Friday, April 25, 2014

This is love

"When Dr. Meescham was alive and I could not sleep, do you know what he would do for me? This man would go into the kitchen and he would fix for me sardines on crackers. You know sardines?"

Ulysses shook his head.

"Little fishes in a can. He would put these little fishes onto crackers for me, and then I would hear him coming back down the hallway, carrying the sardines and humming, returning to me." Dr. Meescham sighed. "Such tenderness. To have someone get out of bed and bring you little fishes and sit with you as you eat them in the dark of night. To hum to you. This is love." 
- Flora and Ulysses 

These are just a few pictures from a little day trip Peter and I took to Rockport on Monday, which happened to be the anniversary of when we met eight years ago. I'm finishing up the wonderful Flora and Ulysses, and loved this excerpt on the love between the Drs Meescham. Such tenderness, indeed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Basic Tools for Your Old House

We've only been in our crazy old house for about 9 months, but now that we are closing the door on our final major renovation (I promise to share some pictures here soon!), I thought it would be fun to show you a few of the little things that have been life savers for us while doing house-related projects.

These are all relatively inexpensive tools that we've turned to again and again in the last year. I originally just wanted to write about my pry bar (top left) because it truly is my favorite cheap tool that has countless uses, but I thought that would be a boring post. I'll just give you a few sentences instead! I bought two of these when we were removing the carpeting upstairs, and it's great for that, but it's also incredible for removing nails from tight spots that the back of a hammer doesn't fit in, scraping mysterious gunk off of stuff, opening boxes - it's just the handiest thing to have around. $10 you won't regret spending!

This mainly applies if you have a dusty old house like mine, but I picked up a big package of respirators that we've used for painting, carpet removal, cutting the flooring, etc. I love my caulking gun because I believe there are very few household issues that can't be solved with a bit (or a bundle!) of caulk. I've used this to fill in gaps on windows and trim, when we installed our new counter top in the bathroom, to seal tile gaps in the tub, and on and on. When you buy the gun, go ahead and buy a kitchen and bath caulk and an adhesive caulk (only a few dollars each). This kind of goes with the poly foam caulk, which we've used to fill in larger gaps in windows and trim (and then covered up with white adhesive caulk after - I have no idea if this is the right thing to do, but it seems to do the trick!).

If you have a lot of painting in your future, go ahead and buy a big batch of foam rollers, the ceiling extender, the wood putty (if you have beat-up/new trim to paint), a few nice angled brushes, and a packet of artists brushes for touch-ups. I find that if I have all the supplies on hand, I'm much more likely to dive in and get a project done, so this is really just to save you from procrastinating.

We also bought a few basic saws that have come in very handy - a hack saw, a cross saw, and a coping saw, as well as sanding blocks in different grits and a pocket plane (great for getting new doors to fit in our wonky, off-kilter house!).

What are your must haves for home-ownership? I'm sure I'm missing some really helpful items!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Laundry is getting very, very cute around here! I realize the novelty will soon wear off, but for now, good grief. Striped baby leggings and duck hats and teeniest, tiniest socks are filling me right up with happiness.

This is a silly question, but how many clothes did you bring to the hospital for the baby? Just one full outfit?! Any other strange things you placed in your bag that you were glad you had? All I can wrap my mind round is toiletries and magazines for me, and so I have a little bit of research to do...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Boston Walk-about

This weekend! It was just the loveliest. After painting my heart out on Saturday morning (actually, all three days of the weekend including painting - if feels never-ending, but we actually only have one room left!), Peter and I went into Boston to spend the afternoon at the Gardner Museum. It was the final weekend of their annual nasturtium display in the courtyard - so beautiful. They don't allow photos in the museum, so I took this quick picture in the lobby. Total aside, but I think all museums should prohibit photography - it's so distracting. I always want to be like...just buy the book in the museum shop!

From the museum, we walked through Kenmore and up along the final mile or so of the marathon route. It was packed with runners and visitors checking out the final stretch and the finish line, and I'm really happy we were able to see it.

And then we walked over to the Common. Things are just starting to bloom, and the sun was shining on our backs, and there was a wedding photo shoot happening on the foot bridge (Poor bride - everyone in the park was questioning her fashion choices. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones, fleece-covered Bostonians!).

We had a yummy dinner at JM Curley's, and our nice server brought me a bag for my left-overs when we were getting ready to leave around 8:30 p.m.. He was like, "The night is young! Who knows where it will take you." And I wanted to say, "No, sir, this night is actually very old, and my feet are about to fall off." But we just smiled and pretended that yes, we were about to do something cooler than head back to our suburban neighborhood and fall happily into bed after watching Louis C.K.'s opening monologue on SNL.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lots to celebrate

There's been LOTS to celebrate in the Turner house this week. On Tuesday, I presented my final project for my class this semester which was super fun. It was about Amelia Bedelia (if you're wondering how to have the most fun in graduate school, it is in a children's literature program). Tuesday was also Peter's birthday! Since I was in class until later and we are still kitchen-less, we got fancy pizza from Max and Leo's and a frozen yogurt cake from Cabots - both dangerously delicious. 

Yesterday morning, I furiously painted the kitchen out of irrational fear that the next time I came home it would be with a baby after my external version appointment. I know that sounds like a weird priority, given the fact that the nursery room floor is still covered with newspapers and extra trim from painting stuff, but I can't make sense of the inner-workers of my brain, either. Anyways, that's done, and it looks good. 

Thennnnn the appointment. I had been so nervous for it, wondering back and forth what the right decision was. Where was my mother's intuition? But I did it, and I'm so happy I did. The baby flipped right around on the first try, and Peter and I are beaming with pride at his or her excellent ability to follow directions (when given a hearty nudge). 

