In Indiana breathing mold is okay but home birth is not, just an FYI.

Yeah I know the title seems kind of odd huh? I have been tying all sorts of weird things together these days like posts about a ladies hoo-hoo’s and mold. This is just the way my brain is working these days… Hopefully it is mildly entertaining for you cause this mold thing is making me beyond pissy! This is a pissy post by the way.

Yeah, so in Indiana having a baby in your home with certain midwives is bad news but you can be exposed to any level of mold spores by your landlord because there are no defined limits on mold here! Nice huh?

Yep, I found out that there is no regulation on mold growth here. We talked to the Indiana department of health about it today. Really just goes to prove how much the laws truly protect us.

DEM (direct entry midwives) and CPM (certified professional midwives) are not able to legally practice in Indiana simply because their training did not include licensed nursing. They are thoroughly trained and know their trade but they are considered unlawful by the state, the reasoning is that law is “protecting us”.

Yet mold safety limits are not set in Indiana and the presence of mold is not a health department or code enforcement issue (we’ve called both organizations) here despite the CDC’s statements that “If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present.” and that all forms of mold are bad and should be removed. Where is our law that protects now? *scratches head*

Oh and our landlords did allow that certified letter and rent check we sent to get returned to us. The post office held the letter and left them notice to come pick it up, the letter waited for for 18 days but the landlords just couldn’t be bothered with it… So now we are waiting for it to appear back in our mailbox so we can determine what to do now. Good thing we wasted like $5.00 to send it. I am just so damn mad about all this rental drama today!

Thanks for all your well wishes. Yesterday I was feeling a bit better but today I am back to feeling like a cold is coming on. We have our air ducts in the bedroom closed off and I have a humidifier with vicks vapor stuff in it that makes my breathing less painful but my head still aches and so does my body (like I am running a fever).

It is confirmed, I am breathing in mold while in the house, the mold tests are beginning to show mold growth on them so that proves it. Now we just need to see if the mold presence on the indoor tests proves to be more that the control test we were instructed to run outdoors. The tests have another day to incubate.

If there is more mold in the house than there is in the air outside that is considered bad news. I am certain the air quality is impacting our health and the health of the pets since we are all having respiratory issues.

Here is what those petri dishes are looking like today:

This first photo is of the outdoor air sample, the control test that determines what amount of mold growth is normally in the air surrounding the house. Click on the image for a larger view.

The next photo is of the basement test. This one was placed on the floor near the area that water seeped under the bar and in to the tiled area of the basement. Click on the image for a larger view.

So far it looks like more mold was present in the basement air test that in the outdoor air test. Just to be sure we did a second basement test today and N is also planning to run a HVAC mold test to sample the quality of the air from our heater and AC unit.

Honestly I am at a loss as to what the next step is. I do not have the physical or emotional strength to move right now nor do I think I will throughout the course of this pregnancy.

I know we are going to have to either way as our lease expires before I am due. Obviously we don’t want to remain in a home that has moldy air while I am pregnant and I am certain we can get out of the lease if we want to despite the lack of mold regulations in the state…

We are looking for a place to buy right now because quite frankly we do not want to be moving every year for the next 3 years while we are here for N’s job, especially with a child. But buying a home is also something you don’t just rush in to. If we rushed we might end up owning a dump that also has mold issues except we would own it and have to spend a ton fixing the issue.

I am just exhaused and can’t find a solution. In a perfect world we would already own a home, I would be decorating the baby’s nursury, things would be calm and I wouldn’t face heath risks as a result of my home’s air quality… Reality has presented me with the exact opposite of perfection and we’ll just have to find a way to make it work, as usual. That just pisses me off today, I am going to eat a corndog now.

Testing for mold and sending presents, yippie!

Today actually yesterday (I am a day behind in posting this) was a productive day. We started the day boxing up the family holiday gifts. We sent off 4 boxes to family in Arizona, one to my BZZ Agent Secret Santa and 4 boxes to soldiers we’ve sponsored for the holidays. We still have 2 boxes of family gifts to send off but are waiting for straggling gifts to arrive via before we can close those up and get them on their way.

Also we busted out 2 of the do-it-yourself mold test kits and did those today. They are really simple and seem like a a great way to know for sure about the air quality in this rental. All you do is add this supplied solution to the petri dish, cover it and let it harden for 1 hour.

Then you take your petri dish to the room you want to test, set the dish down on a flat surface, remove the lid and leave it for an hour. After the hour you recover the petri dish, label it and let it incubate for 48-72 hours. Mold growth is visible on the solution in the petri dish if it is present.

What is even better is you can send your test in to the maker of the kits if mold is detected and for a fee they’ll analyze the mold growth and tell you what kind it is. Seem like just the proof mind easing we need huh?

After the mold testing and gift sending I got to feeling particularly crappy. Either the toxic mold is killing me or I am getting sick. Either way it sucks a big one because I can’t take much for relief. I have my usual “un-fever” going where I feel like I am on fire but my temp is way low, my throat and nose are all runny and sore and irritated and I feel all kinds of achy and blah. I spent the day in bed and actually was able to sleep at bit in the evening. I am chugging water and trying to kick whatever it is I have. Being sick for the holidays blows especially when you are preggers and cant take drugs for the cold.

Oh and if you need a laugh and have lady parts you might like to read this most entertaining post. It was seriously the highlight of my day and also the reason I fear waxing! Helped me get my mind off the toxic mold for a bit too.

Reflecting on the past then looking forward and planning ahead

There are only 4 months left in this whirlwind of a year! Remember all that madness? Need a recap?

Last August we were living in Flagstaff, AZ and N proposed to me on the top of the San Francisco Peaks. Then we packed up a moving truck, the RV, said goodbye to all our family, friends and we drove cross country in our RV with our zoo of animals. N got a new job and we relocated.

Once we got here we settled in and less than a month later we learned of our surprise pregnancy. We had been trying for almost 2 years before relocating with no success. We were planning our wedding when we discovered I was pregnant, I had just purchased my wedding dress.

Once the pregnancy was confirmed we shared the happy news, postponed our wedding plans and headed to the court house to become legally married (for insurance purposes). Once insured we found out we were expecting a baby girl.

We dealt with a moldy inhabitable rental home, broke our lease and moved to a new home (that we agreed to buy), I was 8 months pregnant. Now our adorable baby girl is here and she’s almost 3 months old.

It truly has been one jam packed year for us. Lots of ups and downs but we ended up way better off than when we started and we’ve achieved just about everything we were aiming to.

Things are finally getting all boring and calm again so we are looking forward and planning ahead now. We only have two major things we are tackling right now.

We are gearing up to apply for a mortgage on the house we are living in right now, we have until April to close on the house or we forfeit all the money we paid upfront when we agreed to the contract sale. Although we would love to close before the end of the year so we can take advantage of the first time home buyers tax incentives.

We also need to get our “good car” repaired so we have a safer ride for Everly. It is back in Arizona so once it’s fixed we’ll need to fly out there and drive it back. We are saving up for this right now. Fixing it is still cheaper than getting under a new car payment, especially since we are getting ready to take on a mortgage.

N is on contract for another 2 years and has yet to see the anchor time he was promised upon accepting the job. Hopefully he’ll be on the anchor desk more in the next two years otherwise…. Well you know the drill.

Exactly one year ago we were looking to the future wondering when engagement, marriage and kids would be in the cards. It is crazy how fast life changes! It’s been a crazy ride so far but I love my life and have everything I could ever want.

Everly is now 5 days old: A look back on the birth experience.

The last week has been a whirlwind! Everly Charlotte was born on June 23rd 2009 at 1:16am. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long, her head measured 34 1/2 cm. She was way bigger than we expected her to be but as you’ll see by the photos she is darn good and healthy! She was even born with hair which makes me so happy (I was born bald), her hair is red too.

Her Apgar scores were 9 at 1 min & 10 at 5 min, which is great. She was feeding like a champ right after birth too, they placed her on my chest right after she was out and she found the nipple no problem. I was even feeding her as they wheeled me through the hospital doors at 3am for my repair work. I suffered a 4th degree tear that is very unusual for Farm births and homebirths in general.

A surgeon came in and stitched me up good. I specifically asked how many stitches I was receiving, the surgeon laughed and said he’d lost count and that it’s probably better that way. Basically we got there at 3am and didn’t leave till about 6am. I got lots of stitches. N, Pamela and Everly napped while they worked on me.

We also had Everly’s cord blood tested (to get her blood type) and I received my RhoGam shot while we were there since it turns out Everly is not RH negative like me. I was also prescribed some antibiotics for the tear. Basically I tore all the way through (if you know what I mean) so they were worried about anal bacteria and vaginal bacteria combining and infecting my stitches among other things.

I was not given any pain meds though, just taking Tylenol when I am hurting. I am supposed to be staying in bed with baby for 10 days, per Pamela and the surgeons orders. I am also taking arnica 30x for muscle soreness and trauma healing. I don’t feel incapable of carrying on though so staying in bed is hard.

Basically my pushing phase was super slow to start and then went super fast at the end. We tried all sorts of different positions to get her past my bones. I was laying back in bed, then went to the birthing chair, labored in the shower with N, tried squatting, pulling on a door handle, on hands and knees, kneeling face down on the bed and finally tried pushing while collapsed on my knees and elbows with my butt in the air.

Once I got in to my last position things began to go very quickly. From crowning to head out only took 3 min and she practically shot out of me. Nobody expected her to come as quickly as she did. They didn’t even have time to apply counter pressure to the perineum or to show me her head crowning. I am pretty sure I tore because she came out so fast.

Normally in a home birth situation they have you pushing as hard as you can until you begin to crown, once crowing begins they have you pant through the contractions and go real slow so you can avoid tearing. Unfortunately this didn’t happen in my case and I am certain it had to do with the fact that I made so much fast progress in the end.

Anyway I started pushing and was fully dilated at 10:44pm, she crowned at 1:12am and her head was out by 1:15am. One min later her body was out and I was holding her. It all happen super fast and the pushing part was my least favorite part because I felt like I wasn’t making good progress and that I was doing it all wrong. It turns out it was the positions that were working against me and making things seem like they weren’t progressing.

The contractions were much easier for me to deal with as I had found a way to “get in the zone” and relax through them. I listened to my tranquility music and Tibetan singing bowl music on my iPod during this phase, it lasted about 8 hours. N said everyone was amazed that I hardly made a peep until the last half hour of birth when the molding and crowning was taking place.

All in all I am very pleased with my birth experience and would totally do it the same way again. Pamela was great and N was a champ too. He never really left my side. From the moment he arrived back at The Farm until I was back home and stitched up. He even looked down there and got to see her coming out which we had previously discussed and he wasn’t sure he wanted to do.

Oh, and Pamela even wrote a song about Everly that she played for us on her guitar before we headed home. The song was beautiful and made me cry. We planted the placenta on her land under an evergreen tree, it’s the Everly Evergreen tree now. It seemed fitting since we birthed Everly in Pamela’s cabin on The Farm and it will forever be an important place for us.

Everly’s birth was an amazing experience and it truly was a right of passage for us. We are on cloud 9 now and wouldn’t have done it any other way!

Oh, if you want to read N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 1) & N’s version of Everly’s birth story (Pt. 2) are now up over at his blog! I am still working on my long version of the birth story. Posted my short summary version already, it can be read here.

6 weeks until the baby wait begins…

In 6 short weeks I’ll be taking a blog hiatus and enjoying the forest settings at The Farm while I wait for Tater to join us. Can you believe that? 6 weeks! I am feeling pretty good about it all and am still totally ready and excited! If you missed the update on my latest OBGYN appointment from yesterday you can read about it here.

Some of you already know, we went thrift store rummaging for baby clothes as did Maiden53 (who is a doll for thinking of us) and we’ve also received some new clothes from N’s family and from my grandparents for Tater. This means we have about 30 outfits in varying sizes and styles ranging from 0-24 months!

I succeeded in getting them all laundered at the moldy rental while we were cleaning it over the weekend. I am so pleased to have some clean clothing packed away in the birth kit ready for Tater’s arrival, makes me feel all prepared and stuff!

As I am writing this it is 3pm and 82 degrees in the coolest part of our house. I am chugging water and eating a jonagold apple with the fan blasting me while I type this. I am a Phoenix, Arizona baby and am very used to NOT having AC (thanks to Flagstaff, AZ apartment living) so I refuse to use the AC unless it is totally unbearable. I know once the humidity comes I’ll need the AC but for now, while it is a dry heat I’ll make do. It saves money right?

On Saturday we called and were avoided by the slumloards but left more messages, we are still trying to set up a move out inspection time. We also spent several hours over at the old place cleaning and doing laundry. While we were there N got to chatting with the neighbors who were all very curious about our landlord drama.

One of them even asked us for the landlords current phone number. I guess they’ve got a friend who also used to live in that place as renters. The slumloards never returned the owed security deposit to them, it’s been 2 years and they are still trying to get their money back. Also we were told that 2 other old tenants have had to abandon the premises without a move out inspection since the landlords mysteriously become unreachable. N talked to 3 different sets of neighbors about our crappy rental situation, the slumloards seem to be on everyone’s bad side!

We did have a wonderful “date night” Sunday. We were given tickets to a show and we rewarded ourselves to a cheap “linner” out (late lunch/ early dinner= linner, lol) and then went to the show in Owensboro, KY. It was fun to get dressed up and to go out since the majority of our days are spent cleaning, running errands or unpacking right now.

We went to Firefly Southern Grill and had the most amazing food. It was by far the BEST food we’ve had since moving here. We loved the atmosphere and the service and the food was amazing. I had my first taste of fried green tomatoes and collard greens, yummo! I enjoyed steak and N had salmon wellington as our entree items. Everything was fantastic!

