Project: Laundry Room

Our new laundry room is getting started. And I’m pretty geeked about it.

The new room is going to allow us to have much needed storage. Especially now that Mike and I have combined our office space.

Mike has been cleaning out the old garage and getting it ready for construction. Recently he ran some power to the second half which will become his work room. The other day he corrected the insulation in the rafters. And just this week, drew the plans onto the garage floor so we could get a feel of the space.

The new room will be located at the back of the old garage. The floor will be raised to be level with the rest of the house. It will have cabinets along the one wall, and cubbies above for storage bins. The resulting counter top will be handy for laundry and other projects. Across from that will be space for a hamper, the utility sink, washer, dryer, and a broom closet. Above, a large coat rack.

We’re going to stack the washer and dryer this time, which will hopefully make things better. Currently, the washer likes to move about the room.

I had hoped that we’d move the hot water heater and the furnace, but unfortunately that’s a lot more work than we’d like to do at this point. What I had wanted was to move them and then make that space a shower, making the half bath into a full. Now, we’re still putting in a shower, but it’ll be on the opposite wall and be in the former garage. It’ll really come in handy when Colt is a teenager, I’m sure.

So needless to say, the house has been a bit noisy. Thankfully, Colt can sleep through anything. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Ready? Ready!

Getting closer to our due date, Mike and I are settling down and enjoying our time together at home.  And I realized that means I haven’t blogged. 

The other weekend, Circuit Broad threw for me a great baby shower with many of our derby friends. 

I got a lot of great gifts, and books and so many breast milk storage options! Oh, and I may have pretended to let Cookie Rumble try to catch my baby in the WFTDA Division 2 Championship Trophy.

I love all of the derby mom’s that have been so inspiring and helpful.  And I’m grateful to call them my friends.  Not to mention, they really bring a good time. 

Mike was busy over Christmas break and finished the floors, including the trim.  We did a little electrical work, changing out outlets and fixing some 3-way switches that weren’t working.  And this past weekend, the house got a deep clean. 

At our last doctor’s appointment, the ultrasound estimated that Colt was weighing about 6lbs.  Every thing seems on track for a natural delivery.  We’ve got another appointment Wednesday.

At work, we’re gearing up for my pending leave.  I’m training another woman in the department, and I think it’s going to go really well. 

So now it’s just a waiting game.  Get up, get bundled up for the cold, work, come home, Mike cooks dinner, pj’s, TV, and then it’s back to bed again.

Laying New Ground

Mike has had a funny way about getting baby ready. 

When we decided to have a kid, he immediately drew up plans, and blueprints, for a new garage.

We were already using 2 of our 3 rooms for storage and without a basement, we were going to need more room. 

You can read more about it here: New Garage

Of course, that led to spending many hours in the local Menard’s where we found a great deal on new flooring. Future Project Identified.

Which led to finishing the trim, (More Home Improvements) and painting the kitchen. 

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Pardon the mess...

With the kitchen a delightful shade of white, it has really brightened up the place. 

We’re 7 weeks out from our due date, and Mike has until the first of the year off work, so of course that means start on the flooring. 

I feel a bit helpless, but Mike has moved the living room furniture into the garage, peeled up the carpet, and busted out the little patch of hardwood we had near the front door.  All in a few hours. 

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I have to admit, when Mike gets started on something, he sure doesn’t slow down until it’s finished.  His hard work and dedication are some of the reasons why I love him.

Making Progress

The house is coming along nicely, we finally have all of the kitchen cabinets painted, and Mike is in the process of re-hanging the doors and replacing the drawer fronts. We still have to paint the wainscoting once we get the giant work bench removed.

Mike had needed a place to paint the doors and drawers when it got ridiculously cold out the other week, so a giant piece of plywood has been spanning my kitchen table. It’s also where all of the counter stuff ended up when we sanded and painted the actual cabinets. Once that is gone, it will feel like a kitchen again.

As for the baby’s room, I have finally sorted through 12 large bags of clothes given to me by a friend.  What I decided to keep was organized, washed, and finally put into drawers and bins. What was left, my mother went through and kept a few things for keeping at her house. The rest was donated today.

Yesterday, my sister Jessie came over and we finalized some baby shower things; centerpieces, favors, prizes, etc. We met up with my mom and bought some other things we’ll need. All we really need now is the food.

Now I just need to finish up procrastinating and start making the house presentable (read: clean) for all of the family and friends that are sure to be over during the next week.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

100 More Days

A day late.
There are 99 more days til my due date.
We’ve made progress on quite a few projects. Mike has most of our kitchen cabinets painted. The baby shower invitations have been mailed. The baby furniture has been bought, just waiting on its arrival. Still need to clear out more of the non baby things from the baby’s room. 

