Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions

I don't remember if I mentioned my New Year's Resolutions here last here. I made myself the goal of either running for 30 minutes or biking for 45+ minutes each day. When I planned my week every Sunday, I would note when our park days were in biking distance and planned on biking those days and running in the mornings on the other days. I also spent the first 2 or 3 weeks of the year just tracking (but not really limiting) my caloric intake just to get a feel for what I was eating. With some diet and exercise, I was down to my driver's license weight (you all know that's your dream weight and it's 10-15 pounds lighter than you currently are) in March. I plateaued there for a while, but was healthy and still eating enough to nurse 2 kids and do my exercising.

Then I found out I was pregnant. I continued the running/biking routine until I was too tired and depressed to continue that kind of regimen. When I came out of that slump, I tried running one last time and discovered that the relaxen in my body had made it so that it felt like my legs were going to fall off my hips if I continued running. So I stopped. I kept up the biking, though.

And that was a good a thing, come July, when our car broke down and we decided to go carfree. We've been carfree for almost 6 months now! That's kind of mind-blowing to me. But it's also awesome. I still bike, even in my now much heavier condition. We will be getting a cargo bike in early 2013 and see if we can keep this up! I'm glad I was already biking so much so that when we went carfree, I was already in shape (quads of steel!) enough to continue.

I also wanted to do the 100 push up challenge and was working on that in early 2012. I was not progressing as quickly as the program assumes you will be, but I was progressing. I had to repeat many of the weeks, but I was able to do 25 or so and I started out at 10. And just as with the biking and running, pregnancy happened and I lost energy to do anything except play video games.

So in the end, I did not keep my resolution to bike or run every day. But I do think my resolution made it possible to be healthy through this pregnancy and love the earth a little more. So on the whole, it was a win.

I've also been thinking about the things I now do that I used to not, even though they weren't resolutions. It might sound silly, but I'm proud that we are now washing our bedsheets regularly. Sometime in 2012 I started washing our sheets and the kids' sheet every other week. Last Friday was the kids' sheets, this Friday will be ours. I know that sounds like common sense and everyone else probably does theirs weekly, but I'm glad we got on that bandwagon. I'm hoping I can keep that up.

I don't have any goals for 2013 yet because I'm still very pregnant and I'm not sure what life is going to look like in a few months. It's difficult to make achievable goals if you don't even know if making your bed is going to be possible! I don't know what my body is going to feel like after this birth or what carting 3 kids around Berkeley is going to be like.

Depending on when I have this baby and how I feel postpartum, I think I'd like to try to do the Shortest Triathlon Ever in Emeryville this April. I'm assuming it'll be the Saturday the 13th this year; the site isn't updated yet. I didn't start the Couch to 5k program after Isaac until 9 weeks postpartum because I wanted to make sure I was fully healed. If I wait that long to work out again, I'm not going to be able to finish the C25k program before the triathlon. In fact, I'd probably have to have the baby this instant in order to have 6 weeks of babymoon and 8 weeks of training. And sorry, that's not happening right now. Baby is safely inside me and prefers to grow a little more.

So no resolutions this year. But I'm guessing life is going to be pretty interesting in 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas

We had a great Christmas. I think staying home and doing nothing else is the best thing ever.

Margaret sang with the Primary kids on Sunday.


I made the kids skirts for Christmas.

And the kids got to unwrap things!

We went to the Lawrence Hall of Science on Wednesday (homeschool round up bonus points!).

 We each got to ride tricycles with square wheels:





The kids climbed a double helix.

We (heart) DNA.

And the kids also got to spend some time getting messy. Here's Isaac painting a wooden alligator.

It was a great Christmas. It's so nice to have McKay home; taking a 6 bus round trip is a lot easier with an extra adult.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Trying out the Madsen

Last Saturday, we took the BART out to Dublin to meet Kristi and try out her Madsen. We also got to try the Yuba Boda Boda with the BionX e-assist.

I have some pictures!


I didn't tip them! Also, check out the Christmas lights she has on her bucket!

The e-assist was great. Definitely need one. Margaret also tried riding on the back of the Boda Boda and loved that as well.

Group picture with Kristi, me and the kids.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter

Today is the solstice, so I guess I can have a baby any time between now and March 21. Phew! I was getting worried I'd never have a baby!


