Floors — M’s Room

Another room down. I spent all of Wednesday (= all the hours my mom was here to watch the girls) prepping M’s room and all of Thursday putting down the new engineered hardwood. It’s quite a process. I had to move almost everything out of M’s room, pull up the carpet, pull up the pad (which requires scraping it off the glue at the edges), pry up the nail strips, use an oscillating multi-tool to saw off however many nail heads wouldn’t pry out of the concrete, use the same tool to cut the door jamb and molding to the appropriate height, sweep, vacuum, and then vacuum with the hand-held to get around the edges. Then wipe down the trim, tape it off, give it a few coats of white paint, and remove the tape. THEN I can finally start with putting down the new floors. It’s sort of an overwhelming amount of work, but it’s also really methodical and satisfying. Putting down the boards is actually kind of fun. I’m really glad I went with an engineered hardwood over a regular laminate with a set number of board patterns. I love opening a new box and seeing the different grains and colors of the boards.

I’m using this project as an excuse to drastically pare down on what we keep in each room. When I put F’s room back together, I moved back all the necessary furniture and then just a couple of toys. I want M’s room to be similarly minimalistic. (Though, in the photo above, I hadn’t finished moving furniture back into the room — it won’t be THAT bare!) It makes the rooms feel so much calmer, and toys actually get played with instead of just strewn around. It’s been much easier to remove everything from a room and then put back only what we love instead of standing in a full room and trying to decide what to take out. Some toys we’ll be selling at a garage sale (to get some $$ for our trip to South Dakota this summer!), but most of them are just boxed up, either to eventually rotate them back into the mix or to see whether or not they’re ever missed. It’s a nice change!

Busy

It sure was nice out today — but windy! We nearly blew away! I cut the grass yesterday, the first time this year. It looks so nice and tidy now. We have a lot of lawn, but if the weather is good, it’s quite nice to listen to music or a podcast and ride the mower.

But most of my “spare” time (basically, whenever my mom is over to watch the girls) has been spent working on putting down our new floors. I spent my tax refund on engineered hardwood — like a laminate, but with a veneer of real wood — for the lower level. I started with the hallway, which meant painting all the trim and doors first, but F’s room is going a bit faster. I *really* like the new floors. And I *really really* like getting rid of the carpet. Ugh, so much yuck in it!

Anyway, here’s the egg report: one yesterday, two today. (I’ve been meaning to keep track of the daily egg count since the hens started laying, for my own reference. I know it’s pretty boring for everybody else!)

Family Room

I wonder if the family room will ever feel totally “settled”. When we moved in, it was a huge space. I’m not even sure what the dimensions were, but it ran from the front of the house to the back and was wide, as well. During the summer of 2015, we split it in half and turned the front half into my bedroom (F eventually moved into my old bedroom). The remaining family room space was more contained and cozier and felt more useful.

I shuffled the furniture around a little while ago, swapped the sitting area and the kid area to give more space to the kid stuff (the slate tile in front of the patio door not being super play-friendly). I really like it now! It feels much brighter in the room now that the dark bookcases aren’t under the window anymore. It’s still pretty full of furniture, despite moving the love seat out to the barn, but I prefer that to big, empty expanses. The shelves behind the table (the left side of the second photo) house all of M’s home-preschool materials, and the rest of her area is her little kitchen and other “dramatic play” stuff.

We’ve been playing down here much more regularly since the shuffle. I love sitting on the sofa now that I can look out the patio door! Now we just have to teach F that the play food in the kitchen is just for PRETEND eating.

Growing Up

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So, M is making us scrambled eggs now (with help, of course), and F has moved into her own room. Both babies slept in my room but in their crib (with one side removed and attached to my bed), which made it easy for them to start sleeping in their rooms. Or at least it went well with M, and the first night was unremarkable with F.

I hesitated more with F — she wakes up a lot, but she’s not as noisy as M was. And now I know how fast the infant stage passes, and I’m not in a rush for it to be over. But I wanted the transition to be easy for F, and I felt like the time was right. As reluctant as I was to move her crib, as soon as it was out, I wasted no time transforming my room back into a livable space. Instead of a baby hovel with cardboard over the windows!

The cats are happy.

Baby Sister’s Room

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Baby Sister’s room is… more or less done! There are a few things left to do, like putting up a black-out shade and making/finding better tie-backs for the curtain on the covered window (ideally — we’ll see if that happens). The crib will go into my bedroom before the baby is born, which is why it’s still in M’s sofa mode.

I think the theme of this room, if it had one, would be TOO MANY TOYS. Because, seriously. Why are there so many toys? One bonus to Baby Sister growing up will be being able to get rid of toys as she outgrows them. If anybody buys Baby Sister more toys, [insert threat here]. Pretty much all the furniture was in M’s room when she was younger, before she moved into her full-size bed and got the antique dresser, etc.

I was less concerned with getting everything ‘just right’, the way I did with M’s room before she was born, since now I realize how small a role the baby’s room plays for the first few months. But I did try to get everything sealed up, to keep both drafts and ladybugs (grr, arg.) out. So I think it’s ready-ish to go. Just ten more weeks (give or take) until Baby Sister can check it out herself!

Window Be Gone

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Rob gets more riled up about some of the questionable craftsmanship in this house than I do (he’s used to houses in the UK being built out of solid materials like stones and brick), but one of the things that annoys me is how drafty a lot of the windows are. I mean, the house is only a bit over a decade old — we’re not talking about hundred-year-old windows here. Oh well.

M’s window stays sealed in the winter with plastic, but in Baby Sister’s room, I was dealing with two problems: a north-facing window that was both drafty and letting in too much light. M has a black-out shade on her window (I don’t know how people trick their babies/toddlers into napping without them), but Baby Sister’s room has two windows, which was really one more than necessary for the time being. So that north-facing one got boarded up! I actually used beadboard paneling that was left over from my bathroom. Put some weather stripping stuff around the edges of the back and nailed it into place. Problems solved (I hope).

You can see that more than enough light still comes in from the other window, which eventually will get a black-out shade. There are mini-blinds on this window (still in place behind the paneling, so the boarded-up-ness isn’t visible from outside the house), but I never had curtains on it before, so it’s actually cuter now than when there was a window there! And this should keep the drafts, light, and ladybugs (fingers crossed) out for a few years — until even Baby Sister is done with naps.

p.s. — The ‘theme’ of Baby Sister’s room is Toysplosion, aka all the toys that M has outgrown, even though they’re suddenly really interesting again, now that she thinks about it.