Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I'm just titling this post "Layla" because I want it to be all about her. I'm so proud of her and how she has handled all the recent chaos in our lives with showing the house and with so many trips to Plymouth to see the new house, meet with the bank, etc. We've been doing our best to keep things as normal as possible around here, with "fun time" at night after school and all that jazz, but weekends have been slightly busy with constant cleaning and staging. And it has to be odd to a 4 year old to constantly be marching strange, unfamiliar families through your house, from top to bottom. Although, I think Layla kind of likes doing that and is very proud when we get to her room and her play room. She even made a friend during one of the showings recently, with the daughter of the family we chose to be our tenants.

Yes, our tenants. We've found a wonderful, kind, honest family to rent from us and have finalized everything as of Sunday. If all goes as planned with closing on the new house, we'll likely move mid-late May and the neighbors we've known for 7 years in Hartford will have a new family to get to know and love (and smother with questions, cookies, and inquisitions). ;)

Below are just a few random pictures from the last month or so of "fun time" with Layla. Since we're pinching pennies these days in anticipation of closing costs for the refinance, moving expenses, items we'll need for the new house, new baby, you name it, most of our "fun time" is spent doing things that are free. But, still fun. Over Jake's spring break, we plan to hit up Blue Harbor resort for some water park fun - Layla is very excited. Mom is too, although I'll be dodging the camera at all costs. No one needs to see this in a maternity suit, that's for sure.

Oh, and before you start looking at the pictures, I thought I'd also share a few of Layla's recent "funnies":

L: "Mom, I feel crushed like a paper ball."
M: "I'm sorry to hear that honey." (Because she says it all the time lately.)
L: "Mom! When I say that you're supposed to tell me to come get some snuggles!"

Last night, when dad called to give his ETA, Layla asked if she could talk to him. Here's how it went:

L:What's up dad? I heard you want to wrestle me when you get home."
D: "Oh yeah? I'd be up for that."
L: "Yep. Right away. Don't even stop to go potty before you come to the living room to wrestle."

When putting Layla to bed last night, I told her to do her best with sleeping all night and that mommy was pooped so if she needed anything, she should ask daddy.

L: "But mommy, do you know why I always wake you up and not daddy?"
M: "Why?"
L: "Because you work from home three days a week and you always rub my back."

 My future accountant ... Working hard and creating receipts for me.

 Last week at dance class. She had just woken up from a nap and was NOT happy about being in class. She didn't really participate until the last 15 min of class.

 Adorable morning picture... She had just woken up and wanted to send daddy a "Happy Birthday" text message and picture.

 Dress rehearsal for dance. Fancy!!

 I just love this pose. She was feeling very fancy and was very excited to have daddy at rehearsal!

 When are we going to start??? (She has a tattoo on her face from a recent Valentine's Day party, btw.)

 Pooped after helping daddy shovel the deck.

 Suuuper pooped.

 Happy Valentine's Day!!

 Picture of my three babies, left to right - Layla, baby Sherman #2, and Hudson. :)

Making Valentine's Day cupcakes!!

Next up for the Sherman's: Finish home refinance, close on new house, start packing, baby arrival prep, belly pics, spring break. Whew.

Friday, February 17, 2012

House of Cards

Jake referred to our current situation with us buying the new house, renting our existing house, refinancing the existing house, having a baby and moving, as a "house of cards" last night. I thought it was the perfect analogy.

As usual, whenever something "big" happens for us, about two to three other big things just to happen to be taking place at the same time. And for us, it hasn't been easy things like winning the lottery and watching our bank account overflow, while winning a new car and having all of our debt cleared by winning some random sweepstakes. It's more so a barrage of big events happening all at once because we've worked our faces off to make the events happen, and they just so happen to be occurring, finally, all at once.

Needless to say, we're busy as shit and our heads are spinning. I honestly haven't really had a clue as to what day it is in weeks. At work, I had a pretty big campaign launch yesterday and someone mentioned it to me and it caught me totally off guard. "Shit! That did launch today didn't it!?" Glad I had all my ducks in a row for that launch in advance, and that the only thing I dropped the ball on was actually remembering that it was live.

So, the latest in our house of cards has been making our refinance on the Hartford house happen, and finding renters. Let's start with the refinance. Thankfully, we're working with Wells Fargo, and our mortgage guy is the same guy we worked with to buy the Hartford house 7 years ago, and, is someone I worked with about 8 years ago. So, he's "cool" and is someone I can be very frank with. Let's just say a few of our conversations have included some "hurry up" messages from me (poor guy). What needs to happen is this:  we need to complete the refi on the Hartford house before we complete the financing on the new house. That way, we won't have to bring anything to closing on the new house, since our current mortgage payment on what will eventually be referred to as our "income property" will go down. We haven't been given a firm date on when that refinance needs to be complete, thankfully. It's only been said that it needs to happen "asap". Uh, okay. So, once that happens, we'll finalize the financing on the new home, and from there, the seller has asked that she be given 60 days until we formally close. She has renters in the house and wants to give them ample time to vacate. So, as far as the refinance goes, we're in "hurry up and wait" mode now, and are at the mercy of the lovely processing folks at Wells.

