Tag Archives: moving

Home, glorious home

We are moved in.

Surprisingly, trumpets did not blare when it occurred.  It felt like they should have.

It was just such a long process to get to this point, and we’re so far from being settled in, even though we’re technically habitating here now.  (Is habitating a real word?  It seems like it should be.)

Our bedrooms are mostly put together, save a couple stray boxes and no artwork on the walls yet.  Lane’s room has a full wall of tackboard that I want to cover with fabric, but right now it’s just tackboard and isn’t very attractive.  Jake’s room is more of a playroom since his crib is in our bedroom for the time being.

The kitchen… ahh it is the bane of my existence right now.  I hate it.  I don’t even feel like hate is a strong enough word.  The cabinets were refaced in about 1984, so they have that oh-so-chic beige formica look to them.  I am sure at one point it looked quite stylish.  They are cabinets and drawers without handles, and thus have a clicky mechanism where you push on the drawer or cabinet to open or close it.  Not so horrible, in and of itself, but add in that half the clicky mechanisms are broken, the hinges on half the doors are busted so they don’t hang straight, and that my ‘habit’ of resting myself against a kitchen cabinet subsequently opens a cabinet (because of course I choose to rest against a non-broken clicky mechanism door) and this kitchen drives me batty.  And take note — I said that the kitchen was refaced.  The original wood cabinetry is still behind all that glorious formica.  Since this house was built in the early 50s you’d assume that there would be some pretty good craftsmanship in that original cabinetry, but then you’d be making an ass of you and me.  It’s shit, to put it bluntly.  Drawers stapled together, not dovetailed.  The drawers, for whatever havoc time has wreaked upon them, simply do not slide without brute force.  And the corner cabinets are those lame cabinets where you have to practically crawl into them to access any of the contents, vs. being lazy-susan-ified.  So I hate the kitchen.

Problem is, we don’t really have it in the budget to do a refurb like we’d REALLY like to do a refurb.  When we bought the house we sort of planned that a new kitchen would happen in the 5-7 year time frame.  But that was before I discovered the kitchen is complete shit, where the only redeeming quality is the nice dishwasher and the presence of a working garbage disposal. We do, though, maybe have a plan.  We’re thinking maybe we replace JUST the beige formica cabinets right now… keep the beige formica countertop and the beige tile floor (notice a theme?), and get us some stock cabinets (maybe IKEA?) to tide us over for a few years, until we’ve saved up the bones to really pimp out the kitchen.  And maybe by doing so the full kitchen remodel gets pushed to the 7-8 year time frame.  We’ll see.

And beyond the kitchen, there’s the hot water issue.  Mainly, that when you turn on a cold water tap anywhere in the house, you get hot water for about a minute before you get cold water.  Well, first you get sort of lukewarm water, then hot water, then finally cold water.  Google has helped me diagnose the problem as a backflow issue from the hot water heater.  Apparently, situations can happen where turning on the cold water will reduce the pressure in the cold water line, and thus, as physics would have it, hot water will come up the pipe that feeds the hot water heater, and get hot water into your cold water system.  Google also tells me that it is something that an “anti-siphon valve” should fix, so hopefully I can find us an honest plumber who’ll fix it for what should be not too much money.

Luckily, though, when I’m about ready to pull my hair out, I take the kids and get into the acres-deep jetted bathtub in the shiny, swanky new bathroom and somehow that makes me feel a whole lot better about the house.  Now I just have to find time to do it without two kids climbing on me.  (Heh… somehow I managed to spend the last 40 minutes bitching about my kitchen though.)

Transient

We finished moving out of our apartment today.  Frank and I packed up the swarm of little things that don’t make it into boxes at first, and then don’t make it into boxes again, and all of a sudden you’re surrounded by oodles of things that used to live on shelves and in drawers and on tables, but then the shelves and drawers and tables are gone and you are overrun.

Lane even helped this morning.  Despite my mother in-law’s desperate pleas that we leave Lane behind with her, because she’d only get in the way.  But Lane and I had a very grown-up talk where I explained that we were going there not to play, not to make a mess, but to pack the last of our things up and clean, and mostly she was cooperative and helpful.  Of course, I gave her her own bottle of (mostly diluted with water) Windex and a rag, and told her to spray stuff and clean it.  She cleaned the refrigerator, and windows, and bathroom tile, and actually left stuff cleaner than it was before she touched it, which is highly unusual.

My goal was to be done with all the packing and moving and cleaning by about 6:30 today.  And, despite two insane thunderstorms – one this morning, and one this afternoon, we only finished an hour later than planned.

