Archive for the 'nashville' Category

Preschool Competition

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

In my area, getting your children into preschool isn’t for the faint of heart.  You know the movies and sitcoms that joke about signing your child up for preschool while still in the womb?  Around here that wouldn’t be a bad idea.  It isn’t uber-competitive as in “My Johnny speaks 3 languages, walked at 4 months, and potty trained at 6 months.”  It is uber-competitive as in there are 250 preschool slots available locally but we have 679 toddlers who want to attend.  (I totally made up the numbers but the ratio feels right.)  There just aren’t enough spaces.

Your best bet is to find a brand new, not yet open, never heard of preschool and sign up immediately.  That was my strategy with Sabrina’s school.  It was only open for 3 months when I toured it and signed her up.  The other option seemed to be camping out like preschool is the new Springsteen ticket.  My girlfriends, Crystal and Rachel, got in line at 4:30am to get their kids into one of the local preschools.  And they weren’t the first ones in line! When the preschool opened at 8 to give out numbers to come back and sign up, there were approximately 50 people waiting for only a few slots.  They both got in since they were near the front of the line but how crazy is it that we have to go to such lengths to pay for the privilege of sending our children to preschool in a church basement?

I’m not in love with Sabrina’s school and it is a 20 minute drive one way so I let my opportunity to sign up Tessa (current students and siblings get first dibs) pass.  With Sabrina starting Kindergarten in the fall (I! Know! *SOB*), it wasn’t feasible to get both girls to school in 2 different places at the same time.  Despite the logistical nightmare it would have created, I started to feel a little panicky about Tessa not having a spot in school this year.  I was on the fence about her attending this year but was afraid if I didn’t get her in somewhere now, there wouldn’t be any spots open next year.  I put Tessa on a couple of waiting lists.  As a last ditch effort, I called a local school that a lot of my friends have used.  I figured one more waiting list.  To my absolute surprise, they had 2 spots open for 3 year olds next year.  I toured and wrote a deposit check the next business day.

Steve initially asked if 1) Tessa was ready to go to school and 2) I was ready for Tessa to go to school.  I wasn’t sure on either answer.  But during our tour, Tessa took off her coat and sat right down.  She picked up a crayon and scribbled.  Then went over to a little boy playing with the train tracks and joined in.  She threw a fit when I told her we had to leave.  So I guess she is ready.  I was happy to see her excited and overjoyed at having found an open class for her at a school I was comfortable with (without standing in line in the wee hours).  Then I got into the car and realized my baby will be going to preschool 2 days a week.  *Sob*  How did that happen?!?

My happy thought

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Hey y’all!  Remember when I moved south?  I was all “oh the summers will suck but we’ll have mild winters to make up for it!”

Yeah.  It isn’t working out that way.  Every year we’ve been here, we’ve had snow.  But this year, it has been ridiculous.  Yes, I know places like NY and Boston have so much snow piled up they don’t know what to do with it.  I get that.  I get that my whining about repeated snows of an inch or two will not receive much sympathy.  But an inch or two shuts this place down. And I lived on the surface of the sun in June, July, August, September, and part of October with the understanding (do you hear me Mother Nature?) that I would get some reciprocity.  I would be able to be a little smug about our 40 and 50 degree temps while my northern friends and family shoveled snow.  WHERE IS MY MILD WINTER MOTHER NATURE?!? *Shaking my fist*

I went to Trader Joe’s earlier this week.  I saw a pot of tulips which were so tightly budded that I couldn’t tell their color.  Looking out at the 9 degree morning, my yard covered in snow yet again, I was feeling rather grumpy.  They picked a great day to reveal themselves to me.  A spot of bright, spring filled hope.  So, I am trying to focus on my pretty fuchsia tulips and remember that this winter will eventually end and spring will come.  And then 10 days later it will be 95 degrees and I’ll be bitching about the heat.

Starting Slow

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

We headed over to the house today with both cars packed with some boxes.  The first thing I focused on was getting the decorative corners off the front screen door.  It was difficult enough (painted over and stripped screws) that I didn’t mess around with other 3 screen doors today.  But I was happy to get them off the front door at least.

before after

Just wasn’t my style.

We let the girls check out their new playground.  They love it and I have to admit it is pretty cool.

We started putting together the loot from our Ikea trip.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been painting now and then with one of my girlfriends.  I painted these pears for our new kitchen so I brought them with us today.

