Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Foundation

I wanted to share a few more shots of our basement progress before all the technical stuff gets covered up. The painting, finishing work, and decorating is the fun part, but the stuff that is going on right now is what will make our little space functional.

The electricians have a couple more odd jobs to complete. Other than that wiring is finished!

They even did a few extra things for us (like adding an outside porch light) after we complained about the fact that they ruined our lives a couple weeks ago. You see folks, sometimes being high maintenance pays off.

Framing is done.

Plumbing is SO close to being done.

I even came home from work yesterday to find a new ventilation system for the bathroom installed on the outside of our house. It's amazing how all the little bits of projects add up!

And someone did this upstairs while I was snapping these quick photos. He reads all his books one by one, then throws them on the ground when he's done.

I walked through the space last night and imagined myself flipping on all the light switches, brushing my teeth at the double vanity, and stuffing diapers in the fully finished laundry room. In the 12+ months we have been toying with the idea of doing this project I have certainly had my doubts, but after walking through the space I truly feel we made the right choice. Our neighbors are thrilled that we are staying as well, so that certainly makes us feel loved.

Sheetrock should start by the end of the week, so I need to decide on paint colors pronto! Any color suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lots O' Progress

This master suite project is happening. The giant holes in our basement floor have been filled, the concrete has been sealed, and framing is scheduled to be finished today.

I'm pretty pleased with how much light these future rooms get, despite the fact that they are north facing.

Please take a moment to appreciate the huge changes to the plumbing!

The electricians came last week. They robbed me of my Pollyanna attitude. I walked into the house after a long day and I can't begin to describe how much of a mess they made, but let me try:
  • There was dust all over the floor, furniture, and even DOG. 
  • Attic insulation was everywhere, and let me just announce that it is the house's original insulation, meaning it is loaded with asbestos. Willow was licking up a few particles when I walked in the door. 
  • There was plaster on all surfaces of the house, including INSIDE of our bed and on the dining room table. 
  • Black hand prints were all over the walls. 
  • Holes appeared in our walls. This was to be expected, and not too surprising.
  • The floor was peppered with screws and wires.
  • We had no lights in the kitchen or dining room, some of the wires are still cut in a few of our bedroom outlets, and only one of our basement lights is currently in commission (making the photos in this post a little more challenging). 
  • To sum it all up, it was a terrible ending to my day, and a nightmare to anyone with a busy toddler. We had to leave the house. 
  • Then I cried. 
  • Then I drank wine. 
  • Then I bought myself a pair of shoes.

Note the finger prints on the white trim.

Anyway, you get the point. In addition to new wiring, new plumbing was installed. I've been told it will be more efficient. The gas line was re-routed to accommodate the layout of the new mechanical room. This caused the pilot light to burn out, which we did not realize until I was in the shower the following day.

Finally, the electrician also accidentally cut our phone line, which doesn't serve much use for a telephone, but does provide us with an internet connection.

In conclusion, it's been a rough week. However, seeing all the progress over the last few days has almost made it worth the turmoil.

The bathroom is ready to go! Almost.

Here is a view of the bathroom from inside the future storage closet. Plumbing for the toilet is on the left, and the walk-in shower will be on the right. We won't have this view much longer.

Once framing is complete, the electricians will come again to wire the downstairs, finish their work upstairs - including the addition of an outdoor light - and get an official inspection for their work. This should end their portion of the project (good riddance, and please never come back).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter - 16 Months

Anyone who works with admissions for a university will tell you April is a crazy month, and anyone who works for a church will tell you April is a crazy month. Unfortunately, I work for both, and this month has been exhausting. I don't like being the type of person who pours herself a glass of wine every night (well...maybe I like being that person a little), but the last few weeks have been physically and emotionally draining. I have felt my sanity slipping like flour through a sifter, and I finally cracked the other day when I came home to a house covered in plaster, dust, and attic insulation (not to mention a few holes left in our walls) - the electricians had come.

All that being said, Easter came and went with only two additional panic attacks. Since I work for a Catholic university, they gave us Good Friday and Easter Monday off, and the four-day weekend was a much needed blessing. I finally got to spend quality time with my family, and I got in some good runs. Speaking of which, I'm running a half marathon in a few weeks. If there are no blog updates after June 1st, I am dead.

