House and Gabrielle updates

On the house front, we placed 2 offers on Sunday!

One was on a short sale duplex in our neighborhood. The terms were that we could only see the inside with an accepted offer, but that once we saw it we were free to withdraw the offer of course. I guess they wanted to reduced the number of visits since it is rented out to tenants? Anyway, we also put on the offer that we were allowed to place other offers while this one was still pending since it is a short sale and can take anywhere from 45 to 120 days to be approved, so we can continue our house search while we wait. The duplex is very small but it’s in our neighborhood (score!) with one of the best elementary schools and next to a park. And at 585k (keep in mind this property was worth 1M in 2006), it is a steal and a possibly a good investment.

The second offer was on a single family home (regular sale) in Goleta. There were a lot of good things and some not so good things about this house. It had great curb appeal, great family neighborhood, decent schools, great yard. On the downside, the floorplan was not so great and although it had been remodeled, nothing was very good quality. All clean, all new, but it wasn’t granite counter tops and hardwood floors, if you know what I mean. It’s also on a corner next to a high school, which looks nice enough but brings in a lot of traffic.

For this offer, they were way overpriced at 595k so we offered 525k figuring we could counter offer our way up to 550k which was closer to its real value. Unfortunately they replied almost immediately saying that they refused our offer, did not even bother to counter offer, and that they wouldn’t even consider anything under 575k. They’ve already been on the market for 4 months, I guess we know why! They aren’t willing to negotiate… In a buyer’s market! Oh well, we’ll wait a couple of months and see if they sing a different tune.

It’s pretty weird, one of the houses we visited actually called our realtor begging for an offer. They wanted us to offer something, anything! Anything will be considered! We kind of liked that house but it has really low ceilings in the hallways (like 7′, I could put my hand flat on the ceiling!!!) and while the neighborhood was generally decent, the direct neighbors looked like an abandoned home. Cars on cinder blocks on the lawn and all. Not so good.

Anyway, I have a few Gabrielle stories I’ve been holding on to. Man, she is such a little kid now, it freaks us out sometimes!

We go to the zoo all the time, but the last couple of times we let her feed the farm animals. So we went to the zoo last weekend and when we arrived to the farm animals area, she walked right passed the animals directly to the gift shop where they sell the food for the animals. She looked at Chris expectantly, who gave her $2 which she in turn gave to the lady at the counter. The lady gave her a cup of food and Gabby went on to go feed the animals.

She did all this all by herself, without any prompting from us! We were flabbergasted. She knew exactly where to go, what to do… and that’s after doing it only once or twice before!

More changes… I have rocked her to sleep every night and last week she decided no, she just climbed into her crib and laid down. Of course she expects me to stand next to her crib for the 45 minutes process of her falling asleep on her own. My evening went from 10-minutes rocking her to sleep while reading on my iphone to 45 long painful boring minutes of standing around doing nothing like an idiot. It doesn’t feel like a great improvement to me, but I know it’s a big step for her. Maybe one day she won’t need me to stand right next to her, that would be nice. For now, she screams bloody murder if I take 2 steps away or – god forbid – sit down right next to the crib instead of standing. Oh well, baby steps!

Oh, funny story. This weekend we lost a sidewalk chalk in the car. I was sure I must have taking it away from her when I put her in the car seat, but what if I didn’t? What if she still had it and ate it all?! She had chalk on her lips. Uh-oh. I called poison control asking if you could overdose on non-toxic sidewalk chalk? Oh yeah, I sounded like a good mom. The guy said it was just calcium (like eating too many tums) and the worse that would happen is that she would throw up. We did end up finding the chalk, it had rolled under the seat. Phew! At least now we know how to add calcium to her diet!

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