Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Austin's First Christmas

We always head to Grand Rapids for Christmas but usually have to leave shortly after my family get together for the U.P. With Austin only being 6 weeks old, we delayed the trip just a few more weeks in hopes that he will travel better. We went to my parents house on Christmas Eve and it wasn't but two seconds after walking in the door before Austin was snuggling Grandma.
Carla came over for a visit to meet Austin while she was home! He even wore the shirt that she got him that says Santa's Little Helper.
Austin was changed into Christmas pajamas for the night service at Mars Hill Church. Poor Lily is always second to Austin now....good thing she still LOVES to sleep.

I awoke Christmas morning in a panic! After getting up thru the night with Austin, I awoke to the door closed to the bedroom. I immediately thought that Jason had accidentally shut the door and for some reason I wouldn't have heard Austin cry. I flung open the door to find Austin in my mom's arms while she was running around frantically. Apparently she had got Austin out of his pack and play and fed him for the morning. She was also making Monkey Bread for our Christmas brunch. The Monkey Bread overflowed in the oven and my mom had been so nervous that the smoke alarm would have gone off and awoke everyone! So here's a picture of the culprit that caused the ruckus.

Austin changed into his Christmas outfit and decided to hang out with someone more his own size.....
I don't think Lily can get any closer. She now follows Jason around even more than she did before, since I am most likely always doing something with the baby.

I saw a commerical for one of those recordable books and couldn't wait to get one! I wanted each family to get together and record a page of the story, Twas the Night Before Christmas. It turned out even better than I imagined and now we have a beautiful memory from Austin's First Christmas to keep forever!

My mom received a stroller as her gift and she couldn't have been more excited! She got it put together and grabbed Austin for a stroll around the house to show off! He enjoyed the ride!

We somehow managed to miss out on getting a family photo. But when you have lots of loving family like I do, you realize that you don't get to see your own children because someone is always passing them along to get their turn. I can wait because I don't want my little boy to grow up too fast, but I can't wait to see what Christmas is like each year to follow.

Master Closet Done and Done!

The Master Closet is done and is already being filled with Jason's clothes.....which seems to be fitting since I just filled the huge closet off the baby's room with all MY clothes. The closet looks amazing in the room and really makes it more of a "master" now.

Currently there are no projects in the works.....but surely Jason has already had me looking at tile for the downstairs bath. I am sure there will be something that boy is working on within a week or two!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Master Closet Almost Done!

Our Master Closet is on it's way to organization! Jason began putting in shelves and rods!

The flooring needed some finishing work in order to not have to place another type of flooring down i.e. carpet or laminate. Jason ripped up the old linoleum and then sanded the floor down.
Then Jason picked a stain he thought would match, which ended up matching without any hesitation! Then topped it off with some polyurethane.

Here is a pic of the closet doors before and after! The doors were painted and a nice trim added around. This picture was taken prior to the floor being done so it looks even better now! A few touch ups around and in the closet with paint, and it should be ready for clothes!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rainbow Baby

What is a rainbow baby you ask? I've got one so let me tell you! This is what they explain in the "forum" world as a baby after a miscarriage. I joined a forum on BabyCenter for women who had miscarriages, in order to share my experience and ask my questions with women alike.

Jason and I decided to start trying to have a baby early in 2010 and sure enough our first try, we were pregnant! We were just about 6 weeks in and I couldn't contain my excitement, so we decided to tell our parents. It wasn't just a day later that we lost the baby. It was incredibly difficult, but I think I dealt with it much better than probably most women since I am in the medical field, and I knew that this baby just wasn't healthy enough to make it. I kept saying that God just didn't want me to have an unhealthy baby.

It sounded crazy but I wasn't willing to wait any time, I wanted a baby even MORE than before the first time. So we didn't waste any time and got right back to trying and sure enough, we were pregnant within a few weeks of the miscarriage. I was beyond excited but my worry most often outweighed the excitement.

At 12 weeks with this 2nd pregnancy, I had a terrible scare where I was bleeding and had to run right back to the ER. Jason and I held hands and wiped tears as we were sure that this again, was an unhealthy baby. I was incredibly nervous that I would be that girl who just had miscarriage after miscarriage. So being the annoying medical provider that is finally the patient, I refused every type of exam and demanded an ultrasound. The moment the ultrasound tech put the wand on my belly, she said "I saw a flicker!". I refused to get excited but sure enough, I took my hands off my eyes and looked at the screen, and a little ball of black and white was doing somersaults all over the screen! My tears of sadness turned into tears of joy in a matter of seconds! There was never an explanation for my bleeding and sure enough my rainbow baby is healthy and happy!

I have been watching Guiliana and Bill on the Style Channel and she has been sharing her miscarriage with the world in hopes to help out others. I also shared my story with my friends and family since miscarriage is much more common than most people think, and sure enough I have girlfriends and family members that all can relate.

Throughout the pregnancy I kept telling myself my worry would go away  each time I had an appt where I heard the heartbeat, or when I started to feel him kick, or when he got to the point where he could live healthy outside of the womb. Sure enough, just as people assured me, the worry never goes away. The moment he came into this world, you worry about so many things, but that is the price of parenthood and boy is it priceless.

Master Closet Update

The Master is finally getting a bigger closet, although some of you after seeing our bigger closet addition, wonder why we are still messing around with making more closet space.....but can you ever have too much closet space??

So last time we left you with a big open wall.....but it's time to put on the doors! Jason had bought 6-panel doors from Lowe's, but then found these custom ordered doors that were returned. They were only $35 for the pair which were originally $185, what a steal!

After watching the DIY network 24/7 ever since we upgraded our cable.....I realized that it's time to learn how to use some tools! Jason thankfully is very patient with me and was ready to teach me!

Adding a wall inbetween the two doors
I was really getting the hang of some of the tools, so Jason marked some areas for me to put in some screws and left me there to finish up......who knew he could be so trusting of me with his tools so soon!?
And here are the doors with the added trim. Trim sure does make a huge difference.
Our next update should be with some organization......rods and shelves!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Closet Space? Yes Please!

When Jason was finishing the nursery, he closed up the closet that was in the room in order to create more space. In doing this, his idea was that we could open up the very small closet in the master bedroom to the one that he closed off in the baby's room.
Here is a picture of the door to the closet in the far right of the room:
Let the demo begin!! Boy, Jason sure knows how to make a mess.....but thankfully it's always worth it!
Stay tuned for the progress!!

Front Porch Ceiling

The front porch ceiling needed a serious makeover! Cracked paint and terrible lighting!
Jason added my favorite, beadboard, and trimmed it with his favorite, MDF. He also recessed the lighting!
After some paint, here is the finished product! MUCH better!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Weeks of Sleeping

Austin has been here now for a little over three weeks which is so hard to believe...especially considering his due date still isn't for 3 more days! I want to document a few of the things going on with him right now as I am sure it is easy to forget since he changes everyday!

Austin is still sleeping close to 20 hours a day! I get so excited when he finally opens his eyes and looks around for 20 minutes before passing back out. He even sleeps while he eats, which makes it difficult to keep a full belly, meaning that at times he eats every 15 minutes!

He still isn't a crying baby just yet. He grunts and gets red in the face when he wants to be changed. This is why we haven't started a pacifier yet because he hasn't been fussy, although I am sure that will change. We just started the attempts at bottles and he did such a good job with one last night, I could see my future getting brighter as that means I can get out of the house!!

I love to give him his Vitamin D drops! He usually opens his eyes and makes this adorable sucking sound and really seems to like them. I also love when he makes an "O" with his lips which seems to be one of his favorite faces to make.

So far, he's mostly a mini-Jason. I think the only thing we have been able to say is mine, is his olive skin tone. Our whole stay in the hospital, people kept thinking he was jaundice but his bilirubin levels were always perfect. He just happens to have nice color! Even what we thought was my dark hair color, has become this light brown color which may get even lighter considering he has these blonde eyebrows and eyelashes. Jason had white white hair when he was born so that's his too! Speaking of that hair, we get more comments on it than anything else. He has this crazy little faux hawk that has a mind of it's own, but I absolutely wouldn't have it any different!

We are going to get good use of his newborn clothes, considering some newborn clothes are still a tad big. At his weight check appt. last week he was 6 lbs 14oz so I am sure he is getting close to 7 1/2 lbs now!

So happy he was born somewhat close to the holidays so I could make sure to get a photo with a santa hat....

Monday, December 6, 2010

DIY Project: Build custom built-in desk

As you walk into the Guest Bedroom, to the left, is an awkward corner of the room that was useless space. 
Step 1: Measure the area where you want to place the built-in. Draw a detailed sketch of what you want the final product to look like and the pieces needed to build it.
Jason was ready to tackle this corner with a built-in made out of his favorite, MDF.
Step 2: Choose material based on cost and strength needed to complete the project. Here MDF is used because it is both cost effective and easy to work with. Shown below are the pieces that Jason cut out of one 4 x 8 foot sheet of 3/4 MDF and three prefinished 4 foot shelves. Cost: $36.00.
Step 3: Prep the area for the built-in. Jason started by taking away the old trim.
Step 4: Build the main structure by screwing or nailing the pieces from the outside, so no nail holes will be visible once the built-in is placed in the wall. Gluing and screwing is used here because it will make the structure much stronger. If using screws rather than nails, ensure you predrill the holes to keep the MDF from splitting.
Step 5: Once main structure is complete, ensure it fits in the built-in location before proceding. This is very important for old homes due to the walls never being square. The built-in doesn't have to fit perfectly in the hole because soon you will trim the front to hide any imperfections.
Step 6: If you want a more custom touch, now is a great time to secure beadboard to the rear of the built-in with a nail gun. Cost for beadboard sheet $23.00.
Step 7: Slide new built-in into location and secure to wall. A couple finish nails from a nail gun will be all that's needed and can be easily hidden.

Step 8: Trim out the front of the built-in, this can vary to builders taste. Here Jason used scrap pieces of 3/4" MDF to cut out an arch and finish framing the front. Cost $0.
Final steps: Caulk all nail holes and trim gaps to make MDF appear seamless. Paint the built-in with a durable paint. Paint cost: $18.00.
Total Project Cost: $69.00
Total Time: 6hrs to build and trim structure.  (plus addl time for 3 coats of paint to ensure durability)

BEFORE                                                                        AFTER

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Austin's First Thanksgiving

Here I was worrying about how Austin would only be a week old or maybe less at Christmas, and sure enough, he showed me! Coming into the world 4 weeks early and was a week and a half old for Thanksgiving!
Picture is a tad blurry but it's the only pic we got of our complete family!
Our extended family was so excited to spend more time with Austin since they all live in Grand Rapids and we are 45 minutes away in Kalamazoo. So even though some of the cousins were spending Thanksgiving with their other side of the family, they made a special stop over just to see Austin.
Uncle Jarred meets Austin for the first time
Amazing spread of food as always!
My Aunt Carol bought Austin a unique Christmas ornament. You get to place their little feet in the mold!
Ta-da! Now I have an excellent imprint of those little feet!
Proud Grandparents.....Austin's awake in this photo which is incredibly rare since he sleeps 20 hours out of the day right now.
Fabulous First Thanksgiving with Austin being passed around all day.....I only got to see him when he was hungry but that's ok because I still get him mostly to myself during the day for 10 more weeks!

See ya later Red!

When we first moved into this house, Jason had originally wanted lots of neutral and beige colors and tones. I was so scared that I wouldn't get to put in much color, so I somehow convinced him that we needed ONE red wall. We enjoyed our red wall for almost 5 years now, but since we are planning on moving hopefully within the next year, we decided it was time to get rid of it for buyer's sake.

We do miss the red wall, but once we added some decor, it wasn't so "blah". So we went shopping at Target (Carla would be proud). We found this clock for $39.99 for above the TV.

And we found these shelves with two photo frames included for $15.00.
Now at least the room appeals to all buyers rather than just the ones who would have enjoyed the red, like myself.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Green and Red.....and Pink too!

With having Austin this year, I needed some help to get up the Christmas Tree and begin the process of wrapping the presents. Thankfully, I've got something better than Martha Stewart....my Mom! She took a day off work to spend it with us and help us get quite a few things done! The pictures don't do it justice but the tree looks amazing.......there is just one thing missing....an ornament that says Austin's First Christmas. So I just may need to put that at the top of the list! Oh and why not add some pink to the holiday mix of colors!?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Bedroom

I wish that I had a picture of the guest bedroom before we did the first re-do. However, when we moved into this house, it was so bad that before we knew it, things were being refinished before we could take a second look at what was already there.

First thing first, Jason needed to replace the window that was older than old.  Again, no before picture unfortunately, but the plaster walls and slats say enough.
 We painted the room a yellow to go with this bright bedding that I had since college, which is exactly what led us to re-do this room once again, since we didn't really need our guests staying in a "college" room.  The painting on the right side of the room was one of my attempts to add something I made in each room. I just taped off squares with painters tape.

 We first found some bedding online that spiked our interest first. Then the change to a nice tone of brown for paint color. The curtains are from Lowe's. I bought two of them and just decided to clump them both to one side. We have not added carpet yet to this room or the hallway which is the only two spots left in this house where we were able to consider keeping the original hardwood floors. They aren't in too bad of shape in this room so why bother covering them up. I made the pillows that are the sheer grey tone, again, to add something of my own since my husband does all the hard labor!

 A room just isn't complete without a pug picture! We are obsessed with our pug Lily and enjoy all things pug! This frame with picture we found at Ikea.

 We haven't changed out any of the door locks or knobs but I guess that gives the house it's old character.

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