Archive for the 'TMI' Category

Getting to know you… getting to know all about you. The couples edition.

I was reading dooce last night where  she completed this meme. So I decided to be a copy cat and answer these questions for the husband & myself. Please to enjoy!

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Duplan ~ funny name you say? Well, it wasn’t always my middle name. Originally -at birth- my mother & father gave me a lovely middle name Leigh, in case you were wondering, and when we got married I changed my maiden name to my middle name. Rob’s middle name is Arthur. And it is his father’s middle name & it was his grandfather’s middle name & his great grandfather’s middle name. Since we didn’t have a boy child we couldn’t carry on this little tradition. Although, I guess we could have given one of the gremlins Arthur as a middle name. Added some fodder for the psych appointments.

How long have you been together?
We’ve been married thirteen and a half years, together over 18 years. Yep, that’s half my lifetime.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Roughly two weeks, I’d say.

Who asked whom out?
He asked me for my phone number then called me the next day.

How old are each of you?
We’re both 38, he’s 19 days older than me. Which I like to throw in his face every time he tells me I’m old.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine since Rob doesn’t have any siblings.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I think the thing that causes the most difficulty is the children. WTH were we thinking having kids?! No, I’m kidding! But honestly, we have very differing parenting styles and I think this is one of our biggest challenges.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. He went to school in one city & I went to school in another city.

Are you from the same home town?
No. I think I made it fairly obvious with my answer to the last question.

Who is smarter?
I’m not sure. We share a brain these days so it’s 6 of one / half dozen of another. I’d have to say that he is definitely smarter in some areas & I’m smarter in others. Together we know a lot of useless information.

Who is the most sensitive?
Oooooh, that would be me.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Almost every restaurant that we go to we can take the gremlins but if we’re going to eat out just the two of us, then I suppose it would be La Fondue.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
China.

Who has the craziest exes?
Well we’ve been together for so dang long that we never had a chance to accumulate a bunch of crazy exes.

Who has the worst temper?
That would be Rob.

Who does the cooking?
Me, that is when I’m not being persuaded to go out to eat -yet again- by Rob & the gremlins. I try to cook, I suggest things but since I’m not a short order cook & can’t make what each individual wants to eat for dinner on that given night, the restaurant ALWAYS wins.

Who is the neat-freak?
Freak? Don’t call me a freak. Just cause I like to have things tidy doesn’t make me a freak!

Who is more stubborn?
Um, this is a tie. We are both extremely stubborn. And now we have two ridiculously stubborn children to add to the stubbornness mix.

Who hogs the bed?
With a King sized bed there is plenty of room for two or four people. Before you go all, “oohhhh, who else do you have in your bed?!” I’m referring to those two stubborn children.

Who wakes up earlier?
Hahahahahaha. Me. Cause Pumpkin comes into our bedroom, walks straight up to my side of the bed and in not so hushed tones tells me to get up & make her some breakfast. This usually occurs at some point between the hours of  5-6am EVERY DAMN day of the week. Yes, even on Saturday & Sunday.

Where was your first date?
Movie theater

Who is more jealous?
Probably me. Thank the stars above that I have nothing to be jealous about.

How long did it take to get serious?
We were serious almost right away. Pretty much within a month and a half we were dating exclusively.

Who eats more?
Rob does. Now. But there was a couple times ~when I was preggers~ that I could out eat him.

Who does the laundry?
Let’s see… hmmm…. d’oh, that’s right, I do. All the laundry. All the time.

Who’s better with the computer?
Hands down, Rob. He had one of those first personal computers that was the size of a baby elephant – well not really- but close and my first computer was one he got for me when he worked at Apple. So he’s had years more experience with computers & it has always been the field he’s worked in.

Who drives when you are together?
It’s a toss up. If it’s my car, then I usually drive. If it’s his car, then he drives. Although lately I’ve been having him drive for me. Laziness? Sorta.

