Monday, June 24, 2013

Baby Bump Pictures (Finally!)

So...many people have been requesting/asking/begging/bugging for baby bump pictures, and I guess it's time to deliver (pun intended)!  I didn't really want to be one of THOSE people who uploaded pictures as soon as I gained 0.2 pounds, so I guess I never posted because I wanted to wait until there was a discernible difference in figure.  And now, after adding 10 pounds to the midsection, I guess that's enough to qualify "discernible difference."

Well, by the time I dug through the pictures I'd uploaded and found the first one (before anything was showing), I was SHOCKED as to how thin I looked!  I hope I'm one of the lucky ones who can shrink back down :)

As soon as we got a confirmation on the pregnancy, I carefully selected a "growing" outfit to photograph all my pictures in.  The jeans were pretty loose, the top was maternity...I figured I was all set.  The top still fits, of course, but the jeans...well...we'll see in another week when I get them back out for Week 28 pictures.  I haven't been able to button them since Week 16 (I'm wondering if I can even get them up on my hips now!).

So, for your viewing pleasure:

February 1st (barely 7 weeks)
March 10th (12 weeks)

April 7th (16 weeks; holding those pants closed!)
May 5th (20 weeks)
June 2nd (24 weeks)
And, a bonus picture...

June 16th (26 weeks)
We've been trying to take pictures every four weeks, but Kyle pointed out that on this particular Sunday, if someone couldn't tell, "that person is an idiot."  Ha!  So we thought we'd mark that occasion :) 

Baby Girl is happily kicking away, applying crazy amounts of pressure to my bladder.  It's also getting just a teensy bit hard to bend over or get up off of a deep, comfortable chair, so I make sure to call the hubby in for assistance when I'm just feeling too dang lazy.  In other news, baby and I went to the doctor late last week for my glucose test, and we passed with flying colors! 

As long as she's healthy, I'm happy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Upstairs Remodel Phase 2

So the Amish crew arrived bright and early the Monday before last and finally finished drywalling, sanding, and mudding on Wednesday of this week.  For eight days they worked very hard upstairs and we worked very hard downstairs to get other tasks accomplished so that once the Amish left, we could focus on Phases 3 and 4 of the Project Remodel.

Here are some pictures documenting Phase 2 (I made sure to get the photos with all the drywall dust on purpose so that in the future when I complain about how messy the house is, I will remember this point in time and be grateful for the smaller, more contained messes instead):

Thankfully, the entire time the Amish were here, we only had drywall dust make it into the downstairs in two areas--from under the door leading upstairs...
...and on the back mat from our shoes (we had to go check out the progress)!
Then of course after the Amish left and we attempted to pick up all the dust, it gets all over the place!
Looking much better, albeit dusty.
Look at those WALLS!  Sealed, insulated, perfectly even walls!  I could hug you (but I won't).
Everything looks much more spacious with the different materials on the walls.

They squared up the entrance to the closet/tiny back room.

The box may look weird, but it's what has to happen when the people who installed the shower put the light lower than the shower head!
We wore masks to protect Kyle's, my, and baby's lungs.
You can tell who picked up the junk and did the heavy lifting and who did the sweeping!  Kyle's all sweaty and I'm all old-looking.
We're so excited that we're ahead of our proposed schedule of the remodel.  Hopefully we can keep this up!  Yesterday we spent several hours just sweeping and throwing things away and today we'll spend the day (carefully) wiping the walls to prepare for painting and mopping the floors.  Our goal is to have the upstairs primed before the weekend is out and painted in the first half of next week!  


Superhero Outfits for Baby

This week our dear friend, Phil Call, was in town for some AP English conferences on Ball State campus.  We know Phil and his wonderful wife, Kim, from church and college classes (both graduated with us in May 2011).  Phil was in a lot of my English Ed classes and shared Honors professors with Kyle and Kim lived just down the hall from me in the dorms freshman year.  After graduation, Phil got a teaching position in Warsaw, which took our great friends away from us :(  We sure do miss them and their little boy, Pete!

I got a surprise facebook message on Monday morning this week from Kim letting me know that Phil was going to be in town and had a gift to drop off for us.  What could it be?!  I had no idea because it was so out of the blue!  We arranged to have Phil for dinner and later in the week he stayed over with us and we had some very good times catching up and reminiscing.  Phil, it turned out, seemed just as excited as Kim to see us open our gift, and for good reason:


Isn't she spectacular?!  As I told Kyle, this outfit is just too good--it has to be our "Baby's First Photoshoot" outfit!  Ironically, we'd talked about dressing our little girl up as a superhero and taking tons of pictures and putting them all upstairs (because of the superhero theme), but I don't think we ever really shared that idea with anyone!  The onesie is absolutely adorable and can be used again for either gender (smart thinking, Kim!).  The skirt is adjustable and the baby legs will be all too handy.  To top it all off, Kim made little matching clips to go on headbands!  Now, although this didn't come with the gift, we also MIGHT have already acquired a felt Batman kiddie-mask from Target a month or so ago that would also look great for pictures.