I’ve had a few dreams where I felt unprepared for being a mom, but I think a lot of that anxiety will diminish after the shower. I have also had some great dreams of tickling little tiny baby feet, so I’m getting excited to meet our little one.

Today, I leave on an airplane for my last derby trip. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back on the road again if it isn’t to take my little one on great adventures.  Roller Derby has been a huge part of my life for the past 3 years and I have mixed feelings about retirement.

Retirement? I am at least taking this season off to get acclimated to being a mom. Not saying you won’t see me around the flat track, I’ll still be supporting my Stat Army & Detroit Derby Girls. I’ve made too many friends and invested too much of my heart to walk away just yet.  But I’m taking a much needed break from the travel, and the drama, and the stress. 

And what better way to retire than to finish the season off NSOing at the International WFTDA Championships.  I worked hard to earn my place at that track and I’m proud and honored to be given the opportunity.

I’ll get into more about derby when I get back. 

For now, I’m heading back to bed for a little more sleep before I have to leave. I’ll lay there for a while feeling baby kicks and treasuring the few days we have left and trying not to worry about what still needs to get done. 

Itzy Bitzy Goes to Playoffs

It’s been crazy busy at home and work over the past few weeks. Between working on the house, an increased caseload at work, and traveling for derby, there hasn’t been much time to write.

Two weeks ago, Circuit Broad and I drove down to Charleston, WV for the last of the the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs.

Once again, I was at the Lineup Tracking table, entering player numbers, and listing trips to the penalty box. I got to work with a great new crew of NSOs that I had not worked with before. There were challenges with seeing some jerseys but overall I’d call it a success.

NSOing while pregnant has had its disadvantages of course. I have to use the restroom more often, eat more frequently, and keep antacids in my stat bag. But seeing all of my friends from near and far, and all the belly rubs have been worth it. So far. I didn’t get to after party as much, or stay up too late. It’s a lot harder to get to sleep these days and I need all the sleep I can get.

At home, Mike and I have been busy getting the house ready for baby. Last night, Mike hung new blinds in the kitchen and laundry room. Not having the neighbor’s bright light shining into the baby’s room will be great. Mike also got shelves up in the garage, so I can pack and store some stuff I’ve had in the future nursery.

Itzy Bitzy has also been busy lately, busy moving around! Monday it felt like he was doing barrel rolls in there. So much so that by the time I got home from work, I felt like I’d been on a roller coaster.

Today, we see the doctor again, and I’m sure it’ll be more good news. 17 more weeks to go!

More House Work

When Mike and I bought our house we had a lot of work that needed to be done. From plumbing to painting, carpet to deep cleaning. We also needed to do some serious work like replacing the windows. 

We had awful windows. They were drafty, were missing screens and most of them barely opened.

Before we painted each room, we took all of the trim down from around the windows, to make it easier to paint, and because we knew we’d be replacing them. 

That first winter it was crazy cold in our house. Friends would make fun about not wanting to take off their coats. I slept with multiple blankets. And if Mike was away for the weekend, I was known for shutting myself down in our room with a space heater. 

Thankfully, the next spring, Mike and our neighbor replaced all of the windows and the patio door. 

Brand new, energy efficient, white vinyl windows. 

Never in my life had I lived in a home where I didn’t have to use a board to keep the window open.  Or need to put plastic over them in the winter.  I don’t know if Mike understood just how excited I was about them. 

Trim? That’s a winter job. When it’s awful outside and there’s nothing better to do.  Spring and summer are for outside jobs. 

4 years.  4 winters.  With drywall crumbling from the nonexistent windowsills.  Paint chipping away. 

Not to mention, other trim in the house was neglected as well.  The wainscoting in the kitchen, incomplete. The flooring and the wall leaving an obvious gap. 

I’d actually convinced myself that the moment we finished it would be when Mike wanted to sell.  And I have no intention of leaving this home just yet. 

And then Saturday morning, Mike woke up early.  And he shoved aside the couch, and he took down the blinds.  I dragged myself from bed and asked, “Are you finishing the trim?” “Uh huh” he replied. 

Quick! I made coffee! And offered up my help! We made a list of necessary items and we went to Home Depot!

Today, I’m looking at finished trim around all of the windows in my house.  All of them painted (but one). I have a chair rail in the kitchen, all of the wainscoting is up, even the part next to the fridge. And we’ve started priming the kitchen cabinets for the next project.
I am one lucky gal.

I hope to have the kitchen painted with primer before I go to West Virginia next weekend.  And the final paint before Champs in Nashville. Then between Mike’s hunting trips, we can tear up all the carpet and get our new faux hardwood floors in. 

And I think that’ll be it before Itzy Bitzy arrives.  A nice cozy home to bring our little guy home too. 

