Wednesday, November 28, 2007
There....on my front porch....was a big giant box that said CRIB on it.
Then I walked PAST the box, unlocked the door, and headed into the house where I proceeded to say a quick hi to my kitties, and head directly through the house and out the back door where I grabbed our weed whacker and showed that yard who's boss.
Seriously you guys - I WEED WHACKED ON MY LUNCH HOUR. Who does that?
I was silencing all those voices in my head who were cramming my thoughts with
"holy crap, there's a crib on the porch"
"that's where babies sleep"
"that's where YOUR baby will sleep"
"good LORD you're having a BABY"
"and it's getting bigger by the day"
"and it's going to COME OUT OF YOUR VA----"
which is usually where I would shake it off and proceed to whack the hell out of those weeds. I have to say, it was rather comforting in a way...and I'm sure my yard thanks me...and my dog who has been sleeping and lounging in the green jungle out there. Sometimes I can't even see her we've let the grass get so high! (our lawn mower is broken...note to self - must get fixed before I wear out the weed whacker).
Honestly though - I have to worry about this whole motherhood thing...since I can hardly seem to face the BIG BOX ON MY PORCH without going off the deep end and spending my entire lunch hour doing yard work. Pretty soon we'll get a high chair and some baby bottles and hubs will come home to me working on the car...or painting the house...or some other such oddball thing.
In other news - we looked at another house last night. I'm not QUITE sure what to think about it just yet. It's definately a good price. It's also HUGE with tons of storage (helloooo walk-in closet the size of my current bedroom! and helloooo linen closet that I could probably move a family of 5 into!). BUT - it's part of a "community" which means there are HOA's involved which I HATE. And, it's not exactly in a town we were super interested in moving to. It was of course dark when we got there, so I definately think we need to go back during the day and check it out again. We lucked out and ran into the neighbor who was super cool and he gave us the scoop on the area and the other neighbors. He's lived there since 98 and it seems the HOA have only gone up about $40 total throughout the years...which is somewhat comforting. He also said they take very good care of the places - paint and landscaping and maintenance is all done regularly, so that's good to know. I'm still not sure that we'd be comfortable paying $130 a month extra for someone to do that stuff though, you know? Plus, we'd have to find out what exactly the rules are because those associations can have some real interesting and deal breaking rules!
Also - it's a foreclosure, and the family who lived there before had some...well....interesting decorating ideas. The entire bottom floor except for the bedrooms is covered in this hideous blackish brownish grayish UGLY tile - it's so horrible I can't even begin to describe it. The carpet in the bedrooms and on the stairs all needs to be ripped out - so basically covering all that tile and redoing all the rooms (3 bedrooms) would cost a pretty penny. Plus, the whole thing needs to be painted inside. One of the rooms is totally garish and has a big "G-Unit" painted on one wall (WTF?) not to mention the wall colors themselves just being really poorly done and waaaaay too bright and circusy for our taste. The master bedroom is painted this super dark forest green - but they didn't finish, so it's just....bad. All the baseboards and pretty much everything else in the house needs to be repainted - I think that might help alot actually.
The cabinets in the kitchen are painted a horrible chocolate brown and none of the knobs match up which we thought was weird. Also, it needs a new stove and the countertops need to be ripped out because there is a big burn/melty mark on one side, and it's just not our style either.
The biggest project would be the downstairs bathroom. There is a full bath downstairs - and full bath upstairs. BOTH rooms are tiled...and I mean like the WALLS ARE TILED. (wierd? I've never seen that before, but maybe it's a popular thing?) All the way up to the ceiling. And OY VEY I'm not sure what those people were thinking. The tiles are all crooked and they chose this horrible dark pink grout and it's EVERYWHERE...my gosh it's so bad we just started to laugh. If anything we got some serious amusement. But knowing that we'd have to rip all that out and probably put up new sheetrock and start from scratch is a pretty daunting task.
We figure there's probably a good $10-$15k worth of work that needs to be done to the place to get it the way we'd want it. Which is something to think about..along with the HOA's being added to our mortgage.
I don't know...I think I need to see it again...and we need to crunch some numbers. BUT - the price is super low, and it's definately livable - we've have to tackle the projects slowly while we lived there because I don't think we could afford to do it all at once and certainly not before we moved in. Also, like I said - it's huge. It's about 300 square feet bigger than our rental house now AND it has a 2 car garage (we don't have a garage at all where we are now). Plus, it's got a good sized fenced yard with plenty of room for the pooch and a garden for me. I don't care for the layout, or the fact that it's 2 stories...but hey, maybe a good way to burn some calories? haha!
eeeeeeeeek I just don't know. This whole house thing is a crazy thing to think about...especially in this market. It's hard to know if you should jump on a good deal or if you should hold out for something better to come along. I need a crystal ball right about now please!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
These first two pictures are 3-D where you can sort of make out the face and our critter has it's little fists all balled up in a boxing stance!
and this third one is a regular picture - a good profile shot...
Everything looks good - there's a wee bit of extra fluid in the kidneys, but they don't seem too worried about it. I'll be going back for another ultrasound in 2 months just to check on them.
It's so strange because I can look at these pictures and my brain knows that this is my kid - but I can't really comprehend emotionally that it's my kid. The pictures and the pregnancy all seem very disconnected to me. I wonder if I'll feel that way when I actually give birth...like I'll hold my baby, and it'll be completely seperate from the pregnancy part? I don't know - like I've said before, it's very difficult to wrap my head around this whole process.
Lately, it seems that I've just suddenly popped out...my belly I mean. Since my first belly pic was 4 weeks ago - I decided to take another on at 20 weeks - and WHOA was I surprised again to see myself from a different angle.
Dang Chang - that's a BELLY I got goin on!
Let's compare shall we?
16 weeks and 20 weeks
okay that's just wierd.
And I'm only going to get bigger from here!
The sleeping thing has really been as issue for me lately - all the tossing and turning and peeing and heartburn problems have taken it's toll. My morning walks have landed by the wayside in the interest of getting in at least an hour and a half more sleep. I know it's only going to get worse, so I need to stop complaining and appreciate the amount I'm getting right now.
I've been feeling alot of movement lately - thumps and bumps and flutters. Everytime I grab hubs hand to see if he can feel it, it stops. We've determined that this kid is ALREADY a stinker...as we imagine him/her hunkered down in there snickering and trying to be really still while we feel around. I think it'll be a while before he can actually feel anything, in the meantime it's like my own little secret .
Looking forward to a short work week - WOOO! Happy Thanksgiving :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Oddly enough, for the last few months - brushing my teeth has started to make me gag. I chalked it up to being a wierd pregnancy thing...but today? I more than gagged. I'm hoping this was just a one-time thing brought on by a funky stomach and some acid reflux - because I hate throwing up more than anything.
Last night, I got a bowl of grapes from the fridge to munch on during Grey's Anatomy...and I LOOOOVE grapes. But when I bit into one - it tasted like sawdust to me. Hubs said they were the best grapes we've had all year and he couldn't believe I didn't like them. I tried another one...and spit it out. He was baffled, as I tried to explain that it just seems to be the way things go for me now. My tastes can change in an instant, and how I feel at any given time can change instantly. I told him I feel like my body is on loan to someone else...and they're going to give my body back to me eventually, but it'll be all stretched out and saggy and in the meantime - all these weirdo things will happen that I have no control over. Every morning I wake up feeling rounder and I've noticed my balance is completely off. I can stand in one place, and just feel wobbly - I assume it must be this growth that has attached itself to the front of me and thrown me off.
I was typing this entry...and something just completely through me off my thought process.
sadly - I work close to the AG cemetary, and I just got up to fax something and glanced out the window...there is a funeral with a tiny little casket happening right now. I just can't even imagine....the mere thought of it makes my heart hurt.
I don't know what else to say now that doesn't seem incredibly unimportant and trivial.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I think this lady might actually be insane...because in THIS market? nobody can try to wheel and deal like that and actually expect to sell their house.
We've got our eye on a couple other places - and I think we've pretty much decided that this first house was not meant to be. The good thing is that we now know exactly how this whole process works and it won't be such a daunting task next time.
We're disappointed because we do love that house - but we'll see...we might actually still have a chance if she doesn't sucker someone else into her crazy scheme.
It has been craaazy hot here lately. I walked Georgia at lunchtime and I could only go about half the distance I usually do because I was way too hot and didn't want to overdo it...plus I've been having alot of lower abdomen pains from growing this kid. Between the pains and the not sleeping well and being so hot and not fitting into any of my clothes, it's no wonder why I'm so cranky!
My poor hubby has been so good about dealing with my moods and my lack of energy and he's been a big help around the house and cleaning the cat box and all. I'm SOOOO grateful for him and how excited he is about this baby.
It still seems so surreal to me, I'm wondering when exactly it's all going to seem real. I thought once I started showing or started being able to feel movement, it would be more of a reality check...but nope, I still think this is all VERY weird and I can't really wrap my head around it all.
