Sunday, March 29, 2009
"Why Heather!" I hear you exclaim. "Didn't you go to bed hours ago, as soon as The Amazing Race ended, as per usual?"
Well, yes, I did plan to go to bed after watching one of my two favorite teams get Philiminated. I was in my jammies, in the bathroom, brushing my teeth and I heard Kiddo's door open.
Oh heck, thought I, PLEASE tell me she hasn't thrown up again.
Nope. Not barf.
"Mommy, my feet and ankles are SO itchy that I can't sleep and I can't stop scratching them!" says my poor, beleaguered child.
Indeed. I turned on the light in the hallway and I could instantly see the problem quite clearly.
LOTS of hives.
EVERYWHERE from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.
Angry, red, worsening-by-the-second hives.
I immediately dove into the very-well-organized-now,-thanks-to-the-house-showing-thing medicine chest and pulled out a bottle of Benadryl. Uh-oh, not much left in this one. Poured her a teaspoon from the dregs of the bottle and gave it to her and then settled her back into bed and went downstairs to check the package insert info for the antibiotic Kiddo's been taking since Friday night. You know, the antibiotic for the sinus infection that was gooing up her eyes (so they'd crust shut - like the worst pinkeye you've ever seen, but not pinkeye) and her nose and face that were generally a disgusting mess... An antibiotic she's taken once before with no bad reactions. So, I pulled out the info sheet and whaddya know, hives could constitute a "severe allergic reaction" to this med.
I called up the after-hours answering service at 9:51. Well, *most* adults are still awake at this point, right? I mean, this isn't like I'm calling at 2 in the morning... Yes, I am rationalizing the decision to call the doctor to myself, don't ask me why. That's what they're there for, right? I explained the situation to the lady and she said "Oh YES, that is something the doctor will call you back for IMMEDIATELY!" Hmmm. I tried not to panic as I waited for the doctor to call back.
In doctor terms, as it turns out, "IMMEDIATELY!" equates to roughly 13 minutes. Not that I was counting. I used the meantime to go back upstairs and check on the hives situation. Still NOT good - even Kiddo's eyelids are hived over. I asked her questions to see if this is getting anaphylactic but she didn't report any itching in her mouth or throat and her tongue and lips weren't swelling. Finally, finally, the phone rings back.
It's Doctor Crotchety McGrump, he of the infamous Splinter Removal incident. Excellent. From the sounds of it, he went to bed as soon as Andy Rooney signed off, though maybe it's just that he always sounds that grouchy or maybe he remembers Kiddo, her volume level and her fierce kicking skillz. I didn't know and I didn't care. I gave him the rundown and he confirmed that yes, in fact, this does sound like a "severe allergic reaction" to the amoxicillin, even though Kiddo's been taking it for 2 days now. He tells me the hives could very well continue for another 3 to 4 days (!!) and she might also experience some swelling in her ankles, knees and any other joints (!!!) and I am to discontinue the antibiotic immediately (duh) and call the office in the morning for a new scrip. Oh, and I might have to add a second antihistamine to the Benadryl, too. I mused aloud about her returning to school tomorrow after hearing about all this and got an earful from Doc McGrump about how "Well, if she's itchy and uncomfortable, is she really going to LEARN anything?" Yeah, thanks for your two cents there, Doctor Spock. He does go on to suggest keeping her cool and lightly dressed and to use cool compresses as needed to help minimize the discomfort.
I hung up the phone and changed Kiddo out of her fleece jammies into a pair from last summer that were wedged at the way back of her pajama drawer. They're a little on the small side but not too tight, so we went with them. I got Kiddo re-settled into bed again (and by now the hives were abating a bit - at least her face was looking less red) and did a more thorough check of the medicine cabinet. Nope, those three drops are all we have left. I preceded to wake Hubby up to explain the situation, some of which he'd gathered from hearing the phone ring and my end of the conversation, and though he was dubious about an allergic reaction setting in two days later, he agreed to keep an ear out for Kiddo as I headed over to Walmart for another bottle of Benadryl.
Let me just pause in my tale of woe here for a brief moment to point out that even in my not-really-suited-for-going-out-in-public attire (stretched out, raggedy old yoga pants, a holey, oversized t-shirt that comes down almost to my knees, with a paint-spattered sweatshirt thrown over for decency's sake, blue crew socks I grabbed off the floor, beat up brown leather clogs and a sage green barn jacket to complete the ensemble), I was not the strangest dressed person at our local Walmart at 10:20 this evening. I didn't even rate a second look. Wow.
Anyhow, I grabbed a bottle of Benadryl and the other antihistamine too, since I was there. Of course I'll be back at a pharmacy tomorrow for Kiddo's new antibiotic, but whatever.
And here I am, home again, home again, jiggety jig. I'm totally wired now, and want to wait until it is time to give Kiddo her next breathing treatment with the inhaler (Doc McGrump said to continue that every 4 hours and that it might help with the hives, too) so I turned my computer back on and plunked myself down to whinge away on my blog.
In summary, OY!! Can this 24 hours PLEASE end SOON? I can't believe I'm looking forward to it being MONDAY. Bleargh! I just really, really hope that this reaction isn't indicative of a penicillin allergy, and instead was just because she's on a really strong dose (which was prescribed so she'd only need to take it twice a day, instead of a lesser dose 3 or 4 times a day). Penicillin allergies are a pain in the neck - I was allergic to penicillin as a kid but outgrew it, myself. So, fingers crossed this was an isolated incident and Kiddo is feeling much less itchy in the morning!!
Got her and the floor all cleaned up, couldn't fall back asleep for the longest time. Woke up this morning (Hubby let me sleep in) still groggy and grouchy, spent the morning getting everything all tidied up for our two showings and vacated the premises. Hubby went to run some errands and Kiddo and I went over to visit some friends who had been kind enough to invite us over for lunch. After spending a delightful afternoon catching up with our friends, Kiddo decided to throw a class A temper tantrum when I gave her the two minute warning about it being time to leave. This devolved into a 35 minute long temper tantrum in the car for the entire ride home. Walked in the door and sent Kiddo immediately up to her room for a time out until it is time to head out for the next showing at 5:00.
At least Hubby and I had been heartened to know that Hubby had driven by our house about 20 minutes after the designated showing time and saw the agent and the prospective buyers standing in the driveway talking. They were there, talking in the driveway, for another 15 minutes before they left. That sure seemed like a good sign, right?
Nope. Our agent's assistant just called to tell us that the showing agent couldn't get into the house because the front storm door was locked. As in, the door that is outside the front door with the lockbox on it. So, they never saw the house (but apparently didn't call our agent or Hubby certainly could've been home within 5 minutes to let them in!) and now, our agent isn't sure that they want to reschedule and come back.
Now, that door was locked by one of two people - either me, because if the inside door is open, I tend to flip the bolt on the storm door, or Kiddo, because she likes to play with the lock on the storm door. So, Hubby can very clearly claim self righteous anger over this latest development. I certainly am blaming myself entirely anyhow for not thinking to check the damn storm door before we headed out this morning. So, I'm pissed at myself, Hubby is pissed at me, I'm pissed at Kiddo who is persisting with the obnoxious, argumentative behavior. Outside, it is pissing down rain on top of everything else. Just need the cat to piss on the bed for the cherry on the sundae of my day! Yeesh!!!
Oh, and by the way, I hate the word "piss" and never use it, ever, but right now, it just fits my mood. I'm in a pissy, pissy mood. Grrrr.
I was so hopeful about the two showings today, and now I blew it for one of them. Damn. Well, I'm off to build myself a doghouse in the back yard and go crawl into it until our next showing.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Well, I'm sooooo close to my 300th blog post (!), which I'd thought I'd easily manage to time to fall on this, the one year anniversary of my blog. Then, Kiddo came down with what appears to be one nasty case of viral pneumonia (we've been to the doctor and had a chest x-ray, but beyond an albuterol inhaler - Kiddo's first - there isn't a heckuva lot that can be done for her since it is just the World's Most Persistent and Annoying Virus and therefore cannot be treated with a nice, strong antibiotic to knock it out of her system quickly), and my week just got away from me. Dagnabit.
So, post number 299 is going to have to suffice as the official Blogiversary post, but I'm going to postpone any serious partying until after all members of my household are healthy again. Stay tuned for that, and also for the upcoming debut of Carma's personal video. I've got the lyrics done, and just need to get my singing voice back enough to record the video. It's gonna be good, I think! *eyebrow wiggle* In the meantime, do me a favor and pop by Carma's blog and give her some comment loving, to help make up for the fact that this video is taking forever to get done. (And hint, hint - my Belated, Big Blogiversary Bash will very likely include another video giveaway...)
Now, as my blogiversary proper is today, I feel like I should do something to mark the day. I've decided that to celebrate the occasion, I will feature my first-ever guest blogger! Since she's home with me, that guest blogger is none other than my very own Kiddo. (Hey, the choices were either her, Crazy Cat or the Evil, Fat, Carny Fish. Trust me, you want neither fish pee water splashed upon you with a flourish, which is the best Swimmy could manage, nor a hairball gacked upon you, which is Crazy Cat's forte. I'd gladly have had George Clooney or Eddie Izzard or Hugh Jackman or perhaps Alan Rickman reciting an ode in my honor, but sadly, none of them returned my phone calls or emails or tweets. Humph.)
Here, therefore, is an interview about me (I mean, after all, this is my blog) as answered by Kiddo. I got the questions from an interview that's been floating around the blogosphere and Facebook as well. (On a side note, has anyone noticed the sudden explosion of memes and the like over on Facebook? It seems to be happening a lot more over there now, and I don't think it's just that I'm noticing it more with the really irritating new layout they've got going on...) Okay, here goes, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kiddo!
1. What is something your mom always says to you?
“You are my Bug of Love.”
2. What makes your mom happy?
When I scratch her back. When Daddy comes home for family dinner. When I listen to Mommy and Daddy and to my teachers at school and have good days.
3. What makes your mom sad?
When I whine and when I have temper tantrums and I kick her.
4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Playing jokes on me, like hiding and surprising me. Also, when she tickles me. When we are having Opera Day and she sings in a silly voice.
5. What was your mom like as a child?
Mommy was the same as me. She was a funny kid, and a silly kid and a smart kid.
6. How old is your mom?
37. (Ed note: At least she got my age right and didn't say 73, like she did at church on my birthday.... And yes, I am a little bit afraid to do that "What's Your Real Age?" quiz over on Facebook, as I'm a little nervous it will tell me I am, in fact, 73 and not 37.)
7. How tall is your mom?
12 inches tall. No, wait, she is 130 inches tall, and Daddy is 131 inches tall because he is taller than Mommy.
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Help me and play with me.
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Mommy feeds the cat and the fish, cleans my room and gets treats for me.
10. What is your Mom very good at?
Mommy is very good at Mario Kart Wii and catching me.
12. What is your mom not very good at?
Making omelets, Mommy burns them.
13. What does your mom do for her job?
Taking care of me. And Daddy. And the cat and the fish.
14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Raspberries, ice cream and Cheez Doodles but NOT pepperoni!
15. What makes you proud of your mom?
When Mommy wins at Mario Kart Wii.
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Belle, because Mommy looks like her and because Belle likes to read books all the time and so does Mommy. Also, Alicia from Diego because Mommy loves animals and would rescue them.
