Friday, August 27, 2010

Look Mom, No Hands!

Without a Project365 post for two straight weeks (way to be a slacker, eh?), I figured some of you might want a little Jakie-Fix. So, we thought we'd show off our new trick!
Yes we're sitting! At our last appointment, the pediatrician had predicted that the little man would be crawling before he was sitting up (and we agreed with her at the time) because he has been trying to scoot now for over a month. He really had zero interest in sitting up for the longest time and we could hardly even get him to bend at the waist. And then just recently he's been accidentally rolling from a crawl into a sitting position until voila!- we have a sitter. Granted, he topples over with any distraction (ooooh- shiny!) so we can't quite leave his side yet, but it's a pretty exciting (and oh so cute) new trick. I just love how proud he looks... we're so proud, too, buddy!

After taking the picture above, I zoomed in and snapped this next one. When I looked at it though, it kind of made me sad because our tiny infant baby is turning into a little boy right before our very eyes. I've been coping okay with him getting big- granted, I've had no choice since he's always hovering in the 90's for height and weight percentile- but every time I turn around he just looks so much older. I feel like one of these days I'm going to turn around and he'll be standing right in front of me asking if he can borrow the car. Okay, maybe I'm getting a little dramatic (and sappy... this post alone is making me tear up a bit... can I still blame pregnancy hormones 5 months after delivery?) but I will let you take a look and see for yourself.

Our little beefcake... 5 months old and just as cute as ever!
We hope you all have a fun and happy weekend! We love you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


WE HAVE WALLS! Well, drywall anyway.

It's certainly starting to look like something. It's slow going during the week since Josh works, but he has come home every night and done something to make this little bathroom look a wee bit better. I look forward to Mondays now (who does that, right?) because that's his day off and a huge chunk of the project gets done. I'm sure he doesn't look forward to Mondays right now!

Next on the to-do list includes putting the drywall on the ceiling (we're just going to cover up the old one... we learned our lesson with Jake's room), tape and mud on that, a second coat of mud on the drywall, sanding it all down, pouring the concrete for the shower floor, and then we get to the "fun" stuff... tiling, painting, and finally all of the things I can help with! Although, to my defense, I did rock at putting liquid nail in the screw holes and seams of the shower. A week ago I did not even know what liquid nail was. If you're pondering the same thing, you can find your answer here. It can be the one new thing you learned today.

With all of this going on, my Project365 has been put on the back burner (after two full weeks... what an overachiever I am!). But aside from an evening at the county fair (which is pretty much the same as last year, so if you want to see pictures you can check out last year's post) and several trips to Menard's (which is our Midwestern version of Home Depot for those of you who are wondering), the bathroom has pretty much consumed all of our time. In fact, after standing in the tile aisle last night and stressing about our choices, we left the store and made a beeline for Buffalo Wild Wings. Nothing says stress relieve like playing trivia and eating Buffalo Chips... it was a good call indeed. So just let me get through this weekend and I'll start back up next week. And hopefully by then I'll have many new bathroom pictures to post.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Before the Bottom Falls Out...

I had heard the expression before, but this week, it took on a whole new meaning!

Mondays are Josh's days off. He typically likes to sleep as late as possible (which is only until about 8), watch SportsCenter, play all day with Jake, possibly take a nap, and generally, if he didn't get to it over the weekend, he'll mow the yard. So this past Monday started out like any other... my husband woke up, got his cup of coffee, and since it was about time to give Jake his morning cereal, he volunteered to feed him so I could get some work done. Our son, being the calm, cool, and collected kid that he is (insert voice dripping with sarcasm here), decided that he needed to smear his cereal all over his face and in his hair. Okay, so I have to be honest, it was pretty darn cute. He was still in his pj's and hadn't had a bath the night before, so I recommended just giving him a bath. Jake loves bath time anyway.

So into the downstairs bathroom they went. Josh leaned over to put our son in the bathtub and his foot literally sank into the linoleum (Josh's foot- not Jake's). Since linoleum is one of the world's most flexible materials, it didn't crack or anything, but he knew there was trouble underneath it. After bath time (and before I could even wrap my mind around what was happening) half of our bathroom floor was pulled up. That's okay, I thought, I didn't even like that old blue linoleum anyway. What I didn't realize, and what Josh had to point out to me, was that the linoleum wasn't the problem. The subfloor (which is a new vocabulary word for me this week) is made of wood and had completely rotted out. Our toilet has been leaking for only God knows how long and the floor that holds up our bathroom was basically a big, spongy mess. After further investigation, the water damage had spread under the toilet (obviously), under the 350-pound cast-iron tub, and even under the closet that is adjacent to the bathroom. In a word, our bathroom would have eventually fallen through the floor and into the basement! Could you imagine???

