Friday, May 1, 2015

7 QT: House Tour

Our house goes on the market today!  
(On the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, so work it St. Joe!!)

We are listing it for two months only, and praying that God doesn't mind the challenge of selling it quick.  We feel that it won't sell (realistic not pessimistic), and if not, we are going to either stay and remodel a bit, or rent it out and buy a new house.  

So, how about a house tour...


Here we are.  Our house was built in 1885 in a quaint seaside town.  We actually have a water view when looking out the front of our house from the top 2 floors :)

It was remodeled into a two family house, then turned into condos.  My brother bought the first floor condo and rents it out.  We bought the second /third floor condo.  Our condo is almost 2000 square feet, but we only have 3 bedrooms and would like a single family home.  The condo part of it is why we think it won't sell, but who knows?!?!

This is our teeny weeny backyard.  We are in the process of planting grass/getting more wood chips back there, but unfortunately didn't get it done before these pictures were taken. 


Okay, now walk back around to the front of the house and go up the front stairs to walk through that white door below...

You are in our family room!  Welcome!

We have this cool little room off the side of the family room where we keep the kid's toys.  We call it the toy room, because we're ingenious like that.


Walking out of the family room, we have the living room to our right...

I know you're supposed to take down family photos and religious artifacts, but if somebody doesn't want to buy our house based on our beliefs, then I don't want them to buy it.  Sorry not sorry.


On the other side of the living room is our dining room...

...which isn't used as a dining room at all, but as an office, work space for the kids.  This room has my favorite paint color of all time.

Right beyond the faux dining room is the full bath, where many a book has been read.  Ew, gross.


Then you walk into the kitchen!  It's small, but works for us, and many a happy meal  has been eaten here (homemade, not Mickey D's, though Lord knows those have been ingested here as well).  Gosh, we've lived here for 10 years, so that's like 10,950 meals served.

Those white double doors are a built in pantry that my Dad made when he was sick of seeing us stack food on top of the brown cabinets to the left.  The single white door next to it is our bedroom door, which we are going to walk through now...


And this is where the magic happens!  That's a King size bed and we looooooove it so much.  It only took me 6 pregnancies to upgrade :)

Look at that dinosaur of a tv!  One day we'll get a flat screen for our bedroom.  And this also proves that Yes! We do have a tv in our bedroom.  Thanks for asking, rude person questioning why we have so many kids.  We just don't think watching tv is the most enjoyable thing to do in this room.  Blush.  Let's get out of here before I get pregnant...

Ok, this beautiful room is our screened-in porch.  It overlooks our backyard, and makes a nice place to eat a meal in the summer or sit and talk while we watch the kids play below.


Now we walk upstairs to the attic second floor.  I don't even want to show you this full bathroom.  It's gross because it's the kid's bathroom and kid's miss a lot.  Also wallpaper :(  

Outside the bathroom, in the hallway, is this really nice living area that we have made into Maggie's bedroom.  That's a Queen size bed, to give you an idea of the dimensions.  Those blue curtains are tacky but they pull across to create an illusion of privacy from the boys.

Across from her room is the little boys' room.  It's small but cozy, and everybody sleeps 11-12 hours a night, so it's magically delicious.

Meandering down the hall a bit, we find this built-in desk that I use as my gift-wrapping table.  The closet on the right is our linen closet, and the one on the left holds all the coats and costumes and pre-purchased gifts.  

Right next to the closets is the big boys' room.  JP sleeps on that top bunk, with a reading nook below.   He reads there every night :)  This bunk bed is awesome, it has a desk on one side and drawers & shelves on the other.

This is Eamon's bed, with a blacked-out skylight above to keep out the sun when we force them to bed before sunset.  Mean parents.

This is Andrew's bed...this room is huge.

And walking out of their room, here's a shot of the hallway all the way down to the gross bathroom.  That little door on the right is one of about 6 that allow us access to tons of storage space.

And that's all she wrote.  Come visit us!  Or better yet, buy the house, and then come visit us in our new one :)

Happy Friday y'all!!  Linking up with Kelly and Friends.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Messy Faces, Happy Hearts

When I was a younger mom, I tried my hardest to make sure my kids were always clean and well-dressed.  That was my job, I felt.  I was their mom and I was supposed to be taking care of them, and taking care of them meant they would be neat and clean and well-mannered and practically perfect in every way.  

Even though we struggled seriously financially in the first (many) years of marriage,  and my kids didn't have the finest clothes or shoes, bathing them and putting them in clean clothes didn't cost me anything.  They were my world, my vocation, and I was always self-conscious that people would judge me if my crew looked like a bunch of ragamuffins.  So I spent my days tidying and cleaning and wiping and cleaning some more.  

Playing with my kids? Well there wasn't much time for that.  Besides, they had each other, and as long as I could control the level of mess, I was being a good mom.  Finished playing with one toy?  Put it away before taking out another.  Painting?  You'll do that in preschool.  Every night was bath night, and every day they were dressed in fresh clean clothes.

Fast forward a few more kids and some mom growth and release of control, and while I'm still a bit of a neat freak when it comes to making sure my kids look put together in public (we need to be a good example that big families are normal and fun and have it together!) I have come to appreciate a messy face.

We took a family walk the other night to an ice cream store, and on the way home, Alexander asked to get out of the double jogger and walk with me.  I took him out, grabbed his sticky, dirty hand and he smiled so big at me with his messy chocolate face. I thought, yes, this was a great day, as perfectly evidenced by his adorable, dirty face.  

A messy face doesn't always equal an inattentive mom, as I had previously thought.  It actually means I was more attentive to doing the things they wanted to do, letting them be kids and relaxing enough to enjoy it with them.  At the end of the day, messy kids = happy hearts.  And then they go straight into the bath, and this mom's heart is happy too :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Nature's Call of Duty (She Said Doody)

With the exception of Alexander (he's always the exception to the Martin rule) my kids were all scared to go #2 on the potty.  It took quite a bit of encouraging (and a whole lot of prunes) to get them going.  I had heard about a book called Everyone Poops that was all the rage when we were newbie parents, and though I never read the book, I used the main idea to encourage my kids.  "There's nothing to be scared of...everyone poops!"  "Mom poops, Dad poops, the dogs and cats and birds poop...everybody poops, and so can you!"  You get the idea.  

Being a parent and having 5 boys in the house means lots of poop talk and potty humor.  But it has helped me in other areas of my adult life.  You know when you have stage fright and the infamous "they" say to picture everyone in the audience in their underwear?  Well, I could never do that and still suffer from public speaking panic.  But what does help me on a daily basis is to remind myself that everybody poops.

That exceptionally beautiful woman who always looks perfectly put together?  She poops.

The handsome guy who wouldn't give you the time of day back when you were interested?  He poops.

The manager or boss at work that intimidates you?  He poops.

The doctor who is giving you a way-too-through physical exam?  She poops.

The parent with the well-behave kids at church?  They both poop.

You're friend's child who can seem to do no wrong?  She poops.

If you're disgusted by all this potty talk and can't believe I'm discussing it?  I know you poop too.

There's no greater equalizer than realizing that everybody poops.  Ain't no shame in my game.