Tuesday, April 23, 2013

30th Birthday Trip

Sorry for the radio silence for the past couple weeks. We've been busy with the move and getting things set up at the new place. It's going about as well as can be expected -- that is, slowly. As long as I get something done every day, I count it as a success.

Last weekend was a big one -- a trip to Disneyland to celebrate my 30th birthday, and our first night away from Lucas! My mom flew down to visit and stay with the baby, and we drove up to Anaheim on Friday morning and were home by mid-afternoon on Saturday. My mom and Lucas did great together, although my mom didn't get much sleep on Friday. I missed Lucas quite a bit, but mostly just when I saw a crying baby at Disneyland.

Disneyland is one of my most favorite places ever! Poor Brandon mostly tolerates it, but he has fun too. I grew up in a family that "did" Disneyland about once a year -- hardcore, 8+ hour days of intense Disney-ing, no breaks. Brandon definitely would not enjoy that, so we do a more relaxed version now. We got into the park around mid-morning on Friday and grabbed some breakfast before heading over to check out Cars Land, which is new since we were here in 2010. It looks great! Although our first day didn't get off to a great start because Radiator Springs Racers, the new "big ride," shut down when we were only a few people away from getting on the ride. We wasted another hour in line hoping it would start up again, but eventually bailed and went over to Toy Story Midway Mania. It's such a fun ride, but the line was 45 minutes long. This meant that by the time we got on a ride, I'd already been in the park for three hours! Unacceptable. We managed one more ride (California Screamin', an awesome roller coaster) before heading back to the hotel so I could pump (the glamorous part of traveling without baby as a still-nursing mom!).

In the afternoon we went to Disneyland so I could see the new Star Tours, which was great! We went on it twice, and "traveled" to the Wookiee planet and the Death Star the first time, and to Hoth and Gunga the second time. I definitely approve of the updates, the new videos were very cool. Then Brandon kicked my butt at Buzz Lightyear, and we went on a tour of most of my favorites in the park, although Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain were both closed while we were there.

We left the park for dinner around 7pm, and had a wonderful early birthday dinner at an outdoor bar/bistro in Downtown Disney. I had a glass of sparkling wine to commemorate the occasion. We planned to go back into California Adventure after dinner, but when we checked out the lines to the rides we wanted to go on still, we realized how crazy busy the park gets on Friday nights! So we headed back to the hotel (we stayed at Paradise Pier, the most casual/cheapest of the Disneyland Resort hotels), and enjoyed nine glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep.

In the morning we got to sneak into Disneyland an hour early as hotel guests, so I got to go on Peter Pan and beat Brandon in a rematch at Buzz Lightyear before the park opened for real. Once 9am rolled around, we rushed back to Radiator Springs Racers before the line got too long. What a cool ride! Definitely a new favorite. We also tried out the new "flying tire" ride (fun, but way too long/slow-loading a line for the payoff), and the new Little Mermaid ride (I love that it's continuous loading! They should re-do all the Fantasyland rides to be this way), as well as Tower of Terror, which is hilarious to ride with Brandon because he gets so nervous. After a nice leisurely lunch and some shopping, we headed back to San Diego to see our baby. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to my twenties!

For my actual birthday on Friday, Brandon is going to bring home sushi from our favorite place back in Point Loma and we'll have some wine and birthday cake as well. Then the focus turns back to our Biggest Boy, who will be turning one in just over two weeks!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eleven Months!

In the home stretch for babyhood. I'm starting to feel pretty bittersweet about the whole thing, frankly, but am trying to soak up all the baby moments we have left before they turn into kid moments.

Lucas has been having a great month! He gets lots of comments on how tall and skinny he is looking these days (although he's still got a little baby chub left thank goodness). He's starting to stand on his own for 10-20 seconds at a time, and is up to turbo speeds with his little walker.

I'm also prepared to officially proclaim his first word as "Mama." He's been making the sound for ages but it's become clear that he uses for me specifically. No other words yet, although I suspect "nana" (banana) may be our second word. He uses it fairly often around breakfast time. Definitely his dad's son! (Brandon was notorious for being banana-obsessed as a kid; he still eats one every day when we have them).

He still loves playing the "chase me" game, as well as new games like "let's put things on top of each other's heads" and "I'm going to fling myself from your arms, catch me Mama okay?"

Sleep training has stalled; hoping to start more consistently once we move to the new house and can significantly darken his room during the day. I'm fine with it, not in any rush to "fix" him. Although I'm sure his grandma who is taking care of him overnight for the first time next weekend wishes I was in a little more hurry to get him sleeping like a big kid.

Life has been pretty boring for Lucas the past few weeks as we try to get everything packed and ready to go for the move. Looking forward to getting settled in the new place!

Here are a couple photos, since most of the good ones were already posted on Facebook throughout the month.

Discovering the toilet paper roll, a great moment.

Baby's first Easter basket was a hit!

Practicing to be a big, walking boy soon.

He still has his adorable snuggly baby moments.

Eleven months old today!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Today we are homeowners.

Definitely not a word I thought we'd be able to use to describe ourselves six months ago! It was quite a surprise to me when Brandon proved (using MATH) back in January that with the right house, we could buy a home in San Diego and our monthly mortgage payment would be basically the same as what we pay now in rent (actually, we'll be paying about $10 less). It blew my mind! Hooray for low interest rates.

So today we closed escrow on our new home, [address redacted because this is the internet and I am not a moron]. It's so cute! It's a flip property, meaning one that was purchased as a foreclosure and completely fixed up to sell for profit. The seller did a great job, adding three big rooms on the back of a formerly bitty little house (our large guest room, living room, and master bedroom.) The house is nearly 1700 square feet, four bedrooms, two bathrooms. There's a small backyard (used to be bigger before they added all the new rooms but plenty big enough for Lucas to roam around), as well as a wide cement side yard that we'll use as a patio. There's a quirky two-sided fireplace dividing the kitchen and dining room/piano room, and a beautiful exposed wood ceiling in the living room. An extremely exciting bonus for me is the his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom -- mine is a walk-in! This is big news for the kind of houses we were looking at and could afford. My clothes are barely going to fill half of it -- for now, haha. Also, the seller put in extra-tall counters in the kitchen and master bathroom for whatever reason, which is perfect for us. Sorry, future short house guests (Mom). And the windows are all HUGE, which I love!

We're also about five houses away from a public elementary school that looks decent enough for Lucas to attend, if we decide to go that route. The middle school and high school it feeds into are atrocious, but we figure we have ten years to find a solution to that problem. The neighborhood is okay, not much better or worse than where we live now. There is a police station quite close, and we'll be getting a security system. Hey, if we could afford Poway, we would have bought a house in Poway. This will work perfectly for us right now, and we're very pleased with it.

The house is such a blessing! It's a pretty tough market for buyers in San Diego right now. We must have looked at nearly 30 houses, and put in seven offers before one worked out. It wasn't our first choice house, to be honest, but looking at the process now, it seems clear to us that this is the perfect house. I've been telling people, the process was so easy from the time we found this house, it's like God put a blinking red arrow over the top of it - "This one! This one!" We even got the house for $5k under the asking price, when we were offering up to $10k over for other houses and still getting outbid.

The movers are coming next Friday, and we're headed out to buy a few necessary items (refrigerator, window coverings, etc.) this weekend. I've been doing my best to pack while Brandon is at work, challenging when you have a 10-month-old pulling out everything from the box that you manage to put in it. But we're getting there! I can't wait to start getting settled in the new place.

Photos to come, of course! Brandon may have some I can add in here later.