Tuesday, October 20, 2015

House Building Update: How we ended up with a "New" New House!

     Just as we were starting to lose hope that Mom's house would not sell in time for us to close on the new house, we got an offer last Friday the 16th and they settled on terms the next day.  HOORAY!  One giant problem off our shoulders!  We had all refrained from driving up to Wake Forest and visit our house because we didn't want to get our hopes up if Mom's house never sold.  So Saturday we celebrated the good news by driving up to Wake Forest to look at our house.  All cabinets were in, paint done, floors done, fixtures in, etc.  It was really taking shape!  Two houses down from us there is another NextGen model that we had not seen before so Mom and I popped in to take a quick peek while Derek and Cece spoke with the Lennar agent whom we have been working with.  Mom and I had toured a model of this style but never considered building one because there were none near completion when we signed our contract. 
     After walking through the new model for a few minutes both Mom and I were saying over and over again how much we liked this house.  I said "hmmm I wonder if we can switch to this house!"  Joking.  Kind of.  Then Mom told me to call Derek and have Derek come look at the house and ask our agent the price of this home.  I think Derek was a bit shocked when we called him but he came over and also really liked the new home.  PLUS it ended up being 350 more sq. ft but 20k less than the home we had been building.  After about an hour of walking and looking and re-looking at this new house, the model and then our house we decided that we wanted to move forward with this new style home.  We signed the contract yesterday and are beyond thrilled!  The layout for Mom is much more to her liking and she has an extra room downstairs to use for her sewing room/guest room.  There is also an additional full bath upstairs so both kids will have their own full baths.  We are SO excited and should be moving on November 25 (yes, the day before Thanksgiving..ack!)

Our "New" New House

It should be noted that I have a history of doing this whole "last minute change thing".  When we were buying my car, I had decided on a Ford Focus or something like that.  They were detailing it and we were waiting to sign the paperwork.  All of a sudden I said to Derek "No, I don't want this car".  He of course looked at me like I was crazy since we had been working this car deal for several hours.  I told him I couldn't drive a car, I needed an SUV or Crossover.  Car dealer also got mad but whatever if we are buying a car, it needs to be the right one.  Hence how I ended up leaving the car dealership with a Ford Escape.  Poor Derek. When this house thing happened he said
 "I should have known."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Exciting News!


I am technically writing this at 5 weeks pregnant, God-willing I will be able to actually post it in a couple of months!
Was this on purpose?  Very much so!  We had actually been trying for three months.  I started tracking my cycle and testing for ovulation once I stopped breast feeding Cece at six months old.  We knew about two months into parenthood that we weren't going to be able to wait until after Cece's first birthday to try and conceive which was our original plan.
How did we find out?  I tested very slightly positive at 9 DPO, and got a full on definite positive at 10 DPO (6/11/15).  I thought briefly about surprising Derek on Father's Day with the news but lets get real, I couldn't wait that long.
By the way, I HIGHLY encourage anyone that is TTC to use Clear Blue digital ovulation tests.  They have given us great results three times now!
When am I due? -  February 20, 2016

5 Weeks Pregnant - I am a total emotional wreck! I am crying at least 3-5 times a day.  And at nothing.   A story on the news, a song on the radio, not having crab claw crackers.  You name it.  I can't stand to watch or read or see anything too sad because I think it might push me over the edge.  These hormones have really done a number on me!  Phsyically feeling ok - more tired than usual, a little crampy but nothing major.  My last pregnancy I didn't get morning sickness until about 6-8 weeks.  So I'm still not sure yet if I have that to look forward to this time around.
7 Weeks Pregnant - Baby is the size of a blueberry! I am still an emotional wreck and never can predict what will set me off.  Morning sickness (AKA all day long sickness) is in full swing.  I actually feel worse as the day goes on and by the time I crawl into bed at night I feel the worst.  It's funny how I don't have time to wallow in my sickness like my last pregnancy.  I'm too busy taking care of Cece and working, maybe that is why I feel worse at night since everything finally catches up to me.  Same for weekends, I feel much worse when I don't have to get up and do stuff!  I did have to get some IV fluids last week due to being sick and dehydrated.  Some days I can only keep down a few bites of food which makes me feel even worse. Yuck.  I am ready for this part to be over and done with. Our first OB appointment is next week on the 14th.. I am hoping we can talk the nurse into an ultrasound as they generally don't do them until you are ten weeks. 
8 Weeks Pregnant - Baby is a Raspberry!  Still sick as a dog.  My hemoglobin is also in the toilet which doesn't help things.  I feel like I've been run over by a bus.  Less emotional and anxious.
Finally had our first OB appointment, generally they just have you meet with the prenatal nurse and business office.  Pretty UNEXCITING.  However since I have had some cramping I talked the doc into an impromtu ultrasound.  Within seconds the tech said she could see a heartbeat.  Thank you Lord!  The little bean looked great and had a heartrate of about 160 and measured right at 8 weeks.  We will have another ultrasound in two weeks around the 10 week mark and I think Derek and I both will feel a bit better after that.
 9 Weeks Pregnant - Baby is a Green Olive!  I am still sick as a dog.  I am taking Diclegis, Zofran and Phenergan and still have days where I feel like I can't get out of bed except to dry heave in the bathroom.  Ritz crackers have been my saving grace when I can't eat anything else.  I went in for an ultrasound and to meet with the doctor after some bleeding and thank the Lord all was ok, little peanut was looking perfectly happy.  Derek and I were FREAKED OUT.  I'm so glad that we can move forward with some small degree of confidence now.
11 Weeks Pregnant - Baby is a lime (or a fig, depends on which pregnancy app you look at)!  Holy heck how did this kid grow to the size of a freaking lime already??  I've only been sick 4 times this week... WIN!  We have our 12 week ultrasound next week and already have the gender scan scheduled for mid-september.  I am starting to have cravings, most recently sub sandwiches and Diet Coke.  Diet Coke was big for me when I was pregnant with Cecelia and it's back.  I never crave Diet Coke when i'm not pregnant.  I can't stand coffee but do like hot chocolate some mornings.  I've also started on a prescription iron supplement (ferralet) which has helped me feel less tired and crappy throughout the day.  It does have some icky side effects though that I am not a fan of. 
12 Weeks Pregnant - We had our Nuchal Translucancy ultrasound and bloodwork this week.  The ultrasound measurements were perfect and baby is growing right on track!  We saw little legs kicking and little hands waving to us.  This baby was MUCH more cooperative than Cece (maybe this is a boy???)  We are so happy to finally announce that we are pregnant! Now we have another month until we (hopefully) find out the gender. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cecelia Rose: 9 Months

Sweet baby girl where has the time gone?  You had your 9 month check up and are still a little petite girl weighing only 15lbs 7oz.  Mimi gave you your first haircut this month since you were getting so straggly.  Your hair is turning blonder by the month and is filling in nicely.  This month you started giving us big sloppy open mouth kisses that are adorable.  You also like sharing your toys with us and hold them up for us to bite then you laugh and laugh.  It was also your first Father's Day this month!  You gave Daddy a picture frame with a picture of you in it. You also called him Dada (he loves that you said his name first!).  We had a big family get together this month for your Uncle Beau's graduation and you loved spending time with your cousins.  You are completely intrigued by other kiddos and babies.  You still have two bottom teeth and are really working hard on more.  Poor Reese has to run away from you because you can chase her down now that you are crawling all over the place.  You both wait by the door for Daddy to get home from work and it is extremely adorable.  The time is FLYING by and we love you so much little nugget!


Home Building Update

     Whew! Lots of happenings!  Derek and I listed our house on a Friday and were under contract with a buyer by the end of the day on Monday.  Things moved pretty quickly!  We have the inspection and all the negotiating that goes with it behind us (thank the good Lord above).  Our realtor was truly a rockstar in helping negotiate the terms.  The appraisal was today so barring anything crazy happens we plan to close on our home on August 21st.  From there we will move some of our things to Mom's house and the rest into storage.  THEN we have the task of selling Mom's house (gulp).  Our mortgage has also been conditionally approved which is another huge step towards the finish line for us.  Sadly now we are working with the mortgage underwriter which is truly another circle of Hell. 
     We are also officially under contract with Lennar on our new home and groundbreaking just started!  They sent us pictures today of them pouring the footers for the house foundation.  Very exciting!  Dad is settled into an Assisted Living in Wake Forest and it will be so nice when we move and will be right down the road from him.  My commute is going to be a beast but it's worth it for all of the advantages that this move will bring for our family. Here are the pictures that we got today.  This is major progress to us since we are used to seeing an empty dirt lot!  Several houses on nearby lots are framed and even have siding on them so it seems that it will move quickly!  We should be set to move in in time for Thanksgiving!
Last Week: Foundation
Pouring footers for house foundation

Pouring footers for house foundation

This week: Foundation and Framing


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Home Building Part I

     Let me start by saying that besides planning a wedding, this is the most stressful thing I have been involved in in my life.  Things started off easy enough.  Derek and I were casually looking for a home with more square footage, Mom was looking to downsize to a townhome.  However, with our budgets, neither of us were finding anything we really liked.  Last Saturday Mom sent Derek and I a link to Lennar NextGen homes.  Within 30 minutes, Derek and I were pretty much sold on the idea.  Not having to pack the kids up every morning to go to Mimi's house? Check.  Getting enough square footage to accomodate our growing family? Check.  Upgrades and choices galore? Check.  Great locations? Check.  Great schools? Check.
     This literally seemed like the perfect solution for our family.  Derek and I would have our own space and Mom would have her own space but we could come together when we wanted to or needed to.  Plus the homes were gorgeous.  We started last Sunday just doing a drive by of a Cary neighborhood that the internet said offered these homes.  We decided to run in and tour the model and talk with the on-site realtor.  Sadly the neighborhood in Cary had sold all their lots so we wouldn't be moving there anytime soon.  However, about 45 minutes north in Wake Forest they were getting ready to build two NextGen homes so we headed up to check it out.  We met with the agent onsite who was SO helpful, knowledgable and nice.  This was great!  We saw the site of the two homes and decided that day that this home was something that all of us wanted to pursue.
     Then things started getting tough.  And really stressful.
 It turned out that in order for us to enter into a contract with the builder, Derek and I would need to have our home on the market and under contract with a buyer.  After much back and forth the builder was willing to contract with us with only one of our homes on the market and write a contingency for Mom to sell her home before closing.  One hurdle down, plus we only now need to be able to qualify for our part of the mortgage.  Second hurdle: selling our house.  Thankfully we have only lived in our house for a little over a year so the amount of stuff we have accumulated is smaller than usual.  Derek and I worked for a week straight from the time we got off work until we went to bed packing things away and cleaning like we have never cleaned before.  Tonight we meet with the realtor.  I didn't even think we wlould break even on our home sale.  Enter me doing math like magellan to figure out our cost to sell with different sale prices, different commission percentages, etc.  This is all consuming. 
   Then the what if's.  What if our house doesnt sell for enough money? What if the home inspector finds something majorly wrong with our house and we can't afford to fix it?  What if we move to my Mom's house and then something is majorly wrong with HER house and we can't afford to fix it?  How do we sell her house to have the money for closing without having to move to temporary housing? What if her home doesn't sell in time?  What if the new house takes way longer than expected to build?  What if we sell our house and move and then the whole thing falls through? WHAT IF IT ALL FALLS APART?
There are so many questions and they run through my mind all day and all night long.
I am leaning on faith right now.  Faith that this is the right thing for us, for mom and for our children.  Faith that God is going to help us through this.  Faith that this will work out.
All I can tell myself is that in a few short months all this stress will be worth it and we will be in our forever home. 
For now, taking it day by day!

Favorite and Best of Baby Girl Online Boutique Clothing Volume 2: Olive Mae, Eleanor Rose, Blue Eyed Belle

Olive Mae Clothing

I am kind of in love with everything about Olive Mae Clothing. They are based out of Texas and have the sweetest clothes for little gals. New items are released every Monday and Thursday. (Their Fall item sneak peaks are SO CUTE).  They also have a great BST facebook site. Find Olive Mae Clothing here.


Blue Eyed Belle

Less selection than the other two brands but I love the picks listed below.  Also, I don't have the Amelia dress (yet) but it is my ALL TIME FAVORITE.  I also love the Chloe dress for the colder months!  Find Blue Eyed Belle here.





 Eleanor Rose

      This clothing is absolutely darling and I love every bit of it!  They have a mix of classic, vintage and funky clothing that I adore. I really love their holiday collections! Collections are not released on a set schedule so you have to watch their Facebook page or check your email! Find Eleanor Rose here.

