Friday, September 29, 2006

Clumsiness: The secret shame of pregnancy

Last Sunday, at my baby shower, I decided to pour myself a cup of milk. I managed this without incident, but ran into problems when I attempted to drink some of it. You see, I picked up the cup of milk and immediately dropped it. No one bumped me or anything; I just… let go of the cup. I’m still not entirely clear what happened.

After that, I got in trouble because Big Sister #3 asked me to “toss her a paper cup,” and I did, but it fell onto the cake. I guess she didn’t mean “toss” in the literal sense.

I was only trying to make her happy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

At least it’s not tight in the back

Yesterday I wore one of the new, gigantic (size XL-maternity) shirts that I bought last weekend. It was a loose blouse, and I was a little concerned that I would look really sloppy, as my style tends towards more fitted clothes as opposed to baggy stuff. So after I put it on, I asked The Husband, “Does this look too tenty?” I was remembering the days when I first tried to wear a maternity t-shirt, and it just hung out on all sides like a tent.

The Husband regarded me with pity, trying to work out the best way to phrase his response. Looking down, I realized why. “Oh. It’s not tenty at all, is it. It is actually skimming my belly,” I sighed.

And that t-shirt that used to be way too big?

It’s too small.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ding-Dong! The Bathroom Remodel is dead!

Like I said, it was a big weekend. Yes, it is true. According to the redefined interpretation of “completed,” The Bathroom Remodel is officially completed. Sure, there are a few cosmetic things to be finished: The baseboards need painting; the sticky, frosted privacy screens need to be attached to the windows; shelving, towel rods and pictures need to be hung, but WHO CARES. We can use the toilet, brush our teeth and shower all in the same room. We can do laundry. We can put stuff away.

The pantry is slightly behind the bathroom in terms of technical completeness, as it needs trim installed, primed, and painted, the walls aren’t finished, and the floor isn’t installed, but again, no one cares about these things. We can PUT DISHES AWAY. What else is there in life, really?

So what was not-a-thing-but-bigger-than-a-breadbox surprise? Well, I’ll tell you. On Saturday, while I was at the lab and then at Target shopping for bathroom accessories and enormously large maternity shirts, The Husband and Father-in-law changed this:

into this:

Yes. That is our pantry. With cabinets. Cabinets on the wall. Cabinets into which we have placed dishes.

But that wasn’t my entire surprise! No! Because on Sunday, while I was opening baby presents at my mom’s house, The Husband and Father-in-law transformed the dining room from this:
into this:

And the kitchen went from this:

to this:

I used to hate the kitchen, what with its being so ugly and all, but now I am in love with it. Who cares about ugly when you can walk through it without fear of losing a toe to a drill bit? On Monday, I even ate breakfast at the kitchen table! I hadn’t even seen the kitchen table since June.

So, all in all, the surprise was a good one. With an impact much, much bigger than a breadbox.

Now, I’m not showing you the office, living room, or nursery, because they are still being reorganized as we still have to arrange the furniture and finally put away all those homeless books. But that’s fine. Because you know what else happened? Yesterday, The Plumber came back and hooked up the bathroom vanity. And that means that it is time for pictures of The Remodeled Bathroom! (Back in the day, I told you I was going to talk about framing out the walls, but I realized that no one cares. So I’m skipping to the good part.)

First, let’s recall what it looked like before we started:

Now I present to you… The Remodeled Bathroom.





There she is! Complete with a new toilet:

and a sink faucet

from which water runs.

(Sorry, that part is still pretty new and exciting for me.)

And around the corner, to the right of the laundry area, we have the bathtub section.

Complete with a tile shelf

and a shower

from which water runs!

Last night The Husband also installed the toilet paper holder and the hand towel ring, but I’m going to spare you those pictures. You’re welcome.

I should mention that a huge side effect of The Remodeled Bathroom will be that I will no longer be distracted by The Bathroom Remodel when trying to hold social conversations with others. Instead, I will be free to obsess about The Pregnancy. The Pregnancy which gave my sisters an excuse to buy these for me:

You can’t see them, but they also have zippers!

