Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Whirlwind of a Week

Vivian is definitely getting bigger by the day!

This past week absolutely zoomed by, which was probably a good thing. Honestly, I can't remember what we did Monday-Wednesday. (I hate the mommy brain!) However, on Thursday, many things happened. Cindy came to clean our house in the morning. She does an amazing job, especially on the hardwood floors!! We learned her secret and will be applying it to our home in Tally!

Ms Lilli got groomed. She looks FAR better now!

Vivian had her first playdate! I used to work with Bindu at Cisco. Her little boy, Mathew, was 1 month and 1 day old. He is such a cutie with a very full head of dark hair. How come my kid doesn't have any hair?! Oh wait...daddy....

Vivian enjoyed spending some time in Mathew's bouncy seat, while Mathew slept and ate.

We also had a second showing on our house, which worked out quite well since we were planning on being out of the house anyway.

This brings us to the biggest news of the week! As of yesterday evening, WE ARE UNDER CONTRACT! Yes kiddies, it's true. After being on the market less than one month (this time around), we are under contract. The buyers were the 2nd showing from Thursday. I swear it was the hardwood floors! :) We are closing on April 30th. So, the freaking out has begun considering we don't have a house in Tally until July 15th.

The plan is to rent something here for 2 months (May and June) and then head to Pittsburgh for a week and drive down the eastern seaboard (DC, VA) before we arrive in Tallahassee...hopefully around the same time our stuff arrives.

We looked at several corporate hotels for long-term stay, which isn't really an option. Can you imagine 2 adults, a dog, and a baby staying in 600 sq ft for 2 months? If you answered yes, you probably could imagine yourself on some kind of reality TV show.'s nuts! We looked at a couple of apartment complexes today and found one that should work out. We also will need our temporary housing to be furnished, since the moving truck will be packing all of our belongings prior to closing on the house!

Oh..and did I mention that I'm taking classes this semester? We're closing during finals week. If we can survive this, we can survive anything!

And just because everyone complains I don't have enough pics of my are a few more! :)

Vivian with her lamb (Thanks Tiffany and John!!)

It's true...Vivian can sleep just about anywhere! :)

Hanging with Daddy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodbye Tallahassee....

We're finally back in Raleigh (ugh!). The week absolutely zoomed by and we were very productive, but I still didn't get everything done that I wanted to get done/see while I was there. Let me recap since my last post.

Of course, the weather was so nice that Ms Vivian got to wear her sundresses (finally!). No trip would survive without chewy monkey either! :)

On Wednesday, we met with a realtor who showed us two houses. The first house was um...well, horrible. The second house up in Summerbrooke was great and we really liked it, but it was available now and the owners would not hold it for us for another few months. We walked around campus that night. The weather was so beautiful, it was hard to stay inside at all.

On Thursday, we walked around campus again. The grounds are really beautiful.

Then, we drove around to look at a few more houses. We met with the owner of one house and we were sold! This house has really everything we want and need and is very close to campus. After that, we went to dinner with the FSU mommies, daddies, and babies. There are 6 of us (not everyone could attend) that have recently had babies or are still pregnant and due in the next few months. It's really nice to have an additional support network down in Tallahassee full of families who understand the additional stressors of being in a PhD program and being a mommy.

On Friday, I finally officially attended Colloquium. Good grief! I've been taking this class for two semesters now (via Skype) and it was sooooo nice to be physically in attendance (and meet everyone).

After Colloquium, we signed our lease!!! We absolutely love this house! 2100 sq ft, 3 bedrooms + an office for Chris, who will be working at home, and a screened-in porch. There is a large fenced-in yard for Lilli and a greenhouse so we can grow our own veggies and baby food! The hardwood floors are beautiful and the fireplace mantle was taken out of an old house in Chicago from the early 1900s. The owners are really sad to be moving, but are very happy that we will be taking good care of the house for them.

After we signed our lease, we headed to Ted's Montana Grill. Vivian had done such a great job at dinner the previous night with the mommies that we thought we had it made for dinner again. She was asleep when we got there. This wasn't the case shortly after we ordered. I had to change her wet diaper and then the scream started. She really needed to eat, so I went to the car to get her food. While Chris was eating his meal, Vivian decided it was the time to have a LARGE her Seminoles onesie! I could tell it was going to be a bad one, so we quickly left and headed for the hotel. Thankfully, I had the right mind to put down a cloth diaper IN her carseat for the ride home. This child had blown out her diaper! Her entire back (up to her neck) was covered in poo. It was a lovely experience! THIS is why you stay in an extended stay with a laundry on-site!

We headed home on Saturday and finally had to stop in Augusta. The drive was so freaking long. It took us 9 hours to go 1/2 our trip. The entire trip should only take 9 hours without stops. We drove through every small town in southern GA and then got STUCK in Atlanta traffic about 30 miles out, so we took another detour through eastern GA and finally stopped in Augusta.

We continued our lovely drive home (on the interstate system this time) to Raleigh on Sunday!

I'm happy that I'll be able to sleep in my OWN bed tonight, without having to listen to the interstate traffic or the noisy neighbours. I'm thankful I have my own pillows! I think Vivian will be happy that she's sleeping in her crib again, although she didn't mind sleeping on the floor at all. She still slept through the night.

It was a great trip and we're looking forward to heading back to Tally for another week in May! Perhaps we'll get to see another shuttle launch (or two) while we're in FL! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Monday's drive from Daytona Beach to Tallahassee via Jacksonville was BOOORING, but we finally arrived and got settled into our home (the StudioPlus) for the week. We drove around the area to get a bit acquainted.

On Tuesday, we headed to FSU's campus. The campus is really beautiful and quite large. I think we walked about a third of it. I should have worn sunscreen (ugh..for being pale) and my comfortable walking shoes.

The Stone Building, where I'll be spending the next several years, is beautiful and very modern looking.

In the afternoon, we drove around the Killearn area to look at several houses we had picked out via the Internet.

It was St. Patty's Day, so of course, Miss Vivian had to be sporting some green! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lighthouses and Liftoff

Sunday was a pretty amazing day. We left Jacksonville in the morning and drove down the Florida (Atlantic) coastline. The weather was in the high 70s/low 80s with a bit of humidity.

First stop: St. Augustine. We drove through the old historic area, which was really beautiful. We'd like to go back there sometime. We stopped at the lighthouse and had a picnic in the park. Vivian and I sat on a big girl swing for a little while. She didn't seem to mind it at all.

We drove through Daytona Beach -- land of NASCAR. It's Spring Break, but we didn't see too much excitement going on, thankfully! We had a mission for the day -- to get to Kennedy Space Center!

Second stop: Ponce Inlet. We stopped again to take pictures of the lighthouse.

We were trying to find an ideal spot to watch the shuttle launch. As we drove through Titusville, we saw cars lining the highway and people setting up chairs EVERYwhere. We stayed on the highway in our attempt to find a Publix to find something to eat for dinner. We never found the Publix; however, we did pass the Astronaut Hall of Fame. So, I made a U-turn and we headed into the Hall of Fame parking area. What better place to watch the shuttle liftoff than there!

The Astronaut Hall of Fame has a really large museum (and giftshop, of course) that covers all of the Apollo missions and shuttle missions. We walked around for a bit, before we staked out our bit of ground on the grass.

We were six miles from the actual site, which was as close as you could get. Across the river you could see one of the launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. Other than that, we weren't sure what we were looking at since it was so far away. We could watch the large TV screen with the on-goings of the shuttle (NASA TV) and listen to the communication between KSC, the astronauts in the shuttle, and JSC.

There were thousands of people there and it was a pretty amazing site. I guess you don't realize how many people come to watch the launches until you're actually there.

About 20 minutes before liftoff, Vivian decided she needed to have a blowout. So we quickly changed her. Ahh...the joys of having a baby! :)

About 2 minutes before liftoff, I got a bit weepy. It's an amazing thing to actually be there to watch a launch. I've only watched it on TV, which always makes me a bit weepy.

We were standing right in front of a NASA employee who was talking on his cell phone. He was telling this person the details of exactly what was going on, which was really helpful. We had no idea what to expect.

A few seconds before liftoff, there is this giant orange glow and then you see this amazing fireball in front of you lifting off from the pad. A few seconds later, you HEAR the sound. Honestly, it wasn't as loud as I expected. I'm actually grateful for that, since Vivian can still hear.

We stayed for a few minutes, until the shuttle became a bright dot in the horizon and then got the hell outta dodge.

Traffic was HORRRRRRRRRRIBLE getting out of there and Ms Vivian wasn't happy at all. We waited for a long time and finally left. We were stuck in traffic trying to get to Orlando, so we detoured onto I-95 thinking we could just take something back over and get onto I-75 to head to Tally. NOT THE CASE! We decided to stop in Daytona Beach (FAR away from Spring Breakers thanks!) and reassess the drive in the morning.

Apparently we'll be heading to JAX again on I-95 and then hanging a left on I-10 to get to Tallahassee. Can't wait to finally get there!!!! It's been a LONG time coming -- like over a year! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We survived an 11-hr car ride with a 3-month-old!

We left Raleigh around 10 am with a car packed to the ceiling. Well, not exactly, but definitely well packed. Vivian has more bags of clothes and baby-related items than Chris and I put together. We had to bring laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent for bottles and just about every outfit that she currently can wear.

Our first stop -- South of the Border. It's a tourist trap, but I've never stopped there before...and um, we won't be stopping there again. But, it worked for a diaper change and a nice stretch of the legs. We fed Vivian at the South Carolina welcome center.

Our next stop -- Tybee Island. Last time I was there, I wasn't able to photograph the lighthouse in actual daylight and Chris has never seen Savannah, so we decided to swing by the area. Little did we know it would be the detour that would take several hours. It is the weekend before St. Paddy's Day and apparently Savannah has a huge celebration. We got stuck in some traffic and then stuff in some additional traffic on the Island. But, Chris got to see the Budweiser clydesdales. That was pretty cool. We also had to change her poo diaper in a beach bathroom. Um...yeah...pretty icks. Not the poo, but the bathroom.

Vivian got to her experience her first look at the beach and I got to feel the sand in my toes. I'm going to LOVE living in FL!! I'm not someone who likes to sit out in the sun (have you seen my pale skin?), but I love walking on the beach and seeing the lighthouses. Vivian LOVED the beach. I think she liked the wind in her hair. She kept making her happy noise that she just started the other day. When we got back to the car, she kept telling monkey all about it.

Our next stop -- FL welcome center. It was closed by the time we got there, so I didn't get my freshly squeezed OJ (perhaps going home we'll get to it).

We finally pulled into Jacksonville for the night, found the PF Chang's (thanks Ivee!!!!) and a hotel. Vivian did great sleeping on the floor on her ultimate crib sheet. However, Chris and I slept on the world's crappiest bed. Yes, even worse than his "divot" mattress that he had when I first met him. No wonder I got sciatica! I blame the bed!

We're off to drive down the FL (Atlantic) coast today and we're hoping to see the shuttle launch tonight! If it gets scrubbed again, perhaps we'll head to Orlando for some mickey fun!

It's also no longer spring break, so I actually have homework to do this week. BOO. We'll be in Tally tomorrow night, so I can FINALLY see FSU! I'm really excited to meet everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy 3-Month Birthday

It's so hard to believe that Ms. Vivian is 3-months-old today. The time has gone by so quickly. Of course, the first month you are totally delirious and after that it's same ol' poo, different day (quite literally).

I had to buy Vivian a little gift today for her birthday. I think she likes it!

Vivian started wearing Size 2 diapers today. They look huge compared to the Size 1 and the newborn diapers. She's probably around 12 lbs, but it's hard to tell when you don't have an infant scale.

And of course, Vivian had a "splish-splash" tonight. She wasn't so happy in her mini hot tub, since she just had her "milks" and then we made her move all around. The picture we don't have is daddy covered in projectile milky spit-up.

She's been staying awake much longer during the day now and sleeping through the night, which is great. We're looking forward to watching her grow everyday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Day of Onesies

I seriously think Vivian went through 7 or 8 onesies today. I've never done so much laundry for one person -- ever. She spit-up several times today like usual, but we had a few projectile issues, a leaky pee issue, then a serious POO issue. After I bathed her in the sink (we do that for poo's..much easier than using 1000 wipes), I put her down on her towel..and then she peed all over it and herself. So, back in the sink for another "splish-splash," which she loves. She lounges in the bathroom sink like it's a mini hot tub and then looks in the mirror at the "mirror baby."

Vivian is growing everyday. It's funny to see older pictures to put things into perspective.

Vivian in her bouncy today.

Vivian in her bouncy chair, but taken when she was a few days old!

Vivian in her Bumbo today (notice a different onesie).

and Vivian in her Bumbo a few weeks ago.

As if my day wasn't exciting enough by the laundry fiasco, I also had a phone call from Centralized Showing. My heart races every time the phone rings waiting to hear that voice on the other end of the line tell me that an agent is coming to my house in the next 15 minutes. Luckily, it was an agent coming to preview the house (I had an hour's notice) and she didn't care that I was home.

By the end of the day, I was ready for Chris to come home. Vivian decided she wanted to talk to daddy too.

I should add that it's also Spring Break from FSU. I have to write a paper that's due on Sunday, take the dog to the vet for shots tomorrow, get a pedicure tomorrow (it's a feet are totally dried out..welcome to post-partum), go to the dentist on Wednesday, and get a haircut on Thursday.

Happy Spring Break to me!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Welcome to the Blog

Well, it's hard to believe in 3 days Vivian will be 3 months old. The time has flown by and there have been so many changes in her development. I decided to start a formal blog so Vivian can have a special memory of her early days and so everyone can get a chance to see her pictures. I have pictures on Facebook and on Picasa, but trying to manage both sites is getting a bit out of hand. We also keep a day-in-the-life Google document, but again having everything in one place would be much more convenient.

I'll try to add a little something each day, but I can't make any promises. Life is pretty busy right now (when hasn't it been over the last year). The house went on the market last week, so we're having to keep it spotless for the showings (we had our first one yesterday!). We're going to Tallahassee in a week-and-a-half to look for housing, drive around the area, and meet my professors and friends. It's hard to believe that so many of us have brand new babies or are pregnant. What a great network!

Yesterday, we went to the NC Zoo. Vivian slept through the first few exhibits until we woke her up for her "milks" and a diaper change. We had to change her on the brick outside of the restrooms. Who knew a public restroom would be so NASTY! Chris carried her in the Baby Bjorn for awhile but I think at this age, she was more interested in sucking her thumb and looking at her hands than looking at anything else.

She's a VERY photogenic baby and is really happy -- smiling all the time, including at strangers. I had to change her at Walmart and she just kept smiling at two grandmotherly women. It was really cute. I heard a lot of "Oh, bless her heart" statements. Yes, it's a southern thing! :)

We are very blessed to have Vivian. It's been a whirlwind adventure so far. We can't wait for the exciting changes later this year!!