Sunday, July 24, 2011

Packing, Packing, Packing, Keep them boxes packing

Yes, We're still packing. I think we ended up with 35 boxes of books before all was said and done. We did finally agree that the stuffed animals can live in plastic bags if you leave the top loosely open so they can breath. Oh and we found a new law that says that sticks, rocks, and pine cones from Ridgefield can not be moved into Teaneck. They are forbidden to migrate and will die if you try to do so. Wonderful law if you asked me. It allowed a large grocery bag of pine cones, a bag of rocks, (not fancy rocks, just plain old garden rocks,) and three arm loads of sticks to be taken outside and dumped. The fancy rocks, colorful, fouls gold, and things like that were all packed. I got everything in Dakota's room packed yesterday. But today I found several things out that I thought I had packed yesterday. It seems he is unpacking almost faster than I can pack. We are getting the work done though so we will be ready to move when the house closes.

I have rearranged the furniture in the new house in my mind a dozen times already. It is hard to imagine where things will go. I look at the pictures and try to imagine how it will look with our stuff instead of what's in there now. I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of something else that I need to measure. Currently I am wondering how much space is left at the end of the cabinet in the kitchen. But the next time I will be in the house is when we do the walk through the day before we close.

The things I will miss about this apartment:
1. The long walk up the hill from the parking lot which includes many many stairs. (NOT!)
2. The upstairs neighbors waking us up early in the morning or in the middle of the night with their noise. (NOT!)
3. Teenage parties right outside our bedroom windows all night long. (NOT!)
4. The people behind us who seem to be forever under construction all day and then party all night. (NOT!)
5. The landlord stealing or cutting down plants that we have outside. (NOT!)
6. Maintenance people who try to steal Dakota's bike if he leaves it outside even if it is chained up to the porch. (NOT!)
7. The parking lot that fills up by 4:00pm so you have to park a long ways away if you come home after that. (NOT!)
8. Friends of the upstairs neighbor who look in our windows while they are waiting for them to answer the door. (NOT!)
9. Maintenance men looking in the windows while they are working on the front of the building. (NOT!)
10. Maintenance pouring toxic chemical on the lawn to remove unsitely "weeds". (NOT!)
11. Someone to mow the lawn for us.
12. Someone to do snow removal.
13. A great hill for sledding.
14. Dakota will miss his friends.

Gee, I guess there really are a few things that I will miss. But so many more that I won't miss. I can't wait to get in to our new house.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Resign

We are getting ready to move so I have been packing and sorting things out that haven't been touched in ten years or more. I came across this poem and thought I would share it with you. It was date 4/22/2000.


I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple; When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care.

All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simple again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to surive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreas, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So... here's my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401k statements. i am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, cause.................

"Tag, you're it."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have been packing the last few days. I can't believe how much stuff we have. I packed books today. I think I packed 12 boxes and I haven't done half of them yet. And that does not include Dakota's stuff. He probably has four or five boxes of books.

I tried to get Dakota to pack up all of his stuffed animals last night. I was promptly informed that stuffed animals can not breath in trash bags. They can not be packed until the night before we move so they will have enough air to breath until they are unpacked again. Okay. I did not know that stuffed animals need air to breath. I guess you learn something new every day.

This used to be our dining room. I think for now it's Storage Central. Oh well, I have to go get more boxes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Buying a house really is a lot of waiting. After scouring the internet for listings we finally made an appointment to look at a house. When we got to the guy's office he wasn't there and no one seemed to know where he was. So we sat and waited for him. He finally got there and took us to the most disgusting house I had ever seen. The kitchen had a sink in it and nothing else. Nothing. And the sink looked like it was from 1820. The only thing good about this house is that it looked like it would burn easily so they could start over and build something else.

We went to look at another house. And again we waited. The guy finally showed up and took us through the house. It was nice enough. It had everything that we were looking for except a bathroom on the main floor. But there was space to build one. Oh but wait. They didn't tell us it was on a flood plain. Not a great idea. So we waited.
I sent off an email about another house I saw on the internet. And I waited for a response. Someone finally got back to me and set an appointment to look at it. We got to the house and guess what??? The realtor was waiting for us. When she knocked on the door, they said they were having a birthday party. Could we come back another day. The realtor told them we had an appointment and we needed to see the house. It was an okay house. It had almost everything we were looking for. But it would need a lot of painting and minor repair work. The biggest problem was that it was a block from the busiest street in town. And it was three blocks from the projects. No I don't think I want to live there.

So we waited. We had an appointment to see two other houses. Then the realtor emailed us and said she had a house she wanted us to look at. So we waited until Saturday to look at the three houses. The first one was perfect. We loved the way it looked. It needed very little work done to it. The only thing it didn't have was a garage. But we loved it. The house on the flood plain was no longer the top house on our list.

But to be fair we decided to go look at the other two houses. The first one had nice size rooms. The master bedroom was on the main floor of the house. The kitchen had been redone. Looked like a very nice house. Oh except for the fact that the bedroom ceiling was falling in. The lady said she thought the roof might leak. Okay, so we went to look at the next house on the list. It was on the busiest street in town. Putting on a new roof right away? No I don't think so. It had no yard. The first bedroom had a large hole in the floor. It was about five feet across. The kitchen was way too small. Oh wait, what is that, a dead roach. Hum, I'm not so sure this is a good house. Well, maybe it's not a roach and it is only one and it is dead. Then my son opened the refrigerator. The roaches that came out of it were not dead. And not just one.

Oh well. But let's talk about the other house we saw. It has everything we want except a garage. Garages can be built. So we made an offer on it. Within two hours of offers and counter offers, we had settled on a price on the house. But it was Saturday night of a holiday weekend so we waited.

On Tuesday we hired an attorney. And by Wednesday evening we were out of attorney review. No waiting there. Next we waited until Friday to meet with the mortgage person. We signed the papers before we left her office. Again no waiting. That part went really really quickly.

Now we are waiting again. We have to wait until next Tuesday for the house inspection. I really don't like waiting. I can't wait until the day they put the keys in my hands. At least we should know on Tuesday if there are any major problems with the house. Then we have to wait until the bank has the house appraised. After that we wait for the closing.

I guess as far as buying a house goes, this is going pretty quickly. But I really hate the waiting. I want out of here now. I have wanted a house for so long. I have lived in this apartment for 14 years and it is about 20 too long. I need to be able to plant flowers by my deck and watch my son play in our backyard.
I have started packing. There really isn't much else I can do. So I pack and I wait. Please let the waiting go quickly. Please let me be in my new house very soon. I don't want to wait any more.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Our House

Well, we are about to start a brand new adventure in our lives. We are buying a house. We looked at a few houses. One had holes in the ceiling and nothing in the kitchen accept an old sink. Another had a five foot hole in the floor. One the ceiling was falling down and the girl said she thinks the roof might leak. (Gee, ya think!!!) We found one house that we kind of liked. I was not sure about the long narrow living room. And it did not have a bathroom on the main floor. (I just can't make a dozen or more trips up and down stairs with these worn out legs.) But it was in a flood plain. (There are a lot of areas around here that flood.)

Our wonderful realtor Lila said she had a house she wanted to show us. Let me tell you. It is wonderful. A fireplace in the living room. A kitchen that is bigger than a bread box. (If you haven't seen my current kitchen let me tell you, two people can not stand in it at once.) A nice size dining room. A half bath on the main floor. The upstairs has three bedrooms and a full bath. It has a basement but it isn't finished. Bob wanted a finished basement so he could have a "man cave". He thinks he can make it work for some of what he wants to do down there. The only problem is the low ceiling. Gee, that's not a problem for me. Oh yeah, he's a bit taller than I am, (like 10 inches or so.) He will get the third bedroom for his space along with the books and computer equipment. And there is no garage. So I guess next year's tax refund will go toward building a garage.
The biggest thing I love about the house is the huge backyard. And the beautiful deck. I can already see the plants growing on and around the deck. And the parties we will have. There is a nice picnic table built in to the deck. And an archway over the steps to go down into the yard.
There is a place for the washer and dryer on the main floor. But our brand new washer and dryer are too big for the space. (You know, the ones we bought in April with our tax refund.) So I will move a small desk into that space to make it my sewing area. And the washer and dryer will have to go to the basement.

