Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Confirmed and Binky Weaning

I drove by our old house today on the way home from errands. I thought I didn't care anymore about it, but I guess I did because I was saddened to see a For Rent sign out front. I really wish I'd taken the plant hangers outside and maybe even the curtains. They obviously didn't care. In other news, the Texas house across the street with the red white and blue fountain is for sale. Because I know everyone loved it sooo much. Damn, check out the panelling on the fireplace and the kitchen cabinets. That is something! (And not original, folks, that house was built in 2001. They ADDED panelling!)

Since Monday, we have been in the process of weaning Stella to just nap and nighttime use of the binky. I had started with allowing her to use it in the car too, but she seems to be fine without it, so we may just confine it to sleeping. It's amazing, she's so much more chatty and her nasty chin rash has all but cleared up. She doesn't seem to miss it much, although I keep all the binkies well hidden. Hopefully this bodes well for when we try to get her to give it up for good.

No update on the house. We went by this weekend and they were pretty much done with the sheetrock, but our sales guy refuses to give us updates anymore or answer our emails, so I doubt that bodes well. But I've kind of sort of set a deadline for myself, that I want to be in a house by Christmas. So we may have to start house hunting soon if we don't get good news from the builder. We could always back out of a back-up deal and we'd just lose our earnest money. I just can't ring the New Year in here. Nope, can't do it.

Only Myself to Blame

So it hit me last night, after totally blowing my big onstage meltdown, that I am going to play the character that I have wanted to play for the past 11 years in 3 days. Eek! And that I have only myself to blame if I fail, since I convinced my theatre company to do the play, talked the best director I've ever worked with into directing it, and then told them all that I was going to be pre-cast in the lead. What the hell was I thinking?

I'm hoping it's just that tech week, everything goes to shit thing. Oh, that up there is one of the publicity photos taken by Michael Brock. Extreme close-up!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The World's Best Behaved Toddler

In her adorable shoes her Aunt Christine gave her:

For Kelli, us dressed up for the B. Iden Payne awards Sunday night:

The quality of pictures should improve dramatically because I finally got my camera back today. Whoo-hoo! I can't wait to use those 6 extra megapixels to their full advantage!
Stella and I went to Party City today to exchange her costume and it wound up taking 45 minutes! Seriously, don't go to that place. At 11:30am on a Thursday, it was a zoo. Does anybody go to school anymore, by the way? I saw a group of teenagers and a father and his pre-teen daughter. Aren't they supposed to be in school? But Stella was such a trooper. Didn't even whine, even though we missed snack time and it was getting close to lunch. What a great toddler!
Stella also turned 19 months yesterday. So imagine that here I go into all the incredible things she has accomplished in the last month and how much I love her and can't imagine life without her. Because that is all true, but I barely know which end is up I'm so busy these days, so I can't even draw out of the depths of my brain what she's done this month. But at least I put up a picture!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wow, that helped

Now I remember why I had to blog about that, I feel better already! You just gotta' get things off your chest.

What a Sucky Day

Today sucks. First there was the incident with the lady next door. Then we found out that we won't be able to move into Arts on Real until 6pm Sunday. Then my mother-in-law came home and I told her about the lady next door and she went over there and told them that we'd keep the dogs quiet without even asking me first, thereby, in my opinion, totally disrespecting me. She did not see it that way, but apologized for making me feel that way. Or something like that. One of those apologies that's not really an apology and then I has to pretend like everything was hunky dory. Really, I just feel like this is the straw that broke the camel's back. I think we need to find another living situation. It's not anybody's fault, it's just you aren't supposed to live with anybody other than your nuclear family for this long And I hope Tim's Mom doesn't feel bad if she reads this, that's not my intention, but I feel compelled to share my feelings with the world. That's the sickness of writing a blog. Anyway, I just feel like crap and really wish I didn't have a rehearsal and could instead stay home and drink some wine. Oh, wait, I don't have a home, right.

