Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's he trying to spell?

Can you guess what show my 4 year old was looking for on Netflix via the xbox?

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I heard him in the game room, sounding it out. When I came in to see what he was doing, this is what he had typed in: "LDPYBL."

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(I had no idea he even knew how to find and use the search feature! I'm equal parts embarrassed and proud.)

A hint - it's two words, and "PYBL" is the second word.

If you can guess this, I will be seriously impressed!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Foreclosure

It is impossible not to think about the families that lived in the houses we have been viewing. The majority of the homes currently on the market are either short sales or bank-owned properties that were the victims of foreclosure. The families that lived in most of these houses probably didn't want to leave. In some spaces, this is obvious.

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Some homes have been stripped of every light and door fixture, every drawer, and every piece of wood. Some were damaged purposefully out of anger; others were sold piece by piece in an attempt to recover some of the losses, all by owners who used to adore and maintain these spaces.

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This house, less than 10 years old, had been through so much in it's short abusive life span that we talked of restoring it the same way someone would talk about fixing a home three times as old.

What gets to me are the houses that have remnants of the family forced to leave. Shampoo bottles, pictures, random cupid sculptures. This particular house had some drawings made by a little girl in the corner of what was once her room.

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I can't help but think about how sad that girl must have felt, to leave her space. I think about how hard it must have been on the parents, forced to give up on what may have been their dream home; forced to tell the children that they had to move.

I'm painfully aware that the only reason I can get a home anywhere near this nice is because other families are hurting. Homes in the area we're looking at have dropped in value by half or more. I am nothing more than an intruder on someone else's dreams, in someone else's house. This has been a humbling, bitter-sweet experience.

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Here's to a brighter future, for all who have been hit by this tough economy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A house, and a sick house.

We've been busy this week trying to decide just how slopey is too slopey,

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how much grout will be allowed in the kitchen (none!!!),

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and lamenting that airy and beautiful vaulted ceilings often mean a room or two less upstairs.

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Hopefully one of these three places will be our new home soon.

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(This cherub statue was fitting, since we viewed the house on Valentine's Day.)

I am no good at this anxious waiting for news on our offer. I nervously click away on the computer, accomplishing nothing. I feel utterly vacant, hoping for the green light to get excited about the new prospects. I find the week slipping past with a whole lot of nothing getting done. There has appeared out of nowhere an avalanche of sippy cups that need to be washed.

I guess I haven't been completely useless. I've been nursing a house full of sick ones:

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"But mommy, I'n dot sick," he said as he wiped his nose and coughed a couple of times.

As far as a house full of sick ones goes, this has actually been a very mellow infestation. In fact, this afternoon was one of the calmest on record. All three children were asleep or near thereunto, and I actually got a nap in myself. And so far, all vomit has landed on either a hard surface or in a trash can. Not bad; not bad at all.

Now, if we could just get into one of these houses so that I can reclaim my life and get back to doing things like laundry and making dinner. (It's 7:02 and I still haven't made dinner. Long sick naps always throw the day off schedule. Off to take care of that.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

An outfit comparison

For the record, my daughter did wear the outfits that she drew for me on Sunday night.

For comparison,

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Tuesday's ensemble:

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And, Thursday's outfit:

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She has always enjoyed putting outfits together. I'm not sure where she gets this from, but my little addiction to Ugly Betty may have had something to do with it...

Monday, February 7, 2011

A 6 year old Martha Stewart

It's always fun to see what there is to see on my daughter's desk. She has been spending a lot of quiet, content hours in her room, working away on her perch. She received a stamp set for Christmas that she has been putting to good use.

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I bought some Valentine candy — you know, the ones with a "to:" and a "from:" already written on the package — for her to give to her classmates. Since this was not nearly fun enough, my daughter has been meticulously cutting out hearts and decorating them with her stamps. She then thoroughly crosses out each name on the list as she finishes.

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The final step, the one she is most adamant about, involves locking her door before she goes to school in the morning to keep the boys out. Apparently, my little men folk don't appreciate the fine art of stamping and think the stamps work better as blocks. Or projectiles. Inky projectiles, at that.

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The valentines were not the only treasures on her desk today. This morning I grabbed a shirt and pants for her to wear to school.

"Well... I already have something picked out, Mom," she said as she disapprovingly looked at the outfit I had in my hands.

"You do? Where is it?"

"I don't know where the pants are, but you can look at the picture. See?"

Sure enough, she had drawn pictures to show which outfit she wants to wear each day this week.

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I guess I should make sure all of these items are clean!

And last but not least, one evening she asked if she could have a trash can in her room. I told her I'd pick one up the next time I was at Target.

The next day she asked if I had purchased her trash can. When I said that I hadn't gone yet, she let out a humph and walked into her room. Her body language said "ugh, I guess I'll have to take care of it myself!" And take care of it she did. I found this in her room the next day:

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She needed a little help sticking a circle she had cut to the bottom of her can, but other than that, she made it by herself. The best part? She still thinks it's fun to put trash in it and dump it out when full. :)

Maybe if my husband makes himself a trash can he'll think it's cool and look forward to emptying it....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

There's a language barrier in our household. It's becoming a problem. I can't communicate with the computer,

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the television,

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or the DVD player.

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I don't know the details of how this happened, other than that it involved those squishy little fingers, his toys in close proximity, and buttons that are way too easy to access.

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I'm not sure what language my computer is speaking. German, I'd guess, but it could be something else.

The T.V. and the DVD player, however, are speaking French. This is my littlest one's way to tell his parents who he cares for the most.

His father, you see, speaks Spanish. He doesn't just hobble along with the language like your standard white guy; he speaks it fluently. And he doesn't sound like an American speaking fluently; he has a Cuban accent! (I guess a couple of years in Miami will do that to one's Spanish.)

Anyway.

The baby's father speaks Spanish. I speak French. And by "speak," I mean vaguely recognize words and accents as a result of that stupid foreign language requirement they have at liberal arts colleges. I had to be out the door at 8:20 a.m. for that class. 8 freaking 20!! To comprehend a foreign language! That was painfully early for me in those days. There was nothing remotely romantic about French. Not the way I spoke it, anyway.

Obviously, the baby is trying to reach out; to communicate to the parent he loves the most. (We'll conveniently gloss over the fact that he runs to his dad when given a choice, and he goes to sleep easily for dad when it takes me half an hour to get him to stay in bed.)

You'd think I would search through the various menus and re-set the language.

You'd think an adult woman could figure out how to search through the foreign language menus and re-set the language.

You'd think an adult woman could decide whether it's "menu's" or "menus."

If you think an adult woman could benefit from a nap right now, you'd be right.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Award season

I am in love with the new wave of hand-made awards out there, highlighting the skills of the giver and the receiver. Recently, I was given this awesome badge of honor from Hydrant Girl. Check it out!

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Awesome!

In return, my daughter made this award for her, complete with a marker/paint combination effect and star hole punches:

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Which has turned out to be quite timely, considering Hydrant Girl was just listed as a finalist for a Bloggie. A BLOGGIE! Head on over here to vote for her for Best Canadian Blog. It warms my heart to see a friend nominated.

Good luck, Hydrant Girl!
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