What a Weekend! (29w3d)

Wow, what a weekend. The carpet is in, and the house is about 70% put back together. Most of our furniture is back inside (from the back patio) and in the right rooms.

Paul really really stepped up this weekend. I commended him for doing real Daddy stuff this weekend by working SUPER hard doing stuff he didn’t wanna do simply because it had to be done, and I couldn’t physically help him with it. Paul was up until 4:30 on Saturday morning clearing out the house. He was unloading bookcases, liquor cabinets and dressers and then moving the furniture outside onto the patio until the wee hours. I had to stop before midnight because I was having some pretty painful contractions that forced me to go lay down. (Whoever said that Braxton Hicks contractions don’t hurt was a LIAR.) I dozed off and on, trying to get up and come help every hour or so and collapsing back into bed within a couple of steps.

Paul came to bed at 4:30am. I got up at 6:30 and started working again, letting Paul sleep until 7:00. The installers called at 7:00 and said they’d be there at 8:00. But we still had our bedroom to finish packing (our nightstands and general daily use stuff…) Paul ended up finishing that part of packing because I had to take our dog Kishou to go get a bath at Petsmart to get her out of the house while the installers were there. I came home later with bagels for breakfast to find the couches and bedroom dressers in the backyard, the bed in the garage and pad already laid down!

Paul and I spent the next couple hours on the back patio doing maintenance and cleaning projects while the installers worked. (Paul cut a new ventilation hole in our entertainment cabinet and installed a fan to help cool our system that it trying to overheat.) I got cleaning supplies so that I could clean/dust the furniture before it came back in the house. (I wanted to clean the leather couches, but they were sitting in the hot sun.)

In just under 5 hours, the carpet was done! The installers helped Paul put the bed back together (even though they’re not supposed to) because Paul had moved so much of the furniture for them. The couches and recliners came back in and that’s about it. We tipped them (and gave them a 6-pack of beer) and Paul and I left to go get food and collect the dog from her bath. We returned and collapsed onto our bare mattress for a fantastic (in Paul’s case) nearly 4-hour nap.

Saturday night was very relaxed, as we were both still very tired after our nap. I slowly worked my way around the house cleaning stuff (OMG, ‘Magic Erasers’ are the single most appropriately named product EVER!) and Paul worked on cleaning up cables for our electronics. It was a quiet evening, and we both collapsed into bed (still unmade) around midnight.

Sunday found us starting the morning at Cracked Egg for breakfast (Peanut Butter
& Banana french toast!!) and then hitting Target to pick up what turns out to be the perfect light for the nursery! We came back home and were soon joined by Paul’s parents who were ready to help us build furniture. Jeanne spent the first hour+ wiping down everything in sight with her microfiber cloths, as there’s a heckuva lot of dust everywhere now. Paul and his dad tackled the new desk and hutch for the office – which turned into a MUCH bigger project than any of us imagined.

Jeanne and I built the 4-drawer dresser for the nursery (she and I built a couple of them a few months ago for our bedroom, so we were old hats at it) and then moved on to the crib. I picked up three battery-powered screwdrivers for the weekend and they made all the difference in the world! ($8 at Wal-mart and SO worth it!) It was pretty awesome to be sitting in my son’s room, building his crib. It went together much easier than I expected, honestly and looks just fabulous! (Thank you again, Aunt Nita!) Now all we need is a mattress for the thing! Ha!

We called it a night on Sunday and came back Monday evening to continue working. Tom and Jeanne have been great about helping us with this stuff. Jeanne and I put together the last dresser (baby’s room is getting one of our 4-drawer dressers, so we replaced it with a 6-drawer model) while Tom and Paul moved the trundle beds into the guest room/office and built the horizontal shelving unit. It’s SO great to finally have all those boxes out of the garage and have everything built! (Oh, and Tom took the slot machine and put it in his office at The Sun, so that’s even more room we have now!)

It’s been an amazingly busy weekend. Paul and I are still recovering – I accidentally took a 2-hour nap this afternoon because I sat down to have a snack. We’re plugging away at putting the house back together – there’s still a fair amount of stuff on the back patio. But we have this weekend to work on it and evenings this week and next week (altho not Thursday evenings, cuz our Childbirth classes start on Thursday) to get the house into shape before Oin & Cynthia are here for the shower, and all our other friends are invited over to see the nursery!

So for all of that – Paul and I are both astounded that we’re finally here. The point at which we’d be setting up the nursery and having the paint done, carpet in, furniture built always seemed SO FAR away. And now it’s here. It’s entirely likely that we will have our baby NEXT MONTH. Unreal.

(And no, there’s no pics yet. We’ve taken pics along the way as the nursery came together. I want to get the last things hung up on the wall and get the crib set up with linens before pics of the nursery are posted. Another week or so….)

Diapers & Fun Stuff (29w1d)

Lots has been going on in addition to boring appointments. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a real planner. So researching stuff for our little guy hasn’t been a burden. One of the first things I started taking a look at was cloth diapers.

Paul and I (truthfully, more Paul) have become a lot more eco-conscious since I got pregnant. I think it’s natural for expecting parents to start thinking more about the kind of world they’re leaving for their kid. The facts about disposable diapers are just terrifying. Bottom line, in addition to whatever goes into them during manufacturing (IE tons of chemicals in the plastics manufacturing process and the bleaching process for the filler, and the chemical compounds that absorb the wetness) they stick around in landfills for somewhere between 200-500 years. So, enter cloth diapers.

Cloth diapers have changed incredibly in the last 30 years. Gone are layer upon layer of cotton diapers secured with safety pins and crammed into a pair of rubber pants with too-tight gathers at the legs to prevent leaks. Today’s cloth diapers work similarly to disposable diapers, but with varying abilities to add (much thinner) layers for varying needs.

Cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run over disposables – even when you factor in the cost of washing them ourselves. (At least here in Las Vegas where water and power are cheap.) That said, cloth diapers main barrier to entry is the start-up cost. At an average of $15-$25 per diaper, building enough of a stash to allow for laundry days means a fairly large initial investment. (The used cloth diaper market is HUGE.)

But I found a brand of diapers that has been around for quite some time in their native Japan, and has been brought to the States in the last year or so: Kawaii Baby Diapers. They’re getting rave reviews all over the internet (on baby websites, and diaper blogs – yes… these things exist) and they’re about a quarter of the price!! No, they’re not organic cotton, and they do have velcro fasteners. I’m totally OK with all of this. Why? Because I can get a 20-diaper stockpile for $115! That makes this a MUCH more viable option for us!

We’ll still end up using disposable diapers for the first month or so, as cloth diapers tend to be a little big between the legs of a teeny newborn. But we’re really happy to be able to try out cloth diapers. We’re not concerned about the extra work of a couple of loads of laundry a week. The benefits of cloth diapering make it worth it to us. I haven’t purchased our diapers yet, but I will in the next couple of weeks. (I’ve been holding off as much as I can on buying things until after we have the nursery put together – and after the shower.)

Speaking of the shower: I’m having one at work too! I can’t believe that two weeks from Saturday is the shower at Paul’s parent’s place! I’m having such a good time seeing the RSVPs trickle in on the Evite. Especially now that more of Paul’s friends are responding that they’ll be able to attend. I know he’s really stoked that his buddies will be at the shower too. (Although I think we’re gonna have to get creative on the seating! I’m hoping it’s a lovely day outside so we can take advantage of the patio.) We’ll have two babies at the shower, because Caroline is bringing her 7-month-old little girl and Jeremiah and Jamila are coming from San Diego and bringing their 4-month-old little boy! Paul and I are SO looking forward to having friends and family gathered to celebrate our little man. It’s just going to be such a great afternoon (and weekend!)

