Archive | February 2011

The Housing Market disappoints.

 Two years ago, I convinced my husband that it was time to buy our first house. I grew up with a family that took great pride in their homes and the real estate that they invested their hard-earned money. My mother and aunt were also real estate agents for many years, and my childhood was filled with open houses and caravans. It is something that is simply ingrained in me, and I really have a great interest in the real estate market. So, my mother and I started searching for a fantastic repo for our first home. My husband had very little interest in the actual search, he had a few requirements, but those soon fell by the waist side.

After a very long search, looking at over a hundred houses, I almost wanted to give up. Every time we would find the perfect house and make an offer, someone else got there first. Finally, we found our home. It was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home with a big back yard for $65,000. At the time, this seemed like a steal. A few months ago, I was disheartened to learn that the much larger house across the street from us went for $52,000. Timing is everything though, and when that house went on the market, my ex and I were already separated so it was all irrelevant anyway.

The housing market seems to be getting worse and worse. We all know the economy is terrible, so it is no surprise that the market looks like it is only going to get worse. If you are from California, like myself, you know that the town of Santa Cruz is a very nice town. The town is known for being relatively upper middle class. After looking at the Hammond Real Estate Report, it is clear that even the loveliest of towns seem to be affected in the market slump. In the city of Laguna Niguel the houses are expensive to begin with. Considering the location of Orange County, the prices aren’t nearly as steep and surrounding cities. The cost of homes, and the amount of homes being sold are continually decreasing.

The market is not terrible for every town. The lovely little hamlet of Redlands, California is doing just fine. I have a special place in my heart for Redlands because I went to college there. I am also a big fan on their beautiful late 19th century homes. The market seems to be doing better in this small town.

There is a bit of annoyance that creeps into my mind every time I see a much more spacious and appropriate houses for my family that also happens to be significantly cheaper than my current mortgage. I also understand that real estate is always a bit of a rollercoaster. Although my home is worth a lot less than I paid for it, merely two years later, one day it could potentially be worth more. I sure hope so.

When your friends don’t get that you can’t just go out.

When you are in your twenties and have children, everything changes. I am sure people who wait to have children in their thirties and forties have problems, but perhaps not the same ones. I became a mother at the tender age of 24, and the first of my friends to enter into parenthood. Since I am the only one to have children, I feel like I am a bit of a bummer sometimes. When my friends from college visit, it seems like I have become a boring old mom who only talks about diaper brands and the milestones that my kids are reaching. What happened to the witty, sparkling, and daring 21-year-old that would drink whisky out of a blender and walk down the dorm hallway without a shirt? Well, apparently she became an adult and, more importantly, she became a mother.

Personally, I am perfectly content with the fact that I don’t do the same immature things I did when I was in college. It gets kind of sad when you reach a certain age and are still partaking in the same jackass-ery. I am also thrilled to have two, in my opinion, amazing children. Everyday is satisfying and fulfilling, and I never regret having my little bugs. That being said, I do have that guilt every once in a while. The guilt basically consists of spending time with friends but not being the same person that I used to be. The funny thing about all of this is that I know my friends adore my children. They may not be ready for their own yet, but they think it is great that I have mine.

One of my friends does have a child. A few years ago he was dating a former girlfriend of mine and got her pregnant. They decided to get an abortion, and shortly after he broke up with her. The guy went to Afghanistan( he’s in the military) for seven months and right before he returned, I discovered that girl had a baby. For nine months, this girl faked an abortion and hid a pregnancy. She had no intention of telling him, and yet, complained to everyone that he was a deadbeat dad. She is one crazy bitch, I know. Well, anyway, the point is that he has a son. He just turned two and he sees him for a few hours each weekend. But this is the guy who doesn’t understand that my kids are my priority. On a regular basis, he asks me to go out. Go to a movie, or have a few drinks at the bar. Go out-of-town for a shopping day. Basically a variety of things that would require me to get a babysitter. But hopefully some day in the future, not too distant, everything will be different. I can’t wait until I can go out guilt free.

First trip to mommy and me

The whole mommy and me class is something that we all hear about. Perhaps it is because I was born in 1985 and there were many films, televisions shows and real life parents that discussed the importance of such a class. When I discovered that my town also had this class, I was excited and also slightly disheartened that they have changed the class to the more politically correct, “Mommy, Daddy and me”, are they freaking kidding? can’t we have anything for ourselves? Let’s be honest, how many men would really attend such a class? unless the class is located in a more progressive city like San Fransisco. My current hatred for men aside, I attended the class.

I have wanted to join the class since my son was a few months old, but for some reason it took me a really long time to actually go. I guess I just assumed that he may enjoy the class now, at seventeen months, more than before. Well he did love the class.

It was a weird time to attend for the first time because they were having a valentine’s day party. There was little organization, and it was a bit alienating for us newbies who were unaware of a potluck or valentines that were expected from the mothers. It was interesting to see a former classmate that I had not seen in 6 years, who was now the mother of three children aged 5, 3 and 18 months. I didn’t even know she had any children.

My son is a really sweet and loving child. He loves to give people hugs and kisses and he just wants to be friends with everyone. Unfortunately, most children do not seem to be the same way, at least not this group of children. My son attempted to make friends with a group of girls, one of which pushed him by his head. The other girl just looked at me and said, “can you get him away? I hate little babies”. Little bitches.

Overall, I found mommy and me to be mildly entertaining but mostly upsetting due to how my son is just too sweet for those punks. But he also had such a great time and was blissfully unaware of the negativity. This is why I will return.

For the record, there were over twenty mommies in attendence and not a single daddy.

The irony of writing a blog about motherhood.

   When you have children, it becomes impossible to get anything done. A shower is a luxury that you never really appreciated. When one of my parents comes over, I ask if they would mind watching the kids while I jump in the shower. That shower is like a weekend at the spa. Hot water blasts over my head muffling my ears from any potentially crying children. Even taking a long pee is a moment to myself that I cherish, assuming my son doesn’t burst through the door.

     This week, I had an optometry appointment. The doctor was a good hour away so a friend, who was in town visiting, came along for the ride. My kids stayed home with their grandfather. After the appointment, I decided to make a quick shopping trip to Target. Once again, that four-hour period that most people wouldn’t even think about became some sort of moratorium for mommyhood. The trip wasn’t all that spectacular. I marveled at what I wanted to buy, but only for a moment before realizing that I am broke. I bought diapers for my daughter and a puzzle for my son. Even when mommy is taking time for herself, she can still only think of her kids.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love my children more than I could have ever imagined but sometimes I miss having time for myself. I haven’t been blogging much lately because my son is obsessed with the computer, so if he sees mommy on the computer, he screams and cries until he can play with it. I constantly wonder how mothers who work from home and depend on putting food on the table through that income, are they even able to get any work done. What is the secret to getting your child disinterested in that marvelous glowing monitor?

Well, my 3 week old daughter is quietly exploring the room, and my 17 month old son has fallen asleep under the very desk that I am currently writing at. These are one of those moments where I am experiencing one of my mini-vacations, while also typing frantically before one of them brings me back into reality.