From the category archives:


Housing Challenges

by Esther on Sun, Feb 7th, 2010

in Challenges,Home,Money,Pregnancy by week,Week 27

I read in a book yesterday that putting together a nursery is an important part of early bonding with your baby.  According to this book, objects and art around the baby will be a part of the baby’s first stimulation.  What we choose to expose our child to will become the building blocks of who our child is to become.  This will be the first way for us to give some culture to our child.  It will be the first teaching of our family’s aesthetic style.

Well then.  If this is the case, I venture to guess that our child will have a strong foundation in urban minimalism.  Our house has been on the market (with a small break around the the winter holidays) for the better part of 4 months.  We will give it another 3 weeks before pulling if off of the market in favor of getting ready for some baby arrival.

I love our little condo!  It was first Milton’s perfect bachelor pad.  Then we redecorated and made it our perfect love nest.  It has a great view of the city, a private roof deck, and is just blocks away from anything you could possibly want in Seattle.  It is my most very favorite place that I have ever lived in.  As a wife and cook, I work this small place like it is a machine and actually love that everything is so close together.  I don’t even think I would ever want a big huge house.  It just seems like too much work, and I feel like my husband and I would be too far away from one another if we had more than a few good rooms.

The thing is, our place is a loft.  It doesn’t have any separate rooms unless you count the bathroom.  It’s just one big happy box.  I don’t think that most couples could get along in a living situation like this one, but Milton and I are very very happy.  We know when to be quiet and we know when to have a discussion from the lofted bedroom to the living room below.  I don’t think we’ve ever had a difficult moment between us that is spatially related.  Adding a baby, however, could potentially cause a problem.  The slippery stairs don’t have a railing.  There aren’t any doors to close to block Junior from devastation.  There are nerdy wires falling from several computered surfaces.  It’s kind of an adults only sort of place.

Or so we’ve thought.  If this place doesn’t sell, we’re going to begin an endeavor in March that will redecorate this place once more to make room for this baby.  Some shelves.  An old-fashioned pram for use as a bassinet.  A few less computers.  An open space for lounging about on the floor.  A new easy to clean rug underfoot.  The key has got to come from a few creative solutions for urban baby nesting.  We can handle that as long as we can scrape together a few bucks.

The more I think about it, the more I think we’ll be just fine with our urban minimalist baby.  We don’t ever plan on living outside of a city (‘burbs scare me, I gotta be honest), so our son can just get used to slippery stairs, the sounds of cars outside, cavorting on the streets, and our voices shouting from the loft to the living room.


Ingrid & Isabel Leggings

by Esther on Wed, Jan 20th, 2010

in Challenges,Maternity Clothes,Money

I was so excited to order these leggings online last week.  Leggings have been a mainstay since my first trimester.  They are maximum comfort to a pregnant belly.  I love the photos of the Ingrid and Isabel leggings.  I love the supportive stretch over the belly, and how you can tuck it down under everything when you get really big.

I got them last week and loved them at first sight.  The fabric is soft, though thinner than I had expected.  No matter.  I’ve worn them to two yoga classes, and once to work.

I put them on under a tunic today and sighed.  It seems that there are already a few small fuzzy pulls on my calf.  Also, my favorite and lovely over the knee boots have ruined the fabric where they hit over the knee.  How disappointing!  So much for a $50 pair of leggings that reports to have been tested for wear and tear.  I was hoping that if I shelled out a little extra, I could just wear them everyday if I hand washed them every night.  These leggings won’t last another month at this rate.

I think that my next order will go for these $20 micro-fiber leggings on Amazon, which look exactly the same.  I won’t feel as bad ruining $20 leggings as I feel having already ruined these.


We got a $428.73 bill from Polyclinic today, apparently for various things that we did in the doctor’s office last month, before we decided not to go with them.  See the November 24th section of our Money Spent page.  I admit, it’s more than I was expecting… and of course they give you no warning or indication of the cost of the things you’re doing while there. I almost feel like they assume that money is simply not part of what they do… that it’s between us and our insurance company.  But they’re the ones that know how much things cost, how necessary they are, etc, and should be able to at least inform us that this or that thing will cost however much so that we can know what we’re buying.  That would at least help stir my memory when the bill came and something like “RTU PG UTRUS W/IMAG DOC T” that cost $178 was actually an ultrasound and we were glad to pay for it (that’s what I’m assuming it was, at least).

In any case, it turns out that our $3,000 deductible will reset on January 1st, so all of this money we’re spending now won’t count towards the deductible in May.  Lame!  The full bill for the midwives, home birth, etc is a flat $1,900, and is due upon delivery of the baby.  Both fact of which are pretty awesome.  I called our insurance and made sure that this would all at least go towards our deductible when the time came, and they verified that it would.  The helper at Regence even told me that we can get a free breast pump if we order it through one of these approved sellers.  Cool!  I’m assuming that we’ll also have to pay for the week 20 ultrasound (coming right before Christmas) that will hopefully be able to tell us the gender of our little avocado-sized swimming character (bigger by then).  Very excited for that.


Gear, money, and travel.

by Esther on Mon, Nov 16th, 2009

in Challenges,Money,Pregnancy by week,Week 16

I’ve been feeling pretty great.  Fatigue is in check, nausea has disappeared, pickle cravings have subsided, and somehow I refrained from spending $50 on sheep milk cheese at the market this week.  I even want to have sex again!  The second trimester is truly the sweet spot of pregnancy.

Milton and I have been getting on well.  Our only argument has us recalling one of our only wedding-prep related arguments, which was quite specifically about gift registration and gear.  We agree that there is a colossal amount of waste in the baby industry.  Obviously, every baby born does not need a brand new status stroller.  Obviously, any baby born does not need a brand new anything.  I have no qualms about hand-me-down anythings (other than a breast pump, because that just seems a little weird), but worry that not registering for anything at all will leave my family at a loss for how to help out… and, like most American families, my family likes to help out by buying gifts on a registry.  I also worry that we’ll end up throwing money we don’t have on things we later find are necessary when we feel a pinch.  We do have that bad habit.  It’s nice to be prepared.

Of course, all of this baby gear prep is still a few months away.  Right now we’re concentrating on selling our awesome house, which is really only awesome if you don’t have a baby.  We’re also concentrating on buying tickets to go to my hometown for Christmas and my Grandmother’s 85th birthday, which is making me sad because I have to spend a whole lot of money to fly during the holiday season… and money has become this whole different thing to me now that I need to save it for a new family.  I am truly worried that I will never see my family again once this kid is born.   Goodness knows that tickets feel a whole lot more expensive when they are bought in twos and (later) threes.

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