Monday, March 31, 2008

About something other than the house (for the most part)

I'm trying to think about things other than our house. So before I write about something fun that has nothing to do with my house, I need to get out one more thing about the house:

we heard back from the buyer - he wants the el.ectr.ic pan.el done. it looks like we are going to agree to it even though we swore up and down we wouldn't spend that money. bye-bye money.

Moving on . . . .

A few months ago I found my high school boyfriend (hereafter referred to as Pilot) on Facebook. We aren't on bad terms or anything, there's just really no reason for us to be friends. I haven't seen him since 2001 when we had one fun night together when we were both in town and single. Lots of fun. But that's another post.

I looked at his friend list and found that his mom was on it! I loved his mom - we got along really well and had a great time talking and I always enjoyed her company. So I sent her a friend request, she wrote back with a long note about how she still thinks about me and much we enjoyed each other's company. She was wonderful for my self-esteem - after Pilot and I broke up, we were still friends in high school and during college and I would go over during breaks to visit and talk with her. She always referred to me as family and introduced me to her friends as "who she wished was her daughter-in-law". I missed her more than I ever missed Pilot when we eventually drifted apart.

So now that we've reconnected over facebook, we've been emailing. She writes long, funny notes with stories about what she remembers from when her kids where J's age, what things she did to deal with toddlers, what it's like now to have a grandchild (Pilot and his wife recently had their first baby) and other little notes about life that I really enjoy. She is full of good advice and I love writing with her. It's kind of like having a mother-in-law that's not really your mother-in-law so there's none of those weird dynamics of being married to this person's son! It's been a real highlight of my life lately to get her emails and I'm so happy to have reconnected with her.

Other non-house news: my old pre-baby job (the one that I consulted with for a long time after leaving in 2006) is coming available - the woman that I trained last summer for the position is leaving, and the job is mine again if I want it. I don't, because it's a very full-time job and doesn't have any potential for upward growth, but it's nice to know that option is there. I'm tempted to go back to work full-time because sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with working from home and trying to take care of J, but I know that feeling would only be compounded if I was working full-time. I have to keep reminding myself that toddlerhood and being a stay-at-home mom is only one stage of my life, and that this is the time I'm in right now. There will be a time later down the road to go back to work full-time, and I'm sure when I make that decision that I'll miss the opportunity to be home full-time. So I'm trying to just be happy in my life now, as a part-time work from home/stay at home mom, as to be grateful that I have the opportunity and ability to do this when my kids are young.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

My house is a ticking fir.ebomb

My mother asked me the other day if I had anything else going on in my life other than selling the house. I guess I've been talking a little too much about it.


All my thinking, all my MONEY, all my time.

I can't get away from it.

We just returned the buyer's inspectio.n to them with the agreement on what things we will fix or not. Our realt.or is being Ms. Devil's Advocate and telling us that she thinks "they are just going to walk away. I know it. I can just tell that they are not going to be happy and are going to walk away".

Well, hell, go right on ahead and walk away if you want. I DON'T CARE. I am going to live in this house forever because it's easy. And comfortable. AND DOESN'T INVOLVE FIXING EXPENSIVE THINGS FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

And any other children we might have will be quite comfortable in the tents we put up for them in the yard in lieu of additional bedrooms. Oh, and we will really enjoy using our port-a-potty in lieu of another bathroom.

We agreed to most of the items on the buyer's inspection list - so we are doing a fair amount of repairs. We aren't doing two or three things, which our realtor is insisting are the things that are probably really important to the buyer. And of course, will cause the buyer to walk away. Fast. And without looking back.

Note to the buyer: If they were really important to you, then you shouldn't have included them in the middle of a list of 20 other things. You should have put them in all caps at the top of a list that only included 2 or 3 other items.


And about the title. I forgot that when we had our inspection a few years ago when we bought the house that our inspector noted that our garage and house were not separated by firewalls and in fact had very combustible material as a separating wall. In addition, we have elect.ric pan.els which are apparently a HUGE fire risk and MUST be replaced.

However, when we bought the house, our realtor (same person as we are using now) did not think that this was a big deal and urged us to go ahead with the house because did we really want to lose it over such a minor issue as firewalls and exploding electric panels?

Now, of course, these are the very SAME things that are causing the SAME realtor to exclaim that our buyer will be disappear into the wilderness, never to be heard from again, if we don't immediately fix them and offer money to ease the pain and suffering experienced by said buyer upon finding out that the 50+ year old house had things that needed to be replaced.

