Friday, December 04, 2015


I can see it better now!
a few months ago


It's really starting to come together.  The paint job looks great (from here) and I love the trim.  I think we'll end up with less junk in the garage, but I understand this is a work in progress.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We have a due date.

January 18th.

This is a mere 97 days away.

In that time we have:

  • Terri's annual trip to Phoenix (4 days)
  • A concurrent visit from the in-laws 8 days)
  • Book group (gotta get reading!)
  • Halloween!
  • Dinner party with friends on 11/6
  • Veterans' Day (Lucy has the day off, so she and I are going to take the bus to the aquarium)
  • A San Jose trip (3 days)
  • Thanksgiving
  • Another book group
  • The Renton trio (that's us) annual dinner and night out to snow flake lane
  • Tree decorating
  • Christmas
  • New Years
  • Undecorating
  • Then 18 long days of packing and purging

House things that we have to do:

  • lock in the mortgage rate (anytime after 11/18)
  • schedule delivery of appliances
  • schedule apartment pack & move date
  • schedule delivery of new furniture
  • schedule delivery of items in storage
  • Schedule delivery of ikea things (or get them ourselves)

1/18/2016 seems so super far away, but it will go fast and I'm happy to have an actual date to plan.  Sadly, the 18th is a holiday, so we've asked to move the final close up to the previous Friday so we can use that weekend, but we'll see how that works out. If we absolutely cannot get into the house before the weekend, we may borrow a gigantic car (truck with a lid) and head to Oregon to pick up the fancy tv that Jason has picked out for his basement oasis. I'd rather things of that value just magically arrive at the house because I'm not keen on lifting and breaking such things, and I seriously doubt that the tax free nature of purchases in Oregon will offset gas and impulse purchases/

Friday, October 09, 2015

Get your clothes on!

  Things are moving along.  This picture was taken yesterday and doesn't show that the entire back of the house has been sided.

Rain is on the way, but we are 80% happy with how buttoned up the house is.  I will sleep better knowing that water can't be dripping on my installed can lights or the power outlets.

I have a hope that by tomorrow afternoon when Jas & I get to go through the house that it the siding will be finished.

It is groovy to see all the electrical action that will be tucked behind the walls.  This house is going to hum.  The downside is that any errant heat seeking missiles will probably hone right in on our happy little house.

One of the upgrades that we opted for was the Holiday Lighting Package.  The WHAT?   Well the description wasn't clear, but we made an assumption that it meant exterior outlets along the top of the house.  Well, wouldn't you know it - those outlets are going in.  Last night as Jas & I were talking about how nice it will be not to run extension cords from the house we realized that we have a two story house without a simple way to hang lights.  I guess we'll have to finally break down and hire the lighting people to come.  Jason will be so sad to have skip the hanging of a ladder in the crispy wind, or the removal in the rain.

In other exciting news lot 60 (the house that is closest to us in timing had their drywall delivered today.  So once this angst over the siding and closing up the house is done the next phase is right behind.  woo woo.

To pass the time I'm planning spaces and in our entry hall this is the bench that I think could work for us (in white):
A basket for each of us, a durable cushion to sit on while shoes come on and off.  Tidy and useful.  The store it comes from is having a sale on their in store display items and I have a vision that the piece we want will be for sale and we'll get it at a bargain.  Either way, it's worth a trip in.

Lucy's hanging with a babysitter Saturday afternoon so we're free to shop at our leisure.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Damn Rain

I may be the only person on the west coast not wishing for rain.

Today - inside work only no siding.  We still have a big open hole in the wall.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015


The sod belongs to the house next door, Eric and Tammy who are cute as a button.  Their kids were out and about in the neighborhood playing so we didn't meet them when we rang the bell to introduce ourselves.  They are taking possession of their home in a week or two.  They seemed nice and it was great to finally look a neighbor in the face.

Now, onto the mansion.

The house has been wrapped in the vapor barrier and on the front with the three little windows the solid siding has been partially installed, they will come back and add the decorative strips before installing the fancy woodwork and shutters.

The remainder of the house will be covered in traditional horizontal 5-ish inch strips.

Without really trying or planning it seems that Jason and I picked the same house design as the rendering on the Toll Brother's brochure.
From the brochure
Our front door will be a maroon red kind of like this -> THIS.  Pretty eh?

