Saturday, November 30, 2013

A letter to my 14-month-old

Today you are fourteen months old, and I recently read something where parents wrote reasons why toddlers are awesome, so here it goes:

Fourteen things I love about you… my crazy, awesome, 14-month-old:

  1. How you always have to take a new food out of your mouth to examine it before eating it.
  2. How you now copy the “ahhhh” sound your Dada makes after taking a drink.
  3. How you lean forward, stick your head out, and tuck your arms in to run.
  4. How you turn into a mommy-seeking missile when your Dada says, “I’m gonna get you…”
  5. How you use the words “up” and “out” interchangeably until you obtain your desired outcome.
  6. How you chase the cats, hunched over, with your lips pursed, saying “mmmmm” to get a kiss.
  7. How when I catch you squatted to poop, you run to the nearest wall and splay your arms out, as if you’re about to be frisked.
  8. How you laugh, well after everyone else has stopped, and make them all laugh again.
  9. How whenever I hear a song on the TV, if I peek into the living room, you will inevitably be standing in front of it dancing.
  10. How the first time you say a word it is phonetic perfection and slowly deteriorates until it is hardly recognizable, so that people roll their eyes at me for being one of ‘those moms’.
  11. How you let me know you appreciate that you are still being breastfed by taking the time out during nursing sessions to blow raspberries on my breasts and give them kisses.
  12. How you always call out “Mama” whenever Dada gets near the end of your bedtime story.
  13. How you do a little, happy feet, tap dance whenever you are really happy.
  14. How you now give me hugs and kisses unexpectedly, just because you want to.

I love you my Silly, my Bugaboo, my Sugar Bum.

Love, Your Mama

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hogwarts Student and Nimbus 2000 Costumes

Please help us win a costume contest by liking the photo of our costume at this link:

Our costumes were made from items found at thrift shops, except the wand.  I am so proud of our costume this year.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A year ago today, my dream came true...

(This was written the day after one of the most exciting days of my life.  And now that it has been a year since that amazing day, I couldn't help but share it.  So let's go back to 3:00am on 01/25/2012.)

Someday I hope to publish this on my blog, but for now, into word it goes.

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of my life, and hardly anyone knows about it.  It is right up there with the moment I got an email back from Josh when I told him I ‘liked him,’ our first date, our third date when he kissed me in the park, that lovely Halloween where he got down on one knee over pizza and wine, and the beautiful March afternoon when I became Mrs. Kinnaman.  Yes, yesterday certainly ranks with all of those days easily.  Yesterday was the day Josh and I found out that our little family of two was now a family of three.  Yep… you heard that right.  I am pregnant.

This is a moment I have dreamed about as far back as I can remember.  Of course I had every intention of creating this amazing moment when I shared the news with my husband that he would be a father.  Didn’t work out quite as well as I imagined… My adoring husband knew I had just taken the test.  There was no surprise because I am way too open about everything that goes on with my body with that man.

Many of you won’t know this, but our journey to conceive has been a frustrating eight months.  I always believed, and was taught in middle school that I would get pregnant pretty much the moment I thought about it hard enough.  Turns out there really is more of a science to it than that.  I learned that I could get to know my body so much better by tracking my basal body temperature.  Some people know about this, and others don’t, but basically, doing this allows a woman to get to know her fertile times, and be able to look at patterns of her cycle.  Josh would probably say doing this made me stressed.  I would actually go as far as to say it was the one thing that really kept me sane.

You see, I knew based on previous patterns that this time was different.  I didn’t want to admit it to myself because I have had my hopes up a few times only to have them crushed.  But I knew yesterday when I woke up that if I was pregnant or not, the test would show it for sure.  Because of this, I couldn’t bring myself to take the test.  It was finally my husband’s voice calling from the bedroom that "you may as well just take it" that brought me back to this world, and convinced me to take the test.

