Meet the New House

During our Real Estate search and rescue mission we were referring to this property as ‘The Poop and Pee House’ for what I thought were obvious reasons until my friend Karen said, “Oh no, does it smell like poop and pee?”  Now that it’s ours and I’m kind of in love with it, I feel it deserves a better name than The Poop and Pee House.  Yellow Submarine?  Mellow Yellow? (except there is nothing mellow about that color) Project Sunshine?

Indeed a paint job is in her future, though not until next summer, but I think this color will be forever burned into this house and our minds.  Also because there is over spray on the foundations.  Thanks for that.

imageLet’s take a gander on the inside.  I was on top of my blogging game when I brought the fancy camera with me on demo day 1 but alas, Casey had removed the memory card to upload pictures of Levi.  Damn.  Sorry for the crummy iPhone pics.

The living room.  There are hardwoods under everything and we’re planning on putting tongue and groove on that sweet vaulted ceiling.  Fireplace will eventually get refaced.

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living3Dining Room.  Pretty easy.  Replacing the fixture and a portion of the wall on the right is coming down to open into the kitchen more.

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Kitchen.  Everything must go!  The hardwoods aren’t in this room, so they will need to be added, new cabinets, big 6 foot picture window, new appliances and all new pretty fixtures.  Can’t wait for this room to be done.  I’m going in a different direction on this house so I’m nervous and excited to see how it’s going to turn out.

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kitchen1How hot are those blinds.

kitchen3Upstairs hallway.  Hardwoods here too, score.

hallwayThe three bedrooms.  Needing new windows, refinish floors, doors and trim.  The first room has wood paneling that needs to go.

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Bathroom.  Again, everything. must. go.

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All these rooms are phase one of the remodel.  We’ll get to the basement, 800 square feet of unfinished space and the yard at a later date.  I think we have enough to work with here.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Neuzel Project Part Deux

Sorry for the absence if anyone is still following….In the months since my ‘For Sale’ post we’ve been busy busy busy.  In addition to keeping this little mister alive and happy…

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…We sold our house FSBO which was a really great experience.  Then, I put my shiny new Real Estate license to good use and we bought a new fixer upper!  It’s a little hard on the eyes at first (mainly due to the high gloss yellow paint) but it has tons of potential and I already see it being a gem!

homeWe get our keys today, so I’ll be back very soon with all the glorious interior pictures.   Unlike the first house, we will be doing the majority of the big projects (kitchen, bath, floors and windows) prior to moving in so we’ll have lots of updates in the coming two months.

Thanks for joining on round two!

 

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The Neuzel Project For Sale!

We’ve gussied all we can of this little project and now it’s time to put our first flip on the market!  Here she is all polished up and ready for her debut on the market.

This is a good time to mention, we’re selling it FSBO, so if you’re in the market for a charming 3 bedroom, 1 bath rambler with detached garage and chicken coop go ahead and give me a buzz :)

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I just realized I never posted about the built-ins in our bedroom.  Great Ikea hack.  I’ll have to fill ya’ll in about that soon.

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My Mastitis

This will probably be of no use to 99.9% of the people that read this blog (sorry for the snooze fest of a post, but if you get to the end I’ll show you pictures of Levi).  But if one hopeless feeling mom stumbles across this in her panicked search of the internet while suffering from Mastitis or an abscess, I’m happy to help that one.

Here was my situation…

When Levi was 4 weeks old, I developed a clogged duct, pretty normal from what I hear.  I would have never known what it was or what to look for except a friend told me about hers a couple weeks prior.  I did what all first time mom’s do and hopped online to see how to fix it.  After a couple days of heat compresses, lots of pumping and massage it wasn’t getting better and a fever had begun.  Fearing it had turned into Mastitis I headed into the walk in clinic.

Turns out, that was the case so I was put on antibiotics.  The prescription was for 10 days, but the doctor said in a day or so, the fever should break and the antibiotics should reduce the swelling enough to get the clogs out.

After 7 days of the antibiotics the fever was gone, but the painful lumps remained.  I spoke with my midwives and a lactation consultant and tried everything, I mean EVERYTHING – Castor oil packs on my breast prior to feeding, heat compress, cold compress after feeding, fed my boy on all fours, from the side, upside down, cabbage leaves after feeding, Lecithin supplements, pumping in the shower.  Seriously, I tried it all.  I was getting pretty frustrated so I went back to the doctor and she put me on another antibiotic, no dice.

When the second round of antibiotics didn’t work, I wanted an ultrasound because something was up.  The majority of the lumps in my breast had gone away except for one large spot under where my right arm would rest on it.  It was pretty painful and would not reduce no matter what I did.  But it was not red on the outside   After more Googeling (Mom’s best friend and worst enemy) I started to fear that I was one of the rare few who developed an abscess from Mastitis.  I headed to the Breast Center at Swedish and the doctor with the worst bedside manner ever confirmed my fear, it was an abscess.  That same day I was meeting with a surgeon.

The surgeon aspirated the lump with a frighteningly long needle and man did a lot of milk and puss come out of that thing.  But oh the instant relief!  We did a culture on the fluid and it was indeed infected with staph.  My doctor was sure the pocket would fill back up shortly after because of the breastfeeding, and it did a couple days later.  I wanted to keep aspirating it to see if it would go away because I feared having surgery.  I went through natural child birth at a birthing center because I don’t like hospitals and invasive procedures, now this?  I was freaking out to say the least.   My doctor was pretty adamant that surgery would be the only way to remove and heal the abscess.

In my panic to avoid surgery I saw another doctor that specialized solely in breastfeeding, Dr O’Hara (Seattle Breastfeeding Medicine).  She had suggestions on how we could try other procedures, but ultimately agreed that this was a deep abscess and had to be opened up to get properly cleaned out.

The Surgeon doctor and the breastfeeding doctor had differing opinions on if I could/should continue breastfeeding post surgery.  The surgeon said close up shop, it won’t heal properly if I don’t quit.  But the breastfeeding doctor said go for it.  It will take a little longer as breast milk will constantly be flowing through it, but it will eventually work.

I wanted to continue to breastfeed, so I moved forward with the surgery without weening the baby.

To remove an abscess it requires going into the cavity, cleaning it out and leaving drains in it so the cavity can drain and let the cavity heal from the inside out.  Well, breast feeding makes this tricky because you are constantly leaking milk.  A normal abscess will heal in 1-2 weeks, mine was 4.  For the first two weeks, I had two drains in that were flexible straws.  I kept gauze at the end of them and changed out the dressing every couple of hours.  I was still able to breastfeed when I had the drains in.  For the first day I just pumped because I didn’t want Levi also enjoying my pain killer cocktail.

After two weeks the straws came out, and the gross part began.  To have the incisions heal slowly so the inside could completely heal, I had to stuff gauze into the incisions.  When I say ‘I’ I mean my loving husband.  He was amazing.  He even did it more gently than any of the surgical staff when they had to do it.  Two weeks of that and the scars began to heal.

Not more than a couple days after the scars healed up, did another lump form.  I was devastated.

Back to the surgeon I went.  He did another aspiration of the lump, but this time it was just milk.  No infection, yet.  I told Casey and the doctor, that if I had to do surgery again, I’d quit breastfeeding.  Casey wanted me to throw in the towel, it was hard for him to see me go through so much, but I had this desperate feeling to continue doing it.

I was sure this was another cavity where milk got trapped and once the drain healed up, the milk had no where to go.  In a last ditch effort I went to a Physical Therapist, Peg Maas who specializes in lymphatic massage and ultra sound massage.  I did a couple ultra sound massages with one of her colleagues to no avail.  Then, I met with Peg and she instructed me to gently massage my incision sites because scar tissue can build up and cause blockages.

That same night, I was rubbing my scar in a small circle and all of the sudden my fingers were all wet.  Milk had busted through the closed up scar!  I squeezed all I could out and had instant relief!  All those hard spots and backed up milk all flowed out. Then I called the surgeon.  His response, “better out that in”.  Um, okay?  I leaked milk out the side of my boob for another two weeks and slowly, the incisions healed up again.

I’m now about 2 weeks out with healed up boobs, no lumps and just a couple scars to remind me of my Mastitis.  All in all it was about a 10 week process.

I’m writing this rambling tale to let you know that even though it totally sucked, you can and will get to the other side.  I learned not to take the first persons recommendation as the end all be all.  Get multiple opinions and exhaust all your options.   Also, everything was way more scary before it happened than it actually was.  Surgery had me in tears and quaking in my boots, but it wasn’t that bad.  It was over in a jif, and it didn’t even hurt.  Nothing compared to child birth :).

When I was going through all this and reading the iPad in the dead of night about other peoples tales, I was terrified and felt hopeless.  Everyone said it was the absolute worst and to give up breastfeeding.  But that doesn’t need to happen, just keep trucking on.  It’ll get fixed and you’ll be fine in the end!

And as promised if you got to the end….Levi!!

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Nursery Reveal

Even though I’m posting this as Levi is two months old, I did have the nursery completed before he made his debut.  We didn’t find out if our little babe was a boy or a girl so the nursery is pretty neutral.  Which I would have done regardless of the gender.  After he was born, Casey had to man it up with a picture of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars and a model airplane he built.  I guess I had to concede  on a couple things since I chose everything else.

Don’t mind the lovely view of the garbage cans…

DSC_0043DSC_0045I made the mobile out of a few sheets of felt.  Fun little pregnancy project.

DSC_0046DSC_0049He hasn’t said much yet, but I’m pretty sure Levi loves it!  He’s been logging some long hours in there at night, so I’m going to take that as he’s happy.

 

 

 

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It’s a Boy!

Turns out I never got to that 40 week post where I’d complain about how over being pregnant I was.  At 38 weeks I was still perfectly content being pregnant and loved almost every minute of it.  Sure there were the aches and pains, but the smiles, kicks, and big round belly made up for that.

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Labor just started – 2/4

I joked with family, friends and co-workers that I was fine with our little surprise coming anytime after the Superbowl (even though the due date was 2/4).  I couldn’t handle the thought of missing the game and being in labor while trying to watch a football game could have been too much for even a die hard football fan.  So he obliged, staying in for the dominating victory the Seahawks had over the Denver Broncos.  All the screaming and jumping must have gotten him curious as to what all the fuss was on the outside though because the next evening while vacuuming the house my water broke.  In our birth class the teacher joked about women who mistakenly head to the hospital after peeing their pants thinking it was a water-breaking situation.  Having peed my pants on multiple occasions during this pregnancy I was a little hesitant to cry “my water broke!”  But this was extreme –  like down the leg, on the floor, fill the slippers water breaking situation.  Not the normal pregnant sneeze and pee the pants.  Just to be sure though, I had Casey smell it.  It was go time.

Casey was hilarious.  He jumped into action like the house was on fire and was extremely frustrated I didn’t yet have a bag packed.  I on the other hand grabbed my laptop and finished up some last minute work stuff.   We called the midwife and she told us what I expected, get some sleep because tomorrow could be an exciting day!  So, we went to bed.   The next day I still hadn’t felt any contractions so we headed out to power walk around the neighborhood.  By the time we got back I was feeling some mild contractions but nothing that would stop me from making my baby’s very first birthday cake!

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Happy Birthday little one!

Throughout the day the contractions picked up and by 3pm we were headed to the birth center.  Once we got there and I was checked out were were told to hit the road and take a walk.  I’m sure they had their reasons (like one more appointment for the day?)  but it was damn cold outside!  We only made it a quarter of a mile in 40 minutes and we were frozen solid, but it was a pretty hilarious walk thinking of the passerbyers witnessing this.

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Coping with contractions on Totem Lake Way

Once we were back in the warmth of the Birth Center we were checked in and ready for the long haul.  My birth squad included Kelly, my amazing friend and doula, Mom, Inga and of course Casey.  Everyone was incredible!  It must have been hard for all of them to see me in pain, but they remained calm and supportive through the entire labor which gave me the confidence to keep on going.

Going the natural route is something else.  I was clear headed though the entire process.  Even when I seemed completely out of my mind (I had some unusual chanting coping techniques) I can remember every stage of the labor.  I do recall thinking in the midst of labor – this is crazy, why would anyone voluntarily do this?  But being on the other side, I’m very glad I did it and would do it again in a heart beat.  My decision give birth naturally made me feel strong and proud being able to dig that deep within myself.   I’ll save all the gruesome details for anyone who wants to verbally hear it, but I’ll say you loose all modesty and humility while giving birth.  The people in that room saw some gross shit, but not one batted an eye.

After 12 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing at 12:52 on February 5th,  I heard Casey yell IT’S A BOY!  They slid our little man with his enormous cone-head under my legs (I was on all fours) and I haven’t stopped staring at him since.  

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Happy Birthday Levi

At the birth center they  clean you up and send you on your way quickly.  We were home and sleeping in our own bed by 4am, a mere 3 hours later.  We waited a few days to name him, wanting to get to know him before we made a decision.  We decided Levi James Neuman fit him just perfectly!

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This is Levi’s milk drunk face.

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Baby It’s Cold Outside Shower

These wonderful ladies got together and threw me the most lovely shower.  I am so lucky to have them all in my life and can’t thank them enough!

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Theme was Baby It’s Cold Outside, but it wasn’t.  It was actually a beautifully sunny January day.  And look at all the pregnant ladies that were in attendance!

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It was a crowded house full of friends and family all excited to welcome our little un-named, surprise gender-ed babe into this world.

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