29 June 2012
Less than a week after this house turned out to be a dud, another beautiful house popped up just around the corner. We went to inspect it on Monday night with Tom's dad, mum and step-dad. We put an offer in on Tuesday and yesterday found out that the owners had accepted our offer!!
I can't believe it.. This is the first house we have ever bought and the first time we had ever put an offer in. Lots of our friends had warned us that finding the right home takes months or even years of putting in offers and being knocked back.. So we were so incredibly happy (and a little in shock) to find out that our offer had been accepted and the house is (almost) ours!
I've been told that I can't celebrate just yet.. Our offer has been accepted and we have put a deposit down but until the conditions of the offer have been met and settlement occurs I can't technically call it ours, but I think that we can still pop open a little champagne (or orange juice in my case!)
I can't even begin to tell you how much of a dream come true this house is.. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would ever live in a house like this, let alone own it! I was lying in bed last night looking through the pictures of our new place (I'll post some more photos soon) and as I was lying there I could feel our little baby boy kicking in my tummy..
For the first time in a very, very long time I finally feel like life is going our way.. things are falling into place and all the stress and heartbreak of the last few years is finally starting to fade.
12 months ago we were living out of a suitcase at Tom's parents place, had just moved to a city where I didn't know a single person, were still in shock over the death of our baby girl, didn't have a cent to our names (in fact, we were in debt) and the only thing that I could think about was why I was not falling pregnant again and how I desperately longed for a little baby..
To be sitting (well, lying) here now, 28 weeks pregnant, which is over the risky stage and so close to having a healthy little baby in my arms and having just had our offer accepted on our dream house is an incredible feeling. I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels.
We may still be living with Tom's parents but it has allowed us to save up for this house and have help around while I have been on bed rest.. and it will all be so worth it.. In just a few months time we will be sitting in our new home with our darling little baby boy safely in my arms and our gorgeous little girl running around in a garden that is bigger than most of the apartments we have ever lived in!!
We are so, so close..
23 June 2012
If I had unlimited funds (and lived in a trendy apartment in New York) I would have bought the entire Hatch maternity collection and called it a day. Unfortunately though, I can't afford to spend $380 on a maternity dress, and come to think of it, I'm not sure I would even if I did have the money!
It was easy when I was pregnant with Sophie as it was the middle of summer and maxi-dresses had just come into fashion. I don't think I bought a single piece of maternity clothing the entire pregnancy.
This time though, it is the middle of winter and most of my long sleeve tops and jumpers stopped fitting me about 3 months ago so I have had to stock up on a few basic maternity pieces.
I really don't like maternity clothes.. I find them so ridiculously overpriced and most of them are so ugly. I had quite a hard time finding decent basics so I thought I would share a couple of my finds with you.. and of course, all of these websites deliver to your home!
'Trimester' black maternity leggings from Queen Bee.
One of the best things I have bought. They have loads of stretch around the waistband and sit comfortably under your belly. I literally live in these!
Maternity jeans from ASOS.
These are the best maternity jeans I have found at a decent price. They fit really well and come in a good range of colours/ styles.
Basic long sleeve maternity tops from Next Direct.
These are the cheapest maternity tops I have found.. and surprisingly, they best fitting ones. They are nice and long and 100% cotton.
I have found the rest of my maternity wardrobe from places like Cotton On, Sussan and other similar stores. I have found some really cheap over-sized t-shirts, jumpers and cardigans that all fit nicely over my bump.
Usually when buying clothes I am happy to spend more money to buy something that is hand-made or Australian-made or organic rather than something that is cheap and won't last, but with maternity clothes I just tried to find things that were cheap and comfortable as I will only be wearing them for a few months.
Let me know if you have any other good maternity finds...
22 June 2012
Despite my serious face in this photo, I am feeling pretty good at the moment!
Tomorrow I will be 28 weeks which is a huge milestone for us as the whole way through this pregnancy my obstetrician has said "you just need to get to 28 weeks" and here we are! We made it!
Of course, we are aiming for a healthy full term little boy but if I did go into labour early we have a good chance of everything turning out okay now that we have got to this point.
