Saturday, July 30, 2016

July to me

July has been a busy month!
DH and I celebrated our Anniversary this month.
Vivian asked if I would take her to the store to buy a card for us.
She choose the card and wrote out her message (asking for some spelling help here and there) and then carefully hid it away in the play room until the actual day.

So incredibly sweet!

The girls have also been busy with the yearly kids library programs.
They went to a program on Nanotech...which I'm pretty sure Shiloh picked out. 
We were on a wait-list for that program and they called us maybe 20 minutes before the program to let us know we got in!
Thankfully we were already preparing to go to the library that morning so it wasn't a big rush for us.
Vivian was probably the youngest one there and some of the activities were a little more difficult for her. The instructor was a teacher from a nearby school but she was used to teaching teenagers.
But both girls got to work together since they divided the class into teams so I think that helped her with participation.
(Even though she probably didn't see it that way since Shi could do more than she could!)
They're signed up for a couple more programs this summer, and Vivian already won a prize for one of their weekly contests.
She was totally thrilled and could barely eat her lunch. lol

The garden has been busy this year.
In some ways it's weird, like all of our bean plants were eaten up by something...but cantaloupe is growing?
The blueberry and raspberry bushes really loved the mild winter and probably all this heat and humidity too.

I've never had enough raspberries to actually freeze some before.
Usually Vivi just ate them as soon as we picked them.
Our raspberry is terribly pricky and thorny so I don't let the girls pick them.
I keep ending up bleeding and with slash marks all over my arms from that bush!
At least it keeps down on the pests that actually get to the raspberries.

The blueberries seem to increase each year.
We've gotten into a pretty good routine of picking every other day. First clearing off any Japanese beetles that we find, then Vivian usually helps me pick the berries.
When we're done Shiloh helps me spread a coffee grounds and water mixture over the bushes to keep the Japanese beetles away.

We also did a big garden weeding this week.
Both girls helped with that as well.
Thankfully I make a quick map each spring when I plant because otherwise I would have no clue what was coming up out there! ha!
We had to wait until everything grew up some before we could start pulling weeds because it's so hard to tell when a plant is just a couple leaves.
But it looks like a real garden now and it will be much easier to keep up on the weeds now that it has been cleared.

Floors & Accessories

The floors are finished!

This photo is of the dining room floor, which was the last room to be completed.
There was a ton of wax buildup to remove, and sanding, and filling and paint scraping to do on this floor.
There was actually an outline on the floor of a door or something that they had painted white.
Feels so good to be done!
Unfortunately we were a little impatient to move the furniture back into place (eating in the living room while only being able to pull your chair out a few inches and having to climb over the top of furniture to reach your laptop is not great fun when you're an adult) so we pushed the piano back a little too soon and then had to fix a few small marks it made on the floor.
It's so nice to be done, and it's been very easy to keep the floor clean as well.
As you can imagine, carpeting under the dining room table when you have children is not the greatest.
I actually was really surprised that the carpeting looked so good underneath when we pulled it up.
I was imagining all kinds of stains that I didn't clean up enough or something.
A bonus is that the girls keep offering to sweep or dust mop the floors for me. :)
I think I will start taking them up on that offer!

Of course, now I needed new accessories to go with my new floors!
Thankfully everything has been very inexpensive so far.
New wreath...Anniversary gift! (Thanks, Mom!)
New curtains...on clearance for $5.00 at Lowe's!

New rug, not on sale but irresistible (it's really soft)!
New table runner..actually two placemats from the Dollar Store that I stitched together $2.00.

With the awful heat and humidity we've had lately, the floor has felt nice and cool.
I'm hoping it won't feel too chilly in the winter but a few more rugs and some fuzzy slippers should take care of that. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fun and Floors

I took the girls to my parents' camp for a long weekend.
We had a ton of fun though the weather didn't always cooperate.
The little park near the water had been completely redone and the girls loved it.
They played on it for two of the days that we were there. :)

We also had a beautiful day and beautiful weather to spend at the French festival.
We watched the children's theater and ate fried dough and cotton candy. Good stuff!

We even got to watch the parade. A very long parade!
Which was so nice since we rarely get to watch a parade at all.  
A very fun weekend.

Then it was back to working on the hardwood floors at home.
We've had random furniture shoved in different rooms for the past couple weeks to clear the floors.
The girls have loved plopping on the recliner in their playroom and having toys piled in their room.
Finding the hamster had a new home in the bathroom was a little less thrilling, I guess.
Vivian said "Why is Elsa in here? I need privacy!"
Lol, Elsa is sound asleep in the daytime so I was able to assure Vivi that he wouldn't peek. ;-)

The turtle wasn't too happy to have her tank moved all around either.
She didn't have her heat lamp or sunny window like she's used to for a few days.
As soon as I was able to get her pushed near an outlet, I plugged in her light in and she plopped herself on her rock sun-bathing like a boss. :)

Hopefully we'll get everything resettled by the end of the month!

