Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

Weekend Fun

June 15, 2008

We’ve been really happy throughout the house project to have had very few hangups or problems arise.  Aside from the slowness of things getting done due to time constraints, nearly everything we’ve done has been problem-free….until this weekend.  We got the railing put up on Friday, and the babies were LOVING the fact that the gates were gone and they were free to roam.  All day long I kept looking at the balusters, just thinking that something about them wasn’t right.  By evening, I started looking up pictures online to see if the way they looked was the way they were supposed to look, and we discovered that they had been installed upside down 😆 . It should only take a little extra time to get it put back together, but it was an unexpected (and somewhat comical, unless you were an exhausted Joseph realizing that you’ve got more work to do) bump in the road!

We spent Saturday at Lagoon for Joseph’s company party. Most of his sisters and their families came as well, along with Grandma & Grandpa Z. The kids had a lot of fun (most of them anyway….poor Brooke had a rough day) and we lasted until the power went out around 3:00. It worked out well for us because we were able to let the kids come home and have a nap, have dinner, and then go back later. We were intereviewed by channel two about the outage, but we were pretty lame on camera, so we missed out on an opportunity for fame on the local news that night. The highlight of our day was winning a camera in the raffle the company held before lunch! We hadn’t taken a camera that day (I love my Canon, but it’s not always practical to drag it around) so we were excited! It’s nice and little, making it perfect for things like trips to Lagoon, which we’ll be taking often. We opted to buy season passes with some of our friends this year, and we had so much fun that we’re really glad that we did. When we took Ryan two years ago, he was pretty afraid to get on most of the rides….this year, he couldn’t get enough of them! We went back with the Hoyts last night and stayed waaaay too late….Ryan, who NEVER sleeps in, had to be awakened by me to get ready for church. His response? “Mom, will you cover me up and go away?” If only he’d do that on a day when I can actually sleep in…

We didn’t get too many pictures yesterday because the camera battery didn’t have a ton of charge in it, but here are a few!



For you, Mom

June 9, 2008

We’ve been REALLY busy around here for the last week or so! It seems that every time I talk to my mom on the phone, I’m able to tell her about something new that we’ve finished on the house, and she’s always reminding me to post pictures. I’ve not had time to even take the pictures off the camera until today (and I could be interrupted at any moment with babies waking from naps), but here are a few pictures of recent developments at the Z house!

Last week, we decided we’d buzz the boys’ hair for the summer. I’m not necessarily crazy about the look of buzz cuts, but I am crazy about the ease of buzz cuts. And anything that will make getting out the door on Sunday mornings easier is worth dealing with for a whole summer. The problem is, Joseph cut them MUCH shorter than I had anticipated and we now have two little boys who appear to have just finished a round of chemotherapy. Oh well….hair grows. I suppose I can’t fault Joseph….hair this short comes natural to him 😆

The big news at our house is that the ceilings have been textured and painted, the fireplace has been stained (that was a huge headache….stain isn’t easy to choose and it took a couple of tries to get it how it is now, which I don’t LOVE, but can live with), and the hardwood floor is in!! We’re down to finish work, which is usually the point where you poop out and things go unfinished forever. Thankfully, I’m not sick to death of my paintbrush and I’ve still got the energy to boss Joseph around to get it all done! Hopefully within the next couple of weeks we’ll be completely done. Here are a few pics of the progress! All of my before pictures are on the other computer, so you’ll have to wait for the comparison until we get that hooked back up.

Guess what I got today?

April 25, 2008

You might want to sit down for this.  Today, I picked up our door lever and it was the RIGHT ONE!!!  Shocking, I know.  You thought it was going to be at least another week and two more mess ups, didn’t you?  Well, you were wrong.  I hope this news has restored your faith in incompetent sales clerks….it certainly has mine 😆 .  4th time’s the charm…..

3rd time not the charm

April 22, 2008

The saga of getting the hardware for the French doors has gotten even better.  As I wrote last week, they initially neglected to order it.  Then, when it finally came in, it had been ordered wrong.  They ordered it again, and I went in to pick it up today.  I didn’t check it because the guy said “it should be left-handed, right?” so I figured they must have the correct one.  They keyed it match the deadbolt and I went on my merry way, glad to finally have everything sorted out.  When I got home, I took it out of the box and–you guessed it–the WRONG thing again!  It was another right-handed lever 🙄 .  So, back I went…..the poor manager looked so embarrassed to see me.  He was very nice about it, checked the order (they had ordered it right this time, so the place they ordered from screwed it up), and insisted that the shipping be expedited. Hopefully my 4th trip in to pick up the dang thing will be the last! Thankfully, the last time we went in they let us take the deadbolt–the girl who initially forgot to order the stuff said we couldn’t take it seperate from the handle because they had to be keyed together….she was misinformed about that, because all we really needed to match the handle to the deadbolt was the keys–so our house is a little less open to the world than it was two weeks ago, but it’s still been quite the experience getting this thing in. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so picky about the selection at Lowe’s and Home Depot!

A little irritant

April 15, 2008

I don’t really have any room to complain, because the house projects have been going fairly smoothly thus far, but yesterday we hit an irritating bump in the road–nothing major, just irritating.

Last Monday, I ordered the door hardware for the French doors.  The girl told me it would take 3-4 days to get in, so we were hopeful that we’d have handles on our door by the end of the week.  We called Thursday and were told that they *might* be in Friday, but most likely Monday.  Friday was a busy day, so we didn’t call to check.  They are closed on Saturday.  So, yesterday Joseph called to see if they were in and he was told (by two people) that yes, they were, and that they had actually come on Friday and someone had left a message on our phone.  We never got a message, but oh well–they’re in now, so I stopped by after picking Ryan up from school. 

The lady at the desk took forever looking for the stuff and finally came back saying she couldn’t find it.  To make a long story short (is that possible, when I’ve already made it semi-long?) the stuff had not even been ordered!  They were very apologetic, and the manager promised to figure out where the breakdown in communication was (why did someone call Friday to say it was in, and then two people on Monday verified it was in?) and said that the stuff was being shipped that day….meaning 3-4 more days of waiting for it to get here 🙄

It hasn’t been too much of a problem living without it, aside from the draft and the fact that anybody could just walk into our house at any time….nothing big, right? Hopefully by the end of the week our house will be a little more burgler-proofed than it is now. Joseph is taking the rest of the week to work on things, so we should see some major progress in the next few days!

Asbestos Free!

April 7, 2008

When we scraped the popcorn ceilings off the two bedrooms we’ve done so far, we were fairly certain that they did not contain asbestos.  However, upon the start of this big project, a friend reminded me that houses built in the time frame ours was often have asbetos in things like popcorn ceilings.  I then started working that over in my mind and creating awful scenarios of the damage we might have done to our kids by not having the stuff tested to be sure that it was safe.  Every time I’d see one of those lawsuit commercials for people who have been exposed to asbestos, I worried.  So, to be on the safe side, we sent a sample in….and it came back 100% asbestos free!  Whew!  I can breathe easier (literally) knowing that, even though it’s a huge pain in the butt to scrape, we aren’t putting ourselves and our kids at risk of getting sick from it!

Lots of stuff

April 5, 2008

This has been a stressful weekend for me.  We’ve had tight schedules to work around, and Joseph has miraculously finished all his work in the alloted time frames.  We got the French doors put in, minus the hardware.  I’ve been to Lowe’s once and Home Depot twice, had items in my cart, and left without buying anything all three times.  I want to make sure that the handles I choose are really what I want…because not only will they be on the new French door, but all of the bedroom, bathroom, and closet doors as well.  And I just wasn’t happy with the selection.  So, after I take Ryan to preschool on Monday, I’ll be spending the afternoon at Stock trying to price out door hardware (and getting a final quote on the balusters, so that I can compare to an online supplier I have found that has called me twice already to see if they can give me the best price).  I’m really crossing my fingers that what I want is in-stock so that we don’t have to live with newspaper shoved in the door handle holes while we wait for an order to come in.  Even though it’s not finished off and the stickers are still on it, it’s amazing the difference it makes!  Just having those heavy drapes down opens the room up and makes it feel larger….and I love having the blinds inside of the glass–a must-have when you’ve got curious little creatures roaming around your house.  Here’s a couple of before and after pics:

In the meantime, we bought one of those cool iRobot Roomba vacuums on Woot last week.  It came on Thursday and I’m already in love with it.  Nothing like programming your vacuum to start on it’s own while you sit back and watch TV and eat your snack food of choice while your chores are done for you.  Talk about lazy!  The boys think it is the coolest thing ever, but it scares Emmy to death!  Having my house in such a mess has put me on edge lately, so at least my new little gadget gives me a bit more control over how clean things are right now!

And, as if things weren’t making me crazy enough, I decided that I was finally ready to do something with the barstools we bought nearly two years ago when we moved here.  I was waffling between staining or painting them, and I finally settled somewhere in between.  IKEA makes a stain that is more like watered down paint.  Since the paint color I’ve chosen for the walls is fairly neutral, I wanted to get some nice pops of color in somewhere, and the stools became my victims!  It was a pretty simple process, made more difficult by those curious creatures I mentioned earlier, but they are all finally done!

 Perhaps this next little bit belongs in another post, but that’s just more work for me, so here you have it.  The first picture was quite a surprise to us.  Owen is a pretty cautious little guy–the complete opposite of his siblings  So, we were rather shocked when we found him on the bar, having climbed out of his seat.  Guess it’s time to start strapping them in now!

 And, this one is of Emmy’s completely adorable hair!  During my pregnancy, I had really hoped that she’d get the natural curl genes from both sides of our family, but both babies were born with straight hair.  Then, Owen’s started to curl, and now it’s pretty kinky.  I was bummed that it was his hair that was going curly and not hers, but as hers has grown it has shown a bit of curl, and in the last week it has really started to spring up.  I’m not sure if it will last forever, but it’s darn cute right now!

Weekend Warriors

March 31, 2008

It’s amazing to me how much more we can get done with Joseph not working Fridays!  Projects on the old house seemed to take FOREVER, and then I remember that we were juggling work and school back then.  The bathroom last year seemed to take FOREVER, but that might have been due to Joseph’s reluctance to give into my vision for what I wanted it to be.  The projects this time seem to be coming along quite quickly, which is good because 100 square foot living is not for me.  We invited ourselves over to the Fausett’s last night just to get out of the house and have some room to move!

 We dropped a lot of money on Friday and didn’t come home with a single thing…..but the French doors and hardwood floors have been ordered and paid for!  The door should be ready on Wednesday and the price on it came in at a little over $400 LESS than what we estimated–YAY!!  So, that’s next weekend’s project.  I CAN NOT WAIT to have those hideous curtains and the awful sliding glass door gone!  We also priced out balusters for the railing and are pretty sure we know what we’ll get for that project. 

Joseph spent most of Saturday tearing out  the north wall and consolidating the switches and outlets.  That was a project that took quite a bit longer than he had hoped and he’ll have to spend what few evenings we have free this week trying to get the sheetrock back up.  He also put in a new doorbell.  I had forgotten that we had taken the old one out and found it odd when I could see my visiting teachers standing on our porch but not ringing the doorbell and taking forever to knock.  And then the mailman didn’t ring the doorbell when he left a package (it was my pictures Tammy, and they look GREAT!!).  And then the infant development nurse did just like my VT did and stood there forever without ringing the bell.  It was then that I finally had a DUH moment and realized that the doorbell didn’t work and I hadn’t put anything outside saying to knock.  OOPS!!

It’s nothing too exciting to look at because it just looks like a mess, but here are a couple of pictures!

Floor demo

Blast from the past….had this beautiful linoleum greeted us when we first looked at this house, we may not have bought it!

Wall demo

This is pretty much where we left off late Saturday night. Hopefully that will all be sheetrocked by the weekend!

Fireplace: Check

March 25, 2008

Our first project to check off the list is done–the new surround is in and it looks great!  We’ve still got to decide what to do with the wood–stain it or paint it.  The original plan had been to go with MDF and paint it to save a bit on the budget, but they had to order that piece in and it would have put us back a couple more weeks.  The oak surround wasn’t much more money-wise, and since it gave us the flexibility of choosing stain or paint we decided to go that route.  We probably won’t make a decision on the finish until we get a little further into other projects, but the bulk of the work is done and it looks soooooo much better than the old surround!



Easter Weekend

March 24, 2008

We had a fun-filled weekend with both mine and Joseph’s families!  We do Easter baskets on Saturday morning, and being the not-so-on-top-of-things mom that I’ve been lately, the only thing I had bought was a PEZ dispenser for Ryan.  We haven’t done any “Easter Bunny” talk with him, so he wasn’t looking forward to anything anyway and just the fact that there were Easter baskets on the couch was enough out of the norm that he was excited.  My mom and MIL more than made up for what Easter didn’t bring to our house this year anyway!

For as long as I can remember, we’ve had an Easter egg hunt on the Saturday before Easter on my aunt and uncle’s farm.  We’ve carried on the tradition with the great-grandkids and they are at such a fun age for it!  The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time. 

Emmy & Auntie Em

Emmy & Owen ready for the hunt!

Emmy was really curious about those eggs in her basket

Ryan finding some eggs

The kiddos with Great Grandpa

We always took a picture like this of all the cousins at the Easter egg hunt. This year, we did it with the great grandkids!

When we got home and put the kids to bed we decided to do some more work on the remodel project.  The marble for the fireplace had to be ordered and should be delivered today, so we’re hoping that we’ll have the surround in place by the end of the week.  With that project nearing completion, we decided to knock out a wall!  We have a long, narrow hallway that is quite dark.  At some point (we don’t think it’s original to the house) part of the hallway wall was opened up to look over the stairs.  It was about the size of a doorway and the railing was pretty ugly (OK, very ugly!).  We decided to knock out the remainder of the wall to help open up the hallway a bit and put in a new railing.  Ryan’s bed sits on the other side of the wall, and that kid slept through all of the hammering and tearing down!  I’m sure that Joseph will give a more detailed description of what is to come in this phase of the project on his blog, but here are a few pictures!  We’ve got a piece of pegboard tacked up to keep the little ones from taking a tumble over onto the stairs, but we’ve had to move the gate to the kitchen door so that they don’t have access to the hallway unless we’re right there with them.  Our living space is getting smaller and smaller and sometimes I wonder what we were thinking doing this project with three young kids!

Starting the demo

Saying goodbye to the old railing

No more wall!

We spent Sunday with the Z’s and I didn’t take a single picture! It’s been a while since Ryan’s seen some of his cousins, so they had a really great time chasing each other around the house. The only disaster of the day was that Ryan cut a hole in his new church shirt…right after I reminded him that we only cut paper (this makes the 3rd shirt-cutting incident with him). We had a yummy easter dinner and the kids had a little egg hunt.