Memorial Day Weekend, 2014

I’m currently enjoying a 4 day weekend, which is the longest break I’ve had from work since Christmas. Jess worked Friday night but has the rest of the time off with me. Yesterday was mainly a relaxing day but today has been quite the opposite. In order to give Jessica some time to get stuff done around the house, I took the girls to Bellevue Square mall this morning. We walked around every square inch of that place and ended up having a lot of fun. Ava has never told me she loves me so many times in one day. I guess that’s to be expected when you say yes to all of her requests. Whether she wanted to play in the kids area, search for fireflies, or just get a cookie to snack on, I was simply a Yes Man… Or I mean a Yes Daddy.

Once we returned home I got to work helping Jessica around the house. We’ve gotten so much done and we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. The move is only 13 days away and we’re definitely getting excited. June is a month I’ve been looking forward to for a while and now it’s only a week away. As I said last night to Jessica, I’m going to start June as a student who rents their home, and will finish June as a graduate who owns their home. It’s definitely going to be a big month.

The girls are both doing well, although Ava has been terrorizing us at night lately. It’s weird because she’s the nicest, sweetest little girl all day, then you put her to bed and she turns into a little demon. Our little Princess Poltergeist brings new meaning to the word irrational, especially between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00am. As mere mortal parents our powers are limited, but luckily we have a couple wild cards up our sleeve, mainly in the form of warm milk bottles and Thomas The Train DVDs. I’m sure this is just a byproduct of her age and will pass soon, but I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been challenging.

Elise, on the other hand, has taken to playing the part of the eternally happy baby. Although she may be the most difficult baby in the world to dress, she is otherwise an absolute joy. I remember Ava going through this phase and therefore don’t expect it to last forever, but it’s nice for now. We’re thinking about having the girls share a room at the new house, which will allow us to have a full time dedicated play room and a separate dedicated guest room. Certainly this will require some adjustments, but we’re willing to give it a try.

Looks like the rest of the weekend will be spent packing and relaxing. New pics coming soon.

Take me out to the Ballgame

Yesterday we got a babysitter for the girls and Michael used a vacation day so the two of us could spend an afternoon with the Mariners at Safeco Field.

It was a 12:40 game against the Tampa Rays. We asked the sitter to come over a little early and we headed to an outdoor beer garden for a drink before the game. It was an absolutely picture perfect day. The skies were clear, blue and a delightful sunny 70ish degrees. We had been planning to catch the game for several weeks now regardless of weather but this just made things that much sweeter. I will admit that I am sitting here writing this the next day with an actual sunburn. I can’t remember the last time the NW sun got me that good.

We started the game off hanging out over the bullpen in the sun for the first inning. Then we headed up to our seats in the 300 level for a bit in the shade. Our actual seats were one of the only areas of the park that was filled with fans so we didn’t stay there long. We got hungry and decided to grab some garlic fires and experience the bleechers for the first time. This is likely the reason for my sunburn; we spent a few innings in the now hot sun and then finished the game off in handicap seating in left field. It was fun to hop around the stadium a bit since neither of us had been to a Mariners game in several years and this was our first game together at Safeco.

The Mariners got defeated 2-0 but we stayed to watch the whole thing and enjoyed every minute of it. It was an awesome way to break up our week and to take a little break from everything involved with the new house and move. I’d like to think that we’ll get the chance to see another game this summer but who knows. If not this year then definitely next year when the girls will be old enough to go too.

We are already busy packing up the house and preparing for the move. After a great breakfast at home and some quality family time on Mother’s Day we went out and bought out first batch of moving supplies. It feels like we are ahead of the game and much more organized (at this point) than last time, and that feels good. I am actually enjoying going through all of our things and purging and organizing.

Elise turned 10 months yesterday as well. She is doing great. Getting more teeth, mostly sleeping through the night, talking, attempting to walk and exploring so many new things everyday. She continues to be a very sweet and happy baby and loves to be held more than any other baby I have ever met.

Ava has been doing great as well. She loves the weather that we’ve been having and insists on being outside at all times. She seems to know that something is going on around the house and so far does not enjoy having her things boxed up but doesn’t mind helping with things like linens and household goods. Hopefully she is this helpful with unpacking.

Happy Mother’s Day, 2014

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I’m starting to realize that this is becoming one of my favorite holidays. In addition to paying homage to Jessica, my Mom, all the amazing Mom’s in our lives, its giving me the excuse to make some nice meals for Jessica and the girls. And not just brunch either. As far as I’m concerned this is a whole-weekend affair. That being said, tonight for our Mother’s Day Eve dinner we’ll be having prosciutto-wrapped filet mignon, baked potato with homemade cheese sauce, sauteed mushrooms, salad, and to wash it down we’ll be enjoying a bottle of Catena Malbec that we’ve been holding onto for a bit. Then tomorrow morning for brunch we’ll have a crab cake benedict along with a bottle of Prosecco I have chilling. Then tomorrow night will be linguine with clams. I hope we don’t sound like alcoholics here, but there’s a method to my madness. Each bottle we consume is one less thing to pack and move 😉

Speaking of moving, everything is coming along nicely. Yesterday I met Jessica and the girls at the new house at 2:00pm for our inspection. Jess kept an eye on the girls while I followed along with the inspector. I had a lot of questions for him, mainly because I’ve never done anything like this before and know practically nothing about construction or houses, but luckily for me he turned out to be the nicest guy and was happy to answer all of my questions. Our agent told us he’s the best in the business and after having spent nearly three hours checking out the entire house with him I couldn’t disagree. Luckily, although there were a few small things we found that need some attention, there was nothing major at all. The house is in very good shape and there is no reason to think that we can’t deal with these few small issues before closing.

