Spring Break Week

The girls are off school this week, so unfortunately we have to parent more than the usual minimum wage work ethic. We’re at the beach, getting the condo, that I convinced Real Estate Dad we should buy, ready for the summer rentals.

The entire process of buying the condo was quite a saga. For anyone who doesn’t have my blog posts memorized, this was the property purchase where the listing agent went all Sybil-menopausal at the closing table because her commission was wrong. We sat there with our jaws on the floor, as she told anyone who would listen, how she gets 100% of her commission. We patiently waited for her to realize we didn’t have keys to the condo she just sold us. We waited in vain. She was too busy lamenting the woes of her commission check to give a rat’s tiny ass about anyone else. I really hate other Realtors® for giving us a bad name. I also hate having to put that stupid R in the circle, but if I don’t, the NAR will email me tomorrow saying that I’m improperly using their trademark. No, I’m not kidding.

The post script to the condo story is that at Christmas, I went to visit clients at the SW Waterfront with a little holiday gift and they asked me how my year had been. They knew from Facebook that I was in the path of the Logan Circle murder a few minutes prior to when the jogger was murdered last fall, and that it was about enough for me to pack everyone up and get out of dodge. I told them we had just bought a condo in Rehoboth, and that having an escape plan made me feel better. They said, “Oh our neighbors just sold a condo in Rehoboth. They don’t live here full time, they come down on weekends from Frederick.”

I said, “Their names don’t happen to be….” and sure enough, my clients live next door to the people who sold their condo to us in Rehoboth. It was even wilder for my clients since they already had all sorts of coincidental connections with their neighbors. DC and Rehoboth are both small towns it appears.

The other post script to the story is that anyone who has an Airbnb or rental property has to be insane. I’m convinced of it. I have pulled pillow after pillow out of the closets here, and they are all stained, half with blood, half with mysterious fluids. I suppose I’m a believer in my mother’s standard of cleaning: It’s not enough bleach until your hands crack.

Anyway, this week is shaping up to have some real interesting conversations with the girls. I’m not sure if these exchanges happen all the time or if maybe I should listen more.

M, to Real Estate Dad: Your dad was our best best Papou.

Real Estate Dad: You never met him. He died before you were born.

M: I know, but he was our best best Papou.

Me: Uh....how can he be better than the Papou you have that's ALIVE?

M: MOM!!!

My dad is gonna be pissed. I suppose that’s a repercussion of grandparenting solely via FaceTime.

Last night I forgot the Golden Rule with the girls - control the amount of sugar they ingest. They went off the rails crazy. Real Estate Dad and I finally had enough, so we told them they were being annoying and we were going to lock them up in the condo and go out for a drink.

M: You can’t leave us alone.

Me: Why not?

M: Someone could take us. You are parents, you should know that.

Real Estate Dad: No one is going to take you, all you have to do is act like you’re acting now and they will leave.

Me: Or they will take you but they will bring you back in a few minutes.

M: YOU CAN’T LEAVE US ALONE.

M starts to cry.

Me: Oh yeah we can!

Real Estate Dad: You better start behaving.

M, still crying: “NO DON’T LEAVE US!”

Me: Please, have we ever left you alone?

M: No.

Me: Exactly.

Chubs: You left me home alone.

Me: Well, err, I ONLY DID THAT ONCE AND I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE IN THE HOUSE!

Man. That was over a year ago and she’s still holding a grudge.

At least the corgis are having a good time.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Some Will Win, Some Will Lose

Don’t Stop Believin’ is forever ruined for me thanks to that dumbass Meadow Soprano. No one, and I mean no one, is that bad at parallel parking unless they are from Maryland.

Oh don’t cry, Maryland. I googled “state with worst parallel parkers.” After 4 YouTube videos, the 5th match was an article about how Maryland has dropped parallel parking from the driver’s test. So, see? It’s not your fault you suck at parallel parking. In the spirit of “everyone’s a winner,” the entire state just lowered the bar for you.

Anyway, it is no secret that my parallel parking skills and my ability to find ace parking are, well, ace. I inherited both of these parking skills from my dad. Every other weekend we drove from suburban Connecticut into New York City for some nonsense that we all coined, a “Mommy Fun Day.” The neighbors found it odd that we would drive and not take the train. My dad was always confident he would park right in front. And my mom always wanted to go to the Bowery to buy jewelry and it was oddly safer in the late 70’s / early 80’s to drive in New York City if you were coming home with loot.

