Where the Realtor Becomes the Client

I’m over this rain. It’s making everyone act like idiots. Today my work-wife and I were almost impaled by an umbrella some doofus was swinging around like Fred Astaire

This Real Estate Family was at the beach this past weekend because we had to finish off one of my crazy ideas from earlier in the summer. Flashback to June, as we are driving out to Rehoboth for our first beach weekend of the season. As soon as we started crossing bridges I said, "I'm in the mood to buy a house."

"Where?" Real Estate Dad asked. My parents had this condo in Florida when we were little and some of my best memories are sitting there at night, watching bad-Florida-cable and listening to the ocean. I said I'd be open to anywhere as long as we can hear the ocean.

We talked through coastal towns up and down the coast, ruling out places which were fated to be underwater in the next few decades or places that were too far to visit regular. Rehoboth for the win! Which isn’t bad news at all, three of us love it there. The other one of us loves Ocean City but we ain’t reliving your youth of trashy girlfriends and fleabag hotels, Real Estate Dad. So, the girls won this one.

The next morning we were looking at condos.

By noon we were writing a contract on a place which was so gross (to me) and in which I channeled my mother by saying, "This place is disgusting - It needs to be gutted." Real Estate Dad thought it was in good condition He’s either right and I’m a spoiled little brat, or he’s comparing it to his old Ocean City haunts.

Even though the place was on the market for a month and a half (a death sentence in DC,) there were somehow multiple offers. This apparently never happens in Delaware. They called for highest and best. Real Estate Dad and our agent suggested going to asking price. Pshaw. You people must be new here. You think I'm rolling over that quickly? I had a strategy, honed from working in this city of crazy. After I explained what I wanted to do, our agent said, "Wow, you are teaching me things, we never do this here." Real Estate Dad didn't want to lose the place.

Him: What if they have cash? It looks better if we offer full price.

Me: What if? Maybe they offered $100K less than we did.

Him: The sellers see the escalation though. They can just counteroffer a the max.

Me: That's not going to happen. They have to show the front page of the other contract. The escalation has to do its job otherwise the whole thing is bullshit.

We waited the rest of the day for a response. I wasn't mad. I wasn't on edge. I'd done this wait with clients before and while I know it's impossible to wait for a response from the seller, I also know that the more you contact them, the more desperate you seem. Real Estate Dad kept asking if I heard anything and I was like, Come on man, we gotta play it cool.

In the end, the sellers accepted our offer when the other offer capped out. We paid less than asking, we didn't waive the inspection, and we kept our financing contingency.

Throughout the entire negotiation and loan underwriting process, we were sort of astonished at how freaking slow people are. “Welllllp, this is lower slower Delaware.” Get it. Lower Slower Delaware. LSD. They even put it on bumper stickers.

It took 3 months to get this thing underwritten because we had to go through 3 different lenders. Each one would come back saying that the condo operates like a hotel and they couldn’t do the loan, whatever the hell that meant. Finally the loan was done and we went to closing.

Our agent was there and so was the listing agent. I liked her because she was playing with the girls. Then I stopped liking her real quick. I can turn on a dime like that.

Papers were signed, and everyone said “Congratulations!” Then we asked for the keys. Everyone looked at each other like, “Do you have the keys? I don’t have the keys.”

The attorney left the room and when he came back he foolishly handed the listing agent her commission check, first. And this my friends, is where the day took a dive.

Listing Agent: “This isn’t right.”

The lawyer sort of whispers. Then there’s math. Then there’s discussion about how she’s “capped out” at her company and she should be paid 100%.

The lawyer looks at us and says we don’t have to stay. We said we were waiting for keys to the house on which we just purchased. But we continued to watch this agent make a spectacle of herself. I texted our agent who was sitting right next to me and said, “Is she serious? I would never do this at the settlement table in front of clients.”

If she had a modicum of self-awareness she would have realized we were all shifting and whispering and she should have waited until we all left. But nope, she kept going.

She got on her phone. Lawyer said he will try to call to find the keys which was nice of him considering this isn’t his job. We thought she was calling to figure out who had the keys.

Nope. She’s calling her company to complain about how her commission check is wrong. Then she looks up as if we are going to agree or actually give a shit. She says, “I’ve maxed out at my company, I get 100% of my commissions.” Real Estate Dad is looking at her without a shred of sympathy and she still doesn’t get it. I mean, I’m sorry but if you’re doing so well that you maxed out your commissions at your multi-level marketing of a brokerage, then you really shouldn’t be hounding everyone for payment at the table. I’d like to think you can wait a couple days like the rest of us do.

We finally learned our keys were at an office across Rehoboth and we had to go fetch them ourselves. When we walked outside I said to Real Estate Dad, “This is why people hate us. This woman is why people hate Real Estate Agents.”

Four is the New 17

School continues to provide a never-ending source of frustration and entertainment.

M’s bestie told her mama that a girl in their class said that she doesn’t like Hillary Clinton because certain types of people give her money.

(This is why my parents spoke Greek at home, so we wouldn’t go running our mouth about what they think of the world.)

This is what gold is made of, people.

In other news, this note that came home in Chub’s Folder.

School 2.jpg

Stupidity knows no bounds. It really doesn’t matter if your 4 year old has homework or not, it’s not going to make them smarter in the long run. Maybe people believe that their kid is Harvard-bound if they start homework shortly after they are ejected from the womb but, seriously?

My child can’t even remember to wipe her butt after she uses the bathroom and she’s supposed to do homework now?

This is the note I’m sending back:

School 1.jpg

The Pre-K Teachers will expect nothing less of me. The last time I spoke with them, they said the Mouse-Mom said “I am being z’attacked by zee people for zee mice!” (It’s my best attempt at a French accent.) (She’s not even French, I don’t know why I did that.)

Not “people.” Me. That was me attacking you, because you were being an idiot. Just like the parent who asked for homework.

It’s gonna be a long year.

DCPS Will Land Me in an Early Grave

Things I don't have time for: another school committee.

Things this idiot just volunteered for: another school committee.

When I heard the history of said committee, I felt like I couldn't not help. I shared my interpretation of how DC Public Schools work (or rather, don't work) with a parent of older children.  They congratulated me on figuring it out quickly, as most people never realize the clusterf*ck that is DC Public Schools. 

There will be more to come from me on this as I learn that the powers that be just don't care. I don't mean at the school level - I'm talking the downtown "OSSE" level.

Speaking of not caring, the Pre-K class is still in the West Wing, aka the trailer park. They were supposed to be there 2 weeks. We're now in week 3. My most recent outrage came as a result of learning that the parent who started all this "I saw mouse poop" drama and demanded the students be relocated - her kid hasn't been at school for a week. So, uh, thanks for getting all our kids sent to this stupid ass trailer while your kid stays home. In what is not a trailer, I assume. . Traps have been set all over the place and not a creature has been caught, not even a mouse. Yes. You read that correctly. Not. One. Mouse.

And now a storm is a-coming. So, I'll be keeping Chubs home for most of this week because I'm not playing this game. I saw the Wizard of Oz. I know what happens to trailers in natural disasters. I'll put Chubs to work. She can help me write an offer for my client, who is too smart to pay list priced for yet another overpriced listing.

The rain this week is killing real estate. I have a pretty cool studio listing that has gotten very little traffic because while people will house hunt in the snow and ice, they won't do it in the rain. It's sort of interesting but it's how I got my house in Glover Park. We were coming off of 10 straight days of rain several years back. I was 8 months pregnant with Chubs and had no desire to look at this house as I was convinced it was underpriced and would sell in a bidding war. But it didn't. Thanks rain! We got a good house and a good deal for all parties.

And for the file marked "Awesome Things Other Real Estate Agents Have Said to Me," this week we have this gem. I called a listing agent to ask a couple basic questions and was met with a string of "I don't know's." Finally he said, "Clearly I know NOTHING about this listing, you seem to know more than I do."

Yeah. That's our industry, people. There it is. Blech.


School, Corgis & Realtoring ~ Hitting Snags

I'll start with the good.

M: Mommy, when we say the Pledge of Allegiance at school, the Principal makes everyone wearing a hood take off their hood. Why?
DCREM: Because it's a sign of respect, and the Principal is right, people should take off their hats.
M: Then we sing the National Anthem.

I'm not sure why, but when M told me this, I was so happy I felt my smile spread slowly across my face. Like the Grinch.

It was news to me that they still say the Pledge of Allegiance in school but I'm pretty happy to hear that tradition is still going strong. M buzzes around the house singing the National Anthem and it's several kinds of awesome. Real Estate Dad said she learned it on "America's Got Talent" but M claims they sing it in school.

The littles are still in the trailer park. Or as the school calls them, "The Demountable Classrooms in the West Wing." Nah. They're trailers. In the parking lot. Trailer Park. Supposed mass-trapping of mice occurred this past weekend but the scores are in. Zero point Zero mice were caught. Now the mice story has evolved to "last year a child was bitten by a mouse." This, too, is becoming all kinds of awesome. There is not enough popcorn for this show.

And then, Realtoring this week. Yes I know that Realtoring is not a word! It is when stuff like this happens.

Some asshole obviously needs to borrow my Labelmaker. I love that Labelmaker.

Some asshole obviously needs to borrow my Labelmaker. I love that Labelmaker.

By the time I worked through each of those keys my clients could have had their loan underwritten. What a nightmare. I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea to toss that many keys in a lockbox. Jerks.

Then someone flew half way around the world to surrender a corgi to the rescue. No. Literally. Flew from Korea to surrender a corgi. A board member picked up said corgi at the airport, and not even like an hour later the prior owner wanted the corgi back so it could be given to her friend. All these conversations back and forth necessitated the "a lawyer is going to have to weigh in here." Lo and behold, one of our board members located a corgi-loving litigator who brings his corgi loaves to the office and lets them run around. Yes, this is really a thing. And we are loving it!

So this is what is currently making my world go round. Kids. School. Mice. Corgis. Keys. Real Estate. That's all I got for you.

It Was a Rough First Week of School

Real Estate Dad: You need to give up on this school stuff.
Me: It's only been a couple days!
Real Estate Dad: I know, and it's driving you crazy.
Me: You said I'm not paying enough attention to the kids so I get involved in their school, join a committee and become a class mom to be more present instead of working all the time. Now you're telling me to give it up?
Real Estate Dad, laughing: I've seen enough. Go back to how you were.

He might be right. The outrage. The sheer outrage I have felt this week having to deal with some, um, really stupid ideas. Home Schooling is starting to look real damn good.

M started school on Monday. She was excited! She had a great first day. The second night of school, her teacher sent home a folder with a bunch of papers for parents to read. One of them said that instead of doing individual birthday celebrations, they are going to do one big party for everyone, with the date to be announced.

I almost did it. I almost got a sharpie and wrote in giant letters, "I LOVE THIS! THANK YOU!!!" See, I'm burned out from these birthday parties. I'm burned out from driving 100 miles to get to a party. I'm burned out from having an entire weekend day hijacked with a birthday when I am a Real Estate Agent and when do houses sell? NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS PEOPLE! Every time I get an invite for the girls that involves chartering a jet, I can't do it. (Unless of course, I like the mom and want to see her, because it's all about me.) But, we just don't have this kind of time in our days, or in our lives.

Day 3, another letter comes home. It says, "Due to the response from parents, we will be celebrating individual birthdays." Um, can we analyze this for a moment, and can we do it from the teacher's point of view?

Having 20 some odd celebrations is time-consuming. It's disruptive. It's also a pain in the ass for parents who have kids with allergies who have to then wake up at the crack of crack to make something that's allergen-free for their child to enjoy. M is fortunate to not have allergies, but her bestie? She's allergic to eggs. Eggs! Eggs are in pretty much every birthday cake that I know of, and the reason I know this is because once, in junior high school, I made a cake from scratch and forgot the eggs. And yes, my family never let me forget that incident. "Remember the cake Melissa made when she forgot the eggs? yukyukyuk." That thing came out of the oven like a brick.

(My dad and I still ate it.)

