Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Long Day

Our dining accommodations have moved from the eat in kitchen to the dining room while we rip out the kitchen...we're very formal!
3:45pm - A very overwhelmed man and a scared dog
7:55pm-What happens when a double oven tips over
10:20pm - Our deck...we're the new PWT neighbors
10:45pm - Ripping out the floor
11:22pm - Still ripping
12:30AM - Calling it a day. We didn't get the floor completely up but Brad is understandably exhausted. The biggest accomplishment of the day was both of us avoiding a tetanus shot!

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Student Orientation

Yesterday I took Baileigh to her new school for new student orientation. She was nervous and acting a little shy. Her new teacher seems very nice (but I was told that she still likes Ms. Ginsburg better)...that was her K teacher. We sat through an assembly and then got to go to her room to meet her teacher and look around. We met 5 other students who are also new to her school and in her class. She is especially excited about having a desk to call her own since they sat at tables in kindergarten.

Walking into the assembly I immediately noticed the dozen or so people in various military uniforms amongst the crowd of about 100 families. The Vice Principal asked how many new students came from military families and I would say that nearly 75% of the crowd raised their hands. I think it was good for Baileigh to look around and know she isn't the only kid who has to move because their parent serves in the military.

I was completely unprepared to be fighting back tears in the midst of listening to rules about snow-days and dress codes. I didn't really feel it had anything to do with the idea of my first born heading off to her first year of full day school. Maybe I can blame it on the pregnancy hormones but in reality at the core I was flooded with emotions about all these military families and the sacrifices that they make. I usually don't see myself as one of them for some odd reason, but sitting in a room full of transplants and thinking about the transitions and adjustments put upon the families and the kids suddenly hit me hard. I don't know if that makes any sense. Maybe I'll just go back to blaming it on the pregnancy hormones.

Another small part is the fact that I can tell Baileigh still thinks her old school is better. It was a newer school so it had a different feeling about it physically and more modern amenities..I can see how in her 6 year old mind she equates it with being "better". This new school is one of the best in the area and receives a rating of a "9". It's one of the reasons we tried so hard to find a house in this neighborhood, even if it had to be a fixer upper.

I think in about two weeks she'll love her school. Actually I think after we get to walk to the ice cream social (the school is in our neighborhood down the street) on Friday night that she'll love her school. But if that doesn't convince her then I'll give her two more weeks and I think she'll be sold.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank You!

Yesterday our wonderful friends drove down from NJ to spend a little time with us. The visit was quick, but it was great to see them and be around familiar faces.

We took a quick dip in the pool to get some energy out before dinner. There was one boy and his dad there but otherwise the entire pool was ours!
Mckenna and Lila
Emma and Baileigh

We headed out for a yummy dinner and then home for some popcorn and a movie.

Once we wore the girls out we got busy painting. Surprise! Even with a house guest the projects there isn't much else to do in our house right now anyway.

What a good friend to drive over three hours one afternoon to help me paint into the wee hours of the morning and then drive three hours home the next morning!

Thank you for taking the time to visit us, living amongst our mess, sleeping on an air mattress, painting until 1:00am, etc! Now that is friendship!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tonight's Project

The three kids bedrooms are painted (with the exception of some trim) so I'm moving on to the master bedroom tonight. We always paint fairly neutral with resale in mind. The one exception has always been the girls bedrooms. But I'm tired of a kahki bedroom and have convinced my wonderful husband to let me paint it this deep blue/grey color in the photo below. Our bedding will be pretty neutral, tans and whites along with the drapery. The new hallway and laundry area will be a tan color...didn't want to overwhelm Brad with color in more then one room!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Any Ideas?

I know this photo is small so click on it to enlarge it. I'm looking for a framing system like the one in this picture over the couch. I know I could make something if necessary but before I make that decision I was trying to see what I could purchase. I looked at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware but didn't find anything similar. I did some Google searches and no luck so far. I know a lot of you out there are budding designers and photographers so any suggestions on where I can find something similar?

The Night Is Young

It's 11:57pm and I'm getting ready to start painting. Brad is out in the garage cutting some boards as quietly as possible at midnight with a table saw. It seems like we both just get going around this time of night. Unfortunately. I don't think we've gone to bed before 1:30 in several evenings.

We're on a time frame...Saturday our carpet comes upstairs so we're busy trying to paint and do any projects that are easier when you don't have to worry about destroying the floors. This weekend we painted the stairwell and upstairs hallways...probably one of the most challenging paintings since its a two story stairwell. Last week I painted Baileigh and Mckenna's room. Yesterday I painted all the baseboards and the trim around the window...painful! Trim painting sucks...but everything is creme color and just looks dirty so a fresh coat of white paint makes such a just takes forever.

