Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ding dong, our A/C is dead

So, we thought our 70s A/C unit would just last and last forever, but we've been told our compressor no instead of finding a new compressor for this old unit (most likely over 1k to find that part), we need to just replace it.  
A very reputable company in our city gave us a quote of $3880 for a new Rheem unit, 3.5 ton, 16 SEER, single stage - a nice middle of the road unit.  Rheem and Trane are at the top of Consumer Reports for air conditioners.  
We also have a mutual friend that installs HVAC and would give us a much cheaper price, but he can't get the top brand units because they only sell large quantities to big companies.  He can get us smaller names made by the same manufacturers, like Payne (owned by Carrier)...
Then I did some research online and found that there are wholesalers that sell A/C units on ebay for great prices with free shipping.  
I'm considering getting the Rheem unit on ebay and having our friend install it.  From what I can see on the manufacturer websites, as long as you register your purchase within 90 days of receiving it, the warranties will still apply no matter who installs it or where you purchased it.  Has anyone purchased such a large item on ebay?  Or do you have any recommendations on A/C brands?  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Three weeks

Hey, remember last week when I said that we had projects we wanted to get done before Shaun went back to work?  Cue maniacal laughter.  He goes back tomorrow and the only project we've successfully completed is not killing each other.  Seriously, the newborn stage is so brutal I often wonder what the heck I've done.  Ashford hates baths, hates diaper changes, hates being awake unless attached to my chest, or unless it's the middle of the night....then he loves to be awake...probably because he's attached to my chest.  Example of our most recent scrub a dub:
While I hate it when he cries, it was still pretty cute!  ps - I love my big kitchen sink
We have lots to do around the house, the garage doors and kitchen bump out (the outside) need to be scraped and painted desperately.  I wasn't able to strike this off the list because I had an important question that couldn't be solved from the couch - which white to use??  
We need at least an hour a day to water the plants and move the sprinkler around for the grass.  That is a major time suck and I don't know if I will be able to keep up with it when Shaun is back at work!  We love our landscaping, but it is a lot of work.
The worst wilters are the hydrangeas, and we have that is fun on 90 degree days.   
Our den is still a cluster from the kitchen reno, things I don't know if I still want, things I'm not sure where to put, things I don't want to file away and 'deal with' is also where the cats hang out a lot because they are afraid of Ashford - ha!
This is also the space where I took all my belly pics during pregnancy, and some of the baby.  The photo studio lights are a Cowboy Studio set from Amazon, and I think they are a great value if you are in the market for some lights!  So...the project I most need to finish, is the stupid kitchen shelves.  
I have lacquered the brackets, but still need to stain a couple edges of the shelves and lacquer them.  I don't know why I'm dragging my feet on these, maybe because I'm worried about hanging such heavy pieces of wood, or drilling into our subway tile, I don't know.  I'm totally wimping out on this last part of our kitchen.  In the meantime, the shelves sit here and I play with the baby while he's not demanding to be fed (which is ALL THE TIME....seriously) and/or being fussy for no apparent reason.  

He's getting so big every day, I just take a million pictures and hope I always remember the good things and forget the irritations.  It's hard to stay mad about urine/poo/spit-up on my shirt, no sleep, and constant feedings when I get to stare at this face.  
Happy 'three week birthday' little boy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Today is my 33rd birthday.  We spent the morning fishing in Lake Geneva (which consisted of me totally NOT fishing) and it was lovely, although hot.  My boy is two weeks old (well, 15 days old), and this last week at home has flown by in a blur.  I've tried several times to get some good photos of him, but he doesn't seem to understand flailing limbs make mommy's pictures blurry.  I did get a few good ones, though!
10 days old
11 days old
13 days old - he looks very wise here.  HA!
This shot got quite a few 'likes' and comments on Facebook.  I am not sure how I captured this one, but I'm SO glad I did!  That's my little tough guy. 
This is the only good pic I got of me with the baby.  My recovery from a third degree tear has not gone the way I hoped, so it's a miracle that I even wanted this picture taken.  I'm still in quite a bit of pain and have only lost 9 pounds in the two weeks since his birth.  That is a big disappointment considering I'm not eating that much and breastfeeding.  Oh well.   
Shaun is home for another week, and we do have some projects we're hoping to tackle before he goes back to work.  It's been so great having him home with me, and our grass looks great because he is home to water it!  For the rest of today, I'm doing whatever I want and enjoying a birthday happy hour special in about an hour.  I promise to get back to posting regularly soon!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ashford is here!

Our little guy arrived at 5:44pm Tuesday June 5th, after 17 hours of labor, 2.5 hours of pushing, and a vacuum assist.  He weighed 6 lbs 14 oz, was 19.5 inches long, and made us laugh with all the dark hair!      
Getting induced was every bit as awful as I expected, but when this is the result, I still can't help but say 'BEST WEEK EVER!'
Ashford will be in the NICU for the next 5 days still because of elevated protein levels and an abnormal blood count that points to possible infection.  I developed a fever in the hours after my epidural, and although my fever went away immediately after delivery, little Ash has a 7-day course of antibiotics to get through.  It totally sucks, but I'm staying at the hospital in a guest room for free (with free meals) the entire time he's here.  Okay!
I totally can't believe I looked this human after everything that happened in those 20 hours.  Poor little baby had meconium in the fluid, cord around his neck, and got yanked out by a vacuum because he was caught under my pelvic bone.  But he is doing really well, and after a day of fussiness after his circumcision, is now nursing like a champ. 
He looks just like Shaun, but he loves his mommy!  
I am recovering nicely, but I will save all the details for a 'birth story' post later on.  Little Ashford is so stinkin cute, I had to put together a little collage because I couldn't decide which pics to share.  
I'm in love!!
Hopefully next week I will get to share some pics of him enjoying his sweet nursery, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your wonderful comments on that post.  Shaun read some of them to me while I was having really awful contractions and they literally got me through.  I love you guys!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ashford's nursery

