*The weather in Wisconsin has been surprisingly un-snowy. When we moved here everyone told us how little snow south-central Wisconsin receives, but two of the previous four winters we've been here we've had record snowfall, so we haven't really believed them. But, it does seem that we've received much less snow this year than I was accustomed to growing up in western Michigan.
*Lydia's chatting up a storm and has something to say about everything! We have a high-efficiency washer and I usually use the extra spin feature to get extra moisture out of the clothes before popping them into the dryer. I set the extra spin cycle and walked away. Lydia began tugging on the washer door (it was locked) and saying "Mama, not yet, you forgot the Oxi-Clean." She cracks me up, what 2 year old watches the laundry process so carefully that she's worried when you start the washer without the usual products...
*Joshua's VERY into letters and the sounds they make and the way they go together to form words. I don't want to put any pressure on him to do so, but I'll actually be very surprised if he's not reading by the time he turns 5. He also knows the letters and order of not only his own name, but Lydia's as well. We didn't realize this until yesterday when we noticed she had writing down her arm...sure enough...L-Y-D-I-A, and he had the matching J-O-S-H-U-A on his own fore-arm. Future star of Wisconsin Ink???
*We found short-term renters for our other property during the off-market break we were taking. It sounds like such a good deal for everyone, they get a place to live, we get some help with the mortgage in a place we weren't occupying anyway. All seemed to be going fairly well for the past month. However, this week has had it's fair share of challenges and re-assured me that we do not want to be landlords any longer than we have to. It's bad enough to have something break in your own home and be stuck with the repair, but to be expected to fix something in a home someone else is occupying and on their schedule to boot is even less fun. And it's hard to plan and communicate when phone calls and emails are rarely returned in a timely fashion...So we're looking forward to this portion of our housing adventure being wrapped up (hopefully) soon!
*We interviewed realtors in anticipation of our re-list this week. I really liked one of the agents we met with, felt like we clicked, and think the person would be great to work with. I did not so much gel with another one we interviewed. Perhaps I'm just cynical, perhaps the generation I'm a part of has a very different vision for what selling a home looks like and what value should be attached to services provided, perhaps it was just a difference of personalities, but I came away from the meeting thinking of all the things I dislike about the real-estate commission-based process. But, we feel like we tried the limited-service/for sale by owner route last fall and are already spread as thin as we care to go from a time standpoint and don't really have the energy to do all we should/could to make a sale happen quickly on our own, so I think a Realtor is in our future. Furthermore, it would be much easier if there were general consensus about what makes or breaks sales in this market. To stage, or not to stage. To list right away, or not until the tenants leave. Pictures, websites, mailings, team-based sales, individual agent...ahhh, does it really even matter?? On the plus side, it looks like the market and sale prices have continued to improve over the winter. :)
*We're traveling next week: James for business, the kids and I for pleasure. We're excited about seeing (hopefully) everyone in my family, and having some down time at my parents place while Daddy's on his business trip. We are not looking forward to the many hours in the car that trip will require. The kids did really well over Christmas-time, but I wouldn't say any of us enjoy that length of a trip and last time Lydia didn't sleep AT ALL even thought the entirety of our travels were at nap and bedtimes. We're hopeful she'll get more cozy with the zzzzz's on this trip, but we shall see... And of course there's all the laundry before leaving, packing, loading, unpacking, laundry, re-packing, loading, un-packing, and of course more laundry when you return...
Well, I think that's the highs and lows. Again, maybe I'll be able to catch up with something more interesting and positive next week, or at least some fun pictures!