Thursday Thoughts (on a Wednesday)

It’s Wednesday, and I’m having some thoughts.

Like, why does Hubby refuse to rinse out whatever bowl or cup he uses to scramble eggs in? Is it because he enjoys my gagging sounds when I’m loading the dishwasher?  Is there anything grosser than raw egg yolk dripping all over everything? *Vomit*

Also, why are the people waiting to use the family restroom I’m already using so impatient?  Do they not know what kinds of things go on in the family restroom?  Do their kids not need to take all manner of shoes and clothes off to go potty? Have they never changed a 20-wipe blowout? Do they think that trying the handle every 30 seconds is going to make my potty-training son poop any faster?

I’ve noticed that my kids have turned me into a human garbage disposal. They never finish any of their food and I ultimately end up playing clean up with my mouth.  Hey, it’s closer than the trash can.  (Floor noodles, anyone? No? Too far?)

Yesterday we had an epic snow here in Upstate New York and I felt like freaking Wonder Woman as I shoveled the driveway with two kids in tow.  I also felt like my neighbors were staring at me out their windows, thinking to themselves that I have no fucking clue what I am doing.  Maybe YouTube can teach me how to shovel snow?

Tomorrow, my in-laws are descending upon us for a few days.  You guys know how I feel about that.  I can’t wait to see what my Mother-in-Law got us all for Christmas this year.  We sent an Amazon Wish List for the kids that went completely unacknowledged, so I’m sure we totally won’t be disappointed or offended at all.  Blurgh.

The Star Wars release date is upon us, and the in-laws have volunteered to watch the munchkins so Hubby and I can have a day date and go see it.  I’m kind of a Star Wars poser, but I get excited because it is fun to see Hubby excited.  I will totally fall asleep halfway through the movie, for about 10 minutes, like I always do.  I will wake up to Hubby glaring at me over his popcorn, like I always do. Hopefully somewhere deep down, he thinks it is a little bit adorable?

Until next time,

Vee

 

A Series of Wildly Unfortunate Events

A few days ago, I had one of those days. You know, the ones where nothing goes right? Where you literally can’t believe the ridiculous series of events that is unfolding before your eyes?

The bad day was actually a few days in the making.  It started, as most things do, with a rough night of sleep.  I’m trying to wean Ell-Bell from her night nursing, but she has other plans. She doesn’t want to cut back, in fact, she’s been trying to wake up for an earlier feed.  I know things will never get better if I give in, so we’ve been butting heads.  Two nights before “The Day,” Ell-Bell woke up ridiculously early to eat, and it took me half an hour to distract her enough to get her back to sleep.  Before I could fall back to sleep myself, though, K-Man was awake and crying hysterically.  I still don’t know what was wrong, maybe a bad dream?  But it took me another half hour to get him back down.  Then I drifted to sleep for … two … glorious hours, before Ell-Bell was awake and demanding to eat for real this time.  I gave in and nursed her, because I was SO TIRED OMG.  Only, after I finished nursing her, she was not ready to go back to sleep.  I finally got her down and returned to my room, but before my head could hit the pillow, she was crying again.  She had pooped herself.  Ugh.

When I woke up for the day, I was not happy.  Hubby and I had a major fight, obviously inspired by the fact that I had had a terrible night with the kids, and he was awake for zero percent of it.  Hubby got pissed with my attitude and left for work early, which enraged me.  Seriously, when he punishes me by peacing out, I lose my mind.

Anyway, we exchanged apologies by text a few hours later, like we pretty much always do.  And that evening, Hubby felt super guilty and treated me to Chipotle.  And then after the kids went to bed, he went out and got me Sonic mozzarella sticks and ice cream.  Yep, we’re gluttons.  Come at me.  But my tummy wasn’t feeling that great and I actually wasn’t very interested in even more food, but I stuffed it down anyway because (a) I have no self control and (b) I wanted to accept Hubby’s peace offering.

I went to bed early because exhaustion plus tummy ache, and I couldn’t wait to feel better after a good night’s sleep.  Only, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.  At all.  Ell-Bell was awake from 12:30am to 3:00am, sparring with me about eating.  I held strong for hours, you guys, but every time I would get her back to sleep, she would wake up again only 10-15 minutes later.  It was torture. In the middle of it all, K-Man woke up again (what the heck) and needed attention, all while Ell-Bell was screaming her head off in the room next door.  At least this time, Hubby woke up to help out.  I finally gave up and fed Ell-Bell at 3am because I NEEDED sleep.  Then K-Man woke up again at 5am and wanted me to “sing songs.”

Two hours later, I was awake for the The Day and not feeling it AT ALL.  I had no idea how I was going to make it through the next 12 hours.  And stupidly, I weighed myself.  I was three pounds heavier than the day before.  Fack.  Who knew eating two dinners and dessert would pack on the pounds so quickly?

I spent all morning just trying to power through, all the while day dreaming about nap time.  I couldn’t wait to put the kids down, turn on the fire, sip some tea, and watch my YouTube videos.  And maybe fall asleep for a bit.

When 1:00pm rolled around, Ell-Bell went down for her nap like an angel.  My mouth watered as I was one step closer to my glorious anticipated break.  Only, K-Man had no visions of napping.  He. was. fucking. wired.  Like, I can’t remember the last time he was so awake at nap time.  He wouldn’t lie still.  He actually wouldn’t even lie down.  He was jumping on the bed, flailing his body around wildly, asking for milk, asking for water, demanding to go potty for the one zillionth time.  Every time I left his room and went downstairs to make my tea, I would hear him jumping down out of bed and opening his door.  We played this game for an hour and a half.  I watched about 10 total minutes of YouTube (in two minute increments), and sipped cold tea between visits back upstairs.  When K-Man started screaming at the top of his lungs, I gave up and brought him downstairs.  I couldn’t have him waking up Ell-Bell.

Ell-Bell woke up after 20 more minutes or so, anyway.  I threw some goldfish and milk in her direction, set K-Man up with some paint and paper, and opened my laptop on the floor to cyber shop for a bit (#therapy).  I was doing some deep breathing, trying to figure out how to turn the day around despite being unbelievably bummed that I got no break at nap time.

And then, as K-Man was putting away his paint, he failed to screw the lid on tightly for one of the containers, and he dropped it on the rug.  I watched horrified, in true slow motion, as green paint splattered across my light-colored rug, onto the adjacent wood floor, and up onto the brick hearth.  Holy. fucking. shit, I thought to myself.  Is this really happening right now?  (As an aside, if you have any idea how to get paint out of brick crevices, please enlighten me.)

As I was crouched down with my face in the rug, pep-talking to myself and vigorously scrubbing the green paint-affected areas with a soap-and-vinegar mix, my son–who insisted on playing with his cars basically on top of me as I worked–accidentally lost control of one car and smashed it right into my eye socket.  And I lost it.  Not in an angry way, no, I started sobbing.  Crying big fat heaving snotty tears into my newly-green rug.

While K-Man is a total butthead, he’s also a softie and a sweetheart, a total empath. So he launched into a series of efforts to make me feel better. “Don’t cwy, mommy. Isss okayyy, mommy. I give you a hug and kiss and you feel better, okay mommy? You need a toy mommy? Here, ha’ dis car mommy. You want another toy mommy? You want dis one?” It was so cute and ridiculous that I started laughing between sobs.

“You feel better mommy?” K-Man asked.

Just then, Ell-Bell crawled over and showed interest in K-Man’s toys. So I said, “I would feel better if you shared your toys with Ell-Bell.”

K-Man’s face changed as he pulled all of his toys closer. “No, you be sad mommy.”  Major eye roll.

A few minutes later, K-man squatted down and took a ginormous piss through his undies, right there on the family room floor, even though he had peed twice already in the potty in the last hour.  At least he missed the rug, right?

I already had a stash of paper towels nearby, so thankfully I cleaned up the pee with little effort.  As K-Man resumed his car play, he taunted me: “Cwwwyy, mommy!”  I take back everything I said about him being a sweet softie.

At that point, I gave up. I scooped my two kiddos up and brought them into the living room and turned on Trolls.  Some days, you just gotta.  As I sat there and watched Trolls for the hundredth time, with K-Man sprinting back and forth on the couch, jabbing me in the spine with his elbows and knees as he passed, I thought to myself, this is really fucking hard.  I’m glad I’m doing it, I have zero regrets, I love my kids to the moon and back, but still, this is really. fucking. hard.

But, on the bright side, and in the words of the famous Princess Poppy, if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again.

