Thursday, January 27, 2011

First Time Inside the House!

We met with the Project Manager today, who by the way I think I love (more on that later), to look at a finished master bathroom in a Florence model. After reading so many blogs about the new home owner not liking the single sink/one cabinet master bath, we were worried. After looking at the finished bathroom, we feel better about our choice. We can live with it for now.

After meeting with the PM, we went over to our house, and for the first time, we were able to walk through! The electricians were there finishing up. The plumbing will be completed tomorrow and the insulation will be installed on Monday. We will have our pre-drywall meeting next week. The only thing we weren't happy with was the small window in the "girls' room". This is a result of elevation A.


(1)The small window in the "girls' room". Dislike. Oh well, this room has three windows so I probably shouldn't complain too much.

(3) Upstairs. Standing at the top of the stairs looking into the master bedroom.

(2) Hall bathroom.

(4) The recessed lighting over the fireplace that the sales rep said we couldn't do...hmmm...looks to me like we could do it!

(5) Standing in the kitchen looking into the family room.

(6) Standing in the kitchen looking into the morning room.

(7) Kitchen. The doorway is the mudroom.

(Blogger is frustrating me and I can't figure out how to put the captions next to the picture, so I think it's time for bed)
Oh and the reason I think I might love our PM: One, he is the first person throughout this whole process that hasn't made me walk away feeling like a cheap date. He seems sincere in wanting to make us happy. Two, he seems good at his job. I like people who do their job well. Three, he's young and kind of cute (I've already discussed this with Scott). :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Action Packed Day in the Weidner House

Yesterday the steering went out in the Audi. How did it "go out" you ask? Well, after dropping Aida off at school, I heard a squealing that gradually increased in volume; then all of sudden it stopped. After this mysterious squealing stopped, I could no longer turn the steering wheel. To get home, I literally had to use all of my body weight to turn the wheel. We dropped the car off at the dealership and luckily (sort of lucky) that squealing I heard was the belt and when I no longer heard it, the belt must have snapped. But luckily the belt caused the noise and not the pump. I say this like I know what the difference is, but I do: About $1,000! Thank goodness it was just the belt!

Since we were down to one vehicle today, the whole crew took Scott to work this morning at 6:30 a.m.! The kids loved it. Scott on the other hand probably missed his 45 minutes of "me and coffee time" as Jackson, Aida, and I asked a minimum of 10 questions per mile.

Aida and Ivie visited Dr. Brill today (ironically Dr. Brill graduated from Kent Roosevelt in 1996...small world). Aida only received one shot, but hated it. She quickly forgot about the "punch" once she remembered she was going to get a sticker afterwards. Aida has definitely inherited the small gene from her mama, Nana, and Great-Great-Aunt Beverly: She is in the 10th percentile for height and 5th percentile for weight. I hope she beefs up a little as she gets older. Vivien on the other hand is plump, but not as plump as all you gossipers out there like to make her out to be (you know who you are!). She is in the 50th percentile for both height and weight. She received four shots today! And she too, did not like it one bit.

After the crew picked Scott up from work, we stopped by the house. The brick has been delivered. We chose the colors so long ago we can't remember what everything looks like. We thought we chose a lighter brick, but obviously not. I know we were pleased with what we picked out, but I don't remember picking out such a red brick. The heating/air ducts were installed as well. We are scheduled to have our pre-drywall meeting next week.

We also are adding recessed lighting above the fireplace. Our soon-to-be-neighbor showed us hers and it was lovely. We asked our sales rep and he said no. But of course I won't take no for an answer and asked our project manager and he said "no problem". Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Lastly, Scott, Jackson, and Aida made a snowman tonight. The thirty-five degree high today started to melt the snow, resulting in a "wet" snow that was perfect for building a snowman (and a snowball fight). Go Packers! For goodness sakes....BEAT THE STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Little Disappointed

Life has been COLD here in Columbus Ohio. Today the high was around 19 degrees and lows have been near zero. Thursday night we received about 5 inches of snow. Jackson had a snow day on Friday partially due to the snow and partially because of the bitter cold temperatures. Whatever put Whitehall City Schools over the edge was fine with me. It was SO nice not having to pack up all three kids, in the cold, to get Jackson to school.

So, the disappointment: The house.

The builders are making great progress. No complaints there. The roof has shingles, the garage door is hung, the gas lines are in and the plumbing is in as well.

The problem is the elevation we chose. Now, I do not want to sound like one of those uninformed consumers that blames the company for everything because he failed to read the fine print, but Ryan Homes and our ex-realtor have not been helpful. We were told we had to choose elevation A (the elevation is the outside appearance of the house, i.e. 5 windows v. 6 windows, porch v. no porch, things like that) because our soon-to-be neighbor had elevation B. Ryan Homes doesn't want our cookie cutter neighborhood to look anymore like a cardboard cut-out than it already does, so it will not allow two homes with the same elevation to sit next to each other.

We decided that we really wanted the Venice so we opted for elevation A. Well....elevation A is stupid ugly. Stupid because the bottom left window is not a double window like all of the other elevations and ugly because of the window, no porch, and a very small peak. Now it is totally our fault for not seeing this blemish, but I also fault our worthless realtor for not speaking up and saying "hey, these guys really want elevation B and can't afford elevation C, so how about they move down one lot so that they don't have to build the stupid-ugly elevation A, because, let's face it, honey-my husband-the builder, we've gotten over on these guys way too much already, let's throw them a freaking bone". Seriously, a freaking bone!

Now, I know that we will love the house when it is done and maybe the single "Vicki window" on the bottom will turn out to be a blessing, but as virgin home builders, we trusted her to help us out and she totally has left us face down in the mud. So that is the disappointment. I am going to try to beg the project manager to throw us that bone and help us out, but chances are everyday for the next ten years of my life, I will sit in my office and stare out of the "Vicki Window". But then again, maybe I'll love it.

Lots of good, I know, but this journey has not been fun. If anyone EVER tells you that building a home is fun check their breath for evidence of alcohol because they are either drunk or sleeping with the builder.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Looking Like a House

In addition to the house being fully erected, the windows and doors have been installed. Also, we met our new neighbor. She was very kind. In fact, so friendly, that she invited us in to look at her home. She has the same model, but her kitchen is slightly different. Seeing the inside of her home, made us even more excited to get out of our one-bath, 1940s, in the ghetto home. One upgrade that she had that we won't have are wood floors. They were REALLY nice...oh well, maybe in the near future. That would be a nice project for Scott.

Back of the house (yes, that's Jackson).

Right side.

Left side of the house.

Looking like a house!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend Update

This is our house! Yay!!!!!!!!This is the back of the house. On the left with the three windows is the morning room. The small window upstairs is the bathroom and the window upstairs to the far right is Jackson's bedroom window.

Inside the garage.

Right side of the house.
Looking in the front window through the office. You can see the stairs in the background.

(Miscellaneous pictures from this week)
Bundled up to go get Jackson from school.

Jackson and Aida to Ivie's rescue

Exhibit A: Ivie is left unattended in the middle of the floor and falls asleep.

Exhibit B: Jackson and Aida "rescue" Ivie and provide a pillow and blanket for their little sister. They are very pleased with their assistance.

Friday Night Game Night:

We played two very competitive games of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders last night. Aida won Candyland and Daddy won Chutes and Ladders.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

House Update

Realtor No More

I mentioned in an earlier post that we were having problems with our realtor. After several months of unanswered questions and an absent realtor, Scott told her that we no longer needed her services. I completely fault her for being careless in her job and not Ryan Homes. Every question we asked, she would pawn us off onto either her husband the builder or the mortgage broker. All the upgrades we received, we asked for and negotiated. After we signed the contract we didn't her from her for 6 weeks! When Scott confronted her last night about her poor performance as a realtor she said "you guys kept putting me in the middle". Really??? She's a realtor, she is supposed to be the middleman between her clients and the seller, i.e. the builder. Apparently she didn't get this memo and/or dozed off during this portion of her real estate class. Either way, to put it in the simplest words: She sucked! And we feel much better with her out of the picture. We are not nervous about being sans a realtor, because we have done pretty much everything ourselves. She also stated, when Scott criticized her for not doing anything, that she "got us a great house for a great price" We are paying fair market value for a new build. No great deal there. Anyway, enough ranting about our ex-realtor.

Instead, good news: The builders have started framing! Here are some pictures from yesterday morning as the framers were beginning their day. By the end of the day, they had the garage up. Scott questioned the wood being out in the elements. We are assuming that this is ok. Anyone know? We are now about a week ahead of schedule. If the weather continues to cooperate, we should close around March 12th.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A missing tooth, school, high school basketball, and football

Well, where to start? We had a very busy weekend and already a busy Monday.

The Missing Tooth:

Jackson has lost tooth number #2. No mention of the tooth fairy this time, so we won't mention it either.

Aida started preschool today at Temple Israel in East Columbus. It is a wonderful program. The teaching style is similar to a Montessori program. The teacher/child ratio is 1:5! The program allows kids to explore different areas while secretly learning.
Have you ever had one of those bad dreams where you can't keep yourself from looking around the corner at something that you know is scary? Well, that is how I feel about starting my second semester of law school; just being honest. Of course I have chosen this path. I am the one that wanted to pursue a career in the field of environmental law, but honestly, I am more scared about starting this semester than last semester. The reason: I know how dreadfully hard it is. Last semester it was just speculation, but now I know firsthand. It is like having a child: You know it is a lot of work. You know you will love the child and that your life will change, but you don't fully understand until the child arrives. That is law school in nutshell. I start classes tonight.

High School Basketball:

Friday the Weidner broad drove up to northeast Ohio to attend Antoine's basketball game. We had a lot of fun cheering on Uncle A.

Some Random Pictures From the Weekend:

Saturday morning breakfast.The recliner from Grandpa Rock. It's been a BIG hit with the kids. Jackson was kind enough to allow Ivie to hang out during the commercial.

So, is it really happening? Has the college football season come to an end? Are the bowl games finally over after tonight? I feel like there is BCS college football exec out there hurriedly trying to come up with just one more bowl game, just to prolong the agony...oh I mean excitement for just one more week. Something like the Snow Belt Bowl or the Interstate 77 Bowl (this bowl would certainly get some small MAC team to play an SEC team). In reference to the NFL, Scott said this weekend, "It's a sad moment in the season when you can count the number of games left. There are 11." Sad? I can only imagine the kind of sadness he is feeling with the number of college games at 1. Scott and his dad will now have to find something else to talk about: Maybe their wives or the kids (love ya Don!). Me, I'm happy! My love of football will be rejuvenated in the off season. I promise.

So those are my Monday rants!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back to life...Back to reality

Our vacation has come to a screeching halt: Tomorrow Jackson goes back to school and on Monday Aida and I start classes (she's starting preschool). We have had a wonderful break filled with family, leisure, and fun. Unlike their mama, Jackson and Aida are ready for school.

House Update:

The foundation has been poured! Woohoo!

Not really too exciting, but it's fun to see the progress. The next step: framing (I think).
Oh and GO BUCKS!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A big night in the Weidner household

Two big events happened in the Weidner household today, both were hard to deal with, both brought a moment of sadness: Ivie moved out of our bedroom into Jackson and Aida's room and today was the last weekend of the NFL Sunday Ticket. I will let you decide which event brought the moment of sadness to me and which one brought the moment to Scott.

Until today, Scott would say every weekend "This is the saddest moment of the weekend" as Directv flashed a message indicating that the programming had ended for the weekend. I honestly could feel Scott's pain: End of the weekend, end of leisure, end of 10 channels of every NFL game, and back to work. Today, however, I did a silent jig. Instead of empathizing with Scott that his weekend was over, I thought to myself, "Thank God." I can only take so much football, so much betting, and so much of him and Jackson acting like old college buddies discussing the quarterback, coaches, and moronic plays by the safety (yes, Jackson is a mini Scott, football loving, betting male in the making...I've already lost this battle ladies). So the NFL Sunday Ticket comes to an end and there are only a few more bowl games left: I just might get my husband back for a few conversations before I get consumed with school again.

So my moment of sadness: Ivie has officially been evicted from our room. This is big. For more than a year, she has been with me every night (including pregnancy). Every squeak, whimper, moan, or turn in her bed, I was there to come to her rescue (I know I'm being dramatic, but this is my LAST baby). Instead of me helping her, I have put her in the care of her big brother and sister. At this time, until we move, they are all packed into the same room. This means, when one wakes up, they all wake up. But it also means that Ivie will be protected by her older siblings. I like to think that they are qualified babysitters, but after Aida "watched" Ivie this weekend, only to find Ivie face planted on the floor and Aida piecing together stories while she watched Yo Gabba Gabba, I question the ability of Ivie's older siblings to care for her. I know Ivie will be fine. It's not like I'm sending her off to sleep in the back shed, but it's still a big step for me, as it has been with all my kids. Scott on the other hand, not silently, but rather openly and excitedly did a jig to have space back in our bedroom. I have already been in kids room twice this hour to check on Ivie and to make sure Aida isn't launching baby dolls at her from the top bunk.

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a happy new year. I can only hope that 2011 will be half as fun, adventurous, and prosperous for the Weidners as 2010...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy College Bowl Game Day...Oh I mean Happy New Year!

Whoever invented the idea of bowl games should be pinched. Whoever thought it was a good idea to play 5 bowl games on New Year's Day needs to be shot. And whoever keeps making up bowl games such as the Ticket City Bowl, must not be married. Now I like football, and I actually really like college football and I enjoy the Rose Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the BCS Championship and of course this year, the Sugar Bowl...but really??? All I'm saying is give us wives a chance, an hour, maybe even a day without a bowl game. So anyway, that is my rant about the bowl games.

Happy New Year to everyone! Scott and I had a great New Year's Eve . Usually I'm trying to drag Scott out of the house to go out for our one night of fun, but without our babysitters, The Weidners, we were forced to stay at home. A night at home ended up being one of the best New Year's Eves I've had in a long time. Nothing fancy or special. Just time with the kids and Scott. We made dinner (ok, ok...Scott made dinner) and it was delicious: Rice, spinach, and a pan seared tuna steak on a bed of lettuce and cucumber topped with balsamic, feta, and kalamata olives (YUM!). It was delightful. And of course wine.

No progress to report on the house. We were going to ride out of to the site today, but there wasn't a break in games long enough to afford us time to get out there and back before the next kick off. The big discussion now is our horrible realtor and the interest rates. If you haven't been following interest rates, they are slowly starting to climb from the all-time lows we've seen the past 6 months. This is definitely a concern for us, but we're hoping Ryan Homes will pay down points for us to keep the rate at the 4.25% we were originally quoted.

So I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year and watched as many unnecessary bowl games as the Weidners did. I will say though, it sure was a shame to see the Big 10 go 0-5. Ouch! If only the Big 10 would have even split the games with the SEC, the nation would have looked at our conference a little more favorably. Oh well, there is still the Sugar Bowl...GO BUCKS!!!