Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The finish line is in sight

It’s so close, we can almost taste it. Things are really starting to ramp up/wind down towards completion, so let’s get right to it.

Mommy B has completed another quarter for her Master’s degree, and only has two left to go! She has one class this upcoming quarter, then two preceptor-type classes to wrap up the program. I know she can do it, and I’m so proud of all the hard work she’s put in thus far. Keep up the hard work, hun – you’ve got a whole cheering section behind you!

We’ve completed our new home search and have settled on a nice little gem in the Rivertowne Country Club subdivision in Mt. Pleasant. The sellers accepted our offer a couple weeks ago and we’ve been diligently working through the inspection and appraisal processes since then. Not to mention filing for a new loan, shopping insurance (both home and flood), and gathering more paperwork than I ever imagined. The only thing that’s not on file somewhere is my latest urine sample. Oh wait, yes it is – for the life insurance policies Mommy B and I took out a couple months ago. Woof.

Anyway, the appraisal for the new house came back 10 grand more than what we’re paying, so it’ll be nice to walk into the house with some equity already built up. I had Pops come in to perform the inspection on the house and he brought back a list of mostly just minor issues. Most of them were standard for the age of the house (it’s about the same age as our current house) so just require a little maintenance work. Same went for the inspection on our current home – so hopefully we won’t be out a bunch of cash to get things fixed up for our buyer.

All in all, we’re getting very excited (and anxious) about the move and starting over again. On the one hand it’ll be hard to say goodbye to Mommy B and I’s first house, and to the place where both our children (and dog) were brought home for the first time. We spent countless hours turning that house into our home, getting it just the way we wanted – but you can only do so much with the space and layout you have without a major undertaking. So we’re going to wipe away the tears, swallow the lump in our throats and embrace the endless possibilities of our new home. And all the fun that comes with redecorating, reorganizing, and re-falling-in-love with the new house that will become our home for many years to come. I have to keep reminding myself (and Mommy B) that we weren’t forced into this situation due to financial concerns or other dire circumstances, but rather willingly made this decision for the educational future of our children. They are our top priority at all times, and making sure they get into good schools when the time comes was the driving force behind making this move. Getting the new house to look and feel the way we want it to may take some time, but we can rest easy when going to bed at night knowing that the A-team will be able to attend some of the best schools in the state until they graduate high school.

In other news, the ski trip to Maggie Valley went better than I ever could have expected. Mommy B is a natural on the slopes, and she is a great student (duh). She fell maybe three times in two full days of skiing which I told her was pretty damn impressive. We started slow on the bunny slopes – but that only lasted about 20 minutes. After about 3 runs, she was ready for something bigger. So we went up to the next size hill where I had her practice her wedge and working from one side of the slope to the other. She killed it right away and barely needed any help from me. I would ski in front of her (backwards) and give her pointers as she went along. I was almost as impressed with my backwards skiing ability as I was with Mommy B’s natural ability. It wasn’t long before we were heading further up the mountain for more difficult runs. By the end of the second day, I actually convinced her to come all the way to the top of the mountain (at which time I took a picture to mark the occasion), and we skied all the way down together. She hasn’t mastered the slalom yet, but she did amazingly well for having never skied in her life. We spent both evenings relaxing in the private enclosed hot tub that came with our cabin, then “slept in” both mornings until about 7:30 so we could make it up to the slopes when they opened at 8:30. We missed the crap out of the kiddos, but they were having fun with Grandma C without us. All in all, it was a nice relaxing weekend away – and we both survived without any major injuries to speak of!

Which bring me to the kids. They are becoming more and more their own independent little people. Alli’s new fascination is with puzzles – she’ll kneel down on the floor and put together a 20-piece puzzle all by herself. Granted, she’s had a little practice with Mommy B’s help beforehand, but now she won’t even want us to help and she’ll proudly proclaim “I did it all by myself, Daddy!” when she finishes. Just this past weekend, she dug a toy frying pan out of their play kitchen and held it poised next to her head ready to strike and said “Who are you? And how did you find me?” For anyone who’s ever seen Tangled, you’ll know where that line comes from. Mommy B and I about lost it – not only did she have the line from the movie memorized, but then she dug through all her old toys to find a frying pan just like the one Rapunzel had in the movie. I’m telling you, this kid has quite the sponge for a memory.

Aiden is still obsessed with any and all cleaning products – the broom, dustpan, vacuum and he’s also found the spray cleaners under the sink that he likes to place in random places around the house. A couple weeks ago, he accidentally colored on the wall with a dry-erase marker at which point I busted out the 409 to scrub it off. Well, he must have watched me do it because the very next morning he opened the cabinet, took out a spray bottle, grabbed a paper towel from their easel, held the spray bottle up to the wall (as if to spray it) and proceeded to scrub the wall in the exact location where I had done so the day before. It was absolutely adorable to watch and I’m so glad Mommy B and I both happened to witness it. It was one of those moments that could have happened at any time and if both of us had been looking the other way we would have missed it completely. Similar situation just a couple nights ago – we were grabbing dinner out with the kiddos (which never happens) and Aiden was sitting on my lap for a minute before we left. He noticed that he had accidentally dripped something on my wrist, so like he had seen me do to him all night, he grabbed an unused napkin off the table and proceeded to dab it on my hand to clean it off. Both times he was completely unprompted, which speaks volumes to how much that kid picks up on things. It’s one thing to tell a kid to do something by providing simple, multi-step instructions and having them do it. It’s a whole different ball game when you don’t say anything and the kid does it anyway. He may not have the speech skills his sister had at 22 months old, but that boy is sharp as a tack. I can’t wait to see what trick he pulls out next.