Saturday, March 29, 2014

the nursery: built-in shelving

 Time to build some stuff!  As you may recall, we painted the walls and trim and then refinished an old dresser for the nursery.  And now for the main event, the center piece of the room, the vision I've had in my head for months.  As in, before I was even pregnant.  My vision was built-in cabinets and shelving on the wall where the crib was going.  I also pictured an accent wall between the shelving to spice it up.  We thought about buying shelving from Ikea but ultimately decided to make them from scratch (except for the cabinet part) so it would fit perfectly.  Here's what it looked like before:

 On a Friday night, we took our date night to Home Depot and bought our supplies.  Romantic, huh?

We bout pre-made wall cabinets (not base cabinets) from Home Depot that are 24" wide and 12" deep.  We liked the idea of hidden storage space and not 100% shelving.  We figured we could stash toys in there that are easy to reach yet don't clutter the room.  Since we didn't want them directly on the floor, we built a base for them to sit on using 2x4s.

After the bases were built, we flipped the cabinet over and secured it to the wall.  I went ahead and painted the wall where the built-ins were going to avoid cutting in on every shelf down the road.

Then we built the bottom of the first shelf using 2x12s.

Then we made the frame of our shelves using 1x12s.  It looks really flimsy here (which it was) but we knew we would be securing it to the wall and then making shelves which would reinforce it significantly.

See where this is going?

 Can't you just see a little crib between there with an adorable baby sleeping?  Not yet?  Okay, keep reading.

Next we started building the actual shelves like so.

We ended up making the bottom shelves the tallest and then all the other ones shorter.

It's starting to look like a bookcase now!

We put some high quality trim pieces (1x2s I believe) to finish off the shelves.  These hide the small pieces of wood we used to make each shelf and made everything look solid and cohesive.

I threw up some of the decorative stuff I plan on using just to get a feel for how things will look.  I'm pretty excited about having a place for books, pictures and random ceramic animals that I just love. 

It doesn't look like much right now, but with the accent wall and baseboards and crown molding to tie it all together, it will look stellar.  I just know it.  Now we can say that we have built shelving by ourselves and it's giving me ideas and confidence for our "formal" living room downstairs.  Ehren is so excited. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

baby bump: 39 weeks

How far along:  39 weeks.

Size of baby:  Small watermelon.  Is there such thing as a small watermelon?  

Maternity clothes:  I'm getting sick of wearing the same maternity shirts to work and I'm tired of having only so many options for pants.  My maternity jeans just feel uncomfortable now and I'm over it.  I wore Ehren's sweats in public and I'm not even ashamed.

Weight gain:  Not sure of the number but I'm right where I should be. 

Sleep:  I'm trying to take advantage of good sleep because I know it will be ending soon.  I'm very thankful for all the restful nights I've had. 

Exercise:  Lots of walks with Cozy now that the weather has been better.  But once again, I'm running out of clothes to wear for exercise.

Best moment of the week:  Two date nights over the weekend!  We went to Johnny's West Friday night and Yokohama Saturday night.  Ya know, since we will never be able to go out on a date ever again, ever, because we procreated.  False.  It drives me crazy that people say this to pregos.  We will still make time for each other and go on dates - that's what multiple, in-town babysitters are for!

Movement:  She generated an audience the other day because she was doing somersaults and jumping jacks.  It was hilarious. 

Cravings:  Besides the pizza from Johnny's and the sushi from Yokohama, not really.  I'm going to miss having pregnancy as an excuse when I have cravings in the future.  I guess I'll blame it on my ravenous breastfeeding state that I'll be in.

Belly button in or out:

Wedding ring on or off:   I stopped wearing it this week.  Not because my hands were swollen but because sometimes it feels a tiny bit too tight which then makes me panicky and claustrophobic.  I feel naked without it. 

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Nope.  Well, actually, the way the KU Jayhawks played.  But I've moved on from that.

What I miss:  Clothing that fits.  Rolling over in bed without my pelvic bones popping and grinding due to laxity.  My body parts not sitting on top of each other (read: boobs on my belly, belly on my lap).

What I am looking forward to: 
Oh, ya know, meeting this little human that has been inside of me since June/July. 

What I am not looking forward to:  My postpartum baby body.  I'll learn to love it but it will take time.

Labor signs:  Contractions all the time.  It's like my uterus is training for the Olympics.  It better be ready to push this baby out real quick when the time comes.

Symptoms:  Everything but real labor.  Braxton Hicks contractions, cramps, back pain, nesting, fatigue.  Ya know, all the things that make work and life real easy.  

Nursery:  Done.

Emotions:  At my doctor's appointment on Friday, I found out I still wasn't dilated, which I know is not a good indicator of impending labor.  However, I was 70% effaced which is a good sign.  My doctor said she thinks I'll go into labor on my own but that it will be after my due date.  Whomp, whomp.  Oh well, I'll just be thankful that I'm able to carry a healthy baby to term.  I know there are a lot of women who struggle with this.  I'm just anxious to meet our little girl and I totally understand how women report the last few weeks are the slowest and the hardest.  Once she's out and starts acting like a real baby, I'll probably be wondering why I wanted her here so soon.  It's crazy to think that right now, she literally has everything she needs and is completely content.  When she comes out into the world, she is all of a sudden helpless and will rely on ME, the mom, not me the body. 

Week in review:

What week doesn't start off with Cozy kisses?

This belly is getting out of control. 

Would you believe that there are 5 girls in this picture below?

My friend Chanel at work is having twin girls and I'm having a girl.  Our girls are due 3 weeks apart, however, since she's having twins she will be delivering sooner than me.  It's been fun to go through a pregnancy with someone and share how our doctor's appointments are going, how we're feeling, and what we're excited about.


 One time, we both had a very sweet, elderly man as a patient.  He knew Chanel was having twins and then he met me, surprised to see another pregnant woman, and said "that other girl is pregnant, too. When are you due?"  I told him and then he said, "well, you guys must have been at the same party" with very slow, slurred speech.  It was hilarious.

I love that my mom gets down on the floor to love on Cozy.  I think this is a good indicator of how good of a grandmother she will be to a human.


The weather was so nice we decided to take advantage of working in the yard and getting it ready for Spring.  Another thing people have said to us (that annoys us) is "Your yard is so beautiful!  Just wait 'til you have kids".  Thanks for your boost of confidence.

I participated in the yard work as well.  I figured my mom went into labor with me while doing yard work so maybe the same would happen to me?  I posted this picture on Facebook and this is what my dad commented:
  • "As I recall, I was mowing and your Mom was weed eating near the back of the house. Suddenly, the weed eater stopped and all I could hear was your Mom cussing. She was about as big as you are now and your protrusion caused her shirt tail to get caught in the rotating motor and instead of eating weeds it began eating her shirt. The weed eater stopped cold and was never the same after that. You came along shortly after that and we were never the same either, but in a good way."

We installed the car seat base in the car... eeek!  This is really happening!  I think my water would have broken if Ehren was not there to help install it.  It takes a lot of strength to get that sucker in there correctly!

And just like we practice walking with the stroller with Cozy, we practiced driving around with me, the car seat, and Cozy in the back seat.  He was a little confused but he managed.

Cozy hates the month of March purely because of KU basketball.  We yell, we scream, we throw things.  He promptly takes himself upstairs and hangs out in our bed on game days.  He comes down at halftime and timeouts but as soon as the game starts back up, he goes back upstairs.  This is no joke.  He did this at my mom's house too.  Anyway, KU was playing like crap and I couldn't safely watch it anymore.  I cleaned the entire upstairs (bathrooms, made two beds, put away clothes, dusted, vacuumed, decluttered, etc) during the second half.  Cozy took his position.

Then he gave daddy "it's okay, there's always next year" kisses to make him feel better.

Ahh, the fruits of my labor.  Okay, not really.  We just bought a lot of fruit (and this isn't even all of it) and I had to take a picture.  Yes, we will literally eat all of this in the next week.  Now that's my kind of centerpiece!

So, I'm like due next week?  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

the nursery: craigslist dresser

When I started thinking about nursery furniture, I knew I didn't want to buy some $999 changing table  from Land of Nod or Pottery Barn.  I knew I wanted to find something cheap to fix up that was a dresser but could also act as a changing table without screaming "you change diapers on me!"  Thank goodness for the Craigslist app on my iPhone.  I would just randomly search "dresser" in Lawrence and Kansas City and see what I could find.  Some of them lacked character, some were way too expensive to consider a "fixer-upper", and some were just trash.  I knew I wanted some kind of detailing or dimensional aspect to it and I also only looked at ones that were approximately changing table height.  

I found this beauty on Craigslist for $50 in Kansas City.  We drove in, looked it over, and then loaded in our car.  It smelled like it had been in a garage for a long time and it definitely needed some lovin'.  I wanted to yell at the seller, "don't you see the potential in this thing?!"  But we kept our mouths shut and drove back to Lawrence.

You can see that the top is very shiny and not solid wood.  I was concerned that paint wouldn't stick to it like it would sanded wood.  From far away it doesn't look like it has many imperfections but it sure did.  

Ehren sanded all the drawers and the dresser shell.  Obviously he couldn't sand the top as it is not real wood.  Cozy is making sure he didn't miss any spots. 

We loaded it up on the saw horses and I primed the dresser.  I ended up doing two coats of primer on the top as I knew I wanted a good base to cover with real paint.  

After priming, I did 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's Advance paint in white. 

I primed the drawers and then did 2 coats of paint on top of that.  Cozy, of course, kept a close eye on the progress and watched for drips. 

It took a while to get all of this done, especially with 16 hours between coats, but with Cozy by my side and Gossip Girl on in the background, it was no problem at all. 

After everything was painted and then cured for 5 days, we reassembled the dresser up in the nursery.  The only problem with this old dresser was that the drawers definitely didn't slide very easily.  The drawers were jerky and shook the whole dresser when we opened and closed them.  I was NOT okay with this.  I looked up online as to how to fix this problem and I ran across nylon tape which decreases the friction.  Ehren applied the tape and then also tightened some areas so the drawers weren't crooked. It worked like a dream!

On a Saturday, we decided to go to Kansas City to go to Locks and Pulls to find some new hardware for our old dresser.  The pulls were 3 1/2" wide and wouldn't you know, the mecca for hardware had ONE 3 1/2" pull in satin nickel/silver.  ONE.  We asked if they had anymore 3 1/2" pulls in the finish we wanted and they basically said "what you see is what we have".  Ehren then told them that we would go somewhere else and they kind of smirked at us like "well, we have every lock and pull known to man, so good luck with finding what you're looking for".  In a pregnant rage, I stormed out of there, pissed.  Well, actually I had to go to the bathroom before I stormed out, so my exit wasn't quite that dramatic.  #pregoproblems

Next, we ventured to the Plaza to hit up some stores.  I knew Anthropologie had really cool knobs to add to the dresser.  These were the ones that caught our eyes.  We planned on putting the silver mercury glass one on the closet doors but then couldn't decide which of the teal ones to put on the dresser.  Ehren was partial to one while I was partial to the other.  Then we decided to do something my OCD, type A, anal self never does… mix it up and have different knobs on the same dresser.  The horror!

I love it!

So what did we end up doing to replace the old, ugly, outdated 3 1/2" pulls?  Nothing.  I decided, "let's just spray paint the original pulls until we find something we like".  And then we painted them and then we decided we didn't need to look any further!  

And now our dresser is complete!  The paint on the top of the dresser took very well and I'm not concerned about it coming off thanks to multiple coats of primer and paint.

A bit of an upgrade from this:

To this:

I love the way the bright white contrasts against the dark, navy blue.  The entire project was way cheaper than anything you could buy in a store… even Ikea.  

Dresser: $50
Knobs: $26
Pulls: $0
Paint: we already had because of other projects, but BM Advance costs less than $50 a gallon and we only used a fraction of the gallon

Not bad for $76.00, huh?  Refinishing something like this makes it way more special than picking and choosing a product from a store.  I'll always remember priming and painting this thing while I was pregnant, wondering what our daughter was going to be like, what will she look like, and when will she get here?  While we will change diapers all over this house, this town, and this state over the years, changing her on this dresser will always be special. 

the black plague, part III: front door

Now the black plague has moved to the front door.  While I think the "rustic" and "distressed" look has its place, I do...

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