Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Painting the Bathroom and Entryway -- a waytoolong project

We have had plans for the outdated wallpaper in our house since before it was our house. It was not a priority, and that's why it's been two years. But this summer I got the redecorating itch. My Tracy said once, "you kids really like to paint huh?" He was right, I guess. It's not so much the work I like but the finished product. And I was really tired of the mauve seashells in my bathroom. REALLY tired.

The entry wallpaper wasn't TOO awful....

...until I accidentally (on purpose) hung our Christmas cards on it with double-sided tape.

So, first step: what's the best way to remove the wallpaper? Don't. Paint over it with oil-based primer. Stink! That was an all-day project that involved ridding the house of children. I think that was around May.

Here's a tidbit of information for you to file away. Oil-based paint does not come off of human skin. Or ceramic tile. Or solid-surface countertops. Still looking for a solution to the last two, but thankfully the human body regenerates skin in a timely fashion, so the paint wore off my hands (and a few places on my legs and ankles) in about 5 days. I'm not even kidding.

Step Two: determine if it's possible to just paint over the primed wallpaper without showing the imperfections in the wall or paper. It wasn't.

Step Three: Retexture the walls. No small feat. But with lots of painting professionals and experienced DIY-ers in my circle of acquaintance, I gathered the knowledge and tools necessary. For free, thanks to two generous neighbors! This was mid-July..

I do realize that this is a picture of a blank white wall. Hopefully you can see the texture in the photo.

The kids thought it was funny that mommy was standing on the countertop.

And finally, step 4: Paint! We went with "Willow Tree", a grayish green that goes well in both spaces.

In one small stroke of insanity, we let the kids paint for a few minutes. They had fun, and didn't make too big a mess. Carly did NOT like getting paint on her hands, just like her mama!

The finished Entryway:

And, the Bathroom!

The countertops, cabinets, and fixtures will eventually change as well, if we stay in this house long enough.

I tried to get a good picture of the view from the master bedroom, since it's all open. It's hard to get the lighting right to take a picture of an open doorway! But here it is:

I still need to rehang the art and frames on the walls, but you can see the difference a little work (ok, it was a LOT of work) makes! We just finished this last Saturday, the 21st of August.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big Girl, the final phase

It's completely official now -- we have no more babies in this house! I already posted about Carly being potty trained (so awesome!) and now we've made the transition into the full size bed and out of the crib. After our Austin trip we did a countdown of nights until the "crib fairy" was going to come and take Carly's crib away to another baby who needs it. I kinda stuck my foot in my mouth with that one, because she wanted to see a real fairy! I backpeddled my way through a story comparing the crib fairy to Santa Claus -- she only comes after you are fast asleep. Daddy took the crib apart and out to the garage and the crib fairy came that night and took it away (to the attic).

When Caleb made the transition at 18 months, it. was. torture. Getting up 873 times a night, waking up at 4:30 am for the day, turning on the TV at 2:00am.. it was out of control! I was also about 5ish months pregnant with Carly, so that made getting up in the night even more fun. So we expected the absolute worst this time around, since Carly is our "spirited" child. (That role is fast diminishing with the emergence of her brother's horrendous state of four-year-old-ness. I'm just saying. It's the worst. stage. ever.)

First night, Carly was a little freaked out. For about a month the bed has been set up in her room next to the crib. We figured with her being as independent as she is, she would quickly shoose the big bed. Wrong. The first afternoon nap lasted 7 seconds and she asked to get back in the crib. I didn't push her, and put her in the crib. She never chose the big bed after that, until the crib fairy came. That first night she looked around in bewilderment and snuggled into the far corner of the bed and laid face-down on a pillow and didn't move. At all. I think she was scared outta her shell but wouldn't say anything. Think about being 3 feet tall in a wide open space for the first time. She slept the whole night through and woke up happy and triumphant the next morning. We haven't had any problems at all with her getting out of bed or playing. She knows the rule. DO NOT get out of bed unless you need to pee or poop. That's it. So far she's followed it too, and gotten out of bed a couple of times to go potty. Such a big girl!

And, after the 2 am TV watching incident a couple of years back, we've evolved as parents enough to know that's what spring-mounted baby gates are for! Duh!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Driskill Hotel, Austin

Since we were in Austin for Melody's wedding last weekend, Greg and I decided to splurge and go on "vacation" by ourselves. We haven't been on an official vacation since well before we had kids, and it was high time! We booked a night at the Driskill Hotel downtown and shopped til we dropped. Fun!

We ate at Freebirds, (yum!) shopped at the Round Rock outlets (scored some sweet deals!), Tyler's (because it's cooler than Racket and Jog), Garden Ridge (disappointment!!!!!), and World Market (for wine and other fancies), and ate at FuddRuckers. Those places were all on my list for being "only in Austin" things, or "because Tyler doesn't have it" things. I am totally satisfied with our trip and don't feel like we missed anything. We even swung by the new Concordia University campus, and saw the remnants on the old campus. Sniff, sniff.. the place where I spent a huge chunk of my time from 2002-2005 is completely gone! Like, it's a huge hole in the ground now. The new campus is pretty, but it holds no meaning to me. I'll always remember those stinking old buildings and driving past the panhandlers in search of a parking spot.

Here are some pics from our hotel:

The staircase on the main floor

The floor

The ceiling

The mezzanine level

Looks ancient, but is sturdy and soundly built

Historic Painting of the hotel back in the day

The walls were covered in these ornately framed paintings, I think t his one is neat because it was near the cattle baron's suite and looks like a big gathering of the cattle barons.

Acting silly on the furniture. There were lots of fancy little sitting areas in every corner.

The details in the hotel amazed me! Look at how neat the flooring is!

There were also a ton of random bookshelves around the place. This one is in the tiny elevator lobby at the end of the 12th floor.

And even the rooms had neat details. I love how the molding on the ceiling creates a visual effect of an even higher ceiling, and they painted it orange! Who would ever think?

And here's us at the wedding, glam huh!

Melody's Wedding