Until next time,

Vee

Our Girl is in the Digits

A few days ago, my sweet little Ell-Bell turned one.  I can’t believe it has been a year since the day my OB looked at me with sympathy in her eyes and told me she was referring me to Labor and Delivery for high blood pressure.  A year since we called my in-laws from the hospital and told them it was time, that they needed to make the 4-hour drive to DC to pick up my son from daycare.  A year since my Hubby had to call his current employer and reschedule his upcoming residency interview.  A year since we decided, together with my OB, that a TOLAC would probably be pointless, and another c-section was in the cards.  A year since I cried like a baby because I couldn’t breathe through my nose right before the surgery began.  A year since Ell-Bell came out of my abdomen as the cheesiest, screamiest baby I have ever seen.  A year since K-Man came to visit his new baby sister in the hospital — I’m still so grateful Hubby captured his reaction on video.*   A year since we spent three days in the hospital recovering and getting to know our sweet new family member.  A year since we learned how to change a poopy diaper when a vagina is involved.  A year since I was so delirious from sleep deprivation in the hospital that I kept referring to Ell-Bell as a “he.”  A year since we came home from the hospital to discover, in horror, that my father-in-law was doing our laundry. (He saw my underwear, you guys!)  A year since we began our life at home as a family of four.

In honor of my baby girl’s coming of age, I’d like to dedicate the rest of this post to 10 Fun Facts About Ell-Bell.  Without further ado:

  1. When Ell-Bell crawls, she swings her head wildly from side to side.  It might be the cutest thing ever.
  2. Ell-Bell took her first solo steps when she was 11.5 months, but I don’t think she liked it very much.  She still prefers crawling, but is getting more adventurous with her walking, too.  She’s also really good at flapping her arms and correcting before she falls over.  I’m worried she might take flight, though.
  3. She is a champion eater.  My favorite thing is watching her eat rice.  She scoops it up and smashes it into her face-mouth at impressive speed.
  4. Ell-Bell is a total TV-head like her big brother, but she also likes to torture him by crawling up to the TV and turning it off while he’s totally engrossed.
  5. She loves her big brother hard and thinks he’s hilarious.  Even though he will never let her hold a toy for longer than 5 seconds before he rips it out of her hand.  Even though he likes to “hug” her while slowly tackling her to the ground.
  6. Ell-Bell is extremely ticklish.  For the first 8 or 9 months of her life, she had the weirdest little snort-laugh and Hubby and I were kind of nervous.  But she has developed a charming little giggle lately.  Thank gawd.
  7. She knows how to give kisses.  Big, wet, slimy, open-mouthed kisses.
  8. Ell-Bell is obsessed with our Christmas tree.  We basically can’t leave her alone in the living room because she will bee-line right for it.  We also can’t have any ornaments on the lower half of the tree. Sigh.
  9. She has two goofy little teeth on the bottom of her mouth, which came in when she was about 10 months old.  I’m wondering if she’ll ever get more.
  10. Ell-Bell likes to sneak away while we’re watching TV and try to crawl up the stairs on her own.  When she gets caught, she laughs hysterically.

Happiest Birthday, baby girl, we love you so much!

Until next time,

Vee

* I made a video montage of Ell-Bell’s first year of life, and I’m kind of partial to it.  I’ll put up a password-protected post right after this one with a link to the video if any of you care to see it.  Just email me at wifeyvm1985@gmail.com for the password.

Boo You, Monday

Semi-serious question: are you allowed to have a case of the Mondays when you’re a stay-at-home Mom? I mean, it’s not like you’re returning to the office after the weekend off from your kids, right? Maybe for some, the weekend means the presence of a co-parent who takes the load off somewhat. But since Hubby is working more often than not on the weekends, it’s all pretty meaningless to me.  Sometimes, the only way I know it’s Sunday is if I pull up to the library with the kids and realize it’s closed. (That’s never fun).

Whether it’s a case of the Mondays or something else, I am a grumpy-pants today.  I think it’s just a death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts situation.

