Project Buy A House

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day

Phillip comes home tonight. But I will probably be asleep when he gets here. A combination of Sick, Still Freakishly Tired, and Jane Eyre on the Kindle makes me float off before nine. 

This is not a knock against Jane Eyre, just that reading in bed helps me fall asleep. I downloaded Jane Eyre because it was free and I was tired of looking for books I wanted to read, yet weren't thirteen dollars. Also, I would have told you that of COURSE I've read Jane Eyre before, in high school AND college, but, um, so far it is WILDLY UNFAMILIAR. So much so that I'm very angry I already know about MRS. Rochester, because it's ruining what is a really awesome read. That I do not think I've read before. Oh dear. English major FAIL. 

My least favorite thing that happened this week is when the realtor who told me he was coming at six instead showed up at five-twenty. UNFAIR. I had given MUCH thought to how we'd be out by six and what we would do and when we would eat dinner. I was elbow deep in diapers and dirty laundry, trying to get the place fixed up. And he was all, "Oh! We're early! Don't mind us! We're fine!" Like I was worried about HIS experience. OOOOH I WAS FURIOUS. I think of all the frustrations I've had in the last several weeks, it's the rental house stuff that puts me over the edge. 

I called a moving company for an estimate today. It's been decided: we are too old to make our friends help. So I called, having no idea what to expect for an estimate, and, well, wowsers. That said. It was an overestimate, that much is clear, and also I was on the phone with these guys for nearly 45 minutes. I cannot do that with another set of movers. Yes, I am saying it may be worth hundreds of dollars to me just to not have to get another estimate. GROWN UP BUDGETING FAIL. But seriously, I had to list every piece of furniture in every room, PLUS estimate how many boxes I was going to have, in small, medium, and large. I did my best but dude, that's nigh impossible don't you think? I overestimated (I hope). Then I hung up and realized I didn't mention the outdoor furniture, or the closet full of musical instruments, or all the bikes and trikes. What we're hoping to do is pack everything ourselves and stack all the boxes in the garage to make it easy. They charge by the hour, so whatever we can do to simplify and streamline should trim some cash, yes? 


It turns out Phillip doesn't have to go away for a third week (which would have been the week after next). He is, however, still going on a week long trip the following week. For those of you keeping track. I am in this strange place of being excited/relieved/thrilled that he's going to be home for two weeks! In a row! Er...

I forgot to post something for Parenting this week. Because, and this is true, I forgot what day it was. I always write something on WEDNESDAYS. And on Wednesday I found myself saying, "Oh good, I still have another day to think of something!" Which: not exactly. And you guys, this is the third time I've done this. All in the last three or four months. I am BEYOND MORTIFIED. I keep waiting for them to fire me. Seriously. 

I took the kids to the bank with me to get a cashier's check. For an ungodly amount of money. That I will never see again. I bribed them into behaving with granola bars. It only took 10 minutes. It seemed like it should take longer. And require a background check and calls to my high school teachers and Phillip's former employers. OR SOMETHING. I don't know. 

I also took them to Lowe's AND Home Depot to pick up paint chips. I hate painting (shocker!) and I hate picking out paint almost as much. But while I can hire painters, I can't really hire anyone to pick my paint for me. Well, I suppose I can, but have you met me? Control Freak Extraordinaire! A friend of mine just recently worked with another interior designer friend to repaint and redecorate her entire downstairs. It looks awesome! And the interior designer friend offered to help me out as well. But I just know - I JUST KNOW - that my style will not gel with his and that is how I will end up with taupe walls, because I can't say no. Especially to someone with AUTHORITY. But I do not want taupe walls. I want 'Gravity' from Valspar walls BUT I COULDN'T FIND THE FREAKING PAINT CHIP.

I bought Molly two more Easter dresses. Shut up. Sixty percent off! 

We colored eggs today. 

I've packed up half my dishes. I have a lot of dishes. 

I had Top Ramen for dinner, and woe, Top Ramen is the poor white girl's version of FIL-Approved Can-Only-Buy-It-In-Canada Ramen. Sob. 

We are signing all the papers at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. Kids in tow. Deep breath. 

AND no one bothered me about seeing the house today. SCORE.

If the handful of Tums I just downed are anything to go by, I had a delicious evening. I highly recommend teeny tiny BFFs-Only birthday parties, complete with Costco lasagna, a preschooler dance party, and make your own sundaes. I wish Phillip had been there. It's a really awesome thing to see your friends' husbands swinging your kids around in the air, to do the Twist with your friend's two-year-old, to welcome any random kid into your lap. One of my biggest hopes is to see all these kids grow up together, till they're so grown up that they all come to visit their parents on the same floor of the same old folks home. 

Things are moving along with our home-before-we-head-to-the-old-folks-home. Today I got two phone calls. One to schedule our signing (GAK) and another to tell me to bring a cashier's check for $OMG dollars and fifty-six cents. So it appears this house really will be ours, with or without green walls and awkward fireplaces. It doesn't seem real. The more I think about it, the more the unrealness has to do with the fact that this is The House. It's not the starter house or the rental house or the house we hope to be in for five to ten years. Well, some people have recommended that's what we shoot for, the Next Five To Ten Years House, but honestly? Twenty years sounds good to me. Longer even. I don't even live there yet, and already it feels more permanent, more MINE, than that sparkly new townhouse ever did. 

I'm pretty tired. I finally got the kids in bed, and YAY FOR ME, it was cake. I finished up my dorky Easter blurb, held my nose, and sent it in. I threw all the clothes Phillip left on the bed into the hamper and crawled in. Preschool's on Spring Break, but where God has closed the preschool door he has opened a window full of sunny weather. It's SUPPOSED to stick around. At the very least I hope the "occasional sunbreaks" happen during naptime, when Jack is completely content to roam around the backyard making mud, picking dandelions, and digging in the rocks. Plus there's just something about sunshine making everything better. 

Oh I suppose I should tell you I had another dr appointment today. I forgot my phone so I was not only bored in the waiting room, I was convinced it was A Sign. Something bad would happen and I would not have my phone to call Phillip, call a friend, call my inlaws watching the kids, call someone to drive me home, ETC. I know this is ridiculous, but I've already been feeling guilty that I haven't spent much time thinking about Third Baby AND feeling more twingey and crampy and uncomfortable than I was at this point with the other babies. 

Everything was fine - I know how lucky I am to be able to say that. Not only that, my doctor, whom I adore, was extra adorable ("it's my BIRTHday today!") and when I hid my eyes on the scale the nurse chirped, "124! Awesome!", and then it turns out that I've only gained three pounds since my last appointment. Which is some kind of record. And/or magnificent feat given my diet of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and frozen waffles. 

When I think about everything all together I want to hide under the covers. But each day is so tackle-able. And so many good things show up. Ugh, I am making my own self want to barf. Or maybe it's the lasagna. EITHER WAY. I am now going to [Perk Of Absent Spouse!] fall asleep in the middle of last week's The Good Wife. See you later.

Packing shmacking

You know how I said I was going to pack this week while Phillip was gone? HEE!

One afternoon I packed up all of my Normal clothes, and while that was a huge-ish chore, I just filled up my closet with maternity clothes (which had been living in two large baskets next to my bed.) So it's not like that accomplished MUCH. And it was also mildly depressing since I have strong doubts I will ever see those normal clothes again. I know right now you are formulating your Rah Rah You Can Do It! comment, but I'm serious. That was a lot of work and I'm not sure I have it in me all over again. I REALLY like cake. 

Then today I tried to get a little more motivated. I packed one box of living room books, but I will probably need three or four more boxes to finish that off. And I packed up nearly everything in the sideboard - tablecloths, napkins, bar accessories, vases, candles, stuff like that. But since that stuff was all out of the way anyway, it doesn't look like I packed much of anything. Which is mildly depressing. 

There's still a lot of time before we actually LIVE in the new house, so it's hard trying to figure out what I can pack this far out. Books are good, but not the kid books because we read those a lot. Can't do clothes or sheets or towels, which means I can't pack any of the fancy dishes because I need to wrap them in all the sheets and towels. Can't pack food, can't pack toys (not too many, anyway), can't pack coats. Tonight Phillip said, "Just start packing up all the little stuff, the odds and ends!" Which... well those are the HARD things to pack. I don't want to pack THAT stuff. 

I am also remembering all the boxes we never unpacked in the garage. (And some of those we never unpacked from our move into the townhouse - giant box of Indigo Girls CDs, I'm thinking of you.) I have three boxes of my grandmother's china out there, plus all the holiday decorations and packed up baby clothes and sheet music and oh dear I completely forgot about the heaps of stuff stashed in the closet under the stairs. And the office closet. And Molly's closet. Oops. 

Wellll I still have another husband-less week to get organized! Wahoo!

I will now take this moment to add that I threatened both children with bodily harm AND removal to a cold, lonely, upstairs bedroom to sleep on a CRIB, read: BABY, mattress if they didn't shut themselves up and go to bed like a good little girl and boy. AND OH MY STARS IT'S WORKING. Note to self: talk something up as much as possible BEFORE the event. I forget that this is SO helpful with Jack. If I start telling him at 7am that he will be taking a nap that day, HE USUALLY DOES. And if I tell him that if he so much as starts a conversation with his sister a half hour past bedtime, even if it's about budget cuts or something equally enlightening, that he will be PUNISHED and REMOVED, it appears to work! I mean, I punish anyway, but it's the PREPARATION that seems to do wonders with this kid. He IS the one who is always telling me things like, "First I will finish this French fry, THEN I will eat a bite of my hamburger." 

I should also say that sleep has been rough this week, and Jack especially has been a less than doting brother, but things have improved a tiny bit each day and I'm nowhere near the end of my rope with them. As much as I keep hoping they're just reacting to the changes and expressing their own stress (they ARE my kids after all) I know I need to stay on top of it and be creative with changing things up and helping them out. Once we've reached the overtired, crying, whining, endlessly needy stage it's too late to get angry and ultimatum-ish! 

Anyway. All is well. Have a lovely weekend. I'll be sitting here attempting to conjure up a Packing Fairy.

Well, we survived Tuesday

You know I love you, Internet, but the Fireplace Decision is already Decided. Unless the contractor triples his estimate when he goes in and punches a hole in the box to see what's inside, we are getting rid of it. Because no matter the handful of people who cock their heads at it and say, "I think it's... INTERESTING," WE, Team Cheung, think it's a bunch of wasted space. 




What do you DO with that space? 


Anyway. Obviously we made an offer on the house knowing that it CAME with the fireplace, but once the inspector told us that the box wasn't structural and the contractor's initial estimate was within the realm of possibility, we wanted it out. 

Today hasn't been terrible. Which is an improvement! Maybe half as much yelling? And a dinner picnic on the floor of the playroom with a new Tom and Jerry in the DVD player? Not bad, Me! 

Also, I bought this for Molly at Target:


I initially passed on this because it was sleeveless and we won't have sleeveless weather until August (MAYBE) but then it turns out that ALL the dresses are sleeveless. And this one was at least in a non-offensive Eastery color (what is with all the orange and coral and olive green?) and wasn't OVERTLY plasticky or shiny looking OR too grown up looking and my sister said it was cute. So it's the dress For Now. Sorry the picture is terrible. I bought a little white shrug to go over it and my mother bought her an Easter bonnet. Win. 

In other news we are going to a Pre-K open house at the Potential New Parish School. I'm not interested in Pre-K, mainly because I'm happy with our preschool and the Pre-K and Molly's schedules wouldn't mesh well, and with a new baby I am just not up for that, yet, I think, WHO KNOWS. But when I called about scheduling a tour they told me to go to that, and then someone would show me around the rest of the school. SO WE SHALL SEE, EH? I feel nervous. Which is stupid. Whatever.

Now accepting nanny applications. Don't all jump at once!

So, TODAY. Ugh. Not one of my better days, you guys. Jack is... dude, I don't know. Doing the kind of stuff where you tell him to stop and he TRIES to look contrite but is just BARELY hiding his triumphant grin. You know? Or ignores you. Or continues doing whatever you just told him not to do, but with one minor adjustment. OR putting his hands on his hips and HUFFING when you tell him to knock it off. Stuff like THAT. And my standard response today was to just sort of look at him with vague confusion, because seriously, WHAT IS UP WITH THIS KID and WHY WON'T HE JUST LET ME TAKE A NAP ALREADY. I happened to do this in front of both sets of grandparents, therefore earning myself a big fat parenting FAIL, and I just keep running over the [many, various] FAILURE scenarios in my head, wondering what the heck my problem is. Because bad behavior from almost four-year-olds is to be expected, but what is also expected is that the mother DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT FTLOG.

Molly isn't much of a peach either, if I may say so. There was the giant screaming incident over a zipped up coat, for example. The steadfast refusal to use the potty before we left the house, resulting in 1) getting manhandled into the bathroom and 2) using the potty before she actually GOT to the potty. Molly ignores me too - she will even TURN HER BACK ON ME - but Molly eventually caves to the Mean Mommy Voice, which doesn't even register with Jack. 

Also, my husband is Way Far Away and parental lectures via Skype have even less effect than parental lectures in person. If you were wondering. 

ANYHOW. Both beasties are now in bed, all of us promising to have a better day tomorrow. Eh. I keep vascillating between thinking that Jack is secretly attending How To Mortify, Exhaust, and Drive Your Parents To Drink Camp (in this fantasy I envision my younger brother as his camp counselor, giving him special "how to push YOUR crazy mother's buttons" tricks) OR I think that he is emotionally if not intellectually clued in to the giant mess that is life right now and is Acting Out. 

Gah. I'm sorry. I will stop talking about my beasties children. NOW I'm going to talk about carpet. 


So! We are probably going to bludgeon away the weird fireplace in our house, leaving a big hole in the wall to wall carpet. Wall to wall carpet that is not necessarily the most beautiful to look at, but which is NICE and not at ALL in need of replacing. And! They do not make this carpet anymore. Which means we can't buy a fireplace-sized chunk and stick it in the hole. The Carpet Dilemma has been the cause of much marital strife lately, mostly because my husband thinks we can 1) demo the fireplace 2) paint over the green and 3) replace the carpet (which is almost the entire upstairs due to the circular floor plan) in, oh, FOUR DAYS. Me, I am skeptical. (Do you see how our usual roles are reversed! HOW NOVEL!) 

He wants to do this because we pretty much have one weekend to move. THIS IS HOW NUTTY EVERYTHING IS RIGHT NOW. And he wants to get all this big stuff done before we move. But... that is just crazy talk. (Says me.) Even if four days were technically enough (also to CHOOSE carpet and PICK paint and all that, because I'm not doing either of those things without first BEING IN THE HOUSE) everyone knows that remodeling projects ALWAYS last longer than the people in charge say they will. This is pretty much the ONLY thing I know about remodeling! 

At this point I think I have Phillip agreeing to 1) paint and 2) fireplace demo, and putting off carpet selection, if we need it, until later. Because aren't carpet installation dudes USED to moving furniture? But I am also thinking about area rugs (or LOTS of area rugs, or REALLY BIG area rugs, because the hole is in a weird unfriendly-to-1-single-area-rug spot) to cover up this hole. Because as much as a hole would be annoying, paying to replace carpet that does not need to be replaced is also annoying. Right? Right. 


You know what I think about when beasts and carpet get me down? The long narrow pantry cupboard in my new kitchen, with SLIDING DRAWERS hidden inside. This lifts my spirits. I'm sure you understand. 

P.S. If I owe you an email, I KNOW. I am SORRY. Even though right now I'm going to shut the laptop and SLEEP. 


Temporary, as-soon-as-I-post-this-I-will-be-fine blog freakout

First, I will tell you that Phillip came home from work, was unfazed by the fact that the kids slept till five and his wife did not have dinner ready, and took the children to Costco for hot dogs. As soon as I write this out I will be scooping myself a gigantic bowl of ice cream and watching The Good Wife on Hulu. 

He also went to Costco to buy luggage. I knew he was going to be out of town all next week. What I just found out tonight is that he'll be gone all of the following week as well. I thought it was a two night trip. It's four nights. 

I wrote about this for Parenting and was afraid to read the (hardly any, natch) comments because HELLO, AT LEAST MY HUSBAND HAS A JOB, AM BIG FAT WHINER. But, uh, now I am REALLY freaked out. 

Because while he's gone I still have two kids, a third one sucking all available energy, and an entire house to pack up. Phillip gets home from his second trip three days before our house closes. (And he'll be traveling after that week as well.) 

I've decided that I need to actually think about this and plan stuff out because OMG two weeks. So. Okay, first thing is I need to get back all the moving boxes from the last person we lent them to, so I CAN pack up. I need to buy packing tape. This will keep me occupied. And I basically did it all by myself last time (although I wasn't pregnant) and I wouldn't say packing is Phillip's forte anyway sooooo yes, this will be fine. 

I will hang my head and flat out ask my friends to watch out for me. One of them always has us for dinner when Phillip is gone and obvs I will be taking advantage of that. I need to be better about planning morning playdates in advance. 

My mom is working right now, but we can probably do an overnight at their house if I'm really exhausted, especially because the second week is preschool spring break and I won't have to figure out how to get Jack back to Seattle in time. My in-laws are still Monday superstars, which is good because I have appointments on the Mondays. And I have a sister with a weird work schedule - maybe I can bribe her into hanging out with us a few times. 

I will not feel bad about the television. I will pray for nice weather so the kids can play outside. I will stock up on chicken nuggets and cereal. 

Anything that happens with the house will be better by virtue of our kick ass agent. 

The whole time I can look forward to being in our big new house in just a few weeks. 

I will not stress too hard about the state of THIS house. 

Okay. I feel better. I can do this. And now I'm going to eat ice cream and listen to the quiet. 

Style, or, rather, my lack of it

In my great effort to Avoid, I've been staring glassy-eyed at my computer screen, bookmarking Thing after Thing after Thing that I think would look pretty in my new house. It's a pointless endeavor, as we're not going to have any money after we buy the house, but it IS satisfying in a soulless way. At the very least it's helping me figure out what I LIKE. 

I can tell you what I don't like: pretty much everything in the Pottery Barn catalog. Oh, I wouldn't turn it DOWN, but most of it's too... I don't know. See, I don't even know the WORDS. Some of it's too froofy, some of it's too ornate, some of it's too MUCH. I like Crate and Barrel, but you can go overboard with modern, until it looks too uncomfortable for living. 

I don't like beige and taupe and cream and golden browns. I don't like dark kitchens. I don't like it when everything matches perfectly. I like bright colors, but not necessarily on walls. I love almost everything in Pottery Barn KIDS.

I like white, clean, fresh, bright. I like almost all shades of blue. I wish appliances came in other colors besides white, black, and silver. I like glass and mirrors and European ceramics. I like the colors and clean lines of modern furniture, but I don't like stainless steel and plasticky surfaces and things that look too hard to sit on. I don't like gargantuan pieces of furniture - unless they are gargantuan sectional couches. Like this one.


