Tag Archives: parenting

Trials and Tribulations of Selling in the 202

30 Jan

Cherry_Blossoms_HomeThe past six months of my life have been mostly consumed with the whole process of preparing to move. It really started February 2014 when we renovated our full bathroom, which was a necessary first step towards the process of selling our house. The house preparation and selling saga continued though most of January 2015, all the meanwhile we were living in our house. From new carpet installation which meant that all the 2nd floor furniture had to be moved down to the first floor and then back up again – fun! Later we moved onto the glory of granite counter top installation, a new sink, sealing & sealing again the new counter tops, and finally it came down to touch-up paint and cleaning until your fingers literally bleed. Then came the initial phase of packing to “thin out” the stuff in the house and make it look like no one actually lives there. In the midst of this, wee proceeded to get one of our beloved kitties through the USDA paperwork process and then sent down to Costa Rica with my father since we will only be allowed one cat per person when we finally move. Opp and then its on to staging, because of course the house has to look like it came out of Better Home and Garden Magazine with a perfectly chic interior, complete with perfectly *fake* red apples, *plastic* orchids framing out the kitchen, and always poofed couch pillows. Blahh! That is just another part of the real estate game in the 202 (in DC proper). Needless to say but there is nothing sexy about preparing a house for sale , especially when you are working full-time and have a toddler, 3 cats, and a very special dog to take keep happy.

Then came the whole listing process. Ugh. Average days on the market on Capitol Hill is about 6 days, which seems Garden_Homecompletely doable when living in what is close to a museum with a toddler, 2 cats, and a very special dog. Except for us it turned into 66 days on the market. What does that mean? That means several times a day you get a text message and stop everything you are doing at a moment’s notice to…

  1. Viciously clean the house and make sure it looks museum perfect.
  2. Get the dog into the car.
  3. Get the baby ready, no matter if he is napping or hungry or needs a diaper change.
  4. Get out the door.
  5. Find something to do for the next 1-2 hours depending on how long the showing is. No matter how cold you are or hungry or tired or sick or anything else. You have to be out of the house.
    – We walked and we walked and we walked. In the sun, in the cold, and in the rain, we walked.
    – We sat in the car for hours on Saturday and Sunday nights when it was raining or too cold to walk.
    – We left the dog in the car and got dinner and then sat in the car while we ate dinner.
    – For months our weekends evolved around doing only things you can do with a dog like go to the farm, go to a walking park, hiking, and anything else outdoors. That was probably the highlight of the whole process.
  6. Now repeat and do this all over again 2-3 times a day for 66 days while working a full-time job.

Home_SnowI am not going to put lipstick on a pig. It sucked big time. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to give us back the time we lost with the damn showings. There were even times in this rather horrible process where our son was playing at a special activity across town and my husband had to literally pick him up and run out of the place to get home before a very short notice showing. I mentioned earlier that we have a special dog, well he is the sweetest and most amazing dog with us (his 3 humans) but he is scared to death of strangers and scared dogs bite. So getting the dog out of the house before a showing was absolutely critical.

Throughout the 66 days there were a lot of “close calls” in getting an offer, a lot of interested buyers but in the end they didn’t choose our house. Finally at a point of desperation, and at the point of basically giving up, we finally got an offer and for asking price. Talk about a sigh of relief. Then came the anxiety of the home inspection, which is stressful when you have a historic home that is nearly 120 years old. At the end of the day a house is not sold until it is sold. On the financing and underwriting process, right in the middle of the holidays. If you guessed delays and an uncertain closing date, you were right! Could any more stress and anxiety be added to this process? I guess so. But FINALLY we closed.

To top it off, right in the midst of this home selling process I also had a major job and professional transition with no Kai in Snowvacation time in-between. I am not going to kid you, selling your first home is also emotional even if you bought almost exclusively for investment purposes. We made this home ours. We poured endless time and energy into making it beautiful. We planted the tulip bulbs, daffodils, and cherry blossom tree that bloom every spring. We’ve shared endless dinners at this house with friends and family. This house is filled with memories that can never be relived. It is the home we brought our baby home to. And now it is going to be someone else’s home.

Then its on to the actual moving process but I will save that for another post. ūüôā

First Birthday Love Letter

27 Feb

Dear Sweet Baby Kai,

I write this just two days before your first birthday. ¬†I look back on my life just one year ago and I remember so clearly the anticipation I felt, I couldn’t wait to meet you. ¬†The remember the night that I went into labor. ¬†I cooked a spicy¬†Moroccan¬†lamb stew and then I took Tico out on a long winter walk. ¬†It was very cool but with you I walked and walked. ¬†My body felt heavy, because it was, and it felt energizing to be walking. ¬†I did this nearly every evening. ¬†One year later and we still do it together, only now we get to sing songs while we walk and point out fun things along the way. ¬†Sweet Kai, you bring so much joy to my life.

This year has been the best year of my life. ¬†I have loved more this year than I have in my whole life, and I know I have a lifetime of love still to give you. ¬†I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am that you have chosen us as your parents. ¬†Our life is filled with so much love. ¬†Your are the most beautiful soul.

Those first days were both awkward and amazing. ¬†I fumbled my way through changing your diapers and together we figured out the whole nursing thing. ¬†For the record your Papa is far better at changing diapers than I am. ¬†We have a special bond that only Mama and son can have through nursing. ¬†I am so grateful that we figured it out, and you still love drinking the warm sweet milk I make just for you. ¬†And when you do, you gaze lovingly into my eyes. ¬†Sometimes you play with my hair, touch my face, and smile. ¬†I love every minute of it. ¬†It is one of those moments each day that I wish I could just press pause and savor forever. ¬†But I can’t stop time.

mama baby moment

We have had so many great adventures this year. ¬†Our greatest adventure has been the day-to-day moments of life together – all of your little milestones, your beautiful personality shining through, and your smile… it lights up every moment. ¬†We have also done some amazing things together. We visited a farm where you got to pet a baby pig, goats, and peacocks. ¬†We went to the botanical gardens and had a sleepover with your Padrino and Aunt Kristy. ¬†We go hiking a lot where we enjoy all the intricacies and serenity that mother nature provides. ¬†We travelled to Connecticut and Costa Rica to spend time with our family, they all ADORE you to pieces. ¬†We explored the splendor of Italy together. ¬†I could go on and on, there are so many more moments.

Mama kissing baby

Watching you grow and develop in the most beautiful little boy is the best part of my life. ¬†I love it. ¬†Watching and listening to you play with the pots and pans, and sometimes banging along with you! Its a blast. Seeing your fun interactions with Tico and the kitties, and your attempt to chase them is most entertaining. ¬†Oh our little DC row house is just exploding with life! The adorable grunting sounds you make as you dodge through the house on your hands and knees at full speed. ¬†Watch out World Kai is here! The sweet way that you give me kisses with your mouth wide open, and each kiss fills me with more love. ¬†Our evening bath time is so much fun. ¬†I never knew that I too could have so much fun in just a few inches of water. ¬†I love the way you snuggle up with me at night while we sleep. ¬†Oh sweet baby Kai, I could go on and on. ¬†I’m in love.

As we approach this big milestone in just a couple of days, I want to pay tribute to this most incredible year. ¬†I realize that life is always going to be amazing with you, but it is not ever going to be like our very first year together. ¬†We can’t turn back the clocks or calendars. ¬†We will never be able to re-live these milestones with you. ¬†They are once in a lifetime memories. While I know that there are many more to come, I can’t help but shed a few tears knowing that this first year has come and gone so fast. ¬†All that really matters sweet baby Kai is that I love you forever and ever. ¬†You are my baby and you always will be. ¬†You mean the World to me and I can’t wait to spend a lifetime with you.

Happy 1st birthday sweet baby Kai.

With all the love in my heart,
Your Mama

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