Thursday, June 30, 2011

All Dressed Up

It's finished! My second DIY piece of furniture. This time I had some help from my wonderful husband though. Let me tell you, two people armed with paint brushes makes things go MUCH faster. Especially when you are dealing with primer, paint, 9 drawers and some pretty tiny detailing. 

Scott and I set out on Saturday armed with all the necessary supplies (and then some...our driveway looked like a Home Depot paint aisle). It ended up only taking us 2-3 hours to complete our masterpiece and we are really happy with the results. 

So, without further ado...

Not the most gorgeous before unmade "bed" on the floor in the foreground isn't exactly great framing.


I have no step by step pictures for you (I will get better at the documenting, promise) but the process was relatively easy...sand the rough spots, prime the whole thing, paint the trim/more detailed portions, paint the rest. We only needed one coat of paint in most places. Being new to primer I will have to say it is my new favorite thing. Makes the job go MUCH faster even with an extra step in the beginning. 

We were originally going to change the pulls out completely as these are admittedly a bit "antiquey" but due to that same "antiquey" fact we were not successful in our pull quest. The holes are a very odd length apart and we couldn't find anything that would work as a replacement. Sure, we could fill them, paint them, and drill new holes but that sounded a little bit ambitious for two novice DIYers. So it was off to the spray paint aisle. We bought a can of brown and one of kelly green. More on the baby's room/vision soon but the main colors in the room are going to be navy, brown, and white with kelly green accents. We figured at $3 a can we could afford to try the bold color. Alas, it worked and we love it! It works great for a nursery and it makes us excited to put the rest of the room together for our little man. 

And just a little bonus...this is a gift from my client The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Isn't he cute? 

Next up...painting Baby R's walls.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

21 weeks and kung fu fighting!

How Far Along: 21 weeks. 

Size of Baby: 10.5 oz. and the length of a carrot.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 8.5 lbs to date. My goal was to be 10 or under so I am right on track.

Maternity Clothes:  Still the greatest things ever. Post baby they are going to get another life as, in the words of Joey Tribbiani, Thanksgiving Pants!

Movement: My oh my, yes. This baby is Kung Fu Fighting. I thought his femurs looked extra strong on that ultrasound. 

Symptoms: Still feeling great. The only teeny symptom I have is getting sore standing. I thought it was just all the moving, painting, packing, etc... but I was at a BBQ this weekend and just standing around chatting made the ole back and legs hurt. By 9 months I am going to need a wheelchair at this rate!

What I Miss: I should really just leave this as a permanent answer of sushi & wine.

Girl or Boy: Boy. Stay tuned for a nursery sneak peak tomorrow.

Belly button In or Out: Innie

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings: Nope. Still not into red meat though. Someone was clearly BBQing a steak on our street this weekend and it almost sent me running to the bathroom. Poor Scott is desperate for some "man meat"!

Best Moment This Week: Feeling baby R kick. Already heard this one? Well this time I could feel it from the outside! That's right, our little dancing machine is now strong enough to be felt by Scott. A very exciting development indeed.
21 weeks. growing little boy!

Friday, June 24, 2011


**A prize goes to anyone who can actually get through this after the 15th time I say the word balls.

Yep. Balls. This is indeed meant to be a double entendre today. Balls as in, crap, and balls as in Arnold has none. Specifically in his hips...he came to terms with the loss of his other balls a long time ago. Or maybe not since he still gets called "she" on a regular basis by none other than his Grandma. Poor little guy. 

Anyhow...why did Arnold lose more balls? Tuesday was the first day that Scott and I were both away from the house for any extended period of time since moving in. Of course, AP wasted no time in keeping things interesting. As I noted in a previous post, he hurt his OTHER hip. We were hoping it had simply luxated and was back in place, just needing a little R&R. 

Deep down I knew this was not the case but I waited a full day before heading off to the vet. After some x-rays the diagnosis came as no surprise-ball out of socket. It was out and wasn't going back in without medical intervention. 

Off to the orthopedic surgeon we went (I think he is trying to rival me for most orthopedic procedures...for my sanity and wallet, I hope he lets me win). She said he could put his hip back in place and we could all pray to the ball Gods that it stayed in and didn't continue to luxate. After Hip #1 I wasn't feeling too optimistic (quick refresher...AP's other hip came out 3 times before we finally lobbed off his ball) so we discussed options. In the end, we opted to make Arnold a ball-less pomeranian and have an FHO done on this hip as well. 

Arnold has impeccable timing with his injuries (wedding, move, happy hour) and something told me if we didn't fix this thing once and for all it was bound to get hurt again right around Baby R's arrival. So, AP was carted into surgery yesterday afternoon for a hip-ball-ectomy. 

He is now home and resting comfortably (a nice change from the crying and squealing he was doing earlier in the week). There is a small part of me that feels we should have tried putting this puppy back in place before this surgery, but the bigger part of me feels we made the right decision.
AP recovering here at home.

So now we begin the road to recovery, complete with at home PT and a lot of rest. Luckily, resting comes easy for the laziest pomeranian in the world. 

If anyone is looking to throw up a few prayers we could use some to the insurance Gods. I would really like to see some nice reimbursement checks from the pet insurance people! Also, no one has offered up my trip to Hawaii yet...we are still open to that generosity. 

Ok, enough of my cynicism and Arnold's balls. Time to kick off a much needed relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

20 weeks


Yep, Bon Jovi is playing on repeat in my head this week. 

How Far Along: 20 weeks. 

Size of Baby: 10 oz. and the length of a banana (see picture).
Total Weight Gain/Loss: No weigh in since week 12 so it is anyone’s guess. I am still hoping for around 10 pounds so far.

Maternity Clothes:  YES and they are GLORIOUS! My old pants still go on and most even still button but they are NOT comfortable. This week I went on a mission for some maternity shorts and ended up with a bag full of maternity wear. I may never go back to non-elastic waist pants ever again.

Movement: Yes! This baby has his dad's dance moves!

Symptoms: Zero. Zilch. Nada. Ok, so my legs and back left me hobbling by the end of the move but I don’t consider that a symptom since moving boxes and unpacking/organizing an entire house doesn’t really count as normal day-to-day activity.

What I Miss: Not too much this week. The usual suspects but nothing new to report.

Girl or Boy: In case you missed it in my last post, this little bean is a BOY. I have already sorted all of the hand me down clothes and envisioned the perfect boy nursery! 

Belly button In or Out: Innie

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings: No new cravings. I really feel pretty much like a normal person these days aside from normal pregnancy restrictions. 

Best Moment This Week: Seeing baby R at the doctor Friday. He was one cooperative little man and showed off all the right body parts as if he knew what we needed when. He did some fantastic posing for photos and even gave us a little thumbs up! 

Right now, he is tracking right.on.schedule for a Nov. 8 arrival. All of his measurements put him right at our originally calculated due date. If the ultra sound tech and doctor were handing out grades, Baby R would have received an A+. All of his body parts and functions were doing exactly what they were supposed to. From everything they can tell, we have one healthy little guy growing in there. 

It was a great day and led to a lot of relief. I don't think I was consciously worried about something being wrong but it is great to know that everything is as wonderful as it is. So now, we sit and wait 4.5 more months until we get to meet this little man. In the meantime, I am anxious for Scott to be able to feel him kicking. Hopefully soon!
20 weeks! I swear the bump looks double this size in person!
Sadly, the disk with all of baby R's pictures from the ultrasound doesn't seem to be working :-(. I got a lot of print outs that I will scan and post when I can. 