I think I may blow some points on a decaf nonfat mocha with a shot of Peppermint from Starbucks. Ohpleaseohplease let the peppermint be available already. I've been craving one of those since it got cold and I think I deserve it. But it's 4 points! 4 points that could be used on many other things such as a couple of glasses of wine or a pint of beer. Or a Rice Krispie treat covered in chocolate. My mother sent one yesterday along with a really cute stuffed cat that meows and a book for Stella. I think the chocolate might have been for Stella too. Oops. It was so good, I couldn't resist! Plus, Stella couldn't even have bit into it it was so big:)

Must. Get. Out.

I cannot believe this. The bitch next door just came over and told me her baby couldn't nap because my dogs barked. She actually now expects me to keep my dogs inside "or in the other part of the yard" (no clue how I'd do that) from 9:30am-12:30pm while her precious little angel sleeps. I suggested a white noise machine but she kept saying nothing bothers him but the dogs. Well, I still think the solution would be the white noise machine, but apparently no, she considers the solution telling me what to do with my dogs. ARGH! I could barely disguise my contempt for her. There's no way I can keep the dogs in all morning, please! What's she going to do? File a noise complaint? At a time when there is no noise ordinance? I just cannot wait to get out of here, these people are crazy! I even told her that we'd be out in two months, so if that helped.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm Freezing!

So I've learned a lot from this experience of living with my in-laws for the past two and a half months. For example, I have learned that it WILL eventually get cold. So you shouldn't put all your sweaters, sweatshirts, flannel pajamas, etc. in a box marked "cold weather clothes" and put it in the garage that is packed full of all your belongings and expect to be able to find it again when it is cold. I am FREEZING! I'm not sure what I was thinking, whether it was that I'd be in my new house before it got cold, or that I'd just wear tank tops and think warm thoughts, or what. I bought Stella a really cute denim jacket for $11 at the Osh Kosh outlet last Thursday, but I hesitated on getting her anything else because I'm so afraid she's going to outgrow all her clothes tomorrow. I know I need to get over it and just buy her a few things she can wear for now and if she outgrows them, so be it. Because that's life with a growing child (and really, life with a shrinking mama. My jeans that I bought 6 weeks ago that were soooo tight are already starting to get baggy!). But since I know that warm clothes are in my garage for me, somewhere, I really can't justify getting new clothes for myself. Not yet. Not until I lose 5.6 more pounds, anyway!

I've also learned that when you live with parental types, you regress. I react (or barely restrain myself) from acting like a moody teenager to my in-laws. Tim does the same thing. I've been praying for patience lately because it's really unfair to my mother-in-law when I am all bitter and sarcastic and all she's said is, "good morning." It doesn't really happen with Tim's Dad because he has a job right now so I don't see much of him. But it's Sue, Stella and I for a great deal of the day. But I'm working on it, and I think I'm getting better. I'm really not a bitchy grouch and I'll go back to my sunshiny self as soon as we're out of here, I promise!

Our sales guy didn't give us our weekly update Friday because there was no update. Yesterday Tim pestered him and he said that we finally passed all our inspections (we failed electrical and plumbing initially), and that they would be putting in our insulation today and "start rocking" Wednesday. I wondered, rocking on what?, but Tim said that was just Jamie's cheesy salesman speak for sheetrocking. So we obviously didn't get our close date Monday (notice how he conveniently didn't mention that), no clue when we'll get it. Before we got two weeks behind, Jamie was saying mid-November, so by that reasoning we'd be looking at the end of November. So we're back to praying for a close by Christmas. If you can send any good vibes our way, we'd appreciate it. I have beat myself up for being depressed about all this since so many people have so much bigger problems, (e.g. "natural disasters on the evening news" to quote Cold War Kids), but I can't help it. This is still the situation I'm stuck in, and while it's really not that bad, I'd still like to be in my house ASAP. We looked at the houses for sale online just for fun and found only a couple we thought were cute, but Tim didn't think they were cute enough. There's one in the Allendale area that I'm going to drive by today, even though I can't IMAGINE living up north, I love South Austin so much, but it would be a lot closer to where Tim's work is moving, for sure. But I'm sure it's probably actually already got a contract on it, it's just not in the MLS. I'm just going to be up north anyway buying Stella some new shoes (finally), so I figure I'll swing by. If only we had $300k or $350k, then we could REALLY get a house we love;)

