Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Images of December

This very behind blogger has finally learned to download pictures from her new camera to computer, so here we go people! December as told in pictures . . .


Sophia has a thing for little nooks to hang out in . . . the latest is the bottom shelf of our dining room bookshelf.


Perfect place to read "Pat the Bunny." (Which, completely off topic, I kind of thought was about a bunny named Pat before I had a kid, who now asks me to read it to her umpteen times a day.)



Fun place to hide out #2: any cardboard box, of which there are many in our house right now, as I have done 99% of my Christmas shopping on amazon.


Fun place to hide out #3: the antique hutch in the dining room. Of course, catching a picture of Sophia actually in it is difficult . . . she tends to stop whatever she was doing to ham it up for the camera as soon as she realizes what I am up to.


The latest eating dilemma. How to convince your 16-month old that her foot really doesn't belong on the table while she is eating. Especially hard to convince her of that when both parents are snapping pictures on each side of the table. Hmmm.



The joy of a high calorie, high fat diet! Enjoy it while it lasts, kiddo.



Fun times with cousin Zuzu!


No, Sophia and Zuzu did not trade clothing between the previous picture and this one, they just have a lot of the same clothes.


Including the same shoes! (What can I say, I have good taste in baby clothes, so Kristin has no choice but to copycat. And I'm pretty sure that will earn me a comment!) At any rate, look, they are sharing!


And this is how most photo sessions end, with Sophia coming for the camera.


Thanks to Aunt Betsy, Uncle Tom, and Allie, Sophia has been very busy playing with her new nativity set . . . definitely wins favorite toy award! Now John and I can illustrate the Christmas story when we read it to her, and Sophia especially loves baby "Chesus." We're still working on the J sound . . .



Ok, this is just randomness. For some reason, Sophia had a desire to wear pants on her head. Who am I to deny such fun?


I know this picture is TINY, but thought it was so funny I had to include it. My dad was watching Sophia last week, and she wanted to play with his glasses. How can you not take a picture of that? If only it were not with a camera phone, so I could blow it up!


This is randomness as well, three of the four hats I have made this fall. Of course, the one I made for Bridgette is my favorite by far, but I forgot to get a picture before I gave it to her. Grrrr.


And today's fun! Aviva came over to play with Sophia, and we all trekked outside to "play" in the snow . . . a first for Sophia!


Of course, you will note that Sophia's facial expression seemed to "freeze" in place as soon as we got outside . . . I have no idea what she thought of the snow!


Aviva very kindly tried to show her what you do with the snow, but even that failed to inspire any kind of movement, facial or limb, from Sophia.



Note the rain boots, not really worth buying winter boots for a kid who isn't walking yet, and will probably spend a total of half an hour playing outside this winter. Layer up the socks!


So that's all folks, Merry Christmas from this blogger now, 'cause another post is probably not happening before then!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lasagna, anyone?

I love lasagna. Who doesn't, with it's gooey yumminess? Lasagna combines some of my favorite foods into one . . . cheese, meat, pasta, and more cheese. My mother-in-law makes the best lasagna hands down, even beating out any Italian restaurant you can name. I have tried to duplicate hers, but even with a photocopied recipe in hand I just can't get it to taste as good.

At any rate, in my latest attempt at healthy cooking, I found a recipe for vegetarian lasagna and made it the other night.

Now, I am about the furthest you can be from vegetarian. Sometimes nothing hits the spot better than a juicy bacon cheeseburger with a big side of fries. But I decided to give this recipe a try, with a few changes . . . see below!

Laurel's Vegetarian Lasagna

1 pound lasagna noodles
4-5 cups pasta sauce
2 small or 1 large zucchini, grated
1/2 bag frozen spinach (8 ounces)
1 pound cottage cheese
1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
Grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box.
Mix zucchini and pasta sauce together.
Lightly coat bottom of 9" x 13" pan with layer of pasta sauce.
Place drained lasagna noodles in pan to make a single layer. Cut noodles as necessary to fit.
Next layer in 1/3 cottage cheese, followed by 1/3 spinach, 1/3 mozzarella cheese, then 1/3 sauce.
Repeat noodles, cottage cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese, and sauce x2.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake for 1 hour, covered with tinfoil for first 30 minutes. Do not let tinfoil touch tomato sauce.
Eat with large amounts of garlic bread.
Eat leftovers for the next three nights!

This recipe definitely still doesn't beat my mother-in-law's, but it is pretty amazing. Neither John nor I miss the meat, probably because there is a ridiculous amount of cheese that tastes divine. Of course, Sophia isn't a big fan, but if it doesn't involve peanut butter or cream cheese she doesn't ever care for it, so her opinion doesn't count.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I remember a LONG time ago playing Monster with my dad. He would chase us kids around, growling and being very "scary" while we shrieked and ran away and pretended to be terrified. He was a good sport but eventually got tired of the game before we did and we would plead with him to keep playing Monster "please, Daddy?!"

I don't know how old I was when playing Monster turned from fun to silly and I outgrew it, but I'll bet I know when we first started playing! Say, about 16 months or so?

Yes, Sophia has discovered Monster. And actually, she made it up today after nap.

Our living room is set up in such a way that she can circle all the way around the couch, and sometimes she likes to hide out behind it (usually to poop in privacy). Today, though, she just wanted to circle around and around, and it was the most fun if I chased her a little bit, threatening to tickle her (and sometimes actually tickling her) while making growling sounds.

Of course, we did the fun version of Monster, not the scary version. When the chasee is only 16 months old, the monster still smiles a lot.

Knowing how I used to love playing Monster, I expect to get a lot of mileage from the game. Of course, what I never realized back in the day is that it is just as fun to be the Monster as it is being the "scared" little kid.

Now back to playing Monster!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving a day late, first of all.

Now moving on to Black Friday.

I have never, ever, ever been shopping on Black Friday before. I usually look at the fliers on Thanksgiving and decide there really isn't anything I need, then scoff at the early birds the next day. Is anything worth getting up that early in the morning? Some of these people are hardcore . . . lining up at 3 a.m. or earlier! CRAZINESS!

Then comes Black Friday 2010. I have been shopping for a new camera for months (I shop for it, but it is John's gift to me for the next YEAR of special occasions, thank you honey!!!) and rumor has it there are mad deals on one particular camera I have been eyeing.


I decide if I wake up, I'll go. Well guess what folks? When you are exhausted and fall into bed at 8:30, there's a good chance you will wake up at 5.

Ridiculous as it may be, there I was in my car waiting for it to de-ice at 5:30 in the morning. I figured I had no chance against the real early birds, but how many people are shopping for this kind of camera, not too many, right?

Best Buy's checkout line snaked around pretty much every display in the store. It was probably an hour and a half long, just to check out! I said forget it and went home.

Fastforward to 8:30. Sophia and I head out the door, because I have finally decided 100% what particular camera I am going to get (having talked to my "professional advisory panel" aka Aunt Melissa, yet again) and there are three stores with a package deal.

1, 2, 3, out, out, out.

After all that getting Sophia in and out, driving thru slush, both of us being pelted by mini-hail some are calling snow, they were all out. Big surprise, right?

So I came home, somewhat disappointed and trolled around online for a few minutes to see if there were any sites I had missed. Uh, hello?!

Found the exact camera and lens package for $60 less than any of the in-store Black Friday deals.


I am never going out shopping on Black Friday again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Food, glorious food! (reprise)

As some of you know, our little Snuggler has been having some weight issues . . . that is, not weighing enough. In the last week, though, we have had a food revolution, and the weigh in at the doctor's office today proved that it has been effective. Almost a pound and a half gain in one week!

