So, we are officially moved into our new house as of Saturday afternoon. (Pictures to come when the
dustboxes settle.) Pregnancy has, unfortunately, caused my typical OCD to increase ten-fold. Hence, two late Saturday night trips to The Container Store and Target to fulfill my nesting urges and make sure my pantry and kitchen were completely organized before I went to sleep for the night. I hear the nesting only gets more extreme in the third trimester... which starts next week. At this rate, I should have our whole house unpacked and decorated by next Tuesday!
We officially closed on our first house! After months of house hunting, way too many offers, and a gazillion pages of paperwork, we are officially home owners for the first time in our 26 years! We received our keys yesterday and we're so excited!
(as a side note: I received this Kate Spade candle a couple years ago for my birthday from my mother-in-law. We decided that we only wanted to light it on big important days of our life. So, the first time we lit it was the night we found out we were pregnant with Teeny Tiny, back in November. Last night, when we received walked into our new house, we lit it for a second time. We're hoping to keep the tradition burning- haha- throughout our marriage for all our Red Letter Days.)
Teeny-Tiny is quite a little mover and shaker. I've been feeling those fluttery kicks for awhile now. Every time we've had an ultrasound or an appointment where they listen to Baby's heartbeat, they always tell us that he's moving around like crazy. Two weeks ago, Nick felt him kick for the first time. I was laying in bed waiting for him to finish brushing his teeth and I yelled for him to come quick. Nick ran into the room and sat at the edge of the bed with his hand resting on my tummy for about 15 minutes, while we felt the little guy kick and wiggle and move, move, move. It was such an amazing experience. Pretty much every night at 10:30 since then, Nick and I have been able to feel him do his little thing inside my belly. I feel him moving all the time now; basically anytime I sit still for more than a couple minutes. In the early mornings when I can't sleep, I come lay on the couch to read and I turn on my "peaceful music" station on Pandora, and Tiny Dancer gets his groove on. Feeling all these movements and kicks is most certainly my favorite part of pregnancy so far. It's even better now that I can share it with Daddy-to-be too!
Well, we didn't close today, as we had originally hoped. 70% of our stuff is in boxes and our apartment is turning into a giant maze of box towers. We are preparing for this move, which we have tentatively scheduled for April 28th. Our appliances have been ordered, although their delivery date has been pushed back twice. Yesterday we signed/initialed approximately 300 sheets of paper to buy our house officially and were told that was it... but apparently there's more to sign today. Ugh, We're still hopeful that our house will close before 4/28 but this process has taught us that nothing is ever for sure! So, we're in the waiting game now... Never fear, we're not discouraged- just anxious to get our move on!
Yesterday my class went on a field trip to Tilden Park and were the cutest ever on the bus ride there. They were so excited about EVERYTHING they saw out the window on the bus ride, and their enthusiasm was not curbed, despite the less-than-thrilling scenery. In fact, the bus ride proved to be way more exciting (in their eyes) than the actual destination. Here's a sampling of their running observations:
Look! I see the freeway!
A parking lot! I see a parking lot!
Oh my gosh! Another Target!
An orange truck! Mrs. Reisfelt, I see an orange truck!
A bus stop!! There's a bus stop.
Trash! There's trash on the road!
My dentist office!
Guys! Look! Another bus!
The jungle! I see the jungle (referring to a bank of trees).
A river! (referring to the SF Bay!)
I love most types of breakfast foods and pancakes are no exception. On a night when our fridge was dangerously empty, we decided to whip up a batch of pancakes for dinner, rather than succumb to take out (yet again). I've been using this same easy Martha Stewart recipe for several years and it has always yielded light, thin, flavorful pancakes- just the way we like them!
A little known fact... Nick and I have been house hunting for 11 months now. I know, I know, we LOVE our beautiful apartment, but there were a few factors that led to this decision. First of all, with interest rates and home prices at a low, we knew that we might not have this opportunity to buy if we waited it out. Second, as much as Nick loves managing the building, it definitely takes a chunk of time. Plus, he's started a new job in March and with baby on the way, we wanted less on his plate, not more. Third, if he did quit managing the apartment, our rent would be more than a mortgage. Fourth, we are looking to put down more permanent roots with Teeny-Tiny's imminent arrival. So, although I've been more than a little reluctant to move, I agreed with my husband that now was the time to buy. So we began the search last May.
We have put in nine offers since then. Nine!! In the notoriously expensive Bay Area, we were limited to what we could afford/what we wanted to pay. At first, we said we wanted to stay in our neighborhood.... We quickly realized that's not going to happen! With median house prices in the 700K range, this neighborhood doesn't fit our starter-house budget. So we expanded our horizons... a lot! Every time we put in an offer, we were either outbid by investors with cash offers, or we ended being scared away from some serious structural issues. Since the new year, we have been putting in more offers, and it's become a joke in our family about what house we are offering on, in what city, this weekend. Since I don't feel like it's my right to share pictures of houses that don't actually belong to us, I'll give you a little mental picture of each of our bids, a la House Hunters:
1. The over-priced 70s bungalow complete with a sparkly popcorn ceiling and yellow shag carpet. Total DIY house - this was pre-pregnancy when I was more ambitious...
2. The too-good-to-be-true perfectly-priced bungalow in the right neighborhood with tons of charm. This one recently went back on the market after pending for 2 months and is now listed with "serious structural issues"at 75K more than the original asking price. Guess it's good that one didn't work out!
3. The hanging-off-the-side-of-a-hill, held up on stilts fixer-upper that had us running for the hills.
4. The adorable flipped house that came with an unfortunate view and sound of the freeway.
5. The cute bungalow that was remodeled with 10 too-many corners cut.
6. The 80s condo in our hometown that desperately needed updating.
7. The builder-basic condo that was a great price, but a bit too close to the freeway.
8. The freshly-updated townhouse in a good location, that was just a bit too tiny for our expanding family.
9. Our final offer, aka, the one that stuck: this one is a large townhouse, that feels like a real house. It has a yard for Lucy, two huge bedrooms, both with in-suite bathrooms, and a two car garage. Although it could use some updating, it's definitely livable for the time-being. It is also within walking distance of a great school (important to us now!) and a nice big park. Downtown Walnut Creek, with it's extensive shopping and dining resources is a quick mile away. Our new home is also in the same town as both our parents and the hospital where I'll be giving birth.
We snapped a few pictures the last time we were there for an appraisal...inspection... or something. As you can see, it's definitely a different style than our current 1920's apartment (much more builder basic). However, we are excited about the blank slate of this new place and doing bigger renovation projects- ones the go beyond just painting!
Who knew that buying a house would be so tricky? Frankly, the process is exhausting and some days I don't care where we live as long as I don't have to walk through another house. We kept the whole process under wraps, partly because we wanted to have a sure thing before stating that we're moving. Also, with the luck we've had, we felt like talking about it too soon would jinx the situation. However, with our closing date set for this Friday, it looks like this is the real deal. Fingers crossed that things actually move toward completion this week- as we have someone moving into our apartment until on May 1. Yikes! We'll of course keep you updated on the entire moving process- when it happens!
Last week I decided to make pasta for dinner from ingredients we already had in our fridge. With a some leftover grilled chicken, a bag of green beans, and lemons, I whipped up this easy and fairly healthy pasta dish. Here's the ingredients I used:
1 chicken breast, cooked
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
2 cups of green beans, cooked and cut
crumbs from 1/2 a piece of wheat bread
1/3 cup of shaved parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and spices in a small bowl. Then I added the chicken and green beans to the cooked spaghetti. I coated the spaghetti, beans, and chicken with the olive oil mixture. Next, I added the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, so they stuck to the noodles. This easy recipe will definitely become a staple in our house.
Since we got married, Nick and I have been living with a hand-me-down couch from my parents. We bought several cheap slipcovers over the years, as none would quite fit the big couch's size and shape. We added extra pillows to the back of it to make it more comfortable. This is a common happening at our house, so the white slipcovers don't stay clean for long:
Although it's served us well, it is definitely not our dream couch and I've been hoping to replace it for the last year or so. Every few months, we go couch window shopping so we've had a lot of time to decide on our musts for a new couch. Here's our list of musts: down-filled, high quality, something fairly eco-friendly, slipcovered, and neutral. With this list in mind, we narrowed it down to the Pottery Barn Comfort Square Sofa. We love how deep and comfortable this couch is, along with it's non-trendy shape. It's 40 inches deep, which mean that Nick, me, and my baby belly can all fit on the couch comfortably- something that's becoming increasingly more difficult on our current 27 inch deep couch. We also decided on the Linen Oatmeal Slipcover, which unfortunately isn't available online. I love a white couch but Nick put his foot down, with baby on the way. We figured the oatmeal color will hide any stains a little better. The linen is super soft and looks a little higher-quality than the standard twill. We want this couch to last us a loooong time.
We thought we would need to wait a long time to get our couch since we want to pay cash instead of credit for it and it's no Ikea-priced couch... We have slowly been saving up gift cards and credit card point and now have about $950 in gift cards saved up, which is still a long way from our couch's bottom line. However, a very generous favorite relative recently offered to pay for the remainder of the couch as a baby gift for us. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Liz!) Now that's an offer we couldn't turn down, so yesterday we finally got to order our dream sofa! It's set to be delivered on June 11, so we still have a little while to wait, but I'm so excited for the big change up and I can't wait to kiss our old couch goodbye!
Lately, people have been asking me if I've had any pregnancy cravings. I give them my one-word answer: milk. I've always enjoyed a cool glass of milk but in the last two months, my milk habit has tripled in strength. Despite thinking we've stocked up on enough milk for the week, we inevitably do a mid-week milk run to get us through. (The last picture up there is my typical expression when Nick asks me on Wednesday, where 2.5 gallons of milk from Saturday has gone). My milk habit isn't cheap either. Since we only buy organic milk, we're already spending a little more than average. However, Nick prefers to buy Horizon milk with DHA (for the baby's growing brain), which at $4.79 a half gallon, isn't cheap. Multiply that by 5.... and yes, you've found out that we spend over $20 a week on milk alone. I keep telling Nick to just buy me a cow instead, but really... who would milk it?
Happy Easter Friends! I thought I'd share my simple Easter decor with you today, ever-so-last minute (even though it's been up for well over a month now). I love Easter and all the signs of Spring that it brings with it. This year, I went with simple decorations; these days simple is my constant MO. So, faux eggs and candy for all! You can check out last year's Easter decor here.
What do you have planned for today? Nick and I are starting this morning off with a rousing Easter Egg hunt* in our apartment, followed by church, family brunch, and surely a nap (a weekend necessity now).
* I don't really make Nick hunt for Easter eggs, I just give him his Easter basket of goodies, but you better believe that next year, there will most definitely be a hunt, even if Teeny Tiny will only be 8 months old!
So this past weekend, Nick and I had the chance for a little overnight trip to Half Moon Bay. Thanks to a company event, we stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carleton Half Moon Bay. We had a wonderful time, including great food, great ocean views, and an ahhh-mazing pre-natal massage. However, we did have one little scare that put a bit of a damper on the trip. We decided to follow the ocean view trail out of our hotel for a quick walk before dinner. The trail is adjacent to the hotel's golf course. No sooner had Nick uttered, "We better watch out for golf balls." than one flew out of the sky and hit me right in the stomach. I had a bright red blotch on my tummy and a little bit of pain but we decided to continue our walk. Nick was worried and kept asking me if I was okay, but I decided it wasn't too big of a deal, since golf balls are so tiny and it hit me more on the side than straight on.
However, to set both our minds at ease, when we got back to the hotel room, I decided to call the doctor just to make sure that it wasn't anything to worry about. The advice nurse immediately transferred my call to a trauma nurse, who asked a few questions and then transferred me directly to a labor and delivery nurse. Each nurse asked if I had felt my baby moving since the incident. Unfortunately, the answer was no. The last nurse told me that I needed to monitor my baby's movement for the next 8 hours and if I didn't feel any movement to come in the hospital right away. Of course this call did nothing to calm our fears.
We got ready for our dinner, all the while praying like crazy that I would feel the little one move soon. The event we attended had a very loud 80s cover band. When we walked into the ballroom, all of a sudden, I felt it. The teeny-tiny movements that we had been praying for were back and I was so happy that my eyes immediately filled with tears. I've never been so thankful in my life! Apparently my little guy is a big fan of the late M.J. : )
When we found out we were pregnant, one of my friends gave me the advice, "This baby is joining your family, not the other way around." Basically, we can't wait to introduce Baby R to all of the fun things that we already enjoy doing together. Trips to the beach, Sunday dinners with family, Saturday brunches with friends, trips to the farmers market, long walks (with snacks of course) with Lucy, weekend naps, movie nights with air-popped popcorn, making dinner together, trips up to Tahoe, pumpkin carving, easter egg dying, and decorating our Christmas tree. Of course, we know baby will bring new routines to our lives and lots of these things will have to wait until the little man is a bit older. Even so...we're just so excited for our family to expand!
So... after revealing that Teeny-Tiny is a boy, we decided we just can't wait to share our favorite names with you guys. Originally, we had decided that we wanted to keep things a secret till after Baby R was born... but we're just too excited not to share. We wanted to name our baby something really unique. Since we both have fairly common names, we wanted to make sure our baby boy was a one and only. We thought we'd share our top 5 names and let you guys help us decide by choosing your favorite.
What do you think? We really want to know, so please leave a comment and give us your feed back. Oh, and one more thing...
You're probably relieved that none of those names are actually on our list....we are definitely keeping Baby R's name under wraps : )