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House Flipping or Flopping

I may be compensated for views and/or clicks on video advertisements in this post.
 Our neighborhood has undergone a major transition over the last couple of years. Many of the original owners are empty nesters and have moved on to smaller homes. Which means we’ve had a lot of younger families moving into the neighborhood. Unfortunately as a result of the market crash we’ve also had a lot of families who could no longer afford their homes. On our street alone we’ve had 3 foreclosures and a few short sales in the past 3 years.   


The neighbors on both sides of us abandoned their homes and let them fall into foreclosure. The house on our left was empty for over a year and completely in shambles by the time it sold. The family who bought it has taken on the remodel by themselves. They’ve been working on it for close to 9 months now. The inside is completely done and now they’re working on the exterior.   


On the other side of us, the house was empty for a little over 2 years and had several disasters befall it. First, a tree crashed through the roof of the garage. Then a pipe burst inside the house and flooded the whole first floor. Then a woodpecker fell in love with the back side of the house and bored holes in the hardboard siding. The house finally sold right before Christmas to an investor who hired crews to come in and flip the house in a hurry. They spent 5 weeks in the house- every single part of every single room was overhauled as well as the entire exterior.    The house has officially been on the market for about a month. It’s been under contract three times and it keeps falling out of contract. Not sure why or what the problem has been but I imagine the investor is getting a little antsy. They priced the house a little on the high side for our neighborhood- about $15K higher than all the other homes for sale. I’m not sure why they think that’s a good strategy but I imagine they must have put more money than anticipated into the flip and now they are trying to recoup that extra expense. The house across the street from them is also for sale- it’s a bigger home with a basement and priced $18K lower. I’m starting to wonder if their flip is turning into a flop.



You can see more videos like this at ulive.com.



A Safe Way To Keep Kids Entertained With Kidoodle.TV


My kids love to watch TV. There, I’ve said it. And guess what? I love to watch TV too, preferably something without cartoon animals and catchy theme songs that I find myself singing while strolling through the grocery store. We do set limits on the amount of TV the kids watch and what types of shows they are allowed to watch but as they get older it gets harder. They all have access to smartphones, and tablets, and laptops, and gaming systems. It makes keeping track of what each of them are watching very difficult. I’m always looking for ways to keep my kids entertained safely. Enter Kidoodle.TV–a safe, ad-free, streaming video service that you can customize for your kids. I set up my parent account on the website and set up a different profile for each of my kids. Kidoodle.TV allows you to create separate profiles for up to 5 kids and you can choose content based on your kid’s age or on a show-by-show basis for the low price of only $4.99 per month. I chose to download the iOS app so my kids could watch on our iPhones while on the go but you can stream shows on most internet connected devices including your laptop, iPad, or Android device.   




One feature that I loved right off the bat was the time limits. It was super easy to set a limit for each kid and Kidoodle.TV automatically enforced the time limit. I didn’t have to be the bad guy and there was no arguing when time was up–I may have heard angels singing.   





The first show I saw when I loaded the Kidoodle.TV app was Jem and the Holograms. Holy childhood memories! Matt and I have been telling the kids about Jem and the Holograms for years. It was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up and apparently Matt and his brothers watched it too. I’m not going to examine that piece of information too closely because there were no girls in their house and envisioning 3 boys singing along to Jem makes me laugh. Kidoodle.TV offers a bunch of retro content from our childhood including Inspector Gadget, Paddington Bear, Transformers G1, G.I. Joe, and more.     






The first show we watched together was an episode of Jem and the Holigrams. The kids giggled at how much I enjoyed watching this show again. I have to admit, I had as much fun as the kids did! It warmed my heart to be able to share a piece of my childhood with my kids and to see them enjoy it!    





You can try out Kidoodle.TV yourself and see how great it is for kids (and parents trying to recapture their own childhood). And from now until June 30, 2014 you can use the code BLOGHER25 to receive 25% off of a 1 year subscription to Kidoodle.TV. Otherwise, it’s just $4.99 a month. You can also enter the Kidoodle.TV Facebook contest for a chance to win one of three iPad Minis being given away both in March and April. You can also find more information about Kidoodle.TV on their Facebook page, Pinterest, and follow along with them on Twitter.   


For the chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card, leave a comment and tell me what devices your kids use and if they have their own or share with the family.  


Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#KidoodleTVBH” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US or Canada (excluding Quebec) Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/17-4/18.

Be sure to visit the Kidoodle.TV brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!




The Mommy Confessional

I wish I had known how powerful the mommy guilt can be. I always feel like I’m failing my kids, like I should be doing more for them, exposing them to more stuff. I feel guilty for saying no to things they really want, or things they want to do, even if I’m saying no for the right reasons. I worry about making sure they turn out to be well rounded, socially acceptable adults. Really I’m just trying to make sure they can function in society without being forced into court ordered therapy with an alarmed ankle bracelet on their leg. That being said, there are some definite areas of motherhood that I suck at.




1. Arts & Crafts.I hate them. No really, I hate them. I would rather hang myself than do paint by numbers. And play-doh? Don’t get me started on what a pain in the ass that is to get out of the carpet.
2. Nutrition. Damn you food pyramid. I have atrocious eating habits and my kids have absolutely picked up on it. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard ‘Mommy isn’t eating broccoli, why do I have to?’ So I choke down a stalk of limp broccoli, trying not to gag in front of them.


3. Restricting television time. I know. The AAP says no more than 1-2 hours a day for big kids and none at all for kids under 2. The tv is pretty much always on in our house, even if it’s just for background noise. Plus they have tablets and they watch on iPhones….Big Fat Fail.


4. Pretend Play. I pretend to be playing, does that count? See, I had more than 1 kid so they can entertain each other. I don’t like pretend play. I didn’t even like pretend play when I was a kid, I like it a lot less now that I have kids. I love to watch them play together, I just don’t necessarily want to be the one dressed up like the wicked witch chasing the munchkins around the pretend forest.


5. Homework and School Projects. I had enough of homework and school projects when I was in school. I let my kids do their own work. I answer questions when they ask, assuming I know the answer- it’s been awhile since I was in school. But my kids will not be the ones at the Science Fair with the huge professional project courtesy of the mechanical engineering father. My kid will be the one presenting the poster board with toilet paper samples dipped in blue water to test absorbency.


6. Extracurricular Activities.  I have no desire to spend my entire life in the car, chauffeuring my kids to every known activity. They participate in activities, I don’t keep them chained in the basement or anything. But there’s a limit on how many things I let them participate in because I don’t want my whole life to revolve around swim team practice, ballet classes, chess club….


7. Perfect Hygiene Habits. I admit it, sometimes Mase goes to bed without brushing his teeth. Zoey might go to bed without a bath. Maia might not take a shower every single night. The only kid who absolutely must take a shower every single day is Ty. He’s an 13 year old boy- need I explain? And in the summer time, I totally count a day swimming at the pool as a bath. I mean, chlorine should sanitize them, right?


8. Enforcing Limits. Sometimes, it’s just not worth the fight. It probably should be, but sometimes I just don’t want the fight. So Maia might go to bed 20 minutes late, Mase might get dessert even though he didn’t finish his dinner….I have to pick and choose my battles because I’m outnumbered around here.


9. Scheduling Playdates. I have 5 kids of my own and adding someone else’s kid on top of the existing chaos is not appealing. My little kids have playdates but not constantly. Someone always ends up crying because they’re left out or yelling because they’re being picked on. I’d rather send the little kids outside to play with the big kids in the backyard. Now that the big kids are older their friends show up pretty regularly to play at my house and they require nothing from me. I like that. 


10. Chores. My kids have chores and they are expected to do them. But I admit that I sometimes jump in and “help” with the completion of said chores. If I’m waiting to load the dishwasher and it’s taking Mase 30 minutes to put away silverware then I help. If I’m needing to do a load of laundry and Ty’s is still in the washer, I transfer it to the dryer even though that’s his job. If Maia is washing windows and she leaves big streaks, I might redo it when she’s not looking. It’s a sickness.


Any confessions you’d like to make today?






Things I Didn’t Know Before Becoming A Mom

There are so many things I didn’t know before I became a mom. Awhile back I shared a list of things I never thought I would say before becoming a mom. Today I’m sharing a list of things I didn’t know before I became a mom.

