Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Bathroom "Reveal"

Finally, finally our bathroom is done!  Well, it's been done for some time now, but sharing the "after pictures" hasn't been top of mind lately!

When we bought our house, the previous owner had done some updating to the bathroom--new vanity, medicine cabinet and bathtub...What he left behind, though, was a hideous Mallard Duck border, outdated flooring and awful Hollywood lighting above the vanity.  We knew we could live with the bathroom the way it was for a while, but at some point, we'd change a few things.

One thing that DID change right away was the wallpaper border.  I found a shower curtain that didn't make the flooring look AS BAD, so I then found a border to match the shower curtain.  It would have to work for the time being!

And it stayed that way for about 2.5 years.  The hideous flooring continued to hold up and we just couldn't justify tearing it out and replacing it...

But then, one day, Justin melted the floor :-)  He turned the steam mop on, forgot about it and came back later to discover it had melted the vinyl tile...Fortunately, the spot was SMACK DAB in the middle of the bathroom floor!  He was worried I was going to freak out when I realized what he did but why would I be upset???  I finally had an excuse to replace the flooring!

With that, I bought a new shower curtain, stripped down the border and repainted the walls.  And then started the search for new tile.  Who knew I could be SO picky?!  I wanted something affordable that future buyers would appreciate--but that we would also enjoy for the time being.

While the hunt for new flooring continued, our bathroom looked like this.  Pretty. Darn. Bare. And Blah.  Complete with the melted tile. It was this way from September of 2012 until late August of 2013...nearly a whole year!

I eventually found the tile I had been looking for--the coloring was perfect, the shape was what I wanted and the price was exactly what we were willing to pay.  It was time to call my contractor buddy in and have him get to work!

With a baby on the way, we knew our budget would only allow us to "freshen" the space.  I wanted to swap the vanity for a pedestal sink and replace the medicine cabinet with a nice, pretty framed mirror...but both of those cost money!  And as Justin pointed out, we'd lose a LOT of storage doing that.  True to the small bungalows of the 1920's, our house only has one bathroom--and one thing that made us get over that hesitation when we were house hunting was the amount of storage the bathroom offered.  Knowing this won't be our forever home, we had to think like potential buyers and I decided it was best to keep all the storage we could!

With that, the vanity and medicine cabinet stayed...we decided to replace just the flooring, throw some beadboard on the walls and get rid of the gawd-awful Hollywood strip lighting above the medicine cabinet.  No home improvement project is ever "cheap," but at least these few modifications would keep us on budget while updating the space!

Like I said, we called our contractor friend and put ourselves on his schedule.  And of course, once you start any project, things go from ugly, to worse, before they look better!

Our dining room became the "storage room" for everything that came out of the bathroom!
The bathroom had always had an awkward but smooth piece of paneling on the walls--thus, the reason for the border.  And this is what it looked like when the paneling was removed!
Nice, bright techno-colors!  lol
When the medicine cabinet came down, the Mallard ducks reappeared!  There is NO getting away from them!

End of Day 1--the major stuff was done.  Next up was grouting the tile and doing all the trim work.
Close-up of the tile, prior to grouting...not the hexagon tile I had always dreamed of, but at least it's something that will wear well and future buyers should appreciate! 
Day 2--the work is DONE!  And Justin still can't stand straight up to look in the mirror!  Ha!  Someday, we'll build a house just his size!
I eventually bought a few knick-knacks for the bathroom and it's feeling more cozy than it ever did!  The new clock actually works and keeps me on schedule in the morning...and we hung a curtain in place of the wood blinds.  Who knew that dust, wood blinds and hairspray do NOT go together?!  lol...The curtain is fairly long, but we found that even though we kept with the obscure glass in the bottom sash of the new window, our neighbors could TOTALLY see our top-halves...good bye valances, hello nice long curtain!

But my favorite part???  Kissing the Hollywood strip lighting good-bye!  I no longer feel like I need my big blush brush, can-can outfit and feathers!  But I do appreciate having a nice, brighter space that we were able to update on a baby-friendly budget!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 39--Picking a Name

When Justin and I first found out we were having a baby, we started tossing around names.  It was still very early in the game to spend time on something that could easily change, especially since we knew we would be finding out the gender--but I really do think that discussing names served as a way to distract ourselves from the shell-shock of becoming parents and provided that much needed "bright spot" during a very, very sick first 18 weeks.

