Tuesday, 4 November 2014

He's Here!!!

There's a reason it's been sounding like nothing but crickets over here.

I had my baby!

And caring for a newborn is 24/7 so I'm lucky if I get to read my favourite blogs, nevermind keep up with my own.

Baby Bennett was born almost 2 weeks early on Friday, September 19th at 9:58pm.  We were scheduled for a c-section (because he was frank breech) on Monday the 22nd, but he decided to come on his own terms which, despite throwing me off being even earlier, actually made me happy that he was able to choose his own birthday.

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I know it's probably anti-climactic not showing his face and call me old fashioned, but I'm just not sure how I feel about putting him all over the internet just yet.  And baby feet are just too cute, right?

Darryl and I were actually at the bank renegotiating our mortgage terms when my water broke (in a really big way) right there in Tracey's office all over her nice chair.  Sorry Tracey.  To say I was in shock is a huge understatement.  I had always heard that your water rarely breaks especially with your first and that you rarely go early with your first baby so I was not anticipating that at all.  I didn't even have a hospital bag packed yet - it was the last thing on my to-do list to be completed as soon as I got home from the bank!  So thank you to my amazing sister for running around my house packing up a bag for baby and me!

We had plans to finish up all loose ends that Friday night so that we could relax and enjoy our last weekend as a family of two, maybe take some naps that would soon enough become a distant memory, and maybe go on a nice date.  Then Monday morning would come and we would walk down to the hospital and have our baby.  

Well baby had plans of his own.

In the end it all turned out wonderfully and although I found the c-section experience a little traumatic and scary, all that matters is that our little boy arrived safe and sound and is just oh-so-beautiful.

So now Bennett is just over 6 weeks old (how did that happen!?) and seems to be going through a growth spurt already, constantly feeding and more fussy.  

When I get a chance, I will post some pictures of his nursery too, I'm so happy with how it turned out.

ps.  Jeanette (this dusty house) if you see this, congrats on your baby, I still follow your blog but it never lets me comment on your posts for some reason.  Also, I get emails from your email address whenever spam comments are made on my blog.  Weird.  

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Honeymoon Keepsakes

This summer Darryl and I travelled to Berlin and Prague for our (just under 2 years later) honeymoon and it was amazing!  We went for 9 days and had such a wonderful time exploring together and seeing new sights, learning about new cultures, their foods, their languages, their ways of life.  I was 28 weeks pregnant at that point and we figured this would be our last opportunity to do something big on our own, just the two of us, before we become a family of three.  We tend to always find excuses not to go on vacation - namely money-saving excuses but man were we glad to have done this.

I'll have to do up a separate post with some pictures and highlights about the trip, but last week I put together a little something to keep all of our keepsakes from the trip together.

It's nothing new or earth shattering, but displays everything that would have otherwise sat in a drawer, forgotten for years on end.

I started by laying out everything I wanted to include:

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I bought two black Ikea Ribba frames and just used the inside paper to put my momentos on...

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Once I was happy with the rough lay out, I trimmed the map to fit.  I actually had to use two because it wasn't long enough.  I had seen some cute ideas where people used the map to cut out letters that could say "Berlin" for example, but I quickly decided against that because I knew I wanted to have our main routes, streets and spots highlighted to look back on.

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Our framed keepsakes for Berlin...

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And for Prague...

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The reason some of the frames may seem unbalanced with greater areas of map showing and no keepsakes in certain areas is because those were the main travelled spots that have highlighted and circled spots that we relied on to get from point to point and I didn't want to cover them up.

Now we just need to find a spot to hang them, I'm thinking in our bedroom, but that's at the bottom of our to-do list right now.  Only 6 weeks until our due date and we are hustling to get a livable nursery and non-construction zone upstairs before that happens.  Fingers crossed!

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How do you display or keep momentos from your travels safe?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Creaks Be Gone!

On Saturday, while Darryl and his Dad went to pick up our new front door (which won't be installed for months as upstairs is our priority.  We just wanted to make use of the 15% off sale), they also picked up some chip board for new subfloors upstairs.

The original subfloors upstairs were in pretty rough shape.  They were super squeaky and creaky (something I imagined cursing whenever the creaks wake up the baby when we walk around up there in my imagination).  They also had several sections which had broken off leaving gaps in the floors which isn't the safest or best. 

You can get the general idea of how they looked before, or here's a fuller picture of the subfloors on the main floor from when we did that reno a few years ago.

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Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the holes in the floor.  They started installing the chip board before I got home for the day and even realized they were going to.