But, I found out this week my co-workers will be throwing me a shower at work too, a couple days before the shower at Tom & Jeanne’s! We’ll connect up our three offices with the video conference system so friends in the Northern offices can share in the fun as well. I was really happy to hear that something is being planned. I tend to miss out on a lot in my office since my physical office is so far removed from everyone else – which facilitates getting stuff done, but can have an isolating effect as well. I remember Caroline’s shower late last summer – everyone had a good time. I hope mine is as enjoyable.

Other big thing right now is the house. We’re (again, mostly Paul) killing ourselves this week to clear out our belongings in preparation for the carpet install on Saturday. Dangit, there’s a lot of stuff in this house. But at the same time, I’m so stinking excited about the new carpet and then putting the house back together – because it means the nursery will be mostly put together, and we’ll be that.much.closer to having our baby here!! Paul and I both spend a moment or two in the baby’s room in the mornings when it’s bright and full of sunlight. We love the colors we painted. I can’t wait to finish the room in the next week.

Help Wanted – May 2 (28w4d)

We’re looking for help next Sunday (and possibly next Saturday afternoon) with moving furniture and building new furniture after the carpet is in.

We’ve got two IKEA dressers, an IKEA shelving unit, a desk and hutch, and the crib to build. Paul could use some help moving two small dressers, and the guest beds as well as possibly our bed.

If you’re local and have some time next Saturday or Sunday – we’d really appreciate the help, since there’s very little I can do to help lift or move anything. We’ve got a dolly and power screwdriver. We’ll even feed ya!

If you can help – reply to this message or email me (sarah at paulandsarah dot org) and let us know?


Nursery Happenings (27w4d)

This week is gonna be a busy week. The nursery is about 70% cleared out (I guess it’s still “the office” until it’s fully cleared out, huh?) Painting MUST happen this weekend, because carpet happens next Saturday, May 1. So the office has to get emptied before the weekend.

Every evening, Paul and I will be in the office sorting, packing and moving stuff out into the garage temporarily. (Well, I won’t be moving anything, but I’ll be helping to sort and pack.) We really need to have a garage sale, but I’ll settle for another round of donations to Big Brothers, Big Sisters. (It’s just such a PITA to inventory everything before making the donation – but it’s necessary to get the tax write-off!) Well, except for tonight. I have homework and tests to finish for Accounting class tomorrow.

This weekend, we’ll paint the nursery (presumably with help from friends – depending on how the timing works out) so that it can be good and dry (with windows open) by next weekend. So I’ll be buying paint at Home Depot at some point this week during my lunch break. I wish I could find a coupon or a sale!

Then all next week, we box up the house and move IT into the garage. (Did I mention that our garage – despite Paul’s best efforts and an already HUGE pickup from SafeNest – is about 85% full already?) The carpet guys will move the furniture, but we have to unload it all first. So I’ll be culling our impressive bookcases, and attempting to sort through mountains of clothes that need to be donated. (Again with the inventorying…) Paul is threatening to send me away on the day of the carpet install, saying I’ll probably just be in the way.

Then once the carpet is in, we have a week of evenings and one weekend to put the house back together (including building all the stuff we got at IKEA yesterday and the crib) before the Baby Shower. Oh, and Baby classes start happening in the evenings there too.

THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO! But I’m looking forward to it. We’re *finally* at the point where we can be DOING stuff for the nursery. Nothing like a deadline to get one’s butt in gear! (I did a little figuring this weekend, and I’ll hit 36 weeks around June 19th… so any time after that we could have our little guy. So I’m all the more glad to be getting the house really ready for him!)

IKEA Madness (27w3d)

What a weekend! We spent the weekend in Orange County to attend the memorial service and life celebration of Paul’s grandmother (Gigi) who passed away late last year. The services were lovely at the church and the graveside, and in truly Gorman tradition, the family picnic that followed at Doheney State Beach was great. Lots of old pictures on display at the picnic, some of which I’d never seen before. Gigi and her husband Howard were truly special people. I wish I could have met Howard, but I’m so glad I knew Gigi.