I am now excited by running water and zippers. You might want to avoid me for the next few months/weeks, as I am the most boring person on earth.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monkey on my back

Oh, sweet Internet, promise never to leave me like that again! I apologize to all for the lack of updates. It figures that just when I was starting to build a fanbase of 3-4 people, my home internet connection would go down. And then I was home sick yesterday, still with no internet connection. And then I was back at work today, but Gmail and Blogger were down all day! So that means I've been out of touch with the Internet for four days! Oh the humanity!

Anyway, check back tomorrow night. I will have pictures posted by then. (They may be posted by tonight, but I can't promise.) And they are exciting pictures, let me tell you. Yes, it was a big, big weekend over at the Grad Lab Adventures household. It turns out that The Husband was right: My surprise was not a thing, but it was oh so much bigger than a breadbox!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ha ha, I married him and you didn't

The Husband was home sick with the flu for the past two days. It was a mild flu, but a flu nonetheless. In spite of this, he spent Wednesday (the day before the water main broke) doing all the laundry in the house. He didn’t fold it, but he washed and dried it. Despite having the flu.

And yesterday he cleaned the living room. For those of you who have not been living in the chaos of The Bathroom Remodel for the past four or five months, the impact of this is probably lost. But trust me, this is a huge, huge deal. For, although there are still a few piles of papers and things that need to find permanent homes, these piles are tidy. This is a nice contrast from the previous organizational method of keeping things spread evenly over every horizontal surface in the room. We can see the whole rug now! Which meant that I could vacuum the rug for the first time in I don’t want to admit how long! As of last night, it is no longer stressful to sit in the living room. It is actually relaxing.

Finally, Father-in-law is going to come up this weekend and he and The Husband plan to get us to the point of hanging the pantry cabinets by the time the weekend is over. That means we will be able to put dishes in actual cabinets and get to reclaim our dining room table from The Bathroom Remodel. I, in turn, will attempt to organize the office/landing area so that we can move the excess furniture and books out of the nursery in order to make room for actual baby stuff. The Husband also informed me that he and Father-in-law are preparing a surprise of some sort for me, but he won’t tell me what it is. Under intense questioning, he admitted that, while it is not a thing, it is bigger than a breadbox. So figure that one out.

It is interesting that, as my due date draws nearer, the list of things I ask to be completed before the baby arrives grows shorter. And not because we are crossing them off. I have already given up on painted baseboards, and I recently decided that painted pantry walls are also a luxury. An installed bathroom vanity is no longer a requirement; neither is a clean kitchen floor. At this point, all I want is for stuff to be put away before October 21. If stuff gets put away before the baby comes, I will consider The Bathroom Remodel a success. And this is using the loosest possible definition of “put away.” I accept that a bunch of stuff will probably be stashed in the attic to be dealt with “later,” and that “later” will probably turn out to mean “until the next time we move.”

The Bathroom Remodel is weakening. I can hear it gasping for breath.

I hope it is suffering.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Irony, why do you hate us so?

In a hilarious ironic twist, The Husband and I woke up this morning to discover that we had no water. Apparently, a water main broke somewhere, so it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bathroom Remodel. Except that I secretly think the evil spirit of the Bathroom Remodel is responsible for it somehow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

If all you care about is The Bathroom Remodel, skip this post

The Doktah called me at work the other day and left me a message with an example of a limit where “plugging in infinity” didn’t work. At first, I thought she was right, and I wasn’t going to blog about it because it would mean I was wrong, and it’s my blog, so I don’t have to admit to being wrong if I don’t want to. But it bugged me all day, so I looked it up in my Calculus book when I got home that night.

I’m still right.

Her example:

Now, if you plug in infinity for L, you get

This appears to reduce to ∞/∞ = 1.

But! One thing that I admit to sort of forgetting because I don’t actually take limits anymore is that ∞/∞ is undefined. So while you can cancel ∞2/∞ to get ∞, you can’t cancel ∞/∞ to get 1. You have to use L’Hopital’s rule*. But back in the day when I used to take limits on a regular basis, this never bothered me or made me get any wrong answers in my problem sets because I knew the rule. Anytime you get an undefined solution like ∞/∞ or ∞/0 (or anything over 0, for that matter), you have to take another step to solve the problem.

So, nyah nyah.

