Monthly Archives: April 2012

… and the other part

In addition to the whole “going back to school” fun that I’m going to be starting in January… we’re also selling our house. Yup. We’re crazy people. To make a very long story short(er), there is a USDA loan program out there for families with “low” incomes. Right now, we’re way over the income limit, BUT when I go back to school full-time, we will qualify for it. Basically, this is a 100% financing loan with much lower payments that will be far more affordable for us when I’m in school and money is tight. The caveat with this loan is that your home has to be in a “rural” area. Lucky for us, five minutes down the road is considered to be rural, so we’d have lots of options for new homes in our area. There are lots of conditions and things involved, but that’s the general idea. I called the local USDA office to make sure we’d qualify once I’m back in school and we sell this house, and we will, so that means our house is going up on the market within the month.

We wanted to give it a while to sell since this market is awful abysmal less than favorable. We’ll be able to apply for the loan in January IF our house has sold by then. The tricky part is that since we bought our house with 100% financing and have refinanced twice, we have nearly nothing in equity. Which means unless we sell it for what we bought it for (highly doubtful) we’ll be in the hole. Which means we’ll have house debt to repay… which means we’re totally living with our parents for a few months after we sell to recoup whatever we lose. Yeah, not looking forward to it. Having our own space is not something I take for granted! BUT we know it’s the most responsible thing to do and that it’ll only be temporary.

We have so many little house projects to do before we can list, which we’re trying to get done in May since it’s house-buying season right now. Lots of painting, little repairs, prettying up, but we’re not going overboard since we’ll be essentially throwing whatever money we spend into black hole from which there’s no return. Our house is already way more updated than all of the others for sale in our neighborhood, but the selling prices are so low that it brings down the value of our house, regardless. That’s what’s so frustrating!

We’re hoping and praying that we have some good luck since things are still selling in our area in our price range. Oh, and to add another element of fun to this whole thing, we’re doing “For Sale By Owner.” I’m not super scared, since I have my real estate license, and we’re paying to put it up on the MLS and will still offer a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent. If we don’t have any luck in a couple months, we’ll hire an agent.

I’m dreading this whole process, especially with two little kids aka messer-uppers in the house, but I know that it’s going to be worth it in the long run to be in a house with lower payments and a better layout. Gosh, I hope this works! I’ll keep you guys updated on our progress/ process.

Big changes

There are some big changes on the horizon. I’ve been trying to figure out, for a while, what I should do career-wise. My current job has been a good one, but it’s not where I want to be long-term. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to bring my babies to work with me, and that’s why I’ve stayed as long as I have. I am just not all that interested in real estate and life is too short to not do what you love. The only problem has been figuring out what it is that I love!

You guys know that about a year ago, I applied to seminary but had to withdraw because the workload was WAY too much for me with working full-time/being pregnant/etc. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like it wasn’t right for me to do. Don’t get me wrong, if finances were no object, I’d go just because I want to learn more about God. I’d do it for me, but I don’t think that’s the reason you go to seminary. I think you need to have a calling to reach out to touch others and spread the gospel. I don’t know if I’m really called to do that or if it was just me trying to further my own knowledge and walk with the Lord. That’s not wrong, of course, but I don’t think I can justify spending tens of thousands of dollars and putting us into major debt in order to learn more. I have gotten a lot more involved in our church, including several women’s groups, since then, and I have to say that I feel much more fulfilled and knowledgeable since doing so. That’s probably more along the lines of how I should fill that need in my life as opposed to going to seminary.

So what else is there? What else do I feel strongly about and want to do for the rest of my life? Besides being a mom and wife, I couldn’t figure it out. After a lot of thinking and soul-searching, I realized that I am passionate about the things I started this blog for in the first place. Infertility. Pregnancy. Labor. Delivery. Babies. In January, I’m going to go back to school to become a Labor and Delivery/ maternity nurse.

I am really excited about this (aside from having to take Chemistry and Microbiology… that scares the pants off of me. Thank goodness my almost-doctor little brother is a genius and can tutor me) new path, and I think that it’s really right for me. I’m waiting until January because Brody will be close to a year old by that point, and I want to breastfeed until he’s at least one. This way, I can keep him with me during the day until then and wont have to pump for as long. I know pumping would wear on me after a while, and I don’t want to sabotage our nursing situation and quit out of sheer pump hatred. When he turns one, we’ll go to cow’s milk during the day and I’ll nurse him in the morning and night until he’s ready to stop.

