/** Page structure tweaks for layout editor wireframe */ body#layout #header { margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; } .separator { background-image: url("http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s156/juliet969/zpearn-notetoself-blog-separator-1.png");
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-position: center center;
height: 40px;
padding: 20px;

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lots of Updates!

Where to start?

Oregon Vacay

So my blogging absence was due to the fact that we were visiting Jeremiah's parents in Oregon (plus they didn't have internet until the day before we came back home!). We went for a week and a half because Jeremiah was hunting elk with his dad. Unfortunately for him the weather was unseasonably warm until, again, the day before we came back home, so the elk just weren't rutting (look at me and my hunting terms!). In case you need a resting point, I'll break our trip (and house results) into a few posts! :) We had a good time visiting & got to do several fun things, besides just spending time with family! I was so glad that Jeremiah's sister & fam could spend part of our time there too since we don't get to see them very often!

Jackson, Callie, & my niece Sophie Beethovening it up!

Jeremiah & his dad getting home from a long day of hunting.

We shopped at some great outlets in Woodburn, OR. Have I mentioned I like shopping?! Ellie was a perfect companion!

So remember that I've mentioned that ever since his dad taught him to pee outside Jack can't hardly keep his pants on in our backyard? So Jack here's in time out at the park for stripping down and peeing in the sand!!! I can assure you that we had talked to him many times before (and since) about not peeing in public places! I was mortified!!!

Jack & Nana playing with the water table at the Portland Children's Museum.

At the Oregon Coast Aquarium (a great aquarium btw).

Jack likes to give fish kisses & a few weeks ago started wanting turtle kisses? Yeah, I don't know why. When he requested it I gave the best turtle kiss I could. So most nights when we give the kids hugs & kisses goodnight he wants a turtle kiss from me. Of course I had to give the turtle a turtle kiss! Jeremiah actually was trying to get Jack to but Jack wouldn't!

Not the best pic of us, but a family picture just the same!

Leaving Las Vegas

Yay: The guy at skycap was awesome & didn't charge us for our 3 carseats, even though we'd been told on the phone we'd be charged since we were already maxed out on luggage. Mr. Skycap got a great tip!

Boo: Waiting in the airport with 3 young children!

Yay: Finding two rows together on the flight. Also Ellie fell asleep on Jeremiah about 20 mins into the 2 hour flight & slept the whole time. Callie also was stoked to tell the stewardess she wanted a Sprite! :)

Boo: 2 SmarteCartes piled high with 8 pieces of luggage, 3 carseats, 2 carry-ons, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Boo: Going to pick up our rental van only to find out it's off-freaking-airport! Who would even want to book something off-airport?! Since I booked through the airline's website with my airport code & nothing mentioned it being off-airport, imagine my surprise when I found out it was! I hate you Thrifty! Like we're taking a shuttle with all of our crap to get our car!

Yay: Chelsea. And Tara. And Enterprise. My sisters were super helpful in helping me sort out my rental fiasco & since Enterprise was on-airport Chels found a better rate than we'd paid anyway and Enterprise gave it to me, even though walk-ups are generally more expensive! Plus the Enterprise staff was so awesome! They were ridiculously friendly & the agent that I booked through went with me back to where Jer was waiting with our mountain of luggage & pushed one of the SmarteCarte's so I could corral the kids & get to the rental. So, so nice! I think I'm going to send Enterprise an email.

Pool Day

Corvallis (OR) had the coolest city pool! I was seriously amazed! I know some of my friends have really cool public pools too, but I've never been to one so I was extremely impressed. The "leisure pool" as they call it since they also had indoor pools had water tumble buckets, arch jet water spray, water cannons, floor geyers, a lazy river, kids slide, large water slide, and beach entry. Oh, plus a play structure in the water. We had a great time at the pool! Jack who is our little chicken wanted to go on the big water slide! I took him down several times! After the 4th or 5th time I told him to hold his nose at the end & he freaked out because that meant I wasn't going to try so hard to keep him above water at the end. Since he freaked I didn't make him but he was still rattled. Then he had a melt-down when I told Callie I'd take her since she hadn't had a turn with me yet (just w/Uncle Travis & Nana). So when it was his turn to go with me again (and he wouldn't go w/anyone else) he freaked when we got to the top & cried that he wanted his mom! People are going to think I kidnapped him! We walked back down the stairs & he was in a terrible mood after that until we left! He's such an emotional boy!

My b-i-l Travis & my niece Sophie!

Ellie's sitting in one of the tumbling water buckets.

My little mermaid. She LOVES the water & is pretty much teaching herself to swim in our hottub at home!

The next few are just to show the awesomeness of the pool!

After the meltdown over the water slide!

My poor sweet little boy! He just has the most tender heart ever! I love him so much!

Look who got her ears pierced!!!

I know that some people think it's just wrong to torture small children this way, but if you're going to ever let your girls do it anyway, why not when they're infants & won't be afraid of it or remember that it hurt instead of when they're "old enough" and can hop out of the seat & run out into the mall (I may have done that as a young child). In fact one of my grandmothers only got her ears pierced a few years ago because I think she'd been afraid of it! See my point?

New House!

After 7 days of waiting we found out the bank (the seller) accepted our offer! We're sooooo excited! The bank has moved SO slowly though so they only got the documents back to our realtor late Friday afternoon (another 7 days after they accepted the offer)! So today we signed back their addendum & they have to sign back a final thing. And in the paperwork we signed today the bank actually said something like "it could take us 5 days to get this back to you - please don't call every day to check the status!" Seriously! So we're set to close Oct. 28th & hopefully once the bank gets back this next part to us things will move at a normal pace so we can close on time. Our realtor won't be able to find out any solid info till after we close, but she's heard there were at least 5 offers so we feel extremely blessed to have got it! Anyway, since I know you're all curious here are some pictures. These are the pictures that were on the listing. I don't think any of them are too impressive (not that I'm trying to impress you), but I just wanted to give you an idea of what so many of the houses around here are like. The house looks better irl except for all the tile and the kitchen countertop (oh, & the fireplace is probably worse irl, if that's possible!). In the pictures the tile looks gray or brown, but irl it's a terrible blue! And the countertop is an even worse blue w/white speckles in it, which is a shame since it's an upgraded Corian countertop! The bathrooms (not pictured) continute the blue theme - cultured marble (white w/blue marbling)! It's pretty bad! We plan on replacing the tile flooring immediately, and in the near future the kitchen countertop. We also have to buy ceiling fans & lights and shower heads since the previous owners took them all. And also window coverings. Those are all top priority! It's like moving into a new home except that in a new home lights are included! Oh, and we have to buy appliances - at least a fridge! So yeah, it's gonna be a cash cow in the beginning. It's also unlandscaped in the back which is a bummer when you're already spending all your cash on the must-haves because my kids LOVE to play in the backyard & I'm not going to be real thrilled about them coming in & out all day when they're all dirty! But anyway, that's our house! Yay!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Property Virgins

Except we're not. But I sure felt like one today.

The house hunt hasn't been going that well, but a few weeks ago when I was out looking at houses I noticed a house that looked vacant & since the neighbor was outside I talked to him for a minute & he said that he thought it had been foreclosed on so I got a number from a flyer on the door & called & they said they were processing it & it probably wouldn't be on the market for about a month. I kind of thought that even foreclosed on it would be out of our range so I have only thought about it once or twice since then. So yesterday my realtor called and said there was a new property & when she emailed me the listing & I saw it was that house (w/an affordable price) I just got goosebumps & I called Jeremiah to see if he could go look at it with me because what was the point of me going alone since I knew this could very well be the one and I'd want him to see it anyway.

