Friday, March 30, 2012

Three Week Recap

It's been so crazy here and I've always chosen sleep over blogging but I want to do a quick recap for the sake of my own memory.

Saturday, March 10th, (Mike's birthday): Realtor came at 9 am to have us sign a purchase agreement and do a walk-through.

Sunday, March 11: We told the realtor to come back after 3 pm on Sunday to do the pictures. He called at 2:45 pm to see if we were ready. While we appreciated his eagerness and promtness, we needed at least another hour.

Monday, March 12: Our first showing at 6 pm. Maren helped with the girls and we had dinner at a neighbors.

Tuesday, March 13: We had an office walk-through. The girls and I picked up some supplies at Target. I use the carseat stroller frame for Julia and plan to put the other girls in the big cart. Ana is traumatized by the automatic flushing toilet. Julia was fussing so I put her in the wrap. After the bathrooms I loaded up the little girls in the big cart. I pulled the big cart and pushed the empty stroller. Needless to say we got a lot of stares and a couple ladies laughed out loud. I went about 20 ft before I decided to fold-up the stoller frame and stuck it under the basket of the cart. Mike wanted some things to make the house nicer for showing. Things like a new cover for our bed, mats for the entries, better looking pillows, etc. The cart was already pretty full with Julia's empty carseat. Eventually, I had to have Amanda walk in order to move Tali from the seat in basket part of the cart. I need a few groceries but just grabbed a few snacks for the ride home and had the girls hold onto some bags of cereal for the boys. Julia was sleeping when we left but she started crying on the way home and I had to stop at a way side rest to nurse her.

Wednesday, March 14th: We had a showing at 6 pm. My mom is here to help. She brings corned-beef and cabbage to cook. I told her there was no way we were cooking stinkly cabbage before a showing. ;) After naps we go to the park and then end up at a friends for lunch. Ana recalls the Target toilets and freaks out when we need to use the bathroom at the park and the bathroom at our friends.

Thursday, March 15th: I spend the day cooking to have leftovers. Amanda, Julia and I go to Tyler's art show. Mike had the day off. After the show, Tyler had a couple of friends over and they tried some of the corned beef and cabbage. They had never heard of corned beef but said it was good.

Friday, March 16th: Another relaxing day with no showings. We spend the morning outside and go over to our neighbor's for a cook-out. 5 families with 20 kids. Mike and Tony even came over after Mike got home. I told Mike, "Tell Tony there's cake." :) It was so fun! We are going to miss everyone so much.

Saturday, March 17th: At 5:30 am, Tali wakes me up crying and she had puked all over her bed. Thankfully, only on her bed and not the carpet or walls. We have a showing at 10 am. I just had her stay up and hang out on the couch while I started cleaning. That was tight. I wasn't able to vacuum the basement before we left. I think I let Mike sleep in too long before asking him to get up and help with the girls. We went to the library. The girls ate lunch in the car while Mike ran to the store quick. Ana was fussing once her food ran out, so I climbed in the back hatch to keep her company. I meant to only close the door part way but it latch behind me. Thankfully, Amanda's door was open so when I lady walked by I asked her to open the door for me. I could have climbed over all the seat to get out but asking for help was easier. The library was great. We checked out some books for the girls. Mike took Tali out to get her loaded up. I was concerned by the look on her face and sure enough once Mike got her buckled up, she puked all over him. Thankfully, she gave some warning and Mike could grabbed a towel so very little got in the car. She puked frequently for the next four hours. Mike did bowl patrol while I napped with the baby and took care of the other girls.

Sunday, March 18th: Ana wakes up puking at 4 am and pukes frequently until 6:30 am. Tali was still not feeling well. Amanda seems whiny and feverish for about an hour and then she felt better. When I went outside with Amanda, she wanted to ride her bike but couldn't find it. We then realized that I must have left it at the part on Wednesday. We all piled in the van and headed to the park to look for it. Would it really just be sitting there after fours days? We didn't see it. I left a message at the police department too. An officer called back and said nothing had been turned in and that it was unlikely that it was just sitting at city hall. But who would steal a beat-up little girls bike with mismatched wheels and a saggy basket on the front?!

