Tag Archives: home projects

It’s that time again

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It’s that time of year again. It’s the time when I find myself writing lists and marking up calendars more furiously than the rest of the year. Believe me…I am a listing fool, year round. Around the holidays there’s usually a spike in my number of active lists, but for obvious reasons. From the end of June and into July though…is like no other time.  This year I thought it would be a little less noticeable. After all, I have a really cool planner that I carry with me now. And I’ve been working harder since February to stay on top of things. Well…I thought wrong.

The past couple of weeks have been busy, and there are many things scheduled for the next 4 weeks. Doctors appointments, birthday parties, trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Tommy’s evaluation. There are many more that still need to be scheduled. More doctors appointments, playdates, and heaven only knows what else. Things appear on my To Do list just as fast, if not faster than I can cross them off.

Towards the end of last week, we settled on a date and a plan for Tommy’s birthday party.  He has chosen a pirate theme.  We’ll be renting a bounce house for the backyard.  We’ve invited his pirate mateys and their families to come for the party and stay for dinner.  I’ve been meaning to schedule a get together with several families for a while now, so this takes care of that too.  Invites have been sent, so now it’s time to prepare.  Not only do I have to clean up the house and make all the party arrangements, but we also have to finish the household projects that are currently ongoing. 

Over the weekend, we painted Tommy’s bed, reassembled it and finished moving him in to his new room. (pics to come soon!)  We were able to get some of the “playroom” stuff out of the hallway and into the new playroom.  But, there are still more tools in the playroom than there are toys.  I played librarian and reshelved ~4 dozen stray books that were found strewn about the upstairs.  Sounds like we’re moving right along…but we’re not.  Yesterday I wrote lists for all the things that need to get done.  There’s the party planning list…buy pinata, order cake, plan food, etc.  Then, there’s the list of stuff to do around the house…way too long!  Add to these the list of gift ideas and the list of ordinary, mundane tasks that are hanging out there, and I’m being listed to death.  Three large yellow post-it notes cover all the days of my weekly calendar view and are accompanied by a list straight down the side of the page in the area designated for listing.

I know I just said the other day that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.  Right now though, I feel like I’m beyond sweating.  I feel as though I’m being defeated by the little things!

oh yeah…did I mention…the party is in just over a week?!

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Home Project #1: The new bedroom

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Recall that earlier in the year I talked about our seemingly endless string of home projects to be tackled.  Well, since then the projects have become more defined.  We’ve made decisions about what we can afford to do now and what can wait until later.  I’m so excited to be able to say that the first of these projects is complete, mostly.

About 8 weeks ago we began construction to convert our loft into our home’s 4th bedroom. Here’s the view from the foyer, before we got started.

Getting started…

At this point, the kids and I headed out with grandma and grandpa for an afternoon at the children’s museum.  When we returned…

Major progress for just one day.  But there was still much more to do.  By last week, much of that work had been completed, so we went ahead and moved Anna in to her new room. (It still needs closet doors and other little details in the closet.)

And…the finishing touches arrived on Wednesday.  We LOVE this fabulous vinyl decal from Simple Shapes.

Now, it’s on to the next project!

Oh…it has been too long.

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There has been so much going on lately, much of which would be great to reflect on…but there just hasn’t been time.  Where are things at right now?  (a crude attempt at a summary.)

Tommy’s sensory issues seem to be under control at this point.  (Yes, I’m aware that this could change at any time.)  They finally have a new OT at his school.  His teacher has spoken with her about Tommy and, on her recent observations, she sees no sensory issues.  As far as the teacher and I go, the larger “problem” right now is Tommy’s focus.  He is having trouble during free writing time.  He can’t make a decision on a topic.  He is struggling to write 2-3 sentences when his classmates are writing 5+.  He says he “can’t think of what to write.”  The teacher also reports difficulty during independent work time.  He is not completing tasks that she believes are things he is capable of doing.  His OT has been working with him on the writing.  We’re going to try to coach him through the process of descriptive writing.  As for the inattentiveness at other times of the day, I must admit that I am very worried.  This difficulty with focus, plus his general distractibility is unsettling to me.  We’ll have to see what the next couple of months bring.

Anna is moving into a new phase of her own.  We see this every spring as her birthday approaches.  This year, it’s big.  Turning 5 will open up a whole new world for her.  She will get to go to summer camp with the “big kids” and she will go to Kindergarten in the fall.  She wants to be a “big kid” and wants to be independent.  She is not afraid to assert herself or to express her opinions.  Unfortunately these are not always done in the best way.  She insists on doing things by herself, but gets really upset when she can’t do something.    We’ve had a lot of meltdowns and conflict lately.

Household projects are moving right along.  Perhaps not as quickly as I/we had originally planned, but they are still moving.  Anna moved into her new room on Monday.  Granted, it still doesn’t have closet doors, but its definitely livable.  Next up…tearing up more carpet and touching up paint to turn her old room into Tommy’s new room.  For the first time in 6 years, the room I decorated as a nursery is going to be void of all things baby.  I had already let go of most of the furniture items that were originally in that room, but to take the decorations off the walls and turn it into Tommy’s ocean room…that’s going to be major closure for me.  Eek!

What a Wild Weekend

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Weekends in our house are usually pretty low key, especially this time of year.  As it starts to warm up, which it appears it isn’t going to do for another few weeks, we begin to pick up again.  We’ll start taking trips to the zoo, bike rides, afternoons at the park, etc.  For now though, we’re still low key.  This weekend, however, was a bit different.

Tommy came home Friday night very excited.  First of all, he had earned his respectful citizen badge at school.  Given the way the year started off, this is a major accomplishment and we are very proud of him.  In addition, he was chosen as star of the week for this week.  They have a jungle/safari theme in their class this year, so they actually call it “Top Banana”.  Being Top Banana is a really cool thing, especially since it starts with a weekend with the class monkey, Bongo.  Bongo is a webkin that has taken some great adventures in the homes of Tommy’s classmates.  As part of being Top Banana, Tommy had to write a story about what he and Bongo did this weekend, complete with pictures.  (SO glad he mentioned this first thing when he came home on Friday!!)  He was really into this, so it was a lot fun for all of us.

Bongo playing Legos with Tommy

Saturday was not a normal Saturday for us.  Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, which happens about once a month.  Also, we started probably the biggest of our planned home improvement projects.  Aaron and his boss spent most of Saturday building the wall that converts our loft into a bedroom.  In the meantime, the kids and I took Grandma and Grandpa to the children’s museum to stay out of the way.  The museum was a blast.  We’ve been there before, but it’s been about a year and a half since our last visit.  Both kids had a much different perspective on it this time.  None the less, 3 hours there was FAR more exhausting for mommy than it was for Tommy and Anna.  As for the wall, it has been framed and the drywall is up.  Aaron still has to do what I’m told is drywall mud.  After that, there will be door frames and trim and then on to painting.  Still much more to be done before the project is complete, but this was a major sized first step.  I will post progress pictures later.

The year ahead

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I’m not normally one for New Year’s resolutions, but I must admit that I have spent a significant amount of time contemplating the year ahead.  We have things that we have chosen to tackle this year.  We also have a number of things that need to be addressed, that need some resolution.

Those things that need resolution, they’ll be…well…they’ll creep up in due time and we’ll just have to roll with the punches.  That’s just how life is.  (I’m sure I’ll get around to talking about those things as they come up.)  We’re largely a roll with the punches, live life by the seat of our pants kind of family.  It works for us…or so we thought.

Late last year, I gave a lot of thought to where we’re headed, as a family.  I thought about all the dreams that Aaron and I have for our home, for our kids, and for us.  It hit me that many of these things will never come to be as we envision them if we don’t start making preparations.  Today marks 6 years since we moved into this house (and bought our van).  In that time, we’ve painted a handful of rooms and filled a few with new furniture.  We’ve hung some pictures on the walls and replaced a few appliances.  We’ve talked about all sorts of things we’d like to do “someday”, but never really gave much thought to their execution…until now.  This is the year that we’re going to make things happen.  We have come to the realization that we just have to take the bull by the horns and start making things happen.

First up, converting our house to a true 4 bedroom home by converting the loft to a bedroom.  Along with this, we’ll be tearing up all the upstairs carpeting and replacing it with laminate flooring.  Once this room is complete, it will need a coat of paint (probably pink) and some window treatments and it will be Anna’s new bedroom.  Once she’s settled there, then her old room will get the new flooring and Tommy will move in.  No paint needed there, as the blue paint already coordinates with his shark/ocean theme. 

Of course, this isn’t all as easy as it sounds.

The loft is currently Aaron’s “office”.  No, it is not needed for daily business, but it can’t exactly be packed up for months.  It will need a temporary home until Tommy is out of his room, and even then I’m not sure what its ultimate destination is.  Realistically, I would like to move the kids “playroom” upstairs and Aaron’s office downstairs.  This requires a bit more work though.  The plan here is to have the rather large sliding glass door in the current “playroom” (designated by the builder as a sunroom) replaced by a window and a regular door.  Once this is done, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to keep the tile that is in that room right now, or if it will have to be replaced right away.  There are many unanswered questions here.

There’s also painting the living room and adjoining dining room, which will probably spill over into the foyer and up into the upstairs hall.  The vaulted ceilings will probably require us to hire someone for this.