Mal Smiles

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Buying a House Isn't as Fun as It Looks on TV & PCS News

I mentioned yesterday that our little world has been a little crazy the last couple weeks. Now let me explain.

First, we are moving back to Virginia!
We struggled to decide between South Carolina and Virginia back in September and ultimately decided South Carolina was a better location for our family. DLW put Fort Jackson first and was willing to sign a contract extension to be stationed there. Orders were delayed (as always) and DLW called his branch manager to check on the status of things. After talking to the branch manager, it turns out Fort Jackson was never an option for us at DLW's new rank and job. That would have been nice to know a few months ago... Fortunately the manager was understanding and was able to get us orders to Fort Lee, VA- our second choice. We are EXTREMELY lucky because he could have just given us whatever was leftover. After that conversation we had a "Request For Orders" online but no official paper orders. So then we waited some more.

In the meantime, I started looking at houses in Richmond and contacted a realtor. After a couple weeks of looking, a great house popped up in our ideal neighborhood. A house hunting trip across the country with a toddler was the last thing I wanted to do so we had a trusted friend go look at the house with our realtor. We decided to put in an offer and see what happened. We were one of five offers on the home but ended up winning! We were excited and overwhelmed and a little worried that we didn't have paper orders yet.
Fast forward a week to the home inspection. Our home inspector was very thorough and found multiple spots of rotten siding, a couple leaks, fungus in the crawl space, and several other smaller problems. I started crying as soon as I read the inspection report and knew this house wasn't going to work. We were already having to pay for a fence, a refrigerator, and new carpet; there was no way we were buying a house that needed additional work. We asked the sellers to fix the problems listed on the home inspection and then we waited.

Fast forward another week and the sellers pretty much told us to "dream on." They refused to fix the siding and only offered a credit towards three panels. They claimed there was no fungus in the crawl space and would not make the other small repairs we requested. We were giving them full asking price with no contingencies or closing costs but they wouldn't install a latch on a window?! Come on.

Thankfully our realtor has been incredibly understanding and helpful. We signed the paperwork to cancel the contract and have our deposit refunded on Sunday. However, we are STILL waiting for the sellers to sign the paperwork. We will breathe easy when everything is signed and the money is back in our account.

This home buying stuff isn't quite with Chip and Jo Jo make it out to be on HGTV.

Luckily, friends of mine posted their rental property on Facebook last week. I quickly sent her a message to give her a heads up that we might be interested if our house fell through. We have since been in contact with them and will be renting in Midlothian, VA for at least the first year. We are incredibly fortunate to have found a great rental situation that allows us to move as a family at the end of the month. The house is move-in ready and has everything we need to get settled in VA.

It's been a crazy couple weeks of ups and down. Renting for a year allows us to move together, let DLW get on his feet as an officer, and take a second look at buying a house next spring. We will also now have time (and money) to take a mini family vacation in Florida between houses. We are looking forward to wrapping up our Colorado chapter in the next few weeks and moving on to the next!

Monday, May 2, 2016

HALO Give One, Get One GIVEAWAY for you and a friend

Eeek!  have so much to tell you guys about the craziness that has been going on in our world but that will have to wait for another day.

Today I am popping in to share a great GIVEAWAY opportunity from HALO. HALO SleepSacks are on my must-have list for new parents to make sure baby is sleeping safe and sound. If you're like me, I could never get the perfect swaddle or even come close. Thankfully I had the SleepSack Swaddle to make my life a little easier when Collins was born and will use a SleepSack Swaddle again with The Boy (who remains nameless).

Many parents find themselves trying numerous different swaddle products to find that right match for their baby.  The HALO SleepSack Swaddle’s unique 3 way swaddle feature matches baby’s sleep style right from the start– swaddle arms in, arms out or hands-to-face.  As the swaddle adjusts to baby’s sleep style, baby is more likely to sleep well (meaning Mom and Dad can sleep too!). The HALO SleepSack Swaddle is also the #1 choice by hospitals for safer infant sleep.

Collins always wanted her hands free and I was happy to have that option with the SleepSack Swaddle. Remember this little chunky thing? Excuse me while I go cry into my coffee.
This Mother’s Day, HALO wants to bring you and a friend the gift of safe sleep for your infant. Enter the HALO Mother’s Day “Get One, Give One” giveaway on Facebook for a chance to win a HALO Bassinest LUXE for you and an additional one for your friend!
The giveaway will close on May 6 at midnight.  The HALO Bassinest is the only bassinet that moves to bring baby to you. Your little one can sleep as close as you want – even right next to you in bed – and still sleep safely in his own separate space.  The more the HALO Bassinest moves the less you have to – which makes taking care of baby at night a lot easier.

If you win and need a friend to split the prize with, you know where to find me.

