Friday, April 30, 2010

Sick Boy

Well, it's the last day of April.  And boy has it been a doozy of a month.  I am one very worn out Momma Rat right about now.
Right now, I have a sleeping baby boy (make that toddler boy...) in his room.  He woke up at 2:30 with a very loose and stinky diaper, didn't go back to sleep until about 4 and then promptly decided to get sick around 9 or so for his Poppa.
Of course, today is also the last day of reporting month and while most of my assignments have been wrapped up already, there is always still plenty to do and deadlines to meet.  Luckily, I've been able to work from home today.  I did take Boo into the doctor even though he'd been sick less than 12 hours.  That's because despite having no fever or other signs other than some general lethargy and just not quite being himself, every time we gave him any Pedialite or water, it came back almost immediately.  No, it wasn't cold, but room temperature.  He wasn't downing entire glasses of it at a time, anywhere from 3-5 oz before it would come back.  The last thing I wanted to do was go to the ER this weekend with a dehydrated boy child.  Well, his doc checked him out and he's OK other than the stomach issues.  She told me to cut back the liquids to about 1-2 oz and that should work, but to keep an eye on him.  So, I gave him 2 oz when we came home and he's been sleeping almost since.  Of course, he was mad as anything that he couldn't have any milk or any more than the 2 oz I had put in his cup.  Oh well.  He'll just have to deal.  I should wake him, but I'm not going to.
Of course, this means that we'll be missing the first class of the new swim session.  I think that bums me out way more than him.  We had last week off, so I'm not sure if he realizes we were supposed to start up again.  Oh well.  I'll live.

But yes, the rest of this month hasn't been much easier.  We've fought with the landlady and have come to a draw in my opinion.  We're moving out of a wonderful space, with a landlady I used to like and that has wonderful character.  We do have a new place to move into and just signed the lease today.  That's a good thing for this month.  We've also had the apartment "treated" and a follow up next week...
My best friend lost her nephew suddenly and unexpectedly and way too young.
I haven't slept in the same bed as my husband since we went to Baltimore for the weekend, and I'm really missing it.  I can't find half of my clothes as they're mostly bagged up in the dinning room or in storage at Kat's.
We had a cold but enjoyable trip to Knoebles last weekend, so that was another bright spot (although the sky was gray and cold...)
I managed to take 3rd in my company's "Biggest Looser" contest, but if anything I'm less happy with my size.   I think people are happier for me, than I am.  I was never unhappy at my heavier weight, but knew this needed to be done to prevent health issues in the future.  This has nothing (almost) to do with self-image and everything to do with future health.  I should feel happier, but I don't.  It just is.  Yes, it's a good thing, but it's still just one thing.  That's something for a whole different post though.
My brother both turned 32 years old and asked Becca to marry him on the same day, so that's a very bright spot.

So, yeah, it's been a month of ups and downs.  Stress, heartache, loss, hunting and finding have all played their parts.  Pardon me, I need a nap.  Here's hoping that while busy, May will be less stressful (or at least filled only with the good stress of moving...).  I'm looking forward to June, both for being in the new place (even though I will really miss this one!) and because my baby boy turns 2.  Where has the time gone?

Anyhow, just thought I'd try and sum up the month and whimper that my baby is sick.  I just hope neither Gak nor I get the bug, we don't need that added to the pile.  I'm off to figure out what to make with the orange ginger chicken for dinner, probably some rice.... but I'm not sure.

Peace to all and may your month not be quite the roller coaster mine has.... unless you're on them at Knoebles.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knoebels Krazy!