Immediately, I started seeing something in the area of the test line, but I had imagined I had seen things before, and I didn’t want to go through the agony of staring at a tiny stick for the next five minutes, so I checked my phone and hopped back in bed.  Josh asked, “So?”  I had to tell him I couldn’t bear just standing in the bathroom.  Little did I know these three minutes we sat chatting were our last few minutes believing that we were only man and wife.  I went back into the bathroom, looked at the home pregnancy stick, and it was obvious.  Tears in my eyes and test stick in my hand, I headed into the bedroom, and announced, “there is definitely a line.”  Josh got up and said, “Let me see that; you’ve been known to imagine things.”  But I think we both knew I was right.

We hugged, I kept crying, and it was amazing.  The remainder of the two hours we had before leaving for work consisted of me jumping and skipping around the house and Josh asking that I try to calm down.

I called my sister through gmail (because she is living in France right now) and shared the news by telling her I had inadvertently lied to her the day before when she had asked if I was pregnant.  As a smile spread across her face, the first word out of her mouth was, “Really?”

Calling one of my best friends was definitely the next step.  She and I had been going through this trying to conceive journey together, and I knew she would be glad to hear it.  She was so happy for us, and ridiculously supportive.  She also admitted that she hadn’t realized until that point how much our not being pregnant yet was weighing on her.  I think deep down she probably still felt some sadness that she has not yet conceived, but you would never know it.

When I finally headed to work, I cried in the car.  I was so excited and filled with emotion.  I knew heading to work that I would share the news with two co-workers (Andria and Lauren).  And I am so glad I did.  I needed supportive people to talk to throughout the day.  It was the most surreal feeling walking down the hallway and thinking… a child is being created inside of me right now.  Realizing that in that moment every physical feature of little baby Kinnaman had already been decided.  I still am wondering right now, are you a little boy or girl?  Will recessive traits win over, and give you blonde hair and blue eyes?  Or will you maybe just end up with one of them?  Between your daddy’s curly hair and my dead straight hair, what will yours be?  Will you be chubby when you are an infant?  Probably… Josh and I both were.

I got a text from Josh after lunch saying his dad now knew our news.  I wished I could’ve been involved, but he had his moment announcing to someone, and I was glad he was excited enough to get carried away and share our announcement after saying he was not going to tell anyone.  Now to decide how to tell my parents…

We wanted them to come to us.  We knew that much, so I had to come up with a way to get them at our house without making a big deal.  So I asked my mom over the phone if they would mind coming over some time to help us work on some training with Liesl.  I told her we had been watching too much Dog Whisperer, and that we really wanted to try a couple things with someone new coming over.  She was more than happy to oblige, and she and my dad showed up a couple hours later.

I turned on the video camera.  I had it sitting on the piano.  And Josh opened the door.  We did make Liesl sit when they arrived and did our best to keep her calm… yeah… that worked.  You see, she was wearing a shirt I bought months earlier that said, ‘Shhh… Mommy has a secret in her belly!”  It took a while for my mom and dad to read the darn thing, but they figured it out eventually and were thrilled.

So now, it is about 24 hours since I first took the home pregnancy test, and I can’t sleep.  I guess maybe I am just too excited.  I can’t help but let my mind wonder as I imagine all of the new and exciting things that lie ahead of Josh and I on this journey to no longer just be husband and wife, but to become Daddy and Mommy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Whirlwind Homebirth

(I finished writing this yesterday, and decided I would post for those interested.)

My baby is now one month old, and I can’t believe how the time has flown by.  Just one month ago today, on Sunday, September 30th, I woke up at 4:00am to my lower abs feeling sore.  It was a little odd, but I didn’t think much of it.  Josh and I were just talking the night before about how we wouldn’t be having that ‘September Baby’ that my family was missing on the calendar.

Well, then I noticed an odd cramp… again I didn’t think much of it, but I looked at the clock anyway.  Nine minutes later, I had another one, and then nine minutes later, another one.  That’s when I realized I was having pressure waves.  I woke Josh up and told him, and he told me to relax, and get some rest like my midwife Stephanie had recommended.  I put on a hypnobabies track, and did just that.  After a while, I decided to relax in a tub because I couldn’t fall back asleep.  The pressure waves weren’t intense or anything, I was just excited about the thought of meeting our baby boy or baby girl.

