Today we had our third official showing. I say "official" because I forgot to mention one "unofficial" showing that Alex hosted earlier in the week. On Tuesday night he was outside cleaning his car (I use the term cleaning very loosely here), when a snappy young guy driving a BMW slowed down and performed a couple drive-bys on the place. I guess Alex stared him down long enough that he finally rolled down his window to ask if the house was for sale (there's no sign in the front yard, but I think that adds to the intrigue). Lovable guy-next-door Alex offered to give him a tour around the outside of the property, and using his best selling techniques pointed out all the great things about the house--the neighborhood, the lot, the rocks around the flowerbed--and downplayed the negatives (what negatives?!). So that was Brad on Tuesday. I don't know if he liked what he saw, but I hope his comes back for a closer look because I believe this is the perfect house for a single guy. A single guy won't care about the washing machine in the kitchen (he probably wouldn't even know what it is).

And that brings us to [official] number three, which took place this afternoon. We have yet to hear feedback from yesterday's number two, by the way, so I'm sure they hated it (haha). We left the house in showing order this morning if you take away the fact that we still have to slap some paint on the walls in Catcher's room in a couple of places where we patched up some cracks (pictured above). "We" means Alex in the previous sentence. I hope whoever looked at the house doesn't hold it against us. I hope they realize that we'll take 10 minutes on Sunday to cover finish the job. I hope they like small houses. Honestly I forgot that we had to do it until we had our first showing last week; I guess I didn't think we'd have so many showings in the first week. But look on the bright side, if it was Brad or some other single guy, he probably didn't notice anyway.


number two

Our house has been on the market for a week, and today we had our second showing. The call came in around noon that someone wanted to show it at 2:45. The funny thing is that before I left the house this morning, my closet was kind of a mess and I left our mail out on the washing machine (the one in the kitchen, remember) thinking to myself, "what are the odds that someone is going to look at the house today?" Turns out the odds were pretty good, but thankfully Alex was able to sneak away from work to come home and put some fresh flowers on the mantel--seriously!--and store the tools and lawnmower that were littering the back yard in our neighbor's garage. Alex made it out of the house at 2:40 and saw the realtor parking across the street as he backed out of the driveway. I guess some of my stalker tendencies has influenced him because he lingered by the stop sign a block away from our house to get a look at who was going inside. Young couple. Nothing special. Alex can already hear them saying "the house is just too small." Update to follow.


freaky little people

Donald Baechler

Always on the hunt for a deal, I just discovered another website providing contemporary art at affordable prices: Artspace. [Side note: one of these days I'm going to have a home where I can actually display all this affordable art I keep discovering.] As I was clicking around daydreaming about art for rooms that I've never seen in a house that doesn't exist--except in my imagination--I came across this little piece that's kind of freaky but totally cool (at least in my humble opinion). And the coolest thing about it is not the kitschy plastic figurines or the fact that Alex actually liked it (he usually thinks the art that "speaks" to me is weird) but the fact that the artist took the photo using a Polaroid app on his iPhone and then has it somehow blown up and printed on fine art paper. Totally cool. I'll let you know what it looks like in real life if I ever have a new house and remember that I once wanted to purchase this. Here's a look at some of the other artists represented on the Artspace:

David Levinthal
Rebecca Graham

Eric Fischl
Ross Bleckner


separate your laundry

We have the feedback from yesterday's showing. You can probably guess that since you don't see a million exclamation points and the title of this blog isn't WE GOT AN OFFER!!!!! that we didn't get an offer. The feedback, however, was a little easier to take than the standard "the house is too small" response we've been dealt a thousand times before. This time the prospective buyer said she was a little sketched out by the HVAC unit (I'm totally with her on that one, but the ironic thing is that it looks terrible but is in great condition) and she couldn't get over the washing machine being in the kitchen. I guess I take it for granted that I lived in New York City for six years where things like showers in kitchens and toilets in closets is the norm. You wouldn't think twice if you found an amazing deal on a place in the West Village...but the shower is in the kitchen (So what!? It's a real two bedroom for under $3000 in the West Village!); however, in North Carolina things are different. Homeowners like big rooms with big closets and bonus rooms and rec rooms and mud rooms and any other kind of room you can dream up. They like their bathrooms to be bathrooms and their kitchens to be kitchens (what a luxury!).

But in places like Europe, for example, space is more of a luxury than in the U.S., so a lot of homes skip the whole laundry room thing and work the washing machine into the kitchen design. So I think that makes our house pretty cool in a Euro-chic kind of way. In fact, after discovering some of these spaces online, it makes me almost want a washing machine in the kitchen of my next house. Almost.

Apartment Therapy


this time we mean business

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and the Wheats decided that instead of spending what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon outside on a silly egg hunt, we would spend the afternoon fixing up the outside of the house. Actually, Alex spent the afternoon fixing up the outside of the house with Catcher's "help," while Scout napped and I cleaned the inside (and stuck my head out the front door periodically to ask if there was anything I could do and make sure the boys were drinking enough water). Here are the guys in action:

While the guys were hard at work, Scout getting rowdy on the front porch (my motivation behind this picture was actually to show off the "pop of color" from the plants I have miraculously not killed over the past month):

Alex also cut some fresh flowers from our lovely English-inspired garden--I say that because I find it unruly and confusing at times--in the front yard and placed them on the mantle (p.s. is it me, or does the ceiling totally look blue in this picture?):

We also opened one Easter care package from the kids' grandma and one from the kids' cousins and merged the two into this lovely centerpiece on our dining room table:

I realize this may all seem random, but I do have a point. As we were performing these somewhat menial tasks yesterday, I found myself saying things like "Wow...the mulch really looks nice. I hope someone comes to look at the house soon;" and "The flowers on the mantle are so cute. I hope someone comes to look at the house before they die;" or "Let's put the Easter bucket on the table, and then if someone comes to look at the house they can have a Godiva butterfly." I don't lay claim to being a psychic, but someone did come to look at the house today. Of course, Alex got the call at 3:03pm that a realtor wanted to show it between 3:00 - 4:00pm, so we didn't have time to come home and turn on all the lights and pull back all the curtains and bake an apple pie or whatever, but at least we had some fresh designer black mulch.

By the way, today is day 5 that our house has been on the market if anyone's counting.


third time's a charm?

Today our house was officially re-listed, so this is the third time in almost two years that our house has been on the market. The first time we listed was May 2009, and the very first person who looked at it--it had been on the market less than a week--made us an offer. We turned it down, of course, not knowing what the following 18 months would bring, which turned out to be very little. After that first showing in May, we had a couple in June, nothing in July and then a few more toward the end of August. No one came back for a second look, and everyone thought the house was too small. So the house sat...and sat...and sat. There was a guy in February who teased us a little by coming back for a second and third look, but he finally settled on a bigger place (go figure!) in a nearby neighborhood. The next thing we knew, May 2010 rolled around and I was pregnant--about 7 months, to be exact--and we decided to take the house off the market for about a week and re-list it with the same realtor (why?!). It was around this time that I got my Mac and started my blog. Back then, I envisioned my initial entries revolving around the randomness of moving and old things you come across that you forgot you had with pictures of me and my big pregnant belly packing a U-Haul. The next thing I knew the baby was born, I was applying to be on HGTV, we finally fired our realtor, I started a new job, Alex spent the month of March on the road, Catcher and Scout began sharing a room and we're still trying to sell the house. Wish us luck this time around, and I'm marking down April 21st, 2011 as day one.

Incidentally, the #3 pinata pictured above would be excellent for Catcher's third birthday in July (which we will be celebrating in Mexico--ole!).


peep! peep!

If you love them, you love them, and if you hate them, then you really hate them. But I love them! I'm talking about Peeps, of course. In the spirit of Easter weekend, let's give a shout out to the Peep. By the way, how jealous am I of this guy? If this were an actual Peep--and I was that guy--I would dive in and subsequently be thrust into a serious Peep coma. I would wake up with an aching belly because I can't control myself around the sugary deliciousness of a Peep (giant or otherwise). Does anyone get what I'm saying? You know who you are...


i want that!

We've already gone over the fact that I have stalker tendencies (remember the box house, anyone?), so it should come as no surprise that I'm currently stalking a local artist because I want this painting, which has probably sold since I first saw it over a year ago. But let's backup...

On one of those rare week days that Alex and I both found ourselves home and not working on a warm February afternoon, we went for coffee at our favorite local spot--Catcher was in daycare and Scout was in my belly--and then I dragged Alex to this whacked-out vintage store in our neighborhood. We walked inside and my eye was immediately drawn to the back wall where this painting was hung. I can't explain why I love it so much other than to say "when you know, you know." I've always believed that you should invest in a piece of art just because it spoke to you in some way and not because it matches your house or some guy with fancy glasses told you how remarkable it is. So I began obsessing over this piece, and I had daydreams that Alex would surprise me with it for my birthday...or Christmas...or just because. One day I peeked in the store window (it has strange hours and never seems to be open when one would want to shop) and the painting was gone. I don't think Alex bought it.

