Tuesday, June 24, 2008



Entryway looking up to loft.

Entryway and stairs.

We will be buying all new appliances. Ugh. But also fun, in an expensive sort of way.

Island and breakfast nook, where we will also eat lunch and dinner.

Family room looking into kitchen.

Stairs that were so fun until Claire fell off the bottom one and sprained her ankle. At least we got THAT one out of the way.

LOVE the backyard. Won't you come visit?

Pretty pretty pretty.

Expensive, and bossy (and new house pictures!!)

It is expensive here! I had no idea living in Vegas would cost so much more than living in Tucson did. I don't know why I had no idea...guess I was just living in my own little world. Of course living in a big city like this would be more expensive! Gas is probably the biggest shock: Tucson was consistently below the national average ($3.73 today), and Las Vegas is decidedly above the that number ($4.12 today). Add to that the fact that we will be living a little further from base, and gas prices are going to be adding up to a larger expense than I anticipated. And as a result of higher gas prices, everything else costs more: milk, eggs, soda! Oh, Tucson, I miss you already.

Kate is decidedly bossy. I had seen little strands of this character trait over the past few months, but it is quite apparent now. It is pretty cute, in many ways, and will probably help her to meet people (sure, they might be meek, timid kids, but hey). The other night at the TLF park, she was chasing other, much older, children around with her spray bottle. Then she would yell at them: "C'mon, guys! Over here!" in a way that really wasn't a question, but more of a command. They obeyed, probably a little out of fear. I suppose it helps that she is the size of a 4-year-old.

Claire has mostly mastered her ABCs, although she can't say every letter clearly. The alphabet song is probably her favorite melody, and she lights up when you sing it. She also sings Twinkle, Twinkle, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat (complete with arm motions). She is determined to do all that her sister does, and can keep up in some events. She even has her ways of dealing with Kate's tyrannical attitude: she has become quite sneaky. She will walk up and steal a nearby toy away from her older sister, and when Kate gets up to retrieve her prized toy, Claire will drop it and take one of the toys Kate dropped in order to chase after her. It's fairly amusing to watch.

Claire is still taking a morning nap, and I can't figure out if this is normal for a 17-month-old. I don't remember when Kate dropped down to one nap a day. I would let her keep taking one as long as she wants, except that it really infringes on our activities. And being that we are stuck in the TLF for another couple of weeks, outings are essential to everyone's happiness. I think I'm just going to have to start dragging Claire out in the mornings to do things, and hope for a longer afternoon nap as a result. This would probably work better if they were not in the same room - one or the other of them is constantly bothering the other one, and it seems like it takes at least an hour for them to get to sleep.

Tim is at the (greenbelt) house with the inspector right now, and we will join him shortly. Here's to hoping that nothing major is wrong with it!


The inspection went well! I have no idea what they told Tim was wrong with the house (haven't had a chance to talk about it yet), but he was happy with what the inspector said, so I think we are good! In light of that, here are some more pictures. This is the greenbelt house (the last house we saw on the Very First Day we started looking back in MARCH). Ummm, I'm going to do a new post. Formatting mess if I don't.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Ummmm, I guess I forgot half of the post last time, and you only got the 'downs' part of the 'ups and downs' saga. Tim and I ended up watching 'The Pursuit of Happyness' a couple of nights ago, and that helped put things in perspective. (Not that I was in the middle of a breakdown; I was just having a bad night.) That movie, by the way, is a good one - see it if you haven't already.

So our house in Tucson didn't appraise. What that means is that an appraiser estimated the value of our home, and he said it wasn't worth as much as the sale price. Banks won't loan over the value of the property, so we had to reduce the price to meet the appraisal. The kicker is that appraisers are pretty much reducing the value of homes in Tucson by 5% across the board. I think it's called the Cover Your Ass method of valuation. Whatever. We worked things out with our agent and the buyers so that we aren't totally screwed, and the house should still close next week.

Then, as I was standing in line at Target, I got a call from our Vegas agent, Joe. He asked me if I was ready. "Ummmm, I guess so?" He said, "You got the house! You finally wore the bank down, and they accepted your last counter-offer." We plan to get the inspection done on Monday and hope to be new homeowners by Tim's birthday in mid-July.

In order to better jinx us:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ups and downs

Today I feel hormonal. Or depressed. I'm not sure which, but I hope that tomorrow will be a happier day.

I am frustrated because:
  • our current living conditions are not ideal. (See also: 600' apartment, with one bedroom, and when our wafer-thin sofa bed is extended, it nearly touches the kitchen table that is already nearly touching the refrigerator.)
  • I have yet been unable to secure us other living arrangements. "What, you can't rent us a nice 2 bedroom furnished unit that has a community pool, and have it ready for us to move into tomorrow next week? Um, yes, we have a cat, and we only want to rent for a few weeks...." (voice trails off in pathetic desperation)
  • it is very hot and we have no pool.
  • our house in Tucson did not appraise. Stinkin' appraisers.
  • the girls are tired of being cooped up inside with their 4 toys.
  • I am tired of housing stuff. Tired of it! It used to amuse me. No more!