Keep in mind, we didn't have crazy intense "naming" conversations.  But rather, we'd hear a name here and there and ask what the other one thought of it...or, we might have a name pop up in our mind and we'd send the other one a text asking what they thought of it.  I remember one night, while soaking in the tub, a little boy's name popped into my head and I hollered at Justin--he came into the bathroom, I ran the name past him and he loved it.  And that was that--if the sonogram revealed that we were having a boy, we were done!

As luck would have it, the sonogram revealed we were having a daughter.  And the name we had picked for a boy definitely was NOT a unisex name or something we could make more feminine!  Off to the drawing board we went...

Many more bubble baths later and we still didn't have a name for our daughter...and all this time, I claimed all my best thoughts and ideas came about while soaking in a big, hot tub of aqua!  Guess not...!  We wanted something unique, without being too unique, but we also wanted to incorporate a family name.  Eventually, we narrowed down the list of first names and at this point, I think we may have a first name picked out.  But that still leaves the middle name.  This has always been the absolute hardest part for us as.  Some names just didn't sound right, some were way too long, other names had already been "taken" by other babies, etc...it was starting to look like this baby just wouldn't have a middle name!

And then last week, we finally figured out the middle name!

We stumbled across the name Roxi.  Definitely not the most common name, but not too out there, either.  And it had some spunk and personality to it.  I could be wrong, but my guess is that this baby girl will be anything but quiet and reserved, so it would most likely "fit" her.  We decided that Roxi would be her middle name and with that, we finally had a name!

But, wait--I still wanted the familial element.  Naturally, we added 'Ann' to it, creating Roxann.  'Ann' happens to be my mother's middle name and the first name of Justin's late aunt.  Bingo--we not only included a family name, but we covered both sides of the family :-)  And if we ever wanted to shorten her middle name, we would just call her Roxi.

Then, it hit me.  Every time we said the name Roxann, I kept hearing "You don't have to put on the red light....ROXXXXXX-anne...duh, duh, duh..."  You know, the song Roxanne by The Police?!  I started to become hesitant about the name, but Justin never once associated the name with the song about the prostitute.  After a few days, I was able to move past the association and Roxann it was.

Roxann it was, for just about 2 more days.  Thanks to our guilty pleasure of true crime TV shows, we're back to not having a middle name!

It goes a little something like this...Sunday night, we're laying in bed and we turn on Forensic Files.  I don't know what it is about that show, but the two of us absolutely love it...we could stay up all night watching it!  Anyhow, back to the story...so, we turn on Forensic Files and the narrator comes on, explaining that this episode would be profiling the case of a dead stripper who was just 21 years old at the time of her death.  Hmmmm, that could be an interesting story!  Justin and I settled in, turned the volume up only to hear that the dead stripper was named Roxanne and went by "Foxy Roxy." 

Are you flipping kidding me?!  I turned to Justin--and he was already turning to me.  Not sure why, but we both just started cracking up...all I could say was "No! No!" between bouts of laughter!  And all he could say was the same thing!  Once we were able to talk again, we immediately decided that we were NOT using Roxann as a middle name!  No way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks could we name our daughter after a dead stripper!  I had finally worked through associating her name with The Police's song, but adding a dead stripper to the list of associations was just too much.

So here we are, back at the drawing board...!  Fortunately, this little girl seems to be hanging tight and defying the doctor's prediction of an early arrival, so with each passing day, we have more time to *hopefully* figure out a middle name.  True to the style of our early "name conversations," we've continued to casually throw out this name and that name...neither of us are too concerned about the lack of a middle name at this point. We still have a good week or so! Something tells us that we'll eventually stumble across a name (and not one that has to do with sexual exploitation) OR if the baby beats us to the punch, just getting to meet her will give us the inspiration we've been looking for!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Week 38--Still Standing

It's week 38 and I'm still standing!
I hate self-ies, but with Justin already being gone for the day, I figured I better snap a Week 38 pictures while I could!

When we went to our weekly appointment last Friday, we were greeted with some surprising news.  They asked if I wanted checked--I really didn't care either way, but Justin was eager to hear some numbers, so we went ahead and had them check me.

Without getting too personal, let's just say there were some major changes from week 36 to week 37.  Now, I know the numbers aren't always indicative of things to come, but essentially, they found that it won't take much and the baby will be here...or, as I like to say, if I were to jump on a trampoline right now, the baby might just fall out!

Keep in mind, this whole prenatal stuff is very foreign to me so when they were first reporting the numbers, I thought, "Hmmmm, those numbers sound kind of high."  So when everything was said and done, I asked what the numbers meant and the doctor's response was, "I don't think you'll be here for next week's appointment--I expect that you'll be delivering any day now."

