Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sick baby! And house troubles

Last night we took Charlotte to the ER. She was sick and projectile-vomiting (all over me, and even into my hair), and then she started projectile-vomiting bile. Bile crossed the line from waiting and seeing, and having her checked out. Thankfully she only has a tummy flu.

Well, city building inspector is coming out tomorrow. These are only a few of the problems with this house. Screens are missing, the carpets are so old they should have been replaced (I question the sanity of carpets over 30 years old), there are holes in the wall of one of the bathrooms, the laundry room had no way for the dryer heat to escape (we had a licensed contractor put one in so that we could dry laundry without worrying about mold developing in that room that we'd be responsible for), etc.. These are just things about the house that can be photographed (how do I photograph what's not there, like fire alarms?) instead of problems with the landlord calling a lot, having a humiliating nickname for me that's part of the female body, stopping over frequently without giving notice, and lying to try getting us in trouble with animal control. The landlord's made it very clear that she will not be fixing up anything with this house because she thinks she's done enough.

These windows by the dining area are extremely draft and don't close entirely. They open and close like horizontal blinds. As you can see in the second picture, even "closed," there are wide gaps that prevent any sort of seal, plus one is broken.

This is a window by the front door. The landlady said it's too expensive to replace, so won't.

I can't make myself go near this. This is in one of the bathrooms. Not only is there no floorboard, but the wall's outright rotten away. I don't want to think about what kind of mold and nasty stuff is growing. There are a lot of spiders in this bathroom.

This is beneath the in-wall over. The space between the wall is large enough that our cat is in it in this picture. There were boards propped up to conceal this.

Apparently this type of drawer is so special that no one is capable of making a replacement, or so the landlady says. So one wasn't provided. Underneath it is some metal caging stuff that isn't stapled down except for part of one side. Mice come in through this. We had to bring in a mouser-cat to keep the mice at bay. (Don't want poison or snap traps with our baby around.)

No latches at all on the front door. The only way to keep this door closed is to lock it using a lock that doesn't unlock from the outside. This is dangerous as it risks be getting locked outside with my baby inside. My fiance and I have repeatedly called the landlords to fix this, and then finally were going to have someone else do it, but since it requires a new hole being drilled into the door (that type of latch isn't made anymore), we tried to get permission, and never heard back.

This door automatically locks if you close it all the way. There is no way to close this door without locking. With the front door only locking from the inside using a lock that can't unlock from the outside, it is dangerous for me to go through this door for any reason unless I want to risk being locked outside with my baby locked inside or unless I simply don't lock the front door and let it blow open.

This is the one heating unit. It is outside the back bedroom, and doesn't blow very warm at all. Even if it did, all heat is sucked out the windows in the dining area and from around the ill-fitting front door.

I also found out here that all rooms must either have natural light from a window or a skylight, and neither of the bathrooms do. Both of them have windows that go into the laundry/storage room. That room is an addition, and I'm highly doubting now that the guy who owned this house (the landlord's husband's dad) had any permits for it. It it's without permits, then it'll have to come down, and I'm making the landlords pay for us to move. We will be down a room, our place to do laundry and store stuff.

The landlord has made it clear, time and again, that they won't be putting any more money into this house, claiming they did enough already.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Roses and iPhone 4!

Today I went to Rose Story Farm with Charlotte, my aunt Sandy, and a few of her friends, and it was so much fun! Tour, then lunch (croissant sandwiches, fruits, salad, cakes, yumminess). I actually never knew that different roses have very different scents. I never really thought about it either. But now I want to grow roses. Afterward we walked a little bit around downtown, hit up a few antique shops. Sandy's friends are fantastically fun ladies!

