November 18, 2013

Kitchen Remodel take 456

I knew when we bought our house that I'd want to re-do the kitchen.  The tile, while cute, was NASTY.  It was cracked, the grout was creepy, and tile on a countertop just didn't make sense to me.  Plus, it was really shallow.  The owners had done a crappy, quick, and thoughtless "update" before we moved in and laid sheet linoleum, sprayed the cabinets (in and out - with the contact paper still in and with shitty paint).


When we had the wall of tile removed, a giant two inch gap was left between the wall and the linoleum.  That was in 2011.  Two years later, I decided to do something about it.  We knew that there was a plywood subfloor under the linoleum since we could see this:


I was going CRAZY with the ugly linoleum.  I thought  painting the floor a cool color might be a great solution...

So one Saturday afternoon when the baby was asleep, I started ripping.  And steaming.  And ripping.


Only to find...ASPESTOS TILE!!

Ah, what luck.  So now we have an aspestos, paper, linoleum tile.  The greatest thing was when we ripped up the lino and was steaming the aspestos tile, the smell of 50 year old cigarette smoke and burned food wafted through the entire house - it was dreamy.

Now, my $60 project has just gotten much more expensive.  We could have had the aspestos removed for approx $500 (we just had it done at the riverhouse, so I knew approx. pricing) OR we could just put something on top of it so as not to disturb it.

I had ordered some samples from ifloor for the river house and liked an imitation slate vinyl plank.  I placed the order and waiting for the shipping confirmation...

Meanwhile, my kids were dropping food - a lot of food on this nasty paper/aspestos floor.  The black beans were getting smushed into the paper, broken glasses were getting lost in the layers, etc.

Growing up, my parents removed the carpet in our house looking for hardwood underneath.  What they found was full of nails, holes, and paint.  But, since they didn't have the money to replace it, we lived with it like that for what seemed like years (though it could have been weeks, really).  It was not cute.

Anyway, TWO FRICKEN WEEKS LATER, my flooring arrived.

And, while the children were asleep...this happened.


It took a whole 4 hour period to figure out what we were doing.  But on day two during naptime, we finished.

This was our kitchen after our mini remodel two years ago...after running out of money for the floors and table...

Here it is today (well, bad in the dark picture with all the dusty stuff piled next to the sink).

And our stove...

Today!  I think it looks particularly awesome next to the chalkboard!

Bubbs cut our table a few weeks ago when I had just had it with the nasty original tabletop.  I painted the base last week, but I have to put a coat of voc free poly on it when the kids are out soon.  The poster above the bench is getting repaired b/c our ikea frame just fell off the wall and broke the other day.


Bubbs also created this genius pot/pan closet a few years ago and I always meant to paint the shelves and clean it up. 

Two years later I finally got around to it :)

We're going to have to finish the trim next weekend, but for now, I'm so happy with the results.

November 14, 2013

12 days till completion!

Folks, we're 12 days out. 

Floors are being refinished, kitchen cabinets are NOT delivered (OMG Ikea delivery company, Dynamix, SUCKS!  I should have yelped them before using them, since our experience is EXACTLY what everyone else yelps.  They are going to be a week late on delivery - and our stuff is in the truck!).

Paint in on , trim being put in. 

I have to put the final poly finish on our dresser turned bathroom vanity today then get it up there for finishes.

This is exciting stuff.

Meanwhile, both my kids are sick, I'm covering for a colleague at work, and Bubbs and I are tag team parenting b/c our work schedules are so ridiculous right now.

November 6, 2013

VacationHouse/Disaster Updates!

We're supposed to finish the house is 20 days - giving us two days to move in before thanksgiving!! My sister has offered to cook thanksgiving at her house and just bring it to us :) A couple before and "during" pics...

What were we thinking?!