17. What do you and your mom do together?
Play together and sing songs and have Opera Day.
18. How are you and your mom the same?
We have the same eyes and we wear glasses and have brown hair. We are both silly. Our whole family is silly! And we both like to sing.
19. How are you and your mom different?
Mommy has black glasses and I have pink glasses. Mommy is a grown up so she is the boss, and I’m just the kid. When I’m a grown up, I’ll be the boss but I’ll be nice to everybody.
20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Mommy gives me hugs and kisses and takes care of me and calls me Bugaboo.
21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Disney World or
So, there you have it. My first ever guest blogger for my first ever Blogiversary. It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I first dipped my toe into the blogosphere, with nary a follower or a comment or blogging community. Now, I can't imagine my life without my blog and the blogosphere as a whole! I am so glad that my little blogging thing has led me to discover so many wonderful folks out there around the world, and I plan to celebrate that as part of my Belated, Big Blogiversary Bash. (Like I said, stay tuned!!) In the meantime, germ-free, great, big, giant, squeezy (((hugs))) to you all!
Friday, March 20, 2009
I hab had a bad code dis week. I can't breed thru by doze at all. If it weren't for the mighty power of Afrin Nasal Spray and the sleep assistance of that magical elixir Nyquil, I'd probably be dead by now. Well, okay, not dead, but a heckuva lot more miserable. As it is, I just have that lovely, peeling-skinned, red nostril look I always seem to sport when an infection sets up camp in my sinuses. As if having dry skin everywhere else wasn't bad enough, now my nose is looking like my heels. Ew. I wonder if I could use a Ped-Egg on my face......? (Kidding! Heck, I'm too skeeved out to get a Ped-Egg for my feet, and they *need* one, too.)
In house related news, we're having an Open House on Sunday afternoon. Well, not us, but our real estate agent. We'll be clearing out with the cat in tow. I bought a bottle of Comfort Zone with Feliway spray with which to liberally spritz her carrier before cramming her in there. Crazy Cat is not overly fond of either her carrier or car rides, so it should be a fun Sunday afternoon drive for us. Hence the spray - we have a Feliway diffuser in our bedroom (aka the site of Crazy Cat Peeing on our Bed to Express Her Displeasure at Any Number of Things) and it seems to have an effect on her, so I figured why not try the spray for the carrier - can't hurt...
We also have a showing scheduled for this afternoon, so I'll be doing my usual mad cleaning on my already ridonkulously clean house today, then collecting Kiddo from the bus and taking her across town to the only mall with a Stride Rite in our area because it seems that she has outgrown her sneakers yet again. Though I shouldn't complain, as she's been in this pair a lot longer than usual. (Um, it may well be she shouldn't have been in this pair as long, I will freely admit to being a Bad Mommy if it turns out she needs like a 13 and I've been obliviously stuffing her toes into her 11.5s.........) This will be our third showing and the house has been listed for 10 days now - guess that is pretty good. Of course, the first two showings didn't result in any offers, so it doesn't count unless the showing turns into something. This is why I'm baking cookies to set out for the Open House - someone had done that for a house we looked at earlier in the week. We didn't like the house but the cookies were definitely a nice touch (and tasty!) (What, I had to take a cookie - don't you think it would've been rude not to have one?) So, hopefully something comes out of the showing and/or Open House and we have an offer soon. It'd be especially nice as we've made an offer on a house and had to make it contingent upon us selling our place. Being able to remove that contingency would be quite nice. We should be hearing back annnnnny minute now on our offer, so I'm having a mini-heart attack every time the phone rings in between my frantic blogging - erm, I mean cleaning.
And speaking of Kiddo and her ginormous feet, I had a conversation with her physical therapist this morning. She called to give me the results of Kiddo's annual (re-)evaluation. The wonderful, terrific, spectacular news is.......... *drumroll please* ............. Kiddo has caught up on ALL her gross motor delays! *wild cheering* She'd had moderate to severe delays in balance, locomotion and other skills ever since, well, ever, and now, after three years of year-round, twice weekly PT, she is average - the same as every other kid! WOO-HOO!!!!!! The therapist is not recommending a complete discharge, as she wants to keep a quarterly consult in place to monitor Kiddo's range of motion in her legs. See, Kiddo has a tendency to toe-walk thanks to her SPD, and consistent toe-walking leads to shortened heelcords, which leads to limited range of motion.... so, even though Kiddo has shown improvement in her gait (she walks "heels down" a lot more than on her toes these days, only needing cuing to put her heels down now if she's really ramped up about something) and her heelcords flex to neutral and beyond (yay!), the therapist wants to keep an eye on things over the next year, hence the quarterly consult. No more actual PT though, which will be quite a change for Kiddo! Of course, she will still be needing OT for the indefinite future, since it is integral to her success with everything (school, life....) with her SPD, but still, to test out of PT is huge. Yay, Kiddo!!!
In other earth-shatteringly important news, what are you guys thinking of this season's American Idol? How about America's Next Top Model? Any favorites? I have to admit, I'm a solid Adam fan for Idol (even picked him, along with Danny, to be the final two in my annual Idol pool), and I really enjoyed his take on Ring of Fire. I do like Danny, too (I also like Lil and Megan), but when he did Jesus, Take the Wheel this week, I kept flashing back to a different performance of the song that I liked a whole lot better. See, one of my friends from high school was on that show Clash of the Choirs a while back, and one night during that show, she was the soloist on the same song as part of Patti LaBelle's choir. I had goosebumps from watching Liimu's performance back then, and still enjoy it now. Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think...............
