Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthdays, love bugs and water babies

Our little family has been pretty busy this summer.

I probably didn't mention yet how there is a group of about four families that all announced a pregnancy about the same time that we announced ours...weird...there must have been something in the water eh?

Anyway, last weekend was the first of the something-in-the-water babies to have his one year old birthday celebration!
And Caleb was invited!  (So of course Momma and Dada decided to tag along and crash the party!)

His momma made quite a fuss (as all good mommas should!- and as I plan to!) and wore her self out setting up a Dr. Seuss themed birthday at one of the local parks in town- the Splash Pad.

Now I had heard of this but I wasn't quite sure exactly what a splash pad is but obviously we brought along his Little Swimmers assuming that he would be needing them...
should have brought some for Dada too!

There were a lot of smiles...

and a few not-so smiley moments...

and some "I just am not quite sure" moments...
"That was ca-razy."

little Miss Sydney did not approve 100%!

but overall...Caleb approves of the Splash Pad!

can't you tell?

Too bad we forgot to bring a towel.

And that naughty little love bug reared his head too...
at least for Caleb...
He just can never seem to keep himself from holding Miss Sydney's hand when they get together!

"Your pigtails sure are pretty."

He met up with one of his other water baby buddies too...
at first he didn't display the affection that he did for Sydney,
"So you think you're taller?  And tanner?"

"So we meet again."

See the little fist grabbing Peyton's shirt?  That's Caleb...he's feisty.

but eventually he gave Peyton his blessing and all was well!
"Bless you my child"

Now to start planning the Child's birthday!
"Oh mom!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yesterday, the Hubbs met me with the Child (Caleb of course), to go check out a new house...

Yep, that's right...
We have begun timidly looking into what sort of property we plan to purchase in the next one to five I wouldn't exactly call it hunting yet.

Note that I wrote "purchase" rather than "move into"
you see there are many options here...

We could buy a ready made place the one down the road,
with 40ish acres, a barn, an already fenced in pasture, a beautiful four bedroom home (with a porch!) and a storage barn.
<Which is by the way "somewhat" out of out price range - like take our budget, divide it in half and tack that half back onto the meaning its 1 1/2 times what we would be able to spend comfortably...bummer>

Or, we could buy a place with land and an older smaller house
maybe slightly nicer than this one...
but still an older UN-ideal house that we could live in for a while then knock down after we built our real house
or...better yet, we could turn it into a guest house
<another word for a house for MY MOMMA someday! just a thought...and I like it!>

Or we could buy land and stay where we are for a while with the plan to eventually build a home

Which means that we would have to choose house plans...and clear the land, and fence it and build the barn and landscape and gravel the drive and run water and electric, and phone lines and have a septic tank or sewage lines placed...argh
...lovely idea
until you have to follow through on it.

I already mentioned we have found one place we love...but its expensive and well...
...well, its not exactly for sale.
Which kinda hinders us from buying it.

So we've been looking around and have come across a few (very few) other properties that seem to be worth looking at.

Our Priorities:

Ideally we would keep our short drive (15-20 minutes) and have at least 10 acres
<and no skeezy houses nearby>  
I didn't think this was a tall order
...but apparently it is.

Right now we live about 8 minutes from the grocery and drug store but about 15 minutes from "real" town (which is known as Wal-Mart here) and our drive to work is about 15-20 minutes.

Some of the properties are great because they include a lot of land and they are in rural setting
<read as not across the street from a sorta skeezy neighborhood> 
however they would involve an even longer drive to work -not ideal- and also from the grocery.

Some properties are located conveniently close to town but have smaller lots and very close neighbors <which may potentially mean problems with their car eating dogs and fireworks scaring the horse, again>

We found some very pretty land close to where we live now
...then our realtor informed us that about 95% of it was in the flood plain of the nearby creek...not ideal!
Knowing him sure is handy!

Which brings me back to yesterday...
We met our realtor yesterday to look at a house...
The Hubbs, the Child and I had made a drive by a week or two ago and my hopes were high.
Yeah it looked like the beds needed to be straightened a bit but the size of those trees! And the beautiful old Bradford pears lining each side of the drive!  And the size of the yard!  Plus we hadn't even seen the swimming pool or barn yet!  EeeeK!

As we pull in I noticed the large Japanese maple by the front that size would surely cost hundreds of dollars to have planted!  EeeeeK!...but wait...are those Christmas lights still up?  "Hmm"...I think as the sweat drips off my nose and forehead due to the sweltering July heat...the heat index by the way was said to be something unreasonable like 116 yesterday...
There was an old 50sish car of some sort parked in the driveway too...something tells me this may not be just any old Joe who owns this has been on the market for a while now...

The owner is home and will lead the tour of the house, which I understand from the few previous times I've seen houses on the market (along with Hubbs or from when Momma was house hunting) is not typical...he is a polite man who you can tell dearly treasures the various antique furnishings and civil war memorabilia he has throughout the house.

The house itself is great...many custom features that the original homeowners placed such as curved cabinetry doors in the kitchen, deadbolt locks at the top of the doors leading outside to the backyard with the pool to prevent children from drowning (never a plus), beautiful high ceilings and custom rounded windows in the foyer and great rooms and even a small room that served as a nursery inside the enormous master suite!   There is back deck that spans around the back of the house with old, established crepe myrtles looking out at the pool and even a little mini bar with running tap out by the pool!  The pool area is fenced in with a privacy fence already also!

However, the problem with buying somebody else's house is this...its still their house when you look at it.  And after buying our first house, while I can still see us sitting on our back deck with our mojitos watching our children swim with their friends on the other side of the crepe myrtles and I can see that sweet little baby girl in her little pink nursery nook in our bedroom and I can imagine huge Easter egg hunts under those beautiful blooming bradfords...
...I now am adding up the cost of having somebody come remove the algae and tadpoles (seriously they had legs!) from the pool, hiring a timber company to clear the forest that was the pasture (we couldn't even get to the barn - I was sooo disappointed!), new carpeting, refinishing those poor beautiful but dried hardwood floors, a new built in microwave, oven, stove top, dishwasher and refridgerator, updated cabnitery fixtures, and fixtures in the hireing a painter to come paint the trim throughout the house and remove wallpaper...

< Now, I don't mind painting walls but after multiple horrible, scarring experiences with removing endless walls of wallpaper in my Momma's house I say "H-E-double hocky sticks NO" to EVER doing that again!  And I hate painting trim too-no horrid memories there just don't like it!>

...and that wouldn't even touch cleaning up the flower beds
<note, I said cleaning up not ripping out- there are tons of gorgeous plants on the property- and I HEART a property with pretty plants!>

Which reminds me...have you ever seen the movie Money Pit?

If not you should!

So the Hubb's and I decided that if the place were in better shape we would probably be willing to pay the asking price or near it...there was just no way we could justify paying that for it as is.
Caleb's hypothetical little sister would have loved her little pink nursery nook...and her little paint pony out back behind the pool.
C'est la vie.

One more reason that house hunting is so hard...
you have to leave all of your hypothetical, potential memories at the door when you leave.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy 7th of July!!!

I do NOT heart the 4th of July...I might even hate it.
Okay, so before you get upset with me...

I understand the purpose of July 4th...
to celebrate our independence
to thank the Lord for this wonderful place we are lucky enough to live
to remember those who lost so much to give us these freedoms
and to thank those who served and continue to serve our country to protect our rights.

All wonderful things!

However, speaking of our rights...
I sure have to request that one of them be taken away..
the right to shoot off fireworks whenever and however long you want to...
and again, and again and again....

I mean really, I'm all about fireworks on July 4th and New Years...
I have great memories of shooting them off on our street with my Daddy when I was little (who by the way, made sure we did not aim at houses or yards and that we were done long before any neighbor's bedtimes)
and of bottle rocket wars (yes I know that is not a good idea for anybody) in a friend's field
and maybe even on the occasional personal special event...

but is it REALLY necessary to shoot off super loud and disruptive explosive devices 5 days in a row?
or at 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, 2 am etc day after day?

Maybe it is because we live out in "the county"  in northwest Alabama...
maybe it is because some people who live out here were raised not by normal, healthy God-fearing parents rather they were seemingly raised by a pack of rabid (and very ill-mannered) wolves?

Some of us do work for a living and would appreciate a full night's rest.... at least one out of 4-5 consecutive days.

But the actual reason I have come to abhor the fireworks that occur for days on end twice a year for the past 2 1/2 years is because of this guy:

He HATES fireworks.
He is thinks fireworks indicate the end of the world
or a huge scary monster
or the thunderstorm from hell.

Honestly I don't know what he thinks...
but I for one think that one of the scariest things around is a half ton creature flying desperately around the pasture or attempting to jump over/through the 6 foot high walls of his stall...'s not fun.

It has gotten to where we don't really even want to go out and check on him during the firework marathons because if we do find him missing a leg...
or bleeding out onto his stall floor...
we can't even get near him to help him without getting killed in his mad frenzy.

Soooo this year we decided to try something new...
since stuffing his ears night after night with cotton...
playing the radio super loud to drown out the booms...
and leaving the barn lights on to try to distract from the fire-y skies...
was not working all.

Instead, we used drugs.
And lots of them.

Poor Moby was a pin cushion...
five nights in a row.

but it's okay...whatever lets the county "folk" enjoy their ENTIRE WEEK of blowing $#^* up.

I'm just glad we found a way to keep him from impaling himself on the stall door.
But I'm happy to report he still has all of his legs, eyes and ears!

So if you see me next July 2nd ish-6th ish or Dec 31ish -Jan 5th ish and I am very very tired, grumpy or bitter...
please don't think that I don't love the holiday itself...
I just really really hate part of the evening festivities...
(and for a few hours I kinda dislike the people who cause them too!)

and I do actually long for the days when I could enjoy the pretty fireworks displays with carefree joy!

So with that I'll sign off saying:


In addition...July 7th is pretty stinkin' awesome because it is also the day my Momma was born!!!!!

and that kinda does warrant fireworks!
 (just not near MY house please!)


Momma and Caleb

Momma and baby me

Happy Birthday Momma!