We have a choice of going to either French or Sierra Vista hospitals to deliver...I've been a patient at SV several times, and didn't have good experiences - plus it always seems so crowded in the maternity ward there...so my first thought was that I'd much rather be at French. It's been suggested by others that we should tour both, just to make an informed decision. So I called SV to set up a tour and they couldn't get us in for a tour for over a month...I then called French, and they set us up for a tour 3 days later. So we toured the birthing center at French and we LOVED IT. We both felt so comfortable there that we decided to cancel our tour of SV and just stick with French. Unless this pregnancy becomes high risk, or I go into labor sooner than 36 weeks...we'll be good to go!
French just seems alot more relaxed and like they really let the birthing experience be what you want it to be. They said I can wear whatever I want, I shouldn't feel like I have to be in a hospital gown - they said they really encourage laboring mom's to be up and moving around - so they'll only want me connected to the monitors for 10-15 minutes every hour once I'm admitted. Otherwise I can be cruising the halls, sitting on a birth ball, or in a birthing tub if I prefer...they don't want me to feel like I'm stuck lying flat on a bed when gravity can be helping move things along. They have DVD and CD players in the rooms...and they said I can do whatever I need to feel more comfortable or relaxed - the only thing they can't allow is candles for obvious reasons :)
So we signed up for birthing classes at French - and I've filled out all my admitting forms and everything, I just need to turn them in. I feel much better having toured the facility and feeling comfortable with how they do things and being able to sit in one of the rooms. We even bumped into our OB while we were there and he was all smiles checking in on one of his patients.
I know that I can't have any expectations about what labor will be like or even WHEN it will happen - and I also can't guarantee that I'll actually be delivering at French since it really depends on how my pregnancy goes....but I like that French has a lower c-section rate, and that they really try hard not to make anyone share a room. I also like that they seem to be more in tuned with what MOM wants, rather then what's quicker or more convenient for them.
Soooo - that's done! My OB's nurse has been bugging me to tell her which hospital we've decided on and to sign up for classes before they get full - so it feels good to finally have an answer for her. I really didn't expect to have to do any of that so soon , but apparantly the classes fill up rather quickly - there was already a long list of people for our January class...weird.
I guess not everyone is as big of procrastinators as us - heck, we even put off having a baby for 6 years! hehehe
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Ummm helllo? Did she not see that sign out in front of her house with the asking price posted on it? Seriously, we're not sure what this lady is thinking...and it kinda ticked us off. We would rather her just reject our offer than to counter with such a ridiculous amount.
Also she of course magically mentioned that she has a showing tomorrow - which I assume is supposed to scare us into taking her offer? shhhhyeah...NOT GONNA WORK.
We have both gone into this with a very open mind - we love the house, but we're not willing to get in over our heads because of it. If it wasn't meant to be - then so be it...we'll keep our eyes and ears open for the next one that comes along. At least we're fully educated about this entire process, and we've done the hardest part which is decided on a lender and getting all approved for a loan.
We'll see what happens! I expect we'll know more in a few days at the latest.
In baby news - I am finally looking pregnant to other people....it's like I just popped out all of a sudden. I still can't get over how wierd this all is - it's like my body doesn't belong to me anymore! I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and then my next ultrasound is the following Monday...so hopefully this kid will cooperate and I'll get to see it's face :)
Ms. Georgia got a bath today and she's so soft and silky that I can't stop petting her...I think tomorrow we'll be hitting the dog park after we meet with our realtors so she can go show off her little pretty smelling self.
If anyone has a dog they need bathed or groomed - may I highly recommend Dune Doggies in Grover Beach. Georgia is a HORRIBLE client and really freaks out when she's given a bath...in fact she usually has bowel problems, she gets so freaked out. Well this time she didn't have ANY problems, and despite a bit of whining and whimpering she really behaved herself. The owner's husband did the washing, while she stayed up by G's face and hugged and loved on her. They were even able to clip her nails without a fight! Yes, I believe we found a new groomer for our pup :) Spread the word so this lady will stay in business!
Have a great weekend everyone...
Friday, November 09, 2007
Once I met Snoogle...I started sleeping LIKE A BABY. I still get up to pee - but it gives me a perfect opportunity to take some Tums, guzzle some water, and flip this sucker around to my back instead of my front. This goes on all night long - but I sleep so soundly with this pillow, I fell in love with it after the first night. Hubs even wants one - he tries to steal it! And the cats all love it too, in fact I woke up last night around 2:30am and Tweak was huddled on the snoogle and leaning up against my stomach purring like a rusty motor.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
You see, back at the beginning of summer...we spoke with a mortgage lender just to see where we stood on purchasing a house. Since we got married, we'd been telling ourselves there was just no way we could do it...it's too expensive here. We took a few trips out of state to less expensive areas and despite our best efforts - even going so far as to meeting with realtors, we just never found a place we felt was right. We found many possibilities...but we always told ourselves we'd much rather put our roots down here. Little by little, the housing market began to taper off, and slowly the prices were moving down. So last July, after talking to this mortgage lender...we walked out of her office feeling alot less discouraged and like we actually COULD possibly buy a house someday in the future. We decided to start living as if we were making the lowest house payment quoted - just to see if we could do it. The nice part was realizing that we could make that payment without seeing much of a dent in our current finances...little changes here and there in our spending habits made it possible without being overwhelming and feeling like we have to mac and cheese every night.
The affordability of an actual house wasn't even a thought...because we knew we'd most likely have to buy a condo or a townhouse first. The problem was finding one with a big enough yard for Georgia...and one with low enough HOA's to make it worth our while because those fees can really put a damper on a mortgage payment. It was CHALLENGING to say the least - we looked at condo after condo and tried to decide what we could live with and what we were willing to sacrifice to be homeowners and get our foot in the door. It was slightly disheartening to look at certain places that we were really run down and needed alot of work - or just had a balcony or a tiny little concrete pad for a yard. I always imagined my puppy looking at me through the glass with sad eyes because she didn't have a place to play...or I'd imagine our future kid not having any outdoor space to play and burn off energy. I think the outdoor space was one of the things we struggled with the most during this house hunting process. We also looked at a few mobile and modular homes thinking that might be a better option....but the interest rates are so much higher on those because they depreciate in value - so we really didn't feel like that would be a good investment. The few prospects we actually liked and were willing to live with would usually end up being discarded because the HOA fee's were so high...and of course there's no cap on those, so we could move in and they could raise it $100 a month and there wouldn't be a thing we could do about it. We kept an open mind and from time to time we'd scan the MLS and the real estate papers more so because it was fun and exciting to imagine the time when we could actually buy something of our very own.
Then I found out I was pregnant - and we figured this whole house buying thing was gonna have to go on the back burner for a while until we knew what would happen with my job and our expenses, etc, etc.
Back during our initial search, we stumbled upon a tiny little house about 5 blocks from where we are now...it looked so cute from the outside, but it was waaaaay over our price range, the pictures online didn't thrill us, and the location wasn't ideal...so we shrugged it off. Well, over the last few months...we noticed that little house was still on the market and the price kept going lower and lower. Finally, in September, it dropped into our price range - and we toyed with the idea of it, but didn't pursue it thinking about the size and location. About a month ago, we noticed it STILL hadn't sold...and so we decided to call a realtor and at least see if we could go look at the inside - figuring it wouldn't hurt.
Turns out - we walked in and fell in love with the place. It was built in the 50's, has been immaculately well kept and has all new dual paned windows and new doors and new paint and it's just a cute as can be. The owner still lives there, so it's always interesting trying to imagine your own furniture and things in a space....but we both realize that it feels alot bigger than it looks from the outside and while a 2 bedroom - 1 bath house overall is alot smaller than what we currently live in - we knew that we'd have to downsize if we were going to invest our money in something. The bedrooms seem bigger than the ones we have now - and it's got a YARD - all fenced off and everything! The yard itself is not huge - but it's plenty big enough for our pup and including the side yards, we feel comfortable that it will fit our needs. I could even have a garden back there!
We went home filled with such excitement about this house....but in the interest of not wanting to be blinded by the cuteness of the place - we decided it would be a good idea to have my parents come by and see it for themselves. We knew if anyone would tell it to us straight - it would be them...especially my dad, who can be brutally honest when it comes to financial decisions and structures and resale potential.
So the following day, I met my parents with the realtor and they took a walk through the house. I was very quiet - just waiting to hear their opinions as they VERY thoroughly looked through every room - dad went outside and inspected everything he could, and mom was inside opening closets and cupboards and drawers.
We stood in the backyard and looked at the house....and I tentatively said "well??? what do you guys think?"
and they said "it's fabulous...it's a good deal....it's definately going to appreciate in value...if you can buy this house - DO IT"
I couldn't believe it - I honestly expected a barage of negative comments, but they LOVED the place!
In fact, after I got back to work - they called me and said "so did you put in an offer yet?"
So - we decided to start seriously "shopping for mortgages". Now, 3 weeks ago - neither one of us knew squat about mortgages, so I got some books from the library...and now, after so many meetings with different lenders and asking a TON of questions and providing TONS of financial paperwork and asset information to the lenders, we now know more than we ever thought we'd know about mortgage loans. The first thing we learned is that dealing with mortgage people is alot like dealing with car salesmen...you can't let them talk you into ANYTHING. They want to get the most money possible - but we want to borrow the least money possible.
Plus, this whole experience has really taught us to go over our finances with a fine toothed comb and how important being in just the right situation is. Without even realizing it - we've built up a good credit score, obtained a 401k, 3 cars paid in full, and lowered our debt enough to not be an issue with any lenders. We keep hearing that loans are getting harder and harder to qualify for because of all the foreclosures in the area...so we've been simply amazed to be approved with every lender we've spoken with.
In between all these meetings and emails and phone calls - we've also looked at other houses, just to keep our options open for more potential drops in price...and of course gone back and forth about making an offer on the first house.
We kept thinking:
"we're just about to have a baby...is this the right time?"
"what if the market bombs even more and we could get a better deal somewhere else?"
"what if the closing costs and fees are more than we can handle?"
"are we getting in over our heads?"
"is it smart to jump into all this right before the holidays?"
"Should we wait until we have a bigger buffer/emergency fund built up before we take a plunge like this?"
"what we wouldn't give for a crystal ball right now!"
a million different scenerios entered our heads and we scoped out every possibility both good and bad. It's really important for us to do this on our own without any financial help from family - and while at one point, we didn't think it would be possible otherwise...we've since learned differently and I'm SO GLAD we proceeded to ask questions and talk to a broker to find out exactly where we stand. It would have sucked to borrow money from family and have that hanging over our heads, when it wasn't actually necessary in the first place, you know?
A few days ago, our realtor called - and despite the fact that the seller's agent knows we're interested in the house...the seller again lowered the price - a full $10k lower than her previous asking price. I couldn't BELIEVE it. So every loan we'd been approved for was based on the first price and anything lower will just be icing on the cake!
Hubs and I talked and talked - and decided that this kind of deal doesn't come along very often and we should just start the process and see what happens. We met again with the lender we felt the most comfortable with who drew up a loan plan that works in our favor and that we feel comfortable enough with to make an offer.
SO - after so many questions and paperwork and money stuff going through our heads...tonight, we will be meeting with our realtor...signing a deposit check....and making our FIRST offer on our FIRST house.
I can't wait to see what happens!
We're really lowballing an offer to start with - so we're not expecting her to accept it...but we're curious to see what she counters with.
This is all so nervewracking and potentially life changing. I'm not sure what's harder...deciding on whether or not to buy our first house - or having our first child!
Friday, November 02, 2007
My point here is that when I was little - Halloween was ALLLLLLLLL about the candy, that final prize.
So on Wednesday, AJ and CC stopped by with my sweet neices in tow. They were marching around our house in their costumes with lollipop's in hand and candy shoved into their gaping mouths as fast as they could swallow...and I had to laugh at what a fun day they must have had.
My sister in law then proceeded to tell me something about their evening that made my eyes tear up with pride over my neices. Apparantly they had stopped at a friend's house to visit with them and their children. The older girls (6 and 7 years old) decided to help pass out candy to all the kids coming by the house. The neighborhood got so bombarded with kids that they eventually ran out of candy. My neices both grabbed their bags of candy and dumped them out into the bowl and started passing their OWN candy out to the other kids. I can't even explain to you how it felt to hear they had done that...to be so generous and unselfish and such a young age...I was SOOO PROUD! Hubs and I made sure to tell them how proud we were and what a good thing they had done and gave them big hugs. They stopped by their church afterwards, so the girls had an opportunity to get more candy for themselves...but the mere fact that they were willing to give up their candy and pass it out to the other kids gave me a big lump in my throat.
Thinking back, I honestly don't know if I would have done that as a child. My entire focus was on candy, candy, candy....and given the opportunity - I just don't know if I would have done what they did. In fact, I'm not sure how many kids these days would have done that...seems like few and far between in this generation of entitlement.
I can't help but think that my brother and sister in law may certainly have their hands full with their brood - and while they are outnumbered...and things can definately get out of hand behavior wise...they must be doing SOMETHING right, for their kids to have behaved like that without any prompting from their parents.
I must say, as the responsibility of being a MOM (oy - scary!) looms closer...I've been paying alot more attention and gleaming as much information as I can from those around me, who've walked the parenting road and succeeded. I hope someday my kids will be willing to give up their candy for other kids...
Because they can always hit up my stash that I have stockpiled in the bedroom :)