I Watch A Lot Of HGTV

As most (all?) of you know, our friends that own the house we are living in have decided to put it on the market.  He wants to get his doctorate, and the house will pay for school.  I have appreciated how kind our friends have been to us, and I have loved living in this house.  We had planned on moving anyway, so it’s not like we’re getting kicked out or anything.  We want to be closer to where Ches teaches.  With the hours he pulls, a 30 minute commute is just too much.  That and the price of gas is outrageous!

Anyway, our friends hired a realtor, and he called one day and asked if he could come look at the house.  I said, “Sure, if you don’t mind that it’s messy.”  Now, it seems to me that we all have different ideas of what “messy” really means.  I’ve been to too many houses where the host will say, “Excuse the mess” and all I see is a couple of small toys and maybe a baby’s sock on the floor.  Seriously.  I’m not a good housekeeper, so I knew that this was going to be hard for me.

I had to get the house ready to show.  I knew I would have to keep it clean and clutter-free (which is really hard when you’re a packrat, like me.  And Ches.  He is too, just not as much as I) and stage the rooms to show them off.  The market is not a seller’s market right now, and I really want to help my friends sell their house, so I have to do this right.  So the realtor came over, and the first thing I said to him was, “Now, it’s really, really messy in here, but I watch a lot of HGTV, so I know what I need to do.”  He laughed and basically said that all the information I would need comes from that channel.

After he looked through the house, he said there are the “Three C’s” that sellers need to worry about: Clean, Clutter, Color.  The house must be clean, clutter-free (not too many pictures on the walls, not so many bookshelves scattered in any spare space we have…), and have good colors painted on the walls.  Well, we don’t have any say for the colors, but they are pretty neutral and look really good where it’s not neutral.

The outside of the house has been painted.  The front yard is totally relandscaped.  I spent all of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and this morning cleaning the house and packing away things (since we’re are moving anyway).

I.  Am.  Exhausted.

But dang it all, my house looks goooooood. 🙂  Last night I said to Ches, “Aren’t you so proud of me?”  He was so happy.  He then said, “See, you can get the house clean!” and I replied with, “GET it clean, yes.  KEEP it clean, well, that’s a whole different story.”  Pray for me, people.  I need serious help!!

Parker’s Room, Hot Chocolate, Folded Laundry

I haven’t given any Three Beautiful Things lately, and I need a little pick-me-up, so I thought I’d share some with you all right now.

1.  Parker is in his own bedroom!!  He slept in his crib all the way until 2 am last night.  Then he spent the rest of the night with Ches and me.  It’s an improvement!  I think the ceilings turned out well (for those that have asked… I don’t remember what the technique is called.  It looks kind of like stucco, but less severe.  Our walls are all orange peel, and the ceilings are not.  BTW, what is this California ceiling some of you have mentioned??) and I’m proud of myself for doing everything except 2/3 of the scraping of the popcorn.  I even moved the furniture and stuff all by myself.  Now that the living room is cleared up… I’m ready for the Christmas tree! 🙂  It’s amazing all the things in our lives that have become affected by the ceiling in one little room.

2.  Boxes of Swiss Miss hot chocolate was on sale the other day at Albertson’s for $1 a box.  I only bought 2 boxes (I had a limited budget and a few things I had to buy), but I love what I have.  I got one box of dark chocolate delight and one regular milk chocolate.  At this very moment I am drinking some of the dark chocolate.  Whenever I need chocolate but we don’t have any around the house, I drink hot chocolate.  Mmmmmm.  I’m more addicted to hot chocolate than I am to Scrabbulous.

3.  I got three loads of laundry folded so far today!  Yay!  I have a load in the dryer that needs to be folded, then a load of towels that is about to go into the dryer.  I swear that laundry is the never-ending battle.  I dream of actually having two washers and two dryers some day.  Seems silly, I’m sure, but maybe then I could stay a bit more caught up.  Then again, I need others to fold and iron for me so I don’t get behind in that, but we’ll figure that out if/when we get the two washers and two dryers.  Anyway, actually folding the laundry… that’s a big deal for me.  Now I just have to get it all put away before some little monsters climb onto my bed and decide nothing else can be on the bed with them.  It’s been known to happen.

Catching Up

How was your Thanksgiving weekend, everyone? Our was good.  Uneventful (which is a good thing in this household of active monsters, I mean boys).  We were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at some friends’ house.  We went there last year, too.  It was really fun to hang out with their big family.  Their kids all played with my kids, and Ches and I got to play games with the grownups.  There were two turkeys:  one regular roasted (or “original”, as Aiden called it) and one smoked.  Mmmmm.  I made sweet potato casserole… the Southern way.  None of this marshmallow on top business.  At first everyone was asking me what exactly the dish was and I had to convince them to try it.  But one they took a bite, they were hooked.  There was none left to take home. 🙂  We ate dinner outside.  It was so nice out.  Ahh, the beauty of living in Phoenix!  In fact, I even got hot in the sun, but once the sun started to go down a breeze picked up and I was glad I had put long sleeves on the boys.  Once it was dark, the family lit up the firepit and we roasted marshmallows and had s’mores.  It was a good day.

We did NOT get up to go shopping on Black Friday.  No way, no how.  And since when is it okay for stores to open at 4 am???  People used to get up at 4 to get in line for these stores that opened at 6.  I’m not willing to wait in line all night just to save a few bucks on DVDs (which is what some people were doing!!  Crazy) and I’m not shopping for cameras, flat screen TVs, or a Wii, so I just didn’t need to be there.  I was happily sleeping in my comfy and warm bed at 4 am, 6 am, and even 8 am.  Oh, and if I was going to shop on Black Friday, I would have gone to Ikea.  They opened at 8 am and gave out free breakfast in addition to having the great sales.

