A tail of a mouse, or kid, and a cookie, or advent calendar.

If you give a kid an advent calendar, they’ll want to eat that days chocolate.
To get the chocolate, they’ll get it out of the fridge.
While getting it out of the fridge, they’ll knock over a glass of carrot juice.
The carrot juice will spill off the”spill safe”shelves all over the fridge.
While cleaning the carrot juice, mom will remember it’s been about 6 months since she cleaned the whole fridge
The mom will regret not having scrubbed it for six months. A lot.
If you give a mouse, err kid, an advent calendar, the mom will suddenly have a new fridge (with real spill safe shelves) on your Christmas list.


Deck update

Apparently I can’t come up with even bad puns at 1am for clever post titles. Deck progressed is rapid, awesome, and loud. We leave everyday when the sawing and pounding start so the girls can get to sleep for their naps.

So far we love the dry lock aluminum decking. It looks great and feels incredibly solid.

Here’s what things look like, from ground level, as of this evening.


And my girls, because they’re adorable.




Eating room

Ha! My phone auto mis-corrected “dining room” for the title. Still appropriate, so it stays.

Before the dining room, aka eating room sees any changes from the work on the deck, namely switching out the windows for patio doors, I wanted to grab some “before” pictures.

The plan is to paint, replace the uuugly ceiling fan, trim room with arch way, doorway, and crown moldings, and add wainscotting. And maybe a picture rail. The husband only knows of some of these plans. 😉 The budget, or lack there of, will determine how much if this gets done soon. And the husband’s level of excitement. Me thinks we may just paint.

So guess what costs Five THOUSAND DOLLARS? French doors. Seriously. Our windows are huge, so getting 8′ doors or shorter ones+ transom in anything other than vinyl is insanely expensive. Thank goodness for craigslist! We found a set of solid wood 8′ tall inswing French doors with no center post (exactly what we were looking for) for $300. Much better.

The Cargo desk was a $40 score at one of my favorite thrift stores a few months ago. Not sure where it will live long term, but for now it’s in here. The table was Joe’s. The chairs are mis matched free ones we’ve been lucky to find or were given. Matching, or at least coordinating ones, might eventually happen. The door is beautiful and I want to refinish it as art, but I don’t think I’ll ever get around to it, so it’ll likely get craigslisted. The table against it is just there to keep anyone from knocking the door down and being hurt since it weighs a ton.




Hanging art also gets tacked onto the to do list.

So long, farewell

Auf wiedersehen goodnight! To you and you and you and you and yooouuuuu! Or, just to craptastic deck number one!

Patsy Lou sat on our bed watching out the window for hours. It really was quite fascinating. The small crew made quick work of ripping down the deck, though it was quite the loud ordeal. With young kids that need their naps, we packed up and are spending our days out of the house while the construction goes on.

By the end of the day, they had not only destroyed the old one, footings were poured and some of the framing was up for the new one. We are using cedar for most of the framing. The reasons for this are numerous, so here’s a quick list: bugs (carpenter ants, termites), sun (west facing), pretty (raised deck, so framing is quite visible), stable/durable. The deck surface will be aluminum. I’m nothing if not a good shopper, and I found an interesting product.

Dry Lock is aluminum decking (duh), that locks together to form a water tight seam. Hence the name. I like self explanatory. So yeah, it’s cool. Can’t wait to see real pieces, 16′ long instead of just the small samples I ordered (for free) months ago.

     Tangent! (I know, you’re shocked) I need to open a store with all of the samples we have from various companies for various building/remodeling stuff. Since we tend to go for new/unusual/eco hippy stuff, and are indecisive, we often have to order samples direct from manufacturers as opposed to just seeing something at Orange or Blue. So yeah, we have a lot of samples. Instead if a store, maybe I could do some really cool pinteresty art project.

Back to the deck: this deck is going to be a screened in porch. So having gaps between deck boards = mosquitos still eating me. More importantly since the whole project is to make our house easy to navigate via wheelchair/scooter, dry lock avoids gaps/cracks/shifting that could trip up wheels. Dry Lock also has a grit to the texture so it shouldn’t get slippery even when wet. Not that we ever spill drinks. Ahem. It’s coating also should keep it coolish in the summer. Then there’s the zero maintenance. Yay for something in this house we won’t have to always fix our paint! Aaaaand it’s basically perfect for this application.

