Wednesday, March 28, 2007

28 weeks and counting

We are officially into our third trimester! Yaaaay! However, I am starting to experience some aches and pains that I didn't have before. Since last week, I've been having quite a bit of lower back pain. I think it's due to my expanding belly and the stretching of my abdominal and pelvic muscles. These muscles no longer support my back as well as they used to. I've been taking Tylenol, (which does not help at all) warm baths, and wearing my belly/back brace for support. I have another 8-9 weeks left of work, and I just want to make it to the end.

I chose some paint samples for the babies room last week. I am thinking of a neutral/sandy tone to go with the dark cherry color of the furniture. Our crib and dresser should be arriving in mid-April. I've been researching glider chairs, and I am going to check out a couple more today.

Last week was my 28th birthday. My parents sent us newborn and 3 month t-shirts, 2 bath towels with hoods, and baby socks. We also recieved a hand made quilt from my mom's sister Sue. The quilt is amazing- with designs inprinted from the baby cards that my mom had when she was born. Along the pink border is an inscription that reads "To the most precious baby in the whole world. You are loved. From your great aunt Sue." The quilt is very sturdy and will be able to withstand washings and other forms of use.

This is what is going on with the baby developmentally:
Your baby's head is in proportion with body now. He appears more like a newborn each and every day! Fat continues to accumulate under the skin -- only now preparing for entering the *real world*. Your baby's brain can control primitive breathing and body temperatures. His eyes can move in their sockets. Soon he will be able to follow a blinking light. Your baby is increasingly sensitive to changes in light, sound, taste, and smell! Various studies show that your baby may indicate preferences (or disdain) for particular tastes or odors at this stage. He is also moving from side to side, but probably still is head up. In the next few weeks, he will move to the head down birthing position. At times you may feel as if he is performing somersaults for a circus act! Her length is now approximately 15.2 inches (38.6cm) and weight is 2.54 pounds (1153gm)

At 18 weeks and 28 weeks. What will 38 weeks look like?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Enjoying our home, preparing for Christopher

It has been two weeks now since we moved into our new place. It feels so nice to be living in a place of our own and to not have the same worries as living in an apartment complex. Just before we moved from our apartment, we had our bikes stolen (they were double locked and inside a cage) and the constant noise level and destruction of common areas was just annoying. Plus the apartment complex management were just plain incompetent and rude.

We had our good friends Diego and Julie over for dinner tonight. Diego's daughter Vivian (she is almost 15) joined us as well. We made our favorite dinner of marinated chicken (using Italian dressing) placed on the grill, and seasoned vegetables (potatoes, yams, carrots, red onion seasoned with oregano, bit of salt and seasoning) baked in the oven. We also had a garden salad, corn bread, and for dessert brownies and vanilla ice cream. Alfonso and I really love marinating chicken and grilling it- it just tastes so flavorful. Next week we are going shopping for a little grill so that we can grill food and not have to use the common grill up the hill by the pool.

I have been doing some planning for the baby lately- I have most items registered at and Planning for the baby is a little overwhelming, so I am appreciate of any input and suggestions. I am trying to choose the most necessary items, but I really do not know what items are good and what items are not. I have been trying to read reviews, but some people give positive reviews of items and others give negative views. So, any helpful tips and suggestions are much appreciated. :)

We have our doctors appointment tomorrow. I will be fasting for 6 hrs and then taking a high sugary drink called Glucola. After drinking the Glucola, I need to have my blood drawn an hr later to see what my fasting blood glucose is. I will be in my 3rd trimester in two weeks, so soon I will be going to the doctors every two weeks and then every week for the last month.