Monday, October 22, 2007

B. Iden Payne Awards

Tim and I went to the B. Iden Payne Awards last night. It was the first time we'd been, even though I've been on the committee for 3 or 4 years. It was a lot of fun. We had a lot of friends there we got to chat with and cheer on as they got nominated or, in some cases won. I was afraid it would be most lame, but it was really fun. Great excuse to get dressed up, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where I've Been

Eating, breathing and sleeping Patsy, that's where I've been! Patsy, if you do not know, is the character I am playing in "Little Murders" which opens two weeks from tomorrow at Arts on Real. The show is going to be awesome, but it is a lot of work, probably one of the most challenging characters I've played. I realized after Tuesday night's rehearsal how actors can get into drugs and alcohol as a means of bridging the world between fiction and reality. I was just really emotional after working so hard on a difficult scene where my character has to have a breakdown. It's a comedy, but you still have to make the moments believable, ya' know? (For the record, I did not turn to drugs and alcohol. I had dinner and went to bed. Because I am exciting like that. And I live with my in-laws and there was no alcohol in the house anyway!)

Last weekend we were in Houston and took Stella to a Pumpkin Patch along with Christine and Brian. The patch was an Exotic Animal farm and Stella petted llamas, a miniature horse, a rabbit, a goat and a baby kangaroo. Tim and I also petted a baby pig. We had a great time. We got to spend lots of time with Christine and Brian, going out to dinner and out for drinks at the Flying Saucer. We sat outside at the Flying Saucer downtown and got some fantastic people watching in. They just don't make 'em in Austin like they do in Houston. I really could not believe what people were wearing. One group of five girls were all wearing identical shoes. Seriously! Five pairs of black stiletto heels. I guess they'd gotten a group discount or something.
When Christine and I went to the bathroom, I was really disgusted by the number of men leering at us. Then I felt a little complimented that men still leer at me. It was a very odd feeling, being pissed, but also thinking, "they like me, they really like me!" Especially since I was very dressed down and not showing much skin. But I noticed that the quality of men is definitely lacking in H-town compared to Austin. Really, they were not attractive. Don't know if all the hotties are snatched up and at home with their women or what, but I didn't see a single good-looking guy other than the ones we came in with (my husband and my brother-in-law). Sorry Houston ladies, they're taken:)
We also got some great news from some friends and I really want to blog about how excited I am about it but this friend has not blogged about it yet! (Hint, hint, you know who you are!) As soon as they make their announcement in the blogosphere, I'll be back to share my excitement!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Stella's Fun Day

This morning we went to Stella's first storytime, at the library. Anna was the one who alerted us to it. Stella LOVED it. I wasn't going to go at first because it's at 10:15 and that means no walk for me, but I decided to check it out and I'm glad I did. Stella gave the librarian all her attention, and alternated between standing and sitting in my lap. She was riveted. She pointed and got all excited when the librarian brought out her rat puppet, whose name I have forgotten. And she got a stamp on her hand at the end with all the rest of the kids. She keeps staring at it like it's the coolest thing ever. A future tattoo addict, perhaps? I always wanted to be one, but acting and tattoos don't mix very well. Perhaps my daughter can live my dreams;)

Then we went to the playground because I wanted to reward Stella with a chance to blow off steam because she'd been so still and quiet at storytime. We went to Garrison and it was packed with mamas and kids. Apparently a couple of playgroups were out there. SO different from Circle C, though. The mamas were so friendly and I talked to a few of them, having those random playground conversations you do. I wish I had more playdates for Stella (and for me). I should have asked what they all were involved in. I overheard them talking about crafts, but I don't know if that was for the mamas or the babies. There was talk of sewing, so I assume for the mamas. My first thought was, "I'm not crafty", but that's actually a load of bull. I sewed most of the curtains in our old house, I've sewed pillows, a sock monkey and lots of costumes. I used to do collages, scrapbooks before it was a verb and money-making phenonmenon, and all kinds of other crafty stuff. I guess I just don't do it anymore because I choose to spend my free time, which I have less of, on other fun activities.