The show we saw was also great! We saw the Broadway show, the Spelling Bee and thought it was tons of fun. Tater was super active during the show, I wonder what she thought of the singing and music. Hopefully she’ll be a lover of the arts like we are.

All in all the date was super fun, we had a great weekend and are off an running for another productive/ busy week.

Wordless Wednesday: WTF? Edition!!

Why must Jack vomit almost every time he eats? Especially now that we have WHITE carpets?

Perhaps it is because he is apparently swallowing whole pieces of food as opposed to chewing them like every other animal in the world. Yep, those whole bits came right from his stomach!

Nothing like the sound of a cat preparing to vomit waking you from your afternoon pregnancy nap and when you try to quicky move him from the carpet to a vomit safe tiled area. BAM, explosive vomit stream shoots from his mouth and splatters the white carpet. AND, there is not carpet cleaner here for me to clean the mess up with. Double WTF!

Called N and told him to either pick me up so orange dye for the carpet or to bring home some damn carpet cleaner for the explosive vomit mess.

And now I present you with the view of our recently cleaned out basement at the old place.The stuff has been moved out, the carpets are vacuumed and we are just about done cleaning the place-

Wait! WTF is that in the corner? Is the wall leaking again and flooding the basement? I thought it was a dry day today…

Oh, wait. We shouldn’t be surprised. It is just mold, like I’ve been saying all along. Except now we can actually see evidence of it with our own eyes. Big shocker huh?

Notice how it is all pretty and furry it is growing on top of the carpet and up the wood siding? There are black, green and even some gray types all mixed together. Ooo, so enchanting – NOPE!

More like effing disgusting and super bad for the body! Sure mold isn’t a big deal if you can clean it up with some bleach or something. Too bad the mold is growing under and now right on top of totally finished areas that if bleached will look severely destroyed.

It is no wonder N has been draining some major crap from his sinuses since we’ve moved to our new, not toxic house! Now if the slumloards don’t set up a freaking move out inspection with us and take back possession of this shit-hole of a house I am going to get really nasty!

I am talking having all neighbors come over to walk through the house and observe it’s current state, while we video tape the whole thing. Then we’ll call the sheriff and give them the keys to the house with a copy of our video or something. Heck I might even put the walk through video online for the world to see and perhaps I’ll share the address of the house, to warn any future tenants…

Seriously! All I can say is WTF? Okay, I am done now. Happy wordless Wednesday everyone.

Weekend #2 in our new place, it's been busy!

I’ve got 3 posts in my saved drafts that I’ve been working on. I’ve written them pretty well but cant seem to actually finish them. They are even decent writing pieces that focus on specific topics rather than my usual “here are the updates” posts like this one.

I’ve been trying to bust out some posts in advance that I’ll schedule in June to keep the blog fresh while I am away from the internet waiting for Tater to come. That is the idea at least. If anyone wants to guest post here just sign up as a user and I’ll get you all hooked up to be a contributor.

Okay, so over the weekend we did get lots done, as usual… For starters we wrangled the freecycle dog home through our back gate so now Dixie has an even nicer shelter to enjoy. Problem is Haily, the outdoor cat, is smarter than Dixie and she manages to take over the dog house every time. Dixie refuses to fight for it and just sleeps out on the deck.

Mind you Hailey has her own house that we built but she refuses to use it unless absolutely necessary. So when we go out and lure her out of Dixie’s home, Dixie can use it but it seems every time the rain starts to fall or when it gets windy Hailey is in the dog house and Dixie is outside… I give up! If the dog doesn’t want care to fight for her home that is her bad, right?

We also went by the old place to do some deep cleaning. We spent 3 hours there doing the kitchen and basement. We’ve only got a few rooms left to do now and then we’ll be totally done with that shit hole. Yay. Oh and while the cleaning was happening guess what we discovered growing on top of the basement carpet and up the outside of the wood paneling in the corner…


Yep, you can see it with your own two eyes just growing right on top of all the carpet and wood siding. We had a freestanding shelf in that corner holding my business stuff but once we moved all our things out of the basement and began vacuuming we spotted the fairly big moldy corner. N took some photos of it on his iPhone. I’ll share them soon.

It’s been over a month since we met with the slumlady and started the ball rolling on having them sign our mutual release letter. They’ve been avoiding us now for over a month and N has begun the harassing phone calls to them again. We’ve not paid them April’s rent and are trying to set up a meeting time to turn over the keys and complete the final walk though. It seems they could care less, still.

Last night N put the freecycle crib together in Tater’s room. It was an interesting process since it’s an older crib that needs work, plus the assembly instructions were nonexistent so we were winging it so to speak. It is now pieced together, just needs some wood glue and some screws tightened. We’ll buy a crib mattress for it sometime after Tater is here if we still haven’t found anything better/ safer.

We spent Sunday thrift store hopping. We were window shopping for a washing machine since come May 1 we will have no way to wash clothes (other than a laundry mat), we also thought we would keep our eyes peeled for some necessities for Tater while we were there. Things like cloth diapers, receiving blankets and a variety of sized onesies.

We managed to find some clothes and a few receiving blankets that we spent $6.00 on. We didn’t see any pack n’ play’s or newborn sleeping solutions and we didn’t see any washing machines either. We plan to keep looking, hopefully we’ll find all that we need in due time.

It’s was a windy, rainy weekend but we still managed to get some good progress made! We even found a work around for our failing external hard drive (I’ll post more on this later) and N painted my toenails for me since I can no longer reach them. Isn’t he a trooper?

We took my blood pressure at the grocery store and it was 108/70, I am still not swelling or having any heart racing or blood sugar issues. I haven’t weighed myself since we moved in, the scale is still missing but I feel like I’ve gained a few (5 or so) pounds. LOL. What do you think?

We’ve got a shower in our honor taking place in Phoenix, AZ courtesy of Krystal on May 2nd that we are getting excited about. We’ll be there via video conference to talk to and enjoy everyone’s company. If you are going to be out that direction and haven’t already received an invite shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up with the details.

We’ve also got a web baby shower going on right now and a live shower chat scheduled courtesy of another bloggy friend, Maiden53, that you can check it out here.

Don’t forget to put your dollar in and place your baby weight bet! Remember 2 winners split the pool of cash so the more people who enter the better it is for YOUR pocket book, lol.

Okay, I am off to try finishing those 3 blog posts and I’ve got to feed the animals and such. Have a good monday everyone!

Oh, and if you aren’t afraid to see how an actual homebirth was featured in a commercial check out this video. Thanks Ryan and Kari for blogging this! Don’t worry it is peaceful and beautiful. Just graphic, shows nudity and you know a baby coming out from down there:

Instead of The Bold and the Beautiful it is The Renters and the Slumlords…

Douchebag, douchbag… La, la, la…    <- That is my landlord song.

Today I present you with another episode of The Renters and the Slumlords. I thought this other post was the last of the saga, boy was I wrong but I am feeling a bit punchy so I am going to try having some fun with this.

So, on friday we had our face to face meeting with Slumlady. She was all ditsy and unfocused as usual. She made small talk about my pregnancy the whole time and avoided discussing the real issue at hand.

