Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're back...

in FL. We stayed an extra day in NC. I don't think any of us wanted to come back to FL. I kept telling Chris that we could just send the movers a house key and have them pack up everything and deliver it to the new house. I don't really have to be back here, except for a final exam for my one real class.

We drove straight through on the way home, which was another LONG day. Vivian start to melt down about an hour outside of town. I wasn't happy about coming back here either or being in the car any longer, but we made it.

Our trip was quite successful. We found a house, we found a preschool (Vivian will start there in August), and spent time with some friends. Unfortunately we weren't able to see everyone. We also ate out for every lunch and dinner successfully! Vivian did really well, considering we NEVER go out in FL. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we ate out at a restaurant here. There are only a couple of places I can eat here, so it's really not worth going out.

I haven't been able to go to classes this week. I'm sick with a nasty cold. Vivian is also sick and she isn't sleeping through the night, which means no one in the house is. We're heading to the ped in just a few minutes for her 15-month shots which I'm not sure they'll actually do. It sounds like it's croup again. Ahh..the barking seal! We just dealt with this crap 6 weeks ago.

Vivian became a totally different girl when we got back from NC. She ran all around our 300 sq ft hotel room in NC. Before we went up there she was mostly crawling. Now she's definitely walking all over the place! Her vocabulary seemed to explode too! 15 months seems to be a major milestone.

Some things she says: meow meow (for kitties), baby, Chex (rice chex), bottle (plastic water bottles are fascinating to her), choo choo (for any loud noise), all done, yummy yummy (when she's hungry), dog, hello, bye bye, hi, dada, teeth (loves to get her teeth brushed), cheese, socks, car, shoes, bubble, and poo-poo.

She's a pretty funny kid and still loves to read books. She waves at everyone. It's pretty amusing. She definitely got a lot of attention at the restaurants! Glad to see she's doing so well. Hopefully we'll get everyone healthy again soon. I'm tired of being sick!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Welcome Home!

We were originally going to come up in December to look for a house, but I'm glad that we waited until spring break to do it. Over the past several months, we've looked at hundreds (really -- no exaggeration there) of listings online. We've been working with an agent for the past couple of months. Each week it seemed like we had fewer and fewer choices. First off, not many houses in NC have fences (BOO). That narrowed down the choices a lot and we weren't really willing to negotiate with that.

When we arrived in NC on Thursday, we had 7 houses to view. We drove by several of them on Thursday night (Vivian wouldn't go to sleep until 4 am) and weeded a few more off the list because of the lots. They had "death" decks, which meant that they were built on stilts. "Deck has scenic view" means my kid is going to not have a backyard to play in, nor is the dog going to be safe while she is outside doing her business. Our favourite house -- the listing expired Friday morning. We were supposed to view it on Saturday afternoon. Doesn't make for a happy mommy!

There was another house that Chris really liked -- close to the YMCA, which I would definitely be frequenting again. There were tenants in the house who refused to leave during the showing. NOT A GOOD SIGN! So, we decided to give that house a thumbs down!

At the end of our real estate tour, we had two houses to choose from. Yes -- two!

House A was overpriced (Prestonwood Country Club), had a loft...NOT a bonus room (like the listing stated), and didn't have a fence. The back of the yard dropped off into a stream or creek. Not really a good option, but we could work with it.

House B was in the same neighbourhood I lived in when I first bought my house in NC. LOVED that neighbourhood and several Triangle Mommies live there! They even have a MMO (Mom's Morning Out) program! The yard is fenced (yeah!), there is a bonus room (yeah!), the lot isn't scary (yeah!), and there is plenty of room for our family (yeah!).

Our application on House B was accepted last night, so we're now looking at a move-in date of April 15th!!! We haven't worked out the logistics of exactly when we are moving, but we'll figure it out! :)

It has been reallllllllly nice to be back to NC. We've been able to see several friends in the few days that we've been here, including 3 1/2 month old twin girls (and their parents). I've been able to eat out for lunch and dinner. The options for gluten-free dining here are amazing! They're even better than a couple of years ago. We've been to PF Chang's (we currently drive 2 hours each way to eat there now), Carrabba's, Bonefish, Cafe Harmony (also a wonderful place to eat if you are vegan), and ZPizza (twice). We've also been to Harmony Farms, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and two Harris Teeters. the countdown begins. At least I have more than 2 weeks notice to move across states...unlike last year!

I am a....

Doctoral Candidate! I should have posted about this a couple of weeks ago, but I've been very busy working on other things (studying for a midterm, preparing for our visit to NC). Advancing to candidacy means that I've completed my coursework (at the end of this semester, technically) and have passed my comprehensive exams. The next step in completing the PhD is the dissertation! It's just a paper. Well, I have to remind myself that it's just a paper -- not the be all, end all paper of my career. Let me also point out that at Florida State, 75% of candidates NEVER finish. Yep, those odds aren't very good. However, I think I have a pretty good shot at finishing given that I started the program while living in another state, working (more than) full-time, getting Chris's house on the market, oh yes...and about 25 weeks pregnant! :) I'm the person who delivered a child during finals week.'s hoping that I'll have a PhD after my name in about a year or so.