Friday, August 26, 2011

Unsafe

Recently I have been feeling unsafe or nervous about where we live. And I dont like it. We felt good about this community, its clean, nice people live here. The homes are well taken care of. We've been warned of petty crimes to support drug habits, but I guess I thought that wouldnt happen to us. A few nights ago our neighbors work truck was broken in to and all of his tools were stolen. I thought, oh geez, thinking that was the incident on the block for a while. But then just 2 days later our bikes were stolen out of the back yard. They were right up by the back door and they did it in the early evening. Daylight. The audacity. Unerving. How could I not have noticed? They luckily ditched Christophers on the corner because the tire was flat and chain was off. No quick getaway. But mine is gone. And Im the one who likes to ride my bike! It wasnt new or even nice. 15 years old but it worked. Then today at the park at the community center just a few blocks away a mom chastized me about Claire's diaper hanging out the bottom of her shorts. She told me that I never knew when pedofiles were lurking around. I thought to myself "oh geez, I worked with sex offenders. Im not too concerned today." But then not 5 minutes later a police man showed up because there was a drunken man laid out on a picnic bench not 100 feet away that I hadnt even seen. I came in from the other side. But those moms saw him when they came and called the cops. I dont think he was a pedofile. Fact is though, I didnt see him. Then when I was loading up I noticed the contents of my purse scattered all over the front seat. Turns out it was just Claire hunting for my chapstick, but it doesnt make it any better that my first response was that someone had been in the car and I was counting cards and money just as fast as I could. It had been parked 20 feet away, but based on my record, apparently someone could have gotten in and I not notice. Im distracted and I dont like it. I dont like feeling on edge, I prefer a bubble. But I guess no where is safe anymore. We were robbed in Provo on campus. Someone threw a boulder through my window and stole my purse. I guess 1 bike casualty is enough and I need to wake up. Pay attention. Count heads and all possessions. I dont like it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

USS Constellation

Not only do we have family on the Trimble side, but I have another cousin, Sarah and Chad Lee, who live here in MD as well. So many of the Sevey clan came out this week to visit and they were so nice to come up and see us in Baltimore. We are becoming pros at picnics. We had a picnic at the tables on the Inner Harbor and then the plan for the day was to see the ships and end the day with Fort McHenry (where the Star Spangled Banner was born), but the kids only lasted through the USS Contsellation and the USS Torsk submarine. They were really excited to go down and see the "Big Ship". We then went home and made some yummy chicken enchiladas and the Seveys joined us for dinner. It was so fun to have everyone here.
I love this cute pic of Claire and her cousin Clara. :) Two cute girls!

Naughty

I told CT tonight that I need security cameras in every room in this house that all feed to my phone so wherever they are I can see them. Just today Jack and Claire thought it would be great fun to scribble all over my bedroom walls with a permanent marker. I thought I had thrown them all out for that very crime before and I still dont know where they found it, but leave it to them to find the only one in this whole house. Then this afternoon in the 3 minutes Claire was alone in the kitchen she climbed up on top of the counter, threw all of the eggs on the floor (which I hid on the counter because Jack was "counting" them before) then she took off her diaper and was giving herself a bath in the ktichen sink. She had emptied the entire bottle of dish soap all over herself. THEN during naps they somehow (I still dont know how) climbed on top of thier dresser and threw the fishfood on the floor pulled all of the fish accessories out of the tank and then threw the lid on the floor too. Amazing the dang fish survived. I lock them in with child proof locks on thier doors but they have learned to open doors even with those on so now I have to tie thier doors shut with a rope. And Max is no better. Although he cant get out of his crib yet, he has an attitude just like the rest and is actually my biggest. The next morning a bunch of clanking noises woke me up. The kids had gotten out of their room and I found them in the kitchen, another dozen eggs cracked on the floor, they had gotten into my cooking cabinet with the flour and sugar and chocolate chips. They dumped all my sliced almonds, black beans, and raisens all over the floor. Jack was licking his finger and eating the sugar. Then that afternoon they got back into the cupboard and emptied the chocolate chips all over the floor. They had taken handfuls and squashed them together to make little balls... I had to double check to make sure they werent poop balls. They took those up the stairs, so then the carpets had to be cleaned.
The good news... Claire will tattle on herself. And they will help clean up. So off to wash walls and pick everything up for them! Not to mention a little time out. Claire will tell me honestly if she did something and if I ask if her brothers help she will honestly say yes or no. Funny baby. I love them.