The girls room is called "Pale Apple" and tends to look different in various lights. They also picked out a fan on one of our thousand trips to Lowe's that we finally decided to get for's actually spinning on high in this picture so I think it is pretty cool that it looks like it isn't even moving in the photo. I took this picture a few minutes can see our luxurious accommodations on air mattresses.Brooke's room is chocolate brown and light pink on the top...these colors all look a little off, must be because it was pitch black when I snapped the photo. We added a chair rail and yesterday painted all the additional trim. We're going to rent a paint sprayer and spray all the doors white sometime this month.
This is the room I'm about to tackle. It will eventually be the nursery...Mckenna and Baileigh may split up until March because bedtime has been a nightmare and I'm too tired to deal with it, if so this will be Mckenna's room for awhile. The light blue isn't bad but we decided while we were painting to just neutralize it to a creme color and make changes once the baby arrives.
This the project duJour. The one thing I hate about this house is the current laundry room. It is very small and also serves as the mudroom off the garage so you have to enter through it to come inside. There is barely room for a laundry basket on the floor and I can just imagine how confined we would feel entering with bags of groceries and school bags, coats and shoes etc. So we've decided to use the 10x12 "bonus area" (where I've been stripping wallpaper) awkwardly off our master bedroom to create an upstairs laundry. I had an upstairs laundry room once in WA and I loved it! This room will be even larger and hopefully have a counter top for folding and cabinets and area to hang clothes. It also has two skylights in the ceiling that will now be in the laundry room so it won't even feel like being in a closet. We're rushing to get the wall framed and sheet rocked so its done before carpet arrives. The actual room we'll tile but we want the carpet professionally tacked down along the new wall. The plumber is hopefully coming later this week to move the pluming...our master bath is on the other side of this wall so there was already plumbing in the area to run lines off of.

And the of 10 lovely colonial brass fixtures throughout the house will be going...although it could have created a very formal laundry room!

This is the view from our bedroom into our master bath straight ahead...on the left are two closets and now there will be a wall on the right with the same double doors entering into the laundry room.

The family room issue is almost resolved, too. I don't even think I ever blogged about this...we discovered some moisture problems in the drywall over the fireplace. We ended up ripping it all out and found it was just glued to the cinder block above the chimney and over time rain was somehow causing moisture on the block and rotting the drywall. There was absolutely nothing to use to anchor the flat screen TV Brad ordered into the wall. He ended up framing the wall which allowed him to run electrical all throughout it and get these fancy speakers that you actually plaster over and you don't even see.

This is the room with primer on it. You can see wire up top that will be hidden by crown molding but will allow us to put small speakers in the back of the room. You can also barely see the four new lights in the ceiling that we added this weekend. The floors were on our "to do" list anyway so we didn't worry about them during this project. We're going to rent a floor sander this week and buff the floors and then restain them a lighter color.
That is the latest in our home renovation projects. I'm so anxious for this to be done so I can just sit on the couch and relax and take advantage of being pregnant as a reason to be lazy. Brad has taken the week after Labor Day off from work and we have two friends from NJ that are general contractors that are coming to camp in our basement and help Brad install our new kitchen. The cabinets arrive on Friday and the flooring is already sitting in the garage. The combinations of him being on vacation and help from friends has me much less anxious about getting this wrapped up.

Our household goods are in storage but we only have 30 days before we have to start paying...I think that means we're hoping to have our things delivered by September 15ish. That means 20 more days of cold metal folding chairs...I miss my couch!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Phase?

Brooke seems to be going through this destructive stage? Maybe its her two year old way of handling the stress of moving and change...that is the counselor in me trying to analyze her behavior.

A few days ago she ripped fabric flowers off one of her bathing suits. "I don't yike dem fowers, Mommy!" It left huge holes in the suit so I had to throw it away. She also completely destroyed a foam book ripping the cover into 100 little pieces of blue and pink foam. "I don't yike dat piggy book!" Yesterday during her "nap" time (50/50 she sleeps) she somehow ripped a hole in the body of one of her baby dolls and then pulled out all the stuffing scattering it around her room. Her response this time was "oh no, oh no, my baby hurt."

And last but not least, yesterday she decided to take off the pull up she had on during her rest time (in which she had peed) and rip it until it was completely disintegrated with tiny beads of wet diaper insulation spread throughout the room. She also removed the ac/heat register vent off the floor and...I think...was trying to put some of the evidence of the shredded diaper into the duct. I believe I caught her just as this was beginning so hopefully there aren't too many particles of ripped pull-up sitting in our air ducts for us to breath. Thankfully we're getting new carpet in that room next week...and hopefully a new and tighter register. I foolishly asked her why she did this and her response was "I don't yike dat pull-up (the one with the princesses), I yike Dowa (Dora) Mommy, I want a Dowa pull-up!"

