Monday, June 15, 2015

It's all fun and games until someone gets hit in the eye.

I've moved quite a few times before.  Several time across the country even.  So it's not like I'm new to the whole pack up your whole house maneuvers.  What I have never done is try to pack up a large house while providing child care for two hyper children.  It is not going well.  Or at least it's not going fast.  Adding to the challenge is the strange transitional move we're going to do.  We're going from a 2000 square foot house to a 1000 square foot apartment to a 3000 square foot house.  We'll be spending about 6 months in the apartment including fall, part of winter, and all the holidays that go along with those times of year.  Why does that matter?  Allow me to explain.  Not all of our stuff will fit into the apartment, even with the nazi levels of purging I have going on (too soon?).  So anything that I want access to in the next 6 months needs to be packed together and clearly labeled.  That stuff is going into the apartment.  Everything else is going to be tetris-ed into the one car garage for storage.  I won't really be able to get to any of that stuff unless I un-tetris it all first.  What this means for me is that while I'm packing I need to anticipate anything I might need in the next 6 months and pack accordingly.  While also taking into account the stuff we'll need at this house for the next 2 weeks.  And making sure it doesn't look like a bunch of hoarders live here for any showings we have (and oh do we have them).  Add in my bossy controlling nature which limits any actual help people can give me and I spend an inordinate amount of time cruising the internets for stress relief.

We keep seeing a family of foxes in our backyard near the firepit this last week.  It's pretty cool because the mama will stand on one of the benches and watch the babies wrestle in the grass.  They also like to grab small pieces of wood from the pile and chase each other around with them.  Seriously, it's like watching my kids play.  Wood and all.

The babies are trying to push mama off the stump.

We went to McDonald's yesterday (the showings are making me fat), and C created a new fun game that involved banging his head on the table.  I guess it didn't hurt when he tapped it lightly, but then he missed and whacked his face on the edge of the table.  The metal rim caught his brow bone and his eye got all puffy.  He was super pissed.  I was like what did you expect from a game that involves banging your head on the table.  In hindsight, I probably should have stopped him because I knew where it was going.  Clearly I'm a stellar parent.  Eh, hopefully he learned something from it.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Drumroll please...

We're moving to Castle Rock, Colorado.  In five weeks.  Just one short week after we get back from Punta Cana.  I'll bet you have questions.  Allow me to sum up. 

We have not sold our house yet.  We have one couple that is pretty excited to put in an offer, but we won't know for sure for another two weeks.  In the mean time, we still have an unholy number of showings each week.  The house won't exactly be show-ready from this point on as I'll be packing up all our crap. 

Castle Rock is a southern suburb of Denver that's about halfway to Colorado Springs.  It's centrally located to most of our friends out there, and more importantly, we love the town. (Of course we love you guys too.)  I'll try to include posts and pictures in the coming months so you guys can get a feel for it too. 

We're building a house in a swanky master-planned community.  I've been told it's by the same people who did Irvine, but that might just be a bald-faced lie.  Either way, we were super impressed by everything about the community.  They have four pools in the main rec center alone.  All the retail places we frequent are less than a 5 minute drive away (except the IKEA, that one clocked in at 13 minutes).  The schools are quality, and we already have D signed up for Pre-K.  He can't wait, though he does keep telling me that now that he's 14 he'll be able to drive himself to school.  We're going to have another talk about counting and ages.  And also driving. 

Our lot is at the top of a little ridge with some awesome mountain views out the back.  We were told that behind us is open space, so theoretically, nothing will mess with our views.  Since we paid extra for them, I sincerely hope not.  Directly behind our house is a slope down to a little road.  Across the road is a private school with a playground that we're allowed to use when school isn't in session.  I'll be able to see it from my back patio.  Eli was very happy with that.  There are a couple of other little tot lot type things sprinkled in our four block neighborhood.  There are only two builders, and I know ours only has 40 lots, so it's a good ratio of playground to kid. 

