Tuesday, August 14, 2012

raise the roof

It's been a good two weeks since I last updated the blog and documented the progress on the house. We have had some insane heat, two awesome rain storms (tho one was pretty terrible timing as the old roof had just been torn off and the new one wasn't on yet) and little bouts of sickness for both Monkey and me. But I'm back and will hopefully have a few posts up soon documenting the house progress, some fun with Monkey and possibly a update on my pregnancy.

old roof being torn off and new addtion
 just before the huge storm
Like I said we got rain!! Wonderful, glorious rain. After an entire summer with no more than a drop of rain we got two different storms that opened up the heavens and poured down water from the sky. I thought I had forgotten what it looked like at first. The first rain storm came out of no where. I don't even think there was a 10% chance of rain.  Our roofer had taken off the old roof and framed in the new addition but hadn't gotten to laying the actual shingles yet. This provided a slight problem because where the two roofs met water poured into the existing house. Thankfully the water leaked mostly in the old kitchen pantry where we were already planning on tearing out the destroyed sheetrock and replacing it.

One thing with building an addition and doing a renovation on a house is getting to pick out all the fixtures, finishes and colors. But golly there are a lot of different options out there for EVERYTHING. It's actually overwhelming. You would think that picking a shingle color wouldn't be that hard. Or maybe I'm the only one who thought it wouldn't be hard. I was wrong, dead wrong. So many options and colors to choose from. Brandon and I knew we wanted to do the 30 year architectural shingles, so that decision was easy. Now to just pick a color. One thing that would have made it easier is if we had our siding for the house picked out, but we don't. So we decided we would pick a shingle color and then when we go to choose siding we will go off the roof. Not exactly the idea plan, but you do what you have to do. We went with Tamko Heritage Premium Weathered Wood because it had hints of brown, black, sand, and grey. It will hopefully go with any siding color we choose. I personally think it look FABULOUS on the house :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

hot. but not the sexy type of hot

  After taking all week off from working on the house, Saturday was a jam packed with lots of work. Lots of hours of hot, hot work.
  The house doesn't have central heat and air (yet) and with the new windows in we don't even have window air units anymore. Needless to say the house gets hot, especially when you are working hard. We were all covered in sweat by the end of the day. 
  We are currently in one of the hottest summers that I can remember. The entire county is under a extreme drought and I can't remember the last time we had a good long rain. I actually miss it. A lot. Saturday the high was 107* and that was before you add in the heat index, with that the high was 111*. It wasn't pleasant, in the least. 
Monkey and Grandpa sanding the walls
  Even with all the heat my parents still met Brandon and I at the house in the morning and started working. Brandon worked on replacing some sheet rock in the laundry room and getting that all ready for mudding and sanding. My dad sanded down the walls in the nursery and in Monkey's room that Brandon sprayed with texture to get a even look throughout. Monkey even got in a helped a little bit. Mom and I vacuumed and swept up all the sheet rock and mudding mess. Every time anyone would start one project it seemed like the mess was multiplied by 10.

Cutest slave driver ever
Most of the morning was spent prepping and picking up trash around the house. The entire time we worked Monkey would march around singing "work! work!" she's one pretty darn cute slave driver. 
  After a quick lunch my cousin Josh (the same one that made our awesome floor plans for the house) and his wife Heather came over the help paint. We got the ceilings painted in both bedrooms and closets and the nursery walls are completely painted and the closets are painted too. While we painted Brandon sprayed texture on the hall and living-room walls and ceiling.  Crazy to think that this took all day but it did, and my still swollen legs and feet will attest for all the hours of standing. 
New wall color in nursery

 This week the framers start putting up the new addition walls and roof. Once that is complete then we can get a central heat and air unit put in and the work won't be nearly as miserable. That way when it's 100+* outside we can kick the air up to a lovely 72* inside the house. I was hoping the heat would  subside some but looks like this week is going to be just has hot, or maybe hotter according to the weather man. awesome...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

summer 101

Monkey spent all last week in Disney World with her dad. I missed her more than words can express. Luckily this week it's her and I, and we  have enjoyed hanging around the house together trying not to melt in the heat.

Its. Been. Wonderful.

I haven't been to the new house to work on it one time this week and I'm totally OK with that. We will start working on it again this weekend, but I've really enjoyed staying out of the heat and having Brandon home every night for dinner.

