Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter Two

So, we’re out. Totally out. Lights out, door locked. We were going to stay until Monday but we closed in the late morning and it would have been pretty chaotic trying to get out of there and get ready and everything so we decided to head to my sister’s on Sunday. When we finally crashed into bed that night, Jeff turned to me and said “I still can’t believe we did this! We’re actually moving. I didn’t think it would really happen.” He’s been proclaiming his disbelief for days now and I always poo-pooed it because we do LOTS of things that we didn’t think we could do, like adopting a baby from Korea, but when he said it last night I totally agreed with him. Yeah, we had some bumps along the way, and by bumps I mean giant, steaming, festering piles of crap that impeded our progress and at times almost killed the deal. I couldn’t write about a lot of the things that happened since I was on my GAG ORDER but now I can talk. The guy who put the contract down did so 9 days after we started showing. Within 24 hours we had another contract. Then a day later my neighbor told us her brother was moving here from California and HE wanted to buy it. Then a FOURTH party came forward but at that point we decided to accept the first offer and roll. Ideally it would have been the neighbor’s brother but there was a delay in getting his job transfer and then the new house people were going to kick us out of our contract unless we removed our sale contingency and that’s when we went into high gear and went for it and firmly decided that this is what we were doing no matter what. Soon inspections, new roofs, tuckpointing, cleaning and more cleaning and a LOT of stress ensued.

All of a sudden the time was here and soon there was a storage pod outside and on Friday night a bunch of guys from Jeff’s work came and loaded our lives into it. Funny story, on Friday night, around 9pm and after everyone had gone home AND after having spent the better part of 3 hours getting the thing loaded, Jeff went to shut the door of the storage pod and couldn’t It was jammed. We could only move it about 12 inches up or down. We were exhausted and I couldn’t take it anymore, especially considering Jeff told me that if we couldn’t shut it, we were going to have to sleep outside on the street to guard our stuff, so I stood in front of the house crying into the phone, telling the storage people what had happened and them telling me there wasn’t anything they could do. Next thing I knew, Jeff was inside it climbing up the treadmill to try and un-jam the lock. He was victorious, despite a cut on the arm and a smashed finger. That sums up this whole experience. It worked out despite some bruises along the way.

On Sunday, as I stood at the sink washing out the remnants of our family from the refrigerator shelves, I started thinking about everything that this house meant to us. This house was why Jeff and I were together. When he bought it 12 years ago, the bathrooms had peeling wallpaper that I would tease him about every time I visited because it was such a typical bachelor pad. Finally one day he was sick of my teasing and said “fine, then come over and redo my bathrooms” and I did. I had known Jeff for many years but spending a weekend crammed into a 5’x5’ bathroom together does things to you and by the end of the weekend I was in love. Our first date was about a week later and the rest is history. This house is also where we secretly got engaged about a month before he did it publicly, it was where my Meemaw came to live out her last weeks, it was where we spent many sleepless nights with our new son, it was where we fought, made up and planned out our lives together. That house was our constant.

When I finally mopped us out the door and turned off the lights for the last time, I turned to Jeff and cried again. I told him I didn’t know why I was still crying and he said it was because I wasn’t made of stone but I think it was because I was sad to say goodbye to this pile of bricks that had Jeff and I written all over it. Every inch of that house was a part of us. As I pulled away and watched the house fade away in the rearview mirror, I smiled and remembered about the new chapter we were starting and how when Max is big I’ll tell him stories of the house where his mom and dad made their family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Max

So, today is Max's birthday. The big 2. I believe at 12:01am a flip switched and my sweet baby is now a mouthy toddler hellbent on world destruction. I keed. Not really. Anyway, since we're moving he's kinda getting the shaft on a party or cake this year. Maybe after we get moved. We did go to the train museum with Woowie (Louie) and Connie, so that made it a fun day. I took a picture today to see how much he's changed from last year. It's quite something.

Max, March 25, 2009

Max, March 25, 2010

He looks so grown up for 2, doesn't he? sigh. Just kidding! I love that he's getting older. Babies aren't all they're cracked up to be. I love hearing him talk (mostly) and he's got mad skills on the drums. He's a handful but he's MY handful and that's just fine with me. I love you my sweet baby!

On the house front, things are moving toward the end, we load the storage container tomorrow and we'll be out on Monday. Tonight is our last "normal" night in this house. Sheesh. It's been 10 years here and that's weird to think about. I'm sure I'll have some dumb melancholy post this weekend so get out your hanky.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why is everything so f*%^#&g hard?

So, this is our final week, or "The Final Countdown" if you're a Europe fan. Our basement is still in a pretty sad state but the bulk of our stuff is all packed up. I'm getting nervous that one storage unit won't be large enough but I'm too cheapo to get a second one so I'm throwing out a lot of stuff. We needed to purge anyway so it's all for the better and we won't be automatically filling up our new house with old junk. I have plenty of time to do that going forward. Anyway, our tuckpointer dude was supposed to start yesterday, which would finally round out all the crap we've had to shell out for. As my sister says, this is the time they hold you for ransom and she's right. Oh you want to sell your house? Fine, just spend a few thousand dollars fixing something dumb and then we'll be all set. Oh yeah and we're going to charge buttloads of money for whatever it is we decide we want you to fix, mmkay? Ahh, bureaucracy.

The dude was supposed to start tomorrow but the morning rain sort of screwed that up but I did give him supply money so he could start first thing today. However, it's 8:40am and there is no sign of any tuckpointer. I'm trying not to panic and Jeff said that if he doesn't show by 10, then I can start panicking so I'm going to save it up until then but I really should probably be panicking just a little bit right now so we just won't tell Jeff. Stay tuned...........