I was also told that from this point onwards I am allowed to start getting out of bed a bit.. but when I saw my obstetrician last week he told me I should wait till 32 weeks before I start getting out of bed.. The sneaky man, I'm sure he does that on purpose! (You know.. tells patients that they can get up from 28 weeks and then when they get there he says "Oh actually I meant 32 weeks". I wonder if I will get to 32 weeks and he will say 36 weeks?!)
Anyways.. we are on the home stretch now! Feeling very excited and a little more relaxed.
19 June 2012
I can remember when I fell pregnant with Grace in 2010 (and had already had two miscarriages and taken longer to fall pregnant than expected) I would complain to friends about how the age gap between Sophie and baby number 2 would be so big (it would have been three and a half years if Grace had survived).
It seems ridiculous to me now that I used to complain about the age gap back then -as the age gap between our kids will now be almost 5 years.
It's taken me a long time to come to terms with what the age gap will be between our kids, and it's not because I believe there is a 'right' age gap at all, I can see the benefits of having kids close together and far apart. The thing that has bothered me so much is that I had expected to have kids close together and the hard thing has been learning to adjust to the way that life turned out rather than how I expected it to be.
We started trying for another baby when Sophie was a 1 year old and sometimes I can't believe that here we are, all these years later still waiting for another (living) baby to arrive. It was so hard for me to watch everyone else go on to have baby number two and even baby number three while I was still desperately trying to fall pregnant or stay pregnant. I felt sorry for Sophie because she wanted a little brother or sister so badly and although I knew I was lucky to have her, I really felt like I was being left behind. Especially after I fell pregnant so easily with Sophie, it was such a shock when it became so, so difficult the second time around.
I know that there will be so many benefits to having such a big gap between kids.. Sophie will be able to help with so many things and because she will be at school full time next year I will have so much one-on-one time with the little man. I know that it will be great and I am not worried about the age gap anymore, but before I fell pregnant it was crazy how it use to eat me up inside. I sometimes laugh when people tell me how many kids they are going to have or what age-gap they plan on having because I have learnt that sometimes we just have no control over these things at all.
I guess at the end of the day you love the kids you end up with so much that you can't imagine life any other way.
*Photo of Sophie - who has had enough of photos!
18 June 2012
Just before we moved to Perth, Tom, Sophie and I lived in a house with a veggie patch in the garden and we had just got to the point where we were eating food from our own garden on a daily basis.
I loved the satisfaction I got from growing veggies at home and there was something so nice about walking out to the garden and pulling a lettuce from the dirt just moments before you are going to eat it.
As much as I can't wait to move into our own house so we have our own space again, I am really looking forward to growing our own veggies again. In the meantime, I am lucky that Tom's mum and step-mum both have amazing veggie patches and are regularly donating produce to our fridge!
13 June 2012
I have spent the last few days imagining my days spent here, on the veranda of our new house that overlooks the park across the street and the local kindergarten.. but it's not going to be I'm afraid.
An inspection of the property with Tom's dad (who has spent the last 30 years restoring old weatherboard houses) revealed that while the house certainly looks pretty, the current owners have done a really cheap and crummy job of renovating the property. They have obviously renovated to try and sell for a premium price but it has been done with no love or thought whatsoever.
The worst thing is that the entire house has been covered with fake plastic weatherboard and the old weatherboard underneath was just left raw and untreated. While it certainly looked pretty on the outside and provided a quick and cheap fix, it means that eventually that old weatherboard underneath will start to rot and we will be in for a huge bill to replace it in 5 years time.
This was just one of a very long list of things that had been done in a quick cover-up kind of way and would have caused us a lot of time and money to fix down the track. It is obviously really disappointing as it would have been the most perfect home for us (4 bedrooms, huge new kitchen, wooden floors, lots of light, a fireplace that worked, a studio out the back and across the road from the local school and a park.. Agh!) But at the end of the day we don't want to pay a premium price for a dodgy renovation that we will have to fix ourselves over the next few years.
I'm a little sad as I had spent the last few days imagining how every piece of our furniture will fit into the new house and all the things I could do to turn it onto a home, but I am confident that something else will pop up and that it will be even more perfect and hopefully, done with a little more love.
