Category Archives: Denny

He’s Here! Miles A. (aka Mr. T(iny))

He made it!  3 days before his due date!  My midwife was out of town at a conference again so it seemed the appropriate time to go into labor :).  This is the second kid with the same midwife and she didn’t deliver either of my babes! :)   It is quite alright though, she was great for both pregnancies and I had the same stand in midwife who delivered both Hazel and Miles.  Never saw her but to deliver both kiddos, but she was great at talking me through everything both times.  It’s so nice to have someone to make you more comfortable and relaxed while giving birth to little people.  I appreciate both of my midwifes :).

main passtime
main passtime

I had been having contractions for several days and HOPING things would get going soon… turns out being pregnant is still uncomfortable, ALL the time!  :)  At 3:30 I started doing dishes, the LAST thing in the house left to clean.  Almost instantly contractions got a lot rougher and were 2 minutes apart.  I let it go for an hour to see if they would keep going then emailed James that he should probably come home, we might be going to the hospital soonish…  He came right home and tried to get me out the door instantly but I wasn’t convinced I was really in labor yet so we waited, drank some water and kept track of things.  At 5:15 I decided we should probably go check and see, so we went to the hospital.  At 5:30 I was checked in and not leaving until I had the baby :).  At that point I was at 6 cm dilated and the nurses were impressed I wasn’t screaming already :).  Labor is a different kind of pain than just ‘ouch’… it is lots of ouch too but… it’s just different, it’s productive pain so it’s easier for me to work through mentally, and it comes in waves, so I could relax in between and just trust the process would be over soon enough!

It was a pretty fast process really, check in at 5:30, by 10:00 we were cooing to our new little baby boy!  Most of the time was spent joking around between contractions and generally having a good time (weird to say for a labor story…).  I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a moment I considered letting them put lots of drugs in me for labor but ultimately I know that can slow down the process and can put unnecessary stress on the baby, if it was necessary I wouldn’t have hesitated but since it wasn’t I opted to try for another natural delivery with no drugs, it worked well the first go round, why not go for two?  It was rough but I am sure it made the difference between his birthday being the 1st or the 2nd, and I am glad to have had a shorter labor (with only 11 minutes of active ‘pushing’ :)).

We opted this time to just let my folks know so they could pick up Hazel (conveniently on their way home from work!).  No one else knew until after Miles was born, that way there wasn’t added pressure of people waiting in the waiting room or walking in the delivery room.  It was weird to be without Hazel for the night but she had a blast at grandma and grandpas.

Miles was exactly the same length as his sister (20.5″) and weighed 9 ounces more (8 pounds 10 ounces).  Apparently I make big (healthy!) babies :).  We got to do everything just as we wanted, I have two great labor stories and I hope to never be one of those people who like to offer all the worst case scenarios and horror stories to newly expecting mothers.  If I ever get caught doing that I give you all permission to slap me.  Labor isn’t always bad, it’s a pretty amazing process not to be feared!

SINCE BIRTH… Miles has been keeping us busy, he’s had some reflux issues that he seems to have worked through, the first several days he kept throwing up everything he ate and had a lot of fluid in his stomach.  He lost 5% of his weight in the hospital but today at his 12 day check-up he was up almost a pound from birth so we seem to have no issues feeding :).  He’s in the 90+ percentiles on height and weight.  He doesn’t have a tongue tie like Hazel did so feeding has been much easier on me.  He has been the quietest little guy, he sleeps all day and wakes up around 7pm and is in and out through the night but rarely wakes me up, he just looks around :).  We’re pretty smitten, Hazel adores him, I think he must have a raw spot on his forehead from all of her kisses.

She has had some adjustments to make but seems to be rolling with it pretty easily.  About three weeks before he was born we started putting her in ‘school’ (daycare) for two half days a week.  Mostly because she is a social butterfly and really wanted to hang out with the other kiddos (they go on walks right by our house).  She is LOVING school, we may bump up to four half days a week just so I can spend some one on one time with Miles and she really likes it.  We got a stack of her art projects and it is pretty cool to see all the things she is up to.  It’s hard to drop her off for the day but nice to know she really likes it and gets to learn and do so much!

I have the feeling that these two kids of mine are going to be COMPLETE opposites.  Hazel is a very strong willed individual with a lot of opinions… a ‘bossy pants’ some might say.  She’s completely extroverted and a social butterfly.  I think Miles will be more sensitive and easy going… time will tell but it’s been pretty cool to see their little personalities coming out!

We went shopping for Halloween costumes, I had this big plan that Hazel would be a cowgirl, Denver would be her pony and Miles could be a cow… Hazel had absolutely zero interest in being a cowgirl, no matter how many boots and hats she saw… what she wanted… er demanded, was Wonder Woman.  She saw the skirt, grabbed it and threw itt in the cart.  Went I put it back on the shelf she very calmly said ‘no’, grabbed it again and put it in the cart… I didn’t give in at the moment… but… this year we have Wonder Woman and superman… Denver can be bat dog :) (pictures coming soon).  It cracks me up how opinionated Hazel is at 18 months, i don’t think I’ve ever had that strong of opinions, just makes me laugh, all the time!

Lets see, other than all the family shinanigans… Guillaume and Jenna fron Tiny House Giant Journey published their video tour of our place, it’s way better than any of my boring ole tours :)

Here are some images in no particular order:

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Well, I Was Wrong… Family Update Sept 2015

No baby yet!  It’s driving me nuts, I was sure with Hazel that labor was imminent for three weeks, we are about on week three with this little one too… I was hoping by the time I did my next family update there would be a new addition but here I am twiddling my thumbs…

I’ve been having contractions for quite a while but nothing serious or real yet… My due date is still 6 days away so I am not overdue yet, I’ve determined I just have a couple ‘squares’ for kids who wait for their actual due date to be born… little rule followers!   You would think a blood moon would have helped!  :)

Hazel has started ‘school’ twice a week for half days.  I really wasn’t planning on putting her in daycare but we have one two doors down the street and they walk by every so often and she gets SOOO excited to see them… we thought we would get her in there for the social aspect… because we have concerns about her being a bully :).  Raise a baby with a Great Dane in a tiny house and they learn to just push things out of their way!  She definitely rules the roost with Denver but seems to have better social skills, at least nicer ones with other humans… She’s a little awkward at times :).  Several times we have witnessed  her playing with other kids and then it will get quiet and they just stare at each other and she will go in for an awkward hug, she learned that from her mom!  It’s adorable though!  The first day I dropped her off and it was total chaos and she cried and I cried and it was so hard!  When we picked her up she was still crying and they said that she didn’t smile once all day…

Her School Photo
This is her first day photo for our web portal… borrowed jacket, scowling face… not happy! :)

The second day she was very excited to go, she cracked a smile and made better friends.  When we went to get her at noon the second day she saw James and I come in the door, looked right at us, said ‘NOPE!’ and walked outside!  She did MUCH better :).  Every day since then has been about the same, she is enjoying ‘school’ :)

She has quite the vocabulary of both words and noises, she knows almost all of her body parts, animal sounds and will fake a lot of emotions.  We ask for her angry face and it looks about like the image above :).  I think she is moderately aware that he will have a sibling very soon, she’s seen all the diagrams at the doctor’s office and proudly announces baby to the poster with the creepy cut away belly and then grabs my belly… Still, I have no idea how I am going to handle two kids!  It seemed like a good idea to have them 18 months apart!  I think I thought she would be a little less ‘baby’ though! ha!  We will survive, I’m positive… just not sure how yet… :)

Mr. T(iny) is a constant mover!  He’s been nothing but really healthy at every visit, he’s head down, engaged active and getting pretty tough (right into my rib cage!).  I had my last scheduled check up today, REALLY thought I wouldn’t need one scheduled out that far… turns out he’s still there, doing his thing!  I’m ready for his arrival but not pushing things, he will come when he comes, we’re pretty excited to get to meet him!  We’ve got everything all ready for him to make his debut!  Just a waiting game now!

I hustled to get my eCourses done before he made his debut and succeeded!   This was my effort to put together ALL the info I know about tiny houses for others.  I was so extremely nervous to release it, you never know when things are going to be an epic failure and it’s tough not to think the worst… I have gotten some REALLY nice reviews so far though!  They have been out just over a week and I have FIVE 5 star reviews and some REALLY nice words accompanying them!  I can’t tell you how giddy it makes me to hear that someone else feels like I didn’t waste their time!  I REALLY hope they would be beneficial so it’s great to hear feedback saying they were!  Some of the nice words:

Absolutely wonderful!

I have been researching off and on for months come to find out I could’ve just waited for Macy to release her expansive knowledge on tiny houses!! Everything is super informative, very detailed, things I didn’t even know I needed to know I learned about! I love the step by step lectures of all the important things you need to know that would otherwise take a lot of time to sift through article and article! Very well done! …

… Thank you Macy! For always being there for every question and person and for being such an inspiration for another woman who just wants to build her own little oasis her damn self.

Excellent, Informative and Wonderfully Presented

Where to start? I can’t say enough great things about this part of this course. Macy does a great job of covering the “unexciting” specifics that you need to know in order to accomplish your “dream” of building and living in a Tiny House!

I consider this a “must” for anyone who is intrigued by the wonder of this movement. Too many times, individuals are enamored by the hype and then jump in and find themselves “over their head” and quit.

A great place to start and hopefully see how all the details are important in order to build a safe and secure permanent living structure. Great job, Macy!!

Seriously happy with how that is going, I never intended to put out eCourses but with James’s encouragement I did, I am stoked at the process and the reception so far!  If you are interested you can find them HERE, I really do hope they answer the big questions and of course I am around to help answer anything they may miss!