Friday was spent clearing out the back room (the office/music room/craft room/ storage room) and I started scraping the popcorn ceilings.  I only got about a third of it done before it was too dark to see, and I was tired.  My wrist hurt (dang tendonitis from college strikes again!!) and my elbow hurt, so I figured I’d just pick it up in the morning.  Unfortunately, I was in so much pain I could hardly sleep.  When I did wake up Saturday morning, I found Ches in the back room, finishing all the scraping.  Is he not the most awesome husband??  Later I started the retexturing of the ceiling.  I got it finished in time for dinner.  I was going to prime and paint it yesterday (Sunday), but that never happened.  So here it is, Monday morning, and I already have it all primed!!  Only another hour before I should be able to paint it, then I can start moving Parker’s stuff in there and my craft table back in there.  Clear the living room of the junk we had to move out of the back room, and tonight we can put up our Christmas tree for Family Home Evening!  YAY!!!

I’m feeling so handy, so HGTV!!! 🙂

Painting the House

If you have seen my Flickr pictures (and I think most of you have now!), you have seen the proud painting of my two little monsters.  I was here in the computer room yesterday, trying to solve a riddle with Laural, thinking the boys were happily watching their favorite video du jour, when Aiden came in and proudly announced, “Mom!  We were painting!  We painted the walls and the doors!”  I looked at Aiden’s hands, covered in marker, and almost had a heart attack.  I’m not even kidding.

I went to the living room and family room, and saw all that you see in the pictures.  I had a panic attack.  I haven’t had one of those in a while.  Once I recovered, I sent the boys to their room, grounded them from any TV for the rest of the day, and got to work.  The markers are the washable kind, and I guess highlighter comes off pretty well, too.  The purple left marks, but everything else seems to come off easily.  I guess the owners of the house may have used that paint that lets you wash it easily?  I don’t remember what it is.  I’ve just seen commercials or something for paint that if your kids draw on it, you can wash it easily without stipping any of the paint (which is what happened in our first apartment in Nevada.  Seriously, wipe it once, and the paint was totally gone!).

Today I am going to get some new Magic Erasers (man, I sure love those things!!  They really are a little miracle, aren’t they?  Oh, and don’t try to buy some cheap imitation or another brand.  We tried, and they totally don’t work.) then I will get the rest off.

The boys are still alive, Mom.  Barely.  The good thing is, I was able to get them to bed really early last night, and since Ches was gone to do a recording, I got to relax and cool off all on my own.  I bought a Sudoku puzzle book at Target for 50 cents.  Between  Sudoku, Survivor, and left over Easter candy, I went to bed in a pretty good mood.

Now, back to the riddle I was trying to solve.

The Backyard

For those of you who have seen what my backyard looked like when we moved in, I wanted to show off what a little grass can do. I tried to find the picture of the backyard as it looked, but I guess we got rid of it. You only get the “after” shot. Sorry. I was also mainly testing out our new camera tripod. We just got it on Friday, and I love having it!!

We planted seed and faithfully watered everyday. We chased birds out of the yard because they were eating the seed. After only a week we saw green start to sprout up out of the ground. This picture is about 2 1/2 weeks after the initial seeding. You can see we left the some big areas surrounding the grass unseeded. I’m not quite sure what we are going to do with it yet. Our main concern was to get in some grass for the boys to play on. I want to plant some flowers and stuff, but we’ll see. I also want to put in a firepit. I think we could have a lot of fun with that.

I love it! Now my boys have a grassy area to play in. They love it! Now Ches has something to mow. I’m not sure that he loves that, but you do what ya gotta do.

Playing Catch-Up

Hello, internets! I have missed you all so much, you don’t even know. This is a major addiction for me.

Well, we are in Arizona and in our house. We are partially unpacked (I can’t do a whole lot, and Mr. Universe is at work during the day, so it’s a slow process). We were here for an entire week before we were able to get our phone and internet hooked up. We also just got the cable hooked up, so now I can watch the news and stuff (“Stuff” meaning “Treasure Hunters” and “Last Comic Standing”, of course). I felt soooo cut off without a phone or internet, but it was also a nice, quiet week. We didn’t have phone service for an entire hour before I got a nice telemarketing call: a recorded message for lazer hair removal. That was a new one on me.

I can’t fill you all in on everything right now… and I don’t know if I’ll ever go into much detail about the whole experience. Let’s just say I don’t recommend moving a long distance when you are this pregnant. It was crazy go nuts the whole drive. We never made it to Proud Mum’s house, and I’m still sad about that. I was really looking forward to meeting you, Mr. Mum, and Little Red!! However, we made it to our new home safely, and when we pulled up to the house, there were already a few people waiting to help us unload the truck. More people came within a few minutes. It was so nice!!

Aiden started preschool this past Monday and he loves it. I mean really loves it. He is so smart and well-behaved. I couldn’t be more proud. He has tasks to learn each month, as well as several poems and nursery rhymes to memorize and then recite in front of the entire class. He did his first recitation yesterday morning, and he’s still proud of himself. He’s growing up so fast!!

Okay, we are going garage-saleing now, so I will be back to my normal, odd self shortly. And I’m trying to catch up on what everyone else has been up to this past week! Ahh, so much to do. 😉