Thursday, July 17, 2014

4th of July Catch-Up

Ho-de-hum, where to start...
 
The girls and I had an enjoyable trip to Utah for the 4th of July, although we were all missing Paul an awful lot since he stayed behind to keep working on the house.  We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows up the canyon one night,











went swimming with grandparents and cousins,







watched fireworks on the 3rd in Farmington while listening to an awesome live band and eating fresh cotton candy,





watched fireworks from Paul's parents front yard in Alpine looking over a good swatch of Utah Valley while listening to the Sousa station on Pandora, enjoyed a 4th of July party at Jennie's house (her birthday is the 3rd and her husband, Ryan's, birthday is the 4th),








 












went shopping with my sis, "helped" Grandpa Russ garden,




did a zumba class, got a horrible 24-hour flu bug (that was definitely the low part of the trip), went to the Bountiful temple to do a session, got a mani/pedi, went for an early morning run on a trail near my parents house, got to see Kayli's two sisters and her youngest brother who were passing through and seeing their grandparents who live about a mile from my mom and dad,



and generally got to love on my darling nieces (especially Adelaide who is 1 and just the sweetest thing ever and who is completely smitten with her Aunt Amy which went straight to my head since she was constantly coming over to lay her head on my shoulder or lap or leg or basically any part of me that she could touch and giving me crazy kisses and her momma said that she isn't like that with anybody else, not even her mom). 


 

The new house is definitely coming along but oh gosh this is a long process and it is just going to keep on going for a good long while still.  We got back on Saturday morning and the carpet was installed that afternoon (it was supposed to have been done Thursday, then Friday, and then got pushed to Saturday by the razzle-frazzin flooring company that couldn't seem to get its act together).  We quickly put together beds and the crib and enjoyed finally sleeping in our own rooms that night and I have been spending every spare minute of the girls' naptime since then desperately trying to unpack and organize and create some semblance of hominess for us because I feel like we have been displaced for a while.  Paul was able to get two closets installed (Clara's and the guest bedroom) last night which has been a huge help because it finally gave me some shelves and space to hang clothes and store books and toys that have just been in piles.  New windows were installed today and the garage is slowly, slowly emptying out.  There is a bunch of finish work to be done in the bedrooms (trim around windows and doors, closet doors installed, baseboard caulked and nail holes filled and touched up, light fixtures chosen and installed to replace the bare bulbs we put up as temporary measures, etc.) and it is going to take a while just to do all of that so we aren't going to be moving on to the kitchen, living room and family room anytime soon (like, maybe not even before Christmas - we'll just see). 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Moving Day and a House Remodel Update

Well, we finally made the move from our house on Willowmont Ave. in San Jose to the new house in Dublin (California, not Ireland).  Actually, we have been in the process of moving for the past month and a half, essentially ever since we closed on the house.  Since Paul is planning to do most of the work on the house himself and since his commute from San Jose into San Francisco was brutal, he went ahead and moved in to the new house the week we closed so that he has been able to work on the house every evening without worrying about waking the girls up with hammering and nailing and other construction nuisances like the terrible dust from sanding drywall. 
 
I would bring the girls up on the weekends and we would all camp out in the living room together.  It was no fun for any of us being apart during the week but Paul would call me every night around 11:30 or so when he was finishing up the project he was working on that night.  And I would drive up with the girls at least once or twice during the week anyway to meet up with contractors for bids on a couple of projects like windows and a laundry room that we were hiring out.  Every time I came up I loaded the back of the minivan up with boxes that I packed during the evenings after the girls had gone to bed so by this past weekend all that was really left in the house to move were the beds, couches, lawn mower, grill, and a few additional boxes with things that we used up to the last minute like dishes and a box of toys and books for the girls.  Other than those things though, I did about 80% of the move myself on trips I was making anyway in the minivan.  Even with all the preliminary moving though, it still took all morning on Saturday to get things packed into a Uhaul and that was with the help of our friends Johannes and Christine (Christine let Clara come play at her house with Silas and Liesel so that she wouldn't be in the way and Johannes helped Paul with the heavy lifting while I went around gathering smaller things and cleaning - Rose slept practically the entire morning because she is the most helpful babe ever) and Brad and Brandon.
 
Our plan is/was to do the four bedrooms first so that we will have nice clean living space to move into.  Unfortunately, we aren't quite to the finish line with that (doors, baseboard, trim, and subfloor all need to be installed still to make them move-in-able and even then there will be smaller finishing projects that need doing (the list never ends when you own a fixer-upper) like building closet shelves, trimming around windows, screwing the face plates back on outlets, etc.  But since we had to be out of the San Jose house by the 4th of July we decided to bite the bullet, make the move, and I will take the girls to Utah for just a little bit longer to be out of Paul's hair while he gets those things finished up and the carpet goes down. 
 
But it really is getting close and Paul has done such a great job and worked so hard on our new house.  And he has had some help along the way from his cousin-in-law (I guess that is the official relationship) Kevin and his sons, as well as a couple of ward members from the new ward doing things like sheetrocking the ceiling and demolitioning floors and a bathroom vanity and hauling all the debris out to a dumpster. 
 
I just love how it is turning out.  Even the little things that most people probably wouldn't notice or think about like the new LED light fixtures he put in the hallway make such a huge difference.  Here are some pictures of some of the progress:
 
The master bathroom/closet area had drop-down ceilings for some ridiculous fluorescent light fixture so Paul tore it all out and raised the ceiling height by a foot or so.  Here it is with the ceiling torn out:
 

And then after Paul installed sheetrock and can lights:


And as of this morning with texture, primer and paint.  We aren't bothering with edging the walls and ceilings since Paul wants to install crown molding throughout so I know this doesn't look super finished or anything (and probably won't for a couple of months) but the ceiling and walls are all clean and new and there will be new flooring by the time I get back from Utah so it is getting close!

 
The laundry area was a really important part of the house for me since I hate going out to the garage to do laundry.  There were three little closets in the same corner of this house - a coat closet, a utility closet, and a little linen closet - that we decided to combine into one laundry closet.  Because it involved plumbing, hvac, reframing, and a bunch of other stuff, we hired this out.  Here is the space right after demo happened with a view from the living room.  The empty space that was a doorway is now framed in and will be drywalled and closed up in the next week or two.
 

Here is the other side of the area viewed from just inside the master bedroom.  The opening on the far left was the linen closet entrance and the opening on the right was the utility closet entrance.  So we are going from three doors down to one door, which will be the old linen closet entrance.


And here is the beautiful new washer and dryer stacking set installed and ready to run.  There is an air intake on the bottom left of this picture (wrapped in yellow insulation material) that will be framed in but the space about that will be outfitted with shelves for laundry baskets, detergent, etc.  It isn't a big laundry room by any means, but it is functional and SO much more convenient than the old laundry (that was in the kitchen of all places - we are reclaiming that space for a fridge and pantry to expand the kitchen) or in the garage (which was the only other viable option).


 
Here is a before shot of the master bathroom vanity area:
 

And this is pretty much how it currently looks after demo (although the light fixture is gone now).

 
We tried four different grey options (after spending way too much time looking at 50 color samples and narrowing it down) and went with the one in the middle on the top (its called Shoreline from Benjamin Moore).  We are big pansies when it comes to wall color and are just doing one color throughout the entire house rather than choosing different colors for each room.  Besides, it makes it easier down the road if we decide to sell the house if it has all been painted in one neutral color.
 

Paul had an excellent helper when it came time to primer the newly textured walls.  By the way, there are no pictures of this but getting to this point took weeks of removing wood paneling on walls, scraping off glue, texturing with drywall compound, repairing cracks, fixing electrical issues, and sanding.  But all that stuff is boring to photograph and doesn't look like much even though it is crazy tons of work.

 

This is a picture of Clara's bedroom after priming:


And another after painting (ceilings have all been painted too) and installing some of the subfloor:


And here is a picture of the huge dumpster that was filled with debris from inside the house.  We'll have to get another one when we move onto the living room, family room, and kitchen.

 
The girls have been angels through all of this.  Clara has been thrilled about getting to stay up late and get her hands dirty "helping" with projects and between times she has enjoyed watching movies on Paul's computer.  She finally got over her fears of Captain Hook and Lucifer the Cat and now loves watching Peter Pan and Cinderella (although she is limited to one movie a day and she doesn't get to watch them every day). 


And Rose has proved to be best baby in the world by still going to sleep at 6:00 p.m. every night, like clockwork, and staying asleep until 6:00 a.m. even when Paul was installing subfloor using an air compressor and a staple gun (it was crazy loud and she just snoozed away like construction sounds were the white noise we have set her up with every night since she was born or something - it was insane). 


Hopefully the next time I do a post about the house we will be moved into the bedrooms and I can post true "after" shots of the remodel.  Except then it will mean it is time to move on to the next project... sigh...