Google House number nine

March 24, 2014

House number nine

Way back when we started thinking about moving a house we really did meant for it to take three months to find a new house. We planned on being less in "shopping mode" and more in "browsing mode". Fast forward exactly one month an we think we found The One. Yes, I know, we really are not to be trusted in these matters. Honestly though I really have no idea how that happened. We've compiled a very long and detailed list of things that will make everyone feel happy about the house, and after Hidai said I can't just store it in my head but we have to write it down, he made me break it down to "must have" and "nice to have" and we called it in the apt name "list of demands" and sent it to all the realtors around. It is a very long list.
In the end we've seen a grand total of nine houses in real life and (dozens more on the internet), and house number nine won us over.
House number nine
The thing is, house number nine is... Well, it is a house. We have never lived in a real house with three floors and cracking floorboards and what people around here like to call "character" or "period features" and we usually call "uninhabitable" (yes, renovated was one of the must haves). We have no idea how you live in a house? Ever since we moved in together all those years ago we lived in flats, and though our first one was over three floors, it wasn't a house and it wasn't on the ground floor but a part of the weirdest apartment complex you have ever seen.
We loved the control and closeness an apartment gives you - for better or worse there is nowhere to run in an apartment, and when the boys were tiny it is exactly what we wanted, to able to know what they are doing and where at all times. It kept the scribbling on the wall to a necessary minimum. But now we found ourselves having our Weekend lazy coffee and cake sitting on the floor in our bedroom because the boys are a) watching a movie or b) playing something very loud on the xBox or computer or iPad or c) running around in some sort of weird pretend-play.
Coffee and cake on the bed, because this is how we roll
And as fun as hiding on the floor with cake sounds, the penny finally dropped on the day I found myself hiding under Ron's bed (he has a raised bed with a very nice reading / hiding corner underneath) while the kids invaded the living room with their loud noises and electronic games. They can sit there together, Yon with the iPad watching YouTube movies about his favourite games (Infinity and Mindcraft) and talking back at it, while Ron is playing his Fifa on the xBox with that annoying soundtrack and shouting at the screen and all the while music is blaring in the background. So I did the only thing possible - I hid under the bed. In my defines we have heated floors and that spot is the best in the house, but still. So we decided it might be time to expand, and have the boys banished to a floor of their own where they will get one bedroom for beds and quiet reflection (also known as reading time) and the other for more physical activities (also known as playing football in the house) and electronics (as in breaking our own rule and kicking the xBox from the living room ), while we get a floor of our own and we all reconvene around mealtimes in the lower floor. We are willing to let them pass through the kitchen not on mealtimes on sunny days to release them in the garden for a bit of outdoor football, but that's it.
Hiding under the bed
The problem with the whole thing is that I never wanted to live in a house, I have never thought of myself as a house person, as "house material" and now I found that I stopped looking at apartments completely. I guess it is the natural order of things, and I guess the majority of the ten people who will read this post live in a house anyway and won't understand how people can raise a family in an apartment.
I can explain about my bad knees and (very justified) fear of falling down the stairs, or the too many horror movies and TV dramas where the people get killed in a HOUSE, or the fact that I don't do well with gardens, or insects. But the truth is it is the stereotype, the one I have in my head after too many years of lousy American TV and too many romance novels - the suburban wife/mum stereotype. And I am really worried that I will become exactly that.
But on the other hand, that is all it is - a stereotype. And it is a big step for me in letting the boys grow and starting to let them go. So we decided to treat it as "a house adventure", after all in the past five years, living life as expats, we learned to look at most things like that - a two year adventure and then we'll see.
We decided to take the boys with us to all the viewing, so they could get a "feel" of the houses and we could see how Yon is managing the stairs, because we were and still are to be honest really worried about how he will handle it when he is hurrying or when he, as usual, goes around without looking (yes, friendly stairs were a must have). They loved it in house number nine, didn't want to go home in fact, and Yon ran up and down the stairs without fear (he did went down on his bottom and held the rail on his way up, but he did not let it ruin the game for him).
And that is what won us over. Yes the house ticked all the must have's and most of the nice to have's, but so did other houses we've seen. The thing is that house number nine has something that the others didn't. It has the love-in-first-sight and that all important x-factors that makes a house into a home.
House number nine is the first house we've seen that actually made us want to live in a house, and hopefully it won't take us long before we embark on our very first two year House Adventure.

I am linking this post with #MotivationalMonday over at Pinkoddy because... Well because this house motivates me to move on and to let my boys grow. And with #MagicMoments over at The Oliver Madhouse because it was a magic moment for us to feel the possibility of living in a house!

I hope you enjoyed reading the post :) I would really appreciate two minutes of your time and a vote in the writer or family categories in the Bib blog awards - Just press the photo and copy in my URL - Thank you very much!

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