Monday, February 29, 2016

My Mini-Me





Brian has James as his "mini-me," so I'm happy to have Claire as mine! She is bald (with a baby mullet in the back) and beautiful! Claire is so fun and spunky with a good nature. And I'm not sure if I should be proud or terrified, but her personality is already quite similar to mine. She doesn't talk yet, but she knows how and loves to interrupt with her jabbering. If Brian and I are having a discussion (probably on something controversial!) Claire will come up to us and get between us and join in the conservation. She talks louder and louder to get attention and to make sure her point is getting across. Just like me!


I left my Diet Coke within her reach and she feels quite entitled to sips! She will also go through the trash to find Diet Coke cans and drink the very last drops! I am told by my mother and grandmother that I did the exact same thing. No huge surprise!

 



It is a true delight to be her mother! 


Friday, February 19, 2016

Renovations to New Home - On going projects


At our house right now we have a couple on going projects that are at started but not completed. This drives me a little crazy and this was what I was concerned about with buying a fixer-upper. But ultimately, I love that we will end up with exactly what we want. But choosing exactly what we want can be tricky. We want to do it right and only do it one time and not have to go back and re-do things because we took a shortcut or were too cheap. But we also are cash flowing every project and don't want to overextend ourselves. And these mentalities explain why our floors are not done yet! (And because we haven't agreed!)

So as I mentioned the flooring is an on going project. And no real progress has been made!


The problem we are also running into is that there are projects we want to do that can affect the floor, so demolition needs to be done before we do the flooring or we could run into major issues. For instance, we want to rip out these built-ins and put in something entirely different and more modern. But it needs to come out before we do the flooring, because we aren't ready to pay for the new built-ins we want, we need the flooring to go all the way to the back wall. For now the spot to fit those old projector TVs is where we park Christina's wheelchair. Brian and I are itching to take a slug hammer to this! (The built-ins, not her wheelchair, that would be mean.)


Another project that is currently mid-way and needed to be demoed now for the flooring is our pantry. We took two small closets away and are going to make them into one big pantry. The goal is something like this:


Brian made me break through the wall, like we were on Property Brothers, and then he and James finished the demo up. I'll admit, it was a little fun. And we knew there was a mold problem between the two closets from the previous owners' broken hot water heater. So this was a good way to get behind the drywall and get rid of the issue entirely. And James got to help pull up nails and do some "man work" as he calls it. (We have a few sexist phrases/ideas we are working on reshaping with him!)




video

And our last current mid-way project on the interior of the house is our laundry room. The laundry room was the room that housed the previous owners' various cats and small rodents. I cleaned and cleaned that room and no amount of bleach could get out the horrific smell of cat urine. The wood in the cabinets, the linoleum and all the base boards were soaked in it. So after my failed attempts at cleaning it, we just took it all out. For budgets reasons, we were planning to tackle the laundry in a couple years (like all the bathrooms as well) but due to the smell it needed to be expedited. We had tile left over from our old house installed and it looks great. But the room still has no baseboards and no cabinetry and sink. But it also has no bad smells! So this project is on hold for now and we aren't in a big rush to finish it since it's functional and clean. Our plan is to do cabinets, counter and a sink (and finish the baseboards and painting of course). The goal is something similar to this:



And now it's the landing place for all the things that were in the two demoed closets. But the tile looks nice!



And if anyone has good tips on surviving ongoing remodeling projects I am happy to hear them! And how did you prioritize which projects happened first and which ones were sent to the back-burner?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Comments at Costco



Lately I have been taking Christina out of her car seat when we go out and about on errands and appointments. She has started to get annoyed about being in her car seat but when we take her out she doesn't really sit-up well and she loathes the light. But she seems to prefer dealing with the light over being in her car seat, so I've been letting her out more and more. She has been doing surprisingly well! We tried for the first time at Costco the other day and she did wonderfully! No crying, just hanging out and cuddling up to Claire.

But while we were at Costco, I realized why else I like her covered up in her car seat---people talk to you less! Even when she was in her car seat in the stroller or shopping cart and Claire up front, people still ask questions and wonder if they are twins, etc. But I don't always have to go into detail about little Christina and her entire health history. I can usually skirt by with quick responses. But on this occasion both girls were clearly visible and we were visible targets! I was barely through the door when a woman left her cart in the middle of the aisle to come talk to me about my girls. “Oh no!” was my immediate thought. And this was the conversation:


Nosy Lady:
Are they twins?!


Me:
No they aren't; they are a year apart.


NL:
Are you sure? They look the same age.


Me:
I'm quite sure they are not twins.


I mean, really?! I birthed them! So we continued shopping and we had many sweet and far more normal comments and questions. I mean they are so cute! But as we left we had another comment that had my head reeling. When we reached the checkout line (with wayyyy more things in my cart than I had come in for! I only needed diapers and milk, but I spent over $150… Costco is way worse than Target! I never leave Costco without spending at least a hundred bucks!). 

So in the check lane, the woman packing my cart says:
What a sweet doll your daughter has!


Me:
That's my other daughter. I have two girls.


Check Out Lady:
Oh…



But to the check out lady's credit, Christina is very still and little and doesn't sit-up normally. (But she is breathing!) She then asked if she was okay with a very concerned face. And then I had to go into how Christina was fine and actually quite happy! That she isn't a doll but a little handicapped girl with health problems and so on. I was in a pleasant and happy mood, so I was fine to chit-chat with random people about my little girls. 

But what about the days when you are in a grumpy mood but you still have to get milk and diapers? What do you do then!? Do you react snippy and short or do you go into lots of detail about their life and medical history and even include your own provocative history. (Because people shockingly ask!) Do you fake a smile and give a simple response? I try really hard to pleasant and upbeat, but sometimes you just want to be snarky to people! But I would prefer people ask questions rather than just stare or misunderstand the situation.



PS
Isn't it so great when kids will watch television when you need them to! This was Claire in the zone at the doctors. I know TV isn't developmentally the best, but it can be such a help at times!