4.21.2014

The Pantry is Painted

It's not a super exciting paint job - just plain old white - but it's nice to have gotten it done because it was not fun to do. Why not? Well, painting 5 little cubbie shelves, a drawer, trim around the pantry and both sides of the two doors = a lot of annoying brush work.

This is what it looked like yesterday morning


Full of stuff and painted dingy white. You can't tell how bad the "white" is, but it wasn't painted well and I'm not a fan of dirty white colors. I like white trim - nice, crisp, clean.

First up though was cleaning the pantry out. Which involved throwing away a lot of expired items


I started throwing each expired item out as I got to it, but there were so fucking many I just collected them all on one shelf and threw them away at the end. And there were a lot of them


Those were all of our secondary spices (we've got a spice drawer near the stove), but clearly I need to pick up some more items next time I'm at the grocery store.

When I was done, this is what I was left with


Once it was cleared out of all the items it was in desperate need of cleaning


Then it was time to paint. I wasn't very excited, but sigh....it had to be done


All the cut-ins


Now you can see how dingy that white paint is. I was glad to get it covered with a nice new coat, but after things were rolled, it still didn't look great


And so another coat went on. I wasn't 100% thrilled with 2 coats, so I honestly probably could have done a third, but it was a long day yesterday and each coat takes about an hour and I finished at about 8:30 and wasn't super interested in doing another. Damn laziness. Chris and I haven't been super thrilled with how the Kelly Moore water/oil hybrid paint brushes and rolls on. It sprays on great with really good coverage, but when brushing or rolling it on it does not cover well at all. I think when we're done with this can we're going to try out Ben Moore's version to see if we get better results.

Anyways, here's the pantry painted!


It definitely looks a lot better, but it still needs work: I'd like to organize the items inside in aesthetically pleasing but still logical way and the leaded glass and trim need to be cleaned because previous painters got paint all over it (booooo). But the best news is that I'm done painting, hooray!

Oh, and while I was painting the second coat Chris was doing something else in here...


Ceiling repair!

4.18.2014

Zoe's First Baseball Game

This is a little late, but I'm behind, so....here it is! :)

3 weeks ago was Zoe's first baseball game. And it was awesome. A lot of people asked me why I didn't take Zoe to her first baseball game last season, and the answer was simple: my dad and I have a tradition of going to Opening Day together and have for many, many, many years and I wanted her first game to be on Opening Day because that day is always special to me. Zoe of course will not remember it AT ALL, but it's a special tradition with my dad and so I wanted it to be memorable.

We didn't know what the weather was going to be like or how she was going to do, so Chris and I were a little nervous. We decided it would be best to take two cars in the event that Zoe had a freak out and so Chris could take her home and I could stay at the game with my dad. After all, her bed time is 7:30 and the game was scheduled to start at 7:05.

And then there was the fun of the weather. It had been super rainy for a couple days before and it was supposed to be rainy again. We really wanted to tailgate, but with a little tyke making the trek with us we decided at the last minute we would eat at the restaurant inside the stadium. That didn't save us from the pouring rain that showered us while we were waiting to get in though


Zoe was such a rockstar though - she didn't mind it one bit at all


It was actually kind of astonishing how well she did while getting rained on. I had my jacket that was waterproof wrapped around her (and it wasn't cold, just wet) and even though her head and face got soaked, she had fun gabbing away, pulling at my drawstrings and snuggling while we all waited in line.

Then of course it was off to eat dinner, which is always a fun time for Zoe


We brought lots of food to keep her occupied for dinner and throughout the game (especially because we didn't know if she was going to stay awake and get more hungry). She was super good while we ate dinner and had fun watching all the people walk by.

Then it was time to find our seats. I was a little nervous for how the game would go - would she get cold? Would she get sick of being in the Ergo? Would she have a fit or meltdown? But we just went with the flow and from very early on she was mesmerized


It was fucking HILARIOUS how serious she got when we found our seats and waited for the game to start. She needed to survey everyone, check things out and make sure everything met with her approval. She LOVED the rally towels they handed out and decided that when people swung them around they were waving and so she waved all around whenever she saw them flying in the air. It was pretty funny. She of course made friends with people sitting around us and smiled and tried to play with them. And she actually had a pretty good time watching the game. Upsidedown

 


The fireworks and cheering didn't bothered her once, she just soaked it all in.

