Saturday, July 21, 2012

Scooter O' Scooter

As you might have read in an old post, we have a scooter (moped, whatever you want to call it).  But we let it sit for so long we could no longer get it started.  After many talks we decided to take it to a garage and get it serviced.  While helping a friend move, my husband and his friends dropped by our apartment and loaded the old scooter into the truck and headed to the garage.  Within a few days we were able to pick it up; when I heard how little we had to pay I knew it hadn't been serviced, but merely jump started (possibly even a new battery).  I wasn't there so it was out of my control.  No matter what, it worked; even though it was quite rusty, had mildew in the trunk, not all of the lights worked, and had pieces hanging off it.  Everyday we started it to keep it running but we knew we needed to actually use it. 
So one day while our daughter was at her aunt's we decided to take it for a spin for old times sake.  Before our daughter was born we often would just go for a ride around town or the parks, enjoy the weather, and each others company.  We stopped off at a couple stores, one of which being the pet shop.  Knowing we'd most likely be buying the puppy the next day we went ahead and picked up the things she needed.  You should have seen us trying to drive back home to drop off the massive box with the dog cage inside.  In front of the grocery store the scooter decided not to work anymore, we were close to home so walking it back wasn't going to be so bad.  But luckily for us it started just before we gave up.  Despite the drizzling rain and the risk of it copping out again we headed to the park.  We sat next to the canal chatting, taking funny pictures & movies, and snacking.  It was a fun afternoon, and looked forward to getting the scooter fully serviced for future afternoon jaunts.
But life had something else in mind, we woke up Friday morning to find out someone tried to steal our scooter in the middle of the night!  My husband called on the way to work and said he thought he saw our scooter parked in the space next to his within our private parking lot.  I darted outside and sure enough the scooter was not at the bottom of the terrace stairs.  When I reached the parking lot I saw our scooter near the gate; I was glad they didn't take it but I wasn't sure what kind of damage they had done.  I pulled out my phone and took photos for the police and insurance company, not daring disturb the crime scene.  Quickly I realized the entire ignition was missing, and I was sure to add that to my conversation with the police. 
The police said that didn't send officers by for scooter thefts and that I'd have to fill out a report online.  Not wanting to upset the neighbors by leaving the scooter in their parking spot I went to move it.  But as I latched on to the handle bars, it computed that the thieves had managed to remove the ignition in order to start it, but when they couldn't get the steering column out of the locked position they gave up.  So there I stood, the steering column locked and turned to the left, without being able to use the key I could only push it in circles.  It was early in the morning and I didn't have it in me to work the scooter back up to our terrace.  I lifted it a few times, first the back then the front (they're surprisingly heavy) until it was in my husbands spot and there I left it until he arrived home.  I spent the next hour, filing an online police report, informing insurance, and putting up a note in the apartment hallway to warn the neighbors.  In the end we found out it's our own problem.  The police aren't going to do a thing, apparently insurance only covers an accident not theft, and the apartment committee said they'd do nothing and I should inform the neighbors myself.  So we had the scooter up and working for less than two weeks.  Now we have to pay the garage to come & pick it up, put in a new ignition, and do a general service, great!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Puppy Maggie

