So remember that house? The perfect house? We took some time this weekend to do a little more research on it. One cannot be too careful when making this investment! I checked the neighborhood council meeting agendas, read on future building projects and renovations in the area, and did another drive-by to see how it looks on a dewy fall morning. It's still a charmer!
I also spoke with the Godfather of the neighborhood...
See this guy?
That's my brother. We grew up in the neighborhood in which we are house hunting. Back in the 1980s, he was the ringleader of the neighborhood boy posse.
So I asked him for the dirt on the house. Because the Godfather knows all. His response?
"Oh yeah, I remember that one. It's haunted."
I will not share the ghost's background story, as it is his tale to tell. My mom says the Godfather is bullshitting me. But I told her, "Mom, that's really disrespectful. The ghost has feelings too. How would you feel if people denied your existence?"
So...what do we think? Deal breaker? Anyone know an exorcist?
Calling all friends, foes, families, and gays! I need your input. The Wirths have officially outgrown their 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home. Okay, so technically we have 3 bedrooms, but the third bedroom is in the dungeon, and we use it for Christmas decoration storage. Bottom line is this: we are living in tight quarters, and there is shit everywhere. We need to move, and we need to do it soon.
Here's the thing. I have a debilitating hatred of all things related to moving: packing, cleaning, house hunting, showcasing, reorganizing. You name it, I hate it. And who has time for all this when you are working full time and have a baby? Not this guy. I don't even have time to do my laundry.
BUT GUESS WHAT?! We found the perfect house. It has everything we want, everything we need, is in our price range, and has room for an expanding family. I walk into this house and can see myself living there. It's perfect...except it's not, because it's clear across town from where we currently are.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Spokane area, it is divided into little boroughs (if you will). We live in an area called the South Hill, and everyone in the city is aware of its superiority. Although we live in a lower income area of this neighborhood, we have access to the best schools in town, fine dining, beautiful parks, a 10 minute drive to downtown, and a fast commute to work.
We are 3 blocks from one of the best walking streets in town:
We can walk down the street to this beautiful park:
We can walk, bike, drive to all of our favorite restaurants:
And 90% of our friends live "up" here:
Monday night parties
In my experience, people who "hate" Spokane do not live on the South Hill. But how can you not appreciate the city when this is what you see every day?
The superiority and snobbery is pretty much palpable up here, and we fit right in.
And then there's the other side of town. "The North Side" as we call it.
Indian Trail Neighborhood
It's pretty in a middle-to-uppermiddle-class sort of way, but it's basically a suburb. The nearest restaurant is McDonald's, and Starbucks is the only coffee shop in a 5 mile radius. However, home prices are WAY lower, the houses are in mint condition, and the homes have SO MUCH SPACE. My family is close, the church where I work is 2 minutes away, there is easy access to hiking trails, and the community is wonderful...in a PTA, stay-at-home-mom kind of way.
When I ask myself what I want our lives to look like in 5 years, I see us living a lifestyle in a neighborhood like this. The lower house payments mean much more freedom for us financially, and it would be nice to be closer to places like Costco and Target. However, I would also feel like I'm selling out, leaving an important part of myself behind. You see, I just don't think the people up North will get my cloth diapers and homemade compost bin. What if I wanted to get chickens? I get the feeling the neighbors would not be impressed with this idea. And the public schools are not nearly as good as they are on the south side. That being said, we could afford private schooling with the lower mortgage payment we would have in this area.
Last Sunday, I sat at the North Side Starbucks scoping out the families I would
potentially see on a regular basis. I sat with my Ray Ban shades on,
judging a mom who was wearing Target workout pants (have the people up here never heard of lululemon?). Her husband was wearing a short sleeved button-up. Need I say more? I mean, I guess they looked nice enough...
And one more minor problem, to get to the North Side, one must drive through the trashiest neighborhoods in the State of Washington. Seriously, Spokane boasts some pretty trashy people, and they are all on the commute north. Half the time I drive up there, I'm worried a meth head is going to throw himself in front of my car. Or maybe this lady is going to cart herself across Francis and stop 5 lanes of traffic:
All that said, if we have to live on the North Side, I know we have found the
perfect house: lots of square footage, huge yard, across the street from an open
field with walking trails, great neighbors*(yes, I already interviewed them...not lying), sunset views, quiet location, giant closets!!! The same house on the South Hill would cost, at the very least, twice as much.
I wonder what Carrie Bradshaw would do...
They all lived in Manhattan (South Hill) together.
Remember how Miranda (a ginger, like me) got knocked up, married Steve, and moved to Brooklyn (North Side)? She was SUCH a sell out...like me. I should basically cut my hair now.
The rest of her friends remained on the nice side of the (Maple Street) bridge, and she had to cart her baby across town to see them.
Carrie got married too. Her modest apartment was far too small for her and Big, but they had the income to afford a bigger place in Manhattan (South Hill).
They got huge closets AND their dream neighborhood. Why can't my life be more like Carrie's?! WAAAAH!!!
