Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: This past week was partly wonderful and partly really hard. I was extremely emotional, anxious, exhausted and uncomfortable not only in my stretching body but in our new chaotic house. I almost got in a terrible car accident (which would have been my fault), I worked until 3am at my retail job one night, Hubs had only been home a few days after speaking at a conference, my poos were bringing me to tears, there was a trip to the emergency room (more on that later), I was late on taking my glucose test and my inbox was a mess. So with of all that, MamaP’s impending arrival seemed too much to take. It was difficult to prepare for because we had to do all of the normal stuff we do when we have company (plan meals, get groceries, clean sheets, etc) as well as trying to put our kitchen/entire house back together. It made everything feel like really bad timing.

The wonderful stuff: My friends. Although far away in Minnesota, two special people rallied around me – wiped my weepy sad eyes and helped me sort out my messy mind. The emergency room visit. Scary at first but we found out baby and I were very dehydrated. After focusing on getting my fluids back on track, we both feel SO MUCH BETTER. I passed my glucose test with flying colors. MamaP’s visit was a lovely one. We got a batch of nagging To Dos checked off, Hubs made us amazing food and we rested. It was nice.

Should I shut up and get to the weekly pic already?

The Science: Baby Center recap – 29 weeks. She’s the size of a butternut squash (possibly my favorite carb ever?) and she is strong! She’s awake more and more during the day (I feel her at work all of the time), along with her nightly ritual of playfulness from 9.30pm-11.30pm…and just recently she’s been waking me between 5am and 6.30am too. Hubs was resting his head on my belly one night and she pushed up against his face – I think she wanted to snuggle in closer to him. It was so stinkin’ adorable.

Body morphingWeight gain is…14 lbs! So here’s the thing. I was convinced the scale got jostled during the move to the new house because the readings were frightening low the last two weeks. Here I was, growing bigger by the moment, but the scale was telling me I had lost anywhere from 2-5 lbs?! It all makes sense now – considering I was massively dehydrated. Once I started pounding the fluids, my weight gain bounced back to what I expected it would be. My belly feels big and tight. I have a harder time getting in and out of cars and getting up from sitting or laying down.

Sexy stuff!  I didn’t feel Baby Girl move at all last Friday and into Saturday morning – whereas normally she’s been really active. Since I was so emotional, I feared I may be just paranoid. I’m so thankful for Hubs. He took my concerns seriously, Googled around and decided that, although horrible timing since my Mom was in flight to Colorado that very moment and our clinic was closed for the weekend, we should call the doctor and see if someone would be able to check things out. The doctor recommended we go in so that’s how we ended up spending the afternoon in the emergency room.

They wheeled me up to a room (that scared the living daylights out of me) and a super sweet nurse got Baby on the monitor. She was fine, just lethargic. The nurse made me drink a liter of water on the spot and almost instantly Baby started to get her groove back – she even had the hiccups! All three of us breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Happy news! The bummer is it could have been easily prevented and all of the warning signs were there: I slept a lot but still felt absolutely awful, the skin on my face was peeling even though I was loading on the face lotion, my weight had plummeted, my poos were a nightmare, and Baby was sluggish. Oh the guilt, knowing she was inside and didn’t have what she needed – it still makes my heart so ashamed and sad.

Now, I’m drinking water like it’s my job. I’m drinking at least three liters of water a day (which is no easy task, considering how much time I spend in the bathroom) but it’s worth it. Baby girl is back on track and so am I! I feel like a completely different person compared to late last week. My actual retail job still won’t allow me to keep water at the register (even after a trip to the emergency room!!!) so I am trying to figure out a way to follow their policy but not put my baby in jeopardy either. They did remind me I get a 10 minute break, but it’s awfully hard to drink two liters of water in 10 minutes. If it seems to be too difficult to juggle both baby and retail, then I’ll resign. I was originally only temporary holiday help anyway so I’m thankful that they’ve kept me on this long, it sure has helped with home improvement bills and baby goodies.

Food drama: Usually, overeating is my style. But nowadays, Baby is taking up so much more room that everything feels very crowded and I can’t eat near as much as I used to (even a week ago!). Plus, with all of the new water guzzling, I get full fast and my food tends to “sit high”. But, everything is wonderful – especially when Hubs is cooking.

Exercising? HA! I really need to get on that. Maybe next week?

To Dos: We got two more baby care packages! I need to catch up on my thank yous, I sincerely have so much to be thankful for.

And randomly: Here’s a side by side of me at 21 weeks versus 29 weeks, wearing the same outfit. Look at that growing bump!

Make me up before you go go

Boys beware, it’s about to get all XX chromosome-y in here. You should hide, seriously.

I’ve been really into makeup recently, I can’t help it. And I’ve watched way too many youtube tutorials and reviews than any rational 33 year should so I figured: why not share all I’ve “learned” while you were off being productive members of society?

I’m no beauty guru. In fact, far from it. It’s just that in the past two years, I’ve been slowly replacing my old junk makeup with a decent foundation (a pun!) of makeup essentials and I wanted to share with you what I’ve come up with so far. Let’s talk girly stuff!

Brushes: Although it’s taken way too long for me to admit, a good set of brushes is KEY. They are an investment (ie: not cheap) and that’s why it’s taken me so long to make the jump. You must have them but you don’t need a lot of them. Sigma makes really nice ones – like the travel set I got for Christmas. It has all the brushes I need: foundation, angled blush brush, powder brush, eye shader, pencil, angled eyeliner, and a fluffy crease/blending brush. I also bought a separate “fuller” foundation brush (from Sephora with a giftcard from my MIL) but I should have bought this one instead – it’s half the price:

If I was recommending a set to someone though, I’d recommend this Essential Kit, also by Sigma.

It has every brush your heart could desire, plus it’s luxurious because it’s full sized (compared to the stubby handled travel kit brushes).

An added bonus to having nice makeup brushes? It’s makes putting on makeup FUN. Who would deny you some daily fun, anyhow?

Brush cleaner: If you are going to spend your hard earned cash on brushes, you’ll need to clean them. Since I’m relatively new to all of this, I need some suggestions. I have the Daily Brush Cleansing Spray by Sephora which is a nice quick fix (and smells good too)

but it doesn’t offer a “deep clean”, especially when it comes to my mucky foundation brushes. And since you are swiping those all over your face, you kinda want them to be clean, you know?

I just splurged on the MAC brush cleanser recently.

I think it’s good so far but I don’t have much to compare it to. My only complaint is that it goes way too fast, especially for $14 price tag. I’ve heard I can just use Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo instead, which I might try when I run out.

Foundation: I wish I had wonderfully flawless skin, but truth is I have a lot of redness (even a purple birthmark under my nose) that needs hiding. All of the beauty guru’s rave about Revlon’s Colorstay foundation and I agree. I have the one for combo/oily skin but they also make one for dry skin.

Beware, it’s thick and you have to work fast but the staying power is excellent. It has great coverage, if you are looking for medium to full coverage. (If you’re not, you’re a lucky duck). Since it’s from the drugstore (and always on sale somewhere), it’s price is right. I’ve also heard good things about Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped foundation

which apparently is easier to work with and has a less matte finish. I’m going to give that a whirl when my current bottle is zapped.

Setting powder: I’m stuck (for now) with one from Physician’s Formula but it’s too “powdery”. It clings to my eyebrows and sits on my face fur. Not cute. I’ve been skipping it all together but in the summer I need to control shine and it’s always helps your foundation stay put. I’ve heard good reviews about these two: MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

and one from the drugstore: Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I’ll be trying it someday when my wallet hasn’t been weakened by home improvements and baby supplies.

Concealer: Currently I have MAC’s Pro-longwear concealer and it has great coverage – I like to use it on the birthmark under my nose.

My one complaint is it’s packaging (well, and the price too). The pump spews out way too much product. I save the extra in a little container so it doesn’t go to waste, but it’s annoying nonetheless. I’m looking for a drugstore alternative – recommendations?

Under eye concealer: Folks seem to like the Maybelline Instant-Age Rewind under eye concealer so I took the plunge.

I like the formula, I think. I’m new to under eye concealer though. What I don’t like is the packaging. The “clicker” thing broke on me, so I’ve gone all ghetto with it by breaking open the top. It’s messy and uncool. Also, I don’t use a special setting powder for that area and I’ve noticed the product settles into my fine lines. I’m on the hunt for a new one (preferably drugstore) but not until I’ve used this stupid little bottle up.

Bronzer: Thanks to the beauty gurus advice, I’ve discovered a MATTE bronzer that is cheap and awesome. It’s NYC Sunny Bronzer and you can find it at the drugstore for under $3.

