Back off, mom!

We stopped at a park today while I was touring the state of Minnesota to eat some Subway and burn some energy. After we filled our tummies, we went to play. Nick encouraged Ollie to try to walk across these:

Apparently I’m paranoid. But I do know better. I was hovering. He was clinging for life, scared to try to move from one hanging platform to the next, and I was instructing, cheering, reaching out…

And Nick said “Back off, mommy. You need to let him do it.”

I shrunk away, knowing he was right (must let that preschooler discover he can do things instead of instilling doubt in him!), but still just wanting to help so much.

And you know what? He made it. He did it, all by himself, which prompted me to jump around like an idiot in the middle of the park and then bust into a quick rendition of “We Did It!” from Dora. Wow, how my life has changed.

Anyway, play resumed, and I quickly found myself at the top of a platform that Ollie was climbing to. I rushed over to get this shot:

I’m not kidding you, as the shutter clicked, he was saying “You need to back off mommy and let me do it myself!”

It’s a sad day.


No Sleep for the Next 18 Years

People say it all the time, and it doesn’t click.  I mean, I guess you think “Oh, sure, because they’ll wake up a lot when their babies, and they’ll be sick sometimes and you’ll stay up through the night, and when they are teenagers you’ll be worrying about them being out late…”

But it still doesn’t quite sink in. 

Ollie has slept through the night well.  When he doesn’t, I know there’s a reason why.  That’s not the problem.

The problem is that my son is 2, and some days I just don’t know what to do with him.  I feel like he might be one of “those kids” that you see in the store and go “Why doesn’t that parent DO something?”

This is where the lack of sleep comes in.

Half the time I’m awake because I’ve done everything I can think of, and I either am looking for new ideas online or racking my brain.  Then there are nights like tonight, where I’m just mourning the loss of the bond we had before he became so independent.  I’m sure that this will happen more often than once as he grows up, where I sit and look at pictures of my little baby boy and think “What happened, and how do I get it back?”

I can’t get it back.  I know I can’t.  So the next question is “How do I make this good, despite how hard it is?  How different it is?  How EVOLVING it is?”  Because it is always evolving. 

Perhaps I need to take solace in the fact that we started off rocky, with lots of screaming and unhappiness, and a lot of a very strained mommy desperate to do anything to make her baby happy.  Then things changed for a while, and we were so close, and he was happy (once he could run around), and I was happy, and things were just good. 

Now it’s not that things are never good, and it’s certainly not that I don’t love him, because Iwouldn’t be sitting here with tears streaming down my face if that was the case.  It’s just that as he challenges me and as he acts out and learns and does things that (from what I understand) normal two year olds do, I feel as though our days are flying by, and so much of it is wasted with time outs and talking-to’s and “Please don’t do that” and stress and pain and hurt.  I’m sure the mommies of older kids reading this are going to say “You have so much more to come”, and maybe I do.  So then, mommies ahead of me, how do I make less time about the negative and more time about the positive?  How do I catch just a little bit of us, happy, playing, having fun, and less challenging?

Perhaps things will get easier.  Summer will come, there will be more playing outside and fun things to do.  Emmie will become mobile, and we can all play together.  Walks and parks and fishing and camping and swimming and fun.  Maybe my problem isn’t that my son is two, or isn’t that I have a very difficult time with the toddler attitude, but that it is February.  After all, I usually spend the entire month of February blaming everything that isn’t good on cabin fever, simply because it is February, and I think everyone has had about enough snow and cold by that point.  I call February the “crazy” month.  Everyone gets a little nuts.

When it comes down to it, it may be February, he may be two, I may have too much going on, and he may be getting his molars.   But what I know for certain is I just want to be a good, good mommy, and want to always do the right thing for him, and sometimes I know I don’t.  I don’t know all the answers.  I don’t know the perfect solution.  But I hope someday he knows that I sat up at night trying to figure it all out – just because I love him that much.

