Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Laboring on Labor Day

We got quite a bit accomplished this Labor Day weekend.  It was great to have a long weekend to work!

On Friday afternoon, I took the railing off the back porch to prepare it for demolition on Saturday. 

Friday evening we loaded up the truck with old fence posts, wire fence material, and an old tire.  Chris went to the dump first thing Saturday to get rid of it all.  It’s nice to have it gone.

On the way back home he picked up the “Cadillac of jackhammers” at the rental place.  This is the same jackhammer he used to break up the front sidewalks.  

We plan on keeping the step from the kitchen so he had to spend some time with the saw to score the concrete so that it would break off cleanly.  Once he started with the jackhammer it took a very short amount of time to remove the top slab and stairs. 

Of course I didn’t want him to be burdened with all the work so after lunch I took up the sledge hammer and demolished the cinder block walls that were remaining. 

On Saturday morning Chris removed the rebar and concrete columns.  We still have some rubble to contend with though!

The demolition was not without its casualties.  A piece of material hit Chris’ leg and put a decent gouge in it.  Fortunately the blood makes it look worse that it really was.  I got a huge bump/bruise when I hit the same spot on my leg 3 different times.  The first was when I was pushing the wheelbarrow with rubble and the front hit a hole and stopped abruptly.  The second was when Chris accidentally kicked it on Monday morning.  The third is when a piece of rebar flung back and whacked me. 

 Since Chris was going to the dump anyway, he removed the front porch railing.  It was not really good for anything because the bottom board was not attached.  We used the railing material that was on the back porch to replace it. 

Chris installed the post and a couple railing pieces and I followed up with the remaining railing and balusters.  It’s not perfect but it is sturdier than what was there and it is only temporary.  It was nice to be able to re-use material.

Labor Day weekend also brings along a lot of sales.  We really needed a mattress so we went shopping on Saturday evening.  Mattress shopping is something you have to do so infrequently that your memory of the experience fades by the time you have to do it again. 

We went to four different stores and in each one it felt like we were at a used car lot.  Some of the phrases heard during our trip included “what can we do to get you to buy a mattress right now,” “our competitor is in bankruptcy/court/being investigated/etc.,” “we are the only store that carries this mattress,” “I don’t have the authority to give you a price that low but I can call my manager.” 

We never expected to have to haggle over the price but in the end we got a great mattress (it was delivered on Monday) but we felt very dirty after the experience.  We hope this mattress lasts for the entire 20 year warranty so we don’t have to do this any time soon! 

On Sunday afternoon we went to a friend’s house for a crab boil.  It was very nice to spend some time relaxing.

Our food basket this week contained spare ribs, a whole chicken, sausage, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, potatoes, peaches, honeydew, a cucumber, yellow squash, eggs, bread, and milk.  Yummy!

When I was pregnant with Samantha, at the first detailed ultrasound they told us that the umbilical cord had only 2 vessels (it’s supposed to have 3).  They told us that this could cause the baby to be small – nothing else was mentioned about it.  Recently a friend of mine was just talking about all the kidney testing her son had to go through because he had a 2-vessel cord.  Of course I had to ask her about it and then asked our pediatrician at the 6 month checkup. 

The pediatrician told us that it was not in the paperwork at all but that she did need to have an ultrasound of her kidneys.  I took her to the diagnostic imaging area at the hospital on Wednesday.  She was great – very little squirming and I think she really enjoyed watching the screen showing her kidneys and bladder!  We got the results today and everything is normal (thank goodness!).

She continues to thrive.  We went to our second Music Together class on Friday and she had a great time – constantly smiling, squealing, and laughing. 

She is trying to learn everything she can about home improvement projects.  While one of us was working outside this weekend, she wanted to be watching what we were doing.  She’s quite the spectator…or maybe a tough supervisor? 

Trying new food is always fun.  She’s eating more green vegetables and seems to like everything we’ve given her (except plain grains – but who really likes grain with no flavor?).  She likes to try to feed herself (and sometimes is double fisting!). 

She is showing her independence by wanting to do things on her own.  Any time we give her a bottle she wants to hold it all by herself – and even pushes away your hand if you try to help.

I did catch her misbehaving while I was trying to get her down for a nap.  She reached out of the crib, grabbed the curtain, and pulled it inside as far as it would go.  Of course now the curtain is definitely out of reach!

Here are her weekly photos:

We have a busy week coming up with deck work and deliveries.  Wish us luck!

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