Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pregnancy: Weeks 30 & 31


My Stats:
Still holding strong to at 20 lbs gained!
Waist measures about 42 inches.

Little Monster's Stats:
He weights a little over 3.5 lbs and his total length is roughly 18 inches.
Even though his lungs are immature, they are beginning to function.  In fact, most of his organs are completely formed at this point.
All five of his senses are working.  I hope that doesn't mean he can smell Momma's "Dammit Baby's".  If so, sorry dude.

Pregnancy Fun Facts:
Have I talked about the "pregnancy glow" yet?  Basically your body begins to produce more oils in your face and it gives it a waxy sheen.  This translates into more pimples then a 13-year-old tuba player.  I carrying around little packs of tissues to wipe the oil off my face, but it doesn't seem to help.  Foundation?  Forget it.  Hell, at this point it's a victory if I have mascara on.

My feet and hands started swelling weeks ago, but with the insanely hot weather we have been having lately, they have gotten worse.   I can't make a fist with my hands, and pretty much all of my shoes don't fit me.  Hooray for flip flops!

Energy Level/ Sleep:
  All of last week was super hot (three days of 100+ temps) so I was really feeling it.  Our house does not have central air conditioning, so only three of our rooms were usable.   I was also on three straight weeks of day shift, so that is three weeks of waking up at 4 am.  This week, I have been able to sleep in until 7:30 so I think that (combined with the cooler temps) has really helped keep my energy up.

Sleep hasn't been horrible.  The little guy likes to move around a lot when I first lay down, but after a while he settles in.  Like I said last week, I've gotten really good at ignoring his movements and kicks.  I have noticed, however, that when I lay down I have a shortness of breath.  I've read that this is normal, due to the pressure of my expanding belly.

Cravings:
  Cake.  Which is weird because I'm not a cake-person.  Right now though, I cannot get enough of it.

Other Stuff:
I have "dropped" in the past week.  If you compare Week 30 to Week 31, it is pretty clear that this guy took a nosedive to new territory


This makes me nervous because I am SO NOT READY for this little dude to be born yet.  I am not sure what is the correlation between dropping and the time you actually give birth, but I hope it translates into another 8 weeks, at least.  

In similar news, my cousin Kerith was due with her first baby on September 29 (two days after me).  On July 26th, she gave birth to a 4 pound 5 oz baby girl, Alexi Ola at 30 weeks and 4 days.  As of right now, Mom is doing well, and Baby Alexi is fighting hard.  I am asking you to please keep my cousin and her daughter in your thoughts and prayers.

Always & Forever,
  ME

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Technical Difficulties.

You guys, Blogger is kind of being  bitch-face right now.

Everytime I try to write a post it either will not save it, post it, or let me upload pictures.  I don't know what the hell is going on.

I do have stuff to talk about, swears!  I don't know if you've looked at a calendar, but our one year anniversary just passed, my friend Meg got married, we've crossed some stuff off our ToDo list, we've got someone we would like you to meet (no, I didn't have the baby yet ;), and wait for it..... we have carpet.  Paise the Lord, we have carpet.

While I figure this stuff out, I would like to direct your attention elsewhere.  A couple weeks ago we had dinner with my blogging buddy and her hubs, Mr. & Mrs. Shannanigans.  Head over to her blog, and check out how adorable her wee babe Gabbers is. 

In the meantime, I'm going to be like that dad in the A Christmas Story battling the furnace;  lots of clunking and cussing.

Always & Forever,
  ME

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

[Sub]Floored

Houston, we finally have a new subfloor.
This is where you can picture me doing a little happy dance and singing "Boo-ya, booya.  Boo-ya, booya". 

 I know you guys have been loosing sleep over our floorless situation since we ripped out our carpet in April.

JEGs was able to secure the help of his friend Mike for the job. I was shooed out of the house one Saturday to attend girly things like wedding showers so the men could get to work without me and the little monster in harms way.

The very first thing they did was to install a 4x4.......alkjasdfnelnwn....

Hey everyone.  This is JEGs.  I wrestled the computer away from LB because its much easier if I just type it out.  Ill try not to go into too much boring detail.  This was a huge job, but not really all that difficult.  I would have never attempted it without Mike though. He was the mastermind behind the entire project.

First things first.  In previous pictures of our house, you might have noticed there was tile in front of the front door.  Laid out 3'x4', and was the same tile as we have in our kitchen.  Unfortunately, it had to be busted up.  I didn't want to work around it, and wanted to replace as much old floor as I could.  Also...LB secretly wanted different tile, so it worked out.  Stay tune to a future post showing the new tile and carpet!

The next major step...  Our landing at the bottom of our steps was not supported in the basement.  There SHOULD have been a post there due to the method they used to build the structure of the floor.  You could watch from the basement as someone jumped upstairs and see things moving.  So we installed a 4x4 post at just the right spot to support it all.  We weren't looking to raise the floor, just to support it and keep any future settling to a minimum.  Simple enough job, just cut the 4x4 to length, and jam it in.  We used a nail gun and shot a handful of nails top and bottom for good measure.

