Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Home Progression Pics

(The view from our front porch)

I thought I would just post a few pics I've taken lately on our house progression. It's looking like we're most likely going to be moving in the weekend of February 18th - which is literally the day after they get the carpet installed. Ha.


Music Studio

Since my music studio butts up right next door to the boys' bedroom, Will has done a lot of research on soundproofing walls, and has taken great care to make sure my studio will be sound proof.  This will be great - especially since I do a lot of my work late at night after the boys have gone to bed.

The above picture are some of the soundproofing supplies.  I personally cannot tell you what they all are, but I do know that there is special insulation, special sheetrock, special rubber padding, and other, uh, special stuff.  In the end, several layers worth of materials to soundproof the wall.   

We will also be doing a portion of this soundproofing to the downstairs bathroom that is near the kitchen and family room.  So if you come to visit us, you won't need to worry about people outside the bathroom hearing you tinkle. You're very welcome.


The kitchen is definitely the biggest place under construction in the house.  We've all spent a lot of time this past week finalizing our appliances.  We've been trying to get a good deal on our appliances, but also getting good quality.  The hard part about all of that is that you'll find a really nice appliance at one store, but then you've got to match it and you don't always find the matching one for a discount.  

We did finally luck out though.  We found this GE Profile range, normally for $1700 then marked down to $1422 with an additional 30% off on top of that - all because it was a 2011 model that they wanted to get rid of. I really wanted the double oven style and loved this one, and it was a really great range for the price.  So we did get this one.

The problem now, was that we bought the very top of the line range from GE, and couldn't find matching microwave or dishwasher (in the "profile" series) for discounted prices.  However, with a lot of searching, we found some GE rebates and were able to get the matching M/W and D/W at a discounted price as well. So we will now have all matching appliances.

That is, with the exception of our refrigerator....

We found the above Frigidaire appliance, normally a $2200 fridge that we got for $1,000.  It was hard to find a fridge that was this great in the same price range, and so it will be the only non-matching appliance. We are okay with that since the fridge will not be on the same wall as the other appliances so you won't see them side by side to compare.

The photo below is a comparison photo of the kitchen last week, to now.

As you can see, it's kind of a mess right now.  The new cabinets are shipping from Ohio on Feb 7th, so will most likely arrive sometime that 2nd week in Feb.  

The photo below is yesterday - the guys tore out that back sliding glass door, and installed a single glass door (which I didn't get a picture of, sorry).

These are the coordinating lighting fixtures for the kitchen and family room.  The left light is the flushmount for the family room. And then we have 3 of the pendants on the right which will go over the bar in the kitchen.


So, the part of the house that I've always really disliked was the staircase.  You open the front door (new front door in the pic below, by the way) and basically walk right into a coat closet, and the staircase is all sheet rocked in an very claustrophobic feeling.

So far, Will has removed some of the front coat closet, and within the next two weeks he will have it all torn out and be installing wrought iron balusters like below, only with white posts.


So this was the boys bedroom before....notice the gross dirty walls, etc...

 I spent most of Friday painting their bedroom.  I will be continuing with the nautical theme in there.  So I painted a half wall of blue (called "Liberty").  On the bottom half will be white waynes coating, a chair rail, and white base boards.  The room will also have touches of red in it, and they have white furniture. 

I had a heck of a time trying to get the line going along the ceiling perfectly straight.  I used an angled brush and still wasn't happy with it.  Someone suggested getting an "edger", and so I bought one from Home Depot...and oh my goodness, BEST INVENTION EVER.  I'll never draw my lines ever again.  

This is how it looked after I used the edger...

I never ended up getting a photo of the actual lighting fixture, because it was too dark by the time he got it installed, but here is Will putting in the fixture in the boys bedroom. It's a sun & moon fixture that glows in the dark after you turn it off.  We tried it out last night and they were so excited about it!

And then finally, our bedroom....

