Friday, September 28, 2007

I have taken the day off today. Last night I had a melt down and decided that while I am very behind in my school work right now and anxious about the house stuff, I needed a break. So, I decided last night to give myself a break. I haven't done any homework or reading. I haven't done any laundry. I haven't called the real estate agent or the lender to check progress. The only productive thing I did today was taking the kids to school and picking them up. Oh, and I am not cooking dinner tonight either. Brian doesn't know this yet, but he's taking me to dinner.

If we do eventually get this house (or any house) we may never move again. I was thinking this is a nice starter house. We are planning to move out of this area when I get my MSW. But this thing has been a big ol' pain in the derriere. Not sure I want to do it again any time soon (or ever). Grrr. To those who made this happen NOW. This is really not a good time.

Then there is school. Well, school is ok. I really enjoy being a student, with the exception of homework. Not that I mind the homework, I just don't have time for it. I mean after school, I have four kids to chase, feed, bathe (well, maybe not the oldest two), supervision of homework. There is soccer practice and church. I have to put in hours in Nate's preschool class. Then there's the various school activities, open house, back to school, PTA, etc. Um, no I can't say NO. I've learned there is a technical name for this. It is called "Helium Hand." When someone asks for volunteers, my hand goes up by itself. I need to get control over that.

Lets see, what else. I'm kind of bored. I really haven't done anything today. It's kind of weird. I know I will be playing catch up this weekend. Luckily, the little ones are the grandparents. I guess it's time to get dinner. YUM! I might have to do this more often. I think I'll call it "self care."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One might wonder, why on earth we would be shopping for a home and planning to move in the middle of my first semester of grad school. Well, it certainly wasn't planned this way and it is certainly a big ol' pain in the ass! But, here we are and here is why:

Last summer (2006) we decided that we wanted to buy a house. We were both in college when we got married and had been apartment dwellers for all of our married life (um, yeah that was 7 years, last year). We had two babies while living in the apartment. It was time for a house, with a yard and a dog for the boys. Time to be a grown up with grown up responsibilities. We had been careful with our credit and repairing mine from a nasty divorce. However...

Upon meeting with a lender, just to see what we would qualify for on a single income teacher salary, (I was back in school completing a second degree)... We were hit a credit score of 400-something for Brian. WHAT? There was obviously something wrong, something very wrong. Identity theft? His credit report was loaded with red flags. But, ultimately we had to figure out the stuff before we were going even think about buying a house with a reasonable intrest rate, if anyone would even look at us.

Well, it wasn't identity theft (yet!). Apparently there is another Brian (same last name) living in another city (same state). And a certain credit reporting agency had merged the their credit information. So Brian's credit report contained this other person's social security number and addresses (past and present) and all of his debt. To say the least, he was responsible with his finances. And, because of my Brian's good credit, they kept sending this clown credit cards. So began the process of straightening out what seemed like a careless, but easy to fix mistake. Most of the accounts could be easily attached to their rightful owner by SSN or by address.

It wasn't that easy and after about four months of calling and writing (certified letters) to credit card companies, banks, collection agencies, credit reporting agencies, etc., we realized that we would not be buying a house any time soon. So we decided to look into renting a house. We really needed the space (and a yard for Nate). We found a house that had been on the market for a while, as the market was starting to decline. They knew our situation and were willing to rent to us with the possibility that we would purchase the house when we got things straightened out.

Fast forward about a year. We have things straight, we think... So we go back to the lender and start again. WHAT'S THAT? New accounts? Those are not ours. Remember when we got credit reports with the other person's info, very personal info? Well apparently, he the same access to Brian's info. There was a credit card issued with my Brian's SSN, our local address, oh and will you send the card to this address in another city please? Um, NO. But, they did. Now, it's called identity theft! More phone calls, letters to write, oh, and police reports (locally and in the other city).

We've been in this house now almost a year. Now the owner has decided that he doesn't want to sell the house. Instead, at the end of the year he wants to move his daughter into the house. Fair warning, we appreciate that, but um, I'm a grad student. I think it is because the housing market has swung and they know they cannot get what they want (or need) for this house now. So, we have to move.

