Sunday, January 29, 2012

The renovation continues...making our mark

We've blogged about the interesting finds when renovating our house, from old newspapers, to random things people leave in the wall, forgetting they are there.  Like the loop of string hanging from a nail...random?  Why is that there? But there it was, in the bathroom.

Tonight, Little Brant decided, before Daddy closed up the bathroom walls tomorrow, we all needed to sign and date the inside.  After saying this, Daddy said that under the house someone wrote, "Poor Bill."  There is much speculation about the meaning, from morbid to humorous.  And of course, after putting the floor into the attic, Big Brantley and his Dad (aka Pop Pop or Louie) signed their work.

So, following tradition, we whipped out a Sharpie...
Carefully printing his name, including the II

Daddy adding his, Brant made him write I (the first) after his

And there you go.  Yes, the date says 2/1/12...that's the anticipated date of wall completion
 In case you were wondering what else is going on.
The new drywall (mold and moisture resistant).  Also, in the bathroom with  only one light, we now  have 3 can lights, not to mention the ones that will go over the sink. 

Daddy has gotten so good at "mudding" drywall, it hardly need to be  sanded!
So there you are, we are making our mark.  Should see some tiling going on this week, exciting!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Surprise! The middle school surprise shower for Baby Henry

Thursday morning we breezed into school, right at 8:00, cutting it close.  There was a lot of activity down the hall, but Brantley and I had to get our stuff together, and B down the hall to class.  Brantley did seem interested in the tables set out in the hall, but it was advisory (8-10 same sex groups that meet with a teacher to discuss whatever is going on in lives) morning, and all kinds of crazy stuff happens.  But there is always on top of food.   So tables of food didn't clue me in to anything.  Brantley was suspicious though...

I came back to my room, and a student runs into my room, reminding me to come to morning meeting.  Grabbing my planner and coffee I headed out, only to realize it was THURSDAY, not MWF morning meeting day....hmmmm... Then I saw this...

Then this...

The student lounge was packed with the 56 middle schoolers and staff.  Lunch tables had blue and white tableclothes, flowers and duckies running down the centers.  The best sight, though, were those 56 smiling faces, so excited to have gotten one over on me.  Those kids kept the secret for a couple of weeks!!  

First up, breakfast for the kids, and I got to go before the herd.  One of my talented students made these cute cupcakes.

Seriously, isn't that adorable?
 Next up, it was present time!  The kids all presented me with the gifts from their advisories.  Mr. D's group was up first.  This single teacher later informed me it was one of his most uncomfortable shopping trips to buy the diapers..and did you know there was a WALL of diapers??!  Love it!!
Not only did he do well, he also got a variety of sizes!  Three boxes from those guys! 

Mr. Kuhn's guys were up next...our carseat base and a changing pad cover!!

Mrs. Latham's Ladies came next...a Bumbo, tray AND our Diaper Genie!

and hooded towels.  Apparently the Latham ladies did not feel that a baby shower was complete without hooded towels!

Mrs. Maner's Men presented me with a $100 gift certificate to a local spa and, with the  warning that, though the wrapping paper was Tiffany colored, the diapers within are not! 

Mrs. Noronha's gals gave Henry a basket LOADED with goodies, including a gift certificate to a nail salon for me.  In the basket?  Bottles, pacis, socks, changing pads, a baby food storage organizer...I know I'm forgetting something. It was jammed packed! 

 The last group was Mrs. Weatherly's Weatherwomen!
One of the girls made Henry a blanket!

And another amazing basket packet with goodies.  A cute monster hat, Little Einstein toy, a lovey, taggie bib, a sleep sack and once again, I know I am forgetting something!
 Amongst all those gifts for Henry, were two big brother gifts for Brant.  So a student ran down to his class to get him.
A little shy walking into a room full of big kids

Mrs. Noronha's girls got him Thomas bath toys!

Warming up to the crowd...

And the Weatherwomen got him a cool wooden jet model to put  together.

He was a bit overwhelmed, as was I
To top it all off, the boys loaded my car for me!  Overwhelmed is too weak a word to say how I felt.  What a great morning!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Baby Henry's BDS shower

Today the faculty at BDS showered us with love and many wonderful items to welcome Baby Henry with!  It was such fun to be able to have some social time with my teacher friends!  Here are some photos of the wonderful afternoon.
The food was delicious!  And the cupcakes on the left looked like spring flowers!

I had to sit in the rocking chair during the preceding faculty meeting!

Having fun seeing all the sweet boy things. 

The gift table, loved the "mommy's rockstar" bag!

Sweet teacher friends

And Andy (who went with me to Spain and France) was the only other guy than our head of school.  And can you believe it, he even took care of ordering our crib for us, the gift from my middle school buddies.  His only complaint, he now gets Babies R Us emails daily!