I haven’t even gotten to the craigslist doors, siding, roofing, or actual lift! Another day. The CMA’s are on and awesome. George Strait and Alan Jackson are singing in stage together right now! So onto pictures.

Oh, and this took so long I have photos of days 1 and 2.


Day 1


Progress end of day 2



Dry Lock samples. We are getting the dark brown color because Patricia told us we had to get the chocolate one. Definitely my kid.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…

…screened in porch with stairs and a wheelchair lift!


Or a ton of lumber peeking over a broken, ugly gate. Whatever. Same thing. Sort of. Almost.

Life should be fun for the next few weeks! A major project, contractors, a pre schooler, a baby, and a toddler that decided last week to potty train herself. But only sometimes. And definitely not if it involves the messier end of things. The words “I pooped! In playroom!” will forever strike fear info me, though not as much as being followed by “I helped clean up half of it” from the big sister. Oh kids. I love you.

Speaking of, here are my princesses yesterday on Halloween. We had Cinderella, baby Cinderella, and monkeypunzel (Lily argued with me when I told her she was rapunzel. Why did I disagree with a 2 year old again?)


When one window closes…

Another door opens. Or something like that. Very long (5 months worth) story short: We’re replacing the worn out, craptastic, code? what code?, ugly deck off the laundry room. We’re also extending it to the dining room, adding a wheel chair lift to it, screening part of it in, and replacing the dining room windows with new (to us) french doors.

We have a sweet family friend who can’t get into our house due to mobility issues. Century old houses and accessibility? Not so much. I’m really excited, and I must admit, quite happy to have a project a contractor will tackle for once. DIY is fun and all, and we all know I’m queen cheapskate, but with 3 small kids and so much complexity involved with this project, it’s just way out of our skill set. And time set. I just brushed my teeth and am still in pajamas. It’s 1pm. Definitely short on time.

Best part of it all is that the elevator comes with a keychain remote. That should provide for some excitement!

I’ll update as they get started, hopefully next week!, about more details. I’m really excited to discuss the material we chose, the design, our deal on French doors (no project is complete without a bargain somewhere), the actual lift, the process, all of it! And with pictures. Cell phone crappy ones as always, but pictures none the less!

(I like calling it a lift instead of an elevator because it makes me feel fancy pants. And Patsy Lou announced I’m the queen this morning, so I think that now makes me British. I’m going to get the kids to start calling me “mum.”)

Nursery update… the actual one

So sweet Violet is three months old today. As always, time flies. I’m rocking her to sleep for a nap, and figure it’s time to document the completed nursery. There are still things to hang on walls and a door to paint, but the actual construction is done in this room (the only room in the house that can claim that honor!).

The purple walls and pink ceiling are so darn charming. The wooden child’s rocking chair/cradle is adorable and sweet. My mom painted a wooden bench with storage in it purple and blue for my old room at their house, and it works well against one wall without interfering with closet access. Also from my old room at mom and dad’s, a little chest with hydrangeas works well beneath a window. And, bargain alert!, the big comfy chair was a steal at the Pottery Barn Outlet.

Seriously, it would’ve cost more to buy all black get up and hire get away drivers and what have you to steal it. $80 for the uncovered chair, $60 for the slip cover. Both in perfect shape! The trick is to find the un slipcovered pieces during an extra 20% off upholstery sale.

This room is by far my favorite in the house. Having a nursery at all is such a blessing after having only 1 bedroom to share with the first two girls. Two adults, 1 toddler, and 1 newborn in my old bedroom at my parent’s was… cozy. This nursery feels like pure luxury in comparison!

So obviously it’s no longer the 19th. I had to come back to this post another day because, well, I have 3 kids. CD and a house to renovate. Things rarely get finished right away!





Photo courtesy of the awesome Nonnie Bella Photography. Crooked picture hanging courtesy of me. 😉

And the real star of the show: