Thursday, June 30, 2005

And only one more night it was!

At the present time, my house is 73 degrees, which matches the temperature that my thermostat is set on. Three weeks to the day from when our air conditioner first broke.

I can't really express how grateful I am to the company that saved us. I honestly don't think I could take another day in the hot house. Today was pretty bad while I was waiting for the guys to finish the installation. They reported that the highest it got in the house at about 2 pm was 88 degrees. And THIS with a window unit running. If I hadn't had that poor window unit, I can only imagine how hot it would have gotten in here.

My Lennox units are beautiful. They are large. They are quiet. Most importantly, THEY WORK.
We have so learned our lesson through this journey. Even though we ended up paying about $800 more for our new system than we were going to pay the original jerks, P and I agreed that it was worth every penny. You truly DO get what you pay for.

My master bedroom painting is finished with the exception of some touch ups on the door and jamb to the bathroom and touch ups on the closet baseboards, but all the furniture is back in place and the sheets are clean and fresh. I am ready for the first good night of sleep in weeks. And I don't have to be at work until 11:30, which means that I get to sleep in!! My boss already told me he's not approving my overtime request, so I might as well catch up on sleep a little. Lord knows I desperately need it.

Tomorrow, I will finish up the touch ups and paint the crown molding. P removed the bathroom flooring tonight.

Thank God it's Friday tomorrow. This has been one of the longest weeks of my life. A three-day weekend could not have come at a better time.

Oh, and a pregnant left ankle swelled to cankle-size tonight. Nice. I called my doc and she said not to worry about it and just start watching my salt intake and start elevating my feet a little more. Lovely lovely lovely.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The air conditioning saga is over

This morning we woke up and called the company that was supposedly coming to replace our unit to find out where the letter was that I had been promised, and I was informed that they would be coming today to pick up the equipment and that we had been refunded the money at 8:21 am.

Of course, our bank didn't have any record of the credit just yet, but I told the company that they had better fax me the receipt showing the credit or else I wouldn't let them in my house and would call the police if they laid one finger on my condensor unit.

I guess the owner decided after hearing me tear him a new one last night that they definitely were NOT going to retain us as customers and that it was probably best if we just parted ways.

DUH! I tried to tell them that two weeks ago.

But anyway, it's over. They picked up their equipment this afternoon (arrived two hours late, no surprise there) and we called a NEW company, owned by a couple that we know, and they are coming tomorrow to install a brand new 3.5 ton Lennox air handler and 3 ton condensor. They will be here at 8 am. I am SO relieved.

In the meantime, I just have to suffer the hot house for ONE MORE NIGHT.

I received a great baby gift today from Annette, and I already sent her an email, but I wanted to publicly thank her here and tell her what a beautiful job she did. The gift is a snow white baby afghan hand-knitted, and it is truly gorgeous. It was the one ray of sunshine in my day today, Annette...thank you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Another day, another air conditioning problem...

I was SO excited this morning. I woke up to 72 degrees and shivering since it was at least four degrees cooler than I've been used to. I kept my fingers crossed ALL day when I was in the field that I'd come home to a cool house.

No such luck. The temperature was back up to 77 when I got home.

After calling the air conditioning company FIVE TIMES and finally getting the owner on the phone and threatening him with legal action, this guy apologized about a zillion times, claims that he had "no idea this was going on" which I think is total bullshit, and promised me that if we will allow them to replace the condensor unit and furnace ONE MORE TIME with new equipment, and if in 48 hours the equipment is not working properly, he will refund our money plus $100 for the trouble. Yeah, $100 does not even begin to TOUCH the trouble this company has given us. I demanded several times that he just refund our money to begin with, but he insisted that he try this first. I don't know what else to do. Bank of America won't file a dispute until it's been 30 days (it's been 22) and he won't refund our money until he tries this, so I agreed to give him one last chance. Nothing else I could do really. So they'll be here at 1 pm tomorrow for Day 23 in the air conditioning nightmare. It's been awful. After I finish typing this, I'm headed back to the living room for yet another night on our pull-out couch mattress on the floor in front of the window unit like a campfire. It's just crazy.

On a GOOD note, the master bedroom is now completely painted. Two things I have learned:

1) It is very hard to repaint a room exactly the same color.
2) It is very hard to paint a room without moving all of the furniture out of it first.

I went back to Lowe's today for two more quarts, one each of flat and semi-gloss, and it turned out to be perfect. I finished the ceiling, painted all the trims and baseboards, doors and windowsills, and it looks fantastic. Just fantastic. (Taylor helped by watching from the comfort of the drop cloths lying on my bed.) It's drying now, and my plan for tomorrow night is to touch up all the areas on the wall with flat where I slopped semi-gloss (since semi-gloss on top of flat looks oily), to carefully remove the tape from the carpet where it is under the baseboards and then touch up with semi-gloss (this also needs to be done in the closet), reinstall all of the outlet and switch covers (I bought some new brass ones to replace the rest of the ones that were old and to match the new ones I bought 2.5 years ago), rehang the curtains, vaccuum, move all of the furniture back and change the bedding so we are all ready to move back into the master bedroom IF by God's good graces the air conditioning is working tomorrow night. I'd also really like to get the crown molding painted tomorrow so it is ready for P to put it up when he is ready. He has pronounced tomorrow night THE night when he will finish the hall bathroom...he plans to replace the vinyl floor, install the exhaust fan, install the baseboard, and hook up the toilet and the vanity. We'll see how far he gets. We bought these great raised-relief flower wall hangings for the bathroom that will go great with the decor that we bought and look fabulous against the Ancient Olive, so I'm very anxious to get to Wal-Mart and pick up the new decor. Things are coming together. And of course, there's still the matter of selecting the closet shelving for the master closet so our nursery can go back to being a nursery and stop being a huge walk-in closet.

