Friday, March 31, 2006

Wanna see something GROSS?

Do you?











Are you sure?









I mean, really sure?











My mother in law's leg, ladies and gentlemen:

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Today she is finally getting this monstrosity off her ankle. Yes, those are actual rods going through her flesh and out the other side. She can't have a real cast because she's diabetic AND has kidney failure... all kinds of complications, etc. She got this on right after Lyric was born. She broke her ankle from walking too much when my father in law was in the hospital getting his gall bladder out, and when I was giving birth. She had previously broken her foot and was wearing an air cast. Of course, she still won't be able to walk, since she's been sitting in a bed for the past four months.

Pretty fucking gross.

Ok, I can't leave you like that, so CUTENESS!

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Lyric got to enjoy her first real significant outside adventure yesterday as we walked around the yard for about a half hour.

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She slept great last night. We'll be doing that again today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bloggin' Mamas


In this months issue of Babytalk, there's an article entitled "Bloggin' Mamas."

I never set out to be a bloggin' mama, or even a mama for that matter. It all just sort of happened. But being a mama is the best part of my life, so it's hard not to blog about it.

Remember how I told you Lyric got her first tooth? Well, that night, she cut her second.

Is me writing about that contributing to me being a bloggin' mama? I guess so.

Remember how I said that our sleep schedule was off kilter? Last night we slept for 3 hours until Lyric woke up at 2, and then it only took me two hours instead of the usual three or four to get her back to sleep. And she only woke up because she had to poop.

Bloggin' Mama, indeed.

Anyway, this article kind of made me laugh, because it involved instructions on how to set up your own blog, you know, to join the "cool" crowd. But it also interested me and made me think about why I blog. It used to be because I needed a place to vent about working in retail. I mean, I had some zingers back in the days when I worked at Target, like here, and here. You know, vintage E-Lo. Now it's all poopy diapers and boobs. I know what I like better, but do you?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Because you wanted it

Seth requested pictures of what Ryan and I refer to as "knick knack hell" or what you know as the "In-Laws Bed and Breakfast." Well, I don't know if you really know what you're asking for here, but here goes:

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First, you have to start with the milk glass, because it's the first thing you see when you walk in the door. If you're not careful, you'll walk right into it, because it's strategically placed 3 feet from the door. I can't tell you how many times I've caught this fucking shelf with the diaper bag and almost pulled it over on myself. If that thing fell it would cause a catastrophe of ungodly proportions. This isn't even all of it. There's milk glass all over the house, lamps, picture frames, candle holders, you name it, and my mother in law has it in milk glass. Including the china cabinet:

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Note the giant cow. Not only does she collect milk glass, she collects cows. And the uglier, the better. That particular cow is covering the vacuum cleaner. Yes, you read that right. The vacuum is covered by a giant plush cow wearing a dress. It's no wonder I have nightmares.

Here's just a little taste of the rest of the cows:

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And the worst is when you actually dedicate entire functional shelfs, that say, you could put BOOKS on, to knick knacks. This particular shelf, much like the milk glass shelf, is placed strategically between the bathroom door and the kitchen closet. The shelf is too big for that space, so whenever Ryan and I walk out of the bathroom, our shoulders continually collide with this shelf. However, if this one falls and everything breaks on it, I won't feel bad.

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Back to my nightmares. It could be because of this shelf, which is in the bedroom. Note the owls and the scary tree guy. This shelf is the reason I cover my head with my blanket every night.

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It's not just knick knacks, it's clutter. I mean, how many picture frames can you fit in one space? Seriously?

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And these, my friends, are salt and pepper shakers.

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I know they're a little hard to see, but that's because the they're on top of the kitchen cabinets. Did I mention that they're SALT AND FUCKING PEPPER SHAKERS?

Soon I'll be making an appointment to get myself some anti-anxiety medication.


In other news: We got approved for 100% financing for a house. I just have to have a job. Our arbitration is April 11th, so keep your fingers crossed that it goes well. And that I get a job, so we can buy a house.

And my child got her first tooth. It's on the bottom right in the front. Now I'm wondering how I'm going to continue to painlessly feed her, because I swear I already feel that little stump of a tooth grinding away at my nipple when she's eating. Breastfeeding and teeth don't mix in my book. Ow.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring cleaning in a world of dirty diapers and knick knack hell



My daughter is already a budding musician. Ryan is so proud.

Yesterday Ryan and I decided to clean the In Law B and B. We knew that in order to do this, we would need a babysitter and about 8 hours, so we packed Lyric up and shipped her off to my mom's house.

Since nobody had been living here for roughly 2 months before we moved in, the dust was starting to get pretty thick. The reason we hadn't tackled this before was for one reason: the knick knacks. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend my day moving 20 tons of milk glass and dusting it.

It literally took me a full hour to completely dust the living room. And that's without moving the milk glass. I took a feather duster and dusted AROUND it.

We did make a fairly significant dent in the amount of clutter and dirt that we'd been living in, so we felt pretty good about ourselves and went out for Mexican.

When we got home with the baby, none of us were tired. It was about 10:30 when we got home. I gave Lyric a bath, hoping it would tire her out, but what about me? I was wired. So was Ryan. And we were all up ALL NIGHT. I kid you not. By the time I started to feel kind of sleepy, Lyric was drifting off, and Ryan asked if I wanted to move from the couch to the bed, which jerked her awake.

It was terrible. We slept from about 4:30 until noon. Our sleep schedule is so off and I don't know what to do about it.

Must have been the lingering cleaning fumes?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Picture Day

Ok, pictures!

Here's Lyric gettin' some good lovin' from Rosie, who thinks it's her job to be my baby's mama.

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Here she is, doing what she does best, drooling.

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In these next few, she's playing with the inchworm that she got from Kate, which has become her most favoritest toy EVER.

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And the next few are her second time rolling. The first time she did it, I put her on her belly so I could take a couple cute pictures of her. While I was messing with my camera, she rolled. So when I looked, she was on her back again, which excited the hell out of me. It's funny what thrills you once you have a baby.

Here she's getting ready...

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And voila! Rolling!

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Time files when you're unemployed

My daughter will be four months old on Wednesday. I can't believe how fast she's growing. My little tiny baby is now a not so tiny baby. We take her to the doctor tomorrow for her check up and her second set of shots. I'm glad I'll be home. Last time her shots were miserable and I cried harder than she did. She was not a happy camper for a few days.

She's developing such a personality. She's sometimes the friendliest baby in the world, all smiles and babbling. Last weekend we went to a birthday party with other kids, and she did her best to make friends with the only baby girl there by smiling at her. Unfortunately the other girl, who was 13 months, wasn't as friendly and just ignored her. But she tried. She was all, "Hi, I'm Lyric, and you are?"

This weekend we had another birthday party and she just wasn't into it at all. Anytime anyone would try to look at her or talk to her, she'd turn her head and look away. And then with the screaming. She's teething now too, which sucks. She's absolutely miserable.

She still hasn't rolled over, which concerns me because I'm her mom and I want her to be a super genius, but you can't rush this baby. She won't have any part of it. I've been working with her, rolling her over from front to back and back to front, and sometimes she'll smile like she's having the time of her life, and other times she cries like I'm torturing her.

She talks like crazy too. I'm convinced she's a little shy, because she'll only talk to her dad and I. You can carry on a conversation with her and her endless babbling.

I can't wait just to take her outside. During the few times we've been outside for a moment, she can't open her eyes. It's like she's a little vampire baby, or like a baby with a terrible hangover. The sun is the brightest light she's been exposed to and she hates it.

I read over the weekend a horrible article that said exposing your baby to television too early can lead them to have ADD later in childhood. If that's the case, she's already ruined. If the tv is on, she's looking at it. It doesn't matter. And especially if it's Rachel Ray. This kid loves Rachel Ray. I think it's only because Lyric is like, "30 minute meals? Mine are instant and I don't need no stinking EVOO! Straight from the boobie, beeyotch!"

I spend a little too much time thinking of exactly what it is she's trying to say.


Update: Not even 10 minutes after posting this, Lyric rolled from her belly to her back while I wasn't looking. Snot!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

Just to clarify: When I said "Talk of when number 2 is happening has already begun," I didn't mean like TODAY. I'm talking YEARS here, people. I've always wanted two kids, and now that I have one, I'd like to actually plan the next one. Besides that, my body is a work in progress.

I've been stuck at... roughly 185 pounds. Before I got pregnant, I was hovering between 145 and 150. So I recently decided I need a jumpstart on getting my ass back in shape.

I joined Weight Watchers. I've been a member for one week, and I lost 2.4 pounds. Progress! I'm actually not supposed to lose too much at once while nursing, because it will decrease my milk supply.

And let me tell you, before I go on, I've heard all these wonderful stories of all these women who got really skinny because they were nursing. I'm here to tell you, BULLSHIT. It doesn't work for everyone. I'm living proof. In fact, I think nursing has kept the weight on me.

I'm also doing Winsor Pilates pretty religiously, now that I have time. It's unbelievably easy, so much so that I can't believe that I'm exercising. But I've already noticed a change in my body.

Very soon I hope to post my before and after pictures. Motivation! I need it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

So far those vibes haven't worked, Starr...

On this day last year (I start a lot of posts out like this lately), I was emailing back and forth with my friend Starr. We were considering taking a Tae Kwon Do class with my other friend Kari. I was starting to have a sneaking suspicion that Tae Kwon Do was not in my near future though.

I confided in Starr before I even told Ryan that I thought I was pregnant. I think I told Ryan on the phone that day that I was going to get a pregnancy test after work, but I don't think he was worried. We'd never had a scare before, and we thought that once we decided to start trying to have kids, it would take us a while. I, however, knew something was up with my body, because I felt, well, WEIRD. I was well over a week late, my boobs felt gigantic and hurt, and I was bloated. So I asked Starr to send me bleeding vibes.

Needless to say, she didn't.

I rushed to the store after work that day, got my 2 pack of pregnancy tests, and took them right when I got home. Ryan was supposed to have band practice, and while he was getting ready to go, I was hurriedly peeing on a stick. When the word "pregnant" very clearly appeared, all the blood rushed out of my head. I thought I was literally going to die. I dont think I'd ever felt so afraid in my life. Ryan never made it to practice. I cried for about an hour, until I realized I was going to have a baby with Ryan at some point. Why not now?

I'm so glad that sometimes things don't go the way you want them to. To think, I was afraid of this:



Talk of when number 2 is happening has already begun.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sleepy Monday


Rose
Originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

This morning I woke up to Ryan staring me in the face as he was crawling in bed with me and Lyric. I was having a nightmare and was drenched in sweat. It was 6:30. Suddenly we were all wide awake, so we got up, made coffee and commenced watching Katie Couric's demon eyes on the Today show. Seriously, who has been doing that woman's make up? Can you make her eyes look any smaller?

So much for sleeping in on Monday morning.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's hard out here for a pimp

And THAT has been my theme song all week.

This morning I got an email from one of my work buddies who was off when all this job termination took place. There were three people working in my department, and 2 of us were let go. Unfortunately, the 2 of us who were let go were also female and moms, and the kid left working started after both of us, not to mention he lives with his parents... if I didn't like him I'd have a vendetta against him.

But he's been left with all of the work that 3 people used to do. Boy, is it going to suck for him there now. His only work friends got canned, and now he has to do their jobs on top of his. I'm glad I'm not him.

