Friday, February 26, 2010

If You Look Up The Word "Pitiful" In The Dictionary...

You'll find this picture right next to the definition:

Both the girls have gross colds, but Nissa's is so much more awful to see.  My poor baby can't even sit up straight with the amount of goop draining out of her sweet little snot-covered face. I had big plans to go hang out with other adults this weekend, but somehow the Cold Gods decided that it would be way more fun for me to stay home and drown in ectoplasm.  Blech.  Why don't my babies come with built-in nose-blowing abilities?

Have a great weekend, peeps.  It looks like mine is going to be a whole lotta fun.  See you on the flip side.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nothing's Sweeter Than Suzi...

This past weekend we took a road trip from Western New York to Central Pennsylvania to surprise my dear friend, Suzi, at her going away party.  It was a bittersweet weekend and as today is Suzi's moving-away day, I feel the need to gush about her just a wee bit.

I first met Suzi when our babies were just months old.  We were both new transplants to Pennsylvania, our husbands fresh into their Ph.D.'s.  I remember our first meeting - I remember feeling like her sweet midwestern drawl sounded familiar somehow, and I remember thinking that we were meant to be friends because she said the word "pop" instead of "soda" just like I do.  I also remember telling her that if she wanted to be a part of our playgroup she had to bake something (I'm such a meanie!  But truth be told, we were talking about our love of baked goods and I knew that this chick could BRING IT.  Boy, did she ever!  Suzi's dessert recipes are now legendary amongst our playgroup friends).

There is something so special and everlasting about forging a friendship in a new town with a new mom who is from some far away place just like you. Both of us had our babies in State College, away from our families.  Both of us had newborns that had (and still have) intense personalities with their own sprinkling of medical issues thrown in just for good measure.  Both of us were utterly bewildered whenever our sweet Pennsylvanian friends said "a quarter of" instead of "a quarter to" whenever they spoke about the time.  Both of us came to State College, not necessarily of our own choosing, but because we were proud Ph.D. wives.  In the end, I think we both ended up loving Penn State and the family of friends we found there more than we could have ever imagined.

Through the years it took for our husbands to pursue their own academic successes, we laughed, cried and drove ourselves towards happy ice cream pie-induced oblivion together. Suzi was there to invite us over for Thanskgiving dinner when we had nowhere to go, she was there to help me craft hairbands that matched Inara's first Halloween costume, to sew a sentimental flower onto a gifted baby carrier, to always listen as I blathered on endlessly (and usually tearfully) about stressful advisors, departments, deadlines, dissertations, job hunts, interviews, moving, and finally graduating. She did all this and so much more - without question, with such grace, and with way fewer swear words than me.

Now that Suzi's husband (Dr. Jim is in the HOUSE!) has completed his Ph.D. program, I find myself in a strange position.  On the one hand I want to be the same friend that Suzi has been to me all these years.  I want to be excited for her, to tell her that we are so happy for everything her family has accomplished together, that moving far away (all the way to Missouri!) means only the start of bigger and better things.  But I also don't want her to go.  When we moved from Pennsylvania a year and a half ago, somewhere deep inside I just always always expected it to stay exactly the same way as when I left (because let's face it, I'm immature and I think that the world revolves around me).  And to be honest, I simply can't imagine a State College without you in it, Suzi, dear.  It's just not fair.

Being a grown up really stinks sometimes.  I wish I could take all the wonderful friends that we've made since moving to the U.S. and stick them in a box to carry around with me wherever life takes us. Can someone please get on that?  Because I'd really really appreciate it.

Suzi, you are such a bright, shining star.  And we miss you already.



