Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boring Renovation Pictures

Refinished floors in the living room
So when we bought our house it didn't really need any work per say- everything was in acceptable shape just outdated and a little worn down. We knew we'd have to replace carpets for sure and that all the flooring in the house would eventually have to be replaced or refinished.  Then there is the matter of repainting and redecorating the rooms more to our personal style, but nothing was urgently in need of repair.  So over the last 5 years we have been slowly pecking away at all these cosmetic things. Redoing one of the bedrooms upstairs when Xander was born, redoing a second room for James, redoing our bedroom last year, replacing the front door, fixing the floors/removing the hearth in the den, etc, etc, etc. Then last fall we started to notice some water damage around the front door.  It didn't seem like much at first but of course as water damage does it rapidly progressed to several molding and waterlogged floor boards near the front door. As it turns out the floorboards were actually just the tip of the iceberg.  Turns out the front steps weren't flashed properly so water has been soaking in to the siding behind them for years and finally is seeping in to the house.  Of course the stairs are a giant pile of cement so they will have to be removed with a backhoe and then the siding taken off and then we can get a full look at the water damage behind them... but all this will have to wait until spring and warmer weather (not that this has been a typical winter). In the meantime though it seemed unhealthy to have molding floorboards in our living room but by removing them that meant the whole living room floor needed to be refinished.  In addition to that the carpet in the playroom upstairs finally reached the end of it's life cycle (or rather my ability to tolerate it's horrible stench any longer) so we were planning on having the flooring guys here anyway to replace that carpet with some new hardwood. So in the spirit of go big or go home we decided to have the new floor installed upstairs, the living room floor fixed and refinished, and the treads on the stairs and the upstairs hallway floor all done in one big whack. So the boys and I escaped to my mother's and Frank toughed it out at home but 1 week later it is all done! Now comes the job of cleaning up all the sawdust that is clinging everywhere but at least we have shiny new floors to smile down at.
Refinished floor in the living room
The stairs looking up
The stairs looking down
Refinished floors in the upstairs hallway
New hardwood in James' big boy room
New hardwood in James' big boy room

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crazy weekend...

The Joys of Brotherly Love!
It's been a totally crazy weekend. We have been getting ready for some more major house renovations.   We finally have been redoing the playroom into a big boy room for James.  The carpet in there was really gross so it is such a relief to finally get it out! I finally got the room and closet all painted and ready to go in that respect.  The room was smelled so much better with fresh paint and that carpet gone but then we decided that the sub flooring really needed to be sealed as well to prevent any odor from escaping.  So then I had to get the floor painted in time for it to be dry by Monday. Pressure much... Once the new floor goes in we have a lot of finishing work to do- new outlets, light sockets, putting trim and baseboards back up, but then I get to decorate!

To make the weekend ever better, James woke up from his nap Saturday afternoon puking his guts up. Xander then followed that evening. So Saturday night was spent with one kid or the other barfing all night long. Fun times... So in the midst of puking kids, we still had to get the upstairs hallway and the living room cleaned out of all furniture and stuff so that the floors can be refinished this week. We managed to get it all except the T.V. before we collapsed in exhaustion. Luckily James seems completely better this evening and although Xander still has a fever and is super whiny he hasn't thrown up since the middle of the night. Since we are supposed to be going to my mother's tomorrow I am very glad the throwing up seems mostly over. Honestly I wouldn't postpone the trip to my  mother's but I need to get the kids out of here so the workers can refinish the floors. So like 15 loads of laundry later we are finally packed and I am ready to get out here first thing in the morning for a fun week at Nan's house.

PS: These photos are from Valentine's Day. Are my babies cute or what!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarn Along

Baby B's Layette all done!
The infamous, ginormous, never-ending booties are finally done! Mind you they are supposed to be part of an infant layette- everything else is about a 6 months size- and these are currently modeled on my 2 year old wearing a size 7. Oh well- you can't win them all.  They have a little tie around the ankle so my friend can just cinch them really tight, right? They are really cute even if the size is way off.  But with the finishing of the booties that means that the entire layette is now finally finished as well.  What a good feeling.  I can't wait to give it to her.  Now I have to just decide when that will be....

Since I finished the layette I have been a little bit at loose ends at what to do next knitting wise.  I started a shawl for myself a while back so I have been working on that little bit at a time.  I'm supposed to be working on a tester hat for a fellow diva but it a very detailed, cabled pattern and I haven't had a chance without toddler running around to really sit down and knock it out.  It's difficult for me to do more complicated patterns when I am supposedly supervising my kids. I figure I will have time to work on it next week when we are visiting my mom for school vacation. So in the meantime I guess I will just work on my shawl.  I have several other friends who are expecting so I see many more baby gifts in my future!

Reading wise I am still on the same book, in the same place I was last week so nothing much to report.  We have been reading nursery rhymes with the kids in order to reinforce what they have been working on at school.  Xander amazes me with his ability to memorize these things after hearing them only once or twice and James has even been "reading" along with us.  I love listening to the way they change the stories slightly in their own renditions- so cute! Xander especially likes it when I sing them to him so I have sung countless verses of "Mary had a little lamb" and "Lavender's Blue" over the last week.

I made good progress on painting in James' room (hence the lack of reading) so the room is all done except touch-ups around the edges.  The closet in only about 1/2 done so that has to be finished and then we have to empty the living room of furniture this weekend in prep for the floor refinishing that will be going on next week while the kids and I are at my mother's. We have SO much to do- it is going to be a busy week!

Come yarn along with us at Ginny's Place.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jack and Jill

They have been working on nursery rhymes at school and we've been been reinforcing at home which has led to some pretty hilarious moments.  Xander is actually doing really well remembering all the little poems.  I've been really impressed. I have to look at the cheat sheets they send home from school half the time to remember. We got his quarterly progress report home from school and all in all in it was pretty positive. He needs reminders to do the things that he doesn't want to do and he is having a hard time with sharing- all pretty typical for a three year old in my opinion.  Those are the major reasons we sent him to preschool in the first place so that he could work on those skills.  I would have thought that with having a little brother to share with all the time would give him plenty of practice but I almost think it makes him less likely to want to share the rest of the time.  He is doing really well with shapes and patterns and has an impressive grasp of which letters of the alphabet his classmates names begin with, as well as being able to recognize all the letters of his name.  He can write an X but the other letters of his name are pretty hit or miss. So we'll just keep working on the positive things and on sharing, not bossing everyone else around and realizing that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do!  Tough lessons for little boys to learn.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yarn Along

I finished book one of the Scottish Crown series and have just started in on The Price of Freedom, which is book two. After reading the first book, I would have to say that this series has been pretty mediocre so far. It's supposed to be historical with a romance but the romance isn't all that exciting and I've read WAY better books about this historical period (namely the Outlander series). I've only just started the second book but I don't really have high hopes.  My other complaint is that for some reason I go the impression that this series was more for young adult readers but I certainly wouldn't want my teenage daughter reading a book that begins with the violent sexual assault of the main character- not that there is anything explicit in it... but still.  Then there is the supposed Christian theme to the book but the main female character spends most of the first book ranting again God for having ruined her life- of course she comes around in the end but I didn't find anything spiritual or beautiful in the text.  Like I said I found the first book to be rather mediocre and the second book looks like it not really a continuation of the first story but a whole new love story set in the same historical period. At least they are quick and easy reads.  Definitely going into the donate to the library box.

I am still working on the second bootie for my layette set. It's not really difficult but I have to say I am having a bit of a time getting going on it. The first one came out so huge I am not inspired to finish the second one- since I pretty much know they won't fit at the same time as the rest of the layette. I guess this is why I am not a sock knitter!  I also haven't been doing much knitting these days because I have been working hard in James' room. I have manged to work my way through 2 cans ceiling paint, 1 can of primer, a can of chalkboard paint, and 1 can of very expensive Benjamin Moore paint-yikes!  it is very nice paint though.  The room is basically finished painting wise but I still have to finish the closet. I finished painting the room this evening and I think I am going to be able to get away with only one coat of paint and some touch-ups.  I am going to let the paint really dry tomorrow and see where it needs to be retouched. I ran out of primer so I need to head to Home Depot while I am in town tomorrow to get some more primer for the closet and some molding to frame out the chalkboard wall.  I want it to have a very clear frame so there can be no mistaking where it is ok to draw on the wall and where it is not. Then I need to paint the trim, install the new outlets and light switches, prime the sub floor to cover up the old cat pee smell (from previous owners), and paint the heater covers.  The new floor is being installed the week of the 20th and then I can have fun decorating!  I am really glad that all the painting will be done before the floor comes in because that way I don't have to worry about getting paint on my brand new hardwood floors! I didn't think I was going to make it past painting the ceiling (whoever invented popcorn ceiling is a sadist) but I am so glad I did because it looks so much better!

I forgot to add the linky to where all the cool kids hang out.  Join us a Ginny's place.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Word of the Week- Nimble

This stemmed from Xander bringing home nursery rhymes from school (you'll get to see a video of him reciting one soon) and James picking up the word nimble from Jack, be nimble.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yarn Along

I'm a bit late yarning along this week but it's been busy what can I say! I started in on the renovations in James' room and although I really didn't get as much done as I was hoping some progress was made.
I finished Back to Pakistan this week because it needed to go back to the library.  I enjoyed it but it wasn't really what I expected.  I guess I expected more of a reflection of her Peace Corps experience as compared to her visit to Pakistan in 2009, but mostly it was a recounting of her 2009 trip and an advertisement for the NGO she was working with.  That being said it was fascinating and I learned a lot about Pakistan- it certainly made me realize that I know nothing about that part of the world- at least in terms of their culture and everyday living. Everything I know seemed to be colored by the American media's attention of war and Taliban. So worth the read even if not quit what anticipated.

Now I am reading Circle of Honor. My mother gave me this trilogy at least at least a year or two ago and it has just been sitting on the shelf.  In an effort to enhance my "early" spring cleaning I am trying to read what is sitting on my shelves at home so I can get anything I don't actually want to keep out of the house.  I have a box of books sitting waiting to be donated to the library and here's hoping that I get it filled up soon. So far it has been an easy read so we'll see how the rest of it goes.

As for knitting this week I haven't been doing as much as I would like.  I still haven't even started on that tester hat that I promised to do- yikes!  and I only managed to get one bootie knitted up for my layette set.  Of course the bootie isn't a booties but an enormous shoe-good thing it is super cute. Really this is the most giant baby bootie I have ever seen in my whole life but I guess bigger is better than to small and I'm not ripping the whole thing out. Now of course I have to knit the second enormous bootie but then at least the layette will be done and I can move onto a new layette for another pregnant friend- or maybe I'll finish my shawl first...  decisions, decisions.

Come yarn along with us at Ginny's place.