This weekend saw the start of a project that has been a source of debate for Nicole and I for some time. We wanted originally to take the wall between the living room and dining room out completely however being unable to determine if it was load bearing we decided against it. Also, we thought as far as resale goes, some people actually like to have a separate dining room. However, there is a severe lack of light getting to that room and so something had to be done. We talked about building a pass-through and I finally decided on Friday that I would start. By Saturday lunchtime there was a gaping hole in the wall. One of the reasons for doing it on Saturday is that Nicole is out all day and so the dust I created wouldn’t be a problem. At least only for Lightning and me.

The process, although simple, was not easy. The scary part was actually breaking into the drywall to start the project, after all, once you break through there is no turning back. As far as obstacles go, there were a couple. First, there were wires running through the wall so in order to put the support for the header I needed to notch and fill the support as you can see above. The basic premise for this working is that there are no shear loads in the wall so a linear load can be supported without a problem. The notch piece is glued and nailed so the support is just as strong as ever. The second gotcha is the switch on the wall. It controls the bottom outlet further along that wall and now I have thought about it a bit I can probably get it to control some lights that I can build into the top of the pass-through to give us some more light. This will take some investigating however it is just an interrupt for the power to the outlet so it should act as an interrupt for the power to the lights also even if it is at the same time. That needs some thought and some input from the interior designer /pregnant wife as to what lights to use.The hardest part of the whole thing was cutting the top studs (which, by the way are 2×6 I think only due to the fact that a 2×4 wall would be very thin and aesthetically odd) to be even so that the header took the weight of them all. Once that was done and the header built I just had to force the header into place (what you don’t see in the photos was the support rod I had in place to take the weight of the top plate) which was a bit of an ordeal but I managed OK. The final piece which is still undecided is the final size of the hole. I can narrow and raise it if I wish but the two sides are not the same. There is a duct running down the dining room side against the wall that doesn’t exist on the other side which will make one side uneven. Since for the most part you will be looking at it from the dining room side I think the hole will have to be centered from that side. Nicole also wants is to be more rectangular than square so I will have to take that into consideration also. Stay tuned for the final push which will happen Thursday.

Yesterday we went to BabyView to get a 3D ultrasound done. I was just as amazed at the technology as I was at the pictures themselves but seeing the baby alive, in 3D squirming around and yawning was really an unbelievable experience. Even though the logical male part of my brain was screaming that we were going to see her in 10 weeks anyway, this was a great way to try and get over the obvious denial that still swims around in my head. We got DVDs and pictures as you can see, and they are just amazing.

So, a big few days. I have a huge hole in my wall, I got to see our baby daughter in 3D which was really weird and I made a bit of extra cash coaching all at the expense of my fitness. We have another ultrasound today, a medical one rather than an entertainment one and then coaching again tonight. Hopefully I will be able to go on the treadmill tomorrow morning at work again and then do some Shaun T cardio tomorrow night.

If you want to know more about my workout schedule and so on, go to

The back and biceps workout is one of the workouts that you can easily do without Tony at all. In fact, last night I put on some music and got to work without even using the DVD (Invisible Tony, welcome, have a seat and be quiet). In some respects I wanted to see how I would fare without the DVD in order to figure out if I really need to take the laptop this weekend or if I just need my recording sheets. The workout was shockingly short. I blasted through way faster than I would normally maybe in part because my elbow was quite sore and so my weights and pull ups were down I am not sure. Either way, I was done the whole thing in under 40 minutes. I also skipped the warmup since I never warmed up in the 25 or so years I lifted weights… Sorry Tony, I know how much you love your warmup and stretch and it’s not that I disagree, I just know I will be fine without it.

This coming weekend will not be any easier fitness wise, but the best I can do is to plan. We are in Niagara Falls from Friday to Tuesday so I will take the laptop and the DVDs and my P90X workout sheets and do what I can at the workout centre and in my room. Hopefully I will be able to get some workouts in especially since we are planning to do a “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” road trip to 3 or 4 of the locations near Buffalo. We have the house sitter and cat feeder booked, I have my laptop and my DVDs packed and ready to go so… Here is the plan, as far as I can make out:

Today: Off – Coaching
Wednesday: Pure Cardio with or without Cardio Abs
Thursday (Off work to finish wall): Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X + Coaching
Friday (Off work, go to Niagara): Cardio Power and Resistance
Saturday (Niagara): Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X
Sunday (Niagara): Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Monday (Niagara): Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Tuesday (Niagara then home to coach): Off

I mean if I am on vacation at a place that has a gym there really is no reason I can’t work out. It’s not as if we have never been to Niagara before or we need to go sightseeing. It is also going to be in the 20’s this weekend so the weather will be beautiful for walking (even though Nicole is starting to waddle more than walk now).
I guess we will see, we already know how poorly I stick to plans I make but this is vacation, surely it will be easier?

I know, there is more to vacation than finding time for workouts and since this is the famed “Babymoon” we are going to spend time getting pampered at the spa (although I am not sure I really need it) and spending quality time together since we really don’t see each other much during the week.


Stay tuned for the reviews of restaurants we visit, I think if we get to do what we have planned this will be a really cool long weekend.