Zero Days of Baby

Well - day zero hath arrived. I'm still feeling normal. Still doin my normal thang. My next doctor's appointment is tomorrow, so I suppose I may have a better idea of the plan going forward after that.

I've been telling friends that I'd like to give birth on Cinco de Mayo. That way we could call it Cinco de Mike-O and all celebrate with Coronas. They all think that's just a hoot.

Anyway, in celebration of the due date, here are the final final pics of the room. You'll see I put up the banner from my shower along with some pictures, a mirror, and a couple lamps.

Oh, and pay no mind to the little box of drywall screws next to the crib. I promise we'll move those soon.


You all remember my closetmaid problem right?


Well, just about a week ago, I got my chance to vent when closetmaid asked me to fill out a survey about my recent customer service inquiry. (You know, that customer service inquiry I never received a reply to?) So of course I railed them in the survey - told them I was completely dissatisfied and that my issue had never been addressed, nevermind resolved.

About five minutes ago I received the following email:

Dear Jessica,
Thank you for your kind comments on our products and service. As you may know, so few people take the time to let a manufacturer know when they are satisfied.

If there is any other service we can provide for you, please let us know.



Roumel Sy

Consumer Line - Team Lead


visit us at www.closetmaid.com

1 800 874 0008

At this point I'm convinced that they're totally dense over there. I don't even want to dignify this email with a response! I'd rather just giggle a bit and let it go.

Two Days of Baby

And yes, I feel fine. I'm almost sick of everyone asking. I want to say, "No I feel terrible! I'm dying! Ahhhhdslkgjldfasldkf....." and fall on the floor trailing off incoherently. Granted, I'd be a lot better if I was lounging out in the sun right now, but hey, you can't have everything right?

Oh, and another thing. Everyone thinks I'm nesting. But you all forget one thing - my average everyday no-prego self is psychotically organized and cleanly! So keep that in mind as I tell you about my weekend.

First off, if you weren't in New England over the weekend - shame on you because the weather was an event to behold. 80's and 90's in April - unheard of! And believe me, I'm not complaining. I was lovin it - belly and all. Such weather naturally leads to motivation, especially around the house.

Saturday I spent most of the day cleaning and running errands. (Which I usually do on Saturdays now that Mike works Saturdays - nothing weird there.) One of my big tasks involved tackling mildew in my costume box.

For years I've kept halloween costumes in an old steamer trunk. And for years, the box has spread its smell of mildew to everything I've put inside of it. And now, after my mom complained after borrowing a strawberry shortcake costume, I was finally doing something about it. (You may classify this as nesting - although I've been working on this project for weeks.)

I researched a lot about mildew online before attempting anything. The consensus for clothing was using a cup of vinegar in with the laundry detergent, washing in hot water, drying on high in the dryer, and then setting out in the sun - with repeat cycles as needed. Previous to this weekend, I sent the machine washable items through two wash and dry cycles and one sit out in the sun. The method worked well, although I needed a couple good hot days to really bake off any lingering odors.

Then there was the unwashable items, which brings me to Saturday. In the case of costumes, most of my unwashables included wigs, shoes, and hats. So first thing Saturday morning, I washed the wigs and hats in the sink with a half cup of vinegar. The shoes I sprayed with Tilex mold and mildew killer. Then I left everything outside in the sun to bake for the day.

On Sunday, we were able to put up an actual clothes line and I hung out the machine washed items and again set out the unwashables. By Sunday night I couldn't smell a thing on most items. Some of the unwashables may need another dip in vinegar - but all of the clothes passed my rigorous sniff test. (Oh boy what the neighbors must have thought.... a whole clothes line of halloween costumes - and then me coming by in the evening and sniffing everything as if I were in a Fbreeze commercial!)

And if you're wondering about the box - the one that started this whole mildew problem? Well, unfortunately it can't be saved. I tried washing that too. I tried the Tilex. I set it out in the sun for a week straight. And it still smells. The minute you think you've fixed it - you close the box and it just starts festering in there. Open it just a couple days later and it smells again. If anyone's interested in a smelly trunk, I'll probably have it free on the lawn next weekend.

Ok, returning to the weekend. Sunday morning, I enlisted Mike to help me with another big spring cleaning task I've been wanting to try for months. (See, I've had this on my mind for months, nothing weird here either.)

A while ago, I read a great blog about cleaning your large area rugs at the self serve car wash. And I thought, what a brilliant idea! You just spread the rug in the back of your truck. (Yes, you need one, unless you trust putting the rug on the ground at a car wash - ew no!) And then you wash and rinse it with the car wash pressure washers. Take it home, dry it in the sun, and it'll look as good as new.

