Weekend Recap
by Karla ° Monday, April 16, 2007
Ava’s birthday was much easier this year. We made sure it was a fun celebration and released balloons for her at 2:11pm and made our very own ice cream birthday cake with a thick Oreo cookie crumble bottom stuffed plenty of chopped up chocolate bars.



Samson watching us release balloons from the bedroom window. As you can see, he has conveniently ruined our blinds to create his own dog head window.


Mark, Birthday cake and Baby Nate in a Bumbo.


In order to keep busy and not sit around and dwell (because I have a habit of doing that), we continued our home search and OH! MY!, we found our dream home. Mark and I went into this home shopping process expecting to find a home we would live in for 10 years or so until we were ready to buy our dream home. But lo, our dream home is affordable today and on the market.

I have been through over 30 homes already and my real estate agent must hate me because of all those homes, that was the only home I walked into and wanted to cry. It felt like just like home - all that was missing was the smell of burning pizza and dog. The layout was perfect and the size could accommodate a growing family and the entire dining room swallowed my current home whole. Also, the granite kitchen with soaring cabinetry complimented my ability whip up gourmet kraft dinner and frozen pizza dinners perfectly. The hardwood throughout was perfect enough that Samson had many years ahead of him to completely ruin it with his toenails that I never remember to cut and the ensuite master bath with the corner tub and two person shower or the fireplace in the family room were all perfect locations to make another baby.

The only drawback to this home was that I would need a safety net when swinging from the chandelier because the 9ft ceilings felt that towering and grand and the home faced a busy street and Nate can’t learn to ride a bike or play hockey on a busy street.

The other catch is that our home isn’t for sale yet because although Home Depot is being extremely cooperative in getting the giant hole in my ceiling fixed, they aren’t exactly quick. And I can’t put my home on the market with a hole in my living room ceiling. Prospective buyers would so be turned off of those toilet gremlins.

The other option to consider is buying that exact same model home from a builder, which would be ideal because these homes are only five minutes up the road and we can buy with the condition that we sell our home first and we would get the exact home we want. The only problem is the fencing and grass situation, which is non existent in a new home development for the first year or so until all the zoning is complete. Essentially, we would be living on top of a pile of mud, which I’m sure Samson would love because he could roll in dirt Every! Single! Day! And without a fence, it makes letting Samson out to potty kind of hard and to be honest, I don’t even know if electrocuting Samson with electronic dog fence would be enough. He’s a big boy. And a strong boy. And besides, something about tasering my dog feels kind of cruel. Also, he never learned to pee or poo when out for a walk. He is only comfortable in the privacy of his own backyard. I’m thinking we would need to anchor a dog chain to the foundation of the house to make sure he didn’t escape, and even then, I wouldn’t put it passed him that he might be able to pull it off its foundation if a cat ran by or he wanted to chase a leaf blowing in the wind.

Surely there dog owners out there who live in a home without a fence. But my guess is, their dogs actually listen to them.



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We moved into a new house and the builder laid sod for us. I don't know if the builder would do something like that for you. I would say if you found your dream home to buy it no matter what. You will regret it if you don't.
Posted by Blogger Hedda :  April 16, 2007
 

Ahhh... decisions.

We have done the 'big' dog and no yard thing. But, we taught Jack to stop and wait by the door when he came in so I could grab a towel and wipe his paws. Every time.

It worked until we got our lawn put in.

Also - the previous poster has a good point - most builders will sod at least part of the yard for you if you work it in the deal. Sometimes just the front, other times a certain portion of the back. Check it out.
Posted by Blogger aka_Meritt :  April 16, 2007
 

Hi Hedda and Meritt. Yeah, the builders will sod the yard for us, eventually....but we would have to wait a year or so for all the homes to be built. Something about zoning. Also, during that time we can't put up a fence. Again, something to do with zoning. And it's mostly the fence that I'm worried about. Samson isn't exactly trained to stay put when there are distractions outdoors, like trash blowing in the wind. :)
Posted by Blogger karla :  April 16, 2007
 

Hmm, will the sellers consider a 48 hour? Maybe you can make it worth their while. I think the thing to hold onto is that after thinking you'd never find a home that felt like home, you've been reassured by the universe that you can.


And can I just tell you how precious it is to hear about someone else's canine trials?
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  April 16, 2007
 

I love the photo of your boys at the table. They look really happy.

Good luck with the home-buy/selling adventure. We used HD for our flooring and although they were a bit slow, they did a fantastic job.
Posted by Blogger Jezer :  April 16, 2007
 

I hear you on not wanting to be on a busy street. That would be a dealbreaker for us as well, even if the house was perfect.

Can you lay any sod yourselves?

