Thursday, September 23, 2004

House Hunting

Today Chris and I went down to the area we are moving to, and drove around a bit to look at what is for sale. Chris had a meeting at the office of his company that he will be transfering to after we move, so I suggested we all go down together and while he was in his meeting, I'd drive around and look at houses. We got down there about 9:30 am and dropped Chris off at his building. We all got to go inside because he needed help carrying in papers and things. The office is in a renovated factory building, and is really neat inside. They have an elevator in the center of the building that has an open side with a window; the boys thought that was really cool, lol. After we dropped him off, and I nursed the baby, and changed Micah out of his pajamas into shorts (we waited to change him because it was pretty cold when we left, but knew it was going to get hot later in the day), and passed out some snacks, it was after 10.

First we drove west, and looked at 3 houses in that direction. The boys were terribly thirsty from the crackers they had eaten, but oops, there wasn't any water in the car, so I tried to stop at a McDonald's and get drinks. Unfortunately, the one that was right where we were had a delivery truck blocking the drive through, so we couldn't get any drinks there. That meant I had to hear about thirsty thirsty thirsty for 2 more hours, lol.

I liked the first house we found, but it is in a development, so I don't think Chris will go for it. He really wants a rural farmhouse type property. I think he is going to be out of luck, actually, because those are all pretty expensive, and our price range is pretty low. The second house was just as nice, but the neighborhood it is in was a little bit run down looking. The third house we saw was on a bigger road, and it looked even more run down that the other neighborhood.

We drove back out of that town, hoping to see that the delivery truck had moved away from the McDonald's drive through, but no luck, it was still there. From there I wanted to head north of where we started, but I had not printed out any maps that showed a way to drive that way directly. I didn't want to drive all the way back past Chris' office and then head north, that seemed too out of the way, so I just guessed at a left turn off the main road I was on and hoped it would take me to the main road north that I wanted. The boys got really freaked out that I didn't really know where I was going, LOL. I kept saying, I don't know where we are, but as long as the signs keep saying East it should take us where we want to go. They didn't like that, LOL. In the end, I was exactly right, it took us to exactly the right place. I'm so awesome, LOL.

I headed north, and soon came to house #4. It was a very nice looking house, in a quiet wooded neighborhood; unfortunately it was built in an area on top of a steep hill. The house itself was supposed to have almost a half acre of property, but if it did, the back half of it was all cliff. Certainly not a yard the kids could play in. Oh well. Darn, it had 6 bedrooms, I was excited about that! LOL On to #5.

#5 was just a bit further north, but I had promised the boys a drink, and I knew there was a McDonald's in the area we were at. It was now over an hour after the snacks, and they were all whining. I was pretty thirsty too, even though I hadn't eaten any of the crackers. So instead of taking the quick way to the next house, we drove past the McDonald's and got drinks. Caleb had fallen asleep and woke up grumpy, he complained and cried for the next half hour. blech. We got back on track and found #5 pretty easily. It looked like a nice property, but it was too hard to see the house from the road, it seemed to be back behind another house. It was a big property, 10 acres, so we are guessing that the house itself must be a pretty big dump. I just couldn't tell.

By now it was almost time we were supposed to meet Chris at his office to pick him up for lunch. I had miscalculated a bit when we arranged it, though, and hadn't figured in the getting ready to go at first and the stopping for drinks while out, so we were about 15 minutes late. We headed out of town to go to his sister's house and meet her for lunch. Unfortunately, Chris forgot the best way to get out of town towards where we wanted to go, and we ended up taking the long way. It made us pretty late, it was almost 2 when we got to his sister's house. I had arranged to meet a realtor down there and talk with her about properties, but she had to leave town at 3, so it was too late. Oops. Well, we got to relax at SILs for a few hours, and Chris took a little nap, so that was nice. She made us chicken rice soup for lunch/dinner (since we ate it at 3:30, LOL) and the boys watched some tv while Chris checked out some of the new improvements they had done to the house.

We had also arranged to meet his mother after she got out of work. She works in an elementary school, so she was home by 4. After eating and letting the boys run for a bit, we drove over to MILs to see her. She had surgery this summer, back in July, and was still recovering when Levi was born, so was unable to come up to visit and see him, so this was the first time she was getting to meet him. She also hadn't seen the rest of the boys since spring, so it was nice for them to have the chance to see her. We stopped in just for an hour because there was one more house I wanted to drive past that would be on the way home from her house, and I wanted to be sure we could see it before dark. We had a nice visit with her and left about 6. I think it was probably a nice thing for her to have the short visit; she had only started back to work this week after her recovery, and was still tired after being at work; so she got to see us but didn't have to cook or get worn out from the boys' noise and mess, lol.

The last house we drove past was very nice. It was on a short quiet dead and street and was very nice looking, as nice as the picture that I had found online. It was closer in to town than Chris liked, but it was not in a development, which was a plus. His only real objection with that one was the price, it was just out of our range. Darn, lol. But at least we found something that fit what we wanted! We got to that one just before dark, and then it was finally time to head home. Poor Chris was so afraid of getting lost, driving around on roads he normally doesn't drive on. I suppose he would have been freaked out earlier in the day, just like the boys, LOL, but I wasn't worried. Most of the roads out there will eventually lead to a main road that we recognize and we would know where we were going. I was right, and got us back on the route we usually take to get home from MILs, no problem.

About an hour later we were on the highway, heading home, when the van started making a ticking noise. It grew louder and louder, and was definitely from the engine. It grew to a knocking noise, and became pretty clear it was an oil issue. We had not planned to stop on the way home; Chris wanted to go in to work early the next day to make up some of the hours he had taken off to drive around house hunting, and so didn't want to get home late. Well, the van had other plans, so we stopped off at an exit with a McDonald's and I got the boys dinner while he put more oil in the van. It's a good thing he did, because he said it was about 3 quarts low. Oddly, the gauge hadn't shown a problem with oil pressure, we had had no idea about it until it started knocking. Luckily the McD's was next to a convenient store, because we only had 2 quarts in the van, he had to go buy 2 more. He said he got the last 2 on the shelf! lol The boys were pretty happy that we had to stop, because they got food out of it. Poor Levi was not so happy when it was time to get going again. He was soooo good all day, but he was really sick of his car seat! LOL

So we got home about 9:30 and put the boys right into bed. Levi actually didn't stay up much longer, which surprised me, I figured he'd be up all night after sleeping in the car so much; but maybe his crying from the McD's until home wore him out, lol. Of course, he is up now, and there is no telling when he will be going back to sleep. Oh well, LOL.

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