Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changing.

I'm feeling very change-adverse right now. I oscillate between being glad the baby is coming soon and sad that I won't be pregnant anymore once she arrives. Last night I dreamt I got a haircut, fell asleep in the chair and woke up having had over a foot chopped off without warning. I think I'm feeling a little out of control? A little hesitant? A little nervous?

Before I fell asleep last night I was talking to my husband about this feeling - my due date is less than a week away, but I've always felt like she's going to be a little late, maybe a few days. Well, now we are nearing the point where *those* dates are only a week away. Ready or not, in probably no more than two weeks we are going to have a baby. 

Of course I'm excited. I've wanted this my whole life, as long as I can remember. But there's still something twingy in my heart when I think about not having this little squirmer living inside me. Not feeling her kick and roll around and stab me very painfully from within. And then there's the big change to our family - it has been just the two of us for over 11 years. There's a part of me that's scared or maybe apprehensive or maybe just a little sad that it won't be just us anymore. 

Again, this is a wanted, dreamed about baby and I can't believe we are lucky enough to have had such an easy time of it so far (knock wood, let's have an easy time of exiting my body, ok baby?). But the reality of these impending changes has been hitting me hard in the last week or so. It's an emotional time, and boy am I glad to have the time to be home and processing it all, trying to make the most of my final days as a pregnant person. 

There's a lot of work to do around the house, and thank you notes to be written, and miscellaneous "oh I'll do that while I'm on leave" things to wrap up, but I'm also trying to take time to rest. To watch TV (because my brain can't focus on a book) and feel the baby moving around inside me, just the two of us alone. Bonding with my little buddy inside my belly before she's even born. What a trip. 

Anyway, we've got about a week or so to go, give or take. The to-do lists are going to get done, or they won't. I'll have the energy to cook what's in my head, or I won't. I'll blog more, or I won't. It doesn't matter because pretty soon, one way or another, this baby will come out of me and change our lives forever. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Neglecting my other baby

It took me two months to blog about the garden. And now, another month to write an update. I have not done very much work in the garden lately, so luckily Will has been doing some upkeep. I think maybe this weekend we'll do some pruning and whatnot. And maybe I'll take pictures and write about it. But maybe I won't. So in the meantime, here's some pretty photos of the pretty things we've picked lately. Please accept my apologies.

Blueberries! Beans! Peas! Peppers!


The most blueberries I've picked in one go.

SO MANY BEANS! And peppers and peas.
And one tomato. I picked like 8 more tomatoes but haven't
taken a picture of them. Because I'm a bad plant mom.

I think I'm going to pickle these beans, but I need to buy dill. Probably should have done that on one of my daily grocery store runs lately. Ah, there's always tomorrow! I probably need some other stuff like garlic or something, too...if I can remember to do check before I go to the store. Pregnancy brain is real, y'all.

Anything going on in your gardens lately?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

From Guest Room to Nursery in Just 4 Easy Steps

I’ll start out by saying that we definitely don’t live in a Tiny House, or even what most would consider a “small space”. Our current apartment is roughly 1,200 square feet -- twice the size of my first apartment post-college! And yet, after living here for nearly five years, we find ourselves somehow running out of room. Maybe it's because we're secret hoarders. Since we're going through this process of getting rid of things and repurposing our house, I thought I'd share a little bit about our process.

While we are extremely lucky to have a second bedroom, we had been using as a sort of guest room/office/storage facility since we moved in. And, you know, we’re in need of a nursery. So all that stuff is coming out. I’m definitely in nesting mode, and we’ve been working hard to get the house ready for this kid to move in (hopefully not before her due date - stay in there, little girl!).

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Guest room in action - a fold out loveseat
is clutch for a small space!
Not so great for a baby though...
How have we tackled this project so far? Just a few easy steps!

Step 1: Realize how much stuff you have. Panic.
For us, this was compounded by the fact that our landlord has reduced the amount of basement storage we’re able to use (totally within their rights, just not great timing for us - ah, renting!). We’d been storing off-season decorations, childhood memorabilia, oversized camping gear, and other basement-y paraphernalia down there, to alleviate some of our storage needs in the house. Once we moved the basement stuff up into the house, things started getting really tight.

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Our very own storage unit, inside our house!
But where will baby go?

Step 2: Disagree with your spouse about the quantity of stuff you have.
In hindsight, this was an important step for us, because it meant we’ve actually had to stock of what we have, rather than just dumping it all in a storage unit without really knowing what we’re storing. It also means we’re thinking a little bit more about what we’re doing so we don’t get the wrong size unit. Even if you don’t disagree on your plan of action, taking the time to make a plan means your path to storage will be more efficient.

Step 3: Sort (and Purge) Your Stuff.
Because we disagree on the amount of stuff we want to store long-term, we’ve been doing some serious sorting (and purging - hooray!). If you have some space in your house, you can temporarily create a pile in a corner, or better yet, in the middle of a room where you’ll see it all the time and be forced to deal with it. For us, right now, all available space is either Baby Stuff or Stuff To Be Sorted. Sorted Stuff is either purged, moved temporarily off-site (thanks, friends letting us use a corner of their garage!), or in a pile in the only available floor space we have left. Oops.  When you’re thinking about putting things in storage, take the time to sort before you store!

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The bulk of the stuff that we removed from the nursery.
It’s a lot of stuff. We feel like hoarders. It’s embarrassing.
And this isn’t even all of it.

Step 4: Take Stock
Once we were (mostly) done sorting and purging, we took stock of what we have and decided what size storage unit we actually need - my plan was to avoid moving into a storage unit that’s too big or too small and having to move it all around twice. We’re about ⅔ of the way done here (rough and unscientific estimation), and we've begun moving things into storage. Separate post on this coming soon...

