Thursday, March 29, 2007

Move Over, Martha Stewart

Planning for our baby girl's nursery is underway! Her room is literally a blank slate - nothing more than primer on the walls and paper shades on the windows. We're looking forward to making it hers . . . and we're starting with wallpaper! Gasp. Yes, we grew up as part of the generation that learned to loathe wallpaper, but we're over that. Not only is wallpaper period appropriate for our house, but the idea of a vintage floral pattern seemed so sweet for both a nursery and a little girl's room. Here's a scan of the muted yellow paper we picked out - it will go above a chair rail, with yellow paint below. Click on the image to enlarge.

In other home-improvement news, our plans were approved by the Historical Preservation Commission at the hearing Monday night. Now we're working on getting a bid for the first phase of the project. Renovation of the whole house is something that we'll be working on for many, many years, but now that spring seems here to stay we're ready to kick off Phase I - if only to ensure that at least some of the central air conditioning can be installed before I'm nine months pregnant and we're breaking 100 here (i.e., July).

Monday, March 26, 2007

No, That's Not a Foreclosure Sign in Our Front Yard

This attractive announcement ("LEGAL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING") has been staked in our front yard for the past two weeks. Such a display is actually not uncommon in our neighborhood. Because the area we live in has been designated a Historic District by the City, any changes to the property must be approved in a public hearing by the City Historic Preservation Commission before construction can begin. We are finally ready to get started making some much-needed improvements to our place, hence the Notice posted in the yard.

We bought this house almost three years ago, not because it was exactly what we wanted, but because we saw that it could be. It was located in the part of town we had waited for years to get into, and it "had good bones." We were willing to overlook a lot, including the Ouiji board in the basement, the wiring that frightened even the electrician's apprentice, the busted bathtub concealed behind the sliding glass shower door that has never slid all the way open or closed, and the human teeth in the closet (they were baby teeth in a medicine bottle, but creepy all the same). Also the french doors the previous owners installed in the master bedroom on the second floor without bothering to build the balcony they were intended to open onto. It needs a lot of work, but there is a lot there to work with, and we've spent the past year refining our plans for it. We'll present those plans to the Historical Preservation Committee for approval at the public hearing we've been advertising on our front lawn tonight.

The house's interesting history should play a part in the Commission's decision. It appeared on this lot in the East End in 1936, but it wasn't built here - it was moved. So far we haven't been able to determine where or when the house was actually built. From 1936 until the mid-eighties, it was used as apartments, housing between 2 and 4 tenants at different times. Because the house can't be shown to have been built in the historic district during the defined "period of significance," it has been designated "non-contributing," which technically exempts it from the City's historic remodeling requirements.

In spite of the house's non-contributing status, the Historical Preservation Commission believes the house has significant historical integrity and wants to see that preserved. They won't get any argument from us there, as that's been our goal all along. The historic elements of the house (predominantly Colonial Revival style), are what give it its character, and that's what we love most about it.

Hopefully we won't get too wrapped up in red tape tonight.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Oh, Girl!

Our 20 week ultrasound this week confirmed that Baby is a girl! She is developing right on schedule, and all systems are go in that tiny little body of hers. She weighs 11 ounces right now, and is probably a little more than 10 inches long. Eric and I are both able to feel some of her movements now, and according to the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, she's able to hear us and other sounds in our environment now. We're hoping that she'll be so used to the sound of the dog barking by the time she's born that she'll sleep right through his occasional outrage at random passersby.

For those of you who want proof before you start thinking pink:

For orientation purposes, you are looking at her from underneath in this shot, as if she were sitting on a glass chair. That's her rear on the right, with her legs extending to the left. The three lines in between her legs that are slightly brighter (hard to make out in the already grainy shot after it's been scanned) are the labia.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Welcome to the Monkey House

Meet Atticus, aka "The Monkey." Our almost-three year old Great Dane has a few changes in store for him this year. As most of you know, there's going to be a new kid in town this summer! Baby is expected to come on the scene on or about July 31. In hopes of keeping our friends and family current on all of our adventures, both before and after the baby's arrival, we're going to give blogging a try.

Check in with us here when you can!