Thursday, January 31, 2008

Showing the House!

Guess what? I'm supposed to show the house this morning. Someone called yesterday for information, and I told her I was interviewing agents and to call back soon if she wanted to get it for a good deal. She called this morning and wants to come with her husband. I don't have an exact time, though, so I'm waiting around chewing my cuticles now! I sent my two year old off to my mom's, canceled my doctor's appointment and a massage I was supposed to do (have I mentioned I'm a massage therapist?), and I cleaned like a maniac. And now...I'm out of stuff to do. I've never been good at waiting. And I've had people not show in the past. What if she doesn't show? The house looks so amazing! It would be a waste for nobody to see it until the kids get home and demolish it again.
I guess I should get the paper and have a cup of coffee and enjoy this rare moment of being alone in a clean (spotless!) house.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I did my agent interviews this morning. It took so much longer than I expected. The first was 1 hour and the second was 1.5 hours. I ended up having to ask my girlfriend to pick up my 2 year old from pre-school, and he went home with her for lunch.
The interviews went well, and my problem is that I really like them both. I'm going to have to be very objective and base the decision on ability. Only they both are really experienced and well connected. The one that seems to specialize in my neighborhood is who I'm leaning toward, but my husband prefers the other one. But he's leaving the whole thing up to me and wants me to deal with it by myself. He is way too much of a "do-it-yourselfer" to consider ever hiring an agent. I am supposed to hear back from them both with some answers to my large list of questions and my CMA (comparative market analysis), and then I will try to decide. In the meantime, another agent/builder called and asked to come by Friday. He pretended not to know, but he apparently drove by and saw the other agents cars. Such a competitive business!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bye Bye Years of Clutter

It feels so good to clean out clutter you've been meaning to get to for years!!! There is nothing more therapeutic. After we finished the basement two years ago, we never cleaned out the one room we left unfinished for storage. Or the garage, that's been getting worse and worse during all these other projects. (Guy's getting a real work room in the next house.) Saturday we cleaned out the garage, but I don't have a picture of that yet. Guy's out there vacuuming it right now with the wet vac. I'll try to post that tomorrow. But here's the basement storage room that we tackled today...

And After!!!

We were embarrassed by some of the stuff we found down there. You wouldn't believe the number of old cardboard boxes. I think I totaled 5 trips to the recycling center counting both projects. The real challenge was recycling as much as we could instead of giving into the easier temptation of just throwing it all in the dump. The one thing we couldn't recycle was all the wood scraps from the moulding and trim projects. The man at the center said he didn't know of any where to do that. That's gonna present a challenge for me when we do finally get to build because it is important to me to recycle as much building material as possible. I'm gonna look to see if I can find any companies in Atlanta who do it. But how much would that cost?

Anyway, I can't express how good it feels to have these room cleaned out! It's like I can breathe easier. And now I feel ready to invite realtors in and interview them. Hmm, typing that made me realize I don't. I have to clean the house! Finally touch up this wall paint in the office! Organize all my drawers! Clean my bedroom carpet! Does it ever end?????

Friday, January 25, 2008

big boy bed

It is so hard to convince a child to sleep in a big boy bed. Today I decided to try it again at nap time. I am listening to him scream and talk to himself still after about 30 mins. He's used to sleeping in that bed because I've slept in it with him off and on his whole life. He even thinks it's funny at first. Then he wants back in his crib. But the crib rail is at his lower ribs by now, and it is time to move on! It's also time to potty train, but I'm taking one step at a time. Hmm, he's quiet. I should go check... Nope, I hear him playing with his shape sorter.

Having a two year old when you're expecting a baby brings about such an urgency to get the two year old more independent. It's a little sad to rush them out of baby-hood. But I think without that pressure, it's also too easy to prolong baby-hood a little too long. Still, I've been thinking about spacing the next one closer to 3 years. Of course, I said that last time. I get major baby fever when those fat cheeks start slimming up.

Okay, I'm going to put him in his crib and wave my white flag. Again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Finished Office

I am so happy to be posting this picture and declaring this project DONE! It was so much work. It took 3 full weekends, plus some extra time painting. Truthfully, I still have to touch up the wall paint above the moulding, but I'm still calling this baby done! And it looks so nice. My husband made the panels just from me describing what I wanted, and he did an even better job than I asked for. The walls are so high in here, about 16 feet I'm guessing, so I couldn't paint the top part myself. He had to do his first ever "cutting in" painting job on one of those straight ladders. We set it at too great an angle, and I watched him fall all the way down. It was so terrifying! He fell right on his belly too, so it's good it wasn't me up there. He got bruised up a little, but he was fine. I think it traumatized me much more than it did him.

Here's a before picture of the room:

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that all this work pays off and helps us sell this house. I really, really want to be out this summer!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Whine, whine, whine

I am so dead tired. I wish I could just sleep these last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. We have been working so hard to get this house ready for the spring market, plus my usual nesting projects. I keep asking my husband why all my painting projects always fall into the 8th or 9th month of a pregnancy. He says it's the only time he can get any real work out of me! Hmmm, maybe so, but I'm still gonna whine about it. We are finishing up our last big project, but I can't seem to get done painting it! We got the walls done this weekend, and I've already done two coats on the new panel moulding. But, the white just isn't covering well. So it looks like I'll be painting again tonight when my husband gets home. Then I'm never picking up a paint brush again! Until next time, anyway...

