Making Way for Baby G.B.

I am going to go ahead and harken back to my days in Rome with Sarah Wieber and say “OMG!”  I’m going to be a mommy.  We are ten weeks in and getting excited.  I will admit that I was very excited at first and then took a trip to an overwhelmed, gaggy, pants-don’t-fit-right world that really wasn’t very fun.  This week I feel good.  I am getting used to feeling tired and nauseated so it isn’t phasing me much, and my pants fit again (weird) so all in all, I am a happy lady.

People have been asking if I think Baby GB will be a boy or a girl.  The external consensus/projection to this point (moms, Kait, Timmy, several others) is girl.  I don’t know if they have convinced me of that yet.  In my head, I want it to be a boy so we can use all of Oliver’s adorable boy clothes.  We don’t have nearly as many girl clothes on hand.  Tim wants a girl first, hands down.  That said, we really don’t care what Baby GB is.  We are just excited.  Tim woke me up this morning telling me he dreamed we had a boy, that he was “huge,” and that Tim was trying to give him a bath in the sink but he didn’t really fit.  I was cracking up.  Can you just see Tim trying to bathe a newborn in the sink?  It’s going to be adorable.

Thanks to Misha Lower for helping me with some nursery ideas!  Sadly, we are not actively working it just now.  I have a week off in June for doing a few of those things.  Don’t be fooled by functioning lights, consistent flooring, and acceptable seating space.  Right now the guest-room-to-be-nursery looks a little something like this from the doorway:

Gorgeous, no?  If your idea was to wade through some things, read a few board books, wear a Masters bib and Cubs slippers, prance around in a Maya wrap, peruse some Ball jars and then roll out the rug for a short rest, this is the room for you.  Get a load of that darling Skip Hop Duo Deluxe diaper bag I scored at a thrift store with the tags on it.  I have superb thrift store karma.

If you want to play the I Spy game, you will find family heirloom quilts, our changing table which will finally be put to good use, the to-be-painted crib and baggie of crib hardware, my favorite bee plaque, and a duffle bag of my favorite cookbooks.  No apologies here, we just moved.  I’m lucky I even know where that bag of crib hex screws happens to be.

Today is the start of keeping my sweet nanny toddler at my house on Wednesdays, so I am hoping to get a lot done during that beautiful three hour nap time I have cultivated so meticulously.  We shall see! We could be just three Wednesdays away from a clean, organized nursery.  Or not.  Seven months is a long time.


“An early-morning walk [on new flooring] is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau [and Meg]

That’s right, we have floors.  By floors, I mean we have one type of floor on the whole main level of the house as opposed to the three that were here when we began our endeavors in this house. Our floors when we moved in looked a little something like this:

…except imagine about ten feet behind you it switched to a laminate plank wood style floor.  You can’t really tell, but the two floors in the above picture are totally not the same color and they are real wood (not veneer) so technically they would have been refinishable.  We grappled with that idea for a while, knowing we would have to lay another type of flooring in the kitchen (which is really the same room since we opened it all up) and Tim could tell I was feeling hinky about that while trying to convince myself that it was worth saving money.  Later, our little house guests who had snacked on the beams under our floor helped me rationalize wanting floors that were all the same for the main level of our house since we had to tear out a huge part of the parquet flooring.  We would have loved to have gotten a real wood floor, but alas we were minding our budget and decided on a laminate flooring in the color we would eventually like in wood.

It’s a good thing we did since mere weeks after its delivery we got that baby news that REALLY has us watching our budget.  Despite the huge amount of baby things that have been given to us from clothes to toys to crib and bedding to bottles AND a complete cloth diapering system that rocks, those little beans are expensive!  Lucky for us we had the foresight to move to a town in which we approve of the public school system, complete with an art curriculum component, global responsibility, and super community involvement.  Sorry, back to the floors.

