I have undergone a little bit of a tiny house remodel. It’s been a long time coming, I have been needing to add a rail to my bed so that little miss Hazel didn’t take a digger. About two weeks ago we were playing in the bed, I went and got a bowl of cereal, came back and she had moved like 3 feet! My mind went ‘UH-OH! gotta get on that rail!’ So, away I went. I was not convinced it was going to turn out well throughout the building process but I have to say, I am happy with how it turned out! I actually like the looks of it and I like the feel of it! It gives the bedroom a touch more privacy. AND I love my new family photos!
Tiny House Remodel
I have undergone a little bit of a tiny house remodel. It’s been a long time coming, I have been needing to add a rail to my bed so that little miss Hazel didn’t take a digger.
This is going to be a whole string of opinions and you may not like me as much at the end. I’m okay with that, I think these are thoughts that need to be aired.
There is a system to integrating codes. There are categories. There are ways in and there are ways out. I am worried about one of the methods being used to get tiny houses legalized. That is as a solution to homelessness. There are a few reasons this makes me nervous, the first being that tiny houses are not the best answer for this. They are not ‘cheap housing’. Tiny houses are really for the middle class. Even if you build it yourself on any sort of a reasonable timeline they will run you about $25,000 (yes you can do it cheaper as per the example of my house @ ~$11,500, it extends your timeline). Say you have a 150 s.f. house at 25K, that is 166 dollars a square foot. That is astronomical! That is almost 100 dollars a square foot more than the average in this country right now (census), and that is a very cheap tiny house! Aside from that it wouldn’t be smart growth, it would be poding together a bunch of tiny houses, not the most efficient model.
The best way to use tiny houses in a city is [in my opinion] is as a series of infill homes, aka increasing densities by adding another structure to an existing home lot. Similar to the example being set in parts of Portland. To increase density, not decrease homelessness. To decrease homelessness is a noble cause and should be sought but I am leery of those wanting to use a tiny house model as a solution, I fear it may have negative consequences on the tiny house community as a whole.
To address homeless housing I believe the solution is building up (vertical), not out. We currently do this with many examples across the country such as the apartment building model. The shared walls are a cost savings. Not only that, you can take a one acre lot zoned R-40 lets say, on that lot you could legally park 40 tiny houses but logistically maybe only 25-30 could fit. You can take that same lot and feasibly build ten two-story fourplexes capitalizing on the entire lot and provide MORE housing than tiny houses would allow. My bet is it would be much more cost effective too to provide those ten fourplexes than 25 tiny houses. You are doing more with less money an providing a solution to more people, it’s far more efficient.
(Side note) To me, shipping containers seem to make much more sense, there are a lot of people out there trying to make apartment complexes out of shipping containers, homes can be built off site and shipped, making them cost effective, the best part is that they can be easily stacked and use less space, similar to this:
They can be attractive, they can be durable, they can be made inexpensively, they can be stacked and they can work. Tiny houses don’t fit the bill as well [in my opinion], I digress.
Furthermore, I feel we are doing tiny houses a disservice to call them ‘homeless housing’. I don’t like that it does, but calling them homeless housing DOES put a bit of a stigma to a tiny house. They are thought to be ‘less’ than ‘normal housing’. The fact is that they take money to construct, either in dollars or in time. If you are paying for one to be constructed they won’t be as cheap as the ones you see online a good portion of the time. My house is a great example, I paid $11,416.16 cents to build my house. I spend A LOT of time finding and conditioning reused materials. If I had to buy things new it would have cost about 22-25k I estimate. If I were to hire it built it would have cost 50-55k I estimate. That gets less and less feasible and wise (I am sure that that is the reason this is largely a DIY movement). Tiny houses are a luxury of the middle class and not the best solution to low income or homeless housing. But calling them low income housing makes them less appealing to some who could greatly benefit from them.
On that same note and perhaps the most scary part for me, we would be doing tiny houses a disservice to get them legalized as ‘homeless housing’. Codes would then be making exceptions to legalize in a specific category (similar to section 9 housing). Tiny houses would only become feasible if you are homeless or financially strapped, putting tiny houses out of reach for the standard person. Personally I want to live in a tiny house and still be able to make decent money, if they were legalized as low income/homeless housing I would not be able to. I fear that we are going to get them legalized that way and, without knowing it, put them into a category that is out of reach for many people.
IF they were going to need to be categorized under any special category I would much rather see them come in as 55+ housing. They make much more sense in THAT category (to me). They can be paid for by the sale of a larger, family home. They can enable seniors to stay independent. They are very fitting of empty nesters and singles. Retirees are a good portion of the audience who are interested. They would be a solution to get people out of feeling the need for a reverse mortgage (which I have a personal vendetta against). They offer a much needed alternative to standard retirement communities and enable people to truly enjoy their ‘golden years’. With the state of the nation it is doubtful the retirees in the future are going into retirement with much of a savings or pension, tiny houses offer a solution to all of that. I would MUCH rather see that code ‘category’ pursued. It may not seem as ‘noble’ but it makes SO much more sense in my opinion.
I DO like the models which are being built by homeless individuals as a way to give them a skill, enabling them to then get employed but I also believe that that model can be applied to other, more logical types of housing.
In conclusion, I feel that tiny houses are a luxury of the middle/upper class, I feel there are better solutions to cure homelessness, I am fearful that tiny houses will be put into the category of ‘low income housing’, putting them out of reach for the average person.
I know that there are going to be differing opinions on this and I would LOVE for you to state your opinion below in the comments!
Yeah, I had a flood on Saturday night. I had just taken off to a BBQ at my brothers house, James stayed home and worked. He was unloading lumber from his truck for his project and heard water flowing by the tiny house. He came to examine and found an inch of water covering my whole floors and pouring out! I am so glad he didn’t come with me to the BBQ, I left about 6:30, everything was fine. I got a call from him at 7:30 that the place was completely flooded and he turned off the water. I enjoyed the rest of the night and made it back home around midnight. He estimates that ‘whatever happened’ was only happening 10-15 minutes before he caught it and it completely flooded the house! I can’t imagine the problems we would have had if he had come to the BBQ and it was going for five hours! 15 minutes did a lot of damage! OYE, I may not have a habitable house if it were 5 hours! So grateful he was around to catch it!
So, I wake up this morning determined to find out what was going on. I turned the water on for a second and completely soaked the floor. It was long enough to tell that the water heater had broken. Opening the cupboard water was just pouring out the bottom of the water heater. Unplug and mop up.
Called my dad, aka the best plumber in town! He comes over, we dismantle the hookups and pull the unit out. It is a TIGHT space, took a bit of craftiness!
As soon as we remove the unit the inlet literally falls out of the unit The water intake appears to have completely broken off. Dad and I both cannot figure out why. It has been working great for over a year and it just decides one saturday night to just snap off. If I had moved the house anytime recently I suppose I could see that happening but there has been zero stress or extensive use, no crazy water pressure no hiccups whatsoever until the unit just broke and flooded my house! Now that I know the issue I have looked up eccotemps (I have the eccotemp FVI 12-lp) warranty, it states there is a 2 year warranty, I have put in a ticket and hopefully they will cover it and get me some hot water again soon. For now it looks like I’ll be homesteading style (boils some water!) for Hazels baths and maybe just shower at my families house… rather inconvenient. Even though it was bad it could have been SO much worse! I left a towel on the ground in the bathroom which prevented a bunch of water from going down into my toilet and messing with that! I am super glad I did rigid insulation in the floor, had I done batt or some other kinds I would have to potentially fix that, they get destroyed with moisture. Most definitely go with rigid or spray in insulation in your floors! I am so grateful things weren’t worse! I’ll keep you updated on the status of my hot water :). I would love to hear what others’ experiences have been with Eccotemp, I have heard very good things overall, thoughts?
Yeah, I had a flood on Saturday night. I had just taken off to a BBQ at my brothers house, James stayed home and worked.
People are continually surprised by how much tiny houses cost. Fact is there is everything in them that is in the much larger counterpart, the only thing lacking is all the extra space. In a lot of cases it even requires more compact appliances and equipment. Because that stuff isn’t ‘standard’ and mass produced they are often more expensive as well. Then there are just those things that…
I am just super curious to do a follow up now that Tiny House Dating has been up and going for a while, I would love to hear some stories!
Since I started my build I have been asked something along the lines of ‘how have I get my spouse/significant other on board with tiny?’ I’ve never had a good answer to that, I would just say something along the lines of ‘you can’t fit a square peg into a…
The moment I found out I was pregnant the number one response was something along the lines of ‘so long tiny house’. For some reason it seemed more logical that I should get a bigger space… I can kind of get it but at the same time kids are pretty much attached to their parents literally and figuratively for a few years… the last thing that made sense to me was paying more for rent or taking out a mortgage just so I could guarantee that I would have to work to sustain my home and even more so, so that I could pay for daycare… the tiny house began to make even MORE sense once little miss came into the picture. It has played out just that way too since she’s been born.
Honestly, I have been commended an awful lot and encouraged by others who think the tiny house is perfect for Hazel and out family. At the same time I have been criticized a lot for having a kid in such a small space. It’s quickly assumed by some that she is being ‘abused’ and or deprived somehow by not being able to have every gadget available… in my opinion most gadgets are for parents in order to make things convenient. That said she has a lot of gadgets even in a tiny house… (you have to take the good with the bad, I am learning, there are those on both sides always, it’s just a reality of living a lifestyle outside the norm). I will tell you that having a kid (or a couple for that matter) is totally possible in a tiny house. At this point, for the most part she is in my arms or sleeping an arms-length away. I have already heard that ‘sure, this may work now but when she starts walking… or crawling… or talking… or wanting to have friends over… or hitting puberty etc. etc etc.’ When it is time to move on from the tiny house we will do so but that won’t be happening for a little while… much to the dismay of some :). For us it will work at least a few years… Things will change as she gets older and she may have a little brother or sister even in here, things will modify as needed, I built my house just so that I can switch things up and change them around as needed!
For now (Hazel is nearly 4 months old), this is how we fit and where we put our stuff:
So far we don’t need anything else, she doesn’t seem to be suffering. She doesn’t take any real interest in toys just yet (even the home-made ones we made a couple weeks ago) but she loves going on walks, playing with her dog, having picnics at the park and hanging out with mom all day long.
As far as diapers are concerned and how they mix with a tiny house, we use disposable diapers at night (one) then one in the morning, when she poos. The rest of the day she is in cloth diapers. Every once in a while she will poo in the cloth. While she is on breastmilk those diapers are ok to just be thrown in the washer as is, once she is on formula and/or food they will need to be shaken off first into the toilet. We will see how that works out but I think we have a pretty good system down… I was unsure how it was going to go in the tiny house.
So that’s how it works, any other concerns or worries about having kids in a tiny house? How old are your kids and what do you think the hiccups would be moving them into a tiny house with you?
This is a ‘me, me, me’ post, just warning… and the point is… it’s important to talk about all those things living in a tiny house gives you (rather than takes away). That might help stop the consumerist thoughts in some people’s live’s. We are led to believe ‘more things equals better’, so let’s talk about why that isn’t totally true…
The back story… (this is a bit of a [perhaps judgemental] rant, I’m sorry if it offends you) I was on a forum that a gal from the Tiny House People facebook page showed me about baby wearing (because I do that). In that forum a different lady posed the question ‘how big is your house’ because her husband wanted to downsize from a 650 s.f. house to a 28′x12′ tiny house and she blamed the upcoming Tiny House Nation TV show. Within an hour nearly 200 people replied, each one seemingly trying to outdo the others for the biggest house/newest house/coolest house and further making this woman feel like a weirdo unnecessarily, not only for having a husband who wanted to downsize but flat out telling her she already lived in too tiny of a house at 650 s.f. [there were a couple posts that said theirs was way too big and some that were thinking of going tiny too, but mostly it was this other type of reply]. The one comment that stuck with me was a younger gal who was bragging that her, her husband, her kid and a dog were building their second house ‘from the dirt up’ 3 years after building their first home from the dirt up and it will be 4,200 s.f. because their 3,700 s.f. house ‘wasn’t laid out well’. She specifically pointed out that ‘as far as she’s concerned’ you already live in a tiny house and that her ‘hubs’ needed to be reeled in. (I was offended)
I by no means think that everyone should live in a tiny house, that would be silly. These comments infuriated me though… since when did wasting resources become a status symbol, the tone in these posts literally sickened me. I know that I get into this stuff way too much but really? Your layout didn’t work well so you’re ‘scrapping’ the first house you built to try out some things you learned in even a bigger footprint, for two people, a baby and a dog?! My guess is that there is no designer involved either and if the layout is the cause of the ‘upgrade’ then I would think you would at least get a professional in to help make a better layout, not just add 500 s.f. and hope that that fixes it (I admit I probably read way too much into the comment, because I’ve been contacted by this type of client through my day job, but…). That mentality combined with the fact that MOST new homeowners now want to build ‘from the ground up’ makes their ‘old’ house nearly obsolete. How many people want to make a 3,700 s.f. investment without having that customized to them, the people that shop that market largely shop for their own custom house rather than making due in someone elses failed dream.. In my opinion it’s a selfish stance, it’s a wasteful stance and it should NOT be a status symbol to have a ridiculously large house yet the others surely saw it as something to be jealous of. Beyond that they used that to make others feel bad about living within their means… In my opinion there was a lot of shaming happening for those thinking about a more resourceful, sustainable and practical way of living.
I am not jealous in the least! I don’t for a second miss having a large home. It makes me cringe to just think of cleaning that… to think of paying for that… to think of maintaining that… I want to know of a way to change that ‘bigger is better’ paradigm… but I digress…
Sorry for the rant… it sounded like the original poster was looking for that sort of feedback to rebuttal her husband anyway, if she was looking for actual advice she would have specifically asked for feedback from individuals living in smaller spaces rather than larger so maybe what she got was what she needed. What I don’t like though is that I’m not the only one looking at this lifestyle as a pro rather than a con and any people in that group that were considering living smaller were alienated as well and flat out called weird. I sat down and tried to think of the pros of living in a big house vs the pros of a small one, having lived in both I can very easily say I will never be in a large house again, my max will be well under 900 s.f. and will include a home office to earn a living from.
