Monday, March 27, 2017

anything you(tube) can do

Remember when I said the dryer was "on the fritz" after our flood? What I meant was: "it's totally dead, but I'm determined to fix it." So, I went where all good millennials go when they need to learn a new skill like appliance repair... YouTube.

A couple short videos and a few hours later I had successfully disassembled the entire dryer. Finding nothing obviously wrong after a few simple troubleshooting steps, I began a weeklong debate with myself between buying a new dryer (easy, but so expensive) or attempting to replace the motor myself (challenging and risky, but so much more rewarding). The frugal engineer in me won and I ordered a replacement motor from Amazon. (Mae was a bit skeptical of my decision).

The following Saturday, I removed the old motor (Dan helped with the muscle-y parts), installed the new one, rewired the fuse I had bypassed while troubleshooting, and reassembled the dryer panels. I kept my loose bolts and sockets in an empty Kate Spade jewelry box while I worked. (Engineers can be girly too). Finally, the crisp smell of warm lint filled our basement. Success!

Now, this isn't the first repair I've learned on YouTube. I started out small: how to change the oil in the lawn mower, how to apply a bead of caulk. Then we got a little more advanced: how to replace the lawn mower gas tank, how to replace the guts of a toilet, how to cut crown molding. Before this month, my crowning achievements were replastering the closet wall and disassembling my driver's side car door to replace my side mirror.

I am quite proud that I tackled the broken dryer myself. Plus, I saved us about $500, which helps offset all the other expensive home repairs we've had lately! Lastly, here's a photo of Mae warning me about another impending flood.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

a room of one's own

It's been a whole year since I traded in my craft room for a nursery. Last winter, we disassembled my spacious craft desk and repurposed the cubbies into a changing table and a baby bookshelf, while the table top sat languishing in the basement with my boxes of yarn, fabric, paper, and paint. Side note: in my last entry about the basement flood, you can see a shallow plastic box which contains most of my yarn stash. Usually it sits on the other side of the basement, but it decided to float merrily across the water-logged floor and hang out near the ironing board. Nothing was damaged... it just went for a little boat ride!

In January, I decided that I really needed a space of my own again. I knew I couldn't have a whole room, since we only have two bedrooms, and the basement just isn't a place I want to hang out for any amount of time. But, I really wanted somewhere to set up my sewing machine and the new serger I got for Christmas! So, in January, we rearranged our front room to accommdate a new (smaller) desk and bookshelf for me!

As usual, the furniture is from Ikea. Mae enjoyed helping out with her first furniture assembly.

I also replaced the photo gallery that used to hang in this area. You can sort of see the old layout of the room in the photos from my post about our stained glass window. Instead of photos, I framed some of Mae's artwork from baby school, and I love how it turned out! I bought the frames at Ikea and purchased an inexpensive mat cutter on Amazon so I can frame non-standard sized art. Now we have a proper gallery for our "future artist!" (Onesie courtesy of Aunt Kelsey!)

Friday, March 17, 2017

ten months of mae

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Are you wearing green today? Mae is not, because green girl clothes are nearly impossible to find! Even this rainbow striped onesie omits green. I hope the other babies at day care don't pinch her!

I had some help from my photography assistant (Dan) this month, so we finally captured a few of Mae's smiley moments! He was exhausted from all his silly theatrics during our photo shoot.

Mae hit two big development milestones this month. Firstly, she finally crawls! She has (mostly) ditched the army crawling for a more typical hands-and-knees style. She's still faster on her belly, so she'll resort to that when she really needs to get somewhere fast.

Secondly, she pulled up to standing on the last day of February. Since then, she's been pulling up more and more. Fortunately, she is just learning how to get back down now too. For a few weeks, she would stand up and then get SO ANGRY that she was stuck like that!

She's also been practicing her baby yoga. Check out this perfect downward-facing dog pose.

Mae also figured out how to drink from her straw cup this month... sort of. She learned how to suck liquid through the straw, but not how to swallow it instead of drooling it out all over her bib. Every time she got a little bit into her mouth, she would look to me with a big, proud smile and dribble it all over herself!

We had a couple fun outings over the last couple weeks. Last weekend we went to visit Lauren and Zach to admire all the amazing work they've done on their new house. Mae loved sliding around on their freshly refinished floors. Then, this week, Mae and I went to lunch with Jen, Anna, Stacey, and Isaac. We had a great time!

Finally, I just have to comment on the adorable-ness of these overalls. They even have real pockets and a hammer loop. Maybe I'll put the mallet from her peg board toy in the loop. Gah! That will be so cute!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

when it rains...

... your basement fills up with 6" of water. That's how the saying goes, isn't it? At least our basement is unfinished, so most stuff survived. Our dryer is on the fritz, we'll need to replace the water heater soon, and we spent $700 getting the water pumped out... but I guess that's just the fun of owning a home! When I discovered the flooded basement, I was a bit amused that our dehumidifier was just humming away right in the middle of it. Like, "I'm trying guys, but this is a lot to deal with!"

The water heater shut off during the flood, so I had to heat Mae's bath water on the stove. Normally, we could have just skipped bath day, but not when she looks like this! Making birthday cards is messy work!

We spent the weekend at my parents' house celebrating my dad's 60th birthday. On Saturday, Emily brought over some homemade edible "cloud dough" for play time with Oliver and Mae. Oliver dove right in to the oatmeal and coconut oil mixture, but Mae decided to sit back and watch for a bit. While Oliver attempted to coat every surface of his body in it, Mae shoveled handfuls into her mouth. Then she crawled into the pan and had fun smashing her hands and feet into the sandy texture. They finished up with a bath in the giant kitchen sink!

Later that day, we went bowling (Mae and Oliver played in the Pack 'n Play) and then to dinner at Benihana. Mae was enthralled with all the noise and action of the restaurant. This was the third birthday celebration for Dad since he also celebrated last weekend with extended family and during the week on his actual birthday. He will continue to celebrate throughout the summer as he enjoys his birthday gifts: comedy show tickets, symphony tickets, baseball game tickets, museum tickets, concert tickets, and a boat ride. Lots of excuses to spend time with family!

Lastly, the most exciting news I've had in a while: Mae is WEANED! I finally added dairy back to my diet and have since enjoyed macaroni and cheese, Taco Bell, ice cream, candy bars, cheese and crackers, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and biscuits! I'm still in desperate need of a pizza. Woo hoo!