Monday, July 26, 2010

The cutest of late

Last week, the monkey decided she wanted to put on her shoes. And she alone did. This was sort of adorable, but... she can't put on her shoes. She's 17 months old - she can't quite coordinate this (unless it's a slip on) and can't buckle them. But she wouldn't accept help. I called my husband to say - well this is adorable today, but is going to get darn annoying soon!


Thank you!

The monkey has started saying thank you. Sort of. It sounds a lot like "DQ" or "Teeku." She generally repeats it if you say Thank you. And then because she gets such a good reaction, she says it over and over again.

By the way, the grandmothers have been "impressed" that she's putting two words together so young. I don't think this is quite fair... She has no idea that these are two words.


I've been meaning to do an update on eating - something consolidating all the great tips I got and letting you know how she's doing. Been meaning to for months... Um, anyway, so onto today...

OK, Ok, yes eating has gotten MUCH better. She's still a bit on the fussy side and we never actually went through the "human vacuum cleaner who will eat anything stage" - just right onto toddler pickiness, but OK. She will eat solids now - with a definite preference for cheerios or any form of carb (well, crackers and such).

So because she had been very picky, I didn't focus on letting her feed herself at all. I was just trying hard to get food into her! Until I read recently that at this age she should be able to use a fork and spoon (at least sometimes). Um, oops...

In my fear of feeding her until she's 20, I decided to start putting the utensils out and letting her go to town (so the dog gets fatter). And, genius that I am, I started this process on pasta with sauce this weekend. The good news - she actually at the pasta! The bad news - I think she might STILL have some in her ears...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Project management

A friend of mine, ironically a male, once told me that any woman who planned a wedding should automatically get her PMP (project management certification if you are not stuck in my sad little world) at the end. He argued that all the crazy planning, managing expectations, budgeting and details were certainly a project worthy of some sort of degree (ironically also not gay).

When I got married, I thought – you know, he may have a point.

Now I realize, he clearly never had kids.

Saturday was one of those examples of a “nice working on this project with you, hon” type of day. The days we try to avoid. When my husband and I talked through our possible working options, one we thought about was – what if I work the days he doesn’t (excluding weekends in my case), averaging 3 days a week. My boss was surprisingly open to this (in theory), but I realized it would wreak havoc at work if no one ever knew when to expect me. And we also realized – this would just wreak havoc on our lives if all they really consisted of was “baby hand off.” My husband said that we ran the risk of raising a child being a project we were working on together rather than being a family. It’s one of those things that doesn’t jump out to you when you look at a schedule “on paper,” but can easily become a stark and cold reality when you actually do it. So instead I work Mon-Wed and his Mom watches the monkey one day a week and it turns out it gives us balance (what doesn’t jump out on that spreadsheet approach is that we haven’t always built in any time to sleep in our schedule, but that’s another topic for another day) most days. It’s always the “most” part that kills you.

My husband had worked 24 on Thursday with no sleep to speak of. He came home on Friday morning and, as always, it was pretty much time to run. I was actually off, so I tried to convince him to nap late morning when the monkey seemed ready to go down, but he wanted to head over to renters to take care of something they needed before it got too late. On the way back, the little one did, in fact, fall asleep in the car, so we kept driving. Then we had to run her by the doctor (slight low grade fever – what’s that about?). And suddenly it was dinner time and he hadn’t rested yet.

So Saturday when I got up with the baby to give her breakfast at 7 I told him to take a break and rest. After breakfast, I wanted to take her out on a wog/snog (wog = walk/jog. It’s mostly a walk with small parts of “snog” or snail’s paced jog), so I suggested he rest while I did that. He actually got up while we were out to start working on his slides for class the next day. I kept the monkey with me while I cleaned up and he worked and then I took her to the store with me. When he finished the slides, I was feeling the need for a break (though not nearly as long, Thursday had been a damn long day for me too), so I handed her off and he took her to Home Depot with him. She fell asleep in the car on the way back and it was my turn to drive her around so that he could hang baby gates without waking her. We came back in time to get her (and me) cleaned up / presentable to meet friends for dinner. The gates got done and we were 40 minutes late (maybe half of that was traffic…).

He looked at me when I outlined the plans on hand offs and said – um, when exactly do I get to hang out with you? I asked him how next Friday looked. Ugh.

Is it just me? Do you have those days too? How do you deal with them? Besides planning ahead (I forgot to mention the cake baking for the dinner part), as that’s clearly not an option!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Minute: 07/19/2010 Survivor Style

Today's Monday minute from Ian along with this week's cohost (drum roll, please!):


Monday Minute

What's your real name?

Inigo Montoya. You see why I haven't said before - I mean, no anonymity at all!

Have you ever fabricated a story or anything on your blog?

Nope. I've probably exaggerated. But if you met the rest of my family, you'd understand - I can't help it / don't even know I'm doing it / couldn't stop if I tried.

When in the car do you listen to the radio/CDs/iPod/etc?

I can't seem to get my iPod to play through my car even though there's a little hook up thing (what the heck!). I usually listen to the radio with CDs for kids stuff - either her songs or a book on CD for me to stay awake while she sleeps.

Describe the 'sexiest' item of clothing that you own.

Hmm... I don't know. I have these leather pants that everyone always seems to react to (wait, that came out wrong. I mean, my friends are always like - whoa! I guess because they are "unexpected" for me - one of my favorite things about them.), but truthfully I don't think they're that 'sexy.' My friend got them for me on super uber sale at a Gap clearance center (think outlet on crack), but they pretty much fit like Gap classic fit jeans do - not exactly tight or anything. They are fun though!

My early to mid 20s wardrobe had a lot more in this category - when I was young, single and skinny! I had some tight shiny vinyl pants that were really fun (for the unexpected factor). I also had at least one wrap around shirt that showed a bit of mid-drift. I was never really comfortable in that one though as I didn't think my stomach was flat enough for it (what I wouldn't give now!).

Would you be willing to breastfeed your friend's three year old child?

No. No. NO!!!!!! I wouldn't be willing to breastfeed my OWN 3 year old child! Ugh.

OK, fine, I'll caveat - if we're stuck on a desert island and I don't have my currently non-existent new baby with me (the one that would be causing me to lactate) and it's not looking good, but I can make this a little more bearable for the dehydrated 3 year old and maybe give him/her a better shot. OK, then, yes.

Outside of Lost or Survivor style reality TV, I'm not seeing a whole heck of a lot of other circumstances where I'd do this though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, as I already had my soapbox out this week…

I came across this article from the LA Times this week I thought I’d share. It has NOTHING to do with my normal blog topics, but it made me think a lot so I thought I’d pass it on.

The article covers legislation in France that makes it illegal for women to wear burqas in public places. It says that this vote passed because the burqa “undermines French values” (being about subservience, not religion), but it’s overall seen as attempt to “clamp down on Islamic extremism.”

On the one hand, I’m a religious person (though not Muslim) and don’t like the idea of restricting religious freedom. On the other, I wonder how many women really WANT to wear a burqa and how many are forced to so that this law would “free” them and give them equality in exactly the way it says.

But throwing out arguments about religious freedom (though those are the most likely to reverse any decision), I thought about this a bit more and just kept coming up with more questions, like:

1. Doesn’t this just restrict these women all the more? Won’t they be forced to stay out of the public entirely now? Doesn’t this give the males the French see as oppressing them more power and the women less freedom, as now they can’t even leave their homes?

2. Or, what if the women WANT to wear the burqa? Trying to think of what might be an equivalent (though I don’t understand much about the rules on the burqa), what if I were forced to leave the house only in a bikini? Or my underwear? (or would it be even less?) I would feel uncomfortable (and, on display and all sorts of other things). I would feel more restricted to my home. And, honestly, I’d feel like that law was totally oppressing and objectifying me. So does this type of rule do exactly the opposite of what it suggests/intends for some women?

And then there are all the arguments about religious freedom… Or does the burqa “scare” the average person the street because they see it as extremism and worry about terrorism? So is it about making 99% of people feel safer? Are they actually really concerned that maybe it’s not a woman in the burqa but that such a large shapeless dress could conceal a man with a bomb strapped to his chest – in which case it’s not about the perception of safety, but about real safety?

As you can see, I am ALL OVER THE MAP on this one. So I was sort of wondering what the ol’ interwebby thought of it all. I have a traffic jam of thoughts roaming through my head and wondered about other perspectives on it – what do you think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And on to Savannah

After a few days in Charleston we headed to Savannah. We again started with a self guided walking tour and late in the (very hot) afternoon) found another fountain designated as a pool I, of course, had NOT put a bathing suit or swim diaper in the baby bag, so we decided to just let her go in with her clothes on this time and change her after. It took her a few minutes to warm up to the idea again again, but then she loved it and cried when it was time to go.

This one was a little different as you couldn’t really wade into the fountain, but instead there were spots where water was sprouting up from the ground that you could run through and other spots of mini waterfalls about the monkey’s height that she could get under. And, in the spirit of all that is random, this one had a lifeguard!

Mostly she seemed to be there to stop the kids from running. With a 17 month old, I was pretty glad for it (the monkey had been knocked into / over a couple of times) and yet, we all know I’m not REALLY mature enough to be a parent as I was looking at the kids running and thinking – dude, if I were a 9 year old boy I’m not sure I could NOT run either! The place was MADE for running! For leapfrogging over each of the spouts of water as fast as you can!

Anyway, after a hot afternoon of exploring the pretty parks and architecture of Savannah (and wondering if maybe I should try to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil again. Then remembering that I really couldn’t get into it/ didn’t like it and I should probably just rend the movie…), we decided to go to Tybee beach the next day.

I have a theory that my body NEEDS to experience sand between my toes several times a year to keep my equilibrium – and, dude, I was due! And it would be nice to have a relaxing day at the beach (or to find out if that concept was possible with a toddler). So we headed to the beach, bought some sand toys there and were lucky enough to get a spot under the pier with all the other parents trying to keep their kids out of the sun. And, in YET another example of how old I’m getting… it turns out it’s kind of nice to sit in the shade at the beach. You don’t get too hot. You don’t have to worry about sunburn. Yeah, I’m like a million. The monkey enjoyed playing in the sand (the one problem with under the pier is that’s generally where all the more… hmm “illicit?” stuff goes on at night, right? We’d cleared the area of any bottles or other garbage we saw, but the monkey was the one to find the used condom when she started digging. EW!). She even enjoyed the surf when she got used to it. And Momma enjoyed the soft serve ice cream before we left!

In order to avoid the horrors of another ALL DAY drive, we decided to stop in Chapel Hill on the way back – which was really cute, totally worth seeing (a side note – though we got there too late for real “touring,” I noticed a lot of stuff was free! Something I always love on a trip!). So we did 2 days of long drives instead…

The second day my husband pointed out that we could take the highways home or we could take 15 which would be way more scenic and only 40 minutes longer. I said, you know, if it was just us, I’d be all about 15. But… I don’t know… That last 40 minutes of a long car ride with the baby can be VERY long. So we took the highways. And she did well – till about the last hour / 1.5 hours mark and then all hell started to break loose and those words came back to us! We were glad not to add another 40 mins (although, to be fair, she did then fall asleep).

So we finally made it back and “staycation”-ed a couple of days at home. My sister in law even came over to baby-sit on Saturday so we could go to the movies (at which point we realized that there is nothing out and they apparently now charge $8 for popcorn! This is why I sneak snacks in… And why I clearly need to go buy the “mom purse” with room for more snacks!).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yeah, so we’d finally arrived in Charleston (part II)

We’d used points to get a room at Springhill Suites, hoping that “suites” would imply enough living space to give the baby some room. Not so much. So each night one of us would try to rock her / calm her down while the other one hid in the bathroom / closet / etc. waiting. Or we’d sit in the dark room / lay on the bed and pretend to be asleep till she went down – which, at least in my case, inevitably led to me actually falling asleep and waking up at midnight or so to brush my teeth and take out my contacts. My husband looked at me one night in Savannah when we were lying in bed at 8:30 while it was still light out and we could hear kids playing in the pool outside and said – “you know, this is the 9 year old me nightmare - going to bed when it’s light out and you can hear kids playing. At 33, it’s kind of awesome!”

