Wow, was that really the last time I made a post??
Well obviously a lot has happened since then! And obviously we’ve been really busy and I haven’t had much time to post about it.
So the closing went okay I guess. There were actually a few snags that made it especially painful for the mortgage broker and the lawyers. We didn’t really know what to expect, so if you told us it took 10 hours we wouldn’t have known any better, but they all seemed pretty agitated. The first (minor) problem was that the parking spaces were numbered incorrectly and according to the contract they were selling us the parking space in front of the wrong condo! But that got resolved pretty fast. The more major issue was that the mortgage company was being a real pain. It sounded like maybe it was the first day on the job for somebody or something, but they didn’t know what they were doing. They kept requesting ridiculous stuff, like they made us redo the contract with asterisks next to the closing costs that were being paid by the seller and then made us redo it again because “the asterisks are too small.” Ridiculous things like that. Finally, after about 4 hours, we were told we could leave and they would get the rest straightened out. Whatever, we had the keys when we left, so that was the important thing!
So since that time, we’ve just been spending huge piles of cash. It’s amazing how fast things add up! I already mentioned what we spent on paint. We bought a crib and a nice chair for the baby’s room, some shelves for the baby’s room and a bedside table for the guest bedroom from IKEA and an end table for next to the couch. We spent almost $600 on fabric for the curtains (Sara’s mom is making them for us, so I can’t imagine what we would have spent to actually buy finished curtains!) and then ended up spending another couple of hundred for curtain rods and things. And that was from IKEA which had rods for way cheaper than like Target or anything. So the moral of the story, and I guess everybody said this but I still kind of didn’t believe it, is that even after you write the huge check for your house you still have a lot of spending left to do!
So, that first weekend after we bought the house we were visited by my dad, brother, and Sara’s brother for a painting extravaganza. We actually got a lot done! We painted the baby’s room, our bedroom, the living room and the guest bedroom as well as the ceilings of all the bathrooms with mold resistant paint. The living room was awesome because it is the biggest room to paint and also there was the little incident of the area over the stairs. See, the ceilings are pretty high (say 12 feet?) and then the stairs go down from the corner of the living room, so the distance from the stairs to the ceiling was reaaaaaly far. And of course this is over the stairs with no landing or anything, so we didn’t even know how to do it. The best idea we had we found online, but it sounded very sketchy. Basically, put an extension ladder on one side and a regular ladder at the top of the stairs and then run a board between the two resting on the rungs of the ladder. I know you can’t imagine what the area looks like, but trust me; someone would have died trying that. We tried to rent some stuff from Home Depot but they didn’t rent it. But finally in the end, the simple solution was the best solution. My dad brought an extension ladder and we just put a couple of cinder block pieces on the lower stair and put one leg of the ladder on that and the other leg on the higher stair. It was still pretty dicey though because I was still up pretty high and the ladder didn’t have much of an angle to it. So I had to cling to the top of the ladder because if I leaned backwards it would overbalance and fall. So anyway, it was a big relief off my mind to get that all finished!
So we got a lot done, but there is still a LOT more to do! Originally it was just the 3 bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room and the family room left, but then we decided we should paint the hallways and the office since we would actually have help at the moment (more on that later). We did get all of the corners and trim and stuff done in one of the bathrooms this week.
The Monday after that I picked my mom up from the airport on the way back from Japan. So mostly they went to see shrines (kind of like how we saw so many churches in Italy) but it sounds like my mom really enjoyed the trip to Hiroshima. It sounds kind of funny to say “enjoyed” and “Hiroshima” but I don’t know what the right word is. The main thing she just kept talking about was just the cultural differences. I think that is the main thing you gain by going out of the country is sort of a broadening of your horizons. Anyway, she had a good time.
The weekend after that was Nathan’s graduation. Jenny and Josh and their kids Jacob, Bekkah, Jaames and Braelynn stayed with us Friday night. We were a little nervous since it was such a large crew, but they actually weren’t there very long and it wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, Braelynn was so quiet I kept forgetting she was there! I didn’t hear her cry once the whole weekend. I can only hope our baby will be so good! We didn’t act
On Saturday we met Sara’s family at a fabric store to pick out all the cloth for the curtains. I already mentioned how expensive this all was and all in all I have to say it was not as fun as I had imagined! I imagined running through the store throwing fabric around trying to narrow down all of our many choices. Instead it was like digging through trying to find one we liked. Sara told me she thought it would take 2 hours and I thought, “No way! 1 hour max!” Well, it actually took about 3 hours. But it was good to get it done and I’m excited to see all of the curtains when we are done.
So after that we went to Purdue and got there about 5. We didn’t go to the ceremony, just the after party. 🙂 We stayed until about 9 and ate some good food and visited with family members, etc. It was fun but it was also an exhausting day.
On Sunday we went to IKEA and then we planned to paint the bathroom, but by the time we got around to that, Sara decided it was too much for a weekend. So I ended up just sort of doing odd jobs around the new condo that somehow took hours. I did the touch-ups in the baby’s room and finished that up, put on outlet covers, etc. This led to my lock changing odyssey.
