Archive for May, 2010

Seven years
May 31, 2010

This post is dedicated to my husband and our seven years of marriage.

Today is our seven year wedding anniversary.

Bob came home on Thursday night and we spent the weekend cleaning, building IKEA dressers and setting up the baby’s room.

And you know what? We had a wonderful time. Just being together.

Two weeks ago we did take a little holiday to Vancouver Island to celebrate our anniversary and to squeeze in one last romantic getaway before our little one arrives. And it was fabulous. I kept meaning to post about it. But, well… I’m pregnant. And tired.

So because we had our romantic getaway, this weekend became about the business of getting ready for the baby. But that is also romantic. When you’re building an IKEA shelving unit, it’s totally different when you’re building it for your baby’s room. It’s filled with purpose and significance.

Bob had work off today so was here on our anniversary. I had to work. So he drove me in to town at 7:15 AM, bought me a decaf latte and dropped me off at work.

While I was at work, Bob spent the day cleaning.

And as an anniversary gift, he built me a fire.

He cleaned the fireplace and stacked some logs in there with kindling. On top was a note that said “Happy Anniversary”… so that any time this week that I feel like having a fire, I don’t have to start from scratch. It’s already ready. Isn’t that the sweetest? I loved it. The perfect gift. By the way, it’s still in the 40s at night here. The high 40s, yes. But 40s nonetheless. So, yes… totally fire weather.

At 5PM I watched as he boarded the sea plane and floated away. Again. For another week. I didn’t cry this time.

I loved this anniversary. We’re so happy. So present to the importance of our marriage. More in love than we’ve ever been. And expecting our first child. Everything we’ve been through has led to this. We’ve had so many ups and downs. Just one year ago foreclosure notices were posted on our garage door. I’m so happy to be on the other side of that.

I’ll say it again. I am so happy to be on the other side of that!

Our lives are truly an adventure each and every day. And I’m so grateful to be on this adventure with Bob.

Thank you, Bob. I’m in awe of you every day. And I’m so grateful for your love and partnership. At the start of our relationship, I said to you or you said to me (can’t remember who said it anymore and that doesn’t really matter because we were both thinking it): “Together there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.”

Boy were we right.

I love you.

Happy Anniversary.

Introducing my Bob replacement
May 20, 2010

This is “Gumby Crotch”

At least that’s what Bob calls it. Because it’s green. And looks like the legs of Gumby. I guess. Or he’s just jealous. Anyway…

To me, it’s pure joy. It’s how I sleep at night. And it’s my temporary Bob replacement. To be honest, I sleep with this thing even when Bob is here. Because it’s the only way for this pregnant lady to be comfortable at night.

Where did I find this magical pillow?

Well, it was a gift from my friend and boss lady, Steffi. Yes, she hired me only because my name is Stephanie and she wanted to thoroughly confuse everyone. I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “No, I’m Stephanie. She’s Steffi. Yes, it’s confusing.”

What makes it even better is that our initials are the same. SW. So I now go by SA (A for Alison… my middle name) to avoid further confusion.

Anyway…. back to the body pillow…

A guest had left the pillow at the hotel and didn’t want it back. I guess she had already given birth and it would have been too expensive to ship it. So rather than throw it out, Steffi held onto it.

Just in case.

Just in case some pregnant lady would need it.

Some pregnant lady.

Like me…

And there there I was on my first week of work complaining about how I couldn’t sleep because I was too uncomfortable and how I wanted a pregnancy pillow but couldn’t afford one.

I followed Steffi home from work that day (not like a stalker… she knew I was following her. She invited me, okay?) to pick up my Bob replacement. And slept well that night. Really well.

Thank you again, Steffi. You are my guardian angel.

Thank you, Gumby Crotch. Or whatever….

I love you.

My interview on “Broke is Beautiful”
May 19, 2010

A little while ago I was contacted by Laura Lee – the creator of the blog “Broke is Beautiful” – asking if I would be willing to be interviewed for her blog. The first thing I did was check out her blog. Of course. And it’s great.

She had me at the title.