Even though we’re still about 4 weeks away from closing, I can already feel myself growing an interest in learning how to work on the house. Having rented for all these years I never had much of an interest in getting my hands dirty, but now that I’m going to own a place the idea of being able to fix or upgrade something on my own without having to hire somebody is much more attractive. Plus with school ending shortly I’m going to have a lot more time to take on projects around the house. Speaking of school, I just reached the half-way point of Spring quarter, meaning I’m on a short break before classes resume next weekend. This is my last break of any kind at school; when classes resume I’ll only be 5 weeks away from completion. I don’t want to start getting excited yet because there’s still a lot of work to do, but its so close I can almost taste it.

The girls are both doing great. Elise has been crawling for a while, and is now getting to the point where she is pulling herself up to her feet. She’s still pretty wobbly but once she’s up she does well assuming she has something to hold onto. She’s also starting to talk a bit. Not in terms of actual words but you can tell that she’s trying to mimic sounds and words she’s hearing. It’s pretty exciting to be seeing all this for the second time, and you can’t help but compare it to everything we experienced with Ava not too long ago.

Speaking of Ava, she is quite the little handful. She’s got more energy than you can possibly imagine, and knows exactly what she does and does not want to do. She continues to show incredible signs of determination, even for something as trivial as collecting certain colored markers. She’s also really tough. I know I’ve said it before but her toughness continues to amaze me. Elise seems to have that gene as well because the two of them have taken a few spills this week that we were concerned about, including Ava pulling Elise’s high chair tray down, hitting the ground, then Elise falling out of the chair and right onto her. As you can imagine the decibel rating goes up considerably for a few minutes, but both girls bounce back quicker than anyone could ever expect.

Before I go I want to give a quick shout out with all my love to my Mom. I’m sorry I won’t see you on Mother’s Day but can’t wait for your visit next month. I also want to send our love to Amy, Dana, Brenda, Kristy, and all the aunts, cousins, and friends who are moms. We love you all and wish you a great day tomorrow. You deserve it. As for Jessica, thanks for being the best mom our girls could ask for. We love you so much!

We got the house!

After a couple suspenseful days we just got the good news today that our offer has been accepted and we’re buying our first house! Obviously this was very exciting news; I had a bit of a difficult time containing myself at work and had to run outside and call Jessica immediately. It was a bit of a back and forth situation regarding offers, counter offers, counters to counters, etc., but ultimately we reached an agreement that everyone was happy with. We’ll be closing on Friday June 6 and moving that weekend. I’m not exactly looking forward to moving again, but this is the last time we’ll have to worry about that for quite a while. Although this probably won’t be our ‘forever house’, its certainly a place that we’ll be happy to call home for the next 5-7 years.

As mentioned in a previous post, this is the first time either Jessica or myself has ever bought a home, so we’re both thrilled. Something about this house just felt right from the beginning and I can’t wait to start giving it some personal touches to really make it our own. There are a few projects like landscaping the back yard, replacing the floors with hard wood, and upgrading the kitchen/bathroom counters to granite, that we plan on doing, but nothing needs to happen right away. The house is move-in ready, assuming all goes well with the inspection, which will be this Friday at 2:00pm.

There’s still a lot of work to do in terms of finalizing the mortgage, packing, planning the move, etc., but just knowing that we’re moving into a house that we own makes it all more than worth it. This means that June will be a very busy month for us. Not only are we moving, but I’ll be finishing up school, so we’re going to be as busy as ever, but its all good. Luckily my Mom will be returning from her annual Alaska cruise on Friday, June 6th, and will be available to help watch the girls that weekend. I can’t help but laugh at the fact that this will be Ava’s third move, and she’s only 2 1/2 years old!

We’re already planning on having people over for Elise’s first birthday in July, so maybe that will end up being a little house-warming event as well. We’ll see. Plenty of updates coming soon.

Just placed an offer

A week ago today we started looking at houses, and today we’re placing our first offer! We’ve looked at hundreds of homes online, as well about ten in person. Of those ten there were a small few that we seriously considered but based on all the factors we feel like we’ve found a really good fit. I’ll hold off on descriptions until I see how things turn out, but the offer has officially been submitted and we’re asking for a response within the next 24 hours. I will say that its up in the same neighborhood we’ve been looking in, which I’ve come to find out consists of parts of four different cities: Bothell, Mill Creek, Everett, and Snohomish. In our case with this house, we’d be in Snohomish, but its all part of the same school district, which is one of the best in the state.

This is definitely an exciting time for us, but we’re trying to take it in stride. Obviously we’ll be very excited if we get this house, but at the same time if it doesn’t work out we won’t be devastated. There’s so much out there that I have no doubt we’re going to find something soon. This is our first time buying a home so its been so nice to have Carol and Julie helping us through the process. Not having to worry about your mortgage broker or your real estate agent is a huge relief.

Going to cut this one short for now and wait and see what happens. Updates coming soon.