So now I'm not sleeping because I'm just waiting for my elect.ric pan.el to explode and spread rapidly into the garage where it will cause my car to explode because there is no fir.ewall. And since the elect.ric panel is under J's room and the garage is under our room, well, you can guess how my overactive imagination ends this story.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

House, part 2

I have a feeling that I will have about 100 posts on the house by the time its all said and done. Its just that it's feeling very all-consuming right now, and I think since this is the first time we've ever sold a house, all the unknowns and uncertainties are really making me stressed.

Thanks for the reminder that we'll be making new memories in the new house - I hadn't really focused on that as much and I think once we do find a new house, I'll feel less emotional about leaving this one because we'll have something to look forward to.

The inspections are tomorrow. I was able to get our city inspection scheduled for the morning and then the buyers' inspection is in the afternoon. So we'll know what the city has said by the time we get the buyers requests back and can hopefully use the city report as leverage against any problems they have found if the city had approved everything.

We're going to look at a few more houses tomorrow night - there are two that we're really excited about, so hopefully something will work out. We also met with our accountant last night and found out we'll be getting a nice tax return this year; we also discussed with her how to structure our tax payments on the money we're using for the down payment so that we have more of it available as cash right now and then we can spread out the ta.x payments over the course of the year. This means we won't have a refund next year and will have to save additional for taxes throughout this year (either Husband will increase his witholdings at work or we will put his bonuses towards the taxes), but it works so much better to spread out the tax liability over the year than pay it all right now when we close the funds. So I'm relieved about that working out.

I'm going to try and do something other than house things for the rest of the afternoon. I have work to do, and a whole bunch of shows saved on the DVR, so I may go fold some laundry and watch tv. J is asleep now - he only napped for about 45 minutes yesterday - so I'm hoping he'll take a good nap today!


Monday, March 17, 2008


So our house is now under contr.act, after one week on the market. I'm frustrated though because we let our age.nt talk us into taking less than we wanted and now I'm feeling like we shouldn't have done that, especially since we just found our that the money we are using for the down pay.ment is going to be 6K less than we thought because of taxes. And I think our house is worth more than what it's going for and we could have gotten more. Oh well. We're just not going to agree to much on the inspections if it is going to cost us money because we just won't have the cash to do it. We also thought it would take longer to sell our house, which was better because that gave us more opportunity to save from our paychecks and bonuses. So I'm feeling screwed.

And we're rushing now to find a house, which is making me discouraged because I don't like anything out there! I hate how houses look great in the pictures and awful in person. And I don't want to end up homeless in between this house and the next.

And of course I'm loving our current house now that its in perfect condition to sell. And I'm sad to leave it, because it was our home. And J came home to this house and I love his room here. And I'm not looking forward to packing.

So in general I'm feeling rather negative today.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I hope they don't hold a grudge

So I mentioned, briefly, in my last post that one of the things we had to do to get the house ready to sell was rem.ove the bir.ds from the exhaust fan over our oven. We have a really neat, original exhaust fan built right into the wall; the fan is one of the cute things about our house (the laundry chute and little built-in mailbox being two of the other things that I'll miss). You open a little door above the oven and the fan starts right up. There's a vent on the outside of the house, which is how the little sparrows got into the fan to build their nests.

This is now the second year that they were building in there - We first noticed them in October 2006, when J was about 6 months old. At first, I liked hearing the chirping of birds and didn't notice that they were actually in our vent - I thought that they were just sitting on the fence outside. But then that spring, when they had eggs in there and later, when the baby birds were hatched, we heard them ALL the time. All day and often through the night as well. I called a few places for quotes on remo.ving the nest, but was told that there wasn't anything that could be done as long as there were babies in there - we'd have to wait until summer and then remove it.

So we listened to the birds all spring (J would chirp along with them) and they started to feel kind of like our pets. Summer came, they left, and we forgot about the nest and having it removed. The fact that most of the quotes for removal were around $300 probably also had something to do with our lack of motivation to rem.ove the nest.

This fall, the birds came back and started working on the nest again. I called around again for remo.val quotes, everything came back over $300, and so Husband and I decided to tackle the birds ourselves. And we had to remove them now - it wasn't going to be a selling point to someone that we have a family of birds comfortably settled in our oven fan.

We tackled the bi.rd project last Saturday, the night before our first open house. Husband duct-taped a heavy-duty trash bag all around the vent, then opened it and used the trash bag to scoop everything out. I was amazed at how much was in there! They had two separate nests, one in front of the fan on the outside of the house and one behind the fan, inside the house. We cleared everything out, sprayed down the fan with disinfectant, and it looks good as new.

I do feel slightly guilty about having torn apart all their hard work, but at the same time, I don't care since these birds were going to cost us $$ to get them removed. Since Sunday, however, we have had to leave the fan running all the time because the birds are sitting out on our fence chirping as loud as they can! I think it's in protest for having lost their nest. We don't want them to move back in (at least not until we are out of the house!), and we couldn't figure out something to use to cover the vent since its an odd shape. So it's funny now to hear them "complaining". I hope they don't shower our cars with bird crap.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here, but not sure what happended to February

I just haven't felt like writing. It's hard sometimes to see everything out in print. When I first started the blog, I thought it would be a great way to get out all the things I like to gripe about and a good way to sort through things since I no longer have the daily opportunity to go through things with friends at work. But sometimes, seeing things in writing is scary. And many days I'm just too tired to rehash it all. If this was my family/baby blog, things would be a little more fun, because J is just a blast these days, but this is my spot and I have a separate blog for all the kid things.

And since many of the people I like to read have been slow in posting lately or not posting at all (like you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and even you), I haven't even been checking as much. And some days I'm just too lazy to log in to the blogger to bother to post or comment. Sorry.

So here's the highlights of the past 6 weeks:

Husband had a birthday. I had a dilemma over the cake. Who should make the cake once married? His mom or me? I know he likes my cake better, and I like my cake better, and I usually make a cake and do dessert, but this year his mom jumped the gun and celebrated his birthday days in advance, and she made the cake. So then I didn't think I should make another cake on his actual birthday since we already had cake. And for some reason, this seemed like a much bigger dilemma at the time that it does now.

I had surgery on my mouth. It was the third time I had this procedure and it sucked. I forgot how awful the recovery was. I did lose a few pounds from not eating for a few weeks, which I've now put back on in the last two weeks in some junk food craze that I've been on. Easter candy is probably my favorite candy of all year (Cadbury minieggs, Cadbury creme eggs, Reese peanut butter eggs, Little Debbie easter cakes) and I've been eating nothing but crap for two weeks. I have to stop. I'm stopping tomorrow.

We put our house on the market. That probably consumed most of my non-work time in the past few weeks. We had quite a few major things to do to get ready to sell, including installing a new vanity and removing birds from our oven exhaust fan. Both things that should have been handled by professionals and instead, I decided that we should do it ourselves. Big mistake. The vanity installation ended up costing us more than it would have had we just had someone else do it from the get-go as I had to invest in new tools, caulk, caulk gun and smoother (which I didn't know you needed and Husband had to get at Walmart at 1 am while we were trying to install the vanity), etc. and we also ended up having to call a plumber out anyway to fix the connections because when we hooked everything back up we ended up with a big leak. But we had out first open house today and the house was ready to go. Now if someone would just buy it.

I'm upset and angry at a few people. It's a long story, and the thing is that I'm not even sure if I mind that I'm upset. I think actually it may be the break and reason to not care anymore that I've been wanting. It's still hard to let go, and I need to make my peace with that. But sometimes you just live too far away for the effort to really be worth it. And if you can put that effort into others that are worth it, well then, that might just be better.

J is a blast. I love toddlers. And now that we have a full-fledged toddler, I'm ready for a baby and so is Husband. Hence the reason our two bedroom house is now for sale. We're not trying yet, but will be late summer/early fall. But back to J - he is so much fun. I am really enjoying being his mom and hanging out with him. His vocabulary has just exploded - he repeats everything and then starts using it on his own. He's taken to calling Husband by his first name and also chats up everyone we meet out in public. He loves ice cream, chicken nuggets, and cereal bars. He points out and yells the color for everything red, blue, or yellow and he counts from 4-10 (we aren't sure why he doesn't like 1-3). He loves his friends and talks about them all the time. He also is a big fan of the dog and cats and loves playing with them. He also still is loving baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, and any other sport. He reads alot of books, both on his own and with us, and especially likes his books about trains or sports. He does have a stubborn streak in him and has a hard time when he doesn't get his way, but in general he's a pretty fun kid.

So that's it for now. I need to write some about work, because I've been thinking about that a lot lately and how I think I want a more structured (i.e., not working from home) job, but I dont' know if the timing is good to look for it. So we'll see.