Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

To my hubby and I--we have officially been homeowners for a year! It's amazing how fast you can fill up a house. Even though we didn't move in until mid-September, I can't believe it's been a year since we signed our lives away! The good news is, that despite some creative differences (the laundry room, no downstairs closets), we are in love with our house. Now if only the maid who is supposed to clean our house at night while we sleep would do a better job...

Unfinished Projects

Allow me to introduce you to Tim the Toolman Taylor. You may remember him from the TV show Home Improvement. He also apparently was the previous owner of our home. We gradually have been fixing Tim Taylor's improvement of our home. Rumor has it that he was an electrical engineer, but somehow installed all GFCI plugs in our kitchen (which is a BAD thing), and didn't ground the wires probably. He did a shoddy job on tiling upstairs as evidenced by the 4 inches of grout behind the master bathroom toilet where tile should be.
Speaking of toilets...we hate all the toilets in our house. They all have issues with flushing, and so far two have leaked because the bolts connecting the tank to the bowl were corroding. Nicholas fixed one of the toilets with no problems. We decided to wait to fix the downstairs toilet, a little too long because it started leaking a whole lot. When Nicholas went to replace the bolts, he found that Tim Taylor had poured some kind of compound on the bolts when prevents you from unscrewing them (and incidentally, probably made them corrode faster). We bought a new toilet, which was on the list anyway. When Nicholas removed the old toilet, he found the wood laminate floor was ruined.
Nicholas went in search of matching floors to no avail. Not only did he have a hard time matching the color, he found nothing that matched the grooves. So our first major home improvement project became the downstairs bathroom, something I had not envisioned redoing! Did I mentioned this project started on Memorial Day weekend? 18 sq. feet of floor space.
It took us awhile to find tile that we liked because the options are pretty slim for 6x6 floor tiles. I also had a problem paying an exorbitant amount of money for tile, no matter how little we needed. Obviously home improvement projects take longer when you do them yourself, and there really isn't much space in the bathroom for more than one person. It took Nicholas 5 days to tile the bathroom in small chunks.
2 days--planning, studying, making sure everything would go right.
1 day--mortaring down all the uncut tiles
1 day--cutting tiles and mortaring down cut tiles
1 day--grouting
It sounds silly that it took so long, but once you mortar you have to wait about 24 hours before you step on the tile. We had exactly the right amount of tile, so Nicholas worked very hard to plan the pattern out perfectly so the cutting wouldn't waste any tiles.
After the tiling, he installed the baseboards and caulk where necessary. Then we puttied the nail holes and painted all the trim and both sides of the door.
We replaced the door handle.
Nicholas installed the toilet, twice, after he had to get extra wax and level it with plastic shims, but I won't elaborate further. :)
There is only one thing left before we have a fully functioning bathroom!
The pedestal sink. This is what it looks like right now. When Nicholas removed it, we praised the name of Tim Taylor yet again. See the two holes at the bottom of the white area before the paint? That is the proper way to secure a pedestal sink to the wall, but they were non-functional holes void of securing implements. Nicholas had to cut the grout at the bottom of the tile back splash because those tiles were grouted to the top of the sink. After he finished that, he tugged on the wall a little bit to see if the sink was attached any other way, and the entire wall bowed. That is because the sink was attached to the wall with some type of adhesive which resulted in the brown area of the picture where the drywall was torn away. Now, Nicholas is going to have to repair the drywall before he can re-install the sink. But one day (soon) I will have a fully-functioning downstairs bathroom, which would have been helpful during my first trimester.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby A--10 Months

You have Personality!
And LOVE to make faces!
You like to play by yourself, until you realize there is no one else around.
You are ready to walk and will take few steps when you forget that you are too scared.
And taste seems like your primary sense!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday
I am not writing a Not Me! post today despite the fact that MckMama is on hiatus from this blog carnival until her baby is born.
Speaking of babies, I'm gonna have one.
I do not slightly enjoy the shock value of telling people I am pregnant. My husband does not constantly make fun of me for how I announce our "big" news. I would never announce life changing news in a joking manner. (Besides, in middle school, my friends thought I was one of the most serious people according to AT's Seriousity survey. Seriously.)
My blog has not been light on content the past few weeks because I have been resting a lot more than "doing," and no one needs lengthy posts about me laying on the couch watching T.V.
I do not have grand plans in my head about how to rearrange our house so we actually have room for a baby. I certainly haven't entertained the thought that we don't actually have room for a baby. That would be silly...the thought that 2 people living in a 3 bedroom house don't have room for a baby. I have not repeatedly told my husband that he needs a separate house for all his artwork and art-making supplies. He has not stated (more than once) that he promises to make smaller than life-size work. Because let's face it, there is simply not enough room in this house for 4 man size glass torsos, 4 child size glass torsos, AND a baby.
Incidentally, I have been doing a few other things besides laying on the couch watching T.V.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dallas visit in July

