Monday, January 30, 2012

Non-Bubbling Toilet and Tons of Marble!

This week was just filled with fun. We picked up the vanity at Home Depot on Tuesday night. It was too heavy for me to help get it in the house so I had to run over to the neighbors to try to get some assistance.

Once it was inside, we moved it into the bathroom to see if it would fit. Of course it looked great but the drawers were touching the valves for the plumbing. So our options were to shorten the drawers or to move the plumbing. We chose the latter.

So what should be a simple job (installing the vanity) turned into much more work. Chris spent a lot of time cutting a big hole in the drywall, shutting off the water, cutting out the old plumbing, making 6 trips to hardware stores to find the right valves, installing the new plumbing lines, installing the valves, checking for leaks, removing the valves, installing the drywall, reinstalling the valves, taping, mudding, priming, and painting. Fortunately, now the valves are in the right place and we should be able to install the vanity this week.

Because the vanity has legs, we needed to tile underneath. Chris tiled around the legs last night and we’ll be able to grout that area tonight. Then all the tiling in the main bathroom will be complete!

Friday of this week was like Christmas because so many items showed up at the house. The first one was the expensive toilet. Chris installed it on Saturday and we are happy to report that it doesn’t bubble when you flush – we are so glad that it was the toilet and not the plumbing causing the problem!

We knew the marble tile for the master bathroom was supposed to arrive between 10 and 6 on Friday. Of course the truck pulled up at 5:45. I asked nicely (while rubbing my big pregnant belly) if the guy could back the truck into the driveway before unloading. The “company policy” prohibited him from doing this so the tile was left about 10 feet from the road.

I spent some time lugging the 12 smaller, lighter boxes of marble into the house (which is not very easy with a big belly in the way!). Chris used his big muscles to bring in the 12 big, heavy boxes when he got home. Now the tile will sit in our living room until we’re ready to start tiling the master bathroom.

On Sunday afternoon we visited with some friends. They purchased a huge house about 6 months ago and had a ton of issues with it – mostly plumbing. Fortunately for them, many areas of the house were move-in ready but had some small things that can be addressed later (uneven tile, etc.). We had a nice time relaxing, talking, and eating truffles! Then we had to get back to reality (and work).

So you may be wondering what I did while Chris was working in the bathroom. I did do a lot of work but I don’t have much to show for it. With the baby on the way we’ve needed to get the house cleaned and organized for a long time. So I spent a lot of time working on the dining room, den, nursery, and master bedroom. It’s amazing how much stuff we have in this house!

The sad part is that the cleanest room in the house is the dining room – and all we normally do is walk through there on the way from the den to the kitchen (and vice versa). Hopefully this week I can finish up some rooms that we spend more time in (and consequently collect more dirt and clutter).

In baby news:
I am one week from my due date.
We’re down to 5 names (2 boys, 3 girls).
We still haven’t packed a bag for the hospital (but have some items set aside).
I have gained 32 pounds and my belly is starting to get in the way.
I’m completely useless at work.
The baby has been kicking and elbowing me a lot lately – I guess it’s getting a little cramped in there!

Keep your fingers crossed that we can get the main bathroom completely finished before the baby arrives! And prayers for a healthy baby and easy delivery would be much appreciated too!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trudging Along…

We made so much progress last weekend that this week it was a little harder to see the progress that we made.

Chris spent a lot of quality time with drywall compound – he’s very close to being able to prime the walls and ceiling.

One of the big things missing in the main bathroom is a vanity – the one we purchased before was just too big. We’ve been looking for a long time for an 18” deep vanity and haven’t been able to find anything that would work. So we finally purchased one online Saturday morning. On Sunday afternoon, Chris found an even better (and less expensive) one at Home Depot. So now we’re trying to cancel the online order so that we can buy the Home Depot one. The one at Home Depot is similar to the one below but the vanity top is a lighter color.

Hopefully by next weekend the main bathroom will be a lot closer to finished but for now it looks like this:

We also spent a lot of time figuring out our tile for the master bathroom. Every time we looked at tile, we always seemed to come back to marble. We looked for a long time for something that looked like marble without the price tag but didn’t have any luck. So we decided that we would just bite the bullet and pay for marble.

Like the main bathroom, we kicked around a lot of different designs for the shower tile. The one that finally won is below. The shower won’t look exactly like this but it’s not too far off – I’m still not sure why the tile looks so gray...

I am only two weeks away from my due date – it’s so hard to believe! We ran a lot of errands on Saturday and actually ordered the chair for the nursery (below). It may not be here by the time the baby arrives but we have my old chair from college that will be sufficient in the interim.

I am apparently starting to nest a little more – I went through most of the kitchen cabinets and reorganized a ton of things, made waffles for breakfast (Chris had to take a picture for proof), and cleaned parts of the house. I hope Chris isn’t going to expect this all the time!

Well, that's about it for the week. The big projects for this week are to install the main bathroom vanity and install the shower pan in the master bathroom. Hopefully the baby stays where it is for a couple more weeks at least!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rub-a-Dub-Dub…We Have a Working Tub!

We decided to return the vanity and top that we had purchased – they were just too big for the space. It is just so hard to find one we like that fits the space. Eventually we’ll find what we want.

Chris worked hard to finish up the bathtub and shower surround – lots of caulking was involved! He also installed the fixtures and turned them on to check for leaks. Unfortunately there were a couple leaks that we had to take care of – one in the drain and one in the supply. It didn’t take very long for him to fix it though.