What a Difference!
There were three layers of aspestos tile/carpet here.  Plus, a nasty ceiling and that awkward pole

Open ceiling, no pole, passthrough to living room
70's paneling, ceiling fan touched heads when walking by, amazing green countertop...
Tall ceilings and hidden windows!  Staircase joining top and bottom floors!


We're pushing on to get in there by Thanksgiving...I'm still holding out hope.

November 4, 2013

Meal Planning

Seriously, I have so much going on right now.

We're in the final month of our riverhouse being complete - which means scrambling to get things lined up and purchased and delivered and finding all that money to actually pay for it :)

I'm doing a lot of personal growth work.  I feel like it is really important and is helping with that general overall "I'm totally overwhelmed with life, two kids, working, keeping the house up" feeling - that I'm sure a lot of people have, but was killing me.

I tore up the kitchen floor thinking it would be a nice, cheap, groovy redo (I wanted to paint it a fun color), only to find aspestos tile underneath.  We just paid insane amounts of money to remove the aspestos from the river house so I knew my project was no longer cheap.  So now we have no kitchen floor and are waiting for our delivery of pretty, but responsible vinyl tile floating floor (in a slatey look - which I'm sure I'll regret b/c it is so dark it will show everything - but I think I have that thinking of people who get dogs because it will "make" them walk everyday - will a dirty floor make me sweep everyday?).

Our dishwasher is broken and come to find out even though it says Kenmore, it is actually made by frigidaire.  Yup - same as our CRAPPY fridge.  Oh yeah, that new fridge we got a year ago.  Crapped out.  This is our second frigidaire that has completely crapped out on us.  Not happy.

Oh, and I'm starting a school.  I think.

But, since I'm so crazy busy with my job too - we've been eating out WAY too much.  So much that I'm not even enjoying it anymore.  Plus, we are going to be on a VERY tight budget so last minute eating out just won't cut it.  I need to stop carrying my credit card around (I have the number memorized though).  So I decided to go back to basics.

Here's my plan for this week.  You'll notice there isn't much that is "mixed" and that we have rice (a mixed brown rice) every meal. This is making this accessible for the three year old - he's a bit picky.  We also know our two boys have dairy allergies, so this is all dairy free.

Monday: Kale, White Bean, Kielbasa Soup - separate parts for TT and the Baby, Rice.

Tuesday: Rice, Beans, Cornbread, Salad, Broccoli
Wednesday: Pumpkin Whole Grain Waffles, Turkey Bacon, Melon

Thursday: Broccoli with Cashews, Marinated Chicken Breast, Rice

Friday: Roasted Chicken, Roasted Squash, Broccoli, Roasted Potatoes or Rice

The boys leave for a trip on Friday - so I'll use the weekend to make a stock for next week's soup!

September 29, 2013

Two months to completion!

We're in the final phases!

Our complete disaster is two months away from finishing!  It will be 12 days shy of a year from purchase, almost 4x the purchase price in renovations, and yes, our complete disaster was an even bigger disaster than we originally though.

All of my DIY dreams were smashed when we had to completely re-do the floor plan to add walls to tie into the foundation (I think), so we went down to the studs.  Arg.

The great news is that we rented some places in our new neighborhood throughout the summer, and our house might just be the biggest cabin there - and definitely the fanciest 3+ bedroom cabin.

So far, the majority of the money has gone into structural work. Oh, and our first contractor who forgot to pay his subs - so we had to pay them TWICE.

We're finally at the fun part.

Exterior Paint IS ON!



The dark brown body paint and colorful trim is a neighborhood thing.  We originally chose a brighter blue, but ended up with this more muted color to match our new gutters.  Apparently our gutters will have a lifetime warranty (they'd better at the price they are costing us) so we didn't want to paint them.

We're picking flooring, deciding on kitchen details, ordering lighting fixtures, and choosing bedrooms!

Doing all this with three partners is NOT easy.  We all have different taste and who knew picking doorknobs would be a huge ordeal.

The roof goes on today, the rough in inspection is next week and then the drywall goes up!

August 30, 2013

I hate breastfeeding

I know.  I might be doing something wrong.

My son may have a crappy latch so I'm not getting the oxytocin rush I'm supposed to.

I may be too "busy" to really sit down and enjoy it.

I may be "detached" from my son because I went to work too early.

But you know what - I hated it with my other son too and he had a great latch and I stayed home with him till he was 9 months old.

I know it is so important.  I'm doing it.  I'm committed to at least a year and hopefully beyond (particularly since our kids appear to be allergic to soy AND dairy - so their milk options are limited).

I am a little jealous over blissed out mamas who stroke their baby's head and have a shot of ecstasy when they let down.

We're doing a little bit of relationship housekeeping right now and are finding the book, "Wired for Love" really interesting.  The techniques are really helpful and it nails some of the issues we have (particularly the challenges we have with two kids and little sleep).  One thing it points out is that the attachments that each partner has with their own parents from childhood greatly affects how they function in their own families.

My parents did pretty much the opposite of attachment parenting and Bubbs' mom was a super attachment parenting mom.  The book points out that any relationship with one partner who had a crappy attachment to their parents will be a challenge.  I recognize that a lot of my relationship issues stem from this detachment and have worked on them for the last few years (which is why we're psychotic about our commitment to attachment parenting).  That doesn't mean that even though I have figured out how not to let it affect other people it isn't still a part of who I am. 

So, since according to the book's theory, I am an island.  This means that I am used to self soothing and can't look to other's for help, I like and need alone time, etc.  So...I'm thinking that maybe I hate breastfeeding because it forces closeness that I am uncomfortable with?  Or because I need alone time, but instead I'm feeding the baby and feel a responsibility to give even more during this one quiet time of my day?

I'm pretty insanely attached to my kids - even if I don't love or feel naturally about all of AP, I do it anyway, and it works :) 

So, I hate breastfeeding.  I'm doing it anyway.  And my kids will never appreciate me for it :)

August 18, 2013

We might be too cool for school - Part 2

Meanwhile, I'm getting calls from all these hard to get into schools that I applied to years ago.  They had a spot if we wanted one, but they were ALL full time and way out of our budget.  I had to turn them down.

I had a few friends in co-ops, so I started looking into those.  They were all mostly full, but one had an afternoon spot.  The commitment was HUGE (1 working day per week, two night time meetings per month plus other duties, etc), BUT the cost was so little, I figured I would work my work day a little differently to do my work day and it would all be fine.

I toured this sweet little school and while the facilities were great, the yard was HUGE, the kids seemed happy, and I knew that even if it wasn't perfect, I would be there 1 of the days per week and he was only there part-time - he could get what he needed (and we needed from it).  It seemed like the perfect solution.

I signed him up right then and there.

Then I found out they were having summer camp, so I signed him up for summer camp too!

I won't go into all the details, but for the first week, I went with him almost every day (it is only three hours).  I had to constantly mediate between kids refusing to play with him, pretending to shoot him, and very quietly being VERY mean.  I had to watch him standing alone on the playground and no adult ask him if he needed something. 

I didn't feel quite right, but rather than run, like I felt I did before, I decided to talk to the teachers.  So I talked to both teachers about the exclusion behavior I saw and how TT might need a bit more love until he found friends.  I felt a bit brushed off here too.

The following Monday, I made bubbs come with me.  The main bully's mom was the "teacher" in the big inside play room and TT seemed nervous. He said, "The sad boy is in here.  Where can i play?"  He went on to explain that that boy is the mean and nervous boy who hits with walkie talkies.

We went to circle time and a boy came up to us whipping a jumprope around yelling, "I'm a hunter and I hunt people to kill!"

TT flinched every time a kid would come to sit next to him at circle.

When I asked him where he would play first, he said,  "I don't know, the sad boy is inside and the mean boys are outside."

We tried to help him find other toys to play with while giving each other looks with big eyes and I could see steam starting to fly from bubbs' ears.  He found his favorite plastic bin of african animals and took out all the lions and tigers (he's OBSESSED with the Lion King).  He found a little open-topped cube made of play mats and got inside, then started lining all the lions and tigers up on the edge of it.  I asked him, are you making an animal parade? 

"No, mama, these are my lions to protect me from the boys."

Tim and I gave each other a look.  I asked T, "Do you want to go home?" 

He said yes, we grabbed his stuff, told his teacher we were leaving and we left.

We are not sending our 3 year old to Lord of the Flies preschool.  

Fuck this.

Fuck preschool, fuck people who say that my kid will eventually have to learn to be around mean kids. 

That is bullshit.

Everyone I know that didn't love school (and most of my friends now are people who suffered at the hands of bullies their entire lives until college), found great like-minded people in college.  Why would I make my kid SUFFER because he needs to get used to being scared and bullied?  Why not just protect him and choose schools that don't allow that sort of thing?

So, I think our life just got way more expensive.  I'm starting my search now.  Small class size, commitment to a community value of loving others, a non-exclusion policy, dedicated educated low turnover in teachers.

I only have two years until Kindergarten too.  I'm starting that search now.

None of this makes me want to move to the burbs because at least here we have options.   We may be in debt or poor, but we have options.

We might be too cool for school

So anyone in San Francisco knows that there is BIG preschool drama.  Swearing I wouldn't get swept up into it, I applied to a bunch of preschools when T was about 13 months old.  Paying the $50-$75 application fees, writing essays, printing family photos, and mailing them off with cute anecdotes about how TT loves to play train.

Then we got our Au Pair and our needs changed dramatically.  One, we had WAY less money to spend on childcare.  Two, we didn't NEED full time child care.  Most of the places I had applied were for full-time slots.

I got a call back in May that one of my favorite schools had a spot open.  I took it immediately.  It would be a bit more pricy than where he is now, but he could stay there for two years, it was in a BEAUTIFUL park, there were nature walks, it was Reggio Emilia, and all was good.  It was full time, but since it was a public preschool, the cost was about the same as part-time.

Then we went on a tour (I had already done one, but I wanted to bring Bubbs and my mom).  A little boy was crying in the class, hysterically, and the teachers were not being particularly loving.  In fact, they seemed annoyed and told the director he was just sick.

Then, when I asked about the chance of the school lunches getting a makeover like the rest of the district, the director seemed annoyed and told me that it wasn't AS bad for the kids as the other lunches so, no, it would not get fixed.  There were bologna sandwiches, pancakes, and chocolate cookies on the menu - how is that not bad?  Did she not see the same research I have on health of children and behavior linked to diet?

We left though, and I thought, you know, I'll just get involved and change things.

Then TT and I went to visit the school and drop off his paperwork.

I took him to see the playground through the fence.  Two girls walked up to us and talked to us for about 20 minutes.  They were adorable.  Then they started talking about the mean teacher who yelled when you didn't sleep (the school claims that non-nappers can read books with a teacher quietly), and that their parents had told them that she just wasn't that good with kids.  Also, in this entire time I'm talking to these kids, not ONE teacher or adult comes to see who I am and why I'm talking to them!

I got a bad feeling.  So, I called the director.  Twice.  My husband called once.  And we NEVER got a call back.

So...I started my hunt for other options...We had already told his current school that he was going to be ending his time there on the start date of this preschool.  I didn't want to get his poor teacher involved in my personal preschool crisis, so I didn't tell her things would be changing...

June 8, 2013

Where have I been?

I think about blogging occasionally.  And then I decide to exercise or eat instead of write/upload pics.

In an attempt to get started again (thanks to my sister who asked if I moved my blog somewhere else) here's a random smattering of what's going on.


Photo by

In an attempt to stop the screaming, I have cut out dairy completely from my diet.  It seems to have helped.