**If you haven't already read it, the post below is also new.

Dolce Far Niente

The sweetness of doing nothing. Also, Dolce is a dessert wine that is an instant transport to heaven, made by Far Niente in Napa. Either way you look at it, it is a great line. It is also something that I need to learn how to do. On days when there is no agenda and I could spend the day freely idling away on the couch I beat myself up. Something inside of me forces me off the couch and off on an errand or house cleaning/organizing/DIY project. I need to learn to stop. And now more than ever. As you will see below and in the post to follow things have been anything but relaxing around here and frankly, I am ready for a break. Anyone want to pay for my ticket to Hawaii? Oh, and I'd like to bring my husband so please make that two tickets...and a throw in a dog sitter.

So, without further ado, here is the quick and dirty run down of all that has been going on:

1. Scott was out of town for a week prior to the move. In fact, he landed the night after the movers had come and gone and drove from the airport to our new house. And yes, I knew he was going to be gone when scheduling the move. He helped me get all the heavy stuff packed up before he left and wanted to do more but I wasn't willing to pack my kitchen a week before the move ;-). 
Duncan St. all packed up and ready to go. 

2. We are moved. Thanks to my parents who flew in to help lug boxes, this place is in tip top shape. A few items remain to be hung or purchased but there is NOTHING left to be unpacked. The movers came on Friday and by Saturday morning we were 100% unpacked. There are still frames to be hung and rugs to be purchased but we are fully moved in and set up.
That's A LOT of collapsed cardboard. Anyone moving and need some boxes?!

Being pregnant gets you out of mirror hanging activities ;-).

3. In the midst of the unpacking, organizing, hauling final bits and pieces from SF to Menlo, we squeezed in an ultrasound. This was the mack daddy 20 week ultrasound with about 100 different measurements taken. And now for the really exciting's R is a BOY! More on this in my 20 week post coming up next.

4. I am obsessed with our new house. I have spent as much time as possible outside in the SUMMER sunshine. It really feels like home and I am enjoying having a true taste of summer weather again. I even broke down and turned on the a/c this week. What a nice change from foggy, windy, cold "summers".

A backyard preview shot with our new table and fire pit chairs. It also doubles as my at home office. Not too shabby!

4. The pomeranians are adjusting. Arnold had a little trouble when we were packing up the old house but settled in great here. Lola is a nut and is taking a bit longer but as long as we are around she is one happy dog.

5. I wrote #4 before yesterday when things took a turn for the not-so-great in the land of fur babies. Scott came home to find Arnold in pain and not using his back right hip. Yep, the other one. I was just bragging about how good his left hip had recovered and down went the right. Needless to say, not good news.
Arnold looking longingly at the backyard.

This morning I woke up to find Lola also hobbling around. (seriously?!) Her front AND back right legs seem to be bothering her although not nearly as severely as AP's.
My sleeping little patient.

As a result of these injuries the entire Retchless clan is rapidly trying to put into practice Dolce Far Niente! That, and some new rugs. Pomeranian legs just aren't built for hardwood so we are going to take a much needed Ikea trip to try and eliminate future leg mishaps for our furry little friends.

5. I discovered maternity clothes. I have to admit, I was having a little trouble embracing the changes in my body. Emily, over at Daily Garnish, did a post on this and pretty much nailed the way I was feeling. She did a follow up post about how some good maternity clothes solved her problem so I decided it couldn't hurt to try. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I have never enjoyed shopping so much or been so happy with my purchases. I am not sure that Scott will ever get me out of elastic waisted pants though, they are great!

6. Top all of that with work, bills, a social life, and some odds and ends that need to be tied up back in the city and we are officially tapped out. Aside from the pomeranians health issues all of the above are great things to have causing us stress. We are extremely fortunate to have our new home, our little boy growing perfectly, each other and beautiful weather. Our "burdens" are blessings, just a bit overwhelming all at once.

If you are still reading this, check back in a bit for the 20 week update!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

19 Weeks

Sorry, no picture this week. Too much going on with the move to find the purple shirt! Maybe once we get settled I'll look for it and have a belated picture for you.

