Our House Renovation! - Foundation

Foundation - Feb 10, 2016

Foundation work begins!  The crew cleared the exterior supports of the house to make way for the new helical augers and the new double 2x12s that will be installed around the exterior of the house.  The second and third stories and the roof will all be supported by the new foundation.


Our House Renovation! - Demo

Demo - Feb 4, 2016

Finally after over a year through the design process (including a stressful variance to make the front of our house the official front) the renovation of our house began.  It took only four days to dismantle the entire house!  All that is left is 2x4s and plywood floor.  Next up is an upgrade to the foundation.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Greenland has alluded us again today.  Air Iceland was unable to arrange for another plane to take us to Ilulissat today.  The tease from yesterday of the brief landing in Kulusuk to refuel after we were unable to land in Ilulissat seems a distant past.  The good news is we were able to get seats on a scheduled flight for tomorrow and now I'm crossing my fingers that we are going to be able to take off and land ok.  Its not that I don't like Reykjavik, its just that every time we get our minds set on the  fact that we are moving on to a new location, we get disappointed and have to re-live the day before.

Prague at Last!

After an easy flight through London Heathrow, Steph and I arrived in Prague yesterday to beautiful weather.  We spent the afternoon walking across the Charles Bridge taking in views of the Vltava River followed by hike up to Prague Castle to enjoy the courtyards and views.  We especially liked the twisted and gruesome faces of the gargoyles on St. Vitus Cathedral.

To end the day, we enjoyed a delicious two-course dinner at V Zatisi (http://www.vzatisi.cz/).  Steph and I enjoyed kulajda soup, tiger prawns, crispy duck with red cabbage and a roasted lamb shank with a tasty cucumber rayta sauce.  The local paired wines complimented the dishes perfectly and after eating ourselves to exhaustion, went back to our apartment for a night of rest.

The day it went down

December 1, 2010: "the day it went down", started with me waking around 7am to Steph sitting next to me in bed saying, "I have been having contractions and they are approximately 10 minutes apart".  That meant it was the start of go time!  We both began packing and preparing everything in a very calm and relaxing way.  That was definitely a take-home for me from the birthing classes - to remain calm and relaxed as you can imagine is most helpful to everyone.  My parents were still here, but it didn't take long for them to realize that we both weren't dressed for work and that meant something was up.  They both agreed to go shopping and let us prepare and monitor the contractions in peace.  Steph and I went for a nice and slow walk around the neighborhood and when we got back to the house the contractions were getting closer together (around 6 mins or so).  After a call to the doctors office, we were instructed to make our way to the hospital.


We arrived at the hospital around 10 am, checked in and settled into the delivery room.  Everything pretty much went as planned while we waited for Steph to fully dialate.  I'm sure Steph would have a little different opinion on this, but from my perspective, everything was going well.  Steph was relaxing and breathing through the pain as much as she could and Emm's heartbeat was staying a steady 130 beats per minute.  Emma was not caring one bit about being pushed through the tunnel towards the light.


Things changed quite a bit when Steph was fully dialated and the nurse broke her water.  That meant it was time to push which took a bunch of effort from mom mixed with lots of pain.  At the start of the pushing time, Steph was screaming quite loudly with each push, and it was hard for me to take...knowing that she was in so much pain...but I was there to support this super strong woman and so I brushed the tears away and offered some words of encouragement.


After pushing for nearly two hours, I took a quick glance to see the progress and noticed a little tiny head with hair on it starting to make its way out with each push.  I remember seeing the little head and thinking to myself, "Wow, that is a really small head.  Is it just me or is that head look way too small?"  While I contemplated that for a few minutes, Steph continued to push (with my support of course) and after a few more pushes I took another glance when the doctor said the head was coming out.  I was awe-stricken as I glanced over, because what I thought I saw before that was only a very small portion of the top of the baby's head and now that the head was coming out completely I was in disbelief that such a big object was coming out of Steph!  It kinda of reminded me of trying to put a square tube through a round hole...in theory its impossible, but somehow mom's around the world defy physics, dynamics, strength of materials,...you name it and are able to get the baby out!


After the head, the rest of Emma came out pretty easy, though the doctor asked Steph to pause on the pushing...which she somehow did...to get the shoulders out.  Its pretty hard to describe what I was feeling when Emma was born, but probably the strongest feeling or thoughts was how proud I was of Steph to endure such pain and how much I admired her for being so strong!


After Emma was born at 4:47 pm, she was placed on mom's chest to allow sometime for bonding.  I chose to cut the umbilical chord, though right when I was about to the doctor turned away and I thought I was cutting in the wrong place.  After I paused for a second, the doctor said, "no thats right", so I did and it squirted a bit - which is why the doctor turned away.  Gross - I know, but thought I had to share.


After about 30 minutes of bonding time with Emma, she was weighed (a hefty 8 lbs, 7 ozs) and measured (21 inches long).  Her feet prints were also taken and the nurse noted how big her feet were and the fact that they didn't fit in the squares designated on the form.  Emma's grandparents all arrived shortly after and got some grandparent bonding time in before she went to the nursery for her first bath.


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