Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy One Month Vivian!

Vivian is one month old today! You've heard it before but I will say it again - my how time flies! We have no real idea how big she is - well over 8 ponds I assume. How much over I don't know. She did so well at her two week doctor's visit that she doesn't go back until two months. She should have been weighed at the midwife's yesterday but our appointment was rescheduled due to another birth.

At one month Vivian is mellow about everything external. Theo wailing next to her ear? Nada. The dog barking incessantly? Not even worth a flinch. Construction, including jack hammering and air compressors in the house? No reaction whatsoever. Vivian is so ionize to these things we worried whether she could hear at all. She passed her hearing screening with flying colors. Apparently it's just her personality.

Eating, on the other hand, is cause for nonstop screaming. Miss her hunger cues by only a few minutes and pay the price. She can get so riled up about eating (or rather not eating) that she can't calm down enough to eat. Burps and the occasional poop also have thus effect. And she gulps so rapidly when guzzling milk like there's no tomorrow that she burps a lot.

Vivian still sleeps with me which is lovely for both of us. On a normal night she doesn't even cry. She wiggles, she gets fed, and we both go back to sleep almost instantaneously. She eats every hour to two hours during the day. More than two hours is rare. Most nights she goes three hours on a full feeding from both sides. Often I am too lazy to roll over and she snacks more frequently from one side at a time.

I have no idea how often she sleeps during the day. I have just started swaddling her, as previously it wasn't required to achieve calm baby status or keep her warm this time of year. She also hates having her hands constrained, as evidenced by the fact that she was born with her right hand in her face. That preference has not changed. She likes to use a breast as a pillow even if she's not eating, and stuff her face into warm confined places to sleep. She seems to prefer her left side and her favorite is face down on someone's chest.

We will know more about her sleep patterns soon as she is enrolled in a sleep study starting tomorrow.

Her hair is starting to fall out. The top of her head is almost bald, but the rest of her hair is long enough to get bed head. Her fingernails remain frighteningly sharp and quick to grow.

She loves the sling, tolerates the swing and bouncy seat and puts up with the car seat as long as it isn't time to eat.

Overall Vivian is interested in the world but not concerned about it. We look forward to watching her continue to grow and develop.

A brief preview of photos to come once they are uploaded. This giraffe photo was taken today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vivian's Two Week Visit

Vivian had her two week doctor's visit one week after her first (the doctor was on vacation the entire next week), on Friday June 8th. A scant seven days later she weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz - a 12 ounce gain in only 7 days! She also grew an inch to 21.5 inches tall. Her head circumference went from 13.7 to 14.33 inches. Those stats put her in the 57th weight percentile, 89th height percentile, and 81st for head size. You grow girl!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vivian's First Visit to the Pediatrician

Obviously I am behind as Vivian's first doctor visit occurred on Friday June 1st. We had lots of firsts that day: first time getting dressed, first time in a car, first time out of bed for me.

Vivian weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz - a 7 oz loss from birth but still respectably in the 48th percentile (according to WHO stats - only 34th by CDC standards). She got one shot and we were advised to keep her away from any crowds and have people in contact with her vaccinated due to the current whopping cough epidemic in the state. Otherwise it went well and everyone was very pleased with her - even Theo who stayed happily at home with Grandma once he heard there were shots involved.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vivian Enjoys "Summer" Weather

The rain running down the window fascinated Vivian during lunch out today for Grandma's last day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 28

Last night I sanded the drywall mud and added some more to a few spots to make sure the final finish will be perfectly level. I also used Redguard on the shower surround, slathering three coats on the window area as it's the most likely to have water issues. Redguard is a waterproofing membrane which -- according to the mortarboard manufacturer -- isn't required "except where required by local code". I'm not sure if local code requires it or not, but I did it anyway. There's no such thing as having too much waterproofing.

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 27

On Tuesday the contractors installed the window in the morning, then after work in the evening I filled in with mortarboard.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Birthday Joy

It isn't all about Vivian here despite what the photos imply. She's is just easier to capture because she is still.

