The End is Approaching

Yes, my blissful maternity leave is almost over.  In a little less than a month, I will be back to work full time with both boys spending a full day in day care.  However, the director at the daycare said a week or so ago that Jack was demonstrating readiness to move to the Preschool program from the older toddler room this fall.  She said he has hit the milestones and would be great to move up with the other children!  We are so proud of him!

So much has changed since Jack was an infant and started in daycare.  No more glass bottles (we use Coddlelife glass bottles as we feel they are safest for our children), only sleep sacks, no blankets and the list goes on and on.  Jack never used a sleep sack, so we just bought one from Baby Gap that was on sale with an extra 40% off!  Go me!  And yes, I bought the 6-12 month one to get the most use out of it.

I have so enjoyed my maternity leave with my little ones.  We were really able to spend the time together that was desperately needed.  Jack has been able to spend more one on one time with me and Max has gotten to know his Mommy and his brother, as well as his Daddy.

Some of my projects that I have been working on have been completed or almost completed while I have been home.  The cleanout?  Well, that is an animal all in itself, but it is getting done.  The dumpster will arrive Labor day weekend and many of the weekends in September will be spent cleaning everything out of the garage, attic and basement, as well as other areas.

One project for me that was very important was to create a photo book of all of the pictures with my Mom and Jack so that Jack can have that and look at it to remember her.  That should be completed and ordered sometime this week from Shutterfly, and I just got a free photo book code, so it is a win-win!

Many of my days these past few weeks have been spent choosing things for our new house; tile, plumbing fixtures, granite, cabinets, siding, shingles, stone for the front, shutters, and the list goes on.  Trying to get as much done as possible before I go back to work full time as I know that we will only have the weekends to get any major planning done as I will not have any vacation time left for the remainder of 2012.

The house is coming together and we should be going to settlement next week!  We can’t wait!

Although I am going to miss all of this extra time with the boys, I know that working will allow me to be able to provide for them and also allow us to build and live in this beautiful house.

So, for now, I am cuddling with my little Max and enjoying some extra time with Jack while playing with cars and trucks.  These are the moments that are most important for me.

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

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!