I got the new iPhone on Thursday morning (hell yeah! to not having to stand in line and still having my phone in my hand by 10:30). This phone is mind-blowing. Calling it a phone seems wrong somehow with all else it does. Making calls is just one small part of it now. Anyway what we've all been hearing about is the pictures. If I don't stop, I'll gush for hours about everything this phone can do, so just enjoy a few pictures. Click to see them bigger. I didn't upload them full-size. But these, even made smaller, give you an idea! These were taken at the farm.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Our landlords annoy the hell out of me. Well, the wife, who for all purposes that matter can be called THE landlord, even though her husband owns the house in a trust.

She has this bad habit of just stopping over whenever she wants without any notice. By state law, tenants are to be given 24 hours notice unless it's an emergency, like a reported gas leak. But at least once a week, she stops by for some asinine reason or another. I think she's trying to be helpful sometimes, but usually she just annoys me. Yesterday she came by twice to let me know one of our old neighbors, who hates cats, hates our cats because he sees them sometimes. And then she followed these visits up with a phone call about it.

Today she's here in the yard doing only-hell-knows-what, but I'm not about to go outside and be drawn into a conversation on the weather that I can't get out of without rudely telling her she's boring me and I'm going inside now. If she knows for sure I'm here, then there's no way I couldn't open the door without making it seem like I'm ignoring her, which I would be. So good fucking luck getting a nap in. When she's here in the yard, like right now, I can't let the dogs into the yard to go to the bathroom because she brings her own dog who doesn't like other dogs, and she always asks me to keep my own inside. So my girls can't go to the bathroom and go nuts because they can detect another dog and another person in the yard. This drives them nuts and makes them act up and whine, and their whining prevents Charlotte from even beginning to take a nap, which she needs today and is fussy about needing. When the girls are whining and Charlotte's fussing from tiredness, there's no chance in hell of being able to sew or make the necklaces I need to get made and shipped. I have to hold Charlotte in one arm, and so have one hand free. I can type now as fast with my right hand alone as some people can with both hands.

But it's a small town and it's not as easy as telling the LL to quit coming by. She lives a mile away and can claim she's "just driving by" on her way somewhere, which she's claimed.

She thinks this house is an upscale house, but it's not. It's a fixer-upper and we've been doing the work on it. Painting, staining the wood walls that haven't seen even varnish in probably 40 years, putting in baseboards where needed, some electrical work, etc.. It also predates central heating, meaning we have a fireplace to heat the place with, and use space heaters and electric blankets on nights when it's cold. The carpet is from the 70's.

Her own son is my and Cody's age, and he's extremely irresponsible. The only reason she rented the house to me and Cody is that she was impressed with Cody working for Apple. She's under the impression that all "young" people are like her son. She thinks the world of him, so whatever he does is the best anyone his age that anyone can do. So if he doesn't pay his bills, no one else his age will pay their bills either. In other words, her son is so perfect that he's the most responsible and mature that can possibly be expected of others his age. He takes care of nothing, so we won't. I sometimes think she's spying on us. She asks in her frequent stops if we're remembering to do this or that. It shocked her when she asked if we're remembering to water to avocado trees and I told her that not only are they watered, but regularly fertilized with avocado-specific fertilizer, and the garden is also receiving the correct fertilizer.

I guess that, until we own, we're just going to have to put up with annoying people. We won't make waves or tell her to leave us alone until a new lease is signed. We signed this time from February 1st (even though her brother-in-law didn't get his ass out of the house until February 5th, with us outside in a UHaul full of our stuff) through December 31st. Since there's no rent control, we'd rather try to get a lease renewal for as little of a raise in rent as possible for another year, and then split at the end of 2011. Realistically we can't get better rent. It's as cheap (for the area) as it is because she and her husband use the garage for their personal storage. Yeah. We can't use the garage. They almost kept the laundry room as well (accessible from the outside) until Cody's mom told her that by her keeping ALL the storage for this place, we were going to have to rent a storage unit ourselves.

So because the rent is as cheap as it is, especially for a house, we hope to stay here through next year, and then consider buying somewhere, probably Pennsylvania, or a vague possibility of Washington. Love Oregon, but property taxes are killer in a state with no sales tax.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Six teeth!