So the search goes on... but you know what? That's okay.
Sometimes I think that we will be so happy once we have this little baby that it won't matter where we live.. we could live in a cardboard box and we would be content just because our little boy arrived into the world safely. If we do happen to find the perfect house as well? Well, I think I will feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
07 June 2012
When we lived in Sydney the idea of buying a house was a fantasy.. one that we thought might become possible in 10 years time when I was back at work and Tom's salary had doubled (wishful thinking), but like many of our friends, Tom and I had accepted that buying a house was not an option for us and resigned ourselves to be (apartment) renters for the foreseeable future.
When we moved to Perth early last year we planed to stay with Tom's dad (in the most gorgeous house that Tom had grown up in- see here) for a few weeks while we looked for somewhere to rent. After a couple of weeks looking around it became clear to us that the amount we would be paying in rent would be pretty close to having a mortgage. We spoke to the bank and realised that a small mortgage was not out of our reach at all.
The only problem was that we didn't have a deposit saved, so we decided we would stay with Tom's dad for 6 months while we put away as much money as we possibly could. (Luckily, it's a seven bedroom house so there was plenty of room for us to settle in).
It was only a few months later that we found out that the next time I fell pregnant I would have to be on full bed rest. We had only just lost Grace shortly before moving to Perth and were already desperately trying to fall pregnant again. We decided that we would stay with Tom's dad (and Tom's little sister) until I fell pregnant and while I was on bed rest as we would need SO much help once I was sentenced to 6 months in bed!
The plan would work out quite well as we would spent the whole time saving a deposit and by the time I was due to give birth we would be more than ready to buy our first home. Living with Tom's dad was easy.. we get on really well and he lives in the most beautiful suburb with the local primary school across the road and a beautiful lake about 50m from the front door (the same primary school that Tom went to as a kid and the same park that Tom played in as a child). Because Tom had grown up in the same house he felt right at home, I made lots of friends in the local area and Sophie thought that going to the same school that her dad went to was the best thing ever.
What we did not plan on is the fact that 12 months later I would still be TRYING to fall pregnant. (and that our lives were literally 'on hold' until I did).
Of course, as you all know, I finally did fall pregnant and here I am 4 months through bed rest.
It means that we will have been living with Tom's dad for almost 2 years by the time we move out. (So much for a few weeks!!)
There are days when I long for our own house, our own space and to finally have all our stuff out of storage but I am lucky that I get on with Tom's parents so well and that we have had the opportunity to save some money and live with family while I am on bed rest (and require so much help). In a funny kind of way it worked out quite well. (Well, hopefully it will when, at the end of this year, we have a beautiful little baby boy and are settled in our own home.. I feel like Tom and I won't know ourselves anymore.. it will be like all the stress of the past few years will be lifted off our shoulders).
Yesterday, our dream house popped up in the suburb we have been looking at and at the right price. It's opposite a park, 5 minutes walk from the local primary school with wooden floor boards and lots of light. Plus there is a little studio out the back.. perfect for fulfilling my ultimate fantasy.. a sewing room! (See above.. isn't she pretty?!)
I called the bank straight away. Tom is telling me not to get my hopes up to high as it is the first house we have seriously considered and to be honest, the timing is not quite right (it would have to sit there empty until I have this baby) but...
It's pretty exciting none the less. For someone who has never lived in a house that was 'my own' (my parents could never afford to buy and we moved about 10 times in 15 years because we were in government housing) it's so exciting to be so close to finally living in a place that I can really call 'home'.
06 June 2012
I have to admit that I have been doing a bit of online shopping while on bed rest. The majority has been for the little man (and I plan to do a post about all the cute little things I have bought him soon) but every so often the postman arrives with something exciting for me.
The funny thing is that despite my online spending sprees (not really!) we are still saving much more money every week than what we used to just because I am on bed rest. It's amazing how a coffee with friends, a magazine, picking up lunch from the local bakery to eat at the playground etc. etc. all used to add up so quickly.
If you are trying to save money I can highly recommend locking yourself in your bedroom for 6 months!
Just don't bring your laptop!
Here are some of the things that I have bought in the past few weeks..
