Who’s excited??? It’s been a while since I put together a mood board and possibly the best part of pregnancy is brainstorming decor! I had a few ideas floating around, but wanted to wait until we knew if we would be having a boy or girl.
I wanted something fun and child-appropriate without being overly cutesy. Baby won’t have any opinions on decor for a while (if ever), so the nursery is really more for mom and dad. I also wanted to keep the basics of the room pretty gender-neutral so if we have a girl sometime in the future we can reuse our baby gear easily.
As I mentioned before, my starting point was a set of Zoo Portraits–fun and whimsical without being sickeningly cutesy. The ceiling fan I fell in love with early on and nearly talked myself out of it! Everyone thinks I’m nuts when I start gushing over a ceiling fan, but isn’t this one just fabulous?
I didn’t want to fall into the muted, monochromatic trap that a lot of baby rooms fall into. Bold colors and high contrast are easier for a baby to focus on, so I wanted pops of brights, especially in the mobile. Plus, it’s just more to my personal liking. The lime and redish-orange I plan to work into some more accessories and storage pieces.
My current thoughts on paint are to paint the ceiling the same minty-aqua as the light fixture and then go pretty neutral on the walls. I think by the time I’m done there will be a lot going on around the floor and walls that will be better balanced by a bolder ceiling.
The Eames elephant probably won’t make it into the final room since it’s definitely splurgy, but a girl can dream, right?
We’ve been hard at work this weekend and I have more detailed posts to come, but I am officially out of commission today. My dad and I custom routed door and window casings and I was stupid and didn’t put a mask on until I realized how much sawdust was ending up in my nose (we were about 1/2 way done). Consequently, I woke up on Saturday with an obnoxious asthma flair up which decided to linger.
Sunday wasn’t any better.
4am: Cats keep fighting with each other and Matt decides to separate them. He grabs Schmutz and closes her in the bedroom with us.
5 am: Mort has been crying outside the door incessantly because he wants snuggles.
7 am: I give up trying to sleep (partly because I can’t really breathe) and get up. Notice Schmutz has crapped over Matt’s side of the bed. She would have crapped directly on Matt, but the blanket was in the way. Thank god for duvet covers.
10 am: We start mudding the ceiling. Due to limited ladders and my on-going asthma attack I’m mostly acting as a gopher and watching my dad’s mudding technique.
11 am: Despite doing next to nothing, I’m exhausted and go and lie down… except I can’t exactly lie down because of my chest congestion so I go an prop myself up on pillows and wallow in guilt for not being more useful. I am amazing at wallowing in guilt, even if things weren’t really under my control.
12 pm: I officially sound like a Muppet.
1 pm: Pass out on the couch, because I’m still exhausted.
4 pm: Trip to Urgent Care for a nebulizer treatment. Officially my first DIY-Induced trip to urgent care. The doctor treating me tells me that because I’m pregnant I should go to the ER to check for a pulmonary embolism because pregnancy=higher risk factor.
6:30 pm: Grab some take-out and double check with the emergency midwife line. Midwife agrees that even though it seems unnecessary, I should go to the ER just to rule it out. Ok, fine.
7:30 pm: Get to the ER where the doctors look mildly perplexed and inform me that the only way they can test for for a pulmonary embolism is to do a CT scan, ie expose the baby to radiation. Awesome. They also tell me I have no actually symptoms of a pulmonary embolism except for trouble breathing.. which was clearly brought on by a specific event and responded to asthma treatment. I opt out of the CT scan and am given another nebulizer treatment and a dose of prednisone. They also gave me a prescription for a few more days of predisone and a new inhaler since mine was nearly out.
9:00 pm: Drop off prescriptions and am told it will be a 15-20 minute wait.
9:45 pm: Prescriptions finally ready.
10:00 pm: Swing by grocery store to pick up breakfast for tomorrow.
10:30 pm: Make it home.
Hopefully nothing else goes wrong in the next hour….
Looks like we’re officially expecting a little man this July! This also means first baby pics! Wheeeee!
I am notoriously bad at deciphering ultrasound images, but I could usually figure out the head and spine. Once the tech started pointing out the stomach and kidneys….. um, sure.
I just think this shot’s kind of hilarious. This is a frontal view of the face and if you look for it you can see the left eyeball, the nasal cavity, and the mouth open in a fish-faced little pucker.
Everything’s looking normal for the kiddo, but I do need to go back in another 4-6 weeks for them to check if I may have Oligohydramnios (ie Big Scary Word Thing that may or may not be an issue). In the meantime I’ll just be trying to drink water like it’s going out of style.
Now that we know the gender, I can finally get cracking on the nursery design! My current inspiration is a selection of Yago Partal’s Zoo Portraits. I picked up a calendar a few years back just to dissect it for the artwork (calendars are an awesome source of cheap art!). We had them in the hallway in our apartment, but I think they’re awesome for a baby room–whimsical, but not overly cutesy. It’s harder to find bedding to coordinate with art than vice-versa so the prints may possibly get swapped out. We’ll see…
Next week my dad and brother-in-law are coming to work on the nursery. All the drywall is up on the walls, but we still have to tape and mud (and sand and mud and sand and mud), and do the whole ceiling. It also looks like we’re going to have to route some custom casings, because despite the fact that the door and window casings in this house are the simplest design ever (apart from just a plain 1×6) they are impossible to find.* Hopefully my dad will save the day with his router! This also means we should have actual house stuff to show in the near future! Woot!
*We found something really close once, but despite the fact that it was the company’s standard back-cut knife, there would be $200 setup fee plus the cost of materials. For 2 doors and 2 windows (and only the vertical casings) that seemed excessive, so we’re DIYing this shit!
Me: I don’t think [brother-in-law] is going to take my crappy parenting advice. He was wondering what to do about an 8 year old who won’t stop asking questions, so I suggested “why don’t you turn it into the game of questions?”
I’ve been a little ADD this week for some reason. My best guess is that my energy level is finally going up and just hit me a little too fast to process. I actually started writing this post when I was supposed to be finishing up previous one. That one got posted a day later than planned and I kept adding to this because I don’t do Twitter.
There were some reps from Lifetime Fitness in our lobby at work today. They were advertising free seminars on sugar and carbs. I considered asking if there would be free samples.
I’m pretty sure Mort falls pretty low on the emotional intelligence scale. He’ll try and play with Schmutz, she’ll get all pissy, flatten her ears down and growl at him like she wants rip his throat out. And then he just stares at her in mild confusion and tries to play with her again. Aren’t you supposed to be able to understand the body language of your own species? It’s like if someone was brandishing a knife at me screaming “Die bitch die!” and I was all “Let me give you a hug and we can be besties!”
Every single stupid person I’ve encountered in the last week has been from Portland.* I’ve never been to Portland, but based on current experience I can only assume that it really needs to get its shit together. And maybe put more birds on things.
I want to quite my job and design non-crappy ceiling fans. Really.
Matt started to have a small freak out about having everything ready for the baby. I am so not used to being the calm, rational one in our relationship. It was mildly unsettling.
Against my better judgement, I got sucked into a political argument on Facebook. What outraged me the most was that someone replied to me and clearly did not understand how quotations work (she also missed my point entirely, but that seemed like the smaller issue). I was all ready to reply to her with just a link to the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotations Marks, but then the thread got deleted. It was probably for the best.
Actually, any time I get sucked into a crazy political discussion that gets to the point where people aren’t even trying to acknowledge there are other viewpoints besides theirs and all I’m doing is repeating myself and I should just stop except now I’m pissed and have some irrational desire to have the last word even though I know it’s really pointless… then I think I should reply with a link to Wil Wheaton collating paper. If you want to steal this idea, feel free to substitute whatever random link you choose. It just has to leave people questioning “wtf just happened here?” If I get sucked into a real life discussion that deteriorates that far, I’m just going to scream “THIS IS HOW SOCIETY BREAKS DOWN!” and run away before anyone can respond.
I thought first baby kicks were supposed to be all soft and bubbly like “butterflies” or “popcorn popping” according to the books. I started thinking I was having crazy muscle spasms or something because it kept feeling like I was getting elbowed in the abdomen, only the calls were coming from inside the house. I asked about it was told, nope, that sounds likes baby kicks. I’m a little afraid of what this is going to feel like once the kid is larger than a potato.