So, do I like living in my tiny house?
No, I LOVE it! It’s amazing. I’m sitting here in the middle of the afternoon writing on my computer while my daughter sleeps, not working on someone elses projects so I can pay a mortgage. And man, she makes the cutest noises when she sleeps, I would be missing that without my tiny house! I get to work on my own projects! Because I have no debt (yes, it is possible), I can stay home. I have no mortgage so my bills are very limited and I should be able to make enough from side jobs and my book (soon to be books) to pay for health insurance (my biggest expense BY FAR) and other ‘necessities’.
The biggest benefit by far is time. Time to spend with my daughter, time to see all the ridiculously mundane things she does that just amaze mothers… seriously, I think it’s cute when she blinks…
Lack of stress. That stress that piles up on you before you even know it for that next deadline at work, wondering if you’ll be able to afford all the things you need to be able to this month, the stress from a lack of sleep and too many things to do (though I do kind of miss mowing the lawn…).
Being able to focus in on your own passions. The saying is something like ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Well if you can’t even quit the rat race for a week how are you going to be able to find out what you love and figure out a way to make money at it?
Pride of ownership. It still works with a tiny house :). There is a whole different kind of pride that comes in building it yourself too!
While thinking of reasons a large house was more beneficial the only one I could think of that I can’t meet as well with a tiny house is that you can have large numbers of people over for a dinner party, which I enjoy every now and again… I can still have BBQs in the summer though!
I know this is the wrong crowd maybe to ask but there are plenty of people who read my blog who are still just considering tiny, I’d like to ask, what are the things you think you’ll miss if you take the leap and live in a tiny/small house instead of taking the ‘traditional route’ and buying a large house? Leave your comments below!
With that, here are some images of why I love my tiny house! (aka me living my life!):
Family Update… and Some Rants…
This is a ‘me, me, me’ post, just warning… and the point is… it’s important to talk about all those things living in a tiny house gives you (rather than takes away).
I suppose I should probably make an announcement here :). I put together my first ebook, it was a learning experience! You can find it HERE.
To be clear, this is not the DIY style book (I’m still working on that), this is a snapshot of my entire build (much of which can be found on this website for free). It has condensed over 300 posts (plus some things I’ve never posted on) down to about 50 pages. It quickly goes through all of the decisions that go into a tiny house, what MY decisions were with a lot of the ‘why’s’ and some of the ‘how’s’. There are some design processes and suggestions to fit your house to you and some info on what it’s like living tiny, really (now that I’ve been doing it a year).
Now that I am not in the midst of my build (either the house or the kid ;-)), I want to give all the best information for others in a way that is clear, simple and easy to use. I am hoping that this book and the other one (the DIY one) will do that AND be the reason I am able to stay home with Hazel-nut. Crossing fingers! :)
This is probably the most common question I get, “Where can you park a tiny house?”. I have no idea why I haven’t just done a post on this, I’ve answered it individually at least 300 times… So, here is the answer:
You can park it almost anywhere it will fit for at least a little while (ha! not helpful, huh? :)). Parking and living in a tiny house… Legally… very few places (so far). The answer…
“An exploration of living small as a potential driver of economic development, Tiny Houses are part of our 6% Place experiment. Follow along with our Tiny House Journal as we build Garfield’s first Tiny House!”
Ok, I might be late to this party but this weeks spotlight is brand new to me and very exciting! Perhaps it is more exciting and surprising because my house is mentioned and thoughtfully…
Hey guys, the 18th issue of Tiny House Magazine is out, I don’t usually share it but I probably should start… This has become such a great repeating resource with all the up to date happenings of the tiny house world… It is a bootstrap sort of publishing, when it started it was much smaller than it currently is but this month it is 60 pages of tiny house goodness! You can click HERE to get it…
A very common question for me to get is ‘do you feel safe in your tiny house?’. I think people have different reasons for asking it but most often I feel like people feel like they would be ‘exposed’ in such a small space, like there is no place to hide if you don’t want to answer the door (there totally is, I would tuck away in the shower! :)). I want to talk a little bit about safety though in my tiny house. SOme standard things, some things done for little Miss.
Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:
Are you afraid someone is going to hitch up and drive away with your house in the middle of the night?
No, firstly I live in Boise Idaho, we have a very low crime rate and concerned, neighborly neighbors, I would venture to guess more than half of the populations doesn’t even lock their doors, ever. Even so, if someone DID try it takes a special hitch that not everyone has… it would take them a while, my house is upon blocks, heavy things would need to be moved, there is now a small stream to have to drive over and through. It would not be an easy or quick task, I would have plenty of time to get law enforcement here, or a neighbor would.
How do you know you’re not going to burn the house down with your wiring? or flood the place?
I had my wiring inspected by a licensed electrician, it is no more likely to burn down than a ‘normal’ house. My fixtures all have local shut-offs so I can control the water from inside if needed.
You have no vent on your stove, isn’t that a hazard?
Yes, this is less than ideal but worse things are done every day, to mitigate risks I have an operable window right behind the stove, the back door remains open anytime the weather is above 60 or so degrees AND I have a propane gas detector that lets me know if there is a leak or a hazard before anything catastrophic can happen. On top of that I have a shutoff valve indoors that remains closed if items are not in use. I’ve lived here a year, there was ONE event in which I left the pilot light on the stove on but the flame was out… there was a slow leak which was caught before anything bad could happen (a vent wouldn’t have helped it anyway), this is the reason the shut-off stays closed though.
Do you feel like you have any privacy with all those windows?
Yeah, my curtains open and close easily. I picked light, white, airy fabric for my curtains so I could close them and still have a light airy space, it works well (in the winter I made a second set which are better insulated, they are darker but help considerably to keep the house warm, worth the trade off). If I don’t want people to see me I just close the curtains (it’s harder to look in the windows of a house from the street anyway with the reflection, I have had people walk up to the door and smoosh their face to it just to see in, night time is a different story but the curtains work well for that too!). Moreover, the windows are almost a full 3 feet higher than a standard foundation house’s windows. People usually have to stand on their tippy toes to peek i a window, my bedroom window is pretty much impossible to peek into, that space feels very private even though it’s pretty much open to the rest of the house (for now).
There is no rail on the loft, are you worried about falling out of bed?
Firstly, no, I am not worried about falling out o my bed, I haven’t done that since I was about 4, I don’t think I am going to start randomly falling out of bed. Aside from that, if I rolled out of bed I would fall in the loft, my feet are what is nearest the ledge. Second, I AM worried about Hazel learning to crawl, crawling out of her co-sleeper, across my bed and taking a tumble off the ledge (thank goodness she isn’t mobile yet! That time is coming though, soon). I am currently building a rail/wall which will be up pretty quick, before she starts motoring around… updates on that soon!
Did I cover all the bases? Are there other safety concerns that I haven’t touched on?
Tiny House Safety
A very common question for me to get is ‘do you feel safe in your tiny house?’.