Have you undertaken any home changes that required you to change the way you think about storage...and stuff?

Monday, August 8, 2016

We're not hoarders, I swear

Today is the first day of my parental leave. My plan is to spend the next three weeks making our house look less like a hoarder's cave and more like a house where a baby might live. Or hell, a place where human adults might live. I'm trying to do as much as I possibly can while I have a little mobility and a little energy (I had a solid 3 hours of "I CAN DO IT" energy today!), resting my giant, swollen feet in between bouts of productivity.

Currently, we're in "it has to get worse before it gets better" mode, digging through piles of stuff, both old (hello, papers from high school and college!) and new (hello, baby stuff!), and used (hello, hand me downs from everyone we know!). But slowly and surely, we're making dents. Remember what it looked like about a month ago? We were on the road to a clean house! Well, we had a 2nd baby shower. And then I had a work retreat. And then we went on an awesome camping trip. And then I went to BlogHer. And now I'm home and we're done traveling and it looks like this:

Fisheye-style panorama of the living/dining room.
Oh, didn't get a good view of what's on the other side of that pile on the left? Want to see what's on and in front of the couch that you can't even see in the picture because it's so buried in stuff?

It's a bunch of baby stuff! Whee!
Not pictured: the TV room, which is a staging ground for the things we pull off the dining room table to sort. One piece at a time, this will all get taken care of. But now, it's a little wacky around here. And hey, protip: don't look at the photos people link in their #37weekspregnant twitter hashtag. It will only make you feel badly about your lack of Instagram-perfect house and nursery. Where are all the people posting pictures of their not-ready houses, eh?

If you are pregnant and so not ready for your baby to arrive, please do me a solid and leave a comment. Or if you were once pregnant, and weren't quite ready, but things turned out ok anyway, please do me a solid and leave a comment.  

Friday, August 5, 2016

BlogHer 2016 - Halfway In

This is my sixth BlogHer Conference. Every year, I think I basically know what to expect. And every year, I'm taken by surprise at the rush of emotions that hits me somewhere around the first session or keynote (only augmented by this year's addition of All The Hormones). I've been choked up a few times since I arrived on Thursday night, and we haven't even had the Voices of the Year Keynote yet...yikes. Someone find me some tissues.

Because I need to take a nice little nap, and because photos are fun, here's a little recap of days 1-2.

It's 6am and Helen and I are on the road from Berkeley to LA!


The Best Buy booth always shows off
such awesome appliances, it makes me
wish I owned a home and had lots of
money to buy such things. This fridge
is really cool. And it had a watermelon
in it.
Hula hooping while pregnant: 3.5 second record.
Turns out it's hard to hula hoop while pregnant.

The Lansinoh booth had a very comfy couch.
Much appreciated, especially after all that
hula hooping.
This is how many pillows the lady requires.
Naptime.

So far I've seen Sheryl Crow, Kim Kardashian, and Sarah Michelle Gellar speak. I've met some cool sponsors and sampled interesting products. I've attended talks that made me think, and bumped into old friends I usually only see on the internet. 

This is such an incredible community, and it's truly wonderful to be able to attend this conference and get so inspired each year. It makes me proud that my day job is working for a company that believes in the power of online communities. And it makes me proud to be a part of the BlogHer community.

And we're only halfway in. More to come!


Did we meet yesterday or today? Leave a comment and say hi!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Keeping it Real

Look, friends. This is not a place for posturing. This is not a place where I pretend to Have It All Together.

So, in case you are also feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Stuff in your life, I'd like to share one single picture that demonstrates the current state of our living room.


This is the result of several weeks of traveling on the weekends. Of a summer that has so far been well-lived, full of fun and activity and travel. And also of the exhaustion that comes with a growing belly and traveling and working full time. It's been busy, and it's been fun, and this weekend is the first in a long time that we're actually home to work on what I've dubbed Mission: Reclaim The House.

This is just the entry/living room. The dining room, den, and nursery-to-be look quite the same. There's much work to do. And there are only so many weekends in which to do it. But right now, at the time of this writing, at this particular moment, I'm feeling hopeful and full of the possibility that we will Accomplish Great Housekeeping Things this weekend.

I'll update on Sunday night - hopefully the promise of a new blog post will keep me motivated. If I know I'm hoping to show off a job well done, maybe I'll find some energy reserves to do the job! 

Wish us luck.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Garden. 2016.

In the midst of grief and pregnancy, we found time to plant this year's backyard vegetable garden. It's a little bit healing and a little bit exhausting, but overall, it's a nice tradition to carry on, and we're starting to reap the benefits of what we (literally) sowed already. 

I wasn't allowed to do much actual planting this year (pregnant women aren't supposed to dig in dirt, apparently, something to do with possible cat poop. which, definitely possible in our neighborhood), but I did get to project manage and photograph the day's events :)

Dina wields the mighty shovel
Aww babby got me a birthday cake!
Will plans marigolds. Good for bugs.
Team Seeds In Planter Box!
BLUEBERRY BUSH, YOU GUYS
Jack built a fire
Sonja gracefully mulches the garden.
Snow peas and tomatoes and basil and more!
Teeny turnip seedlings starting to sprout!

This year, we planted:
Turnips - Carrots - Beets - Marigolds - Basil - 5 Tomatoes - Padrons - Jalapenos - 2 other Peppers - Purple Beans - Green Beans - Baby Bok Choy - Rainbow Chard - Arugula - Blueberries


And, ta-da, a recent harvest!
Lemons, blueberries, snow peas, arugula, rainbow chard