Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho

So much had happened in the last week and a half. It was literally such a volume of insanity that I wasn't sure how to express it here. Let me share with you the reasons I will likely be committed.

(WARNING: This is going to be a long one.)

So it started last Sunday, when we got two phone calls within about an hour and a half. The first was from the hubby's mom, letting us know that she was going in for surgery to have a lump removed from her breast the next day -- completely out of the blue. Literally like: "Hi, I might have cancer and they're taking it out tomorrow. How are you?" Praise God, the pathology was negative and she's recovering perfectly from the operation.

The second phone call actually began as a text that my mother sent to my younger brother and I telling us she had some "BIG news." (Of course, younger brother thinks he's hilarious and goes "Mellora's pregnant?" No, dufus, I know where babies come from. I am NOT pregnant.)

So rather than lose my already-fragile mind playing these guessing games, I just call. Turns out our youngest brother is GETTING MARRIED IN TWO WEEKS. That would be Saturday. THIS. SATURDAY. To a girl named Jamie that we haven't met (but hopefully will soon). So that's neat.

Hubby and I promptly spent the rest of the afternoon staring into space on the couch. We went to 5pm mass and then headed over to the Hubby's parents -- so blessed that they live 10 minutes down the road, by the way -- to find out exactly what's going on and also give his mom some granddaughter snuggles.

Turns out, they didn't think it was cancerous, just that it was precancerous and should be removed. And, as I've already mentioned, everything is now just fine.

So after a good amount of snuggles, we headed home, put the munchkin to bed, and headed out to the deck for a few beers and to digest the insanity.

Fast forward about 18 hours. The hubby came home from work early for the ingredients for me to make a giant lasagna to take over to his parents. So we head over with said lasagna and hang out for a bit. His mom even ate a little (we were all silently shouting "yay!").

Later that night, we're further digesting the crazy, talking about leaving and how we're going to make it happen (possibly with a stop in the Front Royal area before we head west for real?) and the improvements we're going to have to make to the house and etc.

A little after midnight, we hear, what sounds like, 6-7 gunshots from a 9mm. I call 911, the hubby grabs the shotgun and then we call the community patrol. We spent the next hour and a half watching police cars patrol through the neighborhood, wondering what on earth is going on.

So, a little background. The last section added to our neighborhood was a bunch of townhouses. Some enterprising individual(s) purchased a bunch of these townhomes to rent out as section 8 housing. Needless to say, they are bringing down the freaking neighborhood. These renters roam the streets at night and use the next street down from our house as a cut-through to route 1, so we have to deal with their shenanigans on a regular basis.

We found out that some idiot had shot off a gun into the air and run into the woods after the community patrol stopped by two nights ago after we had to call them because nine hooligans were hanging around across the street from our house after dark. Fortunately the guys that patrol are neighborhood are pretty nice and hate the townhouses as much as the rest of the neighborhood does. This particular cop, who had seen the moron discharge his weapon, suggested that the best option would be to surround the townhouses with a tall fence and some barbed wire.

So us getting out of here suddenly became a lot more urgent. The baby girl is NOT growing up in THIS kind of neighborhood. So, back to work I go.

I started back doing my old job this past Monday through to the end of the election. It's only one day at the office per week and the rest from home, and it's actually not so bad so far. The baby girl takes long enough naps that I can easily fit in 2-4 hours a day while she's sleeping. Plus, the hubby's mom is enjoying having her all to herself on afternoon a week.

And the hubby is starting to do some photography part time (you should follow him at Twisty Slide Photography), taking photos of kiddos being kiddos. It's something he's discovered that he LOVES to photograph since the baby girl was born. He takes pics like this:

Aren't they too cute? "Back off my cheerios, you furry punk!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Little Puddle that Could

The hubby and I have been living in this house for about a year and a half now, and we're slowly discovering lots of ridiculous shortcuts the builder made -- most of which we're having to fix/replace in order to resell this house.

If you've ever installed a faucet, you'll know that there is a bolt that holds everything in place. Instead of screwing said bolt into place, the idiots that installed this thing decided to solder it in place instead. This is all well and good until the homeowner (us) has to replace the cheap faucet that came with the house. Cheap, as in, you're doing the dishes and pull out the end, and it's no longer attached to the hose.