National Zoo

Now that half our family has moved to the East Coast we had to have a little get together before Uncle Peter and Uncle Jake start school. So we all met up in DC to see the National Zoo. Which as part of the Smithsonian is free. Really weird, no fences or gates, you just start walking down a side walk and then all of a sudden there are lions :) Getting to DC is always a fun experience with the traffic. And when we did get there we didnt want to pay for parking, so we parked a mile away and when we got the stroller out we found 3 flat tires. Like exploded tubes and tires off the rims. What are the odds that around the corner from where we parked there would be a bike shop? And then we got lost trying to walk there, BUT once we got there we had so much fun with Ashley and Peter and Allie, Jake, and little Olivia. The kids loved the turtles and elephants, but mostly the cows. :) Theres a little petting zoo and the cows were the best part. Jack sat and moo'd back at the cow for several minutes. We are so lucky we have family close.

Chocolate Factory for my Chocolate Boy

Jack Loves Chocolate. I blame Grandma Becky who during his first Christmas, thats about all he ate. So now living within an hours drive of the chocolate factory of the world, we just needed to take Jack there. A few Saturdays ago we packed a picnic and drove up to Hershey PA to see Chocolate World. They kids LOVED the ride and the animated singing cows. They loved seeing the rivers of chocolate and even more eating the free samples. But then it rained. And everyone at the waterpark and amusement park came crashing into where we were and we couldnt do it anymore. Especially when they have a no stroller policy. So we got out. But the kids loved it. We chowed on a bag of reeses peanut butter cups on the way home.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Look what CT found!

Only CT is tall enough to find this stash of dozens of empty vodka bottles, a crack pipe, and heroine needle and spoon hidden in our storage room above the AC ducts. Our neighbors said the previous owners were party'ers but really? They didnt seem the type. They weren't dusty which means they aren't old. 1 in 10 people in Baltimore have a serious drug problem. Lots of petty crime to pay for it. Maybe they WERE the 1. Hmm...

Potty Training... or Not.

I've been thinking that for months Claire was ready. We got the little potties, we made the chart... And by morning Max had torn them off the wall and into pieces. I think it was an omen. Claire went in the little potty once and that was it. Its been over a week now and no interest whatsoever. So I guess we'll wait a little while longer. (sigh)

Settled?

I would still say no, but I'm getting there. This month has been hectic trying to unpack and paint and settle in. The kids have been such troopers. Our best days are when I dont do anything except just play with them and be normal. ie take them to the park... For the first few weeks Claire would ask in the sweetest voice that "I wanna go home." She says please in such as sweet almost desperate tone that I have a hard time saying no to her. We would be standing in our new house when she would say it. I have to stop and explain again that this is our new home. And I think they day they started referring to this house as "Mommies house" which is what they used to call the Spokane house was a good day. I think they understand now that this is our house and they are home. We got them twin beds since I sold thier cribs and they have loved it. They go in and jump and play. Half the time I find them on the same bed asleep and sometimes I'll go in and cant find them at all only to catch a glimps of them asleep under thier beds. :) The church is really nice here. The boundaries are HUGE. To the PA border to downtown and an hour on both sides. Its a large ward and there are several other residents that are at Johns Hopkins. Which instantly gave CT a complex. There have got to be other Mormon residents at UMD, we just cant figure out where they live. But it has been nice to have so many others in our same boat. We've gone on several playdates now, trying to find our niche. I dont think I've found it yet, but the kids have been entertained. We went to the library, the Zoo, several parks, a few different swimming pools (all private and all $600+ a year to join). The heat this summer has been incredible. 115 120 degrees. 80% humitidy. I complained so much about Spokane being so cold... I will not complain. But I think I have decided that Im going back to SoCal where its a perfect 80 every day. :) There have been some complications--every time I turn around someone else wants $500. Our management co in Spokane wants $500. Our dishwasher broke the day we moved in. $500. I washed my iPhone. $500. A new shed. $500. The utility co wants $500 deposit since we've never had service with them before. Anyone want any? Apparently Karma thinks I just have $500 to give out to anyone who asks. The neighbors have been ok. At closing the old owners described them as "very nice" and then the wife kicked the husband under the table when he started saying more--which I saw. Point taken. I did have a section here about what I really thought, but if I cant say anything nice... But here are a few examples of our most recent interactions. One day they came over and asked Christopher to write a perscription for thier grandma so she can have a medical excuse to have a cat in her apartment. They said she had cancer. CT politely said no. I asked him later what medical reason does a cat have anything to do with cancer? He said nothing just that the apartments wanted her to get rid of it. They have a dog that thinks its ok to jump in our yard and pee on the grass. A habit I hope we have rid him of already. Claire doesnt like dogs. But she's getting better as long as it stays on thier side. They came over yesterday to ask if they could use our lawn equipment indefinetly. Im trying to be a good neighbor. They both smoke and on several occasions have thrown the butts in our yard. When I confronted them they blamed the people who go to an early morning AA meeting a block away. Im trying to be a good example. Maggie had a colonoscopy this week. We took her flowers. But what do I do about these other issues? Oh, neither work so they are home all day every day. The neighbors on all other sides have been very nice. Quiet. Polite. Private. Welcome to homeownership. Im going to make a video to send to HGTV for them to come and redo my backyard. Maybe they'll put up a privacy fence. :) On the good side, all boxes are in the attic. The bathroom, kitchen, and Max's rooms are done done. The rest are functional if not pretty. It may take years since it all costs $500 :) But we are here, making this our home, doing our best to settle. CT is happy at work. Home by 5:30 every day. His schedule is VERY NICE this year. No call or weekends all year. He'll have to work extra hard next year but the kids will be in preschool so hopefully that will help. But this is it... Home Sweet Home. Anyone wanna come visit? Give me something to look forward to :)

