the basement story

so good news. the basement is no longer the source of my anxiety. tho there is still quite a bit that needs to get done down there – for now it’s livable. which means all of the crap that was upstairs/in the future nursery is now down stairs. yippee!! and since i was too full of anxiety to blog about the basement reno’s as we went, i’ll tell the story of the basement retrospectively. here goes:

once upon a time we were looking for a house to buy. part of our criteria was a great basement space that we could one day finish into livable space. we found that in bungalowhutch.

here’s what she looked like in her glory ardie days…

the view from the bottom of the stairs

looking back towards the stairs

and here's what she looked like after we demo'd most of the basement and primarily used it for storage this past year.


then came the start of the remodel as we tore up the old concrete floors.

just in time to update the plumbing and re-route a few lines.

so we could lay some nice, new, and level floors

next we updated all the havac (putting it up in the rafters) and added air conditioning (after last year's summer - one of the most exciting parts of the project!)

next came the framing and all new electrical (this is the view looking back towards the stairs - the bedroom is in the back right corner and the bathroom in front of it. the laundry in the back left with utility and storage closet along the left wall and the rest is open space.)

and added a new egress window into the bedroom

drywall (took FOREVER) but eventually went up!

the whole basement got a nice shade of dolphin gray sprayed on it.

floors were installed!

along with doors and trim

same view from the bottom of the stairs (as the first picture) in her "finished enough" state

looking back towards the stairs

living/office area

the end. (for now.)

so there you have the quick and dirty version of what’s been going on in the basement for the last eight weeks. i’m sure it would have been much more entertaining if i had kept up with the blog and shared the funnies as we went along, but alas, the picture recap will have to do. we still have a million and one things to do down there, the biggest being the bathroom. but, since all i care about is being able to move our junk back down there to free of the soon to be nursery that was causing anxiety attacks, i’m happy as a clam.

stay tuned for my next post where i’ll debate the chinese nail lady’s thoughts v. the chinese gender chart when it comes to the gender of the passenger…


plans to birth the passenger

i promised you plans and boy have i got some. included in them are a way to get the passenger to her final destination (yes i still think it’s a girl, no nothing has confirmed this).

in fact, i have a video to show you my ideal birth…..

since everyone always says you need to be flexible with your birth plans i’m willing to say i don’t need to give birth specifically in a car. i would be fine with accidentally giving birth on the street like this mom who dropped her pants and gave birth on the sidewalk.

it sounds so great to accidentally give birth. i think because it makes it seem so natural, like something you were made to do. like you’re going about your day and you realize there is a baby in your pants. oh, hello baby! glad you have arrived. 

since i can’t control the accidental part, i am focusing on the natural part and find myself pretty passionate about it for my own experience. (disclaimer – no offense and i mean this is the sweetest way possible, but i couldn’t care less about what you did or what you do. to each his own. unless of course you had a great natural birth experience and then i want to hear all about it.)

ok so how i have arrived on these passionate plans to birth the passenger:

i haven’t always been ready to be pregnant and i haven’t always been ready to have a baby. what i have always been ready for is giving birth.

i have a weird fascination and great excitement about giving birth and always have. perhaps it stems from a strange, random memory in which my aunt deb (or ampy dampy debbie as i called her at the time) told me i was going to be a good pusher when i grew up. my mom had just finished painting my nails at her house and they were using reverse psychology to get me to sit still while they dried when my aunt made the comment our of the blue. i’m not sure how old i was but i must have been pretty little because i didn’t yet know you “pushed” babies out and worse i was really confused about where you pushed them out of. (don’t worry, i think i know now.) so perhaps that off hand comment 20+ years ago instilled in me a confidence that i carry with me today. thanks aunt deb!

beyond that – i think i’ve also had a fascination with birth because in my experience it seems primarily associated with horror and fear. i just really don’t understand how the human race has continued to survive when birth has such a sitgma. why do women feel like birth needs to be a war story where you talk about how awful it was? is there some kind of competition about who had it the hardest? and quite frankly, how can it be that bad if women have been doing it for thousands of years – i’m pretty sure our population would be extinct if it was as horrible as some make it sound. perhaps we’re taught to fear how horrible it will be and then affirm our thoughts – you know a little self-fulfilling prophecy action going on there? since i actually haven’t given birth, i probably can’t say.

