Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ready for your junk

Ok, this is not the most exciting project, but you're getting it anyway because it's my blog and I do what I want to.  Last weekend I was doing a lot of work in the guest room closet.  It was really hot.  I was annoyed and tired, but I knew it was now or never.  I appreciate when people tell me I should have my hubby sand, prime and paint things now, but my perfectionism doesn't care that I'm pregnant.  So I did it.  I did make him rip out all the carpet, though.  The closet in this room had lots of water damage and yellowed trim.  
Hello, lost Victoria's Secret slipper!  Now, where is the other one?  So sorry for the terrible pics, this closet is a small lightless hole.  And it's been this way since we moved in 4 years ago.  Inside, it was even nastier.  
Lots of plaster was falling away and it was just a flaky, terrible mess.  The floor under the carpet is almost black with old damage.  I did make Shaun scrape the worst of it, use some joint compound to spackle the walls smoother, then sand the next day.  I realize that is the cheater way to fix crumbling plaster, but when you're ready to deliver a baby, you're just trying to GET IT DONE.  While waiting for the walls to dry I got busy with all the trim in the closet, using Behr Ultra Pure White in satin, our go-to trim paint.  
And finally, I painted the walls with Behr Antique White, which is in all our hallways and is a lighter color than the walls in this room.  This was really fun to do with my belly since the closet is barely wider than a hanger!  
I neglected to take a pic of the inside to show you how nicely the damaged walls turned out, because that is where I immediately shoved some suits and dress shirts that have no hope of fitting into I don't currently wear.  Just trust me, it looks nice.  I added back some accessories to make it easy for regular guests (like my in-laws) to store junk, or clothes, whatever.  
In other news, my due date was yesterday and I am not dilated or thinned at all.  My cervix apparently doesn't know how this thing works.  I am now scheduled to be induced Monday night and I'm desperately hoping to avoid that!  Here I am on D-day, other than some extra pressure 'down there' I'm feeling really good.  
My BP is great, baby's heartbeat is great, no swelling, no weight gain, no issues.  I started my maternity leave from work today to finish everything around the house and be completely ready, hopefully that and walking a lot will get things going naturally.  Wish me luck, and if you were ever induced without dilating first, I'd love to hear your story!  To me it sounds like a very long labor that my body just isn't ready for, but my doctor is insisting it's the right decision.  Blah.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm stopping to smell em

I've been working on projects nonstop all weekend.  I'm not sure if crawling around on my knees sanding, priming and painting trim and walls is a good plan for 4 days before due date, but I did it anyway.  We heard that new babies are like milkshakes, bringing all the boys to the yard guests to your house, so we decided to give our guest room a complete overhaul in anticipation.  There was this (ok, the walls were painted in April):
Then this happened over the weekend:
And the real time-suck of my Saturday, this awful water-damaged closet with more stanky carpet and miles of cracked, flesh-colored trim:
The major work is done and I am tired now.  So today, I'm enjoying smelling my roses.
This lovely Memorial Day afternoon, I'm going to be relaxing on the beach and walking in the sand.  Maybe that will kick my labor into gear??  I will share the finished guest room just as soon as I'm done making the curtains, a year.    

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baby stuff

There is an area of the baby's room that needs something.  Ok, that would really be the entire room, but right now I'm talking about this particular area:
I love the sconce, but I also hate it because it's right in the middle of that wall so I can't put a long shelf there.  I really wanted a shelf where I could put little doodads, butt paste, or whatever I don't feel like officially putting away when I become a lazy, bleary-eyed mother.  I went to Goodwill looking for some smaller "shelfy" items to revamp and use above the changing pad.  Here's what I got:
The shelf was $3 and the little peg rail was $2.  I removed those ugly pegs because I had other plans, and got to sanding and spraying with my favorite primer:
Then I gave them both a coat of BM Satin Impervo in Decorator's White - the same paint we used in the kitchen and on the little nightstand in the nursery.  I had some knobs I wanted to use in the room, from Hobby Lobby.  These awesome letter knobs....
On clearance!
And these blue-striped beauties...
I feel like I'm giving a gang sign in this picture.  Anyway, I knew the letter knobs would work best on the larger shelf because of how fat they were.  So, the blue stripes made their home on this little guy:
I can't wait to hang some toys from these knobs.  Or, dirty baby drawers....whatever!  For the large shelf, I cut these wonky paper circles to roughly the same size as the letter knobs to figure out what spacing worked best.  
Then I drilled some holes and tested out the knobs.  They do need to be cut off on the back, we already broke a hack saw on one, so we need a new plan.  Ideas?
And that how I made a cute shelf for baby.  
Yep, it's his nickname.  
We chose his name the easy way - we put our dad's middle names together and called it perfect.  Ashford is Shaun's dad's, and Douglas is mine, in case you were curious.
I think we will get him a smoking jacket and a little monocle, because a kid named Ashford Douglas Hilton really needs a monocle.  And hopefully he actually becomes a millionaire, since he already sounds like one.  I was 38.5 weeks in these shots, I'm 39 weeks today and I'm so ready to meet him!   
I'm sleeping 'ok', still rocking my heels (this is how you do it, Jessica Simpson!), and I'm not experiencing very much swelling or heartburn.  Instead, I have extreme linebacker stanky-awful sweating, amazingly tight and painful belly skin that is constantly tested by my child's acrobatics, and a general hatred of most foods.  I am holding steady at 34 pounds gained for the past few weeks, and haven't seen a stretch mark yet.  Here's hoping Ash makes his appearance before I fill up like a water balloon!       