After the bath, around 6:30, I texted Stephanie to let her know that I was having pressure waves that were consistently about seven minutes apart, and that I just wanted to give her a ‘heads-up’ in case it progressed.  I continued doing my best to relax in bed, while Josh started doing some things around the house like dishes and vacuuming.  As a grand finale to my pregnancy sweet tooth, for breakfast, Josh made French toast.  We hung out and watched football.

At 10:00 we decided we needed some food in the house, and we headed to the grocery store.  I was having pressure waves probably every five minutes or so, but I was trying to not pay attention to the clock too much.  I would just walk more slowly whenever I was having one, or just pause for a moment.  They were all generally 40 seconds long or so.  When we got home at 11:00, I started leaking fluid.  Stephanie assured me that this was most likely mucus plug and nothing to worry about, but it was a pain in the butt, and made me feel a bit ridiculous.

Around 12:00 Josh and I had lunch (grilled cheese sandwiches), and I decided to call Stephanie to get an idea of when I should have Crystal (our student midwife) bring the birthing pool.  Stephanie recommended that I try to take a nap if possible before having Crystal bring the pool because it would be hard for me to nap while the pool was being set up.

At 1:45 I called Crystal to have her bring the pool, and set it up.  While she was over setting the pool up, my parents came over and brought flowers, strawberries, and our new camcorder (a baby gift from them, and Mimi and Grandpa).

By 4:00 I got in the birthing pool, after starting to consistently drip fluid.  It felt really nice to be in the pool, and Josh hung out with me in our room where the pool was set up.  I was so glad I took the time to set up our birthing space with hypnobabies affirmations hung up on the walls, LED candles on all the dressers, and the stones from my stone ceremony spread out amongst the candles on my dresser.  It created the environment I needed.

 Stones from my stone ceremony

At 5:05 I had a pressure wave, and in the middle of it, I felt my water break.  It made me lose my focus and throw myself back from the wall of the pool.  I stared down at the water in the pool.  Josh asked me if something was wrong, and I told him what I had felt.  We both started getting more and more excited realizing that this was really happening.  I noticed little white things floating in the water.  When Stephanie came later, she confirmed that this was vernix, and that my water had indeed broken.

Josh called Stephanie at 5:40, and I was really glad that he did because by the time she got there, I really felt like she needed to be there.  I don’t remember her getting there, but eventually both she and Crystal were there.

Josh stayed by my side for all my pressure waves and would quickly do anything he needed to do between them, and always be back in time for the next one.  I remember him holding my hands each time a pressure wave came.  I started feeling my body pushing around 7:00.  I know now that my body was trying to get me to do small pushes, but I was taking this feeling as that it was time to push the baby out.

After about an hour Stephanie asked my permission to do a cervical check so that she would feel better about letting me continue to push as hard as I was.  When she checked me, Stephanie said, “alright we need to switch gears.  You are at a four.  We need you releasing and relaxing.”  She instructed Josh to turn the hypnobabies tracks back on.

I was crushed that I was only at a four and had misread my body so badly.  Stephanie reassured me that it was only a measure of how far I had come, and couldn’t tell anything about what was to come.  This did nothing for me at the time.  I was devastated.  Everyone had been telling me how close I was, and now I felt like they had all been lying to me (I was a little irrational).  I kept telling Josh I couldn’t do this… that I wanted to, but I couldn’t.  Looking back, I know that had I been at a hospital, I would have gotten an epidural at this point.  I had been deflated.

I ended up moving to our bed in an attempt to reset.  Despite my attempts to not push, during each pressure wave, my body took over and would force me to make little quick pushes.  I was mad at myself for not having better control of myself.  I even started arguing with myself, telling myself ‘Stop it.  You aren’t supposed to push.’  I probably looked like a crazy person.  Stephanie told me that it looked like my body was making me do these little pushes and to not fight my body.  I did my best to embrace what my body was doing, while trying to relax at all other times.