So here's the picture from about one year ago. I was pregnant with the baby girl and half-dead on the couch from morning sickness. Meanwhile, the hubby and his brother are experimenting with plumbing on the other side of the wall. I walked in to see why on earth they were cursing, and hubby's brother is on his back under the sink while the hubby is pulling the faucet from the top. Unfortunately, we chose a rather cheap model to replace it with, so it's already leaking (very slowly) from the hose under the sink.

Rule number one of plumbing: Do not go cheap.

The hubby has become quite the plumber (and electrician -- more on that later) and was able to complete the whole process on his own in about an hour and a half. Crosby helped.

Step one: Turn off water. You'd be surprised how many times people forget to do this. No, I don't have anything else to say about that.

Step two: Unscrew crappy faucet and tell it how you really feel. Hope to God that some stupid builder didn't decide to solder it in place.

Step three: Detach from water supply and remove fixture.

Step four: Get annoyed with your wife who keeps taking pictures for her "stupid" blog. (This is very important and imperative to correct installation.)

Step five: Insert base and then new fixture. Attach bolt! No soldering needed! Push hose through faucet and attach sprayer.

Step six: Turn on water! New faucet yay!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Little Monsters

The baby girl turned 6 months earlier this week -- and started trying to crawl! She can already roll all over the place and sit for quite a while, but apparently that's just not enough for her.

Here she is in all of her cuteness:

And, speaking of monsters, these two are so good with her! Crosby, the golden, gives her kisses constantly, and Reagan, our chessie, thinks she is the best thing to sniff EVER.

My weekdays are pretty much filled with trying to keeping Catherine from claiming too much of the house for herself, keeping Crosby from eating things that aren't his (come to think of it, that's kind of what I do with Catherine, too), and keeping Reagan out of her pool in the backyard.

Oh and thoroughly enjoying all of this cuteness!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To-do and Cheerios

As I type, this is the scene before me. Though few to no Cheerios are actually making it to her mouth, I am thoroughly enjoying watching this. Better than any TV show. Yes, even better than RHNJ.

So besides deciding where we'd like to move -- more and more it looks like it might be San Antonio for at least a little while -- we've also been compiling lists of things we need to do before we can put the house up for sale or rent.

This is going to take a lot of work.

Off the top of our heads, to either rent or sell, we have a bathroom that needs to be re-tiled, the entire house needs a coat of paint and we'll probably need to replace most of the carpet -- this is probably just the tip of the iceberg if we plan to sell.

Saddest of all is that after we shell out a good chunk of change to do all of these improvements, we'll probably still just break even from our original purchase price -- and this was . Though I know there are people out there that are way worse off than we are, it's still frustrating.

All in all, we're probably going to need to save up at least $5000 in order to make these improvements and head out west.

This leads me to the introduction of a few other topics this blog will cover: couponing and other money-saving insanity (like how I drive the Hubby crazy every Sunday at CVS), home improvement, and, though I guess I didn't bother with a segue for this one, food.

Food, because I like to cook. A lot. And my cooking means we're not going out. And us not going out means saving money for important things -- like fixing up our house. And moving.

Yay moving.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Beginning

We've been talking about this for a while, but for some reason yesterday we both decided we were ready. The conversation, over gchat, went like this:

me: so I think I'm ready to move west.
Hubby: where? I can look for jobs. just tell me what state.

And, after a bit of talking, asking for advice, and using these three sites, we've narrowed it down to two states (though we're still open to advice!): Wyoming and Texas. Cheyenne and San Antonio, specifically.

San Antonio would be easier -- the hubby could transfer from his current job here and stay on the same project at their offices there. It could be a matter of months.

But I think we both are leaning towards Wyoming -- even though it would take at least a year. The openness and the prospect of truly being left alone. No HOAs or traffic jams! The prospect makes me smile.

So we shall see how this happens. Perhaps San Antonio will be a gateway to Wyoming. Perhaps we'll tough it out and go for what we really want. Who knows, we may even do something crazy like move to Alaska (don't worry, Mom, I don't want to move to Alaska).

I'll be updating this blog with posts about our decision, progress on updating the house and attempting to sell (or rent) in this wonderful housing market (yay. not.), and, of course, posting pictures of our adorable baby girl. And obviously I'll have to rant about tyranny and how I can't wait to get the hell out of metro DC and all the stupid that happens here.

So -- San Antonio or Cheyenne? Or somewhere else?