Monday, December 5, 2016

Our New Castle Awaits...

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been! But we officially have a new home to go to after we celebrate Christmas. Woohoo! Knowing we were going to be replacing carpet in the new house, we attempted to get a guy out to measure but it never happened because our realtor wanted to make sure everything was good to go with the roof.

The timing of closing the week following Thanksgiving couldn't have been worse. The roofers worked on the roof the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but Perry and I weren't notified of that Wednesday. By the time we knew we needed to call the company, they were closed until the Monday after Thanksgiving so we lost quite a few valuable days. We had received a copy of the bill from the roofer for $300. We were under the impression that it was going to cost A LOT more to fix the issues with the roof. When we finally were able to contact the roofer himself, they went back out with the inspection report in hand to address any other issues the seller forgot to mention needed fixed. They ended up just giving us a quote for a new roof, which we didn't realize, so the $10k number Perry saw sent him into a panic and then me into a panic, because I was supposed to leave in the morning to sign papers on the house! Chaos and unknowns, but eventually Perry and I decided to just forget it and take the house as is.

Throughout Tuesday I finalized plans for the kids - who would take them where and who would be responsible for picking them up and such. I hate planning stuff... But it worked out so the kids could go see Grandma for a few days, and then hang out with Robin at home for a few days. Unfortunately for Robin, Hunter caught the flu bug and was sick Friday as soon as he got home. He sent it along to Charlotte and then to JP. Poor kids just wanted their mommy and daddy. Luckily they were sick with Robin because Grandma doesn't do well with that. Such trooper Robin is! But seriously, what luck is that? I leave them for five days and they all get sick...
I left bright and early Wednesday morning to fly to Seattle and then to Portland. My flight from Seattle to Portland was a little delayed; I'm not sure why but we sat on the tarmac for about half an hour. I fell asleep during that time, but woke with just enough time to tell Perry I'd be late. "What?! You're supposed to be landing in 15 minutes!" Yeah...and then when I landed he was out getting coffee. He apparently didn't have time for that in the extra half hour I gave him. We made it to our signing appointment maybe five minutes late. Not bad if you ask me!
We killed time in the late morning by going to IKEA. I was surprised to have Perry suggest we go. Terrible idea on his part - I loved it! We did resist buying everything and settled on only getting a couple pillows. We swung over to Home Goods and found a comforter for our bed. Our stuff was going to be delivered the next day, but Perry was adamant we were going to stay the night in our house, even if we didn't have a bed. I however, am a little weird when it comes to other peoples feet, and knowing that old man Philip probably had his feet all over the carpet was too much for me...

The house was recorded that afternoon around 2pm, so we met up with our realtor at the house to get the keys. This would have been only the second time walking around in the house and I immediately was overcome with a sense of regret. They left it so so so dirty. The carpets were dirty and stained, and the kitchen was caked with grease. I don't even want to think about the bathrooms... They also left their cat box, washer and dryer, and a fridge in the garage that didn't have a handle on it.  There was sooo much cleaning to be done that night before the movers arrived in the morning. With the buyers remorse weighing on me, probably because of how dirty it was (and all the wallpaper), I took advantage of the screw-off-lid on the bottle of wine and numbed myself for a while.

So without further adieu, here's the before pictures of the house. 
 Words can't describe how excited I am they left the wagon wheel, windmill, and trough. Seriously! The trough is turquoise too, it's like they knew me!
The entry way is HUGE compared to our split entry. And there is a sky light!
 Walking straight in from the entry takes you to the living room. It's not huge, but hey. 
 Complete with fireplace and doors to the deck. (The carpet is leaving SOON!)
 This is the dining area, again, complete with door to the deck, incase you didn't want to walk 20 feet to the other set..
The kitchen. So much nicer than what we had, though the appliances are a bit mismatched. The fridge has water and ice in the door, but it's not hooked up to water. And its tiny. 
 At the other end of the house, you'll find our master bedroom, complete with another set of doors to the deck. 
 While I don't like the placement of the toilet, the master bathroom is ENORMOUS. Double vanity sinks. Two sets of walk-in closets. 
 Remember how I said it was dirty? The shower was virtually uncleanable. I scrubbed for what felt like an hour...The gold has got to go though. (Side note: I don't know if the wine was impairing my judgement a bit, but I'm embarrassed as to how hard I tried to slide the door open. I recall a lot of grunting. Clearly it's and open-out kind of door.) 
 On to Charlotte's room, which is at the same end of the house as us. She's also getting new carpet. And paint. 
This blue beauty is the upstairs bathroom, which won't be blue for too long. 
 Finally, downstairs. this little room area will be my office space/sewing center. Through that door is a bunch of storage shelves. 
 Another fireplace and main downstairs living area. (They had an entertainment center and painted around it instead of just moving it...)
 This is through the first door - JP's room. Puke. 
 Next door is the bathroom/laundry room. Again. Puke. 
 And finally, Hunter's room with this awful carpet. I don't know which is worse, the red or the blue. Side note- all the closets have lights in them :)
This is what Hunter will see when he leaves his room. I think it's a bit scarey. We're going to wall things off and make an extra room down here. It won't have a window, but it'll be a room for guests when we have them.  
The downstairs outside patio. I'm anxious to explore the yard some more!

 Here's that fridge they left in the garage... 
And finally the back deck. One side of it anyways. That's the entrance to the dining area.

In just the couple days I was there, we got the place feeling more like home. And knowing there will be new carpet in by the time I come back makes my heart happy. Later this week, I'll give you the video tour! I'm too tired to wait for them to load tonight :)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Time to Say Good-Bye to Our First House

It's been 20 days since I announced on my blog that we are officially moving. Between the time that we accepted the offer on the house all the way up to about a week and a half before we actually closed on the house, I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I was hardly stressed at all about it. 
I've been living with my mom and sister now for about two weeks now and it's weird not going "home" anymore. I'm so anxious to start working on fixing up our new home already! But I sure am going to miss this one. The week or so leading up to closing on it, however, I will not miss!

While we were in Seattle/Vancouver/Portland, we had the home inspection done on our house. I think we were both a bit shocked to hear the results of it. The biggest issue found was mold in the attic. Yup. Mold. The reason for the mold was the air ducts from the bathroom and the kitchen not being properly vented through the attic. Because the moist air was trapped in the attic, it caused the mold to grow. There wasn't a lot - a few spots here and there - but mold is mold.

The other concern found with the house was the roof. Come to find out there was not one layer of shingles, not two layers, but THREE layers of shingles on our roof. I suppose we have to accept blame on this one - when we bought the house, we didn't use a realtor, but we knew the roof needed to be replaced so we bought the shingles, and the current owners (who Perry knew) re-shingled it. Win-win. Sort of. What maybe they didn't realize was that there was already two layer of shingles on the roof, which is okay. Now here we are selling the house and finding out the roof needs to be re-shingled. What more could go wrong?! Ha!

Perry and I both agreed we wouldn't want to move into a house with mold in it, so we immediately decided we'd remedy the mold issue. (HUGE score - our homeowners insurance covered it, less the deductible!) Unfortunately what we realized later was if we fixed the mold, we'd have to fix the venting, and if we fixed the venting, we'd have to re-shingle the house, because the vents were roofed over. It was all or nothing, and if we didn't do any of it, we risked them backing out, and being worse off. In the repairs addendum these three things were listed, as well as a leaky faucet they wanted fixed. I probably used a few choice words before we agreed to fix the faucet. After all, we were dumping close to $8000 into the house just to sell it, and yet they couldn't cough up a few bucks to fix it themselves?

The friggen faucet was the first of the four things to be fixed. In order for them to fix it, they had to cut a hole in Charlotte's wall. Not a small hole mind you...
 I'm not entirely sure why it had be so big, but screwing it back in place was their fix. After they left I started wondering how on earth I was going to fix this. Around the same time, the sliding door for my room came unhooked from the top hinge and would no longer slide so I was worrying about how I was going to fix that too. It felt like everything was falling apart all at once. That same day, the "mold lady" came to test the mold to see if it was active or inactive so they knew what they were dealing with. We were hoping for the best...

The problem we began running into was the remaining three items needed to be remedied before closing or we'd have to push the closing date back, which none of us wanted to do. Luckily things worked out and we were able to get the mold guys in to work on the attic sooner than they had planned, so they started work a week before the movers came and were supposed to be done in just a few short days. Meanwhile the vent guy came and correctly installed the necessary vents in the attic while the other guys were out for the weekend with the flu.

The weekend of the November 11th, 12th, and 13th, I had my friend Britta and her two girls come stay with us so we could see each other and get the kids together one last time before we moved. It was a long weekend with a house full of kids but we survived. That Sunday was also the day Grandma came to town with a U-Haul load of stuff Perry and I claimed from the Whitefish house a couple years ago but didn't have room for here. Things like side tables, night stands, desks, cabinets, the large dinner table Perry's grandpa built... the list goes on, but luckily Britta offered to stay to help unload everything into the garage.