Thus, we are now without a home of our own.  We are staying at Frank’s parents’ house, which, have I mentioned, is right next door to our house?  Tomorrow begins the epic voyage that is getting our new house to a point where we can comfortably reside there.  Nothing too over-ambitious: some painting, a bit of wall-to-wall carpet removal, oh, and the demolition of the bed that we discovered during the walk-through  is actually built into the master bedroom.  Like, the wall-to-wall goes right up the sides of it.  Oh, joy!

Moving sucks

It sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks.

It sucks.

No room at the inn

We’re currently living as transients.  In October, we sold our nice, roomy, on-over-an-acre house, I quit my promising career to become a stay-at-home mom, and we moved to a very small apartment in another state.

We moved to another state because we were bribed, quite frankly.  It all started before Jake was born.  I was still all into my career, not pregnant with Jake yet but I think we were trying, and a couple different really good positions came up in my company, that both offered great learning opportunities for me and the possibility of permanent part-time work, but they were both at another location, a state away.  Frank and I had some serious talks about moving so I could pursue them.  And, I mentioned it in passing to my in-laws.  My mother in-law lamented that we already lived so far away (over an hour by car) and this would make us even farther.  Couldn’t we consider moving closer to them?  And, in a rare display of subtle manipulation on my part, I answered, “Honestly, we would truly love to live near you guys.  But real estate there is even more expensive than it is here, and if we move again, it will be so that I can work part-time, or maybe even not at all after we have another baby or two.”

And the next day, something happened, exactly as I thought it might when I opened the door to the possibility.  My in-laws offered to help us buy a house in their town.  We wholeheartedly accepted.  Their town has one of the better, sought-after school districts in the state.  Plus my in-laws, 95% of the time, are really nice, thoughtful, helpful, funny people.  I can live near them without losing my sanity.  And once we entered parenthood, we were honestly sad that we didn’t live near any family.

As we’d planned this major event, my mother in-law kept wishing aloud that the house next door to them would go on the market.  This house currently belongs to a family that my husband is friendly with; their son was a year younger than him, and Frank and he spent countless hours of their youth together.  Frank broke his leg playing football in their backyard; the son was a groomsman at our wedding, though he and Frank are not exactly stellar at staying in touch.  So the MIL kept hoping they would sell their house, because wouldn’t it be just PERFECT if we could live RIGHT NEXT DOOR?!?!

And I smiled and nodded, and agreed, sure, it would be great.  The house wasn’t on the market, so I entertained her with some feigned enthusiasm.

So, October 1, we move into town, into our tiny interim apartment while we get used to living in the area and start househunting (and also just making sure we aren’t making a huge mistake).  And not two weeks later… oh you guessed it, that house next door went on the market.

I had some serious soul-searching to do.  Would it really be great – even tolerable – to live next door to my in-laws?  Sure, they really are great people 95% of the time, but we’ve certainly had our moments.  Once they took Lane in a car without a car seat (though I can guarantee you it will never happen again).  They are opinionated to a fault, especially my mother in-law.  MIL also, I swear, goes out of her way to disagree with me on things.  Though through this, one redeeming quality has surfaced – my father in-law is often quite quick to come to my defense and side with me (which makes me giddy beyond belief when it happens).   But again, they have their good qualities — kind and caring, generous, helpful, fun-loving and adventurous.  They are really good with their grandkids, especially as Lane has gotten bigger and Jake is just the mellowest baby in the world (and it doesn’t hurt that he loves his grandpa more than almost anything in the world).

So, with the consensus between Frank and I that we are OK living next door to them, we have started pursuing the house.  Since we know the owners well, and they seem to just adore Frank, right now we’re all exploring the possibility of buying the house outside the realtor process.  The house is just a little out of our price range at its current listing price (even with the help we’re getting from the in-laws), but without a 6% realtor commission in the mix, they can take a lower offer from us without really taking a loss, and for that house we’re willing to take on just a slightly higher mortgage than we would otherwise.  It might mean we can’t make an offer until June, but I think we can live with that.  We might also see about renting the house before buying it, since it will soon be vacant.  (They are selling because the parents are getting a divorce.  What a shocker!  None of us predicted that.  But according to the son, it is an excellent move for them; they apparently were just going through the motions for the last, like, 10 years or so.  Their kids were encouraging them to divorce, even.)

The whole thing is exciting and nerve-wracking and fun and scary and oodles of other emotions all at once.  And importantly too, it’s a great house.  I can definitely picture myself living there… and I want to live there!  Now we just have to make it happen.