Friday, February 29, 2008

It all has to go, one way or the other

Marion and I were out of the house by 8:50am today since the home inspection was scheduled for 9. Since Marion and I had to kill some time, we stopped at Starbucks then headed over to the Kenilworth Mall with a bag of pennies. I thought she would enjoy throwing the pennies into the fountain. Boy, did I underestimate the potential entertainment. Marion loved it. We could have easily killed several hours there, but we headed over to our Mommy and Me group at the local rec center instead. Afterwards, we met my mom for lunch.

That's when I got my first call from my realtor. It was 11:45 and she was asking me where the key to our shed was. I explained it to her, hung up, and thought, "Wait, they want to look in the shed?". For some reason, this never even crossed my mind. I guess they wanted to check the construction? Maybe the inspector knows my husband...

Second call came 20 minutes later. The key was not where I had described. I called Brian only to determine he either had the key with him or a neighbor had it. I called the realtor back and broke the news. She then filled me in that they were still going through the house and that it would be another hour or so.

To recap- they spent approximately 4 hours to inspect our townhouse. Three bedrooms, 1.5 baths townhouse. What the heck? Apparently this guy just does his inspections slow. And when I say slow, I mean evolution slow. My inspection for this house took no longer than 45 minutes and it was a dump. Maybe this guy charges by the hour?

Anyway, this was the last day for the buyer to do the inspection. Therefore, it was the last day for him to request anything. We haven't heard anything from our realtor yet, but who knows. There could be a fax waiting for her at her office. She said nothing huge came up. Some loose bricks at the top of our chimney (I'd love to hear how he determined that, seeing how he never went on the roof) and some wires that need to be tucked into a junction box for our bathroom exhaust fan.

During the epic home inspection, our buyer browsed our belongings and made a list of items he was interested in purchasing. We've been hoping he would be interested since we have alot of stuff we don't want to move to either my Mom and Dad's basement or Zurich. He left the list on our kitchen counter for us to go over and price.

I think I jumped when I saw the list after getting home. He wants to buy everything we wanted to sell him and then some. There was only one item on the list Brian and I took exception too. Jackpot! Now we just have to agree on a price. If we can do that, it would cut our move in half. That would be nice, we might actually get to enjoy Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The ABCs

Marion style.

A - B - C - E - DAAAADDY

Yep, she's definitely not Daddy's little girl.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Our schedule, my kind of countdown

I was paging through my planner today looking at our schedule for the next 3 months. Yep, I'm old school. I still use a paper planner.

Anyway, I realized I have something written down for every weekend between now and our estimated departure.

How did that happen? I mean, I know how it happened. I'm an insane planner who likes to have everything organized and planned to a T. And I enjoy everything we have planned- visits and dinners with friends and family, swim lessons for Marion, a trip to Vegas, concerts and parties.

But I feel like I blinked and now the end of this long, long wait is in sight. In sight because I can look ahead, see something planned until the date of our expected plane trip, and know that after each event we are one step closer to moving. And then, nothing. Nothing because I don't have anything planned. I don't know where we will be or what we will be doing. And that is kind of refreshing.

So, the moral of the story is: if you want to get together before we leave, let me know!!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A couple of things I hope to leave behind

1. Marion's fear of snow.

I have no idea where this came from and hope it is a phase. If it's not, well, I don't know what we'll do. Because I believe they get snow in Switzerland. At least that's what I've heard. Right now she refuses to walk outside on her own if there is any snow on the ground. If she can't see it from inside and manages to walk outside and see some snow, she freezes and immediately wants to be carried. The crying is something like "Noooooooooooooo, no snooooooooooooooooooooow!!!" with alot of whining and tears. Can't imagine carrying her for the next two years. Well, at least I'd have toned arms.

2. Barney

Somehow the purple dinosaur wormed his way into Marion's heart. I believe through daycare. Barney was the one thing Brian and I avoided because we really can't stand him. But she came home one day from daycare saying "Ber-nee!" and we knew it was all over. Now the big guy is everywhere. But I'm fighting it. I got a library card yesterday so we don't have to buy any books with Barney. And On Demand is fast becoming my friend. No Barney items owned in my house!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

We have a secret

We signed a contract on our house! We got the contract this past Monday, signed it Tuesday evening, and the home inspection is next Friday. I believe the appraisal will be sometime the following week.

We aren't telling our neighbors just yet. Mostly because we don't want to jinx it. So instead, I post the news on the internet. Hmmmmm.

We hope this is it and that this doesn't fall through. It would be blissful to have this off of our plates and only have to worry about packing between now and the end of May. Well, packing and all of the other stuff that comes with moving to a foreign country 4,000 miles away. Swiss-german lessons anyone?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That's my girl

Marion and I go to a playgroup on Friday mornings when we are free. It's basically an indoor playground- there are lots of toys inside a gymnasium. She gets to run around, play with other kids, and seems to enjoy it alot.

This past Friday we went before our meeting with the realtor. Marion was running around playing while I was talking with a friend of mine.

Suddenly, I heard her screaming hysterically. I looked around and saw her laying on the floor with one hand clutching a grocery cart toy. An older boy was standing over her yanking on the cart with both of his hands, trying to get it away from her. He was yanking so hard he was dragging Marion along the gym floor. Three hard tugs later, he had the cart out of her hand. She was unharmed (thought he might dislocate her shoulder for a second!) but very upset. Thankfully, she was easily distracted by the tool bench nearby.

Brian and I are so proud. She used her body, dug in, and gave it a valiant effort. Next time I think she'll take him. :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Have I mentioned our house is on the market?

I have looked at our listing on the MLS website for our area no less than 12 times today.

I'm amazed that our house looks as good as it does considering the dump it was when I bought it 5 years ago. When I purchased it, the place had obscene writing on the walls and the exterior foundation. The basement smelled like dog piss. Cigarette butts littered our now guest room floor. The floors had animal urine all over them. And the kitchen was so nasty it took a friend of mine, Danielle, and I eight hours of scrubbing to get it useable. Disgusting.

Now its clean and perfect. In the pictures, at least. Wish we always had it as nice as it looks in the listing. Marion, however, doesn't like things in boxes or baskets. She prefers to have them covering the floors.

Please keep your fingers crossed tomorrow from 12-3 EST. It will be our first open house. C'mon, St Joseph! Work your magic!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our house is on the market. Are you our buyer?

Our open house is tomorrow and our realtor came today to take pictures and measurements. While realtor was hanging her signs on the new picket adorning our front lawn, a women drove by very slowly on her cellphone, parked her car, and walked over to us. She stopped about a car length away and tried to read our realtor's name off of the sign she was hanging. She got the first name, I told her the last name. Turns out the woman was on the cellphone with her realtor who knows our realtor. My realtor talked on the woman's cellphone with the realtor and arranged an impromptu showing. The woman came on in and our realtor showed her around while Marion and I hung out in the basement. The woman's realtor then showed up and my realtor showed them both around. They gave me a ton of compliments on our home (I told you it was an awesome house!) and they left.

Oh my god!!! It was just completely random and I hope a sign of good things to come. Our house wasn't officially listed yet and St Joseph was still inside the house on a shelf! Who knows if that woman will make an offer on the house, but it was a confidence booster to say the least. I'll take anything in this market!

The showing did have its downside. We had only prepared for our realtor to take pictures so there was a pretty good sized pile of laundry in the back basement. Yuck. But that's what you get when you ask to enter someone's home without notice. Hopefully they understand that and can look past it.

On another note, after the woman walked over to us and I agreed to let her into my house, she asked us where we were moving. My answer? "We are moving to Switzerland!" I still haven't gotten over how incredibly random it is to blurt that out.

Oh we also got our background checks back. All is good! Switzerland, here we come!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Officially official... for now

We received the offer late last week. Exciting stuff since this is the beginning of the move! It had specifics such as documentation for Visa applications, salary, timeframe, etc. Having the paperwork in hand makes it real, so we are cautiously optimistic!

First step is applying for the visas. That can take 6-8 weeks. So I have compiled everything I can (marriage certificate, birth certificate, passports). We also needed criminal records so Brian and I went to get our background checks on Saturday morning. That was an adventure.

We went to a state agency to fast track it (in lieu of going to a police station, getting fingerprints there, then going to this agency for the background check). This agency did it all, and had a line. Shocker. Anyway, Brian went first for the fingerprinting. From my seat in the waiting room, it appeared that he wasn't doing as he was told by the petite woman taking his fingerprints. She wasn't very happy with him! We transferred care of Marion when he was done and I went to go get mine done. A few seconds later he came in and said that Marion had a diaper emergency, that he was going to go in the hall to change her, and was leaving my purse in the waiting room. with at least 10 strangers. all waiting to be fingerprinted.

Ahhhh no.

So the woman taking my fingerprints said he could bring it in the room where I was. He did, left, and we had a good chuckle about it. Only a man stressed about a poopy diaper stinking up a waiting room would do that!

We will get those background checks in 5-10 days. I wonder what it will say? Do these things include speeding tickets?

After we get the visas and the okay from the Zurich office, we can book our flights. THEN it will be official in our minds. Well, at least mine. Brian says he won't believe it until we are taking off.

On the home front, we have our open house this Sunday. It is amazing the amount of crap we have collected in our house. We have taken multiple loads to storage (aka Mom and Dad's basement) in order to get ready for this event. And we have done all of the little things we should have done awhile ago- paint closet doors, put house numbers up, fix trim in the basement. The house looks awesome! And the market in our neighborhood is great. Makes us sad to leave but hopefully whoever buys it enjoys the house, area, and neighbors as much as we do.

So obviously we have been busy. But I will definitely keep updating as things progress- which they should do quickly now since our expected departure date is the first week of June!