Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cupcake Time!

(Click On the Picture To See It Full Size)


Happy First, Emma!

A year ago we were getting a new hospital room upstairs after Kate gave birth to Emma that morning. Both of us exhausted (her more so than me) and happy and giddy over the new arrival. Fast-forward to a year and it has flown by. When Jack was born, it took a year to feel normal (or at least adjust to the new normal). With Emma, we adjusted to the new normal in a matter of a few short months.

She is different from Jack in many ways but very similar as well. She is an eater and can put it down. Jack is pickier about his food and really likes his sweets. Emma likes pasta and veggies and will eat more than I thought a toddler could fit in her tummy. I don't know where it goes, but I do know she uses it because she is constantly on the go. Until she is asleep, her feet are constantly moving. She is not one to sit still for any amount of time. I could sit Jack down and walk away and he would stay there. She will follow me - everywhere. She has also discovered the stairs and will try to climb them if I go up there to get something. she also loves to shut doors, the front door, dishwasher door, cabinets, etc.

She likes drawers and is very curious, Jack was much more likely to play alone, and she likes to be more interactive and social. Both are a bit shy with new people but if you break through, she will give hugs or blow kisses.

Its been a good year, I wonder what she will be like in another?!?

Kid Rock Stars

I snapped this pic of the boys (Joe Jr., Jack and Beckett; cousins) at the Reston Zoo yesterday. It looks like they are in a band and this is their publicity shot. Can you spot the drummer? The drummer is always the one who looks like he stole something ten minutes before.

This was taken about a month ago but it was sitting in the "draft" box, not yet published.

Bathroom Renovation (Deconstruction Phase)

We began the bathroom renovation last weekend after getting a new toilet for the downstairs bathroom and installing that, ensuring that we have one bathroom that will work great during the process.

Installing a new toilet isn't as easy as you might think when you consider that the downstairs toilet did not sit level and the pipe that it hooks up to wasn't in great condition. This is what happens when you have a 60 year-old house. You have to deal with issues associated with older parts, out-dated parts and weird configurations from materials that nobody makes anymore (for good reason).

So the next part of the process is deconstruction (not demolition) of the upstairs bathroom. Deconstruction because its more of a process to discover what is behind walls and hiding. If you demolish, its messier and has more potential to hit a hidden pipe or touch a hidden electrical wire. There were several hidden wires from previous renovations for other rooms upstairs which was not done kosher. Usually wires are supposed to be tacked to a stud but almost all of the wires were just hanging, no care given in their placement. 

This will all have to be rewired and redone. I am not happy with the configuration of the pipes and I am sure sold on using updated materials such as PVC instead of cast iron pipes which are extremely hard to work with. PVC I can work with and have before.

During the deconstruction, I had to remove the sink and plumbing, which means I learned real quick, under pressure, to cap the two lines that ran under the sink and cap them by soldering the caps on. I did it on the first try under an hour. No leaks.

I just finished ripping out all the wall board, cast iron tub, insulation (Kate took care of the tile but I did cleanup on that) and several layers of floor down to the wood slats. Lots of nails.

Should be interesting to see how fast this develops, I will be sure to document the process by taking pictures and keeping up to date on the latest progress.