Landscaping

IMG_20140713_171557_012I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of Mike mowing the lawn. So I made us some breakfast and when he was done, asked what he had in mind for the day.

“You should go buy some plants for the front yard.”

“What kind of plants?”

“Green is your department, I just do brown, I don’t care.”

That was Mike’s way of saying, ‘I don’t care.’

“Well, where do you suggest I get them, I could go down to Eastern Market, but it will take me longer, but it could be cheaper… ”

“Sounds good, here’s the van key.” And away I went. I stopped and picked up Luscious Malfoy, who had also never been there before.

We made our way over to the landscaping plants, and it didn’t take long to pick out exactly what I needed and I got a pretty good deal.  6 cedars, 3 hostas, and 3 spirea = $120.  We had the vendor set them aside so we wouldn’t have to carry them all the way back to our car.

We then opted to hit all of the produce vendors. And this is where we learned that either a wagon or a few reusable grocery bags would have been really handy.  Pickles from McClures, green beans, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, corn, cherries, jalapenos, some spices, and a pastry = $30.  Another great purchase.

We walked our goods to the car and decided to go back and look for some eats and a cold drink.  Unfortunately for us, the market was starting to shut down, so we opted to head home. Of course just as Circuit and Wampa showed up. It was a bummer we couldn’t connect with them.

When I got home, Mike was still gone. Turns out he had a rough day including his truck running out of gas, breaking down, and the stores he went to not having what he needed. Our landscaping project would have to be done another day.

And like always, by the time I awoke Sunday, Mike was already up and out of the house. He managed to purchase the new steps we needed for the front of the house. I ran some errands while he went to work leveling the new walkway and steps.

When I returned, we got started on planting our new plants.  Mike got some rocks from the neighbor for the edge of our new gardens, and we got those all laid into place. And filled the beds with mulch.

One more garden bed to go and a few pathway stones and our front yard will be complete!

Obligatory New Years Post

Happy New Year Readers!

Better late than never right?

So while I am snowed in this crazy cold night, I figure I should get this post out.

I started writing this New Years Day but didn’t feel motivated to look back at the year. I know kind of silly.

I had a great year with plenty of ups and downs.

I got to travel to a bunch of really great places with some great friends thanks to derby.

I upped my officiating skill by NSOing at the WFTDA Playoffs.

I finished out my second season with DDG and was elected co-head NSO with Circuit Broad and Mayor was elected co-head Ref with Geo.

Mike and I started fixing up both our relationship and our home.

But I guess I just have more things to look forward to this year, that I can’t really seem to find the words I want to use to reflect back on the past year.

I am looking forward to the new expansions on out house and hopefully to our family.

I am starting at a new job in a few weeks. It should be an exciting new challenge.

I will be resubmitting my application for certification in February, and hoping to finally earn my stripes.

And maybe in the meantime, I will do a little more traveling, keep working on my NSO skills. I want to keep taking more pictures, and writing as often as I can.

Heck, maybe I’ll even get that motivation to do a real nice write up on my adventures last year.

Up Next for me is another bout on Jan 18th. Star Wars themed once again, with my friend Doug’s band, BuzzBangPow playing at the bout and after party.

New Garage

 

New Garage

Building the new garage

For the past few weeks, Mike has been busy planning, buying materials, and starting the construction on our new garage.

We have a traditional 3-bedroom, 2-car attached garage ranch. Though, for most of the time, it has just been Mike and I, and occasionally Paul, the storage space has been very minimal. We have our room, and then his and her rooms.

Mike’s spare room is devoted to his number 1 hobby, hunting. The closest full of warm clothes, he has a work bench for cleaning guns, fetching arrows and whatnot.

My spare room has been for the most part a little office. A desk, the printer, a few book shelves, a few miscellaneous pieces of exercise equipment etc. Right now, it’s Paul’s room.

On the back of the house is a little enclosed porch that the previous owners left in shambles. Its been home to our chest freezer, patio furniture, bikes, and my holiday decorations in bins.

We have no basement, and the attic is not sufficient for storage.

When Mike and I began talking about eventually expanding our family, Mike came up with the idea of building the new garage. The future child would of course take up at least one of our spare rooms. That would mean our hobby rooms would have to consolidate, and where would we put it all?

The new garage is being built in front of the current garage. The current garage will eventually be split into a workroom for Mike, and a storage/utilities room. I hope to move our washer, dryer, water heater, and furnace into the new room. That would free up our current utilities room for expanding the half bath into a full bath with a shower, and a pantry.

All of the stuff currently residing on the back porch will get moved to the garage/storage room, and the porch will be demolished. Eventually, we’ll build a nice deck off the back, along with a new porch on the front.

It’s a lot of work, and it will also include a new roof, and new siding, since we’ll have to do the new garage anyway.

I am so very thankful to have a guy like Mike that is so handy.