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The new house

16 May

When we moved into the dodgy 2 bedroom rented apartment, I was 37 weeks pregnant and had a toddler in tow.  We (er…Aaron and friends) did all the moving ourselves and it took us about 12 hours.

This time, we didn’t kid ourselves and hired removalists. There was no way we would have been able to move all of our stuff whilst keeping the kids entertained and inside the houses despite the doors being wide open.  Plus, we had the brand new large fridge and a very steep set of stairs to get down.  Still, it took 7 hours, and that was after we brought a boot load of boxes to the new house every day for a week. It was pretty much just the furniture left, with a few boxes.

I seemed to have inadvertently hired the old lazy removalists.  One of them stayed on the truck arranging the things the other slowly brought down.  I would have imagined that someone that moves things for a living would be able to carry a decent amount of goods.  When I saw him carrying things like one fan down the stairs at a time though, I my imagination is far more imaginative than I thought.

The kids and I played with the minuscule amount of toys I had in a backpack for entertainment during moving purposes, but they quickly got bored.  An hour and a half or so in, I resorted to watching Peppa Pig on the iPad just to keep them from running out the very inviting wide open front door.

Hours later, the removalists were finished with all of the inside stuff.  I somehow managed to keep them entertained the whole time.  Moving things out of the garage was much easier, they just got on their bikes and rode around the apartment complex garage area and jumped up and down in muddy puddles that they made with the water tap.

Finally, we were able to leave, driving the 4 or so kilometers down the road in NSW to our new house.  Entertaining the kids at our new house whilst the movers unloaded was much easier.  Their room was already filled with their toys.  There is a backyard for them to run in, complete with a tap for them to make their favourite muddy puddles.

$700 later, the removalists were done.  A great big smile stretched across my face.  We did it.  We were in our very own house.  The kids have room to play, inside and outside.  No more landlords, no more real estate agents, or dodgy apartments.  We can do whatever we want.  We can paint the walls, put nails in to hang up heavy pictures, replace carpet with wood, make a vegetable garden, etc.  Not that we will do all of those things, but we can if we want to, and that feels fantastic.

If you’re moving to Victoria, why not check out the new Eucalypt village?

*This post was brought to you by Stockland

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Busy mommy

4 Apr

Hannah is recovering from pneumonia.  The third and fourth kinds of antibiotics and a trip to the children’s hospital seemed to do the trick.  She is her cheeky happy self again without the fever and the doc. can no longer hear congestion in her lungs (or whatever it is they hear in there).

I have been busy doing a scientific report for my biodiversity class at uni (who knew just the reference list would take so long to write up in the proper Harvard style format?), and preparing a debate for my scientific literacy class.  I will be debating  the topic abortions should be legal to 24 weeks.  On the against side.  Obviously.

We move at 7:30am tomorrow morning and the house is still full of stuff that needs to be packed.  We are very behind since Hannah was sick over the long weekend.  The long weekend that we had planned to spend packing and moving all of our non-furnitures items into the new house.  Now it’s a race against time.

Needless to say, you probably won’t hear from me for a bit.  I was all smart and organised the internet (ok, got Aaron to organise it) to be installed in the new house before we moved in so that it would be ready when we got there, but Aaron got an email from them this morning saying that there may be a problem with the line and they will find out within 24-48 “business hours.” Sigh.  I’m going to be pretty annoyed if we have no internet for a while.  I kind of need it since my Scientific Literacy class is external.  Meaning everything is online.  Except the debate, that will be in person.  In two weeks.  Goodness, I’d better get cracking.

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The broken fridge

15 Jan

I have been making large quantities of dinner to stick in my brand new awesome fridge so that I don’t have to cook so often. Especially in summer. Because down here, it gets fracking hot.  Like 43 degrees (109.4 f). Ick.

One such heinously hot day was New Year’s Day.  I went to the freezer to get some ice, which we had an abundance of, since there was actually room for numerous ice trays in there, unlike in our old freezer.  As I shoved my hand down into the cold of the ice cube bin, my fingers touched water. Water.  Crap.  We checked the fridge. The stuff in there wasn’t very cold either.

We turned the dials all the way up, hoping that would prompt the fridge to actually start cooling stuff.

It didn’t.

We unplugged it and plugged it back in again, thinking maybe it would be like a computer – everything on a computer seems to fix itself when you turn it off and back on again.

That didn’t work either.

The light still came on when we opened the door, but no matter what we did, that darn fridge wouldn’t turn on and actually cool stuff down. I called Appliances Online, where I bought it from, only to be told that there were no servicemen working that day because it was a public holiday.  The guy said he’d put it on record and someone would call me in the morning to sort it out.

No one did.

By noon, I still hadn’t received a call, so I called them instead. They didn’t know anything about my call the day before, nor had anything been done or recorded anywhere. They called Kelvinator, who then called me later that day.

“So when can I get someone out here to look at the fridge?”  I asked the lady on the phone.

“Not today,” she said rather rudely,  like I was a total idiot for having the mere thought that someone might be able to come that day “It’s already 2 o’clock and they’re booked out for the day.  I’ll book you in for tomorrow.  You will get a call between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning to let you know what time.”

I didn’t.

I called them at 9:10 and they still didn’t know what time someone would come.  “We’ll call you back by 1o and let you know.”

They didn’t.

I called them back at 10:10 and they still couldn’t tell me what time.

Finally, after I called them a third time, possibly a fourth (I can’t remember), they gave me a time frame.

They told me that the service technician calls half an hour before coming to give us a heads up. “Someone will definitely be home,” I told them “but we have two little kids and don’t always get to the phone in time, and sometimes we don’t hear it, so even if we don’t answer the phone, still come and knock on the door.”

“If you don’t answer, the serviceman will assume you’re not home, and won’t come.”

“But I’m telling you, someone WILL be home.  Even if we don’t answer the phone, we will be home.  Can I just call the serviceman back if I don’t get to the phone on time?”

“No, it’s a blocked number, you can’t call him back, you have to answer the call or he won’t come.”

Sigh. Such great customer service, they are so accommodating. I’m being sarcastic, in case you didn’t pick that up.

A few hours later, I got the phone call.  “I’m 5 minutes away, is there parking, there?”

So much for the 30 minute warning.  “Just on street parking, the garages are for residents only.”

He didn’t seem impressed.

Turns out the thermostat on our less than one month old fridge was broken.  They didn’t have any in stock, and it would be 7-10 working days before they got another one. In the meantime, we would have no fridge/freezer in 40 degree heat.

He must have felt bad for us though, as he called his “nice boss” (not his mean one.  There were two) and got permission to get us a whole new fridge.

I waited the whole next day (Friday) for them to call and let us know when we’d get the new fridge.

They didn’t.

I knew it wouldn’t happen on the weekend, so I called them on the Monday.

“Hi, I was just wondering when we would be getting our new fridge?”  I asked the lady who answered the phone and creepily knew all of my details without me telling them to her.  From the caller ID and then inputing the number on the computer, I assume. Still creepy though.

“I’ll have to get the paperwork finalised and get back to you, but the fridge is out of stock and will take 7 days to come in.”

“So you mean nothing has been done yet? The serviceman was here on Thursday.  Four days ago. We haven’t had a fridge for a week, and you mean to tell me that the new fridge hasn’t even been ordered yet?  All of our food spoiled.  We are living out of a cooler that only has enough room for a block of ice and a thing of milk.  We have to get take away food every day.  I also want to claim all of my spoiled food, and the ice that I have to buy every day.”

“Um…ok, I’ll just get a manager to call you back within 4 hours.”

A couple hours later, the manager called. “We don’t usually compensate for food spoilage, but I understand the special circumstances, so I’ll send you a form and you might be able to have a claim.”  Special circumstances as in their people don’t bother doing their paperwork…

This is the email they sent me in regards to my food spoilage (FYI Kelvinator is owned by Electrolux):

Dear Sheri

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

As advised, foodloss is not covered by Electrolux warranty; however, as a gesture of goodwill Electrolux would be happy to assess your (freezer compartment) foodloss claim on this occasion.
Please provide receipts, if available.

Um…gee…thanks for that “goodwill.”  I hardly think that when my less than a month old fridge dies on me and spoils all of the food I’ve stocked up, it’s goodwill to pay me for the loss.  Maybe you should make/test your fridges better, so that they last more than a few weeks?  And of course I keep all of the receipts from everything I stick in my freezer.  I’m a receipt hoarder.  I just can’t help myself, I need that receipt for a carton of ice cream. Not. I don’t keep receipts for food!

Somehow, after all of my complaining, they managed to find a fridge that very day, and delivered it to me the next day.  It is working, but it’s only been a couple of weeks. We’ll see what happens in a couple more weeks. I’m not holding my breath, but I am hoping this one doesn’t kick the bucket, if nothing else, so I don’t have to deal with them again.

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The thing in the kitchen

9 Dec

For months I’ve been putting up sponsored posts every Thursday. Well, last Thursday, I finally got my payload. My decently sized brand spanking new fridge.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a perfectly good fridge. It was reasonably new and therefore not full of mold or frost. It runs well. The food always stayed a good temperature. The problem was it’s size. By the time we put all of our necessary condiments in the fridge, plus a bottle of whole milk for the kids and light milk for us, there wasn’t much room for anything else. Plus the freezer was tiny as well. I couldn’t have lots of throw it in the oven quickly stuff if I also wanted vegetables. With two young kids, that’s kind of a problem.

We used to have a normal sized fridge. When we were still living with Grandma, our fridge lived in the garage collecting dust. The Jess then got married and she needed a fridge, so we gave her ours. But then when we moved out we didn’t have one, so YaYa gave us one of hers that was in the penthouse at the accommodation she ran in Byron Bay. We are very grateful for that, it was just time for an upgrade.

If you remember, we live in a two bedroom apartment. It’s not tiny, but it’s not big either. I measured and re-measured and measured again the area where the fridge goes. There’s not a lot of space there. Not if you want to open the oven door at least. And get into the laundry room.

Even so, found the one side by side fridge/freezer that would fit. The very smallest one. I want lots of freezer space so I can cook in bulk and freeze stuff, and the side by sides offer much more freezer space then the freezer on top or bottom. If I cook in bulk, I will not only save money, but time as well. There are certainly those days where the kids wear me out and I have no time to make dinner unless I do it after they go to bed, by which time I feel like my stomach is going to eat itself and I’m going to yell the house down. I get crazy when I’m hungry. So, cooking in bulk and freezing meals will be perfect. Not to mention, if I’m not going to the supermarket every other day to buy milk (the other fridge could only fit the small cartons of milk), I won’t end up spending a bunch of money on other stuff while I’m there (because for some reason, that always happens).

Anyway…I ordered a frige online because a) I could use all of my paypal money without having to transfer it to my bank account and inevitably spending it before actually buying the fridge b) it was cheaper online and c) they delivered and installed for free.

Since the delivery was free, I couldn’t pick the time, only the date. Then I had to wait for a phone call before 10am on the day to tell me when the fridge would come. “Between 2 and 4.” They told me.

Awesome. I waited all day, cleaning the house and doing my usual Thursday kids-are-at-daycare stuff. They didn’t show up until 4:20. Almost time to go and pick up the kids.

I nearly jumped off the couch in excitement when I heard the knock at the door. I knew it was the delivery of my new fridge. I opened the door with a giant goofy grin plastered on my face, because yeah, a new fridge is that exciting to me. Looking back, I think the delivery boy (and I say boy because he couldn’t have been more than 21) probably could have taken my goofy grin for flirting as he then blushed and grinned back at me when I opened the door.  Or maybe he was just excited to give me my new fridge since I was so happy to get it. Note to self: tone down excitement when getting deliveries.

“Uh…you…ordered a fridge?” Delivery boy asked me.

“I did!” I was still quite excited. Finally I would be able to have ice cubes and ice cream in the freezer AT THE SAME TIME! A must for summer. And it is summer down here.

“Er…um…I don’t now if it’s going to fit through your door.”

“Are you serious? How do you usually get this fridge through doors?”

He went and got the driver who came and measured the door. No problem there. Phew.

“I don’t know if it will fit under the arch.” The driver told me. Crap. I didn’t think to measure anything except the space the fridge was going in.

“Are you sure there is enough room for the fridge here?” He asked me.

“Well, it will hang over past the laundry room door, but not so much that I can’t open the oven or get into the laundry room. It’s fine, I measured it.” Not that me measuring amounts to much. Remember what happened when I measured the space for the dishwasher at Grandma’s house?

“Alright, we’ll give it a go.”

I had to move the dining table, the couch, the baby fence, and the kids’ kitchen before they came back with the fridge. (sorry about the poor quality photos, I was just using my iPhone).

The footrest end of the couch upturned to make room

The footrest end of the couch upturned to make room

Getting the fridge up the stairs was no easy feat. I’m glad I didn’t have to do it.

getting the fridge up the stairs

getting the fridge up the stairs

Despite being worried, the fridge cleared the door just fine. After they managed to get it turned after the stairs that is. Turning was the tricky part. There wasn’t much room.

getting the fridge through the door

getting the fridge through the door

They only just had enough room getting it through the living room even though I moved the end of the couch.

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And finally, they got it under the arch and into it’s spot. Phew. Just in time for me to not be late picking up the kids. Just.

Yes, I can open the oven door. Just.

Yes, I can open the oven door. Just.

I am aware that the fridge is too big for our apartment, but we don’t plan on living her forever. We do intend to buy our own place soonish. And in the mean time, we can save a bit of extra time and money on food with this baby.

Keep in mind, that my new fridge is the very smallest of the side by sides. Now see how small my old fridge is?

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I’m not sure where I’m going to put the microwave now….

Oh how I love my new fridge. Now to start that bulk cooking.

And I’m still going to do sponsored posts. I have a big family trip to the U.S. to save for. My cousin is getting married in September, and I have to be there. She is more like my sister. We even shared a room for a while when we were little. None of my family have met Daniel and they haven’t seen Hannah since March nearly 2 years ago, and Aaron since…hmm…December 4 years ago. So yeah, we are all going. We’d better start saving!

P.S. GIVEAWAY (open world wide)!!!!!!!!!

Lilla Rose Giveaway and B3G1 Offer – Lilla Rose Independent Consultant, Linda Menke, is sponsoring a new Giveaway for our readers.  To enter the giveaway, check out the products at www.lillarose.biz/cliptomania and post a comment with your favorite design.  The Giveaway is open to all NEW Lilla Rose customers, sixteen or older, one per household.    For extra entries, comment on your favorite hair style; what size Flexi you think you would wear; LIKE  on Facebook (LillaRose.LindaMenke), Follow on Twitter (@Cliptomania).  Please use as many or as few of the extras as you like.

If you like on facebook and/or follow on twitter, write a comment on this blog post for each. I.e. “liked on facebook.” I will be using random.org to draw a number which will then correspond to a comment. Basically if random.org tells me 5, I will go to the 5th comment and that will be the winner. Good luck!

Also, with the Holidays around the corner, Linda wants you all to know what a great gift Lilla Rose items are for family and friends.  Not only are they the best thing for your hair since shampoo, but the Flexi Clips also make great scarf clips and pins.  For a cloth scarf a small to medium is a good size, unless it is very bulky, then choose the Large.  For a woven scarf (knitted or crocheted) you can use any size Flexi Clip as it will go straight through the stitches.  You can also use the Mini Flexi Clips as a brooch on a hat (if you stick it through the hat and your hair, it will hold the hat in place!).  So consider some great Flexi Clips, Hair Bands, Hair Sticks, or You Pins and Bobbies as gifts this year and maybe include a handmade scarf to go with it.  AND if you are a NEW Lilla Rose customer and buy 3 or more items, you can get a FREE item of your choice, $16 or under.  To get your FREE item, e-mail Linda atCliptomania@ymail.com with your customer number, item number and description of the FREE item you want, and mention this website, and she will take care of it.

Entries close 16 December Sydney time at 11:59pm. Winner will be notified via email.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Under the jacaranda

12 Nov

I love this time of year. It’s hot, but not disgustingly hot, and the Jacaranda trees are all in bloom. Wherever I look, I see beautiful purple flowers covering the trees. The flowers fall off the trees and make lawns and sidewalks turn purple. And we all know how much I like purple.

There happens to be a Jacaranda tree in the neighbours yard that hangs over the half-fallen down fence and drops flowers all over our garage area. The day of the storm , the sky was overcast, the flowers were newly fallen, and Hannah and I had some free time whilst Daniel had a nap. In other words, perfect portrait conditions. And believe you me, I took advantage of it. I had to before the sun came out and put horrible dark shadows and bright patches all over Hannah’s face, and obviously before the pretty purple flowers blanketing the driveway turned to hideous brown mush that gets all over your shoes and makes you slip.

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Being 3, she currently enjoys putting on her best fake smile for the camera, which, even though it’s totally fake and obviously fake, is pretty adorable. See the fence behind her? It’s missing half the boards, and another quarter of them are attached only at the bottom and hanging off towards the driveway, nails and all. Sometimes they completely fall off and I have to get out of the car and shove them up against the fence so they don’t scratch the WRX as I drive past. Stupid fence.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Freak storm

9 Nov

I could see the dark clouds hanging about in the sky, threatening to dump their contents.

I had about an hour before I needed to pick Hannah up from preschool and then Daniel from daycare. I’d finished all of my housework and blog post drafts, so I decided to leave early and beat the rain. Well, beat the rain to the supermarket. I needed to get something to cook for dinner. Hannah likes to spend some one on one time with me, so I often pick her up an hour before Daniel and take her shopping or something.

As I fastened Hannah into her car seat, the rain started. We pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road. The rain was a little heavy, but nothing too bad. We kept going down the road, enroute to the supermarket. Ting, ting, ting, ting, ting.  The rain turned to thumbnail sized balls of hail. My wipers were on full blast, but still weren’t able to keep up with the crazy hail that appeared to be hitting the car at a 90 degree angle. 

I couldn’t see a foot in front of the windshield. Oh gosh, we’re going to crash. I slowed right down. I must have been going 5 kilometers per hour, desperately searching for somewhere to pull over. Parked cars lined the road, so I had to keep going, all the while hoping that I wasn’t too close to the parked cars or the centreline in the road. I came to a turning lane and pulled in. I planned to stay in the turning lane until the rain/hail eased, which luck would have it, happened straight away.

I turned and went straight in the Aldi parking lot as the rain belted down once again. But at least we were safe, no longer on the road.

The view from my windscreen after I parked. It was far worse earlier.

“Are we going in Mommy?” Hannah asked me.

“No sweetie, we’ll just wait in the car until the rain lets up.”

We watched as people stood at the front of Aldi with their full shopping trolleys, they too waiting for the rain to ease. We saw a man running full speed from his car to the front of Aldi, slipping and nearly falling on his bum on one of the white pedestrian crossing lines as he ran.

When the rain finally eased again, I carried Hannah to the entrance of Aldi. “They’re closed love! The power is out.”

Sigh.

We got back in the car and picked up Daniel. There was no time to go to a different supermarket before I had to pick him up.

“Oh no, don’t tell me this light bulb doesn’t work now.” I said to no one in particular as we walked in to the apartment after picking Daniel up and going to a different supermarket.

None of the other lights would turn on either. Crap. I put the salmon fillets I’d just purchased in the fridge as fast as I could, trying to preserve the cold environment in there as long as possible. Maybe the ice cream and sweet potato fries be ok if the power wasn’t out for long.

Aaron and I ordered Thai delivery for dinner and the kids had honey sandwiches and fruit salad. I was going to make them peanut butter and jelly, but both the peanut butter and the jelly were in the fridge.

After the kids went to bed, Aaron and I played board games by candle light and went to bed at 9pm. From our bedroom window we could see 2 power company trucks and one blinding bright work light. We could hear a chainsaw going.

“Maybe a tree fell on the line.” I said to Aaron. “Well, I guess the electricity will be back on soon. I’ll put my left over thai food in the fridge.” I didn’t want to open the door and let all the cold out before that.

Somehow, I managed to get so sleep even with the chainsaw going and lots of other noise outside.

We tossed and turned all night. Beep beep beep beep beep.  A noisy fire alarm was going off. “Are you sure it’s a fire alarm and not one of the kids’ toys?” Aaron asked me.

“Pretty sure, but I’ll check just in case.” No, it was definitely a fire alarm. And it didn’t stop. All. Night. Long. The trucks worked well into the morning, one right near our window. Other people who couldn’t sleep were milling about outside, talking loudly.

This morning, the power was back on. “I haven’t heard the fridge.” I told Aaron. Surely with my tossing all night, I would have noticed if the fridge was running. A quick check proved it wasn’t. Neither was the kettle. Or the oven, the dryer, the washing machine, or anything else that needed to be plugged in. One of the plugs had black marks on it.

The base of my phone charger was plugged into a power board, but the cord part (that attaches to the base plug bit via usb cable) was blown completely out, the end black as night. The surge protector and double adaptor in the man cave in the living room were black.

An electrician got everything working at about mid day, but by then all the food in the fridge and freezer had to be thrown out. Everything appears to be in working order, except the NAS (which Aaron tells me is network attached storage), which is where we store about 10 years worth of photos. All the photos of the kids are on there. All the photos we’ve ever taken since 2002. All of them.   The NAS is the one thing we were hoping would come out of the power surge (there was a note in our mailbox from the electricity company stating that excess voltage may have occurred) unscathed. Unfortunately, it was one of the only things that didn’t. Apart from my phone charger and that adapter.

We’re hoping that the actual hard drive inside the NAS is ok, and that it’s just the powering bit that is damaged. We’ve ordered another one so we can stick the hard drives it in and retrieve all of our precious photos. That is the hope at least.

Tomorrow I’m headed out for a girls weekend away. No kids. Oh yeah, I can taste the relaxation now….

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Danger Daniel

16 Oct

I’m not sure if it’s a boy thing, or if it’s just a Daniel thing, but oh my gosh, he is a climber. 

He’s not satisfied with just climbing onto the couch, giggling madly as he stands up on the cushions and runs from one side to the other, narrowly missing the edge many times. He’s not even satisfied with climbing up the arm rest on the couch and attempting to grab the door chain, perching precariously on the edge way too high up and right over the only tiles in the entire apartment.

No, no, that is not enough for Danger Daniel (also known as Daniel the Destroyer). He’s now moved on to bigger, more dangerous climbing things.

First it was Hannah’s bed. Ok, the bed itself is no big deal. She doesn’t even have a full sized single bed. It’s a junior bed. Bigger than a toddler bed, but smaller than a single bed. It has a rail at the front so she doesn’t fall on her face in the middle of the night, but if I took the rail off, it’s a daybed. The back of it is a little curvy, but not too high. Anyway, point being, climbing on her bed is fine. Even if he falls off, it’s not very far down, and with the rail, there is only a small area in which to fall off.

But Danger Daniel decided that the mattress was just not high enough. He wanted to see out the window. He is obsessed with trees (“tree!” He tells me repeatedly whilst pointing at every tree or plant we come across, every single day), and there are two fairly big ones right outside their window. The window that was right above Hannah’s bed. Daniel somehow managed to stand on the back of Hannah’s bed, on the curvy wooden bit, grip the metal runner (you know, the part that holds the window in when you open and close it. Is it called a runner? I have no idea) with his tiny pudgy fingers, and gaze at his beloved trees. Ok, that’s not too bad. I can live with that. But then he started banging on the window first with his hands, and then with his head.

Daniel on the back of Hannah’s bed. I know these photos are all terrible, but they are from my phone, which has a terrible camera.

We live in a slightly dodgy apartment don’t forget. We are on the second and top floor, and the windows are not exactly what you would call child safe. They are not safety glass, nor are they particularly tight. When the wind blows, they rattle. To the point of waking me up when I’m in a deep sleep. Sometimes I get so annoyed with them when it’s windy that I shove folded up pieces of paper between the stationary window, and the one that opens in attempt to prevent the obnoxious rattling.

Needless to say I was a bit terrified of Daniel breaking the window all over himself. Or managing to pull himself up to the windowsill (which seems far-fetched, but her very nearly got there) and then falling out when the dodgy window gives way.

I didn’t waste any time, I took all the books off their bookshelf, got it out of the way, moved the bed all by myself, and rearranged their room. Now her bed is no longer under the window, nor is anything else he might be able to climb up to get to the window. Their beds are perpendicular to each other, and they giggle together every night before going to sleep.

He still climbs Hannah’s bed, but at least he can’t get out the window now.

For a couple days, all was well.

Then he figured out that he could climb on Hannah’s desk and reach the kitchen bench (counter as it’s called in the U.S.). Sigh and a half. He could also step from Hannah’s desk to their play kitchen and be even higher up next to the kitchen bench. Knowing him, it wouldn’t be long until he climb onto the bench, which gives me horrible nightmares of him standing up there, giggling with glee and that cheeky look on his face that he gets when he knows he’s being naughty, and then just walking straight off, breaking himself. Or going to sit down without looking where he is plopping his bottom (he never looks where he is sitting, which has seen him fall of the couch, and other not as high up things) and head planting the kitchen floor.

Climbing on the desk

I would like my son to retain all of his brain and not break any bones, so I moved Hannah’s desk.  I put it in the kitchen. Which is gated off with a baby proof fence. Hannah was actually thrilled with the move as now she can draw/play playdoh/colour/paint/paste/cut stuff without Daniel stealing her things, colour on her artwork, or just annoying her in general.

There was extra space where the desk was, so I moved their mirror (don’t worry, it’s a kid specific mirror and not made of glass) in the corner with Daniel’s toy car ramp next to it.

Standing on his car ramp

Until he climbed on the car ramp. Again, trying to get to a window. Sigh.

So I moved the car ramp and put the mirror next to play kitchen.

But he found a way to use the base of the mirror to climb up to the play kitchen. He stood up there proudly and pawed at everything on the kitchen bench. Sigh.

Base of mirror to play kitchen

I moved the mirror back to it’s original spot next to the shelves where he couldn’t use it to climb anything.

And all was well.

For like 2 minutes.

Hannah needed me to wipe her butt after she pooped in her potty (yes, good girl!). I was gone about 30 seconds. When I came back to the living room, guess where Daniel was?

Standing on his play kitchen. With nothing else around it to climb up on. He somehow got up there straight from the floor. And if he can get from floor to play kitchen, he will likely be able to get from play kitchen to actual kitchen bench.

Ok, so I didn’t take a photo of him up there without the mirror, so I cut the mirror out, but you get the idea

I can’t even move the play kitchen because it’s holding the baby proof fence in place that keeps him out of the real kitchen. Besides, the only place I could move it to is the wall where the shelves are, but that’s the wall with the window. Sigh.

 

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E-mail to the real estate agent

27 Sep

As I’m sure you’re aware, we live in a slightly (to moderately) dodgy 2 bedroom apartment whilst we save money for a house deposit. Houses are expensive down under. Anyway, whenever something needs fixing, it takes ages and sometimes threatening emails (threatening to call emergency plumbers and so forth and then make the owners foot the bill, not threatening their person or anything like that. That’s not how I roll) to make anything happen. The door of one of the cupboards in the kitchen fell off when we first moved in, and that’s yet to be fixed. But that’s not really a must fix, so it doesn’t bother me too much. It’s just kind of annoying.

Let me just clarify: It’s not the real estate agent who manages the apartment that is the problem, she tells the owners whenever a problem arises (or so I’m led to believe), it’s the owners who just don’t bother to do anything. They prefer “fixing” things themselves and I don’t know, maybe they just can’t be bothered or something. Maybe I need a cattle prod. Then when they do come, they just show up. No phone call, no appointment. They just show up. Once they came when I was sick, hadn’t showered, and was laying around on the couch in nothing but my fuzzy pink bathrobe. Awesome. You can read about that here and here.

Why am I telling you this? Because we have another problem. Sigh. Our bedroom door won’t shut. And the tap in the bathroom doesn’t turn off properly. So I wrote the estate agent another email. Seriously, this is word for word, I copied and pasted this bad boy straight from my sent box (including the illustration):

Hi Taryn,

I know it’s hard to get the owners of the apartment to actually fix anything (please don’t forward this email to them…), but it’s been about a month since the last inspection where I showed what’s-her-name the problems of the apartment. And I haven’t heard a peep about when they will be fixed.
In case she didn’t tell you, the door to Aaron’s and my bedroom is broken. Well, not so much the door as the little thing that comes out of the side of the door to actually keep the door shut. I’m not sure what it’s called. Anyway, our bedroom door is missing this little thing because it decided that it did not want to retract when we turned the door handle to let us into our bedroom. We were locked out. I do quite like sleeping in my bed rather than the couch, so Aaron got out his tools and took the whole door handle off, along with the little thing that latches the door. He discovered that the little thing, let’s call it Bob to make things easier, was in fact broken.
So Aaron put the door handle back on, sans Bob, and now we can’t shut our door.
That may seem like no big deal, but we have 2 small children, one of whom thinks it’s absolutely essential to taste everything he comes across. And by taste, I mean shoves in his mouth. He also enjoys pulling everything possible off shelves King Kong style and making a giant mess. He’s cheeky, what can I say.
We have over 100 board games in our bedroom, so you can imagine the chaos that said child creates when he enters our room. Which is easy because the door won’t shut. Plus most of the games have tiny parts, which, as I pointed out, he enjoys putting in his mouth. He did once choke on a sticker and I had to call an ambulance, so I’m a little petrified of what may happen should he decide to attempt ingestion of board game pieces. Please see the attached illustration.

When he gets into the board games, he does that smile that is so big he has to close his eyes to accomodate his pudgy cheeks.

