Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Space for Felix

 I'm so excited to share with y'all the nursery space that we have set up for Felix.
Most people assume that you can't do a whole lot with the space when you're sharing a room with your baby, but I'm going to prove them wrong.

It was a no-brainer that our nursery theme would be Winnie the Pooh. He's been my favorite forever, and he is classic and timeless. Not to mention there is so much nursery related Winnie the Pooh stuff available! I've also been an avid collector of antique Winnie the Pooh stuff for a few years no so everything fit together really smoothly.

Without being able to put paint on the walls or go completely overboard, my main thought was to do a collage wall and a decal of some sorts and then fill in the space around those two big items. It turned out that his space in our bedroom is a lot bigger, aka a whole wall and a half so I was able to fill in the space with a shelf for books, a bulletin board, and a display for my antique Winnie collection.

I'll start here.
This is my dresser technically, but we have lots of storage in our bathroom so I don't keep much up on top. The tall books, miscellaneous items, and Mickey family ears fit just right! Felix only has two pairs of shoes right now, and I ran out of space everywhere else so they are just going right on top.
I've collected each of these pieces over the last 10 years. I found the shelf in a lucky etsy sale, it was only $10 but the brand is Lenox so my guess it was originally very expensive. It's safe to say I'm in love with it. 

The onesie hanging on the wall was our "guest book" from the baby shower. People didn't really get the memo that they were supposed to sign it, but that's ok, it doesn't look too cluttered with ink which may have happened if everyone tried to fit on there.
I bought the ears during our last visit to Disneyland. I can't wait to see his little self wearing them.

The decal was found on Etsy as well. I agonized over which quote to get, but I think this one fits just right. This pregnancy has set us on a path of surprise adventure. 

I found the canvas prints at the JBF sale last week and the print above is from a thrift store in Redwood City.
 The crib is refurbished from a family near my in-laws cabin in Lake Almanor. It just so happened to be the same brand we were planning on buying brand new!

The quilt was made by Grandma Pat (Seth's mom) as well as the blanket in front. Apparently bumpers are bad, so we don't have one for now...though I still kinda want one. Maybe when Felix is older they will come back to being okay with the baby safety police.

Here are some of the stuffed animals he has so far, not too many and nothing gigantic! I'm glad we weren't given anything obnoxiously large at the shower.

The wall to the right of the crib is a hodgepodge of things. The shelf originally had the Mickey ears on it, but I felt it was much better suited for books. We got a lot of books as gifts which is awesome! The bulletin board was from a craft faire I did last year, as well as the embroidery hoops. It dawned on me one afternoon that I could make a hidden Mickey from the hoops so I went with that. As Felix collects things that need to be put on the board things can be easily moved around!
I'm hoping to find a slim standing shelf to put his extra blankets and such. The space is quite small because that's where our closet door opens up to. The nice part is that the door is usually closed the space is usable, but the spring door stopper gets in the way of fitting anything larger there. 
The opposite wall is definitely an awkward space. The light switch plates are very awkwardly placed on the wall so my original thought of having my dresser go there wouldn't work, the changing table dresser did though, so I did the collage wall above that. It ended up being a good space to have the changing table fit, yet there is not enough storage in it! 

I wish the changing pad wasn't as long, it only leaves about 1 inch for any kind of changing stuff like baby powder or wipes! I had to move some things around to fit a small shelf above the table that could hold wipes.

We are cloth diapering so we don't need a whole lot of space to hide disposables! We have wet bags for soiled inserts hanging off the side of the table. I'm sure things will be changed and moved as time goes on but it's nice to have a tentative plan for now! Most people say they like to change the baby on the bed but our bed is so low I can't see that being comfortable or easy for me.
I've been collecting these prints from various places. The top left is straight from the Disney animation studio and is layered with three different layers for how the scene was set up! I found the two book pages in different etsy shops and I made the F monogram myself. 

 Overall I'm so happy with how it turned out. I'm glad we ended up moving and having more wall space to work with, we all know I love to fill up the walls of my home!

Admittedly, it looks great now but not for long. Not pictured is the foil lining the crib for Penelope so she stays out, or the clothes usually piled up on the changing table, or the rest of the junk that life tends to clutter us with.

This is probably the best it's ever going to look. As soon as Felix actually arrives I'm sure I won't have time to clean it again, or tidy up the the books, or make sure all of the pictures are straight. I'm doing my best to have realistic expectations about motherhood knowing that I'll probably be too busy staring at my boys face rather than cleaning. 

Dear Felix,
Your space is all set up -- but you're not quite done cooking yet. We have about 30 days until your expected to arrive. I'd be ok if you came before that, but only if your healthy and ready.

Your dad and I are busy preparing for you in so many ways. We go to birth classes once a week and are going to be picking out your doctor soon. We try and rest now, knowing you probably will keep us up during most nights.

We wonder about what sports you'll want to play, what your voice will sound like, and when you'll learn to tell bad jokes like you're dad.

I hope your laid back like dad, but passionate like me. I hope you love Jesus, I pray you see the Gospel being laid out for you in our home every day. I hope you aren't afraid to be yourself. I hope you ask for help when you need it. 

I hope you know how much we love you already.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

34 weeks. Waddles, Baby Showers, and the Name.

Just in case you missed it, we announced the official name of baby Van Nuys.
We've had it decided since about....14 weeks. 
But it's easier to tell people the name you've decided on when he's almost here, there are less rude comments like "well you still have time to change it." and "are you sure you want to name your baby THAT?" -- that was another favorite of mine.
his name is Felix Alexander Van Nuys.
No family affiliation of Felix. Alexander is Seth's besties name. We love it. A lot. 
It's the perfect blend of classic and funky - just like Seth and I, or something like that.

How far along? 34 weeks

Baby size? Size of a butternut squash. But I'm pretty sure most butternut squash are not 18 inches long and weighing close to 5 pounds.

What's he up to in there? 
He's messing with his mamas internal organs.
There has been lots of shifting going on in there, lots of painful moments where I'm not sure if my kid just pulled on my stomach or my bladder - or both simultaneously.
He can recognize songs that I sing to him at this point (seriously awesome).
He pee's about one pint a day.

He's a busy little guy listening to mama sing, peeing, and punching. Womb life is the good life.

Total Weight Gain?
Only 26.
But the remarks from the doctors continue to no avail.
This past week I was told that because of my weight gain she thought I would have a large baby but that I'm measuring right on time. I wanted to get real snarky with her, but I didn't.
How is it that some women in my life gained WAY more weight than me at this point and their doctors didn't say a word? Maybe it's the way medicine is going lately with obesity on the rise... I know they're trying to be cautious but sheesh gimme a break!

Stretch marks? 
Yep. And they are up past my belly button. How cute is that?

  Still pretty good!
I can go some nights without having to get up at all. Little man is very active at night, though that doesn't stop me from sleeping -- perhaps its because I'm so exhausted from the day.

Best Moment?
Our shower was fantastic.
So many people came and loved on us. I was slightly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people but I did get a chance to say hello to everyone and thank them for being there, so my duty was done!

My mom worked hard. She was a literal beast in pulling everything together. 

Our guests did some baby wishing. 
Or Seth commanding in this case. This is one of my favorites that was filled out. 

Our guests also did some bib decorating. 
 This one reads in Spanish, "my aunties in Washington love me a lot."

We also ate some amazing cake.
When my friend Kristen told me she wanted to do the cake I had no idea it would turn out this amazing.
That reminds me, we have some left over in the fridge right now...and it would make a great breakfast. Be right back. 

Our guests also guessed Felix's birthday. Closest date and time will get a cash prize!

It was the best day. 
What a blessing to have all of those who love and care for us in one place. 

Miss anything?
Many things.
I really want to snuggle up on the couch with a glass of wine and my husband.
I also miss my non-clutzy self. I knock over and drop everything these days and can't pick anything up! Most of the time I just stare at the things I drop on the floor and wait for someone to notice that it is impossible for me to bend down that low and come to my rescue.
I miss having energy. I do one errand and am ready for a nap. I'm ready for that nap on my way out the freakin' door before I even get the errand done!

I also miss walking like a human as opposed to a penguin.
When I'm not busy waddling, I'm hoisting myself up on a car, ledge, bench or wall trying to catch my breath so I can continue waddling to my destination.

All day, every day.
Praise God for that, otherwise I'd be a nervous wreck. 
Most of the cravings are gone...I'm actually not as ravenously hungry as I used to be.
I did crave bubble tea hard core on the way home from the shower though -- I'm very glad the one place in town that has bubble tea was open :)

Seth and I both have some kind of cold icky-ness going on right now.
Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose -- the works.

Have I mentioned how ridiculously cute little boy clothes are?
The clothes we got at our shower are seriously darling.
I can't wait to see him dressed up in every single one of them.

Our friends know us so well.
We got a plethora of Disney, Winnie the Pooh, Air plane, and CAT gear.
This onesie took the cake.

Labor signs? 
I will be refusing cervical checks until I'm in actual labor anyways -- who the heck needs to worry about how dilated I am? The only time we'll know the baby is coming is when I'm in actual labor. All that checking is going to do is put me into a panicked frenzy.

Belly button?  
My belly button has definitely started to turn out more. It still looks inny but my well trained eye can recognize that it's looking more outty these days. 

Wedding rings on/off?
 Still off.
I miss them a lot. 

Pleasant but exhausted.
This past weekend was all kinds of amazing, but all kinds of exhausting.

Looking forward to?
Well, since work is done and my besties have come and gone....I now get to look forward to Felix being here!
I have lots to do until then...
like washing all of his clothes, organizing all of his clothes, building his crib, packing our hospital bag..

Anything else?
The new doctor situation is working out well. Sweet relief.

I debuted my new scarf collection in my Etsy shop, and I would love if you would check them out and consider them as holiday gifts for your friends and family.
Click here:

Alright ya'll.
Thanks for tuning in.
I'll be back soon with more pregnancy talk -- aren't you excited it's almost over?!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Obama Care Pt 2. -- & Other Ramblings

Obama care is making a lot of people around me pretty angry.
I'm not angry yet, just disappointed.
One of my coworkers exclaimed the other day "Jamie, I hate to say it, but I think I'm becoming a Republican".
Her insurance premiums had just quadrupled - and then some. She now can't afford her own health care because of a program that's supposed to make it more affordable.
3 days later and she's still a Republican and I kinda love it.
I definitely didn't anticipate the cost to raise as much as it has, I am shocked by how much the cost of insurance for people who already had it skyrocketed. It's scary to think about the damage this will do to peoples finances.
Will more people have to go without health insurance now because they can't afford the premiums?
Will those who were formerly insured now be the ones forced to be uninsured because of cost? 

Only 16,000 people have signed up so far...will the costs rise higher as more people sign up? We have a long way to go, California.
I saw a statistic a few days ago that showed that there are more people in California collecting welfare than people that are actually employed. That's scary.
And what about the rest of the country? Some states have opted to not expand Medicare & Medicaid, some have chosen to expand, and some have chosen to stay the same. What about costs of premiums of those living in other states? Did we get a proper warning about what this would do financially, or only listen to the blanket statement that this would be "cheaper healthcare for ALL"?

Maybe insurance companies could lighten up on their ridiculous pre-existing condition clauses. I'll never forget the day I got a letter in the mail from my insurance saying that wouldn't pay for a blood test because it was for a "pre-existing condition" that I failed to mention -- that blood test, was the test that showed I was pregnant. Pre-existing by a matter of...weeks, weeks in which I was covered under them. Shame on you, Anthem. Shame on you. You bet I put my caps lock hand writing on and scribbled an angry message back to them -- not only showing proof of previous insurance but proof of their idiocy.

The saga continues, and quite a lot has happened since my previous post on insurance.
Two weeks ago I was under the impression that my insurance (through my mother) would cover my baby up to 30 days after he is born. Long story short, we were "misinformed"....or lied to.
We found out last week that my insurance company has some major training issues -- and that they train their employees to give 25 different answers to the same question.
And if I hadn't pestered for the right answer it could have cost my family $20,000+.

Because of a clause in my policy about dependents and their children  -- baby Van Nuys will not be covered in the hospital after he is born. If they as much touch his little body we will get charged FULL price.
I'm not complaining about the policy itself, I get that it's what we are signed up for.  There is a huge problem with training!  Because I work in a call center where 40+ people must be trained to give the exact same information out all the time I am a little extra sensitive to this issue. I was told 3 times by 3 separate people that the baby would be covered -- only when I called back to get that statement in WRITING was I told that he wasn't covered. What a joke. Now, here I am scrambling at 8 months pregnant trying to get different coverage.

Just as God would cause all things to work out, we found a way for me to hop on Kaiser insurance through my Dad's company and get full coverage now, regardless of my pregnancy. It won't be cheap once baby arrives...but it will definitely be less than $20,000 for labor and delivery, and hopefully we will qualify to get him on Medi-Cal after the birth is said and done. We do technically qualify for Medi-Cal right now, but it is too risky to wait the 45 day processing time and possibly get denied right before I give birth. So, I now have to switch doctors, hospitals, and entire insurance providers -- at 33 weeks pregnant. It is quite the headache. Granted, it could be worse -- I could be 37 weeks...or 38..or 39....or on the way to the hospital in labor when they called and told me he wasn't covered. All is grace.

There are a lot of benefits to this switching of policies and care.
I get to see the new doctor & midwife at Kaiser on Thursday -- and they offered me a whole 30 minute appointment. At my old doctor all I got was 10 minutes, and I waited 45+ minutes every time because every day she is running late.
The hospital is much closer to our house. Compare 30 miles to 50 miles
There are no questions about if the baby will be covered -- we know for a fact that he will be and that is such a huge relief!


There's a lot of other things seeming to be snowballing right now for me.
Even though it is my last week of work (hallelujah) my stress level seems to have skyrocketed.
I've been praying for peace, and God has been gracious. He's been bringing to mind scriptures that I overlook or have forgotten about. He's been giving me friends to pray for me constantly and encourage me when things are tough.
My two besties will be here on Friday which means that all of my cares will be lifted (for a few days at least).

And the question is continuously begged, are you ready?
At the end of the day, we are still no where near prepared to be parents. Reality has not hit yet -- or rather sunk in. The smack came the day that we tested positive, but the sinking in part, we'll see when that comes. I reckon it will happen on the way home from the hospital. My heart rate will gradually rise as we get closer to home, I will have google open on every device within arms reach - ready to hit search when the baby starts pooping, or screaming, or crying, or farting, or laughing, or smiling. God definitely knew what He was doing when He gave me a mom who happens to be a doctor. I've avoided sleepless nights, waiting rooms, and awkward yearly physicals thanks to her, not to mention the doctor bills. Seth and I will sit on the couch with our sleeping babe staring at each other in amazement, much like we did in the moments we drove away from our wedding -- and when he starts screaming we will look at each other with an expression that says...."we can do this, right?"

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited. We're excited. I think we're also a little terrified, and I'm learning to believe that that is ok.
All is grace. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

32 weeks. 52 days until D-Day. Oh Snap.

How far along? 32 weeks

Baby size? Size of a pumpkin. Which is a totally obvious size because pumpkins are always 1 shape and size, right? No. Come on Baby Center App, get it together.
Baby is about 4 pounds & 17 inches long.

What's he up to in there? 
Baby Van Nuys is a mover and a shaker. He likes to hang out only on the right side of my belly. He lets his mama sleep most nights, which I am very appreciative of. He still likes to sleep with his hands and his feet. He's busy putting on about 1/2 pound per week - he has real hair, toenails and fingernails.
Also, he's busy being the cutest little guy I've ever seen.
Just look at him!!

I cried as I looked at his little face and saw that he already looks like Seth.
Call me silly. 
Call me crazy.
Maybe I'm both.
But those little cheeks and forehead have Seth written all over them.

Total Weight Gain?
Probably 30 by now.
I go to the doctor again tomorrow.
I've come to dread it every time. 

Stretch marks? 
And you know what I learned this week?
My mother didn't get a single one with either of her pregnancies.
I wanted to hit her.

  It's been pretty good.
I hope that continues for a little while longer, I know I can't count on it until the end of my pregnancy. But I'll happily take it for as long as I can :)
I do find myself being a lot more tired at the end of the day which definitely helps me get to sleep.
Seth and I have also been practicing some relaxation techniques that we've been learning in our Bradley Birth classes which helps me get into sleep mode. Last night I was so relaxed I was drooling on my pillow and I didn't even realize!

Best Moment?
Seeing his sweet face -- that made my heart swollen with all kinds of feelings.
And 32 weeks means I'm officially 8 months pregnant.
Which is a definite milestone - we are getting so close!

Miss anything?
Having control over my body. Pregnancy does very mysterious things to your body. Very mysterious.
No need for details here, any woman who's had a baby knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Oh yes! Feeling him move all day keeps me sane, otherwise I'd constantly worry about if he was still ok in there.  
Still the same.
Burritos & Sweet Things.
Yum & yum.


future stud muffin.
doubt me? Look at my husband ;)

Labor signs? 
I started to have some Braxton Hicks this past week which took me by surprise.

Belly button?  
Still inny! I'm waiting....and waiting...and waiting for it to turn out but I don't think it's gonna happen. 

Wedding rings on/off?
 Off. Completely off. 
It is sad, BUT the bright side is that now when I put on lotion I don't have to worry about crap getting stuck in my rings. It's quite freeing to not have to worry about that! 

They have been replaced by my Grandpas wedding ring, and I always wear my rings on a long chain around my neck. 
My fingers swell more and more by the day. 

Pleasant, most of the time.
I have two weeks of work left which is exciting and something to look forward to.
Random crying fits are becoming more familiar.

Looking forward to?
My besties are coming to visit in two weeks, they are coming for the baby shower! Woot woot!
I absolutely love having them here.
Also, my last day of work is in exactly 9 days!

Anything else?
Baby is moving lower -- yesterday I felt like he was going to break through my bladder.

Weird stomach pains, which hurt when I bend over and change position have started -- unlike any other pain I've had this whole pregnancy.

Yesterday I was told I look like a giant scoop of mint ice cream ( in my mint colored shirt) -- that was different.

I'm a lot more tired. A LOT.

It hasn't quite hit met yet that we are having a kid in less than two months. Less than 60 days. Holy crap.

Also, I think I should start telling people when they ask that we are "yes" indeed ready for this baby. The sheer HORROR on this woman's face the other day when I told her "nope - not ready yet!" made it clear that maybe I should appear to be a little more prepared to the rest of the world, maybe I'll start believing it myself. (Fat chance)


Dear Baby Van Nuys,
I love your sweet face.
I love the way you sleep like your mama, with your hands and arms snuggled up in a ball by your chest.
I love that you look like your handsome Daddy.
I love your kicks and rolls, and your hiccups.
I love the fact that we get to meet you so soon.
I'm amazed at your little miracle life already.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Big Question

My due date is fast approaching. The questions from strangers and loved ones alike have changed from "are you excited?" to "are you ready?". And the answers are yes, and no - but also no, and yes. Yes we are excited, yes we are equally terrified. No we are NOT ready, who is ever "ready" to be a parent? Yes, I am ready to get this baby out of me, to have the freedom to move around again without stares and without wobbles.

The question though, that is hardest to answer is the one about what we're going to do after the baby. For money, particularly. I'm doing my best not to be annoyed by the question because people are just curious, about how a young couple like us can make it living in the countries most expensive place to live. Now that is a question we definitely don't have the answer to. The best we can do is smile, shrug, and say that we trust God with His plan for us after the baby. Which doesn't satisfy anyones curiosity, but that is the honest truth indeed.

There are many things I wish I could do that would make money for our little family. If I could create handmade things and have my business boom in a matter of months, I would love that. If I could write a column in a local paper or perhaps a book, I would love that too. If I could be an event planner, somehow gather years of experience in a few months and magically have a thriving business come February when I'm ready to go back to work -- heck that would be freaking awesome. If I could be a case worker for people seeking treatment around the bay area, that would be sweet. If I could do any of these things full time and bring the baby with me on "most" days, well that would be living in a dream. But none of these things are even on the radar of possibility right now. I don't doubt Gods power to change that, but I don't see it right now - so they stay in the area of my brain labeled dreams and only come out to play during nights of insomnia.

I do have a couple things lined up, though. Right now I am technically on leave from my substitute teaching job. Because I am basically a contractor for this company there is a lot of freedom, freedom I'm super thankful for, regarding when I can come back. They are holding my job until February -- in which I would need to commit 2 full days a week to working as a substitute teacher in the San Jose area. I also am a contractor for the delivery driving job I was doing part time up until just last month. I was delivering blood & medical supplies on an as needed basis for the American Red Cross & most of the major San Jose hospitals. A job I also loved because of the freedom of scheduling and independent nature. I have figured out that I'm just not cut out to work a 40-hour a week job at a desk with a supervisor and boss breathing down my neck all day. I don't like corporations, or authority, or people telling me when I get to go pee. Part of that is me being stubborn, the other part is me just being myself.