But what life is best for this guy?
What should we prioritize when house hunting? Snobbery, or affordability? Seriously, I am completely at a loss as to what we should do. Any advice is appreciated. North Siders, what do you like about the area? South Hillers, please sell me your incredible house (but only if you have huge closets).
*Regarding our current neighbors, here is Jeff's assessment: "The nice people next door are moving to Oregon, they're twats**, he's a douche, and those people are mega douches***."
**They yelled at Jeff when our sprinkler hit their driveway.
***These massholes tell their 7-year-old daughter to "f*** off" on a regular basis, and they smoke pot every other night.
Post-pregnancy, I am 2 pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant (thanks breastfeeding). My pelvis is still recovering from the trauma of pregnancy and child birth, but I haven't peed my pants in months. My boobs have deflated to their normal/still huge size, my acne has returned, and I rarely have time to do my hair in the morning. I went to the doctor the other day, and unfortunately I am still recovering from my bout with mono. However, I feel stronger and more energetic with every passing day. Enough about me, let's talk about the BABY!
Everett hit some pretty major milestones during his eighth month of life. He is pulling himself up, stands on his own for a few moments at a time, can walk with assistance, and is understanding verbal communication more each day. He has 4 teeth, and I can see a fifth tooth making its way to the gum line. His favorite toys are as follows: the cat's tail, the dog's water dish, our (extensive) wine cork collection, the remote control.
I am amazed at how fast his little mind is developing. Last night, I asked him to open the garbage can for me. He crawled over to it and hit the button to open the lid. Remember how he was just a helpless little blob a short time ago? Every moment is an adventure, and he is more than ready to explore his surroundings.
We had our 9 month checkup yesterday. You will notice how I am not posting his height and weight information, mostly because I am in mourning. Everett fell off the charts. He has been in the 5th percentile since birth, but from what I know of his current stats, he could gain a whole pound and still be under weight. This is maddening to me, and naturally, I feel like I'm failing as a mother.
I took some time to process all this last night, and I am still baffled and in shock. When we got home from the sitter's house, I wrote down everything I did to see if I was starving my child. Here's what the evening looked like:
5:30pm - nursed Everett for 20 minutes.
5:50pm - gave him 2 large crackers broken into small pieces as I prepared his pureed foods.
6:00pm - fed him an entire bowl of squash soup.
6:10pm - gave him more crackers while I ate my portion of the soup.
6:15pm - he still wasn't acting full, and apparently I'm starving him, so fed him 2 ounces of diced peaches.
6:20pm - still not full, so fed him an ounce of pureed pears.
6:25pm - gave him a handful of Cheerios.
6:30pm - looked at the clock and saw that he had been eating for an entire hour.
Earlier that day at the sitter's house, he ate an entire Tupperware container of diced sweet potatoes, then moved on to pancakes and cereal puffs. He still nurses or takes a bottle 6 times a day.
Maybe the problem is that I'm not feeding him the same foods other parents are feeding their babies? Is it because I am giving him fruits and veggies, while parents with bigger babies are going through the McDonald's drive thru? After sobbing on the couch and contemplating the day, I gave Everett a quick bath and ran us up to Trader Joe's. I bought an entire shopping cart filled with foods just for him (that's a lie, I bought 2 bottles of wine for myself): cottage cheese, whole grain pancakes, organic chicken breasts, avocados, eggs, bananas, etc. Anything that is baby-friendly, fattening, and filling was in my cart.
Of course I got home and realized the only thing I purchased for Jeff and myself to consume was wine. I mean, it's necessary at this point, but not a socially acceptable thing to live on. I realized this has been the story of my life: baby comes first, then take care of myself...and drink. For the last 9 months, all of my energy has been spent feeding this child, and apparently there is no physical evidence to prove it. I feel minimal amounts of comfort in the fact that the doctor is not too concerned about his weight. He is way above average when it comes to his physical abilities. In fact, he has the developmental skills of a one-year-old (bragging). But when the words "failure to thrive" and "calling CPS" are thrown into conversations about a child's small size, it's impossible not to have an anxiety attack (and fall down the stairs...happened).
Someone sent me a philosophical email about the meaning of life and the importance of servant leadership. I read a few lines and said, "F**k that, I don't have time for this s**t. I have a baby to feed!"
So here we continue to traverse the many waters of "What it means to be a parent." Have you ever heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? I don't think Maslow had any kids.
I feel like babies at this stage are pretty hot and cold. They're either super happy and content to be exploring their world (look at this fascinating electrical wire), or they're throwing a fit because life isn't going as planned (mom won't give me any more Ritz crackers).
Therefore, when the rare moment occurs where Baby is perfectly content, quiet, and rested, it is important to bask in this moment of glory, and breathe a sigh of relief.
I give you...Content, Bored, Lazy Baby.
And here's a closer look..
So mad right now.
Also, these pictures make him look way fatter than he actually is.