Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Major Progress

We've been working hard to finish the upstairs - it always takes longer than we anticipate.  We were able to finish up a lot though.  The doors have been installed, the lights are installed, and the electricity is turned on.  The biggest progress though is the tiling in the shower and on the floor. 

I still have to grout the floor but overall it's a big improvement from what it looked like when we bought the place:

The work still to be done includes installing all the bathroom fixtures, installing trim, installing the railing, touching up drywall and paint, installing carpet, and painting the stairs.  It'll still be at least a couple weeks - just in time for it to get nice outside.

It has been warm a few days so the kids have been going outside with Chris when he gets home - and they love it!  It's been a long winter.

Josh has been more active lately - he loves jumping on the couch when Daddy is coming home.

And here he's trying to cut one of Samantha's princesses with a plastic knife - we'll have to watch this little guy! 

We had a big snow last week and tried to play in it.  Unfortunately, it was a little too deep for the kids to do much. 

I'll end with some pictures from the science center.  Samantha's friend was turning 3 so we all went to celebrate.  Josh loved the water table and Samantha really enjoyed building towers and playing in the undersea area. 

Hopefully next week we'll have plenty to show for the upstairs!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Small Accomplishments

We accomplished some small things upstairs this weekend.  There are a couple big tasks left to finish the upstairs and a lot of small ones. 

We installed backer board on the floor, installed the first part of the shower base, installed some lights, installed a door, and sanded the stairs.

The shower base requires some more work before we can put the backer board in the shower.  We should be able to start tiling this coming weekend.  We had a couple issues with some of the lighting but nothing that can't be easily fixed with a trip to Lowe's.  The stairs will be painted as one of the last things to happen.  At least the sanding is done so we have very little dusty work left.

There's not much else to write about this week so I'll just end with a couple cute pictures of the kids.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow

We had some cold temperatures and a lot of snow this week. 

Samantha had fun playing in the snow and helping Daddy shovel off the driveway a couple times.  Our snow Saturday was almost 9 inches deep so the pile of snow next to the driveway was fun for Samantha to climb over. 

Sunday was really warm so we put on our rain boots and went for a walk.  Of course Samantha loved playing in the puddles.

Our house work for the week was finishing the drywall and painting in the upstairs closet (there were a lot of corners!).  Chris also finished up the drywall in the bathroom (with the exception of near the shower).  I was able to finish painting the railing parts and all the doors.  We should be able to finish painting the bathroom and putting down the backer board for the tile too. 

I did a little extra painting this weekend.  A friend in my book club celebrated her 60th birthday with a painting party.  We painted "Aurora Through the Trees" and had a lot of fun.  I'm not an artist but I think I did alright - Samantha was able to describe the painting when I showed it to her!

Now for a few kid things from the week. 

Samantha is starting to improve her drawing and coloring.  Here is a picture she drew of Josh - his head is the small scribble on the right and his arms/hands go up and down instead of to the sides.  

She was really proud of the Mardi Gras mask she made.

Overall Samantha is a pretty good eater but every once in awhile she starts playing with her food once she's full.  Here's what she did with her clementine and cereal this week.

And she enjoys building towers every time she plays with blocks.  Future architect?

Josh likes getting into everything possible.  One of his favorites is storming the castle.  One day he pulled himself up, threw all the princes on the ground, picked up a princess and started chewing on her head.  He looked like a mini-King Kong.  

During all the snow shoveling outside, he really likes sitting on the couch with me watching all the activity.

Hopefully we'll be able to get a lot accomplished upstairs this week - we can't wait to move the furniture out of the basement!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow = 4 Day Weekend!

This long, long weekend had some ups and downs for us.  I was sick on Saturday and haven't felt fully recovered until today.  Fortunately, Chris was home so I was able to sleep a lot to get better. 

The rest of the weekend was very cold and windy.  We stayed home from church on Sunday to avoid spreading my germs and because of the wintry conditions outside. 

We did get some work completed upstairs though.  The closet space needed drywall but first Chris had to build some framing for a bulkhead around the ducting.  We know that it's not the prettiest but it's in a closet and once it's painted it will be wonderful!

Monday was President's Day so Chris was home already.  I was able to prime the parts for the stair railing in my makeshift spray booth downstairs.

Tuesday morning brought in enough snow that they canceled work for Chris so he was able to stay home one more day.  It was great having him home so much!

Some other things/pictures from the week:

Samantha has started tracing letters - and wanted to send a few Valentine's cards.  Here's one to her cousin Jenna.  She traced over the "SAM" and did a pretty good job!