If you’d like to participate in this stolen meme, then copy & paste into your own blog, email, facebook, myspace, whathaveyou, and answer the questions. Add your link in the comment section so I know & can read all about you.

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And now we bring you

More on the saga of our house for sale.  It is now month number 9.  Hey perhaps this will be like pregnancy but instead of giving birth to a child, we will sell our house!!  God willing.  We managed to survive Christmas and New Year with the house ready for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to come tramping through.  I somehow kept the house looking like a show piece despite the massive amounts of wrapping paper, ribbons, tie wraps, plastic packaging, and loads of new toys.  The day after Christmas our house looked like it had vomited colored bows, torn bits of paper, and random utensils and plates from the 1,000 piece Tea set my evil  wonderful sister got Pumpkin for a gift.  Ordinarily, it would have taken me weeks to get that mess cleaned up.  This year, I didn’t have weeks, I had a ~as in ONE~ day to get it back to Open House status. 

Believe it or not, there was actually a call from a realtor who wanted to show the house the day after Christmas.  I suppose we could have said no.  But we are trying to sell the house.  So we got it ready for them…  Yeah… they didn’t show up.  Big *f-in* surpriseGggrrrr.   

I have just finally agreed with the Husband to stop obsessively cleaning the house on the “possibility” that someone might be coming by to view the house.  Yes, it’s been 9 months and I am so incredibly tired of the constant cleaning.  So we decided that we would bring the lockbox in the house & make all agents call to schedule an appointment before they just show up with their clients.  One agent actually called & said, “we’re outside your house, can you come up and let us in?”  Hmmm, let me think about that…. “No”.  For goodness sake, make an appointment and give us a little tiny bit of notice.  That way the house looks presentable for you, not as if a twister had just blown through.  So no, a minute notice is not enough, but perhaps a days notice??!!  Or at the very least a half an hour notice?

Basically, moving the lock box inside frees me up tremendously.  It means that I don’t have to flip out over every toy Pumpkin drags out of her room to play with in the morning, cause I DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP BEFORE I leave the house!!  I don’t have to make three beds before I leave the house!  I don’t have to wash every dish before I leave the house!!  You have no idea what a relief it is.  Plus, I’m not constantly yelling at the children not to make a mess.  This is better for my mommy self-image, my mental health, and the gremlins mental health.  And you know, when you really think about, what I consider a mess, to them is just being creative children at play having fun. 

So we came to the conclussion, after reviewing data on the market and discussing the absolute least amount we could accept ~and still have money left for a downpayment on a new house~ that we should reduce the sale price.  This is the second time that we are dropping the price.  Believe me when I say that it makes me want to be sick when I think about how much money we are potentially leaving with this house.  I don’t want to go into the details since I don’t feel up for vomitting right now… suffice it to say that we will barely have enough left to make a minimum downpayment on another house.  And the housing prices here are still ridiculously high even on a simple single family home.  I try not to think about this overly much since it’s fairly depressing.  It is what it is.  I just need to learn to deal with the reality of the situation as it is now.  However, on the upside, once we reduced the price we had about 150 views per day of the virtual tour which was up by almost 100 pre-reduction.  More traffic viewing the house means more chances of the house selling.

********************

So, yesterday we had two agents bring their clients over to see the house.  One agent was bringing the second half of a couple to view.  This could be promising.  If the wife saw the house first and now wants her husband to see the house, then we might have a potential offer.  However, if it was the husband that saw the house first and now wants his wife to see it, then it probably won’t go anywhere.  Reason being, the wife almost always makes the decision about which house they will live in… think about it, you know this is true.  The husband may set the price limit but the wife will ultimately decide which house will be most comfortable for her family.  The other agent has never been out to the house before so his clients are really a long shot.  I sent all the info to our agent last night for him to follow-up.  We shall see if anything comes of this.  I try not to get my hopes up since it has been so long already without any offers.  I’m just going with the flow, what will be will be, and all those other corny expressions.

