Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A tale of 2 houses

It took 2 days of bouncing over roads and seeing some houses we knew we didn't one to see 2 we might be okay living with. Is that how it goes with houses? You take what you can get, even if you're not in love? Someone PLEASE tell me. Because I don't know.

We are going to go look at them again with our parents next weekend. When we were there it was pouring down rain so we couldn't investigate the properties at all. Both are 5 acres. They are the same price and in the same area. They are about equidistant to Matthew's work and to family.
The one Matthew really likes is a geothermal based tri-level that also has a basement area with laundry in it currently (we'd have to move it possibly because of the distance to get to baby). The lower level has a 4th bedroom/office conversion and a living room area with wet bar and a parlor stove. Will probably have to take parlor stove out or not use it until baby is older. There is also a bathroom down there with a shower stall.

The main level is kitchen and dining (which includes the front door and glass sliders out to back patio). Kitchen leads to 2+ car garage. There's also a door from the garage out to the back patio. That would possibly be where we could do a bump out and put in a small sized laundry/mud/pantry and potty just off of kitchen, close off kitchen to garage door and put a door into that room from the kitchen so that you'd have to walk THROUGH the laundry room to get into the house. A subtle reminder to take off muddy shoes and wash greasy hands before coming into the kitchen from outside/garage. :-) All appliances are included.

Upstairs level is 3 bedrooms and full bath. Big closets. All the floors are tile or wooden (or good imitation laminate wooden-not sure). No carpet, no vacuuming. The whole thing needs paint though as at least one bedroom is bright red. It's vacant so in theory we could move right in.

We couldnt' tell much about the property, it is on a more busy road than we would like but a fence across the front should pretty it up and provide safety as well. The side yard would be big enough for a morton type building for Matthew's toys. The back yard doesnt have much grass to speak of and it kind of dips down into a valley with plenty of trees, as far as we could tell, but not sure, we're hoping for no rain so we can kind of tell a bit more about it.
The other property has a basement with family room in it. Room for tv/sitting area and some toys behind along the wall as well, so it could be a combination of playroom too. Then there's a storage area which is unfinished. The main level enters on a small porch. The home is balanced fairly well, the 3 bedrooms and master bath and a sitting room (as well as the stairs to go down to the family room) are balanced on the left hand side. All that has carpet. The center of the house is vinyl tile or the laminate wood flooring and is foyer, to a hallway with main bath, large kitchen/dining combination with a slider out to back deck, and a laundry area all off of it. The right hand side is the 2+ car garage.

Matthew doesn't think there's really room to put a building there unless you cut down some trees. This is not as wooded, but is just as secluded as the other place, probably on a less frequented road. It also has a pond (you can see from dining room) and they have the remainder of the acres mowed fairly nice for walking.

This one really wouldnt need anything done to it as far as we could tell, it's a little newer and almost everything on the same level would mean less chance for accidents when rushing to baby. Probably would have to change the paint sooner or later but at least it's not bright red! It has gas and electric, so no doubt the utility bills would be higher. People are still living here so it might take a while before we could get into it.
We are asking for both places about whether or not animals are allowed and anything else that might get us in trouble or put us off of the area, like him wanting a 4-wheeler (we included trampoline and pool for good measure, although I dont want either-but figured that was more normal than asking specifically about 4 wheelers, dont ask me why). I wouldnt want to buy a 4 wheeler OR a pony and get it there and find out we're breaking the rules of the area or something. We want to know about the local wildlife of course, so we asked that, and for confirmation of utility bills and how the water works, etc. Both are on public water so no dealing with bad wells or anything like that. We're also asking about the ages of the septic and roof status. Apparently neither one has ever had basement leaks, but with having dealt with the flooding and such, we're a bit jaded about water issues right now.

Basically these last few questions will cinch it for us, or make us want to just rent an apartment or house for a while and look for our own land and build a house. We're leaving that option open.

What do you think?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fun Monday..Hiding in the closet

Cassie is the hostess for this week's Fun Monday: I want to see the inside of your closet!! I want to see if your closet is as messy as mine!!! You can't organize it before you take the picture!! Well, we have already packed up a lot of our clothes to get ready for the move. So... here's what's left:
Oh and just in case that makes you feel bad, here's what has become of the nursery...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finished project..posting a little late

Finished lighthouse embroidered towels.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Decorations for the baby's room

These were 'masks' that had broken off at the bottom so I repurposed them for wall hangings. I had the paint already, and so far I just used some clear packing tape to secure the eyes until I can come up with another solution... so: Total Cost $1.00

Friday, September 26, 2008

Packing.. or not...

Turns out, we don't have to pack at all! Yeah! Granted our clothes are in suitcases and we'll pack up a few of our more personal items (eh hm) and jewelry, photos, and tuck those in the truck, but beyond that, we just have to stay out of the way, woohoo!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


If I drop one more thing and have to bend over to pick it up! I'm going to scream!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Home visits...

Saturday we're going to drive down to look at houses. After our lamaze classes, so basically we'll drive down, stay in a hotel, get up and patter about for a while and then look at homes in one state. Then we'll drive to the other state, check into another hotel, and then be up bright and early to look at homes all day and then drive home. I think that's how it will go. It's going to be an exhausting weekend/beginning of the week.

Tomorrow we have movers coming to check out the apartment and see what they think it will take to pack us up and move us. We found out that they are planning on packing us, so we dont have to go get boxes or anything. I'm going to double check that when they get here. In the meantime, I'm going to have to clean up. Because Friday, there's an inspector coming in to make sure our apartment is up to code (yeah right!) I suppose it will pass, but anyway, that's what's going on around here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finding a house...

FINALLY! Realtors are getting back to us.
Now tell me, since I'm clueless--how long did it take you to figure out you were in love with a house you saw, what pitfalls should we be looking for, what questions should we ask? Did you call in reinforcements with more experience to make sure that you weren't getting the shifty from your realtor? I honestly have NO IDEA what to look for other than 'meets my needs' or 'doesn't meet my needs' you know?

We're making a spreadsheet to compare houses to decide if we want to look at them and/or what we think of them once we look at them.

And how long did it take you to close on your house? We have less than 3 weeks and I'm afraid we'll be so caught up in just buying a place that we might choose the wrong one because we're so pressed for time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Great Onion experiment...

Well, so far the onion experiment seems to have worked. This is what I did. I took the onions, ran them through the food processor until finely chopped. Then I loaded the results into ice cube trays, covered them with plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer. Several hours later, I went back and 'uncubed' them. Some went into a plastic freezer bag and some into a plastic container. Either way, I used a freshly frozen cube in my green beans tonight and they were perfect. I've frozen them in huge blocks before, but then you always had to saw off or chip off what you wanted and sometimes that was difficult. But with the cubes, you just pick up however many you want and drop them into what you're cooking and voila! No tears, no extra mess or fuss-and no rotten onions forgotten in the bottom of the bin. You get a bunch all done at once and for a while you have easily usable onions, kept well in the freezer.

More to do list items...

Today so far I've...

-Made spaghetti sauce from scratch (includes carrots for extra hidden vitamins)
-Ground up onions in the food processor and put them in an ice cube tray to attempt to make little blocks of onions for adding to soups, sauces or recipes-will be stored in container in freezer
-Swept all the non carpeted floors
-Cleaned the upstairs toilet
-Packed up my pjs/nighties and socks (the last of my clothes)
-Done up all the dishes and mess from this morning so there won't be a big mess tomorrow

Sunday, September 21, 2008

To do list getting smaller...

Thank goodness! This weekend we....

  1. Went through the garage and trashed/organized stuff
  2. Took out the old rollcage and put the new one in the Bronco (I helped)
  3. Packed up Matthew's clothes except enough for a week
  4. Re-packed the crib in its box (thank God we thought ahead to save it)
  5. Attempted to contact a realtor, looked through housing lists again

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crude humor...

Okay, so if you're under say the age of 16, don't read this.

Yes, even a goody two shoes like me enjoys a bit of crude humor now and then. It's healthy, or at least that's what I tell myself. We were on the way to the grocery store (this time for real groceries and not just excedrin and beer), and my husband kind of muffled his mouth and asked for a flump flob (a bj, okay?) he was joking, this is a common joke around here, especially since the nausea started early on in the pregnancy. Anyway, the point is that I commented that if they put bj's in a can that they'd probably sell pretty well at Wal-Mart. But of course they'd have to have an age restriction on them. Can you see the mid thirties guy with a pack of bj's in a can and the cashier asking him if he's over 18?

Friday, September 19, 2008


We went to the store for 4 things, and left with 4 things.

Oven Cleaner

The first 2 were for Matthew. The onions I need to make vegetable soup. And oven cleaner, well, the stove is absolutely horrible and I figured we could air out the house tomorrow while the oven is cleaned.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sorry...and a misc. moving entry...

I haven't had anything more interesting to post. My days consist of trying to keep up with daily tasks like laundry and dishes (the more I'm home, the more I cook, the healthier I cook of course, but the bigger mess I make)... and then trying to do little things to make moving easier, like packing up all my non-maternity clothing into the biggest suitcase we have. That's done. Scrubbing out the gunk on the stove burners? That's done. De-fuzzing the dryer, de-gunking the washer and de-icing the freezer? That's done. Filing cabinet purged, shredded and recycled already.

Can anyone else think of other really annoying tasks that you forget about until the last minute and have to do or else you don't get your deposit back? They are already keeping $150 to clean the carpets, we knew that. So those I'm not concerned with. They get vacuumed when I get tired of seeing the bugs that keep getting in littering the corners like so much refuse, or when my husband's dirty shoes leave clods of mud everywhere. Probably not often, but often enough.

I know I have to clean the oven (no self-clean option) and the bathrooms. 2 of the sinks got de-gunkified earlier this week, just the one upstairs to go. I'm pretty sure cleaning the tub is out. Number one I shouldn't have the cleaning stuff directly under my nose, and number two if I get down I may not be able to get up. The hubs may have to do that one. Not that we didnt' tell the guy when we moved in over a year ago that the tub faucet was leaking. Nonstop. He just chose to ignore it. He finally 'fixed' the sinks when he came to check on the air conditioner (which did no good as there's 'nothing' wrong with it. It just takes 3 hours to cool down a house one degree)-- yeah right! One of the sinks is dripping again. And the tub is still dripping/running a full stream which leaves it a god-awful mess. Straight CLR several times didn't touch it. Even though it was left soaking for several hours. In mass quantities.

Probably the biggest issue right now is just trying to figure out what we can and can't pack. I can't force my husband to do anything, but I'd like for him to start on the garage. Otherwise? He's going to grab a few of the giant black bags and put everything in the garage in the back of the truck, even if it's trash. And then a year later we'll find out we have empty oil containers we moved from one place to another. Not my cup of tea.

Personally, I'm a purger when I move. I already went through my own clothes pre-summer for the baby and donated to good will, and the very few items we got 'too many' of at the baby shower are sitting in the living room ready to be exchanged for either clothes or just money for a couple of the big items I didn't get--and we'll purchase after the move. Other than those things, and maybe a few clothing items, I can't see NEEDING to buy anything anytime soon. We're seriously stocked up. Oh and all that stuff is in the nice plastic grey tubs sorted by clothing, bath and medicine stuff, crib stuff, etc. They just need labels. Otherwise, all of it is ready to go. Yeah!

So where else would you start if you were me? I can't do the garage, so what other big chores can I try and tackle bit by bit and hopefully end up with a fairly clean house when it's time to move. In a month. Ideas? Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And I've failed...

7 lbs. Oh well. I'm still under the +15 that they recommended, so I guess technically I'm still okay. It's still annoying, though. What good is it to be starving all the time and your baby whacking on you for food every 2 hours? None. So I might as well fail my weight to keep a healthy, happy baby, right?

I feel like I'm on weight watchers...

I have a weigh in today, wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My husband went through hundreds of listings on realtor.com and send me about 30 of each state we could possibly live in. I went through my least favorite (read, I've never lived here before and it would be a pain to learn all the new rules in a new state, get a new driver's license one more time, for the love of God)... etc. ones first and found several nice options, a LOT of land, nice houses, for within a reasonable price range.

Then we went to the other state, which would be closer to family. The land got quartered and the houses were just as nice. The driving time to work would be about 5-10 minutes less on average (according to google) for my hubby.

Not sure if that accounts for traffic or not. We got the recommendations for towns from my cousin, who lives down there. All the towns she suggested we look around ended up being about an hour 'out'. We would take less, if there were options for him not to have to drive as far. I guess we will see. What we really need, really, is a realtor.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Location, location...

Well, we finally heard back from the relocation person. They will pay for a hotel room for us to go look for a place to live, a per diem while that's going on, and pay for movers, and that's about all the help they can give us. They MIGHT be able to put us in touch with a realtor, and if we need help finding an apartment while we try and close on a house, they should be able to do that too.

All of which is nice. What would have been even nicer is if the relocation specialist had been in the city area we're moving too. Probably would have been a lot more on the ball, a lot more helpful, and might know a few people.

In the meantime, I have a recommendation for a hospital, and checked it out online, looks like it offers similar things to the one I was going to go to here, and my cousin recommended her doctor. So far her doctor is covered under BCBS under the nationwide plan. I need to find out what our 'future' plan is going to be, to make sure she will work with that too.

I will have to find out from my doctor when I need to go to the doctor next and then go ahead and make plans through our insurance company for at least my next visit or so while I'm down there (we'll be covered up to Oct. 31 on our current plan, and the other will pick up Nov. 1st). If nothing else, I waddle into the ER and say, someone PLEASE deliver this baby and I should be fine. No matter when it is. But it would be nice to MEET my doctor first. You know and go to all those pesky appointments ahead of time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bullets, because I can...

  • We still haven't heard from the relocation specialist, so we are getting nowhere, very very slowly. It sucks.
  • My baby showers were very, very good and the little we didn't get, because of $ type gifts, we will be able to purchase after the move.
  • My friend Tricia had her baby and everyone is fine.
  • We finally got to watch some more football, although our teams didn't win.
  • My house still looks like a wreck, no matter how much I pick it up.
  • It's hard to look for houses without a realtor.
  • I go back to the doctor Wednesday, and I'm pretty sure I've put on about 8 pounds instead of 4. Damnit.
  • I seriously need a nap.
  • And liposuction.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby in the breadbasket...

For some reason the baby likes to hide up near or under my ribs, pressing on my lungs and being a pain in general. Sometimes his/her daddy can coax the baby out, but sometimes not. I call this position 'being in my breadbasket' -- I'm not sure if that's even a correct colloquialism or not, but it's the closest thing I can come to how it feels. Like the baby is sitting in my breadbasket.

Friday, September 12, 2008

House hunting..

We're back to spending our evenings on separate computers looking at houses by googling 'real estate' and a city name. Yippee. Pretty tough. Especially since the city we look up and the results that can come out of it can be more than an hour apart, making what may be a great 'deal' mean a 2 hour drive to work. Yuck. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Items to deal with...

-Dealing with a realtor while not being able to meet face to face, plus having to make a decision on a home after only seeing it once. Any suggestions? I'm thinking maybe forcing us to go down on a Thursday-Monday and viewing houses until we find ones we like and calling in reinforcements for help (parents) on Saturday since it's our first house purchase and we hope it's our only house purchase. That would leave Sunday for contemplation and Monday for signing papers.
-How will hubby adjust to new job, will he love it or hate it?
-Baby on the way + moving and changing insurance = yikes! Also new doctor and hospital.
-Packing the contents of our place.
-Dealing with the movers (someone suggested doughnuts and coffee and stay out of the way.)
-Unpacking in a new place we're not familiar with quite yet.
-Preparing the nursery in time for the expected arrival.
-Not going into labor with all the upheaval.
-Finding our way around/ facing weekly doctor appointments in a strange place with a new set of doctors and only one reliable vehicle right now.
-Trying to get back the money from our CURRENT doctor, which we already PREPAID for the delivery in 3 installments back in May, June, July. Crap on a stick, won't that be fun?
-Am I forgetting anything?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Voting after move...

