Thursday, August 25, 2016

she actually makes a sucky day better

Well after my last post I'm gonna go ahead and downgrade this pregnancy from better than last time to definitely worse than last time. With Alice I was mostly sick in the morning and then mostly fine as long as I kept food in my stomach. This time, I'm sick all day and I can't eat certain foods or else they make me throw up and I don't like anything so yeah, it's a big pile of sucky. SO MUCH THROWING UP. I've not been working the past three weeks and you know what, I think God knew this pregnancy was gonna reach the tip of the crap-berg because I have needed the time off to be home and near a toilet the past few weeks. Which brings me to why that's a little trickier: Alice. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday Matt worked and while I desperately wanted to get us two out of the house and out on adventures, I just... couldn't. I skipped church on Sunday and I've not been in the mood to socialize, I just spend a lot of time at home with my little pal. I can't particularly be productive because I get projects going and if anyone knows what it's like having a little kid around you will be interrupted a bunch of times for snacks, water, and simply because they want you around ALL THE TIME. I'm literally throwing my guts out into the kitchen sink and she's yelling Mama! Mama! from the table because she wants more blueberries. 
And of course I'm not mad at her. I'm not even mildly annoyed by her. She is such a good kid and such a freaking sweetheart and I just feel bad that I keep her cooped up but even the simplest act of walking to the grocery store and then the park with her led me to me throwing up in the Sprouts and barely making it and peeing my shorts! It's just easier right now to just stay home until this passes. Which should hopefully be soon. Right?
She discovered letters and is obsessed with them. I taught her to spell F-O-X just because of a scene in You've Got Mail that makes me laugh but she loves that game and starts prompting me "Mama, Mama...F! F!" Oh she finally started repeating things. Hippo. Apple. Turtle. Turtle is a really funny one, she will keep saying it until you acknowledge her and repeat it. She can identify the letter F, pretty proud of that one. It's her initial!
Wednesday I was able to get us out of the house to go to the zoo for a few hours and she had fun and it's honestly good for me to be out and about because at least it gets my mind off the all day nausea and walking helps too. I'm desperate to go to Disneyland. Hoping I can get it together next week. But Thursday, oh Thursday. I was sick all day and feeling worthless. No job, can't cook right now, can't take out the trash, clogging the toilet AND sink with throw up, start cleaning projects and then don't finish them because I get interrupted or decide sleep is more important (and it freaking IS)... just feeling bummed out. And she wouldn't nap. She stayed in her crib and refused to sleep, just hung out in there playing with her monkey, tossing, then she got loud and that was the end of my attempt to nap. But I wasn't even mad. I think she is going through developmental stuff and her brain didn't let her sleep and we hadn't made the effort to tire her out which usually helps. So I was up with her and let her watch another Toy Story movie. Then a third. SIX hours of TV in one day, though they were spaced out with playtime and such but yeah, SIX hours.
She doesn't just sit there of course, she wiggles around, she bounces on the couch, she plays with other toys, she watches her daddy mow the lawn from the window.
Thanks for mowing the lawn honey, and taking out the trash. And the dishes. And well, everything.
And while she didn't need the nap I sure did. So I laid on the couch while she watched the movie and I tried to rest but she'd try to lay down next to me and would smack me unintentionally in the stomach, or arm, or face. There was not much rest. But there was some sweet snuggles. And then she likes it when I throw the blanket over her and she giggles like crazy and then she likes it when I go under the blanket with her and she pretends to whisper to me like how I pretend its our secret and no one can see us under the fort. And then she finally learned to give a real kiss on the cheek and then and then she correctly identified daddy and mama on the magnet picture and she says 'buff' instead of "buzz" and then said meemee for Minnie and then she let me hold her during the scene where Andy's mom is saying goodbye to him as she stands in his empty room as he goes away to college and then she held my hand during the scene where all the toys are holding hands and then she let me hold her the whole time the toys played with andy the last time. And when I told her it was bedtime she ran and gave her daddy a kiss and grabbed her monkey and headed to the bedroom without a fight. 
And that after a crappy day for me I realize... it was a really really good day, thanks to Alice.

