Monday, October 24, 2016

collect the whole set

On Thursday morning Matt, his mom and dad, and myself got the happiest surprise of our life when at our ultrasound we learned that our second and last baby would be a:
You know those lucky jerks that get one of each and you think man, those lucky jerks, they got one of each? I get to be one of those jerks! The moment the tech said the word "penis" I could not believe it and started crying right away. Everyone wanted us to get the pair and I dared not dream we'd get the desires of our heart. Some people get no babies. We get two (so far) healthy babies. Blessed beyond.
However, there is something to be said for getting what you want, disappointment, gender expectations, and loss. 

Both of us wanted a boy with Alice. And then we got Alice. And Alice.... well... she crushed it. I brag about her a lot with the caveat that we are NOT WORTHY. So cute! So sweet! So smart! So easy! We could have zero other children and be 100% content that all we had was an Alice. 
 So, pft, what do we know about what we want right? Sometimes the thing you never knew you wanted was just what you needed and you can't imagine life any other way.

This time, I felt like I dared not dream, other people are lucky and get one of each. I will never be those people. So I prepared myself for the wonderful all girl family alternative. I started thinking of them as Sasha and Malia, Venus & Serena, Beyonce & Solange. Why I could only think of black sisters, I dunno. I hyped it up to my family: "We're gonna be an all girl family". I set up Matt for the Fredrich family name stopping at us and to hope one of his cousins have a boy. I started dreaming about this girl. Gave her a name. Alice was so great, why wouldn't we want another girl? Why wouldn't be so freaking lucky to have another girl? 

And after the excited moment of holy crap it's a boy and telling family the news and having everyone feel that same "you lucky bastards" feeling Matt and I sat down and we talked about our new reality.

The one thing that we were both surprised we felt was that feeling of finite-ness. This is it. Last time we'll see an ultrasound and see our baby's heart and spine. No more baby after this. And while I've been teasing my sister that she's crazy because she has both boy and girl and still wants a third now... I get it. I see why people have third babies. Not enough for us to be like yeah let's have a third but after swearing up and down, THIS IS IT we did have a second of more.

The gender stereotype stuff was what surprised us a little as well. A few asked "Is Matt so excited he's getting a boy?" But Matt said that while it's nice, it doesn't quite feel like he can only do some things with his son. We've not raised Alice very "girl" like. She has girl qualities like she doesn't like to get dirty and she is generally not as high energy but we don't really buy girly toys for her or put her in super girly clothing. Maybe those differences will be highlighted later but we plan on treating the kids the same. In that we'll introduce them to sports, school, art, jiu-jitsu, movies, and then they can chose what they're into. But we'll get to do dad/daughter, mother/son, dad/son, mom/daughter dates and talk to them about being gentleman and lady and such. It'll be interesting to see how they're similar and how they're different based on their genders and their personalities.

And then I had this strange feeling of loss. Is it normal that I'm feeling the loss of this other daughter that I never had? I had all these little thoughts about her and her name and now I'm not gonna get her. She's gone and she never existed. I cried a little about it. I guess I did too good a job preparing myself for another girl. 

I always imagined having a son and now... just can't believe it. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

crappy pregnancy and excellent first kid update

Man, I'm wiped. We've had a rash of work and activities and I feel like I haven't really recovered from any of it. On Saturday at a birthday thing for Matt's grandma I alternated between being awake and socializing and napping. I think the pregnancy exacerbates the tiredness.

Speaking of the sequel, yes, I am still nauseated all day. 19 weeks pregnant and still freaking nauseated. It is getting better in that I'm slowly weaning myself off the anti-nausea medication and making sure I keep food in my system at all times. Everything doesn't disgust me anymore! I still gag at certain smells (like poopy diapers and opening the fridge in general) and I did nasty hurl on Saturday morning but overall I can tell there's improvement. So much so that I can hardly remember in the beginning how all food except cup of noodles made me sick and puking two to three times a day. Thing of the past! That I will never repeat after this kid. New trick that keeps the nausea at bay in between meals is: peppermint gum. It's a miracle I tell you.

Know what's weird about being pregnant a second time? How accustomed you are to seeing yourself pregnant. I do feel like I showed really early again and now I'm full blown pregnant and unlike last time where I just couldn't believe I was that pregnant girl in the mirror, this time I ain't got time for staring in a mirror. I just appreciate and am thankful for the sight just the same.
The sequel has begun moving. Still too small to be felt from the outside but enough for me to smile when it happens. Sometimes I talk to it and it moves which warms me up. And it will have a better pronoun soon: he or she since Thursday is the big anatomy scan when we get to see all the little pieces that make a baby including genitalia. Place your bets now. I'm guessing girl.

Speaking of girls, oh Alice. She is peak adorable right now. She has the cutest little baby voice and she is chatting up a storm. I mean, she knows what she's saying. She also has perfected what I call intelligent lazy sentence structure. First word: mama, last word: item I want, middle words: gibberish verb filler for you to decipher. "Mama si si sees Buff" means Mama, I want to see Buff. "Mama si sees Food" means Mama, I want food. And so on.
She's also a certified genius according to her mama digest because she can identify the letters A-F. And a lot of the alphabet except the hard ones like Q and W. Like, out of order and everything. Wherever she sees a letter she excitedly "Mama mama, this sis F!" I don't care if 2 year olds all over the world can do this, hush now, mine is a special snowflake.
She is still very attached to that monkey plush who she's begun referring to as "Bobby" and loves the films "Despicable Me" and the "Toy Story" trilogy. She loses her mind when Buzz appears. If she's still into him by Christmas time, we'll be getting her a better Buzz doll and a Woody or as she calls him "Howie." And she still loves Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins.
Rest is still usual, naps 2 hours a day again which was a battle to get her back on after we took away the paci but whew, glad we didn't give up and still sleeps all night and wakes up around 8. Still a super picky eater. Still super easy with all baby-sitters. A friggin' delight and we are not worthy.

Oh and Matt had a great birthday festivity I'll have to write about in depth 'cause it was so great. He's been taking jiu-jitsu and just walked in to tell me he earned his first stripe. We're very proud of him for learning to defend himself and in turn, our family.

Aside from pregnant me, doing a job that's with a producer I hope to work with some more and hopefully work will pick up a little more before the holidays so we can buy presents and such. I'm looking forward to the holidays but it's nice having this lull in between too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Last Thursday Matt and I celebrated being married and still liking each other for nine whole years. On the day before we went to Disneyland since it was our last day as annual passholders so we spent the night at our in-laws and we had a picnic at the park where we got married. With both our kids. Kinda. Sorta.
After that we spent three nights in Big Bear just the two of us while Alice had the time of her life with her grandparents. We slept in late, we napped, we stayed up late, we went out to dinner, we went bowling, we went hiking, we stared at a fireplace, we saw a killer Metalachi concert, we just enjoyed being together. I highly recommend it.

Happy 9th Anniversary Honey Pie. To many more getaways to come (after we survive having two kids).

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

confessions of a crappy pregnancy

I wake up in the morning and feel slightly okay sometimes. I optimistically hope that maybe today will be a better day, maybe I've rounded a corner. I eat a bagel and a few hours later I'm nauseated again. Nope, just another day.

I need more protein but I have a hard time eating bean burritos. I can't make the fake meats because that means I have to cook them and that means opening the fridge.

The fridge is my enemy. So is the supermarket. And sometimes Disneyland. And anywhere smells permeate. I never noticed them before but now, boy do I. I can smell everything with a hyper sensitivity akin to superpower.

I get jealous of people just walking into Denny's. I watch them and think "Lucky them, they can just walk into a restaurant and know that they'll be able to order something and enjoy it." I haven't set foot in a restaurant in weeks. Food is always to go. I order two things because I will take a bite of one thing then decide nope, I don't like this.

One of my favorite things to eat used to be french fries, can't stand them right now.

Nothing tastes particularly good lately. I don't really want anything, I just decide based on what sounds the least repulsive and less likely to make me throw up.

I have to scroll through instagram very quickly in case of food pictures.

I also skip through parts of Alice's storybooks that have food.

I don't want to eat anything. I am never really hungry, I have to MAKE myself eat pretty much every two hours because otherwise I end up in the toilet.

I've missed so much church because when Matt serves it's just me and Alice and getting both of us dressed and fed and somewhere by 9:30am just doesn't happen.

Sometimes when I'm home with Alice by myself I let her watch way too much TV and play with the iPad for way too long because all I want to do is lay on the couch. She waffles between jumping all over me and squishing me in the tummy area to bringing me her stuffed monkey and tucking me in with a blanket.

I don't ever really want to go anywhere because that I just don't know how I'm going to be feeling. I make sure I've been fed and have mints, ginger candy, and gum before I leave in case I have to just try to stifle the nausea until I'm back in the comfort of my home.

A few weeks ago before I went on anti-nausea medication I felt so isolated and sad that I just cried a lot. I'd sit on the floor of the bathroom and just cry.

I tried to take Alice to the park one day and it was so hot that I barely made it there, she played for a few minutes and I took us back home and laid on the couch, exhausted.

