Friday, August 2, 2013

Old people misconceptions

So I STILL owe you pictures of all the amazing work JD has been doing around the house (stacking wood, removing carpet, building raised garden beds – he’s awesome). Hopefully this weekend I can get my butt into gear and do all the picture compiling and resizing. Until then I have another boring text-based post for you.

I’ve been thinking of doing a post called ‘baby misconceptions’ where I could post all the cute and sometime hilarious new takes my kids have on words and phrases. For example, Evie says “last morning” instead of yesterday and Ian still occasionally says “Darth Mater” instead of Darth Vader.

However, this morning while driving into work I was faced the sudden realization of one of my own misconceptions. I’ve had the song In the Dark by Dev on my playlist for the last year or so. The song has the phrase “I’ve got a sex drive that’s push to start.”

Now if you are my age, push to start is a rather complicated and daring method of getting your battery-dead car going by having a couple of friends push you along until you are going a decent speed and then you pop the clutch to start the engine. Or you can be REALLY stupid daring and do it yourself by pushing your car down a hill, running really fast, jumping in the driver’s seat, and popping the clutch. Just make sure there are no trees, turns, or sudden drop-offs at the bottom of the hill. I may or may not have done this on my boyfriend’s car back in high school with mixed results.

If you know me, you can pretty easily picture me driving along, singing to the Dev song, and entertaining improbable and hilarious visions of what it means to have to push start your sex drive. And while I was a little confused, since it didn’t seem to fit with the premise of the song, I was accepting. I mean, some people take longer to get going, right? Maybe need the help of a couple of friends, a slight incline, and…. yeah. Never mind.

So this went on for an entire year. And then this morning comprehension dawned in a blaze of light and humiliation.

Ohhhhhh, Push to Start... AKA instant start… AKA…



WHY ARE YOU SO OLD????!!!???

I suddenly have more sympathy for the old people of 20 years ago, who were totally confused by the concept of moving a mouse to get the computer to work, or hunted their keyboards fruitlessly for the Any key.

Filing that in the internal glossary and quietly moving on…

Monday, July 1, 2013

More Evie quotes

I have some house renovation goodness to show you, but I need time to select and crop all the pictures. Let us just say JD has been VERY busy with wood these last two weekends.

Until then, here are some more Evie quotes for you:


Evie: *very seriously* Mommy, when a bee bite you, you get super powers.


 (While talking about a 911 audio recording the state trooper played during JD's gun license training)

JD: It is a plate glass door. He can see her standing there with a gun, and he's still trying to break in. Dude, she has a GUN.
Evie: We has a Cave Troll.
Me: Huh?
Evie: We has a CAVE TROLL.


Thank you Netflix, for making my child awesome. *grin*

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The things kids say...

A snippet of conversation from last night's bedtime routine:

Me: *attempting to hold onto a nekkid, squirming, giggling girl and put a clean diaper on her*
Me: Where you goin' with that nekkid bum? Huh? Huh? Where you goin' with that nekkid bum? *tickle tickle tickle*
Evie: *screaming with laughter* To market!
Me: !!!
Me: Bwahahahahaha! Whaaaat?????

I told JD later that it is lucky she is three and not sixteen, or she would be sooooooo grounded.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The kids' bedroom makeover: AFTER

In case you missed it:

Not quite the last of these posts, since we still need to finish the desk and closet areas, but close enough! The room is now 100% more kid and 100% less grandma styled.

Saturday we finished painting and put the bed together, but it was still too fumey to let the kids sleep in there. Instead they slept in our bed and we slept on the air mattress.

They must have been tired from vacation. Sleeping in the same bed, I pretty much expected there to be bloodshed and mayhem before they finally fell asleep -- but five minutes after I kissed them goodnight they were snuggled together and out cold.

I would have taken a picture... but I didn't want to press my luck with the camera flash.

Sunday we started putting together the furniture and this definitely caused the most excitement. As did rediscovering their toys as they put them away in the new storage spots.

