Tearing the carpet out has torn me up

It’s not pneumonia.  I am over exerting myself ripping the carpet up, and have torn some muscle that I don’t use (out of shape) in my chest and thus the feeling of bricks upon it.  The remedy, no more carpet removal, time and Advil or Motrin.  All of this is exacerbated by the common cold.  Wah, Wah.  So I am taking it easy, focusing on stenciling the master closet tomorrow because our custom ELFA closet is getting installed next week.

The house won’t be done for a month, but I ordered this a while ago, so it is in stock now.

It appears from these photo’s that Micah did all of the carpet removal and that Ryan has done all of the carpet choosing.  I am the family Photographer so I have no evidence of my back breaking upstairs work and yep I am letting Ryan choose.

carpet pile up in the kitchen dining room before

Carpet samples two carpet samples


The house, the house, my lungs are on fire

So I have been working at the house while Ryan is in school.  We have hired a Contractor to remove the family room fireplace, build a bigger landing on the second floor,  so that the area is safer for Ryan, and to take down the dividing dining room/kitchen wall.  Yep, we are doing it.  We got a few more bids and it is doable after all.  We are also changing/adding lighting, painting every last morsel of the house, taking down wall paper, putting up wall paper, raising the hall railing and putting hardwood down in all of the main floor and re-carpeting the stairs and the second level.  Anything that Micah and I can do we are doing it.  I should say that anything that our village can do ourselves we are doing.  Thanks everyone so much!

I have been painting the closet shelves and the closets and ripping up carpet.  I’ve noticed that I feel like crap, like I am short of breath and I have chalked it up to the fumes and me being 100% out of shape.  Well this feeling isn’t going away, instead it is getting worse, I went from feeling like a brick was laying on my chest, to feeling like a box of bricks is on my chest and my lungs are burning.  Yet I am not congested and nope I don’t smoke.  Is shortness of breath a side effect of being a chocoholic?? Guilty!!  So tomorrow I am headed to the Doctor.  I hope I don’t have walking pneumonia.

For now, here are all of the before photo’s of the house.  The décor is the lovely Elayne’s (the very nice woman that we bought the house from, who lived there raising her family and then with her husband and alone for 37 years, left a cat and a skunk problem, but she and the house are lovely, the décor just isn’t us)



The Front Elevation

Back Exterior Backyard Dining Room 2 Dining Room Family Room 2 Family Room Guest Room 2 Guest Room Kitchen 2 Kitchen 3 Kitchen Living Room 2 Living Room Master Bath Master Bedroom 2

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I know that I am crazy, I know that you all know that I am crazy too, so you won’t be surprised that I get really in to dressing Ryan up for the Holiday’s.

Valentine’s Day is especially one of my favorites because I think that red looks so nice on Ryan and I’d found this little chalk board Happy Valentine’s Day sign that she could hold already.  Then on New Year’s Eve I found a wonderful cream dress with hearts on it and a drop waist at Old Navy in Ryan’s size I had to have it for my gal.  I knew that it would look great on her and with her holding the sign.  A few days later I read on Facebook that one of her previous Photographer’s was having mini-Valentine’s Photo Sessions in her house, a cheaper than normal price for ten images.  A St. Valentine’s Day miracle!


20150131-DSC_7470 20150131-DSC_7417 20150131-DSC_7400 Old Navy Dress looking on Old Navy Dress and book

Why do I love this dress so much? It is the re-issue of her 2013 Valentine’s Day dress!  Thank you Old Navy, for bringing back one of my all time favorite frocks!


The House, a few Doctor visits, rodents & wild animals, Oh My!

The house, well we haven’t gotten that far along.  We are in the process of getting some quotes and narrowing down the scope of what we are going to have done at the house.

The skunks, it seems that there was definitely a den of skunks under the back patio

Back Deck




So we paid a wildlife/rodent disposal company came out, remove the dead skunk bodies and bones, capture the live skunks, and place traps for any friends who may want to come back and visit.  They also dug down all around the patio to put metal mesh down a few feet so that the skunks can not come back and create a new home under the back deck.  Guaranteed for ten years!  Grandpa Don and I also scattered moth balls, because supposedly there stink also deters any and all animals from coming to your house.  So the house smells like skunk and old lady, let me know when you want to come over!


a lot of skunk body’s under there


Let’s even make it easier for them to get in, a quick hop down the window well and up under the patio. Yeah


The house construction progress.  Well there is really not a lot of progress.  To save money, we have started to do a lot of the demo ourselves.  Micah is a carpet removal machine, my parents are helping with the wallpaper, I’m on staples and clean up in addition to wall patching and of course all of the planning.

