This art of finding the "perfect home" I've deemed is a huge waste of time. Because we spent another fine weekend looking at houses ... and didn't find a single "perfect" one for the price that we want to pay.
Not. A. One.
The kitchens were too small.
The bedrooms were too small.
The floors were ludicrious. Why would anybody think that white tile looks good with red grout ... in their dining room?
The yards were tiny.
The views of the ocean ... if the upstairs windows were spotless clean, you squinted really hard, and the leaves on the trees were aligned JUST so, was questionable.
The price tags of $850,000+ were mind boggling. Particularly when you'd have to spend more money to replace the nutty floor job.
The house-hunting expedition ... which led us all over San Diego County while the kids napped and watched The Lion King twice ... was a colossal waste of a beautiful day. At the end of the voyage, we were again planning to move out of state and buy a ranch in Montana.
Or, completely change our lifestyles so that we could swing THE house we really liked.
Or, scrap it all and stay where we are.
It's a scary proposition to sell our house. A house we know and love ... that we've lived in for the past 10 years .... and can happily afford. Albeit a house that feels very cramped and will feel even more cramped in the coming months.
When I spoke with various realtors and told them that our plan involved selling our house - and moving in to a new house before our baby was born in July - they looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. Especially when I followed that statement up with "We haven't listed our house yet, because I'm a total chicken and afraid it is going to sell in a week and THEN what?!?"
The reality is ... this pregnancy has been completely surreal for me.
Yes, I've had several tests show a positive result.
Yes, I've seen the heartbeat and I've heard the heartbeat.
Yes, I've been to the doctor and seen the baby via ultrasound.
Yes, I've had carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps at 2 AM and insane cravings for mu-shu pork.
Yes, I've packed on a whooping 32 pounds, none of my pants fit and I've gone up three cup sizes in a bra.
Still - it didn't seem real that I could get pregnant without medical intervention.
It doesn't seem at all possible we would have four children in less than three years.
Sometimes, I completely forget that I'm pregnant ... in large part because this pregnancy is so incredibly different than when I was expecting the triplets. With this pregnancy, I don't have spontaneous nosebleeds. There has been little to no nausea, little to no heartburn, and although I do get tired in the evening - I credit that to the fact that I chase three 2-year olds all day long.
Six months in to my triplet gestation, I was measuring full-term and was on self-imposed bed rest. I had a handicap placard for my car and would use the electronic carts that beeped when you backed up - whenever I went to the store.
Six months in to this gestation, most people can't even tell that I'm pregnant. Except for the fanatical nesting and mood swings ... this pregnancy has been barely noticeable. But now, all of a sudden it is real.
And the reason is because I feel baby Nemo all the time. He kicks, he squirms, he flips in circles. The other night while laying in bed with the remote control perched on my stomach ... he kicked so hard that the remote went flying to the ground.
At first I was worried and tried to remember what in the world I had eaten to upset my stomach such that it was capable of launching electronic equipment across the room. Then I was reminded of the mosh-pit feeling that had been my stomach when I was pregnant with our trio.
And I remembered.
We're having a BABY.
A baby that ideally, I'd like to have in his own room - so that his triplet siblings are not trying to climb in and sleep with him. (I know for a fact - they will attempt this.)
The other day, I had a complete meltdown in the garage. I had walked out to talk with Charlie, who was in the midst of washing the car, when I spotted a baby mobile. I started to babble where in the world the crib would go - that the baby mobile needs to fit on and I couldn't think of a single place.
Soon, I was hyperventilating ... running in circles and trying to sweep up dog hair. Dog hair that covered almost everything in the garage, including the brand new mats I bought for our kids to tumble on ... the toys that are temporarily on out-rotation ... and the boxes of baby clothes that I'm stockpiling for our newest addition.
A pile of dog hair that was larger than the pile I swept up two days prior and would easily cover our floors, wall-to-wall. I don't know how it's possible a dog can shed so much.
Recently, we transferred William back in with the girls. This is not an ideal arrangement, by any means, but is mandatory when we have people come from out of town that sleep on the pull-out couch in William's room. Because we have people lined up to visit from now until the end of April - we've decided to leave William in with the girls rather than break down and move his crib five separate times.
Which means - nap time has once again, turned in to a free for all.
Even though the new baby will sleep with us for a while in the beginning, I don't plan on keeping him in our room indefinitely. So - unless I want to wedge another crib in to a 10x10 room and have an infant sleep next to a toddler (makes me shudder thinking of the sleeping schedules) ... the only other option is to keep William in with the girls.
Which means - nap time will remain a free for all.
The morale of this story is that we need to move in to a larger house.
And don't even get me started on the toys that overflow from our house to our garage, to our backyard to our car. I seriously don't know how they have so many toys - since I never buy them. It's like they're breeding and multiplying ... almost worse than dog hair.
But, unless we want to return to work, more than full-time for at least one of us (hence requiring us to bring in additional help during the day), we need to stay right where we are.
I've decided it will never be an easy time to move. I can't imagine it will be any easier with four children, as opposed to three. Not next year, not two years from now. Probably not five years from now - provided I last that long and don't implode.
And when we do move ... unless we plan to move out of California ... we need to be prepared to spend a fortune on a house. That's the plain and simple harsh reality of the real estate market.
If we stay where we are for the next few years - we can both continue to work 20 hours a week. We can take off for the beach at 11 AM on a Wednesday. Or, go to the Zoo at 2 PM on a Friday.
Best of all, we can raise our children - together.
Although, I wonder if we have it in us to remain cramped for a few years so that we can continue working part-time and spend this time with our children before they head off to school.
That is the question.
For the next month, we're going to ramp up our work hours so that we are bringing in the kind of money necessary to support the mortgage if we were to move in to THE house. Because, we want to see what kind of change our work schedule would make to our daily lives and the amount of time we have available with the kids ... if we're working 15-20 additional hours a week. The extra money that we bring in - we'll apply to our current mortgage, so it will be paid off that much faster.
Unless, we decide that we really need a vacation and head off to Hawaii.
And, wouldn't that be wonderful?!
To have the kind of flexibility that we could take incredible vacations with our family and not be tied to a mortgage payment??
Wouldn't it be glorious to take off on a moment's notice and go somewhere grand??
Because - after having gone out a total of three times to dinner and a movie since our children have been born (without them), we might be struck with the desire to jet set all over the world. Even though the thought of leaving the City without them makes me queasy.
After hosting a triplet playdate at our house a few weeks ago and watching 4 sets of 2-year old triplets play in our bathroom ... I questioned, again, how much space we really need.
If I can fit 12 2-year olds in a tub ... or have my trio sleep in diaper boxes ... I again wonder if my priorities for having a BIG house are in the right place.
There is a feeling of peace that comes with knowing we can live in San Diego, but don't have to work all the time to make ends meet.
That feeling of peace is
That's my cue. The kids are up from their 25-minute nap.
Oh, if only I could have a glass of wine.