I've been trying to "nest." Here is some proof:

Our new bookshelf from Craigslist for $40. This is where I'll be storing my yarn along with other miscellaneous things like our binders and electrical cords. I need to organize that yarn today.

And we upgraded our sleeping situation and now Margaret has a loft bed. Now if only she would use it...

I also attempted to decorate for Christmas. I made this wreath and garland from the trimmings our neighbors left on the street.

And we have a tree!

And because I was feeling crafty, but didn't want to put any effort into it, I made some bow garlands. Idea from Ruffles and Stuff. And seriously- cheapest decorations ever.

Last Friday I had a dress rehearsal for what it'll be like with three kids. I watched a friend's two month old so she could see The Hobbit. Here I am babywearing with my big belly.

Conclusion: I'm going to fail at life as soon as this baby is born. Three kids alone is just too much. Sure, I'll have McKay for a little while, but he'll be back to work by the time Samus is the age of the baby I was sitting for. It really is in everyone's best interest for Samus to stay in longer. It's far easier to take care of an in utero baby than one that's out.

A couple of weeks ago, my midwife was trying to tell me I'd have Samus by Christmas. I'm pretty sure I gave her the, "You have a third eye" look. This week she changed her tune to, "You know... you probably aren't going to have a baby before Christmas." Yeah... I figured that out when we found out I was pregnant. She also likes to listen around to see if there's a second heartbeat in there (there isn't). This is all midwife-ese for, "You look huge." But I keep measuring spot-on for my weeks and she's not sure how to explain that.

We got the third carseat today. I guess that's important. We didn't get our second one until Isaac was 3 weeks old. Funny things those carseats... you just don't need them if you don't drive! We only bought this third one for the times we'll be using Zipcar or other rental. The worst part about not having a car is not having a place to keep these carseats. I'd love to have a garage to store our bikes and carseats. Bikes are in the kitchen and the carseats are in the office.

So that's what's going on. I'm looking forward to McKay's break next week. He has to work on Christmas Eve, but he gets Christmas through New Year's off. We still have yet to make Christmas cookies and go see Christmas lights, so it'll be busy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

End of the "Semester"

So science class has been over for a couple of weeks. They have a second session of it starting in January focusing on life sciences, but it's going to be further away and we'll have to work out transportation if we continue. Margaret really loves it, though.

The last two classes were about the scientific method, so they did experiments. This picture is the classic "elephant toothpaste" lab. After making observations and hypotheses and testing out a control, they each got to choose what they'd like to change about their beaker of solution and find out how big it fizzes. Some kids added food coloring, peroxide, soap, etc. The teacher also had the kids enact the chemical change of peroxide forming water and oxygen. Margaret and Isaac got to be oxygen atoms. The class held hands and broke their chemical bonds and bonded up with other kids to show the change of the molecules. Very cute.


Winter here means the rainy season. This is from a rainy day. Isaac is the slowest walker while holding an umbrella. Seriously. Three tenths of a mile turn into 20 minutes. I had to give the umbrella to Margaret in order to pick up the pace.


A couple of weeks ago, our homeschool group had a field trip to the MOCHA, so here are the kids painting and being artsy.



In the more "unschooly" aspect of things, while walking to the midwife's house last week, she and I talked about addition. She'll come up with a problem like, "What is 3 plus 5?" and because I like being mathy, I introduced the commutative property and asked her what 5 plus 3 is. She's still learning some of the vocabularly, and will occasionally say, "2 and 5 plus 7!" and I have to explain that "and" and "plus" are synonyms and the word she was looking for was "equals." With the introduction of synonyms, we've been talking about those, too. There was one bus ride where she said, "Mom, let's talk about synonyms. People and humans are synonyms." And we'd come up with other synonyms. After tiring of synonyms she brought up, "Let's talk about mammals," and she listed off animals that are mammals. All of these topics are coming up on their own and she brings them up when she's thinking about them. Yay unschooling.

We're on "winter break" now. This doesn't actually mean anything like getting a break. Oh well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Inquisition Monday: Extroverted Homeschooling

On my Thanksgiving post, Kat asked, "I was wondering if this [her extroverted nature] made you question your decision not to send her to school?"

Yes and no. First, the no.

We live in an area where homeschooling is fairly popular. In the East Bay where we live, there are 3 main homeschooling groups. I've tried them all out and settle on our favorite, based mostly on proximity to where we live, but I do sometimes go to the other groups if I'm feeling particularly adventurous. Just between those groups, we could probably have a homeschool park day, get together, or field trip, every day of the week. And I'm not counting the groups in the North Bay, San Francisco and Penninsula, or South Bay- there are probably 3 or more homeschooling outings every day in the Bay Area if you are willing to travel far. We would have to be pretty extreme recluses to avoid social interaction in the homeschool community!

And if you are in a charter school with an independent study program, the school often sets up park days and activities and classes and BBQs in addition to all the other events going on. That's actually our plan for kindergarten next year: have Margaret in an independent study program through a charter school. Charter schools are public schools, so she'd actually be a public school student. That way I don't have to deal with paperwork and we'll be given money to spend on classes and materials for her.

And then the yes. I am not up to going to all these events all the time. There are some weeks when I'd rather just stay home. The most extreme example of this recently was when I was in my first trimester and dealing with about 6 weeks of continual prenatal depression. If I run into bad depression postpartum this time we might consider sending her to school, however, lots of the homeschool families have also offered to let Margaret come play with their kids. She'll still have lots of social opportunities.

To be honest, I'm not sure if the public schools in our area can handle her social needs either. I spoke to a teacher who got a job offer at our local school and he described the school as "militaristic" and declined the job offer to go to a different school. There is a charter school near us that might fit Margaret well, but won't fit my needs: they require a certain amount of volunteer hours from the parents every month. I have a hard enough time getting babysitters so I can go to the dentist twice a year; I don't think I can find sitters for Isaac and Samus on a monthly basis.

Really, the world is made for people like Margaret. You can call it extrovert privilege. And the homeschooling community is no different: lots of opportunities all the time.


Above: Science class. Getting ready to shoot off rockets. Margaret is on the far right in the sun. And surrounded by lots of kids.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Mother's Blessing

Last Saturday I had my mother's blessing! It was fun and involved henna and friends. Because I was confined to the couch to let my henna dry, I didn't get pictures myself, so these are all courtesy Sariah Kell.

I got there early to get my belly done. It took almost 45 minutes.



I had to sit awkwardly like this until it dried.
After lots of chatting and snacking, I read my fears. After each fear the group would respond with positive things and help put the fears in perspective. When I got through my list, I burned my paper of fears and then did the bead ceremony. Each person brought a bead with an affirmation and talked about why they chose the bead and shared the affirmation. Some affirmations were poems and quotes. And now I have a little necklace for the birth.

Here's the group. Everyone got henna on their arms (except me). Some of the people were people in my ward and the next day was Sunday. I felt a little left out that they could show off their henna on their arms there, but my belly was all covered. Maybe I should have just gone bare midriff...

And here's my belly Monday after the henna has peeled off and darkened. It will probably fade before the baby comes, unless this is magical everlasting henna.


It was a great night and I got to bond with my friends. We need to have parties more often.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Inductions

Unorganized post ahead.

When I was interviewing midwives, one of the most important things I was looking for was someone who wasn't afraid of pregnancies going past 42 weeks. Margaret was thoroughly past 42 weeks and Isaac was pushing 42 weeks. I needed someone who wasn't going to drop care with me if 41 weeks came and went.

Almost immediately upon me asking about their "overdue" policy (you know how books are 10 cents each day overdue at the library!) most midwives started reciting off various natural induction methods they recommend. I didn't get any midwife saying that she'd recommend a mother to go get pitocin or anything like that- it was just, "Oh, when a woman gets to 41 weeks I start suggesting chiropractic/castor oil/acupressure/acupuncture/such and such herb/etc." What I wanted to hear was, "Oh 42 weeks- no big deal, especially with your history."

Maybe I'm the only pregnant mom in the world that doesn't want to try any induction method at all, even if it's "natural." It seems to be common consensus that the "natural" options aren't going to work anyway if your body isn't ready for it. So the point of trying them at all is...?

Some options, like castor oil, can run havoc on your system (diarrhea!)- why would I do that and then discover, "Oh, well, it didn't work so your body/baby must not be ready?"

