October 30, 2010

The Little White House: Progress

Here is a sampling of what has been going on at the little white house:

New drywall in living room, hallway, and biggest bedroom

We had a professional do the taping and mudding.

All painting begins with priming!
We were in a major time crunch this week to get all the painting done after the drywall guy finished. MIL and FIL and the Chief all helped a lot!

FIL and My Man painted the living room and hallway

I painted the kitchen

And yesterday FIL installed the kitchen floor! I love it!

It's been an exhausting week. We had to paint everything before the carpet install and we almost succeeded. There are just a couple of wallpapered closets that need to be stripped and painted; some trim needs a second coat; all the interior bedroom and closet doors need to be painted or replaced. The carpet went in today and it makes all the difference in there -- it looks like a real house ready to be lived in. I'm planning to take real pictures tomorrow and I will post those so you can see all the colors of our house. It is very colorful, to be sure!

The last major project is to finish up the kitchen. There are lots of little things to do yet, like install trim, replace outlets and light switches, caulk the old wooden windows, etc. The bathroom and laundry room need good cleanings -- we didn't do a lot in the bathroom and we haven't done anything in the laundry room. Right now it's full of everything that had to be cleared out of the rest of the house in order for the carpet to go in. BUT we finally finally finally feel like we are getting to the end of the major work and we are really looking forward to living there soon!

God has been and continues to be so very good to us.

October 20, 2010

Buying A Stove: An Adventure

Our cute little house came complete with an appliance package: ancient washer, ancient dryer, ancient dishwasher, tiny stove, and decent refrigerator.

We turned on the dryer and it started. We don't know yet if it actually will dry anything.

We have not tried the washer. It isn't even hooked up yet. Hope it works!

The dishwasher is going to be scrapped. Its replacement (now sitting in the garage) is also used but not nearly as old.

We will use the refrigerator.

As for the stove, well, I had hopes of replacing it but decided that if necessary I could make it work. MIL has been searching Craigslist and found a regular-sized stove not too far away for a very decent price. We emailed the seller and I arranged to meet him at 11:00 on Monday morning. MIL offered to take the Boogie shopping with her and FIL said I could use his truck. Perfect.

I entered the address in the GPS, strapped the Phebis into her car seat and away we went. I gave myself 45 minutes to make the thirty-minute drive including a stop at the bank on the way.

At the bank I decided to go through the drive-through and cash a check instead of getting the Phebis out of the truck and going inside to use the ATM. I figured it might take a couple of minutes longer but would be easier.

When I pulled up there was a car in front of me. I sat for a few minutes while waiting for them to finish. No big deal. I would be next and it doesn't take long to cash a check. I was a bank teller for almost 3 years. I know it's a simple transaction.

I sent my check and ID and waited ... and waited ... and waited. Finally, after about five minutes, the teller finished up and sent the canister out with my cash and ID. I know that five minutes doesn't really seem like a long time, but it is a bit on the lengthy side for cashing a small check, especially when the check is drawn on that bank and the funds are obviously available and it isn't a weird amount and the customer isn't asking for complicated denominations. And I was the only person in the drive-through at that point, so it wasn't like she was waiting on several customers at once. But okay, it was Monday morning. I know how Monday mornings can be at a bank. It can get kind of crazy. Sometimes computer systems get overloaded and slow down. I can give the benefit of the doubt.

By then I'd been sitting in the drive-through for about ten minutes altogether. A little longer than I'd planned on but no big deal, I was still on track to meet the seller on time.

I opened the envelope and counted my cash. I always count my cash.

It was twenty dollars short.

Are you kidding me? ARGH! I counted it a couple more times just to make sure there weren't a couple of sticky bills or something. No luck.

I sent it back and told the teller it was short. I knew what she was going to say ...

"I'm going to have to count my drawer."

There was nothing I could do. Getting frustrated wouldn't help. I called the seller and told him I was going to be a few minutes late and would that be okay? He said it was fine. I told him I should be there shortly after eleven.

Ten minutes later the teller finished counting her drawer. TEN MINUTES. It took her TEN MINUTES to count her drawer.

Okay, really. I know Monday mornings are notoriously crazy and busy at a bank. But ten minutes to count a drawer? It should have taken her 2 or 3 or at the most maybe 5, but ten?

Of course she was off. She apologized up and down. She sent me the cash (which I counted again) and I left.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I sat in that drive-through for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes.TWENTY MINUTES!

I must calm down. I'm not supposed to get excited. My blood pressure. (That's for you, Pops. What movie, what movie?)

My blood pressure is actually very good. But I'm pretty sure it was elevated by that point.

*Deep breath, deep breath.*

I got on the road and followed the GPS directions to my destination. When I got to the neighborhood I started going around in circles. For some reason the GPS wasn't able to get me to the right road. So finally I stopped at an intersection and called the seller again. "I can't seem to find your street," I said. I gave him the street names of the intersection I was stopped at. There was a long pause.

"Are you in Marlton?" he asked.

I was not in Marlton. I was in Medford.

I had gone to the wrong town.

Oh, sooooo embarrassing. When I started entering the street address into the GPS a couple of suggestions popped up and instead of choosing the one in Marlton I sent myself to a similar address in Medford.

Have I mentioned that it was Monday morning?

Thankfully the towns are fairly close together; the seller was not in a hurry and kindly waited for me; and once I put the correct address into the GPS I got there with no more trouble.

The stove was nice and because I was so late and it was such a good price I did not haggle at all. The seller helped me load it into the back of the truck and the Phebis and I drove to the little white house and FIL met me and helped me unload it into the garage.

And hereafter I will always carefully double-check any address I enter into the GPS.

October 16, 2010

New Things

A new pay rate for My Man, effective Monday. :)

A new floor in our bathroom.

A new pair of shoes for me ... because all of mine, with the exception of flip-flops, sandals, and walking shoes, are somewhere in a box in a storage unit.

A new tooth! Oh yes, teething stage, here we come.

A new-to-Phebis fun jumperoo.

A new week ahead, ready to be filled with praises to a wonderful Heavenly Father!

October 13, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

I know that the thing to do is to have a Wordless Wednesday with just pictures, but I have too many words.

I've mentioned before that it is hard to make the Phebis laugh. Lately it has become a little easier as she gets older and is learning to laugh instead of squirm and grunt when she is tickled. Still, though, it can be a challenge to really get her laughing. So yesterday when I heard some chuckling from her it immediately got my attention. I looked over to see this:

She sure likes her big sister!

She's been putting herself to sleep pretty often which is awesome, but it does take some time and fussing to get there. I usually hang out close by so that I can help her if she gets stuck in the corner of the crib (she knows how to go forward but not backward) or gets her leg stuck between crib slats. This morning I checked on her once things got quiet and saw this:

It made me laugh.

Then while I was at work MIL sent this picture to my phone:

Do you see that? My baby is holding her own bottle. And it wasn't just a fluke thing, either. Later My Man sent me this picture.
And I must admit, that makes me kind of sad. She is getting so big. Time goes by so quickly.

Work continues on the little white house. All of the drywall is up and lots of lights have been installed in the living room and bedroom. The taping and mudding guy will come next week to tape and mud. My Man said it would take a month if he tried to do it himself, so we're getting a professional. That means carpet installation will have to be pushed back but that's okay -- there is plenty to do between now and then. We'll start serious work on the other two bedrooms as well as the bathroom and kitchen.

SO many people have helped us so far. SIL2's brother hangs drywall for a living but is laid off right now, so he came over and hung ours. BIL2 and the Boogie's friend Chief helped with that. Chief and his family live right around the corner from the little white house and both he and his wife came over yesterday and worked on it -- we weren't even there! MIL said it is like having a day shift and a night shift. FIL and both of My Man's brothers have spent lots of time over there, especially BIL2. He has really been a driving force behind getting things going and keeping them going. He has worked SO hard on our little house. And remember the pictures of piles of debris in the garage? That wasn't all of it; there ended up being a lot more. BIL1 single-handedly moved ALL of it into the dumpster! We are so grateful. God is so good to us!

October 11, 2010

5 Months Old

Look at this child.

She refused to smile for me no matter what I did.

Booger. But a kinda cute booger. Despite her baldness.

Five months old today! I can't believe it.


she's been going to sleep on her own lately.

Not every single night. Not every single naptime. But pretty often, nonetheless. She did tonight.


I think I'll keep her.

October 10, 2010

The Little White House: Demolition

There has been a lot of work going on at the little white house. My Man's brothers have been extremely helpful!

At first we thought we could take some loads of debris to the dump. Then our garage started looking like this.

So now there is a dumpster in our driveway.

That contact paper on the walls? Turns out it was actually on removable panels. Remove a few screws and off they came!
While peeling the contact paper off of the cabinets I discovered shiny Pepto Bismol pink coating underneath the paint. At first I thought it meant that the cabinets were made out of plastic or some other non-wood material, but My Man assured me that they are indeed wood covered with, well, shiny Pepto Bismol pink coating. We are going to try to salvage them but it's going to take some work. All of the hardware is painted over and all of the paint will have to be stripped (I think.) I hope we can do it. I really like the retro scalloping.

After some clean up the guys are ready to start some construction.

Check out the vintage heat lamp BIL1 found in the attic.
There's still quite a bit of flooring and carpet that needs to come out.

Yesterday we went to Home Depot to check out some fire trucks. MA's husband was there with his fire company and their, as the Boogie would say, "very shiny shiny shiny clean truck." She was willing to sit on the seat but wasn't too thrilled about wearing the hat.

We had lunch at Friday's where I got to eat standing up because the Phebis didn't want to stay in her car seat or be held while the holder was sitting. I'll be happy when she can sit unsupported in a high chair in restaurants.

We picked out some paint for the bedrooms. The Boogie's room will be yellow per her request. The other small bedroom will be a very light green. Our bedroom will be a slightly darker green. I haven't made up my mind about living room or kitchen paint yet. I need to base the kitchen wall and cabinet paint on the countertop colors, and I need to paint a swatch on the living room wall to make that final decision. It's fun to choose colors but hard. Who knew it would be so challenging?

While at Home Depot we found some base cabinets for the kitchen on clearance. My coworkers had given us a gift card (so nice of them!) but I'd left it at home, so as soon as we got home My Man took the card and headed back to Home Depot with his dad's truck. When he got there, barely more than an hour after we left, almost all of the cabinets were gone! Thankfully the few that we needed were still there, plus we got another good percentage off of the clearance price. Yet another way that God has been providing for us! 

October 2, 2010

The Little White House: Before

As requested, here are pics of our house! This is a great improvement over the first couple of times that we looked at it -- it was FULL of fifty years worth of stuff from the previous owners. Now it is empty but still very dated. We have lots of plans and are looking forward to fixing it up to just how we like it!

I took these yesterday and since then My Man and his brother have done a bit of demolition in the kitchen already.

The kitchen -- looks like wallpaper, right? We discovered today that it is floral contact paper on top of contact paper that looked like bricks. Nice, huh?

Living room

The biggest bedroom
The lovely bathroom. Yet another window in the shower! We cannot escape them, it seems.
My Man realized yesterday that those soap dish/toothbrush holders actually spin around into the wall. Pretty nifty, right? Hahaha
One of the smaller bedrooms. This one will be the girls' room.

The third bedroom. Our plan is to make it an office/playroom, as long as the girls can share nicely. :)
My Man doing the very first project -- changing the locks!
The laundry room

And that's our house! There is much to do: wallpaper scraping, painting, new flooring to put down, new carpet to have installed, toilet and vanity to replace, etc. I'm excited to see the finished product.