How to completely ignore your blog and all of it’s followers, then come back and pretend like you haven’t missed a post.

Just kidding. I honestly did not plan on being gone for so long but I was in a coma – at least a blogging coma. The truth is: we got pregnant. With twins. And those first few months were rough – reeeaally rough. Like, I didn’t go anywhere without ziploc baggies to puke into rough. And then they were tiring – reeeaally tiring. And now I have no excuses. I’m on modified bedrest and I’m bored out of my mind and I feel a little guilty to even write this blog – because it’s been so freaking long since I’ve written anything. I almost thought I should just delete this blog, pretend like it never happened, and start a new one. But then I’d lose all those great moments and I’m too sentimental to lose all of those – especially right now – when just about anything brings me to tears.

The bad part about trying to just pick right up again is it’s been 7 months. A lot has happened in those 7 months and I would hate to shortchange all the accomplishments we have made in 7 months by just a quick summary. So, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll give you a nice photo tour of our house right now and maybe I’ll post later about how we did it.

We finaled with our addition about three months ago – at least as far as the city is concerned. Apparently  they don’t care if your front yard is done – because up until last weekend it had about 2 feet of weeds growing everywhere. It’s now freshly graded and trenches are dug for our future front yard. M is at work for the next four days, so nothing is going to happen there…and I was too lazy to walk outside and take a picture so just pretend it looks just like how it did back in July. And honestly, aside from the massive trenches, it really does. So, no pics of the front yard today.

Here is our new entry/music room:

Our livingroom and the tv console table I built from one of Ana White’s plans:

The stairs we still need to finish the skirts and the baseboards on the landing and put in the runner:

Red’s room/alcove bed:

You can see we still haven’t put up any closet doors. Red loves her chandelier. It came white and I just spray painted it yellow.

E’s room:

The dressers are Ikea’s Tarva’s hacked into dressers with bookshelf hutches. I will follow up with a tutorial (probably in the next 7 months…). I built those somewhere between puking my guts out and sleeping my life away.

One of her bookcases opens up to make a little desk. Mike get’s the credit for this hack, I just gave him detailed instructions and some hinges and clasps.

The girl’s Jack and Jill bathroom in all it’s messy glory:
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Our massive master bedroom and bathroom. We still need to stain the end panel on our kitchenette. I also have a canvas coming of a picture I took in Yosemite that will hang over the sink.
You can see I still need to finish painting a lot of the door/alcove trims. Mike says I have until the twins are 3 to finish…I guess he’s basing his timeline on my recent lack of motivation.
Mike’s closet…imagine how it looks with better lighting. Mike and I had a contest at this point: see who could finish their closet first. He did all of the woodworking in his, and I did all of the woodworking in mine. Technically I finished first – only because I caulked and touched up all of the baseboards in my closet and he’s still waiting for me to do that in his. Honestly, his clothes were moved in to his closet about three days before mine were. His also has a secret door that I’m not supposed to talk about…ssssshhhh….if you come over, try and find it.

My closet. These are really crappy pics. You should see it in person.

The Master Shower and WC:21215_master721215_master1 21215_master2
In case you are curious, that’s a painting I did – I based it off of a painting I saw at Target a long time ago but didn’t buy because I didn’t like the colors it was done in…so, it’s a copy of something I saw at Target #expensivetaste

The future nursery with some blankets I’ve been working on:

On the outside we have rain gutters and solar panels. That is all.

Planking the Ceiling, Balcony Railings and a Magical Tile Fairy


Every year our family takes a trip to Yosemite. It’s been a tradition of Mike’s family for decades – generations even. It’s one the girls and I absolutely look forward to. Last year our house plans were still in plan check and we had no idea when construction was going to start – or if we would ever get out of plan check. Funny how much can happen in only a year?

Before we left for Yosemite we set a few goals: plank and paint (#sofreakingsickofpainting) the ceiling in the kitchen/livingroom, build/install/paint balcony railing, take down the remaining scaffolding.

Planking the ceiling…Mike used my cute little 18 gauge finish nailer (I can’t help but smile when I hold this little thing, it’s so light weight and fun to use. I have a 16 gauge one but I’ll admit – this one is my favorite) to nail the boards in place while I made the cuts.

We had to cut around all of the lights in the kitchen. The good thing is one of the lights never worked – even after re-wiring so we replaced all of them with retrofit LED cans.

The girls played on the scaffolding that we set up inside the house #parentsoftheyear.

Just before we finished the last few boards we had the girls draw and write their names on the ceiling.

Masking everything off was like a scene from Dexter:Second_story_addition_6-14-14

So glad this wasn’t one of Mike’s elaborate plans to just take me out.

When we were done we had this wonderfulness to behold:

Of course we weren’t done until 4 in the morning…and we both worked the next day. So I took the photo just now. Sorry for the blinding light and horrible exposure – I take photos with my iPhone because I don’t care.

