Friday, September 12, 2014

a million days later

well its been just about forever since my last post. clearly we've been busy. we completed the purchase of our home, moved in, did some renovation (some ourselves and some contractor work) and for now we're just about finished with this wave of home modification. just have to pretty up the unfinished basement and get some shelving, and pave the parking spot in the back. we love this house. we're very happy here.

my SiL is coming to visit in 2 weeks, the first time she's been back since...... um.. i actually cant remember. i guess it was in the spring, i know we walked over to this house, but i know we hadnt closed yet. so i want to say it been 5 or  months since she was here last. im worried about how emotional it is going to be for all of us. she has never been in this house before, and the anniversary of my MiL's death is coming up next friday. my SiL will arrive the following week. we would not have this house if she had not died. i typed that sentence and then my brain was blank for a few moments. in one way it seems impossible for it to be true that she's gone, and in another way, i feel like the walls of this house are her arms around us always, protecting us from the outside world, making us feel comfy, being the support under our feet with each step we take.

i feel like most days i've learned to numb myself to the pain of losing her. but then that same numbness sometimes gets in the way of me providing support to lovedove, bc i've numbed myself which is fine, but then im less sensitive to her grief. on other days, i'll break out the alphabet book my SiL made for Sofia's 2nd christmas and see her picture. and then im a puddle. i really wanted to watch some video of sofia when she was born, for her birthday last week, and i just couldnt bring myself to do it. i dont think i've heard her voice/watched any video of her since she died. my brain wants to, but my heart knows it will just break into a million pieces the first second i see or hear her. i get emotional enough, and it usually just happens when i look at our girls and wish that she could be here with them. we're so lucky that our girls are happy and healthy and funny, it just seems so unbelievably unfair that she doesn't get to enjoy them in body, i know she's with them in spirit.

so yea im worried about our emotions all being on overdrive, but i know there will be lots of alcohol, which might help, maybe, but sometimes that does the opposite. whatever it is, i will be thrilled to have my SiL here, in our home, given to us by her mom.

(well that took an unexpected turn, deep breath)

anyway, we are all doing well, thank God. work is good with both lovedove and i, not without its frustrations here or there, but overall its fine.

sofia just turned 4 and started 5 day full day (6 and a half hours) pre-k. so far she likes it, but seems to have loved nursery more. i think she just has to adjust to the longer hours. i have to adjust to seeing her A LOT less. its probably good for our relationship though, bc she and i tend to butt heads. now she comes into bed to snuggle with me when she gets up, and seems happier to be around me when im not at work. her going to prek pretty much eliminates any extended daytime contact we have monday through thursday (the days i work) and this will be our first weekend together in our new school year schedule. sofia is awesome, and is hands down the best big sister on the planet (most days). she has had no problem sharing any and all of her toys, even the birthday toys she got last week. she's super nurturing and caring and compassionate. she's truly an amazing little girl.

laila on the other hand...... lol. she is a great kid, funny, excited, "passionate", and by "passionate" i mean she throws one hell of a tantrum. she's truly a mini me, just the way sofia seems to be a mini lovedove. its so interesting to see them carry the strong traits of each one of us. laila's tantrumming has been rough lately, but we've been working with her to try to find compromises. we also think its the storm right before a growth and language boom. she just turned 20 months, so thats what we're thinking. she is a snuggler, and is trying to hold onto being the baby for a little longer. she eats like a teenage boy, runs around like a kid on a sugar high, and makes really funny faces.

there are no words to describe how blessed we are, but like anything else, some days are really hard.

i continue to read all of your journeys though not as vigilantly as i once did. sending hugs to all of you out there ttc and all of you moms caring for little (and big, and four legged furry) ones. hope you are all well.

till next time....