Again, I needed to wait for a hot sunny couple of days to try it myself. Plus, we recently acquired a pressure washer - so we could cut out the car wash entirely! And here we were, with a random 80 degree Sunday. Perfect.

We grabbed our large 8.5 x 11 living room rug and draped it over the farmer's porch railing. We wet it first with just the hose to saturate. Then we prepared the soap. Luckily, our pressure washer had a soap mix option, so we just mixed some tide in a bucket with water, put the soap hose in the bucket, and let the machine do the rest. No scrub brush requried!

I had several set in stains that I knew in my heart wouldn't come out... but they did! Mike just got really close with the wand and let that rug have it! Especially the stains. And they all washed right out! I was impressed. Of course our pressure washer isn't your run of the mill Home Depot Joe Homeowner special. This is a high powered professional machine that could probably take off a finger if set to its highest. (For a rug, not quite that much power was needed, but I just have to disclaim myself in case your pressure washer isn't as cool.)

After the soap had been applied, we rinsed throughouly with the pressure washer, and then with the regular hose, and we left it to dry.

It's still out drying today. By the end of yesterday, it was mostly dry except for the bottom. But another day in the sun is always a good thing. I'm curious to see how it smells too. Hopefully like Tide or not at all.

So that was our clean weekend. Today, Mike plans to grab an overseeder machine from work and seed the lawn - which is super green, but patchy. His timing is impecable with rain on the way for Wednesday and then Friday. We've been seeding and re-seeding every year since we lifted the house. It's so hard to get a good lawn back if you've destroyed it completely. Takes time. Maybe this year we'll finally have it.

And I haven't forgotten about my trees for the front yard. Now is the time to plant those too. They'll be expensive, but I really have to do it. Just makes sense. Have a child, plant a tree. It just feels good, right?

Seven Days of Baby

It's come down to this. One week until the due date.

We took a little trip to Boston this past weekend - very relaxing, but of course nothing new has been accomplished around the house. Scratch that - Mike has been playing with his chainsaws. That doesn't count for me.

Those window bottoms still need to be stained and installed. The closet light needs to be fixed. The closet doorknobs have to be installed. Nevermind the fact that the car seats aren't even in yet... that's kind of critical. Plus I have some other stupid stuff that needs to be done that just isn't getting done.

At this time of year, whenever we try to do anything, Mike is attacked by neighbors, friends, and family who all need him to help them with stuff. And it's not that any one person asks too much - it's that they all seem to ask all at once. On Mike's to do list this week - my dad's car, his parent's subfloor, our neighbor's tiller, our other neighbor's tractor, a co-worker's lawn mower, a brake job for a friend... and I know I'm not even remembering it all. And of course by the time the poor kid is done, he's exhausted and can't manage anything on my to-do list. Plus he's got his own list - including fixing the new 4wheeler and chainsaws he's recently acquired.

This same thing happened last year, but it's no less rediculous this year and I'm sure he'll be burnt out by June.

Twelve Days of Baby

Yes, we're finally under 20days remaining. Under 15. It's now officially day 12! And I'm proud to report that things are moving along just swimmingly.

On Monday the guys were even more productive then I could have imagined! And I knew it the moment I turned the final corner on the way home from work and saw the beautiful new mailbox at the end of my driveway. A bomb could have exploded behind me and I would have never known it. I was so struck by the difference the mailbox made in the overall look of the property.

And that says a lot considering the house has no siding on the front, the farmer's porch is incomplete, and the landscaping leaves much to be desired. But oh boy, a bold mailbox nearly makes up for all that!

I hadn't even recovered from the shock and awe of the mailbox when I got inside the house and discovered that Mike had taken all the boxes to the dump! I was so amazed I could barely look up the baby safe water temp so Mike and our plumber Brian could set the furnace properly.

Meanwhile, as I'm scouring the internet for that information, Mike continues to ask if I've seen the baby's room yet. I thought to myself, I'm still thinking about the mailbox!

But I finally found the info (at or below 120 degrees) and went to check out the room. Again, I was shocked. The rug hadn't fit under the closet doors, so the guys rotated it, pad and all. They moved the furniture around - mostly for their own convenience, but it looked good.

And the remainder of the baseboard trim was done. The closet doors were installed. The window bottoms were cut. Everything was just awesome.

Just Another Manic Sunday

It was a cold and unloving Saturday. And after Friday night's festivities, I could do nothing but sit on the couch all day wishing I could fall asleep and wake up motivated. But alas, I couldn't.

Easter Sunday... that's another story. We got up early in hopes of going to the dump.... then realized it was Easter and they'd be closed for sure. So we moved on to the rest of our list - starting with the baby's room closet light.

