Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Owners!

Bret and I have always looked forward to buying our first home, but we have been especially eager since living in this apartment. It isn't bad, but there are a lot of smells and sounds (neighbors) and sights (carpets) that we are eager to be done with. However, we figured we would need to rent for at least one more year before we were ready to get our own place.

While Bret's parents were here we started asking Bret's dad real estate questions. There had already been multiple people suggest that we look into buying sooner rather than later, but it wasn't until Jay, a real estate appraiser, gave us some valuable information and advice, that we started seriously considering looking for a home in Temple. 

We did our homework. We learned a lot about different loan options and asked a lot of questions about the real estate market. The knowledge we gained made us realize that home ownership was really a possibility and Jay and my Grandpa Wood (a realtor) gave us the confidence to move forward. 

And things did move forward... crazy fast! In just a two week span we got pre-approved for a loan, selected a realtor, went house hunting, made an offer and signed a contract! My week has included the home inspection and pest inspection, collecting documents for the mortgage company, and trying to select a home insurance provider. (Meanwhile, Bret has been making decisions about health, dental, and life insurance, 401Ks, etc for work. Real life is coming on fast!)

Would you like a sneak peek into the home that, if everything goes well, will be OURS on July 8th? Welcome!

 This house is at the end of a cul de sac in a great neighborhood. The floors and carpets are all brand new and the home is in really good shape (confirmed by the inspector this morning). The yard isn't quite as big as it looks in the picture above, but it is way larger than we would have expected, plus there is an awesome, clean, wired for electricity shed out back that I'm scheming up a fabulous use for.

We were able to haggle down the price a considerable amount and also arranged for the seller to pay closing costs and leave their fridge, washer, and dryer. We feel incredibly blessed and can't imagine things playing out any better than they did. We had a super realtor and Bret and I have truly had so much fun making these decisions together.

Baby Bobble Head - 7 Month Molly

Month 6 cruised by without many good pictures. I'm more likely to grab my phone and snap a crappy, blurry picture because I can text it to family... if I want to use the nice camera that usually means going to the other room to pull it out, then uploading the picture, then emailing it... so we've ended up with a lot of useless camera pics that I don't know how to get onto the computer. 

Here are a few I took with the real camera one day when I was trying to keep her entertained with her toothbrush. She got chompin' alright!... on the wrong side!

Here are some highlights of 7 Month Molly:

* She loves being outside. We go on a lot of walks - it helps with our sanity.
* She does this funny bobble head thing. She shakes her head "no" to everything... or just gives us a blank stare.
* She wants to crawl and can motor her way around really well on her belly. She pulls herself into the quad and rocks back and forth... then dives forward onto her tummy. Coach dad is helping her figure out how to move her hands forward while keeping her hips in flexion. It will happen soon. (YIKES!)
* Still just the two bottom teeth, but we think those top ones might be on their way.
* She still doesn't babble much - occasionally she will, but usually she just squaks. It isn't the most pleasant sound, especially at her preferred volume: high.
* SQUIRMY. Diaper changing is the domestic equivalent of steer wrestling.
* She loves tub time. It usually involves eating her rubber duck, trying to climb out of the baby tub, or playing the part of Shamoo.
* She likes playing with her toys and jumping (really high) in her jumperoo. She can play by herself for longer spurts of time... except now that she's on the go we are constantly having to swoop in and prevent her from licking the kitchen floor or pulling her out from under the couch. Weird kid.

We love this girl. She wears us out. Seriously. But we can't get enough of her. This phase is so fun and we love that she is getting so smart and so interactive. If only we could find her "chill out" switch every once and a while! 

Doctor Bret

This post is overdue, but incase you haven't heard...

We've got a DOCTOR in the house!

Bret graduated with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy on May 11th. He also found out that week that he passed the PT Board Exam with flying colors. I am so proud of him! It was that same week that he accepted a great job with Scott and White as an outpatient physical therapist in Temple, TX. 
Bam Bam Bam... he's movin' on!

Here are a few pictures of graduation and the awards ceremony held the night before. 
I know if Bret were the one writing this post he would leave the following details out entirely, and when he sees them he will probably protest, telling me that the honors he received weren't that big a deal. They are a big deal. Bret's professors and classmates all think he rocks. Who wouldn't?!

