Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Work in Progress

Along with the family room, the entry hallway is also being repainted. Here is a before picture. After pictures should follow sooner than the family room pictures as this is a smaller room. See the lovely blue door! Imagine an entire house with trim that color--welcome to our home 4 months ago.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Room Beginnings

So the process of redoing the family room has begun. Prior to moving in, we had removed the blue carpet and staples, screwed the floor down, sealed the pet odors into the plywood, painted the trim and ceiling, and removed the wallpaper border. The past week or so we have removed all items out the room, and Josh began fixing the walls this weekend. As you can see, this is a long thin room that exits on one side to the back porch and on the other to the garage.

And here's the lovely fireplace. Oh, right, you can't really see it with all of that junk stacked in front of it. Don't worry, I'll get right to moving it out of the way for the picture. . . on second thought, we'll show you it once we're done.

So all we have left to do is:

1. sand and prime the walls
2. touch up along the ceiling (there was a wallpaper border there, so when we painted the ceilings we couldn't get right up against the edge)
3. paint two coats of color onto the walls (color still to be announced--thinking a blue)
4. install new outlet covers and wall vent covers
5. install the laminate hard wood flooring
6. install new floor vent covers
7. purchase or find furniture for the room
8. decorate

As you can see, it should be done in no time, especially with our fast-paced work ethic of late! I'll post the after pictures sometime next year. (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Why is it that when you are home all day that going out to get the mail becomes a thrilling enterprise? Why is it that you get excited when the doorbell rings and you glance out the window to see the back of a brown UPS uniform retreating across the yard and a taped up box sitting on your front step? Maybe it's just me, but my senses have been heightened in anticipation of the art poster/pictures I ordered for the living room. So today when a truck (other than the garbage truck) began to slow and stop in front of our house, I anxiously ran to the window, yes, just like a kid on Christmas morning. After watching in confusion as the man fussed and fidgeted with this and that, I realized it was not a tan cardboard box he was leaving me, but this (and no I don't mean the mini-van):

This is how Josh plans to deal with The Jungle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My husband arrived at the doorstep last Wednesday night after an evening of father and sons golfing with a decree: "Thou shall bake cookies and Amish Friendship bread for me to take to my golf outing next week." Okay, maybe it wasn't delivered like that, but the time of "Hey, I was wondering if you could PLEASE HELP ME bake this for next Wednesday", has long past, that is if it ever existed. And in all honesty, my reaction did not fall into either of the typical wife stereotypes: one of disgust and grudging acceptance or one of glowing admiration that I get to make this for my darling husband. I will admit a slight sigh escaped my lips, as my first choice would have been something easy such as chips or plates, even brownies with the 3 ingredient add-ins. But I accepted my task, not even grudging the fact that none of the many delectable foods he will be sampling will ever pass my lips. After 4 years of marriage, I realize that doing so in a good humor will pay off in the long run. Such as when I have to explain that the clothes are still in the dryer because I had to rerun it due to one of Madilyn's disposable diapers being in the load. Or when I call my husband to tell him that I've locked the keys in the car and the car has been running for about 6 hours in the school parking lot. Yes, I've had my moments as well.

So it is with this task in mind that I set out tonight to bake. I decided to use the convection oven for the first time (having only used it so far as a conventional oven). And let me just say that it is UNBELIEVABLE!!! I had 4 trays of cookies in it on 3 different shelf levels, and they are all, ALL, did you hear me, ALL, equally cooked to perfection! I made over 4 dozen cookies in a matter of 10 minutes of baking! I KNOW! It's amazing. It leads me to believe in the 1950's archetypal housewife wearing the apron and at any minute extracting cookies from her nicely polished kitchen. That's right, I am women, wife, and mother--see me BAKE!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Porch Expedition

As promised, here is the much anticipated porch tour. Now in our previous home, we had a small, used, but beautiful back porch. It had a cathedral ceiling with wood beams and looked out on a lovely decorative pond. (Anyone interested? It's still for sale.)

Our new house also has a back porch, which is larger, but frankly it is ugly. You enter it from the family room, and as you exit the house, you feel as though you are going to hit your head on the ceiling of the porch. Once you step into the porch it feels larger, but it definitely does not help you feel at one with nature.

Here is the full view of the porch:

Part of the problem are the side windows (see below), which are small and difficult to see through. They make you feel trapped.

The beams are beautiful, but are covered in mold! Yuck!

The far end of the porch has a large expanse of window, but unfortunately, the screen doors don't open.

The door that does allow you to exit has a baby gate in it, as we think the previous owner's dog broke the screen.

This door leads to. . . not to our swing set, yard, and paver porch, but to a path?

That continues. . .

And continues. . .

Until you reach the part of the yard you wanted to be in. There you can see where our AC unit originally was located. It definitely helped fill in the gaps in conversation, as it was difficult to hear yourself think when it was running.

Here is our new AC unit.

And it's new home, on the side of our house.