At some point I switched back to the pool.  Around 9:00, after about an hour had passed, Stephanie again asked to check me.  I was happy to hear I was at a seven.  It gave me some hope that I could indeed do this.  I started swaying back and forth in the pool to continue relaxing as best I could.  After another hour had passed, Stephanie checked my cervix again, and removed the last little bit that was left.

I pushed for a little while, and Stephanie discovered meconium in the pool.  She did a check to see where our baby’s head was… only to discover that there wasn’t a head there… it was a butt.  As she looked up, she said, “Okay, your baby is breech.  I’ll let you discover the gender.”  When she reached in, she had felt our sweet little one’s butt, and also parts that were… or were not… there.

Learning our baby was breech surprised me.  That baby had been head down since either my 24 or 28 week appointment, and the position was still the same at my 39 week appointment 3 days earlier.  Even my chiropractor, Dr. Jenny, said the baby was still head down.  To this day, I have no idea when our baby turned.  I do remember my belly had started to look and feel a little different than usual a couple days before, but I was under the assumption that the baby was just dropping and getting ready to be born.

I can’t quite remember how long it took, but Stephanie told us that we needed to make the decision of if we wanted to stay at home or transfer to the hospital.  I looked at Josh, but I couldn’t really read him.  He had a very blank look on his face, and he is usually the one who is good about asking question to make sure we make informed decisions, so this threw me off.  I can't remember the whole discussion, but between contractions, I asked Stephanie how the baby was handling things because this was obviously my main concern.  She let me know that she wasn’t concerned about the baby because the heart rate was continuing to be strong.  I looked back at Josh, who still looked about the same, and we decided to stay home.  I felt safe at home with our birth team, and I feared that I might give birth in an ambulance if we tried to transfer, and that seemed like a far less safe option.

So now my job was to push out my baby.  For an hour, I tried to push while in the birthing pool.  Baby’s heart rate was still good, and I could see a little butt through a mirror being held in the pool.  Stephanie asked me what my body was telling me to do, and try whatever position my body was telling me to try, but I was having ‘birthing position block’.  My body wasn’t telling me anything.  Now, I honestly believe this is because I was not going to be able to birth my baby in the pool.

Stephanie asked me if I would be willing to try the birthing stool for a couple contractions, and I agreed and got out of the pool.  Before that day, I would have never considered a birthing stool.  There was something about it that was so ‘unglamorous’ to me… as silly as that sounds.  But in the moment, I wanted to get my baby out.  The longer it took, the more I feared things might head in a bad direction.

Josh stayed to my right and kind of behind me while I pushed on the birthing stool.  My dad was videotaping, and my mom and sister were cheering me along.  It honestly got rather annoying, and at one point I even yelled to them, “I AM trying!”  I didn’t have a good view of what was going on, but at one point I looked down and could see my baby’s legs and butt.  The butt had come out first (frank breech), and Josh told me later that he honestly didn’t know what he was looking at until the legs came out.

I also looked down when Stephanie said the baby was peeing.  I could see the pee running down into the bowl, but I didn’t even think about if this was a baby boy or a baby girl.  Once the shoulders were almost out, and I was between contractions, I remember Stephanie telling me that with my next push, I needed to push, and could not stop no matter what until my baby was out.  She said that we would deal with whatever this did to my body after.  In that moment, everything else was blurry, and I only heard and saw Stephanie.  Her words seemed urgent, and I knew it was important that I listen to her.  When my next contraction started, I pushed with everything I had, and I can’t remember what it felt like.  I just knew I was trying harder than I had ever tried to do anything in my life.  All in all, it only took ten minutes of pushing on the birthing stool.

