Uncategorized

The big yellow house.

Living in a 1200 square foot house with four children, patient 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?

20131211-145630.jpg

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.

We have been too busy living to blog.

But here is a picture of my sweetest little Foster.

FosterSweetFaceEveryone has adjusted to his presence. All three of his brothers and sisters adore him.

And Archer is always near (this shot is from yesterday)

Foster and Archer

FosterandArcherStretch

Life is just flying by and there hasn’t been enough time to blog. That’s not okay… this is my forced journalling, this web really. If I don’t do it here, buy I don’t do it anywhere and then all is lost. The details that make up the memories will be harder to patch together later.

xoxo

Alaina

We have been too busy living to blog.

But here is a picture of my sweetest little Foster.

FosterSweetFaceEveryone has adjusted to his presence. All three of his brothers and sisters adore him.

And Archer is always near (this shot is from yesterday)

Foster and Archer

FosterandArcherStretch

Life is just flying by and there hasn’t been enough time to blog. That’s not okay… this is my forced journalling, viagra dosage really. If I don’t do it here, website I don’t do it anywhere and then all is lost. The details that make up the memories will be harder to patch together later.

xoxo

Alaina

Assuming, here of course, case 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, viagra dosage 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.

Living in a 1200 square foot house with four children, patient 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?

20131211-145630.jpg

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

Home birth video

10 days until our official due date…

I am hanging on by a thread in the sanity department. I just want to be back to my normal self, stuff physician walking at a quick pace, off from one place to the next and wearing whatever I want. Right now, I’m lucky if I can get from my car to the office without being short of breath and I am down to about four outfits that are acceptable for public consumption.

On the bright side, I was a nesting fool before I came to this screeching halt, so, we’re as prepared as we can be for the home birth and for Foster. If you can really be prepared for either.

They will both be firsts for me– a birth at home and having a child with someone I love. I imagine both unpredictable experiences daily and feel as equally exhilarated as I do terrified. Will we ever sleep again? Will the kids adjust okay? Will Seth and I ever get time to ourselves? Yes. Yes. And, yes, I tell myself. But am I just lying to myself– did we ignore all of these obvious things when we decided to have another? Seth says all of our questions will be answered the moment we see his face. And, as always, he’s absolutely right. Knowing this is all happening for a reason and knowing that fear had no place in our decision assures me that everything will be more than fine.

Remarkable, really, how life just comes at you, like a wave.

I am a woman of few words as of late and have been extremely antisocial. I can say this- I miss you World and will be rejoining you very shortly in my skinny jeans back and with an extremely adorable baby on my hip.

xoxo,

Alaina

 
10 more days to go…

I am hanging on by a thread in the sanity department. Everything, pharm thanks to my serious case of nesting, viagra approved is taken care of at the office and at home. So, now, it’s just preparing myself for the birth – at home – and the arrival of little Foster.

As far as the home birth goes, I feel completely comfortable with being here. The rates of C-section for our midwives are a low 4% compared to that of over 25% at area hospitals. Then there’s also the experience of having Foster here, in our home, where we all belong and feel safe and comfortable. I’m actually incredibly excited about the birth. I have been reading piles of books from my dad’s old office. The stories of the births are beautiful versus the stories of the births you often hear now from our generation, given that most are in the hospital.

A hospital birth is my worst fear. Isn’t that interesting? I will freak out if something happens and I have to go in.

As far as the excitement

Mentally, I’m fine one day and totally down the next. Being physically unable to move at my normal pace is what’s gotten me. I can’t even go shopping for more than an hour without feeling faint and short of breath.

But, I know this is completely temporary. It’s just so hard for me to stop as someone who typically never does. For the most part I am directing the kids from the couch. And they have been amazing. Cleaning up after themselves, only when asked (finally starting to do it unprompted), making themselves breakfast, and even playing and keeping themselves occupied for hours without TV or Wii. They’re creative little minds are in full spin right now

I day dream about wearing my skinny jeans and riding with Seth. That’s what I miss the most. Riding with him. Isn’t that odd? I knew I would And being able to walk, to run, to play for hours with the kids instead of in bursts of about 15 minutes at a time.

These last few weeks have been rough the hardest by far. We’re so excited to meet Foster, and I don’t want him to arrive any earlier than he needs, but – ugh – not being able to even shop for more than an hour is torture.
10 days until our official due date…

I am hanging on by a thread in the sanity department. I just want to be back to my normal self, thumb walking at a quick pace, this web off from one place to the next and wearing whatever I want. Right now, I’m lucky if I can get from my car to the office without being short of breath and I am down to about four outfits that are acceptable for public consumption.

On the bright side, I was a nesting fool before I came to this screeching halt, so, we’re as prepared as we can be for the home birth and for Foster. If you can really be prepared for either.

They will both be firsts for me– a birth at home and having a child with someone I love. I imagine both unpredictable experiences daily and feel as equally exhilarated as I do terrified. Will we ever sleep again? Will the kids adjust okay? Will Seth and I ever get time to ourselves? Yes. Yes. And, yes, I tell myself. But am I just lying to myself– did we ignore all of these obvious things when we decided to have another? Seth says all of our questions will be answered the moment we see his face. And, as always, he’s absolutely right. Knowing this is all happening for a reason and knowing that fear had no place in our decision assures me that everything will be more than fine. If anything, my greatest challenge will be accepting that life can really be this awesome.

Remarkable, really, how life just comes at you, like a wave.

I am a woman of few words as of late and have been extremely antisocial. I can say this- I miss you World and will be rejoining you very shortly in my skinny jeans back and with an extremely adorable baby on my hip.

xoxo,

Alaina

 
10 days until our official due date…

I am hanging on by a thread in the sanity department. I just want to be back to my normal self, more about walking at a quick pace, information pills off from one place to the next and wearing whatever I want. Right now, drug I’m lucky if I can get from my car to the office without being short of breath and I am down to about four outfits that are acceptable for public consumption.

On the bright side, I was a nesting fool before I came to this screeching halt, so, we’re as prepared as we can be for the home birth and for Foster. If you can really be prepared for either.

They will both be firsts for me– a birth at home and having a child with someone I love. I imagine both unpredictable experiences daily and feel as equally exhilarated as I do terrified. Will we ever sleep again? Will the kids adjust okay? Will Seth and I ever get time to ourselves? Yes. Yes. And, yes, I tell myself. But am I just lying to myself– did we ignore all of these obvious things when we decided to have another? Seth says all of our questions will be answered the moment we see his face. And, as always, he’s absolutely right. Knowing this is all happening for a reason and knowing that fear had no place in our decision assures me that everything will be more than fine.

Remarkable, really, how life just comes at you, like a wave.

I am a woman of few words as of late and have been extremely antisocial. I can say this- I miss you World and will be rejoining you very shortly in my skinny jeans back and with an extremely adorable baby on my hip.

xoxo,

Alaina

 
I have had so many questions from friends and family about the decision to have a home birth. To Seth and I, look this is a natural choice as our siblings were all born at home. Having witnessed my mother giving birth to my little brother, sick 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, diagnosis this was the highlight of our trip. Yosemite competes with Glaciar National Park in pure, cialis 40mg downright, medicine 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

Nine days ago, dosage I set off with all three kids on a flight to San Francisco to meet Seth. He had driven out a week prior for his little brother’s bachelor party and we were joining him for the wedding.

The plan – drive back home to Ohio from San Francisco and camp the entire way. After three nights in a tent, online and two in a hotel for the wedding – my back and hips decided to stage a mutiny.

Suddenly my last post about pregnancy being a breeze became a haunting jinx as I struggled to walk without pain. We weighed our options- I could fly back or we could keep going, staying in hotels. I would stay back and bench it while the rest of the family hiked. We opted with the later and I am feeling much better, but still have to rest as much as possible. Eleven weeks to go now.

We started in Yosemite, Heaven on Earth- by far my favorite stop so far- then headed through Idaho to meet my brother, Ezra in the Grand Tetons. Now we are in Wyoming and headed toward Iowa City to see another brother. Keep up with us on Instagram – @alaina_gray or @sethgray.

Here is a view from last night as we drive through Bighorn Canyon, a hidden treasure just west of Yellowstone.

20130616-082950.jpg

More pictures when we get back.

xoxo,

Alaina
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, nurse Seth would pick us up and after the wedding, abortion we would all drive home together. Hard to follow, help 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.

AllThree2

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.

With Benjamin’s father largely uninvolved (he sees him once a month for a few hours, pharmacy remedy at most), buy more about Seth is it. The man who will raise him, pharmacy teach him right from wrong and the man who will love him unconditionally, no matter how hard he pushes back.

And he will push back. He does push back. Every day.

Benjamin is a defiant little guy. It’s hard for me to watch because I was the same way, and still am. I am as passionate as I am stubborn and while these can be strengths in adulthood, children with these traits are often a handful. So, while Seth issues his stern warnings and Benjamin stands his ground, I am torn. Part of me is cheering on Benjamin’s strong spirit and the other half of me, the parent half, is willing him to just listen.

So, here we are, one year after moving in with one another and Benjamin is still testing Seth’s authority. But then the dust settles and there are moments like this when the two find a common ground.

In this case, Seth’s birthday cake and Lily and Cohen across from the table making them both laugh about what he should wish for…

SethandBenjaminAnd it’s all suddenly clear- everything will be alright.

xoxo,

Alaina

 
With Benjamin’s father largely uninvolved (he sees him once a month for a few hours, patient at most), Seth is it. The man who will raise him, teach him right from wrong and the man who will love him unconditionally, no matter how hard he pushes back.

And he will push back. He does push back. Every day.

Benjamin is a defiant little guy. It’s hard for me to watch because I was the same way, and still am. I am as passionate as I am stubborn and while these can be strengths in adulthood, children with these traits are often a handful. So, while Seth issues his stern warnings and Benjamin stands his ground, I am torn. Part of me is cheering on Benjamin’s strong spirit and the other half of me, the parent half, is willing him to just listen.

So, here we are, one year after moving in with one another and Benjamin is still testing Seth’s authority. But then the dust settles and there are moments like this when the two find a common ground.

In this case, Seth’s birthday cake and Lily and Cohen across from the table making them both laugh about what he should wish for…

SethandBenjaminAnd it’s all suddenly clear- everything will be alright.

xoxo,

Alaina

 
There is one question nearly everyone asks me upon seeing my giant pregnant belly. And I mean everyone. Cashiers at check out, site distant relatives, discount 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…

The debut booth

After months of toiling over options Seth’s father threw out the name “Foster” at dinner. Foster was his grandfather’s name, sickness here Seth’s great-grand father’s name. So, drugs little Foster will be named after his great-great-grandfather and his grandfather, my father, Raymond.

We love the name and it was one of those – “Yep. That’s it.” moments, so, we know it’s right. Thank you so much for helping by giving us your name ideas.

xoxo,

Alaina
After weeks of prep our booth for the Moonlight Market came off without a hitch. As the founder of a digital marketing firm, ed flipping my switch to sell retail goods was an adventure. I think the booth itself ended up looking exactly like my dream closet.

My dream man set the whole thing up.

After staying up all night to finish his man bag, briefcase – which is now already sold – we spent all day finishing up a few things and then headed to Gay Street in Columbus to pitch our tent and fill it up with goodies.

I’ve never see Seth so tired. See the bags under his eyes? And he was only really half way there all day. It was like talking to zombie Seth. Preparation for the baby, I suppose.

BeautyandtheBikerBooth

But per Seth’s usual, he did not complain once.  Read More…

1 2  Scroll to top