Home

Friday, October 1st, 2010

It was a really long day (what should have been an hour turned into 5 hours) but the house is officially ours.  Time to start making it home.

Closing?

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Today is supposed to be the day.  They moved our closing up from Monday to this afternoon.  But we are waiting on some mysterious packet to get the mysterious group of people who must be present to sacrifice a small goat and dance in the rain at the closing…and it hasn’t arrived yet.  So we wait.  Since we aren’t moving immediately, the couple of days difference doesn’t really matter one way or the other.  We would just like to have it done and have keys in hand.  We crave roots and those keys are the first step.

Racing ahead

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

We went to an arts & crafts festival this weekend.  I adore art festivals so I was excited that we 1) remembered that it was this weekend and b) the weather was gorgeous.

Am I the only one that thinks it is weird that we have the Parthenon in downtown Nashville?

(Seriously – look at that sky! I only cropped this photo slightly…I didn’t play with the colors or lighting at all.)

The girls found the festival rather dull.  Their favorite parts were the kettle corn (smart girls), watching the ducks at the park, and running around after being cooped up in their stroller for over an hour.

The girls were running around this statue.  It started with Tessa chasing Sabrina but Sabrina kept lapping her so by the end no one knew who was being chased.

Tessa’s always trying to keep up with her big sister.

We mentally earmarked a lot of items but left with only a cute pottery bowl.  I have a bit of a sickness when it comes to pottery…I can’t resist.

More House

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

These are the first photos I’ve taken since our return from vacation.  A combination of getting everyone back into the swing of things (myself included…I really struggled to get my head back into real life for some reason) and being busy with mundane tasks made for a neglected camera.  But Sabrina declared this her favorite dress in the whole wide world (this morning) so I thought I would capture it.  Poor Tessa has a cold and looks a little ragged.

I am working on a few of my favorite things post but to tide you over, I will throw up a few more house photos to satisfy those who’ve emailed and asked for more.  I’ve already shown off most of those worth showing…the bedrooms and bonus room are just plain old square rooms w/o the furniture they used to stage the house.

The view from the master bedroom balcony:

My favorite room – the sun room or Florida room (funny that my fav is the smallest – it just feels cozy to me)…it is off the eat in kitchen and living area – the door leads to the back porch:

The view from the sun room back into the eat in area and kitchen just for perspective.  The photos I posted of the kitchen were taken with some sort of wide angle/fish eye lens and made it look even larger than it is.

The powder room…I share it for 2 reasons. 1) The black ceiling makes Steve cringe but it is growing on me. (I’ll admit that calculating the number of coats of primer necessary to cover it might have a little something to do with my grow affection.)  2) Proof that a woman was involved with the design of this house.  The powder room is larger than a coat closet and actually has a sizable closet in it.  Seriously, there are too many closets in this house for a woman not to have been involved.  In the entry hallway, there is a closet with shelves AND a deep (goes under the stairs a bit) coat closet AND the powder room which also has a closet.  My problem will be there are so many places to store things that I won’t remember where I put it.

There is a little sitting area in the bedroom.  I’ve always wanted a chaise lounge…wouldn’t one fit perfectly there?  Steve has also suggested that I could make that nook my crafty nook since I have to keep things hidden away from the kids so that they don’t eat beads or paint.

I think those are all the house photos worth sharing.  The bedrooms are all pretty standard and the bonus room is just a big rectangle.  We are very excited and keeping everything crossed that this all plays out smoothly and we close as scheduled.

Going All In

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Anyone whose husband has fallen asleep on the couch with a poker tournament on the television has likely heard the players say they are going all in.  We’ve been in TN for over 3 years now so we decided the time has come for going all in.  We are giving up the safety of renting, the pipe dream of moving back to the ‘Burgh, and buying a house.  Or at least we are trying to – you just never know how things will turn out.

We hadn’t planned to buy a house for another 8 months but we happened upon one we fell in love with.  It has everything we want and more.  The ‘and more’ is actually the only thing wrong with the house – we didn’t want one this large.  We’ve baffled many realtors and builders by declaring other houses too large for our needs.  We weren’t looking for the biggest house we could afford (you have to clean and furnish all of that space) – we were looking for one that felt like it could be home and suited the way we live.  We like our current town a lot aside from 2 things: 2 homogeneous and all of the cookie cutter houses in subdivisions.  We’ve decided the pros outweigh those 2 cons but home shopping is a little boring because there aren’t many unique houses (home owners associations frown upon unique).  But this house and 2 others that are similar were built to be models for a new phase in a development. The home owners saw them and threw a fit – there were too different! They didn’t fit in with the aesthetic.  The builder sold those 3 houses and went back to building the lovely (but cookie cutter) brick houses that graced the rest of the neighborhood.   Wouldn’t you know that the rebel houses are the ones that we love above all others?

