Friday, December 9, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Mommy Guilt is at once a terrible and fantastic thing. And it's increasingly been my leading motivator.

Mommy Guilt first started to really kick my butt into gear last fall, when it compelled me to create the Most Fantastic Birthday for my daughter. She was turning 3 - and reaching an age where I actually have childhood memories from. This is a terrifying thought - I cannot let her have sub-par memories. She must remember childhood as a wonderful, fabulous time, full of love and awesome parenting. I let her pick a party theme, decorations, cake. I invited people over so she could feel surrounded by love. Afterwards, I debated with the Mommy Guilt over whether I should have done more. It was appeased by the fact that she had a good time.

This year, Mommy Guilt has started approaching whole new levels. Having gained success at compelling me to feel inadequate in my birthday-planning skills, it now guides me in simple daily activities. This post is prompted by the fact that I just went to the bathroom and used the ALMOST last piece of toilet paper. There's toilet paper under the sink, there's still about two pieces on the roll... but a GOOD mommy would make sure that there was a fresh roll standing in waiting, right there on the toilet. Do I want to be a good mommy or a lazy, good-for-nothing mommy who can't be bothered to get the fresh roll of toilet paper out from under the sink?

Now Mommy Guilt is questioning whether I should really have swapped out the roll so that the next person doesn't have to. Who am I kidding? The next person will probably be me. But regardless, Mommy Guilt is making the household run a bit more smoothly. And at the same time tormenting me with self-doubt!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just Mishaps

It's been a few weeks with only minor mishaps. Let's hope that by saying that, I'm not jinxing myself. But here is the rundown:


When we moved in, the sellers were kind enough to leave us their trash can. However, it was in sorry shape, and within two weeks it was clear we needed a new trash can to survive the abuse that trash day entails. (I think that garbage collectors own stock in trash cans.) So we purchased a new one, but the garbage collectors did not take the old trash can, so it's remained sitting around with a slit all the way up one side.

Last week we missed trash day. So when I found that our (new) can was full, I thought it would be a good idea to put the additional bags into the semi-functional (ok, barely-functional) old trash can. Things were fine for about 24 hours, and then a varmint attacked. He clearly realized that the poor old trash can was no match for him, and strew our gross, stinky garbage around the can while consuming his meal.

I made the husband address this mishap, despite his protests.


My son, who is 15 months and has decided he is a person now, discovered markers this week. He has begun to insist on eating while seated at the table and holding a fork. Last night he walked to the bathroom after dinner to wash his hands at the sink. He procures foodstuffs from the cabinets and helps himself to them. And then he decided to climb up to the breakfast bar where my daughter does her drawing, and start using her markers. On the bar.

Today, he found a pencil (the markers having been - cleverly - removed). This also was used to decorate the bar.

Then I had an epiphany! Color Wonder! Color Wonder markers (which are probably not legit markers, more like creepy watery chemicals in a tube) only write on Color Wonder paper.

So I addressed this mishap, and now my son has markers, which makes him happy, and they only color on Color Wonder paper, which makes me happy.


In the 10 days, my son got sick, the husband and I got a cold, then the husband got a flu, which then gave way to a cold. So today is really the first day I've had a functioning adult around the house in a week or so. I am aware that many people never get another functioning adult around the house, but since I'm usually graced with the presence of one, the lack was very noticeable. Also, the presence of the non-functioning adult was like having a third, whiny child around.

It was great to have the functioning adult back today, to take care of the mess the varmint left.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wild Cherry or Devil Red?

Today, I got another call from daycare immediately after arriving at work. They wanted me to pick up my daughter because they decided to get their medical degree and determine that her circular rash was caused by her head lice having fallen into her clothes and mutated into body lice. They googled some photos for proof.

