Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weekend of Wonderful.

Cousins on a walk... Jenna, Kate, and Michaela


We just got back yesterday from a weekend in Chicago with my brother and his wife and daughters. His almost-three-month old daughter, Megan, was being baptized and Dan and I were honored to serve as her sponsors.

We had great flights both to and fro and overall, the travelling went smoothly. I took 347 pictures -seriously- while we were there, so I can't possibly post all of them, but will be telling some fun stories this week about our trip.

What I can say is that Brian and Beth were wonderful hosts, the food was excellent, the church service was very moving, and we desperately needed time away from the stress and anxiety of selling a house, buying a new house, raising three kids and life in general.


I am able to face this week with a new attitude and new energy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Legends of the Fall.





Alec is desperately trying to master the skill of sitting up. And he is almost there, but not quite. Here is a slow-motion-capture of him starting out so tall and proud and then sloooowly toppling over.
He is such a love, so fun and pleasant, and it is completely apparent that his brain is wired differently than the girls: he is fascinated by the remote control buttons, the microwave and his Hess car that makes noise.

Can you believe he was six months old this week?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Michaela's new question.


"Can we go ice skating today?"
Michaela has discovered the joy of a new sport and constantly asks if we can go to our local YMCA and ice skate. She started by gingerly hanging on to the wall the whole way around and is now trying to master one-footed skating, turns and tricks on her own. I brought my camera the other day and captured some of her moves.


I eagerly offered to get her ice skating lessons and she said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" with a vehemence I was surprised by. "Why not?" I asked.
"Becasue I don't want someone COMMANDING me around. I can teach myself."
Commanding? Hmmm. I think it's mostly very sweet 16 year old girls doing the teaching.


video

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The dream is over. On to the next one.

We found out today that the house we've had our eye on and dreaming of buying has been bought by someone else.

Bummer.

Goodbye pool, goodbye hot tub, goodbye beautiful deck, goodbye enormous kitchen island, goodbye huge master bedroom closets, goodbye vaulted family room ceiling. Oh, how I loved you and dreamed of living in you.

But we've got good, solid leads on a few other good ones.
The right one is out there for us, waiting patiently for our growing family to move in and live and love.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Signs of Spring.






Spring is finally here! We have been blessed this week with gorgeous, warm sunshine and mild temperatures, which makes everyone happy. We have been taking nice walks around the neighborhood, walking home from school, and reacquainting ourselves with our bikes. Softball season is right around the corner, as is Michaela's soccer season. The tulips are even starting to push up and make their appearance.
A few days ago, we went to not one but two playgrounds, met up with some friends, and then the girls weaseled some soft serve ice cream out of me. I have to admit- I did not put up that much of a fight. :)
If you look carefully in the picture of Jenna, you can see her newly-pierced ears. She looks adorable with them. In typical big-sister fashion, they were both going to get them done together, but Michaela had Jenna go first and be the guinea pig. Michaela is still gathering up her courage to get hers done, but is very close.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Open House Statistics.

Open House at our home was on Sunday, 1-3pm.

Hours it took to prep house: about 6
Days it will take me to find a few random items that Dan stashed throughout the house: 4
Number of people who missed church Sunday morning and hoped God would understand: 1
Number of people who missed Sunday School because Daylight Savings Time, you know, snuck up on us: 5
Number of house fact sheets handed out: 11
Number of people who signed in on the sign in sheet: 8
Number of people who might have just been nosy neighbors : 3 (Hey- knock yourselves out. I've probably been inside your house, too.)
Number of cars in our driveway when we drove past about 40 minutes into the Open House: 2
Number of high fives we gave each other because people showed up to look at our house: 2
Number of Open Houses we went to while people were at our Open House: 1
Number of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies I put out in front of the bouquet of fresh flowers on our kitchen table: 24
Number of cookies eaten by Open House visitors: 14
Number of cookies eaten by me when we returned because I was a nervous wreck about the whole thing: 9

Number of buyers we need to make an offer so we can put in an offer on our dream house: just one. Just ONE.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Weekly Rundown.