I was planning on posting some photos of the cute house but I’m a little uncomfortable doing that.  I’m certainly not super anonymous here but I also don’t go out of my way to advertise how to come and stalk my family.  (Scary stalk not friendly cyber friend stalk.)  I’ve shared the link of photos with some friends on facebook and you’ll get to see lots of interior photos in the coming months…but I don’t feel good about plastering the front of our hopefully new house on the net.  Trust me – it is cute (some how it seems wrong to call my rebel house cute – but it is).

Features I am especially in love with: balcony off the the master bedroom – perfect for quiet Sunday paper reading and coffee sipping (isn’t it cute how I pretend my kids might allow such a thing?), the pantry is bigger than my current laundry room – we can actually put our chest freezer in the pantry…don’t believe me? that photo with the stool is the pantry, the kitchen is ginormous, there is a sunny little Florida room that makes me smile just thinking about it, and a room that we can make a play room so that my living room no longer has to look like Toys R Us.   Also? Without question, woman was involved in the design of this house – there are closets everywhere.  Even in the powder room.  And my bedroom closet might have made me openly weep the first time I saw it.  The girls favorite thing?

That’s 2 slides with swings in between.  They can hardly wait to call it their own personal playground.  And I get to sit here and watch them play:

A covered back porch that doesn’t get afternoon sun – an awesome thing here on the surface of the sun in the south.

I am feeling pretty optimistic about things because we signed the contract on Friday…but the sellers have a history of flaking out even after having signed a contract so we can’t call it ours until the keys are in our hands.  Closing is set for the first week of October if all goes well.  The house inspection is tomorrow.

Resistance is futile

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

We will be assimilated.  We are becoming more Southern with every passing day.  We’ll never be true Southerners but the South has a way of creeping in.

One day we were talking about what we needed to do and Steve said “I reckon…” (who talks like that?)

I find myself saying “Ya’ll” without the previous irony.

I tried shrimp and cheese grits.  And I liked them.  A lot.

I tried fried green tomatoes.  They were pretty good.

I wear capris and skirts more often when I go out.  I still wear shorts in public but I’m aware that I am breaking the rules.  I still don’t care but I know why I am getting disapproving looks.

Whenever I am pointing out something about another person that might be considered a flaw or criticism, I follow it with “bless her heart“.

When it is 100 degrees outside, I take a sweater with me to restaurants because it is likely to be 66 degrees inside.

I know the best pulled pork sandwiches can be found in gas station restaurants in the middle of no where.  Seriously, there is one in NC, on the way to the beach, that makes me drool as we approach.

The other day, Steve declared it was going to be a nice day because it wasonly supposed to be 90 degrees”.

I have a strange desire to try Chess Pie despite the fact I am sure it is foul (it has been described to me as pecan pie without the pecans – blech).

But yesterday sealed it.  We bought meat off the back of a pickup truck. Yes, yes we did.

Okay it wasn’t quite as redneck looking as that – but it wasn’t far off.  It was a pickup with a chest freezer in back.  And we purchased steaks from them.  The prices were decent – not low enough to set off “too good to be true” alarm bells but good.  The meat was frozen solid and looked nice.  We’ll see once we try it.

The funniest part of the transaction (and there were several) was the guy’s son.  The son was probably 20.  He looked like quite the good old boy and was sporting a slight mullet.  They both had thick Southern drawls.  The son had said very little but dad was showing us the box of pork and pulled out some stuffed pork chops.  Dad described the corn bread stuffing and the son drawled “They are divine.”  Totally not the choice of words I would have expected.

Welcome to the south.

It wasn’t in the 90′s today!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

We celebrated our high of “only” 89 degrees by finally getting to play outside.  It has been so hot and dry, even the weeds (flowers) that Sabrina picked for me were crispy.  She insisted I get a photo of them.

The girls were so excited to play with their outside toys.  Our driveway/front yard is in direct sun in the morning and it has still been too hot to get out there very much in the afternoon when it is shaded.


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