Saturday, April 30, 2011

We gave it a try, but it's just not working out....

When we moved in to mom and dad's house, Keith and I decided to share a sock drawer!  After a brief discussion tonight, it seems this has not been working out well for both parties involved and our socks will be going separate ways when we move into the new house.  No hard feelings, I think everyone will be much happier.  However, we both agreed, how great would it be to just throw all our socks away and buy all new ones:)))  Have any of you ever done that?  The pack rat in me probably couldn't handle it, I still have a few pairs from high school.  But I sure do like new socks!

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A few more from the fire station

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1st friend birthday party

One of the boys at daycare invited all the kids to his birthday party, which was at the fire station in Clive.  We weren't sure how things would go, but the boys loved the firetrucks!  Usually Dylan is our shy guy, but today it was Carter.  Dylan got so into it right away and was all ears listening to the fireman and just loving get in and out of the trucks and he made sure his hat was on the entire time!  It's so much fun to see your kid really into something. 
Carter finally warmed up towards the end and started to have a good time.

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Making Progress!

Standing in the kitchen, the table will go right in front of the big window.

Here is the family room the fireplace will be where the big hole is.

Tonight we went to the house to check on the progress, when we pulled up the boys were saying "new house, our new house."  They seemed pretty interested in all of it and as we told them what was what, they repeated what we were saying. 
They made great progress this week, every day we stopped, we saw noticeable change.  They started to lay out the second floor and I think they should be done framing on Tuesday.  Then I think they will be on to siding.  It is crazy to walk through and see an actual house!
We met one of the neighbors who lives behind us tonight. He said there are 30 kids under 10, so we were pretty excited to hear that!  Hopefully the boys will love growing up here.
Slowly making progress picking out things.  My goal was to be done with the lights this weekend.  Making progress, still finalizing bathrooms and kitchen pendants.  We got most the faucets picked out last week, that wasn't too bad.  However, I decided it was good that I am picking most of these things out after I caught Keith watching a couple demo videos on the shower head he as picking out.  I love that he likes to research his purchases, but at that pace, we wouldn't be moving in until Christmas. 
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Friday, April 29, 2011

I think this sums up this era for me.

Some fun Keith missed out on while in Minneapolis for some work meetings….

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Wednesday night:
Around 1ish, I wake up to Dylan tapping on me with nothing on but a diaper. Went to his room and it seems he drank far too much water and his diaper was soaked along with his sheets, blankets and the PJ’s he had been wearing. He was so funny, going straight to the drawer for new sheets and helping me change the bed. He was so good through getting new PJ’s on and getting the bed together and got right into his bed to go back to sleep. I was nervous he wouldn’t go back to sleep or would want to come into bed with me. Then right as I was finishing up, Carter woke up and he didn’t want me to leave. So I ended up holding him for about 20 minutes and got him back down.

Thursday night:
Mom and I took the boys to eat at the Olive Garden. Overall, they were pretty good and the dinner went well. But right at the end, Carter was sitting on my lap and suddenly threw up. I heard a bit of a cough and my leg was all wet. Poor guy, he didn’t get sick any more that night, maybe he just ate something too quickly. Regardless, I couldn’t really get up and definitely walked out of Olive Garden with puke all over my pants. Needless to say, at about 9:00, I was very appreciative of my bath.

Then later that night, before going to bed, I went to check on them. The minute I opened the door, I was hit with a rather strong odor. Exactly what I suspected, Carter had a dirty diaper. It seems this happens about once every four or five months. I managed to get him changed without waking him and all was good!

We’re all excited for daddy to return

One of those twin things...

Here is a random one-

Last weekend, both boys had a new box of colors and were sitting back-to-back. Keith said they both pulled out the same red crayon and he thought that was odd, then they both pulled another out at the same time, same color again! Then I guess Dylan lost interest in the colors, so who knows if number three would have been the same.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

"home" work

It rained most of last week, so the house progress was slightly delayed.  They were able to pour the basement on Thursday and started framing on Friday.  I guess they can frame and pretty much do anything else in the rain, so we should be good moving forward.  Now it will be really fun to go and visit as we should see big changes.  I'm really excited to get the structure up and start to get a feel for the actual home. 
Lots of choices on the agenda for me, I need to make some final decisions in the next couple weeks- big ones on the list:
door styles
and a few others!

On a good note, I have been hunting for new bedding for our room for a long time now and found some on a pretty sweet deal, so I am happy to have that bought.  Now Keith can start working on the headboard.  The downside of buying it on sale is I was only able to get the duvet cover and two euro shams, so I need to find a bed skirt and a couple other pieces that will coordinate.  The pieces are a dark purple, which is not at all the direction I thought I would go, so I'm thinking about a slate / charcoal gray for the rest of the pieces.  The hunt is on!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The boys really enjoyed the Easter baskets and hunting for eggs this year. Even more so, they LOVED the candy!  Then they were a little crazy for a while. 

Easter Eggs

This was our first year dying Easter eggs with the boys!  They each made one at school earlier that day, so they were familiar with the process.  Keith said they were quite proud of them when he picked them up and they had to hold them the entire drive home.
So on Friday night we went to my sister's house and dyed eggs with Cade.  The boys seemed to really enjoy doing it. Carter was funny because every time he got a new one he would drop it pretty hard into the bowl, they may of had a few cracks!
Mom peeled some for them to try, but they weren't too big of fans!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The things you do for a to satisfy a two year old

These are some pics from when we went bowling a while back!  

I'm sure many of you with young children can relate to the crazy things we do to keep our little ones happy!  Especially the two-year olds!

At bedtime, they are starting to attempt to stretch the process, I have to go back and forth between beds for all kinds of hugs and kisses about three times to each bed (of course I don't mind this popularity too much), but one of the latest night time concerns have been these dents in the carpet from the bed that used to be in the boys room.  They won't stop talking about them, then they have to touch the spot, then we cover the two spots up with blankets.  Then we are good.

Poor Keith is living a rough battle these days.  He has a truck, so the car seats are behind the passenger, then in the middle, so only one DVD screen.  So now all of a sudden, both want the seat with the DVD player and the one who doesn't get it cries for an extended period of time.  We are working on the concept of next time, you get that seat.  

Generally when we get into the car, Dylan has to sit in drivers seat and drive.  He always says, I drive, I drive. 

When we get out, they each have to shut off their DVD screen- you don't want to be around if I accidentally shut one off

Carter still has to wear his pull-ups- but on a good note, we have actually gone to bed with PJs that weren't Thomas

No longer attempt baths without bubbles

Suddenly they know the difference between outside toys and inside toys and tonight they found a couple little hand shovels that are for the sandbox, so Carter opened the front door and threw his outside, then Dylan set the other one outside....totally random!

Carter always has to walk when we get out of the car, Dylan is a clinger and stays close to me

I still have to pretend to take food from Stella and give back to them after they drop food on the floor and she eats it

Of course, we redo many things because each has to do it- i do it, i do it...

Plenty of others I'm sure, I just can't think of anymore right now. 

This looks like some serious bath time

Last night Cade was over and when Keith started to get the boys in the tub, he said he needed a bath too.  He was really stinky and everything because he had been burping and farting all day.

Selling our firs home

A lot of people have asked about selling our house in Minnesota. I have been meaning to do a post on the topic and haven't gotten around to it or maybe still just adjusting to it not being our home.

We had a lot of negatives stacked against us attempting to sell in an extremely down market, listing December 27th, one of the slowest real estate times of the year. We bought our house in 2006 at the peak of the market and decided to price to sell, listing quite a bit below what we bought our house for, and beyond that, not recouping any of the improvements we made. At the time we bought, homes were appreciating around 6% a year, so we had a blast fixing up our house and making some upgrades we really enjoyed (getting rid of the 70's appliances and some original carpet). So as we made major improvements and thought we would easily be able to make up for it when we sold later. This did not end up being the case!
We were lucky to get two offers after being on the market for about two weeks. The first was really low, then we got a second, so the first one upped her offer. I believe she added about $5,000, but wanted us to throw in our lawn mower, our snow blower and our garage fridge. So we passed and worked with the other offer. We countered her low-ball offer, expecting her to counter back. And she stayed and passed. So we waited it out a couple days to see if she would come back. After about a week, we didn't hear anything, so we decided to make an offer to her. She was pre-qualified and was not asking for closing costs. Which is a good chunk of money most buyers are asking from the sellers right now. We gave her our final lowest offer and she was a tough bargainer and we lowered a bit more to seal the deal. So we definitely took a decent hit selling our home, but we were fortunate to sell it quickly in a tough market. We hesitated at times selling so quick, considering better offers could have come along. But we considered our monthly carrying costs, the fact that she didn't ask for closing costs and the peace of mind to just move on and not have it hanging over our heads for months. Because as each month passed, we could have ended up with the same net or even less, and had the burden of knowing it wasn't selling. So we bit the bullet and cut our losses. Thankfully, Keith got a great relocation packaging and we didn't have to pay 6% in realtor fees. So overall, we were pretty lucky.

