Friday, March 29, 2013

A Bed Fit for a Queen

The queen, of course, being Charlie.

As the home preparations have begun, I'm starting to take stock of what furniture I need.  There are a few storage items I'll need to buy (shelves, clothing storage, etc.) but for the most part I have everything I need.

Next up - things I want for my new home.  The very top of the list - a bed frame and headboard.  I want a bed frame.  Really.  I want one so badly.  I know I don't need it, but I want it.  I'm sick of staring a boxspring and using three pillows to relax in bed.  I tried using just two, but I kept hitting my head on the wall.

click photo for source
For that very reason, I want an upholstered headboard with some cushioning - preferably tufted.  You know where I'm running into a problem? The price.  I know, big shocker.  Seriously, are these things made with golden thread or something?  The headboard you see above would set me back $1200.  Yikes and no thank you.

click photo for source
This headboard is beautiful.  I love the deep navy and the wings on the side.  The nailhead trim adds beautiful detail.  Regular price - $912.50.  Sale price - $519.95.  I say again, yikes.  It's beautiful, but that price doesn't even include a frame.  It's just the headboard.

click photo for source
The bed is a great color and has the wings and frame.  I'm not crazy about the frame being upholstered, but I'm not afraid to compromise a little on that.  However, I'm not going to compromise on price - $725.46.  Dang it.

I shared my woes with my mom who said "Can't you just make that?"  Yes. I can. Dang it.

There are many tutorials out there for making your own tufted headboard.  My favorite is this one from Sarah at Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.  It's absolutely beautiful and it only cost $140.  This is the reason I can't spend $800 on a headboard.  When I know there is a possibility of making a beautiful headboard for such a great price, I can't possibly pay 5 times that.

So here's my rant - I don't want to do it myself.  I have hours and hours of painting ahead of me.  After I'm done painting, I have hours and hours of moving/unpacking ahead of me.  After I'm done moving, I have many other projects I'd rather be doing.  Can't I just buy it?  Really, I just want to buy it.

Also, I'm not sure that I have the skills to complete such a project and have it turn out perfect.  It would drive me crazy if something was crooked or wrinkled.  So this task is a little too scary for me to handle by myself.

I'm a little frustrated that IKEA doesn't have better options.  I'm not expecting a tufted headboard, but some new options would be nice.  They've had the same designs for the past 2 years.  I know this because I've been looking for that long.

Are you feeling my frustration yet?

All of this frustration has led me to several conclusions:

A) Suck it up. Save the money. Pay the big bucks.
B) Suck it up. Ask for help. Be patient. Make it myself.
C) Suck it up. Make the best of what I've got.

For the time being, I'll be going with option C, but not without a little heartache.  I really want a headboard and bed frame, but I'm going to suck it up and make the best of what I've got.  When things slow down and everyone's got more time - I'll go with option B.

A question for you - do you have a bed frame? If so, where did you get it?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our Three Year Old

This guy.  This guy is three years old.  I can barely even believe it.  I feel like an old lady saying this but - I remember when he was born! It was amazing to see this tiny, little newborn in his mama's arms.  What a blessing he has been in our lives!

A couple of hours before the party, I went to Walmart to pick up a few last minutes things.  One of the items on my list was a helium tank.  You can get a helium tank for $20 and it's worth every penny.  It comes with a few balloons, but it blows up more than it comes with, so buy an extra pack of balloons.

Cam was taking his nap when we started blowing up balloons.  We were having a lot of fun just doing that, but it got better when Cam woke up.  The look on his face when he saw the ballons was priceless. He loved them!

Thomas was the theme of the day and every birthday boy needs a special seat.  So, I grabbed a few balloons and Dart (the train), tied them around his booster and voila!  The birthday boy had a birthday seat.

Charlotte found this idea on Pinterest and she did an awesome job putting it together!!  Char made the base of the train out of graham crackers and mints.  Joann (Cam's mom-mom) made the best cupcakes ever. We topped the whole thing off with some cut-outs of Thomas trains.  Cam loved it.

We used the same cut-outs on a larger scale to make a little banner for the birthday boy.  This was my attempt to get a birthday portraits.  Note to self - never give a three year old balloons that are bigger than his head and then try to take his picture.  You can't see it, but he was smiling behind those balloons.  He wanted to hold his two favorite colors - black and brown.  No lie - black and brown.

Leia and Cam are two peas in a pod.  They love each other.  In this photo, Leia is showing Cam how static electricity can make a balloon stick to his face.

This is Cam testing her theory.  It worked and he loved it.  

Like I said, two peas in a pod.

There's something special about the relationship between a boy and his mama - 

I love those pictures of Char and Cam.  That is one lucky boy.  He has an amazing mom.

Hannah joined the party when she woke up from her nap.  She was loving all the attention she got and we loved giving it!

She even had a special dress for the party.  

Cam did his best to get Hannah to smile for the picture.  Though it doesn't look like it in this photo, that little lady is one happy girl - especially when her big brother is there to make her laugh.

This is one of those photos that I just love.  There's nothing else I need to say about it.  I just love it.

We all took turns holding Hannah and showering her with kisses.  We've noticed that she loves to talk to her pop-pop.  She just stares at him and starts gabbing away.  It's beyond adorable.

I don't remember what was happening at the time I took this photo, but I love the look on his face.  And I also love his face...and his nose...and his eyes...and his little hands...

Everybody needs a dad to keep them in line and mess around with them.  Cam certainly has that.

His dad even opens coconuts for him.

Leia bought Cam a coconut for his birthday.  Her instructions were as follows - open the coconut, get two straws, and drink it together with Cam.

And that's exactly what they did.

Cam wasn't too sure about it and decided he didn't like it.  But don't worry, it didn't go to waste.  Leia loved it and so did her brothers and sisters.  It was gone in a flash!

Those eyes.  They kill me.  That peach fuzz.  I just want to kiss it.  That nose.  I just want to poke it (gently, of course). Those cheeks.  I just want to squeeze them.

Also, this picture makes me laugh. The end.

We tell him we're going to sing for him.  We prepare him and still he looks at us in astonishment.

After he got over the shock of having 15 people singing to him, he started to enjoy it.  He blew out his candles with one breath!

I know it's a little hard to see because the photo is dark - but take a look at his left hand.  See what he's holding?  Two trains, Salty and Luke, that he had just gotten as a present from his favorite friends.  This is why he had a Thomas party, because he loves them so much he doesn't want to put them down.

What a face.  Photo credit to my dad - he was capturing Cam going for his first ride in his new wagon.  Then this happened.  Who knows what he's doing or what that face even means, but it's pretty cute.
He looks so old in this photo.

The balloons were a big hit for all ages.  We all ended up playing with them at some point or another during the night.  By the end of the party, they were a big tangled mess - a sure sign that they were well loved.

The next morning we woke up to find them on the floor in a big clump.  I guess the fun had to end at some point.

The balloons weren't the only things showing sign of a long night.  This baby was pretty sleepy.  She became very content to suck on her sleeve while being cuddled by her mom-mom.

This long stare is a sure sign that this three year old was ready for his bed.  He'd had a big day and was pretty worn out.  Cam's party was absolutely wonderful and we all had a great time.

Happy birthday, Cam!  We love you and we can't wait to see what God has in store for you! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Finally, progress has been made!  I know I've only been a homeowner for 10 days, but it feels like a month since I haven't gotten that much done.

With the living room and dining room primed, I'm finally feeling a sense of accomplishment - along with two very sore arms.  I had to sleep with two ice packs on my right arm on Sunday night.  I felt like a huge wuss, but hey, it hurt!

Sorry for the poor picture quality, there's not a lot of light in the house at the moment.

The house smelled like smoke, so Kilz was in order.  Plus, it seems everything in this house is painted a different shade of yellow-y brown.  A fresh coat of paint will make it feel less dirty and more like my house.

The trim looks white in this photo, but it's not.  I haven't painted the doors yet - so take a look a the front door in the next photo.  See how not-white it really is?

Sunday after church, I headed to the house to start painting.  Six hours later, I had two rooms fully primed (minus the ceilings).  I painted all of the trim as well as the walls.  All the trim in the room was the same color as the door.  Since I'm painting everything anyway and I'm not a big fan of cream trim, that was added to the to-paint list.

The front door will be painted eventually, but I'll do that on a day when there are more people in the house so I can take it off without worrying about being robbed.  Yes, I'm a little paranoid, but I will be  a little paranoid until I'm in the house a little longer.

Ok, here's the timeline -

Friday night, 6-10pm: Prep
– cover floors
– remove curtains
– remove nails/screws/random hooks from walls
– spackle holes

Saturday, 8-10pm: Caulking
– caulk
– caulk
– more caulk

Sunday, 12-7pm: Priming
– cut in
– paint trim
– paint walls

Thirteen hours for two rooms.  Yikes.  BUT! It was worth it to do it right - or so I keep telling myself.

Part of the reason it took so long is that Kilz is THICK.  I was dipping my brush into my bucket every three strokes when cutting in.  I really had to push hard to spread it around.

I used oil based paint for this since the woman at Lowe's told me that would give me the best smell/stain coverage.  The paint itself is pretty stinky.  Once I started painting you definitely couldn't smell the smoke anymore.  There's an odorless option of this paint, but its $4 more a gallon.  Since I'm going to be using around 7 gallons, I'd rather paint with the windows open then spend an extra $28.

Charlie does not love this process.  I take her with me each time I go to the house.  She mostly lays in her bed, lays on the little carpet, or stands outside waiting for a treat.  While I do all the hard work, she catches up on her sleep.  Sometimes, I wish we could switch places.

It may not look beautiful yet, but at least there's progress!  Hurray!  I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Next up - the kitchen. The kitchen has been prepped and now needs some paint. It will be much faster than the living and dining room - there's no baseboard and there's only trim around the windows.  I'm confident that it wont take 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Unspoken Rules

Twenty-seven years ago, my parents built their home.  I was born while we were living in this home.  It's been my home for 27 years and I've loved living here.  I know the rules of the neighborhood because I've been here forever.

For example, when my neighbor starts parking his truck in the driveway every night - spring is here. If the neighbor's suburban is gone then the whole clan is gone. If the suburban is there, but another car is gone, someone is still home and you can go borrow butter/suger/honey.  Mowing the line between our yard and the neighbor's is best done once he has already mowed - he makes a straighter line than us.  If you hear screaming from the neighbor's yard, don't be alarmed - it's just trampoline season.

But now I have to learn a whole new set of rules.

When I was at my house on Monday it rained/snowed the entire time.  I must have peaked out the window every ten minutes to see if anyone else was shoveling.  I will get a fine if my sidewalk isn't shoveled within twenty-four hours of snow fall.  No one else was doing it, so I figured I was safe, but I didn't want to be the rule breaker ten minutes after buying the house

How much should I decorate for Christmas?  There is a house at the end of my street that is famous for their decorations.  I can't match that, but do I need to come close?

What holidays am I expected to decorate for?  I pretty much don't decorate for anything except Christmas.

Will I get many trick-or-treaters?  How much candy should I buy?  I've never had trick-or-treaters before!  I'm looking forward to that.

Do I have to rake? Do people rake their leaves or just leave them alone?

Will I need to be an amazing gardener?  If the answer to that question is yes, I'm in big trouble, folks.

I'm so thankful that I have a driveway.  The unspoken rules of neighborhood parking are the hardest to learn the the ones that people seem to be the most sensitive about.

How loud can I have my music before my neighbor can hear it?

How do I throw out my dead Christmas tree?  At home, we just throw it in the burn pile.  What do these city folks do?

What do I do with all the leaves I rake?  When does the street cleaner come to pick them up?

Where do I put my trash out?

Will I be the weird one in the neighborhood if I paint my front door something other than white?

Don't worry, I'm not actually worried about all of those things. They are just the questions I have.  Somehow I have to figure out the answers.

This is my first time in a neighborhood like this (unless you count college, which I do not). I want to make sure that I am a courteous, kind and thoughtful neighbor.  Anyone want to volunteer to bake some delicious cookies for me to give to neighbors?  If I made them, they would never speak to me again.

Entering a new neighborhood is very exciting!  I can't wait to get to know my neighbors and start to learn my way around the area.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Plans, Plans, Plans

My good friend Kristin said it best - "The potential is killing me! How cute is your house?!"  The answer to that is - pretty darn cute.  There are a lot of things I would like to do to this house and my hope is that I do this beautiful home justice.  I'm going to do my best to make decisions carefully and not rush projects.  

So here's the list -

- clean the garage
- go through items that were left
- uncover garage window

That's my kind of list; nice and short.  Too bad they aren't all like that.

Back Yard: 
- clean up
- move or ditch the bird bath
- reseed the yard to get some fresh grass 
- fix gate
- rake
- clean fence
- paint doors to the basement
- add in motion-sensor lights
- clean/paint solar lighting on fence 

- update sconce by backdoor 
- new counter tops
- add dishwasher
- paint
- clean blinds
- add curtains
- update switch and outlet covers
- clean paint off of door knobs
- replace back door knob (add deadbolt)
- put in new faucet
- add knobs to cabinets
- update ceiling light
- add board and batten to entry

Dining Room:
- paint
- clean blinds
- remove curtains
- remove border
- update switch and outlet covers
- replace light covers in ceiling fan
- hang new curtains

Living Room:
- clean blinds
- frame mirror on closet door (or take it off)
- remove paint from door knobs
- replace front door knob (add deadbolt)
- paint
- update switch and outlet covers
- hang new curtains
- add carpet

I know, I know.  Everyone keeps telling me I'm crazy for wanting to cover these floors.  So allow me to explain my reasoning -

1. wood floors are cold and echo-y. 
2. they are slippery - which means no where to play with the pup in the house
3. rugs are flipping expensive and I can never find one I like
4. Where will I sit on the floor and wrap presents if I don't have carpet?
5. I like carpet.
6. I really like carpet.
7. Charlie likes carpet. 
8. I hate sweeping.
9. My brother-in-law use to install carpet for a living - hello free labor. 

and just to round it off...

10. I like it. End of story.

See this dog? She likes carpet.  We spent a few hours at the house the other night and she was on that carpet whenever she could be.  If it makes you feel any better, I'm covering the section of the floor that's not very nice.  See that line?  On one side, there's nice hardwood and on the other there's dark/dirty hardwood.  The dark/dirty stuff is the living room.  It's not very nice.  

Ok, back to business.

The stairs:
- add bigger strips of carpet for slip prevention. 
- paint the bannister and stair fronts white (this is actually cream, not white)

- paint walls to match living room (?)
- paint bannister
- paint attic door
- replace light fixture

The White Room:
- remove curtains
- clean shades
- update outlet and switch covers
- update light shades in ceiling fan
- remove paint from door knobs
- add open shelving
- add shelving in closet
- put in grounded outlet for ac and computer
- hang new curtains

The Green Room:
- paint
- hang curtains
- update switch and outlet covers
- add grounded outlet for ac
- clean shades
- remove paint from door knobs
- remove stars from the ceiling (I never thought I'd have to do that again)

- oh boy
- this list
- is going to be
- way too long
- remove wallpaper
- update flooring
- get new vanity with cabinet
- put in new/awesome/dream toilet (yes, I have a dream toilet.  If I could find it online I would show it to you.  It's amazing.)
- remove and replace tile
- clean blinds
- add new curtains
- replace shower curtain rod
- add shelving above sink
- add hooks to the wall behind the door
- add glass front cabinet for storage
- new sink
- new faucet
- add tub with jets
- replace sconces by mirror
- update switch and outlet covers
- paint

Some of that will never happen, but I can dream can't I?

Bedroom #3: (the closet)
- add rods for hanging clothes
- remove wallpaper
- paint
- update light fixture
- clean blinds
- add shoe storage

That's it.  Not too bad, right?  Ha, I wish.  I guess it's good to set goals.  I keep reminding myself that John and Sherry don't expect to get everything done right away and that's what they do for a living.  So I'm going to try to remember that.  Plus, even if I get impatient, I won't have the time/money to get it all done right away. 

There are a few projects that are the same for every room in the house.  For example, all the trim and doors in the house are cream.  Someday I would like for them all to be white.  I'm thinking about completely stripping the paint from the doors and staining them.  Not sure yet, but it's an idea worth thinking about.  This is one of those houses where you can tell everything has 10 layers of paint.  Everything would feel so fresh if I could start over.  Many of the hinges have been painted and same goes for the windows, but (thanks to Pinterest) I've found a way to remove paint from hinges.  

Switch and outlet covers vary from wall to wall.  One wall in the living room has cream color plastic, while the next wall has gold metal covers.  Some switch are brown, some cream, some are clear with a red light inside.  Some are just plain scary.  Eventually I would like them all to be white.

Overall, the house just needs a refresher.  A clean coat of paint in each room will go a long way. 

Now if I could just find the time to get over there and actually get started...