Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Round two ...

It was only a matter of time and now, time is here.

Our house is going back up for sale this evening.

We were in quite a bit of a financial jam this time last summer and ended up putting our house up for sale. We left it on the market for the entire contract of six months, but did not sell it, obviously. We had some interest and some offers but none that we could accept. They were quite a bit lower than our asking price and we couldn't go very low and stay in the black, which was the goal.

The sale of our other house plus our income tax refund last spring bailed us out of the jam and so when the realtor's contract expired we didn't renew. We knew that we would come to this point again and felt deep down that we should keep the house on the market, but frankly, we were tired.

We have come to the realization that not being able to make our mortgage payment is more of a permanent situation than a temporary one. In light of that we must make another valiant effort to reduce our monthly housing expenses, and we start by selling our current house.

The housing market is no better, probably worse. But we must give it another try. I did discover an interesting and very helpful piece of information today in talking with the mortgage company. No one shared this with us before because we evidently didn't ask the right questions, and a mortgage company or a realtor isn't going to volunteer this information because no one makes money like this. There is something called a short sale that can be done when you cannot make your mortgage payments and must sell your home, but cannot get the value of the loan. Your realtor submits some paperwork to the mortgage company and you submit some detailing the family's income and expenses. The mortgage company may or may not approve the sale for less than the value of your loan and your debt will be considered paid in full.

Now, this information, as helpful as it is, would have been more helpful last spring. We had a very interested buyer who made us a sincere offer, but it was a few thousand dollars less than what we owed on the house. We couldn't come up with the difference since we had just forked over quite a bit to prevent foreclosure (another lesson we learned last summer) so we had to pass on the offer. If we had known about this short sale option, we would have most certainly tried to get that approved.

Maybe this time we can stash this information away and use it if we must.

I didn't expect the house to go up for sale so soon and now I have all manner of cleaning to do. My husband called our realtor yesterday and they set up an appointment for this evening. He'll be coming by with paperwork and a sign for the yard.

We'll be going back to living in a bare bones house and a lot of hurried house cleanings for showings. It's not easy living in a house you are trying to sell when you have five kids in the house all day long every day!

We are hoping that we can sell the house and find other, less expensive, quarters. Things won't be any easier on us financially but we would like to at least be able to meet our bills each month. We've pared down to about as little as we can expense-wise and no one is able to take on any more work. My husband is already working two jobs and I am doing the best I can with mine.

We may have some changes on the horizon soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Again ...

We are getting ready to put our house up for sale, again. We had it for sale from August to February of this year and took it off the market after our contract with the realtor expired. We had some offers but we couldn't go as low as the offers and still come out in the black.

We could have either renewed with the realtor or put our own sign out in the yard and kept it on the market, but frankly, we were tired. We were able to get ourselves out of the fix we had been in, albeit temporary and we knew that. Reality is hitting and before it gets too bad, it is time to try to sell the house again.

It's not something we want to do, not something we wanted to do before, but it's getting to be a bit much and there's not any real relief ahead.

I'm running some lists of a few minor improvements we need to make to the interior of the house through my mind right now, and will post them in a day or two. I also have to make lists of what I need to do to each room to make it presentable, and then there are the lists of things to do to the house before each showing. I still have the showing lists and will post it later on when we actually get the house back on the market.

Now the memories of getting the house in order for a showing, four kids ready for school (well, two actually come ready), and all of them plus a baby out of the door by 7:30 a.m. headed to school are coming back to me. Not that I could forget them!

Friday, July 11, 2008

New house in the family

My sister-in-law finally got tired of crazy neighbors, nutty office people, AND her rent going up so she is moving out of her apartment in to a house! She started the move today and will have it completed the first of next week.

It's a great house, much bigger than her apartment and is the same price per month as her apartment. She really likes it and the kids do too.

They are still about the same distance away from us as they were (five minutes maybe) and in the same part of town.

The house has a huge kitchen, a good-sized living room, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. There are big closets everywhere and a laundry/storage room to die for. She's also got an outside storage shed/garage and a nice backyard. The area is right beside the interstate but it is quiet without a lot of traffic and people walking up and down the streets.

It's got us to thinking about trying to sell our house again to find cheaper living quarters. We love our house but the payments are consistently too much to handle these days with no change in sight. The last time we tried to sell our house we couldn't go low enough on the price to get rid of it because we hadn't been there long enough to pay all that much on it. We have briefly discussed either getting our same realtor back or putting it up for sale by owner.

Provided we can sell it, we are much more familiar with the area now to know where to look for quality but economical housing, and we have a sister/SIL who is obviously wonderful at it who we can get to help us! ;)

In the meantime the girls are going to enjoy riding their bikes around out in the new backyard. It's flat and so is the road behind the house!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nine years ago on this day ...

My first child was born.

It's hard to believe that I have a child who is nine years old and that I've been a mom for nine years.

Those first couple of years with her were really rough but she mellows out with each passing year.

Now of course she has a six-year-old sister and a 14-month-old brother!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nine years ago today ...

I was at the end of my first pregnancy and ready to have my first child! My due date (the day before, July 7) had come and gone with me lying on the couch to prevent another blood pressure spike like the one I had experienced two days ago, on July 6.

At 4 a.m. on the morning of July 8, my water broke! How exciting! I went back to sleep for another couple of hours and then got in trouble with my husband when I told him two hours later. We got ready to go and headed to the hospital an hour away. We stopped to help some stranded motorists on the way, a story that is funny now but back then seemed perfectly normal. I wasn't having any contractions and my husband always stops to help people on the side of the road.

