House Hunting, Past Two Weeks

Halloween was a smash hit in this house. Two Saturdays ago, Jaime and I looked at five houses with our realtor while S&S babysat the boys. We stopped at Cafe Rio for lunch on our way back (ehhh, it wasn’t that good) and then hopped over to one of those temporary Halloween costume stores that sprout up everywhere in October. Not surprisingly, the place was pretty ghetto. They had cash registers from 1985 haphazardly thrown on a plywood checkout counter. You could tell all the dudes working there hated their lives. Anyhow, we took the easy way out and spent $55 on two prefab costumes. Elmo for Stephen and a dinosaur for Henry. Stephen immediately fell in love with his Elmo costume and kept wanting to wear it every day for a week.

Last Saturday we looked at five more homes in a different county. This second foray was actually our initial primary location–way out in the country. The first house we went to was only a 35-minute commute from Jaime’s work (we drove past her office and timed it). When we left our house, it was cold and rainy, but as we drove there, it turned to sleet, and then snow. By the time we got to the first house, it was obvious that it had been snowing for quite a bit. The plows were out in full force. We looked at what amounted to a bunch of old houses. Some of them were ugly, some were too old, and some were too far out. The second trip was a bust-o. We had only looked at ten houses, but we (mostly Jaime) had already looked at about 200 online and eliminated most of them. So, of the ten houses we had seen, one really stood out. We decided to make an offer on it. The market is really in our favor right now (seller usually pays all of the closing costs these days, and many of the contract/disclosure laws change next year), so we decided to go for it. We were to meet with the realtor on Sunday evening and hash out the details of our offer.

Sunday morning I had a photography job; that went pretty well. As soon as I got home, my throat hurt. I thought maybe it was autumn allergies since the photo shoot was mostly candid shots as the family walked down a wooded path. I started to go downhill fast. Next thing I knew, it felt like the onset of a flu: muscle and joint soreness, stomach ache, fever, sore throat, chills. We met the realtor at S&S’s house so they could watch the boys while we worked out our offer. By then I felt like death. I envisioned myself in bed for the next four days; this was not going to be good. I slept horribly that night, but on Monday (Halloween) morning I felt much better. Wshew! No flu.

So, I’ve finally worked my way back to Halloween. Jaime got off work early and we headed to the mall with our boys in costume. From 5-7pm, the stores at the mall give out candy, so the place is filled with children in costumes, going from store to store. We had a good run and got out of there at 6:05. We rushed home so we could give our candy away to the neighborhood kids. I wanted to be out of candy by 8pm so the boys could go to bed in peace. Every kid who came to our door got three candy bars. I was a candy-gifting machine! It worked out pretty well, too. By 8, foot traffic slowed way down, and we were out of candy.

By Yesterday afternoon, we had settled on the terms of our offer . We got the house! At least, it appears that way. Closing date is December 13.

Despite all of this good news, the past few weeks have been really rough. We have been making excuses for Henry for months now. “He’s sick” or “he’s teething” or “he’s constipated,” but no, Henry just hates his life. For a while he was doing this constant, loud grunting sound which was driving me crazy. Now he has progressed into the shriek. Lots of parents warn you about the high-pitched squeal, but Stephen never did that. Right now, Henry does it constantly, and it rattles me to the core. It hurts somewhere between my ears that I can’t define or explain. He does it when he’s happy. He does it when he’s angry. He does it when he’s hungry. He does it when he’s trying to get the cat’s attention. He does it every second of every day. It’s hideous. I always thought parents were stupid to “warn” me about a child developing some sort of squeal, but now I get it. I understand. Comprendo. No mas. It’s not just that, though; it’s a whole host of things. For instance, Henry woke up at least five times last night, and then he got up at 5:10am ready to go. I’m no longer making excuses for him. He’s just a butt.

It’s not just Henry; it’s Stephen too. At two and a half years old, the unending tantrums have finally kicked in. I know it sounds stupid to say this, but the kid has no sense! He just goes nuts! He’s also eliminating the nap from his repertoire. That wouldn’t be so bad if he was the only kid, because a nap is kind of restrictive and keeps you in the house. I’d rather him keep napping if Henry’s going to nap, though. Okay, well I’ve passed the 900-word mark for this entry. That’s far too much yapping, don’t you think?

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