Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Test Results

Well, the test was inconclusive.  Drat!  I'm starting to think it's more than one thing.  We have a Dr appointment today with Children's for her 4 month (corrected) check up.  It is more of an occupational therapy thing, but I'm going to talk to them about her digestive issues too. 

All the books say that happy-spitters (babies who spit up a lot but it's not a big deal) peak around 3 months and then improve.  She was still getting worse after that, but then I figured that since she was a preemie, I should give her an extra month.  Well, she's now 5 months old and she doesn't seem to be feeling very well.  Poor kiddo!  She's doing great in every other aspect, though!  Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.  Prayers are appreciated.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dairy Test

Well, I've gone without milk protein for 2 whole weeks.  At first it was super difficult... I just didn't know what to eat!  But after a few days, and a trip to Winco, it wasn't too hard.  Turns out that almond milk is DELICIOUS!  Mmmmmm.  It is sooo good on cereal and in tea!  And, peanut butter goes on pretty much anything that cream cheese does. 

It's hard to tell if Willow is doing better or not.  Sometimes I think that her fussiness is waaay better, and other times it doesn't seem to matter what I do.  It could be that she is allergic, but is also reacting to other foods as well.  If that is the case, there is some change, but not complete improvement.  It would have been so gradual that it's hard to tell.  So, a test is needed!!

Today is the day.  As I write this, I have a tall glass of delicious milk sitting next to me.  I am so excited!  I love milk.  Ahhhhhh.  Well, here goes!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bye Bye Milk, Cheese, Butter, Ice Cream, Sour Cream, Yogurt....Chocolate......

Willow has baaaad reflux. We're talking an overwhelming amount of spit up, painful gas, burps, and general discomfort.  We've talked to her Pediatrician, but since she is growing just fine and not colic-y, we decided not to give her medication (that just treats the discomfort, not the cause, anyways).  Well meaning friends have suggested giving her rice cereal in a bottle mixed with breast milk.  While this can potentially help, recent studies have found that early introduction of any solid food can increase the chance of diabetes.  So, we've decided that's a last resort since diabetes runs in our family.

In doing some research, I've found that there is a high chance that she might have an allergy to something I'm eating...  and herein beings the great experiment of 2012.  I'm going to attempt to go without any milk protein for the next 3 weeks.  (Not lactose... milk protein.)  Milk allergies are the most common allergy that babies can have, so we figure we'd start there and see if it makes a difference.  The problem is that it takes between 2 and 3 weeks to get it completely out of my milk supply, so we won't know until midway through October if it's helping at all.  Also, substituting soy isn't necessarily helpful, either, since the majority of babies with milk allergies are also sensitive or allergic to soy.

This morning I woke up and opened the fridge... and realized that I could barely eat anything in it!  No milk for my cereal (I think I'm going to try that almond milk, though...  gotta head to the store!), no cheese for a bagel, or butter for toast.  Yogurt is out, too.  Drat!  This is going to be a long 3 weeks.

So far I've had turkey bacon and eggs, with an english muffin.  Not bad.  A bagel with peanut butter for lunch.  And I'll figure out something for dinner. 

Do you have any great dairy-free recipes?  Have you ever given up a food completely that you suddenly realized is in everything you eat?

September Fun!

September has been a wonderful month!

Not only do Ian and I have birthdays in September, but my parents came to visit for a whole week, along with my Grandpa!  We went and had an adventure on San Juan Island, visiting a whale watching park (no orcas this time, but my mom did see a dolphin!) and eating lots of tasty seafood.  Mmmmmmm.
 Waiting to get on the ferry
 Such a pretty day!
 At the park, looking for whales
 Mmmmmmm. Fresh seafood!
 Heading home again on the ferry.

We also took the time to take some family photos, spanning 4 generations!
Great Grandpa and his Great Granddaughter
Don't worry... we got this one taken right. ;) You'll have to wait until Christmas to see the final photo, though!
 Willow and all her cuteness, per usual!  Awwwwww.

We also were able to spend a day celebrating our 28th and 29th birthdays!  It was nice getting the whole family together.
 Grandma and Nana with Willow at our birthday celebration!

It was such a wonderful visit.  Thank you for making the trek out to Washington to see us!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anything But Cats!

About a week ago I had my first ever allergy test. 

I knew I needed one... last September around my birthday, I pigged out on shrimp and then proceeded to break out in hives.  It's not like I had never eaten shrimp before.  It's just that it had been a very long time since I lived somewhere that shrimp wasn't ridiculously expensive (compared to say, chicken).  So, I went and bought a huge bag of frozen shrimp, cooked them up and ate them on a lovely salad.  It was delicious.  But it was also more shrimp consumed at once than I had probably ever eaten before.  And I got all red and bumpy.  A few days later, we did another test, where I ate more shrimp, one by one, until I stopped eating due to itching.

Well, only a few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant!  Hooray!!  And then the midwife informed me:  No, you have to wait until after the birth to have an allergy test, and you shouldn't eat any shellfish in the mean time.


And here we are, almost a year later.  It took me a good 2 months to get up the courage to call the doctor for the test.  See, I had grown up hearing about how awful allergy tests were.  My mom had over a hundred performed on her back and arms as a little kid (She's allergic to all sorts of random things.  You can ask her about it sometime.) and I had other friends have them done when they were little, too.  Even my hubby had an allergy test done when his parents discovered he couldn't hear very well because of sinus swelling (he's allergic to dust mites).  Anyways, you hear about the scratches, the pain, the grids of little stabbings... not fun.  But it had to be done, and I made the call, and... they couldn't fit me in for a month.  A whole month of anxious waiting for a not-so-fun appointment.

When the day finally arrived, I had my little Willow with me, and a wonderful friend at my side to keep my fears at bay as well as hold Willow during the appointment.  I talked to the doctor, and he decided to do a general panel of western Washington plants, as well as a common allergy panel (dust mites, animals, etc.) and of course, shell fish.  Looking back, I sort of wish he had done other common foods while we were at it.  Maybe I will talk to him about it at my follow-up appointment?  Hmmmm.  Oh right. Story...

Ok, so the pain wasn't anything like what I thought it would be.  Yes, they draw a grid on your back and number it.  But they don't do scratches anymore.  Just little pokes that make you jump.  Not even stabs, really.  More like someone poking your back with their finger, and they kinda need to trim their nails.

The results:  I'm allergic to Washington!  Hahaha... no, but really, I am.  Coast Maple, Cottonwood, Poplar, English Plantain and Lambs Quarter, and CATS.  Of which we have 2 that sleep on my face at night.  Oh, and sensitivity to dust mites and Western Juniper.  Fortunately, shell fish came up negative, which is great, since I love it.  They did do a blood panel, just to make sure, and I haven't gotten the results quite yet.

What am I going to do about the cats?  That explains a lot... the waking up with headaches, consistent post-nasal drip that I always had and thought was normal... it's not.  We are NOT getting rid of them.  Ian and I love our kitties!  The doctor told us to get the out of the bedroom.  No more nighttime snuggles.  I dunno... we're trying it out to see if it helps, but it kinda makes me sad, and I can tell the kitties miss us.  We'll see how long this lasts.  In the mean time (once the blood work comes in) I'm going out for sea food!

Oh yeah, why did I break out in hives from the shrimp?  If I'm not allergic, the doctor said it could have been a bad batch of shrimp, and it was the toxins I reacted to.  Not fun, but should be a one-time event.  Whew!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Year One

I was looking at the calendar the other day, and realized that we have now lived in Washington an entire year!!  It doesn't really feel like it.   Yes, we have lots of wonderful friends here, and I've finally learned my way around without a gps (most of the time), but I don't feel like a "local" yet. That takes time.

Looking back over the year, there are some things that happened that we were expecting/hoping for, as well as others that didn't occur that we thought would.

What did happen?

We had a baby!!  Awwww... she is such a cutie!!  This was taken at her 3 month "photo shoot."  Ok, it was more like 3 1/2 months.

We bought a house!  Which, we are currently in the middle of painting (hallway: check).  I'm really excited for the new colors!  YES!

We got another kitten!  Oh Rupert, you are so fuzzy!

Ian started a new job at Fluke, which is going really well!

We joined a church out here: Canyon Creek.  Come check it out!  Everyone is so friendly. :)

And what didn't happen?

No earthquakes yet.  Not that I mind!

I didn't get the job I thought I would.  When we moved here, I began looking for an admin job immediately.  A few months in with no nibbles, and I was wondering what was going on, when we realized I was pregnant!  Yay!  That really changed up our plans.  Someday I'll go back to working as an admin assistant, but for now, my job is Mommy!

We still aren't all the way moved into our house.  Hah!  That's what happens when your baby comes 5 weeks early.  Oh well... we'll get there eventually.

Our summer goal (that we made before Willow arrived) was to get the back yard drainage figured out.  Like, dig french drains, take out middle plant island (which is also messing up drainage), etc.  Oh, and build raised beds for next year's veggies.  Looks like that is going to be another year in the process.  At least we're keeping up with the mowing!

We also haven't been hiking up here yet, or camping.  Yup, thought we were going to do those things, since we really love to go!  Maybe we could at least squeeze in a hike this fall.

Ok, well... here's some more pictures of Willow.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Liar Liar, Ants on Fire

And now an ant story for you:  

The other day I was getting paint supplies from a cupboard in the garage, when I discovered a whole frenzy of ants and a large pile of... eggs?  Apparently they had decided that our cupboard made a good nest. 

Which was weird. 

No food there... nothing to dig in (wood was intact)... no reason for them to be there at all!  They were only on one shelf, even.

We ended up vacuuming them up, since we didn't want a brood of ants being raised in the garage.  Then we poured gas on them and proceeded to light them on fire.  And by "we" I mean Ian and our friend Brandon.  Lighting ants on fire must be a guy thing.  Anyways, they had a good time at it, and it took care of the issue.  No more ants! 

The end.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Rough Few Weeks

It's been a confusing few weeks for me.  Though everything is going great for Ian and me personally (Willow growing, got to watch the opening of the Olympics, went to a friend's birthday party, etc.) there seem to be tragedies all around us.

Everyone has heard of the horrific shooting in Aurora in Colorado.  I was just coming to terms with the fact that something so awful could happen in a state I love so much, when I get the call from a close friend here in Washington.  Her brother had informed her that his wife had just delivered her baby still-born.  I started crying.  I just couldn't help myself.  I haven't met her extended family personally, but just the previous day my friend was telling me how excited she was to meet her new niece, and how her sister-in-law should be going into labor any day now.  How could this happen?  The pregnancy was perfect, and they were even planning a home birth with a midwife, which is ideal!  Why would God have someone go full term with a beautiful baby, only to take that away at the last second?  While my friend flies home to be with her family, all I can do is pray for her, her family, the midwife, hospital staff, and all others affected by this painful tragedy. 

Don't get me wrong... prayer is powerful, and I am relieved that we can talk directly to God about anything, including difficult topics such as these.  But I wanted to put some of my thoughts down on "paper" to help process the grieving.  Anyways, I ended up re-reading my mom's blog post about the Aurora shooting, and it brought me comfort.  Maybe it will for you, too, during these difficult times.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I had an interesting discussion with Ian yesterday.  We were planning out some various life events (yup, we're both planners) and I was trying to explain where different things would happen in the year, using a clock.  See, it makes sense... 12 months, 12 hours...  However, it was all backwards, because the spring is always to the left in my mind, and fall is to the right, because I think counter-clockwise.  Ian, to my utter surprise, had absolutely NO IDEA what I was talking about.  I tried again, drawing a circle diagram, with the months going around.

Whenever I think of something happening in the year, I visualize a circle, and place that event on the circle.  Even when I count months, I count around the circle.  ALWAYS.

Ian looked at me like I was crazy, and then proceeded to explain that he sees time as a line.  Yup!  A straight line that keeps going, since events never exactly repeat themselves again the same way.

But, what about the seasons, and holidays?  Nope, still a line.

Silly engineer.  Hah!

He also explained how he doesn't think about the names of the month, as much as what number they are.  Such as, May is month 5, September is month 9, etc.  And then he told me something that really surprised me.  He dreams in NUMBERS! 

Just goes to show that we're all a little different.  Neat!

And, for your viewing pleasure, here's some new pictures of Willow!

Well, it was supposed to be tummy time...
 Getting reading to go for a walk.
 She recently started batting the hanging animals!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Now We Are 3

Hi Everybody!

Yup, I fell off the face of the planet.  Don't worry, though.  I've got a bungee cord tied to my waist to keep me from floating off into outer-space.

Since I last posted... I've had a baby!  She came 5 weeks early... so I "lived" at the NICU temporarily for 3 weeks until she came home.  We weren't really.... prepared.... so it has been a bit chaotic.  BUT, we are doing great now!  She is 7 weeks old currently, and cute as a button!

Meet Willow Nicole Brown!

Just a few days old

 Mommy loves her. <3

 Her quite lovely NICU room.

 It had been a long trek... Daddy was tiiiiiired!

And Willow, too!

 Mother's Day!

 Hearing test, take 2.  She partially failed the first one, so we were praying really hard that she would pass this time.. She DID!  And with flying colors, too!

 Car seat test to see if she can come home.

 Willow at home!

Willow is home now, and growing quickly.  She started at about 5 lbs, and now weighs over 9!  All that growing means lots of eating... which means no sleep for Ian and me.  But that's ok.  We love her SO MUCH!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Showered with Love

A few weeks ago my amazing mom flew out to visit for a week of catching up, and for her to attend my baby shower!  It was so much fun.  We went for walks and explored the new neighborhood, went out for mu shu, and caught up on lots of missed time.  I'm so glad she's coming back in about a month when the baby arrives!

My dear friend Autumn threw me a shower that totally blew my mind!  She and my friend Taylor transformed our house with paper bunnies and duckies, streamers and pom poms.  Ian's mom, Suzanne, brought vases of tulips, and both my mom and Suzanne cooked a tea party feast for all the guests!  Suzanne even made a bunny cake!

It was quite overwhelming, but in a good way.  I never imagined that so many people would come and shower us with such love and generosity, after knowing us for a mere 6 months or less!  We also had family and friends drive up from Federal Way, Tacoma, and Olympia!  Ian and I are extremely excited about the little one's arrival in a month, but even so it's a little scary moving somewhere new, and then almost immediately finding out you're pregnant for the first time.  God's been so good providing lots of support and encouragement through everything!  Baby Girl Brown now has almost everything she needs (clothes, teething rings, blankets and sheets, binkies, thermometer, sunglasses... you name it!) but most of all, she has a second family to love on her, even before she's seen the world.  What a gift!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Waddle Waddle Waddle

Well, we're all moved in to the new house!!  Sort of... we still have boxes of books and pictures... things that aren't very urgent.  But the kitchen is all moved in.  It's so nice to have furniture again.  Ahhhhhh. 

It's been an adventure owning a house instead of just renting.  The gutter leaks, so who you gonna call?  Nobody!  Haha.  One of the toilet leaks (from the tank to the bowl) and we've replaced the chain, and then the flapper (which came with a chain), and then the tube thingy (which came with a chain and flapper).... and it's still running.  Hmmmmm.  Ian was thinking he'd just caulk the life out of it, and see if that works.

In other news, I'm at 30 weeks!!  I'm feeling pretty good.  It's been a weird experience with my hips and lower back being all loosy-goosy.  I found some free prenatal pilates/yoga podcasts, so after doing that for a bit, I'll let you know if it helps.  I've also been having some Braxton Hicks contractions!  My midwife said that it's all good, and it's just my body practicing.  Yay!  It makes me glad that we're starting birth classes at the end of the month, though.  It'll be nice to have our baby girl in front of me instead of inside me! 

I'm feeling rather unprepared in general... we don't have anything set up in the nursery yet, haven't narrowed down our names past the top 4, and don't have a car seat to bring her home in.  I know we still have 2 months... but for me it's feeling a bit urgent.  Just in case she comes early, it would be good to have a name picked out, and also be able to bring her home!  But, it's all coming together.  Perhaps I'm just nesting.

Me at 29 weeks!

Monday, March 12, 2012


This morning for my quiet time, I was talking to God about how I was confused about how the Bible was both written by "man" and God, at the same time. I do believe that it was certainly inspired... and yet it's just kinda confusing.

We've been going through the Psalms at church, and I've been preparing for the next week's message by reading ahead. So, I went ahead and read Psalm 21, which is beautiful. God, however, told me to keep reading on to the next one...

Can I say, CHILLS? Craziness. This was totally written by God. And God told me, "See?  There is no way David had a clue what he was writing was prophecy! He was just expressing how he felt at the time through song, which is a gift I gave him. He used his gifts, and I used him to contribute in how I would change the world. Cool, huh?"

Yeah, that's cool.

So, next time you're using the gifts God gave you, remember... you never know how the little thing you're doing might be used by God to change the world!

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; "He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for the delights in him!"

Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God. Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet - I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!  Deliver my soul from the word, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him all you offspring of Israel!  For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sick Of Being Sick

For the last week + I have been fighting a horrible cold/flu.  Yes, I know.  Why didn't I get the flu shot?  Aren't all pregnant ladies supposed to do that?  Well, I didn't want to get it during the first trimester because of the obvious risks, and once I got to the second, I couldn't find a vaccine here without the mercury in it.  Since I've only had 1 confirmed case of the flu (in college) and  that ended up being a different strand than the shot, I figured the likely hood of me getting it was pretty low.  Ahhh...  yeah.

So, Thursday I felt wonderful!  And Friday I woke up with a 100 degree fever and horrible sore throat, body achy, and just feeling miserable.  As I'm preggo, I really didn't want to take too many over the counter drugs, so I tried to just manage it with a neti pot, Tylenol (for the fever) and tea.  But, after a few days of that I started getting a baaaad head ache, and then pain in my cheeks and jaw.  Weird!!  Tuesday I broke down and went to the walk-in clinic.  Turns out I have a yucky sinus infection.  Oh joy.  Dr. said it was ok to take Sudafed and Benadryl, and that did help a bit.  But after taking those for several days, I just didn't feel very comfortable taking them non-stop with the potential risk to the baby.  I dunno... I know lots of people don't worry about it.  I think I've just heard of too many cases where a drug is deemed totally safe, only to find out years later that it was WAY BAD.  You know?

Thursday I filled a prescription for antibiotics from the Dr. to kick this sinus infection in the rear!  The otc drugs weren't really working all the way anyways, and I felt like it would be less of a risk to take penicillin rather than all the other otc drugs, and drag it out.  And, I think it's working!  Today (Friday) my headache is about 1/2 of what it was yesterday. YAY!!!  Also, it feels like the main cold/flu is going away... it's just the sinus infection that's lingering and causing me issues (which is what the antibiotics are for, anyways).  Hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up feeling great! 

Long story short: being sick while pregnant is way more complicated than normal.  You can't just pop a NyQuil and call it a night.  But, fortunately I think I'm on the up and up.  Can't wait to come out of my quarantine and see you all again!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Birth Classes

With the 3rd trimester approaching quickly, I have started researching birth classes to take.  We're having our baby (assuming all goes well) at a wonderful birth center in Everett.  Cascade Birth Center actually requires their moms-to-be to take a class to prepare them for labor and delivery, which makes sense if you think about it.  There's no option of an epidural or super pain meds at a birth center, so you need to be well prepared.

Anyways, I have been checking out different birth class options that are available, and there are SO MANY!  It's been hard to narrow down which one to go with.  We've had multiple friends who have used the Bradley Method and been super happy with it.  Another currently popular birthing method is HypnoBirthing.  Of course there is the well known Lamaze style of birth, which isn't as trendy right now, but classes are still available.  In the Seattle area, we also have classes available which are taught by well known author and natural birth expert Penny Simkin.  My friend who took her class absolutely loved it!  In addition to these options, most hospitals offer classes, as well as community centers.  (Teen and single mothers who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can get FREE classes here: http://www.expectingmiracles.com/.)  With so many choices, where do I even begin?

Right now we are leaning towards taking the class which is offered at our birth center.  It's 6 weeks long (which is not as overwhelming at the 12 weeks required for the Bradley Method) and focuses on partner participation.  Since we aren't hiring a doula, we thought it would be nice for Ian to have some pointers on his involvement.  Also, it would be fun to meet other couples who are due around the same time as us, and also planning births at the same birth center.  The class covers things like relaxation techniques, birth partner support, infant care, breast feeding, hospital transfers in an emergency, labor stages, etc.  The only question we have is the cost... is it worth the extra spending to go to a specialized class like this versus a less expensive one offered in a hospital? Pricing is comparable to the Bradley Method, or Penny Simkin's classes.

In my research, I found out that birth classes are on the decrease.  With most women choosing to take an epidural and about 1/3 of births in the US ending in c-section (hmmm.. coincidence?), many women don't think a class is necessary.  The thing is, even if you are planning on a hospital birth with an epidural, it's still good to have some sort of pain management practice.  Epidurals don't always work properly, and sometimes it can be a while before it is even available.  No matter what your birth plan, some sort of education should be considered.

