2.5 years
by Karla ° Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This kid, personality wise, is a carbon copy of his father. But appearance wise he could not look more like me. We both scowl when someone tries to take our picture, have unruly curls and ridiculously pale skin. The only difference is that I wear self tanners and mascara and (unfortunately) do not have friends perpetually outgrowing and handing me down stylish clothing.

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Drive by Shooting
by Karla ° Sunday, June 21, 2009

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Neighbourly sentiments
by Karla ° Friday, June 19, 2009
Almost every morning I run into my neighbour. He’s usually outside, deep in thought and tinkering with this or that and I have to admit that of all the people we’ve met on this street, I’m going to miss him the most. He’s just one of those people who is truly genuine, you know? No strings attached, no expectations, just a really decent man that never fails to capture your attention with a fascinating story every time you cross paths

This morning, while strapping Nate in his car seat, my neighbour gave me carte blanche on his rose bush. A few months ago he let me fill my home with the fragrance of lilacs from his lilac tree.

Neighbours like him make leaving this house pretty damn hard.

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Business is Business
by Karla ° Thursday, June 18, 2009
The new house. I know you’re probably tired of hearing about the new house but this is a bit of a doozy. I’m trying to decide how to handle a real estate agent (we'll call him Mr. T) that has it in for me. Like, has it in for me so bad he wouldn’t cooperate with our current real estate agent to allow us to put in an offer on a house we wanted to buy.

Let me backtrack for a second. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall that Mark and I came very close to moving shortly after Nate was born. First, he was offered a lucrative job in Manhattan and then another one in Ottawa, and very last minuteish, the one he ended up accepting in Toronto.

Our plan had always been to leave this house after Ava died. It was just a matter of timing and finances really and what better time to pick up and move than a family in the midst of a career transition, sleep deprivation and walking around with a newborn on your breasts all day.

Anyhow, we called up a real estate agent who showed us a few homes (remember this one?) and it didn’t take long to become frustrated with what we wanted versus what we could afford. Eventually we decided to wait a few more years and re-evaluate a move then.

Fast forward to late 2008. Mark and I happened to go and check out an open house at this really gorgeous home and met a lovely agent by the name of Veronica. We chatted a bit and for over six months while we hemmed and hawed about putting our home for sale, Veronica diligently kept in touch with us. She was never pushy, always personable and basically, just doing the whole networking thing to perfection.

When it came to listing our current home on the market, naturally, we called her, because, well, she’d been keeping in touch and old Mr. T? Long since forgotten. WELL, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE let me tell you because Mr. T showed up at my front door. Yes, that’s right. All six feet of him and his giant bushy beard came to my house to have a chat about why I didn’t call him. I never answered the door so a few hours later he called me. UM, AWKWARD much? I mean how intimidating is that? Really? It had been well over two years since we last spoke. Business is business. No?

I happened to mention this to Veronica, and she thought it was totally unprofessional and put a call into Mr. T’s agency. And that was that. Or so I thought until Mark and I wanted to put an offer on a house he had listed. We knew he might be a bit miffed still, but whatev. I mean, he makes his buck, he sells his house quickly, let bygones be bygones right?

NOPE.

Mr. T said he had quite the issue with me now and made it quite clear that he did not want to sell a house to Mark and me. Seriously folks. Think about that for a second. A real estate agent that does not want someone to put an offer on their listing. How stupid is that on so many levels. And let’s not forget that his clients trusted him to get the best price. Oh, and we so would have paid over asking for that house, too.

Irony of all ironies though, the house he refused to sell us? We ended up buying the same model on a larger lot. But still. He must be breaching real estate code of conduct on so many levels. I don’t know, I’m no expert on real estate, but I do know a thing or two about grudges and assholes and I think Mr. T is the latter.

Anyway, this is the letter I wrote to him while Nate was in the hospital. I never sent it. I don’t know if I will or if I should, you know, speaking of grudges and all.

What would you do?

###

Dear Mr. T,

I realize this response to your communications with Veronica about potentially putting an offer in on the property located at 57 [street name] is delayed, but let me assure you that your unprofessionalism and pettiness was the least of my concerns as my son fell ill with a terrible pneumonia and needed to be hospitalized for several days.

As far as I'm concerned, kind words and a departing handshake from the past left us with no contractual obligation to you or your services and I am vehemently dismayed at your demonstrated lack of professionalism moving forward. The homeowners of 57 [street name] did not deserve you putting your personal vendetta in the way of cooperating with a potential buyer of their property and I did not deserve to be intimidated when you showed up uninvited on my property and later called me to voice your dismay when you clearly knew Mark and I were already in a sellers and buyers contract with Veronica.