We are off to the hospital in a few hours to start my induction, I'm 5 days past due and very annoyed to say the least.  Since I have no idea when I will post again, I wanted to share Ashford's room that is all ready for his sweet, stubborn little booty.   
I'm still shuffling things around, hopefully I will know more about where I want things to be when he's here.  The rug is the Pottery Barn Henley rug in Sailor Blue, found on ebay.  Walls are Behr Pier.  
I can't wait to see what this clean changing area looks like at the end of the week!  
Yeah, we still don't have anything in the Ribba frame.  I'm waiting for inspiration.  I also thought some bright toys hanging above the changing pad will keep baby busy while I fumble around, but maybe they will just be thrown at my head!  
My mom recovered the green gingham cushions on this hand-me-down glider.  We found this citron swirl fabric at Joann and thought it would be so fun with all the other ones in the room, but not too "in your face."  I love it!  
The little nightstand has all my boob accoutrements in the top drawer, and blankets and burp cloths in the lower one.  Owl lamp is from JC Penney.  
We lose some real estate in the room with the closet and main doors swinging into the space.  So, we may make some adjustments in the future.  
The crib sheet is made in Citron Dumb Dot fabric, from Etsy seller LittleBurpsandGiggles.  I got two and have a couple other spare sheets in navy and grey as well.  The crib skirt is just four panels hemmed and attached to the mattress frame with ties.  Fabric is from Tonic Living, Night Owl in Sky.  
My mom made the drapes from this Tonic Living Mini Chevron in Sky, with blackout liner sewn in.  She did SO much work, and I love them so much!  She added back tabs to make them fall really nicely.  Perfect. 
You can see here how much the cats love laying in the changing pad, I hope they stop doing that once baby is here.  
The closet is all organized.  Our his and hers diaper bags are packed and ready.  We also have about a million diapers jammed into this closet!
I made this canvas using a Groupon for Canvas on Demand, I just took a photo of some Uncle Goose blocks on a table with a board behind them and added some effects until I liked it.  I love all the colors in the blocks.  I still want to add more to this wall, eventually that will happen!   
Hopefully we will be bringing him home soon!  Wish me luck.  
I will be checking comments in the hospital, saying 'hi' would really raise my spirits!  Smooches.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Guest room redo

Since I haven't given birth yet, I thought I would share the guest room that we spent last weekend sprucing.  It started out like this:
It was cute, but the curtains were heat damaged and hole-y on the bottom, the shag rug got brown fuzzies on ANYTHING that entered the room, and the celery walls were never my favorite.  It just turned out a little too pastel, it looks better in photos than in person.  Check out this "immediately after painting" pic from 2008!  Holy bad photographer, Batman!
Anyway, Dutch Boy asked me to review their paint last year and the color I picked was actually meant for a friend's living room.  Then I got pregnant and didn't want to paint my friend's room, then they decided they didn't even want to paint themselves.  Ah, what a lazy, lazy crew we were.  So, 'Not So Neutral' from Dutch Boy went up in here, even though I wouldn't have picked it for this room.  Whatever.  Behr Celery Sprig before: 
Dutch Boy Not So Neutral after:
It definitely looks fleshy.  And yet, yellow.  And at night, kind of peanut-buttery.  Eh, it was free paint so we're just working with it.  I will do a real review on the way the paint went on the walls later, after I grovel at Dutch Boy's feet for waiting SO long to do that review!  Next up - a headboard.   
I found this interesting headboard at the Habitat Restore for $35.  I originally wanted to make an upholstered one, but then I looked at my belly and changed my mind.  I decided to do something a little wacky with it, though.  I primed it with rust-colored primer:
Then used Rustoleum 'Paprika' spray paint for a fun red finish.  This was just one coat:
After three coats of spray dried, we drilled new holes that fit our frame, and attached this baby.  
In addition to the new headboard, I happened upon a steal of a deal on a new fuzz-less rug on  I got this 8x10 wool Medallion rug for $138 with free shipping for using my Target card!  Shut the front door.  They still have them online if you want it!     
It's not Pottery Barn quality and there are some dark spots in a couple places, but for the money it's great.  And here you can see how my painting shirt is still mostly covering my big belly.  
Right around the time fabulous blogger and new mommy Kim talked about using this Dwell Studio fabric in her baby's room, I had already purchased the same fabric for this room.  
I just used Stitch Witchery and clips, and also clipped some drapery lining in back to make them a little more full and less light-filtering.  I realize this is a very cheater way to do this, but it works for a seldom-used room.
And here is the completed room.  
Comforter is also Dwell Studio from Target, got that on clearance for $35...yay Target!   Although, I know this thing won't wash well.  It's cheap feeling and the red is certain to bleed.  Hopefully I can figure out how to avoid that.  I used different shams to mix it up a little, but it may be a bit 'pattern overload.'
I do regret that the cool shape of the headboard is so covered by our enormous mattress, but there isn't much I can do about it unless we add some blocks to the bottom.  Oh well.  I still need to find things for the walls and incorporate more navy items, but for now this is done.  I also think that old Target lamp is on it's way out, eventually.  
I would like to get a narrow bench or something for this wall, but I'm in no hurry to find anything.  For now, we have some random chunky candle holders that I sprayed navy and plopped there.  Whoa, I should totally be on Design Star.  Snort.
I love the red, brown, navy scheme....I just need to tweak it until it's perfect.  Oh, and we still need to refinish the floors in here, who knows when that will happen.  That is that.  Now I'm going to do some squats.