A door

I don’t recall if I ever discussed about the one-piece metal door frames that builders put in thought our house in the 50’s when it was built, but they are a pain in the ass.  They are solid, one piece door frames and casing with welded hinges.  The frames get nailed to the structure via a total of 12 tabs (3 on each side of the adjacent studs) under the sheetrock.  There are also two tabs on the bottom underneath the floor. So to remove one of these frames, you need to tear apart sheetrock and the floor.  Typing about it just makes me angry!  They would be alright to keep, even as ugly as they are, if they held paint well, but they chip so easily.  So I already removed two frames (no doors) in the two walls we are removing in the kitchen.  Still a pain, but not awful as all the sheetrock had to come down anyways.  The door the basement was left. It was on a wall all by itself it sheetrock in good condition.  I debated leaving it as is to avoid the hassle.  But the more I thought about it, it was now or never.  Due to the labor and mess required to remove, it had to be done as part of the whole remodel.

That was the project for yesterday.  Removed the old and add a brand new prehung door.  Although it took pretty much all day to complete it wasn’t too bad.

I said it before and I will say it again.  There is something about problem solving with your hands.  To evaluate a situation, develop a plan, and execute.  The reward is the sense of accomplishment when you step back at the end see what you were able to complete.  It’s an addiction that drives me on to project after project.  Yes it takes longer, yes I’m not expert, and yes it’s cheaper, but the greatest part of all these home projects is stepping back after it’s over and saying I did that.  Unlucky for Jessica, who likes shit done quickly, I think I will continue taking on more projects, after the kitchen is completed of course.

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Screening

Yesterday Jessica was scheduled to partake in the first trimester screening.  I unfortunately had a pre-scheduled work event and was unable to attend so her mother went with her instead.  I was happy she didn’t have to go alone and I was happy her mom was given an opportunity to go to see the ultrasound.  I didn’t know and hadn’t thought about it before but she never had ultrasounds with either of her children.  It just wasn’t a normal part of the pre-natal care in the 80’s and early 90’s.  We ended up asking my mother is she had ultrasounds and she too confirmed it was only done if their were complications.

Back to the appointment, so she had the ultrasound and the baby was measuring slightly too small.  We were supposed to be at 11 weeks exactly, but the baby was measuring at 10 weeks, 5 days.  Being slightly under the 11 weeks they were afraid of a false positive neural tube measuring so they cancelled the screening and rescheduled for the end of the next week.

Jessica did get a new picture of the ultrasound and it is now starting to look like a human.  It has a defined head, tiny hands and feet.  It is pretty amazing.  Jessica said when she started talking during the ultrasound the baby start bouncing up and down with in the gestational sac.  I hope that’s not a precursor to their energy level when born……… LOL.

Smoothing Out

After the roller coaster of the previous few days it was nice to have a smooth Friday.  Not just smooth but pretty good actually.  I was able to stay focused on work.  Made some good sales and good $$$, which is always a plus.

Jessica is feeling somewhat better with regards to her nausea. She got home a little earlier from work than usual so we headed out for a nice vegan, Thai dinner. Wasn’t the best, but good enough.  We retreated home where we just chilled out on the couch with the pups and a visit from Mr. Bentley our cat.  All in all, a great day and great start to the weekend.

#Winning

Yesterday’s focus was on winning.  Winning a new account.

The anticipation and anxiety of prepping for a sales presentation is similar to the feeling of getting ready to do an employee interview/interrogation during my previous life.  I find it addicting.  As much as you plan, you worry about every word that come out of your mouth.  You hope it’s received as you planned.  You hope you did enough homework on their needs.  You hope you strategy gets you to your end game.  You get one shot to impress, to make them question their previous assumptions. You have to read body language.  You analyze the situation and adjust/pivot.  You stay on your toes, ready to answer any and every question they are planning.  Most of all be yourself.  Be real. It’s you they are buying, it’s not about the product alone.

Baby Fever

Jessica was trying to sleep in, but I was too excited!  I love to create things, sometimes it’s photography, sometimes it’s woodworking, sometimes it’s design.  It’s fun to come up with a vision and then to make it reality.  I looked into the office, which is adjacent to our bedroom, and I started creating in my mind.

“So mama bear, what furniture are we going to need in the nursery?”

“I’m barely awake, what are you doing now?????”  (She knows when I start asking questions I am up to starting some project)

“I want to plan the nursery!  What are we doing with the dresser in here, how about the desk?  What do you think of the crib there, the chair and ottoman in the corner, and the dresser/changing table here? What about the color?  Keep it slate grey, add white furniture, and bring in color elsewhere?”

“I don’t know…… I just woke up!”

So I didn’t let that deter me.  I started tearing through the room. Moved the dress out and put it in our room.  Cleaned the desk and office supplies.  I then got to a point where all the rest of the shit was Jessica’s and I know better than to start moving her stuff around so I went on to other household chores.  She thinks I’m doing too much too soon, but I like to have a plan.  I know as she get more and more pregnant, the less she will feel like doing or be able to help with.  I have a lot of projects to complete in 9 months, one of which is a kitchen gut and remodel.  I need to space them all out.

I also like to plan, especially when it comes to finances.  Knowing we are going to need a ton of diapers, I ask Jessica if it’s nuts to start stock piling diaper now week by week as they are on sale or coupons are available so we can spread the costs over a greater time period.  Jessica likes to shop, especially when she get a discounts.  This really got her motivated.  On our way home from dinner we stopped at CVS to look at pricing and sales on diapers. Pampers were on sale.  I now have approximately 300 diapers in the ready in the basement.  We’re not excited or anything……..

Gigi x2

She opens the card and starts reading.  “I’m not your grandma,” see exclaims.  She continues to read.  Her eyes widen and she throws the card down, “Get out!! About freaking time!” She shares the card, and he looks surprised.

My parent’s recently moved the Boston area to be near my sister and their first grandchild.  They still have their house in CT, but it is currently listed for sale so they are required to maintain it.  Because of the snow storm on Tuesday they were traveling home to take care of the snow removal.  I surprised them by cleaning 99% of the afternoon prior.

This all worked out perfectly.  My mom called me Saturday morning when they arrived home to find all the snow gone.  She said she would like to take Jessica and I to dinner to say thank you.  It couldn’t have been set up any better.  She proposed to see me and suspected nothing.  We decided to meet at Green Tea a Chinese restaurant because it was easy for Jessica and I to order vegan.

They walked in and sat down.  I so excited to layout the surprise.  I start over analyzing everything I did, hoping to not give it away.  Just act normal, just act normal I kept saying to myself.  We ordered our food and I handed her the card. Her birthday was March 1st and although my sister and I went in on a gift together and she had already received, I had not technically given her a card yet.  So I handed her the card and said I keep forgetting to get this to you.  That’s where we start this post.

As can be assumed, the remainder of dinner focused on baby talk, possible names, what if its twins, diet, planning a nursery, etc.  The one caveat for my mother was my sister still didn’t know.  Jessica and I planned to head to Boston the following week to tell Erin in person, but it was going to be the longest week for my mother having to keep the secret. One more person to tell, but at least letting the cat out of the bag to me parents was such a relief. It is tough walking around with a secret, especially when it’s good news!

Vegan Corned Beef

Not much new on the baby front.  Jessica is still doing well, but she had her first big craving.  Being St. Patrick Day, she NEEDED to have a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner.  The one problem, we recently (for a week now) have decided to eat vegan.  The main reason was to change up our diet for a healthy eating lifestyle with the idea being, going vegan will force us to consume more whole foods and vegetables.  We always ate somewhat clean, but meat as the lead role of the meal.  The environmental and animal treatment were just ancillary benefits to being vegan.

After the first week of eating vegan I can say I do enjoy it.  It’s fun to think about food differently and create new meals that are nutritious and filling without meat.  I will admit I gave in a couple times to eating eggs because I do enjoy them for breakfast, but I did have a few less than normal.  For anyone thinking to go vegan, just beware it take a few days for your body to get used to digesting legumes if you hadn’t previously eaten them.  Boy do they have fiber.

So last night we gave in and went to our local watering hole and got a traditional corned beef dinner while being serenaded by bagpipes. I closed out my night with a shot of Jameson on the rock followed by some Sleepy Time tea. Happy St. Patrick Day!