Friday, June 15, 2018

{Del Boca Vista} Update - Condo #2

(You can read my previous post on this topic here.)


When I left off, we had walked away from Condo #1 after the owner refused to acknowledge that there were serious issues with the electrical panel and would not agree to make any repairs.

Condo #2 is similar to Condo #1 with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, located on an intracoastal waterway and a short walk to the beach.  It's actually on the same street as Condo #1, separated by a handful of other smaller condo buildings.  Initially, it was priced $10,000 less than Condo #1.  A few days after we had looked at both condos and decided to make an offer on #1, the list price on #2 was reduced by $10,000 even though it had only been on the market for about a week.  We went with #1 for a few different reasons: it is slightly closer to the beach, has a shorter rental minimum and came furnished.

From personal experience selling property, I cannot stand lowball offers.  So while we didn't want to make an offer that could be taken as insincere on #2, the property had been sitting for a month and based upon comparable sales, I thought we could push it a little.  It's probably easiest to explain how it went down with mock numbers.  Let's say the list price was $99,000.  Our initial offer was $19,000 under list price, or $80,000.  One would expect the sellers to come back with a counteroffer in the middle, $90,000, and then we would counter their counter with $85,000.  Instead of wasting time with all of this, the sellers cut out the middle step and countered with $85,000.  I have to say that the listing agent here seems far more professional than the first one we dealt with.

We accepted their counteroffer hoping that by being cooperative and not pushing for a few thousand dollars, the sellers would be more likely to work with us after the inspection.  You know something will come up on inspection.  It always does!  The inspection took place last week and the report on Condo #2 was fairly tame.  There were a lot of minor issues, mainly plumbing and bathroom related.  Individually, they really weren't big deals but put them all together and we were looking at a bit of a headache.  We asked the sellers, and they agreed, to repair all the plumbing problems and one electrical issue.  There were several other items that we'll deal with later as they won't cause further problems if they aren't corrected now.

What really surprised me is that neither one of theses condos has smoke detectors.  Massachusetts law requires working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in all residences.  When you sell property, you need a certificate of compliance from the fire department.

The process is progressing without any hiccups.  Our realtor had told us that because the market is on an upswing, oftentimes the appraisal will come in for less than the selling price.  Supposedly, the appraisal report was due back yesterday and we haven't heard anything.  I'm going with no news is good news on that one.  So that's all I have for now.      

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My Tiny Dancers


There's a huge logistical advantage with all three of my girls enjoying and excelling at dance.  I never have to be in two different places at the same time or choose between events.  I sometimes wonder if the universe is working out a way to make up for all those years of sleep deprivation.  So while that's all awesome, it has become more and more apparent that perhaps participating in the same activity for triplets is not as fabulous from an emotional perspective.


The girls want to be seen as individuals and they don't like being lumped together as one unit or compared against each other.  This is completely understandable and I get it, even though I'm not a multiple myself.  They are all beautiful dancers and people tell me this all the time.  They aren't saying it just being kind; they honestly mean it.


Everyone has their own way of dancing and this holds true with the girls.  You have Allie who is almost theatrical which pairs well with her jazz class.  These past two years, she was the only one of the three who danced jazz and she stood out in that class.  Then there's Anna who amazes everyone with what she can do and how she keeps going even when she's exhausted.  I've told this kid many, many times how she wasn't supposed to be able to walk on her own unassisted.  The doctors' consensus was best case scenario she would have braces on her legs.  She's always walked on her own so she doesn't quite grasp what that means. Last but certainly not least, there's Emily, a graceful little ballerina, who is a quick learner and easily transitions to other forms of dance.



The girls don't want to be told that they are all awesome.  They want to be better.  They want to be the best. I sometimes throw my arms up in defeat because it feels like no matter what I say, they don't want to believe me.




My childhood took place during those years when only winners walked away with the trophy.  The sink or swim mentality was common in my early work experience.  It's completely different from today's working world teeming with life boats, and local little leagues where every team makes it to the playoffs.  I don't often hand out easy passes to my kids.  As a parent, I'm walking that fine line between boosting self-esteem and keeping it real.  I've taught my children not to expect handouts; success comes from hard work.  (With that being said, I have met plenty of people along this road called life who manage to slip and slide their way through, whether it be by cheating on exams or taking short cuts.  It may take years, but they are always found out.  Always.  You do not want to be like them.)



The dance year came to an end this past weekend with the annual recital.  The girls worked so hard this year and I'm extremely proud of each of them for their dedication and spirit.



I took these photos during ten minutes of open time Saturday afternoon before we scrambled out of the house in order to arrive at the dance recital rehearsal on time.  This is what I had wanted to do when the girls had their hair and make-up done for their competition last month but we ran out of time.  I needed to do a test run for something I'm working on, but of course I love these because they are my beautiful little dancers.

More recital photos and commentary to come, including my experience dancing for the first time.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Monthly Running Recap - May

So . . . not a great month for running.  But I've learned over the years that there's a time to push yourself and a time to step back and give yourself a break.  As much as I enjoy running, there are days when I just don't feel like doing it.  Maybe I'm tired, maybe I'm busy running around with the kids.  I try not to skip too many days when this happens because then it just feels like I'm living in Excuse City.

Last month, I missed an entire week of running.  It started with me not feeling well and then life was busy and if I'd wanted to get a run in, it was going to have to be at night on the treadmill and when the weather's nice, I don't want to get on the treadmill.  After several missed days, I was ready to go for a run.  I was chaperoning a field trip for Anna's class which meant I couldn't run during the day and because Rich had a meeting that night, I was stuck with the treadmill.  Okay, fine.  I was ready to suck it up.

The field trip was winding down and I was standing with Anna when, wham, it felt like I'd been hit behind my bad knee with a slingshot.  I knew I hadn't been hit with anything though.  It was my old running injury returning for a quick visit.  This all started before Rich and I were married.  We were both training to run Falmouth and I had to stop running because I could barely walk down the street without this snapping sensation happening behind my knee.  I did see a specialist at the time and without an MRI, he couldn't tell exactly what was going on.  That snapping sensation was happening randomly and not constantly so I was able to walk, even if it was at a turtle's pace.  I was told to stop running until it felt better and to stretch because, to him, my muscles felt too tight.  I also have scar tissue behind that knee so who knows how that was factoring into the situation.

I'm so careful about adding mileage and/or speed because this old injury pops up when I "overdo" it.  I was baffled over its surprise return, especially during a running mini-break.  The only thing I can think of is that I hyperextended my leg and that set it off.  I had the pulling sensation a few more times that day so I skipped running that night.  I waited a few more days before testing it out and, thankfully, my knee has felt fine.

May ended up being a low mileage month, but it's better than nothing.  

Total mileage for the month - 33.75 miles
Subtotal for 2018 - 208 miles

5/02 - 1.5 miles
5/03 - 2 miles (time 20:38) (85 degrees)
5/04 - Tap class
5/09 - 3 miles (time 30:12)
5/11 - 3 miles + tap class
5/13 - 5.25 miles
5/15 - 4 miles (time 43:00 - 2 miles of run hard for a minute, walk for a minute)
5/17 - 4 miles
5/18 - 2 miles (time 21:28, I wanted easy and I got easy) + tap class
5/25 - 2 miles (time 21:30) + tap class
5/28 - 3 miles (time 29:59)
5/30 - 4 miles (ran for 3 miles 31:28, walked .5, ran 1 mile)

To see my recap for April, click here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Life Lately

Anna's class was scheduled to spend a day this week at the Special Olympics supporting two classmates.  When I received notification regarding the outing, I had two immediate concerns.  Due to the nature of the trip, there would not be any chaperones.  I always attend field trips in order to take care of Anna's nursing needs.  I spoke to the school nurses to find out if they would be in attendance.  Yes, they would.  They made some phone calls and confirmed that they would be able to use the nurse's office inside the school where the event was being held.

So while that concern was eliminated, there was the weather issue.  The kids would be outside all day and were told to wear sunscreen, hats and bring plenty of water.  Anna's medication causes her to quickly overheat.  One of the nurses was going to be stationed inside a tent and told me that if Anna needed shade, she could hang out there.  But would Anna say she needed shade?  I'm seeing that shift into caring what other kids think.  For example, on a recent field trip, we had to climb three flights of stairs in addition to a significant amount of walking.  The second time we hit the stairs, I quietly asked Anna if she would prefer to take the elevator.  Nope.  She later told me that using the elevator would have been embarrassing.

