Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning Gone Wild

My family is having a garage sale back home in a couple weeks. While Samantha was sleeping one morning I brought up a bunch of the boxes from the basement. So our nice clean living room turned into this…

We were able to go through the boxes and get rid of a lot of things. The items we decided to keep are now in the dining room but I should be able to find places for everything. Hopefully our house will go back to being uncluttered very soon. Chris worked on finishing the tile in the bathroom. He installed the tile on the bottom of the shower. The remaining tile all requires special cuts (mostly bullnose). We hope to get them put in this week.

Samantha and I took a trip up to Pittsburgh together to attend my friend’s baby shower. We drove up on Friday and were able to visit some friends. Unfortunately Samantha was a very cranky baby. It was great to catch up with friends at the shower…Samantha was pretty good while we were there. While we were away, Chris worked on the HVAC system plan and attended a beer competition. He was able to relax some so he could hit the ground running on Sunday. Sunday was beautiful so we worked outside. I worked more on the planters – now it’s just a matter of putting in the liner, water reservoir, soil, and plants. It shouldn’t take very long!

Chris fixed the tiller so that he could get our garden ready for planting. He got some of it tilled and then another part of the tiller broke. So we may just rent one this week instead. Samantha is starting to hit a lot of milestones lately. She practically stands on her own (she’s been doing this for a few weeks already), she is cooing, and she is working on blowing razzberries (it’s so cute when she tries and fails!).

She loves looking at lights (particularly ceiling fans).

She slept in her crib for the first time last night (and did a great job besides ending up at the opposite end from where she started).

She loves sucking on her hands and has found her thumb a few times.

Here are some other photos from the week.

We hope we’ll make some more progress on the bathroom this week…

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rain Barrels, Planters, and a Shuttle Fly Over

This was quite the exciting week around here.  First off, our house is still (mostly) clean from the baptism party…and we’re trying to keep it that way!  That makes it much easier to focus on other things – we got some projects complete! 

The most exciting thing of the week was the shuttle fly over.  Tuesday was the day that the Space Shuttle Discovery flew from Kennedy Space Center to the Smithsonian at Dulles.  It flew on the back of a modified 747 and made several passes around the DC area.  It made a direct fly over of Goddard so Samantha and I drove in to see it with Chris.  


 Samantha didn’t have a clue what was going on but she always enjoys being outdoors.

Each night during the week was spent working on tile in the master bathroom.  By the end of the weekend the floor was almost all complete (except near the threshold area).  We still have more tile work in the shower – the floor, the curb, and all the special bullnose pieces.

We were expecting rain this weekend so early on Saturday I started setting up the rain barrels we got last weekend.  It will be a great way to water the garden!  It rained a lot on Saturday evening and the barrels are all filled (and my overflow tubing works too!).


I also spent some time working on the self watering planters (from the Family Handyman magazine).  The end and side panels were pretty easy to assemble.  The sides were so heavy that I need Chris’ help to move them.  I still have more work to do on them because the rain ruined my plans.  



One of the thorns in our side has been our extremely cluttered garage.  It’s been so bad that we couldn’t even walk through it.  So I spent some time removing a bunch of the debris and organizing some things (we still need to spend more time organizing).  Now it’s nice and open – Chris was even able to dance in the space!  We have a bunch of garbage bags and recycling that will be gone by the end of the week and it’ll be even better.   
Samantha and I have been going to the New Mom’s Group on Thursdays.  It is a great time to get out of the house and have fun with other moms.  It’s a great group of women and the babies are all adorable. 

There are a couple babies in the group that were born within two days of Samantha so it’s interesting to see how she compares (even though everyone tells you not to do it!).  Everyone has commented on her strength and alertness.  She holds her head up for the majority of the meeting (about 2 ½ hours) and doesn’t nap at all (we’re lucky to get her down for two 20 minute naps during the day).

Even though she doesn’t sleep well during the day, she is a champ sleeping at night.  She is routinely going in stretches between 6 to 8 hours at night.  I’m happy she’s sleeping this way (although a nap would be nice!). 

One other thing we have noticed is that she is able to support all her weight on her legs.  That in itself doesn’t seem too advanced but she pushes herself up from a knees bent squat to straight legs.  We’re not sure when she is supposed to be able to do this but it seems like two months is extremely early.

Samantha loves playing in her gym and enjoys hitting the toys.  She has also started a pseudo-speed bag punching of her rattle – it’s pretty funny to watch.  She still loves her baths and is splashing all over the place.  We’ll have to start giving her baths in the bathroom soon. 

Here are some pictures of her from the week.

We’re going to be busy this week with more bathroom work – it’s only a matter of time before it’s done!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Samantha’s Baptism

This was quite a busy week. On Tuesday, Samantha had her two month doctor’s appointment. She weighed in at a hefty 12 lb. 3 oz. and is 22 ¾ inches long (but her leg was bent during the measurement so she may be longer). This puts her around the 75th percentile for both. She is getting so heavy to hold – there is definitely a limit on how much I can handle.

Wednesday was spent waiting for inspectors to show up. I had called all the inspectors a couple weeks ago to figure out how to get the permit time extended for the bathroom work. The plumbing inspector said that what I told him on the phone was a “progress report” and he would extend it three months. The building inspector said he would come out for an “insulation inspection” to extend it six months. The electrical inspector said he could do a “partial final” inspection to extend it six months.