Next thing I knew (at 11:09 p.m.), our baby was in my arms, and we were in awe of her.  She was very white, and bit ‘bobble-headed.’  Stephanie was rubbing the baby with a towel, and Josh and I were touching and talking to the baby, but probably not as much as we should have been because we were both still in awe of this little creature.  Unbeknownst to us, Stephanie had been trying unsuccessfully to get our baby’s pulse from the umbilical cord, and started to get a little worried.  At that point, Stephanie said, “Talk to her.”

We had a daughter.  I looked up, and the only words I could come up with were, “It’s a girl?”  Stephanie couldn’t believe she’d blown the big secret.  She had been so good about not saying anything for over an hour.  But really, I don’t know when we would’ve finally looked.  We were just so happy to have our baby that boy or girl had not crossed our minds.  I couldn’t believe after so many months of nearly everyone being ‘sure’ that I was carrying a boy, that I was actually holding my daughter.

We moved back to the bed, and Josh and I laid together looking at her.  Stephanie and Crystal asked what her name was, and I looked at Josh, hoping he hadn’t changed his mind.  I had been in love with the name for over ten years, and it took him a while to finally come around to it.  In fact, I think he had only agreed to the first and middle name a couple weeks earlier.  He told them, “Cecily Brynn.”

And this is where most birth stories end, but not ours.  We continued to love on our sweet girl as Stephanie told me that I will start to have contractions again, and to let her know when I felt pressure to deliver the placenta.  Time continued to pass, and Stephanie would ask me occasionally if I felt anything, and I continued to tell her ‘no’.  I was too busy being in love with Cecily to notice that things were getting serious.

After a while, Stephanie asked if I would be willing to take Cytotec.  My placenta wasn’t budging, my umbilical cord was not attached to it very well, and it had been too long.  She had tried to push on my belly to get it to detach, but to no avail.  It took a while, but I agreed to take the Cytotec.  Stephanie watched me attentively after I took it, but unfortunately nothing changed.  The next step was to try a shot of Pitocin, and after administering that, still nothing changed.  Stephanie tried removing it manually, but it just wasn’t coming out, and at this point two hours had passed.  To me it felt like Cecily had only been born 15 minutes earlier.  I was so focused on her and trying to nurse.  We actually managed to nurse twice at home.

Stephanie was trying so hard to get the placenta out at home so we didn’t have to transfer to the hospital, but a transfer became inevitable.  I was now at four centimeters.  As we came to the conclusion that I needed to transfer, Josh was trying to get the car seat out of the box and into the car.  We obviously hadn’t been planning on leaving the house with our baby quite so soon.  Stephanie contacted Tiffany, a nurse midwife she knew at Mercy Gilbert, and explained the situation so they would be ready for me, and we got ready to leave.  When I sat up to go, I was too light-headed, and we made the decision that I needed to be transferred by ambulance.  Stephanie called for a transfer, and they told her it would be a while, so she told them to send the fire department, which made things go more quickly.

I was still on a high from having just given birth to my sweet Cecily, that things still didn’t seem serious to me.  Stephanie answered many of the questions being asked by the medics, and I laughed when I was asked my weight.  I said, “well, the last time I weighed myself she was inside me, and I was 156 pounds.”  (Probably the only time in my life I will ever say I weigh more than I really do.)  I was moved to a stretcher and was parted from Cecily, Josh, and the rest of my support team.  Stephanie told me she was going to stay and clean up and then come to the hospital, unless I wanted her to come right away.  I don’t know what made me ask because my initial thought was to have her come later, but I asked her if she would please come right away, and Crystal stayed to clean up alone.

In the ambulance, I kept thinking about my beautiful baby girl.  I was being monitored, and there were three or four guys in the back of the ambulance.  They kept telling me how beautiful Cecily was, and how happy they were that I had already given birth, and that they weren’t transferring a woman about to give birth.  I guess that is a pretty big fear.  Little did they know I was worrying about that exact scenario four hours earlier.  My blood pressure dropped a bit in the ambulance, and they elevated my feet.  I closed my eyes to rest, but they told me they were going to keep me awake, so they kept chatting with me.  They really were all so nice.