The last couple weeks have been rough because work has been off and on at the house but mostly off.  We had a conversation with the builder last week and they did say that their construction schedule has us taking ownership in the first week in January.

We're ok with that, and have started our mortgage shopping and paperwork gathering.

So, things were going glacially slow, like one week it seemed like all they did was frame in the bulkhead in the basement.  Then yesterday BOOM - the fans in the bathrooms were corrected, the light fixture housings have been installed on the main floor, and the upstairs area.   Today when I cruised by and saw that the scaffolding was going up and dudes were cutting siding I could also hear the happy sound of banging and nailing from inside the house.

We still have hope that we'll be able to close on the house before the end of the year, but we're accepting that we'll have a tiny Christmas in our little apartment and officially move in early January. We'll be able to take more time off and simply get ourselves settled.

Having the house for a few days before we actually move will allow some painting to occur.  I do have designs on an accent wall or two.

I know, I'm repeating myself in these posts, but the waiting is hard and planning is helping.

In fact, while we can't make any decisions until we see how bright the master bathroom is, I have two/three decorating ideas for our ensuite.  If the bathroom is really bright my princess tub area may be painted with the pretty dark peppercorn color, but I'm loving the light blue and considering the green, but it seems a bit BRIGHT.   I ordered some washcloths in the colors we're considering so that when we have walls, and tiles that we can make a choice.  It's fun being a mini-designer.

Honest Blue



Saturday, October 03, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Apartment Christmas

So, we've had some good news and some ok news. Frankly, the not knowing is worse than news I didn't want to hear. We will most likely close the first week in January.  I had hoped to move in in mid December and be ready to rock and roll by Christmas.
the dream
But the logistics of that scenario are staggering.  It can be done, but it involves a precise scheduling of furniture, appliance and box delivery that all could be upset by weather or bank delays.

The January timeline will mean that we have a quiet Christmas and save our vacation time for the move.  The very good news about this plan is that Lucy will have consistent day care and Jason and I can work hard for a couple weeks (together) to put our home together.

Unlike, when we moved into this apartment we'll both have time off so we can decide where to put things as a team, and we can do double duty on certain tasks. The new house doesn't have to sit empty with no work being done while one of us is here at the apartment with the movers.

Work at the house is moving again.  There was a delay with HVAC inspections and lack of a siding crew, but tada siding is going up.  Once the house is "buttoned up" electrical can begin again.  After the electrical is signed off by the city, then they insulate, inspect, and drywall can go up!  

Once the drywall goes in it's all finish work.  Painting, flooring, cabinets, connecting the plumbing, appliances, millwork, tilework, a final painting, inspection and then KEYS.  The finish work will only take two months.

The onsite manager said that the current calendar is pretty firm, but they'll let us know if things slip or speed up.  I don't have much faith that all of a sudden everything will go better than expected.  But, I am starting to trust the timeline.  Even with all the little issues (framing!) they are true to their original timeline that they talked about.

I'm just ready.  I need a long soak in a HOT deep bathtub.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

If only...

If only we had money to burn we could get Lucy a bed that she would 100% hate but that would be fun for us.

Calgon Take Me Away

The waiting is getting to me this week. I think I'd be in a better place if there was steady progress, but things start then stop then nothing really happens for what seems like days and days. Since we last posted the HVAC system has been installed (which is no small event) but the vents in the bathrooms are still incorrect. We have gas lines, but the electrical work is still at a stand still. The neighbors at lot 60, the house that is about a week ahead of us in the schedule, have had their siding delivered and it is being installed. That means we should be next. We have a garage door finally but we still have an odd open section on the upper floor on the south side of the house. I'm not sure why it hasn't been sealed up. The HVAC stuff went in thru the garage and up the stairs. I know they will seal it up when the siding comes but the gaping hole is odd. We did get a chance to walk thru the house that is next door to us and it is coming along VERY nicely. They have all the flooring installed with the exception of the carpet, and their cabinets, counters and tile is installed. They picked a similar bathroom countertop to ours and it was nice to see it installed. So far, I like the finishes they chose best over all the other houses we've walked thru. I'm still so in love with ours which is a good thing.
I'm just ready to be done with this project. We have hopes well, the desire to be in the house by Christmas, but my hope is fading with each day of little to no progress. It's disheartening to drive by and see no one working or to walk thru at the end of the week and see that they've made one or two changes. This last week they framed out the bulkheads in the basement. oooh. So, the awesome news there is that the ceiling height in the basement is about 9 feet tall and the massive bulkhead on the one side only drops the ceiling in that section to about 7' 6". We'll put in a tall storage cabinet and it will be perfect. PERFECT. Still - I miss having space that feels like mine. This office feels like a dumping ground for all the random things in our world. Maybe I need a nap, but what I really want is a soak in my princess tub. Oh, speaking of which - I noticed the tub is facing away from the window with the view. Sigh. There isn't anything to do about it now, it's been plumbed so when I lay in the tub I will face a wall. I guess a fabulous piece of art will be in order. UPDATE: A quick check of the inspections with the city shows that there has been a delay due to inspections. BUt, as of yesterday the HVAC and Mechanical systems have passed their inspection and the rough in electrical inspection has been scheduled - so I'm hopeful that after this next inspection the crews will be ok to start working in earnest again.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A tale two kitchens

We've spent time in a few of the homes that are our floor plan to get a good feel for what we want and what to expect. During these visits to other people's not quite finished homes we've learned that we wanted a different cooktop, we wanted the expanded master bath option, and a larger deck. We've taken photos along the way and it's been helpful to review these from time to time to not only pass the time but to trigger questions for the builder.

Lot 44
We have a weekly call with the project manager, but this week it was cancelled due to his being in meetings all week. Since they asked we fired off a few questions such as is it too late to add a nickel covered power plate in the floor in our giant open space? Since the electrical hasn't really started we're hoping it's still a possibility. I also followed up on something we noticed in "lot 44".

They also opted for the cooktop and wall oven configuration (likely for the same reason we did, we saw it in Redmond and LOVED it.) But when we were in lot 44 we observed that the height of the vent hood was very low to the point that it may impede Jason's joy of cooking. We can't have that, because I miss his shrimp scampi and he is far better at eggs than I am.

Redmond House
I reviewed the photos of lot 44 and Redmond and thought I saw that the countertops in lot 44 did not extend out over the cabinet box. I studied the photo and was 100% sure that it looked wrong. Before I fired off a friendly but nervous letter to the design center contact to determine what was standard for our builder, I researched the standard counter depth overhang. It is amazing what you can look up on the Internet. My extensive research (10 mintues) tells me that a 1.5" overhang is standard. That is enough to cover the depth of the drawer and door fronts that are added to the cabinet boxes.

I hit send and seconds later Jason finally replied to an earlier comment I made to him about the issue. He said "Study the other pictures, this one seems like an illusion. I think the overhang is there." Well shoot. I went back and looked at the other photos and sure enough - overhang. I recalled my question and have a bit of egg on my face.

 Two reminders: look at all the other photos you have and be thankful you weren't a jerk when you asked your question.

our cooktop
Now, onto other things we noticed about the two kitchens. The Redmond kitchen has a bit more color with the grey back splash and the darker countertop.  Lot 44's cooktop is top mounted which is fine - but we loved the look of the kitchenaid in the Redmond house, so that is the one we ended up ordering.   I truly believe that Lucy has passed the age where the knobs are toys.  I also think the stainless look blends more with the over all look.  Without putting any thought to it, our fridge and cooktop are from the same line and will look superb together.

The folks at lot 44 spent far more $$ on their built in wall oven/microwave oven thing.  It's beautiful, and a part of me wishes I could have it, but the idea that one part could fail and you'd have to replace it all hurts my soul.  So, similar to the Redmond House pix above ours will be two separate systems housed together.

our selections
Personally, I think the Redmond kitchen is more interesting than the lot 44 kitchen, but when I look at the things that make that kitchen seem more interesting I'm worried we made mistakes.  Our tile is WHITE, our countertop is WHITE.  I hope the style of the tile and the darker grout provides enough pizazz to keep it from looking like a hospital.  Our cabinets have a different profile than either of the other kitchens, so I feel confident we haven't selected a cookie cutter kitchen, and I am over the moon in love with our flooring.  The hardwood is fabulous and will warm up the space quite a bit.  See, as I write, I'm talking myself back in love with our selections.