Eli is living his dream of writing all his own home-automation.  On the plane back we agreed that we should definitely make it sound like Alan Rickman.  The disagreement came when I said Snape (Harry Potter) and he said Marvin (Hitchhiker's Guide).  The funny part was that Eli didn't realize it was the same person.  Like our realtor and all the sales agents commented on, Eli and I were clearly made for each other.  I guess we were putting on a bit of a show with the bickering about the details.  Whatever, we had fun choosing a house.  We're connecting a smart thermostat, automated solar shades, solar panels, sensors on all the doors and windows, the doorbell, the irrigation system (front and back), keyless entry, integrated speakers, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can't remember but Eli has a spreadsheet for.  He can't wait to start telling it what to do.  Ask him about it and he'll talk for a solid hour.  You should have heard him with the low volt guy (the one who does all the cool electrical stuff).  Every ten minutes they'd start geeking out, and I'd have to ask a question to remind them I was in the room.  Teasing aside, I'm really glad Eli got to be excited for that part of the build. 

We all know where I was excited.  That's right, the home gallery, where I got to pick all my finishes. It was glorious.  My master bath is going to be amazing.  I'm not doing any spoilers here, but I might take pictures of the fun stuff when we go back to finalize in July.  We hit a snag with the granite countertops in the kitchen.  Unlike apparently 90% of America or something, I actively dislike granite. I hate the way it looks.  I appreciate the durability of the stone, but I love the way quartz looks so much better.  Unfortunately, quartz is double the cost of granite, and our house came with granite kitchen counters included.  Solution: I'm upgrading the granite to the least hideous one I could find.  Eli is very uncomfortable with the cost, but I know I'm going to win this battle.  I was paying attention at the low volt meeting.  I know how much his precious automation is going to run us.  He should be glad I'm not insisting on quartz.  He also wanted to pick the builder grade carpet, to which I laughed in his face.  Literally.  I think it made the gallery lady uncomfortable.  To his credit, he picked out almost all the tile, and I love it.  Once we got going, we were surprisingly in-sync with the look we wanted.  

The floorplan is smaller than we thought we'd go (especially for the price), but we agreed it was the right size of house for us.  We're going to have all the living spaces on the main floor with a half bath, and three bedrooms, laundry room, loft, plus two more baths upstairs.  The house doesn't come with a finished basement, so we're finishing it directly after we get the keys to add another bedroom (Eli's office), bathroom, and rec space.  It'll be about 3000 square feet once we're finished with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a living space on each floor.  Also a clear view of Pike's Peak and other mountains I don't know the names of.  Or a bunch of kids playing on a playground if you're feeling creepy.  (Please don't visit our house if this is the case.)

Since we're building a house, it won't actually be ready until the end of the year, so we rented an apartment for 7 months to watch our new baby go up.  There's not much to say about the apartment other than it's close and it's not big enough for an office for Eli.  We do get a garage though, so we can essentially store our stuff for free.  The housing market in the Denver area is crazy right now, so since they had an available two bedroom, we took it.  Our lease starts July 11th, so we're planning to start our move July 10th.  We have a moving truck coming the weekend of the 4th of July, so we'll be packing it from the 3rd to the 9th.  Yes we need help.  Please help.  My back hurts just thinking about doing it all by ourselves.  The truck will up and leave with it's friendly driver (I'm making an assumption here), and it'll be dropped off within 7 days at our new apartment.  In the mean time, we're loading up both cars with kids, cats (okay just one cat), stuff we can't live without, and knowing Eli, 10 pounds of Fuddrucker's because there isn't one anywhere in the state of Colorado.  It's been great Wisconsin, but we're out. 

This is our floor plan.  We got the fancy master bath and kept the loft.

This is one of our neighbors.  We got the same color scheme but with a much darker roof, and the house looks pretty similar.

Same neighbor, from the side.
Same neighbor, from the back.  They haven't done any landscaping yet because the community is so new.

This is our pile of dirt.  One day this will be where our house is.

That fence at the bottom is our back fence.  This is a small portion of our view.

This is the playground from just outside our back fence.


This is the community rec center pool #1.

Pool #2, now with waterslide!

Pool #3, zero-depth for the littles. (I couldn't get pool #4, the lap pool.)

This is a drawing of what our house will actually look like in a boring beige color.  Again, we're going blue like the first pics.