Sunday, May 5, 2013

five characteristics of this week

1. House negotiations. We have been extremely lucky to get an offer accepted on a house in the area. As we've watched the market, we're convinced this is the last house that is going to fall in our price range as home prices accelerate at an astounding rate. Nothing is final yet. We have some rounds of negotiations to go through because of discrepancies in the house disclosures, and the bank's appraisal of the home needs to clear. If we can't resolve some of these issues, we may be renters for a while longer.

Regardless, we've spent hours and hours this week learning the ins and outs of the house's problems, and figuring out the best ways to negotiate repairs. Abe and I have a reputation for over-thinking things, and our combined powers of data analysis, game theory, and list-making have played out in full force this week. Late nights, spreadsheets and formulas, lots of back and forth with our agent.

2. Heat wave. It's been very hot here all week. I forgot what it's like to really be hot and it took a few days to realize why I always felt uncomfortable and parched. Now that I've remembered concepts like "central air" and "light clothing" and "drink lots of fluids" I feel better. Of course, the heat wave broke today and we'll be back to mid-60s for the next week.

3. Sleep deprivation. The combination of hot weather, thinking about the house, and uncomfortable pregnant condition has made sleep very difficult. Some nights I was up late working. The nights I went to be early, I couldn't fall asleep. And every morning, Genghis was more and more eager to start the day bright and early. We made two trips to Target to find just the right clock to hang in his room, with a colored "7" and little hand. We set the clock behind by about 20 minutes, and have imposed a strict rule that children are not allowed out of the bedroom until the little hand and the 7 line up. It has worked delightfully well. Tomorrow I think I will set the clock just a bit more behind...

4. Desperately needed family time. Abe is working hard to finish his dissertation on nights and weekends, which has resulted in almost zero family time in the last several months. As it turns out, our family really doesn't function very well without him playing with and teaching the kids after work and on Saturdays. This week Abe had more flexibility in his schedule and we ended up with several afternoons and evenings together. It was lovely. The kids loved having Dad back. Eight more weeks, and the dissertation should be finished. Please!

(As an aside, we've decided that a famous quote by past LDS Church leader J. Reuben Clark, about being in debt, could be rewritten to accurately describe finishing a dissertation: "May I say something about Dissertations? The Dissertation never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits or travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours; . . . Once you're ABD, the Dissertation is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders, and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.")

5. Promising fiscal year. I secured a few California-based contracts for my work, which is a big win for me to have before the baby comes. I also managed to get a wage bump for some ongoing contract work I do. We decided to finally bump our entertainment budget up by 50%. The responsible thing to do would have been to put all the extra income into savings. But with a bigger budget, we went out for dinner and ice cream. Seeing Xena delight in her first soft serve ice cream cone (she would look at us and giggle in between most bites) was very much worth it.


Kristin McElderry said...

I love it! All so exciting. We miss you guys!!

Dawn said...

You've got a lot going on! I read the part about the clock with the red 7 to Bruce, he laughed aloud along with me. You guys are so cute! I hope the house thing works out perfectly for you! Congratulations on getting some California contracts too!