luckily there is a corner of the birth world that makes it seem magical and exciting and wonderful. i like to call this group the hippie dippies. so i’ve chosen to side with them when it comes to my thoughts on birth. quite frankly, they make giving birth seem empowering, exciting and at times orgasmic.*  i want to talk to them and hear their stories and believe birth is what they say. and so i do.

and tho i’m not a natural hippie dippie person by nature, i think some of  my personality is more than i realized. i love a challenge, i love seeing what i am capable of mentally and physically. i love setting goals and working to attain those. i love people saying you can’t, and seeing if i can. i am also a big believer in the power of the mind and how so much of what we are capable of comes down to our mental ability, not our physical ability.

in this regard, i view giving birth like climbing mt. kilimanjaro (which i did one summer in college with my dad). it was a long grueling process but i went into it determined one way or another to make it to the top. i was absolutely confident that i was not leaving tanzania without stepping foot on uhuru peak, despite the fact that many people don’t. an interesting aspect to our climb was that after your fourth full day of hiking they have you do your final summit that night on no sleep in the pitch dark. it seems a little counterintuitive to bundle up at midnight and take off for 8-9hrs of hiking in the pitch black up steep switchbacks to reach 19,341 feet. they would say you summit at night for reasons like the footing being better in the bitter cold at night or that it’s so you can be at the top for the sunrise. but really it’s for the mental reasons. when you are hiking in the dark, you can’t see how much further you have to go and you don’t get defeated by how daunting the task is. you just keep putting one foot in front of the other…

reaching the top was by far the hardest thing i have ever done physically and mentally and in the same breath it is one of the most rewarding and empowering things i have ever done. sure, i could have taken a helicopter to the top (in theory) or  looked at pictures of what the top looks like just like a runner could drive to the finish line of a marathon. but i believe there is something innate within us to see what we are made of, to never stop pushing our limits. to do things that require great effort because we know they will bring great reward. 

at least those things are innate to me. so back to giving birth and seeing it like climbin mt. kilimanjaro – do you see the connection or am i crazy? i didn’t climb the mountain to prove to others how tough i was or to make a statement (common feedback from people when you tell you want to give birth naturally). i climbed it for myself, for my own desires to push my limits and strengthen my trust in what i’m capable of.

so with images of climbing kilimanjaro in my head and knowing the accidental thing probably won’t work out here’s what i do want:

have a natural, intervention-free, or as my doctor likes to continually correct me, “an unmedicated child birth.” (she says natural implies giving birth in a rice patty field which i actually think sounds great and goes with plan A, i just unfortunately don’t know what a rice patty field is or where to find one).

i want to labor at home as LONG as possible. i would literally only like to show up to the hospital to actually push the baby out and if it accidentally comes before then (say at home or in the car) i’m fine with that. what!? i am. don’t worry – mr. hutch won’t let that happen. even if it means him tossing my contracting booty into a car and taking me against my will.

what else? oh – we have a doula which i’m super excited about. she will support us through our birth and help with natural pain relieving techniques, and helping us know when it’s time to go the hospital since i could see mr. hutch and i getting into an agrument about it. (mr. hutch, “i can see the baby’s head! me: “i don’t think it’s time yet, five more minutes…”)

and then the only other thing i really want is for mr.hutch or i to catch the baby. i think i would like our baby to have his or her mama/papa be the first to welcome them into the world and not the doctor we met a couple of hours before (since chances are almost 100% the first time we meet the actual doc on call will be that day). plus one of those kardashian girls caught her own baby…

so that’s the gist of my birth plan. i have nothing against doctors/medical interventions/modern medicine. lord knows i’ll be so thankful to be in a hospital with great care if something does go wrong. but rather than assuming i will need those things, i want to trust that birth is a natural thing, something my body was made to do on its own with out intervention. and so i am approach it excited to see my body and my baby do its thing and trusting that it will be a wonderful, empowering experience.

see, i told you – just call me a hippie dippie.

my dad and i at the top of kili in 2003. and no i was not 250lbs back then. you just need a lot of layers at that altitude.