Well, this weekend was opening weekend at Knoebels.  And as is our tradition, we had Zoe's birthday party up there.  I don't know about anyone else, but I'm having a hard time realizing that Zoe is actually 9.  I mean, just the other day we were planning her baby shower (which she crashed!)  She can't be 9 already... then again, Boo is almost 2! (eep!!)
It was a cool (ok, ok, cold) damp and gray day.  But we haven't let that stop us before!  Luckily the rain held off until 6:00, right as the rides were all closing down.
Over all we had a very good day.  We even left the house on time!  Gak decided to stay home and have a veg-out day.  I don't really blame him.  The weather wasn't great, we've all been under a LOT of stress lately and going almost non-stop.  So, instead of having an almost empty car on the way up, Joan and Mel rode with us, as well as Mel's boyfriend Lane.  Yes, I said Mel's boyfriend.  Yes, she's too young.  Of course, I'd probably say that when she's 20 as well...  None of my "nieces" or "nephews" should be old enough to date yet!  It was a fairly enjoyable ride up.  Boo only napped the last half hour or so of the ride because he was too fascinated and entertained by the older kids riding with him.  He did surprisingly well for not napping.  (Of course, we had his pack-n-play with us, but it really was too cold for him to want to nap outside.)
Last year the weather was bright, sunny and about 90 degrees out.  The place was packed wall to wall.  This year, the park was almost empty.  I think somewhere in between would be nice.  Kinda like 4th of July there last year.  Just enough people to be busy and beautiful weather without being too crowded or too hot.
The first part of the day we spent wandering around a bit and Boo only got to go on 1 ride, and I got to go on a total of 2.  We were just enjoying hanging out with the rest of the crowd.  After cake though, we headed over to the kiddie area with the younger crowed.  (Mind you, Boo's the baby of the group, and Alayna, who's name I know I haven't spelled right yet *sigh*, was the next youngest at 5...) Zoe's friend Leah came this year and Leah and Boo became fast friends.  Then again, Boo will follow just about any girl around.  Leah was very happy to take Boo on just about any ride that he, or she, wanted to go on.
Boo did very well with the rides.  I think we've created a monster.  At first, he wasn't so sure about the rides. He wasn't sure about getting onto them, but once they'd start, he'd have this grin on his face.  Then the ride would stop, and he'd be fussy because he had to get off.  Only, there were so few people in the park, that often times he could ride twice in a row!  This surely spoiled him.  I have lots of pictures, but not many good ones of him smiling.  Usually he was smiling when the ride was in full motion so... blurry pictures.
We were very lucky.  It started to rain right at 6:00 when the rides were closing.  When we were just about loaded up into the cars the heavens opened up and the rain came pouring down.  We made it home by about 9:00.
So, yeah, yesterday was a good day.  Saturday was a good day too because we spent the better part of the day over at Kat's.  I did laundry in the morning with Boo, then we came home for a nap.  Well, for Boo to nap and for me to attempt to get some chores done.  After we picked Gak up from work, we all headed over to Kat's.  She needed to borrow my crock-pot for Sunday.  We ended up staying until just about 10:00 that night.  Dinner was very good, (pork country style ribs grilled over apple chips and charcoal...) and the company even better.  We even had a campfire.  It was a very nice evening and good to see everyone together.

Today, on the other hand was a crappy day.  It was crappy because it's a Monday.  It was crappy because I feel like I didn't get enough sleep last night.  It was crappy because of the weather.  It was crappy because I didn't have the productive day that I should have had.  What made it the worst though is that I had to go to a funeral.  You see, Kat's nephew Frankie passed away last week.  No, Frankie wasn't a little kid.  Frankie is actually 10 years older than Kat and I.  (Kat really wasn't planned... at all.... mom was dad's 3rd wife, he'd already outlived 2... he was over 60 when Kat was born....)  Frankie was almost more of an older brother to Kat than a nephew.  He's the one who helped her learn to ride a 2-wheeler.  He's the one who did a lot of the "big brother" kinds of things because... well... he was the oldest of the "kids".  Frankie was only 44 years old.  He went to sleep one evening last week and never woke up.  So, yeah.  It sucked.  I don't like funerals much to begin with and well, when it's someone as young as Frankie, I hate them even more.  It was a good service and there were many, many friends and family there.  I just wish I hadn't had to run back to work right away.  Luckily Scott and others were there for Kat as well.

I just hope the rest of the week gets better.  This year is looking a little too much like 2007 for my comfort.  Of course, it is beginning to look a bit brighter, but still a ways off from being there.

Anyhow, I'm tired, I've posted lots of pictures up on Flickr.  Go enjoy them.  I'm going to get the trash together, find a book or something for a few minutes and then go pass out I think.

Peace to all and may your weekends be wonderful and your Mondays far from crappy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Light??

