Sunday, September 26, 2010

The First Night

We spent our first night in the house last night. It actually wasn't bad. Just in case, we all slept in the same room... SIL dragged the twin mattress into our bedroom and we all slept on mattresses on the floor. Without bottom sheets because I couldn't find any. We all got a really good night's sleep though, except for about a half hour from 3:30-4 am. Madison woke up at 3:30 and started walking around the room very obviously confused. Poor thing! So I very quietly tried to get up to get her before she woke everyone up. Too late. She found SIL and jumped into "bed" with her, so now we're all awake. And now we all had to go to the bathroom. And then Madison wouldn't go back to sleep. So I slept the rest of the night (a total of almost 12 hours!) with her curled up in my arms.

Luckily tonight we will have our bed, so we (and Madison) will be a lot more comfortable.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

All Moved In!

Dining Room
This morning we went over to the house very early because the Comcast guy was coming between 8 and 11 (not 11 and 1 like we thought). After a little bit, R left me at the house to clean and wait, while they went and started loading the truck. My uncle showed up at the house and started working on some plumbing for us. Turns out we need to clean out our Kitchen sink waste pipe.. it's clogged up with black grossness! When they went to the apartment to help pack/move, I started cleaning the fridge. For now we're planning on using the existing refrigerator, to save some money. It's in good shape, just disgustingly dirty! Well, a whole bottle of Soft Scrub later, it's sparkling! Now I'll put food in it!

The first load of furniture and boxes arrived and were unpacked very quickly! Then we all headed back to the house and loaded up again. Then me, R and his brother went down to my client's house to get the washer and dryer. When we arrived back at the house, pizza from Randy's was waiting for us! Yum yum! The washer and dryer went upstairs without any problems, but the box spring for our bed was another story. It was about a half an inch too big to fit up the front stairs, so I came up with the idea that maybe it could fit up the back stairs if we went in through the shed. Well, about an hour and 2 taken apart stair treads later, it didn't fit. I was telling my mom about this and she said that my cousin and her husband cut theirs in half and then bolted it back together to get it in their house, so maybe we'll try that tomorrow. For now everyone is exhausted! We have way too much stuff!!
Living Room
Guest Bedroom
Master Bedroom

Friday, September 24, 2010

All Packed Up

Ok, now I'm getting sad. All of our stuff is packed up (with the exception of some clothes, shower stuff and the router for my laptop), and the apartment looks sad and empty. I met with the apartment owner and maintenance guy this afternoon so they could look around the apartment to see if there was anything we needed to fix. They told us that we'd have to paint the Living Room too! So uncool. That color is so light! I think they were just frustrated because now that they bought the complex they don't let anyone paint anymore, but we painted when the other owners owned it, and they said it was okay. No fair.

Later in the afternoon me and R (and Madison) went to pick up the UHaul, and then R's sister L and my sister Z met us back at the apartment. The four of us had supper at the mall because we had to pick up the hand truck and more boxes.  Then I spent the rest of the night cleaning and organizing all of the boxes so things would go as smoothly as possible tomorrow when everyone is helping us.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Very Generous Clients

One of the jobs we're currently working on at work is a house renovation in Deep River. I got an email from the clients tonight saying that they would like to give me and R their washer and dryer! For free! The asbestos removal at their house begins on Monday and they need to have the house cleared out by then, so the only catch is that we have to come this weekend to pick them up. Well guess what! We already have the UHaul scheduled for this weekend! Piece of cake! I can't believe they're being so generous! A new washer and dryer weren't exactly in our budget (there are a lot more things that we need sooner than a washer and dryer) we were just going to use my parents' washer and dryer.

They've saved us at least $1000!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kitchen Cabinets

Looking around the house at the end of the day, I was shocked to realize that we've only spent 2 weeks working in the house, and look how much we accomplished! It seems like it's been longer than that because technically it's been 2 months since closing, but in reality, we've only spent 15 days physically working in the house (and 2 of those days don't count because we didn't really get anything done). Crazy!

Today we got to the house early and R primed the Kitchen so it would be dry and ready for cabinets when my dad and uncle arrived. We also met our other next door neighbor Dot, who said she was very happy to have next door neighbors because no one had lived there for so long. She also thanked us for leaving our exterior lights on at night because it made her feel safer. She was really nice.
And here is my Kitchen... well, about 1/8 of it. They're not the best cabinets, but they'll work for now. They look good, so that's something! We were a little disappointed with the corner lazy susan cabinet, which isn't 36"x36" like the sticker says... there's a big gap between the cabinet and the wall, which is strange, and wasted space, but whatever. A lazy susan is better than butting two cabinets against each other, creating a deep cabinet where things will get lost.  The gap to the left is where the range will go, and the open area on the right is where the dishwasher will be. To make everything go quicker and easier, I chose cabinets that would place plumbing fixtures and appliances in pretty much the same place they were originally so we wouldn't have to do a ton of plumbing and electrical work. 
The not 36"x36" corner cabinet. Still much more functional than a non-corner cabinet though!

We Finally Move In!

After a busy day of painting and cleaning, us girls took a trip over to the apartment to bring over a load of boxes. We got all of this in two cars, in one trip. That's all we had in us :) Next weekend is our official move-in weekend, when we will be bringing over everything using a UHaul.
Downstairs Boxes
Master Bedroom Boxes (all of the tubs are filled with clothes)
Guest Room and Office Boxes
In keeping with my very organized move, we made sure that each box that was brought into the house was immediately put in it's correct room. That way I wouldn't need to sort through the boxes when I was looking for a specific one. Hopefully next weekend will go just as smoothly when we have 3x as many people helping us move boxes!


I have an almost new Kitchen!!! It's amazing what a difference drywall makes... This house keeps amazing me.. just a fresh coat of paint or something small makes such a big difference. I love it!

Today while I was upstairs painting (guess where), R, my dad and my uncle put up drywall in the Kitchen. They did a great job. It was R's first time, and he did all of the taping and mudding. It looks awesome.
While they were doing that, and while I was painting, MIL and SIL were helping me out upstairs cleaning up the bedrooms. They washed the floors in the front two bedrooms and they look amazing now! SIL also helped me paint some trim in the office.

My mom stopped by around lunch with Subway for everyone, which we ate while sitting on folding chairs in the backyard :)

After lunch, us girls headed over to Middletown to move as many boxes as we could. We made two trips (three cars each time) and brought over a ton of stuff! I was so proud of us! We made a ton of progress. We even brought over a box of Madison's toys and her chair/bed. She was so happy. She jumped on it and started whining and crying and rolling around on it. We wish we got a picture of it. I love how the chair looks in the room... the brown with the green.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Electrical Work

This week the electrician came in and rewired our Kitchen. He installed a bunch of new above counter GFCI outlets, hidden outlets for the dishwasher, garbage disposal, range and microwave and/or hood. We also had him install switches for the 2 existing Kitchen ceiling fixtures, the exterior light next to the door, a switch for the garbage disposal and a switch and wiring for future undercabinet lighting. It's going to be a beautiful Kitchen! He also ended up replacing some other Kitchen outlets for us and two in the Dining Room!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lots of Painting Progress!

Woah... we definitely tackled some painting today! My sisters-in law wanted to paint again, so the three of us went to Lowe's to find a paint color for the Guest Room. I think I want the Twilight Room to be a nice yellow (it'll be a future baby nursery, so I figure we'll just paint it yellow now instead of when the time comes), and the Office is the blue-green, so we wanted to find something that went well with both colors. We unanimously decided on a light sage green from Valspar called Lyndhurst Shady Grove. It looks amazing! The room went from being overloaded with pink (the reflection off of all of the pink (walls, rug, curtains) was so bad that R was convinced for days that the ceiling was also painted pink), to being a beautiful serene Guest Room. Which is good because in 2 weeks our mover helpers will be sleeping in there!
In Progress
In Progress

It's so bright and inviting in there now! We didn't paint the trim because it looked like it was in good enough condition, but now that the rest of the room is painted it looks like it could be touched up a bit. But who knows when we'll get to that..
While they were painting the Guest Room, I was next door painting the Office again. Day 5. Ugh. But the good news is that the paint on the beams passed the lead paint test... No lead! So R has the go-ahead to sand those down so I can paint. Who knows when he'll get to it though. We're getting down to the wire here... we need to start moving in soon!

