...because home doesn't happen overnight.

We’re having another baby.

I know that came from way out in left field on Monday.  Believe me.  I know.  I’m living it.  I apologize for the abrupt announcement.  We aren’t ones to go out yelling, “We’re prego!” from the mountaintops – even when our babies are planned. Not that we aren’t excited.  It’s quite the opposite actually.  We enjoy relishing in our little secret for a while before we spread the news to family, friends, co-workers and the world wide web.  Although this time our relishing included a bit of ‘let’s let this settle in a while before we spill the beans.’

So now that everyone knows, let’s get to all those questions you have.

1 – When is your due date and far along are you?  I’m due April 7th which is Everett’s birthday. {Layne will be seven by then and Everett will be turning/have just turned four.}  Hey, what can I say? At least we’re consistent!  And, no, contrary to popular belief there is no special holiday or celebration in early July {April 7 – 40 weeks = early July} that we christen annually.  I think we’re just extra fertile that time of year or something.  That puts me right at 14-15 weeks prego.  I look further along than that, don’t I?  {I’m blaming it on a big meal at my Dad’s last weekend when the pictures were taken.} So goes the third pregnancy.  Or so I’ve heard.  I guess everything has lost its elasticity and is giving way earlier than my first two pregnancies.  I swear I didn’t look this bumpy until about 5 months along with the boys!

If you’ll remember from this post, I purposefully faced my backside to the camera to hide my slight baby bump at ~9 weeks.

2 – Will you find out the baby’s gender before he/she is born?  We didn’t know our babies’ gender before birth with the boys. {Although I would have bet money they were both boys.}  So, in keeping with tradition, we won’t be finding out this baby’s sex until he/she is born.  I am a planner but a flexible one.  Handy Hubby and I enjoy the suspense and feel that there are only so many true surprises left in this advanced high tech world anymore.  You know, along with unplanned pregnancies, of course.  We have nothing against those who choose to find out their infant’s gender beforehand.  We just choose not to.

I know what you’re thinking.  “OMG!  How in the world do you design a nursery without knowing if the baby is a boy or girl?!”  Easy.  The nursery will have a gender neutral base and I’ll add in gender specific decor after the baby arrives.

3 – Do you have names picked out?  As with our other pregnancies, HH and I will take an edited mental list of boy and girl names to the hospital.  Once the baby is born and we discover the gender, we’ll make a single selection from our list.  I’ll tell you right now that our list is pretty much nonexistent right now.  We try to talk about it but HH doesn’t like the names I suggest, and I’m not too fond of the ones he throws out either.  We’ll get there!  As you can probably tell from our sons’ names {Layne and Everett}, we typically choose names not found on the Top 100 Baby Names list.

4 – How are you feeling?  I’m feeling pretty good nowadays.  It was kind of touch and go there for the first three months.  I was nauseous on a daily basis from 4pm until bedtime although I never did toss my cookies.  Dinner time was the worst.  More than once, I slipped away from the dinner table because all the food and smells were making me cringe.  I was exhausted too.  But I don’t know whether to contribute that to the pregnancy or the fact that I had two other kiddos running circles around me OR the recent move. Probably a combination of all three.

5 – Do you have any weird cravings?  I don’t know that these are ‘weird’ but I crave salads, tomatoes and water with lemons/lemon juice in it.  The tomato craving prompted this recipe post a few weeks back.  Maybe the tomato part is strange since I’m not a tomato fan when I’m unprego. Oh, and I can’t eat them by themselves but put a tomato on anything {salad, baked potato, pasta, grilled cheese, etc.} and I’m game.  I also seem to have an aversion to red meat unless it’s a McDonald’s cheeseburger.

6 – How did you tell Handy Hubby and what was his reaction?  I found out I was prego {by peeing on three, yes, three pee sticks because one or two couldn’t be right} the week before we were to close on our previous house.  I was sooooo nervous to tell HH.  I knew he wasn’t going to be angry or anything like that but, again, this was completely unexpected. Not in our downsizing plan at all.  Not even on the radar.

In fact, a week prior I had purged and donated nearly every single thing {clothing, toys, books, toddler dishware, etc.} that our youngest had outgrown or didn’t use anymore.  The only ‘baby stuff’ that had escaped my binge was an umbrella stroller {forgotten in the garage} and the crib {which I had promised to give my Dad when we moved so that he and my stepmom, Karen, could set up a nursery in their house for the impending arrival of my stepbrother’s first baby in January. Dad and Karen wanted to have a place for the baby to sleep when they babysat.} and that’s it.  Not a bib or burp cloth in sight.

I told HH the very day I got positive readings on all three pee sticks.  I had to wait hours for him to get home from work since I’d taken the pregnancy tests in the morning.  Then I had to wait until the boys were in bed because I wasn’t prepared to tell them yet.

I was at a loss for a good way to tell HH.  I realized then and there that men are never in the precarious position to have to tell the person they love that they are surprisingly expecting an unexpected baby.  That’s a lot of pressure on us women!  I did what I do best and wrote it out. Well, technically, I typed it out.  I don’t think my handwriting would have been legible at that point.

As you can see, I’ve altered the original announcement.  My due date prediction was off.  Obviously, I hadn’t seen my OB at that point.

I found out pretty early on because I was prompted to take a test by a somewhat clairvoyant experience with Layne.  A few days prior, I had been packing for the big move when Layne walked by me, paused for a moment, put a hand on either side of my belly and kissed it.  I said, “What’s that for?”  He simply replied, “For the baby in your belly.”  The earth stopped turning for a minute. So, a few days later when I hadn’t started my you-know-what as expected, I immediately bought a triple pack of pregnancy tests.  Turns out, Layne was right.

So back to HH’s reaction.  I laid the pregnancy announcement on the kitchen island next to his lunchbox that evening so he would see it when he packed his lunch for work.  {HH packs his lunch 99% of the time.}  Then I hid on the couch under a blanket.  Literally.  I was sweating under that blanket.  Seconds seemed like hours.  The next thing I heard was, “Is this for real?” as HH walked over to the couch where I was cowering.  I peeked up out of the blanket and managed to nod.  HH had a look of total disbelief on his face.  There was lots of silence after that.  Shock, fear, WTH?!…we were both feeling all those things.

Then HH started laughing.  It was one-third real laughing, one-third nervous laughing and one-third crazy person laughing.  I started laughing too.  My giggling quickly turned to crying though.  I couldn’t stop it.  That’s when HH said the most beautiful thing he could have said at that moment, “There’s no one else I’d rather have an accidental baby with.”  Then I did that really ugly laughing-slash-crying thing, snotty and red-faced and all.  Things were going to be okay.

A few weeks later, I did ask Layne about his premonition.  “Layne, do you remember when you kissed my belly that one day and said it was for the baby?”

“Yeah,” he answered.

“What made you say that?”  I was curious.

“I don’t know.  Your belly looked different,” was all he could come up with.  I think he’s special.  I may be biased.

7 – Did you have an IUD?  Nope.  Without getting too personal and crossing that TMI thin line, let’s just say I’m one of the lucky ‘less than 1 out of 100 women who get pregnant each year while taking birth control each day as directed.’  I’ve been a pharmacist for 9+ years and I’ve heard story after story of women getting prego on the pill.  I’ve always subconsciously judged those women thinking they were irresponsible.  Look who’s talkin’ now.  Yep, this lady whose doctor says her unplanned conception while taking birth control correctly is rare but always possible.

Now that the initial shock has worn off, I realize how lucky we really are.  We have been gifted another lil’ life without even asking while so many others out there dream of a baby and ask for one daily.  Yep, we’re lucky alright.

8 – What did the boys say when you told them?  HH and I told the boys at the Underdog one evening when I took them to visit HH while he was working.  We dumbed it down and said something like, “There’s a baby in Mama’s belly.”  To which Layne looked at me and exclaimed, “YOU’RE PREGNANT?!”  We confirmed.  “I’ll be right back,” he quickly announced and ran off to tell our new neighbors.  All Everett had to say about the baby was, “Who is it?”  Good question.

I’m trying not to make this new baby a huge deal with the boys because I don’t want to take away from them.  If they ask questions or want to see my belly then we talk.  A few times a week, Layne comes up and kisses my belly just like he did the time before I knew I was pregnant.  It’s sweet. Everett likes to pretend he’s my doctor {he accompanies me to my monthly visits while Layne’s in school} and studies my belly with a magnifying glass.  He takes his job very seriously.

9 – Does this mean the boys will be sharing a bedroom in the Underdog?  Yes!  The room assignments now are Layne and Everett in the larger non-master bedroom and the baby in the smaller non-master bedroom.  I guess this whole sharing-a-bedroom-in-the-apartment thing is paying off.  They should be used to sharing a room by the time we move into the house.

