Monday, June 30, 2008
Backing up - on Friday night, I had about 100 things I was trying to get done before we left the next morning. I was running errands as late as 11:30 p.m. and then came home to start packing my suitcase. I ended up getting three hours of sleep that night and STILL didn't finish everything on my list.
On Saturday morning, we woke up at 5 a.m. to be ready for our cab that was picking us up at 6 a.m. I sat in the backseat with Eli, and the first thing I noticed (as the Nigerian cab driver zoomed off with us inside) was that his car's speedometer was not working. Fantastic. The second thing I noticed was that he had a Bible sitting on top of the dashboard - it was the African American Jubilee Edition. I couldn't decide if it was on the dashboard for protection from his crazy driving?? The cabbie blasted a religious radio station the entire way.
The cab flew down Lake Shore Drive (at who knows how fast of speed), on our way to Midway Airport. Ben and I had debated driving our car to the long-term parking lot and taking the shuttle over, but I was nervous about having Eli in one of those shuttle buses without a car seat (and those shuttle bus drivers are never the safest either). I sat there closing my eyes thinking, this is MUCH worse than 5 minutes on the shuttle bus...
We made it to the airport in just under an hour. Ben pulled out his credit card and the cabbie acted like his credit card machine was broken! That would have been nice to know as we didn't have enough cash to pay him. So Ben ran into the airport looking for an ATM and came back a few minutes later with some more money.
Fast forward to our 4 hours, 20 minutes on the airplane to Portland. Eli was tired, but was too stubborn to give in and fall asleep. Instead, he fussed for about 3 hours of the flight (I think the entire plane was listening to his unhappiness - there weren't any other small children on the flight). Our tricks kept him happy for maybe an hour total. My favorite thing was when the guy in front of Eli decided to recline his seat, leaving zero leg room for my child (we brought Eli's car seat onthe plane, so his legs were sticking out rather than straight down) and Eli, in his tired, frustrated state of being, kept pushing on the back of this guy's seat (despite my efforts to get him to stop - after 10 min. of this, the guy brought his seat back up). Eli finally slept for the last 30 minutes of the flight.
In the meantime, my lack of sleep all last week had caught up to me, and I was getting a bad cold. On the flight's descent, I had the most HORRIBLE sinus pressure and pain - it felt like someone was shooting darts through my face, behind my eyes, nose, and jaw. I was in tears the entire way down and made a beeline to buy some tylenol once we were off the plane. Thankfully, Ben's cousin is a doctor and I am now taking an antibiotic to get rid of my sinus infection.
Now that we're here, things are going well. There are 31 of us staying at Ben's brother's house for the weekend and then we'll go to the big reunion with 110 Seversons (we rent space at a camp) for the rest of the week. It should be fun! I'm not looking forward to our flight home though... (or the cab ride back :)
(and I'll post pictures next time - sorry for the text-heavy post...)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I had to keep going with the house hunt and not dwell too much on the sadness, so today I saw four more houses (two were for sale by owners, and two others were houses that had been on the market for a while and dropped in price). One house took the cake - it was in the WORST shape I have seen in the zillions that I've looked at. It was such an enormous project (it was a 3-story, old home that needed lots of love and sweat) that I was completely overwhelmed and we didn't stay long.
However, the second FSBO home is a good possibility! We have to decide if it's an amount we want to spend, but if we did get it, the major things have all been done - it has a new roof, new boiler, new central air, new kitchen, new bathrooms, new new new is the magic word there. So I'm tempted. Ben is tempted too (he came back with me tonight after work). The downsides are that it's on a slightly busier road, and it's not as close to the train as he would like - more like a 10-15 minute walk. The yard is wonderful, the living areas are spacious and nicely done, and I love the warmth of the upstairs... it feels like a nice place to be.
