House blues…

I hate renting the house in Red Bank!

It sucks. We have paid almost $30,000.00 in rent this year. This for a house that has no insulation, is expensive to heat, and is horribly laid out. A house we do not like. This paid to people who have failed to make the majority of the repairs we have requested, listed the house without telling us a week after the baby was born, and sent me an ALL CAPS angry email today. Why? Let me tell you:

Lee went on a business trip. He mowed the lawn before he left, and tried to mow it when he came back. (Grass grows like gangbusters here, so it is already nuts after a week.) When he tried to mow it, the mower failed. We emailed the landlord to have it repaired. A week later, they decided to drop by, but “were unable to get to the lawnmower because the fence blocked entry to the yard.” Granted, they have a key, the garage code, and our permission to come into the house any time they need to make repairs on the weekends, but somehow the fence gets in their way.

So what do they do? Send me an all caps bitchy email about how they are going to have to hire a service and take it out of our security deposit. This after failing to repair things like:
The bathroom door handle, which locks on its own every time you shut the door.
The laundry closet doors, which are now in the hall closet, having fallen down, again.
The front screen door, which sticks and is next to impossible to open, every single time you try and enter the house.
The bathroom drawers, which have no pulls, and can only be opened by pulling on the sides of the drawers. (I have broken my nails several times, painfully.)
Monkey’s room door handle, which also locks on it’s own. (I had to turn the handle around when she locked herself in her room, lock inside, and couldn’t get out. It is so much fun to remove a door handle when a freaked out child is screaming on the other side.)

Yes, after failing to make these fairly essential and inexpensive repairs for the entire tenure of our lease, they send us a threatening email after the mower breaks, and the lawn isn’t mowed. This after I have washed the floors in the living room with special wood soap to increase their shine so the house will show better, have cleaned and organized before each showing while caring for a brand new baby, and Lee has re-seeded the backyard so the lawn looks nice!!

I hate renting! These people are unbelievable! They have already violated the terms of our lease by failing to make timely repairs, and are now really pissing me off. I swear, if they try and take anything the slightest bit extra out of the security deposit I am going to sue them. NJ charges double damages to landlords who charge too much on the deposit, and I am so ready to recover.

New locks…

There’s a new Hair-do in town…

This time courtesy of a an excellent Italian hair-stylist from Brazil, Adalberto. He was charming, he was helpful, and he was wonderful! I went in seeking the common post baby short cut and left with a long bob “still capable of a pony-tail.”

Adalberto, Al as he is known by his clients, was insistent that I would regret cutting my hair too short for a pony-tail. “I have two children” he said, “trust me, there are times when you really need to be able to have a pony-tail.”

Who am I to argue with the voice of superior knowledge?

Anyway, I am very happy with the cut, and will be returning to Adalberto’s for the duration of my east coast stay.

Oh… and Luke sent me this link, it is really, really, really, cool. I urge you to view it. 500 years of female portraits in Western Art.

This is an amazing video, I suggest watching it. Whoever did this worked very hard!

In the natural habitat

(The new mother, desperate to contact the outside world, may be observed engaging in communication activities that fall outside the realm of her normal behavior. Calling out to the male of the species more often than usual, reaching out to her parents, blogging twice or more in one day, all of these behaviors may be witnessed by the interested observer and are typically indicitive of new life in the den.)

Yes I already blogged once today, but I thought I would add some pictures and tell the world of Monkey’s success in feeding Otter via bottle. After his nap, he was placed on her lap and she popped the bottle right in his greedy little mouth. He smiled and took right to it. It was much easier than it was 2 weeks ago, every day of experience helps! Monkey was deeply proud of her acheivement, and Otter gobbled up about an ounce before demanding a real breast.

Monkey feeds the baby:


After I sat down with him she promptly seized the camera and began clicking away.
Mommy feeding Otter:

Then she demanded I snap a few pictures of she and I while he ate. No mean feat, but we got one good one anyway. (Note the bunched up area on my shirt, there is a hungrily eating baby under there.)
Monkey and Mommy:

We went to a school art show for Monkey last night. Here is her submitted piece, as promised, entitled “Monkey gives Nama a flower.”

And here she is proudly pointing out her artwork on the wall. The school placed each classroom’s art on a wall and the show consisted of a walk through the school to view the art. (There was a concert as well, but she wasn’t in it, and I was tired, so we didn’t stay.)