 1. I would never sleep again. Like ever. I don’t remember the last time I got a full night of sleep. It’s like that mythical unicorn…it might be out there but you’ve never seen it. 

 2. Chicken nuggets and fruit loops would constitute a meal. Not for me, the toddler. I only get half a chicken nugget and the yellow fruit loops because apparently those taste gross. Seriously. Toddler nutrition is hard, y’all. Last week Zoey would only eat things that were pink or orange. I was the crazy lady mixing ketchup and mayo together to make pink so she would dip her orange dino chicken nuggets into it. Nobody warned me how picky toddlers were about food. 

 3. I would consider poop to be an acceptable topic of conversation in public. Your threshold for humiliation grows exponentially the minute you have a kid. Your kids will humiliate you in ways that you never could have imagined. You will become that mom wearing her pj’s underneath her hubby’s sweatshirt with her hair in a ponytail and mismatched shoes on her feet in the aisle of the pharmacy at 10pm to get Children’s Tylenol. You know, the woman you used to stare at in horrified fascination before you had kids. Yeah. 

4. Going to bed early would sound more appealing than a night out on the town. The thought of getting ready, shaving both legs, doing my hair, finding a babysitter….ugh. I’d rather sit around in my pj’s and watch a movie. Clearly I’ve crossed over into elderly. The only thing left is adult diapers. 

 5. There would always be another load of laundry to do. And the house would never be clean again. At least not until they leave home. You can spend hours cleaning, sorting, organizing and spit shining a room in your house and I guarantee it will look like the aftermath of a college frat party 5 minutes after your kids enter. It’s as if they are magical…magical little trolls. 

 6. I would regret not appreciating going to the bathroom alone. I didn’t realize what a good thing I had until it disappeared. I haven’t gone tinkle alone in 13 years. I don’t even bother to close the door if it’s just me and the little’s at home. They’re just going to bang on the door and scream anyway. I had to learn to ignore the pointing and asking “what’s that?” and “why don’t I have one of those?”

 7. I would have every episode of Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Octonauts, & Sheriff Callie stuck in my brain and playing on a continuous loop. I lose brain cells every day, people. Every day. 

 8. I would consider bribery to be an acceptable parenting tool. Not just acceptable- necessary. Also, blackmail is very powerful when dealing with teenagers and tweens. I can get Ty to do just about anything by threatening to text his baby pictures to his friends. Powerful weapon in the ole parenting arsenal. 

 9. I would fully embrace day drinking. And feel absolutely no shame. None.

 10. I would never eat a hot meal again. Someone will always need a drink refill, a second helping of pasta, or a new napkin the minute you set down your plate on the table. 

 11. There would be no such thing as a day off. There are no sick days. Kids don’t care if your head is about to explode or your tummy is churning like a raft in a tsunami. They still need to be fed, watered and entertained.

 12. There would be no hiding place good enough to keep the kids from devouring the last box of Thin Mints. Kids can sniff them out like bloodhounds. 


He Said, She Said: Facial Hair

{You know all those funny and/or stupid little moments that happen in every marriage but nobody ever talks about? Well welcome to He Said, She Said: True Stories where I give you an unprecedented glimpse inside the marital dysfunction. You are welcome.}

Setting the Scene: Matt has an obsession with facial hair. I wish I was kidding. He wants a full beard. He’s Asian. It’s never gonna happen. We spend way too much time talking about his facial hair. Finally last week I’d had enough and the following conversation took place after he interrupted a phone conversation to talk about his facial hair. Again.


He Said: Should I shave it or keep trying to grow it?


She Said: I’m on the phone.


He Said: It’s just your sister.


She Said: And she does not want to discuss your facial hair.


He Said: Ask her if I should shave it or keep it.


She Said: No.


He Said: Do you see any sparse holes on the sides?


She Said: I’m not talking about your stupid facial hair anymore.


He Said: But should I keep growing it?


She Said: I will shave you bald while you sleep. I mean it.


He Said: Bald?


She Said: As a newborn baby’s ass. And not just your facial hair either.


He Said: I’ll go ahead and shave it.


She Said: Good call.


The End.