I messaged the teacher and apologized and said I thought it was a fantastic idea. She said she was surprised there was such a response to it. Special snowflakes is all I can think. People want their kids recognized on their day of eviction from the womb. I wish I could say I get it, but I don't. I also have kids with summer birthdays who participate in the end of year / summer birthday celebration with all the other summer birthdays. If they can do a joint party, can't the other kids? Come on, snowflakes.

On Day 4, Chubs started Pre-K. Despite the tears and that they had to surgically remove her from me, she loved it and did well. That evening we all received an email from an irate parent that they saw mice poop in the cubby room. I wasn't outraged. I frankly didn't care and moved on to the next email pretty quickly.

Later on, I notice this mouse email thing is picking up steam. Another parent joined in and told everyone this was a crash course in DC Public Schools and we ALL needed to email the Principal, Vice Principal, the Chancellor's Office, and anyone else they could think of.

You would have thought John Wayne Gacy and Wayne Williams were in there playing dress up and reading books to the kids. The emails continued unabated with updates on what these two parents were doing to help. Except, no one asked them.

Finally I couldn't help it and I jumped in to explain that I have had mice in every house where I've lived, and it's not a big deal and everyone needs to just dial this back a few notches. Nope, rabid dogs will turn in a moment, and they both spit venom in my direction, asking what kind of place I grew up in that had mice?

Them's fighting words.

Um. I grew up here.  The town of billionaires. And we had mice! In fact, one of the favorite quotes in our house, coined back in the 1990's is, "Why did you eat half a chocolate bar and throw it under the dining room table?" To which my brother replied, "Think about what you just asked me..." Then we inspected the Toberlone Bar and saw tiny tiny teeth bites. We had a mouse. What ensued was an entire winter of a witch hunt. That little stinker could NOT be caught. He was snapped in a trap and he dragged his bloody carcass across the living room and went back into the hole from where he came, leaving the trap leaning against the baseboard.

Anyway, because the first mouse poop complainer bitched and moaned so much, they decided to move the Pre-K class out to a trailer class in the parking lot. Then DC Real Estate Mama lost her shizz. I replied in the email and said that because of her, a decision was made by the school to quiet her down and it affects all of our children. 

Aww c'mon! I only come out at night anyway!

Aww c'mon! I only come out at night anyway!


Between animal rescue world and now school-momming it, I really have had enough of the crazy. I've got zero tact or ability to be PC. Someone tried to surrender an aggressive dog with a heart issue and only a couple years to live and I about lost my crap on him. I told him he needs to keep his damn dog and see it through to the end of its life instead of making it someone else's problem. No one is going to adopt that dog, and no one is going to take on the medical expenses for a dog who stands little chance of survival.

I should delete my email accounts before I really tell someone to go to hell.

Where the Hell Did Summer Go?


I love summer. And I hate that it is coming to a rapid close. DC Public Schools start, in my opinion, stupidly early. August 20. That's a bunch of BS. There are so many days off during the year, I'd rather have this time in summer with the kids. It's still 100 degrees out with some serious hair-frizzing humidity going. The kids need to be at the beach or the pool. Not in school. I'm not a fan of this nonsense.

The school also apparently waited way too long to mail the class assignments, so school starts Monday and on Thursday they finally decided to post the list of class assignments on the front door of the school. Like I'm in Middle School all over again trying to see if I made varsity field hockey. (I didn't.) (And I still don't know what "Foul! Advancing!" means.) (The skirts were hot though.)

Not having the teacher assignment also meant, we didn't have the class supply list. Luckily, Chubs is in one of only one Pre-K classes. That was easy.

Unfortunately, M is in one of four 1st grade classes. Each teacher has posted their list but we didn't know which list was ours. On the last day of our beach vacation, we stopped at WalMart in Rehoboth to get backpacks. And because I am a Terzis through-and-through, I could not pass up the chance to buy cheap school supplies with no sales tax. I decided to knock out Chubs's list and try to get some stuff from M's list. How did I do this you ask, without knowing her class? I just compared all 4 lists and bought the things that they had in common.

This wasn't easy.

These lists are sort of...insane. Expo pens with low odor. (How DARE they with this "no odor" nonsense!?! Sniffing markers is one of the only reasons some kids even showed up to my elementary school.) Some teachers want highlighters in certain colors but not others. Others want pencils of a certain brand but you can't find them anywhere. They all want the Crayola 10 pack of markers but some want a blunt tip and others want the classic tip. Everyone wants tissues. There are gonna be lots of snotty noses in school. They all also want blunt tip scissors which begs the question - y'all got 30 of them last year, where did those go? I got the blunt tip scissors but also got the pointed tip so I could stab myself in the eye. (I actually didn't get the pointed tip, I'm kidding. I don't need the pointed tip because my friends from West Virginia visited and they talked me into how useful having a pocket knife is, so now I have one!)

Back to the supply list. They want composition books, some want folders, some want a needle in a haystack, others want the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow and everyone wants a partridge in a pear tree.

I'm not cut out for this school stuff really. I admit it. A lot of stuff seems like time-wasting or resource-wasting nonsense. Like that kindergarten homework. Or like - WHERE DID ALL THE SCISSORS GO? I have walked by my elementary school in recent years and you can see right into the kindergarten classroom. THE SAME CADDY of scissors is still there. The same damn one. With what look like the same metal scissors. If North Mianus can keep the same rusted metal scissors caddy (and probably of the same scissors) from the 1970's, how come we can't do it here?

I know, no one's ever gonna recommend me to be Class Mom or on the PTO.

But, did I tell you, I'm Class Mom and Teacher Appreciation co-chair! It's all about keeping the people who have a direct impact on my littles, happy, and hanging with the cool ass-kicking moms. Because any mom who voluntarily throws herself into the 27 car pile-up that IS DCPS has my utmost respect.

First order of business, dumping a giant basket of treats off in the teacher's lounge.

Next order of business, find out where the scissors went.

Happy Sumthin Day

I've been sitting on this one for several weeks. Mostly because I'm still in shock, but I'm also slightly embarrassed. We all realize I am not winning Mother of the Year after that little incident where I inadvertently left Chubs home alone. (In my defense, when I saw her lunch bag on the counter, I did manage to get THAT to school. Just forgot Chubs along with it.)

Before the school year ended for M, they had a Mother's Day / Father's Day shindig. It was very sweet. We had breakfast, watched a video the kids made about why they love us (most of them said they loved their mom and dad because their mom and dad loved them...that's not how it works! That's not how any of this works!) and we got to read a book they wrote about us. Awww.

I'm 50? But I weigh 20 lbs. Not sure how I feel about this one.

I'm 50? But I weigh 20 lbs. Not sure how I feel about this one.


Hmm. Real Estate Dad is 5 years old and weighs 100 lbs. She nailed that silver fox hair though.


M loves when her mom gets puppies. Well, that ain't ending anytime soon M!


It bugs my mom when I don't go to bed. You got that right sister.


To relax my mom likes to work. Well...I guess I do work a lot.


My mom always says "Don't make a mess." Hmm. The teachers saw this, good lord how embarrassing. Wonder what Dad always says.


I love you?!?!?! Dad always says I love you and I always say Don't Make a Mess. Jesus.


My mom is really good at cocaine. Wait. That's not what it says.

I was eavesdropping on the the other kids when they were reading their books to their parents. Everyone else pretty much got off better than I did. They were younger, relaxed more and said nicer things to their kids. And not one of them did cocaine.

There's always next year.

Summer Kickoff

That dog ran away again. Actually not even just once. He's run away four more times. Thankfully these escapes happened on his new mama's watch so all we could really do was chat about it with her, because she's 2 hours away. He has learned to expertly scale a 6 foot fence. SIX FEET! Looks like I'll need to update that fence question on our adoption application asking how high it is because, who cares now that we clearly have gazelles in the rescue.

The texts from the new mama are great.

"He ran away last night but came back this morning."
"He jumped the fence right in front of me, and went to my neighbor's house and slept on their daughter's bed."
"He went out for a beer and a smoke and came back before midnight."

Okay - maybe not that last text, but it's pretty much what's happening. It's like having Eliot Spitzer for your household pet. You just can't trust him to stay put.

We're in Hershey Park. I'm not sure why I consider these vacations a "vacation" because by the time the car is packed, I'm seriously considering drinking a bottle of wine for the two hour drive. I wisely and legally chose water but I was burned out by the time we arrived, and I expressed as much.

Real Estate Dad: "What's so stressful about it?"

Me: "Because I do all the packing and loading of the car while you sit on the phone or your computer."

I let him drive the kid-less car and I took the dogs and kids with me, so he could finish up his deal that was closing the next morning. He says after we arrive in Hershey, "You know, all that drama and phone calls this morning before we left and then I got in the car and nothing. It was a peaceful 2 hour drive."

I said, "Yeah, and it magically started up again while the family pack-mule unloaded the kids, dogs and luggage while you sat in the parking lot on your phone."

Grrrr. My point was made.

"Evil Woman" has played several times since we've been here, in very public places. At the restaurant where we first ate dinner, in Hershey Park today piped over the loudspeakers. I get it, I get it. It's my weekend theme song.

Then I ended up getting the customary vacation-phone-call because clients wandered into a house and wanted to write an offer. It always happens, like clockwork. Ask any Real Estate Agent. Need more sales? Go on vacation. It's the universe's way of letting you know that there is no such thing as self-employed. We all answer to someone.

But, I was THRILLED! It was so nice to be like, "You take the kids to the pool while I write this contract." Real Estate Dad goes off with the littles to the pool and I managed to take what should have been a 20 minute experience and stretch it into an hour so I could have some alone time. Then I decided I wanted to go see the kids swim. So off to the pool I went.

There's Real Estate Dad, smiling proudly as the littles are doing their best not to drown, because this is the state of the pool when I enter.

PPP at the P. Piss Poor Parenting, at the Pool!

It was pretty crazy in there and I was about to yank Chubs out because she could barely stay afloat. Watch that green football that some asshole is whaling at a girl in the pool. Those two switch places and he catches as well as a quadriplegic. So she whales it at him and it skims Chub's hair and smashes on the side of the pool. Chubs gets out of dodge and I look at Real Estate Dad and say, "That football missed her head by less than an inch."

Real Estate Dad is the one who stopped for coffee when Chubs was pushing through my cervix. He's phased by absolutely nothing. Like, when it comes to a quick and appropriate response, I wouldn't rely on him for it. If I were to ever get pregnant again I would totally call a taxi before asking him for a ride to Labor and Delivery. Okay, back to the pool.

He says, "But it didn't hit her." And the two assholes continue throwing the ball, wayyy too hard for my approval. So, I think we all know what happened next.

Yes, I leapt from my chair and yelled at that girl to stop throwing the ball. She says, "What?" I said, "STOP THROWING THE BALL! There are little kids there you almost hit!" She says okay and jumps in the pool. But, you saw the video. Do you think her parents were there, with their coolers, drinking by the pool and ignoring their little jerky offspring? Yep. They were.

DCRealEstateMama don't play that shit. Happy Effing Summer everyone! I'll be THAT mom, at the pool.

I'm Better at Real Estate

This dog rescue thing has gone off the rails.

So...that last dog that we rescued from Texas, who endured the shelter from hell, the foster from hell and the transporter from hell? He got to Baltimore and settled in nicely to his foster home where he was to stay for a few days until he would be adopted by a woman in Richmond. The adopter was coming to DC. I volunteered Real Estate Dad to pick up the dog in Baltimore because he was driving through the day before adoption day. He met the foster and they transferred the dog into his car and he came home.

Real Estate Dad had been away for a couple days. When he arrived home, the dog goes in our house, jumps on the couch and enjoys some pets from my stepson. Real Estate Dad realizes his wife was too busy (or lazy) to get the mail from the slot right next to the front door, so he opens the door to get the mail. Dog hears the door open, leaps over my stepson, leaps over the two corgis and bolts out the door.

He was in our house for less than 5 minutes.

I wish I could tell you that he came right back. I wish I could tell you he came when called. I wish I could tell you I caught him in the alley behind some houses by the woods. No, I can't tell you any of that. That jerk was gone for EIGHT DAYS. Every animal rescuer, every animal control officer, every good Samaritan was on the hunt. We set out cameras, food traps, posted signs. It was almost like a real-time video game with people reporting their sightings on the neighborhood message board.

