Monday, 3 March 2014

Back to the Future

The construction work stopped over the weekend, for my carpenters to go back to their workshop and make the rafters. Today they are coming up - the last step of building the frame - and I'm oh so excited (and broke)!
Samson and I moved back closer to the city during the weekend, to my old flat where I haven't lived in over three years. I realized, as always when moving, that I have way too much stuff literally weighing me down. What's good about our current abode is that it's tiny - only three square meters larger than my house on wheels will be - so it's a great incentive to get rid of things I don't need. (The house we just moved from is 15 sqm larger than this place.)

Expect a picture of some gorgeous, voluptuous rafters soon...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Exciting News!

I have realized that this tiny house project of mine will never happen unless I hire someone to get it started. Having never built anything before and being single with a baby, it's a mammoth to take this on myself. So I'm splashing my hard-earned cash into the coarse, steady hands of two German carpenters. Starting next week, Jan and Christian will build what I call the skeleton of my house - basically the floor plate, wall studs, and the arched roof trusses. They tell me it will be built within that week so expect lots of pictures soon! After they're done, the project will once again come to a halt as I won't have another penny to put in for quite some time. But we'll get there, eventually.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tiny Table

I bought a tiny kitchen table at auction yesterday! It's from the 1880's with it's original paint (not much of it) still left (104 x 106 cm when folded out). I love it. Why anyone buys furniture at IKEA, when you can find original, beautiful pieces with history and soul for less, is beyond me. This will fit perfectly in my tiny flat, until the wagon is built.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Slow Progress

Mom's floor base is in place, so I thought I'd share a picture. That's all!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Other Wagon

Like I've previously mentioned, it will be a while before I start (re)building my circus wagon. Meanwhile, my mother is making progress on hers! She has so far got the base for the flooring done, with thin metal and plywood boards as the bottom layer, to shield against rodents getting in. It's exciting to watch the floor space take shape - it makes it so much easier to imagine what the actual wagon might look like, and what will fit inside it. Here are some pics of the trailer and the base, which is upside down, waiting to be turned around and placed on top (of the trailer).

Saturday, 18 January 2014

About Time...

Here we are, Samson and I, toasty warm in our tiny house on a crisp winter day. We're getting close to four weeks after the big birthday and I'm finding it difficult to grasp the crazy miracle that is life. I told my mother the other day that I find the strangest thing about becoming a parent is that I am still absolutely one hundred percent myself. Subconsciously I somehow imagined that once you have your child in your arms, "mother" is who you become, before anything else. Of course, while that is true in your child's eyes, it doesn't happen that way, and I don't think it would be healthy if it did. You're still you, exactly the way you were before your contractions started and that tiny person who miraculously swelled your heart showed up, or even before he was concieved. You are you, just with the added "terrifying joy of unbearable responsibility" as Andrew Solomon so eloquently put it in his TED talk.

While pregnant I really enjoyed reading other women's labor stories, and I thought I would definitely want to write up my own tale, but now that it's done and dusted (basically, 20 hours of torture), I actually don't feel the need. Let's just say that for all the Active Birth training and positive visualization in the world, nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming, drenching pain that is (was) birth (for me). None the less I would still recommend all that preparation for anyone expecting, because it's certainly a great thing to approach it in a calm, educated and hopeful way; prepare for the worst, but expect the best. And when you do get there, and if it's unbearable, know that it is merely a fragment of your life experience, but with a wonderful gift at the end - and the very second that baby comes out, the pain disappears.

Other things I did not expect/know:
  • I thought I would be very emotional seeing my baby for the first time, but in fact by then I was so physically and mentally tired that it all felt utterly surreal. In fact, I'm still discovering the slowly growing, deep love I feel for Samson.
  • Breastfeeding can be really tricky. In the beginning, it hurts sort of like lemon juice squeezed into papercuts on your nipples;Your baby might have trouble latching on (Samson tends to put his arms in front of the breast and then get really angry that he can't get to the nipple);  Once your milk is flowing, it might (like in my case) flow like tap water, which means you'll be wet and sticky, and so will your baby and your clothes and your bed sheets, every feeding, every day, until your body settles.
  • Babies can grow very fast. I did sort of know that, but I didn't expect my tiny bundle to grow two centimeters per week(!)