Here is our craft project for James’s very first dad’s day and… I got an air conditioner! :) I thought it would be nice to document how small MiniM is for dad’s day so I picked up one of those generic make your own handprint stepping stone kits (it was actually for dog feet but who can tell the difference…) and we added some personal touches. Also, I got an A/C unit. If it was just me I would have skipped that but little miss gets hot, fast. Last summer Denver and I lived through a 111 degree day and those that surrounding it with only windows and a fan for cooling, it was too warm for a baby. Tolerable (just barely) but too warm. My house stays pretty nice so long as no doors get opened throughout the day (the thermal mass in the floors for the heat ironically helps it stay cool really well). If you go out just once in that heat though it gets warm. Air exchanges fast when there is not very much of it!
I would love to try some alternative A/C units like this one but I want something on hand for Hazel just in case also, no need to give my kid heat stroke… so I am ready for the heat this year even though I am going to try some alternative options first!
This weeks spotlight just has to point toward Mr. Ryan with his Lightbox! His build is cleverly named for all of it’s windows. He is basing his house off of the ever beautiful hOMe by Andrew and Gabriella. Ryan is mid construction and has fully immersed himself in all things tiny! I seriously have no idea how he is doing it all, he’s building his house, documenting it, putting out other great…
I got a piece of mail the other day, it was from the assessor office. I opened it and to my surprise my name was tied with James’s lot and there was a property value of $22,000 for my house. I gave them a ring to figure out what this means, am I ‘legit’ now? The gal was very nice and was familiar with my house, even referred to it as ‘the tiny house’. She explained to me that since it was an unlicensed vehicle it was assessed and taxed as personal property. I explained that it was infact licensed. She said ‘cool’ send me the registration and we will take care of it.
I sent her the registration but it had expired in January. I asked her if the RV registration needed to be updated every year because the DMV told me I only needed to re-register any time I was taking it on the road. She told me that I could either re-register it every year with the DMV or pay property taxes on it, she let me know that property taxes would be around $450.00 a year so that if it was cheaper to go through the DMV that that would work for them at this point. So I went to the DMV, paid $45.00 and thought that the assessor lady was a really sweet gal for clearing that up and helping me out. Just for reference, the DMV valued my house originally for $8,500, this year that went down to $6,500. I think the assessors value is much closer at $22,000 but that would cover materials only in the real world.
So, moral of the story, I am once again legal :).
MiniM, whose name is already out of the bag (Hazel), and I have spent the day sporadically crying [her], eating, napping [her] and making some baby toys, you can see our progress below! They aren’t the prettiest but they will do for now.
Tiny House Legalities and Toys
I got a piece of mail the other day, it was from the assessor office. I opened it and to my surprise my name was tied with James’s lot and there was a property value of $22,000 for my house.
Congratulations Christopher and Merete on your huge accomplishment! You made a movie! The movie was premiered at SXSW! (which I went to! and it had a great turnout!), it has been shown at small showings all over the country, it was picked up on a national TV network and now it is available to everyone! The long awaited film, TINY is released! You can order itif you didn’t support their…
I have another wonderful tiny house to share! This one may be known to several of you already but I get asked a lot about SIPs panels and tiny houses and whether or not anyone has done it yet. Yes! There are actually quite a few now, here is just one example. Art has been documenting everything from his build over at Tiny SIP House! He’s posted on some great subjects including why SIPs are a…
It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on just the happenings of my life… so here you are family and friends! :)
Miss Mini is doing absolutely amazing and we are loving life. It is getting pretty close to that time that I should be going back to work and I just don’t know how people do that, its hard to even think about at this point! I imagine if Mini were to be colicy or othrwise unhappy I may be a little more excited at the idea of getting a break for work but as it is I am having a hard time thinking of leaving her, I have a tough time just going to the store for groceries without her! Separation anxiety much?! So… I am strongly considering trying to make a living via this blog… Since I live in a tiny house, on her dads property AND I was able to pay off ALL debts prior to her being born, the amount I need to actually live is fairly minimal… If I could sell a set of plans or two a month I should be able to make it by (health insurance is the killer)… That being said I am going to try out a few things that the ‘internet advisors’ recommend for monetizing things more than just an ad at the bottom. I will really try not to be too gimmicky with things though, I promise. I certainly do not feel like going back to a site when it feels they are trying to sell me something. My goal is to make money via the same little ads/sponsors/affiliates, just doing a better job of it. I am hoping no one really notices that chang… I am new to this concept of online income though so I will try my best, if it gets annoying do me a favor, please and tell me! I want this site to keep being helpful to people and the last thing I want to do is turn people away. It would be super cool if I could make this work, if not no biggie and I will make other plans and keep MiniMotives going as normal! (also, if you know of some magical way to make money from a website without compromising the content of the website let me know)
Miss M is in the 95 percentile for her height at 23 3/4 inches, and 88 percentile of weight at 13 pounds 3 ounces. She’s a healthy, cute little chunk of kid and we love her so much. For not knowing how I would do at this whole parent thing I think it’s going great so far… we also won the baby lottery so far though, she mostly sleeps through the night and barely ever cries and smiles and coos a bunch. Except when getting her vaccinations, she cried then and it sucked for me, probably more than her. I wish I could get them for her! She also took her first digger off the couch the same day TIME Magazine came, I thought she would have broken limbs and black eyes and the whole world would see how terrible of a parent I am… instead she seemed to bounce just like they say, it scared her but after two minutes of scared tears she was fine (I still cringe about it though). She’s at the stage where she randomly flinches her limbs without knowing how or why… I set her on the couch, turned around to get a diaper and she had launched herself onto the floor, head first before I knew it. If she turns out kind of slow it’s totally my fault for not protecting her noggin better. Thankfully she blamed the couch and not me but I know the truth, for three days she would scream every time we sat on the couch… then her dad bumped her head on the lamp a little and the lamp became enemy number one and couch was forgiven.
I have always been a ‘pets are people too’ kind of person and I love my dog SO much, which I think most people who read this can tell (I hope), the best way for me to describe the difference though is to say: If I thought there was even a chanceD would possibly harm her for a second, he would be in a world of hurt instantly. Thankfully Denver gets this and knows his order in the family… James joked on our road trip and related our little family to the government, he is the house (because there is more of him), I am the senate (smaller but equal voting power as him), Denver is the American people (he just has to go along with what we say), and Mini is the president (she has complete veto power on what we decide and has exercised that when we sit down at a restaurant and she doesn’t approve). Cracked me up with its accuracy… last little story, Mini and I went to our first baby and me class on Tuesday and she got to interact with other babies. She likes the older kids it turns out and might have a new boyfriend, Owen, he’s five and a half months. They just sat and stared at each other from two feet apart and laughed and smiled at each other! It was adorable!
My other baby, Denver, has continued meeting new friends at the dog park and great dane meetups as well, I took both him and Mini for the first time (and other times since) by myself and it was uber successful. Denver seems to know when he needs to be on his best behavior and not pull on the leash when I’m holding the baby too. He generally gets pretty excited to go to the park and can pull but he doesn’t when she’s in my arms too, he’s a good boy. AND he gets to start school, finally, next week. I’ve wanted to get him in obedience for a while but I was either pregnant and SUPER tired, across the country or managing a newborn, we finally got to a point to get him signed up though! I want to get him to a point where he is good off the leash and not so barky. He just got animal control called on him for ‘barking too much in the afternoon’ but in his defense it was my fault. The neighbor kids play war after school with fake guns and he barks at them (they kind of include him in the play but he always gives away their location), I’ve never corrected him because I want him to bark if a guy comes at us with a gun… Now I have to learn how to teach him good barking and bad. I think he is going to really like dog school though and I am excited to learn how to work better together too. I think we have a great instructor and shes coming to the house for it!
Last bit, TIME and Dwell Magazines came and did their shoots as well as interviews, I’m excited for both issues, I was told Time will come out the third week in June and Dwell will be September’s Small Space issue. Both of these have given me new goals to pursue, who ever thought I would be marking off things on my bucket list so fast?!
In no particular order here are some pictures:
It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on just the happenings of my life… so here you are family and friends!
It’s not all that surprising how often I get questions about how I met James? What dating is like in a tiny house? If there is room for ‘activities’? What was it like when I told [my date] I lived in a tiny house? HOW did I tell my date that I lived in a tiny house? How can I get my partner on board with the tiny house lifestyle? Etc. and on and on! Well I am never shy about those things and…
Literally two weeks after writing my How My Composting Toilet ACTUALLY Workspost how there were basically no issues I noticed flies… in the house, not particularly concentrated in the bathroom but it’s a small house and they did find the toilet… there is no telling where they originated but I am fairly certain it was not in the toilet. The same week I noticed them I had planted my kitchen window…
I have had many of requests to know if you could use my plans on a bumper style trailer. My answer of course is yes, you can do anything you like! I think the real question though is how would you do that! :) I m putting together some modified sheets (which I will send to those of you who’ve already bought plans in case you’d like to go that way instead, let’s call it addendum #1). At this…
I keep meaning to spotlight some of the awesome houses I continually find online, seriously this small house thing is booming and I just LOVE all of the insanely creative and unique houses coming out! Tonight just happened to be contacted by Sean, who is embarking on his adventure to build a 20′ container home which you can read about at Unboxed House. I went to his site and, as I often find,…
I feel like there is a big gaping hole in our education system when it comes to teaching about finances and money management. Whenever I feel that way I feel it is the parents role to step in and educate their kiddos on the aspects that aren’t being covered well enough to their liking. This may seem WAY premature in some people’s eyes but so much of life focuses around the tools you can use,…
Some people wouldn’t refer to this one as ‘the big one’ with a TIME Magazine shoot coming down the pipes soon but to me todays shoot was the biggest! Dwell Magazine, the cream de la creal design magazine in my opinion. It’s so cool/weird/exciting/unexpected/amazing/etc. to have been contacted by Dwell (I MAY put them on a pedestal…). It is also a bit weird/embarrassing to have a photographer, someone with an eye for detail and experience photographing some amazing houses„ walking through my ‘learn it as you go’ construction project. Believe me, If I knew Dwell was going to be coming to my house I would have done so many thins different, mostly having to do with taping before painting… general time sucking things I opted to wing it at! Either way Dwell came and shot my house and have hopefully deemed it worthy of their September Small Spaces issue. Pretty cool birthday gift if you ask me!
Had I had more forethought I maybe would not have scheduled it for the day after my very first moms day, it made for a kind of crappy moms day only because I was completely unable to just chill out and enjoy things, I was cleaning, DEEP cleaning (it’s amazing how much mess a person makes in one year, even in a tiny house), well that and I finished some things that needed finished that I’ve just made do with and tried to get a jump on spring planting so that there was something interesting to look at… Denver should be making a couple appearances in the magazine as well as James, MiniM and I.
James, MiniM and I went out to eat to celebrate! Here are some pictures of a fairly cleaned up house…
Magazine Shoot #1 The Big One!
Some people wouldn’t refer to this one as ‘the big one’ with a TIME Magazine shoot coming down the pipes soon but to me todays shoot was the biggest!
As many of you know I was racing my daughter to get the plans finished, she won that race! She is now 6 weeks old and has already been to the Atlantic Ocean (we live in Idaho) and across 18 states on our journey across the country for the first annual Tiny House Conference. She and Denver (yes the dog came too!) were absolute troopers! As was James who drove nearly the entire…
James gets access to irrigation on his property, this is awesome especially for being right downtown. It’s also awesome that he is at the end of the line because he gets everyones run off water which makes for a very possibly great garden (I got my plants this weekend!). What that does mean though an awful lot is that the yard is flooded! I bit earlier this spring James rented a backhoe and dug a irrigation canal, this was fairly easy for me to hop over it was a bit of a hazard. We decided that it was time to make a path. The original plan was for concrete but then we saw a picture of a great wood path. We copied it and made an elevated path that the irrigation water can flow under. I like it!
We built a bridge!
James gets access to irrigation on his property, this is awesome especially for being right downtown. It’s also awesome that he is at the end of the line because he gets everyones run off water which makes for a very possibly great garden (I got my plants this weekend!).
MiniM is a great baby but even great babies are demanding. All day today I have been trying to work and she has been trying to monopolize my attention, which she is allowed to do but I still need to get things done! So, 5 rolls around and I decided it would be best to run out to her grandmas house so grandma could get some bonding time and I could get something done today. First I had to run…
I thought I would try to squeeze in one quick review before MiniM wakes back up! That would be on my Washer/Dryer!
My washer/dryer is the Summit 1800 model. Originally I wanted to have a washer/dryer because it seemed ‘normal’. At just under $1,000, it is just under 10% or my budget and up until last month saw virtually no use… The capacity is 13 pounds technically but I found it…
I know I said that I thought I could get my plans out by now, well really by a while ago… I have failed… I was racing to get them out before MiniM was born because I knew time would get eaten up after that, turns out time got eaten up before that too! I didn’t get them out and things have stalled for a few weeks but they are back on track now and I expect they will be done in the next couple weeks. I apologize so much for being so pokey.
James is actually the one man-handling their completion while I man-handle the munchkin (with Denver). He has paying jobs that take priority though, gotsta pay the bills! Our two week adventure across the country for the Tiny House Conference made things a little slower… He’s been working like mad on them the last couple days though, and they are coming together really well.
That is our teaser sample image! Right now the set is about 28 pages going through all the pieces of my house, even millwork since it was all custom (though I do outline ways to streamline and make things simpler/faster for you i.e. using a shower insert instead of a custom shower). We have tried to keep things as simple and easy to understand as possible. My goal is to get this set out, which outlines my exact house - as is, ASAP and then follow up shortly after with an option that allows the same/similar house to be built on a bumper-pull trailer (it is pretty much the same except the bed area, my house is weighted to be used on a bumper-pull already). I also want to put out a plan of my same house shortly after with a bathtub rather than just a shower because that would be kinda nice at times and I have a way to do it! I am also including a basic foundation details in case you are wanting to and able to build on the ground rather than on wheels. I have included a few changes that I would incorporate if I had it to do over again. I will go over these in the actual plan release announcement. I think that will address all of the requests I have had to date, I just want to make it clear that the first release is my exact plan not including these other attributes but those who purchase the set will get the other info as soon as we get it together!