Enough for now,

Ciao 

2007: A year in review

Thanks, to my cousin (AGAIN) for a stolen idea.  It should be painfully obvious that I don’t have a single original idea in my head.  Not to mention the Thank you cards I should be writing, the laundry I should be folding, the dishes I should be washing instead of copying this pointless survey.  Details, minor details. 

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’re proudest of? 
Learned that I was stronger than I thought I was and not physically stronger but emotionally and mentally stronger.  And I learned that I am capable of getting more done in less time than I ever before thought possible. 

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions and will you make any for 2008? 
I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions for 2007 &  I won’t for 2008 either.  The way I look at it is that we have a chance every day to make a new start.  If we are so lucky to get another day!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
The husband’s cousin’s wife had a baby girl last January.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 
No, thank the Lord.

5. What countries did you visit in 2007? 
Didn’t travel outside of the country.  Just went to Las Vegas three times.  But I’m hopeful that we can make a trip to China in 2008!

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? 
World peace.  In addition, I’d like unlimited amounts of cash and more time to do the myriad of items on my To Do list.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched in your memory and why? 
No specific dates, just periods of time that were hugely stressful.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Sadly, nothing, unless you count survival.  We survived another year.

9. What was your biggest failure? 
Failing to maintain my temper with the gremlins (aka our children).

10. Did you suffer injury or illness? 
Not really.  In fact, I finally got the problem with my back resolved after almost 2 yrs!

11. What was the best thing you bought? 
I love all my things, so I can’t pick just one thing.  I got some fantastic new shoes, some SMALLER!! jeans, and SMALLER!! shirts.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? 
Celebrate someone’s behavior?  I’d rather celebrate someone’s accomplishments.

13. Whose behavior appalled and depressed you? 
Britney Spears.  I am so incredibly sad for her.  Although she brings most of it on herself. 

14. Where did most of your money go? 
The house payment.

15. What did you get really really really excited about? 
Our trips to Las Vegas.  And Christmas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? 
Umbrella… ella… ella… eh… eh… eh
 
7. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
(a) Happier or sadder? Maybe just slightly happier
(b) Thinner or fatter? Definitely thinner 
(c) Richer or poorer? Unfortunately, poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? 
Played with the gremlins, read, relaxed, taken a few more trips (and not the drug induced kind).

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Work, cleaning

20. How did you spend Christmas? 
Nursing sick children.  Although, on Christmas day they were both pretty much healthy.  So we opened lots and lots and lots of presents!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? 
Not with anyone new.  Unless you count Gerard Butler but he’s a celebrity and I don’t think that counts.  But my love is true and unwavering!  I’ll even over look the smoking habit! 

22. What was your favorite TV program? 
How I Met Your Mother & Rules of Engagement – it’s a toss up.  Both shows were equally hilarious to me.

23. Do you hate anyone now who you didn’t hate last year? 
No, I don’t have time for that nonsense. 

24. What was the best book you read? 
This is impossible for me to answer.  I read so many books, I can’t pick just one that I liked above all others.  That and I have forgotten half of them.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 
I guess I’d have to say Go by Train.  Jazzy, electronica kinda music.  In fact, you are possibly listening to it right now if your speakers are on…

26. What was your favorite movie of this year?
Again, it’s impossible.  I liked so many movies, I can’t decide.  National Treasure 2, Transformers, Bourne Ultimatum.
  

27. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? 
Went to a hockey game with my Dad & the husband.  Turned 37, yuck!

28. What one thing would have made 2007 more satisfying? 

If we had sold the house.  Or won billions in the lottery.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? 
Jeans, T-shirts, Blazers.  Pretty much the same as always.  Maybe with funkier shirts and SMALLER!! jeans.

30. What kept you sane?
Hope, faith, prayers
 
31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
See question #21.  Gerard Butler.  YUMMMMMMMYYYYY!!!
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Don’t know if you’d call it an issue so much as a continuous event.  President Bush.  His stupidity and the ridiculousness of the war. 

33. Who do you miss?
 
My best girlfriends who live too far away. 

