Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring.

It has been raining for over 24 hours. Or something close to that. I am not complaining though, because I don't think it rained once in April until yesterday. Luckily, the rain is not nearly as bad as the torrential downpours we received last year on Patriots Day. Roads flooded, homes flooded. We were lucky that we only had some minor damage to our road, which is gravel. Some of it washed away, but that is to be expected. There are still people trying to rebuild their homes that flooded due to overflowing rivers. April showers sometimes bring in FEMA.

I have this Mary Englebreit daily calendar. Last Thursday's saying was "A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul". Maybe if I cross stitch that and offer it to the first person to make an offer on my other home, something will happen? No you say? Because I can't cross stitch? Details, details. I keep updating my ad on Craigslist, but nothing is happening. I also put the house back up for rent and have had 4 emails about it today. I loathe the idea of renting again. We've put out there that there is a purchase option available, which is what our other tenants had. However, we heard through the grapevine that they moved out not because of a lost job but because the house needed too much work and they couldn't afford it. If I said "no shit Sherlock" would that be rude? Of course, we looked past all that work when we bought it, because we were buying the neighborhood. It is a great neighborhood. Tons of kids and safe places to walk. Our house is in front of what we called "the island"~a large grassy area where the kids played soccer or ran around. We had friends there. The house was 3 minutes from my parents and 10 minutes from my in-laws. And of course we had the token weird neighbor who INSISTED on going shirtless as soon as the snow melted. He did NOT have the body for that look. Weird, weird little man.

Anyway, enough obessing over our stupid mistakes.

Tomorrow I am going to chaperone the 1st and 2nd grade field trip to see Max and Ruby. I am looking forward to riding the bus with all those crazed kiddos and watching my daughter interact with her friends. Even though I volunteer in the classroom, the kids are usually doing work so I don't get to see the goings-on. It should be fun. Doug is going in to work, then coming home to hang out with the others until my return at lunchtime.

Send good thoughts to them as they sit with their sweet baby in California and wait for her to be well enough to come home. I get up each morning to read the latest news and hope that sweet Maddie will be well enough to go home. I think how lucky I am that my kiddos are healthy and don't have to go through all that she's been through in her short life.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to reality

Vacation is over. Doug went back to work today and Meg went back to school. It was the first vacation this year that everyone was healthy other than some minor sniffles, the weather was gorgeous and I felt calm. Today it's gray, cloudy and going to rain. Like Mother Nature knew how I was going to be feeling today.

It was a great vacation. The garden is started~lettuce, spinach, carrots, peas and beans are planted. So far, no vermin have gotten into it (which is good, since we haven't put up a fence yet). We planted some perennials along the rocks out back and my gardens in front of the farmer's porch are in bloom. The daffodils looks gorgeous, the pansies are doing well, and the tulips are getting ready to bloom. The yard is raked and the kids helped with so much of it. It was nice to go at a slower pace last week.

Now we're back to the weekly rush. Up at 6 to walk on my treadmill. Get the kids fed, dressed, and out the door. We've added another stressor this week~Meg starts softball tomorrow night. Games are at 6, and we have to be there at 5:30. Lots to cram in after she gets home from school at 3:30. But, it was our choice so I can't complain too much (doesn't mean I won't, but I shouldn't!).

Drew is almost potty trained! He took it upon himself a couple of weeks ago to start wearing underwear. Oh we tried potty training before, and he did great for a bit, then stopped showing interest. So, we decided to let him go at his own pace. He's only had a couple of accidents over the last couple of weeks, and woke up DRY today. I think if he goes a few days waking up dry, we'll try underwear at night. Of course, he'll finish potty training and I'll want to start thinking about potty training the girls.

Speaking of potty training the girls....anyone with potty trained twins have any advice? Meg loved her little potty but Drew refused to use it. I am thinking if I get a matching potty for one of the girls, I can sit them side by side and see what happens. But, I am going to wait a few more months on that one. I'll take any advice though!

Still am the "proud" owner of two homes. We had 3 showings over the weekend and nothing came from them. The house was built in 1942. It needs some TLC. Oh, we've done some things (new roof, new appliances) but it needs an update to the bathroom and a real kitchen (the countertops are painted wood). And in these times, people don't want to put any effort into a house. So, we're still trying, but I'm losing hope. See, we've already tried to sell it once, from 2006-2007 before we found "the tenants". And we all know how well that worked out. But, we had rooms painted to clean up the mess they made of the place and are having the rugs and kitchen and bathroom professionally cleaned on Friday so we'll see.