The Twilight Room

Our third bedroom has been nicknamed the Twilight Room. When we first viewed the house, it was completely empty except for 2 Twilight posters and a Panic at the Disco poster. I'm really into Twilight (not fan obsessed like some people though), so I said it was a sign. All of the other rooms were easy to name, but "Bedroom 3" or "Other Guest Bedroom" doesn't sound as good as Twilight Room, so the name stuck.

The room was occupied by a tween girl before we bought it. She painted the room to fit her tween-y tastes. The doors were purple and black, the trim was pinky-maroon, and the walls were purple with thick black vertical stripes. And the wall-to-wall carpet is bright blue. Scary. My mother-in-law called it the Beetlejuice Room and said it scared her.
This weekend R's sisters came to visit and see the house for the first time. They were itching to paint. Since I didn't really have anything that needed paint, we decided to have them put primer over the purple, maroon and black, to calm the room down a little bit. What a difference it made!
The room is a decent sized bedroom (smaller than the other two, but those two are abnormally large). It even has a pretty large closet. For now the room is going to be used as R's office and extra storage, and in the future it will be a baby nursery. I'm thinking of painting it yellow, for two reasons. One, we already have the paint leftover from the apartment, and two, when it's a baby's room, we can just keep it yellow. One window faces east, the other faces south, so it's actually very bright in this room for most of the day.. I can't imagine how bright and cheerful it'll be when it's yellow!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to the Office

I wish I could fast forward to this office being done. I love being in the space, it's going to be a great office. It's so bright in there now! Especially in the morning. Getting all of the old furniture and books out of the room and just the little bit of paint I have so far has made a huge difference! It'll be a nice open space to walk through and work in.

After today, this is what I have accomplished... slowly but surely I'm making some progress.. I love how the fireplace and bookcase look painted white. The top picture is one of my favorites.. I love the white, blue-green and brick together. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our New Door

The back door, in the Kitchen, is the door we use to get in and out of the house. We changed the locks on the closing day, which made it easier to unlock, but getting the door physically open has always been a problem. You have to turn the handle, lift the door, and kick it with your foot to get it open. I foresee a problem when it's raining out and I'm getting home from work. SO... since we couldn't do the Kitchen this weekend as planned, we decided to replace the door.

And since nothing is easy in this house, this quick switch turned into a day-long project. My dad, uncle and Ryan took the original door off, only to discover that the sill was completely rotted out. Well, we can't put a brand new door on top of that! Enter Lowe's trip #1 of the day (they know me there now... it's pretty sad). A couple hours later, we had a brand new sill, complete with flashing and insulation!
Yesterday when my dad and I bought the door, I decided that I wanted a door with full glass. When we were taking down the cabinets and drywall, the back door was completely open and I realized how much light came in from the backyard and loved it. I didn't really like the Dutch door, other than the advantage that we could have the top open to let in light and air while the bottom was closed to contain a certain puppy. But I told myself that if the full glass door was too expensive, for now I'd have to settle on a new door with only glass on the top half. Well, in the already blessed trip to Lowe's (my $50 window), we discovered that the full glass door was only $10 more than the half glass. No-brainer!
The door is absolutely beautiful! I'm so in love with it! And Madison loves it too! She loves being able to see people outside, and just simply sitting in front of it staring out at the birds and squirrels in the backyard. And the light in the Kitchen now is great. And the views! The door lines up perfectly with the doorway into the Dining Room, so now you have nice backyard views from the Dining Room too. And it looks great with the new oil-rubbed bronze door hardware we bought the day we closed (and it's awesome to have a deadbolt on the house now). I'm loving my house! :)

My Office

While the guys were downstairs working on the sill and the door, I was upstairs painting my office. Last night at Lowe's (Trip #4 for Saturday), I picked out a paint color spontaneously with my mom. It's a really light, bright color, which will make the space seem bigger. Add that with the soon-to-be white trim, and you have a beautiful office space!

So remember when I said how easy it was to take down the wallpaper in the office? I thought it would take a whole day and it only took about 2 hours. Well, the room made up for that time we thought we gained. It's taking about 4 coats of white to cover the trim, which is fun, especially on the built-in bookcase and the fireplace. And for the walls, I have to wash them with TSP, then sand them to get rid of the leftover pieces of wallpaper, then wash them again, then fill in the holes and imperfections, then sand again. Five hours later, I get to paint that wall. AHHH! AND, the beams have peeling paint on them, so if it's lead paint, it'll need to get removed, or if it's not, it'll need to get sanded. Either way, it's not something I could do today.
This is all I got done today. All day. This room is going to drive me crazy!

Oh, and look what my uncle found in the walls of the Kitchen... Cute, huh?

Kitchen Demolition

Today with the help of my dad and uncle, we demolished our Kitchen. It felt great! I tell ya... if you're ever having a bad day and need to let off some steam, pick up a crowbar and tear down drywall! Great stress reliever! My uncle brought his saws-all and went a little crazy on the cabinets, so we had the nastiness out of the house in about an hour!
Of course, we found a couple unexpected things. The first being the open electrical box that was behind the dishwasher, with live wires sticking out of it. Lovely. Luckily we have an electrician coming in this week, so he'll take care of that for us. The dishwasher wasn't even hooked up to that.. it was hardwired through the floor (as was the stove). Again, it'll all be taken care of, thank God. Electrical stuff scares me.

Another minor problem we found was the floor beneath the sink cabinet. Not only was it disgusting and filled with dirt, acorns, toys, food wrappers, bottle caps, and BONES (mice and other larger somethings...), but the plywood was completely rotted. So we made our first Lowe's trip of the day and got some new plywood.
Next came tearing down the drywall. My dad kept trying to talk me out of it, but I'm glad I insisted on tearing it down. In all of the other rooms we've been leaving the plaster and/or drywall and just painting over it for now, due to our tight moving-in schedule. But in the Kitchen, the wallpaper was fused to the drywall and would not come off. No matter what we tried. And it was old and yucky, and I'm sorry, but Kitchens need to be clean (ok, according to me, everything needs to be clean, but Kitchens especially). There isn't a ton of drywall in the Kitchen because there are so many openings and the huge fireplace, so it wouldn't be that bad. As soon as all of the drywall was down and out of the house, everyone agreed with me. The horrible smell that had been in the Kitchen was now completely gone. The smell was probably a mixture of moldy drywall, mouse poop in the cabinets and the rotten floor. All of which are now in the backyard in a portable dumpster. And we got the pleasure of seeing what the walls in the Kitchen used to look like.... very very wide, very very detailed wood panels. Yet more proof of the Wilcox's wealth.
Old wallpaper, also showing where the original wall was (the back half of the house was originally split up into three rooms).
My backyard
And this is when we hit the major snag of the day. Electrical outlets. There weren't enough in the Kitchen, both for code requirements and for S's small appliance requirements.  So we had to call an electrician to run some new wires for a bunch of new GFCI outlets as well as outlets for the dishwasher, microwave/hood and stove. And why not throw in some new wall switches while we're at it. So here's the problem. It's the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We're not going to get anyone in this weekend. So this ruins our plans. We had 3 days straight to work on the Kitchen and get it done, but now we have nothing we can do. We can't move forward with anything until the electrical is done (No drywall, no floor, no cabinets, no paint, no trim, etc, etc, etc).

So, you ask, what did we do? We found stuff to do (not hard to do in a 239 year old house). Today we decided to replace the one old window in the house. It was left, most likely, because it was a taller window, and the Kitchen cabinets had been installed right in front of it. Turns out, it was also open, letting in more smells and mice. Woohoo. Enter Lowe's trip #2 of the day. My dad and I went in search of a matching window, but in a shorter size, so that it would fit above the base cabinets. All we could find in that size were windows without an mullions, or with a 4/4 grid. I can't do that when the rest of the windows are 6/6 and it would be very very obvious if this one was different. So I set off wandering around the store looking for someone to help me (which never happened... one guy said the window guy was on his lunch break, and he'd send someone else over to help. No one ever showed up). On my way back to my dad I noticed a window on a cart in the back of the store. No label, but it appeared to be the correct size. After arguing over the windows some more, we decided to go look at doors instead (to replace the back door that is impossible to open). Now my dad sees the window, and discovers a tiny price tag on the top. It was a special order that was returned. Originally $239... we get it for $50! Now that's a great deal!
The Kitchen at the end of the day