Great news! We aren't going to be homeless. We are now officially in contract on our apartment and on a house! We are scheduled to close on the house a few days before we close on the apartment but nothing is finalized. The house we are buying is in a great neighborhood and a great school district. It has a nice sized backyard for the area and we got it for a great price. The catch? The house is a time capsule to 1955. It is going to need a ton of updates, but it is structurally sound, and it is in good shape (and I couldn't be more excited!!!) Thankfully I had the forethought to save the pictures from the real estate listing before it disappeared. So here they are.. the "before" photos of our new home.
The front of the house. I love the beautiful bow window! I can't wait to see what a Christmas tree will look like all lit up in that window!The siding needs attention asap and will likely be the first thing we do.
The front entryway and the coat closet.
The living room.
The living room and dining room.
The dining room.
The kitchen, complete with oven from 1955!
Colin's future room.
Meghan's future room. One of the few rooms that has been updated recently. She loves the color so I guess we will just leave it for now.
Master Bath. That wall paper contiues on the ceiling too.
The main bathroom.
The basement playroom.
The utility room.
Lots of work to do for sure, but the roof is only about 7 years old and was redone well. Most of the initial work (not including wall paper stripping and painting) will likely be to the outside. I just hope we have enough money left over to tackle some kitchen updates.
The first step of getting our apartment listed for sale was to have a photographer come to take photos of the apartment. We scheduled it for a day when I was home without the kids so at least we didn't have that extra complication. The trick to real estate photography seems to be taking three photos at different exposures and then merging them so the dark parts of the room seem lighter and the bright parts of the room aren't washed out. It was fun to watch the process. Let me walk you through the apartment we have lived in for the past six years. It has been a good run, we brought both babies home from the hospital to this apartment. When we purchased the place our plan was to live here until our oldest was ready to enter kindergarten, we missed that goal by a year. In the grand scheme, I would say that is pretty darn close.
This is the living room. The front door to the apartment is about ten feet behind the photographer.
That is the front door in the distance. The dining room is at the back of this photo.
Here is a closer view of the dining room.
Here is our teeny tiny half bath. Which lets be honest, for about 9 months of the year its a closet because we simply don't have enough space to put all our stuff.
Next up, our freshly refinished kitchen. Here is the completed version, with the valence and new art on the walls.
Closer view of the new counter tops, sink and fridge and a fresh coat of paint on 50 year old cabinets.
The second bedroom. Colin's domain on the left
Here is the other side of the room. The linen closet is door visible through the door.
The master bedroom. No more HGTV inspired wall. And yes, the bed spread had only been out of the bag for about 24hrs in this photo. It's generally too hot in our apartment to use a bed spread but I thought we should have one for the photos. Should have thought to take it out of the packaging sooner.
The final room in the house is the bathroom, with tile work straight from the 1950's and a new caulk job courtesy of yours truly.
I am totally cheating here and using photos from our recent trip to portrait simple for this post instead of pictures I took myself but thats how it goes sometimes. Additionally, this post is a bit late as it should have gone up on Jan 19th and it is not mid April and nearly time to write her next update. I'll try to keep to things that went on in January..but it is a little tricky to remember (which is why these updates are so important to me, I hate that I am so delayed!)
Sleeping: Nothing too different here. She naps from about 12-2 and goes to bed around 7:30 usually sleeping until around 6:30 or 7:00. The biggest issue is the incessant call backs at bed time. "Mom, my blanket keeps falling down", "I got tears" (which means she needs a wash cloth to dry her eyes, but God forbid you suggest she just hold on to the wash cloth), "I want the light on a little bit, not a big bit", "Colin is talking", " I need another hug and a kiss" etc. etc. etc. until someone looses their patience and we start taking "friends" (stuffed animals) away. Usually that does the trick, but this is a very annoying stage.
Happy Birthdays. Meghan loves to discuss every ones birthdays. She will ask when her happy birthday is and we tell her August, then she moves on through just about everyone she knows, asking about when their happy birthdays are and trying to match people with other people who have birthdays in the same month. For example she will ask when Leo's happy birthday is and when I tell her August she says "Like ME?" and it goes on and on and on going back over the same people. It is very difficult to get her onto a new subject.
Rosie. She says it Rosie now instead of Sosie which I had forgotten about until I looked at her last update. She still wants her around whenever she is feeling tired, but we seem to be bringing her out with us less and less, but even if I have her with us Meg doesn't ask quite as much as she used to. Colin never really attached to anything quite as strongly so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. This is a TV show on PBS. It is the spin off of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. It is a cute show and it is all Meghan ever wants to watch these days. She has even put in a birthday request for "Tigey" Daniel tigers lovie for her birthday..wouldn't you know they don't actually make one... this girl loves to find the hardest thing to ask for.
Eating. Still a very good eater! Even her teachers remark about what a good little eater she is. Her lunch bag always comes back empty, even when I am intentionally over packing her. She definitely prefers hot lunches over sandwiches but I can usually get her to eat an "Elmo sandwich" thanks to an elmo shaped sandwich cutter once or twice a week.