So we wanted to change the locks just to be safe, since who knows who has copies of the old key. So this is yet another thing to spend money on. However, I found some kit online which you are supposed to be able to change up to 6 locks for like $10. I figured it was worth the $10 to give it a try because it could potentially save us like $50. So even if it doesn’t work, I’m only out $10. So I get the kit and I decide to give it a try. There are lots of different directions for different kinds of locks, but I find the right set and get started. So I’m taking the lock apart and following the directions and everything is going well. It says, “Turn the key to release the locking mechanism, yada yada” so I do that and I’m like “cool, this is actually working” and I pull out the locking mechanism. All these tiny little pieces go flying everywhere. So I thought, “Well, I guess this is the point of no return, there’s no going back now!” and I looked down at the next instruction which says, “Be careful not to removing the locking mechanism because if you do all the tiny little pieces will go flying and you will be totally screwed.” Don’t you think that could have been mentioned before the previous step?!?! So it goes on to say, “If you are the type of idiot who just pulls out the locking mechanism without reading the next step, see this other step on this other page.” and it tells you how to reassemble it. Well holy crap, it was hard! There are 5 little holes that take 5 little springs with little metal pins on top. Once you get the spring with the metal pin into the hole, then you have to push it down and slide this tube over the top so it doesn’t spring back out. And of course I’m at the empty condo, so the only tool I had to work with was an unbent paperclip. It took me at least an hour and a half to get that lock reassembled! At least a quarter of that time was spent looking for the tiny pieces after they sprang out over the carpet which is colored the exact color of the inner workings of a lock. I wonder if the name of the carpet color is “lock mechanism brown” or something. And my back was hurting from hunching over because it’s so small you can’t see anything. So finally I managed to put everything back together and finish changing the lock. So I got it done, but it took me about 2 hours to change 2 out of 6 locks.
So I was very frustrated, but at least I got it done! Fast forward to yesterday and I was going to change the other 4 locks. I thought it should be pretty fast because by now I know what NOT to do and also I have a pretty good working knowledge of how a lock works after spending 2 hours on them. So I’m cruising along, I changed the next 3 locks in about 30 minutes. I was in a pretty good mood, everything was going well. I didn’t even need to look at the directions anymore because I knew what I was doing. And then of course what happens? I was actually past the hard part on the last lock and my hand sort of slips and pulls out the mechanism and ::SPRING:: out flies all the little pieces! Ohhh I was so mad at myself! I just got careless because it was so easy. So I figured, “Oh well, at least I know what to do to fix it.” But when I looked at the pieces, I realized it was subtly different that the previous lock. On that one the pin fit in the top of the spring, so you just had to put the spring and the pin into the hole as one piece. But on this one the pin did NOT fit into the spring, it just sort of rested on top. So you would have to balance this miniscule pin on top of this tiny spring and then somehow push it down so it goes in the hole. This would be impossible. I was almost done with the locks! The more I looked at it the madder I got at myself. I was thinking I would have to buy a new lock and then re-key that one (and hope the same thing didn’t happen) but in that case I didn’t save much money by doing it myself. Also it was quarter to nine so I couldn’t really get it that night. So Sara convinced me to put the lock back on so it looked like it was okay (but it wasn’t really locked or anything) and gather up all the tiny pieces and just wait until the next day. When I got home I tried a few times with tweezers (which sure would have helped with the other lock the other day!) but it was just impossible. But then, out of nowhere, I figured out the trick for doing it and I put it back together! It was so random because over the course of like 5 minutes I went from the total despair of, “This is impossible” to “Hey, I’m done!” So I ran back over to the condo and put the lock back together (veeeery carefully) and presto! Everything is fine.
So the moral of the story is, you can do it yourself but be very, very careful. And if I paid myself per hour it probably would have cost as much as if a locksmith did it.
Speaking of do-it-yourself stuff, we had this problem with our drains in the bathroom. The sink and the shower both were so clogged up that they virtually were not draining at all. I poured like 2 gallons of drain cleaner down each over the course of months, but it did little or nothing to help. We were kind of thinking we could just live with it for the next couple of weeks until we moved out, but finally the sink came to a complete standstill. I bought these cheep plastic zip line things from Target (2 for $5) and they actually worked miraculously! Probably better than advertised. You just push them into the drain as far as you can and then pull it back out, but it has these one way teeth (like an arrow head), so when you pull it out the clog snags on the teeth and out it comes. I had to do it a few times and it was grosser than all get out, but I removed so much hair from those drains you wouldn’t even believe it. You could have made a wig for a cancer patient, provided that that cancer patient had no sense of smell and didn’t mind that the wig was sort of a decaying grey color. But anyway, if you have a problem like that, go ahead and buy those cheep plastic zip things because they work really well.
Okay, so that’s about it. Sara’s entire family including an Aunt and Uncle are descending on the condo this weekend to try to get the rest of the stuff done before we move in next weekend. So we will be very busy with that, but in a good way!
One final thing. Just because I don’t have time to blog about the more fun things that I usually blog about, doesn’t mean I’m not saving them up. So when I get a chance I will drop some of those on you.
In the meantime, you’ll have to tide yourself over with this awesome Rube Goldberg machine. My favorite part is when the one cell phone calls the other cell phone. Very modern touch! 🙂