Veronica is a wonderful agent and your inquisition as to “why” we chose her is totally irrelevant, but Mr. T, if I may reminisce, I distinctively remember you telling Mark and myself well over two years ago when we first contemplated purchasing a new home that should we not enlist you as the Broker to sell our house that you would spite us and although I did not think much of that comment at the time, today, I am relieved we aren’t dealing with someone carting around characteristics short of suitable professionalism on such an important investment.

Mr. T, there are far more important things in life than to carry a grudge because you feel “wronged.” Business is business and I can only encourage you to accept this fact and see past your own self-righteousness and begin acting like the professional you are supposed to be.

Regards,

Karla M. Cadeau

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Ready for answers
by Karla ° Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I’m patiently waiting for the results of the EEG I had done last week. Patiently waiting for the results after a three month wait for the test in the first place actually. Knowing that some Neurologist has a file on their desk with answers about my brain, you know, that silly gray matter in your head that kind of drives your entire existence and why mine decided to tell my body to make me completely paralyzed from my face to my toes for 30 minutes makes me just a tad anxious, you know?

We arrived for the appointment early because rush-hour traffic was actually moving and not crawling along at a snail’s pace so I told the receptionist I was just checking in and then going to get a coffee. And she was all, “Um, didn’t you read the instructions on the back of your referral sheet?” I was all, “What instructions?” The back of my referral sheet was blank but apparently you‘re not allowed to drink caffeine before an EEG and you’re also not supposed to have any products in your hair. So I totally broke the two basic rules by showing up with a brain hyper on caffeine and a knot on my head still coated in yesterday’s hair products

The prep work seriously took twice as long as the test itself and I just have to say that having someone measuring your head and making parts all over the place to colour dots where the electrodes are going to be placed felt pretty darn nice. Kind of like when you see your stylist and they give you a wicked scalp massage while they wash your hair.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and hoo boy, let me tell you that 27 electrodes carefully measured and placed in a very specific pattern across your head is NOT ATTRACTIVE. More like extra terrestrial creepy alien being looking.

The technician, much to my surprise, could tell whenever I tensed my jaw or scrunched my forehead and kept telling me to relax. I kept wanting to tell her to see how relaxing it feels to have things glued all over your head. Oh, and let’s not forget the one electrode that didn’t want to stick to my greasy forehead so now there is a giant piece of tape there thank you very much.

One part of the EEG test was to check for epilepsy but I’m pretty sure that won’t be part of the diagnosis because the part where I had to lay in the dark with my eyes closed while flashing lights of various speeds where directed at my eyes kind of just made me feel like hitting up a night club and dancing.

At one point they did try to induce a panic attack and had me breathe very rapidly for three minutes. I felt my entire head go numb. Seriously. Apparently this is totally normal. I forgot to ask though if it’s normal normal, or normal if your head is broken normal.

I haven’t talked about this yet, but I’ve had god, I don’t even know what to call them. Incidents? Episodes? Fleeting Moments of Fuckedness? Whatever they are, they haven’t been nearly as frightening as full body paralysis because I have to be honest here people, the thought of living my life with claw-like clenched up fingers and both sides of face looking like they completely melted freaked me right the fuck out. So, thank god that whole, whatever it was, only happened once but what has happened again always starts the exact same way with the sensation that something is squeezing the back of my head. And it drives me batty because I know it’s there and it doesn’t exactly hurt, it’s just a strange feeling of pressure somewhere deep in my head and no amount of rubbing or counter pressure can fix it.

Within hours, sometimes minutes, the pressure intensifies and then my vision blurs, my skin turns salt-pale and then my fingers start to tingle. Sometimes its just a tingle. Sometimes I lose feelings in them for a bit. It just depends on, well, I have no idea what triggers it actually. I just recognize the first symptoms of its onset and then when its over spend a good few hours feeling so damn anxious about whatever the hell just happened.

The last time it happened I was sitting on the couch with Mark. I’d been feeling the pressure in the back of my neck all morning and was trying to ignore it when all of a sudden I shot up and told him, “I AM NOT OK!” After about 15 minutes of blurred vision, clammy skin and tingling in my fingers it was over.

Hardly unmanageable, but not exactly something you want in your life right?

I’m ready for answers.

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Possession date: July 14
by Karla ° Friday, June 5, 2009
It’s been two weeks since we officially became owners of a new house. Two weeks that have flown by so quickly I barely even remember blinking. Between dealing and negotiating interest rates with banks, trying to dig up all the documents our Lawyer needs (I didn’t even know we were supposed to have the transfer of land/deed to our house,) contacting and making arrangements for home insurance and then dealing with a life insurance agent that didn’t want to talk to me because it was Mark’s policy I was increasing, which, as far as I'm concerned doesn't really matter because Mark is the one that has to pee in the cup anyway, but fine. The thing is, Mark just does not have the time or luxury during the day to deal with the annoying replacement of our old Broker who a) doesn’t return phones calls and b) after scanning and sending the first few pages of his current policy from Equitable Life, the new insurance broker was all, hmm, this looks like a Royal Bank policy, are you sure you scanned the right document? And then because the whole process of just trying to get him to arrange the paramedical before Mark turns 90 had already been going on for two weeks I not so delicately sent an email to point out that in the first five pages Mark's current policy (which he received) says EQUITABLE LIFE no less than 22 times. A paramedical nurse called a few hours later and Mark gets to pee in a cup next week.

Whoever said once you finally sold and bought means you can finally relax is clearly delusional. I’ll take going through strangers homes and snooping in their closets over calling customer service after customer service agent to switch over our services any day.

Nate absolutely loved the whole process of buying a new home. Every morning he would wake up and the first thing out of his mouth would be, “I wanna buy a new house mom.” Wait, correction. The first thing out of this mouth every morning, without fail is, “I wanna watch a toon, I wan’t milk, I peed in my diaper.” Exactly like that, all in one sentence. AND THEN he would tell me that he wanted to buy a new house.

Whenever we were out looking at homes he would instantly turn into a riotous toddler on a mission to explore his new surroundings and start running through halls and corridors telling me that he wanted to buy THIS house. It really didn’t matter WHAT house, just that he wanted to buy THIS house with the money he has saved in his piggy bank.

And finally, twenty days of after closing the deal on our house, we found a place that we plan to call home for a very VERY long time so help me god if I get to itch to move again please direct my attention immediately to a padded room in an insane asylum.

The second I saw this house, it felt like home. It’s in a community with traffic calming roundabouts and located on a child-safe crescent. My Father-in-Law called it the “gingerbread house” and at first I was all huh? My house looks tasty? But then I got what he meant. It’s a quaint red brick suburban home with tall gingerbread-like roof peaks and a cute wraparound porch leading to a lipstick-red double door entrance.

The entry opens to a foyer with a 20 foot ceiling and spiral oak staircase. Immediately to the left is an office which, someday, I hope to turn into a photography studio.

Immediately at the top of the stairs are double doors that lead into the master bedroom, which has yet another double door entrance to an en-suite large enough for BOTH Mark and me to brush our teeth at the same time without bumping elbows. The best part though, ok, besides the giant tub, is that the en-suite has a separate room for the toilet, which is totally brilliant because what woman doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and send her husband to the water closet so she can do her makeup in adequately ventilated air.

Oh, and I absolutely adore the architectural details of Nate’s future bedroom, which he calls the “castle” room. It has a Cathedral ceiling, a rounded wall and tall peaked church-like windows. The other two bedrooms, will, er, stay empty. For now.

There are even newly planted fruit trees outside. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether or not Samson decides if he likes pears.

When I asked Nate what his favourite part of the new house was, he said the kitty door. I didn't have the heart to tell him that one of our cats is probably too fat to fit through it.

And now that we bought a house, Nate's all upset and wants to buy ANOTHER one. Either I have a budding real estate mongrel on my hands or we need to work on the concept of the value of a penny.

###

A few pictures of the new house:

Entrance.

Staircase.

Open Foyer to above, clearly in need of a pimped out chandelier.

Main floor office/Future Studio?

Now we're cooking with gas.

Eat-in Kitchen.

Entrance to master en-suite.

Nate's future "castle" bedroom.

Curved castle-y wall.

There are a few more photos from the MLS listing on flickr, too.

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Blast from the Past: Classy Bride
by Karla ° Thursday, June 4, 2009
Or, NOT.

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Blast from the Past: Bachelorette Party
by Karla ° Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The lingerie themed Bachelorette Party that resulted in a collection of barely there under things that Mark loves and I never wear because floss is made for your teeth, not your butt cheeks.

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Blast from the Past: Graduating Class of 2000 Kegger
by Karla ° Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Clearly a sober and mature bunch grads ready to enter the workforce.

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