Thursday, May 30, 2013

Closing

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The kids had their last half-day of school today.  It's been nothing short of miraculous that we've gotten them to school in the more or less correct uniform.
  • Baby T and I accompanied C to and end-of-school pool party for her 5th grade class.  Very fun, although Baby T got sprayed in the face by a water gun (those things spray very far) and cried quite a bit after that.
  • We all five went to closing this afternoon.  My husband and I have closed on the new house, written a huge check and gotten a big bundle of papers.  Our sellers are supposed to be signing today, which will spare us another week of rent.  There were no ugly surprises about the dollar amount required for closing.  We had been holding off on any elective purchases, so this means that we are now free to sign the kids up for some more summer camps.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Moving in

Here's some of what has happened.  It's all a blur at this point, so this is a very rough approximation of the week's events.

  • Baby T now has five teeth:  four on the bottom gum, one just coming in on the top gum.
  • We were supposed to close on our new house on Monday.  Over the weekend, we learned that the appraisal hadn't been done yet and that the closing could not go forward.  Around dinner time on Sunday (the day before the scheduled closing) we signed a lease with our sellers and got keys before the sellers left town.  We will rent on a weekly basis until we are able to close.  
  • On Monday afternoon, cleaners came and started working on the new place.  
  • On Tuesday, painters came and painted C's bedroom a cream color that matches her horse-themed bedding and painted D's bedroom a very pale blue.  Both colors were the kids' choice and looked very much like the paint chips.  We had cleaners finishing up the house on the same day.  My husband was sick that day, which was supposed to be our day for moving fragile stuff and our kitchen.  I got a phone call from a friend asking to help and she and I and her husband moved the bulk of our kitchen and unpacked nearly all of what we moved.  (Baby T was hanging out with us and the bigger kids were at school.)  My husband recovered enough late in the day to move fragile stuff.
  • On Wednesday, the packers came and packed us up (we needed to work hard to figure out what needed to be left until last).  C was home sick.  The process only took several hours.  My husband's father arrived to help with the move.
  • On Thursday, the movers (the same three guys as packed us up) came and moved us.  It took from 9 AM until something like 6 PM.  The cable guy came in the afternoon.  The fridge that was unplugged and that the seller cautioned us about turned out to be working (hallelujah!).  Our washer that had been sitting in the garage for nearly a year turned out to be working, too.  My FIL stayed at the old place and my husband, Baby T and I and C (she was still sick) went to the new place to await our stuff at the new house.  (I'm totally spacing out on what we did while waiting, but I recall a lot of nursing Baby T while sitting on the kitchen floor.)  We went to bed at the new place exhausted after setting things up for breakfast and school the next day.
  • C and D both went to school on Friday.  My husband and his dad and some cleaners got the old place ready for handover to the property manager.  Along with the cleaning (there was an unbelievable number of dead bugs under the furniture), they spackled holes in the walls, did minor repairs, and replaced burnt out lightbulbs.  It was a real showplace by the time they were done.  We handed over the place to the property manager and he was quite impressed.  In the afternoon, my husband and his dad secured tippy furniture.
  • Today, the three kids and I did grocery shopping (a first for me).  My husband and his dad unpacked books.  Baby T took a long nap and I unpacked stuff in the kitchen and a wardrobe box in C's room. After dinner, all of us except Baby T enjoyed frozen yogurt.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog book III

This is a little self-serving and meta, but forgive me.

C (glued to blog book on her Kindle):  I didn't realize you were such an amazing writer!

Awww.

D, meanwhile, has been inspired by my records of his old pastimes to get his dragons back from me and to build a dragon-proof LEGO castle.  He suggested to me that if dragons were real, people would have special dragon shelters and dragon warnings (something like our tornado warning siren).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blog book II

Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband set the kids up with my blog book on their Kindles.  D was home sick today and he read and read and occasionally giggled.
  • The big kids have packed up nearly all of the books in the living room/dining room and our duplex is beginning to take on the unlivable look of a house on the move.
  • Our closing on Monday is hanging by a thread as it's not clear when the appraiser will get their numbers to the bank.  We can arrange to rent until the closing can be done, but it's not ideal.  
  • We've got a very tough week coming up.
  • I'm really excited about getting Baby T a floor of her own.  She's wiggly enough now that a Queen bed really isn't the place for her, and in the duplex we don't have any large, safe floor spaces for her.  As I've mentioned, we'd like to make the formal dining in the new house into a playroom for her.  My husband wants to put down soft tiles on the floor and we just got some samples in the mail.  
  • Pumpkin muffins are baking!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blog book

I finally got through sifting over five years of blog archives.  I didn't edit any individual posts, but I tossed out a bunch of book and movie reviews and mainly kept cute kid sayings, neighborhood history, gardening notes, design ideas and household notes.  I started out with about 900 pages of text and needed to slim it down.  The end product is going to be about 400+ pages, with double columns on each page and a picture of the three kids surrounded by blue bonnets on the front cover.  My husband just sent it to the online printer and it's going to go to our future house.  I am planning on sharing it with the kids, so there were some editorial issues.

Tornado watch

Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband and I stayed up latish (until around 12:30) to make sure that none of the tornadoes in our region were headed our way.  So sleepy!  
  • I took C to the doctor yesterday after she had a splitting headache for over 24 hours, on top of a mild temperature and throat irritation.  (The PA at the office had suggested allergies a few days ago, so we had started an allergy regimen.)  The doctor did a blood count on C and discovered some sort of viral activity.  I'm shelving the allergy treatment for the moment.  Hopefully C will be able to go back to school very soon.  The school year is almost over, so it's very important to catch up.  
  • We've got less than one week before we move.  There are only six days where we have access to both places, and there's going to be a flurry of cleaning, painting, packing and moving.  Fortunately, we are able to hire a bunch of people to make all this happen, but there's still going to be a lot of chaos. 
  • Oh, and I guess our banker is in poor health, so our closing may not go off as scheduled due to delays in getting together the appropriate documentation.  We've spoken to the sellers, though, suggesting that we rent the house from them until the closing can be done.  
  • I'm trying to edit five years of blog to turn into a blog book for family consumption, and I've got 15,000 lines down and about 4,000 left to go.  Hopefully I can finish and send it off for printing before the software crashes on me or or move date.  If it crashes, losing days and days of work, I am not going to start again, because this is already my second go at it. 
  • I've been working on summer camps for the kids.  Here's the current list:  1) one week dance camp for C 2) one week sewing camp for C (dress and quilt) 3) two weeks swimming classes for C and D 4) one day faux stainglass-making camp for both kids.  I still need to sign both kids up for gifted camp and sign D up for a sewing camp and a horse camp, but I've got a bottleneck right now, as I'm waiting for a form for the horse camp, the gifted camp doesn't have its catalog out yet, and the sewing camp may conflict with the gifted camp.  I'd like to get this all settled before our closing date.  
  • Everything is more or less on track.  The only thing that I would have liked to do that isn't going to get done is sorting the kids' stuff before the move.  We're going to have to just move as we are and sort things out after the move.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bagel

Baby T and I dropped my husband off at work as usual this morning.  It being the end of term, I was able to grab a parking spot on campus.  Baby T and I went to Einstein's Bagels to get me a bagel and iced latte before setting off for a walk.  I was just starting to eat my bagel and was already pushing the stroller toward the exit when I noticed a pair of big blue eyes watching me and a pair of small pudgy hands starting to wave with excitement.  My bagel was too nutty and fruity to share (I like their Power Protein Bagel), so I lined up again and procured a plain blagel for Baby T.  I gave her half to work on.  She held it tight and gummed it competently for the duration of my walk.

I never gave the big kids bagels as infants, but I think they are really ideal for a teething baby of T's age (7 months).  T really likes stuff (like baked goods) that she can hold onto a big chunk of and gum or rip.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blog book

Ironically, what's kept me from posting is my ongoing effort to edit the blog for a print version for family consumption.  I'm nearly half-way through over five years of posts, trying to trim things down a bit, omitting book reviews and non-house and non-family stuff.  When I first tried doing this, the free internet service kept eating my work.  Finally, my husband rigged up a converter program that seems to be working very well, although until I'm done and I've printed the copies, I won't feel confident about it.  I haven't put everything into the blog, but it is at least a partial history of our family.  I really want to get this done before our move.  If anybody is interested in doing the same thing, you can reach me via my contactify button on the blog.