So here it is, Friday again, and I have not one coherent, interesting thought to blog about.
Actually, that's not true: lots has happened but I haven't had a minute to process it or make a generalized comment on the whole thing. All of my time this week has been shuttling this place and that, here and there, getting Alec into his carseat and out of his carseat. Sometimes I forget that the whole reason I started the blog was to document for our families far away what was happening here at the Libutti 5 household and I put all kinds of pressure on myself to come up with something witty and interesting and more macro level.
Well, it was more of a micro-level kind of week.
Here are the highlights:
The weather was beautiful here- a true taste of sunny spring- and Jenna, Alec and I walked down to school three times this week to pick up Michaela and bring her back home. "This is so nice," I thought. "How WONDERFUL that I'm starting to do this the week we put our house up for sale!"
Things were quiet on the house front. We are having an open house on Sunday and hoping for a good turnout. We met with a builder this week and if one or more of our parents dies and leaves us all of their earthly possessions and cash, we could totally swing it. Otherwise, not so much. The house we love is still for sale, so our hope of getting it is still alive.
Michaela had a tough ortho appointment on Thursday, complete with spacer insertions, expander removals, and copious amounts of bleeding gums and crying. Poor thing... she tried really hard to be a trooper but it just hurt too much. She has two appointments next week that should be better. She got her hair cut on Monday and it looks super cute.
Jenna and I and Alec attended a new Story Hour at a neighboring town's library on Thursday and both kids loved it. It's free and attended by people I know and love, which makes it a home run. They heard a story, watched a cute movie, danced, played musical instruments, and did a craft. Wow. We're definitely heading back next week.
I signed up for a month of tanning this week and love it. I know, I know, it's horrible and immoral and practically illegal and bad for everything, but let me tell you: it is ten minutes a few times a week that I am warm, laying down, and no one is asking me for anything. I am mostly doing it because my niece's baptism is in a few weeks and my original plan to lose 40 pounds doesn't appear to be working out (haha... the plan isn't working out and neither am I- get it??) so I decided to look darker instead of thinner. I also went to the dentist so at least I'll be tan with clean teeth. And that's all I can really manage at this point.
I went to Michaela's school to take pictures of the kids in a few classes for the school yearbook, which is always fun. I may be starting to write on a community blog for our local newspaper, which is exciting and should be solidifying in the next few weeks. We went to church on Wednesday night, Dan had a meeting at church Tuesday night, I went on Monday night to Financial Peace University class at church (I'll blog about that another time, but it is awesome), went to Walmart a few times and hit the library to get some new books that I haven't read yet. We have a birthday party to go to tomorrow, a possible trip to the Y to go ice skating, and all that is involved in prepping the house for the open house. Add to the mix the five month old baby who is still getting up 2-3 times per night and you can hopefully see why my brain is working on a few cylinders short of a full set. And I don't even know if that makes sense.
Thankfully Alec is unendingly pleasant and cheerful and smiling through it all. He is grabbing for everything he can get his hands on and tries desperately to shove it all in his mouth. He is loving his toys, especially ones that make noise, and is eagerly entertained by his sisters. Michaela started this week wearing the backpack and carrying him around on her back, much to my terror. She's such a stick I can just see her toppling right over with him. But she is super careful and responsible about him, so I think it's okay. (Grandmas who read the blog, rest easy.)
We are heading out to dinner soon and it's Dan's night to get up with Alec, so my mood now is buoyant. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Motherhood.

Motherhood is... being woken up by your eight year old daughter out of a dead sleep at 6:55am after you've been up with your 5 month old son several times the night before and when she pokes you on the arm and says,"Mom? Mom! Why is Jenna sleeping on a pillow with no pillowcase on it?" ... you refrain-just barely- from killing the eight year old daughter.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Life goes on.

