Friday, February 24, 2017

surviving a major renovation... with a toddler... while pregnant

Yes, you read that right. It was never our intent to have our kitchen renovation, basement renovation, and the first several months of my pregnancy overlap. Unfortunately our kitchen got started late, our basement got started early (and took much longer than expected), and before you knew it we were expecting baby number two. Living through a renovation when you're at home all day with a toddler and two dogs is tough, so I wanted to share a few things that helped us get by.

This was part of the basement waterproofing process. One of MANY truckloads full of yuck that got removed from the house.

1. Get your pets out of the house.

Whether this be for a few minutes or a few days, do what you can. Our dogs were surprisingly well behaved considering we had men in and out of the house several times a day, and our yard was monopolized by construction equipment rendering it unusable for doggy bathroom breaks or play time. I made it a point to strap Norah into the Ergo and walk them, even if it was just for a few minutes, as many times a day as I could. When my belly got too big to wear Norah, we'd load up and hit the dog park for as long as I could wrangle everyone. It was a juggling act, but it was necessary. We also bought a daycare package so they could spend entire days away from the chaos. I'd definitely budget daycare and/or occasional boarding into your renovation budget if you have active animals. Or find a friend or family member that will take them off your hands. We completely under-estimated the amount of coming and going contractors would be doing, and how much they'd need our back yard to work in.

2. Plan to eat out. A lot.

I was incredibly niave going into our kitchen reno and thought we'd still be able to eat dinners at home. Breakfast and lunch was doable, but dinner was almost impossible. While we still had some appliance use, with no counter space, a tiny refrigerator, and several stints without power, our dinner time meal options were really limited. Not to mention, after dealing with the crazy all day, I just didn't feel like doing all the juggling that it took to prepare a decent meal. I wish I'd done more research and planning to get healthy, affordable dinners out planned for my family. We relied on fast food one too many times simply because my lofty goals of planning out weeks and weeks of crock pot meals weren't met.

3. Accept help.

We were lucky enough to have several friends and family invite us over for meals, or just to get out of the house. This is something I said no to a lot just because I hate to be a burden, but in retrospect, that was a mistake. People  offer because they want to help, and it really does make a difference.

4. Have a Plan B.

I had no clue how much construction on our home would interrupt our routine. Turns out, power tools are LOUD and power and/or water often needs to be shut off during major renovations. This was of course ALWAYS during nap time, which was my worst nightmare. Luckily, we had a crib set up at Will's parents. It wasn't ideal to drive 20 min away just to take a nap, but I was happy we had the option.

5. Have the right permits.

This is probably obvious/self explanatory. I won't elaborate, but trust me. When the inspector comes wrapping at your door one morning asking to look around and threatens to shut down your whole operation, you'll wish you were more prepared.

Those are probably my four biggest nuggets of advice that no one gave me before we started on our reno journey. Hoping to share before and after pics soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

End to the Radio Silence

It's been almost exactly one year since I've blogged. There have been several times over the past twelve months that I've considered resurrecting this bad boy. I wanted to track our move and home renovation. I wanted to track my second pregnancy. I wanted to track that pregnancy even more when it became "high risk". I wanted to write about how it felt to find out or second child was a boy, and how we picked his name, and tell his birth story. I've wanted to write about how we've managed to do a lot of the above with me as a one woman show, as Will's job kept him on the road many, many nights. But as each day passed, any time I got a few free minutes, I was too tired either mentally or physically to share any of the above, or all the things that have happened in-between. I hope to eventually (soon) share about everything I previously mentioned, but today, I am just going to share about the right now.

Right now, it is 2:00pm. I have an eight week old baby boy sleeping on my chest, and I'm taking my first minute to myself to recoup since 7:00am. The big girl is upstairs (hopefully) napping, and the dogs are somewhere probably getting their muddy paw prints all over my floors. The weather in Cincinnati has been incredibly spring like, so along with the warm temperatures, that means rain.

I feel now that we're about two months into this "family of four" thing, I can speak about it with a bit of certainty. The only question I've been asked more in the last two months more than "How is the baby?" is "How are things with two?". HA. That is hard to answer. It depends what moment you're talking about. It's insane. It's a circus. It's hard, daunting, overwhelming, suffocating, and flat out HARD. But it's also so fulfilling. It is a joy like you can never imagine. It's completing, beautiful, humbling, hilarious, and the biggest learning experience I've ever been through.

So, so many tears have been shed. I've been peed on dozens of times. Three today actually. I've had to ignore one of my children's cries to attend to the other's needs more times than I'm comfortable with. I've broken down to my husband about my kids, to my friends about my husband and my kids, and to my kids about how I wish I was more like Daniel Tiger's mom. I've felt like an insane person. I've felt like the luckiest person alive. My marriage has changed (for the better). A lot has happened in the last several weeks, and I hope one day I can articulate on this blog what a crazy time in our lives this has been. But for now, just know that two kids is crazy, and hopefully, this blog is back in a action!
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Confessions

Lets get right too it!

1. I am crazy, crazy excited for this weekend. After an unprecedentedly, unbelievably busy month at work, I feel like I've seen my husband for about a total for 8 minutes in February. And Norah has probably seen him less. So we are pumped that Dad is taking off work tomorrow for a family day of FUN. Also, Nanny (my Mom), and Aunt Paige and Aunt Brooke (my sisters) are coming to visit on Saturday, so we are really in for a treat. Did I mention the weather will be in the 60's? #thankyouJesus

TBT to my wedding day. I find this picture hilariously unflattering. I am the poster child for resting b-word face. I swear I was having the best day of my life. Ha! Aunt Paige freezing to death and Aunt Brooke who couldn't wait to take off her shoes.

2. I haven't eaten a proper dinner all week. Triscuits? Sure. Leftovers from Norah's plate? Why not. I really need to get better about preparing toddler and mom friendly meals, but it's just so easy to throw something together for her at the last minute and forget about myself.

3. We've been making some progress with the reno plans and I am so, so ready for them to get started. Basement contractor has been found. Basement waterproofing scheduled. Kitchen cabinets, countertops, and layout is selected. Kitchen demo should begin this month, so fingers crossed that actually happens. The basement will be in March or April. Lord give my inpatient self strength to deal with all of these timelines that are completely out of my control!

4. I have been shopping like a crazy person. Not in abundance, but just this here, that there. In my defense, I have actually needed most of the items. Some of my favorite finds lately are my S'well water bottle (I have a ton of bottles and this is the best. I got bikini pink from the satin collection), this top, this toy we can't wait to give Norah, this bag to carry her things in (I'm over my huge diaper bag. Grabbing this and my small cross body purse [similar] will be so much easier), and this dress that is on it's way to my doorstep. Links included if you are in the market for something new and fun! Almost all of these things are on sale right now, too.

5. Last week marked our 5th Valentine's Day together. We celebrated with a lazy weekend, play time at the book store, and an awesome steak dinner with some friends and their daughter. 5 years sounds so short, but also so long to me at the same time. Here's to many, many more half decades!

insert laughing until you cry emoji

That's my girl.

Linking up with Jess.

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