Saturday, December 25, 2004

Our Christmas letter

December, 2004

This year has, once again, been a very eventful year for this little family. It started out on a very bad note. In January, a pipe broke in our beautiful home in Oregon and caused massive water damage; we are guessing $50-75,000 in damage. Not exactly the best way to start the year.

On a lighter note, E is continuing to grow and learn at an astonishing rate. He is now an active 2-year old, walking (okay, running) and talking, with ‘bear’, ‘cracker’, ‘cookie’, and ‘light’ being a few of his favorite words. He became a very well-traveled toddler this year with trips to Boise (twice), Portland, OR, Austin, TX (twice), a trip to Seattle to meet his Uncles Don & Dave, Aunt Sandy & cousins Michael & Mari as well as a move to Albuquerque.

Yes, we have moved to Albuquerque, NM. One of the main reasons for all the trips was that most of them were interview trips. I also made solo trips to Iowa (twice), Ohio (twice), Florida, and Pennsylvania. All of this traveling resulted in my securing a permanent position with Honeywell in Albuquerque and as such, I have given up the contract position I had with IBM in Tucson. That is a Good Thing.

We are currently renting a four-bedroom home in Albuquerque while we are getting our Oregon home fixed and ready to sell. B has been busy securing estimates for work to be done, packing, tossing and making repairs. All of the repairs so far have been made using our own funds and sweat equity. A big ‘thank you’ to B’s father, Duane, for his help as well as to B’s mother, Arlene, who cared for E for three weeks while I was at work.

Christmas will be spent with B’s family in Austin, TX. We have real reason to be Thankful this year as B’s father successfully underwent quadruple bypass surgery at Thanksgiving. Fortunately, his recovery is going very well. All of B’s siblings will be in Austin and so E will finally meet the rest of his family (cousins Ted & Tori, Uncle Tim and Aunts Patty and Tracy) as well as reacquainting himself with his Uncle Brad, Aunt Joanna and cousins Parker & Hayden.

Here’s wishing Happy Holidays to all and a Joyous New Year.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Letter to the CEO

My father-in-law penned the following letter:

Mr. Edward M. Liddy, CEO
Allcrap Insurance Company
2775 Sanders Road
Northbrook, IL 60062

Dear Mr. Liddy,

I am writing this letter on behalf of my son, B and daughter-in-law S. In January of 2004 they had an unfortunate experience of having their furnace develop a short and blow a fuse, which extinguished the flame. An unusual cold front went through the area and a pipe froze in the second floor of their home. When it warmed up, the ice melted and the home was flooded. They have had difficulty with your adjusters in the Beaverton, OR area in reaching a settlement. The number of the Allcrap Delux Home Owners insurance policy is 0xxxxxx and the number of the claim is 1xxxxx. To assist them with reaching a resolution on this claim I went to Beaverton, OR in November. On November 5th, Allcrap sent out a professional engineer who found the short and concluded it was the result of the contractor wrapping the thermostat wire around a furnace duct hanger. Over a period of a couple of years the vibration from the fan on the furnace eventually wore through the insulation and caused the short to ground. After the short was found Allcrap send out Mr. JP of T, Inc. to assess the damages. Mr. P gave an estimate of $63, 474.82, which was only for the repairs to the home. It did not include loss of personal property, expenses for drying out the home, furnace repairs, etc. Your adjuster is planning to provide a settlement to my son and wife for $52895.68, which is considerably less than the estimate Mr. P provided to just repair the home. Would you please investigate this claim and make the necessary adjustment so as to provide my son and wife with a fair and just settlement of their damages. I shall be waiting to hear from you as to the results of your investigation into this claim.

Respectfully submitted by _________________________

Hopefully the bastards will listen, but I am not holding my breath. Glad we had the 'Deluxe' policy. No telling how we would have been treated if we only had the 'regular' policy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Well, the no-good weasly-assed insurance company has come up with a figure; $52895.68 which is over $11,000 less than their own esitmator came up with which does not include contents of the home, costs to dry it out, or costs to fix the furnace and the pipe.


