Saturday, March 29, 2008

SOLD!


As of 4pm yesterday, we are no longer homeowners. This is bittersweet, as I really did like our house despite its challenges and quirks. It's also bittersweet, as it's been a long, hard road to get this sold. We had multiple agents, a deal that fell through, many price changes, and ended up spending far more money on this process than we ever anticipated. Although we didn't lose money on this deal, we certainly did not end up with the amount we originally thought we would. In the end, it was a learning experience, particularly trying to finalize the deal that actually got the house sold. Lessons learned: 1. Don't try to sell a house from out of state. 2. Don't accept bad service from your agent - they work for you, not the other way around. 3. Realize that it can easily be many months before your house will sell. 4. Don't be afraid to negotiate. 5. Sometimes you have to just cut your losses and move on.

Things I loved about this house: the work we put into it to make it ours. From scraping the wallpaper off the living room walls, to selecting the light fixtures (I will especially miss the ceiling fan in the master bedroom), to painting almost every room, to remodeling the bathroom (including tiling the bath), to installing cove moulding and refinishing the beam in the living room - we put a lot of time and money into this little place. And it was special because of that. Would I buy a place that required this much work again? Not unless I knew we were going to be there for at least 5 years. AT LEAST. I'm also a little sad that we won't be able to buy a house for another 6 years at the very earliest. I detest renting, but have accepted it as part of what we have to do to get where we want to go (see blog title).

Things I did not love about this house: the damp basement, rickety garage, giant oak tree, old kitchen with 3 door ways, drafty-ness, cuckoo neighbors with broken down VW van in the driveway (such a lovely view from our bedroom!).

Justin Update: He's over 9 lbs. now, and has a little cold. He's stuffed up, so he is sleeping best in his bouncy chair with his head elevated. Despite feeling bad, he's still being a sweety. Hopefully the cold will be gone in a few days. Once he starts feeling better, we're going to start sleep entrainment. This means that I will not feed him on demand at night (between 12pm-5am), but when he wakes up, I'll delay feeding him in order for him to learn that he can sleep for longer periods without needing to eat immediately upon waking. In theory, this means he should be sleeping for 5-6 hours within a few weeks of starting the entrainment. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 11

video

Here's a short video of Justin on day 11. Probably not too exciting for most of you, but we think he's adorable. It's hard to believe that I am in week 2 of Maternity Leave. Only 2 more weeks until I am supposed to go back, and I am torn. Without any pay, I can't justify a full 6 weeks, but I also feel like he's getting the short end of the stick. If there was any way to not work right now, I'd take it, but I can't seem to make it happen. I hope that in the near future things will work out so I can more easily balance work and home life.



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Justin update



Malaina loves to hold her baby brother.

He had his first home bath on Wednesday. Not as traumatic as I thought it might be, but he still wasn't terribly pleased.

After visiting the pediatrician 4 out of 5 days this week, we finally have the OK to stop the light therapy. His bilirubin level dropped on Thursday, and again on Friday, so it appears to finally be working its way out of his system. He's also regained weight, so he's back to his birth weight - what a good eater! We go for his 2 week check up next Friday, and hopefully we won't need to see the doctor for anything but routine visits going forward.

Malaina has been very sweet with Justin, and enjoys holding him (while sitting down), bringing him his blanket/pacifier/socks/hat, and giving him very gentle hugs and kisses. It's been nice to be home as a family for Spring break, but I think we're all ready to get back into our usual routine of school and family time. The weather has been up and down all week - a few nice days, and now it's back to cold and cloudy - but at least 90% of the snow has melted! Unfortunately the cold weather has kept us inside for most of the week, and we all have a little cabin fever. We did get out on Wednesday for a short walk, and I tried out my new Peanut Shell sling(http://www.goo-ga.com/shop/baby_slings/stretch_cotton_prints/boho_chic). It worked OK, but I think I need a little practice to get him in the right position. It was definitely handy, and nice to have both hands free.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby update



Justin has a little jaundice. He is doing OK, but it's not resolving on its own, so we are doing light therapy with a special LED blanket. He looks a little like an alien baby on his glowing green blankie. He stays on the blanket all the time, except when we are changing his diaper or clothes. We went back to the pediatrician today, and his number came down a bit, but we'll keep doing the blanket for another 2 days, then see the doctor again on Thursday. We're hopeful it will resolve itself in the next few days, especially now that my milk has come in. This should help to clear out all the bilirubin in his system.

Monday, March 17, 2008

He's Here!


Justin Alexander Huff was born on Friday, March 14 at 6:34 pm. He was 8 lbs., 7.5 oz and 21 1/4 inches long. Labor & delivery went fairly smoothly. We were checked in by 12:30 pm, started Pitocin at 1:30, broke my water at 2:30, had an epidural at 3:30, had 3 sets of big pushes around 6:30, and there he was!


The good, the bad, and the ugly:

The good: the hospital, the nurses (Molly for L & D, Sharon & Jennifer for recovery), the doctor (Dr. Olesen), the epidural, and of course, my sweet baby boy.

The bad: Every procedure required multiple tries - IV, epidural, catheter (ICK!), etc. Recovery has been more difficult than I remember the first time, but I am feeling better each day. His cord was also knotted 3 times, and wrapped around him twice like a pretzel. We are so very fortunate that he is just fine.

The ugly: Do we need to go into that? If you must know, I can share, but it's a matter of perspective - most women are willing to go through childbirth multiple times because our memory of pain fades when replaced with the joy of our sweet babies. Everything else heals eventually.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Today's the Day!

We are having a baby today! We're at t-minus 3 hours and counting until we need to be at the hospital, and I can't wait! It was a weird night last night (wouldn't you know it), but today seems to be going OK so far. Of course I was excited, so I had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Malaina woke up at 3:30, and wanted to sleep in our bed. Normally it's not a big deal to get her back into her own bed, but she started to yell and cry about it (totally not normal for her - I think that given her meltdown yesterday, she is feeling anxiety over her brother coming). I got her back into her bed and rubbed her back for a while, then took another hour + to fall asleep myself. Neither of us ended up getting up until almost 9! Now I have just 2 hours to finish up my stuff at home (yes, I was mopping the floors at 9pm last night - among other things), and head out to the hospital. I am grateful that Malaina will be safe & entertained while we're at the hospital (thanks again to the Mons Family), and I hope things go smoothly and quickly.

PS - looks like the house sale is back on again. The buyer took our counter offer, which was to pay $1,000 towards the repairs of her choice (and a big pfftttt to her list of $10K in requested repairs). I nearly dropped the phone when I heard the message from our realtor.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last of the projects

Basket liners for the changing table. Much better than the pink gingham we had before. FYI - I know the blue & the tan don't "match", but the colors actually go with the crib sheets we have for him.... and will look great if we ever get the crib and changing table in the same room!
Blanket and burp cloth for my sister-in-law. She's having Baby #5 (a boy) in about a month. Good luck Sally!
I made these for our Boy. I LOVE the pattern (Alexander Henry 2D Zoo), and really like how it looks with the chocolate dot minky. My favorite burp cloth is the one with the minky and the pattern on the end.
FYI - A great source for minky is http://www.minkydelight.com/. I shop the Special Buys section, as you can find some great deals. Beware though - if you're trying to match a particular color, you're better off buying some sample swatches before ordering. I tried twice to match the green in the 2D Zoo pattern and ended up with two batches of lime/neon green minky.
PS - Malaina Moment of the Day: We're at the doctor's, just finishing up. She's been waiting on the chair patiently, but clearly has something she wants to tell the doctor. We wrap up our conversation and look at her. With a very serious look on her face, she says "um, um, um, um, My Mama can't bend down anymore!". We both laughed, and I told her I wouldn't have that problem in a few more days. It doesn't sound as funny in print as it did out loud.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thought for the Week

#23. Stand on someone's shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

I can interpret this in so many ways. First, I am not one to re-invent the wheel. I hate having to repeat a project if I've already done it. Why not take the work of others and use it to your benefit? Learn from their mistakes, tweak it, turn it, make it better, and then make it yours. Next, don't forget to give credit where credit is due. Many people forget this part of the equation, and I think it just makes them look bad. Crediting the work of others' shows that you have the modesty to be a part of a team, while also showing you have empathy towards those around you. Plus, to me, it shows you know how to work smarter, not just harder. I've known a lot of people who put in a ton of hours on something, but get nothing accomplished. I'd much rather get in, get it done, and get out. Finally, I love this because it illustrates our own limitations. This is not about imitating others, it's about using a pre-established foundation to "make it work". (Ha! I think this is the first time I've actually been able to use a Tim Gunn quote in a way that wasn't absurdly cheesy).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And so it goes....

Just when things seem to be moving forward again, I get smacked upside the head. On Friday, my boss essentially told me that they're going to let me go. Didn't say when of course, but gave me the clear heads-up that I should be making a plan and looking for another job. That's always great to hear - "we think you're doing a great job, but we just don't see this as a long term solution". I had a feeling this was coming at some point, but things were going so well over the last few months that I allowed myself to be lulled into complacency. I also tried not to dwell on this possibility, as I assumed I was safe until I come back from maternity leave. I believe that's still the case, but now the axe is going to be hanging over my head the entire time. Thanks Boss!

We also finally received the repair addendum from the Home Inspection on the Salem house, and it was ridiculous. She wants $10,000 in repairs done or she's withdrawing. We were both livid, and told the Realtors that we weren't fixing a darn thing. We already made a huge concession on the price, and although we were willing to be reasonable, she obviously is looking to take advantage of us. Again, another huge blow, as were so excited to be out from under the burden of the mortgage. So, essentially we're back to square one on the house.

I have to believe that this is all part of a divine plan of some sort, but I am growing exhausted from the stress of everything at once. There must be a lesson that I still need to learn, but I'm no longer sure what that could be.

In other news - I am almost done with the basket liners for the changing table & then just need to bang out the blanket and diaper cloths for Sally. After that, I think I will retire the machine for a bit & focus on the new bambino. The new machine is SO GREAT, and it's made quick work of these projects. I'm really enjoying my bout of craftiness, and will post pictures as soon as I'm done.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I love this picture





I love this picture of Malaina. It sort of embodies who she is - unexpected, adorable, always smiling, and creative (she decorated the Diaper Genie box with ribbon, crayon, glitter glue and some sparkly snowflake tinsel - it's now a
'birdhouse'). I am so fortunate to be her Mama!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

No baby yet.....

It's been a marginally eventful couple of days. On Tuesday, while exiting my car, I finally slipped and fell on the ice in our parking lot. It was probably hysterically funny to anyone who was watching, as I proceeded to slowly descend into the splits (as far as a pregnant lady can split) and then hold for a second as I tried to decide what to do. In the end, I gracelessly sat down and remained there for a few minutes as I evaluated whether or not anything was pulled, torn or bleeding. Thankfully, I was merely sore for a few days & seem to have no adverse affects other than shooting pains in my groin every time I roll over in bed (TMI? Probably, but honestly something always hurts these days).

I attended Enrichment on Tuesday night & really enjoyed myself. I tried to be a little more gregarious than usual (probably hard to believe for anyone I talked to that night), as I have been dwelling on Matt's comment that I don't bond well with others. I'm not denying that he's right, but am trying to be more conscious of this as I think I am a really good friend when I finally do open up to someone. Anyway, I had the chance to talk to some of the sisters who I had never met before, and really enjoyed them. I am liking this ward more and more.

Had a doctor's appointment yesterday, but there's been no change. 1-2 cm, it's good that I'm having contractions, and just wait. Super. I told her that if nothing happens by next week's appointment, I want to schedule an induction for Friday. Although I still wake up through the night, thinking my water is going to break, I have also resigned myself to having another 8 days to wait. I'm pretty sure he is warm and happy right where he is & has no intention of coming any sooner than necessary. I can't say I blame him, as it's about 20 degrees outside right now.

Finally, my new sewing machine arrived. It's a reconditioned Brother bought on Overstock.com, and it's AWESOME. Way fancier than my old machine, and so smooth and quiet. I don't think I'll use more than a quarter of all the bells and whistles on it, but just sewing some test strips last night was fun. I was getting so frustrated with the old machine, and now I'm actually looking forward to making the basket liners and the next blanket project.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thought for the Week

I have some pages scanned from a design book of unknown origin, and I refer to them once in a while. I find them thought-provoking & have decided to pick a 'thought' to discuss/ think about in the blog. The title of the pages is An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. As cliche as it is, I will start with #1 - this has generated much discussion in our house, and is always worth continued thought or conversation.

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

I love this thought, and agree with it. So many of us walk through life, just letting it happen to us but not allowing ourselves to grow from our experiences. You can be impacted by experiences, but still not grow from them. Growth takes desire and willingness and an open heart/ mind. Impact is more like an undertow - you can have the wave wash over you, and it's easy to get sucked underneath and rolled over and over and over. We've all been guilty of this, but true forward progress can only be made when you are open to growth. I think that growth also takes introspection. Sure, bad things happen to good people, but unless you think about what's going on (not dwell, THINK), you'll just be stuck in the same negative pattern, repeating the same mistakes/ choices over and over.

Sidenote: Contractions are continuing, but very sporadic. I think he's going to make us wait at least another 10 days.