The best part of the conversation was when she tried to inform me of how dangerous cats can be to pregnant women. We rolled our eyes and explained how N takes care of the pets these days and that everyone knows pregnant women aren’t to handle cat feces.

We were damn polite about this and didn’t even bring up how the moldy leaky basement is more of a health concern than having cats in the house! We really could have gone off about that. I don’t have cat shit particles blowing through the HVAC system, just mold spores. Honestly, which is more harmful?

Anyway, Slumlady’s signature isn’t even on our lease so having her sign the mutual release letter wasn’t even an option here. I explained how she needed to have her husband sign the letter and she assured me it would be dropped back by once he signed. We are giving her until tonight to return it, then we are going to start harassing.

Funnily enough on Friday afternoon after meeting with Slumlady I get this USPS email notification about the most recent certified letter we sent. It has almost been 14 days since it was sent and…


someone actually picked the damn thing up! I think hell must have frozen over.

Saturday we got the signature confirmation card back from it. After all the phone conversations and us putting stop payments on checks, someone went and picked up our freaking letter with the now canceled check in it. What a joke!

Then I got to thinking. I bet Slumlady went to talk with Slumloard about signing the mutual release letter and he started asking her questions. Now she’s not the brightest light bulb in the bunch and N and I are betting she never even relayed half the information to him.

Since Slumloard only provided us with Slumlady’s contact information it is his own bad, I mean he is the one putting such a dimwit in charge of important stuff…

Well, N thinks that Slumlady got in to some hot water with Slumloard about all this and that Slumloard went to get the letter so he could learn the severity of the situation (since Slumlady is so loopy).

The signature confirmation card shows our letter was forwarded to a different address than the one we were told by Slumlady to send correspondences to. It was forwarded to a P.O Box owned by Slumloard in a completely different city than the address of Slumlady and Slumloard signed for it. Now I am wondering if the two aren’t separated and sabotaging each other or something like that.

It just keeps getting better and better huh?

Now we are waiting to see how the drama is going to unfold. Was Slumloard left in the dark by Slumlady about all our complaints and attempted correspondences? Will Slumloard contact us and try to renegotiate or will he just sign the release? What do you think is going on and what could possibly happen next?

At this point it is all kind of like a soap opera huh? Instead of The Bold and the Beautiful it is The Renters and the Slumlords… I think I am now going to take Teeni‘s suggestion and change my tagline.

Harvest of Daily Life

because real life requires real people …

and cast iron stomachs some days!

The final chapter of the crappy evansville landlord drama.

Today is a good day! For those of you following the rental saga, here is the latest (and hopefully the final) update.

After months of certified letters, emails, phone calls and face to face meetings that accomplish nothing we’ve finally decided to ask the landlords to release us from the lease come May 1st.

We decided that asking to be released from the lease was the better way to go. If we needed to get a lawyer and present all our documentation supporting their breach of the lease we could. It is just that starting the legal battle takes much time and lots of money we didn’t really want to have to fork out if not necessary.

So, N made the phone call to the landlords this morning. He is the professional one who can present things in a non emotional way. I just tend to be blunt and rude about things like this and say stuff like F-you, you are an idiot. LOL…

Anyway, N got a call back about 10 min. before we had to leave for my chiropractor appointment be we figured that would happen and were ready.

During the call he outlined our frustrations with the rental situation. Talked about how paying them rent has been an ongoing challenge as a result of them changing banks and addresses monthly.

He brought up our health concerns over the mold and the fact that we asked them to take action back in November to help remedy the mold issue but they ignored our requests.

He talked about how we’ve sent multiple certified letters that they’ve refused to pick up and he basically said that we would like  to be let out of our lease, penalty free so we find a more stable home before baby Tater comes.

Her response was “Okay, we just need to get the owed rent from February and March first”… She didn’t even care about us wanting to be let out of the lease!

We recorded the phone conversation for our records and we’ll be typing up a letter stating that we’re being let out of our lease by the landlords that she will sign.

We’ve also placed a stop payment on the previously issued checks from February and March per her request and have turned those in to one big cashiers check to give her when she signs the “early release from lease letter”. Thank goodness we are out of here!

Basically we get the keys to our new place on April 1st and will have a month to get out of our current place and to tidy it up before the move out inspection here on May 1st.

We are super stoked and feel like a huge burden has been lifted from our shoulders. We are still trying to be sure we keep good documentation of all of it just to cover our butts but essentially it should be all done and over with now.

We found our new place, got released from our current one and are pretty much on track for getting all this madness taken care of before Tater comes. Yay!

For those of you in similar situations with unresponsive landlords you may find the following posts and references helpful. Read all about our moldy, indiana rental and what we did about it in these posts (arranged from newest to oldest):

You may also find the following external links helpful:

Slumloards, credit scores and a prenatal chiropractor [in a pear tree]…

Being all pregnancy slackerific the majority of the time means that when the energy does actually come in spurts we have a crapload of stuff to accomplish all at once. Thankfully as a team N and I have managed to continue getting everything dealt with that needs to be. It is days like today that make it all possible.

I had N get me up early today so I could get busy taking care of some Custom Gifts by Talina duties… Things like bookkeeping, taxes, order processing and all that fun stuff. While I was in business owner mode N was dealing with our February rent check saga on the phone.

You probably can recall all the ridiculous landlord drama I’ve already shared here but I am pretty sure this latest development takes the cake. It requires a little back story though… Feel free to skip the back story if you already know it.

When we first signed the lease with our landlords we were provided with their mailing address for the rent payment. The lease also stipulates that we can make payments directly to the landlords checking accounts and it lists the banks they use. We were also provided with several deposit slips from their bank for depositing the rent checks.

Up until November the address and banking information they provided us with was correct. In November we sent out that certified letter detailing our issues with the safety of the home and we also included our December rent payment. Well, the certified letter was never picked up by them and was eventually returned to us.

Conveniently enough the landlord showed up at our door while our certified letter was in limbo land. She had new bank deposit slips and a letter explaining that they moved residences and also banks… Now our payments should go to their new address or deposited to their new bank account, more deposit slips were provided.

We also discussed our issues with the leaking basement/ the mold and were assured they would come out to take a look at it all after the holidays and make necessary repairs (it’s February now and no landlord has been here to inspect or repair anything).

We paid our December and also January’s rent with one check that was handed over to the landlord the day she stopped by to give us a dehumidifier for the basement after our discussion. We refused to make out another rent check until the first one was actually returned to us… That is the back story in a nutshell.

Well we just attempted to pay our February rent via electronic bill payment and have been waiting since the beginning of the month for the funds to leave our account. At first we thought it was an issue with our own banking facility as they did not process the payment electronically, they sent a paper check instead…

We’ve been worrying that our check is lost in the mail or stolen and have been upset that our bank didn’t process the payment electronically as we had requested.

I was just sure we were going to have to pay about a month in late rent penalties to the landlords and have been waiting to find out exactly what happen to our rent payment.

