Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tips for staying sane during a crazy escrow

We were supposed to close today, which is also my due date (no baby yet).  However, the sellers did not finish the lender required repairs.  Therefore we can't get our loan documents, which means no loan, which means no closing.  This has been the most insane 2 months of my life.  I thought the stress of planing a wedding would be bad.  Here are some tips I have learned that hopefully will help you.

1. Don't do it while you are pregnant.  I honestly can not stress this enough.  You can't nest because you are moving/packing.  You also have extra hormones which will make you more emotional.  Its just a bad mix.  Don't do it.

2. Make sure you have an AMAZING and fantastic real estate agent.  We were blessed with a family friend who I have known since I was 5.  She knows the market where we are well (been here 20+ years), is on top of everything and we can trust her.  TRUST is huge.  Do not use the selling/listing agent.  Get you own and make sure they are willing to fight for you and earn their commission, not just do the minimum.

3. Take meticulous notes.  Write everything down.  Who you talked to, what they said and when it happened.  Most things can be done in email these days which is great because it leaves a paper trail.

4. Do all paper work immediately.  Yesterday I got two documents from our escrow agent at noon.  We had them signed and walked into the office by 3:30pm.  The faster you do your job, the sooner others can do theirs.

5. Be prepared for setbacks and disappointments.  Don't assume that when you sign a purchase agreement for a house with a close day of 30 days out, that you should immediately give your current landlord 30 days notice.  Had we done that, we would have been in big trouble.  Things always come up and go wrong, don't expect that your 1st close date will be when you actually sign papers.

Bottom line.  Expect the unexpected, and try to roll with it.  Even if it is killing you, and you just want it to be over.  Eventually it will be even if it takes an extra 6 weeks longer than you expected.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Menu Monday (a day late)

Menu Monday

I know this is a day late, but I spend my memorial day weekend hanging out with my family and spent the whole day yesterday shopping with my mom.  Here is what we are planing on eating this week.

Monday - Ate out w/ Family

Tuesday - From the freezer Crock pot potato soup (it freezes and reheats great!)

Wednesday - Pasta w/ Alfredo sauce and Chicken

Thursday - Mustgo night  (all of the food that "must go")

Friday - Pizza Night

This week we are planing on this, but are going to be as flexible as possible as I am due on Thursday and we are hoping to have this little one sooner than later.  My amazing family/friends/church will also be helping us by bring us food the first few days after the baby is born.  Hope that you all have an amazing week!



PS If you have a fast, easy and yummy recipe to share, I would love to try it! Please send it my way, thanks!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I hope that you are all having a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!  I am taking it easy this weekend, by madly packing our home (our move out day is Thursday!) and trying to get this baby out of me (who is also due Thursday!).  I hope that you are enjoying time with your family this long weekend.  This will be a crazy week for us, so keep us in your thoughts and prayers!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Looking For Give Away Ideas or Items

First, yes, I'm still here and still pregnant.  Hopefully this little lady will show her face soon, as I am getting slightly impatient and ready to be done being pregnant and onto the new adventure of being a working mom of two.

Second (and the whole reason for this posting)... At some point in June (after baby comes and things settle in a bit more), I will be doing my very first Reader Appreciation week!  This means there will be a week full of giveaways and surprises just for all of you fabulous readers!  Since this will be my very first time doing a giveaway I thought that I would allow my readers to throw out suggestions as to things they would like to win.  Please note that I am on a budget, so prize values will not be high but I am open to suggestions from you.  Perhaps a Starbucks card?  A book?  A new car? (sorry got carried away that one is NOT in the budget).

I am also accepting applications for possible free items to give away from you.  If you have a store or product you personally make and or sell please contact me if you would be interested in donating an item (or free credit) to your store in return for some free advertising here on my blog.

Can't wait to shower all of you with some love next month!  Let me know what you would like to win.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Monday

Here is the food our family is planning on eating this week.

Monday: Mustgo's (all of the left over items that "must go")

Tuesday: Micro meat and pasta roni (this is our quick turn around night)

Wednesday:  Pasta with Alfredo

Thursday: *New Recipe* Slow Cooker Cheesy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (I'm really excited to try this out, I found it on pinterest!)

Friday: Pizza Night!

That is what we are planing on (however very often things do not go according to plan so we shall see. I hope you all have a great week!



Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Big News

I can not tell you how excited I am to finally be announcing this on my blog.  We have kept it slightly on the down low, because it isn't 100% yet but I can not hold it in any longer...