There are several issues with this.
1) head lice don't fall
2) head lice and body lice are completely different insects
3) head lice live on the head and body lice live on the body (and clothing)

Regardless, they bagged up my daughter's things and banned her from circle time and told the other kids not to play with her. (!!! - this is absolutely unacceptable, but it's not the point of THIS post) So I picked her up and brought her to the doctor at 11:50 instead of 5:30. From across the room, the doctor looks at my daughter's rash and says, "ah, Lyme disease."

A bit anxious due to the paranoia and google "proof", I actually sort of questioned her a bit. Could this possibly be body lice? She gave me a strange look (what are you smoking?), and explained how textbook the rash was for Lyme disease. So off we go for blood work, and medicine, and now the poor girl gets to take medicine three times a day for three weeks.

Back home, we have some lunch. I then go downstairs to clear out the delay on the washing cycle and have it start immediately instead. It's a fabulous feature of my magnificent, wild cherry colored front-loading steam washer - a delay option so the clothes can be ready when you arrive home from work. And that's when it hits me. I've done this before. Just last Tuesday, when daycare called me to pick up my daughter because of the lice. I'd set the washer to delay... and wound up coming home early and cancelling it.

You can only draw one conclusion from this "coincidence" - my washer is an agent of the Devil.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bugs from Hell: Day 4

I had my 4th unpaid "vacation" day today, thanks to the lice. Because I clearly cannot find all the nits in my daughter's hair, I subjected her to the blowdryer and the olive oil treatment (not at the same time, which, as my husband pointed out, could be a disaster).

She was a good sport. I tried to make it more fun by letting her pick out her plastic bag hat. It had fish on it. (This is why I save plastic bags - see? They really DO come in handy. I'm kind of bummed I threw as many away as I did when we moved.)

Daughter and I are both getting bad dandruff, as a result of the frequent hair washings, combings, and hair drying, I presume. This makes it even harder to identify nits vs. not-nits.

I combed her hair out tonight and didn't conclusively see a single nit (there were a few questionables). The husband thought I had fewer nits today, too. Progress is good, but since a single mature louse lays 3-5 eggs per day, progress is not success.

I've decided to research the biology of the bugs to determine the best way to deal with them. The nits apparently only hatch in a cozy room-temperature-to-hot range (but too hot kills them - the only thing that does kill them). The lice can live for up to 2 days without eating, but they're actually susceptible to treatments. So killing them before they lay nits and minimizing the number of nits hatching on your head seem to be the keys to success.

In good licekilling news, it's supposed to be colder this weekend - below their comfort threshold. If we can manage not turn on the heat, all the nits in the house that we may have missed won't hatch.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bugs from Hell

We've just learned that our heads and home are infested with bugs sent straight from hell - lice.

As a lice virgin, the first thing I did when I picked up my daughter was to go to the drug store and buy a lice removal kit. I got the three-in-one kit. It came with a shampoo, a comb, a combing gel, and a spray. I also called the doctor's office.

So we (daughter and I) immediately went home and used the shampoo. This wasn't great fun for my daughter, who hates having her hair washed. But she was a good sport. You put the shampoo on, leave it for 10 minutes (rather frighteningly, the directions emphasize NO MORE than 10 minutes), and then wash it out. Allegedly, this kills the live bugs.

But lice don't just sit on your head and eat your blood. No, they have to lay sticky eggs on your hair. Sticky eggs whose name is very apt: nits. And the nits are immune to the shampoo. So you put in the combing gel and comb out the nits. You comb. And comb. And comb.

This is the really suck part. You can comb all day. But the next time you look through the hair, you are sure to find a nit. Or two. Or ten. Or fifty. And daycare won't let daughter back until she is nit-free.

So then you comb again. And again. And again. And pick at your child's hair like some weird mamma monkey grooming her young. You have to get all the nits. Because they will hatch. You don't know when, because you don't know when they were laid. But they will hatch before 7 days are up. And then they will be lice. And then they will lay more nits, that you will have to comb. And comb. And comb. So you have to get ALL THE NITS. Except you can't, and everyone knows this.

