Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Two and a half hours

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Mr. Kluges called me at 7 am this morning to tell me he had an email from our real estate agent. It contained a counteroffer - basically just one small change and some clarification/corrections.

We were over the moon! The waiting was over; the house would be ours!

That is until he talked to our agent at about 9:30. And we found out that it was just a counteroffer to accept our offer as a secondary one. Yeah. Hence the past tense used in the previous paragraph.


So it's been a week and a half since we put in our offer and it's just now getting officially accepted as a secondary offer... which means the people with the contingency first offer in haven't even been informed of this whole business yet.

.....which means we wait some more... and we still might not get it.

(But oh, it was a great 2 1/2 hours!)

Drowning in a sea of dork

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

When it rains, it pours... Another guest post by Mr. Kluges (but not about the house this time).

On Friday I had the oil changed in the Blazer, which gave me some time to pop into the local gaming/hobby shop (called Chimera). It was impressive. Almost as large an inventory as The Source back in the Twin Cities. Cork had a gaming shop too, and a much better one than I ever would have believed for a city the size of Cork. We would go in sometimes, especially if I was feeling homesick.

When I walked into Chimera, there was the usual mix of gaming teens and young 20 somethings (goths, geeks, some too skinny, some too fat, all of them too pale), and surprisingly, a larger number of females than when I was of that age. I had come from work, so I was dressed in my good digs. They didn't give me a second look. I'm sure they thought I was there to buy something for my son, nephew or little brother.

I hadn't walked in more than ten feet when I heard one of them loudly say "Boycott shampoo! We want real poo!"

For all of it's dorkiness, it's good to be home.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Small Town Festival

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

No, we don't know anything new. Yeah, we'll post any news about the house soon after we get it (whenever that ends up being!) since we know there are apparently quite a few of you who check with some regularity to see what's up. I guess this is a good way to increase my visitor numbers though, huh?!

Last weekend we enjoyed a local area festival, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of the small town Americana we enjoyed. And also to help keep this from being an all-house-all-the-time blog.

Pumpkin loved the rocket ride! Whee!

And the train ride.

She even climbed WAY up this double slide thingie,

(See how tall it is!)

...which was so fun and bouncy once she got to the top...

...that she just kept running back and forth from one side to the other...

...until Daddy had to climb up and make her slide down! :)

Double Whee!!!

(Grrr to the man who walked right in front of me when I was taking that picture!)

And just so you don't think she missed out on the fun, here's a photo of Penguin, too!

(Also, we got to eat fair food! Yum!)

Friday, July 27, 2007

That Pumpkin, she's an odd girl

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Here are some things Pumpkin's been doing recently...

Referring to herself in the third person
Yup, I've been hearing things like, "She would like some rice crispies with strawberries for breakfast," or "She's a yiddo upset!" or "She doesn't need a new diaper." Maybe she was royalty in a previous life???

Sleeping in her playhouse
For the past, oh, month or more, Pumpkin has been sleeping in her playhouse instead of in her bed. And not just at naptime, but at bedtime, too. Why? Why not. She's got a thick blanket padding the floor and a couple of pillows. Mommy likes it because since it's darker in there than in the rest of her room, so she sleeps in a little later!

Asking unusual questions
I know kids go through a "why" phase. Accompanied, of course, by its steadfast companion, "what." Here are a few of Pumpkin's questions...
  • Why does we has noses, Momma?
  • Why is she called [Penguin]?
  • Why doesn't cows has hands?
  • What color is that worm? What color is its udder?

There - a non-house entry that also lets me clean out a couple of draft posts!

Same Song, Fifth Verse

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Yeah, I'm guessing you're all getting kind of tired of checking our blog for news, huh? Us, too.

Long ago was Monday, when we had (foolishly) thought we might hear any minute & so some of you were refreshing your pages periodically in case we'd posted the news. How our expectations have changed, huh?!

Well, we still don't know anything. Which makes the weekend stretch out l-o-o-o-ng in front of us since things might not move at all, for all we know.

