April 29, 2009

tweet, tweet

I've been thinking about twitter today. I am not sure why. My hip and happening mother recently joined although I have yet to find her and her tweets. Do you twitter?

April 28, 2009

settle down

Things around these parts have calmed down dramatically. Our house sold and everything concerning selling has been completed. We finally negotiated terms with the seller of our new house and all seems to be finishing up smoothly regarding that. We close on June 15th and move that week. We are eager to get started on all the face lift and updating projects we have planned.

We've slowly brought back in some missed toys for the kids. Currently the girls have been knee deep in Strawberry Shortcake goodness and it's been fun hearing them chatter about.

I started a token system with the kids a couple weeks back. What a difference in behavior and compliance we have seen. It is fabulous!!! The kids earn tokens for good behavior and doing chores basically. Then they use their earned tokens to buy every privilege imaginable. They love it!

I made cute birthday soiree invitations for Miss Divine's 6th Fancy Nancy birthday this week. I love how they turned out. I bought her and Petite Artiste Fancy Nancy party dresses for the big bash off Etsy. I can not wait to post pictures for you all to see. They are adorable!!

Until then....


Extremely well made and absolutely adorable Fancy Nancy dresses made by Marissa Fischer of RaeGun on Etsy.

April 24, 2009

off my A-game

These last three months have been the most stress filled, heartbreaking, roller coaster ride of my life. More stressful, in fact, then when Mr. Hawthorn was diagnosed with cancer two weeks after Petite Artiste was born. Not even joking folks! The pure stress of keeping a house tidy with three small people and two dogs during the worst weather season was tough. The heartbreak of my beloved Scottish Terrier getting violently ill caused by a freak accident and having to make the decision to euthanize him in a 24 hour period almost made me crumble from the guilt. But this roller coaster we've been subjected to during the last seven days has just about pushed me to my breaking point.

We successfully sold our house and are due to close June 15th. We've put in some major foot traffic and online shopping for our next house. I think we've found it. Check it out:

It might not look like much right now but believe me, it has major potential. Mr. Hawthorn and I are a special kind of buyer in that we don't look for the houses that are all updated, and therefore in a higher price bracket. We like the houses that are a little off, in need of TLC but with good bones. This house will double the size we are currently living in with four bedrooms, three car garage and a bonus room I could literally put my current home into. It sits on a shy acre with three little outbuildings and two bridges to nowhere. It's like our very own park. We are in love and so eager to get started on the many projects we've already dreamt up. Including a porch with a roof balcony and french doors from the master bedroom onto the little balcony. We know it looks "old" and "outdated" right now, but with just some horizontal siding, framed out windows and shutters, plus new garage doors and a different paint color....this house will shine.

However, the seller is being a tad difficult and he has almost held us hostage to his every whim for the last week. I am not elaborating. Although, a nice guy in person, his tactics have been shady and untrustworthy. He has managed to screw everyone involved including his own agent. If we didn't want THIS house so badly, we wouldn't put up with all this crap. I would have to think very hard if another perfect house popped up today about still wanting to go forward with this deal. In some respects it would just be easier to go buy another house and leave this guy to reap in the consequence of being a jackass!

We had the house inspected this morning. And, we are very pleased with the results. We are hoping to wrap this up by Monday. It looks like he has been preparing to move. Hopefully he sells to us, but we just don't know. The whole situation has been very odd and once this process is over, I plan to never, ever move again as long as I live.

April 14, 2009

life lessons

Gotta love it!!

they shoot....

and they miss. Disappointment. The crowd boos. Ball rolls away. They walk off the court with heads hanging low.

Offered on "pool house" but faced denial. Owners are a tad unrealistic about the state of their house inside and their bottom price point is kind of laughable. Our agent is encouraging them to counter but I have a very strong feeling their bottom and our top just won't match. And everyone knows you need a matching outfit to buy a house.

We start from square one once again....

April 13, 2009

feeling lucky?

Okay, so we decided after much deliberation, that we would put an offer on the "pool house" (as we've dubbed it) and hope the owners don't run away laughing at our mind set. The thing is, this is house is great. Has tons of potential. The pool and back yard are fabulous. The cul-de-sac out front is downright awesome. Being able to walk to school is a huge draw. But....this house needs major amounts of deep elbow grease, TLC and updating inside. Major amounts! And the owners, as lovely as I'm sure they are, must realize that selling a house without listing and in "as is" condition is a really, really, really great deal. We are offering them an out. It's a win-win for both parties. If they come to understand this fact, then hopefully they will agree to sell to us. Our agent is presenting them with our offer today and we've given them until tomorrow to mull it over. I'm hoping today is our lucky day. We need this!!

On the flip side, our house sale is moving along smoothly. No major hic-ups or outlandish requests from the buyer. I'm so relieved because frankly, I just didn't have the energy to put up with any nonsense. Although, we've grown out of this house, I have come to really love it and I'll miss it. Many memories and milestones were created between these walls. However, we always knew this house was a stepping stone when we moved up here as a growing family of three; the housing market was at a peak and price points were out of our reach. We had to be patient. Now almost seven years later, as a family of five, with the housing market at an all time low, it's a great time to make our move. I'm happy to pass this place on to a family that is in need. I think this will be a great house and a fresh start for the buyer.

In the mean time, I've become addicted to home improvement shows and house design catalogs. Almost like the first time I was pregnant and couldn't get enough Baby Story on the TLC channel. It's funny how things in life evolve and just how many home buying/selling/improving shows are available right now. Love it!

P.S. still without computer and the ability to get pictures off camera. The best part of blogging for me is the pictures. So many apologies for that. Keep coming back.....pictures to come to come soon....I promise.

April 7, 2009

house hunters

(Announcer voice)

Which house will they choose?