So after discussing our options, we decided that the smartest thing to do would be to renovate the entire room- including knocking out the wall between the bathroom and the closet to make it bigger and add a shower. This is an idea that we had been toying with since moving into the house, but it was a project that was pretty far down on our wish list. But sometimes these things have a way of happening more quickly I guess!

So on his day off, Josh spent hours demolishing the old floor, walls, and prying off every last inch of old plaster. It was quite an extensive job! He also generously sacrificed two of his vacation days to stay home and work on the project so that we won't be without a bathroom (no worries... we do have another one upstairs seen here) for too long. And the added bonus is that his dad was coming up this way anyway, so he just came up sooner to help out. Thank goodness they are handy!

So here is what we're dealing with to help you visualize our mess:

This picture is taken from the study. The door on the left is where the old closet used to me (seen in the next picture). It was a pretty good sized closet and as deep as the bathroom. The door on the right is the bathroom door. There is also another door that leads into this bathroom on the right of the bathroom (not seen) that goes into our kitchen. Because we don't need three doors going into the same bathroom (a bit of overkill, don't you think??), we are rebuilding a very shallow closet where the old one used to be and using the rest of the old closet space as a stand up shower.

It's hard to see how deep this old closet is here, but this will be our new shower when this is all said and done. This picture was actually taken when we looked at the house and we didn't have nearly this much stuff in it, so I'm not too worried about what will be displaced. Those old drawers are original to the house, however, so we're hoping to keep them and eventually build something that will utilize them

And here is the bathroom before destruction as seen from the unseen door to the kitchen mentioned above. The toilet will stay in the same place, but the wall behind it will only be about 2 feet wide from the left. The rest of the space will be open and will be the entrance to our new shower. We are losing the tub, but we're okay with it since we have one upstairs.

Now here's the same space seen above plus the added space from the old closet:

This is the subfloor. You can see where they had to pull up some of the diagonal planks of wood to replace them. before the new wood went down, you could see straight into the basement. The hardwood floor that we left in there (on the left upperhand side of the picture) is the depth of the closet. The rest of the space in the back there will be the shower.

As of the end of last night, the planks had been replaced, the concrete subfloor (that we will tile over) had been laid, and the new wall for the closet had been built. We've decided to not make the wall go all the way to the ceiling to make the room appear even bigger. Our ceilings downstairs are very tall.

So that brings us to today. Today's projects included a lot of working in the basement to reroute the plumbing from the old bathtub to the new shower. Fun fun! And I am just staying out of the way as to not throw in my two cents. I feel as if I'm an expert because of the amount of time I spent watching HGTV!

I will definitely post more pictures as our project progresses! It's just always an adventure here in Mauneyland!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Project365: August 8-14

It's been a busy week in Mauneyland (as usual) so here are some of the highlights:

Sunday 8/7 - We went to the Refresh Event at the campus up in Freeport. Josh baptized a couple that he had the pleasure of marrying back in June as well as a few others from our campus. This is the same event where
I was baptized last year.
{Sony Cybershot}
Monday, 8/9 - Someone LOVES cereal! Yum!

{Sony Cybershot}

Tuesday, 8/10 - It won't be long now! Last year our apple trees were never sprayed, so our apples weren't any good. This year we'll have more than we'll know what to do with! I hope we have some friends who love apples!

{Nikon D3000: ISO 200, 42 mm, F/7.1, 1/30s}

Wednesday, 8/11 - This is something that should never be in our house. Somebody needs to stop me!
[Nikon D3000: ISO 800, 24 mm, F/9, 1/2.5s}

Thursday, 8/12 - A little rawhide seems to keep her in the yard!