 The Giraffes are from a shoot I did for Suzi's business, Starbright Baby - we had so much fun that day, and she named the Argyle one after Inara.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was really and truly surprised that so many of you lovely people wanted to hear MORE about our big announcement yesterday.  Here I was thinking that we were the only ones interested in the mundane details of our house-buying adventures...boy was I wrong!  So just because you all asked, I will now bore you to tears with all the deets.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

We saw the listing late on Wednesday, and arranged to see it Thursday afternoon (we made the offer on Friday and it was accepted that same night...such a whirlwind!) .  When we got there it pretty much looked like this:


It's a cute and small 1500 square foot traditional foursquare right in the heart of the city and it was built in 1900.  It has four bedrooms (each with a walk-in closet), two full baths, a new kitchen and siding and hardwood flooring on the first floor.  Not included in the square footage is an unfinished basement and get this - a full, walk-up attic (the stairway to the attic is off the hallway on the second floor)!!!  We loved that there wasn't any wasted space in the layout, it really felt a lot bigger than 1500 square feet - and we could see ourselves finishing out the attic to be a guest room, studio, or playroom.

The interior is bright with lots of big windows, and the house does have a bit of a backyard (which is a great find for a house in the city).  It's also within walking distance to a playground, a park (Highland Park for you Rochester natives), a school, a library and many assorted shops, cafes and restaurants.  We honestly hadn't even looked in this particular neighborhood because most of the houses are out of our budget.  This one isn't because it's currently being rented (but not by crazy tenants!  They already have another house to move into and all their stuff was in boxes.  They were really quite nice and didn't seem to mind that we were interested in buying the house).  But I guess the owner doesn't want to spend any extra time and money on upgrading anything and wants a quick sale.  Enter The Georges, ever willing and ready to snap up a good deal!

It's always interesting to go to a house and compare it to the pictures in the listing.  Most of the times you are a bit disappointed, but sometimes what you see in real life is downright hilarious.  We had a bit of both, but we were also pleasantly surprised.

These are pictures from the listing of the living and dining areas:

I noticed right away that it had radiators, which isn't uncommon with a house of this age.  I was worried about it at first, but we did some research and found that they don't get that hot (I actually touched one WITH MY BARE HANDS and survived).  We also read that they are a very efficient and energy-saving heating method, and I have friends that grew up with radiant heat and they all turned out pretty normal. So I think we'll be okay.  I think we might even put some cute covers on them, or turn some of them into window seats or benches.

This is the listing picture of the kitchen:

And one that we took. I love that the kitchen has a tin ceiling...but I'm all geeky about interior design so feel free to ignore me completely:


The bathrooms are definitely quirky.  The downstairs bathroom has those teeny tiny mosaic tiles on the floors, and I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of it.  It was TINY.  The upstairs bathroom was even funkier.  

Here's the picture we took:

And from the listing:


Yep, that's a claw foot tub and a freestanding shower.  Good times!  I guess we'll see how annoying this setup actually is once we move in.  If it is, there's always the fugly bathroom downstairs that we can use.  In any case, this sure is a conversation piece!  Other than that, I actually really like this bathroom with it's big window and corner was cute!

The bedrooms are great - plenty big for us and two of them are even connected with a walk-through door (which I think will come in very handy for middle-of-the-night visits by Inara).  Here's a couple pictures of the rooms (the tenants were packing up so they had their clothes and boxes out). You can see the big closet and also the gorgeous trim around the window (which we are of course going to get checked for lead):


Okay, this is my personal favorite part - the attic.  It's not much to look at now...but I think it will be in time.  I have this unnatural obsession with converted attics and I think I would have bought this house just for this beautiful space:


I forgot to tell you about the foyer. Incidentally, how do YOU say "foyer"?  Most Canadians say: "foy-yay" (like how you'd say it in French) and I think it always surprises me to hear it said: "foy-yer".  I wonder if it's an American thing.  Anyway, the foyer is surprisingly large for a house of this size.  It has two big windows and a refrigerator in it.  I'm not even kidding you (sorry about the bad picture, I was clearly having a moment of spazz):

I have no idea why it was there, and I'm hoping it's not still there when we move in.  Maybe they put it there to illustrate the sheer disproportionate hugeness of the foy-yay? At least they tried to make it blend into the surroundings by growing a plant of some sort on top of it.  Or not.

