Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm not as lame as this blog makes me appear...

In real life, I follow through with things. I get in touch with friends regularly. I talk to my mom nearly every day. Why can't I get it together to post more often? There's no excuse. I haven't even been that busy. It's similar to my attitude towards the grocery store--I know I should, and once I get there sometimes I even enjoy myself. But I still find reasons not to.

Anyway, everything's good around here. Saw the baby on the ultrasound this week. S/he looks like an angry little alien. Seriously. So angry that I almost didn't hang the pictures on the fridge.

House projects have stalled, but will pick up again this weekend. We went out and got a new pedestal sink for the half bath that matches the trim color. We'll also will eventually buy a new toilet in a lovely "biscuit" color, but that's eventually. We got a nice new light fixture, TP holder, faucet and towel rack, too. Wahoo!

Eric WILL finish the attic ceiling sometime within the next 10 days. I'm hoping he's reading this.

At that point, we'll soldier ahead with the ceilings in the guest bedroom (somewhat ruined by rain from a freak storm that blew through here several weeks ago and demonstrated a previously unknown gap between the window and wall...) and the baby's room. Instead of drywall, we're going to go with the decorative ceiling panels, which should be much cheaper and MUCH easier to install by ourselves. Plus, it'll look great. Eventually, we're tearing out all of the ceilings in this house, which for some reason are all sponged plaster. They must have been replaced in the 80s. Ugh.

In other news, Marion County has released its 2008 home assessments, which will be the basis of our upcoming property tax bills (due October and April/May). Here's the situation... Marion County is a ridiculous place, and is in the process of catching up on several back years of property taxes. Our first year in the house, we did not pay property taxes. The bank paid them, because we bought as a foreclosure and as a closing contingency, we did not want to pay taxes for a year in which we didn't live in/own the home. Immediately upon moving here, we filed for our homestead and mortgage exemptions, and filed for an assessment appeal. And were told that that appeal will take at least 18 months. Ahem... So our assessment for this last property tax bill that we had to pay in July, for our house that we bought for $139,900, was $360,000. WHAT!!????!!! Plus no exemptions because it's the first year, plus no appeal... Let's just say that this little bill put our kitchen plans on the back burner for at least six months.

Anyway, the good news is that our assessment has been revised down to $219K--still more than what the house is worth, but a more reasonable figure--our exemptions are kicking in, and the property tax caps that the legislature has been talking about for such a long time are finally working. We should not get completely and utterly screwed once again. PHEW!!! I don't mind paying taxes. In fact, when I notice my nice newly paved sidewalks, functioning sewer system, and running water, I'm happy for them. However, sometimes things just don't work. This past bill was one of those times.

I am very much looking forward to a visit from my darling Ashie and her sidekick/doggie Banjo. They're coming down this weekend from Chicago. We're planning a very low-key weekend that should involve a lot of dog walking, going to Target, eating, and, as always happens when we're in close proximity, giggling. Ash and I worked together at ANF in Boston, and shared an office. We got a ton of work done, but I tell you, if you'd put two less intrisically-motivated people with lots in common and a shared love of singing Chicago songs to each other in the same office, the results would not be the same. She's my special girl, and I can't wait!


Monday, August 10, 2009


Rice Krispie Treats!!! Now!!!!!!

This is one of the best and worst things about being pregnant. When I know what I want, I REALLY want it and feel justified in eating it (because the baby told me so). But I also feel as though I must MUST have it, creating drama when I can't have it. And often, by the time I get it, I don't want it anymore (evidence: the three containers of cottage cheese in my refrigerator).

I've had such a weird relationship with food these last several months. Couldn't stand to see it, smell it, let alone eat it for the first 12 weeks. I survived on Claussen pickles, saltine crackers, and copious Freezer Pops. I also went through a brief love affair with rotisserie chicken. I was at the grocery store, smelled it, bought it, and fell upon it ravenously when I got home. I did the same thing the following day, got it home and couldn't even look at it. Same thing with cole slaw a couple times, and potato salad. Anyway, I'm past that now, and eating whatever I can get my hands on except for meat.

So, in the immortal words of Westley from The Princess Bride, it appears as though we are at an impasse. I have no Rice Krispie Treats, or means to make or get them for quite a while. It will also require that I stop at the store, and invest the money and time to get the materials and make the Treats. Will I still want them? That is a chance I think I'm willing to take.

In other pregnancy news, I may be feeling the first little flutters--quickening, if you will. There is definitely something going on down there. Either this kid is going to be a sprinter or I'm responding poorly to the pound of salad I ate for lunch (still hungry). Whichever it is, it's made for an interesting afternoon.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I love Sunday mornings

Especially ones like today. I got up way too early for a weekend, around 6:30, because the Pix apparently REALLY had to go. I don't begrudge her. I had to go, too... for the sixth time in 8 hours. Ugh. I'm up drinking a cup of coffee, my first in months, watching Ratatouille, enjoying puppy cuddles. Good stuff. 

