Monthly Archives: August 2012

Charm City No More

I’ve mentioned in my last few posts that some big changes were happening in the Charm City household. I guess it is about time I start spilling the beans on these so called big changes.

We’re moving. And as the title of this post suggests, we’re moving out of Baltimore City.

I know I said I was ready to move but this move is bittersweet. I wish I could say we found our dream home and some unbelievable price. That is not the case at all. In light of everything that’s happened (you know, my dad dying and all), we’re moving into my mom’s house. This was not an easy decision but it is the right decision for a number of reasons:

(1) it is incredibly difficult to manage my mom’s finances when I’m not with her. She’s like a damn teenager that doesn’t understand the importance of paying bills on time or how to save money. For friends that have been subjected to my bitch fest phone calls, you know how stressful this has been for me. My parents weren’t the most fiscally responsible people so just to stay on top of some of these things has been a nightmare.

(2) my mom is having a really hard time living alone. She’s painfully lonely. She was with my dad for 42 years. So for 42 years she hasn’t been alone and being in the home she shared with my dad for 27 years is painful for her. She initially asked if she could live with us but our house is a shoebox. It just made sense to move into her house.

(3) we always knew that at some point my mom would be living with us. It was clear she’d outlive my dad and wasn’t capable of caring for herself. We always planned on finding a house with an “in-law” suite. The timing of my dad’s death just happened to fall during a time where we couldn’t really afford to move into a desirable house with an in-law suite.

(4) my mom needs some financial help. While we aren’t taking over all of her payments (car, car insurance, etc.) – we’ll be taking over some of the smaller basic items like phone, cable, internet, gas & electric.

Since we are moving into my childhood home, there are quite a few changes that need to happen to the home. My parents hadn’t really updated the house for 20 years. They did some minor updates in the early 90s and then recently had their kitchen “redone” (I put this in quotes because the person they hired to do the work did a HORRIFIC job that we’ll be redoing).

So, since I didn’t want this to be just the death blog, pregnancy blog or mommy blog… I’ll be adding home improvement to the list of things I’ll be blogging about. While I really am not looking forward to living in my childhood home, I am somewhat excited to update this house since there are design choices that have driven me crazy for a number of years.

We’ve been spending all of our free time trying to clean out my mom’s house and prep it for renovations. Last week I had the bright idea of trying to take down the wallpaper in my parents’ old bedroom.

Taking down wallpaper

While we have declared that we’ll never paint again (we’ll always pay a pro – it isn’t worth the headache of painting something ourselves anymore), I really wanted to figure out where we could save some money so I suggested we try taking down the wallpaper ourselves. I could tell that this particular wallpaper wouldn’t be terribly difficult to remove (and I was right) but it was still a pain in the ass. I’m not sure if you can tell, but my parents wallpapered IN THEIR CLOSET. Who does that?! It took us ALL DAY to peel down this wallpaper despite most of it coming down in sheets (there were a few sticky areas that required scoring and scraping). We didn’t even pull it out completely in the closets because it would require us to take down the closet shelves, rods and doors.

This will be my life over the next month or so before we do the big move. Expect lots of pictures. I love good before and after pictures.

And since I won’t be living in Charm City – I’m thinking about changing this blog name to something else. I can’t think of anything great though. I had one name but it is taken in WordPress so I’m kind of stuck. Any ideas? (and in case you’re wondering of my blog name, I was thinking “Just Kim” since that is my name and I often have to say “It is just Kim, not Kimberly”).

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Pregnancy #2 and the Guilt that Comes with It

I think it comes as no surprise that I feel guilty about stuff. I’m easily guilted into things and just feel guilty ALL OF THE TIME. I think my mom has done a real bang-up job on hammering the whole guilt thing into me (despite how mean people think I can be to her).

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt lately around caring for my mom, not making more of my last few months wtih my dad (because, really, who knew he was going to die?) and now? Now I feel guilty about having another baby.

I want another child. I’ve wanted this since AM was a few months old. I wanted her to have a sibling somewhat close in age so that she’d always have someone to play with. She’d always have someone who can relate to her when she complains about her horribly embarrassing parents. And especially, she’d have someone to help her manage her ailing parents when we’re too old to care for ourselves (or when I inevitably get Alzheimer’s or cancer as I’m predicting will happen to me).