My next project, I suppose, is going to be the master bathroom, since I slopped Alice Blue all over the wall and baseboard last night when I was closing the paint can. It's a mess anyway and needs to be cleaned and decluttered and maybe repainted. P is already talking about painting that ceramic tile in there too since he bought a second kit and is just pleased as punch with himself that the hall bath tile came out so nice.

Cabinet status: I talked to L tonight and he is waiting for a final quote on the cabinetry but stated that worst case scenario is three weeks away, which means that the demo will take place in two weeks. So, it looks like no kitchen painting for us this weekend, which irritates me greatly, but there is nothing I can do about it, so I'm thinking OFFICE this weekend after I finish the master bathroom. The decluttering of the office will probably take a full day in itself. It's a TOTAL disaster area in here. If I can't get motivated to clear it out, I guess we'll start on the main area, but the sooner I clear out the office, the sooner we can have our garage sale!

And that's the status. I have a meeting tomorrow at 10 with my boss, lunch afterwards, and then back home to deal with the &^%$*@& air conditioning men.

We have a little situation brewing with Simon. I walked him this morning, and this little dog came running up to us very aggressively out of a house. Simon started pulling and wrapping the leash around my legs, and it got to the point where I either was going to have to let him go or risk a 90-lb Lab pulling me over. I let him go, and he promptly charged this other dog and bit him in the ass, sending him yelping home. I know it's kind of funny, but it's really not. Even though I know that it was in the course of defending me, what if that had been a kid? Luckily the owner came out and was not mad. In fact, she was extremely apologetic. I doubt Simon would ever bite anyone, since he loves kids and little people and is always very good with strangers, but nevertheless, it's time to get him neutered and see if that will stop some of this aggressive behavior. 8 am Thursday morning, he's going!

Well. I have a date with a living room sofa and a window unit, so until tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2005

We don't own the house, THE HOUSE OWNS US!

The last 36 hours since I last blogged have been somewhat chaotic.

So, I've alluded to this air conditioning saga that has gone on for the entire month of June, yes? Well, it finally came to a head this weekend after P and I had to cancel THREE THINGS that we had scheduled this weekend in order to be here while the air conditioning repairman spent another two days here trying to figure out what is wrong with the brand-new system we just bought. We had dinner plans Saturday night...canceled. We had an appointment with a flooring store to pick our vinyl for our kitchen yesterday...canceled. And we were going to hit Lowe's for our mega-shopping trip...canceled. Instead, we spent ALL day yesterday at home, sweating, while this idiot worked on our system. And being on edge as we both are, we got into a huge fight yesterday morning after I walked the dogs about the state of our house. (Don't worry, everything's fine now.)

Today, I woke up after not sleeping well at all to a house that was 85 degrees. The air conditioning guy did NOT believe me...until he hooked up our thermostat and saw for himself that yes, it was indeed 85 degrees in here. He was supposed to be here at noon to start repairs. When 1 pm came and he still wasn't here, I decided I had had enough and called him on his cell. I'll spare you the details, but it was NOT pretty. Moral of the NOT take a pregnant woman's air conditioner away for almost an entire month in summer in Texas and expect her to be polite and nice to you. It just doesn't work. He finally left this afternoon after replacing the wiring to our thermostat, and yes, the house is MUCH cooler now. Our target temperature is 71 degrees, and after starting at 85 this morning, the house is now 76. I am praying that I come home tomorrow from work to a house that is 71 and not 85 again.

But today was quite a miserable day at work. I was tired, hot, tired of eating out, tired of not drying my hair, and my feet were hot ALL day. It was just miserable.

But P and I have reached a crossroads in this home remodeling journey and tonight we were BOTH productive. He finished painting the ceramic tile surround in the hall bath, reinstalled the master closet light fixture and installed this ironing board thingy that we bought at Target for the utility room that will hold our ironing board, iron, spray bottle and starch. As for me, well, I started to paint the master bedroom with the goal in mind of "just doing one wall", and now...all of the walls are done and about half of the ceiling. I just hit a hot streak. At first, I was like, "this is stupid" because we're painting it exactly the same color and do you KNOW how hard it is to repaint a room exactly the same color? It's VERY hard. You can't tell where you've painted and not painted! But then P walked in and said, "Wow! What a difference a coat of paint makes!" At first, I thought he was kidding, and when I realized that he was serious, I stepped back and looked at it, and he was really cleaned up the walls and brightened them up. I didn't realize how dirty our walls were and how gouged up and icky they were until I repainted them. I'm glad now that I did...I think that if I hadn't, the crown molding would have made them look VERY dingy.

The bad thing is that I am running out of paint. Quickly. *sigh* I'm going to stop by Lowe's tomorrow and pick up another quart of semi-gloss and another gallon of flat. If I'm not too tired from my fire tomorrow, I'm going to finish it up and then move all the stuff back into position Wednesday night. P's plan for tomorrow is to do the vinyl tile floor in the bathroom and install the baseboards.

We'll see how far we get.

And still nothing from the contractor on the kitchen. I'm going to threaten him with death soon if he doesn't call me with cabinet options!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Progress Report

This weekend is FLYING by. I can't believe it. But we've been busy.

