Sunday, September 30, 2007


So my first Florida injury that resulted in a trip to the urgent care center was not at the hands of a wild animal, as I would have predicted. Rather, it was a golf cart that did me in!

Yesterday, we went down to see my husband's parents. They live in a huge, beautiful retirement community. It is, I believe, advertised as a golf cart community. Most everyone owns them and you can drive them all over the place--the grocery stores, to neighbor's houses, to the softball games my father in plays nearly every day of the week, and of course to the golf course. They're quite fun.

There are also a number of country clubs within the community, and they all have GREAT happy hours. So yesterday, as we often do, my husband and I decided to leave PB behind with the in laws and head out for a drink in the golf cart. At the last minute he decided to take a detour and was going too fast around a corner.

I went flying out of the golf cart.

There was lots of blood, lots of pain. It was one of those moments of complete shock as I lay there on the grass (thankfully) not wanting to open my eyes, not wanting to find out how bad it really was.

I'm fine, but sore and bruised and cut. Two fingers on my left hand got pretty bad slices--i think from the very coarse grass. My right knee hit the curb and has lots of scrapes and bruises. It's sore, but did NOT swell overnight like I expected it to. In fact, besides the stinging from the scrapes, it doesn't feel bad. I walked all over Sea World today just fine. I have a host of other bruises and scrapes all over; and my shoulders and neck are extremely sore--probably more from the tension than anything.

The worst part of it all is how incredibly badly my poor, sweet husband felt. He still feels so bad and is beating himself up way more than I was beaten up. It was totally an accident, and of course, I'm not mad at all. But still he feels bad, which makes me feel bad.

It REALLY freaks me out to get hurt like this. It makes me think about how quickly your life can turn upside down. What if I'd gone head first into the cement? What if PB had been with us? etc., etc.

I'm not sure how's it's going to affect my workouts this week. I may try to see what I can do at the gym for a bit tomorrow. And perhaps a soak in the whirlpool would be good for me. We'll see. I'm really thankful I wasn't hurt worse.

Other than that, it was a good weekend. More housing ups and downs with House #1, but nothing really of interest to report. No word at all on our house in Washington, of course. So. Sick. Of. That!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nap At Last

For two weeks now, PB has not napped once. There has been not even a hint of one in 14 days. From the child who I thought would nap until high school, it was an abrupt end to an era.

Until today--hooray! We had a fun playdate with a little boy from preschool. They played nicely, not quietly, because of course they're boys. But it wasn't nonstop sweaty-head filled action of many we enter.

I think the two-week hiatus caught up with him. He looked so tired on the way home, but wouldn't close his eyes. When we got home, I asked him if he just wanted to go snuggle in his bed and take a little nap. He said yes, ran to his room, shut the door and almost two hours later now, he's still sleeping.

So I've used the time to do some research on cookbooks. Did I mention that I signed up to be chair of the fundraising cookbook committee at PB's preschool? I have a whole committee and everything. I think it will be fun and a good way to get to know more people.

Although when the head of the parenting committee e-mailed asking me if I need agendas or anything else run off for our first meeting next, I kind of panicked. Does she think we should have one? I may have Type A tendencies, but there are very few occasions I feel call for an agenda. My approach is much more tree-friendly and laid back when it comes to things like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm thorough and I'll stress with the best of them, but I don't need an agenda for something like this...I hope!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Already

This week has flown by. It seems that almost every day I've had something going on, which means I got in fewer workouts that I would have liked. Hopefully this weekend I can get in some good runs.

Yesterday, I had a doctor's appointment. It was the first time I've seen an internist. In the past I've just had an OB/Gyn, but since I'm getting up there in age, I decided to see someone a little more comprehensive. And comprehensive they were. They have ordered a whole slew of tests (all routine plus my thyroid check) that I have to go get done in the next couple of weeks.

I'm glad I'm going to get them done, as I know it's best if they catch things early, etc. But they stress me out soo bad as I'm total hypochondriac. So I just want to get it all over with, because the stress is probably way harder on my health than anything they'll find (hopefully). I just keep imagining a horrible phone call with test results that shatter my life. I know, I know. I can't do that, but I do.

Then there's the fact that since that appointment I just haven't felt well. My stomach isn't happy. Now, I also grabbed a salad from a local supermarket right after that appointment, which very well could have been the problem too. Or it could be my new vitamins, I'm not sure. All I know is that last night I felt so yucky that I went to bed at 9 p.m.--I didn't even stay up for the Real World, which is saying a lot since I'm without my tivo. Today is better, much better, but I still feel tired and not quite right. I've only googled a couple symptoms though and haven't diagnosed myself with anything too awful yet.

This morning I went and toured a fancy schmancy school for PB. We're trying decide where he'll go next year and beyond. The one today has been highly recommended over and over to us, and its reputation is certainly warranted. It's an awesome school, a beautiful campus, filled with darling, little uniform-clad, seemingly polite children. They all stood up when we entered their classroom, and then proceeded to raise their hands to tell me what they "get" to do in that particular class. I loved it there, and I know PB would too.