So how did we sell our house in a down market?

First off, we watch a lot of HGTV, so we had a few tips from them, then I did lots of reading online and took advice from many people. The key is to be the BEST house in your area in your price range. And I would say we definitely did this! There was a lot of overpriced junk on the market in the area! In addition we did all these things:
-Our realtor had a stager help us, she basically moved furniture around to make the house look as big as possible and placed things in certain spots to help your eye travel through the house and to help highlight positive features- an example of this, I had a vase by the front door, she moved it because you don't want buyers to feel crowded when they walk into the home
-Like I mentioned above, we priced to sell, many overprice and then end up taking significantly less after being on the market for a long period of time
-We got rid of a TON of extra stuff to make the house look extra big
-I had the closets extremely organized and left nothing on the floors- they say you can stack to ceiling, but keep the closet floors empty

-I did not repaint- some say bold colors can be a turn-off, if we didn't sell I would have considered repainting - we did do some touch-ups
-We had the carpets cleaned and did a big deep clean (thanks to the help of my mom and Keith's mom)

-Basically had all clean counters in kitchen and bath outside of decorations, even read to remove the hand soap
-I even did an extreme organization on the kitchen cupboards lining up the spices and having all the cups perfectly aligned - they say if buyers see you are particular about things, they will assume you treated your home with that same extreme
-It was very clean for showings (as I looked at 50+ houses during my recent house search, I believe I was an overachiever in this area. I saw a lot of messy houses, a few with closets where stuff about fell down on me and even one bathroom cabinet, I saw what I believe was at one time an apple?)
-Since it was winter, we printed larger pics of our deck/fire pit and set them on the counter so people could visualize

-We had a decent sized unfinished basement, I made a schematic to give potential buyers a vision of how they could double the size of the house (I made this on
-We bought a buyer/seller home-owner's warranty, which came in handy when the water heater broke- the new owner should throw some rocks in her heater and AC so she can get a new one before that expires - both were the original and Keith didn't think we would ever get away without replacing those
-Removed tons of clutter, I got rid of a handful of personal pictures, but not all- they recommend you get rid of all, but I think they can show some personality to the house
-We painted all the trim around the windows on the exterior and susie touched up the interior trim

I think that is about it! Selling your house is A LOT of work!!! I won't be signing up for that again anytime soon. One of the hardest rooms to pack up and say goodbye to was definitely the boys room. I put a lot of work in it to make it a special place for them and it will always be their first room with so many memories as our first moments as parents.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

House update....we have walls!

Home construction is well on it's way.  Troy has us on an aggressive schedule, planning to close at the of  June!  Less than three months and we should be in our own home.  Framing starts next week  It's funny because the hole looks big, then it sorta doesn't.  Without all the walls in for scale, when standing in there I wondered how you could possible fit a bedroom, living room and kitchen- I'm sure it will all fit!  

With the aggressive schedule, more decisions to be made quickly!  We have to have cabinets ordered this week, so I was able to meet with those people briefly today.  (It is really hard to meet with all these different suppliers b/c it seems they all work 8-5).  I thought this decision would probably be one of the hardest, but the lady already had the kitchen sketched out, so I really just picked color, style and had her adjust a couple things.  It's tough to land on the right color since styles seem to change so quickly!  I love  espresso right now, but not sure if I will love it forever.  So I went with a mocha, which is a little bit of a lighter brown than the picture below.  The style will be like the cabinet below in the middle, not sure on hardware yet.  

Here is the sketch of the kitchen, it will be a bit different.  And the island will have a bigger counter top than shown on the sketch.  We don't have a ton of cabinets, but we will have a pantry, so I'm hoping we will have plenty of space.  I'm planning on taking the china out of their boxes for this house, since we will be here for a while.

Sorry these are sideways:)


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