This weight gain is due in no small part to the role of peanut butter in Sophia's diet. Peanut butter on crackers, with jelly in a sandwich, plain on a spoon, on banana and apples, etc. We eat lots of peanut butter in our house; thank God no one is allergic!

The following photos are of course capturing some of this peanut butter fun. As you can see from the amount of peanut butter and jelly on the little cutie's face, it is super fun to get it on your hands and then play peek-a-boo. Next most popular: spreading it thru her hair. Nightly bath is mucho importante now!


"So tired . . . must finish . . . "


Can't have pb & j without milk!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jesiccas Strange Rocking Horse

Digging thru the basement, I came across a bunch of cards, papers, and school records from my childhood. The best thing I found? My first short story, painstakingly typed out at age 6 1/2. I laughed so hard . . . I remember being so excited to use a typewriter, it was so much more fun than just writing by hand.

Now, this is no great fiction, but I decided it merits a blog post anyhow. Here you go, folks, "Jessicas Strange Rocking Horse" in all its glory! (Errors in spelling and grammar included, of course!)

In the house of one hundred rooms
Jessicka was going to the nursry
But she took the roung turn
she went left instead of right She
went down a long dark and narrow passage
The doors were marked numbers first 25 then
26 27 28 29 30
At the end of the hall there was a door
it said:

Nur ey

She opun the door She was suprised to see
a girl in the room about her age to
Who are you? asked Jesicka skweaked
Who are you? the other girl skweaked
back I asked you first (We will call
Jesicka Janet)
Janet said OK Im Jennifer call me Jenny
OK Suddunly somthing caute Janets
eye It was red She looked It was a door
Weres that go? she asked ub ub uh uh
she said over and over Oh come on you
have to know or you would not do that
Oh shall have to show you But you shall
have to keep it a sekret WY Shhh Jenny
slowly and opun a door There was a rocking
horse Wate is so big obout it?
she asked Jenny

There you have it. I hope none of you are disappointed that I have no idea what happened after Jessica/Jesicka/Janet found the rocking horse.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The pink pup

Sophia loves dogs. She definitely gets that from her dad, because I am not what you would call an animal lover.

(I had a pet once, and only once. My parents bought me a rabbit for my 12th birthday, and I sold it at a yard sale three weeks later. Made $15!)

But back to Sophia. She loves all animals, and when she sees something with four legs, she is quick to identify it. "Goggie! Wuff, wuff." Never mind that she may be pointing to a dog, or a squirrel/horse/cow/moose/cat/etc. They are all "goggies." No amount of correcting from John or I changes her mind.

So what would be a better Halloween costume for Sophia than a doggie?! Plus, the kid is still crawling everywhere, so she would actually be a doggie on all fours. So cute!

I would love to say that I thought this all out and decided on a costume before I went shopping, but really it was Thursday night and I still had no idea what I was going to do, Marden's was closing in 5 minutes and the costume had to be done for the harvest party on Saturday. Eek!

As I was heading out of the store empty handed (the lights were shutting off as I went), I passed by a display of blankets. You know the ones, a bunch of throws, all rolled up in their packaging. And these were labelled "Poodle Throw."

Eureka! That's when the doggie costume idea actually hit me, and I didn't even realized how perfect it was until much later.

At any rate, it could not have been easier. I cut out two big squares, cut a slit up the middle to make legs, sewed it together and put elastic on the neck and ankles. I didn't even have to hem the armholes, because the fabric didn't run.

Voila! Cutest puppy EVER!





My favorite part of the costume is not actually visible in the pictures, unfortunately, and that is her tail. I had some automotive wire sitting around to be used for a future project, so I put that in the tail so it would have some life to it. Next favorite part was the ears . . . the Snuggler was definitely not cold in that outfit!

