So life has been keeping me busy, and is throwing some big changes at my family.
1. Birth of second son
2. New Job for my Wife
3. New job is 2 states away
4. See 1-3
My youngest son has been proving to be a handful, in a rather literal sense. My oldest was sleeping through the night on his on by this point, but his brother doesn’t want to follow suit. So we are having to hold him while sleeping on the couch in the living room(taking turns every other night right now). This is leaving me very tired throughout the day, making working out much tougher. I used the word “tougher” with some apprehension, but decided that it was the best way to describe it! After 30 min I feel drained to the core. I came close to passing out the other day after 20 min of using the gym bike. I am sure that would have been a funny sight though, as I was clipped in with my bike shoes.
Not only is my body exhausted, my mind is as well. Sleep deprivation doesn’t do good things to you when you want to loose weight! I am drinking a 80:20 ratio of soda/coffee to water, which doesn’t help your body keep things moving. I find myself faced with choices and my mind is screaming “just pick the easy choice already!”. I have tracked every meal I have eaten, but I have had to track a few things I wish I didn’t need to.
Lets take both of those things going on and add a dash of upset! My wife has been offered an amazing new job, but it is 2 states away! So, we have spent the last week or so trying to find a place to live! With a family of 4 and 2 small dogs it isn’t an easy task! One of the most annoying parts was dealing with realtors that NEVER CALLED YOU BACK! We mainly used the Zillow app, but tried a few others as well. The other annoying part, scammers! We saw about 3 “perfect” places, amazing stats, amazing locations, amazing price….and they all turned out to be scammers. Here is how they work(in hopes you can avoid the home scammers as well).
They take a house for sale, copy the photos and information and re-list it on craigslist, zillow, and others as being for rent. You contact them and they say something like “hey I am not in the area right now but go ahead, look in the windows! You do that, and say “I LOVE IT”, they tell you that they will send you the keys to go look in it, but need some money from you first “to make sure we get the key back”. You send the money, and never hear back! Another variation is they send you a fake lease and you send in your information and security deposit…and never hear from them again.
So we lined up 4 real places to see, 2 apts and 2 houses. We pack up the family at 5:30am and hit the road for a day of fun, adventure, and amazing places! HA! Ok, the ride out wasn’t bad, full of excitement about what we were going to see. The first place was one we were really wanting, a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse. We arrive and find it is at a huge apt. complex, but that’s fine, lets just see the place. We meet with the manager who first tells us about rules/deposits, which are pretty straightforward except for the following: $200 non refundable pet fee plus $100 refundable pet fee PER PET! We have 2 dogs, so $600 in extra fees, on top of rent and security deposit. Ok, lets just go see the place, we can deal with this later.
As we pull up to the place we realize this isn’t going to work, walking inside the place is TINY. The manager turns to us and tells us “most people say this place is to small, so I doubt it will work for you”. Maybe, in the future, when someone says they are a family of 4 with 2 dogs, tell them that it is a small place before they drive 5 hours to see it? Needless to say, that would not be the future home of the Big Boned Biker.
So we drive out to go see the next place, and our moods are starting to go downhill. The next place was a 2 bedroom 2 bath, but suppose to be “open and roomy”. As we meet with the landlord she lets us know the fees, much more reasonable and not per pet. This perks us up a bit, maybe this one will work out. As we follow her out to the unit things go south quickly. The building is a 3 story building, and the unit, as I am sure you already guessed, is on the 3rd floor. Ok, lets get into the elevator and take…what do you mean there is no elevator? While I enjoy nice work out, 3 flights of steps with 2 dogs and 2 kids does not a happy memory make. We decide to see the place anyways, after all we already are there, and it too disappoints. The kids room would lead right out onto a third story balcony, or into a bathroom. Scratch this one off the list!
We get a text before we leave, it is from the next house on the list, “Hey the power got turned out in the house. I can’t meet you till after dark, but feel free to go take a look.” He sends us the code to get into it, and we drive out. Not feeling very positive about this place after the first two were such flops. As we pull up to the slightly run down 3 bedroom 2 bath house our hopes are not raised. As my wife and I go inside to explore we are left with a feeling of “meh”. No central air, no basement, no dishwasher, and the second “bath” is a shower stall and a toilet in the garage. Yes, in the garage, and not a “finished” garage, just a regular garage. The back yard is a nice size but has an old ragged fence that I am sure a mouse might knock down. On the plus side, bigger, has a 3 ¾ season porch, wood fireplace, and quite neighborhood. It is at least a contender, considering we only have one other place to view.
So as we head to house number four, our stress level is through the roof. As you can imagine we have two little boys in back not enjoying the trip very much, and happy to let us know about it. The final house is a 3 bedroom 1 bath place, and it is being completely remodeled ! WOW OH WOW! It is beautiful, hard wood floors, central air, brand new dishwasher, laundry room! The back yard is big and fenced in, with a sturdy fence! There is a lovely wood deck and while the place lacks a garage, it has a big shed for storage. Ok, so the place is rather small, but we COULD make it work, and the price was one of the cheapest we have seen. As we head out to the car, we both quickly agree this will be our new home, the new home of the Big Boned Biker!
I admittedly get hold of the listing agent, “WE WANT THIS PLACE! Lets get the ball rolling!”, I was excited to say the least. However, as often seems to happen, there was a catch…the owner is looking to flip the house. What does that mean? Well he may sell it while your living in it and you have to move(but he might give you 1k for helping him sell it). With the thought of having to go through this all over again, we told him that perhaps this won’t work out after all. So with a sad, stressed, tired, and exhausted heart, I hang up the phone.
So what are we going to do? Where are we going to live? We have to move in 30 days, and we can’t afford to keep driving out to see places. At that time the landlord from the house we saw before gets hold of me. He wants to know how we liked the place and if it would work? I let him know it “might work”, but really both my wife and I, felt it was to high priced. However we arrange to meet him at his office to at least talk with him about the place.
I go into meet with him, my wife stays in the car with the kids, we don’t see a point in her even coming in because we aren’t getting this place. I sit down to meet with the landlord, a nice looking guy and friendly. I tell him about myself/family, and explain what we didn’t like about the place. I ask him “would you be willing to drop the price to X?” not really expecting it to happen. While he doesn’t give me x, he says he thinks he could do Y instead. Ok, I am perked up a bit, Y isn’t to bad a price! Ok, but what about the dogs? No extra, not even an extra security deposit. We talk for a bit more and I take an application, with a promise to let him know what we decide in the morning.
We had already got some advice from a helpful source(thanks mom and a dad!), so we head to the hotel. What should we do? Should we keep looking? Take it? Try and get him to lower the price more? Take the other houses? Play Blackjack? Drive Ms. Daisy? So many options! UGH!
In the end we make a choice, if we ended up not finding a house, thus having to stay in one of those apts, we would be pissed, very pissed. As you have likely gathered at this point, we are taking the house. It might be run down, but so am I, it just needs some TLC(so do I). It is also only a rental, so in a few years we can leave and maybe find a house of our very own. It will WORK, and in the end that is all that matters.
So now that the stress is all gone, I feel better..yes that was a bold face lie. My eating on the trip was not the best, some of which was in direct relation to the stress. From pizza and taco bell to fries and mozzarella sticks, it ran the gauntlet! However, they were not all regrettable choices, just most of them. I actually thought I made a good choice that following morning for breakfast, but it ended up costing me half of my daily points! That lunch I made an amazing choice, a nice chopped salad(no cheese,eggs or croutons) with a balsamic vinaigrette, and a portabella mushroom roll-up(with a herb flavored flat bread roll) with a bit of balsamic dressing. YUM YUM YUM! It was amazingly good, and amazingly unsatisfying. This lead me to eating some of my wife’s meal, and using up all but 4 of my daily points.
We stop at a wayside to feed Lil BBB 2, and I go in and grab a coffee…and a pretzel. This leaves me 5 points in the hole for the day. It also left me feeling very sick and I was not able to even eat dinner tonight. This trip was not filled with positive choices, but at the same point, I have taken accountability for every bite I made! I also did my best to drink more water today, and got in about 3 glasses.
So, still stressed, still tired, and still not making the best choices..I am though: Happy(we have some new adventures ahead of us!), Healthy(I may not have made the best choices, but I stayed accountable to them), Loved(I know that no matter what, we 4 have each other and that is ALL that matters).
On a side note, thank you to every one who has been letting me know that you are reading this blog, it is nice to know that my journey is helping you on yours!
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
BTW I am on facebook as well http://www.facebook.com/BigBonedBiker