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The big yellow house.

Living in a 1200 square foot house with four children, one of them a newborn, a 78 pound dog and a husband-man may be tolerable for some, but this mama was losing hope of ever having a private moment in the bathroom again, let alone a quiet moment in any room. We could hear the children constantly, no matter what room we tucked them into.

But our effort to find a larger and affordable alternative seemed futile. Every one of our Zillow searches produced the same results. McMansion A or McMansion B. Same houses, different suburb and nothing at all appealing to us.

Seth and I both grew up in century-old houses with solid wood floors, creaky doors, quiet nooks and massive wooded yards. In our childhood homes, imaginations could run wild and we were constantly entertained. A newer house without history, solid floors and a private yard was out of the question.

So, refusing to settle, we waited.

When Foster arrived our online searches became more frequent. 1200 square feet now felt like 800 and we were literally tripping over each other. And then we found it.

The big, yellow house.

We were both shocked that it was actually available. It has to be sold, we thought. This listing can’t be accurate. We scoured through the listing, trying to figure out why no one had snagged her up. Yes, the rooms were old. Yes, it needed work – but “Hello, World!” would you look at her?

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When we walked in for a showing, the realtor didn’t have much of a sales pitch.  Read More…

Married child rearing. Turns out it’s way easier.

Assuming, of course, you are married to a wonderful manperson.

I can now say with authority that having a baby with a man who supports and loves you both to the ends of the Earth is divinely easy compared to having one solo.

Raising Benjamin now feels like a lifetime ago… But sometimes she I am holding Foster I forget he isn’t Benjamin. “Oh, right, this is a different baby entirely.”

Benjamin, the seven year old seems frighteningly huge to me. His big, brown eyes watch me closely as I tend to baby Foster. He reaches out to touch Foster’s cheeks and between asking him if he has washed his hands in one second and reaching for a diaper in another, I drink in the view, hoping I can preserve this moment forever and open it whenever I need to feel pure joy but knowing it will be gone just as quickly. Benjamin is the evidence. Time has no mercy.

He is still adjusting to the idea that I am not solely his anymore. That he has to share me with Seth, Lily, Cohen and now Foster. When he says to me, “Mama, I wish sometimes it was just you and me again.” I say back, “me, too, my love. I miss those days as much as you do.”

“You do?” He asks, surprised.

“Yes! Of course – we had so much fun.” Then tell tales of our adventures and he soaks them up like a sponge, chiming in with his own.

“But,” I add, “Do you know what you wanted more than anything then?”

“What?” He asks.

“A dad.”

His eyes look off into the distance and then back at me. I continue, “and brothers and sisters.”

“Yeah,” he concedes.

“And you know what? When you are 10 you are going to tell me how much you miss being 7. It’s just the way life works. Things are always changing and we all always miss the times before the change.”

He is so strong and brave, my little Benjamin. I wonder how different Foster will be…. Having a mother he shares from the start.

Xoxo mamas, thinking of you out there…

Alaina

Three months.

Oh holy hell, where is the time going?

Seth took another beautiful picture of Foster and I. This time we were awake!

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Things are crazy and nuts, as always. Business is good. I have been back at work for weeks now. Fortunately, I can work from home.

My body is beginning to feel like my own again, while little Foster grows and grows. The sleep deprivation is the worst. But this time, when I wake in the middle of the night to feed my little monster and I am feeling like life will never be sane again, I look over at my sleeping husband and count my lucky stars remembering what it was like with Benjamin. This… is cake in comparison.

I am thinking of you all always, especially my single mamas.

xoxo,

Alaina

7 weeks

We are especially busy on something we do not want to jinx (so I can’t tell you yet).

In the meantime, enjoy a picture of my darling little guy.

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Xoxo,

Alaina

The Birth Story: Foster’s frank breech home birth

Seth and I decided, after our 20 week ultrasound with a doctor, to stop seeing a physician and exclusively see our midwives. The doctor gave us his blessing as I was completely healthy with zero complications anticipated in Foster’s birth. Now, we are torn on whether or not that was the right decision.

Every girl’s dream labor

With everyone telling us how awful labor is our entire lives, it’s hard to believe the experience can actually be awesome. But it can. I can now attest to that. I had been anxiously awaiting mine, scared I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. After all, I had screamed “epidural” after about twenty minutes of labor with Benjamin, thanks in large part to the Pitocin. But still… could I handle it this time around? In my home? With no medication in sight? Our midwives assured me that my body would know exactly what to do. In fact, all I had to do was get out of the way, mentally speaking. Read More…

Home birth video

I have had so many questions from friends and family about the decision to have a home birth. To Seth and I, this is a natural choice as our siblings were all born at home. Having witnessed my mother giving birth to my little brother, comfortably in her own bed and then having experienced my first birth in a hospital, which was a far cry from that peaceful scene – the choice is clear for me.

However, that choice is extremely personal for every woman and I have zero judgement to anyone who wants to have a hospital birth. But, I think those choosing hospital births should educate themselves on their options. So, I wanted to share an awesome home birth video I love in hopes that you, too, may one day consider having a natural birth with the help of midwives in your own home.

NOTE: this is a tear-jerker. Always makes me cry. Read More…

Our epic journey, Part II

We started in Yosemite National Park.

And I must say, this was the highlight of our trip. Yosemite competes with Glaciar National Park in pure, downright, jaw-dropping beauty. I made this nifty gallery instead of embedding a million photos. (Love you WordPress). You’ll see the beginning of a photo bombing “bunny year” war by Benjamin, which continued through the entire trip leaving us with very few good pictures of all three of them.

We camped in Yosemite – for three nights – in a tent. Normally, my un-pregnant self loves camping. I adore every minute of it, even squatting in the woods. So… I was willing my body to just do it. But, by the third morning when Seth had to literally roll me over because I couldn’t move, we decided hotels would be best from there on out.

And, in case you were wondering, Seth’s beard turned into this: Read More…

Our epic journey

It began with the drive out to San Francisco by Seth and his two brothers. Their goal? To make it in time for their youngest brother’s bachelor party. The plan? Seth would make the drive out with his brothers. Nathaneal and Ben would then take one way flights home. The kids and I would fly into San Francisco, Seth would pick us up and after the wedding, we would all drive home together. Hard to follow, I know.

After he left, Seth and I could only connect to talk for a few minutes a day. After finding these pictures on his camera, I know why…

They were too busy taking ridiculous pictures of themselves.

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Using completely different camera settings, part of the charm I suppose… Read More…

I am feeling fine. Due 9/1. And having a home birth. Please don’t project.

There is one question nearly everyone asks me upon seeing my giant pregnant belly. And I mean everyone. Cashiers at check out, distant relatives, street strangers, friends and colleagues.

First the stare down, literally, and then the “How are you feeling?”

This isn’t a bright, happy “How are you feeling? You must be so excited!”  On the contrary, it is a “How are you feeling? You must feel like shit. Because, well, you’re pregnant.”

When I answer, “I”m feeling fine. You know, normal sleepiness at night but just fine overall,” their response is a disbelieving, “Really?”

“Yes, really, I’m fine.”

Our bodies, as women are designed for this. Maybe it’s just me, but pregnancy isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s uncomfortable, sure. It’s annoying because I can’t ride with Seth or have a shot of whiskey after a long week of work. And I hate not being able to go for a jog. But all in all, not a big deal.

But after you hear the sympathetic, “How are you feeling?” so many times you start to think, “Well, should I be feeling worse?” Read More…

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