Matt thought the baby kicks sounded adorable, so I started elbowing him in the stomach.
While sitting at the table I suddenly became convinced that I had broken a rib. Apparently spontaneous rib dislocation is skipped in all the pregnancy books. Instead they waste their time talking about butterfly-like kicking.
On my drive into work today I was behind a truck with both a “Flammable Gasses” and “Non-Flammable Gasses” sign attached to it. That’s a pretty serious mixed message.
Netflix emailed me telling me they just added a TV show they think I’d like: Ultimate Beastmaster. Given that I mostly watch nature documentaries or crime shows, I think either they’re really confused or this show has a way more violent ending than it sounds. It’s also possible they know about all those Saturdays I spent binge-watching Ninja Warrior marathons on cable.
I have a WordPress plugin that judges the “readability” of my posts. They’re rarely rated as “good” and it tells me I use the passive voice too much. Well, I live in Minnesota, we’re supposed to be passive. If you don’t like it I may have to leave a politely worded sticky note implying that you should bugger off. Please.
Facebook could be vastly improved if it gave you the following options when you choose to hide a post:
I don’t care what pages my friends like
I don’t care about people I don’t actually know
This is bullshit and I don’t want to see it
I just bought a pair of jeggings. Don’t judge me.
*If you’re from Portland, I’m sorry. I’m not saying everyone in Portland is stupid, it just seems like some sort of idiot virus broke out over there in the last week. You may want to take some precautions before you catch it too. Or before it spreads.
Last year we went to Vegas with some friends for the Presidents Day/Valentines Day weekend. This year, we dry-walled a nursery.
Well, we started dry-walling a nursery.
Yes, getting older can be a little lame. Like I tend to tell people though, I’ve never been cool a day in my life and don’t intend to start now. So yeah, dry-walling.
As a quick refresher, this is where we were at with the nursery. We had ripped out the gross ceiling tiles, the lame trim, the prison-esque light fixture, and the grody paneling. I voted to just hire someone to come in and skim-coat ALL THE THINGS but Matt wanted to just re-drywall. It’s definitely cheaper so I didn’t argue too much.
Last weekend we headed to Menards, rented a truck, and bought a crap-ton of 1/4″ drywall. We opted for 1/4″ because we weren’t ripping out the existing plaster and wanted to minimize extra bulk. I helped Matt haul this into our house, all the while thinking I’d fall, have to call the emergency mid-wife line and explain to them that I slipped on some ice while carrying drywall because the first thing we decided to do after finding out I was pregnant was to demo an entire room. Thankfully I remained upright and told Matt he would need a different assistant to help haul the sheets up the stairs.*
One of the issues with adding a layer of drywall was that door frames would be a little awkward. If you drywall up to the edge of the door, you’re stuck with a bare edge of edge of drywall.
To solve the problem (without redoing the entire door frame) we bought 1/4″ strips of wood to frame out the openings first, and then butt the drywall up against the wood.
The change in materials (and the gap) won’t be an issue because we’ll be adding new trim to the entire room as well, so all we need is an even surface. Once the rest of the doorframe gets painted, you’ll never even know it was there.
Speaking of even, have I mentioned that old houses are not even remotely square? Yeah. We’ve got some seriously half-assed looking drywall happening in here.
Although it’s hard to tell from the picture, so feel free to think of us as drywall masters. We’re cool with that.
…but I’m honest, so here’s a close-up of the piece above the window. It is the exact same length as the piece below the window that has nice, tight seams. This is what happens when you assume things are even. Except you really only make an ass out of u, because if me had been there I would have put a stop to these shenanigans because I know not to trust old houses.
Aaaanyway…. We can get away with some half-ass-ery because we’re dry-walling over an existing solid wall rather than bare studs. This is also why we opted to hang the sheets vertically instead of horizontally. I usually see drywall hung horizontally so I researched it a bit and the conclusion seemed to be that it doesn’t matter a lot, but horizontal hanging will be a little more structurally sound. Well, we already had existing walls, so that I wasn’t a huge issue for us. It was easier to hang the sheets vertically, so we went with that.
