Sunday, November 11, 2012


There's nothing much to report, and no new ideas in my head; I just thought I should try to post more consistently, and so here I am...

We're still just hobbling along, working out how to survive in the place in life we find ourselves.  We're still in the thick of conquering house and boxes, making progress at a deafeningly slow speed.  I find it a bit sad--we've been here for a month, and I've actually cooked dinner only 3 times.  I just take comfort that, considering the state of our house, 3 times is awfully amazing! 

Some good news:  Owen got a job!  It's a temporary job that doesn't pay quite what we need, but it's something to get us through until something better comes along. 

Tonight we went on a dark night exploration outside, with only flashlights and the stars to guide us.  The kids were brave explorers through the dark field beyond our house, and were eager to find bats and monsters.  However, they wisely suggested we wait until daylight to explore the huge, creepy barn (which is locked with heavy chains...and yet Owen may have found a way in?).  Swarms of real bats just aren't as much fun as a pretend single bat...and we all know that bats exist on these grounds!  Safita brought along her lights-and-sounds Percy the train toy, because he has a (tiny and insignificant) light--but very smart on her part.  When we heard a real train blow its whistle on the not-so-distant tracks, she "toot-tooted" Percy's whistle right back at it, to say hello. 

Our little Baby Blue is still as active as ever.  The kids both seem to have come around to the idea of a boy.  Jack doesn't contradict the baby's gender anymore, but he does often say, "After we have a baby boy, then our next baby will be a girl."  And Safita is just in love with the idea of a baby, period!  Every time we talk about "the baby," she'll exclaim, "Baby BOOYYY!"  Her most recent favorite game is pretending Jack is a baby; she holds him on her lap, rocks him, and covers him in hugs and kisses.  He graciously plays along and does a very good job imitating a baby.  Jack likes to snuggle next to me on the couch and wrap his arm across my belly to try to feel the baby, and he'll ask me all sorts of questions about the baby and this whole pregnancy process.  They both are very sweet. 

We're all sorting and re-sorting through our list of boy names, which has been more of a challenge this time around.  With the other two, we just knew...And this time around, we were 100% prepared for twin girls (at least in the name department), but a boy--I don't know.  We have ideas and names we like, but so far nothing strikes us (or should I say, me) as being right.  I feel like throughout the pregnancy I start to get a feel for who this little person is inside me, and some names seem right and some don't.  I also find great importance in the meanings of names, but the names whose meanings fit this child are not our favorites, and the names that ARE our favorites have meanings that don't seem to fit this child.  What to do?  Well, a name is important, so we're praying for direction. 

Wishing you all a blessed week!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Wee Little Surprise

Last week we had our first midwife appointment in our new location.  I do hate having to always find a new midwife, because you really develop a relationship with a midwife (as opposed to a doctor who's in-and-out), and we loved the last 2 that we had.  It's kind of similar, in a way, to a romantic relationship, in the sense that you're always comparing the new one to the old ones with what you like better and what you don't...and I start to feel nostalgic and miss the old ones, even if I fully love the new one. 

8 weeks
We are limited here in our new location, as the closest midwife is 1 hour 15 minutes away (praying labor doesn't go TOO fast!), so we feel like we really only have one option.  This past appointment was in reality just a consultation to see if we liked her and visa versa, but since I was already 19 weeks along, she also went ahead and did a check-up.  And it was a rather exciting checkup...

12 weeks
As a bit of background, there has been a little bit of confusion in this pregnancy up til now.  My uterus size and position has been measuring larger and higher than it should, causing the midwife to wonder if I was farther along than we thought.  In addition, my pregnancy symptoms have been much stronger for this entire pregnancy, and I've been feeling pretty much constant movement for the last few weeks.  All of these factors caused our newest midwife to question multiples, which I had actually been suspicious of for some time. 

16 weeks
Then, during the check-up last week, we heard 2 distinct heartbeats in 2 different locations with 2 different heartbeat rates...I can't even tell you how thrilling that was--and also terrifying!  The midwife did tell us that the heartbeats didn't necessarily mean twins:  It is possible for the baby to move really fast and for the heart rate to change within seconds.  But the evidence seemed so convincing, I just couldn't imagine that it WASN'T twins!

20 weeks (current)
20 weeks with Jack
20 weeks with Safita

 Today was the day we found out for sure.  It was momentous...


