Thursday, July 31, 2008

Strike One

Well, the paint job is done... and I officially don't like it! I should have brought home swatches and thought it through, but even under the little light simulator at Lowe's, this color looked soft enough to work. I'm too impatient and wanted to get the paint RIGHT THEN. However, on the walls it looks a tad neon (even though it's not a dark yellow) and it is going to bug me. Although it is going to cost more for another bucket of paint, I am going to redo it. I got a tip on a good yellow named "Straw" (thanks, Katie), and if I can't find that color, or it doesn't look right with our bedding, I will find another much softer, lighter yellow than the one I got the first time around. I don't want it to have any green-ness to it, which ours appears to have a tiny bit. I still think yellow is a really tricky color to get right! When it's wrong, it can be horrible!

I did it all today (basically during Lucy's 2 hour nap, and then touch-ups after she went to bed), so it's not like I dedicated a lot of time to this. It's just frustrating to get it wrong (the same thing happened in our great room trying to find the right shade of tanish gray, which eventually we did), but worth the effort to get it exactly how you want. We have time. So, no pictures yet!


I've begun painting the bottom half of the nursery yellow. I obsessed over which shade of yellow to go with (at Lowe's) and ended up getting one called "summer sun". It's not too "primary", it's a little lighter, but still fairly bright. I have done all the cutting in around the edges and am about to roll paint on the walls (I just came downstairs to get a roller cover). I've never painted a room yellow before (except when Ron and I were "hired" to paint a house and the owners chose the most offensive shade of yellow imaginable, and it gave us an instant headache any time we entered that room)... so I'm a little gun-shy about yellow in my own home in general. I think it's going to look nice once all the furniture is pushed back into place, and if I end up hating it, I can repaint when Baby turns into Toddler and the room is redone. It is bright though, and with the white walls, the new light, and new carpet soon, the room is very different looking (which is what I wanted!). I'm going to have to see how it turns out before I can decide if I love it or not.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

(More!) Home Improvements

I realize it's been almost a week since I've posted anything (that's a long time for me). Let's see: Ron moved all the lights in the bedrooms to the middle of each room. Before, they were located in front of the closets (on the ceiling) and the fixtures were really ugly, outdated ones that you can aim each of the three lights in a different spot (like track lighting but on a disc... does that make sense?). Anyway, we got new fixtures and they not only look nicer, but distribute light better in each room. Going up into the attic wasn't as scary for Ron as we thought it might be, as it is relatively spacious and spider-free.

We had a tree guy come out and give an estimate for some trees we need removed. We are having 5 trees taken out, a few which are too close to the house and have large branches hanging over our roof. Not good, especially since we're probably having our new roof put on this fall! We're pretty excited about getting some of these "big" projects done (especially since WE aren't the ones doing the work for a change). The trees are probably coming down at the end of August, and the roof will follow shortly after. If we have enough money we may replace our rotting French door with a slider to our back deck (and hopefully eliminate some draft issues in the process).

We got the paint for the nursery. The top half is white, the bottom half will be yellow, but I still have to do it. It's a gender neutral color, and matches the crib bedding we already have. I'll be able to change it down the road the way I did for Lucy, when she needed a more "grown up" room.

I'm 30 weeks now, and actually I consider this the home stretch. Everything is still going fine, and the little baby is probably about 3 pounds and 17 inches by now. It kicks hard too. I see more people are voting "girl", and more and more Ron believes that it's a girl. We'll find out in a couple of months!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

Yesterday Ron and I went to see the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. It was VERY good, even though it was a long one at 2:35, I didn't mind at all.

Of course Heath Ledger's death in January is creating a little more buzz about the movie, but it would have been well-deserved even if he was still around. His Joker is really remarkable (and very different from other portrayals of the Joker in the past). It's PG-13 so they don't really "show" anything too disturbing, but there were a couple moments where I had to turn away knowing what he was about to do to somebody. You really don't see Heath Ledger at all, his character is so completely evil.

Christian Bale is Batman/Bruce Wayne and he's okay, but I couldn't help but think that whenever he was in Batman mode, his voice just sounded like he had a really bad cold, and that was distracting and annoying. I like Aaron Eckhart, who I only know from Thank You For Smoking. He plays Harvey Dent, the new Gotham City DA... maybe that name sounds familiar to anyone who knows the Batman storyline, but I won't spoil it any further.

Anyway, good movie, go see it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stencil Mess

I got a stencil and a stenciling brush and was trying to do something for the border in the nursery... but the stencil does not come out neat, even if I tape it to the wall. I'm really not sure if I want to go to the trouble of doing the whole room if it's going to look sloppy. Maybe a store-bought border (or no border) will be a better choice afterall, unless I really want to get involved in a big hand-painted project... which still isn't out of the question. For now, I'm going to lay on the couch while Lucy is still napping.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Kelly had this on her blog so I made one of my own. It's hard not to keep clicking "randomize" and seeing the different layouts, colors, and fonts they give you. Pretty cool. Click on it for a larger image.

Nursery Redo (again)

Well, when we bought our house, the room that would be the nursery was, at the time, sponge painted blue and white. Before we had to actually live here, I painted it a very pale creamy color, that actually looked a tad peach with the dark mauve carpet in there (with bleach spots, mystery stains, and unevenly faded sections from years of furniture in one spot, generally yucky). We put a large neutral Berber rug over it to fill most of the area, and Lucy slept in that room for a few months, until we moved her into her new room this summer.

I was going to leave the nursery alone and just clean it, maybe rearrange furniture. However, I decided that it needs to be brightened up. I also feel that the new baby deserves a "new" room, just like Lucy. I painted all the wood trim, closet doors, etc. white (the wood was a dark-medium stain, nothing fancy), and it already looks a ton better. I have decided to do something similar as with Lucy's room, and paint the top half white, and the bottom half is going to be a pale yellow. I'm hopefully finishing the painting tonight or tomorrow. I hate dragging jobs out for a long time. I'm also contemplating a border (hand painted, store-bought, or just a simple chair rail... haven't decided yet) between the white and yellow. The knobs on the door and closet are switched to brushed nickel as of last night - what a difference those little details make.

We also need to move/replace the light fixtures in the three main floor bedrooms. Currently they are placed near the closets, and not in the center of the room. I guess I see the logic, but I don't like it and Ron is going to brave the attic and relocate them (he really knows what he's doing when it comes to electrical work, don't worry!). I think this will also help in brightening up the nursery because the light will fill the room better. It's definitely not a fun job, but I think it will be worth it, and help with resale in the future. It was one of the things that we weren't wild about when we first went through the house, but obviously it wasn't a deal-breaker.

After giving it some thought, we've also decided we will probably replace the carpet before the baby comes too... with the same stuff that's in the great room and hallway. I will feel better about the cleanliness, and it will also prevent the dark mauve carpet from affecting the appearance of the wall color.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yesterday I had a doctor appointment and got to drink the delicious orange glucose drink (the hardest 10 ounces to choke down, in my opinion)... and have my blood drawn. I luckily had no problems in the past so I don't suspect any phone calls. My appointments are going to be every two weeks now, until they go to every week toward the end. I think the more frequent doctor visits make the pregnancy go faster.I hadn't taken a photo of myself since 20 weeks. I was a lot more diligent with my first pregnancy, so I thought I better get an update! I also took one with my belly showing, but since it's so stark white I thought I'd post the black-and-white one with the shirt down :). Looking back at my 20 week photo I have really grown a lot. What will I look like in 2.5 months!


I could take a picture of the tiny little curl that I cut off of Lucy's hair this morning, but it wouldn't look like much! She had this weird single barrel-like curl that hung down much lower than the rest of her hair in back. So, while it was wet this morning I tied the longest part in a purple rubber band and cut off just above it. I didn't want to cut off too much length, because when it dries and the curls spring up, it ends up a couple inches shorter anyway. The piece I cut is only about an inch and a half long, but after her hair dried and she not longer had her "rat-tail" she looked quite different to me! I think it's better and it looks neater. I guess this officially counts as her first haircut.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Congrats in Order

My friend Lisa had her baby this afternoon - a girl (they knew the gender) named Morgan. Everyone is doing fine and enjoying the luxurious accommodations of the new Metro Hospital (Looking forward to that!). Her first daughter Lauren is just a few days older than Lucy, so they play well together... although it is pretty funny seeing how different their personalities are! Morgan is going to have to wait almost 3 more months for her Denning playmate... Yes I'm counting down! We're of course anxious to know what we're having but have no regrets about being surprised about the sex of the baby... just looking forward to that moment.