INSTANT payoff from this.  The entire upstairs felt quieter and more sturdy.  Couldn't believe the difference that it made.


In the same general area, there were some joists that were installed using an old method, that really isn't that great.  This was part of the reason for the post.  The joists were, from years of settling and walking on them, starting to pull away from their original anchor points.  And back in the early 20's when the house was built, I'm SURE the carpenter said "Eh...two nails ought to be plenty.".  No...they weren't.  So to keep things from getting worse, we installed some 90 degree angle brackets on both sides of the joist. We used about 10 nails per bracket.  They wont be moving any time soon.  We would have used joist hangers, but there wasn't enough room for them unfortunately.


Once we were satisfied that things were reinforced, it was time to start cutting into the floor and ripping it up.  Point of no return here folks... 

This is Mike (FYI).   Right now, we're just snapping some chalk lines as a guide to make our first cuts across the floor.  We didn't take every single piece of the old flooring up as you will see.  We left a perimeter of old flooring, only because we couldn't get under the walls or into the kitchen. 


Using a circular saw, and the appropriate safety gear as always :), the first cut is made across the boards.  The saw blade is set just deep enough to cut through the floor boards but NOT into the joists below.  Replacing the joists was not something we were interested in doing. 


Here's Mike hitting a couple of nails.  This old school hardwood.  So its got crazy amounts of nails in the tongue and groove.  Hitting them is inevitable. 


We made three cuts across the floor.  One shown above, one in the center of the room, and one at the opposite side by the front door.  Once the cuts were made, it was time.  It all starts with one board.  Once you have a starting point, you just go crazy.  It doesn't come up easy, and being nice to it only takes longer.  It helps to be riding a caffeine buzz!!


Before long, you are left with a gaping hole, and 100s of nails to pull out.  Mike is demonstrating his spider monkey skills here. 


The next two pictures show the blocking we installed.  The subfloor that we put down is tongue and groove 3/4" OSB.  OSB isn't plywood.  Instead of neat layers of thin wood bonded together, its pieces and slices of wood randomly bonded together.  It is good stuff.  It comes in 4'x8' sheets.  So the blocking is there to give us something to nail the wood down at the seams.  Anywhere there was a seam or edge to the sub floor we needed blocking.  We made a LOT of pieces for various sections of the floor.  Having a nail gun here REALLY saves a ton of time and energy.  1000x easier than doing it by hand.



Here's our trash pile after 2/3 of the floor was torn up.  Gross fact...LB might have mentioned that the previous owners' dog was using the living room as its bathroom.  When we were busting up the floor...we could smell dog pee.  Yeah.. Ripping this up was the right move. 


Here we are measuring and cutting the flooring for install. 


And the first piece in place...  Nothing really fancy here. 

Once we got a couple of pieces cut and laid in place, we secured them to the joists using Liquid Nails subfloor adhesive,  subfloor nails and the nail gun.  Again...MUCH easier job with the nail gun.  We could have screwed them down.  However that is more work, more expensive, and overkill. The adhesive sets up really fast, and bonds the subfloor to the joists.

LB came home from her wedding showers and was there to supervise when we started to slow down...


We worked our way across the floor, and finished busting up what was left of the old wood that we were using to stand on.  You can kind of see in this picture how support under the landing was necessary.  The post is right where the double joist meets up with the framing for the staircase. 


And finally, the main portion of the floor was finished. 


All that was left was a small section right at the kitchen entrance.  We had to be careful here, because we couldn't go under the kitchen floor.  SO we had to get as close as we could, leaving enough old floor to nail into the blocks so everything would remain sturdy.  You can see the frame we built to support the remaining old flooring, as well as giving us something to nail the new piece of sub floor to. 


That's pretty much it from the subfloor install.  It totally transformed the room.  Squeaks were gone, bounce was gone, SMELL WAS GONE. 

That's it from me for now!  I know this was long..so congrats to anyone that stuck it out!  Here's LB...

Ok, Lizzie again.  Anyone who finished this totally gets a cookie-- and not just some crappy dollar store cookie, I'm talking Milano's baby. 

*Edit*
We figured out the cost of all supplies for this project:
 
Items we got for free courtesy of Waterbury Construction (where Mike works)
 Sub-floor adhesive, nail gun nails, and the use of a nail gun.
Items we bought specifically to do the subfloor job:
OSB Flooring - $72.00 (6 sheets @ $12 each)
4x4x8 post - $6.00
2x10x8 - $28.00 (4 @ $7 each)
2x4x8 - $12.00 (4 @ $3 each)
Joist brackets - $13 (14 @ $.93 each)
Simspon nails for the brackets - $5
A full box of nail coils for the nail gun - $45 (We only used one coil from this box, and there are a dozen coils. We'll use them for other projects to get our money out of them)
Renting the Home Depot truck (to get the flooring and other wood home) - $25
 Total Cost: $206
A fresh smelling room?  Now that is priceless.