Um, I think we got all the credit stuff cleared up and we are in the process of getting qualified... again. Our realtor is a gem and has been with us through all of this. On a positive note, the housing market is much more in our favor than it was a year ago. So here we go again.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I should be doing homework, but I just had to share with you about this house we looked at last night. The owner has been placed in a care home, so I am assuming the family is selling to cover cost (or split the $, I don't know). Anyway, this was the most g*d-awful hideous place I've ever seen. Our realtor was there when we arrived (first of four to see). First we behold wall to wall carpet in the living room and down the hall in a "lovely" chevron pattern of blue, red, orange and goldenrod (?). I step back to catch my breath; the realtor smiles and says you haven't seen anything.

The family room had paneling on one wall with the fireplace (tolerable). But the same wall continued into the dining area where it was covered with a kind of embossed looking gold foil wallpaper! This complemented the lovely PINK linoleum covering both the open kitchen and dining area. Realtor: It gets better (sarcasm).

Down the chevron carpeted hallway to check out the bedrooms. Three of them. They were thoughtfully carpeted to matched the carpet in the hallway. One bedroom was carpeted in a golden mustard yellow, one in red and the master bedroom in orange shag. Oh, but there was one more sight to behold. The master bathroom. Realtor: If you are not a morning person, this will wake you up. It was painted RED, with two walls papered in a red foil patterned wallpaper, this likes of which I have never seen (and pray I never see again).

I am surprised I didn't have nightmares last night. I'm sure there are beautiful hardwood floors under the carpeting, based on the age and builder of the home. The paper can come down and the paneling can be painted. The house had great squared footage and a nice layout. It would totally be a flippers dream at the right price. But, we seriously do not have the time to put into it. So, now we know why there were no pictures listed on the website...

Friday, September 14, 2007

I have tried my hand a couple of times at blogging (or online journaling, as it was when I started on a couple of years ago). But, I just haven't been able to keep it up. Hmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with being a wife, mom of four and grad student. Throw in occupational therapy appts once a week, soccer practice twice a week and random things at three different schools that need my attention. Maybe, that's why I can never keep up. That and the fact that I can't imagine who would really want to read about the happenings of my daily life. I love to read other people's blogs. I like to know what's going on in other people's lives. Actually, it makes really good procrastination material. If there was a degree in procrastination I'd have a Ph double D. But, that's a blog for another time.

So anyway, my friend Tracey wants my blog site address. I open the page and realize that although I registered months ago, I had not yet written ANYTHING! I had to write something. I couldn't send her a blank page.

Because I have absolutely no idea where to start, this is what my day looks like today...
Friday, September 14th (I think the date is right)
6:30am ~ Wake up. I am so not a morning person. This is not pretty. Shower. This helps, a little. The bigs starts stirring.
7:00am ~ Wake up the little boys. Make breakfast (ego waffles, don't give me too much credit). Make Jacob's lunch.
7:30am ~ Brian leaves for work and takes the big boys to school. Search for wayward shoes, which are outside under the trampoline (don't ask). Round up backpack, make sure homework is in it; it should be, it was last night, but you know, gotta check.
7:45am ~ Walk the little boys to school. Yes, I walk them to school. Jacob scurries off. Take Nate to class. He has to sign in, then pick a book and sit on the carpet. Read book with Nate, then explain that I have to go work on my school work.
8:15am ~ Check email. Check boards/blogs. See what I mean about procrastinating? Start a load of laundry. Work on human subjects protection project (finished, only about 5 hours, not all today). Color my hair, when I get stressed I do things to my hair (another blog for another time), so I decided I wanted my blond highlights to be red again, now they are, strawberry blond actually. Read some policy text, I can't even remember what it said...
10:45am ~ Walk to school to pick up Nate.
11:15am ~ Back at home. Make lunch for Nate. Check email again. Look at listing for houses (OH another big blog for later). Set Nate up on so I can work on my stuff for a bit. Email from Tracey about my blog. Check my blog and notice I have not blogged on my blog. Must do something about that. Procrastination. And here I am.

And here is what the rest of the day looks like...
2:10pm ~ pick up Jacob from school. Fix snack. Do homework (maybe).
4:00pm ~ Take Shawn to counseling.
6:30pm ~ Meet with the realtor.
Then, a quick dinner. Drive to Mother in law's (about an hour away). Stay over, watch harvest parade with kids tomorrow. Go to carnival. (like I have time for all this fun stuff)

So that's a Friday in the life of Me. And I guess I have some things to blog about after all. Tracey, you might have to remind me to blog...