I'm still waiting to get my hands on this Costume Parade dress...

Bike Romper
This Nutcracker dress will be on Cece this Christmas!
Blue Bunny Romper
Spring Break Bikini
Partridge in a Pear Tree Ruffle Top.. LOVE THIS.

Antique Roses Pinafore



Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cecelia Rose: 8 Months Old

     Cece, this month was extra special to me because it was my first official Mother's Day.  Last year Derek and I half celebrated but it couldn't hold a candle to this year.  This year you were in my arms.  We went to My's house (your great grandmother) to surprise her.  She was SO happy and excited to see you.  Mimi and your Great Uncle helped plant flowers for My and we got to spend time with my cousins whose daughter Avery is 2 months younger than you.  You still look like the younger one though since you are a peanut!  You love being around other children and babies.  They fascinate you.  Cece, you gave me the BEST mother's day gift by sleeping through the night THREE nights in a row.   It was amazing!  A new record!
     You now have TWO teeth and they are so. darn. cute.   When you smile those little teeth just poke up and I want to eat you up.  You have developed a couple new interests this month including buttons, the remote control (we finally gave you an extra with batteries removed), eating like crazy (you absolutely SCARF DOWN your cereal) and blowing spit bubbles.  You also love trying to roll over to Reese but she generally ignores you and walks to the other side of the room.  The new favorite game is throwing your toys on the floor and watching us pick them up... then you throw them on the floor again.  You are SOOOO dang close to crawling.. it will be any day now! You like talking and saying "babababababa" over and over.  My baby girl, you bring us more joy by the day and we are so blessed to have you. 

Eight Months Old

Enjoying the Sunshine

First trip to the Zoo

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cecelia Rose: 7 Months Old

     I know that I am technically writing this 7 days before you turn EIGHT months old but I am taking care of your sweet but busy 7 month old self so cut me a break!  I do keep monthly notes though in my phone, not to fret.  My dear one, this month you learned to make lots of sounds.. your favorite being the "Chewbacca growl".  It is hilarious and cracks us up.  You are regularly eating cereal and purees twice a day.  Your favorites are peaches, squash, plums and apples but you dislike bananas, carrots and mango. 
     You had your first Easter which was so fun..  I can't wait for next year so that we can do an Easter egg hunt.  We wen't to Mimi and Grandaddy's for lunch and to open your Easter Basket.  You promptly dumped it out all over the floor but loved the stuffed animals you got.  You sleep with the puppy and bunny doll in your crib at night.  I was very excited because you FINALLY figured out the jumper!  Now instead of just sitting in it and playing, you actively jump up and down, smiling the whole time.. you love the attention!  You aren't crawling but you HAVE figured out how to roll to get where you want.  You roll and roll and roll and roll... we usually have to go get you and put you back in our eyesight because you just roll away!  The last day of your 7th month you cut your first tooth.  It was a rough few days for all of us but you seem to be much better now.  Every day is the best day with you. We love you so very much!

7 months

how our photo sessions really go....
playing in her high chair and silly bed head

First Easter

thriller move, cutie, sleeping, chewing on her remote

Friday, April 3, 2015

Layering Pieces for Online Boutique Brands ( Sweet Honey, Matilda Jane, Persnickety, Sassy Chic, Cheeky Plum

For Layering Pieces:

1. Most online boutiques carry their own layering pieces but some can be hard to buy just like their dresses/rompers.

Sweet Honey:
Tan Stripe Ruffle Leggings
Belle Shirt
Linen and Lace Nelly's
Floral Nelly's
Cheeky Plum:
Flutter Shirt
2. Lukey Lou - Great place to find leggings to match your SweetHoney and Cheeky Plum dresses. They also have some other layering pieces like flutter shirts and long sleeve shirts.  You can find Lukey Lou here.

Mustard Ruffle Shirt

Floral Pink Leggings

Ruffle Top with Pink Polka Dot Sleeves

Ruffle Capri's

3. Adorable Essentials - The CUTEST essential layering pieces. Ruffled long sleeve shirts, lace cuff shirts, pants, leggings, shorts. Lots of variety here. They also have some of their own designs which are also very cute. New items are released Tuesdays at 11am EST, 10am CST .  Find Adorable Essentials here.

4. Etsy - Lots of Etsy shops offer super cute layering pieces!