Monday, May 30, 2011

Overdoing it...

Well, we officially have a lot going on.

Baby is due in 5 weeks. She has officially relocated all my internal organs and is working on expanding my pelvis. She evidently enjoys interior design. All the organ rearrangement is causing me a lot of pain in my back, my left side, and - well - my pelvis. We still need to get a car seat and a few more things for her before her arrival. Thankfully, as a result of the surprise baby shower I had at work, we're far more prepared than we were a week ago.

We put an offer in on a house, and it was accepted, and now we are in pending status. We're due to close on July 21st. This is good - the original counter-offer was for us to close on the 7th, the day after Bronwyn's due date. Still, it means a whole lotta crazy and not much sleep in July, and then having to move in the midst of it all. I'm a wee bit terrified. I'm sure it will all work out, and sometimes I actually wish I could get in there early and get a nursery ready.

My job in the emergency department ends in August. That's actually okay, as my fabulous other boss has offered me full-time employment working on her studies, and my emergency medicine boss has offered to help me find hospital social work employment to keep me in the ED. It's good to know that I'm appreciated and looked out for... only a little bit stressful to not know for sure what is going to happen.

Bryce has recently decided that he doesn't want to nap anymore. This leads to extended and heightened temper tantrums because he's constantly tired. It also means a more difficult and demanding bed-time routine, because he's over-tired by 8:00 and practically inconsolable.

Thanks to the guilty feelings we have about the untimely death of Bess, we got two more chicks to keep Audrey company. They were supposed to be pullets - pre-teen kind of chickens, but really, the dude sold us chicks. One of them is really small, and the bigger one has decided that she would really like to eat the small one. The bigger one constantly pecks the little one, who has lost about a third of her feather covering on her back and her shoulders. We've read that they sometimes actually will eat each other. So, we separate them and they both cry and cry and cry, because being babies they want to be among other chicks. Then we put them back together and the whole violent spectacle begins anew. Not sure whether to just "let nature take its course" or to make them both miserable by keeping them apart. I think I'm going to rig up a box with chicken wire on it to keep them separated, but make it possible for them to see each other. We'll see how that goes... assuming the big one doesn't kill the little one over night tonight. They've slept together two nights in a row so far without incident. It's when they're awake that they have problems.

Right now, I kind of want to go back in time 5 years and just stop at the one dog - no Tesuque, no kids, no chickens, no house. Too late now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surprise Baby shower

So, it turns out my co-workers love me. Today, they threw me a surprise baby shower!

Monday, May 16, 2011

House Hunting - Day 3

We saw something sad today. A cute little house that was almost completely trashed by the three dudes renting it. They were growing a little something interesting in one of their closets, too. Do they not think that prospective home buyer would, you know, look in the closets??

We saw a really neat house in a really nasty neighborhood. That was also pretty sad, because the asking price on that house was WELL within our means. We'd have been able to do some serious renovations to it, too.

We saw a house that is a real contender. It's in a GREAT neighborhood, and it has a very doable floor plan. There will need to be some work done - one wall between the kitchen and living room will need to be taken out, and one wall between the living room and what will become a master bedroom will need to be re-built. Otherwise, it's got a lovely view of Sandia from the front yard, and when we pulled up, a nice couple taking a walk stopped and said, "it's a great neighborhood, you'd really like living here!" That's always a plus.

The last house we saw today was awesome for sheer kitsch value. It was obviously decorated painstakingly in the 1970s, and it still looked catalogue-worthy... for 1972. Well-maintained and awesome. It even had big yellow tulip floral wallpaper in the kitchen. Loved it, but would need to renovate it, and it's priced at $200K.

So far, I've got one favorite from each day of house hunting. They range in price from "just-what-we-can-afford" to "probably-more-than-we-can-afford"

We talk to the loan lady tomorrow, so we'll see what she has to say about them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

House Hunting - Day Two

On Friday, our realtor took us out again. We actually saw 6 more houses today, again in a two-hour time frame.

Gloria is a machine!

The houses ranged from oh-my-god in a good way to oh-my-god in the worst possible way. Imagine a little beat-up house, inhabited by college boys, bedecked by posters (including one of Michael Jackson with a panther), and furnished with futon mattresses and a Foosball table - with a city housing project across the street. We saw that house yesterday.

We also saw the most amazing, cozy, wonderful house in an incredible neighborhood. Sadly, it's about $20k outside the high end of our price range. Drag.

We also saw a house that has a lot of potential but needs a complete interior overhaul. There was a double oven that I swear was older than I am. It was pea-green, along with the dishwasher. The bathrooms were ancient and in a sad state. The crowning glory was an enormous brick fireplace with flagstone shelves scattered about here and there. The place could, in the right hands and with an additional $50k, be really impressive. Sadly, they are asking wayyyy too much for it. Plus, I wouldn't want to have to keep paying rent here while the contractors tear it up and rebuild it. Still, I gotta say I liked that house and found it intriguing. The sad thing is that it was obviously the former home of some little elderly person who probably passed away recently. Ty found it depressing, but I felt like someone really loved that house for many, many years. The yard was filled with roses.

So, day two down. Probably a third day of looking next week. Talking to the loan lady on Monday, too...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

New House Hunting: Day 1

Our realtor took us out today to look at houses. She had five to show us in one afternoon, and we saw them all in a two-hour span, even with Bryce in tow.

The first house was in an unexceptional neighborhood - perhaps a little too close to one of the busier streets in Albuquerque. When we got inside, the house was really lovely. There was a nice, open floor plan but only two bedrooms. The kitchen was great, and there was actually a garage (which, I suppose we could turn into a bedroom like everyone else in Albuquerque does). But the yard... my god the yard...

I've read "park-like setting" on descriptions of outdoor living spaces before, but I've never seen anything quite like this. There was a pond, a little acequia, a chicken house with a pen, and just about a full quarter-acre in the back.

The second house was in a gorgeous, stunning neighborhood, in the right school district, and had three full bedrooms. The yard was really nice with excellent shade trees. The only problem: no dining area. There was also a really sketchy garage - though it is detached. I think that we would have loved that house more had we not just been thoroughly wowed by the previous home's yard.

The next house we'd actually seen before. But the fourth house was like nothing I've ever seen.

As we pulled up, Ty pointed out a huge 1980s era RV parked in the driveway. He asked the realtor, "Have you ever seen Breaking Bad." She laughed and said, "I KNOW!" Well, turns out it wasn't too far from the truth. The place was littered with old furniture, the cabinets were falling apart, you could see the wood frame of the house in several places where the plaster was falling away from the walls, and there were some very creepy, dark stairs that we didn't end up venturing up. A shirtless man was in the house, evidently "fixing it up." Our realtor found this confusing since the house wasn't supposed to be occupied. Yeah, that place was a mess. So sad, too... you could tell it was once a very charming bungalow - and a rare thing in that particular neighborhood where most houses are the pueblo-style cinder block variety.

That was exhausting and pretty enlightening. Our realtor didn't seem wowed by any of the homes we saw. She told me to keep my eyes peeled because once school ends, a lot of homes evidently go on the market. Day one: down.