We'll be moving within a few weeks of the election. Anyone know who the likliest candidate is for figuring out how to get registered after the move? Or has anyone moved to a different state and had to deal with this before?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Trails....

"Good Afternoon, I received confirmation today that you are cleared for hire. Please call me so we can set your start date. Thanks!"

Looks like we're moving, will keep you posted!

Lil Mouse, Mr. Mouse and the lil meece!


My house just threw up 2 baby showers. Please excuse me while I try and clean up.
Oh and by the way, this is a VERY loved baby. Very.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fun Monday, Love is strange

Woodland Mama is the host for Fun Monday this week. Here's the topic: Write the beginning of an unusual love story (not a real one). I only want the first paragraph. You can add an illustration or a picture to spice it up if you are really daring.

Sure, he had bad breath and used a little too much tongue when he kissed her. Yes, he cried when she left, demanded food and had bad bathroom habits. And back hair that he refused to shave. But she loved him anyway. He always made a mess and never cleaned up after himself. He couldn't get a job and could never say 'I love you' -- and yet she couldn't leave him.
He was her puppy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More showering...

Today is church, a baby shower, a Bears game, all sorts of good stuff. Will give an update when we're back in Iowa.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Traveling to shower a baby...

Well, not literally, but I do have a family/friend baby shower today, and we're already on the road. Also may be able to see my friend Trisha who is due literally anyday with her baby. Will also get to see 3 others of my friends. Yeah!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Seriously, this week the ambient temperatures dropped over 20 degrees. What gives? How about some more 70s without 100% humidity? Sigh. Got to love the midwest. Feels like you need air and then heat within the same week. I'm not ready for sweaters or jackets!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Further proof that God loves me...

We have a couple of volunteer petunias growing in the rocks outside our patio. One of them is blooming. I had no idea it was there until I saw a flash of bright pink when I looked up this morning. And boom! There it was. I peeked and there are a couple more with buds on them out there. So sweet. I can't bend over to sniff, but I bet they smell delicious!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Proof that God Loves Me!

A couple of weeks ago, we set out the plastic lid to a folger's coffee can. It's not real deep, just enough for the various critters that run around to get a drink out of.

But I haven't had quite that big of a laugh in a long time, because the sparrows are using the 1/2 inch or less of water to BATHE in! First one wing, then the other, then the other, and then a shudder to distribute the water. Then they sit on the little fence and fluff themselves dry. It's hysterical! See, God definitely loves me!

What are our congressmen for?...

Umm, yeah. So usually I try and keep the political banter on here to a dull, well barely a passing mention, just so that my readers know that I'm not a huge baby incubator with no thoughts or opinions in my head. So for once, please excuse the rant eh hm:

Our major city (Cedar Rapids) as well as a nearby town devastated by the floods of this spring, are going to shell out a shocking $10,000 a MONTH. Yes, a MONTH, to a Washington D.C. lobbying firm to lobby for flood relief monies from Washington.

Excuse me? What on the flying flipping earth do we elect our congressmen for if it isn't to lobby for their constituents when a tragedy occurs, or to build infrastructure, etc. etc.

Yes, it has been 2 1/2 months and the only help we've gotten has been from FEMA, but our city pulled itself up by it's collective wader-bootstraps and taken care of its' citizens day to day needs. The major rebuilding needs should be lobbied for by our mayor, our governor, our state representatives, and yes our congressmen. We don't get cash in our hands in 2 months so we're going to eek out the cash we DO have to a firm in another state, when we already pay our elected officials to do this? Yeah, THAT makes a lot of sense. Eh hm, rant over.

Monday, September 1, 2008

No fun Monday...

ah hem, what good is a long holiday weekend in the fall WITHOUT FOOTBALL?