Monday, September 20, 2010

The five year remodel

I decided to do this for my own records and to help myself understand why our latest remodel project has me so exhausted....More pictures to come I hope!


August 2005 - Moved into our house with 3 month old saben. Immediately tore out old carpet in all the rooms, kitchen linoleum, and lowered ceilings they'd drywalled into the living room. Spent the next 3 months patching holes, refinishing the fir floors, painting and somewhat landscaping the front yard. (I'd brought plants from our old house I needed to get in the ground) Lived in our attic room most of the summer & fall.

January 2006 - Rip out the old kitchen cabinets over christmas/new years break. Fix walls, get rid of superfluous doors. Install new EVERYTHING into the kitchen. Make our own concrete countertops which stalled the project for months.

May 2006 - Move into our new kitchen

Fall 2006 - Start working on our backyard, rip EVERYTHING out, build a new fence, remove concrete parking pad, remove old backstairs, all the old grass & plants, build a new patio.

Spring 2007 - Rototill in 10 yards of manure into the backyard, plant new garden, install drip irrigation while 7-9 months prego with Annika.

July 2007 - Annika is born! Start of a nice remodel hiatus....

Fall 2007 - Install Hot Tub

December 2007 - My favorite Blog Post Ever about our yucky bathroom. Spend christmas break emptying out our basement so it can be "finished"

Spring 2008 - Start framing in our basement,

Summer 2008 - Rip out old bathroom upstairs after adding new toilet & sink downstairs. Redo plumbing, water heater, gas lines, electricity, furnace & ducting.

Fall 2008 - Work on gutted upstairs bathroom, new EVERYTHING

Winter 2008 - Basement FLOODS, luckily we hadn't drywalled yet. Realize roof is also leaking. New roof, new gutters to help improve water flow away from basement.

Spring 2009 - Basement is drywalled, paint, carpet installed. Bathroom upstairs is finished!

Summer 2009 Move into new basement!

Fall 2009 - finish up odds & ends in basement, decorate. sort of. Move kids downstairs.

Spring/Summer 2010: Replace all windows on the main floor. Move our bedroom, create an office in the extra bedroom. Repaint both bedrooms. remove windows & doors from our front craftsman style porch.

Fall 2010: Start working on getting our house repainted. Get house scraped, pressure washed and then 2 days before the painters start applying paint, decide to rip off aluminum siding.

And now the work trim pieces, fixing old boards, more scraping and finally new paint, hopefully before it gets cold and rainy, but who knows. Thankfully we are hiring most of it out this time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Days of School

Saben's first day of school, Annika's was the next day, but we're going to count this picture as "first days" anyways.

S: "Annika, did you make any friends today?"
A: "I don't know...."
S: "Did you learn anyone's name?"
A: "No"
S: "Do you want to make friends Annika?"
A: "Yah"
S: "Ok. Here is what you do. First you start playing with somebody. Then you need to ask them what their name is. Then they might ask you what your name is too! And then you will be friends! And you can maybe even invite them to your birthday party!"

By far my favorite conversation this week, it was soooo cute. I love it when Saben enters his "teaching" mode with Annika, and especially that he always starts it by asking her questions. And he always affirms her if she gets the right answer too. He's done it to teach her about planets, moons and stars and several other topics. So cute.

By now you should know, the pictures only get crazier from here. This is the one I got when I was super serious "Ok, YOU GUYS NEED TO LOOK AT ME AND SMILE. NOW. QUIT MESSING AROUND!"

On Monday, Saben had his first day of Kindergarten. I almost lost it at our orientation day and felt sort of choked up at the first day, but they kept us parents busy showing our kids around the school so I managed to get him dropped off without a single tear.

Of course Saben was super excited, he told me after our orientation day last week "mom, I like kindergarten better than our house" and "Why can't we stay at kindergarten mom?" On the first day he just ran to the lego table and never looked back. When we picked him up, he did remark on how long the day was and said he was ready for a nap practically, but on his second day, he didn't seemed fazed by it at all.

First day of kindergarten, Saben was most excited to tell me about the friend he made. (Enoch) On the second day, he leapt into the car excitedly telling me about this amazing thing called a calculator. He was soooo excited and was trying to figure out if you can type a googol out onto it. He had also drawn this long list of numbers, just like a calculator.

On Tuesday, Annika had her first day of preschool and I had my first 3 hours alone without either kid. Dropping her off was a lot harder. She is most likely one of the youngest in the class. Her preschool changed locations over the summer and it was still messy & chaotic inside. It's functional, but they are obviously still working on it, lots of 1/2 completed projects.

Annika was super excited though. Making her lunch for school was super funny, she was just thrilled by it and wanted everything in her lunch box. Then when we arrived, she got pretty shy and clung to my leg. We did a puzzle together and she told me it was ok for me to leave in five minutes. When I waved goodbye to her from the doorway, she had on her super serious stoic could tell she was trying so hard to be brave but was pretty scared. Of course I did shed a few tears at that point. Saben was always so easy because he was thrilled to be there. I can't imagine how the people with the screaming kids do it.

Annika's "stoic face"
Annika did have a really good time, but she ran to me and hugged me for a long time when I came to pick her up. She told me she played dress-up (as a fairy princess) with the other girls, painted, used playdough and read stories.
As for me...Well I spent my glorious 3 hours alone hacking back all my plants so the painting guys can get to our house. Awesome.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


In case you missed seeing it on her blog, my wonderful "photographer friend" Andi did a photo shoot of me & the kids this summer and you can see the best ones here. I am so delighted with how they turned out!!


Wow, I have a couple huge "summer" posts to complete before the kids start school next week, we have had a wonderful wonderful summer and I want to record some more of it... but for now, just thought I'd pop in to say hi and share what we've been doing this week.

We were visiting a friend last week and for some reason she mentioned that when she taught preschool, they would get old appliances, phones, etc and let the kids take them apart and build things with the parts. I instantly knew (and I think she did too) that Saben would LOVE doing this. I mentioned it to him and it was practically all he talked about for 4 days.

Finally yesterday, I took him to goodwill to find something suitable. The only problem is that goodwill is expensive!! They were asking at least $6 for nearly every small appliance - toasters, phones, etc. And they were super junky, trashed cheap brand ones, not nice at all. (probably $9-$12 brand new) I grabbed one old hideous 80's style phone for him.

We managed to walk out with quite a few other things as well - a couple books, a puzzle for me, a lego checkers set and a double lightsaber toy. I also resisted supreme temptation to buy things just because I thought they were funny. For instance - a puzzle of Jacob from the Twilight series, a widely grinning ceramic monkey and several games featuring characters from cancelled teen tv shows.

Saben learned checkers last week, that was his other highlight of the week - he even managed to beat me first game although I wasn't terribly focused. I think he beat Kelley second game too, although that one was more of a tie. So we were excited to find the lego checkers set.

Anyways, I asked the guy at checkout if they checked to see if these $6 appliances worked or not - apparently they don't even check them, they just expect you to pay the money and then return them if they are broken. What a ripoff. Luckily when I told him we were buying it to just take apart, he dropped the price to $1. He also let us walk out with another $3 worth of stuff annika was holding that I forgot to make her put up on the counter. Awesome.

Saben loved taking the phone apart and now has a huge bag of junk pieces that he will do who knows what with...he didn't really like my idea of putting the phone back together, so we'll just wait and see I guess.