My plan is to go to a technical college for the first semester or two to take as many classes as I can (because it’s WAY cheaper!!), then I’ll transfer back to USC (where my PR degree is from) and get my BSN in Nursing from there. I was going to get an ADN (associate’s degree), but after talking to a friend of mine that’s a Nurse Practitioner, she convinced me to go the BSN route. Both routes end in being an RN, but I chose that way mainly in case I decide to go back again to be a Nurse Practitioner or a Midwife. If you have experience as a nurse, feel free to let me know if you think this is a bad idea-  I like feedback!!

I’m not going to lie, as excited as I am, I’m that much or even more terrified… primarily because of the money issue. I’ll be quitting my full-time job and going to school full-time. I will be working part-time as much as I can, probably at my current job, until I get enough into nursing where I can get a part-time job within that field until I graduate. The thought of paying back student loans makes me want to cry. Neither Trevor nor I had any to deal with after college- I was on scholarship and Trevor’s parents took care of his, so I ended up with a whopping $1250 in student loan debt which has long since been paid for. We’re trying to get OUT of debt, not into more, so that part is kind of stressful. Okay, very stressful. Also, I am super freaked-out by intravenous needles, so hopefully I don’t embarrass myself by passing out. Let’s hope that I reserve my fainting only for when I get stuck! Everyone tells me that using needles on someone else is an entirely different situation from having them used on you.

There are more changes a-coming with this one, but I’ll talk about that next time because this sucker is getting lengthy! Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my head for quite a while, just so you know!

Progress!

I am so proud of Knox. The past couple weeks have been great ones for him in terms of speech and development. His speech therapist and his interventionist each come once a week, and they’ve both noted a change in Knox. He is more attentive, interactive and seems to be doing so much better. He is saying more words, in general, and is also more willing to try to say things than he has been. I honestly think he just had zero interest in speech, whether from his own mouth or from ours, and I don’t think he paid enough attention to us to learn it. He has been so stubborn and so independent, and it’s very different to see him branching out from his previous “ways.”

In his sweet argyle vest on Easter... love that face!

Before, if he couldn’t do something, say open something, he’d get irritated and move on to something else. Heaven forbid if we tried to help- he’d totally ignore us or get really mad about it. Now, he’ll bring it to us to help him. If I see him struggling with something, I’ll ask him “Knox, do you want Mommy to help you?” and nine times out of ten, he’ll bring me the offending item or allow me to assist him.

He’s also letting us know when he wants something. He’ll take us by the hand or get behind us and push us over to whatever it is then point to let us know he wants it. He’s also started to tell us when he’s hungry (which he’s never done) by saying “eat!” He really enunciates that “t” so it sounds like “eeee-tuh!” If we go to a restaurant, the second he sees the waitress with food in-hand, he starts telling us “eee-tuh, ee-tuh!”

He insisted that he "eee-tuh" this bread!

It’s so nice to know , now, when he wants a snack! He’s also taken to pulling bananas off of the counter to eat… it’s worth mentioning that Mr. Picky hadn’t eaten a banana in over six months until this week. He ate one so fast yesterday that he gagged himself and threw up. He was unphased by this, allowed me to wipe the banana puke off of his mouth, then proceeded to climb into a chair and bury himself in the pillows (his favorite game).

Kind of spotty for my taste, but he didn't seem to mind!

He said almost the whole alphabet by himself yesterday, he is getting very into the ABCs, counting and songs. His all-time favorite show, VeggieTales, has inspired him to start singing (and occasionally dancing). He hums along with the tuba at the beginning and mumbles some of the words, clearly saying “gotta be” and trying SO hard to say “broccoli.” He still loves for us to sing along, and sometimes looks at me smiling so that I’ll start to sing it to him.

His favorite thing to do right now is wrestle with Trevor. He is a major Daddy’s boy, and they have  the best time roughhousing and flipping all over the place. Trevor is awesome with him, and he always has time to play with his biggest boy. Staying home with Trevor has been great for Knox, and I am so glad that they’re getting that bonding time together. Trevor’s dad is helping us out on the days Trevor works (usually just once a week since I have Fridays off), and Knox has started to call his best buddy by name “Gee pa!” Grandpa always wears a hat, and Knox’s favorite thing to do (he has a lot of favorite things, as you can see!) is to pull his hat off and throw it on the floor. Then, Gee-Pa exclaims “don’t throw my hat! Oh no! Not my hat!” Knox laughs, they pick it up, then start all over again. He tried to play this game with my mom last week, exclaiming “Gee pa!” as he threw the item on the floor. He was really trying to tell her that this was Gee-Pa’s game and that she needed to play it with him. My mom played a few rounds of this and informed me that “Gee-pa’s game really sucks.” Ha ha! Sorry, Gigi!

Drawing on Gigi's receipt at lunch... he LOVES to draw!

We did go to the zoo on Friday, and that was a great experience! Knox is SO much more observant and was able to spot the animals in the exhibits and recognize them. He loves giraffes (bordering on obsessed with them), and he watched them walk around for a while. The elephant thrilled him, and he really tried hard to climb into the exhibit with him. Pretty sure he would have regretted that decision, had he made it inside!!

But Mom... I really want to ride that elephant!

When we saw the monkeys, he exclaimed “ooh ahh ahh!” (monkey sound) without prompting. Then, in the aquarium, I pointed out the clown fish to him calling it “Nemo” and he was so excited and said “NEMO!!!” He loved to touch the glass and sit super close to it- he was hard to keep upright because he kept rolling in the floor- such a boy!!

He also loved the penguins and once he noticed them swimming in the water, he would chase them, nearly bowling people over in his path!

Come to me, all the penguins!!

We also rode a carousel together, for the first time. He was hesitant at first, so I put him on one of the stationary giraffes, and once it started, he stared at the gears making the animals move up and down the whole time. I really think he may be an engineer when he grows up with his fascination for how things work. He had a wonderful time!

Knox is getting more interested in Brody, holding his hand or touching his head. We’re working on being gentle, though that’s a tough concept for a two year-old boy! Brody adores Knox, and if he even catches sight of his big brother for a second, he’ll grin from ear to ear. I can’t wait until they’re best friends one day! I am so, so proud of my biggest boy, and I am so happy to watch him progress. Hopefully things will continue and he’ll be caught up soon- God is great and has definitely been answering our prayers for Knox!

Closest I've gotten to a picture with both boys. Hey, cut me some slack- my two year-old is in a perpetual state of motion.

Brody at 2 months old

Brody turned two months old last week, and I have conflicting emotions on this milestone. On the one hand I think, “where did the time go? How is he already two months old?” Then again, I think “that was the longest two months of my entire life.” Because let’s be honest- the kid cried… a LOT. And I was stressed… a LOT. And I needed Zoloft… a LOT. Needless to say, we are in a much better place two months in than we were at one month. Brody is like a whole new boy, and I am like a whole new lady! I feel worlds better, and so does he. In short, we are happy. Thank goodness!!

At two months old, Brody:

– Is massive. He’s over 12 pounds- as of last weigh in, he was 11 lbs 11 ounces, but that was over a week ago.

– Is now wearing size 3-6 months. I tell you, he’s really big.

– Wears a size 1 diaper (starting cloth as soon as we run out of disposables… probably next week!)

– Eats every two hours. Hence the hugeness. He only waits that long because I make him, per the lactation consultant’s orders. He’d eat every five minutes if I let him.

– Is definitely going to have brown eyes!

– Is still taking Prevacid, though I have dropped him to half a pill. It has done great things for him and his demeanor!

– Loves his room, particularly his changing area. He smiles like crazy when he’s up there!

– Obviously, from the above statement, he’s smiling. I get the majority of his smiles (that’s retribution for all that screaming!), but even the sound of Knox’s voice makes Brody grin.

– Likes bathtime. It’s his happiest time of day when I get him lotioned up and dressed after his bath.

– Has had a rash all over his face that I thought was baby acne. Turns out, it’s the same thing that causes cradle cap and the doctor said to wash him with Head & Shoulders twice a week to help- it’s definitely working and looks much better.