So, on Saturday, instead of tackling the electrical as planned, they installed the subfloors in the nursery which felt like we were taking a step back a bit (as we were debating whether or not to even put new subfloors in).  It's going to add on to our timeline quite a bit, but in the end it is for the best.

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So now when we walk in there, it no longer creaks and there is no fear of stepping on the wrong weak board and falling through to the main floor. 

Here's what's left for us to do before we can set the nursery up:

* Finish electrical in the hallway
* Drywall the hallway
* Mud the hallway
* Sand the hallway
* Prime the hallway
* Paint the hallway
* Take hallway floors up
* Remove all nails from the hallway floor
* Install new subfloors in the hallway
* Install new bamboo floors in the hallway
* Install new subfloors in the nursery
* Install new bamboo floors in the nursery

I should probably stop looking at this list.  It's very daunting and stressful and I cannot imagine how we're going to get it all done in time.

Anyone else stressing about projects and deadlines!?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Smoke Infusion

Last Thursday I had 2 wonderful cousin-in-laws come and give up their evening to paint the nursery for us and it looks great!  We used the left over paint from the bathroom actually.  I really didn't want to do a blue boy's nursery because it's so stereotypical, but we ended up deciding on the Valspar No-VOC "Smoke Infusion" colour from the bathroom for a couple of reasons:

1.  We already had a gallon sitting at home left over (but were thinking that if we didn't want that colour that we could paint the guest room or our room with it).

2.  The neutral-ish map that is the inspiration for decorating the nursery didn't look as good when I put it up to neutral walls, it made it look more yellowy and the blue really brought out some of the colours.

3.  It wasn't a baby blue, but more of a grey-ish blue that sometimes even takes on a greenish under tone which I liked.  It's more of a grown-up blue than a baby blue.

4.  Blue is my favourite colour.

Without further adieu, here are a few of what will probably be some of the most boring pictures ever (but it was a very exciting day for me so bear with me!)

Here's just the primer:

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And a little bit of infused smoke...

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It's hard to get a true picture of the colour.  It's a little more accurate I think in the bathroom post from when we painted the same colour in there.

Here's what's left for us to do before we can set the nursery up:

* Finish electrical in the hallway
* Drywall the hallway
* Mud the hallway
* Sand the hallway
* Prime the hallway
* Paint the hallway
* Take hallway floors up
* Remove all nails from the hallway floor
* Install new subfloors in the hallway
* Install new bamboo floors in the hallway
* Install new subfloors in the nursery
* Install new bamboo floors in the nursery

Gosh, when you write it all out it seems even more daunting!  Here's hoping we have enough time in the 7 weeks before baby is due.  Luckily we've crossed one or two things off that list since I drafted this post, but still lots and lots to do!

Ps.  Has anyone found a technique or tape that DOESN'T pull your paint off??  Now we have to go back to repair parts of the brand new ceiling paint because the frog tape I used peeled so much off.  So frustrating.  I know cutting in is the only sure-fire way to not peel paint off, but I just don't trust my abilities yet.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Nursery Progress

The nursery has come a long way from where it was a year ago. It's still got a ways to go, but things are shaping up in there. It's gone through more work than most nurseries, but we wanted to have an insulated room for baby and new flooring that wasn't sticky and hole-ridden.

So almost exactly a year ago, this is how the room looked before we got to work.

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On the very right of that picture, you can see a good sized hole in the wall from when we did some duct work during our main floor renovations.  You can also see the temporary left over laminate floor we had put down over top of the sticky original floors just so that we could walk in there without leaving with a glue-like tack on our soles.

And just a view from inside the room looking at the doorway (with no door)

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Then we tore it to pieces and it looked like this...

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And it stayed like that for a good 8 or so months while we worked on the bathroom.  But after insulating, vapour barriering and dry walling, Darryl was ready to sand it down...

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After the sanding it was time for some primer (which ended up having some chunks in it from either sitting too long, or being stored in the heat of the attic, so it left a few bumps on our brand new walls, but worse things have happened).

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My wonderful sister-in-law came to prime the walls and Darryl did the ceiling.  She gave the walls two good coats and took some of the work load off of Darryl's shoulders, which he so deserves, he's been working so hard and mostly on his own.  I haven't been much help since the paint fumes and drywall dust aren't ideal when incubating new life. 

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But now we have a fresh, clean slate to paint the walls before the new floors go in.  Colour also went up last night which I will post about next week. 