Dress from Gorman.
Burts Bees 'Mama Bee Belly Balm' from Adore Beauty.
Sandals from Topshop. (Yes, I know it's winter here.. but I could not resist!)
Jacket from Topshop.
05 June 2012
Ever since Sophie was old enough to talk (and maybe even before then) she has had very strong opinions about how she is going to dress.
The problem is that every morning has become an absolute struggle.. multiple outfit changes, tantrums, the entire contents of her wardrobe emptied across her bedroom floor and sometimes even after an hour of trying to get her dressed we are still no closer to getting her out the door.
While I am happy than my little girl has a strong sense of what she likes and does not like, I have no idea where this behaviour originated from.. I like nice clothes as much as the rest of us, but I usually throw on the first clean thing I find (which is usually jeans, a stripy top and my converse) and don't give it a second thought. I have no idea how she became so obsessed with clothes and how she looks and it does worry me a little.
A few nights ago she had a tantrum because her "pyjamas looked silly". I explained to her that it did not matter what her pyjamas looked like as she would be tucked up in her bed all night and the most important thing is that they are warm and cosy.. no-one cares what your pyjamas look like! But she was not convinced and that is what worries me.. how did this little girl learn to place so much value on how she looks? Is this something she will grow out of or is it the beginning of lifelong belief that our physical looks define our worth as a person (my gosh I hope not!)
I should add here that while we often tell Sophie that she looks lovely or how gorgeous she is (if you have a little girl it's impossible not too), but we have always been very careful not to emphasise it too much and we are always trying to encourage self-worth based on non-physical attributes, such as "we were very proud of how well you played with your friends today at the park, Well done!" or "I really love this painting you did at school today, Can you tell me more about it?" (I'm reading a book at the moment about adding open ended questions onto the end of a statement when praising children.. but that's a post for another time).
Aside from what ever worries I have about my daughter's sense of self-worth, it's really the stress of each morning that is becoming a problem. We have tried choosing an outfit together the night before, we have tried laying out 3 possible (weather appropriate) choices and asking her to choose one, we have tried everything short of putting locks on her wardrobe!
And on the days when she manages to choose an outfit and get dressed without any complaining, you can be assured that an hour later she will be found up in her room.. getting changed again! (And again at lunch time, and again before going to the park, and again before dinner.. No wonder Tom feels like he spends his whole life doing laundry!)
Last week at the ultrasound we got this amazing picture of the little man inside my belly.
It always blows me away what technology can do these days.
I remember we got the same '3D' ultrasound when I was pregnant with Sophie (back then you had to go to a special '3D ultrasound' place) and they could not get a proper picture because she was upside-down and facing backwards..
We ended up with a pretty scary looking picture of a baby with a very squashed face and I was quite sad afterwards because I was worried that we were going to have a very funny lookin' baby. (How silly is that!)
Of course, she came out as the sweetest and most perfect little thing, so I know now not to pay too much attention to how these ultrasounds can sometimes look a little scary.. it's still so exciting to get a glimpse of life in-utero!
01 June 2012
It always amazes me how life can be so good one day and feel so hopeless the next or vice-versa.
I had a really bad week this week. I was anxiously waiting for an ultrasound that we had yesterday and had been experiencing some really bad tightenings/ contractions and a terrible lower back ache.. I was so worried that I was going into labour and it really could not have been at a worse time because at 24 weeks gestation most babies who are born (and survive) are left with terrible brain damage and are usually blind and deaf.
(It's actually amazing how a baby born at 24 weeks has so little chance of survival and by 28 weeks most babies not only survive but grow up without any long term side effects/ health problems.. Every single day matters at this point).
But luckily, our ultrasound yesterday showed a beautiful healthy little boy and a cervix that is still very long and closed.. no sign of any problems at all!
I can't tell you what relief it was to hear them say "long and closed". It's funny how my whole world now revolves around the length of my cervix!
So.. just a few more weeks and we will be over the scary part! And after my ultrasound yesterday, we are feeling very confident that we will get there..
3 more weeks!! Come on!
*This is a photo of a shadow that came into my bedroom yesterday through my square sunlight?! How cool is that!