Obviously the crib didn't fit in here, so a toy crib was "borrowed" from one of the kindergarten classes!  And the bag you see...Airheads.  Yep, I've raided Lana's treat basket for these all year.  Something about Airheads this time!

We had so much fun together!   Baby Henry is almost set!

And the renovation continues...

Brantley is slowly getting going on the bathroom again, after a virus got him down last week, and life just got crazy afterwards. But we are settled in at Mom's for nights, which allows Brantley more freedom to really get stuff messy during the day.  Of course, if the weather outside would cooperate, it'd be a lot more fun for  him. Running through the rain to get to the workshop is not the most fun, and it eliminates all his outdoor storage space!  
Nonetheless, Handy Brantley has been at work.  Look what we found behind the shower surround.  we knew about the window that used to be there, as we took it out (hello! WHY would you want a full sized window THERE?)  But the sheetrock behind it was a lovely surprise, with vintage 1940's wallpaper.   And really, let's just talk about sheetrock behind a shower.  There's a bit of a moisture issue that now has to be resolved. But I have been assured it will be done RIGHT.  As if Brantley could do any less!!
There must have been a clawfoot tub in there at one point.  I'd kind of like it back, but I do like a shower.
Handy Hubby working on the molding that goes on the outside. 
He's just the best.  Although I did stay out of the bathroom when he was using the nail gun.  Those walls are SOLID, but you could hear the noise of the nail go in and it was loud!  My OCD mind saw a nail shooting through or something.  When I told Brantley, he just shook his head at me.  I'm sure the word "nutcase" was in there somewhere.
The new transom window.  I can't believe the difference it makes light wise. No more cave!

Not much else new today, except there is nothing but studs for walls.  Brantley was supposed to get a good day's work in, but an impromptu trip to the pediatrician for Brant (a runny nose since before Christmas) interrupted him.  By the way, the diagonosis was post-nasal drip.  Doctor speak for a runny nose!  The weather is wreaking havoc on him too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The silly things that happen when nothing is happening

After a week and weekend of fun and excitement, this week has settled into normalcy.  Big B had a touch of a virus that knocked him out of commission for a few days (and put the renovation on hold for a bit), but all seems to have sorted itself out and we are back in the routine.

Tonight, while waiting for Grandma to arrive with dinner from, where else? Village Grill! Little B took a break from trains and got out his harmonica.  And we had a bit of a surprise!  Check out what happened when I decided to video Brant's harmonica concert!

Baby Henry's Shower in Delaware

As spirit week wrapped up, we were preparing for a whirlwind trip to Delaware.  Departing Saturday morning, we arrived in time for a great family dinner with Brantley's sisters and their families.   It is always such fun  to get together with the family, especially for the cousins!  And Grotto's pizza on top of it all...yummy, can't get much better...except maybe if Mom Mom and Pop Pop had been there with us!

Is it just me or do they look related??

The four oldest cousins!
Sunday afternoon was the big day! For two girls who said this wasn't their "thing" they did a great job!  Look at how pretty it was!
Before all the snacks were out

The cute diaper cake

And the blue iced cupcakes were blue cake too!
Not to mention the cute ducks that were scattered around, and all the goodies!

 In the back of my mind, I admit, I did wonder how Brant would react to all the attention given to the baby.  It seems that every nay sayer and bad-news bearer has given me their opinion about how it was going to be, especially because of the 5 year age difference.  But our Big Brother surprised us once again, or actually, didn't surprise us, for he really is a great kid.  Instead of being jealous, or acting out, he became a helper!

Brant delivered gifts to me to open

And we both had fun discovering what was inside.  And the fun part was, his cousins all gathered around towards the end too!

One of our favorite gifts, an organizer bag stuffed with all kinds of baby boy goodies!
It was such a great day, which we wrapped up with another dinner out, at Bethany Blues, with all 13 of us!  Our heads were still spinning when we loaded in the car to drive home, but it was so good to see one and all, and it made us long for a longer (warmer!) summer visit to come!

The spirit week wrap-up

Spirit week 2012 wrapped up with favorite team day.  Walking into Brantley's class, it was a sea of blue, ranging from Carolina, to Duke, to the surprise Michigan!  The red was prevalent as well, from the burgundy of Brantley's Elon U., NC State  to Ohio State. It was quite fun to see his teacher in Campbell orange!

And me, well, since Big B's alma mater was in full showing with Brant, I decided my own needed a bit of support as well!  So, I sported my Salem College sweatshirt.

A photo you ask??  Nope, forgot to get that one too.  Mornings are just too hectic for photo ops!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spirit Week 2012: PJ and Wacky Tacky Day

Well, PJ day has come and gone, and only after Brant's bath last night did I realize we didn't get a photo!  Oh well, he was super-cute in his Cars PJ bottoms and thermal shirt, I was quite the relaxed teacher in sweats and a long sleeved t-shirt.  Let me just say, if ONLY I could teach in that everyday!  It was bliss!

