This place.

During the first few weeks we couldn’t believe it was ours. 

We walked from room to room just shaking our heads in disbelief. We had convinced ourselves we would have to wait years to buy a larger home and we had also convinced ourselves we would never find anything this unique, this magical…

We don’t know much of the history yet.

When a house has been around as long as this one has, it’s humbling to know we are just another family between the walls. There were so many more before us and there will be even more to come. How many babies grew up here? How many mothers tucked their little ones in at night in the same rooms? How many fathers scolded their boys for slamming the doors?

The family before us bought the house in the 1960’s and when they did, according to their daughter and son-in-law, everyone thought they were nuts. The place was in shambles. But, they set out to make the house over and build an addition. With their several children as inspiration they built in secret passages and little pint sized nooks that only little kids can fit into. Bud and Mary Stimel raised their children here and eventually left the world here.

I can’t say I blame them. And just like I knew Seth was my soul mate the moment I laid eyes on him, I know this house is where we will live most of our lives, if not – our entire lives.

We have our first before and after picture for you!!!

I give you … the dining area when we moved in. I stole this from Zillow because I, of course, didn’t take my own before pictures. This is the dining section of the kitchen.

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And now… after three weeks of painting (and we still have another coat or two to go) – here is the dining area again. We still have the sitting area by the bay windows and the entire kitchen to finish, but hey! this is progress! Read More…

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

Flying

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

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Life is just flying by and there hasn’t been enough time to blog. That’s not okay… this is my forced journalling, really. If I don’t do it here, 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

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

Lovely love, love, love.

I am behind on pictures (these are from his two week birthday) and things are busy because this little guy is an eating machine. To say he is remarkable is an understatement. Newborns are just so… perfect.

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He is as calm as a baby can be, considering all of the growing he’s doing. I am convinced that’s the Seth in him.

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And all of that curiosity…

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20131008-130610.jpgMore later, I’m sure. Will keep posting pictures as often as I can.

xoxo,

Alaina

 

The nights are long

The nights are long, but I love you anyway. A line in a song I can’t remember the name of right now because I’m tired. Not nearly as tired as Alaina, though. She hasn’t slept more than 2 hours at a time since Foster was born.

But, it’s a line that runs through my head when Foster wakes up at 3 in the morning. Wide awake and staring with those big, dark eyes. The nights are long. As I put him in the Baby Bjorn or the Sling and walk around the neighborhood with only the creaking of crickets for company. The nights are long. When he’s fussy, but doesn’t Read More…

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…

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