Sunday, January 31, 2010

Making a Kitchen from Scratch

This could possibly be every woman's dream opportunity (amongst MANY) and now that it's come my way - I'm feeling a little silenced and overwhelmed at the thought of creating a brand spankin new kitchen for our brand spankin new house. We went over yesterday to get measurements and check the place out.

These are some pics of what I had in mind....

Oh foolish foolish girl. These are completely out of our range and budget :// I was clearly dreaming when talking to one of the contractors bout my grand plans for a master SPA bathroom and a newly constructed kitchen. What a dummy. I'm the exact type of client these contractors want to because I get Very carried away and go from 0 to 200 within 3 seconds. My dreams fizzled once the hubs told me our budget. I really wish he shared these numbers with me before i made a complete fool of myself! Err looks like we won't be knocking down any walls or building any custom made islands - oh well.

That being said we still DO have to create a kitchen from scratch. The kitchen needs to be gutted, cabinets need to be completely redone and it's gotta be designed right. So this one chance I get to do it the way I want it - to do it on a budget - to do it right - to put YEARS AND YEARS of watching HGTV to practice --- is here. I think we can, I think we can:) This is our chance to do it right and I am up for the challenge!

I will be seriously studying what to do, how to do and when to do like it's my JOB. Hello IKEA? There's nothing wrong with IKEA - i love it there.

If u have any advice, suggestions, tips or DIY projects uve pulled off - i'd love to hear about it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Moment to Focus on my Little Man

With all the hulla bulla surrounding finalizing on a house, preparations for the work to be done and closing, I've gotten distracted here. I just want to take a moment to focus on my little adorable boy who in the last 2 weeks has hit such a growth spurt physically and cognitively!

Kavan now walks around the whole house like a little boy - not a little baby anymore! He now responds when we ask him animal sounds which is so exciting for US :) When we ask what a cow says, he says mmmmmm oo. When we ask what a lion does, he does the silly RAHRR i do with him that makes  him laugh. When we ask what a duckie says, he says kak kak (quack) :) When we ask what the monkey says - his favorite - he starts scratching under his arms and goes ah ah ah! like a little monkey! When I ask what the rooster says, he does if going to say cockadoodle doo! He is identifying all these sounds which makes me feel like all these months of just repeating them to him is paying off. I knew he was absorbing it but was always so eager to hear some feedback.

When I ask him to give me a kissie  - last week he was doing a puckered mwa mwa sound with his lips. The other day he saw me and the hubbigans kiss and he started doing his puckered kiss sound mwa mwa :) He Knows kisses by sound and sight. So now when I ask him to give mama kissie, he actually brings his little mouth to my lips and kisses me. It just MELTS my heart my little angel :)

He also looks at everything I ask him about. If i start asking him if he wants to play his little piano - he goes over to it and starts hitting the keys. When I say ok let's now sing and play together - he goes LA LA LA LA because usually when he plays or i hit the keys I sing la la la la la la. Speaking of LA LA LA - he knows all his favorite little books especially MOO BAA LA LA LA so much so that when I just pull the book out, he starts saying LA LA LA. 

He has grown so much right before our very eyes, it has been AMAZING to witness.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inspectors, Contractors, Lawyers, Oh My!

I'm starting to realize how much work the next 2 months is going to be! Searching for, buying and closing on a house has got to be one of the most stressful things we've ever been through. Since the hubster is busy at work during the day making money so we can eat :) - I don't want to bog him down too much with all he has to do. I should be able to handle this, right? Err... Don't answer that!

I've been contacting inspectors to come check the place out. Apparently there are all these RULES for getting things done from this point on. The inspection has to be completed within 7 days from yesterday and this has to be completed by then and that by bla bla bla. They already lost me so I'm just going to focus on one task at a time. The first inspector quoted me $674 for the inspection and $158 for an additional radon inspection - what the?! I had no idea how expensive this stuff was?! So now I'm frantically shopping around for inspectors and getting asked a bunch of questions I should know the answer to but need to look up like the heat in the house, the year it was built etc.

The contractors start by saying they want to see the place first and will give us an estimate within a week. We don't have a week people! I need answers yesterday! So hubs agreed to let them all come out on Saturday - let them see each other - "the competition" and all and we can just pick one who is going to give us the quickest  estimate and best price to get what we want done. I know these contractors are real guy GUYS but I really liked the ones who  said they will show me pictures of what they've done and referrals from homeowners they've worked with and even a chance to go check out some work they've done in homes - that's how much some owners loved them. See. that's what I'm talking bout - a I need a little personal touch, some visuals, a joke here or there - now those are the people that are going to get my business! 

The attorneys aren't calling me back. I shouldn't complain - I know what the workload is like but jeez I have so much else waiting on the line here.

So. Much. Work. Crossing my fingers it doesn't put me into early labor! :/

Images courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Drumroll Please...................

WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!! yipppeeee!!

We were waiting alllll day for a call from our realtor for news, any news. All the bids for the house went in by Noon. We got a tip from the sellers' agent saying if they could come up jussssttt a bit - the sellers reallly like their closing date. Of course she can't reveal anything - but I was surprised at not revealing ANYTHING like even the number of offers. I wasn't asking for the prices but just an idea of just HOW many offers were on the place. SO we just bit down hard and said - asking price, we will offer asking price - well just a tad more. We were even prepared to go 15K OVER asking price - the hubster loved it that much.

We couldn't sit inside and just wait so we head out to distract ourselves and went to Home Depot of all places to check out kitchen cabinets and countertops and bathroom tiles and vanity cases too. Pure torture because if we didn't get it, it was kinda just getting our hopes up. WELL -- low and behold -- the realtor calls us AT HOME DEPOT and lets us know our wait has finally paid off and we got the property! We were even told that there were multiple offers for higher than asking price but they went with us because they liked how fast we want to close - little do they know our reasoning takes into account another little chicken nugget on the way to being born - we've got to get in there ASAP.

We are so happy and excited, we just can't believe it's true. Things like this don't really work out for us so we kept coming up with backup plans and options and settling on this house or that house etc. It took a few hours to sink in but I kept asking the Hubs if he was happy and he really is and so am I. I'm actually over the moon that we don't have to househunt ANY MORE! the idea of our weekends just put into packing, planning, rennovating and moving sounds like a dream to me at this point. I know it's going to be hard tho. We have alot of work to do in the house and considering that we are paying asking price, it's cut into how much we can actually get done now - things may have to wait - which is fine! I just feel like a kid so anxious and excited to get in there - our first real home and make it our own :)

Here is a pic of the front and back of the house for ur viewing pleasure :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Step Closer.....

OK we are both admittedly getting super nervous bout the housing situation! We keep exploring our backup options and alternatives around the baby's due date (May 12 - but expected earlier!!). My hubby's new job starts April 19th - which feels great to finally have some date set in stone here. I feel like we have all these pieces we are juggling at the moment and slowly but surely they can be put in place.

There are 3 main options as we see it:

  1. Push for the home we have an offer on now, let's call it  "WR" (for a price that's out of our range - doable - but going to be REALLY tough) and a closing by April 15 and move before baby comes and hubby starting the new job April 19 and I deliver in a CT hospital.
  2. Hold off on moving now and rent an apt and bid on a short sale or foreclosure (which take super long for banks to accept the offer apparently) in the meantime and see what happens... - not so crazy bout this option
  3. Move AFTER baby comes with hubby having a start date of June 1 (push it out as far as we can) and I deliver the baby in NY
Number 2 is not ideal and kinda risky with a newborn on the way. We are most comfortable with number 1 but what if it doesnt happen. I guess our backup is Number 3 - which isnt ideal b/c moving with a newborn is insane but the flipside of it is that I keep my amazing OB and still have our pediatician out here which i would keep for Kavan and the new baby and I know the hospital here in NY and am happy with it.

So as it stands we have one offer on WR with an acceptance but nothing signed because the finances of the situation downright SUCK  and we are scared to live on bread and water for a few years and well in this economy, it's probably not the smartest thing to do.

This past weekend was another one of those 9 hours in the car omg I want to poke my eyes out househunting days. We did fall in love with another  house - let's call it "WP". It's a bit cheaper and needs work, but has great potential and amazing schools. We made an offer right then and there before we even got back into the car to trek home. We have made countless offers on homes thus far and have lost so many so I've learned  to not fall in love with anything or get too attached. Problem: we both love this house:// and will be upset to see it slip away. We have been waiting anxiously by the phone all day!!! We get a call from our realtor around 10pm tonight saying there have been multiplllllleee offers on the house (no she wont tell us how many or what the numbers are - darnit) and the sellers are accepting ur BEST offer until Noon tomorrow and will make a decision then. So what do we do? highball it? and risk not getting a deal? Lowball it and risk losing it? How much do we really love it? This is just not right!!! So we gave it our best shot (just $5K shy of asking price) and are praying and hoping and probably not sleeping tonight until we hear.....


Image courtesy of Google Images

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Househunting Up to our Ears!

The frustrations of househunting are really starting to get to us!! We live in NY and are hunting for a home in CT - technically our first home - so it's a special move you see. After having searched for 4 months so far and being thissssssss close - something always inevitably pops up and snatches our dream home right out of our hands :( The drive to CT akes 2 hours each way and consists of one grouchy and hungry preggo (me) wrestling an overactive toddler in the backseat who refuses the carseat every minute of the way. I know I know - he should be in the carseat - but it is next to impossible. He literally cries in it until he throws up everything he has eaten that day so I resort to holding onto him tightly. Don't judge me! Poor kid - I'm convinced that the 4 months of looking with 8-10 hours in the car every trip has traumatized him. He's spent a third of his first year in that darn car!