Although now that I re-think that, it seems weird because I remember being parked on a sketchy street, waiting in the car for my mom who was spending her fun day eyeing a bracelet. Some man and his daughter (I assume) were walking down the sidewalk. The little girl was walking really slow while drinking a McDonald’s soda. The dad turned around and yelled at her for being slow. He snatched the drink from her hand, threw it at our car where it smashed on the window and he beat the girl’s butt. It was something you might call the police for now but back then we looked to our Dad for guidance. He just stared straight ahead and said, “Keep your mouth shut.”

For the record, I would have already been on the phone with the police once he threw a perfectly good fountain soda away because that is the real crime here.

So, parking. For various friends and clients who all remark on my ability to find a spot “right in front” and my knack for squeezing my car into the smallest spots, I started taking pictures of my coups. Don’t be jealous. We all have to be good at something. You can perform a heart transplant, I’m a good parker!

Here’s my car that day I thought, “I’d like to go to the Amazon Store but it’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and Georgetown is going to be more of a zoo than the zoo.”

Amazon Prime Parking

Amazon Prime Parking

Or that day I said, “Let’s eat dinner at Clyde’s in Georgetown” and Real Estate Dad said, “But, parking.” And then I parked right in front. There’s my car! You can see it through the front door of Clyde’s!

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

Or when we went to Arcuri’s and drove because even though we live 3 blocks away, sometimes we’re lazy asses.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

The other day I had the girls with me and we had to pick up something from the hardware store. There was not a spot in front. But, I was one illegal u-turn on Wisconsin Avenue away from a spot right across the street. I did my magic, and started backing into the spot.

Then I stopped paying attention. That happens sometimes.

And I heard a giant smash.

There was a man on a ladder cleaning the store window. M yelled, “MOM HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THE CAR ON THE CAMERA!” She’s right. I am actually so confident in my parking abilities that I don’t use the camera. Don’t ask. It’s one of my quirks. I can “feel” where all the cars are around me. Except for this day. My feels were off. The guy screamed “WHOA! YOU SMASHED THAT CAR!”

It wasn’t just any car I smashed. It was the top of the line Lexus truck. I mean, if you’re going, you may as well go big.

The guy on the ladder was now the guy off the ladder and I was momentarily distracted by the fact that he was talking out of a hole in his throat. I think. He sounded like a robot. I was mostly hoping the kids didn’t say anything.

We all gathered around the back of my car and the front of the Lexus and I didn’t see any actual damage. The guy is saying that he can’t believe it, he heard a smash, he expected the car to be wrecked. M and Chubs are like, “We can’t wait to tell Daddy!” (Traitors!) Then the owner came out and saw us milling around by her car. I told her “I hit your car when I was parking.”

She said, “Oh I do it all the time!”

I said, “But don’t you want to look? I think I busted your Lindsay Lexus license plate holder.”

She laughed, hopped in the car and took off. Of course then I realized she was actually parked illegally in a loading zone and jumped out to get herself a salad at Sweetgreens.

So I rewrote history* for the kids, and rewrote the future for me where they would tell Real Estate Dad. I said, “See, that’s not a legal parking spot. She shouldn’t have been there. If she parked somewhere legal, Mom wouldn’t have hit her car.” They didn’t figure that one out because duh. Of course if she wasn’t there I wouldn’t have hit her.

*If you need a course in “How to Rewrite History” or “Parallel Parking & the Associated Lab Course: Getting a Spot in Front,” both are taught at my parent’s house.

Let's Play - "There's Nothing Sexier Than..."

Quick! Fill in the blank!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to _________

Okay okay, now me!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to the sound of your dog vomiting. If you have a dog you know that sound. It’s similar to the human dry-heave, except it’s a wet heave. You can actually hear the vomit in their stomach, gurgling and bubbling before it comes out. All over your new carpet.

But I’m not bitter.

There’s an upside. By the time I went to find and clean the vomit, one of our very efficient dogs had already taken care of it.

I get extra credit because that, my friends, is sexy.

And I Didn't Puke This Time!

Guess who went on another field trip as a chaperone?

Yes, this glutton for punishment. As someone who gets car sick backing out of the driveway, you would think I would stop raising my hand for this stuff.