Just Another Manic Monday…

And tomorrow’s Tuesday. Ahhh, joy. House is on.
Yes, for those of you who don’t know, at 6:45 on Tuesday nights, my cell phone and my laptop make beautiful little noises, because I have House programmed into my Outlook.
I’m totally serious.
Today I just fought with banks. And fought. And fought some more. I can’t seem to get paid $125 that I’m owed for a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) and CFK (Cash for keys) that I did well over a month ago. Actually, I first contacted them the day after I got out of the hospital with Ollie, so it’s been 2.5 months, really.
That makes me mad.
The same bank owes Nick $160 for his rekey and secure of the property. Nick does all my rekeys. Then I know it gets done, and he doesn’t charge people outrageous amounts, like some of the locksmiths do. I have had too many where the bank refused to pay because it was so pricey, and I was stuck with the bill. No thanks!
I took a picture of one that I have to drive by on a regular basis. Oh how fun. Still occupied, but by who we don’t know, since I found an obit for the owner (single lady) in an April edition of the Times. Fantastic.
I cannot get my asset managers to respond to me. I’ve got two properties that I want on the market YESTERDAY, and for whatever reason they are dinking around and I’m getting really frustrated, besides the fact that I’m dealing with one in Isle that’s supposed to be auctioned, and I haven’t heard anything on that one, either.
I had a minor blow up today dealing with one bank in particular, which prompted an angry email sent to Nick which read something like this:
“I am sick of this GD bank Sh!T. I can’t take it anymore. I am going to back to school. For nursing. I am going to become a midwife. I’m going to get a good job, and we ARE NEVER GOING TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY AGAIN.”
Okay, so maybe I had lost it a little, and everyone worries about money at one point or another. But I work my ass off for these banks, and one of two things happens.
1. I represent the bank. I list the property. Some poor soul purchases it. They then realize the house is crap (most of them seem to be.) with a bad (insert favorite critical part of house here. My favorites are furnaces, foundations, mold problems, frozen pipes, etc.) that costs them lots of money to fix. Even though I wasn’t their agent, they still wish I would crawl in a hole and die, because I “should have told them”. Even though there is no way for me to know, and I’m just a real estate agent, not an inspector/contractor. I write up paperwork. I don’t know jack squat about furnaces/foundations/mold/plumbing.
2. I represent the buyer. I sell a bank owned property. They then realize the house is crap (most of them seem to be.) with a bad (insert favorite critical part of house here.) that costs them lots of money to fix. This time I was their agent, but they still wish I would crawl in a hole and die, because I “should have told them”. Even though there is no way for me to know, and I’m just a real estate agent, not an inspector/contractor. I write up paperwork. I don’t know jack squat about furnaces/foundations/mold/plumbing.
In the meantime, I’m driving all over a five county area, taking pictures of houses in foreclosure, and knocking on doors and telling people they need to move out. I hate that. I understand they haven’t made their payments. I don’t know whose fault it is. It doesn’t matter. I STILL HATE DOING IT.
Especially when kids are involved. I’m sick of making kids homeless.
In Ollie news, we ate cereal twice today. He also really seemed to figure out the whole raspberry blowing thing, and proceeded to do it all day long, even while eating cereal both times. Oh well. I brilliantly went over to mom’s for the first cereal feeding, so she’s the one that had to clean it off the floors this morning. (Eh, I think I actually did.) I’m seriously lacking in the sock department for him. He has ginormous feet. (Nick says “You know what they say about guys with huge feet….. they need huge shoes.”) I have one pair that is too small, but they are Old Navy ones, 0-6 month, that have the grippy bottoms. This is freakin’ genius. Ollie spends a lot of his day walking around. He’s happiest if he can stand or walk. I love the grippies. Then he doesn’t slide around on the tile, which makes my life 2 million times easier, because I’m not trying to hold him up and keep him from sliding. I approve.
So every month he moves up a size. What size is he going to wear when he’s 1? Good God. I mean, I know he has to stop sometime, but I see no sign of that happening any time soon.
Boy did Gus’ confirmation tucker him out yesterday! He fell asleep at 7 over at my parents. We brought him home around 9 and I changed him into a night time diapie (we do Pampers at night for my super pee-er.) and pj’s, and he went right back to sleep. He slept until 8 this morning, then proceeded to eat 8 oz. of formula and fall right back asleep until 11:30.
Very nice. I slept all morning, too. It’s way too easy to snuggle up with him.
Yay. Tonight’s writing was productive. I feel more relaxed and more able to fall asleep. After I play FB Bingo, of course. Last night totally kicked ass. I started with two cards, and won both of them. Then I kept doing 2 cards, and for 5 games in a row I won both cards every single time. Very odd.
Now I’ll go weeks without winning I suppose.
To all a goodnight. (Or day, because after all, it is almost 1 AM, and most sane people are asleep right now.)