So some folks recommend shampooing again 7-10 days after your first shampoo. Other folks think the shampoos are dangerous (they are pretty scary chemicals), and you're better off with home remedies. And you're pretty much forbidden from shampooing more frequently than every 7 days.

So what are you going to do while the nits you miss hatch and crawl around happily in your head sucking your blood?

Today I came up with my first Lice Eradication Plan. Apparently it frequently takes 2 or more plans before you have Successful Lice Eradication. So we'll call this LEP #1.

LEP #1 -
Day 1: Daughter and I used shampoo. We combed nits. We washed bedding. We washed many other things. We put things that couldn't be washed in plastic bags. I used the terrible spray that most people advise against as it can make you really sick (so far, we are ok).
Day 2: Daughter and I combed out nits. We washed some stuff that didn't get washed on Day 1 (the sanitary cycle takes 2 hours!). We started vacuuming.
Day 3: We combed out nits. I put 75% of the bedding we'd used the last 2 nights into the wash, again. I am hesitant to wash pillows every night - I'm not sure they can handle it?? I did the "olive oil treatment" (daughter refused, and since I haven't seen any live bugs on her yet, I didn't push). I blow dried my hair, twice. After the olive oil treatment, I combed out my hair with our NEW, metal brush. I didn't actually see any nits on the comb, but it did appear I combed out a handful of dead bugs.

Day 4: We will just comb. I might make daughter do the olive oil treatment, depending on how things look. I might also blow-dry her hair.
Day 5: I will repeat olive oil treatment and wash bedding again. Vacuuming will also be done. And of course, combing.
Day 6: More combing. Maybe also washing bedding.
Day 7: Repeat shampoo. If things are not improving, may also try the vinegar treatment. This is supposed to kill nits. Wash bedding.

Then we'll reevaluate if LEP#1 seems to be working.

Monday, October 10, 2011

And this is why...

...we own so many towels.

Last week we had a ridiculous rainstorm, which resulted in local flooding. I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning by rain pounding against our bedroom windows (which are actually serving as our headboard, until my son finishes using his convertible crib/toddler bed). There was some thunder, but really most of the noise was the rain driving against our house from all directions. I comforted my daughter, who was also awoken by the rain, and checked the kids' room window, which leaks (another story for another day), to make sure there were no puddles forming, and all was well. I went back to bed.

A few hours later, I went down to the basement to feed the critters and see if there was any water, since it's been known to find its way in before, in small quantities. There were, disturbingly, what I will call "large puddles." Large puddles, and small streams, since the water comes in at the back of the house and then flows to low points in the very-uneven floor.

The last time we had water in the basement, I whipped out two bath towels and soaked it up, 1-2-3. This time, there was significantly more water. I sent my daughter (who is always eager to help) to get some towels. She came back with two. I started on one puddle and wondered if towels were really going to do the trick. I sent her back for more, anyhow. Meanwhile, my husband stared at the walls and muttered inanities like "I think it's coming in from here" or "I don't know where it's coming from" or "It rained a lot last night", with a smattering of helpful suggestions like, "use the shop vac to pick it up." He then went to go take his shower and left for work.

While the shop vac helped with the largest puddle, we apparently only have one power outlet in the basement, and the limited mobility made it of limited use. So the daughter and I emptied the entire linen closet. The wet towels went to the washer, where I just did a rinse and spin (why doesn't it just have a spin feature??) before sending them to the dryer for immediate reuse.

I didn't bother counting, but we have in the neighborhood of 18 bath towels and 2 beach towels, for a 4-person household that almost never has overnight guests. And my husband has frequently questioned the quantity of towels, to which I answer along the lines of "you can't have too many towels."

