Posts in "House and Home" Category

The Busiest Two Months Ever (And a really long blog post)

Between the birth of Rosalie and Christmas I used my computer a total of 3 times. Twice to upload and edit photos and once to print out a Christmas present I got Cory. Hence the lack of updates. Apparently having a baby and a toddler means you’re busy all the time. Add on all the other things that were going on and you’re not just busy, you’re officially the busiest.

Rosalie made her scheduled arrival at 8:53am on October 19. She weighed a whopping 10 pounds and measured 22 inches long. As reported via Facebook, Big Sister Colette was super excited about all the presents she got at the hospital, but only moderately enthused about being a big sister in real life.

We went in to the hospital as scheduled at 3am where we waited in the lobby until about 4am. When they strapped the monitors on my belly it turned out I was already having contractions, I just couldn’t feel them. I was all hooked up and started pitocin just before 5am. The pain was ridiculous. I was in labor with Colette for 51 hours and 49 of those hours were completely unmedicated. The pain with Colette was terrible as well but it was a slow build up and the biggest reason for getting an epidural in the end was because of complete exhaustion (I was already at 9cm when I got it). With the pitocin, I went from not even knowing I was having a contraction to not being able talk or move in less than an hour. There was no slow build up to get used to the feeling or the pain so we called for the epidural. Thank the good Lord for that decision.

The anesthesiologist came in pretty soon and started the usual questionnaire. In the middle of the questions, it was apparently shift change and a new anesthesiologist came in to finish the job. As it turns out, it was the same one who gave me an epidural with Colette. And she was hilarious, efficient, and it was truly no big deal. She was in and out in no time. Just like last time, I could feel the contractions but the pain was gone. Cory and I laid down and tried to rest for a little while after that.

The resting didn’t last long because by 8:20 I was 8cm and my OB was on her way in. When she got there is was time to go. She went ahead and broke my ‘bag of waters’ and then the pushing began. It was not fun. It was painful. Even with the epidural, the pain from the pressure was craaazy. But it didn’t last long because a few minutes later at 8:53, Rosalie was born, screaming loudly for all to hear. When my doctor said she’s definitely around 10 pounds, I was a little (completely) shocked. No wonder the pain was so intense. Since she had baked for so long, there was some worry that she may have had her first bowel movement before being born. It was confirmed after my waters were broken that she had, so they told me I likely wouldn’t be able to nurse her immediately because they would have to whisk her away for the respiratory team to make sure she hadn’t aspirated any of the fluid. However, when she came out screaming like she did, they decided they didn’t need to do that and everything went accordingly after the cord clipping. I only had a 2nd degree tear, same as with Colette, which is surprising considering the 3 pound difference. As a terrible side note, I could very much feel the stitches being placed. Ouch.

They didn’t come and give her a bath or weigh her for about an hour after she was born. When they did, it was confirmed that she was indeed 10 pounds even. There was a lot of talk on the L&D floor about the magical 10 pound baby.

Our moms and Colette came to visit pretty soon after she was born. Colette was a little bewildered but came around when she realized there were presents involved. More presents came when my friend from Knoxville, Abbey came to visit. It was pretty much the best and worst day ever for Colette.

Visitors at the hospital were at a minimum since we were only there for about 24 hours. But we had more once we got home. (And more presents for Colette, obviously. You’d think she’d want all kinds of siblings after the all the loot she got.)

As expected the first few weeks were kind of terrible. One week into have 2 kids, we finalized the purchase of our new house. This time, we hired a company to come pack all our things and move it. It was the best move. All we had to do was watch. Actually, that’s physically all I could do. My sister came down from MA to help out after we had made the official move from the rental house. It was super awesome to have the help and the visit.

The next couple of weeks were filled with settling in and making the house a home. Oh, and there was a newborn and a toddler to make that a lot more fun. Breastfeeding was only really awful for the first month as opposed to the 4 months with Colette.

Then before we knew it, it was Thanksgiving and Colette’s 3rd birthday. We went to Knoxville as usual and it was our first trip as a family of 4. Thankfully we didn’t have to take the dogs. There was so much food to be had and it was all delicious.

On Colette’s birthday, which fell on Black Friday this year, we did the usual trip to Toys-R-Us to let her pick out a present and to lunch with the family. Afterwards we had cupcakes and presents from family at my mom’s house.

We generally stay through the weekend in Knoxville, but this year I had signed up for a 5k for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (I know, what was I thinking?!) So bright and early I got up and my friend Jodie and I headed out to the Hungry Turkey 5k. It was cold. It was early. I wasn’t completely healed. It was truly not the best idea I had ever had. But alas, we walked the course and survived. Actually we walked the course faster than I jogged it a few days prior.

To add to the chaos of having a baby, buying a house, moving, Thanksgiving, and Colette’s birthday, we decided to have Christmas at our house. We spent all of December setting up and getting ready for guests. I don’t know how we did it, but everything got done. The house was decorated and cleaned (except the garage.. that was, and still is, a disaster). It looked like we had lived here for much longer than 2 months. We even had all the presents purchased and wrapped a week before Christmas arrived. Christmas miracles, I tell you.

So all the family came down Christmas day and everything was lovely and there was food to feed a herd of hungry hippos. Then, as with all holidays, family disfunction happened. The visit was cut short and everyone was gone in about 24 hours. I said some words and the result was my mom and niece and nephew coming back down and staying for the next 6 days. It was a great visit and Colette was so excited to have the extended visit with her cousins.

Cory and I got to go out for New Year’s Eve while mom watched all the kiddos. We had a mediocre dinner at Foodworks with our usual New Year’s Eve crowd (mediocre because of the food, not the company, obviously), then went back to their place for baking and socialization. I think the combination of tequila, beer, whiskey, champagne, and sugar did me in. (I should note it was about one each of those thing over the course of 5ish hours… and as a secondary side note, I did pump and dump.) I didn’t feel the slightest bit intoxicated through the night, but after about an hour of sleeping I woke up and felt exactly like I would if I had a stomach virus (shaky, chills, and a nervous stomach). Fortunately that wasn’t the case, but I did puke up everything I had in my system and immediately afterwards felt like nothing had ever happened and I went back to sleep. I was exceptionally hungry when I woke up.

That pretty much brings us to now. Much to my dismay, I started back to work on the 4th and that’s pretty much the only reason I have any time to type out a blog. While I have some separation anxiety of being away from the kids again, I also feel a little sense of repose at getting back into a schedule and having some time to myself.

Rosalie is doing really well. We went through a phase where she would scream for about 30 minutes to and hour every night in the beginning and that was rough, but now we’re very much past that. She eats 6-8 times a day, has a routine of eat, play, sleep, repeat, and sleeps from about 11-8 or 9 (usually eats once during that time but goes right back to sleep). She laughs and ‘talks’ and, beyond my belief, is already trying to roll over. I have videos of Colette doing the same thing, except she was around 4 months old already. Blows my mind. By the way, she’s 16 pounds and wearing 6m sleepers. She is, indeed, a Christmas ham.

Colette is adjusting slowly. She will almost kind of play with Rosalie for a couple of seconds a day. I think we really threw Colette for a loop the last few months. Getting a new nanny, moving twice, Rosalie.. Her world was really rocked, so I can’t be totally shocked that turning 3 was a huge transition. She’s pretty sensitive these days. She’s never been one to cry when we drop her off at school, even in the beginning when she wasn’t even 2. She was always excited to be there. Now she screams and cries so hard when I leave, it just breaks my heart. She does this just about any time anyone who was playing with her has to leave. She always needs extra hugs and kisses and it’s never enough. On the other hand she’s still as spunky  and smart as she ever was. She had her 3 year well check in December and as always gets good marks on her development. Parenting win.

As for me and my health, I’m just now starting to feel ‘healed.’ I was having pain in my lower abdomen and (TMI ahead.. beware) bleeding until just the last couple of days. If you’re counting, that’s 11 weeks.. That’s a long time. However, according to the nurses at the doctors office, that’s completely normal. Not common, but normal. I’m just now starting to believe them.

To keep me honest, I’m also going to give you my New Year’s Resolutions. I plan to run in 6 timed races this year and at least 500 miles. My last race of the year will be the Disney Wine&Dine half marathon. I don’t have any goals for pace or anything like that, I just want to get back to healthy and away from being out of breath after walking up the stairs. If I haven’t done these things by the end of the year, I give you all permission or wag your fingers and scold me for not keeping my word to myself.

And that’s it, I think! Hopefully going forward I can make shorter more focused posts, because if you made it all the way through this one, you must truly love me.

 

Just Arrived!
Our Little Spider, Colette!
One Month
THREE YEARS!
A Thanksgiving Christmas package.
Two Months
Two Months

 

And then we bought a house.

Last Saturday morning I woke up with every intention of building a house on the mountain in Soddy and making this rental house our home for the next 11 months.

Last Monday, we officially accepted a(counter) offer to buy a house already built in the land of civilization.

What?!

That’s right. In just under 5 weeks we are set to close on a new house. Meaning we have to move all our stuff again much sooner than we anticipated. I don’t think we’ll have a lot of volunteers to help us out after how awful the last move was, but since almost everything is still in boxes, we’re very likely to pay and have some one come move it for us.

The house we chose checks almost everything off the list I was compiling for the house we planned to build. The two main things missing were one level living and a separate office space. But it’s hard to argue with two small things when all the other things are already there. (Free standing tub, master on main level, 3 bedroom + bonus room, good sized kitchen with gas drop-in range, lots of light, decent yard for the dogs and kids..etc. OH! And pretty much everything is already painted gray 😉 ) The other good things include a great location that makes it easy to get Colette to school and Cory to work, a good neighborhood for Colette and Rosalie to possibly have playmates, as well as a community pool that we don’t have to maintain.

Of course, everything could still go wrong and we end up not getting the house for some reason. But at the moment the offer is accepted and the lender has our entire life in financial documents and underwriting is currently happening.

My brain is having a hard time settling in one place these days. From impending baby, moving and packing (again), birth, new furniture, selling furniture we don’t want to take with us, birth again, having a newborn, moving with a newborn, window treatments… the list goes on and on and generally recirculates back to birthing a child and having a newborn during all of this.

Occasionally I can catch it and remind myself that we can take our time. It lasts for about 30 minutes and then I remember that settling in slowly isn’t in my blood. I want everything put away as quickly as possible so I can get back to a routine.

Well, now I’m exhausted and it’s only 10:45 am.

I’ve pretty much transitioned all my tasks at work, so things are going slowly there. I feel like I’m just monitoring my email in the event something crazy happens. It’s nice to have the time to just kind of sit down and take it easy though. (Even though sitting in a chair is quite uncomfortable these days.)

I believe I’m just ready to get this baby show on the road. I don’t think Rosalie shares the same sentiments. Sometimes I’m certain she’s going to claw her way out at any second, but most of the time I think she wants to be just like Colette and wait 9 days post-due date to make an arrival.

Rosalie… Another week is fine. After that I’m sending an eviction notice.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I’m pretty sure I’ve used this title before. Perhaps on the previous baby blog. I think this update will deserve it more than whatever was on that post though. I’m not even sure where to begin.

Okay that’s silly, I’ll just start at the beginning and work my way to the end. Because, logic.

Brace yourself… this is a long one.

Week before last (week of the 22nd) it became apparent that our house was going to close, and it was going to close on time (Aug. 31). Some things went wrong, we ended up having to completely rip up the floor in the apartment and a few other little things, but everything that needed to be fixed was getting done.

We went to see a couple of houses on Thursday the 25th, and decided on one and filled out our applications the next day. So that was one thing off the list. At least we would have somewhere to go.

I had to leave on Friday evening to go to Atlanta and help out my dad photographing a wedding. It went pretty well. I made it through part of the reception before everything was achy and I had to get off my feet. I left bright and early Sunday morning because I knew there was a mountain of work to be done at the house.

Let the packing games begin. All the packing. Monday (the 29th) I came over to the new rental house to vacuum and clean the bathrooms. If you know me well, you know I have a bit of a bathroom phobia. So cleaning the bathrooms included filling the tubs with water and bleach solution and leaving them to soak. After that, I went back to the other house. We had a ton of people helping pack and load and move things. All of those people deserve medals and a million dollars. Seriously. Also, while packing, one of our helpers noticed our weimaraner, Max, had a puffy ear. Excellent.

Tuesday I called the vet first thing. They scheduled us for a visit for Thursday the 1st. Then we had an OB appointment. It was an ultrasound so we took Colette with us, then had her nanny pick her up and take her to the local children’s museum to keep her out of the packing madness for the rest of the day. While we were out, we stopped by and picked up the new carseat for Rosalie and decided to drop it off at the rental to get it out of the way. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the “drip…drip…drip…..” The kitchen floor was covered in water and the ceiling looked like someone was blowing bubbles in it. Perfect. Then I ran upstairs to check the tubs, and of course, one whole tub was empty.

We called the land lady. No answer. We cleaned up as much water as we could and put down some buckets in the drip spots. She did finally call us back and a plumber would be out later that day. It was taken care of much more quickly than I thought it would be and our crisis seemed to dissipate.

Packing and packing and moving and moving continued. My mom came down to help as well. I think everyone just about killed themselves trying to help. Luckily the people buying our house gave us all of our closing day to finish loading everything up.

Wednesday arrived and closing came and went. We met the new owners of our home, one of which had never even set foot on the property. Whaaat?! Well, alright then. After closing, we headed back to the house and finished our the last of everything. We took a few pictures and said goodbye to the house my husband grew up in. 30 years of memories. I pulled the flag up from the mailbox and cried the whole way back to the rental.

DSC_3333

The rest of the night was rough too. The dogs were crazy, everything was a mess, and I was stressed out to the max.

And then there was Thursday. I can’t even believe it was five days ago. I was on my usual Thursday morning conference call. Cory was roaming around getting ready for work. My mom was working in the kitchen. Cory’s mom and her friend were working upstairs. Colette was hanging out with her nanny. The next thing I know, Cory comes though the door, pale as a ghost, hands covered in blood. Panic. Pants and shoes also covered in blood.

I won’t go into a lot of detail here for the internet, but it wasn’t a good injury. Screws from a cheap Walmart shelf were involved. We weren’t sure at first what to do. After I got a good look at the wound, I decided we, at the very least, needed to go to urgent care. So there we went. We got there and wanted to make sure they could even handle the situation.. a few minutes later they come out and basically say, “Nah, bro. Go to the ER.” So across the street we went. When we walked in, we were surprised to see that Cory’s mom’s man was already in the waiting room. (He was by far one of our biggest helpers and still continues to be.) Turns out his son had an issue that needed medical attention as well. One big happy family in the ER. Just kidding. No one was really happy. So they took Cory back and after a little while I left to pick some things up from Walmart. Someone finally came to his room and the next thing I know, Cory is calling me and telling me he has to have surgery. I checked out and headed right back to the hospital. We had to wait around another hour or so before the surgeon came by. He explained everything he was going to do and then Cory was sent back to get prepped. It wasn’t a terribly long wait after they took him into surgery, maybe a little over an hour. The surgeon came out to get me when Cory was in recovery and basically told me he was the luckiest man in town. However, as lucky as he was, he was still going to be in the hospital until AT LEAST Saturday. By that point, I’m pretty sure my brain was just mush. I was told to go home and take care of business, then I could come back and see him after he was out of recovery.

Shock continued. I still had to take Max to the vet. So I went home and did that. They gave me the last appointment of the day, so in the event Max needed surgery, he could just stay over night. I also opted to let him stay through the weekend to relieve some of the stress at home. (He had a large hematoma on his ear.. it had to be drained and stitched up with 6 millions stitches.)

From there I went back to the house and picked up Colette and went back to the hospital to see Cory. As terrible as the situation was, he was still able to have a sense of humor about it. I think without that humor we would have completely crumbled this last week.

My mom stayed til Saturday. She and Cory’s mom worked tirelessly putting things together and making the rental more livable. Saturday afternoon, Cory was finally released. We ordered pizza, watched football, and a movie with Colette. Sunday, it was my intention to not really do anything, but alas, I did try and get some of the things that were just lying around in the floor put away. I also put the pack n play together so Rosalie would actually have somewhere to sleep.

