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Monday, February 27, 2012

First of all, I’m pleased to report that my bloggy-document surpassed quite a milestone recently. I’m now well over 400 pages single spaced which means that in almost six years I’ve written an 800-plus page novel about myself…that strikes me as crazy and a bit, uh, I dunno, slightly self-absorbed perhaps. Ya think?

Around this time of year -- just before my tulips are up -- I start reminiscing about how it all began. Checking into a hospital bed on March 15th and not getting out of it for seven weeks was quite the adventure. (And I nearly missed the tulips, in fact). I am very thankful that Mike suggested I start the blog to keep family and friends posted on my status...I had to do SOMETHING with that time. And I appreciate that people continued reading despite the fact that many early on postings consisted of my updated cervix measurements. Thankfully, life's changed since then and I have no cervical news to report. Phew!

Anyway, moving on to our LATEST adventure: our house was, as of Friday, officially for sale/on the market. I’m so pumped to report that we’ve already had 6 showings come in and another already scheduled for tomorrow! Today I experienced the epitome of having your house for sale: I was getting some laundry-folded (clothes all over the place) while Kayli sat in the high chair covered in food and crumbs when I got a realtor’s phone call. “Could we come in 25 minutes?” Obviously, I could’ve said no or asked for a little more time, but I told myself that unless it’s seriously detrimental to our family in some way, I want to say yes to every opportunity for someone to see our house. I ran around like a headless chicken for about 10 minutes, when I detected a weird odor. Kayliana had made herself one heck of a dirty diaper, but I wasn’t about to change it in the house…I had to put her in the car seat while I finished up inside and then changed her in the car before finally exiting the garage – with minutes to spare, I might add.

(On the other side of the equation, by the way, we have yet to find a house for US to buy and move to. Fingers crossed that this all works out or I might hold a lottery of my blog readers and the lucky winner will get to house our family of five until further notice).

Since there was a showing shortly after that one, we picked Zach up from the bus stop and headed to Burger King for lunch and to play/kill time.

In the car Zach groaned all of a sudden, “Ahhhh, man!! I forgot!”

“What did you forget?” I asked.

“I forgot to ask Allison something really important today.” (Allison is a girl in his class. Zachary has recently dropped the bomb on us that he’s “in love with her.” This is a HUGE problem as you’ll recall Zach is already betrothed to our best friends’ daughter, Veronica. We’re working through it and hoping it’s just a phase that he needs to get out of his system. He’s such a little Casanova.)

“What did you forget to ask her?” I inquired.

“I forgot to ask her what she wants to be when she grows up. I think maybe she wants to be a doctor but that’s a problem ‘cuz if I’m going to be a secret agent/ninja but also have kids then she’s going to need to not work so that I can go do my spy stuff.”


Thursday, February 23, 2012

We got to see the professional photographer’s pictures of our home yesterday. Pretty shnazzy, if I do say so meself. He even added gorgeous blue sky (despite it actually being a dark, dreary, rainy day), cozy fires in the fireplaces (despite the fact that in our 9 years of living here, we’ve never once had a fire in them), and he added a Seattle skyline ‘movie’ to the TV screen! We saw the flyer for our house – the realtors did an AWESOME job! And we’ll be listed early tomorrow morning. Basically, “we’re live and it’s show time, people!” Showings could start tomorrow. So, I decided since exiting our home with three kids is always a time-consuming affair and we’re usually leaving the place in a slight state of mess and general chaos, we should have a couple of dress rehearsals seeing as starting tomorrow, the house needs to be spotless EVERY time we depart. Wow. Crazy.

I figured it would take us three hours to get out the door. All counters need to be wiped, window blinds opened, drawers/closets/cupboards closed, toys put away, pretty props out, beds made, baby gate removed (so that they can actually get in since the whole toddler-lock system seems to stump most people), sinks cleaned, mirrors, floors, etc. etc. etc. We managed to make it out the door in about 30 minutes without any major tears, screaming or loss of limbs. I was proud. I was impressed. Then we got home and discovered that Zachary had left a pair of his underwear on the middle of their bedroom floor. Nice touch. I’m sure the stager would approve. That’s why they call it a ‘dress rehearsal,’ I suppose. And lesson learned: get the kids in the car and do one final sweep before we actually leave.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A week ago was Valentine’s Day. Cupid brought me a nasty-asty cold. It was terrible and I’m still fighting it, but somehow, God gave me/us the extra drive and energy to still work our hynees off and get the house ready for listing this week. And yet, I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am. SOOOoooo exhausted. But, we’ve done it. Here we are! The big day.