And I am right, of course. And now it's proven.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mystery poop (I hope)

The week got off to a fabulous start today when my son (14 mos) decided to have a triple-bout of diarrhea after arriving at daycare. Of course he was fine before being dropped off. And when I showed up (and could hear him crying from outside of the infant room), he immediately stopped crying as soon as he saw me and employed the use of one of his two words (ma!ma!ma!). As flattering as this is, it merely offset the irritation I had at having just spent as much time in the car this morning as I did at work.

Once home, the boy decided that he was perfectly fine and would spend the rest of the day babbling and strutting through the house, not the least bit interested in napping or (thankfully) having any more exciting bowel movements.

As the day draws to a close, I can only hope that the morning's intestinal excitement was a one-off and will not be repeated. Why the pooplosion? That is a mystery, for now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How did that get there?

I was cleaning up the kitchen and I had an empty bottle of creamer, so I stepped outside and tossed it into our recycling bin.

Then my children finished both the lemonade and the juice, so I had two more bottles for the recycling bin. I walked over to it and put them in and...

there was a dead mouse lying in the bin.

This is not something you expect to find in your nearly-empty recycling bin. I haven't seen any mice, live or dead, since we moved in. No mouse poop, no mouse noises, no mice. And now there was a dead one inexplicably lying in my recycling bin. Some water was in the bin... did it drown? It was about a millimeter of water. If it didn't die in the bin... who put it there? There's a random cat who wanders through our yard...

I need my daughter to get her magnifying glass out and look for clues, because I'm baffled.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh, There You Are

So when you pack, you're always trying to find all the pieces of something, or all related items, etc., so you can put them in the same box and put on a nice label: Hair Accessories; Little People (the Fisher Price kind!); Napkins.

Then, 15 minutes later, a related item makes an appearance. What! Another hair tie? Where were you 15 minutes ago??

Now, you have a hair tie. But the Hair Accessories box is already sealed, taped, done. You could untape it, put the hair tie in, and retape it... but that seems like too much work for one hair tie. So you put the hair tie in a remotely-related box - Bathroom. You seal up Bathroom and... an hour later... a headband shows up. What! Where WERE you for the last hour and fifteen minutes??

But the latecomer needs to get packed, too. Do you start a box for random items? Do you start a new box for Hair Accessories? Do you just give up and start packing everything in one big mess? Now you're going to have hair accessories in THREE boxes. Gah!

This is the worst part of packing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Last Weekend

It's our last weekend in the condo. And it's starting to look less and less like my home and more like one of the houses I see on Hoarders. There are boxes from floor to ceiling, the kids' toys are strewn about in between piles of packing materials, and we can't use our kitchen table. I ate my dinner off of a box while sitting on the couch.

My baby finds boxes to be the best!toys!ever! and pushes them, opens them, inspects them, carries them... all over the condo. This keeps him occupied while I try to pack (or make dinner, since I'm trying to use as much food up as possible from our freezer). This evening, however, he thought it would be a good idea to unpack one of my half-packed boxes. Fortunately it was just dry food, and once he had completely unpacked it, he decided that linguini in a box was now the best!toy!ever! and proceeded to drag it around the kitchen for five minutes. I was able to repack the box while he did this (less the linguini).

The really interesting thing about packing is finding out what tiny percentage of your items you actually use on a regular basis. For us, it is frightening that we packed an entire storage unit full of items at the end of February and have missed only 3 things:

-my shorts (all of them)
-some special t-shirts
-the baby's 12-month outfits (I thought we'd be moved in before he turned one)

Then we get into the last month before the move, and I'm packing everything that I think I won't need in the next month. I do a few bags of clothes and boxes of crap and think, "I'm doing pretty good." Flash forward to present and I have yet to wear or use about 80% of the remaining items. Fortunately, now we're into the last week, and I'm capable of discerning what we'll use in a week. I think. Especially now that I've come to the realization that I won't be making that pudding pie or mailing any thank you notes that got lost in the shuffle during January.

In summary:
-babies love boxes more than toys
-I own too much stuff
-Thank you for the Christmas present.