The drywall sheets were 4’x8′ and the ceilings were about 8’3″ tall. We’re planning on installing baseboards that are taller that 3″ so the bottom seam wouldn’t be issue. We grabbed a couple scrap 2×4’s (thanks to the brilliance that is modern lumber dimensions, 2=1.5) and were able to prop the sheet up so it would sit even with the ceiling while we screwed it in.
So now we’re almost half way done with the walls! There’s still the other half, plus the ceiling, plus all the mudding/taping/sanding. We’ve recruited my dad and brother-in-law to come help in mid-March so we should see a big chunk of progress made then. I’m planning on haz-matting myself up and diving in too because I start getting twitchy if I see people doing things that aren’t up to my standards.** I’m mostly concerned about all the dust from sanding (since I’m already asthmatic and prone to bronchitis) but I figure a heavy-duty mask and a sander that attaches to a shop-vac should leave me pretty safe in that area.
*He opted to do it himself and as a result we have two more broken picture frames.
**Drywall joints pre-compound are clearly not one of my higher standards
After Matt broke one of my picture frames from our gallery wall I’ve been meaning to get out to IKEA for a replacement. In the meantime I also managed to convince him that we should replace the beige couch* and discovered a sale on their PAX wardrobe line (which we were already planning on getting). So we just decided to make one giant (read:expensive) trip.
We’re a compact car family so we opted for the delivery service. We even lucked out and were in Zone A so it was a flat $59 for anything we wanted delivered. Plus the delivery service would leave the items in the room of your choosing. No man-handling PAX parts up our stairs for me! Sold!
I usually try to avoid IKEA on the weekends, but the Sunday we went wasn’t too bad. We had a specific plan and weren’t really browsing for anything else (although we did end up with a full-length mirror because such is the nature of IKEA). I used their in-store PAX planner because for some reason it’s super slow to load at home. This was the most time consuming part of the trip and I started steadily feeling crappy. After you have a PAX plan an employee will type up an order slip, but as soon as we were done with our plan the nearby employees had vanished (it was busy, I get it). I sent Matt off to find someone and collapsed on a nearby ottoman.
I must have looked pretty awful at this point because a random man came up and asked me if I was ok. “Just pregnant and miserable, but otherwise fine.” was my reply. “Ah.” He said knowingly. “Migraines? My wife had horrible migraines.” I’m pretty sure I just got more sympathy from a total stranger than I have from my husband…. although he’s now afraid to offer any help to me because he’s afraid I may misinterpret it as coddling and get pissed. Poor guy can’t win.
After getting our PAX order together we were informed we had to go back to the kitchen section to get the door hardware, but everything else would be pulled for us. It had been a rough weekend for me so I seriously considered passing out on one of the beds and letting Matt wander back through half the store to get back to the kitchen section. I womaned it up though and went with him.
We also decided to replace the Beige Couch of Boring. It was a super comfy couch, but I’m pretty much programed to hate beige. Plus the size and style just weren’t working for me. We decided to go with the Karlstad sofa because we figure with kids on the way we don’t have to worry about it getting destroyed. Plus, every square inch of the cover can be removed an washed. Win.
We were able to get same-day delivery (woot!) but I wasn’t going to deal with same-day assembly. Unfortunately, this meant dealing with assembly after work during the week. Because Matt’s a sweetie, we assembled the couch first. Because Matt is considerably less pregnant than me, he then decided to assemble the PAX that same night while I tested out the nap-ability of the new couch (verdict: little hard, needs breaking in).
The couch looks solidly IKEA at the moment, but not to worry, I’ve got plans to hack this puppy! The smaller, more open profile is definitely a win for the space.
Hey look, Matt has a closet! In the bedroom! It actually even gives him more space than the closet he was using previously. More wins! Since I was napping and not supervising, he managed to break one of the rods and lose a hinge. 2017 has not been a good year for Matt’s DIY record…. We seriously tore the bedroom apart looking for the missing hinge and can’t find it. It’s big enough that we would have heard the cats playing with it if they had batted it off.
The most exciting part of assembling this was getting it level. The PAX frame has little feet behind the bottom edge in the corners that you can adjust… but they assume your floor is only a little unlevel. Anyone who’s even lived in a old house know words like “level,” “square,” and “standard size” are words that will no longer appear in your vocabulary. Instead this thing got leveled by jamming a 1×2 under one corner. Good times.
While we were at IKEA I was debating between the BERGSBO and TYSSEDAL doors. The TYSSEDALs were about twice as pricey and I while I thought they were slightly nicer, I didn’t think they were twice-the-price-nicer so we went with BERGSBO. Then Matt assembled everything….
But because I’m a genius, I forgot to take a picture of assembly round 1. We got them up, I stared at them for a couple days, and then decided they weren’t right for the room. The paneled doors and detailed trim of the house just wasn’t working with the bare-bones shaker-style doors on the wardrobe. Luckily, the doors fit into our car (hatchbacks FTW!) so we hauled them back and exchanged them. Oh, and we picked up another pack of hinges because a week later we still hadn’t found the lost one.
The TYSSEDALs have some beveling similar to the house’s interior doors and work MUCH better. I also finally got a nice, chunky, full-sized mirror. It only took Matt about 20 holes in the wall to get it hung! This one’s not even his fault! A 100+ year old house means lathe-and-plaster construction for the walls. While there still are studs, the extra bulk over them makes stud-finders useless. the only thing to do is drill a bunch a tiny holes until you feel a stud and then patch them all later. Fun times, right?
Our dressers replaced our nightstands (which you can see a bit in the reflection) but I’m not showing pics of the whole room because it’s not super clean and is also incredibly bland at the moment. Like most rooms in the house, it’s on the to-do list. At least we’ve upped the functionality!
*Anyone in the Twin Cities area looking for a couch? The main reason we’re getting rid of it is because I HATE beige. It’s also a little too chunky for our space. It’s up on Craiglist right now so if you’re in the area let me know and I’ll share the link.
I had my second prenatal visit about a week ago. Kid still has a heartbeat which has got to make us parents of the year or something (don’t set the bar too high and you’ll always feel good about yourself!).
This past week one of the (male) cafeteria employees at work asked me if I was pregnant. I debated for a split second about answering with “no, I’m just fat” but decided not to be a total asshole. I’m growing as a person. Plus, this guy keeps me in french fries so it’s best to stay on his good side. I still need to ask him what he would have done if I had said no… It’s generally considered unwise to ask a women if she’s pregnant, but I suppose I was waiting there with my hand on my 4-month-belly looking like I was about to puke so the question wasn’t totally out of the blue.
Also this past week I had a major pregnancy epiphany. Technically I’ve got 2 hearts at the moment–I’m a Time Lord! er… Lady. Now where’s my TARDIS? I REALLY wish I had thought of this at my first appointment when we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. The midwife probably would have thought I was absolutely nuts (not that she would have been wrong…).
And finally… we were out at breakfast yesterday and there was a soccer game on that Matt was half paying attention to.
Matt (watching an “injury”): Magic spray!
Me: You’re going to use that on our kid, aren’t you? They bump their head–magic spray!
Matt: That’s brilliant!
Me: We’d really just need a little spray bottle filled with water… I’m not opposed to this.
Matt: No way, I want the official EPL** Magic Spray!
Me: Good lord, I’ll make a fancy label for the bottle.
*If you never watch soccer, pretty much any time there’s an “injury” (ie someone pretends they’ve suffered extreme bodily harm in the hopes that the other team gets a penalty) someone inevitably comes out and sprays the afflicted area with “magic spray.” I think it’s Windex.
Well, at least I am…. literally! Matt and I are super excited to announce that we’re expecting a new addition to our family in July!
Which also means that this…
… is the future baby room. (and yes, this picture was taken today)
Will we get it done in time?
Will I give up and say “screw it, kid can sleep in a box, I want ice cream”?*
Will I whack Matt with a crowbar for treating me like a fragile flower?**
Will I have to trust Matt to handle painting projects?***
Stay tuned….. same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.
If you’re interested in the details (if not, skip down to the next break, it’s cool), I’m officially in my second trimester as of today. Woot! According to different trackers baby is the size of a beet, a lemon, a cupcake…. or a mouse? Either that’s some tiny produce (and mini cupcake) or someone out there gets some ginormous mice…. I also feel like the produce comparisons are kind of weird because there’s such a wide variation in sizes. Twin Cities peeps, if you’ve been to Lunds and Byerlys you know there are lemons out there the size of naval oranges. Anyway… there’s a baby, it’s the size of a something and it’s continuing to get bigger so wearing jeans kinda sucks, even with a belly band thingy. I still maintain that leggings are not a proper substitute for pants unless your ass is covered. Luckily I tend to like tunic tops anyway, so I’m in the clear of my own personal prudishness.