We installed all the electrical items (covers, lights, etc.) and ended up passing the final electrical inspection – one down! The building inspector showed up while I was in the basement doing laundry – he just left the approved sticker and said he didn’t even need to see anything. So now we have three more months before we need another inspection (hopefully it will be much sooner!).

 I went to my New Mom’s Support Group on Thursday (it is becoming my favorite day of the week because I get to see other adults!). The rest of the day was spent going to a dentist appointment, shopping and cooking. Most of the week was spent getting ready for Samantha’s Baptism. There was a lot of de-cluttering, cleaning, de-junking, and cooking.

My parents came down on Friday to help out – it was wonderful to have them here! My mom gave the house the best cleaning since before the baby was born and Dad helped out with yard work (he planted a lot of ornamental grasses to hide our backyard since all the trees are gone).

The county had an event called GreenFest on Saturday. We attended a rain barrel workshop and got two rain barrels (complete with kits to finish them). We now have three barrels that we can put in series and get up to 150 gallons of water each time it rains. It’s a much better way to water the garden and hops!

After church on Sunday morning we did a lot of last minute cleaning and food preparation. Samantha was baptized on Sunday afternoon. We hosted 15 people for lunch before the ceremony and come back for cake afterwards. I may have gone a little overboard with the food but at least nobody left hungry!

There were two other babies being baptized at the same time. Samantha was a little instigator – she started screaming and then the other two babies started crying. Fortunately I think it’s pretty common to have crying babies during baptism because Deacon Ben seemed to be unfazed.

Samantha wore the same gown that my mom and I both wore. Her bonnet was a gift and it does double duty – a bonnet for baptism and a handkerchief when she gets married (many, many years from now!). Samantha’s Godparents are her Uncle Rob and Aunt Paula.

It was great having so much family here – Samantha was definitely spoiled with all the attention and gifts! Here a couple other pictures from her 9th week.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do a lot of bathroom work this week!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baby’s First Easter!

There were a lot of non-house events this week.

On Monday Samantha had a professional photo shoot – we have to wait a couple weeks before we see the pictures but I think she looked adorable (but I am her mother!).

Once the photo shoot was complete we drove down to have lunch with Chris. After lunch we visited work and everyone was happy to meet Samantha.

On Tuesday, Samantha and I walked up to the elementary school to vote in the Maryland Primary. Then we went to visit Cat and see their new house – it’s enormous!

Samantha and I went to our first "New Mom's Support Group" on Thursday. We met a bunch of other new babies and moms and had a great time. There were a couple babies born within a day or two of Samantha. The entire time they were good and sleeping and Samantha was sitting and looking around everywhere (for 2 ½ hours!). I need to ask them how they get their babies to nap!

Since we removed the trees a couple weeks ago there is a big empty space between us and the neighbors. We met with them to talk about what we want done in that area. Most of it will probably be grass but we do want some small things planted to hide some of the ugly utility boxes in that area.

Chris has been working a lot on finishing the drywall in the master bathroom. It takes forever to finish up all those corners!

For Easter weekend we drove to Pennsylvania. It was Samantha’s first trip and she did very well. On Saturday she met Ryker (the neighbor’s grandson who is three weeks younger). We tried to get some pictures but they were very uncooperative! Samantha kept trying to elbow Ryker in the neck…

Samantha also got to meet most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was spoiled by the Easter bunny (and my family!).

Here are some of this week’s pictures (it’s hard to believe that 8 weeks have passed!):

On house work, we hope to at least finish up the drywall and prime the walls before the inspections on Wednesday. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Slowing Down…

I know I'm a little late posting this week...sorry!

This week was a little less productive than last week. We were able to finish tiling the walls of the shower but weren’t able to get any more tiling done. Part of the reason we didn’t get anything else done is that it takes forever to finish drywall. Chris worked on it a few nights this week and it’s still not finished – you can only work in small batches when using 20 minute compound. Also, we primed and painted about half of the ceiling before installing the last couple rows of tile.

On Thursday, I went to dinner and a movie with friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was my first time being away from Samantha for any length of time. She got plenty of Daddy time though!

Over the weekend Chris worked in the yard a little bit. He sprayed all the vines and weeds around the property and started training his hop vines.

The trees in the yard are starting to look great! The redbuds and cherry trees are blooming and the Japanese maples are dark red.

Our vegetables are doing very well in our greenhouse and sunroom. Now we just need to prepare the garden so we’ll be ready to transplant them when there is no more frost.

A few months ago I saw some self-watering planters in Family Handyman magazine and the plans were in the April issue. I want to build a couple for near our back deck (which isn’t built yet) so we went to Lowe’s to buy the lumber on Sunday. Hopefully Samantha will take good naps so I can get them built soon!

On Sunday, my friend and her brothers came to visit for a little while – hopefully next time we’ll have a longer visit!

Samantha is still growing a lot (which means that she’s also eating well!). It’s much more fun to play with her now that she’s smiling and interacting with things. She gets so excited and starts kicking her legs and flailing her arms. She has also started sleeping a little longer during the night – we had a few nights of five to six hour stretches of sleep (which made Mommy very happy!). Here are some of the week’s pictures:

We hope everyone has a Happy Easter!