Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why hello 3rd trimester, you really snuck up on me this time...

This week we hit 27 weeks and begin the journey into the beloved 3rd trimester.  The 3rd trimester, for my 3rd child (does that make it a golden trimester?) should be exceptional as it begins right as the temperatures start rising into the unbearable range in Atlanta.  Thankfully, the pool opened this weekend and between the splashgrounds, neighborhood pool, and the backyard kiddie pool I plan to beach at one for the duration.  However, so far so good in terms of "how I'm feeling"  I find that the more active I am the better I feel.  No swelling yet, back pain has subsided (?), and I'm actually sleeping better as are my children who now sleep until after 8:00 everyday!!  Babygirl flipped head down last week which has caused some intermittent discomfort as she was already riding super low thanks to the other 2 children that have stretched my belly muscles beyond the limit over the past 3 years-now it feels that she will fall out with any sudden movements, I'm sure we will adjust.

 At my last appointment my doctor suggested a maternity belt to help support my super low riding belly--curious when I got home about what exactly this contraption was a quick google search revealed this http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Form-Maternity-Support-Small/dp/B000Q174G6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1369750544&sr=8-5&keywords=maternity+belt

Let's be real people, there is no way that thing is comfortable in 95 degree heat strapped on beneath my already uncomfortable maternity pants.  It just screams itchy and sweaty to me...we'll just hang low but breathe freely thank you very much doc.  Of course I now get all the standard unwanted stranger comments about my pregnancy shape/size etc--most to the tune of "you're carrying low, it's def a boy!"  Glucose test up next, which I actually find quite tasty-no lie I have a total sweet tooth and think the stuff tastes like the most wonderful gatorade ever!  I get to start going to the doc every 2 weeks now for closer monitoring and more frequent ultrasounds due to some fluid and growth issues that happened with Lucy--I'm pumped for all the ultrasounds to see the sweet girl at the end as I've only ever had the one ultrasound with the other kids.  Also, the trips to the doc are like a vacation for me since Johnny stays home with the kids.

 I figured it was time for some belly comparison...and it seems that I always do a 27 week belly pic, and honestly I don't notice much of a difference despite the fact that my other two children were dramatically different sizes when they were born.

Baby #3 at 27 weeks

Lucy at 27 weeks

Hank at 27 weeks


So the biggest question I get is if I'm stressed about our home renovation...in short, not at all.  We are no stranger to home chaos as we bring a new baby home.  The following pictures were of Hank's nursery aka our first major home renovation in the weeks and days before his arrival.  

This was Hank's room 3 weeks before his arrival

and this was his room 4 days before his arrival

This home renovation continued until Hank was about 6 months old...he slept through constant hammering and nail guns with no problem.  He even hung out on his dad in the baby bjorn helping to paint the bathroom and grout the floors.  The babies always stay in our room with me until 5 or 6 months anyway, so our nurseries basically go unused for the entire first half a year of each child's life.  So this time, I'm just setting up a little nursery in our room with the pack n' play and dresser and she will live there just like the other two did until the renovation is done and she is ready to move into the nursery and Lucy will move upstairs to her big girl room vacating the crib for her sister.  Likely, she will be ready to move out of our room about the same time the renovation will be finishing up so it will all work out, as it always does.  I made a list the other day of things I need to get before she arrives-there are 5 things on the list and diapers are one of them.  Wow, things are easier this time around!

Item #6 on the list of things to obtain is a larger vehicle.  After significant research and contemplation I think we are 99% convinced that we cannot go the minivan route.  We drove them, and hear all the glowing reviews from other families (most whom only have 2 children) about how they will change our life etc etc.  However, it honestly comes down to excess.  We are both believers in only having just what we need in life,  and to us the mini van just seems like excess.  We have decided on the Honda Pilot (3rd row suv).  Even this car seems enormous to me, but in size it is significantly smaller in length and width and honestly is all we really need (and actually holds 8 passengers compared to the van's 7).  We drive so little now that we both work in the neighborhood-I think I put about 10 miles on the car in a week and certainly only fill up with gas once a month or so.  So while the van's offer a lot of bells and whistles to the tune of 47 cup holders, automatic sliding doors, and DVD systems-they are certainly more than our family needs in a car.  So Johnny is on his quest for the slickest deal out there on a used Honda Pilot-I can assure you our car will make Mr. Money Mustache proud (if you aren't familiar check him out- http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/  This dude is  Johnny's hero and if I had a nickel for every time my husband asked me if that was a "mustachian money decision"-well, I'd probably have to invest those nickels in my retirement or shop with them at Aldi with coupons, but your get the idea)  Of note...we are also considering becoming a one car household, and selling both of our current cars to buy one family car. I love this idea, but Johnny is taking some convincing.