*sorry – had to throw that in there for a few select friends. you know who you are.

i am not dead, i am still pregnant.

dear people of earth.

good news: i am not dead.

great news: i am still pregnant.

bad news: they wouldn’t let me blog during my stay in the looney bin.

ok maybe i haven’t actually been deemed certifiably insane and locked up, but at times over the last two months i probably should have been thanks to a little thing i like to call, my life is total chaos. really just our house is total chaos, but somehow that manages to feel like my life.

and just in case you don’t know what i mean by our house is total chaos. here is a picture i snapped of our basement a few weeks back.


and no, that is not a pirated picture from a long lost planet in outer space. it really is our basement. and yes, the amount of dust renovations of such a magnitude create is completely and utterly unfathomable and unmanageable.

and in case that doesn’t feel like chaos enough to you…do you remember how we are having a baby in about eight short weeks? welp, here’s a picture of the nursery i snapped this morning. 

isn’t it pretty? i think i see some room for a baby somewhere in the back there. sometimes mr. hutch has to deadbolt the door (thanks ardie for installing deadbolts on the bedroom doors! i never knew why you did that until now…) and hide the key to keep me from going in there out of fear i’ll start my anxiety induced weeping and gnashing of the teeth cycle.

oh, and did you know that there is this thing when you are pregnant called nesting? i want nothing more than an impeccably clean house, completely organized, with everything neatly in its place. instead i’ve been living with a toilet in my kitchen, a car seat in my fireplace, and an inch of dust on everything in between.

i think there should be some kinda of mental health diagnosis for moms-to-be who suffer from this scenario. perhaps along the lines of PTSD. my symptoms mainly include wrapping myself into a fetal position and rocking back and forth rendering me unable to form sentences much less write blog posts. (hence the lack of blogging.)

fortunately for you and the rest of the inter-webs – i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. our basement is closer to looking like a living space. if i hadn’t been so busy hanging out in the fetal position, you would know that we* dug up the old concrete floors, replaced all the old plumbing, poured new concrete floors, replaced all the HVAC, installed AC, redid all the electrical, framed out a bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, storage closet and living area, installed an egress window, and as of today finished drywalling. in fact all we have left to do is paint, install the floors/tile and put up trim (at least i think that’s all that is left so don’t tell me otherwise). and once those things are done we will have literally doubled our living space i can move ALL OF THE JUNK that is stashed in every nook and cranny of the upstairs back down stairs and slowly start to regain control of my life again.

i seriously fantasize about this day people. 

so. since we’re on the up and up over here at bungalowhutch you should anticipate more blogging. i’m thinking i’ll share with you some of my plans. i got birth plans, decorating plans, plans to sleep for a few weeks before the baby comes, all sorts of plans. 

until then, if i have vicariously given you an anxiety attack with those pictures – my sincerest apologies.

oh and the latest  bump picture for good measure.

*by we i mean mr. hutch and “our people.”

welp, i’m really pregnant

i’ve decided i’m really pregnant. i’ve come to this conclusion as i sip coffee while catching up on paper work and notice my new involuntary habit – rubbing my belly.

only people who are pregnant rub their belly without realizing it.

the belly that started popping around christmas and that i thought might very well just be a product of massive food consumption, has only gotten bigger… and bigger.

and then bigger.

leading to the conclusion, this is no food baby. this is the real deal. 

(apparently my belly is also encouraging other body parts to grow.)

the bigger belly and the rubbing of it are not the only signs and symptoms that point to my  full mental acceptance of my current state. here are a few others:

1. i showed up for yoga with a pre-packed gym bag only to find my tank top didn’t fully cover my belly. enter white trash-yogi. 

2. i have conversations with my unborn child in my head.

3. i register for something someone tells me i have to have a few days late think, “i do NOT need that!” i then delete the item off the regsitry. a couple of days go by and then i re-register for it when someone again convinces me i have to have it. then as a follow up i google,  “what baby stuff do i really need? and how much of it is crap?”  i then delete/re-register…again.

4. i have something to blog about.

5. in public, i find myself obsessively checking out people’s strollers and can now identify most makes/models from ten yards away.

6. i’ve gone from fearing to loving my maternity jeans and fear i will never return to regular people’s clothes. as a safety precaution, i have asked a friend to remove them from my closet post-birth. (thanks maggie – don’t forget!) 

7. i can rattle off statistics and facts on the cloth v. disposable diaper debate and feel 100% comfortable with my decision to  fill up landfills with baby’s feces.

8. my google reader has slowly converted from home renovating blogs to baby blogs.

9. i  had something really funny to say here, but then i forgot and after sitting for ten minutes trying to remember, i still can’t. so my new number nine is i can now blame forgetfulness on pregnancy. this is convenient as mr. hutch is constantly complaining  that i am forgetting to tell him things.

10. i find i could no longer contain my flatulence while working out.

sorry about the last one, but it was a real eye opener.

so there you have it. it took me almost 23 weeks, but i  can honestly say i’m not longer questioning whether or not i’m pregnant.    i really am! woop, woop!

we’re strange birds

so, we can’t get into our house right now. at least not through the front. our beautiful old front door along with its old original doorknob is well…old. 

this door has always been a little feisty. sometimes it locks on its own, sometimes it opens on its own, sometimes it requires unique combinations of twisting, turning, and pulling to get it open. and sometimes, when it’s feeling generous, it works like a charm.

lately however, it has become apparent that the doorknob itself is dead. (insert joke about it being deader than a that a joke? or is a door nail?) it no longer operates from the outside which means we can no longer get inside if we’re outside. are you following?

here’s where we are strange birds. fix the problem? nah.

mr. hutch wants to replace the beautiful antique doorknob with some brassy, modern punch in the numbers automatic locking device.* i want to repair the doorknob and give it a second chance on life. i mean – how ugly and unfitting would that modern piece of convenience be with our beautiful old door. a while ago we made our opinions known, said our peace  and apparently have silently agreed to solve the problem by simply ignoring it.

since we actively ignore the situation – i find it quite amusing when we come home and head straight for the back door. neither of us says anything, complains, or even argues about this. and neither of us apparently cares enough to do anything about it. we’re content to disagree on a solution other than to simply leave our house through the front door, and come back in through the back. 

and every time i go through the backdoor with out a word being spoken, i chuckle to myself thinking about how long this could go on. my guess is when we go to sell the house we’ll come to a resolution. so, 5-10 years then? i wouldn’t be surprised if we just build a garage in the back instead so the backdoor becomes our primary entrance/exit anyways, leaving little reason to even fix the front door.

maybe we’re lazy, maybe we’re stubborn, but quite frankly i think we’re just strange.

*by the way, we have one of these on our backdoor, and i love it. it just doesn’t belong on the front door. 

more thoughts on the passenger

the passenger post was wildly more popular than i thought it would be. i guess the whole, have a life-changing event to enhance your blog is a sure thing.  as a back up, we’re going to start refinishing the basement this month, so when i run out of thoughts on the passenger, we’ll have some blog worthy material that actually has to do with home renovating. yippee!

now, if i could just find the time to blog we’d be in great shape, the blog and i.

ok back to the passenger. hmm, i think i left off in an awkward state between denial and excitement but mostly denial. i’ve graduated to the, holycrapywearehavingababy mixed with elation stage.

here are my most recent thoughts:

* every morning i look at the belly creeping up out on me. mr. hutch swears it’s a baby bump, but i’m not entirely convinced it’s not actually a FOOD baby due to the massive amounts of calories i consumed over the holidays.

* tho i once feared maternity clothes based on an assumption of ugliness and frumpiness, i’ve recently discovered  designer maternity skinny jeans. and thanks to myhabit i can afford them. they are not only more comfortable but more stylish than my non-fat, everyday jeans. hallejuah, a pregnancy fear conquered. i still won’t be caught dead in an empire waist-ed or one of those ruched along the sides tops. famous last words? likely.

* i love being the pregnant one. i think i would be really sad if mr. hutch got to be pregnant and i didn’t. it’s fun having a little passenger to hang out with all the time. i like to talk to it in my head and am convinced it’s trying to send me messages through movement. most recently it said, “feed me a hot ‘n spicy or i’ll sit on your bladder again.”

* speaking of bladders. peeing has become such a chore and appears to be very inefficient these days. i already wasn’t a fan of having to waste my time using the restroom and prided myself on minimal visits to the toilet. the whole situation has turned down right obnoxious and i’m declaring this the worst part of pregnancy. my friends with small bladders, and you know who you are, i pray for you daily – should pregnancy arise upon you.

