Friday, January 30, 2009

can I think of anything but real estate?

I think I need to rename this blog "My real estate obsessions." Heard from our agent today, and we have a showing tomorrow morning. It's the agent who sold us this house, so that's neat. I've already started cleaning. Just finished scrubbing 3 of the 5 bathrooms. I don't see the other two getting cleaned, honestly. I need to find a chance to clean the living room carpet again. Problem is, it's too loud to do while the baby sleeps, and it's impossible to do it while he's awake. Which is why they are filthy! I plan to never use carpet again, if I can convince my hubby. Maybe I have a chance, though, because his initial plan was to carpet the whole new office, and there is NO carpet in there. One point for me!
Seems like my chances of finishing the grout in the office are diminishing this weekend. We have the showing, the Superbowl, and G has a beer tasting he wants to attend Saturday. If all goes well, I'll be busy signing a contract anyway. Oh, to dream...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tiki and real estate

Tiki already shows a love for music and dancing. All three of our boys have from an early age. He started walking last week, and he was standing up and dancing to the beat even before that. He's such a sweet and cuddly baby. Even so, he is the clingiest one we've had. I've never been able to put him down for very long.
When we came home from picking up S from school yesterday, there was an agent in our driveway. She had a man with her, and it was obvious they had been looking at houses. He was an Asian man with a strong accent wearing a suit. She had my flyer and asked if she could see it right away. I asked if I could go in and flush toilets and remove diapers. I had about 5 mins to throw things in drawers and shove an armful of stuff in the van. We drove around for about 10 minutes, and they were gone when we came back. You can't really look at this house in 10 minutes, so I assume he didn't like it. Oh well. I'm just glad I didn't know the day before and spend 8 hours cleaning and 24 hours being stressed. It's almost better this way, with no appointment.
I'll let you know if I get any feedback. My agent seemed irritated it happened that way. She said she had just shown one of that agent's houses. I hope I hear from her today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

more rambling on the office

It seems all I can think or blog about is real estate and the office. I got about half (or less) of the tile grouted yesterday. It looks AWESOME. I have to brag and say that all the men working on the project are really impressed. To me, that's way more of a compliment than if a friend says they like it. The senior builder said "I'd recommend you", which for me was huge. It is such satisfying work. There is instant reward and you always know your end point. It's peaceful and steady. Who knows, maybe I have much more tiling in my future. I'm pretty sure my husband will insist upon it! As for him, I have to brag a little. Yesterday, he took a day off so I could grout. He took the baby to the grocery store, got all the right things, and put everything away! He picked S up from school, then he brought the three kids to see me. Finally, when I got home, he met me at the door with a glass of wine! The house was picked up and the kids were happy. Honestly, I could get used to that.
They finished the bamboo floors today, and I love them! I've always wanted to test those out, so here we go. I consider the office a big test for (hopefully) building a house one day. As for that, I did talk to my agent today. Someone who looked at the house a long time ago (maybe 9 months!) must still be thinking about it. Their agent asked her if I would take $400,000 for it. We're asking $479,000, so it's almost an insult. I told her to tell him we could only go to $450,000, and that is a give-away! But at this point, we would if we could.
She mentioned other leads, but I don't have any showings scheduled, if that tells you anything. I think this is the "I know my contract is running out soon" dance that we do every 3 months or so.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waving the White Flag

I've surrendered, and I hired a guy to do the bamboo floors. He gave me a great price, and he's a pro who knows how to handle the height difference. He'll put in a reducer, which I had considered doing. Honestly, I was trying to take on too much. We want to be in at the end of the month. I still have to grout ALL that tile. Lay tile in the bathroom/kitchenette. Paint ALL the ceiling tiles. Plus find time to furnish and decorate the place. It will be worth it. I just get stubborn and take on too much. I do still have three kids to take care of, you know. (That's me still making excuses to myself.)
G is taking off work Monday, so we have three days to get as much done as we can. I'll try to post pictures.
In other real estate news... Oh, there is no other real estate news. That's right, NONE! I'm glad to be distracted by the office for now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

need wood

I have to find some wood for the rest of the office floor by Saturday. I got some gorgeous bamboo at Sams, but I don't know if it's gonna work. I laid down a piece today, and it is gonna be about 1/2 inch higher than the tile. It's 5/8 in thick. I really want to use it. I did some searching and found a "reducer" piece, but it would be like a tiny little hill to get on the bamboo floor. Is that bad? I don't want a thin piece of engineered wood that will scratch after seeing this beautiful bamboo. What do I do? We are supposed to lay the floor this weekend. It has me crazy!
On a good note, I somehow got in a nap this afternoon with all three kids at home! Hallelujah!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