The one thing that I didn't accomplish last week was cleaning up my kitchen counter. It's covered with mail, school stuff, kids toys, etc. I should probably take advantage of nap/tv time and try to tackle it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N

It's school vacation week. Yes, here in the Northeast, our children get a Christmas vacation, a February vacation and an April vacation. I suppose since they're going to school thru almost all of June, this vacation is a bonus.

My twins are NOT sick! It's amazing, as they've been sick for both of the other school vacations this year. They did go to the doctor for their 15 month checkup today. Annie is 22 lbs 14 oz and 32 inches tall. Izzie comes in at a whopping 20 lbs 12 oz and 30 inches tall. They both received 3 shots apiece, which they handle amazingly well. Loads of tears at first, and then back to all smiles. My kids are weird with shots. Meg needs to be tranquilized to get shots~she cannot handle them and completely freaks out. However, we haven't actually tried the tranquilizer, since that's a shot too. Drew just says "ow" when he gets a shot. I find that fascinating. He's only 3. But, if you tell him he's having a sandwich for lunch, he'll collapse on the floor screaming for a yogurt. Go figure.

We've been working in our yard this week. By "we" I mean Doug, Meg and Drew. I am mostly relegated to staying in the house, especially if the girls are awake. I did get out yesterday to plant some pansies that could use a HUGE drink of water today. We've put out the garden timbers for the vegetable garden. We still have to get compost and till that in. Then decide on the veggies to plant. The garden is 16 feet by 8 feet, so we have LOTS of room to work with.

We've been in and out of the other house this week, meeting with the appliance repair guy for the dishwasher (it was just an electrical glitch!), finding out the dryer doesn't work anymore, meeting with the cleaners today. We have 1 showing scheduled for tonight (CANCELED, AGAIN). Keep your fingers crossed. It's the first sign of interest since we put it back on the market. It's just so depressing, as we've dropped our asking price amost $40k since we listed is in 2006. sigh.

Doug is with the kids at a baseball game today. We have the Double A affiliate of the Red Sox (not Triple A like I said before) here in Maine, and for $22 for 3 tickets, they're off enjoying some of America's favorite pasttime. It's about 75 degrees here today and gorgeous, so what a great day for some baseball.

Did I mention our SNOW IS GONE??????????????? Yep, finally. Oh, we still have a few tiny patches where there isn't any sun, but the big mound of snow finally melted yesterday. Now to get the grass raked and woken up. I'm glad Spring finally decided to show herself.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nothing special

We spent several hours at our other house today trying to clean. Bagged up trash, cleaned toilets, vacuumed the two rooms with rugs, re-caulked the tub, tried to figure out why the sink was clogged (in the 4 years we lived there, that never happened), cleaned windows. Doug spent quite a bit of time trying to fix the fence. It's old and junky and sections of it fell down. It's standing again now. Tomorrow we have the appliance repair person come to determine what is wrong with the dishwasher. Here's to hoping it's just an electrical glitch. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we'll find a buyer. I could really do without being a landlord again.

***

We may have a stripper in the family. Friday night we put Annie and Izzie to bed, then were sitting down to dinner with the older kids. Meg went to check on the girls because they were fussy and announced over the baby monitor that Annie was getting herself naked. Yep, she's figured out how to unzip her footie pajamas and take them off! So, we put her back in her jammies and the girls went to sleep. We went to bed about 9:30 and found her facedown in her crib in just her onesie! Again, put her back in her jammies and we went to bed. Got up yesterday and she was in her onesie again. Little twit. Did the same thing again this morning! Duct tape seems to be in order! Just kidding.

***

I had a nice day yesterday with my girlfriend Angie. It was nice to get out, work on my album project, which sadly is Meg from birth to age 1 (depressing since she's 7). I didn't start scrapbooking until she was almost 18 months, so I went forward instead of backward. I am incredibly behind in all my album projects, so days like yesterday are a godsend. And when I got home last night, I put the babies to bed after some snuggles, and Doug and I went out for a quick dinner. A good day all around.

