We have been patient and finally, everything seems to be happening...all at once! Today I am 31 weeks pregnant with our first child - a boy. He is a little over 3 pounds - the size of a coconut. I have gained almost 25 pounds and am told I'm "all belly". (See my "Baby" page for more about my pregnancy journey.) Until this little bundle of joy decides to grace us with his presence sometime in March and we can officially name him, we lovingly refer to him as "Pistachio". It is amazing how fast 9 months goes by, especially when you are busy with other things...like starting a new job AND building a house!
In December, I started a new position with a new client at my company, StayWell. I am so thankful to be staying with my company, not only because I get to work-from-home and have health-conscious, super awesome colleagues, but also because I get to keep my seniority and maternity leave privileges, however short they may be. (Seriously, how can the USA think that 6 weeks of paid leave is adequate! I joked about moving to Canada when we found out we were pregnant, so we could have a respectable amount of leave time after having our baby, but that is a rant for another day!)
So my days consist of the following schedule:
- 6:45 AM - Wake up and roll (literally) out of bed. Splash some water on my face and get dressed.
- 7:00 AM - Do my WholyFit exercise routine (a Christian-alternative to Yoga), journal and/or read scripture
- 7:30 AM - Fix breakfast and eat with my sweet husband, then clean up
- 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Sit at my computer (in our bedroom) - Oh, sure - a few breaks are built-in for walking, stretching & snacking, but otherwise, I pretty much sit ALL day.
- 5:00 PM - Go for a quick walk around the neighborhood before dark
- 5:15 PM - Rush to get dinner on the table before 6:00 PM. (We still live with my in-laws and my mother-in-law works nights. I love cooking and feel like it's less stress on everyone when I cook dinner most nights.)
- 6:00 PM - Dinner
- 6:30 PM - Clean up
- 7:00 - 9:30 PM - Research house/baby, do housework, catch up with family/friends, blog, watch movie, etc.
- 9:30 PM - "Screen-free time" - Turn of computer, dim lights, get ready for bed and read
- 10:00/10:30 PM - Bedtime - Sleep and repeat!
I am amazed how working moms and dads get everything they need to get done in a day! I guess we will soon see how I handle the title "Working Mom" in May when I get back from maternity leave.
A Word about "Screen Time"
Did you know that even if you are watching TV and feel "relaxed" your brain is actually still being stimulated? The light from electronic devices like TVs, phones and computers is called "blue light" which mimics the light from the sun. When we are constantly "plugged in" our eyes send signals to our brains that it is daylight and we need to stay awake. That's why it's good to turn down the lights, turn off the screens and pick up a book before bed. You signal your brain to start going into "sleep mode". People who tell me they have a hard time sleeping are usually the ones who: drink caffeine after 4:00 PM, have no bedtime or routine and may even fall asleep with the TV on. (This is a "no-no". Though you think you are tired, your brain is still being stimulated by the random sounds/commercials. It's much better to have a sound machine/white noise than the TV.)
Want a Good Night's Sleep? Try these 7 Sleep Tips:
- No caffeine after 4:00 PM (caffeine takes hours to be flushed from your system and each additional cup/dose compounds the time)
- Start going to bed (and waking up) around the same time each day, including weekends
- Establish a bedtime routine before you are tired (brush teeth, change clothes, eat a small, healthy snack, etc.)
- Turn off the screens at least 30 minutes before bed
- Dim the lights
- Have quiet time for at least 15 minutes before laying down (try meditation, stretching, soft music, reading, writing, knitting, prayer, etc.)
- Anxious about the next day's to do list? Write it down! Better yet, keep a pad/pen by your bed so you can get it off your brain before you go to bed.
House Progress - January 2015
When people find out we are building a house, they always ask me, "Will the house be done before you are due?"
The answer my dear friends is, "No". Which honestly, is probably a good thing. Could you imagine closing on your house, moving and having a baby all at the same time?! So we will have about 3-4 months at the in-laws with our newborn before our house finishes sometime in July/August (depending on how progress goes up in the mountains this winter). It will be nice to have family around to help, especially at first when I'm a complete zombie.
I am happy to report that the garage and house are almost completely framed! The next step will be putting on the roof and painting...lots of painting. In an effort to save money ($10K we hope), my loving husband has volunteered to paint EVERYTHING. Having never painted anything before, this will be quite the task, but he assures me he's up for the challenge. I think he's actually looking forward to being up in the mountains and working out of our brand new garage. We'll see how he feels in a few months.
Our 2,000 sq ft house doesn't seem so big... until you try to paint it! We are trying to stick with low-VOC, no-VOC, non-toxic paints, stains and sealers. Not only better for the environment, but also better for our health. Read more about non-toxic paints here.
Here is Josh's "Honey-Do" Painting List:
- Exterior - Rough-sawn cedar planks (Main vertical exterior boards - Black stain - 2-3 coats)
- Exterior - Hardwood (North patio/horizontal accent - Warm wood stain - 2 coats)
- Exterior - Hardie Panels (Fiber cement board used for framing the windows - Snowbound White - 2 coats)
- Interior - Prime all sheet-rocked walls (We will pick colors when we move in and get furniture!)
Final Color Study for our Home
- PICTURE #1: South (What you see as you drive up the property/our driveway)
- PICTURE #2: West (The "front door" is on this side; The house is on left, detached garage is on right)
- PICTURE #3: North (covered patio faces the woods/mountains; red square is a loft)
- PICTURE #4: East (master bedroom side – doors lead to a future private patio for an outdoor shower/sauna; door at bottom is a small storage area accessed from the exterior)
The Concept: A Modern Barn House/Mountain Retreat
Designed to resemble a European barn on the outside – traditionally painted black with white windows. Upon entering the front door, the house - a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath with approximately 2000 sq ft - opens up into a bright, cozy modern cabin with hints of warm wood tones in the ceilings, walls and cabinetry. (You can see this on our back patio, with window glazing showing the wood ceilings.) The white are hardie panels- meant to represent a "cut-out" of the house, revealing the inside walls which will be mainly white in the great room (as we have a ton of windows and two walls with wood).
So we have quite the year ahead. Lots of new things to learn and experience. Well, it's 9:30 PM and the end of my "screen time". Better wind down and get ready for another day!