What a weekend!

Thank you Mother Nature for trimming our trees, really, we appreciate it. Now could you kindly come and clean up your mess?

I really can't complain, we really weren't too affected by the storm that came through this weekend...unless you count the distraction the storm gave us from our actual work on the house. Everyone else in our family, except Kimmie who was at work, were without power for all of Saturday, and some through Sunday, and my mom up until this morning. I can't say that we were the best place to take refuge, considering we don't have a kitchen and our house has a thick layer of drywall dust covering every inch. Not to mention the lack of guest room, or extra bedding for that matter (we've only been on our own for less than two years, we haven't built up any extra bedding yet). But we were good enough for the evening, until everyone made their way over to Kimmie's house for the night, or back home. Josh's parents lost some limbs, and an actual tree which gave way to Taylor's first sentance "Uh oh, tree down!"

I can't say we were completely unaffected, we were left without phones, cable, and >gasp< Internet. So, we had to find other ways to entertain ourselves, which didn't necessarily mean working on our house. We drove by Perkins Park and noticed that a top of a tree had fallen onto the walkway bridge.

After that, we drove to Crapo Park. They lost a pretty big tree, but it looked like it wouldn't have lasted much longer anyway. The city forestry is definitely going to have their hands busy.

Believe it or not, we did manage to get some work done. Heather and Ethan came up on Friday and Heather scrubbed the floors while I worked on painting five coats of paint on the red section (tinted primer included). The rest of the weekend was spent working on the floor, painting the ceiling, doing a little bit more prep on the walls, and actually getting a coat of paint on the walls.
This is the red section and ceiling painted, I'll post a picture of the walls once they've been edged and painted a couple of times. We're VERY close. Woohoo!

We have a ceiling!

Ita and his guys just left, they got the ceiling put up with the first coat of plaster all before 1:00 o'clock today. Let me tell you, it looks great. Our kitchen finally has walls, floor, and ceiling. It's a real room! They'll be back tomorrow for the second coat of plaster, so it should be completely done by the weekend. Which means, we'll be able to paint the kitchen this weekend! Which, in turns means, I gotta hurry my butt up and decide on the shade of green for the walls, and the ceiling color. I'm also still up in the air about our flooring options. I think staining a checker pattern will be too difficult and time consuming because the stain will bleed under the tape. I'm thinking of painting it, but I've always had a hard time painting wood...like its a sin or something. I just want my kitchen to be a little fun, because as of now, it's very grown up. And I just don't think I'm ready for a grown up kitchen.

In other good news, the snow is melting! It's a balmy 47 degrees with nothing but sun right now, so Jayden and I plan to make the most of it by playing outside this afternoon. We played outside a little bit yesterday, but he bypassed the snow for the new puddles. I should have put him in rain boots instead of snow boots, but what can you do. When he first started puddle jumping, he was squealing with laughter. By the time I got the camera and back outside, he had started spinning for some reason. He usually only lasts two spins before he falls. And just so you know, we did end up taking a mud covered Jayden back into the house. Here's a video for your viewing pleasure:

Also, I have a bunch of random pictures that have been accumulating on my camera, and some are pretty darned cute.

Here is Heather with Jayden, and her other nephew Leo.

Jayden is forever trying to help us out with the construction work, even if it means plugging up holes with anything he can get his hands on.

This is from yesterday, he found another puddle. I'm going to miss our peeling paint a little bit once we get a fresh coat on it...I think it makes for a nice 'artsy' background. :)

Stain, paint, or varnish?

I talked to the ceiling guy today, and he said that he'd be here on Tuesday...so by the end of the week we should have a finished kitchen ceiling! Woohoo! So, all we need to do before we can hang cabinets is finish a little bit of sanding on the walls, primer, and paint.
My only problem right now is deciding how and when to finish the floors in the kitchen. Josh and I originally wanted to do a diagonal checkered pattern with a cream and brown stone...but given the size of the kitchen, it was just too expensive. Instead we decided to put down pine flooring. A couple of reasons we decided to go with pine were that we wouldn't have to put down an underlayment, and since pine isn't really anything special I wouldn't feel bad covering it up if we were able to get the nice flooring down the road. I don't really like the color of pine, so I'm not sure if I want to simply varnish the floors, or do something that will take away from the pine color.

Here are my options so far:
  • I could simply varnish the floors, it would be the easiest most time effective way to go.
  • I could stain the floors with a checkered pattern. Here a couple of pictures I found on the Country Living website that made me drool:

  • I could paint a checkered pattern on the floor, like the folks at Enon Hall.

If anyone has any suggestions or pointers, please let me know. I have a horrible time making decisions, and I've made way too many this past year...I think I'm burning out. Our kitchen cabinets are Cherry Shaker, and the walls will be a green with red accent.

Let's just call it Cabin Fever.

Alright, first of all, let me say that I tend to have an overactive imagination. It's usually quite fun, and helped me through many boring teachers all the way up through college. But sometimes, it's just annoying really. Like in the middle of the night. I've gotten spooked in almost every house I've lived in or stayed at. Really any place I've had to spend the night, ever. Nothing weird has actually happened to me, I think I just keep waiting for something to happen.
The root of these fears are movies typically. I'll be doing fine, getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and then I'll think "Wow, I'm not even scared." Mostly because the thought hadn't crossed my mind yet. So immediately my mind starts racing through all of the scary movies that involve bathrooms. So, what usually starts out as a half asleep trip to the bathroom ends up with me sprinting down the hall and diving into bed. Yes, I'm 24 years old and I'm still basically afraid of the dark.
Anyway, to get to the point of today's blog, I've never really been scared in this house at all. It's really pretty amazing, I can get up in the middle of the night, and come back to bed in a complete adult manner. I can even take a bath at night without having to leave the door open (it took me years after watching The Shining to be able to take a bath ever with the door closed, of course I was like 6 when I saw the bathroom scene). Last night, I woke up to my son rocking in bed. If he can't sleep, he rocks, and all we can hear until he falls asleep is "thump thump thump." So last night, I was lying in bed listening to the thumping, and I kept hearing something else. I listened to it for quite awhile, passing it off as dogs howling or pigeons cooing or the wind howling. Every time I'd stop listening so I could fall back asleep, it would come back much louder. I finally woke Josh up, just so I'd have proof that I wasn't hearing things, and he heard it too. It was really creepy, like, sound effects in a scary movie creepy. I'm sure it was the wind or something else explainable, but it's definitely not something that's going to keep my imagination at bay when I'm half asleep.
Also, a couple of other small things have happened. I know it's all stupid explainable stuff..but when I'm awake thinking in the middle of the night, little things can get to me. Like, a few weeks ago, I heard someone banging on the front door. I checked to see who it was, and nobody was there. Jayden must have heard it too, because he kept saying "ooh! ooh!" and pointing at the door. Maybe it was just our infamous Door Ghost :) Yesterday Jayden and I were in the living room having snack time, and I heard a man's voice come from the family room/kitchen area. Once again, Jayden started pointing and saying "Oh!" so I knew I wasn't imagining it. BUT, it did sound like it came over a speaker and I think there is construction going on somewhere in they neighborhood because we keep getting the thump/rattle effect in our house, so it was probably just our monitor picking up on someones frequency.
And after all of that (which wasn't much, I know), I'm still not creeped out in this house. Yeah, it may not be much to you, but for me, it's something. And that's all.

New desk and our kitchen layout!

Well, another weekend has already come and gone...it feels like they're getting shorter and shorter anymore. I found a desk that I liked on craigslist.com, so we spent Saturday driving up to Iowa City to pick it up. It's four separate pieces, we're planning on splitting it up and using the desk with hutch in one area, and the cabinet with hutch in another area.

Here's a picture that the sellers sent me:
I'm not all that wild about the color, but I'll wait a year or so before I make any changes. Mostly because I've got too many projects I'm working on right now to add another. The desk is pretty much the perfect shape and size for the area that we're working with. I don't think I've shared the kitchen plans on here yet, but here it is with the little arrow pointing to the desk space.

On Sunday we finished putting up drywall, added some plaster, and got a start on some of the sanding. Josh also work on getting his stereo system up and going. We added a built in shelving in the living room, and it holds all of our stereo equipment, and DVDs. There are plug ins in every other shelf, and all of the wires run out of the back, and they are wired into the wall. When we had the furnace put in, they had to run some ducts up here, so this was our way to use some of the lost space. Here's a picture, so you can get an idea of it. (It's kind of an old picture, but I'm no good at explaining things, so it's better than nothing)

So, that sums up the weekend. Exciting stuff huh? Apparently we have another winter storm coming, and let me tell you, I am NOT happy about it. After the beautiful weekend, I thought it was over, I thought Spring was coming. Yeah right, there's a supposed 6-10 inches coming our way. Which means that Josh will be stuck out driving in it all day, and Jayden and I will be stuck indoors again. So if anyway has any ideas of ANYTHING I can do to keep Jayden preoccupied. Let me know. The kid is going stir crazy with this weather. And stir crazy kids cause crazy mommas.

A couple of new videos

I thought I'd share a couple of videos of Jayden. He's been keeping me very busy lately, but it's been tons of fun.

The first video is just playtime. He was in such a giggling mood, that I had to get out my camera. :)

The second video is of this morning after bathtime. His vocabulary is expanding constantly right now, and he was actually cooporating with sharing some of that this morning...so I had to grab the camera again!

More kitchen progress

The weekend work went very well, I didn't do much besides chasing after Jayden and doing laundry...but with the help of his dad, Josh got a lot of work done! He finished running the plumbing up to the master bathroom on the second floor, so now we're able to put up the ceiling (by we, I mean our ceiling guy). Right now, we're trying to pick out some paint colors. We'll have an accent wall of red, cherry cabinets, and pine floors. This is the red color we've picked out, it's pretty strong, but I like it. It'll be an accent color throughout the house.
Right now, we're thinking of going with a sage green. But, I'm not exactly sure. I was going to go with a creamy color, but our family room and living room are yellow, so I think it would be too much. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

And, because I like pictures...here are a few from this weekends work!

Aw, isn't that sweet, Josh and Joe working on the plumbing and little Jayden playing with the torch.

Josh finishing up the plumbing. Woohoo! Of course we still have to do the kitchen plumbing, but I'm hoping that that will be the easy part.

And Jayden, cause he's cute.

Resolutions Revisited

I meant to post this last night, but I simply forgot. At the beginning of the year I made a fairly lengthy list of resolutions of stuff that I wanted to finish by the end of the year. We've got one month down, so I thought I'd post our progress so far.

Jayden's Room

  • Touch up floor paint
  • Install and paint quarter round and floor trim
  • Finish shelving
  • Install dimmer switch
  • Blank covers for obsolete outlets
  • Install lighting in closet
  • Paint door

Master Bedroom

  • One more coat of paint on walls
  • Edging on ceiling
  • Plate covers
  • Finish Trim
  • Install Door
  • Install closet lights
  • Run cable to our room

Upstairs Hallway

  • Finish patching cracks
  • Sand
  • Primer and paint ceilings and walls
  • Install lighting
  • Switch plate covers
  • Paint woodwork
  • Install shelving

Kid's Bath

  • Finish Floor
  • Plumbing
  • Order faucet for tub
  • Sand walls
  • Primer and Paint walls and ceiling
  • Finish painting bead board
  • Put up trim
  • Put up and finish door
  • Install Lighting
  • Hang medicine cabinet


  • Sand, primer, paint walls and ceiling
  • Sand and varnish woodwork

Living Room

  • Finish woodwork
  • Finish installing built in media cabinet
  • Finish dresser
  • Finish and install french doors
  • Touch up paint

Family Room

  • Touch up paint
  • Put up woodwork
  • Finish woodwork
  • Install built in bookshelves

Dining Room

  • One more coat of regular paint
  • Top coat paints
  • Woodwork
  • Switch plate covers
  • Door on closet

Half bath

  • Put in ceiling
  • Plaster and sand walls and ceiling
  • Primer and paint walls and ceiling
  • Paint bead board and woodwork
  • Plate covers
  • Hang medicine cabinet


  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Drywall walls
  • Drywall ceiling
  • Plaster, Sand, Primer and paint walls and ceiling
  • Install and paint woodwork
  • Sand and varnish floor
  • Install lighting
  • Install cabinets
  • Install appliances


  • Scrape paint
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Begin landscaping

So far so good, I think. We contacted the guy that did the ceilings in the rest of our house to come in and do our kitchen. He stopped by yesterday and gave us an estimate. It was reasonable enough and we hated doing the one ceiling we did enough, to go ahead and hire him. So we should have a new ceiling within the next couple of weeks!