{Nikon D3000: ISO 400, 40 mm, F/5.3, 1/125s}

Friday, 8/13 - Both of my boys love their SportsCenter

{Nikon D3000: I cheated... Automatic (no flash) Mode}

Saturday, 8/14: Jake loves weekends because he gets to flirt with his girlfriend, Ollie, in the church nursery. Hopefully he'll be okay with an arranged marriage.
{Sony Cybershot}
So that was our week in a nutshell. Next week should be interesting... expect a lot of photos (and an additional post I'm sure) that involve our impromptu Extreme Home Makeover project.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

My BeFri, Elizabeth! :)

So she may not be family by blood, but this gal is definitely family! August marks the twelfth anniversary of us meeting in Mr. West's class back during our senior year (not that we were seniors twelve years ago... surely not... that can't be right, can it?) and it has been a great eleven so far! I still remember sitting the first day of school... I was the "new girl" in a school where being new was not all that common. Nobody talked to me for three straight periods- nobody. It was horrible. I knew that lunch time was during fourth period and I dreaded it. Lucky for me, I happened to choose a desk right next to Elizabeth and she was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to eat in the senior courtyard with her and her friends. Up until that point I didn't even know there was a senior courtyard. I'm sure had I gone into the cafeteria and done the awkward "new girl stance" as I searched frantically for a table, I would've ended up eating my lunch in a phone booth or a bathroom stall in true DJ Tanner-style. Then again, our school didn't have phone booths so I would have only had one option. Thank you, BeFri, for saving me from that!

Since then we've had too many fun times to count, vacationed together, enjoyed spa days and shopping trips, but honestly probably have the best times when we're doing absolutely nothing. We even have a theory that everything is funnier when laying on your back (discovered while doing crunches together) and all sorts of other random Kim-and-Elizabeth-isms.

I could go on and on but I'll just leave it at her being wonderful and I love her and I wish her all the best in the upcoming year. I can't wait to celebrate with you in person next time we're together!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Project 153

Sometime in the middle of June I had a brilliant idea. I had wanted to start doing a weekly Project365 post and I thought, July marks the mid-point of the year so why not start then? Then July 1st rolled around and left before I realized that I even missed it. The good news was that August 1st would be a Sunday, so it actually turned out to be the perfect time to jump on board. With only 153 days left in the year (can you believe that???), it's my Project153.
So what's Project365 you ask? I'm sad to say that I don't know which brilliant blogger came up with the idea (and I should give credit where credit is due), but I do know it's big amongst scrapbookers. The idea is to take a picture of something you did every single day, whether it be exciting or just an ordinary, mundane thing, to record how you spent your year. I have a couple of blogging friends that do this including Jessica over at the Parsonage Family and my uber-talented friend Jan, who uses it to work on her photography. Jessica does it mainly just to record the daily events (as the project was originally intended) and Jan has taken it one step further and uses it as a way to play around with the different settings on her camera and then record what settings she used for each picture. For us photography geeks, it's a great learning tool and she takes gorgeous pictures- even of the everyday things.
For me, it will be a combination of the two. The photos will pretty much always be of just the simple, everyday ordinary activities in Mauneyland but if I use my nice camera (my Nikon D3000- again for your photography geeks) I vow to shoot in Manual mode and record what settings I used for each picture. I'm going to restrain myself and not edit them before posting so that I can look back as I learn and understand what settings I could've used to make it better, what works and what doesn't. I only use my camera on Manual mode when I'm shooting with a lot of natural light as I don't have a separate flash yet (hint, hint for all those of you already wondering what to get me for Christmas!), so occassionally I will shoot with my Nikon in Automatic mode so that my automatic flash does the work.
So now that I've totally bored you with the details, here are the events of August 1st-7th, 2010:

Sunday, 8/1 - Pool party at the Wolf's house! Thank you to Randy, Shelli, and the gang for a great afternoon! Our beach bum was pretty tired and preferred to hang out on the raft rather than be his usual, active self.

{Sony Cybershot}
Monday, 8/2 - I've been spending a lot (too much) time picking out paint colors these days for two rooms upstairs. I'm usually quite decisive, but lately I have been changing my mind quite a bit.

{Nikon: ISO 800, 38 mm, F/5, 1/50s}

Tuesday, 8/3 - Senor Crankypants was in the house. For some reason, the only thing that kept him content as I ate my lunch was a random bag of Cheezits I found in our pantry (to play with, not to eat!). I have no clue where they came from, but thank heavens they were there. And to think that I don't even like Cheezits!

{Sony Cybershot}

Wednesday, 8/4 - Okay, so I forgot to take a picture on Wednesday. I realized halfway through the week that it's very easy to forget and now I understand why it's a "Project." It's my first week so I feel like you should cut me some slack. I guess it's now my Project152.

Thursday, 8/5 - Some friends at church let us borrow an old walker that they have held onto for their upcoming grandchild. Jake loves it (although he tries to jump in it) and mommy loves that he's entertained while she's cooking.

{Sony Cybershot}

Friday, 8/6 - One of our favorite after-work activities is to watch the "traffic" during "rush hour" go by our house.