BUT that's not all! I have a special GIVEAWAY for you today, too! Enter below to win a HALO SleepSack or SleepSack Swaddle for you AND a friend! This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only and will close Sunday, May 8th at midnight. Enter my giveaway here, enter the Bassinest giveaway on Facebook, and share with friends! Good luck!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 22 Weeks

22 weeks today! Well, my doctor will tell you that I'm 22 weeks and 5 days but let's just stick with my calculations.

Earlier this month we went for the official anatomy ultrasound where Baby #2 was measuring about two weeks behind my doctor's calculated due date. According to my doctor, he measured small all over his body which is better than being small in just one part. She feels it is most likely a dating issue (duh, I've been saying that all along) and that I don't make big babies. I will have a growth check ultrasound early next month to make sure he's growing as he should. My doctor also ran blood tests to check for infection and I had already completed the early chromosomal screenings. I'm pretty sure he's growing because I have definitely gotten bigger the last few weeks.

"Brother" is the size of a guinea pig, a large water bottle, or a corn on the cob.

Gender: Still a boy! I was still holding out a little hope for another girl but I have finally accepted the fact I am having a boy. Remember when I was super upset Collins was a girl? I had those same feelings when I found out we were having a boy. Hormones are tricky.
Weight gain: 10lbs. Eek. This brings me to the weight I was when I got pregnant with Collie. Weight gain, even for the right reasons, is hard.

Stretch marks: None but I need to be better about slathering coconut oil on my tummy to keep it that way.

Movement: Yeah! I started feeling little movements around 19 weeks- the same time I felt them with Collie. It started with little nudges or what felt like bubbles popping and now I know when he's kicking. I'm just waiting for Collins to feel her brother kick her while she's nursing. I'm sure she will be very confused.

How I’m feeling: Great! I have had some killer round ligament pains during OTF lately but I'm battling through. Round ligament stretching feels like being stabbed with the end of a wooden spoon between the hips- not fun when all you want to do is run.

Miss anything? Being able to push myself at the gym. Every day is different; some days I can run as fast as I could pre-pregnancy and other days I have to walk because of round ligament pains.

Sleep: Collins is FINALLY sleeping through the night as of last week. I'm not sure how long this will last but I am loving the longer nights and extra Zzzzs.

Food: I haven't craved or hated any foods lately but I did ask to go to Five Guys this week. I think I might be entering the "cheeseburger phase" of pregnancy- DLW's favorite. I could eat Greek salads every day and be perfectly happy. These Cap'n Crunch chicken tenders from The Pioneer Woman were a must-make, too.
Workouts: I am still keeping with my typical Bodypump and OTF schedule. I stopped wearing my heart rate monitor at OTF because it was uncomfortable. I think has helped me slow down and listen to my body. I paid too much attention to the screen and I would get frustrated with myself when I had to slow down. It's nice to"unplug" and just work as hard as I can on that particular day.
Clothes: My non-maternity leggings are getting tiiiiight and giving me a serious muffin top. I need to order more maternity leggings to make it through the next 18 weeks. My maternity shirts are super baggy so I haven't busted those out yet but will soon. I want to hit the Motherhood Maternity outlets next week to grab some shorts for summer.

Baby items: Melissa from Black River Boutique was sweet enough to send over a blanket for The Boy. I love that it's boyish without being overly masculine. His crib is grey so this blanket is a perfect match. Check out her Etsy shop and Facebook page for blankets, teethers, bibs and more.
Best moment this week: DLW felt The Boy move this week which was neat for him. He was always freaked out when Collie moved but I think he's more excited about it this time around.

Looking forward to: We have SO MUCH going on in the coming weeks and some big things I haven't shared with you. We only have about a month left in Colorado so we are trying to fill our days with activities and friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Our 4th Anniversary Weekend

DLW and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last week. Our anniversary has taken a backseat the last couple years (deployment and a little baby) so it was nice to celebrate for the entire weekend.

We started our celebration on Thursday night (our actual anniversary) with dinner ALONE at a greek restaurant. We haven't had a dinner date without Collie in far too long. We were honestly planning on taking Collie to Chick-fil-A until my friend Xochitl offered to come over and babysit.
We continued the celebrations Friday with a family trip to the zoo. The zoo here in Colorado Springs is fantastic and we wanted to go one more time before we move.
Collins was not a fan of any animals that moved. She loves horses on TV, in books, and on clothes but a real life mini horse was too much to handle.
However, she sure loves her daddy. And running.
We stayed home Saturday before doing it up big at Sunday brunch at The Broadmoor hotel.
The Broadmoor is a fancy pants historic hotel that offers an extravagant Sunday brunch. We knew we had to experience it once before we left Colorado.
The view isn't so bad either...
It was fun to dress up, pretend to be on vacation, and eat too much food.
It feels like we've been married longer than four years with everything we've accomplished but also like our wedding was just yesterday. This next year is going to bring many more changes and I look forward to tackling them with DLW.
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