See? Liimu was awesome! I'm not saying Danny was terrible or anything - I am a Danny (or is it Robert Downey, Jr?) fan - but I couldn't get Lii's version out of my head the whole time Danny was singing. And anyhow, I want Adam to win it all. (Not saying I'm positive he actually will win, but I'm rooting for him.)
As for ANTM, my early favorites are Fo, London and Celia. Also? I really do not think Allison is pretty at all. Not even Tyra's beloved "pretty-ugly" pretty, either. Her big eyes in that teeny-tiny head just freak me out. Seriously, she reminds me of the guy sitting to the right of Beetlejuice:
except, of course, with blonde hair. *shudder*
I'd be remiss if I talked about reality TV without mentioning The Amazing Race, which is just like the Best Reality Show EVER. (And not just because of Phil Keoghan, either...) This season, I'm completely rooting for Mel/Mike and Luke/Margie and cannot wait for Victor to be eliminated, because he drives me craaaaaaazy! Even his voice makes me cringe - I don't mind his sister, really, but since she's his teammate, then she has to go, too. Everything about Victor is just so ewwwww. I also drive Hubby nuts with all my endless comments about how dang SHORT the stuntmen/brothers are. It just cracks me up and I can't stop mentioning it when they're on screen - especially when they're on the mat and Phil is looking waaaay down at them. And isn't Phil just so awesome with his signing for Luke at the mat? Phil rocks!!
On another celebrity-related note, I was very sad to read the news about Natasha Richardson's untimely death after a skiing accident this week. It hits close to home for Hubby and me, you see, because twelve years ago, a good friend of ours also suffered a traumatic brain injury while skiing. In his case, he went off the trail and headfirst into a tree, and when he was brought in to the level one trauma center, the neurosurgeons said that his was the worst injury they'd ever seen where the patient wasn't DOA. The good news in this story is that he survived (it was a long road to recovery for him, including several weeks in a comatose/vegetative state) and he is still with us today (as well as his wife and two adorable daughters). However, his livelihood as he knew it (he worked in radio) is gone forever, and he has had to adapt to life in a wheelchair with pretty significant limitations due to the paralysis caused by his injury. Whenever I hear a story similar to our friend's, or Natasha Richardson or Sonny Bono or any other person who hits their head while skiing, I always ask the same thing - why the heck aren't helmets mandatory for skiing? I know they don't help in high-speed injuries, but still, they could help in lower-speed injuries, and any protection has to be better than none at all. I just don't get it. (And yes, I would wear a helmet if I went skiing again, which I actually haven't since our friend's accident. I'd make sure Kiddo and Hubby did, too.)
What else? I feel like there was something else I wanted to blog about, but now I'm drawing a blank. Huh. Oh well, I can always blog about it later once I remember what the hey it was. And Carma, I promise I'll do your video as soon as I can breathe well enough to sing again (also, from a vanity standpoint, as soon as my nose no longer looks like Rudolph with peeling skin)! I'm coming up on the big 300th post....... will it be the one in which I announce news of houses being sold and bought? Stay tuned!!! In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for a song I ought to download for my iPod, throw 'em at me! I need some new tunes on there, and I've still got the iTunes gift card Hubby gave me for a Christmas stocking stuffer burning a hole in my pocket! And by "new" I don't necessarily mean a new song, just something I don't have on my iPod already. I mean, if you've got a favorite that you rock out to from way back, tell me - I love older songs (most of my iPod is full of songs from well before the 90s!).......
For example, Kiddo and I frequently jam to this one while driving 'round town:
So, new tune, old tune, showtune, any tune you enjoy, you name it and I'll give it a listen! Thanks!
Breathe promise of merry sunshine —
As we merrily dance and we sing, tra la!
We welcome the hope that they bring, tra la,
Of a summer of roses and wine,
Of a summer of roses and wine.....
And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la,
Tra la la la la,
The flowers that bloom in the spring!
Happy First Day of Spring! Don't you love the shots above, of all my gorgeous bulbs and flowers, thriving in the gentle, sunshiny spring air? And look at my beautiful back yard this morning, on this, the day after the last day of winter.........
For comparison's sake, here is a shot I took of the back yard exactly one week ago:
Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies iz?
I'm pretty sure Mr. Robin was thinking "WTH?!?!?!?!" as he promptly flew away. (Headed, no doubt, for the more tropical environs of the mid-Atlantic or southeastern states...) See ya in a couple more months, Rob!
I shouldn't be surprised, though, that spring has brought us more cold and snow, even after warming up well into the 40s and 50s for the past several days and making us hopeful for an end to the freezing and the bundling and the huddling under fleece blankets (though, alas, not a Snuggie) with the windows shut tightly against the chill, I mean, this is upstate New York, after all. Just two years ago, this was Kiddo hunting for Easter Eggs one fine, April Sunday morning:
And yet, waaaaaaaaah!!!! I'm ready for spring for real, man! For windows open and fresh air and flowers blooming and trees and bushes and lawns greening up and short-sleeved shirts with spring jackets and sneakers instead of sweaters under winter coats and boots...........................
Pop over to Candid Carrie's for the Phiesta!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Number 11, who by my careful, highly mathematical and scientific method, is
Carma, I'll be dropping by your blog a lot in the next few days to come up with ideas for your song/video that will undoubtedly include the ever-dreamy Alec Baldwin and possibly the Garden State. I will beg for your patience in this video-making process, with a twofold excuse: (1) the house showing stuff means I have to abandon my computer for unknown stretches at a time (NB - is it wrong to lurk in the neighbor's bushes and spy on the folks checking out our house? Shoot, I thought so...) and (2) having a whole day of fresh air inside and out (yay for almost-Spring and open windows) has rendered me incapable of breathing, much less singing. I'm Rudolph the Red-Nosed Allergy Chick right now. So, I will get my blood levels of Claritin up to a tolerable percentage and then belt out your very own, customized, full of pizazz and possibly jazz hands song and create a video just for you very, very soon!
