Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TWO not-so-good and ONE very-good

First I want to share this picture of Danny's grandfather who passed away unexpectedly last Thursday. He was a very patient, kind and gentle man who took much joy in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He came over nearly every Sunday afternoon to visit and he'd always call beforehand and say the same thing, "Danny, I want to know if you're going to be home. I want to come over and see the baby". He will be missed.

Baby D, Grandpa Al and Danny on Thanksgiving Day, 2012

Second, this apartment needs a good hosing down with Lysol. A few days after Christmas, Baby D came down with a cold and it's pretty much lasted this entire time up to now, culminating in a double-ear infection. In the midst of that mess with the previous house, I had the flu in early January. My cough is just now starting to quiet. I'm on my second round of antibiotics for an ear infection as well. The Girl came to us this weekend with a high fever, cough and runny nose. The Boy just came down with it this morning, feverish and sniffling as well. I'll be keeping them all home with me tomorrow for a day of quiet rest (ha!). More like catching up on homework, washing all the towels and bedding and oh yeah, Lysol-spraying ceiling to floor!

And now for the good news...

We found a new house!!! Our agent took us out last week and it's a very nice place in a very nice neighborhood with a wonderful view of the city from the big windows in the living room. The house has two living spaces which we are very excited about. None of the houses we'd seen had two separate living spaces so this is great. And there are two fireplaces too, that's going to be nice (yay for decorating mantles!!). My husband and I have some extensive plans for remodeling certain spaces and fixing things to our needs. We'll see how much of it we'll able to get done in a decent amount of time and how much will have to wait for years!

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

Looking forward to having some pretty plants in the yard

For one, I want another room added on. I had been adamant about getting a 4-bedroom house but with the inventory so limited, we opened ourselves to 3-bedrooms with an option to add on in a year or so. So in the meantime the two boys will be bunking up and The Girl will have her own room (no more having to get dressed in the bathroom!). I'm not crazy about Baby D having to be in the same room as The Boy since he's still waking once a night and I hate that The Boy will have disturbed sleep. I'm also already stressed about Legos and all the other toys with teensy-tiny parts that The Boy will have to meticulously clean up after he plays with them so his baby brother doesn't eat them!

Potential boy's room wall color

Danny's first project is going to be putting up a fence along the upper section of the back yard. There is a long staircase and two steep slopes that we need to block off so nobody slips down them. At the bottom is another section of grass and I don't know what we'll do with that other than let the older kids run free with a soccer ball.

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

Danny also has plans to fix up the garage and replace the drywall. There is a small alcove with a window and door in the garage that will be my sewing space so he's going to insulate that and fix it up nicely for me (a tiny spot but it will be mine-all-mine!). And I am going to design a laundry room area in the garage and a mudroom space for shoes & backpacks.

Right now the pantry is a small door in the wall with some basic shelving, but we are both wild about this idea for a pantry room re-do. We love these rustic sliding barn doors! I'm sure they are also wildly expensive but we'll figure something's nice to have a handy husband!

In one of the living spaces there is a small fireplace that basically looks like a black hole. I would love to be able to do some built-in shelves on either side and build out the fireplace mantle. Fortunately Danny has a friend who is a carpenter who could do this for us.

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

So as you can tell, we're very excited about the new prospects! Tomorrow is the home inspection and we're aiming for 30 days (or less!) until we are in our new home. Keep your fingers crossed that February is a great month for us and that the nastiness of January is behind us, I'm ready to move onto smoother roads!

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No pictures? Please!

So I'm still in a bit of a funk.

Trying to keep my head above water and remind myself of the good. It's been a trying year so far!

Half the house is packed in boxes and stuffed into our master bedroom closet. I keep looking for things and then realizing they are packed. My camera USB cord? In a box. AAA batteries? In a box. The book that The Boy wanted to read? In a box.

It's all rather annoying, to be digging through boxes and unpacking things when we thought we'd be in our new place by now. Our realtor has some home ideas and he hopes to show us this week but it seems the engine has lost a bit of steam on that end and things are moving slower than I would like.

Seems like the 4 bedroom listings have slowed and we've opened up to the possibility of a 3 bedroom with the plan of adding on the extra room that we really want and need, so long as the price is right. We aren't really keen on having to do a ton of work, like a major kitchen remodel or knocking down walls but my husband is able to do anything and he'd be game for some rehab work.

The baby had a really difficult night last night. I think we slept a total of 2.5 hours. He had corn for the first time at dinner, so it could have been a digestive thing, I don't know. He was screaming for a straight hour so I thought he might have just had a bad dream, but then was just really restless and whiny the rest of the night. He wouldn't let me lay him down, he didn't want a bottle, he kept flopping his head around and changing positions. This morning he woke up with a smile but then was nodding off while watching Barney with The Boy as I got ready, poor guy! Hope tonight is smooth sailing and he sleeps all's been awhile and I'd love to get a full night's rest without having to get up multiple times.

After a week off between projects my husband is back to work at a new site. It's about an hour closer than the last one so it's wonderful to have him home so much earlier. And the savings on gas is nice too!

Though I still have an occassional cough, the flu seems to have passed and the rest of the household was spared! Unfortunately the antibiotic caused an allergic reaction and I have a weird red bumpy rash all over my chest and neck...really attractive, blech!

The Boy has been a total crab lately, feeling the tension of this whole homebuying experience I suppose. The excitement of having his own room and a yard to run around in has been shot and I don't blame him one bit. He's still struggling some with school as well and trying to find new friends. This morning he packed his lunch in his old lunch bag. It's a simple drawstring fabric bag that I made for him, red and black and embellished with an iron-on transfer of a boy holding a fish. He said it reminded him of when he was in kindergarten. He said he loved the bag and wants me to make him another one with a different transfer on it of crayons and art supplies. Awwww!!! Harkening back to the good ol' days, I guess, so sweet. I love that he still wants me to make things for him and he's not at that embarrassed stage yet. Not that he wants me to hold his hand or kiss his cheek in public anymore though!

And finally on my random thoughts: Happy Birthday to my dad today!! After 3.5 years on a daily medication to keep his renal cancer from growing, the doctor says the tumors have grown and the medication is no longer working. Dad started a more traditional chemo last week without any reaction. We have him in our prayers that the chemo continues to work well and with minimal side effects. Many more happy birthdays are needed for him...Bring on the carrot cake!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Washed Away

I have the flu. Yes, despite having gotten the flu shot two months ago I was one of the lucky ones that got a flu that wasn't covered by the vaccination. You know, the fever, chills, lethargy, dizziness, congestion, hacking cough and limited lung capacity. And to top it all off, fluid in both ears so I can hardly hear and an ear infection! I've been cooped up inside all day this week, laying around and trying to get better. Seems like the slightest bit of effort puts me into a coughing fit.

My parents were generous to offer to keep The Boy overnight every day this week as his school is near their house. This has saved me from having to wake up early, pack lunch and drive him over there. The cold air especially seems to knock the wind right out of me so I appreciate not having to leave the house.

I've had the baby with me and he's been pretty good during the day. He's happy to just toddle around the house, bringing me books and offering hugs. At night it's a different story however, he's been having some restless nights wanting to be snuggled for hours on end. He's had a runny nose and cough for a few weeks and we've been running the humidifier in his room. I'm sure that his not feeling well is part of the issue. I'm hoping that phase will end soon and he'll be back to sleeping all night again.

So on Wednesday my mom took me to the doctor for antibiotics for my ears and brought me back to her house so I could nap while they watched the kids. Danny was working and had an appointment with the home inspector at the new house. So I was surprised when the phone rang and it was Danny.

He was talking fast, "I'm at the house the home inspector is here vandals broke in stole the copper wiring and piping the house flooded they have a group here already cleaning up and repairing things I don't think we should go ahead with this process."

What? I asked him if he was joking (he does this with me on the phone frequently). No, he said, he wasn't joking and he needed me to come see.

Feeling horribly and confused about the conversation, I drove over to the house. There was a clean-up van in the driveway and our realtor, inspector and my husband were there as well. I got more clarification on what happened.

At some point in the last 40-something days since we started the Escrow process, the house was vandalized. They went through the attic, ripping out copper wiring, tearing it out of the wall sockets and ripped out a section of copper piping. This caused a flood in the house up about 2'. We have no idea how long the water sat in the house before it was discovered. The investors/current owners of the property were already fixing the situation. The brand new carpet had been ripped out, as well as the wood flooring. They had already removed the wet drywall, replaced it, textured and painted. New molding, door frames, closet doors, flooring, electrical and piping would have to be installed.

Unfortunately the owners had not disclosed any of this to our agent so it was all a surprise to show up on inspection day and have work being done to the property. This is a big no-no. Once we started Escrow no changes were to be made to the property.

The vandalism caused the Escrow process to be null and void from that point. It would be our choice to start the process back up again if we wished, but we opted not to. We don't know why the owners didn't disclose the issue right away to the agents, perhaps hoping we wouldn't find out? I don't know. We also don't know how long the water sat and how much damage it might have done to things that are now covered in new drywall and fresh paint. Did they replace the insulation, any wet boards, might there have been mold? We'll never know. There was also damage done, either during the vandalism or during the clean up, to some of the cabinetry and those items weren't expected to be replaced. We'd bid on a house with new vanities and now they were banged up and scratched. Besides the fact that we'd be living in house that was broken into. There was no "for sale" up so the vandals were someone who knew the house was vacant, could it be a neighbor?

We are all brutally disappointed of course, starting back over when we thought we were nearing the finish line. Danny spent that night moving all of the boxes packed with our possessions into closets so they're out of sight. At least then we aren't having to live with towers of cardboard stacked in the corners of our living room and the constant reminder that moving day is still far off.

Our realtor is looking into some new possibilities for us and we have been trying to keep our head up about the situation. The truth is that we are both really crushed and I'm disappointed for the kids too, who've been so excited about the move and getting their own spaces and a backyard. It's been a hard week.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pinning my dream home - Living Room

It's always a popular theme of the new year...starting fresh with a new year means a new start as well. Time to make goals, get organized and put those resolutions into action. I love organization (though you'd beg to differ if you saw my desk!). The Container Store is my favorite place to shop. All those divided trays and baskets and snap-lid boxes make my heart go pitter-patter!

We have a bit of the whole "starting fresh" thing going on in our apartment as we pack and prepare for the move to our first home. Things are still hung up a bit getting the loan finalized, preparing for the appraisal and home inspection but they are still moving, slowly but surely! In the meantime, we move slowly but surely on our end as well, packing up random items that won't be missed if they are in a box. The apartment is starting to look a bit more barren and cluttered at the same time. When we finally do get an actual move-in-date things will move at a more rapid place, disassembling furniture and disconnecting equipment. I cleaned out the kid's closets this weekend and got most of the toys put away. I had to leave some out of course, as well as some books, because they still need to play and read up until moving day!

I've been "pinning" ideas for the new place and have decided upon a look that I just love. It's a modern rustic style, comfortable and warm yet clean and classy. Not "country" and not "sleek modern" but cozy and uncluttered with items that look like they've been used. A unique vintage look that is nature-inspired (lots of birds and leaves). My husband suggested "Real Tree" camo-patterned curtains in the bedroom, but that is definitely NOT the look I'm going for!

I haven't found an exact room that I'd want to replicate but I've found many rooms with great inspiration.

This space has great bead board on the walls and a great plate shelf. I like the weathered coffee table too.

We have leather sofas too. I like this round, whitewashed coffee table as well (we don't even have one currently!)

Love this rug design and wonderful texture. The hardest part would be choosing a color!

Love this wall art design with the collection of botanical prints and the mismatched side tables with the matching lamps.

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

Big heart around this vintage looking bird cage!

This is a lovely way to display a collection!

And these fabric the pop of orange, I must have some orange in my living room.

Source: via Julie on Pinterest

As far as colors go, I'm still up in the air. I would like to put some paint on the walls but having a hard time commiting to which direction I want to go.

Very rich and warm...

More cool tones with a blue that I love...

And here is something with an orangey tone...

So I'm sure that the home decor will be slow moving while we get settled into the house but I will be itching to get some paint on the walls and some semblence of style into our home as soon as possible. We've both waited so long for our first home that making this house "our own" is really important to us. I'll be documenting all the progress on the blog, for sure. I hope you'll enjoy discovering our style as we go along!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Not the best way to start off the new year, but here I am.


I'm annoyed that I can't get the photos right on the blog. It makes me not want to bother with the photo editing and writing at all because I know what a pain it will be.

last day before Christmas vacation!!
My nephew & son on their last day of school before Christmas vacation.

I'm annoyed that the house hasn't closed escrow yet. Things are moving much slower than any of us had expected and it will be at least 15 more days. At least...grrr.

Dillon is helping me pack!

I'm annoyed that half the house is packed up and in boxes and that these boxes are piled up in every corner of every room. I just picture the new place in my mind and want to get things moved and situated already.

Walking around Lake Murray
We took a walk around Lake Murray, it was cold!

I'm annoyed that I can't stop craving sugar. I am a major sweet-tooth and I think I just can't have it around because I'll eat it all until it's gone and then I just crave it all the more. Why can't I crave a banana?

Snug as a bug in a rug
All cuddled up in a blanket, watching Barney

I'm annoyed that the current configuration of this apartment allows the baby free reign of the entire downstairs. We have a gate for the staircase but he's forever grabbing cell phones, remote controls, items off the counter, opening cabinets, dumping out the contents of drawers, opening the trash and throwing things in that don't belong (remote controls & toys) and removing things that need to remain inside (egg shells and coffee grounds, yuck!). It's a nonstop rotation of either keeping him distracted, pulling him away from things, playing with him, or belting him into the highchair (which he HATES!). I'm pooped.

Silent night...Merry Christmas everyone!
Sleepyhead on Christmas night

I'm annoyed with colds. I have a cough that won't leave. The baby has a runny nose that is now raw and irritated from being wiped which makes it that much more difficult to wipe it. He's clingy and wants to be held a lot. As in, all...night...long! My husband has a cold and he's a lousy sick person (aren't most men?). The Boy developed an ear infection this week. I'm ready for everyone to be healthy again.

he just looks so big now!!
A rare moment when he wasn't throwing food on the floor

Seeing all these happy faces on my camera phone pictures helps melt my stress though. I'm feeling less and less annoyed now. *sigh*

Home depot birdhouse project
Building birdhouses at Home Depot

And tomorrow at church I'll ask for relief. I need the peace inside me to help dissolved the stress that is causing all this annoyance. I need to pray and be thankful that we just have colds and otherwise are in good health. I need to remind myself that when the baby is tipping over the trashcan for the 10th time that day that he's simply curious and active and that someday I'll be glad that he's so determined.

Baby fuzz head
He woke up fluffy-headed and rosy cheeked

In the meantime, I'll just go to bed and start fresh in the morning!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012

I'm trying out a new photo system to see if I like it better than Photobucket, which I've been having issue with as of late. So far it's easy to use but my photos are a bit tiny. Will have to do more on it to figure out all the ins and outs, I suppose.

We celebrated Christmas a day early this year, choosing to do our holiday on Christmas Eve since that's when we had all three kids together. Please pardon all of our packing boxes and laundry hampers full of outgrown baby clothes!

See our Christmas tree this year? It's a simple plastic white one that I picked up at Target a few years ago. Usually I just showcase my collection of Hallmark birds but this year we pulled out only a handful of our favorite ornaments and used this as our only tree.

The Girl got her own box of Legos and some tiny Lalaloopsy dolls. The stockings I made two years ago before I knew we'd be having Baby D. In 2013, I plan on making us all new matching stockings for next Christmas!

The Boy got an ocean-themed lunchbox for when he goes fishing with Dad, a magnetic chess board and a book to help him get more skillful. Boy, does he love to play games. And he usually smokes us, he's very good at strategy!

We found out at 9pm the night before that the schedule we'd worked out wasn't going to pan out after all and after getting the kids into bed, it was a scramble to make Christmas morning happen a day early. We didn't have a ton of stuff but certainly put a wrinkle in our plans. I was planning on making a special Christmas breakfast which I still did, complete with pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. Not much different than our usual Saturday morning breakfasts...except for the bacon! We don't often treat ourselves to bacon. And we had Martinelli's cider in wine glasses, the kids got a kick out of that.

We only did one gift for Baby D, this fun bouncy turtle ride. He's a little short to be able to bounce on it much but he likes dancing to the music and just sitting on it a bit.

After church services and cooking, we gathered up the kids and headed to my parent's for our annual gift opening and dinner. Danny had spent the day cooking up an authentic Spanish rice with chicken and tortillas that was delicious.

My mom and brother Eric

Baby D's favorite new toy, the stacking rings!

My sister in law Rachel

The Boy, being silly

My mother in law, LaVerne (also my parent's next door neighbor)

My dad

The Girl

My nephew

The following morning was just us and the baby, so we spent it lazily packing and watching tv. The Boy spent the night with my parents. It was the weirdest Christmas morning ever, I didn't like it!

I prepared mashed potatoes for the first party and an apple pie for the second and we headed out.

First stop, my aunt's house, which included this little cutie, my cousin's daughter who is just a month younger than Baby D.

This was as good as we were ever going to get of a picture with both of them. Getting two one-year olds to look at the camera at the same time? Unlikely!

This is mostly what a I got...eating leaves and funny faces! Great all the same, I guess?!


After my aunt's house we went to Danny's aunt's for more food and an evening of poker playing and outdoor cuddling around the fire. I sacked out with Baby D on the sofa with a little HGTV and it was my own little heaven. It was a nice Christmas and we're definitely looking forward to celebrating it next year in our new home! Only about 15 more days until we should be moving in (fingers crossed!). Blessings to all for a Happy New Year!