But enough yakking... I know you want to see the results. So here we are:

South side of the room



Notice my little photo-bomber? Edmonton folk, you may look at the shorts and feel jealous.

The only new piece in this photo is the large Expedit storage unit on the left. Originally I was going to go with RAST dressers, but they turned out to be tiny in real life. After staring at dressers for a while we decided to go with the Expedit for the extra toy storage. Though it does mean that every piece of furniture in this room is from IKEA. And to think I used to dislike that store.

The door to the south hall is unpainted (you can see the color difference). I have not made up my mind yet, but I think I am going to paint it in chalkboard paint eventually.

North side of the room



This is the unfinished side of the room. We've purchased a long board that will stretch from the west wall to the closet, resting on top of the filing cabinet to form a desk. Mounted on the wall will be a magnetic board for each, a light for each, and either shelves or artwork above it. I was originally thinking shelves, but now I think it might be storage overkill. We'll see.

I also want to add some shelves in the closet to make a little book nook somewhat similar to this:

Source: babble via Johanna on Pinterest

 Mine won't be nearly as cool, but we'll see what JD's magic can whip up.

West side of the room



I apologize for the light in this picture, but you get the general feel. I bought white curtain rods at target so that I can rehang the curtains, but I admit to being deathly afraid of drilling into the plaster walls. I just see them crumbling away in huge chunks. while JD scolds me for using the wrong kind of screw.

The window sill and radiator



This is one of the radiator covers JD built this winter. It lets heat out really well and keeps the kids from searing themselves on the metal of the radiator. Plus, I didn't have to paint the freaking radiator! I love these covers.

East side of the room



Here is the huuuuuge expedit that we chose instead of dressers. The top-left six cubes serve as clothes storage. Eventually we might get the attachable doors for these squares, but I am in no hurry. This way the kids can easily see and choose their own clothes in the morning. 

The kids have been very happy about their room makeover. Ian is especially excited for the desk. He had to write a vacation journal for school, and in his last entry he wrote:

"I have a new room. There is a computer on my desk."

Me: Dude, you don't have a computer.
Ian: *grins happily*
Me: ...
Me: *mumble*Must research parental controls*mumble*

I'll laugh when the dog eats his computer... not that we have a dog... yet...

*sigh* I loose to the seven-year-old again.

The colors we chose are:
  • Walls: Blue Haze (Benjamin Moore) in matte finish
  • Trim: Sherwin William's off the shelf bright white in semi-gloss finish
  • Closet: Sunwashed (Benjamin Moore) in matte finish
The remaining things to do are:
  • Add crown molding to the ceiling
  • Build the desk area
  • Build shelves and install lighting in the closet
  • Install a new light fixture on the ceiling
  • Install curtains on or around the bunk bed
  • Install reading lights on the bunk bed (may be a bad plan)
  • Hang art!
In the end I think it was definitely worth the week of vacation spent on it. It makes me happy whenever I catch a glimpse of the blue walls while walking by. I really can't wait to de-carpify the rest of the house!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The kids' bedroom makeover: DURING

In case you missed it, click here for the BEFORE pictures.

Technically my last post contained some "during" pictures, but since removing the wallpaper only took about 30 minutes I figured it didn't really count.

After removing the wallpaper came possibly the hardest part of the renovation: the brief period of time when I attempted to remove the wallpaper glue from the plaster. It was three hours of scraping and I only went about two feet and destroyed some plaster and patching on my way. Ug.

I didn't take a picture of that part.

I made an executive decision and decided to spackle over the entire room. It tells you something about scraping wall paper glue that I thought this was the better option. So off I went to Lowes ♥ to buy a 50 pound pail of joint compound.

JD happened to call around that time and told me to bring along my 15-year-old nephew (who was on vacation) to lug the pail of spackle for me. Since I had already been defeated by a glue-covered wall there was no way I was going to let a pail of spackle mock my weakness too. I sweetly told JD I would do that, hung up, told my nephew to have fun playing video games while I was gone, and headed off to Lowes. I cart a thirty-pound kid around all day, how heavy could a pail be?

Gentle readers, if you ever feel the need to purchase a 50 pound pail of spackle (that turns out to actually weigh 62 pounds) I strongly advise you to bring along a 15-year-old nephew OR ask a sales associate to assist you. My room renovation nearly died right there in the aisle of Lowes.

At the end of it all I had my pail of spackle, a nice pail-shaped bruise on my thigh where I used my leg to heft the pail into the cart, and a broken cart. And I suffered guilt-ridden dreams about the broken cart that night, which even I know is silly. But still.... I feel sooooooo guuuuillllty!!!! Poor cart.

Anyway, on to the pictures! When last we left the wall it looked something like this:

The part between the windows is one of the places where you can press against the wall and move it back and forth.

After about six hours of spackling the wall looked like this:

The six hours of spackling were not nearly as painful as they sounded since I had my friend Hillary there to keep me company through the first part, and my mom there helping me spackle for the last part. She did the window to the closet in the picture below. Soooooo niiiiice!

Thank you ladies, you made the job 100% more manageable.

After the first layer of spackle dried, I wet sanded it all, then patched some more, then wet sanded some more, then JD primed the ceiling, then we ran out of primer! By then it was about 2am on Friday night. Kids come back Saturday morning. Eeek!

But let's rewind a day to the best surprise of the renovation. We took up a corner of the old carpet and found that the floor has a layer of wood-patterned laminate that is in really excellent condition, considering the age.

And this picture also demonstrates why you should wait until AFTER the spackling and wet sanding to remove the old carpet. Messy. We left the rest of the carpet pad in place until after the ceiling and wall painting was done.

I know most people would not be thrilled to find forty-year-old laminate under their carpets, but considering our worst-case scenario was lead-paint covered hardwoods, and our best-case scenario was plywood subfloor, the laminate looked pretty darn good.

Friday afternoon, after JD came home from work, I stole him for a trip to IKEA. I had a vision of several RAST dressers (which I would paint):

And a built-in desk with little junior office chairs:

Source: Ikea via Johanna on Pinterest

So cute!

In reality the RAST dressers were waaaaay smaller than I was imagining, so we scrapped that idea and went with the Expedit storage system instead. I am still working on this part of the room, so you will have to wait for the AFTER pictures next week to see how it all turned out.

Fast forward to Friday night at 2am. We are exhausted. JD has primed and painted the ceiling. I have pulled about a million carpet nails and about a billion and a half little staples out of the floor. We retire for a much needed five hours of sleep.

Saturday morning, FINALLY, we start painting:

Of course, the kids came home before it was all done. Ah, well. AND they immediately wanted to help. Oh God. Suffice it to say that the white rug in the living room now has little blue sneaker prints across it and the butt of Evie's purple fleece pants is sporting a permanent blue streak.

This is her, trying to show me her "pouty face" after I said Ian got to paint first.

She failed.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, Mr. Serious is steadfastly ignoring our silliness.

And then Evie finally got into the action.

If all else fails, STAB IT WITH THE BRUSH!

The result:

This is the section of wall where we are going to allow "wall drawing." In other words, if they want to draw on the walls they can draw here. Anywhere else and they will be in BIG TROUBLE.

And that is the end of the DURING post! Oh, I lied. One more thing. When we took up the carpet we found another thing. ANTS. Apparently they live under the carpets. Blaaarg. I never even imagined that was possible. Time for some serious ant bait. And the rest of the carpets in the house are not long for the world. Or at least this house.

And since that is a sour note to leave you on, here is a fun video I took on moving-in day so you can see what this area of the house looked like before we moved our stuff in:

I made several videos showing the whole house. I'll post those up in a series at some point.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The kids' bedroom makeover: BEFORE

During April vacation we sent the kids down to the Island to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa and I took the week off to renovate their bedroom. I know, I know. We all have our own sense of fun, I guess.

After nearly five years of being an avid home-improvement blog stalker, I have realized that the key to having really amazing makeovers is to have REALLY bad before pictures. So without further ado...


I took this picture while standing in the closet, facing the south side of the house. The far door opens into the south-side hallway and the door to the left opens into the living room.

