Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One year ago

Preface: I have pictures to document all of the following happenings... however, they are on our external hard drive that crashed last year, that we're going to have rebuilt (now that tax refunds have come!) and *hopefully* have pictures restored from. So, these thoughts are pictureless (a.k.a., boring) and mostly for my journaling purposes.

One year ago was a crazy time. Looking back at my organizer from last year, I don't know how I wasn't crazy. (or maybe I was? Any thoughts?)

One year ago I was finally setting up nursery for Lincoln, just days before his arrival. And much to the contrast of many 9 1/2 month pregnant ladies, I was actually praying that Lincoln wouldn't come even one day earlier than he was supposed to.

You see, our little house was in BAD need of new windows. I think a few of the windows were actually broken out and only consisted of a single pane storm window. And the majority of them were painted shut. Awesome. And I was more than fed up with our disgusting berber that had been there for who knows how long.

So, of course I took nesting to the extreme and scheduled to have every single window replaced and all the carpet in our house replaced. One week before Lincoln's due date. :-)

It was supposed to happen long before that, of course, but there was a long waiting period at the window company, and therefore carpet installation had to be pushed back as well. But we decided, inconvenient as it was, that it was much better to do these renovations with only one child, rather than two children (and all of their stuff) and a healing mama. Plus, a law regarding lead-based paint clean up was about to be passed, which would increase the price of the window job. So, last-minute renovations are what we opted for.

So there I was, going crazy because I'm HUGE at this point, and fighting against every natural instinct inside of me to set up crib, get tiny baby clothes washed and put away, pack a hospital bag, etc. And because our house was built in 1931, it screams, "I'm full of lead-based paint!" And because lead dust would be flying around during window installations, I didn't want any baby stuff out yet.

10 days away from induction date:
With the help for Gavan (life saver!) we moved out every single piece of furniture from our carpeted rooms and into the garage for three days (except for the bed.... like I was about to sleep on the floor.) I had a handy little chart that was color coded and indicated what needed to be moved, where it should go and when it needed to be moved.

Now this is where Ben thought I was nut-so, cuckoo, crazy, paranoid: in every room that wasn't emptied out, I moved all the furniture together and clustered it as far away from the windows and possible. Then I draped huge, plastic sheets over it all and secured it down to the walls and floor to keep it all protected from dust, dirt, lead, paint-chips etc. I emptied everything off shelves, walls, etc. Everything was covered. Luckily, Home Depot sells these wonderful 9ft x 12ft plastic sheets for $1.50. I think I bought 20 of them. :-)

9 days from induction:
The window guys came and started tearing out old windows. Ben started sledge-hammering away at the fire place hearth. (We decided now would be a good time to remove the fireplace floor). And as he had the floor half way out, we decide on the whim that he should go ahead and remove the fireplace walls too.

Cue the voice inside my head: "Wait, you mean those fireplace walls that we just bricked 4 years earlier?"
Me: Yes, those fireplace walls.
Voice inside my head: "What a waste of money."
Me: Yeah, but we don't even have a fireplace... isn't that odd to just have a brick wall for no reason?
Voice inside my head: "But don't you know this will add days of extra work?"
Me: Yes, I know. But technically, Ben's the one doing it. I'm just the cheerleader.
Voice inside my head: "The big, rotund cheerleader?"
Me: Hey now.
Voice inside my head: "The big, rotund cheerleader who's having a contraction right now?"
Me: Logan was one week late. I'll take the chance.

So it was settled, the entire fireplace was going to come out. I got Logan loaded into the car so we could go camp out at Andy's for the day. I can't remember what we did that day, Andy, can you?

Later that day, Logan and I came home to BEAUTIFUL new windows (windows that I could actually open and shut). And we also came home to a whole lot of mess. Everywhere. I like to secretly think that Ben didn't think I was so crazy after all, when he saw the layer of dust and debris lining the plastic coverings that were protecting all our things.

All through the day, Ben continued to take out all the brick, steel fire walls, the chimney, stick a long rusty nail into his forearm (which later got infected), add more lighting to the ceiling, install a light switch and outlet, repair molding around a window, and then insulate and sheet rock the former fire place.

Mean while, I tried to clean up all the dust and window debris as tactfully as a large-bellied (and ankled) woman can; vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, wiping all the walls down then mopping again, all while trying to keep Logan out of trouble and tools.

8 days from induction:
Ben continued to work on the fire place wall, mudding, taping, texturing, etc. Meanwhile, Logan and I ran around trying to buy another gallon of paint to match the paint of that room that we bought four years earlier. We also emptied everything from our closets in preparation for carpeting.

7 days from induction:
First thing in the morning, Daniel came over to help move our bed out to the garage. Tore out carpet, carpet guys come. Logan and and I leave again. Come home to beautiful new carpet! If you ever wanted to see a gargantuan woman rolling around as best she can on fresh new carpet, then you missed the show. Then Ben and I painted a coat of primer on the walls.

I pondered for a long time (and even drew floor plans) on where furniture should go back into our long, rectangular awkward rooms. Later that night Ben recruited some of his Young Men to help move all our furniture back in.

6 days from induction:
I think I finally got to set up nursery! And paint the new walls. Oh, and put everything else in our house back to where it should be. It was like moving all over again, but it was a nice time to purge and reorganize everything.

Days 5 through 0 were filled with picking out blinds and taking blinds back, picking out curtains and taking curtains back, painting the former fire place walls that Ben had just finished, sewing last minute things for baby, reviewing notes and trying to remember how to birth a baby, and trying to choose a name for baby boy.

Looking back I know our prayers were answered in that Lincoln didn't come early. And I look back in my organizer at times like that and wonder how I got everything done in one day that I did. I know we were blessed, immensely. It made those two days of "rest" in the hospital completely wonderful. And it makes days like today feel a bit easier.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Post

I just published a post about our trip to New York that I actually started back in January, so it's buried now.

But you can find it here HERE

Friday, April 15, 2011

"your Mama don't dance..."

me: [Helping Logan in the Taco Time bathroom]

Logan: "Don't watch me Mom"

me: [I turn around and start groovin' to the music while I wait (...forever).]

Logan: "Could you stop dancing! I don't want to look at you dancing!"


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can you tell this is BYU territory?

"Y" guy

"J" is for Jimmer doughnut

Ben and Logan have a tradition of Saturday morning doughnuts at Provo Bakery (the best). Lo came home a few weeks ago and exclaimed, "I got a J-is-for-Jimmer doughnut!"

(no need to bother taking your coat off or even pick the thing up before diving in... )

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ktichen Cabinet Renovations... What Were We Thinking?

My Dad is a pretty smart fellow if you ask me. Every time I get buried in a project I think of him. Why is that? Well, while living at home I distinctly remember him telling me,

"estimate the money it will cost and time it will take to complete a project, then multiply it times three."

I love my Dad for proving to me at an early age that I am capable of building, creating and renovating many things with my own hands. There has ALWAYS been a project that my Dad is working on around the house (or his shop, or his office, or my grandma's house...). Because of this and my Dad's line of work, he knows a thing or two. For sure.

And one thing that he knows for sure is that things always take longer and cost more than you think they will.

Well Dad, your point has been proven, once again.

Case in point:

What we thought would take a week to complete has turned into three and a half, and what we thought would be a minimal-cost-project has certainly not been minimal in the least.

-One trip to the hardware store actually turned into.... um I lost count.
-One gallon of paint turns into two... and should have been 5 gallons.
-An inexpensive spray nozzle from Harbor Freight turned into a rented airless sprayer (and a couple swear words too).
-"Measure twice, Cut once" turned into "Measure twice, Cut once, then patch more wood in because it's still the wrong width."
-One day of paint-drying time turned into days of cold, rainy weather and therefore multiple days of drying time.
yada, yada, yada.

What have we learned?
1. My husband is AMAZING.
2. We discovered the BEST place to buy molding. Good quality, inexpensive and local.
3. Buying cabinet hardware off ebay is the way to go.
4. Why didn't we do this two years ago?
5. Prayers do get answered.
6. People are usually more willing to help than you think they will be.

But do we love the result thus far? Totally and completely.
Has it been worth it? (Are you asking me or Ben?) Yes! And Ben, what's your answer?

More pictures to come when it's completely done in... who knows how many days. :-)