Is this gonna get better? Why does my body act this way with pregnancy?

I am so glad I'm never gonna be pregnant again after this baby. I do not ever want to feel this awful again.

I feel so disconnected from this baby. I resent it sometimes for making me feel so awful. I don't look forward to meeting it as much as I look forward to just not being pregnant anymore. I hate feeling this way. I hate not being excited and looking forward to this new life when all I feel is bad.

Time is crawling by right now. Every day feels like a week.

Monday, September 19, 2016

the guest bath right now

It's a black and white mish-mash in this tiny room but we dig it.
We got a new curtain for it, went with stripes predictably. 
I bought this basket from Magnolia, Chip & Joanna's store. 
I can honestly tell you I looked at a trillion baskets for over the toilet and this one was it.
I used some gift wrap to wallpaper the back of this here cubby.
Alice's cup with her toothpaste and toothbrush. "Baff" "Teef", she has trouble with 'th'. 
Her bath stuff. Sometimes I like bath time and sometimes it's such a splashy chore.
Sometimes I forget her initials are AF.
See? Too much mish-mash. Different rug maybe now that the shower curtain is in.
The ole hipster Portland bathroom. I hope to paint it before the sequel arrives.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

making room for baby

Well despite our denial and my crappy pregnancy, a baby is coming in early March. Regardless of gender, eventually this sequel will be sharing a room with Alice. Alice still sleeps in her crib and we're planning on keeping her in there until she starts climbing out of it so this baby will have to sleep somewhere else which we were planning on and we did when Alice was a baby. 

Alice did not like sleeping in pack 'n play (which had a bassinet insert) by itself. It was either uncomfortable or too large for her but as soon as she would be put in it, she was up. It was tricky working out what worked for her and we ended up with this nighttime solution which is that we'd put her in one of those bouncy chairs and then put that on top of the pack 'n play. 
During the day she'd sleep anywhere but at night we'd try to keep her in our room so we could sleep and she could sleep and at night our room became a 2nd nursery. We had a changing pad we'd use for middle of the night changes and had spare swaddles and clothes and diapers. It was all higgledy-piggledy but it worked for us during those early days when feeding was round the clock and she didn't sleep all night yet. 
Well Graco makes a way better version of what we had done with a little chair that's made just for that and has a built in changing table AND a little side diaper holder thing! This is what we should have had the first time if I'd known what I know now. Since Alice will be using her room at night and we don't want to interrupt her precious night time sleep, the baby will be living in our room until it's sleeping all night and eventually put them together. Bunk beds or something else.
Meanwhile, in Alice's room, the room where we she sleeps, naps, and is changed since she plays in the living room and the office, I made some room for future baby items. I assume PJs and onesies and socks and hats will make their home in the empty areas. 
And unless Alice shows signs of serious potty training, we'll be a family of two diaper sizes (UGH) and tiny newborn diapers should fit here.
I also put out the last of her 2T clothes in the closet so now there's a bin underneath so we can put tiny baby clothes until we put them in drawers.
Baby toys are still hanging out here even after she outgrew them since baby's keep visiting our house. Bin 1 has those things and honestly, one bin of baby toys is PLENTY.
In the closet I have this pop-up hamper with baby gear in it that my sister returned. More of it is coming, some bouncy chairs, etc. Seeing the little seahorse... sniffle. Alice loved it.
I think I wanna get things gathered at least and then really go into baby prep mode like a month before. Unlike last time where it was so much time to think now we want to spend our time watching Alice cheese it up before she's dethroned as the center of our universe.
I can't believe I'm gonna have KIDS. TWO of them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Alice Language

This is "Buff".
 This is "Dot"
This is "Mee Mee"

She is WILD about Buzz. She's been reading this Toy Story 2 storybook to herself and all I can make out every other word is "Buff" "Buff".

Friday, September 2, 2016

bonus/multi-purpose rooms

I always love seeing what people do with their bonus rooms. I live in a real estate desert of tiny houses with absolutely no extra space whatsoever. I mean, oh yeah, technically we have a converted garage that's a guest house but we rent it out so we don't have any extra space. Anyway, I love seeing the blogs of homes in places where there aren't earthquakes where they have extra rooms like basements or attics that can be converted into awesome bonus rooms. 

This one has got it going on in terms of looks. I love the different zones for tv watching, crafting/dining/homework and play. It's inspiring my living room big time.
This one's a little more kiddie like, not as sophisticated as the other room but still has spaces for tv watching and for the kids to play. I guess I'd call it more of a play room.
But this one, holy crap. It's a basement apartment!

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.