Monday, June 25, 2012

Trot, Trot to Boston

We worked on some of the cosmetic items for the bathroom.  Chris used a lot of drywall compound after we had installed the drywall in the closet area.  I followed it up with priming and painting. 

One of the areas that needed drywall work was in our bedroom.  During demolition in the old bathroom, a lot of the plaster in the bedroom was cracked and (in some places) had giant holes.  Our one bedroom wall has looked very ghetto lately with all the cracks and holes.  The picture below is the huge hole that was left near the plumbing vent (the plaster was very thin in this area).  It still needs primer and paint but at least it’s closed off!

The weekend was completely unproductive (but fun!).  We left town on Friday to head to New Hampshire for my uncle’s surprise party for his 50th birthday.  It was Samantha’s first time on an airplane so I couldn’t stop myself from getting the “Airplanes” book at the library. 

She did a great job on the flight up – she nursed during takeoff and slept the rest of the flight (it was only about an hour long).  We were getting pretty worried about it though since there were storms and we had to wait for about 45 minutes on the tarmac for them to re-route the plane.  It wouldn’t have been too bad if the plane was cooler (it was about 90 degrees in the plane during that time).

My parents picked us up at the airport and we headed to a nice restaurant for the surprise.  My uncle was very happy (and surprised!) that everyone made it up there. 

On Saturday, after much debate, we all drove down to Boston to take a trolley tour of the city.  We got there around lunchtime so we didn’t have an opportunity to ride the whole route.  We did get to stop and see the USS Constitution, Old State House, and one of the old cemeteries though. 

After carrying Samantha in the wrap all day I was exhausted!  It’s amazing how heavy an extra 16 pounds feels!

Samantha seemed to be very excited by her first Boston trip.  She was very animated and had a lot to say about it.  Here is part of the 10 minute conversation she had with me on the car ride:

Sunday was a travel day.  We were all pretty tired from the trip and it was pretty hot and humid here.  We did work in the garden a little bit in the evening.  We found out that a groundhog has discovered the garden in our absence.  We set the trap so hopefully we’ll have one less groundhog in the neighborhood soon. 

Our tomato plants are doing great though!  This is the first year that we’re being diligent about pruning them and removing suckers.  There is no sign of disease and almost every plant has tomatoes growing or a lot of blossoms. 

The weeds have seemed to take over a little bit though.   I’ve been focusing my weeding efforts on right around the plants and have left the aisles to grow uncontrolled.  Hopefully after a nice rain I’ll be able to attack and get most of them out by the roots. 

Enough about the garden – Samantha is also growing like a weed – her legs seem to have thinned out even more this last week. 

She enjoys helping me with her (clean) diapers.

She has been dressing for the hot summer weather.

She is always so happy in the morning when she wakes up.

And she’s always enjoying playing with toys.  Excuse her lack of pants in the first video!



Of course once a day she gets a good sniff from Tucker – I only caught the end of this one:

Her weekly pictures are getting harder to take because she’s more mobile.

This week coming up will have some big changes in the master bathroom (and possibly a couple passed inspections?).  Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

We got a lot closer to finishing the bathroom this week.  We installed the sinks, faucets, and hooked up the plumbing.  We’re happy to report that there are no leaks! 

The vanity is starting to look much better.  We still have to make some modifications to the drawers but we can at least get the final inspections completed without them. 

The closet wall (which we have been using as the main door for the bathroom up to now) has been installed and the first couple coats of drywall compound have been applied.  It’s amazing how dark the hallway feels now that the opening is gone.  We have the door already painted and should install it this week!

Over the weekend we continued with the fence installation.  It was too hot during the middle of the day so we worked a little bit each evening.  We now have the pickets installed on the right side of the fence.  To finish the fence all we need to do is build a gate for that side.  Then it will just be a matter of taking down the old fence.  I’ll share pictures once it’s completed.

We were disappointed this week – our CSA was supposed to make the first delivery but there was a problem at the farm.  Hopefully it’s all fixed and we’ll get our first basket this week!   I am so excited about having delicious vegetables!

Our garden is doing very well.  Our tomato plants are thriving and it looks like we’ll have a good harvest of squash this year.  The eggplants and peppers are not great but they seem to do better with the warmer temperatures in summer.  It’s also nice to be able to go out and grab a handful of fresh basil again – we’ve missed it!

We did a lot of non-house related things this weekend.  On Saturday we walked over to the Columbia Lakefront for the Festival of the Arts.  We got to see the trapeze artists, listen to good music, and go to Bookapalooza at the library (Samantha enjoyed storytelling).  It was a fun (but tiring) day!

On Sunday, after church, we went to the grand opening of the new Wegman’s near us (doesn’t everyone go to the grocery store on Father’s Day?).  There were a ton of people there but it looks like a great store – 135,000 square feet!  We bought food for our Father’s Day picnic there and we were not disappointed.  I hope to take Samantha back next week when the crowd dies down a little bit. 

To celebrate Father’s Day, we packed up a picnic lunch and headed to Centennial Lake.  We had a nice time enjoying the day.   Samantha enjoyed lying on the blanket outside and she kept squirming her way over to get a hold of the grass.  We have a feeling she’s going to be crawling soon!

This week was Samantha’s four month checkup at the pediatrician.  She is doing great!  She is meeting all the milestones for her age (plus some!).  She weighed in at 15 lb. 9 oz. (over 90th percentile) and is 26 inches long (97th percentile).  So we have a very large (but proportional) baby.  The one thing that isn’t proportional is her head circumference – she’s in the 25th percentile for that! 

We looked at my old health records and Samantha and I are almost exactly the same size at that age (she weighs 3 oz. more and is the same length).  I guess this means she’ll be about 5’8” when she’s all grown up! 

While Chris and I were installing fence pickets, Samantha was sitting in one of her seats outside.  I looked over and she had a big mosquito on her forehead – it’s a pretty decent size bite so we’ll just have to keep an eye on it. 

She has been very vocal lately and is laughing a lot more.  Here is a video I took of her in the swing at one of our neighborhood playgrounds (there is a highway close to this one so there’s a lot of background noise).

She seems to find Tucker fascinating.  Every evening when Daddy gets home, they go out in the backyard with the dog.  Tucker rolls around, plays with sticks, runs in circles, and barks, and Samantha giggles, smiles, and watches him intently.

She is very close to sitting unaided and she keeps trying to sit up when she’s lying on her back.  She gets about halfway up before getting frustrated.  (Yes, that is our new toilet in the background!)

And of course she continues to love playing with toys.  One of her favorite games is during dinner – “Drop my rattle on the ground and see how many times they’ll pick it up for me when I cry!”  That game is getting old very quickly!

This week’s pictures were after bath time so they’re a little dark and she’s a little tired!

That’s all for this week!  We hope to have the shower plumbing and toilet installed soon so we can get the final inspections completed for the bathrooms.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hot Days = Little Work

We did get to work on the fence a little bit this week but we’re still not finished.  It was very hot over the weekend so we got to work in the mornings and evenings (when Samantha was cooperating).  The fence on the left side of the house is almost complete – we still have to re-space the pickets on the gate though.  The fence on the right side has rails installed only.  We need to build the gate and install all the pickets.  It shouldn’t take long but this week is either going to be too hot or rainy. 

The bathroom is starting to look like a real bathroom.  We worked to get the vanity top and backsplash tiled and grouted (the picture below is not the current state!). 

Once we seal everything we can install the sinks and faucets.  Chris already worked on fitting the drain lines so all we have to do is the final install. 

We ordered our shower door this week and now just have to wait for them to fabricate it.  We don’t need the door in place for the final inspections so we hope to get those completed early next week.    

We have noticed some more wildlife in the backyard recently.  Unfortunately there is a groundhog in the areas – for now it’s staying near our apple tree but we’re ready with our trap for the garden.  There is also a fox that seems to show up every morning – Chris was able to get a few pretty good photos of it. 