And then really had me at the tagline:

“A cash-strapped life is a creative life”

Needless to say, I agreed to the interview. And had a lot of fun answering her questions. It’s amazing looking back at the journey we experienced and documented at Love in the Time of Foreclosure. Especially from our perspective today.

The interview is up on the Broke is Beautiful blog…

…right HERE.

Check it out.

I mean, please?

Thank you!

why people can’t tell i’m pregnant
May 9, 2010

I’m about to talk about my boobs again. Again. Yes.

I am not obsessed.

Well. Okay. Perhaps I am.

But here’s the thing. Bob and I just realized why it’s hard to tell I’m pregnant. Yes, there are some people who have been able to tell right away. But when I’m at work, for example, no one can tell I’m pregnant. I’ve always thought it was because it’s dark in the lobby. Or because my uniform is black and slimming.

But after looking at some of the pictures that Bob took of me today, it’s now clear.

The reason people can’t tell I’m pregnant is because my boobs are bigger than my belly.

And there’s a BABY in that belly, for goodness sake!

I’m 29-weeks pregnant! And yet my boobs are still bigger than my baby belly.

That’s just… that’s just… crazy. Right?


Okay, that’s all I really have to say about that.

You can go back to whatever you were doing now.

Thank you.

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i’m leavin’ on a sea plane…
May 9, 2010

Not me. Bob. Actually, he just did. At 2:40 Bob, Pablo and I walked down the main dock at the Friday Harbor Marina…

Towards the sea plane dock where we quickly hugged and said our goodbyes before Bob boarded his ride…

and waved goodbye. See him in the last window?

He’s off to work in San Francisco again. He usually flies out of the airport on a regular commuter plane, but they were full. So the sea plane it is. Quite an adventure, right?

Bob’s now actually at SeaTac waiting for his flight to SFO. He told me that the sea plane was really fun and that the take-off was smooth. They flew over to Lopez Island first to pick up a couple and their Huskie Dog. Then they continued on to Lake Union in Seattle. From there, they put Bob on a shuttle and drove him to SeaTac.

It’s a lot of travel each week, for sure. But Bob said he would take this commute over the 90 miles he had to drive every day in L.A. Once he’s in San Francisco, he doesn’t have to drive anywhere. He walks to work and loves it.

We’re not sure how much longer he’ll have to be in San Francisco on a weekly basis, but for now we’re making it work. I miss him when he’s gone, but we talk every morning and every evening. And I’m quite busy between my job, writing, taking care of Pablo, resting when I’m tired and keeping up with the household chores. It definitely helps to be busy. And of course we both greatly appreciate the income from both of our jobs.

I always get sad when it’s time to say goodbye. Especially today on such a beautiful day in Friday Harbor. Gorgeous!

Today is the kind of day you want to go sailing. Or just sit in the harbor in your boat with a good drink. Or clean your boat in the sunshine. I’ve got boats on my mind.

The marina was just alive today and it made me really want a boat. Well, not really. Not the cost or the upkeep, but the pleasure. Boats are in my blood and we’re living in one of the most ideal cruising destinations in the country.


Pablo and I waved goodbye to Bob

then made our way back down the main dock towards the car.

But first, we said hello to Popeye – the resident one-eyed, 22-year-old sea lion…

and then we went home.

Because the house needs to be cleaned, the lawn needs to be mowed and a play needs to be written.

All before bed.

happy mother’s day
May 9, 2010

I received a little surprise on Friday. A box with this note:

And these flowers:

I’m thinking, this kid is great! Sending me gifts before he’s even born?! Actually, my first thought was that my mom was behind this. Couldn’t have been Bob since the note said to say hi to Daddy.

So I call my mom and say, “You sent those flowers, didn’t you?”

And she says, “What flowers?”

But she says it like she’s smiling and suppressing a giggle.

“I knew it was you!”

“It wasn’t me! I’m not supposed to say,” she says. “It was Tom!”

My stepdad. How sweet, right? Adorable.

My mom then accused me of “breaking” her Jack Bauer style. Let’s just say that this is yet another way I take after my mom. We’re both terrible liars.