I've had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with our bedroom.  For the past several years since we've been married, the colors in our master bedroom have been gold-toned, with red accents.  Very rich.  I'm kind of tired of it, and especially now that our living room is going to be red, I don't want our bedroom with the same colors.  And besides, we've had all the same stuff since we got married and it would be nice to switch it up.

I recently came across a theme idea having to do with Paris, anything French, etc.  I want to make our room romantic, and a place we can escape to and feel peaceful in.  So I chose this sagey green color called "Scotland Road".  The above picture doesn't do it justice, as that was taken on my phone.  It dried a little darker than that.  Then when we add white baseboards, new carpet, curtains, lighting fixture, etc...I think it will look really great.  It's an entirely different color scheme than we've had in our bedroom, so it will be different that's for certain.  I want to find some painting/photos of Paris, and eventually get a canopy bed with romantic drapery.


We should have ordered carpet weeks ago, but being something we needed to pick out together, we just had a hard time getting together in order to do it.  Seattle had a crrrrrrazy snow storm last week that shut the city down, with causing a state wide state of emergency.  I know, I know, you laugh because Seattle freaks out when it snows. But with good reason.  It all iced over and then we had windstorms, which basically wiped out a lot of our lovely trees. It's a sad sight now to drive down I-90 and see all the trees blown over or broken on either side of the freeway.  Our home in North Bend lost power for 4 days, and some people had it even worse.

But we finally were able to go carpet shopping. NOT AN EASY TASK.  I guess I never really cared about carpet before because I'd never had to shop for it.  So I was really unaware when going to the store to pick it out.  And Will and I realized that we had completely different tastes in carpet.

For one thing, Will has been in the home/commercial building market for years, and is really up to date on current home trends.  He showed me the current carpet trend that they were installing in the John Buchan homes when he was working there, and my reaction was "Ewe."  It is that shaggy twisty type of carpet.  I really thought it looked like 1970's shag.  Not interested.  I wanted more traditional carpet, but super soft and lush.  And that's the thing about me - put two items in front of me and I will no doubt always inevitably pick out the more expensive one even without seeing the price.

It took an entire week of carpet hunting, and feeling hundreds of different carpets, comparing prices, and yadda yadda before we finally came to a compromise - if you can call it that.  I don't know if Will feels it was a compromise since we still ended up spending more than he wanted, but at least we both agreed on the carpet itself.  We went with a traditional soft carpet for the living room, and a twisty carpet for the stairs and upstairs.

Anyway, that's all for now. Our new hardwood floor is sitting in boxes out in the garage.  As soon as the guys are done texturing the sheet rock and done sawing stuff up and framing stuff, we'll be done with all the messy stuff (oh, except for the stairs) and Will can get started installing the flooring.  Then cabinets, then granite, then carpet....somewhere in there new interior doors, baseboard, and staircase. Haha.  Lots to do in the next 3 weeks!

Oh, and thank you Elizabeth and James for watching our boys on Friday and Saturday!  We were able to get so much done. Normally one of us is having to watch them, while the other gets something done.  And it's crazy trying to keep them from the nails and scraps laying around the house.  Not to mention all the painting stink, the noise, etc.  So it was nice to have them get to play with their cousins and have a slumber party!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trauma Drama

So for those who missed my post in December about how I won mother-of-the-year by traumatizing our 3 year old, go here.

For the rest of you, here is part two of the ongoing saga.

It's actually super sad that I am having to write about this again, but at least if Preston should ever wonder why he has a fear of being left alone, he'll have our family blog to go back and read all about it.

So the other night, I was having a rather challenging night as a mom.  Not because my kids were being crazies but just because things kept happening, like Taylor rolling himself right off the diaper changing table right as I turned out only to find him face-planted on the ground (followed by a wailing scream from a stunned kiddo).

Well and then later that evening, after I'd gotten them both to bed, I went to my office like I do every night to try and finally get some things done that I can't really get done during the day when they're awake (keep in mind I've basically been a single parent for months now).