Thanks to John for taking the pictures of the Peanut while I was off helping with the Harvest Party "stuff."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vacuum vacation

Many of you might have gathered from hints in previous posts that I do not much enjoy cleaning. Who does, really? I like to have a clean house, but mine is usually more on the tidy-but-not-entirely-clean spectrum. A quick swipe of the toilet bowl and rim, a paper towel to the sink, ready for company!

Then there is vacuuming. I don't care what vacuum you use, I have never found one that doesn't kill your back. My vacuum is a relic from the 80's that I bought from the "Vacuum Doctor" for $40 back when I moved into my first apartment. Does it say anything that I am still working my way thru the bag of vacuum bags I initially bought with it? And no, I don't empty and re-use them. I just vacuum that seldom.

Much as I don't enjoy it, at least vacuuming is satisfying in the way that picking a scab is satisfying (yes, I am one of "those" people) . . . I do it so infrequently that it is gratifying to see the giant hand size fuzzies get sucked up the hose.

At any rate, it was with pleasure that I loaned my vacuum cleaner to a friend several weeks ago. Finally, I could not vacuum guilt-free! And when by chance we didn't end up seeing each other until today, I got to not vacuum for two weeks. And I won't tell you how long it had been since the last time I actually used it . . . mostly because it was so long ago I can't remember.

So when my mom came over to babysit and I was scooping up a couple of obvious dust bunnies, I could just say that I loaned it out. And when a friend came over to cook and my kitchen was a bit grimy (though tidy!) I told her my friend's was broken and I had given her mine as a loaner.

What I didn't realize until I had made the loan is that I actually sounded kind of noble . . . "Well, of course I would have a clean house but my poor friend was in desperate need of a vacuum, so how could I say no?"

When I did get my vacuum back today, I decided it was finally time to actually use the thing. I vacuumed my house from top to bottom, cleaning up dust bunnies that had spawned generations of children. I even changed the bag (!!!) which was of course only full because my friend is the clean type. (She actually said since she got her vacuum back from the repair shop she had been using mine upstairs and hers downstairs. What a woman! Her children will never be covered in living, breathing dust bunnies. Sophia might.)

Tomorrow I am going to hit the den. I scoured all the other rooms today, but saved the den for it's own day. I am in the middle of painting it, and when I moved the furniture out into the middle of the room realized it had been a while. As in my black pants were gray from sitting on the floor painting trim.

All that said, what I realized as I sailed around my house today sucking up grime is that I really haven't been so noble over the last two weeks, just lazy. Because what I had forgotten is that I too have an upstairs vacuum and a downstairs vacuum. My downstairs vacuum just happens to be in the basement, a cast-off from my mom (still works perfectly fine, but they didn't need it) that I have been saving for the day that the Vacuum Doctor special finally bites it.

So all this time I could have had a clean house. But it was really nice to have an excuse, so anyone want to borrow a couple of vacuum cleaners? I won't need mine again until 2011.

Friday, October 15, 2010


On the occasion of our fifth year anniversary, I think it is high time I do a brag post on the topic of my husband, John Libby. He truly is the best husband in the world, though I am sure there are those that would argue that point.

Hindsight really is 20/20, and looking back over the last five years of our life together makes me so grateful that God brought us to each other. We have gone thru some really tough times and some really great times, and all of it has made us more of a team. That is not to say that we live in some sort of Libbyland Utopia . . . we definitely have our fair share of fights!

But enough of all that, this is a brag post! Where to start?

John not only fulfilled all of my pregnancy cravings, he continues to fulfill my non-pregnant cravings. Just last week I really wanted some ice cream, but really didn't want to go out at 8 at night to get it. So he did! And he called from the store to read me every name of Ben and Jerry's that Wal Mart had. And didn't even mind that it took to all the way at the end of the list to find the perfect flavor. And that Brownie Cheesecake ice cream was sooo good!

John always apologizes first. And I am embarrassed to say, is sometimes the only one to apologize. He is definitely the bigger person! (My mother always said to marry someone nicer than myself. Check that box!)

John is such a fun daddy, and reminds me thru his actions to just let go of my "to-do's" and get down on the floor and really PLAY with the Snuggler.

John lets me have at it with my decorating fun. He gets that I love it, and if he thinks I am a bit crazy for a color or fabric choice, never lets on until after it is done, and then tells me how right I was and how he loves it.

John empties the dishwasher, because he knows that I don't mind loading it and washing dishes, but I hate putting dishes away.

John say's thank you for the little menial everyday (and sometimes annoying) tasks, like dishes or cleaning the bathroom. And that makes it worth it!

John always remembers to come find me in the morning before he leaves for work so we can pray together. He reminds me to slow down and start the day off right!

I could keep going for a long time, but just one more that I really appreciate. John rubs my back most nights, even if his is hurting, and even if he doesn't feel like it, and even if I don't do it in return. That is sacrifice in my book!

I love this man!

Enough exclamation points already, but I want to know . . . what do you just love about your spouse/significant other?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The dining room, continued

I have been working on decorating the dining room for months now. The big stuff (painting, curtains, etc) is done and now it is finishing touches. Like a centerpiece for the table. So I was psyched to find a great idea in Better Homes and Gardens and decided to collect acorns to use for my table.

Sophia and I headed out to get acorns, and came across a particularly fertile tree about half a mile up the road. It had dropped scads of acorns, so I scuttled about collecting them while trying to make sure Sophia didn't eat the acorns or the plastic bag I was putting them into.

We got home and for the next week the bag sat on the dining room table while I did other projects. So much for beautifying the dining room!

One day I came in the dining room, moved one piece of clutter on the dining room table while looking for another particular piece of clutter and . . . . saw a DISGUSTING little white maggoty creature squirming about on the table. I freaked out just a little bit and tried to figure out where it possibly could have come from. No idea, John disposed of said nasty little guy (he said it popped when he squeezed, ugh), and I moved on.

Until the next day when I found THREE more disgusting such critters on the table, and FOUR on the floor! My house may not be the cleanest, but this was too much! What if Sophia had found them first and ate one?! I shudder . . .

Finally it occured to me that I still had the bag of acorns on the table. I picked it up while John dispatched the latest collection, and sure enough, there was another little bugger under the bag itself.

What Better Homes and Gardens failed to mention when writing about decorating with acorns is that you should check them for little holes where critters might have bored to get in for some tasty little nut snacks. Like these little maggoty things did.

John discovered holes in some of the acorns when he took the bag outside, and set aside the "safe" ones for me to use. What a man! Thanks to him, I was able to finish my project, and no more little worms have shown up on our table.


Thanks to the previous house owners for the gold spray paint! Although I think next time I might prefer to buy my own spray paint and not have to dispose of the other 40 gallons of paint they so kindly left for us.

Oh yes, the fabric for the table runner is from Mardens. I bought quarter yards of 11 different 2.99/yard fabrics, making the total cost of my table decor less than $5!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Angry runner

In my eleven years of running, heading out the door for a run has usually been something I look forward to and that helps keep me mentally centered.

Enter Sophia, and I still look forward to my runs, but find them to be significantly less centering. If anything, going for a run with Sophia gets my mind going faster, and sometimes turns me into an angry runner.

Pre-Sophia (hereafter referred to as PS) I used to jay-run across the road when I wasn't supposed to, run on the wrong side of the road, and miscellaneous other mildly dangerous things when running. No more.

Now when I have her in the jogger, I am a hyper-vigilant uber-law abiding citizen. I stop running and wait for the sign to say to cross before touching toe into the road. I head for the crosswalk even if it is out of my way, and I NEVER run on the wrong side of the road.

I also notice a lot more dangerous behavior on the part of drivers. PS I might have ignored the occasional driver that almost run me over, or didn't move over when driving past me, or the obnoxious whistle out the window.

But as I said, now I am an angry runner. In the past twelve months of running with Sophia in the jogger, I have yelled at drivers turning right on red without making sure the crosswalk is empty, I have yelled at drivers that didn't come to a full stop at a stop sign, and I have yelled at drivers who pulled all the way up onto the crosswalk at a red light so that we had to go around them. Definitely an angry runner.

Then today, the biggest angry runner moment of them all.

Sophia and I dropped the car off at Pep Boys and then headed toward home, with a quick stop at the bank planned. We needed to cross the road into the bank parking lot, so headed for the crosswalk. A car was stopped on our side of the road, and truck on the other. The car was of course stopped on top of the crosswalk, but we were able to head across it on the little bit of space left.

Until for whatever reason the car decided to step on the gas when we were still starting to cross and in front of her passenger side, requiring me to throw the jogger to the side. If I hadn't moved the jogger, she absolutely would have hit Sophia. Of course I yelled "HEY!" at the same time, and she slammed the brakes back on.

I was so spitting mad I turned back when we were across, saw her window was slightly open, and yelled "THERE'S A KID IN HERE, AND THAT'S A CROSSWALK!!!" I saw her lips move in an "I know, I know." In hindsight, I know she really was shocked, but how about stopping before (not on) the crosswalk, and then looking both ways?

Sophia and I headed into the bank, and I saw the woman complete her turn into the bank parking lot, but I never did see her come in. I guess I was a bit fearsome, and she didn't want to be at the receiving end of that Mama-wrath. She would have gotten more of it, too, 'cause I was some angry for a while.

Fortunately, I am able to head out the door by myself on the weekend when John is home. Then I can have a PS non-angry run and enjoy this beautiful fall we are having. I am already looking forward to Saturday's run. Perhaps I will run on the wrong side of the road, just for a little bit . . .

Drive vigilant, people, and remember to look both ways.

Random Sophia and a cousin's cameo

I love to play outside with Sophia. The weather has been so beautiful recently we have been spending at least a portion of the afternoon outside exploring. One day John joined us for the fun, and plucked a bunch of giant leaves off of one of our plants for her to play with. Of course, I have no idea what that particular plant is, as gardening and I do not get along. Sophia enjoyed herself, though, and I'm pretty sure she didn't care what it was either.






As for the cousin cameo, here you go!
How cute are Sophia and Zuzu in their matching sweaters?!

Thanks to Kristin for making the sweaters! If only you could see the front of Sophia's, but of course it is a heart, too. Anyone want to buy a sweater? Particularly a 6-month sized replica of Sophia's? It's going up on unless you speak up first!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A new way to bathe

Every time I think that I am a pretty chill and relaxed first-time mother, something comes along to remind me that perhaps I am not as chill as I think. Case in point, Sophia's nightly bath.

When Sophia was a little peanut, we instituted nightly baths as part of her bedtime routine. She has always loved baths, so it is a nice end of the day for her. At first she was in one of the little baby tubs, and then when she could sit up we put her in one of the bath rings that suctions to the bottom of the tub. And in the little ring she stayed, and stayed, and stayed.

My plan was to buy a bath mat before putting her in the tub with no bath ring. But really, I delayed buying a bath mat so that she had to stay in the ring. Because what if she tipped over and conked her head? Or tried to climb out of the tub? Or got into the bottle of shampoo before I could stop her?

Finally one night last month as I attempted to yet again stuff her into the ring and she protested loudly, I said "Fine, no ring" and plopped her in, no bath mat and all.

And of course, she loved it! That first night without a bath mat was like a fun little slip-and-slide, and she explored every nook and cranny of the tub, sliding around everywhere. With a worried mama hands out, just in case. No need. There were no accidents, no bleeding gashes or bruised head. The next day I headed to Wally World to buy a bath mat, and Sophia has been loving her nightly bath adventures ever since.




