Saturday, August 30, 2008

My In-Laws in Grand Haven

Yesterday morning Ron, Lucy, and I took Ron's parents to Grand Haven... they had never been there and we thought it would be nice to show them around a little. We mostly walked along the channel and down Washington where there are plenty of interesting shops to browse around. They really liked it and want to go back someday to see some things we didn't get to. Ron's dad gets quite tired so we tried not to do too much walking. Since we don't have too many photos of us as a group, we made sure to take one. We are in front of the sundial outside of the Tri-Cities Museum. We didn't get any ice cream or Pronto Pups this time around, but I'm sure there is plenty of that in my future - next summer.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Before-And-After Photos

Nursery Before

The carpet was a dark-medium mauve with assorted stains all over. Walls were originally blue sponge-paint (I repainted the room right before we moved in, but I have no pictures of that), with about 3000 tack holes . Apparently teenage boys like their posters. The light switch and outlets were all replaced with white, and the trim, closet doors, and registers were painted white. Also, the light fixture was on the ceiling right in front of the closet. It was replaced with a more stylish one and moved to the middle of the ceiling. The room is a lot brighter now. The new carpet and removal of trees outside of the window also made a big difference.

Nursery After

The walls are re-repainted, and the new carpet is in! The little birds going around the border match those in the crib quilt hanging on the wall above the changing table. We will also hang letters (painted blue or pink?) that spell the baby's name... after we know what that's going to be! These photos don't show every inch of the room, but you get the idea! It is a much happier place for the baby to come home to!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Trees, New Carpet

Ron is currently planting our two new trees - a flowering crabapple, and a flowering plum tree. Both are quite tall, good sized trees. We bought them from Roark's on Chicago Drive, and they have great deals right now. They are "filling" in some of the space where we had trees removed, but both are kinds that will not get too huge, and they are not being planted as close to the house (we took out 5 large trees, and we're planting 2 smaller trees). Now is the time, from what I understand, to plant trees (any time in the late summer or fall).

Also, the new carpet is in the nursery! I was so grossed out when Ron was ripping out the old, filthy, stained stuff last night. It feels so much better in there, and I know it is clean. It also makes the room a lot brighter. I have to add a little decor, but then I will take a photo and post the before-and-after. It's amazing that it's the same room (although it's not quite the same as seeing it in person, especially if you were ever in there before we redid it!).

I had my 34 week appointment today, and everything is fine (same old same old!). I go again in two weeks, then every week after that. Crazy! At this point the baby would be almost full-length (20 inches give or take) and around 5 lbs. It's head is down and it's still fairly active... and over the past few weeks I've actually noticed a pattern to the times it is most active. At exactly 11 PM every night it starts moving around a lot (more than any other time of the day or night). Maybe after it's born that will be the time he or she is most awake! Great... ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fireplace Tile

This afternoon during Lucy's nap, Ron and I applied the tile surround to the fireplace. There is also a wooden mantle that will be built around it, but this was a fairly big, and fairly messy job that we got out of the way. Putting tile on a vertical surface can be challenging. It took some planning, but we think it looks really cool! We were careful to protect the tile hearth (which we installed last fall) and our carpeting from the mortar. Tomorrow I will probably grout it, and next weekend Ron can continue working on the woodwork surrounding the fireplace... as if we didn't have enough projects going on! I'm not sure how long that will take to complete, but he swears it will be done before the baby arrives! We're going to be using the same tile as a kitchen backsplash sometime (but after today, we're not about to do another tile job anytime soon). You might call this "Extreme Nesting". Wait till you see the before and after on this one...

PS: Go Dathan! 9th Place!!!