Lastly, Mike, I got the package and thank you SO much, Denver loves his new toy and I am excited to read the book, it’s right up my alley! Thanks for thinking of us! :)
I know I said that I thought I could get my plans out by now, well really by a while ago…
So I get the question every now and then about “what living in a tiny house is REALLY like?” I thought I would post the answer to this here so that others can read it, I will be sure to update it as needed as well. Feel free to ask any specific questions in the comments, I (and hopefully other tiny house dwellers) will answer them for everyone to read all in one spot! (anything is on the…
I got an Award! From the City of Meridian! For my tiny house! How cool is that! In some places in the country people are being evicted from their own land for their tiny houses and in other places people are being given awards. How very awesome that I live in the best place ever. I love my city :). Thank you Mollie for the nomination! Very, very cool!
Thank you Nater, James and the person who took the pictures from the City (and Mollie for getting them to me!) for the pictures! I was really glad my family could make it too! Cool Cool! )
I Got An Award!
I got an Award! From the City of Meridian! For my tiny house! How cool is that!
Who takes a ten day old on a trip across the country… with an almost one year old Great Dane… in a car… and has literally zero issues that come up? This girl (and James)! How did we get so lucky to have such great babies! We all survived the journey from Idaho to the first ever Tiny House Conference in North Carolina. Now MiniM thinks we live in a mansion compared to the Prius she spent more than half of her life in! That right there is the trick to ‘families in small spaces’, cram them in an even smaller space for a long time and then a tiny house feels huge!
Ryan Mitchell did an awesome job putting the Tiny House Conference together, it was such a great event, it was SO nice to meet all of the people, new builders and old! ;-) I swear that the attendees were the nicest people ever and they sure made me feel like some superstar (I am just a person people, I haven’t done anything that you aren’t capable of too!), it’s so weird/cool/surreal to be treated that way :). There were SO many people there that I have called upon to answer my questions over the last few years like Drew, Laura, Dan Louche, Ryan of course, Hari and Karl and Chris and Melissa that it was so great to meet in person. There was even people that I am too nervous to ask my questions of for fear of wasting their time. (cough cough) Dee Williams was one of the highlights of the trip for me. She is hilarious, sweet and quirky, I LOVED getting to meet her in person. She’s such a GREAT inspiration, I am so glad the world has people like her, she is what inspires the rest of us! It was great to meet Zack Jones, I’d like to get you on Tiny House Chat soon to talk about tiny house codes. He’s a great resource for LOTS of tiny house issues though! Sarah and her man-friend were awesome :), Suzannah and Sicily are always amazing, I wish I could have spent more time with you two! I’m really sorry about your house problems but those shots you got when you got back are amazing!
This one is my favorite!
I really enjoyed talking to Teal and his wife as well as his dad, and I was amazed at the craftsmanship of their tiny house, great option if you’re looking to buy instead of build! And of course the bus! Kelly was a sweetie and their bus is awesome, I want a bus house now! I have probably left off some important people, I do that sometimes… I’m sorry if I missed you! It was so great to meet everyone, especially the attendees!! So many great questions and conversations!
Of course I wasn’t as ‘present’ as I could have been if I was not tending my Little Miss but I hope I was still of some use to others too. Also because Little Miss M was very happily on both parts tying up my paws I wasn’t able to take many (any) pictures but if you search #THC14 on Facebook a whole bunch will come up that others have taken. you can also see updates here. I hear rumors that the Tiny House Conference 2015 will be in Portland, that is a MUCH easier drive for me, I hope to meet even more people there!
MiniM has officially been to 18 states and the Atlantic Ocean. This makes 20 states for Denver, 30 for James and 32 for me.
these are the states we hit this trip
And here are some pictures from our side of this adventure:
We Got the Best Babies!
Who takes a ten day old on a trip across the country… with an almost one year old Great Dane…
So… I had a baby, finally! :) She is very astute and takes direction well, she came right on her due date which is apparently pretty rare. I was sure she would come early but I was wrong… Starting three weeks before her due date I was having pretty intense contractions, not Braxton Hicks, false labor contractions. There is a difference! False labor contractions hurt like the real thing but don’t progress labor, Braxton Hicks are mildly uncomfortable and don’t progress labor. I clarify because it was frustrating to me to have such painful contractions and have them be called Braxton Hicks. I’m fairly tough and don’t usually complain but those were uncomfortable. I was glad to have that issue cleared up at the hospital. So after three false labors in three weeks I finally transitioned over to real labor, it was terrifying but also welcome after five solid days of contractions no more or less than 10-12 minutes apart. That got old, fast. It was worse at night too so I didn’t get much sleep. On the fifth night they got a little stronger and I had had just about enough but the timing was spaced too far apart for a hospital visit still. I was lucky to be able to get a couple hours of a nap in earlier in the day because there was literally no sleeping on the fifth night. I tried everything I could!
I had the suggestion to drink a half a glass of wine, which I did and then took a hot shower around 3am. As soon a I got in the shower the contractions sped up, every other time the shower helped ease the pain. By the time I was out of the shower contractions were 6-8 minutes apart but not letting up. I was going crazy with no sleep so I woke James up to go to the hospital. I was sure they would send me home telling me I wasn’t in labor but I thought at least then I could trick my head into thinking the contractions don’t really hurt and I would be able to get some sleep. We got to the hospital around 4:30 in the morning and on the way there everything resembling a contraction completely stopped. I felt dumb for heading in. The hooked me up to the monitors for twenty minutes to get a baseline, not a single contraction. The checked to see how far along I was, only dilated to 3 cm, same as my last check up the week before… I felt more sheepish… The had me get up and walk around for a while, while the shifts changed. As soon as I started walking contractions were back on so I felt a little less sheepish. James started timing them and they were just over 2 minutes apart. We walked the halls for about 40 minutes, stopping every 2 minutes plus or minus and then went back to the room to be checked. The new nurse came in, she hooked me back up to the monitor and I was relieved to see the contractions actually registering. She was planning on sending me home because I wasn’t making any noises or acting like I was in labor but she checked me and I was dilated to 5 cm, so I was admitted. Then things got real and I got scared but excited :).
James went home to make sure Denny had his bag packed (we didn’t do it before we left because I was pretty certain I would just be sent home!) and was ready to be picked up by my brother. He got his food and toys together to go stay with Uncle Nater while we stayed at the hospital. James was back by my side before I knew it. I expected time to drag on but it actually went by very fast! Every so often my nurse would check in on me but for the most part we were just left alone so I could labor as I wanted. It was more privacy than I expected and very welcome as I like to do those sorts of things on my own, preferably without an audience. My particular midwife happened to have the day off, her only day off that week so I had a stand-in midwife who was also awesome. Both her and the nurse asked what I would like to do for pain management to which I replied ‘I have no idea how this will go, I’d like to try no meds but I am open to things changing if they need to’. The nurse said that based on how I was coping with things so far she didn’t think I would have any issues with a natural birth, that was reassuring to hear! She was awesome. She explained to me how everything would feel so that when I got to each point I knew I was progressing just as I should. She talked me through some contractions when I was getting closer to the end and I was panicking a bit and not relaxing in between as much as I should. I had sort of expected labor to just be pure ‘hard’, it wasn’t, there were contractions which hurt but then there were breaks in between. I noticed that so log as I could relax my body in between contractions (relax my shoulders and face, that was the best advice the nurse had for me!) I could rest enough to handle the next contraction, I just took it one contraction at a time for a couple hours until I was ready to start pushing the kid out!