Monday, March 19th: We call the city office and they say the bike is just are sitting behind the bathrooms. Yay!!! What a relief. My faith in humanity is restored. We head to the park to have our lunch and play. The girls are getting very adventurous at the park. A little too adventurous. Wearing Julia is just not very practical because it limits how I can help the girls. We have a showing scheduled at 6pm. Dee comes over after naptime and takes the girls outside while I do the final clean-up and then we went to her house to eat our dinner. The girls are getting much more comfortable at new houses which means they were getting into everything! Dee had to run to pick her son up from baseball and I had to take them outside because I couldn't keep up with everything they were grabbing and getting into. After the showing, our neighbors who are renting but want to buy, walked through and looked at the house. They loved it but were trying to work out financing and that might take a little time.

Tuesday, March 18th: We have another showing at 6 pm. Our routine is to go down stairs and clean up and vacuum in the morning. The girls run around and jump on the boys bed and then sit on the stairs as I do a final vaccuum to the stairs. At naptime, I clean the upstairs and pack food for dinner and snack. On this day, the girls had snack inside and then Tony played with them outside while I did the final vacuum upstairs. Usually Julia is napping but sometimes she is on my back. Since the girls are still in questionable health, (lots of whining and wanting to snuggle), we don't plan to go to anyone's house. I told Tony I would take him out for dinner but we just ended up going through the drive thru and grabbing food for Tony and his friend. The girls ate the food I packed for them. They aren't used to drive thru food so I can't count on them eating it. Julia screamed the whole time. The boys order was screwed up and they talked about getting free fried because of a messed up order but decided to just let it go considering the van full of whiners. She finally fell asleep and Tali started crying. We stopped at a friends to pick up a bag of beads. On the way home, Ana started crying. So much fun! Ha!

Wednesday, March 19th: Our realtor, comes over to go over the first offer that came in. It was for $14K under our asking price plus they wanted up to pay $2500 of their closing costs. He said just to wait to respond because he expected another offer to come in soon. We had been sorting the beads and then were all over the living room. He said, "You're going to help your mom clean-up right?" We had a showing schedule for 4 pm. I'm happy because that's usually when we get out of the house anyways and that means we can eat dinner at home and have an early bedtime. Our neighborhood "grandma" came down to get the girls after naps. I went to go pick up the food co-op order with Julia after I was finished cleaning-up. I had ordered 50 lbs of oats. I liked it better when Tyler was home on Wednesdays and I could just send him to pick up the order. ;) When I got to my neighbor's, the girls were playing in a big pile of sand. They were so cute! "Grandma" told me that Amanda was complaining that her stomach hurt. She ended up puking while we were waiting to hear that the realtor and buyers had left our house. She puked several more times through out the night. Mike ended up sleeping in the chair to help when she needed. I kept wanting to get up and relieve him but just couldn't crawl out of bed or was nursing Julia.

Thursday, March 20th: Despite having a notation of "No showings between 12-3 pm" our realtor called on Wednesday to see if a showing between 1-2 pm would be okay. I had thought I could start our day earlier and have them take naps around 11 am but we were all so tired we ended up getting up much later. Despite all the whining and puking, it actually made things a little easier to have the girls feeling sick because they were mellow and spent lots of time watching Signing Times. My friend had dropped off a box of videos and cd's. They were a life saver during this crazy week! Plus they didn't want much to eat and were content munching on toasted o's. Since, Amanda was sick I didn't call anybody to come help. When it was time to do the final vacuum, I gave Amanda some medicine to perk her up and had them ride their bikes in the garage. By this time, only had the living room and stairs to do before we all loaded up in the van. We just drove to the cul de sac down the street so I could nurse Julia while they at their snacks. About the time Ana was done eating and getting fussy, my neighbor texted to say that the buyers had just arrived. It was after 1:30 pm. Ugh! I put Julia back in her seat and drove slowly through the neighborhood with three whining and crying girls who wanted to go home. I figured the buyers must be leaving soon so we drove near the house but stopped on the hill when I saw they were still there. I thought I wait at the top of the hill but then they came outside and I ended up just driving past. I felt silly and wondered if they new it was us. It turns out it was one of Tyler's Navy friend and his mom.

Friday, March 21st: I had begun to dread hearing the phone ring because it often meant another showing was scheduled. But thankfully, when our realtor called, it was to tell us that we had recieved another offer. This time for only $9k off the asking price. It was from the naptime buyers so that made it worth it. He also said that he would inform the other first buyers that we had another offer so if they were still interested they should submit their best offer.

Saturday, March 22nd: At 9 am, the realty office calls to see if we could do a showing at 12 pm. "Oh, sure. Why not? I'm actually getting good at this." They neighbor who usually spies for me was out of town but she said we could sit in her garage and watch the house. I had the girls play in the garage again while I did the final vaccuuming. Then we ate snacks and watched a DVD in the car while we waited for the showing. Since we just went down the block, I buckled Ana in Amanda's forward facing seat that in the back row, buckled Amanda in the lap belt in the back row and Tali in the integrated seat in the middle row. Of course, Julia was in her seat behind me. That way they were buckled in and not climbing all over but could see the DVD screen. I backed into their garage so I could see the house while I was nursing Julia. Thankfully, the buyers came and left pretty quickly. Apparently, they had four kids and thought the house was a bit too small. Later our realtor called and said the first buyers had returned with an offer that was only $8K under our asking price. Mike had to work half day and he spent the rest of the afternoon looking at houses.

Sunday, March 23rd: We are deliberating about how to respond to the offers. Buyer #1 had ask for a May 15th closing date and we thought she had some kind of deadline. Buyer #2 had ask for a April 27 th closing date but our realtor thought she was more flexible. We were also still waiting to hear from our neighbors and wanted to give them a chance but didn't want to miss out in case they couldn't get financing. Meanwhile, Mike finds a house in a great neighborhood that looks like a great deal. It was an estate sale the kids just wanted to move the house. He talked about wanting to drive up to see it that night. I was at my wits end and told him I'd prefer not because it would mean me getting all the girls to bed by myself again. He started to give me reasons why he should and I actually just snapped and said, "Do what you're going to do and I'll deal with it but I DON'T want to talk about it." Thankfully he decided not to go, remembered that Amanda has skating and then ended taking Tony's friend home after that. Later when I thanked him for staying home, he said, "Yeah, I'm so glad I stayed home to help you get the girls to bed." Well, the other kids needed him too.

Monday, March 24th: We decide to counter-offer to Buyer#2 with a price $3K under our asking price and a May 31st closing date. Mike looked at the house in the morning called to tell me about it. It was going to be a project but it was liveable and he felt it was a great deal. A while later, he called to say there were other offers and he wanted to offer $5k over their asking price. I told him if he thought it was a good deal, he should go for it. He came home that night pretty dejected because not only had we lost the house he wanted but Buyer #2 had turned down our offer. Our offer was being passed on the Buyer #1. Then we realized that we really didn't want a project house and started looking at houses on the other end of the price range. We were playing dualing laptops looking at houses when our realtor called at 9 pm to tell us that Buyer #1 had accepted our offer and closing date. Wow! I felt a like I did after Julia's birth. "It's really over? How is that possible?"

I don't remember much for the rest of the week. It may have involved an overnight business trip or maybe that was the previous week when Amanda was sick. I'm sure it involved Mike house hunting in the afternoons and getting home after the girls were in bed. It was a frustrating search. I really wanted 3 bedrooms and laundry on the main level with space up or downstairs for Tony and the electronics. We just weren't finding that in our price range and in a house less that 5 miles from Mike work. (Or even within 10 miles of his work.) He ended asking me about a house that had been on the market since we decided to move. I had ruled it out because it only had three bedrooms and it was a multi-level home. He decided to go look at on Friday. My aunt and uncle were going to be visiting my grandma on Saturday so I had thought it would be good day to make a house hunting trip and look at Mike's top choices for houses. He called me about dinner time and asked what time I thought we would get to town on Saturday. I told him I planned to be there around 10:30 am and asked him where he was. He was still 1 1/2 out. To which I responded, "Oh, that's no help. I gotta go!" and went to deal with the current crisis among the girls. He was very excited about the house and said, "It's only a few steps up or down to go to the other levels. I don't understand what the big deal is." Any stairs are too many stairs with multiple toddlers in the process of potty training and who can't be left unsupervised for even two minutes so they have to come with me to the bathroom. And just before I went to bed he told me we were going to be meeting the realtor, his uncle, at 10:30 am to go see his three top picks. Umm. Okay. At this point, I'm too tired to communicate why this is problem.