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!  I still had a good three weeks until my due date and our childbirth class kept pounding into our heads that most first-time moms deliver around 41.5 weeks.  So in my mind, we had plenty of time.  And now, they're saying days, maybe a week at most?!

We left the doctor's office and honestly, I didn't know what to think.  I was overwhelmed.  Justin was overwhelmed.  We kept telling ourselves that if this little girl wanted to prove the doctors wrong, fine by us!  I think it was our way of still maintaining some sanity in the midst of having your apple cart upset!

And so far, the baby IS proving the doctor wrong as it looks like we'll be at our 38-week appointment tomorrow morning.  Granted, as I write this, we still have a good 24-hours ahead of us, so who knows. What I do know, though, is that my body is definitely doing its thing!  Up until week 37, I'd only felt one contraction (and it was the night before our appointment)--can't say the same about this week!  Again, I know numbers aren't everything, but based on what my body's been doing, it will be interesting to see where things are at tomorrow's appointment.

The one good thing about having your apple cart upset (or, the realization that a baby really is going to be here at some point!) is that it definitely lights a fire under your butt.  Everything's in place with work so that whenever I do go into labor, the other agent will pick up where I left off and it should be a seamless transition for my clients.  Justin's arranged things with his work so that if he has to go, he can GO!  The cars seat has been installed and checked by the fire department.  Hospital bag is packed--baby's clothing and blankets have been washed. A lot of the *crap* that needed done around our house is now done.  We snuck over to Junction City to try a new-to-us restaurant that has been on our pre-baby-bucket list for several months now.  We're making it a point to be in bed before 11pm so that we can get some extra rest.  Yada yada yada...

And on a fun note, the reality of a baby soon being here prompted us to finally do our maternity photo session.  Because my belly has been a slow-grower, our photographer friend was trying to wait until the last minute to do the pictures...and since it looked like we were finally down to the wire, we went ahead and did them over the weekend!  Rod did our engagement pictures and photographed our wedding, so when he offered to do baby pictures for us, there wasn't a moment of hesitation.  Now, we're just anxiously awaiting the proofs...we had the session at the Union Pacific Train Depot (same place where we had our wedding reception!) and the lighting inside the building was just incredible.  Add to that Rod's artistic eye and I think we'll have some amazing photographs documenting this little girl's incubation!

All in all, I think we have everything in place for whenever the baby DOES decide to come.  Will she be on "Taddiken" time (if you're early, you're on time--if you're on time, you're late") or will she be on Southern time???  Who knows?!  Regardless, most everything's done and we can just sit back, relax and see what happens!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Nursery Is Done!

The title says it all...the nursery is done!

The nursery was originally our guest room--aka "The J-Money Shrine"

The walls were plastered with Justin's basketball memorabilia and let me tell you, it was NOT easy for him to see his shrine taken down.  He honestly wanted to keep the room the way it was, but just add a crib, changing table and a few basketball knick-knacks...I told him, "MAYBE--if it's a boy."

Well, we all know we're expecting a girl, so down went the shrine...and in came new decor!

The guest room (aka J-Money Shrine) on "demo day"

I'm the first person to admit that the nursery is not one bit girly...for some reason, the frilly pink nurseries never spoke to me.  Instead, I liked something a little more whimsical, eclectic and "vintage."  Something that went more with our house than a castle!
Thanks to Target, I found a few "inspirational" pieces to kick-start the nursery decor

Up went new paint and curtains--in came an area rug, a super-worn rocking chair found on Craiglist, the crib, changing table and armoire (also found on Craiglist).  The armoire and rocking chair were scheduled to be refurbished--but before the chair could go to the upholstery shop, we'd have to get Mitzi out of the rocking chair...she LOVED that nasty thing!

And finally, after several months, the nursery is done!  

The pictures turned out a bit "hot" from using the flash, so I apologize!  When the curtains said they were black-out, they weren't kidding--and probably didn't help that I decided to take the pictures after dark, either!  
But anyhow, here it is...our little girl's nursery, full of blue!  lol

For the time being, the area by the armoire is the "Mitzi-zone."  Mitzi's crate and food will be in the nursery until the baby moves out of our room--at that point, we can decorate that area a bit more and make it blend more with the rest of the nursery.  But something tells me Mitzi will continue to be a fixture in the rocking chair--thankfully, it's just not near as nasty as it once was!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 37--Insomnia & Gaining An Extra Day

Well, folks, in an attempt to make up for my last novel...I mean, post...I will try to keep this one short and sweet!

This week is week 37 and we find ourselves in the midst of the weekly doctor appointments. 

Last week's appointment went well.  My belly continues to measure "perfectly" and after some poking and prodding, we had a bit of a discovery.   As I've suspected, and even been known to say, this girl is truly "hiding out."  From what the doctor could feel, she and her protective bubble are literally tucked up in my ribcage.  But it makes sense--between the awful, awful stomach pressure and watching my ribs literally move when she kicks, we weren't surprised by the news.  The surprising part, though?  Doctor noticed her head was low, "very low" as he put it...so, either this little girl was REALLY stretched out, or she's going to be a long one!

While at the doctor's office, they did the usual dilation check and while there was a slight change, Dr. Gros gave me his blessing to spend a few days in Kansas City.  The annual Kansas Association of Realtors conference was this week and my graduation from the association's Leadership Academy was to take place on Tuesday.  After a year's worth of traveling for sessions and learning more than I ever imagined I would, I did NOT want to miss our grand finale.  Luckily, baby stayed put and I could "walk" with the other 11 Realtors who were selected to participate!

Tomorrow, we have yet another appointment.  I'm curious about a few things...at last week's appointment, I was still up just a total of 19 pounds, but I feel HUGE!!!  And honestly, it feels like this baby experienced a significant growth spurt since last week, so I'm anxious to see how much weight has been gained!  Justin's curious about the dilation--I really haven't had any contractions (that I know of), so I'm guessing there won't be any changes there.  But who knows--the doctor might have something different to report!

Aside from feeling huge, I honestly do feel pretty good.  I don't feel like I'm just weeks away from giving birth.  I'm still moving around really well, my moments of waddling are few-and-far between, swelling is pretty mild, etc.  There are occasional twinges of pelvic expansion, but hey, I'll appreciate that when it's go time! 

The one thing I'm already missing is sleeping ALL night long!  Justin and I chalk it up to my body preparing for being up throughout the night, but more often than not, I find myself wide awake after 4 hours of sleep...even if I take Benadryl!  I try to fight it and I'll lay in bed for a couple of hours, then I give up and get up for the day...as my mom is known to say, "If you start your work one hour earlier every day, by the end of the week, you've gained an entire work day."  I hadn't always thought if it that way, but it's very true.  Guess I have the combination of her philosophy and insomnia to credit for my productivity!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 36--Where Did September Go?!?!

Have you ever had one of those months where you just KNEW you were going to be super busy???  For us, September was certainly one of those months...When we turned the calendar from August to September there was hardly any blank space left--where would we fit in all the day-to-day stuff that pops up?  And now, today is already the first day of October!

It's crazy to think that in just about 4 weeks or so, we'll be welcoming our baby girl to the world...eeeeeeek!  I haven't been the best about taking weekly pictures, but here are some updated belly shots:
Week 33--finally had a stranger comment on my belly!

Week 34
1 day shy of 36 weeks!
And slowly but surely, my feet are disappearing!  When I look down, this is what I see!  On a funny note, my belly button has NOT popped yet--the little "bump" that's now showing is my belly ring...one day, an older lady said, "Look--your belly button finally popped!" and I just didn't have the heart to disappoint her with the news that she was really looking at my body piercing...!

Speaking of baby, we had all of our baby classes this month and took our tour of the Labor & Delivery unit at our local hospital.  Since most of my face-to-face time with clients is in the evenings, it was a bit tricky blocking out 6 evenings for classes and still finding time for clients--plus, all of my other community activities that have evening obligations!  But, I got through it and we even heard a baby being born when we were touring the L&D unit--made it worth skipping out on work!

Work has continued to stay busy.  Many people have asked if I will continuing to work the next few weeks and so far, that's the plan.  I have another agent who will cover my transactions while I'm on maternity leave, but I really do like my clients and my work so much that I don't want to be on the couch, twiddling my thumbs, doing nothing.  Fortunately, during the past month, I have been blessed with four closings, executing a contract on a pending sale and bringing on a new listing--my broker is loving my productivity, but I'm just happy that I could help my clients achieve all of their goals!

I will admit that when I get home from work, I am more than ready to sit down for a minute!  Fortunately, my energy hasn't taken a huge hit, but I'm to the point where I definitely need to elevate my feet.  And when I'm on the couch, that means one thing--the dog has to be on the couch, too!  Mitzi, being the lap dog (or well, belly dog) she is, has finally figured out how to "fit" on my lap without smushing the baby!