Elmo. I am not a huge elmo fan myself but Meg will occasionally ask for something with Elmo on it. I think it started from a friends birthday party since Elmo came to the party.
Not being able to do things herself. If she could Meghan would do everything for herself but she just isn't coordinated enough yet to manage dressing herself completely (she definitely tries hard!). She gets frustrated which generally leads to screaming at the top of her lungs.. I'm not a huge fan of that behavior, particularly if I happen to be sitting with her to help her with her shoes.
Buttons. See Above. Buttons are her nemesis.
Being woken up from a nap. There are days when we have to go pick up Colin and Meghan hasn't "napped out" yet so I have to wake her up. She hates it, and often asks to be put back in her crib. Such is life for the second child I suppose.
New and Notable:
Talk Talk Talk! She is very chatty. Even my sister was shocked by how much she talks, which is saying something because my nephew is also very chatty. She is 99% understandable (for me at least) now and improving more and more all the time..
"Sget" or in english "forget". I love the stage of mispronounced words.
All her teeth are now in. I am so glad to be out of the teething stage. That's worth jumping for joy!
Oopsie. Life has gotten a wee bit crazy since Christmas and I appologize for the long lapse. I've been trying to get Meg's 2.5 year post up for months but can't seem to find the time to take pictures.. Hopefully I get to it soon. The reason for my long absense? We were renovating and then trying to sell our apartment as well as trying to buy a house! That is right, big things are happening! We are finally making good on our promise to get out of the city and get these kids a yard (and get ourselves a driveway). January and February were spent giving the kitchen a face lift including new paint, counters, floor, refridgerator, lighting, and art. We re-painted my HGTV inspired bedroom wall to a more neutral color. We also repainted the little bathroom and parts of the big bathroom and re-caulked the tub. What's that you want to see pictures? I don't have a ton but I'll give you what I have. Here goes.
This is the over all "before" shot of the kitchen.
Showing the front of the kitchen. Its unfortunate that you can't see it in the photo but the word MOM is carved into the floor (it was there when we bought it!).
The only photo where the original paint colors are visible.
The old counters.
Now for the after pictures of the kitchen.
Apparently I took the after photos a little too early.. I didn't have all the furniture back in or have the new valence hung yet.. You'll see all that in a future post. Here you can see the new floors, new paint and new fridge (one of very few that would actually fit in that spot)
A close up on the new colors. We beiged it up! The new owners are likly going to just gut it so we tried not to put too much work into it. Just enough so people didn't run away screaming.
New lights (note: this photo was before the new floors went in, but it is hte only one I have of the lights). Very proud of our install job on these. I've never used toggle bolts before so I was a tad nervous. I also installed a dimmer switch all by myself!
Now onto the bedroom wall:
BEFORE: This was my crazy idea... at least my lines were clean!
AFTER: Now a more complimentary single shade of blue.. Again, so buyers don't run screaming.
That is all the photos I have of the renovation phase. You are now caught up with all the goings on in Janurary and February.. this pretty much covers it! In my next post I will show you the photos they took for the online real estate listing of our apartment.
I'm pretty fond of this years card. I planed it out last year right after Christmas after seeing a similar idea for family portaits on the web. I was so sure this is what I was going to do that I bought the fake snow right after Christmas because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it early enough in the season to get the photos taken. Apparently I wasn't the only one who saw that idea because it was all over the different Christmas card vendor websites. Admittedly that was a big bummer but all the other cards used a forward facing blowing snow toward the camera design and I went with the photos where they were blowing at each other so at least it wasn't identical! All in all I was thrilled with how they came out.
The kids had so much fun taking the pictures. If it weren't below freezing when we took them we probably could have gone on for quite some time. Here are some of the more amusing outtakes from our photo shoot.
The first few pictures the only snow in the shot was from Colin. Meghans technique was less than effective at actually getting the snow to move.
Colin got the occasional piece in his mouth from breathing in too close to the pile.
Soon Meg began bending from the waist and it became increasingly difficult to keep them both in the shot.
What she lacked in technique she made up for in enthusiasm! Here shes moving so fast she is just a blur.
Soon Grandma added in some extra snow to enhance the image. Unfortunately I caught her hand in a few of the shots, and the kids found this new addition very distracting.
"Whatcha doing over there Grandma?"
Again with the bending over!
Waiting for the countdown from Daddy.. I had no idea they would focus so much on him or I would have done the countdown myself!
We did have a little trouble with the sun coming and going in different shots, leaving the kids very washed out when we had full sun and very pale as it went away. It made it more difficult to find photos of each kid alone for the back..no two pictures had the same shading.
Ready to reload! As you can see they were having a pretty good time! If only all photo sessions went over this well!
Colin found the snow stuck in Meghan's hair quite amusing!
I found it adorable.
This is her "I"ve got snow under my tongue" face. Finding clear plastic inside your child's mouth is not the easiest thing to do.. particularly when it is under their tongue
Colin reminding me that it was indeed colder than it looked. Time to wrap this up!