This week I’m 31 weeks pregnant and it’s still hard to believe we’ll have a BABY in just a couple of months! We’ve been deep in the process of redoing all of the flooring in our home ourselves (long story that I’ll get to…), but now that that project’s winding down, it’s actually becoming more real that parenthood is right around the corner. AH!
While I’m technically still 60-something days out from my due date, that feels like nothin’ compared to the early months of pregnancy that dragged on and on. Around 22 or 23 weeks, I began feeling the occasional kick every few days and they’ve continued ramping up and getting stronger and more frequent. Now I feel quite a bit of movement throughout the day—and hiccups! I LOVE the hiccups! He or she gets them several times a day and they’re so, so cute.
All of the movement and kicks and rolls are probably my favorite part of pregnancy. I just stare at my stomach at night and fall asleep with my hand on my belly. I’m guessing little one is going to be a morning lover because there have been maaany mornings that a little belly party have woken me up around 5 am. Good thing I like mornings, too!
Babymoon and trip home to Vegas
We’d been planning on taking a babymoon to Lake Tahoe the first week of September, but at the end of August wildfires were erupting all over Northern California. We had to spend several days inside because the smoke and debris were so bad and ended up deciding to drive down to Las Vegas the week before our babymoon to stay at and work from my mom’s house.
As devastating as all the fires have been this year, the one upside was that we were able to go see family when we really didn’t plan on being able to see anyone this year, at least until after the baby arrives. It was such a special time at home and even though we worked the whole week, we were also able to sit with my grandparents outside for social-distanced happy hours, golf with my mom, hang out by the pool, and just relax a bit without having to stress about smoke and growing fires around us. (Luckily our home was totally fine, just a bit ashy outside.)
We drove from Vegas to Tahoe after that week, where we stayed at a kitschy little boutique hotel called Basecamp in Tahoe City. We enjoyed it but because we were there for almost a whole week (with our dog), in hindsight I would’ve preferred renting an Airbnb so we could have a kitchen and some more space to spread out than a hotel room allows.
Tahoe was a little smoky from all the fires, too, but on the third day it cleared up significantly. We didn’t have many plans (esp. with Covid), so most of our time was spent hiking, laying by the water, and taking walks. We ate outside at a couple of restaurants but mostly did takeout. I was able to get a prenatal massage outside one morning (HEAVEN), and John golfed that afternoon.
Plus, my sister, who’s doing a travel nursing assignment in Reno, drove out for a hike and lunch with us one day which was SO special! We hadn’t seen ANY family since before March until this Vegas + Tahoe trip and I think that was probably the most special part.
For those planning trips to Tahoe anytime soon, we did and liked these hikes (all dog-friendly, too!):
- Shirley Canyon Trail in Squaw Valley: this was so gorgeous and scenic but got steep at the end so we only did a couple miles up and back.
- Burton Creek State Park in Tahoe City: I loved this one and it we did a fairly simple 4-mile loop. It was a little smoky on the day we went but normally you’d have a few nice views of the lake.
- Glen Alpine Trail in South Lake Tahoe: This one was maybe my favorite, but it was a hike in itself to get to from Tahoe City! The drive was gorgeous of course, and so worth it.
Flooring and home project drama + progress
Since moving into our house in February we’ve tackled a few small update projects ourselves, like changing out all the old yellow light switches and outlets for white ones and painting the ceilings in the bedrooms white. (We’d gotten the whole interior of the house professionally painted white before moving in because every room had previously been different colors, but left the bedroom ceilings as they were to save a few dollars.)
Another thing we did before moving in was rip out the gross carpet in the bedrooms and replace them with wood-like laminate flooring. I figured it would be easiest to do before we moved in and brought in all our furniture, but it only left one week between when we closed and when we were set to move in to get the work done.
Luckily (or so I thought), even in our scrunched timeline, we found an affordable installer and pretty cheap laminate flooring, and were able to get it installed the weekend we were moving in, which was… chaotic. But I was just glad to have the old carpet out of there.
When I bought the flooring, I told the retailer at the time that we’d be back to purchase more for the rest of our house in a few months. The flooring in the main living spaces of our house was this really cheap, poor quality sheet vinyl that was literally glued to the concrete subfloor. It was really thin and hung onto dirt and grime no matter how much I cleaned it, but we didn’t have the funds right then to replace the flooring in our whole house.
Aaaaanyway… I called the flooring company in July and placed our second order for the same laminate we’d put in the bedrooms so we could complete the rest of the house. My credit card was charged and then about a month went by before I realized I’d never heard if the materials came in, so I followed up with them.
That’s when they told me they found out a couple weeks prior that our flooring was no longer being manufactured or distributed anywhere.
… ‘Scuse me?
I was, in a word, livid. I didn’t understand how I was charged for something that didn’t exist (???) and then how I wasn’t notified when they found out it didn’t exist.
They searched high and low across the nation, literally, trying to find more, and then they stopped taking my calls… which just made me even more mad. Eventually I got in touch with someone at corporate who, after a couple more months of back and forth negotiating, finally refunded us for the product and labor expenses we’d ultimately wasted.
There’s a lot more to the story buuuut, in the end they DID do what was right and compensated us fairly.
But… that still left the problem of one flooring in the bedrooms and nothing to match it for the rest of the house.
At that point, we’d already decided we were going to tile our two bathrooms ourselves this fall. We also had THE HARDEST time tracking down a flooring installer or contractor who would work on the plank floors. There is a ton of building/construction going on in our area, especially with all the fires, so I think our job was just small potatoes in comparison and no one had the time, even the first company who’d installed the bedroom floors.
What I did know was I didn’t want a flooring buffet of this laminate in one room and something else in the rest of the house. After doing a little research (and getting ghosted or quoted insanely high estimates from flooring companies) we realized… installing most types of plank flooring is actually a lot easier than you’d expect. WAY easier than tiling, which we had already signed up for!
I also learned through more research that the laminate I’d put in the bedrooms was super poor quality. The guy who sold it to me made it sound like *the most luxury* but cheap laminate ever (ha), but it wasn’t waterproof or padded and smelled like chemicals when it was installed. I think I was just in a rush to get anything in there before we moved, but that stuff was bad. So in the end… it might’ve been a weird blessing we couldn’t find more of it?
Lesson learned: rushing home projects is a big no-no. *Noted.*
We used the funds from our settlement with the flooring retailer to partially cover a much nicer quality, luxury vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot and figured: hey, at least we’ll save by installing it ourselves now, right?
Sweet, handy, past-mechanical-engineer John has been a CHAMP getting these floors installed. Like holy smokes. He’s been working most weekends over the last month (sometimes 10-12 hour days), plus several weeknight evenings, too. He also started this whole flooring project by tiling one of our bathrooms, which ended up being a WAY bigger project than we imagined.
(If you think tiling just entails putting some concrete-y stuff on the back of a tile and slapping it down, so did I. But, no. HGTV makes it look way too easy. There’s the removal of toilets, cutting of tiles, layers of a bunch of other stuff before even placing the tile, dry time, TONS OF DUST, grouting, baseboards, and for us, a surprise plumbing leak incident that almost drove John give up on toilets for good, I’m pretty sure. Like, forever. But he did it!)
I’ve realized during all of this that I do NOT like to be idly sitting by while someone else is working. I’ve been all, “Put me in, coach!” and he’s been all, “You’re seven months pregnant… No.” So, he does the floors and I eagerly clean baseboards and caulk them once they’re back in place. I’ve also gladly been handling all the food and household and Piper responsibilities while he’s been pounding away at floor planks and tiles.
Fair trade? Probably not. But I will be delivering a baby in a couple months so let’s hope we can call it even after that.
And now for the good news: we are DONE with the vinyl flooring install as of this week!!! (I can still say “we” even though I only contributed to, like 10% of this project, right?)
Yes, we had to rip out the (new in March) laminate from the bedrooms, and yes, it took us about a month, but we’re done! And this weekend, we’re finishing up by tiling our other bathroom, and then we can be fullllly done with floors. Forever, ideally.
I can’t believe it. I never thought flooring would make me this excited, but I’m sooo, so happy. Is this adulthood?
(Also, did this second + third trimester update blog post just turn into 1,000+ words on floors? Yeah, it did. But holy cow, that felt good to get off my chest. And I will say, this floor drama HAS dominated much of my second/third trimesters… and made it go by so much faster. Weird silver lining. So, thank you for sticking with me, if you’re still reading this!)
What’s next before baby’s here
Whew, honestly, I can’t believe all that’s happened since getting pregnant… and this baby’s still not here yet! Dog knee surgery (catch that story here), settling into our home, Covid, and working from home together. It’s a lot but now it just feels like coasting until this little one arrives.
The nursery is pretty much set up and ready. I ended up selling my car because it just wasn’t reliable for longer drives anymore, and used that money to buy my mom’s old Lexus (hello, cool #momcar). So we’ll get the carseat installed in that soon and probably start packing our hospital bags in the next couple of weeks. Ahh!
We’re working through a digital childbirth course that’s been so helpful in learning what to expect (for both of us), and John’s signed up to squeeze in a wine education course next month that he’s been wanting to do for a while now.
Also, as a little “cheers to finishing the flooring” gift slash birthday gift for me, we’re taking a mini-staycation in November in a sweet town about 45 minutes from here, just for one final getaway pre-baby. (Technically the babymoon was supposed to be the final getaway, but in Covid times and with the craziness of our home stuff… we’re treating ourselves.)
Other than that, we’re both working fairly regular hours and I’m still prepping maternity leave content (see my maternity leave plan here if you didn’t already), with plans to wrap up everything around Christmas.
Because Thanksgiving and Christmas fall in my last month of pregnancy, my doctor recommended we don’t travel, so we’ll be spending the holidays just the four of us (including Piper and baby) at home, which I’m honestly sort of okay with. Of course, we’ll miss our families so much and wish we could celebrate with them, but I also think it’ll be really special to have this last holiday season as a couple celebrated quietly at home together.
Then, when the baby’s here (due date is New Year’s Eve), my mom and sister and John’s parents will all come out to see us and meet the little one. So we can do a little belated holiday celebration then!
Overall, I’m still feeling pretty great! My “worst” symptom is probably that I get heartburn pretty easily but that’s expected, and I’m starting to slow down a bit and feel a little achier in my back and hips. But I feel really lucky to still be able to go on walks and exercise lightly most days and continue with my regular workload.
As for birth, I’m trying to go in aware but with little expectation because I know so much is unpredictable. My biggest hope is that it goes by quickly but again… there’s no way of predicting that. Mostly, I’m trying to stay calm and not fearful because I know that can create stress in my body and for the baby. So, whatever happens, happens! And really, we are so, so ready!
Well, almost. We’re so, so ready, after we finish the carseat and bathroom tiling and maternity leave prep work and our final getaway and a few other odds and ends! So, you just keep cooking in there for the next 60-ish days, little bun.