GypsyHips-- You missed where I was complaining a couple of weeks ago about trying to find a belly dancing class.
There are some around here, but nothing that fits my schedule or my character just right that I've found yet.
My $20k figure for the lead abatement is just a random guess off the top of my head. It could be $60k, or $10k... (It's never the lowest figure, though, is it!!!) However, de-leading itself will add some value (no one would buy this house in this neighborhood without kids, I think!) plus it will involve doing other fixes that wanted doing anyway--like just replacing our 36 windows will easily cost $20k. Aside from the window replacement, all of our moldings (around every window, every door, all the baseboards, etc.) require encapsulation, professional/safe scraping and repainting, or replacement. They all look like heck now anyway, so doing it will add value, but at a much higher cost than simply doing it without lead abatement standards would've--but at what risk to my boys? It's all crappy, but I'm starting to feel relief that we're finally taking action.
But in order to take this action, now I need more MONEY!
: I'm reading up on a HUD loan called a 203(k) that lets you borrow up to 110% of the IMPROVED value of your home if you submit documentation of what you will do and how it will add that much value. Sounds perfect, but I'm only just starting to look into it. I dream a dream of getting my room addition (adding a master bed/bath above our existing single-story family room addition) in tandem with purging our poor old house of its decade of neglect and toxic paint... I'll keep you all updated, of course.
Classes for tots:
I signed A. up for gymnastics! S. didn't have any formal classes until he was almost two (Waldorf parent-child), but A. is such a little monkey boy. He climbs all over everything. At home, it is "Don't do that! No! Stop!" I just had to find a safe place for him to be himself. He is so much littler than the other tots in the class.
He loved it, though. His favorite thing was hanging on the uneven bars while the "coach" held him to help him do chin ups and leg lifts. He screamed when she put him down. (I also got a lot of exercise chasing him around the gymnastics studio.)
I'm trying to get rid of stuff. I don't want anyone giving any of us anything! Well, that's not true. I hope my in laws will buy A. a pair of sheepskin boots from Soft Star Shoes. A. could also use a Svan chair like S.'s. But no little stuff, please! I just put out 14 boxes of donations this morning for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I want to dust/wash every item we own (gulp!) when I empty rooms for the de-leading. It makes me almost physically ill how much stuff we have sometimes. I'm the daughter of an OCD packrat. Her excesses are organized. I collect stuff out of fear and to fill emotional voids, but then it makes me feel worse as it gathers (toxic leaded) dust. My bro/SIL agreed with us to just do (small!) gifts for the kids. If only Mom could be dissuaded from over doing everything. Oh sigh. I don't even want to think about it yet. I think my feelings about the holidays would be happier if I knew we weren't going to exchange gifts with anyone.
Gee. I didn't mean to be such a downer. I actually love shopping all fall for the winter holidays, believe it or not!