I was wheeled into the hospital, and was taken almost immediately to labor and delivery.  We had to stop for a little while for some vitals to get checked and for them to check me in, I suppose.  They asked me my weight again, which I still found very funny (so I told the same little joke and giggled).  I said bye to the men from the ambulance who had been so kind to me, and I was taken by hospital staff to labor and delivery.  As I was being wheeled down a hallway, I heard a baby cry, and said, “I think that’s my baby crying.”  As we turned a corner, I saw my family.  And Josh, the sweet man who had been a father for under four hours, was doing his best to hold and soothe his baby girl.  “That is my baby crying,” I smiled.  Josh said he thought she was hungry, and I nursed her again shortly after.

Up in labor and delivery we met Tiffany, and probably some other nurses, but this is all a little hazy for me.  When the OB came in, I told him he had delivered my younger sister and brother, which he denied could have been possible because he was far too young… ha ha ha.  I was given more Cytotec at the hospital, and I was glad Stephanie was there to tell them how much I received a couple hours earlier.

Again this is all quite hazy, but I wasn’t ready for what came next, and I don’t remember being told what was about to happen.  Suddenly the OB was manually trying to remove my placenta, and I was screaming and flailing.  I have never been in so much pain in all my life.  I truly felt like I was being tortured.  Nurses were telling me to relax and open my knees and hips, and I couldn’t fight my body’s natural reaction to tense up.  I knew nothing else but the horrifying pain I was in.  Josh told me later that he didn’t think the nurses were ready for what was going to happen either.  As soon as I started screaming one of them ran over to close the door.  I suppose they didn’t want other patients hearing that.  My dad had to leave the room because he couldn’t bear being in there, and Josh told me he wanted to leave, but didn’t think it would be right since he was holding Cecily.  Stephanie stayed at my side and did her best to calm me, but nothing could have calmed me in that time.  The OB also had no luck getting the placenta out that way, and was just scooping out clots of blood.  They actually took it over to be weighed to see how much blood I lost.

I became very light-headed and knew that if I wasn’t given oxygen soon I would pass out.  (I have a history of light-headedness in medical situations).  People were coming in and out of the room and everything was blurry.  I kept repeating, “I need oxygen” and couldn’t focus on anything anyone was saying.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to pass out.  Stephanie told me that I would be fine if I passed out, but I wasn’t really listening.  The anesthesiologist gave up on talking to me and started talking to Josh instead.

I was going to be taken to an operating room, and the original plan was to give me a spinal, but my blood pressure dropped to 60/30, so they decided to just put me under general anesthesia.  Before wheeling me off, I was informed that they were going to try manual removal, if that didn’t work, they would do a D&C, and if that didn’t work, they would have to do a hysterectomy.  That was a big word to hear in that moment, and it was used so nonchalantly.  I was definitely caught off guard.  Stephanie reassured me that this was something they would only do if absolutely necessary to save my life, and that she trusted it would not be taken lightly.

I signed the release, and they took me off.  I couldn’t see him anymore because I was being wheeled out the door, but I said, “I love you Josh” because I try to always tell him that whenever I leave.  He returned, “I love you too,” in a strong, though obviously tearful voice.  I don’t remember how long it took to get to the operating room.  I was very caught up with my own thoughts.  I kept thinking of my sweet little girl’s face, and reminding myself that I had a beautiful baby girl, and if that was the only baby I was going to get to have, then I was still so lucky to have her.

I was very cold in the operating room (still only wearing a bathing suit top from being in the birthing pool), so I was brought some blankets.  The last thing I remember was being told that the IV was going to feel hot and that I was being put under.  I don’t remember it getting hot… I just remember waking up as I was being wheeled into recovery.  I was immediately myself.  I asked so many questions of the nurse with me.  How did everything go?  Were they able to manually remove it?  Where was my husband?  Where was my baby?  Could they be with me?