I found out I was pregnant in mid May. I spent the first 2 weeks in shock. I wanted it but I guess I just wasn’t anticipating that it would happen for a few more months. Then I went into a fury about MOVING. We had to move. We had no space in our house. So for a few weeks, I obsessed over real estate. And then, my dad died. And I sort of spiraled into this feeling of hopelessness. My dreams of moving to the ideal suburban area was crushed and I was now faced with caring for a 67 year old woman who was grieving.

And then just like that, I was nearly half way through this pregnancy.

Guys. I am nearly (and I’m talking just days away) from being officially halfway through my pregnancy.

I feel guilty that I should be making more out of the time we have left as a family of 3. We should be soaking up every moment of having just 1 child (and her experiencing the joys of being an only child).

I feel guilty that when the new baby arrives, AM will not longer have my undivided attention. My attention is now divided and will always be going forward.

I feel guilty that I may miss some wonderful things AM says and does because my attention is now spread.

Did we rush this? Should we have waited until she was a little older?

Sometimes I look at AM and I get a little teary-eyed. She is my baby. Even when she’s throwing an epic temper tantrum (like she did last week at the mall complete with flailing around on the ground), I still look at her as my one and only. How will this dynamic change with another child?

So yeah. Lots of mom guilt going on right now.

And even worse? I still can’t devote making the most out of having just 1 child. Our free time now is devoted to helping my mom, cleaning out her house, etc. We’re always so busy now. And my heart breaks a little more each time I realize that this time is moving at warp speed.

Weeee
(not to get all artsy fartsy but I thought the blurriness of this photo perfectly captured how I feel about AM’s rapid growth.)

IMG_20120812_161330.jpg

Every night before I go to bed, I go into AM’s room and look at her sweet sleeping face. I usually put my hand on her chest or back to feel her heartbeat. I realize that this sounds absolutely insane, but I can’t help myself. Those are the minutes I take to soak in my only child. With all of this guilt mounting, I find myself getting choked up when I do this crazy routine. Will this change when I’m balancing 2 kids?

IMG_20120510_211318.jpg

And the other guilt I feel is the guilt over the fact that I feel guilty! Gah! I can’t win. I feel guilty about feeling guilty about pregnancy #2 when there are people I know struggling to conceive AT ALL and here I am with another wee one on the way. Or friends who would love to expand their family but specific circumstances prevent them from doing so right now.

How do some people go through life without feeling guilty over everything?

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Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Catching Up

I know I alluded to lots of changes happening in the Charm City household… and these changes have been keeping me busy. And then coupling that with the fact that daycare has been closed these past 2 weeks, I haven’t had any time to blog.

So this is just a quick catch up for those that may still be checking in.

I actually did a photo dump from our small point and shoot camera the other day and totally forgot that we had pictures from our trip to Washington, D.C. on there. We did a quick tour of D.C. with my aunt who was in town for my dad’s funeral since she’d never been to Maryland or D.C. before. And it was balls hot out that day. Like 100 degrees hot.
Abe Lincoln!

I was worried that AM wouldn’t last but she was a little trooper. Next time though, I’ll hold off on touring cities until it is much cooler.

It is crazy to look back at a photo from just a little over a month ago and realize that (1) AM no longer fits into the shoes she was wearing in the photo and (2) she no longer users the pacifier outside of the house. So many changes. Seriously though – her feet are growing like crazy this summer.

More recently, we visited the Maryland Zoo last week. It is hard to plan this types of outings with AM now since she naps from 12pm – around 3pm every day. We hate disrupting this because her mood definitely is impacted based on whether she had a good nap or not. This means we usually have to split our activities to things in the morning and things in the late afternoon/early evening.

We figured AM would only be into the zoo for like 2 hours anyways and we were so wrong.

