19 February 2010

Mmmmoooommmmmm, I'm telling...

First of all, I'm really proud of myself, I have unloaded and loaded the dishwasher for 5 nights in a row!!!!

25 more nights and I have me a routine people!

Ulterior motive for bragging on that - now I can't slack and let the internet world down. I have people pleasing issues. I MUST unload the dishwasher, the internet is counting on me!!!

But what I'm really writing for, my kids are driving me batty!

The sibling rivelry has been pretty darn bad lately and its getting hard to handle.  I know they weren't going to be bestest of friends forever, and as they grow up we will experience more hate between them than love. More so than now.

Overall they are very well behaved kids. I know this. I remind myself of this often.  Sometimes I think I'm being too strict on them, but other times I wonder if I'm not hard enough.

But tonight, when they are just bickering with each other about everything, I just want to scream or smack them around or something (Disclaimer: I don't actually smack my kids around. I threaten, but I don't do it. Luckily I'm scary enough when threatening they haven't pushed it.)

Top the bickering off with the fact that Adam has pretty much decided that mom (that would be me) knows absolutely diddly squat and HAS to argue with every.single.freaking.thing.I.say.  "Adam, did you know the sky is blue," I say.  To which he replies, "No mom, EVERYONE knows it is green."

Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but sometimes that is what it feels like.

So the kids are bickering and bickering and I'm saying knock it off every 5 seconds and we head to the library for research on science fair projects and a biography Carus has to write.  Of course the library is closed, because it is 6 pm on a Friday night and apparently they're lame like that.

So I thought I'd take them to DQ.  The bickering really didn't need the reward. Mommy wanted ice cream.

But then we pulled into the shopping center and I spy the dollar store - cheaper and healthier alternative, right? Well maybe not cheaper.  But red vines are so much better for you than ice cream. 

I like to surprise my kids a lot by just pulling up in front of stores or places we're going.  I've made Adam cry pulling into the grocery store parking lot without warning him.  He hates it that much. But when I'm being all impulsive there is no whining about 'but I want ice cream.'  It was enough that I had to listen to my whining about it.

They were still bickering.  And they continue bickering at each other. The entire time we were in the store.  Oops, no. Not the entire time.  There was a moment were Carus and I were in a different isle than Adam.

We get to the checkout line and they start being all nice and cooperative and sweet to each other.  I saw the checkout lady - who happens to be a lady I worked with at Shari's restuarant 8 years ago - get an 'aaahhh' look. 

Adam and Carus always get that look, because they are always nice and sweet to each other in public.  And I'm just thinking "You little bastards! Now you're being good. What the hell?"

But the second we got in the car it started again.

And it continued and I continued to say KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF ALREADY!

(Oh yea, two things. And they are things that have come up a lot lately. 1. I do not believe hell is a bad word.  2. I do swear at/near/around my kids. I am completely okay with it. I'm an adult, I've earned the right to say any and all swear words I see fit and invent and when they turn 18 they can say all the swear words they want. No I'm not naive enough to think they ain't saying them behind my back, but they would be whether or not I say them. This way I still get to say whatever comes to my tongue when I stub my toe. I do not swear around other people's kids. Hell has slipped once)

And it went on and on and on.  Add in pounding on a door because one of them shut the other out of a room.

That's it! Both of you bed now! I don't care that it is 7 freakin 30 on a Friday night! BED!

And now I can't watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs because if I let them up, mommy is a pushover...

PS. I am a pushover

15 February 2010

Mount Washmore


I don't enjoy doing laundry. But since I don't have the money to just toss the dirty clothes and go buy new stuff every day, it is going to need to be done from now until the end of time...

My old approach of doing laundry is to do as much as I can on one day in the weekend and during the week attempt to cycle one load through (wash, dry, fold) a day but end up with a load in the washer and a load in the dryer at all times.  Sometimes even having to wash a load AGAIN because I forgot to switch it over before it started to get that mildew-y smell.  Yuck!