To make matters more complicated - our search criteria must accomodate a severely obese and very lazy basset hound (ok, totally my fault I'll admit) who refuses to do stairs so the house has to have easy access for her to go in and out to go to the bathroom. I won't even let myself fall in love when anything that requires lifting her up a flight of deck stairs b/c let me tell u - carrying a 75 pound dog when pregnant or when holding a newborn or a toddler clasped to my leg outside is NOT FUN!

The status to date is that we are in the throes of negotiating terms of a contract on a house at this very moment - like, literally. We have an accepted offer and are just waiting for agreement on a closing date! While this isn't the house of our dreammms, it's darn near perfect in meeting all our requirements, especially the dog "issue" (See: obese basset above). I just heard this morning that since we haven't technically signed anything yet and the sellers moving out TODAY - they are holding an open house on the place this weekend?! Arghhhh!

We are so close, so very close - I can taste it!! The thought of being done with this makes me want to jump up and down and dance like a crazy person! :) Heck, I might just do that anyway to let off some steam :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

My First Post!

Wow - kinda nervous bout writing my official first post! I've been so shy about starting my very own personal (non-private) blog but the day has come. This is it. Why the heck not?! I've got lots to say, tons to share and plenty to learn!

Hello and Welcome to my Blog!

I am a former attorney turned stay at home mommy of a beautiful little 14 month old boy (Kavan) - my first little lion. I am a bit over 6 months pregnant with little lion #2 who while I know is still in utero, I'm already going to start referring to as a little lion because by the way this pregnancy has been going, he has earned the name the little rascal!

I already have a blog that I keep private. It has served as an online scrapbook for our personal family moments and milestones. I tend to vent alot on that so I figured it not best it be public! I wanted to start this blog to be able to share my thoughts, frustrations and joys about being a new mommy. I've become addicted to so many mommy blogs out there, I figure I'd join the ranks!

About me: I recently left a great job as an attorney to stay at home with my little lion and give him 150% of his mommy. It's been an adventure so far - and we have never had a dull moment!. It's been humbling, challenging, rewarding and invigorating. I love to watch him grow and teach him so many things and actually see the learning take place. I work hard at taking care of my family, focusing on loving details, connecting with nature, being as earth friendly as possible (baby steps!), making our warm and cozy home, staying humble, honoring family and tradition, cooking fresh healthy meals, keeping active mentally and physically, reading great books, indulging in crafts when I can and learning as much as I can to constantly enrich our lives!

About our Family: We are originally from a North Indian (Punjabi) background and are of the Sikh religion but have been raised and brought up in America. I haven't seen many blogs out there by Indian mommies and I'm wondering why. It could be a societal thing - don't share ur secrets or put urself out there - but I would love to learn more from any and every culture and in turn share ours with others. We are Sikh by religion and we keep our hair - meaning, we don't cut it. The men tie their hair in turbans and the ladies usually have it in a bun because it's just a pain to be out flowing around! Here is a picture of our little family at Kavan's first birthday party. :)

About my Lions: Every Sikh male's middle name is "Singh" which means lion - hence my little lions :) Lion in Punjabi is "Sher". That was random I know. :) So anyway - my boys will be keeping their hair and wearing little turbans (just cloth covering their hair) when young to eventually blossom into young men who will hopefully look like their daddy with a proper turban and beard. With the little lion in my life and another little boy on the way, I want to share with others our lives and the way we live so I can in turn learn from them and become a better mommy for the strong little lions I plan on raising. I hope this isn't the core of their identity for I'd want them to be well rounded individuals full of life, love, compassion, personality, selflessness and humility. In my family, being a Sikh is just one part of who we are - not all we are. I just want my boys to honor and respect their heritage and be proud of their culture, religion and who and what they came from. It is so very important.

(To learn more about the Sikh religion - please visit this website.)

I plan on educating those who come in our path about our religion during my lions' school years. I know this will take incredible courage and strength on all our parts and I'm hoping we can be surrounded by only positivity and tolerance! With all the racial animosity and stereotypes of people floating around there, I want to help bring my boys up in a world where we accept people for who they are, not what they are or where they come from -- a world where we don't judge or hate others for being true to themselves. I have faith in people and hope for the best over the course of their childhood. I want my sons to grow up with great pride for who they are and the traditions they come from, self confidence in their abilities and a strong sense of identity as individuals aside from their religion.

I'd love to have more support out there from women who deal with daily challenges of themselves or their children being "different" as individuals. I am looking to lean on other women to help me learn how to make the best home possible for my little lions.

I'd love feedback and encourage comments. Email me at anytime! I'd love to hear from you!