We like to enlist the brain of our 3 1/2 year old on all major life decisions, because we often find it helpful.  Hank has been adamant that we don't want the van.  

There's the welcome to the 3rd trimester roundup.  The best news of all? IT'S SUMMERTIME and if you need us, we'll be poolside!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Adventures in Home Renovation Chapter 1: "I apologize for the inappropriateness of my home"

I wish I could post pictures of our awesome home under construction, sans roof,  contractors tracking mud throughout the house, instead I can post pictures of certificate of appropriateness applications, emails and endless paperwork for the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, and endless hours of discussion regarding historic preservation.

In case you aren't familiar with our home...it is 100 years old and sits in the heart of a historic district in Atlanta.  Basically, when you move into a historic district, you give up all rights to do as you wish with the home that YOU pay mortgage payments on monthly.  We (our contractor and architect) have done everything in our power to avoid going before the urban design commission, but unfortunately our plans would just not allow.  There is this crazy building code that you can do whatever the heck you want to the back of your home as long as it does not affect the "historical structure" as seen from the street facing side.  Unfortunately, our plans require an extra 2.5 feet of ridgeline on our roof to allow for the necessary ceiling heights to comply with code.  This extra height to the roof ridgeline will be seen from the front; however would be completely unnoticeable to the general population as we will be retaining the outward appearance of the home.  The actual addition to the home the "pop top" will be invisible from the street.

Seems simple enough to get around, right? Think again, this is City of Atlanta government we are talking about.  After a trip to city hall to turn in 14 copies of our plans, a description of the project, 14 burned copies of photos (who burns CDs anymore? oh yeah, this is a government operation) etc etc etc we end up with the totally awesome "certificate of appropriateness" sign that gets to adorn our front yard for the next few weeks.  This is like our scarlet letter, announcing to any naysayers that we are trying to violate the code of their precious historic district, and basically inviting those naysayers to write letters and oppose our project.   You may think, who would oppose such a thing? Well, unlucky for us, there is Paul, he lives 3 doors down from us, and he is the chairperson of our neighborhood's historic preservation committee (aren't we lucky to live in such a highfalutin place that we have such a thing?).  He has some degree in historic preservation and apparently devotes his life to the cause.  As instructed, we have run the project by him, "pleading our case" and he flat out has told us that he will be opposing our 2.5 feet of ridgeline and writing letters to the commission explaining why our ridgeline is offensive to him.  Nice Paul, way to be neighborly.

So on June 12 we get the pleasure of going before the Atlanta urban design board to plead our case to 12 wonderful individuals as to why they must grant us this exception to the rule.  Our battle plan? as organized by the architect and contractor-a lucky pregnant lady, aka moi, has been tasked with looking extra round, swollen, and miserable and giving a really hormonal, sob story about my 2.75 children and nowhere for them to go.    How can you say no to that, right?  Our architect literally has us writing out our presentation and rehearsing.  Have I mentioned how much I despise government run operations?

We have probably a 50/50 shot of them approving the project at the hearing-what happens if they say no to the preggy? We have to come up with a plan B on the drawings that suits the board and return in two weeks to try again...basically we do this until they say yes or we give up and move (Paul has suggested that we start looking for a new home, isn't that nice of him?)  I can't wait to invite him over for a BBQ this summer.

So here we are, we have a two week waiting period before our hearing.  Our architect is working on other options in the event that our plans are denied, but there certainly isn't any construction happening anytime soon.  Alas, I guess we will just enjoy these early days of summer with our wonderful new yard art.....