Friday, July 15, 2016

With Floor-ish

Our July has been super busy!
We had been talking about removing our wall-to-wall carpeting for awhile.
 The carpeting had been damaged by the turtle's heat lamp falling onto it years ago, and also lately the edges had gotten caught by the vacuum and started to unravel.

Then I woke up early one morning and it hit me that I thought there was hardwood floors under all that carpet!
We should see what is under there and at the very least, save some money on labor for carpet removal.

So we actually started on July 4th. Cutting off a tiny little strip where the unraveling was the worst.
Hardwood floors!

They didn't look too bad but of course other surprises awaited.
Like the tons of paint drips, apparently our house was painted with massive amounts of turquoise paint years ago.
Which is weird, I can't picture it...I don't want to picture it!
 And it's also weird because our other house had layers of paint, and when it chipped off...ta da! Turquoise!

I also found that when I was cleaning my treadmill and Vivian knocked over the rubbing alcohol (months ago) did soak through the carpet and pad and leave a water spot on the floor.
Such wonderful surprises. But the internet is amazing and I found so many tips and tricks to remove the water spot.
Not one of them worked completely on its own, but a combination of several and it completely disappeared.
I should have taken photos of that, it was amazing!
Plus the oddity of rubbing alcohol actually helping to remove a water spot caused by rubbing alcohol? Craziness!

We ripped up more carpeting...
Entryway after carpet removal
 ...and then dove into hardwood floor refinishing.
Scraping, sanding, filling in everything with wood putty.
I love wood putty. It is fun. I would putty everything if I could.
I don't let DH putty. He is messy, his theory is to pile it on the gouges and sand off the excess later BUT if you clean it good while you are using the putty it's so much neater and less work overall.
It's my putty. :)
Vivian has eagle eyes so she helps me find the little digs and nail holes that need filling.

After all the backbreaking prep work...finally we could stain the floors.
Entryway, after staining,  and before trim work
And put in carpet transitions and trim work on the baseboards.
A lot of work.
But we have our entry way completely done now and most of the living room done now.
The rooms with lots of furniture are the hardest.
I haven't been able to take many finished pictures because of the furniture having to be crowded around the room we're working on.
Hopefully I can take more pictures once we're done, :)

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Smiley faces everywhere

I finally found the smiley face potatoes that I've been wanting to get for the girls!
I had found a coupon and advertisement for them and thought they were adorable, but two Walmarts and a Target later and I still couldn't find them.
Finally...found them at Price Chopper!

Vivian took one bite and said "Ohh, these are lovely!" Lol
They are like mashed potatoes inside and have the option of baking in the oven or frying.
I chose to bake them.
Very cute and tasty!

Vivian has been fascinated with a magician show she likes to watch lately.
So she started doing her own little magic acts that she makes up.
Like a switching erasers trick.
She starts out with "As you can see, this table is real, this blanket is real, and this eraser is real."
Then she finishes with "This trick is so simple, even a child can do it. Ha ha! 'Cause I'm a child and I'm doing it!"
Oh, it's so funny.
I wish she would let me videotape her but she gets all self-conscious. ;-)

The girls are all signed up for the yearly library reading program again.
This year it seems to be sports themed which is a little less than thrilling for the girls.
Vivian pored over the baseball cards that they were offering as a first day treat, and then asked the librarian if she had any cards of the "New England Patriots".
Lol, wrong sport, dear.
They also had some rubber bracelets as an optional treat so at least everything wasn't sports related.

They had a DIY craft to make sports-themed bookmarks but I told the girls to cut out whatever shape they wanted and it didn't have to a ball or hockey stick shape like was suggested.
So they made "book" bookmarks instead. :)

We also decided to skip the soap-making class this year, since we made our own soap at home over the winter and we can make more any time we want.
That was a craft we loved but we're hoping to learn some new projects this summer!

Vivian was initially dragging her legs about the library program, just not wanting to really bother with it. But I set up a chalkboard in their room for them to note the start and finish times of when they're reading and she's been loving that.
She even started carrying a sheet of paper around with her to note down every minute she reads. 
Shiloh is always reading....But I don't think I can put down 24/7 on her chart though!
She's not as good about keeping track but Vivian's been watching her time for her too so it works out.

Hope everyone has a Happy and safe 4th of July!
We already got to see fireworks from the comfort of our home which is quite a luxury, especially when you have young kids and also tend to get eaten alive by mosquitoes waiting for the fireworks to start.
They had some really pretty fireworks this year too, including some smiley faces. :)