Friday, August 17, 2012

renovations...take one!



Coffee pot in the bathroom, plastic doors, no electricity in the kitchen, living room or dining, a dishwasher full of dishes that now need to be removed to be washed by hand and a breakfast at the booty crack before school at McDonalds because it is still too dark to see to cook...

yep, sounds like living through a renovation to me!

Been there, done that - swore I would never do it again. But, what's that they say? Never say never and never say always. Isn't that right Dr. Smith? Here we are again, living through a reno. Only difference this time is that for the first time in our 9 years of renovating houses together, this time it isn't us doing the work. Phew.

But honestly - I really cannot complain at all. The random assortment of men that have been in and out of my house the past week could not be nicer if they tried. One day I had a boston butt cooking and they all commented on how yummy it smelled in the house and they are the kind of guys that if the meat was already cooked - I would have told them to sit down and enjoy a plate. Seriously, they are really nice and so great working around me and the hooligan children and all my animals. 

As I type I can hear the saws and the framing nailers and the laughter of men having a good time. That makes me smile. The only bad words are coming from yours truly. I should probably be mortified and ashamed that my mouth is a bit more sailor-esque than theirs...but I'm not. Sorry Emily Post, if it makes it better...I hold my pinky out when I type sometimes. :)

Granted, we are still in what is referred to as the "honeymoon phase" of the reno, but I am very happy so far. I am trying my bestest to get over the fact that the house is always going to be a disaster from here on out and trying to shush the inner cleaning freak that is slowly being converted to someone that could care less. I am also trying my hardest to control my junk-tiquing-loving inner voice that is telling me to go and dumpster dive in the big ole dumpster in my front yard. I have to keep reminding myself that everything in there is mine anyways. Not to mention anything worth salvaging for the character of the house is going right back into the upstairs...but it is OH SO tempting. Fellow dumpster divers be warned, that urge is hard to keep at bay! But, if you feel you must dumpster dive, at least there is a port-a-john right next to it. So, bathroom breaks are no problemo.

Remember the pictures on the last post of the upstairs before? Well, here we go all naked and stripped to the studs. I cannot get over how much space there was up there that you just couldn't tell. Sometimes paint is the easy renovator, but other times you have to resort to some good old fashioned knocking down of walls! Speaking of knocking down walls, my inner dumpster diver was thrilled to find an old Coke bottle behind the walls. That one certainly didn't make it to the dumpster. :) Not on this girl's watch.







And how, might one ask, are the hooligans adjusted to the renovations? Well...to get an idea...

Lou is singing in this one, she likes how it echos. :)

 


 

Just fine. They are having the best time playing with random pieces of 2-bys laying around. The plastic doorways are just an invitation for peek-a-boo and all the noise and commotion is only fuel to their oh-so-noisy fire. 

PS - pay no mind to the fact that my male child is wearing a pink apron. Some days as a mother you pick your battles. Clearly this particular day the pink apron one was not one I wanted to fight.

Off to Savannah for the weekend to enjoy electricity, more than 1 bathroom and a coffee pot in the kitchen! Novel idea...

Oh, and PS - it just would be a renovation documented by Amy Norris if it was lacking a toilet in the middle of the floor photo. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Good Help

You know the age-old saying...Good help is hard to find. 

I know this one for sure. I mean, I have had the worst, most lazy and unappreciative maid for about 32 years now. She even back talks and uses foul language. Ugh, I am not quite sure what I am going to do with her, but I keep thinking that one day she will finally get it and become useful. We shall see.

Kidding guys - I mean, kinda. I guess my maid is somewhat helpful sometimes. Remember the time that she shared all those cleaning secrets with us in this post? (Confessions of a Housewife) Yeah, that was a pretty good one. Every now and then the maid rocks my house with awesomeness like that. And sometimes she surprises me with tasks that she would never tackle like in this confession. (Confession of a Bad Housekeeper) But oh well, I guess she is worth what she gets paid.

But today, I made a huge discovery. While yes, good help is hard to find, it is also relative. How do you define good? Today I discovered that with a few changes in my standards I found good help. And help that was actually motivated and excited about the job. And that word "good" suddenly had a new definition. Kind of like how I define "need" and "want." I've got it all figured out y'all. No worries. Methods to my madness.

How you ask? Well, I found help in this little guy.


I mean, look at how proud he is to be cleaning the walls with a laundry sheet!


PS - that is a trick I found on the old Pinterest. Supposedly if you rub down your baseboards (or walls in this case, I certainly wasn't going to stop him) with a dryer sheet dust won't collect on them as quickly. Well, we are about to find out if it applies to dog hair as well. Because, I tend to have lots of that. And don't get me started on the dust. I blame the HVAC vents and duct system. It certainly has nothing to do with my maid and her abilities. I mean, I have cobwebs growing on things after a week. 


Now, don't get me wrong - I am not new to the world of cobwebs, but usually they are products of months of not cleaning. Not weeks. See, so it has to be the house. Good ole petri dish West Clover. I really do love you, we seem to just be having a little lover's quarrel.

So, today while this sweet little girl laid in my bed with a fever and a sore throat (seriously, not kidding...at least one kid, if not both, has been sick every week since we moved in this place) missing out on the fun of kindergarten,


sweet baby Nash and my maid were rocking and rolling through the main floor. I am afraid to admit that I think I may be sore tomorrow from polishing the floors. Oh my. How pathetic is that? I went through 2 bottles of Orange Glow (you can laugh, but that stuff is amazeballs on old, worn hardwoods) and my floors finally look like they may have been loved for a bit. Bless West Clover and its neglected state.


 






That little boy just melts each and every inch of my soul. (Haha, I just noticed Lucy in the picture above, up and ready to run as soon as Nash turns her way with the broom) He still is not into wearing clothes (duh, you saw the pictures) but the boy LOVES shoes. My sweet baby Jay.

Off to bed I go feeling all Cinderella (ante fairy godmother time). Now to just figure out how to wake up and put the birds and mice to work. Just kidding, I don't have mice. Well, not that I am aware of...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Full Circle

So, today was a day I have been sort of dreading since the moment I found out I was pregnant with Louisa. Although, I never realized that I was dreading it until the countdown started. You see, I always sort of laughed and pointed and made fun of those mommas that cried when their kids started kindergarten. I always sort of wondered what in the world was up. I certainly thought I was way cooler than that. I mean, I was SO not going to be that mom.

Well, lots of things come back and bite you in the rear as a parent. Especially things concerning how other people parent their kids, behave themselves, etc. One day I will learn to just smile and carry on and not think things to myself that will come back chomping at my hiney years later with a big fat, "HAAAAAAAAAAAA you silly girl, told you so!"

One day, I will learn...but in the meantime, I am way too cool for that.

But anyways, Lou started kindergarten today. I thought that maybe if I didn't blog about it or talk about it it wouldn't happen. But it did. And you know what, she did much better than her momma. By 8 am I was driving home already with a swollen, polka-dotted face topped off with red eyebrows. You see, I am SO not a pretty crier. In fact, I tend to be one that gets splotchy, my nose runs into my mouth, I snort and all sorts of ugliness. But lawsy, I cried this morning. I promised myself (only after realizing my coolness factor wasn't as awesome as I had once thought) that I wouldn't cry until I got in my car. Little did I know that I would be RUNNING through the halls of the elementary school to quickly seek solace in the front seat of my car. 

I was that mom. I was that mom. I was that mom that realizes in one single moment of dropping your child off to spend a day in the company of someone else - that everything changes. Suddenly, 5 years has slipped away. That baby that you still see pudgy cheeks and toothless grins when you look at them was now going to eat lunch with someone other than you. That baby was going to be taught things by someone other than you. And you suddenly have a moment of panic and not being able to breathe and you think, "holy moly mother of oh my goodness...that baby doesn't need her momma 24/7 anymore." And that single moment in motherhood rips your heart into so many pieces you find yourself disgustingly humming the tune of "Achy Breaky Heart." Oh the tragedy of it all. And while yes, to an extent, it is true, it also is just the absolute hard natured facts of motherhood making you over think EVERY single thing. This baby still needs you, she still needs you tons, but just the sheer fact of accepting that someone else can make a difference in your child's life is hard. I cannot even fathom the moment either of my babies falls in love. I swanny, I will poke the eyeballs of the girl that sweet baby Nash brings home and tells me he wants to marry. No mam, not on my watch.

And oh my, I just became that mom. Oh shiz. 

And while I am at it...I have also become this mom. Yep, the one that makes heart-shaped sandwiches and writes "I love you" on napkins. Never, ever thought I would...but it came natural. Scary, right?


Anyways, before I continue to air out the skeletons in my apparently warped closet of motherhood, how about some pictures?

I don't think I am the only mom that has morning routines down to the second. I mean, getting everyone up, dressed, fed, teeth & hair brushed, and out the door with all their belongings sometimes is an act of congress. So, I decided to get the kids up early and then if there is extra time before we have to leave, they are rewarded with snuggle time in mom & dad's bed (because is there a more fun place when you are a kid? I think not) watching Mickey Mouse. That makes one Louisa Kate a happy camper. Although here she looks like she is watching a horror movie! PS - anyone from the old school BG days recognize what is now the awesome headboard my adorable hubby made me?

 

The look of pure panic and nerves on her face right here, not to mention the lack of color, rips my heart in two. I was trying SO hard to keep it together at this moment, when all I really wanted to do was grab her, hold her and tell her that NO she didn't have to go to school. She could stay with me forever. But instead, even with the fear in their eyes, you still have to let go. It was one of the hardest moments for me as a mom.

 

So, I was thankful when she told me she was "over the camera" and continued to walk on. 

 

All in all, Louisa came home and was excited and wants to go back tomorrow. So, all is right in the world. Right? But in the meantime, I absolutely REFUSE to let this one EVER EVER EVER start kindergarten.

 

And how about a West Clover update? Bless this house. Oh I love it, but man...it needs some love. Like, ASAP. The poor outside of the house, goodness...I mean, there is even a shutter that is falling off. Wow. But soon, right up this beautifully carpeted staircase that Nash and Louisa love to play on

 

the action starts. As of Monday, let the demolition begin. You see, the space that looks like this










will soon be a new bathroom, Lou's bedroom, Nash's bedroom and a large open play-area/den. To say I am ready is a humongo understatement. Speaking of understatements, how about I just go ahead and tell you how it is going to be only slightly inconvenient to live here while this is going on. Haha, right? But still, West Clover is ready to be loved and to be helped back into modern times while still holding on to her beautiful bones.

Are you ready for the reno? 

PS - I know many of you are probably eyeing that gargantuan attic fan and the cardboard wall that surrounds it. I am sure if you really, really, really wanty - it will be in the trash trailer that will sit in our front yard (sorry neighbors of West Clover if you have found me), but I've heard a trash trailer is way classier than a dumpster. Just FYI.