say though, after putting in probably more than 60 total hours of cleaning, I'm frustrated that a few things ended up the way they did. When Dan came to take the photos, he had us take the dog dishes up off the ground, and so I put them on the counter that was behind him while he took it, so they wouldn't be in the shot. Well, I guess he came back and shot it again from a different angle and didn't bother to either move them or ask me to move them. So you can clearly see two dog dishes on the counter looking weird and cluttery.

This is insanely annoying if you knew how much stuff was previously on our counter and how I killed myself to get it PERFECTLY CLEAN!!!! He also had us take the magnets and photos off the fridge, which I can't believe didn't occur to me. (It was probably the saddest thing I've done thus far. Having Stephen gone is hard enough without taking all of our family photos down. They are like lovies to Ben. We sit and look at the fridge and talk about all of our family members at least once a day ...) Anyway, now I don't even have photos of papa around that we can say goodnight to. :-(

Anyway, back to yesterday. I took them down, but didn't do the ones on the side of the fridge because he was standing in the main doorway and you couldn't see them in the shot. Well, guess what. Again, he must have come back later, shot another photo from a different angle and all the remaining clutter is clear as day. Le sigh. And if you ask me why we didn't just do it all before he came, I will seriously have to jump through the internet and strangle you.

Getting our house to look this good nearly killed all of us, especially Ben, who kept inventing new levels of trouble to get into in order to get some attention. It was murder on Saturday. By the time it was crunch time, (like after 7 p.m. on Saturday and we still had to drive all the way to Kent so Stephen could get up and go to work first thing in the morning) we were all about to lose it. There were definitely some tears shed trying to get a few last minute things done and keep everyone from melting down. There was literally no time left to do any "one last thing." We didn't even take the time to eat a family dinner. Ben snacked on weird things and then started refusing to eat anything because his blood sugar was low and he was tired and cranky. We ended up going through the drive-thru on our way out of town and letting Ben eat some chicken nuggets in the car. He was a lot happier after that.

But luckily, when Ben and I got back to Aberdeen yesterday at around 2 p.m. (he napped in the car like a champ, yay!) the weather was nice (what? no, say it again) so we were able to spend some time doing some last minute weeding. About 20 minutes of yardwork made a tremendous difference and Ben was as good as gold for all of it. He used a screwdriver to dig in the dirt and helped me put the pulled weeds in plastic bags. What a sweetheart :-)

Our house:



From the front


Stained glass window, close up


From the back, with the hot tub sort of showing. I would have liked to have washed the cement a little, but it's January and we ran out of time. Oh well.


Upon entering. This is one of my favorite shots. Man it looks good in there.


This one came out pretty good too. See how the fireplace looks just fine without the glass panels?


Kitchen. YAY! This is what sold the house to me.


Kitchen. Too bad you can see a few dishes in the sink. I offered to take care of them really fast, but he said that he'd shoot it over them so they wouldn't show. Hmm.


Dining room and part of the kitchen. This is the one that shows the less clean part of the kitchen, which is frustrating because it WAS clean until I had to move things around for other shots that he didn't even end up using.


When we bought the house, this floor wasn't even there. Surely someone will fall in love with it in all its splendor and offer us a gazillion dollars, right?


The downstairs bedroom, which is technically the master, but we use it as our guestroom. (I can hear all of our previous guest complaining that it didn't look like that when they stayed with us. Sorry you guys! :-)


Our room. The shelving was $600 and Stephen screwed it into the wall, so its staying. It was a great idea since we lacked closet space, except that we never used it because I got dressed downstairs as to not disturb Ben and Stephen while they were sleeping. Oh well. Sometimes you just can't forsee these things.

(Oh, and if you look really closely, you can see Trick-or-Treat Bunny sitting on the shelf in the corner. Why he didn't move her out of the way before taking the picture? The world may never know ...)


This is Ben's room, which is really a lot cuter than is shown here. The things on the wall above his bed are glow-in-the-dark stars, and we also have wooden letters that say "BEN" but those aren't in the picture, for obvious reasons. :-)

Want to buy our house? Know someone else who might? It would make a great family home or a rental, whichever.

Here's the official listing ... fair warning. I did not see the text before it was posted, otherwise I would have copy-editted the hell out of it.

