Our Kids!

Cassius Daniel:


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And finally...the house post

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I've been meaning to post about our house for a long time but there always seemed to be one more project I wanted to complete before sharing pictures so the post kept getting pushed back and back. But recently, we've actually started "completing" full rooms and are around three quarters of our way through what we like to call Phase 1 of the remodeling process so it's time I put some photos up for public consumption.

Being that we moved from a 450 square foot rental in NYC with little furniture, an infant, and a very limited knowledge in all things home ownership, the only smart thing for us to do was to buy what some would call a large "fixer-upper" home in a short sale and attempt to do some of the renovations ourselves...Oh wait, that's not the smart thing, cause that's what we did.

So since our purchase date of April 5th and then our move-in date of May 14th, we've done a fair amount of necessary work on the place. Some of this we did ourselves (painting, some shoe molding, changing out light fixtures, etc) and some we left to the professionals (fixing wood rot on the outside siding, plugging up holes left in the porch overhang by the previous owner's own attempts at DIY porch construction, exterminating the roach infestation that resulted from previous owner's DIY construction attempts, etc.). We bought enough furniture from discount and wholesale sites to outfit about five of our previous apartment and I've gone half insane trying to figure out how to interior decorate our place so that it looks like us but with more style then Ross's penchant towards skull art and my love of prints but lack of knowledge on how to actually make them look good together.

We're definitely on our way. There's is a lot more work to do, namely major renovations on the kitchen and both bathrooms and some house painting so that we don't have purple doors, a purple porch and two different colors of siding and trim. Also, some landscaping would be nice since we have no grass, but a girl can't be picky.

Here is the house by the numbers so far:

Days since purchase = 176
Days since move-in = 138

Square footage of old apartment = 450sq ft
Square footage of new house = 2450 sq ft

# of pieces of furniture moved from NYC = 5
# of pieces of furniture purchased = 17
# purchased from Overstock.com = 10

# of massive bushes Ross ripped out from the front and back yards = 10
# of weird tree growths chainsawed down by new neighbors 2 days after meeting them = 1

# of toolbelts I lovingly purchased for Ross at yard sale = 1
# of times Ross has worn lovingly purchased toolbelt = 0

# of wood floor contractors who swore that the pasted linoleum Ross scraped off the floor was asbestos-based = 1
Percentage of asbestos found in adhesive sample that I panicked and took to a lab = 0%
# of calls Ross made to certain wood floor contractors threatening legal action for giving his wife a nervous breakdown = 1

# of Gallons of paint purchased = 8
# of mostly full gallons of rusted over paint cans left by previous owner and found in shed = Over 30
# of environmental disasters I probably caused trying to dry out paint cans with kitty litter as instructed by city = 1

The house:
Living Room -

As you can see, my print love has invaded the floor in the form of a Kilim rug. Ross affectionately called this the "drug rug" for the first couple of months after purchase because he said it looked like something one would make a hemp poncho out of. He loves it now.

My office:
When we first moved in -

And now -

Yes, these are two totally different rooms. After living for a month and trying to work in the wood-paneled hell that was that room at the back of the house I decided that I needed to commandeer the room that is supposed to be a dining room at the front of the house and make it my office. And I couldn't be happier.

Dining Room:
Before -

And After -

This room was so random that we had no idea what it was going to be when we moved in. It's supposed to be a sunroom and gets lots of light, but it had a red cement tile floor and rough cedar walls. But we kept just finding ourselves in there to eat on our little card table so we decided to make it our dining room. After having a contractor tell us that sanding the walls would be disasterous and then having the "Grout Doctor" determine that trying to clean the tile would be futile, we decided to paint the floor and decorate around the walls. We decided on an "Argentine wine cellar" motif. Oh and Ross made that table. And it's awesome. This may be our favorite room.


Nothing to see here folks, just ugliness. While I am rich in ideas on how to renovate this kitchen, I am currently poor in funds to make it happen. So fruit tile countertop and first generation dishwasher, I will live with you...for now.

Game Room:

Originally my office, this is now Ross's "sports bar". One woman's hell is another man's oasis. I think the pictures explain all that one needs to know about this room.

Guest Room:

Our previous "guest room" was the recliner chair in our living room. Now we have a real bed for y'all! And not just any bed, but the entire bedroom suit I grew up with. If that doesn't scream come and stay with us, I really don't know what will.

Downstairs bathroom (aka Cash's bathroom):

I thought putting the Coconut Monkey Bank in this room would make it whimsical. However nothing can make floor to ceiling Pepto Bismal pink tile whimsical.


