Category Archives: nesting

Drudgery (aka Spring Cleaning)

After last week’s debacle, magically it is spring. There is still snow everywhere (that’s what melting nearly two feet of snow will do to you) but on Friday, Mother Nature hardcore committed to Spring and so we are living that life now.

The sun is streaming through our windows, today, Marcus opened them and we took in the fresh air. We have gotten to go on a couple of family walks (AKA our new lifestyle until October).

AND. Over the past week I have been actioning…spring cleaning? I don’t really know where the energy is coming from but we have three more months until we celebrate a year in this house. It’s not that I see so many projects that need to be done still, it’s more like I am finally awake enough to sort through stuff I should have taken care of at some point during the whole pregnant-packing-moving-packing-moving-having a baby-thing.

I purged a bag of old, ratty clothes from my closet. I went through our linen closet (fun fact: really did not look in there after we moved in and our friends are the one who moved that stuff for us!) and organized it and purged a bag of mystery bedding and items. I tossed out two bags of really old nail polish and other trash from the medicine cabinet.

ARE YOU FEELING THE CATHARSIS WITH ME YET?

Did I also clean out my car? I did. In which I removed yet another bag of trash, a shopping bag full of toys (what?!) and realized the snow emergency box I had stashed in my trunk was actually full of more trash, and a lot of things that had nothing to do with snow.

So, here we are, on our way.

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House Updates

It’s almost the end of February. We are still just chipping away at house projects.

The new water softener was installed. It took nearly an extra week because the first time they were supposed to install it, they took it to our old townhouse (address located nowhere on the order form) and installed it there. So our buyers got a free water softener. And now we have a matching one!

We got the new dishwasher installed last week. It is a Bosch and it is quiet (our old dishwasher was also a Bosch and quiet) but it also has a third rack for extra silverware or whatever and that is AMAZING. It is superb for sippy cup straws, sippy cup lids and the like.

I sourced some drum lampshades to update the lights in our living room that have had the wrong shades forever. Look.

Before.

After.

SO much better.

Did I mention I am an extremely mediocre photographer.

As the weather starts to warm up (so April-ish) we’ll turn our focus outdoors to do some much MUCH needed landscaping.

The Family Room!

Slowly but surely we are furnishing the the unfinished/sparsely finished rooms in our house.

Like our family room.

You see, six weeks into my maternity leave, I realized I hated our family room because it was a dark cave.  I felt like the already “bold” fireplace stuck out awkwardly (let’s be honest – really cannot do anything about that right now).  I realized I couldn’t manage to settle on any furniture for our family room or informal dining area because the walls were a gray with blue undertones, our wood floors were cherry, and the Spanish tile in the kitchen was yellow-ish.

ALL OF THE COLORS.

I looked at Marcus and told him we needed to paint.  And moreover we probably like, needed to hire painters. To my amazement he agreed.

We ended up choosing Behr’s Bleached Linen.

Before.

After.

I didn’t bother putting the toys or diaper changing supplies away because you guys this is my life.

The original couch (which we bought from a family member a little over a year ago) was meant to go down to the basement. But it wouldn’t fit down the stairs. So now it is living in our three season porch where we didn’t have any furniture yet anyway.

We also need to decide on how we are going to disguise the many cords hanging from our TV. Options: drill a hole in the wall to run the cords through OR use a cord cover. And we probably need one more lamp but I just don’t know where I want it to go yet. Did I mention art? We need that as well. All with time.

A Big Boy Room

When we moved, we decided to replicate the decor in Critter’s nursery for Glitter so he needed a big boy room! He kept his furniture but he got a new paint color (Behr’s Durango Blue AKA the color we painted the bathroom in the townhouse) and some new wall art. I have many fond childhood memories of going to Duluth and watching ships enter and exit the harbor at all hours of the day and night. I wanted to replicate some of that in the art for Critter’s room as I hope to someday share those experiences with our children. Also, Marcus and I both agreed that ships looked cool and that Critter would like them.

We are delighted by them!

We used Sara Gardner again (and would again and again, given the opportunity!). If you are interested in working with her, her website is here.

We Bought a Robot Vacuum


AND I CANNOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!!!

Marcus wanted to call it “Terminator” and that was exactly the right name for it.

How did this all come about?

You guys, we moved.  And then we had to be in charge of cleaning a house again instead of (God bless) my Mom.  Most of the cleaning is not so problematic but we have a toddler who literally rains things down from his high chair all day every day, and #firstworldproblems the only carpet in the entire house is in the three season porch so there is nowhere for crumbs to hide.

