Monday, October 19, 2009

THIS is where we're putting the baby???

No project that Eric takes on begins quietly. There's never a situation where the house isn't in complete disarray, that we're not constantly tripping over stray pieces of wood, that we don't find sawdust in the dryer filter... The nursery is no different. Because I am in major nesting-mode, I put very strong pressure (read: told Eric that he needed to do this NOW), and we're in progress to complete the nursery. 

This room is the smallest bedroom I have ever seen. It may have been a servants quarters at one point. However, it's also the easiest room to heat and cool in the house, and while I'm no expert, I know that babies are small, and can thus infer that they don't need a lot of space. 

Here is the destruction as of 6:30, Monday October 19. I am setting a goal of being completely done with this room one week from today, except for the carpet, which Eric ripped out, 100% forcing our hand in getting new carpet installed asap. We have people coming on Friday to give us an estimate. 


Ahhh, plaster... About 40% of the house is still plaster, and man, is it a pain in the butt. I love the idea of things being historical and all of that, but it is SUCH A MESS. We've got a big spackling project ahead of us with this one. 

Crappy windows. Downstairs, we removed the weights from the dining room and stuffed some insulation in there. Even though there doesn't appear to be the same level of draft (aka, Arctic breeze) coming through these windows, I suggested we do the same here. Eric, star of my firmament, suggested instead that we keep a 100% functioning window in the room where our child will sleep. I hate to admit I'm wrong, but in this case, I am wrong. 

Finally, this is not nursery related, but has to do with one of my babies. Here is Yogi Bear enjoying the couch all to himself. He lay like that for about two hours last night. Picture of contentment, right? He's been a little gimpy lately--we think he jumped off the bed and landed wrong. He's milking his disability for all it's worth. I saw him run a little while ago when he thought I wasn't looking. But when I am looking, he's limping like crazy. Hummm. Smart doggie. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Drama, Indeed

We're nearing the end of the marathon that is the "man-cave," otherwise known as the finished attic/family room/tv room/baby's playroom. Eric insists it will be his bastion of peace away from the hectic bustle of our house. Ooooh, I think different. 

Anyway, it has been a long and difficult journey. Let's remember together, shall we?

Sometime last fall, probably a year ago, because I remember it was just starting to get cold and I thought we had electric heat. My family was down for a visit and I turned the thermostat on and, hilarious, cold air came out. Of course we have gas heat. And I hadn't even thought to call the gas company to come and turn it on. So, we played Trivial Pursuit while bundled up, and drank a lot. It worked out fine. Anyway, while the fam was here, the boys helped Eric destroy the attic. 

This was pretty awesome, as it was a lot of work, and we got a dumpster the following week, so that pile of drywall didn't stay there for too long. The not-so-awesome part of this adventure was that at the time, we only had the one shower, which was up in the attic bathroom. So, it was a ton of fun tramping up there every morning to shower. That, plus no insulation plus no carpet plus drywall dust everywhere equals Haley's wit's end. Or so I thought. 

As I mentioned earlier, the original plan for the ceiling was to just install the beadboard. But because all of the rafters were just slightly off plumb, Eric had to do this, lest we wind up with a wavy ceiling. It involved probably a month's worth of work. Copious amounts of string and furring strips, and a frustrated Eric. We were STILL using the upstairs shower at this point. And it's getting colder. 

In addition to working on the ceiling, Eric also put in about a ton of loose and roll insulation in the kneewalls and ceiling. Those are his ski goggles. He found several mummified mice in the kneewalls, and actually asked me to carry them downstairs, albeit in a tupperware container. PLEASE, husband. It's like you don't know me at all. 

It is at this point that the attic reached it's most disgusting point, what with the loose fill everywhere and dirt and open kneewalls and BLECH! We had acquired a space heater for the bathroom at this point, which made the showering experience much more pleasant. However, we discovered that racing from bedroom downstairs to shower upstairs in roughly 45-50 degree environment--not so much fun. So we turned the heat on upstairs. Discovered shortly thereafter that the upstairs air handler was hooked up to the box with a 30 amp breaker and 40 amp wire. The handler required 60 amps. I'm just glad we didn't burn the house down. 

Probably last March, Eric got all the drywall installed. Remember that we'd spent roughly a month installing all the furring strips so the drywall wouldn't be necessary. I'm still not sure why we did this. But we did. So there you go. We had a second floor shower by this time--I stopped minding the attic situation so much then. 

Eric then spent the next three months or so installing beadboard over the furring strips and drywall. He did a fantastic job, as you can see. Still, three months? 

Eventually, we got everything trimmed out. As you can see, there is enough wood being used in this room to build an entirely new house. We also went through at least six containers of caulk, two containers of wood putty, half a dozen sanding blocks, and lots of blisters. That is me over in the corner. I've learned that the baby doesn't like manual labor. 

After a couple weeks of priming, sanding, and painting, we're nearly finished. The walls are "Library Pewter," the same color we painted the upper wall in the half bath. That project used about an eighth of a can of paint. Want to guess how much this project used? Just over 7/8 of a gallon. So now I've got to find another project to paint Library Pewter. This project also took three gallons of Antique White high-gloss trim paint. 

Next steps: cleaning up. As you can see, Eric has put all of the junk wood in the bathroom. I am not sure what we're going to do with it. Maybe a dumpster is once again in our future? Within the next month, we'll get the carpet installed and build some storm windows to cover our travesties of dormer windows (original to the house--they might as well be screens for as good as they keep the weather out... Replacing them would cost at least $6,000. So... storms it is). I have promised Eric that as soon as he finishes this room, we can get a new television, as he's currently watching all of his Boston sports on a 19-incher (ha!!! This is the way Boston sports are meant to be watched, in my opinion. Better yet, don't watch them at all). 

“This post was written for as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by True Value:"