Saturday, October 24, 2009

If the house is rockin, don't bother knockin...

Saturday Oct 24, 2009

If the house is rockin, don't bother knockin...

If the house is rockin, don't bother - just come on in. (Cause we could use the help, people.)

Get your mind out of the gutter! I'm 5 months pregnant. The only reason our house is rockin' these days is that there has been a never-ending parade of construction activity for the last two weeks. You may remember that we'd started a remodeling project that will transform my craft room into a half bath, laundry room, and pantry. We figured while we're at it, might as well follow through with our plans to re-do our kitchen. And you know, while you're ripping out cabinets, might as well clean up the 1950's wiring while you're at it, right? Oh and those old cast iron pipes? Those should probably go too. And I hear those tankless water heaters are nice. What? We we would need new plumbing lines for the entire house in order to accommodate the tankless water heater? No time like the present! The multiple layers of linoleum representing each decade from the 1950's to the present gotta go. But I hear those old tiles might have asbestos in them. Now where to get asbestos testing done?

And so it goes. We've done a fair amount of remodeling prior to this project. I can sweat a joint (really!) and Derek has learned some pretty impressive carpentry skills along the way. And those past experiences taught us one rule ... that a project costs 50% more than you budget for and takes 3 times as long as you think it should. This project has been no exception. Plus there's the fun of trying to keep a toddler out of the mess. I know, I have a very strange sense of "fun."

But it's going well so far. We passed our electrical inspection, and plumbing/structural inspections should happen this week. Cabinets have been delivered and are filling our living room (floor to ceiling!). My favorite part? The GIGANTIC drill that the electricians used last weekend to drill through the studs. It looked something like this:

Then, today the plumber brought out one that was EVEN BIGGER! He used it to drill through the brick to fix our outdated outdoor spigots. (I'm still wondering how that's connected to the kitchen/half-bath project, but I quit asking questions.) These dudes do not play around with their tools. Tim the Tool Man Taylor would be proud. Arr, Arr, Arr.

Check back in at Christmas ... the goal was to be completely and totally done by then. If we can have Christmas Dinner at our house, I'll be pleased. If that Christmas dinner is another bowl of soup in the microwave & grilled cheese on the George Foreman grill, I will not be pleased. Cause Jan 1, we got to get crackin' on another nursery.


I can totally relate to this posting. And guess what! It is time again for us to do it all again, too. If only things would never need updating or better yet, never wear out. So, in another 15 - 20 years if your still there......
We will have to pop over sometime to see the remodel. I bet it is looking super. You have done such a great job with making that house a home, I bet it looks great.

Posted by Aunt Ali on October 25, 2009 at 02:46 PM EDT #

Hi there! Got your blog off of Facebook. Having the house under construction is tough, especially with kids! We just went through a kitchen upgrade and was without a cooktop for 3 weeks! Hope all goes well and the project turns out just how you wanted!

Posted by Melanie on October 26, 2009 at 10:14 AM EDT #

I am TOTALLY counting on Christmas dinner at the Fosters!! What a challenge this has been for you guys but what doesn't kill ya only makes you stronger!!Who makes up that kind of stuff.....?? Love, AJ

Posted by AJ on October 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT #

Please post pictures of the progress!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on November 01, 2009 at 07:46 AM EST #

I hear ya cuz! We have been dealing with our 1947 home... painting the outside which has only made the cracks in the concrete more noticeable... fixing our broken heater, which of course broke when the high was 27 degrees... cleaning up the flood from our water heater... it is always something with these houses! At least our only toddler is our dog, and she doesn't cry when you make her stay in the other room! Good luck! I cannot believe how busy you are. It makes me tired just to hear about what all you are doing! See you in 3 weeks!

Posted by Aunt Jamie on November 01, 2009 at 08:35 PM EST #

PS. your last post about your anniversary made me think of a baby boy name "Sullivan" after the place where you guys met! You could call him Sully or Van for short! :-)

Posted by Aunt Jamie on November 01, 2009 at 08:37 PM EST #

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You say it best...

Tuesday Oct 13, 2009

You say it best

when you say nothing at all.
-Allison Krauss

Eight years ago today, I married the love of my life. Can you believe that? (The eight years part, not the love of my life part. It's obvious to anyone who knows us that only for true love would anyone put up with my craziness.) How does eight years go by so incredibly fast? And how can it be that it's only been eight years when I truly can't remember or imagine life before Derek came along?

Since this is an NC State-hosted blog, I'll tell you our how-we-met story. Short answer, we met at NC State. But it's actually a little better than that. For many years, the 11th floor of Sullivan Hall had been all women. Other floors were co-ed, but the 11th been girls only. For some odd reason, in the fall of 1996, Housing had assigned one suite of fellas in the midst of the ladies floor. You should have seen these guys on move-in day! We'll just say they were pretty pumped about their odds for meeting girls ... 8 of them, 64 of us. To show their floor loyalty, they participated in all of the girly hall-sponsored activities, including step aerobics. Now that is desperation, my friends! (The mental image of my hubby attempting step aerobics still makes me giggle.)

In all seriousness, they were very good neighbors to us. They walked us to the library after dark; they put up with a lot of giggling; they helped us carry heavy things down 11 flights of stairs. In fact, after hauling my laundry basket down the stairs, Derek sat with me on the front steps while waiting for my mom to come pick up me (and my mountain of laundry). Seeing such a nice boy who waited with me for my ride, she immediately decided that he was the one for me. I suspect she also checked out his high school grades, given her easy access to his transcript, but she won't admit to that.

Me, it took a little more convincing than a good GPA and willingness to sit on the steps of Sullivan with me. He was a great friend, but was he really the one? He was so quiet! But sometimes, you don't need words to get your meaning across. Sometimes, you say it best when you say nothing at all, and that became our first dance song at our wedding.

Turns out, mom really does know best. We spent some wonderful time together in college and finally decided to get hitched while he was in vet school. In fact, he actually proposed at the NC State bell tower since (his words) "This is where we met and fell in love." Awww. Our Wolfpack roots run deep.

Happy anniversary, babe. I love you and can't wait to spend another 58 years together.


Happy Anniversary, Guys!

Posted by Ginger Nixon on October 13, 2009 at 10:19 PM EDT #

Congrats re: 8 years! That is really something to celebrate these days with so many divorces! We are coming up on 33 years on November the seems like just yesterday...I am SO very thankful for a great husband, my best friend he is! My love for him has grown and changed over the years to a very deep abiding love. I am also thankful for our happy marriage for our three children and their security and stability in their futures.

It sounds like, from what I hear from your mother that your hubby is AWESOME! I wish you both many years of love and wonderful children!
By the way, in reference to cheeze puff being a little boy...I adore my boys, both so very special and I would not trade them for anything in the world. Then number three, our princess (she thinks she is) Anne...we were blessed with an assortment and are so thankful for each of them...such wonderful people they are to us!

Congrats again!

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on October 14, 2009 at 03:07 PM EDT #

I love you guys and will always think of that day with a big smile. What fun we had on the Raleigh Trolley!! I'm grateful for your friendship and so thrilled for Jay and Colby Jack! You're the best!

Posted by Katrine on October 16, 2009 at 08:23 PM EDT #

Had a great time at your wedding! First time I'd had wine and we all know how that's turned out! You guys sure do know how to throw a party!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on October 19, 2009 at 05:57 PM EDT

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Tuesday Oct 06, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Beautiful Boy

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While you're busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy

-John Lennon

So, the secret's out - we're gonna have another bouncing baby boy! The most wonderful news is that he seems to be healthy from the top of his head to his 10 tiny toes. Because of Jay's heart defect, this little guy has double the risk of congenital heart disease than he otherwise would have. The risk is still small, mind you, but enough that we want to test to be sure there are no heart defects or other problems to be concerned about. We'll have a fetal echocardiogram in another few weeks to get a more in-depth look at his heart. (I have a crush on Jay's cardiologist, Dr. Milazzo, so I'm stoked that he'll be doing it!)

