Settling in

We’ve been in the new house for a month and a week and we are finally starting to settle in.  Silas has good playing mojo, we are all sleeping well (after the diaper debacle–cloth diapering post coming soon), and Tim is adjusting to driving an hour and a half commute a few times a week.  Now that the first round of unpacking and projects are done, I am trying to muster some energy to start back in on home improvements during nap times.  I am failing for the most part.

This weekend we were in Alex to help build Kait’s deck and fence at her new house.  The guys did an amazing job!  The whole thing was framed in a day.  Her house is pretty and we love going to visit.  Now if only we could find the energy to fence our own back yard, we’d really be living high on the hog.  Silas is so in love with Oliver.  He looks at him with this big goofy grin and randomly laughs as if O is doing something hilarious when really he is standing still and not even paying attention to Si.  It’s pretty hilarious and sweet.  Oliver is so patient and such a good big cousin.  It’s fun to see them together and watch them play and interact.

While we were gone, neighbor Frank installed our new beauty of a single basin sink, faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher.  YAY!  We are gearing up for more kitchen progress, so I will wait to post pictures of that, but this is what the house feels like this week:


Up next:  decisions about flooring (patch original stuff or gut to the subfloor and start over?), kitchen renovation, bathroom overhaul, and about six hundred other things.


Best Weekend Ever

Holy cow.  We just had a terribly productive, super happy weekend.

Friday, my Mama came to help me make sense of the kitchen decor, spruce up the landscaping and cut it back so we’re ready to plant in the Spring, hang the dining room curtains, clean our whole house, and grocery shop.  Such a productive day!  After my Red Bull kicked in, we got so much done and Silas just loved having his Honey here to play.

Back to the dining room improvements.  These aren’t just any curtains–they are AWESOME.  The light fixture (also awesome, I say) went up on Thursday, so adding the curtains really finishes out the dining room for the time being.  We have to trim out the walls and paint the ceiling, but other than that, I am happy with the simple but statement vibe going on in there. After working all day, we went to La Scala for dinner.  We sat on the patio this time and it was breezy but beautiful!  Silas ate more fresh herbed bread than anyone else.  No joke.  Boy after my own heart.  Si woke at five the next morning–ugh–so Mom was up and gone early, as usual.

Tim’s parents came midday on Saturday for a visit.  It was so helpful and relaxing to have them here, and they arrived with an early first birthday present for Si in the form of an all terrain Radio Flyer wagon.  He LOVES it.  He took several trips to the petting zoo at the park in it with his Grammie and Papa.  We also sanded, painted, and trimmed Si’s bedroom.  I can’t believe how much we got done in such a short window.  So nice having such a happy baby with his grandparents all weekend!  Mary Kay and I scooted out to the flea market last night where I found my dream dresser for Silas (the changing table doesn’t fit up the stairway) and I even escaped for a while for a haircut and some pampering.  Feeling good!

Here’s our weekend in pictures:

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Look at those dusty bedroom windows!!!  Sorry!  The house feels like it’s coming together, especially after this weekend.  Painting, dishwasher install, island building work, and general unpacking are on the list for the first half of the week.  The end of the week, Silas and I will be helping Kait Garner paint her new house!!  Booyah!

Ba(b)y Windows

The bay windows in the dining room are 8 feet tall in a 10 ft room.  Silas can’t get enough. Image 


I keep trying to shoot video of him.  He is so chatty and so mobile!  No great success yet.  Soon!  

Photo Tour

So, here’s the downstairs now that we are three weeks in.  We are still in a heavy debate about flooring, but other than that, we know where we are going with the rooms, we just don’t have a lot of time for actually making things happen yet.  Thank goodness Ness stopped by yesterday (we LOVE having Log and Ness a half hour away) and made a comment about how it looks so different every time she comes by.  It’s hard to see progress when you live in a mess, so I was glad to hear it.

I don’t do well with chaos.  I am the sort of mover who moves in, stays up most of the night unpacking and getting things a little pretty, and being done.  This (14th for both of us) move, we have so very much stuff–baby stuff–and so many more rooms than we had last time.  That’s all completely aside from the fact that the house needs a ton of cosmetic work while we live here, so we know unpacking things is largely temporary and will have to be moved again.  Yikes.  Enter Meg’s panic face.  But we’re getting there, box by box and nap by nap.

The first week, we stuck to wallpaper borders and painting projects as well as a few plumbing and un-trimming things when my family was here to help.  The second week, I unpacked and tried to get into a routine with laundry, cooking, child, and sleep patterns.  Most of those were successful.  This week (as in yesterday) I was totally freaking amazing.  Tim will be on his way home soon, but he has no idea that I painted the island, painted the door in the kitchen, beefed up the couch cushions, changed out all the 28 cabinet handles and knobs, ORB’d the door handles and locks for both doors, and had Frank, our handy neighbor, come change out the kitchen light fixtures, install 3 ceiling fans, and fix the front door lock.  Booyah!  Later this week, dining room light and dishwasher are on the Frank list, thank goodness.

If you want to peruse a few before pictures, look here:



Catch up

Uh, it’s been two weeks since we blogged.  Oops.  Our heads were swimming with all the flowers up in here.  As I said this morning before my coffee, “I am up to my neck in floral carpet and buyer’s remorse.”  But not really.

Let’s rewind and play a little catch up:  Last weekend was Labor Day and we went to Illinois to celebrate.  We got to see both of Tim’s extended families in the same weekend!  Silas was loving watching the big boys playing on the Lustfeldt side–you could just tell he was trying to figure out how to get his hands on Colin’s wavy locks.  There was even some kiddie pool swimming involved.  It was so nice to see everyone, especially because we didn’t plan ahead for that one!  The next day, we went to see the Ballard clan and celebrate cousin Kaitlin’s 18th birthday.  She is such a grounded sort of curious young woman and I feel a kindred connection to her.  Tim always calls her “the old soul” and don’t I know how hard that can be when the peers aren’t there yet.  We’re proud of you, Kaitlin!  Be kind and authentic and trust that the rest will work itself out–that’s our advice to the grown up.

We came home Monday evening (a full week ago) and on Tuesday, Tim began his new job!  Yes, he already has a new job.  You know how sometimes you make a decade’s worth of decisions that all seem to be terribly divergent and pointless, and then with one fell swoop, you have an opportunity that makes sense of everything you have done?  No?  Oh that just must be for free spirit, move all over the planet, jump jobs like undies sort of people like us.  Well, anyway, Tim got this great job.  He is working as the Human Resources/Family Liasion and Curriculum Specialist for the Migrant Education Program providing family support.  The program is based in Alexandria but will be extending to several counties up North around our new place of residence once it is up and running, which will be very convenient indeed.  He is totally loving the work, the coworkers, the culture, and the sense of purpose involved.  It’s such a great fit and everything either of us could have imagined for his career.  Congratulations, Timmy!

Let’s talk house.  Ah, this house.  We are settling in a bit more each day.  The upstairs is not only sweltering a lot of the time, it’s also really ugly, so we’ve been camping out downstairs in the office/guest room and it has been nice.   I love the guest bed and Silas sleeps better when he isn’t sweating.  Win win.

Things we love about living here:

Curbside recycling
Nice neighbors–again!
Chicago sports bar (DT Kirby’s)
More than one room in our living space
How easy it is to give directions to our house
So much closer to our families, which is already handy
The park!

Things we miss about our first home:

Our neighbors!  Waaaaaah!
The quietude of the woods (me: “What was that?!”  Tim: “Another car door.”)
The public library
Having full closets instead of packed boxes
Pretty floors
Knowing that Si was safe playing anywhere in our house (not eating cords, tools, wallpaper, et cetera)

We have been doing projects slowly and with much less vengeance than we did in the last house.  This house, despite it’s showy florals, has good, flowing space and lots of possibilities, so we are enjoying just being here for the most part.  I have lots of ideas (yes, I printed them out and hung them in each room), short productivity windows (only at nap time), and a husband who is at best a very long commuter and at worst and out of towner for the time being.  Suffice it to say progress is slow but steady.  Tomorrow I will dedicate myself to making a post of pictures of the house since I have had several requests.   Just know that I have had the most productive day yet today…  and yet there is so, so much left to do.  Ah, the joys of fixer uppers.  We love ’em!

Here are some pictures of the last few weeks of adjusting to Lafayette life.  So far, we are doing a good job with our list of want-to’s we made before moving: the farmers market, the Chicago sports bar, Chicago style pizza, the UU church, the park, a few family visits, and about thirty trips to home improvement stores.  Oh, boy!