This would totally fit in my living room. Especially if we take a sledgehammer to the column-of-fireplace sitting a few feet away from the back wall. We are PROBABLY going to do this. Gak.

The living room is painted a minty fresh pistachio green which I cannot abide, and the rest of the living space seems to have a vaguely greenish tint as well. I'd LOVE to post pictures for you, but I'm undecided on the proper level of House Exposure just yet. Maybe later? Anyway, I will also be looking into bids on painting the upstairs (at least the green living room) a soft greyish blue, maybe like this one. Or a VERY pale yellow, preferably the yellow I painted in the kids' room in the townhouse, which I LOVED. I think I would prefer that yellow in bedrooms. Of course I forget what it's called. Good thing I told Elizabeth long ago and she keeps a whole binder on these things. 

I would put these pillows on my new couch:


I like this too:



The new house has a little square of hardwood-floored space off the kitchen. The current owners have two tiny couches and a TV there, but I think it's the perfect spot for a breakfast table (and where the kids can eat most of their meals so I'm not constantly picking noodles out of the carpet in the dining room.) I LOVE this table and chair set.


The kitchen also has a counter in dire need of stools. I love these


 I think I would also need to put this serving tray SOMEWHERE


Also, I don't think there's ANY overhead lighting in this house. Which is fine by me, but we'll have to buy a lot of floor lamps. I like this one.


Gosh, I love spending unlimited imaginary money! And this stuff is way more fun that things we'll actually have to buy, like a LAWNMOWER. 

In defense of Not Thinking About Stuff

I felt nauseous for a few weeks, miserably anxious for a few weeks more, and I've been Beyond Tired pretty much the entire time, but I think the most frustrating aspect of Third Baby thus far (well, since I got the anxiety under control) is a severe inability to PLOT. 

I feel like Plotting is one of my best and most useful skills. Especially as I'm married to someone who is easily overwhelmed by calendars and schedules. I LOVE schedules! Give me a few minutes to think by myself and I can figure out most any conflicting schedule. I can do this for a particularly busy DAY or a jam packed MONTH - I am an all purpose Plotter Extraordinaire. 

But something about Third Baby has left me exhausted, intimidated, almost defeated. Phillip will be gone for the better part of the next six weeks, and instead of lining up my dinner dates and grandparent outings and morning visits, I've opted to just Not Think About It. Especially that one week where we have a birthday, a holiday, and two rather important churchy functions. I've been sitting here making a big list of where I want all our furniture to go in the new house (the OCD needs SOME sort of outlet) but I can't let myself think too hard about how we're actually going to MOVE the furniture to the new house. 

And things that I'm usually pretty control freakish about - summer vacation plans with family, our annual weekend wth friends, the BLATHERING - I just can't go there. I mean, I want to know about it and I want to hear about it and OBVS I want my opinion in the ring, but when it comes to actually figuring out when and where and what, I shut down. Usually I'm the friend who's on everyone's case about scheduling our friends weekend, but I don't want to think that far ahead, and today when I got someone else's email about when and where and how I immediately closed it and went off to read celebrity gossip. In other words: SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME. 

I'm tempted to think that we just have so much going on. All the house stuff, plus the overload of school and work, pregnant on the side, blah blah blah. But then I think about last year when I had a MUCH worse attitude about school/work and we were SELLING the house, which, honestly, was much more stressful. I was still on top of stuff. I still managed to get things done and keep it organized. So I have to think it's Third Baby turning my brain to fuzz, my anal retentive nature to something more shrug-like. 