A couple weeks ago we went to Dallas to visit my family. We also went to visit my Grandpa in Sulphur Springs. Baby A rode along, even though there is no relation, I think my Grandpa enjoyed seeing a "young'un."
My cousin, Angela

Baby A finally found a "puppy" that is her size!
I considering new names for Baby A: Snarly, Growler, Little Miss Scrunchie Face
Or maybe just cutie!
Hmm..Aunt Dana, your hair looks awfully tempting to pull/put in my mouth!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Still Here!

We are, in fact, still here, I have not been neglecting my blog because I am not blogging anymore. We are not as busy (with blog-worthy content) as we have been the past few months. We have slowed down on celebrating the life milestones, thank goodness!
The past few days I have been doing a little scrapbooking...from Summer 2009. I am amazed when I look back and think about how busy we were enjoying our Rhode Island family and sight-seeing all over New England. Since Austin is our home, we don't really have that much "sight-seeing" to do. Fortunately, the Texas weather has been kind to us thus far. We have yet to have a 100 degree day, although, to be honest, it is still unbearably hot! This time last year, Austin had seen over 20 days of straight 100 degree weather. That is one record I am happy to have missed. I am happy to report that I have completed the Summer 2009 scrapping with only a few tears, since that concluded with our move from Rhode Island.
In other news (because I refused to blog about TV, I will not relate to you how we have been watching the series Bones on Netflix), we have been without a downstairs bathroom since Memorial Day weekend. It is looking like we might be back in business by this weekend! Of course, every home improvement project turns into more work than originally thought, but we are on the upswing, and fortunately for us, the additional work didn't actually cost a whole lot of extra money. More on the bathroom (with pictures) later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Let's Go For a Walk--Dick Nichols Park

Dick Nichols Park is a nice little park nestled in South Austin. It has been the closest park to me in my last 3-4 Austin residences. It has a lot of amenities. Tennis Courts--
A really nice playground with swings, a pavillon and shaded picnic tables with BBQ pits--
A free public pool, including a kiddie pool, plenty of space for the big kids to play, and 6 or so lanes for lap swimming (that I have swam many miles in)--
There is also a mile long loop that is paved, with some shaded areas, but mostly pretty sunny.
I like to rollerblade on the trail, and usually don't fall too much.
There are lots of wooded areas (which also equals nice wildlife, including snakes, birds, and furry animals), and plenty of Texas wildflowers, when they are in season.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mini-J in Austin

A couple of weeks ago, Mini-J came to stay with Aunt Dana and Uncle Nick. I met her mommy in Temple to pick her up. Then we took all the "slides" (a.k.a hilly interstate roads) to Austin. We spent some time at the really cool playground at the shopping center across the street from us while we were waiting to watch Toy Story 3...on opening weekend. Mini-J liked the movie and only spent a little time in my lap.

On Monday, we got ready for Vacation Bible School. Mini-J seemed really excited about it, apparently until I left her there. Nicholas spent the second half of the morning with Mini-J at VBS, but that was her last day. Monday afternoon, Uncle Nick took Mini-J to the Austin Nature Center for exploring and animal observing. Mini-J really liked the exploration room.
We took her swimming Monday night, but she has not spent much time in the pool. She did fine in the kiddie pool, but was not really interested in getting off the steps in the big pool, even when we offered to carry her around ourselves.
Tuesday, since Mini-J wasn't interested in VBS, Uncle Nick took her to a free movie event to see Ice Age 3. Then they went to Zilker park for some more playground time because Mini-J LOVES playgrounds.
Since Mini-J didn't want to go to VBS, and Aunt Dana had more work to do than she was expecting during the day, her mommy came to pick her up sooner than expected. We had a great time with Mini-J, and look forward to more alone time with her in the future. On a side note, her breakfast of choice was Wheat Chex (super hippie food) with no prompting from Aunt Dana!