February 28, 2013

The weeks roll on...

I found this post that I never published from last year. It is really fun to look back and see how I was feeling in the first trimester. This was also before we found out that our baby was coming sooner than we thought! Now I have a baby girl that is almost 3 months old. How did that happen?!

*originally written 6/4/12*

The weeks go by as our little secret grows and grows. I am getting more used to the fact that I am actually pregnant and there will be a little one we need to take care of by the end of the year...Still, its pretty wild. On Friday we went to our first doctors appointment with our new OBGYN. I had to switch since my doc was in Philly and I don't work in the city anymore. :( I called a few places and this office was sooo nice and accommodating that I decided to go with them. Tim and I went all excited since I was just about 10 weeks and we were ready to get a chance to hear the heartbeat. Well, after what seemed like an eternity, she gave up. No heartbeat. My heart sank. She didn't seem worried at all and said that I the little one was nestled pretty far back so it would be tricky. Still- it was pretty hard to hear that empty doppler as it traveled across my stomach. I felt so guilty especially since Tim was soo excited to hear the baby. But what can you do?

We have our 1st ultrasound in less than two weeks...right before our 12 week mark and fathers day! I hope I can make this fathers day memorable for Tim and we are able to see our "Little M" in all their glory.

As for how I'm feeling?

Night sickness has become the new "morning sickness." Basically from week 7-10 I was getting up at least once a night feeling sick to my stomach. I got physically sick once and the rest of the time I just ate some crackers, drank some water, hit the loo (can Americans say loo?) and stayed up until it subsided. Lately I have been able to sleep through the night so hopefully that means it is ending soon.

My clothes are getting tighter but its just because I am eating pretty much whatever makes me feel better. That happens to be starches; especially pasta. An Italian just like its Momma ;) No real other symptoms besides being tired more easily by the end of the work day and maybe having to pee a little more than usual. The doc said I might not show until later since the little one is tucked in the back but who knows.

Now I need to concentrate on another goal...a 5K! Yup, I registered for a 5K months ago and it is coming up quick. I haven't ran in a few weeks so I need to take my time. My goal is to just finish in a somewhat decent time. We will see how it goes. I am having a hard time catching my breath while working out lately. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

ps: The race was hot but it went well. Nothing like running while 16 weeks pregnant in 90+ degree weather. 

February 19, 2013


Well I'm sure you have guessed it. I fell off the blog wagon again but this time I had a good reason.

Meet Hannah Caroline Matthews. She was born on Wednesday, December 5th at 3:55PM. She was 6 lbs. 13 oz and pretty adorable if I do say so myself. :) We have had time to adjust. Things were not always easy for us first time parents but Tim has been a pretty amazing father.

Anyways I have lots to update on here but I'm not sure how fast I will be working on that. However I wanted to document Hannah coming into our lives. She is pretty adorable and is already growing so fast.

(hopefully) more to come later...

November 21, 2012

Being Thankful

I really want to take a moment to stop, reflect and be thankful. It would be easy for Tim and I to forget about all the holidays this year when our house is being turned upside down as we get ready for the baby, work on the bump out and refinish our floors.

But I am determined to take a moment to take a deep breath and give thanks to a few deserving people.

1) I am thankful for my husband.

We have been so crazy these last few months that we can't help but get on each other's nerves sometimes. But that doesn't stop Tim from bending over backwards to make sure he can get as much done as he can for us. That includes staying up late and waking up extra early to jam as much work in one day as he can. Not only is he a loving, caring husband and partner in crime but he is already an amazing father to our pup and our growing baby girl. :) I have told him repeatedly that there is no one else I could do this with and I really mean that.

2) Our Family and Friends

We have had to cash in a lot of favors over the last couple of months. Between working on the bump out and moving everything out of our house (and now back in) we have been relying on some awesome friends and family who have really come through. It just goes to show you how important it is to have a support system and to acknowledge their generosity and help. So thank you to all of our friends and family who have been there to throw us an awesome baby shower (more details on that later), work on the bump out, paint parts of the nursery and help us move out of the house for the floors. Words can't express how grateful we are for your support and we hope you all know we would do the same for you in a heartbeat. :)
3) Our pup

Yes- James gets a special shout out as well. It is not easy to have two crazy parents who are working around the clock and changing everything around on them but he has been as cool and understanding as any dog can be. He has really gone with the flow and just been there for us with cuddles and an excited tail wag. He was a little hesitant with us at first for getting rid of the carpet...

... but in the end he got over it and let us do our thing. So thank you James for always being such a great dog for our changing family. We know that you are going to be a great big brother who will love his little sister (especially when she starts dropping food). Our lives wouldn't be the same without you.

4) Our growing family

It wouldn't be right if I left out one of the biggest things I am thankful for...our baby girl.

Tim and I are so excited to meet this growing little girl. She has been very understanding with all the work we have been doing to get ready for her. That includes helping me have a relatively uneventful pregnancy so I can continue to work full time and work on the house at night. And when Tim and I are feeling really stressed and worried that things won't get done, she gives us a little kick to remind us why we are doing all this. So thank you baby girl. Mom and Dad can't wait to meet you soon! #lessthan2weekstogo.

There are so many other things to be thankful for but this post is already making my hormones go crazy. So I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and takes some time to stop and remember what they are thankful for!

