Sunday, August 18, 2013

Second Birthday Party

Yesterday Evelyn and Julian had a joint birthday party.  They are 3 days apart and have many of the same friends so it just made sense to combine forces.  Little did I know when I agreed to do this, Ann is an amazing party planner.  To go with our zoo theme, she had wooden signs up that said, "aquarium" by the baby pool, "rainforest" by the water table, "monkey house" by the playground, etc.  

Her sister, who teaches science experiments to kids for a living was in town and made adorable oceans in a bottle with the kids and let them touch starfish and sea sponges.  

Maic and I made animal tails to pin onto the kids (and some of the adults), and we hung some of Evelyn's stuffed animals in the trees.  

We had brats and burgers and mac and cheese, sweet and salty snacks, salads, and some amazing animal cupcakes.  And everyone who said they were going to come came!  Always struggling to understand the boundaries between work and friendship, we decided to invite anyone who has babysat for Evelyn and their families.  That included several people from the church without having to invite the entire congregation.  I think it was a good line to draw.  

Evelyn was very into the concept of presents, and Julian couldn't have cared less.  I think she would have opened all of his if he let her.  She got a lot of great presents, and among them was this tea party set from Ann, which she supplemented with some amazing handmade felt cookies and cupcakes and embroidered napkins.  They are so beautiful and she loves playing with the whole set already!  I didn't get pictures of all of the presents she got, but I did take a few.  

Erin (and Casey) made this great magnetic bear and clothing/accessory set for both her and Julian
She got a new hedgehog family to go in her beautiful hand-me-down dollhouse
And Maic and I had a great time making a board book for Julian that is about Shakespeare as a child.  Maic wrote and illustrated the book, and I constructed it into a board book by using a different board book, cardstock paper, and duct tape.  It turned out so cool! I apparently never got a finished picture of it, but I will look into doing that!

Evelyn was not sure of the candles.  She is definitely a "rule-follower" and she was very disappointed that we would put something "hot" by her.  While Julian was clapping and excited, Evelyn was going, "Hot, Mommy.  Hot."  You can see the disapproval in her face.  She did not blow out her candles, but she did eat the frosting with her hands.

Overall it was just an amazing day.  I was completely exhausted by the end of it and got rather grumpy around 8:30.  As much as I'm aware that I need to take it easy at 9 months pregnant, it is very hard for me to stay sitting when there is stuff to be done and people to converse with, so I was up-down-up-down all day.  I am definitely sore today! 

I just cannot express how blessed we are to have found Julian and his family.  They have come into our lives at such a perfect time and we look forward to so many more amazing birthdays together.  Happy TWO, you two!  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Accepted Offer; a Timeline

Hi Friends, 

Over a week ago we received an accepted offer on a house here in Ripon.  It's an adorable home-- barn red with a sweet, fairly private but not-yet-fenced-in backyard and a living room full of real wood paneling and a fireplace.  It looks like a little cabin.  There's work to be done, but it's the fun kind of work: painting and sanding and redecorating instead of the hard, super expensive kind of work like roofing and replacing major appliances.  Eventually it will need some of that, but we're hopeful that we can do a big project each year and bring the house up in adorableness and value. 

I dream about it all the time, but I do so with a small bit of caution.  Nothing is certain until the closing day, and the mortgage loan we're getting is a strict one-- one that requires proper working order for most if not all aspects of the house because as first time buyers with a small down payment we are at a high risk for default; they don't want anything expensive to pop up right after we buy it.  So we are waiting for the appraiser to come and tell us (and the seller) to fix some outlets and some drips and some paint and bring everything up to code.  Any 1936 house has flaws. 

I don't want to post many pictures of it until it's *ours,* but I promise that I will someday, especially after the shag carpeting has gracefully wandered out to the curb.  I confess, we will be getting rid of the Packers mailbox.  It's not that I don't like the Packers.  It's just, well... I like plain mailboxes.  

"So, Joanna, I noticed you were 34 weeks pregnant.  Does that have any effect on you purchasing and moving into a house in a month?"

Why, what an interesting question.  Actually, I've been amazed by the amount of people who have told me lately that they bought their first home/a home while pregnant.  Even our good friends Ann and Ben moved several states over in the last month of pregnancy.  I think we can do this.  And we have a TON of offers for help (all of them will be accepted!) from church members and community members and family members to the extent that they can from so many miles away.  

Here's the timeline:

Now: here I am, just waiting.  

The next few weeks: Packing, sorting, taking stuff to the thrift store, cleaning

August 20th: Evelyn turns two! 

August 27th: Our baby nephew is coming earth-side! (This has nothing to do with our move... but we can't wait!) 

September  4th: Closing date. 

As soon as we close: Ripping up carpet, sanding floors.  Hoping to find a couple helpers for this. 

September 14th: Baby is due

October 1st: Lease is up on our rental house, must be fully moved in to new house.  

There is this weird thing happening in my mind where I almost want the baby to come late (not so late that I need medical intervention, but just...not early).  I never thought I'd have that wish.  But he will come when he comes, and I am certain that everything will fall into place.  

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