Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My house

When I bought my house nine years ago I thought it was amazing. I was 25 and my boyfriend and I were moving out of a bachelor apartment to a four bedroom, semi-detached home away from the big city. The house needed a lot of work….it was approximately 30 years old when we bought it and although it had been upgraded somewhat….counters, roof and carpeting were all new…. a lot of major items needed to be addressed, such as the paneling on the living room walls, the peel and stick tile in the kitchen/hallway, the very old single paned windows, the gardens (my pleasure), redo the front step, add more insulation to the attic, the back patio needed to be graded away from the house and we also wanted to take all the wallpaper down and replace it with paint – to name a few. I think the first thing we did was replace the windows and sliding glass door. We replaced the peel and stick, replaced the furnace, added insulation to the attic, replaced the carpeting on the stairs and in the upstairs hallway, re-did the front stoop (twice) with interlock, replaced all the light fixtures in the house, graded the back patio, painted the kitchen cupboards, removed all the wallpaper, painted the house twice over, completely replaced the main floor bathroom down to the studs – whew! All this in nine years as well as getting married and having two children. I affectionately call this house “the Money Pit” as it reminds me of that glorious house that Tom Hanks bought and had to gut and rebuild. The nice thing is that the house finally looks complete and I walk in everyday feeling like I could have visitor’s over without having to explain why we have no baseboards or why the light fixture is hanging from the ceiling. It’s a nice feeling but there is still so much to be done…and we are woefully short on resources. I’m trying to be patient as a kitchen renovation is not realistic right now and neither is a complete basement overhaul. I feel frusterated. I’m looking for solutions but am finding it hard too when all I see are dollar signs. I console myself with the fact that we will eventually sell the house, win the lottery or get a loan to do a renovation but for right now it will have to wait. It’s no wonder I find it hard to relax, we’ve been going non-stop since we moved here! Have you done any renovations to your home? Did you hire someone or do them yourselves?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend shenanigans

We had a glorious, busy, sunny Easter weekend.  I was off Friday and today and had a four day weekend. 

Thursday night we went to a good friend's house for a bbq dinner.  She had invited the neighbors - who are always fun and upbeat - and we sat outside for hours enjoying the weather and company while the kids played. 

We made plans for Friday which included a visit to a local farm for an egg hunt and then later that night to watch a movie (projected outside just for fun) with the kids.  The egg hunt was SO fun.  The kids made baskets, looked at baby chicks and then we went on a tractor pulled wagon ride out to a field to find eggs.  Afterward we visited the bakery where we bought cookies, fudge and strudel.  The husbands stayed home but insisted we bring them fudge.  My three year old fell asleep on the couch at 6pm and so only my six year old and I went to watch the movie. 

Saturday was another busy day...a baby shower an hour north from our house, and an overnight at my aunt's house, since both places were a 15 minute drive apart.  The baby shower was relaxing.  It was great to see my extended family - second and third cousins, great aunt's and uncle and even my sister who was visiting from out of town.  We stayed for a couple of hours then headed back to my aunt's house for Easter dinner.  My cousins (boys aged 14 and 16) are great with the girls and helped by watching them on the trampoline, taking them to look for frogs and making sure they stayed safe while the adults relaxed and made dinner.  We went on a long walk in the nearby graveyard where my grandmother is buried and found golf balls in the field - as part of our tradition when visiting.  After dinner we had a sauna and a hot tub and then played Tripoli - what a great day. 

Sunday morning we painted eggs, went for another long walk but this time in the field behind their house.  The boys were determined to bring us to this pond where they swore the frogs were so loud you had to cover your ears!  We walked a while and could hear the frogs from a hundred meters away so we kept on treking only to hear then suddenly stop as we came within feet of the pond!  We think the dog scared them because they went completely silent and stayed that way until long after we had left.  After a big lunch we decided it was time to head home - I still had an Easter dinner of my own to make!  We had ham, baked potatoes, corn and broccoli and shuffled off to bed. 

Today was another glorious day - another high of 30 - which is a typical summer day here in Ontario, except that it's barely spring!  We did our Easter hunt this morning and started the day off with a little bit of chocolate.  I bought the girls four canvasses to paint and we each painted one after breakfast.  My hubby had to work so he was off at 11:30 am and after lunch we got cleaned up, packed some snacks and went to the park.  I brought my book, a pleasure I usually reserve for before bed, and some toys, snacks and drinks for the girls.  My three year old rode her tricyle all the way there and back and we were gone for two hours. 

It was a wonderful weekend, busy but worthwhile.  We cram a lot into these free days because we all work so hard through the week.  The girls had a great time and were absolutely exhausted when I put them to bed tonight.  I hope everyone else had a great weekend!