This morning, the photographer arrived for the photo shoot. Basically, today was like our precious home’s wedding day and I stood around grinning like a doofus proud mama. Seriously, it was like a wedding day in that our home will never have so many photos taken of it; it doesn’t actually look like this on a daily basis, and it will likely never look this way again. Obviously, the photographer will take way better photos (and his didn’t have the tv on, the random children props in view, etc.), but here are some of mine. Of course, just like on many wedding days, the weather was unpredictable and not pleasant. He’ll doctor up the photos just enough to brighten things up, but he did say he didn’t have to touch up anything else as our home looked “fantastic.” Yup, proud mama.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It’s the eleventh hour. It’s go time! We’re in the home stretch. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s mile 24…and all those other analogies. Our deadline is looming. A week from Tuesday, the house needs to be ready to go, clutter-free, prettified and staged for the photo shoot at 9am. A couple of days after that, our house – our home sweet home of nine crazy-amazing years – will officially be “on the market.” That gives us 8 days to pull this place together. It’s kinda ca-razy how much we’ve done. It’s kinda way ca-razy how much is left to do. And, of course, I’m coming down with a cold (wah-wah). Oh, what, could I maybe be a little run down or something? Just a little. And, of course, patience is running thin (or nonexistent). So, of course, the kids respond to this in their own way (being extra trying and difficult.) And, of course, Mike has a huge deadline for work in the next couple of weeks, so he’s way stressed about that (‘cuz there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on at home or anything. No extra stress here). Big ‘ol boo-hoo, wah-wah, moving is HARD broo-ha-ha pity party’s a-goin’ on all up in here.

Basically, the poop’s hit the fan under this here roof and it ain’t ‘purty’.

And just when I think, I might actually completely lose it, throw my hands up in defeat and check myself into someplace where I can get the physical and mental break that I need…this picture (by sweet Matthew) is quietly left on the counter, unbeknownst to me, where I find it a few minutes later. Then all is good in the world. (For a few minutes, anyway, before it’s time to go paint something or pack something). But, this picture and all that it represents, is there for me when I need a break from the insanity!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

When it comes to getting our house ready to sell, I am either way hardcore and motivated…or stupid. (For example, last night, I touched up paint on the boys’ closet door. They were asleep in bed. I was painting in the dark. Stupid? Yeah, possibly. Productive? You betchya!)

Thankfully, once the decision was made to KEEP our existing carpet and get it professionally cleaned (woohoo!), I was able to really focus on all the other work that needed to get done around here. My parents were kind enough to take the kids for an overnight this weekend, so Mike and I worked from morning until WAY early the next morning. We worked our butts off. Mike spent most of his time powerwashing the house outside; we cleaned out the garage and the kids’ yard toys and took a huge load to the dump. He also bleached and grouted the bathtub. My focus was primarily inside, namely the hallway, kitchen and dining room, all of which got two coats of paint this weekend. The only room left to paint here is the laundry room. I’ve touched up paint in every single room in this house and here’s what I’ve learned: if you’re really paying attention to the dings, the chips, the gouges in the walls, you could literally touch up paint every single week. Possibly every single day (if you’ve got kids like ours, apparently). I jest not: yesterday, I discovered a small chunk of paint missing on the wall in the family room that was not there earlier this week. I swear! And how did it get there?! It’s actually up fairly high on the wall.

Obviously, I wouldn’t mind having less prep work to do for selling the house and I do hope to try to keep our next a house slightly in better shape, but I have to be honest, every single little bit of touch up work that I’ve had to do has made me sorta happy. A couple people have asked me, “Now, that you’ll have the house looking so nice, I bet you won’t want to leave?” My answer is actually, “Mmmm, no. I’ll be heartbroken, but ready.” See, I don’t think I could stay in a place without blemish – and really, we’ll add more everyday. To me, as I scrub random marks and scuffs off the walls, when I cover up spots where the paint has been gouged out, I’m covering up memories. I don’t know what each mark is, obviously, but they all represent our life here to a certain extent. We were too busy playing, running, laughing, crying, LIVING to bother wandering around everyday with a scrub and paint brush. I encourage you to inspect your walls. You’ll be amazed at all the little imperfections that lurk there possibly telling some untold or long forgotten story. (Although, you may also be inspired to do a little wall maintenance while you’re at it. Sorry).

As we get closer to listing the house for sale (we’re now, looking at Presidents’ week), I find myself feeling more and more conflicted. As I pack up the kids’ things, especially, a lump forms in my throat. This past weekend, I was collecting the stepping stones that I had each kiddo make for Mike for Father’s Day through the years. The first one is from 2006. It has Matthew’s almost-three-year-old handprint and Zachary’s three-MONTH-old handprint. The next one is from 2007 and features the boys’ feet. Then, time speaks for itself…we were too busy playing, living, doing OTHER stuff, and the next stepping stone dates 2011. Sea glass that we collected from a beach in Port Townsend with my parents borders Kayliana’s initials and her foot and hand print. Obviously, we’re bringing these stepping stones with us, but there was just something about pulling them out of the ground of this property that’s held so many firsts, so many memories, that just broke my heart a little too. I know that this move is a good decision, I know that we will do LOTS of living and memory forming (and wall-banging-up) in the next house, but there’s just something about your FIRST home, that’s a little hard to let go of.

This picture says it all: Matthew learning how to ride his bike sans training wheels (April, 2010), my pretty, pretty flowers (nearly all of which I planted) and Zachary climbing my favorite tree – our Japanese Maple – like a little monkey in the background.