The only time I have absolutely nothing left to wash, nothing in the washer or the dryer and everything folded, hung up and put away is when gramma visits me.  The second gramma gets here she takes over my laundry room and I become spoiled with not having to touch stinky boy socks or turn jeans right side out and remember to check the pockets and find all the little stains that need pretreating and...

Gramma enjoys doing laundry.

Gramma enjoys it because of how she grew up doing laundry.  Her family didn't have electricity or a phone until she was 14 years old and she grew up doing laundry once a week with the boil-those-suckers-clean-method!  All dirty clothes were put into a giant pot of boiling water where it was boiled and stirred and then boiled some more.  Then it was pulled out of the boiling water and was wrung out by hand so it could be hung on the line to dry.  Because of having to do this for years she now enjoys doing the laundry with a washer and dryer.

So I will too.

That is going to be my new approach to doing laundry.  I will enjoy it.  I am determined to enjoy it!

This week, I've stayed on top of the switching laundry over part a teensy bit better.  Hopefully I will get better and better about staying on top of it and will stop dreading it so much.

Because really, I don't have to boil it and wring it out by hand!

10 February 2010

The waiting game sucks

After talking and stressing and thinking and talking since we looked at houses on Saturday we did decide if we liked one of the houses we looked at well enough to try to buy.  So we called our realtor to let her know we want to make an offer on ....

And everyone that commented helped when we started feeling like maybe it was too soon or too much or just plain nervous!

It's a lot of money.

It's a HUGE commitment.

It's a giant drain on your emotions!

And as I signed page after page after page of our offer contract last night I started to get a little more nervous.  It was a short sale house so not only will the sellers have to approve, but so will the bank and it could take FOREVER! 

Thankfully it is just one bank.  Unfortunately, the bank will accept no less than asking price and have already turned down several other offers that were under.  That meant we lost most of our negotiating ability.

And now the waiting game begins!

08 February 2010

Can I go back to bed?

I'm a planner.

I could be really really organized if I wasn't such a horrible procrastinator. Or if I had the ability to focus on something to completion.  For example, since starting this post I've already ran off in two other directions, one fully in my head, and one online.  And this is only the 2nd paragraph, oy.

For months I've been working on menu planning every week, and have done fairly well.  I've just stepped it up to making an entire month's menu so each week I only have to make the grocery list and head to the store.  It has helped me get our grocery budget under control and I've cut it by half most months with more than half thrown in here and there.  Not to mention the headaches, whining, bitching, and moaning we were experiencing when it came time to decide what was for dinner and start cooking.  WOOHOO for me! 

We aren't moving yet, we don't have an offer accepted, shoot we don't even have an offer made on a house yet, but I'm already planning.  I'm waking up in the wee hours of the morning unable to go back to sleep because my brain starts going a mile a minute.  I need to plan.  I need to be sure that everything will work out before hand - even though it never helps, even though it usually overly stresses me out, even though I am not psychic and cannot predict and plan everything, I still must try. 

Oops, sorry ran off again.  Where was I? Oh...

I'm planning my new approach to laundry, -which has actually been in the works for months; first I tackled dinner, now I'm taking on laundry.  Tomorrow I take over the world! Ha haha!  I'm planning which cupboards in the kitchen will hold my glasses and which will hold my plates. I'm planning where the furniture will go.  Which colors I want to paint the walls.  What things I can toss or give away before the move, what can I sale for moving money and to pay for that paint?  I'm trying to foresee any and all problems and working them out before hand.  And I can't stop.  Eventually I will have enough planned that I can relax and let things take its course, but until then I can't shut off my brain.

My biggest worry though is the approach to the kids and school.  Specifically changing schools.  If things go as I plan (I'm not being naive I swear, I just have to plan!) it is likely we will be moving before June so, do we try to work out a way to let them finish the year at their current school? Or do we switch them with only a few months left and leave them to try to make friends before summer and to not let their grades drop because of the stress of learning new teachers and rules?

