Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yea for progress!!!!

I love progress. Especially when it's on a project that's been the only thought on my mind! Nic has been a working fool. He's so good to me. We've procrastinated and hesitated and dragged our feet on getting this nursery done. I know he wants to do it and get it done but it's hard to find the motivation to work on your day off. He does this stuff 5 days a week and thinks about it 24/7. I can't blame him for not wanting to put in full days on Saturday and Sunday but this Mama has been chomping at the bit to get something completed. He made me a very happy camper this weekend.

All day Saturday he worked on electrical. He was in the attic for about 90% of the day, pawing through insulation, discovering hidden junction boxes and scratching his head at the mess of wiring this house has. It was no small task to get new wiring to the nursery but he prevailed. My honey bunny did it! He had a big helping hand from my dad, Grandpa O'Brien. I would have done my best but I probably wouldn't have been as big a help as he was. They made a good team.

On Sunday, I was the assistant. With the majority of the electrical in place, it was time to put up new drywall. It sounds like the electrical part would have been easy considering there wasn't drywall up but we were putting the drywall over the plaster. It would have been a mess and very costly to tear all of the plaster out. It was much easier just to go over it. We covered the ceiling with 3/8 inch drywall and the walls with 1/4 inch. It was a little more costly to do the 1/4 inch but we had to. The original idea was to take off the baseboard, refinish it and put it back on after the drywall. When we tried to remove it, we discovered that the baseboard ran behind the floor (another 3/4 of an inch below floor level) and the wood floor was toe nailed to the base. Needless to say, it wasn't coming out without cutting it or damaging the floor in the process. It's a good thing we like it and planned on keeping it. We just refinished it in place. The 1/4 inch drywall allowed us to still have a reveal and a lip to put the decorative trim piece back on. When everything is said and done, you shouldn't even be able to notice the difference. It makes my head spin just thinking about it. We're not completely done yet. We have completed the ceiling and 2 walls. We still have 3 walls to go. Huh? A room with 5 walls. Yeah. The way the closet is bumped out, it's technically 3 with a small door wall...but I didn't count that one. It's only going to take a few scrap pieces to cover that anyway. I was hoping to have the wall board finished today but I'm still pleased with how much we accomplished. It was tough work and I'm glad Nic let me help. We'll probably finish the wall board tomorrow and he can work on taping the joints. As soon as that's done, I can get going on sketching the mural. :-D

It was a beautiful day here today too. Believe it or not, we had the windows open the entire day. It was in the 50's which is unseasonably warm for Vermont in the end of November. I'm thinking it might just stay warm enough for me to have the windows open while I paint too. :-) That would make for a happy Daddy. It's cute the way he's become so protective. Sometimes I snap back at the things that he wont let me do but he has a good rebuttal. He says, 'Do I ever tell you that you can't do something when you're not pregnant? Then just listen to me when you are. You can do anything you want after you have our son.' I guess I really can't argue with that kind of logic. He's just looking out for our best interest.

So, as predicted, here are a few shots that show what we were working on today. I didn't manage any of the electrical day since I was out running errands for a lot of it and neither Nic nor Dad were in the mood for photos. I doubt I would have been able to get a good one of him in the attic anyway. As usual, I'm not in ANY of these photos. I have to remind Nic to take a few pictures of me all the time. It's like I wasn't even there. Vacations too! Today I couldn't really blame him. He was busy. I managed to snap a few as he was doing things I couldn't help with.

Here Nic is assessing the situation over morning coffee. Notice he's still in his pj's and not quite fully awake yet. Up and at'um!

Now we're in work mode. We've been working for a little while now and we're still working on the ceiling. Notice my pencil drawings getting covered? I knew they would. That was my trail run. I'm looking forward to doing the mural. :-D I only have to wait until the mud is done!

Still working on the ceiling. He started to yell at me at this point. He just doesn't appreciate my documenting process.

Ok. Well, I still managed to get a smile out of him.

Here we're ready to move onto hanging the walls but we need to mark where the electrical boxes will be. Wouldn't you know, the very first one we try to do, we hit a stud. Duh. Great start huh?! Thankfully the rest were relatively pain free. It's not very easy going through plaster and cement board.