It was about 9:30pm, and I heard Preston up out of his bed.  He's been doing this thing for the past month where it takes like 10 tries to finally get him in bed and staying there.  It usually goes, in this order:

1.  "Mommy I have to go potty!" (even though he just went to the bathroom like 5 min earlier).
2.  "Mommy I have to go poopy!" (and me, every single night, asking "Why don't you please go poopy before you get into bed instead of after?").
3.  "Mommy my water bottle is all empty!"
4.  "Mommy stay with me for 5 minutes." (which I do).
5.  "Mommy I need you to put my blanket on me".
6.  "Mama I have to find my flashlight!"

And the list goes on.  And after each of these, I have to get him back into bed. Again.  It seriously takes an hour.

But the other night, it was different. I knew he had already been asleep for at least 45 minutes so it was weird that he was up walking around.

So I got up to go to his room, only he wasn't there.  Then I hear him downstairs crying.  First, I was concerned because why would he be downstairs all by himself?  He never goes downstairs alone if I'm upstairs, especially when it's bedtime.

I could tell it was one of his scared cries, so I hurried down the stairs. I found him standing near the bottom of the stairs crying, big huge tears down his cheeks, and hands down his pants (a comfort mechanism he does, which I wish he would use his pockets instead of his underwear. We've been working on that).  Anyway as I was hurrying down the stairs I was asking him "Preston, what's the matter? Why are you crying? ...Why are you downstairs?"

I got a hold of him at the bottom of the stairs, and pulled him towards me.  He was really scared, like kind of doing a little dance and acting really nervous.  Then I heard a little trickle trickle and realized he was peeing his pants.  Huge puddle underneath him, all the way through his pajamas, all over me too (because I was holding him close).  Preston does not just pee his pants.  He has only had an accident one other time in the last 6 months and that was when he climbed to the top of the SUPER high slippery-slide at McDonalds and then looked out and realized how high he was and freaked out. Peed his pants.

I just held him for a minute, and tried to calm him down. I asked him if he had a bad dream, and he just halfway nodded his head while crying.  He wouldn't really answer any of my questions.  After a minute, I told him that we needed to take his wet PJ's off and get cleaned up.  I said it in a really nice voice because I felt so bad for him, I didn't want him to think he was in trouble for peeing his pants.  Well, then I decided he just needed to take a bath because it was everywhere and it might also take his mind off of things.

So I filled up our master bathroom tub and put him in it, and sat there asking him questions and trying to make him feel better. He STILL looked stunned.  Yeah, I was totally concerned.  I kept thinking "What in the world scared him THAT bad??"

After his bath (at 10pm!), I asked him if he wanted to watch Elmo and he did. So I popped a bowl of popcorn and we sat on my bed and watched an episode of Sesame Street. That seemed to do the trick, because he was feeling much better and much more tired too.  When it was over, he let me take him straight back to bed and he fell right to sleep.

Afterwards, I went back to my room and started getting ready for bed and still feeling really concerned for Preston, I was trying to think in my head "Did he watch a scary movie?  Was there something he saw that made him have a nightmare?"

And THEN, it dawned on me.


I realized, he must have woken up, went looking for me but saw the lights on downstairs and went down there.  He was probably halfway out of it and realizing that I wasn't down there, he probably thought he was all alone again (just like my previous post I mentioned earlier).  I imagine he must have relived his trauma all over again and just started to freak out.

Once I put the connection together, I felt SOOOOOOOOO terrible.  Wow.  Like ultra terrible. What have I done to my child??

And that wasn't the only other time either. Last week my mom came over to watch the boys while I went to the store.  I didn't say bye to Preston because he was too busy being excited that Grandma was there and so I snuck out the front door.  When I got home like 45 min later, my mom said Preston was up in his room crying for me. It was so weird, because usually he is so excited when Grandma comes over.  And it was then that I realized that he must have thought he got left.

I guess I didn't realize that something like this could traumatize a 3 year old so badly, and for so long. The first incident happened over a month ago and yet he is still deeply affected by it.  I do know though, that Preston has a really really good memory.  Yesterday we were going to Costco and as we passed Target, he told me that that was the store where we bought his car puzzles....which was over 6 months ago. I was amazed he remembered that!

