Posted in Cleaning, Clutter, House

De-Stuffifying

The phrase decluttering is so passe, don’t you agree? 🙂

I am SLOWLY going through my house. Some things, like my own personal books or board games or my clothes, I can just go through, make decisions about and get rid of (or box up if I’m keeping).

However, the kids’ outgrown toys, my husband’s books, the kids’ books….these are beyond my purview and need intervention from the aforementioned people who own them. I’m asking my husband for “15 minutes” at a time. We’ve done most of his office bookcase. I’ve made one visit to the Goodwill and will go again today. There’s just SO MUCH STUFF.

Seriously!

Jim and I have been married for 21 years. The kids are 15 and 14. So that’s just a LOT of STUFF. Thankfully, the “getting rid of” has been rather painless. They are past the toy age, and much of it they have no problem saying good-bye to. Except stuffed animals. I bought three bins with locking lids and each of the kids-who-care-about-stuffed-animals (i.e. not Ethan) gets a bin to fill up. If they end up in the basement or attic of the new house, and then from there move on with my kids, hey, that’s fine. I brought a bin of Barbie stuff when I got married. Because my future daughters and I were going to play with it. Right?!

Nope. It’s going on a Facebook for sale site today “Vintage 60’s/70’s Barbie clothes and accessories” and if someone wants them, Great.I’m NOT hauling it to the next house.

Funny how the idea of actually packing something and bringing it to a new home is enough to make you question whether something is actually worth keeping!

We’re tentatively saying we’d like to have the house for sale by May 31st. It really just depends on how quickly we can accomplish the massive “to do” list. Thankfully we hired a house painter, so that’s on HIS list instead of ours! With the exception of the kitchen, office and upstairs hall bath, every single room needs to be painted. That’s a LOT of rooms! And too much time given how much else needs to be dealt with.

I’m off to load up the SUV with the next round of stuff going to Goodwill!

Posted in House

The House is Sparkling

Our realtor, Barb, is coming at 10:00 this morning to look the house over and give us an idea of how much we can list the house for. I’ve been cleaning like a crazy woman. And starting to clean OUT.  The back of my van is full with my first trip to Good Will.

Let’s do this.

Posted in Uncategorized

Home Selling

When we bought this house almost 17 years ago it was going to be a “5-7 yr house”.

Ha. Double Ha.

I gave birth to medically needy triplets. And another baby 1.5 yrs later. Jim  quit his job (for a very good reason) and was self-employed. We added a garage and a mud/laundry room (best decision ever) and stayed a lot longer than we ever thought we would.

But circumstances change. Sometimes a lot.

  1. Jim’s current job, which could and hopefully will take him through to retirement, is an hour away because of traffic.
  2. Ethan’s school, which will be for 5.5 more years, is 1.5 hours away.
  3. The cyber kids who attend brick and mortar special schools (gifted/art) travel 45 minutes each day they go.
  4. Our gas budget is $550 per month. Seriously.
  5. My parents are in their mid-80’s and will need some more help as time goes on.
  6. Jim’s mom is in her early 70’s and lives alone.
  7. We need access to reliable public transportation because two of our kids will not be driving (unless the self-driving car industry really takes off and then who knows)

All these and a few more things (aka we really would like to have a fireplace!) have added up to yes, we’re going to try and sell our house this year. How that’s going to happen with three cyber schooled kids, two dogs and a cat I really have no idea. We’re in the Coatesville school district, which is sort of meh. We live on a HILL. The best hill in the neighborhood when it comes to sledding, but other than us who wants to buy on a hill?

We’ve mitigated the negatives as much as we can. 7 years ago we added that garage. We’ve replaced all the siding and windows and there’s a new roof. We even repaved the driveway. And hey, there’s the new kitchen (I know, I know, I still haven’t done a reveal yet. We still haven’t finished painting the trim!)

Even though it’s been 17 years, I still remember the difficult nature of house hunting. And we were first time home buyers, so there wasn’t the added bonus/stress of selling.

I want to BE MOVED. I don’t want to get the house ready, pack everything, have the house on the market and house hunt. But to BE MOVED all those steps are unfortunately necessary.

Posted in Health

The First Flu

Somehow, through 21+ years of marriage, my husband and I have managed to never get the flu.

That record has now been broken, and broken but good. Everyone but Ethan has it now and it is SO NOT FUN.

The kids’ progress check ends of Thursday (all their schoolwork is due then), so I’ve requested an extension for them. I can’t sit up at the computer for long and certainly don’t expect them to, either.

So my one word of advice for everyone:

WASH. YOUR. HANDS!!!

Posted in Family, Kids, Me

It’s Only a Season (right?)

I’ve mentioned in past posts (at least I think I have!) that this year I’ve been more overwhelmed than I have been in a long time. Please note the reasons why:

For one daughter, we’ve added counseling sessions (1x/week), Braille lessons (1x/week), med checks (1x/month) to this school year.

For another daughter, we’ve added physical therapy for her knees (2x/week) (for 8 weeks which we are mid-way through)

For a son we’re deep in the middle of robotics (2 evenings/week, 1 weekend day with 3 qualification matches between December and January)

Husband has the same schedule as the above son.