Thanks for the Mother’s Day flowers, Tom. They’re gorgeous.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there! And especially the moms in my life…

Pam (my mom) Silvia (my stepmom) and Lori (my mother-in-law)

I love you!

how I’m like Jack from Lost
May 4, 2010

We love the show Lost. Big fans. In fact, I’m currently counting down until the next episode. Only 70 more minutes!

When we first moved to the island, we joked about how we should get a blue VW bus like the Dharma bus on Lost. We wanted to be Dharma Initiative workers for Halloween (decided not to spend money on costumes.)

When we took a wrong turn one day and ended up at the marine labs, Bob joked about how he found the hatch. We liked this joke. Finding ways to compare our island to the Lost island was a constant source of entertainment when we first landed here.

And that’s all it was until I realized how Lost might actually parallel our lives here more than we had thought.

Caution: If you’re more than two seasons behind in LOST, this post contains spoilers. I’m talking to you, Brian & Jami! Hurry up and get the DVDs, lock yourselves in your apartment and don’t come out until you’ve watched every single episode. Then come back and read this post.

Back to the post:

See, I’m beginning to wonder if this place will ruin me for living anywhere else.

I wonder if I’ll become one of those people who says things like, “There are too many people in the city!”

I wonder if my driving will change. If I will become one of those drivers who hates highways having only a few roads to traverse each day on the island. Will I become one of those people who drives five miles under the speed limit? (gasp!)

My morning commute – which lasts only ten minutes and involves only three roads – takes me by a several farms, sheep, goats, chickens, valleys and beautiful rural vistas. I encounter only three stop signs. No stoplights. There aren’t any stoplights on the island.

How could my driving not change under those conditions? My commute is a drive through picturesque countryside as opposed to a fight on the jam-packed streets of Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that I struggled to adjust to the slower pace of life, the lack of restaurants, the lack of people, places and things in general. But now that I’m seven months pregnant, I’m finding this slower pace suits me just right. I’m in no hurry to get to a city these days. I’m enjoying being here.

I’m enjoying the added sunlight.

I’m enjoying the bald eagles, turkey vultures and hawks.

I’m enjoying the quiet. The peace.

And I’m enjoying the lack of options. Perhaps it’s because I’m facing something so big, so incomprehensible (giving birth, being a mother). Fewer options, tiny island, slower pace are all things that make my life presently more manageable.

The stress and anxiety I lived with on a daily basis last year while fighting foreclosure is a distant memory. Thankfully.

I’m definitely one of those people who believes that everything happens for a reason. And though Bob and I both resisted being here at different points, I do feel like we landed in the perfect place. I’ve alluded to this before. Just thinking about it again. I guess the island is growing on me.

Like Jack from Lost, I once couldn’t wait to get off this island and now am claiming that we’re here for a reason.

That the island is special. That it’s not done with us yet.

I wonder how far this analogy goes.

I wonder if we leave at the end of our two year caretaking gig, will we be constantly looking for a way to get back? Like Jack? Desperate to get back to the island. Realizing he made a huge mistake in leaving.

I have no idea. I just wonder. And it’s a good thing we don’t have to make any decisions just yet. I’m relishing just living. And also relishing the fact that as far as I’ve seen so far this island does not have a smoke monster thank you very much!

Pregnancy update: 27/28 weeks
May 1, 2010

This Monday I officially begin my 28th week of pregnancy. Which I believe is the start of my 3rd trimester. Or is the 27th week the start? Either way, I’m in the home stretch. And I’m doing a lot of stretching. See?

Lilacs abound everywhere, by the way. There are five lilac trees on the property. They’re so beautiful and smell soooo good! The weather has been so glorious lately. And it’s been staying light out until almost 9PM already. I LOVE that!

But this post isn’t about the weather. It’s a pregnancy update. In case anyone is interested. I imagine my little guy reading this one day just to see what his mom went through to bring him into the world. So, if you’re reading this… Hi, Malcolm! Mommy loves you sooooooo much! (Yes, Malcolm is his name… unless we have a last minute change.)


Heartburn! Or is it acid reflux? Whatever it is it has woken me up in the middle of the night three times now. Oh the pain and discomfort. With the baby pushing all of my organs north, the burn is actually more in my throat than my chest.