Here’s the good news: I can finally say I’ve been to and toured Dumbarton House!

Here’s the other good news, according to their website:

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

Here’s the bad n… What? You didn’t think there would be bad news? I threw you off with two pieces of good news. (Well, three pieces if you count the implication I made above about how I didn’t vomit.) Listen up because you should know by now that bad news is practically the underlying theme of this blog. So here it is:

The condition of the bus that delivered us to and from Dumbarton House should have been junked a decade ago. I’m not even sure my snark can capture the torture that was this bus, and I’m not sure my outrage could properly be contained should I actually choose to, gasp, complain.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Not well at all.

Not well at all.

I wish I wasn’t just screwing around here, there was a ton of water pouring through the emergency exit in the roof and I’m sorry people but this is not acceptable because my hair is keratined within an inch of its life and I can’t afford for it to get a ton of dirty rain-bus water on it and not have a hair dryer and sulfate-free shampoo close by. While my umbrella kept me and the cuties dry, the water was flying off the umbrella toward other people. There was no way to win this one.

In other news, f*ck you DCPS, for not bothering to require a minimum standard of safety. I almost want to be that mom who drives my kid to every off-campus happening.

Then I remembered:

1) They go to Fillmore for their arts education every single week.

2) I don't really like rocking the bus boat bus-boat.

3) I have a job and that job entails selling houses to people. I can't sell houses to people if I have to moonlight daylight as a school uber driver.

Next field trip, barf bag and roll of duct tape go in the bag. Because you just never know.

A Tale of Three Emails

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days, it was the Realtor® of wisdom, it was the Realtor® of foolishness, it was the new mom of belief, it was the new mom of incredulity, It was the Amish in light, it was the Amish in darkness, it was a corgi rescue with hope, it was a corgi rescue with despair…

I started my afternoon of Friday, the 25th of January, at a Committee Meeting at our local Real Estate Board. I’m on a committee responsible for slapping the hands of bad, foolish and incompetent Realturds. I’ve thankfully moved on from my three years of service on the Grievance Committee to the next level. How could anyone forget the Grievance Committee? That’s the one that turned my hair as gray as it is now.

Three of the most brain dead people in the world were on the committee last year. It was truly unbearable to be in the same room with them. They amused and infuriated me the most when they would announce that the entire time we were voting on a specific case - through 17 articles of our Code of Ethics and 100 some odd standards of practice, that they were voting on a different case than the rest of the room was voting on.

Here’s a photo from our last meeting.

130925-dumb-dumber-cheat_bwjdd5.jpg

Back to today’s meeting. Because today’s meeting and this year’s Committee will be nothing like last year.

When I walked into the room I was greeted by a few dozen unfamiliar faces, at least one of whom thought it was a good idea to swim in a pool of cologne this morning. I choked through two hours of legalities. When I got bored, I made the mistake of checking my phone where I quickly learned that all hell was breaking loose in various corners of my world.

In my work email, I found this gem, addressed to me:

We have several questions in regards to the building / condo association and are hoping that you can help. It is our understanding that you are very familiar with the building and unit itself. Any insight will be greatly appreciated. 

1. Is this unit is a condo or coop? What are the %'s for both in the building (can affect financing)?
2. What does the HOA/Condo Association cover?  
3. Any special assessments in the last 5 years?
4. Any information about why some units went condo, while others stayed coop?
5. Can the purchaser install a washer/dryer within the unit?
6. Does this unit come with storage?
7. Is there an underlying mortgage for the Coop portion of the building?
8. What entity covers the cost of new windows?
9. Are there any financing restrictions?
10. Are pets allowed?

We look forward to receiving your response. Thank you!

That email was from another agent. I had a whole lineup of possible replies, to include:

  • Why the f*ck are you asking me? Do your job and find out yourself!;

  • Do you see the guy who works at Burger King being pulled from the line at McDonalds, where he was just trying to get some fries, man, and the McDonald’s guy asking him to jump behind the counter and cook the burgers for them while they sit there and collect their paychecks for his work? No? Good, don’t ask me to do that either.

  • #Loser

I told her I thought she had the wrong person. I gave her a chance to back away slowly. But, nope.

Have you listed and sold units within the building? We were informed by another agent that you had and that you were very familiar with the building... 