Surprisingly, there is only one baby.  Apparently a large and very active baby.  (Considering my last baby weighed in at 9 lbs 11 oz, and they supposedly get successively bigger, I'm a little concerned!)  We also found out that it's a boy!!!  We are very excited for a new baby boy (!!), but it's also taking some time to readjust our mindset about this baby, because I was convinced it was either twins or a girl, because of how I've been feeling.  The kids also desperately wanted a baby girl, and Jack is still in denial.  When the ultrasound technician announced it was a boy, Jack contradicted with great certainty, "No it's not!  It's a girl!"  He seems to be coming around, though, since we've been telling him how fun it will be to have a superhero playmate and how the boys can outnumber the girls, etc.  And it was Jack who initially nick-named this baby "Baby Blue," which seems a bit intuitive about the gender!
Baby's profile with hand up by his face

top of Baby's face--super cute, even if the ultrasound quality makes it look creepy!

Now we get to have fun picking out a boy name before we welcome this little one into our arms somewhere around March 27!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fabric and Furniture

This is what I did today:


I tackled my first upholstery job!  Now, I know there were probably WAY more important things I should have done, BUT, in my defense:
a) This has been a long-standing project on my To-Do list (I'm talking years).
b) I was MOTIVATED to do it today--and I'm beginning to realize about myself, that if I don't do what I'm motivated to do, I tend to flop aimlessly around and do nothing of consequence.
c) It was in desperate need of attention.  Safita has grown very attached to this chair and sits in it several times a day, but every time she does, the frame falls apart and the cloth sags through the broken seat support to the floor, and it's just a big mess.  It was time to fix it before it became un-fixable.

A very small Jack, excited about the chair when we first acquired it at an antique fair.
So, the kids and I tracked down the nearest Jo-Anns and survived the crazy crowds (the place was crawling like it was Black Friday!) to get our supplies, and spent the rest of the afternoon fixing the chair frame and re-upholstering the cushions.  It wasn't actually difficult, to my surprise and relief--just a little time-consuming.  But, since the quote I had gotten from a professional was encroaching on $200, and I got it done myself for $30, I'd say it was well worth the time and effort!

Now, the old, mustardy yellow vinyl is a super-soft, lightly ribbed, soothing gray microfiber.  The arms and legs of the chair are sturdy and don't fall apart when touched, and the seat doesn't sag!  It's pretty amazing.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Back Online

It's been a long time, folks...Here's my attempt to crawl out of the blog-land abyss I've been lost in for the past 2 months!

As some of you may know, the past few months have been pretty crazy and overwhelming for us.  My internet absence was initiated by a loss of internet service in mid-August, a loss which lasted for 2 months.  I was amazed to realize how dependent we are on internet, because it was very challenging being without!

At the end of September, we had to move out of our apartment with nowhere to go, and spent 2 weeks as guests of my very gracious aunt and uncle.  Owen had been job hunting since the beginning of summer, and by mid-October it seemed he had finally secured a job...and we made the move to New York...and after getting settled received a call that he didn't get the job after all.  It's been more than a little bit stressful. 

Since the move, we also have been completely submerged in getting settled in our new location.  We're slowly getting to know the area better and figuring out where to go for things we need.  And even more slowly, we're getting unpacked...We are renting a spacious but old farm house situated on 100 acres--which is an amazing change from our cramped apartment with no yard!!--but it's taking some extra time and TLC to make it a clean and comfortable space for us. 

The house hadn't been lived in for at least a year, and being an old house has lots of crevices through which critters may enter, and so there's been much cleaning to do and even a few surprises here and there!  One night, our quiet evening was greatly enlivened by a bat, who decided our living room would be a good place to stretch its wings.  We also have our fair share of mice, who are helping themselves to the contents of our kitchen cabinets.  The basement houses an old, dilapidated butcher-block table, which in turn houses live termites (and yes, we have informed the landlords, but they don't seem too concerned).  There are aspects about the house that I love, and some that I really struggle to make peace about...I think the hardest part is that, as renters, we are quite limited on what we're able to do, either for the sake of permission or cost. 

Anyway, we're slowly finding solutions and making things work, and slowly setting up the pieces of our life here. 

Upstairs in the kids' "suite"--tearing out the ancient linoleum under the carpet and cleaning the floors, which had accumulated enough dirt for the lifetime of the house!

dirty floors

The newspaper was from 1952...some excerpts below:

more dirt, mouse droppings, tons of pins and needles, etc.

the kids enjoyed the temporary slide!

The finished bathroom: We painted the rotting and mismatched cabinet (next photo), painted the trim white and wall taupe (it used to be a peachy color similar to the bathtub and sink), and CLEANED!