Friday, May 18, 2012

Glidden My Colortopia Widget and Giveaway!

I had a pretty clear idea of what the colors would be for my little boy's nursery, mostly because I didn't want to repaint (and then repainted anyway because I'm crazy) and found a good deal on a navy Pottery Barn rug on ebay. However, I know that for many moms-to-be out there, the choice of wall color, fabrics, decor, etc...can be a little overwhelming when you are already QUITE overwhelmed!  
(Hello, perfect fabric!)
I was recently contacted by Glidden to share a fun new tool on their My Colortopia site that asks you a series of questions and then shows the perfect paint colors for your little one's nursery, based on your answers.  Have you jumped on the My Colortopia wagon yet?  It is a great site that helps you choose Glidden paint colors and contains lots of helpful blog posts from favorite bloggers like Kate and Lindsay.  You can take their nursery quiz right here, using this widget!  I love technology.  
When Shaun and I took the quiz, we ended up with these results:
Considering the two main colors in our baby's room are the navy rug and gray walls, I'd say this tool was right on! You can take the quiz again and again if you aren't quite sure whether your baby will grow up to be an explorer, an artist, or a teacher....but Shaun is pretty convinced our boy will be an 'explorer' like his dad.  NOTE TO HUBBY: just because you have three Swiss army knives and a watch that tells you it's always 98.6 degrees doesn't mean you are an outdoorsman.  
You might notice that the MyColortopia quiz contains a logo for a certain pregnancy-related movie coming out today - I'm going to try to see it before I go into labor!  In the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting (only in theaters), a couple picks out paint colors for their baby’s new nursery.  Find paint colors that you and your little one will love with Glidden® Brilliance Collection™ Paint, available at Walmart.  As you know, I'm a paint snob, so trying out this new paint and primer combo is on my list.
To celebrate the movie's release, Circle of Moms is hosting a Glidden giveaway with a chance to win a $2,500 Walmart gift card to use towards a dream nursery, for buying items such as cribs, bedding, and Glidden® Brilliance Collection™ Paint.  A prize like this would've saved me some cash!  For more information about the Dream Nursery Giveaway, visit this MyColortopia blog post.  

Giveaway details:
- Once logged into Circle of Moms, comment on the post for your chance to win. 
- The giveaway runs from 5/17/12 – 6/7/12
- The winner will be announced the week of 6/18/12 on

** I have been sponsored by Glidden brand paint to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.**

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our huge plants

Last weekend we did some planting of annuals, weeded, and mulched.  It was exhausting!  While we worked, I was thinking about how different the planting areas look this year compared to 2009, when we planted most of the shrubs and perennials.  Check it.
Front in 2009:
Front in 2012 (yep, we swapped the barberry and euonymus):
Sunjoy Gold Pillars in 2009:
Sunjoy Gold Pillars today:
Roses we planted last summer:
And today:
The first rose of the season - so beautiful!
Hostas in 2009:
Hostas today:
We had quite an issue with these Endless Summer hydrangeas...the right one didn't like being in the sun back in 2009:
So we moved it back against the neighbor's garage last summer:
And now the one we moved is totally doing better.  Seriously?  I think they just like to mess with me.
I was so excited to get a Dappled Willow when we first started planting, here it is looking like a peanut in 2009:
And here is the monster now!  
I have no idea what happened to the Sedum next to the wine barrel looked great last summer:
And now, it's all puny compared to the others, when they were all planted at the same time.  What the heck?
When I planted this Knockout Rose in 2010, I had a feeling it would take over the Salvia in no time....
That is absolutely what happened, but the roses are so pretty, I don't really care.  Plus, Salvia stinks like cat pee.  Is that just me?
This ugly Buckthorn was an impulse buy in 2009. It has slowly died back over the last few years, and this summer we finally kissed it goodbye.  Thank goodness.  
In it's place, we planted a 'Golden Spirit' Smoke Bush.  I've always wanted one of these, and the foliage is gorgeous!  I plan to plant some contrasting annuals around the edge of the planting area until it fills this space out - it can grow up to 8 feet wide.   
One of my favorite things about this time of year is my neighbor's perennial garden next to our patio.  But I'm sort of terrified of the poppies....they look very 'Feed Me Seymour!'
I got to see one shed it's shell today.  Creepy.
Another perennial I am always excited to see is my prized large leaf hosta...everyone wants it, but it's mine.  All mine.   
While the Annabelle hydrangea we moved last summer hasn't gotten much bigger, it is looking really healthy and I think it's going to thrive in the new location.  This was taken right after the move:
And today:
Now we just need to do something about that awful flexible downspout.  And all the other random junk laying around our yard.  Hopefully I can get it all done before baby appears.  Wait, never mind....that is what my husband is for!  PS - this hose is awesome:    
We got it at Menards for $35 and it's worth every penny, it winds and unwinds smoothly and really doesn't kink!  Plus it color-coordinates with many of our shrubs.  That is important, you know.