Blush: I’m loving Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes. I have Dollface (light pink)

but they come in a wide range of colors. I prefer the ones without shimmer because I’m getting old and shimmery blushes just draws attention to that. They look a bit scary in the pan but these blushes blend out easily and are long wearing. They are pricey though, at $25 a pop.

I also have the cult favorite, NARS Orgasm, which is a lovely blush (a gift from MamaP!). It’s a peachy pink with golden shimmer, which really suits my skin tone. I usually only wear in the evenings because the shimmer can look preposterous on my haggard old lady face. Night time is much more forgiving. Although, I rarely do anything past 7pm these days so maybe this is not a product I’ll repurchase…

MAC has an amazing collection of blushes as well, but I’ve resisted. Their Well Dressed is supposed to be oh so nice – anyone have a favorite blush from MAC?

I don’t own any myself but Wet n Wild Color Icon blush is supposed to have great color payoff (pigmentation) and it’s crazy cheap. Wet n Wild sure has stepped up their game since the days of my youth! That brand used to be total crap.

Eyeliner: Although these come in an array of deliciously fun colors,

I think having a true black or a coffee brown in your collection would be all that you “need” for a 30-something lady like me. I currently have two blacks – Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-on pencil in Zero (I hear Perversion is even “blacker”) and NYX Slide-on Pencil in Jet Black – and one brown, Stila’s Damsel. The Urban Decay pencil is awesomely long wearing and doesn’t smudge on me. It’s also a whopping $19 (owie). I was hoping the NYX would be a inexpensive substitute, but since I have oily eyelids, it travels on me. I’m using them up anyway. These two drugstore finds come highly recommended: Physician’s Formula eyeliners or Maybelline Masterdrama eye pencil, so I may give those a try in the next round.

A random tip: Eyeliners are multipurpose. You can smudge them out all over your lid for a nice wash of color (especially the funky colors) or to use as a base to layer shadow over top. It helps the shadow “stick” and adds depth. Who knew?

Eyeshadow primer: Didn’t know you needed this? You do. It prevents your eye makeup from creasing and fading. I love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

Although, Two-Faced Shadow Insurance is supposed to be the They are both expensive but worth the cash.

Eyeshadow: Oooh, eyeshadow. The really fun stuff. There should technically be two categories: cream eyeshadows and powder eyeshadow. Maybelline Color Tattoo, hands down, is the best drugstore cream eyeshadow. It’s blendable, buildable, and does not budge. Although it comes in a handful of wild colors, I have Bad to the Bronze – which I use a base to layer powder eye shadows over or just by itself for an all over lid color.

It’s really beautiful, especially sheered on on my fair skin (otherwise, it could tend to look ruddy). I think it would look so yummy if you were of Indian or Mideastern decent, or just darker than me (a very PALE person). I wish Maybelline had a permanent neutral beige color tattoo in their line. They came out with Barely Beige this fall, but it was limited edition and impossible for me to find. For high end, MAC makes their famous Paint Pots but I haven’t splurged on any of those yet – I hear the Maybelline Color Tattoos out perform them anyway.

I did however, splurge on a MAC eyeshadow quad. They cost a fortune, an absolute fortune.

I cringe just thinking about it. I hope they are worth it. I picked four uber neutral shades (mostly matte) that will play nicely together or be fine worn on their own. One comfort I have is that they will last for forever. *Crosses fingers*.

MAC isn’t the only one that makes buttery, blendable, pigmented eyeshadows. Stila, Dior, Makeup Forever, Too Faced, and Urban Decay are all strong brands. Urban Decay’s famous Naked Palette is a beauty guru all time favorite.

At $50, it’s an awesome deal since it has the perfect range of shimmery and matte neutrals and the looks you can make with these eye shadows are endless. I wish I would have bought this over my MAC quad.

Supposedly, with a good eye shadow primer, even drugstore eye shadows work very well. The Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Quads (I’ve been “eyeing” the one in Moonlit),

NYX, and Wet n Wild eyeshadows (found at most drugstores) are known to be really great products. And so cheap, comparatively.

Mascara: There are loads and loads of mascaras out there. It’s overwhelming. I like (along with many others) the Covergirl Lashblast mascara. It’s cheap, the brush is big and the formula is not too “wet”.

I’ve tried only a handful of others but they performed sadly on my puny lashes (or flake off throughout the day), so I keep coming back to this one.