The house around the corner from the home they just sold, with a large basement, updated kitchen and an office that's on a main neighborhood road and in need of lots of elbow grease?

Or will they pick the house in a desirable neighborhood, walking distance to school on a quiet cal-de-sac with a pool, big back yard and large bonus room that is in need of major TLC?

Stay tuned....

April 6, 2009

be ok today

Hello Monday, hello new week, and hello sunshine!! I'm feeling so much better! I dropped the kids off at Camp Grandma on Friday while Mr. Hawthorne and I spent the weekend soaking up sun, sleeping in, and house hunting. True bliss! I feel well rested and recharged. Awesome!!

I am still without a computer, however, so pictures around these parts have been sparse. Hopefully after all the house stuff is done, we will get a new lap top so I can post pictures as I please. Thanks for your patience.

Speaking of house stuff....Saturday we went hunting and came up short. Not a whole lot out there that meets the majority of our needs. The search continues tonight. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm off to greet the sun. Happy day to you!!

April 2, 2009

heavy heart

It has taken me a few days to process the events from this week. What a whirlwind of commotion and sadness it has been. I've come to my little blog many times now with the intent of writing but haven't been able to muster up anything of worth. I fight back the urges to blurt out "my dog died and it's my fault!!" Although, I know blaming myself won't do a bit of good. But, it is true. My beloved dog is dead.

The first day of El Fuego's Spring Break started out at a fast pace. The big kids have staggered schedules so while one is on vacation, the other still has to go to school and speech. It had been raining off an on and the morning was pretty much a dud. After we all had landed at home, the afternoon was shaping up to be restless and messy. The kids were filled to the brim with absent minded energy and I was tired and crabby.

Feeling annoyed and failing at my motherhood duties, I decided to make a quick recipe for home-made playdough with the kids. Flour, salt, water and willing hands to knead the dough was all that was required. The dogs were outside. The kids were set up at the table making and playing with little balls of playdough. And, I sat on the couch watching Oprah with my feet up. Peace filled the air for a moment.

Then it started to rain and not wanting to face the task of drying stinky dogs off and mopping up dirty, wet paw prints from my kitchen floor....I let the dogs inside. The kids continued to play and I started back to my couch when it happened. Like a flash, a ball of home-made, salty playdough the size of a child's fist hit the floor. And within seconds Angus inhaled it. No time to stop him or retrieve it from his mouth. Although, annoyed by the situation, I didn't think that the concoction for basically a biscuit recipe would hurt him. So I cleaned up my youngest now missing her ball of playdough while the big kids continued to play.

Literally, no more then ten minutes later, Angus vomited. And then vomited again over and over and over again. I put him outside only to watch him continue throwing up with rapid consistency coupled with diarrhea. I called our vet office who told me to call the emergency hospital. After contact with the hospital, I was loading up three kids and a very sick, puking, poopy puppy into my minivan. The journey was short however it felt like it took forever.

Within the hour of his ingestion of playdough and arriving at the hospital, he had become supremely sick. The veterinarians treated him for sodium toxicity. His sodium levels were climbing. Angus was left to spend the night and I was sent home. Through out the night he became aggressive and treatment for the toxicity caused his brain to swell. And, as every snowball effect has it, the treatment for brain swelling was causing neurological symptoms and kidney failure. He was unresponsive and unable to move his body. When the veterinarian delivered the news to me at four thirty the next morning, I knew I had to see him for myself. I had to soak the situation in and digest my next move. Do I allow more treatment for my poor puppy or do I stop his suffering?

I managed to make myself sleep for a couple hours and awoke to a rainy, dark and soggy morning. I threw all my juggling balls into the air and made my way to the hospital with my littlest child in tow. The technician led me to the back room and directed me around the corner. And, that's when I saw him....

My 27 pound Scottish Terrier was laying on his side, facing the back of the crate and looking oh so very, very small and tired. It was hard to picture his personality full of spunk and playfulness and hilarity with left over remains of sick in his beard and on his body. I spoke to him and cried. His eyes looked back at me in recognition but he couldn't move. It was at that very moment I knew what I needed to do. The room began to spin, my heart broke and unmeasurable amounts of guilt set in.

The staff were all very sweet and kind. One of the female staff (who had four children of her own) took Petite Artiste out to the front to keep her company. I was led to a room where I sat in silence and waited for Angus to be brought to me.

When he arrived, I wept and petted; and I combed his skirt of fur with my fingers as I had so many times before....he made no movement with his body. He attempted to get up twice, but couldn't. He could only twitch his ears and follow me with his eyes. I apologized.

And then.....he was gone.

I was once again left alone with his body. I had no idea what to do with myself. I paced around the table. I stroked his head. I tried to gain composure. I felt for his heartbeat. I texted my husband. And, I cried. I knew as soon as I left that tiny room, life would have to continue on at a pace I couldn't control. He was, after all, just a dog I kept telling myself. Standing there letting myself wallow wasn't going to change the outcome. But, oh how I wished I could take that stupid playdough out of the equation. Just delete the whole thing. I wished I could rewind the last 24 hours and start over again.

Once I did finally leave that room, however, I was greeted by the sun shining. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and weather was peaceful. Angus was better now. No more pain. No more suffering. No more sick.

Life has a funny way of slapping you in the face when you least expect it. And, boy I was not expecting that slap. At least not so soon anyway. I just assumed Angus would be my dog for a good long time. That, he was it!! He was the dog that would curl up on the couch and watch TV with me after the kids went to bed. He was the dog that would lay by my feet when I was washing dishes, making dinner or sitting at the computer. He would be the dog I tripped over. He would be the dog that was so loyal and brave, but would bury his big nose into my chest when he got his annual vaccines. He would be the dog that hung out with me when the kids went off to college. He would be "it" forever.

He is missed....