Friday, March 30, 2012

house update 2.0

We heard back from our Realtor today--Fannie Mae countered our offer. This was good for 2 reasons:
1. They got back to us much quicker than we expected! We're hoping it's a good sign that they want to be rid of this house.
2. It shows they're willing to negotiate, which again demonstrates they want to be rid of the house.

This was bad for 1 reason:
1. They only lowered the list price by $100. Also, instead of agreeing to 3% of the sales price towards our closing costs, they said they'd do $1500.

We went into this with what we felt was our absolute best offer. We're discussing increasing our offer by a teeny tiny bit to show we are serious about the property and willing to compromise at least a little, but with the work that needs to be done we feel like our first offer was a very fair (if not a little generous) price. We're still firm that if this is good for us God will open the doors and they'll agree to what would be our 'best and final offer' and if it's not meant to be they'll reject it and we'll have to walk away. If we do have to walk away, it doesn't mean that's going to suck any less...

We're waiting to put in our response until Monday morning. Our Realtor is out of town through Sunday and we need some time to think about and discuss it. My hope is that if this isn't meant to be, someone will come along in the next 2-3 days and put in an offer that blows ours out of the water and we won't have to play the numbers game and be tempted to push ourselves beyond what is financially reasonable for us. Keep the prayers and good vibes coming our way, please!

twenty-two


Thursday, March 29, 2012

house update {or lack thereof}

On Tuesday night, we signed, sealed, and delivered all relevant paperwork to our Realtor to put the offer in on the house. Mad props to my mom and dad for making the trek out to Akron in order to help walk me through some of the stuff I was signing my name to. And also for buying me McDonald's after, even if it was selfishly motivated so you two could feel the baby kick ;).

Anyway, since this particular house is a Fannie Mae property, the Realtor advised us we would likely have to wait weeks until we get any sort of response. Her exact words were, "I'll be shocked if we hear anything at all within 10 days." Sigh. This whole waiting business is no fun at all, especially with our lease date rapidly approaching and no present Plan B.

So now, we wait. We're doing a LOT of praying in this time, namely that if it's meant to be we'll trust God's will and timing and if it's a bad move on our part that God will keep this door firmly closed and we'll get a big fat no negotiation-room rejection. In the meantime, Jon and I are doing EVERYTHING in our power not to picture all of the updates and renovations we want to do to this house. We keep reminding one another that we have to GET the house first. Did I mention how badly this waiting game sucks?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

unexpected grown-up decisions

A few weeks back I mentioned some life-altering-big-decisions we're trying to make. Now that we have the ball rolling, JP said I could clue you guys into the sitch.


We're trying to buy a house.


Let's just take a moment to let that sink in. Jon and I, self-proclaimed forever renters, are seriously pursuing (and putting in an official offer tonight!) a house. A little back story: with our lease ending June 1, we were searching for rental houses. We had decided we wanted to pursue a house because, though we love our downstairs neighbor, she loves to vacuum late into the night and her dogs love to bark during the day. With a baby on the way, we didn't want the babe to be disturbed nor did we want the babe to disturb her through our paper-thin walls. After lots of searching we realized we simply can't afford a nice rental in a safe neighborhood because the monthly rent was upwards of $900/month. For giggles we looked up a few home sales and crunched the numbers and realized it would actually cost less per month than we pay currently to just buy.


Looks like my compulsive need to save has paid off for us because within a respectable (albeit not huge at all) price range, we can afford a 20% down payment.


After looking at several houses and a few disappointments along the way, we found what could very well be the one. It's an adorable brick colonial in an even cuter neighborhood within walking distance of a few parks. It's got hardwood floors throughout but the basement needs some attention. The big downside is there is no central air/heat (just steam heat and NO air) but we can make due with window AC units until we can afford a nice AC upgrade. We were waiting to put an offer in on this property until Jon's dad and two of our friends (shout-out to Papa Barnes and Scooter for acting, as our Realtor put it, as "the most thorough inspectors I've ever seen!") could take a look at it this morning. We were concerned about some water damage in part of the finished basement but their verdict was that structurally the house is solid, it just needs some drainage attention.


So Jon signed the papers. And then in a few hours I'll be signing papers. Then we will put in our first offer on a house ever. It's a foreclosure so we aren't sure what to expect. We're offering a couple thousand below list price but are willing to bump it up a little if necessary. All our eggs are in this basket. If it breaks I'm not really sure what our plan B is yet. So be prepared for the ups and downs of this process spilling over into this little space...

Monday, March 26, 2012

misconceptions

I'm starting to think Jon has some misconceptions about his pregnant wife. Today I was going to bring a large bag of bagels into work to share but naturally forgot them at home despite strategically placing them by the door last night. When I was conveying my pregnancy brain mishap to him via text I quickly realized that Jon thinks I eat... A LOT.


Me: Here... without the bagels. I love you.
Jon: You ate them all on the way there!?!?!
Me: No! I forgot them at home!
Jon: Oh... That makes more sense. I love you.

In related news, Baby Flip was Jersey Shore'ing it up on my insides last night after we crawled into bed around 9:30. Jon was able to feel every kick, jab and fist pump for a solid 15 minutes. Every time it stopped he re-initiated the process by poking my lower right side--where the baby's feet have consistently been--which worked like a charm. We think it's because I ate corn on the cob right before bed and baby must LOVE corn on the cob like its mama. Either way, it was one of the most beautiful moments the two of us (three of us?) have been able to share thus far in this pregnancy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the day the pregnancy gods rained all up in this parade

Today I feel great despite having my "check engine" light appear last night, waking up three times a night to pee, etc. It's the first day of spring. It's 80 degrees in Cleveland. And the pregnancy gods have been smiling on me today.

First I was craving a mocha frappe from McD's. Unwilling to shell out the cash (or spend the time running to get one) I realized I had the goods on hand to make one. I used a coworker's blender and combined one of my decaf Starbucks Via's with cream, ice, and chocolate syrup. It turned out much better than I thought.

Then I was craving a pickle. I even mentioned this need to a coworker. The next thing I know I get an email saying there are leftover Panera sandwiches from a meeting in the kitchen. Wanna know what was wrapped in with these sandwiches? PICKLES. I may or may not have rummaged through a few sandwich wrappers to get to some extra pickles...

Then I was craving something sweet and fruity. One of my other coworkers keeps a stash of goodies in her filing cabinet so I inquired if she had anything she was willing to donate. What does the girl hook me up with? Jolly Ranchers and a Blow Pop.

Greatest day ever.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

rainy sundays

This weekend has been absolutely glorious. As I write this, rain is falling outside but the temperature is still in the upper 60s. Jon and I are both in bed with our laptops--he's doing homework, I'm blogging--with the window open (and a certain princess sitting on the sill) with all my favorite rainstorm-associated sounds streaming in. Laying in bed with cracked windows during a rainstorm is by far one of my favorite indulgences so I am thrilled to be given this opportunity in mid-March.

Our weekend was busy. Friday night was spent cleaning and running errands. Yesterday we celebrated Lilly's first birthday--I can't believe it's been a year! I feel like we just met her yesterday. The party was a blast and I got to spend some one-on-one time with her while her family got everything setup. Not only did I get to spend time with Lillian but I also got to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a while. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the day:
The birthday girl is so big now!

Myles, Lillian's cousin
She is such a ham
Ciara, Natalie's youngest
Bummed this came out blurry but it still conveys the message - her first taste of cake ever!
Brooke, Natalie's eldest
Tutu'd legs with a nice chunk of cake in her lap
I got home totally exhausted but enjoyed an evening with Jon anyway. Today we went to church and Aldi and I spent a good portion of my day cooking. I made a homemade Greek pasta (pasta, diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, olive oil, and feta) for lunch with enough leftovers to last us through the week, as well as kielbasa and sauerkraut for dinner... again, with plenty of leftovers. I also took a nice 2.5-hour nap to compensate for the lack of sleep I've been getting lately. Then I finished our local taxes which officially ends any need to think about taxes for another year (we had e-filed our state and federal taxes nearly a month ago). We're in the process of discussing whether or not we should run to Giant Eagle to see if we can track down this birthday cake batter ice cream with blue frosting that I had when visiting Jon in Arizona nearly 5 years ago from a Fry's grocery store that I am craving like mad. It's a long shot but I think it's a risk I'm willing to take...

Friday, March 16, 2012

oh, hello world

Our 20-week appointment went spectacularly. When we first got in, the baby was curled up, face down. The ultrasound tech was able to get phenomenal pictures of the baby's spine. She was concerned the bebe wouldn't cooperate to give her the views she needed but after a few minutes of spine imaging the baby was raging mad and moving all over the place. She got all the shots she needed. She said everything looks great and our baby has a flare for the dramatic (gee, I wonder where it gets that from...). The babe kept putting its right hand over its forehead and she thought that was hysterical. The tech also kept remarking what long legs and feet the baby has, at one point saying "see those feet? I'm not zoomed in. This is actual size" so I guess we'll have a runner on our hands, just like its dad. When we went over all of the results with the doctor he said everything looks great, no anomalies presented. I'm actually measuring 20 weeks 4 days instead of just 20 weeks but my estimated due date is still the same. We're so grateful that everything seems to be going smoothly and baby's developing on track. And now, the moment you've been waiting for:
Profile! My favorite I think.
You're looking head-on: belly on the left, face on the right (nose in center of face)
Another profile
Chimpanzee feet like its mama! 
 In a very unexpected turn of events, we found out our OB office has 3D ultrasounds:
My favorite/least creepy of the 3D ultrasound images
Hand on the right side of its face 
Hand over the forehead - such a drama baby. It's also holding its umbilical cord (the striated tube by the nose/arm)
"Leave me alone. Growing is super hard work." (alien baby)
 We didn't find out the gender, nor did anyone "slip" and refer to the baby as a 'he' or 'she'. Baby's heart rate was 164 beats per minute. Also, Baby Flip is using my bladder as a pillow which explains my hourly bathroom runs despite barely showing. If everything continues this smoothly the next time we see our babe will be on its birth day!

20 {halfway there!}


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bad friend

Hi. I've been a bad friend to you lately. I thought I'd be posting three times a day since I'm on spring break but alas, life happened and this just hasn't been the case. Also? It's 70 degrees out. I'd think you should stone me if I stayed inside and blogged in such weather.

I've been working on a LOT of homework over break which has also contributed to my absence. Then there's the whole life-altering-big-decisions we're trying to make. Jon isn't quite ready to broadcast more info about that on here just yet, but it's a doozie. I'll consult with the head of the household soon to find out when I can disclose more dets.

We're super pumped because our 20-week ultrasound is on Friday. That means I'll likely delay the baby bump picture until we have photos of the babe we can share with you but I haven't quite figured out how I want to organize all that yet. We're crossing our fingers for a healthy appointment with no anomalies but preparing ourselves for the worst. We're compulsive worriers, yaknow.

I got a haircut yesterday. To say it was much needed is a total lie. This extended beyond the realm of much needed. This was a hot hair mess. And I made a huge commitment. People, I got bangs.
Don't mind the fact that my face is broadcast to an audience. Yesterday happened to mark the first time I played around with the free background/effect features of my laptop's webcam. For the first time in weeks, the haircut helped me feel not totally repulsive. All this pregnancy-related acne and whatnot has really taken a toll on my self-esteem so the haircut ended up being a totally unexpected blessing. When I got home I even painted my nails green. I love it even though Jon says it makes me look like a 13-year-old emo girl.

I've gotta run out the door--we have to run a few important errands before I wrap up some homework that's due tomorrow. More soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

on fantastic weekends

This weekend was beyond glorious. Jon miraculously had off Saturday and Sunday (again! 2nd time in just a few weeks!) and we got in lots of quality time. Friday night while he was working I started to pack up and I did a massive clean of the apartment--we're talking on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor clean. On Saturday morning we ran to Giant Eagle to deposit a check and get breakfast ($0.79 bagels and doughnuts) before heading to a flea market in Akron. The flea market ended up being a total bust. It literally looked like people went to a local thrift store, found the crappiest crap they had, bought it, and brought it to this flea market to resell. We spent all of 30 minutes there before heading home disappointed. On the way home we decided to stop at the local Salvation Army where Jon got a tie and I found 3 cute little baby outfits. We walked out $4.20 poorer but very happy. From Salvation Army we headed to Aldi to get groceries and then to lunch at Olive Garden. I have consistently craved OG salad and breadsticks this pregnancy so we cashed in our Valentine's Day gift card from my parents. Not long after lunch we ran out to the Medina Antique Mall and were floored at the stuff we found. Two of my favorite items (that both happened to be a couple hundred dollars) were a 50s floor lamp and a yellow rotary phone.

From the antique mall we headed over to Alex and Natalie's house to hang out with their adorable girls while Natalie ran errands. I took a trillion pictures, as usual, but narrowed down my favs:
This girl cracks me up!

We had a blast hanging out with them and they wore us out! Today we had Jon's parents over for lunch. Jon made a roast and corn on the cob on the grill and I tried a new crispy potato roast recipe:
Before
After
The whole meal
Everything was really good. I didn't add the shallot to the potatoes because that's not Jon's style. If I reuse the recipe I'll probably add some cheese to it. After lunch we headed back to Medina Antique Mall with his parents because Jon's mom is an old-things enthusiast just like him. After what felt like hours there (I have a very short attention span) we said our goodbyes and headed home. Within minutes of getting home, Jon and I embarked on a 30-minute walk around our 'hood. After our walk I made pizza, we ate, and I crashed. This weekend really wore me out but it was worth every second. We even had our windows open in the apartment for a few hours today! It doesn't get any better than that in early March in Ohio.

Friday, March 9, 2012

yes please


Do you SEE this!? It's early March... in CLEVELAND... and I spy a high just shy of 70 on Wednesday! Also, I rhymed totally unintentionally. This is what lovely weather does to my brain. I work right near a stretch of the Ohio towpath and earlier this week some coworkers and I went on a nice walk along the canal during lunch. I think there will be a LOT more of that this week. 

Also, pregnancy brain has not been kind to my lunches as of late. Yesterday I packed myself a PB&J with cinnamon apple jelly. My logic was that I love peanut butter apples so peanut butter+cinnamon apple jelly would be delish. Wrong. Flustered by the soap tasting sandwich, I deconstructed it, ate the peanut butter half, and threw the jelly half out. When I told Jon this he cracked up and asked why I didn't eat the jelly half by itself, too. I have no words. Then today I was running late and threw stuff in my bag to make a peanut butter & banana sandwich at work. Except I forgot the banana. Sigh. The good news is I got the best sleep I've had in 7 nights last night. It still left room to be desired, but I'll take it. Jon is off tomorrow and Sunday so expect little from me until at least Sunday night--I want some time with my man!

nineteen


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the haps

The baby has grown increasingly active over the last week or so. I've finally experienced sequential, rapid-fire style kicks (the first main experience was during church announcements on Sunday--8 in a row!). I think the baby/my uterus (what a weird word) is finally growing up instead of just out and as a result of my growing belly I'm no longer supposed to sleep on my back. Something about a crucial blood supply to the baby potentially being cut off with long-term back sleeping. Typically I'm a 50% side sleeper and 50% back sleeper so this shouldn't have been a huge adjustment, but it has been. I've not had a fulfilling night's sleep in 5 days. I wake up for frequent bathroom breaks and as of the last 2 nights, intense round ligament pain on my right side. I'm exhausted and cranky and yesterday morning I pinched my right fingertips in our garage door because it decided to stop working and I had to shut it manually.

White girl problems, I tell ya.

Overall, though, I can't complain. Compared to the morning sickness I experienced during the first trimester the 2nd tri has been a total walk in the park. Jon and I have settled on a crib/mattress and Jon's parents are very generously buying it for us and the wee one. I don't think I've mentioned on here but we're moving (again, sigh) when our lease ends in a few months--we want to stay in the same area but we really need more space. Hoping to rent a house if we can find one in a safe neighborhood and in our price range. That means no nursery nesting for me until at least June. Womp womp.

Jon's on spring break this week and mine is next week. We're both still working a lot though so the break really hasn't been much of one. I plan on packing up several boxes during mine to start the move transition. I also want to start making a "garage sale" pile because we're having a combined garage sale with Jon's parent's sometime this spring. Jon will be done with finals by April 26 and I finish up May 11. It seems so far away and yet so close...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

sisterhood

I remember the time I had just gotten home from the dentist, my pearly whites fresh from a cleaning--one of my most treasured events. You and your friend offered me a piece of gum. Knowing my weakness, I happily accepted. Within seconds, you two were laughing. Trick gum that dyed my teeth green. I was so upset!

Then there was the time we went on one of our annual winter getaways to Frankenmuth. Our hotel room had a balcony. We decided we were going to camp out on the balcony and moved our mattress out there. It was winter. We didn't last.

Every time we went to restaurants I asked what you were having before I ordered. Once you made up your mind, I ordered the same thing. You hated when I did that.

Then there was the dinosaur and the human pretzel. Mom's glares. She still hates the dinosaur. It still cracks us up.

I know it wasn't always easy being my big sister. I tattled and acted as your shadow, copying your every move. I was 3 1/2 years younger and inherently annoying, but you always had my back. That was one thing I was certain of. I could make you angrier than you'd ever been, but push came to shove you were 100% there for me.

I can't imagine what life would have been like without you. Growing up you were my confidante and protector and for that I am eternally grateful. Happy birthday, big sis. I pray this year treats you well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

pink rice crispy treats

While doing our standard Sunday morning grocery shopping at Aldi I noticed a box of rice crispy cereal. I've been craving rice crispy treats for a while and the store-bought kind just aren't the same. We've also decided to try and eat as many things we have stored in our pantry as possible and I recalled an opened bag of large marshmallows sitting on the bottom shelf.

While making the treats today, Jon said he wanted to do something "special" to them. He suggested chocolate chips and I explained that I just wanted old fashioned rice crispy treats with no bells or whistles--I'm so high maintenance. He proceeded to dig out an unopened box of neon food coloring and said "can we at least make them pink?" And thus, pink rice crispy treats were born.


If you want to make you own color of rice crispy treats, simply add the food coloring once you've melted the marshmallows and before you add the rice cereal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

milestones

It may not seem like much, but last night Jon was able to feel the baby kick for the first time.

We had been laying in bed and he was reading. I could tell the baby was active but I knew better than to say anything because for literally weeks he'd throw his hands on my belly only to be disappointed by the lack of movement on the outside. Instead, I had my hand on my belly (as I've done the last few days when I feel kicks) and before I knew it my hand jumped up as the baby wailed on my insides. I quickly grabbed his hand and put it where the baby was.

About 3 or 4 minutes passed. He continued to read. Then, before I could say anything, he quickly turned and looked at me with wide eyes. "That was it--you looked at me right as it kicked." He grinned from ear to ear. Finally. It was a magical moment and I'm so glad we were able to share it so soon (I'm just shy of 18 weeks) in the pregnancy.