Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A bit of progress....

We're making pretty good progress on the stairs. Although I should really start calling it the "stairs/sitting room/entryway/dining room" project.

That whole snowball effect thing.

The girls have both been sick this week so Brian and I have been tag teaming the whole "stay home with a sick baby girl" thing.

Whilst I stayed home, here is what I accomplished:

Finished painting the risers and trim on the stairs.

Put the final coat of poly on the stairs.

Strip all remaining wallpaper in the sitting room.

Wow. That doesn't look like much.

That's a bit depressing.

The girls actually helped me strip wallpaper and they LIKED it. So much so that they begged me not to touch the wallpaper under the bay window so they could pull it off with their bare hands.

All the other parts of the room are done and what do I have to show for it?

I have white(ish - whitish)walls, blistered hands and one (almost) tumble off the step stool with a steaming hot wallpaper steamer in hand when a certain someone - who shall remain nameless - decided that I was in a compromised state at that very moment and my rear end was up for grabs.


Brian's home today and hopes to get the walls sanded and hopefully part of the carpet up so that we can install the new flooring (which we got a HELL of a deal on thankyouverymuch). I would love to tell you what we have left to do but, alas, the list is so long - and growing longer - that it depresses me to look at it.

And I'm hosting Easter Dinner for 12 people in 25 days.

Let's see if I can whip this house into some sort of semi-completed state by then.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stair Update

OK, so we're not done - ha! But I couldn't stand it anymore and had to post pictures. I'll do a true before and after once I get all the paint on and we trim it all out.

Until then, I give you.....



Excuse the blue tape - I'm painting trim and risers. Right now they're just primed.

That will change tonight and tomorrow....


Same picture - two different exposures. And neither one is the true color.

You'll have to use your imagination.

And when they're done I'm TOOOOOOTALLY hiring a professional to take pictures.

Well, OK, not really, but I'll certainly use my good camera and not my point and shoot.


As you can see, we still have a lot to do (not including the adjoining room), like finishing the paint, setting the shoes on the balusters, trimming it all out, laying the new floor and painting.



Which is not something I ever thought I'd be this excited about but WOW!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A riddle..

When is a couple of weeks like a couple of months?

When you do a home improvement project of course!

It's coming along, it's coming along.

I think the hardest part of doing a project like stairs - like the ONLY stairs in the house - the ONLY way to get from one floor to the other - is the fact that I have kids. And dogs.

And the kids are easier to work with.

The project slowed significantly when it came time to stain and poly the treads. We had to finish every other stair first and then go back and finish the rest, so we could get up and down the stairs. The girls have become champion stair skippers and I wonder how long it will take them to get back into walking up and down the stairs normally??

The dogs are another issue. They don't really get the whole "DO NOT STEP ON THE STAIRS THAT ARE WET" concept, because, well, they're dogs. They did end up staying in the kitchen one night because in my zeal to get the last bit of stain on the last remaining stairs, I waited until late in the evening and applied the stain. An hour later, when we were ready for bed, we realized there was no way the dogs were going upstairs. So, they spent the night in the kitchen.

A very loooong night, filled with whining and prancing and more whining until I was ready to go down to the kitchen and curl up on the giant dog beds with them just to shut them up.

So, we won't do that again - ha!

The dogs are more spoiled than the kids.

On the bright side, the treads are 90% done, and the risers are next.

Then the real work begins.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gratuitous Picture Alert!!!!

We went to the wedding of two dear friends this weekend.

We DANCED (something my husband never does - and only slow dancing, no boogieing for my man) and enjoyed hanging out with people we rarely get to see.

I had an entire weekend alone with my husband - a rare gift.

And we certainly took advantage of it.

The tooth fairy forgot. AGAIN.

The other day Sydney informed me that she had a loose tooth. Since she's lost about ten already I really didn't pay much attention. She went to my in laws this past weekend and so I didn't even think about it until she started mentioning it when she got home.

I told her to let me look at it and it seemed like it would be a while before it came out.

Apparently Sydney felt that was unacceptable and proceeded to rip it out of her mouth at school.

She showed me the little plastic treasure chest the school nurse put it in when I got home.

She then wanted me to open the treasure chest and look at the tooth, which I did.

She then wanted me to pick up the tooth, which I started to do, until she said "Look at all the blood and guts on it mom!"

Um, yeah, I'll pass on the whole "touching the bloody tooth" thing thankyouverymuch. (And "guts"? Really?)

Now, Sydney still believes in the tooth fairy. Either that or she just tells me she does so I'll leave money under her pillow, but whatever.

She wrote a note to the tooth fairy. put it in a bag with the treasure chest holding the bloody tooth, and stuck it under her pillow.

Brian looked at me and said "You're on Tooth Fairy Duty".

I acknowledged that I was up for the job. I could definitely get it done. No worries. I was on it and I would REMEMBER this time.

Which I did.

This morning.

At around 7:00 when Brian woke me up.

To ask me if I remembered.

Because Sydney said the Tooth Fairy forgot about her.



This is going to cost me more money.

I'm tempted to tell her the truth about the "Tooth Fairy" just so we don't crush her dreams anymore, but then that would also mean she'd know that her mother truly FORGOT about the tooth and note lovingly placed under her pillow by a very excited SEVEN year old.

So, the Tooth Fairy has to take the fall for this one. AGAIN.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A little stair update

If you recall, we left off realizing that once the wall was down, we needed to put new treads and risers on the last 4 steps.



Then came the fun of staining and painting. We chose a stain color.


If you know me on Facebook, you know we chose “English Chestnut”.

If you saw me at the wedding last night, you saw the beautiful shade for yourself on my hands.

Then came the fun part of sanding, sanding, sanding. Getting the paint off the top stairs was proving to be a pain in my ass.


Then I went down to dads and he let me borrow this little tool…..


Hello lover….


It went from taking me an hour per step using the hand sander and sanding by hand to get into all the corners, to an hour to finish all 8 steps.



Brian and I fought like two kids over this tool. If only we’d had more stairs…..



We hung up plastic in a very futile attempt to keep the dust contained.

But I've decided the dust is staying.

I've grown attached to it.



And…..that’s all I can show you until I’m done. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekends were made for....

....working on your house if you're us - ha!

The children will be with their grandparents all weekend, so Brian and I have the whole house to ourselves. Well, other than these two....



You'd think we'd be excited about the fact that we could run around nekkid all weekend and not worry about the kids.

And while I suppose that could be nice (although a bit chilly) we are most excited about a quiet dinner Friday night at one of our favorite restaurants, the wedding of two dear family friends Saturday night, and MOST OF ALL ......

Finally finishing those blasted stairs.

Ok, so Brian says "speak for yourself" and votes for the whole "run around nekkid" thing.

There's a compromise in there somewhere....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Just for kicks...

I love quizzes. Seriously. Love.

So when I saw this over at Young House Love, I knew I had to take it.

It's one of those "what's your style" quizzes and they always make me giggle. Mainly because sometimes the choices are, well, ridiculous.

And I don't think I really have a style. I can tell you three things about myself that apply to my house and I don't know that you can glean a "style" from them.

1. I like wood. I think the dark, warm tones are beautiful and I think it's shame sometimes to cover up the wood grain. I know that lots of people like the "freshness" of painted wood, but I think if you can save it and let the true beauty of the wood show, you should (that's not to say that sometimes painted wood doesn't work - especially trim - because it does. And this is just my opinion). But to have a library clad in wood paneling with books all over the walls is a dream room for me.

2. I like rooms to feel warm and cozy. If I feel like I can curl up in a comfy chair or couch, with my feet up, blanket over me, book in my hand and nice soft lighting to read by, (and better yet, if guests come in my home and immediately make them selves comfortable on the couch by snuggling in with their feet all tucked up under them) then that's a room I want in my home. This doesn't mean the room has to have darker colored walls per se, but I tend to gravitate towards the deeper tones. Which leads me to....

3. COLOR. I want to see color. Deep reds, blues, purples, yellows, browns.....they make me feel warm. And safe. Lighter colors - whites, pastels, grey - they feel cold to me. I love to see them in other's people's homes and I always think- wow - that looks amazing! But just not for me. And although I definitely see some gray tones in the future of our home, it won't be in a room that we live in, but rather one of the secondary spaces of the house.

AND - none of this necessarily applies to bathrooms. I like to look at those and think "clean" and "fresh" rather than "warm" and "cozy", y'know what I'm sayin'?

So, taking all of that into consideration, I took the quiz (since it's a picture quiz, I went with the first picture that caught my eye and gave me that warm fuzzy feeling - no overthinking).

Here's my result:

What? You can't read that?

OK, here's what it said....

Results: You most resemble a "Bespoke Classic".

A classic home in an established neighborhood. A kitchen that reflects your passion… large, sweeping - authentic. A button down bedroom belies it's comfort. As in theater, life's collaborations result in comedy or tragedy. A sense of rolling hills and vineyards surround this table. "Beer is proof that God loves us" Pre-war, upper east side attitude. Bookcases, reading nooks and private studies provide a learned atmosphere at home. .
Suspected "Bespoke Classic"
- Princess Diana- Fred Astaire- Ralph Lauren

Now, I'm not ENTIRELY sure that all that makes sense, but I pretty much love everything they spoke of (c'mon - it mentions BEER) and, since I'm totally royalty in my house, the Princess Di reference is very ap

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bannisters, Balusters & Newel Posts

What do these things have in common??

Well, they are all installed and ready for finishing!

Installing this stuff is a lot harder than it seems.

It's not as simple as "Just knock the wall out, put down the new risers and treads, stick in the balusters, screw in the newel posts and bang in the bannisters".

I don't know who would simplify such a project *coughmecough*.

There was a lot of math involved. Lots of angles. Not my forte....

On the bright side, Brian's construction portion of the project is nearly done, so it looks like our marriage will survive.

(I wasn't so sure after our Friday night blow out where I asked him to do the
Warrior Dash with me because it would be fun and our conversation quickly grew from "No" to "YOU THOUGHT INSTALLING NEW STAIRS WOULD FUN AND I CAN TELL YOU IT ISN'T!")

I was going to post some pictures, but I think I'll wait until I have finished the treads and risers.

Cuz that's how I roll.....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Note to self.....

Apparently when the MVA sends you the new registration and registration sticker for your car, they would like the sticker to be affixed to your license plate prior to the expiration of your tags.

At least, that's what the police officer told me when I pulled the mangled registration and sticker from the deep crevasses of my purse )where I had shoved it oh, so many weeks ago) to prove to him that I, in fact, DID pay to have my tags renewed, because you know, I wasn't an idiot.