Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home Improvement


As I started this post and looked back at our pnotos the past couple weeks, I realized we hardly took any. That's because our lives have been pretty much taken over by a home improvement project we started last weekend.

It started with our fireplace. Earlier in the summer, we found out that we basically couldn't use it anymore. That's because on the outside of the chimney, the mortar between the bricks was in bad shape, and water seeped in and ruined the metal box-thing that lines the fireplace. Josh fixed the mortar a few weeks ago (an all-weekend project) , but it was too late. We looked into replacing that box and doing all we needed to do to get the fireplace up and running again, but it was going to be way, way too expensive. So then we thought about getting a wood stove insert. We always had wood stoves at our houses/apartments when we lived out west,and we loved them. The problem with that idea was that even the tiniest wood stoves put out a ton of heat, enough to heat 1300 square feet for the smallest ones, I think. This room that our fireplace is in is an addition, and it is connected to the rest of the house by 2 doors. We decided that if a wood stove was putting out all that heat, the one room would end up being like 95 degrees and the heat would have a hard time circulating to the rest of the house. So then we looked at gas fireplace inserts. Now, I've always been opposed to gas fireplaces, to the point of vocally spouting off my dislike for them. I always hated those fake logs. kinda seemed like our only option. And after researching them, of course they do put off far less emissions that wood, and are much more efficient. Well, they do use gas, which is not a renewable resource like wood, but oh well. We liked how much easier and cleaner it would be, and also that Linda and Willow could have a fire during the day on those freezing winter days. So gas it will be.

Then we decided to paint over the 1970s wood paneling too. That's pretty much the extent of the project, but the painting alone took an entire week of painting every day. Josh did most of it while I did the child care. Thanks to Emily and Jimmy who helped too. Sorry for blabbing on about out fireplace for so long; I know you might not care! I got a little carried away.

So, here are some "before" photos.

Unfortunately we won't be doing much about that tacky furniture just yet; that's not quite in the budget this time. Someday...

Here's one "during" photo; hopefully by the next post we'll have the "afters".

Willow turned 18 months corrected on Friday and will turn 21 months on Monday. Her vocabulary is getting quite large. For awhile I was excited about it and was keeping a list of all of her words, but then it got the where I couldn't keep up because she was learning them too quickly. She has some words that only we can understand. For example:

Boo-bye = butterfly
na = moon or sun
na-na = nurse
da = light
da-doe = the other one

She hasn't really spoken any sentences yet, other than a few 2-word ones, like "Linda's here", "all done", and "Dada's home".

Willow has gone pee on the potty twice this week. It was cute how proud she was. It was in the morning when she first woke up, and when Linda arrived we told her about it. Willow was beaming with pride when she heard us telling Linda.

Although she is becoming such a big girl, she's not too big to be worn when necessary. Here she is catching a ride with Dad while he was cooking.

Here are couple videos. Sorry, I'm not the best videographer!

This is a silly one. Linda taught her this.

Actually, this means Willow is a cultured baby, because "ca-ca" means poop in Finnish. We learned that from Maisa, Willow's bilingual friend.


Amy said...

Hey Linds, Before we had one, I always disliked gas fireplaces too, especially after our wood stove in Jackson that heated our whole cabin. However, I have to say I really enjoy our gas fireplace. We use it every night in the winter! I lay with Driggs in front of the fireplace when we play cards, watch a movie or whatever. It kicks out a ton of heat and is so convenient to just flip a switch and have no cleanup. A real fireplace or wood stove is always better, but I think you'll like this :)

jannahope said...

LOVE the new video's - Christmas seems too far away to see you guys again...

Auntie Janna

Elizabeth said...

Good luck with all these changes. As a famous cartoon once said: "FIRE, he he, FIRE."