Yes that's right the *. You are probably wondering what exactly the * is. I am here to tell you. It's the little mark that tells you that look for the fine print in any offer someone is handing down to you. Often it's in 1/2 font and very tiny and you might miss it even with a high powered microscope. AHHHH but believe me, it's still there somewhere!! If you ask me it also oddly resembles an asshole... which perfectly describes the person who gave us the *.
Our builder Peter has offered us numerous times to give us a refund of the deposit we put down on our construction. Until now, we didn't really think we needed to exercise that option. But due to recent events, we found that maybe it would be good to take him up on it. After all we finally found a school for the girls nearby, we wouldn't have to move, and Kierra would still have access to her specialized services. We figure no harm, no foul... we'll take Peter's buy-out... simple. WRONG. Herein comes the * - Peter tells hubby he'd be MORE than happy to refund the money MINUS THE EXPENSES ACRUED TO DATE!!! So we figure how much could that possibly be? Oh to the tune of $25,000.00!!! Don't adjust your glasses. He figures he deserves $25,000.00 for doing absolutely nothing!! He says it for blueprints and permits. OK, he owns the blueprints, I have no rights to them - so why am I paying for them? The permits are in HIS name, for a house he'll build with or without us, and we are expected to pay? I don't think so.
So basically everything seeming so easy had a * catch to it. He thinks we should walk away from the $25,000.00 for our "peace of mind" while we think he's hit the crackpipe one too many times. We told him that we won't be walking away from the house then... he can build it if he wants to force our hand. So now he's deliberating over it with his partner as to whether we get the "FULL" refund he actually proposed to us. All I have to say is he's a real *.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I never quite understood how stressful it could be trying to enroll your children in Kindergarten. I don't know why I thought it would be something easy peasy. Anyways I digress before I even start...
So hubby and I found out that there is a school nearby that is not in our designated zone, but is accepting children for Kindy from our area. So of course, we call about it and find out that in fact it is true!! This would have been a wonderful tidbit to know about say last April. So hubby and I have been deliberating about a lot of things: A) Do we just move to the new house whenever it is ready and enroll the kids there (I drive them 80 min's every day), B) Do we keep them in the school they attend for JK right now, and then transfer mid-semester, or C) Do we take out the buy-out option from the builder, stay here and enroll the twins in this school?
So after a course of long deliberations we decided that it might be in the best intersts of Kierra especially, if we keep all our options open. While we'd love to integrate her into a typical class, what happens if she's not ready next fall? She'll lose her funding from her specialized program and then what? If we stay in this house, she can go to either school. So we talked to the principal who assured us that a specialist from the Board of Education would do an evaluation to determine if Kierra is ready to attend an integrated program. If not, she can go to Kindy at her same school, and Jenna goes to the new school. If shes' ready, both twins are signed up for the afternoon program!! I would have to drive less than 10 minutes to get them there (far better than the total 80 at the new place). SOOOOOOO all that's left to do is talk to the builder and hope he honors his offer of the buy-out. We should know by the end of the week. Personally, I'm happy that the stress is almost a thing of the past. All things aside, we can build a house any time. But doing right by our kids is something we can do only once. Hopefully we made the right decision.
Musings by Elle at 4:14 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
You know, I hate drywall. I mean the stuff that was already installed and painted when I bought the house is fine. Who wants to look at load-bearing 4X4's? But seriously the moment we decided to finish out the rest of this basement I knew it was going to be an issue.
First off, J drywalled the basement with mostly his dad's help. I can't take any credit for that. They did an ok job... J shouldn't quit his day job essentially but it works. We hired a guy to come texture the ceiling and tape and mud. That went well except now I have to clean all the dust up. Do you know how annoying that is? I got the brilliant idea to use some dry cheesecloth to clean off the walls BIG MISTAKE!! I think I have permanently filled my lungs with drywall dust. Between letting the air settle, and using a huge shopvac of my neighbors (that smelled very bad - how does a shopvac smell horrible?) my back is really sore. We were supposed to have someone come in to prime and paint for us. She gave us an astronomical figure; and neither of us trusted her. So I somehow ended up with painting duties. I can paint but I hate to paint. Seriously - most hated thing you could ask me to do besides cleaning a toilet. But if it means saving $2,000.00 I'm going to do it.
Back to the drywall dust... so I get the cloths wet and start to clean off the dust so I can begin to prime the walls. J was helping at first, and then mysteriously disappears. I'm wondering but keep going. Then I can smell the aroma of popcorn. I go upstairs and he's sitting on the couch, watching The Simpsons and eating popcorn!!! At that point all you can do is roll your eyes. He actually had the cojones to ask me if I was going to start priming tomorrow!!!! Husbands - don't you love them? All I have to say is I can't wait for this basement to be done. And even though I've said it before, we are never finishing another basement again!
Musings by Elle at 8:47 AM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Ah, nothing like lying in your awesome bed eating chips with your husband, watching t.v. on a Saturday night. Until you hear the distinctive coughing of one of your children. You know that sound ... how can you not? Heard it 4 times since she was born. Sure enough, go into the twins' room and Jenna is barking like a seal. J and I looked at each other, sighed collectively and said, "Croup." Look out the window to see blustery snow, and it's COOOOOOLLLLLLLDDDD outside. I use the excuse I've never driven to the new children's hospital before. J volunteers graciously to take her. So at midnight off they go to the ER ... again... to treat Jenna's croup... again.
So they get there, no wait thank goodness. Yes in fact she's croup. The nurse asks if her color is always like this. J replies, "pasty? Yes she's always that way." They have a good laugh and try to give her the liquid steriod. For some reason, Jenna holds it in her mouth but won't drink it down. They can't figure it out. It doesn't taste vile or anything. Finally they give her some juice to wash it down and presto, med's are in. She's instantly better, comes home yapping away at 2:00am (doesn't she appreciate we are tired?) Yes I didn't go to the hospital, but I was up the entire time. I watched an info-mercial for Core Secrets with that Gunnar somthing-other guy that trains celebrities. Long story short, ended up ordering the work-out DVD. I figure; something to do and I could use the exercise. Thank goodness I wasn't watching something more expensive right?
Woke up the next morning, 3 kiddos and J made me breakfast in bed!!! Sweet huh? Karis ate most of my omelette. She's a big mooch. Jenna is crabby all day, as we drag her to buy carpet for the basment, and to Home Depot for painting supplies. Go to Burger King where she constantly complains that she's tired (no kidding, you got 5 hours of sleep the night before). We settle down for a nice sleep last night and at around midnight what do I hear? Miss Jenna barking again. UGH seriously. I dragged her into bed with us, to keep an eye on her. She was fine, but don't ever sleep with a Jenna. They kick, and they cling to you like velcro, and even though they are about 35 pounds, they take up the entirity of a queen size bed. By 3am I was done with her, and put her into her own bed. She slept the rest of the night no problems. Me, on the other hand, woke Jarrett up frantically around 5am saying he was laying on Jenna and crushing her. He thought I was mental. I probably am; I forgot I put her in her own bed. He had to tease me this morning before he left for work ... I would've done the same.
Here's hoping to a night of peaceful breathing.
Musings by Elle at 8:45 AM
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Happy third birthday to my baby girl!! I can't believe she is 3 years old!! How can that be?
We had a great party for her today. She picked Strawberry Shortcake as her theme. Can I just say I couldn't find ANYTHING for it? I had to handmake paper strawberries and hang them around. The things we do for the kids huh?
She must think she's more mature. When I told her it was time for her nap, she told me, "No nap, it's my birthday!" Sorry kiddo - that doesn't work that way! But after naptime, she donned her pretty peach dress, and welcomed her guests! Kids had a great time, great presents. We scarfed down pizza and cake - yummy!!!
When I put her to bed, I could remember 3 years ago lying in the hospital bed with her sleeping on my chest. Dark hair fuzzy and soft. So amazing how they change and how quickly. I don't miss the painful recovery from the c-section (LOL), but I do miss those first quiet hours by ourselves where all I could hear was her breathing and think, "I'm so lucky to have you."
Musings by Elle at 8:17 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
OK, as a parent, we all have these moments when our hearts stop beating and try to jump out of our chests. Yesterday was a prime example of said moment.
I was visiting a friend and we were sitting having tea while the girls were playing in the playroom. Doesn't it sound lovely? Teatime and lovely adult conversation? Apparently the bliss of the moment was something much too foreign because it was abruptly interupted by the huge bang and screaming of one of my children. I had no clue what had happened until my friend said, "OMG, Karis just went downstairs on that rocking horse!" I just about pooped my pants! Apparently the babygate on the stairs wasn't closed so Karis slyly went upstairs, got the rocking horse out of a bedroom, dragged it to the top of the stairs and rode it down!!!! I know - visual would be unbelievable but glad I didn't actually witness it. She made it down the entire curved stairs, hit the hardwood at the bottom and slid into the kitchen, where she collided with the island and finally fell off to hit her head!!!
That horse was still right-side-up!!!!
Don't worry - she's completely fine. She has a bump on her forehead, which I think was getting off extremely lucky!! She cried and then asked for a cup of juice. I thank God nothing worse happened. I mean that was a pretty crazy stunt!! Would you be surprised to learn her father did the same thing, at the same age, with a plastic tractor? Genetics I tell you - can't escape them!!! Gotta wonder though .... what was she thinking going down those stairs?
Musings by Elle at 9:48 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
This picture I posted has absolutely nothing to do with this posting... but when you are at a loss for your fleeting sanity, you post whatever the hell you find floating around on your JPEG files.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO, might as well just come out and say it... the developers of the property we bought LAST April are complete morons. Recap: Bought spectacular property in April, 2006, Designed my own house which is totally awesome and got all of it approved in June, 2006. Day before house was supposed to be dug, 40 foot retaining wall collaspes in an section. People this was a WHILE ago. We are talking August. Since then it has been "yadda yadda yadda" when the wall would be repaired. It is now January, 2007 and *shock* the wall is still under construction.
I had called the owner of the development company back in the begining of December. He fed me some crap about the weather being an issue. I would say the greater issue is them not having enough machines and people out there. I mean one compactor and one backhoe? WTF? For a high priority project, that seems pretty low-scale to me. So we refused to go out there until after the New Year. We went on January 1st and do you think that wall is done? NOOOOOO. So we call our builder who says, "It's scheduled for completion in two weeks; before January ends." Hubby told him I don't think so, and then also told him when I talked to the developer, they told me that they would have to shut the project down until spring once January came (Jan and Feb are our cold months). So hubby told him he's not getting his second payment as scheduled. Needless to say we have an appointment to go see him this Saturday. I'm sure it'll be very informative. @@
So I know people keep asking WHYYYYYYYYYY don't you pull the plug and run. Well my friends, there are several reasons. #1: We are locked into a contract, #2: The price is locked on our house, it cannot be inflated with rising costs of materials. Did I mention that our house is a phenominal deal right now? #3: We could not pull out and build this same house for the price it's locked at now. Calgary is totally insane in property prices. #4: I still don't have my school district redesignated for our sub-division and it still stands as the inner-city school. Sorry but no thanks. I'm not having my children attend a school that is next to a high school with a reputation for drugs. #5: The private school is $7,000.00 per kid a year. And I have twins starting next fall. #6: The view is totally spectacular. I mean seriously, it's insane how beautiful it is. This doesn't mean we still might not try to get out of the contract. We have a loophole and will use it if necessary. Builder doesn't know that but actually, he'd be screwed if we played that trump card. Goes to show: Don't give us paperwork with a promised date of completion. If he can build a house in less than 7 months, and hasn't started it yet, kuddos to him. Highly unlikely. I will post after our meeting though. Should be interesting.
Musings by Elle at 8:32 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Well I am back from my vacation. It wasn't "National Lampoon-esque" but it had it's moments. What can I say? It's good to be amongst family.
Long story short... the girls did remarkably well on the plane trip. I was still under the weather on the first part. I "may" have infected my sister-in-law and her husband. He basically spent all of Christmas Eve and day hugging porceline. Not pleasant by any means. The girls were very excited to open their gifts. My darling husband bought me a brand new digital camcorder, which was great since the old one crapped out for the last time! Other news: my other sister-in-law is preggers again. My sister has a beau named David, who seems very nice. All in all, it was a good visit. Glad to be home, but also have a million and one things to do now. Kierra is very stressed that school didn't start when we got home. She has to wait until next Monday (yikes!).
So I hope everyone had a great time welcoming 2007. Here's hoping this is a great year filled with many great things!!! Cheers!
Musings by Elle at 2:52 PM