Friday, June 29, 2007

Pretty Tame

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at
Like All-Knowing Jen, I'm safe for all ages.

Online Dating

But I have to say that's 'cuz my mom reads this blog... and I don't know if I've ever said anything around her worse than the swear word for excrement.

In other news, we relooked at a house we really liked today - saw it first at an open house on Sunday where we found out it had been on the market only a day or two - thought it was cute, underpriced, and might be just the thing for us. We saw it today with our real estate agent - she called later this evening to say it's got an offer on it already.

We'd already put it as one of our top two and were trying to decide what to do. But now the pressure's on if we want to do anything about this one. (And the other one, well, deserves a whole long post 'cuz it's got a whole lotta pros, but definitely a huge list of cons, too. Like, have you ever heard of knob and tube wiring?)

So we debated and discussed and (I at least) stressed... and then we decided to sleep on it and went out for supper to celebrate that our house is practically sold and to take our minds off it.

So, here's hoping my subconscious figures it all out for me overnight.

(Also, we're trying to figure out our schedule/plans for our MN trip, and let me tell you, it's just plain awkward because we've got so many different things at different times in different places. Like, it looks like we might have at least 2 hours on the road EVERY SINGLE DAY we're there. And that's not counting the trips to and from WI! Argh! So maybe my subconscious will work on that, too.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For real

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

It's for real. Our house is sold.

I was waiting to post about this because I didn't want to jinx it, but now that the closing's been set, I feel ok letting you all know.

We got an offer on our house after it was on the market just shy of two weeks, we countered, they accepted, yadda yadda yadda. We're getting about $5000 less than we had it listed, but we figured that'd be the case in this buyers' market. We were just thrilled to have things happen so quickly!

The inspection was last week and the only thing they wanted us to take care of was that we hadn't had the city come out and inspect the new furnace after it had been put in, so we had an open permit regarding that. (That's 'cuz we didn't know we needed to.) Since somebody has to be there when the city comes out, our real estate agent is taking care of coordinating that, then it's all good.

And the closing is happening quickly - in a week and a day to be precise (July 5th)! So for a little while, until we find/decide on a house here in WI, we won't own anything bigger/more expensive than our Blazer. And our bank account will be rather richer, too! *grin*

It feels a little strange. That was the first house we ever owned, and the first big thing we ever purchased together. It's where we found out I was pregnant, decorated a nursery, and brought Pumpkin home. It's where we first learned the joys and sorrows of homeownership, including the truism that any home repair project involves at least 3 trips to the hardware store. It's also where Mr. Kluges did a bunch of outdoor work, including some quirky projects like making maple syrup from our box elder trees. (Yes, they're a kind of maple.) It's where we got, lengthily debated, and finally accepted the offer of a job for Mr. Kluges in Ireland.

And now it's going to be somebody else's house.

We got somewhat used to that idea when we were away from the house for 2 years and had various renters living in it. Since the last ones were our friends Jaysan and Ang, we got to see it with their stuff in it, which was a little weird, but helped me not think of it as our home anymore. And now it won't be.

I hope the people moving into it enjoy it as much as we did. They'll probably use the 4 car garage (2 tandem spots) more than we did since we only ever owned one vehicle when we lived there. I hope they garden, and build campfires on the lower level in the back yard like we loved. They won't know all the improvements we made, but I hope they enjoy them and do some of their own. (But if they put up stupid raised, colored plaster stencilly things anywhere like were in the upstairs bedroom, I'm going to come back and haunt them someday!) I'm sure they'll redo/repaint/laugh at some improvement we made, but that's how you make a house your own.

And soon it will be their own instead of ours...

Which makes me a little melancholy, but also excited and ready to find a house here, and make it OUR own.

Monday, June 25, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ewe Are Here had this meme on her blog and it seemed like a good one to steal... oh, I mean, do, too, especially on day when I'm feeling a little fried.
So here it is. (P.S. Thanks!)

One-Word Responses Meme
1 Where is your cell phone? Purse
2 Relationship? Strong
3 Your hair? Shaggy
4 Work? Home
5 Your sister? None

6 Your favorite things? Boxed
7 Your dream last night? Fragmented
8 Your favorite drink? Booze
9 Your dream car? Red
10 The room you're in? Kitchen

11 Your shoes? None
12 Your fears? Inadequacy
13 What do you want to be in 10 years? Healthy
14 Who did you hang out with this weekend? Us
15 What are you not good at? Tennis

16 Muffins? Poppyseed
17 Wish-list item? House
18 Where you grew up? Country
19 The last thing you did? Nursed
20 What are you wearing? Capris

21 What are you not wearing? Shoes
22 Your pet? Abandoned
23 Your computer? Borrowed
24 Your life? Transition
25 Your mood? Fair

26 Missing? Crockpot
27 What are you thinking about? Choices
28 Your car? Shared
29 Your kitchen? Rental
30 Your summer? Busy

31 Your favorite color? Blue
32 Last time you laughed? Earlier
33 Last time you cried? Days
34 School? Teeny
35 Love? Lots

36 Tag? You?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fun with Photos

Because this is easier than trying to remember what I was actually going to post about...