Who knows though? Every day our thoughts change and we go up and down on the emotional rollercoaster of settling on this more permanent fixture of our lives. We'll see what next week holds when we get back from vacation (and BOY do we need a vacation). Happy 4th everyone!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I'm mourning our loss, so bear with me. Adios, pretty house across from the park, two minutes from the train. So long, house with pretty chandeliers, huge living room, dining room, and family room, and beautiful backyard. And goodbye to the house with the SCARY, SCARY basement with asbestos-wrapped pipes and furnace and a very unfinished room full of mounds of dirt that we would have had to pay a crew to dig out and remove from the place. Goodbye to the house with the weird 80s bathroom, complete with a black toilet and sink.
Excuse me while I go drink root beer and stuff my face with Trader Joe's kettle corn. And TJ oreos. And sweet and salty trail mix. (Can you tell I shopped at Trader Joe's today? Yum. I have all kinds of treats to mourn with!)
I'll eat that while I scan the MLS again and contemplate if we could stand a house with an upstairs that looks like a log cabin. Or a house 10 blocks from the train. Or a house with hardly any backyard. What would you choose?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We should hopefully know by Thursday or Friday what the outcome is on the house we are hoping for (we are the backup offer). In the meantime, tomorrow is the home inspection on our condo and I have been busy cleaning and getting our place in perfect form for the inspector. I'm also a tad behind on getting the Severson family cookbook edited and formatted, which needs to be done before we leave for the big reunion coming up. No problem. :)
In the midst of the craziness, Eli was pretty cute today. While I am NOT happy he's trying to give up taking two naps and just take one in the day, he made up for that frustration by clapping with his feet while I was changing his diaper. He thought it was hilarious and liked to say "clap clap clap" while he was doing it. See the video below for a little taste of my foot-clapping little boy!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
- Trash can filled with used maxi pads (GROSS - at least empty your trash cans before your open house people!!)
- Dirty bathrooms
- Smelly, stained carpets
- Closets with clothes piled on the floor (how hard is it to pick up your clothes??)
- Closet stuffed with linens that started falling out when I opened the door
- Stinky teenage bedrooms
- Dingy kitchens that had weird smells
- Weird pet odors
- Floors that felt greasy
I can't tell you how discouraging it is to look at these homes that are not exactly cheap, and to not find a single one that was really in great showing shape, unless it was totally empty and the people had already moved out. There were a few of those too.
And actually, I take it back - there was one house that was really cute and in good shape, but while advertised as a 3-bedroom, it was just a 2-bedroom with another room in the basement... so it didn't fit what we were looking for. Eli and I are going to go see some more places tomorrow with our realtor... hopefully there are some decent ones in the bunch!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tonight we'll start the process of making an offer on the house we're interested in... we close on August 15th to sell this place, so it's going to be pretty fast! We feel SO grateful, blessed, a little stunned, and amazed that everything is working out so far. Wish us luck on the buying end!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
On a side note, think positive thoughts for us today! We have a realtor coming to see our place who represents a person who is coming to do a PhD at Northwestern and I think his parents are helping him buy a condo. The realtor said they made an offer on a place already, but it fell through, so it sounds like they are anxious to secure something else. So we'll see! (the woman from Sunday ended up bidding on another unit in our building, so she's no longer in the picture) Ohhh the emotional ups and downs of selling a home. :)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
The second part of my gift for Ben (and also to my dad) was something that I made (I got the idea from another blog) - I bought two Real Simple business card holders at Target and filled them with pictures, mostly of Eli, but some of Ben and Eli, or Ben and my dad, and a few with me, Ben and Eli. I love gifts that include pictures, since I am constantly taking them and like to do things with them.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
But I'm in a better mood now because Eli has been so cute this morning. We did laundry last night and the basket was still out in the living room. He had a great time sitting in it.
I love capturing the moments when he's playing happily. It helps me get out of my silly bad mood. Besides waking up early, I was bummed because the couple we showed our condo to over the weekend expressed a lot of interest two days ago and sounded like they would make an offer, but yesterday decided on very different long-term plans and are no longer interested. The search continues for a buyer...