Included was this note:

Megan and Kyle,

I've been holding onto this onesie for you for over a year and through at least one move.  I thought it was perfect and had to get it when I found it.  Hopefully the girly-version is acceptable.  You don't have to use the tutu if you don't want to, but I made it extra over the top just to make sure.  I included two sizes of headbands as I can't remember how big a newborn's head is.  It has been too long!  Hopefully it will start a beautiful collection of geeky girl stuff!  

Live long and prosper,
Kim, Phil, and Pete 

And there's one for the baby book!  I have such talented, wonderful friends.  Thank you, Kim and Phil!

Originally when deciding to do pictures, we'd thought about doing Wonderwoman.  Guess what we spied in the Fourth of July section of the kids' clothes at Walmart the other day?

Perfect!  It is a little big, so we'll have to cinch it for any pictures, but we're not complaining.  We also MIGHT have a felt Wonderwoman headpiece from Target that we bought at the same time as the Batman I haven't really decided whether we'll do both superheroes for newborn pictures, or save the Wonderwoman outfit for next year.  What do you think?

Monday, June 10, 2013

And the Award for the Unborn Child with the Most Clothes Goes to...!

Why is it that girls love clothes, dressing up, and looking pretty?  What an expensive hobby to have!  I'm fairly certain that when the doctor told us we were having a girl, our clothes allowance for her literally doubled.  Now everywhere I go, I always have to oooh and aaah over the little dresses, skirts, hairbows, shoes...everything.  Sure, there are plenty of cute boy clothes, but girl clothes are just ADORABLE.  Anyone with me, here?

So, I was 25 weeks yesterday.  This means that our baby weighs roughly two pounds.  I'm certain this two-pound, alien-looking fetus-girl has more clothes than I do.  Actually, more than my husband and me put TOGETHER.  And I haven't even had a baby shower yet!

Garage sales.  That's pretty much the only way we've not broken our bank account by feeding my baby clothes-shopping addiction.  In a store, I could easily see a cute dress, look at the price tag, see it's ten dollars, and reason with myself that my little girl will only be able to fit into this dress for X amount of it worth it?  I can answer no and move on.  But when something is a quarter, or fifty get the idea.

The result?  I have so many clothes that I had to find a way to organize them.  I bought several large totes with lids and made some labels for them:  0-6 months (since a lot of these clothes from varying brands look about the same size), 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12+ months, and Gender Neutral (luckily this one's the fullest!).  Nearly ALL of them are packed so tightly with clothes that I can barely get the lids on (6-9 months still needs a little work). 

I've told myself no more garage sales!  I'm keeping them stored until right before she needs them, then will wash and fold accordingly.  Otherwise I'm sure I'd have enough laundry to be consistently washing/drying/folding for a week!

After Coldwater Garage Sales 2013
After Fort Recovery Garage Sales 2013.

But at a dollar, how could you resist?!
Garage sales are GREAT for Halloween costumes!  We have Halloween costumes for about the first 3 years already...
Little hairbows/headbands :)
Only a quarter and in brand-new condition.  Her grandparents will love it!
Garage sales are awesome and they're like a hobby to me...I have to see what good deals I can collect!  Unfortunately for me, Baby Girl might be just a tad spoiled in the clothes department...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upstairs Remodel Phase 1

So I guess I think of the upstairs remodel in four phases:  (1) getting all our junk out of there/demo/insulating, (2) drywall, mudding, sanding, (3) priming/painting, (4) installing the floor and trim.  Then after these four phases, we will be free to decorate!  Usually the decorating is my job to plan and Kyle just helps me move things, but since I've agreed to allow the entire upstairs to be superhero-themed, he's given me much more input on what he wants in the room.  It's so sweet to see him so excited about doing some decorating.  I figure it's the least I can do since I was the one who's decorated the whole downstairs and veto pretty much anything he wants to set out.  Also, I promised him that we would decorate the baby's room in superheroes if it was a boy and he was super excited.  Now that we know we've got a girl coming, he's working very hard to get excited about the Audrey Hepburn-esque theme we're doing instead, but I can see he's not feeling it.  I mentioned today that we could move the mini-fridge upstairs out of the basement and put his hero magnets on it, and he's got all kinds of plans on what to put in it (diet Mountain Dew).  I also have planned to buy him more wallhangings for the upstairs for his first Father's Day, so I get the wife-of-the-day award.  And don't worry...he knows about the hangings.  I had to get his opinion on them before I ordered.