In signs that life marches on whether you realize it or not:
... Michaela got her first tooth pulled out by the dentist yesterday. I clearly remember getting teeth pulled when I started with the orthodontist. She tolerated the whole thing pretty well, with some dramatic whimpering but overall did fine.
... I registered Jenna for kindergarten yesterday. KINDERGARTEN. How is that possible? She is excited and asked if she could go to Kindergarten today. Good thing I have my little Alec, otherwise I would have had to start mourning the loss of my little Nenna yesterday and it would have lasted all through the summer. I also clearly remember registering Michaela for kindergarten. It seems ludicrous that I will be there someday registering Alec.
... I called the school district this week to start the process of getting speech therapy for Jenna. Dood-bye pin-t, milt, and chi-ten; hello, letters c, k, and g. Nice to meet you. This is my daughter Jenna.
... I put away the first size 6 month clothes for Alec this morning and pulled out my 9 month sized shirts from his dresser to be washed and added to the rotation. In about 3 weeks, he'll be halfway to one year old.
Thankfully, Dan and I are ageless. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Beginning of the End.




We listed our house for sale yesterday.

It was a monumental, concrete thing that affected all of us. (Well, except Alec. As long as he gets fed, he doesn't care where he's living.) (Which brings me to another heart-pulling realization: Alec will never remember this house. That just kills me.)

The papers were signed, pictures were taken, 30+ boxes of stuff was taken out, framed photos of our babies and our family were removed and kissed goodbye for now, carpets were cleaned, rooms were painted, front doors were spiffed up, and stuff was stashed in the oddest of places and there's a good chance we won 't find some things for weeks.
The most laughable moment was on Sunday night, the eve of the Great Pictures-of-Our-House-Taking Event for the Internet and Therefore All the World to See when Dan lifted up a very cute M&M-shaped candy dish Michaela got on her trip to NYC with her aunt and uncle and said, "Where do we put THIS?" and I said, "I DON'T KNOW! I'M OUT OF HIDING PLACES!"

Turns out the kitchen cabinet is a GREAT hiding place. Duh.

So the listing hit the real estate world at about 8am yesterday, and we had someone on the house looking at it by 2pm that day. And two more scheduled for today. I don't now what this means, but I figure it can't be bad.

The process of showing the house has rendered me a virtual bag lady, living out of my car. All my junk that I don't want cluttering up the house is in a big bucket in my front seat. My calendar, planner, coupons, papers, my toaster oven (which is kind of old and gross), our towels (to reduce the bulk in the bathroom) and our toothbrushes and toothpaste (removed from the bathroom to make it as spa-like as possible) are all on the front seat of my car. And the back seat- yikes! The baby's backpack, the bouncy seat, and the exersaucer and rolling around back there as to not distract potential buyers from the zen of our living and dining room.

The for sale sign also went up yesterday afternoon and that sucker-punched all of us. It just looked so... final. Concrete. Real. Like we were not fooling around any more. After all these years of talking about moving to something bigger and more spacious, dreaming of the perfect place for the five of us to grow into, the idea of really leaving this great place we've called home for the last 10 years was horrible. The place we brought our babies home to. The place where guest rooms became nurseries and little girls' rooms. The place where we put all of our disposable income into. The place we spent hours and hours and hours of time and work and celebrations and birthday parties and family visits and everything you do in your house, your haven from the rest of the world.

Each of us, as we first saw it, felt a little sad. Reading the description of my own house made me think, "Gosh! What a great house! And the location! Why on earth would I want to leave it?"

But.

There is another house out there, about 10 minutes from here, that is perfect for us. And as soon as we go into contract on our house, we are putting in an offer for that one. And I have told Dan that if we get that house, I will lay face down on its huge, vaulted-ceiling-ed family room floor and weep with joy that this is our house. And then I will go into the large walk in closet in the master bedroom and do the same thing. And then I will get into the hot tub off the deck and drink myself silly.

So this is the beginning of the end for us here.
But it's also the start of something new and wonderful and exciting.