Tag Archives: home renovations

Currently – the Home Edition!

Linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and the other super bloggers for another Currently party! Join us – we want to hear what’s going on with you currently!

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Watching || The Oscars! Since we don’t have cable, on nights like these with exciting televised happenings, I’ve gotta phone a friend and beg to use their cable. Luckily, my friend Ginna said come on over! So in my pj’s, snacks and laundry in hand (yeah, I used her big time) I headed over to watch the Oscars till I got too tired to pay attention. So naturally, I had to Google who won best picture this morning when I woke up (I loved Birdman, by the way, but I also kinda wanted Grand Budapest Hotel to win, because I also love Wes Anderson). And also, NPH is a favorite fellow of mine!

Organizing || The kitchen. And when I say organizing, I really mean that my husband is doing it (thanks, Babe!). Our sink is leaking somewhere, so he had to clean out the cabinet underneath and do some investigating, and organized while he was going. We’ve also got lots of kitchen stuff in valuable storage places that we aren’t using as often as other items, so we are having a few days where we evaluate what we want at hand, and what we don’t mind digging for when we use it every 4 months.

Loving || the paint color I chose for the mudroom and powder room downstairs. We used a totally neutral grey everywhere down there except for those two rooms and the laundry room. which is bright white. It’s tough to get a picture of how gorgeous the color is, but here’s my try:

We asked EK where the potty was... and she totally found its spot.
We asked EK where the potty was… and she totally found its spot.
The color is called "Swimming". It's a few shades lighter than the one of the tile colors we're using for back splash in the laundy room.
The color is called “Swimming”. It’s a few shades lighter than the one of the tile colors we’re using for back splash in the laundy room.
The grey we're using is called "Anew Grey" and it's a little less beige than our color from upstairs, but close enough that it won't look totally different as you walk down the stairs.
The grey we’re using is called “Anew Grey” and it’s a little less beige than our color from upstairs, but close enough that it won’t look totally different as you walk down the stairs.

Eating || these little fruit-and-nut treats that I found at Costco! They’re not great for you but not terrible, and right now the salty-sweet combo is floating my boat big time. Totally yum!

Partially dipped in dark chocolate, and only 7 grams of sugar per serving? Okay!
Partially dipped in dark chocolate, and only 7 grams of sugar per serving? Okay!

Well that’s what’s happening currently in my home – what’s going on with you?!

It’s Coming Up the Stairs…

Renovations are getting real, y’all.

Wanna know how real? The basement renovation just turned into a home renovation… as in, it’s no longer contained in the basement.

Hubby had this idea early in the process to open up the stair well (right next to the living room) so that it was a whole open space, and you could stand in one place and see to the other. I promise there will be pictures once it’s opened up to explain it, but that’s the best I can do for now. Anyway, what started as a crazy idea has morphed into a possibility, and now a reality. Anyone who has been to my house knows that the living room and kitchen are the most beautiful spaces in our home (as we wanted them to be!) and now it may completely change looks. I think it will still be beautiful, but I’m also a little nervous, because I don’t want it to take away from the look we’ve got going at the moment.

Anyway, the tearing out of most of the wall will be this Thursday or Friday. That TOTALLY happened fast. I had only just reconciled myself to the idea of doing it at all, and our architect suggested we get the demo done before the stairs and floors were finished downstairs, so that we wouldn’t get the dust, etc all over our finished spaces. That means the living room basically moves into the kitchen (there’s no room in the bedrooms with everything we moved up from the basement), we’ll stack the art against the far wall, roll up the rug, cover things in plastic, and cross our fingers that nothing is dirtied up irreparably. We’ve started to move things out of the way already in preparation.

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Two couches in the kitchen? Okay.

 

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A bunch of furniture jammed into one corner? Alright. (And yes, that’s J’s birthday banner from December 28th, still up.)

 

That being said, I went yesterday to buy our outdoor light fixtures and our big pendant light for the stairwell. I’m excited for fun, modern light fixtures in our home. I’m also on the hunt for something else to go over our dining table. I’ve hated that fixture ever since we moved in, and I’ve gotten used to it, but while I’m buying lights I might switch it out!
This is the light that will be at the outside doors in the basement. It's from Lowe's!

This is the light that will be at the outside doors in the basement. It’s from Lowe’s!

This Allen + Roth pendant caught my eye immediately, and it'll be the one in the stairwell. Also from Lowe's!
This Allen + Roth pendant caught my eye immediately, and it’ll be the one in the stairwell. Also from Lowe’s!

My biggest prayer for us at this point is that we survive a little bit of craziness upstairs. The actual building upstairs won’t start for a couple more weeks (after cabinets and tile are done downstairs) so we will be living with a plastic-and-plywood-covered hole in the wall. Eh. At least we can live around it!

Has anyone been through a home reno that totally displaced their life? Do you have any advice for us, as our situation gets a little bit worse for a couple of weeks?

13 Week Bump Date, Ultrasound, and Renovation Update!

I can’t promise I’m going to do these updates every week, what with renovations and kiddos and all, but I can give it a shot!