She cut her sixth tooth! It's her upper tooth just to her left of the middle two.

On Monday, Charlotte fell and hit her forehead on the stone fireplace. I didn't realize it at first, but when I saw her forehead with a big, black and blue lump, I panicked, called Cody's mom and couldn't reach her on her cell, home number, or at work (she was at some end-of-the-year function), and since I had Cody's phone, I couldn't call him. I couldn't remember the number for 9-1-1 in my panic, so ran over to Charlotte's great-grandma half a mile away. She's okay, of course, but I had all kinds of irrational thoughts. What is her skull was cracked and her brain would put pressure on it and protrude out and my baby were to die? What if she got brain damage? Well, but now you can't tell anything happened.

Today I was at the mall, still a bit jumpy because Charlotte's trying to move all over and I'm terrified she'll fall or jump out of her stroller, even strapped in. I went to the bathroom at the mall, and there was a Neiman Marcus bag in there I thought was garbage, so didn't bother touching. If I would have known it had something in it, I would have taken it to customer service. Anyway I just sat down when someone started banging on the door (the family stalls are private rooms), so I found out that was that it wasn't garbage. I hurried up and finished since that idiot wouldn't stop banging on the door, and I walked out. A minute later as I near the elevator, she and two guys rush after me demanding I let them go through my stuff in Charlotte's stroller, crowding in on me. I tried walking away, and they created a scene and said I'd let them go through my stuff if I wasn't hiding anything. Yeah, like I'm going to let some strangers dig through my personal possessions or turn my back on them while bending over and showing the contents of my diaper bag? Thankfully a sheriff was nearby and he had them back off. We went up to the 2nd floor and he checked my stuff, found that I did NOT have the bag she claimed, and he told me he'd tell them to stay away from me. It shook me up pretty good to have three people rush me and try to prevent me from going anywhere when I had my baby with me. Keep the fuck away from my kid!!

In not-stressful news, I nailed a really good order for a lady in France, the Titanic corset, Titanic tea gown, the Boarding hat, and the Flying gloves. It's an order enough to pay for nearly half the wedding, and I've wanted to do that dress so much that I bought the lace about a decade ago. I also got a rush order for a regency dress yesterday for delivery in two weeks. Still plodding away on the Phantom gown, just waiting to find a day when the bride can make it here for a fitting.

So I have those dresses by October, a couple Alice in Wonderland, Disney versions, one blue and one in pink, but August, my wedding gown and three bridesmaids dresses and three flowergirl dresses by December...and a few others, but these are the main things.

Also I have the Peter Fox Lucia shoes, the same ones worn with the Titanic Heaven and Dinner gowns, and I'm going to have the company dye them sapphire for me, and I am getting the Swarovski Princess tiara that I've been dying for for many years. So my ensemble is coming along nicely. I still need to order the pintucked silk, and already have the silk duchesse. I can't wait.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My baby's six months old today!!

Awww, Rue McClanahan died!! This sucks. Ever since I was a little kid, I loved The Golden Girls. I didn't get the innuendo then, but they were so fun. As an adult, I understood it, and loved the show, and those ladies, even more. Now when Betty White goes, I'm going to be a sobbing mess.

Today Charlotte is six months old!! She got her third tooth, her upper middle left, on May 17th, her fourth, her upper middle right, on May 24th, and her FIFTH, her bottom second from the center on her right, on the 27th. Since the 28th, this past Saturday, she's been able to easily pull herself up to standing.

Look at how long her lashes are!


Isn't she gorgeous?

You can see all of her teeth here!

Such a pretty little girl.

Silly baby!

Sometimes I can't believe such a beautiful, precious, sweet baby girl is mine. Even when she gets fussy and cries, I'm glad for it because it means I have a baby to take care of. Being a mommy makes every struggle in life worth it!!