a grand arrival

::lucy, aka baby backhoe::

The second child made an appearance two weeks ago today, so I figure this is as good a time as any to get her birth story typed up. (In other news, just writing those words makes me feel like a hippie, which apparently what I am turning into.) In other news, this post will contain the words "dilated" and "pushing" so if you're icked out by those, just glance at the pics and move along.
My official maternity leave was scheduled to begin on Monday, December 15, which was my actual due date. With Fat Toddler I delivered on my due date, which, I know, rarely happens. Since this was my second baby we knew there was a high chance of me going out early, so my boss wrote the schedule so that I worked Monday-Wednesday, used a personal day on Thursday and used a holiday benefit on Friday, and had the weekend off. Essentially I was scheduled off so that if I did go into labor it wouldn't mess everyone else up. Which ended up being a Very Good Plan.
So Wednesday was my last scheduled day at work, and the district manager was supposed to be in store for a detailed visit, which is something that happens every quarter or so. Originally I wasn't part of the visit, but he decided he wanted me there so we switched things around and planned extra coverage so I could be off the floor from 10am on. I'd been having contractions all morning, but nothing particularly strong, so it was no big deal. After all, I'd been having contractions off and on for a week and a half.
The DM was supposed to be there at 10, but at 9:30 we got a call that he had just left the previous location, which put him in store about 10:30. At 10:15 my manager got a call: she had a family emergency and really needed to leave, but's she's as work-obsessed as I am and was torn: you don't just walk out on a visit from your district manager. He arrived at 10:30 and said the same thing I had been: go. Family is more important. He'd handle all store business with me, because that's the whole point of having an Assistant Store Manger. She left, I went over the revised agenda with my DM, and he went out and started working.
I sat down at the desk and started working through some paperwork, making sure everything was in order, and at 11:15 I stood up to grab something I needed. My water broke. Like, the big dramatic break. With FT I had a slow leak, so this was a new sensation, and may I say? HIGHLY OVERRATED. It feels disgusting to walk around in cold, clammy pants.
I walked out front and told my DM, "So my water just broke." He said, "Go. Just go. Do you need someone to drive you?" I assured him I was fine, grabbed a trash bag to put on my seat, and headed home. (I have an hour commute.)

On the way home I called the husband and told him what was going on so he could figure out what was happening with FT, and could finish pulling together a few items for me. I also texted my sisters; the one who lives in philly and was present for the birth of FT wanted to be there for this birth, as well. She had to wrap up a couple of things before she could head down to join me, but I wasn't too stressed about it. 

When I got back we loaded into the husband's truck (instead of my tiny car) and headed down to drop FT off with the aunt who would keep him while we were in the hospital. My contractions still weren't bad. I wouldn't have even left work for these (they were the same strength as the Braxton hicks I had been having all week) if my water hadn't broken. As it was, FT hadn't had lunch, so we stopped to grab him some chilkfila. I assumed I was staring at several hours of labor, and you're not allowed to eat at the hospital, so I grabbed something as well. 

By the time we dropped off FT and got back to the hospital it was 2:15. They were overflowing in the maternity ward and I had to wait a little while before I was admitted. When I did walk into the ward they were all "are you SURE your water broke?" I was all "oh yes." 
I'm pretty sure they didn't think I could actually be in labor because I was so chill about everything. I was still walking, still breathing normally. But this was baby #2; I'd done this before, right????
Finally they got me into a room and checked me: I was at 3 cm. I verified that I wanted no drugs and I had done this once before, and asked for just the part where the IV attaches, rather than being hooked to a pole. They called the midwife who was coming on duty (who was the one I hoped I'd get! Hooray!) and she said that was fine, so they handled all their processes and left me to labor. 
Le hubs and I were both very relaxed about the whole thing and sat there talking and playing with our phones. My contractions eventually got more intense and I started having to focus during them, but they still weren't unbearable. 
I definitely remember explaining the whole of "serial" to him in between pauses for contractions. (He hadn't listened to any of it.) 
At about 5:15 the midwife came on duty and checked me; I was at 6.5 cms. She had a couple of ideas for helping to relieve pressure/pain because contractions had gotten decidedly stronger, we talked through my desire to go med-free if possible, and she said she'd bring in the birthing ball for me. 
When she left I got into the shower and le hubs used the spray head to aim the hottest possible water at my lower back. I was in there for about 20 minutes, and suddenly nothing was working, I couldn't breathe through the contractions, and I felt myself slipping into that panicked, hyperventilating mess that I was with FT. I told hubs "I've got nothing to prove, I want the meds. Get me the meds." (I knew that if I was already at 6.5 the window for an epidural was getting small.)
I then tried to head back to the bed. I sat on the birthing ball for a minute or so, but it didn't help and didn't feel right. In fact, I really felt like I needed to poop. (I was sure that chilkfila was coming back to haunt me.) 
I told the husband this, and actually sat on the toilet briefly, but that didn't feel right either. Nothing felt right! I desperately wanted to push, but everyone knows if you push too soon it messes everything up, and she JUST checked me; no way was I ready to deliver. 
When I said I wanted to poop, hubs went running out into the hall. "Guys, she says she wants to poop. I think you need to come check on her." 
The midwife and nurses came running into the room, where he had managed to get me back on the bed. The midwife checked me and was all "we are going to have a baby. Go ahead and push on the next contraction." 
I pushed once and it HURT LIKE HELL. I didn't remember it being this painful last time (and I pushed for three hours: I would remember), so I assumed it was the scar from my episiotomy, and if every push felt like this I was in for a couple of hours of hellishness. I started whimpering, "It burns, I can't do this." The midwife briskly assured me, "that's ok. That was her head." 
What?????? Ok then. I pushed again and she was born. 
Yep. Two pushes. 6.5 hours of labor. From 6.5 cm dilated to holding a baby in 35 minutes. 
Those people who said the second baby is easier? They were right. 

Obviously my sister didn't make it down for labor; it all happened too fast. And baby Backhoe was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches long. Much smaller than her big brother! 


the ultimate DIY gift list, not just for Christmas edition

Last year this time I was blogging on trailer trash glam, which has since met its demise. Well, one of my favorite posts OF ALL was the huge list of genuinely awesome non-cheesy tutorials for DIY gifts. This year I'm bringing it back, and since I've had a whole year to amass links, it's even longer! There will be reposts to some from last year, since that list is gone, but there's lots of new stuff, too.
Without further ado, here is the list of amazing DIY gifts for pretty much everyone you know who needs a present.

For her

For him

For kids

For Anyone
For Babies
For the home
Well, if SOMETHING on that list doesn't give you a brilliant idea, I just don't know what to tell you. Happy gifting, you guys! 


your weekend reading, delivered

Well, I was working like crazy this week, and sick last weekend. So I've fallen behind on So Many Things. On the bright side? I made a list of things to go in my hospital bag. You know, since I should be delivering in about five weeks. And....that's about it. But hey! I read some articles on the interwebz. And saw some pretty things. (And finished editing a wedding AND ordered our christmas cards. Winning. At. Life.)


etsy stores worth checking out

It's that time of year again, when we have to start thinking about the holidays (hooray!). I love Christmas, love giving presents, and hoard great ideas throughout the year. I also love supporting small artists as opposed to big box stores whenever possible, so etsy is my fave. Here are five stores that I currently love.
Kelsey Davis Design does adorable little plush taxidermies. I think these would be amazing in a kid's room or even to add texture to your art wall. 

Letters on Love creates dramatic black and white text art pieces. So many fantastic phrases from which to choose! 

The Curator's Prints sells amazing vintage and current astronomy-themed prints. So beautiful. 

Art Hearts Shop does paper-cuttings, and they are gorgeous. 

Laurel Begley Ceramics creates tiny, beautiful clay pieces. I love the sugar bowls! 

These are my favorites; I hope they get your brain spinning! 
(All images belong to the respective shops they represent.) 


nine things I've learned in nine years

Today is Le Hubs' and my nine-year anniversary. Nine. Years. How on earth are we this old? (For that matter, how am I old enough to have a two-year-old???) Of course, if you look at the above pics you see that we were BABIES when we got married.
I don't claim to know everything about marriage; I don't even claim to know much at all about marriage, but I have learned a few things in the past nine years. So here you go.

  1. Your partner isn't a mind-reader.
    This is the biggest one. It's unfair to have expectations (carried over from previous relationships or family life or books or whatever) and get upset if you've never EXPLAINED them. Talk it out. Sometimes you'll realize that your expectation is unfair and needs to change. Sometimes they'll realize they can fulfill that for you. Sometimes you continue to struggle. But at least you've talked about it. 
  2. Hints don't work with boys.
    At least not with any boys I've met. Ever. Explain things flat out. You want these earrings for Christmas? Tell him. You hate when he leaves his underwear on the floor? Don't heave a huge sigh as you pick them up; explain that picking up his dirty underwear makes you feel like his mother and then you don't want to have sex with him. Understanding WHY you hate cleaning up after him will probably give him a new level of motivation. (I think "you're a grown-up, now act like it" is probably not the best technique to use here.) 
  3. Never have a mexican standoff over the trash can. 
    It *will* be overflowing onto the floor before he notices that it needs emptying. (Unless you're married to an OCD person, in which case I'm jealous.) 
  4. One person cannot be your everything. 
    I think this is a cultural expectation that catches many of us. It's impossible for one single person to be the sexual, mental, emotional, AND spiritual counterpoint to another, and that's ok. That's why we have friends and family and time on our own. 
  5. Maintain separate interests. 
    I like to read, knit, watch west wing, play word games, thrift shop, and  He likes to fix things, work deals, build bonfires, and listen to books on CD. The idea of sitting and reading a book makes him stabby; the idea of poking my hands in a greasy car motor makes my skin crawl. THAT'S OK. I read all my feminist blogs and have my human rights discussions with friends and come back and throw the ideas at him, and he pokes holes in my theories. And then I do the same to his ideas. Which means that after nine years of being married, I still genuinely enjoy having conversations with my husband.
  6. Try to share interests. 
    (I promise this isn't directly contradicting the previous point!) Le hubs had never swum in salt water before we started dating. As a life-long east coast girl, this blew my mind. Now, however, he's become more of a beach bum than I: he owns a jeep, a boat, and multiple surfboards. My idea of a "good day at the beach" still involves not getting wet, but I've promised to let him teach me to surf next summer. We also watch Top Gear (UK version) together, and when we find a show or movie we both like, we save it to watch together. He's tried to go running with me, but that was kind of an epic fail since he's faster than I am and it made me angry. He's convinced me to go camping; I've gotten him to like curry. When you find those shared interests that you both genuinely like (water-skiing, anyone?), save them to savor together. 
  7. Regularly discuss your goals and dreams.
    Being on the same page means that you can put up with a heck of a lot. Right now we live in a wood-stove heated trailer in the middle of the woods. Its basically a dream come true for a two-year-old, but lets be honest: it's not very impressive looking. But I'm ok with that because it enables us to live completely on my income from Starbucks. Le hubs is able to stay home with the munchkins, and in ten years we will be in something better. These are the choices we have made together, and it's awesome to see the progress we are making toward our goals. 
  8. Keep separate bank accounts.
    Some people very much disagree with this one, but I'm a huge proponent of it. We each have our own business account plus a joint. The joint account is where all the joint bills are paid from. The business accounts are where all our respective business expenses are paid from. Simple enough, but it's awesome to buy myself a pair of shoes without worrying about justifying it. And he can go buy surfboards or whatever. We're able to surprise each other, and to me, that is worth a lot.  
  9. At the end of the day, you have to respect them. 
    Because if you don't respect the person you're with, why are you with them? No, I'm serious. You don't have to agree, just respect that their reasoning is solid and they have the best interests of the team at heart. If you respect them, you can trust them. And that's what matters. 
What about you all, dear readers? Do you have any valuable relationship advice that you've learned through trial and error? 


things that will make you smile, I think

Because if you don't smile at the clumsiness of penguins, I just don't know what to say.
Let's see. Pentatonix + super gorgeous violin playing in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? I'm in.


::dinosaur face::

I had to share a couple of shots of Fat Toddler's halloween costume from last week. That was finished the day of, of course. And yes, his nose is running in the last photo.
I used a sweatsuit from Target, bought matching fleece at Hobby Lobby, and assembled the whole thing with sewing and a hot glue gun. He is madly in love with the tail, wore the hoodie to daycare, and I think we can generally call the whole thing a roaring success. Of course, I wanted to do something a little more obscure/literary, but the hubs convinced me that FT would love being a dino. As usual, he was right.


today I love: bright colors

Right now I'm obsessed with using color to add a little pop of joy to everyday life.
1. Right now I spend a third of my day with a clipboard in my hand. I think I need to pick up a few of these. Staples, $6.89 2. Brightly colored notebooks are much easier to find in the huge tote that I constantly carry. Moleskeine, $18.95 3. This is just ridiculously cute and I want one. JCrew, $36.50 4. The third of the day that I'm carrying a clipboard I'm also holding a pen. I write. A lot. So I refuse to use icky pen, and this kind is my absolute fave. Target, $20.49/12 5. What's a brightly colored roundup without some arm candy? Target, $3.48.


wednesday wonderfulness, its been a week edition

I always pick up blogging again with the best of intentions. Will plan ahead! Will schedule posts! And then the whole "I could write a post, or I could take a nap" thing surfaces....and naps usually win. So there's that. This week has been a little more hectic than usual on the work front, and now I'm staring at the weekend ahead: I am photographing the last wedding and family session until FT 2.0 arrives, and possibly the last ever. AND I AM SO HAPPY. However, first I have to survive this weekend....

Well, that's probably enough to keep you all going for a while...and I need to either edit photos or eat dinner. Or shower. That's an option too, I suppose. 


time filler for a two-year-old

I ran across this idea a couple of weeks ago via pinterest, and we tried it out on a rainy day last week. SO GOOD. FT mixed it up (with a little help from me, of course) and then proceeded to play with it for a solid 45 minutes. When he was done I scooped the dough into a bowl, wrapped it in plastic, and popped it in the fridge. This morning we pulled it out again, and as of right now he's been playing for a solid hour and a half.
The mess is definitely present, but since it's cornstarch (as opposed to flour) it's pretty easy to clean up. Anything that keeps my kid occupied with minimal supervision for more than an hour? WINNER. Save this one, mamas.


wednesday wonderfulness

Hey lovelies! You know what's awesome? Having internets attached to my lovely, huge-screened computer. Having done most of my browsing on my iPhone since last December, having a 30-inch screen on which to open ONE MILLION TABS is genuinely fabulous. Anyway, I'm catching up on my feedly, and have even had time to dig back into some archives, so excuse me if some of this stuff is older/I've already posted it.

  • I'm always a fan of a good carrot cake recipe; this one probably needs to be tried. 
  • Free printable! It has an umbrella, so...there's that. 
  • This mom photographs her children's toys. Gorgeously. 
  • This is a very cool way to decorate walls, but would it be a huge pain to keep clean? I think maybe. 
  • This nursery is gorgeous. And gender neutral. And will probably transition nicely into a child's room. 
  • Best free things to do in NYC: the list is in the comments. I know a lot of these, but some (FIT museum? What? I AM SO THERE) I'd never heard of, and I cannot wait to check them out. 
  • I'm not a huge Kiki Dunst fan, but that second-to-last image... yes. 
  • What do you think of the idea of an articles club
  • 5 ways sexism hurts men. I talk about feminism a lot, and here are a few reasons why it's as important for men as it is for women. 
  • Make your own pumpkin chai latte. This looks insane. In a good way. 
  • I really love this shared brother/sister room
  • "Do the work that's in front of you." 
  • Finally, I listened to this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert several weeks ago and really loved it. (She's a fantastic public speaker, you guys.) I can't find a transcript anywhere, but it's worth the 20 minutes or so. She talks about being a one-hit wonder and the secret to never being boring. 


covet:: sweatshirts

Remember back when I wore super-cute outfits and heels all the time? Even when nine months pregnant? Even while toting a newborn? Those were good times. Good times that ended once I had a mobile tiny person, with sticky hands and super-fast running skills. These days I seem to live in some variation of sweatshirt/jeans/brightly colored flats. Every time I attempt a dress, my child decides to hide under it while in public. When I pull out a vintage top, I rip out the sleeves attempting to pick him up. Heels? He starts running down our gravel driveway and I'm wobbling behind.
So this is where I am: in a momiform. I've packed away all my vintage and most of my cute shoes, knowing there will come a day when they'll come back out. And in the meantime? I'm trying to make sure I wear something a little bit cuter than a Hanes crewneck fleece.

