30 October 2008


That's the amount of the down payment I'll bring to the closing today. I now have a check in my possession for that amount. It feels so surreal. Benny and I are meeting our realtor to walk through the house before the closing at noon. And then. And then the house is ours. Big day. Big HUGE day!

As far as The Bear goes, I'm chilling a little about the whole situation. I'm still a little worried about him, but I've decided to hold off on an evaluation until after the holidays. We don't really have a lot of time before then anyway. Plus, then he'll be nearly 18 months and he may grow out of some of these tendencies. A lotta smoke. No fire. Hopefully.

28 October 2008

Learning to Breathe... Again

I feel like I'm right back where I was about 12 months ago. All this business with Benny is stressing me out. I have that anxious feeling again. I'm having trouble sleeping. I'm trying to cope with the stress by breathing and taking a step back - stuff I learned to do when I was going through postpartum depression.

I've signed Benny up for an autism screening. There are portions of the day when I see completely normal behavior and other parts of the day that concern me. I go from being a happy mom to a worried mom on a dime. In many ways, I think most of this is in my head. It's something I need to deal with. Even if Benny is autistic, which is still very unlikely.

The whole situation makes me wonder if I should ever try to have another kid. I'm tearing myself up all over again with Benny. And he's not even DOING anything. He's actually a very mild-mannered, easy-going kid. He's made being a parent very, very easy.

Nate and I decided to wait until we're moved in to have the screening. It will give Benny more time to develop. Many of the things he's doing are completely normal for his age. If he continues to do them, we should be concerned. And, as it turns out, he's getting two molars right now, which explains some of his "off" behavior. I don't think he's feeling very well.

Enough blabbering. I'm trying very hard to be rational and realistic about this. It's hard. It's very hard.

27 October 2008

Life IS A Bear

Well, Benny and I just got back from the pediatrician. She thinks Benny is completely normal but is a little concerned about some of the symptoms he has for autism. She suggested we get him screened just for peace of mind.

In my heart I think he's a completely normal kid. He's hitting all of his milestones and then some. I love him and I love his giggle and his smile and his tired snuggle. In my mind, however, I still have some anxiety. It's more like in my stomach. So, I'm going to get him screened. I want to know that he's OK and stop worrying about it.

Thanks to all of you who responded about worrying about this stuff. It was helpful to hear other stories! I'll keep you all updated.

Only three more days until we take possession of the house! Yippee!

24 October 2008

Oh, Puh-lease!

I had an "Oh, Puh-lease!" day. It's like a "one-of-those-days" days, but even more ridiculous and stupid. Nate has been getting up early for work lately so I decided to stop sleeping in. If I'm in bed by 11, there's no reason I should be sleeping in until 7:30 or 8 when The Bear yells from his crib: "Mom, get your ass outta bed!" So, I've been starting my day Bear-free: getting up, making coffee, dressing myself, pulling my hair back, and browsing the web.

This morning I was checking out People.com (yes, I know, this is shocking and disappointing - to me as well). There was an article about Toni Braxton and her coming to terms with her autistic son. For all of those who know me well, you know that I obsess about all things Benny related - especially when it comes to his health. For no particular reason, I'm freaked out that he will be autistic. I don't know why. It's not as if autism is the absolute worst thing in the world. Many other parents and their children are dealing with far worse. So, I decide to check out the symptoms for autism. Because, why not?

As it turns out, Benny is in line with several of the symptoms. He focuses on one part of a toy (often a wheel), doesn't always respond to his name, resists cuddling, and the like. Never mind that these symptoms are more for OLDER toddlers who are starting to talk and the like. Not for mere 15-month-old tykes. Anyway, I work myself into a tizzy and decide that I should stay away from the internet for the day. I mention all of this to Nate and he calms me down a bit. After all, Benny is really young and he is affectionate (when he doesn't want to play) and has many moods - including lots of smiley and happy moods. Then I call my mom (a mother of five) and ask her if she's noticed anything out of the norm. I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm crazy now (and perhaps I am). Both Nate and my mom assured me that Benny is not autistic, but rather a normal toddler. He's inquisitive, and moody, and happy, and sometimes difficult. That doesn't mean he's autistic.

As a result of my "Oh, Puh-lease" day, I can't eat because my stomach is in knots. What is WRONG with me. Seriously? If any of you moms out there want to comment, feel free. Do you ever have moments like this?

In my defense, I did return to the internet to look up normal developments for toddlers and Benny matches up with all of them. He has a 3-5 word vocabulary, will follow simple commands, gives kisses, is into EVERYTHING, crawls up stairs, etc., etc., etc. I've decided to CHILL OUT and bring up my concerns to Benny's pediatrician on Monday when he's having his 15-month well-baby check up. Then I'll know he's OK and I'm completely nuts. I suppose it's better than the other way around.