A couple hours later there was a transition point that my body started to tell me to push, it was weird how it just switched over like that. The midwife and the nurse came in and helped to talk me through what was going to happen, how it was going to feel and how I can make things easier and faster. Since I was able to get this far without any drugs they said it would probably go much quicker since I could feel things better and could respond accordingly. It was right about this point, JUST before the big event that I panicked a little (giving birth is scary, more in theory than reality I think… not to say it doesn’t hurt but TV sure builds things up too much!). When I panicked I stopped relaxing in between contractions and that made them just compile on one and other and hurt a lot more! At this point I asked the nurse if I could take anything to which she really just didn’t reply. I took it as a no and went on my way with labor. I’ m glad she handled it that way, I was close enough to the end that it would have been a shame to get an epidural at that point, I just didn’t know how close I was, I expected things to take longer… Poor James had planned on staying above the waist but he got pulled into helping and had to watch the whole thing! I feel bad because honestly, that is not something I would want to see! Some things can’t be unseen. He took it like a trooper and even said he was glad he got to partake (I can’t understand why, honestly I don’t know if it is worse to be the one in labor or the one watching someone be in so much pain and not be able to do a thing to help!). It felt like I was making no progress at all but after a relatively short 35 minutes of pushing MiniM was born!
To that point in my life I had never held a baby, I really hadn’t spent much time around kids at all, I honestly had no idea how I would feel the moment she was born. I figured I would just go with it and see how things worked out though, nature has a way of making thing work out. In Lamaze class I remember watching one of the videos and a lady was giving birth (surprise, right, in a lamaze class! ;-)) but when the baby was born the midwife was handing the baby to the new mother and she wasn’t grabbing her. I thought that was so weird watching it and was thinking ‘why isn’t she grabbing her baby?’ Well, when MiniM was born she was purple and brownish, she had JUST come out and the midwife set her on my stomach and I thought about that video and I realized I was not grabbing my baby! I was a weirdo too! It turns out that was ok because her cord was wrapped around her ankles and I really couldn’t have grabbed her anyway until she was untangled so I didn’t look like a weirdo per-say but I had a moment of ’what do I do’ none the less! As soon as she was untangled though the nurse brought her up to my chest for some skin to skin contact MiniM grabbed my hand and looked at my face, I was in love :). The midwife and nurse both told me that as soon as she was here I wouldn’t even feel the pain, that was totally not true, it still hurt! After she was here I asked for drugs, I didn’t want a natural birth for any magic reasons, I just wanted to limit the possibility of various interventions for MiniM’s sake, not for my own! Once she was out it was fair game, I was happy to just get some Ibuprofen again though, that worked for me!
We ended up staying two days in the hospital since it was the weekend and the nurses encouraged it for first time parents, it was nice to be able to get all of my questions answered and feel pretty good about things before being thrown to the wolves on my own. We are very lucky to have a very healthy and happy baby girl though! There was a little scare with jaundice in the hospital but from what I understand that is pretty common and we were able to just scoot by without needing any assistance with that. It was funny, I was basically on no sleep for several days but once she was here all I wanted to do was watch her. I spent most of the first night awake just looking at her :). It’s amazing how your body can just rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done and when you have such a sweet baby to look at you don’t even begrudge it in the least! Denver ven likes her! He had a funny look in his eye at first like he thought we got him a new stuffed animal to bat around but he quickly learned that she is not in fact a stuffed animal. He’s pretty sure I am hurting her at every diaper change and gets concerned for her but lets me do my thing :).
So, that is why I have been a little absent, James and I have been thoroughly enjoying our new baby girl. James has been a complete rock star helping out too. I am pretty lucky for that, I am really glad that I made all that food prior to D-day though, it’s easy for James to heat it up and we get to eat fairly healthy meals! Some of it has taken better to the freezer than others but it is far more nutritious than what I would be eating otherwise I’m sure! James has been keeping the tiny house clean for us too. MiniM has been visited by every aunt and uncle and grandparent too, what a lucky girl! Turns out I am not so bad at this mom thing either, she seems to like me. The milk coming in was a challenge, that wasn’t all that enjoyable but we are over the hump and feeding is going much better! I am very glad to have the tiny house, it’s working out oh-so-well in all of this!
We are trying the best we can to keep MiniM’s identity and personal details somewhat private, there are plenty of people who read this that know all of her details but I’d like to ask that if you are one of them that you keep things like her specific birthday and name private and not out in the open. I will still be referring to her as MiniM for this blogs sake :).
I meant to get this update out much sooner, and it probably could have been better but I am back at the point I was in the beginning of the tiny house build (babies are like tiny houses??) that it is probably better to get SOMETHING out instead of waiting until things are just perfect and not getting anything out. So there you have it, the last minute post because first thing in the morning James, Denver, MiniM and I are hitting the road and making our way from Idaho to North Carolina for the Tiny House Conference!
Hope everyone is well!
Baby Update Time!
So… I had a baby, finally! :) She is very astute and takes direction well, she came right on her due date which is apparently pretty rare.
No baby yet, hopefully soon though! I was fearing that she decided to call it quits and just not to be born after all but I had my appointment this morning, there is still progress being made (I think the swinging – on the swing set! – helps). I am 90% effaced and 2+cm dilated, she is all lined up and ready to go (and had a huge growth spurt in the last two weeks…). We are just waiting for broken water or contractions to start and then there will be a MiniM… Still have the timeline of 2 hours to 2 weeks before baby time. My midwife took off this afternoon to a conference for a week though so I have been thinking tomorrow would be a good day for her to come, that would be the way it goes :). That is one of the pros of going through the hospitals midwifery program, there are a couple other midwifes to cover when one is out, I am not worried at all about my particular midwife not being there for the delivery, if it works out like that then it works out like that.
We also happened to run into James’s brother and sister in law at the Dr. office, they were there to find out the sex of their baby. I won’t ruin the surprise in case they haven’t got the word out yet to everyone they want to but I am excited that MiniM will have a baby cousin that will be about six months younger than her :).
Here are some pictures of all of the stuff mom, grandma and only a little bit of me have been building for MiniM.
Home Made Baby Stuff
No baby yet, hopefully soon though! I was fearing that she decided to call it quits and just not to be born after all but I had my appointment this morning, there is still progress being made (I think the swinging - on the swing set!
I want to highlight some of the other tiny houses I love every now and again and this is a great one to start with! This is Andrew and Gabriella Morrison’s 28′ tiny house. This is just 4′ longer than mine and seems to pack SO much more usable space than that in there! I love the finishes and style of the whole thing, my guess is that if you like my house you may just like this one too! It’s pretty modern/contemporary in style but a completely different flavor too. It’s a great example of the differences you can have even in a small space. I love seeing new houses that look nothing like others I have seen, and this one is completely original.