There were a lot of baby/toddler pairs at the playground and it made me think about second children. Again. Last night we went to Town Lake Park and Stella played in the fountains. She had such a blast. Tim made me stand back with him and watch Stella instead of hovering over her. Stella made friends with a 3-year-old little girl and took her hand and was dragging her everywhere to show her all the stuff she'd learned. It was absolutely adorable. And Tim commented that that would be about the age difference between Daniel and his little sibling and he was like, that will be pretty cool. And I agreed. And I had that moment of "that is pretty cute, perhaps it would be cute to have a sibling for Stella sooner than later." And then today at the playground a woman was nursing her daughter while the other one played and she watched her and it just looked so awesome and idyllic. And I know that is complete poppycock and that for the other 90% of her day she's probably run ragged between showing her older child attention and taking care of her baby, but it still tugged at my womb a bit. You know that horrible place where your biological clock resides and occasionally makes you think crazy thoughts. I think when your child is a year and a half, suddenly every conversation with fellow parents starts with, "so, when are you having another one?" We were at church last week and I was talking to my friend Sally, who has sons who are 20 months apart and she said, "so are you thinking of another one?" or something to that affect and I was like, "not yet." And she was like, "well sometimes God has other plans for you." And I was like, "well, I'm using God's helpers on earth to prevent that." And it turned out she had been on the pill when she got pregnant with her younger one. Although upon further questioning, it turned out she might not have been so thorough on taking that little helper when she was supposed to. And Tim and I talked about it on the way home and realized that Stella is old enough now that if we had an accident, we would no longer want to hurl ourselves off a bridge because even if I got pregnant today, Stella would be 2 years and 4 months when the next one is born. Which wouldn't be horribly impossible. Although still not our ideal. And then freakin' Parents magazine comes today and has a really good article about spacing your children (weird timing), so I read it immediately and it called 2-4 years the "Golden Age" or something like that and so I felt better again and was like, "okay, Stella may not have her best friend in her little sibling, but 3 years is still right for us." I think it's really hard not to think about these things since two of our best friends are currently pregnant with their second babies and decided to have their children much closer together than we are. But I Seriously Cannot Fathom going back to the land of feedings every three hours and newborn cries right now.
Stella and her new buddy:

Right. What a tangent. I meant to relate the other adorable thing Stella did when we were in her room before her nap. She brought me all her hairclips and asked me to put them in her hair, which I did, then she handed me her homemade argyle babylegs, (see, I am crafty!), and directed me to put those on, then I tied her tights around her neck so they looked like a sweater. She looked like the preppy chick from an 80's movie. Or Cher from Clueless. I love that she loves to dress up!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No Close Date Yet... Sigh

So we went to our pre-drywall walk-through yesterday expecting to come away with a close date because that's what ditzy salesgirl Rhonda had led us to believe. But alas, no, we will get our close date in two weeks when they have their next sales/builder meeting. But we did find out that they should be finishing up inspections and putting in drywall this week, the kitchen cabinets should be delivered next Tuesday, and then they will put those in, put down the tile and do the painting next week. Allegedly. I don't really have a reason to doubt them, though, because August 30th they had a slab and now there's an actual house. Our sales guy, Jamie, is still saying we'll close mid-November. Of course, there's still no water. So I'm really keeping my fingers crossed. Especially since I kind of feel like we're outstaying our welcome here.

Tim's Mom I think wanted us to get a close date yesterday even more than we did. She's trying to find out when we're moving out so her Mother can come stay with them with an eye towards her moving here. Apparently Austin is a magnet for all of Tim's family. Yesterday when I got back from the walk-through, Tim's Mom grilled me about when we'd close and I had to tell her I just didn't know, that her Mom should probably wait until we get our actual close date in two weeks to buy her plane ticket. I know that frustrated her, but there's nothing I can do about it. We're coming up on having lived here two months Thursday. And we'll be here at least another month, probably 6 weeks. That's a long time. Things are breaking down here a bit; they all seemed to turn sour after Tim's Mom returned from Michigan. Perhaps it was frustrating for her to come back and realize there are still people here who leave their crap everywhere and have a toddler who is constantly on the move. Although we really try not to leave our crap everywhere and to keep our toddler out of the way. Whatever the reason, I'm just going to try and stay gone as much as I possibly can. Thursday my parents are picking me up and taking Stella and I to Houston with them, then Tim will join us Friday night and we'll come back Sunday. Since I have rehearsal most Saturdays, we can't go out of town as much as we'd like, but my parents may be going back to Evant again next weekend, and we'll probably go out there if we can. We're just trying to stay out of the way here as much as possible!

I got a chance to ask our sales guy what they were doing if people came in and wanted to buy a house. He said that they have 3 Hartfords (the largest floor plan) available in our section, but they aren't selling the back section yet. They're telling people to come back in November, they should have opened up the back section for pre-sales. They are (wisely) waiting this time until the roads are a little closer to being poured to start selling houses. Apparently they'll be there for 2 more years building, although once our section is done, the Westgate entrance will become the construction entrance.

That's enough rambling about our house for now. Stella demands attention. Attention must be paid!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

They Just Keep Building!

To our utter amazement and complete happiness, they just keep building our house. We went by last night and the last piece of siding is in place, the wood "pergola" over the garage is up, the electrical is in and, for some reason most excitingly, the house numbers are up.Now, I'm not in love with the way they look. As anyone who's known me for a while can tell you, I HATE gold, but it's still exciting to have our address right there in black and gold!

The streets also do not look as bad as I remembered. In fact, the neighborhood looks adorable. I'm sure glad they're going like gangbusters because our new house cannot be ready a moment too soon! I want my bed back. The bed here, while fine for guests, has really taken a toll on me. I have a permanently sore neck and back, and had a crick in my neck so bad Sunday, I couldn't turn my head to the right more than about 30 degrees. I think I'll have to see a chiropractor before this is all over. Luckily Tim's parent's neighbor is a chiropractor. Hopefully he won't try to convert me to Scientology...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Much Better Mood Today

I was totally in a funk over the streets in our new neighborhood yesterday and it was slightly compounded by the fact that my camera isn't working. Well, I found out I have to mail my camera in for service (although first I have to find the receipt which either my mother could have given to me or she could still have. That should make it easy to find.) and I came to terms with the house. There are downsides to any house, but Tim and I looked for what's out there in our price range and in the areas we want to live in and there just isn't anything that we like as much as our house we're building. And there's absolutely nothing where we can walk so many places: Stella's elementary and high schools, ACC, the library, Conan's pizza, Dairy Queen, and Thriftown and the Dollar Store to boot! Plus, as the saleslady so kindly pointed out, they are now selling our floorplan for $28,000 more than we paid for it. So between that and the $6k we've already put down, it'd be like walking away from $34,000. I don't know about you, but I'm not in a position to walk away from $34k! So we're going ahead with buying the "hondo" (or "couse" if you prefer, part house/part condo), but we're going to accept the fact that we may be moving again sooner than we thought if the density and the parking situation gets to us. I mean, it was a PITA to sell our house and move, but we survived. And next time we wouldn't be living with Tim's parents again. But hopefully we will find it a very pleasant change and be very happy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fire Lane Pic

You can see the fire lane in this picture:

If you look closely, you can kind of see a line marked for the parallel parking spaces on our side of the street. It's in front of that utility box.

Latest on the house

We went by the house last night and it has all the siding except for one random square, as you can see from the picture. The windows are all in except one, as well, and it looks like they are putting the columns in soon. A lot of the ventilation system is done as well. We didn't spend much time there because it was super-hot and because we were so upset by the street situation. More on that later. The crazy sales lady in the office said that we should have our sheet rock orientation in a couple of weeks, which is when they set our closing date, which will probably be 4-6 weeks from then. So we're still probably looking at a end of November close date. There is a new development that is not positive at all that I can't really blog about because it gets me rather hot under the collar. But Tim did a really good job, so I'll let you read his post . Read my comment too for some of my feelings on the subject.
In other news, my camera's not working properly. Sigh, I should have known that our incredibly good luck would run out. Hopefully it's just going to be annoying things like non-working cameras and ugly streets rather than anything serious.