When I woke up on Monday, I felt like I had been riding the Gravitron for a long period of time. It mostly passed, but I felt pretty so-so the rest of the day. We went over to Cory’s mom’s for a lunch cookout. It was happy times. Cory’s wound discussions were fun.

And somehow, we’re now up to today. Cory went into work for an hour or so and I had my weekly OB appointment. The nurse always asks how I’m feeling when she comes to get me and my usual response is “Pretty Good!” Not the case this time. I was just very tired. We went through the usual routine, urine sample, blood pressure, weight. But when she took my blood pressure, she didn’t even tell me what my numbers were and that was a first (for the record, my number are generally on the low end). She asked me if I had been feeling okay because my BP was high, and I told her some nausea and I also told her a brief overview of the previous week. Kewl.

My doctor was pretty concerned about my blood pressure and since it was the week of my Group B Strep test, she also checked my cervix just to make sure nothing was going on down there. Of course I was already dilated about 2cm. She basically told me I needed to be resting and not doing anything. She asked if I worked outside the home, to which I responded ‘no’, and she said good, because even sitting in a chair really isn’t the same as laying in bed or on the couch. It didn’t really occur to me to mention that I actually work full time from home. At least my laptop is portable. After she checked me, she sent me back to have a blood culture to make sure there was nothing systemic causing me to dilate so soon. I go back on Thursday to be checked again.

Before I went to the doctor, my originally intention was to go to Home Depot and get a good coat rack for our winter coats that have no home and rent a carpet cleaner, then pick up Max from the vet. After my appointment, I decided to go get some good veggies and bread from The Fresh Market and have lunch. After lunch I called a carpet cleaning company and scheduled for them to come out next Monday. Then I still had to pick up Max. The good news is that the vet bill was about $300 less than expected. That’s where good news stops. When they brought him out I knew he was going to be anxious, but I clearly underestimated it. I couldn’t get him into or out of the car, he was constantly panting, and by the time we got home, he wasn’t responding to his name or commands. I knew a seizure was coming. He hasn’t had one since the day we brought Colette home. They’re very clearly stress related. It took an hour or so after we got home for it to happen. It lasted 1 minute and 58 seconds. It was awful. It took a few minutes, but he finally came to. He’s now resting on his bed in the kitchen.

And me? I’m thinking things can only get better from here. I’m not even totally sure I’ve processed everything that’s happened.

Colette starts school tomorrow. Our sweet little (almost) threenager. As stressful as everything has been, I’m glad she seemingly hasn’t been affected by it. We’ve had a little more sass than we’re used to, but we’ve also had a lot less sleep. I’m hoping to get back to some sort of normalcy now. (Just in time to have a baby and completely upend said normalcy.)

Adventures Continue in August

Here we are. Two weeks into August and it’s been a very eventful month.

The last weekend in July, Colette and I went to Knoxville for the 2nd annual tax free shopping trip at the outlets in Sevierville. Mom watched the kids while my sister and sister-in-law hit the road around 8am Saturday. It’s not really what most people would consider a shopping trip. We get there right when the doors open, we hit Gap and Old Navy (and a couple other stores for specialty items..) and then we’re home by noon. I didn’t even spend a million dollars. Mostly because I’m the size of a barn and nothing really fits. I did buy 2 pairs of stretchy lounge pants and some very large t-shirts. Oh.. and I guess I got some things for the rest of the family too.  🙂

The next weekend we were back in Knoxville, with Cory this time. My family threw us a Baby Sprinkle that Saturday. It was quite beautiful and I’m completely ashamed to say I forgot my camera. There were clouds and raindrops everywhere. (This is also what we’re decorating Rosalie’s room with.. you know, once she has a room.) And delicious food and bundtinis. And, most importantly, the best of my friends and family. We ate, we marveled over diapers and the kids, we ate more, and then it was over.

As for matters of the house, I’m disappointed to say the guy I talked about in the previous post didn’t make an offer. Mainly because he didn’t get a chance to. :-O
Friday, the 5th, I got a call at 9am from our realty scheduling company that someone wanted to come see the house at 10am. I LOL’ed. Right, like I can get the house cleaned and ready to go in an hour. Cory called them back and said no to that, but they could come back after 6pm or anytime over the weekend since we were leaving for Knoxville anyway. I spent the rest of the day working, washing the dogs, packing and cleaning house. By the end of the day I was very frazzled and irritable. I didn’t wipe down the appliances (read: sticky toddler handprints everywhere), forgot my camera and probably some other things I can’t remember, not that they actually mattered.
Shortly after we arrived in Knoxville, we got the call that the people who came to see the house wanted to buy it. WHAT?! Next thing I know, it’s Saturday at 8am and we’re signing a contract. The contract is contingent on the buyer selling their home which is currently already under contract and set to close on the 19th. We had a home inspection Wednesday. Details of that come through yesterday afternoon and everything was pretty much as expected. We have some electrical work that has to be completed (hopefully Friday) and some foundation things in the apartment. We haven’t heard back from the buyers on what they would officially like us to complete, but word is, those were the two main things. Oh and a pan under something or other in one of the back bedrooms. House appraisal was today. Should hear back about that in 2-3 business days.

So now we’re in a packing and moving limbo. Do we go ahead and pack everything up right now? What if it falls through? At what point do we officially need to find a house to rent? How are all these things going to get done when I don’t have any desire to do them? Our closing date is like 2.5 weeks away. Let’s add on that I’m in the middle of training a backup for my job when I go out on maternity leave, and lo and behold she is “released from the account” effective Friday. Ugh. Hours of training down the tube and now to start all over with someone else. Did I mention I’m already almost 33 weeks along in the baby baking department?

Sheeeeesh.

Also, I just want to point out how terrible looking for a place to rent is.

Needs:

  • Clean (If it didn’t have roaches on the counter… that’d be a great start)
  • 3 Bedroom
  • Fenced yard
  • Allows pets (large dog)

It’s impossible unless we want to spend a million dollars a month which we certainly can’t afford. I’ve looked at every single rental property on Craigslist, local property management sites, Hotpads, Zillow, Trulia, etc. etc. etc. Clean is the hardest to find. Allows large dogs is the second hardest to find.

Alas. I’ll just keep looking until my head explodes!

Six Months on the Market

We put our house on the market in December. A steady stream of people popped in for a look the first month or so, but then the interest slowly meandered away. We actually had a couple of last minute calls for a same day showing in the last few weeks, but, being pregnant, having a toddler, and two dogs, it’s incredibly difficult to get the house picked up and ready to show in such a short amount of time. Not to mention we just had a yard sale.

However, I’m slowly but surely getting the house to a point where people can come back again. We had a new roof put on in May, had the flooring in the apartment replaced, exterior walls have been pressure washed, and we intend to get the landscaping around the front of the house in better shape this coming weekend. Okay, I say “we” but really it will likely be Cory and his mom while I watch Colette and help where I can. I’ll be honest, bending and squatting is getting harder by the day. And also breathing.

Oh and hopefully we’ll have a painter out this weekend to clean up the front porch! Exciting.

In addition to all the work that’s been put into the house, we also just lowered the price of the house quite a bit. We’re just ready to let it go.

It’s bittersweet to think about the day we actually sell. Bitter, because 30 years of memories have been built into these walls. I can’t claim all of them since I’ve only been around for about 10, but that’s still a solid 200GB SD card full of memories. Bitter, because the options for where were live in the interim of selling and building will be tight. But super sweet knowing that the house we finally build will be simply our own. It will be built to suit our needs as a growing, busy family and reflect our personal styles.

Also, for anyone wondering, looking for good land to build on in a specific area is also terrible. Everyday (okay, weekly) I get on Realtor.com and browse the plots that have been listed. It’s mostly the same listing every time with a new one every now and then. There are a few listings that I’ve breezed by every time they come up for being a little out of our price range. I finally decided to click on them a couple days ago. After dinner that night we made the trek out to see them. Of course, they’re beautiful. Up on the mountain. There’s a 2.5 mile private nature/horse trail. And it’s roughly the same distance from downtown (read: civilization) as our house is now. I think the biggest deterrent is the price, but it’s not an incredibly overpriced 5.4 acre lot and it’s been on the market for 270 days which could potentially work in our favor.

I guess all this was to say, someone out there needs to come buy our house now. I’ve got things to build up on a mountain.