Sunday, July 30, 2006

Adventures at Home Deep-in-debt Depot

I've decided that I like shopping at Home Depot better than shopping at Lowe's.

If for no other reason, Home Depot has race car shopping carts that the kids absolutely loved.

I probably could have fit all three kidlets in to one cart (someone sitting in the "basket" with a seatbelt) but that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun as sitting in the "driver seat" and steering.

Because I knew that I would be at Home Depot for at least 45-minutes, I needed to minimize the amount of screaming optimize the kids excitement with our shopping experience. As such - everyone got their own steering wheel.

(Besides, I needed all the space I could get in the cart, what with all the "home improvement supplies" I would be picking up during my outing.)

The "home improvement supplies" I was specifically sent to the store to pick up were namely:

1) Plants for our backyard, and

2) Lattice for the structure Charlie was building around the air conditioning unit.

(Yes. This outing was last week. But. I've just had so many other things going on that I haven't had an opportunity to post about this yet. I've literally got a backlog of postings for at least a month. I'm prioritizing, you see...)

Even though I only had two items on my list - that didn't stop me from perusing the isles and looking at all the other "home improvement items" that I realized we need. I didn't realize just how badly we needed these items, however ... until I was standing in the store looking at them.

Lucky for me, the kids were happily entertained with their steering wheels. So armed with Snacktraps and mini-sized snack boxes of raisins ... I was able to spend a glorious TWO hours at Home Depot. I am now entirely convinced that this is the store where more Americans go completely bankrupt.

Here's a partial listing of the "essential house improvement items" I discovered I couldn't live another day year without:

1) A new shower - for our bathroom;

2) A new bathtub (a jacuzzi tub would be especially nice) - for our bathroom;

3) All new tile work around the shower and jacuzzi bathtub - in our bathroom;

4) Marble countertops - in our bathroom;

5) New windows;

6) French doors;

7) A new barbeque (in the form of an outdoor kitchen);

8) New patio furniture - in the form of solid Teak with comfy cushions on the chairs;

9) Hardwood floors to replace our nasty a$$ carpet that covers 40% of our house;

10) Roll-out doors for all of our cupboards;

11) A pressure washer. It just looked really cool;

12) A treehouse;

13) A big tree for the treehouse to go in;

14) New paint ... both inside and out; and last but NOT least ...

15) A second story. As in - a whole 'nuther level to our home.

The thing is ... we've lived in the same lovely little house for the past 9 years. It's a cozy abode with as much charm as you can squeeze from a tract-home in Southern California.

(In all honesty - it's a great house ... in a great neighborhood. We love it here.)

Even though we bought this house new, after 9 years, and the addition of three children to our family ... it needs a bit of work.

Our house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with ~1700 square feet. When we found out we were expecting triplets, one of the first things we did (after freaking out) is start looking at larger homes. Unfortunately, the real estate market is so prohibitive in California (a 4 or 5 bedroom house would cost ~$800K in our neighborhood) - we decided to stay put and make do.

All along, we've been thinking that eventually, we need to move. Eventually, we need to get a bigger place. But ... funny enough ... we're making it work right where we are.

We love that our house is a one-story with a great floorplan. There are no stairs, so no need to worry about toddlers toppling down a flight, and because of the size, it's relatively easy to clean ... provided we stay on top of minimizing clutter. (HOWEVER - that doesn't mean I still wouldn't like to get my own House-Elf.)

Best of all - we aren't drowning in a mortgage payment and are able to "make-end's meet" with two part-time jobs. (Yeah, it's a pretty ideal situation.) So, even though a little extra space would be nice ... the advantage to staying where we are, far outweighs moving.

Like I said ... this house is perfect for us right now. It just needs a little bit of work.

I didn't realize just HOW much work it needed, until I went to Home Depot.

THIS is why I should never go shopping, alone.

Although, had Charlie been with me, he might have co-signed the Home Depot credit application and I would be sitting in a jacuzzi tub right now, instead of updating my blog.

Ah. If only my April Fool's joke wasn't a joke.

I checked out of Home Depot only $132.00 poorer than when I went in (as opposed to $98,930.00 poorer had I bought the other 15 "essential household items" that I deemed necessary), and drove home.

The very next day, after the plants started to wilt from sitting on our back patio in the blazing sun were acclimated to the climate in our yard, I set out planting.

Fortunately ... I had three little helpers that made my job go remarkably fast. If you consider "fast" to be the speed at which grass grows. Or ... paint dries.

The kids then rapidly turned their attention to "helping" Charlie with his construction activities thankfully, giving me an opportunity to finish the planting.

Charlie quickly realized that it's a difficult to do construction related activities when you have three toddlers doggedly determined on playing with the tape measure and level. After Charlie tried unsuccessfully for 15 minutes to measure a small section of lattice, I stood in the doorway and sang out "Who wants ice cream?!" until all the kids ran in the house.

(The lengths to which I'll go to get things done around here, never cease to amaze me. But if you read my blog, you already know how the rest of my evening went.)

Even though these activities happened last weekend ... Charlie and I spent the better part of today, learning more about hardwood floors.

We've mutually decided that if we are going to stay in this house for another few* years ... it would be more comfortable for us, if we updated a few* things. (* We're not entirely sure how to quantify "few").

I don't know if we'll purchase all of the 15 "essential household items" I summarized above. There's a chance I could be talked out of the tree house. And pressure washer.


  1. Hello Jen ~~ It is great to meet you.
    And you and your husband are amazing
    parents. I love the harness idea and they will get steadier on this I think
    I have looked over a lot of your photos, the children look so well and
    happy and I am so glad you got your family.I had one son, then adopted another son & 2 daughters, so I know
    about infertility. Thanks for the joke which I will post. Good luck with your family in the future.
    Take care, Merle.

  2. I love the pictures of the kids in the Home Depot shopping carts. Ours doesn't have those....darn. The boys would LOVE them. Also, this has nothing to do with your post, we have those shirts too "I've decided to put myself in charge" from Target. Too cute.

    I know what you mean about running out of room. We built a 3 bedroom home and thought that would be plenty of room. Well our news of twins got us looking for bigger homes and it just depressed us how expensive they were. (Although I'm sure CA is much pricier than TX). Our goal is to just make it work. I think close quarters brings about closer families, right?

  3. Jen3,
    Too cute as usual!!!
    I am neglecting my son in order to read your blog!!!
    Hey, what do the girls' shirts say?

  4. I can always find things that I "need" at Home Depot too!! Good self control on your part.
    Cute pics of the kids.

  5. Cute pics! Watch out with the home improvement stuff. Once you start it never ends! :-)

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  7. Isn't Home Depot the greatest! I love that store... it is a nice place to daydream about what I could have! such as a jacuzzi bath................ LOL!

    But I have to ask, what do their shirts say? I bet they say something funny and you just can't see it real well in those pictures.

    Thanks for the laugh today! I needed it........... check out my post on the Cam's board!

    P.S. I deleted my "original" post but just pasted it on this one because I made some errors! It's been a long day.

  8. I just looked up Home Depot on the internet as we don't have this chain in Australia. WOW, I would have the best time in these stores!!! My children would love the carts, but if I was honest, I would have to say that I would leave them at home with Daddy and spend the whole day exploring.