On the other hand, it's really pricey, and if the local public school is good then I'm more inclined to at least try it. I think there's a lot of value in a diversity in education, whether it be ethnic, economic, etc. I'm not sure today's school provides that.

My husband, on the other hand, is leaning strongly toward private. We'll see. I have a bunch of interviews set up more private schools; and I'm also going to tour the public school he would go to if we end up in House #1.

Speaking of House #1, we decided that's the one we want. So now the ball is in their court. If we can agree on a rent price and a few other terms then I very may well be heading back to Seattle in a few weeks to supervise the packing and moving. If all goes as planned/hoped, we would move in November 15.

That still seems like an eternity away, but it would definitely be something to look forward to. However, there are some buyers who have recently become interested in the same house, so that could put a damper on things. But if that happens,that's okay. I'll be totally fine with it and we'll move on out to the burbs and the other community. Basically, it's out of my hands now, and I'll leave it up to the powers that be to decide where we end up.

I'm sure there will be a long wait before anything is final, because that's just how my life goes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More on Love Bugs

Just another weird fact* about love bugs--they were actually CREATED in a lab at the University of Florida!!! There seems to be debate as to which college is the culprit, but it doesn't really matter to me, it's the fact that they are MAN MADE!

How eerie is that?! I guess some mad scientists created them as a way to combat mosquitoes. But the experiment didn't work and now these crazy bugs are flying around, and so are the mosquitoes.

Like I said before, the whole thing is weird, just weird!

*By fact I mean what people tell me. I could do a bunch of research about them, but it's more fun to hear people's theories and stories about them.


So, even though our house in Seattle hasn't sold, we have some options. Since the market here is even worse than there, people are willing to deal. One house that we have liked all along--the first one we ever looked at--is willing to let us rent the house until ours sells, however, long that may be. While we would be paying more rent than if we stay put in this apartment, at least we would be out of an apartment AND we could get all of our things moved here. While still financially draining, it would at least allow us to get settled in many regards. The rent they wanted at first was too much, but they recently came back with a reduced rate, which is only a few hundred dollars more than what we pay in this apartment. So it becomes a more attractive option.

BUT we need to make sure it's THE house and neighborhood we really want. I think it is, but I can't be 100 percent. Then again, I'm almost never a 100 percent kind of person. There are too many options in life, and I am not a good decision maker. I want it all :)

House #1 has lots of pros--great location, easy, easy commute for my husband; beautifully updated; nice guarded, gated community that appears to have lots of kids. What we don't know is how social the neighborhood is. A lot of the kids apparently go to private schools, even though the public one there is really good. But there's not that sense of community where all the kids ride the bus together, etc. if they're all going to different schools. Plus, it's just more of a status neighborhood, for whatever that's worth, and I think that it will be more of a mix of ages. So that's House #1.

Scenario #2 is another neighborhood. We ruled it out in the beginning because it is further out in the burbs, longer commute, etc. But it's right down the road from our current apartment, and I've been doing the driving for the past couple weeks. And really, it's so bad at all. I kind of like it out here. And I've been hearing lots of good things about this particular development- it's on a golf course and has tons of young kids, tons of neighborhood activities, neighbors are super friendly, super social. There's a clubhouse with a restaurant and a bar, bunco groups, etc.

I went to look at several houses out there this morning, and they're nice--really big (probably too big for us), but none are as updated as House #1, which is a custom home. And while some are vacant and may be willing to let us do the rent deal, we haven't actually gotten to that place with any of them. So getting our stuff soon, may or may not be an option.

So we're torn. Our real estate agent, I'm sure, thinks we're schizophrenic, and you know what? We are.

I just wish I could see into the future and what are lives would be like in each of these locations. I think either will be good, but I want to know which one would be best.

The other option is to just wait. Put it all on hold until our house sells. But who knows how long that could take? And I really need more than three pair of shoes!

I never in a million years would have predicted the boat we're in now. I know there are lots of people out there in the same one, AND IT'S A REALLY CRAPPY BOAT!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Love Bugs

Have you ever heard of lovebugs? Real ones?

I certainly hadn't. But again Florida wildlife surprises me.

Lately, these bugs fly around everywhere; and they're ALWAYS in twos...apparently mating all the way. They don't separate and look like crazy two-headed pests.

I've heard, though have yet to research, that they can leave behind some crazy liquid (which I dare not speculate as to what it is) that can wreck you car. So if you see this substance you have to go wash your car right away. Also, they can apparently gather in huge swarms. Great. (I'm picturing my encounter with a lovebug swarm as I'm sprinting away from a bear or alligator.) Oh and a bonus, I've heard that more lovebugs in a year means more hurricanes that year. I'm not even going to start thinking about those.

What blows me away is that I have lived my whole life, traveled and/or lived in most regions of the United States, and I have never, ever heard of these crazy things. Weird, just weird.

Have I mentioned the huge pelican-like crane birds? No, well, they come up to at least my shoulder and they're everywhere. They block my jogging path eating some kind of berries from the ground. I'm quite frightened of them and run WAY around them.

