Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So so so busy

Tim's parents left this morning to return to Oregon. They were slightly dismayed to find that it is only 53* there today. In contrast, they enjoyed sun and warmth here, and both even swam in our freezing (80*) pool.

We stayed busy while they were here. We went to the zoo, the children's museum, had swim lessons every day, and went to the water park. One would think that this would tire out toddlers, but someone (her name starts with Kate) is working on dropping her nap, which has another someone (ME) anxious and crabby.

Other happenings over the past week:
  • Claire hit a growth spurt and a teething episode at the same time.
  • Cheri's sister's plane crashed on takeoff in Africa, causing much stress for all. All on board are miraculously okay and are recovering in Nairobi.
  • Tim and I realized that time in Arizona is getting short and we need to find a house in Vegas very soon.
  • The house we wanted there is back on the market. Don't even get me started.
  • Kate learned to lock all the bedroom doors in the house, much to my dismay.
  • With four adults in the house to watch over the children, Kate somehow managed to find a glass jar, drop it on the tile, begin playing amongst the shards, while Claire tried to eat one of the bigger pieces, just as I came rushing around the corner to investigate the crash of breaking glass.
  • Cheri went shoe shopping for the girls and they now have more shoes than I do. (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Claire increased her vocabulary by at least 3 words a day.
  • Tim and his parents put crown moulding up on our fireplace to hide the ghetto caulk and paint splatters.
Almost time for the water torture to begin again. Later!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Let the Tucson Water Torture begin

It's time for swim lessons again. Kate did pretty well today; there were some tears and some misgivings about having to get in the cold (mid-80s) water, but she swam and grabbed the bar like she's supposed to, and she even complied with Tracie's request to float on her back.

Claire hated it. Last summer she was a "survival only" swimmer, and just had to roll over onto her back until someone rescued her. This year she is going to learn to swim to the bar and hold her head up out of the water. She cried the whole time, with wide eyes that pleaded with me to save her. I have confidence that by the end of lessons in 6 weeks, she will be loving it like Kate did last year.

We finally heard back about the house we bid on. Our realtor called us yesterday after he spoke to the realtor selling the property. We did not win the bid, and had our agent not called the other agent on Sunday to check on the status of our offer, we probably still would not know. I am sad we did not get the house, because it was very pretty and nice and I loved the location (it was the greenbelt house), but I am glad we do not have to deal with that agent. Now we are back to square two. We have a better idea of where we want to look, but haven't figured out how or when we will get up there again to do so.

Tim's parents arrive tomorrow for a week, so we'll be out and about enjoying the sunshine.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The crazies go swimming

We had the pool up to about 82* earlier in the week, but then took the cover off for house-showing purposes. It's now down to the mid- to low-70s, which is freeeeezing. This did not phase Tim or Kate, who gleefully (and with purple lips) swam and splashed, respectively.

Earlier in the afternoon:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slides instead of sprinklers

Oreo-faced Kate, shoeless Claire, and Tempie the nose-honker play on the jungle gym.

Jess and I went to a park across town today, intending to let the girls run through the sprinklers, but the water wasn't on yet (apparently mid-April is not considered warm enough for water parks in Tucson?). We ended up on the slides instead, which was probably just as fun, and really a lot more comfortable, seeing as it cooled down to the low-80s today, and there is quite a bit of wind.

Sharing oranges yesterday, Claire shows off her new trick: scrunched shoulders.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It finally got warm today (about 97*), which can mean only one thing. No, not swimming, much to Kate's dismay. Not running through the sprinklers. Not turning on the A/C for the first time! Not icy margaritas by the pool, either, although that sounds lovely, doesn't it? Not a trip to Mt Lemmon to cool off - it isn't THAT hot yet. Sigh. I guess 90*+ weather means a lot of things.

But what I was talking about was popsicles! Ooey, gooey, drippy, messy popsicles. You should have seen Kate's eyes light up at the mere mention of them. She snapped right out of a meltdown. It was really quite amazing. Claire had never had a popsicle before. She rather enjoyed it.