Trust me - when we know something, we'll post it! Hope you all have a good, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mr. Kluges's House Pros & Cons

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Mr. Kluges is gracing us with another post about the house today. (Ya think he's a little obsessed currently? *grin*) If you wanted to hear the list of the pros and cons, here ya go! (Also, if you want to be impressed with the amount of research he's done about it already, 'cuz he's been a busy man!) (Any comments made in square brackets below are mine.)

I'm sitting at work grumpy about the lack of information on our offer on the house. I tried to distract myself with work, but it doesn't seem to be working. Yesterday I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was doing and I caused a production outage. Today I've decided not to touch anything important. I can't seem to keep my head in the game and in my line of work, a single screw up can cost a lot of money. Fortunately, a screw up won't kill anybody.

Ms. Huis once stated that the house deserves a post all by itself, and I think it's high time that it did. Here are all the pros and cons, so that you understand why we love it and why we're afraid of it.

First of all is why we love it.

The house was built in 1921 by a self-made man of Catholic Dutch heritage. He did well in banking and farming and eventually started a nursery. At the time, he bought a significant amount of land and built this house along with a nursery business. The town has since grown up around it.

The house is built of all brick and has about 2100 usable square feet. It's a traditional American four square house with Arts and Crafts influences. It has a four season sun porch on the south side of the house which adjoins to an open porch that extends out past the front plane of the house. To help keep symmetry, there is a porte-cochere on the other side of the house that also extends out past the front plane of the house. I doubt it was ever used in the traditional sense. There is another outside porch out the back of the house, although this one is built of wood.

The basement is built of concrete block, and the exterior ground around it was packed with cinders to help with drainage. This was obviously before the days of tiling and sump pumps.

The roof still has the original 1921 cement asbestos shingles. The roof also has the architectural feature of built-in wood gutters. There are two dormers in the roof, which look out to the east and west. The north and south side of the house have chimneys, one for a fireplace, and the other for the boiler in the basement.

There have been no external additions or changes to the house (which I find often destroys the character of an older house).

The basement of the house has several smallish rooms, including a cistern that was originally used to supply washing water to the house. It is still functional and could easily be brought back into use with some minor changes to the gutter system and the introduction of a pump. Alternately, it could be converted to a wine cellar. Both chimneys extend to the basement with ash removal doors, so there would be no need to clean out the fireplace through the living room. Access to the basement is gained through a wide and sensible side entrance to the house.

The first floor contains several rooms. There is a kitchen with cabinetry that looks like it may be from the 40's. There is a formal dining room with an original built-in hutch, again with arts and crafts influences. The living room has a fireplace and faux wood beamed ceilings. There is also another room touted as a bedroom, but it would make a good office. The [small] four season sunroom is off of the living room. There is small airlock vestibule to the front of the house for keeping out the cold in the winter. There are two sets of stairs up to the second floor. The main stairs are in the living room, while the second set of stairs was for the maid and enters/exits the kitchen.

The second floor contains four [fairly small] bedrooms, all with closets, a bathroom, and a small sitting room that looks out over the front of the property. There is also a linen closet and a cedar closet.

The attic is very large with the peak of the room well over eight feet tall. The dormers provide some light. The maid's room is also upstairs, although it is not listed as usable space. The attic could easily be finished off to add another 800 or so square feet of space.

The lot is 100' wide x 265' long, or .6 acres. The house sits back from the street around 150' so the majority of the lot is to the front of the house. The back of the house is fully fenced in with a brown chain link fence and is very overgrown with trees and shrubs. There is a wooded lot behind the property that is buffer to the city water treatment plant. The sides of the lot are also overgrown. There is a [detached] three car garage, built in the 80's, that is included with the property. [It's done nicely and harmonizes well with the style of the house.]

With very few exceptions, it appears that all light fixtures, doors, door hardware, hardwood floors and trim are the original 1921 pieces. All rooms have the original lathe and plaster walls. The heating is hot water radiators with the original radiators. The boiler was replaced in the 90's with a modern, high efficiency boiler. The old galvanized steel plumbing was also replaced in the 90's with copper piping.

And here's a list of all things that we see as an issue. These are all things that will take time and money to fix.