The lizards, I've mentioned before; they're quite cute. PB likes to chase and even pick them up. But this one scared the bejeezus out of me on Saturday morning. I saw something moving in my rear view mirror, and realized it was actually on it, rather than it. He then moved to the window right beside my face, which was a little unsettling. But to his credit, the little guy hung on for the entire 10 miles or so, his tail blowing in the breeze.

I swear sometimes I feel like I've moved to another country rather than just another state.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad Hair Day

The other day before swimming lessons, I was bending down to help PB put on his swim trunks in the gym locker room. He looked at my head , and said, "your hair is kind of blackish up there." Since the rest of my hair is blond, I took this as a sign that I was long overdue for highlights. Now, since I just got them done about seven weeks ago, this is quite premature. When I have a good highlight/lowlight job, I can go for three months or more. But because of aforementioned job, it was time.

So I went about researching a new salon. I like the best when it comes my hair, I like swanky, chic, hip, and really don't care how much it costs. It's my hair after all. So I went to City Search and found that one salon had received the Best of Award for two years running, and it was in Winter Park, a really nice area of Orlando. Surely, this would be great.

I called and made my appointment. It was a little unsettling when they asked if I'd like my hair dried and styled afterwards--for an additional $18! "Opposed to walking out with dripping wet hair?" I asked. The answer was yes. And while that might turn many people off, I thought, "wow, this place must be really great if they charge extra just for that." I was excited.

So I began my drive there, enjoying my music on the radio and looking forward to a relaxing afternoon. I kept driving and driving. I passed the nice parts of Winter Park and think surely I've missed it. But the numbers are going in the right direction, so I keep going and going and going. Finally I see it--in a rundown, ramshackle strip mall with only a single neon sign to identify it "Salon"--not the name of the salon, just Salon. Not good, but I'm still thinking maybe it's a hidden treasure--after all it's City Search's Best. So I park, walk up and look in the window only to find the unswankiest, unhippest, rundown looking joint with a bunch of middle age ladies sitting under hairdryers.

I panic, think of the horror my hair will ensure...and I hightail it back to my car and get out of there. I didn't answer my cell phone and didn't call them to cancel because what was I going to say, "Your place looks like a dump there's no way I'm trusting you with my hair?"

I do feel bad for standing up the poor stylist, but come on!!! City Search's BEST for two year's running. They have to be paying off people to vote or waging some kind of big blue-hair campaign, or sleeping with the judge or something. My Seattle salon was City Search's Best, and it was. This, clearly wasn't.

My penance I guess is the roots I'll continue to sport for another week or so and the research that will go into finding yet another salon.

The good thing is that since my time was free I got in a five-mile run. It was hot, but not unbearable. It didn't run fast--no idea how fast--but I felt good. I took a couple short walk breaks and at the half way point ran into Walgreens for a bottle of water. My goal is to run the whole 5-mile loop without even one walk break, and then I'll move up to some more mileage.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Naps or Lack Thereof

People are generally shocked when they find out my 4-year-old naps every day for at least a couple of hours. Now, after they have seen his extreme energy level during the rest of the day, they usually understand a bit. But even with that, it's pretty remarkable that I've gotten the nap as long as I have.

Back in Seattle when I was working and had to do live interviews during working hours I NEEDED his nap, and I fought hard to keep it. Vacations, weekends, you name it, he was in a crib or bed by 1:30 p.m EVERY day. Seriously, i was the ultimate Nap Nazi. So that plus the fact that it may be hereditary--my husband apparently napped forever and still needs a lot of sleep--left me confident that we'd keep napping for awhile.

And with preschool from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. (a long day!) and him seemingly exhausted at the end, I really wasn't figuring he'd give it up anytime soon. Of course just when I think I have things figured out they change... This week he's been on nap strike. Not ONE nap the entire week--all of a sudden. Quiet time, reading books, sure, but he just won't surrender and actually fall asleep.

So I thought, okay, maybe he's ready to give them up. Even said so much to my friend J during what should have been his quiet time. As soon as I hung up with her, we got in the car to go run a few errands (it was about 4:30 p.m.), and he promptly FELL ASLEEP.

UGH! So I think we're somewhere in the middle (I've heard about this annoying purgatory from many others) between nap and no nap. Upon further pondering, my thoughts are that this is a power thing for him--he gets that he's able to choose not to fall asleep, but really I think he likes (and needs) that extra sleep no matter how much he wants to deny it. And I'm hoping that soon he starts napping again.

Okay, and in other HUGE news--remember the bowl PB wanted sooo badly ? I actually found it tonight on a total whim!!! After a disappointing dinner at Applebee's--ugh! (only because others were too busy and we were hungry), I had to run into the local Winn Dixie for milk. As I was booking it back to the cashiers, I caught the coveted bowl out of the corner of my eye.

PB was thrilled! And honestly, it will be great to pack in his lunch and will save a bunch of world-polluting plastic bags. The negative is that he's already started to tell me about how only certain foods can go into certain colored sections ("in green can go honey dew and peas," he told me)--yeah, no, we're not even going there. I told him it's a magic bowl, and each day the Einstein characters would whisper in my ear what it wants in his/her section, and then it would be a surprise to him each day. We'll see how that goes.

I can't even go into the huge fit he threw in the bookstore today--books were thrown, stares were plentiful, he yelled, threw himself on the floor, etc. etc.--the stuff of parenting nightmares. I was a little shocked by it, because for the most part, he's a great, well-behaved kid. A tantrum like this I've only seen from him in recent years when he was on antibiotics (they make him crazy). But today's I can't blame on antibiotics unfortunately. I'm not sure what to blame it on. Of course there is the whole fact that he's been ripped away from the life he knew, his toys, stability, friends etc. hmmm...can I blame my cranky mood on that too?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


There are many products, restaurants, brands, etc. that seriously should be paying me royalties. Because, as I've said before, when I like something, I REALLY like it. And, furthermore, when I like something, I want everyone else I know to like it as much as me.

So, on this fairly no-news Thursday in my life, I'd like to refer you my friends (readers) to two blogs with recent postings that I really enjoy and think you will too.

The first, is Marissa at You've got to want to be scared, then cry, then cringe, then feel a little ill, then ultimately be incredibly inspired. But seriously, she's just been through and amazing ordeal and has done a fabulous job writing about it. I'm really not sure how I found her blog (that happens to me a lot), but I'm glad I did.

Second is my new "friend" Manic Her blog is incredibly entertaining in itself, and today's post is even quite racy! But she also has a site for her novel, which is gripping and a really good read. Plus, it's right there online, so it's like a book for free. check it out here

That's about it for me. Had a great time with my college friend in town, and it didn't even rain us out. We had a great lunch at a little outdoor cafe on Park Avenue, complete with a glass of wine, which always makes me feel like I'm on vacation.

PB had swimming lessons this afternoon, which...can I be honest? are HOPELESS! I swear this child is never going to learn to swim. I'm a proud peacock when it come to my child most of the time, but really there's no use to even pretend he has an inkling of talent for this sport.

I'm sure in time (a LOT of time) he'll learn, but he's just scared and too damn analytical. "If I drown and I'm lying at the bottom of the pool, what will happen to me?" Then he clutches to the teacher like there's a big squirrel near...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Short Legs, Running and Rain

This morning, for the first time in the two-plus months we've been here, I woke up to rain. LOTS of rain, rain that caused me to get out the umbrella. And that's got to tell you a lot about the amount of rain, because in the six or so years I lived in Seattle, I don't think I ever used one.

Anyway, after maneuvering an umbrella-obsessed 4-year-old to the car and then into his classroom, it was time for my workout. I'd planned to run outside and figured the rain would clear shortly. While, as I've previously noted there are huge thunderstorms here nearly everyday, they are very short lived--like 20 minutes a lot of time. Then the sun comes out and life resumes. Not so today. It rained and rained and rained and then rained some more.

So I altered my plans and went to the gym instead. I ran four strong miles on the treadmill with no walk breaks. I felt really good and did some weights too. Of course, I got on the scale again, and it still hasn't budged. I don't understand how that is possible, but oh well, I feel better.

Because I can watch television while I run--personal flat screen televisions on each treadmill--I don't mind it so much, but I do prefer to be outside. Especially today, as the woman next to me was apparently watching something hilarious. Seriously, the second she started walking and watching, she started chuckling; then it turned into full-on belly laughs. Now, I understand to a point, can even find it a little endearing as I REALLY have to watch myself so I don't sing along with my newfound VH1-love hits. But she was seriously annoying. I think she laughed for at least the last 25 minutes of my run. I'm glad she was having a good time, but really, it just seemed weird and a little forced, like she wanted someone to come up and ask her what she was laughing about. I should have started singing to drown her out. And just a side note, my new favorite song/band I've heard is Maroon 5--"blah, blah, 6'4 so I had to shoot him dead..." can't get it out of my head! (It's really hard for me not to sing along with that one!)

Anyway, here's a question for you runners, and realize I may be grasping here but here goes--is it harder for people with short legs to run as fast as people with long legs. Now I get that they probably run naturally faster than those of us with short stubs, but when I'm on a treadmill doing about 6.5 miles an hour, and the person next to me is doing like 8.5 miles per hour, I swear my legs are going just as fast--no, actually a lot faster-than theirs. It seems like the energy I have to expend to run at that pace is multiplied hugely. Do I burn more calories? Not sure I'm explaining this right, but let me know if you have any insight.

Also, I'm going to start looking for a half marathon to sign up for. I thought I'd do the Disney one, but it's already full. I guess I need to plan further ahead. I also need to find a good local running store. When I trained for the marathons in Austin, there as an awesome store that always had good advice, resources for runners, etc. I'm sure there's on here, I just need to figure it out.

In other news, the season premiere of "America's Next Top Model" was on tonight. I love it--totally my favorite reality show. Tried to watch "Gossip Girl" after that, but honestly, it just looked too awful for even me. So now I have a break before I watch "The Real World". Pathetic I know :) (I won't even mention that Newport Harbor follows that).

Tomorrow a good friend of mine from college is coming into town, and I'm hoping that it stops raining so we can stroll around Winter Park for awhile, have a nice lunch outside and do some shopping.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I skipped my workout this morning. My left foot has been really bugging me, my legs felt tight, and I thought I could use a day of rest. And by rest, I mean shopping.

PB has been adamant for months now that he wants to be a spider for Halloween. I figured he would change his mind a zillion times between now and then, but he has not wavered. That's fine with me, as I'm not ready for him to be something more grownup like Spiderman or a Power Ranger. I'm sure that will come in time.

But the more I started looking around, the more I found that the spider costumes were in smaller sizes, not a 4T o 5T, like we need. Pottery Barn Kids was the only place I could find, but they were sold out almost as quickly as they appeared online. I e-mailed a good friend of mine, because I know she's a resourceful shopper, and lo and behold, her son is going to be the same spider!! She tipped me off to the fact that some of the store had gotten shipments over the weekend, even though they're not available online.

So I set off for the mall right after dropping PB off, waited outside for the store to open. His size was not hanging on the shelf, but they checked in the back and viola!

He was so incredibly excited when I showed it to him, he was kissing it. Now, he just better not change his mind in the next month and a half!

In other shopping news, not so exciting. See, I'm used to buying pretty much whatever I want (within reason of course). Not to sound spoiled, but I worked hard, and that was part of the reason I did--so I could shop. Now that I'm a lady of leisure and know that everything I spend is really coming out of savings until our house sells, it's not quite so fun.

But even if I'm not spending, I still love to practice shopping. I could try things on for hours, browse, and just be in the stores. Buying more, of course, is more fun, but that will come again in time.

And my new budget is finely tuning my budget shopping skills. Just last week I was walking through Target, and I saw a dress that looked cute. It happened to be in the little girls' department, but you know what, an XL in little girls actually fits me and my short legs. So I got a darling little dress for $12.99!!! I can't wait until someone asks me where I got it!

For now, I'm compiling my list of wants for when our house sells. At the top of the list are these Tom Ford glasses:

In other news, we were very happy to see the Feds cut interest rates. Perhaps that will bring out more buyers...and I'll get my glasses (and my camera and everything else on my list) soon!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

That Mom

One of my favorite parts of the day is walking PB to and from his preschool classroom. The school is undergoing some construction so it takes a few minutes, but it's fun to hold his hand, talk about the day to come or that has just passed. I like to hear him and his friends call out to each other and chat (he seems so big these days!). I like standing around with the other parents before and after school chatting and getting to know them. I've met some really nice moms, and it seems like a great community.

The other day, however, we were walking to PB's classroom when all of a sudden a woman pushes me, yes pushes, me out of the way and runs past trailing two girls behind her. "Sorry, have a kindergartner," she shouted on her way by. No excuse me, no accident here, it was a pure out and out shove as she bolstered her way past me. I was shocked, not really believing that this happened at preschool, and a Christian one at that.

After recovering from the jolt, I shrugged it off, because I'd seen her around on a few other occasions, and I just knew she was just "That Mom." The mom who tries too hard, has no social skills, is loud, overbearing and just has no clue how to behave much of the time. When your trying to be polite and her name comes up innocently, you see the looks on the faces of others around that tell you they also know she's That Mom. Of course you never discuss it; it's just there.

To her credit she did find me later at a parents' meeting and apologized in this breathless, annoying way, but it really wasn't apologizing--more like defending what she did. "It's Kindergarten and they count attendance and everything," she told me. Personally, I'd rather have my child be tardy than to have him see me shove someone out of the way, but to each his own. I just wanted her to leave before she took the seat next to me, so I said, "no problem".

That Mom was present in Seattle last year in PB's class as well. She was the one who for at least the first eight weeks of school asked me EVERYtime she saw me if PB was an only child. Seriously, EVERY time. It was so annoying, particularly because it's an emotional issue for me. I'm not sure if she wanted more of an explanation, wanted me to say something more, or if she was just clueless. But it was incredible to me that it kept happening over and over. And it wasn't just me that was victim to her careless remarks. She told another mom, "You're a big woman, aren't you?" and to another she asked how she got such petite daughters when she, "wasn't petite at all."

And while annoying, That Mom really doesn't have any ill intentions (that's a whole other breed of mother). Behind their brash behavior I really think they're trying. Not everyone is comfortable in social situations, and when you're a mom you're often forced into them for your children's sake. Probably the That Moms out there are at least a little self aware and don't want their children to turn out as socially awkward as they are. So they end up trying too hard.

I should have more compassion I guess, but not too much. That Mom is notorious for finding a hapless mother and leeching on. Then there she is shouting your name across a parking lot the size of a football field, pushing countless others out of her way as she catches up to you and talks your ear off loudly in and out of the building each day.

