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So, we had our first housing panic today.

A house came on the market that seems just about perfect. It’s slightly above budget (but by the same dollar amount we’re over here so not a deal breaker) and there are no parks or playgrounds within walking distance (biking or driving, though). It’s really too early to snag a house, but if it’s perfect…

So we figured it couldn’t hurt to have our agent talk to the owner to see if he’d be willing to hold it for us in order to lock down a guaranteed 3-year military lease. He was intrigued by the lease length but hasn’t answered if he’d hold it yet. (According to the MLS it’s been on the market for awhile so we hoped there’s a good chance he would hold it just a bit longer for the guaranteed lease.)

We can’t imagine getting it done this quickly but wouldn’t it be nice? A bird in the hand and all that…but how can we tell the areas without even looking? There are just so many possible cities and neighborhoods that it’s hard to even start researching to narrow it down. We lucked into the house we are in now—with a community pool and playground around the corner—but we weren’t looking for those things! Now that we want to look for that stuff…it’s hard. We have a great agent, but she can only do so much. We Google each address and see what’s around via Google earth but that’s amazingly time-consuming.

We are totally willing to get the perfect house early (even though the extra rent would come straight out of our savings) but we also don’t want to jump the gun and take the first house we see that we like if it’s not perfect. House hunting three years ago in DC really messed with our preconceptions so we are now paranoid (back then we had a Top 10 List and by the time we had driven the five hours from Jacksonville to DC like six of them were gone!). If we knew what city (at least) we wanted to be in that would cut down our prospects, but we also don’t want to eliminate a perfect house if it’s in our third-ranked city. If it comes down to it and we are seriously considering it, Tom would fly out so it wouldn’t be sight unseen…but if we ended up passing on it, then we’ve wasted a trip unless he stays for some extra time and house hunts on his own.

We ended up telling our agent that we weren’t quite ready to fill out an application (it’s $70 a pop for each rental so it’s not like we want to do a bunch of them!) but that was a panicky 15 minutes while we were considering it.

I hate this part.

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Owen’s Special Letter

The second day of Owen’s “Me Museum” week was a sealed letter written by someone else about his special qualities. This is the letter I wrote.

Owen has many special qualities and continues to amaze us with his abilities.

Owen didn’t really start talking until age 3, but once he did, he never stopped! We were worried about him learning how to read, when one day he came home from Pre-K and just picked up a book and started reading it to me! He still impresses me with all the words he knows!

He got his first Lego mini-figure at age 3 and has never looked back. He can follow directions on sets above his age level and then tears them apart and builds his own super cool creations. He is our own Master Builder.

Owen has always been super nice and polite and makes friends very easily. Friends, family, teachers, and even strangers comment on how sweet and polite he is.

He is the best big brother to his little sister—he plays with her, gives her piggy-back rides, reads her books, helps get her breakfast, and makes her laugh.

He is very loving with all of our pets. He takes good care of our dog and gives cuddles to the cats.

Owen is good at swimming, baseball, and soccer. He is a Shark 2—the highest level of swimming (and I know he could beat me in a race). He always gives 100% at every lesson, practice, or game. During his first soccer season, his coach gave him the “most improved player” award.

Owen is a great kid and we couldn’t be prouder to have him as our son.

Love,
Mom

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This sums up my feelings on the election entirely.

I debated writing anything and just letting this pass but I feel like I have to say something, even it’s just for me.

Where to start?

I don’t do politics. I don’t understand most of it (never have, never had any desire to—and still don’t LOL) so consequently never talk about it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate it, but I lean strongly that direction. I know the general climate of what’s going on—things just happen and life goes on. Status quo. That said, I do try to vote in major elections, but I don’t think I’ve voted in every presidential election that I’ve been able to.

So this last election has been a real eye-opener. Without going into detail (because, remember, I don’t do politics and hate talking about it even more), I will just say that this past election has been an unbelievable disappointment for me and most of my friends. And, truthfully, it’s been an even bigger shock to learn who has voted opposite me. It shouldn’t matter because it’s never mattered…but it’s different this time. You have to admit that.

I feel like my safe little world is turning upside down and inside out and being destroyed piece by piece and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Everywhere you turn every minute of the day there’s something disheartening happening. I have read more political news in the past month than I have my entire life. I am not an activist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been a bit more politically vocal by posting (or reposting) news articles on Facebook. I was invited to the Women’s March but that’s just not my thing—you all know how much I hate crowds and people and going into DC (though I honestly have had a few regrets).

I try to remember that the people I know who did vote for him are intelligent people who thought he could achieve some type of good. And while we haven’t seen any of that yet, there is still a slight chance of it happening. Truth be told, I am not terribly hopeful after the first nightmarish week, but there is a sliver there. And this post I ran across on Facebook pretty much sums up everything I’m feeling.

As seen originally on Facebook.

So my fingers are crossed we don’t crash.

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Heading home after an amazing weekend! 

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Getting ready to board!

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Everyone was absolutely wonderful and I look forward to keeping in touch with the new people I met! And where do I start with Marcia? She is so lovely and warm and gracious and generous that I feel so extremely privileged to have met her and been able to spend the weekend with her. I will never forget this weekend!

On my way…

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Food discussion

So, of course I posted all about Owen’s issues and our new decision on a forum with some friends. I love the input I get—often things I’d never have thought of. They gave lots of advice—some things we’ve already tried and some things we just don’t want to do (mainly, let him make a bowl of cereal or a sandwich—himself—if he doesn’t like dinner). We don’t want to let him do that because then he’d just eat cereal or a PB&J every night. And we’re trying to get him to EXPAND his food choices.

The mom guilt part of me agrees that if he wants to make a sandwich he should be able to do that because it’s just food…and if HE makes it, at least I’m not…but the other part of me wants to be a hardass because I’m just SOOOOOO sick of it and dammit, he can eat what’s on the table or go hungry. Yes, I’ve literally reached that point. (All the years of the same issues over and over and over have hardened me a bit, I admit.) I mean, he managed to survive pre-k lunches not liking anything but obviously eating enough to not be hungry so why can’t he do that at home? Also, he’s not always going to be able to make a PB&J or grab cereal—if we’re out or at someone’s house, he needs to eat what’s given (not that it’s a terribly common event).

I just don’t know. Just when I think we’ve come up with our solution, someone else makes a point that changes our minds.

Oh, and to make matters more complicated, it’s also a possibility he could have some sensory processing issues. Sigh. His autism diagnosis has long been retracted, but the doc never did any type of food/texture testing, and I’m struggling to remember if we even answered any questions about it. At the time, we may have just thought he was still just young and being normal-kid-type picky and we were concentrating more on the other areas.

So of course if I pick the hardass route, we’ll likely find out he does have a sensory issue and then I’ll be wracked with mom guilt. But if we go the non-hardass route, we might never even know.

So in the next week I’ll be calling his pediatrician to see what we can get figured out. And in the meantime we’ll see how it goes. 

Blurg.

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How quickly I feel a 180.

Ever since Katie got healthy, she’s been a complete pill. Whining and crying about every. stupid. thing. Like daddy was in the garage. Or I wouldn’t carry her to the table to eat. Or her sock/shoe/marker/toy wouldn’t work. Or she wanted her iPad but she couldn’t reach it. And it wasn’t her normal 30-second-and-over-it tantrum, but on and on and on and on and on and on and on. 

Today she wouldn’t stop crying about stupid shit so I just put her in her room every time she wouldn’t stop crying because I wasn’t going to listen to it (so she could cry, but not bother us). I think I did it three times. Tom would bring her back down when she stopped crying, and I wouldn’t even say or do anything and she’d be crying within minutes. For no good reason. It didn’t take long before I was at my limit. 

It was amazing how quickly I went from fearing for her life (i.e. being paranoid about her fever) to being annoyed by her very presence. 

Isn’t parenthood fun?