What classes have you taken?  Was it worth the cost?  What did you like/dislike about the class you took?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Up to Speed

Hi Everybody!
So sorry that I've been away for so long...  It's been really crazy in my life (in a wonderful way!)  I thought I would catch you up to speed.

First off, as you know, we're expecting our first baby this June!  At 19 weeks we were fortunate to have an anatomy ultra sound, which is where you find out the baby's gender, should you want to know.  Ian and I are planners to the core, so of course we wanted to know.
Drum roll please.........

It's a GIRL!!
I was so surprised!! I had been having dreams that it was a boy, so naturally that's what we thought it would be.  I asked the technician to check 3 different times, just in case.  She was so sweet to oblige, and with her almost 30 years of experience, was very confident that it is a girl.  Hooray!!  Bring on the bows!
In addition to finding out the baby's sex, she also did the full anatomy scan.  What an amazing experience!  She pointed out the different lobes of the brain, the heart valves, cross sections of the spine... we could even count fingers and toes!  It's so amazing that at only 19 weeks old, our baby is her own little person. :)

In other news, our house adventures continue in an unexpected direction.  Our offer on the foreclosed house was rejected outright, and so we began the search again.  We ended up finding a really great house just one neighborhood over.  This one is a bit smaller than the previous one, but it's perfect for what we need!  And, it's owner-owned, so we don't have to negotiate with a bank (YAY!)  What a blessing!  It needs much less "emergency" work on it, which is good since we have a baby coming in a few months.  So far, everything has gone well with negotiations and the inspection, and we are set to move in next month!!
It's neat how God worked it all out for best.  Out of all the houses that we put offers on, this one definitely just seems... right.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

House Palooza

The end of 2011/start of 2012 has been a little crazy for us.  In addition to all of the regular holiday bustle, midwife appointments and Christmas parties, Ian and I have been searching for a new home.  We've been meeting with a mortgage adviser and real estate agent (who are AMAZING, btw!! If you need either one, I would highly highly recommend them... there's no way we could have done any of this without Lyndsay or Rosa!) for the last several months.  Our lease is up at the end of February, but even more importantly, we really don't want to push the move-in date too close to the baby's due date.  So, we've been actively looking at houses every week, and all last weekend.  Whew!

It has been quite an adventure, really.  After reviewing many houses online, and then going to see about 8, we decided to put an offer on one that we really liked!!  It was a killer deal in a great neighborhood (if you know the area, it was north of Mill Creek, near Pioneer Trails).  We saw the house a second time to confirm, and were discussing price on the way home, when we got a call from Lyndsay...

"I'm so sorry to bring you sad news, but the sellers just got an offer, and they are accepting it!  They don't even want any other offers, which is a bummer, since I know how much you liked the house."

Aww.  Well, we had been praying that if God had something else in store, that he would just close the door.  Maybe this was God saying, "Nope, not yet!"

The next morning we got another call from Lyndsay.

"The owners are very sorry for dismissing you so quickly!  The other offer ended up falling through because of financials.  They promise not to look at any other offers until you submit yours."

Wow!  Maybe it was an open door after all!  We crunched some numbers and put in a strong, fair offer as quickly as we could.  Now, the waiting game.

After a day of waiting... the bad news.  They did wait to see our offer, and were pleased with it.  But, just a little while later, they got another offer... almost identical... but with CASH.  Considering that the other sale had fallen through because of financials, they took the sure thing.  Slam!  Door closed.

Bummer!  But, I don't really blame them.  You can't compete with cash.  It was amazing, however, that they got 3 offers in about 2 to 3 days... after the house had been on the market for 2 months!  In this economy, that's a Christmas miracle for the sellers!

So, feeling a bit disappointed, we talked with our agent, Lyndsay, and decided to jump right back into the search.  After we reviewed some houses she sent us online along with our own supplemental search, we headed out that evening to see what else was available.  Sometimes that's the best way to move on.

And lo!  We found this awesome foreclosure that was in need of some TLC, but just right for us.  Even better than the previous house, with a bigger yard, walk in pantry and quieter neighborhood (Seattle Hill, near Larimers Corner).  We checked it out again the next morning so we could see it in the daylight.  (Yes, at this point we had been dealing with house stuff for 4 days straight. Whew!)  After doing some checks (ie: the bank has no other offers and is desperate to get rid of it!) we put in an offer.

And that was 2 days ago.  Oh, the anticipation!