Category Archives: Charm City Kim Rambles

Goodbye, Petie

Last week, we did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. We had Petie, our beloved 16 year old dachshund, euthanized. He was diagnosed with a heart murmur (and other heart issues) and a collapsing trachea in the summer of 2011 and had been slowly declining since then.

Prior to our move out of Baltimore, Petie started to have chronic diarrhea (that we couldn’t get a clear diagnosis on). He started to lose weight. He went from a healthy and active 12 lb dog to a frail 8 lb dog that could barely stand because he was so weak. He had cataracts in both eyes (so couldn’t see anything). He just wasn’t Petie anymore.

So on Friday, January 4th we said goodbye to our friend. I’ve never done anything like this before and I am still shocked by how upset I am over the whole thing. I can’t talk about it without tearing up or crying. I was trying to put things into perspective (I mean… my DAD died 6 months ago) but this is just such a different experience.

Annmarie keeps saying, “Petie bye bye?” and “We see soon?” every day. And it breaks my heart a little bit.

Emily, Petie’s faithful sidekick for the last 11 years, seems to be doing okay. We’ve been spoiling the crap out of her (err… I have been spoiling the crap out of her with food and I recognize that we’re just going to end up with a really fat dog).

Goodbye, Petie. You were a great dog.

Petie at the Outer Banks in 2008

From Outer Banks
From Outer Banks

Petie at the Outer Banks in 2009:
beach 168

Meeting Annmarie for the first time in 2011:
The new family

Petie on January 2, 2013:


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Living with Mom

My mom has been staying with us over the past week while some renovations are being completed in her home.

In that time frame she has…

(1) Criticized me for not cooking dinner for Jeremy. Whaa?! I don’t recall having family dinners EVER. And I try to tell her again and again that I just don’t really cook because Jeremy does not like my cooking. It doesn’t offend me. Believe me, I’m not that great. Jeremy is the cook in the family.

(2) Told me my house is dirty. This is coming from a woman that I have found to be a borderline hoarder. However, she did clean up some crud in my fridge so that was nice.

(3) Strangely rearranged items. I’ve come home to see Annmarie’s blankets hanging strangely around her crib, towels in weird places and a water bottle that was on my bedroom dresser in the fridge. Does it weird me out that she’s going through my house? Sort of but at the same time, she lost the spare key so she’s essentially stuck in my home for 9+ hours a day. I’d probably do the same thing.

(4) Told me my hair isn’t shiny. This came up yesterday. She said, “I noticed your hair isn’t shiny anymore. It is because you don’t use enough conditioner.” Thanks, mom.

(5) Overheard my neighbors having sex. She’s been sleeping on a futon in our basement. It is butted up against the wall we share with our neighbor. I guess their bed is also butted up against that wall. She said she heard the “squeaking sound” of “you know what”. Hilarious. She asked if they were young. They’re not. And not that I picture lots of people doing the deed… but these are people you NEVER want to imagine doing the deed.

(6) Complained about my diet. She has told me that I am “so different” from how I was raised because I don’t eat meat. She thinks I eat weird things that aren’t her “style”.

(7) Taught Annmarie the word “candy” because she gives her a lollipop ALL THE TIME. Now Annmarie sees Grandma and asks, “Candy?” Fantastic. I see a future filled with cavities (like I had).

(8) Lost track of Annmarie IN THE HOUSE. Perhaps I am exaggerating here (and that she was still waking up from a nap) but we had asked if she was okay watching Annmarie Saturday morning so that we could quickly run some errands (all related to the renovations). She agreed. We said we’d be back around 11am so we could feed her and put her down for her nap. We got home at 11:10am. My mom was fast asleep on the sofa and Annmarie was nowhere in site. Upon being asked, “where is the baby?” she responded half-awake, “baby? what baby?” Want to talk about panic? Annmarie was napping in her crib but it was filled WITH EVERY GD TOY IN HER ROOM. She basically had nowhere to lay except on top of her toys. I still have no idea what happened there.

All in all, however, having my mom stay with us hasn’t been nearly as annoying and awful as I thought. Sure she annoys me but I thought I would have strangled her by now. Maybe living together won’t be as awful as I imagined? (fingers crossed)

And because I prefer posts with pictures, here are some recent photos of Annmarie:

This probably isn’t a good parenting thing but I let Annmarie play with some of our gadgets. I’d rather show her NOT to throw these things or how she can sort of use them in case she gets to it and I’m not around. She’s been really into the point and shoot camera lately. I was impressed when I caught her taking a photo of herself.
Taking a self-portrait

And then laughed out loud when I saw the result of her self portrait:
Result of AM's self-portrait

The other day she insisted on wearing her bike helmet to daycare. I actually tried to take it off of her head before she left and she flipped out. So off to daycare she went…
Safety First

She’s really into sitting in the utility sink in our basement. She saw us bathing the dogs in it and now thinks of it as a fun new spot in the house.
Hanging in the sink

She’s really into putting on our shoes. Strangely, she LOVES putting on my rain boots. Her legs are barely tall enough to fit but she loves it. I love it because it keeps her still for a minute.
Rain boots

AM grabbed this pillow at Ikea over the weekend and wouldn’t let it go. I tried to switch it out for a smaller and cheaper pillow. She wasn’t having it. It has become her new thing at the house.
New pillow


Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds, Charm City Kim Rambles

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!


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

You Never Really Prepare For…

I wasn’t sure if I should write about this.  My head has been all over the place these last 2 days and I’ve been an emotional wreck at times and then I’m okay.  I’ve rolled my eyes at the idea of posting this type of thing on Facebook or Twitter because it would just fall in line with people’s updates/tweets about whatever stupid thing they’ve eaten or drank, whatever silly thing they want to complain about and it just diminishes everything about this situation.

My dad died yesterday.

While I’ve been saying for quite some time that I thought the end was near (my dad wasn’t eating much and his health has been steadily declining) – I just wasn’t prepared for this.  This came out of left field.  I spoke to him on Father’s Day and said, “Dad – are you giving up on me?” (meaning – is his eating a sign that he’s quitting on life?) And he said, “Not hardly.  I’ll go out kicking and screaming.”

Forgive this post – I’m finding it helpful for me to write this out.  I feel like the more I write or say what happened, the less I’ll sob about it.  So this post is more for me than informing my 4 readers about the situation.  You can stop reading now if you wish.

It started Friday morning.  I woke up and saw that I had missed a ton of calls from my mother.  I knew something was wrong.  I called her and she said my dad was in the hospital.  She said he had fallen and broken his ribs but that they rushed him to a hospital downtown.  That didn’t make sense to me (since broken ribs don’t usually require a hospital transport).  Instead of extreme worry – I was overcome with extreme anger.

He’s in the hospital again?!  God!  Why don’t they take care of themselves?!  I have to drive my mom to the hospital for what?  He’s just going to be released in a few days.

I was such an asshole about it that I didn’t even drive her to the hospital.  I was so angry that Jeremy ended up going.  I found out that my dad had taken a nasty fall (he had been falling quite a bit lately) but this one resulted in fractured ribs that led to a collapsed lung.  Still – they rushed him to shock trauma?  That doesn’t sound right.

Jeremy called me and said that I needed to get to the hospital.

My dad was heavily sedated and I was told that they discovered that a stent in my dad’s heart was leaking.  Was this a result of the fall?  Nobody knows.  But the leaking blood was putting pressure on an aneurism in his aorta (the reason he had the stent in the first place).  Now the question was how to proceed.  The aneurism was a “ticking timebomb” but my dad was in no condition of major surgery.

The hospital chose to monitor him.

I didn’t even go to see him on Saturday.  I dropped my mom off at the hospital and went to the pool.  And this is something I’ll have a really hard time forgiving myself for.

I went on Sunday.  At this point, they had to intubate him because the pressure building up in his aorta was cutting off his air supply.  So now he couldn’t talk at all.  He was even more sedated but would have moments where he was responsive.  He try to mouth some words (but with a tube hanging out, it was difficult to determine what he was saying) and he’d nod his head.

I spoke with a vascular technician and a cardiac surgeon.  They both presented similar scenarios and concern.  Both needed to come together with a plan of action.

My father, heavily sedated, was in and out of sleep so we left.  My mom said her sweet goodbyes and I kissed my dad on the forehead.

After I dropped my mom off at home, I received a call from the hospital.

Hi – um… about 10 minutes after you left, your father started bleeding really badly.  We did everything we could… and I’m sorry to say that he passed away.