Honestly I think it's a good thing. All my Plotting often makes things easier or smoother, but a lot of times it's totally unnecessary. It's nice to be happy to benefit from other people's hard work instead of wanting to be the one who plans the whole thing. I don't remember slowing down so much with Jack or Molly (honestly, I can't remember entire chunks of my Molly pregnancy) but it seems pretty obvious this time. Although it's not so much a physical slowing down as it is a mental one. More like "Oh good, someone else can fret over assigning meals that weekend" or "Possibly the world will not end if you cannot disinfect and sweep the entire kitchen before an agent shows your rental house in one hour." 

Phillip will be traveling a lot starting next week. I intend to putz around the house, packing up the inessentials, serving cereal for dinner, and spending whatever's left in our bank account shopping online for new furniture (do you want to see THAT post?!) I can't drink wine, I might as well self-medicate with overpriced Crate and Barrel couches, right?

Before I drop them off at the orphanage

Today has not been one to win me any honors in parenting. My in-laws showed up ten minutes ago, their weekly Monday afternoon visit, and I am hiding out in my bedroom. I am "folding laundry". I am actually trying to scrape what's left of a Pleasant Demeanor out of the Pit of Furious that is my current state. I am thinking this will take me at least until we meet Phillip for dinner. 

I understand that it's my fault. I ignored them all morning to pick up my house. Landlord sent his realtor over for picture taking and because I am 1) a decent tenant and 2) exceptionally prideful, I had a lot of work to do. I did most of it over the weekend, but certain things you have to do last minute, like hiding of bathroom essentials and sweeping of kitchen floors. I'd also saved my bedroom, aka The Place Where Everything Place-Less Goes To Die, for last. So as soon as the kids woke up they were parked in front of PBSKids and I was marching up and down the stairs putting things away, wiping down, hiding in closets, all that good stuff. 

I finished 45 minutes before the photographer came, which angered me because that was 45 minutes I had to keep everything clean. The TV was still on. 

The photography itself was relatively painless. And I didn't have to use my Grown Up Voice with the realtor, since he immediately and cheerfully acquiesced to my when-he-gets-to-show-the-house demands. (No one gets to visit while Molly (and, preferably myself) are napping. The end.) 

But Phillip took the car this morning - it is becoming more and more and MORE apparent that we are not long for the one car family world - and the weather was icky and OH GOD WE HAVE TO ENTERTAIN OURSELVES. AND IT'S NOT TIME FOR LUNCH YET. 

I kept Jack happy with computer games, graham crackers, more television and puzzles until Molly woke up, but by then I was Beyond Exhausted and just wanted them to play with each other, away from me. But no, there had to be giggling/whining (Jack is gleefully taunting his sister) or tattling (both of them accusing the other of some egregious invasion of personal space) or out of control roughhousing (that will end in tears) or SPITTING and SO YEAH I LOST IT. 

Hence the hiding in my bedroom. I am so tired. I thought I was supposed to be getting over The Tired by now, but I still want to take a three-hour nap every afternoon. And even though I have grandparents here to keep the kids away from me, I'm STILL furious with them! AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH.

Tomorrow morning we have the house inspection, which is half exciting and half a giant pain in the rear since the preschool and one car situations are making the logistics pretty tricky. On the other hand, my brother-in-law (MY BROTHER-IN-LAW!) is going to watch the kids for an hour tomorrow afternoon so I can do something about the shaggy animal currently atop my head. 

GAH. I just feel so bad because everything is going WELL but it's still a lot of WORK and I am totally putting the mom stuff on the back burner (hello PBSKids!) and WOW I SUCK AT THIS RIGHT NOW. 

Aaaand right now the kids are ordering their Ye Ye to go sit in the corner. OMG. I'm going to shut the door and dive under the covers. 

So we bought a house

This is going to be perfect Catholic blog fare, but I feel very sing-y from the rooftops-y, so here you go. Let's recap. 

1. I start praying for a big enough house in Seattle, oh, two-ish, maybe three-ish years ago. Because seriously? The only way we could get a big enough Seattle house is if God just dropped it into our laps. I believe that that totally happens, but it's a big ask, you know? Best to start praying ASAP.

2. After praying and praying and praying (and intense stressing), we put the townhouse on the market and it sells in 11 days. At first we are annoyed that we didn't get asking price. Later we consider ourselves Damn Lucky we sold it at all.

3. After praying and praying and praying (and intense stressing) the perfect rental house pops up on the weekend we most desperately want to sign a lease. It's ours. 

4. I continue to pray for a big enough Seattle house. However I am RAWTHER SAWTISFIED with my position: happily renting, happily content to watch prices drop, happily patient for The Perfect House. Everything is SO going my way. I am the smartest person on the planet. I am SO in charge. In fact we are SO pleased with the way things are going that

5. we go to Disneyland. 

6. We come back from Disneyland. And hey! Landlord is selling our house! Like, TOMORROW! WHAAA?


8. We think about buying our rental house. Because we have temporarily lost our minds. Also we are terrified of having to settle for Something Out There, because I've been seriously looking for the last three months and THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE. (Um, that we can afford. Important point.) The thought of renting for another year totally bums us out. But what other option do we have?

9. I kick the house search into high gear. Agent and I go see about 10 houses on Tuesday morning. I fall in love with something old, vintagey, cute, precious - all the things my husband does not particularly like. But I love it, so I will make him love it, and it will be ours. 

10. Phillip goes to see the house the next day. I'm right: he doesn't like it. But there's this other house that popped up just that day, that we go to see because we're open to seeing anything, and hmmm... it's ginormous. And it's in Seattle. 

11. The next day, after praying, praying, praying (and intense stressing) we decide to write an offer. Except Phillip is working late that night and isn't always available and when I go to bed thinking that our offer is on its way to the seller, IT IS NOT. Because a Certain Someone neglected to initial the final document. 

12. I find this out the next morning. I also find out there is another offer on the table. I THINK about panicking, but I do not. Because... ??? Because I have been praying, praying, praying and while I am not 100% sure about THIS house, I am 100% sure that God will give us a house, and this is all part of how it's going to work. 

13. Agent says this is all to our advantage, because now we can get rid of our first offer and go right in with our best most aggressive offer. And we do. We are strong buyers. We're pretty confident. But we're also anticipating having the sellers play the buyers off each other and who knows how long that's going to take, or what we'll have to do. I pray and pray and pray, but I do not pray that God will give us the house. I close my eyes and tell God that I know he is in charge. I know that's he's on top of this. I want what he wants for us. I feel like this house is ours, but I'm not going to go there yet, and it feels wrong to pray that someone else DOESN'T get the house. I cling to the knowledge that God has this covered. He knows what we need.

14. I sleep better that night than I have since we got home from vacation. 

15. We're anxious in the morning. The sellers are meeting to talk about our offer at 9. We watch the clock hit 9. We talk about other things. At 9:30 Agent calls to say the house is ours. Our offer was way better than the other offer, plus the sellers loved the cover letter Agent wrote, a letter that included a family picture. Which I thought was corny, but HEY. WE HAVE A HOUSE.

A big enough house. In Seattle. At the exact moment we needed one. 

Other things have felt prayed over in my life. Exceptionally, completely, extremely prayed over. I keep meaning to write the How I Started Dating Phillip story, not the cutesy story, but the real prayed-over story. But this, the house...

I have said, in my mind, "God, if you want us to stay in this town, you'll have to give us a house," approximately seven bajillion times. Flat out. Not nicely. It's just fact. AND HE DID.

It's not The Perfect House. It's got a weirdo fireplace and 80s cabinets and a layout I'm still not sure about. It's not in a cute trendy neighborhood. It's not at ALL the sort of house I thought we would buy. But oh my goodness is it big enough. And in Seattle, still close to everything we want to be close to. Including a Catholic church and school, about two blocks away, and how can I believe this house is so prayed over and not totally wonder if that's where God wants us to be? 

More discernment in my future, apparently...