Monday, August 31, 2015

The tale of a house (1)

...We bought a house!! 

Or, at least, we are in the mid-to-end stages of buying a house. 

Basically, we bought a house! :)

How we got to this point is quite a story (a miraculous story, I would say) so I'm sharing it here for the sake of my memory. Depending on the timing of things and when this baby boy arrives, I hope to share more photos and stories about the process. That's why this is considered part 1... We shall see if any more parts get written. 

We moved to the area about 7 weeks ago, and have been staying with the parents of Joel's college friend. They live abroad most of the year, so it worked out nicely for us to stay with them temporarily while we got settled and explored the area. Almost immediately upon arriving, we started looking at homes online and visiting a few with our realtor. 

As we explored and looked at homes for sale, we also began developing relationships with our current neighbors. We live on a really quiet street, in a town about 12-18 minutes from Joel's school (depending on traffic). The neighborhood is an awesome mix of people from all ages, with a few young families and some folks who have lived here 50+ years! 

Most of the houses we looked at were in other towns, not as convenient for Joel to commute, and not nearly as quaint as the town where we live. They were great houses, though, and whenever something came up in our town (in our price range), it tended to be pretty dumpy and in need of significant work. Twice we made offers on homes that we really liked, but we got out-bid and had to move on. 

One Tuesday morning, as we were considering making yet another offer on yet another house, my neighbor drove by and stopped to chat. She lives three doors down and after asking me about our house hunt, mentioned that her other neighbor (2 doors down from us) was interested in selling his house, and that he would probably be really happy to deal with us privately without hiring his own realtor and listing the house online. 

Over the course of a few days, we had talked with the owner on the phone, walked casually down the street to scope out the house, and coordinated chances to get inside to look around more seriously. Though the house had some quirks and needed a few significant repairs, it seemed really awesome. Naturally, our love for the neighborhood made us a bit biased... 

So things moved forward. We made an offer, it was accepted, and we have signed an agreement of sale. Today a home inspector came and then this evening we met with a contractor to get an estimate for the work we would like done before we move in. As of now, we will settle on the house at the end of September-- about five days before baby 2 is due to arrive. 

Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dear Charlotte 17: imitation games

My dear, sweet, wonderful girl, 

You are cracking us up lately! 

Sometimes at the dinner (or breakfast) table, I catch your dad just sitting and staring across the table. At you. :) 

When I catch his eye, he says, "I just like watching her."

And darling, I feel the same way.

You are amazing. We love you with our whole hearts. We are fascinated by the way you are growing. 

Something new in your development is the art of imitation. You have started mimicking things we do, acting them out on your beloved stuffed animals. 

You pat your owl's back, and make your bear lay down and snore. 

You bring Lily to the table, attempt to buckle her into your booster, and "feed" her some of your snack, lunch, or dinner. 

You rock your baby doll and say "Shhhhh...."  to comfort her. 

Sometimes I find you in the bathroom, holding your turtle over the little potty in the corner. 

When we walk down the street, you call "Bye byeeeee" to every animal, plant, car, and house we pass on our way. You give your animals books to read, as you all sit squashed together in your crib. 

Charlotte girl, I am proud of you. I love being your momma. I'm excited for you to meet your brother soon, and to learn to care for him. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pregnancy update 7: baby #2

How many weeks: 34 and counting

Total weight gain: about 22 pounds. No gain since my last appointment two weeks ago. 

Baby news: our little man is growing and moving and shaking. He is measuring right and his heartbeat was strong last week's midwife appointment. I have been on medication for my thyroid during this pregnancy and based on my last blood draw, the dosage is good. I will continue to take the meds after baby boy is born. Under active thyroid can cause some milk supply issues, so I definitely want to be careful even after delivery. 

Maternity clothes: yes, duh. Still rocking my awesome denim shorts. But lately a few of my tank tops aren't totally covering this bump... Ha. 

Symptoms: tired, achy, off and on heartburn, leg cramps that wake me up and then hurt for days. Still some Braxton hicks contractions that come randomly. Also- kind of weepy. Tonight at dinner Joel was talking about a girl our friends adopted from foster care and my eyes filled with tears. Golly. 

Thoughts: tonight I told Joel I feel like this baby might come early. I'm also just really  excited. And... a little tired of being pregnant and a little bit sad for my days alone with Charlotte to end. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What we got for the new baby

File under: you don't need nearly as much stuff with the second kid! 

Wow. I thought we did fairly well keeping our baby registry and baby purchases contained to a reasonable amount. BUT now that the time is near for our little guy to arrive, I realize how much we have and how little we actually need! 

I've definitely bought a few things for little man that we don't need. You know, a sweet matching outfit/ hat from Zulily. And some booties from a consignment shop. And a striped beanie from one of my favorite independent shops. All that good stuff. Because c'mon: new baby!! 

In addition to those little purchases, we've mostly used gift cards to buy some newborn essentials that either we don't have on hand any more, or just need to replenish after having Charlotte about 18 months ago. Here's what we recently ordered (from babies r us and Amazon- we got generous gift cards to both). 

A four ounce Lifefactory bottle with level one nipple. I'm excited to try these out with our guy- we used another type when C was tiny and I like Lifefactory much better, but not sure whether this brand will influence nipple confusion with nursing. TBD. 

Soft, foam bath pad. We had one with Charlotte and used it for nine months. It got moldy and we threw it away, but the replacement was only $7. 

A big package of newborn diapers. I'm dreaming of using cloth with baby 2 pretty quickly because I feel confident about it this time around, and we will already be washing Charlotte's cloth dipes, so why not? But for the first couple of weeks: pamper swaddlers.

Medium size light weight sleep sack. The medium we have from charlotte is pretty thick/warm, but I imagine baby boy using this size when the weather is hot, so I got a thin sleep sack for him. Plus.... Turtles! 

Contoured burp cloths. I'm all kinds of picky this time around about not wanting those cheap burp cloths that fall off your shoulder and are bulky and annoying. Since we had a gift card, I got some nice ones :) 

Munchkin waterproof changing table liners. We change C on a towel on the bathroom counter, but newborns tend to pee during changes so we hope these waterproof liners will mean less frequent replacement of the towel underneath. We shall see. 

2 pacifiers. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life around here

We are most certainly in a season of transition, but things have kind of settled into a nice, flexible rhythm in our family. 

Surely, things will change BIG TIME once our baby arrives, and things will change again whenever we buy a house and move once more. So when those times come, when the chaos abounds, I want to look back on this time in our lives and remember the ebb and flow of our schedule, the fun times, the confusion, the quiet conversations, the meals around the table...

Charlotte usually wakes us up, anywhere from 6:20 to 8:20, but 7am is pretty typical of late. Joel usually gets her changed and they play while I make breakfast. We eat a leisurely meal together and then play some more. This morning Charlotte was a mess before breakfast, then a mess again while we were reading devotions. Not a great start to the day. I was frazzled so Joel took her outside while I got a shower. 

Most mornings are nice and cool here, so we usually try to go for a walk and/or to the playground before lunch. We have a really great biking/walking/ running trail nearby, so sometimes Joel takes a long bike ride while C and I walk, then we meet at the playground. Charlotte LOVES slides and swings and climbing elements, so this is probably the best part of her day. We also try to stop and visit with any friendly dogs we meet ;) 

After lunch Charlotte takes a pretty long nap. I often lay down, or play online, or do laundry, or clean up the kitchen, or look at house sale listings with Joel. After her nap, Charlotte is really ready to play again! She splashes in her little pool, or we run errands, or we meet our realtor to view more homes. If I'm feeling adventurous, we go to another park, or take a walk.

Our girl has settled into the home we are renting pretty well at this point. It's kid-friendly enough that she can mostly roam freely and explore the main rooms of the house. She has figured out how to close doors, but can't open them yet, so we just keep doors closed if there's a space we don't want her to find. Her favorite activity of late is what I would call "hoarding"... She grabs every.single.item. She can and makes a giant pile on her floor. Mostly the pile includes books, stuffed animals, diapers, wipes containers, blankets, and dirty clothes. After her collection is complete, she stands up, then plops down on top of the pile to read one of her "Bitta Bitta"s. It's totally hysterical to watch!

Joel's flexible schedule for August means he is always home in time to play with Charlotte while I get dinner ready. We eat together as a family (which has been so awesome lately!) and hang out until Charlotte gets ready for bed. We had been putting her down between 7 and 7:30 and recently had about five nights of bedtime struggles, but last night decided to have her stay up until about 8:00. That seemed to do the trick- she fell asleep immediately and slept soundly until 6:45 this morning. Success!