So birthy friends- what's your opinion on natural inductions? Why is it such a big thing in the midwifery world? I interviewed 4 homebirth midwives this time and each one had some sort of favorite induction method. Is 42 weeks really that scary? 43? Personally, I'd want someone who wouldn't be suggesting that I induce, even naturally. It would be telling me my body couldn't do it- or that they themselves are afraid of a "big" baby. Why would I want a midwife afraid of big babies?

Do you think "natural" inductions work? Did you try it? Did it work? Was it worth it? Am I the only one who wonders, "So what's the point...?" I promise it's not that I want to draw out my pregnancies as long as possible- I get really uncomfortable at the end. I've already been struggling for months with getting my body up out of bed (followed by about 20 feet of waddling due to sciatica pain). It's not pleasant, to say the least. But is it really worth it to cut those last few days/weeks off if nothing else is indicating that there's a problem?

For the record, my midwife hasn't been suggesting that I do anything (yet) since I'm not at my "time to have a baby." She does tend to think I'll have this baby sooner than I expect, but I think she just doesn't get that I gestate long. She's looking at a 3rd time mom and thinking, "Oh, this will be faster and sooner than these other births I'm attending!" HAHAHAHA. Sure, maybe I will, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. I already did the "I'm going to have a baby any day!" thing with Margaret for over a month and that's not fun.

I look forward to your comments.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to know your child is an extrovert

We were doing the "go around the table and mention the things you're thankful for" tradition. It was McKay's turn:

McKay: I'm thankful for my work.

Margaret: Because all your friends are there?

McKay: And I'm thankful for church.

Margaret: Because your friends are there?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Activism

So I haven't been posting any activist-y things lately. With Black Friday coming up, I figured I should.

First, there is the Black Friday Walmart Strike. I haven't shopped Walmart in years and boycotting is great, but the fact that the workers themselves are involved gives this strike extra power. Through the link, you can find your local Walmart strike and participate as a consumer supporting the workers, or if you're a worker, you can strike. Nat Kelly at fMh wrote up a great post, featuring Classwar Kitteh. The post is Mormon-centric, hence the suggestions to fast and pray.

Also related to Thanksgiving is this post on food workers. From farm workers to restaurant workers, the people who handle our food aren't treated well. I worked in a Mexican restaurant when I was in high school, and it's absolutely true (and ridiculous) that wait staff can legally receive only $2.something/hour. Here in California, I believe that the state minimum wage is higher, so it's not quite as bad. And being here in California, the plight of farm workers has been made a little more urgent to me. The few times I've driven up and down I-5 have caused me to think about all the farms I pass and the conditions the workers are out in. Do they have protection against the chemicals they use on our food? Do they get compensated fairly for being out in the heat of California summers and have access to water, food, shade?

Also in the news is the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has received money from Nestle, a major well-known violator of the WHO's own Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. There's a petition for this if you want to sign.

I also wanted to share the link to the Rolling Jubilee. Scroll down and read the whole page and explanation of the way they are trying to forgive the debt of regular people. I think it's a genius idea.


And not related to activism, I'm going to have a mother's blessing/blessingway this time! It's going to be on Dec. 1, so that it's thoroughly before the winter starts and I'm due for a baby. If you want to send a bead or affirmation, contact me through email or Twitter DM and I'll send you my address. I think I'm also going to do a belly cast this weekend before it gets too huge.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pregnancy Update

It's been a while since I've had a pregnancy update. I am seeing a midwife, but like I said in my last post, I'm not sure if I'll call her, or really when to call her. Also, I'm huge. In fact when I last saw the midwife when she looked at me she said, "Are you sure you have your dates right? Was your last period a normal period?" Then she measured me and yeah... my dates are spot on. I'm measuring only a week ahead, which is normal and does not mean I'm off by a month. It just means I look like I'm due tomorrow, but tomorrow is still the fall and not the winter, so nope.

Check me out on the bike:


As you see, my belly is bigger, as is my butt. I store my breastmilk there. McKay thinks it's so that I don't fall over forward with the weight of my belly. Have to balance that out!

