Sunday, September 28, 2008

Humans 2, Wallpaper 0

While my parents were here, we took down the wallpaper in the nursery and guest bathroom and repainted both rooms. They look so much nicer! We also have paint for the guest room (aka Eric's room) but haven't had time to repaint that yet.

Dave's computer room/2nd guest room, soon to be nursery

A closeup of the wallpaper border:

Now, especially as far as this house is concerned, this was not awful wallpaper. But it was kind of dreary and outdated, and the height at which they had it hung made the ceiling feel lower. We were surprised at how airy & bright the room felt without it and with a new coat of paint.

Mom, Dad & I cleaned off the copious glue that remained after the border came down, then Dad & Dave repainted it with a Behr version of Sherwin-Williams' Rhythmic Blue.

Dave's computer room/2nd guest room, soon to be nursery

That's Dave's childhood stuffed dog Georgie and a new elephant acquisition waiting for the baby. The guest bed & Dave's computer stuff are staying in the room until closer to the baby's due date and after the carpet gets replaced. We are hoping to have a new valance and maybe curtains for the window made from the striped fabric I posted a link to earlier.

Guest bathroom

A closeup of the outdated, flowery wallpaper shortly after beginning tear-down. The wallpaper ended up being a real pain to remove, but ripping off the top layer in shreds was therapeutic!

Wallpaper removal in progress. The top layer wasn't that hard to remove, but it sometimes came off in small sections. To take down the brown papery underlayer, we had to spray it with a vinegar/water/detergent mixture and scrape with a putty knife, then clean the walls with TSP.

Dad & I had a lot of spackling to do. There was just no way to get the wallpaper off without making a lot of dents, but luckily, most were pretty shallow & easy to cover up. I still say that even this state was an improvement over the wallpaper!

Dad repainted in Behr's White Clay & we got a new towel rod, door handles and a Nautica shower curtain to bring in a little more color. It is a small room, so it's hard to get good pictures of it.

Guest Bathroom

Look at how clean & wallpaper-free the walls are! Isn't it beautiful?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Family Photos

A few family photos from my parents' visit. This is pregnancy week 27, 3 months to go!

Dad & I in front of the Clavinova that they disassembled & drove out to KC for me. I am so excited to have a piano to play again, and Dave even puttered around a little on it this week, trying to figure out a lovely piano instrumental by the Smashing Pumpkins. (Yes, seriously, those Smashing Pumpkins!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy weekend!

My parents were in KC from Thursday until this morning and we had a very busy & productive weekend. We all worked hard and Dad showed us lots of tricks & tips for painting. We got the wallpaper border stripped from the nursery & repainted the walls a beautiful light blue. The room looks so much bigger and more open now! We also stripped the outdated pink floral wallpaper from the guest bathroom. It was much more of a task than we had anticipated, but it is now off and the room is a nice, neutral beige. We got a new blue & brown shower curtain and new towel bar & cabinet handles, so it looks like a totally different room. We have the khaki paint for the guest room but Dave & I will paint it later as the bathroom took so much time. It should be pretty easy to do - no wallpaper to remove, and the walls are in pretty good shape.

Mom & I ventured out to Babies 'R' Us Monday (leaving Dad at home to veg out in an Arthur Bryant's food coma!) and nailed down a stroller/car seat choice. It is hard to believe how many different choices there are! It is totally overwhelming. She got the baby a couple more cute winter outfits as well. We have also been bargain hunting again, picking up a high chair & some clothes at a neighbor's garage sale this afternoon and making arrangements to buy a Snugli baby carrier & bouncer from friends who are cleaning out their baby stuff stash in preparation for moving to a new house. Yay!

This week marks the first week of my third trimester. The baby has been kicking up a storm tonight. One of our pregnancy books says that he is now about 15" from head to foot and just over 2 pounds! We have our first class this Saturday- child & infant CPR. We are taking a Baby Basics class (diapering, feeding, etc.) the last week in October & then 2 other prep classes closer to the due date.

Pictures of the repainted rooms coming soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yet another reason we love "Pearls"

Another great "Pearls Before Swine" comic by Stephan Pastis. He is also terrifyingly skilled at really, really bad puns.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

I am enjoying my lazy day off after 7 days straight of working. Camp went well; the kids wrote some amazing, touching, and heart-wrenching songs and hopefully we helped at least some of them to learn some skills & have opportunities to work through their grief with other kids in similar situations.

The campers were divided up into 4 groups, a younger group for 5-8 year olds, a tween group, teens, and adults. I led the songwriting for the 2 younger groups and the other music therapist led the older groups. I think the songs we found to rewrite for the tweens & teens were really great this year, so I thought I'd share them.

The tween group piggybacked on Yellowcard's beautiful "One Year, Six Months." I was introduced to the band by a teenage client who brought in this song and "View from Heaven," both of which blew me away with their lyrical appropriateness for a bereavement setting.

The original chorus is:
"I'm falling into memories of you
And things we used to do.
Follow me there, a beautiful somewhere,
A place that I can share with you."

We changed it slightly to:
I'm falling into memories of you
And things we used to do.
I'll remember the stories & special times
These things that I have shared with you.

The teens rewrote LeAnn Rimes' song "What I Cannot Change."