I love where our house is and how it sits on the lot, so my next statement is just an "if only" type comment.  The Redmond House had the kitchen on the right side of the main room, and our house will be the opposite.  I liked how the Redmond House was laid out from that perspective, but on our lot and with our amazing trees in the back it simply wouldn't work.  It's funny that I feel so strongly about it, because the lot in Redmond was so small that they had to trim trees at the property line to clear for the build. Specifically trees that were growing at the edge of the property line were trimmed to remove any branches (and big ones) that protruded over the property line.  It looked kind of bad. We have trees on the back side of our lot, but they are far enough away from our useable yard space that they get to live on without impediment and we get to enjoy a reasonable outdoor space.

It has been hard this week because it doesn't seem like much has been happening.  I"m so ready to be planning the last piece of this project (the move in) that even a few days of little to no visible progress is frustrating.   This will all be over soon and the Apartlandia portion of our lives will seem like a sweet memory.  Or not.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

My tub

  It's dirty, but it will be an oasis within four months!

Exterior (sept 2)

Cold Beer and a place to watch tv!

With our end of summer camping trip cut short due to terrible air quality conditions, we were able to send Lucy to day care Monday and spend the day finalizing decisions on appliances as well as do some shopping around for furniture. We sold our washer and drier as well as our refrigerator with the Hoquiam house. The new house also comes with a budget for these items and a new living room couch and a basement man-land set up.

We have all the funds set aside for these new items but we want to make sure we have most of our proceeds from the sale of the first house still in the bank for when the lender evaluates us for the new mortgage. Therefore, while we intend to spend the money on these items we don't want to do it before we close on the house. However, we also don't want to move in without appliances at the very least.

It turns out we aren't the only people in this situation and some of our local retailers have a plan. The store where we've purchased all of our other appliances let us put down a $500 deposit on a washer/dryer and fridge and will charge our card on the day of delivery for the remainder of the items. PERFECT. We can complete our mortgage transaction and have the appliances delivered and installed before we move in! Woot Woot. I'm super excited about the refridgerator. It will be counter depth and therefore flush with the cabinets. We do lose some interior space, but we intend to get a second "pop fridge" for the garage so we won't be sharing space with soda, beer or popsicles.


 Our salesperson suggested that we take a gander at their scratch & dent selection right before we have our items delivered.  This is an amazing idea.  This second fridge will live in the garage so it doesn't have to look perfect, it just has to work perfectly.

the couch in real life
So, with those items handled we zipped off to the Macy's Furniture store just to look around.  I had my design heart set on a sectional couch from Pottery Barn that I thought would look so amazing. Willingly I wandered around Macy's but was pretty sure I wouldn't find anything that ticked all the boxes that the PB couch ticked.  Well - wouldn't you know it, we found one.

It's a sectional with a corner wedge (check) in a dark grey (check) that has a comfortable seat (check) and low arms (check) and a straight back (check) and it was ten inches shorter on each side than the PB version.  The extra length is nice for when you have five people on the couch, but those moments will be rare and the extra walking space will make our room feel even bigger.  Oh and the Macy's couch was a thousand dollars more than the PB couch.

WAIT!? A thousand dollars more, are you STUPID?  Nope, I'm pulling your leg.  Our whole order was a thousand dollars more than the projected cost of the PB couch, but we also got a huge sectional couch for the basement with three seats that recline to snoring positions AND a very beautiful new coffee table for the main floor AND a leather side chair to complete the look upstairs.

The side leather chair
So with the light grey walls, the WHITE fireplace, the wall of windows and our dark grey couch & super comfortable leather chair our new living room will be soooo super pretty.

I have a similar rug to the one in the example photo picked out, but it won't be blue.  I have two samples and will be taking them to Macy's the next time we go visit our selections to determine if either of them work with the design.

In the basement, the cozy couch that Jason picked is brown and we'll be reusing the red wool rugs that we had in the other house.

The main floor will be comfortable and sophisticated and the basement will be super cozy and warm.

Macy's won't put the charge for these items on their card until they are delivered.  So, like the appliances we can have them arrive the day after our closing date and before our items are delivered by the moving company.

I have hope that our new home will come together quickly.  I'm tired of apartment life.

Friday, August 21, 2015

What a week

What a great week!  The roofing materials are being installed after a minor delay due to an inspection issue.  I hate the delay, but am thankful that the inspectors are following our progress closely.

There have been some exciting developments in our master bathroom suite as well.  The framing adjustments are done, and the closet we asked them to remove has been framed to our satisfaction.  We'll still have a very large closet for our hanging items, but now instead of an additional closet for hanging items we're going to have an open space to install or place dressers like this:

This is the idea

Once we have drywall we can measure the space and get to dreaming on what we'll do with that space. My original idea was to just have the builder not put in the bifold doors and keep their closet hardware, but Jason has been working to remove the header and the 6 inch bump outs on either side of where the doors would be. Since we're paying extra to remove the closet our builder has been accomodating.
From that to this!

It's funny the depth of a conversation you can get into over a 6" wall bump out, but it's the difference between being able to have something with drawers that is flush against the wall or having useless space on either side of the installed dressers.

When we had our design appointment we were disappointed to learn that the master shower was going to be a shower pan rather than a tiled surface, and even though the drawings we were shown had two shower heads in our upgraded bathroom selection we were assured that the shower only came with one shower head and if we wanted two it was extra.

It turns out that both pieces of information were wrong.  Our Seattle office has never had anyone opt for the alternate master until we came along, but ironically our neighbors two houses over opted for the same upgrade.  They are a couple days ahead of us in the build process so we were excited to see their rough in plumbing included dual shower heads.  We made a stop at the office to speak with the on site contact and she looked up their paperwork and saw that indeed they did not pay extra for a second shower head in the larger shower.  Two days later, what did we find but a shower plumbed for a party.  Additionally, all the other tub/shower pans have arrived, including the shower pan for the shower on the main floor and indeed, no shower pan was on site for the master.  We had an exchange with the designer yesterday and picked a 2x2 tile for the floor of our new spa shower.  Yippie!
Can you picture it?
a reminder of the scheme
The princess tub
Yes, you can see a house VERY close behind the windows of my tub where I intend to live for a few weeks once we move in, but we have already have shutters on order.  The large window will add light to the bathroom, but will be tilted in a way that the neighbors bedroom window won't have a view of any naked bodies.  We will likely set the shade and forget it.  If we need more light than the tilted window can provide there are films we can add to obscure a view without reducing light.   The builder offered that at a premium, but because money actually does matter to us we decided to wait and see, or rather wait and hope to not see.

At dinner last night I told Jason that I feel way more connected to this house than I did at the other one.  I loved that house, but this feels like our forever home.  He agreed on both points.   I only miss the comforts that the Hoquiam house provided, and really only because this apartment, while not dumpy or tiny just isn't home.  

Countdown to Christmas (aka move in time) 126 days.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Get the windex!

Delivery Day

Roofing materials AND windows delivered!

I could also hear the exciting sounds of a nail gun working inside which gives me hope that by our Sunday walk-thru we'll have the Princess bathroom framed out properly!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our girl

Her class went to Chuck E. Cheese this week and they have a "game" where you can take your picture. This is the one she took of herself.

It is perfection.

Monday, August 10, 2015


 It is hard to tell from this angle, but we were pleased to walk thru the house this weekend and discover that the missing windows have been framed in and the other corrections that were needed on the main floor are framed out perfectly.

The master bath has not yet been re-framed, but it's pretty clear to us from the progress and the installation of the roof trusses that the overall schedule is moving as planned and the bathroom reconfiguration will occur but will also not delay other critical scheduled activities.  

We project that the house will have the first layer of roof completed by the end of day Wednesday at the latest (unless they aren't working early this week which doesn't seem likely as all their equipment was tucked into the rafters over the weekend.

The shorter fireplace is going to be really lovely and we're very happy with our decision to remove the built-in shelves.  

We are discussing modifications to the front porch stoop.  We'll be talking to the PM about either adding a railing on the garage side of the stoop for safety, because by code they don't have to add one unless the stoop is 30 degrees above grade and ours is not.  The other option is to have a second step poured on that side and install a decorative but sturdy hand rail for visitors who may need assistance with entry.  This may not work because adding a step to that side of the stoop may not be allowed based on code - but we will inquire.

Going to the house with Lucy is a "special joy".  Let me translate that for you, I mean that she will no longer be invited when we do drop by until the house is at a stage where we can give her a sedative (video game) and she'll stay put.  She finds it boring and makes it challenging for us to walk around and get a feel for the space.  It's amazing how she miraculously has to use the restroom on an urgent basis EVERY TIME we go over there.  I'm telling you, we're going to name the place Laxative Lounge.   We'll still be going over on a regular basis, but we're going to kennel Lucy when we do.   