And anytime one works hard, you have to play hard!  Otherwise, as one of my favorite movie characters once said, "If you take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive."  Thank you, Van Wilder, for giving me permission to take some time off ;-)

Keeping that advice in mind, we spent one of our evenings at the 2nd Annual CASA Comedy Club fundraiser and let me tell you, it was a blast!  They brought in three excellent comedians from the East Coast--the second guy had me laughing so hard that I was worried I'd start having contractions!  And always the foodie, I have to admit the meal was top-notch, too.  Just can't wait until we go again next year!!!

A few Sundays ago, we scooted down the road to Lawrence to attend my brother-in-law's church confirmation.  The bishop is always present for confirmations and I just had to tease Adam about getting a picture with the "guy in the funny hat."  As a little, little kid, I could never remember the Bishop's title, but I always remembered the funny hat that he would wear!

Before we left town, we stopped by Morningstar's Pizza to pick up our TEAM DAIN shirts.  5 weeks ago, my first cousin, Dain, fell from a roof and shattered his C-5 vertebrae.  Dain's been living out in Washington State for several years now and has been receiving excellent care while in Seattle.  But with his paralysis comes unbelievable expenses and hurdles--being a Lawrence native, the shirts for his fundraiser could be purchased locally and we just had to get our hands on one, take a picture and send it to him!  Dain's updates always put a smile on my face (well, most of the time--sometimes his reality checks and my hormones aren't a good combination!) and we wanted to do the same for him!

Speaking of family--last weekend, my sister and sister-in-law hosted a shower to celebrate Baby Williams.  All I can say is that this little girl is well-loved by so many people and she's not even here yet!

One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to spend it with my former college roommate, Jill.  A few weeks before the shower, she called to say she was coming down from Omaha for the occasion--needless to say, I was beyond excited!  Sometimes, our schedules prevent us from seeing each other for several years at a time--but this year, we've squeezed in three road-trips to see one another!  Kinda helps when there are "milestone" birthdays, weddings and babies to celebrate :-)

The morning of the shower, we did our final walk-through with the painters.  After four weeks of work, the painters were DONE and they could finally move on to another project!  Needless to say, our house took WAY more time than any of us expected...The job was originally estimated to take a week and a half or so.  By the time it was all said and done, they spent two weeks doing prep work, followed by 2 weeks of painting, used 50+ tubes of caulk and did numerous (unexpected) preservation projects.  I guarantee they never want to see our house again!!!  lol

I won't bore you with all of the before's-and-after's, but here are some of my favorite improvements:


The original mail slot...one of the things I love about our house!  The mail drops directly into our living room--how cool is that?! 

The restored mailbox and hardware.  MUCH more attractive!  lol

The dormer and "hand-crafted" vent before...Always loved the dormer, but HATED the vent

The dormer with the original window afterwards...

The newly painted porch!  There's a total of 9 colors up there!  But fortunately, it doesn't seem like that many :-)  Do love the throw-back blue ceiling and how it makes everything else just 'pop'!  Before the other paint started to fail, the porch was our favorite part of the house--now, we enjoy it even more!
After our walk-through, Justin started into the yard. Having people trample our yard for 4 weeks really did a number on the grass...but, it was also in serious need of being aerated and over-seeded.  Thankfully, Justin loves yard work--he was beyond ready to go pick up the machines and get our yard back in shape!
Running the aerator!  We're not sure if our yard has EVER been aerated, so it will be fun to see if it makes any difference come Spring!

Justin's other project is nearly done, as well!  We now have power to the garage...

The new siding has been hung and the opening has been reframed to accommodate a new door.  Once the door arrives and is installed, the garage will be trimmed out and we'll be DONE for the season! The siding will still need caulked and painted but that can wait until the Spring.  We are so over home improvement projects right now!

And last but not least, last week was our 3rd wedding anniversary!  Woo-who!  It doesn't seem like it's been three years since we got hitched.  Time truly has flown by and now that a baby is getting added to the mix, I can't even imagine how fast the next 10-20-30 years will go!  Scary!

As our anniversary fell in the middle of a busy week, we decided to "celebrate" with lunch on Friday--followed by flu shots at Walgreens.  Could it NOT get anymore romantic?!  lol...next year, somebody better force us to get a babysitter so that we can celebrate with a real dinner, a movie, SOMETHING!  But worst part about being lame?  We had Mexican for lunch and holy hell, my acid reflux kicked into high gear.  It wasn't until Monday that I was able to consume something other than water, Tums and popsicles.  I was absolutely miserable, but thankfully, the pressure on my stomach is just temporary.  A few weeks ago, I shared my theory about this girl coming out with not just a head of hair, but an Afro...after this most recent experience with "heart burn," I'm convinced the Afro has grown into dreads ;-)  Guess we'll find out if I'm right in just a few weeks!