Category Archives: Parenting

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!

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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 www.PlanningTiny.com/Events

www.planningtiny.com/events
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!

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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: