Monday, May 25, 2015

Living Room and More (Remodel)

Kyle has been wanting to fix up our back room for quite a while and it was on our list of things to get done before selling the house (not that we are selling anytime soon) but instead of waiting til the last minute to do upgrades, we decided we would rather enjoy nice changes ourselves and not just do things to sell. So that was our reasoning for sooner rather than later. We got a bid a little over a month ago. Then one Wednesday afternoon I get an email stating "We have a gap in our schedule and would like to start your project Monday!" Whoa, what? Okay.... we figured it would be a headache no matter when it gets done so might as well get it done now. This happened to be two days before Kyle's folks were visiting. But luckily we were able to use their presence to help with kiddos so we could get furniture moved around to prepare for the workers to start on Monday. The project was 'suppose to take two weeks'... well here we are four weeks after and I finally have pictures to share and a blog to write. But we are SO happy it's finished and love our new updated space!

Our back family room was added on at some point, not sure when. There was yucky carpet that we had professionally cleaned when we moved in, a drop ceiling and if you remember my blog from 2008...(old blog showing ceiling) there was wood paneling on the walls that we puttied and painted over. No one really knew it was wood paneling but we did and we wanted to get rid of the hideous florescent light up above. While we had work being done we also decided to get a new kitchen floor and to tear out part of a wall and make a second doorway from the kitchen into the dining room to help with flow of traffic. We were always getting jammed up in the hallway while setting the table for dinner or trying to leave the house when guests were over. So hopefully this new change will help make the house feel bigger and provide another route for traffic. 

So here are some of the BEFORE pictures. 

The kids loved the open space!


Kitchen wall:
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Dining room, already a mess as I had started clearing off the bookshelves at this point:

Moved the bookcases:


The workers got started right away and that first week they got a LOT done! Then after that things slowed down and they weren't coming everyday. I think the other project started so they began splitting their time. Really dragged things on.... They did demo the first day:
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If only this wall were in better shape we could stain it up and have a pretty sweet accent wall, haha

Turns out the ceiling didn't have much insulation in it, which wasn't a surprise. They installed new installation before putting in the ceiling.

Started drywall the next day, got ceiling done and one wall:

Oh also during this first week, we had the plastic up so we were having to take Harpo outside through the side door on a leash to the backyard. Super pain in the ass when trying to watch three kids and get a dog outside for his potty breaks. You can see in this picture we had them install three new outlets. The outlets on this wall were external, much like industrial four prong outlets. And the underlying wall explains that. They put the lower outlets inside the wall and added one up higher for our TV which hangs there.

Day three they already had drywall done and first layer of mud up, like I said they worked FAST in the beginning. 


Day four was a rest day to let the mud get good and set, then they came back Friday for another layer of mud. 

Meanwhile I wanted to fix up our existing light fixtures, I took them down and spray painted them. These lights are the kitchen and hallway fixtures. We got new matching fans in the living room and kitchen. 

The next week (week 2) they didn't come much. We had originally thought sanding would take place on Wednesday so we could get in there and paint. We agreed to paint and do all trim to save some money. They came Tuesday for another layer of mud, didn't end up sanding until Friday! So by Wednesday I think it was, we decided to start on the windows, we sanded and cleaned the vinyl frame of our interior windows and primed and painted them to change them white. They were brown before. This was end of the day Friday after sanding was done: 


I worked that weekend (of course when we needed to get so much done on the room) But Kyle was amazing and primed and painted the entire room himself. I did finish up the windows. 

Saturday after a layer of prime:

Beginning of week 3 we were getting a little impatient. We originally had carpet scheduled for week 3's Tuesday... but due to paint and kitchen not being done we pushed it back to week 4's Tuesday. The lady recommended paint having a week to set before carpet install so any dings would be scuffs not gouges. Kyle took off work that Monday, like I mentioned in the girls bday post, so paint was finished Monday evening. Kyle wrote them Monday afternoon asking when the floor was going to get started so we knew when to move the appliances... sure enough he said "we can start tomorrow" so Monday night from 4-6 we got the appliances moved while the babies sat at the table and watched us. Floor and opening was done in two days and we had our kitchen back by Thursday. So that went fast! 

New floor:

After debating about laminate wood vs real wood throughout two rooms. We decided to go with carpet in the back room again to have a warm living area and then LVT (luxury vinyl tile) to go in the kitchen. We're pretty happy with how it turned out. We could have put it in ourselves it was so easy, but after paying someone to watch the kids in order for us to get it done it's just easier to pay someone else to do it. 

Wall opening made and jamb put in:
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Still in Week 3, on Thursday they re-routed the cold return air vent we had in the middle of our walkway from the kitchen into living room. He couldn't fit through the whole the cut open in the basement into the crawl space so he had to make a new hole.... and patch it later. But now that ugly old vent is moved out of the way! 

Then over the weekend Kyle and I busted out trim work in the kitchen. We weren't sure if we were going to complete trim or have them do it but after the bid we just decided to do it. After our recent turn of events we were out of a few tools. So we just decided to replace our compressor (for use of our nail gun and to air up tires) and instead of a power miter saw I found a really nice Nobex hand miter saw on craigslist for fifty bucks! Kyle really likes it and it even does compound cuts! It's pretty nice and cuts like butter (link above if you want to check it out). Figure no one will be interested in stealing that, hopefully. And it's so portable we were able to take it inside and not worry about a huge mess. 

Here's the base shoe trim:

and door trim on

Going into week four we only had a few things here and there for the workers to finish up. Fans, finish outlets, register vents in the living room.... 

And Tuesday of this past week we got CARPET! WOOHOO! We have our room back!

Again the kids loved crawling around in the room

here's a little video:

Tuesday evening we got the couches moved back in, which was a real pain in the butt. We had to take the legs off to get them through the doorways, and going back through wasn't any easier... Harpo sure was glad to have his room back

Wednesday and Thursday no one came to finish up, we were able to do the backdoor trim but couldn't' do the base trim until the registers were in. FINALLY Friday of the FOURTH week! They came to install the fans, finish the outlets, place the registers, and do a touch up on the ceiling. 

The attractive over the top filled bagster had also been sitting in front of our house for four weeks. It was filled day one after demo. They came to pick that up Friday at 5:30. Only leaving a small patch of dead grass which I guess it better than all that junk still sitting there. 

We had the previous trim from the room for the baseboards, we had never nailed them in knowing we'd eventually replace carpet in that room, so I got them all painted. We went to see how it fit and turns out the registers were MUCH smaller making all the trim TOO small! AHHH. But we used what we could and got them set in place. Still not nailed in and the areas behind the couch are bare but we'll finish up eventually. So we did that Saturday as well as hang the TV and move the table in while the kids napped. Here I am hanging the TV (Kyle was helping but stopped to take a photo) This is life with twins, always on my legs preventing me from being able to move around.

Better look at our new fan

And finally relaxing

And the dining room almost put back together:


Sunday, May 24, 2015

12 months old

At 12 months (and one week now) the girls continue to develop into amazing little creatures. They are so fun and on the go these days.
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Emma's hair continues to grow. It's crazy looking back and seeing pictures when we thought she had so much hair... Not like today and it's just going to get longer. Mary's hair is also coming in, slowly but surely. In another year she might have what Emma has now. 

Emma just popped her first molar, making her tooth count seven. Mary still zero! No sign of one yet. 

They are both crawling and have each taken a step or two but haven't taken off on their own yet, which is completely fine. Mary is standing more so I know it'll come soon. She takes a step or two independently at least once a day the past few days. Emma loves to stand too, but she prefers to lean up against something or stand facing out in a corner. 

They chatter up a storm. Mary loves crawling around the house hollering people's names. Here's a video of her:

She yells out for Emma most of the time, but every once in a while there's an Isaac in there. Or dada, she is pretty fond of him too. It's like she's saying "Emma come in here and get into this with me" "emma I found a new cabinet to tear apart come join me" :-) Emma seems to prefer signs and will wave, sign milk and all done.
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Emma uses her pointer finger to inspect things like Isaac used to. Mary uses her middle finger to inspect things.

They both love to eat! Mary favors meat and Emma favors veggies but are overall very good eaters.

