Friday, April 25, 2014

Renovations Round One

When we bought our little house last summer we honestly had no clue what a "fixer upper" it would turn out to be. To steal a line from Clueless (oh yes, I'm going there), it was a total Monet. On the surface it looked great, but once you got up close, it was kind of a big mess. 

When we saw it originally, I remember noticing that the owner had updated all the switch plate covers from almond to white, but hadn't changed the actual outlets/switches. As it turns out, that was a huge red flag for the way this guy approached ALL home repairs. Half assed and LAZY. So much so that his name (Russell) has turned into a verb in our house.  (i.e. when we find something that has been rigged, we say it's been "Russell-ed"). It's been a challenge to undo some of his DIY hacks, but doing things the right way has proven to be worth it for our peace of mind.

Our initial projects upon moving in were to Elfa the master closet, paint the rest of the closets, and we also ended up replacing the back door unexpectedly. However, the Big Project that we had planned on from day one was to rip out the flooring in the front of the house and replace it with hardwood.  It was a combination of tile, nasty carpet, and cheap wood. 

Due to the cost and pain-in-the-ass factor of the project it was put on the "eventually" list but promptly got moved to the "OMG-I-don't-want-my-infant-inhaling-tile-dust" list pretty much from the moment we found out I was pregnant. Score one for Baby G.

So after eight months of dragging our feet, we finally got it done in March. I've decided all home remodeling projects follow the path of the children's book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and you should just plan for every one project to turn into five and add about 40% to the cost you were estimating to spend.  In our case, the floors led to painting the walls, which led to replacing the baseboards, which led to rewiring the living room to mount the TV, which led to having the electrician also replace all those almond switches while he was there. Not to mention that we decided to go ahead and tack on flooring for three extra bedrooms and a hallway at the last minute. 

In the end, it was two weeks of disaster....
... that thankfully proved to be entirely worth it. 

Here are some before and afters:

The Dining Room

Listing photo. The dining room had a fan in it(??) and a raised wood floor with that fancy diamond pattern in it. The floor was also cracked in a couple spots. 


After we moved in. I painted the trim (including the faux wainscoting), attempted to hide the pattern in the floor with a rug and Den replaced the fan with a light fixture

And now! In addition to the floors, we painted the walls, put the light on a dimmer, and finally got chairs! Once we get a "real" dining room table and some curtains, this room will be done.


The Living Room
 Listing photo. 

 I don't have a great photo of after we moved in, but this gives you the gist of it. Surprisingly, that's the same color as the previous photo- it just looks much more orangey during the day. We hung the TV, but you can see the wires hanging down and running along the left side of the photo. All the trim in this room was also extremely yellowed.

And now! We painted the mantel and all the trim, wired the TV so the cords are now hidden, replaced the outlets and switches, and moved around some furniture. We still have to get rid of the old coffee table that's currently parked in the corner.


 Entry
The entry was the same color as the rest of the hallway/living room, but if you looked closely, they had painted directly on top of wallpaper. The paper was bubbling up in certain places and you could see the seams, so we had to have drywall guy come out and strip all the paper and retexture the walls. Annoying, but worth it to get it to look right. The only thing left to do in here is to replace the entry light fixture.

Office
The walls in here photographed a little yellow, but it's the same gray as the rest of the house. Up next for this room is a legit desk and curtains.

Guest Room

The guest room got paint, floors, and new window shades and we also took the 80's intercom box out of that back wall and patched up the hole. We debated trying to retrofit the intercom with speakers and an iPod docking station, but ultimately it just seemed silly as quickly as technology changes.  So now we just need a little artwork and this room is pretty much done.

We also did the nursery, but I'm saving that for a different post once we get a few of the final details finished up. 

I'm so thankful for the fresh clean space to bring the baby home to and the fact that it was done correctly and not "Russell-ed" in any form or fashion. A huge amount of props to my parents who came over every night to offer their slave labor (and would even bring dinner with them).  I can't say that I would recommend taking on any massive home remodeling project while 7 months pregnant, but they definitely made it doable and we couldn't be happier with the result. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

35 Weeks



How far along?  35 weeks.

How big is the baby this week?  Baby Center says he is is the size of a honeydew melon which is roughly 5 1/4 pounds.  All development is now complete and he's just fattening up! Hopefully not too fat- we don't need him taking after his dad who was close to a 10 lb. baby. 

Total Weight Gain?  27 pounds.   

Maternity Clothes?  Yes. It's starting to get warm and my options are a little limited, but I was able to find some non maternity linen shorts with an elastic waistband last week. I bought them in two colors and now regret not buying the third. I'm all about stocking my closet with non-maternity "forgiving" clothes for this summer that I can also wear now. I figure having some cute transitional pieces ready to go will keep me from wanting to jump off a cliff the first time I try to put on my pre-pregnancy shorts.  

Best Moment of the Week?  Getting some key things checked off the to do list. My parents came over to assist with some of the larger projects. We were able to replace the carpet in our master closet (it had some bare spots from where we had ripped out old shelving to put in elfa), organized the kitchen to make room for bottles and baby goods, hung and hemmed curtains, and hauled off some remodeling trash. I should probably be more ashamed that at 32 I'm at my most productive when my parents are there to assist, but I'm not. They are so helpful and Den and I are so appreciative.

Trouble Sleeping?  Yes. I just can't really get comfortable anymore. 

Miss Anything?  General mobility.  D had to fasten the ankle strap on my sandals this morning after ten minutes of me trying unsuccessfully due to the fact that this large bump was obstructing my view.

Movement?  All the time unless I've called someone over to feel him move. Then he stops immediately. 

Food Cravings?  Choco tacos. Easter Candy. My mom's sugar cookies. Sensing a theme?

Belly Button - In or Out?  Outie and then some. 

Symptoms?  Achey back. No sleep. Developing a slight waddle.

Wedding Ring - Off or on?  I can get it on, but with the temperature rising, it's starting to get a little snug. 

Happy or Moody?  Probably somewhere in between. Checking things off our to do list keeps me in good spirits, but the general inability to move around like I'm used to is a little annoying. 

Looking Forward to?  We have our second and final baby shower this weekend that is being thrown by my mother-in-law's friends. I haven't met most of them so it will be nice to put faces with names. After that we can wrap up the final checklist of baby needs (carseat!) and we should be officially ready for this dude's arrival.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

34 Weeks



How far along?  34 weeks.

How big is the baby this week?  Baby Center says he is is the size of a cantaloupe and/or 4 3/4 pounds.

Total Weight Gain?   I think around 25-26ish lbs.  

Maternity Clothes?  Yes. Maxi skirts are my new favorite thing in the world. 

Best Moment of the Week?  That's a hard one bc we had so much going on last week.  Our date night last week was much-needed. The Dallas Arboretum has a concert series in the spring and the first one was on Thursday. We also got to spend Saturday night hanging out with my crew from college for Alex's shower and went to the Ranger's game on Sunday. 

Trouble Sleeping?  Yes. I knew it was coming, but it still doesn't suck any less when it starts up. I feel like a zombie. I'm so tired all the time and between getting up to go the bathroom and the weird dreams, it's just impossible to feel like I've slept well. Guess I should get used to it. I'm starting to realize how badly I function when I'm tired though. Not going to lie- I'm a more than a little anxious about the impending sleep deprivation and how it will affect my sanity.

Miss Anything?  Sleeping well. A back that doesn't hurt. WINE to ease the pain of those first two. 

Movement?  All the time. Definitely feeling the hiccups more frequently as well. 

Food Cravings?  Not really anything specific. 

Belly Button - In or Out?  We're going to go ahead and claim it as a full-on outie at this point.

Symptoms?  Back, sleep, 
fatigue. All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS for that burst of 2nd trimester energy. Now that I'm running on zero energy, I'm so thankful for everything we were able to get done during those three months. D thinks my nesting was in overdrive, but looking back it's a damn good thing because we definitely needed to get as much done as we did.