Here are some highlights from the week

  • Snuggling on the couch
  • Watching Tinker Bell over and over again
  • Eating picnic lunches in the living room
  • Waking up way too early (Monkey loves this way more than I do)
  • Napping on the couch together
  • Spending the afternoon with my Aunt Patti, cousin Randi and her daughter Scarlet 
  • Making lemon tarts together and eating too many
  • Swimming
  • Coloring
  • Reading books
  • Playing with princess dolls and animal friends
So pretty much this week has been awesome thus far. I'm ready to see what other awesome things are to come the rest of this week.
What are some highlights from your week? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

dirt to concrete in 144 hours

This was a busy week at the new house. On Monday we had dirt and an old crumbling slab where the new addition would be. We decided to hire someone to dig the footings and pour and finish the slab since we didn't want to screw it up we hadn't ever done it before and Brandon doesn't have time to take off at work right now to learn how to do it. He is completely swamped at work right now because of mid year reviews and he is also being transitioned into a new position. This position will hopefully be a blessing, tho right now is just scary cause it's something new. Even tho he is working 10+ hours a week and has a two hour a day commute he still manages to go out to the house every evening for a while and do what he can. He's pretty much amazing.

I had no idea what a footer was before we started this project
The guy we hired to dig the footing and lay concrete is a local guy who actually lives within a mile of the new house. We felt very comfortable with him, he had a great price and we also like to hire local people. He came out Monday and Tuesday and removed the old slab and dug the footing. I'm glad it was him digging them and not me because the heat has been insane, the average temperature this week was a million degrees 104* and that was before the heat index.
The plumber starting while the footing guys finish up

On Tuesday we also had our plumber come out and start the plumbing. He, like our concrete guy, is from around here and I love him. He reminds me of a sweet grandpa and when he was working told me more than once "well this is above code but I'm doing this like I'd do it in my own house". Oh how I love good old country folks. We are still looking for a framer to build the framing for the addition so on Tuesday we were also getting bids from a few different construction companies. If I had had a hardhat I would have felt like a real contractor!

Can't you see it? The master suite and kitchen/dining room?
The plumber finished up on Thursday, on Friday we had the ground treated for termites (a must here in the south) and by Saturday afternoon we had a 840sq foot slab with plumbing in the exact same area that was just dirt 6 days before. Crazy. Having the concrete in place makes this dream of our addition a reality. We are officially one step closer to our dream house. 
Brandon learned how to texture dry wall this week and got most of existing house textured and David and Brandon replaced all the old windows with our new fancy windows. This week my job is to find paint for the house, even tho I'm pretty sure I know what I want already. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

a baby shower, for thing 2

24 and 26 weeks pregnant with second cousins.
My cousin Randi is in town from Tacoma. It's always great to see her and this trip out was extra special because I got to see her and her precious baby bump. Randi is due with her second child 10 days before my due date with baby #2. It's been fun being pregnant with a family member. When I am dealing with something (morning sickness, swelling feet, food cravings, crazy pregnancy hormones, feeling the baby move for the first time) I can almost always text her and she is dealing with the same exact thing, it's pretty awesome. She's having a little boy and although they won't tell us what his name is going to be, I think I'm already in love with my little second cousin growing inside Randi (yes I know that sounds weird...). 

My sisters and I knew that when she came to visit we wanted to throw her a family baby shower. Since her first born (precious Scarlet) had a Dr. Seuss nursery and was 'Thing 1' we knew that we would be doing a 'Thing 2' Cat in The Hat theme for the shower. As a teacher who loves Dr. Seuss I was very excited about it, tho I wish my classroom wasn't all packed up because all my favorite books didn't get to make their appearance. 
Dear old Cat in The Hat welcoming guests to my aunts house
 (Thanks Auntie for letting us use your house)
 Gift table when guest first walked in. We used some of Randi's favorite Dr. Seuss books and of course a 'Thing 2' running a muck.  
Guest book. Family and friends wrote sweet notes to the baby and signed their name. 
 My sister Ann did most of the decorating and I love how she even added a gold fish to the center piece, I mean how can you have a Cat in the Hat shower without the goldfish in the bowl?
 Thing 2 and Green Eggs and Ham cupcakes. Easy, quick and yummy to make. 
What is better than cupcakes? Cake pop favors to take with you!
  Scarlet playing the 'measure how big the belly is' game. She is just precious.
Cousins, friends. Same thing. 
The whole group.

I was great to have some girl time and some amazing food (cause we all know that's why people really throw parties). It made me even more excited about my own shower (and yes, maybe I'm most excited about the cupcakes than anything else).
What is your favorite part about baby showers? Is it the fellowship with friends? The food? Gathering of family? Or the horrible, terrible baby shower games?