So this is an aside - we showed up at the house & there was another realtor there & it happens to be a guy that Jeremiah & my dad have used for some commercial real estate & Jeremiah was just thinking oh no, he's going to be so mad we're not using him. I figured he must be the listing agent since we'd got to the property before our realtor & since this guy was at the door he let us in. Turns out it was a big mix-up because he'd called my dad that very morning to tell him about this same house! (Why, I don't know since my parents aren't even looking. My dad has a disease. A good-deal disease!) So he's thinking maybe that's why we're checking it out. When our realtor pulls up a minute later it was really awkward & I think this guy was pretty upset, thinking that my dad called us & we're looking at it with our realtor & not him, because he is actually not the listing agent. We told him that we'd already known about it but I'm sure he didn't believe us because he looked really mad. And I called one of my sisters today & talked to her about the house & she said, "Oh yeah, the house that dad found for you guys." No! For the record he didn't.

Anyway, so today we made an offer on the house. But the plot thickens! I called our realtor to tell her we wanted to make an offer & we talked numbers for a minute & she said she would call the listing agent to find out about any activity on the property & it turns out somebody else has put in an offer this morning already! I was afraid of this because I know it's a hot property since it's a foreclosure & in a great neighborhood! But the first offer was missing some paperwork so we hurried to get our offer (with completed paperwork) in. But there was all this stress about numbers because in a normal situation who comes in at full asking price? Nobody in this market! But when you know there's already an offer! And then what if the first party ups their offer because they know there's a second party making an offer? And then the stinking listing realtor decided that she'd submit both offers to the bank at the same time which I don't think is exactly fair since we got our paperwork & completed offer in first. And since it's a bank owned property you can't do the traditional response time frames. They have SEVEN days to get back to us! So we're trying to not get too excited or emotional about this house cause there's a very real chance we won't get it. Especially if more parties next week submit offers & they know there are already 2! So this stinks & I totally feel like those people on all the house shows. When we bought our current home it was such a different experience. It was for sale by owner & had been on the market for a few months. But anyway, hopefully we have enough going for us with our offer that the bank will accept it. We haven't asked for any concessions & there are no contingencies & our loan is all lined up. So anyway, that's the scoop. Wish us luck!

My baby's growing up!

Ellie's 6 months old today & I can't believe it! She's a pretty amazing little girl. She's got so much personality! She's very curious about her world & she's quite precocious! She's extremely happy & she's got such a light in her eyes!

She's been sleeping through the night since she was 2 months old (I think that's pretty awesome for a nursing baby). She's been rolling over since 2 & 3 months. She can grip my fingers & sit & stand up (I don't even have to grip her back!). She can sit up with very little and sometimes no support. She's good at getting her binky in her mouth (something the other two didn't master till later on) and has been doing that for a few months too! She has the cutest belly laugh & a funny little dimple on the right side of her chin. She has amazingly fat little sausage legs which I absolutely adore! Callie & Jack were both so skinny! Her hair usually sticks out on the sides like Frank Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. She's pretty good about naptime & falling asleep at night - usually when we know she's tired we can just lay her in her bed & she'll doze off. Sometimes she gets especially fussy because we haven't laid her in her bed to sleep & she's so tired! In fact she doesn't fall asleep that easily in the car any more because she really prefers her bed! And the times that she struggles falling asleep in her bed we know her weakness! Backrubs are her kryptonite! She loves to have her back rubbed while she's falling asleep!

I LOVE the way she lights up when she sees me. I can tell that this girl is completely in love with me & boy does she have me wrapped around her finger! I am utterly in love with her too! I heard about a young mother the other day complaining about how tough the first year is & that she can't wait for it to pass. Are you kidding me?! I LOVE IT!!! All the hours of lost sleep are SO worth it! And I know that Jeremiah is very taken by her too.

I also love how she studies her older brother & sister. She is very charmed by them. They love to sing & dance for her & do things to make her laugh. They are good about sharing with her - too good! Jack keeps trying to share candy. In the car today he was eating a Tootsie Pop & was sitting next to her & he let me know that she really liked his sucker! And I knew he was right when I said he couldn't share any more & she whined because she wasn't getting a turn! And Callie got out a bib today & gave her a Ritz cracker since she'd seen me do it one other time!

We gave her rice cereal for the first time today. It was fun to be gathered together as a family to see Ellie experience this new stage of development. We all laughed at her funny faces. Overall she seemed to like it. I ran the camcorder & then the camera so Jeremiah got the cereal ready & fed it to her. At one point while I was filming she started to sort of choke & I noticed that Jeremiah had made the cereal almost as thick as oatmeal! I won't be making it so thick tomorrow, but I think we can skip the super runny stuff! :)

A couple of days ago I noticed that I hadn't seen Ellie sucking her thumb for several days. It may have been crazy, but I tried to get her to suck it - just to see if she had really given it up! I tried a few times when she was awake at different times during the day, & I also tried when she was asleep & she would not suck her thumb! So I had very mixed emotions - definitely relief since I don't want a 10 year old thumb-sucker, but also sadness because it's the cutest & sweetest thing ever! Plus it seemed like that marked the end of a chapter in her new little life & that just made me feel sad. Today of course she sucked her thumb. I know there's something wrong with me because it made me super happy & I took a picture! I still think she could be on the verge of quitting & then it's that chapter-closing, sad feeling again.

Well it's been a wonderful 6 months. We all adore our sweet Ellie-belle & we know that she adores us right back!

the happs

Some little snippets from our recent weeks.

Callie is WAY into building forts! Everything has fort potential & she gets super frustrated & upset when her younger brother destroys her hard work.

My cousin, Chris, his wife, Renee, & their daughter, Jayda, visited my parents & us over the holiday weekend. Jayda loves shoes & was in heaven with Callie's new set of dress up shoes. Her grandma should definitely get them for her (6 pack at Sam's Club: $20, shoe-joy: priceless)!!! :)

My sisters Tara & Kayleigh came down the same weekend as Chris & Renee. Tara came on Thursday & met me at Target in Bullhead (an hour away & the closest one to my house - poor me!). She's always SOOO helpful with my children & I adore her! Don't feel bad Kayleigh - you're always super helpful also & I think you completely rock!

Jack is SOOOOOO difficult right now! He doesn't listen to a word I say whether I talk in a normal, calm voice or yell at him. When I try to talk to him about questionable behavior he makes faces. He's got a little bit of a split personality! Because half the time I just want to pull my hair out & the other half he's so stinkin' sweet! He really has the sweetest & funniest little personality, but he's sure naughty sometimes!

Although he's mastered the toilet, Jack hasn't quite mastered the putting-your-underwear-on-the-right-way thing! :) He had half a bun sticking out for a while on this afternoon. Ever since Jeremiah taught Jack to pee outside, I can't hardly get him to keep underwear on while he's in the backyard! It's ridiculous! At least he got his underwear back on this time!

My friend Tana sent me home from a girls night at her house with extra pizza dough, sauce, & pepperoni so guess what we had for dinner the next night?! The kids LOVED making the pizza themselves! They did a good job too, considering the last time we did this with english muffins most of the pepperoni was stacked in one place!

I've lived here for almost 4 years & finally in the last few months I feel like I've really got a good group of friends. I love it & I feel really fortunate! Of course one of my dearest friends, Tana (who's been a friend from about the beginning), is moving soon. I'll be really sad when she's gone! At least it's just to Vegas so we'll still visit. Tana's daughter is Corinne who is Callie's bff! :) I don't know who will be more sad, me or Callie.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sleep Style

Ever since Jackson was a couple of months old he's put his arms behind his head to relax and sleep. We love it & it still makes us laugh every time we see him sleeping that way! Jer & I thought this was funny when we checked on him a few nights ago.

Notice the pink sheets? A few months ago Callie got a big kid bed with new bedding & Jack moved into Callie's toddler bed (he'd been in the crib-converted "toddler bed"). After a couple of nights Jack wanted to sleep with Callie in the big bed. Right away he started being a bed hog. I mean, when he comes into our room at 6:30 in the morning (half the time) and climbs in bed with us he'll actually tell Jeremiah to get out of his (Jack's) spot (yes, just like that!)!!! Even though Jeremiah's been there all night! So after a few nights of Jack trying to hog the bed Callie gave up & went back to the toddler bed & it's been that way ever since! It will be nice when they have their own rooms and then Jack can have his own big kid bed! :)