She did a lot of this:
Pointing at unknown animals

And this:
Pointing at birds

And some more of this:
Looking at zebras

It was really difficult to pull her away from exhibits. She’d see an animal, point and say something. She would also insist that I hold her up so she could get a better look. And for some reason she was all about ME holding her up this day and not dad.
Looking at turtles

And the ONLY way we could get her to move on to the next area was with the promise of her seeing “more animals”. (She now says “more” and completely understands the concept)

We actually had to trick her into leaving the zoo willingly by saying we were going to go see “more” (we didn’t say animals but she isn’t hip to our word trickery just yet). When we got halfway to the parking lot you could see the instant she realized we were leaving and she had a total meltdown. I think it is safe to say that she likes looking at animals.

We also took her to her 18 month check-up and learning that she’s still measuring in the 90-95% for height and weight (yowza!). Apparently she’s measuring on point with the average height of a 27 month old. That is insane to me. Our pediatrician also made some comment about how we’ll probably end up having 4-6 kids. Um… let’s see how we do with 2 first.

Lastly – I haven’t really been posting stuff on Facebook. I think right around the time my dad died, I didn’t want to share his death as a status update and get inundated with messages of condolences from people with which I don’t keep in close contact. But that also means I haven’t shared my pregnancy news either. I went to a baby shower this past weekend completely forgetting the fact that I haven’t seen many people in awhile and I think it shocked a few folks. It is amazing how much people rely on Facebook for news on friends. (and I totally rely on it to stalk people!)

Do you share big news on Facebook? Do you enjoy “stalking” old friends and acquaintances as much as I do?

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Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds, Charm City Kim Travels

I Can’t Think of a Good Title for this Post

There is so much going on in the Charm City household these days. I really think that there should be some sort of manual that gets handed to you when you lose a close family member. This manual really needs to outline everything you need to do. Navigating these waters hasn’t been easy and it is made all the more difficult with a mother that went from being COMPLETELY (and I really do mean completely) dependent on someone and then losing that someone.

So we’ve had to make a lot of difficult and life changing decisions. I’m not happy with these decisions but I’ve been assured that I’ll be greeted with open arms and some sort of trophy at the pearly gates.

And so that this blog doesn’t become the death blog or the pregnancy blog or even the mom blog completely, I’ll write about something else.

(and I promise I won’t be writing about chicken sandwiches)

I had a conversation with Jeremy the other day about a very controversial boycott/support of a fast food chain. Just for clarification, Jeremy and I are absolutely on the same side when it comes to the core of the controversy. Equal rights!

BUT… the real conversation was around boycotting. Jeremy didn’t really see how it made an impact. I have some friends that, if a particular company does something disagreeable, will no longer patronize the business. Jeremy thinks it seems futile (because how much are some of us really spending at some of these businesses). Maybe he’s right. Maybe not.

For me, I think spending your money is like a form of voting. Whatever you purchase is like you saying, “Yes, I support this.” This is why our grocery bills are so ridiculously high. I am the annoying person that will by organic whenever possible because I feel this is my tiny way of saying to the food market that I want organic food (so please keep stocking it).

I do this with a lot of my purchases. Granted, not every purchase I make is because I’m making some big stand (I buy plenty of crap from companies that I may not know 100% about) but I try to make a conscious effort to invest in things I believe in or support.

And the other day as I was watching Sesame Street, I came to realize just how wonderful Sesame Street is in showing diversity. As a person of mixed ethnicity, I am incredibly sensitive to how Asians are portrayed in the media (if they even get to be seen at all – we’re seriously underrepresented). Sesame Street is amazing at showing people of different ethnicities. There was an episode on “family” in the Elmo’s World segment and it showed various cultural families, single-parent families and same-sex parent families. And because of this, I will 100% support Sesame Street. I will buy their crap. Why? Because it is my way of saying to the children’s television market that I want to see more shows like this.

(I also just love puppets… but not in the creepy way in which it is coming across as I type this)

So while my efforts may be futile, I take comfort in knowing that I am at least investing in things I can support (because I recognize not everyone has the ability to pay for pricier groceries or whatnot and that is totally fine).

And now here are some cute pics of AM…

Annmarie 246
Jeremy was trying to take some pictures of Annmarie but she kept on walking right into the camera lens.

Annmarie 167
Annmarie really digs playing in sprinklers.  We really need to get a yard and sprinkler for her (and yes, that will be coming and yes, I’ll write about it later).

Have a good weekend!

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