Tag Archives: mold

Our Ongoing Home Reno & Other Updates

Hey there!

Here’s a little update on life for us these days.

House

We moved to our new fixer upper home almost 7 months ago. I joke with hubby that we ought to just dig a big hole in the backyard and start throwing money into it, because it has been one giant money pit! A mold report that came back showing high levels of (non toxic) mold less than a month after we bought the house really pushed us to replace the areas were there had been water exposure (floors, under kitchen sink) much faster than we had originally planned. ¬†And then the snowball just started rolling as one thing led to another. That’s home renovation for you, I suppose!

Here’s a list of some of the things we’ve redone since we moved in:

Tear out back deck (was structurally unsafe).

Deck (removed).

New carpet in family room and bedrooms:

I didn’t really have any “carpet” pictures, but you can kind of see it here.

Removed wall between dining room and kitchen:

Before. (This wall drove me nuts because I couldn’t keep track of the kids!)

After. I love it!

Laminate in kitchen, fireplace room, hallway and master closet:

Closet doors (two sets), screen door, side garage door:

Tile floors in laundry room and kids’ bathroom:

I tried to pick tile that matched the laminate.

Replaced Kitchen counter tops, sink (chipping), faucet & garbage disposal (leaked whenever running):

Before. This wasn’t too long after we moved in.

Before.

After. My inner clean freak is very happy with having quartz counter tops now!

Tile back splash in kitchen (which we had to add because there was a big gap between the counter tops and the wall):

Pulled out melamine desk/cabinets and put in smaller desk area with upper shelving:

Replaced furnace and A/C (yes we wanted to cry when we learned we needed to replace BOTH):

New A/C.

Dishwasher (which died right after the furnace and A/C – more crying, hehe). New dishwasher will be here in two weeks.

Replaced fridge (died on moving day), stove and microwave.

Painted bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets:

Painted ENTIRE house (including ceilings).

Replaced almost all light fixtures and 2 out of 3 fans (we saved the only one that worked).

Whew! That wasn’t even a comprehensive list. And what’s sadder is that the “to do” list is still a mile long! The bottom line, however, is that we LOVE living here. We love the space (1/2 acre), the neighborhood, the proximity to hubby’s work, and also the fact that we live super close to my in laws! (And as a side note, both my parents and my hubby’s Dad were instrumental in helping us get a lot of the above list completed!)

Kids

Josh & Rachel are doing fine. Josh is just over 3 and Rachel is 20 months. I sure do love them and enjoy my days with them. I know everyone else has adorable/smart/funny kids, but some days I seriously wonder which state penitentiary my kids will end up at–because they can be quite devious! Some days Josh and I really do battle it out. I’m no marshmellow Mom in any sense of the word, so I often have to remember to look for ways that I can answer “yes” instead of “no.” Rachel is very determined and doesn’t give up easily either, but she does have much shorter tantrums, which I am thankful for!

I like to remember the following so please tune out if this is crazy boring (I imagine it would be to most):

Josh wears 3T clothing and wears a an 8/9 shoe. He weighs 31.6# (No joke, he’s weighed exactly 31.6# the last several times he’s asked to hop on the scale!) and a few months ago he was just over 3 feet tall. We took away his paci back in April and it wasn’t a big deal at all (we were shocked! And thankful…).

Rachel wears 18-24 months clothing and is somewhere between a size 5 or 6 shoe. She is only a few inches shorter than Josh. She still doesn’t have to many words, but she’s working on it every day. She’s been in a size 5 diaper for a while. I use Pampers diapers and water only wipes or else she tends to be prone to really bad diaper rash.

Don’t be fooled. They’re wanna-be felons, I tell you! ūüôā

Weight Loss

I wrote a while back about experiencing unintended weight loss. I’m happy to report that out of the 16# I lost, I gained 7-8# of it back and that seems to be where things have settled. I’m not unhappy about it, but I do wish I had a better appetite most days so that cooking would feel less like a chore.