Bret was recognized for his good grades, for his clinical excellence, but the award that was the most awesome was the "Golden Ram Award" which was presented to Bret as "the student who best exemplifies all of the professional qualities embodied within the profession of Physical Therapy encompassing overall academic and clinical achievement and student leadership. 
I was a pretty proud wife.

Adeeb, Luis, Bret, Brandt  - some of Bret's closest classmates

Me and Bret at the Awards Ceremony the night before graduation

Although graduation is a super exciting milestone and occasion, let's be honest... it isn't always as fun while you're sitting through it. The speaker was good, but its the thousands of names, handshakes, and diploma-hand-offs that get a little tedious. But lucky you... you get to see the highlights-only version!

Entering the arena - that's bret dead center

Chatting with classmates while others file in

Lauren and Bret

Our buddy Dan walking the stage

Bret being "hooded"!




shake your booty
Receiving his diploma!
Jay and Millie surprised a week or two before graduation by telling us they were going to fly out to see us! It was really great to have them there. I think they were pretty proud of their son... the awesome student, incredible dad, the charming, kind, happy guy that is doing fantastic things with his life.

And if you haven't gathered already, I'm really proud of Bret too! He is my very best friend and I hope he knows how much I look up to him (not just in height!).

Did you notice that Molly didn't look at the camera for a single picture? Bummer - that would have been an awesome family shot! Oh well, it was a rough day for this little one.

Congratulations handsome man! We are so proud of you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

6 Month Molly

Well folks, its true. Miss Molly is half a stinkin' year old. How did that happen? She is so BIG!

Here are some things that best characterize Molly at 6 months:

Squirmy: Molly's new nickname is the SquirmWorm because this child truly cannot sit still. I know, I know - you are rolling your eyes saying, "Cami, babies don't hold still." But seriously. Come spend and hour with my baby. I dare you. She is adorable and sweet and perfect but you WILL understand me. Yesterday we skyped with Bret's parents. I felt so validated when after 30 minutes of watching Molly try to eat the computer keys and grab my hair and twist around and kick her feet and... (whew)... reach for a toy and eat her burp cloth Millie said, "Wow, she is squirmy, isn't she?!" Yes. Sigh.

* Teeth: She finally has two! The first one came in nearly a month ago but the second one, although really close to the surface, took weeks to finally cut through. The symptoms? LONG long nights. Sometimes she'd wake up three times and could easily cry for an hour. Nursing seemed to be the only real solution, and although I tried not to create a bad habit, when you've just been woken by a screaming child for the second time that night, either extreme exhaustion or severe sympathy will take over. She is finally starting to sleep 9-10 hours again, and though I wish it were 12, I am so grateful for this improvement!

* Slobber: Always. Everywhere.

* Eating: Molly loves eating solids! We feed her oatmeal or rice cereal in the morning and then a vegetable in the evening. She spat out the peas the first time I tried to feed them to her, but other than that she has never refused a new veggie (and she was okay with peas a few weeks down the road). I will start feeding her some fruits soon. This week a friend and I are going to try our hand at making some homemade baby food together that we can store in the freezer. I'm pretty excited.

The other "eating" update is that at her 6 month doctor's appointment the pediatrician was concerned about her low weight. (She is 14 lbs and 26.5 inches.) I was starting to wonder if Molly was really getting enough breastmilk, but this appointment made me realize that she probably is not. She suggested we start giving Molly a formula bottle after nursing and let her drink until she is full. I don't mind doing this, but holy cow - formula is expensive! I would rather keep nursing her, but I guess we'll just see how things go. She seems more content and happy since we started feeding her more.

* Sitting: She can now sit up all by herself for minutes at a time. She has great  balance! Occasionally she topples over, but she still has decent control on the way down. It has been fun to have new ways to play with her and to watch her try to figure things out from an upright position.

* Entertainment: My mom sent her a "Jumperoo" playset for her half-birthday that she can bounce and turn around in to play with different interactive toys. IT IS A LIFESAVER. She will actually stay occupied for 15 - sometimes even 20 minutes at a time. THANK YOU! She also likes when we lay her on a blanket underneath the glass coffee table and put a couple toys on top. She is thoroughly amused!

* Babbling: Molly is finally starting to be more vocal - usually when she is by herself or when we aren't paying a lot of attention to her. Blowing raspberries is her favorite new trick and sometimes she can even get a spit bubble coming out of each corner of her mouth. (I've tried it. I can't figure it out. Give it a shot... I know you're curious now!)