Thursday, June 8, 2017

The lot has been cleared!

So it was hard to try and get before photos, but below kind of gives you an idea of how thick the brush was.  There were a few large trees that had to come down as well, but we tried to save what we could that wouldn't interfere with our septic.  The grading and septic of our lot has been a major stress factor.  Our lot came with a septic easement attached to the neighbors property.  There has been several items that caused issues but the main one was just that dealing with the neighbor has been very awkward and hard.  He was upset that we had to cut down many of his trees to be able to install the septic field in the future and there seems to always be hidden costs that keep popping up. For instance we most recently just discovered a gas line that will need to be moved and of course these things just keep adding up.

We finally got the lot cleared and had a silt fence installed this past week.  We were about to begin the basement excavation when another huge hurdle was made aware.  There is a current old abandoned foundation that was built on the property and will need to be demolished (more $ of course)  We knew about that, but what we didn't realize was that due to setbacks and being restricted by the septic field of the house and the drop off in the back of the lot, we are forced to put the house in the existing cavity of the old foundation.  That is fine for the basement portion of the house, but unfortunately the garage needs to be raised up to the first floor level and it is going to cost close to $12,000 extra what we were planning for the excavation portion of the build.  So there goes a huge portion of our budget.  Basically our entire contingency that we will need to try and save in other places.  Not that we can ever make up that much but at least try and save a few thousand or so in other places.  We are meeting our graders out there again this weekend to try and come up with the most affordable solution, but unfortunately none of the options are very cheap.

Our main hope is to make it through the foundation and framing stage and then the worst part will be behind us and we really feel we can manage well from that point on.  The foundation will probably be the most stressful of all since it is the most important that it is done right. We do really like our graders though and trust them to do a good job.  We found a good reputable concrete company to pour the basement walls and concrete footers as well.  Hopefully we can make it through this without too many issues and will have our forever home.  And pray that our inspections will go well!

Below is a picture of the lot before it was cleared.  I will take pictures of the cleared portion this weekend:

We moved...Again!

So I just realized it has been about a year and a half since I last posted.  It would take me way too long to try and recap everything that has happened since then but I will try and touch base on the major things.  Adeline is now almost 2 years old!  Up until about 12 months she remained a wonderful baby.  She still is not bad, just not super laid back like she used to be.  She is pretty stubborn and likes things her way!  She also desperately wants to be able to do everything the older kids can.  Kaitlyn graduated the 1st grade and did really well.  Her test scores for reading were in the 99% and her math was 92% (of other kids in the county and state.)  Brayden and Allie both started and finished preschool at a new school near our house. Brayden will start kindergarten in the fall.  I can't believe it!  They both enjoyed school and both were very different than Kaitlyn.  Kaitlyn was always such a teachers pet and rule follower.  Brayden apparently does his own thing and talks a lot more to his friends even when he is probably not supposed to.  I observe him in Primary at church as well and I joke that he seems to be the worst kid in there!  He just wont sit still or pay attention.  So we may have more challenges with him in kindergarten.  Allie is still my most difficult child.  She is either super sweet and loving or very angry and throwing major tantrums.  It's either one extreme or the other.  Her teachers told me that she is a drama queen.  For instance one day she fell on the playground and hurt herself (not badly).  Just a bump.  Anyway, her teacher asked her after a little while if she was going to be ok and she said "NO! I'll never be ok EVER again!!"  Oh goodness!  It's so funny how all of them have such individual personalities.