She was awesome all through the first 3-4 innings, then we could tell she was getting tired. I was nervous what would happen but I just wrapped my arm around her, let her hold my other hand and she drifted off to sleep (she likes to snuggle like that in her Ergo when she's tired)


She totally crashed for about 3 innings


 But that didn't stop me from introducing her to Stomper


I wondered how long she'd sleep for and she lasted from about the 5th to the 7th inning and popped right awake during "God Bless America." She didn't fuss or anything - which I was super happy about. It was more like she woke up from a nap and was ready to go again. She waved again to the rally towels, tried to make everyone sitting around us her friend and was just generally a smiling, happy little baby :)

She made it through the whole game and although I was hoping her presence might bring good luck and break the A's home opener losing streak of 10 years (ughhhhhhhh), they still lost. But I could not have been prouder of my little lady. She lasted the whole game, waved all around, tried to make friends, had fun looking at the field, fussed only once and was a trooper while getting rained on. I honestly could not have asked for a better first game from her. Obviously she's an A's fan for life.

4.16.2014

Some More Nails and My Ring

Not too much progress to report, but I did work a little more on the upholstery tacks on our headboard. I am now exactly 1/4 of the way done, yay!

Zoe once again helped out, but this time allowed me to be much more productive, so that's wonderful


Nothing cuter than a baby just hanging out in a diaper, right?

I actually hit into a really good groove this time and got over double the amount of upholstery tacks in almost the same amount of time. Zoe was having fun playing, I had figured out good spacing and it just worked out well. I love it when projects go according to plan


Looking good, right? I hope so :)

I've still got to do the inside of that border piece and then move on to the other side of the bed. I also ordered more upholstery tacks because I won't have enough to get it all done with what I bought initially. I'm really loving how things are looking though and am glad that this shouldn't take FOREVER to get done, just a little while longer.

And another little piece of fun? My ring!

Because Chris and I decided to get married one night while brushing our teeth there was no large presentation of the ring. I had always thought it would be cool to design your own and so that's just what I got to do!

We went to a totally awesome local jeweler (Seelenbacher in Alameda if you're local) and got to pick everything out. I've been having REALLY bad eczema on my hands for the last almost year and so I've had allergy testing done to see what might be contributing to it. I found out (among other things) that I'm allergic to nickel and gold. I don't think I'm a platinum kind of person so when I was thinking about what metal I would want the ring made out of I was trying to think of something a little different. I liked the idea of stainless steel (a lot of men's rings are made out of it) because it was a building material. Upon talking to the jeweler though, we nixed it because he didn't feel comfortable setting stones into it because it is such a strong metal. Totally fine.

Then he brought up rose gold. Initially I was hesitant because I was afraid I would be allergic, but he was SO awesome and gave me a rose gold band and a platinum band to wear for a week to see if I had any reaction. He thought I wouldn't because rose gold is rose because of copper content so it does't have the same chemical properties as white or yellow gold. I didn't have any reaction to it, so we decided to go with it, which actually was totally cool because I love the shade of it and I love that the copper in it is a building material too.

I wanted to have my ring be a little different and always like colored stones, so I didn't want to go with standard white diamond. And also, because I'm active and always using my hands I find rings that have stones that pop out to be a little bit of a nuisance because you're always whacking it into things, so I wanted my stone flush with the band. We talked with the jeweler about all my ideas, got to pick out the stones, approve a wax mold and then...


...my ring was made! We picked it up last week and it's awesome. It's rose gold and black diamond and I LOVE it. I love that it's different, I love that the style is practical and I love that it's reflective of our hobbies and work because it's got that little bit of copper in it. It's pretty much the best ring ever :) And I think it's so cool that Chris and I got to design it together, it definitely makes it even more special. And you want to know the totally awesome part? I was completely terrified that this ring was going to cost an arm and a leg because we visited the jeweler several times, got to check out all the stones when they came in, got to have a wax mold made to approve the design, etc., but you want to know the cost of my ring? $900. How fucking awesome is that? I got to pick out everything about it, make it exactly what I wanted and it was not ridiculously priced. I love looking at it and seeing it on my finger - it's special, different, and perfectly me. Chris loves it too and opened it first when we picked it up. I love that he loves it. Yay!