34. Who was the best new person you met?
 
You know, I didn’t meet anyone new.  Sad state of affairs when you don’t meet any new people in a whole year.  I’ve just been so busy keeping the business afloat, taking care of children, and cleaning the bloody house.  Oh, yeah, and doing load after endless load of laundry.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
Wow, that’s gonna take the better part of a day.  I just don’t have that kind of time or mental energy.

7 things you never knew you wanted to know about me

  1. Well unless you’ve been in my closet, then you wouldn’t know this tidbit; I really like to have all my clothes hung in color order.  Plus, they must be sorted.  As in sweaters here, dress shirts there, t-shirts here.  Jeans, slacks, capris all sorted by style and color.  I’m not sure if this helps or hinders my getting ready everyday or if it means I’m a total control freak.  I do know that I like the way it looks and in general I feel it helps me see what clothing options I have just a little bit better.
  2. I love peanut butter and have on many occasions eaten it with a spoon right out of the container.  Chunky is my favorite but I will eat smooth if that’s all that is available.  And if you haven’t tried this yet, eat some peanut butter with a dill pickle.  Yummy.  No, I wasn’t preggers when I ate this.  It was when I worked at Erik’s Deli during HS. 
  3. I also love caramel sauce and would eat that straight from the container if I didn’t think too much of it would make me vomit.  Given the choice, I think I would put caramel sauce on everything.  And I mean everything.  Wink, Wink.
  4. Seven – the number of email addresses that I have.  AND I DON’T KNOW WHY.  Actually I do know why this has happened… I started with a Yahoo address for my business, then I got a Hotmail address for personal, then I got a real professional email for business, and then I got an email for our company, and then I got one for this blog, and then I got one for the other blog I started, and then I got one for the other company we started, and then… and then… and then… NO and then!  Kidding.  Wanted to see if you were paying attention.
  5. The dark scares the shit out of me.  I know there are lots of people who are afraid of the dark, but it becomes a totally irrational fear that grips me when I have to walk into a dark room.  I actually hit the light switch on as fast as possible cause everyone knows that once the light is on all scary monsters, evil creatures, and mutant zombie people will automatically disappear, duh.
  6. Speaking of fears, I HATE to drive on this one freeway over pass.  It ramps up so high and banks hard left and I can’t stop the images in my head of me driving the car straight over the side instead of veering left.  I never used to have a problem with driving this part of the freeway, but apparently now I do.  Not to mention, the fear starts to takeover way back before I even get on the ramp.  Like a slow creeping death fear.  Maybe this means I’m losing what little hold I had on my mind, not sure.  But what I do know is it’s freightening and I don’t like it.
  7. I wish I could sing.  I mean really sing.  In key.  Not necessarily opera type singing but just good enough that I could carry a tune without shattering windows from the horribleness of my singing.  And people wouldn’t crack jokes like, “who sings this song?  Well maybe you should let them sing it!”  I wanted to be a rock star when I was a kid (who didn’t) and my sisters used to tease me mercilessly because my singing was so bad. =(

So, there you have it.  Wouldn’t you agree that you are better off now that you know these things?!

Ciao   

We’re moving, again. (part 4)

Continuing on with the saga… as I told y’all before, we had our house “staged” by an interior designer.  Well, it has officially been nine weeks since we put our house on the market and staged the house.  Still no offers, of any kind, not even an offer that was way too low.  Nothing, NADA, Rein, Nichts. Pick a language, it still means we ain’t got shit happening with the sale of our house.  This basically lead us to make the decision to pull out all the staging and re-do it ourselves so that we won’t have to continue to rent all the furniture, rugs, and decor items.  This is very good for a number of reasons.