The boards were from Lowe’s. I had to pre-order from the contractor’s desk 35 packs because they don’t carry enough in the store.  I added a lot for waste because one, these are pine and have a lot of knots and two they are pine and get pretty messed up from the milling and the shipping. In the end we returned about 6 or 7 packs and they were about $14 each. The final tally was under a $1/s.f.

I also got the idea and the pic from The Lettered Cottage.

In my last blog this is what the outside of our house looked like.
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A lot of people asked me what those posts were on Red’s balcony. People thought we were going to build an awning or roof or something over it. Nope. We just didn’t know where to cut them during our framing inspection. Then we were too busy to care and figured we would cut them when it was time to build the railing.

There’s the railing just before Mike went to work and I got out my paint brush. Have I mentioned lately how sick I am of painting? When Mike came home from work this is what he came home to:

Here’s how the entry is looking, all we need is a new doorbell:Second_story_addition_6-14-13

Nice right? I still need to put some trim around those posts and make them look fancy (the two porch posts), but I can deal with this for awhile – maybe even through final.

Then after Yosemite and a 4 day camping trip to Campland by the Bay here is what we came home to:
Second_story_addition_6-14-2 Second_story_addition_6-14-3 Second_story_addition_6-14-4

The tile fairies people will be done sometime next week. I feel a little guilty that we had someone else do our tile. But not enough to do it myself. Floors and doors people. Floors and doors. Our next big hurdle will be the stairs. I am not looking forward to pulling out the micrometers, levels and squares to make these things ready for final. Maybe I’ll procrastinate and build the vanities for our bathrooms instead…

90% Done On the Outside

Mike and I didn’t wait very long to start painting the outside of the house. We sprayed and back-rolled the eaves/facias/walls. The walls we painted Ben Moore Chelsea Gray in low luster and the eaves Snowfall White. A couple of neighbors stopped by and said they thought we had lost our minds when they saw the pink go up. Others commented saying, “Oh! It looks like you finally picked a color!” As though all the different colors were color swatches…A few – the ones who probably actually read this blog were happy to see we are just getting closer to being done and said they liked the gray.
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siding ben moore chelsea gray8

While Mike was at work it was my job to paint all of the trim. When he came home we installed it and that took a couple of days to get it all right. (I may have made him re-do a few pieces three times. Third time’s a charm.) After flashing, I caulked and filled all the holes and seams and painted them with two more coats of Ben Moore Snowfall White in Low Gloss and called it good. While I did that he installed all of the lap siding. We chose hardi trim and hardi lap planking for durability. The lap board comes yellow. I started painting it before I realized I hadn’t taken a picture of it being installed…sorry!siding ben moore chelsea gray6

That’s what it looked like while I was painting…I painted all the lap siding with a 6″ roller and a trim brush. 2 coats. I am sick of painting.

Here’s how it looks with the scaffolding down:
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And here is an up close picture of the trim:
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The main boards are hardi trim but the little accent pieces are vinyl trim pieces that I added. I think it’s looking really good. Mike and I find ourselves wasting a lot of time just staring at our work. It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come…and yet we still have so much more to do before it is finally done.

I’ll leave you with a few pics of our storage nightmare right now:siding ben moore chelsea gray9siding ben moore chelsea gray1  siding ben moore chelsea gray3

Mike’s at work and I’m sanding all the pieces for the balcony railing. Tonight I’ll paint them. Did I mention I am sick of painting? When we started this whole project it never occurred to me how much painting it would involve.

Our Hideously Pink, Orange, Yellow and Brown House.

You know the saying, “You get what you pay for”? Well. Yeah.

Our color coat was free (not the labor, but the product). This technically saved us several thousand dollars because it is synthetic stucco. It’s more like rubber than anything else and when you live in an area known to produce this:

Having stucco that is flexible and never cracks is a must. Remember how I said The Captain was a stucco contractor? Well, he gave us all of his leftover synthetic stucco. You can imagine what that produced.
Captain Brownlee during a ceremony to pay homage to the British soldiers who died in the war, in Stanley

May I present our Ombre House.

That’s not a lighting issue people. Those are real true changes in color. Synthetic color coat comes in 5 gallon buckets and you apply it directly to the wall straight out of the bucket. It has sand already in it. A 5 gallon bucket covers roughly 100 s.f. so every 10×10 section has a different color. The funny thing is it’s all peaches and beige.

I wish I knew what our neighbors were saying about us, but I’m too embarrassed to ask. The good news is unlike conventional stucco that you should not paint, synthetic is made from acrylics so painting it only makes it better. The final color will be Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray for the main colors and Decorator’s White for the trim.

In other news…The trim around all the windows is done (yay me!) and painted.

Mike found the light box for the vanity light in the girl’s jack and jill bathroom and we put the light up.

Mike finished the Durock for the master shower.

He also installed a new garage door opener, the lights in the garage, all the electrical receptacles/outlets/face plates/fans/low voltage faceplates and leveled my washer and dryer and stacked them back up. I’m pretty excited to do laundry (since moving here) and not get hit in the head by a swinging door.

There’s a bunch of other things to do before we are done, but it’s closing in – the end is near people, I can feel it!