Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Wow, been a while since we last posted. Juniper is a wonderful little person. Three months old now and full of joy and joy-ness. :) She giggles and smiles all the time, STILL sleeps through the night, loves boobies and her brother and sisters. Blog updates, uploading pictures, generally time to do anything but love on kids has gone by the wayside.

Totoro's Subaru conversion is on hold, I got a free 1991 2.1 WBX with 30k on it that I'm retrofitting for use with the 1.9 cooling system. I will initially use the 1.9 FI (Digijet) but eventually convert that to the 2.1 FI (Digifant.)

I've been barista-ing at the downtown store lately before coming out to roast. I like it but I am getting busier at the roastery so my downtown days are comign to and end.

We really will get some new pictures on here soon, I promise!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Juniper is here!!!

It's been a while since we posted a blog, we've been a bit busy. Here's why:

Juniper Claire was born on January 20th at 4:05pm!!!

Sommer had been having contractions on and off for a week or so before but on Tuesday the 20th they got more intense and a lot closer together. We had a midwife appointment that morning and then I went to work. That, of course, is when it all started to happen. With me about 20 minutes away in Sunriver.

She started IM'ing me on Google talk at about 12:30, telling me about each contraction. I would type back the time of each and started noticing they were 6-7 minutes apart, with some about 5 minutes apart. She kept saying they were 10 minutes apart and fake, my first clue that I needed to shut down the roaster, start getting out of there and on my way home. By the time she said, "I called my mom to come vacuum," I knew it was time to go home. Sommer's mom arrived and IM'ed me about a couple contractions then relayed the message that Sommer wanted me to come home.

I had Totoro going just about as fast as it could go all the way from Sunriver to Bend, it must've been a sight to see an 84 Vanagon flying down HWY97 at 75mph.

When I neared the house I thought, "Well, if the contractions are fake, she'll be sitting on the couch Facebooking or something. If not, she'll be doubled over in the living room."

It was the latter.

I got the stuff in the car and convinced Sommer that we'd come home right away if they were fake, that I was only putting the carseat, exercise ball and jammies in the car for next week when we going to have a baby.

We got to the birth center, Motherwise, at 2:15pm and as I got the bags out of the car and started toward the door I realized Sommer was headed down the street toward an apartment building saying, "They're fake! Let's do this some other time." About that time Nicole, one of the midwives, was coming out to meet us and reassure Sommer that they just wanted to make sure everything was ok.

As we settled into the birth suite and made it through a couple intense, close contractions, Dana checked and found Sommer was already 8 or 9 centimeters dilated. Labor was progressing very quickly, Sommer wanted in the giant tub to try and be a bit more comfortable. At first I stayed out of the tub, instead helping rub her back and shoulders and keep a cool washcloth a the ready to hold at her neck and forehead. Sydney arrived with Sommer's mom and initially stayed out of the room but after some laboring, we decided that, if she wanted to, she could come in. Sydney ended up being a great help, the midwives commented that they were very happy she was there to help out and witness such an amazing event.

The labor was fast and hard and by the time I got in the tub with Sommer, Juniper was on her way. I was behind Sommer alternating between supporting her in the frog pose she was in and keeping her from levitating up and back out of the tub. About 15 more minutes, five more contractions, beyond painful pushing and she was out at 4:05pm. Juniper was placed on Sommer's belly all squishy and beautiful. The cord was a bit short so she couldn't get all the way up to nurse right away, but after the cord stopped pulsing it was clamped and cut. After snuggling and rubbing the vernix in, we let them take Juniper and get her wrapped up and I helped get Sommer dried off and out of the tub.

Back in bed, Juniper started nursing right away and Sydney got to get some snuggles in, too. Juniper weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 20.5" long. She came out with a thick head of black hair and is very cute.

20 Minutes Old

The Motherwise staff was great, thank you so much to them, and the facilities were excellent. But we wanted out of there so we could start bonding and enjoy our first hours of Juniper at home. I am convinced a home birth would've been just as incredible, as Dana, Nicole and crew would come to our house.

We got to go home around 9:30pm that night. I can't begin to explain how incredible it was not to be at the hospital. It was so much more relaxing and being home about 5 hours afterward was amazing. I was worried at first, but after realizing there were no nurses coming in and out, no beeps or buzzes, and with a comfortable bed, I knew this was perfect.

She is a perfect baby. She sleeps through the night and loves boobies and diaper changes.

Sommer was fantastic, once she admitted to herself that it was real labor. :) I have nothing but the deepest love, respect and admiration for her after seeing again one of the most beautiful, selfless acts.

Some more pictures:

Mama, Daddy(looking rough) and Juniper

A Foot

A Beautiful Juniper

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Conversion is Coming!

Totoro's engine, the 1.9l WBX, has always been a bit underpowered. My solution to that and the cooling issues and oil consumption issues is to swap the 1.9 out for an EJ22, a 2.2l Subaru engine likely from 1991-1994 with a few less miles that Totoro. The EJ22 fits perfectly in the engine bay and bolts up to the transaxle by way of an adapter plate and new flywheel.

The most difficult part of the install by far is paring down the Subaru wiring harness to 40 or so essential wires. Kennedy Engineered Products, KEP, has a 6 foot schematic and instructions on how to do it, as well as most of the other conversion parts.

The other hard part is routing the cooling system hoses and fitting them to the new engine. The stock coolant manifold on the EJ22 needs a bit of reworking to work more efficiently in the Vanagon. SmallCar Performance has a reversed manifold that makes this quite easy.

So a rough draft of the first bits I'll do with the WBX in place and running/driving are:

-Acquire a lower mileage, good condition EJ22 with ECU, Harness and assorted other bits.
-Modify the harness with KEP instructions.
-Perform any maintenance/detailing needed on the EJ22.
-Install SCP reversed coolant manifold.
-Install KEP crossmember engine mount.
-Install KEP flywheel and adapter plate.
-Install KEP header.
-Work out hose routing/expansion tank/heater hoses on paper.
-Work out throttle linkage and fuel lines/filter.

Then with all that in place and ready I'll block out a couple weekends in a row and set to work removing the WBX, it comes out quite easily. Then after removing any components specific to the WBX that I don't need, I'll detail the engine bay. After deatiling I'll move the expansion tank, hoses, fuel lines, and throttle cable as needed before then mounting the EJ22. Then comes mounting and routing the ECU and harness, making connections to the Vanagon harness and mounting the engine. After that its a matter of finalizing the cooling system connections, electrical connections, hooking up the fuel lines, then adding oil and coolant. Bleeding the cooling system is never graet fun on the Vanagon, but I've done it a few times by myself and I've got it down.

Well, more to come on the conversion later with pictures ad links to parts and prices!