*L’Hopital’s rule just says that the limit of the derivatives of each term in the function is the same as the limit of the function, so you just take limit of the derivatives of the separate terms until you get something that is defined. I put this explanation in a footnote because I would bet that 90% of my readers didn’t even read to the end of this entry because it is full of equations. I can’t really blame them.

Washer and Dryer: Ready for action

Last weekend, as I told you, I was reduced to tears because the woodwork in the bathroom was not going to be painted before The Plumber arrived. The horror! But now I am in a much more rational state of mind, and I realize that I may have been overreacting just a smidge. In fact, now that I am in the calm, cool light of a shower and non-disgusting new toilet, I’m fairly certain that painted baseboards are not actually required in a working bathroom. A sink, a toilet, a shower? All necessary features. Painted baseboards? A nicety. So if we don’t paint them until later, that is probably OK.

But the really excellent news is that The Husband is home sick today, and he called me while I was at work to ask where the fabric softener is. He needed to know because he was doing laundry! At our house! (That’s the good news part. Not that he’s sick.) Last Saturday, I had to buy a completely new set of detergent, bleach, and fabric softener, because our bottles have disappeared. I think that over the course of the past four months, I left a little trail of detergent, bleach and fabric softener at my sister’s house, my parents’ house and my in-laws’ house. Fortunately, I knew exactly where the fabric softener was, which was right in the grocery bag where I left it. For some reason, I put away all the groceries except the sponges and the fabric softener. But to keep things tidy, I carefully placed that grocery bag on the dining room chair. Days after grocery shopping. I actually lifted it up off the floor, looked inside, and put it on the chair. Naturally.

The even better news is that, according to The Husband, now that the washing machine is on a stable floor made of non-rotting wood and is resting perpendicularly to the floor beams, the spin cycle no longer causes the entire house to shake. We may even be able to use the “high spin” setting. Previously, even the “gentle spin” setting sometimes required that we brace ourselves against the washing machine to prevent the entire house from crashing down around us, or at least to prevent the washing machine from crashing down into the apartment below. It was a convenient means of getting a back massage, but not really the ideal situation.

So as soon as we get the towel rods and shelving installed, I’m going to take some “after” pictures and post them. But I should warn you: The baseboards will not yet be painted. (Also, the vanity and radiator won’t be installed, because I have a feeling that’s going to take three weeks.)

But unicorns are real, right?

I just had lunch with Brother-in-law #3. We ate on the roof of my lab building, and after we were finished, Brother-in-law #3 admired the view. “I think I can see my house from here,” he remarked.

“Yeah, I think that dome is the Greek Orthodox church near your house,” I replied.

He thought for a minute, estimating the distance between my lab and his house, and then asked, “Do you think that if you had a jet-pack you’d be able to make it to that church?”

I stared at him for a second. “Well, since jet-packs aren’t real, sure. Why not?”

“What? They’re not real?” he exclaimed.


“But I’ve seen them!” he said.

“In movies? And cartoons?” I asked. He admitted this was the case.

Oh, how we laughed at his foolishness. How silly he was. “Well, I’m glad I made this mistake in front of you and not at a job interview or something,” he said.

I told him I would have to blog about it. “That’s fair,” he said.

Guess what? They’re totally real.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In case of emergency

Big Sister #4 has a list of emergency contact information by the phone for her family’s use as well as for any babysitters they hire. Because she remembers having difficulty ordering pizza when she was a babysitter due to the fact that she didn’t know the exact address or phone number of the house she was staying in, she included that information on the list. Then she listed Big Sister #1’s phone number as an emergency contact, because they live five minutes apart. The list reads as follows:

Address here: 123 Blankety-blank St.
Phone number here: 123-555-2938
Big Sister #1: 123-555-2938

Notice any problems with that?

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Bathroom Remodel: Update

Guess what I did before going to our birthing class! I took a shower! Yes! A shower! It was awesome.

The Husband also moved the washing machine into its rightful place in the new bathroom, and it turns out that our kitchen is huge. The landing is also quite a bit larger without the vanity taking up 90% of the space.

So progress is being made. The Bathroom Remodel is going DOWN. Prepare ye the way of the remodeled bathroom!