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Just the Weather

I should have known that it was going to be a day of misadventure, because I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. But I blamed the weather - the grey, not raining, sunless, weather.

So I tackled the laundry, and the dishwasher, and had a shower and an iced coffee, and finally felt ready to leave the house to accomplish at least one of my goals for the day - buying a shower present.

I was ready to walk out the door with my infant when I remembered I had to find out IF and WHERE the gift recipient had a registry. I had to remove my shoes, set down my purse, and appease the infant while my laptop booted up and I searched to see if a registry existed. It did - at Crate & Barrel, one of my faves. Things were looking good! Registries are a blessing - they take all the work out of choosing a gift. They are one of the Best Inventions of Modern Times. So I put the shoes back on, picked up the purse and the infant, and we were on our way...

We arrived at the store uneventfully. Then the misadventure began. I woke up the infant and we headed to the store - and were informed that the store had no electricity and was presently not open. If I were a childless person, I would have skipped over to the mall next door and traipsed around for a bit before returning. Being a person-with-child, I could choose to:

A) Leave in the car and come back later (or not at all - except that the shower was in less than 24 hours)
B) Go to the mall with the child (except I had not brought a stroller and he is getting very heavy) and then come back
C) Go to the Macy's in the mall, where the gift recipient had also registered.

I chose C, even though I hate Macy's, because it was the most efficient option.

So we drove around the parking lot to park closer to the entrance of Macy's, instead of Crate & Barrel (the heavy child prohibiting walking that far), and went in. We actually found a spot close to the entrance, and I felt it might be a sign we were just meant to go to Macy's, despite my hatred for the store. But the signs quickly reversed themselves.

The thing with small children is that they cannot go up escalators. The thing with malls is that they have a lot of escalators. This being my second child, I have learned that they have elevators in hiding in every department store. So we walked the perimeter, hunting for the elevator. It was, of course, on the opposite corner of the store from the doors. And, of course, the registry department was on the third floor.

We meandered around the third floor, searching for a sign that said "Registry". I found one, and it appeared to be pointing at the down escalator. (It is things like this that make me hate Macy's.) Since the map of the store had clearly stated Registry was on the third floor, I deduced that it meant I should go around the escalators. I was correct, and we were able to print off the registry list. It was nicely organized by category, which would have been useful if Macy's was organized by category (another reason I hate Macy's). Unfortunately, they like to scatter housewares, bedding, and fine china throughout the floor in small groupings, the reasons for which I cannot determine. We started to hunt for a peeler. I figured that would be with utensils. We walked through a section of pots and knives, but it was not there. I found another section of dishes, but no utensils. Then I spotted a third section, which was helpfully labeled "The Cellar." This section appeared to have everything from small appliances to plates to... utensils! We found the peeler.

My next object to locate was identified on the registry list as "Joseph Joseph Hmlr" or something to that effect. It was also under the housewares, so I figured it OUGHT to be nearby. At this point, an employee asked if he could help me, so I said - "What is a Joseph Joseph Hmlr?"

He had no idea, either. But he looked it up in his computer and it was a utensil set. So clearly something that would be in the utensil section, too! Wonderful! He procured it and I made to purchase the items when...

I realized I had no wallet. I carry about $5 in cash and no checkbook, so I was now in the predicament of being unable to complete the purchase. I asked them to put the items aside and left. Back down the elevator. Back through the entire store (maybe they put the elevator at the back on purpose?). Back to the car, and back to my house.

I then drove BACK to the mall; however, by this time (3:30?? on a Friday??) there were inexplicable quantities of vehicles on the road constituting traffic. This meant it took 3 times as long to get to the mall. However, the gift has now been procured, and the misadventure over, so at the end of the day... I can say... it was just the weather.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One Month

In One Month we'll be handing over our keys and getting new ones! (And hopefully our buyer finds out quickly for herself that one key opens half the locks on one door, one key opens all the locks, and one key opens half the locks on the other door)

Next week, we have plans that are sure to lead to an adventure...