  1. We will be saving a bunch of money by switching our car insurance to Geico.  NO, JUST KIDDING.  But we will actually be saving a ton of cash each month that the house doesn’t sell and this designer guys stuff isn’t in our house.
  2. I won’t have to yell at the kids not to spill any food on the kitchen chair pads & various rugs.  Or worry about something getting broken and so on.
  3. We decided to put the flatscreen t.v. back up in our bedroom by either hanging it on the wall or using a narrow table so that the fireplace doesn’t get blocked.  It’s been too long since we’ve been able to watch a regular size t.v.  YEA T.V.!
  4. I get to go shopping and spend a bunch of mooolah and the husband said it was OK!!!  (He did set a limit, unfortunately, so I can’t just max out our credit cards).
  5. I get to pretend that I’m an interior designer ~ It’s one of the things that I used to want to be one when I was a kid, you know.

So tomorrow the designer is coming over to clear out all his stuff.  In the mean time, I have been shopping (YEA ME!) to find items that are comparable.  As it turns out, he left tags on almost every item that he used.  That made it rather easy for me.  All I had to do was go to the store and buy it.  In a couple of cases I haven’t been able to locate certain items, but I found something close enough to his stuff that it recreates the same look.  I watch a ton of shows on HGTV that talk about finding items that are similar to designer but without the designer price tag.  Hey, isn’t that the catch phrase from TJMaxx?  I’ve been to that store.  And in fact, I’ve found a few things that the designer even used!

There are about 5 different stores that I wanted to check out and I’ve managed to go to three of them so far.  And it has been a little like being on a treasure hunt.  Seeing which store has what and at what price.  Fun stuff! Good times. I went to a consignment store in town today and found a couple end tables & a coffee table that will work perfectly BUT I need to negotiate the price down a little before I can buy them.  It’s amazing how quickly the dollars add up for all these things.  I still need to find indoor rugs, outdoor rugs, fabric to make new window coverings, plus lots of art work.  Whew, there certainly is a lot of work to do!

We’re devoting Saturday & Sunday to re-staging the house.  Hopefully that will be enough time.  We still have to go back to one of the stores to pick up the “faux” trees.  I will need to sew the fabric panels to create the window coverings.  We need to move the couches back from storage to our living room.

Alright, I’m starting to get overwhelmed thinking about it all.  I’m gonna go do some more shopping….

Enough for now,

Ciao

We’re moving, again. (part 3)

It has officially been 6 weeks since we put our house on the market.  And I’m *sad* to say that we have not had any offers to-date.  Many people have driven by & taken flyers, come to the multitude of open house, and scheduled appts. to view the house with their realtors but alas, not one single offer.  This is starting to get depressing.  I know that I’m probably expecting too much to think that our house should have sold by now, but I can’t seem to help myself.  We’ve always sold our previous homes so quickly, generally within the first 30 days of it being on the market.  If I’m more realistic, then I’ll look at what’s truly happening with the housing market.  But then it will really, really depress me because there ain’t shit happening with the market (and just so you know, I don’t care that ‘ain’t’ isn’t proper English).

I’m doing my best to stay positive.  It will sell when the time is right.  When the right person finds the house.  I need to be patient, I know.  At times it’s difficult.  Especially when things have been extremely slow for our business.  It’s fairly fightening.  I wander, like a lost child, all over the spectrum of emotions and thoughts.  From hour to hour, occasionally, starting at ‘everything will work out fine’ and ending with ‘we are going to lose everything that we’ve worked our whole lives for’.  Then I contemplate the latter scenario… what would it really mean to lose everything?  What if it lead us down another path?  The path for which we were truly destined?  What if we are meant to be free of these things that tie us down, and in a way, keep us prisoner.  When you have so many “things” that have to be paid for, you aren’t free.  You must always work to pay for the house, cars, cleaners, gardeners, PG & E, telephone, water, garbage, and so on and so on ad nauseam!

We are so fortunate to have family close by us, so it isn’t as if we would have to live on the streets.  As some are forced to do.  No, we would ultimately be just fine.  And I generally operate until the philosophy that everything has a way of working out the way it’s meant to be.  Call me a Pollyanna if you want, but I think I do like the world with rose colored glasses.