Monday, December 13, 2004

We're going...

I knew we would. I knew I would cave. I am not looking forward to this Christmas. Not only are we going, but we are leaving a day early.

We will be leaving for my in-laws in Austin after work on December 22nd. We should arrive early on the 23rd. Oh, boy.

Maybe we can leave early.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My son is 2 today

E turned 2 years old today. Just thinking of that is such a milestone. He is truly a miracle baby.

I waited so long to have a child that I think I treasure every moment I have with him. I can sit and look at his beautiful face for hours. I love watching him sleep. Those long eyelashes kissing his chubby pink cheeks. The sighs of his breaths. His little arm, curled tightly around his bear named Bear.

I love hearing his laugh. He has so many tickle spots, it is not challenging to get a laugh out of him. He is also at an age where body functions are very funny. Sneezes, hiccups, and farts elicit squeals of laughter.

I love my son. I am sure that if I loved him any more I would forget to breathe.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

All through the night

E doesn't want to stay in his bed at night. He hasn't managed a full night in his 'big boy bed' for 2 weeks.

I wish B's parents hadn't taken the crib.

The crib was great. E was great. He would take a bath. We would play a bit. And at 8PM, I would put him down in his crib. Sometimes he might cry a bit. No more than a minute or two. Then I wouldn't hear a sound until about 6AM.

Now he has to be asleep before I can put him in his bed. If I try to put him down awake, he will cry. If I walk away, close the door and let him cry, it takes about 30 seconds (I've timed it) for him to be up and standing at his door. Crying.

I pick him up. Put him back into bed. Thirty seconds. At the door. Crying. Repeat. We did this for a solid hour one night with E crying the whole time.

I have tried laying down on the bed next to him, but he is too smart for that. He cries the whole time. He gets up, walks into our room and stands next to the bed. Crying.

I have picked him up, put him in our bed and then I go into his room and get into his bed. He continues to cry.

And if he starts out in his bed, he will then wake up sometime in the night and come into our room. If I try to put him back into his bed...well, see above. He must sleep the rest of the night in our bed.

I wish I still had the crib.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Baby, it's cold outside...and inside...

I need to get an ice scraper. I have been using a spatula for the past two days.

I don't want to stay with B's parents over Christmas. I would rather stay in a hotel.

Got a real insulting email from B's dad.

He was implying that all we do is yell at each other. When they were in Alb., I can't remember arguing even once.

He was implying that E is an undisciplined little tyrant who only yells and screams. HEY!! HE'S NOT EVEN TWO!!! He will want to run and play. What are we supposed to do? Tie him up and gag him?

We will be sleeping in their sunroom (family room) while we are there. This means that we will have no place to put our things. We will be living basically out of the car. I don't know who is staying in their other bedroom. T & P will be staying in one bedroom. Their kids will be sleeping in the office. That means that NO ONE will be sleeping in the 3rd bedroom.

We will be in the sunroom.

They are implying that we are slobs. I have NEVER NOT made the bed when we stayed with them. The bathroom (and bedroom) has ALWAYS been neat when we stayed with them. I have ALWAYS picked up after myself and helped in the kitchen when we stayed with them. I am sorry about the damn carpet. I offered to have it cleaned. I will NEVER take anything out of the kitchen again.

Where will we put E down to sleep. In the common sun room?? At 8PM?? Where will everyone be between about 8 and 10PM? The living room? one can sit on the couches there...that leaves the kitchen and dining room.

When have we EVER brought the cat to their house?????

B didn't hear what his mother said to me while she was here. I kept silent and finally just walked away because it wasn't worth talking to her. I thought that they had changed their opinion about me. Obviously I was mistaken.

I am crying now. I have to go to the bathroom.

In-laws...can't live with them...can't kill them...