In other news:

  • I just put T down to bed for the night at about 8:30, right after a feeding.  Normally, she goes down at 9:30 or 10 PM, but she was so sleepy that I thought I might as well put her down for the night.
  • We are very much enjoying Foyle's War.  From looking at the internet, there are more seasons than we have on Netflix.  Squee!      
  • We are racing toward closing on our future home.  It's going to be a photo finish getting our papers in on time--there always seems to be more to sign.  
  • I've got C signed up for a week of dance camp and a week of sewing (dress and quilt).  We have a lot more sign ups to do in the next week or so.
  • We went to a potluck this weekend and had a lovely time.  C loved the cats at our hosts' home and occupied herself playing with them and drawing them.  
  • C may have some seasonal allergies that I had been mistaking for a mild illness (her temperature had been bouncing up to 99.9 degrees and 100 degrees).  We have so much pollen around here in the spring.
  • D gave me some molded solid lotions for Mother's Day.
  • Baby T continues to enjoy baked goods.  She got some biscuit and pancake this weekend.  C and a chum were feeding Baby T pancake at the cafeteria.  The chum wanted to stick bits in Baby T's mouth, but of course Baby T prefers to have a fist full of pancake and stick it in her own mouth.   

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Star Wars Day

Me (reading from Cake Wrecks site):  Yesterday was Star Wars Day.

C (dismayed):  Nobody ever tells me these things!

Worst idea ever

I was just listening to the Friday May 3 Dave Ramsey show.  At the beginning of the second hour, he had a caller whose husband wants to sell their house and use the equity to buy gold bars because he is expecting the US economy to implode (or alternately, to have his parents hold their mortgage instead of the bank).  Oh my goodness.

Here are a few issues that DR did not mention:

1)  In case of inflation, it's the bank that holds the mortgage that has the problem, not the borrower who has a fixed rate mortgage.  The borrower is suddenly able to quickly pay off the loan with Monopoly money.

2) If gold is currently $1500 per ounce and we are expecting it to get more valuable, how the heck do we make change?  Gold bars are as bad a medium as exchange as automobiles--they're just too valuable to be useful for buying small everyday items.  

3) Now, as a medium for storing savings in the case of hyperinflation, there's something to be said for it.  In fact, I didn't realize the significance of it at the time, but when I lived in Russia in the 1990s, Russians with surplus money quickly turned their rubles into American dollars, gold, and apartments.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

C's embroidery

A couple years ago, I got C two books on embroidery technique:  Doodle Stitching:  Fresh and Fun Embroidery for Beginners and Doodle Stiching:  The Motif Collection:  400+ Easy Embroidery Designs.  For quite a while, C just copied the pictures in the books as drawings, but just recently, she's done some very interesting embroidery.  Along with the hibiscus that she embroidered a day or so ago, she also did a very pretty cherry blossom embroidery that she copied from one of the Doodle Stitching books.

I've told C that if she wants to embroider jeans or canvas shoes that I would buy her some.  I should also mention that pillow cases and t-shirts are another option.  

Winding down

Here's some of what's happening:

  • The year is starting to wind down.  D has finished his speech therapy (maybe forever), the kids are done with CCD for the year, my husband is finishing his teaching soon, and in less than a month, we will be in our new house.
  • I was having a move dream last night.  
  • Baby T is feeding so well now.  She's now taking in solids and keeping them in, which is very good.  Last night, she had a mini bagel and some banana puree.  She's so cute with a mini bagel!  I think she finished an entire tub of banana puree yesterday.  This is a big deal, as I had gotten used to having to throw out the little tubs after she'd eaten (and spit out) just a few baby spoonfuls (you're not supposed to keep them more than a day).  She obviously felt really happy with a tummyful of mini bagel and banana--she was basically purring with satisfaction.  My list of safe foods for Baby T is growing and growing and it's now possible for me to pop out for some grocery shopping without worrying that Baby T will get hungry in my absence and my husband won't be able to do anything for her.      
  • It's cold again today--low 50s this morning.  That doesn't sound cold, but it's May in Texas.  This is a very chilly spring for us.  
  • I signed a bunch of preliminary papers for our loan yesterday at the credit union.  I was really impressed by the clarity of the process and the scrupulousness of the bank manager.  I'm mentally adding "credit union" to my list of places I want to work when I grow up.  

Preschoolers

I was on a forum elsewhere and saw the following:
Well, we are trying to decide on a name for our newest little one that is on the way.  My 3 year old desperately wants to name the baby "Alligatorie", which I am a firm 'no' on.
So cute!  So funny!

C wanted to name Baby T 'Christina' (or some such), but unfortunately for C, her mommy is an 80s kid who remembers when everybody was a Christina, Kristin, Krissie, and all the dozen or so variants of that name.  I did take one of C's other suggestions and use it as a middle name for Baby T.