This is my most recently completed project. The walls were previously orange with some sort of either dark green or black "splashes". Also, those curtains are a bit of a crafty moment for me made from curtains left behind by the previous owners and stick on wall decals. Ross is still iffy on the curtains...

Upstairs hallway:

We never had pictures up or around in the NYC apartment due to lack of space. Now I have an entire hallway of family pictures. This makes me happy.

Upstairs bathroom:

Just..ugh. I can't even comment it is so awful.

Master Bedroom:

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this shoe closet, which is larger than the only closet we had in our NYC apartment, may have been the deciding factor in my mind about purchasing this house.

Cash's Room:
What we were working with -

And what it is now -

I'm very happy with this room, Cash seems pretty happy with it and it will definitely grow with him.


Ross has probably spent about equal time on this yard as we have on the house. It's a lot of yard with a lot of trees (and little grass) but we love it and think that Cash will definitely love it in years to come.

So that's it for now. There will definitely be much more to do for many (many) years to come but we love it so far.

Day Care Anecdotes

We find out a lot of things about Cash's day to day activities from the conversations we have with his day care teachers. Some things come home with him, and other things we find out are pretty surprising. This week alone we found out a couple interesting things:

1) Cash has started walking around with his hands behind his back. It started a couple of weeks ago and now he does it about 50% of the time when he is walking. Ross and I have started calling it his "old man" walk because he does it slowly, looks around like he is surveying the situation and then bends at the waist to look at something more closely. We had no idea where it came from but we found out this week that his new day care teacher, Ms. Terry, walks around like that all the time. She previously taught the Montessori method and one of the tenents is teaching children to walk with their hands behind their backs. While Ms. Terry isn't teaching this to Cash, she told us that she still tends to do it herself out of habit and Cash has totally picked up on it.

2) The second thing we learned this week is that we're raising a bit of a thief...a Cheerio thief to be specific. For the past week or so, Cash's day report said that he hadn't been eating a lot at lunch. I asked his teacher Ms. Liddia about it the other day and she said that while he doesn't eat lunch, he is crazy about snacks. So crazy that after he has eaten his own, he will "shark around" for all the other kids snacks and eat them. I was a little mortified at that tidbit of information so hopefully we can try to break him of that habit in the future.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

15 months

Thursday, September 22, 2011

These are just a few common scenes in Cash's every day life at 15 months: Looking at the food he has mischieviously thrown on the floor during most mealtimes, sweaty and covered in sand from a good play day at day care, or munching on some cheerios while watching Backyardigans or Yo Gabba Gabba.

Our baby is completely all little boy now - walking and close to running all over the house every second of the day, opening and shutting every cabinet or drawer he can get his hands on, and generally looking for trouble and then smiling cutely to get out of it.

Cash now knows where his head, belly and feet are and will point to them when you ask, he says "Hi" pretty much non-stop (except when saying "Dada"), and imitates most noises that mommy and daddy make which is especially funny when we are frustrated.

He's still a little guy but getting taller - at his 15 month appointment he was 20lbs, 11oz which is the 6th percentile, but he was 30 inches long which is the 19th percentile, a big gain over his 12 month appointment.

He eats pretty much everything when he is in the mood to eat but he especially loves pasta, both garden rotini and Gerber pasta pickups, peaches and pears, green beans, ground turkey, beans, and anything sweet.

He loves being outside! Most weekends he will walk up to the door and point, showing us he wants to go out and play. Mostly he likes to walk around and pick up sticks and acorns, take wagon rides, point at and pet the dogs next door, and get pushed in his swing. He's even started going to get his own shoes when you say that we are going outside because he knows that shoes are necessary for outdoor play. Other than that though, shoes are generally still on the outs as far as Cash is concerned.

He's doing really well in the toddler class at his new day care and everyone is in love with him, of course, and comments on what a great smile he has.

And they are right, he really does have the greatest smile. We love you Cash!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cash's Baptism

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This past Sunday, we joined Grace United Methodist Church here in Wilmington. We were lucky to find this congregation through our realtor, and now friend, who invited us back when we were looking for houses downtown in February. We've been visiting for awhile and have met lots of great people and young families and felt at home there instantly.

Since we were going through the new member process and knew we were going to join, we decided to get Cash baptized on the same Sunday we joined. We knew that it was something we wanted to do since he was born but since we also knew we wouldn't be staying in NYC, it didn't make sense for us to do it there. I'm glad that we waited and that Cash was baptized in the church that he will grow up in. My parents were also able to make it to town to witness this special occasion and joined us in the ceremony. To top it all off, it was a great excuse to buy Cash a baby seersucker suit and bow tie.