Thanks to all who entered. If you're terribly, horribly distraught and devastated that you weren't the lucky winner, take heart! My blogaversary and 300th post are both coming up in the next few weeks, maybe I'll do another video giveaway for one of those Very Special Occasions!
In the meantime, please think good thoughts on the house hunting thing for us; we have an offer in that they're supposed to respond to by tomorrow at 10 (Hubby thinks they may just not respond - isn't that rude? Or is that how it goes if you don't like an offer, you just ignore it 'til it expires?) and we had two showings this weekend, so maybe, hopefully one of those showings turns into an offer for us.....
Off to make some nachos and watch the Race that always Amazes - woo-hoo!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Then, this afternoon I had to chauffeur Kiddo to a birthday party and then we had to hightail it out of here for the showing, and then after the showing was over, we had just enough time to get home and get Kiddo bathed and fed when her grandparents came over and Hubby and I went out. As in to socialize with other adults, no kids, for an evening. Seriously, I cannot remember the last time this happened, so I was pretty much running around like a crazy chick to get ready and go out and not giving my blog a second thought.
And now? Now I'm back and it is past my bedtime (I came home first - yes, I am *that* socially pathetic that I took a separate car because I knew I wouldn't be able to stay up/out as late as Hubby) and I can barely type straight.
So, that's my great, big pile of Clofu - erm, I mean excuses - for why I didn't pick a winner yet.
I promise I'll get to it by tomorrow night. If I'd made it easier, I could've done it tonight but folks actually followed me so that gets an extra entry and after playing poker all night, my brain cannot do any more complex math (what? I'm the big blind? and the blinds just went up? How many red chips does that mean I need to throw in? Is an ace high or low? ) (Okay, seriously I'm not that bad, I do actually know my way around a poker table, I'm just trying to gain sympathy for my lameness at breaking the rules I set for announcing the winner.) (Maybe it would be better if I just threw myself on the mercy of all the other parents out there - we had the chance for a NIGHT OUT, with OTHER ADULTS, with FREE BABYSITTING, even. I mean, come on, that's enough to make anyone's head spin, right?)
So, by tomorrow night, the winner will be figured out with the lovely assistance of either Kiddo or Random.org - whichever one will cooperate better at the time. I can't promise an announcement any earlier tomorrow because we've got another showing at 11:30 so we're going to have to make ourselves scarce again.
And there you have it. Hope everyone's having a great weekend and stay tuned for the big announcement (I mean, you're all on the very edgiest edges of your seats, holding your breath right now, right?) tomorrow night!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Speaking of house news, Kiddo and I are off to meet Hubby and look at our #1 house choice again (saw it this morning) and then discuss offers with our agent, AND we have the first showing of our house set for this Saturday afternoon. Things are moving along, hopefully quickly, smoothly and positively!!!!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Now, every so often, SITS has a blogathon type thing. First, there was Blogathon. Then, SITSmas. Now, it is Spring Fling and it is even better than ever - every single post linked up to the Spring Fling is having some sort of giveaway! They're well over 300 now, and hey, that's a LOT of prizes. SITS is giving away a prize an hour as well, by the way. (Told you they're fantabulous!) More enterprising SITStas and BITS have no doubt been glued to their computers all day, entering the hundreds of giveaways and going fuzzy eyed with delight.
Me? I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I've been a slacker SITSta of late. Between Project Get the House On the Market '09 (which, as you may or may not be aware, it is as of yesterday. Hallelujah!) which has now morphed into Project Find a New House that Doesn't Totally Suck and also Project Keep the House Showing-Ready 24-7 and then toss a little Daylight Saving Time Adjustment Issues (which, when multiplied by a factor of Kid with SPD and Mom with PMS and egads, it gets extra-extra ugly!) and well, I just haven't had much time to surf the blogosphere, leave commenty love or anything else. Even my Wordscraper games list is under 10 active games over on Facebook (it usually is a much more robust tally somewhere in the 30s). It's bad, folks, this whole "real life interfering with computer time" thing I've been living. *shudder*
Anyhow, I finally decided about 10 minutes ago that I can't just skip Spring Fling, as had been my original plan once I realized that I had nothing to give away nor the time to hang on the computer checking everyone else out. Again, hanging my head in shame. Everything I could pass along for a prize is most likely here:
along with my long-gone wits and marbles. I was thinking I could bake something for a prize (I am world-famous for my chocolate chip cookies, especially) but most of my baking things, like my beloved, cobalt blue KitchenAid, are also all here:
Dang, I miss my stuff. *sniff*
So, finally it hit me. Something I could give away.... You see, back when SITS had their original Blogathon, the grand prize was an autographed picture of George Clooney. I tried like heck to win it. I failed.
NikkiCrumpet, mom of two of the most adorable dogs on the planet (and some dang adorable kids as well) won my picture of George. You might remember hearing some chest pounding and wails of grief coming from the general vicinity of upstate New York that day....
But then.... a little while later, Nikki, in her infinite wisdom, decided to rehome George. She had a contest to figure out who was most deserving of the autographed picture. And of course, I entered. I didn't just enter, I wrote a song. I wrote a song and posted the lyrics in her comments section for the contest and sorta kinda promised that I would make a video of myself singing the song should I be the winner. I even kinda sorta mentioned that I'd wear a tiara to do the video.
Well, I won. (And there was much rejoicing.)
Thinking back on that glorious event - me finally winning the autographed picture of George Clooney - made me figure out what I could give away now.
