Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I've been putting off a new post for too long but I have been either too busy, too sick or too exhausted to find the time and mental capacity to sit and write about all of the things that have happened lately.

We bought a house. Much sooner than we expected to. Andrew and I discussed and agreed that he could volunteer for a deployment in the next six months so we pushed up our date for purchasing a house. It was a very tiring, and at times, frustrating search. We wanted a home in a shaded, established community that had great schools and a decent location from Andrew's work. It was also important to me to have a nice sized yard and a house big enough for our family to grow...a little. Maybe.

When we drove through the neighborhood of the house we purchased I was in love. The trees were abundant and the yards were beautiful, clean and green but you could tell families with children lived throughout. When we pulled into the drive way I liked the house immediately. It wasn't my first choice in favorite exterior designs but it was still charming and the front yard was wonderful. When we got to the front door though, before we even opened it, the smell of cigarette smoke was seeping through the door frame. It was bad but we went inside and looked through the whole house even though it was completely over whelming.
After walking through the house and going out to the amazing back yard I felt annoyed. We had made an offer on another house that had been refused and looked at 15 houses since then and I was now falling in love with a house that had been smoked in by two adults for 20 years.  The layout was perfect, the house was otherwise immaculate and again, the back yard was perfect.

We shook our heads, said it was too bad and continued to look at other houses. But this house just stuck in my head and so I started talking to my realtor and making calls about how to clean the cigarette smell out of the house. After I convinced Andrew, we made an offer and here we are. New home owners. I'm sure when people come over they smell the smoke, I wish I could some how show them how changed the smell is since we came in and cleaned but there is still a lot of work to do.

We sprayed down all of the walls with a strong cleaning agent and have primed the main room that they smoked in so that took the smell from a 10 down to a 2. I think the house will smell 100% when we can afford to paint all of the walls.

I was so excited about starting our new life in our new home that I decided to adopt a dog. We drove to a shelter in SC and I fell in love with her right away. A floppy eared basset hound, black lab mix that we renamed Ponyo. We brought Ponyo home before we even moved out of the apartment and even though she was 5 months old she hadn't been potty trained yet so it was a really stressful week, especially since we were supposed to close and move in the day we adopted her but had to push it back a week. Potty training a dog in an apartment is hard! Especially when you are on the second floor.

The second challenge that I didn't foresee when adopting Ponyo was that our back yard did not have a fence. I really didn't think it would be an issue but it was a huge one. Because we were so busy cleaning the smell out of the house and getting moved in and situated ( which is a lot more work that i thought) I wasn't able to get her out to the yard every hour and I didn't have time to play with or train her. Between that and her chewing on Henry and him being constantly upset about that and the frustrations of stepping on puddles of pee camouflaged on our hardwood floor I just couldn't keep up. Especially after having to take two trips to the ER for walking pneumonia.

When Andrew and I finally came to the decision to give her to a new family I was heart broken. I cried for days. I still cry about it. I feel like I really failed her and myself. I don't like making promises that I can't keep and this one has devastated me. My Mom is right though. Every day gets easier, especially because she found such an amazing and loving new family. The weight on my heart was definitely lightened when I met them and they told me about their previous dogs that had passed away from old age and the other from the heart break of losing it's partner. Giving her to loyal and experienced dog owners was the best for Ponyo and I know she is going to be really happy with them. I'm sure she is already.

Now that Ponyo is with a new family, I have been recovering from the Pneumonia, and trying to get stuff done around the house to make it comfortable because Andrew's parents are coming for a visit! We are really excited to have family come see us. We love Georgia and I can't imagine ever living anywhere else but we still miss our family and friends on the west coast.

Henry is loving the new house. In fact, Andrew and I both discussed how much happier he is since we've moved in. He has his own back yard full of creatures and plants to discover and a big house to run through. We have found frogs, lizards, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, grasshoppers, and even a scorpion! I'm sure thanks to the beautiful little lake behind our house, which unfortunately, also brings hoards of bird sized mosquitos. The mosquitos are not bothered by bug spray or candles and leave vicious marks. Poor Henry has looked like leper for the last month.

We've met the neighbors on either side of us. They are very nice and have children who are in the late teens and early twenties so its very quiet here. Except for us of course.

I am so excited to experience our first Autumn in Georgia. The summer wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be and Andrew mentioned that meteorologist believe this winter will be pretty cold.

The next year is bound to be a busy one filled home improvements, Henry starting school and hopefully, if we are lucky, another kiddo. It's been a frustrating couple of years in that department but hopefully now that we are "settled" in to our new home, feeling secure and in permanent place, the stress will go down a little in the next few months, I can focus on my health again and we will find ourselves expecting in the near future.