Monthly Archives: April 2014

house hunting, vikings, baby quilts, and tattoos

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House hunting is a motherfucking ORDEAL.

I did this once before when Chet and I were on the brink of failure but I decided I wanted a house and he could move in. Oh man was I stupid. It was only a two week hunt in which I saw 1 possible meth den, another with a flooded living room and a hole in the wall where he pipe was leaking (excellent staging!), and then a house older than my grandfather. Then there was that miscarriage the day I was going to put an offer on a split-level condo that I didn’t truly want but was the only one that seemed half-way decent and I had to have my mom call the realtor for me because I was a mess. Suffice to say, it wasn’t meant to be.

So here I am many years later with the spousal unit hunting for a new home. I know this will only be a 5 year house. I also know that use the term “house” loosely because everything we look at is either a condo, split-level condo, or town house. The distinction between the 3 is vague and this whole split-level thing seems to be extremely common here but not so common elsewhere. Go figure. I have “realistic expectations” according to my realtor and the more I search, the more I’m willing to compromise. The areas I will NOT compromise on: must be 3 bedroom -OR- 2 bedroom plus a third space for office/crafting/turtle abode, must have a newer kitchen, must have 1.5+ bathrooms, and must have a soaking tub. All that for the low low price of $250,000 or less. I think our realtor was shocked at how low maintenance we are. So far she’s been a gem and I love her because she’s all about going with your gut feeling. If the house doesn’t feel right then don’t bother. Same with the lender she works with. All that for the low low price of $250,000 or less.

Reigning my husband’s searching in is another story. The man is NOT grasping that $250,000 is the absolute maximum and it’s getting frustrating. I’m the one in charge of money and dude is either being a stubborn mule or just not getting it through his head. Then he finds one that’s just under $260 and it’s perfect on so many levels… except the cost. Dude, we only have so much for a down payment. There’s closing costs and mortgage insurance on top of that. The realtor thinks she can get the price into our range. I’m less than confident of this because we’d be asking them to drop the price AND eat the closing costs. That being said, in an area where houses fly off the market shelves in 24 hours, to have your house still be on the market for 2 months means you’re doing it wrong so there’s a wee tiny fraction of hope for us. I’m not holding my breath. I’m looking at houses much closer to our range and mentally building organizational shelves and moving our furniture around.

Moving on… you know how I mentioned Chet above? Yeah, that guy has been in my head way too much lately. I had this awesome dream where we met up and talked about what happened and why we failed, had a good hug and kiss, and then decided to be friends. I woke up feeling like a chapter had closed inside. Turns out it wasn’t quite closed though.

A few weeks later, we started watching Vikings and holy fucking shit does that lead character look like a younger somewhat thinner version of Chet. It’s something in the way he twitches one of his eyes when he smiles and something in his crazy head-cocking motions that’s just WOAH! THAT’S CHET! Plus the mostly bald head and crazy blue eyes that get crazy bright blue in certain lights. There are also the luscious lips they share. It’s ridiculous how similar they are. The thing is, while the character Ragnar is rough, barbaric, tough as nails, brilliant, and has a hell of a strategic mind (exactly like Chet), there are two big differences between him and my ex. Ragnar is incredibly spiritual and devoted to the rituals of his gods. He also openly loves his wife and adores his children. He openly loves and openly emotes. He even cries once (or twice) in the show and then it hit me. This Ragnar dude is what I believed in my heart (and what I held out for) that Chet was capable of and there’s this piece of me that’s a little sad over it. And conflicted because I ADORE the character and want to be hot for his Viking body, but then the sadness.

Being in an extremely open and honest relationship with my husband means he is fully aware of this. I can’t hide shit from him even if I tried. Sure, we fight like monsters sometimes, but there are no secrets with us. When a TV show has me conflicted about something from my past, I tell my husband so I can process it and move the fuck on from it.

Meanwhile, I fucking LOVE that show. Holy shit! I’ve gotten myself sucked into many shows in the last year that have left me feeling many feelings. It’s nice to conclude some (Walking Dead, The Blacklist) and move on to another others (Game of Thrones, Vikings) and let them fill in each others gaps. It keeps my brain busy.

Also keeping my brain busy? I’m quilting again. I made one for my mother in law then made 3 elaborate pillows… and then stopped. Then there were many pregnancy announcements at work and suddenly quilts to be made and my coworker is a quilting genius so she’s been tutoring me. Now I have 3 lined up to make and I just started one. I have fabric purchased for about 3 others too because I see fabric and have to have it despite the cost. (Seriously, don’t even get me started on how much money I’ve spent in the last year.)

And lastly, I started a massive leg tattoo about 2 months ago and it’s Legend of Zelda themed (specifically Twilight Princess). I LOVE this thing, but it’s killing me. First session was outlining and my entire leg blew up into a red swollen nightmare. I was also very sick at the time so when I went to the doctor and got antibiotics and steroids, I didn’t even mention the ink and sure enough, the meds for the bronchitis and such ended up making my leg calm down. So session number 2 was two weeks later and we only got a small area done because holy details, Batman! This healed quickly and smoothly. Session number 3 was 3 weeks ago. We got a huge portion knocked out. Alas, I made rookie mistakes (too much A&D, not enough air exposure, wore leggings to soon after, and shaved too close before the ink session) so I broke out into massive ingrown hair zits. They ended up morphing into boil-like beasts and holy fuck, the PAIN. A couple ruptured and eased up the pain and all but one healed 2 weeks later so I cancelled session #4.

Session #5 (which is now #4) was set for this weekend, but I’ve got a new monster on my leg that has surpassed the size of a grapefruit and now actively hurts my entire calf. Something is definitely wrong so I’m going to the dermatologist tomorrow. I’m mad at this. I get the first round of bumps and pain, but this new one developing out of the blue and now hurting my calf and up into my knee? FUCK YOU, SKIN! I just want to finish this thing. So now I’ll wait to see what the dermatologist says, but then I’m postponing session #4. Meanwhile I have a half-way completed tattoo on my leg. Such is life.

So there you have it. House hunting, Vikings, ex-boyfriends, baby quilts, and tattoos. That’s me in a nutshell I think.

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this is where my head explodes

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I don’t like writing about my life when it’s miserable because I hate reading whiny shit by other people. Plus, by the time I get to writing it out, it’s usually resolved so what’s the point? Except right it’s not resolved and I’m not okay and I’m hanging on by a fucking thread right now. That thread is only there because I have an amazing husband supporting me and I’m back on Xanax… double the dosage.

Since Thanksgiving, my life has fallen apart. My dad moved again, my brother was in torment with his relationship, my stepdad bolted (literally packed a duffel bag and took off) and left my mom, my mom fell off the wagon something fierce and nearly died so I had to check her into rehab which had so much drama around it I can’t even comprehend it all, and one of my two cats ran away. Add to it the ongoing struggles of infertility, some major stress at work and not being sure how I even feel about my job anymore, and a little pinch of “oh fuck, we have to move in 6 months” and I’ve basically fallen the fuck apart.

Should I focus on the positive? Dismiss the last 6 or so months of depression that threatened to swallow me whole which turned out to be a side affect of my building and soon-to-explode anxiety? Should I detail how fucking hard it is to be a grown up? Should I sit here and re-hash everything? I don’t even know anymore. I miss my fucking cat. I can’t believe that asshole left me. I can’t begin to explain how much I miss that fucker, but I do. So so so so SO much.

I’m constantly torn between being forced to make such hard choices. Why do I have to PAY $30,000 for a baby AND put a down payment on a house? Why can’t it just be one? Will I ever get over this? Do you have any idea how badly I want to put that $30k into frivolous spending? Or to invest it in something other than my uterus? Do you know how badly I want to take a vacation way the fuck away from here? Or quit my job and live off that savings for like half a year and maybe find my dream job? Or send Dean to school with it? But I can’t. I keep trudging along, forcing myself to deal with reality and take care of everyone else.

It should come as no surprise that between my mom’s stunning binge drinking ability and subsequent stepping up to take care of her, the house, her dogs, the bills, and deal with dickhead stepdad, etc. That I got MEGA sick for a whopping six weeks straight. And when I get sick, a depression creeps up over me (which has never made sense to me) and takes me down the rabbit hole. Keep adding it all up. Keep throwing it all on me.

Now add a fiesty husband who decided the roughest moments of this entire kerfuffle were perfect moments for him to vent too and KABOOM! Epic fights! Amazingly we got through them and continue to grow and learn from them, but there are times I wonder if we’re really supposed to be married. I keep wondering if the universe is trying to break us up because holy fuck has it thrown a lot at us. Like A LOT a lot. Like “when is the rain gonna stop because I’m starting to think I should build an ark” a lot. Are we just being tested to see if we’ll survive the storm or are we pushing through all our karmic debt NOW so that when that baby does come along we’ll be out of the storm and stepping into the light? This is as philosophical as I get. The odds are against us in so many ways but we keep pushing. And then I come home and find him folding my laundry and I look at my gentle giant and think “this is the man I love more than life itself” and everything is okay.