So, anyway, although I like decorating more than demolition, I like demolition more than any other part of the remodeling process, especially if it involves ridding ourselves of something ugly.  Of course, this project did!  Sadly (or gladly?) I wasn't able to help too much with the demo because (a) it's getting really hard for me to carry anything over about twenty-five pounds because I get pretty dang winded and (b) there was all kind of dusty black crud falling from behind the paneling that didn't look too safe to breath, so as soon as we knew that was back there, Kyle banned me from demo. 

Phase 1 of the remodel was officially complete Sunday and Phase 2 began on Monday with our Amish crew out to do the work.  I'm VERY glad that we don't have to drywall, mud, or sand!  It's very dirty, dusty work and I'm not very good at measuring anything.  Plus, Kyle got sick this week, so his illness timed itself pretty conveniently.  While he's down here recovering, Phase 2 is being completed.

I don't have Phase 2 pictures (I want to wait until it's done), but here's pictures from Phase 1:

Up the stairs (yes, it does just end with a landing!).

What you saw as you looked over the side of the steps.

Walking toward the white panel from the previous picture and looking right...

Then left...

Going into the small doorway/closet/very small room from previous picture.

The people who lived here previously did some horrible bubble insulation in random parts of the upstairs.  This was one side of the closet/small room.

Oh,'s the other side.

As you come out of the closet/small room, you saw this.

And this is leading back toward the stairs/semi-finished area/bathroom.

Tiger loved the pre-remodeled upstairs!  He was able to climb into the walls and sleep in the insulation.  What a brat!  He's going through some withdrawal now, I think.

Back door.

Pretty ugly, right?  This is exactly how it looked when I moved in four years ago.  We didn't have the money or the time to fix the upstairs up right away when we remodeled the downstairs, and our intentions to do it last summer were sucked dry by having to re-plumb the bathroom.  

Wanna see what it looked like without the hideous paneling?

Did they GLUE that paneling onto the drywall?  Why, yes.  Yes, they did.  Grrrrrrrrrr....!  And as you can also see from the picture, some of the drywall was put on....BACKWARDS!
So as you can see, you sort of feel like you're in a toaster, but it was better insulated overall than we thought, which was a pretty good thing!

Without that weird paneling wall built around the chimney, this upstairs feels so much bigger and much more open!  I'm glad we decided to nix it!

Well, there you have it!  Phase 1 completed.  The removal of the paneling made SUCH a difference!  I told Kyle that if I had to, I'd almost prefer it unpaneled and exposed to the paneling.  Almost...didn't say it was safer...just feel like it's slightly prettier!

I'll continue to update with pictures just as soon as the other phases are accomplished!  Viva summer remodeling!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crib = Ordered!

We've been crib-shopping ever since school let out a few weeks ago (has it been that long already?!).  We'd spent a good deal of time discussing the type of crib we wanted:

1)  Quality

Nothing flimsy that would scratch or break easily.  We'd decided that we'd really like a crib that was well-built and would last through all our kids.  Now, I have no idea how many kids we'll have or how far apart they will be, but let's just SAY we have them threeish years apart and have fourish kids.  For a crib that converts into a toddler bed, that crib could be up for 12 straight years!  Or if we got the rails for it to convert into a full-size bed, it might never come down!  It needs to withstand moving to a new house or around the room, and frankly, a lot of cribs we looked at didn't fit the bill.  

2)  Color

We both felt a white crib seemed pretty feminine, which would be fine now...but what if we have a boy in the future?  And we both hated the espresso-black-looking colors.  There's a driftwood color, but that just makes the crib look fake.  And we also didn't care for the darker wood colors.  We have a bookcase that we've decided to leave behind when we move the office upstairs so that we can keep baby's books and some toys on it (anything to get lots of storage!).  This bookcase is a medium-wood (think oak) color and is REAL wood.  This was our goal to match.  We cleared off a shelf from the bookcase and took the shelf with us everywhere to see what we could match.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it's a very popular color, because NO ONE had any cribs in this color of wood :(

3)  Longevity

To convert or not to convert?  Originally we'd decided not to do a convertible because we plan to just move our kids straight to a twin instead of doing a toddler bed.  But those are super hard to find and a lot of the good quality ones are just as much as a convertible.  So...convertible it is!

4)  Time frame

We're not doing a bassinet/cradle, so we need this crib pronto.  I know we still have more than three and a half months before baby is born, but I've heard horror stories of things getting back-ordered and cribs taking more than 15 weeks to arrive (because like everything else, a lot of the parts are made in China if not assembled somewhere else).  Not only that, but then you have to open the box to make sure you have all your parts.  And if you don't?  You have to send it back or wait for a part to arrive before assembly.  Talk about a pain.  And I don't really want to deal with that, so we really, really wanted to try to get something either locally made to be sure we'd have it in time OR be able to purchase it from the store floor to put it together quickly.  Just to be safe.