We of course have many plans for our porch, such as moving the door to where the old AC unit is located, putting in new larger windows, putting down tile or painting the concrete floor, etc. These are of course at a later phase of home renovation as the inside and landscaping will come first.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Living Room Curtains

I know, you are all sick of hearing about my curtains (so am I)! Just be thankful that I haven't included you in my internal dialogue about artwork to hang in the living room. My sister can attest that I am the most indecisive person in existence, at least when it comes to decorating. I have been mulling over living room art for the same amount of time as the living room curtains. But I am happy to say the curtains are hung (mostly), and yes, I'll show you pictures today! That's right, TODAY! And the art for the walls is ordered and on it's way. Finally, my bare walls with get some much needed help. But enough stalling. Here are the living room curtains:

The valance is hung as it will be. The dark blue funny looking fabric below it is a sheet that is demonstrating my future plans to create tie-up shades/blinds with ties that match the floral fabric. The plan is to have the shades/blinds go with the curve of the window seat. Currently, I'm not sure I like how the trim around the window shows. Any thoughts on that or suggestions? I was trying to avoid curtain panels as the main walkway into the living room is right in front of the window. On the base of the window seat, you'll see fabric as well. This is a panel of the checked fabric that is going to cover a window seat cushion.

And here is my living room with all its naked walls soon to be remedied. I also plan to make two throw pillows out of the floral curtain fabric.

So that's it. Don't forget about the porch tour coming later this week! Well, I guess either tomorrow or Saturday, as the week is running low on days.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Go Figure

So as usual, when we try to install or have installed anything in our home, something goes wrong, is missing, is broken, etc. So today, we found out we were missing some type of metal box (don't ask me the name; I'm really clueless on this one). So they will be returning tomorrow to install this part and finish setting up the new AC unit.

On a productive note, I did get around to pinning my curtain valances together (no gaps between them anymore). I'd take a picture for you, but. . .

1. I'm lazy.

2. The room is a mess (aka Madilyn decorated it).

3. Did I mention I was lazy?

So while you develop some mental images of what my valances might look like. I'm going to go lay down and read for the all of, maybe, 20 minutes of Madi nap time still existing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Announcing. . .

On Wednesday, September 17th the installation of our new air conditioning unit will take place! (Finally) And with such we can say goodbye to all the hot weather as I'm sure the weather will shift into beautifully cool days.

(However, the unit controls our heat as well, sooo I think I'll be glad we have it in a month or two.)

Check in later this week for a tour of our back porch! And yes, it is equally as well designed as our ancient appliances, jungle of a landscaping, and plethora of blue decor proved to be.

Winter Finds

So my main goal at Saturday's yard sales was to find Miss Madi some new shoes. This is mainly due to the fact that somewhere between the library parking lot and Josh's work parking lot a sandal went missing. They were on her feet when she go lifted into the car and only one remained when she was taken out. We've looked everywhere, multiple times. So in an effort not to have to wear sandals that were too big or sneakers to church, I set out to yard sale. However, it was not my luck to find any shoes even close to her size. . .

But. . . I did find lots of clothing for her! I got a snowsuit outfit for her with pink overall type snowpants and a pink coat. I also got another purple coat suitable for winter weather. And some winter hats. And some long sleeve shirts and long pants. I found it all at one yard sale (which always seems to be the case), and they were priced amazingly. $5 for the snowsuit outfit, $3 for the purple coat, and $1 or $2 three-piece outfits. Great deals! I ended up spending $32 and got home with over 35 pieces of clothing! Very exciting.

Otherwise, I don't have much more to report about the yard sales. I got Josh a Christmas gift, found a valance for maybe the upstairs hallway, and a few toys.

Friday, September 12, 2008


So tomorrow morning I will be heading out into the world of other people's trash to bring it back to my home of treasures. Yes, I will be making my way to some yard sales without a little one in tow might I add! I know, I know, yard sales and a timeout from Madi all in one! Anyone want to tag along?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's a POOPIE party!

No, not poopie as in something you might find in Madi's diaper. It's a P.O.O.P.I.E. party, as in People Opposing Objectionable Pretend plants In the Environment. Over at Nesting Place, people are sharing the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly when it comes to using fake plants in decorating. So I decided to participate. Unfortunately, I only have two fake plants at the moment, so I can't even demonstrate all three kinds (good, bad, and ugly). But I do have one good (at least I think so), and one is down right U-G-L-Y!

Here's the good: (over the master bedroom bed which I have shared before)

And here's the ugly:

The ugly was purchased at a yard sale. You can see that sticker with the price, and you can see that layer of dust. My plan is to remove the hideously old and dusty ivy, clean the entire thing, maybe spray paint it black, and reassemble with something different in place of the ivy. I'll share the finished product when I'm done, but no promises as to when it will be completed. We are starting the process of renovating our family room--that means removing everything from it, finishing sealing the floor (yucky pet odor so long), fixing walls, painting walls, laying flooring, etc. So we have quite a task ahead of us. But I promise some day, some room will be completed. . . maybe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On a Funny Note

Just thought I would let you know that as I was writing the past post, I felt like listening to some music, and proceeded to the Sesame Street Video site planning to listen to some of their rocking tunes. As my cursor navigated it's way to the bookmark bar, I realized that Madilyn is wearing off on me, and my music of choice has fallen to the level of Bert cavalcading across the stage belting out "doing the pigeon". Now in my defense (though I think I'm too far gone to be anywhere near winning this battle), Sesame Street music has come a long way. If you don't believe me, go to their site, and check out some of my new favorites from their featured video section: The Shoe Fairy and Fiesta : 1 2 3 4. Though I can't offer you any advice on getting the tunes out of your head once you are done; they reside in mine continuously.

An Organized Garage

So I'm sorry to report that my curtains are still not hung, but hopefully this evening they will be, and pictures will be up tomorrow.

But to help assuage the disappointment, here are some pictures of my newly organized garage. Now before you look, please understand this was done on a non-existent budget, so there are no fancy storage containers. And please understand that some of the garage still contains boxes that need to be unpacked once the remainder of the house is completed. So this is no where near the beautifully stylish garage's you might be used to seeing. This is simply an organized garage using what I had on hand. With that being said, here are some pictures. I think even little David, our godson, would be unable to say that our garage was still "too junky to park our cars in", click here if you missed that story. I hope so anyway. Though, umm, the cars are still not parked in the garage. Some day, maybe, before snow.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The curtains arrived today! And they are exactly what I wanted! Stay tuned for pictures. We still have to hang the curtain rod, but hopefully, Josh will get to that in the next day or two.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vacuum, Crunches, and a Helper

Finally, I think my motivation has returned, and none too soon, as there is a ton that needs to be done. I've been busily prepping for Madilyn's First Year Scrapbook (I have from August to Christmas mapped out already), making some decisions about curtains (just ordered these valances from JCPenney), and hanging up pictures. It's funny how a little decision like where to hang 3 framed flower prints can take such a long time. Part of it is that I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and the rest is that I remember how much work it was to fill in all the nails holes when we moved in and repainted. But finally decisions are being made.

As part of my motivation streak, I vacuumed (the downstairs) and did my ab workout. Yes, I know that that really doesn't sound like a lot, but with a 13 month old around, it really takes more time than expected.

Let me elaborate:

To vacuum: First, as you all know, you need to pick up the floor, well, when you have a 13 month old trailing behind you randomly strewing items behind her, it gets a little complicated. Gingerly, you attempt to overtake her as she loops around and around from the living room to dining room to kitchen in your wake thinking she is helping you by removing the very magnet you circumnavigated the downstairs to place back on to the refrigerator's smudged and sticky front. Finally, you can post a defeat, and internally thanking your longer legs, you pull the vacuum from the hall closet. The sound of the door sliding back into place and the vacuum rolling across the floor brings a scampering of little feet, one set of 4 paws racing for the safety of the bed skirt upstairs, and the other carefully plodding along to "help".

Now, Madilyn does not mind the vacuum, but I think we have developed a bad habit. If she is left on the ground or with her daddy within earshot of the vacuum she screams and cries. However, when in her mommy's arms "helping" to push the vacuum, she is blissfully serene. So I plugged in the vacuum, lifted my daughter into my arms, gave the warning couple quick on and offs, then started the vacuum, and began the ardorous process of pushing the beast around the floor with one arm. Midway, through the living room, Madilyn begins to sign. Yes, we have begun to teach her sign language in an effort to make life easier and less whine filled. However, as the sign was repeatedly made with more and more elaborate guestures, the ease of the sign language's intend was fully gone. So I stopped the vacuum, got her a drink, lifted her and the drink back into my arms, and using my other arm finished vacuuming. Let's just say that this is why I DO NOT need to waste time lifting weights.

To Complete an Ab Workout:
This task is actually less of a workout than vacuuming as you get that beautiful relief of sprawling on the floor. The problem here arises from the fact that normally when Mommy is laying on the floor it means that it is time to wrestle. So as expected, Madilyn wanders over to my fully exposed stomach (remember I'm doing crunches, so my arms are supporting my large head), and proceeds to lay on top of me making an "awww" sound. This makes me giggle, which makes my arms and stomach muscles even more weak than usual. I calmly try to suggest that Madilyn go get a book. She toddles away and returns with some baby flashcards in a box. These entertain her for a few minutes, while I get my crunches with a "lever" (extended arm) completed. She then proceeds to stack the flashcards onto my belly watching them raise up and down as I crunch. Loosing interest, she wanders toward my legs, steps on my feet, and having an "ahah" moment (no kidding I saw the light bulb go off) bends down and proceeds to tickle my feet. Mommy's repeated "stop" filled laughs causes Madilyn to instead grab her push corn popper, and wander underneath my raised and lowering legs treating them as train crossing gates. Finally, she spots my hair clip laying near my head and deciding it would look better in my hair, proceeds to grind it into my scalp. So perhaps, next time, I'll do my ab video when she is napping.