And that's it!  That's our house!!  There's definitely work to be done and I'm kind of stressing about the inspection next week...but that's it.  We close in early April and hope to move in soon thereafter, depending on how much work we want or need to do before we move all of our junk in.  And I already love it and just can't wait to call it our home.

Thanks for putting up with me, peeps.  You rock.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wanna Know What We Did This Weekend?

Nothing much, really.  Other than taking a road trip to another state and almost ruining a surprise for a dear friend at her going away party, there was the very small matter of us BUYING A HOUSE!!!!!!

Heh heh heh - you totally didn't see that one coming, did ya?  Well it's true...we did!  It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision but it somehow feels like it's taken forever to happen at the same time.  Does that make any sense at all?  I hope it does!

I really think that buying your first house is a lot like having a baby.  There's the nervous time where you're not sure if it's actually going to happen, the waiting around expectantly, and then the moment you will never forget as long as you live - The Moment Your Offer Is Accepted - which is a lot like giving birth (It's a boy!  It's a girl!  It's a colonial!  It's a foursquare! Oh my frog, it's OURS!).

Of course when it finally does happen you are sort of shellshocked and delirious and manic and scared out of your wits all at the same time because what the heck are you supposed to do with this HOUSE?  You're not ready for the responsibility!  And it's not like you can give it back if you don't like it!  How will you know what it needs? What if it doesn't like you and it leaks all the time?  Or cracks its foundation just to spite you?  Do you need to take a course in positive house parenting?  Gentle garage discipline?  Attachment attic renovation?  Ack!

Oh, and don't even get me started on how annoying first-time home buyers are, not unlike like their first-time parent counterparts (believe me, I've been both - so I now speak from experience).  We both talk incessantly about our new additions: "Funny weather we're having today, right?  Speaking of the you want to talk about my NEW HOUSE?".  Or, we take an insane number of pictures and walk around going: "oooh, come take a look at my pretty little housie!  Isn't it just the CUTEST thing EVER?!?"  Don't be surprised if a first-time home buyer has replaced all the family pictures in their wallet with pictures of their new house. Or worse yet, pictures of their kids standing RIGHT IN FRONT of said house.  I'm telling you, we're all just nuts.  It's best you avoid us completely, and don't make direct eye contact.

So, I could go on ad nauseam about how excited we are, how we can't wait to make this our home, how big the square footage is, what style, the year it was built, it's features, how much we love the neighborhood and how we're looking forward to all the fun things we can do there - but that would be boring.  Surely nobody cares about all that, or about all the pictures we took.  Nah, just forget it.

Okay, I totally lied.


The End (for now).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Further Proof That I Am About As Mature As A Twelve Year-Old Boy

As if you needed more proof.  But even better, this is going to prove to you that I'm not the only one.

It all started during the Super Bowl, when this Volkswagen commercial came on:

Which was all fine and dandy - except that IT WAS WRONG.  This is totally NOT how you are supposed to play the Punchbuggy game, and everyone knows it.  I don't know what VW was even thinking when they slapped that poor excuse of an ad together.  Pfffffft.

My 12 year-old boy alter-ego soon decided to protest.  Something HAD to be done about this.  Lucky for me, I have friends that share my world view (and my resistance to maturing).  Enter Matt, creator of The Proper Rules to The Punchbuggy Game.  Not only did he perfect the system, but he even took pictures of Slugbugs in and around the greater Seattle area to illustrate.  I have to say, his captions are by far the best part:

 This is your average 1 point Beetle. Such color!

 Notice the fancy custom paint job and blue wheels? It's still only three points.

Fantastic!  Matt, you rock (which you already knew) - thanks for indulging me and my VW Bug obsession.  I absolutely love that you can play this game with your kids (because everyone knows it's good family fun to teach your kid to whop you when you least expect it), and Matt was kind enough to include "kid-friendly" rules such as:
"New Beetle convertibles are worth two points. Only the convertibles are worth two points. I can’t stress this enough. If you play with children they will argue the merits of purple flames on a slugbug and how that should be worth an extra point, but it’s not."
Matt is also Dad to the very lovely and insanely-smart Isabel, who I'm sure has tested out his rules enough times now for him to completely perfect them.  I can almost hear her debating weather or not spoilers and racing stripes count for extra points (which they DO NOT, thankyouverymuch).  Sorry, kiddo.