Next up:  Tile and carpet! 

Always & Forever,
  JEGs-- with a side of ME :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Wedding

 This page highlights the details of our wedding.  If you want the complete rundown of our day, check out the rehearsal, getting ready, the ceremony and the reception.

On July 17, 2010 I became Mrs. JEGs.

My Not-So-DIYed Hoodie

Right from the start, I knew that I wanted to carry my two favorite "summer" flowers: tiger lilies and hydrengeas.  From there, I came up with my bold color scheme of orange and blue.  My fantastic florist, Cindy from Infinitely Yours did a fantastic job of giving me exactly what I wanted

my bouquet
bridesmaids bouquet
In order to compliment the orange and really make it pop, I dressed my ladies in a neutral navy blue


JEGs and his boys dressed in simple black suits and matching navy ties.  The groom wore stripes.



My dress was an A-line silhouette with lace over lay and embellishment that gathered at the hip.  I had the satin and tulle cut from the train to emphasize the beauty of the lace (and to take out some of the weight!)  I also had cap sleeves added for the ceremony.


My shoes not only accented my color scheme, but were my 'something blue'!




Our ceremony was held in the gardens of Normandy Farm in Blue Bell, PA



 DIY hydrangea pomanders 



He is whispering "you go girl".
Instead of a unity candle, we opted for a sand ceremony, blending two beaches with  special meaning in our relationship.

It was a simple ceremony with two readings and traditional vows.  And then it was official.  We were man and wife.

My 'Must Have' shot


One of my favorite shots.  We were walking back from the above shoot, and JEGs was holding my hand and my shoes. 

We paid tribute to our family members by showcasing photos of their wedding day



DIY Escort Cards
The florist continued to build on my vision by creating floral arrangements in vintage bowls my mother and I scouted out in yard sales and thrift stores.


The cake was absolute perfection



For the reception, I ditched the sleeves of my dress and veil and opted for  my DIY hair flower


Our first dance was to Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight and Chad from Pulse Entertainment kept the party going through the entire night. 





The flower girl teaching the ring bearer how to break dance.

My mom pulled my co-worker Chris out on the dance floor

Gorgeous dress: check.  Champagne: check.  My favorite ladies: triple check.
 As a special surprise, we asked the DJ to play a couple of song from when Momma G was in a rock band in the 70s.  We supplied him with a CD and he was happy to oblige.  Uncle Jimmy was even happier to hear himself crooning Locomotive Breath from 35 years earlier.

 It was the most amazing, and most perfect day of my life.  Best of all, when it was all over, JEGs was my husband, and I was his wife.
Just Married Parasol

all photos taken by Artistic Imagery.  Don't waste your money on their business.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Shore Traditions

At least once a summer JEGs and I try to spend a weekend down my parent's shore house (which I crashed here).   In honor of our 'almost' anniversary, we went last weekend.

One tradition we have is we take a quick drive to the lighthouse, Barnegat Light-- or 'Old Barney', as I fondly refer to him.




The lighthouse wasn't opened when we got there- and honestly, I don't know if I could have huffed and puffed up the 217 steps right now- but we did not pass up a chance to stroll down the promenade


The rocks are... what?  Happy?  Sad?  Indifferent?  How very existential..


The yearly picture of us at the lighthouse


Commemorating the first of many trips for baby to Old Barney. 


One thing that is never lacking at the lighthouse is fishermen.  They are usually settled every 10 ft or so.



There was a rock jetty that JEGs was brave enough to venture out onto.


Not even kidding, we watched that crane hunt for food for a good 10- 15 minutes.  We are like kittens with string-- easily amused.
No JEGs is an island...

Another tradition we have every time we go to the lighthouse, is to stop at a gift shop called Andy's at the Light


This is the kind of store that has sea shore memorabilia like t-shirts, pictures, games, and figurines

..and you can't forget the sea shell with the Lord's Prayer painted on it.  That is vital.


However, JEGs and I don't mess with any of that.  We enter the store with one purchase in mind:
glass bottled soda
It usually of a cream or black cherry variety. 


Cheers to us.


There is one final tradition my family has had since I was a child.  On one certain route to and from the coast, we pass two vegetable markets right next to each other.

The Green Top Market:

...and The Red Top Market


I am not even kidding when I say they are directly next to each other.  Whenever we pass we honk and clap for the market with more cars in the parking lot-- because clearly they are winning in this epic market war.

Something funny that I just thought of;  I have never once stopped and gotten produce at either of these markets.  I think I prefer to be impartial.

Do you have any traditions for the summer??  Have some been with your family as long as you can remember, or something you have just started within the past year?

Always & Forever,
  ME