The day progressed slowly at the hospital and finally at about 7 p.m. the doctor and my mom thought it might be best for me to receive a small amount of Pitocin. This would stimulate my contractions and get things progressing, which really needed to happen seeing that my water had already broken. I was very hesitant but I trusted the doctor and even more so, my mom.

Boy, did things ever get going. That was a really long and painful labor but that child still wasn't born nine years ago today. She was born nine years ago TOMORROW! She was born at 12:41 a.m. on July 9.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Before I was a Mom

(This was on one of my favorite message boards and I just love it.)

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby,
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous,
and I never thought about immunizations,

Before I was a Mom I had never been
puked on
pooped on
chewed on
peed on
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts
and I slept all night

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests
or give shots,
I never looked into teary eyes and cried,
I never got gloriously happy over a simple smile,
and I never sat up all night watching a baby sleep

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to
put them down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I
couldn't stop the hurt,
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much,
I never knew that I could love something so much,
and I never knew I would love being a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body,
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby,
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child,
and I didn't know something so small could make me feel so
important and happy

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to
make sure all was okay
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the
wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom

Most of all I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Another ear infection (Saturday morning doctor run)

The baby has another ear infection, the doctor has just declared this Saturday morning.

This is the third one he's been diagnosed with in his short 14-month-old life.

He's to take an antibiotic for 10 days, ear drops for pain a few times a day, saline and vapor rub for stuffy nose. The doctor made all of that sound so very easy to administer. I think I'll call him when it's time for the medicine fight. ;)

I'm not really surprised with this trouble (ear infections, etc.) When he was born I had the feeling that he'd have allergies and eczema, and I started looking for them right away. Sure enough, they happened.

His eczema was officially diagnosed at five months of age. He uses a one-percent hydrocortisone cream and lots and lots of petroleum jelly for that!

Looks like we are going to have lots of trouble for the next few years. One of his older sisters had eczema (she grew out of it thankfully) but still has allergies.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

So cute!

The baby signed "I love you" to his dad last night! It was so cute and unexpected. He was waving "good night" to his dad when I put up the "I love you" sign and he actually copied it! He held his middle finger down with his thumb, which is really quite similar to how his six-year-old sister signs it!

He knows several signs — Momma, milk, more being the main ones — but very rarely uses them. He also knows how to say a lot of words but again he rarely speaks. When he does, it is usually a word he hasn't said before and it's very clear. He just prefers to communicate in "caveman." As you can imagine that involves a lot of grunting, screaming, and hitting.
Recipe collection (more cooking in store)

Since I was griping and whining about all the cooking that I am now doing on a daily basis in my previous post, I thought I'd point out that I'm keeping an online recipe collection/blog called I Hate the Kitchen. (Yes, I really do hate the kitchen.)

It's got a lot of really easy recipes that I've either made up, have tried, or am planning to try in the near future.

This is working out better than my paper collection, and I do use the term "collection" very loosely.

I've also subscribed to a daily newsletter from All Recipes that has good ideas.

Posting on the Internet does seem to make the daily dreaded chore of cooking a thousand times (okay, it's only three but it seems like a whole lot more) slightly more pleasant.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer break (is it over yet?)

This morning I was hit with a stunning revelation as I woke up. It was both good news and bad news, but mostly bad.

Being as it was the first day of July, that meant that I had survived ONE WHOLE MONTH of summer break. That's the good news.

But there is another MONTH and a HALF of summer break left. That is the bad, awful, terrible news.

I have felt terribly overwhelmed this summer, especially on Mondays. My husband has been home on the weekend and so has helped with all the kids. (By all the kids I mean our three and our two nieces.) I'm left by myself with all of them on Mondays so I guess I struggle to get back into the swing of things at the beginning of each week.

I feel like I've been blindsided by the constant cooking, sweeping, fighting, somersaulting, mess-making, more cooking, and more sweeping that goes on continually and my inability to control any of it.

The funny thing is, I'm surprised by these feelings I'm having because I had planned on a very nice summer with the kids. I had planned two or three workdays for myself (Monday-Wednesday, of course very flexible) during which time they would do quiet activities around the house and play outside. We'd take one of the last days of the week and do a fun "field trip." We made a list of fun (and free!) things we could do around town and all looked forward to doing our activities.

We got off to a late start on our trips, sad to say, and still haven't caught up. I do feel like I'm getting a little work done, although the house looks like a tornado tore through every single day.

This summer has been a disappointment for me for all of those reasons and because last summer was so nice. I made my mind up last summer that it was just going to be awful, what with three more kids than normal to take care of all day long (the new baby plus my two nieces had just moved over by us). I made plans for friends to drop their kids off at our house, and the kids had fun with their friends right here. It worked wonderfully. We also did some visiting ourselves on the weekends when my husband was around.

So I figured if last summer turned out nicely then this summer surely would. How wrong I was. I just don't seem to be able to get a handle on everything going on.

Every day is just a big mess of cooking breakfast, cleaning up from that, trying to do a few minutes of work, cooking lunch and cleaning up from that, trying to work awhile and clean up the house before figuring out what to cook for supper. In the meantime I'm sweeping the floor 10 times, wiping up spills, dealing with all manner of whining, crying, tattling and tending to the baby. I'm tired of it. I don't have the energy to think much about our field trips or even my errands I need to run.

I've been trying to get the kids to help me clean up and take care of the baby but sometimes it's so much trouble. I expend more energy trying to get them to help me than I would if I just did it myself.

Well, to be fair I know that most people deal with a lot more than this every day, and there are some things I could do to make things easier on myself.

But honestly I am not looking forward to the rest of the summer. I know that's awful but it's the truth. *sigh*