He finally came back and I was thrilled. (Well, the truth is, he was caught. By a 3rd grader. Who had no sophisticated cameras, food traps or signs.)

Two more pups came in to foster from Texas and so I had those guys in my house and the runaway went to another foster home. In an apartment building. Where he can't reach the elevator button.

Last Saturday we had an event in Reston. It was awesome!

Selling Homes, Saving Corgis. That's me.

Selling Homes, Saving Corgis. That's me.

What was not awesome, was the part when I left my fellow rescuers to (wo)man the booth, and I walked 14 feet to Panera to get that delicious pastry ring they have, only to come back to an empty booth. My foster dog ran away.

What. In. the. everloving. F*** !!!!!!

Off we went, looking for this little jerk.

"Shut it. I'm cute! And I can stop traffic on Reston Parkway."

"Shut it. I'm cute! And I can stop traffic on Reston Parkway."

Actually, I don't mean that because he's the cutest thing I've ever seen. And he loves me! He's perfectly potty trained, very respectful, a little skittish, and HE LOVES ME!

So, we spent three hours looking. When I say looking, I mean, you have no idea what we put the town of Reston through. This little guy ran across Reston Parkway, and ended up on a golf course in a country club. When I saw how big this course was, I about died. I logged 7000 steps on my new and ACCURATE fitness tracker looking for him. Finally, we had to get out the big guns.

I knew the second I saw them lined up, nicely side by side, that I would be driving one of those golf carts. And I was! (It took some begging.) The Golf Manager let us go out with one of the guys from the pro shop with one of our board members, and then two of us following behind. I'm like giddy because I get to drive the golf cart! We asked everyone on the course and most of them had not seen him. One lady yelled between strokes, "We saw a coyote!"  We weren't taking a poll. I mean, we saw a fox and a beaver but we didn't shout "GROUNDHOG! GROUNDHOG!" to anyone. Come on lady!

We drove our golf carts through all 18 holes of that country club. Nothing.

We went back to (wo)man our booth, empty handed. People asked if we had any dogs to adopt and well, yes, we do, but he ran away.

After the event I drove through the entire neighborhood around the country club. Every community. Every road. Have you ever been to Virginia? They have a lot of houses there. I mean, A LOT OF FREAKING HOUSES! I know because I've sold some of them.

I went home after 2.5 hours of searching, sad that it was getting cold, dark and starting to rain.

Two hours later I was home and scrolling my phone when I got a text. "WE FOUND HIM!"

That little stinker ended up at Fairfax County Animal Control about an hour or two after he ran off from us. I swear he was giggling when we picked him up.

Runaway foster dogs: 2. Melissa: 0

I'm better at Real Estate.


How to Pack With Children in the House

I have developed a plan on how to handle a 3 and 5 year old to get them out of the house for a weekend away.

1) Don’t tell them there is a plan to go away. It’s a guarantee they will flex the worst of their personality in the days leading up to departure. (I screw this up every time.)

2) When they reach peak-assholeness, pick up the phone and “call” Hershey Park to cancel.

- 5 bonus points for saying “yes, I’ll hold.”
- minus 20 points for leaving the iPhone on the home screen so M or any other 5 year old says “I see the screen, you didn’t actually call anyone.”

3) When you commence packing, don’t let them anywhere near you. If you make this mistake you will pay dearly. You will arrive at your destination without the underwear you know you packed but you will have the bathroom scale and 800 tampons in its place.

- 10 bonus points for handcuffing children to dining table so they can’t mess with the packed suitcase.
- 50 bonus points for actually having handcuffs.
- minus 500 points for leaving the kids unsupervised in the same zip code as the suitcase.

4) When you finish packing, close the suitcase, lock it, and put it in the car.

5) Surround car with a pack of wolves.

6) Return to house to finish getting yourself ready. No matter how they are behaving just ignore them. Even when they are sitting at the front door RIGHT NOW arguing whose vagina hole is bigger.

7) Take a double dose of Xanax. Bring wine. Don’t Drive the first shift. Obviously.