Monday, December 31, 2012

Bathroom Bump Up: One frap, two fraps, three faps FLOOR

Happy Almost-New Year! Hope your holidays have been super fun. I spent the first part of the week down south, celebrating with these good looking jammie models:

Once we returned to the north on Thursday, it was all business. The bathroom got its day in the sun, literally. Here is Hubs hauling our 60-year old toilet to the curb. I'm pretty sure angels sang as we put it out of its misery.

Then, it was time to pull up the linoleum (which is harder than we thought, but luckily, our bathroom is small so there wasn't too much swearing going on) and lay fresh backerboard to support the new tiles.

With the backerboard down, Hubs was able to start laying and cutting tile. We were lucky enough to borrow a wet tile saw from a friend, so we saved the rental fee. All we needed to do was buy a nice new blade so our porcelain floor tiles and marble countertop would have good cuts.

We went with over-sized subway tiles in a dark gray for the floor. While Hubs did the hard work, I photographed and did frap runs. I learned that Starbucks DOES make decaf frappucinos, which has probably revolutionized the rest of this pregnancy.

Obviously, with no toilet and freshly-laid tiles, the bathroom (again, our one and only) was out of commission. Since I wasn't helping, I thought running to the gym for a shower would be a great idea. After a particularly sweaty treadmill session, the joke was on me because the showers were all closed for a weekly deep clean. 

This, combined with my super fun respirator made for one heckuva Saturday night.

It took just about three hours for Hubs to cut and lay all these glorious floor tiles.

The thinset needs to dry for 24 hours and then it's grout time! Then, obviously, it is shower time. Thank goodness for face wipes and dry shampoo.

Friday, December 21, 2012

This is normal, right?

Yesterday, we got hit with a blizzard. Fourteen inches of heavy, wet snow (that poor Hubs shoveled solo - and was bad ass enough to refuse the help of kindly strangers who offered to let him borrow their snow blower. Hubs is an ox.) fell overnight and it made for one curious kitten.
You may remember Niles, our adorable trash-eating rescue cat. He has a thirst for adventure that knows no bounds.

So, when we caught him staring wistfully out the sliding doors at all that snow, we knew what he wanted. That little weirdo wanted to get out and play in it.

That's normal, right? Most cats really want to get sopping wet and cold, frolicking in the snow, yeah?

 Did you get blizzard-ed? How'd you entertain yourself?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby steps!

Last Saturday, we made some small, but significant progress. It was a decent 50-degree day, so I cracked open the windows and painted the ceiling in the nursery-to-be.
Here it is before my handy work. Dingy and sad!

And after. Excuse the bad lighting, but trust that it is crisp and white.

The best part of painting a room top to bottom is not having to stay in the lines. Since I was just slapping paint around the edges, I was able to finish up pretty quick. Then, I finally moved everything out of the closets in this room and found new homes for all our crap (note: if you want any old polos, office supplies or bike gear, head to the Goodwill in Urbandale stat! About 80% of our stuff found its way there.).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall, Hubs was wreaking havoc on the tile walls.

 He ripped down the tile and will soon skimcoat the plaster to even it out so the wainscoating will sit nice and even.

Feeling inspired, he didn't stop there. He also removed the countertop overhang - the part that inexplicably went over the toilet - and cut a backerboard to size for the new countertop.

Our potty looks pretty squat and pathetic without its counter overlord.

And for fun: a bump picture! Here I am in the midst of work:

And all cleaned up with my favorite inflatable penguin:

Just about ready to hit 22 weeks: still lifting regularly, running about 7-9 (turtleslow) miles each week, taking Bradley Method classes and now a serious sock bun devotee.

Up next, I'll be working on taking the blonde trim to a shiny white and Hubs will be removing the mirror and skimcoating before we hop on the rebuilding train! This week, work is moving slow as I still need to get Christmas cards out, bake cookies, nap, etc. Napping is key.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Weekend of Doing

Of course, right after I clicked "publish" on that last blog, my phone rings. Who could it be but Kevin at Home Depot telling me my back-ordered tiles miraculously arrived ahead of schedule. Oh, happy day!

So, now with tiles at the ready and a guest room nearly cleared of all non-baby junk, we are ready for a weekend of getting shit done.

Tonight, we'll bust out some errands and then tomorrow, Hubs and I will go our separate ways - he will demo the bathroom while I paint the baby's room. Trim will be a crisp white (finally! to match the rest of the house) and walls will be Behr's Natural Gray (or a color-matched version of a low/no-VOC paint).

Hubs is hoping to rip the tile off the bathroom walls and put up beadboard in its place. Who knows what other magic might happen during our flurry of anticipated productivity.

