Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hunting Houses

When my husband and I moved back to Orlando last summer, we knew that we were back for good and really wanted to put down some roots. Unfortunately, the timing of the move coupled with my husband starting out with a non-permenant position meant renting for a while was the only thing that made sense. That said we spent a lot of time stalking Zillow looking at houses.

Fast forward about 6 months. We have both settled into great permanent positions. We are pregnant and through the first trimester. We have about 6 months left on our lease. And housing prices are starting to go up slowly. It is time to start really looking at purchasing a home.

We started our search with a real estate agent. She was really great and set up some searches based on our desired location and other things we were looking for in a house. In addition to the house, we wanted to be close or close-ish to work, family and other places we frequent. I also needed a neighborhood where I would feel safe running with a stroller in the dark. We also began examining the schools in the areas we liked, and slowly our geographic search got even smaller.

After looking at what was really on the market and not just what was showing up on Zillow, we were a bit disappointed. First there were far fewer houses on the market than it appeared. Second, many of the houses needed more work than we wanted to do before they would be move in ready. While I am not really against renovations, I would rather spend my time with our new baby than ripping out a kitchen. So we felt like we were back at square one.

In the area we were looking, most of the land had been developed, but there were a couple of builders still working on new houses in the area. We had spoken with one right after we moved down, but had kind of written off the idea of building. After looking at what was on the market, we figured we would take one more look at building and go from there. One saturday morning we headed to the model to take a look at ask some questions. It was just supposed to be a short trip...famous last words. We spent several hours there on Saturday and even longer on Sunday. By the end of the weekend we were under contract for our very own new house.

We are a couple of months out from that weekend and I am still super excited about the house. It is everything we wanted and we got to choose the things that were important to us.

I think we may be a little nuts, because baby will be about 10 weeks old when we move, but I can't wait to be in our very own home. This is also why we won't have a nursery right away. We plan on the baby sleeping in our room for a while anyway.

Any tips for moving with a little one? Have you ever built a house? What is the best thing about moving to a new home?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baby Update - 31 Weeks

Baby bump is getting big
Baby Marron and I have now made it to 31 weeks. There is a part of me that feels like this time has flown by and there is a part of me that feels like it has been forever since I got that first positive test back in November. I do feel like time has picked up these past few weeks. Life has been crazy and I have been ridiculously tired, hence my lack of recent posts.

Right now the baby is about the size of a pineapple. It is between 15.2 and 16.9 inches long and weighs between 2.5 and 3.8 pounds (source). My best guess is that this baby is on the higher end of those measurements. Even though my weight gain has been right were my doctor wanted it, I have been measuring big for weeks now. So big that we had an additional ultrasound to check on baby's size. It was in the 58th percentile, so a little big, but not too bad.

Over the past few weeks we also had a 3D ultrasound and got a sneak peak at what this little one may look like. It is amazing how much detail they can pick up on. At the time of the ultrasound, the baby was resting it's head on the placenta and had one foot right up next to it's head. It doesn't look very comfortable to me, but baby slept through the whole thing, so it must not be too uncomfortable. 

I can't wait to met this little one
We are still staying strong on waiting to find out baby's gender. After going back and forth for a while, we decided we might as well wait. It is driving some of our family members crazy, which I actually find slightly amusing. Everyone has been guessing what they think the baby will be. Our 4 year-old niece was worried that we were going to have a baby kangaroo, but I assured her that it would be a boy or girl baby and not a kangaroo baby.

I am still feeling pretty good. I am starting to get more and more uncomfortable, and some days are better than others. Too much sitting, standing or laying and I get really achy, so I try and move around a lot. Prenatal yoga has also been a lifesaver. My hormones are causing me to feel more and more wacky. This is compounded when I am tired, and it doesn't take much for me to get overtired. There were a few times in the past week or so where I would go from laughing hysterically to crying at pretty much nothing. It makes me feel a bit crazy.

We are slowly starting to get ready for the baby to come. Some of the items from the baby shower have been put together. We are also taking some classes on birth, infant care and breastfeeding from our hospital. I am trying to figure out what we really have to get done and what can wait.

I can't believe there are only about 9 weeks left until I get to meet this little one. Excitement and anxiety often go hand in hand these days.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

St. Augustine Babymoon

Last weekend my husband and I headed to St. Augustine for our babymoon. I actually really don't like the term and do not think that a babymoon is necessary by any stretch of the imagination. That said, it has been a crazy year and the last time we got a chance to get away was in Las Vegas almost a year ago. It was time for a few days to disconnect and get a way from reality.

We left Orlando Saturday afternoon after I wrapped up some work. After a quick lunch in Daytona, we got to our bed and breakfast in St. Augustine beach. It was raining and I was tired so we took a quick nap. Then we headed down to the beach which looked like this.

The beach looked really mean.
After the beach we went to the historic district to walk around and grab some dinner. The historic district is filled with shops and cafes and other fun things. At points it is a little touristy, but there is also a lot of history and we enjoy visiting. Saturday night we had dinner at the Columbia restaurant. The food was delicious and the service was great. I should have taken some pictures of the food, but I forgot. After dinner we walked around for a bit and picked up a some treats to take back to the hotel. Between the lightning and receiving several weather service alerts, we decided to head back to the hotel.

Time to stop walking around in the lightening
Sunday started with a delicious breakfast at the B&B and a walk on the beach. The sun was finally starting to peak out from behind all the clouds and it wasn't raining. 

Things had calmed down a bit.

Then we went back to the historic district for mass at the cathedral. Mass at the cathedral is always beautiful and we had a good priest. We grabbed a quick lunch after church and then headed back to the hotel. The water was chilly, so I only went in a little bit, but my husband went in much further. I am such a wuss. It was a beautiful day to sit on the beach and just relax. The sand didn't scorch your feet and it was warm, but you didn't feel like you were baking. We also spent some time watching the surfers. I would really like to learn how to surf.

It was too cold to go any further
That evening we went back into town for dinner at Casa Maya. This is a cozy little restaurant in what used to be an old house. After dinner, we walked along the waterfront and the grounds of the fort. It was a beautiful night and so fun to see all the boats in the harbor.

Bridge of Lions
The fort
Cannon chair
Monday started off with a walk along the beach. The sun was shining and the waves had calmed down a ton since Saturday. 

The beach looked much more friendly
We then headed into town and grabbed lunch at Ned's Southside Kitchen. This place is great because it is diner, but the food is awesome and there is a ton of variety. After lunch we toured the campus of Flagler college. The main part of the college is the Ponce de Leon hotel built by Henry Flagler in the 1880s. The building is beautiful and it is very cool how well things have been preserved.

The Flagler College grounds.
Not your average college cafeteria.

After the tour we headed home and back to reality. At the end of the weekend we were refreshed and relaxed. It was a fun, relaxing and much needed getaway. All last week I was looking for the beach outside my front door, but no such luck there.

It had been about 3 years since we had visited St. Augustine and it was nice to go back. We had gotten engaged there in 2008, so it will always be a special place for us.

What is your favorite Florida destination? Did you take a babymoon?