Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Finding Time

So admittedly starting a blog when you are in the middle of a move and your boss leaves you in charge for two weeks on short notice is not a great idea.  Luckily we are now in our new home - though there are a ton of boxes to unpack and the boss is back so I can breathe a little at work now.

I can find time to write a few words but I find myself feeling guilty about the lack of time I have spent with my little guy and my husband over the last week.  We moved on Friday and my parents were happy to take Jax Thursday night so that we could organize all the last minute details of the move.  Friday morning Hubby picked him up and brought him home so that he could see the moving truck, but then headed off with him to drop him off at my in-laws for the day while he went to the new place to meet up with service people and delivery folk.  I stayed home to direct the movers.

Friday evening my wonderful in laws brought supper over for us, and brought Jax with them, but the move took longer then we had anticipated so they took Jax back to their place for another sleepover - this time with the other grandparents.  His bed was not yet set up at our new place.  They came back again on Saturday to help out and I did get to spend some time with Jax then, but of course we were busy as bees trying to put furniture together and unpack the essentials in the house.

I love my parents, and Hubby's parents as well.  I don't know what we would do without either set of them.  They are wonderful with Jax and always willing to help us out.  I worry that sometimes we take advantage of their generosity too much.  This leads me to feel guilty about how much time I am willing (or wanting?) to spend away from Jax.  Granted, this past weekend was an aberration and I think Jax was likely much happier with his grandparents than he would have been with me, but on the whole I really enjoy evenings out and the odd weekend away without a toddler around.  I know he's in good hands while I'm gone, and I barely give it a second thought.  It isn't until I get back that I start to wonder if something's wrong with me that I didn't miss him the way I "ought" to have.

My sister does not have the same support network as I do.  She lives in another province from all her family members and thus it is extremely rare for her to spend even a single night away from her two girls.  When she does, it is almost always for work related reasons and her husband is still there with the kids.  I imagine the two of them can count on one hand the number of nights they have both been away from the girls at the same time.  They have a five year old and a two year old.  Despite that, when they do have the opportunity to have a little alone time, they still often don't cash in on it.  They'll go out for dinner, but when my parents are out there visiting and suggest that they go to a hotel for the night, they'll decline more often then not.  I'm not sure what makes us so different in that regard, I'm quite happy to jump on those opportunities, no matter how often they will present themselves, but I wonder if I should be wanting to spend every second I can with Jax.  He really is a delightful child, with the most easy going personality you can find in a two year old and the best sleeping habits one could hope for.  I'm spoiled rotten in more than one regard.

It is mornings like this morning that I start to think long and hard about my ability to be apart from him.  He has seen little of me (compared to normal) in the past week.  Usually I'd spend every evening with him with the exception of maybe two nights a month, as well as all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This past weekend I spent almost no time with him from Wednesday when I put him to bed to Saturday evening when he finally got to sleep in our new place.  Sunday was also a bit of a gong show with unpacking and various visitors, then Monday was back to daycare.  Now on Wednesday we are both feeling the strain.  The first words out of his mouth this morning were "It's no daycare day today.  It's Mommy-Jackson day."  He was smiling broadly when he said it.  Words to melt your heart, but sadly he was mistaken.  It is daycare day.  I have to go to work.  Tomorrow too.  I'd really like to do something really fun with him on Friday, which is my normal day off with him, but I'm afraid life will get in the way.  We will spend the whole day together, but there are so many stupid little errands that need to be done.  Hopefully he'll be happy with just being with me and spending some time at the park and going for a walk in addition to grocery shopping.  Poor kid.  Despite all the chaos we really need to book some time just for our little family.  I wonder if Hubby would be interested in a camping (or hoteling) weekend in the mountains.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


We are supposed to take possession of our new house today. It is supposed to be fun and exciting. Jax, at not quite three years old really wants to sit in the moving truck and has been "helping" us pack up the house - which is a complete disaster area right now.

We built this home from the ground up.  We carefully picked our lot, made some major modifications to a floor plan we liked and went through the process of going to numerous suppliers to pick out all of our finishes.  It was a lot of work, and we are thrilled with how everything turned out.  This is our "forever" home.  We will raise our family there.  We will likely retire there, and only move when we are no longer able to climb the stairs.  Then why am I upset?  Well, let me start by advising that if you are  ever going to get a mortgage, DO NOT go through Royal Bank.  They have completely screwed us over and we will never go back to them.  This is actually the second time they've done so.  You think we would have learned.

I have been a Royal Bank customer for my entire life.  When I was still delivering newspapers in Junior High, I set up some mutual funds with them, with the help of my dad.  My savings, chequings, RRSPs, credit card, my old student line of credit, even life insurance - everything has been with them.  My husband is the same.  Unfortunately we are stuck with our 4 year mortgage with them now, but once that is up for renewal, you can be sure that we are taking every last dime we have out of their institution ang going elsewhere, never to return.

Weeks ago we provided our mortgage specialist with all the final documentation they would need - our possession letter and the statement of adjustments from the builder.  As a lawyer who handles real estate transactions, I am familiar with the process.  RBC at this point needs to get mortgage instructions to the lawyer.  We are using the builder's lawyer because it seemed easier that using my own office.  I've been following up and putting pressure on the bank for at least two weeks now because the law office did not have the documentation. 

First we had issues with interim financing.  They got that to me too late, so we were forced to borrow some money from my in-laws.  Thank goodness we were able to do that, or we'd probably still be working out that issue as well.

Now, after much pressure, several mistakes, last minute changes, and general miscommunication, we recieved notice yesterday that they would have it by 1:00pm.  Then by 3:30.  Then by the end of the day.  This morning I got an e-mail at 7:57 that "they were hitting send right now" on the fax.  Then they would have it within 10 minutes (of a 9:30 phone call).  Then by 10:30.  Now, it seems that they did send it at 11:15, but that is just the bank confirming - and "confirming" the wrong possession day.  I haven't been able to verify anything with the law office yet.  There is still a small possibility that we will take possession by the end of the day, but by hopes are fading by the minute.

Moving is stressful enough.  This was not something I needed added to my plate.  I took a day off work to deal with possession, and this is unpaid time off.  It was initially only supposed to be a half day but I extended that so that I could sign the paperwork at the lawyer's in the morning and do the walkthrough in the afternoon.  Needless to say, I have not signed the paperwork yet.  It is now noon.

I have never in my life been as angry as I am right now.  I am absolutely furious.  We have services scheduled to come in tomorrow and Thursday.  Movers come on Friday.  So do several deliveries and more services.  We have several friends and family members helping us out on Saturday to finish moving everything that the movers don't take.  If possession is delayed more than a day or two, we are up the creek without a paddle.  Some of those services schedule over a month in advance, so if we have to cancel their appointment, we'd be looking at having no phone, internet or TV for that long.  As my husband, the techie, how he feels about that.  His favorite room in the new house is also a dedicated theatre room.

If we could go to a different bank today, I would, but we are stuck with RBC for the next four years.  After that, adios.  I plan to write a strongly worded letter to them, though I think the only good it will do is provide me with another opportunity to vent.  Will they change their policies?  Will it help another couple?  Will we get so much as an apology or explanation?  Will the right people be disciplined?  Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I doubt it.  It won't stop me from writing the letter but I do not have high hopes.  I'm sure no one at the bank will lose sleep of the loss of one customer, or even one family of customers, but I look forward to packing up and moving on.  I only wish that I actually had followers so that more people could be warned against them!  We do have a mortgage on our rental property through Scotia Bank, and they seem good...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A beginning...

I have always thought about the possibility of being a writer. I like writing, and while my spelling and grammar could often use work, I like to think that with a little practice I'd do okay at it. My grade 12 English teacher encouraged me to submit a short story I wrote to some magazines in the hopes I would get published. I submitted it to one place, got some feedback, but in the end was rejected. Comes with the territory, I guess, but the fact that my teacher even made the suggestion sparked my curiosity and my interest.

For several years, I have even had the idea in my head that I might like to write a novel. Lofty goal for someone who is not particularly self motivated, but at least I'm realistic in my expectations of it never getting published even if I were to write it. I've written and re-written the first couple chapters a few times, and a nearly full outline of all the chapters, but get stuck on the ending. I don't know what to do with it, and there goes all my motivation. After all, why bother spending the time writing the rest if the ending is never going to happen? Oh well, maybe one day I'll have that "Eureka" moment and everything will come together. In the mean time, I'm going to write for myself. Maybe I'll even start commenting on other blogs and eventually get a few readers of my own, but that's not really my goal right now. Right now I just want to write.

Lately I've felt like I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life and feel like I need to get a few things out. That's not for today, but needless to say I have found journaling (yeah, I didn't think that was a real word, and spell check is telling me the same, but I'm just going to run with it) to be quite helpful in getting not only my thoughts sorted out, but also in giving me a direction with what I actually want to do.

This will be a bit of a diary on my life, but more than that it will comment on figuring out what is important to me. It will touch on family and on work and on hurdles to overcome. For now though, all I want is a beginning to this blog. I have a good life, where I am a mother to a wonderful little boy, who is closing in on three years old, I am wife to a loving husband, and I am a lawyer at a small firm, practicing mostly in family law. I am happy, but I still feel as though I am missing something and hopefully through my writing I will figure out just what that is.