In the meantime, Eli's just happy cuddling with his sheep rug and throwing balls around the living room. I love him so much!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
He loved playing with the wood chips. He wasn't so sure about wearing that pesky hat - but the sun was so strong that I wanted to protect his fair head.
He had the best time over at this sand table, where he lifted and dropped sand into a bowl over and over and over again...
Yes, I took a ton of pictures. It's still a novelty to me that my little boy can now play (mostly) independently at the park. He is so much fun.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
My favorite part of this was that with each piece of watermelon, he would squeeze it tight so the juice would drip out and then stuff it in his mouth. Silly boy! He was really sticky by the end of dinner...
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
We had our first showing yesterday and have an open house planned for this afternoon. We're selling by owner and will keep you posted on what happens. My biggest nightmare is that the house we love will go under contract before we have a solid offer on our place (a problem b/c the house sellers aren't taking contingency offers, which really limits us since we need the money from our condo for the down payment on this house).
Above and Below: Eli still adores his sheep rug from Gram! We have had some miserably hot and humid days this week (yesterday it was 93 percent humidity with tornado warnings), hence Eli wearing just the cute Beatles onesie :)
Below: A small portion of the boxes before we packed this week. Eli loved having an obstacle course and had fun peeking around them to see us.
Below: The living room after we got rid of the boxes, hallelujah!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
- Pasta with Vegetables and Peanut Sauce
- Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
- Chicken Salad with Almonds, Queso Fresco and Rasberry-Lime Vinaigarette (I would omit the queso of course)
- Crash Hot Potatoes
- Lemonade made with only 2 Lemons
- Broiled Chicken
- Ting Town Barbeque Beef Sandwiches
- Blumenthal's Roasted Potatoes
- Garlic & Honey Bread Cubes (shown below, picture via Patricia Furtado.com)
Monday, June 02, 2008
We think this is especially funny because he loves his stuffed animal sheep, Bob, and now has a strong affection for this very soft rug.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Below: 1) Geoff the Cubs fan talking with Brett and James. Yeah for another Cubs win yesterday! 2) Saralyn holding Will, talking with Davey. 3) Keenan, Rebekeh, Cami, and various kids. 4) Khania and her mom, and Katrina and Macy. 5) Rachael and Nathan, Sarah and Jenn. 6) Katie and Tommy with kids at the drinking fountain. 7) Mark, Mike and Steve. 8) The Ryans. 9) Kids playing at the park.Below: 1) Drew playing catch. 2) Tommy again at the water fountain (it was a popular spot for the kids). 3) Drew at the fountain. 4) George at the fountain. 5) Sharon helping Eli try out the fishing booth. 6) Caroline holding sparkly shoes. 7) Eli chugging water. 8) Me trying to light the candles (unsuccessfully). 9) Getting ready to sing happy birthday. Below: 1) Still trying to light the candles, with help from Kelly and Gram. 2) The crowd. 3) More of the crowd. 4) We eventually just had Eli try to blow out a match since the candles weren't staying lit. 5-9) Feeding Eli and Ben cupcakes.
Below: 1) Gram with baby Isaiah and Alice. 2) Sarah, Davey, Carrie and baby Jacob. 3) Heather with baby Tabitha. 4) The Paxton family riding bikes back home (they rode 5 miles+ round trip to come to the party!). 5) Eli playing with Ben and my parents. 6) Caroline blowing bubbles. 7 and 8) Eli with my dad and Alex. 9) Jenn holding Isaiah.
Below: Eli had fun with my mom finding sticks and walking along the path to the playground.
Below: Opening gifts at home. Eli got such a fun variety of things, ranging from sand toys from my parents, an Ikea sheepskin rug that he LOVED and kept rolling around on (video to come soon - it's hilarious), a cute sand bucket with bubbles and fun things, a fun fishing bath toy, a darling Evanston hoodie, and three books - Noisy Jungle, Tails, and Gallop (all great books!). Ben received a purple African shirt from our friend Alice (she made the shirt, including dyeing it) who is here as a refugee from Liberia/Sierra Leone.
All in all, it was a really fun day! Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us.