Tomorrow will be a better day, surely. And I will likely update you on my jubilance (seriously, blogger, it is spelled right) then.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kingman just isn't the same as Vegas

We didn't make it to Vegas last night. I forgot to look up directions to get us around Phoenix, so we had to take Grand through miles and miles of stop-and-go traffic and lights. And Tim had his final out-processing appointment at 9am on base, so we ended up on the road at 10:00, with a drugged kitty and 2 crabby girls. We got a stanky/smoke/pet/cat food smelly/fur in odd places fine place to stay next to Denny's, and called it a night.

Now Tim is driving one car at a time to the scales to weigh them, while I cruise the 'net and try to get Claire to take a nap. She is normally a fine sleeper, but on the road she is a totally different animal, as Tim put it. She has stayed up until at least 9:30pm every night, and is up by 7am. Needless to say, she is very fussy and tired. Luckily we are only 100 miles from Vegas, so we should be there in time for her afternoon nap.

It was weird leaving our house on Saturday. Tim and I spent several hours there, cleaning things up and gathering the rest of our belongings, and taking one last dip in the pool. It was bittersweet leaving Tucson. We had such a fun weekend at the La Paloma with my sister and her family, and it was hard to say good-bye to them. The girls are all playing so well together now, and Tempie looks up to Claire with such adoration that it was heartbreaking to know they won't see each other for months at a time.

We are looking forward to our next adventure, though, as this assignment is likely to be a big one. Tim's squadron has already asked him if he will go on a short TDY with them in July...and then I think his first deployment is in November.

No house to live in, no place to call home, yet. But that hasn't changed, so it's not newsworthy. We plan to look at some more houses later this week, and see what is on the market. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hurry up and wait / bored / fini pics

I am almost mobile-blogging. I'm sitting on the futon in our boxed-up living room, with the laptop on my, well, lap. And I'm online! I bet if you're 23 and reading this, you're rolling your eyes right now. But I am pretty pleased with myself. Like I had anything to do with it. Er, thanks, Tim!

Pedro is still boxing up our stuff. The movers only sent one person (actually, I think it was his choice; something about more money, likely) to pack us up. I bet he is re-thinking his decision right about now. Our house may only be 1500', but we have it crammed full of stuff.

The kids are doing pretty well with all of this. It's sort of an adventure, or at least that is how we are presenting it. We will even be staying here tonight, boxes and all! Pedro promised to leave our bedding alone, and the movers will be in tomorrow morning to break down all the furniture. We won't even be sleeping on the floor! Tim suggested putting all our unshippable (spell-check is telling me this is not a word. I do not know another to use, though, so am sticking with it) candles in the fireplace and roasting the marshmallows they won't box up. I promise not to make a mess, Devin! ...although with all the in and out and boxes and such, you probably want to hire some carpet cleaners before you move your stuff in...

Today is the last day of school for the girls. It is our last night in our house. It's so foreign. I know we have been working at this whole moving thing for a long time, but it still is weird to think that we won't be here anymore.

Tim's fini-flight was great. We were almost late, but made it just in time (we were walking out to the tarmac just as he was turning to taxi to his spot). Thanks to R2 for telling him to take his time! And thanks to Camille, Rae, Shonda, Erin, and Deborah and their families for coming to see the celebration! It was great having friends there.

I think Kate was impressed by the big plane, but slightly perplexed as to why we were out there in the heat. Then I knelt down next to her and pointed to her Daddy in the cockpit, covered in military green and a helmet with a dark eye shade. Just then, Tim waved at her, and her face lit up. It was so fun to see the recognition on her features, and to watch her wave to her Daddy.

We re-bid on the first house in Vegas. Our new bid is significantly lower than our first one, and is below the asking price. We will see what Paul the wonder-agent has to say about that, probably in 3-4 weeks. Ha.

Now, pics.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let the stress begin: NOW

Oh wait. I was already stressed!

We are wilting today (it's 110*). I know it's bad on the east coast, so I hesitate to gripe about the heat, but it's just so hot you can't think about much else. At least that's the way it is for me. Of course, Tim's fini-flight (last A-10 flight here) is this afternoon, landing at 1750 (the exact hottest moment of the day). I'm thinking with my hindsight that it would have been better to have done this yesterday when it was a good 10-15* cooler. Ah, well. Hindsight, right?

I don't know how much blogging I will be doing over the next...3 weeks? Eight weeks? Ever? Tim did buy us a shiny new laptop yesterday, so perhaps we'll be able to use the WiFi at the TLF to keep y'all updated on our housing misery, but I can't say for certain. I do know that the house we bid on the last time we were in Vegas is now in contract with Another Buyer (you're shocked, right?). It seems like it might be kind of shady, this deal (shocked again, I presume). The selling agent is also the buying agent, and our agent is pretty sure our bid was never even submitted to the bank that owns the house, which is pretty shitty considering our bid was in before this contract was accepted. I am beginning to wonder if we are meant to own a home in Las Vegas. Well, time will determine that, I guess.

I do have a kennel/vet thing set up for Starbuck at an exorbitant cost. But he's worth it, right? And I don't know that we have any other choice besides leaving him here with someone who wants him. I think that would be too much for the girls, so we will kennel him.

The movers come tomorrow and finish on Friday. We will be staying with my sister starting tomorrow or Thursday, and will spend the weekend at the Westin La Paloma (specifically, in their pool). Then, if all goes well, we drive to Sin City on Monday.

There are a lot of things I will miss about Tucson. This was our first house, and it's been a good one for the most part. I will look forward to more closet space and a bigger master bath, but it will be sad to leave. Kate and Claire were both born here in Tucson, to the same doctor, at the same hospital. Some of my best friends are here, and the same goes for Kate. It will be hard to explain to them that we aren't coming back here to this house.

I will miss the birds singing in the morning outside my windows, the roadrunners, the quail and their perfect nuclear families. I'll miss the view of the Catalina mountains from my kitchen window and the fruit trees in my backyard. And I'll miss being no more than a 15-minute drive from my sister and her family, especially with her new baby on the way. But we'll be back; I don't know when, but we will visit. Hasta luego, Tucson!

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Oh Dear God. I am at a loss. The movers come on Wednesday, and we are not even close to being ready.

So, after a day of running errands and fixing f*%^$ pain the the arse house issues, including a painting incident which caused me to stick my newly-coiffed hair in some blue roof paint, we went out to dinner at Cafe Poca Cosa and temporarily forgot about house troubles. Mmm. Mexican food.

The main things I am stressing about currently:

  1. Starbuck. We do not yet have a kennel for him, nor do we have a pet-TLF (temporary living facility) that we can all live in. How do you move a cat from here to there in a car in the desert summer heat? I know it's only a day of driving, but there are stops/desperate attempts to escape/issues of arriving in Vegas before the thus-undetermined kennel closes. Ideas?
  2. Still. No. House. Yes, I am thankful that this house is (hopefully) sold. But we still do not have housing there, besides that TLF! It could take 4-8 more weeks before we have a house to move into. That stresses me out a little Lot.
  3. Our lists of high-value items. And CDs. Not completed.
  4. A fini-flight on Tuesday.
  5. Children who want some iota of attention from me. And who do not want to spend every last moment in Arizona in pre-school.

So. Guess I better get moving on all this stuff. There's packing to be done!

Friday, June 06, 2008

This week's cuteness

  • Claire says she wants 'mas' of something. She does the sign, even, in ASL. I have no idea where she learned it.

"Mas. Pees. Mas!"

  • Kate helped me make pizza last night. She would intermittently sprinkle cheese on the sauce, and then grab some back off to eat. Claire stomped her feet joyfully in time to the beat of the USAF song on the radio.

  • Kate likes "smashmallows". So much so that she stole some from the top of my sweet potatoes the other night. I was getting Claire some milk and I heard Kate say, "I'll eat this one," which piqued my curiosity since I knew she had already eaten all the smashmallows from her plate. Sure enough, she was leaning over my plate, and stuffing one in her mouth. I said, "Hey! You can't steal food from my plate!" So she took it out of her mouth and, with an innocent expression, offered it to me.

  • Claire's favorite expression is, "I got it!" She gleefully yells this as she chases balls down the hall after you throw them. It's a fun, new game of 'fetch'.

  • Claire yells, "MommMEEE!" at various times throughout the day. It makes my heart melt.

  • Kate likes her Daddy's flight green suit.

  • She also likes Yucky Charms. Loves them, actually, but only the 'colorful ones'.

  • Claire uses everything as a phone. This week it was my HP calculator. She called her Daddy on it:

"Hi, Daddy!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Dare I say it? Maybe I'll whisper it. Or, better yet, I'll spell it: we have an o.f.f.e.r. Yahoo! We are totally psyched, and also completely stressed that it will fall through at any moment. But we just saw on our real estate web site that our house is now listed as 'inactive'. Things are looking up, people!

Also, in case I missed any of you locals in the email, Tim's fini-flight is next Tuesday. Please let me know if you want to come and need a pass to get on base!

...floating on clouds...