Denver Dog stopped his hunger strike, weird dude stops eating when its too hot or too cold.  He’s probably put on 15 pounds in the last three weeks, thankfully, and doesn’t look malnourished anymore!  I found some tricks to get him to eat his food when he doesn’t want to (he likes the EXPENSIVE canned dog food… the cheap stuff will not do! :) )

He is slowly claiming the couch as his… he knows he’s not allowed up there but if he hides his head and looks cute… he get’s away with it… :)

Here are some of the family outings since the last family update, in no particular order:

Family Update August 2015

Just want to do a quick update, I have the feeling this may be the last chance I get to do that before our little family of four becomes a little family of five!  In the last month or so we have been trying to get out of the house a little more and enjoy the summer, the renovation took a lot of weekends but since it’s over we’ve been exploring!

I am getting pretty huge again, I am still a lot less concerned about weight this go around compared to the first pregnancy, I had a hard time putting weight on when I was pregnant with Hazel, even though I am working a lot this go around I am a lot less freaked out and stressed which helps me stay on a better path and I am right on target having gained 25 pounds so far!  It is amazing how much you gain for a small little baby but there is a lot that goes into it that isn’t just a baby I guess… :)  I am feeling much better in almost every way this time, Hazel was a miserable-miserable pregnancy, this time I totally get why people say they didn’t even know they were pregnant until they were so far along… I definitely LOOK pregnant but most of the time I haven’t felt that way.  As things get closer I am definitely much more tired, I find myself often taking Hazel’s afternoon nap with her, or at least part of it… I really think I am down to the last 3-4 weeks.  This is right about the time I stopped working with Hazel.  This go around I am rushing to get a few things done before Mr. T makes his arrival!  I hope I hope!  :)  Stay tuned for that, I SHOULD have an announcement shortly if all goes as planned!

Mr. T is a mover, I wondered which was stronger, him or Hazel for a while, it’s definitely him!  He moves all day long.  It’s nice because he’s not lodged in my ribs like she was (yet) but he is SUPER low which has given me quite the waddle for several weeks now… it’s pretty tough to walk ‘normally’ with a small human lodged in your pelvis… he seems to be doing awesome though at every appointment, He’s been a really easy pregnancy and Hazel’s been a really easy baby, I am so scared that all hell is going to break loose once they meet! ha!

I do think that Hazel ‘gets’ it a little… I think getting a little brother is a pretty abstract concept to really ‘get’ but she has been paying a lot of attention to my belly, she got to feel him move several times and makes the cutest surprised shocked faces every time.  Every night she gives him a hug and a kiss (but then she will kiss James’s belly too…).  I am pretty sure we have a name, it hasn’t really changed much for several months at least, we still have to meet him first to know for sure but ‘Miles’ is at the top of the list still.  At first when I asked if she could say Miles she got a BIG huge grin… then I realized she thought I asked her to SMILE (I didn’t know she knew that word)… she’s since learned and when you ask her where Miles is she will grab my belly… she even says Miles when she wants to :).  She’s got a TON of words and will try to parrot anything we ask her to, some she’s good at, some need work.  Body parts are all down pat now, to the elbows and knees!  She knows most fruits and can identify them at the grocery store, she LOVES mangos, I think she would turn inside out for a mango sometimes…  She has discovered the art of tantrums too! Fun! :)  I have had to catch her head several times before she slammed it into the ground, we all just ignore them as much as possible so hopefully that phase passes quickly… it’s still kind of hilarious how irrational little humans are…

Denver is on a hunger strike, he seems to stop eating in the super heat of summer and the super cold of winter… I feel so bad because he looks so dang skinny!  I thought we got lucky having one of the few danes it wasn’t hard to keep weight on and then right around a year he turned out to be a skinny mini dane… I have tried putting yogurt in his food to get him to eat it, he just licks the yogurt off…. I’ve tried broth, he drinks it and leaves the rest… I have put hamburger in with the kibble and he picks out the big pieces… I would normally say ‘well he will eat when he’s hungry I guess’ but I can see every dang rib!  I feel guilty when we take him to the park and he plays with the other dogs and looks like Skeletor!  So I am trying to put some pounds back on him… James had some leftover Wendy’s chili the other day and I mixed a little of that in and it did the trick, he scarfed the whole bowl… so that is my method right now until he looks like a healthy dog again!   He’s totally happy and active as usual, just looks skinny, this is the third hunger strike he’s had… it MIGHT have to do with the introduction of Hazel slipping him her leftovers… he’s had a taste of the good stuff and is through with those dang brown pebbles!  Hopefully he gets over it soon!

I have some sad news too, my grandpa who was a very special person in my world passed away last week :/.  He was 90 years old and had such an amazing life (a lot of which I am only finding out about now! I knew he always wore a fireman’s jacket but had no idea he was a volunteer fire fighter and even chief for many years!), he was very influential for me.  I grew up spending every summer on his ranch with the cows and horses.  We used to eat burritos, go to ‘the office’ (the country store) and talk with all the farmers about everything, he’d get a coffee and I’d get a candy… He taught me how to work hard and enjoy life at the same time.  He exposed me to things I would have never got to experience otherwise which have shaped who I am as a person today.  He was an amazing man and I am VERY lucky that I get to share his gene pool!   I always felt like we had a special relationship and I will always cherish that…  On a whim, the week before he passed, I invited myself and Hazel on a road trip with my mom and grandma to see him.  I had a feeling it may be the last time I got the opportunity.  While it was great to see him again and he still had every bit of the spark I know in his eyes, he cracked corny jokes like always and was still ‘grandpa’; his body was giving out, his memories were failing.  It was very humbling to see such a great, independent, strong man in the final days of his life.  He was just a guy that was easy to be around, genuine and fun, oh so serious when needed though!  He was truly loved by everyone he met!  And I got to be his grand daughter!  How lucky for me!

Grandpa Z
My grandpa :)
Hazel got to meet him!
He called Hazel ‘twinny’, because they were twins, just separated by 89 years… :)

I am sad that Mr. T won’t get to meet him but he will certainly hear countless stories of the great man that is my grandpa Z!

Here are some random pictures in no particular order of all of our adventures and projects!  We will sit and patiently await the arrival of our little boy!  I hope your world is as amazing as ours!

Family Update July 2015

Hi Everyone!  I hope you’ve all been well, I figure it’s time for another family update, I’m going to use these few minutes while I have them because it’s been BUSY around here!   We wrapped up the tiny house addition and renovation and it is still totally AWESOME!  The house feels so much lighter and airier! I particularly like the shower, I think I am going to like it even more in winter when things tend to start to feel dark and gloomy.

James and I hit our third anniversary.  Every year we take a snapshot of our life and we realized that we can probably put some breaks on some big life changes!  Here are our four images:

First Date
Our first date. We went to a RAW art show that I had a couple of friends showing their work at. We were pulled over on the way but got out of a ticket, had to be a good sign!
Year 1
Our first year, holding an image from our first date. The day we got Denver and shortly after I moved into the tiny house. Turns out it was also the day we got Hazel ;-).
Year 2
Our second year, Denver grew up! Hazel was about 3 months and we were living tiny!
Year 3
Our third year, Denver has chilled out a bit, Hazel is getting big and we are well into the making of #2, Mr. T(iny). Recently added an addition to continue living tiny!

So that’s good, we made it another year.  :)

So after we finished the renovation I set right into preparing my workshops.  Last week I got to present my first one, I was stoked to have so many people attend.  We had almost 300 people RSVP, I think about 200 actually showed up, it was a pretty full house!   I have three more sessions I’ll be presenting on, for more info they are outlined at
Session one of my tiny house series!

This first one was all about codes and picking the right trailer, we had some great questions, some really nice people and some members of the City even showed up to learn more, I think it was a success!  This Wednesday I will be presenting on Construction and Safety, then Systems and Utilities and finally Design!  It took me forever to comb through my head and actually put together some presentations in a coherent order but I am excited at how they have come together.  The events have been free to those able to show up BUT I was able to record them (and I am happy to say the first one recorded with no issues!).  I plan to edit them to something that will be helpful to those who may not be able to attend.  My whole goal was to make some free resources but at this point I am about $450 invested not including any of the time I spent putting them together or any of the time it’s going to take me to learn to edit and to edit the videos… I THINK I am going to have to put a small fee on the sessions but we will see what I can come up with.  I have been trying the ‘pay what you want’ model so that I don’t have to limit access to only those who can afford it…but… that isn’t actually working out so well.  With the baby coming I figure I need to at least break even!  But I SO hate charging!  We will see if I can get creative!

Speaking of resources and helpful tools, I put together some quick cut-outs a while back that others can download and use, you can get them HERE.   I get asked a bit ‘where to start’, AFTER you figure out your top ten things you must have this is my step two.  You can just get some regular old graph paper, one square = six inches, map out your trailer and put scaled objects into your house, that will give you a really good feel for how much space you need and how well you can fit your life into a tiny house.  It’s great to draw it on the graph paper but sometimes its easier to cut out the components and then you can move them all around and about quick and easy.  If you want to read more about this you can see my post at PlanningTiny, HERE.  If you want the cutouts they are HERE!



If you’re comfy with your design you can go straight to something like SketchUp but these are a good basic starting point to start figuring things out.  After you have your plan to a point you’re liking it I suggest taking the same graph paper and look at the outside/inside elevations too so that you can work out your window locations, roof style, and ceiling heights.  It will give you a pretty good understanding of your space.  from there you could go right into construction or you could take it to the next level and build a 3D or digital model.  These are great tools for showing others, maybe significant others, your ideas and getting them invested in the space too!