So in major news, we are building a new house. Yes I realize we just moved into a new house  from my last few posts but a variety of reasons made me want to move again.  Our old house was in Indian Land.  While we were very happy with the schools, I was not thrilled about the distance our house was to the schools.  The elementary school was not far, about 5 miles, but the middle and High school can take about 30 minutes to get to and the bus routes can take over an hour.  When we bought we were mostly focused on elementary so it wasn't such a huge deal, but as time went on, the county passed a new school bond to build a new high school.  Most all of the growth of Indian Land is in the north but unfortunately land is also much more expensive the closer to Charlotte you got.  Our house was on the border of both Pineville and Fort Mill.  I could hear Nation's Fords's football games from my house, but we had to travel 30 minutes one way.  So we waited and waited to hear where the new school would be and come to find out it was almost 7 miles further than the current high school.  And it was still going to be the only high school!  There were several other reasons as well, but that kind of put me over the edge.  We realized that we just are not good neighborhood people.  We hate having to have a perfect yard and we hate not being able to even a plant a tree in our yard without permission.  I think in the 18 months we lived in our house we got at least 8 citations for certain things such as weeds, bare spots in yard, etc.  The house itself was fine and worked for our family but once we moved in, I realized there was no storage!  Not even an attic.  The entire upstairs did not even have a linen closet.  We had no place to store towels, sheets, or board games.  That drove me crazy as well, b/c I like to have a place for all that kind of stuff.  Well one day Justin got an email about a lot that had popped up on the market in Fort Mill.  We made an offer within 2 days on the market and it was accepted and we closed on the lot last November.  It was perfect for us, (at least we hoped).  It was 1.8 acres on a wooded lot that bordered the Sugar Creek in a quiet established neighborhood on a cul-de-sac with NO HOA!  I fell in love immediately.  We could have chickens, the kids could run and explore the huge wooded lot!  It was perfect and what we felt a really good price compared to other comparable lots in Fort Mill that were not near as nice.  We sat on the lot for about 6 months before we finally decided we were ready to build.  We listed our Indian Land house on the market and it sold within 2 days with 3 full price offers!  It was amazing!

However, at that time we thought we were building a house with a contractor.   After buying the land we got several different quotes from various builders and contractors that were all WAY over our budget.  We knew a friend from church who was a contractor and got a quote from him and ended up deciding to go with him.  Unfortunately the house price once all the final numbers came in was still out of our budget.  At that point we were devastated and had to tell our contractor that we were so sorry, but we just couldn't financially continue on with the house.  Which brings us to now...We are building the house ourselves!  I am acting as the general contractor!  It is going to be horrible and super stressful and time consuming but it was the only way we could still build our house and we were already homeless since our house had sold!  So we are now living with my mom who opened her house up to us again and we will be here for the next 9 months.  It definitely has it's challenges, but we are hopeful that one difficult year of our life will be well worth it in the long run.

So I set out to get quotes and had a new found appreciation for our former contractor and the time involved in trying to obtain them all!  It took my months just to gather all my quotes and put them together.  I had to seek out my own subcontractors, and the hardest part was finding the loan!  I must have called 40 different banks and credit unions before I finally happened upon this small bank in Rock Hill that was our saving grace to allow us to be owner builders without a contractor!  I designed and drew the house myself and then paid to have it engineered and stamped.  We filed for permits and closed on our loan today!  We currently have 9 months to build the house before our loan expires!  Pray for us that it happens!  I can't even being to explain how stressful this whole situation is already and will be but I'm hoping and praying that we can do it!  We're already in way to deep to back out now! lol!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Christmas 2015

We had a good Christmas as our family of 6.  Since we moved from our old neighborhood, we had to try and find a new Santa to see that we didn't have to pay for.  We first went to Cabela's since it is right by the house and it was one of the worst Santa's we had ever seen.  A man looking to be in his late 40's with black hair and a short black beard!  We had to tell the kids that was just one of Santa's helpers and that we were going to go find the real Santa later.  So later that day we went to Black Lion and that Santa was amazing!  We will be going there from now on!  We spent Christmas Eve at our house and my mom and brother came over to watch the kids open up one present and we played a couple games.  After the kids went to bed, we set up for Christmas morning.  Christmas day the kids all woke up and we went downstairs to see what Santa brought.  They all had a great day.  After Christmas morning at our house we went over to my mom's house for lunch with all of my extended family and the kids got a lot more presents!  Then it was off to my dad's house for our third Christmas of the day!  Christmas day is always sooo busy!  The following weekend after Christmas we drove down to visit Justin's family and spent a few days down there.  Here are some of the pictures of our Christmas!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Adeline is 2 months! Life up to this point...

Life with is getting easier little by little.  Adeline is the most precious, perfect baby so far that we have ever had!  She rarely cries unless she is really gassy or hungry.  As long as we keep her fed, she is a perfect angel.  She even started sleeping through the night at only 7 weeks old.  I just love her so much.  Even though we were really hoping for another boy to give Brayden a brother, I now couldn’t imagine life without Adeline!  She is the sweetest thing!  She smiles all the time at us if you just look at her and smile.  I can’t even stress how wonderful she is!  I guess Heavenly Father really knew that with all the other changes going on in our life right now, I probably would not be very sane if she was a difficult baby.  The only thing that has really upset me is that I really want to enjoy my time with her as a baby and I just feel that I am not really able to do that since there is so much other stuff that constantly needs to be done.  I wish that I could just sit around and cuddle her all day, but the house still needs tons of work done to it and of course just the daily kitchen cleaning, etc. takes most any other free time I have.  I am back to my exclusive pumping.  I know most people think that is completely crazy, but it works for us.  I’m finally starting to not have much pain anymore.  This has been one of the more painful breastfeeding startups that I remember.  Lots of blisters, sores, even had mastitis twice where I thought I was getting the flu or something.  I had a fever, could barely move, and my whole body was aching, along with very sore and tender breasts.  Luckily it cleared up after 2 days.  Other than that though, things have not been too bad.  Adeline currently is not on any type of schedule except for her eating schedule.  She currently had 6 bottles a day all about 5 oz each.  I currently pump 5 times a day, but I could probably manage to eliminate one pump since I produce way more than she eats.  I am just always hesitant to do it since you can’t really get it back once you eliminate it.  All the other kids have been very good with Adeline.  Kaitlyn wanted to hold her a lot when she was a newborn but now doesn’t really pay much attention to her.  Brayden rarely pays attention to her.  Surprisingly it is Allie who is constantly all over her.  Too much!  I catch her rolling all over her trying to snuggle her and often lays too far on top of her and then of course Adeline will start crying.  It is sweet that Allie loves her so much, but I almost wish she didn’t since cold and flu season is now upon us and Allie is constantly touching Adeline’s eyes and mouth and spreading her germs.  Unfortunately Allie, Brayden and Kaitlyn were all sick last week and all pretty much got over it in a couple days.  But Adeline and I both caught it and we are still sick!  Luckily Adeline’s is not too bad, but mine is horrible.  I actually ended up going to the Minute Clinic yesterday b/c it only seemed to be getting worse.  I have completely lost my voice for the past 4 days and the minute clinic said that I had a bad sinus infection.  Apparently my right ear is very inflamed and I guess that is causing a lot of drainage to drop down into me causing me to lose my voice and giving me my cough.  And of course it couldn’t have came at a worse time since Justin and I are leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow! 

I am really looking forward to our trip though.  Not just because we get to go to Vegas, but I am looking forward to having some quality time with Adeline.  While Justin is at his conferences it will just be me and her all day with no other obligations and I can’t wait!

One Month Photo Shoot

With everything going on, we never found the time to try and hire a newborn photographer and she was already too old by the time we were even up to it with the new house and all.  So Justin and I tried to take a few ourselves.  Nothing wonderful like a photographer could, but we still love our beautiful girl anyway!

Two Month Photo Shoot

We also had Adeline's blessing one of the last weekends in October.  All the family came into town for the occasion!  It was great having every one there to support Adeline for her blessing day!

My beautiful baby girl!

Our first family photo as a family of 6!  Too bad it took us 2 months to get around to it!

Brayden's 4th Birthday

My baby boy Brayden is now 4 years old!  Hard to believe!  For his birthday we didn't do too much since our lives were still so crazy at that point, but I took him to Taco Bell (his favorite) and then afterwards we took him to Walmart to pick out a toy from both my mom and me and Justin.  He picked out a remote control Monster truck and a Disney Cars Racing Bath toy set.  For dinner I made all his favorites and my Mom came over and made a construction cake for him.  Then on Saturday we took him to Carowinds to celebrate since it is pretty much his favorite place on Earth at the moment.  So happy to have my boy!  I do miss his cuddles.  I rarely get them anymore.  He was always my only cuddler growing up!

Also Brayden had been doing his martial arts and it is going ok.  He plays around a lot and doesn't really take it seriously at all.  But here is a fun picture of him!