It's a lovely day. A little hot for my taste, but nice. The sun coming through the windows is doing a great job in highlighting all the dust on the woodwork and incredibly dirty windows. I should get down to that at some point, I suppose. 

Spent a good portion of yesterday painting the bathroom. For the smallest room in the house, it's taking a heck of a long time. I did all the trim yesterday. As soon as I finish, we'll go get the new light fixture and vanity. Sold the old pedestal sink yesterday. 

We also went grocery shopping at the Fresh Market yesterday, which is always fun. Eric saw a sign for steaks on sale, and felt compelled. They were a great deal, actually, so he's in meat for the foreseeable future. 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Recent Activities: Excuses for Not Posting

In non-house related news, let's just say that things have been rather wild and crazy lately.

This is probably the biggest news I've ever delivered... We're having a baby! For the first three months, the only thing I could think was "holy crap." Now, I'm still thinking that, but I'm also noticing how many sharp corners are exposed in this house, power tools that are sitting on the floor... Not cool. We'll be kicking it into high gear over the next 6 or 7 months, for sure. 

The experience so far has been interesting. I guess I never thought about what being pregnant would be like--maybe I thought it would be like normal, except with a baby. Well, it's not normal. I think it's very weird. 

But overall, it's been a relatively painless time. I didn't throw up a bunch at the start--maybe half a dozen times--but I was nauseous ALL THE TIME. And I couldn't eat anything except for a piece of fruit every once in a while and those Icy Pop popsicles, which still are the most delicious thing in the world. The worst experience, though, happened in mid-June. I'd just hit week 7, and had to go out to Denver for a conference. The nausea and sickness hit like a ton of bricks, and I couldn't control anything--what I ate, when I ate, how close I was to a bathroom, etc. Miserable. I was supposed to fly out from Denver to Chicago Midway for another meeting in Hammond, Indiana, starting at 6:00. Well, the flight was delayed for 6 hours. SIX HOURS! I didn't get into Chicago till 10:30. I hopped into a cab and told the guy I needed to go to Hammond, which is located on I-80, exit 3. I could have found it myself. Well, he typed it into his GPS, and we ended up taking a lovely tour of South Chicago at midnight. He was a terrible driver, too, so we're all over the road, jerking around, etc. etc. You know what's coming. I ended up puking in the cab. Thankfully, I'd stolen a barf bag from the plane.

Anyway, things are better now. My appetite is back. I can't eat much, but at least I want to eat. Discovered in a meeting yesterday that things aren't pretty if I wait too long. I was ready for lunch around 11:45, but people kept talking and talking until 12:30. Finally, I jumped in and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but for the sake of time, let's eat lunch." And then raced out the door to get a sandwich. 

So, that's our big news. Exciting, weird, scary all at once!

Recent Activities: Pictures

Like I said, it's been a while. We haven't had time to get too much done, but we're making progress, I suppose. 

First, Eric realized a long-time dream of his: to be the proud owner of a grill. He's using this opportunity to eat as many hamburgers, brats, and steaks as his tummy will allow. 

After the deck construction project, the yard around it was pretty much ravaged, so we figured we'd put in some planting areas. Our lovely neighbors Ryan and Laurin had a big pile of great old bricks that they were willing to donate to the cause. These are old school bricks--huge, glazed, with raised printing indicating that they were fired in Brazil, Indiana. Super cool. Our plants are doing okay, particularly the ones with the pink flowers. I'm hoping that next summer is when they really take off. 

The deck, while functioning, is nowhere close to finished, mainly because Eric has decided to make it into an architectural wonder. As you can see, the completed side on the right is great looking. However, we have to extend that all the way around. It may well be next summer before it actually gets done. I am okay with this. 

One area where we have made some progress is the downstairs half bath. Now that I reflect, I'm not sure why I had such a bee in my bonnet about getting it trimmed out, other than Eric had already purchased the wood and it was sitting in the dining room. Anyway, I primed everything this morning, and we'll be ready to paint in a bit. We're using a lovely Sherwin-Williams approved color scheme, and I'm pretty excited about how it's going to turn out.

Overall, this summer has been absolutely wonderful. We haven't turned the AC on since June, it's been so nice and cool. Despite that, our tomato plant is flourishing. We have 5 or 6 tomatoes getting ready to ripen! 

Finally, our puppies continue to entertain us. Eric is realizing slowly that he is not the boss.