House Beautiful

I’ve mentioned we remodeled our house this past summer/fall.  Thought I would show you the before & afters!  This was a painfully slow process… however, we did have someone else do the work for us, so I imagine it was infinitely faster than doing it ourselves.  The whole process took about 9 weeks.  That may not sound like much… but when you have a toddler that you are trying to confine to 3 rooms of your house – it’s an eternity!  I apologize in advance for the quantity of pictures… but it tells the story!

Without further ado, the befores:

Looking at the entryway:


Standing in front of the entryway looking towards the kitchen:


Looking to the left when you walk into the kitchen.  It’s a split level and was open looking down into the den.  This didn’t really make sense to us, because you loose all of that space for cabinets with the bottom half being open like that.  We wound up closing off this wall and adding cabinets.


These cabinets were from the late 70’s and the flooring was mid-1990 oak. Blugh!


Looking up at the kitchen from the den:


Standing in the dining room looking at the kitchen/DR wall.  Since we use the Kitchen/Dining Room/Living Room the most, we knocked out the top of this wall to open up the whole main floor more.


As I’ve been trying to find before pictures of the living room, I realized we definitely didn’t take enough before pictures.  But you can see here we had ugly grey carpet and a HUGE (14 foot) entertainment center.  Once we packed up all that entertainment center, we decided it wasn’t going back in.


The most painful part of this remodel was how cramped life was for a few months.  Our house is a split level – so we had all of the stuff from the main floor (that was being remodeled) packed up & stored on the bottom level.  Including our temporary kitchen, a.k.a. the spare bedroom.


We didn’t have a stove so every meal was cooked in either the microwave or the crock pot.


Then we basically lived on the upper level.  During the day, we had to shut the cats in the master bedroom while there were workers here.  So Johnny & I were confined to the craft room & his bedroom.  A lot of the time we had to meet various contractors, so we couldn’t even be outside.  We watched a lot of movies.  And when workers were settled in, we would head to the park. 


It all starts!!!  Ripping out the cabinets:


Down comes the wall!


When they ripped up the hardwood flooring in the kitchen, we found this lovely surprise!  Linoleum circa 1974.  I was tempted to keep it.


Starting to lay the Cherry hardwood.



The wall facing the lower level was closed in, and drywall was put up.  Doug did a lot of painting over these few weeks.


And the cabinets start to go in!


And then here is where I screwed up.  For some reason, I thought this tile looked good in the store.  I have no idea what I was thinking, because it was TERRIBLE when they started to lay it down.  Luckily they hadn’t glued anything, just cut it out.  I had them pull it all up and I ordered something different.  It added another week to the remodel, but I am SO immensely glad that I did because the new stuff looks a hundred times better.


New flooring installed and granite installed.  Getting so close!


Ready to see the Afters???  And I’’ll forewarn you, we now have a really blank slate.  Once I removed all of the old art, etc I realized I want new stuff up.  My next project is to beautify the space & I have several things in the works that I can’t wait to show you!



This next picture is a weird panorama shot that Doug’s camera does.  Looks strange, but shows the perspective when you walk in the kitchen.


The wall we closed off:


To the left of the fridge – looks down into the play room (which needs a lot of work, but I’m done with remodeling for the moment):


The wall we knocked down to a half wall:


Looking into the kitchen from the dining room:


New hardwood in dining room.  I’ve got lots of fun stuff planned for these walls.  This was the one piece of art that made it & I’ve even decided now to take it down too.  We are also going to have the lighting re-done at some point.  Move the dining room light, add recessed lighting, etc.


Living room.  This spaces feels so much more open without that huge entertainment center!  If you know anyone in the market for a 14’ wide entertainment center, send them my way!  I have fabric purchased for more throw pillows – just need to get on the ball with my sewing to-do list.




I have a piece of furniture I am painting for the blank space to the right of the windows.  I just need two more days of weather above 50 degrees so I can finish it (I’ve been waiting for weeks for good weather)!


I think my favorite part of the new design is how open it is in the space where we spend the most of our time.  I can be cooking in the kitchen & still see what’s going on in the dining room & living room.


There you have it.  A photo tour of the remodel!  Next week, I should have some art projects to share.  Smile

And because what JohnnyBug post would be complete without something cute from Bug…

He does this several times throughout the day without any prompting from me. I have no idea where he learned it.

A Little Picasso

Johnny has never really liked to finger paint.  He’s not really a big fan of his hands (or feet) being dirty.


The other day, we brought out some paints and tried brushes this time.  Major success!


“Not sure if I like this”


One of the first things he did was to paint a circle and say “that’s a O”.  Brilliant! 


We used a potato masher on a few.  He loved banging it into the table.


Using multiple methods:





“What?? You’re looking at me like I have something on my face…”


“Just need a little more… Right….. there….”


Towards the end he was inspecting all of the paint that was on his hands.  I figured I would try to sneak in some finger painting. So we squished his little hands down in the paint & he splatted his hands with gusto!  Victory!


I love the way these turned out.  I have several that I am framing to hang on the wall!  Now any time he sees mama painting, he wants to be painting too.  Smile

My Egg Head

I think we may have found Johnny a pre-school!  He is officially on the waiting list.  It’s called Ruth Washburn and I really think he would love it.  There is a chance he can start in the fall of this year.  If not, I’m hopeful he can get in by fall of next year (he’ll be 3 1/2).

It’s a pretty cool place – a co-op, so as the stay-at-home-parent, I would be pretty involved.  We went on a tour the other day.  I didn’t get any pictures of the inside, as it was too chaotic trying to wrangle Johnny and take pictures and listen to the Director give her spiel.

After the tour was over, Johnny was fussy so the Director suggested we head back out to the playground & blow off some steam.  Their playground is HUGE!  And they really try & foster a love of the outdoors at this place, which we love.

The school has been around since the 60’s.  Over the years, some of the parents involved with the co-op (who are handy) have built all of these little play houses on the property. 


You climb this rope here:


Checking it all out:



Of course they had plenty of balls to keep this boy happy:


Armed with shovels ready to dig something awesome:


Just a fraction of the playground (they also have a garden that everyone helps to plant & grow and chickens!):


I’m still going to check out a few other places… just in case this one doesn’t work out and to make sure there isn’t another place we love better.  But so far, this seems like it would be a really good fit for him!

OK, So I Lied…

Yesterday in this post, I said I wasn’t going to take Johnny out to swing because a snow storm had moved in.  Then I talked to Bella (my mom) and she gave me the ole guilt trip – “you can put him in a snow bib, you take my grandbaby outside to swing!”.  I was convinced she was crazy until Johnny didn’t take a nap.  Then I thought if I didn’t get him out of the house, neither one of us would last until his bedtime. 



Here, he seems to be saying “16 degree wind chill and 20 MPH wind gusts…no biggie!”


Content as can be.  Didn’t seem cold at all.


So content, that yes – even as cold as it was, he almost fell asleep.  Definitely this kid’s M.O.


He didn’t get his tolerance of the cold from me.


He put up his usual fight when we tried to go inside.  However, this is where the pictures stop, because he literally got stuck in the swing thanks to too many layers of clothes.  I called Doug to come outside, but was finally able to get him out by slinging him over my shoulder & peeling the seat off, inch by inch.

I’m pretty sure for a minute there, he thought his dream had come true – never having to get out of the swing!  <3

Beer, Please!

Johnny is rapidly expanding his vocabulary.  Every day he adds new words & it’s so exciting to see him labeling his world.  Some of his words sound alike.  For example,



sounds just like Bird:


sounds just like fish (he’s really calling it Fisher, which in his defense, we call Fisher just Fish sometimes):


sounds just like bear:



And do you know how he pronounces all of these words?  Yep, you guessed right – Beer.  It’s made for some “heheheh yes that IS a FISH” moments in public where it totally sounds like he is asking for beer.  When he got his hair cut, there was a fish tank in the waiting room. He wanted to go look at the fish, and he would say “I want beer.”

I’m not sure if his choice of word points to a potential future preference in beverage, but if so – then the apple will have not fallen far from the tree. =)

Hope you all are staying warm!  We woke up to this view outside of our windows.  Needless to say, there will be no swinging today, which has disappointed my little boy who already has his boots on over his jammies, ready to go.


A Delightful Development

I told you in this post how we have started a new nighttime routine where I sing Johnny to sleep.  We’ve been doing that steadily now for about a month and those are my favorite 15 minutes of the day.  I didn’t think it could get any better.


But then, he started singing back.


Not the words of what I’m singing, but whatever he sees.  Like the letters from the Avett Bros shirt I was wearing last night.  I am 1,000% convinced there is nothing cuter than him singing.  I can’t really get a good video of him in the dark, but I was able to get one of him singing the other day.

**Let it be noted that hearing myself sing on a video makes me cringe.  But I’m taking one for the team because it’s cute to hear him. You’re welcome!**

Enjoy! Winking smile


Heaven in the Back Yard

In this post I told you about how Johnny’s main birthday present was backordered so we had to wait a few weeks to get it.  And then another week or so to put it together. 

This past weekend it was all done & ready for the bug to enjoy!  As a result, this is how we have spent most of our past few days.

Are you coming ma??


I wanna wing (swing)!


We (and when I say we, I mean Doug) still need to cut the extra chain on the baby swing, but it works for now!


This is such a blissful space now, that he even falls asleep sometimes.


Every time we try to leave the back yard, he points to the swing & says “But I wanna wing!” “I wanna go in there!”



This time we had been inside for over an hour & he still refused to take off his gloves & hat because he was certain he was going to go back outside & “wing”.


So far this has turned out to be an awesome birthday present!

On an unrelated note, that day as we got ready – Johnny wanted to wear Doug’s watch.  He looks like such a little man in this picture!  Big boy hair cut, watch, sigh… all grown up.