Basement Renovation //

June 1st, 2016 we moved from our shitty little Seattle home that we were paying WAY too much in rent for, to my parents basement apartment allllll the way over in Bellevue. Well we thought we were moving in. The day we went to clean and paint, we found a lingering stench that wouldn’t leave even after layers and layers of bleach (my new favorite thing). That lingering smell was the lovely invader we all deal with in the Pacific Northwest. Mold. Let me just pause and say Chris Hanson is brilliant. He does maintenance work for a number of apartments in Seattle, but he has never renovated an entire apartment including gutting, mudding, plumbing, etc. He (we) did it. A month later we are living in a custom tiny dream home of 400 sq ft.

Back to June 1st. We couldn’t sleep here. Especially Penn and her tiny developing lungs. We packed up a few bags and camped out at my Grandma’s just a short 3 minute drive from my parents. This was pretty ideal for the situation at hand, but a huge inconvenience since all of our stuff was still in boxes. We were living out of suitcases for what we thought was a few days, ended up being 1 whole month, plus some!

This task was something Chris took on at full force. I helped with what I could when I had my tiny window every couple hours. I felt like we were drowning in this project that was way over our heads. I was grateful we found the mold before we moved in, but the fact that we didn’t know when we were going to move in gave me have some sort of mild breakdown every night before climbing onto bed. To give you a visual, it was more of rolling into bed. Our mattress was in the middle of the room, surrounded by a number of Filson bags we were living out of. Mornings consisted of rummaging through these bags to never be able to find what I was looking for. Penn’s bed was right next to ours on a few folded blankets. If she woke up before 5 which she did most mornings, we cozied her into bed next to us.

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Penny was going through a major transition during this madness. She had learned to roll over, so mummifying her for bed wasn’t going to cut it anymore. If you have a baby, you understand what I mean by this transition. Crying and flailing arms when the lights are out and you are trying to sleep. Nightmare. There were a handful of nights that we didn’t get our beauty rest.

Everyday consisted of working on the apartment. Between Chris’ work hours and sleeping, this was pretty much all our life consisted of. Our beloved friends Cam, Jodi & Kelsey came to help. Our beloved family Breanna and Brice came to help. My parents also helped. We are SO grateful for you all.

 

 

The linoleum and appliances were molded out. Essentially everything was gutted. New drywall was mudded into the bathroom and kitchen. A duct fan was installed in the kitchen. A new seal was put on the toilet. Toxic mold killer was applied and scraped from the concrete floor. By the end of all of this, everything in this apartment was torn out and cleaned or taken to the dump. Every surface was bleached, treated, and painted over with KILZ. It was a nasty, nasty job. And we can now say, we did it ourselves.

Once all of the major jobs were done, it was time to paint. With it being a basement, the brighter the better so we chose white. There was a Christmasy feel with the green walls and red floor that had to go. We didn’t want to risk the possibility of any more mold to grow, so we tossed the linoleum idea. We didn’t have the time to do tile, so we went with keeping the concrete floors. But the best part was painting it black.

 

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Once the floor was done, the baseboard was put it. We measured and cut each board to size.

 

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FINISHED PRODUCT!

 

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Appliances needed to be installed and some cleaning needed to be done, but the big job was finished! Projects always take way longer than you think, especially if you’re a Hanson. With the space being so small, we needed to customize all of our shelving and bed frame. It took another couple days, and we even got the one and only Doug Hanson to come and help. Even though I was so done and ready to throw in the towel, I’m glad Chris finished all he set out to do and was a perfectionist about it.

We cut angle iron for our shelves. These were our fire works on the 4th this year.

 

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The giant bed Chris designed and built fit perfectly in the ‘bedroom.’ To give you an idea of just how tall, we can stack 2 of the largest plastic bins you can find underneath.

 

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Toilet paper roll  //

 

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Chris’  bedside table //

 

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Jess’ bedside table //

 

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Pantry //

 

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We had to be creative on the kitchen since that is where I have the most stuff. I love kitchen gadgets and I love to cook. There is only 1 drawer and 4 cabinets, so to conserve space we hung everything we could on pegboard.

 

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Another tricky part was shoes. For 1, the entry way is so tiny. Each thing has it’s place in a small home and when one thing is out of sorts, the place feels like a pig sty. And 2, we both have a lot of shoes. This shoe rack that is attached to the wall gives Chris and I a few shoes to have out that we love, and the rest go in a bin under the bed.

 

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We love our little home. It’s pretty special to have 4 generations under 1 roof. Now, time to enjoy it.

 

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Basement Renovation //

I’m Terrified!

At almost 39 weeks, it could be any day now. My emotions are overflowing with excitement and anticipation, as well as terror! I have absolutely no idea what to except. I’ve seen my sister labor, and I’ve seen a video of a baby being born in the 90’s. What will it be like for me? I keep running through my head the moment they put our baby on my chest and I see her face, as well as the contractions, the blood, the needles and the barf. If you haven’t noticed already, I think about pregnancy and labor ALL THE TIME. I go back and forth in my head of losing control while feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiety and fear, and then to a place where I say to myself, I can do this. I can overcome this empowering experience. But can I? I’m going to have to because this baby has to get out of me somehow. I love to run and have missed it for the past YEAR. I’m hoping I can run this marathon, even though I’ve never done one before.

We are at the point where whenever I call Chris, he wonders for a second before he picks up the phone, “did her water break?” My days are busy, yet boring. I always find something to do, and I can only do so much. When I’m pushing the cart around Fred Meyer or reading at Neptune Coffee trying to get as close to the table as I can with this large bump in the way, I plan an escape route for if my water breaks. How weird would that be if it happened while alone in public? Especially since I tend to freeze and choke up in crisis mode. Since a couple weeks ago, while walking it feels like she could drop out of me. It helps when I see all these people around me and remember, they were all birthed from a woman’s uterus, so I can do this too!

I never had major cravings just because most of the time food never sounded good, or I just threw it up. I ate what I could keep down, and most of the time that was toast and fruit. With my appetite pretty much back to normal, foods that I have been enjoying are salads, grapefruit, cupcakes (from Trophy) and ice. I have a Klean Kanteen water bottle I fill up a few times a day with ice and water. The ice stays in the bottle all day and melts to a perfect chewing size. I don’t know why it makes me feel so good to eat it, but it does. Another thing I am crazy about is the smell of detergent and dish soap. I have been doing laundry and dishes way more, just so I can smell the wonderful aroma. These smells make me so happy, and no I don’t eat them, I just get them very close to my nose. Can someone diagnose that?

This will probably be my last blog post before the baby arrives. I wanted to share my fears and thoughts about labor before it actually happened to me, and then share my actual experience of it. I know it’s going to be amazing, but I also know it’s going to be one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m praying that God gives me that endurance to do it, and that I may even enjoy it.

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-My mom wore this dress as a newborn. I wore this dress as a newborn. Now the next generation will wear it as a newborn. I’m thinking this Easter. And isn’t it just so darling?-

 

I’m Terrified!

My Body!

With about a month left to go of being pregnant, I can’t stop thinking about the moment we meet our daughter. What she’ll look like, the sound of her cry, her smell, how tall she’ll be! We finally have her room set up. It’s way cooler than our room. A few of Chris’ records are hanging on the wall, including a photo of David Bowie (of course).

With the morning sickness finally subsiding at nearly 30 weeks (for the most part), I’ve had the mental and physical energy to be excited, which to be honest, I had a hard time being those first 30 weeks. I now daydream of holding our little human, and the love I will have for her…I can’t even begin to comprehend.

I know if you’ve never been pregnant, just like if you don’t have kids, you’ll never know or understand how weird and hard it is. There are beautiful things about being pregnant, of course! But for me, I have enjoyed it very, very little. And I’m not ashamed to say it. Depression is something I’ve dealt with most of my life and seemed to spike during pregnancy. The constant feeling of throwing up with the surging rush of hormones and change happening in my body left me feeling very alone. There was a cloud of guilt and regret that wouldn’t leave me. I would see pregnant women look so damn happy and nonchalant all the time and didn’t understand why I couldn’t be like that. It made me bitter and straight up miserable. I knew my body would change, but didn’t fully know what that meant. I had no idea my skin could stretch this much. It actually makes me queasy thinking about it. This line going down the center of my belly looks like you could unzip my stomach. It feels like someone has punched me in the vagina. And stretch marks…bummer. There was a specific day where I remember saying to Chris, “I can’t see my crotch anymore.” It’s led to be more frustrating than anything. No matter how much I try to stretch my head over my belly, I just can’t make it.

I went into pregnancy with a pretty naive state of mind. It seemed like the most womanliest and empowering thing you could do, and I loved that. I mean, you’re creating a life inside of you, and then birthing it! Not sure what’s more amazing than that. Maybe it was a good thing I had no clue, because if I knew how my body would take it, I would seriously consider whether I wanted to take the plunge. I’m hoping once I meet our daughter, the thought of doing this again will be a no-brainer. It’s going to have to be, because I am not having just 1 kid.

I have learned to let go, completely. These marks are my battle wounds that I can be proud of. Chris says I am the most practical, black and white person he knows. I like routine and knowing what to expect next. This makes us extremely compatible with his visionary mind. All that to say, I think I’m growing. Looking back at the state of mind I was in 8 months ago to now, I really can’t believe where I’m at.

 

 

My Body!

I’m pregnant!

My life changed drastically in the Target bathroom when I peed on that stick. Though I had to pee on it 5 times to convince myself it was really true. In just three minutes I went from my life being Chris and our dog George, to Chris, George, and a BABY! The emotions I felt were running like crazy through my head. Was this really happening? I’m going to be a mom! I can’t wait to tell Chris. We’re young and broke, how is this going to work?

A year ago I realized raising a family is what I want to do with my life. I didn’t go to college, instead went to beauty school. I always had a job, and made really good money whether I was cutting hair, working 9-5 at a desk, or cleaning houses. But, I had the hardest time not finding my identity in what I did. And still do. What am I proud of? What is unique about me that other people see? It’s taken me awhile to realize that what I wanted was recognition for something other than a good haircut or clean house. My constant comparison game ate away at me. How are my friends doing amazing things with their life and constantly getting recognition for it? Was being a mom cool enough to get recognition for? After some hard realizations, what I was really wanting was recognition. My motives were way off, and what I needed was to be ok with who I am and what I desire even if it doesn’t sound elaborate. My identity isn’t in the things that make me ‘happy.’ It couldn’t be. These past 6 months that have felt like an eternity, my eyes have opened! I have so much respect for moms. Respect for women who sacrifice everything for keeping a life alive and nourished inside of them. Respect for women who become pregnant more than once. It’s a job that needs to be acknowledged and rewarded more often.

I knew I wanted to be a mom, but there were 3 major things that put a hold on it. Throwing up, getting big, and labor. All of which I have experienced in full, and will experience in full! When Chris and I decided we were going to be lax about the whole contraceptive thing, I got pregnant right away. Letting go of my fears of pregnancy was huge, and something I did for myself, and Chris. I let go, and my desire to become a mom was actually happening. I felt excited and purposeful for about a week…then the thing I was dreading and fearful of the most was slowly approaching. Morning sickness! More like every day, every hour, well past the first trimester sickness.

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I’m pregnant!