Monday, March 16, 2009

Tilt A Whirl

The only thing scarier than buying a first home is buying a new one. And selling the old one.

There is a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous house for sale just a few blocks away. A two story brick beauty, built in 1910. Acres of hardwood floor. A fireplace. Lovingly restored wood detail. Separate bedrooms for the girls. So many windows it seems like the place is made of light. A 6-burner gas stove that made Dancehall fall to her knees as if bowing to an ancient Babylonian God.

The girls wouldn't even have to change schools.

It's also pretty cheap. But the market forces that make it cheap are the same forces that will make our cozy and lovable dump of a place sit helplessly on the market for months. So we are now scrambling to make it more cozy, less dumpy. Madly painting walls, repairing holes, replacing caulk, staining and sealing the porch.

We can afford to pay a couple mortgages for while (as long as we don't, you know, buy anything).

We haven't actually made an offer. Thus, in scenario one, we don't move, but now have a much prettier, less dumpy house to live in.

Scenario two, we move to a perfect house and eat ramen noodles til the first house sells (the upside: I really like ramen noodles).

Scenario three, we suffer a financial collapse, begin hemorrhaging money, and end up living under a bridge.


The lady or the tiger?

An update on last week's rather forlorn post about eldest: she's doing better. She carries a lot more baggage from her chaotic pre-adoption years than does her sister, and will always struggle with it, I'm sure.

She has a great need to control the world around her (don't we all?). I think her's is sort of a bulwark constructed to keep all the early chaos she experienced at bay.


I made up a chart - she loves the calm predictability of charts - with three boxes to check for each morning: I was nice to my sister, I was nice to my parents, I did all my chores. If she gets a check in all three boxes, she gets Wii time in the evening.

Interestingly, I think the reward is not the Wii time as much as it is getting to put those painstakingly drawn checkmarks inside that orderly series of boxes.

The Wii is gravy.


Daisy said...

Well, you know this old house gal will cheer you on into 1910....

Go ramen noodles!

Gordo said...

Mmmm, ramen. The upside is that you'll take care of your salt intake for the rest of your life! ;-)

Nancy Dancehall said...

Scenario four, I live in your butler's pantry (It has a BUTLER'S PANTRY, Daisy!) and I cook for y'all. I've always wanted a Mr. Hudson; now I could BE a Mr. Hudson.

And I genuflected because that's what you _do_ in front of an altar. It's a Viking stove, for godssakes!

Eldest is going to find her way just fine. She has you guys. I know it's hard. But you'll all find your way.

Irrelephant said...

I'm with Pants on the Eldest--it sounds like you've got the situation well (and wisely) in hand. I know all problems won't be so easily solved, no parenting problem ever is for long, but good heavens old bean, it sounds like you're already doing a damn fine job. Bravo.

I wish I could give you advice on the house but the last house I bought had axles and wheels under it and a hitch for a very large truck in the front, and I lived in the thing for thirteen years.

meno said...

Ramen noodles are a favorite of mine.

We are fixing up our dump too.

As in, "what the hell! you only live once."

just me said...

Whenever I eat ramen my body goes into salt shock overload.

Mutha said...

I love this post. It gives me comfort that other parents have "conversation" (actually obsessive, illogical rantings) about the same kind of stuff as we do (i.e. how much money is there to make a mistake with? How screwy are our children? What's good on ramen noodles?)

Glad to hear the chart is the charm.

Clowncar said...

We're doing our best, Daze. This whole process is extremely nerve-wracking.

Gordo, I've actually learned to make my own faux ramen - much healthier. Angel hair pasta, handful of chopped meat, handful of frozen veggies, couple cubes of bullion. Yum! Of course the girls insist on the real deal.

Jeez, Nance, you and that stove. Get a room.

Irr, you lived in a horse trailer for 13 years?

Meno, as you squeegee your own shower doors, I think it unlikely you live in a dump.

Hey there, Just You. Thanks for visiting. As for the salt in ramen, see my note to Gordo above.

Mutha, thanks. You should hear the rants that don't make their way to this page. Actually, not.