Monday, March 17, 2014

In which we get our rear in gear and paint Grasshopper's nursery.

A little while back Liam and I sat down and looked at what we still needed to do to prepare for Grasshopper's arrival. "Okay," we said, "that's a lot, but it's doable." Then we looked at a calendar and did some counting and realized "Holy baby bump, Batman, we've only got 13 weekends left in which to fit in all of these projects. And that's if Grasshopper abides by the schedule!"

A fire appropriately lit underneath our behinds, we've set to work. We've filled in the rest of our baby registry, we rearranged our bedroom and moved book cases and piles and piles of books (where did they all come from? Why are there so many cookbooks?!), we repaired the attic pull-down stairs (Mike at Avery Construction is delightful, by the way, if you're looking for a handyman. He even vacuumed up his construction debris afterwards.) and started stuffing yet more stuff up there, and finally, this past weekend, we painted Grasshopper's nursery.

By "we" I mean "Liam", because I was chased out of the room by paint fumes. I was able, however, to scrub the walls down and help prepare them for painting.

The previous homeowner's dubious choice of overall wall paint color was revealed. Combined with their "handyman" inclinations which we keep discovering around the house, I have a very low opinion of their decision-making abilities.
Ew. No. Mustard/institutional school bus/No. 2 Pencil yellow. Incidentally, does anyone know if you can just lop a (TV) cable off and cover it with a solid wall plate?

The Internet revealed to us that the method of painting that professionals use is not the "W" or "M" path that most people are taught. Instead, one is supposed to paint overlapping vertical sections with a long handled roller. Scrubbing/prepping the walls took an hour. Taping the details took another hour (there were a lot of edges). Painting the edges and the details took the longest at about an hour and a half. The actual painting of walls (using the method of the professionals) took about one hour in total.

Grasshopper Green for Grasshopper!

The paint shows up a little brighter than we expected, but we suspect that most of that stems from the bright blue Circus Tent effect of the painter's tape still up. It will be a much more soothing room once the blue comes down, and once we put in some dark green accents like a grass decal border on the bottom.
I'm trying to find a wall decal like this for the bottom edge of the wall. We could hide ferocious animals in the grass! Rawr!
Painting: check! Now to choose a crib.

Monday, March 10, 2014

In which Nashua proved too studly to be a stud dog, and we rearrange the bedroom because of REASONS (nesting)

Liam and I have felt very grown up lately, in ways which we did not before, because we do Grown Up Things like go to school board meetings and vote on budgets. It struck us, as we left the meeting last week at 12:15 (we were all very tired, and all very cranky with a small group of cantankerous residents who felt the need to argue every warrant article and who started getting belligerent when the votes weren't going their way. It was a shame, really, because they were bringing up some good points for discussion, but nobody wants to side with the Jerks when they start name-calling, and I think they shot themselves and their causes in the foot, so to speak.) that while neither of us particularly enjoyed going out to bars to socialize, or going to late night parties, or going out to see live music (note: Elisabeth finds live music particularly boring, except for classical concerts, or anything with violins), we were willing to stay out late to perform our civic duties.
Then we went home and ate some chocolate chips right from the bag, so I think that our adulthood is still a work in progress.
(In other news, in case you haven't been following the subject, Merrimack Valley School District will soon start offering full-day kindergarten, which is tremendous and fantastic.)

Liam's shoulder started a backwards slide in to pain again. We are grateful that spring is approaching, because that means no more snow to shovel. We're fairly certain that the 18" of snow that we got overnight in February was the cause of his shoulder reinjury. Spring can't come fast enough! We can barely see safely out of our driveway as we leave for work in the morning, and I've taken to throwing a few shovelfuls of softened snow from the tops of our snow banks (which were about 7'+ for a while there) out in to the road to melt every day, just hoping to help our line of sight clear better. I am forbidden by Liam to do anything more, anything heavier, although my doctor hasn't given me any technical restrictions beyond "What your body thinks it can handle". My abdomen muscles tell me when to quit, and Grasshopper makes many things quite uncomfortable. Grasshopper's newest trick is showing me how it can almost reach my ribs, and then jabbing me in two directions at once. Kicks and jabs are strong enough now that I am actually surprised and jump when I feel them. Two days ago I felt an elbow (or a knee, or a heel, I couldn't tell) drag across my belly. That was disconcerting.

Nesting has reached an all time high. We're still getting rid of multiple trash bags of Things each week, and even more gets donated constantly. We still haven't painted the nursery, but we've cleared the large bookshelves that live in that room in preparation for moving them out, and then yesterday I decided that we needed to rearrange our bedroom right now Because Reasons. Liam was very obliging, but I wonder how much of that is just his ability to recognize Crazy Eyes, and how much of it was actually the way he wanted it rearranged. It was his idea to lower the mattress in our bed such that I can actually easily get in and out of bed instead of heaving myself on to it ("tossing and turning" is more like "a slowly capsizing barge, with lots of grunting and huffing").

Nashua-the-dog was pulled from the Guiding Eyes stud service program because, after evaluation, they decided that he was too, uh, studly to be a stud (meaningful look). Fortunately, the ATF wants him, and he went happily off this past week to his new training where he gets to sniff things as his job! I always suspected that he would be happiest in a sniffing position, as his love of sniffing and scents surmounted even his love of food. For a dog, this translates in to a whole awful lot. Liam is happy that he is going on to be useful, and saddened that his beloved puppy won't be doing what we spent a year preparing him for. The ATF's training requirements will mean that Nashua will need to learn a new skill set that his Guiding Eyes for the Blind training did not include, but he has a good basic skill set down already that makes him valuable.