What’s Your Number?

You know what number I am talking about, that allusive number you have to go through before you find the “one.” Mine is currently set at 26.

No, no, no, no, no we are not talking about guys here (I have the ” one” remember?), I am talking houses. We started back in June looking for houses if you recall (and if you can’t here are the links here and here), and officially called it finito about a month ago. Calling it finito did not result in finding our dream house and buying it (I wish it was that easy!) Instead it means we have stopped looking.

I don’t know about all of your house hunting experiences but ours was starting to read like a Dr. Seuss book: too quirky, too new, too smelly (oh ya we had a couple of those nightmares!), too small, too wobbly, too crooked, too far (from everything), too weird, too much money, too many repairs, too much asbestos; I think you get the idea all that is missing is the box and the fox with socks trying to get us to eat green eggs and ham.

It is hard to believe that we set foot in that many strangers houses in just a couple months. And now that I think about it my house hunting number is definitely larger than my husband hunting number (aka number of boyfriends). Is finding a house that much harder than finding your soul mate?!?!? I am beginning to think so.

The hubster has been an absolute trooper through this whole process, always the optimist he is. Me, on the other hand am not ashamed to admit I cried a few times and felt extremely nauseous from the stress of it all.  On the positive note, the hubster and I got a lot of coffee dates in and most of the time we only had to deal with Little Miss since Padawan abandoned us for his grandparents houses for most of the summer; guess we don’t spoil him enough over here. And we did find our zombie apocalypse vehicle.

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The thing was awesome and British which makes it all the more awesome.  And we did see some absolute gems in the muck that is our speed dating/housing disaster.

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It was an ordeal but it made us think about what really mattered to us. Did we want to buy a house just to buy a house? Or do we want a house were we can grow and settle into our life as a family? We decided on the latter. Neither one of us wanted to jump into a huge commitment like buying a house just because, we want OUR house, OUR home and that is something worth waiting for.  Cause who doesn’t want to give this cutie a beautiful home to grow up in? Our kids deserve more than a house, they deserve a home; a home with a front porch to play on while it rains, a yard to run through sprinklers in, a home with a history that they can create their own history within.

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So we are keeping our “must have” lists (I am not giving up on my dining room and front porch and the hubster is adamant about his basement) and we are holding out for that warm tingly feeling we have heard so much about when you finally find the one. How about all of you? How many prospects did you have to weed through before you found the “one?” What was or is on your “must have” list? What would you be willing to overlook on that list?

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Get In My Big Blue Bag

**Since we have been so far behind in keeping our little blog up-to-date the next few posts are from that period of time that was sadly not blogged about in a timely fashion **

I have never really won much of anything, but that is not for lack of trying. Every (decent) contest online I come across on my favorite blogs I enter and then usually get the hubster to enter in too just to double my odds. Sadly I have yet to win anything, EVER.

I don’t even remember how many times I have entered to win one of my dream camera/laptop bags *sigh* Guess I will just have to start saving up my pennies again which is a lot harder to do now that I have two kiddos’ pig banks to keep fed and satisfied.

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You would think I would just give up, all that wasted time of entering comments, liking different groups on Facebook (and then deleting them once contest is over; I am poor loser what can I say) but I just keep plucking along hoping one day I hit it big. You can only guess what happened when on our last Ikea trip date I came across a box and sign that said to enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card.  Uh, $50, uh ya I would be dumb to pass that opportunity down. The only catch was that to get the $50 you had to allow a team of Ikea workers come and do a market research survey with you in your home so that they can get a better idea of how to set up their display rooms to better present to their local customers.  I of course entered and filled out an entry for the hubster as well.

You can only guess my shock and excitement when they called and said that they had chosen me to do the survey!! Wooo-hooo! You can only guess the excitement for when they showed up and gave me a goodie bag full of Ikea wonderfulness along with my gift card….I am thinking of making it a mandatory rule for houseguests to bring goodie bags.

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It has been a couple weeks since that wonderful visit and that $50 is literally burning a whole in my pocket! I have already pretty much spent it, down to every last penny in a couple of different ways. We have recently acquired a hand-me-down dining room table and chairs and I, I mean my saint of a husband, has been busy putting some personal touches on it. And all it needs is a rug to put under it to really set the whole look off.  Que option collages for  “how to spend my Ikea dough”

Option #1: is all about the rug for the dining room and adding some art/frame collages the stairwells to the five I already have going on throughout the house.

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Then there is option number #2 which sadly does not end at the $50 mark (which means one kiddos piggy bank has to go on a diet or very soon will be having some libpo done).

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It really is not a free for all, it is just a collection of things I have had my eye on for a loooong time. Though I do need that gray rug and that small turquoise rug would be a lifesaver for the front door/entry way that is seriously lacking any personality or catcher of dirt. The pillow (or pillows cause I would get 2 of them) would add some much needed color to our couch and those placemats are just all kinds of awesome. The hurricane vase is something I almost grab every time we go but for some reason it always jumps out of my yellow bag and never lands in my blue one.

Then there is option #3 which is all our new dining room table and setting it up for its first official dinner. We have an assorted collection of dinnerware that is slowly becoming chipped and which none of which has enough settings to go around our new table with 6 seats. So the solution is to get pretty new dishes with the funds and dipping into my own pocketbook for the rug.

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So what to do: be sensible and not go over my gift card limit, go all kinds of crazy and get the things I always walk away from, or go the route of housewife-martydom and sacrifice the dough for the good of the kitchen cupboards. You can totally see my predicatment can’t you?? Have any of you ever won anything? What would you do with a gift card to your favorite store?

Leave Your Apples on the Desk, Please

So after a long wait on getting our supplies and an extended summer vacation ( to the Padawan’s approval), we have finally ventured into the world of homeschooling.

It has been a whirlwind of creating schedules, making a Jedi approved workspace, keeping the mama sane, and general testing of unfamiliar waters. This organized chaos started when this package arrived on our doorstep (finally!).

The Padawan was beyond excited; poor thing is like his mama and was beyond ready to start school. I swear every morning started with the phrase, “Do I get to start school today??  I curbed held my enthusiasm and waited for him so we could open the box together which was not an easy thing to do. I swear it was like Christmas opening that big box that we knew was full of books! Ok, maybe it was just like Christmas  for a school nerd (which I am guilty charged as).

Just look at those beautiful books! Then we attacked delved into the books! Is it just me or are school textbooks some special kind of magic? I loved looking in mine as soon as I got them and that is a trait that is passed down through the wonders of genetics ’cause Padawan was ready to tear into them as soon as I got them out of the box!

Our first day has been filled with getting our bearings on this new and exciting learning adventure. Reading of the teaching manual (thank goodness for that ’cause that was not one of my degrees) and learning to navigate a school schedule at home has been a bit bumpy. But we are okay since we are grading on a curve here since this is our first year doing it and we are fully expecting a few hiccups along the way. Of course those hiccups are more tolerable when there is a Starbucks giftcard and new music from iTunes to smooth things over (that is my defense for the mess on the desk).

It helps to see how enthusiastic he is about learning. He definitely has the learning bug, though his high friction energy makes quiet studying moments like these amazingly rewarding.

And it is amazingly sweet that he wants to help his sister learn with him. He thinks she is in second grade too since he reads his text books to her.

 

It is too cute to watch her  sit and try to figure out how to color with the crayons he was kind enough to share with her. Yes, I am the type of mom that let’s her 5 month old play with crayons and thankfully baby clothes do not have pockets or the laundry gremlins would have ambushed me for the second time this week (FYI Borax laundry soap gets crayon out of clothes. Trust me, you will thank me sometime for that golden nugget of information).