Today after more digging N found out that our landlords account was closed before our rent payment even went out. We’ve not been notified of a third new account or a new address to send payments to, the info they (the landlords) have most recently supplied was the info we were trying to use.

When N called their bank to try and figure out where our rent check is today the bank representative said she wasn’t allowed to say more about their account but that it had been closed and that our rent payment would have been returned to our bank…

So now we are waiting for our bank to provide some sort of documentation of the check being returned to them as a result of the payees account being closed.

The documentation is important proof of our attempt to pay rent on time and in a timely manner (so we aren’t evicted or charged penalty fees for late payment). We’ve never had a landlord who was so difficult to pay rent to!

The even better part is the landlords are delinquent on the property tax owed to the city on this place, they have been since July 2008 and also have penalty fees and money owed from 2007 on this property (it is public information) and also on all the other 40 properties they owe…

The thing with property taxes here is that if you get severely behind on them the city/ sheriff can auction your property to recoup the owed money… So we are particularly interested in finding out more about the tax situation as it could result in us having nowhere to live. We are also wondering if they are even making the mortgage payments on this property, if it is foreclosed we’ll also be out on our ass so to speak…

Good times huh? Isn’t it amazing how all this randomness and drama just finds us (or do we find it? Never mind don’t answer that…)

In other news, I saw a prenatal chiropractor on Saturday because my pelvic pain was getting so bad I couldn’t sit or stand for longer than 30 minutes. Turns out my tailbone/ right pelvic bone was jacked up. It was stuck between a standing and sitting position which is why only laying on my side made me comfortable.

I’ve got followup appointments scheduled with the chiropractor to check my pelvic alignment and to keep me in check, since the insurance covers 80% of it. We figured it couldn’t hurt to relieve my pain and to keep my back and pelvis in proper position especially since I’ll be having Tater in about 4 months!

For those of you (who have commented) who are also pregnant and having tailbone, pelvic or back pain I would strongly recommend finding a prenatal chiropractor and having them take a look at you.

It made a huge difference for me! I thought I was having circulation issues, possibly getting hemorrhoids and having back pain as a result of the weight of my growing uterus. Turns out all my complaints were resolved once the Doc got my right pelvic bone back in correct position. Amazing!

Oh, and look what just arrived in the mail. It is even cuter than we thought!

cocalo bali courture nursery set

We love it even more than we thought we would. The green and blue are so vivid and cheerful and the fabric is super soft with adorable designs and fun textures. Happy day! We even found the perfect way to include just a splash of pink in the room, see:

We also heard back from the mortgage lady today and got the news we expected. Once the disputed items on the credit report are resolved and once the student loan status is changed from derogatory to “in good standing” (in 2 months) we’ll be approved for a mortgage. It is just a matter of going up 18 points credit score wise…

In the meantime N is going to get more answers from his employer about the future of his on air career. Buying a home might not even be something we want to do in this particular city, especially if N’s career growth is limited. Once he knows more about the employers plans for him we’ll be able to decide about our home buying saga.

Basically we’ll either stay here through the remainder of our lease (late august 2009, if the house isn’t auctioned out from under us before that) then we’ll buy something or we’ll move from here ASAP and get in a nicer rental home that we can STAY in for the remaining 2 years left in N’s contract.

*sigh* explaining all this has sure made me tired, are you tired after reading it? I guess that means it is time to move from the office desk to the bed and resume my pregnancy slackerific ways for the rest of the day. Ooo, here are some belly pics (one in undies and bra and one in clothes) since so many are asking. These were taken 3 days ago. Now go place your baby weight bet okay? You could win cash!

Happy, crappy Friday the 13th!

At 2 am I got a start to the craptastic day thanks to the kitty crying and waking me in the middle of the night. Good parent preparation right? First thought in my head was, “Damn! N didn’t feed anybody before bed that is why they are crying!” I confirmed this my asking him, he answered “no” while asleep by the way.

So I grabbed my robe and ventured down to the damp, cold and moldy basement to fill food dishes when the most disgusting smell hit me. It was a cross between mildew, wetness and feces. When I fed the cats I spotted a piss covered litter box with poo filling it, figured that was the source of the smell. Oh and there was cat vomit, we are talking huge piles of just chewed food stuck to the tile everywhere! One of our cats has been purging it seems.

I am banned from cat box duty (since becoming knocked up) and have been avoiding the basement like the plague now that N is taking over scooping and feeding duty with the animals so needless to say I am grossed out by all the animal mess. I haven’t seen it in 4 months. I know he’s been real busy and the animals literally make a new gross mess for us like twice a day so I know he’s not slacking off that bad… The sight (and smell) of it all just pisses me of though.

Then I notice the dog was not closed in for the night, she is crate trained and is put in her “home” whenever we are leaving the house or asleep. Basically whenever we can’t directly supervise her and she can’t be outdoors she’s in her “home”. It keeps her behaved and keeps the floors accident free. You see, she will poo and pee inside if unsupervised and confined to her home.

So, since she was out I realize she’s squeezed poop out all over the floor. It was like she started in one area and when the poo started to come she just walked around trying to get it in as many places as possible. Poop pieces were everywhere and she peed too! Just a nice eff you from her to us in the form of feces and piss. I was super mad but just closed her in her home and headed back up to bed. It could be dealt with in the morning right?

Wrong! After about 30 minutes of laying in bed thinking my blood pressure was sky high, I was wide awake and was super pissed about all the piss, vomit and shit mess that was sitting undealt with downstairs. My mind immediately went to thinking about how the heck we’ll be able to raise a child in addition to all the other stuff we need to do each day. It was my first “there is no way we can do it, we can’t even take care of all we are already responsible for, we are so totally screwed, there is not enough time in the day or money in the bank” freak out time. Welcome to parenthood huh?

I mopped the soiled floors, dealt with the poo and was loosing my mind at 2 am. I had to clean the place and get everything back in order before I would be able to try going back to sleep. N woke up and came down to help me… At 4 am (3 hours before he had to be back awake and taking the car to have the breaks fixed) we were able to lay back down and try to sleep. Great start to the day huh?

Oh and our home is being invaded by critters! We’ve still got fruit flies everywhere in this house. I read somewhere that in humid climates they can live in the drains and pipes. We’ve tried everything to get rid of them. Produce is not left out, sirty dishes and food are dealt with immediately so they have nothing to feed from and yet the are still in our house swarming us.

Also, I am pretty sure some birds have found their way in to the attic of this house since I can hear all kinds of stuff happening up there. N thinks they are entering somewhere near the front door… So we have flies in the house, birds in the attic and fungi growing in the basement.

He said he would try to find the place where they birds are entering the house and screen it off this weekend. You know the 2 days we have every week to get our own shit done and try to relax? I told him hell no! Tell the landlords to fix their own shitty ass house, it is not our investment or problem!

See how great my disposition is? Happy, crappy Friday the 13th!

So now I have a question for all you parents. How the hell do you and your spouse keep all the duties straight, get it all done and keep your sanity?

