Brainstorming: Master Bedroom

This is probably super optimistic since we now have a demanding baby in our household, but our next project room is going to be the master bedroom.  This room is way overdue for some TLC since we’ve done nothing to it since we moved it.  Heck, Matt just fixed the closet door so it actually stays closed!

There are a couple reasons I chose to tackle the bedroom next.  Part if it is because we now have a kiddo (whose toys will gradually start taking over the house) it will be nice to have an adult retreat space.  I’ve also been spending more time in this room lately and it’s really hit me just how blah the space is.

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Yaaaaawn. Also, please pardon the mess.  I didn’t even get a nap in today and had no motivation to style a Before shot.

So what’s the plan?

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Thankfully this room only needs cosmetic work so the bulk of the work will be painting. We also need to replace our mattress so we’ll be upgrading to a queen sized bed (and actual bed frame). I also want the headboard to really be a focal point of the room and the entire wall behind it will be painted a bold accent color. After that it’s a matter of replacing pretty much all our existing furniture and getting a rug that’s the proper size for the space.

Not gonna lie, but this makeover will probably take a while.  I’ll hoping we can at least make a start on the painting while Matt and I are still out on leave.  We’ll see since we’ve got a couple other (smaller) projects we’re trying to finish up too.

1 Month: Makin’ Milk

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Our little peanut is 1 month old! Wesley is now 9lbs 12oz and 21″ long. He’s keeping his eyes open longer and starting to focus on faces.  He’s discovered his fingers and I’ve already caught him sucking his thumb. Unfortunately, he’s also learned how to wail, but luckily he tends to calm down as soon as he’s cuddled.

Most people include likes and dislikes with monthly updates, but at this point he likes food, napping on mommy or daddy, and farting.  He dislikes having to wait for food and being poopy. There’s not much excitement in being 1 month old…

If you’ve been reading at all about having a baby, you’ve probably also read that breastfeeding is Hard. I’m here to tell you it’s not hard, it’s stupidly frustrating and seemingly impossible at times! If anyone tells you that their baby had a perfect latch from day one and was always full and happy, you have my permission to punch her in the boob.*

Breastfeeding has been hands-down the hardest and most stressful part of having an infant around.  It didn’t help matters that Wesley was an early baby either.  Even though he was technically fully developed, it’s apparently pretty common for early babies to respond more like premies when it comes to feeding.  Pretty much he would go to latch and immediately fall asleep without actually eating anything.  It’s even more frustrating in the first few days before your milk comes in and we ended up having to supplement with donor breast milk while we were in the hospital.

Even once we got back home and my milk came in, it never seemed  like there was enough to keep Wesley satisfied. It’s been a rough journey, but if you’re struggling too know that you are not alone! Talk to your mom friends, find a lactation consultant, and/or find a breastfeeding support group. Here are some things that helped me, but be sure to check with your pediatrician or lactation consultant since I am obviously not a doctor.**

Drink Drink Drink

Water that is.  Hydrating the heck out of yourself is one of the best ways to ramp up milk production.  Having a partner who will constantly refill your water cup throughout the day is incredibly helpful since it’s easy to get distracted and forget on your own (guilty).

Pump Pump Pump!

Breast milk production is a supply and demand situation so you can try and trick your body into making more.  I tend to pump after Wesley nurses because he can’t seem to get everything on his own.  Matt and I also split the night shift  so I make sure to pump right before I go to bed so Matt has a bottle ready for the next feeding (letting me sleep through one!). You may also have a little one that just cannot seem to latch and it may be easier to pump and bottle feed.  You do you mama!

Herbal Supplements

The lactation consultant in the hospital recommended Go-Lacta (Malungay).  My endless internet quest for boosting milk supply mostly turned up recommendations for Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. Our pediatrician recommended all of the above. Lots of people also recommended Mother’s Milk tea, but the flavors (anise) aren’t my thing so I prefer taking capsule supplements.

Cookies!

Yes, cookies!  Or whatever baked goods you desire.  There are tons of recipes out there for lactation cookies/breads/smoothies.  What they all have in common in Brewers Yeast and Flax Meal so if you’re baking savvy you can probably modify an existing favorite recipe.  Other food recommendations for boosting milk production include oatmeal, red Gatorade (?), and Starbucks “Pink Drink” (???).

This is the recipe I used for oatmeal cookies.  You can totally switch around the “mix ins” for your own personal taste too.  Not a fan of coconut?  Skip it.  Feel like nuts?  Add ’em! You could also swap out the chocolate chips for a dried fruit (raisins/craisins/blue berries).

Don’t be afraid to supplement

Even doing all of the above we still have to supplement with formula.  We decided the most important thing was to make sure our little guy was getting enough food.  Anytime we supplement with formula I also make sure to pump and we give him any pumped milk the same day since there is a risk with supplementing that your milk supply will go down.