{Nikon: ISO 200, 18mm, F/22, 1/2s}

Saturday, 8/7: I peeked in the crib the other day and saw Jake and his stuffed animal playing a game of copycat. And yes, he fell asleep sideways. He almost always does as he likes to roll around and fight sleep before finally giving in.

{Nikon: Automatic Flash Mode}

So that was our week! I guess I better get the camera out and start again since it's Sunday. Let's see how long I can actually keep this weekly post going!

Friday, August 6, 2010


They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Sure enough, as my husband scoured through a rummage sale last weekend, he came upon a bit of a "surprise" for me. As I waited for him to get home I wondered just what silly trinket he had picked up while he was out. I had no clue what to expect, but I can promise you that it wasn't this:
A pair of tap shoes for two dollars???

For those of you who think this may be a strange thing to purchase, he knew that his uber-talented wife took tap lessons for 15 years. Granted, those lessons ended about 15 years ago (heaven help me, how did I get this old??) and since he's known me I've shown very little signs of any sort of coordination, so it was partly a purchase for him to see if I actually knew how to do anything that remotely looked like a tap dance.
And sure enough... I did! It may not have been pretty, and granted I felt pretty rusty trying to pull some old combinations out of my head, but maybe tap dancing is a lot like riding a bike. And with all of these hardwood floors in our house, it's only a matter of time before it all comes back to me.

So yes, from here on out I will be that girl- the one the neighbors talk about as being "strange" because she taps everywhere she goes in her house. But for $2, I have never been happier to be that girl! And to the sellers- you totally undercut yourself... you could've gotten WAY more from this sucker! But thank you for selling your "junk" to my husband. I love them!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Calling on Ceasar

I just emailed Ceasar Milan. Seriously. Desperate times call for desperate measures and emailing a celebrity (to me) is about as desperate as it gets. Do I really think Ceasar is going to email me back? No. But to be honest, I am not sure what else to do.

Remember this post where my wonderful, loving, compassionate husband spent hours in the freezing cold putting up a 6-foot privacy fence to keep the dogs in the yard? Well let's just say that as it stand, the score is around Teeny: 25, Privacy Fence: 0. That tall, white, and apparently not-so-intimidateing barrier is no match for our little Teeny-Houdini. And based on the fact that it was a labor-intensive project in not-so-optimal weather conditions, my sweet husband is about at his wits end with her. We spent thousands of dollars on a fence that she finds a way out of every chance she gets. Annoying much? You bet. Today when she got out Josh found her showing off her beautiful smile (AKA baring her teeth) at one of the neighbors. Lovely. And this comes after we've alread had a ComEd guy, a random lady from the neighborhood, and a police officer show up at our door to return her or ask if she is ours. It's getting a bit embarrassing, not to mention that we're about this close to being fined and/or sued. I'm sure of it. And I'm quite certain that the headline Pastor's Dog Bites Police Officer would not bode well for our church. Or for our marriage for that matter. So let's just not go there, shall we? And my favorite comment from just about every one of them has been something to the effect of her playing and/or running in the street. Awesome.

So what do you do with a dog that keeps running away? I've already told Josh that I love him more than the dog (obviously... as if she even stands a chance although she probably thinks differently!) and so I'd be willing to give her up to make life easier. At this point she is MUCH more of a nuisance than a joy to have as a pet. But how does one go about getting rid of their dog? I'm not just going to take her to the pound... there's enough dogs out there for rescue as it is! And the screening process would be pretty extensive as I would want to ensure that she will be well taken care of.

The truth is, beyond cutting off her back legs (which we discussed, with a degree of seriousness that I am ashamed to admit) we are running out of other possibile solutions. At this point, I'd be inappropriately thrilled if she got hit by a car (To clarify, only to the point of her being mildly injured, therefore teaching her a lesson. And preferably with no bones broken so that the vet bill is not outrageous. Hmmm... that's a lot of stipulations... maybe the car idea is not such a great solution afterall. Scratch that.) Has anyone else ever had this problem (or know someone who did) and if so what did you do? Or do any of you just so happen to live next door to Ceasar Milan and he just so happens to owe you a favor which you will use on your sweet friend Kim so he can come fix her dog's bad behavior? Or better yet, do any of you know of a humane way to remove back legs from a canine? Clearly I am open to all and any kind of suggestion I can get. Otherwise my next post is going to read:

Is anyone interested in adopting a naughty-but-adorable shiba inu??? We don't ask much- she's free or available for the best offer!