And Sunday night was... fun, if you call Braxton Hicks fun. I had some swelling in the evenings this past weekend, due to the fact that I'm not good at staying hydrated when my schedule isn't my every day routine. Then Sunday night came and I had 4 hours of Braxton Hicks every 2-3 minutes: the kind where you have to reposition yourself and breathe through them. The kind that if I hadn't been pregnant before, I might wonder if I was going into pre-term labor. In fact, even the natural-birth-friendly birth course we're taking says that if you have contractions like that for longer an hour to call your midwife/doctor. But I wasn't. First, I had this with Isaac. Totally normal for me, especially if I have something over my abdomen like a tight waistband or seat belt. Second, I'm not in the "ok to have a baby" window yet and with my history of keeping babies in for ridiculous amounts of time, I pretty much doubt anything sooner than 41 weeks as being "real." In fact when I went into labor with Isaac, I didn't think it was "real" for a couple of hours. And he was 9 or 12 days past 40 weeks, depending on your favorite way to count gestation.

I share this because having strong BH contractions (does it count as prodromal labor?) is a variation of normal for me. It's not always a cause for concern. It can be, but it's not always. Sometimes your body just likes to be extra ready for birthing your baby. Maybe this means I'll have a fast labor this time. Isaac's was only 5.5 hours. Shall I aim for 3-4?

No strong BH since then, just the regular kind. Lots of walking a busing the past couple of days. Tomorrow is a big biking day for our errands. Exercise is happening, hydration is happening, gestation is happening.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Homeschool Post

With the croup around Halloween and then the onset of the rainy season, we haven't been doing a lot of "homeschool." We've missed some park days from illness and our friends have, too. We had to cancel a field trip this week because everyone but us were sick (and actually... my kids probably weren't at their best). Margaret has gone to science class a couple of times, but it was cancelled once this month for Veteren's Day. Tomorrow is our last day of science class and they'll be doing rockets. The teacher said she'd like to do a couple of classes in December and a new semester in January, so maybe we're not totally done.

Science class chromatography. They also made litmus paper with filter paper and red cabbage and tested acids and bases.


Isaac "reading."

Margaret has been interested in drawing and instituted a "drawing contest" in which she draws on Isaac. She's our budding tattoo artist. There is a house on his left leg and the markings on his face were an attempt to make him look like Batman.

Because we've been inside a lot, I would say that our most recent homeschool "unit" has been conflict resolution. Lots of struggles over who gets what toy and things like that. But we're working on it.

And now onto another big busy week! You'd think the holiday would slow us down, but no. Here we go!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Carfree Update

We've been carfree for 4 months! I wish I had been keeping track of all the miles we've put in on the bike and the bus. Maybe I'll start up on January 1 and keep track for 2013.

Of course, that's if we're still carfree through 2013. McKay is concerned that with 3 kids, we won't be able to continue to go carfree. I think the biggest hurdle is actually the Zipcar. We need to use it at least once a week to go to church and buckling 3 carseats in and out of a car? Kind of a pain. And what if the Zipcars near us won't fit 3 carseats across?

On Tuesday we took 6 buses round trip to the park. The park was worth it and when I mentioned the bus situation on Twitter, some of the other bikers I follow suggested I get an e-assist.

The bikers really want to see us succeed in our carfree experiment. The overriding opinion was that if we upgrade, we'll like it enough to continue. Upgrading means tuning up the 24-speed and possibly buying a bucket bike and/or e-assist. Humofthecity, a San Francisco biker, wrote a post recently on the e-assists she's tried. Being in San Francisco, she understands hills- and maybe if we had an e-assist we could get rid of the Sunday Zipcar trip. We could just go on up the hills on our bikes! In our Sunday clothes! And be awesome!

But the thing... as of last week when McKay and I were discussing car possibilites, we agreed to try carfree as we have it through the winter. Yes, now would be the perfect time to buy a car when all the dealers are trying to get their 2012 models off the lots, but I'm pretty sure that the dealers will still be having their regular "let's have a sale because it's a holiday!" sales next year. President's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day... And so our agreement was to try through the winter, see what it's like once we have 3 kids and I'm off my babymoon and then find the closest Monday holiday and buy a car then if it doesn't work.

But but but... Oh to upgrade! To a bucket bike! With Thanksgiving next week, there will be sales and I know which bikes I want to keep an eye on. I've even set up google alerts for craigslist in case someone wants to rid themselves of a cargo bike. It would be sweet to upgrade and see if the biking thing gets better and more manageable with 3 kids. It's manageable now, but we could make it a lot easier on ourselves.