Our pediatrician (who is also a lactation consultant) is 100% on board with what we’re doing.  Every bit of breast milk your baby gets is great and moms need to take care of themselves too (rather than wear themselves down stressing about about milk production). If you see magic promises of freezers full of breast milk on Pinterest, take them with a grain of salt.  These things can help, but they may not be a magic instant fix.

Just remember, the most important thing is feeding your baby, so even if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you at all, it’s ok, you are not a failure!  As long as your baby is getting the necessary calories and checking out fine with the pediatrician, you’re doing great!

 

*Ok, not really, moms need to support other moms.  If you’re one of the stupidly luckily mamas who had zero issues with breastfeeding, yay for you!  Just be aware that your fellow mamas may be struggling  and may also be close to (or well past) tears.

**Matt really likes to tell people “Trust me, I’m a doctor.” And while he does indeed have a doctorate, no one in their right mind trusts lawyers 🙂

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Nursery Reveal (for Real!)

Sorry I psyched you out last time, but some things just happen on their own time.  I have a real nursery reveal for you now, although there are still some minor tweaks that still need doing.

Let’s start with a quick reminder of what we started with, shall we?

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Ugh.

Acoustical ceiling tiles, paneled walls (you can’t tell they’re paneling in the picture, but trust me), and trim belonging to basic modern construction instead of a Victorian beauty.  So we demoed All The Things, put up new drywall, routed some custom casings, got me sent to the ER, and cobbled together the rest of the trim pieces from stock moldings.

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I opted for a colorful ceiling and muted walls partly because of the ceiling fan, and partly because I figured there would be more busy-ness happening on the walls and floor and didn’t want too much color competition.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if that is a TARDIS blanket on the chair, yes, yes it is!

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I also wanted something fun and whimsical, without being overly baby-ish. The animal portraits are by Yago Partel and actually from a calendar I picked up a few years ago.  I fell in love with the mobile from Haba because it was bright and stimulating for baby, but still pretty artsy.

The chifferobe was apparently built by my great-grandfather and has actually managed to stay in use over the years. I re-painted it, but still feel like it’s missing a little something.

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I didn’t want a specific changing table in the room, but I did want a changing station.  We picked up the cubby organizer from Target and added a bit more structure by screwing on an MDF backing.  I absolutely love the animal bins and they’re great for stashing towels, blankets, and small loose toys.  All the diapering supplies are on a rolling cart, perfect when mom’s a righty and dad’s a lefty.

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Things that still need doing:

  • Install a real closet door
  • Refinish the main bedroom door
  • Hem the curtains
  • I’d really like to move the alphabet wall down a smidge (it’s a little too high and driving me bonkers) but that would be a significant undertaking (and Matt will probably kill me for even thinking about it)

There’s actually not too much left given that we unexpectedly lost about 3 weeks of work time thanks to this kiddo arriving early.  Now that we have a newborn around, it may be some time before the room is 100% done, but it’s mostly there and fully functional so it seemed like a good time to show it off!

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New Mom Hacks

Hey look, it’s Wesley’s due date today!  Little dude is about 2 1/2 weeks old!  He was back to his birth weight within a week and was over 8lbs as of Tuesday.  His newborn clothes are already getting snug!  Kiddo also survived his first bath… actually he fell asleep in the bath so my mom is convinced he didn’t actually pick up any genes from our side of the family.

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I’ve been busy recovering so not much has been happening on the home improvement front (although I just starting working on the final nursery project!).  Plenty has been happening on the postpartum and baby front though, so if that’s not your jam go ahead an skip the rest of the post.

The following aren’t all exactly “hacks,” but just some suggestions for new moms that I think would be helpful.

Stock Up

We didn’t get  a chance to do this since the kiddo surprised us early.  I ended up sending Matt out on a Target run the day we got back from the hospital.  If you can I would make sure you have plenty of the following items:

  • Toliet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Easy meals/freezer meals
  • Dish soap/dishwasher detergent/hand soap/laundry detergent (free and clear or baby specific)
  • Batteries, if you have any baby gear that uses them

Also make sure you have:

  • Nursing bras
  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • Full coverage undies (fear no granny panty! especially if there’s a chance you may have a c-section because lower-cut waistbands may hit your stitches)
  • Pain relief options for sore breasts–I immediately ordered nipple cream. Lansinoh Soothies, and the Lansinoh TheraPearls before anything got uncomfortable.
  • Nipple pads (personally I prefer the reusable bamboo ones)
  • Maxi pads (if you don’t buy these ahead of time suddenly you’re sending your husband off on his own to the feminine hygiene aisle and that’s just kind of cruel)
  • Stool softener (check with your health care provider about what is safe to take postpartum, especially if you’re breastfeeding.  They’ll probably automatically give you something in the hospital, but you’ll want more once you get home… it’s one of those awesome post-delivery occurrences that people don’t tend to warn you about)
Baskets for All the Things