I didn’t hear anything else.  I just started sobbing.  I handed the phone to Jeremy.  Apparently the aneurism in his aorta had erupted.

I broke the news to my mom and that was the hardest thing ever.  She sobbed uncontrollably for several hours.

We went back to the hospital to see my dad.  My mom spent and hour and half on top of my dad sobbing.  She yelled, “wake up!” a few times and then ap0logized profusely for leaving him.

So – that’s where I’m at.  I really thought I would be emotionally prepared for this but I’m not.  Are you ever?


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Trying to Move on Up

Hello?  Is anybody there?  Oh hi!  You’re still here!  Thanks for sticking around despite my 2 week unintential hiatus.  Instead of writing about how sorry I am and promising to write more, I’ll just get right to the post.

I’ve been consumed with the idea of moving.

We’ve been in our current rowhome for 7 years.  That is 2 years longer than we predicted we’d be in the house when we first purchased it.  Granted – when we purchased it, the housing market wasn’t the craphole that it is now so we weren’t being crazy.  We thought we’d live in it for 5 years, sell it for a profit and move on to greener pastures.

Then the housing market crashed and we realized that we were screwed.

Since having Annmarie, I have felt that we have outgrown the house.  Between 2 adults, 1 very demanding toddler and 2 attention-seeking dogs… I’m going a bit crazy.  We have a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home and I HATE IT.  In hindsight, I would have NEVER purchased a 1 bathroom house.  Worst mistake EVER.

1 bathroom wasn’t a big deal for years because I always got up extra early to hit the gym (so I got ready for work at the gym).  Having a baby changed our routine so now we’re both scrunched in the bathroom trying to get ready at the same time.

Plus – I’m dying for a yard.  I’d love for Annmarie to have some space to run around (that isn’t littered with garbage and cigarette butts) and I know the dogs would be in heaven.  Not to mention that I’ve made it no secret that I want to expand this family by at least 1 more.  WE NEED SPACE.

Jeremy and I are truly trying to make this happen but are in quite a pickle.  Our house?  Yeah – it definitely isn’t appraising for what we owe anymore.  Even worse?  There are a TON of homes for sale in my ‘hood.  There’s even a new bank of homes being built in my neighborhood selling for not much more than what we owe.

We’re basically super screwed.

We’re trying to figure out what to do.  I can’t stay in the house much longer or everyone in the house will suffer from my wrath.  Right now it is just slowly working its way up to a boil but I don’t think anyone wants to be near me when it boils.

While I recognize that we’ll have to take a loss on the house – my biggest concern is that it won’t even sell (unless we take a HUGE, I’m talking like nearly 6 figures, loss).

That leaves us with renting.  I really hate the idea of being a “landlord” and even so – we suspect we’d take a monthly loss on the rent (but maybe not much).

However, renting leaves us in a predicament for qualifying for a decent sized home loan.  If you can’t tell, we’ve already been working with someone to crunch some numbers.  While it certainly is a “buyer’s market” for homes, my standards for the next house aren’t cheap.  This next house, for me, is going to be our long-term house.  This means I need to allow for growth (because at some point, my mom will probably live with us) and it needs to be zoned in great school districts for elementary through high school.

I’ve just been in a state of stress over this for the past few weeks.  Ideally I’d like to move before the holidays and Jeremy thinks I’m being unrealistic (and I know that I am).

We’ve also got to do a ton of stuff to our house to get it any shape for selling.  Okay, maybe not a ton but one of the first things we’ll need to do is remove a bunch of stuff (and temporarily store it at my parents’ house) so that our house feels bigger.  We’ve also got to repair a fence that’s been broken for over 2 years.  And lots of touch-up painting.  And closet door fixing.  And… and… and… you get the idea.

So tell me – have you sold a house recently?  Any tips?  How painful was the process in today’s market?

And because I hate when posts without pictures, here’s a photo of Annmarie with a colander on her head.

It is amazing how much Annmarie understands.  She was playing with the colander and we said, “put it on your head like a hat” and she totally did.  And because we enjoyed it so much, she kept doing it.


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

A Mish-Mash of Thoughts

This blog post is going to be a little all over the place.  I think this is what happens when I don’t blog often but then have so many little things I want to write about that it ends up just being a brain dump.

I’ve been feeling under the weather this past week and right now my back is in a delicate state of “going out” (and if you’ve ever had back issues, you know what I’m talking about).  I’ve been a bundle of joy today.