Heck to the NO, I'm not giving away George! Even if I wanted to, he's here:
along with my wits, marbles, KitchenAid and everything else, including my other prized autographed possession, my ginormous Harry Connick Jr poster that I had framed after he autographed it for me the year I was a total HCJr groupie and went to a ton of his shows. That poster has been gathering dust in the basement and Hubby tells me the frame is cracked, but I still made him put it in storage instead of tossing it. Hopefully the new house will have a room with a wall on which I can hang my autographed men.
But I digress. As I do.
You are not going to get the George or Harry autographed pictures. Uh-uh. Nope. But what you, the lucky winner of my giveaway, WILL get is......................... a customized song and video of said song performed by me about you and your blog.
If you want a preview of what such an exclusive video could be like, I shall refer you to this, the video of me making an utter fool of myself, wearing a tiara and singing my ode to George Clooney (set to the tune of The Rainbow Connection):
Oh heck, it's gone, gone, gone again....... Drat those limited editions!
What do you have to do to enter? Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Leave me a comment for one entry. For a second entry, either grab my button (over yonder in the sidebar) or follow me on Twitter and let me know in the comments, 'cause like I said, I am witless and have lost my marbles, so I need reminding. Deadline for this one-of-a-kind contest will be Friday the 13th at midnight, with a winner announced Saturday morning.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I suppose the good news is that we now have fewer houses for which we need to make appointments to see. Like, all three that we walked through today. The first one seemed to have employed trick photography in its online listing - the kitchen was nowhere near as big as it appeared in the various pictures. That wasn't the dealbreaker so much as the odd, multi-level split level layout (here some stairs, there some stairs, everywhere some stairs, stairs, stairs), along with the lack of an appropriate space that could be a dedicated office and the really strong mildewy smell coming from the basement.
Speaking of smells, when we first walked in, we met the real estate agent hosting the open house, as you do. She was........ interesting. Older but trying to look much younger than her age. Fake bake veering on the side of "much too orange" with lots of makeup (including baby blue eyeshadow - really, need I say more?), big, dyed hair and an overly accessorized outfit. She had, as the always fantabulous Tim Gunn would say, a lot of look going on there. Naturally, someone who goes to that degree with hair, makeup, clothing, nails and jewelry would go a bit further than is prudent in the body fragrance category, and some heavily floral scent I recognized but couldn't name was wafting off of her in practically visible waves. The whole package was a bit much, but hey, we were there for the house, not the agent. (And she, in all her overdone, overscented glory was far better than the guy at the next house, who apparently had eaten some sort of oniony-garlicky dish for lunch and hadn't bothered to pop an Altoid or seven. He also was fuzzy on the details of his offering - "I think it's about XYZ" and "I'm pretty sure that there is ZYX" were typical for his spiel, and yes, this was the primary listing agent, not some junior flunky stuck with the Sunday afternoon open house gig. I mean, it was his picture - albeit obviously from several years earlier - on the sign out front.)
Annnnyhow, as we walked through the first house, the agent's perfume lingered throughout, along with what smelled like air freshener sprayed liberally to cover (but not quite succeeding) what Hubby was convinced was the smell of dog. (There are not many smells less pleasant than aged, wet dog...) When we reached the first of the bathrooms, Kiddo spotted a container of fake flowers, tulips to be exact, on the vanity (which matched the shower curtain and valance in the bathroom).
"Oh look at those pretty roses!" Kiddo exclaimed to us. "So that's where that smell came from!"
It was hard not to laugh, but Hubby and I managed. We couldn't manage to contain our laughter a bit later however, as we were inquiring of the agent whether we could see the deck and back yard and she was directing us through the garage to the back. She asked us if we had any further questions. We didn't, as we already were pretty sure there was no way we would take this house for near what they were asking but then Kiddo piped up.
"Excuse me, please, I have a question."
The agent smiled at her. Cute kid, shook her hand when we'd first arrived, agent wants to make a good impression on us, no doubt. (I mean, she'd gone to all that trouble to get ready for the open house with her grooming and appearance......)
"Are there any monkeys in the back yard? Like the tiny ones that hide in trees?"
Kiddo was perfectly serious, by the way. She and Hubby had watched one of the eleventy million episodes of Bindi, the Jungle Girl currently hogging our DVR space this morning, and apparently this episode featured some tiny monkey-like animal that made weird, twig nests in trees in which they hide during the day, and of course in Bindi's world, such critters were lurking about the back yard (as is customary in Australia, right Givinya?) so Kiddo was equal parts nervous and excited at the prospect that this potential new house might have such creatures just beyond the deck.
The agent was nonplussed. Hubby and I lost it. The agent tried to answer her with a straight face, but found it impossible. She did assure Kiddo that there were no monkeys of any sort on the property. Kiddo pressed the topic, thinking that perhaps the agent just hadn't seen them, but the agent promised her she'd been in the back yard many times and was positive there were no monkeys of any size to be found, although there were squirrels. Kiddo was unimpressed.
So, that was the first open house. We were surprised at how little the current owners had done in the realm of decluttering, cleaning, freshening up etc. I mean, this house was built in the late 60s and some of the paint and all of the carpeting and the bathrooms looked like the late 60s. But if we thought that house was dated, the next two were positive time warps. It was like being in the Brady Bunch but without the housekeeper or AstroTurf back yard. (Though that might've helped the swampy, boggy mess the one property featured. Holy environmental disaster, Batman!) From excessive wood paneling, especially in the "den" or "family room" areas (and in one home, the only light other than from the gas fireplace in such a wood-paneled cave came from wall sconces. I repeat: Wall. Sconces. Like "Hey, you know what looks cool and modern? Some lighting sconces like you'd see in a medieval castle, only with orange light bulbs!") to shag carpet to a bathroom entirely done in pink tile (with pink toilet, tub/shower and vanity)... it wasn't pretty.