Another angle of the same hole. Sometimes I just can't help taking pictures of my handsome man.

Yea! Progress! Notice the headlamp. Since this room doesn't have electric at the moment, Nic needed some sort of supplemental lighting. It starts to get dark at 4 around here. Sheesh! Since this room has East and North windows, he needed some light help before 3! How's anyone supposed to get some work done?

Look at that posture! hmm...there goes more of the doodles.

This is the last wall that we got done today. We had a few more pieces to put up after this long sheet but they were smaller pieces around the door. Once we finished that, we could barely see in front of us let alone the tools we were using and spare pieces of drywall. The headlamps could only work for so long and Nics shop lights are at the job. Oh well, work with what ya got....right?

So that was our day. I'm pooped and Nic is already passed out in bed. I guess I forfeited the belly rub when I let him climb into bed without me. I need to blog earlier next time!
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Updates and Pictures

What an interesting title for a post...not. I'm slacking. There has been a lot going on in the last week. It seems like that is my new normal so I should just get used to it. We have had a birth class, a doctors appointment and another ultrasound.

The birth class went well. It was a very long crash course but very informative. A lot of it I already knew from all the reading I've been doing. Most of it was new for Nic, or so he let on. Most importantly, it sparked conversation between us that, otherwise, wouldn't have been thought about until my actual labor. I found it most helpful to see the stages of labor and how to cope with them. They showed us many positions for comfort and assisting the process. Nic was shown how to make me feel comfortable and assist as a coach. I'm glad we went. We learned a lot. I wasn't too nervous about being in labor and giving birth but that class gave me even more of a calming feeling. I fell like I can do it and I can handle what's about to come.

The doctors appointment went really well. We're now seeing the doc every two weeks. This visit had been 3 weeks since the last. Somehow we got on an off week but now we're caught up. The stats are as follows:

How far along? 32 weeks 6 days. Only 7 weeks 1 day to go until we hit our due date. :-)
Total weight gain: 24 1/2!!! I'm pretty excited about that. It looks like I can very easily keep it in the normal range of 25-35.
Maternity clothes? Yes, for some time now. I even have my favorites.
Sleep: Is going well. Only a handful of early morning potty breaks. I purchased a snoogle body pillow since the last update. It's incredibly comfortable. It took a little getting used to because it's a little tough getting positioned into it with such limited moving abilities. BUT, it was well worth it! I sleep like a baby, I don't toss and turn anymore and I'm waking up much less. Even Nic noticed enough to comment. :-)
Best moment this week: I'm still getting the belly rubs which feel amazing. He's even nice enough to rub my hips and lower belly aches. Highlight of the week though was definately the 4D. It was just so neat to see little man acting like a real baby does. Yawns, eye rubs, blinking, finger sucking. I just love it all!
Movement: You better believe it! This kid is active! I rarely get a moment when he's not moving around.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Nothing worth worrying over. I have had Braxton Hicks. The doc confirmed that when I had one as he was measuring my fundle height.
Belly Button in or out? Out. It's mostly flat but slightly popping out if I'm doing anything other than laying down.
What I miss: Not much. I miss being a normal active woman. I'm the kind that says, I can do it myself. It's hard when Nic tells me I'm not allowed to bring in the firewood or I can't do something that seems simple to me. I feel a little useless. Mostly because I feel like I can do it, not harm the baby and he wont let me.
What I am looking forward to: Finishing this nursery! It's the only thing that's really weighing heavy on my mind.
Weekly Wisdom: We're never going to be 100% ready. We just need to take it as it comes.
Milestones: I'm not sure I've hit any in the last week. I think my next milestone will be hitting full term. It's coming up fast!
Fundle height: 32cm
Mama's waist size: 40 1/2 inches...WOW! It doesn't feel that big?!