Last Friday Alex and I went out on a date in our neighborhood, and we ended up at this art bar place that features a revolving gallery of local artists (another establishment that has strange hours, by the way), and what did we see? Not this painting, but three other paintings by this same artist. Thus my obsession was rekindled, and now I've googled and myspaced and facebooked this poor girl, so I know exactly where she works (which happens to be in our neighborhood--these are all signs!) and I'm sending Alex in on a little recon mission to find out if this painting has sold. And then what? Would we really buy it for a house that isn't yet ours, and would I even still want it if I knew it was available? Maybe.


lame idea

I recently saw a picture of a fireplace with an antique trunk sitting inside of it. I can't remember where, or else I'd share it with you (or maybe I just made it up). Following the kids' room merge yesterday, we found ourselves with a room's worth of "stuff" that had to go somewhere, including my great-grandmother's trunk. While I was submerged in TPS reports at the office this afternoon, a little image popped up in the back of my mind and suggested we move the trunk into our living room and put it inside the fireplace (since the fireplace doesn't work anyway). Here's a reminder of what the room looks like:

After I convinced Alex that moving the trunk into the fireplace where it wouldn't be "impeding anyone's ability to walk through the space," we tested it out. Prior to moving it, I thought that perhaps it would be the kind of thing that I wasn't thrilled with at first but it would grow on me over time. I'll let you be the judge: how does it look?

So maybe in my dreams it looked worthy of Elle Decor--or at least a Crate&Barrel catalog--but the effect in real life was less than stellar. It was downright dismal...and strange...and out of place (in a bad way). Needless to say, the trunk ended up here (where the bassinet used to be):

Not great, but better than the [other] crowded bedroom, and better than the fireplace. That was a lame idea.


two become one

One more look at before...and after:

But let's back up and see how we got us to this point. (Sidenote: it is 7:53pm and both kids are sound asleep in the new, shared room).

This morning--before the rest of the world was either exiting church on their way to brunch or just rolling out of bed--Alex and I were assembling Catcher's new bed. I have to put in a disclaimer here, because "assembling" is really a loose term. Last night when I peeked at the directions, it said "3 simple steps," and I have to admit that it was kind of true (once we figured out which way the "feet" went).

First, we jailed Scout:

Next, the boys worked on clearing the room:

Like I said, the actual assembly of the bed proved to be somewhat unremarkable (sorry to all of you looking for a massive blowout between Alex and me), so I have no visual record. After the bed was together, our next stop was IKEA. Although I knew I would hate the place the second I stepped in the elevator, we weathered the chaos and made it out on the other side alive...and without buying a bunch of crap that we didn't need but was super-cheap. In my hour wandering through the small town of IKEA, I discovered that it is good for all things kids, outdoor furnishings and people watching (if you're into watching people who help contribute to the weight crisis in America). Sorry--no visual documentation of the trip to IKEA, but maybe Alex will send me a couple of snapshots from his impromptu photo shoot with Catcher when I was on a mission to find kids' bedding.

Surprisingly, the most challenging aspect of the day turned out to be figuring out the exact placement of furniture in the new room. Here's a look at my thought process:

Although I only took pictures of three actual configurations, there were about eight that I played around with until I finally settled on my second option, minus the trunk that once belonged to my great-grandmother). Yes, our house is small. And yes, it's crazy that four people live in 847 square feet. And yes, it's a little cramped in the kids' bedroom; however, I have to admit that things turned out much better than I had imagined. Catcher is psyched about having his own bed, and the room really doesn't look that much smaller than it did before (at some point, small is just small). Right now it's 8:38pm and I haven't heard a peep from the room. How long do you think that will last?


bye, bye baby

If all goes according to plan tomorrow, I will not be looking at this when I wake up Monday morning. This is Scout's bassinet, which I purchased when I was nine months pregnant because we hadn't sold the house and we didn't have a plan for the baby's sleeping arrangements. Nine months later, Scout is still sleeping in our room about to rock herself out of the bassinet, so we've decided the time has come to move Catcher into his bed--which I purchased when I was only four months pregnant and optimistic that we would be out of the house way before the baby was ever born--and hand his crib down to Scout. Let's keep our fingers crossed that all goes well because this is a multi-layered process.

Step one involves us assembling the twin bed that arrived at our house in three convenient boxes that have been strategically hidden for the past 14 months. Here are the boxes (I opened them tonight in anticipation of the big assembly tomorrow):

And here is the tiny bag of hardware that's supposedly all we need to assemble a fully functioning twin bed:

If step one goes well (meaning Alex and I don't yell obscenities at each other causing one of us to storm off in a tizzy) then we'll move on to step two, which is arguably more challenging than step one: IKEA. I've never actually been to this treasure trove of modern, affordable, assembly-required Scandinavian design, but I hear it's quite the place. We're making the trek because I hear they have decent mattresses (and also maybe because this is my excuse to go) and inexpensive bedding for kids. If we make it home from this warehouse of madness, then step three will be convincing Catcher to "give" his crib to Scout so he can move on to his big boy bed (oh yeah, and also share a room with his baby sister). Wish us luck!