With the cold winter weather we’re taking a break from horseback riding lessons, thank the Good Lord.

My Wednesday morning Bible study will start up again in a few weeks.

Plus we have our normal carpool-in-the-morning-and-afternoon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every-other-Fridays. Oh, and it’s IEP season again. And the winter art show. And, and, and….

Sometimes I just feel like I can’t take one more thing. Really. I find myself zoning out more–either reading obsessively or bingeing on Netflix or surfing incessantly (do you see a pattern?) and know that I’m trying to find a non-sex-addiction way of pacifying myself.

I try to remember–and freak myself out in the process–that this really is just a season. One of the triplets will get his learners’ permit in August and will be licensed this time next year. So I won’t need to drive him. In about 2.5 years (a crazy short amount of time), two will be graduated and either working full time or off to college. Lord Willing, we are selling our house this year and moving closer to school and work so the drive times to those things will greatly reduce.

It REALLY IS just a season. An insanely busy season.

Posted in Addiction

It’s Still Hard Talking About It

Two days ago I was driving my daughter home from her med check. We see a psychiatrist once a month (this is our third visit), trying to get the right medication and dosage to help with her anxiety. And she sees a counselor once a week to talk about said anxiety, to try and help her work through it and cope with it. Both treatments are necessary at this point for her and we are hoping that the med she is on right now is the right one (our third med). As we were driving home, she picked up my phone to look at something and asked “Why don’t you have Safari?”. (Safari is the default iphone internet app)

I don’t have Safari because I use an internet app provided by Accountable 2 U, which I absolutely need.

Does my daughter need to know this? I never, EVER intended to talk about my addiction to my children. EHHHH-VER. That was my private issue, my deal, and I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it unless I chose.

BUT.

Laura is dealing with a lot of stuff this year. She confides in me after her counseling sessions and in between about her anxiety and thoughts and difficulties, of which I have no comprehension because anxiety is not something I struggle with.

I sat there in the van, driving, heart pounding and thoughts racing. Yes, it’s my private stuff and no one needs to know. That’s true. But the deeper questions is: is my addiction such a horrifying, shaming secret that I need to keep it a secret? Because, yes, I still feel that way.

I bit the bullet and started with “Did I ever talk to you about the guys I grew up with?” and went from there. She actually asked at one point something like “Is this an addiction for you?” and I said yes. We talked basically the whole way home (30+ minutes). I did not go to places I didn’t feel comfortable talking about, but the general ideas I was trying to get across were:

  1. We ALL have something. Everyone. We may hide it and try to look like we have it all together, but it’s there and it’s real.
  2. You, as my daughter, have trusted me a lot this year with your emotions and problems. I want you to know that I trust you with mine.

I cried at the end. It was REALLY difficult to talk about–even after 22 years!–and I think I view it as a step in the direction of an adult relationship with Laura. She put her hand on my shoulder and assured me she wouldn’t talk about it with anyone. I came home and told Jim that I had told her.

Life is weird. Never say never!

Posted in Kitchen Reno

How is it December and We’re Still Not Done?

Memorial Day Weekend Me was veehhhrrryyy optimistic. We were going to bang this out. We were NOT going to be those people who didn’t finish a project because of the piddling things. December Me, a much more compassionate, well-balanced, loving and accepting person, gets it. LIFE HAPPENS. Especially now that robotics season is upon us. Oh my word, I had kind of blocked the schedule from last season out of my mind. Because the TIME. The TIME that I am not seeing my husband is sucking. However, he’s being a GREAT DAD. And totally involved with our robotics son. So, wife is taking a bit of a back seat. It’s a season. And hey, maybe they won’t go to World’s this year. Or Super Regionals. Or States.

You didn’t hear me say that.

However, we did still host Thanksgiving, and the family was suitably impressed. My mother, bless her pointed head, said something like “I didn’t expect it to look this nice.” Because even though my husband used to be a contractor, I was helping on the project. I love my mom. Tactful, though, she’s not.

Still Left To Do:

Buy door trim/baseboard, paint, cut and install, touch up nail holes

Paint door trim that wasn’t taken down (and therefore didn’t get painted in the basement)

Install Vent cover

Buy and build new stool from Ikea

Buy, stain and install wooden thresholds and metal thresholds (Finding this is proving challenging due to the width) – (We ended up going with an aluminum one that is disability friendly. Because it’s also really strong.)

Caulk backsplash where caulk has shrunk

Dig out a bad spot on the caulk

Caulk where baseboard meets walls  (Just added this because I didn’t know it had to be done but it did and it got done so it belongs on this list!)

Filler panel between fridge and over-fridge cabinet and under cabinets on either side of microwave

Filler pieces cut and installed for under microwave

Adjust doors and drawers so that they are all perfectly level, then install soft close hinges

Electrician out to do finish electricity 

Electrical inspection (Passed!)

Drawer pulls

Figure out configuration of island interior (shelves on one side/drawers on other–depends on how electrical outlet will fit) and install drawers/shelves

Seal backsplash – First coat, second coat

Return unused/unneeded stuff to Ikea (October 7th)

Outside:replace trim/siding and an outlet from door installation – I bought the J-channel, so this can happen this coming weekend. I think. I hope. I cross my fingers.