Then, before the floors can be done, we have half the hall way to deal with.  It needs some electrical work, drywall, mudding, sanding, priming and painting and THEN we can start on the floors. 

Anyone installing new floors?  Working on a nursery?  Picking new paint colours?  Paint is always such a fun part of the reno phase. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Shedding Some Weight...

...No, I'm not talking lbs.  In fact, the exact opposite is happening to my body right now.  But that's okay, that's what it should be doing.  I'm talking about the weight of STUFF.

Does anyone else out there ever feel like they are drowning in STUFF??

Since I've started my third trimester, I'm starting to feel that "nesting" itch. The nursery is still under construction (it's getting there!) so I can't nest in there just yet, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I had to scratch that itch in another room in our house.

I've never showed the attic on here before (other than pictures of before we moved in) and for good reason. It has been a dumping ground. The place we throw everything to get it out of sight. There was no method to the madness, you could barely walk in there, there were bags, bins and boxes strewn all over the floor. We had no idea half of the stuff that was even up there anymore because we only go up there to dump stuff.


But thanks to that itch, I was determined to go through every nook and cranny and not just organize the mess, but to DE-CLUTTER!!!  I've realized that the overwhelming sense of drowning in the clutter in our own home is not (only) because we are poor organizers, but rather, because we just have too.much.stuff!

Here's a little "before" to give you an idea of how my room in the attic was looking...

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How did I accumulate so much stuff?  And how did I let it get to this state?  I guess it's true what they say, out of sight (this is the 3rd floor in our home), out of mind.

There are two rooms up in the attic, the front one is "mine" and the back one is "Darryl's".  My room very quickly got taken over by all of my work supplies and materials as well as my arts and crafts stuff.

It took me two days to go through every bin, bag and box and throw out stuff that was damaged or not useable anymore, recycle old, unused papers and donate things I no longer need or use.  Then a really thorough dusting and vaccuming happened and it felt fantastic.

Here are a few before and after shots.  This is what you saw/see upon entering the room...

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Yes, that is literally a huge slab of the plaster ceiling that fell off the house in the next set of pictures.  That was in large part why the room and everything in it was so covered in dust (and probably the fact that it hadn't been vacuumed since we moved in nearly 5 years ago.  Shame.)

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What was supposed to be my painting station, but has never been used because I could barely get to it - and because the room is either stifling or an ice-box throughout the year...

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Oddly enough, the closet actually looks neater in the "before" shot here.  But that was because it was serving no purpose to us and not being used.  In our house, the only closets are the one in this room which is a half-height closet and our bedroom which has two single sized closets.  And that is it.  In the whole 5 bedroom house.  No linen closets, no front entrance closets.  And it drives me batty.  So I found it funny that when I constantly complain about our house having no closets or storage space that it took me almost 5 years to actually make use of one of them!

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So now all of my work resources and supplies are put into bins and tucked away into this closet.  Ahhhhh, relief.

I wish I had taken a picture of all of the STUFF we dropped off to value village.  There were about 8 boxes and garbage bags full of stuff. 

And just because I can't stop enjoying the clear room (it really does feel like it helps to clear your mind as well when you have clear space to live in), here are a few full sized pictures.

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The ceiling will have to be addressed... one of these days.

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What was once the most dreaded place in the house for me to go to, is now currently my favourite because it is the least cluttered so I find myself going up there just to admire it haha.

Anyone else nesting, or de-cluttering?  I have a heck of a lot more to go through in other rooms in our house and I'm looking forward to the wonderful feeling I got from just getting rid of STUFF!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Shower Fixtures...

After nearly one whole year, we are finally out of the basement and showering upstairs again and I cannot tell you how amazing it is!

Installing these lovely fixtures is what made it all finally happen...

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Now all that the bathroom needs is some window and door trim (not a huge task, but we've decided to move on to more pressing projects like finishing the nursery before baby arrives) and some towel and toilet paper hangers.

I will show some pictures of the whole bathroom after the trim is done (knock on wood...I shouldn't even say that I will because goodness knows we still haven't trimmed the main floor from our first renovation a few years ago). 

Here's an updated look at our Bathroom To-Do list:

  • Install the toilet
  • Assemble and install the vanity
  • Install the medicine cabinet/mirror
  • Replace the window
  • Add trim to the window
  • Fill and paint the window trim
  • Install the shower fixtures
  • Install the shower curtain rod
  • Hang the door
  • Install door trim
  • Paint the door trim
  • Install the fan
  • Buy and install a light fixture (we thought we had got this done this weekend, until we got the fixture home and realized that it hung far to low and would hit some taller guests heads, so the search continues)

Any projects you're particularly grateful to have done?

Thursday, 19 June 2014


For fun, I entered my info into this website and here's what it is predicting as far as baby goes:

Lindsay is expecting a baby!
Her due date is Wednesday, October 1st 2014.

we predict that she will have a
Sunday, September 21st 2014
10:43 am
3335 g ~ 7 lbs, 6 oz

I'll have to remember to look back at this in the fall and see how close/far off it was.  It is already right about the baby's sex, although it had a 50/50 chance.  Things like the date, time and weight are harder, so we shall see!!

Did you try out any of the old wive's tales when you were pregnant?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

He or She, What Will It Be...???

I could not wait to find out the sex of our baby and we were lucky that the little munchkin co-operated beautifully during our anatomy scan.  We had our immediate family over to share with them all at the same time what we will be having. 

I put out a few decorations, but I am no professional and these were all just for fun, so not pinterest-worthy lol.  Just some curly-cues, a little prediction chalk board I re-used from our wedding, and some confetti poppers filled with the appropriate coloured confetti.

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This was my guess before the ultrasound.  I thought from early on that it would be a boy. 

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One of my students made me a card with her prediction inside as well.  It was so sweet...

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For fun I also put up my answers to a few old wives tales for our family to see before deciding on their guess.

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My darling niece Lily also made us a card that I just love to pieces...

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Girl loves her stickers!

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Even though her card predicts a girl, on my old wives tale chart I put "boy" because that's what she had told me while I was babysitting her.

We bought cupcakes that had coloured icing inside for our family to bite into on the count of three.  Any guesses as to what was inside before I show you???  ...

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It's a...






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I guess my mother's intuition was right!  (Darryl's was too cause he's thought it was a boy from the get-go as well).

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We didn't have a preference either way, we were just so excited to know.  It made it all seem more real somehow.

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This was such a fun, special and exciting day for us that we'll always remember.  Our families came dressed in either pink or blue depending on their guess and when they bit into their cupcakes, Darryl and I set off the blue confetti poppers for a little extra fun.  Darryl's sister gifted us with one of her "Wrinkles" puppet dogs from when she was little and my mum and sister both came with a little gift of super cute boy outfits and a blanket (they actually brought one for boy and one for girl and just returned the girl one later on).

I also did something different for my staff and students but don't have pictures to share.  With my staff I had them each pick either a pink or blue balloon to blow up.  The pink ones had tiny holes in them so that they immediately deflated and were left with only the blue ones still in tact.  Fun!

And with my kiddos I bought them some silly string and on the count of three they sprayed away and blue came out (I also re-used the confetti poppers as a couple of my kids actually did all the hard work of hole punching them out for me and they were excited to see them in use).  They also came wearing pink or blue based on their guess. 

It was so fun to share the news we were so excited about and to have so many people be excited with us.

Did you/would you find out the sex of your baby...share the news in a fun way??

Monday, 9 June 2014

Vanity Fair

Shortly after we got the toilet installed, it was onto the vanity.  I was suuuper excited for this part because it's such a finishing touch part of a reno that gives a lot of impact, never mind function.  So we left off with just a toilet in there, like this...

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Last summer we picked up this IKEA Hemnes dresser and it's been sitting in its box for the better part of a year.  How good it felt to tear into the box and start assembling it!

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God bless Ikea and the simplicity of their instructions and assembly!

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Once the frame was done, Darryl drilled it into the wall and attached the sink...

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Then the drawers and faucet went in...oooooh, aaaaahhhh...

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And finally the medicine cabinet!

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With a little peek at the shower tile in the mirror...

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And because the bathroom is so teeny tiny and it is hard to get a full view of everything, I had to take the same pictures from a different angle.  I was so excited to have this done that I went a little camera happy.

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And just for funzies, let's do a little "before" and .... almost "after"...

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Up next on the To-Do list:

  • Install the toilet
  • Assemble and install the vanity
  • Install the medicine cabinet/mirror
  • Replace the window
  • Add trim to the window
  • Fill and paint the window trim
  • Install the shower fixtures
  • Install the shower curtain rod
  • Hang the door
  • Install door trim
  • Paint the door trim
  • Install the fan
  • Buy and install a light fixture

So still lots to do, but here's to progress!!  Darryl got a bit more crossed off that list this weekend which I will post this week as well. 

Did you get anything checked off your list this weekend?