Now, I get that these are all older homes. I get that the split level was popular back then. But.... but..... but....... do you have to keep living like it's 1974? Agents kept telling us "there are hardwoods underneath the carpeting!" Fine, but for the price you're asking, we don't want to have to pay to have carpeting ripped out and floors refinished. Plus, the bedrooms were all pretty dang tiny, the kitchens were abysmally small (they all claimed to be "eat in" but apparently that's only if you can manage to hover standing at some of the nonexistent counter space or over the sink while you dine) and it was just bad. One kitchen was done entirely in grey and Formica. I swear those were the original appliances from when the house was built in 1965 - I muttered to Hubby under my breath "No wonder they want to sell those with the house!" - and the cabinets were these weird, grey things that looked like they'd be much more at home in a middle school science lab.
Just not good. We further ruled out a couple more houses by driving by - one was on a section of road that was much too busy, and the other was waaaay down this road where the neighborhood went from being on the posher side to seeming a bit.....Deliverance-y. Like rusted conversion vans lurking behind falling-off-the-hinges barn doors and boarded over windows and cars up on blocks, with the stray chicken or mangy looking dog running around. I kept expecting to hear the strains of a banjo being picked from up the wooded hill that ran behind the street. (Though it would've been hard to hear anything much over the Heywood Banks greatest hits cassette Kiddo insisted on listening to for the entire trip. Hubby and I love Heywood Banks, really we do, but 3.5 hours of Fly's Eyes, Pancreas, The Cat Got Dead, Toast, Red Ants, The Garden Weasel, If Pigs Had Wings and The Music's Too Loud over and over and OVER again can start to wear on one's sanity.)
So, we returned home to our freshly painted, sparkling clean, utterly decluttered house with a whole new sense of why our agent was so dang excited to get people inside the door to have a look around. If our listing goes up without the words "Move in condition" and "pride of ownership" featured, I'm gonna be on the phone to him right away. Because really? None of the houses we looked at were in anything close to "move in condition" - all of them would need at the least a good cleaning (carpets, walls, kitchen) as well as fresh paint and/or removal of wallpaper... (And we are SO not excited about the thought of picking up a paint roller again any time soon!!!) Kiddo was impressed with the various children's bedrooms, as they featured themes from Diego and friends to Cars and Thomas to Noah's Ark and Puppies Playing Sports. So, it seems she at least will be an easy sell on whatever we buy.
We went back through our list and looked through the listings once again. We've got a total of eight properties now that we've asked our agent to show us this week. He says he wouldn't be surprised if we have five or more showings of our house in the next week and a half, without doing an open house, even. I'm definitely going to keep my eye peeled for drive-by-ers...
Now, the listing goes live tomorrow, but I took some pictures myself so here is a sneak preview of our house, including Kiddo's room (which he didn't photograph because, as he so delicately put it, "It's a bit....busy." Or as Tim Gunn would say, "A lot of look." The agent did ask us where exactly Kiddo sleeps, and was impressed to hear she sleeps under all of her Stuffed Animal Entourage. Didn't bother explaining it is a sensory thing - she likes the weight on top of her. Who needs a weighted blanket when you have over a hundred - not kidding here - stuffed animals to pile on top of you?)
The blog version of a Virtual Tour:
The front entrance (oh, and the verdict is that we've left that Window to Nowhere above the front door bare and are just being careful to keep the bathroom door closed!)
The great room. For the official pics and when being shown, the remotes and Kiddo's beanbag chair will not be in view):
The kitchen, which for the official pictures doesn't have either Crazy Cat or her dishes:
(The daffodils are in homage to my bloggy buddy Jennifer, who is also trying to sell her house, but who employs much greater flower arranging talents in her sale efforts than I ever could dream of doing...)
The laundry room, which will not have Kiddo's coat on the doorknob or my coat on the rack during showings. This one won't make the listing, so it is a Blog Exclusive!:
Downstairs half bath. Yes, I cheated - these are the same pictures I posted a little while back.
The stairs, complete with freshly painted baseboard trim. Hubby had to do lots of taping to get that bit done. Not fun!
Upstairs hallway, another Blog Exclusive:
New shots of the upstairs bathroom, now featuring Official Showing Towels (that do not actually get used!):
Our vanity area (shout out to my mother for the excellent suggestion of sticking the various baskets that usually line the counter underneath our bed. Kiddo finds that hilarious, as well.)
Another Blog exclusive.... the walk-in closet for the master bedroom:
Blog Exclusive: Kiddo's room (cameo appearance by Swimmy, the evil, carny goldfish):
And last but not least, the guest room (which is still kind of a "slash office" as well, as evidenced by the computer at which I'm now sitting....)
And there you have it! Please send all your Good House Selling and Buying vibes my way! I've yet to buy a statue of St. Joseph to bury next to the sign, but I'm not beyond considering it. I am a superstitious sort who always picks up heads-up pennies, gets a little freaked if I break a mirror, and always throws a pinch of salt over my shoulder should I spill any. I'm good with black cats crossing my path, though, and I got over the "walking under ladders" thing pretty much for good when we were in the midst of painting and walking under ladders just couldn't be avoided.......
Friday, March 6, 2009
and then promptly emailed it to Hubby at work with the subject header: FULL.
Hubby, being the wisenheimer that he is, replied with this:
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have highlighted several areas for more stuff…
When I read that, I immediately responded, declaring SHENANIGANS upon him. ('Cause that's how we roll in the Smith house: wisenheimery is promptly put in its place with a declaration of shenanigans. Even Kiddo will declare shenanigans upon us and/or have shenanigans declared upon her.)
So Hubby was out in the garage this morning, taking inventory of what last, few things need to go over to our 10x10, maxed out space. Seeing as how he thinks that there are all these spaces where things will fit, he will be the one making the trek over to the storage facility to cram them in tomorrow morning.
