Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another week of remodeling in the books and the end is finally in sight. This week we checked off most of the trim and door work...

The entry door still needs to be trimmed out and have the threshold stuck in, but it's mostly done. Grandpa got our accent lights put in Friday too.
Here's some of the screwy trim work I had to do and it shows all of Olivia's colors in one shot too...
Nathan was very helpful too.
Speaking of Nathan, here's what he learned how to do this week.

I'm filling out his Mensa application right now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Destructive Behavior

Ok, as promised here's a video of my new favorite sport, demolition ball.

And here's Nathan's version of demolition ball Sunday afternoon...

Demolition Ball?

What a big week for our bathroom. Uncle Logan and Aunt Megan came over a couple nights early in the week and we grouted the whole room. Then grandpa and grandma came over Thursday and somehow we managed to get the toilet, sink, and shower all working with no leaks!
They came back Saturday and we installed the medicine cabinet and trimmed out the window inside and out.

Not only is the bathroom functional now, but grandma also pretty much cleaned our whole house Saturday. Wow, thanks grams. Saturday evening grandma and grandpa took the boy home and Olivia and I went to Tony's birthday party in St. Louis. We rented this place for a couple hours that had a sport called demolition ball. Just imagine a cross between basketball, lacrosse, and bumper cars. It's my new favorite sport I think! You have 2 teams of 5 all driving bumper cars in a rink about the size of a smaller basketball court. Everyone has a whiffle ball basket and there's a goal on each end. Toss in a whiffle ball and let the fun begin. Liv took a few pictures and some video. I couldn't get the video to load, but I'll keep trying. Stay tuned.

If you ever get the chance to try it, I highly recommend it!

Nathan continues to be a constant source of entertainment. He cracks us up every day doing something new. He's starting to pudge out a little now. Especially after his evening bottle...

Oooh, the mystery closet of forbidden treasures...
Mmmm, burrito...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nathan's New Wheels

Every man needs to have a vehicle that matches his personality. We all need wheels that not only get us from A to B, but also make us look good while we do it. This week, I think Nathan found his. He had originally gotten a wagon for his birthday, but we had problems with one of the wheels not wanting to turn. It had hard plastic wheels too, and we were afraid that they wouldn't hold up to the "sidewalks" or heaving chunks of concrete here in New Berlin. So we took it back and exchanged it for a different one this week.
That's right, he's now the proud owner of a genuine Ertl John Deere wagon complete with pneumatic monster truck tires!
He was right in the middle of everything the whole time Uncle Logan and I were trying to put it together.
He absolutely loves this thing. Grandma took him on his maiden voyage in it Saturday, but I got to go cruising with him this afternoon.
What a cool dude. When I wasn't assembling wagons this week, I was assembling the floor in the bathroom. With lots of help from Logan and Grandpa, I managed to get it all stuck down...

I was fairly happy with the results. If you just look at the whole room it looks pretty good, but I know where the problem spots are so I see those. There are some spots where I've got small lips from one tile to the next and a couple of grout lines are a little messed up, but for my first job it's not bad. I spent a couple hours Saturday cleaning out the spaces so we can grout this week. While doing so I found a couple loose tiles. A few squirts of locktite powergrab heavy duty and problem solved. I love that stuff. So the plan for this week is grouting and fixtures. Mark my word, I WILL have a working toilet in there by this time next week!

I leave you with me sneaking up behind Nathan's high chair at dinner...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oh, My Aching Knees

Wow, what a busy week flooring. I'm really feeling my age. Even with knee pads on, my knees are just aching after the beating they've taken this week. Grandma and Grandpa came over Tuesday and we finished the cement board.
I did all the cutting and lugging up the stairs while Grandpa screwed the sheets down, so I guess his knees took the beating that night. Uncle Logan came Tuesday and again Wednesday with Aunt Megan in tow. We finished the step and the starter rows on the lower level. Actually, Aunt Megan is on spring break this week so I'm sure she'd love to come work on the bathroom while I'm at work! Grandpa and Grandma were back on Friday. We attached/anchored the turlet flange and set the starter rows on the upper level.
Grandpa was back again Saturday morning. After a smashing breakfast prepared by Aunt Rachel, we were off to a full day of tile cutting.
So I spent the next 8 hours on my knees measuring and dry fitting tiles while Grandpa spent 8 hours hunched over a tile saw. I bet his back feels like my knees. We did manage to use our brains enough to save us some serious grief though. The saw was too messy to use in the house, so we had to do it on the back patio. I thought we'd try to lower the tiles in a bucket on a rope out the window. When the tiles wouldn't fit in the bucket, Grandpa suggested using one of my ratcheting bar clamps on a rope. It worked like a charm. I'd mark the tiles with a sharpie, squeeze them in the clamp, and out the window to my saw operator below. We saved ourselves about 150 trips up and down the steps today, which is probably why we were able to cut every remaining tile for the entire room today! I thought we'd be cutting for a week, no kidding. So now I have stacks of numbered tiles ready to be cemented down next week.
I know what you're thinking, "How does he keep 130 individually numbered tiles straight?" Well, here's how...
This little map is the Rosetta stone of my tile. I know what you're thinking now and yes, I did make more than one copy.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well, it's Level-er

With painting complete, we moved on to flooring this week. You may remember the severe out-of-level problem we have in this room. So, before any tile can go down, we had to make an attempt to at least minimize the problem. Step 1, find this thing called "level" and rip some 2x4's to the appropriate thicknesses to produce it... or something close to it.
Step 2, fill the thickest areas with OSB.
Step 3, throw in a couple bags of thinset and strike it off as smoothly as possible.
Step 4, start screwing the cement board down as quickly as possible to hide the ugly attempt at leveling. Step 4 is almost half done now. Although I'm sure it's not fully level, I think we got it good enough for the tile to start this week. Thanks to Uncle Logan for being my cement mixer this week.

This morning, I put Nathan down for his morning nap. It soon became apparent over the monitor that he was in no mood for napping. He wasn't crying or anything, but he sure wasn't sleeping. So, we decided to go ahead and let him out since he clearly wasn't going to go down. Here's what I found when I went in to get him...
Yes, apparently dumb daddy had left the kleenex box too close to the crib for a child with "Dudley arms". He emptied the entire box, not one was left. The more I look at his pictures, the more confused I get. I'm mostly English and French. Liv is some sort of German/Injun. But I swear this kid is a Swede... He's definitely some sort of Bavarian ham or Swedish meatball. Anyway, I leave you with a short video of my boy dancing with a lampshade. Don't ask.