Not just are we moving, but this is the exciting part.  WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!  Our 1st home, we are now a week (or so) away from closing.  It is driving me NUTS in this "waiting" phase of escrow.  We have done EVERYTHING on our end, we are just waiting for the sellers to finish repairs, the inspections to happen and to sign on the dotted line.  May I just add that I am due in less than two weeks with our second baby.  Buying a house, moving and having a baby all with in a 2 week period is, beyond crazy.  We were SUPPOSED to close 2 weeks ago, and I was going to share pictures of our new home with you, but as with all repairs, they are taking longer than expected.

So this is why I have been so quite, I'm secretly going crazy trying to figure out what to pack when, getting paperwork that never ends together and trying to prepare for our new baby.  I should also mention that we are having a home birth, which implies having a home to actually birth a child.

Needless to say, being 38 weeks pregnant and dealing with all of this, means this blog may be suffering  bit in the near future.  Still love all of you my readers, and I promise that once I get through the move and birth and a bit settled there will be a big reader appreciation (ie give aways!)  So please stay with me.



Friday, May 18, 2012

My Personal Decision To Have A Home Birth

I am going to take this post on a bit of a side bar from my usual posting, because this is what is happening in my home and my life, it is still relevant.  It is also long, and possibly slightly controversial.  I do not mean to offend, just share my experience and personal preference/opinion with you.

My son right after he was born
I am due in two weeks, on May 31st with my second child.  My husband and I are thrilled our kids are going to be 18 months apart and we hope friends for life.  This was a planned pregnancy, and when we started trying again, I knew that I wanted to try and have a different birth experience than I did with my son.  With my son, I honestly thought only "crazy" or "out there" people did home births.  I never even considered it.  Towards the end of my pregnancy  I saw the documentary called "The business of being born" (it is on netflix if you want to check it out), and it opened my mind to the idea but I loved/trusted my doctor and wasn't about to switch so late in my pregnancy.  I looked into home birth as an option for many reasons, but here are the main three.

Reason 1: Horrible Hospital Experience
Long story short, with my son I was lied to in our insurance company, the hospital birthing class, hospital tour and by my nurses and Doctor.

  • I was told I would be allowed to move/walk be on a birthing ball.  LIES as soon as I got to my room, I was basically strapped to the bed and not allowed to move.  
  • I was told that I would not have my water broken or an episiotomy without my knowledge or consent.  LIES, both happened without be being told ahead of time.  
  • I was told if I had to share a recovery room we would be paired with someone at the same care level as us (vaginal births with vaginal births, c-sections with c-sections etc) LIES, a woman was placed in my room less than an hour after her section and she was practically screaming in pain for the whole day/night.  It was super awkward and hard to sleep/bond with baby.
  • I was told that our hospital was extremely pro-breastfeeding and that we could see a Lactation Consultant after delivery if we needed one.  LIES, I asked for help multiple times as my sweet boy wouldn't latch right and I was just tossed a nipple shield (with no explanation on how to use it) and when we still couldn't get it I was given formula which I specifically said I didn't want to use!  
  • I was told that I didn't need to and SHOULDN'T bring my pump to the hospital because the hospital grade ones were better and we would be able to use one when we were there, should we need it.  LIES, there were no available pumps, so I was tossed a hand pump to try and feed my baby.
  • I gave birth at 12:44pm on a Monday, I made it clear that I didn't want to stay more than 1 day which since I had the baby before 1pm I was told was possible.  My baby was cleared to leave by his Dr. at 9:30am on Tuesday.  I was not even SEEN by a Dr. until 8:30pm, (remember I had stitches due to the unwanted episiotomy).
  • I had 2 insurance plans and I was told before hand that my copays were met and I would owe no more money.  LIES, the hospital overcharged and I got stuck paying extra for things that were NOT MY FAULT.  I was in the hospital less for less than 48 hours but was charged for 4 days, because I checked in at 11:30pm on Sunday night, and checked out AFTER check out time on Tuesday.  I got charged for all day Sunday, all day Monday (which was my only full day) all day Tuesday (left at 9pm) and all day Wednesday because I didn't check out by 1pm the day before.  Tried to fight it and lost.
There are other ways my hospital totally failed (like putting the wrong doctor on my paperwork) but these were the big ones.  I honestly had a horrible experience, so much so that while I am thankful we have Doctors, hospitals and medical access should we need it, that I did not want to go that route unless my health or the health of my baby were in jeopardy.

Reason 2: Birth Is A Natural and Normal Process
I am not sick, so do I really need to go to the hospital?  It seems like a simple reason, but women have been having babies for centuries without needing to go to a hospital.  Granted the death rate in moms and babies were much higher in those days, and with medical advancement we have drastically lowered the death rates.  However studies have shown that in planed home births attended by a trained, professional mid-wife have the same or lower rates of maternal/infant mortality as hospital births.  I am doing something my body is made to do.  Having a home birth means I can be flexible and in control.  I don't have to stay strapped in a bed, (unless I want to) and I can even have a water birth should I choose to.  It is a relaxed, comfortable and familiar environment.   Instead of being rushed to a hospital seen by people you have never met and laying in an unfamiliar bed in a strange room.  I will be in my home, I have all the comforts of home because I AM HOME.  I also don't have to put my sweet day old baby in a car unless I want to, which I see as a plus.  Bottom line, it is a natural process that can have complications requiring a hospital (and thankfully we have that option), but it doesn't mean every birth needs the hospital automatically.

Reason 3: I Am a Person, Not a Number
How many of you who have given birth had your OB's direct cell phone number?  If you did, could you text him/her and ask her a basic question?  I can do this with my mid-wife.  It is amazing!  Our appointments are 45min-1hour.  That is time she spends WITH ME, not me sitting in a waiting room, getting my vitals checked by a nurse, sitting in the room some more, seeing the doctor for all of 10 minutes and leaving after having been there for over an hour or even two.  I have an honest connection with my mid-wife, she actually knows me, knows about my life and my health.  I get asked the routine questions, but I also am comfortable enough to bring up any concerns and know that she is actually listening, not just brushing me off.  Perhaps you have had this experience with a doctor, but I have not, and it is so great to know who is delivering your baby and totally trust them, not just because they have a degree but because you feel like you know them.  It is truly an amazing experience.

I don't think that home birth's are for everyone.  I also am fully aware that something can "go wrong" at any time, and I may end up giving birth at the hospital again.  I am not anti-hospital, if something should happen during the birth that will put me and/or my baby in jeopardy, I will not hesitate to go.  I just feel that when you have a medical professional with you who you trust, there is no reason to HAVE to give birth in a hospital.  My mid-wife carries oxygen, labor inducing drugs, and other drugs to stop bleeding etc.  She has enough to stabilize me and/or the baby until an ambulance can get here.  My mid-wife has never had to emergency transfer.  She will send us to the hospital before it gets to an emergency situation, and she will also advocate for me while there.  

I am excited to welcome my sweet baby girl soon, and slightly nervous to have a birth with no option of pain drugs (unless I choose to go to the hospital).  It could happen any time now, we are ready and waiting to meet the newest addition to our family.

I hope that this post doesn't offend you, I am willing to answer any questions you may have in the comments, however please know that if the comments drift into the realm where they can be offensive or nasty I will delete them and/or disable the comments completely.  Feel free to voice your personal opinion, but do it in a respectful way.  Thanks!



Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Gallery Wall part 3

For the center piece of the wall, I wanted words.  I wanted to make a statement about our family.  There are tons of great quotes, but as our family is strongly rooted in our faith, I chose to take some advice strait from the Bible.  One of my favorite passages is Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to be in line with the heart of this passage, my husband and I decided to take a paraphrased passage and place it on the wall.

 For this project I used to cricket cutter to cut out some vinyl, and again enlisted my hubby to help me put it up on the wall.

I used two different fonts and then laid it all out on the transfer paper to keep it even, and started placing it on the wall (with the help of my hubby, it was a two person job).

Here is what it looks like on the center of our wall.

I love the statement that this makes.  It is also the focal point of the wall.  Sadly, this is as far as I have come on the wall.  There is still much to do for it, I have two oval frames to put on either side of the words, I also have things to put into the frames...however for now it is on hold... (more details to come as to why).  Click here to see the 1st part or here to see the 2nd part of this wall.  What statement do your walls make?



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Gallery Wall part 2

In order to get the frames for my Gallery Wall the same color, I picked up a can of brown spray paint and added some color to some of the frames I picked up cheap.

This gold frame is something that I would not normally purchase but it is amazing what a little spray paint can do!

After they were painted and dried, they were added to the wall.  I still have a few frames on the wall to plan to paint.  It is amazing what a little paint can do.  Stay tuned for more additions to this wall.