So anyway.  I'm trying to make an effort now to make sure he always knows where I am and where I'm going, and that I'm continually reminding him that I would never leave him alone.  He is usually such a tough independent little guy too, and sometimes I forget that he does need his mom more than I think he does, or more than he will admit he does.

That's it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowed In...Sort Of.

We all know that the phrase "Snow in Seattle" is an oxymoron.

And when it happens, people stay in, stay home, close everything, OR they venture out and become the world's most wreckless freaked out drivers over 2 inches of the white stuff.

We opted to stay in today.  Church was not cancelled, but we decided to not brave our icy hill, as we got word that my Dad had actually crashed his car this morning going down their hill. He ran into a guardrail and the whole right front end is all smashed up. :(  Having 9 am church when the temps are still really freezing, underneath that skiff of snow is actually a lot of ice.

So instead we went for a walk in it!
It was Taylor's first time walking in snow. He wasn't so sure what to think about it.  Nervous at first, but then eventually got brave.  Wouldn't cross the street though, or step on any big chunks of snow.

We were really hoping Preston would like the snow this year - as the past 2 years in a row he has been scared of the snow and cried when we tried to get him to play in it.

He did cry, but after a while, he finally warmed up to it and actually went down a sledding hill several times with Will.

Taylor eventually got really tired of it and started fussing, so I went home and got the jogging stroller and put him in it. He felt much more secure there.

This was a photo I took from my phone yesterday - it was such a blustery day. White caps on the water and soooooo cold!

Last night, Will and I had a date night! Yippee!

His work had a holiday/winter party at the EMP in downtown Seattle (Experience Music Project). It's the totally weird, somewhat ugly building that is underneath the Space Needle at the Seattle Center. It's more or less a museum of music pop culture music history.

So I got my bling on and got all dolled up...

And we had a fun date night...

I was rather disappointed that for being the MUSIC history center, they didn't have a single piano to play on in the building.  And just when I was craving one...

In other news....more on our house.

Out with the old chandelier, and in with the new....

I will tell you that we got that entry chandelier for a pretty good deal on and free shipping. I had originally bought a chandelier from Lowe's, but it wasn't really what I wanted and I felt like I was settling.  So when I found this one online, I ordered it and we returned the other one.

This is the light fixture for my music studio - but not entirely put together.  It is going to be pretty sweet though when all hung up. We are waiting until we get the sound buffering sheet rock on the walls installed - as they will be spraying that gross smelly sheet rock stuff all over the place.  I don't want to get it on my pretty chandelier. :)

The End. For now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Update

Life in Limbo.  That is us lately.

To and fro, back and forth.  One of these days we will all live under the same roof again.  In the meantime, our cars are guzzling gas and Home Depot is making bank off of us.

So here is the update on us and our house (since that is what we've been up to mostly)...

As you can see, I think we've finally got the kitchen figured out.

It was no easy task.  We shopped around and number crunched until we were so sick and tired of cabinets. We were trying to decide between:

- Keeping old cabinets, sanding them, and adding to them.
- Getting in-stock pre-made cabinets from Home Depot, and staining them.
- Buying all brand new custom made cabinets

We ended up going with the last option, because, as it may surprise you, it was pretty much the same price.  By the time you move things around, spend time sanding, buy supplies, add to cabinets, and whatever only came in slightly under what it would cost to just buy all new cabinets.  AND we ended up getting our custom cabinets from Home Depot at an amazing price - as they currently have some great specials.  Basically, we are getting the high-end cabinets with all the fancy extras (hardware and crown molding, no-slam doors, etc.) at the same price as the basic cheap cabinets.