Michal got a birthday present from work today. I'm not sure who loves it more - Michal or Theo. In case it isn't obvious from the picture, there is a skateboard under them.

Sleepy Girl

Vivian snoozing on Granddaddy's lap.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 26

Sunday morning I mudded all the greenboard. I had planned to water-proof the mortarboard but the cement I used to mud it hadn't set yet (it claims it needs 24-36 hours and it doesn't seem to be lying) so I decided to tile the bathroom floor. I spent about four hours doing it. Here's the sequence:

And the finished floor:

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 25

On Saturday Jamie helped out, and we cranked out all the remaining mortar board and green board in the bathroom. He stuck around and helped tape, and then I mudded the mortar board on my own before running out of time and going to see Stephen Hawking:

More Vivian Photos

I have lots of photos to share but no time to upload. Imagine that. In the meantime here is one of my favorites.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 24

Did the first section of mortarboard wall around the shower.

Friday, June 15, 2012

This Post Is Brought To You By The Letter 'G'

Theo's learning his letters. He started with 'O' which he learned on his own. He knows D, G, M, and 5. (It remains unclear whether he understands the distinction between a letter and a number, but he knows when he wants to give Tetley treats, he wants five of them.) We were at a restaurant for my birthday, and Theo always gets the children's menu these days -- mostly to play with rather than to order off of. This menu came with a word search; we asked him to find the letter 'G'. He scrutinized the word search for a good minute, searching. He even bent down and got up close to it. Then he sat back up, grabbed a crayon, and voila:

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 23

After a full day at the office I came home and put up insulation in the bathroom ceiling. Then I put up drywall! Hooray!

Sadly I miscut the hole for the ceiling fan, and so the screwdriver is wedged in there to hold the patch in place while some glue dries.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 22

No actual construction took place, but I did cut one piece of drywall to size, and acquired insulation for the walls.

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 21

Tuesday the dryer vent and bathroom vent were installed, and the shiplap siding in the old new addition was re-installed. We were disappointed by how little survived the removal process, and have tasked the contractor with hunting down some more. I spent a frustrating two hours waiting for our bathroom vanity to be assembled by Pius after I tried to assemble it myself but couldn't figure it out. Then after we put Theo to bed, I spent two hours wrangling drywall from Home Depot, in two trips using two different cars.

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 20

The plumber came on Monday (which was day 20) and hooked up all the new copper to the actual water supply, though the actual fittings won't be installed until the drywall is on. Mortar support underneath the tub was also placed. The general contractor dropped off supplies to install the vents for the dryer and bathroom, but didn't actually install them. Additionally it was my birthday, so I took the day off from construction and had a wonderful time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 19

I spent about 6 hours today doing electrical work. I wired up all the
outlets switches and lights and got everything up and running. The fan
doesn't actually vent outside yet and there are no lights but the
heating mat works. I also rewired a non-bathroom circuit as I didn't
care for how the electrician ran the wire. Tomorrow the plumber
returns and should add mortar support under the tub which will allow
us to water test it. I hope he will also complete the vent system and
the plumbing rough-in. At some point the general contractor will also
come frame in the new window (but the window itself is about 8 days
out as it was just ordered on Friday). Once the tub is anchored though
I think we could begin drywall and insulation. We will see. I plan to
do no work myself tomorrow.

In the photo below you can just make out the new junction boxes and
the cardboard protection for the heating mat -- itself embedded on
concrete -- is clearly visible.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 17

