Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Secret Life of Beins

Some mental emptying.

Sometimes Mother Cat's face just says it all.

We have been stuck inside and sick for a while now but things are looking up. Suns out, guns out. Unfortunately the last three months have left me feeling completely exhausted. I will never not grow tired of hearing people tell me that we need to get out more. Apparently my efforts are not impressive enough. 
The prettiest prison cell

When I am struggling I yearn for someone to tell me that my efforts are not in vain, that I am doing enough, that our life, the work I do, is beautiful, that my babies are happy. Peace. 

Scar tissue that I wish you saw.

Feeling like my brain is on fire with the need to create. The joy of my hands being full of these beautiful children and their work with the pain of having very little time for creativity of my own. 

Feeling disappointed in my fourth trimester body. Every day dreading getting dressed because nothing fits and everything is falling apart. Feeling tired and run down. Feeling out of shape and fat.

18 months/4 months. Do work.

In love with 18 months. The communication, the sense of humor, the harmony and the independence. She is observant, focused, patient. She will stand outside and point out each bird, cloud or flower that we see. She will go to the park and swing for over an hour in complete contentment. She will watch people and hold my hand wherever we are. Because I know one day she won't need to hold my hand anymore, I will hold hers whenever she asks for as long as she wants. Already she understands that sometimes I have to take care of Konrad and that she has to wait. She makes me laugh with her humor and loves doing it. I love the things that she brings to show or offer to me, how excited she is to see me, and her babbling explanation of the world around her.

In love with 4 months. The growing awareness and ability, the bursting joy, and the snuggles. This baby, he kills me. He laughed before he was a four weeks old. He is so joyful. When I pick him out of bed, he squeals and scrunches his entire body. When I change his shirt, same thing but with hysterical giggling. He is so ticklish, so ready to laugh and smile. He focuses on things now and scowls and chews his tongue whenever he is doing tummy time or playing with his mobile. He is almost sleeping through the night and is content so much of the day. He looks exactly like his father did at this age so of course I think he is completely handsome. Quite frequently when he is nursing he will stop and smile at me before snuggling contentedly a bit closer. All I can do is shake my head and smile back.

We are so lucky. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Previous debt updates:



Even though it is still a staggering amount, it is always helpful and encouraging to see how far we have come in less than three years. I am extremely proud of our teamwork and discipline.

$82,568.68  Grand Total 

Worthy of mention:

  1. We paid off both of our cars this calendar year
  2. We paid off our federal loans
  3. We had another baby :)

When we got married in 2012: $116,735.90
Today: $82,568.68

Amount we have paid off so far: $34,167.22

Our plan of action for this year is to start paying off the Department of Education loans as quickly as possible to gain more room in our monthly budget. Ideally we want to reduce our monthly payments enough so that K doesn't have to work side jobs for us to eat. Just in case anything happens. We do have a emergency fund and at least two months of income saved as well.

Go team!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Konrad's Birth Story Part 1

Read the novel that is Evelyn's birth story here.

I'm nervous to write this because there has been an element of sadness about Konrad's birth that feels totally misplaced when I see how beautiful and healthy he is. And how in love with him I am. The truth is, I was scared.


Ha. That is what I have been having to remind myself. After Evelyn took a casual 40 hours of labor to be born I had decided to go straight to the hospital for our second. Honestly, I found out I was pregnant only 4 1/2 months after Evelyn and the memories from the birth center were still too fresh in my mind to think of trying that again. Plus there was the fact that we had had to pay both the midwife and the hospital in the end.

In my mind, my birth plan was to labor at home as long as I could with all the freedom and comfort of my own space and arrive at the hospital in a full panic, pushing the baby out the minute I was set up in a room. Secretly I wanted to have the baby before they even got a chance to stick an IV in me. And if that didn't happen and I was due for another marathon labor, I wanted to avoid the epidural as long as possible.

"I have no plan this time," I would declare. "I just don't want a c-section."

Double HA. This pregnancy was long. And tiring. Toward the end especially I noticed that I was getting HUGE in the belly. I had stretch marks, the tendons and muscles underneath my breasts were all pulled and sore, and I hadn't been able to sleep for weeks. I could NOT STOP complaining.

18 weeks and 41 weeks

Then my due date came and went. After an ultrasound at 40 weeks, the doctor told me that Konrad seemed very big, possibly 10lbs, and I might need to be induced. I cried every day for the last two weeks of this pregnancy. I took herbs, walked every day, drank raspberry tea, and bounced on the yoga ball. At 41 weeks and 2 days I went to my appointment and the doctor told me I needed to be induced that night. He didn't want to risk my honey getting any bigger. I was only dilated to 1cm and my cervix was not soft making me a pretty bad candidate for induction. I was nervous and relieved at the same time because I was struggling with still being pregnant but knew that induction is not ideal and wanted to give the baby all the time he needed.

It seemed so far from the all natural birth that I had planned with Evelyn!

That night I kissed Evelyn goodbye (still hurts my chest to think about) and Kevin checked me into the hospital. The nurses set me up with cervadil (a flattened tampon), an IV, blood pressure cuff, fetal monitor, and an ambien. That ambien was ridiculous. It made me sky high before I completely passed out.

Every nurse who saw me seemed genuinely shocked by how pregnant I was. This was a suspicious fact considering that they work in a labor and delivery ward...

Through the night I dozed off and on. Every time I went to the bathroom I had to unplug myself from all of the machines and wheel the IV pole with me. I woke up at 4AM with the same contractions that I had been having every night for the last few weeks. Usually they would make it hard to sleep but taper off by the morning. This time, however, they remained more regular and started gaining strength as I stared at the clock. I hadn't been given pitocin yet but it seemed like my body was going into labor on its own!

At 5AM nurse Pat came in and told me I could take a shower. Apparently it is uncommon for a woman to go into labor with just the cervadil so Pat didn't really take me seriously when I told her I was having contractions. The shower was the best part of this labor. I was focused, and determined to work with my body through each contraction. Leaning my palms against the wall and swaying with the water on my back, I talked to Konrad and told him how I couldn't wait to meet him and how ready for him we were. By time I got out of the shower at 6 I could tell that the contractions meant business.

But back in the room, with the IV hooked up and by myself I began to get nervous. This was very painful and Kevin was home with Evelyn. He was going to take her to my parents at 10 and then come stay with me at the hospital. That was at least 4 hours away! I paced in circles around the room with my IV pole counting and breathing and trying to text in between. It had taken so long with Evelyn and I was scared of going through that again.

Suddenly the strongest contraction yet hit me and the baby along with what felt like my entire body pushed downwards. KAPOW! Just like in the movies, my water broke all over the floor. I remember looking down, confused at how much of it there was and how loud it had seemed. It was as if my universe had narrowed down to a razor sharp point and then burst open in the most confusing array of colors.

Luckily Pat came in a few minutes later. Her previously calm demeanor suddenly changed to shock as she shuffled me to the bed and checked me. "oh wow 8 cm" she muttered nervously.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Baby Konrad

Konrad Michael

Born 11.18.14 at 7:30PM
9lbs9ozs and 22 3/4in 

Birth story and more pictures to come!

A Year of Evelyn

I can't believe how much you have brought to our lives: laughter (down on the floor, crying laughter), beauty, excitement, peace, and wonder. Right now you LOVE bathtime, music, nana and papas house, eating, animals, blowing kisses and "walking" around holding on to our two fingers in your hands. You love leaving the apartment and seeing new places. When we are out and about you are more of an observer and listener and you take a while to warm up to new people (as well as people you know well). You love being outside and pointing out especially beautiful leaves, the moon, birds, clouds, and animals. You want to talk to us about everything you see! In the car and the apartment you dance and clap your hands along to most music and you will even sing along in your own way if the song is particularly striking. Daddy is teaching you how to cuddle and you have been giving kisses and hugs more and more. Other than our home, you are most comfortable at Uncle Robert and Aunt Letty's house or the farm where you can chase Freckles around or play with Uncle Matt. You continue to be an amazing sleeper, extremely determined, and the sweetest older sister.

I wish I was a talented writer so that I could capture the essence of your personality at this age. Watching you explore and experience everything around you is such a treat for me. Last night you were crawling around under the table while 20+ people were noisily eating dinner. You crawled from one set of legs to the other without really interacting with anyone, just going at your own pace. When Nana noticed you she said "honey is crawling around other the table" and warned Papa that you were down there. I saw that you had heard her because you did your shy blinking as you continued to crawl. This is where you slowly close your eyelids and move your chin back and forth to shake your head. It's not a self-conscience thing in the way of insecurity or worry but a conscience knowledge of self and existence and that you are being talked about.

You open my eyes to so much with your quiet way of doing things and your focus on mastering your environment. I think I was very different as a child (reckless and always in motion/socializing with people) and it makes me absolutely fall in love with and appreciate how deliberate and peaceful you are.

Your approach to people always hurts my heart because I want so much for everyone to love you with the same immensity that I feel towards you. When you want to interact with someone you don't usually give out smiles or perform high fives. You will observe someone for a time and then if they are patient and still engaged (how hard it is for adults to slow down!) you will point at something of interest and give one of your "hm!" in your high-pitched manner that you use for almost all communication. I always notice when someone has turned away too soon and misses your attempts to engage with them. And I am always so grateful when the person notices and takes an interest in what you are saying. I forget who said how boring our children's lives would be if parents could choose their path. We would only choose good and beautiful things to happen to you! If I had it my way nothing would ever hurt or bother you.

I am thinking of those times when we get you out of your bed and you are immediately giggling and smiling at us in the happiest way. Your hair is standing out all over the place and your huge blue eyes are still full of sleep. When you wrap your arms around my neck and I am enveloped with your baby smell and the warmth from your little body as I lift you out of the crib. Those are some of the sweetest moments of my life.

Every day gets better with you and I can't wait to see what you discover and experience in this next year! We love you all the stars in the sky.

Friday, October 3, 2014


At 35 weeks I am really starting to scare the public with how pregnant I look. But imagine if they knew how pregnant I FEEL!

Lady in Chick-fil-A: Wow you're about to have your hands full.
Me: Yea but you should see how full my HEART IS.

Lady outside the library: Looks like you're carrying a girl!
Me: It's a boy.

BiLo Cashier: She [Evelyn] must have been really little when you got pregnant again.
Me: We had sex immediately.

Apartment Manager: When are you due?
Me: November 8th
Apartment Manager: WOW so two more months?!?! 
Me: I'm sorry?

Sister-in-law: WOW you're so big!
Me: Thank-you?


Thursday, August 7, 2014


I've been meaning to share this since May when it happened! 

*Shakity shakity celebratory wiggling*

We are still in the red every month but are trying very hard to be breaking even by next May! Here's where we were with March Debt.

There are some great things happening for us right now. Konrad is 27 weeks gestated. Evelyn (almost 11 months) is sleeping through the night. Our new apartment has two bedrooms, is less expensive per month, and is beautiful. Not as beautiful as The Stink though:

She obviously rules this household.