We have been surviving this plight of constantly dirty floors (despite regular cleaning) for the last six weeks and then I just could not do it anymore!  About three weeks ago, I Googled robot vacuums and after doing some Consumer Reports reading, set my heart on a Bissell SmartClean.  It was ranked #5 because it is not the greatest at cleaning carpets.  When I read that, I knew it was the perfect robot vacuum for us because of the whole no carpets-thing.

Marcus dragged his feet on agreeing to purchase one to “test” it out and to his credit, it saved us $100 when we caught a great Labor Day sale at Target (total robot vacuum Cost: $203).  HUSBAND YOU WERE RIGHT.

The whole thing feels sort of extravagant because surely this is work we could do ourselves and yet already there is so much that we are doing ourselves, that can’t it be enough to opt out of doing one thing, like cleaning our floors?

After running it through our family room, bedroom, and two passes of the main floor (it’s really just too big to run the program once) we filled the dirt container three times AKA victory and the best part is that we didn’t even have to lift a finger to do it.  MAGIC.  Marcus is now concerned about the lifespan of these devices and how frequently it is really appropriate to put Terminator to work.  I figure this is why the warranty exists.  

And now I cannot stop telling people about it. 

 

One Month!

Is how long we have been living in this house now (even though really, we’ve owned it for about five weeks).  It has been great, it has been weird.  Obviously for the next few years we will still be “learning” about the house and what it does/does not do.  Critter loves having his own yard.  It has been so nice to have neighbors around.  The second weekend we lived in the house, we went to one housewarming, and then another dip potluck across the street.  I aspire to host a party someday, but based on how our life looks right now, it’s probably going to be a year.

The only “project” we have left to do right now is having some insulation scraped off of the side of the house – the birds have left the nest and it will get taken care of at some point in mid-September.

Also, we really, really, really need to set-up Glitter’s nursery and source some rugs (I finally picked then out!) for the children’s rooms.

Because we are not totally incapable of doing our own house projects, two weekends ago we started to paint the trim on our entryway.

This is what it looked like before.


(Unpictured: the brown storm door we had Bruce replace)

And this is the in-progress after.


I will never understand why all the entryway trim was blue, when the rest of the trim on the house was white.  Approximately 1/3 of the area needs an additional coat of paint.  But it looks much sparkier, no?  Marcus and I also learned through this process that I paint twice as fast as he does and that there is a reason that in this season of our lives it is okay for us to pay other people to do things for us.

There is just not enough time and energy in the day.

In No Particular Order

Apparently I just have a lot of different little things that I feel like I need to share, so here they are.

  • We discovered that there was a bird nest in the insulation covering our exposed foundation.  When they went to start removing the insulation, we discovered there were baby birds in the nest!  So that project has been tabled until fall (I do not want any bad baby bird karma) and THANK GOD the mama bird did not abandon the nest.
  • I finally completed all of my recertification credits for my SPHR and submitted that application.  So, now I have to wait the four weeks while they review it (snooze) and then hopefully that should be all-wrapped up.  Spending free hours listening to webinars was not my favorite part of the whole summer, but the nice part is that the hours also counted for my SHRM-SCP recertification so it was sort of like a buy-one-get-one type deal.  Now, I just need to figure out how to translate some of my other recertification credits  from the SPHR to the SHRM-SCP.  Lean in!
  • The deck off our our master suite is finally completed and on the first night of its functionality, I was able to watch a squirrel build a leaf nest in the maple tree so already, it is a fascinating and worthwhile adult treehouse.
  • A former co-worker was seeking to unload a bunch of Iris bulbs so I requested some and now they are planted in the one bed of dirt we have outside of our entire house. Re-landscaping will be a whole different project for another year.  To summarize: our house is surrounded by rock that is somewhere between gravel and proper landscaping rock.  The sum total of plants is one day lily and one peony bush (win!).  There are some bushes around the house but every single one is a different kind.  At least now I can say I’ve tried to plant some flowers and Do Better.  Last weekend we also obtained a trowel, watering can, and pruning/clippers thing.
  • I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I discovered this because my hands were falling asleep at night while I was sleeping (how uncool, right?) so the remedy is apparently to wear wrist braces while I sleep.  I just cannot even begin to discuss the level of indignity.  BUT. I slept so, so well last night and I know I was waking up every hour and a half or so before because my hands were falling asleep while I slept. So I will take it. 
  • Critter woke up on Sunday and decided to become a full-blown toddler so that has just been a really energizing time for all of us as we try to negotiate Not Touchdown Spiking All Of Our Toys In Inappropriate Places amongst probably any other toddler behavior you can think of.

So that’s how life is over here, lately.