Anna and I discussed the Special Olympics outing and, at first, she "kind of" wanted to attend.  As I hashed out the details, it became obvious that the logistics were stressing her out and I told her she could simply stay home that day.  Her teacher had absolutely no issues with her staying home either.  Earlier, I had commented to one of the nurses that it would be a bit ironic if a kid with special needs couldn't attend the Special Olympics as a spectator because of her needs.  (I have to add here that the school was extremely helpful in trying to accommodate her needs.)  Well, it was postponed due to rain and the class won't be able to go on the rescheduled date because of activities at school that day.

I try to remain positive when it comes to spina bifida and hydrocephalus because this is our life.  It won't make things easier to complain and be negative.  After everything we went through with Abigail and then the girls' surprise, high risk for many different reasons pregnancy, I want to be grateful for what we have.  That being said, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to challenging days and moments, or times when I question why this had to happen to us.  

Some days are simply crappy.

The girls still have a couple of weeks of school left.  Thank you, snow days.  All the end of year stuff is really hitting now, even more so this year because the girls will be heading to middle school next year.  Crazy, I know.


Last weekend was supposed to be cold and rainy so we had planned to paint down at the cottage on Saturday.  The rain and cold was pushed to Monday so we ended up having a nice day, even being close to the water.  It's never as hot down there as it is at home.  Painting the rooms that had never seen paint is not an easy process because the walls are made up of some type of particle board which just absorbs the primer and paint.  We've been focusing on the family room and the bedroom that had wallpaper.  There's trim around the top of both rooms.  Thankfully, most of the trim in the family had been painted that off-white color, so I just need to paint it white.  The trim in the bedroom needed three coats of paint and that's after the primer.  Although, I told Rich it could have used another coat of primer which probably would have saved me a coat of paint.


That paint color is sea glass but we've found it changes color depending on the light.  Here is looks like a pale blue.

Looking like a tourist.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May Book Review

It's time again for my monthly reading recap.  May was thriller/suspense heavy as those seem to be super popular right now.  I do try to mix it up but I obviously wasn't very successful with that last month.


Lie to Me - Sutton and Ethan Montclair seem to be made for each other but when Sutton disappears, Ethan falls under suspicion.  The secret lies behind their marriage come to light when the police begin their investigation.  What happened to Sutton and how is Ethan involved?

I've learned that in order to enjoy these types of books, you have to allow yourself to believe that a string of crazy events could possibly happen.  This one was okay.  It was fairly fast-paced and kept my interest, but definitely not one I'd mark as a favorite at the end of the year.

The Innocent Wife - I did like how the plot in this book was a little different from other thriller/suspense novels.  Dennis has been in prison for 20 years for the murder of a young girl, a murder he claims he didn't commit.  He becomes the subject of a documentary series, which supports his innocence and hopes to reveal new clues.  Samantha becomes obsessed with Dennis' case and begins to exchange letters with him, eventually leading to their marriage.  After Dennis is freed from prison, Samantha learns more than she wants to and begins to question Dennis' innocence.

This one was, again, just okay for me.  I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either.

The Other Mother - I fear that if I write out what this is about, I'll give something away.  I was able to figure out most of the plot twists with this one.  Honestly, these first three books were all about the same for me.  They were quick, easy reads, kept my attention, but at the end of the year, they'll all blend together and be completely forgettable.  They could all be lumped together as good beach/vacation reads.

The House Swap -  Imagine entering into a week long house swap with a stranger and finding pieces from your past, a past full of secrets, all over the house.  This book was seriously meh for me.  It's supposed to be a thriller but it didn't read like one at all and I was able to figure out almost every plot twist, of which there weren't many.  In addition, all of the characters are completely unlikeable and I could have done without the sex scenes.    


An American Marriage - Everyone's talking about this book and it really is that good.  A year into their marriage, Roy is arrested and imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.  It takes five years for his conviction to be reversed.  What happens to his marriage while he's in prison and afterwards?

Not only was this extremely well written, all the characters were likable.  It was impossible for me to pick a favorite or to root for one outcome knowing that someone would get hurt.  I really enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend it to everyone.


I Am, I Am, I Am - I liked this memoir not only for the poetic writing but the manner in which she shares her life.  The author chose to highlight 17 brushes with death and while not all of these are OMG, how did you survive, some of them are.  I really felt like I could relate to her and thoroughly enjoyed reading this.  If you like memoirs, check it out.


To see what I've read so far this year and the books I read in prior years, click here.

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