1. Bathroom baskets

Life after giving birth is…. messy to say the least and pretty uncomfortable for a while. Bathroom trips especially become An Event.  Make it easier on yourself and stock a postpartum basket in any bathroom you use frequently.  These are what I’ve found useful:

  • Pain relief spray (like Dermoplast)
  • Witch hazel pads (like Tucks)
  • Peri bottle
  • Super overnight maxi pads/regular maxi pads/panty liners depending on how far recovered you are.  Some women really like adult diapers for the worst of it too.

I got a bottle of Dermoplast, a container of witch hazel pads, and a peri bottle from the hospital so if you’re a 1 bathroom house you probably won’t need to go out an get them.  I did end up buying duplicates so I could have everything I needed in our second bathroom too.

I meant to pick up an inexpensive sitz bath but you can also just fill the tub with a few inches of water for the same results. My midwife recommended soaking both for pain relief and for helping the stitches dissolve.  Personally I think it would be easier to be at chair height rather than haul myself in and out of the tub… but I also have a big deep claw foot so that’s a lot of hauling.*

2. Breastfeeding/Pumping baskets

If you’re breastfeeding you may also want a strategically placed feeding basket stashed on each level. If you’re pumping you may just want a way to corral all the parts.

  • Burp cloths
  • Nipple cream
  • Nipple pads
  • Nipple** shield (if using)
  • First aid tape (if you’re using a nipple shield and have a flail-y baby, tape is a game changer)

3. Changing baskets

This is another one that probably only matters if you have a large or multi-floor house.  We have a changing station setup on each floor–a permanent one in the nursery and a small basket downstairs with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and diaper cream.

Padsicles

I saw these all over Pinterest and have long since decided that I have no pride, so why the hell not?  Basically you just saturate a pad with aloe and witch hazel and pop it in the freezer.  Bam!  Soothing ice pack for your lady bits (because this is NOT a time when you want to be relying on the frozen peas… unless you really hate peas).

Nursing Undershirt

If you’re breastfeeding you’re going to want some nice, accessible shirts, and if you at all self-conscious or shy you’re going to want to stay as covered as possible.  I saw this hack on the Pinterest and think it’s brilliant!  If you don’t want to  buy a ton of nursing specific tops you can pair these with some looser fitting shirts and just pull them up without baring your postpartum belly.  I also LOVE this drapey shirt from amazon.  It covers the bra straps and provides similar coverage to a nursing scarf.

Breast Pump Bag

I my breast pump was fully covered by insurance, but it didn’t come with a bag.  No biggie, I can find a bag designed to fit it, right?  Well, sure if I want to shell out $100 for one. Um, no.  After some browsing I started looking at large lunch bags.  I found one with dimensions to fit my pump + some extra space and picked up a mini cooler pouch too.  This way I can stash my milk in the fridge at work but keep everything together as I tote it back and forth. An extra pocket on the lunch bag also works great for storing the small stuff.  If you use a separate cooler pouch you don’t really need an insulated lunch bag, they just happen to be a good size, nicely structured, and cheap.

Some women seem to stock their pumping bags with everything under the sun. I have my pump, nipple pads, milk storage bags, and a hands free pumping bra.  I figure I can stash other useful items, like a cardigan and snacks, in my desk rather than needing a huge bag to haul everything in. Heck, my purse is already big enough so I can (and have!) fit Harry Potter book 7 in it with all my other crap.

FYI: I have the Spectra S2 pump and after much searching I found this cooler (XL) and this mini pouch (XS) are just about perfect for it (although I do use storage bags instead of the bottles that came with the pump).

Layered Crib Sheets

Wesley is still sharing our room so we haven’t seen this in action yet, but it seems like a really good idea.  When you make up the crib, put on a sheet, then a mattress protector, then another sheet, another mattress protector, and finally another sheet.  If something unfortunate seeps out of your baby (especially in the middle of the night!) you just have to strip off the top 2 layers and you’re good to go! (our crib mattress already had a water proof layer which is why we started with a sheet instead of a mattress protector).

Related: make sure you have multiple covers for your changing pad.  It’s probably not worth layering them, it’s just a good idea to have backups as babies tend to explode from both ends.

 

*True story: damn near got stuck in the bathtub while I was pregnant.

**I think I just set some sort of record for how many times I’ve used the word “nipple” in a post

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Nursery Reveal

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Oh sorry, not OF the nursery, but FOR the Nursery (but I’m going to give you a sneak peak anyway).

Yup, our little dude decided to make an entrance a good 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule.  It was incredibly unexpected to say the least, especially since my family does not do early babies.   I was born 19 days late, in July, and my parents did not have central air so I was expecting some major karma coming back at me.  Last Thursday on my personal Facebook page I even jokingly posted that I was 37 weeks so was ready for baby to make his appearance any day now so I could start deflating.

Well, he actually listened.

MeetWesley

Meet Wesley, born July 10th, 2017 at 6:39am, 7lbs 12oz,* 20 inches.

Now, when I said I was ready for him, I lied.  All day Sunday I was feeling a little run down and experiencing periodic contractions, which I  just assumed were Braxton Hicks.  Later in the afternoon they started to get a little more frequent so at 3:30 I started timing them assuming I’d end up just ruling them out as a false alarm.  I also asked Matt to make some muffins so I’d have some breakfast before  work on Monday.  This was phase 1 of Denial.

So Matt’s busy baking and I’m busy assuming I’m just normal pregnancy tired and whoever Braxton Hicks contractions were named after was possibly the world’s biggest douche.  I’m also messaging a friend of mine complaining about contractions and telling her not to get her hopes up because there was no way this kid was going to get here before August. Phase 2 of denial.

By around 5:30pm things are more painful, and Matt has started the timing app on his phone.  They were still lasting a little longer and getting a bit more frequent. but still a bit irregular. I decided to hop in the tub and soak because that will relax me and make it all stop, right?  Phase 3 of denial.  While I’m in the tub Matt decides to run to the store quick and get snacks just in case we end up having to head to the hospital.  When he gets back he starts packing hospital bags while I direct things from the bed because I am officially In Pain.  Luckily he had installed the car seat on Saturday, mostly because he was looking for things to do.

Around 7pm my contractions were pretty much in the 4-1-1 territory (coming every 4 minutes, last about 1 minute, for an hour).  I called the 24 hour midwife line for my clinic, fully expecting to be told that because my contractions weren’t exactly 4-1-1, I should just keep waiting.  See that?  Phase 4.  The midwife on call, however, says to get thee the hospital and she’ll meet us there.

By 8pm I’m being checked out in triage.  I’m totally having contractions and they’re steadily ramping up, but I’m fairly convinced I’m being a pansy and will be getting sent home.  (Yup, we just hit phase 5 denial).  Turns out I’m only 1cm dilated so I’m clearly going home, right?  Wrong.  They tell me to start walking and they’ll recheck me at 10.

Matt and I start doing laps around the maternity ward.  Things hurt so we’re going slow.  I’m still mostly Ok so I have my phone out and figure I’ll use this as an opportunity to walk my Magicarp in Pokemon Go.  That last about 2 laps and then I’m really feeling some pain.  Now we’re going a couple yards and I’m having to stop and lean against the wall as another contraction hits.  By 9pm I can’t keep walking anymore and insist on going back to the triage room so I can lay down again.  Denial is steadily fading.

At 10pm the midwife checks me again–4cm.  She’s actually pretty impressed and announces that she’s admitting me.  Bye-bye denial.

At this point things start getting fuzzy.  My birth plan (plan A) was to avoid needles at all costs.  I didn’t want an IV unless the doctors thought I was dying, and I didn’t want an epidural. I was going to see how things went and try a water birth + nitrous oxide.  This wasn’t out of any specific desire to have a natural birth, I just have a hard core needle phobia.  However, contractions have REALLY ramped up at this point and I’d been howling in pain for a while, so we busted out the nitrous oxide as soon as I’m settled in my room.

Guys, nitrous oxide as a pain reliever is a joke.  It may have taken the edge off, but it was a razor edge and nothing more.  I’m pretty rapidly realizing that I am a pansy and I want All The Drugs because I literally cannot cope.  I figure the few minutes of stress I’ll feel from the needles will still be way better than feeling contractions like these for hours.

Sometime around midnight they call the anesthesiologist in.  They were super accommodating with my request to lidocaine the hell out of my hand before sticking the IV in, and I survived.  The nurse even completely covered my hand in bandages so I wouldn’t be able to see anything sticking out.  After they’re satisfied with the amount of  fluids I’ve gotten, the anesthesiologist comes back to stick a frickin needle in my spine. Not gonna lie, I was completely terrified at this point.  Matt’s holding on to me while I’m curled up and I’m paranoid about moving and screwing something up…I’m also still feeling huge amounts of pain and keep screaming periodically.  Matt’s thinking I’m only freaking out about the epidural at this point and keeps telling me there’s not even a needle near me yet.  Yeah, but there are plenty of other reasons for me to be in pain.

Somewhere around 1:30-2 the epidural took effect and it was magical.

Finally I’m relaxed and the nurses just let me sleep while things progress.  I’m periodically woken up to get moved around a little bit, but mostly I just got to relax.  Around 4 they decided the epidural had slowed down my contractions a bit too much so they added pitocin to my IV.  I’ve heard some baaaad stuff about pitocin, but my epidural was still going strong so there wasn’t a noticeable difference for me.

The pitocin did it’s job and a little after 5 it’s go time.  The midwife and a couple nurses come in and essentially ask me if I know what I’m doing….um, no. Luckily it’s not that complicated at this point and I can feel my contractions just enough to know when they’re happening (but just some pressure and no actual pain), so I can tell when I’m supposed to push without the nurses having to tell me.

At 6:39am on Monday, July 10th, Wesley officially entered our lives.  The nurses handed him to me right away and I called him “my little cone-head” because he was pretty pointy.  He was also super quiet so the nurses immediately took him back to check him out more thoroughly.  Thankfully everything was fine and he was apparently just a quiet baby. Let’s hope it lasts….

He’s been an absolute doll so far and things are going better than I expected.  I’m feeling shockingly good and Wesley has passed every test they’ve thrown at him. Matt has also been an absolute rock star of a dad.  Breast feeding is a struggle, but that’s apparently pretty standard, especially with early babies.  We’re pushing on through and slowly making progress though.

The nursery isn’t quite done, but some projects are going to be on hold for a little bit.  I figure I’ll do a “close enough” reveal soon though.

 

*Yup, 7lbs 12oz at 2 1/2 weeks early.  If he had lasted until the 27th (or later!) he would have been a monster baby.  I don’t think pushing him out would have been as easy, but he could have totally earned the nickname Wesley “The Crusher**”… now I’ll have wait and see if grows into it. 

**You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t I can’t help you and neither can Patrick Stewart.

Image result for captain picard facepalm

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Nostalgia

A while back my sister if I asked me I wanted some furniture for the nursery.  She had a changing table and chifferobe, both of which were ours when we were babies.  The changing table was a little big for the room (and not really my style) but the chifferobe was really cute and I remembered growing up with it.  I thought that was kind of cool too, to work in a piece of furniture that I had used as a baby/kid.

Later I was talking to my dad and he was mentioning how happy he was I was taking the chifferobe because his grandfather had made it for him. Whoa.  I seriously never knew that and always just assumed it was something my parents picked up when they started having kids.  I don’t know exactly why, but there is something kind of cool about being able to tell our son that he has furniture made by his great-great-grandfather.

The piece has obviously gone through several makeovers in its 60+ years.  When I had it the frame was white with yellow drawers/door and white numbers painted on the drawers (maybe letters on the door?  I don’t remember…).  My sister re-painted when she took it for her kids’ nurseries and added vinyl numbers and letters.

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Super cute, but the wrong colors for our space.  And the A was totally there when I got it, I was just curious to see how easily the vinyl peeled off.

I decided to keep the frame white and did a quick touch up coat with (of course!) Benjamin Moore Advance (satin) in Simply White.  Kids are tough on things and it just needed a little pick-me-up.  I was really torn on what to do about the drawers and door, but eventually decided on green.  I thought I had a good grasp on what shade I wanted, but, alas, it turned out a little too pastel-y

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Guys, don’t do what I did.  At $30 a quart, Advance is pretty pricey and I didn’t want to buy a new quart when I’m literally using about an 1/8th of it. I should have bought some cheap sample pots but was over-confident.  I ended up going back to the store and asking them if they were able to re-tint it at all.  If you ever need to do this, just be aware that there are limitations to how much they can do based on the pigments and the original base.  I already knew that and just asked them to do what they could.

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This was essentially the color progression as they experimented.

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It’s better, but I have a feeling I may have some sort of color breakdown once the room is more put together and try yet another shade of green.  I’m also debating if I want to add anything to the drawers or door.

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All the Trimmings

We have walls, we have a light fixture, and we now have mouldings!

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Oh my god it’s finally like a real room.

We started with the baseboards.  Once again I spent a while agonizing over trim pieces (since trying to duplicate 100 year old moulding with contemporary, mass-produced pieces is a bit of a pain).  We had a little more leeway in this room since the upstairs was already a bit mis-matched so I decided to simplify things from when I did the dining room baseboards.

This time I settled on a 3 part baseboard instead of the 4 part plan I used before.  We picked up a 4″ baseboard, chair rail, and shoe molding.