Saturday, March 31st: After nursing Julia at around 3 am, I have trouble falling back asleep as I try to figure out how we were going to travel for an hour and half with the little girls and all their immediate neediness and then do house hunting without any help since my mom wasn't due to be home until the afternoon. I finally got about about 6:30 am and started to pack. It wasn't until about 5 minutes before our arrival, that Mike asks, "So, are we dropping the girls off with your mom?" That's when I finally said, "A better question would have been, 'What time to you plan to go house hunting?'"

We went to his work and took all the little girls to the potty. They climbed around on the deck displays while we waiting for Mike's uncle. The first house was only a few blocks away so I figured I just bring Julia in and nurse her while I looked around the house. I don't know what I was thinking, I was not that comfortable with Mike's uncle for that. Mike stayed in the car with the other girls. The bathrooms were tiny and no space to enlarge them! Definitely a deal breaker. Julia fell asleep while I was holding her so we put her in her seat and headed to the next house. She was still sleeping when we arrived so I went in with our realtor and Mike unloaded the older girls to run around. This the multi-level house. I was just looking to see if there were any other deal breakers and if there was room to add a bathroom and laundry room on the main level. I was happy to see there were two large closets that could be converted to bedroom space.

By the time we got outside, the girls were back in the van because it was cold and windy. I was anxious to get going to my mom's to nurse the babies and get the little girls settled. Julia started fussing just as we pulled out. The most important question about the new, "How close is it to Grandma's?" With a crying baby? Too far! But really only about 5 minutes.

On Friday night, Mike had told me House #2, the one he liked the best, was having a second showing on Saturday afternoon. I had told him we should put in an offer for House #2 and if we didn't win it, we should put in an offer on house #1. He dropped me and the kids (minus the diaper bags) and headed back to the office with his uncle to write up the offer(s). It wasn't until later that I realized I had not yet communitcated that House #1 was off the table. He was showing some one at the house the MLS sheets and he said, "This is Option #1 (House #2) and Option #2 (House #1). I thought it meant he had an offer written up for that one too.

It was crazy and wonderful at my mom's. My sister, her husband and two boys, my brother, his wife and their three kids, my aunt and uncle from the Cities and their grand daughter, my other aunt and uncle from town, and my cousin and her son were all there. Plus my grandma and then my mom came after her event. They ordered pizzas and rode bikes outside. My aunt was outside taking videos on her phone and sending them to my uncle who was inside. She was also sending SOS texts. It was nuts outside and nuts inside. Mike commented afterwards how amazing it was how every one got together when someone came to town. They actually get together like that quite often, I'm just glad we'll be apart of it again without the 1 1/2 trip with squirrelly, whiny girls.

That night as Mike and I talked over the house, we both had regrets and actually hoped we wouldn't get the house. When our realtor called to say there was another offer and did we want to change our offer, we said, "No." We had offered $5k under the asking price with a close date of May 4th. I spent another sleepless night trying to figure out how we would manage with the multi-levels and where we could put a bathroom. Sunday afternoon, Mike uncled to inform us that the buyers had accepted our offer. Not only that but, they wanted to give us the $1900 that the insurance company gave them to repair damage done when the roof had leaked. (The roof had since been replaced but the interior damage had not been fixed.)

So, it's not our dream house, but in the end we chose the house for it's location and yard. It's in a quiet neighborhood with paved, flat roads for biking. Everyone has large yards and our house is almost at the end of the road. Our acre yards backs up to a park with a great playground, baseball diamond, skating rink and warming house. Ultimately the outdoor safety of the girls took priority and we just need to get through this difficult season with two toddlers. I was just going to live in the house a while before making any changes but multiply times a day I am reminded how stressful it would be without a bathroom on the main level. Thankfully, we close on that house on May 4th and this house on May 31st, so hopefully Mike can have a bathroom added or mostly completed before we get moved in.