Today was Wacky Tacky Day, and sure to be an eye-popping success on everyone's part.  The kids looked great, though I must say, many of them had an air of the '80s and early '90s about them, more Pop than eye-popping.  But Brant helped me pick out his clothes, and insisted on wearing one of his shirts backwards too.  I however, sabotaged the whole thing for me in purchasing maternity clothing.  I've made a point to get lots of mix and match outfits...thus, very hard to go tacky!  But raiding the jewlery and clashing colors came through and here were are!

We were both on the crabby side this morning, so this is as good as a photo got!  Like the door we removed from the bathroom that's still in the kitchen?? It would be me that wants to do something "crafty" with it (maybe the source of another blog post!)
You can't see that Brant had on cammie pants either, but he was a tacky fellow!  Tomorrow is favorite college/university team day...can you guess what we'll be wearing?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spirit Week 2012: Crazy hat and sock day

Here we are on crazy hat and sock day. I had to tone it down a bit due to having a visitor in the classroom today, but it was fun nonetheless! Brant had great fun though, Mickey ears are always a great choice, and soccer socks!

Silly boy!  Next trip to Disney we need some  more, the elastic has stretched out!

Sporting Brantley's caving helmet! We got it for him a couple of summers ago at Organ Cave. We were both one of a kind at school today!

Tomorrow, Jammie Day!!  a favorite!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spirit Week 2012: Blue and White Day

Oh yes, it's that week again!  The week of the year topped only by the hype of the week before Christmas..yes, Spirit Week!

Today was Blue and White day, and we were supposed to "Blue Out" the gym at the basketball games this afternoon.  But I had ANOTHER doctor's appointment (really getting tired of those), and Brant went home with Grandma.  It didn't stop us from dressing up though!  Check out our shirts we made!  (Please remember that I am in fact, 32 weeks pregnant and a bit blobby looking right now!)

In case you can't read them, mine says Big Bruin, Baby Bruin on the belly and Brant's says Little Bruin!
 We were quite the hit, I must say!
 Tomorrow, crazy hat and sock day!  We'll see how that goes for me, but Brant is sure to be looking good!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday morning demolition

This past week has been a doozy.  The first week back to school from break is always hard, but it seemed to be a bit harder.  I thought it was because I am pregnant, and tired, and Brant was fighting a cold, and tired, but later discovered it was a trifecta...there was a full moon as well!

But we made it through, although Brant had a sick day on Friday as the crud finally got him.  A day of rest and he was raring to go Saturday morning.  Daddy had promised some renovation work, and his best helper was ready and raring to go.

Last week we made a trip to IKEA (quite possibly our favorite store EVER), to buy some supplies for the renovation. Basically, other than the tile, toilet and things like wiring, we bought it all there.  And so, we were ready to get started, after another trip to Lowe's of course).

I called home early last week to see what Daddy was doing and the cryptic reply was "working in the bathroom."  Excited, I didn't ask more, but waited to be surprised when we got home from school.  Thinking he was installing our transom window above the shower, I was totally surprised to see a new pocket door!  It was a HUGE space saver!
Well, the door wasn't actually in yet, but that's the frame for it. It'll slide in that area with the horizontal boards.  The door went in later that day. We had plans to reuse the original door, from the 1940's, but the cost to buy the hardware was $140  and a new door with the correct hardware was $25!

So this morning, after a jaunt to the barber shop, and another trip to Lowe's for needed supplies, the boys got working!
Yummy!  Yellowish gold linoleum that goes half-way up the walls in the kitchen and bath.  It was THE thing back in the day the house was built.  For us, it's just ugly!

Crowbar in hand, safety gear on...It's DEMO time!

Tearing out the beadboard (not original to the house, don't worry)

And tackling the drywall.  Fresh drywall is going to make a huge difference!
So in doing all this renovation on a house built in 1947 always turns up a few surprises, pleasant or not.  We've found old newspapers stuck in for insulation and been able to read them (it was the wedding section from the Greensboro Sunday paper).  This time, however, it was more irritating.

In tearing out the wall for the pocket door, Brantley had to move some wiring.  He decided that the one wire that really was out of whack and made no sense in it's placement was going to go. Knowing it was connected to an outlet behind the Hoosier in our kitchen and never used, it wouldn't present a problem.  So, it got disconnected.  We cleaned up for the night and went into the living room to relax.  I reached over to flip on the lamp beside the couch and it wouldn't work.  Brant checked the breaker box, power strip and finally, finding no solution, we decided that the goofy wiring in the bathroom must have somehow been connected to the one outlet as far from the other one that you could get!  So, thankfully the wall hasn't been closed up and things can be re-wired, but geez people!  You didn't have to make our renovation so interesting!

More demo tomorrow, toilet must be moved to get to the rest of the wall.  But don't worry, my boys have it well under control!  As long as there are no more surprises!