more on tiling

I finished tiling the public areas of the office Sunday. I still have to do the small bathroom and kitchenette area, then I will begin grouting. It's weird. It hurts and it's hard, but it's such a peaceful job. When I got home Sunday, the kids attacked me when I walked in the door. My husband had taken all the kids to a birthday party (I was proud of him!), and he called just as I was finishing up to ask if we could go to dinner with three other families. I was so tired and dirty, I couldn't imagine it! I said yes, though, and we did have fun.
What was surprising was the lesson I learned about greeting a spouse when he/she returns from work. It's really true what I've heard about them needing 10 minutes to regroup. All I wanted was to change clothes, pour a glass of wine, and nurse little Tiki. I couldn't deal with the kid's requests for apple juice or to help pull their pants up. And I got a different perspective on the late call requesting a dinner date. Of course, tiling is pretty hard work, so I assume it's a little different from a comfortable desk job. But I bet the mental part of it is the same.
I told my husband about my epiphany, and he seemed to light up a little. I know at the same time, he was learning a lesson or two about the spouse who stays home with the three kids! Overall, it was a good lesson for us both.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiling the office floor

I haven't talked much about the new office because our builder has been doing most the work. Now that it's time for the finishing touches, though, we are taking over. We have decided to tile much of the space, and so Saturday I began tiling floors for the first time. I've done backsplashes and showers, so I figured I could handle the floors. It ends up that they are easier. While I'm working, though, the rooms get bigger and bigger in my head! I think the hardest thing about the job is worrying about my kids, especially the baby. G stayed home with them Saturday. I needed his help Sunday, so my mom hung out here at the house with them. For some reason, I just can't use the tile cutter, and it helped my back and knees to have someone there to hand me the tiles as I worked. Otherwise, you are getting up and down constantly.

That would be the second hardest part: the back and knee pain. If I'm careful, it isn't too bad. I am in my thirty's now, and I notice many more aches and pains.

The experience make me appreciate, again, that I am able to stay home with my children. It is very stressful to me when I don't have access to them. Even though I know they are being well cared for, I miss them.

Anyway, here is a picture of the work I had done after day two. I have MUCH more to do. I won't promise that I'll finish. I may end up hiring someone to do the other two rooms, but I really do want to try to do it myself. It depends on how much my mom can help with the kids because it really is easier when my husband is there to help me.

Yes, that's all I have done after two days! My husband says I couldn't be any slower at spreading the thin set. I feel like it has to be perfect to make the tiles level, and I want to maintain a clean working environment. We've all seen tile jobs where there is dry thin set all over the tiles.

As I was working, he said, "this isn't like icing a cake." I exclaimed, "that's exactly how I was gonna describe it!" It is like making icing (mixing the thin set) and icing a cake. G say's " that's the problem!" Apparently I'm slow at decorating a cake too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resolving to take care of myself

This is a horrible picture of my face,
but I had to show off the yoga pose.
I'm finally strong enough to do it again
after the last baby.

You know, we got the new treadmill for Christmas. Well, it has been one of our best purchases. We are both on it almost every day! I feel so much better. I had really missed exercising since I had to quit aerobics. Now I just turn on the baby monitor, and I get at least 30 minutes of alone time. I miss the company of the other women, but I really do enjoy alone time, so it all works out. I've noticed that once I do my 30 minute program, I'm really inspired to do weights and yoga since I'm already down there and warmed up. So now, I'm finally using the bowflex we bought 2 years ago, which we rarely touched. Mostly, though, I just need the big ball and a pair of 10 pound weights.

So far, we've done it separately, but I want G and me to work out a way to do it together sometimes too. I have noticed that the kids respond so well to exercise being part of

our daily lives, and that is so healthy for them. I hate to say I resolve to keep it up all year, but I do need to remind myself that I deserve to carve out time for taking care of myself and my health. Every mom needs that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New year, new real estate obsession

We have a showing again tomorrow! They've become so few and far between that I'm always a little shocked to see our agent's name on the caller ID. I'm gonna go start obsessively cleaning now, but I'll update when I get some feedback.