Emma still loves to climb and stands up in a high chair whenever she gets the chance. We never really used the straps with Isaac but they are a must with the twins! Unfortunately many restaurants have broken straps on their high chairs! Just today, when we were eating at Potbelly, Emma's strap was broken and she thought it was so cool that she could move about in her chair all she wanted. They are both climbing the stairs well and have even started to go down the stairs backwards (feet first) like they are suppose to. So cute to see them figure this stuff out. Here is a video of Emma this past week at our ECFE picnic. She was so determined to make it up this climbing gym. She fell down half a dozen times before finally making it up the top. It was so cute when she'd slide down and I was attempting to record her sliding down, but as soon as I got my phone out to record was the first time she made it all the way up!

We are just started to see their love for babies and dolls shine through. Emma loves to hug her dolls and poke their eyes, Mary loves to give kisses either to dolls or Emma or Isaac or her friends. Mary also loves photos of real babies.
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They also had their one year check up this past week. My amazing friend, Jill, went with us again. She has pretty much been to all their check ups with me because I need another set of hands and Kyle can't take off work every time we need to go in. I am so thankful for her help! We've kinda made it a tradition to go out to "Old MacDonald's" (as Isaac calls it) for lunch afterwards.

Mary is taking the lead with weight and height, scaling in at 20 lbs 7 oz (58%) and 30.75 inches (92%). Her head measured 18.5 inches (92%).
Emma is a little smaller with a weight of 19 lbs 5 oz (40%) and 29.5 inches (58%). Her  head measured 19 inches (99%)

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Isaac was so cute and wanting to be helpful when we got their couch pictures this week. He pulled out his blocks too. He wanted to get a picture with his sisters but they were no having it. This was the best I got... I thought I got a couple more but when I was going through the photos on my disc this was the only one of Isaac. He is such a sweet big brother.
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Here they all are on the rocking chair from newborn through 12 months with 3 and 6 months in between.

Here are two more funny videos of them playing blocks in Isaac's room. With our living room remodel we have been spending lots of playing time either downstairs or in their rooms. This was just too funny. The first one of Mary I captured Friday. Then Kyle captured the next one of Emma on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Girls turn ONE!

Last week the girls turned one! It was also Mother's Day weekend, which is going to be an ongoing occurrence most years. I had to work that weekend but took Sunday off to celebrate as a family. The weather wasn't as nice on Sunday so Saturday we went to a park to get some photos. For Isaac's first Mother's Day, Kyle took us to a park to get some photos of me and him. This year we wanted to continue that tradition.
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When I got home from work Saturday I got the house decorated for the girls. We were in the middle (and still are, but almost finished) of a house project so things have been a bit cramped. We usually have the girls' chairs on the dining room table but since all the living room furniture was in the dining room we have been out of use of two rooms. I'll post more on our remodel once we have it completed. We got carpet yesterday YIPEE so at least the kids can crawl around in there again as we wait on the last few finishing touches.

Anyway so I put streamers on their door like I do for Isaac and hung the birthday banners. They enjoyed the balloons and streamers the next morning.
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We debating on going to church but work up late so decided to skip and just hang out as a family. We did presents in the morning downstairs, they each got a baby doll and a glow worm.
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They weren't fond of their hats, haha





Emma with her babydoll:

We sadly discovered a few splinters in the tops of their feet from the previous day at the park. Must have gotten them when they were crawling on the boardwalk. We were so sad. We were able to pull most of them out, Mary had just a few and Emma had quite a few. There was one good one in Emma that we weren't sure if we got it all out, but it seems to be doing fine now, just looks like a scab.

After nap we went to Southdale to give them the chance to crawl around a play. Since they aren't walking yet (taking a step here or there but not walking, which is fine by us!) parks can be hard since most flooring of parks are woodchips. This mall play space was fun and the padded steps and slide were a blast for them. And after the splinter incident we were sure to put them in shoes!


Emma giving Mary a hug:


Then we thought they would enjoy a hibachi dinner and they did!



Emma and her glowworm before bed

Kyle had taken the following day off (Monday) because he had one vacation day to use up and to get some paint done on our back room. We decided to go to another mall's play place for a quick visit in the morning

Emma wearing her vintage Nike's that were her daddy's shoes in the early 80's.

Then I dropped him off to paint at home while I took the kids on a van ride nap to get our kitchen flooring. On my way home I picked up cupcakes since we didn't get a chance to squeeze that in on Sunday.
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I haven't taken their couch/block photos yet because we are still trying to get our living room put back together. I'll get those taken soon and post them with a milestone update.

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