We are starting to get excited, knowing that in just 3 months little Christopher will be here with us. He has been really active, and his strength is growing. I no longer feel gentle tapping but little thumpings. Sometimes when I watch tv, I will see my stomach move out of the corner of my eye. I believe that his head is still facing upwards and his feet and down near my bladder. Sometimes I have the sensation that he is sitting on my bladder and then I have to go to the bathroom frequently. Here is a picture of me taken earlier today. I am wearing a dress that I bought from the Gap, it's very light and comfortable. This week the temperature is in the 90's, so I have been trying to dress cooly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Our new home

I realize that it has been over a month since I last posted. Since we came back from MI/GA in early January, we started to look at houses. This time, we started to look at homes 30 minutes north of Los Angeles in a community called Santa Clarita. Santa Clarita is more of a family-friendly community with affordable housing, better schools, and less traffic and congestion than Los Angeles. Although driving to work would take 30 minutes without traffic each way, we weighed the benefits and chose to move to Santa Clarita.

Within our second week of house searching, we came across a home that we both really liked. By this time, we were working exclusively with one realtor who was recommended by a friend of ours. Also, his son works as a RN at the same hospital as us, so we had heard about him through word of mouth. We placed an offer on the house during the 3rd week of January and were expected to close February 21st.

Meanwhile, I had to move out of my apartment by January 28th (my current lease was ending) and I had to move everything into storage until we moved into our home. Alfonso had given 30 day notice on his apartment and had cancelled his utilities. We looked into hiring movers for our move-in day of February 25th. With one week left before move-in, we had everything ready.

Then we get a call from our realtor saying that the seller (who is a realtor herself) needed another two weeks on the home before we could move in. She currently had a tenant who needed more time before he moved out. We were upset since we had given notice to our apartment complex and had cancelled our utilites in advance. We were basically without a place to live after February 25th. We told our realtor this, and said he would tell the seller. Alfonso decided to check the MLS listings at work one night, and saw that our house had been put back on the market.

We started to get a bad feeling about the situation. We soon found out that the seller was trying to cancel escrow on the house. Our realtor reassured us that she couldn't cancel escrow, and the VP of our branch was involved in the situation. Our realtor reassured us that we would close February 21st, regardless of the seller. After several stressful days, (we were feeling pretty helpless at this point) we signed our final papers for the loan and waited for the bank to fund our loan. We officially closed on the house Thursday, February 22nd (a day late due to Monday being President's Day) and I picked up the keys Friday, February 23rd.

To this day, we believe that the seller was trying to get out of escrow due to a higher offer. We have heard several different stories from her- ranging from the tenant needed another two weeks before he moved (however, when I was opening the accounts for the utilities in early February, the operators were telling me that the power and water were going to be turned off on the 19th/20th of February and not two weeks later) or that she had another tenant that needed to occupy the house for only one month, so she didn't want to cancel the agreement with the other tenant.

Also, as part of our contingency, we had wanted the carpets cleaned prior to moving in. The seller did not agree to clean the carpets, so we made arrangements to have the carpets cleaned before we moved in. However, when I picked up the keys Friday evening, there was a note from the seller saying that she was willing to pay for the carpet cleaning and to give her a call. We later had her reimburse us for the cost of the cleaning, but we found it sort of strange.

Overall, the experience went well except for the last week of escrow. We didn't have any difficulties securing a loan and we were able to shop around and negotiate with various lenders. However, the other day I woke up from a bad dream- I dreamt that the seller was trying to get the house back!

Here are some photos of our new home:

Our home is three levels, with the garage, closet and entranceway on the bottom level. You go up a flight of stairs to the second level with the living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, full bath and utility closet. The third level has the Master bedroom and bath.

Attached garage

Side section off of garage for storage

Living Room

Dining room


Baby Christopher's room

Guest room

Our new front loading washer and dryer in the utility closet

Full size bathroom downstairs

We also have a little balcony off to the side of the living room. This little nook is where we are going to have our computer station.


Another flight of stairs to the master bedroom and bathroom

Our Bedroom

Master bathroom with two sinks!

Master bathroom with tub and shower

Now, nearly two weeks after moving in, we are very happy with our home. It feels so nice to be able to call a place home and to be proud owners. We now have all of our major appliances installed and running (washer, dryer and refrigerator) and we are slowly decorating the place. Our next big project is to get ready for the baby (I have another 14 weeks left until my due date) and we are planning on hosting a house warming party with our friends and co-workers (and family members for those who can join us) Saturday, April 14th. The baby shower will be in mid-May. :)