Wedding Ring - Off or on?  On.

Happy or Moody?  A little moody.  Not having any energy is kind of a downer- especially when I feel like we still have so much left to do.

Looking Forward to?  Getting our house projects wrapped up. My to do list is literally two pages front and back, but I listed out every tiny thing for my sanity. The fact that he could come any minute is really freaking me out when I look at the things I still want to get done prior to his arrival. I'm trying to prioritize and get the most important things done first. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

33 Weeks


How far along?  33 weeks.

How big is the baby this week?  Baby Center says he is is the size of  a pineapple and/or 4 pounds.

Total Weight Gain?   I feel like this is fluctuating a lot depending on when I weigh myself... but 23ish pounds. 

Maternity Clothes?  Yes. I've grown to hate the maternity pants without the full panel because it just DIGS into my belly. By the end of the day I find myself trying to stretch the waistband out away from my stomach while I'm sitting.

Best Moment of the Week?  Getting our stroller! I told y'all how much research I did on this before deciding on the City Select, and I was SO excited to finally go get it. We were also able to get a pretty good deal on it thanks to a 20% off coupon I found. I love it just as much as I thought I would and may have spent the better part of Saturday night pushing it around our house (wild and crazy night, lemme tell ya!)

Trouble Sleeping?  I'm definitely starting to get more uncomfortable. I've also started getting up once in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I know that's pretty minor compared to how it could be, so I'm still thankful for that. 

Miss Anything?  Not grunting anytime I have to move from a stationary position.

Movement?  At this point, I'm starting to feel like he's trying to claw his way out. And also a little concerned that he may be rearranging organs.

Food Cravings?  Not really anything specific. 

Belly Button - In or Out?  Mostly an outie with a touch of innie.

Symptoms?  My back is really starting to hurt pretty consistently.

Wedding Ring - Off or on?  On.

Happy or Moody?  I would say mostly happy this week.  




Looking Forward to?  A busy weekend celebrating birthdays, upcoming weddings, and a little baseball thrown in!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

32 Weeks


Excuse the lack of makeup, please. 

How far along?  32 weeks.

How big is the baby this week?  Baby Center says he is is the size of  a jicama and/or 3.75 pounds.

Total Weight Gain?   21 pounds. 

Maternity Clothes?  Yes. Since it's warming up, I'm trying to buy more non-maternity transition pieces that I can wear this summer after his arrival. Specifically, any tops that are loose and forgiving. 

Best Moment of the Week?  Spending the weekend with my college girls! We drove out to West Texas to a friend's ranch to celebrate my old roomie's bachelorette party. I only had to take one nap and I outlasted several of the girls at night- I'd call that a success for being 8 months pregnant. It's always a blast to get everyone together and doesn't happen near enough.

Trouble Sleeping?  Luckily, not at all.

Miss Anything?  This weekend, booze. I almost tried to play flip cup with O'Douls. 

Movement?  All the time unless I put one of the girls' hands on my belly to feel it. Then he would stop. Naturally. He's not even here yet and he's already ornery.

Food Cravings?  I haven't really had any cravings this week. I certainly didn't eat very well though. I'll try to get him some veggies this week to make up for all the crap I ate last week.

Belly Button - In or Out?  Mostly an outie with a touch of innie.

Symptoms?  There's a specific spot in my shoulder blade that is just killing me. I got a massage yesterday which helped a little. She urged me to come back every two weeks until delivery. Who am I to go against the advice of a well-meaning pro?

Wedding Ring - Off or on?  On- no swelling yetalthough according to the girls it's about this time that the cankles start showing up.

Happy or Moody?  I was a little stressed out last week with everything I had to do before going out of town for the weekend, but I'm much better this week. 



Looking Forward to?  A fairly calm weekend compared to the last month. We've had a pretty rough couple of months as far as commitments.