Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Official

We're building a house! We met this evening at 5:30 with our realtor, the builder and his realtor. We signed some preliminary paperwork--the contract for the build--and then talked about all the things we have to pick out (more on that in a sec).

The builder has already applied for the building permit for the house and should have it within a couple of weeks. Then things really start to move.

Okay, now back to the fun part. By August 1 we will have made our selections for cabinets (both for the kitchen and the master bath), the flooring--hard woods on the main level, carpet in the basement and upstairs, and tile in the bathrooms, granite for the kitchen and master bath counters, marble for the guest baths, both indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, the color of our siding and exterior trim, and finally what we want surrounding the fireplace. Needless to say we were COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the thought of all of that tonight. We walked into the room where they have all of the samples and it was just amazing.

Now it's time to begin reading Home and Garden magazine and watching HGTV. Ha!

All in all it was an amazing evening.

Oh and Andrew got a mandolin today...for free. I'll let him tell the story later.

We miss you all and can't wait to see you soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gwen's 1st Birthday Party

Yesterday, Andrew and I went to Richmond to celebrate baby Gwen's first birthday! I can't believe it was a year ago (officially this upcoming Thursday) that Andrew and I sped to Richmond after work to get to the hospital to meet the newest member of the Dodson clan.

Now, she's running around the house with the absolutely dearest, kindest and most relaxed disposition. She's a dream baby! And she is so good about putting up with her two older sisters!

The birthday girl, herself:


The whole Dodson clan:
First row: Elly, Mema (the first Gwen), Grandaddy, Me
Second Row, Mom, Baby Gwen and Greg
Last Row: Dad, Addie, Kesiah, Krista, Andrew

Kesiah practicing with her brand new jump rope:

Addie posing gladly for Uncle Breen:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something cool

Andrew sent me a link to this just now. So I thought I'd practice how to put stuff like this that we thought was cool up on our blog. Tada!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We finally made THE decision

For those who might not have been aware, we've been trying to decide when and where to buy a house. Our first thought was to wait until next summer. But then, my very wise husband brought up the fact that moving with a 6 month old probably is doable; but house-hunting with a 2 month old on VERY little sleep is probably not the smartest thing to do.

So armed with that information, the realization that interest rates are threatening to increase (and actually have) and a suprise blessing that will help us close the money gap, we began our house hunt about a month ago.

After many iterations of top 5 lists and lots of number-crunching, we FINALLY found the house.

We will be building a new house in the Brookwood neighborhood in the city of Charlottesville. It is ridiculously convenient to UVa and only a mile and a half from the downtown mall. We're thrilled.

Here are some pics of the model. This isn't exactly the same house we'll be building. But the pictures give some idea of the house.

A sketch of the house.

The living room.


The master bedroom (our bathroom won't be quite that big!)



The basement:

Floor plans for the second floor.
The first floor plans.



We are lucky enough that the builder is including the finished basement and bath as an incentive for us. It really IS a buyers market!


Our house will be in the cul-de-sac. If you count from the right, it will be the 4th house in.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Elmo Goes to the Doctor

There is a book at Greg & Krista's house that's entitled Elmo Goes to the Doctor, or something to that effect. I have read this book a few times. Kesiah and Addie both enjoy it, and it's right at my reading level, so it works out nicely for everybody. Audrey and I saw the OBGYN this afternoon, and I am thrilled to report that our doctor's visit almost exactly mirrored Elmo's as described in his epic adventure, with a few very small exceptions:

1. Audrey is at a very healthy weight. Elmo, on the other hand, was found to be morbidly obese. Morbidly. He wears it well, but, like all Muppets, Elmo is deceptively a fat fatty.

2. The doctor gave us peace-of-mind about our upcoming vacation. She prescribed some good and safe helper-outers for Audrey in case the nausea is still around at that point. (It's shown no signs of abating yet..) Elmo was given only a pat on the head and a lollipop. I think that's what they call "holisitc medicine" on Sesame Street. Here in America we call it a "giant scam."

3. Due to the fibroid cysts, Audrey's uterus is where it would normally be on a lady 20 weeks great with child. Elmo's uterus is where it would normally be on an androgenous Muppet. So, we win.

4. Everything is going exceptionally well! Audrey is such a brave and capable mommy-to-be, and we've got excellent doctors. Elmo sadly still suffers from uncontrollable giggle-fits and an aversion to first-person pronouns.

To sum up, ours was a perfect check-up. Elmo has a ways to go, and I'm sure I'll be reading all about it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Still getting sick

I'm praying this is the last time I'll have to bring this up and that the nausea goes away very soon. It certainly hasn't been as bad as it could be--some poor girls throw up all the time. Thankfully I've only actually gotten sick a handful of times. So I do realize it's all realtive. Nonetheless, I'm still feeling quite a bit of nausea. It tends to show up in the late afternoon and evening.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful day visiting friends in Maryland. Chris and Rose Ambrose hosted us, the Stricklands and the Cogswell. They have such a lovely home and beautiful children. We visited outside while all the children played on the amazing jungle gym and ran, ran, ran all over the yard (the children, that is, not us!).

We decided it was best to go up and come back in the same day. Our Sundays at home are so precious! Inevitably though, it was a late night and by the time we got home I was not feeling well at all.

Last night was a bit rough; but this morning is beautiful and I'm feeling great! Cereal, as usual, has been one of my favorite foods this pregnancy...which makes mornings my favorite time. (As I recently posted on my facebook account: I'm not a fan of the knucklehead who coined the phrase "morning sickness." It's the exact opposite for me!)

We're looking forward to a relaxing morning this morning. This afternoon, we're going house hunting again--visiting one house and talking to a builder of another. It will be nice to finally make a decision about that...and begin dreaming about a nursery. Fun! Fun! Then it's church tonight. Sundays are great days!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baby Breen's first photo shoot

Here are some pictures from the ultrasound we had done at 12 weeks 1 day. Here is a picture of both halfs of the baby's brain. The image is appropriately titled "BRAIN" on the scan.
Here you can actually see the baby's spine. Amazing!

This picture is actually of the left side of the baby's torso. You can't see his/her head. Only his/her left side and arms.


And the most amazing picture to me. Our baby's profile.


Having the ultrasound was amazing. The baby was having a bit of a snooze when we started and was being perfectly still. The technician needed baby Breen to roll over a bit to get some images of other parts of his/her body. So she took the ultrasound wand and started jiggling my belly and immediately the baby started kicking his/her legs and moving his/her arms. It was so wild. Now I'm so aware of maybe waking the baby every time I sneeze or cough. It's crazy to think there's a tiny baby in my tummy. I can't WAIT until I can feel baby Breen move. What a glorious day that will be!


And so it all begins

Andrew and I are blessed to have so many friends and my family close by. But we also have a ton of friends all over the place and his family in Texas. So, we decided to create a place where we could keep folks updated on the progress of this amazing pregnancy for those who aren't so close.

I'm already 14 weeks and 2 days along, which makes our official due date is December 9. On one hand it feels so far away. But then I think about all that needs to be done and I'm glad we've got another 5.5 months to go!

There is plenty more to share and we will. We'll update you on my back, on the baby, the house hunt, and everything else. In the meantime, I'm going to get back to work.