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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #37651
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    I keep telling DH that what we don't need is a larger house, what we need is a house that is better built. I once did a home visit for a family that was looking to adopt a dog from the rescue, and their house, while short on square footage, was absolutely perfectly constructed. It was not cookie cutter (everything here is a center hall colonial, and this was a ranch), it had a beautiful courtyard, and the millwork and workmanship was exquisite. When I complimented them on their lovely house, I was told that the original owner was an architect and built the house for himself, so he had paid a lot of attention to detail, and it really showed. It had been lovingly cared for and updated (from what I could tell; the kitchen was modern), and I'd love to live in something like that. Smaller sq. ft. also means less area to clean, and we've established by now that I'm no Martha Stewart.

    It's not that I don't like some of these giant houses that he's interested in. They have very nice features and amenities, but I'm not sure I'd ever be comfortable in that kind of environment, surrounded by people that I likely cannot identify with. Although, it was gratifying to do a drive-by, and see some dude in his sweats picking up the newspaper. Older homes in good school districts with character are extremely hard to come by, unless you have a budget that's upwards of 5 Million or so. Mostly, what you find around here is that people are sitting on a huge pile of cash in their larger lots that have become premium in these upscale neighborhoods, and for about a million or so, you could get a dinky old house on a decent sized lot that would have to be completely rebuilt. We have "seen" (in pictures) older homes with good layout/floor plan/space, but they need updating, and it's one thing to update 2 bathrooms, quite another to do 7 or 8 (or whatever ridiculous # these houses seem to have. Why do houses with 4/5 bedrooms have 8/9 bathrooms?).

    If we do decide to move, it would only be to some place with better schools than the ones we currently have access to. Predictably enough, the spendiest neighborhoods that we're looking into also have some of the best schools (our current elementary is a 9, middle an 8, and high school is a 7 out of 10; theirs is a 9 across the board), but what we're looking at would be towards the bottom end of what's available. One of my bigger issues is that I don't like neighbors (specifically, I don't like buying houses that are light and bright and wall to wall windows, only to have to cover it all up because the neighbors can see into your living space), and in these neighborhoods, in the price range we're looking at, having the kind of yard space that would be virtually impossible.

    I think that our current real estate taxes are something like $1.21 per $100 of assessed value.
    Last edited by Suja; 01-02-2013 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #37652

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    I plan on one day designing and having my own home built. Our house now was bought with the intent of renting it out or maybe selling it within 10 years, so it is not a "forever" home. Our neighborhood is going through gentryfication so it is transitioning, even though our portion of the neighborhood will probably be one of the lst to be completely transformed. The northern portion has already been taken over and renamed and is now one of the trendiest areas on our side of town so we are holding out on investors coming a few blocks south to envelope our portion of the neighborhood soon.

    But I have grand ideas on the type of home I would like and it does include a courtyard. I like having neighbors though right now while the kids are young. I would like them to be able to ride bikes and go next door to ask other kids out to play and such, like I did when I was a kid. Atlanta is not as urban as other cities though, most areas of the city have huge yards, at least 1 acre, half an acre is a small yard. We live in one of the older neighborhoods that is very close to downtown so we have a regular, small, city sort of yard. About .10 of an acre. A couple miles away and one would have a yard that is 1 acre or more.

    It is weird they have more bathrooms than bedrooms in houses you looked at lol! I guess it is for entertaining, but still, they have more bathrooms than stalls at the mall lol! My house is small but is laid out very well. We have 3 full baths and 4 bedrooms and my only gripe is that we don't have much storage space. Basements are rare in my area and DH doesn't want to put a shed in the backyard. We contemplated converting our crawlspace into a basement but since we don't plan on being here much longer we decided against it as it would not be worth it financially and really since it would cost about $30K we figure we could find a cheap house for that price in our neighborhood.

    Erin

  3. #37653
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    I almost posted something along the lines of 'I wonder what these people are doing with all these bathrooms', but in light of L's DH's recent misadventures, decided to say nothing.

  4. #37654
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    Grandpa's funeral is Monday. The day of my 5 hour interview.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  5. #37655
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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    Grandpa's funeral is Monday. The day of my 5 hour interview.
    Aw man, that stinks. Are you thinking about postponing the interview?