In other news, we've decided to go ahead and start interviewing agents soon. We've been For Sale By Owner for about 10 months, and it doesn't seem like it's gonna work this time. After this project and after Guy cleans out the garage and basement storage room a little, I'm gonna start interviewing. One agent has almost every house in my neighborhood listed. So, why would she care which one she sells? On the other hand, she's the expert around here. There are two more top agents we like, but I feel it would be a risk not to list with the one that has all the other business. She gets a large percentage of the big spending buyers too, so that is important to think about. In the meantime, I've been gathering all the information to create my own list of comparables, both sold and for sale, so I can go into the interviews with some idea of the current market. Pricing is so tricky. I want to price to sell!! As long as we can cover our expenses, that's all I ask.

More to come on that soon, and I'll post pictures of the office once I finally finish that damn paint!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We have all been sick with a cold and terrible cough all week. I can't believe how many colds we get now that we have school age children. My husband suggested we get rid of them, but we decided we'd just deal. In the meantime, we finished our latest house project. Well, almost finished. Once I get the final coat of paint on, I'll post pictures. We had talked about doing one more, but my husband told me Sunday night that he doesn't think I have it in me. I was pretty relieved. With 7 weeks to go in the pregnancy, he is right. So, after this we will focus on getting the garage and basement storage room cleaned out and organized. Then I'm gonna start having open houses and try to get this place sold!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Emotions Gone Wild

I was just trying to rush to get my marinara sauce started for tonight's lasagna, and the kids were playing. Coo had put on his cowboy costume, so it usually follows that Boo wants to wear his too. I felt something tap me on the leg, and I looked down to see Boo holding his cowboy vest for me to help him put on. He had the sweetest smile on his face. Without warning, I found myself crying as I helped him into his outfit. It hit me so hard that they are not gonna be little boys very long. It's so easy to get caught up in daily living and concentrate on how hard it is to, say, chop vegetables with two young boys underfoot. Or worse, fighting in the next room. But in that moment, I felt how fleeting it is and knew how lonely I'd be when I'm cooking supper for only my husband and me.
Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but the moment hit me hard and unexpected.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Purging and Reducing

In one of the blogs I read, the mom is making some big changes. Bigger than I'm willing to commit to right now, but I do feel like what she's doing is good in many ways. She is taking a year off from shopping for things they simply want and do not need. But her most recent post was about purging her home of the things they don't need and aren't using. Getting rid of the excess. It was funny because the day I read it, I had gone through the toys on our upper level and done the same thing. We actually try to do that regularly, but I had not done the toys in a long time. I put about 26 stuffed animals in a laundry basket, and I couldn't make myself put them in my car to donate. I just knew my 4.5 year old would terribly miss something. After debating whether to involve him or not, my husband and I decided to ask him about it. I was so shocked at his response. He immediately got into it and made two piles. One to keep and one to give to another kid who may enjoy it more. I think he only ended up keeping 9 for himself. And he informed me that two of them belonged to his brother, and we needed to ask him about those. Now, of the 9, I'm gonna have him choose some of them to keep at his grandma's house, but I'm still so proud that he was willing to give any of them away. I even think he was kinda into it and excited about making another baby happy. We were both so proud of him. Now I just need to get motivated to tackle the attic like the other blogger is doing. Maybe if we ever sell the house, we will do it out of necessity!

Friday, January 4, 2008

House For Sale

We've been trying to sell our house for about 10 months now. We only have it "For Sale by Owner" for now, but I'm starting to wonder if that's gonna work. We sold our last house that way, but it was during a healthy market. At first, in the Spring, we got quite a bit of attention. Now, I don't think I've had a call since August. That's why we are doing almost constant home improvements right now. When the market picks up, hopefully, in the Spring, we want to be competitive with the 20 other houses for sale in our neighborhood. Since I'm due to have the baby early March, it will be good timing to kick it up a notch. Until then, we will continue to do projects and nest. So, here are the latest...

My husband installed the bead board in the powder room, and I painted it a nice Tapestry.

In this picture you can kinda see all the moulding we put around the windows and the judges paneling my husband put up. This is the formal dining room.

We also put crown moulding in 10 rooms upstairs that didn't have it (including the halls) and we repainted all the halls a nicer and more washable paint. We dressed up the columns with lots of moulding and tiled the back splash in the kitchen. I stained the deck. We put in a custom closet system that rocks. We have a few more projects then we are gonna stop. I can't think of much else to do. And it doesn't seem to matter anyway because I can't get any buyers in to see it. That's why I'm gonna have to consider hiring an agent toward the end of summer. I'm hoping we've increased our value enough that we can pay one now and still get what we need from the house.

If you're really curious, you can check out the website I made to put on our info sheet in the for sale sign.

More projects are planned for the weekend, so I'll post pictures when I can.