I can't wait to play this new (and CORRECT) version of the Punchbuggy game with my family.  Poor kids aren't going to know what hit 'em. Snicker snicker snicker...No Punchbacks!

You can check out Matt's Punchbuggy website in all it's glory here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How To Teach Your Kids To Hate The Olympics:

- Get stoked about the fact that the Olympics are going to be held in the land of your birth, the True North Strong And know, Canada.  Land of the beaver, home of the Sutherlands.

- Explain (patiently.  And in small words) to the littles that even though we don't live in Canada we are still Canadian.  As such, it is our patriotic duty to show some Canadian pride during the Olympics.  Resist the temptation to break out into a stirring rendition of your national anthem because you know it will probably just freak the kids out.  But you can break out some maple syrup to get them all fired up.

- Set the scene for the cutest We-Love-The-Olympics photo shoot ever by dressing two unwieldy children in matching, freakishly adorable Canadian shirts.  Realize you don't have matching pants because someone puked on theirs.  Improvise.

- Check the clock as the baby starts to whine - crud, it's already naptime!  Clearly the set-up took longer than expected.  Still, a couple of clicks is all it will take to document how much FUN we are having.  Right?  Right? WRONG.

- Set up the models.  You will note that any plans I had to make the background look classy and clutter-free rapidly went out the window. Oh well.  Potentially cute picture as they size each other up:

- And here's where the fun begins.  Nissa begins to do her high-pitched squeal of tired delirium.  It's rough translation into English is this: "Myyyyy Maaaamaaa is sooooo MEEEAAAANNNN!  I jusssst waaaantttt tooooo SLLEEEEEEP!  Someone pleeease puuuuut meeee ouuuuuut offff my MISSSSERRRY!"  Note the distress on Inara's face.  Hey - at least she cares (unlike mean mommy):


- Realize that maybe there is a chance that one of your kids will become an Olympic athlete.  But only if Window-Shattering Screaming ever becomes an official sport.  It's a toss-up as to whether or not frantic gesticulating gets you extra points (and as you take this picture you realize with a sinking heart that the baby's pretty shirt sleeve is in fact covered in lunch remnants. Where's the darned stain-remover pen when you need it most?!?):


- With the speed and grace of a finely-tuned figure skater (or maybe it's just survival instinct kicking in), witness as your firstborn sacrifices her right eardrum for her country as she tries to plug the baby up:


- Heave a sigh of relief (like Inara's doing in this next picture).  It's kinda like the torch malfunction...not a perfect situation, but still salvageable, right? Right?


- WRONG!!!  You've got to hand it to Nissa, whose steely determination to belt out the big one knows no bounds:

- Decide to finally call it a day when your understandably distraught daughter exclaims: "I just want to STOP!  I DON'T LIKE the Olympics!  And I DO NOT LIKE CANADA!  I don't WANT to be a Canadian ANYMORE!!!"

Above:  The very picture of patriotism.

Go Team Canada, eh?

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Melting Of The Ice Queen

I'm not really that into Valentine's Day.  At least not the supermarket hooplah of chocolates and flowers and pink frilly things.  I think I enjoy the general sentiment of the day, but what makes me feel so ambivalent about it all is seeing Valentine's Day merchandise out in the stores THE DAY AFTER Christmas.  It drives me bonkers.

Inara doesn't see it that way.  For her, Valentine's Day is like the most amazingest thing ever.  Take one day, add some chocolate, a dash of stuffed animals, a pinch of candy, cover liberally with sprinkles and glitter and wrap it all up in a huge pink bow and my girlie girl is in pure heaven (much to my chagrin).

About a week before V-Day, Inara was all over me to make some Valentines.  She told me she wanted to make "great BIG hearts with our names on them!"  Sigh.  I honestly didn't want to get into starting a Valentine's Day tradition because I feel like the holiday can be materialistic and overrated, and I worry that when she gets to school the whole thing just becomes one huge popularity contest - so I didn't want it to have any importance here at home.  But how can you argue with a 3 year-old?  Correction:  How can anyone argue with MY three year-old? 

