Monday, August 30, 2010

Review - The Wiggles: Wiggly Circus

Last week we say the Wiggly Circus, the first live show for FireGirl. Or any of us, for that matter. And? We loved it! Every one of us had a great time.

I was a little concerned that FireGirl would be a little too young, at 22 months old, but nope. She had a great time. She did not like the announcer coming on in the beginning, telling us to find our fire exits and such. I think such a loud, disembodied voice kinda freaked her out. As well it should, LOL. After the characters started coming out, she got into it. Spent the first part of the show just staring, mouth agape, taking it all in. Before long she was laughing & clapping, making motions, pointing, and all over enjoying herself.

It was a really nice, kid-friendly & parent-friendly show. Very enjoyable for all of us. Meaning that I think anyone, of any age, will enjoy themselves. Of course, I wouldn't recommend adults going without kids, but it's not like you sit there bored while your kid has fun. The show is fun for you too.

So if you have the chance to take your little ones, I say go for it!



So Friday we had the roof inspected on the house we're selling.

It passed. Sort of. I was there during the inspection. The inspector said there was absolutely no damage, but he is recommending that some additional supports be added. No biggie, said it was very common in older homes. But he's also writing it up as having 5+ years of life left on the roof. So it's up to the underwriter whether or not he's gonna make us put the supports in before we can close.

Still waiting on one permit for the house we're buying, then we should be ready to close. Would have had it on Friday, but the county's computer system was down. Hopefully we can get it today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Will this ever end?!?

Send in those docs, and the bank sends us a list of another five things they need. Plus we need to re-sign some other docs.

Still working on those.

The buyer of our current home is still planning to close on Tuesday, so it looks like mid-next week we'll be technically homeless. Pricing storage units today.

Will be sooooooo glad when this is all over. So glad.

Whew! Busy week. And not done yet!

Okay, you already know how Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday went.

Wednesday I got into a fight with our realtor, and was stressing the whole day about getting our loan docs in in time, inspections on our current home, etc. Plus my laptop decided to die. Again.  So frustrating. Especially when you need that laptop to send docs to your bank.

Wednesday night we had tickets to see the Wiggles. I was so stressed, got home late, we ended up hitting the McDonald's drive thru and eating on the road, something we never do with FireGirl.

That show ended up being my saving grace that night. Well, the show and my family. We had a wonderful time. FireGirl loved it. FireMan even had a good time. And it was the first real all-together-family-time we'd had in what seems like forever. Much needed. My stresses melted away in the giggles of my little girl. Life couldn't be any better.

I haven't been that happy, that satisfied, that heart-so-full-of-love-it's-overflowing in a long time.


So... back to the real world on Thursday. Continued working to get everything ready for both closings. Starting to realize there's a possibility we might close on the sale of our current home before we close on the purchase of our new home. Scary. Had to leave work early to go to a funeral visitation 90 minutes away. We were planning to stay for the service as well, but got concerned about FireGirl's ability to sit still that long, and so left. I'm glad we did. As it is we didn't get home until nearly 9pm, her bedtime. And she absolutely needed a bath. Finally manage to get her in bed, and find FireMan already in bed. He's not feeling well.

I'm exhausted, so I decide I'm just gonna go to bed too. We're all in bed before 10pm. And probably snoring soundly.

Today's been pretty normal. I have a new laptop. I/S has decided the problem is that I visit Facebook. Which I know is a load of crap because then everyone's laptop would be doing the same thing, but whatever. I cross-my-heart promise them that I won't go to Facebook anymore. Work's been pretty busy. Still getting loan docs together for the bank. Definitely not closing today. Buyer on our current home still wants to close next Tuesday, so there's a real possibility that we'll be technically homeless next week. Looking into storage units.

And... that's it for now. Anticipating another busy weekend. Looking forward to all this real estate schtuff to be over.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear HelpDesk:

My new-to-me laptop has died. Again. This is my fourth laptop in two months. I have two requests for you:

#1 - don't treat me like an idiot when I call to report the problem. When you ask me to try a fix, and I tell you I've already tried that, don't treat me like I'm lying and ask me to do it again while you're on the phone. All that does is waste time & tick me off.

#2 - will you please listen to me re: what I think is the problem? I know, you keep telling me you're quite sure that's not the problem, because there's no reasonable, well, reason that would be the problem. But you also haven't been able to figure anything else out. And contrary to what you seem to think, I am not actually a moron. I might be wrong, but I'm also thinking that after killing four laptops, wouldn't it be worth a shot to just try my idea?

Just a thought.

Now, please don't ever talk to me like I'm stupid again. And have a nice day.

Ugh. (LONGer than I intended)

That's it. Just ugh.

We are this close to pulling it all together. Having everything they need by the date they needed it. This close.

Actually feeling pretty good about ourselves. Bank thinks they can walk all over us? Ha! Watch us pull this trick out of our butt! Ha! Beat ya at your own game!

And then...

We get a phone call from our realtor. About our current home, which is under contract to be sold, right? Well, the buyer's underwriter is requiring an additional roof inspection (what is it with underwriters & roofs?). Requiring it to be done by a certified structural engineer. And requiring that the sellers (that's us) pay for it.


So... as the buyer, we have to pay for all the additional inspections that the bank is requiring on the house we're buying, and now you're telling us that as the seller we have to pay for all the additional inspections that the bank is requiring on the house we're selling?!?

I tell FireMan this is not acceptable. I call our realtor. Let's call him Mike.

Here's a very-much-shortened, clearly-my-sided version of what ensued:

Me: How is it that we have to pay for inspections as both the buyer & the seller? Why isn't the buyer having to pay for the inpections on the house we're selling?

Mike: That's just how it is

Me: That's not right.

Mike: Maybe, but that's just how it is

Me: Why isn't the buyer paying it?

Mike: Well, we can ask, but then there's a high likelihood that you won't sell your house

Me: This makes no sense

Mike: I know, but it's just how it is, you just have to do it

Me: This is wrong. Is it screw FireMan & FireWife day?

Mike: I sympathize, but it's just how it is. You have to do whatever they say, or you could lose both houses.

Me: This is wrong

Mike: It's because of FHA

Me: No it's not.