I am so excited about this. It was so much fun the night we made an offer on the house. The realtor sent the information to the owners. They called her back in like ten minutes with a counter offer. We went back and forth a few times and finally settled on a fair price for the place. Now the paperwork will be turned over to the attorneys tomorrow. After a week or so of attorney review we will be under contract. Then it is just a matter of finalizing the financing.

I can't wait to move. I have hated this apartment almost since the day I moved in. With each passing year I hate it more. I can not wait to kiss it goodbye. I've already started packing books and things we won't need for a while. Can't believe this is happening.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nine years ago today a tiny baby boy was born in Guatemala City. She was very poor and decided that the best thing she could do for this little one, her twelth baby, was to put him up for adoption. We were well in to our second year of adoption hell when this little boy was born. We wanted a baby girl. You see I have five other children. Four boys and one girl. I really really want a baby girl. I had decorated the nursery for a girl. I had tons of cute little dresses and lots of ruffles and pink. I was ready for a girl.

When our first referral fell through I was devastated. We had already spent a week in Guatemala with this baby girl. She was very much our daughter. But the grandparents did not know that their young daughter had a baby. When they found out, they wanted their granddaughter brought home.

After that we were in regular contact with our adoption agency. One day the social worker called. I got so excited because I was sure they were calling to tell me that they had another baby girl for us. No, she said she was just checking to see how we were doing. They had ten babies born that month. One was a girl, but the mother took one look at her and decided to keep her. The others were all boys. Then she said, "We even have this little boy that no one wants." How could no one want a baby? I didn't understand that at all. It seems that the other families who were with our agency were also waiting for baby girls. I thanked the social worker for calling and went back to my meeting.

I had a hard time concentrating on the meeting after that. I kept thinking about this "little boy that no one wants." How sad was that. I finally went back out in the hallway and called the social worker back. I asked a bunch of questions like, was he healthy? How old was the birth mother? (We didn't want another 18 year old mother.) Are you sure no one wants him? She patiently answered all my questions. Then I went back into my meeting. But five minutes later I jumped up again and went back out to the hall. This time I called my husband. Now we had planned to name our baby Dakota. At first it was Dakota Rayne. Then it was Dakota Ariel. I called my husband and asked, "So what do you think of the name Dakota Garcia?" He said, "That's a strange name for a girl." Then I said, "She's a boy." Immediately he reminded me of all the ruffles and lace and pink that filled our nursery. Finally he asked if I got a picture. He said we would talk about it when we both got home. I called the social worker back and asked her to send a picture.

When I got home from work that night, there was a picture of a baby boy waiting for me in my email. We both took one look at him and said "He's ours." The very next day we drove out to our adoption agency and signed the papers to accept his referral. We still had to wait through five months of paperwork and bureaucracy of two governments. In October we flew down to Guatemala and spent a few days with our new son. Then in December we got the phone call we had been waiting for. All the paperwork had cleared, the adoption papers were signed and five month old Daniel was now our son. We got on a plane as quickly as it could be arranged and went to get our son and bring him home.
Flash forward now nine years. That beautiful baby boy is now a handsome young man. He is busily playing with legos as I type this, his favorite toy. He loves math and does not really like reading. If he is not playing with legos, he is on his DS or working on a rocket with his daddy. He loves to build and launch rockets.

Nine years ago his favorite foods were bananas and formula. Today his favorite foods are chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. He was wearing a size 12 months. Now he wears a size extra large in children's sizes or a small adult. Nine years ago today his future was pretty unsure. No one really knew what would happen to him. Today he is happy and healthy and wants to be an astronaut when he grow up. He is a great kid at times and he shows us his Latino temper at other times. He has a stubborn streak a mile wide.

Today is a good day to reflect back on the last nine years. A time to say thank you to the wonderful woman who decided that the best thing she could do for her son was to place him for adoption. A time to say Happy Birthday to my baby boy. You're not such a baby any more.