Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jump Baby Jump!

Conan is big enough now to enjoy going in the doorway jumper. I have to pad it out with blankets to keep his skinny little self centered in it, but once he's situated he loves it. He doesn't exactly jump yet, but he is all about being held upright and seeing what happens when he throws his weight around. That goes for being held in my arms, too. He's a physically precocious kid: he rolled over from his back to his front for the first time this week. He hasn't repeated that feat yet, but I've seen him working on it so I'm sure he'll soon be doing it all the time. Which is exciting but also means we have to be much more watchfull when he's on the changing table, or playing with his baby gym. He's on the move!

He's also gaining weight better, we had a checkup this week and he's up to 12 lbs. 13oz. He's taking larger and larger feedings, and spacing them out a bit more too. Hopefully this will lead to increased sleep at night. He pretty regularly only wakes up twice per night now, but occasionally we still have 3 or 4 waking nights, which really kill mama & papa. Combined with the fact that Conan seems to firmly beleive that the day starts at 5 am (weekends? what are weekends?), we're feeling pretty sleep deprived. Everyone says that at three months is when babies start sleeping, so we're really hoping to get some better sleep soon. Please!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Remember when this was a house blog?

In non-baby related news, we have a new kitchen floor! Any of you who have been by the house in the past several months may have noticed that the cork in the kitchen was warped and gaps had opened between several of the tiles. This was due to a slow leak in an exterior hose bib caused by a late freeze last spring. We got the leak fixed last summer, and it seemed that the damage was minimal until the heat came on this fall. The cork had apparently absorbed more water than we thought, and as it dried out it shrank. A lot. We had huge (1/2") gaps, and in a few spots the top layer delaminated and chipped off. It was ugly. But I was kind of busy in December & January, and I didn't really think we could afford to replace it, so I put off dealing with it.

One day when my uncle Fred, who is a contractor, was visiting, I asked him what we'd need to do to go about fixing the floor. He knew how to do it, and said he'd be happy to bid the job. I told him I didn't think we could afford it, and he said "Don't you have homeowner's insurance?" Well, of course we do - I just hadn't thought of using it! I didn't have high hopes that they would pay for the job, but lo & behold, when the insurance adjuster came out to check the damage he said yes!

The first step was to strip out the old damaged cork flooring, down to the slab. There was quite a bit of moisture still trapped between the concrete and the vapor barrier, and a bit of mold under the trim in the pantry. Sanford and Marcelles inspect the newly revealed (and very warm) concrete:
Originally the plan was to replace the damaged cork with new cork of the same kind, but when we tried putting the newly purchased cork tiles down we ran into several problems. Despite being the same brand and looking identical, the new tiles are a smidge thinner, an eence wider, and the toungue-and-groove is a little different. In short, they don't fit together. We'd have had to take out the entire floor in the kitchen, living room, and probably office and replace ALL the cork to keep cork in the kitchen. We'd had some reservations about putting cork back in the kitchen anyhow - what if we had another water leak? We couldn't handle the disruption of replacing the entire floor downstairs right now - not with a young baby & going back to work - so we decided to refloor the kitchen with the black slate tile that we had used in the hearth and on the sunporch.

Here are the first tiles being positioned in place:
Note that the fridge is in the living room in the picture above. It made me feel a bit like Homer Simpson to have the fridge right at the end of the couch. In the end though, I prefer it in the kitchen.

Slate has some advantages over the cork - it is more responsive to the radiant heat, and it's very durable: we'll never have to worry about water damage in the kitchen again. However, it has a couple of drawbacks as well - it's hard on our feet, and every future dish we drop is a gonner. Oh well - as Mom pointed out, we have lots of dishes. Below, Iggy inspects the grout:
And here's the finished floor, grouted and sealed. It is so beautiful. It really defines the kitchen as a separate space from the living room, which I think is a good thing. It also ties the black of the island cabinet and the diswasher and refridgerator together. It will take a little getting used to, but I'm really happy with it.

There are still a few finishing touches left to do, like putting the trim back and retouching the paint, but by and large it's finished. It's so nice not to have to see (and feel) big cracks in the floor every time I walk into my kitchen now. Hurrah for insurance coverage! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Goin' for a stroll

We took Conan out for a walk on the Interurban Trail. It was a cold, rainy-turning-to-snow, sometimes slightly sunny northwestern spring day, but he was warm and snug bundled up in the stroller. We usually use the front packs when we're shopping or for short walks, but for a longer walk on a cold wet day the stroller is perfect. It's so nappable!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Baby Giggles

In the last week or so he's started laughing! It's wonderful to be able to interact with him like this. I have zero video-editing capability, otherwise I might have been able to make the file shorter or smaller, sorry Mom! If you can watch, ignore my dorky voice, and focus on the cute baby: video

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Boss


Today was my first day back at work since I went on maternity leave in December. It was a bit strange trying to get my brain back into work mode, but it also felt really good to have something besides baby care and housework to think about. Charlotte came over in the morning and kept an eye on Conan until his afternoon nap. After he woke up I brought him into the office and he happily supervised from his bouncy chair as I finished out the day.

Caring for him while working can only be successful for short periods of time while he's happy, of course, so I've arranged for babysitting four days a week through the month of March, at least. Thankfully we have a good network of friends and family in the area to help make going back to work less stressful!