We did it, after a lot of debate (which I even blogged about), we bought a puppy!
She's a 12 wk old Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and we named her Maggie.  Maybe we're crazy, we're not out of apartment yet and we have a toddler (almost 3 yrs old) running around but we did it.  The drive to the breeder in Belgium took about 1.5 hrs, so I was a bit worried about the ride home, but she did brilliant.  I was worried about her 1st night here, the breeder said she heard back from other new owners that their dogs whelped until 1AM, but she did fine.  (I'm a worrier.)  Maggie was up at 6AM, but since she slept through the night I couldn't really complain.  I must say, she knows very little yet and we have a lot of training ahead of us.  I haven't mopped so much in my life (even while potty training our daughter)!  Just because there's a puppy in the house it didn't stop my daughter from wanting to head to the playground, with or without Maggie.  I decided to give it a shot, we walk everywhere and she needs to get used to it.  At 1st I put the puppy in the stroller with my daughter, but after she leapt out near the fire station and scared us all, I decided she would walk from there.  Halfway to the park I seriously considered turning around, but this is how they (all of us) learn what to do and how to act.  Of course the park was packed full of kids, which was very exciting for the puppy, I could barely keep her in one place.  And my daughter was having trouble grasping why I couldn't go on the seesaw with her, but once the dog is trained we'll get back to playing together like before.  Or we'll just leave the dog at home.  My husband is a real softy for dogs and tried to get her to sleep in our room last night, but I said if our baby handled her own bedroom alone on the 1st night home, so can the puppy!  We did end up sleeping on the couch for a while, just to make sure the dog fell asleep, and in all fairness it worked quite well.  Besides the excitement of the puppy we added a small hangover and bad weather to the situation.  The night before, our daughter stayed at her aunt's and we headed into town, we knew if we bought the dog we might not get nights out together for a while and took full advantage of it.  The headache followed me all day, and I was ready to fall asleep by 9PM, but luckily everyone in the house was exhausted!
The plan was for me to drive home from the breeder in Belgium but the weather and hydroplaning on the highway made my husband nervous and he decided I should pull over and he drive (men)!  Once we crossed the border and the weather toned down (the photo is the tail end of one of the storms) he finally let me drive again.  Actually it worked out nice because the puppy had time to cuddle & bond with both of us on the drive.  Wish us luck, because we've just entered a new phase of our lives!  Next phase, get a house.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Living in Chaos

As I mentioned in my birthday post, our lives have been quite chaotic over the past couple weeks.  Our apartment has been on the market for around 5 months now, and this is our 2nd realtor, so in actuality our apartment has been for sale for around a year.  We have a great place, great location, but like so many others the economy is screwing us royally.  Racking our brains trying to decide what we can do to sell this place, my husband decided to refurnish part of the living & dining room.  I was completely on board, until it actually started happening.  Reality sunk in and the stress of overhauling our place is starting to take its toll.  If things went according to plan it might not have been so bad but how often do things go as planned.  I'm a planner, I'm not very flexible, and life likes to mock me.  Over the course of the weekend we broke down most of the furniture we planned to get rid of.  And on Monday a "kringloop" (sort of a Goodwill) came and picked up all of our old 2nd hand furniture.  It sounded logical.  Reality was, everything that had been stored in and on these cupboards, coffee tables, desks, etc., was now boxed (o.k. 50IKEA bags & recyclable AH crates, I'm also frugal) and scattered around our living room.  As needed these bags & crates shifted from one place to another but for the most part the areas receiving new furniture were left open.  The clutter was annoying but it was only going to be a couple days.  We were eating all meals at our 2yr olds plastic kids table and she was sleeping in a pop up camping bed
Tuesday came, the IKEA delivery was schedule for 2-4PM, so as called for, we waited.  My little toddler patiently waited in the confines of a corner of the living room, entertained only by the tv and iPad (most of her toys weren't accessible).  At 4:05PM, IKEA calls, they're running behind.  O.k., we wait longer, both growing a bit impatient but still dealing with it.  After multiple calls to customer service (who couldn't help me because it was after office hours) the delivery man called at 8PM saying they just weren't going to make it but promised to show up 1st thing in the morning.  After a few deep breaths, I accepted it, put my daughter to bed and went and relaxed in the liveable corner of the living room.  I made sure to wake up bright and early, take care of any last minute details, feed the family breakfast, and wait for the delivery (and assembly) of the new furniture.  8AM comes, IKEA transport dept. calls, apparently the driver isn't allowed to make appointments, and the scheduled customer refuses to switch their appointment to the afternoon.  Great, wow, wonderful, I was starting to freak out.  I had been patient, I had been tolerable, I had been pleasant, and I was going to break down.  I wasn't the only one, my toddler was also getting tired of playing in a corner.  New delivery time, between 11AM & 1PM.  After collecting myself, we showered and managed to leave the apartment for a while.  There we were again, waiting...  11 roll0, by, 12 rolls by, I was growing more irritated with each passing hour.  With 15 minutes to spare they cruise up with the delivery truck.  At first I was relieved, then I realized the speed at which things were getting assembled, and it was going to be a long day.  One of the men had only worked there for 3 days, you can imagine the situation.  Nap time rolls around, at first she relaxed on the couch, but her mood swung, she grew tired & grew fussy.  Since the new bookcases in our room were completed, I dragged the pop up bed in there, blasted her relaxing music and hoped for the best.  Despite the drilling and banging, she fell asleep... one less worry, I thought.  Now I was just bored and still confined to the corner.  When she awoke her mood didn't improve; I understood, I had enough myself.  4hrs later, they finally finished assembling everything and left.  Did I get to unwind, no!  Turns out I was right and the sheets from the large American crib don't fit the new toddler bed.  Out into the rain we go and off to Hema.  By the time we arrived home it was time to make dinner (we did finally get to eat at a dining room table).  Do you think I felt like unpacking things, no!  I'm the type of person who can buy something and leave it in the bag on the table for days.  I have nothing inside that drives me to immediately open something or fix something; I like to take my time, adjust to the idea, do it at my own pace (some call this lazy, I call it not wanting to create unneeded stress).  But the clutter was staring to stress me out, damn... I was forced to unpack part of it.  Not only for my sanity but for my toddlers, she needed access to her toys and to see something familiar in the house.  We downsized our furniture to make the apartment feel more open, but this leaves me with a lot less storage space.  There are 6 large bags of things that I have no idea what to do with (my husbands solution is to throw it all away, ahh).  Hopefully over the next couple days I can unpack the rest, and in the weekend it's back to IKEA for decorations and storage baskets & boxes.  For those of you wondering if I filed a complaint with IKEA, of course I did as soon as the offices opened; complaining is my forte! 

Wordless Wednesday #9

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Belated Birthday

This past Thursday I turned 31 yrs old, and I have been way too busy to write a post until now.  As much as I would like to say I've been busy with birthday celebrations, it's not true.  Don't get me wrong, we did find the time for a tasty BBQ with the in-laws and a lovely dinner at a TexMex restaurant with family & friends.  But all the time surrounding those events has been a bit chaotic.  All b-day celebrations took place before my actual b-day due to lack of time, but I did save some presents to open that night.  Since it's summer I want to make sure my 2yr old has plenty to keep her entertained, which leads to an overbooked schedule.  Besides a play date almost everyday we decided to throw in refurnishing our living & dining room, dog sitting, & doctor appointments.  Between my full schedule and my husband working 50-60hrs a week, the apartment looked like a disaster zone (finally tended to household duties yesterday afternoon).  Middle of this coming week looks a little less busy, maybe I'll finally get some time to kick back and enjoy the great b-day presents I received and use the gift certificates that are burning a hole in my pocket. 

A lot has changed since the carefree birthdays of childhood.  The biggest concern in those days were where the party was being held and who was joining in the fun. 

Now it's on to the next round of b-day's, there are 4 more family b-days this summer!

Monday, July 2, 2012


In this world of blogging we accumulate followers and we also follow others.  I use a Google blog and it makes this act quite simple.  You can easily add blogs to your "reading list" and follow them publicly.  Usually I am careful as to who I decide to "follow publicly".  I'll read the blog for around a month and then decide if it is a worthwhile blog, and that I don't mind letting other people know I find it interesting.  In the 9 months I've been blogging, I've never had to delete a blog from my list.  But the other day, I decided it was in my best interest.  I understand not all blogs are light hearted and I understand a majority of blogs have a special interest in mind.  But this blog blindsided me; at first it was fun and random, similar to my own, then occasionally they started delving into religion.  I can deal with that despite my own beliefs and/or non-belief's.  I am open minded, I like to hear other points of views.  But it was getting to be too much, too often.  Then the blogger started writing about American politics.  Again, I'm capable of having a discussion despite the party you choose to support.  I actually enjoy heated debates about politics and religion.  But the fun light hearted posts were coming less often, and the posts about things I didn't agree with came more and more.  Then at one point as I was getting irritated and ready to respond to what I found to be uneducated and emotionally charged comments to a political post (all in support of the blogger), I decided enough was enough. 
It's like tv, if you don't like what you're watching, change the channel.  There's no sense in making a fuss, because there are people out there who do enjoy it.  Part of me wanted to leave a comment with my very different opinion, but I had to be mature about it and let it go (ha-ha, hence this post).  I can't decide what bothered me more, the posts or the comments.  Did I really want to start some kind of blog war, no... I don't want to get hateful comments on my blog just because I've ruffled a few feathers.  So I went to my "reading list" and removed that particular blog.  Now the posts are no longer in my face, neither are the ridiculous comments, and I am no longer associated with it.  You're not required to advertise your blog as religious or political, but a little heads up might be nice.  Luckily enough, I took the high road, but if others unknowingly stumble upon it, they might not be so kind.