Monthly Archives: August 2010

Redoing the Nursery Closet

This week I decided to tackle one of the smaller jobs in the nursery, the closet.  At least I thought it was going to be a small job.

It’s 55″ wide, so not a bad size.  The closet wasn’t very practical though, as it only had one bar about 5 feet high, with a shelf that was warped above the bar.  Here’s a picture of what the closet looked like:

Nursery Closet

So, we figured a closet organizer would be a pretty easy install (I’d already done it at our old condo and in our bedroom here).  We went with the ClosetMaid 5-8 Ft organizer.  Yes, our closet isn’t quite 5′ wide, but I didn’t feel like buying the pieces separately because it would have cost more.

The first thing I did was to take out the old bar, shelf, and shelf supports.  Here’s an example of what I was left with:

After removal of shelf

Doesn’t look very good, does it?  This was at about 10AM.  I decided I needed to fill the holes, sand them down, and repaint the closet.  Because I had a gift card to Wal-Mart, I went there to buy paint since I wouldn’t have to pay for it (free is GOOD).  I bought Kilz Brand Paint in the color Zodiac.  I have used Kilz primer in the past and it’s a very good primer.  I thought the paint would be at least okay.  Especially since right on the can it says that it’s guaranteed to provide one coat coverage.

It took forever to buy the paint at Wal-Mart.  First off, nobody was near the paint section.  Once I found someone, they had to find the right person to run the machine.  That was a huge fiasco as nobody really knew what they were doing, or could find someone that really did.  By the time I got home it was after 12 (and Wal-Mart is only 4 miles down the road).

I started painting the walls and the paint seemed really watery and streaky.  In fact, after one coat, this is how it dried:

Very streaky paint

Not very good.  I am glad that this paint was only going into the closet and not being used on walls in the room!  A second coat went on and it looked a little better.  But, by this time, I had to leave to pick up John at the train station and didn’t get a chance to put the organizer in.

Two days later I had the chance to finish the organizer.  Here’s what it looks like:

Closet with Organizer

Yes, there’s not a ton of room between the shelves, but that’s okay.  This is for a nursery, and we can always switch the shelves around (or pull one out) once she gets older and her clothing gets bigger.

Here’s all of her current clothes in the closet.  The clothes on the bottom are those that will be too big for her when she is born, most are for next summer.  The clothes on the top bar are those for her for the winter and spring.  I love how much color we’ve been able to find!

Charlie's Clothes

The baskets are from the Container Store and I bought them a few weeks ago on sale.  They are too cute!  John’s favorite piece of clothing is on the very left on the bottom.  Can you see it?  It’s a Penn State Onesie.

Here’s my favorite piece of clothing.  She actually has two of these, a 3-6 month size and a 9 month size.  Theoretically she’s all ready for next season.

Chase Utley T-shirt

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Just a Couple Pics

I hate having pictures taken.  I especially hate having them taken now, when I feel like an overlarge blimp.  And yes, I am aware that I am going to get bigger.  But, since I do have a few pictures, I thought I’d share them with you.  This first one was taken the day before our anatomy scan.

20 weeks and 2 Days

This next one was at the Phillies game on my birthday.  I looked down and realized that, yep, it had finally happened.  I couldn’t see my feet anymore when I looked down (the foot to the left, as well as the shadow, belong to John).

21 Weeks and 1 Day

And finally, here is a picture from this morning, before I went to the job interview.  I complemented this lovely ensemble with a black blazer to hide my arms.  If there was any mistaking my pregnancy for just being overly fat, I think that is done.

23 Weeks and 4 Days

Hopefully some day my figure will return.  It’s going to be my New Year’s Resolution, which is perfect timing since I shouldn’t be pregnant anymore at that point.

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Baby Furniture and Birthing Classes

We finally bought our nursery furniture.  We stopped in at USABaby near us two Fridays ago to show my mom the Romina crib that we liked.  As we approached the store location, there were signs posted everywhere that the store was closing.  Yep, sure enough it is closing as of September 30th.  And, because they were closing, they were offering some great deals.

We walked in and showed my mom the Antonio Crib.  Then we asked for a price for the crib, full-size rails, and 7-drawer chest.  The owner gave us the price, then said that if we wanted to buy the floor model, he would throw in the armoire for a great deal.  We thought it over and went back on Wednesday with a few questions.  1) Was the manufacturer’s warranty still in tact and 2) How old was the floor model?  Turns out there was still an active warranty and that the floor model was less than 2 months old!  All in all, once I finally did the math, we ended up saving close to $2K on the full set.  I would call that a great deal!  So, here are some pics of the nursery furniture (although this is not the finish we bought).

Armoire

7-Drawer Chest

Convertible Crib

We also scheduled our birthing classes.  Since I want a natural birth (and I know that’s an offensive term to some, but really, get over yourselves because drugs, although nice, aren’t natural), we (well, I) researched a bunch of different type of classes.  The classes offered by our hospital, while they mention the option of a natural birth, don’t really do anything to encourage it.  Lamaze, at least by the various reviews that I’ve read, seemed useless.  Finally, we decided on the Bradley Method.

The Bradley Method was devised in the 40s by (you guessed it) Dr. Bradley.  Instead of trying to distract you from your pain, it encourages working with and trying to relax into your pain.  It focuses on moving around to try to ease the pain and it really focuses on having the “coach” or father learn how best to help with the birth.  It supposedly has a pretty high success rate (in the 80% range) for spontaneous natural births.

Text Book for Bradley Classes

We start our classes in the middle of September and they will run for 12-weeks, almost right up to Charlie’s due date.  I think they’re going to be pretty interesting.

PS – I have an interview tomorrow afternoon.  The first one since I was laid off (or whatever you want to call it) back in February.  It’s for a pretty big national company.  But, I’m not sure how I ended up with an interview since it’s definitely not at all in my field and I have NO experience in this area.  Here’s a hint for the name of the company

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Staycation 2010

Sorry for not being around this past week.  I was staycationing with my mom.  It was actually the longest time that my mother and I had spent together in the past seven years.  Yes, that’s right, I said seven years!  We did a bunch of stuff around the area.  Which leads me to mention that there is a ton of stuff to do within a two-hour drive of Philly.  Tons and tons of stuff that on a normal day we forget is so close.

First on Monday we celebrated my belated birthday with a cake from Classic Cake Company and cupcakes from Coldstone Creamery. Super yummy to both.  We also picked up Indian from a new restaurant in the area.  It’s the first time my mother has ever had Indian.  She really liked the tandoori chicken, the jasmine rice, and the naan (honestly, who doesn’t love naan?).  She hated the dal.  Oh well, I was surprised she like anything (she’s not known for liking new flavors).

Tuesday we went to Amish Country, a place my mom hasn’t been since I was in 7th grade.  Shopping at the outlets in Lancaster for baby clothes for Charlie for next summer then wandering around Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse.  Yep, that’s the real name of the town.  I dared my mom to buy this t-shirt, but she wouldn’t.

We did, however, buy a ton of jams, jellies, and butters.  I also bought raspberry curd.  I’d heard of it, but have never had it before.  Yummm.  I think I’m making scones next weekemd to go with it.

Wednesday we went up to NYC to see Wicked on Broadway.  Let me begin this section by stating that I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER drive in NYC.  I always grab the Jersey Transit train in Hamilton, NJ.  However, there was apparently something wrong with the trains on Wed morning.  The website said that the trains weren’t running between Trenton and Patterson (which Hamilton lies between), so we drove up to New Brunswick (where Rutgers University main campus is) to catch the train.  Supposedly the trains were running 30-60 minutes delayed.  Well, we got there at 11 and the 10:17 hadn’t come through.  When we left at 12:10, the 10:17 still hadn’t come through.  Since we didn’t want to miss the show I had to drive.  YUCK!

We finished driving up to Manhattan, through the Lincoln tunnels, and found a garage near the theater.  We picked up our tickets from Will Call with 15 minutes to spare.  Used the “facilities,” and then I had to grab water.  Seriously humid and hot, and a pregnant woman can dehydrate pretty quickly.  Here’s the water I bought.

Price, $4.00.  Holy outrageous price!!  But, the show was amazing.  Neither of us had seen anything on Broadway before and my mother had never seen Wicked anywhere.  It was AWESOME!!  And our seats were sooooo close.  I chose to get us separate seats (I had bought the tickets at 6 AM that morning – separate seats = 1/2 price of the only seats left together in the theater, which were directly in front of my seat), and we ended up in row A and row C of the orchestra, but directly behind each other.  Here’s some pictures from my seat (row C).

Sorry for the quality, but I took these with my Blackberry.  No zoom, this is how close we were (3 and 5 rows back!).

When we left we grabbed some dinner at an Italian Restaurant, walked through Times Square, and then we picked up the car at 6:30.  To get from the garage to the Lincoln tunnels, a total distance of less than 1 mile, it took us over 1 hour.  It was the worst traffic I have ever experienced in my life.  Once we got through the tunnels and back on the NJ turnpike, it only took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get home.  Crazy.

Thursday, we went to the Reading Terminal Market in Philly.

We picked up hickory smoked pork chops for dinner.  They were cut from the bone as we waited.  We also picked up fresh fruits, veggies, cheesecake (for desert), some gifts for my family in Pgh, and of course, Bassett’s Ice Cream.

Finally, on Friday, my mom and I went down the shore to the Wildwoods.  We didn’t do much, just wandered on the Boardwalk and in the ocean.  It was a nice day, not too hot, with a wonderful breeze.  But, it was overcast.

Wildwood, NJ

Got a picture of my mom!

Can’t wait to take Charlie to the beach next summer!

My mom had to fly back home on Saturday, but it was one hell of a wonderful week.

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Colors To Start With

Well, we haven’t quite figured out what we’re doing in the nursery yet, but we did figure out our basic colors.  The only thing definite is that there will be a chair rail dividing the room into a bottom and top.  The bottom is going to be a solid color of this

SW 6771 Bathe Blue

Above the chair rail, we plan on having three plain colored walls (these walls have either windows or closet/door on them) and the fourth long wall will have some type of pattern (to be determined).  The main color for the top of the walls will be this

SW 6554 Lite Lavender

So, those are going to be the main colors in the nursery, a nice soft blue and a nice soft purple.  Two of my favorite colors (I’m partial to cool tones).  The room has a south facing window and a west facing window, so it’s bathed in sunlight for most of the day.  We went with lighter shades of these colors because they don’t make the room too bright.  It should be fairly soothing for a baby.  Now, we just need to decide upon what type of design we want to put on the long wall.

We bought Sherwin-Williams’ Duration paint.  We chose this because Sherwin-Williams’ paints are awesome.  The Duration paint, while not completely 0 VOCs, is very low-odor, low VOC, so it is perfectly fine for me to work with in the baby’s room, as long as I keep the windows open while painting.  Not a problem with the weather we’ve been having.  While Sherwin-Williams does make a 0 VOC paint, their Harmony line, we didn’t choose to use it in the baby’s room.  Why?  Simple, this is a baby’s room.  Once the baby starts crawling, standing, and walking, she’s going to be into everything.  And her hands are going to be all over those walls.  The Duration paint is the most washable latex paint that I’ve ever used.  We have it throughout our house and I’ve washed it numerous times, especially in the kitchen where we have yet to pick a backsplash.  After 4 years of that paint being in our kitchen and being washed with soap, water, and vinegar, there are absolutely NO water marks.  Amazing quality.  Totally worth the price (it’s much pricier than Lowe’s or Home Depot Brand).  We also lucked out that Sherwin-Williams was having a 40% off sale yesterday, so the two gallons of paint that we bought were much more affordable.  I give Sherwin-Williams paints two thumbs up.

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It’s A…

Girl!

We’re having a little girl.  Charlotte P. is measuring right on schedule for December 18th.  We have a little over four months to come up with a middle name for her.

Charlie

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Some New Knitting and Crocheting projects

Expecting a little one is perfect for my knitting and crocheting hobby.  I’ve been having so much fun picking out patterns and colors.  I’ve already made a “going home from the hospital outfit,” but you can’t see that one until we tell you what we’re having. (Btw, that’ll be tomorrow!  That’s when our anatomy scan is and it’ll be official.  So excited!)

John and I are fans of Winnie the Pooh, so we definitely wanted a hat and sweater set.  Here’s what I came up with.

How adorable is that?  The baby’s going to look so cute, just like Pooh Bear.

I’m currently working on the baby’s Christmas outfit.  Baby P is going to be here right around Christmas.  I’m making the baby a red and white striped stocking hat and a red and white sleep bag.  I figure that’ll be much easier (and less expensive) than buying a newborn holiday outfit.

We’ve also had several friends that have recently had new babies.  I usually make them baby blankets, and then give a gift card as well, so here’s two of the recent blankets that I’ve made.

This one was for a friend’s baby girl back in March.

Here’s one I made for a friend’s baby girl in July.

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