Wednesday, November 11, 2015

update #12: satisfying progress

We are finally (FINALLY) at the portion of the program where the progress is something that I care about.  Not that I didn't care about progress before but things like new plumbing don't exactly make me giddy.  I couldn't fall asleep last night (even though I'm sickly AGAIN) because I really wanted to see the progress from yesterday.  Freakin' time change.  The guys were working late and I don't really want to drop by at night.  Them having a heart attack doesn't get me in the house any sooner.

So we're looking at the end of the month.  I'm disappointed we won't be in by Thanksgiving but we'll work it out and will be thankful regardless.  I've been told by multiple people that they feel like they're going through this with us.  I take that to mean that they crammed their family in an apartment (and various other places) for nearly a year in solidarity.  No? Ok, fine.  What it really means is they want pics.  Here you go.  Obviously a lot of small things to go (and a few big ones).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

update #11: recovered from the crazy

It seems that right when things are getting really bad and crazy and you want to scream "I can't do this!" that's when they turn around.  Kind of like childbirth.

So things are better.  I feel like we may actually live in our house again...something I was doubting before.  I started treating the contractors like I treat folks at work--I badger until I get a response (in a relatively nice way, of course).  It has actually resulted in--gasp--responses.  And I told them that I was going with the more generous part of the date range they gave me during our last big meeting.  So November 13th it is.  Please ignore that that's a Friday the 13th.  We're basing furniture delivery and leaving the apartment on that date so they have to stick with it.  Or else we'll be camping in the backyard, I guess.

We've had a lot of progress in the last few weeks.  We have all the walls textured and several rooms painted.  All new doors and trim--all painted.  Bathroom vanity bases in.  About half the kitchen cabinets in.  A new back patio (as the fire damaged the concrete--crazy).  We picked out all the flooring and tile.  Ordered odds and ends, which is an ongoing thing around here.  So it's coming along.  Finally. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

update #10: the one with the crazy

I feel like making it 8 months out of the house before losing my mind was a pretty good run.  We're about a month past that and probably have almost two more to go before we're back in.  I'm honestly thinking of starting a GoFundMe campaign for my mental health care costs.  I try to go to sleep at night but just get angry and think of how I'd go on a tirade Julia Sugarbaker-style.  (Instead of, you know, slightly misplaced anger at strangers in a parking lot.)

Also?  I waffle.  I try to calm down and think that none of this is a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  So many people are going through much worse.  At least I live in a safe place.  I don't feel the need to flee my country to bring safety to my children.  We have food and jobs and our general health.  But then I think that if I don't get mad we will literally never move back home.  NEVER.  And I want to scream. 

So here's where we are.  We have walls and ceilings.  Allegedly they'll be textured starting tomorrow.  We met with the contractors a week ago and really tried to pin them down on costs and timelines.  I was feeling better then but I'm clearly already over that.  I get that we're taking this opportunity to make some changes that we would have had to pay for had the fire not happened. We figure now's the time to do it.  In the long run, it makes more sense to do it now than spend more money ripping out new material down the road.  But.  It also feels like I'm the only one concerned about the budget.  I'm not willing to pay an endless amount in upgrades.  I'm not willing to pay jacked up prices for materials.  So that leaves me with basically a part-time job as a sub-contractor who researches materials, bargain hunts, negotiates.  You know, on top of my full-time job.  And the tiny task of raising two small kids. 

But where does that leave me?  I have no problem with the quality of work thus far (which is good since we'll be living in this house a long time).  It's the timelines and budget.  And the fact that we're out of housing money about halfway through next month.  Which, again, we're fortunate enough to be able to pay mortgage for a house we're not living in AND outrageous apartment rent but it's the principle of the thing.  Can I fire these folks?  Um, not if I don't want to avoid a ton of additional delays.  I'm super tempted to just say, "We gave our notice at the apartment for this date based on our meeting with you last Friday.  That means we will be moving in on X.  You better be done by then."  Sigh.  I don't know, people.  I'm probably going to flip out on someone today.  You've been warned.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

great girl

I saw this comic strip one time where a dog was complaining that he or she was always good, never great.  I don't know why "good girl" flows so much better than "great girl" but it does so that's what you tell them.  This morning, though, I told her she was a great girl.  And she was.