I was able to put it off until the actual day.  But on Valentine's Day morning she bounded into our room - her hair it's usual morning bird's nest, her eyes wide with anticipation: "Mama!  Daddy!  Is it VALENTINE'S DAY YET?!?"  I have no idea how she knew, it's not like the kid can read a calendar, or even tell time for that matter.  Somehow, SHE JUST KNEW (shudder).

"Yes, Inara.  It's Valentine's Day." I replied.
"Well, what are we going to DO?"
"I dunno.  Have breakfast?"
"Ugh. We can't JUST have breakfast!  We have to do THINGS.  Valentine's Day things!"

And so it continued.  Before and after breakfast and beyond.  Around every corner, there she was - waiting to pounce on me with her hopeful pleading to "pleasepleaseplease make some Valentines with me, Mama!"

I finally gave up.  It just wasn't worth the effort anymore.

Here's how all it went down:

Me:  Okay, Inara.  Let's make some Valentines.  But just so you know, this does NOT mean that we are celebrating Valentine's Day.
Inara:  Sure we are, Mama!  We're celebrating RIGHT NOW.  What does "celebrating" mean?
Me:  "Celebrating" is when you keep asking me to make Valentines, and eventually I do what you ask.
Inara:  I LOVE celebrating!  Okay.  This is what we're gonna do first.
Me:  You mean there's more than one part?
Inara:  (Exasperated) Mama!  Can you make some Great Big Hearts?
Me:  Yes.  I can do that.
snip, snip...cutting out some heart shapes...
Me:  All done.  Happy Valentine's Day.
Inara:  No wait!  We're not done YET!  We have to put our names on them!
Me:  Really?  Can't we just pick which one we like the best?  Or vote, maybe?  I like voting.  I could teach you about democracy.  Wanna learn about politics?
Inara:  We should cut out the letters and stick them on.
Me: about just writing our names on with markers?
Inara:  How about you cut some letters?
Me:  Fine.
more cutting...lots of grumbling...
Inara (as she's sticking the letters onto the hearts):  Oh, Mama.  These are so beautiful!  You are a great cutter!
Me:  Really?  That's sweet of you to say, hon.
Inara:   Now do you know what we have to do?
Me:  No. Why don't you tell me?
Inara:  Okay. Now we have to write a poem on the back of the hearts.
Me:  WHAT?  A Poem?  Are you sure?
Inara: Yes.  A Poem.
Me:  Inara, do you know that a poem means lots of words?  You know, words that need to rhyme and....stuff?  Poems, huh?  (Sighing) Fine...we'll do poems.  Maybe we can learn about rhyming words.
Inara:  You go first, mama.
Me: want ME to go first?
Inara:  Yes.  You can make a poem on my heart.
Me:  (Thinking) Okay.  How about: "I love Inara because...."
Inara: Because I make you laugh!  Write that, Mama!
Me: All right. (Writing) Now what rhymes with laugh...shmaff, baff, staff....
Inara:  Nope.  That's it.
Me:  What's it?  That's the end of the poem?  "I love Inara because she makes me laugh?"
Inara:  That's a GREAT poem, Mama!  You are a good poemer, too!
Me:  Hmmm.  I guess I am.
Inara:  Now let's do the rest!  I'll tell you what to write.

And this is what my sweet girl came up with, all on her own.  Somehow, amidst all the commercialism and all the displays of cards and stuffed critters and boxes of chocolate bonbons, my little girl decided to turn Valentine's Day into a celebration of the people she loved the most. All by herself.


Here's the one I did for her:

And the ones she told me to write for Yousuf and Nissa:


And this one is my most favorite one of all.  She thought about this all on her own:

Sniffle. I flipping love Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nine Months of Nissa

Someone forgot to inform my baby that she is not allowed to grow up.  She is not allowed to lose the pudge in her cheeks that defy gravity, or the the gap between her front teeth that can currently house a Mack Truck (sorry kiddo, you got that from me - but you rock it WAY better than I ever did), and she is definitely not allowed to lose the little tuft of hair at the top of her head that refuses to ever lay flat.  Not allowed. 

I want to remember it all so badly.  I want to remember the gurgling laughter that gives her the hiccups, the way she can only crawl backwards, or how she still can't sit up for very long because she has to see what's going on around her in all 360 degrees simultaneously. 

But I think I'm already forgetting.  After two children and almost four years of night wakings, my brain has turned into an applesauce-like consistency of mush.  I can feel it sloshing around up there, feebly trying to hold onto her last remnants of infanthood as I stand by and watch it all unfold around us.  Like an enraptured audience member at the greatest show in the universe, I witness her change and grow - and I just want to hold on to the baby smells and dreamy murmurs and everything else that she is in this very moment.  Just for a little while longer.

I don't know why mothers aren't allowed the luxury of living in the moment.  Why do we always have to look forward or backward with excitement or anxiety or guilt or regret or sadness or the sense that time is running away with everything that we love the most?  Slow down, time - just wait for me to catch up because I'm not ready for you to change this tiny little ball of baby into whatever comes next.

Still, there are some things that haven't changed - even from the very beginning.  The way she lights up when her big sister enters the room.  The way she reaches out for her blankie and mooshes her face into it like she's making out with her long-lost baby lovey.  The way she loves her daddy.  The way she needs her mama.  The way she needs to hold somebody's hand to fall asleep, or kick my head at least once during the night to warn me that she's about to wake up (she's very considerate that way). 

I feel like motherhood the second time around has changed me, it's made me worry less and laugh more, but it's also made me feel a bit more wistful.  Because I know how brief and lovely this time is - like a memory that I've already begun to forget.  And I'm not ready to forget.  Not quite yet.

Happy nine month birthday, my sweetest littlest love.  Please don't ever change.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Post Is Full Of Poop

As I type this, Inara is sitting on the toilet talking to her poop.  Yes, talking.  Why she feels the need to encourage her bowel movements by cheering them on is beyond me.  This is what I'm hearing at this very moment:

Inara: POOOP!  Come on OUT!  POOOOOP!
Me:  Inara...did  you make a poopie?
Inara: (Sighing)  No, Mama.  That's not what I'm saying.
Me:  Well, what are you saying?
Inara:  I'm trying to poop.  That's what I'm saying.  I'm trying to get it out (like duh, mama!).  POOP!  POOOOOP!  COME! ON! OUT!!!
Long Pause...
Me: Inara?  Are you okay, sweetie?
Inara: POOPING! 

I don't know whether to laugh (thereby incurring the Wrath Of Inara), or help her out by talking to her bum. Clearly it needs some encouragement. 

What is it with three-year-olds and their obsession with poop, anyway?  Inara is always discussing poop.  Her poop (it's hard work, mama!), my poop (you can do it, mama!), Nissa's (stiiink-y - Issie your poop is SOOOO smelly!  Oh look!  It's on your clothes!  Oh look!  It's on your hands!  Oh look!  It's on Mama's shirt!  Oh look! Mama is FLIPPING OUT!).

And it doesn't stop inside the house - oh, no.  We have to talk about it (loudly!) in public too.  Especially in public restrooms.  Just the thought of taking Inara into a public toilet gives me the shudders because you never know what she's going to say.  For instance, if you take her into a restroom and there is some poor unsuspecting soul doing their business next door, she will fully engage them in conversation: "Mama!  Who's that over there? I can see her UNDERPANTS.  Is she trying to make a poopie?  Is it going to smell?  Is she working HARD?  Hi there (waving and leaning over while trying to crane her head underneath the stall)!  You can do it!  You have to believe in yourself!  If you believe in yourself, you can do ANYTHING!"  which is usually followed by the poor person abruptly flushing and running away (they probably haven't even finished their business, thanks to my lovely girl).

Yesterday we were out shopping and of course Inara had to go - so I tried in vain to look for a more private facility, but of course it was occupied.  So off we trudged back to the front of the store.  Surprisingly, Inara didn't even talk as she got down to business, and I thought we had gotten off scot-free so I was all smiles as I bent down to help her wipe.  I remember saying to her, "Inara, can you please lean forward a little?"  and then she said: "Like this, Mama?  And don't forget to tell me to spread my legs WIDE, just like my Daddy always tells me to do!"

Oh. My. Cow.  I nearly died.  There was an ENORMOUS guffaw from the stalls surrounding us, and I just sort of stood there with my head in my hands.

What am I going to do with this kid?

"Was that funny, mama?  Why are those people laughing?  Why are they laughing with their underpants on the floor?  Is that what's funny? Mama?  Mama? MAAAAAMAAAA!"

I don't think I can ever go back to that store again.

What kind of a crazy person takes pictures of their kid on the potty?!?  And I wonder where she gets it from.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Time To Put This House Out To Pasture...

Let's review, shall we (don't worry, there will not be a test on this next week.  In fact, I hope to never talk about this again.  You'll see why)?

Chapter 1: We found a house in the perfect neighborhood but the crazy tenant wouldn't let us in to see it.
Chapter 2: We finally got in to see the house, fell in love with it, and made an offer the same evening.
Chapter 3: We waited for the longest 24 hours OF MY LIFE only to hear that the seller's counter offer was higher than the list price.  I still can't get over that bit of insanity.

Which brings us to this.  Our agent talked to the seller's agent of The House yesterday for some time.  During that hour-long conversation it was revealed that:
a) The sellers are going to take the house of the market for a little while because they can't sell it in it's current condition (shocker!).
b) The roof of the house needs replacing and they are going to fix it before putting it back on the market (hooray and huzzah that they finally understand how the selling process is supposed to work!  It's not up to the BUYER to pay EXTRA to fix a bad roof - it's up to YOU, Crazy Owner!).
c) When asked by our agent how fast it could be done because we were still interested in the house, the Crazy Agent said not for another two months at the very least, because:
d) They can't get any work done on the house while the tenant is still living there because:
e) SHE IS INSANE (see next point for details).
f) The day that we saw the house and put the offer in was the first and last time she ever let anyone come inside.
g) SHE HAS SINCE BEEN SENDING DEATH THREATS to the owners and their agent, because she is refusing to leave.  Holy mother of farts!

And that's as far as we got before my eyes bugged out of my head and fell to the floor with a resounding thud, and my jaw hit my shoes from dropping so hard and fast.  Can you even imagine?!?  She honestly didn't seem that certifiable to me...but then again I can't say that she's dealing with the very best owners in the world (hello - broken roof!).  The seller's agent said that with the way things have degenerated, they think she is harboring so much anger that they worry that she may either leave the house in terrible condition or COME BACK TO HARASS the new owners.  He actually said that.  Gulp!  So they want to give her enough time to leave, be able to clean up after her mess, and make sure she's not coming back before they re-list.

So, I no longer think this is the Crazy Tenant House, or the Crazy Owner House or even the Crazy Agent House.  I think the whole thing is One Big Fat Hot Mess With Running Mascara and Smeared Lipstick and that maybe we shouldn't touch it with a ten-bazillion-foot pole.  Which truly sucks because it really was a great house (it had a big yard with a beautiful old tree in the the city, no less!) and it was in a perfect location (opposite a playground, people!).  I swear I could have seen us living there for a long time - I would have loved and cared for that house and given it deep tissue massages after wooing it with a finely cooked meal if it would have just given me the chance.  Pooh.

But a huge part of me is grateful that we didn't get involved with this.  I am hoping that by the time the house is re-listed we will have found our home, or that it's new price will be way out of our budget...either one of those scenarios will make me feel a lot better about letting this one get away.  It just sucks and I wish it hadn't turned out this way.  Crazy people make me crazy.  Oh and the death threats don't help matters either.  Can't we all learn to live and JUST SELL US THIS FLIPPING HOUSE?!?!?

