Locked In

Chris and I met last Tuesday with our Mortgage broker to finalize everything and get our construction loan started.

The wait between choosing a lot, selecting a floor plan and coming to an agreement on price with our builder has been longer than I would have hoped, but I am glad that we are getting exactly what we want the way that we want it. And that in itself is worth the wait to me.

When the price and all of the details were final with our builder, we were finally able to lock in a rate with our mortgage company and settle on the paperwork.

After settling on the land a few weeks ago, it still didn’t feel real to us and the agreement with the builder on the specs and the contract didn’t feel real either. Reality, for me, set in once we see what the mortgage will be, etc… And the realization that this is truly happening. Our builder will be digging out and putting our foundation in in a few weeks. We will begin selecting doors, hardware and finalizing our cabinets and granite in our dream kitchen. (See the samples below!)

As Chris and I look over our floor plan and decide on which room will be the nursery, which will be Jack’s room and planning where furniture will be placed, the structure that will eventually be built is already feeling like home. My excitement to finally have this house to ourselves and to make it our own is not only keeping me busy, but it is also keeping my Pinterest page buzzing with tile ideas, gardening options, paint colors, and the list goes on!!

My thoughts wander to our new address and getting address labels done and watching the kids play on the cul-de-sac. Jack riding his bike in the driveway and Max playing in the baby pool in the backyard. These are moments that I can’t wait for.

Not having our furniture and items until we move into the house in early 2013 is a little nerve wracking as I go through the day wishing that I had something that is buried in storage. If I had $1 for each time that I have thought of something that I need or wanted, I would have about $100. Oh well, no sense in being upset about something that can’t change.

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Our kitchen cabinets

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Our granite

Watching Over Us

Jack has been mentioning my mother a lot recently.  Not that he never speaks of her, but not as often as he has recently.  He gets excited when we mention that we will be building and living in a new house, where he almost immediately follows it up with “Mom will live there too.”  I explain now that Mom is in heaven with God, but she is always watching him and will continue to watch over him in the new house.

He still calls her on his play phones and carries on conversations with her while on the phone.  His new, and funny phrase is, “Hey Mom.  What’s up?!” when he answers the phone.

Yesterday, Chris was driving Jack home from school, and unprompted, he says to Chris, “Mom sleeps with me at night.”  Chris tried to probe for more and he said that he sees Mom when he is sleeping and that he misses her.  To be honest, I don’t doubt it.  One of her wishes was that Jack would be big enough and that she would feel good enough to have Jack stay with her overnight like my sisters and I used to do with our grandmother.  Unfortunately, she never had that chance in life, but maybe now she is having this chance now.

When Chris told me the story when he got home, I had chills and was immediately immersed in a sense of comfort and peace.  Maybe the young really do have a better sense for these things.  Either way, it makes my heart smile to know that he misses her and that he believes her to be with him always.

Summer Update

Max is almost a month old, and we have finally taken Jack swimming in a real pool, gone for walks with the kids until we thought that our legs would fall off, and just enjoyed time with the boys.

Jack swimming with Daddy

Chris and I agree that it feels like Max has been a part of this family since day one and we can barely remember what life was like before he came along.  I can’t say that our family feels complete and that we wouldn’t add at least one more child to our growing family because I absolutely would in a heartbeat.

Daddy and Max taking a little nap

Jack is still loving going to school a few days a week and being home with Max and I for a few days as well.  We are getting on a schedule with Max, which means that it is all going to change after I publish this post, but I’m sure it will all be fine.

As I see all of my Mom’s flowers blooming in the backyard, I am reminded that she is here with us and watching us always.  Jack still asks for her and uses a play phone to call her and talk to her.  When he asks for her, he now completes his sentence with “Mom is sleeping a special sleep in a special bed.  I miss Mom.”

Chris and I have officially settled on the land for where we will build our house and just signed the contracts last week for the plans on the house.  The construction loan process begins now and we should be living in this house in about 180 days or less.  6 months until we are in our own home again, and I am looking forward to it.  Decorating, budgeting, unpacking…it is going to feel so new again and I couldn’t be more excited!

Speaking of packing, I have been working on bits and pieces of cleaning out my Mom’s house since May.  It has been a long and sad process, but it absolutely needs to be done.  The time is coming where everyone needs to choose what they want, what goes in the trash, what will be donated and what will be sold in the estate sale.  My goal is to complete the full clean out before our house is done because once we are in our new house, I want to be able to focus my time and energy on that.  We are still not sure about when the house will officially go on the market, but I am hoping to list it sooner rather than later.

I’m already dreading going back to work and leaving Max at daycare.  It breaks my heart that I can’t be with him all of the time, but I know that we are making the best decision that we can to better our children.  They will both be well-rounded, independent adults someday with all of the tools and knowledge to be successful.  That is the greatest gift that I can give them.

My friend Pam made these great shirts for the boys and I was so excited to have them both wear their shirts today.  So adorable!  Check out her shop on Etsy by clicking here.

Brotherly love

Baby brother Max (4 weeks)

Big brother Jack- (2 years, 7 months)

 

 

 

Coming to an Agreement

After about a month of negotiations, changes, blueprint reviews and a whirlwind of emotions and decisions, Chris and I are finally coming to terms and are agreeing with our builder enough to sign on the dotted line.

We have made several changes, mostly making the house bigger by bumping out the walls, eliminating tray ceilings, the garden tub, the sunporch and creating a different style of deck space.

So far, this has been the most difficult and time consuming part of the process, but we are finally getting the house that we want to raise our family in.  I’m glad that we haven’t been shy about asking for what we want and standing up for what we want when our builder comes back with a different suggestion.

And to be honest, I truly thought that Chris and I wouldn’t always come to an agreement on the house and everything that we wished to do, but we truthfully have the same taste and vision for the house.  I couldn’t be happier.

As of now, we are scheduled to close on the land next week, provided that I don’t go into labor before then, but I’m so glad that we can finally get this process underway.

This should be a very close layout and design of what our house will look like with several changes to our house, but close enough:

 

If You Can’t Find One, Build One!

Yep, Chris and I are taking the plunge and have decided to build a house!  And in typical family fashion, we have been pondering this for AGES, researching to death and have finally decided on a lot, a house plan and a builder!

We will be living about 10-15 minutes from my mother’s house and can’t wait to move in!

We should be settling on the land soon and the builder will begin digging out the foundation and getting that laid and put up.  This week, we met with the builder and brought our blueprints to make a few changes and additions.  I am pushing myself to get as much done as possible before this little one arrives and then life will begin to slow down a bit.  Ideally, we would love for the house to be done before the holidays, but as of now, that may or may not be possible.  Fingers crossed though!

We never realized how much is involved in building a house.  You are needed to select everything from outlet covers to appliances, flooring, lighting fixtures, siding and more!  I love projects and this will be the one to set the scene for the next chapter in our lives, and I am excited to see how it turns out.

 

Here is an idea of the first floor, but we are making the following changes:

No fireplace in the keeping room (will be used as a toy room), extending 2 feet on the back of the house, 1 foot on the left side of the house, extending 1 1/2 feet on the garage in the front, cutting off the bit of side front porch, moving the powder room over and making the closet bigger, adding a utility sink in the garage

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Here is the second floor with the changes that we made with the builder:

No tray ceilings in the master bedroom or bathroom, no whirlpool tub in the master bath, extend the shower in the master bath, make the optional closet a storage space for holiday items, etc…, removal of wall and separator door in the kid’s bathroom, and all rooms will be bigger because of the bump-outs in different parts of the house.

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Once finished, the front of the house should look something like this:

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As far as the front goes, we will be keeping the stone where it is, only doing horizontal siding, no banister on the porch, removing shake and using siding instead and adding a window box for flowers on the windows where the side-load garage is.

Lots of changes and lots of work, but I am excited to see how it turns out!  Prepping for land settlement soon, so we should be on our way!

33 Weeks

33 Week Questions:

How far along? 33 weeks
Estimated size of you: Pineapple
Maternity clothes? Bringing out some of the spring line!
Stretch marks? Nada
Sleep: Starting to become difficult
Best moment this week: Deciding to build a house!  A whole post dedicated to this is coming!
Miss Anything? Not swelling up at the end of the day.  Just in my ankles and feet, but it is not fun.
Movement: Still more movement after meals or when I sit down and lean forward a bit.
Food cravings: Pizza bagels and ice cream
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks occasionally, but beginning to get stronger
Belly Button in or out? Out!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Building and finishing our new house!

32 Weeks

We officially moved last weekend and have settled on the old house. What a weight off of our shoulders! I learned that hiring movers is worth every single penny that you pay them and that it really isn’t as stressful as I had anticipated.

Jack was thrilled to wait and watch the truck, Chris and I finished packing a few boxes and out the door we went one last time.

Settlement was perfect because we signed our paperwork, handed it and the keys to our Realtor and went on with our day.

Very close family friends of ours lost their father unexpectedly on April 14, so we had the Irish Wake and funeral this past week, which also made this week a bit more hectic than usual. My heart aches for my friends as I know the exact feeling that they have right now. I just keep praying for God to comfort them during this very difficult time.

On a more positive note, the plan for this rainy weekend is to get some last minute errands done before this baby arrives and do another full deep clean of the house after we meet with a builder. 🙂 Yes, the house hunt continues!

During one of my routine checkups, we learned that my iron levels are exceptionally low and that I need at least 5 infusions to bring my level back to a normal state. I had my first infusion yesterday and will have another this coming Friday and so on. So far, I don’t feel much of a difference with being tired, but I’m sure the energy level will be back soon!

32 Week Questions:

How far along? 32 weeks
Estimated size of you: Jicama or a pineapple- I have seen estimates for both.
Maternity clothes? Down to the last few items that seem to cover this belly!
Stretch marks? Nada
Sleep: Depends, but for the most part, it is not half bad.
Best moment this week: Officially selling the house in Philly and having another OBGYN appointment and hearing the doctor say that the baby is doing beautifully!
Miss Anything? Having our own home. This is really impeding on my desire to nest.
Movement: A bit less as it is getting tight in there, but you are still active!
Food cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate together
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: Absolutely!
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks occasionally
Belly Button in or out? Out!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Meeting and holding this baby in a few more weeks!

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Waiting and watching for the moving truck to arrive!

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Moving in progress…

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Iron infusion 1/5- at least I can work at the infusion center while I am getting my much needed iron!

Checking Off of the List

Since we are now officially in the third trimester and the baby will be arriving in a mere 10 weeks (YIKES!), now is as good a time as any to try and finalize a more permanent home, get the baby clothes and the crib set up, and begin purchasing the items that we need before this little one arrives.  One major purchase can finally be crossed off the list.

After asking everyone who reads this blog and other friends who have already taken the plunge for two or three more children, we finally bought our new double stroller.  We decided on the Maclaren Twin Techno, which will really be able to suit our needs with its lightweight yet sturdy frame and its portability, which is great for our family on the go.

We had looked at a rental property a few weekends ago, but after seeing the amount of work needed on the house for the crazy amount of money that they asked for rent, we decided against it.  However, we are still checking out what is available and getting our ducks in a row to hopefully purchase another new house soon.

Our settlement was official on April 19, but I was able to complete the deed paperwork ahead of time so as to not get tied up in the paperwork and settlement mess in Philly.  My Realtor has the paperwork, the house was packed and the movers came and took everything on April 14.

Baby clothes and sleepers are purchased, the bassinet is back, Jack is sleeping in a big boy bed and trying to go on the potty all of the time and my maternity leave paperwork is completed and submitted.  It seems like a lot, but according to my To Do List, it is only a few of the minor things that have been crossed off the pre-new baby checklist.

This weekend, we will probably order diapers, begin organizing space for the new baby’s clothes and possibly installing the car seat.  32 weeks already!  Where does the time go?!

Jack officially went on the potty again yesterday, so we are keeping up with encouraging the potty, etc…  He is officially also in the Pampers Pull-ups and we bought some new big boy underwear.  Although the progress is slow, it would be WONDERFUL to not have two children in diapers.  I was cloth diapering for a long time, but since Jack’s school doesn’t allow them, much of our money goes to disposables each month.  And with two children in diapers…we will be spending about $100 a month!  We can absolutely afford it, but it is always better to  use the money for something else.

The house hunt continues and we will be meeting with a builder this morning since we can’t seem to find an existing home that we would like to buy.

We also decided on a name (FINALLY!) and our 32 week ultrasound to see our little guy will be on Monday!  🙂

Still awaiting a deal on the Hygeia EnJoye pump and my coveted Coddlelife glass bottles, but they will come with time, especially since the new little one won’t be going to daycare until September.

Although things are getting done, I can’t help but wonder if I am forgetting something or if there is something else that I should be doing?

New Baby in Philly!

We went down to Philly last weekend for one last attempt at packing up the house before the movers come on the 14th and to catch up and spend some time with friends, especially our soon to be former neighbors across the street.  They were our first real friends when we moved to Philly and had many fun nights out to dinner, getting puppies, having children, working on the houses, having a few drinks and just enjoying each others company.

Chris and Eric, the sports nuts, were always talking about the Philly teams and could joke over anything while standing over the grill with some cold ones and grilling the burgers for dinner.

Erica and I were always talking about the kids, fashion and anything else that was on our minds.

Other than the fact that we will both miss seeing two of the most awesome people just about every day, we are so happy for them.  They have a beautiful daughter and have just welcomed a second beautiful daughter about 2 weeks ago.

Jack didn’t show much interest in the baby when we came to visit, but we did get some very cute photos, including the one below.

Jack and the girls 🙂

We are in Packing Hell/House Tour of Our Home in Philly

We spent the first weekend in March at the house in Philly going though different things, throwing away unnecessary items, pricing movers and loading up cardboard boxes.  A lot of it was memories of our previous life there and what life used to be like when we were living on the cul-de-sac.

Friends of ours stopped by between us taping up boxes and bringing out mementos to store away in our storage unit which made us realize even more how much we are really going to miss this house, let alone the wonderful friends that we made.

Packing up each room in the house also made us realize how much stuff that we have accumulated over the past 6 years and how much of it has been forgotten since moving north.

Jack tried to help with the packing and made sure that we got every last thing in the box before taping it closed and stacking it in neat piles for the movers.

Here is a little tour of our house in Philly before we began packing everything up:

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Hope that the new homeowner enjoys our house as much as we did!