The kiddos

Hazel bell is pretty darn impressive these days, she’s at the point she tries just about every word we say out, a lot come out sounding like ‘candy’… Crayon=candy, etc.  We worked on ‘up’ for when she wants up (on my lap or on the counter to help me cook… cause she likes that), and we’ve also worked on ‘help’ when she needs something, they come out sounding exactly the same most of the time and she either needs help or wants up A LOT :).  She will bring me packages to open, or want me to help her put things back in boxes, it’s all pretty cute!  We are working on potty training, she LOVES it!  We got this book Potty

Totally worth the money!  She loves it, she will grab her book and go sit on her potty, she knows the story and ‘ohhhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ along with the story, every damn time, cracks me up! :)  It would be sweet if we could get her mostly potty trained before Mr. T(iny) gets here, but I am not totally sure if that will happen.   We need to just have a solid week to run around naked and ‘get it’.  Right now that is a tall order, I am pretty booked out until the end of August and I am perpetually more tired!  This being pregnant thing with a toddler is tough!  I am not planning anything for September though, hopefully we can make it happen then.  She is more than interested in the idea I just need to devote the time to make it work!  She is LOVING her room still and gets really excited to take her naps and go to bed and she is a smart little ball of attitude, this video pretty much covers her personality, she’s got a bit of the whole ‘little man complex’ :), poor Denver puts up with her:

I actually think Denver secretly likes her attention… though I think he was about ready for bed then.  It’s funny because that is about the fifth time she got him out of bed that way in a row.  He would lay down, she would run out of her room, get him up, lay down until he turned around then go back to her room.  He would look around all confused, forget about it and lay down only to relive the whole thing.  After the last one he just stood and looked at his bed, knowing he couldn’t lay down without her ‘teaching’ him but really wanting to just lay down… she’s a future dog trainer, or dog infuriator :).  He’s good to put up with her!  They are starting to play together which he is enjoying!

Mr. T(iny) is more and more active, I can’t figure out which one of the two has been more bouncy in utero, Hazel or him, I think he is gaining though.  You can sit and see him moving, kinda creepy!  His stats have been spot on the same has Hazel’s, week for week so far.  I am having a much less difficult time gaining weight, which I am actually grateful for.  I was worried with Hazel that I was not gaining enough, it was a stress that not many people have much sympathy for… but it is pretty stressful.  With her I actually lost a lot of weight to start and ended up not gaining a ton.  I definitely showed a lot sooner with Mr. T but have been shocked to find the gain was not nearly what it looked like!  At this point I am right on track and have gained almost 20 pounds at 30 weeks.  I hear that is right about where I am expected to be and I should be gaining 1/2-1 pound a week for the next ten weeks until he’s born.

I am not due until Oct. 4th but I have said since the beginning that I think he will be early, it may be wishful thinking but I still think so!  I’d LIKE him to be Sept. 21 because we have a solstice baby with Hazel, our anniversary is a solstice so it only makes sense he would be the fall solstice BUT I have the feeling it will be Sept. 29th, no real rational, that’s just my thoughts :).   I was expecting a HOT and miserable summer but it really hasn’t been bad at all.  I think I was more over heated with Hazel through the winter than I have been this go around.  It’s so weird just how different the two pregnancies have been.  To date things have not been bad at all, I am getting to the very uncomfortable point now though, I have been contemplating sleeping vertically in a chair… it’s just tough to get comfy laying down… I’m certain that will be happening before too long.  We are getting very excited to meet him though and I even think that Hazel ‘gets’ it a little.  I think she’s going to be a great big sister, she’s such a girly girl and loves ‘babies’, I think that will make things easier for sure.

Mom and I got some fabric to make Mr. T his baby quilt, Hazel’s was jungle animals, Mr. T’s is going to be woodland animals, fox, hedgehog etc.  I say mom and I but really it’s mom, we have a tradition that the grandmas make baby quilts, my turn will be soon enough, for now I will be the happy recipient!  Can’t wait to see how it turns out! :)

Last thing of note I suppose, we had Marc come out and take new photos of the place now that we are done with the renovation, I can’t wait to see them once he get’s them all processed!  We weren’t going to do it but it was about the best decision we made before to just document the accomplishment, we thought it was important to do that again!  I can’t wait to share them with you soon!  In the mean time I took a couple of my own just messing around with some apps and what not on my tablet, they are not great but they were kind of fun to do.

I hope you are all doing great!  Here are some random images:


Renovation Day 6

This weekend we were on hold for a very cool reason!  SketchUp came to do a video shoot!  James and I have been BIG fans of SketchUp for years and years so this was a very cool opportunity for us!  I do admit we were thinking it was going to be a bit less of a production than it was but it was totally awesome to get to hang out with the crew for the weekend!  Mark and Josh came from SketchUp and they had a three person video crew for the actual video production, Tim, Cole and Rex, all of them were a total blast and we were left with a new appreciation for videographers!