And since life isn’t insane enough, let’s add buying a house to the mix. Let’s have a constant conflict over the needs versus wants and force ourselves to make this a 5 year home, not a life home. Guess what? It costs WAY more to rent here than own. How’s that for fucked up? Owning a $250,000 3 bedroom condo costs less than renting a 3 bedroom apartment. And you know what? I can get two-three levels, possibly a garage, maybe a wee back yard, and a LOT more square footage if I buy. So guess what we have to do because we can’t afford to rent? Yup. The biggest frustration is the commuting and how much it costs. However, after weighing out geographical options plus the cost of commute, it actually makes more fiscal sense for us to stay in this pricey area than to move anywhere else. We would literally spend just as much on gas and tolls if we moved out west as we would on a mortgage and wee commute here.

This came to be a revelation because I was looking at houses in Maryland (like a fool) and dreaming big. Then I did the math and the maps and say “oh fucking hell, it will cost us $400 a month in commuting alone. It’s the same as a fucking condo here!” Or if it isn’t the financial cost of the commute, it’s the mental cost. I will lose my mind if I spend 3-4 hours a day just to get to a job I hate. I can’t even fathom that with a rugrat sitting in the backseat. I’d drive off a cliff. Yes, but we’d have a yard and room for a family, and shitty school districts. If I didn’t hate Maryland so much (seriously – tried physically looking at houses there and SOBBED – full on ugly cry – over the prospect of living there so yeah) we could have a fucking palace. But at what cost?

And do I even want a palace? Hell to the fuck no. I want a nice, new, small space with a few amenities that I’ve been living without for oh, 7 years? And my husband could make any rathole look appealing so steering him away from that is hard work. Equally hard? Steering him away from houses out of our price range. I’m starting to think $250,000 is too high, honestly. Stomping on his dreams because I’m the money drill sergeant is SO much fun. In the end he respects me reigning him in, but I always feel like such a dick telling him no.

And seriously, don’t tell me about the cost of living where you live. I already know this area is something like 200% higher than pretty much anywhere else that isnt’ a city. This is fucking suburbia but it’s in the Silicon Valley of the East so a $250,000 condo is considered “a great bargain”. Don’t even ask me about houses.

So its no wonder that my heart rate started going up up UP and my sanity was slipping farther and farther away. One bad panic attack may have put me in the hospital, but it became a choice of shoving the baby off longer or not so I kept picking the baby over medicinal help. Things got worse and worse and I knew I was on the edge of falling apart. I kept covering it up on the outside but on the inside it was a daily spiral and lose of control. Inside my head it was a non-stop roller coast of this kind of thought process: “We could pursue a house and I could get through my currently hell-on-earth job and during this I could force myself to lose weight and jump into IVF. But wait, I am scared shitless of IVF and afraid my husband will leave me if I can’t give him a child soon and hey, here’s some grandparent pressure to add to it and okay, I can do this. I can keep pushing through it all and just force myself to smile despite this growing panic in my chest. I have to choose IVF over Xanax. I have to give everyone this baby they want, mevermind the fact that I’m falling apart and this would be a dangerous body to grow a baby in right now. I can’t do IVF on Xanax because it has terrible affects on the fetal units so I’ll just keep pushing, but oh my God, my heart is going to explode soon and I can’t calm down and nothing is working and and and and and…”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

This is when I had my meltdown. A big meltdown. A “why do I do this to myself?” meltdown of epic proportion. I finally chose Xanax. I say “chose” but the reality is I was on the floor crying and my husband and my mother kind shoved me in that direction. Still, it was MY decision to make the appointment.

There’s no way I can do anything anymore without help. The irony being that just having the prescription in hand made my heart rate go down because I knew I had emergency aid at my disposal. But now it was doubled in dosage and wow just that shit WORK! After a week of taking them daily, I slowed it down to 1/2 a day, and now I’m down to “as needed” so it’s been about 3 days since the last one.

There’s also this very real reality that there’s no way I can gestate a human being under this stress. And don’t tell my mom this, but I kind of want to be alone doing this. I want to have my own spot on this planet so I can go through IVF in peace and come home to MY family and MY house. I love my mom, but it’s my turn to have my life. So when I made the decision to go back on Xanax, it gave me a chance to focus on this little dream of owning a home and setting up shop for a wee bundle of joy. The pressure is off.

And so begins the next great adventure in my life: buying a house and building my nest. OY the fuck VEY.