Besides, what if everything that we are currently experiencing is shaping us?  Forming us?  Molding us?  Because isn’t that one of the purposes of life?  Learning and growing by the myriad of life experiences.  And it’s not just happening for myself or the husband but our children too.  We tend to forget that they are influenced by these events because we see them as so young ~they aren’t actually involved.  But I’m beginning to realize how wrong I am in that judgement.  Even our 2yr old asks, “is my crib comin to da new house?” or “is da doggies comin to da new house?”  She understands enough to pose these questions.  She comprehends that we will be leaving this house and moving to another and just wants to make sure that her favorite things will be coming with us.  It really is quite adorable, in a slightly heartbreaking way.  I wish that we didn’t have to make the move, for the girls sake.  That’s when I start thinking about the future again… what’s around the corner?  More challenges to be faced with our business?  Random other things that could pop-up completely out of nowhere?  What if the next house fits our life more perfectly than this house?

Even if things turn around completely for our business and we have tremendous growth, my thought on this house is that it’s time to cut our loses.  But when it boils right down to the bottom, it’s completely out of my control WHEN or even IF the house sells.  Maybe I’ll just sing the Bob Marley song, ‘Everything will be all right’, in my head ~of course.  Or maybe I will just walk around all day singing it out loud, that will be my new theme song.  And I will make people wonder if I’ve finally lost all my marbles.  But then again, they might just start singing with me!  One can only hope….

In the mean time, we are having another series of open houses, next weekend & the following weekend so wish us luck on finding a buyer!

Enough for now,

Ciao

Our Anniversary

In roughly three weeks it will be our 12th wedding anniversary.  That’s a long time.  We’ve, technically, been together longer.  If you count the 5ish years we were together before getting married.  Which I do.  You know, time served and all that.  So really, it’s like our 17th anniversary.  Ok, that thought is kinda frightening.  How quickly time goes by….

Now, what this post is really about, besides our anniversary, is that we are going to Las Vegas to celebrate!!!  I can hardly wait to go.  I’d like to leave now if at all possible and not come back for about two weeks.  Alas, that is not possible.  We’ve got children.  They’re staying with my in-laws.  Of course the kids & the in-laws are thrilled about the arrangement.  My in-laws love to spoil our kids rotten.  These days, I realize the full meaning of that expression, because when the kids come back from staying with their grandparents, they are completely out of control.  We hear a lot of this, ‘but Nana lets me do that’ and ‘I want ice cream’ and ‘I want to go back to Nana’s’.  Everything is always better at Nana’s house.  This is why people constantly say they want to skip the whole raising children part and go straight to having grandchildren.  We’ve told our 7yr old that when she has kids, we are going to spoil them to pieces and give them everything they want whenever they want it so she will know what it was like for us.  HAHAHAHA! Payback, baby.

Anyhoo, we are gettin outta here and going to Sin City.  And I’m absolutely confident that we will be committing multiple sins.  YEAH!  We’re going to *Hell* anyway, so we might as well have a good time.

It’s the getting ready to leave for a trip that I don’t particularly enjoy.  All the miscellaneous things that have to be done before you can go.  Including laundry.  Because inevitably one of the shirts you want to take with ~ needs to be washed.  Plus, there’s the last minute run to the grocery store to get pull-ups for the 2yr old and food for the dogs and so on.

But what keeps me going despite my physical exhaustion is the thought that I AM GOING TO LAS VEGAS!!  I have almost three days alone with my husband, I can sleep as late as I want or stay out as late as I want, play some craps & blackjack & pai gow & video poker.  Do we like to gamble, ummm, let me think for a sec, YES!  Not to mention all the “FREE” drinks that we’ll be getting.  

We have plans to go out to a nice dinner, maybe go to a club for some dancing, and of course gamble some more.  I’ll reiterate, I can’t wait to go!!  (Question: Am I using excessive exclaimation marks for this post?  Oh, well I don’t care!!!!!) 

Well, wish us luck! 

Enough for now,

Ciao 


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