We got Maggie about 6 months after we got married.  We knew we wanted a rescue, and I really wanted a Boxer.  I don't know what it was about her little ad that I liked over the others. 

I am so sweet and I just roll with the flow where ever I go. Everyone who meets me says that I am just the sweetest little girl! You see, I was lost...and I got picked up by the county animal control. They put me in a large cage with lots of other dogs...but, that did not bother me...I just waited there because I knew that someone would come and see how sweet I am and get me out. Sure enough, one day a nice lady showed up and got me out of there. She put me in her car and I had a lovely ride to the vet. I am all healthy and now they are feeding me so that I can gain a little weight. However, I must admit that I am on the small side at about 45 pounds.

And then they posted these pictures of this totally emaciated Boxer girl. 

We had to drive way north of town to meet her at her temporary foster location.  They hadn't even had her long enough for a real foster placement.  She was so skinny and seemed kind of scared and timid.  She could walk well on the leash.  I don't know what it was about her but we took her.  It turned out she was crate trained as well.  More than likely she was used for breeding and then who knows.  But I think she had a rough life on the street because she was always uncertain of other dogs.  Never people, though.  She loved them.  (Selfies from this morning.)

They were calling her Flo but I decided on Maggie.  Maggie Waggie.  Maggie C Boxer.  Maggie-roni.  Maggie Mae.  You apparently can't be a small mammal in this house and get away without many, many nicknames.  We fattened her up (appropriately) and she went on lots of walks.  She looked great.  So much healthier, all muscle.  Our vet guessed she was probably 2-3 years old.  Looking back, I'm betting that they underestimated her age because of her small size.  Our current vet was thinking she's probably older than 8.  That oddly makes me feel a little better. 

Anyway, she was the best dog.  It seemed like she was so well-behaved to begin with but we did teach her a few things.  We never had any trouble with her.  She was calm for a Boxer.  You could leave her in the front yard with no fence and she'd never wander off.  She was super well-mannered and maybe would get a little overbearing with visitors because she wanted ALL THE LOVE

She was with us through a ton of changes.  Unemployment, a new baby, selling a house, buying a house, another new baby, several job changes, three new cars, the infamous house fire and the crazy living situations that followed.  She was a trooper.  We never had to worry about her being a disruption anywhere we stayed.  I mean, seriously?  How many dogs can live in a hotel for a month and you'd probably never even know she was there besides the jingle of her collar...  She occasionally got into trouble because she was a dog afterall--the deer incident.  Um, and the more recent skunk encounter.

Maggie loved people but she loved my husband the most.  By far.  She enjoyed being outside when the weather was nice.  She loved walks and jogs.  She'd even tolerate crazy outfits to protect her against the weather.  She loved being loved on.  She didn't really play with toys, just people.  But she loved Daisy and Tessa, her auntie dogs.  And she loved photobombing.  She was very skeptical when we brought home baby #1 but as they've grown up, they grew on her. 


We put her down this morning.  It was the worst decision to have to make but it was all very quick and peaceful.  My husband asked if we could do it outside, which I think was a great idea.  The vet said he agreed that it was time and that we had already tried more than a lot of people would.  He thinks she probably had cancer in her brain and possibly elsewhere.  The other options didn't seem to be very good considering her age and size.  And I just don't think she would have been happy if she couldn't follow us around wherever we went.

We all loved her very much.  She was my coworker for 5 1/2 years.  I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the workdays.  And I'm not sure how my husband will get over losing his best friend.  You were a truly great dog, my dear.  We will miss you terribly.

Friday, July 31, 2015

3 years! (the boy edition)

Hey, Buddy!  You're 3!  I can't believe my baby is three.  Sigh.  These days you go by a lot of different names other than your own--Buddy, Buddy Bear, Buns, Jojo, Joj. I think Jojo came from the Power Puff girls' Mojo Jojo.  I'd change it to [your name] Jojo.  And then dropped your name altogether.  Daddy calls you Super Son sometimes. 

So, Jojo, what are you like these days?  Mostly awesome with a little bit of the whole "threenager" thing sprinkled in.  Oh my, speaking of sprinkles I guess I should start with a story from when we went on vacation in the Hill Country a few weeks ago.  You met your first love.  It was so funny; as soon as we got to the campground, we went to the pool.  You quickly found an age-appropriate little girl to woo.  After we changed, we went to the playground.  There you flirted with 3 sisters.  The oldest one (who turned 14 while we were there) is the person you say you're going to marry.  She was very sweet to you and your sister.  She was pale, thin, had the red-haired gene (so I couldn't be too mad at you for loving another) and had freckles.  You asked me where the girl with the dots was.  I knew you meant freckles and told you that was what they were called.  You called them various things--spreckles, sprinkles, and more recently you've taken to frinkles.  So to say you're charming is an understatement. 