I mean N normally does animal feeding, caging and cleaning duties now so I assume they are taken care of but when he is too tired, lazy or whatever and they don’t get done how they hell am I supposed to know to pick up the slack (especially when he doesn’t tell me to)?

Moms, do you just run around double checking your husbands work all the time or do you trust that when he’s supposed to do something it gets done? Do you use chore charts or what? How they hell do you keep it all straight and ensure nothing slips through the cracks? WTF?

Bubbling with anticipation and watching the world blow by…

Tomorrow is our big ultrasound appointment and we are excited about it. We are dying to know if Tater Tot is a boy or girl and we know you are itching to know too…

Also, we called a local lender today and are waiting to hear if we are pre approved for a mortgage. We are either buying a home in the next few months or we’ll be hunting for a 2 year rental, either way we are preparing to get out of our current lease. Here is why:

Mold is natural everywhere that is why an outdoor control test is done. See all the black mold with a spot of white and a spot of yellow on the control test?

When you look at the two basement tests you can see much less black colored mold (that is naturally occurring in our area as shown by the test) and more yellow and white looking mold growth that is not present as much outdoors as proved by the control test. It looks to be a sign that we have some additional stuff growing and polluting the air within our home that isn’t abundantly present outdoors.

Seems to me like an obvious sign that the air quality within the home is worse than the air quality outside the home, what do you think?

Oh and it’s been raining for less than 24 hours and our basement is filling with water again. Took some more photos to document it all for our landlords.

Now we are having majorly high winds and rain. The power is flickering and turning on and off. I better get off the computer now. Keep your fingers crossed for us and subscribe to this blog so you’ll be the first to know when we share our Tater Tot news!

19 week belly shots and recap of past belly shots…

We still haven’t had our ultrasound so we haven’t been given the Doctors “educated guess” on the sex of our baby… It stinks that our appointment was canceled but we are also glad we didn’t have to brave the madness following that big storm!

In the meantime we’ve been trying to focus our energies in other areas like storm cleanup (we sort of thawed out over the weekend) and we have been doing some baby nursery preparation.

You see, we’re toying with the idea of turning our unorganized storage room/ office in to a nursery. I say “toying with the idea” because we haven’t thought through the logistics of our lease ending, the baby coming, the BlogHer conference I’d like to attend and what we’ll do about the mold situation.

That is something we’ve been putting off an pretending like we don’t have to deal with, we’ll figure it out eventually though.

Anyway, while we wait to have our prenatal appointment rescheduled we are enjoying the novelty of my rapidly growing stomach and I realized I’ve been bad about posting the belly pictures on the blog so here is a little taste of what it is all looking like!

We conceived Tater Tot several days before this first photo was taken (conception date knowledge is all thanks to our fertility awareness charting). We went wedding dress shopping at David’s Bridal, found the dress I loved and were cluelessly planning our wedding details as fertilization, cell division and early stages of embryo development were taking place.

We had no idea we had conceived yet but I’ve got this nifty photo of my belly in my wedding dress from that day. Funny thing is we conceived about 1 month after our hectic and eventful move cross country. I guess stress helped us conceive or something.

October 9th (8 DPO) was a significant day in our lives, we looked at my fertility awareness charting and started to suspect that I was pregnant on that day.

Between suspecting I was pregnant and the date of this next photo I did many home pregnancy tests and we did much speculation. Come October 14th we were certain we had surely conceived, thanks to the positive test results in this photo.

On November 9th I was 7 weeks pregnant and felt I had began to show signs of being pregnant with my newly relaxed belly shape. I know it wasn’t technically a baby bulge since Tater was still so small inside me but it shows how my shape began to change.

This next photo was taken about 3 weeks after visiting the doctor to confirm the pregnancy.

We knew we were pregnant but needed the doctors confirmation to make our family feel better about it. Plus we wanted to be sure I was not experiencing an eptopic pregnancy like my mother had in the past.

At the doctors office we got to hear little Tater Tot’s heart beat for the first time and we also got Tater Tot’s first photo in the form of our first ultrasound pic. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time made everything way more real and exciting for us.

I took these photos because I felt I had began to show a bit more than I previously was at the beginning of November. These were taken while I was 10 weeks pregnant.

It doesn’t really seem like I gained much between late November and late December which is odd considering all the sweets and baking that takes place during the holidays. I did make an effort to photograph the belly on Christmas day just for the sake of memory.

We got a fun “parents to be 2008” ornament for our tree and we relished in the thought of Christmas 2008 being our last as just a couple. I was 14 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day.

Just a few days after Christmas we had to take the city bus to an errand because our car died. We noticed that my belly was looking surprisingly bigger all of the sudden so we snapped a photo before we headed out for the day.

Up until a few weeks ago I was still able to stubbornly cram myself in to my old regular clothes despite the growing belly. Unfortunately this is no longer the case because my belly has grown lots!

We went out and finally found me some real maternity jeans to wear that accommodate and even compliment the growing belly. These photos aren’t of the maternity pants though, they are of my belly in all it’s expanded glory as you can see.

I am now 19 weeks pregnant and am officially showing I think… Tater is about 9 inches long at this point according to baby development books.

Also, we got to feel Tater’s first movements at about 17 weeks which was super exciting for us. Now moving and kicking is a regular occurrence in my belly, I think I even felt a few fish flops in there too.

Now we are just waiting to see Tater’s penis in the ultrasound pic…  Do you think Tater has a penis or not?

Blogging the real me to make you (and me) feel better.

While I was going through my feed reader last week I had a revelation (thanks to a post I’ll mention later) that could possibly warrant the changing of my tag line on this very blog.

Anyone who has been blogging for a long time knows that when our lives change often times so does the focus of our blogs. I know many bloggers who have been through this or are currently going through this right now (like her, her, her – awe hell the list could go on forever so I can’t possibly list all of you!).

This very blog has been through some of it’s own transformations in the 4 years I have been writing here. Back in the day the whole point of starting this blog was for marketing my business, then the economy slowed and so did my business sales. The focus shifted to me writing motivational articles and informative/ how to articles as I worked through a period of personal growth. Then I began writing sponsored posts for a while as I worked to monetize my blog and further my writing efforts.

Now I am more of a daily life blogger sharing all that is my life, honestly and sometimes boringly. Personal blogging is not only a venue for self discovery but as a blog reader I’ve found that it is also a comfort to find others who are or who have been in our same position.

This brings me back to the article I read that caused the revelation. It was a great read so click on over there and read it real quick! It said:

“ministry of mediocrity” – helping others by showing our real selves.

Yes, at times this blog is mediocre with it’s talk of poo and zits and other life events. I know we have enjoyed many dramatic – non boring things like the stove fire, the moldy basement issue, N’s job saga and moving cross country but the goal with this blog was never to impress anyone as I am sure you have already determined.

I think there is real beauty in realness which is why my writing style is the way it is now, it is also why I deeply love reading so many of your blogs. So much of society is about putting on your best face, we go around trying to make the best impression at work and at get-togethers. Soon life becomes this huge facade of us putting our best self out there which is fine but it also fuels the unattainable idea that we should all be perfect and “shiny” as the above referenced post puts it.