4th of July


Our new neighbors, Chris and Maggie, invited us next door to have a 4th of July BBQ and party. The kids played in the pool all day and then we dined on hamburgers. I was really hoping to get to see the fireworks but the kids were OUT by like 7. So out in fact that Jack walked out of Max's room and by the time he got to the stairs not 4 feet away he was asleep. So feeling a little bummed (since the 4th is probably my fav holiday) I went out back to see if I could see anything. Maggie had told us that we could probably see a few from our back yard since the field where they let them off is just 3 blocks away. But she underestimated! We could see the WHOLE SHOW FROM OUR BACK YARD! It was so awesome I almost cried.

Thank Heavens for Family


I just wanted to thank my parents, Sally, and Ryan and Becky for coming all the way out here to help us unload. Sally, Mom, and Dad flew in with the kids the same night we got there and then just hung out until after closing. Then they stayed for a long weekend to help watch the kids while we unloaded the truck as quickly as possible. We truly couldnt have done it without thier help. Ryan and Becky were so nice and took the kids one night while we went out to dinner with my parents and Sally. When in Rome... We had to eat Crabs. Dozens of steamed fresh crabs. We had to have a lesson from the waitress on the proper way to deshell one and what to not eat. It was amazing to watch a little girl on the next table, man she was a pro... downing crab after crab. What a whirlwind weekend. Thanks again everyone for your help.

Things to see along the way

On our drive we stopped at several places along the way to see things we've never seen before and probably wont make the trip to see again. For starters, the MissleMan rockets in South Dakota. Did you know about these? Hundreds of rockets burried all over the northwest all aimed at Russia? Did you know there are hundreds still active? Kind of scary? We drove out into the middle of this guys field to what looked like a water station or power house but it was an 80 ft pit with a massive Nuke facing back at you. Im feeling a little relieved that the Cold War is over. No wonder when I was little my dad used to scare us into going to bed by saying "the Russians are coming." Scott and I were terrified of the long dark hallway in the trailer that led back to our rooms because we were sure there were Russians back there.

We stopped at Sturgis SD. I hope the next time Im there is for the annual Harley Davidson rally and Im on my own Harley Sportster 880. With flames painted on the side. :)



We stopped at Mt Rushmore and spent the evening. We dined on Bison Burgers. Yum Yum!
What an incredible thing. What patriotism, something I think this country is seriously lacking right now.
We also stopped to see Custards Last Stand. Amazing park. You can go stand right on top of Little Big Horn and they have all the grave markers there. You can look out to see where there were thousands of indians camped and you can also see why they didnt see them. Very hidden down by the river.
We took extra time to stop at Nauvoo and Carthage Jail. These really are places where you can spend days, but we just had a few short hours. So we took a wagon ride all round Nauvoo so we could see everything. Then we went back to a few specific places like the gun smith, the blacksmith, the Smith family graveyard where Joseph and Hyrum are burried. We went to the little red brick store which was Joseph's. We saw many homes like Brigham Youngs. But one of the most spectacular things for me was the Nauvoo temple. The last time I was there was 16 years ago and it was just a big grass field with the corner stones still there. So to see it standing so beautifully up on the hill was amazing.
And Carthage, what a sweet calm spirit there. There wasnt hardly anyone else there. What an amazing thing that the church has restored all of these sacred places.
From Nauvoo we tried to make really good time to get to Towson before too late on Wednesday. But what a fun ride and fun way to see the country!