I Feel Stretched Too Thin

I know, I am being horribly neglectful to the blog. But apparently, according to my therapist, I am being horribly neglectful to myself. I just don’t have enough time for everything everybody expects me to do.

Typical to-do list, going directly from one thing to the next:

  • Wake up and feed the toddler
  • Teach a couple of classes via the satellite program I work for
  • Commute to work
  • Teach classes at school
  • Work on tech during my lunch and conference
  • Commute home
  • Make dinner
  • Feed toddler
  • Clean kitchen/play with toddler
  • Get her ready for bed

When I get up at 5 and she isn’t asleep until 8, I often don’t get 30 minutes to sit down and do nothing until 8:30.

And she wants to know why I don’t go out and do something for myself.

When? In that magical two hour break that only exists in my imagination? I didn’t realize I could transfer that to real time.

In the evening when the baby is asleep? Most places are closed then. Plus, I get up at 5 so I want to sleep. Or maybe take a quick shower if I am feeling fancy.

Trust me, I would love to just sit and do nothing. Take a bath. Zone out and watch a movie. Get a pedicure.

But this work schedule sucks. It is a vampire stealing everything.

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We Are Down with the Sickness

You might even say it has Disturbed our home life. Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah.

All music puns aside, it has not been fun.

The baby is still too young for medicine. Plus, her body woke her up 30 minutes earlier than she normally would get up… but since it was Daylight Savings… It was a very early morning here.

My fever hasn’t broke yet, so I am alternating between chills and sweats. It doesn’t look like either of them have a fever yet, but their sniffles have turned into really gross coughs, which I am starting to get too.

All in all, yucky stuff.

So, not a long post today. Trying to snuggle the baby to help her feel better. I really hate when she is sick because I just want to help her but can’t. If the best I can do for now is cuddles and reading, so be it.

The Weather Wanted to Redecorate

We knew it was going to rain last night. And it did. Hard. We ended up cancelling our trick-or-treating plans. Next year will be her first time going out.

But the rain never let up.

The lightning began around 7:30PM. Our first emergency broadcast went off at 8, and we had another 30 minutes later.

The thunderstorm was so hard it actually woke the baby up around 10PM. It took awhile for her to get back to sleep. She sometimes gets scared during storms, so we snuggled until she fell back asleep.

Around midnight there was a loud crash against our house.

Thankfully, the baby cried a bit but went back to sleep. My husband and I went to look at what it was.

IMG_5602

Hmmm. That patio set isn’t ours!

The umbrella is huge and was open. It is what caused all the noise when it hit our house.

I am glad it didn’t break through our glass door right there. Luckily it hit about three feet away from the door, so on the wall instead. But this is a big metal umbrella. And from who knows where!

Honestly, we have no clue whose it is. Nobody lives in the house next to us on that side, so it didn’t come from that yard.

This morning we put it out on the curb. Hopefully the owner will look for it and find it.

And hopefully the weather will calm down a bit. We don’t want to fly to Oz!

I Don’t Know Where to Start

As mentioned in my last post, I have been having a terrible time lately.

My work is really triggering me in so many ways. It is clear that I need to get out of that toxic environment.

But I have no clue where to look.

I have been checking other district sites on the off chance that they need a teacher with my certification, but I am not putting much stock into that:

  • It is still so early into the school year. The only people who would have left by now, quit… and why would they quit if the school was great?
  • Jumping into a new district without the inservice days that let me at least learn a few people’s names would just increase my feelings of isolation.
  • I am not sure I want to stay in education.

Ever since the Santa Fe shooting, I have been growing more and more aware of this dark cloud in me saying “Get out. Now.”

Maybe this is my chance?

But I don’t know how to look elsewhere. My degree, certifications, and work experience limit my choices. A few friends suggested non-profits and inter-corporate training positions. I have no clue how to get into those fields. Would I have the skills needed?

The biggest question, though, is would I be able to afford starting all over.

When we had been looking at houses, we looked at our financials seriously to see what we could feasibly afford. While this didn’t end in a house, it did end with me knowing a very accurate amount that I need to earn per month for us to still be OK.

(Side note: I felt bad when friends would suggest I just quit and focus on my mental health and finding a job while away from my current toxic workplace, because despite me feeling that it is what would truly be best for me, it is completely impossible.)

Jumping into an entirely new industry where I have no experience would put me at entry-level, low paying positions. Not that teachers make a ton (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) or anything like that, but if I had to take a second job doing remote tutoring with the pay cut I took for this job, can you imagine what would happen with the pay cut that would come with me being entry level in a new field?

I don’t want that to be the reason I am trapped, but it looks like it might be.

It was suggested that I contact a recruiter. I am going to look into that. They would be able to tell me if I am wasting my time by searching for this magical position.

The Wall Collapsed

Pouring rain woke us up. And then…

CRASH.

The wall collapsed. The wall we have been trying to get our landlord to fix since it started cracking during Harvey last year.

There are bricks all over. We actually can’t get out right now. My husband went out the side door to try to move all the piles of bricks.

HARVEY NEVER ENDS.

It Is the Anniversary of Harvey

It began to pour this morning and I felt my heart skip several beats.

Oh no. Not this. Not again.

After about 30 minutes, it tapered off to a steady sprinkle and I felt a huge sigh of relief escape me.

At this time last year, we were in the midst of Hurricane Harvey. Even thinking about it now is really hard for me. I do not want to go into details, because I still am terrified of all that happened. I was a mess during it for multiple reasons, but here is a very brief summary:

  • I am terrified of drowning
  • My daughter was only 5 months old and clearly couldn’t swim
  • We have two cats
  • We had water in our house

 

Obviously we are alive. But that is not one of those things that you just forget. As it had been getting closer and closer, so many TV channels were airing things called “Remembering Harvey” and “Recovery: 1 Year Later”, etc. Don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten.

One of my friends was rescued off of her roof with her two little children. Another was on the third floor of her apartment building, on her balcony, and jumped into a boat. Another was rescued from her attic. I have friends whose houses were completely destroyed with no chance for repair. Others, like us, who were able to get the major problems taken care of and were only displaced temporarily.

Things start to become your “new normal”. But then all of these shows pop up in case you forgot. We hadn’t, but suddenly our traumatic experiences are becoming entertainment. We aren’t watching these shows because we still vividly remember it. I don’t need to see the pictures of the flooded streets. I distinctly remember the water on the cars on our own street.

So it gets you even more amped up.

“What if it happens again? They said it was a hundred-year-storm, but what if this is the start of a new hundred years?”

Trust me, we bought extra things for our “Hurricane Kit” this year! Things we, hopefully, won’t need. Things like toddler flotation devices, a tent in case we need to camp out on our roof. We are honestly debating buying some kind of kayak or something.

This time last year was a series of panic attacks for me, one directly after the other. I am indirectly reliving everything and feeling like I may have some again, second-hand almost. Just the constant memory and reminders is anxiety inducing.

I used to love the sound of the rain. Now I cannot stand it and it speeds up my heart.

We Are Trying to Buy a House

We have rented the house we currently live in for two years. It really is a nice house, but not a “permanent” home for us. We used to think it could be and hoped that maybe the landlords would eventually sell it to us. They said they were not looking to sell. But there have been more and more issues with the house lately.

A few days ago, our landlord did ask us what our offer would be so he could consider it. He had recently been looking at repairing a huge problem on the house. So this made me think “Aha! That problem is quite costly and difficult to deal with and he may consider selling to not have to deal with it.” He didn’t say this, of course, but the timing was obvious. We looked at comparable houses in the neighborhood and in similar condition in terms to needs of repairing and more. We told him what we would offer. We figured he didn’t realize we knew the actual value of the home and was hoping we would be willing to offer more. He has yet to respond. That proved it to us. Since we didn’t offer more, he isn’t willing to deal with it.

Yeah. Sorry, buddy. We know what the neighborhood goes for on homes that don’t need repair. But that isn’t this house. We are way more than aware that foundation issues in a house ain’t cheap. We know about the issues with the deck that you still haven’t fixed despite it being a year since Hurricane Harvey. Remember? We were the ones living here during that. We know where the wall busted in and had a hole from outdoors to inside and caused us to get mold. We know where the ceiling has an issue. This house will be costly to fix.

Why do we know all this? Because we have been working with a realtor over the past month and are looking at homes to buy. Our landlord is not aware of this.

We had, actually, put an offer in on a home in the neighborhood. It was a good price and in good condition. It was accepted and we were so excited. Until the inspection happened. We thought it would go great. After all, the sellers were living in the house still. When we looked at it before we made our offer, their dog was there!

Let’s just say there were major problems.

  • Previous foundation repairs that they denied
  • Faulty wiring throughout
  • Rotten wood in areas
  • Breaker box issues
  • The water pipes were completely rusted through in the back of the house and you could not get any water in the master bathroom

We countered with an addendum asking for certain repairs (note: not all) or price decrease. They countered back with the slightest decrease ever (we are talking $2000) and a snippy letter stating that “You have to understand that the house was not built in the last 10 years. We refuse to do any repairs on these items since they are non-essential.”

Oh. I hadn’t realized that water was non-essential. Silly me!

Turns out, the sellers weren’t actually living in the house anymore. They had just left some stuff to make it appear that they were. A facade to make naive buyers go “oh, well, if they were living without water in that bathroom, it can’t be that bad! We can fix it eventually.”

I have a toddler. She takes baths. We need water.

How do I know they weren’t actually living in the house anymore? Sleuthing, my dear Doctor Watson! While the inspection was going on and he was making all of his notes, I was walking around and planning where I would put all of our furniture. I couldn’t help but notice some odd things.

  • 5 out of 6 dining room chairs were broken and couldn’t support more weight than a purse.
  • The oven was so new that it had never been used. You could tell this by the signs inside from the manufacturer.
  • In the master closet, there were weird clothing items. Like a bunch of shoes, but not all of them had matches. Winter coats and nothing else, which would make your outfits ridiculous in the 100 degree weather we constantly have.
  • The dresser was completely empty, so they clearly were not getting dressed here.
  • No towels, but they had half a bar of soap in the guest bath to make it look like someone was showering there.
  • No TVs, computers, coffee machines, electronics of any kind.
  • Canned goods in the pantry and soda in the fridge, but no perishable food. And no dishes, cups, pots, pans, utensils.

They must have been stopping by once a week to slightly tweak things to make it look “lived in” and brought their dog over right before any showing to give that same impression.

Incredibly sneaky in a clever, manipulative way.

We backed out of the house.

It still hasn’t sold.

I wonder why?

We had almost put an offer in on another house, but were told someone beat us to it. They said we could try to outbid them, if we wanted. We did not. Hence, we went for the “Facade House”.

But this other house was still showing up in our online portal as for sale. We contacted our realtor, who contacted the sellers’ agent. Apparently the buyers had backed out before the inspection for other reasons. They had received an offer that day, but had showings scheduled this weekend, so were going to wait to look at all offers until the start of next week.

We decided to put in an offer today.

Now let me just say, we have no intent of getting into a bidding war. We do not actually believe there was another offer. We think this might be a selling tactic to try to prevent us from submitting below asking price. “If they offered more, we won’t get the house!” Which is an actual thing that happens. But for it to happen literally the day we were shown the house (and told about it 20 minutes after we finished the showing) and then again the day we inquired as to its new status? It is perfectly possible it is true, but unlikely.

I guess we will find out?

I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, just in case. Lesson learned from the last one, I suppose. I was literally taking video in the rooms of the “Facade House” where I would pan the room and say what I thought could go where. And then the inspector talked to me. And all the air in my balloon of excited-soon-to-be-homeowner-ness seeped out. I really thought they might consider doing the few repairs we requested. You know, the water pipes? Because even if they decided they didn’t like us for finding out their rusted secret, they weren’t going to be able to sell this house at a “move in ready” price with that issue. Each new buyer was going to find out the same information and request a similar addendum.

I deleted the videos.

It was really rough for a bit, because I had been so excited about moving. We would have been near our closing date right now. Packing everything up. Gearing up to start the autumn off in our new home. Planning the holidays there.

I am trying to stay neutral.

 

 

 

But I really do hope they accept our offer.