The ultrasound that we had on Wednesday went very well too. That one was mainly just because. The doctor gave a reason of checking his size but it really wasn't necessary. I had fun checking him out again though. As it turns out, little man isn't so little. At our 18 week ultrasound he was measuring about a week ahead. This time he was measuring about 2 weeks ahead. Uh oh! The day of the ultrasound I was 32weeks 3 days. His head and belly both were measuring 33 weeks 3 days. The humerus bone (his upper arm) was measuring 35weeks 3days! This might be one tall dude! With those measurements, the belly measurement weighing in as one of the most important, this guy is weighing in at 5 pounds 3 ounces!!!! Holy crap?! I still have 7 weeks to cook this guy! I'm hoping that he doesn't top the scales at 9 pounds but I'll take a healthy baby no matter how much he weighs. The task at hand is a little daunting though. :-/ We even had the same sonographer that we had at the 18 week appointment. He was very nice and even gave us another 3D of the face. This face shot seems to have more detail. We were able to see the hair much easier. One of the eyes was covered by the umbilical cord though. I'm looking forward to seeing the doctor again on the 1st to see what he says about this little guy really being a big guy!

Here's some pictures. Enjoy!

All that wispy stuff on his forehead is hair! I guess the old wives tale isn't true. I have a baby with a full head of hair and not a single day of heartburn. :-) I think he's beautiful.

Look at those cheeks! OhMyGoodness! I love it! I can't wait to kiss them!
Sunday, November 15, 2009

We're having a Boy! Oh, did we already know that?

Well Friday was a pretty big day! Nic and I ventured almost an hour to Keene New Hampshire to get a 4D ultrasound. I made sure to have a little something to get him moving. (I wasn't too worried about it since he's quite active but better safe than sorry.) Nic was excited but I was SUPER excited. I couldn't wait to see when our little man looks like and said it only a few dozen times on the way there. :-D I also wanted her (Kim, the ultrasound tech) to double and triple check the gender because the very day before, I had another dream about a baby girl. Yeah. It made me nervous because we have already had a baby shower. We've already made purchases with a baby boy in mind. Not to mention we'd be starting from ground zero on names. Well we're not much further along on boy names anyway. That's a whole other story. Let me just say that I am thrilled we are having a boy and it's not just cause it'd throw of our game plan so far. We found out that he's already in a head down position and the big bump on my left side is his tush. It was also nice to see that the poking and prodding I get in my ribs and on my right side are his precious little feet. I don't feel so bad pushing back now since I KNOW it's not his head! ;-) So lets get the pictures started! The video will be posted in a separate post as soon as Nic shows me how to edit it and shorten it a bit. Don't worry, I wont take out any good stuff...just the extra stuff that makes it 40 minutes long!

Here's Daddy. Wishing I didn't bring the camera...again...

Me, giddy and ready to see my boy!

This is the sweet little room that we did the ultrasound in and the TV in which we were able to see him.

This is Kim. She was a sweetheart! She was very nice and made sure that I was comfortable through the whole process. She even let us run a little late since she didn't have another appointment after us.

She was even nice enough to take a picture of us. She was a little worried about using my camera. It could be a little daunting if you aren't familiar with a dSLR. :-)

Here I am all jellied up and waiting to begin.

This is a cute flower that Kim made of my belly. The belly sure looks smaller when I'm laying on my back. :-D

Here's our little man. Eyes open and a little smirk to go with those big, fat cheeks.

Here he has his eyes closed and his chin resting on his hand. Just like Mama does often.

I love this little scrunchy face.

Lets pucker up and how off those cherub cheeks!

This is a 2D shot of him flexing his toes. Can you see them? His hand is just to the right of his toes. He just finished tugging on them. Too adorable!

This is just further proof that we have a boy on our hands! We didn't get a picture to prove the gender at our 18 week ultrasound so here it is. Just in case anyone had a you don't! Hahahaha

Finally, this is one of my favorites. I must say that the 3D picture we got of this man at 18 weeks was the spitting image of Nic. This one reminds me of a baby picture of myself. I can't wait to hold him in my arms, study his face and really see the combination of the two of us.

Such joys await us. Hope you like the picture!

The things men do best.

