Category Archives: Parenting

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:


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:

Kids Room Mural

I made mention before about doing an iridescent wall mural in the kids’ room like this:


Something that looks plain white in the day but at night you could flip on a black light and it would glow.  I got back some great feedback from a reader saying I should be careful about having a black light in the kids’ room so it doesn’t hurt their eyes… It’s something I hadn’t gotten far enough along to consider.  I could hide a black light behind a soffit or something but James and I had another idea.  Why not just have it be a plain ole mural, visible during the day instead of hiding all the hard work AND add glow in the dark paint to the windows/lights so that it was a night scene at night!  I think that would look awesome!

I really want to do some sort of ‘village’, those are the pictures that I liked as a kid, you can make up stories about the things that live in the houses.  Growing up it was a good way to let my mind wonder and drift off to sleep.  I think it would look really cool too.  I suppose some of this depends on the sex of #2 here, we won’t know that for a few more weeks but I am getting some ideas together.  Hazel loves fairies.  I know it’s weird, sh’es too young to really know anything about anything but seriously the only show she actually sits and watches is Tinkerbell.  She’s had an interest that way for several months already (I got a girly girl, no idea where she got that from, it wasn’t me!).  That sent me on the path to a forest.  Then I went to tree houses because they would be awesome!  So… if you were to paint a mural in a couple of kids’ rooms, what direction would you lean?  Do you know of a high quality glow in the dark paint that lasts for a while and WORKS?

I think my number one would be an interconnected tree-house scene, I am afraid it will make things look dark but I think I can paint it in a way that it won’t look dreary…

Family Update 2.17.15

1922071_10204725265345949_2688661031626963334_nThank you all for the congratulations over my pregnancy announcement!  To the few who felt you needed to criticize me, let me clear things up:

  • I am a 31 year old woman in a committed relationship with the father of this and our other baby, this is not an ‘accident’, it is a very purposeful choice to have a second kid.
  • No I am not married, that is also by choice.  My choices are not a criticism of yours.
  • I do not need a lesson on ‘keeping my legs closed’.  I have successfully used birth control for MANY years now… thank you though.
  • I know how babies are made, I don’t need a lesson in preventing pregnancy, accidents DO happen, yes.  This is not one of those situations.  Even if this was an ‘accident’ you should say nothing but ‘congratulations’, certainly if we are not on a first name basis.

Thank you all for the concern and the congratulations, hopefully that makes this a bit more clear that there is no need to criticize a pregnant lady (i.e. me), we are known for bad attitudes so that MAY not be in your best interest ;-).

To the nice people, thank you for your kind congratulations, they mean WAY more to me!

We got to see the new little monster last week for the first time, he/she is barely more than a blip at this point but there is a heartbeat!  The heartbeat apparently means they are at least 6 weeks cooked.  It was tough to measure but the estimate puts me right around 7 weeks pregnant, we will know a better number next month.  So far this is a WAAAAYYYYY better pregnancy than Hazelnut.  I am sick for about 5 hours every evening and tired pretty much all the time but it is a day on the beach compared to Hazel, seriously! That was something rotten!  I’m glad she at least came out cute! :)

We are getting amped up for the tiny house renovation and making those plans/arrangements, the new/old bed is AWESOME, oh how I missed my bed.   :)  It’s fun thinking about ideas to incorporate: wall murals, dutch door, storage solutions for toy management :).

Little Hazel update, she’s walking!  It’s so crazy to see such a little person just toddling around as she pleases!  She can say ‘mama’, ‘dada’ and ‘hot’.  She and Denver are becoming great friends, he loves all of her food and she likes giving it to him!   That is one of her favorite things, giving Denver treats!  She knows all the face stuff and will point to our eyes/nose/mouth/ears when asked, she knows about lights, she looks up when we ask where the light is.  She’s getting pretty grabby but will pat things nicely when told to be gentle, including me, in the middle of the night, half asleep… makes me laugh.  We have a pretty awesome schedule of going to story times, play dates and baby classes, it gets me out of the house and she likes watching (and eventually playing) with other kiddos.  She loves the dinosaurs at the library, pretty much is ‘over’ the story time to go play with the dinos… In a nutshell she is the picture of health and happiness and we are so grateful for the tiny house to give us the opportunity to live this way, I love watching her grow up!

Denny update, he’s still growing (22 months currently)!  I keep thinking he’s done but then he shoots up a couple more inches.  He used to be able to walk right under the pantry door just ducking his head (it’s 34″ from the floor), now he bumps it with his back!  I thought I designed that alright, now I I have to actually shut the door so he can stand on my heels while I cook… :)  He’s been worrying me getting skinny this winter, he seems to have boycott his food and getting ribby but the growing explains some of that…  I try to put little ‘extras’ in his food so he will actually eat it, it’s been helping and he’s getting a little fuller (happy to say, I think hes 140#-150#, haven’t actually weighed him in a while).  I was happy to hear from our Great Dane group that several other Danes in the valley go through this in the winter.  He’s as handsome and sweet as ever, and he digs his new bed, even if he still sneaks up to mine every now and again!   I WILL be going though some deep spring cleaning soon to get the drool off of the ceiling, that is one drawback, though I am certain that would happen in any size house!  (He’s an impressive drooler…)  Other than that we are enjoying the sunshine and good weather we’ve been having and take frequent walks and trips to the dog park to see his friends!

James and I are also great, he wrapped up his shop/garage/studio project and has a sweet little work space!  He’s going to be renting out his front house completely (he’s been renting half out as is) here soon.  I want to get a video tour of his studio soon, I think you’d like it, it’s a different take on a small space, he did awesome and followed through on all the details which is SO important!  In reality there is still just a little left but I think projects are always that way!   He’s been working a lot which is great when you’re an independent contractor, he’s never had to look for work but pretty much stays at the point that he has to turn some away so we can have some free, family time.  I’ve been impressed at how he handles several different types of projects simultaneously.   It’s tough not knowing if you’ll have work in a week/month but it’s nice to be able to build your life where you don’t have to stress about the down time (if you can get some!).  He’s got some loans and such to pay off but has been well on his way to being debt free as well (it’s nice!).  Once we are both there it becomes a lot easier to be location independent and do some wild and crazy things in life.  I wish we lived in a society where it wasn’t ‘normal’ to be strapped with so much debt and so many monthly payments, unfortunately before we know enough to know better most people have student loans or credit debt up the wazoo…  its sad.  It IS possible to escape it though!  That is our goal!  Soon!

Yup, hopefully that covers the basics, I always feel a little bad posting updates, I’ve been asked for one lately though, and it’s a nice way to document my life for the future me!  Congrats and apologies if you made it this far! :)