1. The boys are hard at work.

     

  2. Lessons Learned Thus Far

    1. Remodeling consists of a bunch of dreams being crushed.  Don’t get attached to anything, because inevitably, it won’t work out. 
    2. Using the basement sink to wash dishes sucks.  It sucks even more to wash baby bottles.  Particularly when you’re doing laundry at the time same.
    3. Keep hand sanitizer everywhere. I never realized how often I washed my hands in the kitchen sink until I didn’t have one. 
    4. Cooking in the mudroom is tricky.  On a related note, be sure to cover the crock pot, or the sneaky dog will sample dinner. 
    5. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, dust gets everywhere! Don’t bother trying to clean it up, it’s a waste of time. 
    6. When you ask how much something is going to cost and you’re answered with a number lower than expected, be afraid.  When the answer is “I don’t know, not that much,” be very afraid.
    7. When you are told that something will be in back in operation in two days, interpret that to mean two weeks… maybe even two months. 
    8. All of the crap that was once in the kitchen has to go somewhere. If you are half as neurotic as I am, be sure that you’re the one that packs everything up and places it somewhere logical or you’ll end up with a countertop leaned up against the front door! 
     
  3. Things are starting to get interesting

     
  4. Thank goodness for my Crock Pot

     
  5. I came home from a wedding last night to discover that my stove was no longer in its rightful place.

    Natalie- Ummm…. When do I get my stove back?
    Steven- Never
    Natalie- Pardon me?
    Steven- Well, no one will be able to go into the kitchen effective tomorrow. And then we’re buying a new stove.
    Natalie- That’s useful information. How am I supposed to cook? How long until I have my kitchen back?
    Steven- You could use the microwave. I don’t know.

    This should be interesting.

     

  6. Photography

    Nearly 4 months ago I received my beautiful new DSLR Camera.  For just about as long there has been a to do list on my computer which lists “Learn how to use camera.”  I’ve pinned a few posts about learning how to use the awesome features my camera has, but I’ve never gotten around to actually learning.  

    After my friend sent me these beautiful pictures, I was determined!  I can take pictures like this.  I have a great camera and a gorgeous kid.  I just need to combine both more often.  So I vow to learn how to use my camera and start taking more pictures.

    To encourage myself, I will take on some “Photography Challenges.”  I’m finishing up a project now that is time sensitive, but as soon as I am done I will get started.  I think that May 1st is a good start point.  I will post my daily picture on here for a month. 

     
  7. Sew fun

     
  8. Kitchen demo has begun. God help us.

     

  9. Here we go again

    I have delayed posting our kitchen plan (yet again!) because we have yet another predicament.  When we first looked at the house we noticed that some of the floors were slanted. We thought, no big deal we can fix that.  The kitchen is by far the worst and after the use of a level and tape measure we came to find out that from the high point in the kitchen to the lowest point there is a 1.75” difference.. eek! We had planned to level the kitchen floor from the floor up but after adding nearly two inches just to get it even, we would still need to add a new subfloor, thinset and tile… we’re looking at over 4”.  If we were redoing the whole downstairs that wouldn’t be a huge problem.  But the rest of the downstairs is in fairly good condition and is covered in beautiful original hardwood floors. Those are staying, no questions asked.  So we would be looking at a 4” step to walk into the kitchen.  That’s rather significant.  

    We have decided that a 4” step would look ridiculous and would be a safety concern.  Not to mention the fact that leveling the floor would be incredibly difficult and if it is not done correctly, could lead to cracked tile and many other potential issues.  Steven suggested that we just remove the gross linoleum floor, and replace it with new linoleum.  Naturally, I was completely against this idea. While I understand where he is coming from, I hate linoleum.  I went so far as to suggest that we not even bother renovating the kitchen if we were going to replace filthy linoleum with clean linoleum.  For one, I think that it looks cheap and secondly, it isn’t cheap.  That crap is rather expensive (over double the price that we were planning to spend on tile).  Steven insisted that it was “good enough” considering the value of our home.

    This led to another discussion about selling our house and the resale value/selling potential of the home.  I told Steven that I was concerned that most people be very concerned about the slanted floors and would not be as naive as we were about fixing them.  Most people don’t want to take on projects and if they do, they are generally fun things not leveling floors.  So I suggested that we try to fix the floor from the root of the problem… the basement.  Steven looked around and determined that a couple of the joists were sagging and that was likely causing the slanted floors in the basement.