These guys are a bit of a crossover love/interest for me also, they are the folks behind Strawbale.com which, as some of you know is the direction I am going next. I have really enjoyed getting to know these two over the last several weeks, they have been extremely friendly and helpful for one of my strawbale side projects which I think I have yet to mention (I got to work on a tiny strawbale house for an awesome lady locally! Hi Linde :)) if you have an interest in either tiny houses OR strawbale Andrew and Gabriella are definitely someones to keep an eye on!
I think I should probably do one of these now because I think it will be a baby update if I wait too much longer! The little gremlin is making her way out soon, I’m sure of it! I also want to apologize to those of you who have emailed me or left a comment that needs a reply, I haven’t been able to get back to them all just yet, I will try to very soon! I usually try to answer my emails over the weekend but this weekend has left me doing other things before getting to them, if you have sent me an email or left me a comment I WILL get back to you, just as soon as I can!
MiniM is doing just great, I have complained a lot through this pregnancy (because much of it DOES suck!) but really things could be SO much worse. I have been sick and miserable, and wanting of a lot of sweets but she is healthy and seems happy based on her constant dancing… I hope everyone’s ‘building of a person’ could go so smoothly! In reality I would take a lot more if it assured me she was going to be healthy and happy!
The worst singular part to date (other than the CONSTANT nausea) is the second glucose test because I failed the first one by so much. I had to take it again. Nothing about that was terrible terrible, I mean I like sugary stuff but they take your blood and then make you drink this awful pure soda syrup crap then draw your blood every hour for three hours. I’ve never been scared of needles at all, if I were it would have only been the icing on the cake next to the 5 hours of shakes and dry heaving (trying NOT to throw up so I didn’t have to do it all again!). Through all of that MiniM was doing flips and having just as hard of a time. I had taken my laptop in to get SOME work done while I waited the three hours but ended up not even being able to focus enough to do a thing. AND I had to fast for it. It really should be illegal to make a pregnant lady fast! If that’s the worst of it that is not so bad.
There have been very few ‘cool’ parts up to this point but by far the coolest part is that I get the opportunity to know and bond with this little human being before anyone else! She has a little schedule it seems (we still play before bed), she doesn’t get scared of things like she used to (I let/encourage Denver to bark so that noise won’t set her off later). She is mostly pretty quiet until it’s just her and I and then she gets playful, and she gets the hiccups a lot! Lately she has started sucking on her thumb I think, there is a weird rhythmic motion she seems to make right before she gets quiet. That stuff is pretty cool and hasn’t really started until the last couple months or so.
It’s funny how completely terrified you are in the beginning of all the things your body will have to endure but by the time you get this far along you are ready for whatever, you could literally cut me open and I would be ecstatic just to eventually know that I will heal and will be able to lay down again, someday, comfortably! Last night I ‘slept’ upright again in a recliner because that was as comfortable as I could get. That is of course the most uncomfortable thing on my recently broken back… it is a miserable balance most of the time on how I am going to be able to get enough sleep to sustain my next round of ‘things’ to do. The great news, I am done working for a while at my day job! I still have other things to do and get done that I will fit in my schedule but stopping working now helps for SO many reasons. Again, it involved sitting for 8 hours a day which KILLED my back. The biggest part though was that I haven’t been able to get to really real sleep for the last several weeks until 5:30-6:00am… and then was woke up to go to work at 8… to which I could never seem to be on time! I can sleep and stay asleep now when I am actually asleep… that is until she’s born…
So, one week ago on Sunday I was woken up at 2am with a really bad stomach ache. I was dazed, a bit confused and then I realized that must be a contraction. I got up and walked around to make it feel better, I was literally doubled over, it was awful (just wait… I know :) )! It didn’t go away at all with my walking so I just waited it out and tried to relax through it, which is hard to do when your body is rebelling so hard! It lasted 6 minutes, I know because I looked at the clock when I woke up and then it just stopped and I decided I should go back to bed and get some rest. If it kept happening then being rested was the best thing for me. Two hours later the same thing happened, except I had to RUN to the bathroom, I felt like every single piece of everything in me was about to explode out… another 6 minutes and I was going back to bed. Then, nothing. Just two really bad Braxton Hicks contractions. So I have been on alert since about a week ago. No real ‘nesting’ kicking in, just being a bit alert. On Tuesday was my latest midwife exam (I am on to weekly exams until she gets here now), my midwife asked if I had any contractions I said ‘yep!’ (she has asked me this before to which I replied ‘I don’t know, I think so’… met with a joking eye-roll :) ). She laughed and said THAT’S how we know its progressing, and that it was a good sign. She listened to MiniM’s heart-rate (it’s perfect 130) and took my belly measurement. It should be about 1 cm a week from week 20 on up to about 40 cm, my last measurement was 39 and this time it was 32. I was a bit confused about that but she said she dropped and was now engaged in my pelvis and ready for action any day now. I think her moving into place must have been what that Sunday night business was all about. My midwife thinks it’s any day now, whenever my body says go. She said most first time moms go to 41-42 weeks but I may be one of the lucky ones that get’s out of this a little early! I am at 37 weeks which is perfectly acceptable, if I go into labor they won’t stop me. The main concerns are only that MiniM hasn’t grown her brown fat that helps regulate her body temperature so after birth, they would make sure she’s eating and staying warm, other than that no worries.
So that was awesome news! Which brings me to Friday. Friday was my last official day of work. It still hasn’t really hit me that I won’t be going back tomorrow morning… I have a whole list of other to-do things to do but it will just be weird to not go to the office. So Friday, I wake up and head to work. I sit down and instantly start having contractions. Nothing too terribly painful and not too close together. I just keep tabs on things and we are talking 2-3 contractions per hour lasting the entire time I was at work and a couple hours after, then they seemed to slow down a bit. They were still there but maybe 1-2 an hour. I decided on Friday that I had better go get her some clothes and stuff ready in case so I drove home and headed to my folk’s place to get a few loads of laundry done (I do have a washer/dryer but I find I don’t use it too much, laundry is a good excuse to visit!). I head out there and visit/hang out and then head home to do a little more work. The contractions continue throughout all of Saturday too, not getting any more or less in frequency or intensity. Saturday night I did not sleep at all. I was upright in my chair, pissed off at the world that I could not get an ounce of shut-eye, Denver was sleeping like a little princess and I just wanted to shake him awake so I didn’t have to be up all night alone! Finally, at almost 9 this morning I was able to get to sleep and slept until noon. When I woke up there were no signs what-so-ever of labor. Short story, it’s been a weird weekend and I think I am going to have a kid soon but I have no idea!
I have been nervous to be alone so I have made poor James drive all over with me, we went and got all those items on my ‘need-to-get-before-baby-comes’ list. He has been working his butt off to tie up some of his projects so he can hang with MiniM AND spent the weekend building Denver a fence so that I don’t have to keep my eye on him with my hands full of newborn. It will be so nice to be able to let him outside to play without having to be there with him constantly (to date we haven’t had a fenced area for him).
And today, was a burst of energy for the nesting! I have literally started at the top/ceiling of my house and have been working my way down DEEP cleaning everything (I no longer have Denny slobber on my ceiling…). Yeah!
I hope everyone is well, if I am offline for a little while now you know why! :)
I think I should probably do one of these now because I think it will be a baby update if I wait too much longer!
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