Is this bitch serious? Yes, let me go find the answers to these questions about your listing. I can’t wait to do your job so you can collect your commission! This time I was a bit more clear in my response.

You need to get this information from the management company or your client. It is not appropriate to ask another Realtor for this information who has no official role with the condo

She thanked me and told me to make it a great day!

Moving right along. Next up we’ve got my Yahoo email where all my Rue La La and various email subscriptions land. In that inbox is a post to one of the neighborhood mom message boards.

I am a single mother and I just gave birth , before this decision I have taught a lot and the only solution is to get the child a good ,caring and God fearing home. The child deserves nothing but the best and I will do everything in my power to see that the child is adopted . I don't care if you are single or married. I really want to bless a home out there who had not had the cry of a baby. I will really prefer a home where they have not had the cry of a baby or a home with a maximum one child looking forward for a second child. I am really sorry about my preference but I have made a lot of research about this. if you are seriously seeking to adopt, please send me a direct email.

I wrote to her because I couldn’t not write to her. Scam or not, I needed to go to bed tonight with a clear conscience. She hasn’t written back. But I’d totally take the baby. I mean, it’s not every day your neighborhood message board is offering a free baby.

Then I went to the rescue email. And this is where I find an email a woman just sent 20 minutes prior, that there’s a corgi at an Amish Mill Farm in PA that they are giving up. Here’s the thing with the Amish. When they say they are giving up a dog, you have to fire up your buggy right-that-very-second don’t-stop-to-pee because they can change their mind faster than electricity travels.

Ha ha. Oops. Those jokes never get old.

In all these conversations about said corgi, who has been bred over and over for puppies, who has been living outside when it’s below freezing, someone told me to buy one of their pies when I get there. Absolutely not. They may have infected it and I’ll catch their “I don’t give one iota about animals except for the money they can make for me” disease.

So, after spending the rest of my afternoon on the phone trying to figure out how to get this dog off this farm asap, finally I arrived home. Real Estate Dad was outside with the corgis. I bust out of the car with “I’VE GOTTA GET A CORGI TOMORROW IN PENNSYLVANIA AND I’M PICKING UP SOME CORGS IN FREDERICKSBURG IN THE MORNING AND I’M GOING TO BE DRIVING ALL OVER FOR THESE DOGS ARGH.” He’s used to having a manic wife. I chatted with him for a second, then walked up the stairs to our house when someone drives by and screams out the window “NICE ASS!” Real Estate Dad looked at me and I said, “I think they were talking to you.”

Time for this day to be over.

She Was Caught in a Mudslide, Eaten By a Lion, Got Run Over by a Crappy Purple Scion

It’s no secret we’re in love with Summer Nanny. She came back last year to be Spring Nanny, and Summer Nanny again for 2018, and Fall Nanny and now she’s Winter Nanny. It seems though, Winter Nanny was offered a job which will make use of her MBA and her days with us are sadly winding down. She will not be Spring or Summer Nanny any longer. Sniff Sniff.

It’s wrong to have wished she would never get a job so she could always be our nanny. Didn’t stop me though. I suppose she can’t sit on the floor and play LOL Dolls with the girls forever - even though she really really appears to love it. I was lamenting my woes to Real Estate Dad about how I’m going to miss her because she really loves these crazy girls of ours.

But what I’m really going to miss? Her hilarious and extremely unique excuses for why she can’t come to work like 30% of the time. Most of the time it’s on Friday too. The reasons are never the same which is sort of amazing. I wish I kept track of all of them, but since summer, I can recall the following reasons why All-Season Nanny would call in sick.

  • Ex-boyfriend she shares custody of their pit bull with, let the pit bull go on hot pavement and his pads ripped off so she was taking him to the vet.

  • Said pit bull was attacked once by a chihuahua, that was also a vet visit.

  • Had to help her parents pack their house.

  • Texted one Thursday after she left to say she was rear ended on the beltway. The next morning she said she was dealing with insurance all day and couldn’t come in. Real Estate Dad said, “It’s always Friday. Why doesn’t she just ask for Fridays off?”

  • Job Interview

  • Migraine

  • Was walking to her car to drive to our house and vomited before she got into the car.

  • Forgot she was supposed to be the photographer for her cousin’s wedding at the courthouse.