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We really should have started with the plinths, but I was still painting them.  You can buy fancier plinths at the hardware store, but the ones in the rest of our house are super-simple so I made them myself.  I measured the width of the door casings, added about a 1/4″ (seriously, I just eyeballed it) and ripped some down.  We had a scrap board of 10″ select pine so I used that since it would be plenty tall. Then I took my palm sander and rounded down all the edges and corners, primed and painted… and waited for them to dry.

While the plinths were being finished, we put up the 2 main parts of the base.  We started with the bottom layer, went around the entire room, then added the top layer rather than fully finishing a wall at a time.  My best advice for installing baseboards (or pretty much any trim) is to just tack it in place until you’re sure all the edges/corners line up well.  If there’s an oopsie down the road it’s way easier to pull off and fix.  Oh, and also start with your longest pieces first so if you cut them too short you can still re-use them elsewhere. We were able to leave the right amount of space for the plinths because I had extra one that was originally intended for backup but had a pretty nasty split in the wood.

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Once the baseboards were up we were able to add in the plinths, followed by the vertical door casings.  I was a little paranoid about installing them because my dad and I custom routed them and didn’t have any extra. Matt totally rocked it though!  We went with a simple header cut from a 1×6 since that’s what’s in the 3rd bedroom.

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SHAZAAM! We have door mouldings! (and a door that needs to be refinished, but that’s a project for another day)

After the doors, we moved onto the poor, naked windows.

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Here we started with the sills, which sound intimidating, but they were really easy. First we figured out the depth of the other sills in our house and ripped a couple boards down to that measurement.  Then we measured the depth of the window opening + the depth of the casing (A) and the width of the casing + 1/2″ (B).  This gave up the dimensions of the cutouts we needed to make. The length of your board will be the window width + (B x 2).

SillTemplateI actually added a little more than a 1/2″ to the ends and cut it down after we dry-fit the sill.  We used a jig saw to cut out the corners.  It’s a pretty crappy jigsaw and we probably didn’t have the right blade for this this so my cuts were a little wonky.  I also used my palm sander to slightly round off all the edges and corners.

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All of this will get covered by the window trim pieces though so we’re ok!

After the sills were nailed down, we added the inside trim.  We found a 3 1/4″ baseboard which was shockingly perfect. Yes, ok, there’s a bit of a gap in the middle, but our house isn’t square/level/standard in anyway so we’re used to these things.

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I think it’s easiest to start from the top when you’re dealing with mitered cuts like these.  You’ll know the top piece fits snugly and then you only have 1 mitered edge on the side pieces and shave off extra length with just a straight cut until those fit snugly too.

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Next we added the vertical casings and the header. Thanks to our old house and wonky walls, there’s quite a bit of gap between the header.  We’re going to add some wood filler and no one will ever be the wiser.

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Finally we added sill base (there may be a technical term here, but I don’t know it….).  Again, we just copied what was happening in the 3rd bedroom which was simpler than the trim in the rest of the house.  Here we used a 1×4 cut to an 18 degree angle on the ends… I don’t know how they came up with 18 degrees, but it’s consistent with the other small bedroom.

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And that’s the window!  Lots of parts, but mostly easy cuts.

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After all the trim was nailed up Matt went around and caulked everything.

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Original image via Hyperbole and a Half

I have to give a HUGE shout out to Matt for pretty much everything in this room.  I may write the blog, but he’s been working so hard on and picking up my slack when I need a nap break.  He’s really been the moulding (and painting, and ceiling fan) champ here and installed everything with pretty minimal help from me.

 

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Slice of Life: Memorial Day Division

We had a bunch of family in town for my baby shower on Saturday and Matt’s mom was staying with us.  Sunday morning they decided to head to church together before the rest of the family came over for brunch.

Matt: You’re a veteran, maybe they’ll do something special for you for Memorial Day.

MIL: Matt, I’m not dead yet.

Matt: Oh….

I may not agree with our government’s choices, but anyone who signs up to fight for their country and anyone who has lost their life in the process, they are truly strong and courageous, and worthy of our respect and admiration.

We didn’t do anything for Memorial Day, but did have a fabulous weekend and got to see a bunch of family we don’t get to see much of.  All the parents trekked over from WI and both my sisters were able to make it (from KS and CA) which was absolutely amazing.  I had a fabulous shower hosted by (one of) my BFFs and I’m just feeling so special and loved and thrilled that this baby is going to have a truly awesome community of family and friends around him.  #PregnancySappiness

I’ve also hit Pregnancy Level: Hobbit Feet and had some seriously impressive swelling over the weekend.  My mom freaked out a bit and demanded my sister give her professional opinion.  Sister asked me if I was up to date on my rabies vaccine because she’s a veterinarian and not an MD. I picked up some sexy compression socks took it easy for the weekend and now my feet have shrunk to slightly puffy.

