Sunday, December 28, 2008

Open for Business

Bed and Breakfast Steph & Jon is open for business! The room is small, close to a crying baby's room, includes flat screen TV and Treadmill and oh have to cook your own breakfast. Hope to see you soon!

It Wasn't Me

I'm certain this has been said in every household...I swear lately it has been her!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jekyll and Hyde

We decided we brought two daughters home from the hospital - don't know where she hid in the car seat! Most days we have our sweet Olivia who plays, coos and smiles all the time. But every once in a while at night we get mean Jean the hollarin' machine. We usually get a warning before she makes an appearance - but not always. Sometimes she just jumps out and gets ya! You got to watch out for the mean Jean in Olivia!

I should add a few footnotes....the question has been asked - why is Olivia Jean named Olivia Jean? Well....Olivia came out of thin air. We just liked it along with tons of parents out there apparently. It is the 10th most fav name for 2008. Let me put my foot down now - OJ is not an acceptable nickname, no way no how (unless she wins a Heisman trophy I guess maybe I'll think about it(. We went to the hospital with a few names but nothing picked for certain. Daddy was the first to get the tug towards Olivia. I came later after I saw her moving her mouth in the shape of O's - and decided that was a 'sign'. With her first name out of the way (at 2 days old now) - we went to work on the middle name.

Olivia has 2 special Jean's in her family so I decided to use this as her middle name. One Jean I know as the master of home-made (extravagant) birthday cakes, birthday parties, scrap-booking before it was popular and snow princess of Brighton High School. The second Jean was liberated before Gloria Steinem made it 'cool', the CEO of her own business and pretty much did things her way. All that spunk aside, one of the things I remember most is waking up to go to 'work' with her and the ritual of 'getting ready at the make-up table'. Hey, just because you have self confidence doesn't mean you don't have good clothes, hair and makeup! I hope Olivia's "Jeans" give her at least a few of these ladies characteristics.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The new essentials

Computer, remote, baby, diapers and wipes...the new must have list at our house! I'm sure you all think this is how I'm living life - actually this is how I found JR this morning. I had the late shift, he covered the early shift (when she slept!). It has been an interesting 3 days - not what we expected to be doing! The to-do list isn't finished, but I guess we just won't get to a few things for a while. We're having a much better time laughing about babies and poop.

Olivia Jean was born Friday December 19 quite unexpectedly because mom's body wasn't having it anymore. We joined the itchy mom's club and had the baby early. Everything was just fine - Olivia was a staggering 8lbs 20 inches at 36 weeks. We're all thankful she's early - can you imagine Olivia at 40 weeks? I don't want to.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Crown in a Day

JR has dropped cope master from his business card and replaced with crown master - he now does crown in a day. Our bedroom is done - yahoo. This time we mitred everything and caulked ourselves silly. Started the project at our normal crack of 4PM in the afternoon and finished by 9PM. Not bad considering a stop for dinner - and I'm fairly certain at least one coffee. The job is not completely done (of course...) we still need to paint ceiling and walls and install in-ceiling lights. I've wanted these lights for ever, but it requires wiring, going into the attic, new boxes, new switches (one each side of the bed). My goal is to toss the lamps in our room and just have these - I'm tired of cleaning the cat hair off the lamp shades. Instead of cleaning more often or ditching the cat - we need new lights. Then our room will be done, at least for now.

So what have we done this summer - just a quick recap (for myself if anything because I'm losing my mind):
epoxy garage floor
paint trim on house
finish garage walls
install gas grill on patio
new gas stove
new dishwasher
new timer switch in laundry room and front porch (remember the tick, tick, tick...)
re-do guest room - I mean the baby's room
crown in bedrooms
new counter tops
new garage door opener
hardwood on stairs (even garage step)
fix kitchen table

Still need to do:
fireplace in front room (gas is there!)
remodel master bathroom (I need a 5 piece or I'll die)
new fan in 1st floor bathroom and guest bathroom
new carpet
slate front door entry
new fridge and microwave (pending new models)
direct wire lights on patio
re-finish toy box/book shelf
create new guest room (MOVE THAT WEIGHT MACHINE!)
shelves in office instead of crown

I'm impressed, almost all projects were done by us only a few had supplementary help from American Express.

One Size Fits Most

A coupon arrived for a free item if you spent $12 at the Body Works. I feel it is a personal challenge to use these coupons and not give in to the devil marketers and spend more than the minimum. So I marched into the store and found $12 worth spending (aromatherapy hand soap - absolutely awesome Black Currant Vanilla) and picked up a free item. My free item was a pair of fuzzy socks with little grippers on the sole. Not only were they free - but extremely useful. I got them home thinking I was brilliant - until I put them on. I instantly felt stupid for not checking the size in my daze of excitement. Upon further examination of the tag the size was "one size fits most". Darn. On a good day I wouldn't qualify for that category and right now I'm not even in that game at all. They got me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Whisper Quiet

You can't hear it opening - but I can't repeat what I heard during install! I honestly don't know how we do it. Nothing is simple or straightforward. Our garage door quit working because of a safety feature (a laser that points from the left and right side of the bottom of the garage opening to ensure no obstructions for close). My solution was to disable the safety feature, unfortunately the designers at Chamberlain won't allow that as a solution. We were faced with a choice (1) new garage door $200 or (2) new laser sensor $30. What did we choose? You guessed it - a new garage door - and not the $200 version. We bought the Chamberlain Premier Whisper Drive for $249 - you know....for the baby. Oddly - in the store, as we were debating the purchase for the T-day weekend project, another guy said don't do it - install is harder than you think. Did we listen - of course not.

So - install. You would think it would be simple, take down a chamberlain put a new chamberlain up. Funny thing was this new chamberlain has a longer track - Why? I don't know. We unfortunately have a weight bearing board that limits the space available. Try to imagine the moment where we lifted the new track up into position and it was 4 inches too long. The problem solving began and ended with boring a 3 1/2" hole into the header board of our garage and cutting the drywall off the back header board for the additional 1/2" needed. Insane - but finished with a fresh coat of paint and all. Cutting into those freshly finished walls was tough! But there she is installed right next to the air hose reel and power reel (which I hear are the two best purchases of JR's life).
Once install was complete we were dreading the 'learn' process for the remotes and the wireless key less entry - but here is where the $249 felt worth it. It was somehow already programmed - whew. And it really is significantly quiet - more than I expected.