Posts Tagged With: Shanti

Baby’s 1st birthday and another bus video!

Matt just put this video together so I thought it’d be fun to post it out there! To see the previous footage of us being introduced to the bus, check out the last post by clicking here!

This next clip is our first visit to the bus as the new owners! Shanti was so little, my goodness how time flys. Before you click the link, let me share with you that it was a super hot day in Northwest Florida and our little girl was barely 5 months old, in other words, not cut out to melt in the smoldering heat. I took it upon myself to protect her by driving to a local grocery store (where we walked around in the air conditioning drinking iced beverages, snacking on samples and talking to strangers) while Matt willingly battled the heat in order to start the transformation. For what it’s worth, he did it with a smile with no complaints.

Here’s a minute peek of our first day working on the skoolie!

Now back to the present moments, well kind of. Last month on January 17th, Shanti had a birthday and was a happy little superstar just smiling her way through her first steps.

Between MiMi, Gam Gam, friends and other family, this little girl was spoiled with love, treats and more love!

Momma bragging moment: I made the cakes for each gathering! No dairy, no artificial anything and absolutely no food dye… just coconut products and blended berries for the pretty colors!

A month later was my moms birthday, so on February 18th we went out for a girls day!

Another wonderful event from this last month was a visit from a long time friend from abroad! If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning, you’ve seen him appear in at least 20 posts and probably more ranging from several steins at Oktoberfest, to quirky parties in Greece, Fútbol in Europe, good times in Barbados, California, Amsterdam and now Florian is in Florida!

…and a bigger surprise was his sweet girlfriend Tatjana joined!

We didn’t take to many photos, but here’s a video of Florian making Shanti laugh… worth a look if you need a smile!

And here’s Florian teaching Shanti how to snap. I freakin love it!

That’s all for now folks.

Keep smiling and remember that too much attention on the destination takes away from your beautiful present journey.

Categories: Baby Talk, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The bus, our baby, and some quick catching up!

When I was a little girl and would hear people say, “My grandfather built our home from the ground up.” or “My dad made this with his own two hands”. I was always in awe with a sense that it only happened in the movies. Now I know we’re not building a mansion over here, but when Matt comes home with progress made on the bus I’m overwhelmed with amazement! He’s googled, you-tubed, researched and experimented his way to building our home on wheels. From plumbing to electric, cabinetry to a good ol’ composting toilet… all done by my hard working husband.

Before I write anything else, check out this quick 1 minute video of the very beginning of our bus adventure! Click here for our 1 minute YouTube video!

Here’s a bus review of the past couple of months! Nuts, bolts, hammer, nails, welders, wires, plugs and power! Before we dive into the interior, here’s where our baby has been parked. Do you recognize the location? Of course not! It’s in the sticks of the woods, in the middle of a town on the outskirts of a city near a beach highway in Northwest Florida.

For our kitchen, I requested that we didn’t pinch on size in regards to appliances. This is going to be home, not a weekend sleeper so I wanted to make sure we didn’t feel like we were camping all of the time. A fairly large copper sink, two burner stove top with oven, a 7.5 cubic feet fridge (not installed yet) with plenty of storage to support my mason jar pantry collection. Matt even surprised me with a vertical pull out cabinet and an overhead spice rack in perfect reach. These pictures are obviously the raw layout, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek!

We designed the closet to accommodate long hanging items, large drawers for folded clothing and a few random drawers for miscellaneous storage.

The bathroom includes a medicine cabinet, composting toilet and ventilation fan that pulls the lovely poopouri scent out of the bus. No pictures yet, but I’m sure you’ll still sleep tonight not knowing what our business keeper looks like.

We decided on a Murphy bed to allow for extra room during the day for whatever we want to use it for. A space to workout, home (road) school, games, stretching, art, crafts… anything! We also lifted Shanti’s bed up to be flush with ours, this means she has her own space in a crib sized area, but is pretty much laying on an extension of our bed. Yes, we co-sleep… gasp!

The office space will accommodate Matts monitors for editing footage, drawers for supplies, storage for his gear and enough counter space for random needs. Photos coming soon!

Matt decided that welding our 55 gallon water tank to the bus was the best idea so that’s what we’re doing! Where would we find a welder that could custom manufacture a protective cage for the tank to sit in? You guessed it, my incredible husband took it upon himself to find a friend who had a machine and some knowledge and boom… he’s a welder now!

Next up will be the cosmetic steps. Eeeeehhhh I’m excited! Watching this all come together has been a joy and now the colors, textures and designs will bring it to life! Here were are picking out the interior color scheme.

Not gonna lie, the holidays had us busier than ever with work, family and gatherings so rather than full details descriptions, I’ll let a few photos speak for themselves.

I got creative for one of Matts Holiday gifts. His mom found a bus ornament as a joke and so I painted it like ours! Even added shiplap (painted popsicle sticks), I was so proud like a kindergartner and her first macaroni necklace!

While I do hair, usually my mom will watch Shanti but on this day, daddy took he for a beach day!

Another dad and daughter photo opt!

I’ll end this post with small dedication to my dear Aunt Heidi who recently passed suddenly.

You first heard about her in one of the first Oklahoma posts in which I wrote;

Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi…. What will we ever do with her? She has a blunt direction when sharing her opinion and an effortless way to make you laugh. Being around her gives you a youthful sense of life (she didn’t pay me to say that). While raising her teenage daughter, she still maintains sanity and invites me for countless hours of laughter and reminiscing.

Things I inherited from Aunt Heidi: The nickname “Shug”, love for high energy socializing and her “guns” (aka arms). Also when I sarcastically laugh, my mom says “that was SO your Aunt Heidi!”

She fell in love with Shanti from the day I told her I was pregnant and then after she was born, Aunt Heidi referred to her as “Lil Purple Snurp”. Nobody knows why or where that came from, but that’s typical for Aunt Heidis nicknames. To give you an idea of her love, I looked back at my phone and Aunt Heidi sent over 100 requests for me to send pictures, video or FaceTime. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve recorded a video just for her lately, soon realizing she wouldn’t be there to receive it… life can be so bitter-Sweet.

I didn’t post any pictures back in the day because she usually ran from the camera and/or threatened me if I asked to put any on here. Well Aunt Heidi, you should be celebrated along side the countless amount of smiles you generated while on earth. I love you and miss you so much.

Heidi Young ❤️ May 31, 1965 – January 16, 2020

Categories: Baby Talk, Bus life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We left… turned around… and then left again!

Bus painted? Nope. All seatbelts installed? Not yet. Couch, kitchen, bed, toilet? Not even close. We DO however have it registered, insured and ready to hit the highway legally but only able to sit one person. Because we’re going to tear out the driver seat, it would be a waste of time and money to rig a makeshift passenger seat before we do anything else. With that, we’ve decided that Matt will drive the bus and Shanti and I will follow in our car. This also ensures a reliable set of wheels just in case they’re needed on our first long journey. (I wrote that days before the event below).

The first 600 miles in our new home (currently just the shell) will be going from Miramar Beach Florida to Benton Arkansas. This is where it’ll be parked for a majority of the renovation. For those of you that have been following this blog for years now will recognize the location. You saw it in several past posts including one of my favorites, Sweet home…Arkansas?! And you recently saw the family in our last trip to Oklahoma. Shanti will be surrounded by cousins and we’ll have plenty of helping hands to turn this rig into a beautiful livable space.

These past few weeks have been full preparation, packing and watching Shanti grow so fast! She jumped from 3 month clothing to 6-9 month outfits and she’s only 5 months, geeze kid! For all of you fans, here are some pics of her recent weeks.

Ok back to bus! Day one on the road actually started at 8pm with cooler temperatures and less traffic. 2 hours into our journey and only 50 miles covered our beautiful beast (she’ll be named soon) had overheated. Since we were so close to home, we decided to turn around and have our amazing mechanic friend look at it. Last thing we wanted to do was push it and cause more damage.

The next morning was spent with test drives and engine work before we got the go to hit the road. Although Shanti does best at night since she sleeps the whole way, we were ready to get out of there so a noon departure is what we did!

Unfortunately the engine couldn’t take incline or long distances so every 30 minutes we’d have to pull over to let it cool. This is why it took us 6 hours to cover only 100 miles.

We were taking a break just shy of Mobile Alabama when we found out there was an International Bus specialist just up the road! Since it was 7p on a Sunday night they were obviously closed so we parked the bus at the cheapest hotel for a good nights sleep and early rise. Yes moms, we slept in the hotel, not next to it.

I’m currently writing the last of this post sitting in the hotel room waiting to hear the verdict from Matt who’s at the specialist shop right now. To be perfectly honest with you, although this isn’t what we imagined the first stretch to be like, we’re both keeping a positive attitude. Keeping awareness around that this is an adventure and a journey we signed up for! I think we would be doing a disservice to our spirit if we focused only on the completion of the bus, instead of being totally present while creating these memories. Oh Shanti, you have no idea of the photos and stories that will make up you’re first years of life.

I’ll leave you with her capturing my water bottle. You’re welcome.

Secret news: Coming soon is the launch of our online video channel. Oh boy!

Until then, thank you for reading and following (hint hint- click the button on this page that says “follow” in order to be alerted when there’s a new post).

Happiness to you and yours!

Categories: Baby Talk, Bus life, Travel talk | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shanti meets more family!

I’d like to start by saying how grateful I am to be surrounded by a loving family, both mine and Matt’s. A group of people that have supported us from the beginning and now eagerly welcome our new addition. In a matter of 2 weeks Shanti met 4 Aunts, 3 uncles, 2 grandmas 2 grandpas, 2 great aunts, a great uncle, a great-great aunt and good bundle amount of cousins (no less than a couple dozen).

It’d take a few posts to gather all of the details, so I chose a handful of pics to show the love this family had to offer.

Below is Matt, his mom and her mother (Maw Maw)… 4 generations!

Following Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s visit, Matt’s brother and his family came to meet our little one. How exciting for her to connect with new cousins Jayden and Harper and her Auntie Erika and Uncle Jake!Just before leaving out of state, Shanti got one more outing with my mom. Can you see Gam Gam walking ahead of us?

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you’ve seen this family throughout the years. My twin cousin Lana and her husband with 2 kids drove all the way out to Florida to meet Shanti!

After a few days on the beach, they were heading back to the middle of America… so I hitched a ride… again! This time I sat hip side to my little girl on her first road trip!Check out this comparison…

Once we finally made it to Arkansas, Shanti got swarmed with more cousins, hugs and tons of love!

To get from Arkansas to Oklahoma I rented a car and strapped her in. Mother-daughter road trip here we go!

Upon arrival we were greeted with no less than an abundance of more happy attention. Aunties, Uncles, Great Aunts, Great-great Aunts, Pa Pa, Ma Maw and more!

With our cups overflowing with family love, Shanti and I boarded her first flight (other than the 14 flights she took while in my belly) back to Florida!

Success! I took this video once we landed after the final flight… our little traveler!

Back home with daddy and we couldn’t be happier!

Categories: Baby Talk, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to the world Shanti Mae!

Before now, my personal experience with labor and delivery hadn’t really extended beyond hearing “She had the baby, it was a boy!” Or “It was a tough delivery, but mom and baby girl are doing just fine”. Of course I understood that a stork didn’t just swing by and drop them a newborn child, but the comprehension of what a woman must endure to be able to make the special announcement was beyond me.

You can google birthing documentaries or watch You Tube videos and you’ll hear such a variety of experiences. I was once told by one of my hair clients, “I’d be pregnant forever if I just didn’t have to deliver them, while her sister standing next to her said, I’d deliver 10 more if I just didn’t have to be pregnant again.” Proving the extreme differences in this miracle of a journey.

If you’re more keen to watch our week long adventure Click Here for the video!

This is our birthing story.

Waddling into my last days of the pregnancy, I had full intentions of going into labor naturally and arriving to the birthing center with no expectations. I went to my doctors a few days prior to my due date to hear some news I wasn’t expecting. I was aware that when a mother is over 35 years old, they label her as “advanced maternal age”, meaning medically too old, wrinkly, elderly and brittle to have a non risk pregnancy (enter eyes rolling here). What I didn’t know is that they rarely like an older woman to go over her due date as it increases the chance of a high risk labor resulting in still birth (baby who has died in the womb). As a person who generally lives a natural lifestyle with little to no western medicine, I struggled with the idea of forcing something that would eventually happen on its own. I was nervous about it but I feel they all truly had our best intentions in mind, inducing was the safest route.

I’ll have to admit that starting at 38 weeks I had fun with old wives tales to encourage an on time delivery, if not a little early. I figured naturally trying to induce would be much better than medically induced. I ate my fair share of pineapple and dates, drank gallons of red raspberry leaf tea, enjoyed plenty of “quality time” with Matt, rubbed essential oils on certain pressure point and even went as far as taking a shot of good ol castor oil. There’s a possibility that all of these things contributed to me dilating to 2 with 80% effacement, but still not enough to send me into labor.

Here’s Matt prepping to paint my toes after the pressure point ankle massage. #besthusbandever

After a lot of thought and discussion, we decided to go past my due date with hopes she’d come first, but keep the induction date the doctor booked as a back up. Time came and gone so we found ourselves packing up for a midnight inducement at the Sacred Heart Birthing Center.

I feel like I could write an entire book on what the next 24 hours entailed, but I’ll let the video show you those details.

Midnight to 1am- paperwork, room organization and me changing into my gown.

1:00 am – They gave me Cytotec, a drug that’s used as a ripening agent to soften the cervix. At this point I was barely 2cm and feeling random dull contractions.

1-5:00 am – I laid in bed, eyes closed with my mind wide open.

5:15 am – They checked again and I was at 3cm still with minimal contractions.

6:00 am – Started the Oxytocin (Aka “Pitocin” – causes and/or strengthens labor contractions during childbirth).

Here’s a fake smile while working through a small contraction.

7:15 amAn amniotomy was performed (rupturing of the water sac) in hopes of strengthening contractions and speeding up labor. Not fun… at all.

8:00 am – With the Pitocin and amniotomy combination I had dilated to 5cm and this is when I went from slightly uncomfortable, to on my hands and knees. I was now breathing through what seemed to be an almost intolerable series of contractions. I had no time to recover between each uterus stabbing pain and only had the ability to catch just enough air to prevent me from passing out.8-1:30pm – for over 5 hours I endured these Pitocin induced contractions and watched in horror every time the nurse would come in to increase the dosage. I did my best to change positions, relax my face and breath to the deepest of my core in order to make it through.

1:30 pm – The nurses informed me that because the contractions were so close together with much intensity, that an epidural may benefit the situation. An epidural is a type of anesthesia that doctors give you to numb your spinal nerves and prevent pain signals from traveling to your brain. They said it’d invite my body to relax and allow for more dilation as well as provide me with rest before the pushing began…

…I declined.

1:32 pm – I asked for the epidural.

1:45-9:45 pm – For the following 8 hours I was bound to the bed due to the numbing in my lower half. Everyone watched a movie as I closed my eyes for small moments at a time and I was finally able to express what I was feeling without reaching for a breath. Although I like to do things naturally, I have to admit, this was wonderful. Well, all was wonderful except the one side effect I had NO idea was even a possibility. Uncontrollable shaking. Like when you get a chill and your teeth chatter, except this was throughout my entire upper body, jaw to core and down my arms. My amazing husband and mother took turns attempting to calm the shake or at least provide relief by rubbing my joints. It wasn’t so much painful, but exhausting! My muscular structure felt like I had been running a marathon for hours.

9:45-10:45 pm– The time had finally come and the room was getting ready. My doctor was on her way and the nurses started to prep the area for delivery. I was still shaking so you can imagine us trying to keep me warm with layers of blankets and rubbing techniques. Little did we know this was a mistake. I’m not quite sure if the covers were totally to blame, but at this point I had acquired a high fever. Adults can handle big temperatures but think of my little oven overheating and what it can do to the unborn baby. Although the staff didn’t seem too worried, there was definitely a shift in energy when the fever continued to climb.

10:45-11:07pm – Go time! Legs spread eagle, no shame… my husband was on my left, mom on my right and Dr. Ellen Esses directly in my forward vision. My best friend Katie and Matts mom Terri were also there in support with cameras in hand.

I had always heard of other women’s stories describing lengthily pushing episodes extending hours into weariness, babies getting stuck in the canal and other unattractive things during the delivery. I did my best to push these concerns far from my reality and focus on my journey, the present moment. I was so pleasantly surprised when only 15 minutes into pushing the doctor called the team in for our little girls arrival.

11:08 pm – Only 20 minutes after my first push, they were placing her in front of me. Overwhelmed and almost in disbelief, there I was, looking into the eyes of our daughter.

As soon as it was cleared that Shanti was healthy (although born with a fever, it dropped on its own) I asked everybody, excluding staff, to clear the room except me and Matt. This was our time to bond as a new family, to surround our little girl with the welcoming peaceful energy that we’ll carry home with us. It was priceless to lay in my husbands arms, yes he climbed into the tiny hospital bed with me, while holding Shanti Mae on my chest.

Next up, surviving the first week with a newborn!

I invite you to click the link below to watch our entertaining and personal experience!

Birth week Vlog – SHE IS COMING DOWN AND OUT!!

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Shanti’s final baby shower!

Once I got back to Florida for the long stay, my mom threw me an intimate baby shower that had all of my favorite childhood food, a “mom-mosa bar” and a group of amazing women.

Planning it and setting up with her was just as memorable as the actual day of celebration. I’ll hold back the details of our hilarious moments considering none would be as funny as they were in the moment, but here’s the final set up before the guests arrived!

Games, gifts, hugs and love… everything was perfect and all one could wish for!

Thank you to all of the women who took time to come and celebrate this new beautiful life about to meet the world. A special thanks to my mom… all of your thought, effort and attention to detail made this event exactly what it was!

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