(And that I can't write blog posts about her because I cry so hard my head hurts)

Friday, August 19, 2016

yup, we're having another baby

Well now that the rest of the internet knows I can now blog about the absolute misery I've been living in for the best possible reason. Alice is getting a baby sibling and we'll be completing our family with this next and final addition to the Fredrich Family Farm next year in March.
We knew we wanted Alice to be two before we added another member to the family and in early July, a few weeks before her birthday I got this weird pain around my c-section scar. My scar, unlike Harry's when Voldemort is around, didn't cause me any pain after it healed around 3 months postpartum. And it all but vanished leaving a tiny mark. But all of a sudden it hurt, from the inside. I googled "c-section pain second pregnancy" and started suspecting. Went to the dollar store and got tests and tiny little lines told me yup and the ultrasound confirmed it. We just had another ultrasound today but the baby was in a funny position so we didn't get a good heartbeat readout like the first time. Oh the first time I saw that little flicker and heard that heartbeat made me cry some happy tears. I had been feeling so emotionless about it but that reminded me that we are so blessed.

I was thinking hmm, maybe this pregnancy will be different with the morning sickness but no. I don't want to say it's worse than the first time but it still totally sucks. And while with Alice I would mostly feel it in the morning, this one is all day. I feel like my food aversion is still there but milder but I've realized that in order to avoid me rushing to the toilet and heaving everything, I'm eating really simple carbs. Cup o Noodles, miso soup, white rice with soy sauce, veggie turkey sandwiches, toast, yogurt, boring. I had a few richer foods and they made me throw up so I'm sticking to boring right now. I was diabetic the first time and I plan on following that sort of diet this time but right now, I just can't. I have to just stick with what will just calm my tummy and has some calories until this subsides which oh, hopefully by September? I haven't felt that fatigue thing but I do go to sleep pretty early nowadays and not because I'm tired but because and this is so pathetic, when I'm asleep I'm not nauseated. It's the best part of the day, sleeping. Waking up in the middle of the night to pee is a fine because I'm not nauseated and there's a few magical minutes when I wake up having slept great and I'm not nauseated and then I stand up.

Second pregnancies are interesting because you're not really thinking about what's it gonna be like or what will the baby be like or any of that, you pretty much know what to expect. Plus you're kinda focused on the kid at hand so you don't really think too much about the one to come, at least I don't yet. Maybe when we get closer to showtime I'll think about the baby specifically though maybe best to not be overwhelmed. Now it's just simple logistics like, where's it gonna sleep after our room? Where do we put the bouncy chair. Etc. I've been going through a mini purging to make room for things. Baby things or people things.

You also don't think about what do we need, what am I gonna buy. Luckily since Alice, my siblings have all had babies and so I can borrow from their arsenal of baby stuff! All I'm gonna have to buy for this baby is gonna be a double stroller, diapers, and maybe a few newborn outfits 'cause I can borrow clothes from everyone else whether it's a boy or girl.

And speaking of... ugh. The first question out of everyone's mouth is when will you know what it is? TWENTY WEEKS EVERYONE, THAT'S WHEN THERE'S AN ANATOMY SCAN AND THEY TELL YOU WHAT I'M HAVING BECAUSE I DON'T CARE BUT YOU ALL DO. It seems like it's heightened this time, maybe because they know I already have a girl then they all assume that I would need/want a boy right? Boy, girl, the complete set. This thing is a blob right now, why are we so concerned with it's private parts? It'll be what it is and let me tell you what: I want another girl. Alice has been killer and it would make the room sharing (which is happening regardless) so much easier. My own little Sasha and Malia, Venus and Serena, Anna and Elsa, Lilo and Nani. I know Matt would like a boy to carry on the family name but he's cool either way. And if it has a penis, sure, that'll be fine too. But I don't feel like I'm gonna miss out on anything either way, as long as it's healthy. And cute.

And now it's my favorite part of the day. BEDTIME. NO MORE NAUSEA 'TIL MORNING!

Monday, August 15, 2016

ideas for the living room

We spend the most amount of time in the living room. It's where the TV and big comfy couch is. Right now there is really only one thing Matt and I really want to change in there and that's the tv console situation. Currently, the console sits on the floor at perfect Alice height and she takes out her toys in the day and we put them away at night. 
BUT, since the electronics sit at the top, it's a dangerous place to be with a toddler around. She already takes DVDs out of cases and puts them into the xbox and then poured water into the top of the cable box so... something's gotta change.
In a dream world, I'd have something custom built for us but under the guise of "close enough" we have the industrial media console which I've added to this here mock up. I've also drafted it up to look a little more 'modern farmhouse' with the current entry sideboard. When it's all together it seems a little boring to me but I'd try to punch it up with accessories or something.

I really want to get that room painted, we've been here three plus years already and I just need to bite the bullet and either do it or hire someone to do it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

yikes it's august!

My last post was early July. Eep. 

What's new, what's new? As with all other blog gaps, my working has gotten in the way of posting, which is good 'cause it's been a slow work year so we want to catch up on our savings accounts and that has still meant cutting cutting cutting our spending. All we pay for is food and parking. Though since I worked an extra day today, Matt says I can buy the outdoor umbrella I've been pulling for. 

Due to the broke nature of our life and me working, we've not done much in terms of vacation. We've been doing day trips and things that are free but I am dying to take the family on some vacay because I think we all need to get out of the house. It's been hot in Burbank so we spend a lot of time indoors. I'm trying to talk Matt into Mammoth Lakes. Wish me luck. 

Not really complaining, honestly, I'm so grateful for everything right now. It's just a phase in life and all we can do is grin and bear it, tighten your belts, move forward. 
The most difficult thing we've been going through lately is that... we've taken Alice off the pacifier for good. Ugh it's been sucky but we know it's for her own good. I feel like a major meanie because we're the ones that gave it to her to begin with and now we're telling her no you can't have your soothing device, make do. So far, she resists going to sleep but eventually does. Naptime is very challenging because she lets out some wails and tears that cut you to the core but bedtime has been less of a drama because by the time that rolls around, she's tired and ready. She whines a little at bedtime but I tell her to put her head on the pillow, I put a blanket over her, give her the monkey, and she eventually falls asleep faster than when she had the paci. She has acquired some funny 'kicking the habit' traits like she's been biting on things for no reason and putting things she normally wouldn't in her mouth, like her toes, she hasn't done that in years (a year and some months I guess). We're going forward with the most amount of kindness and patience that we can and we know it's hard for her to break the habit but better now than later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

she's two!

Well on Sunday our family officially became a family with a two year old. Can you believe it?
I kept the party with my version of "small" with just immediate family which still meant 13 adults and 7 kids. I had an adult table that for having been put together the night before was not bad.
It helps that I have a crazy stash of tea party stuff already. But what I think really helped was the beautiful flowers I got from the Burbank Farmer's Market. I ALMOST went to the flower market in Downtown LA and a stroke of genius came to me and for $26 I got lots of beautiful flowers. I used spare teapots as flower holders and put some in tea tins.
 I honestly think that fresh flowers are the best decor for any party. Always leave room in your party budget to add fresh flowers, seriously. My party tip of the day. And don't neglect common areas like bathrooms. Not just the tabletops. Save some blooms for other rooms.
Since it was a tea party I had a buffet spread of brunch type food and everyone loved it. I made mini BLT's and cucumber sandwiches and bought pastries, cookies, and crumpets.
Other than the flowers in teacups and the adorably set tables, the only other decor was this bunting I got from a UK vendor from Amazon called Talking Tables.
The kids table consisted of paper goods from there. Alice in Wonderland themed of course.
My mother in-law also made adorable tea party hair clips you can see in the upper left hand of the plate. How cute are they? And look at these Alice plates!
Six girls in the house was crazy. They had fun though. Matt is still recovering.
The older girls ran amuck but Alice and Jarah were chill.
Though not as chill as Eli who slept through most of it.
She got the hang of present opening this year but she did it her way which was very cautiously.
She got some cute Alice dolls and mom got her a tiny toilet full of hopes and dreams.
She had a really adorable reaction to the birthday cake which was that she actually knew what to do! None of us taught her that, she started blowing on the cake as soon as she saw the candles lit up. She must've seen it on TV. Kid is a sponge.
After she took a little nap, my siblings stuck around and we all took the kids to run around at the park nearby and caught Pokemon. It was so much fun being together. 
All in all, a pretty freaking terrific day for a pretty freaking terrific kid.
Abalone. I get all choked up when I have to write about you. I am amazed every day at what an adorable and fun and sweet kid you are. You do things your way at your own pace and I pray the Lord guide me and your father as we raise you. That we would always parent you as you need it, not as we do. We love you we love you we love you. Happiest birthdays my love.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

where my kid can be a kid

A friend brought her daughter over on a Friday night when my niece and nephew were spending the night and she remarked that our home was a place where kids could be kids. And nothing could have been a bigger compliment. 
I love seeing the little evidences of her everywhere. Her fingerprints on my laptop screen. Her toys in the bathtub. Even the former inconveniences are now smiles and reminders that I keep the coffee table top clear for her to put her coffee set and naked butt on when she runs around after bath time.
I don't want to hide her presence in any way. Nor of any child who enters my home.
Lyla left her mark on chalk "I love you Tia. You are my BFFF." 
I don't find any of her things ugly. They are hers and she likes them so they are treasure.
Here she pretends. Here she puts on a tiny glove then knows where in the kitchen the big ones are.
Opens and closes doors. Moves and spreads everything around in the day and mom tidies at night.
Not because I mind the mess. But so that she can make a fresh one every day.
And her messes can be the breadcrumbs of her playtime, showing me what I missed while away.
And the baskets are filled with her little friends that hug her when I can't be there myself.
She will be two next week. My baby. My toddler. My kid.

Monday, June 27, 2016

of nail polish and self-care

I dunno if we've mentioned that we have had a young woman staying with us for the past few months while she finds a more permanent living situation. We've housed people in our home since we were kids and throughout our marriage Matt and I have been the intermediate home for a few friends and family so it's nothing too out of the ordinary. The only tricky part has been that I've lost the office to work out of and do my lady things like watching my stories and painting my nails.

I've been working from home for a few days and tried working in the living room to a major fail what with Alice constantly pawing at me and then I set up a desk in the master bedroom which works out mostly but it's hard to work with her knowing I'm there. You try just ignoring a sweet little voice jiggling the door handle and saying "mama, mama".'s been tricky. It's very clear what time are office hours when I'm literally in an office but when I'm home I feel that need to be a part of the family as well as be able to process payroll and when I don't finish my work and I have to stay up late and am mad at myself for not having been more productive well... who can I blame but myself? We had this conversation about women piling too much on themselves and we sure do that. I hadn't felt that way since I was home for a long time but even then, being mom all day every day even with the love and support of my man you just can't shake when the kid wants you and only you will do. But, I had been home for a month, I think I can step away for a few days to work, she is going to be just fine.

I have been absolutely the WORST at finding time for myself since Alice has arrived. And it's all my own doing too. In the beginning when you're nursing it's gotta be you but eventually they need to be fed less frequently and then you can start squeezing in some quality alone time and I've been so bad at acknowledging when I need it until I feel like I'm going crazy and start either snapping or crying. Tonight I was upset that I never found the time to just paint my nails.

So I stayed in the master and I painted my nails while watching 'Call the Midwife'. I didn't do work since I was actually productive and had finished it on Friday, and I just spent time alone. Of course the episode that night was about someone's mother dying and that very episode, I kid you not, the mother, a woman of means lamented the fact that she used to get manicures weekly and now on her deathbed, her daughter's friend urged her to just do her the kindness of painting her nails for her. The daughter said she couldn't really touch her, they never had that kind of relationship but the friend, who had also lost a mother, knew how important an act it was and encouraged her on.

When my nana was near the end of her life, I came to visit her. She was a very proud lady, she would dye her hair and paint her nails always looking clean and kept even though she had not much money and had been a widow for a long long time. She took the time to care for herself. When I saw her last, I noticed her nails and without asking, I grabbed nail clippers and a nail file and I trimmed and filed her nails. By then all had been said that was to say, she and I were always very warm towards each other. So we just sat there quietly, I could see in her eyes she appreciated the gesture, appreciated the warmth, the care.

The daughter on 'Call the Midwife' painted her mother's nails and the mother quietly and verbally appreciated the touch. I finished my nail painting and drew a bath. I take care of the family, I can take the time to take care of me too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

toddler brag (after which she'll become a nightmare i'm sure)

We are currently going through a magical perfection phase with Alice. It's a burden, I tell you. 

I seriously wonder if it's because I had a pregnancy full of barfing longer than normal and gestational diabetes coupled with a long natural labor that ended in a c-section with a brutal recovery that the good Lord granted me clemency and said you know what, I'm gonna give you a pretty easy kid, you've suffered enough. Because seriously, we do not deserve this child. 
She's still a great sleeper and naps once a day for 1-2 hours (sometimes 3). When she's awake she is happy and fun and sweet and cooperative except for diaper changes and is a picky eater.
She is so freaking cute. She has the most adorable little sounds for things that just kill her father and I. We text each other what we think the sounds are and they never fail to cheer us up. When she's asleep we talk about her like "can you believe this cute thing she did"? Smitten we are. As are any of the characters at Universal Studios, they just love her.
I was home for a long time since work is BRUTALLY slow again and the only thing I was losing it with was the fact that she really likes me right now and I can rarely be away from her before I hear MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA. That can wear on the nerves. But I'm gonna just enjoy it before I long for the days when she loved me so much that she just wanted me to sit next to her on a step and hold her hand or simply for me to acknowledge her.
Current challenges are simply entertaining her without the use of TV or iPad this week with the heat. She's starting to get more interested in imagination type things so it's a little easier than before, she has a pretty short attention span says the pot (calling the kettle).
She has been fighting a cold and has eczema which we've been putting stuff on and whenever I'm about to put it she makes this like "aww poor me i need that huh mom aww" face. I gotta record it sometime, it's adorably heartbreaking. 
She's a cherub. I'm enjoying her every day.

Friday, June 3, 2016

building the hostess house: your castle & working within those parameters

Alright so first thing's first. Let's get real and hit you where you live: your home. Does it have a big front yard? Big backyard? No yard? Is it a small apartment? A big apartment? A dorm? You laugh at the dorm part but we definitely hosted even in our dorm room days. What are the most comfortable spaces to host people and get to know your capacity. Could you comfortably fit four? Eight? Twelve? Twenty? Then work around that area because you can easily setup for people if you work within your space's limitations and your own creativity.  
When we first were married Matt and I lived in a one bedroom apartment and since I had all these wedding presents I wanted to throw a dinner party. I was a married grown up now and I had to prove it. Using my trusty 'Barefoot Contessa at Home' cookbook and with zero faith from my friends that the food I made would be edible, I hosted a dinner party: the first B&W Christmas Party. I estimated we'd be about 8 total (Ambre, Man-D, Michelle, Milena, Jonathan, Matt, Me, and lil' Charlotte). The apartment had a little dining area across from the kitchen but it felt tight to cram us in there so I moved our dining table out to the living room so we could eat under the lights of the Christmas tree.
I'm not sure when the idea came to me but it felt really revolutionary. We moved our arm chairs and coffee table to the original dining area which made a little seating area for appetizers and we had dinner in the living room. I learned that 8-10 was capacity for our little apartment and any subsequent parties were kept about that small. No one is forcing you to host a dinner in the dining area, use your space to suit your party. And move furniture around! I do it all the time depending on the party.
Now that we have a backyard and front yard and long driveway we've setup for parties all over the place and we can actually make normally drab areas look pretty cute. We've even used the front yard for splash parties with cousins and as a "baseball field" for our Sandlot party.
So give your house a once-over and see where you could host a party and how many people you could reasonably fit in there comfortably. You might be more an intimate party space even if you have a tiny apartment, if you got a couch you can make it a cocktail party. If you have a big backyard open space, why not a big ole picnic party where everyone brings a blanket.

Get creative! Get partying!