But, that doesn't get around the fencing issue...
Posted by Blogger Gina :  April 16, 2007
 

Hi Karla,

We found our dream home and snatched it up quickly ~ It was new and did not need any work ~

We had our baby about 15 months after moving into it ~

We have a huge fenced back yard , but the only downfall is we are on a very busy street !

Our baby is turning 9 in a few short months , and she knows where she is allowed to play and we have never ad any problems ~

Something to think about!
Lora
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 16, 2007
 

My sister bought one of those enormous cage things that are as big as a room...could you do that maybe? He can poop and walk a bit but not run away. Snap that dream home, they don't come along nearly often enough.
Posted by Blogger The other me :  April 16, 2007
 

I never had much luck with a big dog and no fence. We had an invisible fence, but my dog would close his eyes and run through it fast when tempted, which was pretty much every day.

We live on a major neighborhood cut through road. It's not so bad with little kids if you have a decent sized backyard with a fence.

I love the picture of Nate and Mark.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  April 16, 2007
 

Your son looks very adorable :)
Posted by Blogger Orhan Kahn :  April 16, 2007
 

oh karla remember brutus, we did not have a fence for the first year and that damn dog did not listen for shit!

It is possible! Remember the dog that failed doggy school yeah he lived with us.

Glad you were able to look at houses and found your dream home this weekend you guys are going to be so happy in a new house!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  April 16, 2007
 

We didn't have grass when we first moved into our new house either. A fence wasn't going to happen because our husky is a digger. Our solution was to put up a run-line between trees and have a towel by the door (summer/fall isn't so bad). If you don't have trees on your property, you can put the run-line between your house and a temporary (but sturdy) post. Good luck! =)

P.S. Your boys are absolutely adorable!
Posted by Anonymous Keri :  April 16, 2007
 

We had a lab, and he was completely unaffected when we got him one of those little collars that would buzz him when he barked. It hurt like hell when I tried it, so I'm guessing it would be similar for the invisible fence. If he wanted it bad enough, he would be willing to suffer, and my guess is so would Samson.

That's strange that they would make you wait a year. You could always get a contract on your house now and start having it built, and then hope your house is sold in time for its finish. Or maybe the house you already looked at won't sell right away, and you can put a contingent contract on it.

The kids and I looked at your pic and we all cooed and giggled over how cute Nate is! TJ was very amazed at the fact that his daddy's name is Daddy, too, just like our Daddy!
Posted by Blogger Christi :  April 16, 2007
 

We are currently looking into new construction. My SIL bought a house July 2005 in the same area we are looking. They sodded both the front and back yards the following spring. It's a long time to wait for grass, and fence. But if you have found your dream house, maybe it's worth several months of inconvenience in trade for years and years of happiness. Especially if you can avoid moving with kids in the future! That's a big hassle!
Posted by Blogger Cate :  April 16, 2007
 

Congratulations on finding your dream home. That is awesome!
Posted by Blogger Christy :  April 17, 2007
 

My girlfriend just moved into a new development and has a dog. They have to DRIVE him down the road to do his business because a) there's no steps down from the back door, b) the yard is mud, and c) the muddy yard is filled with "construction back-fill": nails, boards, garbage, even boots and gloves. And yes, they can't put a fence up until everything is graded and sodded.

Perhaps moving at a drier time of year would be an option. But even if that was laid out, who knows what kind of delays building will bring.

These are all reasons a new development has never appealed to me. Buying a year or so after it's built -- after the kinks in the house have been fixed by the builder, after the grass and trees and fence -- is a better plan, I think.

I hope you can work things out -- you deserve it.
Posted by Anonymous Carly :  April 17, 2007
 

I think we bought your house...busy street, hardwood floors that the dog is scratching the hell out of, high ceilings, absolutely no grass just deep sucking mud that comes in on the bottom of boots and sneakers and dog paws.
It's like the saying, "There's no such thing as a clean tree." There's also no such thing as the perfect house. Makes lists of pros and cons and pick the home with the least cons. That's the key.
Posted by Blogger cce :  April 20, 2007
 

We bought a brand new home 2 years ago that had no backyard landscapinng ie - mud. (with dog in tow, then bought a 2nd dog for giggles). We first put up the real fence between the neighbors and us (shared the cost with them) then made a make-shift dog run with a chicken fence set up and laid out hay for the first year while we figured out what we would do to the yard. I hate it when it gets muddy, the dogs track all kinds of crap / mud on my wood floors. I don't recommend the hay, it makes weed's grow faster and it tracks in the house. But we finally rocked the dog run and life is a little better. Now to work on the grass!
Posted by Anonymous susan :  April 21, 2007
 


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