Which means that we're eating things that look great.


But taste okay. *butternut squash ravioli requires some kind of savory cheese like gorgonzola. 

It also means I've given up coffee because coffee just doesn't taste as good without milk.

I would think I would have lost weight this way, but no.  It might be because I've taken up drinking coconut milk I quit that yesterday.

Since cutting out dairy helped a bit, but didn't solve the problem entirely, we also cut D's frenulum today.  Poor guy had a tongue tie.  He was gaining weight okay, but we thought we would do this just in case it would help his moodiness.  So far, he's been in a bit of pain.  We just dosed him with Advil and he's been sleeping for an hour so I'm hoping the worst is past us.

Photo by

The babe is smiling and cooing which makes all the fussing so much more worth it.

He's heavy but not fat and in 6-9 month clothes at 10 weeks :)



T loves his brother.  Too much.  He gets so excited that the baby flinches EVERY time his brother walks into the room.


Our routine is down now so I can do bedtime with T while Bubbs takes care of Baby D. 

We started swimming lessons after I saw someone almost drown at the river last week.  T LOVES them.  He tells everyone about "my boy teacher, Brian."  He also sat down and ate dinner with us for really the first time ever (we struggle with his appetite in the evening).

Having an Au Pair is amazing.  Period.

We've also been making these Two Ingredient Cookies.  I tell ya -they are amazing.  Smush up banana, pour in some oatmeal (quick oats or regular), then add a bit of cinnamon and a bit of vanilla.  For grownups add chocolate chips :) For munchkins add: chia seeds, raisins, walnuts, anything!  Bake (on parchment paper) at 350 for 15 minutes.  Its like tricking your kid into eating healthy food.  Plus, since there are no exact measurements, they can help!


Two Ingredient Cookies before baking

Our Riverhouse:
We're making tons of progress on our riverhouse.  Um, we're also at double our original budget.  It is getting a little scary at this point, but we're so excited for it to be done at some point.

Our gorgeous light filled kitchen

The enclosed sunporch/sleeping room

The master bedroom

We've been renting houses up in the neighborhood and have two more trips planned.

TT and a friend playing while the grownups chatted in a rental house

A sunny, fern covered redwood hill in our new neighborhood.

My shy cautious boy blossomed there.  He's made friends, wandered off, run around, and walked a ton.  The neighborhood is doing exactly what we wanted it to do for our city boy - so I know it will all be worth the hassle in the end.

We are switching contractors mid-stream.  But the house is down to the bones, and lifted up on stilts.


Our beach is heavenly.


May 6, 2013

He's getting cuter

I knew life with a newborn was hard, but this is harder than last time.

Dude is finally big enough for my favorite carrier, so he just screams and we go for walks.   That's the only thing that stops the screaming.

Riverhouse is coming along.

Cool stuff at our house is happening.

T is insanely cute.

But no time to type.

More later.

April 13, 2013

Who'd uh thunk it? Our kids are different people!

When T was a baby, I used to tell Bubbs the stories of our friend's kids.  I'd come home from my mama groups or coffee with other new moms and thank our lucky stars that T was such a mellow happy kid.  Bubbs used to complain that T "fought sleep" like he did when he was a kid.  I'd argue with him, but since he had so little to compare it to, he never really got it.

Till now.

Baby D is a little more high maintenance than we're used to.

He pretty much acts like we're torturing him all the time.

Partly because we are, I suppose.  Whenever our mellow gentle almost-three-year-old comes around "the brother" he starts shrieking, poking, and jumping around.  This stresses out mama and daddy, which in turn probably stresses out both kids, who then react.

This bundle of cuteness also doesn't get as much naked, singing, loving, skin to skin as his brother did.  There just ain't time.

So far, no one else has been able to hold him without him screaming.

The boob solves almost nothing.

Reading back, at this same age (and pretty much his whole life), T only cried when hungry or overtired.