Timmy and I went out to breakfast Saturday morning with friends we haven’t seen in a long time, Matt and Alyssa Stanley, and it was awesome.  We heard much needed stories about pregnancy and excitement or lackthereof (it’s hard to be as excited as your totally stoked hubby when you feel like you’re going to gag all day and when you fall asleep in the chair after inviting people over for dinner.  Seriously, I did this.  It was mortifying.)  After breakfast out, we got to work at about noon.  I measured and installed the flooring while I randomly shouted numbers like “40 and three eighths.  WAIT!  40 and a half.”  He did all the cutting on a wicked table saw that freaked me out, but he loved it.  Men and tools… what can we say, eh?   We worked for almost eight hours and had the hallway and kitchen done, stove moved back into place, fridge moved back into place, and absolutely no energy to continue.  Chinese food for dinner (have we mentioned I gave up cooking when morning sickness hit?) and early to bed.  Up and at it at 7am Sunday morning!  I was proud, because Timmy really deserves to sleep on the weekends for the way he works all week.  I deserve to sleep because I’m growing a human, but I don’t do what Tim does and the poor man needs some rest.  And food.  Soon.

Anyway, we worked for 14 hours Sunday and got the last pieces of flooring in at just before 9pm, at which point I was lying on the floor in a worthless heap while Tim took out his tiredness on making the last salvageable scraps of flooring work to our advantage.  You know how when you order flooring, they say to add 8% for error?  We did that, and may I say I am a measuring rockstar with one badly cut piece the whole three rooms.  Someone tell me, then, how it is that we used every single last piece of flooring and had to revert to the damaged pieces for the edging.  We were so confused/tired/grateful that it all worked out.  We really did have exactly the right amount of pieces but let me just say when we were three rows from finished, it looked like a little stack of flooring and a big patch of old ugly floor.  We both about lost it until I did some math and realized we were going to be right on the money.  That’s what happens when your flooring is backordered for a month and you suddenly realize you might have shorted yourself one measly box.  Never to fear, it was perfect.  This is what we had left:  (forgive the awful picture, it was dark and I was using my BlackBerry)

For more than 700 square feet of flooring installed, you’d expect a slightly larger margin for error but who needs it?  We are practically professional amateurs.  At the end of the night, we couldn’t even move furniture except the couch, so I waited until today to snap a few pictures of what is under my feet, which are bare for the first time since we moved in!

It isn’t as red as it looks in this photo, but you get the idea.

This is accurate for color, and sadly it is also accurate for what our dining room table currently looks like.

You see the glorious light from that ceiling fan??  Oh we love it.  I feel like I just discovered the allegory of the cave all over again.  Don’t know what that is?  Google it, you should know.  It’s how I won Tim’s heart in a McDonald’s parking lot.  I drew a picture of a cave with a fire in it and some shadows on the cave wall, and then I drew sunshine and flowers outside the cave.  All this on a crunched McDonald’s coffee cup that he still has to this day.

  So, whatcha think?  I know these floors won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally ok with us.  If you ever need help laying it, we will be happy to help.  If it could wait until after pregnancy, that would be super, but I have done crazier things in my day.

  Timmy is home!  Time to go.  Next post might be baby business.  We’ll see!

The universe has a sense of humor. We know this.

Heeeey, it’s us.  Timmy and I have been quite busy, but it is sort of hard to tell just by looking at our abode.  Sigh.  Let’s be honest, we have been watching a lot of Lie to Me season one in the evenings instead of working on the house.  We did get an electrician in here, though, and we officially have functioning breakers, an over the sink kitchen light, AND a ceiling fan!!  Who knew standard lighting could evoke such thrills?  We sure didn’t. Of course that wonderful sight was quickly followed by “OH, and you need an entire new electrical panel…About a thousand bucks.”  Thanks a lot, T&H Electrical. (They were wonderful, by the way, just in case you need a Bloomington electrician.  Can’t say enough great things about those folks.)