We had lots of opportunities to dress up this year.  Our first party was put on by Brayden’s Martial Arts team and it was a lot of fun for the kids.  They created a haunted house in one of their rooms and it was really good!  Brayden was pretty scared and didn’t want to go back in! haha!  Then on Halloween day, our church had an amazing Fall Festival.  It was by far the best church activity I have ever been to!  One family in our ward spent the entire night making the best NC BBQ I have ever had.  Including restaurants!  It was amazing and they even created homemade sauces.  So not only was the food incredible, but they really put so much work into it.  All of the classrooms had various games and prizes for all of the younger kids and then outside they had games of all kinds set up for the older kids.  And then after that we had a trunk or treat so the kids all had a great time!  Then soon after we got home from that it was time to go trick or treating.  We decided to just stick to our new neighborhood which was sufficient for our kids, but I do miss Berewick trick or treating.  Our neighborhood is very hilly and the houses are farther apart so you can’t easily hit as many in a short period of time.  So not sure what we will do next year.  But everyone had a good time!  I am glad that it is over!  It was a busy weekend for sure!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Adeline Ivy Wood

I’m finally getting around to posting Adeline’s birth story.  As I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts, all three of my other kids were pretty early.  I was not used to watching my due date go past and still no baby!  However, it really all worked out for the best.  If I would have had her early with all of the house stuff going on it would have been a nightmare.  She came at the perfect time (well for the circumstances) 3 days after we moved into our house.  Giving us just enough time to prepare at least a tiny bit for her arrival.  With Allie, I had contractions for 3 days before she finally decided to come, but with Adeline, I didn’t really have hardly any pre labor contractions.  I started having a few on Saturday morning, but nothing strong and definitely not regular.  By mid afternoon, I was still having them, but still not strong and not regular.  Around 9:30 pm they started becoming more regular, but still not that strong but still about 10 minutes apart.  Anyone who has had a baby knows you follow the 5:1:1 rule.  5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute timed for 1 hour.  About 12:30 am they started coming about 5 minutes apart and were getting stronger so I began timing them.  By this point Justin had already gone to bed b/c he was “tired” even though I was in pain at this point.  I was not too happy with him, but whatever.  So I timed them myself.  I timed them for a little over an hour just like you are supposed to and then called the nurse.  But by that time they were getting really strong fast.  By the time the nurse actually called me back I was like “ look this is my fourth baby and I KNOW I am in labor and I am already going to the hospital now!”  I screamed at Justin to get out of bed and let’s go NOW!  Luckily the hospital is only about 10 minutes from our new house.  We checked into the hospital at 2:20 AM.  At this point I was in extreme pain.  I told them whatever you do, just get me started with my IV bag immediately so that I can get my epidural.  I hate that you have to finish that whole fluid bag before they will even call the anesthesiologist.  The nurse checked me and I was only 5 cm when we checked in.  She immediately started my IV bag and called my midwife and said I was definitely in labor.  At this point the contractions were coming on strong and I was losing it.  I was screaming for my epidural.  They said they needed to move me from Triage to my room and asked if I could walk and I said “No, I don’t want to do anything to speed this labor up!” so they wheeled me screaming down there.  I never even had time to have the contraction belt hooked up to me so I don’t think they believed me when I kept screaming to them that my contractions were not stopping!  Literally there was no break in between them.  Not even 30 seconds.  It was continuously one painful contraction, immediately followed by another.  I was a total mess screaming that I was not going to be able to get an epidural and all the nurses were like “Of Course you are!”  One nurse actually started squeezing my fluid bag trying to get it into my body faster.  The other nurse even said we have went ahead and called the anesthesiologist and He will be here soon.  Right after that I started feeling an intense pain and need to push.  I just start pushing and screaming.  I start screaming that I’m pushing and they check me and say “oh wow, she is already at 10 cm and the baby is coming.  I cried “oh no!  I’m not going to be able to get my epidural?” And the nurse said, no you are going to have to deliver this baby right now!” I went from 5 cm to 10 cm in only 30 minutes so that explains my nonstop contractions.  Within about 30 seconds, (or so my mom says, b/c at that point I was completely out of it) there were about 10 people in the room including my midwife who at that point I had not even met!  I pushed maybe two more times and the baby was out.  I didn’t get my legs up or anything.  They were trying to ask me to lift my legs and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even move.  I basically just delivered Adeline while just sitting straight up in the bed with my legs straight out b/c I just could not even move.  Anyone who has had a natural birth, I’m sure understands, but it was by far the most horrible pain I have ever felt in my life.  I can’t even describe how horrible it was.  I think it maybe would not have been quite so bad if I was prepared for a natural birth, maybe had a water bath or something like that, but I was in complete shock that this was happening to me b/c I fully expected to get my epidural.  After Adeline was born, it actually is immediate relief.  I didn’t expect that.  The horrible pain immediately went away.  They tried to hand me Adeline, but I was still in a state of shock after it all.  I couldn’t even move or hold her. They asked me if I wanted them to just go ahead and assess her and I said yes b/c I didn't want to hold her b/c I was still so out of it.  They had me go ahead and deliver the afterbirth and that hurt a bit but not bad.   It was actually a relief feeling to have it all out of me.  Then the nurses look at me and are like did you have that on your face before?  They show me a mirror and I have what looks like hives all over the edge of my face and my neck and chest area.  They said they had never seen that before.  Turns out it was not hives, but ruptured blood vessels all over my neck and face from my instense straining from the pain.  It took about 4 days for them to go away.  Then after that, which apparently is normal, but never happened to me before, a little while after all the nurses had left my room, I got so cold.  I mean freezing.  My teeth were nonstop chattering, my whole body was shaking so bad that I couldn’t even talk.  I didn’t know what was happening to me.  My whole body was frozen and I couldn’t move.  I couldn't even move my legs or anything.  I thought I was losing too much blood or something and couldn’t even talk to tell anyone.  Justin and My mom were trying to warm me up and paged the nurse b/c they didn't know what was happening either.  She came in and said it was normal, just my body going into shock after the delivery.  They put warm blankets on me but nothing was helping.  It took about 30 minutes for me to finally stop and start warming back up, but I was still cold for a long time after that.  It was really weird and scary at the time.  After that things got much better.  Having a natural birth was awesome in the fact that I was up going to the bathroom all by myself within an hour of the birth and walking all around.  And of course not having the $4000 epidural bill is nice!  Plus it is cool  being able to say I experience natural childbirth, although I would never want to do it again.  

As usual, I wanted to leave the hospital as soon as possible.  They agreed to let me leave after 24 hours.  Adeline was 6lbs 2oz.  Same as Kaitlyn! She was 19” long and had a decent amount of hair for my babies.  She was born at 2:38 am.  Exactly 38 minutes after we checked into the hospital! I hate the hospital stay so much.  No one will leave you alone and all you want to do is sleep after such a tramatic thing done to your body but there is no nursery and they want you to be trying to feed them every 1-2 hours which is crazy.  I just could not wait to leave.  Before we could leave however, we had to decide on a name.  We were so confused.  Originally we had talked about her being either Charlotte or Hailey.  But after she was born, we both just could not decide on a name.  I didn’t really want either of them anymore.  Adeline was never even on the table.  In the hospital I googled some baby names and Adeline was on a list and I suggested it and Justin said fine and that was it!  So Adeline Ivy Wood was named!

Once we were home, things were better, although living conditions were not.  The house was an absolute wreck.  A few people from church brought us some meals the first 3 days and I think our house scared a couple of them! Haha!  It really was a disaster.  So that is Adeline’s birth story!  Very traumatic for me but I am so happy to have her here.  I really just love her so much!  My only regret is that since this is our last baby, I really wanted to enjoy cuddling her and enjoying those baby times.  But unfortunately I can’t do that as much as I would like.  Our house is still a disaster 2 months later and every free moment I have I try and spend working on the house!  Which is not very many, since I am back to pumping exclusively and Adeline eats every 3 hours and I pump 5 times a day, plus take care of everyone else.  I really don’t know when it will ever get done.  I guess one day it will be.  But in the mean time, I really am trying to enjoy my time with my last precious baby.

Sweet Adeline Ivy Wood

 My hives.  The picture doesn't do them justice, they were around the whole edge of my face and going down on my chest.  It looked like hickeys all over me.

 Meeting the new sibling

Mommy looking rough

 Heading Home!