Mike: Yes it is

Me: No, I was on the HUD/FHA website yesterday, and was shocked to find out that they actually have very few requirements. It's the banks requiring all this stuff.

Mike: No, it's the FHA.

Me: No, really. I read it on the HUD/FHA website yesterday.

Mike: well, you're wrong, but what do you mean?

Me: Like the contractor. We don't have to sign an agreement with a contractor, provide contractor's resume, and all the additional documentation the bank is requiring. It's the bank that's making us do that.

Mike: No, it's the FHA.

Me: No, it's not. I just read it yesterday.

Mike: Listen. I am a licensed broker and am very fluent on the HUD website. That's not what it says.

Me: I'm fluent in English, and that is what it says.

Mike: No, it doesn't. (I am now insulted at his implication that I can't read & understand English)

Mike (I assume trying to change the subject): Besides, I'm the expert and I told you from the beginning that you should buy a newer home in a subdivision and then you won't have to deal with all these extra requirements (he has brought this up a bazillion times and doesn't seem to accept the fact that we don't want to live in a subdivision, and can't afford a brand new home on land, so kinda have to get a fixer upper in order to get our dream house)

Me: Listen, can I just read this to you?

Mike: What?
Me: I pulled up the HUD website. I have it in front of me.

Mike: I know what the HUD website says

Me: Maybe they updated something. Maybe you should know. I just want to read this to you.

Mike (very agitated): I told you, I am a licensed broker and I know what the HUD website says!

Me: I'm just trying to read this to you. Maybe they updated it.

Mike: NO! I am fluent in what is on the HUD website, and I know what it says!

Me: But what is on here is different than what you're telling me!

Mike: NO! This conversation is over!

Me: But I just want to read this to you!

Mike: NO!

Me: Maybe you're not as fluent as you think! Maybe they've updated their information or something!

Mike: Now you've insulted me! I am the broker and I know what I'm talking about! You have insulted me! You two have created your own problems by not buying the new house in a subdivision that I recommended! You created your own problems, you can deal with them yourselves! I am done!


Great. We may have just lost our realtor.

Of course, I'm not sure what he's done for us anyway. So maybe... not such a loss? Let's see. We found our own house. Have negotiated everything directly with the bank on our own. He did put our current home on the MLS and tell us to clean it up for showings. And sat next to us showing us where to sign documents. Ooooh... really? Sign at the "X"?

Seriously though. This is a problem.

I had the (apparently crazy) idea that part of the job of being our real estate agent was to represent our interests in the matter. Am I that far off  base? Because all we're being told is: yep, you're right. It's wrong. But you just have to do it. If you push back, you'll lose both houses. You just have to bend over & take it. No one is standing up for us.

I don't understand. How is it that we have a real estate agent, whom we're paying by commission, and we have a loan officer, whom we're paying by commission, and yet no one is actually representing our interests? How is that possible?

How is it that we're buying a home as is, we're fine with it, we don't want any inspections, but because the bank wants inspections to protect their interests, we have to pay for it? Shouldn't they have to pay for the inspections because it's for their peace of mind?
Same with our house: the buyer is buying our current hom as is. She's fine with it. But because the bank wants additional inspections to protect their interests, somehow we as the sellers have to pay for it?

How is that right? How is that ethical?

I tallied it up. By the time this is all said & done, we will have paid roughly $1000 for separate inspections. A thousand dollars. On inspections that we don't want or need. Because someone else wants them done to protect their interest. We have to pay something out of our pockets so that someone else can have peace of mind about their interests.

How is this the way it works?  How is it that no one is pushing back for us? That we're being told that if we push back at all, we'll likely lose both houses?

What is going on?!?

I told FireMan to call Mike back and tell him we'll bend over. Meaning that we'll pay for the inspection on our current home. Because we don't know what else to do, and our realtor certainly isn't gonna help us.

Who is representing our interests? We are. And certainly no one else.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fixing My Hair is gonna take some time

Literally. Ha!

I have long, thick hair. Actually "doing" it takes time.

I had planned on doing it Sunday, then with all the disappointment, I sabotaged myself, thinking "why? no one cares anyway"

Must. Fix. Hair. I'm gonna have to actually get up early for this one. Keep you posted.

Did you know underwriter = God?

I didn't. This is news to me. But apparently, that's how it rolls in the real estate universe.

I got an email yesterday from our loan officer, listing THIRTEEN stipulations that the underwriter demands we fulfill before she will approve us for closing. Oh, and we have to complete all of them by TOMORROW in order to close before our contract expires.

That's right. We've been going thru this process for six weeks, and we are given two days notice of thirteen additional hoops to jump thru.

I mean, it's not like this is the first list of requests we've gotten. And every time they've asked us for something, we have turned it around in record time. Our loan officer even commented on how timely we've been in responding to their requests.

But here we are. Contract on the house expires on Friday. And on Monday the underwriter gives us THIRTEEN things we have to do.

Here's the list, including comments on how I feel about them:

#1 - letter from mother-in-law saying it's okay to use the fund in the joint acct she has with FireMan - don't get me started. The fact that they have a joint account without my name on it is a whole separate issue. Letter signed last night.

#2 - 203K contractor agreement fully executed and with completion date for windows - would have liked to have gotten this contract sooner, but fine. Should be completed today.

#3 - 203K contractor agreement fully executed and with completion date for water line - would have liked to have gotten this contract sooner, as well as notice that we can't use the same contractor as for the windows sooner, but fine. Will be completed as soon as we can find someone to do the water line, since you have randomly decided you don't like our original contractor for this job

#4 - Acceptable roof inspection - must show at least three years life remaining on roof - ridiculous. We have a home inspection. House passes, including roof. Last week you ask for a separate roof inspection to address the "humps" the appraiser noted on her report. I specifically ask if we can use our home inspector and am told yes. Home inspector (bless his heart) came out same day, did a separate roof inspection addressing the "humps" issue. Now you're telling me we need a third roof inspection, according to your form to be done by a roofing specialist, and which specifically states the estimated life of the roof. Is there a reason you didn't tell us from the beginning that that specifically is what you required? Ridiculous. Roofer called. Will (hopefully) be completed today.