We still haven’t really unpacked the kitchen and I’m not sure why.  Last night I wanted popcorn for dinner but I didn’t have any lids, so I ended up using a 14 inch skillet lid on an 8 inch sauce pan.  Did it work?  Absolutely.  Are we ever going to unpack?  Not really sure.  I mean I like camping, but not that much.  This weekend we are going to try to gear ourselves up to paint the rest of the woodwork in the loft and stairway AND start laying our pretty, pretty flooring.  We might even get a wild hair and prime our kitchen cabinets.

Sadly, I doubt it because it turns out there is a really good reason I have been so lethargic.

That’s right,  Timmy is going to be the cutest daddy on the planet come late November.  YIKES.  Of course there’s a great story to go along with that massive, crazy, life-altering statement.  The short version goes something like this:  move to a new city, quit two jobs, find two new jobs, try to get pregnant for nine months, buy a project house in the woods that needs more work than we can give, and BAM now would be the perfect time to finally get pregnant.   We had decided (a bit too late, as it happens) to wait a year to try to get pregnant but there is no timing like divine timing, eh?  As a sidebar, if you are thinking about coming to visit, you might want to do that before mid-June, at which point I will have time to convert the guest room to a nursery.  Then at least you will have cute vintage bed instead of an air mattress plunked on the floor. <<Thanks to Aunt Meg and Uncle Steve for that rockin’ bed!

All in all, we are stoked about becoming parents.  I am a little terrified of the whole process that I always thought would feel normal and natural.  Instead I gag walking from my car to the library when I smell the perhaps slightly too liberally applied perfume of a passerby.  Lovely.  Timmy couldn’t be more excited–seriously.  He is driving the speed limit and bringing me whatever sounds good and being generally darling, despite the fact that I have completely stopped cooking and he is starving for real food.  Don’t worry, I am baking chicken, making potato leek soup, and making peanut butter cookies as I type this.  Let’s see how many of the three I can burn beyond salvation.  My brain feels like it isn’t functioning at full capacity, which is weird given my love for lists, multitasking, and fixing things that bug me at superhuman speed.  None of that here, bub.  Hence the lack of progress on our house that I just can’t muster much energy to worry about.  It will get done by November, Tim assures me.  But you know what?  I really don’t even care when it gets done.  Shocking, I know.

Befores and Progressions

Hi, darlings.  Timmy and I have really sloooowed down these last few weeks in our home repairs.  In fact, when I just snapped some “progress” photos, they looked worse than the last batch I took which I am certain is just a nasty trick.  Anyhow, as promised, here are some B’s and P’s for you to gaze at lovingly and with potential-laden awe…

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Progress

A-frame Before

A-frame Progress

Loft Before

Loft Progress

Nature Before

Nature Progress

Ok, we don’t take credit for that last one.  I have to admit it is sort of depressing finally sitting down and seeing how much work has gone into the house and then realizing that it doesn’t look like much.  That’s what happens when you take off walls and put some back up.  It seems like it didn’t need to be done (but oh we know it did) and now we are really just starting with a clean canvas.  As you may notice, we keep the front room/office space in decent sitting shape.  Couch, laptop, tv, laundry, random baskets full of crap…   We also have leveled floors and put down underlayment this week, and three cheers to Meg’s parents for coming today while we worked and caulking our stair rails AND finally plumbing in our sink!!!!  Yes, that’s right.  I can turn the water on in our kitchen without putting a bucket under it.  I am STOKED!  Here is a picture of our living room tonight.  Yes, we actually live like this.

We will probably get around to laying the rest of the underlayment and finishing some beam-painting this weekend after the family shin dig in Illinois.  The flooring will go in someday, maybe after work next week in the evenings?  Who are we kidding.  We are two tired folks.  If you have trouble sleeping, just buy a fixer upper in the woods when you know nothing about DIY home repair.  That’ll do the trick.  Next post:  Beautiful floors!  White beams!  Maybe some trim put back up!  We have high hopes over here.