You can't really tell from the pictures, but the wall paper pattern is fuzzy. The faded spots are where something has rubbed all the fuzz off. JD guesses that there was a canopy bed against the far wall that caused the interesting worn arch shape. And there was a cross. In case you couldn't tell.

EDIT: My mom pointed out that the worn parts were not there in our video walkthrough, which means Ian and Evie rubbed off all the fuzz themselves (probably had a grand old time doing it, too). I am guessing the cross shape did not rub off because the wallpaper underneath the cross was protected from air, sun, etc., so the glue holding the fuzz on was still strong. It's cool.  A little freaky, but cool!
I have been informed that the carpet here is the extremely popular Sears and Roebuck contoured carpet in Harvest Gold, mainly sold in 1978. I am slightly ashamed by the fact that I was alive while they were still happily selling this carpet.

Actually, considering the age of the carpet, it was in amazing shape. Everything in this house is VERY old and VERY well cared for. I really am ashamed that the white carpet in the living room has probably seen more damage during the eight months we've been living here than during the past thirty years.

The next picture was taken while standing in front of the hall door, looking back at the closet.

And here is a shot taken from the living room doorway. When we had the windows replaced they also replaced the sills (they had lead paint). Since I did not get around to painting them during the nice weather last fall they have remained unpainted all winter.

A shot of the ceiling and... do you even call this crown molding? Trim?

A look at the window sills and lovely radiator...

And standing in front of the radiator, looking into the living room...

I tore off a test piece of wall paper and was very happy to see that it came off easily in long panels. What was under the wallpaper was not so great.

While ripping down wall paper I found some interesting patches made of scrap wood on the wall behind the bunk bed. JD tried to see what is back there (treasure maybe?) but we finally decided we would wait and find out when we tore all the walls down.

It was quickly becoming apparent that this was going to be Phase 1 of the renovation. Phase 2 would be to completely gut the room and do it all over again.

The walls under the wall paper...

The horror...

And this when I finally realized that this was not going to be a minor patch job and some paint renovation... and that it was a good idea to take a full week off.

The plaster had begun to separate from the lathing (or the lathing rotted away), so in many places you can actually push against the wall and it will move back and forth. Good thing it has all that horsehair keeping it together!

Most of the plaster was in such bad shape that it started to disintegrate when I tried to get the wallpaper glue off. I finally made the decision to leave it alone and skim coat EVERYTHING. Next post I'll show the DURING pictures and you can see what 40 pounds of joint compound can do to transform a room.

Now that's my idea of fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Winter 2013 (bedroom renovation)

In honor of the Winter 2013 Pinterest Challenge, I decided to post the project I did for last year's Pinterest Challenge... but never submitted since it took about a month longer than expected to complete.

Yes, I am a slacker... in so many ways.

BUT, I couldn't resist since the YHL challenge this year is to do board and batten -- which was MY goal for the 2012 challenge. Shall we take bets on who is going to post the right way to do board and batten and who is going to post the WRONG way to do board and batten, hmmmm? I will give you a hint -- I was thinking of renaming my blog FAIL blog, but apparently that is already taken. But it all turned out good in the end. *grin*

Here are links to the Pinterest Challenge champions:
Our condo is an old factory building that was renovated sometime in the 50s into an apartment building and then re-renovated in the 80s into condos. Our particular unit had not been updated since then. And it was owned by a heavily smoking bachelor for about 10 years before we bought it. It was... icky. For the last 8 years we have been renovating it room by room (tearing each room down to the studs and rebuilding it as we went) while living in it and having kids. It took a loooong time. And finally we reached the last room in the house -- the bedroom!

And because I know not everyone is going to want to read through the saga of the bedroom renovation... you can skip down to Day 40... the reveal if you want just the before and after shots.

For those who DO want to read through the entire saga, I give you our adventure, as told through email last year:

From: Hanna
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:51 PM
Subject: Reno weekend: Day 1 & 2

Reno as in renovation… not the other, more fun Reno.

So here is the story of our renovation weekend… now our renovation week I suppose. :)

First, we started with some (pin)spiration shots:


I had my heart set on a board-and-batten detail and clean white on the walls. Something soothing. Also, to lighten the room further, I had plans to paint one of our large wooden dresser/hutch pieces:

(please note that these are the inspiration shots, NOT the finished product!)

Miracles upon miracles JD actually went for it, AND the in-laws asked to have the kids for a week, AND it was a long weekend! All the stars were aligned! And so it began… *scary music*

Day 1: Cleaning

On Sat. JD drove the kids down to the Island while I cleaned the bedroom. When you live in such a small space with four people, however, there isn’t much room to displace things. So first I cleaned and organized most of the rest of the house, then I messed it all up again by moving stuff out of the bedroom.

And by “stuff” I am being very kind.

This is the only room in the house we haven’t “touched.” No paint, no wall or ceiling redos, very little cleaning. It was the best room in the house when we moved in, and we knew from experience that when we started to do stuff to it, it would then turn into a huge project, so we did nothing. I mean NOTHING.

During “clean-up day” (Sat.) every week it was always the last room in the house to get hit. I usually work my way down the house from the kitchen… which means that the bedroom rarely fits into the cleaning day schedule, and also becomes the dumping ground for everything we don’t know what to with.

All this is to prep you for my ‘keeping it real’ shot that I took mid-way through bedroom clean-up.

Pit. Of. Despair.

Actually I think the pit of despair ala The Princess Bride looked better than this room. It isn’t usually quite this bad, but my cleaning method is to dump everything off of every available surface and go through it all on the floor. So the floor didn’t look like that… but every other available surface did.

Ummm. Let’s pretend you didn’t see that.

There we go, all “clean.”

That is another thing we didn’t do to this room. Clean. In seven years.

I vacuumed, dusted, and occasionally mopped the floor but if it was hidden behind something or under something, I didn’t touch it. Ew.

This stain was here when we moved in, as well as the water streaks down the walls:

Lovely crown molding huh? Not.

These shades were so gross when we moved in that we opted to never touch them unless we had to, and we didn’t:

We did rip some tape off the windows when we first moved in (I think it was holding plastic over the windows to keep out drafts) but most of the paint came with it so the remaining tape stayed for another seven years. And lots of random nails.

Grossed out yet? Like I said, it was the best room in the house and it was a pit of despair. You can imagine how bad our kitchen looked when we moved in if this was the best. Let’s not even talk about the bathroom.

So that was the end of Day 1. I was thoroughly disgusted with myself and feeling a bit hypocritical. I’ve sneered at smokers all these years, but was living inside this dust bunny. Smoking probably would have been healthier!

Oh, and here are some “before” shots of my dresser/hutch and… other dresser/hutch thing.

Day 2: Deconstruction

On Sunday JD started the deconstruction process. We love this part!

Easiest part by far was taking down the wallpaper. It was vinyl so it just peeled right off.

It went pretty smoothly except for one portion of the wall where the skim coat came off with the wallpaper:

And of course all the miscellaneous holes and places the plaster had given out and other icky things:

We did discover some fun notes underneath:

Oddly enough, we had already guessed that the original contractor’s name was “DUMMY” before we even started on this room.

While JD tore things apart I started sanding the dresser/hutch. Messy! But amazingly only took about 45 minutes.

Then JD started cleaning all the glue that was left behind. Nasty!

During the cleaning process we found another treasure… the word TINA emerged from the glue like a ghost.

We’ve been sleeping under her all this time and never knew. Spooky.

After he finished with the glue, he put some patches and spackle on holes and cut a spot out of the wall so that we could embed the cables and get rid of the nasty cable cover.

And that was the end of Day 2. I would go on to Day 3 (Monday) but I have run out of lunch hour. :) I’ll try to get Day 3 and 4 done this weekend!


***Here is email 2/3 that I sent out. The REAL pain fun begins.***

Fom: Hanna
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 1:27 PM
Subject: Reno weekend day 3: prep day

I know, I am just stringing you along. It was a busy weekend and I only had time to get the pictures modded for one day. And believe me, this day is going to take my entire lunch hour to write up.

After Day 1: cleaning, and Day 2: deconstruction, Day 3 was supposed to be prep day – the day I cleaned up from all our construction and we made everything paint-ready. AND it was the day we were going to buy and install the wood for the board-and-batten! Exciting!

Over the course of the first two days we had scoped out Lowes and Home Depot and the Benjamin Moore store so we knew what wood we were going to buy and approximately what paint colors we wanted (I was waffling).

If you remember the inspiration pic:

We needed thin strips of wood for the board-and-batten and wider pieces for the trim at the top. We quickly realized that actual wood was a no-go (the strips were $10 a pop and we needed thirty), and decided to go the MDF route (like most of the tutorials on the web).

JD was going to attempt to cut the strips himself using a circular saw and a guide, since we don’t have a table saw (the yet is implied) and the people at HD/Lowes were not giving us a warm fuzzy feeling about whether they would actually be willing to do it for us in-store.

I optimistically ignored the *DANGER! DANGER!* signal going off in the back of my head, even though when JD said “I’m going to cut the strips using a circular saw and a guide” what I actually heard was “I’m going to escape the straight-jacket and hand cuffs, inside the water-filled tank, using only a corkscrew and some duct tape!”

I had faith he could manage it.

But first came the cleaning. Again. And worse than before. Thanks to the dust of all my sanding, the dust of JD sanding down the spackle patches, and the water and detergent mix we used to get the wallpaper glue off the walls, the room was looking even more filthy than when we started (and that is saying something).

Here is a corner of the room to give you a general idea of what I was dealing with:


And we decided if we didn’t wash the windows we probably wouldn’t even need a privacy screen:

And we can’t forget the black dust of Worcester, carefully collected over the years in between the storm window and the interior window:

As I moved around the room, scrubbing and scrubbing, JD was busy with some dangerous looking things in the closet:

I don’t know what was going on in there, but it involved turning off the power several times, muttering, cursing, and putting new holes in the wall that then had to be patched. Skeery. Eventually it turned out it had to do with making this:

A little less freaky, which I was good with.

So after a few hours of scrubbing and weird electrical hijinks, we were ready to go out to get lunch and buy the wood for the board-and-batten! But before we did that JD decided to do a little more measuring and checking and… that is when the plan went to hell.

“The Plan” called for us taking the fancy trim off the top of the baseboards and then running the board-and-batten down to the straight boards.

However, when we pried one piece loose to get a look at the width of the baseboard, just to be sure the MDF strips wouldn’t hang over too far, we found this:

In case you are scratching your head, this is the gap where the wall does not go all the way down to the baseboard. This could be fixed with the careful application of very thin strips of sheetrock, lots of spackle, and about 5 extra days.


Maybe there is a perfectly good explanation on why our plaster walls do not run all the way down to the floor, but I am betting on this:

Plus there was the fact that we would also have to remove the trim from under the window:

And I came to the sad realization that I really liked the trim, and would prefer to keep it rather than figure out some kind of hack to cover the two inch gap in the wall. It was time to say goodbye to board-and-batten and come up with a new plan.

And in case you are wondering, after two and a half days of 8am-10pm renovating, I do my best “new planning” while sobbing into my pillow.

Luckily for our schedule, JD came in and lay down with me and rubbed my back, which embarrassed me enough that I stopped the girly weeping and started doing some actual thinking. Then he got up and stomped down the hall in a determined “I’m going to fix this” way, which panicked me enough that I leaped up and chased him down, terrifying visions of sheetrock and spackle and days of extra labor dancing in front of my eyes, and presented THE NEW PLAN.

The whole reason for the board-and-batten was to create enough architectural interest in the room that I don’t have to DECORATE. Which I pretty much suck at. The prospect of even hanging a picture gives me the nervous sweats. What if I hang it too high? Too low? What if it clashes with the other colors in the room? What if my mom comes over and says something like “A life-sized picture of the cast of The Lord of the Rings in your bedroom? How… interesting dear.”

