Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I know you're all dying to know :p

We found a house! We looked at 10 houses on Monday and 9 more on Tuesday. Then on our way back to our realtor's office Tuesday evening we stopped by one of the houses we had seen Monday one more time. After talking things over Tuesday night, we decided to make an offer on said house. Went in to our realtor's this morning, signed a whole stack of papers, and turned in our offer. Off we went back home. On our way home from the airport we got a call. Sure enough, our offer has been accepted (with just a small counter regarding closing costs). Yay! Wow, that was a blurr, let me tell ya. I'm just so happy we found something, and so far things have been going so smoothly! Now on to financing and inspections, etc. etc. etc. We hope to close May 30th. Yes, that's in just over 4 weeks. A month from today we should be homeowners! The house is great. It's big (3200 sq.ft.), but really practical (not fancy schmancy, if you know what I mean). 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. The kids' shared bathroom is a jack and jill, which is really nice. There's lots of storage space, and a huge kitchen with 42" cabinets and new stainless steel appliances. There's also a study which is going to be our computer/scrapbook room, and a formal dining room that's going to serve as a downstairs play area (for the little kids). There's a gameroom upstairs that's going to be the playroom. The whole house is custom painted, and it just so happens that I really like all the colors, so I won't have to do any painting. Both the girls' and the boys' rooms are really cute. As for the outside, the lot is 15000 sq.ft., about a third of an acre. It's huge! It has a playset, and we're also getting the trampoline (with one of those safety nets to prevent kids from falling off/into the springs). There are a couple of little citrus trees that will hopefully grow quickly, hehe. There's also a grapevine along the side, and another tree that will make a great shade tree once it grows. And there's plenty of space to put a garden. Can you tell I'm excited? Haha! Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly, and we won't run into any major hurdles with the inspections and appraisal. Keep your fingers crossed! :o)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Elly!

Can't believe she's a month old, already. She's growing like a weed, hehe. We're going to see Chris in a couple of weeks, and should find out just how big she is. :o) Here are some pictures.









Interpret this face! :p

Whee!

More snow! What's up with that? I swear the trees were starting to look green this time last year. So far, everything's still gray and dead looking. I have a few tulip bulbs in one of my flower boxes. I'm not sure the tulips will ever start growing with this kind of weather (assuming the bulbs survived the winter...).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

DONE!

The defense, that is, yay! I haven't really had a chance to talk much with Dave, since he came home and went straight to Tyler's soccer game (he's coaching). But it sounds like things went well. Yippee! :o)

Big Day!

Dave is defending his dissertation today. Yay! This is the last big step before graduation. He's going to probably have to do some corrections before publishing, but that should be a minor thing. I'm so so so excited! Our 9th wedding anniversary is the end of May, and all we've known for these past 9 years has been school, school, and more school. It's so nice to finally be DONE! If all goes well, we may even be closing on a house the end of May/beginning of June. Hey, maybe on our anniversary, that would be cool. :o) I sent our realtor a list of 20 houses to look at today, so all is set for our trip next week. I'm slowly getting more excited, even though part of me still wishes we could stay here. It's going to be a big move!

Monday, April 21, 2008

BPA - what do you think?

What's your take on the bisphenol-A scare that's been all over the media? Real reason for concern? Media hype? Vote in the poll, and comment if you feel so inclined. :o)

This is SO cool!

Okay, so some of you may not share my excitement in finding out about this little gadget, but I think it's awesome!

It's an Automatic Indoor Composter

Of course, it's not exactly cheap, but think of the possibilities! It makes composting so easy and hassle free, no bugs or mice or whatever involved, haha. And you have fresh compost you can use as fertilizer for your garden, trees, lawn, etc. on a regular basis. Generated from the waste you produce. Read more about composting here.

The Story of Composting

Go Green! Haha. :o)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Moving on...

With life. The day I have been looking forward to for many years is now quickly approaching. And I don't know if I'm ready! I'm going to miss this valley terribly. I'm going to miss the mountains. I'm going to miss friends. I often wish we could stay here, but it's not to be. I keep thinking I should be more excited about moving, and I guess I'm slowly getting there. We got pre-approval for a mortgage today. We have been recommended a couple of realtors, and are going to choose which one to go with today or tomorrow. Then we are going to narrow down what kind of houses we want to look at, and where. Dave and I and the girls are going for a house hunting trip 4/27-4/30 (Dave's mom is coming up to stay with the boys). That should be exciting, haha! The movers are coming to pack on 5/22, load on 5/23, and our stuff should get to the new place sometime between 5/27 and 6/2. We'll hopefully have a place to move into by then, if not, the company will pay for temporary housing and our stuff to be stored for up to 30 days. Dave's first day of work is 6/9. Think we're going to be busy these next couple of months??? I'm so emotional about all of this, and I'm guessing just having had a baby doesn't help that aspect at all. The day the moving company called and we scheduled the date, I almost cried. I'm hoping that as we keep moving forward with this process, I'm going to get more excited about this "next step". But it's harder than I thought it would be...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Time for cloth!

Diapers, that is. :o) We finally made it through the couple of packs of newborn pampers we had (so we wouldn't have the added laundry during the first couple of weeks of Elly's life). Now Elly can go potty in style, haha. :D

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hey Saskia!

Das ist fuer dich! :o) Oh, the memories...



I'm in love, haha! :p

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

2 weeks!

I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since Elly was born. Time flies... We had our 2 week check-up with Chris yesterday. We both checked out great. My bleeding has stopped, which has been great. I do have to say I was very careful not to over-do it this time around, though. With the others, my bleeding always lasted until 4-6 weeks, and I think it's because I did too much too soon and didn't give my body time to heal. This time around, I literally did nothing but take care of Elly for the first week, and even the second week I spent the majority of my days on the couch (having a laptop helped, hehe). I think it helped that Dave's schedule has been so flexible. He was able to take off the first couple of days after Elly's birth, and even when he went back to his little office on campus last week, he was able to go in late so he could make me breakfast, come home for lunch to get me some food warmed up and let me take a shower, and he helped out lots at home with cleaning, dishes, and laundry. We've also had lots of dinners brought to us, just about every night for the last couple of weeks. People have been so generous, it's been awesome! The dinners usually provided enough food to last us for lunch for a couple more days, too. Can I just say I'm so thankful for everyone's generosity? It's amazing how much easier life is when you don't have to worry about cooking. :p I really believe that having all this help enabled me to really get lots of rest, and let my body heal. I feel great! I'm still taking it easy, though I am slowly starting to get back into my daily routine.

Elly is doing great, as well. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 4 oz., so we know she's thriving on mommy's milk. :o) She is such a wonderful baby. She's still so calm and peaceful, and even lets her mom get lots of sleep at night! She usually wakes up around 7:30ish in the mornings, is awake for a couple of hours, then sleeps most of the day, with just a few short awake times (most of which she spends nursing, hehe). She then has a definite awake time in the late evenings, from about 9-11 p.m.. We're usually in bed shortly after 11, she nurses for a bit longer, and then sleeps until about 3:30 or 4 a.m., at which time she wakes up to nurse. Being that she's my fourth child, I've become really good at nursing in bed, so really all I do is latch her on, and we go back to sleep. I don't think I've ever felt so rested with a newborn. All my other kids had days and nights mixed up for the first few weeks, so we spent a lot of time bouncing them around the house at 2 a.m., trying to get them to sleep. It's been really nice not to have to go through that this time around - hope it stays that way! *fingers crossed*

Overall, the transition from 3 to 4 kids has been really easy so far. I'm so thankful we were blessed with such a sweet, quiet baby. It's certainly a stark contrast from when we had Kaylee, who was pretty high needs from the very beginning (and still has lots of energy and willpower, haha). I know life is going to get more busy as Elly gets older, but I'm enjoying the peace while it lasts. :o)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

There's no escaping...

...the all-powerful formula companies. Got a sample from Enfamil in the mail. Not one, but TWO cans of formula! Then there was a little pamphlet, for those who would choose to breastfeed. It had two pages of basic breastfeeding advice, and the rest of the pamphlet was all about how to supplement breastfeeding with formula, including a schedule on how to introduce it. And lots of "this is why Enfamil is so great". Hm, nice. Thanks, but no thanks. If any of you who live close-by know anyone who'd like two cans of Enfamil Lipil, let me know. They're going to just rot in my cupboard. :p

Personally, I think there should be a law against this type of advertising. If someone wants to formula feed their child, that's a choice they have, but they can go to the store and buy formula there. I think "free" formula samples come at a great cost. Both financially and health wise. There's lots of research that shows just how superior breastmilk is to formula, there's really no comparing the two. I know that sometimes, women have underlying issues and can't breastfeed. And some women just don't want to. That's fine. What bugs me is the notion that formula is just as good as breastmilk. The small print "breastmilk is best" on the formula cans is almost comical, if it wasn't so sad. If you believe breastmilk is best, why do you push your product? Not because your product is so great, or so close to breastmilk. No, it's all about the money. It's all business. Here's an interesting article from Mothering magazine that sums it up perfectly.

Formula for Profit: How Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes Undermines the Health of Babies

Here's another great read, also from Mothering magazine.

Is Breastfeeding in Trouble?

Just some food for thought. I'm not totally anti-formula, it definitely has its place. I used formula for a few months with my oldest son (though had I known more about breastfeeding and pumping then, I may not have). I think formula is beneficial when mothers, for whatever reason, can't breastfeed. And, of course, it gives women a choice. What upsets me is that this "choice" is pushed so aggressively. That even women, like me, who fill out all the forms saying they're planning on exclusively breastfeeding get bombarded with the stuff. Someone take it from me, please, so I don't have to look at it anymore...

One last note, and then I'll stop. I know people complain all the time about the lactivists who make them feel guilty for choosing to formula feed. Look at it this way - at least I'm not shoving my boob down your baby's throat. ;o)