Monday, September 15, 2008


The six week check-up, the 2 month immunizations, the blessing day have now all passed us by. I know I am just giving the gals who spoof Utah Valley Moms’ blogs more material when I say this- BUT- Nathan has made me understand the meaning of the phrase “bundle of joy.” His full nights of sleeping and open mouthed smiles really have added happiness to our lives and we feel seriously, so blessed.

Nevertheless, when I look at all of the women around me at the end of their pregnancies (5 in our ward) I remember. I remember the aching back, the insanely frequent bathroom breaks, the varicose veins, the contracting, then MORE afterbirth contracting, the owies associated with nursing at first, and all of the other painful details about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and brand new babies. I remember and I am glad that around here we are for the most part …RECOVERED.

So in honor of our recovery, I share the story of an atypical (for me) household project I completed this summer. The pink tea party table…RECOVERED.

It was the weekend of May 30-31st. I was thirty six weeks along and wearing the gray gouchos with the silver jewel studded crocs about every day. You ALL know crocs are PERFECT for pregnancy. John had embarked on the Stake Encampment and I was determined to have a good attitude about my week of waddling around after the kids without him. A new project was the perfect thing to pass the time. The girls’ tea party table was sagging and decomposing in the middle, the plastic covering sliced up in several different spots. Wouldn’t my husband be surprised to see what his skillful and handy wife had completed upon his return! I was so excited about taking this on alone, that I didn’t even ask his advice on any of it (mistake #1). If I did I knew he would tell me that he could just take care of it when he got back. He takes care of most things involving power tools at our house-

Not this time.

I hauled the table to a workable spot and turned it over.
“ Just put that drill in reverse, remove the screws, staple the new vinyl in place, and reattach the like new table top back onto the frame. Wa la!” I thought. (mistake #2) The table top was attached with more than just screws. There were some L shaped bracket thingeys binding the top to the frame. Didn’t know what to call them, but they looked like a pretty basic part. Still doable.
I also needed a sturdy top. Although I knew John probably could have located a piece of scrap lumber 2 by 2 feet, I was doing this on my own so I hauled all 3 (plus1- I really WAS also HAULING the fourth) to Home Depot, put the table frame in a cart, and walked in to the store. Every step hurt by evening time but this was a quest worth the pain!

The kids ran around the aisles while I talked to several orangely aproned employees about the L shaped bracket thingeys I needed. I also asked about fiberglass vs. wood. A kind Polynesian man was helpful but pointed out to me a big ol’ kink in my swift and slik one night project plan. Those brackets were secured with a special upholstery tool and it was unlikely they could be removed without mutilating them. Oh, and Home Depot didn’t carry anything that would work as a replacement for the brackets either. Humph.

I noted the price on the pre-cut OSB board, returned it to its spot, and walked out of there let down and frazzled. By the time I reached the van, I WAS SOBBING, AND SOBBING over my own incapabilities, and missing my burley, get-it-done, construction worker husband. I drove straight home and hit the sack without him.

I left the table in the van hoping that if I took the table to Price when I went I could find some help there. I asked my Dad, who gave me his ideas, asked John’s Mom, who gave me hers. But we spent our time together on outings and fun like McDonalds and DinoMine Park while the disassembled table sat and sat.

Then just before it was time for us to take off, my mother in law suggested we go visit Grandpa Echer . Maybe, she said, he would even be able to find a piece of wood or something to help me out. THIS is where experience and knowledge took over.

“ Those are set in with pop rivets. You’ll need a pop rivet tool to re-attatch them. I’ve got one out in the garage. Or better yet, why don’t we just take some flat headed bolts and put them in through the top so that they will go through the one side of the brackets and hold firm that way.”

I felt like little orphan Annie being clothed and entertained by the expert staff of Daddy Warbucks. A disabled widow watching a bunch of boy scouts mow and edge her lawn. I couldn’t do it, but Grandpa Echer could!!! And he was!!! Woo Hoo! First we drove around town shopping for a piece of wood the right size. I had to be careful about price as I knew that it would be silly to spend more that the fifteen dollars that the table was worth. The cost of time was of course not taken into consideration. I was already about three hours in, and we were just getting started!

We found some wood and some bolts, Grandpa got out his GRINDER which was what we used to remove the pop rivets from the original decaying particle board that we used for a pattern to draw dots on the new board showing where the bolts should go. My mother in law even got in on the grinder action. She grew up watching her Dad work in his cabinet shop. Next he used his table saw to round the edges of the table top. I stood there with a HUGE grin on my face very happy and very impressed at his skill and unselfishness.

Even though it was 8:00 pm by the time we hit JoAnnes in Orem and we hadn’t eaten dinner , I just HAD to stop with the kids and pick out our fabric. We found something from the discount rack ($15 project limit) with some plastic to go over it. We took a bathroom break, then I felt like we barely made it back out to the van without my water breaking but we returned home ok. I don’t remember whether I stayed up late that night finishing the project or whether I got up early the next morning to do so. But I am oh so happy that, thanks to support of family and friends, both the tea party table and I are now fully RECOVERED!

John was proud, he took my picture shortly after getting home. I think I made him.


Jewel said...

I'm sure this table will be in the family for a long, long time. Julia was about as proud of this accoplishment as she was about scoring a 5 on her AP history test 14 years ago.

-John W.

Nicholas K. and Sarah Maye said...

What a great story! I am glad you and the table are fully recovered. We will have to print this story for grandpa echer.

Shermilton said...

I love it jewels. I love the story too. Classic pregnancy story! You're so great!

Samantha said...

Glad you are all recovered :) and as for the table, I am so impressed! I would be so proud too and I would probably be framing that picture! :)

Lemon Family said...

Good job Julia! Way to be productive and positive during the week-long absence of the husband. You rock!
And a 5 on the AP history test is nothing to scoff at either!

Rod and Kandace said...

My back aches just thinking about it. Great cute!

Joe'n'Jess said...

Holy smokes!(from Joe)
I am very proud of Julia's project and Joe is proud that Julia was able to find the é key for Desirée.
I think its neat that Julia was able to bond with Grandpa Echer like that. I'm still a newbie in the family so I am still pretty shy around him.

Debbie said...

Wow, that was a lot of work! Now you have a one of a kind table, built with love and irreplaceable! Way to go! And, congrats on making it through the first few months of newborn bliss! You look great!

Lissa said...

You're awesome. I had fun reading about your tenacity. The table looks darling.

Nicholas K. and Sarah Maye said...

Oh, I really like that My World book, so if you could keep it safe until the baptism that would be great. Thanks!

kathyurry said...

Good Job, You are good I would never do something like this. I am glad his Grandpa helped men like him are fun they allways know how to do things and not make it cost 2 arms & 2 legs
then still with a new baby on the way That would send me over the top

kathyurry said...

great job now come do some for me

JamieJoe said...

Way to go woman! Perseverance always get the job done. That's great that you had family to help you out.

The table looks great, and that is such a great picture of you!