  • Went to Urgent Care and they told her she had a lung infection and if she kept coming to work she could die.

  • Trampled by a giant corgi

Giant Corgi.jpg

Okay. Not that last one. That sounds like it would be my excuse for calling in sick, actually. And she gets extra credit for coming the day she woke up with purple fingers and was diagnosed with Raynauds Syndrome. That text only came to me though, and I ignored it because it wasn’t a good day for her to not come to work.

At first we were all out of sorts trying to adjust our schedules but now we’re just used to it. And the reasons are entertaining and impressive. Whenever we get the text and I’m at work, I hand the phone to my work-wife and we both laugh and then I confirm that Real Estate Dad is home and can get them.

I was telling Real Estate Dad now that she’s going back to a full time job I’ll look for other childcare options for the girls after school. Then I quickly followed up with the fact that I may wait until April or May to firm up the plan. If attendance is a requirement at the new job, Summer Nanny may not survive her probationary period.

You Are Feeling Verrrrry Sleepy

If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been struggling to drop the 25 lbs that magically appeared after Chubs was born. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. I see pictures of myself from when I “thought” I was fat, and I’m like, “Girllll give me that body back any day.”

Last year, after listening to everyone’s advice for years and not losing a pound, I paid a small fortune for a hypnotist. I found a woman with great reviews and I signed myself up after meeting with her. I expected her to be able to shut off my constant craving for devil’s food chocolate cake, but that didn’t happen. What did happen though was I became very aware of what I was eating and when I was full. Without trying really hard, I lost 10 lbs. Omg! Progress!

Unfortunately my sessions ended and I didn’t have time to re-up them because: work. Then, a few weeks and a box of Baklava sent from my parents and the weight was back with a vengeance.

For my New Year’s Resolutions, yes, that’s plural, I decided to implement a Habit Tracker. I’m obsessed with this genius idea. You write your habits on the left and you track them in a simple grid. You can draw it out, a la the current bullet journal craze or you can make it on a spreadsheet program. Or, if you’re like me, a lazy Amazon Whore, a.k.a. Amazhore, you can just spend too much money for one on Amazon.

Here’s a great example of a Habit Tracker in case you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, Willis.

One of my habits is to cook more at home instead of ordering / eating out all the time. So off to the grocery store I went to get this year started right.

Instead of making a list, I have always wheeled the cart down every aisle so I don’t miss anything. So, I’m coming out of cereals and u-turning into cakes and baking items when I saw her. The hypnosis doc. I was like, “Oh shit, she cannot see me because she’ll be like ‘Big fat fattie, you need to get your fat ass back to see me.’” And she wouldn’t be wrong about that. I’d ignore her and she would yell, “NOT THE CAKE AISLE!!!”

I have never seen her in my (MY) (it’s not mine, I know) grocery store before and I’ve been going there for over 4 years. I bolted up the aisle thinking “Please don’t let me run into her, please don’t let me run into her, I’m weak and vulnerable after admitting I need to get serious about this weight loss.” I headed over to produce to camp out in case she saw me. At least if we have to bump into each other I’d rather be found next to the apples than in the farking cake aisle, even if I’m not buying any cake. She was all about removing temptation. “If it isn’t in the house, it won’t beckon you from the cabinet late at night.”

I waited until I thought she was gone and I picked a line to check out.

I loaded all my food on the conveyor belt. It wasn’t a bad haul, but I do have 4 and 6 year old daughters who like things like Cheerios and Chips Ahoy! (I’m not yelling. Chips Ahoy! really has an exclamation point after it.) As I finished, someone came up behind me with their basket and 3 items in it, saw how much stuff I had, passively aggressively eye-rolled and turned to find another register. Shut it Poindexter, we haven’t been food shopping in a month. We’re THAT FAMILY, who just goes to relatives houses for the holidays so we don’t actually have to cook. Same thing happened a few more times with people coming, seeing my haul and leaving for another line.

Then. She gets in line behind me. Noooooo.

For some reason, the gods were nice to me that day, and we didn’t make eye contact. She saw how much stuff I had and backed her cart out and went to another aisle.

Now that I know she goes to MY grocery store, I’ll need to drop at least 10 lbs, pronto because this is embarrassing.

Oh, bonus. All this running around the store and I hit my 10,000 steps! Another one to check off on my habit tracker!