Brows: Man, I hate (DETEST) the drawn-in brow look. It’s gross. But, my brows are 1. poorly shaped and 2. patchy. I need a brow intervention. I realize that I will have to invest in some sort of brow product/routine, but for now I am too lazy. The Revlon Brow Fantasy is supposed to be good – anyone out there tried it or like something else better?

Lips: There is SO much lip candy to chose from, it’s hard to take. From balms to glosses to lipsticks to lip stains to lip plumpers to lip butters, what’s a girl to do?

MAC makes decadent lipsticks. They smell of vanilla, go on very creamy and have a massive color selection. Try one, just for fun! I’ve heard Chanel, YSL, NARS, Tarte all make stellar products as well, and you will pay dearly for them.

But, the drugstore has everything a girl could want. Revlon, Maybelline, Burts Bees and Neutrogena do lip products well – but I think you can find a gem in any line – even Bonnebell (old school, eh?). I’ve only snagged one Revlon lip butter and am waiting patiently to experiment more with drugstore lip goodies. For now, I must stay the course and use up the products I’ve bought over the years before I dance around with new ones.

Eye-makeup remover: My least favorite part of the day: removing all of these products…especially mascara. Right now, I’m using Sonia Kahsuk’s eye makeup remover (sold at Target) and I like it so far. It’s not cheap by any means (especially for drugstore) but it seems to do a good job.

So, that’s it (albeit, very long winded). Any favorites of yours that didn’t get mentioned?

Yeah, yeah, I know true beauty is adoring every crinkled inch of your body, drinking loads of water and being a kind presence in the world – but sometimes a good coat (or two) of mascara or a swipe of concealer helps get you by, you know?

P.S. I might do a toned-down make up discussion for Mommies/just plain busy ladies that don’t have tons of time in the morning to primp and play, nor endless money to spend. Would you hate that or not mind so much?

Friday Tidbits

Happy Friday!

I figured I owed you a few more up-to-date pictures of the nursery – even though not much has changed from this post except a few furniture additions.

Amazingly enough, this pic was taken during the day…with the light on! We’ll need to update the lighting (be gone, boob light!) and it wouldn’t hurt for me to learn how to use my camera in the meantime.

But there is our sweet little crib! I took the plastic off the mattress this morning and slipped on one of my brand new cribs sheets, in attempt to cozy up this bare space a little.

This gives you a better idea of the actual gray (thank you, back lighting!). I still haven’t gotten around to removing all of the old painter’s tape (doh). We have mauve doors (that won’t be living a mauve life much longer) and that mirror has got to go.

Next up, my old Ikea dresser. Right now, it’s packed with random crap from our apartment that I need to clean out. Isn’t it begging for a colorful makeover and to be filled with tiny person clothes?

I wish you the best of weekends, my friends!

Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: This is our first full week living at our new house. Every day feels better than the last and starting my mornings with the quiet sun beaming through our windows shrouded by shoddy trim makes me very happy. Home feels good. As far as the pregnancy, I’m exhausted but you knew that already.

Isn’t this sweater cute? My MIL picked out three pieces of maternity wear for me and I was SO EXCITED. She bought me this gray sweater (you know how I love me some gray) and a super soft red tunic sweater that will be perfect as my belly grows. Best of all, she got me a pair of black maternity pants! I’m not wearing them in this pic only because I’ve worn them every day since they showed up in the mail and they are finally in the wash. Betsy, you are so wonderful!

Here is an up close shot of the BUMP. *pat pat*

The Science: Baby Center recap – 28 weeks. She’s got eyelashes! Hubs has beautiful lashes so maybe she’ll have those same ones to bat at him with (which I suspect will render him goofy and completely useless when she does).

She’s busy in there and feeling her movement never gets old. I big puffy heart this time with her.

Body morphing: Weight gain is hard to say. I weighed myself this morning and it claims I actually lost two pounds. I was alarmed at first, but ever since moving to our new house, the scale seems just off. I’m not worrying about the number because my bump is clearly changing drastically now that I’m in the third trimester.  My belly button is stretched tiiiight!

Sexy stuff! Just apologizing now and if you’re eating lunch, you might want to swing by at another time. I had a bit of a scare yesterday, in the poop department. Hubs frantically Googled while I gawked in horror. Turns out, it’s somewhat common for…”things to get messy” during pregnancy. Moral of this terribly story: I need to eat more fiber and drink more water.

I had another bought of leg cramps (my worst yet) and three days later, my calves are still tender! Man, those hurt like the dickens!

I also waddle now and it’s simultaneously humiliating and kinda cute.

Food drama: My heartburn has subsided and I think it’s mostly because I’m eating less at a time. That helps a ton. No complaints! Drinking enough water is still an issue, unfortunately.

Exercising? Getting my shoes on is workout these days and I’ve been too lazy for much else.

To Dos: We signed up for a birthing and breastfeeding class through the local hospital! I also have to take the glucose test soon (like yesterday). That’ll be loads of fun.

 And randomly: MamaP comes to Colorado this weekend!

Home Sweat Home

Last time we “talked”, I blabbed on and on about our den. Should we jump upstairs to the nursery? Ok, twist my arm. Let’s take a quick tour first.

Behold, a boob light! Maybe breastfeeding with go more smoothly with Baby Girl staring up at that thing all of the time?

The nursery has a walk in closet across from the window. It’s in hideously rough shape:

Three cheers for dirty floral contact paper, yaaaaay.

While Hubs was priming our paneling monstrosity, I was upstairs dreaming of snuggly baby butts and painting the grody trim a nice fresh white. And also? Testing out some grays. Like I mentioned earlier, I was really digging Elephant Skin but Hubs grabbed Ashes (which I immediately disregarded). To play fair, we got a sample of both.

To my dismay, Elephant Skin seemed too dark (especially when I imagined it paired with the incoming walnut floors) and Ashes was obviously “too blue”. But, the trim looks great!
That’s when we pulled the trigger and got a gallon of “Gray Horse” by Benjamin Moore and I painted the whole nursery on Christmas Day, while Hubs was still slaving away with the primer downstairs.

GASP. At night, it looked sage-y and during the day? Reminiscent of muddy toothpaste. I was so sad. It wasn’t an ugly color by any means, but it was not what I had imagined. I should have know this would happen, seeing how I painted the living room of my first house five times before I liked the color. After that, things got g(ray)ve. You guys, we tried SO MANY grays.

We played with the formulas by lightening them and by the end, I lost all confidence in myself. In a last ditch effort, I slapped up a swatch of Ashes again…but this time, it didn’t look so bad/blue. I left it up for a while and turned my focus to gussying up the paneling downstairs with Hubs, so the nursery sat confused for a while.

But I did make my way back eventually, with a full coat of Ashes. JACKPOT.

I know, I’m a terrible photographer! Promise you, it’s a lovely gray. I’m brainstorming something funkier in the closet, so we just left it unpainted for now.

Meanwhile, our floors had just been delivered and they needed three days to cure. We had to start ripping out carpet STAT.

See? All plucked and ready to go!

Did you noticed that ugly cord coiled up in the first pic’s corner? It’s TV cable and the previous homeowners had them snaked to every room throughout the house. It was a mess. Even worse, the cords would disrupt the new flooring work because they’d have to lay the floors around them. We had a cable guy come out to snip those wiry reptiles away while the flooring guys worked simultaneously – talk about clutch timing!

That brings us to a very anticlimactic night time pic of the nursery with its pretty (albeit, very dusty) new floors. This was taken the night of our floor leveling escapades and my exhaustion is painfully apparent.

That’s where we are at now. Hubs did assemble the crib and we had the movers stash an old Ikea dresser in there, along with the baby gifts we’ve received so far. I have big plans of making over that dresser in a punchy color, adding art, curtains, itty bitty baby clothes (awww) and more… I just need to unpack our kitchen first because this is what our dinners have boiled down to lately:

Yes, that’s Frog tape and a block of cheese.

Raves & Faves: DECEMBER

Here is my Top 7 (yes, 7) list of December loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *claps*

1. We found out the little baby inside of me is a GIRL. I’m still surprised!

2. We picked out our floors: Home Legend hand-scraped Walnut Plateau – I love that they have some texture and are not super glossy.

3. I got spoiled rotten with my Christmas haul this year…a new house AND all of these goodies?!? It’s criminal.

4. Obviously Christmas cookies needed to get mentioned in here somewhere.

Now that we have a freezer in the garage, I’m going to start baking in October, which is awesomely dangerous.

5. The sunrises on my runs this month were nothing short of amazing (though this pic does not do them justice!).

I miss my mornings with Callie baaaad.

6. We celebrated our baby girl’s first Christmas (kinda).

7. And, we closed on our new house (with Stan, our realtor)!

We’re going to bring our little girl home to this house. Make my heart all sappy inside.

December’s icy air blew over into a new year. I don’t know if I’m ready for you, 2013! Oh wait, we’ve been at it for weeks now. *sigh*

December 2011 Raves & Faves? December 2010 Raves & Faves? Why not?

Baby Bump Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop:  We officially moved into our new house this week! It was a snappy 5 degrees outside. Ironically, we moved from MN to CO on the hottest day of the year – remember that awesomeness, friends? Apparently, we have a real knack for picking horrible weather for moving. At least these guys got paid to move our stuff…our poor friends just got pizza, generic Hyvee soda and probably a hernia.

The day after we moved, Hubs had to scoot off to speak at a conference and so we had to wait until today for our “shoot”. Look how big my belly got!

The Science: Baby Center recap – 27 weeks. Bug is almost two pounds and thinking. I hope she inherited Hub’s big brain!

Also, this explains my recent leg cramps: Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They’re carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Body morphing: Weight gain is 11.5lbs. My bump is getting exponentially bigger each day, holy cow!

Sexy stuff! I’m tired, so tired. And I look it. The doc last week told me to drink more water to help with my fatigue but seriously anytime I drink anything, it goes straight through. I have no time for this nonsense!

Food drama: Truthfully, I’ve been eating terribly this last few weeks (worse than normal) and I feel insanely guilty about it. Also, more heartburn. I’m trying to do better, now that my life is returning to a new normal each day.

Exercising? I join the track kids for core/abs at the end of their workouts and that’s pretty much it. I also cleaned our apartment so furiously that I almost upchucked my dinner. I’m counting it as cardio! It’s been another long week.

To Dos: Find stuff. I can’t find anything in the new house except for my waffle maker (which isn’t as bad as it seems).

 And randomly: We got another box of baby goodies! Spoiled rotten, we are. Seriously. My friend Connie advised me to register for a few sets of crib sheets so you always have a spare on hand – now we are set with three! Thank you, dear Emily!!!

Plus, another book to read to my little sweetie pumpkin pie. I can’t wait for that…*heart melts*.

Friday Tidbits

Baby Girl insisted I build my own delicious neutrals MAC quad and how could I deny her?

From left to right: Brule, Era and Omega, Copperplate.

Happy Friday everyone – I’ll be taking the day to figure how to explain to Hubs when he gets home that buying painfully expensive eyeshadow while our house is an utter disaster was a good use of my time.

Home Sweat Home

Warning, long post ahead and it could be mighty boring.

Hubs and I had been going over to the new-old house almost daily after work. We put in a lot of hours and spent a lot of money at Home Depot.  And it’s only just begun…

I wanted to show you the progress we’ve made so far. To jog your memory, our den started out like this:

The previous homeowners wanted to leave us that monstrous TV – we had to negotiate it OUT of the closing contract. Even though we didn’t have a TV of our own, that one probably weighed as much as our car! Hubs picked out a nice slim one instead just before the holiday since there were raging deals going on. Now, if only the cable company would be remotely helpful for once, we could plug it in and watch it while we work…

We tackled the den first because we wanted to paint the paneling while the grubby carpet was still in since we were hoping to get new floors installed in the upcoming weeks.

The day after we closed, “we” primed that golden terror with the good stuff.

Actually, Hubs did the priming since it’s a fume-y job and we didn’t want to risk it with me being pregnant. Meanwhile, I painted the trim with a fresh coat of white in the nursery. I used off-the-shelf Behr medium base no VOC paint in a satin finish (for wipeability – which apparently is not a word). I picked the medium base so it would be nice and bright but avoid the blue cast an ultra white woud have.

Anyway, back to the den.

The priming took a couple of days since it wraps around (if you can only imagine) and he had to prime the baseboards as well.

Sorry for the crappy lighting, we did most of our painting in the evenings so it’s hard to snap a nice “after” shot but the primer alone makes a huge difference, doesn’t it??

Then, we painted the panels “Popped Corn” by Behr in an eggshell finish. As you can also see, the gr(ay)t debate had begun.

We picked Popped Corn on a whim because we wanted a white, but we thought a yellow undertone might warm it up just a tad. In retrospect, I think we could have used the off-the-shelf white like in the nursery instead since it’s warmth is not overly noticeable.

Here’s the other side of the room. I told you that paneling was a never ending story.

From far away, it looks nice and fresh. But just like me, you get up close and things get hairy.

There were gaps and seams and cracks and ugliness. Although the primer and paint had great coverage, more needed to be done.

So, I caulked the crap out of it.

Three tubes later and see how pretty it looks? I need this stuff for my face.

While I caulked (and caulked and caulked), Hubs went back and did touchups with Popped Corn. I almost wrote Pooped Corn, which does not elicit pleasant imagery. Anyway, we used every last drop of it after finishing up the trim.

If we had more time, I really would have liked to get another swipe at caulking and put on another full coat of Popped Corn, instead of skimping by with touchups only. But we did not have time (nor another gallon of paint). Moving on to the wall color!

After too many samples and a few mistake gallons (doh), we settled on a gray.

I mentioned it before, but we chose Ashes by Behr and it’s actually the color Hubs picked out long ago on our first trip to Home Depot when we were ordering the new floors. At the time, I secretly scoffed at it since my heart was set on Elephant Skin (the color Emily used in her first photography studio) but it was way too dark in our little house. Ashes, although morbidly named, it’s the perfect gray. I’m telling you, a good gray is hard to come by.

TA DA. Me likey!

(Can you believe this post isn’t over yet?)

Next up, we ripped out that blue sea of disgust. We saved at least $600 by doing this ourselves! Ripping out carpet is not difficult work, but it’s hard work. And it’s gross work. Here’s what we used:

The carpet cutter (a glorified Exact-o knife) is from Home Depot and the “tail” came in handy prying up rogue staples. Obviously work gloves would be better suited for this job but my gardening ones got me by. For you carpet removing virgins (don’t be shy, it was my first time too), you first pry up a corner with the pliers

and cut away the carpet into manageable strips.

Honestly, it comes up pretty easily, since it’s only attached by the carpet tack (the wooden strip) along the edges. See the multi colored foam underneath? That’s the carpet pad. It’s usually stapled down (if you have a wood sub-floor) or glued down if you have concrete, like we had in the den. That came up fairly easy too. The hardest part is trying not to think of all the skin cells and hair and bug legs and boogers and Dorrito crumbs and foot sweat that have nested into that sponge of filth over the years. Don’t think about it, okay?

Next up, removing the carpet tack. Now that part sucked.

I stabbed myself through my wimpy gardening gloves, right under my thumbnail and it got infected. It burned and took a few days to heal, which was totally a blast. We used a regular old hammer and a pry bar (also picked up at Home Depot):

It was a noisy and knee-aching job.

Hubs did most of it, while I pulled staples out, one by one. It was super glamorous.

I’m awarding 100 points and a free donuts to you if you noticed those pictures are not actually of the den, hence the wooden sub-floor (and staple-pulling versus glue-scraping). I figure I’d get the carpet ripping talk all done at once – since we had almost 1000 sq feet of it to remove throughout the house. I didn’t take pictures of the den because by the time we got to there, my soul had sunk to a very dark place. The den had underlying concrete, making pulling up the angry tack strip even more painful. On top of that, when the blue sea was laid initially, they just added a second strip of carpet tack down next to the original one…doubling the work for us. Normally I love a good two-for-one deal, but this one was curse-worthy.

(Will this post ever end?)

After lots of labor and cleanup, we were left with this:

Meanwhile, our new floors had been delivered and were “curing” in the living room. See all of the white boxes?

We got the carpet ripped out just in time. The flooring guys set up shop and got to work. Of course, they noticed a few concerns…

Such as, the floor was not level in the den. Generally speaking, being level is a good thing. The opposite? A very very bad thing.

The flooring guys gave us some tips on how to fix it and so that night, at 10pm, we set out to even it up. This was also the week where I slept in the car and fell on my face, so you can probably imagine my overall enthusiasm for this surprise night-time project.

I bought a 50lb bag of this stuff (sorry it’s upside down, I was fading fast at this point).

All you have to do is mix this with water until it’s a milkshake-like consistency and pour it on the floor. Gravity will take it where it needs to go, then it hardens and viola! Level floors! Easy, right?

But you have to work fast.

We taped off the trim so the leveler mix wouldn’t seep in behind it:

Then, we added the mix to some water and stirred!

Let me be clear, we did not know what were were doing. But we poured it down anyway.

Also (and unfortunately) after our great closet purge this summer, Hubs was left with no “work clothes” and so he’s been doing all of our DIYing in those long johns (presumably from junior high school). It’s indecent and we’re sorry about that.

