Category Archives: Parenting

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:

 

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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: