Feathered Aspen


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Snow Day

 

We woke up to snow and cold temps, so we made french toast, coffee, and an addition for Lily’s dollhouse.

Materials:

  • One Diaper Box
  • Duct Tape
  • One Country Living magazine
  • Mod Podge
  • Three Hours

I think I had way more fun than the toddler ūüėČ

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So fun! ¬†Hope you’re having a lovely President’s Day… ¬†A bit of a strange holiday, but I’m not complaining.


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Before she is born

Three months ago, we bought a new house.  Both Joshua and I were excited about the newness and change that accompanies a new home, but I knew enough about home renovation to feel a good bit of trepidation.

Joshua never ceases to amaze me. ¬†He’s a DIY plumber and electrician. ¬†He can build a kitchen and install any appliance. ¬†He’ll look it up on YouTube, call his dad, or buy a book, and he’ll figure it out. ¬†It’s an admirable quality, this can-do attitude. ¬†This Spring, he made the transition from a History Teacher writing his curriculum from scratch to the Dean of Instruction for a new grade in a relatively new high school charter. ¬†He also trained for a 50 mile ultramarathon.

Sometimes, my husband seems like Superman, and sometimes, my husband seems like a crazy person. ¬†I’m comfortable with dichotomies, so let’s just say he’s both. ¬†He’s Superman, and he’s crazy.

The past three months have been difficult. ¬†Between a new house which could only be described as “a challenge” or a “fixer-upper,” an already over-committed husband, and a baby-belly waiting for no man, Superman or crazy, it’s been a test of endurance and sanity.

I’d like to tell you that I’m one of those zen-mamas that takes adversity in stride, finds the calm in the storm, and all that great BS, but who the hell would I be kidding? ¬†I am definitely NOT zen. ¬†When we moved into this new home nearly a month ago, I felt my world slide into chaos. ¬†I had no kitchen, few outlets, no laundry. ¬†Wires were exposed, and there were many gaps in the floor where I could see down into the basement. ¬†At 35 weeks, I was feeling a nearly primal urge to scrub baseboards, launder linens, and windex windows inside and out; instead, I sat paralyzed amid boxes in a construction zone.

Even a task as seemingly simple as hanging artwork had multiple steps: is it an outer wall or inner wall? Lath board and plaster or cement on brick? ¬†Which drill bit do I need and which fastener? ¬†Hanging Ikea frames quickly reduced me to a pregnant mess of tears. ¬†First, there was figuring out how to afix the wire to the frames, then there was the realization that each wire was at a different height, then the complicated mathematical problem of spacing them in an even grid. ¬†It took me hours, and in the end, Joshua had to go back in and redo the fasteners because the entire thing was a catastrophic mess waiting to descend upon a small toddler’s head.

So here I am, pregnant, unskilled in matters of renovation, and unable to perform even the simplest of labors. ¬†My anti-zen mantra went something like this: ¬†“om, no counter, no sink, no stove, no outlets, om, sob, sob.”

We had help. ¬†The Ps let Lily nap at their place probably a dozen times, and they cooked us plenty of meals when we had no kitchen. ¬†Yvonne painted and cleaned up a storm, and K and Jesse helped Joshua move all of our belongings. ¬†Stacy helped me pack up Gray and then went back to clean. ¬†At the end of April, Papa Tim came out to help Joshua with the kitchen. ¬†I can’t imagine doing what we’ve done without them, and I still have a hard time imagining how we did it all, even with them.

On Monday, we finished the “To Do Before Lu is Born List.” ¬†The outlets are wired, the trim is installed, the lights are hung, and the kitchen is done. ¬†Things are unpacked, baby items are put away, and even the front porch is a pleasant place to sit. ¬†The washer and dryer (actually as of this morning) are installed, and we’re nearly finished with all of the loads of laundry. ¬†We vacuumed and mopped, finished painting the trim, and windexed the inside of the windows. ¬†On Tuesday, we hosted friends for dinner.

The house is not done. ¬†There is a maw of a basement, debris all over the yard, two unfinished rooms in the back, nonexistent landscaping in front and back, and the exterior of the house is pretty homely. ¬†But it is enough. ¬†More than enough, really. ¬†It’s a beautiful home, and it’s fairly astounding that Joshua did so much of it all by himself.

This is the story of my last trimester. ¬†I can’t tell it without telling this story as well, but I’d also like to include the things that are a bit more commonplace.

Tomorrow I’m 39 weeks. ¬†It’s been on my mind that Lu could come any day for two weeks now. ¬†I could be pregnant for another day, or I could be pregnant for almost three more weeks. ¬†Who knows? ¬†So here are the stats, big and small, of my second pregnancy.

  • I started showing at 16 weeks.
  • We found out Lu’s gender at 20 weeks.
  • I took maternity leave at 35 weeks.
  • At 38 weeks, I measured 34 cm and had gained 20 lbs, and the midwife scheduled me for an ultrasound.
  • At my ultrasound on Wednesday, we discovered that Lu may be a bit smaller than Lily(who was 7 lbs 5 oz at delivery), but not so small to cause concern. ¬†The guess for Lu at this point is 6 lbs 6 oz.
  • I like being pregnant. ¬†I have a few fairly unglamorous symptoms, but overall, I feel lucky to be able to carry a baby and bring her into the world.
  • As for the unglamorous symptoms: ¬†wicked varicose veins on my left leg, complete with dark purple patches that cover most of my shins and lumpy veins, loose ligaments in my pelvis, strong and frequent braxton hick’s, and cankles that could easily compete in any geriatric ward.
  • Now that I have two pregnancies to compare, here’s what I’d have to say about the differences: ¬†the first trimester was rocky for both Lily and Lu, but it was definitely harder with Lu. ¬†I was nauseated most of the time, EXHAUSTED, and repulsed by a variety of foods and smells. ¬†With Lu, it was mostly the same, but just more intense. ¬†I threw up more often, and it was harder to find time to sleep with a toddler. ¬†The second trimester was pretty similar. ¬†I gained weight and showed more quickly, but in the end, I hit a plateau and found myself at a similar size and weight to where I was with Lily. ¬†The varicose veins were worse the second time around, and I experienced much more back pain this time. ¬†The one thing that did go much better this time around was my exercise regimen. ¬†With Lily, I stopped running at 27 weeks, but I’m still running with Lu. ¬†I had to learn that even if one run was terrible, horrible, miserable, that didn’t mean I would feel the same way the next day. ¬†So, some days I barely run and I mostly walk, but I do still have days where I run nearly two miles (yesterday in fact!).
  • Another thing that I’ve done differently with this second pregnancy is yoga. ¬†You can read an entertaining post on my general feelings towards yoga up until now, but I decided it was time to try it again. ¬†So many people recommend yoga for attempting unmedicated labor, and so I thought, why not? ¬†I bought a five class pack at the Mamahood, and I’m considering buying another for this last bit. ¬†I’ve surprised myself by loving it; for the first time, I’m appreciating the grace of the movement and the mindfulness of breathing.

So this brings me to my hopes for labor. ¬†I’m at peace with waiting for Lu to arrive, but I am drinking raspberry leaf tea by the liter, and I would prefer to deliver before 41 weeks. ¬†I might grumble a bit if I go later than that. ¬†Given my epic labor last time, I have some plans for this time. ¬†They include: ¬†drinking a glass of wine, going to bed, listening to yoga music, concentrating on my breathing. ¬†I plan to keep moving, sit in the water, and maybe even try a few yoga poses.

Above all, I’m excited to meet Lu. ¬†I’m excited to introduce her to Joshua and Lily, to hold her for the first time. ¬†If I deliver her with an unmedicated, vaginal labor, it will be the fulfillment of a hope of mine, but if I learned anything from my first labor, it’s that my hopes and plans are not the same thing as a map or a blue print, and I have to be ok with that, too. ¬†If I should be so lucky as to have another healthy, beautiful little girl, I will be extremely blessed.

So that’s all for now. ¬†In the meantime, we’re enjoying our time together. ¬†On Tuesday, we went to the Science Museum and had friends over for dinner. ¬†Yesterday, we went to the Children’s Museum and Joshua and I had a little date. ¬†Tomorrow, we’re off to the Botanical Gardens and on Saturday, we’re having a playdate with one of Lily’s friends from school. ¬†Today, we drove to Lair O the Bear and played in the river. ¬†It’s been a good few days.


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After 3

Quite possibly my most prized possession:  the blue window.

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One corner of the “black” room. ¬†Sarah helped stage the shelves, and there’s the grandfather clock that I saw at the Colorado History Museum ūüôā ¬†I like the cow bell from my grandpa’s dairy farm and the hurricane lantern from the old A Ice and Coal business sitting next to each other.

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I love those pea green curtains against the black, and I got that coffee table at the thrift.  The couch was a find at the ReStore for 40 bucks.  Another chandelier from eBay.

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World cup on the tele. ¬†Gorgeous fireplace was a housewarming gift from Sarah. ¬†It’s an old cyrpess mantle that she stripped.

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More from the pink room.


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After 2

The girls’ bedroom.

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We call this room the “pink” room. ¬†It’s full of toys and a gorgeous crystal chandelier.

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Lily and Lu’s bedroom again. ¬†I should have taken a picture of the inside of the closet where Joshua installed gorgeous organizers for diapers, clothes for the girls, etc.

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The curved wall, long curtains (that I made), and a grass green rug ūüôā

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There’s the map I salvaged, a craigslist couch that nearly killed my mother, and up above, the beautiful chandelier.


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After 1

This is our bedroom. ¬†It’s a navy color with lots of white accents and a little gold. ¬†The behemoth wardrobes resolve some closet/thrifting/clothes horse issues I have.

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Gorgeous chandelier I ordered off of eBay.

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There’s the munchkin and behind her, the bassinet for the babe.

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There’s my pretty birch stencil, a changing table, and the diaper pail I always promised myself in Lily and Lu’s room…


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After

Claiming technological ignorance isn’t my favorite mode, but for some reason, my wordpress app keeps closing on my phone, and I’m forced to post images piecemeal… ¬†Hence five posts with five pictures each.

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So the porch is a work in progress, but this is where we are after a little bit of work. ¬†The railing will go, the posts need reinforcements and work, the paint will change… ¬†But at least for now it’s a place I want to be, with chairs and a little outdoor rug. ¬†I spray painted the folding chairs ala Pinterest. ¬†I will say that almost everyone told me not to, that it wouldn’t work, etc., but I’m glad that I ignored their naysaying. ¬†I’m lovin’ the pretty blue. ¬†I recovered the rocker cushion with fabric from the thrift, and I also spray painted the body. ¬†It’s not the prettiest paint job, given the super dry wood that fairly sucked up the four cans of antique white I sprayed, but I like it ūüôā

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There’s much to be said about this kitchen. ¬†So much work went into it, from assembling the cabinets, to leveling them, to putting the faces on, to the pulls, the countertops, the farmhouse sink, the electrical, gas, plumbing, the corrugated steel, the hood, the appliances, the island, the floors… ¬†Oh god. ¬†It was a lot, and it is a big part of the reason that I did not see my husband for the past two months. ¬†It is, however, beautiful. ¬†A masterpiece, if you will.

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I love the tangerine industrial barstools I ordered off of Amazon.

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Our enormous island is our eating space.