What else?  You're still strawberry blonde.  We've stopped letting you have crazy long hair, and that makes you look so much more grown up.  You're still a skinny minny and I think a little short for your age.  We don't have your 3-year appointment until about a week from now so we'll see then.  You wear mostly 2T clothes still but can do 3 in some things.  The one thing that feels above average is your feet.  We got new shoes this week and you went from a 7.5 to a 9.  Huge.  It's the toes.

You are still very cuddly and request cuddles at times. If I'm sitting on the floor you'll come and plop down in my lap.  You're mostly happy but are quick to anger.  And again, quick to recover most times.  Except, you know, when you pitch fits--you can show some stamina then.  Your old teacher calls you Smiley [your name], which suits you.  You seem to love all of us, Mommy and Daddy equally (although when I have to go out of town, you prefer me when I return).  You and your sister get along and generally play well together.  You'll help each other out.  I'm so glad you're a pretty easygoing kid since we've been in close quarters for slightly more than half of your last year due to the Christmas fire.

You love to be busy; you're a pretty active guy.  You enjoy water, being outside, going on walks, playing with Duplos or Lincoln logs, doing puzzles, reading stories, dinosaurs, super heroes, all things transportation, going to HMNS.  You love Tumblebus at school and have taken more swimming lessons this summer.  You had your first karate class (with your sister) yesterday and did well.  I'm glad we'll be able to do one class for the both of you.  You ride your tricycle and I think have tried out the bike a few times.  Daddy got you a scooter today so we'll see if you can get the hang of that.  You do like the iPad and movies but we try to limit those.  We took you to see your first movie in the theater this summer--Home.  And we saw the Minions movie last week.  You did great.  We also took you to see The Music Man at the real theatre since Shapoopi is one of your favorite songs. 

You enjoy school.  You've had quite a few changes there this year but are doing well.  You'll move up into the 3-year-old class in about a month.  I'm looking forward to the changes that that will hold--you'll be even smarter!  No, you're really doing great.  You're so verbal and know so much already.  You tell me your best friend is Tyler.

For your 2-year post I said, "You're a pretty good eater. You like a lot of sweets--gummies, chocolate, etc. but you're less of a fan of ice cream. And, like Mommy, you prefer the cake to the icing. You eat a lot of meat and like pre-packaged fruit cups, bananas, raisins, breakfast bars, cereal, pancakes. You're not a big vegetable fan and really don't eat many fruits that don't come in cups."  You are pretty much still like this.  You love mac and cheese but don't want anything to do with potatoes of any kind.  I still don't understand that.  And you dislike whipped cream.  Wha?!  You do love Gatorade and want to drink my sweet tea when I have it. 

You are totally potty trained.  Woohoo!  I swear, as our house was burning one of the things I thought was "well, now he'll never be potty trained." I knew we'd have so much disruption for awhile.  But your school encouraged you even before I thought you were ready.  You had tons of accidents and then got the hang of it.  Unlike your sister, though, you had some regressions and we had to get you back on track a few times.  But yea!  No diapers!  Even at night.  So great.

Since you and your sister have had to share a room, you're mostly good at going to bed.  The getting ready for bed is sometimes a pain but sometimes it's a race!  And that's fun (unless you're the loser).  You don't mind brushing your teeth anymore.  Once we've read stories and talked of your day, Daddy and I leave.  You and your sister then jibber jabber.  Sometimes for minutes, sometimes for an hour.  Sigh.  But I guess it's better than fighting.  You usually sleep all night (but, oddly, had a bad night last night).  And when y'all wake up, you come in our room and say, "It's the babies!" and climb into bed with us for awhile.  I get to cuddle y'all, and I love it.  I'm very much looking forward to moving back home and into a king bed.

Well, Buns, another year.  Hopefully the next one will be less dramatic in regards to our living situation.  I'm so, so happy to be your Mom (which you call me now--sob).  You're my favorite boy, and I couldn't love you more.