I grouted the tiles - there are a couple little spots I will touch up when we do the kitchen backsplash, but for now it will do. This is what the tiles look like (they are 1 inch tiles, six-wide, going around the perimeter of the fireplace):

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Birds Border

What have we been up to lately? Well, I've been hand-painting the border in the nursery. I looked for "easy" ways to decorate it and nothing was working out, so I have resorted to making my own stencil of baby birds from the crib quilt (which has a variety of animals on it), enlarging it, and drawing them lightly on the wall, and painting them in the same color scheme as on the quilt. It sounds like a lot of work but it hasn't been that bad. I'm almost done, and I'm pretty happy with how it is turning out. We're really starting to wonder whether it will be a little boy or a little girl who will be enjoying the new carpeting... which is being installed next Wednesday morning! At that point, I will be able to post a photo. ;)

A couple days after that our new roof will be going on, as well as new fascia wrap (in white). It may look strange with our existing siding, or it may look really great. Either way the siding will be redone next year (spring or summer), because it is rotting wood and we want vinyl, in a lighter color. I just can't believe we're going to have a new roof on the house within the next couple weeks!

As for me - 33+ weeks and for the most part I feel really good. I could complain about a couple things, but I'll let Ron listen to that stuff, and not blog about it. It's usually just a way for me to vent, and of course I realize that it is all worth it in the end! This baby is coming within the next month or month-and-a-half so I'm glad we have at least a few more weeks to get some stuff done.

Friday, August 15, 2008


This morning we had five trees removed, plus a couple large branches off some other trees... plus a couple stumps ground out (we didn't get them all done, we'll deal with them in time). The crew of five guys came around 7:45 AM and got right to work, and didn't appear to take many (if any) breaks until they were finished. They stacked the medium logs for us (we have plenty of firewood now), and chipped up and removed all of the brush. They raked everything clean, and used leaf blowers to clean the street, our driveway, etc. The only evidence that they were here are the big trunks laying on the ground. Many of the trees on our property were here before homes were built in this neighborhood, so they are extremely large. We love all the trees around the houses on our street, and even taking out the ones we did feels weird, but it really was necessary.

Here's Lucy, still in her pajamas with her bed-head. She was a little nervous with all the noise at first!The main trunks were sawed into 8'6" sections and we may try to sell them on Craigslist - since some people like the hardwoods to mill into lumber for projects. If they don't sell, we'll probably give them away because we definitely don't need any more wood. They are too heavy for us to move, but we requested that they leave them here, with hopes of making a little bit of cash. The company we had do this gave us an outstanding deal, and they went above and beyond with the "extras" and cleanup, as well as their speed and general friendliness. They already have another customer in someone across the street! E-mail or leave a comment if you're interested.

The property looks so different after having trees taken out. There are still several large trees all over our property, but removing the ones we did was necessary, since branches were laying on the roof, and rubbing the side of the house. I'll be planting a couple new trees this fall - smaller ones, and not as close (maybe a dogwood, or flowering crab... or something that won't grow to be too huge). We're shooting for the end of this month for getting our new roof on!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So here's my big belly in all it's pale glory (I'm not bold enough to sunbathe in a bikini while pregnant... if I were even much of a sunbather in the first place). It seems that for the past few weeks I get a bit bigger every day. It's hard for me to see myself as I really am sometimes - when some people say I look small, but I catch my reflection or look at a photo and think I am huge! I guess I'm somewhere in the normal range, and look similar to how I did with Lucy when I compare photos. At 32 weeks, depending on how you count, I'm almost 8 months along!
I can tell the baby is having it's big growth spurt now, putting on almost half a pound a week (which means I get to gain weight rapidly as well)! At this point he or she is about 4 pounds and close to 19 inches long. It is fully developed and is simply piling on the baby fat at this point. The typical discomforts of pregnancy are here, but thankfully they are minimal. Regularly hoisting a giant toddler probably makes this harder on my back than the first time around. Also, I am almost through my first bottle of antacids. I find myself assuming that the baby will come a tad early like Lucy did, born at 38 weeks 3 days (my due date was/is accurate both times). I know nothing is guaranteed, but it would be nice, wouldn't it!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Frederik Meijer Gardens

Today Ron, Lucy, and I went to breakfast at Perkins - kids eat free on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Then we took Lucy to my parents' house and Ron and I went to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Neither of us had ever been there! We basically just walked around looking at the sculptures and plants - and of course the big "American Horse". I was pretty tired by the time we left, and we were dying of thirst. I took pictures but nothing came out too outstanding. We determined that there were quite a few things Lucy would have loved, and a lot of things she would not have cared about at all! The Lena Meijer Children's Garden would be the place to spend 95% of our time if we bring her there. We'll take our kids to the butterfly exhibit for sure, next spring.