The Bathroom Remodel: Life in the Chaos

Today is a big, big day, folks. I am currently at home. I took the day off so that I could be home for... The Plumber! Yes, right this second, as I sit here typing, The Plumber is installing the toilet, the vanity, the shower head, the tub faucet, the radiator, and the hookup for the washing machine! Tonight, we shower.

So this means that the “After” pictures for the bathroom half of the remodel are on their way. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you the nightmare of living in a house undergoing a major renovation. Following are pictures which should explain why I have spent much of the last thirteen weeks crying into my paintbrush. You see, I am not a person who tolerates clutter very well. So when you mix that with a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones and force me to live in chaos for four months without the possibility of a shower, you get a very frustrated and weepy pregnant lady who can’t quite get all of the shampoo out of her hair.

I present to you: The Chaos.

Kitchen, during:
Please do not judge us by the ugliness of our kitchen. Remember: Our apartment’s last tenant was the guy who that a soap dispenser in the bathroom was a good idea. He also apparently cooked via the “throw grease directly at the walls” technique. There was even grease on the bathroom walls. We were totally going to replace the kitchen walls this summer when the bathroom was done, but that is obviously not happening now. Next summer. And please do not suggest that in the meantime, we just strip the wallpaper and repaint, or wallpaper over the current wallpaper, or anything like that, because there is no way we are doing that. We can live with it another year. We’ll just close our eyes or look into the bathroom.

Dining room, during:
That picture does not even include the filing cabinets which are currently occupying the space where the plant is.

Living room, during:
The living room has been acting as a sort of catch-all for any extraneous nursery stuff that couldn’t fit in the dining room. This turned out to mostly be books that we are not planning to leave in the nursery.

We plan to move the books, the file cabinets, and the extra bookshelves and dresser to the landing/office area, but we have so far been thwarted in our organization by the devious Bathroom Remodel. Witness the landing/office area:

Landing, during:
Yeah, not much room for more furniture. And it has been like this for FOUR MONTHS.

Amusingly, behind the dishwasher box are located the towel rods and various other bathroom hardware that we rushed out to buy in June so that we would have them ready when the time came to install them. That time has not yet come.

This weekend, The Husband and The Carpenter finished installing the woodwork in the bathroom, and we were planning to get the woodwork all painted before The Plumber came today, but we were foiled once again by drying times. I didn’t realize that the woodwork all needed to be caulked, and then caulk needed two hours to dry. But we powered through and caulked and painted the woodwork that would be behind the radiator and vanity so we wouldn’t have to try to get behind them after they were installed. And then I cried some more, because we are so close to the end, but are constantly being held up by tiny annoying little jobs like caulking the woodwork.

The Husband, to his credit, refrained from saying anything to me during this latest crying jag. But I know The Husband pretty well, so I could read his thoughts, and his thoughts were screaming, “Oh, for the love of… she’s crying again? I’ve been doing hard labor for the past seven hours for the millionth Saturday in a row, and all she did was go food shopping and take a nap, and now she’s crying because the flipping woodwork isn’t painted? OK. OK. Remember: she’s pregnant. Cut her some slack, slide her the box of tissues, and just keep your mouth shut.” And he did. So after we finished priming the woodwork, I went to cry by myself in the bedroom and let him take a nap, and later that night we had well-deserved ice cream sundaes.

The ice cream and a good night’s sleep helped me to reevaluate the situation and I feel more optimistic now, even though The Plumber has just informed me that he is, in fact, unable to install the vanity after all. It seems we need to cut out wedges in the baseboards for the legs of the vanity so that the vanity will be flush against the wall. Neither will he install the radiator today because he doesn’t have the right valve with him. But it’s OK! It’s fine! He’s still installing the shower, and the new toilet, and the washer hookups. So what if we have to keep washing our hands and brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. We will be able to shower. It’s fine. And we don’t need to turn the heat on yet, so we don’t even need a radiator. It’s fine! It’s a minor delay! I will remain optimistic!

And, looking on the bright side, we can still leave the vanity in the bathroom which clears up the landing and will allow us to put away all kinds of things. Things that are currently making the nursery look like this:

Before I sign off, I feel I should explain that the boxes of books now in the nursery are the same boxes that used to be in the living room. We have a lot of books, but not that many. But once we got the nursery painted, we reverted back to using it as a storage room for the tons o’ stuff that has no home during the remodel.