The first day was spent doing the interview, Hazel was a champ mostly because of her new best friend, Josh.  She played for a couple hours with him (he did amazing at entertaining her for so long!)  Of all the interviews I’ve done I think it was about the most comprehensive, they had some great questions and of course wanted to chat about Denver :).   From there we went to the tiny house (the interviews were done at their rental) to get a game plan.  They had about the most graceful way of saying ‘can we pay to make your house not look like crap’, I don’t even know how it was said but I do not blame them!  It has been a total construction zone with the addition… our projects are slow going, we were both just glad it was this year instead of last, it was a real mess then!!

In any case, we made a game plan to repaint the trim boards, which were a little weathered after a few years, spray everything down and make the landscape look pretty.  I have to admit, I’ve never been bought so many flowers :).  A trip to home depot while part of the crew went around town to get some b-roll and we were on our way.  Early Sunday morning we woke up and I went for a bike ride with the camera people; James, Tim and Mark stayed back and made the house pretty, painting landscaping and such.  Took some close ups of Hazel and Denver and then we made some fajitas for dinner.  The crew was coming off a long stretch of filming so we made it a late morning on Monday.  James made some SketchUp magic happen and then we went to the dog park followed by some quick interior shots and called it a wrap.

I was completely amazed at the entire process, there is A LOT of tedious set up time for a couple minutes of filming.  Rex and Cole are definitely top notch perfectionists, I can’t wait to see the vision realized.  I was impressed with how seamless all five worked together, they all took turns asking their questions and contributing.  James and I drew a lot of parallels between our trade (architecture) and theirs and we learned a lot!  I am super grateful for that opportunity even if I am wiped out from it all! :)  It is cool when such a big deal like SketchUp is interested in the tiny house movement.  I asked why they were interested (because it is a free software for most of what tiny housers use it for, I can’t say that I see them being in it for the profit…) they said they were interested because it’s such a dynamic set of people who look at life in the same way as they look at running their company, it’s the community feel and ‘doing something different’.  After this experience I must say I am MORE impressed with SketchUp and not just because they bought me a bunch of flowers :).

I DID get to work a bit on the reno just before they got here, Hazel’s room is small enough that I was able to pretty much insulate the whole thing during her naptime.  I used levi insulation.  It is fairly safe to have around a munchkin, you don’t need a bunch of safety gear to put it up, and it’s readily available in small quantities, so I didn’t have to buy a bunch of extra insulation.  This means the addition is slightly less insulated than the rest of the house (R-13 compared to R-21) but I think it will be sufficient.  I did still seal up all the cracks in the sheathing, where two pieces butted up to one and other and all of the corners where the walls, the roof and the floors met.  Hopefully this will help make it warmer in the winter.  Aside from that I worked a little on the electrical.  This weekend, with luck we will be dry walling.  I just have to finish up the electrical but Hazelnut has been feeling under the weather so we’ve been focusing on holding her mostly.  I think she got a little too much heat this weekend, it was quite a bit hotter than we have been used to.  Because of that I went ahead and installed my a/c unit for the summer, a little early, it will hopefully help to get her more comfy and back into routine!

Here are some pictures, I hope you all have had a great week!!


Family Update! March 2015

The kid turned one, spent her whole entire life so far living in a tiny house, what a weirdo! Well more like ‘poor kid, weird parents!’ :). What a great year it’s been though, all those little things I was worried about, about parenting in such a small space, stinky diapers? where does she sleep? are people going to think she’s weird? They have all faded away. (If you’re curious, dumping the garbage takes away the stinky diapers, but really the dog farts are worse anyway… She co-sleeps and we both love it, but she’s getting her own room very soon!… other people’s kids are always ‘weird’ I don’t think she gets any special allowances there, but she’s been called an exceptionally ‘cute’ baby often, I think that is working to counteract the ‘weird parents’ so far.)

Now, we are getting ready for round two and a whole other lot of fears that will soon drift away are starting to surface… I got so uncomfortable trying to sleep being pregnant with hazel that I was simply sleep deprived, that has started, how do you take care of a toddler when you’re sleep deprived!?  When we build the addition, is that going to trigger some neighborhood complaints (the insecurity part stinks…)?  How do I constantly hold and touch a newborn when the other one wants to be held too?  Will Hazel get jealous and feel left out if she has to share me?  How do you handle TWO (probably separate) nap schedules in such a small area?  The list goes on… There isn’t a whole lot I can do about the worry except accept it and trust that it will all work itself out, I think that is all we ever can do, tiny house or not.  I am trying to prepare for the most of it by at least having two separate areas for naps to happen but I am certain there will be times I am ready to cry/scream/walk away… it’s life.  That is where I am at emotionally… physically….

I’m getting bigger!  I think it took a full five months before I even looked ‘maybe pregnant’ with Hazel, I would say at three and a half months I am showing.  It’s kinda that ‘is she chubby or is she pregnant’ stage which a couple people have been kind enough to point out for me :).  I am at the point it is officially uncomfortable to lay on my tummy, oh how I will miss that… that was the ONE thing I missed most while pregnant, more than wine I wanted to lay on my tummy… This pregnancy has been different in almost every way.

With Hazel I was MISERABLE, 24 hours a day I just hated being in my own body.  I hate when people dismiss a pregnant ladies woahs and tell her she should feel grateful, that is the last thing I felt with Hazel, I felt TERRIBLE.  ALL. THE. TIME.  Sure being pregnant is ‘a miracle’, that doesn’t mean it’s always wonderful.  I wanted to throw up 24 hours a day, all day, for TEN MONTHS.  I WISH I could have just thrown up, no, it was the watering mouth, coughs that turn into dry heaving, miserable mess, I couldn’t lay/stand/sit in any position that was comfortable.  Even before THAT point my emotional self was nothing but mad.  I was just angry, sleep deprived and a big mess.

This kid, none of that!  I am happy, I’ve been perfectly comfortable for nearly four months, even forgetting I’m  pregnant at times.  No sickness to speak of, an hour or so here and there but it subsides fast.

With Hazel I worried about so much, I never planned on being pregnant so to be thrown a curve ball and told to run gave me A LOT of overwhelming thoughts that I felt needed to be addressed, midwife, doctor, hospital, home birth, center, who is in the room, what can I eat while preggers, what CAN’T I eat while preggers and on and on… this go round that is all gone, I had a GREAT midwife, I had the best experience, I educated myself on options, I tried to get comfortable with them.  I will do the same here but the majority of the foundation is already under me, which is good, chasing a little one around doesn’t leave a ton of time for more research :).  I feel much more comfortable this go round, that is SUPER helpful for my stress levels.  Oh and the fact I am not working full time for someone else helps.  I still work full time plus some but it’s on MY schedule which is a big deal.

I remember a moment with Hazel, kind of a depressing moment, I was going for a walk with James and Denver and I felt half human for the first time in months, I had moderate energy, I wasn’t so stressed, I didn’t feel like I needed to throw up, it was a nice day.  I knew that second trimester energy boost had hit.  I even told James then, at that moment was probably the highlight of the whole pregnancy (excluding the part where I actually get to meet our daughter…), I felt ‘good’, I knew it was all back downhill after that, I was totally right, but I DID enjoy that day.  This time, I can feel the pregnancy ramping up, I have been feeling TIRED as of lately.  Hazel and I took a three hour long AWESOME nap (I couldn’t do that with her since I worked full time, that probably would have made things easier).  I think I have been lucky to feel this good so far but I think things are moving into the ‘oh, you mean I’m actually pregnant’ phase, time will tell :).  I am ready for whatever.

Miss Hazel had her doctor check up, she is ‘the picture of health’.  She’s gained two pounds and two inches in the last three months bringing her to 21.3# and two and a half feet tall.  She is very proportional and in exactly the 76th percentile for height, weight AND head circumference.  She had a little break from shots last go but this time had to get three.  It was pretty heart breaking for me but she was a trooper.  They had her sit on my lap and I had to restrain her hands because I guess at this age they know enough to swat at things that hurt… I felt like a meanie.  She only cried a second after it was done and then they gave her a book about Clifford and a squeaky toy and she forgave them.  The nurses are great where she goes, they have two give the shots at the same time so it’s not as bad.  I guess they can only tell it hurts and not that it hurts three times at once.  Both nurses came in the door and sighed saying ‘awwww, it’s a cute one…’  They said they fight over who has to give shots to the cute ones… it made me laugh, and also feel bad for the ‘not cute ones’ (but I think they must just say that to everyone :).  She was very brave (and I tried to be too!) and then we went to the park to sit in the sunshine to celebrate it being over.

Denver dog!  Is almost two!  April 24th he turns two!  He’s doing awesome and loving the warmer weather, I get to leave the backdoor open so he can come and go as he pleases in nice weather.  He’s been exceptionally ‘barky’ the last few months, we got a complaint and a visit for having ‘that dog’.  I never much cared because he is almost always barking at the neighbors kids who play ‘war’ with guns in and around the yard… my opinion is that I want him to bark at people with guns… but the other neighbors have different opinions, understandably… so he got a bark collar.  He has a love hate relationship with it, he knows it means he will be getting pet when it goes on but it also means he has to shut it… he tolerates it.

We went on a trip to northern Idaho last week where I got to be an alumni speaker at my collage, that was awesome but we didn’t think we would put Denver through that long car ride again and waiting in the car while we had to do the event etc.  My folks were kind enough to take him in for a few days while we were out.  He got to play with other dogs and have a grand ole time at gma and gpas place, when we came home on Sunday he passed out and has basically be catching up on sleep every since!

