11:14 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Need I say more? I am so excited! So is Anna. She keeps saying, "Mommy! COME LOOK!!! My new room has stairs!!!"

I finally made Anna a little seat in the doorway, because she won't stop watching. She is so excited. It's so much fun to watch her grow. She's a joy - every day.

I FINALLY picked a paint color.

9:14 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Geez - this has been the most stressful thing so far. I had SUCH a hard time picking out paint for the house.

Curtis wanted it to keep the same base color, so we wouldn't have to repaint the existing house. I wanted AT LEAST the trim color changed, because what I wanted to be slate blue looks more like PURPLE trim. Uck.

I originally wanted green. Something nice, light, muted, subtle, sage colored. Maybe light or white trim. Maybe dark trim. But every color combo I tried out was nasty, or I loved it and everyone else veto'd it.

Then I tried charcoal grey trim on the beige, which actually probably LOOKED nice, but it just wasn't me. Grey and beige - depressing. Or as my dad would say, "Muddy colors." Blech.

Now, you'd think this wouldn't be such a monumental decision. It's JUST paint. But, knowing how much Curtis HATES to paint, I have this feeling that whatever paint I choose is going to the color on the house until our children reach retirment I feel a certain pressure to pick something GOOD! And the hurry is that I have to tell the roofer what color shingles and gutters I want, so we can get a ROOF on our house. (Nice bonus - having a roof, huh?)

So - with the help (and hindrance) of everyone I know, I FINALLY made a decision last night. I was sorry to inform Curtis that we WILL have to repaint the base color, but it would have been impossible to match the 4 year old painted, weathered, dirty color that's on there now anyway. He's always a good sport though - and he loves me.

So, without further ado, here are our new paint colors. A nice neutral combo. I'm not sure what the 'accent' color will be yet - but THAT I can change. So (unless your initials are C.P.S. and you sleep next to me) I only want to hear that you LOVE these colors, and that they’re the perfect choice, unless something is incurably wrong with them. If your initials ARE C.P.S., you’re entitled to veto rights….but that means we have to start ALL OVER AGAIN. (Do you REALLY want to go there, honey…?)

House update...

10:55 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Let's see....what's new at Schloss Schmitt.

You can tell that we've been working our BUTTs off, becuase I have been too tired to blog or post pictures. Now THAT'S tired. We are making good progress though. It's kind of hard to see the full scope in pictures, because it doesn't all fit in one frame anymore.

Curtis and I spent just about every evening last week working on the roof repairs. They are pretty much done. Anna 'helped' by dragging the magnet bar around the back yard picking up loose nails. That's a safe job for a 3 year old, right? We still have to do the facia boards, but otherwise, the roof is ready to go. We're having someone else install the new shingles. WHOO HOO!! It's 106 freakin' degrees here. They are worth WHATEVER they charge us.

Otherwise, we're surviving. Tired of living in a mess, but it could be worse. If I don't post again soon, send help. It means we're working too much. :-)

It's raining cats and dogs!

12:59 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
OK, just cats, actually. Holy heart attack.

So, it's about 1am, and I'm at the computer working, as usual. Everyone else is asleep and the house is locked up tight. All of a sudden, I hear what sounds like the entire ceiling in Anna's former room next door falling down and a big THUD! Then it occurs to me - there IS no ceiling there....we already took it out. Uh oh. This can't be good.

So, I go look, and half of the black plastic sheet that was stapled to the ceiling to keep the attic dust out of the house has been ripped down, and a big black and white cat is sitting in my hallway. We don't own a cat. "MEOW?" Kodi goes on instant alert and is about to woof. Rigby, that useless sack of....well, anyway. The dog that barks at every SHADOW all day, fails to lift his weary head from my pillow where he is sleeping next to Curtis, while all of this is happening.

Yikes. I woke Curtis up to hold on to Kodi (not that he actually bothered to get up or woof afterall) while I scooped up the kitty and put him back outside. Turns out he was our 'adopted' neighborhood cat, Sylvester Kitty. The contractors just started the tie in from the second floor to the attic today, and there was a little space at the edge of the second floor and the eve at the roof line. Sylvester Kitty must have gone in and gotten the shock of his life when he plopped straight through the plastic ceiling and came eye to eye with Kodi. To his credit, he did not shit in my house.

It's SO big!!!

6:01 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
The house, that is. It's been very hard to visualize what it would look like from the architectural drawings. Now, seeing the start of the second floor go up, I just look at it and think - "WHOA! It's so tall!" Quickly followed by the paranoid mommy thought, "Maybe I don't want Anna up there - it looks too high." YIKES! It's going to be so cool though! I can't wait!

What day did I say...

2:22 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
...they were coming inside? A few weeks from now? Uh huh. Sure.

Don't get me wrong! Quicker is better! It's just that everytime they have some major milestone, I have another "HOLY CRAP!" moment. This is exciting-scary-fun-stressful! A new word! Ex-car-un-ful!!!

Making Progress....

1:03 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

We have downstairs walls and the start of a second floor story. Yipee!!!

Our new "No Privacy" Policy

5:55 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
We've decided to adopt a new "no privacy" policy in our house. This has mostly been because we have no interior doors left, and very few walls. Curtis and I looked at each other this morning, (I was in the bedroom and he was in the bathroom - but we could still look at each other) and said, "So - did you think it was going to be this bad?" We both said, "Uhhh...not really." But, we're still having fun, and know that we're VERY blessed to be able to do this.

This weekend was ROUGH. VERY little sleep. VERY hot weather. VERY MUCH WORK. We (and when I say, 'we' - I mean Curtis and I, and our whole crew of wonderful, amazing friends and family!!) got the entire roof torn off, about 95% of the rest of the interior demo done, and all of our debris piles loaded up into the trash bin. We filled our 40yard bin almost to capacity. It's amazing how much CRAP you can take out of one house and still leave it standing.

The biggest change (visually) to me this weekend was the living room wall demo. I LOVE IT!!!!!! Curtis keeps teasing me because he only half heartedly wanted to do it, but it opens up our main living space SO much more. AWESOME!!!!!

OK - I have to go shop for our new hot water heater now. Because, after 48 non stop hours of being covered in roof tar, fiberglass, dirt, insulation and CRAP, Curtis got the last of the hot water and I took a COLD SHOWER last night. Yes, Murphy's Law. It seems when we turned the gas off to re-route the HVAC gas line, our pilot light went out in the hot water heater and the pilot light valve is broken (or something like that). So, either we put money and time into getting a new one, or we bite the bullet and figure out how to get the new tankless one that we were going to do anyway in a few months installed. It never ends.....

Today in pics...

10:03 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Mostly because I'm too tired to type.


10:07 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
We have walls!!! (OK - "a" wall if you want to get technical.)
Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

Playgroup at The Kid Spot today

11:21 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Fun place! We were supposed to have playgroup HERE today, but if you've been keeping track of our remodel, you know THAT wasn't happening. So we went to this place. Just some pics of our boo-bear. We had a blast there.

We've got SUBFLOOR, baby!

10:57 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Hey - we get pretty excited about the littlest things lately. What can I say? Subfloor is in and I think they will start framing walls tomorrow. Big weekend of roof tearoff, demolition and demo trash dumping this weekend! We have a 40 yard trash bin in our driveway (around 18' long x 7' wide x 8' high). (OK, so that doesn't add up to 40 yards - but I'm just estimating. If you're reading this, and you're an Enginerd, then you can talk to Curtis about the exact specifications.)

Anna was thrilled with the new floor space. She knows just where the stairs are going, and where her room will be. She ran around in circles with her arms out wide singing. So cute. And Kodi, God love him. He stayed inside because there was a thin ribbon of cheap plastic caution tape taped across the sliding glass door, and he wouldn't walk through it. What a good dog!

My Daddy will be so disappointed...

8:49 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

...that I didn't think of this myself. Then again, maybe he'll be heartened by the fact that I married a man who did.

When we pulled the drywall out of the closet behind the kitchen, one corner had mold. YIKES!!!! Turned out that our ice maker (we've only had the fridge for about 2 years) had been leaking. So, my first thought was 'call someone'. Then our friend who does commercial refrigeration offered to look, but he has done SO much already, I didn't want him to have to.

So...I took it apart myself while Curtis was at work! I was so proud! I took apart the back of our fridge, found that the problem was the water valve, looked up the parts diagram, and was searching for the cheapest replacement part. Curtis got home and said, "Hey - good job!" Then when I showed him the parts I found for $60, he said, "Let's just JB Weld it and see if it works."

DAMN! Why didn't I think of that? It's "creative engineering" - but if it works, it will save $60+ and if it doesn't, we're no worse off. I married a genius. A genius who loves duct tape and epoxy, but a genius nonetheless. Sounds just like my Dad.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

6:51 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Welcome to the view from our front door. That used to be Anna's room. She's right -it IS a mess!

Floor joists, vapor barrier, insulation, underfloor plumbing - DONE!

6:40 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Well, actually the plumbing may need to be ripped out and re-done, but that's another story. We passed our inspection, so framing of the walls and sub flooring goes in tomorrow! Whoo hoo!!!

A touching story about our life right now...

8:19 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
A friend sent me this. It just sums up our life right now, so I wanted to share it here. This story could have taken place in our very own house. This is a very true and heartwarming important lesson to be cherished everyday.



Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5 year old girl and some construction workers that makes you believe that we CAN make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time...

A young family moved into a house, next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers. Eventually the construction crew, all of them gems-in-the-rough, more or less adopted her as a kind of project mascot.

They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week they even presented her with a pay envelope containing a couple of dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who said all the appropriate words of admiration and suggested that they take the two dollar "pay" she had received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When they got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own paycheck at such a young age.

The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with the crew building the house next door to us."

My goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will if those assholes at Home Depot ever deliver the fucking dry wall..."

Kind of brings a tear to the eye........

Anna's reaction

11:51 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I forgot - when we brought Anna in (she'd been with my mom all day) to see the destruction we had heaped upon what USED to be her room, she stopped, put her hand over her mouth and said,

"Ohhh myyy goodnesss. That is SUCH a mess."

What a crack up.

My mom rocks.

11:42 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Life has been SO freakin' crazy lately with all of the house stuff going on. The plumber that was GOING to come on Monday didn't make it until THURSDAY. And when he did, they had some problems with the pipe glue, so it keeps leaking. He is a friend of a friend, and he is really doing us a favor, so I feel SO bad. It has turned into such a pain in the ass for all of them. I hope they don't hate us by now! At this point, we're all just hoping it FINALLY stops leaking in time for our inspection tomorrow at 1pm. They've repaired it 5 or 6 times now, and it keeps having issues! Ugh! I feel so bad.

And, the house is a disaster. Anna's bed in in the living room. Every surface of every room is covered with stuff from one closet or another, or a room that had to be emptied for the remodel. We are just beyond hope. So, my mom offered to watch Anna for us while we work, which was awesome. Then, Curtis jokingly said, "Hey, it would be more help if you watched Kodi (our mastiff) - he gets in the way more than Anna." So she took Kodi too! And on top of all that, she and Alisa took ALL of our laundry (about 6 loads I had done, but not folded, and another 6 loads to be washed) and laundered and folded it all and brought it back to us, along with Anna and Kodi. Oh, and in between there Alisa grocery shopped for us and delivered it. Does anybody is the world have a better mom than that??!? Yeah, I didn't think so.

And Curtis' dad has driven an hour and half up here for the past 2 weekends to work with us all day. We're so blessed to have such great family. THANKS GUYS!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

No energy to blog...

11:27 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
But here is a brief recap and semi-pictorial of our first real "demo" day. We tore out Anna's room. Pulled off all the drywall. Found that when we pulled the drywall out of the closet ceilings that all 14 inches of blown, cellulose loose insulation in the attic fell onto the floor below. Found out that our new fridge (about 2 years old now) has been leaking from the ice maker line and we have water damage behind the wall and into the next room. Various bumps, bruises, cuts, and achy muscles and backs. All to be expected. All things considered - a pretty good day.

"Before" - the pink one is Anna's room (go figure) facing towards the front door (what you see there is her closet - the front door in on the far side of that wall), and the view of the hallway wall from the front door (Anna's room is (or was...) on the other side of the hallway wall).

"Semi-after" - Actually, it's all stacked in the middle of the room now. The hallway light switch in on the wall, at ceiling height, the thermostat in on a door jamb in the living room, and there are garbage bags stapled to the ceiling to keep more CRAPPY insulation from falling down into the air.