Just a little light right? No problem. Mike had it up in mere minutes. But it didn't work. He checked the wiring on the switch - everything seemed in order, but still the light didn't work. I should actually stop at the HD after work and pick up another one. If it's the light bulb, I'll just switch out the old for the new and return the kit with the bad bulb in it tomorrow. If it's not the light bulb... hey, we'll have a whole other apparatus.

After that failure, we started assembling and installing the closet organizer. Mike worked on the tower while I assembled the drawers. We finished most of it by the time we had to leave for my parents' house for Easter dinner around 12:30.

We got home around 5 and started working again. I finished the drawers and Mike brought in our latest handmedowns from my parents - a rocking chair that was originally my grandmother's mother's and a small dresser that used to be my dresser as a kid.

After that, there was little else we could do. We didn't have the brackets to put up the closet shelf and the closet rods would all need to be cut before they could be installed. (I should pickup those shelf brackets on the way home too now that I think of it.)

Plus, with our carpenter TJ coming over today to help us finish the trim and install the closet doors, the room needed to be in some sort of accessible order. (ie - he'd need easy access to the baseboard, windows, and closet without having to trip over or move baby stuff.) So I neatened up before Mike kicked me out to stain the closet trim boards.

Today I had such a long to-do list for Mike and the guys. In the baby's room there were two remaining peices of baseboard trim - one wouldn't fit because of a gap in the flooring. The other had been measured incorectly. All three windows needed window bottoms cut and the closet doors needed to be installed (not an easy task with an uneven closet.)

Then, Mike had a dr's appointment and a prescription to pickup. Plus he wanted to clean out his truck and do an oil change.

This evening, our plumber will be in to install a mixing valve and check out our boiler.

I can't wait to see how much of it all is finished by the time I get home. There's a possibility they decided to screw it all and ride 4wheelers all day... a small possibility, but I'm not putting these guys past it.

Away from It All

Weekdays have been ridiculously chaotic. My normal routine has just been thrown up into the air and scattered into a million pieces. You'll have to excuse the resulting blog posts.

Weekends have been similarly strange. I still can't get used to this whole mike-works-saturday thing. It just throws off my biological clock.

In this state of disarray, I had more than a little freak out last weekend. All of a sudden I realized that we only had three weekends left (or three Sundays with the working situation) - approximately - and the to-do list seemed just as long as it did a month ago.

So Sunday turned into the day of a million tasks. Mike moved all the hardwood out of the baby's room and into the hallway.

He installed the remainder of the baseboard trim except for two pieces which need to be re-cut. I cleaned up and arranged the furniture into what may be its final configuration. (Still undecided.)

That Side of the Room Where Wood Used to Be

Closet Door Trim

Then a couple of Mike's friends helped him move his toolbox. (Not on my list - but still good to be accomplished.) After they left, Mike stained the closet doors and we went to Home Depot to pickup more stain and the closet organizer. (Would you believe we ended up going with the stupid Home Depot cherry finish despite the fact that it's totally different?! Mike just didn't like the white, and I didn't feel like arguing.)

When we got home, Mike sprayed another coat of stain on the doors and then painted the mailbox post.

And as you can imagine, the day was over at that point.

This upcoming Sunday is Easter and I know there won't be time for much of anything since we're visiting my folks for dinner. (Although we are picking up a rocking chair from them.) But Monday we've got all sorts of fun progress scheduled!

During the day, our carpenter TJ will be over to help Mike complete the window bottom trim and install the closet doors and whatever else needs final final completion. That evening, our plumber Brian will be in to install a mixing valve on our heating system - sad day for me, no more scalding hot showers - and he'll check out the efficiency of our boiler too. (We think it has not been running at its full potential.)

After that, all other to-do's will have to be weeknight projects. We're so busy for the next couple weekends! Dinner with friends, Easter egg coloring, Easter dinner, guy friends over, bday party, friend's baby shower, trip to Boston, eye appointment.... And oh yeah, somewhere either between, before, or after all that we're having a baby.

Half Trimmed

Well, Mike caught the flu last week and was absolutely couch-ridden for days. This put us more then a little behind on finishing the room, but we were able to finally put up all the window trim and install the shades.

The baseboard trim proved to be a little more problematic due to a gap in the flooring along one of the walls, so we stopped there. Plus, all the rest of the hardwood is still stacked against the opposite wall. (Always something in the way.)

At this point, we need to move all that stacked hardwood into the hallway and finish installing the baseboard trim. We still need to stain the closet doors and purchase the organizer and closet light too. All easier said then done, mostly because of weather and Mike's hectic schedule. It seems he needs to visit or help out friends or neighbors every single day.

And did I mention the mailbox isn't up yet? Our poor mailperson!