The talk in Moscow went well, lots of people showed up which is better than no one showing up :).  We had fun exploring our old stomping grounds (James is an alum of the same program), we saw each others houses and jobs and pasts.  In ten years almost nothing has changed, it was sort of weird.  It was cool to catch up with professors though.   Sort of made us want to move back but then we realized the implications of moving back to a town with a tiny population and no real job opportunities… After that we went north a couple more hours and visited James’s family who recently moved that way.  We all took a trip to their childhood home (he is from those parts originally but grew up in Boise like me).  I was pretty impressed with how well Hazel traveled, she slept the whole way up except about an hour, we had toys and jelly beans for her if things went south but we never needed to use them, she just slept.  Similar story on the way back.   It was a nice little get-a-way.  We are looking forward to another this month for the Tiny House Conference in Portland!  :)

That’s the family update for now!  Here are some random pictures:

Happy Fall All!

Just an update!

I had my first Pumpkin Latte, it’s official and I am SO excited for the changing season!  Fall is here and we had our first real night of rain, you don’t need a metal roof to have the relaxing sound of rain, TPO works too! It was awesome, now it’s all wet out and Denver refuses to go outside for fear of getting his delicate self dirty!  I have been working on little miss Hazel’s Halloween costume, she’s going to be a witch, not the cutesy baby one, a scary one, because it’s halloween, that’s what you do! :)

There is so much to look forward to this fall but my top five favorite parts are:

  • Movie nights with my family around the bonfire!
  • Getting the house all spooked out for Halloween!
  • Brisk days, red leaves and hot cider walks with Denver!
  • Welcoming Hazel into the wondrous thing that is pumpkin pie!
  • All of the unknowns!  (I’m still working all that ‘saying no’ stuff out but I’m on my way!)

Updating on all that… There are a lot of very cool opportunities in front of me right now, I can’t do them all but I get to do some!  I’ve said no to the first big one, traveling the country talking about tiny houses!  And getting paid for it!  Two years ago that would have been AWESOME.  Now, I just can’t make it make sense… it’s hard for me to leave Hazel for a couple hours, I can’t imagine a few days at a time.  I know people do it and it would all be fine but part of this tiny house deal is having the time for ME, to focus on what I want and MY priorities.  Hazel is at the top of that list and I would kick myself for missing out on her big firsts if I could avoid it.  Fact is I don’t need much to live on, it wasn’t even about the money, I am passionate about teaching and inspiring and empowering others, the pay was just the cherry on top.  BUT, as passionate as I am about those things I am more passionate about my family.  Family won this time :).  I am hoping other opportunities like that line up in the future when they make more sense but right now I feel good about my decision to not jump on that one at this point (AND the company was very kind, understanding and supportive about my decision).

I have also been chatting with three different TV stations about my house and various stories on it.  Those are great opportunities but again, they eat into my family/work times.  It is very cool to get to check things like that off an imaginary list BUT… they eat up a couple days at a time in prep and actual shooting so I am learning to be much more selective about which of those opportunities I take.  It is always a balance between my passion to empower, inspire and teach and my family.

Right now I’m working on a separate tiny house design tool as well, along with Ryan’s and my podcast a couple times a week, being a stay at home mom, maintaining Tiny House People and writing my 4 ebooks I have been keeping pretty busy!  I am so happy to see so much interest in going a bit smaller, I feel like this is WHY I got into designing.  How people think of housing has a huge impact on our environment, I like to feel like I am helping to make it easier to start decreasing footprint sizes and I think that is a very positive thing!

Little miss update… She had her 6 month appointment.  Hazel is in great health, she’s in the 97th percentile on height still and 87 on weight.  She took her shots like a trooper and was easier to distract than the last couple times.  We took it easy but she still had a fever for four days and I think she is teething again (she’s already got her two front bottom ones for a month+ now) because she’s been running warm and biting a lot again.   She is eating real food and digging it, we haven’t found anything she doesn’t like yet but she’s still primarily on the boob (which I am proud to say I met my goal of breastfeeding for 6 months!).  THAT though has taken it’s toll on me, I am now 15 pounds under my pre pregnancy weight (50 pound swing from peak pregnancy weight 6 months ago)… I have switched over to ‘eat everything in sight’ mode and a little more exercising so that I can try to get back to my healthy weight and hopefully not get sickly, I can already feel the creaking in my joints, I need to get better nutrients!   Even so, we play and we giggle, she sits up and loves to stand all the time, she doesn’t crawl or anything yet but she manages to get scoot along just fine getting across the bed etc.  We now sleep with the baby gate closed, just in case.  She knows her name now ans smiles/turns to look when its said. We won a photo shoot where she gets to dress up as one of the girls from Frozen, that should be fun[ny]. She’s getting quite the personality, we can’t wait to see how it keeps developing!  I think she’s going to be opinionated but kind and brave!

Here are some random pictures in no particular order of our grand adventures!  (There are two baby videos at the bottom if you want to see her in action!)


I hope you are all well!