But all looks fantastic. His aorta has a beautiful "candy cane" arch and his heart seems to have none of the kinds of problems that would send him to our good friends in the PCICU. (Not that we don't love those surgeons and docs at Duke, mind you, but we'd rather stay out of there if we can.) The only slight concern they had is that this lil' guy is already off-the-charts big. And they weren't tremendously worried about that. Me on the other hand ... I am tremendously concerned. Having delivered a 10 lb 4 oz baby the "old-fashioned" way (ahem) is absolutely, positively, most definitely something I do not want to repeat. Did you hear me docs?! Induce early, or give me a c-section, but I'm not pushing another 10 pounder!

So, back to the boy thing. I'm not gonna lie - I was hoping for a girl this time. Sorry, kiddo. I know you're gonna read this someday about 10 years from now and say "What?! You wanted me to be a girl?!" Yes, son. I am sorry to confess it to the world, but I was hoping for a daughter. And it's not just because baby girl shoes are cuter (though they are). I mean really, have you walked down the baby shoe aisle at Target lately? Not only are there twice as many girl shoes, but they have sparkles! Red sparkles and flowers and bows, oh my!

No, shoes weren't the real reason I wanted a girl. I want a girl for me. I know that's selfish, but the most special, the most influential people in my life have been women - my mom and my Appie. (To those who weren't lucky enough to know her, Appie was my mom's mother - one of the most amazing women I've ever met. We shared a relationship that is much closer than most girls and their grandmas, and I miss her every day.) My girlfriends play a hugely important role in my life, and I believe that there is a bond between women that is unique and special, and I selfishly want that for myself and my daughter.

But you know what? I never had a sister. I ended my last post with the phrase "If life doesn't give you sisters, you find them." And I am pretty sure that the same thing applies to daughters as well. If life doesn't give you daughters, you just need to look for them. Every girl needs a "bonus mom" who she can go to when she needs to talk junk about her mother. (Yes, Mom, I sometimes talk junk about you.) And I'm pretty sure that my friends would be happy to loan me their daughters to do a little shoe shopping and giggling and dressing up in feather boas for tea parties.

The truth is that there are wonderful things about boys, just like there are wonderful things about girls. Yes, I wanted one of each so that I could enjoy both. But I am thrilled that Jay and this little guy will have each other as brothers - because that's a bond that is pretty amazing too. Who knows? There may even be a third Foster child in store down the road. But if baby #3 is also a boy, I'm gonna trust that I was just meant to have boys. (I don't think I could risk being any more outnumbered than that!)

And really - I'm pretty sure I'll never again have to take out the trash or mow the lawn... Just start calling me "The Queen."


HA! I totally get the "cardiologist crush", or even "swooning over the surgeon". Our poor husbands...

Anyway, so glad to hear things are going well with baby #2!

Posted by Joye on October 06, 2009 at 10:11 PM EDT #

If you need a baby girl fix, call me...I have enough to go around!

Posted by Cynthia on October 07, 2009 at 01:19 PM EDT #

What a sweet post! You make friend #3 who is currently pregnant with boy #2. What are the odds? Little Colby Jack just wants to live up to his nickname! ;-)

Posted by Ginger Nixon on October 07, 2009 at 02:24 PM EDT #

So I will tell you what the Pediatrician told me after son number four....Boy oh Boy oh Boy oh Boy! Never let anyone tell you boys aren't the best! Yes you will be Queen and I am proud to say you will remain so. Now daughter Elise likes to think we share the throne but reality is reality....we don't. And when life is short on daughters you get the good fortune of daughters in law that are as close as the real thing! Congrats on boy #2 God is Good! xoxo Susie

Posted by Susie Hoffman on October 07, 2009 at 11:55 PM EDT #

As the mother of 2 sons (one of which is your husband) let me add that thru your sons you will be given "special daughters". I have been wonderfully blessed to have you and Mandy in my life and a part of our family. You are a great wife and mother and a mother couldn't ask for more for her son. I love you. Jane

Posted by JANE FOSTER on October 08, 2009 at 09:28 AM EDT #