I’ve already thrown around the idea of making the larger of the two non-master bedrooms a bunk room for the kids if this one happens to be another boy.  The smaller bedroom would become a playroom/guest room.  That would be years down the road, of course.  If this baby’s a girl, then she’ll just stay in the smaller bedroom and have her own bedroom.

10 – How does this pregnancy news affect your involvement in the Underdog undertakings?  Not much.  My primary role is to supervise the kiddos and give them as normal a life as possible right now.  So far, many of the renovation projects have been accomplished by HH alone just because we don’t have anyone to watch the boys for me to get my hands dirty.  Not that I’d be that much help.  ;) When the time comes, pregnancy won’t keep me from helping to install new flooring, building kitchen cabinets or painting…things we can do a little more easily and safely with kids in tow…unlike demo’ing, running new electric, vaulting the ceiling, etc.

11 – How does this surprise baby change your design plans for the Underdog?  Other than switching up sleeping arrangements {see #9}, none.  We won’t be adding on to the house and we still have plans to live in it for 10+ years.  I’ll just have to get clever and creative with my storage!

Many people who know we’re expecting say, “And here you just sold a 4 bedroom house to downsize!”  But, honestly, downsizing is about the best thing we could have done to prepare for such a surprise.  Well, if you could prepare for a surprise.  Our house will be smaller but so will our mortgage which we still plan to pay off in 4-5 years.

I’m not worried about living in such tight quarters with three kids.  I lived in a similarly sized barn {that’s a whole ‘nother post in itself} with ONE bathroom, THREE bedrooms, THREE siblings plus my parents.  That’s six people under one little roof.  We all shared a bedroom with someone else and we somehow scheduled our bathroom usage around each other. Looking back, I never felt like our house/barn was too small.  We loved it!

12 – Will you be living in the Underdog before the baby arrives?  I hope so!  If not, we’ve got bigger problems.

13 – How will #3 affect your work plans?  Honestly, we’re still up in the air over this one.  We’d always planned on me working my 20 hours/week as a part-time pharmacist until the Underdog’s mortgage was paid off.  But with this newest addition, HH and I are both thinking our family would benefit more from me being home full-time.  Luckily, HH was offered a promotion this past summer which came with a raise that would offset some {definitely not all} of the income lost by me not working.  We talk about me taking this blogging and designing stuff more seriously and seeing where it takes me, too.  Maybe this turn of events is just the kick in the butt I need to motivate me to make a scary career change!

14 – How do you handle it all – work, kids, blog, renovation, etc?  I don’t handle it all.  Let me make that clear.  I work 2-3 days per week so I have more time at home than most working moms. I have an awesome HH who is a huge help with the boys when I need him. I don’t cook dinner every night.  And even when I do, we’re not above scrambled eggs and toast for dinner OR leftovers.  I don’t blog or post as much as I’d like to.  I say no a lot – mostly to things that I’m not truly passionate about or things that will cause our schedule to become jam packed.  Because nothing is worse than an overtired toddler.  Some days, I make to-do lists that don’t get completed. And, especially now with my current impregnated state, there are times when I simply have to let go and tell myself, “Okay, XXXX is not getting done today.  I don’t have the time or energy for it.”

There was a time when I couldn’t say no.  Back when I was much younger.  I was a people pleaser.  I did a lot of stuff and got a lot of recognition for that stuff.  But I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t doing any of that stuff for me.

Nowadays, I try to remind my sometimes insecure, guilty-mom self of all the things I do do.  {Not doo-doo.}  I take my kids to the library and gymnastics.  I watch funny movies with my favorite man.  I help Layne with his homework.  I make up homework for Everett when he asks where his homework is.  I write a blog that I’m passionate about.  I put random notes in Layne’s school snack bag.  I make sure my family has clean clothes to wear.  I try to make our home an inspiring place to live.  I keep the fridge stocked.  I balance my checkbook to the penny.  I get Layne on and off the bus on time.  And, by george, I’m growing a baby!

Some days just keeping the kids fed/clothed/somewhat clean, washing dirty dishes, showering and brushing my teeth, making the bed, going grocery shopping, putting away a load of folded laundry, not burning a bag of popcorn, watching an old ‘Friends’ rerun, writing up a blog post, hugging my husband and remembering to take my prenatal vitamin is all I need to make me feel successful and happy.

All I have to do is figure out how to do all that with a baby on my hip.  A baby who is very much wanted and loved even if he/she was unexpected.

images: 1-5 & 7) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  6) Johnny Valiant and Mona Ross Berman for House Beautiful





Great post. Congratulations on the new baby. You and Steve look like great parents. We only have 2 so I can’t give any advice on having 3 but I’m sure I could ask for advice one of these days.

I haven’t checked out the blog in quite a while so I couldn’t believe the progress on the new house. Good luck (with the house and the new baby)!



tears in my eyes when you were under the blanket!!
huge congrats again. we have 3 kidlettes (all girls) – and couldn’t be happier.
cheryl xox.


I love the “Layne-kissing-the-belly-for-the-baby-in-there” part ! Kids are so smart and observant !
Just for my records, what do IUD and TMI mean ?
Take care and enjoy !


You are completely adorable. Thanks for answering so many questions, your post had me laughing and nodding a lot. I think you are gracious and a wonderful writer. I really love your blog and I hope all continues well with your ‘expansion project’ as I like to call pregnancy and your remodel. (I think it’s pretty amazing your little boy tipped you off to pregnancy before actually knowing, too!)


I was just telling my friend that this is my favorite blog these days. I love watching the Underdog come together piece-by-piece and we are also a family with two boys (4 & 5) expecting a third kiddo (a girl!). Great post and I know me and many others can’t wait to read more!


Love, love, love that you share so much on your blog. I absolutely loved this post! Especially the part about Layne kissing your belly….and the part where you shared the news with HH, I could totally see myself doing the same thing (cowering under a blanket hahaha). I know your blog was originally about your decorating skills but I love hearing about other things too so thanks so much for continue to sharing your life’s journey!


So sweet. It’s so amazing that Layne noticed your belly so soon! That’s one very observant kid! I completely agree with HH about how few surprises we have in this life. I never found out the genders of my three (2 boys and 1 girl), and I think it made it so much more fun to wait and find out.


Dana- Congrats!! Our baby #2 was a bit of a surprise. My Husband (Jack) had just got relocated to Tampa from Pittsburgh 3 months before. We had no house yet and a 2 bedroom apartment. I taped my pregnancy test to the remote… I knew he would find it there… he said the same thing are you for real?!? and then he just hugged me and laughed. One of the best moments I have ever had with him. Emilee-Layne is now 2 and we are so blessed! Congrats, I love your blog and recipes… you are amazing.

Angie Allen


I think this had me in tears! So sweet that your little boy noticed, I think kids are so much smarter than us sometimes! Also I can relate to how you feel. I think its great that you are downsizing and are focusing on your family. I think your house will be an amazing place to raise your kids. I think you will be happier than people working like crazy to keep up with their huge mortgage payments. I cannot wait to see the progress on your home and the BABY! I think it will work out and you will have plenty of room. I am a mom of a 5 year old girl and I have come to realize with her with bought everything!! Next time around I now know a baby doesn’t really need so much, just a lot of love!!!


Adorable. Congratulations and good luck on your new endeavor. It sounds like the boys are already warming up to their new little brother/sister. I have really enjoyed watching the Underdog renovations, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when you guys move in!


Congrats! Layne is a special kid… and I truly believe he had a clear sense about what was going on. I found out I was (unexpectedly) pregnant when my niece Lucy started asking questions about the cousin in my belly… Sometimes kids know best :-)


Such a sweet post I love how you told HH. Adorable!


Ariane – IUD = intrauterine device {a long-term form of birth control} TMI = too much information


Chris – Thanks Roscoe! So good to hear from you!


Well said Dana-especially the insecure part-we simply can’t do it all EVERY day and putting your family first is better than having an immaculately clean house. I so appreciate your perspective and putting it out there for others. THANK YOU!


I think it’s awesome! And I could totally feel for you when you were telling HH about the pregnancy. LOL. When I found out, my daughter was 10 months old…I was also on BC,…and we had not planned to have another (my hubs had 5 kids from a previous marriage…yep…so that would be SEVEN kids). He was a military training instructor at the time who worked 18 hour days 6 days a week. I sort of had a feeling and decided to take a test…well,…that plus sign came on the stick before I was even done peeing! LOL!! I found an old Tshirt and wrote on the front of it…”Hi Daddy…I will see you soon”, with a smiley face on my belly. He walked thru the door around midnight and I met him there with a sheepish grin. He looked at me and said, “your kidding”. I told him “no”, and he just swooped me up and we laughed until we woke up my daughter…lol. My son is the best “unplanned” thing I have ever done.
I think you should do a contest on the sex of the baby…:) Everyone posts what their guess is, and then randomly draw from the correct guessers for a prize…:) SEE!!! Having a baby unexpectedly can be fun!!! ;)


Love your news! As you say you are so blessed. I am pregnant with my second which is due February 1, 2012. I can’t wait to see how you decorate your nursery and the room your boys will share. Thank you for sharing such an exciting time with your readers.


Dawn – Oooooh, a baby gender guessing giveaway…that does sound fun!


I think you are completely correct about having an “extra fertile time”…all 3 of mine are January babies, and we didn’t plan it at all! Congrats!


Wow, Layne’s insight gave me goosebumps! And I teared up reading about you and HH’s special moment. I really enjoy your blog and I look forward to seeing where all these new adventures take you! Thanks for sharing with us :)


That is such a sweet story about Layne’s intuition! It brought tears to my eyes.


Congrats on baby #3! I just had our third boy in April! And yes, I showed sooo much quicker with him! He was a delivery suprise and I really thought he was gonna be a girl…but NOPE! Boy number 3 but I wouldn’t trade him for all the girls in the world! 3 hasn’t been all that much harder….my time is just more divided! Love your blog and can’t wait to follow along!


Congratulations!! Your story about Layne reminded me of how I found out I was pregnant with our third years ago. We had two boys at the time too and my youngest son (who was 4 at the time) walked right into the kitchen one day and kissed my belly too. He then told me God had told him I was having another baby and it was a girl! My husband and I just stared at him dumbfounded for a minute and then proceded to tell him Mommy was definetely not having another baby and even if I was having another baby it most definetely would not be a girl…haha. You see there hadn’t been a girl in my husbands family for 4 generations and my doctor had already told me early on that it wouldn’t be likely that I would ever have one with those odds. Needless to say my son was right (on both accounts)! It is so weird to me how little ones know these things! Well, congratulations again. You look absolutely beautiful with your little baby bump!


So cute! Loved the reactions of all 3 of your men. :)


Wow Dana!
Again, I could not be happier for you. Unexpected news is often the best kind and brings the best changes in life.
For what it is worth, while you are adding many things to your plate and trying to balance it all, I hope that all of your readers let you know how great you are. I have shared how much you have insipred me personally, but I know I am not the only one. I was watching an interview with the Novogratz’ talking about how they started in design and how being “untrained” has impacted their career (I’m going to go with…not too much. design book(s)…check, oodles of childres…check, successful company…check, amazing projects…check). I immediately thought of you and wondered 1- how is her class going? and 2- why the heck is she doing that??? she is so talented, and while we all have room to learn, could totally take on any project she wanted to and make soomething fabulous!
I really hope this “bump in the road” is exactly the push you need to chase your dreams and have the life you really want…personally AND professionally.
Good Luck!!!


I look forward to your blog more than any other in my google reader, because I love the story of downsizing and paying off a mortgage quickly while making a beautiful house. I grew up in a three bedroom house with four sisters. The baby’s nursery was usually our upstairs bathroom. It was great. We had two bathrooms but most evenings you could find six girls (including my Mom) milling around in one, all in various stages of brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, taking out contacts, etc. Good luck with your pregnancy and all the decisions about work and life ahead. I love following your progress on the Underdog!


Make your self a moby wrap. I love those things.


Beautifully put. I cannot wait to see how the future unfolds for you! Thanks for sharing this touching and endearing chapter of your life. What a ride!


your last few paragraphs made me cry. to quote a very wise man, “no success can compensate for failure in the home”. there is nothing more important than raising confident, respectful and accountable children. and while our daily tasks may seem mundane and mediocre and not-at-all earth shattering they are exactly the things that will propel this rising generation to actually rise! i say…yeah for you…you(and hh) got it right! p.s. i loved your little postcard….and your hiding under a blanket….i could feel the butterflies in your tummy!


Derevaun – I totally used a Moby wrap with our second! They are so comfy. Sadly, it was one of the baby items I purged before we moved. Is there a tutorial for DIYing one?


This is such a sweet post! I shared a room almost my entire life and never thought anything of it. It was wonderful to get to know my sisters in that way :)

PS, yours is one of my favorite blogs, so I’d love to see you get more serious with it!


Angela G – What a heartfelt comment! I adore the Novogratz family. Not that I know them personally or anything but I love the fact that they are doing what they want {design} with their children {all 7!!!} in tow. I decided to take the Sheffield class because 1) I need to learn more about the design industry’s business side and 2) it was inexpensive as far as schooling goes and 3) I’m a sucker for learning and studying. The library is my absolute favorite place to be other than home…even more than any home decor store. That being said, my studying has been put on hold for the last two months due to the move, pregnancy, renovation, etc…but that’s the beauty of the program…I can start and stop as I please as long as I complete it within 3 years of enrolling.

There are a ton of interior designers out there with no formal training {Emily Henderson being one of them} and they are definitely an inspiration to me. Even when I complete the Sheffield course, I won’t have a professional degree so I don’t think it will count as formal training but my hope is that it prepares me for a career in design. Whatever form it should come in. I would like to start dipping my toes into the water before finishing the program, so we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks so much for your comment!


You have such a way with words! This blog has slowly worked its way its way to the top of my “must-reads.” You do a great job of incorporating your family life without being too personal or giving up too much too much information and for that I commend you:)

On the subject of other income streams, have you considered offering mood boards through this site? The mood boards you have created for your own home are pretty amazing and I’m sure you could find a market for them here. I know YoungHouse Love used to charge $250 for custom mood boards and I believe Sherry said they took about six hours a piece, so $50/hr. It’s not pharmacist money, but it’s not nothing either:) I know I would be in line for one to whip my living room into shape!

Best of luck to you in all things!


Oops, math is not my strong point in the morning. It would be a bit under $50/hour; I’m not breaking out the calculator for this one:)

Absolutely lovely! Heartwarming, funny, endearing…I love to read a blog where I feel like I could be your friend if we met. Thank you for sharing this most welcome if unexpected journey. Congratulations! I wish you all the best in the months ahead and beyond, and am thrilled to hear that you know you cannot do it all and have stopped trying. Too many moms out there get sucked into the super mom syndrome…I did, and it is so much nicer being on the other side.


Congratulations! I’ve always heard it’s becoming easier with the 3rd kid. He just follows up and do like his siblings.
I am a curious woman with no child yet and I loved this post. Thank you for sharing this private part of your life!


Haha! I had to laugh at #6. During our move to Ohio from MN we purged all our baby and toddler gear. Someone told me that you should never get rid of the baby gear because once you do, BAM!, you’re pregnant again. They were right! Three months later, while we were living in temporary housing, we found out we were pregnant with our 5th. She was unexpected, but we never doubted she was a blessing. We waited to tell our other children for at least a couple of months- just before we had to go home to IL for Christmas and see all of our extended family. The night before we left, we broke the news to the kids at the dinner table. Three were jumping up and down with joy, while the last one cried and cried. She told me she was worried how I’d be able to care for all the kids. I assured I’d be able to care for and love all of them each the same after the baby was born. Once I was able to calm her down, she joined the rest with excitement.
I think it’s just precious the way your little boy was in tune with your body and how loving already he is with his little baby brother or sister. What a sweetie!


I think this is the first time I have been inspired to comment on your blog, but I could not resist…

This is the sweetest thing I have read all day and I wish you and your family all the best with everything ahead!


Thanks for sharing this. It was very sweet, open and honest… which is rare to find… at least in my experience. I have two boys, ages 14 and 10 who were both unexpected. You articulated the emotions very poignantly. I was under a blanket as well, however it was with my first born when I was unmarried and had to break the news to my mother. It has all turned out beautifully. We will celebrate 15 years of marriage next week. Oh, I also took three prego tests in disbelief both times. God bless you and your beautiful family!


Cherish living in a smaller space. I promise you it builds better memories. I love that I can always find my family without searching or shouting. I also love that we don’t have two living rooms, and therefore do all of our living as a group. I have a teeny, 1,080 sqft home. I have 3 children who live part time with me and part time with their dad, and 2 step children who spend every summer with us. That makes 7 of us (including my fabulous Him.) living in a 3 bedroom house with one bathroom that was built in 1943. It doesn’t help that I’m a crazy cook, who at times has all 5 kids in the kitchen covered in flour making ravioli. We save so much money living small, and I think our family has benefited from that as well.

You’ll have arguements (my sons Zach and Nihles share a room, and Zach wakes Nihles up most every Saturday at 6am >.<) but they have no choice but to find a solution, the problem doesn't go away when you have to sleep that close to it. :)

I strongly suggest you visit the Container Store if you haven't already. They saved my life from the cluttered house that could have been.

Wonderful Post!! I loved every bit of it! My first child was a surprise. It was a very humbling experience because I never understood how others could be “surprised” with the news they were pregnant. Anyway, now my husband and I are discussing having a third child. I look forward to seeing what the experience is like through your journey!! I wish you best on your future career endeavors!! I agree, this could be the push you needed! Congratulations!


I’m not usually a one to comment, but your blog is so perfect for me right now! I recently found out I’m (unexpectedly) expecting in April as well, with 2 boys ages 3 and 5 already. Although we are not remodeling, we live in a 1300 sq. foot house and I’m hoping to “make it work,”, as we love our neighborhood and schools and I don’t want to move. By the way, I grew up outside of Cincinnati, and your house looks so much like the one I lived in as a young child that I’ve carefully checked all the pictures more than once. It’s not the same house, but I’m betting it’s in the area. Small world. Congrats and I look forward to watching it all unfold!



My husband and I were blessed with a #3 surprise as well. Now with an almost teenage daughter and two rowdy boys (who are only 20 months apart), we couldn’t imagine our life any different! And the sharing a room thing for the boys will be great. When we started plans to build our house three years ago we decided not to give the boys seperate rooms. It has it’s ups and downs of course, but in the long run I know they’ll appreciate it. We do, however, have the entire upstairs devoted to them with a play room. Tell HH that a playroom off the back of your house will be a great Mother’s Day gift! Thanks for sharing your life with all of us —- strangers!


Best post ever. I have no babies (and no plan to have one anytime soon), but you’re taking it all in stride, and it’s people like you that I find most inspiring.
Life will always throw unexpected things your way, and the best way to handle it, is exactly how you’re going about it.
It’s ok to not have a plan, it’s ok to be worried, and it’s ok to be find that happiness and run with it!


Hey. I don’t know you, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you are amazing. I’m not a mother, and I’m terrified to be one. I can’t really relate to any of those components of your life. But I just wanted to say how awesome it is that you AREN’T superwoman, and that you don’t pretend to be. Your honesty is inspiring.


Congrats! I’m so happy for you and the family. Unexpected news is the best kind! Vea


That was such a cute way to tell the HH about the new addition to the family. Congrats again!!! :)

As my great-uncle said when I told him I was getting married a few years ago, “it’s your next great adventure!” I know this will be your and HH’s next great adventure. Have fun, and it’s good to know you say no, too. It’s the only way I stay sane, and I don’t even have kids yet! :-)


What a great post! I truly believe that children have a sixth sense about these sorts of things. I gasped when I read that line! I also cried with HH’s response. What a great remark! I’m glad to hear that you are feeling well. I had the same aversion to red meat when I was pregnant. It’s the worst!

If I have learned anything about being a mom, it’s that there will always be things you didn’t do, places you didn’t visit, meals you didn’t cook, but as long as you and your children are happy, that’s all that matters. I wish you and your growing family the best and can’t wait to watch this next phase of your life progress.


Thank you for sharing all this, Dana! It’s really encouraging to hear your perspective on this complexity of life-threads. I’m pretty new to your blog but this helped me learn a lot about who you are and I love getting to see that! I also feel stronger about my future, with its similar handy hubby, house DIY-decorating and renovating, deadening day job/exciting decorating habit thing going on. No kids yet, and this has helped make me a bit less nervous about how it will work when we bring them into the picture here soon.

Congrats again, Dana! And good luck with the career decisions! God has a funny way of kicking us into gear sometimes!

That was such a cute way to tell HH the news! I’m sure I’ll end up doing something similar when the time comes for the hubs and I.


HIllary – Offering mood boards is definitely in the think tank!


You had me at “Surprise!”. What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it with us. I especially love the way you told HH. I remember telling my husband by just showing him the pregnancy test stick with TWO lines (after years of negative tests). He’d just got home from work, we were outside watching our 5 year old daughter on the trampoline – I couldn’t SAY anything as I didn’t want my daughter to know yet, so I just showed him the test. Gobsmacked would be an understatement.

Congrats on the new little one! I think it’s wonderful and I know you’re going to do a great job at finding creative ways to organize everything that comes with a new baby (along with all the stuff you already needed storage for). And, yes, this new little one might just be the motivation you need to take the first step towards your new career, albeit sooner than you expected! Best wishes for you and your beautiful (expanding) family! :)


Wow, you made me laugh, tear up, and smile all in one blog post!! Your husband’s reaction made my day. LOL. I think we’d be the exact same way if baby #3 was to come about. Great post Dana.


I have three girls 8, 6, and 3. The three year old was our birth control pill baby. I remember texting my husband from the bathroom at work with the news. How happy I am with three little girls!


Wonderful post! (drying my tears). Wishing you guys all the best- thanks for sharing :)


I have to say, I have heard SO many stories about kids knowing about a pregnancy before the mom does! Intuitive little things, they are.