#5 - Deck needs to be repaired for safety issues - Passed home inspection. Passed appraisal. Underwriter decides, based on one picture that the appraiser took, that the "deck" is unsafe. Has never been to the home. The "deck" she called into question, isn't actually a deck at all, but a pile of debris, including a wooden pallet (the "deck"?) on the bottom. FireMan & I went to the house last night, spent two hours removing the debris, and took new pictures.

#6 - New bid from original contractor that just shows windows - underwriter decides that the contractor we have chosen to do the work, besides being licensed as a general contractor, she decides that he's only qualified to install our new windows. So now we need a new quote from home removing the other services we had planned on him providing (floor installation, door installation, rooms painted, and water line).

#7, #8, #9, #10 - New bid for water line from a separate licensed plumber, Copy of plumber's license, Plumber copy of liability insurance, Plumber resume with business name, address, & references - see, two weeks ago, you asked our contractor for a letter re: the water line. He sent you a letter explaining that he planned to subcontract to a licensed plumber, included the plumber's name & license number. Now you've decided that we can't subcontract, and instead expect us to find a separate licensed plumber, get a quote, and get all their info IN TWO DAYS.

#11 - Copy of permits - by the underwriter's own admission, no contractor in their right mind is going to pay for a permit until they for sure have the job. And she also admits that there's no way they will know for sure until after we close. So how are we supposed to turn in copies of permits if you actually admit that we can't get it?

#12 - Two additional paystubs for me - but not for FireMan. Seems kinda arbitrary, but fine.

#13 - original contractor resume with business name, address, references, etc. - so... I'm not familiar with contractor resumes or anything, but I'm staring at the one he originally submitted, and I'm can easily read his business name, address, and a list of references. So... not really understanding what more you want from him.

So there you go. T-minus 24 hours and counting to pull all this crap together.

Rough week. Already.

So, I've already told you about my disappointing Sunday. And big surprise, but that day ended with a fight with FireMan.

So then yesterday morning, I get an email from our loan officer, detailing the THIRTEEN additional things that we have to do IN TWO DAYS in order to close before our contract expires. I'll be going over the details on my other blog.

Then at work, we have a business conditions review, and they talk for a good ten minutes on everything their doing for team members. Team members have already gotten a bonus back. Team members will be getting regular wage increases again in the coming year. Everything they're doing is to ensure the job security of their team members. I don't know if you remember or not, but I'm a "temp". So none of this pertains to me. I haven't gotten a bonus since I came here six years ago. Temps are still on a 5% pay cut. Definitely not even talking about wage increases. And job security? Well... I'm a temp. What does that tell you?

Six years of being a temp. I love the people I work with, but the company as a whole treats us like crap.

I walked out of the meeting. And I was the one running the presentation. Just walked out. I decided I had better things to do with my time then sit here listening to people talk about pay & benefits & awesomeness that doesn't pertain to me, and subsequently leads me to feel worse about myself.

No one said anything. They know I'm not happy being a temp. Some of them are even sympathetic. But no one's doing anything about it, are they?

So... so far it's a rough week.

Tonight my parents are keeping FireGirl overnight. Which can be a respite in and of itself, but also breaks my heart. I hate when she's not at home with me. Hate it. Every time. I miss her.

And FireMan is working.

So I'll be home. Alone.

Don't get me wrong, I'll get a lot done. I'm always more productive when I have the house to myself.

But I'm also lonely.

Rough week. Already.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dear Everyone:

This is something we all, yes by "all" I mean even myself, need to hear once in a while.

If you are not happy with a situation, you are responsible for making an effort to change it.

I was going to say "You are responsible for your own happiness", or "You are responsible for changing unhappy circumstances" or something like that, but I also want to acknowledge that some things are out of our control. But it doesn't mean you get to just sit around unhappy, complaining to everyone, without even trying to effect change.

You do have to at least try.

This is no more true than in our interpersonal relationships.

We can't force people to change. If we're not happy with something in a relationship, we can't make the other person change. But we also can't expect them to fufill our needs if we don't help them, help us.

Does that make sense?

For example,

If you're a homebody, but your friend / significant other / whoever keeps dragging you out to a different club every night, and you say nothing, but gradually become more & more miserable because you just want to spend some quiet time at home... well... you can't blame the friend for doing what they like. You never even made the effort to fulfill your own needs. Get it?

Likewise, if you like to go out all the time, and your friend is a homebody, you can't just sit there week after week and then blow up on your friend one day because you never go out & do what you want to do. Did you ever say anything? Did you ever speak up? Did you ever suggest an idea of what to do? No? Then why are you mad at them? Be angry with yourself.

Did that help prove my point? I hope so.

You have to speak up. You have to make your own efforts to do something that you enjoy. You can't just expect everyone in your life to cater to you, always pick what you like, and then if they don't start whining about how you never get to do what you want to do. Did you ever say anything?

No? Then shut the heck up.

Disappointing Day

Today is the only day this week that we could have together as a family. FireMan worked yesterday, getting off at 7:30am this morning. I work tomorrow. So today is it.

I bought cinnamon rolls so we could enjoy a favorite breakfast together. I took my shower last night, so I would have time to curl my hair for him today. We planned to go to church together. We talked about going to Lowe's together to look at stuff for the new house. I was so excited to have this day together as a family, all three of us.

All day yesterday, FireGirl kept asking for Dadda. I told her that when she went to bed, if she slept the whole night, then Daddy would be here when she woke up, and he was spending the whole day with us. She would giggle, say "Yep!" and clap.

Apparently, I lied.

At 8:11am FireMan calls to tell me he's not coming home. Water rescue sent out a page, they need divers because somebody might have drowned. He's not even stopping by the house.

I. Am. Pissed.

I saw the news story on television. And I saw that there were more than enough water rescue personnel there. So I'm not buying the "nobody-showed-up-and-they-really-needed-me bit"

So, a little background for you. I work Monday - Friday. With his odd shifts, this means that we might get one day together as a family, on the weekends. The past couple of months he has decided that on that one day home he would rather go on boat patrol with water rescue than spend the day with his family.

Including last weekend. So after convincing me to reschedule our moving sale to last Saturday, he then signs up for boat patrol on the same day, leaving me to work it by myself. Luckily his parents were there most of the day because they were selling things, and my mom came at the end of the day to help me out. But that's beside the point.

We already have very limited time together as a family, and he keeps voluntarily doing other things on those days.

I feel lonely, and rejected. I feel like he would rather be anywhere than home with his wife & daughter. I feel that way because his actions have repeatedly told us that it's the truth.

You know, when I was single, I never understood the phrase "lonely wife". How could that be, I thought?

I get it now. "Lonely Wife". Yep. That's me.

Lonely wife. Rejected by her own husband.

You know, when I was single, I prayed that God would send me someone who adored me, someone who chose me above all others, someone who had eyes only for me.

I got married. But no one adores me. No one chooses me above all others. No one has eyes only for me.

My daughter is the closest. But as she gets older & older, that will get less & less. It's part of growing up, and it's bound to happen.

I'm sad.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Got Some Great Deals

No news on the purchase / sale of our houses, but we have gotten some great deals on things we'll need for renovations in the new house.

A few months ago FireMan got a medicine cabinet , similar to this one:
Regular price was $130, FireMan paid $20. It was discontinued, and was a return, and had been on clearance for three weeks already. He happened to be there right at closing, saw a manager, and asked if he take $20 for it. And he did.

Doesn't hurt to ask, huh?

And then last night we got a bath surround similar to this one:
Regular price $209, we paid $50. It was returned because it had a tiny crack in one corner. But we figure for that much savings, we'll deal with the little crack.

Both will go in the guest (FireGirl's) bathroom, and were exactly what we had planned on getting. Just at a lot less cost to us.

I foresee our renovation expenses getting smaller & smaller.

Woot! Woot!

Tucker got out!

Tucker got out the other night. And it terrified me.

I came home around 9pm, and walked in the door with my arms full, and he snuck out between my legs. By the time I put Jena down and turned around, he was in the neighbor's yard, being chased by the neighborhood cat. I went out and tried to get him. They were on the verge of fighting. The neighborhood cat didn't see me and I snuck on him and stomped on the ground next to his head, thinking he would run off & I could grab Tucker & take him home.


Oh, the neighborhood cat ran. But Tucker also ran, in the opposite direction. I followed him into the next yard, but he kept going. And Jena was in the house alone so I couldn't go any further.

I called Jason, who was at a water rescue meeting. So when he came home he drove around the neighborhood  looking for Tucker. Then he walked around the neighborhood looking. No luck. He came in, and I took a turn, and walked the entire neighborhood looking for Tucker. No luck. I came home & sat on our porch thinking if I was quiet and Tucker saw me there he would come up to me.

Nope. After a few minutes I started crying.

This is my baby. My baby boy. I've had him for 4 1/2 years, after adopting him from the local shelter. And he's not been outside since. It's now 11:30pm, and there's not much more we can do. I'm scared to death for him, and try to console myself by reminding myself that he's really big, and he has all his claws so at least he can defend himself.

I go inside. We go to bed, me somewhat reluctantly. We're lying in bed, and I'm looking out the window, which faces the front of our house, mentally making a list of everything I'll need to do the next day if he's not back in the morning: contact the local shelter, contact the microchip company, make up some lost posters, post lost ads on CraigsList, Facebook, etc.

About a half an hour later, I still can't sleep, and I look up to see a little white head poke out from under our car.

It's him!

I jump out of bed, run down the hallway to the front door, and look out. He's looking at me, but still hiding under the car.

I open the door to go get him, and the minute the door opens he bounds across the yard & straight into the house!

I was so happy! So relieved.

And it was so cute. The first thing he did was go up & lick on Tess. So cute.

Ever since he's been extra cuddly & wanting extra attention. I was hoping that meant he learned his lesson, but he's also been running to the door anytime I go near it, like he wants to go out again.

Not if I can help it.

I'm just so thankful that he came back. And so soon!

So thankful. And so relieved.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Trying to get noticed

And I decided to blog about it.

Keeping track for my own... research? Posting for your... amusement?

What will it take for someone to notice?

A social experiment, of sorts.

All I ask is that if you are given the opportunity (IRL, on FB, however) to notice whatever it is, that if you're only noticing because I blogged about it, then you say nothing.


Let's not ruin the results of my little experiment, please.


Someone Noticed !!! (Not Combing My Hair)

Last night my trainer noticed my hair.

Actually, she said: "You're hair looks so long & wavy today! Beautiful!"

LMBO! But at least someone noticed, right?

I decided not to comb my hair again today. If the only person  who noticed it, liked it, the why not, right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not Combing My Hair - Day 3

Day 2 ended... well? No one noticed. Not one side eye or funny look. Definitely no comments.

And so we are on Day 3. So far, no one has noticed.

And so I must decide... there should probably be a time limit on each experiment. I mean, if no one ever notices that I haven't combed my hair, I'm not just gonna not comb it ever again for life, you know?

So I'm thinking... one week. I will do each experiment for one week or until someone notices, whichever comes first.

Opening My Eyes

"Like me, women who feel invisible don't automatically see others. I guess I concentrated so hard on my own invisibility that I was blind to anyone else's. I couldn't see all the other women around me who have similar feelings and share the same pain. But God sees. And although I feel invisible, I'm really not. This has opened my eyes to many other invisible people living, breathing, and struggling around me. The world has come alive with invisible people."
page 61

The problem with being invisible, is that the invisibility comes with a heavy dose of loneliness. And much like the lonely, you feel like you are the only one. You are invisible, while everyone around you is not. But that's just not the case. Many of us feel invisible. And if you think about it for just a minute, I bet you can think of someone around you who might just be invisible to you. I know I did. Have you seen them lately? They might just feel invisible themselves, desparate for someone just to see them.

Still Waiting

Our loan officer called FireMan this morning to confirm that he had handed everything over to the underwriter yesterday.

Unfortunately (for us),  our loan officer doesn't work on Fridays, so we most likely won't hear anything until Monday.

Assuming we get approved, we can close within 48 hours.

So... we will hopefully be closing on our new home Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Freedom of Religion

So... this whole mosque thing as me kinda riled up. Admittedly not really riled up, but kinda.

The more I think about it, the more those who oppose the mosque bother me. Again, I certainly have sympathies for the emotions surrounding this issue, but our country guarantees us the freedom of religion, and although this issue might just dance on the outskirts of that constitutional right, I feel strongly that to deny the building of this mosque (or Islamic community center, as the case may be), treads on the rights of our fellow American citizens.

And that is really starting to bother me.

Especially when I hear or read things opposing it from people I know are born-again Christians. Some of whom will squawk when they feel that their rights as Christians, their rights to worship as they please or to express their spiritual beliefs, are being stripped away in the name of political correctness.

Well, isn't this the same thing? At least sort of?

To deny the building of this mosque, strips away the rights of the Muslims who would worship there, in the name of being politically correct in "honoring" the memory of 9/11.

Taking away the rights of one group of people so as not to offend another group of people just is not right.

I want to say that again.

Taking away the rights of one group of people so as not to offend another group of people just is not right.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WishList Wednesday

I wish I weren't tired all the time. Maybe a little of the time. But not all the time.

I wish I had more time with FireGirl. I'm missing her more & more lately. This working mom thing stinks.
I wish I had more time with FireMan. Quality time together has been on short supply lately.

I still wish we for sure had this house.

And I wish this house had for sure sold.

Not Combing my Hair - Day 2

That's right. I didn't comb my hair again today. On purpose.

Still waiting for someone to say something, anything. Tell me it looks bad. Tell me it looks good. Say something looks different. Give me a funny look. Something. Anything. To notice.

I wonder how long it will take.

Honestly, as I looked in the mirror in the bathroom at work, I kinda like my hair uncombed. Left untouched it gets a nice, natural wave to it. The slightly tangled, blonde waves bring the word "bohemian" to mind. I don't think it looks bad, but it is definitely different. So... how long before someone notices?

We shall see.

Why am I trying to get noticed?

Because I feel like no one notices me. Sometimes I feel invisible. No one sees me. Not even my husband.

I've tried dressing up. No one notices.

I've tried dressing down. No one notices.

I've tried fixing my hair nicely. No one notices.

And yesterday, when I realized while driving to work that I hadn't combed my hair yet, I decided to try an experiment, and not comb it at all.

And so I didn't. All day. Brushed the tangles out last night before I went to bed. But other than that, did nothing to my hair all day. Didn't comb it. Didn't pull it back. Nothing.

And no one seemed to notice.

Not even my husband.

I am curious. What will it take for someone to notice me?

I guess we shall see.

Dear Body Fat:

Would you kindly just start melting off of me? It would be soooooooo appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

"You Are Not Invisible to God"

"What would it mean to my everyday life if I could see the work that I do as a real form of prayer? What if I bowed my head over the laundry and said a prayer of blessing rather than my usual cursing? How could I see my role as a wife and the mother... as though I were building a great cathedral? Would this change my day, or more to the point, my heart? How does one spread peanut butter as though it is a great offering to God? Will it spread more smoothly?"
page 58

What would it mean to my everyday life, to my heart, if I blessed the work that I do instead of cursing it? What a profound thought! What if I recognized that the smallest, most menial of tasks that I do, I recognized as building something great in the eyes of God? This needs more meditation. And practice.

Everything's Been Submitted

Got the rest of the contractor's documents submitted to the bank yesterday. Got the additional inspections submitted this morning.

Now we wait. And hope. And pray.

And wait.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

God Bless Our Home Inspector

We found out that the bank does not require any sort of specialist for the additional inspections, and so he drove out last night to do the additonal inspections that the bank was requiring at the appraiser's recommendation.

Found nothing wrong with the roof (duh!), and nothing wrong with the septic system (duh!), and the "repair" that the appraiser requested for the furnace, wasn't even a repair at all. The metal cover had fallen (or been taken) off and just had to be put on. FireMan did it while the inspector was there, he checked it out & said all was good. Said he'll write it all up & have it to us sometime today.

God bless him!

And... we finally got the rest of the paperwork back from our contractor, so I just need to send that to our loan officer.

And... the appraisal on our current home was today. FireMan was home for it and the appraiser said he saw nothing wrong with the home and would write it up & get it sent to the buyer's bank today.

Maybe this is finally coming together.

Building a Mosque Near Ground Zero

This topic has gotten quite a lot of press lately, and it seems that both camps seem to think that you are in one group or another. No gray areas allowed, of course.

Those who ardently support the mosque being built see it as a matter of freedom of religion / equality for all, and those that oppose them as being short-sighted racists.

Those who vehemently oppose the mosque being built see it as a matter of being a patriot, or not.

I don't think it's either. Or maybe it's both. Or maybe it's a little more gray than any of it.

Those who oppose the mosque being built, well, I think for one reason or another the emotions of 9/11 are still a little too raw to allow anything besides a memorial to go on what is seen as sacred ground. And the fact that the terrorists who committed such an act were Muslim, for them, adds insult to injury. They feel that to build a Islamic place of worship so close to where such an atrocity was committed by men who professed Islamic beliefs to be an insult, a slap in the face, rubbing salt in wounds that are still too fresh.
And sometimes it's not that the wounds are still to fresh for themselves, but that these opposers are so incredibly sympathetic to the survivors and their families, to the loved ones of victims lost, that they feel that to support the mosque would be tantemount to betraying those who still hurt.

And their feelings are more than valid.

Those who support the mosque being built near Ground Zero, tend to hold fast to the belief that our country should still be a place for freedom of religion, a place for equality for all, no matter what the religion, no matter what extremist zealots have claimed in the name of their god. They pride themselves in at least trying to promote equality for all, even if they aren't always successful.

And they are right and honorable in their beliefs and efforts.

Where do I stand? In the gray.

I absolutely support the right of any religious group to build a place of worship whereever they see fit. I see no reason for the city to prohibit the building of this mosque. In fact, I believe it would be wrong for it to be prohibited.
This does not mean that I am not sympathetic to those who oppose it. I am. I feel for them. I feel for the pain that they still feel. A part of me still hurts too. I'm not sure there's an American alive who lived thru that day, no matter where they were, who doesn't still feel at least a twinge of pain at the mention of 9/11. I understand where they are coming from.

But just because I understand, and am sympathetic, doesn't mean I agree.

From personal experience I know that the majority of Muslims are loving, peaceful people. Really no different from you or I.

And from my background in history, I know that a few Christian groups in the past (and present) have also been known to commit great atrocities in the name of our God. But I also know that the actions of a few do not represent the whole. Not even close.

Now... back to the mosque-building issue. Even though I support the building of a mosque near Ground Zero (or anywhere, really), what I do not support is that any place of worship be built in that area before St. Nicholas Church is rebuilt.

For those of you who do not know, St. Nicholas Church was destroyed on 9/11. It sat in the shadows of the World Trade Center, and was demolished under the weight of the collapsing buldings.

Efforts to rebuild St. Nicholas in that area have been delayed and blocked by red tape for the past nine years.
Yet somehow requests to build a mosque have been approved in significantly less time.

This. Bothers. Me.

And I wonder what the political motivations are behind it.

It. Really. Bothers. Me.

So, my opinion? Rebuild St. Nicholas first. Then, and only then, should other requests to build another place of worship in the area be considered. But not before.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving Sale results & Updates

We had our moving sale last Saturday. Sat out in the heat & humidity for over eight hours to make all of fifty bucks. So not worth it.

Took some pictures of the larger items still left, and plan to post on CraigsList to see if we get any takers.

Also on Saturday the contractors came to fix our electric line issue. What I didn't know, is that that wouldn't totally fix it. Tomorrow the inspector comes to inspect their work. As long as it passes inspection (it better!) we then have to notify the electric company to come & actually re-do the hookup from the street to the house. Just another delay.
The kicker is that we're technically not supposed to have electricity until it's inspected. But the contractors took pity on us and rigged it up so that we can. Only thing is that it doesn't  hold the amps of a normal connection, so we can't run the dryer while the air conditioner's running. So that's fun.

Waiting for proof of insurance from the contractor we're using at our new house, to send to our underwriter as part of the approval (needed since it's a renovation loan).

And... was informed today by our bank that their appraiser has recommended two additional inspections on the new house: a roof inspection, and a septic inspection. Ugh. So now we're trying to find out if a regular old home inspector can do it, or if they're requiring any sort of specialist (roofing company, etc) to do the inspection so we can schedule it.
Oh, and the appraiser decided that the furnace needs repairs, but we weren't given any details on what kind of repairs. So we're trying to get more information on that.

It's just so frustrating. One delay after another.

Still trying to understand this appraisal thing. Seems so... arbitrary. I mean, we've already passed inspection. So why do we need more inspections? Isn't it the home inspector's job to decide that stuff? And these furnace repairs, doesn't that also fall under the home inspector's responsibilities? Who is the appraiser to decide that the first home inspection wasn't enough?
I've also heard of appraisers requiring sellers to paint rooms, or install new floor trim, or other random cosmetic things. Isn't up to the buyer if they want those stipulations? What does that have to do with anything?
I'm just really having a hard time understanding what service the appraiser really provides. I mean, really? What do they do?
Did you know (in our state anyway) there's no standard for home appraisers? It really is arbitrary. Other than the numbers they pull up from comps & tax records, it's totally up to the opinion of the appraiser and what they like or don't like. That just doesn't seem right to me.

Just another way of delaying the process.

Anyway, the (potentially) good news is that our loan officer understands our situation and why we're in a time crunch, and told us today that as soon as their underwriter approves everything, he'll have us closed in 48 hours.

Starting to Think We Need a Talent Agent for FireGirl

LMBO... sort of.

Now that I know what to look for, I'm starting to be able to tell when she's "acting". But boy, is she good at it.

She did it again to me yesterday when she first woke up. Crying, crying. I go into her room, which normally results in a grin. Nope, she kept crying & whining. I stopped and said "Are you faking on momma?" and a smile slowly came across her face.

It's like she's so proud of herself for faking you out.

So I got an idea. Changed her diaper, got her dressed. Took her out to the living room & stood in front of the large mirror we have in the doorway.

"Okay, show me your sad face. When you're really, really sad and you feel like you want to cry. Show me when you're sad".

She does a sad face. And holds it until I say "Good job!"

"Okay, show me your angry face. What do you look like when you're mad at momma? When you're really, really angry at momma?"

She furrows her brow & produces an angry face. Again, holds it until I say "Good job"

"Can you cry for momma?"


"Okay, can you show me really, really super-happy?"

Huge grin, spreading from ear to ear.

"Can you laugh for momma?"

Laughs on cue.

Later in the day, we're driving to the grocery, and I have the rear view mirror tilted so I can see her. She looks really upset.

"Are you faking?"


Then she makes the face again.

She continues "practicing" her faces the rest of the drive. Every time I glance back at her she's "doing" another emotion.

Seriously... is this normal for toddlers? My parents don't remember any of us kids doing it. Definitely not this young.

Combine that with what happened when FireMan's mom took FireGirl to get pics done in a studio. I wasn't there to see it, but my mother-in-law tells us that the photographer was shocked at how easy FireGirl was to work with. She said that every pose the photographer told her to do, FireGirl would do with ease, and hold until she was told it was okay to move. Smiled when she was told to smile. Looked in whatever direction she was given. Even allowed them to place her arms and legs in different positions & held it until she was told to move. Mother-in-law said the photographer told her over & over how easy FireGirl was to work with, and that she was a natural in front of the camera.

FireMan & I have said that if acting / modelling / pagaents / performing in any way are something she shows interest in once she's old enough to show interest, then we will do what we can to get her involved in those activities, and support her in them, and allow her to do them as long as she is enjoying it, but that we wouldn't push her towards anything. Especially after last year's Baby Contest experience.
But I have to admit. As many compliments as we get on her appearance, and as many times as we've been told how photogenic she is, and now this new "acting" thing, there's a part of me that wonders if not getting her started now, is doing her any sort of disservice. Part of me thinks that's really silly, she's still so young. But part of me knows that in today's world they start them younger & younger and the earlier she starts, the better chance she might have of being successful in the future.
I wish there were a way to know now if this were something she's really gonna have an interest in when she's older.

And now I feel like I'm just rambling on without really making any points, so... I guess that means it's time to go.

Thanks for checking in!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Isn't She Too Young to Start This?

FireGirl has started lying to me. I think. I'm pretty sure.

She has realized that if she cries, really cries, and fakes an owie, then Momma will come running.

The first incident was two nights ago. I had just gotten her out the bath, clean diaper, pajamas, whole works. She had been playing for about five min. Suddenly she starts grabbing her butt and crying "Ow! ow! ow!" Screaming & crying. Rolling on the floor grabbing her butt. I put her in my lap, look down her pants/diaper. See nothing. "Are you sure you have an owie?" "Ouch!" And she is crying. Tears streaming down her face. I start to get anxious. Maybe a bug got in her diaper while I was changing her & is biting her? Maybe... I don't know, but my daughter appears to be in real pain. So I pick her up & take her into her room. Take off her pants & diaper, and lay her face down on the changing table so I can get a look at her butt. Nothing. With all the horrible diaper rashes this child has had in the past, her butt is beautiful perfect baby skin. Not a bump or red mark in sight. Still a little concerned because of all her past rashes, I cover her butt in Aquaphor and re-diaper her. She starts giggling while I'm putting the lotion on her. I put her down, she's happy as a clam and runs off laughing.

This morning, my parents had come over to pick her up so they could watch her today. I told FireGirl I was getting in the shower. She said "Noooo!" I told her I was dirty & needed a shower. "No!" She's visibly upset. I sit down & talk with her for a minute. I explain that I'm dirty & she points to a small stain on my PJ top. I said "That's right, I'm dirty. I'm gonna go take a shower so I can get clean". She says "Yep!" and points down the hallway toward the bathroom. "That's right. I'll be back in just a few minutes". I walk down the hallway and hear her playing happily with Grandpa. Shut the bathroom door. Get undressed. Hear her screaming crying. I hurriedly throw my clothes back on & run down the hall. "What happened?" "Nothing" "No really, what happened?" "Really. Nothing. We asked her if she wanted more milk & she started bawling." She is still sobbing. Tears streaming down her face. Real tears. Crying, sobbing. I ask her what's wrong. She whimpers. All three of us are hovering over her, trying to figure out what's wrong. She slowly raises her hand and says "Ouch" quietly. I ask her if I can look at it and reach for her hand. She holds both arms up to me. I scoop her up & sit on the floor, placing her in my lap so I can examine her hand. And... she smiles. Crying's over. She's fine. She leans back on me for a minute, then stands up, turns around & hugs me hard. Then runs off squealing happily, grabs a toy, runs back to me, and sits at my side playing happily. I look up at my parents in disbelief. Did my daughter just fake being injured to get me to come out of the shower? We think so.

The scary part? Assuming she is faking (which it seems), she's really good at it. As in, I can't tell the difference, and neither can her grandparents who watch her several days a week. As in, when she does it, I can't not check her out to make sure she's okay, but every time I do & she's faking, I'll be reinforcing the behavior.

And I can't believe this has started already. My angel. My perfect little angel.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Took FireGirl to the (hopefully) new house last night

Things are still moving forward, albeit more slowly than I would have liked.

They've accepted all of the paperwork we've sent in, without any negative comments (so far). Just waiting to get the rest of the documentation from our contractor (we're getting a rehabilitation loan), and then we should be able to set a closing date.

The contractors are coming to our current house Saturday morning, to fix the wiring issue. And once that's done, and we get the appraisal done, we should be able to close on selling that house.

Saturday is also our moving sale, so pray that lots of people come by & buy our things for decent prices.

So I decided that I want to take FireGirl to the new house a minimum of once a week to let her run around and explore and start her getting used to it. I'm hoping it will make the transition easier for her.

I think it's working. We walked in and I said "Where's your new room?" and she ran down the hallway to what will be her new room. Yeah, I think she gets it. As much as she can anyway.

Oh, and while we were there FireMan came up with a new, awesome idea for how to re-do the kitchen. Don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but the kitchen is in a really odd layout. It's odd how it's laid out in the house, and the kitchen itself has kind of a weird layout. Just odd. And tiny. We've had a couple of ideas, from the simple to the complex (tearing out partial walls, etc). But this idea... I think it's the best yet. I don't want to give too much away, because I'm hoping to one day post before & after pics.

That's about it for now. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This past Sunday the sermon was about diligence.

Gotta admit, it was something I needed to hear. defines "diligence" as: constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.

In other words: do it. Do it now. And do it until it's done. Don't procrastinate (one of my vices), and don't give up. Plug away at it. Keep at it until you complete the task at hand. And then start another one.

I tend to struggle with diligence, especially with procrastination. What I did not realize (kinda stupidly, I guess) is that God had something to say about it.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."    -- Proverbs 6:6-8

"He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him."    -- Proverbs 11:27

"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."    -- Proverbs 13:4

And so... I shall work on being diligent.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Family (and friends):

I can't please you all. Never gonna happen. Not possible.

So please stop asking me to do such-and-such because that's how you like it, or not to do such-and-such because so-and-so's gonna think whatchamacallit.

Because no matter what I do, it is impossible to accomodate all of you 100%.

So instead, I'm just gonna continue doing what works best for me and my husband & daughter, and you can play along if you like, or go your own way if you like, and we'll all just be happy whatever the outcome, 'kay?


Optimism Lost

I used to be so motivated, so passionate, so dedicated, so involved.

FireMan was telling me the other night about someone new on water rescue who just really jumped in with both feet and took over the administrative role. I was a little jealous. When I was on water rescue I had repeatedly offered to help with administrative tasks and was turned down or ignored by the officers. So I didn't do it. But this person just jumped in and did it. And everyone's wowing at how much better things are now.

What happened to me?

I can remember time after time in my life past when I jumped in with both feet, when I took the initiative, when I started projects. Some of the best times in my life, in fact. Did they all work out as I had hoped? Well, no. But I did it. I did something.