See? Decorating horror.

So I needed something to break up the big blank wall on the left side of the room. Something that did not involve taking down the trim.

After staring at Pinterest for a while I had a couple options, which I presented to JD. (The selection process involved me showing him various possibilities and explaining why they wouldn’t work, until we got to the one I actually wanted. Don’t judge. It’s a process.)

This was the winner:

Oooooo. I know, right? This room makes even a random floor-to-ceiling exposed heating pipe look nice. But don’t get too excited. While the look of the whole room would be incredible, I actually mean just this part:

A thin strip of trim, around the same height the board-and-batten was going to be, with different color paint above and below. Since it was going to be so much simpler than the board-and-batten plan, we decided we would also replace the crown molding with something bigger and fancier. Because, let’s face it, this is pretty sad:

JUST IN CASE, we tore down the old crown molding to check that there were no surprises. And found this:

Another gap. Apparently the plaster wall does not attach to the floor OR the ceiling. It just kind of… clings to the lathing. After pondering it for a while from a safe distance we decided that if it had lasted 30+ years like this it was probably okay, and we could easily cover up the gap with the new, thicker, crown molding.

So we finally left the house, about 4 hours later than planned, to purchase some wood and some paint!

And wouldn’t you know? Benjamin Moore was OUT OF PAINT.

Ok, that is an exaggeration. They were out of the type of paint I wanted in the finish I wanted.

Presidents Day… apparently everyone and their sister was repainting walls in Benjamin Moore ECOWB zero-VOC paint, flat or eggshell finish.


But we got the wood, and we reserved two gallons of the paint shipment that was due to arrive at the store the next day, and we WENT HOME. JD had some fun with his saw, nail gun, and the new crown molding, and I primed… and primed… and primed. No, not the walls – did you forget this baby?

It takes about 2 hours a coat, but it is coming along! Really slowly! But I’ve passed the point of no return! That is a good thing, right?

End, Day 3. Hopefully Day 4 would actually involve paint, and our old friend DUMMY (underlined three times) would not have any more surprises for us.



***Here is email 3/3 that I sent a full TWO MONTHS after the first one, and the reason I was not able to join the 2012 winter challenge. *grumble* Luckily by now the SEVEN COATS OF PRIMER have faded from my memory... ***

From: Hanna
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 1:06 PM
Subject: Reno weekend: Day 40... the reveal

So I know you have been on the edge of your seat for the last two months, just WAITING for this email. I had a draft email of this all typed and then…. it took me a really long time to finish the darn hutch. Going back to my draft I realized that I was sooOoo over the saga of Day 4 of the renovation so let’s do some highlights and skip ahead to...

Day 40... the reveal

  • Choose colors: China White, White Dove, and Cloud White. Too much white?
  • Put up trim!
  • Caulk the trim!
  • Hit myself on the head with a big tub of caulk and fall off a ladder!
  • Lie on the couch while JD finishes doing everything!
  • Let JD, the painting machine, finish everything just in time for us to move the furniture back about 20 minutes before the grandparents finally return the kids
And now, through the magic of really bad before pictures, I give you the miraculous before and after!



*angels sing*

Some other views…

The hutch:

The closet (ignore the laundry basket pile o’ shame and tower of empty boxes):

Some ceiling views, slightly out of focus since I had a “helper” by that point:

My loving helper:

Fickle wench.

And in case you thought I spent the whole month and a half just lounging in my new bedroom, not sending you pictures, here are a few more things that got done during the last month (although I did the lounging thing too).

I killed JD’s car!

He built me a new closet system!

And put up a new dining room light fixture! (Ignore the perplexed look, he’s totally got this)


And I organized the kids closet! (“Stuff and pray” is the new organized, I swear!)

Hold back the blocks Darth Vadar, you’re my only hope!

Oh, and I also did this, though possibly only Jenny will know what it means:

So there you are. All major home renovations and car purchases are DONE (*knocks on wood*).

Until we have a new place.

And can start all over again!

Love y’all!
- Hanna