Next, let's talk about finding renters. As many of you know, we've posted our rental ad on Craigslist. We have raised the rent by about $300 since the last time we went through this process and at first I thought that may have weeded out the "riff raff" in terms of the responders we were getting. I suppose, in a way, it has, but what we're seeing now is a good number of people who can afford to pay what we're asking (which, by the way, is likely more than it would be if someone just bought the home and paid the monthly mortgage, but apparently that's impossible for most these days) but these people have also botched their credit in some way, shape, or form. Foreclosures due to the market, loss of biz due to the market, etc. Really, not something we're judging people for at this time. I can honestly see  how things like that can happen to people and believe that everyone deserves a 2nd chance. However, that doesn't mean the people who are coming forward as interested potential renters aren't CRAZY. We've had some doozies come through this door - let's just say that. I'll save the stories for in person conversations for fear that some of these said crazy people track down my blog and read it. I wouldn't be surprised if one morning I walk out of my house and find one of them standing there, staring at me and asking why I said the things I did about them on  my blog. Then, they'd proceed to get down on their knees and beg for this house (no joke, everyone is pretty much begging for us to "pick them"). Very bizarre, to say the least. The good news is I think we'll be able to lock in renters before the 11th hour. The bad news is, that we are continuing to show and show and show the house, in an effort to find what seems like the most trustworthy, non-crazy, person.

The last time I asked for prayers, good juju, and positive energy on facebook, it worked. That same afternoon we received word that the seller of the home we had an offer in on, accepted our counter offer. So, I'm asking for more of the same - this time that our refinance goes through quickly, and that we find some truly honest, trustworthy, renters.

The next time I ask for your help will be when it's time to have the baby, then close on the house, then move.

Oh house of cards - please stay standing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Counter offer is in...

It's been about a week since my last post - thanks Nan for the Facebook nudge to remind me to stay on top of this bad cat. ;) Since then, Jake completed the long anticipated Plymouth High School / Lakeshore Tech College Science and Tech Center Grand Opening. The event was uber impressive, with over 500 attendees from the community, local businesses, sponsors, state representatives, LTC execs, and I'm sure a slew of other important people that I'm neglecting to mention. But this isn't my acceptance / thank you speech, so I'll just leave it at that and hope the detail I've provided has served its purpose.

I was so proud of Jake and all the work he did to get make the Grand Opening a success. He's been working non-stop to help with this renovation since he was hired back in 2010, and despite my medical emergency, right at the start of his new career with PHS, he continued on while supporting me and helping me through recovery. It's been a long haul, and next on the agenda for the Sherman's is buying a house so that poor Jake can join us for dinner more than once a week and see Layla off to school in the a.m.'s.

With that said, we're now in the thick of it with the home buying process and have submitted an offer on a home in Greenbush (just outside of Plymouth). The seller has provided her counter offer, and we will be countering that offer tomorrow.

If you ask me, home offers should be handled like mediation - schedule a time where seller and buyer are available, get them into the same office where a mediator walks back and forth from the room the sellers are in to the room the owners are in, with offers and counter offers. I suppose, process as it stands today allows both parties ample time to "mull over" offers, but I'd rather hammer it all out in one day and call it done. The waiting game is excruciating and the response time that's given out of courtesy for people to review and contemplate offers only makes people second guess the numbers (depending on how you look at it, I suppose that could be a good or a bad thing).

In any event, the agency, coincidentally who employs both our buyer's agent and the selling agent (the owner of the agency) is working their tail off to make us all come to an agreement and close the deal. I'm thankful for that, and am now just hoping and praying that all our stars align over the next few days to make this happen.

If you have time, say a little prayer for us... Specifically, here's what we need to happen:

1) Seller to accept our latest counter offer
2) Seller to be on board with closing date of June
3) Financing to be approved (it pretty much is already, we just need to finalize and keep it within reason so the bank doesn't throw more money than we can afford at us)
4) Refinance on existing home to be approved (the same bank is working on a refi for us, to lower our payment which will help with #5)
5) Find a renter for our Hartford home (if our refi comes through, we'll be able to list the house at a more affordable monthly rent that might help us bring renters in)

So yeah, just a few important items that all need to fall perfectly into please. Need I explain why we need some prayers? ;)