**UPDATE - So the dude finally showed at 10. It's going, slowly, but at least it's getting done. Max has also declared this day VIVA LA REVOLUCION and is staging a mutiny. He knows to pounce on mommy when she's weak. Well played, child.

Friday, March 19, 2010

You neither tuck nor point. Why don't they just call it brick repair?

So, this saga is never effing ending. We talked to the tuckpoint guy and while we got him to agree to a decent price, or at least a price that isn't going to compel me to jump off the nearest tall building, NOW he tells us he doesn't think he can get it done before closing. Well, that's not really going to work now, is it? He was nice enough but bristled when I brought up this very important factor. Sooooo.....we went to plan B and started calling around last night, trying to get someone with a crew to come who can do it in a day or so. There isn't THAT much and the first guy was telling us that he needed several, not a couple or a few, but SEVERAL dry days to do the job and while he's nice and all, I don't think he's the man for this and I think he knew it because he gave me the side eye when I kept mentioning timeframes and how several days wasn't in our plans.

So, we've arranged for two estimates today, first guy has a crew but we have no clue on price and second guy has guys to work for him and is reasonable price-wise, but he himself is going out of town for the next three weeks so a crew with no leader isn't giving me the warm fuzzies when we're dealing with thousands of dollars of work. What if we pay him and the crew never shows? What of they show for a day and then don't come back? These things concern me. That and when I gave him our address he seemed VERY familiar with it. Wanna know why? Turns out he's related to the FIRST GUY. The one that wanted "several days" to do the job. SUPER. This is why I hate calling around for bids and stuff. I felt like I needed to mention that we had spoken to him already but that the time frame wouldn't work but then I remembered that we're only going to be living here for another week so I really can't be concerned with the feelings of a man who's name I just learned 24 hours ago even though he's lived one house away for the last 6 years. Let's all hope the first guy works out so I don't have a front lawn family reunion on my hands.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Et tu, house?

So, I'm about thisclose to having a total panic freakout with this house business. First the roof, which incidentally is being fixed as I type, had to be replaced and now I'm trying to get someone to help us out with tuckpointing but am being told that I have to do the ENTIRE HOUSE. Look Mr. Tuckpointer, I'm sure you want a nice big job but do the words SPOT TUCK POINT mean anything to you?? That's what I want done and I don't need a job that will "last into the next century" because I don't care about the next century. I care about today and having you fix my goddamn brick so I can pass inspection. Also sir, I know what a parapet is and just because I am a lady doesn't mean I am dumb so don't talk down to me. That is all.


I have one word for what I need today and it rhymes with martini.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's St. Patrick's Day. Or as I call it, Wednesday.

So, we're at 12 days and counting until we close. The inspection went......okay? They didn't ding us for everything, just a couple major things, one of which is a new roof. Yes, we have to get a new roof. Oh when, you might ask, since we're at 12 DAYS AND COUNTING?! Tomorrow. Not only that, but we also have to do a fair amount of tuckpointing, which we're doing ourselves and it's about as much fun as jury duty. We would have hired it out to the professionals, but since we have to buy the roof (spoiler alert: ROOFS ARE NOT INEXPENSIVE) they get our slightly better than total crap handiwork. However, I'm looking at the bright side. I've learned a new trade and we're actually moving and this is actually happening. Jeff frequently walks around saying "I can't believe we're really moving" and I'm sure when the day comes it'll all finally sink into the bubbling tub of goo known as my brain and then I'll be like "HOLY HELL WE'RE MOVING!" We're really excited, though. Our house has gotten progressively smaller in our minds since we decided to do this, much like the trash compactor scene in Star Wars, and the extra space calls to me like a sweet siren. Max will have so much more room to throw crap around and more walls to draw on and more floor space to drive his little car like he just left happy hour so this will bring him right out of his shell. I keed, I keed. He is a small dictator with more confidence than sense. I think this will be a good thing for us all, though. It's a big change but I like big changes. Sure they're awkward at first and I'm sure Jeff will instinctively drive home to the wrong house a few times but change is what makes life interesting, right?

Speaking of change, our second adoption got back-burnered while this house business gets sorted out but we kinda decided that maybe Korea isn't the place for us to go this time. We had a fab experience, don't get me wrong, but the program has changed and as my friend Connie will tell you, the wait is longer and harder now and since we are no spring chickens, this troubles me. So, we think we're switching programs. We haven't made a decision yet but we're throwing around Ethiopia and possibly China, although we're leaning more towards the former. Either way the programs are FAST so we're taking our time deciding. Well, "taking our time" in this house is kind of relative because I have no patience and like to do things RIGHT NOW, so really as soon as we're settled, this thing is ON.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

22 Days

So, I haven't talked much about the house because my agent is all SHUT UP ABOUT THE HOUSE ONLINE lest I divulge too many trade secrets. Little does he know that I only understand about 37% of what he jabbers on about so I'm not a reliable source on anything and as far as I can tell, I'd have a better understanding of cold fusion than these contracts. However, as I fear for my life, I will only speak in sweeping generalizations. At this point, we are in the "negotiating phase" of this house ordeal, which yes, I'm calling an ordeal at this point. Our house, purty as she is, is 112 years old and has some wear and tear. This should come as a surprise to no one. That means that we get our inspection demands tomorrow and it could all go off the rails. Or it could be fine. I'm trying to not plan on a worst case scenario but then I'm pleasantly surprised when things aren't totally jacked up, so that's where my head is. Hope for good, plan for crying. We're still planning on closing on this house AND our new house on the 31st. That's 22 days from now. That's not very long. Hold me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Little Drummer Boy

So, this kid is obsessed with his drums. And his train. But mostly his drums. We listen to 80's pop music all day and he will ROCK OUT. Jeff got him on video. He is very pleased with himself.