Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Too Much to Post About!

Since my last post, I've been way too busy to write!  I've packed up everything at our old house, muscled my way into the new one (I'd NEVER use the same realtor (buyer's agent) or lender again, but where there's a will there's a way!), and mostly settled in.  I say "mostly" because Abby's nursery and the garage are still just landing zones for everything that doesn't have a home yet.

Oh yeah, speaking of Abby, we've had our baby!  Abigail Elise Philpot was born just before 11pm on October 4th, and weighed in at precisely 7 lbs, which was quite the relief since my doctor warned me at the last 3 prenatal checkups (and while I was pushing, which was just SO encouraging) that she would be a "big baby".   She is now 10 days old, perfect in every way (except for the whole gas thing which I'm totally over), and is sleeping/stretching in her boppy next to me on the couch as I type.  Madison is completely in love with her.   She calls her "Baby Abby", "my friend Baby Abby", and "my baby sister."  She loves to hold Abby (with lots of help and hand sanitizer), and gives her lots of kisses (only on the back of her head).

Having Abby when we did was a bit of a surprise.  Her due date was 10/7, and I was SOOOO ready for her to come.  One week before she was due, around noon, I started having strong, but not too painful, contractions about 6 to 7 minutes apart.  This lasted for about four hours.  After calling my OB, we decided to head into labor and delivery just in case.  Sure enough, no progress.  I wasn't dilated at all, or even effaced.  We consoled ourselves with some Carl's Jr, I vowed not to go back to the hospital again until I was DANG sure it was time, and headed back home.  Four days later, at my weekly checkup, my OB confirmed that I hadn't made any progress towards going into labor.  So when I started having contractions around noon the next day (sound familiar?), I was sure it was another false alarm.  I took a nap and decided to wait it out.  I was awoken by a painful contraction about thirty minutes later.

You'd think at this point I'd have started considering that I might be in labor, but the false alarm earlier in the week had really jacked with my confidence.  So I decided to be productive.  I packed our hospital bag, cleaned the house, balanced our checkbook and paid the bills, and made a grocery list, taking breaks during contractions.  By the time Madison woke up, the contractions were all painful and were about 6 minutes apart.  I noticed around 4:30 that I was having a hard time interacting normally with Madi during contractions and finally decided to call Pat at work.  "Hey honey, how much longer will you be at work?"  (Probably at least two hours.) "Hmm.  Well, I don't think I'm in labor or anything (dope), but I'm having painful contractions that are making it hard for me to take care of Madison.  Could you maybe try to get off a little sooner?"  (He tells me I'm in labor.)  "No, I'm sure it's another false alarm, but I could use some help.  OH!  I'llcallyoubackbye."  (He finally convinces me to call the doctor while he asks his mom to head our way to watch Madi.)

We didn't leave for the hospital until close to 7 that night.  Even between my insanely painful contractions during the almost 2 hour ride, I was telling Patrick that I was afraid they would send me home.  By the time we checked into labor and delivery and they checked me, I had dilated to 6 cm.  What a relief/shock!  Everything from that point to delivery felt like a race.  Four attempts (with one vein blowout and one success) at an IV line, one glorious epidural that didn't quite last long enough, thirty minutes of paperwork and forty minutes of pushing later, we were here:
Saturday (the day after Abigail was born) was by far the hardest day for me.  I was exhausted and in pain(for obvious reasons), and suddenly realized that with our new 1:1 parent-kid ratio, I was immediately responsible for taking care of myself and Abby.  Sooo different than with Madi, where I think I changed one diaper before we left the hospital and Patrick brought her to me for nursing.
Every day since has been a little easier than the one before.  If things keep improving at this pace, I'll probably make it through a day without thinking I'm gonna die by this time next year.  :)  But seriously, we're surviving this transition better than I feared.  I'm SOOOO ready for Abby to be a little less tiny and helpless, but we're working on that every 45 minutes in the daytime and every 3-4 hours at night (although last night I accidentally let her go 5 hrs and 10 minutes and still had a hard time waking her to nurse).

In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the sweet interaction between our two girls.  I love that Madison isn't phased by Abby's cries.  She's sympathetic (Oh!  Poor sweet baby Abby is crying!), but not alarmed or annoyed (yet).

Well, I'm off to enjoy my last cup of decaf before Madison wakes up.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Living Room Mood Board

I am sooo excited about our new house that I can't stop dreaming about how we'll decorate every space.  I've been pinning everything I like to specific boards for each room in the house so I could see all the elements together at a glance.  The problem is, my living room board got so full that I had to scroll...not good!