I don't remember either of the other girls doing things like this!?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Next Summer

I already know what next summer will look like...lots of hours spent at this pool. This is our community pool in our neighborhood. This is an amenity we've never had before and the girls are so excited. There is also a swim team for anyone over the age of 5 and both girls are already talking about it for next summer.

The thing I like is that it isn't just pool, but it feels more like a resort. Its situated on the edge of a lake with a fountain in the middle. There is also an adult only pool so I don't feel bad about my loud kids in the family pool. Over by the adult pool is a huge hot tub and at the other end near the family pool is a good sized toddler pool that is only 2 feet deep. They also offer four weeks of swim lessons starting late June. On Memorial Day weekend you can buy guest passes for half price...its only normally $3 for a guest so half price is a deal!

Next summer I envision helping Brooke a little in the pool while Baileigh and Mckenna swim independently and the baby sleeps in the infant carrier in the shade over by my lounge chair. I'm sure it won't be as relaxing as that sounds but that is the plan.

The family pool.

The adult pool...empty.

The view of the pool from across the lake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Comparing the Girls

I started thinking about Baileigh's 5th birthday and realized, ironically, that I took her to Red Robin in WA with my friend Stacy and her daughter, Madison. Brad was 2 days away from returning from his 4 month deployment so we were waiting to have our big celebration that next weekend.

I found a picture to compare both the girls.

They even ate the same sundays...complimentary on your birthday!

Oh...and if you read my next post...I realized that the sparkler in the dessert is something they do at the Rainforest Cafe and not Red Robin...oops!

I guess we'll be taking Brooke to Red Robin on her 5th birthday to continue the tradition...but we'll know not to tell her all about the dessert with the sparkler!

Happy 5th Birthday Mckenna!

Today Mckenna hit the big "5". Last night I was a little distraught that I didn't have more on the agenda for her birthday. Life is so chaotic right now...sleeping on air mattresses, wearing our shoes inside so our feet stay clean, eating everything on paper plates while sitting at a card table, searching for clothes out of garbage bags and boxes...the insanity of the past few weeks hit me hard last night and the flood gates opened. I just wanted to give her a special day and considering how stressed and tired and lonely I have felt I wasn't sure how we could adequately pause and give her a great birthday.

Brad went in a little late to work so he could wish her a Happy Birthday...she wasn't up until about 8am (kinda early for her!:). The morning has to begin with the donning of the official family birthday hat.

Daddy and his girls...well 2 out of 3 since Brooke slept until 9:15!
Mckenna opened a few presents this morning including a Webkinz cat from Baileigh. She has been asking for this cat for the past few months so she was pretty excited!
We stopped for breakfast at Panera Bread which is only half a mile away...that could be dangerous.
Mckenna ate the entire cinnamon role by herself.
After breakfast we went to Kidz N Motion which is an indoor inflatable play place that I noticed just down the street.
My little 5 year old monkey!
This little plastic car on a ramp was one of Mckenna's favorite things...over and over and over.
Our old friends (and only friends in the area!) joined us to play...this is Brooke and Anne.
After playing we decided to get smoothies. It was about 11:30am so I thought we would push back lunch a little with this late snack. We went to a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins I noticed but discovered it was 5 days from opening. So we headed the other direction to another DD/BR (no Jamba Juice around here, bummer!) Once we arrived at Baskin Robbins we discovered their power was out so the only thing they could do was scoop ice cream and for only $1 since the power had just gone out. By this time it was noon so the girls ate ice cream for lunch. I think it was the highlight of Mckenna's day!
Continuing in our eating theme we went to Red Robbin for dinner...Mckenna's choice. We were joined again by our faithful, and only, friends. Mckenna dressed herself "fancy" for her big night...including beautiful pink and blue nails I painted at her request that afternoon. She was very excited to see "the bird". Her comment after this picture was "Baileigh, did you see the bird wasn't wearing any underwear!" Our friends spoiled Mckenna with some Barbie toys.
Baileigh, Anne and Mckenna.
Mckenna had talked endlessly about the dessert where you get a sparkler at Red Robbin...something she had seen at least a year prior but remembered. Guess sparkler tonight. Thankfully, being the "worst case scenario" mom that I am...I grabbed my 5 year old candle on the way out of the house and borrowed the waitresses lighter. She was pleased with the "sparkly candle" even if it wasn't a sparkler! Phew, crisis adverted!
I think she had a fun day. Tomorrow we're going to swim at the neighborhood pool for the first time and then open one or two more presents in the evening and have some ice cream cake at home.

That is the summary of our's 9:20pm...parties over, time to strip wallpaper.