It did take a lot of thinking and creativity to get the final kitchen design to work.  The kitchen is long and narrow, so it was hard to do anything BUT a peninsula (we tried an island and it didn't work).  But as you can see from the photo above, we've created a LOT more working space within the kitchen, there won't be anymore overhanging cabinets so that opens up the space a lot more too.  Some other changes we are doing:

- Moving oven to the wall
- Adding microwave above oven (there was no m/w before)
- Replacing old sink with new black composite sink (scratch resistant and basically indestructable)
- Adding hard wood floors
- Putting in all new stainless steel appliances
- Adding granite countertops
- Adding row of cabinets against wall over oven
- Made peninsula 3.5' X 7.5' (huge) for 4 bar stools.
- Taking out sliding glass door and replacing with single glass door and small window.

In other parts of the house, Will has started to de-construct the entry hall closet. :)

It will eventually be gone so that we can actually have an entry way.  The stairs will eventually be wrought-iron.

I've been looking for LIGHTING inspiration for my music studio.  These all look so if we only had the space.  But my studio is the size of a bedroom, so it definitely won't look like any of these.  But I do love the wood work and lighting and colors in these.  I have ordered my light for the room, but I don't have a photo of it.  I'll post pictures as it progresses.

Other than that, the boys are doing well.  Taylor's newest word (he only knows about 4 words) is "snack", and he says it absolutely perfectly enunciated.  It's funny.  Of all the words a kid his age should be saying, he chooses that one.  Incredible.  And he knows what it means too.

Preston has been an amazing big brother.  Today while I spent about 2 hours in Home Depot with them, Preston pushed Taylor around in a shopping cart in the appliance section, and took care of him.  I would just hear them giggling in the distance (so I always knew where they were), and everyone kept commenting on what well-behaved children I had.  I was a proud mamma.

I have had my 3rd dental visit in 2 weeks.  I think our insurance and us are probably officially funding my dentist's vacations this year.  And Advil has been my friend lately.  Blah.  (3 fillings, 1 crown, and a deep clean).

Anyway, things are good, just busy and stressful.  But it's a GOOD stressful.  So yep- that's us lately.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

House Progression

We've been spending a lot of time at our new house, getting some things fixed up on it.  

Correction:  WILL has been spending a lot of time at our new house fixing stuff.  He "lives" there now and comes home on Sundays for church. We miss him tons, and it only adds to the motivation to hurry and get this home renovation project sped up so we can be together as a family again soon.

The boys and I have taken two extended weekend trips down to the house to paint and hang out with Will.  Our most recent trip was the day after Christmas, and we stayed from Monday through Thursday.  Preston got a plastic tool set in his stocking and was excited to get to help Papa "fix" the house.

Several friends have mentioned wanting to see before/after photos, however, to be honest there is not a whole lot to show you yet.  Our "fixing it up" financing will finally be going through this week, which means our contractor will finally be starting work this week as well.  So everything we've done up to this point has mostly been prep-work. 

Will has:

- Pressure washed the roof and removed years worth of moss and gunk, as well as from the gutters.  
- Pressure washed the siding of the house - as we won't be able to actually paint until the summer.  But at least we'll look clean now.  
- Replaced all of the heaters with new units and new thermostats.  
- Replaced all of the gross old toilet seats with brand new seats (which means we can all pee in peace now).  
- Replaced all of the bathroom fan units.
- Installed our new dining room chandelier.


The most recent fixes we've done, is we got the new fireplace installed.  When we bought the house, there was no fireplace.  Well, I mean, the space was there, but the actual fireplace unit had been removed.  I'm not sure how many of you have had to purchase a new fireplace unit before - but it's not cheap.  But we did it, and are very excited to have future cozy fires in it.  We got one with a built-in fan in the hopes that it will be able to heat most of the house and save us on our electrical bill.  

Here is a before/after photo of the fireplace.

We plan to eventually replace the tile around the fireplace with granite to match the granite in the kitchen.  We will also be painting the current mantle white, and adding new white matching pieces that extend up to the ceiling with a arch.  The walls will eventually be painted a rustic light green color.

A project that I have tackled is getting some of the painting done.  Whoever owned this home before, I can honestly say that they never touched this house with new paint (and probably didn't clean either? Yuck).  The walls are all very gross and dingy, and so splatting some new paint on has given the home some new life, not to mention make it feel a lot cleaner.

Living Room/ Dining Room Progress

I have been wanting a red dining room for years, but have never been able to do it since we've been renters. Well now I have finally been able to do that.  It took a while to find the right shade of red though.  I tried 4 different shades of red, but the one I ended up choosing I had gotten from a neighbor's house who had red walls.  I ended up going over and asking her if I could steal her paint color, and she gave me her can of paint so I could color match.  It's sort of a "barn red" color.

As you can see from the picture above, I didn't take the red paint all the way up to the ceiling because we will eventually be adding white crown molding around the ceiling.  I'm going to have fun decorating this room.  I love very traditional styles, and while we are going for more of a "Craftsman" look for the rest of the house, this room in particular will be more chabby-chic/French provincial.  Or as I would like to call it, my Versaille (Marie Antoinette's palace in France).  

Will installed his first chandelier ever. We were excited when we flipped the switch and it turned on. :) Success.  I found that chandelier for an amazing deal at Home Depot - it was going out of stock. It is regularly around $200, and we got it for $49.99.  As you can see from the old 1990's chandelier Will is holding in his hand, the new chandelier is quite a huge improvement, not to mention a more updated look.  You can click to view it larger.

The funny part, is after we installed the new chandelier, we were finally able to actually have enough light to see in that room better, and I saw all the spots I had missed painting.  Next week will be coat #3 of the red paint. Ugh.

We will eventually be adding similar-style wall sconces, and nice white baseboards.  I hope to either eventually sew my own curtains for the room, or better yet find some at an amazing deal.  Any curtain makers out there have ideas, let me know.

The Kitchen Mess

So, being that the kitchen is going to be the most centralized and well-used area of the house, it will be one of the bigger and more expensive renovations we are doing.  

We are COMPLETELY re-doing it.

As you can see, we've got our work cut out for us.  Not sure if you can follow my little drawing, but that is the basics of what we're doing.  We will have hard wood flooring all through the kitchen to the family room (where the fireplace is).

We're still trying to figure out if we want to order completely new cabinetry, or try sanding these ones down and restain them. We would really like a dark cherry wood floor/kitchen with dark grey granite.  That is something Will is still doing some number-crunching on.

What's next...

This week our contractor is starting work on the back exterior.  One of the problems with the house is rain had gotten underneath the back siding and started seeping into the wall and going into the downstairs bathroom.  There is a mold issue. So is stripping the siding, fixing the issue, and then tear down the sheetrock/mold out of the downstairs bathroom.  We will also be adding the additional wall in the kitchen and then putting in the new back glass door.

Getting the water damage issue under control is the first priority, and then after that is done they will start on the kitchen.

Wanna see the rest?

I haven't really posted pics of the rest of the house, because I've been wanting to wait until we had more progress so you could see before/after.  However, now that you've already seen how dirty/dingy the home currently is, I guess I don't mind just going ahead and showing you the rest of it.  So here is your little tour....make sure to wash your hands afterwards. Ha.

So there you have it. Our "new" home. Haha.  It definitely has a lot of fixing up to be done, but hey, we got an amazing steal on the home as it was a foreclosure.  We ended up paying only $117,000 for it - which for the eastside in Seattle is really amazing.  Once we are finished fixing it up all cute, we hope to have raised the value to between $250K - $300K.  We are putting so great sweat equity into it.  Literally.

Tomorrow morning I'll say goodbye to Will again for the next 2 weeks, and it's back life as a single parent for me.  I won't say it's easy.  It's definitely hard, and I'm exhausted from it. We will be so excited to finally be back together as a family.  We will be moving at the end of January. Obviously we won't have the house done by then, but we're hoping to at least have the kitchen done, the flooring, and carpets.  The rest will happen after we move in (baseboards, etc.).  We will also be replacing any and all doors in the house, not sure if we're doing that before or after we move in though.

I have Christmas photos to post, but will have to save that for another day. Until then, enjoy a few sneak peeks from our Christmas below...