We were also able to see our friends this weekend.  The Craft family invited us for dinner on Sunday.  Their youngest son is 4 days older than Samantha – unfortunately Samantha was a little cranky during our visit.  Hopefully next time she’ll be better!

Samantha is so much more fun now!  It's hard to believe that she's already 4 months old...time sure is flying!

She is very close to sitting without support.  She can stay upright for a little while – but we always have hands close by to catch her. 

She is still blowing razzberries…mostly to inanimate objects (her toys) but sometimes she does it for us too:

She seems to get a kick out of Tucker – it doesn’t matter what he’s doing.  She does love when he rolls around in the grass!

Here are some other photos from the week:

Hopefully this week we will have a (partially) functional master bathroom!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fencing…Not the Kind with Swords!

This week was all about fencing and bathrooms.  We are very close to finishing the vanity in the master bathroom.  We were able to build a frame (to raise the height), add plywood, cut out for the sinks, and tile the top.  We still have to add tile to the sides and backsplash but we should be done with that in a few days.

We also had a local company come out to give us a quote for the shower door.  We need to decide which style we want to go with and then it will take three weeks until it can be installed.  I can’t wait to get to use this bathroom!

We have been waiting for weeks for the landscaper to finish our yard – we were hiring them to smooth out the yard and seed it.  On Friday afternoon they finally finished.  About an hour and a half after the last piece of straw was in place, an enormous storm hit the area.  I have never experienced a storm quite like it – extremely strong wind and very heavy rain.  It washed a lot of the straw, seed, and dirt away.  Fortunately the landscaper is going to come back and re-do everything after it all dries out.

This weekend my parents came down to visit (all because of Samantha of course!) but we took advantage of having them here.  Our entire back yard is fenced and it has a lot of issues.  The fence material is a rusty rectangular metal and it is mostly held up by very crooked metal posts.  The worst areas are the sections facing the road.  There are two gate panels in each section of fence in the front and neither gate works well (or at all). 

We bought all our materials at Lowe’s on Saturday morning and rented their truck to bring it all home.  After lunch, the guys got busy digging holes for the posts, I cut all the pickets, and my mom babysat. 

Chris and my dad did a great job getting all the posts set in the ground and installing the rails (only on the left side).  They also built the gate for the left side.  We still have to finish up the rails and gate on the right side and install all the pickets.  Fortunately the big work is already done and we can take our time finishing.

I spent way too much time with pickets.  We purchased 10 foot sections of 1x6 for the pickets.  I made a jig so that I could cut them all down to 5 foot lengths and then I set up another jig to cut small 45 degree “dog ears” on the top of each picket. 

The rough cuts did not look good at all so I spent a couple more hours sanding each picket.  I had to sand the flat sections and each cut edge.  It all worked out to making 312 cuts and sanding 936 surfaces or edges.  Let’s just say that my whole body hurts today.  

Samantha spent a ton of time with Grandma – they went on plenty of walks!  Apparently Grandma thought that they were going for a walk in the Arctic – Samantha was so bundled up even though it was in the 70’s all weekend.

Samantha is starting to get much more interactive now.  She is really enjoying playing with toys more now. 

She enjoys books so I take her to Play Partners at the library each week.  They sing songs, read books, play with puppets, and make music (she likes grabbing onto the bells and shakers but hasn’t learned to shake them yet!). 

Just in time for the odd news about “zombie attacks” last week, Samantha has started her own version.  She opens her mouth really wide and lunges for your face – I’m still not quite sure what she’s trying to do!  She seems to alternate between your lips, cheek, chin, and neck. 

She is also doing more sitting up – she went from a reclining position to sitting upright tonight.  We wouldn’t be surprised if she starts crawling soon – she already seems to have the creeping perfected. 

Also, since she’s mastered rolling over, now she only does it when she wants to be on her stomach (she was doing it every time we would lay her down…possibly for practice?). 

Here are a few more pictures:

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that next week we have more bathroom and fencing news to report!