Friday afternoon after I finished working early since my overtime was NOT approved, I dug out the old paint can from when we painted the master bedroom in 2003 and took it to Lowe's to be matched. I bought another gallon of flat and a quart of semi-gloss. The name is Alice Blue but it's kind of like a grayish-blue juniper color. It's wonderful and we love it enough to keep our bedroom that color. Yesterday I totally emptied our master bedroom closet, took down all the closet shelving and hardware, spackled the holes, and repainted the room, including semi-gloss on the baseboards, door and opening trims. It looks fantastic. The project is now spreading to the master bedroom. Friday night we bought 64 feet of crown molding to paint and put up in our master bedroom to hide our settlement cracks, but I think first I'm going to slap another coat of paint on the walls to freshen it up (we have a lot of gouges and marks) and then paint the baseboards, other doors and trims, and window stool with semi-gloss. So today (if my legs will cooperate) will be another day of moving stuff around and painting. But we'll see. My feet and legs really hurt after yesterday, so I'm leaning toward taking it easy today and just shopping.

P was not as productive as I was yesterday, I hate to say it. He worked on the dresser for a while and got more of the stripping and sanding done, but not nearly as productive as I was. We are still having air conditioning problems (LONG story and I don't feel like going into it right now) and he spent a good part of the day inside monitoring the dogs. The a/c guys were here for many hours yesterday working on our system. Why he couldn't have done some other things while that was going on, I don't know, but I'm trying to keep quiet and just do my own things. Friday night he did clean and prepare the ceramic tile for painting, so that first coat will be put on today, and we also bought a new exhaust fan with a light for the hall bathroom, so that'll be put on sometime this week.

It's going to be another busy Sunday. The only scheduled thing we have going on at the moment is a tentative appointment for late afternoon with this flooring store in Dallas that is going to lay our sheet vinyl in our kitchen and utility room after the remodeling and painting is done. The guys came last week to measure, so all we have to do now is go and pick out what we want. I'm excited about that. They have already told us they have TONS of flooring types in gray and white (our kitchen colors) so this will be relatively fun. The other thing we would like to get accomplished is yet another trip to Lowe's for the major shopping trip...closet shelving for the master closet, a new range, a sink, a faucet, and an over-range microwave oven. Even though we're obviously not ready to install any of that stuff just yet, I want to be prepared in case Lowe's pulls the same crap with us that they did last time and takes over a week to deliver things. We're planning on just storing all of that stuff in the garage for the time being until our kitchen is done and then our contractor is going to install it all for us. So it should be a fun time...except, of course, the spending money part.

So I guess I better get to it!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ancient Olive?? I don't think so!

More like mint jubilee.

So much for painting Friday night...P told me last night when we went to sleep that if I felt so inclined, I could paint when I stopped working tonight. Wasn't that nice of him? *grin*

Two hours of work, and the bathroom is now painted. I can't believe we waited two years to do that.

But the color is more like mint jubilee than it is like ancient olive. That's not a bad thing at all, but I'm sure glad we waited to buy our new bathroom decorations until we got it painted. And I want a new triple switchplate cover, GFI outlet cover and exhaust fan. The list just keeps growing.

Tomorrow, here is our plan:

P: removing vinyl tile, replacing with new
E: painting baseboards, door opening, back of door, maybe starting on tile surround

For now, I'm off to bed. I'll get a picture posted of our new bathroom when it's all done.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sugar and Spice and All That's Nice

As promised, I went shopping last night at Target for my very first official GIRL outfit! And we bought two. I wasn't so lucky as to find something lacy and frilly like I had hoped...everything right now is summer stuff. But that's okay...this stuff is still pretty cute!

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We also cruised down the stroller aisle and checked them out as well as the play pack things...I saw an aquarium play yard that I want pretty bad. There is also so many pink things...receiving blankets, onesies, socks, bibs, everything!!! So cute. But I resisted...I know Target is going to be one of the places on my registry, and I MUST BE GOOD, especially now that I have an official date for my shower! October 1 will be the day.

Not much else happening at the moment. I worked a full twelve-hour day today to compensate for my playing around yesterday, so tomorrow I should be able to sleep in a bit and knock off early so I can get some stuff done around the house. Not that today was unproductive...after I stopped working and rested for a bit, I decluttered the five "dump" drawers in my kitchen (come on, we've all got at least one, I just happen to have five), straightened up the bottom area of my pantry, and decluttered my utility room completely. Work was fairly unproductive...I worked on a total of three files in almost twelve hours. Granted, they were pretty big issues that I resolved, but it still wasn't my most productive day. I hope tomorrow will be better. The great thing though about work right now is that my new boss, K, is being SO NICE. I guess he must have learned a thing or two at his management school out in California, because the two times I talked to him today, he was very pleasant and courteous. I think it probably didn't hurt either that both of the files that were audited in our diagnostic audit yesterday got excellent scores and made him look VERY good. *wink*

My house is now half decluttered. I can't believe it. All that's left is my office, the master bedroom, master bathroom and linen closet, and then of course, the rest of the garage. And those, trust me, are the WORST areas. I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to less, my master bedroom or my office.

Come to think of it, my office. I just did my master bedroom a few months ago, so it's not that bad. My office is just downright scary.

Bathroom status...we are moving right along. P stopped at Home Depot tonight (home away from home) and bought a drywall texturing brush especially for crow's foot texture, a new toilet wax ring, and a kit to paint our ceramic tile tub surround since right now it is two different shades of white tile. He textured the drywall that he has repaired tonight, and while it's not a perfect match (he's matching texture that is 27 years old, for goodness sakes), it's pretty darn close, and I really think that once it's painted and all the fixtures put back in, no one is even going to be able to tell. It's quite a relief to know that my husband could get a job as a contractor if needs be...even though he thinks he's too slow to do it. Tomorrow he is going to remove the vinyl tile from our bathroom floor and possibly cut the baseboards...I'm going to try to get them painted so they are ready to go after we paint the walls. We're shooting for starting to paint the bathroom Friday night if I'm not too tired or Saturday....and then paint the ceramic tile maybe Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I'd love to have the bathroom put back together by Monday morning...especially since all the bathroom stuff I want is at Wal-Mart!

I'm also happy to announce that after almost TWO WEEKS of fighting with these air conditioning people that replaced our entire system, we finally have a functioning air conditioning system and it feels SO GOOD in our house. I'll spare you the details, but I was seriously ready to kill these guys. But it seems to be over now...we hope.

Kitchen status...our contractor L came over Monday night and left cabinetry books with us. We picked out six styles of cabinetry (all white) for him to call and get information on. Our final decision will be based primarily on how long it takes to come in and how much they are, although I think we were quite economical in what we chose. We're hoping (keeping our fingers crossed) that they will start the demolition of our kitchen next week so we can paint the kitchen and utility room over July 4th weekend. I don't know...we'll see. He's supposed to get back to me tomorrow or Friday with an answer so we can make a decision. This weekend we are going appliance shopping so those are all ready, and my list of what we need for the house just keeps growing and growing and growing.

And on one final note, I seem to have developed a nasty case of sciatica. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, sciatica is where the growing weight of your uterus places pressure on your sciatic nerve and causes shooting pain in your butt and backs of your thighs. It's real pleasant. And the best part is, there is nothing anyone can do for it. I can take Tylenol, rest, and try to shift my uterus around so it is off my nerve, but that's easier said than done. I posted on my Trying to Conceive board about it today and some of the ladies said that they suffered with sciatica through their entire pregnancy, so it's possible that I might have five more months of this. UGH! At least it's not dangerous to me or the's just painful and annoying. I'm going to mention it to my doctor next visit, but I'm not optimistic that she can do anything.

I'm off to my OWN bed for a change and not on the pull-out sofa in the living room. We've been sleeping there for the last week or so while the a/c problems were being resolved, but tonight, we're good to go in our own room.

Thanks to everyone for the name suggestions and the well wishes for the she-baby in my tummy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The big day is here!


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Here she is!

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And some better pictures...look at that SPINE!

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Everything looks very good...heart, kidneys, stomach, head, arms, legs, hands, all well developed. I can't believe how big my little seahorse has gotten!! It's unbelievable. Our blood screen came back too for the genetic abnormalities...all good. Our little girl is looking good!

The tech is about 90% sure she's a girl. The darn kid would NOT sit still long enough to let us take a good look and she kept moving her arms, hands, cord, everything right in front of where we wanted to look, but the good thing about her moving so much is that if there had been male genitalia, we most likely would have seen it. We'll keep our boy names on file just in case, but P was convinced without a shadow of a doubt when he left that we are having a girl for sure.

But for now, we'll start seriously thinking about girl names.


Monday, June 20, 2005

The next, rotting tomato!

Thank you all for the comments on my nursery. I got tons of compliments at work too. It's been a great day...although I'm DYING of anticipation for the ultrasound tomorrow. I can't believe tonight is the last night I will go to sleep without knowing if I am having a son or a daughter. How on EARTH do people wait to be surprised and what did this world DO without ultrasounds? Couple that with my contractor's visit with lots and lots of cabinet catalogs and I was utterly useless today at work. Utterly.

P, on the other hand, called me from work to get measurements for our master closet so he can check out closet organizing systems and then informed me that he plans on replacing the vinyl tile on our bathroom floor. By the time I closed up shop in my office, he had already unpacked the vanity, disconnected it, and started drawing marks for where we were going to replace the drywall.

The next onion has been chosen. Or should I say rotting tomato?

I say that very affectionately because our poor hall bathroom has been through A LOT. It is the very center of our house and it has just sustained a whipping since we moved in here. Let's step back.

-October 2001: We realized we had a slab leak under the bathtub.
-November 2001: We had the tiles next to the tub broken out, a hole jackhammered in the slab, and a tunnel dug to repair a drain line under the tub, a process during which our plumber informed us that our tub was rotting.
-Early 2002: We replaced the vanity cabinet and discovered a very colorful patch of mold behind the vanity, which had to be cut out and replaced with new drywall. One wall of baseboard was removed. New toilet installed.
-Sometime later in 2002: We had the tub replaced with a new tub, a process during which our tile surround was broken. Stud wall exposed temporarily...or so we thought.
-Fast-forward to 2004: We had the tub that we replaced yanked out and replaced with a new garden tub, a wall drywalled and tiled in front of the garden tub, and the broken tile surround fixed with new tile, a process during which the drywall behind the toilet rotted out and crumbled since P and E refused to accept that their tub shouldn't be used and kept on using it anyway. Wall of baseboard behind tile gone.

And that pretty much brings us up to date. Like I said, this poor bathroom has sustained a whipping. I don't even KNOW where my before pictures are of this poor thing. Just imagine the nastiest bathroom you've ever seen in a rental house with 1970s style cabinetry and the gold-swirled marble top and that was our bathroom. Oh, yeah, did I mention that there is also evidence of long-ago termite damage? I love living in Texas.

So this is what has been done so far:

-last wall of baseboard removed
-toilet pulled
-old rotted drywall cut out
-wall cavity vaccuumed out

As I type, P is taping and bedding a new 2x2 piece of drywall in place for behind our toilet. Tomorrow, we will attempt to texture it and the drywall that he replaced in early 2002. Then, this is what we have to accomplish to turn the rotting tomato into a cherry tomato:

-paint entire room in Ancient Olive
-remove/replace vinyl tile (his decision, not mine)

-reinstall vanity cabinet
-paint/cut/install baseboards
-paint door molding and inside of door
-replace heat lamp with an exhaust fan
-paint ceramic tile surround (I found the coolest kit to paint ceramic tile online!)
-replace shower rod
-clean up
-buy new decorations for bathroom (I found some awesome stuff at Wal-Mart!)

