Ups and Downs

I can’t decide if I love or hate that so many of my recent posts have fallen into the bullet list format . . .but it feels helpful for organization and also maybe allows you all to skip to the things you are actually interested in?

So, here we go again.


  1. The Mortgage Chronicles (bi-polar feels): So, I have been talking to two different lenders – one of whom gives us a break on some closing costs thanks to an employer sponsored program, the other who is an old lesbian who really really loves working with ‘family.’ They started out giving us pretty vastly different perspectives on loans but, through a process of asking one about the other’s offer and vice versa, it’s narrowed to two very similar but vaguely different possibilities. Ultimately, this is really stressful because I am not super good at discerning these differences or making decisions once the differences are discerned and also, I am going to have to reject one of them and that sucks. What sucks MORE is that the loan program that would really be the BEST for us financially, we cannot qualify for. Despite La not being on the mortgage application, because we are married and file taxes jointly, her student loan debt has to be factored into our debt-to-income ratio at a 1% payment (even though we do not pay 1% of the balance a month; we don’t pay anything, actually – thanks, Income Based Repayment plans!) So, we can’t benefit from her amazing credit, but her debt gets counted? I hate financial shit.
    1. Side note: yes, this is actually how student loan debt is keeping people from accumulating wealth because the only loans that don’t do this kind of shit (where they factor loans at 1% of balance instead of the actual payment being made) are conventional loans, where you need a 10% down payment, which is a lot of fucking money. We have a 10% down payment only because we sold a house that had an FHA loan (where I only needed 3% down – MUCH more reasonable to save!) which means, like all wealth, it snowballs and. . . this whole situation makes me want to RAGE.
  2. Adjunctly, the house buying chronicles: So, now we know what we qualify for and are, in fact, pre-approved by two different lenders. But we can’t now run out and do the fun part of this process – house hunting. At least, not yet. But when? Well . . .I don’t know. You see, our lease ends on July 31st. Thanks to the way mortgages work, we can financially afford to close on a mortgage as early as the mid to end of June – since we wouldn’t have to make the first month’s mortgage payment (“technically” since it’s covered in the cash at closing, but . . .whatever) but we really can’t afford to pay both rent and a mortgage payment. We also cannot get out of our lease at all early, per the very strong language in our lease, even if we were able to find a sub-letter, without losing our deposit and still having to pay rent. Of course, it should be assumed that our asshole landlords would also not allow us to stay past our move-out date without incurring huge fees either, because they are assholes. This is all complicated enough, but what makes it even harder is that the market here is out of control. By which I mean, it’s a brawl to get a house as a buyer, especially in our price range. Buyers are doing ‘pre-inspections,’ waiving appraisals, putting crazy amounts of cash down, or writing multiple offers on different homes and not getting them accepted. Inventory is also at an all time low right now, so there isn’t even a whole lot for us to look at. Trying to straddle these competing priorities is making me feel crazy and anxious. The fact that we have the looming deadline of a baby just a month later just makes it that much more intense.
  3. So, that’s the hard stuff. And it’s definitely hard. But, it’s also minimal (for now, anyway) and I can ignore it for days at a time.
  4. This weekend, The Professor (my BFF from high school) and his family came to visit (they live in PDX) – he has a son just about a month older than A and a daughter who just turned 4. It was loud and intense, but also super fun. It gives me all the warm feels to see my kid and my BFF’s kids playing together, knowing we’ve been friends for 20 years. We went to the aquarium and to an easter egg hunt at another friend’s house. And Ansel slept like shit. And I judged my friend’s parenting, kind of intensely. These two things are, not surprisingly, connected. I am also pretty certain the Professor, or at least his wife, judged our parenting too, which makes me feel slightly less like an asshole. It’s hard, right? Because really, I don’t want to judge people’s parenting. We are all doing the best we can, and every kid is different, and we all have things we do well and things we could do better. But then again, OMGtheyletthe4yearoldstayupuntil1130. What is the middle path here, friends?17880174_10154528828506864_3380130826104212775_o.jpg
  5. On the upside, Ansel definitely benefitted from the exposure in many ways. He picked up quite a few new sentences/phrases. Also, even cuter, he picked up playing with his stuffed toys in pretend/imaginary play and I DIE of adorable when he does it. He’s been doing the pretend stuff for a while, but just with him and sometimes us. Now, he gets Elmo and the Bear and his two sock monkeys (wearing Duke and NC jerseys, because his Aunt and Uncle in North Carolina might have a little rivalry going on that they sucked him into . . .) and Petunia the stuffed bulldog and he puts them places and gets them drinks and makes them dance and puts us in charge of them and it’s really SO CUTE. He has also started saying, “Go away!” to the dogs when he doesn’t want them around. This is less cute. But still kind of cute.
  6. Ansel is also much more demanding about our participation when he plays, or, at least, our observation of his playing while on the floor. Basically, we can no longer sit on the couch or chair without him approaching us both, grabbing a hand, and saying “Play, mama. Mama. Play.” And he has started using many more sentences and words, all of which is really helping assuage my ongoing concern about his language. We can now frequently carry on somewhat real conversations with him – ask him what he wants and get a response, point things out, get his perspective. There’s still a fair amount of interpretation that has to take place, but it’s a relief to feel like he’s really catching up!
  7. He had his 2 year well child appointment, and continue to be in the 50th %ile for weight and height* and the doctor felt like he was meeting the milestones (yes, Andie, even the verbal ones!) so that’s all excellent. He’s 28lbs, which seems impossible when he was barely 6lbs two years ago! Also, after having some serious struggles finding a pediatric practice we like, we are IN LOVE with this one. So in love that we may very well keep driving up to them even after we move south.
  8. I continue to feel exhausted by the awfulness of the world. Of our president firing missiles and deploying war ships and starting fights on twitter; of his advisors denying the holocaust; of the ongoing investigations into wrongdoing that never seem to result in anything actually happening. I’m so worn down and I’m starting to get numb to it in a lot of ways. And that feels scary too.
  9. It’s spring break for most of the school districts around, including the one I mostly work with. I’m not involved enough to get the week off, but my work is enough school related that I have a VERY empty schedule this week. Empty enough that yesterday I played hooky to stay home and do a lot of nothing with my family. It was really, really lovely to drink coffee and stay in PJs and play with my kid and just not be rushed. I’m grateful for the opportunity.
  10. Next week we see Tiny again, for the 20 week ultrasound. The midwife practice that we are at this time around has longer appointments further apart, which means it feels like forever since we had that comforting reassurance of a Doppler scan or other appointment. Next week, we get two – the ultrasound and then an appointment the next day. While it’s nice to have a low risk pregnancy really treated like no big deal, it’s also a little hard to feel connected when there aren’t opportunities to ‘check in’ with our little fetus. L is still only feeling Tiny on occasion, so she is also ready to have some medical confirmation that all is well. Mostly, I still feel somewhat disbelieving that we will have another child in just a few months. Saturday is 20 weeks, and L said she might finally let me take a picture!
  11. Can I get some recommendations on double strollers from all you parents of 2+? We’d ideally like one that isn’t a “double wide” because I already have a lot of feelings about the space strollers take up. Also, any other stuff you feel is a necessary item for baby #2 that we maybe don’t have already?
  12. You all, my mom. Mostly, moving away was such a good idea because I now really enjoy my parents so much more when I talk to them. But there are definitely some ongoing issues. For example: My parents are in the process of moving out of the home I (mostly) grew up in and moving into a new ranch house in the same neighborhood as my brother and SIL. My mom is, therefore, hella stressed out because she maybe has some hoarding tendencies and has amassed a lot of shit + my dad is basically out of commission physically with moving stuff because of his condition + financially things are always up for people with housing stuff + you know, other stuff. Before they made the (somewhat sudden) decision to move, she had mentioned that it would be better for us to come out to Denver rather than them travelling here again, and she offered to pay for our tickets. We are trying to figure out travel back to Indy + travel to Denver + maybe moving before Tiny comes in early September, and so I called to ask if some dates were ok and get the go-ahead for her to pay for the tickets. And she was super fucking weird about the whole thing. Like, she said “ok” but sounded really put out and concerned that we were coming to close to their move date but you know, we can’t exactly book a trip in July when L is 30 something weeks pregnant and also we might be moving with no family or much friend help so June is kind of the only option OK? And we have a long history of things being weird when it comes to money and my mom and it’s just so fucking stressful. I just want this stuff not to be an issue. UGH.
  13. I cannot wait to show Ansel this picture of him playing with a condom balloon when he’s a teenager!17855132_10154521604336864_5002901161705183433_o.jpg



*The asterisk is because technically they measured him in the 25th for height but L feels pretty sure that they measured wrong because he was wiggling around and he seems to be the same proportionally but I guess it’s possible he slipped into the 20th?


9 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. I really liked the sit and stand stroller. It’s not the easiest to maneuver through tight spaces, but it’s nice to let the older kid in and out easier, especially with a kid like ours who really doesn’t like riding much.

  2. We have the CityMini double stroller we bought with The Lord and The Lady and it has been, no joke, our favorite baby gear purchase. It’s ridiculous how smooth and easy it is to push, and the width is designed to fit through a single open door, which it has 100% o the time. It’s also durable as all hell since my kids have tried numerous times to destroy it and it’s still standing. It holds a ton of weight (I can put all four kids in it and still push, turn on a dime) and folds up/closes with a single pull of a cord.

    With all of that said, it’s not cheap. For us, it’s been worth it’s price and then some.

  3. Oops. I totally ignored the rest of this post! I hope the mortgage/house buying process gets a little easier for you guys in the coming months and you find something that’s awesome. We bought our first house in 2015 and our realtor had us write a personal letter to submit with our offer. We totally used our kids to guilt them into giving us the house – we were one of eight offers in a 12 hour period – so just in case no one mentions this to you, do it. Our seller told us flat out his wife caved to our offer because of our letter.

  4. Those pictures! Hilarious! So many balls in the air. I hope that this late summer and early autumn are AMAZING as you are settling into your new house with your new bebe. Eyes on the prize…you’re going to get there!

  5. We bought our house right before the student loan laws changed which is the only thing saving us. We can never move.
    Come visit here and judge my parenting, please.
    Ansel is great. The demand for playing is hard. Gus will ask, “Does anyone want to play with me?” and then you feel like an asshole for not already playing with him.

  6. Dang. I can see why you have been stressed. You have a lot going on. Sometimes I think that its harder to acknowledge from the inside, but believe me when I say that anyone in your situation would be struggling with the amount you have on your plate.
    Having said that, I’m excited for you with the awesome stuff coming up! We, too, recently bought a house and while it was hella stressful in the buying phase, it is soooooo nice to have it now. And! we can begin to think about a second kiddo. Ansel is going to be a great big bro and he and the baby will have their own space and you four are going to love it when it all comes together!
    P.s. I love your blog and am happy to see you write again 🙂

  7. So much, so much. I like your bullet points, read them all, and I should probably do them too.
    I have hated every long double stroller I have tried. They are all horrible to push. Is having a double something you really think you need? In a year when you use a stroller for Tiny more than a carrier, will Ansel still need a stroller as much? A close friend with 2 kids and another on the way has gotten a lot of use out of a wagon for outings. I do like the citymini suggestion. I have a single and it is amazing. My one beef is that it doesn’t have a bar at the bottom that can be great for popping them up onto curbs, though that might just be an issue because I’m short.
    All the house stuff and parent stuff sounds complicated. I feel you on the world events; I’m half tuning it out because I don’t know how to deal with it and my regular life.

  8. Ive so been hoping to see a picture of La pregger so i hope, selfishly, that she lets you. As for double strollers they all have their benefits and such. Ive owned both a side by side and a front back. We currently have the Thule double side by side which we love for the most part, its pretty light, very roomy for storage and has some nice options as well as a hand break and good steering. thing is if your really not going to use it for outdoor activities besides normal walks a jogging stroller isn’t necessary, I see that in hindsight. We had the City Select double stroller too but got rid of it cause we didn’t feel they would grow well with it since the beasts could not be fully reclined. I miss that stroller/ It made more sense in maybe ways than our current one. They are all bulky and heavy unless you get the double umbrella strollers and those are just plain crap. We also have a Britax B-agile singe stiller cause for most things i actually find it easy to wear one and stroll one. the downside to sing strollers and front/back doubles is the lack of bottom carriage room for toddler/baby items plus anything of yours. Thats my advice.

  9. I feel you on the home buying stuff and the mom and financial weirdness stuff. We rent a home that my mom bought for us to live in, and there’s always weirdness around it. And we would love to buy, but homes in our town are going for $100,000 over asking (and over their value). Our city was named the number one city to buy a house in in Canada right now… Bad timing for us wanting to enter the market. Plus I have no income and student loans and yeah, you know what it’s like.
    At least you have the cutest kid ever and a baby on the way to fill your days with love and excitement 😊

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