So the after pictures will be delayed several more days as we try to figure out a way to notch out the baseboards. Actually, they’ll probably be delayed several weeks because we will have to get back on the plumber’s schedule, and he’s two weeks out.

But in the meantime, we can shower and do laundry, so I probably won’t cry tonight. No promises.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Bathroom Remodel: During, Phase 1

The Bathroom Remodel: During, Phase 1

What do you do when faced with a leak behind a cheapo, ugly tub surround? You know you’re going to have to remove the tub surround in order to fix the leak, and you also know that it would be complete insanity to put that cruddy old tub surround back. So what you do is to reverse the order of major home renovations, delay the kitchen remodel (God help us, we’re going to have to remodel our kitchen), and move the bathroom remodel up the list.

Next, you get some estimates from contractors and discover that bathroom remodels are really very expensive, and you realize that you wouldn’t have been able to afford to remodel the kitchen anyway. And then you decide not to hire a contractor, but instead to “do it yourselves,” if by “yourselves” you mean The Husband because, although you, The Wife, would be perfectly willing to help, honest, you are pregnant and are therefore not allowed to do major construction work. More’s the pity.

So finally, you hire the brother of The Husband’s coworker to act as the carpenter, hire the husband of that same coworker to act as the electrician, and hire plumbers with whom you have no previous connection and will therefore get no price break because you’d be crazy to try to do all the plumbing yourself and, as it turns out, you have to have a license to pull the plumbing permits. You also call the tile guy and ask him if he’s available three weeks after the scheduled demolition, because that’s when you think you’ll need him. The tile guy, to your surprise, says, “Why don’t you call me a week before the walls are finished,” because the tile guy is far more experienced that you and knows that you are delusional and will not need him for weeks and weeks and weeks. The tile guy is a wise, wise man.

Then, with a cheerful, devil-may-care attitude, you start knocking down walls thinking that this whole process will only take a few weeks. Boy are you ever stupid.

Pantry 1:

Pantry 2:

Bathroom 1:

Bathroom 2:

At this point, things are still pretty easy to live with. You still have a shower, a toilet, a bathroom sink, and a kitchen sink. But that is not going to last. Because the next step is to remove all sources of running water from the apartment:

And then you discover that it’s a darn good thing the leak forced you to remodel, because a whole bunch of the floorboards were rotten.

Grateful that toilet never fell through the floorboards into the apartment downstairs, you check into the oh-so-lovely Motel 6 for what you think will be three days but turns out to be a week.

Up next: Framing out the walls.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Bathroom Remodel: Before Pictures

Bathroom Before:
This may well answer the question “Why on earth did you start a major home renovation project while pregnant?” Answer? “Because the bathroom was nasty, disgusting, gross, and could not possibly be expected to get a baby clean. Also there was a leak.”

Bathroom sink before:
The guy who lived in our apartment before us installed a soap dispenser. Because, when you have about 4 square inches of surface space in a bathroom, what you really want to do is use up half of it with an ugly soap dispenser. And then you want to make sure you never clean it so as to maximize the soap scum effect.

Pantry Before:

The before pictures were taken before we actually moved in, so they do not include the washer and dryer which didn’t technically fit in the pantry and were therefore awkwardly placed. So the pantry we were actually living with was, amazing as it is to believe, worse than indicated by the picture. I have attempted to demonstrate this in the following, digitally altered photo. It’s extremely high tech.

The washer and dryer were placed such that we could not access the last two cabinets in the pantry, because our washer and dryer are huge. But the washer generates its own electricity as it spins, so we will not hear a word against them. And no, we couldn’t place them side-by-side because the washer hookups were too far from the dryer plug, and it costs $400 to have an electrician move the dryer plug. There was no point at that time.

So. That was “Before.”

“During” is on the way.

Rhyming skills: Not a prerequisite for grad school

Early in our graduate careers, the Gay and Lesbian association at our university staged some sort of protest. I can’t remember any details about what the protest was for at all; what I remember is The Doktah joking around about what their protest chant might be.