Here are some of the particularly smarting paper cuts I’m dealing with now:

  • Yesterday, our neighbor put on a clinic in passive-aggressive behavior.  While we were sitting on the couch watching some football, we looked out our window to behold him in our front yard with a pole saw.  What the fuck?  Turns out he had invited himself over to saw off the wasp nest up in our tree — the one that he couldn’t stop obsessively asking us what we were going to do about.  Honestly, my blood still boils when I think about it.  Mind your own business, old man, and get off my fucking lawn.  The nest was really high up in the tree, and because it was so high, the wasps weren’t really disturbing anyone.  And frankly, Hubby was kind of (adorably, inexplicably) attached to the colony and didn’t want to off it.  And the neighbor just came over, sawed the nest down, bagged it, and walked away.  Didn’t knock on our door to say he was doing it or anything.  Not fucking cool at all.
  • Last night was Hubby’s third overnight shift at the hospital in a row.  Which means he was gone each night from 6pm until 8 or 9am, and then slept at home the next day until 2 or 3 pm.  Now obviously that schedule sucks big balls for Hubby, but this blog is about me, so let me tell you why it sucks for me.  First, I’m pretty sure my basement is the Upside Down and there is a Demogorgon lurking around down there.  (In other words, it’s scary here alone).  Second, handling the kids all by myself during the witching hour, bath time, and bedtime sucks all of the life out of me.  I literally collapse in a heap on the couch when I’m done, and I only get up to refill my Pringles and wine.  Third,  when Hubby is sleeping in the house during the day, we have to be very quiet.  It is so easy and not at all stressful trying to keep an almost-three-year-old quiet, you guys.
  • We are potty training K-Man, and he is going through a sleep regression, all at the same time.  It.  is.  hell.  He has obviously figured out that a pretty surefire way to get out of bed at night is to tell us that he has to go potty.  So you can imagine that he has to go potty every five minutes.  Sometimes, he even has to go potty before we can get his underwear back on again.  I can’t, you guys.  I am losing it on all kinds of new levels and it’s not pretty.  I am trying to really dig deep to find some serenity, but it is exhausting.
  • I’m having a bit of an expectations vs. reality struggle this holiday season.  For example, on Thursday, Hubby had the day off, so we planned to go somewhere and cut down our own Christmas tree.  I imagined fresh air, pine smell, gorgeous giggling kids, Hubby dressed as a sexy lumber jack, me looking flawless in all my Uggs glory, and an assortment of Instagram-worthy pictures to prove it happened.  Boy, am I stupid.  There was nothing especially awful about how it went down — we bought a pre-cut tree off the lot, there was some sort of polar vortex wind thing going on, Ell-Bell was a sad, crying mess, and I took two dimly-lit pictures — but I was super disappointed because I had let me imagination run wild beforehand.  I really need to learn that life does not happen in Instagram frames, and I should to adjust my expectations accordingly.  Can someone remind me of that again on Christmas Eve?

Anywhoozzle, gotta go yell at K-Man for the one-billionth time to be quiet so he doesn’t wake his dad up.  Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 28: Heartfelt Confessions on Giving Tuesday

Today is NaBloPoMo Day 28 — two more days!! — and my theme of choice is Charity.  Hop back to yesterday’s post if you feel like reading about just how charitable I was feeling towards my sister- and brother-in-law after their Thanksgiving visit.

It’s trendy these days to refer to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend as Giving Tuesday.  A day where, after spending your paycheck and then some on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’re meant to dig even deeper into your pocket and give charitably to others.  It’s a lovely idea, but my guess is that most people are feeling a little overspent by the time Giving Tuesday rolls around.

Nevertheless, Giving Tuesday has me thinking about my own approach to charity.  Over the years, I’ve struggled to develop a consistent or meaningful theory about how or when I should give to others.  Do I give to people or to organizations?  Do I give money or things?  Do I give based on perceived need or perceived desert?

I’ve never been very charitable in the past, at least not with hard cold cash.  I’ve donated here and there to my almae matres and things like the Terry Fox Run.  And after I realized it was cool to buy coffee for the person behind you in line at the Starbucks drive-thru, I also did that once.  And then as I drove away, starting to feel pretty good about myself, I suddenly thought, what the fuck?  My version of charity is to cover a $4.50 expense for someone who owns a car and can already afford their own Starbucks? Is that the best I can do?

If I have $4.50 to give, shouldn’t I be giving it to someone who really needs it? Someone who can use that money to buy themselves a meal when they wouldn’t otherwise eat?  I really should be giving the money to someone living on the street, right?

The concept of giving money to a homeless person raises very complex emotions for me though.  And no, it’s not because I question what they will buy with the money or whether they actually deserve it.  It’s because my own little brother is homeless — truly, actually, really homeless.