I’m happy to say I have some energy back I’m still accidentally taking naps here and there, but at least not so exhausted that I have to nap every day. I’m glad to be able to do my thing without headaches and everything. I haven’t gained much weight – only about three pounds – but I’ve definitely got a little more belly than usual. Too bad it doesn’t look like a cute little bump yet. It’s mostly just a “did you eat a large dinner?” sort of belly. Yikes.

Yesterday, we went for our first ultrasound, and it was so awesome. That never gets less incredible, no matter how many times you see your unborn baby on that screen. It’s amazing to see hands and feet and a button nose, that looks just like Sister’s. Another thing that was totally adorable was EK, pointing at the screen, saying, “My baby! That’s my baby!” I pretty much cried, seeing the ownership she’s already taking of that little soul. What a good sister.

Our little jellybean, with the cutest button nose, waving hello!
Our little jellybean, with the cutest button nose, waving hello!

The one thing we did find out at the ultrasound is that our screening for chromosomal abnormalities came back positive. They took some blood, and I will get those test results back in two weeks. So pray that the blood test comes back totally normal, and that we won’t have any chromosomal disorders to worry about. My doctor didn’t seem worried to see the first screening positive, so we are trying (as hard as we can) not to worry either.

Our basement renovations are going well! There are lots of things happening, and more than just demo now! Temporary walls are going up, plumbing is being moved and updated, wiring is being secured, and we are seeing lots of progress! Here are a few pictures so you can see some of the craziness:

This one long room used to be Hubby's music studio (on the far side of the stairwell) and will now be two bedrooms!
This one long room used to be Hubby’s music studio (on the far side of the stairwell) and will now be two bedrooms! The perspective is from the family room (former and future).
This is today's project: Jackammering through the floor to lay a new pipe for the laundry room. The fireplace there looked like that after they removed the veneer. Disturbingly messy brick laying, but the contractor says it's strong and sound, so they're leaving it.
This was today’s project: Jackhammering through the floor to lay a new pipe for the laundry room. The fireplace there looked like that after they removed the veneer. Disturbingly messy brick laying, but the contractor says it’s strong and sound, so they’re leaving it.

We’ve been spending every other day or so at Hubby’s parents’ house, which serves a double purpose… our kids can nap, and we can also get some laundry done while we’re here. It’s a nice way to be away from a loud and dusty home!

So there’s a little life update for you. What’s going on in your life?!

The Unintentional Pampers Challenge

All size 4: Pampers (crushed in the diaper bag), Huggies, Kirkland/Costco, and Babies R Us. Which do you use?

I’m so annoyed right now.

Due to our basement renovations, the Hsu house is extremely loud from time to time. It’s totally fine, and we knew it would be that way, and our contractors have graciously given us no less than 24 hours notice when we’re going to have a extra loud day. Today was one of the loud ones, so we got up, had breakfast, made a Target run, then came over to my in-laws’ house for nap times (my kids aren’t having the glorious double nap right now, so “nap times” can be anywhere from 2-5 hours). My in-laws are absolutely wonderful for letting us interrupt their days and their home by letting us come over, eat, watch tv, make messes and require quiet for naps. That being said, I’ll move on to the real point of this post.

I almost always use Pampers diapers. I thought about cloth diapering with J since we were “parenting pros” (HA HA HA) but Hubby nixed it. I wasn’t that sad. We’ve tried Huggies, Babies R Us brand, Costco/Kirkland brand, and a few others that are cheaper than Pampers. But in our experience, especially with bigger babies/toddlers, Pampers is the way to go. My in-laws keep a stock of diapers at their place, mostly cheaper ones since they’re sorta emergency diapers, used only for short periods of time and never for overnight, and I’m just super grateful that they’re there, because when I’m coming over with the kids, I don’t even bring a diaper bag. ((The photo above is Pampers (diaper bag crushed and all), Huggies, Kirkland/Costco, and Babies R Us, and all are size 4.))

Today, J went down for his nap first, right when we got there. Nothing was out of the ordinary… I put a fresh diaper on him, gave him his swaddle (my kids both sleep with one) and his bottle of warm milk, and he went right to sleep. He slept for three hours! HALLELUJAH! However, he had woken up with wet pants, because his Huggie (same size as the Pampers he always wears) had leaked. It wasn’t as if I left him for his nap and he drank several cups of water. He NEVER leaks at nap time. Sometimes at night, but never at a nap. So of course I changed his pants and went on about my business.

Right before J woke up, EK fell asleep, without drinking anything I might add, watching a movie (a special privilege since we’re at her grandmother’s house – she doesn’t do that at home) on the couch. As far as I know, she had a dry diaper on, because we’d just had an accident in the Pull-Up right as the movie started.  Her diaper was a Kirkland brand (from Costco, size 4, which is her normal diaper size – yes, same size as J. Yes, that is a wonderful phenomenon.) She woke up in a puddle on the couch.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Two leaking naps, in two different brand diapers that aren’t our usual, and at someone else’s house, no less?! I felt terrible… Not only am I already doing my laundry over here (no laundry available at our place during the basement reno) but I’m causing more laundry and wrecking the couch. Or my kids are. Or we as a family are. Ugh. Good thing I have forgiving, wonderful in-laws who love me with my messy kids.

Moral of the story: I may never buy anything but Pampers ever again. Has anyone else have tried and true Pampers stories? Has anyone had good luck with the off-brand diapers?