So yes, sadly, I’m old and boring. Falling asleep at 8:30 sounded great! Especially as we seemed to have set ourselves a 3 or 4 am wake up call – of the biological variety when the baby would start crying. At home, when this goes on a few nights, we’ll start to let her cry it out (she’s going to be finding her way out of that crib soon and I really don’t want to spend 3 hours walking her back to her bed each night till she gets the idea that she has to stay there. As an aside, I am making no progress against this goal.), but we worried about doing this in a hotel where she might wake up the whole place (with that siren going, they might think it was an air raid!). So my husband would get her and move to the couch (this was the part that made it a “suite”) with her for the next few hours – while she moved the length of his body in her fitful sleep. At the second hotel, the couch was not at all comfortable, so at 6, he walked over to me and unceremoniously said – “your turn!” – while he laid down to try to get some feeling back in his extremities after cutting off circulation on the lower vertebrae. So I stayed awake while my “sort of” sleeping daughter made her way up and down the length of me – taking a foot in the belly, an elbow in the neck, whatever! Just make this kid sleep! Yeah, by the last nights, we decided she couldn’t cry that long and it would be just fine – the walls were thick enough. And, shockingly, it turned out it was – her tears were short lived and she went back to sleep. Well, dang, if I’d known that…

Anyway, our first full day in Charleston we decided to go see Fort Sumter. We took the ferry out, listened to the tour and then were told we had about an hour on the island before the boat left, so get going. It’s actually a small island, but we really felt like we could use another 15-30 minutes (I’d say the monkey did NOT agree). I thought we could take whatever ferry back rather than being relegated to the one we came on, so we asked. Yes, but the next ferry coming was actually coming from a different place. We could get on that one, but it wouldn’t take us back to our car. Hmm…OK. The next one coming from our port would get us back about 3 hours later. So, uh, not 30 minutes then? We decided we could probably read about whatever was in the museum online. Also at the spot where you get the ferry (well, one of them, apparently) to Fort Sumter was the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier). The husband was VERY excited at the possibility of touring this! But we decided we’d tortured the baby enough for one day and we’d just come back the next (the 4th!) to see it. We had not yet pulled out of the parking lot when the baby fell asleep in her car seat – yeah, she was done.

Unfortunately we thought about it later and realized that aircraft carriers don’t really tend to be stroller friendly. In fact they involve a lot of climbing up ladders and through hatches – not something all that conducive to a toddler. (I told a friend of mine this and she said that we were clearly wimps as indigenous people in S. America climb the Andes with babies all the time (she doesn’t have kids – and also was kidding). I said that they probably had baby slings (the Mobie (sp?) I’ve drooled over) and we didn’t.)

Most of the rest of our time in Charleston was spent roaming around – a (self guided) walking tour and just checking the place out. We discovered the fountains that are designated as public pools and let the monkey go in in her diaper (no, it’s not a swim diaper, but it’s a fountain, not REALLY a pool anyway!), vowing to throw a swim diaper and her bathing suit in our bags for next time) while I got soaked hovering over her (which wasn’t half bad in 90 degrees either!).

Highlights beyond the fountain included a Mexican place with $3 margaritas for Momma... Hmm, having fond memories of Charleston as I go back to work now...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stop the presses! July 13 is National French Fry Day!

Sorry - I thought it was important that we all knew that.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

I started trying to tell you about the trip, but then I decided to get on my soapbox instead. Sorry.

So last week we went on vacation. And yes, I could go into a detailed description of what exactly we saw and did – the history of Fort Sumter, other important stuff in Charleston and what we liked best in Savannah. But seriously – you could buy a travel book and get way better (and highly likely more accurate! I mean, did the people writing the travel book take the tour of Fort Sumter with a 17 month old in need of a nap who was pretty ticked at us for forcing her on a 9 hour drive (Napolean’s retreat from Russia was not so inhumane) the day before? Well, I guess it’s possible. But then they probably fact checked on wikipedia to straighten that stuff out.), so let’s instead do highlights.

Day 1 (Friday) highlights – we got up about 5 with the intention of hitting the road by 5:30 (yeah, right. We’re seriously going to get both of us and a baby out of the house that fast. I put that one as my goal, but hoped for 6). It was about 6:30 when we left. We’d discussed it the night before and my husband asked – what’s the hurry? Why do we need to leave so early? It was about 8-9 hours to Charleston (plus stops) and we live in the DC suburbs. This means we either need to get our butts out of bed very early and get going before rush hour or we should wait till 10 to get started. My hope was to get going with the baby still tired so she’d go back to sleep in the car. Hahahahaha. Why yes, I am a first time mother. Why do you ask?