While were were unloading, her daughter came running out of the house in panic because someone put too much toilet paper in the toilet and it was going to overflow. She was hysterical, but we explained it was okay and we'd fix it when we were done unloading everything. Then new-husband-John went in and used the bathroom and came out and said the toilet was working, but again we were still unloading everything, and I said I knew, but hadn't had a moment to go in to look at it. Shortly thereafter, he was stung by a wasp so I took him in to get a bandaid. Charlotte came inside with us and immediately had to use the bathroom too, but when she saw it was full, she flushed it. Water was going EVERYWHERE! I started hollering about the water going in the vent on the floor and scrambled to get the toilet to stop running and to clean up the mess. Excuse my language, but it was a shit-show, but without actual shit thank the Lord! Later that evening I was laying on JP's bed, exhausted and as I stared at the ceiling I saw this...
 ...and immediately broke out crying. The toilet water leaked through the vents and soaked the ceiling. Perry didn't understand why I was having a rough day. When I told him the toilet overflowed, he thought I was talking about the downstairs toilet and couldn't understand why I was upset about the whole thing. It wasn't until I sent him this picture that he really understood.

Unfortunately for Perry, he couldn't sleep at all that night knowing all the stress I was under and knowing the ceiling HAD TO BE fixed by Friday. The one neighbor who might have helped us out was out fishing for the week so Perry took it upon himself to leave work early Monday afternoon and drive home. I was relieved but at the same time I was a bit bummed. We were planning on meeting in Spokane that next weekend and surprising the kids, but with him coming home sooner, I knew the weekend was going to be cancelled.
 Monday was a joyous day for me too...I spent the day cleaning the kitchen and finishing laundry because movers were going to be there on Tuesday to start packing everything. That also meant I need to set aside the things I didn't want packed, and making sure things are at least in the correct room of the house. So much fun. To top it off, the roofer started his work on Monday and the mold guys came back to finish their work and they got into an argument about trailers and vehicles and such. SO much drama... The stress really started kicking in that night when Perry was hours from being at home. I'm putting away laundry when Hunter informs me he spilled. A lot. To his credit he attempted to clean it up on his own, but it was a lot so he sent out for reinforcements, aka, mom. He spilled water all over the counter that had been tainted with a few too many packets of red water-flavoring. It stained the counter. It was at this moment I started drinking wine - straight from the bottle.
 This was the scene Tuesday morning. The movers came in like a wrecking ball (LOL) and started boxing things up before I was completely ready. The roofer came back to work on his shingling job, and the mold guys came back. Again. My place was CHAOS! But I'm so glad Perry was there to help. God clearly knew I was going to need him for this day, so He sent someone to clog the toilet. (I'm trying to laugh about it...I'm not there yet.)
 By the afternoon the house was in boxes and it still hadn't hit me yet that we were really moving. We took the kids to my parent's place, had dinner, and sent them to bed before we went back to the house to get a start on cleaning. Again, so glad Perry was there to help with that task! I was feeling good about it though because by this point we had just heard they were going to push the closing date to Monday the 21st instead of Friday the 18th so I would have the weekend to finish things up if needed.
 When we settled in for a night of cleaning, we quickly realized how cold the house felt so we made a few adjustments to the thermostat. We couldn't seem to get the heat on and now we're panicking out our new furnace not working. Finally giving up, Perry called the people who installed the furnace and it was discovered that the roofer put tarp over the intake on the garage so no air was able to get in. It was an easy fix when we discovered what was wrong, but at 10pm, the last thing I was going to have Perry do was climb on the roof in the dark. By Wednesday morning, the house was a frigid 56*. I wanted things to stop going wrong!
Before Perry left Wednesday morning to head back to Oregon, he found a vent to cover the hole in Charlotte's room. (I had to repaint the walls because I couldn't find the touch up paint after he did some hole patching a month back. Annoying.) I also had to repaint the ceiling in JP's room after he fixed that too. Again, couldn't find the touch up paint. JP and Hunter were SUPER excited to come home from school on Wednesday to a massive truck on the lane, and an empty house.
I tried really hard to keep my shit together as I watch my stuff head out. I'm not really attached to any of it, maybe just more the idea of my life being moved from here to there? I spent the next few days coming and going, cleaning here and there until I was done. I dropped the keys off at the title company first thing Monday morning, and started crying as I drove away. I almost kept it together. Almost. Now I'm just anxious to see my new house, hopefully on Wednesday if all goes as planned!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Our Basement is Complete - Just in Time to Sell - Update #4