The problem is all those upgrades (cargo bike, e-assists, etc) will probably cost us a couple to a few thousand dollars. Still cheaper than a car, but it would suck to buy all that and then find out it still doesn't work for us and have to buy a car on top of all that. On the other hand, the re-sale value of the bike and e-assists would probably be pretty good; we wouldn't be out all our money. And even used cars/minivans on Craigslist are going to be more than $3000, so we'd still be saving money. Oh, but we're supposed to be paying $5000 for this birth since I did hire a midwife (still not sure if I want her there, I'm rather split on the matter at the moment). And Christmas is coming up. And my birthday. And McKay's birthday. And this future baby will probably need a carseat and clothes and things.

So yeah... weighing the options. How sweet would it be to have a bucket bike?! And be able to bike to church?! We would only need the Zipcar on occasion instead of weekly. Now that would be living the dream.

If you want to follow my Carfree Pinterest board with bike ideas and child-arrangement ideas, it's here.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Nesting the Office

I'm not much in to nesting. I'd rather nap. As an attempt to make this nesting thing happen, I'm going to start by showing you the worst room in the house and maybe it'll get better because I have the Internet to be accountable to.

Here's a sad glimpse of our "office," which is a glorified hallway between our kitchen and bedroom. It's our catch-all room and has everything from our files (birth certificates, taxes, bills, genealogy, etc) to my yarn and crafts to a dead computer to our car seats that we need when we use Zipcars. I really need to do something about this space. Hire a professional organizer? Stalk Craigslist for Ikea shelves? Turn this into the kids' room?

Click for larger pictures.

Right to the left of this picture is the doorway to our bedroom. Besides the broken computer, the bulky desk is really unwieldy. We have no use for a desk at all, it just sits there unused, but it goes with some of the bedroom furniture so I can't get rid of it, as per McKay's request. But really, who uses desks these days? Especially large and heavy wooden ones? We use our dining room table for all our desk-like needs and have laptops. Also, check out the box of frames we haven't hung yet. One of the biggest obstacles in our house is that we have plaster walls. It's difficult to hang anything on them unless you plan on making a hole the size of Alaska. So there they sit.


Next up is where the technology meets my craft stuff. The empty crates were for organizing, but we ran into space issues. If the cedar chest and junk drawers didn't take up so much floor room, it'd be a lot easier to use those. Also, I need to go through the junk drawers. I did an experiment this year where everything in those drawers were in the bottom drawer and as we used them, we returned them to the top drawer. It's been about 10 months since we started that, so I'm sure it's safe to toss everything in the bottom drawer.

UFOs are unfinished objects. You can also call them PhD projects (Partially half-done) if you want to sound fancy. FOs are finished objects. The finished objects will be sent to a craft fair to be raffled off. Procedes will go to one of the Berkeley women's shelters. That happens in December. Also, check out the random mega bag of yarn. I really need to organize it all.

A little over to the right, you see one crate of crafts, a sewing machine, a knitting machine, and some other miscellaneous stuff. What you will notice about this and the previous picture is that everything is on the floor. We need shelving that utilizes the entire wall. Because it's all on the floor, it tends to sprawl.

On the opposite wall. This is why I'd like to have a garage or shed: carseats and strollers. The small stroller is out of this shot, but to the right, behind the white board. Can't hang the white board because of plaster walls. The bag we need to toss is leftover cobweb from Halloween that was given to us. Underneath it is a dehumidifier we bought for our previous apartment (mold issues). We don't use it anymore because our landlords don't like that it hurts their electric bill. So it sits and sits, but it does work. Oh, and the diaper station does have a shelf of yarn. Because I can't have space in the house without yarn.

The wall by the kitchen, where you can get a peek at the water heater in the kitchen. Our only use of vertical space. We also have the table leaves over by the boxes to use for shipping. Again, if we had a garage or shed or any kind of storage space, we could keep those sorts of things hidden. And yes, our file system is small. That's because I hate file cabinets and you aren't going to get me to ever use one, ok? They are ugly and clanky and take up way more space than they need to.

Inside the wardrobe, we do not find Narnia. Just stuff. Fabric, blocking supplies, knitting supplies, general crafts.


So you've seen the worst of it all. Once we get this under control, we can cruise for the rest of the house. But really, how am I going to do this without being able to make holes in the wall or find a storage place for things like car seats and strollers?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Inquisition Monday: Baby Prep

Betttina asked, "Inq Mon: how will your life change with 3 kids? How are you preparing DS?"
To the first question, I have no idea. We'll probably have to get another carseat and maybe a car. Maybe. I want to see if we can swing carfree for a little while longer.

I probably won't be as rested as I was after having Isaac. Margaret was still taking naps when he was born, so I often got a little bit of afternoon to myself. Unfortunately, while Isaac still needs a nap, he rarely gets one. Sometimes we are at parks in the afternoon, but most often I spend an hour nursing or lying down with Isaac and almost get him to sleep until... Margaret comes into the room wondering what's taking so long and then Isaac is up and naptime is over. So probably less rest and time to myself. I'm not really looking forward to that.

Other than that I think life will be as normal: taking kids to parks and classes, knitting, podcasting, blogging. I plan on getting serious about starting my own business once the baby is past the baby stage, but that will be a while.

As for preparing Isaac, I've mentioned previously we are watching birth videos. I think we'll also get him a baby doll for Christmas. Margaret has one, but they tend to fight over it. We have childcare lined up for if I go into labor during the day. I'm not sure what else to do to get him ready. For sleeping arrangements, we have a toddler bed and he's actually been sleeping in that a lot of the nights. He still nurses once or twice a day and seems pretty attached to it. I don't think he'll wean before the baby comes, but if he does, I'm ok with that. We'll find out.

So that's it for now! I'm attempting to "nest" this pregnancy and I'll post about that later this week.

Friday, November 02, 2012

End of October in Review

Things have been busy here. I haven't been "homeschooling" like I was in September, and I'm ok with that. I find that I prefer not doing all that much. I think that if we continue with the homeschool route, it'll consist mostly of us choosing classes for the kids (or them choosing them for themselves) and customizing their education. There are some great science and math and computer science options (even AP classes for homeschoolers) where we live. And literary studies for elementary school-aged homeschool kids, even!


The kids playing with each other

Margaret is still loving her science class, but I have no pictures. Last week it was cancelled due to rain and this week Isaac had croup (fever, runny nose, barky cough), so I dropped her off, but stayed away with Isaac, so I didn't get any pictures of the science in action. Margaret did learn about acids and bases, though, and mixed red cabbage juice with different acids and bases to see the colors change. Yay first grade science class!

Isaac hugging a tree while Margaret was at science

The big thing has been Halloween. Isaac missed the church trunk-or-treat because of his croup, but still went out on Halloween night. I caught Isaac's cold, so when McKay took the kids to trick-or-treat at Pixar yesterday, I sat home and watched Buffy. McKay got a really good picture of the kids, but it's on his phone and not mine, sorry!
Halloween day fashion

Halloween night fashion: mermaid and pumpkin

So a rainy and sick two weeks. Maybe things will look up soon. I'm hoping so, but Margaret's voice has started going in and out... I hope she doesn't end up with our cold. 

Snot-faced Isaac.

We still went to the library this week because I had a book on hold come in. And we saw Wreck-it Ralph. So for being sick, unmovable blobs, we did pretty good. I just wish I could stop coughing and subsequently peeing myself. Being sick and pregnant sucks.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Mouse in the House

This morning while I was in the office, I heard the kids calling to me that, "We found another mouse!"
"What color is it?"
"Brown!"
Oh... so not a toy mouse.


After seeing it here, I ran and got an oatmeal container and caught it. It walked right up to me and my container, no problem at all. It's a tiny little one. Something like 1.5-2 inch body length? 3-4 inches of tail?


We walked down to the train tracks, hoping that they are far enough away that our mouse won't find its way home.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween party

I promised costume pictures. There are more at my knitting blog, and none of the pictures are very good. I'll have another chance to get pictures this Saturday and on Halloween.

Margaret is a mermaid. The green scarf is her "seaweed" boa and the dress was made from a fun shiny fabric and tulle at the bottom. We colored her hair blue and green. I tried to make her a crown with sea glass, but failed.


Isaac is a pumpkin. I knit the hat and I sewed the linen shirt together.



And I got a belly picture. I'm not anything in the picture, I just figured I'd wear the things I don't normally get to0 like a skirt with a lace train.