We stayed at the Pacific Edge Hotel with Paul’s parents. They’ve been going there for getaways for YEARS – Cassie (ah hem) got her start there. We were *literally* on the beach, with the high tide waves crashing against our building. We left our balcony sliding door open all night just for the novelty of hearing the waves. Paul’s parents were next door, so we enjoyed their company and passed coffee, pastries and hair dryers across balconies. We watched dolphins from our balcony on Saturday morning too!

For Paul and I, this weekend was as close to a “babymoon” as we were gonna get due to financial concerns and my inability to take time off. But honestly, this weekend was just what we needed after this last very stressful month. (Granted… a day or two longer would have been just fabulous, but we’ll take what we can get!) There were plenty of tears at Gigi’s memorial – but they were vastly outnumbered by the laughter and smiles of a Gorman get-together. And everyone is SO HAPPY for us about our little man. I’ve never been happier to have my belly blessed and patted as I was this weekend. (Although the little guy sure picked a crappy time to have a quiet weekend! He hardly kicked at all. But he’s whacking away at me as I type this now on the couch at home.)

I got to see my Dad and Grandma too, as they attended Saturday’s events as well. I am so lucky to have married into such a warm and welcoming family. Paul’s Uncle Howie and Aunt Chris especially have always welcomed my family to gatherings (like their Christmas party) which is where my grandmother spent a fair amount of time with Gigi over the years. Dad and Grandma wanted to attend the memorial to pay their respects anyway, and were gratified to be invited to attend the family picnic as well. It was just fabulous for me to have so much family together. (If only Oin and Cynthia could have been there too!)

So today on our way home (after breakfast at Tom & Jeanne’s fave spot: Snooty Fox) we hit IKEA for a couple of things for the nursery. We’ve discovered a fondness for their Malm dressers, and plan on having two of them in the baby’s room. They’re perfect height for a changing table too – just add pad! But we figured while we were there that it would be a waste if we didn’t look around for a storage option or two for the new office/guest room since we’re losing all our current storage in the office/nursery. And I had to look at the Baby section. The closest IKEA to us is nearly 5 hours away, so we had to make this trip count!

In the end, we got the two dressers we came for, a storage unit for the office, a sturdy pillow for me for breastfeeding in bed, a very-cushioned play mat for the baby, a curtain rod, and some cookies. We found curtains for the nursery, but they were out of the light blue color we want. So we’re hoping Auntie Lisa can pick those up and bring them out when she and Uncle Mikey come out for the shower next month. I was very tempted to pick up another component for the play mat – the baby gym, but I managed to show some restraint.

Paul was amazing as he tetris’d everything into the back of the SUV. After 3 hours I was completely done. My back was killing me, I was having belly pains that I think were braxton hicks contractions, and was dizzy. I’m embarrassed to say I was not a happy camper. A sit-down and a drink helped some, but I wasn’t back to my cheery (ha!) self for a little while.

This trip was a big milestone though. I remember finding out when the memorial was scheduled and thinking that we could fit in an IKEA trip to get dressers – and thinking about HOW FAR away that was, that I’d be SO pregnant by then. Heh. Well, it was very very cool to finally be here. Paul and I are freaking out a tad at everything that has to get done in the next three weeks (and weekends) but we’re excited that concrete progress will be visible by then. (And honestly, with Dr. Scarypant’s predictions at my last appointment, we’re glad to be crossing things off the “getting ready for baby” list now.)

Oh, and Paul took pics this weekend. Here’s me on Friday evening before dinner. I didn’t realize until later that my belly fit just perfectly under the balcony rail. The next morning, I nearly knocked my coffee off the railing with my boobs. I guess I’m not as aware of how big I’m getting as I think I am!

Sarah +1 in Laguna