Thursday, December 23, 2010


733 days ago, as some of you might remember, was a pretty big deal.  It was the day I tricked the most beautiful woman I know into spending the rest of her life with me.
I don't think she regrets it yet!
Here are the pictures just in case you'd like to remember with me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Deficiencies Noted

A nice short post just to let everyone know that we passed both the building (framing) and electrical rough inspections.

All good news, so now I just have to get the central vacuum moved, insulation and vapor barrier back up and order the drywall.

Again special thanks to Denis, the Electrical Inspector said it was well done work, not that I expected anything else.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I thought weekends were for relaxin?

Well the weekend is done, and so is the rough wiring.  It was a long stretch. Denis started on Friday morning and we finally finished on Sunday evening.

I can't really say that Denis was a big help because that would assume he was assisting.  He was actually a rock star, working in the basement before I woke up and even when I was at work.  It was really more like a free electrician, wait that's exactly what it was.  He even knew what he was doing I think this picture proves my point.

I won't be able to get the electrical inspection done until next week as I have a pretty busy week ahead.  I'm in Edmonton for two days and pretty busy at work for the rest.  When I'm off for Christmas holidays I'll schedule the inspection.

As for the electrical, I'm not going to suggest that I learned much, it still seems like greek to me.  That didn't stop me from at least trying to be helpful (someone has to clean and make the 3 trips to Home Depot).

It's pretty messy work. By the time the vapour barrier and insulation are torn down and the feed holes are drilled there is nothing but mess.  Then by the time we are done, and the mess cleaned up, it doesn't really look like much was accomplished (the bank account would beg to differ though, electrical isn't cheap).

Here's a recap of the progress to date.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Learning Stuff and Things

Last Wednesday we had our first prenatal class.  It's amazing how much you can forget about this "process" in just 10 years.  I don't feel like the expert I should, but it helps make it that much more real and exciting.  In two months there will be another Van Orman roaming the streets.

On a side note I was recently told just how little I love Scooter because I accidentally scheduled a business trip on our next baby class.

With the due date getting even closer Nicole reminds me often that she only has 5 more working days left before she is off for EVAR!!  Not sure how much I like hearing that, I also want to retire.  To help soften the transition I have taken a couple weeks off work around the holidays to stay home and supervise Nicole's transition into taking care of me full time.  Should be good times filled with massages, hot dinners, and never having to grocery shop again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Still Going

So it's been a bit, and progress is good.  Last post saw that the floor was hammered out and the shower was in.  So now the floor has been cemented back in and this weekend we're doing the wiring.  It's a shame that even though we are making good progress it doesn't look like much is happening. 

I've also got a good start on moving the central vacuum lines.  Actually I had it all dry fitted then the internet told me that I should have used long 90 degree turns instead of short 90s.  So I had to return all the turns and now I have to re-cut the vacuum lines.  Not a big deal but I did loose a days work.

Denis and Martine are down visiting and Denis is doing the electrical while I try to help.  Day one has the vapor barrier and insulation out, the boxes in, and the data, cable, and telephone wires run.  Tomorrow we start pulling wire. 

True to Van Orman style I have to run to Home Depot tomorrow for more supplies because it would be a crime against nature to actually buy everything you need in a single hardware store trip.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Not sure if this is really progress.  It almost feels like a step backwards.  But the rough plumbing is done.  We have the HVAC guy in tomorrow for the heating, then next weekend is electrical.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Barf

As you can see Christmas threw up all over my house.

29 weeks

But maybe more interesting than Christmas vomit is the size of Nicole's belly?

21 weeks

Sunday, November 28, 2010

11 Hours Later

Saturday was a big day in the Van Orman house.

We finally started the basement.  Warren was nice enough to deliver a borrowed framing nailer and he also stayed to help use it.  He was a HUGE help.  

11 hours lated we finished framing the walls and boxing in the soffit.  