How Far Along: 19 weeks

Size of Baby: 6 inches, head to bottom. Size of a large heirloom tomato.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 6 pounds? Another weigh in next week. I'm guessing I'm up to at least a 10 lb. weight gain.

Maternity Clothes:  Still not yet. BUT I also didn't try to get into any of my jeans this week. This bump definitely made an appearance in what seems like the last day though!

Movement: Yes! Baby R is moving around as I type this.

Symptoms: Feeling even better this week. I no longer want to go to bed at 3 and really feel pretty normal. Hopefully all this energy lasts through the move!

What I Miss: Vegetables. This has nothing to do with pregnancy and everything to do with moving. With pretty much everything packed up cooking has gone out the window. I am on a mission for a big bowl of green leafys!

Girl or Boy: Check back soon...we found out Friday.

Belly button In or Out: Innie

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings:Cheesecake Factory. I had a weird hankering for this (albeit after the gym so I was probably just hungry), a BLT, and a hot dog this week. Maybe meat and I can finally be friends again?

Best Moment This Week: For sure feeling the baby move. It is pretty evident when Baby R starts dancing around...has dad's dance moves for sure!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday randoms

We are moving. But you already knew that. We officially closed on the house this week and are bona-fide homeowners. Very exciting but also a bit surreal. We took a load of odds and ends to our house and it definitely hasn't sunk in that not only will we be living there but we OWN it. 

What this means for weekend plans...packing. Not going to be a very exciting weekend update this week as all the pictures are going to be a lot of this:
This was three days ago. There are now two beds and lots more boxes flanking the living room.
 So, I will share a couple other really random items:
Look what I found! They're coming back...I can feel it.
A bonus belly shot for the week. 18 weeks, 5 days. 
My parents arrive next week for some moving fun. Do you think they'll enjoy their accommodations?
Don't worry, it's only for one night! We'll put the bed back together in its new home the next day.
Alright, I think I have procrastinated enough. Back to packing!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Paying Respect

Today I witnessed something truly remarkable. June 2, two fire fighters were killed fighting a house fire not far from my house in San Francisco. Today marked their funerals and the subsequent procession to their burial**. The procession just happened to go by a block away from our home. 

After seeing a number of other people camped out on the side of the street I packed up the pomeranians and walked down to observe. 

Wow. It was a truly unbelievable experience. There were about 150 or 200 fire engines that were a part of the processional that lasted about 30 minutes. The engines were from all over the state. A few of the cities I saw represented were Santa Barbara, Napa, Monterey, Chico, and of course many SF engines. 

It was a very odd thing to witness though, I must admit. It felt a little strange standing on the side of the street, watching people with American flags in hand, observing a funeral procession go by. Yet it also felt very right to be there and we were thanked by many of the firefighters that drove past. I guess it felt like I was crashing a very personal moment for these men yet was also paying my respect to the men and women who serve our city day in and day out. 

It was also a little more touching because just last week a co-worker's husband (a firefighter) came to our little firehouse (aka, my work) to talk to us about his work and firefighting in general. It was only a few short days after his comrades had passed and it was definitely a fresh wound for both him and his wife. After hearing about his work and the things he experienced it definitely brought a whole new respect for what these men and women do for us. 

So, thank you to all the firefighters out there for running head on into danger to keep us safe. It never would have occurred to me to search out this procession but I am very thankful it happened into my life this afternoon. 
The engine carrying one of the fallen men.
If you would like to read more about the men and the procession, click here

**San Francisco does not have graveyards. There are only two exceptions (that I know of): 1. The Presidio where military are buried, 2. The Columbarium which isn't a graveyard but an actual building. As a result, most people are laid to rest just south of the city in Serramonte/Colma which is where the procession was going today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

18 Week Update

How Far Along: 18 week (+1 day)

Size of Baby: Size of a bell pepper (and the baby's "home" is the size of a interesting combination). 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 6 pounds? Another weigh in next week.