So much a quick update. I just don't want to forget this crazy journey! Please ignore the typos or point them out. I plan to proof read another day.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The house is sold! We are scheduled to close on May 31st! Yay!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another Big Day

We have another driver in the house! Tony finished up his driver's training course in November but the kids have to go to a testing site in order to take the test and start driving. We finally just ended up pulling him out of school to go because we couldn't get him there on days he had off of school. Mike took him out for his first drive last weekend. I love the little smirk on his face. I can tell he's trying to not let his excitement show. :) So fun!

Mike came back and said that I should definitely get in on the next round of teaching to drive. I'm not so sure. I'm pretty sure learning to drive is a daddy thing and not gender specific like "The Talk." ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

By the numbers...

5- Number of showings this week.

3- Number of sick, puking girls this week.

1- Number of books Amanda read.

I'm really tired and in awe of God's provisions of grace throughout, well, my life! I would never have imagined being able to accomplish and handle what I have this week. And I haven't done it in my own strength. That's for sure.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Julia at Two Months

Tali's on the left; Julia's on the right and in the bottom photo.

More photos of the two girls side by side just to confuse my husband. ;) Here they are both at two months.

The real question is whether or not I'm going to try to get duplicate shots of Julia every month. We'll just see.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pete and Repeat

Julia is on the left; Tali's on the right.

Everybody comments on how much Julia looks like Tali. What do you think?

Julia is a couple weeks older than Tali was in these photos.

I think people say that just because my last two looked SO different. ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Art Show #3

Since Tyler's a senior this year(sniff, sniff), he got his own table at
the art show this year. Amanda, Julia and I went to go see him and his work. It's nice see him using color and different mediums. The subject matter? Well, there are no ponies or rainbows for this boy. ;)

We've had a crazy week. We got the house ready for pictures Sunday afternoon and kept working to get the house ready for our first showing on Monday at 6 pm. It was with a guy is moving from the town that we are moving to. He is working with our realtor, which is how the showing got scheduled so quickly. We had our neighbor come to do some paint touch ups and our babysitter come to take care of the girls. After they woke up from naps, she loaded them into our van and fed them snacks while I finished cleaning up the inside. Tony was here to help too. You know, between texting his friends. Then we brought our dinner to our neighbor's. My other neighbor kept me posted about what was happening at my house.

Tuesday morning, about 9 am, I remembered that we were having a office walk through at 10 am. It was supposed to be fine if we were still there, but there were a few things I wanted to get at Target, so I decided to pack all the girls up and go to town. That was a little nuts.

Wednesday we had another showing and my mom came to help with the girls. Everyday, I get more and more organizing projects done that make getting it show-ready faster and easier. The weather was also beautiful so after naps, my mom took the girls outside and fed them a snack and when I finished inside, we headed to the park. We were there for a long time and planned to have our dinner there but the park bathrooms weren't open yet and there was no way I could use the little potty we keep in the van. ;) So, we headed to another neighbor's to eat our dinner. Thankfully we have such great neighbors so we have quite a few options of places to go during showings.

The feedback has been positive. The realtors were impressed by how clean it was. Really? You mean some people don't clean it like this? I guess all those hours watch HGTV while nursing Tali paid off. Monday's buyer was going to show the MLS listing to his wife and Wednesday's buyer is going to come back on Saturday with her son. Yesterday was a long day because Mike was gone until late. Thankfully he took today off. I spent today cooking in order to have leftovers we can grab quick on showdays. It was nice to have a relaxing day after the craziness that began at about 8:50 am on Saturday. That's when Mike woke me up to remind me the realtor would be there at 9 am to sign the listing agreement.

The house looks amazing and the boys have done a super job keeping their rooms picked up. But still, I hope we get a purchase agreement soon so we can go back to living in our house.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Outdoor Fun

The house will be listed on Monday. The realtor said to expect lots of showings the first week. Mike's relocation company asked for it to be priced very aggressively. The realtor was here yesterday and pointed out all the things that would help get the house in top condition to make the best first impression. There was a lot that we still needed to do. There is a lot we still need to do.

I had been trying to get stuff done but it was so stressful and nearly impossible to complete anything while caring for the little girls. Instead, we spent lots of time playing outside last week.

Hopefully, we get lots of stuff done tomorrow and we get an offer next week. Once we get an purchase agreement, Mike's relocation company takes over and we can relax. Well, sort of. Then we'll need to really get serious about finding a new place to live.