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


its been a while, and i hate having that angry post be the last thing i've written. ugh i was so angry. im almost sorry that i shared my anger in such an unfiltered way, wait i guess i am sorry... sorry. so we've been moving along in the process, we officially got approved for our mortgage a few weeks ago, we seem to be in the final stages now. we are starting (barely) to pack, we still dont have a closing date. we should be getting some information about the appraisal into our hands this week, which should lead to final if any negotiation by our lawyer with theirs, and then hopefully we get to close and start working on the house before we move in. also, the moving date seems to be moved up. we got an email from the sellers attorney, to our attorney, a few weeks ago and the selling family said they are ready asap. so here we go. planning to try to be in to start working on the house by the end of the month, if we are able to close that quickly, and hopefully get moved in, in june. i cant wait. we are both going crazy in this apt. we just want the next happy chapter in our lives to start.

since i last wrote we went to portland to visit my SiL, had a wonderful few days out there with tons of completely delicious food and lots of fun. she actually is just finishing up a visit to us, as she had flown in for a wedding. so we have seen a lot of each other in the last few weeks and it has been really nice to all be together.

so thats about it, my brain is so fried lately, work has been stressful, life is life, and im not that motivated to blog lately. hopefully i get back into the swing of blogging one day.

laila completes her first set of swimming classes tomorrow. it was only 6 weeks, but i think it was beneficial. she was the crier in the class. she does not like when the instructor takes her to do an example of the exercise/activity, but all in all she does well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

i hate being angry in the morning!

ugh, so im so angry right now that i could cry. and so could lovedove, and anything that makes her want to cry, makes me want to kill the person who makes her want to cry. here's whats going on today.

our realtor, C, that we love, took us to see house #4 last week. it was not even listed on the market, it was through her office. she was able to get us in there, and we fell in love. we feel it was priced a little high for what it lacks (no driveway, basement isn't finished, the house is not very updated and was built in 1910, the 3rd bedroom is super tiny) but we fell in love. put in a bid under asking price. they countered. we countered with a slightly higher bid, but had reached our max offer. they didn't want to accept it, our realtor encouraged us to not pressure them for an answer quickly and just kind of wait around. the buyers were going to schedule an open house to see if they got any higher offers and we were going to wait. a few days later they decided not to do the open house and to just take our bid. we were thrilled. we signed a contract with our lawyer and asked him to hold it until we completed an inspection. meanwhile our realtor was being transferred to a new office and could no longer officially act on our behalf as our buyer's agent. so now we are stuck with the seller's agent acting as a "dual" (the only) agent advocating for both the buyer and the seller. we were sad but she also agreed to guide us from the sidelines.

monday (2 days ago) we met the home owner (husband) and the real estate agent for the home inspection. the word despise does not do justice for the feelings i have for the real estate agent. just the kind of old man, know it all, "this is my neighborhood", i feed every church pantry around, everybody knows me, cheap cologne wearing, piece of shit that i can't stand. he's trying to shmooze the whole time with crappy jokes, trying to play some the white republican card which never flies with me, and minimizing anything that they inspector is noting to us. he keeps telling me the house is in "mint condition" considering its age, and that they aren't showing the house to anyone else, and that it will be ours soon. the homeowner was nice, but very doofy, hasnt done a thing to the house since his inlaws sold it to him and his wife a year and a half ago. fine. there were some water leak issues that if not addressed could lead to problems with the foundation in time. we were waiting on the inspector's report to try to negotiate for some of the cost of the repairs that we are going to have to take on.

the report was done on monday. monday afternoon mr shmoe real estate agent calls me and tells me he's "got a guy" who can fix the issue for $100. yea ok, im gonna put my home in the hands of a guy who can fix a potentially big problem for $100. so i tell him we are going to wait on the report and go from there. tuesday night i get the report, start to go over it. fwd it to my attorney and ex agent and plan to discuss the following morning (today).

i get an email (30 mins ago when i turned my computer on) that the seller's/our dual agent, told our real estate attorney, that they received a "higher offer" on the house. this piece of shit is gonna bullshit, (bc i HIGHLY doubt that they have a higher offer) use scare tactics, and bully me into buying the house as is. and guess what.. he's gonna win. we are going to buy the house without trying to negotiate so that his seller gets the highest paid price and he makes whatever commission he's going to get. he's going to take as much of the money that we only have from losing our mother as he can, and he's going to be proud of himself and slap a shit eating grin on his face at the end of the day. and at the end of that same day, i better have that fucking house in my possession. this piece of shit bully is gonna get a piece of my mind when this is all said and done. mostly respectfully, but i intend to walk into his office and embarrass him in front of his coworkers, trash him on yelp, and explain his lack of ethics to anyone and everyone i ever have a real estate conversation with in the future. i honestly might take my kids with me when i walk into his office to speak with him to teach them about bullies. i believe there is a special place in hell for people who fuck around like this. i trust in God/the many Gods/higher powers whoever, that he will get what is coming to him.

i get that its your job to sell a house for the highest price, but do it honestly. i dont wish bad things on people, i dont believe in that kind of thing, but i trust in the universe that karma will get his fucking asshole.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

our next chapter

house hunting.

we have a limited budget. we only have 1.5 incomes, but we have a large down payment. we are the opposite of the typical homebuyer. i dont think our wish list is that large, you be the judge. 3 bedrooms, at least 1.5 baths, a basement, somewhere to park the car, workable kitchen with some space, in our budget close(ish) to where we are now. we know that certain parts of this neighborhood are typically out of our budget. we know that anything we can actually afford is going to need some work. fine. we'd love to move asap, but clearly we are going to wait for the right one to come along, since it will be the biggest purchase of our lives.

here are the three houses we've seen in person so far.

house #1. the too small ranch house. 2br ranch with a basement being used as a master. had some backyard space which was really nice. only one bathroom which was upstairs. small kitchen even though it was nicely updated, definitely not enough room for our larger gatherings. felt small, felt like an apt to me. i want our house to be and feel like a house. one of the key reasons why we looked at it was for the yard space and the zoned school, which is the best in the neighborhood. it was also listed out of our budget. we knew it wasnt the one for us. good to get into a house in person and look at it, we really needed to get the first one out of the way.

house #2. the quirky house. a legal two family house with lots of old charm. priced very attractively (aka needed a lot of work). nice part of the neighborhood from the online pics you could tell that it was super old and needed a lot of work. we walked into it for the open house, and we were concerned that it was going to fall down with us in it.

house #3. the crazy clutter house. it was listed way out of our price range, but our realtor felt like the owners might be negotiable since they had listed the house for at least 10 months total in the last year. from the outside pictures this looked like a house we could like. it had everything on our wish list. HOWEVER. we walked in there today. there was so much junk in this house, it was amazing. there were also loads of structural problems and water damage that were visible to even an untrained eye. there was also no oven in the kitchen. the selling realtor had no idea the last time the roof was done.  the house was dirty, like it felt dirty, and im not someone who gets easily grossed out by a little bit of "living" dirt/dust/etc. the basement was big, there was a 2 car garage, but not a lot of outside space. it was the first house that we walked into and liked the layout. it was a 3bd 2 bath colonial and it seems like the kind of house we want.

thats all we've gotten to on the house hunting front. we've been "actively looking" for almost a month. hoping the spring brings us some more options, and negotiable sellers. so far it has been funny and interesting. i wonder where this will take us.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


here we are a year and a day later, after giving birth to our littlest munchkin laila. life is as good as it can be given the circumstances of our family's recent loss. we're looking forward to a new year with new hope and opportunity. her first official (i need to note her official birthday party because my mother has thrown her two different "parties" in the last week, with food, cake, and guests {not many but still}, one while she was watching the kids while we were out, and the other during lovedove's work hours. needless to say, we were irritated and we will not be nominating her for least invasive/abrasive grandmother of the year) birthday party is next weekend and we are looking forward to that very much. its going to be quite the bash, unlike our usual parties that we put together ourselves. neither of us have the drive or brain cells to take on a task that large at this moment in time.