18 October 2008

2567 Hudson Street

As promised, here are some pics of the house (finally, sorry Mom). It's a bit dated - as you shall soon see. Of course, the window treatments and light fixtures will be replaced. Well, maybe we'll keep those rad light fixtures. The kitchen and backyard also need some work. I'm sure I'll write about those projects in the future.

I present 2567 Hudson Street!

16 October 2008

One of Those Days and Other News

Ever had "one of those days"? Benny is having one - and then some. Right now. As I type. He's been a little off since we returned from Omaha on Monday. He kind of has a poopy problem. As in, he's pooping all of the time. It's not runny, he just has to poop a lot. And, for those of you who know, lots of poopy diapers lead to irritated skin. He's been walking around naked for most of the day, but even so his little butt is bright red. He doesn't want to be held and he doesn't want to not be held. He screams bloody murder when it's time to change his diaper (probably because it hurts like hell) and needs consoling after the fresh diaper is on.

Poor Bear.

Meanwhile, Mommy is trying not to go crazy. An unhappy whining Bear does not make a pleasant companion.

In other news... We officially close on the 2567 Hudson house on October 30. We are ready and excited. Ready as in: Sara won't have to schlep three bags of groceries AND Benny up the stairs; Nate won't have to haul four weeks of recycling to the recycling center; Nate and Sara won't have to ask Benny to be very quiet while he's banging toys on the floor; Sara will be able to unleash Benny in the backyard when he's having one of those days rather than putting him in his stroller and walking to the park. Excited as in: We can paint and arrange and decorate and love our house because we won't be leaving it for a very, very long time.

I think I just talked myself out of my funk. Now I need to work on Benny.

12 October 2008

The Reverend Has Spoken

Performed my first marriage as an ordained minister this weekend. I said "with the authority vested in me by the State of Nebraska..." It was awesome!

And, my beautiful friend, Caley, married a fantastic man, Brian. It was a lovely, lovely day. Congrats to the newlyweds! Pics and more stories coming soon...

05 October 2008

In Memory of Barb

Nate, Benny, and I woke up early this morning for the annual Race for the Cure. Nate's mom found out that she had breast cancer when he was in high school. She had it treated and went into remission. Then, a couple of weeks after we got married in 2004, she told us that the breast cancer was back - on her liver. Her doctors gave her a lot of hope. She had a lot of hope. Subsequently, we had a lot of hope.

Looking back, we probably should have been more concerned. But for those of you who knew Barb, you know that she didn't want anyone to be concerned. She was an amazing lady with an indomitable spirit.

We ran our first Race for the Cure in Austin in 2005. We saw people with signs that said "In Memory of ..." We never, not for a minute, thought we would have to wear those signs. Today we filled out three signs: "In Memory of Barb," "In Memory of Mom," and "In Memory of Grandma."

Nate warned me that he would probably get emotional. I didn't know how I would handle the event. As we started to run, I thought of Barb and was overcome by sadness. I miss her often, but it's gotten easier over the past two years. She wasn't my mom, but she was my family. I loved her very much and I hate that she never got to meet The Bear.

So for all of you you women out there, please, please, please stay vigilant about your health. You will never know how many people will miss you when you're gone.

03 October 2008

A House? A House!

The inspection went well. Really well. As long as our financing goes through (and it shouldn't be a problem), we'll be moving soon. Really soon. October 31 soon.

So, here's the story with 2567 Hudson Street: We saw it a few weeks ago and it peaked our interest. But it was overpriced ($300,000). So, we decided to wait on it. And wait on it we did. Until our real estate agent called and told us that the owners were dropping their price 50K. We just about died. Seriously? Seriously. (Just in case any red flags pop up by this story - and they should - I will clarify: The house is part of an estate, which means that the previous owner passed away and her family is selling it. They have nothing but cash to gain by the sale and they wanted to get rid of it.)

There are few major issues with the house (the kitchen needs a complete overhaul, the backyard does as well), but for the most part the house seems solid. New bathrooms, refinished wood floors, copper pipes, finished basement.

It feels good to feel good about a house!

01 October 2008

Fouth Time's a Charm

I have been hesitant to post anything about our home-buying adventures as of late. Obviously we've been unlucky in this realm of our lives. Well, our luck may have changed.

We found a fantastic place in Park Hill (where we want to live) and in a good school district (we can't afford houses in the Denver's great school districts, so we're settling for good). I won't divulge much more about the house until we know for sure that the deal is secure. We're under contract and we're having an inspection on Friday. If all goes well, we'll close on October 31. Yay Halloween!

This house makes us feel much better than the previous house. We aren't losing sleep due to anxiety. We aren't juggling all of our finances so we can afford it. We are legitimately excited about this house. And we'll be getting a mega deal - even better!

Keep your fingers crossed. If all goes well on Friday, I'll post pictures!