Like I said, I was prepared for this to happen, I just didn't know when it would take place. The man that owns that company likes to go on random firing sprees. Since I've worked there for the past year, I've witnessed at least 5 people get the axe. What tipped it off for me was last year, right after I found out that I was pregnant, a woman came back from maternity leave. She was the customer service manager. About a month or so into her being back, she got canned. So I figured the same thing would happen to me, and I was right. I think he just threw my other co-worker in there because he just flat out didn't like her. She always questioned him, and being as ADD as he is, it confused him endlessly. So he decided to keep the kid he can talk hockey with. Don't base it on experience or talent, or just plain knowledge or intelligence. Too bad I don't like hockey. I might still have a job. Just an observation.


Yesterday morning I woke up in a panic, thinking I was running late. Then I remembered, I don't ever have to go back to that miserable place. And I was so happy I slept for another hour.

Being home, I'm already throwing Ryan and Lyric's schedule off... yesterday Ryan missed his mid-morning nap and boy was he cranky. Lyric missed her mid-afternoon nap and then SHE was cranky. I'm in naptime central here. But it sure beats being a corporate lackey.

I have until the end of August to collect unemployment. That seems like forever. I need to find a job before then so that we can buy a house though.

I think things can only get better from here. I'm a believer in the "things happen for a reason" adage, and I know that things will work themselves out. For now I'm just going to enjoy my time with my baby, because at the rate she's growing, she's not going to be a baby for long.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unemployed E-Lo

When it rains, it pours.

I lost my job today. I thought that it was coming, to be honest. In fact, i've been preparing for it for a while.

Funnily enough, I'm more relieved than anything. Although I'm a little worried about my co-worker who also lost her job. She's a single mom with 2 kids at home. She left her abusive alcoholic husband because she got this job in the first place. Now she's screwed.

I also feel for my supervisor, who had it put on him to tell us this first thing this morning. He felt terrible.

However, my other boss has a shitload of bad karma coming to him for all the people he's fired just in the last year. I hope it hits him like a Mac truck. I mean that in the best way possible.

I'm not terribly worried about us. I'm able to collect unemployment. It's considered a lay off due to lack of work. Lucky for us, we're living for free at the moment. And I have a prospective job that I applied for last week. So wish me luck on that.

I feel like I should be upset, but I what I'm really feeling is extreme happiness about being able to be home with my daughter all day. I'm actually a little giddy. Poor, but giddy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Saturday Night



I got a new camera on Saturday. It's a rather large step up from my 1.3 megapixel Canon Powershot A10 that I got for Christmas of 2000. If you go to my flickr site, you'll see that we went a little nuts Saturday night shooting black and white photos at the bar.

I'm a little bit behind, technologically speaking. I got this one. I figured it was good for now, until I can afford a big fancy one, like this.

I'm actually pretty impressed by this little camera. It's got a great zoom and tons of cool features. All in all, a good buy for only 200 bucks.

On a completely unrelated strange side note, somehow through a strange blogger glitch, I got named as a contributer to this blog. I'm really confused as to how that happened. There's even a post on there that I wrote, but I didn't write it. However, they've been very gracious and accepting of their new team member, even though I can't post there, I'm just listed.

I don't get it. But it's a good blog. I'd probably be a member anyway.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

E-Lo’s Legal Woes

I mentioned that I may have to go to court. Let me clarify: arbitration. We’re having a dispute over our old house. Let me explain.

Warning, this is probably going to be long and boring.

Back story: In July of 2003, Ryan and I lived in Clarion. I had just graduated and worked at the Walmart there, and he was working for a paving company, of course. We lived in a haunted house (a story for another day) and things were getting pretty tight. We were financially strapped. My mom invited us to move in with them until we got back on our feet, so we did.

The next four months were hellish, and by January, we were settled enough in our new jobs (I had just gotten promoted at Target) that we decided to start looking for a place to live. We knew we didn’t want to do another apartment, and we heard that a friend of Ryan’s family was selling a trailer. So we went to look at it. As trailers go, this one was pretty nice, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a nice deck, good location, and it was pretty new. The priss in me wasn’t hot on living in a trailer, but we were getting desperate. It was either live with my parents or live in our own home. So the trailer won.