Please, sweet readers, tell me your weekend is looking more exciting than mine. If it doesn't, I will probably cry once for you, once for me, then drown my sorrows in sugar cookies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Switching gears

Last week, we found out our bathroom tiles are on back-order and instead of arriving tomorrow, the 12th, the granite for the counter top and porcelain for the floor won't be in our grubby little hands until after Christmas. This throws a huge wrench in our works because the work really can't move too far past demo without the main re-building materials, you know? Sucks how that works.

So, rather than carry on with demo and live with a ripped up bathroom for three weeks, we are turning our sights toward a project we hadn't planned on doing until late January: the baby's room!

Crazy, right?

So, here is our second bedroom. Part office, part guest room, part catch-all - this poor space needs some serious love.
It's the last room in the house with the original blonde wood trim, the walls are a sad yellow, the ceiling bears the marks of multiple other wall colors, the light fixture is pathetic and the floor is beat to hell.

Poor Baby deserves a little better. We aren't going to find out if the little dude is in fact a dude or a little lady, so all the decorations will be neutral.

So, the plan for this room is:

  • Moving out all the adult furniture and bringing in the baby gear: crib, dresser, glider, yada yada yada
  • Paint the ceiling a nice, fresh, uniform white
  • Pull out the light fixture and replace it with a ceiling fan
  • Paint the walls a pale gray
  • Paint a fancy-pancy mural of a tree on one wall
  • Paint the trim white
  • Refinish the floors
Nothing major, so the plan is to knock this out while we wait for the bathroom tile. I have Christmas week off work, so with my trusty mask and a few cracked windows, I should be able to get the painting pretty much set. 

What's your Christmas project?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bathroom Bump-Up: 7 years of bad luck

The bathroom is officially in a state of demolition. We took our first crack (ba dum ching!) at removing the mirror. Below, an "artist's" rendering of the proposed space. (When I saw "artist," I mean "scientist husband," of course).

The plan was to use our new Dremmel to cut the mirror down so it would reach just over the counter (also something we plan to resize). Then, we'd use some cheap trim to frame it out and all would be right with the world. Easy, peasy, nearly free-sy.

Hubs prepped the area.

He ran over our cut-line with the Dremmel, then scored it, then Dremmeled again. I photographed, as the bathroom is luckily too small for two workers in most cases. (Also, I forgot to tell you guys last time one plot twist that makes this whole gut-your-bathroom-and-be-toiletless-for-several-hours/days even more horrifying - your blogging host is five months pregnant. This is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is that I can officially take a backseat on these DIY projects due to my delicate condition. Nevermind that I'm still running 3 miles a week and lifting weights to keep my mama-body seven kinds of buff, helping DIY a new bathroom is simply too much for lil ole me.)

Here is our thwarting in progress. The to-be salvaged side of the mirror cracked. Like in a major way. Cue the cussing from Hubs and daily Craigslist hunts for large mirrors from yours truly. Also, this is when we Googled how to remove a mirror. What effing amateurs, you know?

And here is the mirror in all of it's half-demo'd glory. The other half will come down this weekend, between cookie-baking and other winter frolicking. Oh, how I missed weekends full of DIY!

Big weekend plans for you, chief?

Also, quick poll: sneakiest pregnancy announcement ever? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bathroom Bump-Up: Scariest DIY Project EVER

Our humble abode has come a long way in the past three years. The deck went from being a serious health-threat to being completely lovely, the basement (oh, the basement) went from pathetic to sob-fest-inducing to sheer perfection, and the other rooms have all stepped up their game a bit, too. But, one room remains untouched and ever-so humble, keeping our home from being the shining star she should be. The room that is the zit on the face of our beauty queen?

The bathroom.

Notice I called it “the” bathroom. As in, not the “master” bathroom or “hall” or “guest.” This is it, people. Our sole powder room.

And we’re gutting it.

And God-willing, we’re putting it back together before anyone needs to take a private moment.

Behold, our official before photos:

Eight feet of 1970s-era lighting. Paaaarty!

Oh, my.

The previous bathroom-renovator forgot to seal the grout. And so, no amount of scrubbing or noxious chemicals has helped. The shower will be de-grouted, re-grouted and left alone, lest we rip out the tiles and find some big, ugly plumbing problem. Tearing the basement down to the studs taught us at least one valuable lesson: If you don’t see the problem, it’s not a problem. Ignorance is bliss in this household.

The toilet is original to our 1955 bungalow, which makes me shake with fear every time we have houseguests or a party.

The mirror is huge and extends over the toilet, which I imagine, is kinda awkward for dudes.

The countertop is tile and impossible to keep clean.

One thing I love: lots and lots of storage.

Stay tuned, this project is sure to be ridiculous. 
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