There is probably a little bit left to do, but mostly the framing is finished.  Also there was no blood (and if you know the Van Orman boys this is a pretty big deal).  There was only one trip to the hardware store.  And there were only 2 mistakes made.  The first mistake was thinking a rough door opening was too small.  So we made it bigger, only to find out it was right the first time.  So maybe that`s really only one mistake twice.

Hunter was also around and got to help out a little.  He cut a few pieces of wood with the mitre saw, and also punch a few nails with the Ramset.

Afterwards he was overheard telling people we were shooting guns in the basement.  I guess that`s close enough?

We have the plumber scheduled to come next Friday then Denis and Martine are coming down the weekend after for the electrical. I have to get the HVAC guys in quickly and also someone to move a central vacuum line.

Also you can see Nicole was hard at work with the camera.  Here is her artistic photo for the day.  She also made sure that we didn't miss any meals and were well fed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Birthday in Edmonton

I have been patiently waiting to go to Edmoton and meet my niece, Madeleine, since she was born October 18th.  This weekend, we finally made it and our visit happened to fall on my birthday, which made it that much more special.  We stayed at Dan and Tina's house so we could get in as much Madeleine time as possible.  She is so tiny and precious!  Our visit made me that much more excited for Scooter to arrive.  In just a few short months, we will be holding one of our own.  I can't wait!                                          
Saturday, we spent the day at my mom and dad's house.  I got to spend some time with Julien before he headed to work.  Ryan, Mom, Dad and I played cards for a bit.  Then we had a family dinner with Mamie and Pepere.  For my birthday, Mamie made me sauerkraut, which is one of my favorite dinners.  It was delicious!  And we had angel food cake for dessert, which is also one of my favorites.  I felt I deserved a song so I started singing "Happy Birthday" and I got the desired effect, everyone joined it.  We had a great time.
This morning, Dan made me birthday breakfast and we headed home.  All in all, a memorable weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm so sorry

It's been a while since we've updated our blog.  I blame it on the disaster that is the basement.  Plus I've been on the road a bit, and this all gets in the way of typing on the Internet.

Today I'm working from home so thought I could throw up a couple words for everyone.  Just so you know working from home looks a little different for different people.

For me it looks like this.

For Baron it looks like this.

You'll notice his eyes are open, but just barely.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I think I can almost see the end .. or is that the start

I was so close to getting started.  I thought everything was in order, I just had to measure my windows for the plan.  I didn't bother with this earlier because I just assumed people put windows in that would be to code.  Seems I was incorrect in that.  So more changes to the plan and a bunch of calls out to get estimates on cutting in new larger windows to the basement.  It'll be interesting to see how much sunshine you can buy for $3000.

So we'll see if we can start next weekend or not.  We need to get home to Medicine Hat to visit and make spaghetti sauce, and we need to get to Edmonton to visit our new niece Madeline (arrived Oct 18 at around 6:30p), and Nicole wants the baby's room painted.

Side note:  I've been Edmonton free for almost two weeks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And it starts

And so it has started.  After an entire summer of not doing it.  Then a couple months of planning it.  Now I have probably gotten really close to starting to get ready to develop the basement.

I got the plans finalized and drawn up on Friday.  Purchased the, what I hope is the correct amount of, wood and moved most of the basement into the garage. Now I can started looking at my schedule to figure out when I can spend half a day at city hall getting my building permit.

The plan was to have Warren and family join us this weekend.  Averley and Nicole were going to take the girls to the zoo and Warren and I were going to start the framing.  Unfortunately both Warren and Nicole weren't feeling well plus the girls were just getting over a cold as well.  So in the end, it didn't really matter that I didn't have my permits yet.  So we pushed the work weekend off a week.  I think we're ready now though.  It should be a good time (or something).

Here are your before pictures, because that's always fun.  

You'll also notice the nice new shelving that made for a lot of extra room.  This side of the basement isn't getting developed.  The ceiling is too low to really make it worth while.  It sounds like a fooseball table is going here now.  Seems you don't need a tall ceiling for foose.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pass the turkey please!

This past Thanksgiving weekend we had my family come down from Edmonton for Thanksgiving dinner.  Mom and Dad, and Mamie and Pepere arrived on Saturday.  We spent the day visiting and watching Dad and Ryan tear the house apart while planning the basement.  Why we needed to tear bits and pieces of my ceiling upstairs to better prepare ourselves for renos in the basement, I don't really understand.  But they seem to have come up with a plan and that is all that counts.

Sunday we had Nat and Rob, Jen and Kerri and the two girls, my Uncle Pat and Julien join us for Thanksgiving dinner.  Ryan and I put together a wonderful meal that included turkey (of course!), mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, gravy, buns and a homemade butternut squash soup.  Oh and there were five pumpkin pies in case we each wanted a half.  Thank you Mom and Dad! 

There may have been a moment or two of panic while trying to time everything perfectly (we put the turkey in a few hours too early and then everything else needs to be made in the same last half hour before dinner!) but I think our first Thanksgiving dinner in Calgary was a success.  People did say that they would come back if we hosted again.

Thank you to everyone who made the trip up from Edmonton or Medicine Hat to spend Thanksgiving with us.  And thanks to those who travelled from the far south side of the city as well! ; )
See the rest of the pictures here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

No posts for so many weeks and then two in the same day!  Well, as Ryan said, it has been a busy month.  I have had to adjust to going back to school after having the summer off.  That in itself has been hard work.  Good thing I am in my second trimester with a little more energy now!  I have a great class and the kids are always asking me questions about the baby.  They are always offering suggestions on what to name Scooter, in hopes of us choosing their name and feeling as though they played an important part in the little life growing in my belly.  I was even left a note from a one of my students from last year saying that she would miss me when it would be time for me to leave to have the baby.  So although I am excited about not having planning, corrections, report cards, parent-teacher interviews and staff meetings, I will miss the children.

What I really wanted to do was give you an update on Scooter.  I am now at 21 weeks (a little over 5 months) and things seem to be going well.  We had another ultrasound last week and the baby continues to grow at a miraculous rate.  Scooter's feet measure 3.5 centimeters!

Everything seems to be right where it should and if I sit quietly, I can sometimes feel the baby move.  It is such a soft and subtle feeling that sometimes, I wonder if that is what I am really feeling and then I look forward to when Scooter is stronger and can really kick me.  Then I think I should maybe be careful what I wish for. ; )  Here is Scooter's heart beat. It is still strong at 141 beats per minute.

Janae was also curious about how big my belly was getting so we took a picture just for you Janae!

And that is my Scooter update!

End of September

So here we are, the end of September. It's been a busy month like all months. It has included baby stuff buying, travelling and general around the house business, as well as a visit from both sets of parents.

Last week, we had Martine and Denis over on their way to Medicine Hat. They were going to visit Nancy and Eric, Jen and Kerry, as well as my parents. They spent the night on Tuesday, we had dinner, chatted and showed baby ultrasound pictures.

Then on Friday Mom and Dad came up for a visit. Mom had a work conference on Saturday, so while she was gone, Dad and I went for a photo walk to Nose Hill park. Two hours and quite some distance later, I had lots of pictures (click for the whole set), Dad had 15. Not sure what he was doing.

It was nice to get to spend some time just walking, chatting and taking pictures.
On Sunday Mom and Dad packed up Hunter and they went to visit Warren and family for lunch, church and to see how their new house was coming along.

All in all it was nice to get to see both sets of parents, but it does make for a busy week. Now we are looking forward to a quiet weekend with no plans. I'm in Edmonton for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week, and Saturday we have the Constantin clan coming down as we're hosting Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. Sounds like about 14 people are going to be in the house. Last ones in have to eat off the floor I guess.

And I'm not sure if you can hear that, but our house alarm is going off. In the two years that we've been here, it's never done that. I don't know the disarm code ... that's not true I do and it's call wire cutters. Problem SOLVED!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

State of the Union

It's been a bit since we last updated this thing. So I'll just give everyone a little something to think about.