P.S. Like always, I have to qualify what I just wrote and say, I realize that there are many types of moms out there. None of us is perfect--who knows maybe I'm That Mom to someone? But for the most part, we're all doing our best, and in the end that's what really matter how annoying.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekend Ups and Downs

For the most part, this was a really nice weekend. We stayed in Friday night and watched "Fracture," which I thought was pretty good. Saturday morning we hung out at the pool, I went for a run (not a good idea to start out at noon in Florida when there's no shade) and came back to find out there was a couple very interested in our home! They had been there the day before, really liked it and wanted to come back again. They're relocating from out of state and said they need to be in a place in three weeks. We can do that! We would do it in a week if need be.

So all weekend we've been waiting for the call. Waiting for the offer. "Is that your phone?" I ask my husband every time I hear anything. All through church, all through dinner last night with friends and all through our excursion to Sea World today (we are now the holders of season passes), we waited. I kept imaging where we would be, how I would react, the relief we'd feel, "we never thought it would sell," we would tell people. I'd calculate the time back West and figure out what they might be doing--having dinner and discussing their offer; perhaps taking a break to do some wine tasting at the wineries near our house before making the plunge.

Finally around 4 this afternoon our agent sent a text message: they went back to wherever they came from and didn't buy anything; they didn't "love" anything. I have no idea what they're going to do in three weeks when they supposedly needed to be in a place. But apparently they won't be moving into ours.

I'm so bummed. I thought this was it. And it isn't. I'm in a really bad mood now. I feel like I've been on a huge roller coaster ride and didn't enjoy it nearly as much as PB did the one at Sea World.

And to make matters worse, I saw some pictures of me that were taken today, and for all the good exercise I've been doing, I still look like Shamu!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Addiction Admitted

Hi, my name is Closetmom, and I'm addicted to grocery stores.

I love them! I bet I frequent an average of 1.5 stores per day--seriously! I love food; I love to cook; and frankly, I like to shop for pretty much anything.

Furthermore, I could never be someone who plans a week's worth of meals, goes to the store once and has everything he or she needs for the week. First of all, life is too unpredictable, and I would invariably end up with rotten mushrooms, expired meat and overripe bananas. And I hate to waste food. Plus, I can't make up my mind as to what I want to eat that far in advance. There are way too many variable factors--the weather; how much I've exercised; what's on television; my mood; what I've seen someone else eating and now have to have, etc.

So, daily I set off for the store, but not just one store. There's a whole maze of stores I have to visit to get the right stuff. In Seattle, I had it down--between Trader Joe's, PCC, QFC, Whole Foods, Costco, an array of farmers' markets and the occasional trip to Top Foods we were well fed.

Here in Florida, I'm feeling a little lost and trying to piece together a new grocery game plan. There is however, a HUGE, gaping hole here: There is NO Trader Joe's! I'm having a really, really hard time with this. In fact, beyond not selling our house yet, I would argue that this is the single hardest part of our move cross country. I kid you not; I'm having some serious withdrawal. I LOVE TRADER JOE'S! I've written to them at least four times already telling them of my desperation and the severity of my withdrawal, but the best I've gotten is a form e-mail. Blah. The closest one is Atlanta, and I'm afraid soon that I'll have to pack the Volvo up with coolers and make the 7-plus hour trek there.

To further add to my Florida grocery "situation," as I'm calling it, there's only one Whole Foods. It's not even a real Whole Foods. Okay, it's real, but it's sooo small; and I think everyone from the entire state shops there, so you can barely move, and the products are forever out of stock. The big chain here, Publix, carries some organic products, but not enough and they're way overpriced! It's not that we eat only organic, super healthy foods every time (I just had McDonald's today!), but I also refuse to be the mom who buys Skippy peanut butter and Oreos. (okay, ONCE I bought Oreos, but it was only because they were a huge bribe for some awful, awful smelling medicine PB had to take.)

I got really excited today when someone told me about Fresh Market in the area. I drove around this morning and couldn't find it. So we came home, I mapped out the directions online and we headed back out this afternoon after some swimming. It definitely has some potential--not as much as I'd hoped--but it will surely be added to my agenda on occasion. And they were handing out free samples of WINE, which is an upgrade from the typical sample fare of frozen pizzas and deli meat at most groceries.

So there you have it. I know much of the world's population would just be thankful to have food, no matter where it comes from. And I realize my complaints are trite , but for now it's what's on my mind. (Have you noticed yet how I try to anticipate what people are going to critique when they read my writing? You can chalk that up to my working in D.C. political communications for a good portion of my career! Or...just the fact that I don't handle criticism well :) )

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday Things

This morning we met PB's new little friend C at the park. It's one of the only times we've been brave enough to go to a park since we moved here, as the heat has scared us away. But last week I spotted one that seemed to have some good shade, and we decided to try it so they could just play without boundaries and we wouldn't have to shout "no!" "walk" "slow down" etc., etc. like we do everywhere it seems we go. Even in our own apartment where our downstairs neighbors have begun to pound on the ceiling every time PB runs, jumps, breathes. The child goes to be at 7:45 p.m. so it's not like it's when they're sleeping. Whatever, that's a whole other issue.