Endometriosis

I don’t really want to go on and on when it comes to this topic. The synopsis is: The endo does seem to be back. Some months are bad and some are okay. I cut out caffeine back in February which seemed to really help with pain levels. I still seem quite unable to get pregnant without intervention (IVF), so that’s a drag. At the same time, I have little to no desire to go through IVF again (not that we could afford it right now after all these home repairs!). I’ve been thinking about my options for when things DO get consistently bad, pain-wise. One option is to see a specialist who would excise all endo (cutting it out, rather than burning it off) and see how far that gets me. Another option would be to do a hysterectomy and also have current endo excised. This may still not alleviate pain (endo grows back easily and hides, so that it can be tricky even for specialists to find) and I still may require further surgeries. In all honesty, I’m hoping avoid any surgeries at all, because the frequent pain I get from adhesions and scar tissue following surgeries is off the charts.

Well I think that covers some of the basics! Thanks for sticking it through the post!

 

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Filed under Baby, DIY, Endometriosis, Finances, Infertility, IVF, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Toddler

Settling In

Per usual fashion, I have about 3 minutes to type until the kids get up from their naps.

We are slowly settling into our new home. We still have a list a mile long of things we need to repair or replace, but we’re taking it at a much slower pace. We do have mold, predominantly in our kitchen area. We know there were leaks under the sink and under the fridge, and there’s still a lot of moisture showing up there under the laminate. We’re guessing that’s where the mold is (which, by the way, is not ultra high levels and also¬†not TOXIC mold, praise God!). So bye-bye laminate flooring – it will need to be pulled up. I’m batting for tile so we can never worry about leaking anything for a long, long time. We have to replace the counter/sink/faucet/garbage disposal (which is leaking at the moment) as well, and so with a rather long list of needed repairs to get rid of mold, I’ve picked up quite a few night shifts at the hospital. I’m thankful for such a great job, which lets me work the spectrum of hours.

I’ve got up Costco’s awesomely¬†massive¬†Christmas wreath on our front door and some decorations on the fireplace mantle (thanks to Target’s $1 aisle). We’re on the fence about putting up the Christmas tree this year. 14 month old Rachel is active, determined, and in no way, shape or form a quitter. She will pull that tree down as fast and as hard as she can make it happen! Even so, I still think we shouldn’t skip out on the tree this year though. We might have to get creative.

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Target’s $1-$3 aisle is all really cute stuff right now.

Life with these two kiddos is so busy. I have no idea how people have 2 toddlers plus older kids at home and don’t lose their minds. Maybe it’s Rachel’s age and stage at the moment- I’m not sure?

Some of Rachel’s most favorite activities include:

  • Getting into Josh’s diaper pail.
  • Trying to get Josh’s dirty diaper away from Mom before she throws it into the diaper pail.
  • Taking wipes away from Mom while she is trying to change Josh’s diaper.
  • Eating Mom’s dirty socks.
  • Eating Mom’s dirty shoes.
  • Throwing food off of high chair tray.
  • Smearing food-laden greasy hands through hair (as many times as possible to complete the “look”).
  • Sucking on shampoo bottle.
  • Playing with toilet lid.
  • Bursting into brother’s room while he’s napping, or at least screeching loudly outside his door.
  • Snuggling with Mom.
  • Giggling and laughing while ANYONE pays attention to her.
  • Eating “special treats” after dinner (this girl loves M&M’s).

So you see, this girl keeps us on our toes (but also keeps a smile on our faces). Her big brother Josh, who will be 3 in March, puts up with his sister’s shenanigans fairly well for the time being. Occasionally he is provoked a little too much and he snaps back at her. He loves her though and is a good helper. I really love the times I get to spend just with Josh. He is learning and growing so much and it is really fun to discover a little bit of how his brain works (ahem.. a lot like his father’s.)

Well, the timer’s going off, and if I don’t get Josh up he’ll take forever to fall asleep tonight.

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

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Don’t be fooled, that headband lasted about 3 seconds.

Isn't this the cutest little bench?

Isn’t this the cutest little bench?

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Moving Houses & A One Year Old’s Belated Party

I am very behind on blogging!

I guess that’s what happens when you suddenly decide to put your house on the market and move to another town? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Flipping the calendar back, let’s land on September when Rachel turned one.

We had a little party at my folk’s house (which is an hour away).

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Glad we got some pictures because I can’t even remember what we served for lunch. It appears that we had Mexican food!

Rachel did great and never shed a tear until nap time came around. She’s our social butterfly!

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Blowing out the candle (by Mom, of course). dsc_0651

Digging into her cupcake. Pretty sure that was her first cupcake ever! She loved it.

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That was followed by opening a pile of really fun baby girl gifts. This girl got showered in adorable clothes this year! Also, her Daddy and  I made her a dollhouse.  I got the idea from another blog.

 

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Then we stumbled upon a house owned by a friend of my hubby’s parents. The house was ten minutes from hubby’s work, on 1/2 acre, and close to a park. It was a little older than our current house, and needed some work, but it was also bigger. The house, because we’d forgo using a realtor, was actually in our price range. So we decided to go for it. We worked like crazy and got our house on the market in two (TWO!) days. It sold in 4 days, and what a HUGE blessing that was, because trying to keep a pristine house with two toddlers was nearly impossible. I found myself saying the most ridiculously thing to the kids, like “Why are you touching that TOY?!”

We we able to start working on our new house before we moved in (thanks to it being owned at the time by a really nice guy) and we scraped popcorn ceilings in the bedrooms, bathroom and master closet. Then we painted almost the ENTIRE house inside – ceilings and all! We got the carpet replaced (because there had been pets and it didn’t smell so great) and my hubby got started replacing baseboards (the old/current ones were foam/vinyl). Before we moved in, I chalk painted all of the kitchen cabinets. My father in law installed some new lights and fans. My parents worked like dogs too, coming over several times a week to scrape ceilings, paint, dismantle a deck, clean out gutters, paint some more, etc. In was a TON of work, and hubby and I burned the midnight oil for a couple of weeks with me leaving the house a bit after 5 am to work on the house and he staying after work really late most days. If I wasn’t working on the new house, I was at the old house packing and trying to keep two toddlers busy/happy.

I ‘ll have to post some before and after pics of the house soon. There’s a lot still that is unfinished. But here’s one of the kitchen (picture from before we bought the house):

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Today: It’s underexposed because at the moment we don’t have much lighting in the kitchen (it’s getting replaced).

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We had to replace the oven and microwave, because you couldn’t actually *open* the old dishwasher due to the old oven’s configuration (the oven’s bottom handle was in the way). The old microwave’s vent was busted, so we replaced the microwave.

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We plan to replace counter tops and the sink soon. There’s a leak related to the garbage disposal under the sink, so that will need to be dealt with as well.

And just in case you think our lives are like Pollyanna (which I’m sure you could say they are compared to some!) we did encounter some rough patches while moving! The night before we moved, someone busted the side garage door of our new house and stole my hubby’s drill and my father in law’s saw out of the garage. But they would have had access to the house too, because the door to the house had been unlocked. I had entered the house early that morning after the tools were stolen, although unbeknownst to me (with the kids) and was SO thankful there was no one here in the house when we walked in! Creepy! I also had a flat tire that morning that was repaired, but hubby got a flat tire a few days later and had to buy a new set of tires. And at the end of moving day, I noticed that our fridge was really hot on the exterior and not keeping up temperature-wise. It was also making an electrical burning-type smell. We lost all our food because by the time we realized the fridge was toast, all the food in the freezer had thawed. We ended up needing to buy a new fridge!

And tomorrow, we’re having our house tested for mold, because hubby has become mildly wheezy since moving in. We just need to know for sure.

There’s about 100 other things that need to be done at this new house, but it’s in a nice neighborhood and I love the house and yard. I don’t mind work in general, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. I like to have lots to do! Also, I am loving only being ten minutes from hubby’s work (as opposed to 40-45 mins) and all of the space here!

Hopefully we haven’t bought a money pit. I’m looking to the Lord to give me peace as we try to find inexpensive ways to tackle projects around here.

More on that later! Nap time here is over. May the Lord bless you and your week!

 

 

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