October 21, 2012

The Scarlett Letters #10: The First Birthday

Dearest Scarlett...

Here are some pictures documenting your very first birthday. I leave you no guess-work - you can see it all right here.

I wanted to make your party colorful and sweet just like you! I found lots of ideas online (some that I stole completely and others that I tweaked) and had a blast creating a special theme for you. We chose to give away pumpkins to your little friends as their favors. They were happy to choose their own pumpkin to bring home!

You wore the hell out of your birthday dress - SO. STINKIN. CUTE! Mama went crazy looking for a dress sweet enough for you and after lots of "not-good-enoughs" we found the perfect one! You only kept your ponytail in for about four minutes but man did it look cute for those four minutes. After you demolished your cake we changed you into your big-girl shirt letting the world know that 'YOU ARE ONE'!!

I really wanted to make a cake just for you. I bought a yummy cake mix and pink frosting with sprinkles. I baked the cake and cut it into a circular shape, stacking one circle on top of the other to make a very Dr. Seuss-esque shaped cake. It was super cute. But, since Mama is certainly no baker, when I went to frost your cake it turned into a deliciously hideous mess. I had to dump it and send Daddy out for a twenty dollar quick-fix. It was cute enough but just not what I really wanted for you. I tried, Sweetie... but you were happy as a clam with your sugary snack regardless!

Your birthday party was on a Saturday with all of your friends and family. You had a really great day! Barely a twenty minute nap the entire day and you were so pleasant! You love to be around the kids and you had no problem sitting with anyone - even the people you had just met for the first time! Your real birthday fell on a Monday and since Daddy had to work we spent the day with Grammie and Gram-Gram. Grammie had an afternoon cupcake lighting for you. And when Daddy got home we went to Toys R Us where you got your balloon and crown and we picked out your Minnie Mouse Ride-On that you love so much. (Mama & Daddy love it now too since Daddy broke off the VERY sensitive shifter thing that annoyed the crap out of us every-time you moved an inch)!

You really had fun opening and playing with all of your new toys. You got LOTS and LOTS of clothes too! Thank God because our arsenal had run out at 12 months! Some of your favorite gifts were: the talking/scurrying kitty-cat, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse lift-the-flap book, a Minnie Mouse plush doll, your Fisher Price house and your plastic puzzle. While Mama loves all of those toys too, I also am very happy that I found your adorable pink rocker at HomeGoods during their half-off moving sale! You love to sit in it like a big girl and slide out of it within about ten seconds.

Although it is very bittersweet for your friends and family to see you growing so quickly, we had a wonderful time planning and celebrating your first birthday. You are becoming such a character - it's making it a little easier to let go of your baby days... but not TOO easy. Love you so much!

October 2, 2012

One of those quarters...

We've all had them. A bad day. A stroke of bad luck. An unpleasant turn of events. Whatever. Sometimes it's as simple as three hours of consecutive shitty happenings. Other times it can be weeks upon weeks of miserable occurrences. I regret saying that Gregg and I are muddling through quite a crappy quarter of 2012. I guess I have to call it a quarter since it started in July and we are into October now. Hopefully I won't have to brush up on my fractions to go any further with it.

Ya know when you try to cut corners a bit and you call a few companies and bargain with them for lower rates and whatnot? Well this year I decided to switch auto and homeowners insurance companies. Ecstatic that we would be saving around $700/yr. I felt great about my decision... until the sneaky little bastards pulled some ridiculousness and left me jaded with a fat lip. Long story short - we had two weeks to make roof repairs with very limited funds. Not THAT big a deal, we got it done. It was just very shady how it all went down.

Next up was our central air/heating unit that was just installed last summer for which we paid a hefty $9000. You can imagine our surprise when it started leaking and we had to shell out $400 for repairs on it a month ago. During those repairs, we were charged in error, our warranty was misconstrued and the unit failed again the very next week. Repairs made and refunds all squared away - I called for our FREE Fall tune-up. During this visit- which took place two hours ago- lo and behold, a new problem cropped up. Another faulty part which will be fixed tomorrow, labor not covered by warranty.

Then we had your typical car troubles two weeks ago. The brakes went on Gregg's Jeep while he was hitting up a gas station before heading to work one morning. THANK GOD he needed to get gas - otherwise he would have gotten right on the highway. We don't even want to think about how that story would've turned out. Another hefty sum.

For added fun it's about to start raining in our living room. We've had a watermark on the ceiling for a while but after this weekend's storm it has gotten larger and it is now soft - about to break through any second. Gregg climbed up into the eaves and found the wet spot - now it's a matter of pinpointing the actual leak and forking over another stash to the lucky fix-it man.

Add on all the small things like:

Missing pieces for my daughter's ride-on toy which involved an infuriating customer service phone call, emails to Hong Kong and an eventual easy trip back to the store

Brody's constant digging of holes in the backyard and running muddy-footed through a freshly cleaned floor

A toilet that runs constantly -unless we strangle the hell out of it- which is driving me slowly insane because we just haven't gotten to fix it yet

Gregg's never-ending million dollar dental work 

An infestation of bees in our retaining wall which kept Gregg from mowing the lawn and Scarlett from swinging in her pretty pink swing until finally we had the exterminator blast them

Ohhhh, and the fruit flies. The son-of-a-bitchin fruit flies!!! It's like the entire city is infested!! They're driving me crazy. Gregg and I actually call out how many we kill in each room, like it's a creepy, disgusting game. Sure I've used vinegar, I've even used tequila - but it just draws more into the house! I've resorted to Windex. They definitely hate being blasted with glass cleaner - free tip.

So, this was my WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA post. My post of wallow. My whiny, complainy, blah, argh, humph, grrr, drat, thumbs down with raspberries post. With one eye on the ceiling I've written this strictly to let you know that you aren't the only one going through a swampy time. We've been wading for months and months. I have to keep reminding myself, at least we are all healthy   At least we are all healthy  At least we are all healthy ... after all, that really is what is most important. That and the fact that we all know that our debt will live on well after we croak.

Ha! (Just kidding, that's not funny)