Since the people we bought from were family friends of Ryan, they let us do an article of agreement to rent to own. The price we agreed on was 23,000, which seemed a little steep to me, but hey, we weren’t paying interest. Cool, right?

Here’s where the problems start. Fast forward from February of 2004 to February of 2005. Part of our agreement was to get financing and buy the trailer outright eventually. A part of the statement said that if we were denied fiancing that we’d just carry on with the rent to own agreement and try again in 6 months. So that February we tried to get financing. We called the seller to get an estimate of what we had left to pay and he guessed “around 17,000.” But we got denied, so no big deal. We’d just try harder next time.

Then we found out we were going to have a baby and decided we had to make things happen, because we knew we didn’t want to be living in a trailer. Our plan was to buy it and get it on the market ASAP. So in October, we tried for financing again. Ryan used the estimate that the seller had given us before and we got approved. Cool. So we called our friend, the seller, and told him we were approved, and could he give us an approximate amount that we needed to pay? He said sure and that he’d call us back.

He called us back later and told us the amount. Here’s where things get tricky. Pay attention.

Price we agreed on (and signed a contract on): $23,000
Price the seller told us once we got approved for financing, after living there and making monthly $250 payments : $24, 925

Here’s where me and Ryan collectively went “HUH???”

So we called him on it. What the hell are you talking about? At that point we’d been living there for 20 months.

Simple math! Even I can do it! What’s 250 times 20?

5,000, right?

What’s 23,000 MINUS 5,000?
18,000, right? So logic would tell you, that’s what we owed them.

So we knew his first estimate was just a guess, because that had been almost 6 month prior. So he hadn’t even called the bank or anything. But this! This was NOT making sense!

Mr. Lovely Seller claimed that we owed them INTEREST. After reviewing the contract that we had signed, we saw NOTHING about interest in it. So we told him that. He said that we basically agreed to take over their mortgage. Nuh-uh. He also said that they paid almost 230 bucks a month in interest. What the fuck kind of interest rate is that? Sounds pretty close to almost 100 percent if we were only paying 250 bucks a month!

Nothing was adding up, so Ryan told him that we were going to contact a lawyer to look at the contract. So we got a lawyer.

Our lawyer agreed. We don’t owe them interest. We decided to go through with the closing at the price that we owed. Our lawyer sent their lawyer a letter. The closing was going to be December 9th.

They said they weren’t coming, which breeched the contract.

Here’s how: the contract said we would try for financing. If not approved, we’d try again every 6 months until we got approved. This is what we did. We based our price on the original 23 grand that we owed. The contract specifically stated that both the buyer and the seller must be present at the closing.

On November 22, the day that I gave birth, the seller called us and threatened us with arbitration. Nice.

Ryan called our lawyer soon after and told him we wanted out. The contract was breeched. Couldn’t we just agree that we rented the place and say that’s it?

Our lawyer ran that by the seller, and he agreed. Whew!

That’s when we started looking at houses.

Then the seller changed his mind. WHAT THE FUCK! We’re buying a trailer. They are like cars. They depreciate in value. If you went to a car lot and the guy there said, “yeah, I’ll sell you this one for 500 bucks” and you went and got the money and came back and then he said, “no I meant a grand,” you’d walk away, right?

So we walked away. We moved out at the end of January. Our lawyer sent a letter saying that the seller had breeched the contract and therefore we considered any agreement with them null and void.

We gave our keys to our lawyer and the seller picked them up.

Our lawyer called us last week and told us that they were still planning on taking us to arbitration. Ryan flat out asked him if they have a case against us, and he said no way. He had 3 other lawyers look at our contract and they all agree, the selling price was clear. He said even the sellers lawyer had tried to advise them NOT to take us to arbitration, because there’s no case.

That’s when we found out it was the sellers ex-wife who is driving all this. I think she seriously thinks she’s going to make a buck off of us.