4.14.2014

Bed Progress! Yeah, that's Right :)

Oh yes, that's fucking right, we've made progress on the bed! Now, don't get excited and think it's a ton of progress - because it's not - but it is progress. And every little bit helps damnit.

So what's our little progress? A drawer!


Yay! It took a little while, but we have a drawer installed in the bed, hallelujah! Chris wasn't sure whether he wanted to use bottom or side mounted drawer slides, so he bought one of both to see which one would work better. He would have preferred the bottom mount ones, but they didn't really work super great, so we went with the side mount ones


Zoe found the process enlightening


Once the drawer slides were installed Chris slid the drawer into place..


...and...MAGIC




A drawer to put stuff in! We still have 8, yes EIGHT, more to install, but now we know which slides we want to use and we've got them all purchased. Then we'll install all the fronts and hardware. It's still a little ways off, but at least we know how we're going to get there now.

Another tiny piece of progress? I FINALLY got to the nail head trim on the headboard


Zoe once again decided she needed to be heavily involved in the project by playing with my necklaces...


... and removing all my bras from my dresser (seriously, she has a weird bra obsession and takes them out of the dresser, puts them over her head so she's "wearing" it, and then crawls all over the house)


Little weirdo :)

I set up a string line to try and keep all the nails I was tacking in in a straight line, but after I hammered in the first one I sorta broke the line


So then I just said fuck it and eye-balled it from there on out


It's not perfect, but honestly, it doesn't actually bother me. I really thought it would, but it's close enough that it doesn't look terrible and reminds me that we made this whole bed and headboard ourselves. And that's pretty awesome.

I didn't get far because Zoe started getting very interested in all the hammering that was going on, but I think it's looking really good so far


Honestly, this is going to take me a lot longer than I thought it was going to, but as John from AZ DIY Guy commented on my post last Wednesday, it's always hardest to break the habit of not working on the house, and now that I've finally gotten started on one of these last bed finishing proects, it feels good to know there is actually a finish line.

4.11.2014

Zoe: 10 months

There is an adorable, crazy baby living in our house that is 10 months old


On Sunday Miss Crazy Pants hit the 10 month mark. And man oh MAN is she developing quite the little personality. This month has been filled with lots of mobility, and lots of silliness.

We don't quite have a walker on our hands yet, but I feel like it will happen soon. She's walking all along furniture, stands on her own for a couple of seconds at a time, goes from standing to squatting without help and is trying really hard to go from sitting to standing on her own. She does this weird little crawling thing that makes her look like a strange zombie because she's sort of trying to stand as she's crawling around. It's quite hilarious.

Even if she's not walking yet, she still motors all over the house and finds it very fun to explore on her own. I love that about her. She still wants to make sure you're nearby and gets a little worried if she hasn't seen you in a little while, but she is perfectly content to go crawling all over the house by herself opening doors, opening cabinets, pulling up onto furniture, finding any cup or paper that she can play with or just generally get herself into fun baby trouble


She LOVES music and loves to dance. We noticed this a month or two ago, but weren't quite sure if it really was the music she was responding to or not, but now we've got a full fledged music lover on our hands which is pretty awesome because if you didn't know, Chris and I met at Tower Records. I try to keep music playing in the house a lot and in the car because she enjoys it so much. She likes rap music a la the Roots or Mos Def, funk (LOVES), alternative/melodic (like Mumford and Sons, the Killers, Of Monsters and Men, etc.), and just general boppy music that she can clap her hands to. Sometimes she gets some hand action in there too and waves them all around. It's really all quite adorable


She's starting to be more communicative. She's always been a bit of a gabber but she's starting to be able to sign "more" and "food" which is pretty cool. She also says "momma" (she's had that word down for a couple months) and now also says "dada", "ba!" for ball and "do!" for dog. Ball and dog are definitely words that she gets really excited about saying and exclaims them. She also says "ab-ba" allllll the time. We're not quite sure what she's trying to communicate when she says it, but she says it all the time when she needs, wants or is just interested in something.

She also loves laughing. She got the sweetest little giggle and it's really fun to tickle and play with her to make her laugh. I don't think there's really anything better than a baby's laugh


She also really loves to share. If she's eating and she's happy about it and you're sitting there with her she will frequently smile so big and reach out and give you whatever she has. Almost as if she's enjoying herself so much she wants to make sure you are too. She also sometimes enjoys taking her food out of her mouth and giving it to you. That one isn't nearly as fun :) She does the same thing when she's playing - so excited about what she has and enjoying herself so much she wants to give you what she's playing with so you can have fun too. It's really quite sweet and a trait I hope never leaves her.

We've also started to try and teach her "no" the last couple of weeks. She's pretty good about it actually. She plays with something she's not supposed to and we say, "No, Zoe." She looks at us very seriously and will either stop, or get one more no and then she'll stop. But it usually doesn't take her more than 2 for her to understand that she's doing something she's not supposed to. She used to get really sad when we would tell her no - not mad, more upset with herself that she did something bad and that made her sad. Sometimes she'll start to do something she's not supposed to, stop, look at us and stop doing it and then get the BIGEGST smile on her face - so proud of herself that she knew she wasn't supposed to do it and she stopped on her own


That kiddo sure is funny.

She loves dogs so much. She sees one a block away and starts going "do! do!" and then just gets so excited if we kneel down and let her see it. She doesn't reach out a lot to touch them, but she gets very happy when they come close to her, make funny dog noises (she heard one sneeze one time and thought it was the most hilarious thing) and give her kisses. She doesn't mind their licks one bit.

And she still loves people lots and lots. She wins over people at restaurants, the grocery store, anywhere. Someone came up to me in a Costco bathroom the other day when I was changing her diaper and told me how beautiful her eyes were and how happy she was. It was a little awkward for a second (oh, here I am just wiping up some pooh), but it makes me feel very happy that she seems to bring joy to so many people with her smiles, giggles and inappropriate staring :) But honestly, it is wonderful having people come up to you randomly to tell you that your baby makes them happy. It's not a bad thing to hear


I love her smile sooooo much. Her giant smile is the best - so big that her little nose crinkles. I hope she never loses that smile. I could be having the worst day ever and that smile just lights up a room.

So that is our happy lady at 10 months. I can't wait to see her personality come out more and more and more and more. She's quite the little charmer :)

4.09.2014

Hey, Look! We Did Something!

Oh my fucking god we did some work on the house. It's a MIRACLE! Remember this rock wall in the backyard I said we wanted to take out and replace with bricks?


Oh, can't see it? That's because it sucks. Here's a better view


This rock wall was awful and I honestly don't know how we lived with it for so long. It was crappily built so it was all wobbly and we tripped on it more than a few times because there were weeds growing on it and the height was so inconsistent. It was a goal to get it out before the party because 1) it was ugly and 2) we didn't want our friends and family to trip on it either


So one day about 3 weeks ago while Zoe was taking a nap Chris and I got the sledgehammer and took turns taking some whacks at it. And surprise surprise, it didn't take long to get that sucker outta there


Once we broke out all the rocks and cleared out the space we dug out to make sure the path our new bricks would lay was straight and more or less even


Once that was done we hauled some bricks into the backyard to get started


We wanted the wall to be high enough so that you would see it and create a decent barrier between the grass and the veggie garden, but we also didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb. We were debating between running the bricks either 2 or 3 rows high, and then we thought we could just run the bricks vertical (in a soldier formation) and that seemed like it would make the perfect height and also be a little more visually interesting.

So this past weekend while I was away at the A's and Zoe took some naps, Chris got started


He set a stringline to make sure he was laying them all in a straight like and things didn't get all wonky. And once that line was set, it was easy peasy


He wasn't able to get a ton done while Zoe was napping (because they're still pretty short naps) and then she wanted to "help," so Monday he was able to finish things off while Zoe and I watched and played.

And once it was done, it looked marvelous

hello soft morning light. Just trying to get this post published before Zoe wakes up!

Seriously so much better than that previous rock wall


And very exciting that we actually worked on our own house for once! :)