After my parents divorced and my dad got custody of us kids, my dad worked out a way to let me and my brothers finish our school year and I'm sure it was hard on him.  We got up super early and drove an hour to a friends house to wait to catch the bus with them while he drove another hour back to go to work.  Then after school we'd go to that friends house again and stay until he got off and made the trip back to pick us up.  As a kid it was just fun playing with a friend every day, and I got to enjoy my 5th grade year without having to worry about making new friends on top of all the other changes I already was dealing with.  I know there was a few months of that, but I'm not sure how many.  And I'm not sure if he paid the friend (well the mom) for watching us.  When we moved to Oregon from New Mexico at the beginning of my 8th grade year I was very concerned about making new friends and found the move a little hard.  Now I'm concerned about how my kids will take the move.

We won't be moving Adam and Carus nearly as far, but we are moving more than halfway through the school year.  The drive would be about 45 minutes in the morning, and I might be able to make it in 30 in the afternoon to pick them up.  And while we have friends that I would feel comfortable with them staying with after school I don't want to impose on those friends and ask for them to do it for free, and I can't really afford to pay them and I surely can't afford daycare!  My initial thought was to have Robert take them to school in the mornings, and for me to use my breaks (an hour a day) or ask to split my shift temporarily (might not even be an option) to accomplish the pick up.  But then there are days that Robert will be traveling for work - what do I do then? 

I know they are resilent and they will make new friends, and that they'll do so more easily than I will, but I worry.  I don't want them to be mad at me or hurt.  I'm trying to honestly discuss all this with them so they understand why we end up making the final decision we do make, and they like the finishing the school year idea, but know that it might not be doable. 

So thoughts please? Have you moved as a kid and switched schools mid year, beginning year, end year?  Were you mad or happy or sad? Any other ideas on how I could make it work?

The 6 Kids

Last, but definitely not least, meet The 6 kids!

It boasts 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, and is 1346 sq ft.  Downstairs we enjoyed lovely plush carpet in the living room and nice 'pergo' wood laminate flooring in the kitchen/dining room combo.  As you can see, the dining room is really good sized.  The selling family has 6 kids (and we actually saw them because we arrived to the house early, they are all under 4!). The backyard is a great size, and has a garden area for me already!  The kitchen was great with a center island and a walk in pantry.  The garage was a good size too. 

Upstairs we saw more of that great soft carpet, 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths.  The master bedroom was the largest, of course, but the other 3, at the exact size, felt small and probably wouldn't work.  Adam and Carus have a lot of furniture so we felt this house would be too small for us, which is odd because they have 8 people living there!  That's probably why they're moving, that many kids means they're out of rooms to put them in! HA!

It got my vote (mostly for the kitchen) but no one else's...

07 February 2010


Round 3

This one is 3 bedrooms, 2.1 bath, 1647 sq ft. It's mid range of our price range and actually felt like we'd probably be able to get it below our price range, IF the bank agreed.  It is a short sale so....

The positives:

I love the carpet on the stairs and upstairs! It was plush and soft and oh so nice. I also loved the lazy susan cupboard in the kitchen, that was great.  Actually I really really liked the kitchen, and the pantry I wish I could've put in my pocket and brought home.  I also really liked the front porch swing.  Carus and I sat on it for a bit and just swung back and forth.  It was very nice.

The negatives:

The short sale. And HOAs, they aren't bad at 292/yr, but it is mostly the fact that you have to ask before doing anything to 'your' house.  Actually because of the HOAs Robert doesn't even want to consider it. 

BUT it got 3 votes.  Robert's, Carus's, and mine.  Adam couldn't say why he didn't like it, but it was probably just because he was so done looking for the day (and he had already decided the handyman was the one he wanted).

The Snapdragon

Round 2.

This is a 4 bedroom, 2.1 bath, house at 1620 sq. feet.  The price was towards the top of our budget. And I don't have much else to say about this house.  The bedrooms were small and the downstairs layout just didn't really work for us.  The backyard was a great size, and the wood laminate (pergo-like) cherry floors were gorgeous, but it just didn't get any votes from us.

06 February 2010

The Handyman

Welcome to the first edition of help us pick a house.  I'm leading with our top choice and we are calling it the handyman because it was owned by a handyman/contractor guy.

This house is 3 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, and 1813 sq ft.  It also has a bonus room, a shed in the backyard, and RV parking.  (Not that we need RV parking, but its all good).  It is near the top of our price range (but not too near) and it is a short sale so it might take awhile if and when we put an offer in to get a yay or nay back from the bank.  And the bank might be a smidge less flexible on price than a person...

Now without further ado, the pictures!

The positives as I see it, with a little input from Robert:
The carpet on the stairs and upstairs was sssssssooooooooo soft and cushy. Downstairs was laminate wood floor and laminate tile like stuff in the kitchen.  The master bedroom was HUGE! The kitchen was decent sized with okay storage. The sink was extra deep, which I like.  The backyard was a good size.  If we bought it, we would tear down the fence to the RV parking and expand our yard and have an area for a garden on that side of the house. It has central sound, and the bonus room has surround sound and all sorts of great wiring features.  The garage - oh the garage was Robert's favorite!  It is wired for 220 and for a central air compressor. Seriously, you should have seen his face when he saw those lines and tubing.  When leaving we saw 3 boys around Adam's age playing basketball, so the kids would have kids to play with.
The negatives as I see it:
Near the High School - literally 3 houses away. This could be good or bad, but right now I'm going to list it as bad.  Could mean trouble makers during the day, could mean extra loud Friday nights during football season. Could be no big deal at all....
The master bath floor is kinda ugly, but that's a pretty easy fix really so no big deal.  There is no fridge so we'd have to buy one of those.  But the kitchen cupboards are UGLY! They aren't horrible, but they're 'meh' in color. They are an yellowish, cream-y, very light wood.  It screams early 90s' to me.  But those are an easy fix with temporarily painting them and eventually changing them out.
It is a short sale - it could be too much trouble to even try. OR it could be a really good deal...
All in all, this house got all four of our votes. 

03 February 2010

Why can't I just win the lottery?

Robert and I want to move.  We're tired of renting.  We're tired of not being able to paint and improve things our way.  We want to buy a house.  We want to be home owners!

We haven't been able to in the past. It just hasn't been the right time for us.  But with last years' market crash housing prices are down and it looks like this year might be the year for us. 

This means I have to give up hope for a visit to New Mexico this year, as well as my even further fetched hopes for a vacation in Hawaii.  The Oregon beaches will just have to tide me over a bit longer...

But it is okay because....

I will get a kitchen that (hopefully) doesn't have ugly cupboard doors falling off and horribly ugly counters.  I will get walls that I can paint another color besides WHITE.  Hello neon pink!

We will be able to demolish ANYTHING leftover from the 70s (i.e. my current bathroom floors). 

I will have a fenced backyard (or be able to fence it in) and just kick the dog out to use the potty at 2 am or whatever.  And instead of standing out there with him in 17 degree weather or making Adam stand out there with him (yeah, I'm mean. It's his dog too), he can pee on every single blade of grass and take 30 minutes to find THE perfect spot to crap and I won't have to wait and watch! 

Robert will be able to set up a shop in the garage and build and tinker to his hearts' content.  Oh and the things I'm going to make him build for me! Ha!

The kids are hoping for a tree house/fort.  I think Robert is pretty darn excited about this too.

So, you wanna help us decide on a house? 

I'll post pictures I take from our tours and our lists of pros and cons for each house and I'll take votes on whether or not to keep it on our list.  I will keep addresses and actual prices private.  Which ever house gets the most votes we will make an offer on!

We have a couple of loan options available to us, now just to find a house.

Our first tours are 2 houses in Forest Grove, Oregon this Saturday.  Forest Grove is about 30 minutes from where we are now.

Blog Archive

Popular Posts