Maybe, if I'm lucky, he'll locate my wits when he's over there. Not that retrieving them from storage will free up that much space as I didn't have many to begin with, but I do miss them so...
Want to play? Join Candid Carrie for more Phriday Photo Phiesta Phun!!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
So, if you are interested in learning more about Fishful Thinking or entering the giveaway, pop over to Tiffany's blog and check it out! (And if you blog but aren't a member of SITS, you might want to check that site out too; they've got big doings in the works for next week and it is a great way to discover new and fabulous bloggers!)
Kiddo's school has been having various events for school spirit, Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' birthday this week. Yesterday, the kids were supposed to all wear their school t-shirts (which Kiddo did, albeit over a turtleneck because it is still fuh-reeeeezing here) and there was a school assembly. Tonight is the Literacy Fair, which doesn't start until 6:30, but which they've hyped to the kids so Kiddo is dying to go. I'm a little surprised at the number of events that they hold for an elementary school that don't start until 6:30 or later. I mean, is it just *my* kid that goes to bed at 7pm on school nights? She doesn't do well staying up much past that during the week. I've told her we will go for a little while, but I also emailed her OT to give her the head's up that Kiddo might be more out of whack tomorrow than usual. Speaking of whack, tomorrow is "Wacky Wednesday" and the kids are supposed to dress, well, wackily. (Is wackily a word? Would just plain wacky be correct? ARGH, I can't decide.) Kiddo is way, way, waaaay excited about the wacky dressing concept, and I'm wracking my brains (which, as I've already mentioned, are mostly empty, having lost the last of my marbles some time in the past few weeks with this whole Project Moving '09 thing) trying to figure out what of her wardrobe will constitute "wacky" enough while not going too over the top. I did pick up some neon colored hair extensions for a buck at Walmart earlier today that I was thinking I could incorporate into a wacky hairstyle of some sort, though it has to be hat-friendly, because, did I mention? It is FREEZING here. (Yes, I was at Walmart again, this time to return the sheer panel I'd bought a week ago for the Window to Nowhere. As of right now, the decision is to leave that window bare - we'll see if the realtor suggests otherwise when he comes... While I'm digressing on the subject of the house, the realtor is coming over on Saturday to take pictures and do all that needs to be done for the listing, which should be up by Monday morning. WOO-HOOOOOO!) So, I've got wacky hair all set, now to figure out from the neck down. Kiddo wants to wear something out of her dress-up clothes, but I'm not entirely convinced that is the best plan. I may pick the brains of other moms at the Literacy Fair thing at school tonight. Friday is "wear your favorite hat" day and I'm pretty sure Kiddo will be going with her pink, monogrammed Mouse Ears from our trip to Disney last summer.
So, anyhow, the house. It is almost done, almost... I've begun looking in earnest at the different listings online and have fallen in love about six times over with properties that meet our basic criteria and are on the right side of town. I've never actually gone and looked at a house (as this was our first house and we had it built) so I'm extra-excited for that part to start. I can't wait to find out if everyone else has killed themselves as much as we have with the cleaning and decluttering and painting and fixing up stuff... I'm a little nervous about the showing of our house, more from a logistical standpoint (what if someone wants to come see the house and I have Kiddo in the tub or she's in bed? What if I can't find the cat and she gets let out inadvertently? How much will people really poke around in our cabinets and closets? Will it be okay to leave the toaster out on the counter, or should I stash it in the basement every time there's a showing?) than anything.
Have you guys seen this? How gross is that? I would pay money to see someone actually eat a can, I think. Not much money - until after my lottery ticket wins the Megamillions jackpot tonight - but real money nonetheless. Ew, ew, and ew. I'd like to buy a can (if they sold it around here) just to have it in my pantry as a conversation piece!
So, isn't the Amazing Race extra-awesome this season? Anyone else watch besides Hubby and me? If so, do you have a favorite team yet? I'm rooting for Mel and Mike and Margie and Luke thus far. I like the new music but I do wish they'd have left in the gongs and rattlesnake shaking of foreshadowing... If you are an Amazing Race addict like me, you'll definitely want to check out Josh Wolk's recaps over at Entertainment Weekly's website, as well as M. Giant's recaps over at Television Without Pity. Both Josh and M. are hysterically funny writers, and real fans of the show, which shows in their writing, too. Oh, and Phil Keoghan also blogs over at EW's website, too. Love me some Phil and his eyebrow.
Speaking of reality TV related things, I'm loving American Idol so far this season, though I'm a little bummed that there aren't going to be enough wild card spots to get all my early-on favorites in to the top 12. I know a lot of people didn't like Nick/Norman, but I loved him, he totally cracked me up. I don't think AI is the right forum for him, but my good bloggy buddy Hot Tub Lizzy suggested to me that he'd be great on Last Comic Standing, and I totally agree. I would like Anoop, Megan and Jesse to all make it into the top 12 though, so obviously I'm going to be disappointed to some extent. Oh well, once the top 12 are done, my pool starts and I can't wait!
Also on the reality TV topic, America's Next Top Model starts tomorrow night - WOO-HOO! I do so love that show. Obviously, makeover week is my favorite, but it's all good, trashy, mindless entertainment. I need that on a Wednesday, given that Lost always twists what's left of my brain into teensy, tiny, pretzeled knots every Wednesday night. Hubby and I are always quoting this bit of Dane Cook's during the commercial breaks of Lost (and ps - that link has some non-PG rated language...). I do love that show, though!
Okay, time to get Kiddo off the bus and see if she had a good enough day today that she gets to whip my butt at Mario Kart Wii for a bit. Happy Not-Monday Anymore, y'all!