This one only cries ALWAYS.  Screams.  Goes from happy to HOLY CRAP I HATE THE WORLD AND YOU ARE KILLING ME in 2.4 seconds.

But we love him.

If you ask T about "the brother" - he'll tell it like it is.

"Um, he just cries a lot - and he's a really grumpy brother."

April 6, 2013

Two Bedrooms and Two Babies - Our Second Homebirth Story

photo 4
Turner came early, so I was prepared for you to come early too.

Your dad was off work, the freezer was stocked, all the last minute baby projects were completed. 

Much like during T’s pregnancy, my blood pressure would get high when I was stressed, but generally I was able to bring it down by going deep inside myself and imagining a peaceful place.

Twice, during this pregnancy, we had to schelp over to Kaiser, check in, and practically fight with the staff there to get minimal testing to be sure I didn’t have pre-eclampsia.  They checked my blood pressure, drew blood, did an ultrasound, and monitored your heart rate.  Each time we went everything was perfect with my health and it confirmed the fact that I did NOT want to give birth in a hospital.

Before I was pregnant the first time, I never would have thought that there would be such a mind/body connection possible.  Aside from any labor techniques, I was able to bring my blood pressure down from 154/79 to 118/79.  That is huge.  I closed my eyes and imagined my body getting very heavy.  Then I pictured myself on the hot tub deck at the river house with a glass of cold white wine and my two boys playing legos on the deck quietly.   It always worked.

My 30th birthday and your due date came and went.   I was starting to become more uncomfortable, and in an effort to keep my blood pressure low, I cut off almost all contact to the outside world.  This was frustrating to so many people, I’m sure, since we’re deep into construction and permitting at the river house and I was the manager of the project at one point!

We did a lot of walking to the beach and back, through the park, in the neighborhood, but since my last check with the midwives, on my due date (3/25) my cervix was dilated to a 6, I just assumed that at any minute I would go into labor.

Five days after my due date on 3/30, Bibi, Stephanie, your dad and I were sitting in the living room chatting.  I had taken some herbal tinctures (under guidance from the midwives) the day before and also taken some that day.  I had tried to take castor oil that day as well, but threw it all up around three o’clock and never saw any effects from it.

Around 8pm, I had my first contraction.  Since our midwives had pretty much said that the baby could come within an hour of going into labor, we called them and they all came over immediately (Ami, Kara, and Hanna).  I was in pretty bad pain, so I hopped in the tub (since I was already a six, I didn’t think it would slow anything down).

Already, I knew that this labor was so different from my last.  With Turner’s birth, I had no break between contractions.  There was no chatting, no laughing.  I was a wild animal in pain and nothing would help.  If you got in my way, I would physically assault you since I couldn’t find a place in my brain for words.

This labor was amazing.  My contractions had a clear beginning and end.  I would have a minute or two between them and I would feel totally fine.  The contractions themselves varied from minor to very intense pain. 

At one point, my midwife told me that another mama (that I had met through our group pre-natal visits) was in labor as well – so she would be leaving and the other midwife would come.  I loved it b/c most mamas only get one of the midwives at their birth and I got both!

My contractions slowed down for a bit, so I got out of the tub to walk around.  This REALLY helped bring them on faster and harder – but the pain was unbearable. 

When my labor initially started, my mom had climbed into bed with Turner in case he woke up.  At this point, around 1am, I heard him crying.   I climbed into the tub and my contractions stopped.  I just listened.  Eventually his crying stopped and I heard him talking about sesame street.  I heard he, Tim and my mom leaving the house (at 1am) to go watch sesame street at her flat (right above ours).   It was really amazing how my “plan” for what to do with T was happening EXACTLY as I had pictured it. The minute the door closed, I had an intense contraction.  That mind/body connection was present again.  I couldn’t labor while my son was awake.

I was becoming really frustrated with the lack of increasing intensity of the contractions.  At one point I decided to go for a walk around the block (when I suggested this to the midwives, I got a very funny look).  Halfway down the stairs, I had a major contraction and decided to stick closer to home.

But, I did start climbing our interior stairs.  Up and down, stopping for contractions and bringing them on faster and faster.  Once I was confident they were fast enough, I started circling our house – stopping at the front entrance (same place I labored with Turner) and leaning on our shoe/entry table. 

I still didn’t feel like much was happening so I checked in with my midwives.  We decided to do an internal check to see how dilated I was and possibly break my waters to get things going again.  It was 2:30am at this point.  I was tired, and honestly, a little bored with the whole thing.  I kept saying that I knew I just had too much downtime.

Waiting for one final contraction to finish, I got checked on my bed.  I had gone from 6cm two weeks before to SEVEN F-ING centimeters after 6 hours of labor.  We decided to go ahead with breaking the water.

At 2:30, my midwife reached in to break my bag.  She wasn’t certain she had gotten it since his head was really well engaged in my cervix.  Immediately, I had a contraction that felt like my entire labor with Turner.  I turned into an animal.  I ran, naked, across the house and jumped into the tub.  On my knees with my arms hanging over the edge, I started making low OOOO sounds.  They would eventually turn into screams and cussing.  I had a several second break until the next one came.  The Oooopen noises I had been making somehow made it worse – but I guess they were successfully helping to open my cervix, because on the next contraction I started bearing down. 

Now with Turner, pushing and bearing down was delightful.  I loved every second of it.  This was HORRIFYING.  It was happening very fast, I wasn’t ready, and it felt much different than with T.  I was a little confused since moments before I still had 3 cm to dilate, so it took me a second to realize I was pushing.

I announced I was pushing and heard someone reference the fact that they were checking me.  I heard “complete.”  Not that anyone could have stopped me at that moment.

My midwife was kneeling in front of me and I had grabbed her hand and was tearing into it with each straining push.  After two pushes, I yelled, “he’s coming.”  I remembered they wanted me to lean back with Turner, so I automatically leaned back.  I heard them yell for Tim who was in the back room for some reason.  With one more push, his head was out.  I couldn’t get his body though – someone checked for a cord – which was wrapped around his neck.  Once they got that off, someone unhooked his shoulder and he came flying out. 

Dude was crying.  Looked like his grandfather. 

I was exhausted.

The next few days were really hard.  I was exhausted and Turner was sad to miss so much of his mama.  The new baby didn’t sleep well until my milk came in, so I was running on empty.

We’re on day 7 of Baby Daschel’s life and I’m blissed out at the moment.

We’ve figured out a way for me to have “special time” with T.  My milk came in and with the help of a nipple shield, Baby D is getting plenty of milk and is sleeping like a champ.

It truly feels like my family is complete now.  I’m a boy mom and I’m thrilled.

March 17, 2013

Waiting for baby

With baby number two (and final), the pregnancy has gone by so much more quickly.

Even these last three weeks, while I'm waiting, the days fly by.  I'm now only a week out from my due date - though I'm anxious to get the party started, I know the baby will eventually come and life as we know it will cease.

Our Au Pair has arrived and I'm already so grateful for her.  She swooped in, got started right away, and T can't stop staring into her eyes and smiling.  She plays really well with him, and since he's madly in love with her, he does whatever she says.  We adults love her too.  She fits in really well, seems to need as much alone time as we do, and joins in when we have company.  This process could have been a total disaster in a number of ways, but so far, we feel so lucky.

A my midwife appointment last week, my blood pressure was a bit high.  Even with visualization, which helped me bring it down when it was high when I was pregnant with T, didn't do much.  They had me come back two days later, and it was even higher.  After a little cry about possibly having to be induced (but being assured my midwives would be there while it happened), we headed to Kaiser for some testing to see what was going on.  Bubbs is home now for his leave, so luckily, he was able to take me to Kaiser for testing.

I have no other symptoms of pre-eclampsia than high blood pressure, but our midwives take no chances - if I want a homebirth I have to do whatever they say to ensure them that I have a normal pregnancy.

So, after an amazing mexican breakfast, we headed to Kaiser.  Navigating the parking lot is sure to raise anyone's blood pressure.  We arrived in labor and delivery and they had us wait in a yellow waiting room with burgundy chairs.  I started crying again - "I don't want to have my baby here, it is so ugly!"  Sobbing and laughing at the same time helped to relieve some of the stress.

Aside from how ugly Kaiser was, I realized just how grateful I am for my midwife team:

- The Kasier nurse demanded that I take of my clothes and put on a gown.  When I asked why, since they would be taking my blood pressure and doing an ultrasound, she said it was "just in case."  Um, "just in case WHAT?"  I put the damn gown on, but over my clothes :)

- When it was time to take my blood pressure, there were three alarms going off, plus my baby's heart rate monitor.  I'm trying to visualize being on a hot deck in the summer with an ice cold glass of wine while I have what sounds like a war going on around me.   Helpful.  In my midwive's office, I'm a lovely sofa and she checked to make sure I was okay with the light conversation going on outside the room.

- When my urine tests came back, the nurse says, "negative."  I was like, "um, negative for what?"  My midwives would have explained it all upfront.

- The nurse who came to take my blood couldn't find a vein and was really rough with me.  This is after I told her I hate getting blood draw.

-They gave me instructions for a 24 hour pee collection - I followed them, then brought the pee back the next day only to be told that I didn't do it right and they couldn't use it.

The good news is - I went from having 152/70 to 118/69 using visualization.  All my testing came back perfectly normal and my homebirth is still on.

I had acupuncture (twice) to help me keep my calm - and man was it groovy (the second time - the first time was just weird since I didn't speak the language of the acupuncturist).

We're in the waiting game now - trying to keep the house clean with all of us here full time and trying to keep me calm.

The birth tub is set up, the meals are frozen, and now it is just time to relax.

March 8, 2013

Au Pair Room Done!

It is 3pm on Friday, March 8th.

Our Au Pair arrives at 8pm.

I JUST finished the room.  It has been mostly done for weeks, but the workers were going in and out to finish painting the exterior of house and I didn't want to start cleaning the bathroom and finishing the floors, making the beds, until they were done tramping in and out.

I spent a long long time decorating, planning, and spent about double our budget to get this room together - a room I won't see again for many many many months.

Just so you remember where we started:

When we moved in...

Starting work to build the rumpus room...

Halfway there.


It lived like this for awhile.

We played down here a lot on rainy days and grandparents slept down here regularly.

Then mama got knocked up, we found out about the Au Pair program, and decided to invite a total stranger to come live with us in our tiny 2 bedroom apartment. it is!

This isn't the most glamorous entrance, but it is her own.

I imagine that rug won't be white when we get the room back in 18 months, but it was SO cheap I don't care.

It would have been nice to iron that slipcover, but this mama's very pregnant and was so not doing that.

We got her a netbook and a cell phone so she can watch netflix and skype and get some privacy from our crazy house.

View from the bed.

View OF the bed.

The bathroom, finally clean.

Frosted the windows with contact paper so she could have some privacy.

A white orchid makes everything look pretty and put together.

Her "kitchen" - I filled it with snacks, tea, a couple cups and plates.  She also has a microwave and a fridge/freezer.  She can use our kitchen anytime, but our house is SO small so if she wants friends over I want them to have a place to hang out and have some privacy, drink wine, and have some snacks.

There's no closet in her room (that wall of doors are the water heaters and furnaces).  I bought these from ikea to hopefully act as a closet for her.  Not fancy at all, but hopefully it will work for her.

I'm a little nervous about having someone come live with us, but this adventure starts in just a few hours...