stroller patrol

Last Saturday when my sister and I were visiting New York, we found ourselves blessed by that rare April day when it isn't raining and the temperature is above 45 degrees. It was 62 to be exact. And sunny. That afternoon we found ourselves grabbing a coffee at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle before a stroll in Central Park (which never happened, by the way, because Laura's boots were hurting and we saw Charlie Sheen along the way, but that's another story). As we ascended the escalator to the third floor and wound our way to the end of a very long line (I guess we weren't the only ones with that brilliant idea) I got a snapshot into the lives of New York City parents. Lining the hallway outside of Landmarc [restaurant], strollers took root. The seemingly spontaneous placement (there was no sign saying "Parents: Park Strollers Here") was almost a caricature of itself. We've all seen a movie or TV show mocking this exact thing, so seeing it in person was almost like spotting a celebrity to me. Actually, it was probably cooler than seeing Charlie Sheen now that I think about it. The only thing is...I totally get that everyone was out and about on such a beautiful day in the city, but what happens to the kids once they actually get inside the Time Warner Center and abandon their strollers? There must be a lot of nannies running around getting their exercise for the day (wink!).


ready for #4

Don't panic: I'm ready for the iPhone 4, not kid 4 (there's not even a kid 3). First I was waiting for the white iPhone 4 (it's never gonna happen), then I was waiting for Verizon to get the iPhone (in the meantime I got a new job where the company offers a discount with AT&T), and finally I thought that since I've waited this long, I might as well go ahead and wait for the iPhone 5. Then I came across this:

Yes, it's Warhol for Apple, or rather Incase for Andy Warhol. Either way, I'm a sucker for a cow motif.


my guys

It's funny when boys decorate. I'm not talking about boys like David Hicks or Tony Duquette or Nick Olsen, but boys like my husband. When I first met Alex and saw the apartment he shared with his coworker in Spanish Harlem, I discovered that he had no less than 20 baseball caps (of various allegiances) hung on tiny nails meticulously "decorating" all four walls in his room. "Interesting," was all I could think to myself. "I guess he likes hats...or grids or something."

Rewind several years to where Alex lined the walls of his boyhood room with Sports Illustrated covers; fast forward a couple decades to where Alex and I are married and he starts a bobblehead collection, lining them up on the mantle. Before we were trying to sell our house, he lined the top of the kitchen cabinets with empty vodka bottles. While a Stoli Orange bottle has a certain appeal, an empty one--next to a regular Stoli next to Stoli Vanilla--starts to have a certain Leaving Los Vegas appeal.

This past Sunday, when I returned from a weekend in New York City with my sister, I discovered that Alex had once again tapped into his linear decorating skills by lining Catcher's "guys" up on his crib. And while I find it weird, I have to admit that this is the first of Alex's arrangements that I've actually found somewhat artistic. Just don't tell him, because who knows what's next in the lineup.



"One of these days I'm gonna get myself organezized." (Quick, name the movie!). That's how I felt this past Sunday as I was trying to pack up Catcher's winter size 2T clothes and replace them with his summer size 3T clothes. The kids had a different idea and decided it was time to play "rolly polly" on our bed:

The clear container (for organizing) that I bought at Target that morning is still sitting on the floor in the hallway, but at least it was good for a laugh. And one of these days I really will get myself organezized. Of course, that may require a larger house with room for boxes and labels and filing cabinets, oh my!


fill in the lines

We're down to the last few things--at least the things we've decided to attempt--on our to do list, and the other day I came up with a brilliant idea. Instead of crawling around in the attic ducking rodents and squirrels (not really, but maybe) looking for the paint we used for the trim in the hallway, I decided to enlist the help of an old favorite: the Sharpie. I think Sharpie makes some kind of paint pen now to fill in scratches in your furniture and whatnot, so why not use an actual Sharpie to touch up the paint in your hallway (especially if that paint is a dark blue that looks black to the naked eye)? So that's what I did. The project took all of five minutes, and if I didn't tell you, you'd never guess it. Just don't tell the prospective buyers.

Incidentally, there's some serious Sharpie art out there. Take a look at these styrofoam cups by artist Cheeming Boey. Next time I finish a cup of coffee and I'm bored at work, maybe I'll feel inspired and pull the Sharpie out of my desk.


forever and ever

I first saw this poster in Domino magazine, for like ever ago, and I know I'm not the first one to obsess over it or write about it, but it recently popped up again on my radar and I had to track it down. Kind of like when you're pregnant and you think about teddy grahams with vanilla icing early in the day and you can't rest until you have some...or is that just me? 

Anyway, I found the poster. And it's now produced in several colorways, so you can, like, choose the right one for you. I'm partial to the original pink--especially because I think it would be super cute in a kitschy-girly-but-I'm-not-really-girly kind of way in Scout's future room--but the spring green is pretty cool too. Check them out here (images from Super Rural):

Now I'm thinking about those teddy grahams...