Monday, March 24, 2014

Life as of Late

***I'm in the midst of a blog design transition, so bear with me. I'm hoping to have a professional build a site for me soon, but until then I'm too tired to compose a site I love. Content is the same and hopefully this place will have a new face soon!

You've probably heard the saying that goes something like "home renovations take twice as long as expected, and cost twice as much as planned". Well, low and behold, it's totally true. It might even be an understatement.

Last week, the kids and I were homeless while Jon was in flooring install mode, so I wasn't able to get a post up, but it leaves me with lots of updates for you. Here's a little play by play of what life has been looking like in our parts lately (most photos are i-phone pics, apologies on the quality).

February 27th-March 13th
I shared with you here that we finished up with phase I of our flooring install, which was installing floors in the dining room.  We covered them, stored our remaining flooring planks there, and went on with tackling painting and demo projects while prepping our house for the bigger phase II of install.
That included tearing up our half bathroom
(located right off our dining room).
More on that space later.
We were playing lots of musical furniture. As we painted one section of ceiling, we moved the couch this way. When we painted another area, we moved the console table over there. The dining room table sat in our living room. The ottoman sat in our garage. It was one big ole' beautiful mess, and yes, we lived like this for several weeks. Looks like fun, heh?

Go with the flow. 

We also needed to decide on the stain for our hardwoods. We tested out several of the Minwax stain shades, as well as a couple of Old Masters stains. After exhausting both lines, we didn't have an obvious winner. We wanted to avoid any red/orange/yellow tones, but we didn't want anything too dark. 
We loved our wood and decided that we wouldn't settle for an imperfect stain, so we would just do a clear sealer if needed (the center board is samples of a clear sealer in two different brands). If we had more money in our pockets we would have had a custom stain mixed (and applied), but that wasn't an option for us. After testing some different water based poly sealers, we found that sealing the wood brought out the darker natural tones that we were looking for. Ding. Ding. Ding.

Our good friend who assisted us with purchasing our hardwoods also helped us in securing a great quality sealing system for our new floors. We purchased BonaSeal and BonaTraffic through her (both are designed for commercial and residential high traffic use, and not available for retail), which from my research showed to be a a much higher quality brand then most you'll find over the counter.

March 13th & 14th
With the kids in daycare and me at work, Jon (with the help of a friend) removed the remaining large pieces of furniture from our living room and fully pulled up the carpet. We set it out in our driveway. Totally professional, right?
When I returned home from work on Thursday, this is what life was looking like.
It was apparent that at some point the previous owners had
 stained the tongue and groove sub flooring,
 using it as their main flooring in the entrance area
(you like that baby gate that Jon built for us?).
The preparations were "in process" for so long,
that Jon and I were relieved to finally be tackling this project.
Because our main living floor wasn't really suitable for dinner and play, 
we converted our bedroom into a family room/dining room/play room.
As you do. 
Maintain your cool. Just go with it.

March 15th-18th
So that Jon had several days and nights completely uninterrupted, the kids and I headed out of town. My parents were out of the country so the kids and I had free reign at their house, which worked out superbly. We also fit in lots of quality time with cousins.
Quincy and Delaney (two months age difference) having a snack.
The weather was divine with temps in the mid-seventies.
 I even had to stop and buy myself a pair of shorts.
Quincy had her first experience on a swing. Loved it.
Nolan was dirty and barefoot most of the trip.

This is fun. I can keep the kids out of the house for 7-10 days. No problem. 

We survived Ikea with four children, only just barely.
There were tears.
There was roughhousing.
There was a mom that was raising her voice.
But we made it out alive.
We also took a trip to Target to peruse the aisles.
I finally settled on baskets for my dining room console table.
They were the right price. And the right look. And almost the right dimensions.
A whole post on that area is in the works.
I was loving these small cement planters for our soon to be outdoor deck space.
I was  happy to be keeping myself and the kids out of Jon's hair.  He was working sixteen hour days to try to get the flooring laid, but progress seemed to be slow going. We were a day or two behind based on the rough timeline I had laid out for us. He was doing amazing work, but apparently craftsmanship takes time. Every so often at my urging, he'd send me a photo update. 
I'm thankful that he's a perfectionist when it comes to these types of projects,
as I am not.
When we returned back to town late at night on the 18th, he was still awake and
working but the house wasn't exactly functional for a family of four.
My Lord, this is exhausting and we have so far to go.

Our fridge was plugged in in the living room (with very little food in it). Our kitchen was covered in dust. So I did what any good natured woman would do; I checked the kids and I into a hotel the very next morning.

March 19th-21st
Jon needed more time. He needed no interruptions. Seven days in and the process was wearing on him. I tried to remain his encouraging cheerleader, but by this time we were both ready to be at the finish line.  I had always planned on staying at a hotel if it came down to that, so I was mentally prepared to pack us up and head us out.
Somehow we lucked out with one of the best rooms on property.
That yurt in the photo is where Jon use to work.
Thank God for hotels.

I definitely felt a pang of guilt that the kids and I were enjoying mountain views and extra comfortable beds, while Jon was working into the wee hours of the morning.  After two days of daycare pick ups, drop offs, runs by the house to see Jon with some food, and stops at the grocery store (with a teething little girl) I was ready to be at home and I didn't want to continue spending our already spent budget on a hotel room.
Jon and his girl when we stopped by after work
(and that's the dirty flooring stache that he grew).
March 21st-23rd
The kids and I arrived back at home Friday night after work as Jon was near to completing all of the sanding. We all picnicked on our back lawn, and then Jon and I stayed up late filling nail holes and any small gaps with wood filler. We were so close. I could taste it. It was finally time for one last sanding and sealing of the floors.

That brings me to today. They are sealed and drying and most importantly, done.  You'll have to come back later this week to see how they turned out.

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