I seem to have lucked out with my first trimester in that I never got bad morning sickness, although I tended to feel pretty gross in the evenings. Sources seem to say I should be feeling mostly normal again around now, but actually this last week has kind of sucked and been filled with day-long bouts of dry-heaving. Hopefully that will end soon (it sounds like 16 weeks is the sweet spot for the majority of people… please?). I know it could be way worse, but I’m still feeling ucky enough to be generally uncomfortable.
In terms of plans for the blog… yes, there will be baby stuff happening but I still plan to focus primarily on design and DIY. The current project though is obviously the nursery (I’ve always wanted to design a baby room!). As a first time mum though, I obviously have no frickin clue what I’m doing (I didn’t even hold an infant until my mid-twenties!) so I’m clearly not one to be doling out advice. Babies are exciting though so he/she will definitely be making an appearance here and I’m sure I’ll be sharing both my excitements and epic failures, because, let’s face it, life is filled with both.
And because I’m just full of news today, we have a more recent addition to the household as well.
We adopted a new sweet little boy cat (age 2-3 years) to hopefully be a companion for Schmutz. She’s still pretty pissy but slowly (very slowly) coming around. Mort is an absolute sweetie who loves snuggles and following me around… Matt might be a tad jealous because we seem to have ended up with another mama’s boy. He’s also spent a large part of this morning chasing his own tail so he’s a bit of a goofball. Mort’s very interested in Schmutz and we’re hoping she’s more friendly with him by the time the baby comes because that’s going to be pretty hard on our little furry diva too.
* Not gonna lie, this is a real possibility. I stared at a BOGO ice cream sale at the grocery store for a full five minutes before convincing myself I could in fact live without it. I was always told being an adult would come with hard choices.
** And then take a nap because hefting a crowbar is a lot of work and man am I tired.
*** Thankfully this sounds like a no since interior paint is almost all low VOC now.
Matt decided to get his DIY on this weekend, which is general is awesome! This time though… he was a little off his game.
Project 1: Fix the leaky radiator
The radiator in our dining room had a small leak. Nothing super noticeable, but it was causing some rust on the pipe and, because radiator systems rely on pressure, was also causing some issues with the radiators on the upper floors. So Matt did some research and decided to try a fix with epoxy putty and fiberglass tape. “I don’t know if it will work, but it can’t possibly make it worse” was basically his mantra.
Except it made things worse.
I wasn’t supervising watching his progress, but he had to chip off some paint to get the putty to adhere. Paint that had been partially sealing the leak. And then the epoxy and fiberglass didn’t really do anything (except look awful) so we just ended up with a slightly larger leak.
I don’t have a before picture because I wasn’t expecting this to be a big deal, but this is the aftermath. I told him he wasn’t allowed to “fix” anything else this weekend.
Project 2: Study Demo + Outlet Replacement
We’ve been steadily ripping out the paneling in the study and were down to the last wall this weekend! The only annoying thing so far is that the outlets in the room were installed over the paneling, so they needed to be removed in order to take the paneling off. Which means once the panels were off we had to put the outlets back in, but properly this time.
Matt picked up new electrical boxes that could be secured to studs (so they wouldn’t be wibbly-wobbly). To reach the studs he had to cut through some of the old plaster and lath. He was pretty excited because he got to bust out the reciprocating saw we got for Christmas.
The first outlet went smoothly… but the second. Well, I was downstairs and heard a crash. I shouted up that I didn’t want to know about it, but I found out anyway. He was cutting a new opening for the outlet on the wall that runs along the stairs. The wall where we had recently hung a gallery wall. A gallery wall I was planning on photographing that same day. If you’re unfamiliar with reciprocating saws, they create a lot of vibration. Vibration doesn’t mix well with wall art and one of the pictures came crashing down off the wall.
Yeah. There goes my project for the weekend. I made him take down the rest of the art before continuing and he made it through the rest of the project without destroying the house.