Back to the park--So glad we did it as the boys had a blast together. They were literally dripping sweat at the end, but were also tired enough to have a nice, sitdown lunch at a restaurant (with a waitress!) with very good manners--not something that would normally happen I think if they were in full energy mode. All in all a nice morning, and I got my favorite salad to boot (it's sooo good--Santa Fe Chicken at the Peachtree Cafe).

Other random thoughts:

--I got in a 5-mile run on Tuesday morning and I'm not even sore (I usually am about 48 hours after taxing exercise). Granted I walked part of it, but it was good for me, as it's the longest I've run, especially outside, in a long time. I'm going to try to run tonight if my husband gets home early enough and if I can avoid the timing of the daily lightning/thunderstorm. (did you know that Florida has these?)

--Some blogging etiquette: I'm trying to post more comments on the blogs I read and love as I know how much I like to read people's comments (hint, hint). I find this difficult, because I can never think of anything that witty or wise to say, and it feels like a lot of pressure. But oh well, for me at least, it's nice to just know someone is reading, and I'll assume it's that way for others too--until someone tells me to quit posting boring comments on their blog :) But really, to all you long-time bloggers who may stumble upon my page, does it weird you out to get comments from people you don't know, or do you like it? Also, do you like when people list yours as blogs they like; or do you prefer they ask you first?

--And finally, one thing I just need to get out there: I hate the word "tender". Like when someone uses it to describe their food. I'm not sure why, but it skeeves me out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I was lying in bed in Redmond, Washington, in a king-sized bed we had just purchased. After the two of us sleeping on a full-sized bed for the past three years, it felt luxurious and immense, especially after my 6'1 husband got out of bed, and I had the whole thing to myself.

After business school in Texas, he had several full-time job offers, but he wanted to move us to Seattle, a place I'd never been or even considered really, for a contract position. It was his dream job--doing marketing for Xbox--it came with no stability, few benefits, but lots of promise. I told him I'd go; we'd take a chance, IF we could buy a king sized bed. So days after we arrived, we bought it, and moved it into the temporary apartment we rented.

"Something has happened, you need to wake up," he said trying to nudge me from my deep, comfortable sleep.

I'd heard about earthquakes in the area, but the ground was still. He flipped on the television, and there was 9/11, the buildings collapsed, the horror, the families, the unknown.

We were on West Coast time, and I watched the clock along with the news. With three hours' difference, I thought perhaps a West Coast blast would follow. I didn't want my husband to go to work at the largest software company in the world, as it could be a target. Thankfully, the morning hours passed with no more atrocities beyond those unfolding in New York.

I can't believe it's been six years since then.

In those six years we have experienced much joy and much pain-- after a few months, my husband was offered a full-time job at Xbox, which he loved. We went through many tears and pregnancy tests as we battled years of infertility. We had two miscarriages, a near-death experience, three months in the hospital after a premature birth, but ultimately, a wonderful, beautiful son, who's worth it all. We bought and sold our first house, and then bought another--our dream house, which now sits waiting to be someone else's dream. I made some of the best friends of my life and lost touch with some others. I learned how to be a mother and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. We became adults. I worked for the largest software company in the world and loved it; then transitioned that into successful freelance career that, until the final months, left me feeling like a woman who could do it all (most of the time).

And now here we are six years later in a new state, literally across the country. Our belongings--including my King-sized bed-- are still back there, but our new life is here. And it's going to be good I think.

I think of those families who lost loved ones six years ago and how their lives have changed--what their last six years have been like. I will never be able to understand their pain, the way they have coped, their altered dreams, their ghosts, their distrust.

The thing I can do is remember. And I do.

Monday, September 10, 2007


If I indeed had a past life, I'm confident that I was an arrogant doctor (or some other professional) who kept a waiting room full of people waiting and waiting and waiting. In this life, I'm getting paid back.

I'm sure you're getting as sick of reading about our Washington house STILL not selling, but it's what is permeating my thoughts these days. And frankly, I don't have a whole lot else to focus on--because I don't have a house, or neighbors or any freakin' stability in my life!

But really, time and time again throughout my life I've been faced with huge, draining waits regarding things that are almost completely out of my control. Waiting and waiting to get pregnant, waiting for months on end to hear about jobs, waiting nine hours for the cable guy to show up, etc.

It drives me crazy, especially when there's little I can do to remedy a situation. And for a control freak like me, that's the worst. We've already done some remodeling, added new appliances, dropped the price several times. (note: we dropped by 20k this week and had only ONE couple show up to our open house yesterday!)There's little left for us to do. It's up to the buyers; and the bottom line is there are too few of them and too many sellers, like us.

The way I see it is that we have about two more months before we're really screwed. September and October may bring a decent stream of lookers, but I'm guessing the holidays of November and December and the freezing cold of January and February are not going to bring on hordes of house hunters. So that takes us to next MARCH!!!

