Wednesday, May 30, 2012

21 Week Bump

Now THIS is a bump!  21 Weeks and getting larger!  
I've gained 14 pounds and everything looks great so far!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nathan James Powell

We had our anatomy scan last week and got the news that it's a boy!  Jon was so excited to find out this news, although I suspect he would have probably been just as excited about a girl.  He's just excited about having a baby in general.  I didn't have a preference either, as long as he/she was healthy.  And guess what?  He's very healthy and active.  All the parts are there and in the right place.  We have the correct number of fingers and toes, no soft markers for anything scary, and he's measuring a little ahead of schedule.  The tech said we may want to prepare for a big baby.  Yikes!  The only thing she really couldn't take a good picture of was his heart, although she did see it and it did look just fine.  We are repeating the scan at our June appointment just to be safe and to get some good pictures of his heart.

After finding out the gender, Jon and I got serious about names.  It only took about 10 minutes for us to mentally go through the list and decide on one we really liked.  He didn't really want to name a child after himself, and I really wanted our firstborn son to have some part of his dad's name, so the compromise was Nathan, which is part of Jonathan, after all.  And since we had two middle names in mind, one family name from his side and one from mine, we decided on the one that sounded best with Nathan, which was James.  My mom's maiden name and a family name on my dad's side as well.  We are so happy with the name and started using it pretty much immediately.

Our little Nathan.  Our son.  I'm a little afraid of being a mother to a son.  I know very little about boys other than what I've learned from helping with Noah when he was younger.  I know I'll get it, but it's a little more "unknown" than girls are.  I can't wait to meet my little man.  I can already tell he's going to steal my heart.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Baby (19 Weeks)

Dear Baby,

It's the week of Mother's Day, and I've been thinking a lot about being your mom.  I'm so excited about this new role in life and can't wait to meet you and see the person you are going to become.  You gave me a Mother's Day gift, whether you know it or not... I'm really feeling you kick these days!  And better than that, your daddy got to feel you kick too!  It's really the coolest thing in the world!

You seem to be reacting to the music I play while I'm in my office at work.  There are some songs that seem to put you right to sleep, because you get really still for a little while, and then there are some that I swear seem to make you want to dance.  I'm keeping track of the ones that cause you to be active and the ones that seem to soothe you, so that when you are born, we can make you feel better using music.

We're still working on preparing everything for your arrival.

Your Mommy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In Honor of Mom

Here I am, with my mom, on my wedding day.  She was such a calming spirit on that day, and as I look back on it, one of the things I am happiest about is that she agreed to sing a song for us during the wedding.  Having her be a part of the ceremony was so special, and so appropriate, because while my dad gave me away, my mom wasn't going to have a role in it if she didn't sing the song.  And I wanted her to have a role in my wedding that represented her role in my life.  A gentle, calming voice guiding me to do the right thing, guiding me to love and faith in a way only a mother can.

On this Mother's Day, more than any other, I find myself reflecting on what a mother really is and what she really does.  Perhaps this is because I'm preparing mentally and emotionally to become a mother myself, and although I'm 35 years old and have been dreaming of becoming a mother my entire adult life, I'm not sure I will ever really be ready for it.  I have spent a lot of time these last few months thinking about my own mother, and how she influenced every single aspect of my life in some way.  And how our relationship has evolved from mother and child to two adult women who love each other and enjoy each other's company.  While I know she is still a mother, she is really more like a friend.  So many moms don't know when to stop "actively parenting," but I think she found the perfect balance.  And because of that, her opinions still matter to me.  Because she chooses not to actively parent her adult daughter, I ask for her advice and her thoughts about situations.  She gives it only when asks, which is something I've grown to appreciate more and more.

As I prepare to become a mother, I think of the things she did with us and I write them down, hoping to use some of her gentle wisdom with our children.  Mostly little things that may not have felt significant in the moment, but when you look back on them as adults, you realize they did something to you - they made you a better person.  Like when a kid in our church had a fire in his home.  Everything was destroyed, and the church put together some things for him and his family.  My mom encouraged us to give him some of our toys.  And she didn't let us give him broken, old toys.  She suggested that we give him our best and favorite toys, because we had so much and he had so little.  I didn't realize the impact of that life lesson until later - that when someone has gone through a tragedy, you care for them as you would a family member.  You love them because that's all they have at that moment.  And that kind of love really can make things a little better.

My mom taught us things without us realizing it.  She kept kids in our home before I started school, so there were always kids around to play with.  But she didn't just let us play mindlessly.  She played with us, and her games were both active and educational.  We learned without knowing we were learning, and that prepared us for school and beyond.  Even after starting school, my mom taught and participated in our education.  The number of projects she (and my dad) helped us with, and the number of times I forgot about a project until the weekend before it was due - or even the night before - and she stayed up late with me working on it... well, I can't even count those.  But she did it.  She helped me build a dollhouse to represent the Winchester mansion, she helped create volcanoes and caves, she found stuff in the grocery store from Mexico, and she helped collect over 20 different kinds of insects.  Notice I said HELPED, and not DID.  She knew how important it was for me to actually DO the projects with her help, rather than her doing them and letting me go to bed.

That dedication extended to after-school activities too, of course.  She cheered the loudest at the softball and soccer games, and brought flowers to all of my opening nights when I was doing theatre.  We sang together in church from the time I was 12 until now, and she made costumes, helped me run lines, and practiced songs with me until I was comfortable with them.  She never missed a choir concert, and chaperoned one very memorable church youth group trip to Six Flags.

I think there may have been a week or so when I was a teen when my mom and I didn't get along.  But for the most part, we have always had a great relationship.

So as I prepare to become a mother, I think of my own mom, who was gentle and kind and soft and loving. Who did discipline us when we needed it (maybe not enough sometimes) but who always did it with love.  Who I would have died rather than disappoint as a kid, and even now.  Who prayed for us every single day, not just once, but throughout the day.  Whether we had an important test, a game or performance, or if it was just an ordinary day, she was always thinking about us and praying for us, that we would get through the day and be happy and healthy.

I think about her, and I wonder how I will ever be even half as good a mom as she was (and still is) to me.  If I can manage even that, I will be happy.

I love you mom, and I hope you know just how much you mean to me.  You are my example of motherhood.  I hope I can live up to it!

(Don't worry daddy, you'll get one of these on Father's Day!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Fixing everything!

So the sellers are going to fix everything we asked them to fix!  We are one step closer to buying the house.  Now all we need is for the appraisal to come back as equal or higher value than we are paying and we're golden!

I may be even more nervous now than I was before!

I just want all this to be over so we can get everything settled and move into our new house.  :)


I believe an update is in order... 

We made the offer, but then got a call the next day saying there was another offer on the table.  We then had to go with our best offer, which we decided would be our max budget because we really wanted the house.  They accepted the offer and we scheduled the home inspection. 

Turns out, there are some pretty big things wrong with the house, so we made an addendum to the contract saying those things had to be fixed before we would purchase the house.  And now we are waiting again, to see if they will agree to fix those things.

To be honest, I kind of hope they don't.  I love the house and I know we will be happy there, but I've got a bad taste in my mouth about these sellers and about having to pay our max for the house when I really didn't want to do that.  It's not that we are going to be "house poor" or anything.  Our max was a good $50,000 or more less than we actually could afford.  We chose that max to keep ourselves from going to crazy.  

We should hear something today.  If they agree to fix everything, we keep moving forward.  If they choose not to fix one or more of the items on the list, we walk.  If we have to start looking again, I'm determined to make it fun - and not to compare any future house to this one.  We do love the house, but with the damage that needs to be fixed, there's just no way.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

17 Week Bump

Here's the bump at 17 weeks!  There's a little more to look at now!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Offer Day!

In February, just a few weeks after we found out we were having a baby, we got an email from our landlord.  Rather than giving us another year (per our verbal agreement) their financial situation made it imperative that they sell the house sooner rather than later.  They gave us a six-month lease, allowing us time to either buy a house or find another place to rent.  Rather than having to move twice, we decided to go ahead and try to buy. This started a crazy journey into the world of home ownership.  We immediately started looking online at houses in our price range, and after finding a few we liked, contacted a mortgage company.  We were pre-approved for a loan and started looking at houses.  Our agent is fantastic - a referral from the mortgage broker - and a perfect fit for us.  After looking at something like 80 homes online and about 20 in person, we finally decided on one this past weekend.  And today, we are making an offer.  This is the house...

It's such a great place.  Hardwood floors in all the living areas, carpet in the bedrooms.  There's a two-car carport in the back and the yard is fully fenced.  It needs a new gate, but that's really all the work it needs!  Everything has been updated and repainted.  The back yard is the largest we saw in our preferred neighborhood and already has a storage building and a patio with a built-in fire pit, as well as a really sturdy swing set!  There's a nice formal dining room and the great room is massive!  We can do so much with that space!  The house also passes the "Christmas tree test," which is something I was pretty focused on - can you put a Christmas tree in a window so it can be seen from the outside?  You would be surprised to know how many houses do not have a front window in the living/great room.  

So this is the house.  We're making an offer at 6:30 tonight.  Here's hoping they accept the offer or counter with something acceptable.  It's been on the market for 6 months now, and they are paying two mortgages, so hopefully that will help them make a good decision!  I'm already placing our furniture and hanging our pictures in my head.  I know you are not supposed to do that, but I can't help it!  I want to nest, and I can't in our current house, so I'm doing it in this house in my head until we get the keys!

The good news is, there are two other strong contenders if this one doesn't pan out.  Both will require some work and one is more expensive, but they are both good choices if this one, for some reason, doesn't happen.  I really hope it does, though.  It's just what we were both looking for in our first home!