Hmm. I think my popsicle will fit nicely in here.

Hey! What happened to my popsicle?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Last Saturday, I bathed and dressed the girls, braved the mall crowds, and, because I love to torture myself, took them kicking and screaming to the Picture People to get updated photos. We survived, if only barely, and got one adorable picture to make it worth my while. The rest of the time was spent as follows: Look! Look at the camera! Stop touching your sister! Claire, don't cry. Don't pick your nose! Leave your hair alone! PLEASE stop touching your sister! Come back here, please. Don't suck your thumb. Don't choke your sister. If you're good, we'll go to Old McDonald's after this! You're not being good. Please be good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It must be a Vegas thing? [edited for more info]

I got online last night to peruse the photos of the house we bid on. And I noticed that in the last week, they have dropped the price $20,000. It is now listed $100 below what we bid. Umm.

We got a call from our real estate agent today: the bank is counter-bidding three ways. So there are three offers on the house we bid on, and the bank is telling all of us to re-bid, keep our old bid, or cancel our original offer. I thought this was supposed to be a buyers market.

Tim and our agent had some choice words for the bank and their agent. Although I agree at heart, I like the house a lot and still want it, so we will not be sending them the response that immediately came to mind. I am also refusing to let Tim re-bid; he would like to drop our offer $100 to meet the current asking price. Clearly the offering agent has pride issues, and would likely not be amused by that counter offer.

Maybe, maybe, we will know whether we have the house next week.


So I spoke with our realtor yesterday, and he explained a little more about what he thinks is going on. He also mentioned that this whole process is slightly unethical, and I think he'd be pleased as punch to tell the agent to shove off.

But, the scoop. There is a realtor selling the property, and he is advising the bank on what to do and how to proceed. Apparently he thought he was in the money when he got 3 bids last week, and decided to drop the price $20K to "drum up business". This guy has my vote for not the smartest kid in pre-school. Dude. You have 3 offers on a house that has been in foreclosure for months. Months! And so you drop the price to below one of the bids you just got? So you can drum up business? Whuh?

However, after looking at other houses online today, I do rather like this damn house, and so we are still in the running for it. Mostly, it is the location. And the fact that it has a really nice view. And a pool. And it's big. And it's pretty. And it's newish. I want that house! Just give me the house! Gah.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The manipulator

He scoffed, sighed, and maybe even rolled his eyes at me when I told him that we needed to start working on getting to Kate to bed by 8:00. He looked at the clock and said with incredulity, "It's 7:30." I know, I know, I said.

Now, it is 8:35, and they are just getting through story time, with songs still to be sung, and prayers still to be said.

Sigh. Daddies are suckers.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I am exhausted. Why does this shit never happen when I am gone? Probably because I'm only gone like 5 days a year.

We got home on Monday night. Tim left Thursday night. I had plans of going to bed early in an attempt to recover some lost sleep from last weekend. I was just settling down under the covers when Claire woke up screaming. I got up to see what the problem was. She hasn't been sleeping well for about a month now; she has a cough that only allows her to sleep restlessly at night.

Which is why I had taken her to the doctor that afternoon: after a month of coughing, I figured it was no longer just a cold. The only time they could fit us in was at 3:40, which is smack in the middle of nap time. Also, the appointment was with the doctor that I do not like. We didn't start out well, did we? Anyway, we got there, crabby kids and all (Claire had actually not slept a wink during that afternoon nap), and proceeded to wait 50 *%$@# minutes. Fifty. I began the wait by trying to keep the kids in line: "Shh, girls, not so loud!" By the end I was letting them climb every piece of furniture, help themselves to as many stickers as they could grab out of the "one per visit" basket, eat crackers (I'm pretty sure there is a "no food" policy), and shriek to their hearts' content. When we finally got seen, it was for 5 minutes worth of weighing, checking ears and throat, and the doctor coming to the conclusion that it was not allergies like I had thought, but perhaps a little asthma and bronchitis. Just a little of those things, though, like that was supposed to make me feel better. She gave me a prescription for an inhaler and an antibiotic. An inhaler? For a toddler? Are you kidding? But, this is also the doctor that has previously advised me to tilt her bed at night to help with congestion. Like Claire stays in one position for more than 15 minutes.