We have been pulling a big oil fin heater in front of the door to block Daniel from entering our room, but the cheeky monkey has recently discovered that he can make like a battering ram and force his way in. This is obviously quite a problem for us.
Furthermore, the cold tap in the bathroom is getting worse. I know the owners know about that one because one of them said he’d come back to fix it months ago, but you know how that goes….
Now when we go to turn it off, a little trickle keeps coming out. We have to turn it on full boar, then turn it off again whilst it makes noises resembling a dying whale. Sometimes it turns all the way off then, but other times we have to repeat the process up to 5 times. That could be just an annoyance, but Hannah has recently learned how to turn the tap on to wash her own hands. She can also open the door all by herself. So sometimes she goes in there, does her business, washes her hands, can’t turn the tap off because it’s crap, and then comes back out. I’m none the wiser that she’s even been in the bathroom and the tap is trickling water for hours before I notice.
Lucky for me I don’t pay the water bill…. And I’m not going to pay for excess water either. Not when the owners know about the crap tap.
Anyway, if you could maybe give the owners a little please-fix-stuff-in-the-apartment kick up the backside, that would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Sheri
We’ll see what sort of response this gets. I’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: I only sent the email yesterday at nearly 5pm, and I’ve already received a response AND the owners called and arranged a time to come and fix stuff. Booyah. See, amusing emails are far better than mean ones. As Taryn wrote back “I always enjoy reading your emails, and now they come with illustrations too! Haha.” I’m glad she has a sense of humour because I can imagine that a lot of estate agents would find that sort of email obnoxious and get their noses all out of joint.

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And now I feel bad

3 Jul

Remember the other day, when I told you the story about the fan in our bathroom, and how I emailed the real estate agent a really long story about why it was so horrible that the fan didn’t work?

Yes, well now I feel a bit bad about that.

Someone came to fix that annoying fan. Well, to put a new one in. It took him all of 10 minutes, but I was quite annoyed at him for showing up at 3 when he was supposed to come no earlier than 3:30. Both kids were asleep, and guess what? His knocking woke Hannah up (she was asleep on the couch). My face must have betrayed my courtesies, because one look at me when I opened the door, and he got all funny, looking at his watch and asking if he was early. Yes, waking a napping child is pretty much the end of the world. You should know that by now.

Later that evening, there was a knock at the door. I opened it and found the real estate agent standing there. Oh. Crap. For a moment, my heart did flips as I thought about her handing me an eviction notice for my obnoxious email and possible rudeness to the electrician.

“I just wanted to make sure the electrician came to fix your fan today.”

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“Yeah, he did.” I said, still wondering if we were going to be kicked out.

“That’s good, sometimes he just doesn’t show up. Oh, and that was the best email ever by the way. I got it while I was waiting for people to show up for a house inspection. It made my day.”

My intestines unknotted and my heart stopped doing flips.

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Relief sigh. “Oh good, I’m glad, because that could have gone either way…”

“It was hilarious, and you didn’t write ‘I seen that, or I done that’ at all. I can’t tell you how many emails a day I get that say that.”

“Well, this is Penrith.” And that’s when I realised that any number of my chain-smoking neighbours in my apartment complex could have heard that comment, and/or any of the people in the housing commission next door. The ones whom I often hear screaming obscenities at each other and then get a visit from the cops. Sigh.

I’m just going to go lock my doors now.

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Also, I’m finally finished retouching the photos from the wedding I was the photographer at. So, I’ll have a bit more blogging time now. Here is the very last photo I took:

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Fuzz in the bathroom

21 Jun

Our bathroom is disgusting. There is mold everywhere. We have to keep the window open to let all the steam out when we shower. Everything is always damp in there. Why? because the exhaust fan is broken. Sigh. It’s been broken for..wait for it… SEVEN MONTHS!.

Yeah, I’m serious. 7 months. I let the real estate agent know straight away.

Nothing happened. But it was summer, so it didn’t really matter.

Now it’s winter. It’s cold. Really cold. You may have delusions of Australia being hot all the time (I know I did before I came here!), but it’s not. At the moment, (and it’s not even the hight of winter yet), it gets down to 5 degrees (41 F) at night where I live. Sometimes it’s cold enough to leave frost on the ground.

Last month, I sent an email to the real estate agent in attempt to prompt the fixing of the fan:

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Ok, thanks for that.  Here’s the email:

Hi Taryn,

I would really appreciate it if someone could come and fix the fan in the bathroom. We have to shower and bathe the kids with the window open to avoid excess moisture and it’s getting way too cold for that now. Also, the tap that turns the toilet on and off is leaking a lot and keeps getting worse, and the cupboard in the kitchen needs to be put back on so Daniel doesn’t break our dishes and hurt himself.
Thanks,
Sheri
The owner came and fixed the toilet. He completely ignored the cupboard issue (we’ve had to use the side of a play pen to block the kitchen from a curious Daniel), and said he’d send someone around about the fan. I’m still waiting.
So last week I sent another email:

Hi Taryn,

Can you please get someone to come and fix the fan in the bathroom? It’s starting to get quite mouldy, we have to shower with the window wide open, which is freezing cold, and nothing ever gets dry in there.
Please call me before someone comes to make sure I am home. We do go out every single day (can’t keep 2 kids cooped up in a little apartment all day!), so arrangements need to be made in advance.
Thanks,
Sheri
I put in the bit about calling first as the owner has a tendency to just show up when stuff needs fixing. Last time he came to fix the toilet, Hannah was in the bathtub at the time. I was sick and lying on the couch in my bathrobe, unshowered and miserable. Daniel was asleep, and Aaron was watching Hannah. So annoying! Seriously, is a phone call so hard? I didn’t receive a reply at all. Or a phone call. Or snail mail.
So I sent another one. I thought maybe if they could walk a mile in my shoes, it might help a little bit. I put spaces in between all these paragraphs, but for some reason, they are not showing up in the post. So sorry, but this is going to look a little weird:

Hi Taryn,

Just wondering if anyone has been booked to fix the broken exhaust fan in my bathroom.
I know the owners are aware of the issue, since they’ve been here to fix the leaky toilet and told me they’d send someone to look at it. Maybe they just need a bit more reminding….
A little fan in the bathroom may not seem like such a big deal, but it really is:
Walking in the bathroom, I’m hit by the smell first. It’s got that weird it’s-too-damp-in-here-and-stuff-is-probably-growing funk. Ick. No, I lie. First I’m hit with the cold. It’s so cold in there. Since the exhaust fan doesn’t work, we have to keep the window open. All. The. Time. Sigh.
When I have a shower, any part of me that is not being hit with water at any given moment is freezing. It would help, of course, if I could close the shower curtain all the way around the tub, but I can’t.
Daniel is in the bathroom with me. I can’t let him crawl around the bathroom whilst I shower because he has a tendency to shove his chubby baby fingers in Hannah’s potty. Sometimes he even tries to eat it. If I take her potty away, he’s not fussed. He just moves on to the toilet. He pulls the lid up as far as he can and shoves his entire arm in. Sigh.
I strap him in his highchair and give him some toast and toys. I have to leave the shower curtain open far enough so I can play peek-a-boo with him at regular intervals, but shut far enough so that no water sprays out.
“Peek-a-boo!” I peek beyond the curtain. But where is Daniel? I can’t see him. I know he’s there, but I can’t see him through all the darn steam that the broken fan is not sucking up!
I’m sure anyone who walks by thinks I’m a nutbag showering with the window open and saying boo all the time. Whatever.
As I get out of the shower, I immediately get goosebumps. Did I mention it’s ridiculously cold in there?
Everything is wet. The floor is wet from all the steam. The ceiling. The walls. All the stuff in the medicine cabinet. The ceiling has proper droplets on it. I’m kind of afraid they will fall on my head or in my eye or something. There are some little yellowy bits on the ceiling. I think all the moisture is starting to form stalactites. Or maybe stalagmites. Which ever ones are on the ceiling and not the floor.
I open the mirrored cabinet to get my moisturiser and deodorant as I stand there wrapped in a towel, Daniel whinging at me to pick him up, and freezing my butt off.
There is mold growing on the bottles of stuff in the cabinet. Ick. Yes, Ick.
The walls are a grotesque shade of greenish-black. They are supposed to be white. We can scrub them, but the mold just comes back. It’s always damp in there (because the fan doesn’t work!)
In the evening, I give the kids a bath. They whinge as I undress them because it’s so cold in there. I’ve shut the window, but it was open all day, so it’s still freezing. Everything is still wet.
As I fill the bath, Daniel grabs the shower curtain. Like everything, he shoves it in his mouth. I quickly take it away and throw it up over the curtain rod because IT’S COVERED IN MOLD! Despite the fact that I washed it just last week.
While they are bathing, grabs her brush and scratches the once white grout in between the tiles with it. “Mommy, I’m cleaning!” She tells me. Ick. I scrub those tiles every single week, but the mold never comes off.
Despite leaving the window open to get some air in the bathroom, and let the steam out, the damp never goes away. It is always damp in there. 24/7. The steam from the shower adds to the dampness every day.
I’m sure the ceiling and walls are going to get stained.
We lived here last winter when the fan was working. We didn’t have this problem. The fan sucked up all the steam. There wasn’t any mold on the walls. The shower curtain didn’t get any mold. There were no droplets on the ceiling, threatening to freak me out by landing on my head. We didn’t have to freeze every time we had a shower.
We first raised the issue of the the ceiling fan making train-like noises until it kicked the bucket in November. 7 months ago.
As you can see, a little exhaust fan is a big deal, and we would love to have it fixed.
Thanks,
Sheri
I wanted to include some photos of the bathroom in the email, but Aaron actually cleaned up all the mold over the weekend. Now it looks spick and span. Not that I was going to tell them that. And I didn’t think to take a picture before he cleaned it all up. Sigh.
And wouldn’t you know it, I got a phone call from an electrician the very next day, wanting to work out a time he can come to fix it. The real estate agent doesn’t know I’m a blogger (as far as I know, unless she’s stalked me on google), so I’m pretty sure she just thinks I’m a little crazy after that email. Meh. I don’t care, because the fan is finally getting fixed!!!!
She still didn’t reply to my email at all. Is that rude? I think it’s rude. I mean a quick little “I’m sorry it’s taken so long, I’ve spoken to an electrician and we’re going to get this taken care of asap” would have been nice. Sigh.
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