Maternity Clothes:  Still kicking in pre-pregnancy pants. I'm secretly hoping overalls make a resurgence over the next six months...what great pregnancy clothes would that be?!

Movement: I think so? I have been moving around like a crazy person lately so the only real time I have to evaluate this is when I am going to bed. Last night I think I felt the baby but need a few more consistent feelings to be confident! 

Symptoms: Feeling pretty good this week. I have noticed that my legs, feet and back fatigue/get sore much faster. I'm pretty sure packing the house doesn't constitute normal day-to-day activity so I am not terribly surprised but this is definitely a first. An hour on my feet feels like 8 hours pre-pregnancy. 

What I Miss: Lifting boxes. I feel like a nag and wimp asking Scott to place my boxes in the correct place once they are packed. Scott has been a trooper making sure they all get stacked with the index card facing out and in the proper sorting area. 

Girl or Boy: We'll find out on June 17th.

Belly button In or Out: Innie

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings: Remember that cereal craving? Ta da! There are four more flavors in the pack too. I told Scott he can have anything except my Lucky Charms. There will be bodily harm if anyone gets between me and the marshmallow goodness. Not much else to report in the food department. I need to eat more vegetables and intend to make this a priority.
Best Moment This Week: Feeling the baby moving (maybe?). 
Holy hair. Note to self: wash/brush hair before weekly picture.

Monday, June 6, 2011

June Zoom

Ah the life and times of Scott and Stephanie. June has started off, and will continue to move, at a lightning fast pace. But then again, what part of our life hasn't been this way?

This past week we pretty much dotted all the I's and crossed all the T's for the house! We are on schedule to get keys later this week. Add to all the house stuff work and packing and things get a little crazy.

Friday we were supposed to have friends over for dinner but ended up canceling and opting for a night planted on the couch. Not the best host etiquette but considering we said all of 4 words to one another I don't think we would have been very much fun. Also, I am not sure our guests would have been terribly impressed with the baby's craving for brats and chips/french onion dip. 

Saturday we had a marathon day planned. It began with a trip south for brunch at Tommy and Cort's. We weren't able to get our dinner group together for dinner this month so we opted for a brunch instead. It was really nice to see everyone and we got to see all the kids, too! It is amazing how much they change when don't see them for an entire season.

Speaking of, Winter is such a funny time. Everyone kind of hermits away and does their own thing until Spring breaks. Of course the Bay Area is having delayed onset Spring/Summer but it seems that we are all starting to come out of our hovels and grace one another with our presence again. Looking forward to the months ahead. 

I digress. After brunch there were obligatory naps and then we got all gussied up for Michelle's 30th Birthday Bash! As always it was great to see the Retchless Family and catch up. Only problem with the party was that it was at the Cigar Bar. The Cigar Bar is exactly what it sounds like. An establishment where people can smoke, smoke, smoke. It was pretty bearable until the salsa band started and the crowds showed up. I unfortunately had to pull the old pregnant lady card and get me and baby out of there (Scott too). Luckily it was late (10:30, past my bedtime) so it was a good time to head home. 
Scott and the birthday girl. 
Michelle, Nick, Kristina & me.
A picture of us! HOORAY!
Cousins: Michelle, Aimee & Kristina
Scott with his sisters Beth, Renee & Charlene
Sunday Funday started off with a little Bar Method and then A LOT of cleaning and packing. My organizing system is in full swing and looking GOOD. I will have to say I am glad we are moving when I am 18 weeks pregnant and not any later. I am not doing any lifting but just the standing, wrapping, bending and packing is doing a number on my back. If I am vertical by the end of this it will be a miracle. 

Sunday night we headed for some sustenance at the Strand Fam's. Kayla and Tanner were as cute as ever and Kyle showered baby Retchless with some much needed veggies. Dinner was delish and the company was wonderful as always. 

Phew, and here we are. Monday Monday. More packing, working, and general craziness to be had for the next few weeks. 