Even though this is an anonymous blog, I am mortified to make this confession.  Not because I am ashamed of my little brother for being homeless, but because I am ashamed of myself for having a homeless little brother.  For being a spectator and letting it happen.  It is a life-long story that I couldn’t possibly do justice to in one or two blog posts, but suffice it to say, my whole family is in agreement that my brother is beyond help.  That there’s nothing we can sanely do to rectify his situation.  But I still feel so deeply, gut-wrenchingly guilty about it.  He’s my own flesh and blood, and I’m not doing everything in my waking power to keep him off the streets.  I can’t forgive myself for it.

So maybe you can imagine how giving to others feels a little hypocritical to me.  I’m not financially supporting my own little brother, who I grew up with and love very much, but I’ll readily give some change to someone on the street that I don’t know from Adam? It doesn’t make any sense.  But at the same time, I know my brother makes his living off of those same donations from other people.  And I am eternally grateful to those who stop while passing and drop some change in his cup, because they are keeping him alive.  So maybe the person I am passing on the street is someone else’s little brother.

I don’t know what to do, which is why I spend a lot of energy trying not to think about the whole situation.  Which makes me feel even more guilty, because if I’m not going to support my little brother, surely I could at least give him the courtesy of my thoughts from time to time.  Basically, I’m a horrible person.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 27: What Happened at Thanksgiving

It’s the 27th day of November and the 27th day of NaBloPoMo.  While today’s theme is supposed to be Christmas, I’m going rogue and talking about our disastrous Thanksgiving instead.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post about how Hubby and I went rogue and bought a house without seeing it in person!

When I designed my list of NaBloPoMo themes, I thought I might use today to talk about Christmas, because I am one of those people who gets into the Christmas spirit early.  Like, let’s get Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way already so we can make some fucking Christmas cookies!  (And if you’re a celebrate-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving-er, more power to you!)

But today, instead of looking forward to Christmas, I find myself reflecting on how this past Thanksgiving was something of a disaster.  Before your imagination runs away with you, let me just say that most things food-related turned out really well (with a gravy exception discussed below).  So why was our Thanksgiving so disappointing?  Would it give it away if I suggested we rename it Pukesgiving?

Half of us got a horrible, pukey, 24-hour stomach bug.  It all started when I heard my sister-in-law (SIL) puking in the bathroom on Friday night.  She puked twice and then had a headache and chills.  Then I woke up at about 1am Saturday morning and vomited my brains out.  I threw up 4 more times before actual morning.  And then Ell-Bell barfed all over herself and our bed at about 3am.  And at 4am Hubby spewed an unbelievable amount of his insides out, developed the most violent shivers I’ve ever seen, and then buried himself deep under the covers and became totally dead to the world.  When K-Man woke up for the day at 7am, he said his tummy hurt.  Uh oh.  Over the next 8 hours, he managed to chuck on the rug, the sofa, and the kitchen floor.  Who knew two-year-olds had so much room in their tummies?

I continued to vomit every 1-2 hours for the first half of Saturday, and then I felt like death warmed over for the rest of the day.  Hubby was only out of bed between the hours of 11am and 6pm, and when he was up, he was pretty much just sitting on the couch moaning and shivering.  We have no idea what happened to make us all so sick.  Food poisoning is one potential culprit, but we couldn’t isolate anything that only the sick folks ate, so who knows.

It was pretty brutal, though.  There we were with guests who had come all this way to see us, and we could barely function enough to keep our kids alive, let alone be good hosts.  And if I’m being completely honest, I was pretty bitter that Hubby just helped himself to bed, leaving me solely responsible for our two little vomiting munchkins.  Have you ever tried to clean up toddler vomit alone while keeping a crawling and curious baby at bay?  All while trying to soothe your own ever-increasing urge to barf?

On the bright side, I lost 3 pounds in a day!

Aside from the pukefest, there were the inevitable awkward interpersonal shenanigans that just made the whole weekend kind of uncomfortable.  Caution, major vent sesh ahead.

My SIL and her husband (BIL) would not stop with their miserable bickering.  It was kind of my fault that they weren’t getting along to begin with.  We were talking about BIL’s little brother, and I mentioned something about the brother’s fairly unusual and newly-diagnosed medical condition.  Well, unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t supposed to know about said medical condition.  So BIL really let SIL have it about telling secrets that were not hers to tell.  Never one to leave a damsel in distress, I rushed to her defense: “To be fair, I think I heard about it from [SIL’s dad].”  And then BIL proceeded to flip out because he didn’t know that SIL had told her dad about it either.  So, yeah, I was super helpful there.

But they kept up with their fighting all weekend, and it was majorly uncomfortable.  SIL was a grumpy buttface and treated BIL like dirt, and BIL made no effort to tone down his “go fuck yourselfs” in front of us or the kids.  I have never had to change the subject so much in my life!

BIL was also weirdly combative with Hubby and me about things that just don’t matter. Like, why didn’t we have a baby gate at the top of our stairs?  What if K-Man suddenly developed a sleep walking habit and fell down the stairs in the middle of the night?  Why did K-Man’s training potty have a liftable top lid on it? What was that for?  And back when I had a job, why did I choose to eat breakfast at work instead of at home?  BIL also insisted on taking charge of the gravy for the Thanksgiving meal because “Americans don’t know how to do gravy right” (he’s from the UK).  Guys, he totally wrecked it.  It tasted like watered-down Turkey butt.  While that may be the approximate technical definition of gravy, can I kindly introduce you to my two friends, salt and butter?  I wouldn’t hold it against him if he hadn’t thrown out the whole “Americans don’t know how to…” business.

Also, K-Man and my nephew did not get along.  At all.  Which we expected because they’re both two, and when you’re two, you couldn’t give any shits about caring through sharing.  But my god, could 3 seconds go by before they were both screaming and rolling on the floor, wrestling over a stupid toy that neither one of them wanted to use only moments before?  And of course both sets of parents had to run to the rescue, and there were all kinds of awkward politics as we tried not to directly accuse the other couple’s child of being a complete asshole.

Finally, SIL and BIL just made themselves a little too at home for my taste.  The kind of petty stuff that shouldn’t bother normal people, but I have trouble letting go:

  • SIL decided it would be fun to let her son do sensory play with a bowl full of cranberries on our floor.  She made no effort to clean up or apologize when he spilled them everywhere, stepped on them, peeled them, and smushed them into our carpets.  What the fuck?
  • My nephew was completely naked from the waist down approximately 79% of the time.  Too much baby penis for me.  And maybe you could have your kid put some pants on before he rubs his bare butt all over my furniture?
  • My SIL’s bra broke and she had to borrow one of mine for the rest of the visit.  Is it just a little bit weird that she only brought one bra?

Okay okay.  Petty complaints aside, it really was good to see family for a few days.  And SIL and BIL really stepped up to the plate when Hubby and I were drowning in puke on Saturday.  My SIL even cleaned up one of K-Man’s vomit piles.  That’s the real deal.

Nevertheless, this introvert is exhausted and ready to recharge alone at home for a few days.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 26: We Made a Mistake

We are 26 days in to this NaBloPoMo November, and today’s theme is Dream House. Don’t miss yesterday’s post about my dream diet, the Whole30.  (Just kidding, if it was a dream it would permit deep fried peanut butter cups.)

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret.  Something Hubby and I refuse to tell almost all of our friends and family members.  Here it is: we bought our current house sight unseen.

Go ahead. Go ahead and judge us hard.  It was a bold and mostly stupid move, but we felt pretty backed in to a corner.  When Hubby learned he had matched to a program in upstate NY, we had about four months to find a house, get approved for a mortgage, close on the house, and move ourselves and our two kids up from the DC metro area.  It was a pretty steep timeline, especially when you consider the fact that it takes an average of 60 days to close on a house in New York state.

Anyway, Hubby was still in school, I was working, we had two very young kids, and we were trying to navigate a 500-mile move.  To a market where flights were not cheap.  All to say, it was pretty hard to go house hunting.  Don’t get me wrong, we tried to do it right.  Hubby drove up for two days and saw maybe 10-15 houses, but they were all total non-starters.  Any house we were ever excited about was snatched up before Hubby could get up there to check it out. Ugh!

So when we saw what looked like the perfect house come on the market — in budget, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a lush backyard, beautifully finished, and a fricking Wegmans down the street — we decided to do something crazy and offer on it without first seeing it in person.  Thankfully our agent was game to go check it out for us, and she confirmed that it was a steal.  So we put in an offer the day it came on the market.  And so did 3 other people, yikes!  We subbed in another offer slightly above asking price, and our bid was ultimately selected.  Who knows what to believe, but our agent told us that all 4 offers were essentially for the same amount, and the owner chose us because she liked our family story. Aww! We never met her but I still feel like she must have been a sweetheart.

So after the offer and the passed inspection, we waited an excruciating two months before we could check out our house and see if our gamble paid off.  When the day finally arrived, we were giddy, and for good reason. The pictures had done the house justice, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Was this really our new home?  How could we be so lucky.

But as we walked around, we started to come to a sick realization. Cigarette smoke.  The cigarette smoke smell was unbelievably pervasive.  Oh shit.  Did we just make a huge mistake? It had naively never occurred to me that there could be a smell issue we were missing when we looked at the pictures.  And it wasn’t just a hint of something here and there, it was really bad.  The garage especially smelled like a human-sized cigarette had died in there.

So, we buckled down and did some research on how to eliminate smoke odors. We washed the walls with vinegar, we vacuumed the rugs with baking soda, we wiped down all the fixtures, we even bought an ozone machine to see if it would make any difference. Everything helped a little, but there was never an inexpensive silver bullet. So after a few months of “should we, shouldn’t we,” we bit the bullet and had our carpets changed. You’re welcome, Home Depot, for that generous donation.

Where are we now? We’re thinking changing the carpets did the trick, at least enough to live with. If things start to stink again and we have to shell out money to have the whole house repainted, I might die of a bad mood.

In the end, we know we did something risky and stupid. But we also think we probably would have bought the house even if we had smelled it in person, first. Because we’re cocky and we probably would have thought it was an easy fix. That’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night, anyway.

Is it our dream house? No.  But we weren’t looking for a dream house.  We’re here for three years, and just needed something to keep us warm.  And now that the smoke smell is gone, this house exceeds our expectations.  It may not be my textbook dream house, but owning a home is still a dream come true.

Until next time,

Vee

Thankful

Because today is about spending time with family (and stressing my way through hosting Thanksgiving), I’ll keep things brief on this 23rd day of NaBloPoMo.

When I was growing up, my family’s tradition on Thanksgiving was to go around the table and, one-by-one, say what we were each thankful for.  Probably not a very unique tradition, but it did give the day some transcendental meaning.  So in the spirit of nostalgia, here is what I am thankful for over the past year:

  • My cute kids:  Shifting from one to two kids over the past year was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but as low as some of the lows were, the highs were even higher.  I am so blessed to be able to mom these two amazing, adorable, incredible, funny, smart, CUTE FREAKING KIDS.  I need to remember how lucky I am all the time, and not just when I’m feeling sappy at Thanksgiving.
  • My husband: Hubby worked his ASS off this past year.  His 4th year of medical school, the residency interview and match process, his first year of residency.  These are things that drive normal, single medical students insane, and Hubby survived it with a crazy wife and two young kids! He is a super hero (probably sexy sexy Batman, if I get to pick).
  • Our new home: How special is it to be spending this Thanksgiving in our first very own home?  There’s a fire crackling, it’s warm, there’s family, and it smells like delicious-ish food.  This is amazing.
  • Our extended family: Because of Hubby’s crazy schedule and workload, we’ve been pretty delinquent about making the travel rounds this past year.  We are so grateful to our extended family for making the effort to come to us, they’re the real MVPs!
  • This blog: The newest member of our family, haha!  But seriously, though it has only been a month going, I am grateful for this outlet, this newfound hobby, and a few people I’ve gotten to know better through this venue.

Okay, that’s enough sap.  Happy Thanksgiving to all! Go get your Turkey (or Tofurkey) on!

Until next time,

Vee

They’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain (#NaBloPoMo Day 22)

Blue 22! Blue 22! Blue 22! Hut hut hut hut.  It’s the 22nd day of NaBloPoMo, and today’s theme is Visitors.  Speaking of visitors, don’t forget to read all about how my Hubby proposed to me when we were visiting his parents.  (That sequitur tho).

The holidays are upon us, and we’re about to have some visitors up in this piece! Tomorrow, Hubby’s sister (the one with the coveted birth story) and her family will descend upon the #CuteKids household.  We’re not setting any world records here — two adults and two kids — but my anxiety has nevertheless been through the roof for more than a week.  We’re talking crippling, hyperventilating, throat-closing, chest-fluttering anxiety.

Why am I so worked up?  It’s all of the things.  First, I have to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal all by myself.  With no one to watch my two kids while I do it.  Because Hubby will be working and sister-in-law won’t be arriving until right before meal time.  Did I mention I’ve never cooked a turkey before? Sweet Lord help me through this.  At this point, I’m just going to call it a success if I get all of the food cooked and on the table.  I barely even care how it tastes.  (But the pie better be fucking delicious).

And then there’s the cleaning.  My gawd, the cleaning.  With kids, there’s no cleaning ahead of time.  And there’s no cleaning when they’re awake.  So even though I know I can’t do anything about it until after bedtime tonight, I’ve been obsessing about it for weeks.  Mentally running through everything I need to do, trying to make a game plan, wondering if I’ll get it all done in time.  Is there any point to all of this worrying? Nope!

More than anything, though, my anxiety stems from the fact that I’m kind of a turd of a person who doesn’t know how to deal well with other people.  Having even loved ones in my home sends me over the edge because I’m (a) very private and (b) very sensitive to criticism.  I also always expect the worst of guests, and spend weeks ahead of time wondering what invasive or inappropriate behavior they are going to demonstrate.

Is my dad going to comment on my weight?

Is my mom going to criticize us for feeding K-Man mostly just chicken nuggets?

Is my father-in-law going to help himself to windexing the window I already windexed before he arrived?

Is my brother going to stay up all night watching Game Of Thrones and then sleep on the couch the entire next day?

Is my other brother going to get all sweaty on our treadmill and then sit shirtless on our leather chair?

Is my sister going to hold my newborn baby for two hours without giving her back?

Is my sister-in-law going to look the other way every single time the bill comes?

Is my mother-in-law going to take a nap in my bed without asking?

Who knows? Maybe everyone will be on their best behavior (as defined by me, graduate of the None School of Etiquette).  Or maybe they won’t be, but it will be ok, and I just need to CTFO (chill the fuck out).  Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 21: Our Proposal Story

Welcome to NaBloPoMo Day 21. So what’s the theme du jour?  It’s the theme of the day!  (Raise your hand if that Dumb and Dumber quote gets you every time.). But today’s actual theme is Proposal. Yes, more mawwiage stuff.

What’s your dream proposal?  And if you’ve ever been proposed to before, did it live up to the hype?

Hubby’s first proposal to me was after just a few months of dating. “Hey, do you wanna get married so I can make more money from the Army?” I told him to shove it.

Hubby’s second proposal to me was simple but sweet. Nearly perfect.

About 5 years into our dating relationship, I knew it was coming. We were living together, we had cats, and one of my good friends had just gotten married so my marriage clock was ticking. We had been talking about the possibility for a few months, and had even been ring shopping together. (He sold his car to pay for the ring. I mean, how cute is that?)

So when Hubby asked if we could go up to Connecticut for the weekend to visit his parents, warning bells sounded in my head. Could this be it? As we took the train from NYC to New Haven, both of my parents randomly checked in on me via text and wished me a good day. Weird.  (Come to find out Hubby had asked for their respective permission before proposing, and filled them in on his plans. So they were being nosy and annoying.)

When we got to CT, Hubby’s Mom served us all lemonade in their gorgeous back yard. Then Hubby asked if we could go for a walk through the small apple orchard. As we started to stroll around, Hubby’s Dad came out to water some plants nearby, but scurried away quickly when he realized what was about to go down.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened.  I remember Hubby subconsciously kept tapping the ring box in his pocket, which was cute. I also remember I tried to hug him while we were ambling around, but he kind of stiff-armed me. He told me later he didn’t want me to feel how fast his heart was beating.

After a few moments of conversation, Hubby joked about how he had asked me this once before, but this time it was for real. And then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the first time I saw the ring, and even though we discussed what I might want, it was so unexpected and breathtaking and gorgeous. One carat princess cut with two tear drop side diamonds, swoon. I still stare at it in amazement to this day.

After the proposal, I kind of fell to my knees goofily so I could be eye level with Hubby.  I felt awkward hanging out up there by myself!  But Hubby made me stand back up and accept the proposal properly.  I said yes, of course.

Then we returned to his parents’ house to share the news. And about five minutes later, I went out to the drug store to buy my first bridal magazine, because duh. And about a year later, we sealed the deal at the chapel on the campus where we went to high school together.  And a charming marriage ensued.

Until next time,

Vee