This is the first day that all of the work was mine. None of the contractors or subs was scheduled today (and fortunately, none came!). Ironically, all I did was pour a bit more self-levelling mortar over the outside of the bathroom to smooth out the concrete, though I didn't do the best job ever and a fair number of air bubbles popped up. I knew to expect this from the previous day's heating mat pour, so I watched closely and manually popped as many as I could. The air bubbles are likely caused by one of two things -- stirring the mortar too quickly during the mixing, or by not using primer. I thought I was careful not to mix too quickly, but I also used primer. Perhaps I didn't do enough of each. I also did my own electrician coordination. Our general contractor's electrician wouldn't come out (a short story with a rational explanation, but not internet-friendly) so I found one on my own to connect my three new circuits. (I had opened the panel myself, but it's always intimidating to me -- especially since we don't have a main cut-off and so you need to work with a live circuit inside the panel, which is just outside my comfort zone of staying alive.) I also had him upgrade a circuit's wiring that used to be the laundry room light, but now only runs the refrigerator (and microwave and toaster -- or as my wife put it, the lunch circuit). The wire was old, and a bit too short so I would have had to put in two junction boxes, and I felt it was easier to upgrade, especially given the eventual kitchen remodel we're bound to do now that the old staircase is filled in.

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 16

This post is sadly late, and again has no accompanying photo. My apologies. On Thursday, Jerry the plumber came in for a few afternoon hours and did some more rough-in work, though surprisingly little (imho). We also became aware the bathtub installation instructions call for mortar support underneath, instead of the foam that was planned, so there will be yet another concrete pour on Monday (no one is scheduled to work on Friday). While Jerry was welding, I spent a few hours running new electrical lines for the bathroom, which will require a total of three circuits: one for the jacuzzi tub pump, one for its heater, and one for the rest of the bathroom. The bathroom will also have radiant floor heat, but that'll run off its main circuit as it is a fairly small space. Speaking of which, I went ahead and laid out the heating mat, and poured self-leveling mortar to anchor it in place (and hopefully protect it).

Feed Us!

A few different folks have made us aware of MealTrain (and lots of other folks have actually brought us food -- thank you!) So we figured, why not sign up and see what happens. If you want to participate in our meal train, click here. Or if you want to bring us a meal, feel free. We don't need meals brought to us -- by all means we can fend for ourselves -- but they are surprisingly helpful, freeing up the adults' time to focus on construction (even when I'm not doing anything, sometimes I need to coordinate something -- like an electrician this morning) and on Theo, and Vivian, and sometimes just spending a little longer visiting with someone who's dropped by rather than having to make dinner. [Oh, and those of you who pointed us to MealTrain: if we've set something up incorrectly, do let us know!]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 15

The contractors are almost all done with their portion. Some final
plumbing rough in will take place tomorrow and the window needs to be
installed next week. The new dryer vent needs to be installed. Other
than that, the remaining electrical, drywall, and tiling work is all

Theo Runs Around With a Helmet

To prove it's not all Vivian and all construction around these parts, here's a recent video of Theo having some fun:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 14

Removal of some plumbing along the back wall allowed the framing
thereof. Also framing in a new window and some excessive removal of
wall in our addition to allow for a new sewer vent. We will see how
that ends up. Oh, and the concrete pour? About a quarter inch too
narrow for the tub. Today the first cracks in the contractor quality
appeared and we will see how they address the issues. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Introducing Vivian Kathryn!

We're pleased to announce the birth of Vivian Kathryn on May 29, 2012 at 1:18pm! She's adorable, 20.5 inches long and 7lb 10oz. We've made a special welcome page for her just as we did for older brother Theo.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 12

Completed the infill of the floor joists covering the old staircase
and laid down three of four base boards for the new bathroom framing.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bathroom Construction: End of Day 11

Totally forgot to take a photo last night! Ironically it was indeed related to the baby but not due to sleep deficit or anything like that -- been using the phone so much that it needed charging when I went to take a look, and I never managed to remember to go back later and take the photo.

Anyhow, yesterday the contractors took out the concrete forms after a 2-day baby break, shored up the ceiling and cut the infill joists which will cover the old staircase we took out with the last remodel and eventually will give us an extra 3' in the kitchen. About half the holes for the lag screws were also drilled. There are five or so joists an each one gets 18 screws. The contractors are calling it overkill but this is the one part of this entire project we actually had professionally engineered (thanks mom!)

Another quick photo

Another photo for our daughter's admiring audience until we get a real batch uploaded