She was very sweet and answered my questions, and shortly after Josh and Cecily were joining me.  Josh told me more about the procedure.  They didn’t have to use any tools.  It went very quickly.  The doctor basically did exactly what he was trying to do in the room, but it was much easier because I was unconscious.  I was going to need a blood transfusion because I had lost a lot of blood, and that we would either be discharged that night (it was about 4 a.m. at this point) or preferably the following morning.  I knew we would try for that night because being in a hospital was never our plan.  Josh also told me that he had never cried so much in his life.  He hid it from me well though because I don’t think I ever saw a tear.

We were moved to a room where my parents were waiting… well my mom was waiting… my dad was asleep.  He was happy to see me when he woke up though.  They stayed for a little while and then headed home to try to get some rest.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was so happy to be okay, and to have my baby in my arms again.  I was thrilled that she never had to be given any formula because breastfeeding was so important to me.  Josh fell asleep after a while but I just stayed up holding my girl.
 Soon before being discharged... Josh had gone home to get some things ( like clothes for me), and was thoughtful enough to also bring my ring sling.

My stay in the hospital was short-lived (about 17 hours in total).  I had the blood transfusion, which took a while, and they needed to monitor me after to make sure I was handling it well.  We were able to head home at about 7:00 p.m. that night.  The nurses were all super sweet and helpful.  One of them was even kind enough to weigh and measure Cecily because with all of my problems at home, we didn’t get a chance to do that.  She was 20 ¼ inches long, and 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

Our midwife Stephanie came over right when we got home for our one day visit.

Despite how kind everyone was, when it came down to it, I really wanted the three of us to be back at home as a family.  And since I never really slept at the hospital, I still felt like we got to have our first night at home just like I had envisioned.  It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but we still got to have our beautiful first night together.

 Just the three of us at home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bathroom Reno - Day 1 - Demolition

For the last year, we have not been able to use our master bathroom shower, and everyday it ate away at Josh a little bit more. We have been working on tiling the house since August, and we finally made it to the point where it was time to get to the bathroom. We had three quotes done. One was outrageous, and the other two were quite reasonable, but when it came down to it, we knew we could do the work, and save a lot of money. The major bonus... with the money we saved, we could also update the vanity and countertop.

We started with this...
Thanks Honey for cleaning the countertop before taking the picture... grrr!

I know it is a little silly to show you the toilet, but wait til you see the new one.
A picture of the process.
And by the end of the day, we had this lovely blank canvas.

I couldn't help but take a picture of the remnants... please excuse the poo, this is where Liesl takes care of business, and we are a little busy to pick it up at the moment.
Only major issue we ran into was the drainage pipe for the shower broke... definitely turned into a major issue.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Last Christmas, I made the choice to encourage the hubby to have a hobby. He is the type that always feels the need to be improving himself and learning, and had shown an interest in brewing beer, so when Christmas rolled around, I ordered a Cooper's home brewing system I had read would grow with him in his brewing endeavors. It was one of those spur of the moment purchases that wasn't quite spur of the moment because I took a couple hours researching once I decided that would be his Christmas gift.

Well almost a year later, I don't regret that choice for a moment. Now there is even talk of eventually opening our own microbrewery, and a name for our microbrewery has even emerged. Here are some pictures of the most recent home brew in the making. It is the first all-grain brew made with the newly build mash tun and our giant new pot.

And the true proof that it is a home-brew, the beer fermenting in our master closet.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Every month or so, Josh and I have the pleasure of having our niece and nephew over for the night. We were just so lucky this past Friday night.

We enjoyed getting Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

I had to go bring a DVD back to the library (didn't want to get fined), and when I got home apparently my husband had been cooking the children in his new home brewing pot.

Having a grand time sticking her brother in the pot.

Realizing being closed in the pot isn't nearly as fun as putting other people in the pot.
Children stew! Seriously though, a giant pot was the greatest toy. They kept wanting to sit in there for everything.