The monkey actually did exceptionally well with the car ride, all things considered. All things being its length PLUS the random pockets of traffic (seriously what the heck?) that we kept hitting. But let’s be honest, when we were rolling into our hotel after 6 that night, she’d had it. She’d had it quite awhile before actually… I’d packed a “bucket” full of car toys and had been refilling it and handing it to her to dump for a lot longer than I wanted to (I’m harder to amuse on a long car ride than a baby). A friend had offered us a dvd player for the car, but, like complete idiots, we’d decided against. The monkey isn’t really all that interested in TV anyway, but, as first time, idealistic, we won’t fall into these commercial traps, aren’t we so awesome and we’ll do it better parents, we also really didn’t want to introduce the car DVD player. Look, I know, I know! I hesitate to even mention these things as we ALL know I’m going to give in and get one in no time – long before she’s even telling me that “all her friends” have one. But still – in my ideal little ivory tower of parenthood… I hate them. They’re part of my whole “kids are getting soft” theory.

Before you get offended, note – I know that this is only my newbie, one kid idealism and really, deep down, I know it will fall. But (but!) – do you remember long car rides as a kid? Yes, they were boring and interminable (I’m pretty sure I’m actually still in the middle of that one when I was 12 and all this is just a dream. Hmm – you think I’d be more successful in my own dream, huh? At least thinner…) and how horrifying (we won’t even discuss my car sickness/ projectile vomiting. I apologize if you ever got the rental car after us) and all that. But, we had to DO stuff to combat all that. We played the license plate game. And the alphabet game. And the “let’s name all 50 states” game (and why did we usually only get 49 till our parents or other adult woke up at 3 am thinking – oh, sheesh! How did I forget West Virginia?!). We had to get creative. On occasion we actually had to talk to each other! (Until I hit my teens and brought my walkman along to avoid that horror.) But now we don’t have to do any of that – we can wait for the world to entertain us with DVDs.

And here’s the other thing – is all this making it impossible for us to be alone? I know, holy leap there, batman! But hear me out. When I first moved from NJ to DC, I used to actually kind of enjoy the drives back and forth. Not the traffic, but I remember thinking it was a 4 hour license to daydream. I mean, seriously – I couldn’t be doing something “productive” for all that time. It was my “me” time to zone out. But the truth is – I’m not so comfortable with that anymore. My Dad got sick and I did the drive nearly every weekend for months and I really didn’t want “me” time anymore – there was too much in my head and I had to get out of it. So I started getting on my cell phone for large portions of the drive. And then I discovered books on tape – my new car entertainment! If I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read, I’d just “reread” old ones. And now, truthfully, I’ve lost some of my ability to be alone with myself. I can barely commute without a book on tape or the phone to my ear, let alone take a long car ride.

Anyway, this is getting long and we haven’t even checked in – or gotten to the story of eating dinner in the bathroom that night so as not to wake the baby who we’ve finally gotten to sleep in our “it turns out ‘suite’ just means there’s a couch on the far side of the room” hotel room at 9 pm after the wait at the one nearby restaurant was too long. So maybe we better go for part 2.

But as I’ve spouted out my burst of uninvited social commentary, I open it up to you. What do you think of the car dvd players (and how long will I likely last before I also realize that they are gifts from God?!)? What car games did you play as a kid? Do you think all our electronic hooks are making our ability to be alone die a slow and painful death (or, more likely, a “so quick I didn’t even notice it” death)?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Minute - apparently the gross out edition...

So Jen from is hosting the Monday Minute this week (instead of Ian at the Daily Dose of Reality), but back from vacation and ready to play along!

Here goes:

1. Can you burp the ABC's?

No. My husband is proud of his burp talking abilities. It causes many a "discussion" about whether or not I'm willing to respond to comments burped at me. I've ALMOST gotten him to stop. At least when talking to me.

2. So lets just say you have a 9+ hour drive ahead of you would you consider wearing Depends so you didn't have to stop multiple times?

It didn't work on the baby on last week's 9+ hour drive, I doubt it will work on me.

OK, seriously - no. Theoretically, I guess you could be OK peeing like that with the fabric to "wick" away your pee, but if you have to poop, can you imagine the nasty diaper rash? So now I'm using depends and desitin? Great...

Also, I've discovered that my potty training was well enough instilled that I'm really not able as an adult to pee in inappropriate situations. I did one of those river float things a few years ago and was DYING to go - I thought my bladder would burst! I knew everyone else was going in the river, but I had such a hard time getting over the mental hurdle of going fully dressed in a river that people swim in. Separately, I was in the hospital a few years ago and was brought a bedpan and had the same issue. I looked at the nurse and said, I know I said I had to go, but I can't seem to do this - and awaited her wrath at my ridiculousness (didn't I "have" to go?). Instead she was really kind and looked at me and said - of course you can't. You're not used to wetting the bed.

So, long story short, I don't think it would work.

Oh, and EW!

3. Would you your tongue down five feet of a NYC street or press your tongue into a strangers nostril?

Ah, the fear factor edition. So do I get to see the street first (can I choose my own) and/or see the stranger first? I guess if totally forced, I'd probably "prefer" the nostril, as that could just take a second v. the street thing taking ALL DAY (the way I'd do it...). But the street thing is probably "more hygenic" (on the scale of 0-10, 0 being a sterilized lab and 10 being a petrie dish, it's probably a 122 v. the nostril thing being a 200?) because how long can germs live outside the body?

Hmm... maybe I need to rethink. Just making the decision might take ALL DAY.

4. If you had an envelope that contained the date you would die would you open it?

If I've completed #3, isn't this a moot point?

5. Which one song describes your sex life best?

Well, let's see we just went on vacation with our baby where our "suite" hotels were actually just a bedroom with a completely attached sitting room. We'd put her down in the crib and then sit very quietly in the dark until she stopped crying (read: I fell asleep at about 8:30 many nights). I don't think I want to answer the question this week!

Looking at my future

Yes, yes, been gone a week and must blog about my adventures. But also, been gone a week and must actually do some work... So no major stories today and just this thought:

Yesterday, my 17 month old (how did she get so big? Pause for a moment while all my reproductive organs weep...) grabbed my blackberry as a favorite toy of the day. She lay down on the couch in our family room with her legs bent and feet on the couch (but NOT standing! So I think I've won that battle) holding the phone up against her legs and pressing the buttons to watch the colors change, etc.

And I looked at her and thought - I will see this exact picture again in 12 or 15 years. My (not so little) monkey laying on that couch (or, I HOPE, its future descendents) texting or on the phone or whatever new fangled things those kids have come up with then...

Later I wrestled the phone from her admist much screaming and thought - yeah, this is probably a premonition too. Particularly as I put the phone on the counter while I fed her in her high chair and the very second I let her down, she walked over to the counter and swiped it off again in passing!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Taking a small blogging break this week. I'll catch up with you guys next week - hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Can I get an amen?!

Thank goodness! Maybe I'll hold off on full amens and hallelujahs till we get everything signed, but my husband talked to the renters yesterday and they are interested in renewing their lease!

Oh thank goodness!

Things at work are well, let's just say in a state of upheaval, for both of us at the moment and our stress levels are pretty well through the roof. I am so glad that this is not one more thing to worry about!

The thing about renting the condo is - this is an absolute for us. I bought the place 5 years ago at the HEIGHT of the market. When we realized we were outgrowing it and it was actually finally a good time in the market to buy last year, there was just no way we could sell it. We'd lose WAY more money than we have to lose. So we rented it (there are myriad posts from last fall on that little oopsie of renting it before our new place was finalized, but I digress). We figured we'd have to hold it at least a few years - till the price recovered some and/or till we could AT LEAST write off some of the loss.

And we got lucky (OK, maybe not all luck - my husband was great about vetting everyone, but also lucky). We got GREAT renters! Exactly what you want in your renters - quiet, possibly kind of nerdy (I say this as a nerd), young women who not only pay their rent on time but tend to send the checks about a week early!

Yeah, we've been called out to fix some dumb stuff and switch over the thermostat from hot to cold. But really - a small price to pay for otherwise low maintenance renters who pay on time.

But my ever increasing anyway stress levels started to get another shot of adrenaline as I realized that their year lease was almost up. Oh man, what if they don't renew? How will we show the place when they're living there? What if we don't find someone? We can't afford NOT to find someone. And worry, worry, worry.

But my husband called yesterday and they plan to renew. He'll bring over a lease for them to sign next week - and then AMEN and HALLELUJAH!