  6. #37656
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Aw man, that stinks. Are you thinking about postponing the interview?
    Actually, I am. I'm so up in the air about it. That interview is a lot of people, and some of them very high level in the business school. Rescheduling won't be easy, but I'll only get 1 opportunity to attend my maternal grandfather's funeral. I really don't know what to do. Personally, I wasn't close with that grandfather and would probably be ok emotionally to miss it. But I worry a great deal about my mom...and mostly leaving her to her own devices with her very uncaring, catty, jealous, insecure, and insensitive siblings. My brother would be there, but his way of dealing with things might be to just punch one in the mouth. Ugh.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  7. #37657

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    Oh man, Chrissy. I don' t envy that decision.

  8. #37658
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    Chrissy I would ask to reschedule. I think that a death in the family, especially immediate family is one that people are understanding about. And if they are not, it's an easy decision for you.....you wouldn't want to work with people who were not compassionate about a death.
    I would assume that your employer has funeral leave and that this would count. It really doesn't sound like you should leave your mom alone with those jerk relatives.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  9. #37659
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    I did think about that Jennifer and you're right. I'm going to write and request that they reschedule. If they can't...well, sucks to be them.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  10. #37660

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    I agree to ask them to reschedule. If they really want you and aren't jerks then they won't have a problem rescheduling, especially since you were rescheduled in the first place.

    Erin

  11. #37661

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    I agree with Jennifer

    Your bathroom comment made me laugh Suja. I happen to think one cannot have too many bathrooms! When you gotta go...

  12. #37662
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    I like more than one bathroom but don't see the need for more than 2-3 in a family of four. If you have a huge family, more would be ok.
    I want to say that I read something once about people who have too many bathrooms having higher incidence of something bowel related like maybe Crohns disease. The idea being one of the body needing exposure to things is healthy for the immune system.

    Blah this is probably one of my least favorite times of year....from now until end of March. Just nothing much going on. No holidays, no vacation time. Probably will end up sick at some point. And it's cold and snowing. Party time is over and it's back to WW and trying to get into an exercise routine.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  13. #37663
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    Blah this is probably one of my least favorite times of year....from now until end of March. Just nothing much going on. No holidays, no vacation time. Probably will end up sick at some point. And it's cold and snowing. Party time is over and it's back to WW and trying to get into an exercise routine.
    I completely agree with you on this. Although we don't really celebrate the holidays, everyone is in a good mood, work load is light, it's so festive... and then back to earth. We are planning to go skiing this winter though, so something to look forward to, and I'm starting to plan Mira's first hiking trip. It will be short, no more than 2 or 3 miles, with water play in the middle to break it up.

    As for the bathrooms, I think what happens is that there is one bathroom attached to each bedroom (so 4-5 bathrooms, at 1 bath/bedroom), then one 'common' bathroom on each floor, including the basement, which would then add up to 7-8. I guess our future guests will be cleaning their own bathrooms, because I sure as hell am not cleaning that many.

  14. #37664
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    Yeah, that's the downside of Cornell too...after the week off between Christmas and New Years, there's not another paid holiday off until Memorial Day weekend, and that's when they hold graduation so many around campus have to work not only the normal schedule, but the weekend as well.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  15. #37665
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    Suja, don't think that I would be looking forward to skiing! LOL

    I have started to think about and plan out my vacation in May. Think that we are pretty set on going on a road trip and seeing a few away games for the Brewers. Going to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Works well because we can stop at my parents and drop off the girls, head down to Chicago and pick up MIL and go on our trip. When we go and pick up the girls we can stay at my parents and my sister can have her 30th b-day that weekend. We will stay a few nights in the cities and see what else we can find to do there besides the games. I think at least one also has a casino and DH and his mom like to gamble. And all of it is a trip that can be easily canceled. Worst would be the tickets for the two games but if we couldn't sell them on ebay, we could just eat the costs. Hotels are easy to cancel. No plane tickets needed. One of the harder things about adoption....makes is hard to plan anything. Like I had a chance to go to a conference in Boston in May but I turned it down. Too much needed to be done ahead of time and a lot of it is non-refundable. I cannot ask my employer to pay for a conference I didn't attend, I didn't want to get stuck with the bill and I know that if I get a baby, I'm NOT leaving her. So I turned down going to Boston....which otherwise I would have wanted to do.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  16. #37666
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    You all need to come visit me in late February for the rodeo! We always have Thursday and Friday of that week off work. It's just a bizarre little local thing and not even any of the other cities here get Rodeo break. But I guess the local rodeo has a long history. I will admit to never having actually gone to see it (not really a rodeo kind of gal) but I love, love, love that we get a break. It helps mark off the time to the end of the school year nicely. Then we get spring break in March, then nothing at all the last quarter of the school year. That's the one that's going to be slow.

    I'm cautiously excited about going back to work and seeing my new work space. I may have mentioned in here that they were moving us during the break and that I was packing for the move. According to my boss the move went as planned and they were hooking up computers the end of last week. Haven't heard anything since but hopefully everything will be in place when I go back next week. Should be interesting setting things up.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  17. #37667
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    I miss getting a spring break. It was great going to a catholic university (college when I was there but is becoming a university). We got spring break AND easter break. It was like something Thursday, whatever Friday was, easter, holy monday or easter monday. I don't know, it just turned into a nice 5 day weekend.
    But since I'm in a hospital, we are hardly ever off. I even worked xmas eve. No paid holidays....if I want pay when we do close for a holiday, have to use a PTO day.

    Gave myself a headache today trying to find out if the adoption tax credit was included in the thing they just did. I think it was but back to non-refundable...in 2010 and 2011, it was refundable and a higher amount. Than was trying to figure out if I benefit from non-refundable or not. I can now claim what we paid in 2011 when I do taxes in a month or two....and we already paid about 1/3 of the adoption expenses. Kind of hoping to get a nice big refund this year.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  18. #37668
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    I've never been to a rodeo either, but it's big where I'm from in Arkansas. One of the cliques in high school were labelled "goat ropers." They were the kids who wore cowboy hats and boots and did rodeo as a hobby. A lot of the men in my local community wear cowboy hats when they are out and about. I can remember talking to my dad once a few years ago and him saying to me, "It's funny...ever since that Broke Back Mountain movie came out, some of the fellas around here have stopped wearing their cowboy hats out in town." LOL.

    I like how the school system works here; the school year starts in September and we get one week off after every 6 weeks (roughly) of going to school, as well as 2 weeks off at Christmas and Easter and then in late July we get 6 weeks off for the summer holiday.

    Did I tell you guys that my 16 year old step-niece is pregnant? I found out through FB and she's put on there today that she's 18 weeks along and having a boy. I feel really sad for her; I know that's really judgmental, but I think about all the things I did before having kids and knowing now the realites of having children, I feel sad that she won't have that. But it's her life and she's not much like me at all, so she'll probably be fine. It's kind of exciting thinking that there'll be another baby in our family, but I am not close to my brother at all or his family, so I more than likely won't have anything to do with the new baby at all.

    Travis woke up with a fever today and has been lethargic ever since. I've given him some medicine throughout the day, but he went to bed still not feeling well. He said he felt achey as well, so I figure it's probably flu. I hate seeing him like that. Last night, I went to check on him before going to bed and he woke up when I walked in to his room. He held his arm up (I thought he was stretching) so I went over to him and he gave me a big hug and said, "I love you, mummy." So, I said, "I love you, too." He then said (while holding one finger in the air) "You can only marry one person. You are married to daddy. When I get bigger...." and he shut his eyes and went back to sleep. It was so funny. He's been a little snuggle bunny all day today since he's not felt well. I really hope he feels better tomorrow.

  19. #37669
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    Travis. That is so sweet.

    Jennifer, I heard that the tax credit has been extended permanently but I don't know whether it is refundable or not. A girl I went to elementary school with is on my fb and she is now a law professor specializing in international adoption (which is not surprising to me but amusing since my last memories of her revolve around Girl Scouts). She's been posting a lot about the tax credit. If you can't find what you are looking for, I can ask her for you.

    Ashley, we have goat ropers here too! They're probably more dominant in the culture where you come from, though. Back in my grandfather's day this was really a cowboy town but now there's so much new blood (either easterners moving west, Californians moving east, immigration, etc) that the cowboy culture is still here but isn't the main culture. Culturally we're much more like wanna-be Californians. But I like that we have a history. This is some information about the rodeo and the rodeo parade.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  20. #37670
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    Um the idea of men walking around in cowboy hats seems strange to me! I'm in a little more rural area now but they are farmers and they are much more likely to be walking around in bibs than anything. Or be Amish....I seem them almost weekly at work.