***

It's school vacation week and I have the kids and Doug home. We're hoping to start our garden project this week. I have to do some research and then we can get to Lowe's to buy the supplies. I'll post pictures. We're trying to do (we. ha! Doug.) yardwork, as we got snow so early in the season that we never got to rake leaves. While I'm blogging he's out there raking around the snowbank in the front yard. I should probably go help instead of sitting here blogging.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My four kids

In the past 3 weeks, my twins have gotten 5 teeth between them. They each sprouted a tooth today. I think it's because I was reading Meg's little doctor book that I made for each major doctor's appointment and casually said to Doug "hmmm, Meg had 12 teeth at 15 months". I think the girls decided to catch up. Annie will hit 12 teeth probably tomorrow. Izzie is still looking for the bottom two to pop through.

Drew chews his hands. They are CONSTANTLY in his mouth. Short of taping his mouth shut or making him wear mittens all the time, I have no idea what to do (as an aside, I would never tape his mouth shut. I would think about it as a great solution, but then how could he give me such good smoochies?) It's making me crazy. He chews his fingernails off. And randomly a toenail too. I don't get it. He puts every single toy he touches in his mouth. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, since boys are yucky. I am talking about the same boy who has figured out that he has a penis. Need I say more? sigh.

Meg is blossoming at school. She came home today to tell me that she'll be reading a book to her class tomorrow. She is so excited to read aloud to the class. She is one of two children reading at about a mid-second grade level (she's in first grade). We love books and read together often. Chapter books are her favorite right now. Tuesday night she and Doug were doing math during dinner and we found out she can do multiplication. Nothing hard, but she knows a few. She's 7. I hope she continues to feed this love of learning.

My four kids amaze me every day. Izzie has a litany of words she can say now: kitty, ball, happy, moo, Annie. She tries hard to say Megan but it comes out as Mimi (which is confusing since she has two Mimis already). Both twins call Drew "Ooie". Annie follows simple instructions so well I can't comprehend why the older kids can't. Ha. Drew is working so hard to correct his pronunciations of words, and he can already spell his name. They are wonderful kiddos. Some days I wonder how I got so lucky.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And how do you spell relief? And other bits of random thoughts (EDITED)

I spell relief this way..........THE TENANTS ARE OUT! THE TENANTS ARE OUT! (whoa, I sound like Paul Revere).

Doug went to the house this morning, while I fretted and waited for his call or email. I thought I was going to have an aneurysm waiting to hear from him. Despite some trash and lousy paint jobs, the house is just fine. They left an empty oil tank that we have to fill, but since it's not the dead of winter, I'm not stressed about it too much. Onward and upward my mom said. I couldn't agree more. Keep your fingers crossed for us internets, that we find a buyer. (So, we just came back from the other house. I am NOT happy with the condition the tenants left it in. They left a bag of overflowing trash in the kitchen, the dishwasher is broken, they left a basement full of junk, they didn't vacuum, the bathroom sink was full of water and somehow clogged, and OH MY GOD THE PAINT. I know, to each his own and beauty in the eye of the beholder, but OH MY GOD THE PAINT! They took my nice buttery yellow kitchen and painted it dark brown. They took my nice beige living room and painted it a DARKER BROWN. The kids rooms....neon pink and neon blue. Holy mother of all that is good and tasteful. Oh, and outside.....they left a backyard full of dog poop, a gas grill, a lawnmower, more bags of trash. The liner to the pool is ripped and instead of just telling us that it happened, they tried to hide it with the cover. Liners go in harsh winters. It happens. But come on, are we babies here? Be honest. Don't try to cover things up. ARGH. Sigh. Big bad lesson learned here......)


*******

The twins are 15 months old today. I can't believe it's been 15 months since they were born. My photos are set to the slideshow function on my computer and every once in a while a photo from the day they were born comes up and I'm amazed at what little PEOPLE they've become. When I ask them questions, they nod their heads in agreement, or laugh if I guess what it is they want. They hug me and kiss me just for fun. The say many words now, and it's totally cute to listen to. Today I had some music on for them, and they were dancing holding hands. If I had tried to video it, they would have come for the camera so I have no proof of their utter cuteness. They fight over books and toys and me. They're not babies any longer. The thought makes me want to cry, but I'm also happy that we're done with the infant aspect of their life. Now the fun can really begin!

