Monday, August 5, 2013

the little things.

Know what's totally beautiful, jam-packed with spirit, and pretty much magical? Beaver Island, Michigan. Know who went there for five days and took zero (0) pictures? Yeah, me. But in my (weak) defense, I'd never been so focused on...not focusing. On doing nothing. On being present with myself, with J.J., and with our friends and their kids who were there with us. On soaking up these last weeks before Baby comes.

Part of the magic was in the fact that it was about 60 degrees and cloudy/rainy nearly every day we were there. Yep, for our beach vacation, a.k.a. our last kid-free vacation together. Oops. Really, though, once we added a few layers of clothing? The magic revealed itself in the simple things. In a secluded, pristine beach house with lake access and a hammock. In the local toy museum. In afternoon naps. In rounding the street corner on your bike and being slapped with a full-frontal view of Lake Michigan sparkling in the evanescent sunlight. In nicknaming our baby girl, whom I sat around watching move all over my belly. In roasting marshmallows and hot dogs ("not-dogs" for me) over a fire that was also necessary for warmth. In speeding back to the house from the ice cream shop to beat a vicious thunderstorm. In my favorite sandwich ever - garden veggies, hummus, artichokes, and gouda on dill bread - available daily at one of the (two?) restaurants on the island. In shave ice eaten on the dock. In board games and snack-bingeing after the kids were in bed. In swings on the beach. In everyone pitching in with the cooking and the cleaning and the kid-wrangling. And, of course, in the fact that I made it through a four-hour car ride, a two-hour ferry ride, and a three-mile bike ride while almost eight months pregnant without wanting to die and sleep and get an epidural for upper back/butt pain. The little things...

When the forecast called for sunshine and 75 degrees the day we were supposed to leave, we spontaneously decided to stay an extra day. I'm so glad we did! We soaked up the sun, played outside, and hiked some sand dunes. Unbeknownst to me, J.J. snapped a faraway photo of me on top of the dunes - one that will have to suffice as my bump silhouette of the week, since I wasn't home to take my usual picture.

Grainy, but it's there! 31 weeks, 2 days.

So, inspired by our laid-back vacay, this post is dedicated to a few little things - namely, the little things happening around the house. You know all that crap you want to get done, but never really get around to? Well, apparently nesting inspires a now-or-never attitude that may be defeatist, in a way (considering that yes, you CAN actually get stuff done after you have a baby), but hey, whatever works.

For example...

:: I finally got around to adding a softer edge to the hearth in the family room. The black tile is pretty, but the edge was deadly sharp, especially adjacent to slippery hardwood floors (that have no rug because I can't. Make. Rug. Choices.). Plus, the corner of the tile always dug into the back of the couch. I actually had an old canvas frame propped there as a buffer for years - YEARS - because I was too lazy to find rubber edges to soften it up. Well, when J.J. and I went to register for baby schtuff, I saw this black rubber childproofing edging that seemed perfect. And it is! It blends right in and hasn't fallen off yet. We'll see how it holds up to prying mobile-infant hands, but for now, it's a win.

:: Also in the family room, and also on my to-do list for literally years, and ALSO a hazard of not having a rug - I bought better pads for the chair legs. I'd had to double up on the ones pictured below because they always found a way to slip off after a few chair uses. I thought there was no other solution and had resigned myself to nasty, ineffective pads that harbored dust and hairballs. Enter new pads that fit right over the end of the leg, which look miles better and will hopefully hold up over time without attracting quite so much disgusting debris.


:: I'm replacing the knobs on our changing table with some cute ones I found on Etsy. Unfortunately, the knobs didn't come threaded - meaning I had to use full force to drive the screws in for the first time. Most of the screws cooperated, but I may or may not have a Phillips-head-shaped puncture wound in my hand from a little slip.

Hint: I do. I do have a Phillips-head-shaped puncture wound in my hand.

:: Okay, not a home improvement project, but this guy deserves a shout-out in a post about recognizing the little things. It's the water bottle my sister gave me on our trip to Chicago that we took two days after I discovered I was pregnant. I'm not generally a huge water drinker, but during my first trimester, I was constantly thirsty. As both my pregnancy and the summer progress, it's super important to stay hydrated. This water bottle is BPA-free, fits in my car cup holder and my backpack's side pocket, has a handy straw so I don't have to tip it upside down to drink, and helps me keep track of how much water I've had throughout the day. Nothing but love. (I believe it's from a three-pack of identical water bottles from Costco.)

:: I don't have pictures yet, and it's NOT a little project, but J.J. and his dad have been hard at work installing a fence in our back yard. We're not really fence people, but once our natural border was chopped down in an attempt to minimize the invasive species in our neighboring park, we figured it was time. Plus, it'll be helpful to keep tiny offspring corralled in the yard - and random pooping dogs out of the yard. So picture this scene with a wooden fence behind the shed:

:: Lastly, I woke up this past Saturday morning with a wide-open weekend stretching in front of me and randomly thought, "Hey! Why not take on a project that I've wanted to do forever, but have been procrastinating?" I'll save the full rundown for a future post, but here's a sneak peek of before and after in the upstairs hallway...

So, yeah! Those are just a few of the things happening chez moi these days. I also have a handyman coming over on Thursday to tackle some other long-needed little fixes:
  • Adjusting our pull-out kitchen garbage can, which doesn't close properly
  • Re-caulking the bathtub, which I could totally do on my own, but I figure eight months pregnant is not the time to be spending a few hours around mold and caulk fumes
  • Tightening the outlets in the nursery, which I can't seem to fix on my own
  • And a biggie - installing fans in both of our bathrooms - woot!!

It feels damn good to get these things taken care of, and to cross things off an ever-expanding to-do list. Now, if someone could just get my oil changed and find new glasses for me...

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