November 16, 2012

Bump Out Progress: Operation beat the Hurricane

It's been awhile since I have posted. Mostly because of Hurricane Sandy. She took a toll on all of us in the northeast but NJ and NY took the biggest hits. Still, the impending storm forced us to buckle down and get a lot of the bump out built and water proof. So here is a bump out picture dump on the flooring, framing, roof and enclosure. I can't speak much about the details since Tim and his dad did most of the work but I tried to document it as best as I can.

Here is where we left off. Framing the floor after the drainage is put in.

After the floor was down and the frame measured out, we moved onto to securing the structure to the house.

Next we brought the roof and sides (that were already built by Tim and his dad) to the house to be attached.

Can you see it yet? :)

After the plywood and waterproofing went up on the extension we wrapped it in Tyvek to keep it safe from the hurricane.

Update: All went well and no water got in during the Hurricane! The guys did a great job and we were really excited to see so much progress. We lost power for 48 hours but we made out pretty well compared to others we knew.

Next up: siding, windows and electric.

Ohh and did I mention when this was going on we were also prepping for all of our floors to be refinished and all with 4 weeks to go until my due date? Yeah... we are nuts.

Did everyone make out okay in Hurricane Sandy? Anyone else decide to do multiple large projects right before their baby comes? We are hoping we aren't the only ones.

October 25, 2012

Bump out progress: Drainage and foundation

Last time we left off on the Bump Out project, we had just dug holes for the footers.

The next step was for the township to come out and approve the footer holes. When he did, he cleared the holes but required that we added a more elaborate drainage system underneath. He didn't want any water to drain towards our house since our yard is sloped that way. After our initial grumblings of the extra work, we decided to suck it up and get it done. So our next step was to dig a deeper level under our addition, add rocks and drainage pipes that run to our backyard. Not quite sure what I mean?- here are some step by step pictures of the progress.

ps: my poor garden is going to need a lot of TLC when this is over.

Once the drainage was set, we started to lay rocks over the entire lower level.

Since the footer holes were already cleared by the permit inspector, we also poured the concrete and set them.

No- that's not Tim. It's his older brother Greg who was nice enough to come down from North Jersey to help us out with this project. The footers needed time to set so it was a good wrap up for the day.

Next up: the decking for the floor!

October 21, 2012

How to make a "Face in the hole" stand

So I just wrapped up a very big event at the organization I work at. I am excited to report that it went very well and many families had a great time. This year I had an idea to create a "face in the hole" for kids to pose behind. This is something that the organization can use for many years for this annual fall event.

What's a "face in the hole"? Here are some examples:

So I got to work sketching out a design. I decided to make one with two face cut outs so two children can stand behind it. I wanted to include elements of our location including our iconic barn and the name of the organization. I needed some help with the wood work so I had my dad donate his wonderful time and skills on this. First, we got a 4' X 4' piece of plywood. My dad primed it with leftover paint and I sketched out the design onto the wood. Then my dad went to work on cutting out the upper outline so it blends more into the background. He also cut out the holes for the faces.

How did I figure out the face hole sizes? We actually took an old Halloween mask and measured around it to figure out the hole sizes.

Make sure you sand the face cut outs really well so there are no splinters. My dad used a sander and then manually sanded the rest. After that I got to work on sketching and painting the design. My advice would be to make it more "cartoonish." It's a fun thing for families to pose behind so they want it to be a bit sillier. Here are the pictures of the progress as I painted. I used acrylic wood paint and then sprayed it with an indoor/ outdoor finish to seal and protect it.

After it was all completed, we attached it to a stand raising it about one foot. If anyone is interested in the design, let me know and I will get it from my dad but I know its pretty standard. Here are two of my coworkers posing behind it.

I am so happy with it. It will be a lot of fun for families to use when they visit our site.

Have you done any fun crafts lately? We carved our pumpkins this weekend for our annual carving party... but I will talk more about that this week.

October 10, 2012

Bump out: Breaking Ground

Well now that we are underway with our bump out project, its time to start showing you some progress. Check back at our old post here to see our plans.

The first thing we had to do was get a permit. We are not experts in anyway so I am not going to spend too much time on this but let me tell you that it is an ongoing battle. It depends on the township but it's important to always read the permit guidelines to find out what types of inspections and dimensions they are going to demand. We had to actually reapply for our permit with more information than what we originally gave them. And you never know what will happen. But more on that later. After we found out that we were getting approved Tim got to work on clearing the pretty garden we had going in the front yard. Luckily we enjoyed the blooms as spring and summer long.

Poor Tim had to do most of the transplanting since Little M and I shouldn't be digging much. :) Here is the great progress Tim accomplished after a couple of hours.

After they were cleared, Tim and his dad marked where the footers needed to be dug. The holes had to be 36" deep so it was no easy task. We decided to recruit some of our friends and family to help speed the process along.

After the holes were dug and tested, the boys decided to quickly frame out the dimensions so we could get a better idea of what it is going to look like.

Now squint your eyes. Can you see it? I can and it's so exciting.

At the end of the day we were left with some great footer holes and ready for the first inspection.

Anyone else working on a major project? We are definitely pushing our deadline closer to the due date but it is helping to make the third trimester go quicker.

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