    We have someone coming out to look into it tonight (and a few more people over the next couple of weeks).  Once we have some quotes we will evaluate our options.  Here we go…

     

  10. The Revised Plan

    For some time, I had promised to post our plan for the kitchen.  I kept putting it off for one reason or another and I’m glad that I did because our initial plan has changed completely.  The basement debacle turned out to be better than we initially expected.  After a second opinion, we found out that the basement is safe and sturdy, but it would be best to not have a playroom in the basement.  However, I can have my craft area down there and the girls could spend some time playing in the basement while I craft. We reorganized the guest room so that the girls could have their own play space and that room is now referred to as “Plan B.”  This will work until we have another baby.

    One good thing to come of this, was a detailed conversation regarding our long term housing plan.  We decided that we will likely live in this house for another 3-5 years and then move to a larger, more modern house.  With that in mind, I am putting my dream kitchen vision on hold for the next house.  A lot of the things that I wanted in the kitchen are rather expensive and we will never get that back in Kenmore.  Reality stinks sometimes, but it just doesn’t make sense to spend a small fortune on a kitchen that I will only use for a few (hopefully) years. 

     
  11. Our new fridge. $1400 price tag, paid $860. That’s why Steven leaves the negotiating to me.

     

  12. Giving Up

    Once again, my friend was quick to point out that it has been over two weeks since I posted on here.  Today marks Ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent.  As a good Catholic, I decided to partake in one of the lent traditions of giving something up.  Usually I take on a rather difficult task, like the year I gave up being mean for lent (yeah, that lasted about 5 minutes), or the year I gave up cursing.  This year, I decided to be a little more reasonable and I am giving up Facebook.  

    I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  For some time now, I’ve been threatening to deactivate my Facebook account.  A recent friend request pushed me over the edge and I thought lent was the perfect opportunity to kick my Facebook  addiction. 

    While I would love to get rid of Facebook for good, I don’t see that happening in the near future. Instead, my realistic goal is to take a 40  day hiatus from Facebook (having a successful Day 1) and dramatically reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook after lent is over.

    Since I’m freeing up some extra time, I should be able to post on here more regularly.  We’ll see what happens. 

     
  13. When Steven was cleaning the walls in the basement, he noticed some cracks in the walls that he was concerned about. He told me that he was going to have someone come out and take a look. Fair enough.

    Well someone came by tonight and gave us a quote. My jaw dropped. The second the guy shut the door, I looked at Steven and said, “well, it looks like we’re going to move!”

    While we both joked about it, we decided that we that we are not in a position to spend 1/5 of the value of our home fixing the basement. While Steven investigated less expensive ways to fix the basement, I was on zillow looking for a new (literally) house.

    There’s one thing we both agree about, the basement will no longer be a play area for the girls and we will not be in this house as long as initially planned.

     

  14. Name Banner

    When I came home from the hospital, I was greeted by a beautifully decorated home courtesy of my lovely sister and niece,  My favorite was the felt name banner.  I liked it so much that I moved it up to the nursery and tied it to the crib.  Unfortunately, the pendants kept bunching together. 

    One day I decided to do something about it, and I sewed the pendants onto a cute owl ribbon that I had lying around.  I loved the banner so much that I wanted to make sure I could easily remove it so that I could put it elsewhere when deemed necessary (for a photo shoot or for Caroline’s first birthday party). So I used Velcro (I love this stuff!) to secure it.

    Now that Caroline is crawling (eek!), she decided to check out the bright colors and it took her all of two seconds to tug on the banner and make the Velcro come loose.  

    She’s lucky she’s cute!

     

  15. Colorful Clothespin Frame

    Some time ago, I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest.  I instantly fell in love.  I wanted to do something similar for Caroline’s room, but with a colorful twist.

    Because I have such a handy husband, I asked him to make the frame for me.  Unfortunately, that meant I was on his time and this took much longer than it should have.  Once he put the frame together, I mixed up a fun bright pink and painted it.

    I nailed a few nails to the front of the frame and used colored paper twine to string the frame. 

    I’m really happy with the final product.  The scrapbook paper-covered clothespins were a fun touch.   Steven thinks it’s too crowded,  He’s entitled to his opinion (although he’s wrong).