IMG_3018 IMG_3016 IMG_3052 IMG_3048 dining room before

carpet pile up in the kitchen

That is a lot of carpet we removed. The blue tape line is where I want the kitchen opened in to the dining room


It seems that we can not remove the wall between the dining room and the living room.  I really wanted too, even after we found out that it was structural.  The thing that seals the deal for us, is the heating elements.  the heat runs and cold air returns (I think that is what they are called) are all incased in the wall.  So $$ to remove a structural wall the right way, bigger $$ when you add in all of the HVAC work around construction.  We’d have to add a soffit here, rip up the sub-floor there, break in to upstairs walls to move things, repair the drywall etc., etc., etc.,


Dining room, with a cold air return that was hidden when we looked at the house by a huge hutch. Wah, Wah

hole in the kitchen wall

The heat run for the second floor, yep in the wall that I wanted to take down


It’s kind of devastating me, even though it may seem silly, it isn’t silly to me.  I really want to be able to see her playing  while I am in the kitchen.  We have a family room but it is open to the kitchen yet beside it, next to the pantry and the powder room.

So thus far, we have ordered an ELFA closet system for the Master Closet and paid a Structural Engineer to look at the house, and I bought lighting for the front hall and foam floor play mats for the basement that are non-toxic.

Soon I’ll show you the carpet samples and someone in this house really likes to lay on them!




I second the second opinion!

Today Ryan and I drove downtown and got a second opinion on her throat and her spitting up issues.  The opinion is that the surgeon does not think that she needs another surgery.  Perhaps just for now, but for now we’ll take.  She said that everyone spits up sometimes, and she thinks that it is good that Ryan can still throw up (her fourth surgery tied up a portion of the top of her tummy, so that she didn’t always spit up).  She also thought that it was good that Ryan is gaining so much weight these days.  She has grown another half inch and gained a bit of weight since she’d seen her before.  Since she had her adenoids removed our girl has really thrived, perhaps the adenoids were causing some of the spitting up troubles as well.

All in all, other than the traffic and the fact that Ryan cried almost the whole way home (no nap, hungry) a good day.  Tomorrow she has school and two private therapies and I have a bunch of things to do to get ready for the new house.


The house

I forgot to tell you all, we settled on the issues with the siding and the house.  We are closing at the end of the month.  Once we close I will flood the blog with pictures of our new home, and all of my plans for it, and I’ll complain about something, or a lot of things.  But for now let me verbally paint the picture.

Four bedrooms, two and a half bath two story Suburban Home.  Nice neighborhood, dead end street.  Flat back yard!!, a two car garage and here is the wild thing.  We will have the same next door neighbors.

Right now we live about four blocks away from the “new house”.  next to our rental house is a family that is a second marriage.  Dad has three kids, Mom has two kids, they are a wonderfully blended family.  The two youngest kids I have mentioned before in this blog, they have come over to play with Ryan and me.  We are working on Ryan’s play kitchen together, and we sometimes hang out.  Well their Dad actually lives next door to the “new” house.  How crazy, so we already have friends!  I’m very excited about this, because as I mentioned before, I love these two.   When we were possibly not going to get the house, I joked with Micah that he should call Mark our next door neighbor, and ask him where his ex-wife lives, because we are still in the market for a house.  It was funnier in person, I guess.

Back to the house:

The first floor is the living room, dining room, family room, and eat in kitchen, along with a powder room.  Yep a powder room!!!!, oh and a pantry.  What, what…..

There is a full basement, it is divided in to three rooms, one large room, one smaller room/office, and a laundry/storage room. The big room may one day become a family space, but for now it will be a huge playroom/therapy room for Ryan.  Micah will take the smaller room as his office.  One day we might switch them, but for now that is the plan.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, a full bath, and a master bath, plus a linen closet!!!  Of the three regular bedrooms, Ryan is going to go in the one that shares a wall with our bedroom so that we can hear her, and because it has the most wall space.  We are putting a twin bed up for her and her crib.  Because of her climbing, she can’t be near the window in either bed, so this is the best room for her.  The other two rooms each have two walls with windows and a wall with two closets.  What is that you ask, and abundance of storage, why yes, yes it is!!!

The best part, is that we have a master bathroom and a laundry shoot.  I’m in freaking laundry and private bathroom time Nirvana over here.

There will also be a dedicated guest room (Welcome family and friends, we have a room for you)!, and the other bedroom will be my craft room.  Maybe one day it will be a little boy’s room, or maybe it will remain a craft room.  In the last few years I have learned that planning your life out is useless, we’re taking what comes our way.

Here she is:




One Year Surgiversary Celebration

Mommy I feel funnyFriday was Ryan’s one year Surgiversary.  It was a day long celebration.  We began with a little party at school.  Micah and I read the class a story about a little girl with Epilepsy, called Mommy, I Feel Funny!

We had to paraphrase a lot of it, so that we didn’t scare her classmates.  We tried.  I also cut out brain shapes from purple sponges, so that we could use them as stamps in an art project, and I modified a page from; My First Book About the Brain, to use as a coloring page.

untitledI thought that we’d finish up with purple cupcakes and a group photo.  Hilarious.  I was an Art History Major who worked in a bank, Micah was a Marketing Major who works for a Civil Engineering firm.  What we are not is special education pre-school teachers, and it was so, so very evident.  These amazing kids wizzed through these activities in seconds.  One is lactose intolerant and couldn’t have the cupcake and a few of them don’t like to be in pictures or sit still.  The Aide’s were amazing, they made us feel welcome, they were all in Purple, one even had purple shoes on.  The kids were in purple, with two of the little boys wearing little girl shirts, because that is all that there Mom’s could find in purple.  I was so touched by this, it sounds lame but it really didn’t occur to me that little boys don’t have stacks of purple shirts in their drawers the way that Ryan does.  I really didn’t think of it, I swear.  This over thinker was busy tracing brain shapes on to purple sponges.

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After school, I decided it would be a good idea to let Ryan take a nap before her family pizza party celebration dinner.  MISTAKE, MISTAKE, MISTAKE.  She woke up, so super crabby.  It took about an hour for her to come around.

She did come around though, she played beside her cousin Patrick, he taught her how to dance with balloon’s and she even held his hand and my hand and danced with us.  This dancing is a new thing for Ryan and I love it.  I showed her once, and she got it, and now she even grabs my hands to do it sometimes.  She shared a slice of Pizza with Auntie Kimmie, goofed around with Aunt Shannon, wore a new purple dress from Grandma and Grandpa, and ran by her Uncles Bill & Paul as fast as she could.  All in all a wonderful first surgiversary!

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What a difference a year makes

PJ'sYou know me, big Dinah Washington fan!

I keep humming her song, What a Difference a Day Makes.  Here is a snippet

What a diff’rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

It is totally schmaltzy but when I think of where I was emotionally last year, I just keep happily humming this song.  Last year, I was scared off of my ass that Ryan would die during her brain surgery.  The surgery was 24 hours away and I didn’t know how to handle my fears.  I tried to run away from it, I tried to prepare for it, I thought about walking in to traffic if she didn’t make it,  I begged Micah to agree with me, that if she died we would runaway, flee our lives, empty our retirement accounts and leave the country rather than face the life we’d known.  How could I deal with all of our loved one’s feelings of loss and sadness for us & Ryan.

I didn’t sleep, I picked a fight with Micah, I don’t even know about what.  I shut down.  As you know Ryan made it, made it through with flying colors and I am finally starting to believe it, and feel happiness again in the little things.

Tomorrow we are celebrating her one year surgiversary and we are all wearing purple, eating things colored purple, and her teachers and classmates are throwing her a little party.

What a difference a year makes

8,765 joyous hours

Saw loss of hair follicles and a few chompers

I’ll end this tedious refrain!



No School Today

School was cancelled for Ryan today, it is really cold here, and for all of the children’s safety during the commute to and fro, they shut-er-down.  We were just getting out of our stir crazy, home for two weeks mode and well here we are again.  This time though, we have a lot more clean clothes and snacks at our disposal.  We also had a very nice visit from a family friend, so that really helped pass the time.

Things with the “new home” purchase are getting a little rough, we might have to go back to the drawing board.  The inspection found some things that we just can’t bend on.  She either needs to fix them or provide a full credit.  We will see what happens, but we have reconciled that if not we will walk away and find another house.  This house is great, but any house that we find will need some “Ryan” modifications, so we need to keep all of our available cash for those “Ryan jobs”, not for things like siding repairs and attic insulation.  We aren’t intending to buy a fixer this time, which is concession from my and Micah’s hearts already.

Luckily, we are in the ideal situation to be looking for a house.  Our other house sold, we have the cash in the bank and we are renting from family, and so far Grandma isn’t kicking us out.  We will never get this situation again, so we have time to make sure that we get the house that works best for our family.  At the same time I am sure our stir craziness will increase as the weather gets worse.  You should be hearing a very sarcastic violin right now and want to punch me.

I wish that we could go on that HGTV show “Fixer Upper”, what I really wish is that I was Nicole Curtis and I could just do it all myself, and have those arms.

Tuesday was perfect for Ryan to wear her white sweater shrug.  I love it.

Tuesday was perfect for Ryan to wear her white sweater shrug. I love it.

Dancing, we are working on it

A lot of Toddler’s dance.  I love it, they are so cute and energetic.  Jumping, swishing, swaying and laughing.  This weekend Ryan and I started dancing together.  We hold hands, we sway back and forth, and she smiles.  My girl smiles, when she “dances” with me.  She keeps coming up to me and grabbing my hands and she moves to the right or the left, following my lead.

We also started jumping on our new blue crash pad.  She hold my hands and she bends her knees and straightens them and then does it again, and again.  She is working on jumping and again she is smiling.

She is almost to the halfway point on decreasing one of her meds, and tomorrow she is getting evaluated for ABA therapy, but today we jumped and we danced!


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