*******

Do any of you have a vegetable garden? If so, how did you get started? We're thinking of trying to create a garden this spring (see, while the calendar says spring, we still have some snow so spring comes for real in a few more weeks) and have no idea where to start. I'm sure I'll Google it and find good ideas, but if you know what does and doesn't work, let me know. I think Meg and Drew would have a great time planting and then eating what grows~assuming of course that we can actually grow something AND keep the deer away. Right now our crocuses are coming up and a few daffodils are trying to open. That's all we have so far. We sowed some lupine seeds in the fall and really hope they come up. I am addicted to lupines. Read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney and you'll know why.

*******

I am all excited because I am going to spend some time with my girlfriend Angie on Saturday. We are both Creative Memories consultants and she is having her all day crop. We used to hold our all day events together, but our space got too small for all our customers, so we separated our events. So Saturday after Meg's last hockey, I am going to crop, eat and spend some time playing catchup with Angie. When I lived in my other house, I was only 5 minutes from Angie's house. We met thru CM and became fast friends. Turns out we graduated from high school a year apart. She remembers me, but I don't remember her. Her kids are a year younger than each of my two older kids. For about a year, we scrapbooked at her house every Friday night. It was great to be able to crop and gab with someone who understood me. Then we moved, and I was pregnant with the twins and exhausted all the time. And then the twins were born and I was nursing, and exhausted all the time. So our visits got less frequent. We email all the time, but it just isn't the same. And with Angie, I can just be myself. I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Observations

It's come to my attention that I am different mother today than I was when Meg was born 7 years ago. Let me explain.

When Meg was little and say, drooled on her clothes or got them messy from lunch/snack/spitting up, I immediately changed her. If Meg got even the TINIEST bit of anything from her diaper on her onesies, I immediately changed her. I put diapers in the diaper genie after changing her ON HER CHANGING TABLE IN HER ROOM. I vacuumed all the time for fear she'd put something in her mouth and choke. I always had a spare set of clothes for her with me in case of accidents. I was a new mother.

Now that I've had 4 children, a few things have changed. I will not change a child unless said child has 1) fallen into a mud or rain puddle and gotten totally drenched/filthy, 2) completely soiled themselves straight thru all layers of clothes, or 3) has thrown up all over themselves (I cannot tolerate the smell of vomit). A little bit of food on the clothes isn't a big deal (ok, really, it drives me nuts but PUHLEASE! I do too much laundry as it is). I change the twins' diapers on my lap, in my living room, because in all honesty, I am too lazy to climb up the flight of stairs to change them in their room, then come back downstairs to get the other one to repeat the job. And, I gave my neighbor who just had twins the changing pad from their changing table, so there is no need to go up there anymore. The diaper genie sits in the dining room, lonely for a diaper. It needs a refill and honestly, that's an expense I can do without right now. I chuck diapers near the trash can, and pick them up when I have a moment. I actually made that Drew's chore~if he sees a diaper on the floor, he needs to put it in the trash for me. Vacuuming? Oh come on now. The twins are the best vacuum anyone needs. Piece of lint on the floor? Yell "mamamamamamamamama" and hand it to me. Fuzz on the floor? Lather, rinse, repeat. And I love to vacuum, but that means cleaning up all toys/shoes/books, etc. and that isn't always in the cards. So I made do with that I have. I never have a spare set of clothes for any of the kids in the car or diaper bag. I just hope for the best.

As I've added more children to our family (I mean "we") life has become more hectic, more crazed, less sane. I spend much of my day playing zone defense, especially when the older kids are home. Days go something like this: " No Drew, don't hit Annie. No Meg, please don't dance in the living room covered with toys; you'll knock over a baby. Drew, stopping taking those toys away from the girls. Meg, please don't pick up the girls because then Drew will pick up the girls and then Mama will LOSE HER MIND!" I'm not saying I crave a Father Knows Best life, but a little more sanity would be swell. I feel like the big yelling monster about 95% of the time, and that is NOT how I envisioned things would be. Going on an outing (as Mary Poppins would say. Sorry, we're listening to the soundtrack in the car these days) fills me with morbid dread. It's such a production to get everyone ready, make sure we have diaper/wipes/juice, instruct the older children on the proper behavior and consequences of bad behavior, and remember to get everyone in the car (Doug was left somewhere once as a child and I fear that the most).

I wouldn't trade this life for anything in the world. My children are beautiful, healthy and happy most of the time. I am trying, slowly, to adjust my way of thinking from what I thought things would be, to the reality of what they are and enjoy what I created. It's not always easy, but I'm doing my best.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The vultures have left the nest!

Ok, not quite, but the tenants are MOVING OUT! On Friday, my dad emailed me to say he called a neighbor of ours (lives directly across the street from the old house) and asked her to keep an eye on the house. She replied that she had seen furniture leaving and we took that as a good sign. Doug drove by yesterday after Meg's hockey and from the road could see that the dining room was empty. Today we took another drive down there, chatted with our neighbor who first reported the good news and then took a quick walk around to the back of the house (as they have all the shades drawn). There are still some things in the kitchen (like a partially drunk gallon of milk on the counter, eww) but the downstairs looks empty. We'll be going in Wednesday morning to inspect, as they have declared they will be out by midnight on Tuesday, and hopefully just move on from this experience and sell this house! If we can't sell it and do end up renting again, we've certainly learned our lesson on what to do, and not to do. Too bad it was a hard lesson to learn.

As I was perusing blogland this week, Swistle had a lovely post about shopping at Children's Place for little girls clothes (and if I had ANY IDEA how to link directly to that post, I would do it. Help internets!). And thanks to her, I remembered a $25 CP gift card burning a hole in my wallet, so today we went to the mall. Twenty one articles of clothing and $82 later, I was happy. I was able to purchase summer/springs things for all 4 children. Sadly, Meg is at the limit of CP's clothing line~yes, my 7 year old wears a size 14 (she is 4 foot 4 inches tall). Sigh. I will have to resort to shopping at Old Navy for her, because there aren't many places that I can shop for her that don't make her look like a hussy.

We are on the school vacation countdown here. T minus 7 days and I will have both Megan AND Doug home for school vacation. I am thrilled that he will be home for this vacation. Days on end with all four children make me crazy. And, if the twins are true to form, they will get sick for vacation. They were sick over Christmas and February vacations. Maybe they'll buck the trend and stay healthy. Please cross your fingers for that. Of course, they are due for their 15 month checkup and shots, so that ought to screw things up for them anyway. Poor planning on my part I guess.

And speaking of the twins....in the last 2 weeks, they have sprouted 3 new teeth! Without fanfare. Annie acquired 2 and Izzie 1. And it feels like Annie will be getting two bottom teeth as well. These girls are so different from Meg and Drew. When Meg was teething, she had a low grade fever, diarrhea, and drooled like a madwoman. Every. Single. Tooth. After the 3rd tooth, we figured it out. With Drew, he drooled like crazy too, and chewed his crib railings to pieces (had to buy plastic guards because he was literally taking chunks out of the crib!). Annie and Izzie are different. NO drooling. Ever. No fevers. Annie does chew on her crib railing, but it has a plastic guard and she doesn't do it too often. They aren't even incredibly cranky about the teeth, either. Makes it hard to know to give them some Tylenol. Basically, if they seem a bit fussy for no reason (i.e., they've had fresh pants, a snack, music, kisses, books, kisses) I jam my finger in their mouth and find a tooth. It's just bizarre. I'll take it, but it's still bizarre.

I guess that's all the news from here. I must go cheer on my Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, as their both playing tonight. Thank goodness for Picture in Picture on our tv.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh Yes, oh yes, it's Springtime

video

Apparently Drew thinks being outside is AWESOME!

If you know Disney's "Little Einsteins", then set this video in your mind to the "Oh Yes, Oh Yes it's Springtime" episode featuring Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons~Spring".

Totally brightened up my day.

Super Nanny, Mary Poppins, Someone?

Let me start by saying that I love my children. Very much. But holy cow do they wear me down. Take yesterday for instance. The twins morning nap was short. Very short. They woke up irritable. Drew woke up on the wrong side of his bed and was just a total pain all morning long. Refused to play on his own. Wanted a gazillion snacks. Refused to eat his lunch. Needed. A. Nap. Refused to take a nap. The twins afternoon nap was good, once they finally stopped pooping and settled down to sleep. Meg came home with a friend for a playdate. One would think (that one being me of course) that a playdate means that children will play. Together. Nicely. For more than one minute. Good lord. Drew wanted to play with the girls. Meg didn't want him to play with them. Much screaming from Drew who couldn't be consoled. He had his Brady bear (Patriots Build-A-Bear) and just wanted his sister to love him enough to let him join in. Nope, not happening. I counted down the minutes until the playdate ended. The hour ticked by so slowly it was ridiculous. Where was Super Nanny or Mary Poppins when I needed her?

I am not a patient person. I dream of being a patient person. So when my kids are screaming, running up and down the hallway, throwing toys, being rude, etc. I have a hard time being patient. And that's where Super Nanny Jo Frost or Mary Poppins is needed. I need someone with a calmer voice, calmer countenance, to step in during those moments of insanity and take over. Because seriously, I cannot handle it. I know that yelling doesn't make things easier/better/right, but come on, when I cannot be heard over all the noise, what the heck am I supposed to do? My sister-in-law Tami would be perfect for the job. Too bad she's a teacher and has two teenagers of her own to deal with. Or I would kidnap her and keep her here. When the kids are acting up, she has this way of talking to them that mesmerizes them. And they stop. And they listen. And they are compliant. I don't have that way with them. I'm the mean mommy who makes them clean up their messes, who doesn't let them eat candy for morning snack, who doesn't let them watch tv all day. So if Mary Poppins or Super Nanny is nearby, would you send her my way? I think I could use a little help. Or maybe I just need to grow more arms.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Deep Thoughts (but not by Jack Handy)

Thanks for all your nice notes about my darn migraine. Woke up with it today. BUT, I kicked its ass with some coffee and Advil. Hooray for small things!

Today was one of those days that I alternatively love, but hate. It was a day when I was gone most of the morning, sans kids. I volunteered in Meg's classroom and I really enjoy doing that. I didn't get to volunteer when she was in kindergarten because I was pregnant with the twins and didn't want to end up on bed rest and not be able to follow through with my commitment. Plus, once they were born I knew I wouldn't be able to be gone for any period of time. So, this year I worked out a deal with my mother-in-law so that I can volunteer every other Tuesday, just for a couple of hours. It's nice to see how Meg interacts with her friends and teacher, and how so completely different she is at home than at school. Almost like I've got my own little Sybil on my hands. Weird.

Because today was the Red Sox home opener, Doug took a later lunch so he could watch the ring ceremony (yes, I am spoiled rotten, as he comes home for lunch almost daily) so I ran to get Drew from school. By the time I got back and got everyone their lunch, it was almost 1pm. Half the day gone and I wasn't here for any of it. It's a nice feeling, getting out without the kids, but some small part of me feels guilty. The girls are so crazed with joy when I get home, even though they napped for an hour of my time out, so how could they have missed me that much? My afternoon consisted of keeping tabs on the Sox trouncing of the Tigers, playing with kids, visiting with my dad (who lovingly comes once or twice a week to get Meg from the bus, then plays with the older kids for awhile~thank you Dad!), and voila, it's almost 8pm. So while today didn't drag on like my other days usually do, it's just given me an odd feeling. I know I don't enjoy the long, drawn out days, but I'm not sure why I don't really enjoy the quick days either. Does it make sense to anyone? Because I just don't get it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday, Monday~Can't Trust that Day

I love the Mamas and the Papas. I love that song. I am not at all fond of Mondays.

My Monday started off with a migraine that was a hitchhiker from last night. I told it to get off at midnight, but it stayed along for the Monday ride. What a joy that has been. I've had migraines for 20 years. They are awful. It get them behind my eyes, so that even keeping my eyes open is horribly painful. Plus, with the pressure, bending over to say pick up a child or load the dishwasher feels like my head it going to split open from the pressure. I took my little concoction of medicine (Advil and Dimetapp) but it didn't even touch this headache.

HOWEVER, today I got a little break that helped. All three younger kids took a nap, simultaneously, today. Drew has been waking up several times a night and coming into our room, so he was beside himself exhausted this afternoon after lunch. I banished him to bed and he slept. So, I whisked the babies off to bed and I TOOK A NAP! Not a long nap, but enough to rest a bit before I got all the kids up and went to the bus stop. It was nice to relax, even just for 30 minutes. Migraine's not gone, but it's better.

No news on the other house yet. Not one word from the tenants since the letter went out. We have our spies in the neighborhood though and will be checking in with them for a status report. Keep your fingers crossed that this ends well. We still have someone interested in looking at the home for a purchase, so to have that work out would be swell.

Off for a bit of tv before bed. Too bad because of NCAA basketball game that the shows on CBS are reruns, again. I just got used to new shows. And of course on Thursday I forgot to set my DVR to record CSI while Doug was out playing hockey. Damn. Darn writers strike has me all confused.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A change of scenery. It does a mind good. (UPDATE)

I am in a better place today. No, not Cabo or Rome, but mentally in a better place. I've never been to Cabo, but I've been to Rome and I would like to go back. I digress (I do that quite often).

Took Drew to school this morning so he could go on a field trip. Without. Me. His school was going to the Planetarium for a little show about rockets and space. Normally, I would chaperon a school trip, as parents have to drive the kids (this is a tiny in-home preschool, so no bus). But, my MIL had cataract surgery Tuesday and Doug is swamped at work, so I had to let him go with someone else. I am counting the minutes until he comes home. I am certain he will be a total PITA this afternoon, but at least he'll be with me. He's only 3. I teared up leaving the school. I am such a sap. (Field trip update. Drew did not watch ONE BIT of Rusty the Rocket's Last Blast. NOT ONE BIT. The lights went out and he started to cry. For his Mama. His poor teacher stayed with him in the hallway for the entire show. Maybe next year. Sigh.)

So, the girls and I went to Walmart. I HATE, LOATHE, DESPISE Walmart. Alas, Target is 25 minutes away on the turnpike and Walmart is 10 minutes from here. So, not hard to determine where I was going. We had to get a gift for Meg to take to a birthday party. We weren't there long, but it was so good to get out of the house. While we waited in line to pay, I was quietly observing the mother in front of me. She had 5 kids. I am guessing she homeschooled them, because 3 of the 5 looked old enough to be in school. One of the kids in the shopping cart was screaming to get out. All I could think of was "is that what we look like when we go out?" When it was time for the cashier to ring me up, she commented on how quiet Annie and Izzie were being in their stroller (because of course Walmart does NOT MAKE shopping carts that can seat two). Then she said "at least you don't have 5 like she did", to which I replied, "well, I do have 2 more at school" and she got all panicky. And then I got the typical "I just don't know how you do it". I think that people who say that to me should be prepared for the earful I want to give them: "I cry, often. I yell, often. I eat too many snacks. I don't often get out. I am cranky 99.9% of the time." Instead, I just nodded and smiled. Because I was out of my house. A change of scenery. It does a mind good.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm all shook up

Cue Elvis.

When I'm nervous, upset, or stressed, I get horrible butterflies in my stomach. It reminds me of high school. Will I get picked to be on the "cool kids" badminton team? Will he ask me to dance? It's awful.

I have those butterflies these days. Remember my post with mention of being a landlord and how much it truly sucks? Well, it really, really sucks. Our tenants have bailed on us, breaking their lease and not paying their March rent. Yet they're still living in OUR house. I advertised the house on Craigslist (LOVE that site) and had a ton of interest, both as a rental or a purchase. Because I am a nice person, I opted to schedule one block time of showings in the form of an open house instead of having showings every day and annoying the crap out of our tenants. I should have just annoyed the crap out of our tenants. They saw the Craigslist ad and freaked. Flat out refused to leave the house so we could do the showings, told us what horrible landlords we were (because we didn't fix the fence, mind you) and how they didn't intend to leave before April 15th. I have never told them that I was a REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY for 7 years. They have no idea what they've gotten themselves into. I know people. People who are actual licensed attorneys (while I am still licensed, I am considered "inactive"). I contacted a former colleague from the firm I "retired" from and asked for his help. Tomorrow our tenants will be receiving a nasty-gram from him outlining the big heap of trouble they've gotten themselves into, and the world of hurt that awaits them if they don't get the hell out of our house.

I'm not a vindictive person. I don't wish them any (ok, much) ill will. I just want them out of my house. My greatest fear is that they've damaged the place somehow, and we have to sue them. I don't have the a)time, b)energy, or c)MONEY to sue them for damages. Ok, mostly c. Their nasty attitude toward us put me over the edge last week. No, we didn't fix the fence. No, we aren't the type of landlord to just pop in every month to "check on the place". These people had an option to buy this house from us; why would we try to interrupt their quiet enjoyment (sorry, had throw in some legal terminology just to prove I still remembered it) of the house? So, a nasty-gram they shall receive and it's gotten me totally freaked out. What if they refuse to leave? What if they take our appliances? Loads of "what ifs" are running through my head all the time and making the butterflies come out with a vengeance. I know that taking legal steps is the right thing to do to protect ourselves, but it leaves me with that icky feeling inside. Now I know why I wasn't a litigator. I wouldn't have been able to handle it.