– Has rolled over from belly to back several times (the first of which, I think he was two weeks old) only because he despises tummy time and has zero desire to be in that position.

– Loves his swing, particularly the mobile that spins around. He will stare at it for a LONG time.

– Wants to be held… almost all the time. We tried out the Moby this week, and I think it’s going to help!

– Chest to chest is is favorite position to be held in.

-LOVES to be bounced and jostled. Staying still is not an option, neither is sitting down- you MUST stand up!

– Starts the night swaddled in his bassinet (this is a new occurrence) and ends it co-sleeping in our bed. He is not a great sleeper, generally only going three hour stretches before he wants to eat again. Everything leads back to to the fact that he thinks he’s starving all the time.

– Is getting better at riding in the car. At first he screamed the whole time, but now he’s starting to nap more. But heaven help you if that car stops moving! Traffic jams are abysmal.

– He likes his Soothie pacifier sometimes, but not when he’s hysterical. Then, only the real thing will calm him down.

– He is very cute. :) He has the fluffiest little cheeks ever and is covered in rolls. I love it!

Cheeks!! Love.

This huge smile is for Knox's voice... how sweet is that?!

P.S. If you don’t already, make sure to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter- I update those way more than I can blog because I can do that with one hand on my phone!!

A good man is hard to find

Lucky for me, I managed to locate one. Ever since I was prescribed bed rest during my pregnancy with Brody, Trevor has been slowly transforming. He’s gone from hands-on dad to full-on Mr. Mom. It’s been amazing to watch, and I am so grateful for the man that he is and the dad that he’s become. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always been a fantastic dad. He has gotten in the floor with Knox to play, changed diapers, given baths, etc. Now, he’s just taken things to a whole new level. He really had to become the primary caregiver for Knox when I was on bed rest, and that was extended when Brody was born. Brody was/is not the easiest of newborns, so much of my attention had to go to him. During that time, Trevor totally took over Knox’s care. I didn’t even have to ask him to do things- he just took the initiative and knew what had to be done.

Knox stays with Trevor several days during the week, and he LOVES his time with Daddy! He has turned into the biggest Daddy’s boy ever, which is great (though it makes me kind of sad when he runs to Trevor instead of me… such is life with boys, I guess- Dad is always cooler than mom!). Trevor takes care of everything- he gets Knox up and dressed in the mornings, brushes his teeth, feeds him breakfast, puts him down for naps, and so on and so forth. We have taken on the “divide and conquer” form of parenting two boys (at least while Brody is so little and needs to nurse so often)- I take Brody and Trevor takes Knox on the days that he is off of work. We are all together, of course, hanging out, but when something has to be done, like bath time, I bathe Brody and he bathes Knox. We don’t segment off all the time or anything. When he has to be at the fire station, obviously, I do everything myself, so it’s really nice when he’s home!!

I feel blessed beyond belief to be married to a man that doesn’t shy away from parenting. I know a lot of men that wouldn’t consider diaper changing to be their “job,” but Trevor never complains about taking care of our kids. Eventually, he’ll have both of them at home with him on his days off, and he tells me he can’t wait. He’s even been talking about homeschooling them when it’s time for school… for real. I am just so impressed with him!

When we were still dating, all of the signs were there that Trevor would be a great dad. It was one of the things that drew me to him. I could never have imagined, though, the kind of father he would actually be. I could not ask for a better husband or dad to my kids. I am so thrilled for Knox and Brody to grow up with a father that will be there for them through everything, that will play with them, that will support them, that will help mold them into the men they’re to be, that will be a good Christian role model and will help them form their own relationships with God. He is so far beyond anything I could have ever hoped for them to have.

Trevor and I have gotten so much closer, with each difficulty we’ve gone through in our lives together. I am so thankful that hard things have pushed us together, rather than pulled us apart. He is truly my rock, supporting me through whatever I am going through, and he’s always there to make me laugh. I laugh all the time around him- that is not something I take for granted! He makes me happy. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. :) I think him finding his dream job and being truly happy at work has benefited our entire family. He is personally fulfilled, and that makes him an even better husband and father.

We are so blessed to have him.

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