“We’re here! We’re queer! We want our alcohol!” she chanted. She had to say “alcohol” really fast because it didn’t really fit the meter.

“Or,” I said, “they might try, ‘We’re here! We’re queer! We want our beer!’”

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thank heavens it dried darker than it looked in the can

I have copied all the pictures we have so far of the Bathroom Remodel to my computer and I will start posting them soon as a way to keep you tantalized. We got the bathroom walls painted over the weekend and the light fixtures installed last night. The rest of the bathroom (and hopefully pantry) woodwork will be installed tonight and we’ll probably paint it over the weekend. We’ll spend the next three nights sealing the grout, and the plumbers are coming next Tuesday to do the finish work. Woo! (Aside: How pathetic am I that I just wrote the sentence, “We’ll spend the next three nights sealing the grout”? Homeownership: The glamour never ends.) So the bathroom half of the remodel should be done by next Tuesday evening. The pantry will take a bit longer, but at this point, I don’t care. So what if our cabinets are freestanding on the floor? We’ll be able to take showers!

But before I posted the pictures I felt I should warn you. The new bathroom walls are very… pink. A bit pinker than I really anticipated, to be perfectly honest. We love our shower curtain, which is blue with pink, yellow, and purple flowers, so we wanted the walls to complement it. Yellow, an obvious choice, was out because the kitchen is going to be yellow and that would have been too much yellow. Ditto on the purple, which is what we plan to paint our bedroom. That left blue or pink. We (OK, I) thought that because the base color of the curtain is blue, painting the walls blue would have been too much. So we were stuck with pink.

We tried to pick a subtle, salmon-y pink, and I think we were fairly successful, but, well, it’s just really pink in there. It’s a nice pink, but there is no escaping the pinkness.

It’s far too late to change it now, so we’re stuck with a pink bathroom at least until the rest of the apartment gets painted. I’m hoping that the shower curtain, when hung, will take the edge off the pink. The washer, dryer, vanity, and some stuff on the walls will help diffuse the color too. In the meantime, I just keep telling myself that it’s a nice pink.

It’s a nice pink. Really.

Confidential to The Doktah: Any cracks about the Easter Bunny living in our house will result in a beating being administered.

Sadly, I am just standing normally

Last night as we were installing light fixtures and outlet faceplates in the bathroom (The end is so near! So! Near!), The Husband tried to get by me to go through the door into the kitchen. He glanced at my giant mound of a belly and said, “You’re sticking that out on purpose, right?”

I stuck it out to demonstrate the difference.


Monday, September 11, 2006

He likes it! He really likes it!

The character descriptions on the Little House on the Prairie discs say that Katherine MacGregor was a much-loved member of the cast even though her character, Harriet Oleson, was “the most hated woman in America.” Based on The Husband’s reaction to the episode we watched last night, he apparently agrees. Mrs. Oleson was being mean to Ma Ingalls as usual, and The Husband got so riled up that he actually called Mrs. Oleson a bad name.

And right now, as I write this post, we are watching an episode about an epic baseball game between Walnut Grove and the hated Sleepy Eye. The Husband is laughing out loud.

Who knew?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Week 14

Dear Bathroom Remodel,

I hate you. I really, really hate you.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Wait, paint has to dry?

Man! Were we ever excited! The plumbers were scheduled to come on Monday which meant we could shower by Monday night. It meant the bathroom would be pretty much done save the inspections! Except, wait, the walls aren’t painted. And the woodwork is not yet all installed. And the grout has not yet been sealed. But no problem! We still have the weekend! We have time! Right?

Well, let’s see. We have to mud the walls one last time, and that takes 24 hours to dry. And although we can prime everything at once, primer takes 2 hours to dry. And we can’t paint the walls and ceiling at the same time because they are different colors and we will have to tape off the edges, so we’ll have to wait till the paint dries. And each coat of paint takes 2 hours to dry. And we don’t want the plumbers to be walking around in their dirty, filthy shoes before we can seal the grout against staining, and that needs three coats, which each take 3 hours to dry. And of course, we still need to install woodwork around the window and the molding on top of the baseboards. And then paint all the trim. Two coats, 2 hours to dry each.

So, let’s see. Today is Friday and the plumbers are supposed to come on Monday. The total number of hours we will have to wait around while stuff dries is… carry the 2…


Now, sure, we could paint the walls and install the rest of the molding after the plumbers come, but that would mean we’d have to move the vanity in and out of place in order to reach behind it. And sure, we could pull a Trading Spaces and stay up all night painting, but that’s not going to happen. It sounds like it would be more efficient, but it actually wouldn’t be because it’s not more efficient to have two overtired people, one of whom is 7 months pregnant, kill each other in a hysterical fight over the correct amount of texturizing sand to add to the ceiling paint.

If our birthing class hadn’t started last night, we could have mudded the walls already, but the Bathroom Remodel is not the only major life event going on right now. And if The Husband weren’t so incredibly lazy that he actually dared to take a night off from working on the Bathroom Remodel on Tuesday, we’d be a day ahead. I mean, who does he think he is? What, he’s too good to work 90 hours a week? While I nap?

Our only choice was to reschedule the plumbers. Sadly, they were booked until a week from Tuesday.

Well played, Bathroom Remodel. You win this time.

But we will triumph in the end.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I’m equally wide in both the x and y directions; just call it r

Because we have had to prepare the nursery while simultaneously undergoing The Bathroom Remodel That Will Never End, we have a lot of furniture strewn haphazardly about the apartment. For example, we had to move the filing cabinets out of the nursery, but we can’t yet put them in the landing-as-office area because the bathroom vanity and various other bathroom supplies are currently occupying most of the landing area. So The Husband put the filing cabinets in the dining room, taking care to space them so that there would be a path to allow us access to the china closet as well as space to open the drawers of both of them.

What I discovered last night, however, is that while there is plenty of room for The Husband to squeeze by the filing cabinets, I don’t fit. I tried to walk forwards down the “path,” between the first filing cabinet and the radiator, but the space is just about the exact same width as my hips, perhaps a touch thinner, so I can’t make it. So I turned sideways and tried to fit what used to be the thin direction of my body, but the path is pretty much the same width as my body in that direction as well.

Apparently, I am cylindrical.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ha ha ha… wait, not so funny

The first year of grad school is a bonding experience for students, much like the bonding soldiers go through during combat, but with less violence. As such, the occasional practical joke may get played. The Doktah found this out the hard way.

Since we didn’t yet have advisors or offices with computers, we had to use the computer lab with the rest of the riff-raff. After a long session working on one of the final homework assignments for our first semester in grad school, The Doktah accidentally left the computer lab without logging off of the computer. Crazy Secretive Guy and Former Housemate (of mine) noticed this, and instead of simply logging her off, they decided to play a little joke. They moved all of her files into a folder labeled “Deleted” and left her a message that said, “We have deleted all of your files! Ha ha ha!”

Neither Crazy Secretive Guy nor Former Housemate meant any harm by this joke. They only meant to give The Doktah a brief scare when she logged into her account and all her files appeared to be erased. They thought she would quickly see the one remaining “Deleted” folder, open it, and find her semester’s worth of work. Sadly, the luck of The Doktah reared its ugly head, and her files, they were corrupted.

All of her work for the entire semester. Corrupted.

It was a freak accident, yes, and Crazy Secretive Guy and Former Housemate felt really awful. But the moral here is that you shouldn’t mess with other people’s electronic data. You never know what will happen.

Much better was the joke I played on The Doktah after she had been working on a presentation until the wee small hours. I opened her talk and added a graphic to the title slide that said:

Now that, my friends, is comedy gold.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Wait, there’s a person in there?

It’s odd how, despite the fact that I am intellectually aware that there is a baby growing inside of me, I find any new evidence that of this fact completely freaky. The first time I felt the baby move: Freaky. The first time I saw the baby move: Freaky. The newest evidence is being able to feel distinct limbs and feet and, I think, a tiny butt. (I’m just guessing on the butt, though, based on where I think the legs and feet are.) So freaky. In a good way, though.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Speaking of washing machines, yesterday The Husband and I were at his parents’ house for a family birthday party. On Saturday, I suggested to The Husband that we plan to bring our laundry and do it while at the party. I like being able to do my own laundry and not take too much advantage of people’s generosity by just dropping the laundry off like a spoiled college student. The Husband agreed that this was a fine idea, and so yesterday morning we loaded the car with two laundry baskets and detergent and headed down to the In-Laws’.