Chronicles of A Full Time Mom/Real Estate Agent

I seriously need to write more. I have two things I have always enjoyed doing – making music and writing, and I do neither anymore. So this is going to be my attempt at writing. Eventually I hope to get back to novel-type writing, to perhaps become wealthy by “doing nothing” except weaving tales of laughter onto paper.
Ha. Like that will happen.
Anyway, my life is kind of passing me by, and it has changed so much in the last few months that even I am left wondering what happened. I spend all day every day with Mr. Oliver (as his doctor refers to him), who is very high maintenence. We talk. We sing. We play games. We jump. We have tummy time. We play with our gym. We eat, and eat, and eat again. (He’s eating approx. 50 ounces a day to all you mothers with bottle feeders.) He’s about 18 pounds now, and when I’m sitting and he’s standing, he comes up to about my eyes. My kid is going to be sooooo much taller than me.
We have the occassional funny story, which I should really be writing down. Like about two weeks after he was born, we went to Walmart, and we were pretty sure he pooped. (Why do I get excited about poop????) Nick volunteered to change his diaper, and I wasn’t going to turn down that offer! Off to the bathroom they went.
About 15 minutes went by, and I was starting to get worried. I was on my way to the front of the store to see if I could find them, and Nick came rushing from the back looking as mad as a hornet. I stopped and said “What’s wrong?” He hands off Ollie and says “Take this kid”. He proceeds to tell me his story.
Nick went into the family bathroom and go Ollie all set up on the diaper changing station. He removed Ollie’s diaper, and pulled out the new one. He accidentally dropped it on the floor, so one hand on Ollie, he bent over to pick up the diaper, and all of a sudden his back felt wet. Ollie proceed to pee ALL OVER Nick. He was soaked. And mad. I couldn’t help it. I nearly died with laughter. Then I bought him a new shirt.
Or the time Nick was playing airplane with Ollie and Ollie spit up in his hair.
Or the time that Ollie managed to wet and poo in his clothes while I was out showing houses, so he had to be naked until I could get to Pamida to buy him an outfit (which was ridiculously expensive.)
Ah, our little monster.
But what about me?
I’m still working. I got out of the hospital and was immediately working. We ran over to Pine City to do a cash for keys (CFK), which essentially means that we offer money to people who are still living in a foreclosure for them to leave the appliances and leave it clean, therefore increasing our sale value. I was successful, and they moved out and left the place clean.
Side note – if you are ever facing foreclosure, there are two things I think everyone should do. Put your house on the market. Seriously. We can work with the banks to take less than what you owe. If we sell it before the redemption period is up, your credit takes much less of a hit than if you just let it go. And when a real estate agent shows up on your doorstep to offer you money to move out, you can negotiate and ask for more, but TAKE IT. Seriously. You will NOT make that much off the the appliances on Craigslist. Don’t believe me? Go look at how many appliances are there, and how dirt cheap they are.
Anyway, so I essentially kicked people out of their home less than 24 hours after my discharge. And it didn’t stop there. Showings that week, more bank owned tasks… and I’ve been running my tail off since. The hard part about bank owneds is that they are SO MUCH WORK! You’re constantly running out to them to take pictures, winterize, rekey, vaccum, etc. It’s not easy money, but it’s about the only money to be made right now.
Anyway, as most of you may know, I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. Well, I hadn’t. I think I may know now – or at least have a good idea of a nice stable job that would make decent money. I’m thinking of becoming a midwife. It kind of makes me giggle – the thought of me spending 6 years in college. But at the same time, it is a good job, good money, and overall a positive experience. And I think I would be good at it. Not that I’m bad at real estate, or that I don’t like real estate. I think all of us are assessing how we are living right now with the economy being so poor right now. Even in six months, I went from listing bank owned properties and selling them in a month to listing bank owned properties and them not selling. Last year I sold houses to people and they were happy. This year I’m kicking people out of houses, then listing them and selling them as is, which then results in buyers who sometimes end up with houses with problems. Of course the agent is blamed, or at least partially blamed, because we were involved. What people forget is that there is a reason we recommend inspections. We’re not home inspectors. Or contractors. Or engineers. We don’t know what that crack is, why the furnace won’t work, or even if the pipes have been frozen or not. Selling bank owned properties is simply no fun whatsoever. I make money, yes, but it’s not very much, and it will be years before I can call myself a bank owned agent. There are quite a few locally who only do bank owneds and have been for years. The banks like them, they know people… it works out well. But I’m getting more.