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sophia and the Stairs

It has been a while since I have posted with any kind of frequency, but now I am home to stay with no more travel plans and a few different posts in the works. That said, here's one to start off with. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Insulating the Basement

This weekend John and I undertook a project we have been planning and dreading for some time. Our first real heavy duty house project, not a little light and fluffy decorating project. This one involved sweat, muscles, and POWER TOOLS!

Last winter we ended up closing the den off from the rest of the house because it was soooo cold. You could feel the cold air pour into the house anytime the door to the kitchen was open, so for much of the winter it was a completely non-functional room. Which was a bummer, because it is our hobby room (no kids allowed!) with space for music playing, the computer, and my craft table and supplies.

Hence the decision to insulate the cinder block basement under the den before this winter. And since it's already getting cool, better get it done now!

So we headed to Home Depot and picked up all of our supplies. Except when we started getting them all piled on our cart we realized our 15 pieces of 12 foot long lumber and 19 pieces of 2x8 insulation were NOT going to fit in our Ford Focus Wagon.

You know the Lowe's ad with the couple calling their parents in desperation when they realize they have bitten off more than they can chew? That was us.

Call #1, and John's dad came to the rescue with his truck to drive all of our plunder home.

Saturday morning we started off great. I cut the lumber (with a real saw!) while John emptied the basement of all the junk the previous owners left for us. Moldy lumber and such. Yuck. Then I cut down the insulation to the right size while John continued to empty junk. Poor guy kept hitting his head pretty much every time in and out because it is so low!



All the junk that will not be going back in the basement.

Sophia got up and she and John headed to Starbucks to get fueled up while I read the Ramset manual.

Now, a word of explanation here. And I am not an expert, so it might not even all be accurate. A Ramset is basically a gun that shoots nails into concrete. And uses .22 shells to shoot them. The manual itself is a bit terrifying, with all kinds of dire warnings, apparently you are supposed to have a license to use this thing which you receive after you pass the test that you mail into Ramset. It seems that if you aren't careful, you'll shoot a hole in your foot, or head, or thru your wall, etc.

Once you get past all the warnings and onto the how-to's, it seem pretty straightforward. We did have to make call #2 to my dad to clarify several of the dire warnings (he was the one to recommend this devilish tool to us), and then had to go back to Home Depot to pick up some less powerful .22 casings.

Then we ate lunch, put the kid down for her afternoon nap, ready to go!

We got the plastic sheeting laid out that we used as vapor barrier on the walls and floor, and put up the first piece of strapping to be nailed to the wall. The plan was to attach the strapping to the concrete blocks with the nails shot in by the Ramset. So we put on our ear and eye protection, loaded up the Ramset, got it in place, hit the trigger on the end with the hammer, and . . .

Nothing happened.

So, as the manual says, we held the Ramset in place for 30 seconds (so no one gets a nail in the brain from accidental discharge), unloaded, reloaded, tried again.

No go.

I decided John wasn't hitting it hard enough, so pushed him out of the way so I could do it right. Ha! Both of us were just frightened enough and just innacurate enough in our hammer strikes that we couldn't make it work! If only we had gotten the next Ramset model up with a trigger instead of the stupid manual one.

Calls #3 and 4 happened pretty close together, and by the time Dad picked up #4 he was already driving to our house. Two hours later all the strapping was attached to the walls by my dad, who wielded the hammer with considerably more power and finesse than did John or I. John loaded the Ramset while I was the runner, making sure the plastic and strapping where all in place.

I hammered the insulation in place after Dad left, but with regular nails, no .22 shells required. Hopefully it does the trick this winter, and perhaps I will add "remedial hammering practice" to my list of to-do's.









We didn't insulate the brick wall because the other side is our full basement, which stays a pretty good temperature all winter.


I needed a shower in a bad way by the end of the day . . . but was really pleased overall.

Despite needing some help, we successfully finished our first big home improvement project, and even better . . . did it without fighting!

Now that is a successful home improvement project!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...