If I were to guess, I would say we *finished* our basement remodel at the end of May/beginning of June. It's hard to say. I do recall painting the hallway while the twins I babysat were sleeping, or before they arrived. And I know the boys were in school still. I love love love how it turned out! I must say, Perry did a nice job picking out carpet :)
Perry did some nice work on our columns too! While the placement of them still blows, they at least look nicer :) Because we opted not to wall-in the one by the laundry room, we made the new nook into our game shelf. The bottom cubby was also helpful in storing laundry baskets. 
 Our closet was one of the last things to come together. I cursed and cursed at Perry for not lett me paint the walls first before he installed the trim for the hanging rods.
 The closet still turned out nice, even though it wasn't completely finished when we listed the house. Perry ran out of time to make the trim for the left side of the closet. Because of the ledge that runs around the perimeter of the basement, we agreed to level it off in the closet and build a dresser below it, except again, time ran out. We stored our laundry basket there and I had my extra tub of out-of-season clothes below so we never had to look at the trim-less wall.
While I was at the Dome Home this past summer, Perry took it upon himself to paint the storage room so he could install the shelves. Out of all the colors in our stash, he chose the light green that used to be in our bathroom. I didn't like it then, I still didn't like it when it reappeared in the closet. But I didn't have to worry about painting!
I added a mirror above our bed before we listed the house since we hadn't gotten around to hanging pictures. Probably a good thing! I still get annoyed looking at this picture - For whatever reason, Perry mounted the shade to the trim? Every morning the sun shown right through the little gap it created. Right into my eyes...
 Now that our room moved to the basement, Hunter had the pleasure of moving his room upstairs to the "big" room. He was thrilled because that also meant he inherited the queen size bed that JP used to have.
 The extra room was supposed to be the basement room, but because the couch couldn't fit, it had to be moved upstairs. It was handy having my sewing room within ear shot of the living room and being able to quickly see what was going on in the backyard. However, because the room was upstairs, the kids were still in and out of it. At any given time there was toys all over the couch and the floor. Ugh. But the TV in there was put to use a few times for movie night :)
Charlotte was bumped to the basement and while at first she was excited, it eventually wore off and she wanted her old room back. I can't blame her. I loved the owls and trees in her room, and the baseball wall just wasn't cutting it for her. I don't know that I ever posted an after picture of Hunter's room when I completed his baseball-theme, but we also made modifications to the closet so he could reach all his clothes. This made it extra handy when we moved Charlotte downstairs. (Hunter started using a chair when he moved upstairs.) 

Just when we finished up and were ready to really enjoy our "new" basement, it was time to sell. Bittersweet...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

An Un-Themed Halloween

For the past few years, I've themed the kids' costumes, but I just didn't have it in me to do it again this year. Instead, Perry and I took them to the Halloween store and let them pick out their own costumes. Hunter chose a policeman, JP picked out an army outfit, and Charlotte went with Minnie Mouse. The kids spent the afternoon playing in their costumes and then Charlotte lost her ears. We happened to go to Costco the next day and found an adorable Belle dress for her dress-up box and she immediately decided she wanted to be Belle instead.
 Her party at preschool was a few days before Halloween, and it happened to be after Perry started work in Oregon, so she wasn't used to not seeing dad. This made dropping her off at preschool really hard for her. She was excited to go to her Pumpkin Party until she realized it was at preschool. In fact, she was okay until we walked through the door. Then the tears came and didn't stop. It was heartbreaking! But we powered through and she had so much fun, like I thought she would.
 After school that night, I reluctantly took the kids back to school for pumpkin carving in the gym. I'm alway hesitant to take all the kids anywhere without help. But we survived. Towards the end, I didn't know if we would...
 We had carved pumpkins at Em's house a few weeks back and Aunt Em carved a cat into Charlotte's pumpkin for her, so Charlotte insisted we make another cat pumpkin. Girl is obsessed! (That's a cat sweater too!)
 Nanny and Papa joined Charlotte and I for the school parade on Halloween. There were a few policemen and a couple army guys, but it was easy to pick out my boys :) As soon as Hunter saw me, he sped up his walking so I'd miss a picture...
 Before heading home to meet Gage and his mom for trick-or-treating, we stopped by Grandma's office to see everyone during our last Halloween here. Hunter was tickled about Grandma's minion costume!
 This was Gage's first year here so I invited him and his mom to join us trick-or-treating this year since she wasn't sure where to go. The past couple years we stopped by Nanny's house and then hit up the neighbors so we stuck to that plan. 
The boys were anxious to get started and ran from house to house while Charlotte struggled to keep up. By the time we got to the end of the cul-de-sac, poor Charlotte was getting worked up because she was going to be late to the houses. The boys would be done by the time she got there so she'd hastily stick out her bucket and run off before candy could even be placed in it. I had to calm her down before I could catch up with the boys. JP was surprised when he trick-or-treated at his teacher's house, and she was delighted to see them too! 
I hope I meet someone that will take me under their wing next Halloween...