Well, it's been another week and no new update from me.  It sure has been a busy one.  This time last week I was deep in a funk and hoping there was a light at the end of the tunnel, not even worried if it was a train or not, just trying to find the end.
Well, I think the end is in sight, barely, but it's in sight.  I think this nightmare just might begin to come to an end around May 15th.  Not as soon as I'd like, but close enough.  And totally not possible without a little help from some friends, a lot of luck and a whole lot of work.
Let's see here... as of last Thursday we'd looked at 3 places, was still eyeballs deep in an argument with the landlady, work was being brutal and Boo just wasn't helping any... we'd also looked at a decent apartment and put in an application.

Friday the bug guy was supposed to come.   Well, he was supposed to come if it rained in the morning, if not he was going to come Tuesday.  Well, of course it didn't rain.  So, Boo was in daycare all day for nothing, and we had even more of a disaster area than usual for an apartment.  Friday evening we looked at another apartment.  It would have been great if it had been about 5 years ago and we didn't have Boo.  It really was wonderful.  The place was in a building of four 2-bedroom places back a very long driveway with 2 or 3 other buildings around.  There was a huge yard and some woods and you really felt like you were in the middle of nowhere.  The biggest problem was the overall size and the size of the kitchen and how far away it was.  I can handle small bedrooms if the living area is big.  We spend most of our time in the living room anyhow.  I can deal without a dinning room because, well, all we do usually is let it collect junk.  So, we decided not to put an application in on that one.

Saturday was the last swim class of the session because the pool is being cleaned and repaired this week.  Boo and I then went to the bowling alley to hang out with Zoe and Kat for her final Saturday of the season.  It was also a pizza party... which of course Boo didn't want to eat.  In the evening we went over to Kat's to go through some of the stuff we'd stashed over there because the bug guy was coming and ended up staying for a good while.

Sunday we went and looked at a place on 9th street that we got the number for from Linda.  I loved the place... except that the kitchen was tiny and there was almost no living space on the 1st floor.  The yard was huge.  The bedrooms were very spacious.  There was an entire attic for storage.  But... if the kitchen was bigger than 10 by 8 and the living area 10 by 10, I'm a monkey's uncle (and very bad at guessing distances...).  Even if they are bigger than that, it felt that small.  Again, if we didn't spend all our time in the living room and have 2 computers and a TV and  need a dinning area of some description, it would have worked.  The two biggest pluses of the place was the location, about 1.5 blocks from daycare and the price, about $60/month less than what we're paying now.  We truly agonized over this one.  After going there we head over to Kat's because we needed to pick up the stroller amongst other things.  We end up staying all evening.  Boo really enjoys playing with Zoe now days, which is good.

Sunday while we were out at Kat's we got a message from the apartment on 14th street that we'd looked at on Thursday, asking us to call.  Gak calls Monday and finds out we've been offered the apartment.  It's available May 15th (it's empty now, but he needs to do some work to the one bathroom shower and some other odds and ends) and he wanted to do the paperwork this weekend if we wanted it.  Well, luckily Gak had the excuse of him working Saturday and we've got Zoe's 9th (*gasp*!) birthday party at Knoebles on Sunday.  So, that bought us time until early next week.  Mind you, I was still half in love with the place on 9th street, but the more we talked about it and the more I thought about the living space on the first floor, the more I liked the place on 14th.  I had plenty of advice, many of whom said to go ahead and apply for 9th street (even though they hadn't seen it...) and to keep looking.  I realize 14th street isn't a "forever" solution, but like Steve told me earlier, we're not looking for forever, just "for now".  I figure we'll be able to stay there a good 3-4 years before really wanting or needing to move again.  Even if we decide to try for number 2 in the near future (which is still very much up in the air...). But, the one big thing that Gak and I could agree on is that we're both tired of looking.  We also agree that we really couldn't find anything more convenient.  Cheaper maybe, but not more convenient and it's not really cheaper if we would have to get a second car...  So, after much agonizing, I came to the conclusion that yes, 14th street is good and we should take it.  Gak had already decided, but was waiting on me.  Now, to just scrape the $1800 together for early next week...

There were two important birthdays that I didn't mention this week and one other exciting event.  My brother turned 32 on Monday (how can he be that old, I'm not that old am I?) and Zoe turned 9 on Wednesday.  (How did that happen?)  Congratulations to both of them to making it through another year safe and sound.  And major congratulations to my brother and Becca, my sister-in-law to be!  Yep, Jon proposed on his birthday and Becca said yes.  I think it's wonderful.  I've counted Becca as part of the family for quite some time now.  I guess this means eventually we'll all be heading out to CA for a wedding (unless they become totally spontaneous and just do the courthouse thing...).  So, yeah, there were definitely some good things this week.