Monday, August 03, 2015

Joist 1 into Slot B

 How a new house comes together is pretty remarkable.  The builder has a set of plans for each house option with the different features that keep the neighborhood from looking like 1950's suburbia.  These plans are translated into specific measurements and then sent to the company that supplies all the wood.

After the foundation is completed, and inspected by the city (thank you) the first truckload of framing arrives.  It is delivered in bundles, and each bundle is a section.  Walls come with X number of boards for studs, headers, window trim and doors are already measured,cut and numbered. The framers follow a complicated set of IKEA instructions to put the pieces together.  It took them about two weeks to frame our house from basement to the 3rd floor.  (Roof joists arrive this week.)

We noticed that there was a saw on site, but it is for minor adjustments and it does not run all day the way you think it would if they were measuring each board for each wall.

This is very efficient and enables our builder to maximize their upfront design/planning efforts for maximum profits.  Now that we have learned this information it makes more sense why when we asked to have them NOT build the built in shelves that flank the fireplace in that the charge was $500.  Now that I know they had to change the IKEA instructions so that the wood would not be delivered and that the framers could just bang away with their nail guns it makes the $500 for "nothing" an easier pill to swallow.

However, all the paperwork in the world does not mean that the house will be built correctly.  None of the changes we requested and paid for have actually been put into place.  A walk-thru this weekend that should have been very exciting was a bit frustrating.   The main floor doors aren't the right size, the fireplace has been framed out per their standard plan.  Upstairs there are three windows missing and the alternate master bath was not framed in.


 Our builder has a capable team on site and they are managing the build of no less than 10 homes right now, and they have already stated that these won't be issues.  I know that all the windows will be in place, the bathroom will be perfect and the fireplace will be correct.  But as we did our walk thru it was hard to believe that these errors won't cause a delay in the completion.  Jason wondered did they order the right windows from the window company or will this be a cascading issue from start to finish?

I want to be excited by the progress and each step is supposed to lessen the irritation of living in what seems to be a shrinking apartment.  The good news is that the on site team is fully aware that we are monitoring the progress and have not threatened us with trespassing (yet).  In fact, they did say they'd rather know about these things when we notice them than find them later on.

However, I was VERY excited to stand and the hole that will be the window in the kitchen and look out on to the view. It makes my heart soar!

kitchen view!
I'll be happy when the framing issues are resolved and my fingers and toes are crossed that this is the only major bump in the road.  We are certainly on target to have the house sealed up before the fall rains set in.

Jason has projected (speculation) a close date of 12/18 for the house.  We won't really know until October so I'm trying not to imagine Christmas in the new house. Oh but wouldn't it be wonderful?

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

When walls going up is a good thing.

Waiting is really hard, but it brings me joy to see visible progress.   The window on the left will be the one I look out of at my kitchen sink.  Those trees will always be there as they are part of the protected green space.  In the summer they will provide much needed shielding from the late afternoon sun, and in the winter the leaves will be gone from the deciduous trees giving us extra light, but the evergreens will give us color.  Sadly, there are alder trees back there and when they bloom the pollens attack me in the most unfortunate way, but they are pretty so I forgive them.

There are all sorts of things we're doing to pass the time while we wait.  Picking out furnishings and placing of existing items in the 'room' has been a great way to pass the time.  Here's a view of our living room as it is planned today.

The blank spot on the left is the kitchen and our island will end about 1 foot before the transition.  Our hardwoods will extend the entire width of the space, so an area rug will be needed.

At this point I've picked a couch, a rug and a buffet.  All these things are subject to change and of course 100% reliant on budget.

We've set aside money for furniture, but there are more things on the list than our budget will allow.  I won't be buying a $15,000 hand tufted rug or a couch from Ethan Allen.  But, the $600 rug from Ballard Designs looks pretty awesome and my hope is that the pottery barn couch I'm drooling over isn't too big.

When it comes time to put everything in the room I may call in some expert help (but not in the form of in-laws or parents).

