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Friday, August 22, 2014

Then and Now

I haven't proclaimed my love for Janssen on my blog in a while but she's been one of my closest friends for years and years, despite the fact that we haven't lived remotely close to each other since our college days. That is, until this summer! She and her family have been living about 20 minutes away for the past 6 weeks and it has been glorious. They're leaving today (insert many sad face emojis) but we got one last picture in last night at my baby shower.

Four and a half years ago Bart and Janssen came for a quick visit. I was 34 weeks pregnant with Baby 2 and she was 22 weeks with Ella. We went on a hike and took this picture:

Yes, only TWELVE weeks apart. You have to be pretty secure to stand next to Janssen.


So last night we had to take this one:


Pregnant together again! And it's awesome.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nursery Progress | Adding Trim

Because I had previously learned (the hard way) that math + measuring + angles are not my strong suit, I asked for Aaron's help with installing the trim. And it was a dang good thing I did because even he had trouble wrapping his mind around some of the cuts that needed to be made. And math + measuring + angles ARE his strong suit. Also, there was a chop saw involved and I like my fingers attached to my body.

I got 2 "pro packs" of molding at Home Depot. It's slightly cheaper that way ($1/ft vs like $1.13/ft) and it saved me the hassle of hand selecting each piece of molding. Each pack contained five 12' pieces of molding, which was just about perfect for both the chair rail and the crown molding for the room (plus a little extra for inevitable screw ups).

Love that guy
Aaron handled the measuring and the cuts then we'd each take an end, put the piece in place, and I'd do the nail gunning. While he puzzled through angles and handled the Finger Chopping Saw I went around patching and caulking and sanding. It was a pretty great system and we got the chair rail up super fast.




The crown molding was way harder (compound angles!). We got a couple walls done but then this one rounded corner defeated us and we had to walk away for a few days (much like my nemesis outlet when I was doing the planking) but eventually we figured it out and got it done. I'll be honest: this was mostly Aaron's doing. I'm not quite tall enough, coordinated enough, or math-y enough to handle crown molding. It was for sure the hardest part of doing this room!


After I got all patches and caulk on the trim sanded down I just taped and painted. After the mental and physical work involved with getting the planks and trim up, painting the trim was so pleasantly easy and mindless.

We also had to sand down part of the bedroom door. When the house settled the door frame became not even close to square so that when the door was closed I had to put every bit of my (not inconsiderable) weight behind my shoulder and SHOVE. It closes perfectly now!

And then! I cleaned. I mean, DEEP cleaned. Thanks to all the sanding there was dust in every last nook and cranny of that room. I washed everything from the fan blades to the baseboards then gave the most thorough vacuuming of my life.

And then, finally...I had an empty room.




Which is good because I had a hallway full of baby furniture and accoutrements that we were all a little tired of stepping around!


SO CLOSE. Stay tuned for a few more snippets and the final product!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

PSA: The Perfect Baseball Tee

This morning Janssen and I went shopping and ducked into Forever 21. Right by the door were these baseball tees. We each grabbed a color before making the rounds and heading for the dressing room.



Here's the thing with baseball tees- if you steal one from the guy's side of the aisle, the neck is probably too small. But, for some reason, if you get a women's baseball tee the neckline is super WIDE (I love my maternity one but I have to safety-pin my bra straps in place). I've been through quite a few baseball tees at this point and have found decent ones but have yet to find one that I LOVE.

Until today!



Not only is it a great length with a perfect neckline and an awesome little pocket, it is ALSO $7.80. I bought two different colors (I think Janssen did too). I got them in a size large and they fit just dandy over my 7 month belly. I can easily wear them afterward as well. The best!

Go get one!
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Bump Style | Borrowing

It seems way too early to be looking longingly at Aaron's side of the closet but...here we are.


My shape changes with each pregnancy and this time I am carrying low and large! Proof:


Thirty weeks with each of my three babies. I think it's pretty obvious why I felt cutest with Baby 2...

We went out to dinner with Janssen and her husband the other night and I reached for a maternity shirt that I haven't even worn yet this pregnancy but which easily got me through to the end with my boys. It gaped heavily in the bust and the buttons over my belly threatened to pop off when I took a deep breath. After multiple attempts at adjusting I finally turned to Aaron and said, "Can I please borrow a shirt?" He must have seen the desperation in my face because he just laughed and said, "Sure."


Every once in a while I get a little sad that this is our last baby. But then I look at my swollen feet and fingers (my wedding ring won't even go over my knuckle) and I think, "Oh thank heavens I'm done."

Two more months. I can do this!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nursery Progress | Painting the Planks



After my caulk and patches sat for 24 hours I gave all the planks a gentle sanding with an electric sander and 150 grit sandpaper. I wore my mask for this. Again, miserable, but sawdust got EVERYWHERE and I felt no need to introduce that stuff into my lungs as they healed from a summer cold.

Glamorous!


Also, my dad put The Fear of the Sander in me when he was giving me my power tool demonstration. At the time it didn't even have any actual sandpaper on it (just the velcro pad) and it easily took a corner off a plastic tub in their garage. He said, "Imagine that's your knuckle." No thank you. I wore Aaron's heavy-duty gardening gloves every time I used the sander and came out mercifully unscathed.

After sanding I vacuumed the crevices then wiped down the walls with a damp rag to remove any sawdust. Then I taped, and got to priming! Finally!



I felt like getting the tape up where the chair rail would eventually go helped me to finally see the end goal. Up until this point I had sort of been questioning my decision!


I felt even better once I got one wall primed.

Hallelujah this just might work.

I primed all the boards and then had to walk away for a weekend (plans, etc.) but came back a few days later and gave the priming another gentle sanding and wiping down. I learned from my previous sanding experience that I would end up with stuff coating my person. Since I had recently washed my hair I added a shower cap.

It just gets better and better!


I rolled on a second coat of primer. Then I switched to 220 grit sandpaper and gave it another sanding.

At this point my dad came over and helped me finish the corners. There are 4 rounded corners in the room and I spent ages at Home Depot agonizing over trim options trying to come up with something that could be used to finish them. They had nothing workable for my skill level. Finally I called my dad and he said he'd come over and help me out. There were angles and a chop saw involved and I never would have figured it out on my own. This is what 20+ years of carpentry allows you to do:


He used more of the 5mm underlayment and just caulked it into place once the pieces were cut. After the caulk dried I ground it down with the sander to give a more rounded edge then primed to match the rest of the planking.

I gave the planking one more really good wipe down with a damp rag because it was PAINTING TIME HALLELUJAH.

I agonized over my paint options (is there really a difference in quality between brands? What about rollers?) but it was this post from Vintage Revivals that finally convinced me to shell out for Sherwin Williams paint. I put a lot of time and energy into this project and we are going to live here for a while so I really wanted the paint to look awesome and be durable. I color matched to my existing trim and crossed my fingers.


Priming: done!

I say this as a totally unsponsored statement: I am a convert to Sherwin Williams. The cheap paint I used under the planks gave crap coverage. After 2 coats I had gone through most of the gallon and would have had to go buy another gallon and roll on at least one more coat to get full coverage. The Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint went on like a DREAM. I probably could have gotten away with one coat but I did two and still had a half gallon left with which to paint my trim a few days later. It was AMAZING. Lesson learned.


Also: painting my 6 inch planks with a 6 inch roller was extremely satisfying. It felt so very orderly. So there's that.

I did one coat and by the time I got back to my starting place the paint was already dry. So I just went around again. It's possible that I should have sanded but by that point I was all sanded out. I don't think my paint job is any worse for the wear because of it.


The paint likes to bubble a bit between the planks. I took a cheap x-acto knife and swiped it through to remove any paint.


After the planks dried I went around and gave everything a general wipe down (sawdust. everywhere). And then I pulled up all the plastic and dared to dream that someday, eventually, I would be finished.

Next up: trim!
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