Monthly Archives: May 2011

No title because I’m on a deadline

I have ten minutes to blog (yes, I set the timer) before I run out the door to get my hair cut and colored because desperate times, my friends, DESPERATE TIMES.

And since I have no time, I give you a list.

1.  I got the boys’ hair cut a couple of days ago when I was in Walmart.  All of them looked really nice which is surprising considering that when I got to checkout the stylist squinted her eyes and got about an inch and half from the checkout screen to see what she was doing.

And it took her 40 minutes and a phone call to two managers to ring up my transaction and I still don’t think it was right and the boys either had the most expensive haircut Walmart’s ever given or I got a three for one bargain.

I’ll let you know next month when the credit card statement comes in.

2.  I have wasted three minutes of my blogging time trying to think of something funny or interesting for #2, but I’ve got nothing, so I’m moving on.

3.  I went fabric shopping yesterday because I plan on re-upholstering some dining room chairs from a breakfast set that has been in storage in our garage for the last six years because it didn’t fit when we moved into our current house.  And let me tell you, six years of garage storage will wreak havoc on cream silk.

And let’s not talk about why I chose cream silk for BREAKFAST CHAIRS when I had triplet toddlers in the house.

Clearly I was delusional.

And I would show you a picture of said fabric but my boys keeps stealing the USB cord that downloads my pictures to the computer, so it’ll have to wait.

I know the suspense is killing you.

And there’s my alarm.  Time to go!

Have a nice day.

In which my choice will come back to haunt me

After a very fun weekend of dragging the kids through furniture and appliance stores and, more importantly, NOT house-hunting, Craig and I decided to wind things down Sunday night with a bucket of popcorn and the Netflix library at our disposal.

Deciding which movie to watch is a bit of challenge since I am light, fluffy and solidly in the chick flick corner and Craig hangs more with the cerebral, complicated, not necessarily happy-ending crowd. 

Pride and Prejudice vs. Saving Private Ryan pretty much sums it up.

Though sometimes he throws in Nacho Libre just to send me over the edge.

We have learned to navigate our differences mainly by vacating the room when the other one is watching something they like but last night he said I could pick what I wanted and I selected a movie that I’d never seen solely based on the fact that it had Mark Consuelos in it because I’m shallow and we started watching it and within 10 minutes I was ready to move on because I had already recognized every cliché and knew how it was going to turn out and I should have turned it off and not wasted my time but knowing that the alternative pick would go to Craig and might involve Larry the Cable Guy,  I cut off my nose to spite my face soldiered on.

Craig, however, didn’t waste the opportunity to lob in a few wisecracks.

“Hey, hon, can you pass the Ritz?  I think this next part’s going to be really cheesy.” 

And, “Boys, you know what this movie is about?  It’s all about banking credits. Lots and lots of credits.”

He’ll be here all night folks.  Try the veal.

When the movie ended, poorly (how can you end a chick flick without a kiss between the main characters?), my beloved turned to me with a wicked grin and nary a word.

Pass the popcorn, friends.  That one’s gonna’ cost me.

Have a nice day.

There goes the neighborhood

Y’all told me.

And while I knew you were right, it certainly didn’t feel right at the time.

At the time I was wiping back bitter tears at having lost two houses that would have been good candidates for purchase.  They both had a bedroom on the first floor that Travis could use, the hallways and floor plan were decently open enough to get a wheelchair around, and we had figured out a way to build ramps and install lifts in the garage to get him into the house without having to carry him.

And y’all told me, “God’s got something better.”

But I had looked at 30 houses in the last two weeks and there wasn’t anything better.

And then I got an email about a new listing this past weekend and thought about dismissing it because there weren’t any pictures of the interior of the house posted but Craig said we could at least drive by and see what we thought of the neighborhood and if that was okay, maybe it would be worth the time to at least try to get inside.   Since it was only 5 minutes from our current house, we hopped in the car to take a peek and as we slowly rolled by it, I told Craig “I think I saw a ramp in the back.”   Sure enough, just barely peeking through the bushes we could see a wheelchair ramp.


We scheduled a showing on Tuesday and when I walked in the door, I started to get a little excited.  The foyer was wide and spacious – perfect for scooting around in a wheelchair and not bumping into walls.

I walked through the foyer and took a peek down the hallway and noticed it was a straight shot into the ground floor bedroom.

I started to walk down the hallway and realized that there was also a master suite off the hallway.

That’s right, not one, but TWO bedrooms downstairs.

And in the master bath?  A roll-in shower.

The living space in the downstairs was open and airy and the floors were all hardwood, perfect for maneuvering a walker or a wheelchair.

The kitchen had an eat-in area plus a little keeping space/den plus a little desk that was perfect for sitting at and blogging.

On my list of wishes for a house? I had been looking for one that had a back set of stairs so that we could install a chair lift for Travis but not have it visible when you walked in the front door.

Wish granted.

I had hoped to have enough space for the boys to have a room of their own and a bonus room/craft space so that I wouldn’t have to clear a project off the kitchen table so that we could eat supper.




And check.

Craig had wanted an office.

I had wanted a pretty dining room.

Item after item we were discovering on our wish list.  And just when I thought I had seen enough signs, I opened a door and saw the proverbial writing on the wall.

Except it was on the garage floor.

A ramp.

Already built.

All ready and waiting for us.

Go ahead and cry.  I already have.

And still, God had one more surprise in store for us.

The house was well-priced to move, below market value for the neighborhood, but because it was still at the absolute tippy-top of our price range (hence staying awake all night wondering how we were going to afford it), we took a deep breath and sent in a very low offer hoping to move the owner even a fraction off her price.

She took our first offer without batting an eyelash.

Y’all – we just bought a house that is beyond what we could ask for or imagine or think we could afford and once the dust clears on our closing date of June 30th, our house payment is not going to be any more than what we’re paying now.

I can’t even begin to formulate the words of gratitude for your prayers on our behalf through this process and for God’s goodness and kindness toward us.  We’ll still need those prayers in the next few weeks as we get through inspections and then pack and move.

I might need to throw in a special request that y’all pray for the relationships with the new neighbors who are going to hate us for dropping their property values.

And one of those neighbors?  Blog Lurker Rachel!


Sorry about tanking the comps, Rach.  Will you still speak to me when we pass each other in the cul-de-sac?

Have a nice day.

In which I have enough excitement for one day

When we started looking at options for middle school for the boys, we had a decision to make between a traditional calendar and a year-round calendar.  We opted for the year-round, multi-track calendar for them since a) it’s a schedule that’s served us well and b) it’s all they’ve ever known.   The year-round school was application-only for us, and I applied early because I wanted to be sure to leave time to appeal if for some reason they were denied or if they were assigned to different tracks.

And, yes, it’s happened before that my boys have been assigned to different tracks and I drove to school every ding dang day for well over a year before we could get them on the same schedule.

And that’s why they call me Carpool Queen.

And that’s why I get cranky when anyone even whispers about school reassignment.

I was pleasantly surprised when three weeks later we received confirmation letters that all the boys had been assigned to the same track at the same school and life was sunshine and roses and I happily went about my merry way.

Until yesterday.

When the official end of grade promotion letters came home from school and I opened them to read that Tommy and JJ had been assigned to the year-round school and Travis had been assigned to the traditional calendar school.

My mental state might have been best described as “unhinged”.

Bless her heart, poor Amy had to listen to me rant for about 15 minutes before she calmly said, “Have you called anyone about it yet?”  and then had to listen to my three points and poem for how I was going to solve my problem which may or may not have included letters to the editor and calling the newsroom at Channel 11 to have an airing of the grievances for all of Wake County to hear and then she ever go gently said, “I’m sure it’s just a clerical error” but she said it in that nice way that doesn’t sound condescending and/or patronizing and I put the flamethrower back in its case and instead wrote a polite email to the school administrator and wouldn’t you know, within three hours it was all taken care of and everyone and my blood pressure was back in their rightful place.

My calm demeanor didn’t last that long, though, because we think we found the house that just might work for us and went by it twice yesterday to walk through and get a feel for how it might work for our family and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it might really be The One and though Craig had already seen it once, he and I met there after work and spent about an hour and a half wandering through the space and going over the pros and cons and ultimately decided that we hadn’t seen anything else that fit our needs quite as well as this house did and so we found ourselves submitting an offer at 7:00 last night.

And then I came home and went straight to a box of comfort pizza because change can be unsettling.

And then I stayed awake all night wondering if we made the right decision but my sweet, calm, logical, unflappable husband who sleeps like a baby regardless of circumstance told me that we did.

And that was my Wednesday.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday Tidbits

1.  Did anyone see the Castle finale last night?  Nathan Fillion SLAYS ME.  SLAYS ME DEAD.  I officially cannot wait for September.

2.  Tonight is the school talent show and one of our little squash blossoms auditioned and was selected to perform.  It’s a little nerve-wracking as I have no idea what the performance will entail as he refuses to preview it for us and I am projecting my own fear of bombing on-stage onto my child but he has confidence in spades and is ready for his turn in the spotlight.

I will be in the back, breaking out in hives.

Even though this has nothing to do with me.

Because I’m psycho.

3.  I checked on apartment availability yesterday and I swear every leasing agent is twenty-two, has long hair, and is named Emily.

And they are all overly eager to show me the swimming pool which is understandable considering they haven’t had three children or had to nervous eat their way through life. 

4.  There are currently two empty Coke bottles ,  three glasses, a cold cup of coffee, a spoon, a thermometer, a corkscrew, six Lego creations, and a pair of shoes on my desk.

And nary a pen or pencil to be found.

5.  You know, five.

Have a nice day.

Because normal would be boring…

We sold our house this weekend.

I was grabbing my second cup of coffee Saturday morning and putting the kids on notice that we had a showing at 10:00 when our agent called asking if we’d checked our email.  He had forwarded an offer that came in at 4:00 that morning (there’s an agent who is PERKY, people) and I tried not to throw up from stress we took a look at it and it was a decent starting point for negotiations.

We pretty much stayed on the phone through the course of the day while we were out running errands and eating lunch and popping Xanax, and by the middle of the afternoon, it became apparent that the person on the other end was really most interested in a specific settlement date and once we figured that out, it worked to our advantage in getting the price we wanted out of the house.

When the dust cleared around 6:00 that afternoon, we ended up at a place where we got our price and they got their closing date and everyone was happy and relieved if not slightly overwrought by the course of events.

Because over-dramatic theatrics always make life more interesting.

So where do we stand?

1.  We have  to be out of the house by June 30th and into something new.

2.  Our bank requires 30 days to process the loan for our new house.

3.  So we have to find a new house in the next two weeks.


4.  We decide that we’re going to build and we move into an apartment for the next eight months until that process is complete.

  Decisions, decisions.

And did I mention that Craig’s in the middle of opening a new office in California that’s supposed to go live next month?

Oh, this makes me nervous giggle.

It’s all good and it’s all crazy.

In other words, just another Monday.

Have a nice day.

Various and Sundry

The Coffee Fairy (AKA my husband) returned from his work trip yesterday morning.  He took the red-eye from San Francisco  and had originally planned to go straight to work but changed his mind after 5 hours of squeezing his 6’7″ self into a non-reclining coach seat.

He was so pitiful wandering around the house muttering something along the lines of the last time he was so crowded he was in a womb with a view.

Just pitiful.

He slept for a couple of hours and then I woke him up in time to take me to lunch (see how nice I am?) and we went to our favorite little Mediterranean neighborhood joint for a gyro and hummus and talked about his trip.

That evening I had dinner plans of my own (a wrap-up dinner for the conference planning team) so I left a freshly cooked pot of chili on the stove for the family and went to my event where I dined on frilly food that was divine – grilled chicken on a mixed green salad tossed with blueberries and strawberries and topped with glazed pecans, gorgonzola, and a poppy-seed dressing and why are my salads never that creative? I just can’t build a salad that isn’t lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and croutons but only if we’re feeling fancy.

But I digress.

I came home ready to tell Craig (the man formerly known as Mr. CPQ who has a real name and doesn’t care if you know it) about my dinner and you can imagine my surprise to find a paper towel sitting on the otherwise clean countertop and on said paper towel was a rock that I thought might be a part of a new collection that one of the kids was starting but, no, it was the lovely rock that he had found when he bit into his first spoonful of chili.


And then he opened the AT&T bill and we found out that when they replaced the DVR unit in the back bedroom the tech didn’t transfer our parental locking code and Travis had ordered $67 worth of movies on demand while we weren’t looking.

Oh, it was delightful.

I think someone’s already ready to get on a plane again.

Have a nice day.

You give me fever

About a week ago, Tommy came down with a high fever that lasted for a couple of days.  I was a little concerned and briefly considered taking him to urgent care but by the third day, his fever had broken and he felt fine.

Then two days later, it came back again.

I called the doctor to talk about what had happened and he said that it might be a second, separate viral event but to call him if it lasted more than three days and by the next day, Tommy was again back to normal so I shrugged it off and went about my business.

Then this weekend it came back.

And stayed.

Monday I called for an appointment with our favorite nurse practitioner who has been seeing the boys since they were eleven months old.  She poked and prodded, charted fevers and we talked all around what we thought it could be and in the end she decided that to be on the safe side, we’d better get blood work and chest x-rays.

I took him to the hospital for his lab work and let me tell you, there’s nothing more pitiful than seeing a big ol’ kid reduced to tears over a needle.  He handled it as bravely as he could and got an extra sticker for his efforts and then we went home to wait for the results.

I got the call last night from our nurse that his lab work had come back with some unexpected results.  We thought we’d see something on the chest x-ray that would indicate pneumonia (which was our best guess as to what was going on since he had a cough) but it was clear.  The blood work, however, was messed up.  There were a lot of technical terms she used that I don’t recall but the gist of the story was that his body was having some sort of inflammatory response to something going on.  It was not an infection per se because his white count wasn’t elevated and while she couldn’t definitely say what it was, she was fairly confident that we were looking at some sort of tick disease.


On my kid.

There’s the heebie.

And there’s the jeebie.

I tried to explain to her that we are neither campy nor outdoorsy people but she said that tick disease is very prevalent in North Carolina which instantly made me want to move my housing search area to the Mojave Desert.

I was instructed to start him on a course of doxycycline and to do a more thorough check of him to look for evidence of either of live tick or of a bite.  And when she said “thorough” she meant EVERY nook and cranny.


Which isn’t a whole lot of fun for a pre-teen boy and where was his daddy to do that part?

Let’s all say it together, “Out of town.”

He misses all the fun.

I didn’t see any evidence of a bug, rash, bite, or bump though I did find a few spots that had been missing a washcloth.

Between the toes, please, between the toes. 

We’ll get started on the medicine today and hopefully he’ll be on the road to recovery soon.

The nice, paved road inside the hermetically sealed bubble so that no bugs can get in.

Have a nice day.

Monday Musings

Love a duck, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged.  I think I had a huge mental crash after Whole Woman Day was over and it has taken me a while to recover.  The conference was great and other than a few little minor glitches that didn’t bother anyone but me, I’m happy with how smoothly registration went. 

I have this  big ol’ blog post in my head about some of the spiritual lessons I learned but I’m not sure if I can put it to paper in a way that’s readable so let’s just leave it at God used the opportunity to show me a few things I could be working on and so I’m mulling over how that translates into changes I need to make. 

We’re still house hunting.  We’ve been focusing on short sales and foreclosures in hopes that we could get a steal on a house and free up some cash to throw into renovations for accessibility.  That means we’re traipsing through properties that have been vacant for quite a while.  Last week we dodged bees that had moved in and taken residence in a dining room, hacked through overgrown poison ivy to get through the front door of another property, and felt our way down into a very scary dark basement because the house lacked power.  It’s been a little humorous and, at times, a little frustrating.  I saw one place that I absolutely loved, took a ton of pictures to send to my husband but within an hour of leaving the property, someone else made an offer on it and it’s now sold. 

Insert frustrated scream here.

On the bright side, all the wait has given me time to have a garage sale and get rid of some of the things that have sat in the garage since the last move will not make the move with us.  Our sale was Saturday morning and fairly well-attended because I had posted it on my Facebook page and it was not at all awkward to have friends show up at 7:30 in the morning only to find some of their gifts to us on the sale table.  

Didn’t think about the possibility of that happening. 

Yep, not awkward at all.

Speaking of not awkward, I went to a wedding reception (not the wedding – just the reception) Friday night.  It was held at an outdoor pavilion and started at 6:30 while there was still plenty of daylight and since the weather was warm and springy I wore white slacks, silver high heels, and a very dressy tunic-style top and I felt very cute until we arrived at the reception and would you believe that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN THERE was wearing a dress?  I kid you not.  Not a single pair of pants to be found.  Oh, I was mortified.

So I stood by the corner canape table and nervous ate for most of the evening.

Which was as delightful and relaxing as you could imagine.

Have a nice day.