They changed the verses to reflect memories of their loved ones & ways that they're coping, but decided to keep the original chorus:

"I will learn to let go what I cannot change.
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change.
I will learn to love what I cannot change.
But I will change, I will change,
Whatever I, whenever I can."

Rimes notes on her website that this chorus is inspired by the Serenity Prayer.

(For an alternate video, you could watch someone's bizarre slideshow tribute to the Monkees set to this song. I have no idea why you'd want to, or why the author felt that it was a good match, but that's part of the fun of YouTube. There's also one paired with Alias scenes of Syd, SpyDaddy & SpyMomski!)

On the homefront, we had a guy come out this morning and give us an estimate on shaping up the big trees in our front & back yards. They hang down kind of low, especially the maple in the front, and make mowing a pain for Dave. Katie & have both hacked some of the lower branches off over the past 2 summers, but it needs more work than we can do. They're also going to get rid of the Evil MiracleGro Stump on the side of our front flowerbed.

The tree guy thinks it's the remnants of a mulberry. I just know that the ugly leaves grow faster than tomacco, and I will be very happy when it's gone!

I think we're just about done with making the baby shopping lists/registries. Our big buying decisions left are crib, rocker/glider, and car seat/stroller combo. We are working on scheduling a few final trips before I'm confined to the KC metro area. My UD roommate Dana (who just got a promotion & will have minions reporting to her!) is also going to come out for a weekend visit from St. Louis some time in October or November, so that will be great!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick update

Friday afternoon I will be headed off to work at our hospice's yearly camp for grieving families. It is held at a nice wooded retreat center in Parkville, north of KC. The families get there Friday night and we leave after lunch on Sunday. The other MT & I are both going, so we'll be able to split up group songwriting duties and actually get to spend a little more time with the groups this year. It is utterly physically & emotionally exhausting, but also very worthwhile and rewarding. Working 7 days straight is also very draining, and I will probably be in bed by 7:00 on Sunday and sleep late on Monday, which I've taken off.

My parents are coming into town next Thursday and we're going to visit a local chocolate shop they saw on Food Network & hopefully finally take them to the fantastic Arthur Bryant's. They have also sweetly offered to help paint some of our rooms, so I'm really looking forward to that. I think we have a fabric chosen for the crib skirt in the baby's nursery (blue & green stripes), and Mom has the same fabric in her craft room and already has a paint color to match. The guest room & guest bathroom will probably be in khakis. I will try to remember to post before & after pictures of the rooms.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

25 week picture

Tomorrow is the beginning of my 25th week of pregnancy. I wasn't really showing too much until the last week or two, but I think the baby has had a growth spurt and my belly kind of popped out. Depending on the clothes I'm wearing, it can be less noticeable than it is in this picture. According to the week-by-week baby blog Dave & I read, the baby is about 1 1/2 pounds and 13 1/2 inches at this point.

Went to Babies 'R' Us this afternoon and tested out strollers. There are way too many choices! Even with all the research I've done, it's still overwhelming. I think we are almost done with registering, though, and then we can move on to other fun and confusing things like choosing a day care and figuring out what we're going to do with the stuff that's currently in the room we'll use as the nursery.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Baby-related updates

I will add photos later, but we have been adding more stuff to the baby's stash this week. We couldn't resist getting this adorable teddy bear fleece one-piece zip-up when we were at Old Navy last week. We also lucked out in their clearance section, getting a bib with music notes on it, 2 pairs of maternity shorts, and 2 maternity shirts for less than $5 each. I have started actually showing in the last few weeks (I promise a photo later this weekend) and had to start making a pile of pre-pregnancy clothes that don't fit right now. I will probably box them up & put them in the basement until I can wear them again to make space for my maternity clothes.

In other bargain-hunting successes (and growing up with a Hudson's employee discount, it is against my nature & training not to shop for discounts!), I went to the local Just Between Friends consignment sale on Wednesday night. They had a pre-sale open to first-time moms and consignors and it was pretty busy and stuffy with all those people. They had racks & racks of baby clothes, a good maternity selection, several tables of toys & a decent selection of swings, bouncers, exersaucers, portable cribs, and a few furniture pieces. I went looking for an exersaucer and either a swing or a bouncer, since I think they're kind of overpriced in the stores. I ended up buying an exersaucer (that may not be the exact one, but it's similar), travel swing, stacker toy, 2 board books, and about 10 maternity clothes pieces (some nice work clothes & 2 prs of jeans) for $111! I was tired from shopping & standing in the long checkout line, but it was worth it.

We had our monthly OB appt. this morning. The baby is doing fine and has a strong heartbeat. While we were waiting to see the nurse practitioner, the baby finally decided to kick strongly enough that Dave could feel it. It was really neat. He has been pretty active this week, kicking up a storm, sometimes when I'm trying to get to sleep! We have one more monthly OB appt, which will also include the fun gestational diabetes test requiring me to drink a reportedly disgusting super-sugary drink and get blood drawn. Then in mid-October, we switch to biweekly visits until week 36, then it's weekly appts. The NP said that long-distance travel will be off-limits after about mid-October.

We will be trying to paint the nursery, guest room (AKA Eric's old room) and guest bathroom when my parents come out to visit in a few weeks, so we should probably pick out paint colors for those soon...And no, we still haven't decided on a name yet. We are working on it!