Monday, May 14, 2012

Menu Monday

This is what our family is planing on enjoying this week:

Monday - @ a church potluck (this means we will be eating WELL)

Tuesday - Micro meat and pasta roni (please don't judge hubby and I both have evening activities which involve us cooking and eating and leaving the house in less than 45min)

Wednesday - Spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday - Mustgo night (leftovers or anything else that "must go")

Friday - Chicken and rice (recipe coming, it is one of my all time favorite comfort dinners)

I hope you and your family are going to have a great week!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Gallery Wall Part 1

I have been sitting on this project for awhile now.  I wanted to wait until it was 100% complete, however I think that I will go ahead and share our progress as it is now.  For a long time I have been working on a fun wall to display pictures in a unique way.  I wanted it to be the focus point of our  home and somewhere that when people walked in they would know what we as a family were all about.  I did a ton of research and looked at tons of different gallery walls.  I decided that for me, I liked uniformity but eclectic.  In order to accomplish the look I wanted I knew that I wanted my wall to have set boundaries, so that while it would look random, it would still have an area.  I like calling it controlled chaos.  I measured and then placed painter's tape on the wall to mark the area I had to work with.

I then took the frames I wanted to use and traced them on newspapers so that I could play around withe where I wanted to place them.  I also marked where the nails were so that when I placed them on the wall, I would know where to place the nails so that I would know where to place the nails so they would hang where I wanted them to.

I enlisted the help of my hubby to actually put the nails in the wall, he is better at things like that.  Plus, I am a complete klutz and would end up pounding my finger instead of the nail.

We then placed the frames on the wall.  I liked it, but knew that it wasn't quite ready.  I wanted to make all the frames the same color, so that while the frames were all different colors, styles and sizes they had the same look.

Stay tuned for more on this project.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Menu Monday

 Here is a quick peak at what we are planing to eat this week.  :P

Monday: Crock Pot Potato Soup
Tuesday: Mac and Cheese
Wednesday: BBQ Pork and corn bread
Thursday: Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Friday: Date Night

Nothing to fancy, just quick and easy means for this busy working mom.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Over my head...

Have you ever had 2 HUGE life events look like they will collide within two days of each other?  I'm talking HUGE events, things that change your life in a big way.  Like having a baby (which happens to be one of the two HUGE events in this case the other is the one I'm not allowed to share yet *sigh, but I wish I could!).  This month you may not see me around as much.  I'm honestly drowning in all of the changes and trying to prepare for them as much as humanly possible.  It isn't because I don't love sharing my triumphs and failures with you all, it is just that with so much going on, I need to focus on my family and me and the things that have to get done for these changes.  I'm not saying I will not post at all this month, or that I'm taking a full on break.  I'm just saying that with things as up in the air and as crazy as they are, I'm not sure what to expect this month.  I hope that is OK.  I really do appreciate my readers, and am planing on doing a reader appreciation week coming up sometime this summer when the dust settles. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Goals

The month of April has completely passed me by so fast that I hardly had a chance to breath.  I tried to make easy goals, ones that I could keep and actually succeed at that would help my family.  You can read my April goals here.  We actually did REALLY well with all of the goals this month.  I didn't get 100% on all of them however, there was significant improvement in all 3 areas.  We only ate out a few times.  We did perfect for the 1st 2 weeks.  We didn't eat out AT ALL then I spend 12 hours in the ER w/ my son and when we finally left (after 9pm) we stopped to get dinner at a drive thru.  We classified this as an "exception" and we had a few other circumstances that were unexpected and called for fast food through out the month, but we dropped our food expenses, both grocery and eating out by 64% which I will call a huge success in this area!  I will admit I had many days worrying about finances, however I found a peace about it part way through the month that helped me not to stress out about them so much.

This month I am going to again make simple goals that I can meet.  It is also very possible probable (yikes!) that I have my sweet baby girl sometime this month (due May 31).  Here are my goals for May:

Prepare for baby
Prepare for baby
Prepare for baby
Secret goal*

 * If you remember that one thing I told you about, that I wasn't allowed to share yet? Well things are moving MUCH slower than we thought they would.  So I am unfortunately not at a point yet where I can share it with you all.  Trust me, I am dying inside and will have a TON of posts surrounding this big thing as soon as it is firmed up.  However, we are still in flux, and I have promised my hubby to keep my lips sealed on the whole even until such a time as where it becomes more firm.  I am working on it though I promise!

Also, I think preparing for a new life in our home is quite a bit to do for this month, so that is what I am going to focus on.  Our new little bundle of joy!  I seriously can't wait to meet her, but am in no way ready for her to come.  So little one, feel free to stay inside and keep making mommy uncomfortable for a while longer.