Cutting out all carbonated beverages and upping my water intake. Hopefully that will help. Keep Rolaids near by at all times. Eat early. Oh… that means I should eat now.

Baby Brain: Anything I do or say that can be characterized as “ditsy.” Yes, I finally have a legitimate excuse! Also known as Mommy Brain.

Emotions I’ve noticed a surge of late. The weeping has subsided. Yes, I had a weeping phase. It would hit me out of nowhere. I’ve literally wept at commercials. What I’ve been noticing in the last week is major mood swings.

Blood Starting in my second trimester I began to experience excessive bleeding. Mostly when I floss. It’s pretty gross. I once spit what looked like a giant blood clot into the sink. And the taste of metal. Yuck. I’ve also had a couple of nosebleeds. I’m told by my midwife that this is very normal and is caused by the increase of blood flow due to pregnancy. Apparently your blood doubles during pregnancy.

Nightmares I haven’t felt too consciously anxious about the baby and his arrival. But the other night my dreams exposed my subconscious anxieties. They were all birth related. Everything that could go wrong in the birthing process went so very wrong. I don’t even want to get into details.

I also had a dream that these people were after me and were going to beat me in the belly with a baseball bat. I hope dreams like these are normal. I woke up really feeling anxious and ended up having a meltdown the next night. My anxieties brought to the surface. I’ll write more about this in another post. The good news is that I haven’t had any nightmares since.


He is moving so much! I’ve felt him turn over, hiccup, kick, punch, direct a symphony, breakdance, do the hokey pokey and swim the butterfly. It’s pretty awesome. I notice that often when he begins to really move, that’s when my hand goes automatically to my belly. The coolest thing is that you can see my belly move when he moves now.

Last Sunday, before Bob flew back to San Francisco, he put his face to my belly and felt a fluttering. That’s been the hardest for me to describe. I was so glad he got to feel it for himself.


It’s obvious now. People just look at me and ask, “When are you due?” Or, “Is this your first?”

While visiting my family back home, I went downtown to meet friends at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game. While waiting for the Red Line, I started to get worried that no one would let me sit and I’d be smooshed with the rest of the Cubs fans headed North.

Well, I didn’t have to worry. Because as soon as I boarded the train, a man jumped up (fellow Cubs fan) and said four glorious words: Here, take my seat!

I admit, I led with the belly. Needed to make sure to get that seat.

People hold doors for me now. Strangers say things like, “Excuse me, mama.” while trying to get around me. I get more smiles than usual. It’s nice. For sure.


I did buy a new bra while visiting my family. So relieved. Found it at Pea in the Pod on sale for $19.99 and it’s super comfortable. Mom was with me and literally gasped and covered her mouth in horror when she caught sight of my nipples. (Yes, I went there.) I had to show her given how crazy big they’ve gotten. I kind of expected her to say something like, “Oh, they’re not that bad. Mine got as big as my face.” or something. But no. She gasped. Luckily, I laughed. And I’m still laughing about it.

My first batch of maternity clothes arrived via a big box from my wonderful friend Carla in New York. It was like Christmas opening that box and trying on all the stylish maternity clothes. She saved me because they arrived right at the point that nothing was fitting anymore.

The next batch was lent to me from my new island friend Jennifer. She gave me a bag of clothes including a maternity bathing suit and several pairs of pants that have helped tremendously with my work wardrobe.

The third batch came from my lovely friend Rebecca in Chicago that included a few nursing tank tops that I’m sure I will be living in this summer.

And the last batch was passed onto me by Bob’s awesome cousin Jami. Also in Chicago. That batch filled the gaps in my wardrobe thanks to the many summer pants and shorts.

Thanks to all four women, I now have everything I need to make it through this pregnancy. I have dressy clothes and casual. Cool weather items and warm weather. Designer maternity jeans to the most comfortable blue velour pants and matching hoodie.

Thank you Carla, Jennifer, Rebecca & Jami!!!

And that’s the update.

Bob, Pablo and I are headed out to a few garage sales and the farmer’s market. This afternoon is our Cinco de Mayo party at work. Homemade food by our housekeeping manager and live entertainment. Yum!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!