I can't wait the see the big things that God is going to accomplish to make this move possible. It's certainly not going to happen because of what I can do. I'm already thankful to hear we're supposed to have warm weather. That will make life a little easier.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

That Face!

Don't you hate it when some one posts more than a half dozen nearly identical photos?

Sorry, I just can't get enough of this face!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hair Cuts

I've had this idea in my head that my success regarding Amanda's hair care is measured by the length of her hair. Amanda's was almost down to her waist. When she would lean her head back to have me rinse, it was past her waist. Very pretty, but very time consuming. And she doesn't even like to have her hair down in any way shape or form. It's been over a year since she's worn her hair free for anything more than pictures. During hat season, she wants her hair all up in a bun or something so she can't feel the braids under her hat.

To make things simple and cut back on hair time, I gave her a hair cut. I didn't even detangle it completely before cutting. I just took her braids out and starting cutting off the ends. Then I added some hair butter, combed it out, and finished cutting the hair that was missed. I cut off about six inches. I am finally sending in my pony tail for donation that I got cut off when I was pregnant with Tali and I briefly pondered cutting Amanda's for donation. I wasn't ready to go that short with her hair.

Detangling, washing and styling went so much faster today! I use pony o's on smaller sections to keep it looking neater and to minimize breakage. The braids keep the hair from tangling and from losing too much moisture and then the final pony on the top of her head keeps the braids off her neck. This will last about three days before I need to freshen up the braids. Sometimes longer if she takes care of her hair and doesn't roll on the floor, put blankets on her head or play with it at night.

I decided to cut Tali's gnarly mullet off too. It was always a tangled mess even though I tried to keep it in a pony tail. On more than one occasion, she had gotten the end of her bib strap caught in the mess too.

She's still got plenty of cute curls!

This should save some time and tears on Sunday mornings and maybe they won't look like total ragamuffins the rest of the week.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Have you been missing Tony?

Tyler went through a phase from about 13 to 16 when he didn't want his picture taken and would avoid it at all costs. He wouldn't smile and would cover his eye with his long hair. It was very frustrating to me because it was right about the time we were trying to do adoption profiles and sending out family pictures because everyone wanted to see all the kids together. However, when Tony hit the same stage, I was mentally prepared and let go of the expectations for the perfect family picture.

He's just now starting to get out of that phase and allowed some picture taking the other day.

Okay, well maybe he's still hiding his face but at least he was smiling. He was heading out to play with his airsoft gun with the neighbor. It was what he purchased with his Christmas money from Mike's parents.

The first time the girls and I saw him dressed up like this, we were coming back from a walk and he was coming back to the house from the other direction. Amanda said, "Mom, what is that?" I said, "I thinks it's a Tony."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Oldest

Have I ever told the story of Tyler's Jeep? We never planned to buy our boys a vehicle. We live close to several businesses: restaurant, golf course, resort. I fully expected they would get a job and bike to work until they earned enough money for a vehicle. And then Tyler got a job washing dishes at a restaurant 7 miles away and he worked until 10 or 11 pm. And he worked on the days Mike was out of town and couldn't drive him to work. And there was no way I was letting him take the van full of carseats with him. So, we bought another vehicle. Mike's brother was selling it and even though it was a bit more vehicle than we thought Tyler would have for his first. He's pretty lucky and Tony's pretty happy that it will be passed to him when Tyler leaves. (He had just washed it and asked if some one would take a photo of him and his Jeep.)

And my oldest holding my youngest.

Our friend Dee stopped by to see the baby. She was here with the girls while I was in the hospital but she hadn't seen Julia. When Tyler walked in she said, "Have you held the baby yet? Here! Take her. Katie, get the camera." And there I was getting a picture of my oldest holding my youngest. We haven't really pushed the babies onto the boys and they haven't really wanted much to do with them. But he so easily obligied and even told me to tag him on Facebook in the photo. I felt bad. Maybe we should have asked him to hold her sooner. Oh, well. Dee also tried to teach Tyler how to swaddle a baby when the boys stayed with her while we were in Texas picking up Amanda. She has such a special relationship with the boys. I think they would do anything for her.

Six Weeks

Yep, she's well-fed.

And she likes to be held a lot.