"Has a functional Hot tub, Nice back patio and deck area for BBQ or hanging out and entertaining."

Oh dear. Well, hopefully, people who are looking to buy homes aren't picky about things like appropriate capitalization and such.

It's also up on craigslist, which he swears is effective, even if there's no Aberdeen listings and it has to be lumped in with Seattle, which is two hours away ...

Oh, and of course there are two classified ads set to run in the paper tomorrow. I got them both for free :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cute specs

My sister-in-law used to work for a glasses store, and she had this amazing knack for looking at a person for a few seconds and then pulling a pair of frames off of the shelf that looked perfect on them. She was paid on commission and was very good at her job, because everyone left happy. One day, just for fun, I had her do it for me, even though I don't wear glasses. Sure enough, I looked super cute! But because she worked for a big box store, the frames all had high prices. This is great for people who have insurance that will buy them a new pair of glasses every X number of years no matter what they cost, but a lot of people have to pay something out of pocket and would benefit more to shop on a budget.

If I ever end up needing glasses (which is starting to look more and more likely as each day goes by) I would have her help me pick out some frames and then try to find similar ones at an online store.

This Great Discovery: has a lot of different choices, but I thought these ones were kind of cute. If I ever get around to getting my eyes checked again, I'm sure I'll end up with something like this. That is, if my sister-in-law approves. :-)

It's so hard to say good-bye

Stephen and I both agreed that after the storm, we'd lost a lot of the attachment we'd previously had for our house. When we got home, it was trashed and cold and stinky and just so empty. It wasn't home, it was a big nagging chore.

We think that this was one of the main factors in encouraging him to go ahead and apply for out-of-area jobs. Sure, it would be a big deal to move, and a big deal to sell, but a manageable deal. No longer the emotional heartache that it would have been when I was in love with our house and dreaming of never having to move ever again.

But, first things first, in order to get other people to actually want to purchase your house, it can't be the pit of despair. So we've been pouring lots of $$$, as well as blood, sweat and tears into making it nice. Not just nice. Beautiful. The house I fell in love with. BETTER than the house I fell in love with.

For example, we boarded up the fireplace last winter (or was it fall?) when baby Benjamin, who was just learning to cruise, broke one of the glass panes. When we looked into having it repaired, we learned you couldn't buy that sort of replacement part and the whole fireplace front would have to be replaced — and a new one was $600 or so. We thought about it, but then just decided to leave it boarded up. And somewhere in my mind, I equated "boarded up fireplace" with "fireplace is broken." It had a bandaid for its ouchie, you know? :-) And soon, I pretty much forgot we had one at all. It just blended into the background.

It was actually Stephen's dad who pointed out that the doors just unscrew. There is still a metal screen behind them, and a perfectly functioning fireplace. The house flippers said they've sold many houses that just have the black screen and no glass doors. So we took them off, cleaned up the whole thing and had a fire, just for the hell of it. It was so bittersweet, I can't even begin to explain. Here I was, sitting in my beautiful house, in front of a roaring fire, cuddling on the couch with my husband for pretty much the last time ever. Sniff sniffle. And the worst part is, it was never really broken. We could have enjoyed our fireplace for all this time, with the help of a simple screwdriver and some dust rags.

It sucks that all the things we're doing to make our house sell make me want to stay. The emotional attachment is coming back worse than before. But if we don't do them, then we'll be stuck with the house! Who cares if I'm not emotionally attached to it if we can't unload it on someone else?

Anyway, it's starting to look really smashing. About $200 on repairs and accessories has really gone a long way. And I think it's a great investment, because not only are we going to get a better price for our house, we get to take a lot of the stuff with us. Yay!

I should have photos to post of how it all turned out sometime early next week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Keeping track of people

A friend of ours was also our real estate agent when we moved to Washington from Idaho in 2006. He was very kind, personable and easy to work with. In fact, since he and my husband were friends from childhood, we kind of tried to renew that friendship after we got settled, especially after we learned that he and his wife were expecting their first child. Well, it didn't take me long to quickly conclude that perhaps they weren't as interested in that idea as we were, since they didn't bother to follow up with us or return our phone calls after their baby arrived. I purchased gifts for them that were never given because I assumed they were not interested in having any sort of relationship with us.

Imagine my surprise when, out of the blue, a few days ago, we get a call from him asking "how we are." My theory originally was that my mother-in-law mentioned to her close friend (this person's mom) that we were moving again, and she mentioned it to him and he thought, "Oh, I should call them!" But my husband claims this is not the story he got. I guess our "friend" claims he lost our phone number and meant to return our call after his son was born, but was really busy, and then forgot, and you know the drill. New baby = no spare time. So it was actually his boss who learned that he'd been doing a shoddy job of keeping in contact with all his former clients and made him go look up the numbers in the computer system and check to see how everyone was doing. My husband says that the best word to describe the tone of the call was "sheepish." Yeah, I'll buy that for a dollar.

I don't know if I buy the whole story, especially because if our phone number was in the computer system the whole time, why didn't he just look it up while he was at work? Hmmm. Sounds suspicious. Perhaps his computer ATE the phone number, and then miraculously it reappeared.

Anyway, I thought of this story while reading about real estate software because I was imagining purchasing some and sending it to him as a kind of light-hearted joke with a point behind it. Like, "look, now you don't have any more excuses!" Ha ha ha. As if I had an extra $150 lying around to spend on a sort-of friend ... but if I actually were a real estate agent and needed the software for my job, I'd get it in a heartbeat. That's a pretty good deal, considering there's no monthly subscription fee to operate it once it's purchased.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why is growing up so bittersweet?

Ben did not nurse tonight while I was home on my dinner break. This should be good news. Wasn't I weaning him? Wait. Why was that again?

So, first I wanted to get my fertility back, I guess to see if there was anything wrong with me and to start charting. I thought it would take months and months. Well, that's taken care of.

Next, I wanted to learn to chart, but know that being new, there could be an accident. Previously that was OK with me. What's the difference if things happen eight months earlier than we planned? It's just a few months, right? Well, Stephen's new job won't provide us with health insurance until he's worked there for six months. So now, that six months is vital. There can be no accidents. So, in our best financial interests, I switched back to the combo pill, knowing its a lot stronger than the mini pill and we'd be much safer from accidents.

Can't chart on the pill. I mean, you could, but it'd be silly. So really, I'll take the pills up until the insurance kicks in and then start charting, I guess.

I knew that the combo pill makes your supply tank. That was OK with me, since we were weaning.

Now, I have a period, I'm taking combo pills, and we're moving. Ben is having a really tough time with all of it. Especially the moving. The house is different. We're always cleaning. He can't make messes any more. His stuff is rapidly disappearing. OUR stuff is rapidly disappearing. To a 2-year-old, this is his whole world turning upside down. He has already regressed a ton with his potty training. He refuses to go pee-pee in his potty now. He will sit on it for awhile, but only goes in his diaper. Stephen took the diaper off and kept putting him back on the potty over and over today, about every 20-30 minutes or so. Nothing. Finally, he goes into the corner and pees on the carpet. And then he says outloud, "No pee-pee on carpet!" and tries to clean up the wet spot WITH MY PURSE!!!!!!!! Le sigh.

I didn't make a deal out of it. I told Stephen just to let the potty thing go. If our house in upheaval is already traumatizing him, I can't even imagine what it will be like when Stephen leaves, and then when we live with my mom, and then when we live in a whole new place ... of course he's going to regress. We're kidding ourselves if we think anything otherwise.

So wouldn't it make sense to just put all the weaning plans on hold, since he will clearly be needing to nurse more for security as all these changes happen in his life? Of course it would! And I really have no other reasons for weaning at 2 other than the ones I mentioned. (I'm ignoring the mounting family pressure. Really, I swear.)

But I think it's too late. The pills have tanked my supply. Now I literally have just a few drops when I used to have ounces and ounces. He gets this sad look on his face when he nurses. He latches for a very short period of time and then asks to switch sides and then is done. I know there isn't milk. He knows there isn't milk. He's hanging on for the closeness, but I think he's starting to realize there's not much of a point. And all this crazy life stuff is happening and I wish I could take it back. But I can't. Really, in the grand scheme of things, I think him weaning at 2 is better than my accidentally getting pregnant before Stephen's health insurance kicks in.

I know it is. Ben will be OK in the end.

I just hate to see him go through the in-between.