Well, we've now been in our house for two full weeks. They've been busy and I still haven't had much time to enjoy it, but we'll get there one day. I plan on being in this house a LONG time so what's a few weeks of upheaval? As a whole, we love the house. There are many things that I didn't expect to like so much, and there are some things that I didn't expect would be a little more difficult. But still, I really like it here. And so will Craig, I imagine, once he gets to spend more time here after his seasons are over. Let's see...
- I love that we only have six stairs up and seven steps down. That's the most stairs in a row anywhere in this house. Not only it safer for Jacob, but it's also nice because I don't have to get over the mental hurdle of going "all the way upstairs" or "all the way to the basement", because I can do that many stairs in three big steps if need be! It keeps the "crap" accumulation at the top and bottom of each staircase at a minimum, which is good. Jacob really likes to climb the steps and is really good at it. He's an expert at crawling up them, and getting really good at walking up them, too. Coming down is a bit more of an issue because he's not wanting to slide down on his belly anymore. He usually wants to walk down them, which is bad because he's clumsy and he gets distracted easily. He took a small tumble down about three of them today, but I do think it was as good lesson because he was more easily convinced to do the belly slide twice after that.
- I love having a dishwasher. I expected that, but I didn't expect just HOW nice it would be--so nice I hardly even notice its absence in my life--to not have to handwash most of my dishes. I especially like not washing sippy cups. I still have too much to do to just sit on the couch instead of doing dishes, but I can't tell you what relief it is to think of how many dishes I'm NOT doing anymore!
- I like having things to do in the yard, and having nice, soft grass to do it on. We have a BIG yard now. And while I do miss the security of our fence, the yard is too big for Jacob to run out of too quickly. We have a swing set back there, and a nice patio, and a park bench, the pool, and a lot of pretty landscaping (more on that later). It's just more pleasant to be out back (or in front) than it was at our old house, where I just wanted to tear out every square inch of everything--grass, weeds, plants--and start over.
- I like not having to worry about redoing everything in the house. Having a new kitchen, decent carpeting (some issues but good enough), plenty of space, a decent roof, good windows, enough insulation, and a lovely exterior is so nice. I hated thinking about all of the stuff we should have been doing to the old place. Those things will come here, probably sooner than we hope, but for now it's nice. And if we want, we can get more "fun" things in the meantime (meaning, stuff that we actually get to see and enjoy in the house).
- I like having SPACE. Looking in the linen closet, bathroom vanities, the pantry, our guest bedroom, and the crawl space is so nice, because they're not full. We have room to grow if we need to. I hope we don't have to, but in the meantime it's nice. I hate the feeling that the walls are closing in!
- I like our neighborhood. There's a lot of unique houses around here, so it keeps things interesting. Our old neighborhood had a lot of the same stuff...capes on one end of the street, and the same couple styles of ranches and splits in our section. This street has very few houses that look too much alike, and it makes for a more interesting walk or drive.
- Carpeting is nice. My feet don't get nearly as cold as they used to, and I don't mind sitting on the floor here. And we don't even have nice, soft plush in the living room. Even berber beats out hardwood and area rugs!
The Other Stuff:
- I am intimidated by the yard. While it's nice to have a yard that's well kept and full of cool stuff, I am scared by nearly every square inch of it. The pool is just overwhelming to think about right now, it's a haul to go from the house to the back of the backyard (particularly for Jacob's little legs!), and there is just a ridiculous amount of landscaping to tend to. Jacob and I were outside for a good couple hours today, and I spent most of it cutting out last season's dead stuff on everything--hostas, ornamental grasses, and numerous other things I couldn't identify. There was a ton of it, and I don't think I'm done yet. But it's better. And it's nice to have a purpose outside, but wow...hopefully we don't screw it up.
- There are too many places to hide here. Having a bigger house has been a challenge when it comes to Jacob. I can leave the room for a minute and when I come back, Jacob is gone. And he could be hiding anywhere--upstairs, downstairs, behind doors, in any number of rooms--and it's scary. I know we should probably do gates, and we will with the next baby, but Jacob's almost old enough that we don't need them right now. But it freaks me out every time he disappears because I don't know his hiding places yet. And he's aided by the fact that the floors don't squeak as much here as they did at the last house...because you pretty much just had to listen there and you'd find him. Similarly, I never expected such an open floorplan house would suck up sound so bad. It's hard to hear anyone from anywhere!
- This house is a lot more to clean. It might not be bad once I get into it, but the sheer size of the living room alone is freaking me out. I haven't pulled out he vacuum yet--I feel like it's a waste of time until I'm done sorting through boxes--but let's just say that the thought of vacuuming more than a room at a time is making me nervous!
- I am seriously concerned we're not going to find a table that fits our kitchen right.
Regardless of the "bad" stuff, I love this house. I feel lucky every time I walk into it and realize it's ours. And yes, someday I will post pictures. But not yet!