Bottom line is none of us are perfect, we can all try and try to convince others that we are but what if in doing so we forget to love and nurture ourselves, imperfections and all? I mean if we are so ashamed of the imperfect sides of us how can we truly love and accept ourselves? I guess that is why I am so open and real about things on this blog, ugliness and all.

So now I am taking an idea from Teeni and calling on my readers to help me come up with a new tag line for this blog, that reflects this idea. Also, feel free to chime in on this topic. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Weekly Winners January 12th- 18th

Here is this weeks Weekly Winners post, as with last week all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera.

Here is Alexandria-Maybelle, the bunny. We have had her since way before the move to Evansville. We ended up buying her at the feed and tack store one spring while my mom was visiting us in Flagstaff. We had a bunny, Baby Bunny, prior to Alexandria-Maybelle but because of living situations (the landlord forced us to remove our unauthorized pets from the rental) we had to send her and the cats down to The Ranch to live with my mom for a few months.

Anyway Baby Bunny died (from eating apple core and seed we suspect) and we went several months, almost a year, without a bunny in the home. Then we spotted Alexandria-Maybelle. Here she is in the bottom of her giant cage near her litter box. We aren’t sure what her breed is, probably mixed.

Well, N has been talking about this bunny that was found hippity hopping through the grocery store parking lot that someone he worked with had taken in but could not keep. They were keeping it in a plastic storage bin like this oneand were not able to keep it.

It caught his eye because it was a lop ear and he has always wanted one, plus they weren’t providing it with proper living conditions. Oh and we are also suckers for rescuing pets…

We make our pet decisions together normally and during last week he brought up taking the bunny in again. I was trying hard to not get sucked in to the cuteness of the bunny or any of that because once you do you are screwed.

Don’t get me wrong having a bunny isn’t that difficult, the key is providing it with the proper cage that will both keep your home clean and also keep your pet healthy and safe. Bunnies are cute and cuddly and appealing which is why so many people try to keep them as pets. The thing is they are also animals with needs and should be considered life long additions to your family if you choose to adopt one.

Sometimes bunnies can spray pee outside the sides of a typical rabbit cage, which can in turn stain carpet or dirty walls. Plus, they need a means to get exercise if they are solely indoor rabbits and a cage should provide that unless you plan to take your bunny out of the cage every day and let it play and run. Oh and you’ll also need to supervise it while it is running the house it to insure it doesn’t chew through any power cables on on your walls or something. Lastly, just because they were once wild animals does not mean you can just leave them outside in freezing or smoldering temperatures to fend for themselves, this is just cruel.

So when N brought up the bunny thing I explained that there was no way we could afford another $100+ multilevel cage for a second rabbit. Besides sexing young rabbits is hard and putting two together that are not the same sex (and also unfixed) is just bad news. Every heard the phrase humping like rabbits? They are prolific breeders folks!

I told N that if he was set on taking the rabbit in he would have to construct a cage for the thing that was sufficient for indoor use and also that allowed for exercise. And that is had to be done within days of bringing the new bunny home. Well, let me introduce you to Boner, the bunny.

You are probably wondering “well how does she know it is a he if sexing rabbits is so hard?”. Let me just say that we slowly introduced the two rabbits yesterday and he climbed right on top of Alexandria-Maybelle and started humping her head. When I grabbed him off her his penis was hanging out which very quickly told us he is a male. Plus he has these, balls.

Young rabbits are hard to sex but once they become sexually mature it is a bit more obvious, as you can see. So Now we are keeping Boner and Maybelle separate to avoid baby rabbits, we’ll also have Boner fixed when we find a vet and get some extra money. In the meantime the rabbits will just stay close but be kept apart.

Oh and all the household members are now friends with Boner, here is a video of everyone hanging out last night. Crazy huh?

Home buying fun in Evansville, IN- sellers are still greedy even when screwed!

Remember all the times I have talked about trying to buy a home on this blog? Well we are still living the first time home buyer saga. Over the weekend we looked at a place here that was a possible option for us, we met a Realtor that was overly eager to make her money and we once again have home buying on the brain.

The main reason we are looking to buy is because of the economic state, it is a buyers market for sure. Houses on the market are in abundance, home prices are falling and lots of people are desperately needing to sell the homes they can no longer afford.

Plus with President Obama it is likely we’ll see some type of housing market stimulus attempt, you know to get people buying again and to turn the market around. We suspect this will be most beneficial for those who have not been sucked in to the subprime mortgage mess and whom have not lost homes or even purchased them to begin with.

We have worked very hard to get money for a down payment in the bank. Thanks to employer sponsored 401K plans and roll over options we now have a decent down payment in an IRA ready for a home purchase, we are very pleased about this.

Now we are looking at our home buying options and considering what is truly in our best interest. Obviously we don’t want to remain in a mold filled rental home especially with a baby on the way so we have reinstated our home buying search.

We are looking at unconventional purchasing options at this time. Things like contract sales and owner carry buying options. We are doing this for credit reasons and also because we know somethings are going to change with the new president in regards to the housing market and financing options.

What cracks me up right now is how delusional sellers and agents are right now, they are still trying to be as greedy and shameless a possible even though the number of sellers clearly outnumbers the number of buyers in Evansville, IN.

The place we saw over the weekend was not spectacular by any means, the basement clearly had flooding issues and there were also structural issues on the 2nd floor. The seller made some crazy offer to us that was just a crock and we just laughed about (I don’t want to bore you with the specifics).

What I am wondering is when will people wake up? We are in a recession and greed just doesn’t work anymore. Seriously you selling me your house is NOT doing me any favors. We can rent forever and just keep making interest off that down payment money in the IRA, it’ll be more saved for retirement or whatever. Or we can buy another house, there isn’t a housing shortage you know.

When you have a buyer that is interested how can you honestly make such laughable requests when YOU are the one that is struggling under 2 mortgage payments YOU can’t make? We aren’t struggling financially to pay for our housing because we didn’t get in to an agreement that was impossible to make good on.

When you get someone who is willing to make your payments for you and help YOU out how can you still be so greedy? I know you really want to make your $50,000 profit off the home sale but which is better taking a profit cut or holding out in greed and risking foreclosure?

What kills me is that so many are honestly willing to loose their homes to foreclosure instead of just cutting their losses, learning from the mistake and just selling for what they can get. Those greedy people make me feel like foreclosure is deserved and that we shouldn’t care about their suffering or bail them out, I mean they did it to themselves right?

Home birth

As a home birth advocate I get a big kick out of finding and reading fellow bloggers home birth stories and posts. They help me learn and they are also very inspirational.

[POPUP=IMG1]My own birth story and video from when Everly was born at The Farm can be found here and in August 2011 the home birth of Baby Sister is planned and will be live blogged here.

If you have posted a home birth story somewhere I would love for you to enter the URL below and share it with us!

I am also a huge home birth advocate and have written many posts on the topic including:

Still trying to find somewhere near southern Indiana to deliver my baby…

This week we found out that CPM (certified professional midwives) are not covered via N’s employer plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield does cover midwives in other plans but for the specific plan elected by N’s employer they are not included… Bummer

This reminds me of how we felt discovering that same sex domestic partnerships are recognized here but not male/ female domestic partnerships and how mold is lawful here but not home birth.

This means birthing at The Farm is only possible if we can pay the $4700 out of pocket to deliver and stay there. I just spoke with Pamela over at The Farm and did the phone interview with her.

It is amazing how different people give you different vibes that can have a major influence on your feelings about something. After talking to Pamela I feel 100% comfortable and even a bit excited about a natural birth at The Farm as opposed to my feelings and vibes from others I have met and spoke with.

Having someone who understands your motivation and is not judgmental or scared about the process makes a huge difference in how confident and prepared you feel. I have been searching high and low for a midwife who is confident in me and the process, supportive of my wishes and who is also upfront and honest about all the specifics.

Pamela took down my info and we talked about diet and health. She says I seem like a good candidate for a Farm birth based upon my weight, height, age and my reproductive history.

We also talked about the RhoGam shot and my blood type. At the Farm they will test the baby’s cord blood after delivery and will administer the shot if it is needed after labor. They do not have you get the shot during pregnancy unless you are having a placental complication or other blood contamination risks.

Everything I want is possible at The Farm including the medical support and knowledge of emergency situations. Their statistics are very good and they also have quite the positive birthing track record. What I like most is their philosophy that women with normal, risk free pregnancies shouldn’t be afraid of having a natural birth outside the hospital.

As long as you have a back up plan and are open to the idea that you may need to transport to the hospital in an emergency there is no reason to not try for the birth that you want. That is exactly what The Farm is for us, both a safety precaution and the freedom to have what we want.

I desperately want to be able to pay for a birth at The Farm, now I need to figure out the finances. I wont bore you with the specific details but basically we need to come up with about $7000 cash in 6 months to repair the Nissan (that is still in Arizona) and to pay for the birth we want otherwise I am stuck with a much less preferable hospital birth.

A fellow blogger near me (YERTblog) discovered Clark Memorial Hospital’s Birthing Center that is near us. They have a natural birthing room with the birthing tub and they are more open to natural birthing preferences. This hospital seems like the best hospital option in our area and our insurance does cover this facility so we have a back up plan if we aren’t able to financially make The Farm happen.

Unfortunately with hospital birth comes the fear mongering, the lack of support and all the possibilities of unnecessary interventions. It just wont be the spiritual birth I want for me and my baby.

In other news this 14th week of pregnancy has resulted in much growth! I am clearly showing now (it is a small bump) and I have begun to feel the skin stretching and pressure, you know the fun of growing a human being. Here are some shots for your viewing pleasure:

Now I am just trying to crunch the budget and figure out how we can come up with the cash we need.

Pamela at The Farm wants us to come out for a tour and an exam before we make any financial commitments or sign and forms. She suggested an appointment sometime in January or in March so N and I have some decision making to do.

Oh yeah, have a happy new year all!

The 12 Days of Christmas, Talina and N's style

Okay, now sing it with me just to ring in the holiday spirit:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A garage cat with some fleas.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two broken cars (poor Nissan and Amigo!)
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Three months-of-pregnancy (almost 4!),
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Four petri dishes of growing mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Five feet of soaking, nasty basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Six days of rain (and no freaking snow!),
Five feet of soaking basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Seven pans of cinnamon rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaking basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eight pounds of baby weight,
Seven pans of rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaking basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Only nine checkers checking (at Walmart yesterday, what a joke!),
Eight pounds of weight,
Seven pans of rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaking basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Ten packages shipped to loved ones,
Nine checkers checking,
Eight pounds of weight,
Seven pans of rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaking basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Eleven poo smears in the toilet,
Ten packages shipped,
Nine checkers checking,
Eight pounds of weight,
Seven pans of rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaking basement -Yuck!,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve-hundred-dollars-of-car-repair-work for the amigo. Ouch,
Eleven poo smears,
Ten packages shipped,
Nine checkers checking,
Eight pounds of weight,
Seven pans of cinnamon rolls,
Six days of rain,
Five feet of soaked basement,
Four dishes of mold,
Three months-of-pregnancy,
Two broken cars,
And a garage cat with some fleas.

Whew! That was amusing for me. By the way, after I wrote it all out I also did sing it just for good measure. You know to make sure it all went well together. Hope you tried to sing it too, brought a smile to my face just trying it! Happy holidays all, I hope you are having the best time today!

I know mine isn’t as good as this but it was entertaining!

From the album: Holiday Spirits by the Straight No Chasers

Now, I am not the only blogger who has reworked a holiday song just for their blog, many others have also done so! If this includes you please enter the link to your holiday song post below. We would love to see what others have come up with!

Getting the holiday ducks in a row and not looking like a hobo anymore!

Last night the temperature got down to 8 degrees here in Evansville, right now it is about 20 degrees and I am inches from my space heater trying to keep warm.

Can you believe there are only a few days left until Christmas? We managed to get lots of stuff taken care of this weekend and we even got to see a holiday show while we were at it.

We saw the Evansville Dance Theater’s Performance of The Nutcracker on Saturday night. We were expecting some more like this video.

What we got was not the traditional ballet presentation we were expecting (I am a ballet snob being a trained dancer and all) but it was cute and entertaining. It was also cool to see such a wide range of dancers executing the still being perfected technical ballet stuff they teach you as an aspiring dancer. Kids from about 5 all the way up to teens performed in this and some really are on the way to being stars!

Then we had a nice dinner out at an Italian restaurant and blitzed Walmart at midnight for some stocking stuffers and pet gifts. We got a ton of cat toys and also grabbed Dixie a soccer ball and some big bones to chew. We also found a fun “parents to be” ornament for our tree that we liked.

Sunday N helped me color my hair after we did some house cleaning in preparation for the holiday. I’ve been waiting several weeks for the green light on hair coloring. My doc said hair color in the 1st trimester is not proven safe so I waited till the 2nd trimester to dye away my gray hairs. They were getting bad and I started to joke that I was looking like a hobo with my frizz and multi-colored hair.

We cannot believe that after the holidays I’ll be 4 months pregnant. It doesn’t seem like it has been that long at all, it also means we’ll only have 5 remaining months to get all our ducks in a row. Oh and Christmas is only 3 days away! Time flies.

Oh, the mold tests are looking moldy. It seems we have some mold spores in the basement that are different from those naturally present outside, you can see this in the varying colors of mold growing. Here is what they looked like over the weekend:

The outside sample test resulted in only black and white mold growth, the basement one resulted in black, white, greenish/ blue and yellow mold growth.

Our second basement mold test is sill incubating.

So how are the holiday preparations shaping up for you? Got everything you need? Do you still have baking and wrapping to do? I am trying to stratgize the holiday stocking thing right now. How do you normally handle stuffing and presenting stockings?

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