Basement Developement
We're just finishing up some of the estimates which are highlighting some of the major restrictions we now have to work with.

$2200 to move the rough plumbing for the bathroom, except we can't move it where we want it.

$2500 to move the ducting, but we probably would need to buy a new high efficiency furnace to move it where we want.

So costs to get a bathroom with fixtures and a 7 foot ceiling in an undeveloped basement already cost $10,000 - $15,000. Then we would actually have to finish the basement.

Starting to think of only developing half the basement and converting the main floor bathroom into a full bath and putting the laundry in the basement, expect laundy in the basement isn't real popular with me and guests/Hunter would have to come upstairs to use the bathroom.

We do have a LARGE desk for the basement office, if we get one. I think it weights 1,000,000,000 pounds. It took 3 of us to get it into the basement it's never moving again.

Growing. I think I saw a list of things Nicole is/has purchased on the desk. That might be what happens when you leave town?

The Job
Really enjoying the new job. Not actually have to produce anything is pretty slick. The travel isn't maybe my favorite, and I know it isn't Nicole's. Two Edmonton trips plus a day's commute to Vancouver this month.

We are getting into some serious work on redesigning It should be an exciting process. The project has a lot of zero's behind the price tag and needs to be done in just over 5 months. So we'll see what happens there.

We might be done. It's supposed to snow this weekend and we had given some thought to doing one last trip before the forecast was in. I'm not ready to winterize the trailer just yet, but I think it's false hope.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Really! Already!

Just so nobody thinks we're ignoring you. Here's a two parter to keep you slightly entertained.

Part I

We had some friends over for a BBQ on Saturday and both Nixon and Gabby were big hits that night with the adults. On the flip side the piano was a big hit with Gabby (especially the buttons)

Part II

With the weather being the way it has been this shouldn't have been a shock, but it was a bit.

This means only one thing, but I can't bring myself to say it.

Part III

She's pretty hey? You can also see the new haircut.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sibbald Creek

This last weekend, we may have gone camping for the final time this year.  Even if we make it for one more trip, we are pretty sure it will be the last time camping in the mountains for the year, seeing as how I am convinced there was snow mixed in with the rain on Saturday evening.  We had a great time at this annual camping trip that our friend, Tannis, organizes every year for late August.  We arrived Friday evening around dinner time and enjoyed a quick dinner, then some visiting around the camp fire.  Sean allowed us all to become a part of his "Team Awesome" and branded us with some camouflaged duct tape.  I got to practice being a mom as Gabby fell asleep in my arms for a few hours.  I took her to bed with me afterwards until her mom and dad were ready for bed.  I apparently can't make it to adult bedtimes anymore! 

The next day was filled with activities.  Ryan and I took a walk and tried to take some artistic pictures with our new camera.  

There were card games, some hacky sack and lots more visiting with friends. 

Unfortunately, that evening, the weather deciced to turn and so we moved our picnic tables into the cook house and spent the evening in there by the fire.  It continued to rain through the night and into the next morning, so Sunday, we packed up quickly and headed for home.  As usual, we enjoyed our camping trip and had a great time visiting with our friends. 

For all our pictures, look here.

Baby's first blanket

My mom always had great intentions and bought patterns of beautiful things to sew me when I was young.  Unfortunately, she never was able to find the time to take on those challenges, busy with raising a family and working when we we got a bit older, and the patterns were put away for a later date.  One project we continue to joke about to this day is the pair of jeans she promised me but I never saw.  However, my mom surprised me with something far more beautiful and special for our baby.

She picked the perfect colours without my help and crocheted this blanket without me knowing.  It will go perfectly with the colors of the nursery and I am sure it will be treasured by little Scooter forever.

                           Thank you Mom!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Heck Ya!

So Nicole made cinnamon buns for the first time today and here is a picture.

I think Van Orman's have a special cinnamon bun eating gene!