This being said...

We went to a few Muncie stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Meijer and didn't really care for the quality and small selection of their cribs.  Maybe we're just picky...but we took a good look at the displays and how dinged up they got just from sitting in the store.  The woods were all soft and it looked like one good scratch could just about ruin the look of a crib.  So no.

Then, we figured we'd have better luck in Indianapolis at stores like Babies-R-Us, Buy Buy Baby, and Baby Depot (Burlington Coat Factory).  Pretty much the same deal, only tons more expensive!  We even searched some Indianapolis/Muncie furniture stores, but ALL their cribs were over $1,000.  And sorry...ain't nobody got time to afford that.  So no.

Seriously...we'd looked at about 15 stores and several different websites.  Nothing seemed to fit what we wanted and I figured we'd just have to settle.

But then I considered...what about an Amish-made crib?  

My mom has purchased kitchen chairs from a furniture store called Bernhaus Furniture in Berne and we know that they are fairly reasonable in pricing and the furniture is superb.  I had a feeling that this was the place...if only I knew they sold cribs.  Using my sister as a contact (because I feel like now that she works in Berne she knows EVERYONE who lives and works there), we discovered that they did.  My mom and sister and I stopped in and we looked at a few cribs.  I was impressed with their quality and their custom-order process.  I looked through a catalog and found one that suited every single wish on our wish-list, made a copy, and took it home to show Kyle.  He liked it just as much as I did.  Kyle's parents offered to pay for the crib as their baby gift, and it really was as simple as that.
I ordered the crib this morning over the phone and bought a toddler rail to go with it.  It did cost more than Target or Meijer or Babies-R-Us, but it did NOT cost $1,000.  I was guaranteed a free delivery and free assembly by August 5th, plenty of time before baby arrives in September.  I feel like we won the crib lottery. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In Which Kyle Returns to His Elementary School

When Kyle was in school, he was part of what is called an Immersion Program.  This program began at a local elementary school in Indianapolis the year Kyle went into kindergarten and helped the students in the program learn Spanish.  I can never remember all the specifics, but basically this program "immerses" students in the Spanish language and culture at an early age so that by the time they're older (say, graduation age), they are fluent in Spanish and know tons about Spanish culture, geography, etc.  I believe this might be done at more schools now, but twenty years ago, Kyle's school had an advantage of piloting the program.  

The result of all those years of Immersion?  Kyle STILL speaks fluent Spanish, even though he doesn't get to practice very much.  He learned how to read in Spanish initially and taught himself to read in English.  We have lots and lots of storybooks from Kyle's elementary years that are in Spanish and he really wants to make it a goal to read to our kids in Spanish as well as English.  Several of his grades were conducted entirely in Spanish, there were some half-and-half, and then by the time he got to high school, he took Spanish classes like everyone else does, but his were way more advanced than any I ever had available to me, like a Spanish film-making class or an AP Spanish Literature course.  His geography credit in high school was all about Latin-American countries, I think.

Because he stuck with the program throughout school and completed all of its requirements, Kyle graduated not only with a diploma from Indiana but also with a certificate that I understand is kind of like a diploma in Spain.  Neat!  He made a lot of close friends in Immersion and also got the opportunity to have teachers from several Spanish-speaking countries like Puerto Rico, Spain, Costa Rica, etc.

So the reason I blog about this now is because we had the opportunity to visit Kyle's elementary school recently when his younger brother, Jacob, graduated from the Immersion Program last week (the graduation ceremony is held at the elementary school).  You know how when you're an adult and you go back to your elementary or pre-school and you realize how SMALL everything is?  Kyle was experiencing a lot of that when we visited.  I also got the opportunity to meet some of his Spanish-speaking teachers, all of which were very wonderful and spoke to Kyle in Spanish and me in English (thank goodness).  They were all very surprised to find out one of their first students was married and expecting a nino (baby).  They exclaimed that it made them feel old.  Well, I suppose if any of my students came back to visit me and announced they were married with kids, it would make me feel old, too, I guess!  It was very hard for me to understand the Spanish they spoke to Kyle because they spoke SO quickly...even though I'm a Spanish minor and had several years of Spanish study myself.  I couldn't imagine how difficult it would have been to have studied with them as a young child!  But that's what makes the graduates fluent, I guess.

Some pictures of our visit:

The school has changed a lot since he left (as any school does), but I thought it was neat that everything was Spanish-style.  I'm easily amused, I guess.  I thought this cut-out was pretty funny, so I had Kyle pose beside it.

Kyle helped to paint these banners when he was in school and was really excited to see them all hanging up still.
Room names and signs in Spanish and some English.  I couldn't get over how cool that was!

Jacob getting his awards.
Yummy torta (cake).
After the ceremony, we all went out to get Mexican food (seemed fitting).  It was a good night!