My parents came down on Friday to help out this weekend. Chris and Dad worked on installing the remaining fixtures in the main bathroom (the shower curtain rod and towel bar). Then they started working on the master bathroom. They installed a lot of blocking, built a shower shelf, installed drywall on the ceiling and walls, and installed the cement board on the floor.

We finally got to take a shower in the main bathroom on Monday – and it was wonderful!

While the boys were working in the bathroom, Mom and I worked for two straight days in the kitchen. I wanted to make a lot of meals to put in the freezer for when the baby arrives. So we made 24 different meals – many of which are ready to “thaw and heat.” Surprisingly, the freezer still has a little more room!

On Monday, we worked on installing foam in the boiler room. The joists in this area were not air sealed and it was allowing a lot of the heat in the boiler room to escape to the garage. So we put in some Styrofoam and Great Stuff in the joists and around the chimney. Hopefully it will be a little more efficient.

In baby news, the baby is officially full term. I had a growth sonogram and a non-stress test during the week. The sonogram showed that the baby is slightly small for its age (25 – 30%) – currently weighing in at 5 lb. 3 oz. If I go to my due date, the baby should be 7 lb. – I thought that was normal!

From now until the baby is born I have to have a sonogram and a non-stress test every week. It’s hard to believe that it’ll be here before we know it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So Close…

Chris did a wonderful job installing the trim on the window and door in the bathroom but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it completed (the photo below is with it un-caulked and un-painted.

He also worked to install the valves for the toilet and sink lines.

While he was busy doing smelly stuff (pregnant ladies shouldn’t be around plumber’s cement and paint), I spent some time being a good housewife. I cooked and cleaned and shelled 4 pounds of almonds. I know most people buy them already out of the shell but it was a really good deal!

So the big things we planned to accomplish were installing the toilet, vanity, and fixtures. Unfortunately, we ran into some problems.

The toilet is installed but it still gurgles when you flush it. We re-used the toilet from the original bathroom because it was a 10” offset. But now we may need to buy a new one because of the gurgling (it did this in the old bathroom too but we thought it might be a plumbing thing at that point).

The vanity we purchased is very nice but once we put it in place we felt that it made the bathroom a little crowded. It meets code easily and is very close to the NKBA “recommended” distance but it still feels cramped. We left it in place to see if we could live with it but we haven’t made a decision yet. The options are either to order a custom vanity (super expensive around here) or to have Chris make one. Either way we won’t have a vanity for awhile unless we go with what we have.

In baby news, I continue to grow. It’s hard to believe that I will be considered full term next week! I still haven’t packed a bag for the hospital (I do have a list of what to pack though!) or cleaned our bedroom (which desperately needs it!). I have worked hard on getting the guest rooms and nursery in decent shape. We also installed the car seat bases this weekend so now we can at least bring the baby home!

Hopefully I can clean the rest of the house before the baby arrives!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Bathroom (almost…)

Well we had a great time visiting family over Christmas – we definitely ate a lot of good food too! The themes of the gifts we received were mostly tools (for Chris) and baby related items (for me). I think the picture speaks for itself but my mom loves giving gifts…

Because we did a lot of traveling over the holidays, we didn’t get much done on the house. That doesn’t mean we weren’t still thinking about it though! While in PA we went to a used furniture store where my mom had spotted a potential vanity for our master bathroom. The piece actually used to be part of an office set but it is the perfect size.

We do have to make some modifications to it but they should be relatively minor. We will need to shorten the drawers (or use them as false fronts), remove the electrical system (on the left is a surge protector from its life as a desk), and add some height. The most challenging part will be adding height. We plan on removing the top and installing additional framing to add height above the drawers. We will then cover this addition with some decorative molding and put on a new top (possibly tile).

My parents are going to be working on their main bathroom soon and decided to buy the other one in the store. And then my brother might steal the top of ours to use as his vanity top for his bathroom renovation. It appears that my family is all working on the same thing around the same time!

When we got home from all the holiday travel, we started playing around with grout colors. We couldn’t find a color that we liked enough in the store so we decided to mix up a few colors and see what we could come up with. Chris played around with several variations.

Once we chose one combination that we liked, we grouted everything in sight! Now that everything is grouted, we can seal it and start installing everything else in the bathroom.

For New Year’s Eve we spent some time at Lowes and Home Depot so that we would have everything on hand that we need to finish this bathroom. We bought a vanity and top, light fixture, paint, and some random items (new toilet seat, plumbing valves, etc.).

Our actual New Year’s Eve activities were dinner at home, watching the “Midnight at 7” fireworks from our driveway, and going to see the Muppets – we really know how to party!

Between (bad) bowl games yesterday, Chris was able to complete the painting, install the light, and start installing the window trim.

Hopefully the rest of this week we’ll be able to install everything else and have a functional full bathroom on the main level!

In baby news, I worked hard to get the nursery in a more useable state. Now (almost) everything is washed, folded, and put away. We still need to buy a chair but everything else seems to be in place.

I had a sonogram to determine the baby’s position – it is head down and ready to make its big entrance. However, I’m really starting to freak out…”I’m not ready to be a mother/give birth/take care of another person!” Fortunately for Chris, he’s in denial (which he claims is a much better state to be in at this point!).

It’s hard to believe that the baby could be here at any time – I really need to get this house clean!