We went home and had some dinner, and I had the girls in bed by 7:15. I thought I was going to be in heaven: I was going to get to go to bed early! So, now back to the story I started earlier. Let's see....just settling down, Claire started crying... I went in and there she was, covered in vomit. Awesome. I checked the clock: 10:45. Just 4 hours after her first bath of the night, and she was about to get another one. I started the water, tried to calm her down without picking her up (see also: covered in vomit), undressed her and put her in the bath. She was shaking and whimpering, and I felt so bad for her. I hate to be sick, and I hate seeing my kids sick - it's so sad when you can't explain to them what is going on. Got her dried off, changed the sheets, put her back in bed....15 minutes later: same thing. More vomit, more hysterical baby, another bath, more sheets. Repeat scenario every 15-60 minutes until 3am. Also include me crying while trying to explain to my baby that she couldn't have any "mao", "jewce", or "watew", 2 loads of laundry, scrounging for clean mattress covers, about 15 minutes worth of sleep for me, and you have my night.

Of course, Kate was up, bright and chipper, at 7am. Me, not so much. It's hard for me to be chipper with 4 hours of sleep.

Claire drank Pedialyte and ate bananas all day yesterday, and seems to be fine now. I don't know what made her sick; I had not yet given her any medication, luckily, or I would have sworn it was the antibiotics that caused it. I spent yesterday trying to explain to Kate why Dexter the babysitter wasn't coming over after all while I went to my very important doctor's appointment (had to cancel due to sick kid), why we couldn't go to the park (exhaustion), why I was slow to warm to the idea of chasing her around the house (exhaustion), and why it was nap time at 12:30 instead of 1:00 (exhaustion). I did get to sleep for 2 hours yesterday afternoon, and I am slightly more coherent today.

How's your weekend going?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


O.M.G. I am So Very Glad we left the girls home with Buji while we went house shopping. We saw probably 55 houses in 3 days, leaving the last day to revisit the ones we liked, talk numbers, and make decisions. I do not even know where to begin with the stories. Perhaps I should let some pictures do the talking. First, some background: Las Vegas is the number 1 highest market for foreclosures in the U.S. right now, and I think there are more than 20,000 homes for sale there as we speak. I feel like we saw half of them. Also, we named most of the houses for easy reference later.

The yard-sale house. We did not open any of the cabinets. Do not ask what the bathroom smelled like.

The leaky house. Those 'patches' are cardboard taped over giant holes where water had seeped through the ceiling. The hole on the left is not covered.

One of many of the green pool houses. There was a dead bird off to the left of the hot tub. Seriously.

The crayola house. "Here, son, draw me a picture."

The leather house. Clearly a foreclosure: the owners encouraged people to cover the bathroom walls (and toilet) with permanent marker.

The reason the leather house got its name: the upstairs walls were wallpapered in leather, complete with brass tacks like you see on sofas. Hmmm.

The Providence house. In case you were getting worried about our income level: we did find some very nice homes. This is a favorite.

The view from the balcony of the greenbelt house. Also a favorite.

I wish I could tell you that we have a house. You know how the housing market is horrible? And how Las Vegas has the highest foreclosure rate of any place in the country? Well, the house we want already has two buyers ready to bid on it. It is a foreclosure, and people like us are sensing an incredible deal. We are putting in a bid, but probably won't know if we won until next week. We're hoping Really Hard that we get it, because the house we like second best is also not likely to be on the market for much longer. So much for the housing crunch, at least for our home-buying experience. Our home-selling experience, now there we are feeling the housing crunch. Bonus.