So I did what any obsessed (and pre-nesting)  new homeowner would do: I made my very first mood board!  Some of the items (the sofa, chair, ottomans, and possibly the pendant) are something that I definitely plan to have in the space eventually, but most are placeholders for (hopefully less expensive) future thrift finds/DIY projects.

  1. Winslow Decorative Wall Mirror- $81.99- found here
  2. Existing Fireplace- (similar)
  3. Threshold Mission Log Basket- $34.99- Target found here
  4. Avington Upholstered Slipper Chair- $169.99- Target found here
  5. Existing Floors
  6. Threshold Brass Gorilla- $9.99- Target found here
  7. Console Table- $129.99- Target found here
  8. Navy Geometric Rug- $329.99- Overstock found here
  9. Wire Globe Pendant- $99.99- Shades of Light found here
  10. Curtains- $32.99- Target found here
  11. Karlstad Sofa- $499- IKEA found here
  12. Navy check fabric for pillow(s)- $8.99/yd- IKEA
  13. Green Pillow- $25- Etsy found here
  14. Storage Ottomans- $44.99- Target found here
  15. White Tray- $9.99- IKEAfound here
  16. Paint Color- Benjamin Moore Moonshine
Making the moodboard was more time consuming, but also easier, than I expected.  I saved all the images to one folder, used Picasa (collages) to edit and arrange them, and added the number labels in GIMP (another free, but not very user-friendly image editing software).

The hardest part of the whole thing?  Without a doubt, that would be leaving my debit card safely tucked away in my wallet.  My inner cheapskate always seems to get a bit anemic when I'm pregnant, and Patrick has always been horribly indulgent; if I don't tell myself no, the answer is yes!  So far, aside from the floors and the mantle, this all belongs to me only in my dreams.  Considering how much overtime Patrick's been pulling to get cash together for closing, let's hope we can keep it that way for at least four more weeks!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Only a Matter of Time...

...before I wake up right here.
 I'll brush my teeth (because running water won't disturb Madison anymore)...
then I'll come here to sip my coffee...
 that was made in my new kitchen...
before I go wake up my brain in my new study.
Then Madison will wake up in her new room...
and come watch Super Why in our new living room.
(Since I'm dreaming anyway), she'll probably ask to go to the potty...
and then go in the backyard to play.
 Soon it will be lunchtime, so I'll head to my pantry/utility room to start on Madison's lunch...
 and then put her down for a nap so I can work on decorating her little sister's room.
 Before long (or at least not as long as it takes here in Crosby), Daddy will come home...
 and enjoy the house with us!
 If you haven't figured it out yet, our offer was accepted.  We plan to close on it the Friday before my birthday weekend. (Happy birthday to me!) And our current house is now under contract to close three days after our new one, giving us a full weekend to make the move, but no double mortgage payments!  I've been on cloud nine for about 60 hours straight. 

Now my biggest challenge is to stop obsessing over working on the details of the two closings and the move for long enough to plan Madison's birthday party!  At least she's given me clear direction for the party planning.  She wants a blue circle cake, green puppy dogs, pink kitty cats, pink elephants, blue balloons, and Ms. Lisa (our children's librarian). 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Selling, Buying, and Pregnancy Hormones: A Recipe for Stress

I posted a few weeks ago about listing our house.  In the time since, we've had five showings to three potential buyers, and one offer.  We weren't comfortable with the offer, so we countered and haven't heard back (in five days...we've stopped holding our breath for that one!).  Our house is still active on the market, and although we've had a decent amount of interest so far, we decided to drop the price (by about 5%) for one big reason:

We found THE house for us!
 We made an offer on it this morning, and are not so patiently waiting to hear back.  The catch?  It's a Fannie Mae-owned property, meaning it will definitely have multiple offers.  If I decided to be very optimistic, I'd guess our chances of winning (that's the best word for what it will be if our offer is accepted), are about 15%.  Instead, thanks in part to my insane hormones, I'm completely delusional and have already decorated each and every nook and cranny of the place (but only in my mind, of course).

I will say that we made our offer as appealing as we could to give ourselves the best chance possible.  We didn't even require selling our current house first, meaning we will probably have two mortgage payments for at least a month (assuming we get the house).  Although we're not thrilled at the idea of throwing $800/month down the drain, we know we're in a place where we can financially handle it, and feel confident enough in our house and the market to not lose sleep over it.  It doesn't hurt that we're saving about $1600 on commissions once we do sell our house, since we found a broker who would discount her commission.  We're also going to save on the buying end, getting a rebate after closing. 

But enough about boring old money...who needs that anyway?  Hopefully not us, since we would be using about 60% of our savings at closing.  Let's talk about (almost-kinda-sorta-please, please, please, God) our new house.

My favorite things:
  • The location-17 minutes from Patrick's work (as close as we can safely get)
  • The location-(yes, I typed that twice)-near so much!  Great malls, stores, Goodwill (yes!), parks...
  • The location-I pulled it up on Houston's crime map...NOTHING.  Wait, there was identity theft one neighborhood over, but I'm not really worried about someone breaking into my house and stealing my identity.
  • The curb appeal (let's hope I can learn to keep that landscaping alive)
  • The front porch (fully paved with brick)
  • The floor plan (not technically split since the nursery and master share a wall, but split enough for me, and so open!)
  • The floors.  I've been trying to reconcile myself to the fact that our price range just doesn't include hardwoods, then BAM!  I found this.
  • The fireplace.
  • The master suite- We've never had one before!  Our own bathroom!  A bedroom that's not 12x13!  A walk-in closet!  These are the things (my) dreams are made of.
  • The nursery- It's the only bedroom with wood floors, and it also has bead-board paneling halfway up all the walls.  Super charming!
  • The backyard- One of the only backyards I've seen in all my searches with a single tree.  It's also landscaped up the wazoo and has a nice sized covered patio.
The drawbacks:
  • The location-45 minutes from "home" (aka Crosby)
  • Kitchen counters- midnight blue laminate.  A one-very-far-away-day upgrade.
  • The floors- need to be either polished or refinished, depending on whether Patrick or I win (believe it or not, I DON'T want to refinish!)
  • The second bathroom- The builder used tile for the tub surround, which is fine.  Unfortunately, they went with white, with black tiles randomly mixed in.  It kind of reminds me of a rorschach test.  But that's what shower curtains are for!
  • The backyard- Although I LOVE the finishes of the backyard, it's not large.  And by not large, I mean it's maybe 800 square feet.  And with Bella now officially an outside dog, I see a LOT of walks in our future!
But the biggest drawback of all:  If we don't get this house, it will be horribly hard for us to settle for another one in the same price range.  Sigh.

We've been non-stop praying for God's will to be done in this, but I've also thrown up my share of "...but if you could go either way, God, please please please let us win it!" add-ons.  

Well, I guess that's quite enough for one post.  See ya!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

For Sale!

 So, a lot has happened since my last post.  Let's see, I went and got myself knocked up (don't worry, it was right on schedule), suffered through morning sickness and fatigue (my initial excuse for not updating this old blog), arrived into the second trimester which somehow kicked off early nesting, then frantically started getting this house ready to sell (my second excuse for not updating) and looking for a new place closer to Pat's work.  The last five months have been an absolute whirlwind!  I can't even believe it's May.

Deets for the baby:
  • Estimated due date: October 7
  • Boy or girl:  We're not going to find out 'til delivery.  SIKE!  We'll find out next Wednesday, because I loathe secrets.
  • What do we want:  A healthy baby.  (Duh)  But we're both kind of leaning girl, probably just because Madison is so great!  (And in my personal opinion boys can be quite gross.)
Preparing to sell our house has consumed so much of my mind (not to mention time and energy) that I haven't been able to focus much on the coming baby.  Every once in a while, I'll forget that I'm pregnant.  But then I walk past a mirror.  By the way, the whole "showing early the second time around" is SO true.  We waited until like 13 weeks to tell people, only because I was hoping for inspiration for some sort of cute announcement, and I was already getting sideways glances at church and family events.  By 14 weeks, there was no denying it!  At 15 weeks, while Madi and I were walking Bella around the neighborhood, we saw my neighbor about 25 yards away, working on his roof from the top of a ladder.  He hollered (he's a true redneck, "holler" is definitely the appropriate term) "Uh oh, you pregnant again?!"  So yeah.

Fortunately, my weight gain is on track so far.  With Madison, I gained 60 lbs (and only lost 55, dad gum it).  It wasn't pretty.  Hopefully, this time I'll gain no more than 30 and will still lose 55.  A girl can dream!

But enough about me and my rapidly expanding waistline.  Let's talk about me and my (hopefully) rapidly disappearing old house!

The big we-can't-live-in-a-one-bathroom-1100sq.ft.-house-with-two-babies blowup of 2013 happened the day before I started my second trimester.  It was just as much of a shock to Patrick as it was to me, but it resulted in us composing a list of things to finish in the house that, each taking up one line of college ruled notebook paper, filled a page and a half.  And most of the line items weren't little.  One example?  "Repair, sand, and refinish countertops in kitchen."

$500, a month and a half, and seven years off of our lives later, the house is ready to sell.  It's going on the market this afternoon.  In honor of the occasion, I thought I'd share some before and after pictures, taken from listing photos on the buying and selling end.

Phew.  House finished...check!  Now it's time to sell this sucker!  Any takers?  :)


Friday, February 1, 2013

My Macklemore Challenge

I've been absentee for awhile.  Sorry!

Anyhow, today at Young House Love, they're having a thrift store challenge.  You're supposed to take a $20 to a thrift store and see what you can score with it.  Here's my take!

Madi and I hit up our local thrift store last Friday to get this thing done.  She wouldn't cooperate for pictures, probably because she didn't want to be seen with me sans makeup.  She's 19 months old, and I'm already subjecting the poor child to public humiliation.  : )
 Here's what we scored for $2:
This thing is HUGE.  The inside of the frame is 2' X 3'.  I knew I wanted to spray paint the frame ORB, but I didn't know at first what I wanted to put inside the frame, so I hit up Pinterest and found this:
Source: via Kelli on Pinterest

It's for sale on Etsy for $16.  I liked it a lot, but it was only an 8X10.  And, like I said, it was $16.  So of course, I tried to DIY.  First, I tried using Microsoft Word.  What a joke!  Then I pulled up GIMP (a free but not very intuitive image editing/generating software) and played around for a while.  Once I finally figured out how to manipulate text, I was able to put this together pretty easily:
It's not perfect, but it's good enough for us, for now.  And if it's good enough for you too, feel free to take it/print it/enjoy it.  Especially if you give me credit.  Or money.  Money is even better.

Anyway, blown up as big as it is on our wall, I can see imperfections (like how "protects", "trusts", and "perseveres" don't line up perfectly on the left side *shudder*) that would probably put me in the loony bin if I let them, so I try to only look at it from at least five feet away.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had it printed by Shutterfly for $8.64 after a $20 discount that came in our latest box of diapers, and was shocked at how quickly it arrived.

After spray painting the frame, I used the original "art" board to make a mat.  I just cut a rectangle out of the middle about a half-inch smaller both ways so there would be room to attach the poster on the back. 
Normally I love crisp white mats, but since the word art was printed on plain white paper and used a very plain font, I thought it needed some interest.  So I covered it in some fabric I had laying around from Madison's 52 week photo project.
I ran out of painters tape halfway through (I would have used something cheaper if I had it on hand, but I wanted to finish before Madison woke up that morning), so I switched to electrical tape, which was a complete pain in the boat to work with.
Thar she blows!  And yes, that is a fat joke.  This thing is HUGE.  I hung it to be centered behind our love seat/on the hallway. 
We are still in dire need of art for over the couch, but I've got plans.  For Patrick.  (Oh honey, did you really think I was going to let you watch the Superbowl?)  JK.  He can work on it during half time.  : )
So the total cost for this sucker was around $11.  I'll take it!

Happy flippin' Friday!

PS- I linked at these blogs:

TDC Before and After

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas...A "Better Late Than Never" Recap

 I have no excuses for how very very late this post is, so let's skip that part and just get to the good!  These were still on my camera's memory card right up until about fifteen minutes ago.  It was fun going over them after all this time!

This first group of pictures is from an event Patrick took Madison to at the community center, breakfast with Santa.  A few of her cousins also came.  That morning I was helping with another event at our church, so I missed out on this one. 

First, she bonded with a few inanimate objects:
 Then spent some time ignoring her cousins (and one of the unjolliest Santa's I've ever seen)...
 Then crafted an ornament!

The next group of pictures is from Pat's family Christmas, which we celebrated the Saturday before Christmas in Huntsville, at his mom's house.  We had a blast there, and Madison got WAY too many presents.  Not that we're complaining!
 We attempted a cousins picture.  lol
 For Christmas Eve, we attended our church's service then went to a party at my aunt's house.  Madison wore such a cute dress, but we forgot to take any pictures but this one!
 And that's the last Christmas picture I have, because I forgot the stinkin camera there.  I didn't bother to get it back until a week into the new year.  I can't even imagine how the me from a year ago would feel about that.  Oh well. 

 Regardless of the picturelessness (shutchermouth, squiggly red's a word if I say it is), our Christmas (day) was pretty good.  It was definitely low key; we spent the majority of the day at home, but also went to my parents house for a bit.  Our "big" gift to Madison was a mirror for her room ($10 at Walmart) so she can see herself when she plays dress up. To keep it safe, we drilled right through the frame to screw it to two studs.  I put all her dress up items (necklaces, boa, hats, bunny ears, purses) in a box under her crib for easy access and cleanup.  She loves it!

Typically, I'd end a post like this with "Merry Christmas", or at least "Happy New Year", but I'm kind of late for either one.  Umm, have a sweet Valentines Day?  Yeah, that works.