I hope she’s sorely mistaken. They’ve been dicking us around for almost 6 months now, and I’m pretty fucking sick of thinking about it.

We have yet to hear about the arbitration. I’m to the point now that I think that they’re just trying to hold the threat over our heads. They think that going to arbitration bothers us. They think that because it was in our contract that we had to pay for arbitration that we’ll just suck it up and pay them what they want us to. But guess what? There is no contract, so they’re just screwing themselves. We welcome the arbitration, because we know that the worst thing that will happen is that we’ll have to buy the trailer for the 18 grand that we actually owed them. And we’ll get that and put it right on the market, no big deal. It just means having to live in the in-law hotel for a few more months.

But this is the reason we’re holding off on buying a house. Although I don’t think we should let it stop us. We never agreed that we couldn’t live wherever we wanted, right?

So that’s my long and boring story. If you’re sleepy now, I’m sorry. But if you got this far, I applaud you.

Tomorrow is Friday!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You dropped a bomb on me, baby

As you all know, I’m living (or merely “existing”) at my in-law’s house. This is rotten enough in and of itself. The story about why we’re living here is long and detailed and probably kind of boring, so I’ll spare you the explanation. Let’s just say it was a series of unfortunate events, brought on by parties other than ourselves that lead us to residing at the in-laws.

The only good thing about living there is that my in-laws don’t currently live there. The bad thing about them not living there is that they don’t live there because my mother in law is getting dialysis 3 times a week, and is unable to walk because of her foot and ankle being broken. Plus she has diabetes. And a heart condition. Can anyone top that?

Sigh.

The bad things about living there are many fold. Where do I start? Oh, no nursery. After decorating a lovely nursery for my daughter, she never got the chance to enjoy it. With any luck, we’ll find a house soon… although we have to sit on that dream for now, for reasons that I will get to some other time. Anyway, all of the in-law’s stuff is still in the house. Now, I know everyone’s in-law’s have some quirky qualities. Mine do not throw anything away. When I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. There is so much shit in this tiny house that you can’t turn a corner without stumbling over something. It’s knick knack hell. You’d have to see it to believe it. So anyway, there’s no room for our stuff. So all of our stuff, with the exception of our clothes and some of Lyrics toys, is in storage. The in-laws only have a full sized bed, therefore, Ryan, Lyric and I can’t share a bed, so Ryan sleeps on the futon. I like snuggling with my baby, but I really miss hearing my husband snore.

There’s too much to name. But the thing that really gives me the heebeejeebees about that house is that there are stink bugs sharing it with us. STINK BUGS. I had no idea what a stink bug was until I moved in there. The are large and beetle like and fly. They seem to inhabit mostly the bedroom and bathroom portion of the house, although occasionally one slips into the kitchen.

Let me tell you, when it comes to bugs, I’m the prissiest little bitch EVER. I scream, I freak, I flail. It’s horrible and embarrassing.

I also don’t kill bugs. It’s the Buddhist monk part of my brain that doesn’t allow me to do this. It’s also the prissy little bitch part of my brain that is afraid of bug guts.

Ryan is in charge of killing the stink bugs. He usually gets a paper towel and squishes them in it. Well, a few days ago, anger about seeing yet ANOTHER one of these little fuckers (you only ever really see one at a time, 2 tops) overrode the Buddhist/Prissy part of my brain, and I took a plastic coat hanger and swatted at one.

I found out why they’re called stink bugs.

It was like a bomb went off in the bedroom. A strong, very strange smell poofed out of the squished bug and invaded my nasal passages. Freaked out, I ran out into the living room and told Ryan I squished one of the bugs and that it stunk to the high heavens. He didn’t quite believe me until about 30 seconds later when the smell traveled out of the bedroom, through the kitchen, and around the corner into the living room.

There will be no more squishing stink bugs in my future.

I’ll talk about the court situation and scary television tomorrow probably.