Sep 28, 2012

{home again}


we're back! a little bit later than expected, but home, none the less. we were all itching the last few hours to get out of doors again. & to see our old home again. isaac, as you can see, is wiggling all around again & feeling nearly 100%. you would never guess his little bum was all in stitches...he makes me a bit nervous with all of the kicking.

this was by far our smoothest hospital visit yet! surgery was only an hour {compared to six last time around} we had great nurses, & even though it was a longer stay that we had hoped for, it was still just a little over 24 hours. horray! we are done now for about another 8 weeks :)

the 'unfortunately' of our trip was that we had our second vehicle mishap {why always in the parking deck?!} daniel went out to grab our luggage thursday evening & our car wouldn't start. the 'fortunately' though, was that he even tried to move our car that evening & we found out before we tried to leave with isaac & that we had two separate friends who both helped us check my car & tow it away. SUCH a lifesaver! it could have actually been about 1000x worse & i feel like they {& daniel, too, for taking care of it all} blessed us so much. i wasn't worried about it at all & was able to focus on isaac. needless to say, we are ending today feeling really grateful all over again for all of the wonderful, caring friends we have here.

crisis = avoided

tomorrow we are already taking isaac out {& i'll say it again - he is doing AWESOME} to a 'Be the One Run' - marrow.org, the bone marrow registry i've mentioned before is sponsoring it & we are really excited to be there & share just a tiny bit of our story with people. we're going to try to run to. {ha}

Sep 25, 2012

{surprise! surgery this thursday}

so we thought we had this year planned - surgery wise. we had two more to go. a connection for isaac's colostomy & a left hand straightening, but yesterday i went in to see his surgeon - hoping we would be able to schedule a surgery date...& we did. it just wasn't the surgery i had expected.

thursday afternoon we have a bonus surgery that is also colostomy related. there was some scar tissue that we were hoping would soften up & just isn't improving at all {i won't get too graphic because isaac will see this one day & be embarrassed} so thursday it is.

the good news, is that it should be on the less invasive side - for an operation. & could possibly even be an outpatient procedure if he is doing well, which means we could possibly take him home thursday evening!

so kind of a bummer thrown into the middle of our week, but we'll make it through just fine, i think. isaac is fearless & strong. i can't wait for this set of surgeries to be OVER! it will be a wonderful wonderful day :)


prayers never get old, by the way. we need bunches of them!

i'll post an update later thursday. hope you all are having a nice week, in the meantime!

Sep 19, 2012

{piano painting}


i completely disregarded the general upkeep of our home this past week & devoted all of my precious nap time hours to transforming our piano with a bit of paint.

all in all, this was probably a 6-7 hour project. i didn't go totally crazy with the sanding, though, & i am actually glad with how it turned out!
you see the before up there? that was the very first thing you saw walking into our front door. now, some context - our entry room is the darkest in our home, & we have all hardwood floors that are exactly the same color as the piano, leaving our entry room looking a little blah. we have been talking about painting this piano for several months. ever since it was given to us, actually, but couldn't decide on the perfect color. something bright was our original plan. but a pop of color that we wouldn't get tired of? not so easy. & pianos aren't just things you want to paint every day, so we needed to be absolutely sure.
after toying around with all sorts of colors, we ended up with a dark slate gray. valspars mark twain gray brick in satin {i'm very glad we did satin, too, by the way. a semi-gloss would have been much much too shiny for me, at least}.

i looked in multiple places for tutorials on painting pianos & they were all across the board. one of them, i believe, even dedicated their garage for a month to the painting & drying process. not for me! i am, firstly, not patient enough to let anything dry for a month, & we weren't about to move this beast around. we just had to make it work, in a few days in our home. & it really wasn't so bad of a process.

you will need:
-masking or blue painting tape
-1 quart of primer {less, really, so if you have leftovers from anything, use it}
-1 quart of paint
-100 grit sanding blocks
-a pack of 4" foam rollers, handle & paint tray
-small brush for touch up painting

the steps i used are as follows:

1. remove music stand, piano top {i didn't do this because i was lazy, but it would be best if you did. i still need to do a bit of touching up paint because of it} & tape around the foot pedals & key edges. i did a not so awesome diagram below of where i taped. you can see, too that & left one little strip of wood behind the keys. as i was looking for examples of other painted pianos, this was often left just because its so difficult to paint back there & to flatten your keys to do it. & it doesn't bother me. i wondered if it would, but its a personal preference.
2. i did all of this indoors, so i opted not to use an electric sander {can you imagine?!}. instead, i just lightly buffed the entire surface with a hand block sander from lowes. you will see them with all of the sanding pads. it is literally a 3"x6" block with sandpaper on all sides & it works great for indoors. i would get 100 grit or so. then wipe all residual dust off & prep your area to paint.

3. start with primer. we had a gray tinted primer left from another project that worked perfectly for us. i also used a foam roller. we used these to paint the cabinets in our kitchen. it seems to leave a much smoother finish to me. i would definitely say use this over a brush. definitely. it goes much quicker, too.

4. do a second coat of primer now. this is optional, but i think it really made a difference. our piano had a few nicks & things that we wanted to cover & this did the trick pretty well. you can sand in between if you feel like you need to, as well. i didn't.
5. finish off with two coats of your paint. i let each coat of gray dry a day in between & did both coats of primer in the same afternoon.
i'm really happy with how it turned out for us. i was originally planning on distressing it a bit afterwards, but now i'm not so sure after all...

questions?
p.s. i'm sorry if i've completely horrified anyone for painting over such pretty wood, this just works for us better!

Sep 17, 2012

{happy three years}


daniel & i celebrated our third married anniversary…almost two weeks ago {i'm a little behind}
they have been the craziest, busiest, most life changing yet. i can't imagine so many big things happening in another three years {graduating, job, buying home, fixing home, having baby}
& they've been the best years so far! looking forward to many more with you, sweet thing!


Sep 5, 2012

{happy 11 months, isaac}

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you guys, isaac is almost a YEAR OLD!!!
i am so not ready for this, yet...

i was just thinking through how far he's come in the past year, & i don't talk about all of the little things he's doing, a lot.

we  have had all kinds of obstacles getting him moving & developing appropriately for his age: extended time in the hospital, his hydrocephalous, surgeries, not hearing for the first 9 months of his life - we've even found that his arms being shorter than typical have made it harder for him to sit up {he can't prop himself up with his hands at all. its pretty much a torso balancing act} & crawl.

so, all of those things considered, i could not be more thrilled with how he is doing.
with the hydrocephalous alone, we really didn't know what kind of brain function he would have, & we really are just having to wait & see with that, still, but he is already doing better than we could have hoped for.

the first time he rolled onto his side on his own was a HUGE deal for us - i was just watching a video of it a few days back. we were freaking out excited & screaming. it was probably a good thing he couldn't really hear us :)

now he reaches for his toys & can manipulate things with his hands really well. he rolls from side to side & will scoot himself around on the floor with his feet to get to his toys. he bounces in his jumper like mad & laughs & has recently started to talk to us more. he can sit up when we're spotting him - & mommies don't freak out, but this boy just may never crawl. thats all there is to it. we are still going to try, but we've heard that with his arms the way they are, a lot of kids don't crawl. & if thats what happens, then its okay.

we are still working on sleeping through the night - with his small size, though {10 1/2 pounds. normal for FA, i promise i'm feeding him}  i'm wondering if it will be quite awhile before we make it through the night. but gracious, i'm hoping not. that is probably the hardest part.

& still no teeth! i have been saying that he is teething for the last 6 months & haven't seen a thing. those little guys are slow movers. i think they'll probably just all decide to show up at the same time.

i am so proud of my little buddy. i stopped keeping track of where he should be & am just glad for what he is able to do & when. i think he's just fabulous :)

happy 11 months little raptor baby!