* i recently had a revelation that i am now mentally preparing for: there is a possibility the passenger might be a boy. don’t get me wrong, i still know it’s a girl, but on the off chance my “willing” method for gender determination doesn’t work and those chinese-gender chart people are wrong, i’ve let the teeny tiny thought that it might have a penis creep into the back of my head. progress people.

* and if it is a boy, it will not be the 5th. seeing as mr. hutch is more affectionately known as edward howard hutchinson the 4th – it’s quite the common question. sorry to disappoint. as a compromise tho – we are toying with the idea of edward howard hutchinson the 27th.

* i have a vision for the nursery. and by vision i mean i stole someone’s nursery ideas off pintrest. i am very nervous that the last 20 weeks of this pregnancy are going to go by as fast as the first (REALLLLLLY REALLLLLY SUPER FAST!!!!!!) and i need to get started on said nursery. STAT. but first we need to finish the basement so the future nursery can be cleared out. i’m overwhelmed. time is running out. it feels like the passenger is arriving any minute now!

* as a result of this whole pregnancy thing going by at lightening speed, i have a feeling i won’t fully come to terms with the fact that i’m pregnant until i have the baby. at which point i’ll have to process the fact that i have a baby. i feel one-step behind already.

*which brings me to thoughts on registering for the passenger. (please stop reading here if you are uninterested in ranting/raving and skip to the pictures. seriously.) do you know how much crap there is for babies!?!?!!? do you know how much crap people think you need!?! i recently read a registry guide on a baby blog and they suggested buying multiple breastfeeding pillows so if you needed to nurse but the pillow was upstairs you were downstairs you wouldn’t have to go get it cause you could just keep one on each floor of your house. wtf!?!?! i’m still unclear as to why you can’t just use a normal pillow, or actually why you need a pillow at all. and who can sleep at night when they own something named, “my breastfriend.” and don’t get me started with all the contraptions you can put the baby in: bouncers, swings, seats, jumpers!??!?!  what happened to your arms people? and when those get tired, there is something called a floor. do i really need one, much less all of these things???? am i that naive???? perhaps this is going into the empire-waisted shirts famous last words category but i REALLY hope not.

* i’d like to keep ranting and raving on the above topic (in fact i just wrote a nice long tasty paragraph and then deleted it out of fear of losing all four of my readers and offending mothers everywhere), but in the spirit of humility i’ll recognize that since i really don’t know what i’m talking about when it comes to all things baby – i’ll wait til after the passenger arrives to put in my two cents about baby crap. in the meantime, i’ll register for things i think are cute.

ok before i offend anyone else or god forbid get started on the whole “push present”…i’ll leave you with some 20 week goodness.

view from the inside
view from the outside

christmas time is here

christmas time is here and so is my family*!

this year, christmas is ushering in a new era. mr. hutch & i will be hosting my family right very here at bungalowhutch. after 8-10 years of traveling “home” for the holidays, we are staying home and welcoming family into our doors.

this is such a blessing. on so many levels. i feel so lovey-dovey when i think of my family trekking across the country to come celebrate christmas time, my favorite holiday, here in denver. thank you family. this means a lot to mr. hutch and me.

i also feel so grown up. i mean i’ve hosted thanksgiving before, but that’s child’s play compared to the sacred hosting of christmas. menu ideas, wine selections, sleeping arrangements, oyster orders, table settings and more have been swirling through my head the last few weeks in anticipation of their arrival. most of the time, i still feel about 16, but when my table is set for ten, a champagne toast is had and a feast is served, i’ll realize i must have grown up somewhere along the way.

which also makes me think of the passenger. the best christmas present this year. tho she** is on backorder til may, she represents quite a lot. the passenger is the epitome of this new era of hosting christmas, growing up, denver being home, our own family traditions. the torch is being passed down.

and did i mention i was excited? and happy? and overwhelmed with thankfulness. for my family, for this season.

now if only i could get mr. hutch to understand why i need to buy “christmas presents” for the passenger and to stop calling said things expensive rags…

merry christmas world!

bungalowhutch ready for her guests

*most of them anyways. those not here WILL BE MISSED!

**i couldn’t resist. don’t be mad mr. hutch. even tho i’m forbidden to refer to the passenger as a she since i don’t actually know it’s  a she, i’m hoping you’ll excuse it this one time. after all, it’s christmas!