1. How cute would this be with skinnies and slouchy boots? Or leggings and ankle boots and a beanie? I like the longer length; butt coverage is key. Old Navy 2. I mean, Jcrew is basically the Mecca of sweatshirts that are a little more classy. But seriously. JCrew 3. Nerd alert, right? But so fun! And a good color. SoEffingCute 4. Octopi are gorgeous anyway, and I love this dramatic black and white design. skipnwhistle 5. This tunic-length top would look adorable with zips undone over a neon tank. Gap
So how are you classing up comfy? Or are you refusing to cave?


inspiration on a Monday

A few words of wisdom that make me, at least, want to kick Monday in the pants (in a good way).

Anybody who tells people to “do what you love no matter what” should also have to teach a money management course. 
Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life. 
“I deserve nice things” + “do what you love” = a time bomb. –Austin Kleon 

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women. –Nora Ephron, via this post

You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, “And are the men doing this, as well?” If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as “some total fucking bullshit. – Caitlin Moran, via this article
And finally. three tasks you should do every day to stay happy and productive


things I've been reading

Some fun, some serious. Enjoy!

all of the changes

So...it's been a while. I'm going to say that about a week before I made my last post, we learned that Fat Toddler v2.0 was on the way. In addition, a week before I learned that, I received a promotion I'd been working toward at Starbucks. So I've spent the summer working as an Assistant Store Manager at a Starbucks an hour away from where I live. Which means I'm training to be a manger, but in the meantime, I am busting my booty, trying to prove myself in this new position. While being preggo.
But that's (almost) all behind me now. My final presentation is about three weeks away, I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant, and I should go out on maternity leave mid-December. Hooray for totally chill holidays with a tiny squishy newborn!
A big part of stepping up at Starbucks is stepping down from photography. I hate running a business, always have. But since FT was born it's gotten harder to want to pour my free time into building a business that's only going to use up MORE free time. So at the same time I got promoted I made the decision to shut down the photography side of things, at least for a few years. It's been AMAZING. I'll literally go weeks and weeks without picking up my camera, and I love it. I've one more wedding to photograph at the end of this month, and then all my contracts are fulfilled.  Le hubs loves the fact that when I'm home, I'm HOME. I don't have to catch up on editing or emails or anything like that.
But yeah, that's why I haven't been writing anything lately. There just haven't been the brain cells to spare, and time? That's not a thing. Chocolate, on the other hand, totally is. With FT I craved all things salty. This time not so much. I seriously have chocolate in my purse at all times. Despite that, I've gained maybe 15 pounds so far? So that's not too bad. Anyway, Fat Toddler is no longer fat, nor really much of a toddler. He's more of a little boy. And that's me at 29 weeks preggo. (We've taken precisely two belly pictures this time around. With any luck we'll get a third before I go into labor.)


oh hi!

So I'll be popping in and out here for a while. Trailer Trash Glam is just more project than I can handle right now. Maybe some day we'll bring it back, but for now, all those things that I find that I love? You'll find them here.

So here you go: a guy surfing in a suit. Enjoy.



As mentioned in my last post, one of my goals for the year is to take a portrait of Fat Toddler every week this year.
Well, here's the first. His grandpa (we call him Papa) taught FT to drink all the milk out of his cereal bowl. Before he eats the cereal. So that's fun.


goals, 2014 edition

Well, last year's goal list didn't fare so well. On the flip side: we're in our new place! Which pretty much trumps everything in my mind.
  • Start running regularly again. HAHAHAHAHAAH. I worked 12-hour days instead. 
  • Complete a 5-K. See above. 
  • Read 50 books. 
  • Have a garden. Well, we tried that. It sort of worked. 
  • Can jam. We also put up apple butter, so can I count that as two checks????
  • Start a flock of chickens. And no. 
  • Throw two grown-up parties. *snorts*
  • Potty train Fat Toddler.  It's in process, so that's cool. 
  • Get away with hubby for a weekend. Wait. I did an overnight for our anniversary!  
  • A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014. (inspired by) That lasted two weeks. 
This is probably the shortest list I've ever done. That's ok. I'm at the "I survived" stage of this year. 
Previous years: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008