Monday, March 30, 2009

An FYI prompted by HGTV

In anticipation for our move, I've been watching way too much HGTV.  I am being driven nutso by the buyers who enter a home and immediately say "oh I wanted granite countertops and stainless steel appliances".  The kitchen could be beautifully remodeled but people still want their granite and SS.  NEWSFLASH:  Granite and stainless steel will not make your food taste better and cook itself.  Stainless is going to be the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold of the millenium generation.  Now, my kitchen does have stainless steel appliances but that's only b/c the microwave and dishwasher were already there when we bought it and we want them to match.  I wouldn't rip out a perfectly good appliance just for the sake of having stainless.  Oy.   Time to step away from the HGTV On Demand channel.

The list is getting smaller

I have managed to cross quite a few items off of my to-do list!  We get the keys on Tuesday, the stove is being delivered Thursday, and I pick up the truck on Friday.  I'm hoping to knock out the flooring and some of the painting by the time we get the truck and start moving furniture.

Today I:
got more boxes
bought cleaning supplies and gloves for the new house
bought a shower curtain and hooks for the kids' bath
booked the moving truck
picked up a few assorted tools for painting and ripping up the carpet

When we got the Budget office,  Ruthie said "how we get the big truck outta da store?"  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm about to have a throwdown with Sears!!!!

We bought a range yesterday, I was pretty stoked to find out they were having a 20% off sale on Kenmore brand appliances.  I just went to their website so I could post a picture here, and I find that tonight from 6-9PM they are having AN ADDITIONAL 10% OFF THE EXACT SAME FREAKING STOVE WE JUST BOUGHT!  You bet your sweet Aunt Betsy I'm going to be there at 6:01PM to ask for an additional 10% off.  I'm so irritated, that's $100 that we could really use for the multitude of other things we need to buy.  When we were there yesterday I saw the signs advertising a VIP After Hours sale (open to the public) but didn't realize it was an additional 10% off the very appliance we purchased.  It would've been swell if the salesman had mentioned that little tidbit.  If they won't refund us the 10% I'm going to cancel the order and head over to Lowe's.  I'd be happy with a gift card for the difference, but cash would be great too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The signing begins

This house stuff is getting scary, my to-do list is a mile long and growing by the minute!  Yesterday I got to sign a huge stack of paperwork and make arrangements to hand over Ruthie.  It was either my first born or an arm and a leg, I figure the bank will give her back once they realize her motor never stops running.  Right?  

Closing is still set for 3/31, we have to be out of our rental by 4/11.  Hopefully we'll be able to finish at least a few projects before moving.  Painting is a definite must, the walls are in bad shape, the bank patched and painted over dings and holes, but the paint is FARRRR from a color match!  Ick.  Flooring would be great too, we are going to install laminate wood in the kitchen/living room/dining room area.  

So here's my current list, just in case anyone wants to volunteer to do all of this for me (just kidding, I'm just trying to stay organized)!  This doesn't even begin to include all of the things we have as longer-term projects (landscaping, kitchen updating)

-schedule moving truck
-purge junk
-schedule steam cleaning for upstairs carpets and stairs at new house
-pick out range
-pick out fridge
-ceiling fans (these could wait but summer will here soon and the bedrooms will be toasty upstairs)
-garage door opener (buy and install)
-set up PGE/water/garbage at new house and cancel old service
-change address with half the world (at least it seems like it)
-buy a real phone (we'll have a landline again!)
-buy a new bed (the one we have now belongs w/our rental)
-figure out window coverings (I know nothing about curtains/blinds/etc)
-stop feeling sad that the kids aren't going to share a room anymore
-clean up our rental so we hopefully get all of our deposit back
-plan the twins' birthday party 
-prepare for our Disneyland trip 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twin love

Nick is cutting Ruth and Alden's nails while they draw.  

Alden:  "Hold my hand Roof."
Ruth:  "Be ray-ally ray-ally gentle da-ta."
Alden:  "Be soft."
Ruth:  "See, it's not too bad."
Alden:  "No, not too bad."
Both:  "See? All done!"
Alden:  "Can I trim your nails dada?"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One blissful hour

Today I met up with my friend Patty, we had a picnic at the park and enjoyed the sunshine.  In fact, we enjoyed it so much we left a pair of Crocs, my water bottle, a ziploc of goldfish and the kids' water bottle behind!  I went back for these items, but holy moly where is my head these days?

Anyway, Patty offered to watch the twins so I could go to the grocery store by myself.  I was skeptical b/c the kids are rarely away from me, I figured they'd revolt and want to come with me.  Ha!  Once we got to Patty's house and they saw Merrick's brand new wooden kitchen, they all but forgot my name.  

Going to the grocery store alone is a very different experience from shopping with two almost three-year old kids.  I didn't have to hunt down a cart w/two seats, I only wiped down the handle not the whole seat, and I was able to complete my list in about 15 minutes, plus another 3 for getting an iced latte at the in-store coffee bar.  I did miss the back and forth banter, Alden usually holds the list and Ruth quizzes me on random things and asks if we are going to buy beer and Cheetos for daddy.  

Tonight as I was looking at the circular, I told Roo that chicken breasts are on sale.  She grabbed the Longs ad and said "I sink (think) beer and wine are also on sale mama".   Thanks Roo.  She still has her little lisp,  I love it.  Her little tongue peeks out when she talks and her mouth makes the cutest little shapes.  

The other night I was brushing her hair and she was being very....theatrical.  Alden walked up and said "hey, what are you doing to my baby girl?"  He's such a protective big little brother.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I knew this process was going too smoothly

I think I'm going to puke.  Our tax refund was supposed to be deposited today, it hasn't shown up yet so Nick called the IRS.  So far all he's been told is that we should be getting a letter in the mail.  Where the hell is our money?  We have enough saved for closing costs but we are counting on our refund to buy our fridge and stove, and the new flooring and painting.  I hope this gets fixed quickly, but we have two weeks until closing and we all know how swiftly the government moves. Ha!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 going on 13

Last night at dinner Ruth was being silly, she grabbed some pasta from the serving plate instead of from the pile on her plate.  I told her she had some noodles on her plate and she said "Oh, I didn't realize that mama, sorry".  What kind of not quite 3 year old says she didn't realize?  OMG.  She had a bad case of the wiggles too, and was squirming all over the place.  After Nick told her to sit still for the 1000th time, she sighed, and said "Daddy, why you being difficult tonight?"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please bring me a cake with a chisel

I had to go to traffic court today to clear a ticket I got for speeding.  I did traffic school online but I didn't realize the completion certificate had to be mailed to me, and I didn't receive it in time to turn in by the deadline (today).  I figured online school=print your certificate from home.  Oops.

Anyway, I packed the kids up with some snacks and told them they had to be on number one best behavior, and we set out for court.  Now, you'd think that since people are going there for being shitty drivers, they'd be more aware of their driving habits, right?  I saw two cars over the line and taking up two spots, two stop signs that were rolled through and quite a few seatbelt violations, all in the parking lot.  

Luckily the line was super short and the twins were happy to munch on their goldfish crackers while I took care of business.  The clerk wouldn't accept my completion acknowledgement I'd printed out, even though it had my name, completion date, my driver's license number AND the docket number.  After waiting in line #1 to get this info, I was told to go outside the building to the exterior walkup window (which is staffed by someone who sits three feet away from the woman who told me to go to the outside window).    We trundled outside and the kids sat on a handy little bench that had "puta" and "norte gangstas" scratched into it in a lovely old english font.  This woman kindly gave me an extension and warned me it was my last one, as if I'm a chronic traffic school shirker.  She didn't even look at my paper that said I'd indeed already done the damn course.  Oh well.

The process was entirely too easy, I was expecting more drama and kid chasing.  I got the bright idea to call Nick and tell him I was being arrested for not turning in my certificate and he needed to come get the kids ASAP.

Me:  I'm being booked for not meeting the terms by the deadline, you need to come get the kids.
Nick:  Um..oh god oh god!  Um hang on.  I'll be right there.  But it isn't even the end of the day!
Me:  *sniffling for effect* They said I can do it now during business hours or if we wait till 5 I have to be in jail overnight *sniff sniff* and be arraigned in the morning since there's no night court.
Nick:  Ungghshhhsdssshitshitshit.
Me:  Hahahahahahah just kidding!
Nick:  You &*#$%.

I'm expecting some kind of awful payback.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bathtime Conversations

I love eavesdropping on the kids during their bath.  Tonight Ruthie decided our little rubber frog is her baby, and the baby needed to visit the doctor.  Alden is playing the part of the doctor.

Ruth:  My baby has an ouchie.
Alden:  The doctor is clo-sed.
Ruth:  My baybeeee neeedzz the docTOR!
Ruth:  OPEN!
Alden:  Okay, what you want?

At this point I stepped in and asked if the baby needs a bandaid.  Ruthie looked at me like I'm totally clueless and said "Mommy, only if it is an ima-gin-na-nary bandaid cuz we in the water".  I mimed handing a bandaid to Alden and he put it on the frog.  All was well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

House Update

Inspection:  The inspection went well, there are a few small things that the bank will be fixing, but nothing surprising popped up.  The bank will steam clean the carpets, retexture and paint the wall dings, install a new master bedroom door, install splashguards and extended downspouts, and repair the water pressure problem in the master bath.  Yay!  Those are all pretty minor things but I'm glad we won't need to take care of them ourselves, we will be busy enough doing other work.

Appraisal:  The house appraised for $100 over our purchase price, woohoo instant equity!  Also, it measured 15 square feet larger than the specs our realtor provided.  

Closing date:  Our closing was set for 3/31, BUT the approval from the bank came back last week and we can close much sooner if we prefer.  I'm not sure what we'll do, on the one hand I'm itching to get in and start painting and installing new flooring, but we are paying rent on our current place until mid-April.   

Packing:  Much to Nick's chagrin, I've already started packing.  We are trying to help our landlords find new tenants, and I figure a decluttered house is more appealing than our usual bursting at the seams style.  We are looking into hiring movers since our new place is 2 stories, we like our friends and would like to keep them, so it probably would be prudent to not ask them to help us move.  

I feel like my to-do list is 10 miles long, but overall the process of buying a house hasn't been as nerve wracking as I thought it would be.  Actually FINDING a house was the hardest part, we started this journey 3 years ago when I was pregnant!  Back then, we could have purchased a 50 year old  3 bedroom with 1 bathroom at the top of our price range, we actually made an offer on such a house, which was rejected.  That turned out to be a good thing though, I'd be kicking myself now, as I'm sure many homeowners are.