1) The foundation - There has been some heaving of the foundation, probably from hydrostatic pressure. It appears that this was fixed with the grading of the soil and implementation of cement aprons. I wouldn't feel 100% comfortable though until we got an engineer to look at it.

2) The gutters - Previous negligence in cleaning the integrated gutters has allowed water to seep through them and into the eaves, possibly causing rot. In any case, the gutters were lined with galvanized steel in the 80's, so they are due to be relined. The gutters will always need to be cleaned regularly. Any leak in the gutter goes directly into the eaves, which can cause huge rot issues. The flat roof on the sun room appears to also have some water damage. The fascia and sofits all the way around the house looks like they need replacing, probably as a result of previous water damage.

3) The roof - The asbestos shingles are approaching the end of their life. Life span of well cared for asbestos shingles can be 100+ years, but 80 is typical. Replacing them will be time consuming, difficult and can be expensive. Replacing the roof with a similar style of roof will be expensive (tar shingles are not an option). There are several trees growing too close to the house, including an oak tree whose branches are rubbing against the asbestos shingles. This is very bad. It's causing moss to grow on the shingles, which decreases the lifespan of the shingles and the rubbing may be releasing asbestos fibers. It depends on what is harder - the tree or the cement shingles.

4) The back porch - The back porch is sagging and needs to be shored up. The roof of the back porch is actually an airing porch accessible from the second level, so restoring it would give even more external space.

5) The brick work - Some of the brick work is in need of repointing and in one case, it appears that water actually flowed into the house, damaging the plaster work around the front window. Again this looks to have been caused by improper drainage of the gutters (clean your gutters!) I found one brick that can be literally pulled out of the wall. It seemed to be the only one, but then again, I didn't go over the whole house. Repointing the brick requires special mortar - Portland cement won't do - and skilled masons.

6) Interior water damage - On my last trip to the house, it looked like there was further evidence of water damage on the wall around the kitchen window. I couldn't be sure if it was recent or old, as it looked like it may have been painted over, and the plaster didn't sound quite right when I rapped it with my knuckle.

7) Location - The house is within .5 miles of a paper mill which contributes a constant white noise hum 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and also occasionally supplies an unusual and slightly unpleasant smell, depending on the wind.

8) Resale - Because of location, and because this house is valued at almost double the average house value for several blocks around, we have concerns about the resale potential of the house. It is unlikely that we'll die in this house, so we need to consider that even if we love it, someday we're going to have to sell it.

9) Hardwood floors - The floor in the living room and possibly the dining room must be refinished. The finish is completely gone (raw wood) in heavily trafficked areas.

10) Lead Paint - The house is old and sure to have lead paint. And we have two small children.

11) The waste pipes - Like almost everything else in the house, the waste pipe is original. It may be within a few years of needing replacement. The last thing we want is a leaking sewage pipe in the walls. The seller also stated that about once a year the kitchen sink backs up and that once a year there is a sewer back up in the basement. In both cases he states that a plunger can solve the problem. Indicative of a larger problem though? Tree roots? Corrosion of the sewer line to the street?

12) One bathroom - There is only one bathroom in the house. There is a pooper in the basement, but we don't know if it works and it is just a pooper. With two girls and a wife, at some point another bathroom must be added. [Well, it's just a toilet in its own closet-sized room, just off the laundry room with a laundry sink.]

13) No appliances - The seller did not include any appliances, so add in a stove, a refrigerator, a washer, a dryer, a dishwasher and anything else that you might think a house should have. [Not that it's plumbed for a dishwasher currently...]

14) Historical property - The property is on the national and state registry of historical places. This is cool and not cool. There aren't any legal restrictions on us because of this, but it does mean we will be more thoughtful about what to with the property, including replacing things with historically accurate items, rather than just running down to Home Depot. This equates to more hassle and more expense (although the end product should be nicer).

15) Wiring - How could I forget the wiring. The wiring is the original knob and tube wiring. This is nearing (or past) end of life. Opinions vary on this. Everything from, "it's OK if its in good shape" to "you will die if you have knob and tube wiring". The house also only has 100 amp service. This means if I turn on the microwave, the stove, the toaster and the dishwasher while having a PC and a TV on, I may be courting disaster. There is an average of only four plug-ins per room. [When he says four plug-ins, he doesn't mean 4 outlets with 2 plug-ins each - he's talking just 4 plug-ins. Also, in the upstairs bedrooms, the wiring came in higher in the wall, like for wall lamps. Then they put in metal...boxes? with metal pipes running down to standard plug-in height and have metal outlet boxes down there. VERY UGLY!]

16) Insurance - Insurance on older homes can be difficult, especially because of the knob and tube wiring. The house does have a bit of an advantage because its on the National Registry, so it can tap into some insurance plans that other "plain" old houses wouldn't be able to.

17) Landscaping - This is purely cosmetic, but because I enjoy working outside with plants and such, not being able to work on the landscaping due to required fixes inside will be frustrating.

And of course, we'll find more once we've lived there awhile. So now if we don't get the house, I can read this with an appropriate sour grapes attitude and feel better.

If I had a quarter...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

...for every time Mr. Kluges or I thought about the house, wondered when we'd get the call, jumped when the phone rang, called our agent, discussed the house, discussed our chances of getting it, built elaborate stories about what might be holding up the process or why somebody would be moving slowly, figured out the time difference to Australia, posted about it, read your supportive comments, drove by it to see if there was a sold sign, or looked at it online... well... I think it'd be paid for already.

Still no news. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. *shrug* Who knows.

But I think we'll be racking up quite a few imaginary quarters.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And still with the waiting...

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Good morning. Time for your regularly scheduled house update, or lack of an update.

Yeah, we still don't know anything. Mr. Kluges talked to our real estate agent yesterday & she said the seller his lawyer looking at the offer.

Surprising to us, 'cuz it's a standard, fill-in-the-blanks offer, but ok, whatever.

It does, of course, draw this out even longer because if his lawyer is looking at it, then the contingency offer people have likely not been informed yet. Plus add in communication complications with the 13 hour time zone difference to the seller in Aussie...

Well, we're now starting to hope for an answer maybe by Friday...

They say patience is a virtue, right?!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dyin' here

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

We're dyin' here. No news yet. Lots of speculation on our parts, but nothing official.

And the longer it goes, the more pessimistic we get on our prospects.

We're guessing that some of the hangup here has to do with the weekend in the way and also with the time difference to Sydney, Australia where the current owner lives. We put in our offer at 4 or 4:30 or so on Friday, so if the seller's agent didn't get it yet that day, and didn't go in on Saturday, then he wouldn't have gotten it until Monday morning. Then I don't know if it has to go to the seller himself (if so, then time zone hassles) or if they could just let the contingency buyers know right away. If the seller needed to officially do anything, well, then with the time lag, the contingency people might just be finding out this morning!

Which would mean a whole 'nother 24 hours of stress for us, plus if it has to go back to the seller again with the time zones and then come back to us so we know....

So, I guess our "by the latest we'll know end of the day on Monday" was TOTALLY WRONG!


Well, we'll let you know shortly after we do. Thanks for all your support, by the way - we even got a couple of phone calls last night about this all! Like I said, we're getting more and more pessimistic, so no news might very well NOT be good news.


We'll see...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Still No News

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Dear Pusher,
Sorry, no news yet, but I wanted to reward your blog refreshing & say thanks for the moral support!
Ms. Huis Herself

P.S. at 4:45pm. Still no news. Picked up video to distract ourselves in case no call until tomorrow am...

Mr. Kluges's Distraction

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Since Mr. Kluges can't concentrate at work either, here's a guest post about the house from him....

Home. It's a tricky word and one that I think describes more of a feeling than a place. I've really only lived at "home" once in my life. It was where I spent the majority of my life growing up, from age 5 to 18. When my parents sold that house and built another, I lost "home" and ever since then everything else has felt transitory.