This week's adventure is finding out what the smell is in our condo. Our agent (and, you will remember, the buyer) thinks it smells like cat pee, but two other independent sources say it smells like our rabbit cage (which smells like a barn because their litter box is hay). I don't smell it; but we have officially verified that I am now incapable of correctly assessing the smell of my living space (this must be how hoarders get accustomed to gross smells - although I would argue I like the way barns smell). I do, however, smell something in the kitchen. So I put some coffee beans in the garbage disposal and emptied the trash. We'll see if I can smell anything when I get home from work tomorrow (this is the only time I notice anything less than a major smelltastrophe).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let's Sign Stuff!

The good news is in! We're going to have a sale! Only one last hurdle to clear, and that's making sure our buyer gets approved for financing. In this day and age, that's no sure thing. We just spent the last month going back and forth with our mortgage company to prove we can pay a mortgage payment less than the one we've been paying for the last 5 years. First they asked for a brief work and salary history, then they asked for a line item detail with backup paperwork of every deposit in our bank account for the last 6 months, then they asked for our firstborn as collateral... you know, normal stuff.

But this week, we get to sign stuff! Stuff being the purchase and sale ("P&S" if you will). We're aiming for an end-of-July close still, but given the track record of this whole thing, I'm thinking we'll finally be done in August. But hey, that's a Mega Win over going back on the market.

In the middle of the day, I randomly exclaimed, "I GET TO PACK THINGS NOW!" Time to go beserk with the boxes and the tape. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekend Waiting

So, Thursday evening we got two estimates finally - from Contractor #2 and Contractor #3. Contractor #4 was actually a no-show... apparently this is normal contractor behavior. We immediately emailed them to our agent, who emailed them to the buyer's agent... and we haven't heard a word since.

I am hoping that either the buyer or her agent is simply on a vacation, this being the weekend of the Fourth and all, and that we'll get a "let's sign stuff!" call on Tuesday.

So it's more waiting and praying all weekend... and it's a LONG weekend... with my husband and his cracked rib moaning and groaning on the couch.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Contractor Hijinks

My contractor is allergic to giving estimates. I resorted to begging his voicemail for the estimate, which seemed to work as he called me and discussed the estimate he was about to send with me... and then the estimate never appeared in my inbox.

Having given up on this particular contractor, I have recruited three more to come - tomorrow morning, tomorrow night, and Thursday evening. Hopefully between the four of them (Contractor #1 with the allergy, Contractor #2 who was previously a no-show, Contractor #3 who was hard to understand on the phone but seemed nice, and Contractor #4 who called... and then emailed to confirm his appointment!) we can get an estimate THIS week.

And our no-daycare-imposed deadline of August 1st creeps closer, and closer, and closer...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Freak time!

I left Contractor #1 a voicemail and an email, requesting the estimate... and nothing. So now it's freaking out time. We've just spent a whole week waiting, and are absolutely nowhere closer to selling the condo.

I wrote a letter to Chaos during my lunch break:

Dear Chaos,

Seriously, leave me alone. It's hard enough to try to move, coordinating a sale and a purchase for the same time, with two kids in two different daycares, lining everything up just right... and you keep throwing more crap my way.


Just leave me alone until we are moved in, and then you can resume your torment.



Apparently Chaos hasn't gotten my message yet. He thought it would be funny to make life harder by having the contractor fall off the face of the earth. How the hell are we supposed to get a condo association decision about what to do with the basement, which we then have to let the buyer know about, if we can't get any freakin' estimates??

I bet Saturday's contractor will have some crisis and not come by, thus leaving us with absolutely NO estimates, and ONE verbal opinion, and NOTHING to give the buyer by our new Thursday deadline.

