Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kitchen Remodel Update

The last few days have been unbelievably cold.  I know that I shouldn't be surprised by this, it is January and I do live in Minnesota, but for some reason when I looked at my dashboard in the car this morning I couldn't help but feel complete and utter shock. 

 
 
Thankfully, the kids had off of school yesterday so we declared it an official PJ day at home, avoiding the arctic blast at all costs.  I caught up on laundry after a whirlwind of a DIY kitchen remodel weekend and the kids enjoyed playing with Legos, creating early Valentines, and eating mini corn dogs for lunch (thanks to the microwave...the only cooking unit that is still functional in our kitchen right now).
 
 About that kitchen remodel.....we are well on our way. 
 
On Friday morning, my kitchen looked a little something like this:
 
Every cabinet and drawer empty...ready for DEMO!




The demo guys were here a little less than three hours and when they left, my kitchen was barely recognizable.


Thankfully, they left me with the kitchen sink to get through the next few days.
Electrical hanging out from where the soffits used to be....insulation just beginning to fall all over the floor from the attic...what a mess.
At this point I was feeling a tad bit overwhelmed.  This goes way beyond any DIY project I've ever tackled.  I'm pretty much a paint, spackle, and occasional wallpaper gal.  Holes in my ceiling?!  Aack!

Thankfully, Ben was feeling pretty giddy at this point.  He got right down to work...configuring the electrical so that it was flush inside the walls, adding and moving several outlets, re-insulating in the attic and adding drywall to the ceiling, and moving the gas line for our new oven. 

While he was tackling those projects, I sanded down and mudded all the walls....then I sanded and mudded again...and again.  I operated the wet/dry vac.  I also painted the walls and ceiling in between making sure we were actually taking breaks to eat. 

The kids hung out at my parents for the weekend, enabling us to get much more accomplished than what we originally anticipated.  When the cabinet guys arrive tomorrow, everything should be officially ready for them to go ahead with installation. 



Appliances are due to arrive and be hooked up on Thursday.  Zach has already requested our first meal in the new oven to be Papa Murphy's pizza and homemade cookies (or brownies would apparently be okay with him as well). 

By Friday, I should have an almost functional kitchen (counter tops will have to be measured and ordered...so, I won't see those for another couple weeks yet).  The only thing remaining will be the lovely floor...which will be covered up by early next week. 

So, things are coming along smoothly.  For now, we are enjoying our hole-free ceiling and microwave meals that I threw together quickly last week (so that we wouldn't have to go out to eat each and every night).  I can barely wait to see the new cabinets and get my kitchen back in working order! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Update

Despite my absence here on the blog, we are still alive and adjusting back to normal life after the holiday hooplah.  Thankfully, we've somehow been able to avoid the massive flu and strep throat outbreak and remain healthy for the time being. 

There are HUGE benefits to having a third reader in the household!  And, pretty soon, I'm sure I'll be reaping the additional benefits of a fourth reader!
Happy, healthy, but missing Daddy.
The Thursday after New Year's, Ben departed on a business trip to Orlando, Florida.  He enjoyed his time there, complete with his first ever visit to Disney World, while I managed the kids at home.  Although the Home Depot Project Day almost threatened to be my complete undoing (upon which I sent Ben an e-mail immediately afterwards....stating that he would be taking all three kids on the first Saturday of February to construct and paint Valentines boxes all on his own while I hit up the local coffee shop), I somehow managed to persevere and we were all alive and well upon his return late Sunday evening. 

Granted, we may have had some help from my parents who graciously took us all out for pizza one evening and invited us over to their house for lunch after church on Sunday, but we managed to also keep ourselves occupied by watching "Mary Poppins," reading lots of books, finding and putting together a desk for Allie's room, and also going out for lunch at Noodles. 

Upon his return, Ben distributed souvenirs for us all....lanyards and Disney trading pins for the kids (for our own family's upcoming trip to Disney World this spring) and this awesome and ultimately perfect coffee mug for me:


We've also been slowly and steadily working on the kitchen.  We're still awaiting the cabinet arrival, but in the meantime Ben tackled lighting this past weekend.  We now have more light than we have ever had in our kitchen, meaning I can actually SEE what I am cooking!  In fact, Ben even decided to install a dimmer switch for the chandelier because it was so unbelievably bright that we were afraid of burning our retinas.

I also started the process of cleaning out the kitchen cabinets because I am hoping our new cabinets will be here by next week.  I'm just a little excited about this new kitchen.....

In other news, Zach's inner artist is starting to make an appearance.  After preschool last week, he happily presented these pictures to me.
Zach's portrayal of me and Ben...so I don't forget Daddy on Valentine's Day. 
Zach's rendition of Skippy John Jones (one of his favorite book characters:  a cat who thinks he's really a chihuahua)

Although I didn't snap a picture of it, yesterday he brought an extremely detailed picture he drew of our backyard and house.  The girls have always, ALWAYS had an interest in art and drawing, but Zach....not so much.  It is actually kind of fun to see what he can create when he feels like it!

I've also had to face the grim reality these past two weeks that I cannot indeed eat whatever I want for three months and hope to remain completely unaltered.  I've been pretty much "eating free" since birthday celebration month began in October...which led right into Halloween candy indulgence...that was a precursor to Thanksgiving's carb city...and culminated in December with the indulgence of far more cookies and treats than I care to admit. 

The only thing I remain diligent with is my morning treadmill dates of 3-4 miles.  Unfortunately, not even 20 miles a week can contend with the amount of sugar and carbohydrates I was allowing my body to consume. 

So, it is back to square one for me...recording caloric intake, meticulously watching my choices...and folks, it is NOT easy.  Seriously, the cravings are horrible and I pretty much "feel" hungry all the time (I say "feel" because I'm such an emotional eater that sometimes I have a difficult time determining between real hunger and just wanting to eat something because I can). 

Since I know that I will always fail if I cut things out completely, I put together these portioned controlled packets of goodies I'm allowing myself to indulge on if I make good choices throughout the day.

So far, knowing that I get a treat sometime throughout the day helps me feel less deprived and I've been able to make better choices.  Week 1 has me down 2 pounds...leaving only about 5-10 more to go.  I'm hoping to be back to my goal weight by the time we head to Disney World this March. 

Otherwise, life is pretty normal around here.  Today I spent the morning getting Allie ready for school, heading out on an early before school Target run for coffee K-cups, washing sheets and making beds, making kool-aid play-doh with Zach and Olivia, mediating conflict between Zach and Olivia while they played with their play-doh for most of the morning, talking to my sister on the phone, making lunch, supervising Olivia while playing with dry erase markers, reading books, cleaning up one of Olivia's potty accidents, unloading the dishwasher, making lunch, prepping dinner, and now updating the blog.  Maybe I can fit in a quick nap before quiet time is over?  Eh...probably not.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Again, true to past New Year's history, we rang in 2013 fast asleep in our beds...all five of us.  One of these years we'll do something exciting, but last night was not to be the start of a new tradition! 

We started 2013 off this morning with a big breakfast of red velvet pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, blueberries, and orange juice.






We plan to spend the rest of the day inside, avoiding the arctic blast (-7 degrees, yikes!), while watching the Rose Parade and the first few Disney movies on our list in preparation for a very special upcoming spring vacation. 

We also have to come to grips with the reality of school and work beginning tomorrow, meaning life-back-to-normal and we'll have to actually get dressed before noon.

Ben also suggested I post some better pictures of our kitchen progress.  Apparently, in my haste to finish up all 2012 posts last night, there weren't really that many great kitchen pictures to choose from.  So, we took some more this morning.....





Happy 2013!