After we poured, we pushed it around (with a mudding knife) and watched where it tended to move to, then added more sludge to that area until we felt like it looked “ok”.

Again, we did not know what ok really looked like since we were totally guessing our way through this.

We set up a puny fan on the mess and went back to the apartment to sleep (and pray that the morning would bring level heads and floors).

The next morning:

Level floors in some spots (!!!) and…

kinda level floors in others:

(you can see the big gap underneath the level itself)

Did we fix the problem? Nope. Did we make it a lot better than it was before? Yes! In a perfect world, we would have taken two passes at this but the flooring guys said that they could fudge it by laying down cardboard in the low areas, since they were using “floating floor” anyway. Phew, we did it! Go us!

Unfortunately, the floors were not dry by morning. We had mixed it too runny and it needed more time (like a full day) to harden completely. They couldn’t lay the floors until it was dry, otherwise the wood would soak it up and warp. Cue sad hearts and somber violins. They did as much as they could and made us promise those floors would be dry by the next morning, their final day of work:

That night, we bought a space heater (from Lowes) and turned on our in-house fan (which sounds like a tornado) then hoped that the notorious dry Colorado air would work its magic, while we slept uneasily at our apartment.

It was indeed magical, take a look now!

The floors are laminate (Home Legend Walnut Plateau from Home Depot) and we love them! I must give a shout out to Emily, who helped us pick these over the other (much darker) one we were mulling over. As you know, the girl has got good taste. We are eternally grateful for you, Emily!!!

More pics? As if this post isn’t long enough?

There is much more work to be done but let’s just revel in the moment, shall we?

Baby Bump Update

*I (barely) survived last week and so of course this post is laaaaate. It was supposed to go up last Thursday. Forgive me?

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing a human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: This week, our floors were installed in the new house. I was a WRECK bouncing back and forth between work, our apartment, practice and the new house. One day, I even pulled the car into the garage and slept in the passenger seat for an hour while the flooring guys hammered away inside. Yeah, I was desperate.

Pay no mind to my stupid stance. Instead, things to note, my $12.48 Target maternity sweater and a sample of our new floors!

The Science: Baby Center recap – 26 weeks. Her ears are growing more sensitive and she may be able to notice bits of conversation between Hubs and I. This is totally awesome timing because we were both so strung out that we snapped at each other almost daily. I promise we really do love each other, Baby!

Body morphing: Weight gain is who knows because I packed the scale and can’t find it. But, my bump is big and my back rolls have joined the party, which looks hot under tight shirts. Meow.

Baby Bug moves and moves and moves, especially when I’m *not* moving. Every night when I lay down to sleep, she’s up and grooving for attention. I’m certain she’s doing triple toe loops on my uterus. Hopefully she switches that schedule around when she’s “on the outside”.

Sexy stuff! My pee stinks, which is fun.

Food drama: I had a doctor’s appointment (which I almost fell asleep for while in the waiting room) and she asked if I’ve had any heartburn. I was all like “No way, I eat everything!”. I stumbled out of her office and now I have heartburn daily. Dangit.

Exercising? A few concerned folks mentioned I might want to hold off on running, especially outside. In fact, I got this sweet note from my old manager:

“I held my breath for a bit after reading that you “fell” on ice or snow, so just in case you didn’t know,  falling on anything is bad news AND running (again), exposes your now somewhat out of balance body to more of the same.  How about holding off on running until you’re getting your body back in shape “after” the baby is born?”

It was crazy timing because that very morning, I was running with Callie and Clara when I tripped over a sprinkler head, crashed to the ground and HIT MY FACE ON THE CONCRETE. My face! I told you last week was rough for me. I scuffed up my hands too, but thankfully my baby belly was okay. I’ve only run once since “the fall” and plan to switch to walking when I get my routine back in order.

To Dos: Oh you know, move to the new house officially and get my life together because I feel like a disorganized lunatic. Wish me luck.

 And randomly: My MIL bought our crib and mattress (from Ikea) and Hubs put it together already (plus, a super sneak peek of house progress) :

Our whiddle baybee is going to sleep there. Awww, shucks.

THEN, we got a baby care package from our family in Minnesota. My Moby wrap, yessss!!!

It was so darn sweet that I got misty-eyed. I big puffy hear them.

That wraps things up (teehee) for this week. I mean, last week. Oh, you know what I mean, right?

P.S. Our floors look beautiful!!! Pictures coming one day, pinky swear.