The next dream room to plan is the office/guest suite on the main floor. This may be a space that "works" for now and gets the high design later on.  Sorry dad, you may be sleeping on the slumberjack for a bit.
Image result for slumberjack

Monday, June 29, 2015

The dream house journey

Where to begin?  Maybe it all started with an ongoing joke about winning the lottery and building a "cabin" with an expansive outdoor kitchen, a sleeping porch for all the kids that would come to visit and a basement!  

That talk turned to a serious discussion about our marital financial goals, plans and what we would do with "all the extra" money after our mortgage was paid off.  Ideas included a vacation home, traveling the world, digging out the crawl space in our house one pocketful at a time to create the most amazing wine cellar ala Shawshank Redemption Style, or building up our savings and sitting at home night after night.

We then started talking about a more realistic project, using our current equity and purchasing a home that meets our long term life goals now.  The obvious question is, "gee, your house was already so nice, how could it not work for you long term?"  Good question, our house was lovely and had MANY things going for it that made me proud to call it home, but it was missing a few things that we knew we need/want.  Namely, a main floor full bath and a sleeping space on the main level.  We won't always be spry and being able to accommodate an elderly roommate is important.  The new house has a basement, a place to stow things like racks of DVDs and a tv the size of Guam, as well as a guest room and bath to double as a private space for visitors.  We are gaining a larger, and more private back yard.  It will still be a TINY yard, but we are doubling our useable grass space and because of the walkout basement getting a large deck on the main level to entertain.  We also back up next to a protected green space, so no one will be building behind us.  It will be quiet and wonderful.  Lastly, a different and better rated school district.  

We looked in all of King County and found what we were looking for less than a mile from our current house, and it wasn't built yet so we are able to customize it to our hearts & pocketbooks content.  During the week after the Peanut's fourth birthday we put in an offer that was accepted.  Within three weeks our house was on the market, and after a long and emotionally draining weekend where a realtor called at 9pm on Saturday night asking to come and look at the house we received a full price offer that in a strange bit of real estate folk lore went through on time without issues.

We have moved into an apartment on a temporary basis until the house is ready for us to occupy.  As it stands today it is a foundation that has been filled with dirt.  They say the house will be done around the end of December.  I have hope that we'll be in by the 15th so we can put our world together before Santa tries to shove himself down the gas fireplace insert.

For your (my own) enjoyment here are a couple photos of the hard surfaces we've selected.



Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Terrible Twos??? Pishaw

Those who are ahead of us by just six months in the parenting space have been saying that a 3 year old is NOTHING like a 2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old is nothing like the kid you had at 3.  Man oh man were they not kidding.

Mostly, it's all good.  We make funny faces before bed and hers are the best.  She tells me secrets like when she's grown up she wants to take me to Disneyland, and Daddy can come too.  I can't be sure, but I think she thinks she'll be a grown up within the next two years.  She is helpful, she loves to have a job to do.  Thank you for jobs big enough for a wee one to help with.

Naps are a thing of the past.  She still rests at school, and I'm sure the AH-MAZING teachers run such a tight ship that she even sleeps on most days. Weekends...not so much.  If we've had a crazy busy day on Saturday I can somewhat get her to do a quiet activity on her own during the day on Sunday, but mostly not so much.

The real pain is the gap between her patience and ability to use words to make her point.  When she's tired, like after school or late on the weekends she can't hold it together when she doesn't get her way.  And by hold it together I mean, she's on the floor, there are tears, she can't seem to hear us, or calm down.   There are brief moments when my instinct is to talk to her louder than she's yelling and then I remember a few things:

1) I'm the mom.
2) I'm in CHARGE
3) I do not want to live in house where people yell.
4) Talking to her in a low, calm voice at her level helps her calm down.

There are times when her frustration boils over because she just wants to feel like we heard her.  This is super easy to manage.  We sit and I tell her I either heard her, or when she calms down she can tell me what she's trying to say.  She is an actual person.

damn it mom...
She has, on occasion given me stink eye or really scowled at me.  Those moments break my heart because I can see into the future and the terrible teenager that she could morph into.

I can predict two futures, one where she stops getting her way and the fact that we hold her back from watching hours and hours of Paw Patrol turn her against us and we have to sleep with our bedroom door locked so she doesn't knife us in our sleep.  The other where she's a semi-reasonable child who can roll with the everyday disappointments that life brings.  I'm hopeful we're doing everything we can to be the second family.

 She'll be 4 in about 6 weeks and that's a good thing.  I'm sure four will be a total breeze.