I feel like we've been given this wonderful gift of waiting. The baby can take it's time, finish up cooking, and come to meet us when it's ready, and I'm so thankful. When I was awake at 4:30 this morning, though, I kept wondering how I would have felt if it hadn't worked. Would I believe I'd made the wrong decision? Hurt the baby and myself unnecessarily? I hope not, but it's hard to say.  

I had to sign a medical release form on behalf of the baby, and there was a slot for relationship to patient where I had to write "mother." My own mother asked me the other day if I could believe I would a be mom so soon, and I said, "No!" This seems to seriously call into question my intellect, since all physical signs point very strongly to yes, and yet still I can't entirely shake the feeling of disbelief. But making this one decision about trying to flip the baby around - the first of millions of decisions large and small that I won't be able to predict the outcome of - felt like a tiny step toward the reality of motherhood.

So, when Peter and I went to the fantastic new Alden & Harlow last night for a slightly belated birthday celebration, we were also able to toast to successfully navigating this first minor hurdle of parenthood together in tact. Here's to many, many more. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hooray for the end

Hope everyone had a lovely spring weekend! It was beautiful here, but Peter and I were trapped (kind of by choice...) inside, finishing up the floor and trim downstairs. I'll share some pictures soon! Our contractor very, very nicely had been letting us borrow his power tools for this project, but he is coming by today to pick them up. Hooray for the end of dust!!!

Our counter is taking longer than we hoped to come - we're currently scheduled for next Tuesday, and then appliances go in after that. Last week, I called and tried to give them a bit of a sob story about how I'm having my first baby any day now (kind of), and if there was any way they could move us up, we could be available at a moment's notice. The woman was unmoved. "Umm, I'll make a note..."

In between all that sawing and gluing, we went on a super fun date to State Park on Friday night, and then met friends for dinner at Russell House on Saturday. At Russell House, we were able to sit upstairs where the windows were wide open and it was breezy and still light out when we sat down at 7:30. Glorious. We'd already paid for parking (something we're usually allergic to, but it was a lovely concession to celebrate working all weekend/being 37 weeks pregnant) so we extended the evening a bit to sit outside in Harvard Square and share a concrete from Shake Shack. All in all, an excellent eating weekend.

I had my ultrasound on Friday, which sadly confirmed that the baby is still breech. It also looks like a frog in a jar at this point, it's face all mushed up against the top of my stomach. Poor baby. I'm doing all kinds of weirdo things from Spinning Babies, but we also have an external version scheduled for Thursday. I honestly had no idea how involved that procedure was, so I'm having some second thoughts. (If you had it, or have any stories about someone who did, I'd love to hear! The only things I've come across are tales of woe about it not working and inducing labor early, so...not really what I'm hoping to hear).

My mind has been spinning out of control, imagining an emergency c-section on Thursday while my house is in ruins and all my baby stuff is still at my parent's house in Connecticut. But the end is here (ish), whether I'm ready or not. And it truly doesn't matter if that second coat of paint makes it onto the dining room trim or not. My parents are coming up this weekend to drop off all the baby stuff regardless, so it will be in my cozy nesting fingers soon enough.

And, of course, I could still be pregnant a month of now! I have a feeling this stubborn child will be born a Taurus, so I think I've got until at least next week until we say "hi ;)"

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pinnacle

This week, I think the house reached the pinnacle of chaos that it can contain. Almost nothing is where it belongs. Our temporary quarters have been worked and re-worked to accommodate ever changing areas that need to be accessed, and my brain is turning to mush. 

And yet. I really think this is one of those "it's always darkest right before sunrise" kind of moments, because even though it looks totally insane, the end is very, very close. Our kitchen cabinets are all installed, but the appliances are hanging out in the dining room. Our furniture is all over the place because Peter's laying down our floors, which are about three-quarters done as I type. And we made tons of progress on the upstairs this weekend, thanks entirely to my parents. I get overcome when I think about how much they've done and helped these last few weeks.

On Friday morning, Peter and I left for work while my mom stayed at our house (with our worker bees!) to paint the walls and trim in the baby's room. That afternoon, my dad came and he painted all the trim in our hallway upstairs. Then Saturday, we all painted the trim and walls in the dining room, hung curtains, and moved around tons of furniture. Gah! Do you see what I mean?! They come and do these terrible jobs, and they are cheerful and happy and bring us donuts. It's beyond amazing, and both Peter and I feel so incredibly lucky.

This week, the appliances will go in, the template for our counter top is being made, we'll finish up the floors, and continue to set up the baby's room. Because goodness! We've only got about a month until this baby is expected to make it's debut :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Building the Baby's Library

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In the last few days, the baby and I have quite literally been showered with love and attention. My shower with family and friends over the weekend was an absolutely joy - I had the best time, and we received so many wonderful things. Even though almost all of it is still at my parent's house while we finish out our renovations (next week, hopefully!!!), I feel much more prepared. 

Then yesterday my office very, very sweetly hosted a shower, too. I work in higher ed, and I'm also part of the School's children's literature graduate program, so it fittingly had a book theme. All of my co-workers brought a favorite from their childhood, or one that their own children adore. The baby's library is now overflowing with all the classics, and also so many fantastic, slightly off-beat titles that were new to me. The ones above are just a few of the books that I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own, but I love them already. 

Of course, since the shower, I've been trying to think about what book I would bring as a gift. Such a hard choice! For babies, I'd probably do White on Black and Black on White, but when we get into picturebook territory, there are just too many great ones to pick! What would you chose?
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