Christmas idea!!! I want one of these for our backyard (probably my favorite sculptures we saw while walking):Also, today is our 4th anniversary! It's weird how quickly the time has gone by, and how many ups and downs have happened in such a relatively short number of years. I have to say, not too many other people would understand (put up with) me and my moods the way Ron does! Not that I'm terrible to live with (neither of us is perfect), but I appreciate having someone who I can trust to love me unconditionally. And occasionally buy me Sour Patch Kids.

My Nephews

Tuesday we visited Ron's sister in Portage (and her husband and kids). We had ribs and chicken on the grill, and hung out at their house for a while before going to a nearby elementary school playground so the kids could burn off some energy. They have almost 3-year-old twin boys, and Lucy kept up pretty well with them. They are (obviously) non-identical twins, and their personalities are equally unique. It was fun to see all three kids climbing things and running around... and I took some cute pictures of the boys, together and apart. I've never had a chance to spend time just taking pictures of them just having fun, and they are at such a fun age. We're only about an hour apart but always so busy we don't see each other as much as we'd like to. I got a couple shots of Lucy on the backyard playset climbing wall, which is not huge, but I was quite surprised at her determination... she actually got all the way up without any help.
More Photos from our visit

Monday, August 04, 2008

Birthdays Party

Almost every month my extended family on my mom's side gets together at my grandparents' house to celebrate recent (or upcoming) birthdays and anniversaries. Yesterday was the party for August people. The backyard was the most comfortable place to be, as they don't have AC... yet. It was gorgeous in the shade, and my grandpa keeps his lawn golf-course nice. We had sandwiches and cake and ice cream (or sherbet, which was a nice change of pace), and Lucy somehow managed to leave with a big white stuffed monkey that used to belong to my aunt.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mellow Yellow

Today my mom took Lucy back to her house after church, and I went to Lowe's and picked out a new gallon of yellow paint. I went home and put on the first coat - it looks a lot better! I will probably go back over it tonight and make sure I cover everything evenly, but I could actually get away with just the one coat. I found a color called "Shiny Silk", which is a slightly warmer (less greenish), very light yellow. It is still a cheerful shade but without the Day-Glo effect. It looks good with the bedding, and I think the baby will like it. I feel much better now.

The room is a disaster with all the furniture in the middle (Ron will have to move it all out of the room, which involves disassembling the crib, etc. in order to get the old carpet out, and the new carpet installed). I'm not bothering to arrange anything and get it set up until after the new carpet goes in... so for a few more weeks it's not going to look very cute. At least my work is almost done...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Potty Girl

Before her bath, Lucy sat down on the potty chair (she was casually asked to, but we didn't sit her on it), and she peed! Yeah! So, she earned a sticker. This is the second time she has successfully used the potty - although the first time was a hurry-and-put-her-on-it moment that wasn't really her decision. So, this might be the first time we can really consider her doing it herself, willingly. Maybe we'll start using more Pull-Ups now.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Ron had the day off, so this morning after breakfast we went to Reenders Blueberry Farm (just south of Grand Haven on US-31) to pick blueberries. I've wanted to go and do this for a couple years, but last year we were too busy getting ready to move. We got there around 9:30 and it was already starting to get hot! There are 650 acres of blueberries there. Every bush is loaded down with so many blueberries, it was hard not to knock some onto the ground while picking them. We left with almost one bucket-full, which ended up being 5.6 pounds (for less than $8.00)!
Lucy was fairly helpful at picking them and dropping them into the bucket, but she quickly realized it was a lot more fun just to eat them right off the bush! As we were both blueberry "rookies", I also learned a few things for next time:
  1. Go when it's not blistering hot.
  2. Bring baby (or other wet) wipes because some individuals in your party may eat dirty blueberries off the ground and end up with muddy fingers and face.
  3. Wear shoes you can hose off.
  4. In general, local farm-grown produce is a lot cheaper than what you can get at the grocery store, and probably fresher too!
More photos from today