Monday, July 16, 2012

why cats aren't always awesome

So as I mentioned before. The house we bought is 27 years old and still had the original carpet inside. The people who lived there before us obviously had cats, lots and lots of cats. After taking out scraping out the carpeting and padding we could see the urine stained concrete throughout the entire house. This was obviously going to need to be cleaned. I was going to just scrub it with bleach and a scrub brush but after reading online that bleach mixed with cat urine causes a deadly toxic combo I realized that wouldn't work. I do enjoy living after all. After researching it on the almighty world wide web I found that most people can get urine stains out of concrete with just plain old household vinegar. This seemed brilliant, however after going through 3 gallons of it I could still smell the strong ammonia smell throughout the house. Well, so much for the vinegar technique... back to researching.

After talking to quite a few people Brandon and I decided to just seal the entire floor with KILZ sealer. So now the entire house has white painted concrete floors, but no ammonia smell. This is a win. We will be covering up the paint with new flooring anyways, and now we don't have to worry about the urine smell seeping up through our new flooring. *yay* So if any of y'all ever have the misfortune of having concrete that has absorbed an unhealthy amount of urine then paint it, but make sure it's a good sealer. It's really the only thing that works as far as I can tell and it's way simple when you use a paint roller on a stick. Good luck y'all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

divorce. it's part of our life.

This week Monkey is at “The Happiest Place on Earth”, Disney World. She is there while I... am not. She went down to Florida with her Dad, Nana, Papa, aunt, uncle and cousins. I’m both excited for her and beyond sad at the same time. Oh how much I wish I was with her to see her face and hear her squeals when she sees Mickey and Minnie for the first time. They are currently her most favorite things in the world. She also adores beyond measure princesses. She is pretty much going to be in complete love with all things Disney World, especially Magic Kingdom.

I’m glad she is getting to experience and enjoy all these things, but at the same time I wish I could be part of it as well. While she is having probably one of the best weeks of her little 2.5 year old life I, her mommy, won’t be there to experience it with her. This makes me sad. Really sad actually.  Thankfully her dad and I have a fantastic relationship so I can talk to her daily, I’ll be able to see all the pictures taken, and probably a few video clips from the Iphone. But, will I be there to experience the pure joy alongside her? No. Will she be able to point out a princess to me? No. Will she share an ice-cream cone with me as we sit on a park bench people watching? No. And because of this I struggle with being absolutely happy that she gets to see the wonders of Disney World for the first time without me.

I’m sure the feelings I’m experiencing are normal for divorced parents. I knew when her dad and I divorced that she would have two different families and do things with him that she didn't get to do with me, and vice versa. I knew she would be experience things for the first time without me, but that still doesn't make it any easier. Maybe as the years go by things with get easier and hurt less. Whose house will she be at the first day of kindergarten? How about when she learns to ride a bike or goes to the hospital for stitches or her first broken arm? Whose house will she read her first book at? Or go out on her first date? Knowing that she will have firsts at her dad’s house that she doesn’t at mine hurts, but at the same time I know that she will have plenty of firsts with me too. I mean she did take her first steps at my house and a few nights ago she said her first little bedtime pray all by herself (which by the way was beyond adorable “Dear Heavenly Fadder, I love you. Help me sleep good. Jesus is my friend. Amen”). This is something all divorced parents and kids of divorced parents have to go through right? Monkey has a split life. Her parents are her family, they just happen to live different lives in different homes.  

When Monkey's dad and I decided to get divorced we talked a lot about Monkey and what this would mean for her life. Even tho she was only 6months old we knew it wouldn't be easy for her but we decided we would do everything we could to make her life as 'normal' as possible. She hadn't asked to be born into a family that wouldn't last and she deserved to have a 'normal' a life, and as hard as it's been at times I think we have succeeded so far. Monkey is with her dad 50% of the time and with Brandon and me 50% of the time. She has two homes with 3 parents that adore her and she knows it. Both homes are hers and she loves it and I love it for her. I have seen time and time again kids who don't get to see their dad (or mom) more than once or twice a month. I've seen kids heartbroken because the parent who was going to come visit, never showed up. I have friends who have practically no relationship with his or her dad because when the parents got divorced they saw dad only a few times a year, or even worse the ones who once the parents split the dad never came around again.  As much as I know divorce sucks for kids, it doesn't always have to. If the parents can get past their own negative feelings towards each other (at least in front of their kids) and realize that they still have a child to raise together then I think things could end up more "normal" than not.