If we have to wait that long I swear I will go insane; insane and broke.

To all the doctors out there--don't keep your patients needlessly waiting.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Good Things

So I've been a little bit negative lately. Okay, a lot. So today, I'm focusing on some good things.

The best thing that has happened to me in awhile: the washer and dryer that were supposed to be here when we moved in a week ago, FINALLY arrived today. Clean clothes are a good thing.

We found the local public library today and checked out some great books for PB. For me, I found "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian who wrote "Midwives". I'll let you know what I think. Books are a good thing.

My muscles are sore, sore, sore. On Wednesday, I managed to get in an outdoor run. It was hot, in the middle of the day, but I did it, and I felt good doing it. Only about 2 miles (that's my rough estimate from trying to figure it out in my car--i need one of these Garmins everyone talks about). Yesterday, I did boot camp class again--an hour of the circle of death, which has left me wincing when walking/sitting/standing/breathing. Althoug, while painful, it's still a good thing, because I LOVE the feeling of sore muscles.

We dropped the price of our home by another 20K, so I'm hopeful that will be the thing good enough to produce the real good thing--an offer this weekend!

Too much of a good thing--the gobs and gobs of oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie dough I've been sarfing down as I make the actual cookies. I feel a little ill...

Have a GOOD weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I'm just sayin'...

Remember that squirrel in my trashbox? Apparently he could be one of the crazy Florida squirrels they apparently grow around here.

In sum--the squirrel attacked a 3-year-old and a police officer!

And oh yea, the condo newsletter we now get, says to watch out for BEARS! apparently they've been seen on the grounds.

Florida keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


How, oh how, did I really live my entire life without coffee? I'm seriously amazed by this fact.

A drop never touched my lips through college, graduate school, my son's infant years--and the sleepless nights all these produced. What different experiences they would have been if I had just had my coffee. There was no real reason for me not trying, it just didn't appeal to me. Plus, with my addictive nature, I figured I didn't need another vice.

It wasn't until two years ago that I had my first cup after reading of all the health benefits java posesses. I had to "make" myself like it. I started with lattes, sugary creamers and the sort. It wasn't love at first taste, but the cold rainy days of Seattle made it bearable, and finally unbearable to be without. I have graduated to full out, regular coffee, with a little cream. I also really like the flavored beans--just got Cinnamon, Vanilla nut--yumm.

This newest apartment didn't come with a coffee maker, so today I set out and bought one. Nothing fancy, but it's my first adult coffee maker. The one back in Seattle is a pathetically embarrassing 4-cup maker my husband had in college that we would pull out for company. I made due with it on my addiction journey. But no longer. Now I'm the proud owner of a regular 12-cup maker--you can even program it ahead of time.

Maybe I'll even become a morning person--yea right.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Trash Talk

Although I become more and more depressed about our housing situation every day, there are perks.

One at our current in the trifecta of apartments is the trash situation. Right outside of our apartment is a box where you can put your trash and they pick it up EVERY day. I know this sounds minor, but for some reason we are a majorly trashy family. We accumulate soo much trash. And to be able to get rid of it so easily, so effortlessly, so often is bliss.

Tonight I went out to my new beloved box with bag o' garbage in hand. I opened the lid, dropped the bag and SCREAMED.

There sat/jumped/lurched some some fluffy, furry, moving, rodent thing--right in the box--the sealed, wooden, seemingly secure box! I'm quite certain it was a squirrel, although I'm not sure. I can only hope it wasn't a mouse or the three-letter R word. And only be thankful it didn't pounce on my face!

I was shaking for almost an hour after this experience. And this is on top of the freakin' snake I saw a couple of weeks ago! My heart isn't faring well.

One thing I know is that my husband is on trash duty from now on.

Monday, September 3, 2007

So Brave

Tonight he really gave up.

We got into bed, and he told me, "I'm giving up after 10."

He sucked on his "fire" while he counted to 10, then put it down. We read books and sang our songs all without it, and he said, "I'll give up after 10," and for 10 more seconds he had his fire in his mouth. Then I went and got him a sip of milk, put all his animals in his bed and set his fire right next to his pillow.

He laid down, snuggled in, saw his fire...AND HANDED IT TO ME. "I'm giving up," he said. I put it on his dresser with the other 10 backups we have there and...

he went to sleep without it!!!!

My husband and I have both been in tears, because he's soo brave to to do it. He's had it for soooo long--from before he was even supposed to be born to four years later. It's such a huge, huge step, and he did it. even for just one night is such a monumental step for him...especially amidst all of the chaos in our life. I know I'm his mother and completely biased, but I swear his soul is that of a complete and utter fighter. From the time he was born at less than two pounds, he's been fighting and not only surviving, but thriving.

Part of me is soo proud of him, but part of me is soo sad because it's yet another sign of how quickly he's growing up. And of how soon he will abandon the best response in the world to the question of who are you: "I'm mommy's snuggle bug!"