Mess not with the small spitty one. She is BLACK BELT!

"La la la. So happy together!"

And finally...

(Apologies that it's sideways...)

"Yook! I put on my pants all by MYSELF!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reality Check

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

People who tell you that two kids aren't really that much more work than one are lying.

Through their teeth.

(Love 'em both, but oy! It's busy around here!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Phinally Photos

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I know I've been promising photos to y'all for a while and now I'm finally delivering. Well, the photos - I delivered Penguin almost 7 weeks ago now! *grin*

Here's our little-bit-larger family in the hospital.

Sleepy Penguin

Cute shirt for a cute girl

And see how much bigger she's gotten already!? This is even more than a week ago!

Pumpkin and Penguin

That's all I've got time for today. Got a kitchen to clean up, toys to tidy, and a Penguin who's going to want to eat again soon!

P.S. Happy Father's Day to Mr. Kluges, Grampa Pharaoh, Grampa Jem and all the other dads out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stick 'em up?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Saw this article through one of the mommy-sites I visit. If you're looking at work, you should know it references the body part Penguin eats from, in case that is a problem with filters/blocking.

So I guess you should consider me armed and dangerous?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Funny Girl

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Pumpkin has been making us laugh a lot lately with some of the funny things she says. Here are a few examples I've been saving up to share...

Pumpkin and I were talking about teeth.
P: And when I get bigger, then my teeth will get wiggly and fall out.
M: That's right. And then the tooth fairy will come and give you money for them.
P: Why? (Which we hear INNUMERABLE times every day.)
M: Well, so you can buy things.
P: (nodding) Yeah, like a house!

She was kneeling on one of the classy folding chairs that make up our dining room set along with a card table. Suddenly she started whining/crying, "Ah! My foot is all crinkly!" I guess we now have a new term for "pins and needles."

Mr. Kluges and I were in the kitchen when we heard Pumpkin exclaiming about a fly in the other room. She came running in ('cuz that's always how she moves these days, unless she's dancing), shouting, "It's a bug, Daddy! It's a BIG bug. Tell that fly to shoo! Shoo, fly, stop bozzering me!"
To which Mr. Kluges replied, "A big bug, huh? How big is it?"
"As big as me!"

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What does the world eat?

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

What the World Eats

This photo essay by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet" (by way of is fascinating!

How does your weekly menu stack up? What are some things that would be on your table?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Now introducing...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

I've finally decided on a nickname for our new arrival. I wanted to pick something short, cute, that would suit her, and that wouldn't be a burden or embarassment (like Squirt or Rocket as suggested by Mr. Kluges due to her... elimination habits). I like Pumpkin for her big sister 'cuz it matches her hair color and is a cute term of endearment.

So the new little one will henceforth be called... Penguin.

She's darker where Pumpkin's red, but little and cute. Also, it's related somewhat to her real name. Short, cute, and not tied to poop - good enough for me!

P.S. MANY THANKS to Turtle who took this picture after poor Pumpkin's 2nd ER visit and emailed it to me so I could share it with you all since I still haven't gotten to develop my own pix or get them on cd yet. I hope to do so this weekend so I can share some more pix of Penguin & her big sister, Pumpkin.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Open Letters

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, this is totally a copy of a recent post by All Knowing Jen at The Bus of Love, but it was such a great idea, I just had to be a copycat. (If we were in school, I'd totally be trying to copy her outfits and stuff 'cuz she just so nifty!)

Dear Tall ER Doctor at St. Joe's,
Thank you for being so calm, competent, and professional when we came in to get our Pumpkin's head fixed. Thank you especially for recommending we sedate the poor little thing during the actual stapling so as to reduce her stress and trauma (and ours, too).
Thank you!

P.S. Your ER nurses are really nice, too - especially the one who got Pumpkin the kitty and puppy stickers and gave us some applesauce for her when we were ready to leave at 9 pm when she hadn't eaten anything since her lunch of a piece of ham and some cupcake frosting.

P.P.S. Our pediatrician was very impressed by your work and said it looked like it had been done by a surgeon. Kudos to you!

Dear Our New Pediatrician,
I know my husband thinks you're a little brusque, but I like your no nonsense attitude. Even though I'm slightly intimidated by your cute and stylish clothes and military background, I'm glad the nurses recommended you to us when we were in for the birth of our new baby. You were quick and efficient getting out the staples and that helped a lot.

