Emotional Ups and Downs

We signed a contract on our house today. The one we’re selling. It should be an awesome, exciting thing, but instead we are both frustrated and cranky. We like the buyer, don’t like the agent, don’t love the deal, but agree that it’s good. The buyer came to us first, we showed her the house, she made an offer, then brought in an agent. We have been going back and forth for a few weeks now. They want more, we want more, blah, blah, blah. We were *this close* to the deal, when I got a call yesterday morning from an agent asking if she could show our house to her buyers. I said sure. This morning we get a final updated contract from the buyer and a 7pm deadline for signing. I called the other agent to let her know and she said her buyers are very eager and would still like the house. Ok. Spent the afternoon cleaning the place spotless (ha!), which is good to do sometimes anyway, and they came to see the house. I loved the couple! They reminded me so much of me and Alan when we bought this house. They have a 1yr old and are pregnant with another one. Loved the neighborhood, etc. Sadly there wasn’t much time to think. We had a really nice meeting, then Alan and I had an hour to imagine we would get a counter offer – one that was more money and less frustration. It was a nice imaginary hour. Then the agent texted me and said the couple loved the house, but not the wide-open backyard. Bummer. Not much we can do about that. So we signed the contract with the other buyer. Alan was frustrated with the buyer’s agent’s attitude and the sudden deadline. It’s not the warm, happy feeling we were hoping for. It’s a business transaction, I keep reminding myself, and not personal. It will be ok. I have faith. But boy, I am mentally exhausted now! Before all this we spent the morning at school helping to run the kindergarten open house, then back home (late) to meet a town official who can close out a building permit for our basement.

I keep reminding myself, busy summer, busy summer, busy summer. It will all turn out ok in the end. It will.

I joined the C25K running program again and my body seems to have forgotten how to run in the few weeks I was on vacation. Yesterday I was feeling TOTALLY stressed out and my neighbor, who is also doing the program, texted to offer me a ride. I said I was so stressed and busy and wasn’t going to make it. She said ok, but then nicely/gently suggested that maybe fresh air and running would be helpful. Dang peer pressure! I went and, of course, it was good. The fresh air, running, and social interaction!

On Monday we went to the lake with some friends, who invited other friends, and I invited other friends, and it ended up being a very big group. You’d think that would be good, but really it was just a lot of trying to make decisions and brief interactions with lots of people. Not quite the long chat on the beach with a bestie that I was hoping for. After an hour there Eve settled in for a snooze on the blanket. What? That’s not like her. I gave her a nice sunscreen massage and she was burning up. Eek! We stayed for a little longer, then headed home to find a thermometer. She had a temp of 103.7°!! I gave her Tylenol and dragged her to the dentist (mean mommy!) where we discovered that she has a cavity and Lex needs two teeth pulled. Ugh. Then home again. She had a temp all night and all the next day, but it was slowly coming down. She was complaining of achy body and a lump in her throat. Last night I started Googling Lyme disease. Ugh. This morning she woke up and the fever was gone and the pain was gone. All better? I hope!

Here are a few pictures of other stuff going on.

A sick Eve and a very sweet friend cuddling her.

A sneak peek at my back to school bulletin board.

I started a new Instagram for school. @dbslibrary Feel free to follow if you just can’t get enough of me. :)

A view out my new kitchen window.

An excellent book! I’d highly recommend it if you’re into YA. :) Also, it’s number 26 on my list of 30. So close!

Tomorrow we only have two commitments, both of them at home (boiler inspection and piano pickup). We are all (except Alan who has to go to work — sorry Alan — thank you Alan!) looking forward to a calmer day. I might bake cookies and visit our neighbor’s brand new baby.

Rock and Roll Band Camp

Lex did his second year [first year] at the Hartford Performing Arts Camp this week. The theme was Rock and Roll! They all got tie-dye t-shirts and the final performance today was a rock musical version of Cinderella. So much fun!

My drummer boy!

“Ash” crowd surfing at the concert. :)

I never get tired of watching him play!

“Ash,” getting teased by his “sisters.” The girl in the purple tutu was in Lex’s class and she’s an amazing performer. We always enjoy watching her on stage.

Ice cream at the end.

Another great year! Next year both kids will go. :)

House update

Things are moving along fast with the house! We’ve got a garage framed, upstairs rooms framed, HVAC stuff in place, bathtubs in place, and the roof on. I got an email this morning from the builder saying the windows and doors have arrived and the cabinets and flooring are ordered. Eek! Coming along so quickly now!

We are still adding pictures almost daily to the Picasa Album.

We went over the other day with chalk and marked out beds, dressers, couches, and the kitchen table. I think it will all fit!!

Hello boys!

Eve, measuring out her bed.

Lex trying out the bed space.

The family room, looking into the upstairs bathroom.

Standing at the to of the stairs, looking in to Eve’s room, with Lex’s room in the background.

Ohh.. I hope we get to keep this little table. :)

On another day, while I spoke with the builders, Eve took some pictures and a video.

On the homefront (old homefront?) things are moving along as well. We are working on a contract to sell this house. It has been a frustrating process and we’re getting less $ than we had hoped for, but Alan and I keep running the numbers and still believe it’s the best option. Things will work out for the best. I’m sure of it. It’s going to be busy for the next few months!!

A great day in Ithaca

Yesterday we drove up to Ithaca to spend the day with some lovely ladies from our past. As always, I wish we all lived closer together!  Molly and Eve bonded like old friends and Kate did a great job of making Lex feel special. :)

We met at the Children’s Garden where the kids ran through the Anarchy Zone completely unsupervised (which is the intention of the place) while Julie and I sat and chatted.  So nice!!

Molly and Eve took a smile break while washing themselves off with dirty sponges. Hard to get the mud off when the sponges are covered in mud too! They didn’t mind at all! ::)

Lex and Kate working together to refill the water bottles. This fountain has two levels of drinking fountain, a hose attachment, and two spouts on the side for cleaning feet. Pretty smart design!

Eve is going to love this picture when she’s older. She absolutely refused to smile. Bugger!

I love this crowd!! Just missing the daddies.

When we finished at the Children’s Garden we headed over to Taughannock Falls State Park for a little light hiking.  The kids and I missed the turn for the trail entrance and ended up at the visitor center at the top.  Oops!  The trail has a nice “reveal” at the end, but that was spoiled by the fact that we saw the falls first.  Oh well!

A view of the falls.

From the bottom of the trail. Julie and Jim were at this same park just last week and it was full to the brim! She said the entire river was full, swelling at the banks. Amazing what a difference a week can make!

Walking in the (very slippery) river.

It’s a really beautiful place!

The kids all wanted to climb this. Umm… no! It looked like a fresh landslide.

We made it to the falls – again! This time a little closer. :)

When we were all hot and tired we decided to head for the AC – and dinner!  We went to a cute little mall in downtown Ithaca, wandered the stores, bought “twinning” charm bracelets and some Harry Potter books (I can’t leave a bookstore without a purchase – it’s an addiction!) and then headed to the world-famous, vegetarian Moosewood Restaurant for dinner.  It was so yummy!  I had a fancy pasta dish and it was perfect.  The kids all found food they liked (with a little hunger sauce on top!) and we washed it all down with cake and ice cream at the end.  So good!

Twinning!

Ithaca has a “planet walk” much like the Montshire’s and we found Jupiter on the way back to the car. Can you see Lex in this picture? While the three big kids were goofy, Kate stood there so patiently with a big smile on her face, waiting for the picture. <3

Sadly all good days must come to an end, so we said our goodbyes and headed back to Franklin.  Eve and Molly have plans for a sleepover in Eve’s new bunkbeds, so maybe that will be our next visit.  I even promised Julie an above ground guest room, hopefully an upgrade from the basement suite we currently have.  :)

California Vacation

Soo…. many weeks later I finally have some time for blogging. I’d love to give a day-by-day account of our fantastic trip to California, but really I don’t have that kind of time, so here’s a summary blog instead. :)

On Tuesday, June 20th we flew to San Francisco. We had an easy, on time, direct flight. We landed late in SF, rented a car, and drove to Greg and Kathy’s house in Sacramento. I try to plan my trips alternating busy and not-busy days, so after a full day of travel we spent the next day just hanging out at Greg’s house. We did lots of swimming, played Scrabble and Risk, made dinner, and watched a movie. Daniel and Emily and Heather came for the afternoon and dinner, along with their dogs. It was relaxing and fun and perfect.

On Thursday we left Sacramento and drove back to San Francisco for some touristy activities. We stayed one day and two nights there. We spent Friday wandering around the piers, visiting the Embarcado, the Fisherman’s Warf marketplace, and the piers. We had lunch on Pier 39, and I tried to recreate a sourdough memory I have from visiting with Grandma and Carolyn. I found the restaurant, but the meal wasn’t as good as I remember. Perhaps my taste buds have evolved. Ha! More likely because by the time we got our food it was cold, and cold cheesy sourdough toast isn’t that great. Oh well. We ended the adventure at the Ghiradelli Chocolate place, which I was expecting to be a factory or something, but mostly it was an outdoor mall with a Ghiradelli chocolate store and ice cream parlor. We got plenty of chocolate and ice cream!

The next day we hit the road again, heading south. We stopped at the Google Complex, Tesla headquarters, and Carmel-By-The-Sea. Each was fun in it’s own way. We spent that night at a hotel in Santa Maria, then continued on through Los Angeles and down to Carlsbad — Legoland!! We got there in the afternoon, went through the extremely efficient check-in process, then headed out to complete the treasure hunt and open the safe in our room! Joyce met us at the hotel and explored the park with us.

Trip Photos: Part 1

The next day we spent the day at Legoland until mid-afternoon when everyone was done. It involved a lot of walking, eating, waiting in lines, and spending money. All in the hot sunshine. When we first went to Legoland in Florida a few years ago the concept was amazing and we marveled at everything. This time we were a little less impressed. :) Jaded, maybe. The California Legoland is older too, so a lot of it was faded and worn looking. But fun anyway. And the hotel was amazing! It’s interesting now with a little time behind us, but whenever anyone asks Lex what his favorite part of the trip was he always says Legoland, without any hesitation. Yet he was fussing my lunchtime and was eager to leave by mid-afternoon when we had had enough as well. It’s neat how different people remember things differently.

After leaving Legoland we continued south to San Diego where we “checked in” to our rental house. The owner was friendly but the house was TINY and so, so hot. Turns out AC is not standard in California (whatt??) and I hadn’t thought to ask about it. Joyce and I went for a long, oft detoured walk to the store for dinner and we all had a late dinner on the deck, which was finally starting to cool off. Joyce offered us her guest room and we happily moved there the next morning. When I first booked the trip she was expecting to be moving at the same time, but her plans changed and we were all much happier staying with her! :)

Tuesday we moved to her house, languished in her air conditioning for awhile, then attempted to drive to the beach, somehow ending up back in Carlsbad. I fell asleep in the backseat and take no responsibility for that! :) We stopped and got dinner and then went to Oceanside, CA for a sunset beach adventure. It was beautiful!! Alan and the kids swam, we all enjoyed milkshakes on the pier while watching the sun go down, and we went home tired and happy.

Wednesday, our last full day in California, we spent at the San Diego Zoo. I thought that would be a half day at most, but NO, there was so much to see and we lasted past 6pm! We saw lions and tigers and bears (briefly) and koalas and jaguars living with dogs, and a zebra living with a donkey, and elephants and giraffes, and gorillas and bonobo monkeys and hippos and a VERY hungry tiger!! We had so much fun!! Plenty of eating and shopping as well, but minimal lines and the temps were much nicer. When we left the zoo we explored Bilboa Park looking for dinner, but the places were all fancy and expensive and we were not in a fancy or expensive sort of mood so we headed home for pizza delivery instead!

Trip Photos: Part 2

Thursday morning we said our goodbyes and headed home. Another on-time (early, even!) easy direct flight home and we were welcomed back to the east coast by a beautiful sunset over Boston.

We had such a fine time and once again I marvel at what great travelers my kiddos are. They held it together the entire time and were a pleasure to be around. I can’t wait for our next trip! Where to next…. hmmm…..