Remember the house with the triangle-shaped bathroom?


Or hey, how about a house with a FIREPLACE in the middle of the kitchen (it's quaint!  Or something.)?

Or best yet - a house with NO SHOWER IN THE BATHROOM (we can take baths forever, right?):

Yeah well, laugh all you want - but those are looking better and better compared to Hot Mess House - now, aren't they?

House hunting blows chunks.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl Party - George Family Style

It's the day after the superbowl...what else did you think I was going to talk about?

If Yousuf was writing this post he would definitely say:

Super Bowl XLIV.  During which my wife changed team allegiances about 15 times during the game, and eventually got over her irrational love of Peyton Manning when she dissolved into a puddle of tears as she saw Drew Brees holding his baby boy.  Ultimately, she decided that it wasn't so bad rooting for the Saints when I told her that anyone who doesn't like New Orleans is a Bad Human Being.  Oh, and the halftime show was meh.

So I have some issues with the above characterizations.  Okay, just one major issue.  How could you NOT love this?


I'm not even kidding, that picture made we want to have 15 babies until I realized that Yousuf will probably never win the Super Bowl.  So flipping cute!

The Super Bowl is a big deal at our house.  Yousuf is in it for the game (of course) and while I like to toot my own horn and talk like I know what's going on, I'm usually just in it for the bad food and commercials (I loved the Google and VW Punchbuggy ones - and laughed out loud at Brett Farve and Alec Baldwin in case you were wondering).

This year was no exception - we let Inara choose the food for dinner because it's more fun that way, and as she was thinking, I whispered to Yousuf: "How much do you want to bet she's going to want W-A-F-F-L-E-S (spelling it out)?"  Well, I think Inara's satellite uplink hyperdrive upgraded to version 2.0 without telling us because she apparently now knows what those letters spell.  We are going to be in BIG trouble with this kid - she's already outsmarting us and she's only three!

So this was our very healthy dinner (Yousuf makes waffles partly from scratch and they are fantasticly yummy - and sort of healthy with ground walnuts and also flax meal thrown in), and of course Inara asked to have chocolate chips and whipped cream with them, so we thought about it for a second and said yes:


And then we had the Super Bowl Opening awesomeness of Jay-Z/Rihanna/ES Posthumus which seriously, was better than the half-time show in my opinion. The coolest part was when Inara heard the music and said: "Where's Ree-haana, Mama?  I don't see her!"  Because my kid is a ROCKSTAR.  And she further proved her rockstar status by belting out the national anthem with Carrie Underwood:


And well, the evening just degenerated from there.  All throughout the first quarter Inara decided that she had to attempt Outrageous Feats Of Bravery right along with the players:


This was very distracting to say the least - and made poor Nissa spray peas all over herself when she kept laughing at her insane older sister. We barely got any dinner into the poor kid:

At this point Yousuf and I admitted defeat and thought we'd better put the girls to bed - so we missed the whole second quarter (and I think that's when the much talked-about Letterman ad was on.  Hooray for YouTube!).

We made it back down for the half-time show (I liked the opening better.  But I won't rag on those of you WHO actually enjoyed it), and then settled in to watch the rest of the show ("GAME" says Yousuf.  Whatever).  Honestly, I was so wiped from the whole evening that I kept thinking that I wasn't going to make it to the end.  Such hard core partiers are we!
Above:  This isn't my house - or even my feet for that matter.  I was so tired that I forgot to take enough pictures to finish this post.  Luckily my good friend-with-adorable-feet, Janica, offered to help me out.  Clearly we were both having legendary Super Bowl parties.  In our jammies. It's what ALL the cool kids are doing.

I'm really hoping that this is what Super Bowl Sunday looks like for those of you who watch the game with your kids - otherwise it will just confirm my suspicion that The Georges are too weird for the real world.  Which is probably true, but one can always hold out hope for some degree of normalcy, can't they? 

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints...what a great game, indeed. You wanna talk about parties - just imagine the one they're having right now down in the Big Easy!  Just the very thought of it is, when did I get so old?
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