The midwife thing is something I’ve been researching pretty heavily in the last few weeks. My experience with my midwives was excellent. And I’ve gone from low confidence to “Holy Crap! Did you know I can give birth to a 9 lb. 7 oz. baby? All by myself???” I’m kind of amazed at the whole process. How you crash between contractions and take mini-naps that realistically last like 2 minutes, but it feels like so much more. The joy, the elation… the psychology of it is amazing, too. The tears, the adreniline… it’s amazing, it really is. I’m sure people have heard that before, but I was hugely impressed.
I won’t quit real estate. I still love it, and I love to help people, so if I were actually to go through the nursing thing, I would definitely be able to sell houses. I know some people really expect me to go get my broker’s license this winter, since I’m eligible, but I’m not sure there’s much point. I could do it just to say I have it, but I’m not starting my own real estate business right now.
Nick and I have done a lot of talking, trying to figure out where we want to go. Nick’s ultimate dream is to own a farm, and I’d love to get to that point. I’m terrified of it with my current career, though. No steady paychecks? I can’t budget at all, and he’s pretty decent at it, but not having a pay check every two weeks does terrify me. Whereas if I was a nurse, even with just the two year degree, my income alone could potentially support our family, and his would be the extra money. (That’s what I am right now… extra money.) However, Nick now says he would love to be a real estate team someday. Well, we need a better market for that to happen! And he’s said before he didn’t want to do that. I don’t think he knows what he wants, either.
We’ve talked about him going back to school, but he keeps insisting now that he wants to “teach me to fish”, and wants me to have a chance. He said he had chances to go to and finish school and he at least has credits. Logically I think he’s the one who should go, because he could easily finish up a degree, but whatever.
The biggest issue I have in my way right now is my previous student loan. I have a loan from going to Pine Tech in 2005 (I withdrew, we didn’t have the money for me to drive back and forth, and I started a job that wasn’t working with the college schedule I had already set up.) that is a government loan, but being a total dick about all this. They are upset because I don’t make regular payments (Well DUH, I don’t have a regular paycheck!) and they want me to pay it off before they will clear me for more federal student aid. It’s partially my fault, because I honestly haven’t really tried to pay it off or anything… I’ve made small payments here or there, but I figured it didn’t matter. Sometimes I get in a mood where I figure that I’m never going to get anywhere or do anything with my life, and so why bother worrying about paying down a student loan quickly? It’s not like I’m going back to school….
If only I had known.
I owe $2,200… so I’m hoping one of my bank owneds sells before January, so I can pay it off and qualify for federal aid. In the meantime, I’m still turning in apps and doing all the scholarship worksheets. I guess since I’m “old” I qualify for special “old people” scholarships, too. Wow, doesn’t that make me feel good.
Ug. Stupid loan. I’m like “But I want to go back to school” and she’s like “well you can’t – you need to pay this off” and I’m like “DUDE. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL SO I HAVE A JOB SO I CAN PAY IT OFF.” Stupid *&^%$%^&*.
Gus gets confirmed tomorrow. My Aunt Julie is coming down to surprise my mom… I’m so excited. I want to be here to see my mom’s face.
Ollie’s teething. Oh how fun.
I guess that’s a look inside my life for now. I think I’ve probably rambled on enough that this may qualify for a novel, although not a publishable one, but at least I’m warmed up and letting things flow. I should do a writing exercise every day. Time to bust out “Bird by Bird” and “How To Write Chic Lit” and get my writing groove back.
P.S. I’m crampy. You know, I went for a year and two months without having a period (sorry if there are any guys reading, I’m sure it’s TMI.) and I am NOT excited to be back to that. It makes me feel like running out in the street and demanding instant impregnantion, or just ripping my ovaries out. I haven’t decided which.