Thanks for being so open and honest. I’ve been following you for quite awhile now and have noticed that your popularity is definitely growing (deservedly, so!). I am glad that it does not seem to effect your style or openness. I love your blog and your personality, and I think that you probably could make a good go of it as full time at-home mom/blogger. I can’t wait to see how the Underdog comes out and watch your family grow and flourish!


I reallly enjoyed this post. Simple, sincere, honest. How wonderful was your hubbies response, men can be such simple creatures it was the perfect thing to say. I appreciate that from them. Congratulations, I couldn’t mean it more.


i loved your answer about why you don’t find out the gender of your babies. that is EXACTLY why i never found out either! people always thought i was crazy and i would just tell them, “i LOVE surprises and there are too few TRUE surprises left in life!”

each of my three pregnancies, i swore we were having a boy. . . and we have three girls! (so much for mother’s intuition!)

we were also very big on making sure our kids didn’t have common names. if they were in the top 200 names from the social security website, we couldn’t do it! everett was always one of my top choices on the “possible boy name list” but obviously, we never got to use those! :)

congrats. your family has SO many fun things to look forward to right now!


ooooooh CONGRATS!!!! am thrilled for you! three is hectic but heaven – i wouldn’t want it any other way. good on you for learning to say no too – i know that all too well. i finally realised i could either take everything on and stress myself out which would flow on to everything and everyone else around me (and I DID do that!) or I could say no and realise they would move on to someone else to get what they needed. that option sounded much better. i might have missed out on a lot, but i’d rather enjoy my family than be cranky with them for interrupting my work :)
here’s to a happy and healthy pregnancy – looking forward to following the growing bump!! bxxx


Congratulations! I am a recent reader of your blog and enjoy it immensely. :) I had my surprise baby last year (also #3) and all I can say now is I just can’t imagine life without him. I was terrified upon hearing we were having a boy (after 2 girls…I figured that’s all we could make!) but now realize that was silly as he’s SO much fun. I wish you much happiness and health and can’t wait to stay tuned and learn more! :)


Congratulations on the new baby! And thank you for sharing such a wonderful, heartfelt post. I can’t wait to hear more about the developments on the Underdog – as well as the new addition to the family. :)


Congratulations to you and your beautiful family! I haven’t commented before, but have enjoyed your blog for at least the last 8 months since we bought our first home. I have frequently been inspired by your writing–be it your design style or your purging trips to the Goodwill. I wish you all the best!! (And I agree that Layne is a very special, intuitive boy!)
P.S. We are expecting our first child the end of April, so I imagine I may draw more inspiration from you in the coming months! Take care!


This post really spoke to me. I have two girls and am thinking about having another child. I think that this moved my thinking about, to definitly want another child. My first was unexpected. I know the feeling, but its a happy one! Congratulations!! I love your blog, and can’t wait to hear and see more.


Congratulations Dana! I can’t wait to see what you do with your new nursery. As for getting it all done with a baby in tow …. I loved the Moby Wrap and the Ergo (for when they’re a little bigger) for being “hands free” with baby.
Best to you and your family. Great blog.


I am so excited to here the news. I also just found out that I am Prego and I am due May 26, 2011. I know that you eat and work out and i have no idea how to workout safely while pregnant. maybe you can add that to some of your blogs. Hint hint. LOL

Congratulations again on your pregnancy and just like you mine is unexpected (baby number 2 for us) but I am totally siced about it.


Congratulations! We’re preggo with #2, due May 20th. I’ve already ‘popped’ too, but have been so sick I’ve lost weight. Another co-worker is preggo with her #2, but was on the pill too. She said there was a recall on her pill (unfortunately after she was already pregnant) because the manufacturer switched the placebo with the active pill. Oops! Maybe that’s what happened with yours?

Good luck!


Manele – I’m a pharmacist, so I heard of the birth control recall right away and immediately thought, “hey! I’ll bet that’s what happened!” But when the exact details of the recall came out, the birth control I was on was NOT part of the recall. Guess I’m just that lucky. ;)


Congrats on your unexpected surprise! This was such a great post! Thanks for being real and sharing your heart!


Wonderful to read. Good on you, guys! I have a theory: When a couple is bang-up enjoying life and each other it’s like a siren call to all the little souls out there waiting to get born. Looks like one little soul just declared “Out of the way, Everybody & Everything – I got this covered and I’M GOING IN!”. And made it..

Good thoughts always.



Aw, such a unique way of thinking about our surprise!