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The very first house that Jay and I  tried to buy in this neighborhood is back up for sale. (The house we live in was our third try.)

Though we’ve lived here for about 18 months now, seeing that house up for sale has me reminiscing about the whole moving ordeal. And since I wasn’t blogging at the time, allow me to relive it for you now.

I’ve always been a space person. As in, I need a lot of it. When we moved into our first house in 2003, a three-bedroom cape cod in Mt. Washington, sure it was small but it was just me, Jay, and Cole. The yard was decent and fenced-in and we had a garage, a disposal, a dishwasher, and laundry. All firsts for us. We hit the big time.

Then we had Gabe in 2006. Still seemed okay, we worked on his cute little bedroom, across the hall from ours upstairs. We moved some things around. Thought we’d have plenty of room for a little tiny baby.

I remember walking in the door after coming home from the hospital with Gabe. I saw 85-lb Cole, greet us and I thought, “Holy crap, when did our house shrink?”

Then comes all the little, tiny baby’s shit. And by shit, I mean swings and bouncies and bottles and bibs and burp cloths and baby food and 45 little spoons and 75 sippy cups with only 20 lids. Onsies and socks with missing partners and stacks of cans of formula and giant boxes of warehouse club diapers. Sixty-seven thousand trinkets from festivals and birthday parties.

And then as he got older, our house filled with rocks and miniature fake bugs and dinosaurs and cars and trucks and trains. And stickers and crayons and markers and 40 bigger spoons and forks and plates and bowls. Formula was replaced by 15 varieties of orange cracker and food in stick form.

Then he got a train table for his second birthday that took up most of our living room.  It did!

Thereafter most of my conversations with Jay started like this, “When we move…” and “In our next house…” I was obsessed.

When I got pregnant with Julia, that was it. We were moving. When I want something, I typically will find a way to get it. I was going to find a way, even in this “bad market.” For the record, at the time, if one more person told me, “Well, it is a bad market.” I was going to scream (well, worse than scream, but let’s keep this PG). No kidding. It was January 2008 and the housing market had just started to tank. Or maybe it had tanked already. I wasn’t really sure and I didn’t really care. I was going to move.

So we put the house up for sale that January I think. Or maybe March. It’s all a blur. There was a house down the street from us that was almost identical so we had to match their price which was initially a bummer because we wanted to sell our house for a lot more, of course. Then, every time they came down in price, we had to come down. Every time someone looked at their house, they also looked at ours.

Speaking of, cleaning up for a showing with a toddler and when you’re 5-9 months pregnant is no small feat. Keeping fresh flowers on the table, pretending that a child doesn’t live there. Picking up the toys and Febreezing the couches. Vacuuming the dog hair. Wiping off the sinks. It got to the point where I was going to put a note on the front door that just said, “Use your imagination.”

Then we’d have the people who looked at our house several times and then didn’t buy it. We’d get a call from Cindy, our Realtor who’d say, “Can the people that looked at your house 12 hours ago come and look again in ten minutes?” Ten minutes?! Oh sure, let me just vacate my house and clean it all up in ten minutes. We’d pack everyone up and walk Cole around and around and around the block and stalk the house till we saw their cars leave.

Meanwhile, Jay and I went out looking at houses with Gabe usually in tow. We had a four-house limit in one afternoon of looking with him. There are only so many times you can say, “Don’t touch that!” Every house we looked at in neighborhoods we really wanted to live in was in need of a complete remodel. Meaning we could only afford crap houses in the cool neighborhoods. So we expanded our search more and more north, into the land of strip malls, into the Great White North.

Three times we put in offers to houses we liked only to find out three times someone else had put in an offer just seconds before ours. We were feeling jinxed. Cindy said she’s never seen that happen so often to a buyer before (figures).

I think around the beginning of June or so we stopped looking, knowing we weren’t going to buy till our house sold and with a baby on the way in a few weeks, we needed to back off  on the buying end.

Things continued with the showings here and there at our house, and the Internet house searching on our end, till, finally, four days from my due date with Julia around the end of July, we had someone look at our house several times and we felt like we might actually sell the house. Just in case, Cindy had us go out looking one final time. I believe it was  Sunday, the 27th of July, 2008.

We went through the third house in a neighborhood in which we had tried to get two other houses. We met Cindy at the house and she had a big smile on her face—the girl who looked at our house several times put in an offer! And that same day we put an offer in on that third house. Then we rushed home to make phone calls and sign papers and deal with the simultaneous selling and buying of houses. We also had our neighbors over for dinner that night because we just can’t ever seem to cram enough things into our day.

Four days later, I had Julia and five weeks later we moved. I wasn’t really bothered having a newborn in the midst of packing boxes and a messy house. I didn’t have to clean up for a showing and I knew we’d have more room soon.

The house across the street has been having open houses and I want to go walk through that first house we tried to buy, to be the nosey neighbor that just wants to check out your place. To remind myself that maybe things DO happen for a reason, maybe that house now sucks in comparison to ours. Not that I want to move again any time soon. Right?

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