I took my Mom to see the house after I found it online. Thank God Mom has never had Botox, because she was serious about raising those eyebrows. I just shimmied from room to room, pushing up my shoulders while grinning ear to ear, "Mom, don't you just love it? This is where I will put my sofa!" I danced over to the kitchen, kicking a dead cockroach like a child joyfully kicks a rock in the road, "And here in the kitchen? This wall will come down!" Mom, with her frozen eyebrows nearly touching her hairline, just looked up at the sagging tongue and groove ceiling and then down at the wood floors covered in paint splatter, "Kristen, this house... needs a LOT of work." Mom also added, "But if anyone can do it, you can." And Mom's eyebrow escalator descended back down to the main level.
Breana hates it. I keep saying she'll love it but she still hates it. She'll love it. I swear she will. Today when she came home from school, she went straight to Rhonda for a soothing bounce on the kitchen floor (Rhonda is our large, blue yoga ball that seems to gravitate toward the kitchen, which lets me know that this house (we are currently living in) is not level. Sometimes if I'm busy in the kitchen and Rhonda is creeping in on my space, I kick her to the dining room and threaten to puncture her with a sharp object until I realize I'm talking to a ball). "Breana, the house is ours! Aren't you excited???"
"No," Breana plainly expressed. No facial movement. Pure paralysis. Unlike Mom, Breana was working the faux Botox look- Fauxtox.
One of my first questions upon seeing the house was, "If I don't intend on gnawing on the window sills, is it okay to live with lead paint?" Sure it's okay. When Breana was 2, I bought her an old iron bed frame at some antique shop in Vienna, Georgia. It had chippy white paint on it and I think I once questioned if it was lead-based but it was a fleeting question when I was pouring cereal into a bowl or something. But you know what? Child never chewed on anything other than edibles so I never worried. Breana used to enjoy coffee grounds from the trashcan as a baby and then in her early preschool years she'd sneak off to her room to eat Chili-dog's Pupperoni treats. But coffee is okay and Pupperoni is just a cheaper Slim Jim so it's not like she was ever hiding in a corner eating an old chair. Who are these children that chew on houses anyway? I bet they were termites in past lives. Is the window sill some sort of gateway structure that eventually leads to wanting to drink nail polish or gasoline or eating sawdust? I remember a girl in the second grade who ate crayons and glue. I can't recall her name and I wonder what strange addictions she has today and what her name is. "It's a special occasion, let's eat glitter glue!", she might say. I'm all for alternatives, so if my kid had a hankering for paint-coated surfaces, I'd be like, "look here, this is latex, this is the fruit roll-up of paint." It's always bothered me when friends would rearrange my accessories on their own when they had their toddler present in my house. Like, let's just put this vase up here and blow out this candle there and move this lamp over here. You don't do that, just like you don't eat houses.
On the topic of eating houses, I had a termite inspection that revealed my 1925 Bungalow had termites and also fleas. I brushed off the flea part and didn't consider that these guys would be jumping on me when I simply entered the house yesterday evening. Are fleas the dogs of the insect world? Maybe they're just happy? Oh you're home, yay, flesh! I was blissfully walking through my house after the closing, imagining what spaces will look like in late May when it should be move-in-ready, just taking pictures with my phone until I glanced down at my feet in sandals and saw I had been collecting fleas. I brushed off my feet in a panic and ran out of my charming little house, locked it up and spent the drive home plucking excited little fleas from my ankles and pants. I can laugh it off though and thought I should start using Frontline in lieu of body lotion.
I have noticed that people say the same things when I take them on a tour of my little old house. I'm going to break each comment down and tell you what it really means. This will help you if you are currently renovating or considering a fixer upper in the future.
"It needs a lot of work" which is code for "this place looks like a dump."
"You're brave" which means "You're f*cking crazy."
"You've got guts" which is basically "You're f*cking crazy."
"I've seen worse" which is really "I lied. This is the worst."
"Everything can be fixed" which is missing it's other half "...if you have unlimited funds."
"I can't wait to see it when you're done" which is "I have no idea how you're going to pull this off."
Soooo many things to say but I'll stop here and leave you with a few before (right now) pictures. Demo starts next week in the kitchen and bathroom, so let's hope money is found inside the walls and mold is not.
Thanks for stoppping by!