...I guess this is why my coworker called me Somber Sally.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

0 for 2 - Going nowhere

Today's contractor (Contractor #2) did not show. They are now trying to reschedule. We do have #3 lined up for Saturday, however. I think we'll wait to see where we are after that visit.

I'm also still waiting for the first contractor's estimate... he did say by the end of the week, so I can until tomorrow afternoon on that one before I start freaking out.

I ran out of packing tape today. I am now banned from further packing by the husband, who thinks it is a bad idea to have boxes around the house if we go back on the market next week. I think we should just stick them all in the basement in front of the infamous Wall. Then all our problems will be solved. Maybe we can even make a wall out of the boxes - I am sure this would be an acceptable solution for our prospective buyer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Forward and Backward


Our first contractor came today to give an estimate for repair/rebuilding of the now-infamous Wall. Contractor 1 feels that the wall does not need to be rebuilt. He thinks some mortar and loving labor will be enough to keep the wall standing. After some thorough inspection, he thinks the wall has been bowed for some time, and is not posing any structural risks.

Mr. Structural Engineer, by the way, refused to provide a written assessment. He insisted he was called in to "appraise" the wall, which he did, and that if we want him to do a report it will cost $800-$1k and will include all his fabulous engineering expertise. I said I'd let him know if I was interested ... later.

Tonight's freak-out is based on the concern that repair will not be good enough for the prospective buyer and she will walk away.

Backward: We have a buyer!

After what felt like our millionth open house (I think it was somewhere between the 5th and the 10th), we finally had an interested buyer!! I waited anxiously to see what her offer would be... it was not good. We did some negotiating over the span of 24 hours until we found our floor and her ceiling, and then we took it... because we want to move to our friggin house already!! I was ecstatic. I was high on life. I began obsessively sticking things in boxes. I made a spreadsheet and updated it hourly with all the things I could think of we'd need to do before closing. We had a date! We were finally moving!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Home inspection from hell

Interestingly, the way blogs read, if I update this blog going progressively backwards in time and someone reads it once I'm done, it will tell our story in chronological order...

Tuesday we had our home inspection. Or, more accurately, our potential buyer had her inspection of our home. I spent hours cleaning the house, scrubbing walls, putting away clothes and dishes, running Roomba, emptying the rabbits' litter box, making the beds neatly, and so on. I was late to work because I was doing last-minute cleaning by myself while my husband walked out the door proclaiming, "She's already buying it; it's not a big deal."

A few hours later, I get a text from my realtor, "Did the previous inspector mention anything about work in the basement?" ... um, no. I called him to see what on earth was going on. Apparently they were in the basement, and the inspector did not like what he was seeing. Now, mind you, another unit in our building sold two weeks ago... and we had heard nothing about the basement. Well, maybe this guy was just a little more cautious.

A short time later, my realtor calls me to inform me that my condo smells like cat piss, and express disappointment that I did not empty the litter box. Now, we have a cat... but the litter box was fairly clean and I certainly didn't think it smelled when I left this morning. Apparently, I have lost the ability to distinguish the smell of cat urine. This means that people probably frequently walk into my house and think to themselves, "Oh, gross" ... and have not been telling me. I am now one of Those Pet People, whose homes have adopted the smell of their beloved Fido or Fifi, and who are none the wiser of it.

Anyhow, more important is the fact that the inspector recommended having a structural engineer look at a wall in our basement. Cat pee is small beans compared to a wall in your basement whose structural integrity is now in question.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's only a wall

The structural engineer came by yesterday.

The good news? He was able to quickly assess the problem and his visit cost a mere $50 (1/2 hour).

The bad news? There is a structural issue with one of the foundation walls of our condo building.

The good news? Our buyer has not run away, and hopefully once we get this fixed, she'll still buy our condo.

I spent hours cleaning my condo obsessively and worrying about dust and making sure the dishwasher was empty so they could test it and about this little paint chip in the corner... and a wall is falling down in my basement.

Life just likes to find new ways to blindside you, doesn't it?