Mine tastes better

Apparently the food on my plate tastes better than the same exact food on Max’s plate.  I guess it’s a toddler thing.  Its been a rough day in mommy-land.  When Max wasn’t performing death-defying stunts or trying to kill the dog, he was whining and/or crying.

Then, there’s Emme, who I’ve nicknamed the screech owl.  People scoff at this description of my beautiful, happy, smiley baby, until they experience it for themselves.  Then, they act like they are the first person to have experienced the phenomenon.

But, when they are sleeping, all the craziness of the dayis forgotten (most of the time) and they look like little angels  (Emme is sleeping on my lap as I type this with one hand)

In other news, Bryan and I had a lot of fun finding some treasures for my new business venture.  It’s called Max Originals, and will be vintagey, unique, “upcycled” treasures and furniture that I plan to sell.  More on that later, for sure!

Anyone else’s food taste better on their plate?  Anyone else have a challenging day?  Please share, I’m sure I’ll feel silly for thinking mine was difficult.

Til next time—

Trying to pack….unsuccessfully

We are supposed to be moving to the new house next weekend…yippeeeee!!!  I.can’t.wait….no more noisy neighbors partying until 4am (ahem, last night), no more revving motorcycle engines at 9:30pm, no more surprise landscaper or maintenance men visits during nap time.

Packing, however, is not going so well…emme is used to almost-constant attention from me, and that’s nearly impossible when trying to pack the kitchen.  At almost-10 mos old, she still has spontaneous falls, so I try to keep her away from as many hard surfaces as possible.  I’ve packed 2 boxes in the last 4 hours.  this progress does NOT=success.  At this rate, we’ll be living here with the next set of renters.

As….uhhh…frustrating as this is, even more worrisome is what I’ll do with her when I’m trying to put it all away.  She’s almost 25 pounds, so I can’t wear her.  Plus, I had all these great plans of painting Max’s room, and starting my business (more on that later – just don’t have the space here to start my projects until we move)….which may be pretty challenging with my constant-companion.  I absolutely ADORE Emme (and Max, of course – but we’re talking about E) – she’s my last baby, she’s chubby, and smiley, and funny…and I want to enjoy every minute of both my babies childhoods that I can….but I also have the small obligation of making our home habitable for them and my very-hard-working husband.

Happy (non-screaming) Emme

…oops, had to step away for a moment….Max was trying to launch himself off of the bar stools (that he’s not supposed to be near) and because I had to step away from Emme momentarily, she had a small breakdown.  I have a feeling the next couple weeks will be a(nother)  test of patience.

Serenity now.

The evil weed-whacker man!!

We’ve lived in an apartment for the past year while looking for our new house.  There are pros and cons…one pro being that you don’t have to take care of a yard.  The con being that the weed whacker man shows up unexpectedly, just in time to wake up my 2 sleeping babies!!  They barely ever nap at the same time, but when they do, it seems like weed whacker man inevitably shows up at the same  time. 

And then there’s the guy 3 doors down who likes to rev his motorcycle’s engine at 9:30pm….

Renovation Reality

My husband and I met when he bought his house. I was his real estate agent. Crazy, huh? He bought the house in May 2007, and planned to renovate and sell by September 2007. He chose a local contractor who came highly recommended by my husband’s mortgage broker.

Here’s a peek at the house (built in 1908) – pre $150,000 renovation lawsuit-blood-sweat-many tears:

The front, obviously. Do you like the wire hanging from the ceiling where a light fixture should be? When it rained, water would pour through the hole, and when it was cold, we would get a lovely icicle.

 

And the back…notice the black tarp on the left? The man who owned the house before us had dug out a bunker under where a porch use to be…by hand, with buckets. Odd.

Don’t worry, I have more pictures. To make a long, heartbreaking story short, when we were about $80,000 into the reno, we realized that of the 26 items on the original estimate, only 14 had been started, and not one had been completed. NOT.ONE. We weren’t living in the house at the time, so when we would come out to check on the progress, the contractor would make promises and give explanations…we were so deep, we thought the easiest way to proceed would be to move into the house (with no hot water, finished kitchen, or bathroom doors) and keep a closer eye on things. We quickly realized that we had made a terrible mistake by trusting this contractor.

We were left with a house that was maybe 25% finished, and we only had about $10,000 left to finish the project (which we quickly realized was not nearly enough) So begins the blood, sweat, and tears part of the story. The hardest I’ve ever worked – and we planned a wedding and had a baby during it too. Instead of 3 months, it took 3 years. Here are a couple more pictures – showing before and after. Sorry some of the pictures aren’t so great, unbelievably, we didn’t really take “after” pictures.

                        

FOYER – There use to be a low ceiling in the foyer. We had it removed and the correlating wall, but the contractors couldn’t figure out how to finish the railing to match the existing lower portion of steps.  The wall and closet on the left were removed, the picture on the right shows what was left.

This is how the contractors left the newly created laundry room…knowing we were moving in that day. (Before they started working there, these floors had been in perfect condition.)  Oh, and they never hooked up the plumbing, so the 1st time I did laundry…water was pouring into our basement, which as you’ll see below, had dirt floors.

Basement…or something.  The  rectangular mound on the left was once a 10 foot deep abyss.

                                                                 

BEFORE- On left, original master bath – and only bathroom in the house.  On right, once they tore down kitchen ceiling below the bathroom, they found serious water damage, so the whole bathroom floor came out.

 

 

 

Originally, a parlor  for the master bedroom, but we added a hallway to make it a small 3rd bedroom.

Original kitchen.  These were all of the cabinets, the opposite wall just had a stove on it.      

Thankfully, we survived, so there are “after” pictures to share.   This post has reminded me to take lots of pictures of our next house, I can’t believe how few I have of the last house!

Thanks,

e

Max and Emme’s Bedrooms

Emme is sleeping on me, so I’m typing this with one hand.  I tried to take them outside to play, but Max was more interested in trying to stragle the dog with her line and opening/closing the screen door.  Therre’s no shade out there, so its pretty uncomfortable. 

I’m so excited about moving into our house in 2 weeks (from today!!), and I’ve put together some idea boards for what I’m thinking of doing. 

Here’s my idea for Max’s room…I’m  still deciding on paint colors…but am thinking green with a gray or blue stripe.  B and I are planning to make his headboard…I’ll post pictures when we get to that point.

And here’s Emme’s room:

I used Olioboard to design them.  You can upload your own pictures, but they have a huge selection of item available too.

My other favorite new site is pinterrest…so much easier than saving everything to my hard drive.

Fun stuff for all my free time!

e

The weekend in review

Saturday we went to an estate auction in Galena…it was really hot in the gym where the auction was being held and M&E were not impressed with our choice of activities for the day!  Luckily, B’s dad came to help entertain the kids, so I was able to stay and watch the auction for a couple hours.  We bought an antique glass star light fixture for $20 and a small side table for $15 that I plan to refinish to resell eventually.

Sunday we drove out to the house and bought Max his last carseat – atleast I hope so – it goes up to 100 lbs.  I cleaned out M’s old carseat for E (she officially outgrew hers a couple weeks ago) and it looks brand new (was super duper gross though!!).  I also cleaned the bathrooms since B was home to watch the babies.

Monday, Bryan was on 3rd shift, so we got to spend time with him during the day.  We went grocery shopping…and the babies both got to enjoy their new carseats…Emme seemed very pleased with hers…and Max looks like a big boy in his.  Both babies were especially grumpy yesterday, and we had no idea why – they both napped and got to play outside/go to the store.  Who knows.  Anyway, as B was leaving for work, both M&E decided they want me to hold them until they fell asleep…and unfortunately, I’m not able to hold them both at the same time.  Finally, after about 45 minutes of failing to make either of them happy, I had to put Emme in her bed and let her cry until I could get Max to sleep.  I always have to pay more attention to her since she’s smaller, and last night M seemed really upset, so I decided to stay with him.  Then, I took E downstairs to get her to sleep…which took another hour or so.  Sooo….around 12am, I got to bed, but M kept rolling onto me all night…and then E woke up around 4:30am.  It was a long night and mommy is pretty tired today.

I excited about potentially starting my own business finding and refinishing/fixing old furniture and oddities to resell.  It is all the things I love to do – it would be so great if it were to become successful and something I could do fulltime once the kids are in school.    I’ll elaborate more on that later.