Just this past weekend, as I was packing, I came across some sheets from my time in college, where person after person exalted my leadership abilities. I doubt anyone would say that now.

What happened to me?

I could speculate all day about different incidents in my life that might have led to this change, but the bottom line is that somewhere along the way I lost my optimism. That really is the bottom line. defines "optimism" as: a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

And somewhere along the line I lost that. I no longer expect the best outcome. I hope for it, but I don't expect it. In fact, I kinda expect to get screwed. For things to fall apart. For projects to fail.

And if you expect things to get screwed up no matter how hard you try, then eventually you stop trying.

And so now, when I decide something is worth trying, I tend to do so tentatively.

And the fact of the matter is that life rarely responds to tentative efforts. Life responds best to enthusiastic balls-to-the-wall efforts.

Now the question is, can I change back?

My life experiences led to this change in how I view the world. So can I change it back? Or is it too late? Am I already too disillusioned?

Because I think, in this aspect anyway, I liked the old me better.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Can I cry now?

And unfortunately, not for joy?

We got an email from our loan officer today. The underwriter is asking for all sorts of documentation.

Not the least of which (in my mind anyway), is a letter from my employer explaining why I am a temp and not a permanent employee, so they can take it under consideration before approving our loan.

In case you haven't followed my other blog, you may not know that I am, technically, a temp. I have been employed by a temp agency, at the same assignment, for over six years. And I am not happy about it.

As you might guess, being a temp generally means that you are treated like a second class citizen.

I have been fighting to be hired on. My supervisors are all for it, and insist that HR keeps shutting them down.

Why, I don't know.

Been here over six years, increased my responsibilities a hundred-fold, and consistently get excellent "walk-on-water" reviews.

And now, I'm finding out that being a temp might keep us from getting our house.

I. Am. Not. Happy.

My agency is happy to write a letter explaining the "unique relationship" they have with the company I am contracted to, and why the bank should be willing to look at my position as permanent, even though it's technically a temporary position. Which is good. But there's no guarantee that the underwriter will accept it.

So, can I cry now?

Oh wait, I already did.

And so it begins...

FireGirl really enjoys the nursery at church. Oh sure, she didn't at first, didn't want to leave Mom & Dad. And she still has her moments where she cries when we drop her off. But overall, she likes it.

But yesterday, well yesterday made me sad.

For the first time ever, anywhere, she didn't want to come to us.

She would rather stay & play in the nursery, than run to Mommy & Daddy's arms.

I know that will only be the first of many, many more times to come. And... well... that makes me sad.

My little girl is growing up.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blog Changes

In case you haven't noticed, some things have changed in my blog. First of all, I got accepted into the BlogHer ad network. Very exciting. For me anyway. We'll see how it works out.

The second change, is my layout. I'm not totally thrilled with it yet. When I pasted in the code for BlogHer, somehow it messed up my layout & template. So, I've got it... better than it was, but not up to my satisfaction yet. So it will be changing again.

We've spent much of this week packing, cleaning, and otherwise preparing for our impending move, plus I've had some additional computer problems, so needless to say I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like. But I promise that will improve in the coming days.

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Loan Officer Came Over Last Night...

... and we signed our lives away.

We still need to fix the wires on our current home (per the inspection report), and both houses still need their appraisals done.

Assuming both houses "pass" their appraisals, we should be good to go.

I've already created a budget for the rehab on the new house. About fell over when I saw the total. FireMan almost choked when I told him. But... I've estimated on the high side for every line item, included a 5% contingency on every line item, and also included a 5% contingency to the total for random other expenses. I decided I'd rather budget high, and come in under budget, then budget low, and go way over. Just my thinking.

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear Self:

Perhaps you shouldn't blog when you're so angry. Just sayin'.

The Sparrow

"Maybe I really didn't believe I was worth so much or that my life mattered. Maybe I was afraid I would fall to the ground unnoticed"
page 54

I think this is why we are sometimes so desparate for someone to notice us, to notice what we do. Sometimes the fear creeps in that if no one notices us, if no one sees us, then maybe it's a sign that maybe we aren't worth seeing after all.

Seasoning Requirements

Did you know about this? I didn't.

So, our loan officer contacted us saying our bank statement didn't reflect quite enough money for a down payment. He said we needed to provide documentation from a bank, showing the money in there for at least 90 days.

Well, ends up I forgot to send him the statement for one of our accounts, but that's beside the point.

We have, what is commonly termed, "mattress money": money not deposited into any financial institution, but that we keep on private premises.

Did you know that you can't use "mattress money" to buy a home? After googling it, it seems that following 9/11 the government put in place some restrictions to prevent money laundering. Their target was to prevent funneling funds to terrorist organizations. Something like that.
But in practice? They want to keep track of your money.

I'm not really fond of this. If I choose to keep a certain amount of money out of a bank, and in my own personal possession, isn't that my business?
Does the government really have the right to prevent me from buying something with my own money? I say 'no'.

In fact, if we were to just deposit all of this money into our account now, they would require written proof of where it all came from.

Umm... a little here, a little there, gifts, overtime, whatever.

What if our family wanted to gift us the down payment? Not good enough? Has to sit there for 90 days?

This just doesn't make any sense to me. Not sure how it really prevents any illegal activity from happening. Wouldn't the terrorist groups (or other white collar criminal) most likely know this rule and just make sure they deposited it for 90 days before using it?
Seems to me any group worth being perceived as a real threat, would also be smart enough to follow the rules to a "T" so as to escape detection. So how the heck is this supposed to prevent anything? You know, except preventing hard-working folks like us, who happen to utilize an... old fashioned... method of saving from using their own money as they choose.

Seems kinda crappy to me.


Need. A. Nap.

FireGirl had me up from 1am-3am.

Several times this past week this has happened. It's starting to creep me out. She wakes up screaming sometime between midnight & 1am. I go in, ask her what's wrong / what happened, and she points to the window then starts crying again.

Really starting to creep me out. The blinds are drawn, but still.

I get her out of bed, change her diaper if she's wet, get her a drink, and we lie together on the couch, usually for at least an hour, before I can get her back to bed.

Whatever it is, it is really upsetting her.

And it's starting to freak me out.
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