Compared to the nursery, this should be a piece of cake! Right?

P just yelled for me to come look at the drywall, so it's done and must set for a few days, and then the transformation of the tomato will resume.

I guess I'll go clean out the freezer. That's a good activity when you are trying to make the time pass, right?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The complete transformation of the onion

Only a few short months ago, our nursery was our workout room and looked like this, painted in a pukey shade of Little Mermaid green. (The label said pale jade, but there was nothing pale about this color!)

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Now, I present to you the Finding Nemo room!

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A few close-ups...

Our new and improved closet!

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Our new baseboards...

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A zoom in shot of our new ceiling fan, and if you look in the corner of the ceiling behind, you will see our Prism hanging...

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And...our neato outlet cover and the lava lamp nightlight! (I just had to try it.)

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After I finished the bifolds and vaccuumed and cleaned up the carpet, I spent a good hour putting all my baby stuff away and just in general enjoying my new room. I really am quite pleased with the way it came out.

Now, I'm off to bed. *yawn*

State of the House

In all my pregnant crabbiness this morning, I forgot to post a quick update on where we are with the house.

The nursery is thisclose to being done. The last obstacle to finishing it is the stupid bifold doors. I never would have guessed how tricky those things are to painting. Since they are folding and since they are flush with the carpet, they pretty much have to be painted one side at a time in place and then allowed to completely dry before attempting the next side or next coat. So far, I have done two coats on the front and that's it. I still need to do the back, and the door handles need to be put up. We did buy a scarf sheer at Wal-Mart last night which has made the curtains we had up there look much much nicer (and cuts the light a bit more), the outlet covers are finally all completely up, the baseboards are completely finished, and we're still debating whether or not we're going to put up the half-moon sunshade in the top of the arch. With the scarf, I'm not sure we need it. I also bought some ceiling hooks last night at Walley World...expressly for the purpose of hanging my new prism from the ceiling in front of the window to cast rainbows over the room. It's close. Not sure if we are ready for pictures yet since the room is a mess, but it's very close. I need to finish the painting, clean up the tools and mess, vaccuum and we'll be ready for photos.

The decluttering is still going on. I have pretty much been working in the kitchen ALL WEEK LONG. Granted, the kitchen is the worst area of the house (just about) but it's also the absolute dirtiest. Now, it doesn't even look like my kitchen. That doesn't mean I don't want to remodel it still, because I DO, but it's definitely an improvement. The only areas left to declutter are the pantry, the cleaning chemicals under the sink, the cabinets where I keep my baking pans and cookie sheets, and the five drawers that have been a dumping ground since the day we moved in here. Everything else is clean, and our counters are clear. I managed to get rid of enough stuff (appliances, pots, pans, etcetera) under the cabinets to make room for my KitchenAid mixer and lots of other things that were previously on the cabinets. We also have decided to get rid of our baker's rack (garage sale) and our deep freezer (gift to the contractor for cutting his overhead and profit on our remodeling job), which means I need to completely empty out the freezer, move it to the garage, and thaw it out soon. Areas left to declutter...utility room, bathrooms, bedroom, linen closet, and office. Our pile for a garage sale is

The kitchen...well, it's slow going. We got the bid in from our contractor and like I said, he is cutting his overhead and profit quite a bit to help us out, and we're going to buy a lot of the materials ourselves which will cut down, but the trade off is that we have to be very patient. He's coming over Monday night so we can pick out the cabinets that we want so he can order them, and then depending on when the cabinets are anticipated to come in, we'll schedule a day for demolition of the cabinets and countertops and a day for installation of the cabinets, counters, sink, faucet, microwave/range hood, and new range. Since we are also going to paint the kitchen (ourselves, despite his offer....I'd rather invest that $250 we'd pay him to paint it in my range!), he's going to allow us a few days (hopefully a weekend!) to get the kitchen painted before installation. It's going to be a busy next few weeks. But my preference is that the decluttering be DONE so when we schedule the demo, it'll take P and I just a few hours to get our things moved to the dining room. The guys that are going to lay our sheet vinyl flooring are coming to measure on Monday afternoon.

Garage...still decluttering in progress, mostly because of P. His tools are EVERYWHERE. But he assured me that he does have a method to his madness and that I should just let him do his thing. Whatever. I'm just happy that there is room out there now for me to put stuff. Today I filled up the rest of a large box with garage sale stuff and one large yard paper bag.

The dresser...coming along. P pretty much worked on it all day today and got the entire front and top sanded down. He removed the old hardware from the drawers and is now working on sanding the sides. We went to Lowe's today and bought a Dremel so he can get in the corners and crevices, and he's anticipating about another 2-3 hours of sanding before it's ready to start staining. Our plan (when the sanding is done) is that I will stain the drawers and he will do the dresser itself. It's a very beautiful wood's amazing and I can't wait to see what it looks like with the Island Water stain on it.

And finally, our next project. We decided over lunch today that we're going to go ahead and tackle the hall bathroom. We went to Lowe's and bought a gallon of Ancient Olive (very pale sage green) flat for the walls and a quart of semi-gloss for the moldings. We bought two lengths of baseboard and a sheet of drywall to do the repairs. We haven't quite figured out yet how we are going to make the texturing blend into the existing, but we'll either figure it out or ask the drywaller on our kitchen job to do it for us. We even looked at Wal-Mart for new bathroom decor. Anyway, not sure when we'll start that, but it is ready to get going when we are.

Tomorrow, I'm going to a Father's Day luncheon for my father in law...I made a cheesecake with strawberry sauce at P's request, hence why I am up so late. Cheesecakes aren't that hard to make, but the cooling process is lengthy, and I'm waiting for the time to elapse so I can remove the sides of the springform pan and then put the thing in the refrigerator. The sauce, thankfully, is already made and in the fridge. What I'm hoping is that we can make a VERY brief appearance and then come home to get stuff done. On top of having a lot of projects going on at home at the moment, I have a busy as hell day on Monday and I'm really behind on my laundry.

Oh, well, the beauty of all this business is that it is making the time until my ultrasound Tuesday pass really quickly! I took a poll on the Trying to Conceive message board I'm on, and about 2/3 of the ladies there think I'm having a boy, so we'll see!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Three days to go...definitely a kid in there!

Here's my eighteen week belly shot.

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As you can see, I'm carrying high, like a watermelon, and my baby's blood pressure has ranged from 150-160 over the last three check-ups.

Then why have I and P had dreams over the last week that we are having a boy???

My doctor says all that stuff about the way you carry, heartbeat, etcetera, is all hooey and I have a 50/50 chance of having a boy OR a girl, so I guess it's useless being curious all weekend, but I'm DYING DYING DYING to know what I'm having.

Three more days. Tuesday morning at 9 am CST.

A few pregnant revelations this week...

1) Wal-Mart has THE crappiest maternity clothes selection I have ever seen.
2) It's getting harder and harder to tie my sneakers.
3) The worst gas in the world can make you waddle, not be able to get up off the couch, and feel like you are having a miscarriage and generally like you are dying a slow death.
4) People chalking up your irritated reactions towards them being an asshole as "oh, she's just pregnant" can really stick in your craw, hence what happened when I was woken up by a man with a falling ceiling at 6:15 am yesterday morning who wanted me to come to his house AT THAT MINUTE to look at his damage.
5) Trying to exist as a woman carrying another human being in a house when the air conditioning system that you JUST REPLACED is not working correctly and the temperatures outside are approaching triple digits can really make you crabby and give you visions of ripping the air conditioning repairman's bowels out with a fork because he's just so darn unhelpful.

Twenty-two weeks, give or take, to go.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The nesting period begins

At least, that's what I think this is. I think it might be a tad early to really feel it coming on, since I've heard it really comes on heavy in the third trimester. P, the eternal pessimist, thinks that we are both just sick to death of living in a constant state of clutter.

Maybe it's a little bit of both. All I know is, I am suddenly very very very aware that there will be a third person living in this house in little more than five months, and I really don't want this person to be subjected to the same messy state that P and I have accepted is our house for the last, oh, EIGHT YEARS since we've been living together. And life will be so much easier and pleasant if my house is clean, has a place for everything, and is pretty to look at!

I have read the Flylady book twice, and there is one thing that I have determined is key to decluttering your house-that is to decide to have a garage sale. P and I decided last weekend that with minimal effort we can accumulate enough stuff to have a garage sale in a month or two. Once you have a purpose in mind for things and know that it's not just being donated to Goodwill or being thrown out, it's a lot easier to decide to part with it. We designated a clean corner of our garage for garage sale items, and it's been growing and growing and growing over the past week. Add in the fact that we found out our neighbor behind us across the alley wants to have a garage sale this summer, and the deadline is in place so we can combine advertising and get as much people to our driveways on a certain day as possible. Anything that we don't sell, we'll donate to Goodwill. I have now made it my mission to declutter this entire house. Of course, this must be done before the house is painted anyway, so it really serves two purposes. But I'm starting with the main areas of the soon as I finish decluttering and get it clean, P promised to remove the moldings and I can get started painting. We haven't decided on a color yet for the main areas, but it's going to be some variety of white. We're doing colors in every other room, but the main area is going to be some sort of white or stone color since it's going to cover the living room, dining room, entry and hall.

The garage is coming along very nicely. Our main obstacle is that we only have two trash receptacles, and when you are cleaning out the garage, those receptacles fill up very fast. But we're working on it. We bought a shelving system this week for the garage...the steel kind with wooden shelves, and P put it together today. We have two clamp thingys for the wall, but he hasn't put those up yet. I don't know...our neighbors behind us decided to start cleaning out their garage today too (hence the garage sale discussion) and they were marveling at how empty our garage was. Okay. We think it's a pit, but I guess it's all relative! Anyway, we're working on it slowly and it is getting there. The treadmill has been moved out there to its semi-permanent place until we decide what to do with it (at least with all this housework I don't feel guilty about not walking on it!) and when we get some more stuff cleared out, we'll move the weight rack to the wall and put the weights away. At some point in the next few weeks, we are going to buy a second shelving system, most likely for P's tools and nothing else, but we need to make more room for that. We have a lot of stuff, despite what our neighbors think!

The nursery is almost done. I think we should be ready for pictures next weekend. P finished installing the baseboards in the closet today and I put the first coat of Space Command Blue on the front of the bifold doors, which was harder than it looks. I didn't realize that painting bifolds was so difficult, but I should have...every time I estimate for it in an estimate, I always wonder why it's more expensive to paint bifolds than regular doors. Now I know why. Anyway, I have a feeling that because they are wooden doors, it's going to take three coats of paint to cover the grain of the wood, and because they are folding, I can only paint one side at a time. So this could be an all-week project. I'm going to paint the back side of the doors tomorrow night and put the second coat on the front side. My outlet covers arrived and look sensational, but somehow they don't cover the outlet holes quite like my old ones did and P had to do a little patchwork today, which will have to be painted again tomorrow and then the outlet plates installed on Wednesday. But I do have the switchplate and one outlet cover up and they look great. The blinds are up, but we still need to put the fan-style window shade up in the arch part of the window and hang the drapery hardware (note to self, wash drapes this week!) so I can put the drapes up, and I need to touch up the baseboards in the closet, but otherwise, we are close to done, and I even started putting some things in the closet today. I'm not hanging anything on the walls though just yet. Everything hinges on the dresser. I refuse to buy any more furniture until the dresser is in place, and I can't hang anything up until I know where the furniture is going to be placed. P promised me that he will work on the dresser again this week now that we have the garage somewhat cleared out, so we'll see how it goes. I just have to gently prod him. My hardware arrived this week too, and it's just as beautiful as I had hoped it would be.

And the masterpiece to be, which is the kitchen. When we went to Home Depot last week, we decided (in the middle of the cabinet displays) that our colors for our kitchen would be gray and white. Ha! We went from blues and yellows and a lighthouse theme (our original choices when we first moved into the house) to a monochrome gray and white color scheme. We actually have very good reasoning for doing that, mainly being that this will be the ONLY time the kitchen is remodeled while we live in it and thus, neutral is probably the way to go so we don't have any problems selling the house later. I still love my Artesia blue countertops that I selected years ago (I found the sample card tonight when I was cleaning the mantle) but I have to admit that not everyone loves blue countertops. Our choice of Brushed Pewter is probably a much more logical choice. After all, you can't paint Formica. Anyway, we met with the contractor, L, earlier this week, he took measurements, we showed him what we wanted and selected white cabinets, and put in the following requests...a new stainless steel double sink, new faucet, new disposal, knock out our linen closet and put in a full height cabinet instead, new range hood with built-in microwave, new single hung windows instead of the ugly slider we have now that lets in bugs, removal of the god-awful 1970s gold aluminum tile off our walls, and of course, replacement of the nasty wood grain Formica counters with the Brushed Pewter and all new cabinets since ours are agreeably beyond being saved. (By the way, we noticed that our neighbors have the IDENTICAL counters to us, so I guess Fox and Jacobs just went with that in bulk.) We're also going to do new sheet vinyl in our kitchen and utility room, but I think I'm going to hire someone else for that. L said that he would get back to us Monday with a final price and if it's not too much more than we have budgeted for, we're going to go for it and the demolition will start next week (the week of the 20th) which means that next weekend will be spent decluttering and packing the kitchen. We're talking sorting through pots, pans, going through the pantry, defrosting the freezer, you name it. It's going to be quite a project. It's a good thing I have tons of energy right now! After it's all done, we're going to paint the walls light gray and hang black and white framed prints on the wall. All my lighthouse stuff is going to go to my office...I've decided that a lighthouse theme would be perfect in here, especially since I've got Thomas Kinkade stuff back here already.

Okay, enough house stuff. If you've made it through this far, thank you for reading. I admit my typing all of that out was more for my sanity than anything else. I just have so much going through my brain right now! But it's all good...this decluttering project has been a LONG time coming. A long time coming indeed.

Other stuff going on right now...well, our air conditioning condensor unit broke this week, which sucked, but again, it's been a long time coming. The guy that came out to look at it was like, "I didn't even know Ducane made condensors!" (Ducane, the company that makes the huge barbeque grills that you see at Home Depot?) Anyway, $1,500 later, we have a brand-new condensor, but it is still freezing up, so I'm praying that our inside unit has not gone as well. We're getting the guys back out here to look at it tomorrow.

I had a very minor auto accident Friday in my company car. SO minor. I was in stop and go traffic, I looked down for a milli-second, and tapped the huge Ford 250 truck in front of me. No damage to his car of course, but his monster metal bumper ripped through the plastic bumper on mine. No way to repair it...the whole plastic piece will have to be replaced. My supervisor, the guy acting as my supervisor, and our office manager were not upset with me and everyone was way more worried about me and the baby than the Magnum, but I feel really really bad considering that the cost to repair the car is going to come out of our office's operating budget. Oh, well. Why couldn't I have done this to my Malibu or my Contour? Oh, no, I had to wait until I actually got a brand-new car that I like. But yes, I'm FINE....I was going maybe 4 miles an hour, so there was no whiplash or damage by the seatbelt or anything like that, and the guy I hit was really cool about it...he wouldn't even take my company card.

Work has been busy as usual, they won't approve overtime, and I'm on call this week starting at 4:30 pm tomorrow. 'Nuff said. It sucks right now.

This weekend was a lot of fun in more ways than one...of course, there was the decluttering project which consumed today, but Friday night we went out to Macaroni Grill with our friends J and N, and a new couple K and J, and then back to J and N's house for poker. P and I lost $17. Woo woo. Last night, we went over to S's house for Game Night, which was great fun as usual, but like a party poop, this pregnant woman crashed and burned on the couch at the end of the night. At least I had a good excuse. I do pretty good during the day, but my body really does know when enough is enough.

And as for the pregnancy update, well, I have nothing new to report. I feel great. I am fairly sure I am feeling the baby moving, but not with enough certainty yet to swear to it. I keep feeling things that feel like a kick to my side, but it's too early to feel feet yet, I stepmom told me that the baby right now is the size of an onion and I think that's too early. I get tired frequently, but I'm being really good and taking frequent breaks and resting. I'm making sure to get at least eight hours of snooze time per night, I'm being very diligent with my prenatals and my allergy meds, and can you believe it, I had TWO people this week rub my tummy. Argh. I know that they won't be the last, and one of my friends was doing it to tease me because she knows it annoys me, but argh argh argh!!!

Wow. This was a long entry! The one area of my life right now that I don't have any updates on is my stitching. Right now I'm so unmotivated to stitch it's not even funny. I just feel like there are other things to consume my attention right now, and since I won't want to do much during the last trimester but sit with my feet up, I'm taking advantage of the energy and motivation now. New finish Noah's Submarine by September! I am reading more though...I finished The Andromeda Strain and started Sphere last night. I was sorely disappointed in The Andromeda Strain, but so far, Sphere is very good!

Well, time for bed. I have a long week at work this week, both professionally and at home! Tomorrow night I'm starting to declutter the dining room, and while it won't take AS long as the living room, there is a lot of stuff in there that needs to be lugged out to the garage.

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nursery Update

This will be short and sweet as we are preparing to get right to work on the nursery.

It's looking very good. Despite our worry and some nightmares, the wallpaper did NOT fall off the wall and still looks very good. The baseboard is painted and up. I spent all day yesterday painting a second coat on the "ocean" half since the first coat did not cover the Little Mermaid green very well. I don't understand why the lighter color covered it but not the darker color, but whatever, it's covered again and looks great. Today I have to finish touching up the wave line and fixing all the uneven blobs and mistakes, touch up the baseboards, and paint the window sill and door casings. P is going to install our wire closet shelving package that we bought, which is not going to be as easy as we thought it would be, that's for sure. Hopefully I can get him to install the bifold doors so I can get those painted as well, but we'll see. The Finding Nemo fan is also up. He was just going to put the blades up, but decided at the last minute just to hang the replacement fan, and then it wobbled, so he took it down and put it back up again yesterday morning.

I finally ordered the dresser hardware...twelve seahorse pulls for the six long drawers, two starfish and two shellfish for the four short drawers. They should be here sometime next week. We also went out to Home Depot last night and bought our dresser stain...Island Water! It looks very cool. I doubt I'll be able to get P to start the dresser today, so that's probably going to be a project for next weekend. At any rate, things are moving along well.

In other house-related projects, we have our contractor coming on Tuesday to discuss plans for THE project, being our kitchen. When we visited Home Depot last night, we selected possible countertop colors and cabinet styles, sinks, faucets, range hoods, etcetera. Not sure how this is going to work yet, but that's why we are going to discuss it with our contractor, L. P also wants to talk to him about spraying more insulation in the attic above our bedroom, and I want to discuss him painting the outside of our house!

Our next painting project after the nursery is done is going to be our hall bathroom, which has been a serious work in progress ever since we discovered that we had a slab leak in there in the fall of 2001. Since then, the leak has been repaired, the floor replaced, the tub replaced, the vanity replaced, we've cut out drywall that had mold on it, and we're still not done. We're thinking that we will rip off the rest of the baseboards, sand the texture, replace the baseboards, and paint, and probably replace the bath curtain and bath mats with new stuff since we've had that stuff since our last apartment. We looked at some paint colors last night, and I think we're thinking about going with a pale sage. After that, hopefully the kitchen and utility room will be close to done, so we can paint those rooms, and then, the big project, the living/dining/hall areas, which is going to take several weekends since there is SO MUCH wall space due to our vaulted ceilings. We also want to buy new closet shelving packages for our closet and for the office closet, and really get the garage cleaned out once and for all. I'm finding that I'm slightly more motivated to get this stuff done now that there is a deadline in sight, but I can't wait until the nesting feelings kick in and I really feel the urge to get organized. Right now, I just want to organizing inspiration anywhere.

So that's all from here. Noah's Submarine is looking fantabulous as you can see from my latest picture. My current plan of action is to get that whole lower section of the ocean DONE and then I'll move back over to the left side of the piece again. I even have all the sections marked off on my chart. Work is going boss K is out in California for management school for the next two weeks, so I have some semblance of peace and quiet, not that he really micromanages me to begin with. The pregnancy is going fine...just getting hungrier and more tired as time goes on.

Later gators!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What is the surest way to split up a married couple expecting their first child?

Make them hang wallpaper together. I'm serious. It was about to be World War III in this house over this damn Finding Nemo wallpaper border. Painting a ocean wave line freehand? Ha! Sanding texture off the walls? Pshaw! Custom-cutting and painting baseboard? Piece of cake.

The instructions on the wallpaper card read as follows (in only that cute sing-songy way that Disney has):

Up we go! Immerse reverse-rolled border of desired length in lukewarm water for ten seconds. Position each border where desired. Use a clean damp sponge to remove bubbles and excess paste.

Oh, did I mention that at the top of these instructions it says "So easy to apply". As in, "You are an idiot if you can't hang this wallpaper border, pregnant woman."

So, my plan was to put up the border while P did the baseboards. Needless to say, the baseboards are not finished yet.

Wall #1: I followed the instructions to the letter.
Results: The wallpaper did NOT get wet enough and would not stick to the wall. P came to the rescue.

Wall #2: I rolled up the border frontways, put it in the water, and pulled it out reverse-rolling as I went.
Results: The wallpaper was WAY too wet and would not stick to the wall. Again, P to the rescue.

Wall #3: My husband unrolled the wallpaper border into the sink as I pulled it out, reverse-rolling it as I went.
Results: Perfect, of course. (This resulted also in many dark looks towards my husband for being right again.)

Wall #4: We followed the same procedure as Wall #3 except THIS wall had a a/c register on it and the border had to be cut into two pieces and trimmed around the register, only I heard my husband say, "let's cut the border around the register before we put it up" when he swears he said, "we'll trim it after we cut the lengths".
Results: A screaming match between husband and wife that almost resulted in the death of one of the spouses, but a completed finished product that Marlin himself would have been proud of and Nemo would have thought cool.

Did I also mention that this is the same man that used the TOILET PLUNGER to unstop the sink a few weeks ago but failed to return it back to the bathroom? Result: A hysterical phone call to him at work screaming at him for not returning the plunger back to the bathroom and yelling that it was his fault that the toilet overflowed this morning.

I'm hormonal. I need a shower and a couch and some tea.

I hate Disney.