I finished reading the Hunger Games series last week.  And now I need something new to read.  I’ve also been all up on the web trying to catch some scoop on who will be cast as Finnick Odair.  And as I type that, I feel incredibly sad that I’ve turned into the person I don’t like.  I am a very grown person that is VERY into a young adult book and am drooling over movie news.  God help me.  I’m not the only person as I’ve been able to find lots of blog posts dedicated to the Finnick Odair casting.  I just want to write… the character is supposed to be 25.  Therefore he is not only OLDER than Katniss and Peeta, but he needs to look it!  Fans are suggesting tons of actors that are the same age (and look it) as Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson.  And it, sadly, makes me really mad.  If the movie studio f’s this up, I will be pissed!  (and again, I can’t believe I’ve turned into that person…)

My brother (a 45 year old zombie loving swinging bachelor) highly recommended that I read another young adult series called The Enemy.  It is about zombies!  He said people who like The Hunger Games love this series.  It is much gorier and overall bad-asser that HG.

I really thought I’d quite young adult books after The Hunger Games but I tried reading an adult book and just couldn’t get through 2 pages of it.  I think my brain has officially been fried from having a baby (and subsequently raising said baby while working… my brain can only withstand so much thinking at this point).

And speaking of zombies

Did you guys read about that attack in Miami over the weekend?!  They’re dubbing this a “zombie attack” but… wtf?!   I was obsessed with this story yesterday.  And that is awful.  We now live in a world where someone might just attack another person on the side of the road and eat their face.  I can now add “being attacked by a drugged out lunatic and having them eat my face” to my list of things of which I am terrified.  Great.

And is it absolutely nuts that I now worry about AM?  As though at any moment, some crazy dude is going to eat her face.  But now it is another thing I’ll worry about (just like her getting abducted, contracting a deadly virus, getting a terminal illness, etc.)  This is how my brain works, people.  I fear everything.

But onto happier news…

Did you all see that over the top marriage proposal (where the guy choreographed a large lip-syncing crowd to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”)?  I normally hate these sorts of things (flash mobs are sooooooo last year).  But I watched it today and omg… tears.  I shamefully teared up over this ridiculous proposal because my first thought was, “I hope someone loves Annmarie so much that they want to do an over the top proposal for her”.  Gah!   And as much as I stopped liking Glee but can’t seem to stop watching the show, my heart warmed over when Kurt’s dad danced to “Single Ladies”.  Did you see it?  Don’t tell me that the little string in your heart wasn’t tugged just a little bit.
Screen shot of Kurt's Dad dancing to "Single Ladies"
So becoming a mom has made me more sentimental and paranoid.

And lastly – Jeremy and I are looking to move.  I’ve been living in Baltimore City for 9 years and while I love it, I really really want a bigger house with a yard.  So the idea of moving has put me into a crazed state of mind (hence this kind of wonky post) but that’s a topic for another day.

What’s new with you?


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Trying to Get Back to Reading

Since having Annmarie, I hadn’t read a single book until I served jury duty last month (I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”).  That was 13 months of only reading magazines and even those were only read while hiding in my bathroom.

I miss reading so I’m trying to get back into it.  During some spring cleaning, I uncovered 2 books that I haven’t read but want to.  But before I even started those… I totally got sucked into a pop culture phenomenon.

I am reading The Hunger Games.

As embarrassing as it is to admit that I’m reading a young adult novel as a not young adult, I have to admit that I am REALLY into it.  Like I can’t put it down.  I actually dreamt that I was participating in the damn Hunger Games last night.  I really like this book.

I tried reading Twilight and will forever stand by my opinion that it was one of the worst things I’ve ever read in my life.  AWFUL.  The movies are equally awful.

I have no desire to read the soft porn book “50 Shades of Grey“.

But The Hunger Games?  There was just so my hype around the movie that I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

My 5 year wedding anniversary is coming up and we don’t have anything spectacular planned on the actual date.  My in-laws will watch AM while we go do dinner and a movie.  And you better believe we are seeing The Hunger Games.

I realize I am several years late on this book phenomenon.  Maybe next year I’ll start reading Harry Potter.  Ha!
The next book I’ll be reading is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (it was one of the books discovered during spring cleaning).

What are you reading?


Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles