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”).



Filed under Charm City Kim Creates

9 responses to “Charm City No More

  1. WOW – lots of changes! I’m sure it will be a difficult… er, I mean *interesting* … transition, but you definitely seem to be going into it with the right attitude (and hey, maybe ripping down ugly wallpaper can be cathartic?) – and I am sure your mom/family appreciate that!

    And I like “Just Kim” as a name… Sorry, no other suggestions from over here.

  2. Sending lots of smooth moving vibes your way. Big changes, but it sounds like it’s for the best. I’ll see if I can brainstorm other names, but Just Kim isn’t bad at all.

  3. Operation Pink Herring

    What a tough decision. For the many reasons you listed, it sounds like the right one… but it can still be hard to do something that isn’t really what you’d wanted to do. I hoppe the renovations will make it into just the kind of home you were hoping to find. And I love home improvement posts, so bring ’em on!

  4. Oh, Kim, I am just catching up on your posts. I am SO sorry for your loss of your Dad. No one who hasn’t lost a parent can possibly understand. I just lost mine a week before Christmas. If there is anything you need – a shoulder, an ear, someone who understands, please let me know. I miss my Dad every day, and I keep wanting to call him for advice, but he’s not there. My heart is with you and your family.

  5. Robert Bolton

    You and Jeremy certainly seem to have a full plate. Your children will have a nice yard, and perhaps future neighborhood friends. Make sure you have working smoke/CO detectors on all floors, everywhere they are required; interconnected if possible.

  6. Kelly

    Good luck with the move. Maybe you can fix your childhood home up, the economy will get awesome and you can sell it and purchase your dream home.

  7. monsterawr

    I’m thinking “Captain Kickass.” It’s descriptive and alliterate! (Though “Just Kim” is cute, too.)

    And I have to say, you’re a stronger woman than I. The thought of moving back into my childhood home, even as an adult taking over the house, makes me want to eat glass covered in American cheese.

  8. Wow that is a lot of shit you’re dealing with! I’m sorry it’s not an entirely happy move you’re making, but it sounds like the right one. Your kids will get to grow up in the home you grew up in, at least as long as you stay there, which is charming! I’m doing a lot of home reno stuff too, so I’ll enjoy reading all about yours.

  9. I had a feeling that was the announcement that was coming. I think it’s a brave and wonderful and tough thing to take on. I know you can do it and I can’t wait to see some before-and-afters!
    For what it’s worth, I still think your name could fit–it’s part of your identity!

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