In March 2010, Nic and Stef bought some land in Pemberton. And in October 2011 they found they were expecting a baby. Now they just have to build a house... and a home!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Aloha babymoon

It has become tradition for couples to take a 'babymoon' -- one last romantic holiday for two before the baby arrives. So we went to Oahu for 10 blissful days of sun, surf and snorkling, from 20-30 March. Here's me immitating a beached whale:

We stayed in Kailua, a laid-back town of locals without highrises or hotels or beachside cocktails, where Obama apparently spends his holidays. We stayed in a cute little place called D&D's B&B, just a 5 minute walk from Kailua's beach and park (a steal at $75/night). The water was actually cool (bizarrely, it had hailed in Oahu the week before we got there), and the weather too windy for paragliding. But that didn't stop us from getting around and getting a tan.

We saw a macadamia nut farm (Stef is adept at breaking open nuts, as well as at eating free samples), hiked up the hill in Lanakai, the rugged Olomana '3 peaks' hike/rock climb (I only did the first peak, Stef did the second, and we skipped the third, for a 3-hour humid return trip), and the muddy Maunawili falls. We kayaked out from Kailua to Mokolua Island on a wavy day (it was very entertaining watching novices try to land without tipping into the surf), snorkled at Hanauma Bay (which is much less impressive than it used to be, back when they let tourists feed the fish! Now it's far less colourful and popluated by reef fish) and off Electric beach on the west coast (the best spot for snorkling by far -- fish are attracted to the warm water outflow pipe, which has become an artificial reef), swam with dolphins from Ko Olina resort (expensive at $120 each but worth it), and generally mooched about the beach, shops, and highways of Oahu. A highlight for Stef was Bookends, a new and used book shop in the heart of Kailua (every restaurant seemed to be locatable in terms of 'steps from Bookends'), where he found a book he'd been looking for for 10 years!

Now it's back to the grindstone... more literally for stef than for me.

Pregnancy highlights from the trip:
Freya is kicking like a boxer now, the little fighter! Sleeping became a real pain, with hip ache waking me every few hours and getting me up at the crack of dawn. But by the end of the holiday that had much improved. Long flights with a big belly are not comfy -- those seats are a pain in the back, literally. Otherwise, Freya caused no problems and enjoyed her time in the sun.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Engineer's stamp

On Wednesday the house was inspected by the engineer who approved our plans in the first place; he needs to stamp a document saying it has been built properly, and that no one has drilled through any important supporting beams when putting in the plumbing or electrics. We had a few minor infractions that need fixing (that's normal), by sticking in an extra small beam under a doorway here and there. Mainly this is because the electrician did, actually, drill through important beams (silly). Our framer will do the fixes on Monday. But under the understanding that this will happen, we've got our stamp and approval! Horrah!

To celebrate, we went for a long walk from the house to the lake and back, stopping off at the kiddie skate park (where 8-year-olds are pulling some gnarly tricks; we've decided 'danger' is a dangerous middle name that would put too much peer pressure on a local kid) and the bakery, all in glorious sunshine. A perfect day. Now I'm 5.5 months in to the pregnancy, however, such a long walk (well, about an hour) is quite trying... I basically fell asleep as soon as we got home. I'm also having difficulty putting on socks. Other than that, though, all is well.

Now the local building inspector will come in and look at it on Tuesday to give his thumbs up (apparently this is basically guarenteed once you have the plumbing and engineering approved). Next stop: insulation.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Proof of the plumbing

The house (and Stef) have taken and passed their first test: checking that the plumbing doesn't leak. We got an A+! Well, they don't actually give you a grade, but everything checked out so I'm going to give them an honorary gold star.

Stef has put in all the pipes himself: black pipes to get the water up from the hole in the ground, and blue ones to carry cold water, and red ones for hot from the not-yet-installed hot water tanks (really, they're actually colour coded, which is one of those very-clever-and-very-simple ideas that someone should get a prize for). Oh, actually Stef tells me we actually have quite a few red pipes carrying cold water because Rona had a sale on red pipe... ha!

To test it, they stick some sort of valve at the bottom and then fill the whole house of pipes up with water, then let it sit for a few hours and check for leaks. Simple. Apparently the first junction that Stef tested did, in fact, have a leak... but he says it's a bit he was planning on re-doing anyway (I don't know why... I'm not privy to all the details). This made him somewhat, well, anxious. But the rest went well and, as I say, he passed with flying colours.

So now the rest of the house gets inspected, and then someone will come and spray the walls full of insulation. We're really getting somewhere now!