August 31, 2013

Check Ups

The girls had their yearly well-checks this week. Only four months overdue for the Boogie, and three months for Peabody! I couldn't believe how full the schedule was at their pediatrician's office -- I made the appointments back in June, and they couldn't get us in for two months. That being said, we've never had any trouble getting an appointment on the same day if someone is sick (which is rare, praise the Lord.)

First they got weighed and measured.

The Boogie, at 6 years and 4 months old, is 46 lbs. and 46 inches tall.

Peabody, at 3 years and 3 months old, is 32 lbs. and 36 inches tall.

Then the Boogie had her vision and hearing checked, and both were perfect. Peabody won't do that until next year.

Then we were put in a room and both girls changed into gowns. They were very excited about that.

The Boogie had her check-up first while Peabody watched intently. During Peabody's turn when the doctor asked her questions the Boogie kept piping up with answers -- I think we need to work on that bad habit!

Both girls checked out perfectly and the best part for them was that neither of them needed any shots. That's a perfect visit to the doctor! The best part for me was that my car started despite me having left the headlights on. Oops.

August 29, 2013

The Little White House: Bathroom Remodel

It seems I never did post about the bathroom remodel. Four months after its completion I think it's probably time to do that ... Go get yourself a cup of coffee or something because this is gonna be long.

It was a lot of work, but would have been much more if it weren't for Eric's brother who spent many hours here. We are so grateful for family and friends who are willing to help us with our projects!

I started out taking lots and lots of pictures but as the project dragged on and on and on I just forgot to pull out the camera.

So without (too many) more words I give you ... The Great Bathroom Project.

Before, in all of its 1970s-era-glory:
There were originally shower doors which I loathe so Eric removed them before we even moved into the house.

Ugh, it looks so gross in these pictures. It was mostly clean though I'll admit I kinda let it go as we were getting close to demolition day. I just didn't have it in me to bleach moldy grout when I knew it was just going to get ripped out anyway.
We replaced toilet and vanity when we bought the house so saved them for re-installment.

Please make note of the charming spinning toothbrush/soap holders. Eric really pushed to install them in the "new" bathroom but he wasn't able to convince me since I was too grossed out to put anything in them and was constantly cleaning water/soap/toothpaste splatters off of them. We saved them though ... maybe one day we'll build a retro bathroom with turquoise tile where they'll fit right in. Or maybe we'll sell them on eBay.


When the drop ceiling tiles came down we discovered BRIGHT blue paint on the ceiling. This picture does not adequately capture the brightness and blueness of it. It finally explained those random blue paint splatters on the tub which I often puzzled over while cleaning. 

When the old drywall came down the guys found dozens of old used razor blades down between the studs behind the sink. Apparently when the house was built, the medicine cabinet had a slot in it for disposing of old blades -- they just dropped down into the wall!
Goodbye, old tub. Goodbye. Forever. And good riddance.

New tub in the garage!

The wiring and plumbing part of the project took a bit longer than expected. It was during that period that picture-taking became neglected. I cannot find any pics of the gutted room, but we lived with it that way for quite a while so it is embedded in my memory.


A new tub and surround. Purple drywall/sheet rock/whatever you call it in your region of the country. Joint compound. Lots and lots of joint compound.

A friend who hangs drywall/sheet rock/whatever for a living came over with Tom one day and they hung most of the walls (the same friend hung drywall in the living room, hallway, and front bedroom when we first bought the house and gutted those rooms.) Then once it was all up Tom taped and mudded. Then it dried overnight. Then he came over the next day and sanded and mudded. Then it dried overnight. Then he came over the next day and sanded and mudded. Then it dried overnight. Then ... well, you get the picture. He did a really great job. I vacuumed up pounds and pounds of drywall dust every day. I went through a vacuum bag every day for a while. I feared for my vacuum's life. And the rest of my house looked like this:
See the vacuum in the background? I think I stopped putting it away. It just lived in the living room.
Finally the sanding and mudding and sanding and mudding was over and it was time for paint! And that's where my part came in. I can't construct. I can't install. I can't wire. I can't plumb. But I can paint, by golly.
Carefully, oh so carefully, protect the new tub!

And at last ... color! This is the picture I sent to Eric once the first coat was on the first section:
It's called Jalapeno Jelly and it's GREEN, people. The online color sample looks much more gray than it looks on the wall. It's really, really green. And we really, really love it.

Of course, the first few times I put on make-up in the bathroom I was taken aback by the greenish tint to my skin. Then I started doing my make-up in my bedroom which solved that problem.

The toilet stayed put during the entire project, until it was time for new flooring. We moved into 52 for a couple of days which was really fun and just like old times, but including Mama Dog. She was beside herself with delight to be there. She's allowed to go everywhere and even get up on the couch! It's always more fun at grandparents' house.

We hired a local company to lay the bathroom floor because we wanted to have an entryway put in the living room at the same time.
First a skim coat ...
... then a new floor!

I'm thrilled with the entryway. It made me crazy to have carpet there.

Someone had to come back later to trim the carpet.

We used a Bagster for all of the construction debris. It worked out really well. It was cheaper than a dumpster and we could keep it for as long as we needed. We covered it with a tarp to keep rain (mostly) out.

When I scheduled the pick-up I realized that it was too far up the driveway. Oops. Tom came over with his Jeep and tow ropes and dragged it to the end of the driveway. As it slid across the concrete, we could see little shreds of bag left behind.We figured that probably wasn't good ...

As the operator lifted the bag I could see holes on the bottom! The operator noticed too, see how he's looking at it?

Praise the Lord, it held just fine. I prayed the whole time. I didn't want to have to pick up sodden drywall and old screws off of the street and pay for another bag and another pick-up!

At last, the end result. The room is too small to get one good picture of it:
Brand new tub and surround

I painted the vanity black which took a lot longer than I thought it would and ended up with a rougher texture than I'd hoped -- I guess I should have sanded it between spray coats. Live and learn, right? But it's held up nicely so far and I'm pleased with how it looks in there.

We were going to mount the medicine cabinet on the outside of the wall but Tom convinced us that it wouldn't be too much work to recess it, and I'm glad he did. It looks really nice and the best thing about it is that no one else's toothbrushes have ever been stored in there. Ha!

We found the light fixture on clearance.
It's hard to take pictures of a light!
 The t.p. holder and towel bar match ...

 ... and so does the hand towel rack. It took much consideration to figure out where exactly to mount this thing!

We found tub fixtures to coordinate with the light and other stuff ...

... but although it came with a nice shower head, I much prefer these. A hand-held shower is indispensable for bathing kids!

We bought some new towels and found a shower curtain that coordinates with the wall color almost perfectly. The toilet and shower curtain rod were saved from the old bathroom, since they were both newly installed right after we bought the house.

And did you notice a key element?

Tom pulled down the old siding and put up a new section between the other windows. Thankfully, because the siding is white, the old doesn't look too bad next to the new. You can hardly tell unless you're looking for it or the sun hits it just right.

I'll be honest, I kind of miss the natural light in there. And the window did make for a really nice breeze down the center of the house. But I can live without those things! We've talked about putting in a solar tube eventually. We'll see.

There are still just a couple of little things to do, like put some trim along the bottom of the tub, and run a vent from the exhaust fan to the outside of the house (right now it vents into the attic) and re-install the awnings (yes, they are ugly, but after a summer of sun shining on that side of the house I really appreciate their purpose.)

So, at last we have a new bathroom. I love it. I really do. It took a long time, and it cost more than we figured (of course), and the chaos around here was starting to really get to me after several weeks, and if I never have to look at another paintbrush again it will be too soon. But it was worth it!