In the 35 years of my life, with moving back and forth from college and trips over seas, I figure I've moved over 20 times. I would like to stop moving. I would like to establish somewhere to call home, for a long time. It's what we're looking for here. Our requirements for home here are lengthy and quite frankly, impossible to fully meet, but the most important thing about the place is how does it feel. It's not really a rating that we have, but I think all the things we do rate are subject to that one piece, how does it feel.

I found a house that felt right. It had a large number of defects, but deep down, it felt right. The roof was bad, the foundation looked like it might have had problems, the wiring was ancient, the plumbing was suspect, the bathroom was almost non-existent and resale looked like it could be a problem. But for all these things, it felt right. My wife, being more practical, had concerns about the property. Our real estate agent, who appears to be more practical than either of us also seems to have had concerns.

The propery was put on the Market in September of 2005, when the owner moved to Sidney, Australia. His initial asking price was $280,000, which was grossly over priced. The house sat empty the rest of 2005, all of 2006 and until very recently, all of 2007. He continue to reduce his price, until finally it was listed at $200,000 on July 1st, 2007.

I first noticed the property in the beginning of April, when it was listed higher than we could pay for it, especially with all of its issues. I was not willing to buy the house while ours was still on the market in the Twin Cities. It would have been financial suicide. A lot of things had to come together for us to get that property, and they all seemed unlikely. We would have to sell our house quickly, the price would have to come down and I'd have to come up with a plan on how to deal with all of the issues with the house. I was resigned that someone would buy the property before we could.

But suddenly, things started to happen. Our house did sell quickly, one month from listing to closing. The price did come down to $200,000. All that remained was to look coldly and calmly at the problems with the house, how to fix them and the cost. I went through that process. I read articles and books on taking care of old houses, refurbishing old houses, removing lead, dealing with asbestos, costs of rewiring, how to repoint brick work, tax advantages of historic properties, and so on and so on. It started to feel manageable.

I visited the house several times on my own to walk around the grounds and look at the exterior of the house. I visited the house three times with our agent, including once to do a black light test to look for pet urine damage on the hardwood floors (there was none). We asked if we could pay to have our inspector look at the house before putting in an offer. We wanted to be sure we put in a fair offer and we wanted to make sure we weren't getting in over our heads. The owner never answered our request for an inspection. After another week and a half, and the urine test, we decided to put in a lowball offer anyway.

Up to this point it felt like we might really get the house. It seemed like fate was gently guiding us to this house, that it was meant to be. But then things took a twist. There was already an offer on the house, contigent on the sale of the purchasers' own house. We upped our offer by $5000 (at the buyer's "suggestion") and set a closing date one month out (August 20th). That gave the purchasers 24 hours to either come up with the money and a closing date or forfeit the property.

It's Monday morning and I'm sitting at work, paralyzed with anxiety. I'm waiting for the call from our real estate agent, hopeful that we got the property, but every hour that goes by I grow more and more doubtful. I was hoping that by the time I finished writing this, I'd have an ending, but no luck. And so, I wait...

Saturday, July 21, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

In order to distract myself from the WAITING! STILL WAITING TO FIND OUT! I figured I'd post a few photos of the girls since now we have a computer! And can pull photos from our camera whenever I want.

Did you know Pumpkin is really twins?
(Yes, her face is painted; those aren't owies.)

(Also, just kidding about the twin-ness.)

Mmmmm.... Wensleydale!

(Shirt from Uncle TP & Auntie Kay says "Daddy Does My Hair." Hee hee.)

And finally, Happy Belated Independence Day!

Friday, July 20, 2007

House Update

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

So... we put an offer in on the house today. The seller's agent said the seller would consider our offer if we put it in at $5000 more than we'd planned on offering. (Still $15,000 below his current list price.)

Now we have to wait.

Waiting sucks.

Especially since we're waiting for him to contact the people with the contingency offer... and then they have 24 hours to take off the contingency or cancel their offer.

Which means there's still a very good chance we won't get it.

But...by end of the day on Monday at the latest we'll know.



I never thought I'd wish the weekend would go faster...

Thursday, July 19, 2007


(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Oh! Oh! Just got off the phone with Mr. Kluges. Our agent was going to see what his agent thought about the ($20,000 under his) price we wanted to offer...


Argh! So much for bargaining power, position of strength, lowballing, etc., etc., etc.!

Argh! Argh! And with the time difference to Australia, we'll have to wait for more info!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another way in which you know we are huge geeks

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Yes, we are big geeks. I mean that in the nicest, most quirky and odd sense. I was just re-realizing that as I pondered our house hunt.

We have a spreadsheet. Not so odd, you say, it's one way to keep your thoughts and information organized.

Our spreadsheet has multiple pages, one for each house on our short list. (More on that later.) We have a list of criteria - both tangible like number of bedrooms and intangible like character - that we each rate on a scale of one to ten for each house.

But what reminded me we were geeks was the fact that we also have weights for each criteria. First we came up with our criteria, then we each rated the criteria on a scale of one to ten as to its importance to us. So since Mr. Kluges' most important criteria were garden space, outdoor play space, bathrooms, kitchen, and curb appeal, and mine were outdoor play space, bathrooms, kitchen, and bedroom location, we ended up with outdoor play space, bathrooms and kitchen having a heavy weight in our criteria. Brewing space, other storage, and closet space, while things we think about, are given less weight and consideration.

So yeah. We've got spreadsheets that average our scores for each criteria, then multiply that average by the weight, then total it all up. Not that we're going to just pick the one with the biggest number, but it does help us discuss the pros and cons of each.

(And we've also graphed out where their point totals fall in comparison to their respective prices. Geeks. But thorough geeks.)

And that's helped us how? Well, not so much yet because all the houses but one that were on our short list before we sold our own house are gone. Yeah, gone. 3 sold, one we took off 'cuz it was too suburban for Mr. Kluges, one we removed 'cuz I hated the traffic flow through the kitchen when we looked at it again*, and one's left.

(* You had to go through the kitchen to 1) get to the only bathroom on the main floor, which also had the laundry, 2) go upstairs where all 3 bedrooms were, 3) get to the basement stairs, and 4) get to the backyard and garage. And it wasn't very huge, either.)

And that one sole short list survivor deserves a whole post of its own. Lots of attractive features, but oh, so many concerns/potential problems, too. But oh, so cute... and spacious... and huge yard... but knob-and-tube wiring... and cement-asbestos shingles... and only 100 amp service... but wonderful little sunporch... and 4 bedrooms (so we've got a guest room) upstairs plus one downstairs to be an office/playroom... and large kitchen with tons of cupboard space... but higher priced than anything in the neighborhood... and what about resale... but incredible curb appeal... and new 3 car garage that suits it aesthetically... but only one bathroom... but we could take out the maid stair (maid stair!) and put a 1/2 or 3/4 one... well, you get my drift.

So we're going to be looking at 4 more houses tomorrow. We'll see if any make it to the short list or even if we fall in love and want to make an offer.

But to let you have some idea of the attraction of this solo short list survivor, here's the picture of the front, uh, borrowed from the listing page.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Question #9 Re: Babies

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

I know it's been a while since I've done a question, but here's one that lets you know my weekend in a nutshell.

Which is worse - baby poop or baby spit-up?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Oh-so-exciting Friday *sigh*

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Before I had kids, I never thought I'd get excited about having time to mop the kitchen floor.

Also, you should never ask a woman her weight a mere two months after she's given birth... I don't care if you are the blessed DMV!
(Yes, I lied. Oh, how I lied!) (Or, think of it this way - I set myself a weight-loss goal!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Phrases I'll miss as she grows

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

It's raining so I need my umbrumbra.

It's a new brand ___!

You're a such big girl, Mommy.
(Often heard when Mommy uses the potty. Yay, Mommy.)

Tell me about a story about a yiddo, yiddo, tiny, yiddo, tiny, tiny, yiddo, yiddo, tiny, yiddo [fill in animal here].

Oh! That's some stunder! It must be a stunderstorm!

And my current favorite - even when it's said to try to keep me in the room to avoid going to sleep...

I'm so only for you!

(Also, check this out - I'm posting during the day! On my new computer! Woo-hoo!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy and Random Thoughts

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

Guess what?!

I'm writing this on my OWN computer! Not on Mr. Kluges's work laptop! Yay!

Many thanks to my little brother, Uncle TP, for the hand-me-down computer he passed on to us. Mr. Kluges already has it up and running and it's SUPER! Thanks so much, Uncle TP!!!

(Also, thanks to Jaysan and Ang, who gave back the crockpot we'd given t
o them when we left for Ireland since they knew I couldn't (still can't, BTW) find the other one I swear we stored, and to TheLadyWhoCohostedTheBabyShower ButIDon'tThinkSheHasANicknameYet for the pants. They fit perfectly! Really!)

We had a wonderful time on our MN visit and managed to
  • see our immediate families including my brothers and sister-in-law, Mr. Kluges' brother and SIL, and Penguin & Pumpkin's cousins
  • see the Turtle family (Pumpkin's godparents)
  • see a BUNCH of friends at Sprout's baby shower (Pusher took great pictures, BTW, so swing by her blog to check them out.)
  • enjoy a whole day at the lake on the 4th
  • and, oh yeah, close on our old house!
So now we don't own anything larger than our Blazer, but our bank account is looking rather plush. Of course, it'll be a different story once we buy a house here, and then try to furnish it since we're lacking quite a few items of furniture it'd be handy to have.

Also, I have to say
Yay for sweetcorn!

I missed it mightily while in Ireland, especially after a childhood where
we grew it just across the road in rows and rows and rows in the field. Summer just wasn't the same without it, and I only tried the sorry frozen excuse for it once while in Blarney. One of Mr. Kluges' coworkers raises vegetables (well, her husband does) and she brought some in for him - fresh picked today. YUM!

Penguin had her two month appointment on Monday - a week late because I scheduled it to avoid any Independence Day plans. She's already 12 lbs. 6 oz.! She's healthy and proved her lungs were healthy, too, when getting her shots. Loud!

And, since I can save photos onto this computer now, I'll pass on a couple that Turtle took at her house when we visited 'cuz they're just so dang cute.

I'm hoping to soon be able to hook up our own camera to this computer and pull over my pix, too, but for now I'm just thrilled to have a computer I can use WHENEVER I WANT TO! (Ok, except for the 23 hours and 57 minutes every day when one or both of my girls needs me, but still...)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Oh well

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com

So we hemmed and hawed throughout the weekend, and finally called the real estate agent this morning to find out if the offer had been accepted and it was. We didn't feel too, too badly ('cuz if we would have really, really wanted it, we would have moved faster, you know?). It was a very nice house, with great decor we wouldn't have had to change, enough space to garden & for Penguin & Pumpkin to play, small but decent kitchen, WONDERFUL bathroom with soaking tub and tiled shower, etc. etc. etc. But... one bedroom was tiny, the non-masterbedroom closets were small, it only had a bath and a half, with no room to expand that half bath or put in another (when we have two teenage girls, you know), it wasn't as private as Mr. Kluges would like the yard to be... We would probably have outgrown it in time.

It also highlighted for us (ok, mostly me) that if want this other place we're considering (aka Mr. Kluges is slightly obsessed about and to which he keeps circling back around), we need to move forward on taking a really good, hard look at it. We need to figure out more about the cost and extensiveness of some of the updates and/or repairs that need doing. We need to consider the neighborhood (not bad... rather more blue-collar... and this big brick monstrosity we're looking at is definitely the most expensive around that area) and the resale potential 'cuz those are two related concerns. I need to think about how much work/remodeling/hassle I'm willing to deal with along with a 3 year old ('cuz she almost is!) and an infant.

Well, enough of that - if I keep going, I'd end up replaying most of the hemming and hawing from the weekend - and that's not very entertaining!

But I will leave you with this quote from Mr. Kluges...

I'm going to have another [homebrewed] mead. It's easier to move empty bottles than full ones.

P.S. We're going to be running around closing on our old house and trying to see lots of friends and family over the next few days, so posting will probably be light to non-existent, but Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!