im sure there are other things i could think about but my brain is a little frozen today, we have no heat or hot water. landlords called the plumber at 7:30 this morning, he was supposed to be here "asap, by 12 at the latest", and its now 2pm and no sign of him. guess my clients are meeting with a stinky therapist today! whatever, my landlords are shmos, there are 4 children in this building under the age of 4, 2 teenagers, 3 animals (dog, cat, bird) and 6 adults, you would think they would get on the guy about what "asap" actually means. whatever, at least its not single digit temperatures anymore. im thankful this is the first time in my life ive ever dealt with something like this. there are many worse things, hopefully its taken care of quickly.

anyway... here's a picture of the little one eating her first ring ding on her first birthday.

hope you are all well. happy new year everyone.

Monday, December 9, 2013

tis the season

to be jolly... um yea, usually. this holiday season is super strange to me. i'm not going to lie, i've been half dreading it. i feel so conflicted with my emotions its crazy. its even hard for me to figure out which emotion "weighs" more in my mind, our first christmas without my MiL or Laila's 1st Christmas. fuck, i'm not even sure its going to feel like christmas without being full of amazing food, wine, and family joy at my MiL's apartment, which doesn't exist to our family anymore because she isn't here with us. it feels like we spent 2/3 of every holiday season at her apartment every year for the last 15 years of my life. there was/is nothing like her house at the holidays. always decorated with home made decorations from years past, always holiday cookies that only get baked once a year, always amazing aromas from the kitchen, always peace- just sitting around with family, stuffing our faces, laughing, watching movies, doing a big puzzle, in our pjs, for days. her house at the holidays is the physical/emotional representation of the "warm wishes" im sending to everyone at christmas time. what the fuck do we do now? have stuff here, yea, but its just not the same. we dont have the extra space that she did (at least not right now), we dont have her holiday humor (a box full of pine needles that had fallen off of the tree decorated with gifts cut out of magazines because she didn't get around to gift shopping one year), we dont have her.

and it fucking blows and im angry and sad about it. laila and my MiL did not get to spend a single birthday together, like in person, together. when laila was born my MiL was not feeling great so she didn't get to meet her until we came home from the hospital. she was in the room, watched and helped to bring Sofia into this world. my MiL's birthday passed last weekend, clearly no together time there. not one christmas, not one new years. there are so many things that laila won't have with her its atrocious. im so sad for all the gramma times laila did/will miss out on, but i am ever so grateful that they had the time that they did together. there were many times when my MiL would just hold Laila for hours while she slept in her arms. many times that that laila was a little fussy pants and only a belly down nap on gramma's lap was the only solution. they shared a lot of smiles and hugs and kisses and im so thankful for that. im just so mad that she was taken from us. so mad and so devastated. and so mad. not to mention watching lovedove grieve in new ways on different days all the time. my. heart. is. broken.

sooooooo, how the hell do i get excited for christmas? laila's first no less. ugh, i just feel like we're half assing it, but truly the kids won't remember. well sofia might because she's some kind of remarkable remember-er, but whatever. we decorated over the last week, incorporated my MiL's decorations and ornaments into our home. the dog was weird the whole time because of the smells of my MiL's house. i talked to Disa about losing her when it happened, but who knows what she understood. i just dont want her to feel like we're keeping her from getting to her gramma. maybe gramma will visit her in her puppy dreams. ugh even the dog is grieving, god help us.

this upcoming week is a busy one. last night was the P!nk concert with lovedove. p!nk is fucking amazing and beautiful and wonderful and the show was unbelievable. the show was at the Barcl.ays center in brooklyn, which is almost in our backyard. not even 30 minutes door to door, made going to a sunday night concert that much easier. weds is my company holiday party, thurs is the rehearsal dinner for my friend's wedding, saturday is the wedding in ct (which i'm in - and i dont even know if i've mentioned that on here bc i never post anymore. long story short, im thrilled to be a bridesmaid, feel like i didn't fulfill my bridal party duties that well due to everything that was going on, and i don't love my dress - but it doesn't matter because i would have walked down the isle in a lobster costume if she asked me to). since the wedding is in ct, we are staying in a hotel, the kids are going to be with my parents. we were thrilled and planning on checking out late, taking our time coming home and retrieving our kids, until we found out that sofia's first little dance recital is the next morning at 11:30am. god help me. the things we do for our kids. except my mom. i asked her to come and sleep here so that i dont have to pack up the two kids stuff, plus the dog stuff, plus recital stuff. no, she has to have the sleepover at her house. i begged her, twice, to just come here to make it easier..... nope. im thankful that shes watching the kids, yes, but my children are wonderful kids and generally not too challenging for any babysitter so im pretty sure that we could have found alternative caregivers. whatever, she'll learn when i start giving away opportunties to watch my kids to other people who are willing to work with me to make things as simple as possible for everyone involved.

anyway this is not a very festive post but i guess i needed to rant a bit. i hope we can make this christmas a happy one for the kids, and im sure it will be good enough for them. im just not sure what it will be like for us, the grown ups. on top of all of that im scared of getting christmas presents from others for the kids. our apt is busting at the seams since we took in a lot of my MiL's stuff and we haven't been able to get rid of baby toys yet bc laila is just starting to play with the large in size items (baby stroller/activity table/etc). lovedove inherited some money from her mom, we're going to try to buy a house in the neighborhood, so we might have some more room in the near future but that doesn't mean i want to fill up any and all new space. i cant wait until we can throw some stuff out.

anyway heres some stuff about the kids and then ill end this, apparently i was in need of some venting...
sofia.. now 3yrs3months old, loves making up little songs, dancing, being the boss and telling people what to do, making little jokes ("hey.. who turned out the lights??" every time i put a shirt over her head to un/dress her - that joke gets old reallllly fast), loves cooking with mommies, loves telling people what is going on or what happened just before they arrived or what the plan for what's next is. she loves "laila baby" and playing with her. oh and her attitude is a little crazy sometimes. sometimes you ask her why she did something and she will just shrug her shoulders. or test the boundaries like crazy, holy moly she gets me mad sometimes.
laila... now 11 months old loves smiling, "dancing", and snuggling. she loves musical (baby/toy) instruments, eating, and also trying to be the boss. her favorite thing to do is crawl over to the dog's bowl and try to get her hands in the food or water. i tell her no, she stops, gets herself into a sitting position, shakes her head "no", and then proceeds to the bowls. i get up, move her back to the living room carpet, and the process begins again and again. she cries, yells, and sometimes lays herself down on the floor to throw a pathetic angry tantrum at the end of 5 or 6 trips to the food/water bowls. yup, she's me in mini form.

all in all i love our family and i miss my second mom. i hope that we can carry on her traditions and feel her with us in the holiday season. we got through thanksgiving, better than expected in my opinion, maybe things won't be as bad as im fearing. but maybe they will.

Friday, November 1, 2013

here i am

well its been months since i've blogged. a lot has happened. we lost my MiL mid September, clearly atrocious but it was clear that she was suffering. the month that followed was so busy its unreal. after she died, we took her ashes to california to be spread where she wanted. we had the most amazing drive up highway one, and the highlight of the long drive was the amazing and perfect sunset we were able to see. our timing was perfect as we were on one of the straighter parts that doesn't require crazy attention to every second of driving, im certain she had a hand in that. we had her memorial. we spent nine days with her (side of) the family. i expected to do a lot more crying than we did. i think we were all doing our best to try to hold it in, and i think we still kind of are.

lovedove and her sister were faced with the task of clearing out her apartment and sorting through her belongings. lovedove found a way to incorporate many of her things into our home, it really has been amazing to see. the process was grueling for lovedove and her sister, and for the rest of us too, but to a much lesser degree. we had a yard sale that was mostly successful and the rest of the household items leftover are going to be donated. my SiL only left to go back to Portland, OR last sunday. wait, nope. this sunday. she's been back in portland for less than a week. wow thats crazy, it feels like so much longer.

lovedove and i had a bachelorette party to attend last weekend, 80s themed, which was amazing and a good reason to go out, drink a ton, and try to celebrate. its so weird to be living life and loving the moment, and then you remember that your heart, or a certain piece of your heart is still broken. yesterday's halloween festivities were fun, until the thought of gramma not seeing her grandbabies in their costumes comes into play. it was the first holiday without her and it felt rough, but thanksgiving is going to be hell. we'll find a way to make it through it, especially since we host, but my God. the thought of doing Thanksgiving without her... and as the first real eating-home-cooked-food holiday?? really life? really timing? ugh. every year she has been the captain of our thanksgiving voyage. she's the seasoned pro and lovedove is her first mate, and i guess im the first mate's sous chef... or something like that. overwhelmed isnt even the tip of the iceberg. whatever it will be fine, whatever it is it is.

on a happier note the girls are good. laila is fighting a little cold and diaper fungus, just a bad diaper rash that needs a prescription cream to clear up, but on the upside she started "dancing" this week. she rocks and bounces up and down when music is on and claps her hands. she's a super smiley baby and tons of fun. sofia is doing great in school, she loves it, and she loves her little friends. she's also back in dancing school and loves that too. her acting out has calmed down, but now she's just developing a little attitude. some days i'll ask her to do something simple, like go to the potty before she lays down for rest time, and im greeted with the response "NEVER!!". don't ask me where she gets it from. jayk.e and the nev.erland pira.tes maybe?? the funnies thing is that lately she will drop and F bomb here or there. purely imitation of language she sometimes hears in the apt or in the car. the other day we are stopped at a red light and she calls out from her car seat in the back "fuckin' go!" to the cars ahead of us. i explain its not nice to use that word and ask her not to use it again. she's generally pretty good about it. im actually surprised how many adult words she has not copied, compared to how many she hears and how smart she is. we've really begun curbing the language now. i dont want our little sailor to grow up to be a 5 year old sailor, that wouldn't be good.

im working on weaning laila. i stopped pumping when my MiL died bc i just couldn't anymore. i started to become less against formula (when i was breastfeeding exclusively i felt like it was like my enemy, just waiting to replace me, or something like that) and im ok with her having bottles when im not around. now i have to force myself to become ok with her having bottles when i am around. i really need to bc my friend's wedding is in 6 weeks and i have to be done by then, according to me. if i didn't have this wedding i might have breastfed her for her whole first year, bc i really love the bond it facilitates for us. but im also tired of being on call. its a mixed bag, like everything else. hopefully i dont lose my shit emotionally when i stop completely. i probably will, whatever.

anyway, life is as good as it can be right after your MiL dies. we are all doing ok, whatever that means. i dreamt of my MiL the other night and it was truly a wonderful thing. i was with sofia walking through some grassy area, when i noticed that sofia wasn't right next to me or right behind me. so i call her name a few times but she doesn't come running to catch up to me. i turn around to see where she is, and i see her laying in the grass a little ways back, with Gramma. i begin to walk towards them and Gramma stands up, says something to me bc i remember hearing her voice (probably her usual "hey ame") and gives me a big long hug. i tell her how good it is to hear her voice and hold her. and thats it. laila probably woke me up out of that dream but i was so happy that i had it, and so happy that i remembered it. i'm sure i'll remember it forever but i hope to see her again. its times like this that i wish i could return to my days where i was obsessed with lucid dreaming, even though i was completely unsuccessful in all of my attempts. i wish there was something anything i could do to get her back here with us, even if it was just once in a while. i miss her so badly, and i know im going to miss her more and more as the days go by and the girls grow.

they say when one door closes another door opens. im hoping for lots of open doors bc it totally sucks that that door closed. rest in peace CathyMom.