Also, your military background makes me try harder to remember to give the new baby tummy time 'cuz Mr. Kluges jokes that if I don't you'll make me drop and give you twenty. . . and I know there's no way in H-E-double toothpicks I could even do 10. (Ok, make that 5, even.)

Dear Pumpkin,
You were a very brave and quite calm girl at the doctor's. I'm sure the lollipop bribe helped, but I'm SO proud of you!

Dear Weather,
I know I had said I was looking forward to some more seasonal variation that we were getting in Ireland, but you've managed to fit nearly 3/4 of a year's weather into 2 months what with the snow at Easter time, the hot hot days the last couple of weeks, and today's fall-like temperatures. We're planning on staying here in WI for a while, so you can go back to moseying through the temperature and precipitation variations at your usual pace.

Dear Plumbing,
Quit making that huge ocean rumble sound 20 seconds after every time somebody flushes the toilet. It's annoying. Like, REALLY annoying, especially in the middle of the night.

Dear Everybody who Helped with our House,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks to all your hard work (which we appreciate immensely!) our house in the TC should be going on the market officially Wednesday or Thursday. Hooray! (Now we'll keep our fingers crossed that it finds a buyer with a reasonable offer.) (Or even buyerS with MULTIPLE offers!) (Ok, I know that's just greedy and pie-in-the-sky, but a girl can dream, can't she?)

And finally...
Confidential to L.B.
What is the deal with all your leaking? Your twin R.B. doesn't seem to feel the need to go overboard all the time like you do! Please calm down and pronto. My wardrobe would appreciate it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

2nd ER visit = 1st haircut

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

A week ago today we were up in the Twin Cities, working on our house there with some friends and family. Well, about mid-afternoon, Pumpkin fell down the stairs. Hard.

Nobody's fault - accidents happen; she was overtired & often gets clumsy when tired; they were unfamiliar stairs, and fairly steep; she was hurrying down them; yadda yadda yadda.

Lots of screams, blood, and a big gash on the top of her head were the results. Gramma Pat's a nurse and she said it definitely needed stitches, so off we went on our second ER trip in the two months we've been back in the US. (side note - I'm sure insurance just LOVES us - on it for 2 months & we've had prenatal visits, 2 trips to the ER, a birth, well-baby checks, and visits to the hand surgeon! Well, I guess it evens out all those years I only went in for a flu shot & yearly check-up.)

Fortunately, this one - while distressing, of course - seemed to not hurt as much . . . or maybe that it was just that Pumpkin couldn't see the owie. Sure - lots of tears and wanting to be held and needing her blanket, especially right away, but it wasn't nearly as bad as last time. Of course, it was a (BIG) bump on the head as opposed to an almost lost pinky tip, which I'd call more severe! It wasn't (quite) as distressing to me, either because I wasn't the first (or only!) one at the scene, AND it didn't seem as serious, AND we had one ER visit under our belts by this point.

MUCH more waiting in the waiting room & ER this time. Bigger hospital, more people in front of us, holiday weekend staffing, or whatever. Talked to a couple of nurses, and finally the nice, tall doctor. They were all, "yeah, definitely stitches or maybe staples," too, which made us feel like we weren't over-reacting.

The nice, tall, calm doctor recommended that we give her a sedative to put her into a "disassociative state" because that would be much less stressful to her than basically getting her head held down while she kicked and screamed and they fixed it. We whole-heartedly agreed - especially after seeing/hearing her after getting her pinky stitched - and so they (eventually - it took FOR-EV-ER for the pharmacy to send up the meds) gave her a shot that put her out of it for a while. The doctor (did I mention he was tall? 'cuz he was TALL) was able to put in 6 nice tidy stitches to close up the inch-on-a-side, V-shaped gash very well. It took next to no time (and I was SO GLAD we weren't fighting a kicking, screaming, strong, now-traumatized almost three-year-old 'cuz it would have been bad.)

Oh yeah - the haircut? He had to shave a tiny patch of hair (1/2 inch x 1 inch, if that) in order to do the staples. Since her hair was in two braids, the shaved-off strands stayed in until I took out the braids, so I do have them for her memory box. Not at all the way I planned or wanted her first haircut to go!!!

Then it was more waiting for her to come out of the medication. It was quick acting stuff - she was out within a few minutes of the shot, then stayed under for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, then gradually started becoming aware. We couldn't help but being amused at her waking up. Relief that it was over combined with Pumpkin acting all sleepy/drunk/stoned did make for a few giggles.

Finally, about 6 hours after it happened, we got to go back to our house, tell everybody (who were all still there) how the ER visit went and that she was ok, and eventually, drive back to the grandparents where we were staying that night.

And that's the story of Pumpkin's first haircut and second visit to the emergency room. We go to see the pediatrician to get the staples taken out tomorrow, so I hope that goes well. I think June's goal should maybe be to try to be accident-free for the month, don't you think?