Saturday, July 12, 2014

Living in Chaos

I think that one of the hardest parts of renovating the girls' room was deciding how we were going to move the girls out of their room.  As I mentioned in my previous post, they are hoarders my nature (as almost all kids are) and they have a lot of stuff.  Not to mention that we do not live in a very large home so it was not like we could move them into a guest room or anything. 
If you promise not to judge, I will take you on a very quick tour of how we will be living during this renovation.
Here is a look into our hallway.  At the end, blocking access to our computer, you will see a large clothing rack with all of their hanging clothes.  Underneath, you will see two laundry baskets filled with their shoes.  Just in front of that you will see a cubby shelf full of all of their books and their American Girl Dolls.  The blue dresser is always there and acts as our linen closet so you can just ignore that.  But that white thing in the foreground with, what look to be, wheels on it.  That is their dresser.
Originally, we thought that we may just be able to move each girl's bed into the hall and make it into a little mock bedroom for them.  But, as you can see, that plan did not happen.
Plan two was to let the girls sleep in our bedroom while Matt and I slept on our couches.  Makes me kind of wish that we sprung for that sleeper sofa when we bought new couches back in January.  That plan wasn't going to work either, mainly just because I like my bed too much.

So, we made some room in our bedroom to put Peyton's mattress in our room (notice there is even more stuff from the girls' bedroom loaded up in the Master).

And we put Elaina on the floor in Drew's room.  I would like to take a moment here to emphasize that this room is only 6 feet by 9 feet.  They are living in very tight quarters right now.

I really thought this would be difficult for all three kids.  Peyton and Elaina have shared a room since Peyton was 2 years old so I was not sure how they would handle being split up.  I also was not sure how Drew would react to having a roommate.  It the end, the novelty of it all won over and all three kids are having a blast.  The girls have spent more time laying in their beds reading during the day than I think they ever have before.  I also think this may make transitioning Drew to a big boy bed easier because he loves laying on Elaina' bed.  And, last night after tucking the kids in, I over heard Elaina and Drew talking before going to sleep.  I don't think there is anything cuter than a conversation between a two year old and a nine year old.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Our First Big Renovation

I have to start this post with a public apology to Matt (aka The Husband) because I think I may have tricked him into doing this renovation.  I have never been a fan of the girls' room and I think it is for three reasons.  Reason #1:  The wood paneling on the walls.  For those of you who never got to see it in person, here is a picture of what the room looked like when we moved in.  Reason #2:  The ugly color I picked to paint the girls room.  They wanted a pink room and I think I was so thrown off by the panels that I picked the ugliest pink there was to offer.  Reason #3:  The girls share a room and are both hoarders by nature so the room always seemed overcrowded to me.  My secret hope is now that we have cleared everything out of the room, the girls may not notice if not everything makes it back in.
Okay, back to my apology.  So, I have never liked this room and we had started talking about getting the girls new bedroom furniture which led to discussion on whether we could take down the paneling.......and maybe build them a new closet......and maybe put in a bead board ceiling.......and maybe just gut the whole room?
As any of you fellow renovators may know - there is never a good time to do a renovation and this one may take the cake as being the most inconvenient renovation ever.  We got back from vacation this past Tuesday and by Wednesday around noon, I had The Husband knocking down walls.  Of course, I couldn't help him because I had to watch the kids:)
I was nice enough to empty out the room for him.  So this is what it looked like when he started.

 And this is what it looked like at the end of Day 1

 The Man does know how to use a sledge hammer doesn't he?   I don't think the demo was his least favorite part, but I do think removing all of the demo was what did him in.  He took, I don't even know how many, trips down the stairs carrying loads of wood paneling, dry wall, and plaster.  I know If I was him, there was no way I would even be able to walk after going up and down those stairs.

Now that I showed him a little sympathy, I am going to whine a little bit.  The dust is TERRIBLE!!!    I mean, I knew it was going to be bad but living in it with three kids was beyond.  So bad that yesterday when Matt was carrying loads of plaster out to our dumpster, I just had to take the kids to the pool because I could not stand to be in the house anymore.  I know, poor me.

But, I did come home from the pool, to find this!

A room empty of debris and ready for some drywall!

Just incase you need a visual to show sympathy for all the trips Matt took up and down our stairs.

Here is round 1 with all of the paneling.

And here is round 2 of all the plaster.

For those of you who do not know.....plaster is REALLY heavy.

He's the best isn't he?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Another Mini-Reno

Let's hope that what you are seeing here is a trend! It is starting to feel like we are back on the home-improvement wagon and I am liking it!  I think that the house was in such bad shape when we bought it that putting up a few coats of paint felt like it was a huge improvement.  Well, now we are back to work and are going through the house room by room in, what I am going to call Phase 2, of our home improvement projects (I am thinking that there are 4 Phases in all).

So, here we have tackled that 1/2 bath.  To give you an idea of what the bathroom used to look like, I have included this picture:

In all honesty, when we moved in, all we did was paint this bathroom and replace the incandescent light bulbs with some prettier globe bulbs.  Not a huge improvement over all.  This is the bathroom that our kids use to brush their teeth and stuff but it is also the bathroom that any of our guests would use.  Something that I always got a little embarrassed about.

Well, not any more!  Check it out!!!!!!!

I am so thankful to The Husband for rolling up his sleeves and getting dirty with this one.  I did not help with this project at all, unless you count keeping this kids out of his way.  As this kids get older, they also start to accumulate more activities which means that our weekends are not as available as they used to be.  So, this past weekend - I took the kids to The Oldest's lacrosse practice and when we came home our bathroom was a totally different space!

Here are two more pictures for you, just incase you wanted to see what the rest of the bathroom looks like.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

We Bought New Couches!

After three years of living with a couch that belonged in a home with much bigger rooms (see my previous post) we decided it was about time to go out and get some new couches. And here they are in all their glory"


Of course, one cannot just go out and buy new couches.  One must also by new tables, new lamps, new curtains, and new rugs.

We are not totally finished yet.  I am not a huge fan of the pillows that came with the couches so I would like to get different ones.  We also need to take some time out to find some more decor items and plants.  But, for now, we are very happy with it.

If you like before and after pictures (I do) here are some for you.

Some day, I hope to develop my photography skills a little bit more so that you all can ohh and ahh over the beautiful pictures of my home but - for now, I am going to give you "non staged" pictures that I shot with my beat-up little Nikon CoolPix!

Oh, and if any of you were looking at the pictures thinking to yourselves "their TV looks smaller".  The reason is, because it is.  The TV we are watching now is actually the TV from our bedroom.  A word to the wise - never buy your kid a bow and arrow and then let her shoot it in the house.

Couches - Elder Beerman
Sofa, Coffee and Media Tables - Value City Furniture
Table Lamp - Home Depot
Floor Lamp - JC Penny
Rug - Lowe's
Stacked Suitcases - Pottery Barn

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An Empty Room

For those who know us personally, you also know that we own the biggest and the brownest (is that a word?) couch known to man.  It our old home, we had a great room that spanned from the front of the house to the back of the house and this couch was perfect.  It was also perfect for Super Bowl parties where everyone was guaranteed to have a comfortable spot to watch the game.

Here is a picture of big brown in all it's glory

Fast forward a couple of years and we end up moving to a historical home where there are no great rooms and everything is kind of broken up and chunky. A feature that we actually love but did not work out well for our big brown couch.

We actually ended up living with the big couch for a while mainly because we have little kids and we didn't want to buy new furniture just to have them end up ruining it.  However, we could not live with it any more and decided that we needed to go ahead and do some redecorating.

After the holidays, The Husband and I went on quite a "living room furniture" shopping spree and are so excited about our purchases.   We ended up buying two couches to replace the large sectional as well as some accent furniture.  We were told that the couches would not be in for two weeks but there was the possibility they would come in earlier.

In a panic that we would be stuck with our new couches and big-brown, I took the leap and listed big-brown on Craig's list.  Fast forward three days and this is what our living room looks like...

Anybody want to come over and watch some play-off games?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Bats are Gone!

I know it seems like we have been trying to get rid of these bats forever but, really, I just haven't posted about them in a while and we got rid of them about a month ago.  I have to say that I feel much better now knowing that they are gone.

There are two things that I learned in this process.

1) After hearing stories from our Animal Control experts about some of the jobs they have done, I do not feel so grossed out by our 30-40 bats.  One house they worked in had over 300 bats in the attic and the bat droppings were knee deep.

2)  Bats are crafty little critters and are not so easy to get rid of.  We had to have the Animal Control experts out three different times because the bats found new ways to get in and out of our attic.

Speaking of Animal Control experts - while I am glad we decided not to DIY this project, I feel like our "experts" may have oversold the services they provide.  Don't get me wrong, we are very happy with the service but are just not sure that their website should advertise using the most advance technology available.

You see, to seal up our home they used a bit of caulk.  White caulk at that and if any of you have seem the outside of our home, you know that all of our trim work is brown.  They also used a piece of chicken wire and some tape to create the exit for the bats.  And when it came time to clean up the toxic bat dropping from our attic.......they used a broom and a dust pan.  Not to be overshadowed by the reusable spray bottle filled with a bleach solution to kill the fungus spores.  Yes, my friends, THAT is the most advance technology available in bat removal.

But, then again, I should not complain because I did not have to do it:)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's Been a Long Time

It's been a long time since Matt and I put the kids to bed and spent the evening working on the house, but that is exactly what we did this past week.

As I told you earlier, most professionals did not seem willing to help us with our flooring issues and while the plan is to totally replace our floors our budget doesn't exactly allow for that.  So, for now we are going to just put a band aid on in in the form of a little bit of stain and a little bit of poly.

Our dining room area is the worst of them all but it is also the pathway of our entire house (hence it has taken the hardest beating).  Our Entry door goes into the dining room, the entrance to your basement is in our dining room.  To get from into the living room from the upstairs, one must first pass through the dining room and you have to walk through the dining room to get to the kitchen.

Since we don't plan to move out of our house for a week to get this accomplished we have broken the project into three sections.  This past week we decided to do the area under our dining room table.

Step One:  Clean the Floor
 Step Two:  Take a chisel and scrape all of the paint that has dripped/splattered (from the previous owners NOT us) onto the floor.  This proved to be quite a tedious task and also created a bit of a mess so we soon decided that since this area would be under the rug that our dining room table sits on, maybe we didn't need to get ALL of the paint drips off the floor.
 Step Three:  Fill in all the scuff and scrape marks with the stain.  This also proved to be a tedious job.  Because the stain was not going to soak into the already finished floor, I took on the task of using a foam brush to dab stain on all the the scratched parts where the finish had come up to expose bare wood.  After letting the stain soak in, I had to use an old T-shirt to wipe up ALL of the excess stain or it would just have become a sticky mess on our floor.
 Step Four:  Protect all of our hard work.  Right before bed, Matt brushed on a coat of poly in hopes of preventing any future scrapes, scratches and bumps.  Being the good sport he is, he also got up at 5am the next morning to put on a second coat.
We are pretty happy with the end result but we still have to do this two more times.  The key is to space it out so that we will always have access to the areas that we need to get to.  The other key is to make sure that we get it accomplished in time that our dog and our toddler can walk on it and not complete damage all of our hard work.  In a house as busy as ours, it is very difficult to keep everyone from walking on the floors.
On a side note - Siberian Husky during prime shedding season and a coat of wet poly on a wood floor, not always a good match:)