Monday, June 27, 2011

Visiting Hobo Mama

As you might remember, I visited Lauren from Hobo Mama a while back to help her prepare her home for the birth of her second baby. This post (also seen at HoboMama today) is a photo account of my time there. I hope you like it!


Touristy shot of the Space Needle
This is quite a bit overdue, as the Hobo Baby pictured in-utero here (little Alrik) is out in the world and over one month old now. In any case, I wanted to share some photographs and a few stories from my time at Lauren's, helping her get ready for the arrival of her newest family member.

Lauren's Wordless Wednesday post (depicting the disarray of her house mid- third trimester home improvements) inspired me to offer to do something for her which was just a bit out of my usual comfort zone: to travel by car with my baby (and without my partner) to help a friend prepare her home for the arrival of her second child. I say it's out of my comfort zone because—and if you know me well, you already know this—I don't much like driving. I also really enjoy being a part of a parenting team, especially because Daniel requires a lot of special attention due to his sensory processing difficulties (even more so when we're not at home).

I stepped out of my comfort zone and Lauren graciously accepted my offer to help...and I am so glad she did! It was really fun for Daniel and me to have a bit of a reprieve from our regular lives, and I found that visiting someone who already has children is much different (and easier) than visiting somewhere that isn't as accustomed to having little people around.

I had a great time, and I was sad when we had to leave earlier than planned (more on that later). (Somehow, a lot of these photographs were taken on the same day...I assure you, we all did change our clothes on a fairly regular basis while I was visiting.) Here are a few photos from the trip:

I did a bit of computerizing while I was there...

...and Daniel did a fair amount of napping on my back.
Seeing Mikko interact with Daniel throughout our visit was one of the sweetest things I've encountered to date. Mikko would help me buckle Daniel into his car seat, he would hand Daniel something to play with, and he was always helpful in letting me know when Daniel needed more nummies. I could tell he was about to make a very caring big brother to a lucky little sibling!
Mikko and Daniel happily sharing the back seat.
(We also got to try out Alrik's car seat on Daniel.)
Lauren finished sewing this really beautiful (and extremely comfortable) mei tai while I was there:
 It wasn't quite the right size for Mikko.

Daniel fit in it just fine, though!
Lauren was kind enough to allow me to come with her and Mikko to what turned out to be her final prenatal appointment with her midwives. While Daniel had a little nap in the car seat in the waiting room, we had loads of fun in the exam room:
Mikko helped measure his Mama's belly.

And he "listened" to the baby.
(Notice how the stethoscope isn't even in his ears—so cute!)
There was (of course) some home improvement to complete before the baby's arrival. After the appointment with the midwives, we made an evening trip to Home Depot to buy a toilet for the unfinished downstairs bathroom. It must've been quite a sight: Me wearing Daniel on my back, while pushing Mikko in the cart, and walking with a very pregnant Lauren...while purchasing a toilet (and various other home improvement items).
Here, Lauren consults Sam about faucet options.
Turns out, the Home Depot was right next to Starbucks headquarters. I took this photograph while nursing Daniel in the back seat of the car. At the same time, the Home Depot guy was taking his time making sure the trunk was tied down securely...with the new toilet safe inside!

Toilet installation was fun (and also fodder for lots of potty humor). I took several photographs of the process, but it really was a three-person (at least) job. The actual toilet placement moment took all of us.
Why is Sam wearing only one glove?
(I have no idea.)
We got the toilet installed, and Lauren decided that this was the moment that it was officially OK for the baby to come:
"Alright baby, we've got a toilet! You can be born now."
While Sam was getting some work done and Lauren was taking Mikko to preschool, I was tasked with the responsibility of setting up the birth tub. I was excited to do this because it felt like we were really making progress getting things ready for the baby to be born. (Also, I wasn't at all involved in the inflation of my own birth tub—as I was laboring while Jaymz and our midwives set it up—so it was interesting to do for the first time.) First, I put Daniel on my back, so he could see all the action without getting into it:

Next, I laid everything out in the spot Lauren had designated, then I began to inflate the tub:

After a while, it was all pumped up and ready to go!

(Lauren actually took these next two photographs after I had left.) Mikko made sure to test out the tub to ensure that it was safe:

It was a relief for me to see these photos of Mikko in the tub,
"contaminating" the tub liner that was marked sterile before
I took it out of the package. I had worried that I'd touched it too much
in the tub-inflation process. (Turns out it was no big deal.)
On the last evening I was there we had dinner out together, and saw the sunset on the beach by Lauren's house. I can't imagine a more beautiful and peaceful place to spend the beginning of one's birthing time than on the beach:

Daniel was all tuckered-out on our last night there. (He was cutting a tooth and also fighting an infected diaper rash.)
Lauren has the most comfortable sofa bed I've ever slept on.
(Daniel seemed to agree.)
Because of Daniel's infection, I decided to drive us home a day earlier than we had originally planned so that I could take Daniel to his pediatrician for treatment.

Lauren went into labor right about the time we arrived back in Portland.

I felt quite sad at first that I had so closely missed being there for Alrik's birth (though I had not specifically intended to attend the birth). As I lit a candle for Lauren and Sam, I felt a sense of peace, knowing that events had transpired exactly the way they had for a reason, and that perhaps Alrik was even waiting for me to leave before he decided to come out.


I really enjoyed our time in Seattle with the Hobo family! It was so fun to get to hang out with my internet friend in person (if even for a short time) and to spend more time with Mikko and Sam. Now I can't wait until I get to meet little Alrik...hopefully soon!

4 comments:

  1. It looks like you guys had a really good time! :D

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  2. I love the photographic account of your visit! I still think it's so sweet that you were able to go and help the hobo fam :)

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  3. Beautiful story,enjoyed reading it. Seeing you togetherIna May event, I had thought you live in Seattle.How lovely of you to help Lauren just before birth.

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  4. Awesome that you were able to step out of your comfort zone to help your friend. It sounds like you were a huge help!

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