Without further ado, obligatory egg photos.

Jeff dyed all the clever looking ones. I only know how to make Irish flags.

Can you guess which one Everett dyed?

 Now that Everett is almost 17 months old, I thought I should post some 16 month photos.

This little guy is still obsessed with his books, taking walks, playing in the park, chasing the dog and cat, drinking from sippy cups, and being a busy body in general. He started cutting his final baby tooth a couple weeks ago, putting us at 8 teeth cutting in a 1-month span. I kind of prefer them all to come at once anyway. The 2-year molars are next! Good thing we have a couple months to recover.

And for those of you who are wondering...YES the amber teething necklace works. While Everett was cutting all 4 of his baby molars at the same time, we only needed to give him Tylenol once. From what I've heard, this is highly irregular.

Check out this awesome sippy we found at Target!

I have been drying my laundry upstairs since we have a construction zone in our basement. My dangling bras shirts have been fun toys for both Everett and the cat.

He grabbed one of my damp tank tops and put it on as a cape.

And he loves to feed himself like a big boy, usually with utensils. He would prefer not being in a high chair, but Mom doesn't think he's ready.

 Sorry for all the pictures! Normally I would make this a separate post, but I am already so far behind! Here are some of my favorite moments from Easter. Everett went on his first Easter egg hunt. He had no idea what was going on, but he loved chasing his cousins around the yard.

The big kids were loving all the candy. I didn't let Everett have any sweets from the eggs hunt because I'm Mean Mom, and because he ate an entire cinnamon roll for brunch. Good thing he's young enough to be oblivious.

She was a little grossed out because her chocolate melted.

And then they were all in a sugar coma.

 Meanwhile, Baby Ceci was inside snoozing like an angel.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Two weekends ago, I had to travel to Portland for work. Since Jeff's family lives down there, we took a long weekend and made it a family trip. We also had the opportunity to visit with our friends who currently live in Eugene. The weekend was incredibly relaxing, and Jeff's mom even took Everett one morning so I could sleep in! I honestly can't remember the last time I got to sleep in!

Jeff's parents live on a quiet country road, which is great for little babes who like to go on walks. This is something we could never do in the city.

Everett also got to meet the friendly horses and chickens on the road.


Willow tried herding them, and was running up and down the fences.

We visited a few playgrounds on the trip, and are getting into a good travel routine. Note to self: stop at a playground every 2-3 hours when on the road. Also note to self: have the "What Does the Fox Say" YouTube video on repeat.

It was a great weekend!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Demo Mode

I thought I'd post a quick update on our "little" construction project. A lot has happened in 2 weeks!

First, and probably most important, we got permits for our work and passed an inspection!

All fixtures and cabinets have been ordered, with one exception. We have a designer looking for doorknobs that will match the ones we have upstairs - preferably ones that cost less than $150 each...Other than that, everything is on its way to the Wirth house! We were even informed that our bathtub is making its way across the ocean on a ship.

The first week was mostly a demo week. All existing walls, cabinetry, and carpets were torn out, then the new floor plan was marked on the concrete with chalk. This gave us a feel for the space outside of the blueprints, and even created a few minor upgrades to our plans. For example, the builders realized we could move the sump pump and shave a few inches in the mechanical room without violating code. We also opted to decrease the size of the bedroom (it really was excessive how big it was before) to create more space in the CLOSET (also excessive, but "storage").

So here's a nice little visual for the changes made after 2 weeks of work:

And another angle. At least we can still use our washer/dryer during the madness.

At the end of week one, a concrete cutter came to make room for our new underground plumbing. Monday of week two had everyone digging holes for piping and a sump pump, and the rest of the week was spent getting the plumbing put in.

I feel bad for making Jeff paint the basement when I was crazy pregnant, because now look at it:

But I am probably most excited about the new bathroom. Our current bathtub/shower shares a wall with Everett's crib, so I wake him up every morning when I shower. I dread getting out of bed because I do not want to wake him up, and the anxiety is just too much. So I lay in bed and look at Facebook.

Also, who am I kidding? I don't shower every day. However, it will be an improvement in our daily lives to have our own space to take a shower in the morning, without a bucket of bath toys falling on our heads. And let's be honest, having one bathroom sucks.

The electrician comes this week, and we are full steam ahead!

Until next time!
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