Monday, August 24, 2009

The Best Cat That Ever Was!

Buddy Lee Vincent Wright

Sept 2, 1992 - Aug 24, 2009

My best little friend for the past 17 years finally gave up the fight this morning. Buddy was the best cat that ever was. We got Buddy when I was a sophomore in high school. He was a gift for my sister from her date for a dance. I still remember seeing that little fur ball come running at me for the first time. He had the cutest little face and the best personality. He always knew when someone did not like cats and made it his mission to change their mind. He worked his magic on my dad who eventually gave him his name. I think we were considering the name Bear or something like that but my dad said, "no, this guy is a little Buddy!" Though he was technically my sisters cat, I was attached to him like my own. When I got engaged to be married, I had a moment of cold feet and started to get very homesick. My sister walked in and said, "I was going to save this for your wedding day, but I want you to have Buddy!" That solved it, I knew if Buddy could come with me, I could make it through anything. Ryan had to bribe our landlord $100 to let us bring the cat but I would have paid 100 times that, it was well worth it. I credit Buddy for saving my life on several occasions. He just knew me and knew when to force himself on my lap and make his presence known.

Buddy endured his own challenges. It took him several years to win over Ryan's love. Along with that fight came many assisted trips down the stairs, into walls, off couches, etc. He had his whiskers cut, tape on his paws, attempted double back flips. Most people that entered our home wanted nothing to do with Buddy. There were those who refused to come to the house because we had a cat. They never understood what a magnificent, loyal friend he was. That little animal was better to me than most humans could ever dream of. I am certain Buddy endured it all to be there for me. That cat loved me so much!!!

Buddy has not been himself these past few months. He could not be the cat he was used to being and it was hard to watch. Our neighbors here in Iowa fell in love with Buddy immediately and tried to help nurse him back to health. They came to us last night and said they did not think Buddy was going to make it through the night. I had Ryan go bring him home. I laid by him on the couch all night. He gave up his fight around 5am this morning. Buddy was a part of my life for more than half my life to this point. I will miss him everyday! We love you Buddy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Half Bath Makeover

I have received several threatening emails and phone calls wanting me to post some pictures of the house. I have mentioned to several people that we have a lot of before and during pictures of projects but nothing I can call finished. Well my sister and her superhero husband came to visit for a week and man did they leave a mark. My sister and I took on a little project on our own and am proud to say, it is the first mostly finished project in the house. The reason I say mostly finished is because the floor still needs to be redone but we will wait to do that when we do the kitchen floor so it is a seamless floor. is the before picture of our wonderful half bath.
There are several things I would like to point out about this bathroom. First of all, that is not tile on the walls, it is vinyl flooring. Sweet huh? Next, this bathroom is on the first floor and that window offers ZERO privacy from the neighbors when they are on their second floor. I am certain they have seen a lot of "crack" up to this point. Next, the faucet. It never really turns off. Then there is the light. It is a fluorescent light and there is a ten second delay from when you push the button, yes I said button, to turn it on and when it actually decides to shed some light. And last but not least, the beautiful black, white and grey cabinetry. There are several nay-sayers out there that might argue, well at least there is storage. This bathroom is the size of a coffin, storage is the least of my concerns. I am just saying......

Now brace yourselves, this is the after.

Nikki and I gutted the place. We hung bead board where there once was vinyl. I rewired the light switch to be an actual switch and changed out the light to one that works. The sink is new with a faucet that is actually operational. A fresh coat of paint and a set of $15 blinds and presto, a brand new bathroom. I still need to "accessorize" but I thought I would share the progress so far. I sit in this bathroom to escape the disaster we are living in everywhere else. It brings me peace. So, what do you think? Do you likey or should we go back to the black and grey color scheme?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Payton Stats - Age 4

Height: 3 ft 4 inches
Weight: 32 lbs

Payton was a very brave girl at the doctors office today. We decided to get her kindergarten shots over with early. She got 4 shots and a finger poke today. The nurses took one look at her scrawny little arms and opted to go with the legs. She only cried for a minute and I was so very proud of her. Afterwards, we went to Wal-mart to cheer her up then went to McDonalds for lunch. Of course, she made me carry her everywhere because her legs apparently were no longer able to function. Must be some weird side effect of the immunizations or something. I think they effect princess's in a different way than normal children. I will have to read up on that. I was extremely impressed with her bravery during the whole process, however, and am just really glad to have all that over with.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Official!

It is official, as of 3:38pm, Iowa time, we became the proud owners of a 1920 Victorian home. We are multi-home owners. Yipee!!! We are so excited but still a little in awe. I was not sure this was ever going to happen. I think I am in the biggest shock because it was so easy with Wells Fargo. There were no hoops to jump through, no letters to write, no begging, no pleading, no explaining. It was such an extreme opposite of our Countrywide experience.

It is ours, all ours. Now the real work be continued!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fun Pix of Maggie

So I have a very talented sister who is great at photo editing. I sent her some pictures I snapped of Maggie and they came back looking like this......
Simply.....ADORABLE! Thanks Nik, you are the bestest!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Iowa House

I will give you all a glimpse of the house we are fighting so hard for. Maybe now you will understand my determination.
That is all you get for now. I will let your imaginations do the rest for a bit. I would hate to torture you too much in case we don't get it. Plus I need to take better pictures of the inside. There will be amazing before and after photos if I am able to get my paws on this place and make it our own.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cutie Petuties etc.

Here are the latest and greatest pictures of the kiddos. We took these just before making the 40 minute trek to church. I just had to take a picture of the girls in their matching outfits with matching bows. Cute stuff!! Payton's clothes ended up being a little big but I guess they will just last her longer, right? Maggie did not want to sit still for the picture so this is the best we could do. Payton was holding on with all her might to keep Maggie there and still keep that picture perfect smile Payton always brings to a photo.I had to also take a picture of my handsome little man with his new church shirt. We had to get him one with long sleeved. Have I mentioned before that it is cold in Iowa? Just wondering! Anyway, this is the only picture I managed to capture where he was not pulling a goofy face. He prefers to show the artistic impressionistic side of himself whenever the camera is out.
Well the smiles and happy day were short lived. Maggie started freaking out in Relief Society which never happens. After her screaming uncontrollably in the hall for 20 minutes, I dragged Ryan out of priesthood to help out. Maggie fell asleep on his shoulder within 1 minute, which also, never happens. She screamed and cried most of the car ride home, then the real fun began. Maggie got sick!!! She started throwing up about every 15 minutes for the next 6 hours. I have never had a baby get sick before besides a cold. This was sheer torture. She would fall asleep sitting up on our laps until the next bout of heaving. That night, the only way she was comfortable was sleeping on her belly with her knees underneath her and her bum in the air. The one good thing about having a sick child is......lots of snuggle time. That is looking at the glass half full, eh?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back By Popular Demand

BEWARE......long post!

Well, I cannot guarantee how much I will blog right now or how bright and cheery the posts might be but I will do my best. Here is a quick synopsis of our past couple of months since my last post. This may not make any sense either because I am frustrated, so bare with me.

We are alive in Iowa. Within the first week of arriving here, we found and put an offer in on our dream home. I had actually found this home on a website before even moving here and fell in love. It was priced way too high for us since we did not have a down payment and still have the home in Arizona. We looked around when we got here and could not find anything in very good condition that fit the needs of our family. We decided to put a really low offer in on our dream home just to see what happened. Well luck was on our side and they came down over $30,000 on their original price to accept our offer of $152,500. The only draw back to the home was there were renters in it that required a 60-day notice to vacate. So our close date was set for Feb 13th and the countdown and heartache begun. We moved into a little apartment. We did not need any space, we had no furniture. We borrowed air mattresses and our lovely realtor had a kitchen table, that was it. We sat on the floor and slept on air, but we stayed happy.

The appraisal on the home happened immediately but we could not get the results of the inspection for over 2 weeks. Turns out that our mortgage company just failed to return several phone calls to get a loan number to file the inspection. The owners of the home refused to give notice to the renters until the inspection came back so every day we waited, is one more day longer until we closed. It was also one more day we had to pay for all our belongings to be stored, NOT cheap. Finally, almost a month after we put in the offer, the ball started rolling. Don't most mortgages take a month from start to finish? Hmmm, interesting!

While all this was happening, the renters in our Arizona home decided they did not need to pay rent. OUCH! They produced lie after lie to postpone getting evicted. Then once they were evicted, they refused to leave. Our amazing property manager got tricky to motivate them to move out but it came down to having to take them to court to have the physically removed. I guess the prospect of court finally motivated them and they left after living in the house for free for 6 weeks. We were able to get amazing renters in there within a few days of the others leaving which has taken a huge burden off our shoulders. We LOVE you ZIERSE's!! This was all just a lot to handle for us!

So back to the Iowa home......we had to deal with our loan processor. She requested information from us which I provided within a day. We emailed her several times and left her numerous messages to see if she got the information. Our realtor started calling as well, no luck. Finally 2 weeks later, she emails us asking for the information I already sent her again. The next 3 weeks were followed by several frustrating attempts to get her to answer her phone or return messages to no avail. She would occasionally send an email saying she would call me later to discuss things. She then began asking for information beyond what is the normal for a loan request, stuff that I am certain was illegal for her to require. I was always so nervous and on edge during this whole process. I had that gut wrenching feeling that things were not going well with each email and phone call. You would have thought we would have clued earlier. So after giving blood samples and our left lung, we were assured everything was okay and we were good to close on Feb 13th. I had Ryan make a specific phone call on the Tues before closing and pleading that if there was anything that could hold this loan up, to let us know because our truck was scheduled to be delivered and we needed to cancel it if we were not going to be closing. She promised all was well and there was no need to stress. She gave us the amount we needed to bring to closing and we got our cashiers check and finally felt calm we might actually close. On Thurs, Feb 12th, I sent our processor several emails and left several messages because the title company did not have our paperwork yet so I was wondering when she would get it to them. She never called me back. At 3pm, I received an out of office reply saying she had left the office for the day and would not be back until after the weekend. I then frantically called her manager, no answer. At 5pm, the night before we were scheduled to close, her manager called me and informed me they would not be funding the loan. WHAT THE &%*#!!! They said the Arizona house was too big of a liability. But they knew about the Arizona home from the get go, why at 5pm did they just discover this? She basically told me that the loan originator and the loan processor dropped the ball and should have never proceeded with the loan. She assured me she would have a talk with them. A TALK? So they get a slap on the wrist while we just totally got screwed!!! Our truck was coming, we had to be out of our apartment and they get a talking to. She had the audacity to tell me it was hard for her to have to make this phone call so she was suffering too! Seriously, I would have punched her in the face if we were sitting next to each other. I asked her what we were suppose to do? I offered a co-signer, anything. They said there was no circumstance they could think of that would change their mind, they would not give us the loan.

Our realtor contacted the owners of the home and asked if we could rent it from them so we could have our stuff delivered somewhere. They were hesitant because they said if we could not get a loan through this mortgage company, why are they to think we could get a loan through any mortgage company. After a very long night, he finally convinced the owners at 9:40am, 20 minutes before our truck arrived, to let us rent the house. They gave us 30 days to get a loan or move out. Not a great situation here. The kids love the house and love having their stuff back but it is hard to unpack until we know if we get to stay or not. I cannot even believe this happened. I am not upset that they did not feel comfortable giving us the loan, just the timing of their refusal to do so. It felt just as bad as the day Ryan got laid off. Just an awful feeling! We are helpless. It takes on an extra burden with children trying to provide for them and give them a place to live.

So as of now, we don't know what the next month holds for us. We are trying to get a loan through another mortgage company. They sounded hopeful they could give us the loan but so did the other place. I am not sure what the point of getting pre-approved is when they can un-approve you later. I just want to belong somewhere. It seems like we have lived in limbo so many times over the past 7 years of our lives. I want to settle in and get comfortable for awhile and I hope we can do it in this house. Never mind it being my dream home, I just want a home. I want to unpack and hand stuff on the walls. I want to RELAX and not be so stressed out like I have been since Oct 14, 2008. Come on, throw me a bone here, give me some peace!!!

Well, enough venting for now. Well, wait, one more thing.....I was not going to do this but if I can save someone else from this hell, it will be worth it. NEVER, EVER do business with COUNTRYWIDE!!!! Whew, I feel better!

I never ask for this, I always feel like there are better things and more deserving people. But I am desperate here so if you all could please, pray for us. Just pray for peace for us, I just need some gosh darn peace.

I will try and post pictures of the kids later tonight or tomorrow. No promises, but I will do my bestest!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What did you have for breakfast, golfballs?

As if we did not have enough to worry about, the day after our stuff arrived at the house, Kutter started complaining of a toothache. I kind if dismissed it thinking it had something to do with the 8 Fun Dips he ate that day. I brushed his teeth really well, gave him some Motrin and sent him off to bed.

Sunday morning rolls around, and the pain was still there. I brush his teeth again, give him more Motrin and send him off to play. Shortly after noon, he spiked a 104 degree fever and started throwing up. A normal parent would panic at this point, but not me. You see, for Kutter, a 104 is normal. He would get that high of a temp any time he cut a new tooth. Three trips to the emergency room when he was a baby to discover that is just how he cuts teeth. So, I drew the conclusion that he was cutting his 6 year molars causing pressure on his other teeth therefore, a toothache. The fever was because of the new teeth and the vomiting because of the fever.

Monday morning comes around and it is President's Day so no school. I decide, since he is off from school anyway, to make him a dentist appointment just to be sure my diagnosis was correct. They make him an appt for 2:45. Kutter then comes downstairs and proclaims he knows why his tooth hurts. I turn around to look at him as he says "there is a bump on it!" I gasp as I see the deformation of once was my son. His face was so swollen he was nearly unrecognizable. He looked as if he had a golf ball in his cheek. His eye was almost swollen shut and his nose was nearly flat from swelling. I panicked and called the dentist back and frantically explained Kutter's appearance. They told me to bring him right down.

Two x-rays later, the diagnosis is an abscessed tooth!! Given the swelling and the pain, they opt to pull the tooth and put a spacer in its place to keep his teeth from drifting together. Kutter was amazing during it all. He did not even flinch when they gave him multiple numbing shots. He squirmed a little when they pulled the tooth only because it took such force to get it out. He walked away with a couple cool prizes and one more missing tooth. He did not even need an antibiotic. Apparently, kids are resilient. If it was me, I would need IV antibiotics and some morphine. Kutter felt so much better once the tooth was gone. All he could focus on was calling Connor Zierse and also seeing what the tooth fairy was going to bring him. Awww, to be a kid again!

This picture gives you an idea of what he looked like, but not quite! He is still a handsome little guy, golf ball and all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Moving is so......EXHAUSTING!

While we were trying to get moved into the house, we put Maggie in her newly unpacked activity center. She loved being in it and it kept her safe from all the boxes and baby dangers. I was upstairs working on some stuff for a bit. When I came back downstairs, this is what I found:
This is a big deal in our family. Never has any of our babies fallen asleep anywhere but in their bed or car seat. Kutter told me that she was kind of crying so he gave her the binky. She just laid her head down and fell asleep. It was a nice little distraction from a hectic day. So sweet!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Daddy Nail Salon

Payton and her daddy have a very special activity that they do together. They are called mani's and pedi's. Now you would think this would be an activity between a mother and a daughter. Not in our family! Payton refuses to let me paint her nails, she always wants daddy to do it. This has gotten so extreme that I have found Ryan wandering down the nail supply isle at Wal-Mart. He is checking out any tools that might make his nail painting skills more perfected. He has come home with everything from toe separators, to stickers, to tools to paint flowers on her big toe. He gets very into his nail painting responsibilities. Should I be worried? I love to see the two of them together when the Daddy Nail Salon is open for business.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Maggie, 9 months

Height: 30 Inches
Weight: 23 lbs 6 oz

At 9 months Maggie is crawling all over the place. She has 4 teeth and is working on 4 more. She took after her brother and got her top side teeth before her top middle teeth. She has the greatest smile where she raises her eyebrows and shows those fangs. She looks so devilish, in a good way. But the funniest part about Maggie is that we made it 9 months without Maggie ever even wanting a binky. But alas, you can't call us quitters. She now can't live without her binky. I am not sure what happened here and I am not sure what we were thinking. But for now, she sure is cute. It also helped with the noise factor. Mags used to crawl around screaming in happiness which does not go over so well with our neighbors in the apartment next to us. The binky tends to lessen the sound. It also reduced the amount of bottles she demanded in the middle of the night. I think I will take the orthodontic bill in the future in exchange for a few more hours of sleep. : )
(Note: In case you were wondering, yup, that is a bathtub drain plug Maggie is playing with. We are just building up her immunities, making her stronger!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Princess is 4!!

I cannot even believe it, my sweet Princess Payton is 4 years old! Sharon flew in for the weekend. It was so GREAT to have her here. It was nice to have familiar faces around in an unfamiliar place. Sharon has not missed a birthday of Payton's yet. She was there when Payton was born, came to Vernal for her 1st BD, Arizona for her 2nd and 3rd, and now Iowa for her 4th. Thanks so much for coming Sharon! Don't stop now, the tradition must carry on. Here is a picture of the three kids with their Build-A-Bears brought to them with love from Grandma Sharon and Papa Dale. We went to Chuck-E-Cheese the day before Payton's actual birthday because Sharon flew out the morning of the 19th. I took mostly video of the time there but here is one with Payton and her Chuck-E cake, letting us know how old she is.
On Payton's actual birthday, I had to get up and leave for Omaha to take Sharon to the airport, we left at 6:30am. I took Maggie with me and Ryan got Kutter off to school. He then took Payton to breakfast, at McDonald's of course, for a little daddy-daughter date. After that, Payton wanted to go to Wal-mart where she was able to pick out a couple small "prizes" for her birthday. I think she came home with some Lee press-on nails, a purple wig, and some lip gloss. She is ALL girl!!

Daddy went to bed when I got home from Omaha and Payton and I spent the day together. We went out to lunch with the girls, McDonald's of course. When Kutter got home from school, we had a little party and opened presents before Daddy had to go to work. She wanted a Nintendo DS like her brothers. She got that and a purse to carry it in, surprise, surprise. We figured we would splurge on her gift this year since we were not able to have a party for her like we did for Kutter. She got a game that you take care of babies on, right up her alley.
Ryan had ordered a Hello Kitty cake for her at Wal-mart when they were there earlier. She was so excited for it because it came with a real purse on top with a kitty that opened up to a mirror. When she got her slice of cake, she was not willing to wait for a fork. It was her birthday, she can do what she wants, I guess.

Happy Birthday our perfect little Princess. You are such a joy to have around and we love you so, so much! We are so lucky to have you as a part of our family!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kutter Lost His First Tooth

Kutter finally lost his first tooth. He discovered it was loose when we arrived in Iowa. I thought for sure it would be out in a week. A month later, the tooth still was hanging on and did not seem to be getting any more loose. I really did not think much about it until Kutter came out of his room one night and said he had a bump in his mouth. Upon further examination, I found his permanent tooth was coming in behind his baby tooth. No wonder his tooth was hanging on so tight. I told Kutter he needed to work real hard to get his baby tooth out or we were going to have to go have a dentist take it out. Over the next couple of days, he wiggled as much as he dared. Finally, one night he let me have a go. I tried to tie a piece of floss around it but there was just nothing for the floss to hold on to. Every time I yanked a little, the floss would slip off. Kutter told me he would go to bed that night and would let me have two more chances with the floss. So the next night came. I still felt it would be hard to get the floss around it. I ended up pushing on the tooth until he said OUCH! This loosened it up enough that it gave me an edge to slide the floss around. I tied that thing good and tight. I can testify to you now that I was way more nervous that Kutter was. I was having horrific flashbacks of being a kid and my mom trying to yank out my tooth. I was motivated to get this tooth out for Kutter because I knew it really needed to come out. So I closed my eyes, gripped the floss, and pulled on that thing like I was starting a lawnmower. I screamed when the tooth flew out and hit me in the face. The scream was the only thing that scared Kutter. He was so excited that his tooth was actually gone. He immediately wanted to call his best friend from Arizona, Connor. We called Daddy at work and told him the good news. Later, when Ryan came home from work for lunch, I had to have him console me because I was so traumatized that I had to pull Kutter's tooth out. Plus, I was in shock that my child was to the point of losing teeth. Where does the time go?
Kutter lost his second tooth about 2 weeks later. It was a much easier process this time. The tooth was good and loose. Kutter wanted me to pull it out again with the floss. I reluctantly agreed but it went much smoother. The tooth came out like it was stuck in butter. It was almost fun this time around. I think Kutter would let me pull out any tooth I want just so he can get a visit from the tooth fairy. He is totally bummed out that he only has 20 teeth to lose. I told him to hit up his grandpa's next time he is around them, ha ha ha. So grandpa's, beware! Kutter is losing teeth and is expecting to be paid!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Taking Down the Christmas Tree

I had planned on leaving the Christmas Tree up in our apartment until we moved into our house. I was just trying to keep some life in the place since we had no decorations or furniture for that matter. Maggie had other plans in mind. I was doing the dishes in the kitchen when I heard the tree tip over. I turn around to see this:Now being the good mother that I am, I went and checked to see if she was okay, then I left her there to go find the camera. She, luckily, pulled the tree down so her head was sticking out the bottom. The tree fell on her from her shoulders down. She planned it well. I guess the tree had to get put away, I am sure she would not be so lucky next time. After the initial shock wore off, it was actually a bit hilarious. The funny part is, she was not even phased. Most kids would cry just out of shock, not our solemn, somber Maggers. Not even a peep!