Yet another long delay from yours truly. I could lie and tell you that it’s taken this long to get the internet set up, but then a) this wouldn’t be a very useful blog at all, full of untruths and misleading information and b) erm, yes, you’ve seen my Facebook updates, and I guess you know I don’t spend that much time in Starbucks, hogging the Wi-Fi. Bugger. What can I say? It turns out that being a housewife / SAHM (that’s “stay at home Mom” to the uninitiated – do keep up, dears!) in a house this size is a time-consuming business. Particularly a house this size that keeps breaking! Ahem…
So, yes, where was I? Oh yes, as of Friday 18th November, we are living the dream, baby. Well, living in the dream (house), anyway.
That Friday was a nice hectic morning. Having been told that the shipping would arrive around 8am, and bearing in mind the weather forecast was for snow and icy roads, we decided that Damyan should go on ahead of us to meet the removal team, and Evie and I would pack the car with as much as we could from the apartment (including Milo) and follow on soon afterwards.
We finally pulled up in front of our dream house at 10am, to be greeted by this glorious sight:
And here is where I completely embrace the homemaker in me and confess that I was most excited to see all my cook books again – yeah, the kitchen table and sofa were quite good to see, but my God, I was so looking forward to cooking up a Rachel Allen chilli*!
* Disclaimer – this was before we climbed into our own fabulous bed that night, and realised what we had really missed. There is absolutely nothing in the world like sinking into your own, familiar mattress after 2 months separation! The words “ahhh….I love you, bed!” may or may not have been uttered a few times…
I think it took about half a dozen men 4 hours to unload and unpack all our belongings. And not much longer for the house to look properly Pepperized (yes, I must now learn to put Zs where they really don’t belong!):
The next few days were spent in a blur of unpacking, finding homes for things, trying to remember where those homes were 5 minutes later, and shopping for all the electronic stuff we’d had to leave behind because of the difference in voltage here. We also had to go back to the apartment, pick up the cat (sorry Monty!) and the rest of our things, and return the rental Jeep….but not before Damyan crashed it! ARGH!! Well, admittedly, he didn’t so much crash it as be crashed into, but literally half an hour before we were going to return it – after having it for a whole month – you couldn’t make that shit up!!
While we’re on the subject of impeccable timing… a word of advice to anyone buying a home in the US.
Get. The. Home. Warranty.
I don’t care if the house looks perfect. It doesn’t matter if the inspection report came up clean as a whistle. And no, it definitely can’t wait until next month…just get the damn warranty!
No, of course we didn’t get the warranty. And yes, Sod was definitely out to prove his law to us.
Within 48 hours of moving in, we discovered (well, I say “we” – of course I mean Homemaker Jane, here) that the dryer wouldn’t work. It took another few days (and a couple of emails to the previous owners) to convince us that we weren’t just being thick with a newfangled gas appliance, and that it was truly broken. But because they insisted that it had been working fine when they moved out, we had no way to claim any compensation from the previous family.
I finally got around to calling Whirlpool to get an engineer to come and look at it, and I swear, the guy who came to “fix” it (using that term loosely, given that he left after 2 hours, but my wet clothes are still hanging in the living room!) could have been an understudy in The Green Mile:
When his cellphone started ringing with the theme to The Godfather, I’ll admit it, my palms started to sweat…
$200 later, and with another appointment booked for 10 days time when (apparently) the dryer really will be fixed, we consoled ourselves with the fact that at least the washer and dryer had effectively come free with the house, so it wasn’t actually a loss in real terms.
Having invested in a house, two cars, various electronic items and bits and pieces for the house in the last month, it wasn’t wonderful news, admittedly, but not exactly devastating either.
And then…a few days later, while putting the munchkin to bed, we were disturbed by the strangest of strange, loud, buzzing sounds. What the hell was it? Coming from under the kitchen sink…oohh…the alarm for the septic tank. Fabulous! What does this mean? Raw sewage seeping out onto the front lawn? Or backing up into the bathtub? Help – we’ve never had a septic tank before, what could possibly have happened, the thing was only pumped and inspected the week before we moved in, surely we can’t have filled it (or broken it) in less than 2 weeks!?! I know I’m pregnant, with all the wonderful symptoms that go along with my “condition” (I need not, and will not, divulge further – if you know, you know, and if you don’t, well, I’m so happy for you…git!), but surely this can’t be my fault?!
The alarm went off on Saturday night, and the sanitation company wouldn’t do domestic visits on weekends, so we spent the rest of the weekend and Monday morning afraid to flush the loo, turn on the dishwasher or tread near any damp patches on the front lawn! We are completely clueless, I’ve absolutely no idea what it means if the pump stops working, except that it’s probably not good.
So yes, a lovely man arrived on Monday morning, in overalls adorned with stains I’d prefer not to think about, and gleefully set about re-inspecting our tanks (no doubt seeing dollar signs flashing in front of his eyes)…and came back with the happy news that our septic pump was completely and utterly kaput. It was, he said, the same age as the (now tarnished) Dream House, and had just reached the end of its life after 23 years. 2 weeks after we moved in. TWO WEEKS. After 23 years!? Argh!!!! I hate you and your sodding laws, Sod!
A couple of hours and $1,000 later, we are now the proud owners of a shiny new septic pump. Oh, and a very lovely, brand spanking Home Warranty!
Get the damn warranty, people!!!
But it’s all fine. Worse things have happened to new homeowners (erm, like the family who bought our old house and found this on the day they moved in:)
The Dream House is only every so slightly tarnished, but we do love it. It’s unbelievably peaceful, the garden is incredible, the neighbours are a fabulously wholesome all-American family (more on them another day!) and we get to wake up to a view like this out of our front windows:
There’s not really a lot to complain about, is there?
On other news…tomorrow is our 20 week scan. Halfway there and taking bets….whaddya think, blue bump or pink bump!?