She also started her dance class this week.  The class runs for 12 weeks and it's basically just the girls having fun - singing songs, dancing, playing, etc.  It's an independent class so the parents sit in the lobby and there is a video monitor so you can see what is going on.  Samantha is the one in the black leotard.

She had so much fun and can't wait to go back!

Since Lent is starting, we made a "Lent calendar" so that she can count down the days until Easter.  She taped all these onto her white board (and we've already had a couple Josh incidents already). 

We also have a "Lenten Sacrifices" jar.  When she does good things during Lent she gets to put a dried kidney bean in a jar and on Easter the kidney beans turn into jelly beans.  She already earned 3 today so I better stock up on jelly beans this year!

One other thing Chris accomplished while he was home was getting Josh to imitate the word "dada."  He hasn't said it unprompted yet but hopefully he'll be talking soon.

He's also enjoyed playing in his tunnels in the basement a lot - particularly when they are covered in balls.

That's it for this week.  Hopefully we'll have more progress to share after this week!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday Samantha!

Samantha turns 3 today!  We still can't believe how fast the time has gone.  She is an intelligent, kind, loving little girl and fills our home with such joy.  We're excited to see what the next year brings!

To celebrate her birthday, all the grandparents came down this weekend.  She had a great time getting spoiled by everyone. 

She had requested a pink, strawberry cake for her birthday so I made my best attempt!

She got a lot of nice gifts from the family but just like Samantha, we only got one semi-decent picture of her opening gifts.

This week was pretty cold so we spent a lot of the week indoors.  One morning I made "cloud dough" for the kids to play with.  Josh loved it and only tried to eat it a few times.  

Since we don't have much to talk about with the house work this week, I'll end with another picture of the little guy.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

One More Room Painted

One more room painted for the week doesn't sound like much but it was quite a bit of work.  Before we even started, we had to remove all the items from the room (including about 15 full sheets of drywall, a big bookcase, etc.) and clean up all the drywall dust. 

After touching up some drywall, the ceiling was primed and painted and the walls were primed and painted.  The blue walls needed two coats of primer and three coats of paint - not a fast job!

Of course we didn't just work on the upstairs this week.  On Saturday we attended a preschool fair to see if there are any other preschools we want to consider before signing Samantha up to start in the fall. 

Chris also got to brew this weekend.  A friend from work is letting him borrow a grain mill so he's finally able to buy bulk grains and save a little bit of money in the process.  The mill worked pretty well and he's finishing up the boil tonight. 

I have still been trying to organize the house - it's a slow process.  As I go through parts of the house, I realize what I need to make it more functional.  One thing we've been lacking is easy access storage for our cold weather gear.  I used an oatmeal box I emptied this week and turned it into two boxes to store our hats and gloves.  It may not be the prettiest but it's functional and hidden in the front closet - but the best part is the I spent $0. 

This week we have more work to finish upstairs - it's not fun or easy.  The closet needs some additional framing around the duct work before we can drywall that wall.  It also won't be easy to finish the drywall since there are so many corners.  We also have more drywall work to finish in the bathroom before we can prime and paint those areas.  Let's hope we're able to get everything completed soon!

Monday, January 26, 2015

What a Difference Paint Makes!

We've been working very hard this week to get the first upstairs room painted.  There was a lot of work to get to this point - every night Chris would disappear upstairs for a couple hours and return covered in drywall dust. 

Once the drywall was in perfect condition, we took turns over the weekend working on priming and painting.  We still have the second coat of paint to do tonight to have the living area ready for carpet and installing the new railing.  It's impressive how much a simple coat of paint will change a room. 


The stair area also needed a little facelift.  Just painting the trim around the sides made it look a lot better and cleaner.

To do the drywall and painting work above the stairs Chris rigged up a very interesting scaffold.  It was definitely not OSHA approved working conditions but it got the job done!

We still have the bedroom, bathroom, and closet area to finish upstairs before we want to get the carpet installed.  Hopefully by the end of February we'll finally have this entire floor completed.

The weather this week gave us a little bit of snow so Josh got to go on his first sled ride.  He really enjoyed it! 

Josh was also able to play in the turtle sandbox (minus sand).  He found some pieces of ice on the bottom that he used to help his teething pain.  Speaking of teething - number 8 finally came in this week too. 

And of course Samantha really enjoyed the hot chocolate she got after playing outside.  

Josh is getting to be a big boy - he had his first serving of chili...

...and enjoying playing with his tools so he can help us on the house some day.

And I'll end this week's post with a Samantha-ism that I found particularly funny/weird this week:

"Josh, your ears are so beautiful!  When you are bigger, you can wear earrings and eat candy!"