I still have this weird feeling of guilt when I take up the comfiest spot, don’t get up much when guests are over, and ask Matt to do simple things like get me some water because I just don’t feel like being on my feet anymore.  Matt, on the other hand, has been scolding me to take it easy since forever.  I’ve just been stubbornly resisting because I am not a fragile little flower… only now it kind of hurts to move and I’m tired so I’m giving in.  Stubbornness and pregnancy do not mix terrible well.

I’ve got a prenatal appointment on Friday and an onsite Nurse at work if anything seems concerning before that, but I was under the impression that crazy feet swelling was a fairly typical pregnancy symptom. Plus I’m still a bit scarred from the Doctor who insisted my Asthma flair up might be a pulmonary embolism and told me to get to an ER like, NOW.  Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t and the ER docs thought I was a little crazy.

It’s HERE…. Again

You know how we finally got the back-ordered ceiling fan a couple weeks ago?  We went to put it up the other weekend aaaaand it was missing a part.  Awesome.

Not gonna lie, my first thought was holy shit Matt just threw away part of my fan.  He had been cleaning up all the excess packaging that’s been taking over our living room between baby-related deliveries and home improvement crap and he already threw out the styrofoam packaging from the ceiling fan box.  He insisted he checked everything he threw out for stray parts beforehand and I have no reason not to believe him.  Buuuut I still may have went slightly catatonic and then decided I wanted ice cream (Izzy’s!) for dinner.

First I called Lowes, because that’s who we ordered it from.  They then contacted Hunter (the company who made the fan) who gave them a reference number which they passed on to me so I could call Hunter back.

The first person I talked to didn’t care about my reference number and seemed very confused as to why I was even calling in the first place.  She eventually said she was going to transfer me over to parts but instead I got trapped in the Automated Phone System From Hell.  If you keep pressing zero enough times you can usually get to a real person and thankfully that worked this time. I may handle automated phone systems rather badly. The second live person I talked to was actually helpful but apparently shipping just the missing part was impossible and then had to send a whole new fan.  Over-night shipping was also apparently impossible but she eventually caved and requested it be sent out as 2 day shipping (which translates to 2-5 days).  We did end up getting the new fan on Saturday though–score!

Matt handled the installation by himself (I may have possibly been napping….).  I went up to check on things as he was nearing the end and he had a laundry list of complaints.

Some of the screws provided did not actually fit, but he was able to scrounge spare screws from fan #1.

One of the screw holes for attaching the fan blades was miss-threaded making it damn near impossible to get the screw through.

The biggest issue though was installing the plate with the socket.  It attached with 3 small screws that were practically impossible to line up correctly.  It seriously took him a solid 1/2 hour to get that one piece in, it was also accompanied by a level of swearing straight out of the beginning of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The lesson learned from this is pretty much whoever designed this fan only designed it to be pretty.  They also possibly designed it to give electricians more business because it is a giant PITA to install on your own.

But daaamn is it gorgeous!

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It came with an LED Edison bulb that’s pretty wussy so I’m going to try and swap it out for one of these pretty LED globe bulbs from IKEA.

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Happy Mother’s Day

First off, I want to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, moms-to-be, step-moms, and foster moms out there.  You’re all amazing!

It may be my first first sort-of Mother’s Day, but we didn’t do anything special–more work on the nursery and lots of naps for me. Matt did surprise me with the Eames elephant I’ve been lusting after though!  He had planned to surprise me with it for the baby shower, but the color he knew I wanted was no longer available.  He broke down on our anniversary and asked me if another color would be ok and it just arrived a couple days ago… so it’s sort a combo anniversary/mother’s day/baby shower gift.

mothersDay2017

I think I will name him Alonso. (Allons-y!)

As for, I’m officially in my Third Trimester now–home stretch baby! I’ve been steadily hitting the pregnancy milestones too.  Yay?

Having Issues Getting out of Bed

Not because I’m huge (I definitely look pregnant–although not in the above photo oddly enough–and am seeing numbers on the scale that are distressing-yet-normal, but I’m not hugely pregnant), everything just hurts.  My pelvis especially hurts when I’ve been laying down for a while and try and get upright again.  It’s similar in feeling to having done waaay too many crunches so your abs start to burn and rebel, only lower down.  The last midwife I saw sent me a video of some stretches to do, so hopefully they help.

Stairs are Hard

I finally had to give up and recruit Matt to carry my laundry down to the basement.  I can handle our main stairs fine, but our basement stairs are narrow and I’m a little unbalanced at the moment so I need to hang on to the hand rail.  Suddenly there’s not a whole lot of space for the basket unless I balance it against my belly which is its own level of awkward.