    Oh that is good Gwen that you head that too. I have now found it confirmed in at least two sources. Before I was having trouble finding any mention of it. Sounds like it is non-refundable but I think that still works ok for me. Certainly is helpful trying to pay for an adoption! It was making it hard to plan when the credit kept changing every year when adopting can take so long. I mean I paid in 2011 but cannot claim it until my 2012 return. But the rest of the expenses, good chance I might not be claiming that until the 2014 returns....depending on when we get our baby and finalize things.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  21. #37671
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    What a pain Jennifer. It seems like another layer of unnecessary headache in what should be a more enjoyable time for you. Trying to keep track of all the tax changes alone must be a chore, much less every other hoop you have to jump through

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  22. #37672
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    Yeah the agency posted something on FB today finally. They just do not make things easy because there are different rules for domestic and when you can claim what and for international and another set for special needs. I am generally pretty good at figuring things out and I don't really have anything much going on right now. All our hoops were done in 2011 minus the fingerprints and updates we did over the summer of 2012. Otherwise it's mostly just waiting. And making sure to keep enough money set aside to pay the rest for whenever we do get the call.

    OMG I have been miserable the past day. I thought I ovulated Wednesday morning. Thursday as I was leaving work I got a ton of pressure and cramping....enough to make driving home suck and it's thankfully a very short drive. All night last night and still today. Tylenol helps but it did wake me up a few times. I normally get ovulating cramps but for maybe 4-5 hours tops. Last time I felt like this was when I did clomid those three cycles I think that was maybe 2009. Three hours until I go home. I'm sure it's not a UTI. I don't know if maybe I developed a cyst or if maybe I had two eggs go this month but I know I didn't take clomid!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  23. #37673
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    That's very strange Jennifer. I never know when I ovulate...but I've definitely had a cyst before.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  24. #37674
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    Yeah fairly certain it's a cyst but it doesn't seem like it's coming from one side only. Which makes me wonder if maybe there was more than one. I know on clomid I produced both sides and that was the last time it was this bad. Yesterday was day 13 so timing was right for ovulation. I also know from ultrasounds done while on and not on clomid, my follicles tended to range 29-31mm which is pretty big. Thinking that might be why I tend to feel ovulation since I went off the pill years ago.

    If it gets super bad, I know the warning signs to head to the ER. Or if it is not gone by Monday I will go see someone. I just pay of pocket until the deductible is met (I think it's like 4K....I have an HSA) so hate to go in and have them just be like oh yeah you ovulated.

    I have not been able to concentrate much on work today though. DH drove me in and will come and get me in less than two hours. Cannot wait!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  25. #37675
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    If it persists, get yourself to urgent care, Jennifer. There are too many people around me that are having issues with stomach problems that turn out to have ruptured cysts and kidney stones and gall stones and such.

  26. #37676
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    Oh I will. If this was a different part of the cycle or if I hadn't felt this way before, I would be a bigger hurry to get in. I'm sure it's not stones or UTI. Doesn't hurt to use the bathroom once I sit (hurts to sit and stand and basically change positions). Lower pelvic pain/pressure and lower back. If it was up higher and just one side, I would be more concerned about gall bladder or appendix.
    No fever....that would concern me too.
    It's like really bad cramps....which I am not used to really having too much of those.

    Good news is I got in some quality time Tuesday....so maybe a slim chance of a pg? Most months I have no chance the past two years as we just have awful timing and once we got on the adoption track, gave up on trying to time things.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  27. #37677
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    Stranger things have happened!

    Jesi got all her stuff together. She's gathering her transcripts and if she can get her seatbelt fine paid, she's meeting with her recruiter as early as Tuesday to enlist. She's all excited. I'm actually really excited for her.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  28. #37678
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    what does that enlisting part mean? I admit I know nothing about military and guard stuff.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  29. #37679
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    That's just where Jesi signs her life away...I think that the GED program means she has to promise 6 years, but I have to clarify that.

    Do any of you make your own jewelry? I'm not crafty but I thought about doing this but I don't have the first clue how. Anyone know of any good blogs or sources to look at?

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  30. #37680
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    Guard isn't like full on military though right?

    I avoid the jewelry stuff at the craft stores....I spend more than enough time and money in the papercrafting section! I used to think that scrapbooking was so dorky and lame. And now almost 2/3 of one of my hall closets is full of papers, cards, embellishments, cutters, punches, adhesives, embosser and folders, cricut and cartridges....it is so easy to get into the store and be like, that looks cool....oh that is pretty. I'm going to have to figure out what I can all do with my newest toy...an embosser. I think that there is a way to emboss color into the patterns on the paper but need to look into it. Plus I have started this stocking kit for future baby's xmas stocking and the beads and sequins are so tiny and putzy and just might drive me insane. LOL

    Feeling somewhat better tonight. god if it was like this every month, I think I would look into going back on the pill and just give up the tiny chance that just maybe we would end up pg.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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