Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello? Anyone still around?

I feel like I've been in Mars, it's been so long since I last post, I'm so out of the loop on everyone else, but it's nice to be back and have somewhat of a life back too.

So just a quick update: The basement is DONE! Well, all except for the bar/scrapbooking area, we'll be working on that slowly and have that done 'hopefully' by thanksgiving. We didn't do it alone though, friends, family members all came to help here and there, and it has been much appreciated, and a special thanks go out to all of them.

This basement project has been the most challenging thing we have ever accomplished. We have learned so much about ourselves and each other throughout the project, our skills, our talents, our weaknesses and struggles. I have learned that I hate hate hate drywalling and mudding, hate it with a passion. Cyn in the last post said drywalling should be easy, I would think so too, big pieces easy project, get it done quick and smoothly. NOT SO! LOL. I can laugh about it now, but not so funny then.

Big pieces = HEAVY pieces! One forgets that each and every outlet, switch, strange corner or turn, and do-dad has to be cut out EXACTLY right, get it wrong, do it all over again. Sigh....we had a few of these, near the end I was getting really frustrated...went on the internet to see if there was an easier way and well...lipstick, believe it or not is the magic solution. Too bad I was almost done. Oh well, I am done now.

Mudding, well it sucks. Not so much the mudding, but the sanding, oh the sanding. So much sanding, such a mess, so much sanding, such a mess...ooopppsss did I say that already? Not kidding here.

Installation, not bad...itchy, but not horribly frustrating like some projects.

Hubby has learned how much he detests plumbing. After 4 full days working on the shower taps, he finally got it so where it doesn't leak...the pipes not the taps, taps were new. Word of advice for rookies like us, do as much sautering as you can outside, or unhooked to other pipes. Much much easier. Wet taps = poor sautering, poor access to piping = poor sautering, poor sautering = leaking pipes.

Best part, carpet day. We had installers come and after they finished I just layed on the carpet, rolled around a little bit, and just layed there looking at the half finished ceiling. It felt so good. I just love it, and well, just felt so good to get to those final stages.

Putting lighting in, building the new stuff, setting up furniture, hanging the TV, shopping....not for building supplies but real shopping girl style, best parts for sure! I haven't owned a new couch in 10 years, I just love the new furniture!

Hubby has learned a new skill, he's really good at putting in pot lights, and most electrical work. Taylor is just fantastic at working a drill....can you imagine? My 5 year old girl working the drill like a pro. We had a video of her giving us step by step instruction on how to work the drill but then the battery was really cute though.

Bailey was all into the little projects, the biggest was helping out with the installation. He was measuring and cutting and handing tools, he was an awesome help.

Anthony, as teenagers go, tried to stay as far away as possible. Though he was around when we needed him or said he had to help out and I think he gained some inches on his biceps and triceps with all that heaving lifting he did. Carrying from outside to the bsmt, 25 sheets of drywall alone will add on some muscles. He was an awesome help.

I found I love laying ceramic floor. It's fun, really, I did enjoy it. I also loved building walls and stud work....a girl always loves a good stud...hehehehe. Honestly I have learned that I'm pretty talented, I can do this, I did do this, with very little outside help. (Okay internet doesn't count). I come from a family of carpenters and I'm happy that those skills didn't just go to the boys. I spent over 16 hour days down there, some nights *ahem* mornings, I'd see 5am. And yet I kept going. I really wanted it done before school started, and I got close, we had many many setbacks, and only ran 2 weeks overdue as last week it was officially done enough I could say done.

All in all it's been one hell of a 6 weeks. We have all been tested to the limit, individually, in our marriage, as a family. I am amazed and impressed how well we did, and what we accomplished as a team. It wasn't easy, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (even I had a few breaking moments of tears), but a lot of laughter, jokes, fun and memories. We made it, we did it, and we did it together. Here are some pics for everyone to enjoy. Next post will be a more "average" update, kids schools, work, etc.

Thanks for hanging in there, and rooting us on, we all really appreciate it! Here are some pics...

Walls go up...

Me wiring something or other

The truck is here the truck is here. Drywall, installation and trimming all arrive.

Bailey helping with the installation

Taylor learns how to tape and mud drywall (we gave her the space under the stairs, this is her space, where she worked. This is her "playroom" but really its intended to be the toy storage. She loves it there, and she worked very hard on it. She did it all, taped it, mudded it, sanded it, and painted it pink. Great job for a 5 year old! (With a teeny tiny help from mom)

This is my friend A. What an amazing friend she is. She knew housework was piling up so she came over and believe it or not, helped me FOLD my laundry!!! I couldn't believe it and was just so appreciative of her help and kindness. The day this pic was taken A spent the evening with Ian and I sanding the mudd on the walls. Words can NEVER express my thankfulness for the time and love she shared with us. Man were we dirty after all that sanding...

And the moment I've waited so patiently to announce....the finished project!

Looking from upstairs to downstairs

That's the laundry room door)

We recycled a door and used it as the door under the stairs leading to Taylors playroom. She wanted a window in the wall, AFTER we had drywalled, mudded and painted. I said forget it, not happening, but we did get her a peephole. She loves it!

Here little toy area even has a light...gotta see the toys ya know

She did this, not bad eh? Maybe Miss Priss has some carpentry skills in her blood too??

This is it! The rec room....colors are blue grey, grey carpet even though it looks tan, blacks and whites.

Notice the little details. We're so proud. Potlights in the drop ceiling. Drop ceiling looks whats the word...maybe a bit French? Not sure, but I love it. (You'll see bar cabinets....their still in the making).

Gosh I just love it so much!
Now on to Anthony's room....he's already Chrisened it with his mess....not 1 hour after moving in he was putting up posters. Ugh...but it IS HIS room, so who am I to say. I have to say that he picked the color and when he did, I hated it. (Though better than black which is what he really wanted). I thought it was awful. Putting the first coat on was very dificult for me, it just looked so bad. Anthony helped put the second coat on and he loves it. Well, once the carpet went in, and the trim up, I have to say it looks pretty good.
And yes it's a terrible mess.....but it's all his to live in and I can shut the door :)

Now the floors, new counter and sink, new tub surround, new fixtures, new ceiling light and fan (though the fan hole has some repairing still left we'll have to figure out), trim, paint, decorations and such....all new except the toilet. Though I did put in a matching toilet flush level...matches all the rest of the doors in the's all in the details right..!!

And that's it! 1 for the record books that for sure!