I also feeling mildly bad for the slow, plodding way I ascend stairs when I’m out in public.  Then I figure, the stairs are wide enough, if you have a problem with my speed just go around.  I did have to come to a full stop on a landing at work because two ladies were walking up side-by-side and chatting.  That’s fine and all, but if you’re taking up the full width of the stairs and someone’s trying to head the opposite way switch to single file for like 2 steps. This is even just general politeness and not purely because I’m a cranky pregnant lady.

The Cat is Pissed

Schmutz was napping on my belly the other day when the little dude starting kicking.  He’s now big enough that you can feel (and often see) the kicks on the outside.  Schmutz turned and glared at me since she’s not used to be kicked by her current bed (and it was clearly my fault).  Mort’s started obsessively kneading my belly and then deciding to sleep next to me instead.  I don’t know if he thinks I’m too lumpy or what.

So Many Kicks!

The first movements I really felt were just from the kiddo shifting around (I think).  I would just get pressure changes in a specific area as he wedged himself into a new position.  The last few weeks I’ve been getting more and more definite kicks and they’re getting increasingly more visible on the outside of my belly.  They started off feeling like weird little muscle spasm-y things, but he’s gotten some good shots to my ribs lately and thrown a couple punches that have made me wince a little bit.  I am really not looking forward to the day he discovers my bladder…

OMG Heartburn!

One of my very first pregnancy symptoms was some mild heartburn (but we were also eating our way through a large batch of chili so I thought I was just getting old and decrepit at the time).  Now I’m getting legit heartburn and popping Tums like candy.  I get heartburn by so much as thinking about food.

Unsolicited Advice

This actually hasn’t been bad at all!  Most people keep pretty quiet or share the “this worked well for me, but it’s honestly a crapshoot” kind of stories (which are actually useful).  The only person who rubbed my the wrong way was, oddly enough, the midwife at one of my prenatal appointments.  I was talking about how I was considering a water birth because I am deathly afraid of needles* and don’t handle pain well.**  Her response was that I clearly just needed to educate myself further because it didn’t seem to her like a good reason to try a water birth.  I sort of wanted to shoot back “look lady, the reason I’m already freaking out about this is BECAUSE I was reading about it and looking at my options.”  Then she seemed a little miffed that I didn’t have any questions.  Maybe it’s because I’m actually reading about what to expect and I hadn’t encountered anything out of the ordinary at the moment?  Most of the midwives I’ve seen at my appointments have been awesome, but this one was just not a good match for me.

My mom (of course!) also hopped on the unsolicited advice train after looking at our baby registry.  She means well, but she started questioning some of the bigger items (Were we sure we wanted this car seat instead of that car seat because so-and-so really liked that one).  While she definitely brought up some good points, it just stressed me out that all the previous research I did was wrong so I re-researched everything…aaaand ended up with the exact same products I picked out the first time.  Moral of the story: everyone is going find different products that fit their individual needs.

Trippy Dreams

These have been happening for a while. I don’t tend to remember my dreams but I definitely have while pregnant!  The last notable one was a nightmare about how I was never ever going to get the ceiling fan I wanted for the nursery.  I was shipped a broken one, then someone tried to convince me it was perfectly fine and I couldn’t exchange it anyway because it was the very last one ever.  The next day I called Lowes to check on the status of my order because the dream may have freaked me out a bit….

Bye Bye Wedding Ring

My fingers have started to swell enough that it’s getting really hard to get my rings off.  I had to resort to some windex the other day, so going forward I’m probably safer just leaving them off before they get solidly stuck. My ankles are starting to swell a bit too, but thankfully they haven’t morphed into full-on cankles yet.

Pregnancy Brain

More notable moments have been going to work with my skirt inside-out (thankfully it was stripey pattern and really not noticeable!) and getting halfway to my car before realizing I was still in my slippers. I also nearly forgot Matt’s birthday.  Ooops.  In general I’m just spacey as heck and very easily losing my train of thought.

Glucose Challenge Test–PASSED!

The internet really builds this up as being awful, but it wasn’t that bad.  The drink they give you is sort of a like a half-flat soda, so not exactly tasty, but not completely vile either (I went with the orange, but everyone I know recommended a different flavor).  I chose to have mine done first thing in the morning and grab breakfast after since I’ve heard any sugar consumption (not just sweets, but things like fruit too) beforehand can mess up your results.  How true this is, I don’t really know, but I really didn’t want to get stuck doing the 3 hour test so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

 

*  Really, it’s bad.  My regular doctor tried giving me valium before a shot once and it didn’t do a thing.  Nitrous Oxide at the dentist doesn’t have any effect until after the shots are done (ie I calm down again).  I currently have my own stash of prescription lidocaine to use before blood work, but I still get super anxious until it’s over  Yeah, I’m kind of mess.

** I am so screwed.