Week 18 update coming tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week 17

How Far Along: 17 weeks (+1 day)

Size of Baby: Size of a turnip (or hand spread wide open according to a book I read weekly)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 6 pounds.

Maternity Clothes:  Just barely still in a few pairs of my jeans. They are definitely being pushed to the max in the button department. Sitting is quickly becoming uncomfortable in these pants.

Movement: Just waiting for this. Hopefully soon!

Symptoms: Face is still crazy. Without giving you too much information, let’s just say that Metamucil and I have become best friends. Isn’t pregnancy sexy?!

What I Miss: Wine tasting. See previous post ;-).

Girl or Boy: We'll find out on June 17th.

Belly button In or Out: Innie

Stretch Marks: Nope. 

Cravings: I really want cereal every time I go to the grocery store. The problem is I want about 20 different kinds. I think I am going to buy a variety pack and Scott and I are going to pretend we are camping and eat it right out of the little boxes!

Best Moment This Week: Getting our appraisal and loan all finalized. This isn't technically pregnancy related but it will be the baby's new home too! Time to pack, pack, pack!

Pushing the jeans to their max capacity. Luckily these are one of my tighter/smaller pairs pre-pregnancy so I don't have to rule out all my existing jeans just yet!

Napa. Packing. DIY.

We packed a lot into our three day weekend! So much it actually felt like a nice little vacation. Don't you love it when that happens?

Katie managed to swing another trip out to the Bay Area and of course we made another trip up to Napa. I took on my new role as designated driver and off we went!
Kate and me at Gloria.
Maxi dresses. God's gift to pregnant women (I am sure I will continue to echo this as I grow - I actually look bigger than I really am in this picture).

We actually stopped at a few new wineries and unfortunately Kate witnessed her first bad day of weather in Napa. It rained all afternoon but it didn't damper our fun and the skies parted just in time for dinner.
Rain in the distance from Joseph Phelps. It was actually very dramatic and pretty.
Our picnic at Montelena. Looks great but we were actually rushing as the storm was looming in the background.

Our Saturday itinerary:

  • Gloria Ferrer
  • Oakville Grocery to pick up sandwiches
  • Chateau Montelena (we made Kate watch Bottle Shock Friday night) - picnic
  • Mumm
  • Joseph Phelps
  • Redd for a glass of wine while we waited for dinner
  • Bottega - capped the night off with an early dinner
Sunday we got Kate off to the airport and headed down to Menlo Park to visit our new neighborhood. We strolled Santa Cruz street, drove by our cute house and then headed back to the city for a day of R&R. 

Of course, too much R&R makes my mind race with projects I need to start so Monday was filled with just that. We went to Menlo again to sign papers and made a stop at Home Depot on the way home. This place is going to be my new BFF. Why I have decided that two weeks before a move is the time to start DIY projects is beyond me. 

Current projects include:
  • Spray painting frames for my "wall o' stuff" in the new house (inspiration here)
  • Repaint the dresser that lives in our room that will become the baby's dresser/changing table
  • Packing
The frames were easy peasy but the dresser is going to be a chore. Katie Bower makes it seem so easy but getting nice smooth lines is something that is going to require a little practice. 
Frame before (we have a zillion of these).
A little spray paint.
and viola!
My helpers. Lola was dancing around in the garage with us too.
Matching paint swatches to the crib.
Test drawer painted with one coat. I will take a picture of the entire dresser before I go any further so we can see the before/after.
The doctor gave me to ok to paint as long as the area was well ventilated but we went ahead and got a few masks for me to wear just to be safe. I look hot!
I have also come up with one heck of a moving system. These movers don't know who they are dealing with! 
Each room will be color coded. Each box will have an index card indicating which room it belongs in. Of course I will also be writing what each box will contain. All furniture will also have an index card taped to it so the movers know just where to take it. Hopefully this makes it go smooth as silk!
Ok, time to get back to the working world. 17 week update coming up next.