Depending on what book or website you consult, I am in the first week of the third trimester. Wow! It does seem to go more quickly this time. At this point the baby is about 2 pounds and maybe 15 or 16 inches long from head to toe. It also just started opening its eyes and can tell the difference between light and dark. Kicks with this one are more of a "pummeling" sensation, where Lucy felt like slow, hard pushes, and occasional rolls. As for me, I've been slacking on the belly photos but I'll do another soon. I feel good other than a few bouts of sciatica which I had last time, and some back pain (which is more from lifting Lucy than anything else. Use your legs!). My growth is in the "normal" range. Last time I didn't gain very much weight but Lucy was 8 lb. 3 oz. (11 days early). This time I'm gaining a little more, but I started out lighter so I still weigh less than I did last time at 6+ months, so it all evens out. Actually, I am less concerned this time than I was with Lucy because I know that I just have to eat smart and there isn't much else I can do about what the scale says!

Speaking of food, I feel like eating a lot even though it takes less to make me feel full. Mostly I want good stuff like fruit - berries and watermelon especially. We're too cheap to buy "fun" junk food to have on hand anyway, which is probably for the best. My bad indulgence would be eating Froot Loops out of the box or way too many Sour Patch Kids. I don't really feel like eating meat, or Chinese food, which I usually love. No monster heartburn attacks yet, but I have my Tums ready!

Dress Attempt #1

When I got Lucy's quilt fabric, I saw some other fabric there that I thought would make a cute little summer dress. Yesterday I finally got around to making it, with help from my mom. Reading the pattern is confusing, as it is made much more complicated than it needs to be, so she was able to translate and help walk me through the steps. Anyway, after going through the process I believe I could make more quite easily, because it is fairly simple. The dress has a couple little flaws that I would know to watch out for next time, and it was a little tough working with the stretchy, gauzy fabric as opposed to a nice sturdy cotton... however it still turned out pretty cute. It has little tie-on shoulder straps and is about knee-length.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Room Decor

I said a while ago I was making Lucy a quilt for her toddler bed - well it's been done for a couple of weeks, so I decided to finally post a picture. It is just length-wise strips in 2", 3", or 4" widths, with a dark blue border. It went together really quickly since there wasn't a lot of "piecing".
Also, we got a dresser the other night, and I added some paint to the knobs to make it match the rest of the room - then this morning I sprayed clear coat over my little paintings and added some glitter. We had to decide on where the dresser would be semi-permantently since we chose to anchor it to the wall for safety. But when Ron was assembling it, he discovered a cool feature: only one drawer can be opened at a time. When one is open, the others are automatically locked. Therefore, if a kid were to open one and start pulling or climbing, the rest of them would not tilt out and throw the balance of the dresser forward, which is what usually causes them to fall over onto kids. We're usually not ultra safety gurus but this just seemed like a good idea.
The other things added were a window valence made of leftover purple fabric from her quilt, and her name in purple letters on the wall. I also sprinkled glitter on those letters, but it's pretty much impossible to tell that from the photo. Now I just need to find some more organization solutions, but I'm going to Ikea this weekend with my mom, sister, and aunt, so I'll be on the lookout for something there.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

4th of July

Yesterday Ron, Lucy, Kelly, Heath, and I met my mom down at the parade in Grandville, and then spent some time at my grandparents' house, where my dad met up with us, along with most of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and other random people. Hanging out over there is a tradition that goes back a long time. This was also the last year my grandpa Marv would be in the parade, as he is retiring as Kent County commissioner after 22 years. Lucy played outside for a while, and then we went back to my parents' house to relax, eat, and for Lucy to nap. Later that night we went back to my grandparents' place for fireworks - and even kept Lucy up waaaay past her bedtime to watch. She was exhausted but didn't seem at all scared this year, and she did watch most of the show and seemed to enjoy it. We got home a little after 11 PM and even though she got far less sleep than usual, she was up around 6:30 like it was any other morning.
I took some pictures at the parade, at my grandparents' house, and also of the fireworks. Heath and I both had our tripods set up, and some of them turned out great! I even gave Ron the remote control for a while so some of them are his handiwork, and that gave me a chance to hold Lucy and enjoy the fireworks with her.
Our Photos

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

She's an Animal!

Can you spot the wildest one of all? It's a rare thing for her to sit still for this long, so she must have enjoyed this "game"!