He Did It!

That asstard actually wrote an offer on the cabin. (Please read previous “I’m So Mad” post if you are confused.)
I might kill him.
I want to write him an email. I think it would go something like this.

Dear Asstard;
This is Joslyn. You know, the Realtor you totally screwed over by not paying a referral? Yeah, just so you know, I’ve been working with K for over a year. I have proof. And I have procuring cause on the cabin. Just because you and/or she lied to me doesn’t mean I’m just going to cut you a break and let this go. Pay me some money, asstard, or I will take ALL your money.
I hope you rot in hell.

Okay, now I feel better.

I’m So Mad!

Okay, not that everyone will understand this, but I need to vent, and I can’t do it on my real estate blog, because the jerk off might see it. So here we go!
About a week ago a lady that I have talked to for over a year off and on contacted me about a few cabins located in the Mora area. She wanted to see them, and went on to mention that she had looked at buying a house in the metro but that she really wanted to be out of the cities and in the country.
I asked her right then and there if she was working with an agent, to which I got a response like “Well, I was, but I’m not anymore.” After further reassurance that she wasn’t working with anyone, I set up the showings.
She met me up here on Friday, at the first cabin. The showing was going really well, and she said she thought she was going to write an offer. I said “Well, I have paperwork with me. If you would like, we can fill it out here or at my office.” The response was classic. “Oh, well, I have an agent in the cities.”
“Are you under contract with this agent?” I asked right away.
“Well, yeah, I signed a buyer’s rep agreement.” Kill me now. “But I talked to my agent, and he said he’d do a referral.” Okay, so that’s better than nothing.
So we went our separate ways. She immediately emails me with more questions, and so it continues. I emailed her agent immediately when I get back to the office, and he didn’t respond until the next day, and of course he said “I NEVER AGREED TO PAY ANYONE ANYTHING.”
Okay, so you send your buyer up here to see THREE cabins, which he admittedly knew she was doing, and then write the offer without paying out? I don’t think so.
I’m not sure if she, he, or both have played me, but I’m madder than hell. It’s not like it was my listing and I’m going to get paid no matter what! Now he’s mad at me, and she’s still emailing me. He’s threatening to turn me in if I talk to his client again, saying I never should have, and I’m like “Dude, don’t send her up here to see properties with someone else then!” and “maybe you better explain how agency works, because she keeps contacting me!!!” I’m so tempted to turn HIM in, especially since he called at 9:45 tonight! He calls when he KNOWS that no normal person would answer.
The worst part is that I want to smack this dummy around. His client comes up here to see a property and he doesn’t explain agency to her at ALL apparantly, so she’s blabbing about financing and financial situations and blah blah blah blah blah. She’s writing an offer on a Northern Lights listing. Hello, people, guess what? I have an obligation to the seller because I work for NORTHERN LIGHTS. So now everything she’s told me I BY LAW should be sharing with my sellers.

Stupid asses. ARGH.

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