I think I've rambled on long enough.  I did get 22-month dragon pictures of Boo on Monday.  (I know, I know, almost 23 month picture time...) but they're still on my camera.  I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to post after this weekend.  I'm totally looking forward to it, Boo's finally old enough to enjoy it and ride some rides and understand what's going on.  I really hope we can pull off a camping trip up there this summer.  (We were originally going to go the weekend after his birthday, but we'll be moving the rest of our stuff at that point I'm sure...)

Peace to all and may there be a light at the end of the tunnel and may it not be a train.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


This has been a long cranky week.  Since I've been too tired or cranky to write all week, I'll just keep it short and sweet and hit the highlights (or lowlights depending on your point of view...)

Monday, or was it Tuesday, we finally got a response from our landlady about when and who for the extermination.  Hopefully it'll happen tomorrow morning.  Boo will be in daycare all day and Gak will be here when the people are here to spray.  Yes, we're paying for half of it, but I'm too tired to argue.  Apparently that's what she did with the upstairs people too... somehow I think they probably caved because English isn't their first language, so it makes it harder to fight and understand your rights.  I hate when people take advantage of people because of that... grrr... Anyhow, it'll be the cheap people.  I honestly don't think it'll help in the long run, but hopefully we'll be out of here.  She never did concretely answer my question about getting out of the lease.  I'll pursue that next week after the exterminator has been here.

Work's been a royal pain and I spent most of Monday and Tuesday getting nowhere and getting myself in trouble (or at least attention I didn't want) and just having a hard time staying on task.  It's gotten better as the week's gone on, but... not one of my best weeks, but good enough.  Next week will be oh-so-fun... we've got all day meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday I have to try and train someone who I've tried to teach twice before and George has tried to teach once before.  Yeah, not feeling positive here.  George would be doing it except he'll be in Canada at a site I've been to a couple of times.  At least it's not January or February... it's 2/3 the way up Alberta in the oil sands.  I'm sure I blogged about it before when I was there.

I've been a tired, cranky, frustrated mess this week.  I spent about 10 minutes melting down this evening because I couldn't find my keys an Boo sure as anything wasn't helping any.  He was having a very cranky, clingy time and well, I just couldn't deal with that and everything else we've got to get done before tomorrow morning.  ugh.

We did look at an apartment this evening and actually put in an application.  It's a little building across from the laundromat.  It's nice, if a little smaller than where we're at (but this is a HUGE apartment in reality...) and still a 2nd floor apartment.  It's got some green space out back and a deck big enough for a couple of chairs and a table.  We'd probably have to put the dinning room furniture in storage at Mom and Dad's, but... it's worth it.  The only thing I don't love about it is the fact that it's definitely a "complex" kind of apartment... in some ways it reminds me of an oversize dorm room, but for what it is, it's nice.  There's only the one building and maybe 16 apartment (8 in each half) total.  It's pretty new and looks to be in good condition.  I guess sterile is the word I'm looking for, but that's OK.  This isn't our forever home, just something for the next few years.

Anyhow, I've got to go help move some furniture for tomorrow and then go crash.

Peace to all and may your weeks be nowhere near as cranky as mine and may things actually go your way.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Holding Pattern?

Yes, it's been a week (almost) since I've posted.  Mostly, I've been too busy and too cranked to actually post anything coherent.  Things have gone from annoying to downright unacceptable and a bit beyond with the whole apartment thing right now.
I used to like our landlady.  Sure, she was a bit slow with a few repairs and things, but nothing that I would call out of the realm of "ordinary" or "every day" kind of issues.  When it really mattered, like when the kitchen faucet broke and I couldn't do dishes, she was pretty quick.  So, overall in the past 4 years I really haven't had much complaint.  And she's even done us some good things, like painting Boo's room a color of our choice and when she replaced the windows in the building that saved us a ton of money in heat.  She even painted the kitchen and dining room (again, we got to choose a color) when she was having the bathroom painted last fall.
But... she's playing the blame game and has gone from nice to... well... I don't have anything nice to say anymore, so I'll just keep my trap shut.  She's gotten downright hostile with Gak earlier in the week.
So, I think we've been released from our lease come June 8th.  I'm still not 100% sure with how she worded the email, so I sent her one to confirm.  I'm OK with that.  She could have been a total stickler and said no, because we didn't give her the 60 days written notice (which would have been April 1st) like the lease says.  I'll take what I can get.
No, nothing has been sprayed or done.  She had the gaul to ask us when it was going to be done.  Uhm... last I checked, this was your building and most places won't come out without the owners permission to spray etc.  We did get Terminex out here to give us a second quote.  Theirs is much more in line with what I was expecting.  About $2000 all told for the treatment and 3 follow up visits.  And they don't use a pesticide, the freeze the buggers.  Yep, that's right, it is a freeze treatment (I'm guessing with a liquid nitrogen application or something like that).  Orkin uses steam, Terminex freezes them.  It's way more effective than any pesticide (other than maybe DDT, but as everyone who went to school in the '80's should know... it's just slightly illegal in this country...).  That and it is much safer for the house, for those of us living in it and the environment.  I mean, they'd be releasing N2 back into the atmosphere where it came from.  Not NOx or SOx or CO2 or any of the other "greenhouse" gases.  It's a win all the way around.  That and doing it this way will pretty much ensure that they don't come back.  I mean, she can spend $300 every 3-6 months for the rest of the time she owns this building, and spend as much in 2-3 years as she would if she does it right the first (well, second) time.
Friday I spent a long time agonizing over an email that I sent to her.  I attached both quotes, the information that we had about the two treatments and told her that we request she make the appointment as it's her building and therefore exterminators (or other contractors) won't show up without her blessing.  Which she knows, and threw in Gak's face last week....  I didn't mention anything about payment.  I didn't offer her anything, other than the information.  I have no idea what she'll say or do.  I'm not sure I care.  I just want my bed back and to be able to sleep with my hubby in the same room, in the same bed and not itch or be paranoid that I'm going to find bites all over my son one morning.

So, yes, we're moving.  Where, we don't have a clue.  The place we looked at Monday well... it was OK but I'm not going to put in an application there.  We probably wouldn't get it and well, quite frankly I don't like some of the questions they ask.  I don't mind them asking for where I bank.  I do mind them asking for my SSN, my account number and balance.  Nope, sorry, not your business.  If I can pay the deposit and monthly rent and have a stable job, what do you care what's actually in my bank account?  That and I just don't love the place.  Like I said, it was OK and would do for a year or two, but definitely not a long term solution in any stretch of the imagination.  We looked at another place yesterday.  Well, Boo wouldn't even let me put him down while we were there.  None of us got the "warm fuzzies" from the place.  The bedrooms were about as small as our bathroom and the flooring had seen much better days and was actually coming up in places.  Yeah, sorry, not going to work.  And there was almost zero storage in the one bedroom and none in the other.  Nope, not happening.  For a single person who is going to use the second bedroom as an office or the like, it would be acceptable.... not for a family with an active little boy.  (Although, there was a nice HUGE yard... but that was about the only plus there was...)
We've got a couple more leads and some ads.  I hope we find something in the next 6 weeks.  If not, we may be trying to find someone's couch to crash on for a few weeks.  I really don't want that to happen, but since our lease here isn't month-to-month, but renews on a yearly basis, I'm not pushing my luck.  Especially with the oh-so-warm reception we've received from our landlady recently.  I hate leaving this place, and I really hate leaving it under such bad circumstances, but... it's got to be done.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Work's been going right along.  We're officially sold to the new corporate now.  The best part so far (and the only noticeable difference) is that we get to use our old name again, but with the new corporate name in front of it.  Even though I love our old name and was using it for years after the Big Corporate bought the company, I'm having a bit of trouble answering the phones quite right.  Oh well.  Sometime this week we're supposed to have meetings about the benefits package and all the "onboarding" things that need to happen to move us from one company to the other.  I'm almost looking forward to it, other than the fact that it's one of our busiest months of the year.  Oh well.  Life happens and you deal.  (Of course, I've got enough on my plate at home, I really don't need drama at work too.... here's hoping for a smooth transition!)

But, I've got to get to bed.  I hope everyone's been enjoying the pictures over on Flickr.  And for those of you who have been keeping track and look forward to the monthly dragon pictures, there aren't any for April yet.  You see, I kept forgetting, the drama started and I'm just too worn out and my camera batteries finally dies and I don't have any AA's lying around the apartment and I keep forgetting to bring some home from Gak's office.  Maybe we'll get them tomorrow, for a mid-month update.  *sigh*  I'm not sure how long this will continue after we hit 2 years though, it may become a bit more sporadic.

I've rambled on long enough.  Other than the drama above, not much is going on.  (The weather is beautiful, my son is amazing, and playing "hock-key!" with any "stick" he can get his hands on and my husband and I are trying to hold it together as best as we can.)

Peace to all and may your drama only be on stage and your family wonderful.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Picture Time!

Well, I got the Bris pictures uploaded and edited and posted to Flickr for everyone's enjoyment.  I really like this one I got of the Sugerman family.  Can you believe both Daniel and Boo were as little as Ethan is in this picture?  I sure can't.  Such a cute family, and great people too.
Anyhow, I've got to rush off to work now.  Take some time and click on that side bar thing to the right there and go see the rest of the pictures.  You'll like them.  I just wish I'd gotten some of Boo and Daniel together, but neither of them are quite at the age for interactive play and Daniel spent most of his time playing with the cousins he sees more often and knows better.
Hopefully this summer sometime we'll be able to invite the Maryland contingent up for a get together of some kind, just a small family gathering instead of a huge production.

Peace to all and may your family be wonderful.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Family and Searching

I promise I have pictures and I promise I'll download them soon.  I'm just too tired to think clearly enough to do so tonight.
This weekend was very good.
Saturday morning we had our swim class and Boo had quite a good time and didn't really want to get out.  He's also all but floating on his tummy on his own now, but just don't tell him that.  He'll let you make him "reach and pull" and kick his feet for him, but he has yet to try on his own.  *shrug*  He's also more interested in drinking the pool than blowing bubbles into the pool, but thinks it's a riot when I blow bubbles onto his hand or belly.
After swimming we picked up Gak and met Kat and Zoe for brunch since Zoe was done bowling early.  Then we had enough time to run a few errands and head down to Maryland.
Boo only slept about halfway, or a little less really, but was quiet and content to just look around and zone out in his seat.  I'm glad we were early as it gave Boo a chance to figure everything out before being overwhelmed with people.  Let me tell you, I love Ben and Jenny's new house.  Not so fond of the crazy neighbor, but... that's life.  I'm sure they and the boys will enjoy is immensely.
The Bris was wonderful and it was even more wonderful to catch up with family.  Ethan Evaret Sugerman is a very cute little boy and a welcome addition to the family.  It really makes you realize exactly how fast time flies when I see him curled up and sleeping and so tiny compared to big, boisterous Boo.  It really is amazing.
Anyhow, after a long day we drove back into Baltimore and checked into our hotel.  Gak headed out to find something to eat and I had the task of getting Boo to sleep.  Which, amazingly wasn't that difficult, but did involve putting out all the lights.  And no, I didn't mind staying back to put the boy to sleep.  I wasn't hungry and I was tired and in reality, it was probably easier to put Boo to bed without Gak in the room.
Sunday was a very wonderful day.  We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and walked down to the Inner Harbor.  Around noon Michelle met us and we had some lunch, walked around and just caught up.  It was so wonderful to see her.  She really is missed.  It was even better because it was her birthday.  The day ended too quickly though and the drive home was mostly uneventful, even with a few pockets of slow.

Anyhow, today we went and looked at an apartment.  It's an end unit and not quite a townhouse and not quite an apartment.  The living area is all on the 2nd floor, but there's a basement as well.  It's a nice enough 2 bedroom place.  The rent is a bit high and the utilities sound like they'd be a bit higher than what we're paying now.  And despite the fact that it has central air and a deck and green, I'm somewhat underwhelmed by it.  Not totally turned off, but not in love and it really wouldn't do for long term.  (We'd have to put the dining room furniture into storage for one thing...)  It's got just enough room for now, but if we decided to try for a second child, it would be crowded fast.  I'm not sure there would be room for a crib and a bed in the 2nd bedroom.  Oh well.  We may apply there anyhow, just because.  We're going to keep looking though and hope to find something quick.  I know we could find a place over at Quakertown West, but those places really are a good bit smaller than where we're at and I'm not sure if the bonuses would outweigh the higher rent.  But, it would be a good fallback just in case.  I just would like to find a place we could stay another 3-5 years or even longer.  I have no delusions about ever owning a house at this point.  Not if we stay in PA.  Not unless one of us gets a HUGE raise and we manage to clean up our slightly spotty credit records to immaculate.  Yeah, not happening.  Besides, there are a few advantages to renting... if you have a good enough landlord.

I'm off to go do a few things before I crash.  It's been a long day.  I'll try and get the pictures up tomorrow.  Can I tell you how much I want my own bedroom back?  And my own bed?  Yeah.  I'm so done with this.  I've decided I really just don't care what our landlady does about the problem, just so long as she does something because I fully intend on not being here long enough to reap the consequences of bad decisions on her part.  If she wants to throw $300 at the problem every 3-6 months that's her problem, not mine.  We're out of here as soon as we find a place and give her notice.

Peace to all and may your weekends be full of wonderful friends and family and your searches fruitful.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Baltimore Weekend!

Ok, first a quick update on "the problem" and then onto better and happier things.
Gak called the exterminator our landlady has used in the past to get him to come out and give a quote.  To say Gak was less than impressed would be an understatement.  He looked around for about 20-30 minutes (but he did show up on time..) and gave a quote of less than $300.  Now, everything I've read and heard says it should probably be in the $1500 to $3000 range, not $300.  Of course, that's only to spray our bedroom, I don't think it was the entire apartment and definitely not the entire building.  And no, he wouldn't put on the quote that if you only treat the one place they'll just migrate because "she knows that".  The crowning jewel to this experience was the fact that he said, if you pay cash I won't have to charge you tax.  Hmm... yeah.... OK... Somehow that just doesn't sound right and as much as I like saving money... nope.  So, we've got a call into Orkin for a second opinion, but they can only give a verbal unless they have permission from our landlady to come out.  (Something the other guy apparently didn't ask for...)
So, yeah, we're moving.  I don't know where yet.  We've got an appointment Monday evening to look at a place.  I hope I hate it.  It's half a twin (with a yard!) but I think the rent is going to be just out of our reach.  But, if it really is as nice as I think it might be, I just might have to find the extra $65/month we're not paying now.  (Of course, I do have a small raise that starts this week even with the sale of the business and it just means no eating out and no Y membership like I was planning.  A yard is much, much more important to me.)  The other downer is that it looks like in order to move, I've got to take a small loan from my 401(k).  I'm not too happy about it, but since I probably won't be able to retire in 30 years anyhow, I'm not sure it'll matter in the long run...

Anyhow, onto happier news.  We're going to be spending the entire weekend in the Baltimore area!  First off, today is the Bris for my cousin Ben's new son.  No, I don't know his name yet, we'll find that out this evening.  I'm so excited.  We never get to see each other often enough and well, any excuse is a good one.  Of course, my aunt and uncle will be there, whom I love, and I'm hoping Rae and Kami will be there too.  They're great and it stinks that everyone is so far away.  (Of course, Ben and family are only 2-3 hours away and we never see them... I blame not growing up together and just not being that close... but I really do enjoy them.)
Ben and family now live in the north-west corner of the Beltway loop.  Michelle is "home" from Canada for the week.  We thought about doing lunch today on our way down, but we've got swim class and she's doing Easter with the family today.  Her mom lives right near (or in) Columbia, MD.  So, Gak, Boo and I have a hotel room in Baltimore, a short walk from the Inner Harbor tonight and we'll be getting together with Michelle tomorrow.  Everyone is so excited!  It's been since Boo's birthday party that we've had the chance to get together.  I think that Michelle's missed us as much as we've missed her.  And even better, tomorrow is her birthday!  Yes, I'm very excited, practically vibrating in my seat.  We've got to call her today to confirm everything, but that's a minor detail.

I hope to have lots and lots of pictures to post when we get back.  Pictures of my newest cousin, of my boy-o having fun, family and of good times with Michelle.  This really is the break we've needed.  The best part is, we've only got to pay tax and parking at the hotel... I finally got to use up a bunch of my Hilton Honors points!  (of course, I think I should have had a lot more, but they've expired over the years... oh well.)

Well, I've got to get some stuff done this morning before swim class.
Peace to all and may the breaks come when you need them and contractors not be crooked.