Upon arrival, Father-In-Law was sitting on the porch. Now, we hadn’t warned them that we were bringing laundry, but I knew they wouldn’t mind. Still, we were there for a party, and although the party was very informal it felt a bit rude to come in with dirty laundry and I sheepishly said to Father-In-Law, “We brought laundry.”

“No problem,” he said. “We’ll just split it up.”

“Huh?” I thought to myself. “What does he mean, ‘split it up’?” Since I had no idea what that meant, I foolishly decided to ignore it. So after lunch, while people were generally milling around, I decided to toss in the first load of sheets and underwear. I couldn’t find the light switch for the laundry area, but Father-In-Law helpfully turned it on for me as I was loading the washing machine. I turned it on and went into the living room, secure in the knowledge that we would have clean sheets to sleep on that night.

About fifteen minutes later, Mother-In-Law came up to me and said, “Were you planning to do laundry?”

“I’m already doing it,” I told her.

“But the dryer is broken,” she said.

It seems that their dryer broke last week. The Husband knew, because Mother-In-Law called to ask him for the model number of our dryer. But The Husband never mentioned it to me, and then forgot. Mother-In-Law saw that we had brought laundry, but didn’t mention anything to me instead saying to Father-In-Law, “I hope they’re not planning to do that here since the dryer is broken.” Apparently, she didn’t think we really brought laundry since The Husband was well aware that the dryer was broken.

But what kills me is that Father-In-Law knew that the dryer was broken but didn’t say anything as I walked by him with my dirty laundry and then started the washing machine right in front of him! I still don’t really know what was going on in his head, there. I guess he assumed we really needed to get laundry done, and by “split it up” he meant that we would bring it somewhere else to dry. Which, ultimately, is what happened. Because instead of obnoxiously dropping off our laundry at my in-laws’ house, I had to send my brother-in-law back home to his house with my clean, wet laundry, some of which was underwear, to put in his dryer.

I swear, I’m trying not to take advantage of their generosity.

I am in love with the Tile Man

The floor! The tiles! They are installed!

This was the best Labor Day weekend ever. I got to go hang out at my parents’ house where my only chore was to wash and fold laundry while The Husband spent Saturday in the pantry and finished drywalling it. Then he made daily trips home to make sure the Tile Man could get in and work his magic, and The Husband used the time to finish up the electrical work and sand the new pantry walls. Meanwhile, I napped.

Listen, it’s very hard work to grow an entirely new person. It must be, because I have been exhausted. And I couldn’t be expected to stay at home with The Husband because the toilet had to be removed for three days until the grout set. You can’t ask a seven-month pregnant woman to spend a day in a house with no toilet.

And now I am home and the bathroom floor is installed and the shower tiles are set and THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. OK, sure, yes, there’s still no bathroom sink, no shower head, and we can’t take a bath till tomorrow night to make sure the grout is completely set. But these are mere trifles. We are so close to being finished. We just have to prime and paint the walls, get the plumbing finished up and seal the grout. Then we can move back the washing machine and brush our teeth in the bathroom like normal people!

The Tile Man and I will be very happy here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hello, my baby, hello, my honey, hello, my ragtime gal

I have finally come up with a name for the baby in utero. The Doktah had wanted me to call him/her “Cletus the Fetus,” but that didn’t stick for some reason. However, last night, when The Husband missed seeing the baby roll over in my belly for about the millionth time, I came upon the perfect nickname. Michigan J. Frog. Because this kid moves, kicks, rolls, and pokes me in the ribs all the livelong day, stopping only when anyone else tries to see or feel the action. Two nights ago, while The Husband and I were watching TV, our conversation went like this:

ME: Look! Now!

BABY: (holds still)

HUSBAND: (looks, sees nothing, gives up, looks away)

BABY: (does cartwheel)

ME: Now! Now!

BABY: (stops moving)

HUSBAND: (looks, sees nothing, gives up, looks away)

BABY: (tap dances)


BABY: (halts)

HUSBAND: (looks, sees nothing) I think you’re making this up.

So, Michigan J. Frog it is.