Don't get me wrong...I love putting things together with the best of them. It's actually something I enjoy but since I was knee deep in sorting our shower gifts, Nic made himself busy putting together a couple big items. Namely the stroller and co-sleeper. He wasn't even sure if it was something he should get into since I had already adequately made a mess of the living room. I told him to go ahead and do it. I've also heard some horror stories of waiting until items are needed to put them together only to find out that things were missing. The little nagging voice in my head was it now, don't wait, you'll be sorry! It was fun watching Nic dive into the daddy role. He'll be putting together a plethora of toys, bikes, furniture and I'm sure many other things that I haven't even thought of, over the years to come. Please pardon the quality of these photos...I was in documenting mode and not paying too close attention to camera settings. Nic only was going to let me have so many and even those he was trying to hide. I got what I could get. ;-)

Here he is getting started to putting together the Jeep Overland stroller. Nic's so good about doing things the right way. There's no doubt in my mind that he's be able to figure out how to put it together and not use the instructions. But why go through the hassle and possibly get frustrated or brake something when they tell you how to do it? Of course there have been plenty of times where I've seen him throw away instructions, curse the morons that wrote such a useless instruction manual and continue on putting the thing together without a problem.

It's all pretty simple really...front tire...

Goes on like such.

The rear tires too.

And tada! You have a rolling stroller.

Wouldn't you like to see a photo of it finished? That would be nice wouldn't it. Well sorry. I didn't get one. Yup that's right, Nic cut me off. No more pictures were allowed. I'll get one up here soon. It's a pretty sweet ride. Easy to fold. Stylish. A built in sound system that works great!

Here he is browsing through the instruction manual for the co-sleeper. This one didn't have as many parts but also wasn't as self explanatory about what went where. This was the first time Nic saw such an item in person. I'm not even sure he took a peek at the pictures when I was researching it. He did great though.

Here he is, making sure I got his back. I once thought that he would turn not realizing that I was trying to take a picture of him. I now know that it is, in fact, quite intentional. BUTTHEAD! (Don't you love my mess of baby clothes on the couch? I was trying to sort. What you can't see is another 6 bags on the floor that held: books, rattles/toys, bibs/burp cloths, receiving blankets, sleep sacks and hygiene items. I told you that I made a good mess of the living room!)

Here we are having a good laugh about it. I made sure to catch him as he had his hands full and couldn't get away! This is the end of my photo taking since he started to put up another fuss and I was needed to grab my side.

All in all, both items were quite simple to put together. The co-sleeper was much easier than many of the reviews let on and will be easy to do it alone if I need to take it with me. (Not likely but still a nice option if necessary.) Thank you again to the many family that purchased both of these items as group gifts for us. The wee man will use both items many times over!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I have the best family and friends a girl could ever ask for! They trick me but I like their tricks. Yesterday Nic and I went to Rhode Island for his Auntie Lillian's' 80th birthday party. As it turned out, that's just what they told me. My amazing mother in law and many members of my family had feverishly planned a surprise baby shower for me! I had no idea! Nic had even called much of my extended family and many of my friends. I can usually tell when he's up to something but this time...I was completely in the dark. :-) They got one over on me big time! My family in Florida, mother in North Carolina, family in Kansas, family in Virginia and family in New Jersey were all in on it too! From what I understand, this has been in the works for months! :-D They are too good to me!

We had an all girl baby shower full of delicious food, cake, laughter and much generosity. I must say thank you too everyone that had a hand in putting it together. My mom, Nic's mom and Chris for letting us use her home as our party venue. We had many hours of opening presents from people both there and from around the country. My mother wasn't able to join us in real life but we were able to have her join us via It was a day full of excitement, joy and great conversation.

Here are some photos. :-) Buckle in...there's a lot.

This was what my present pile looked like. Believe it or not, there were more stashed in another corner and even more stashed in another room! I am blown away at the generosity!

These were the cute little favors that Mom DiOrio put together. They are little ornaments that have glitter, confetti and "it's a boy!" charms. They are too cute! Leave it to me to forget to get a picture of one out of the little bag!

Here we go...getting started!

This is my helper. Jamie was my right hand the whole afternoon. She helped me get all the paper into trash bags, move the opened items to another pile and pick up things I couldn't reach. I still can't believe how much more difficult bending and reaching is becoming! Whew!

Me, Nic and Mom. Sorry mom this isn't a better picture. It's the only one of the 3 of us and the best shot of the giant belly! Maybe Chris got a better picture than we did?!

Here I am trying to get Mom O'Brien linked up with us via Skype. For some reason we kept losing our connection? :-(

Of course my mom is great at sentimental presents too. This was a card giving me a few details on one of the presents in her box of goodies.

See?! This is me crying because she is so thoughtful! I opened a hooded, Syracuse sweatshirt that I wore when I was a baby that came from Grandma and Grandpa Rieth! Man do I miss him! He was a Syracuse nut! Our little man will wear it in style! That one present not only got me blubbering but also mom and the entire room of women watching me open presents! Happy tears of course!

OK. We're over the tears and back on our way with smiles.

This is one of the two security clutches we got for the little guy. Would you believe they are both puppies?! We have an overwhelming array of puppy/dog themed items. :-D That's fine by me! I'm sure this little man will be a animal (especially dog) lover just like the rest of the family!

More cuteness. I love baby stuff!

This is the stroller that I've been drooling over for a while now. This gift was a collaborate effort from family in Florida, Kansas and Virginia. See, there is power in numbers! I wasn't able to get a picture of the Ergo baby carrier but that also came from this group. Two items that will be invaluable! This picture of the stroller is a little funky. Check back in a few days for a post on the fun Nic had putting it together! :-)

This is Nic's Auntie Kathy.

On the left is Auntie Lillian. I was told that it was her birthday party. Happy 80th Auntie! On the right is Nic's cousin Chris. She is our generous host that opened her house to this group of estrogen! Thank you Chris!

Here we are again...barely making a dent in our present opening. That was the 'bundle me' that I got from Grandma O'Brien, Aunt Therese, Valaree and Kimberlee.

This is the play mat that I got from the same group of ladies. I can't wait to let little man play with this. I'm sure there will be many hours of discovery and learning!

Here I'm having a good laugh at Auntie Cheryl. I thought for sure she was trying to keep me out of this box because of the way she had it wrapped. Turns out she was just trying to hide the fact that it was a Christmas box! hahah And she still let the cat out of the bag!

This is a neat bouncer that Chris got us. Turns out that it was a favorite of her son Jesse.

Wrist rattles. Who think of this stuff? Awesome! Anything he can't drop or throw is right up my ally!

One of many adorable outfits!

This is a nifty little swaddler for in the car seat or stroller. It's not as heavy as the 'bundle me' but will work well when just a blanket is needed. He can be nice and snug in the restraints yet warm and cozy. Perfect!

Cousin Marissa and Auntie Gina! It was great meeting Marissa and her mother (Auntie Dawn)!

Auntie Marion and Cassandra. It was fun meeting this pair too! What chatter bugs! Love it!

Auntie Arlene getting a little stir crazy after so many hours of opening gifts! Happy 75th birthday to you too Auntie!

I love this picture of Jamie! She's getting so big! I can't get over how much of a young woman she's becoming. She was our flower girl just a few short years ago!

Here's Mom DiOrio cutting up the cake for us. Mmm....Mmmm...was it yummy! WOW!

See?! Chocolate cake, vanilla cake, and pudding! How could you go wrong!?

Auntie Gina liked it.

Auntie Jen liked it too!

Hi! Thanks for signing the baby book!

This is Grams Aceto. This is the lady that took care of all the packages. If someone out of town wanted to was her house that things got mailed to! Thanks for keeping it all sorted Grams!

Whew! Those are all the pictures that I'll bore you with. It was one heck of a party and we had a ball! Thank you again to everyone that had a hand in making this happen. I was a little bummed that I wasn't going to be able to celebrate with the ones I love. I was feeling a bit outcast and far away here in Vermont. Hmm...outcast isn't the right word but I was deffinately missing my family in this joyous and exciting time. It means a lot to me that everyone went through so much trouble to make sure we had a great start to this amazing little life growing inside me.

I just can't say THANK YOU enough!
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