What I do know is that I have made the decision to leave my current job with the major health corporation where I have spent the last year. Grateful doesn't even begin to cover my feelings for the job that I have had there, I have matured, learned, and enjoyed it so very much. As much as I love it, it has come to bring me a lot of stress and anxiety -- something I absolutely crumble under. It has also given me a new perspective on my own motivations for the job. One thing I need to make clear is that I have absolutely zero competitive nature in me. Within the last year there have been a lot of changes, and the job has become significantly more about numbers and money. Numbers and money, to me, don't belong in an industry that should be geared towards saving the lives of addicts. When you meddle money with rehab you get sub-standard care, you get "cookie cutter" rehab, you get program directors & admissions directors with one thing on their mind -- how they can get the most money out of insurance companies and bank accounts while still seeming to care.

When I realized that that is where the corporation was heading towards, I became really dissatisfied with the work I was expected to do. All the presentation of numbers, all of that garbage (to me), killed it for me. I knew this job was a "sales" job of sorts when I took it, but I wasn't prepared and am not prepared to follow it in the direction it is going. I have two weeks left at that job - I am enjoying it as much as I can with all of my coworkers that I absolutely love.

Ok, I'm getting off my soap box now and stepping back into what I really intended to blog about :)


In addition to me going back part time, Seth is still working part time at his job in Salinas -- which by the way is the coolest job ever. He works on broken and restored war airplanes & privately owned airplanes. He is only working after school right now and weekends when he is needed (like today) but he is learning so much and really enjoys the work. Who knows, something really great may come along in the next few months for him -- maybe it will be closer to home or pay more of an hourly wage.

My Etsy shop is open again, and I am feverishly working on new items. I was so excited when 25 minutes after listing a new item yesterday it already sold! That will provide some income for us as well as we transition into our new lives as parents in the coming months -- I'm praying it can get more traffic & business with more advertising and word spreading.

We are also getting help from our families financially which is amazing -- we wouldn't have been able to survive this past year without their help.

Have I mentioned that I don't really want to go back to work? Saying that you want to be a stay at home mom in this society is like whispering a demonic hex over your life. People laugh, they stare at you blankly, they scoff, they shake their head. "But why on earth would you throw away your education?"..."Don't you want to do something of value?" -- to me that's the demonic hex whispering right there! Raising my children (singular for now) is the most important job I could ever do on this earth. There is no amount of money I could put in our bank account that would make me want to go back to work full time instead of being home with them (him). I know I'm saying this before I'm officially a mom, and bla bla bla I might feel differently in a few years, or get bored, or desperately need money but if what I've heard about how motherhood changes your life -- I'm pretty sure I'll feel this way in a few months.

I used to have really big occupational and financial goals. And these admittedly were goals driven by a culture that told me I need money and stuff to be happy. That mentality has caused me to make an idol of money -- a deep seeded core idol that God is now just revealing to me in the deep down ugliness of my heart. Now as I work, with God's help, on unravelling this idol from the top down and not letting it reign in my life any longer I will trust Him with what He is doing in our bank account - and with the hours of the day that I'm "supposed" to be making money.

People tell me in response that you can only trust God so much or so far. Really? The God that moves mountains, splits seas, heals marriages, pardons murders, rescues sinners and wipes them completely clean of sin-- money is somehow to big and powerful for that God? That's a lie. Hate to break it to ya, but God is much bigger and grander and more amazing than you are making Him out to be.

We are about to enter a new season of life that I could easily label as scary, unknown, and crazy. I'm choosing not to look at it that way. Choosing joy instead, choosing faith, choosing to trust -- a lot more happiness follows those choices than those ugly labels over a season we don't have a lot of control over. So, as the question continues to be asked I will continue to smile, shrug and say those corny words about how we bank with Jesus and not really with Chase.

But if you know anyone hiring an admin, writer, crafter, counselor-type person come February, you just let me know.