Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Renovation Interior - Finally Some Pics!

Here we go, some long awaited "After" photos of the house. Well not the whole house, but at least the inside! Outside we still have a little bit more work to do (ok A LOT, landscaping equals A LOT more work) so give us a couple months to pull that together. Or not. Either way I'll post pics of the outside of the house by the end of the summer ok?

In any regard, the house is done. Sure we need a bit more art, and there's some finishings to do downstairs, but those are all a work in progress. The inside of the house is DONE and at this point anything else is a bonus.

To say we are happy with the house is the understatement of the year. Every time I walk in here I love it more. A year or more of planning and design payed off in spades. There is absolutely nothing I would change.

I know I know, you're thinking "less talk, more action" so I'll get to the photos. A small snippet of them anyway...








Want to see more, including before and afters of each room? Check out the album on Facebook here. 

And while I have a captive audience (you are captive aren't you?) here's a few details about the reno:
  • Demo/all construction/finishing/plans – Jonker Custom Building. The absolute masters of their craft. 
  • Sub trades – all local businesses (some to be recommended, others not so much)
  • Building materials – all local 
  • Elevator – Bruno Platform Lift built into a custom elevator shaft
  • Kitchen Cabinets – IKAN (Ikea)
  • Kitchen Counters and Backsplash – Vittrium (Environite – Recycled glass). Our one splurge that was totally worth it.
  • Main bathroom finishings – Ikea
  • All other bathroom finishings – Re-purposed/upcycled
  • Floor: Red oak – original 1950s floors re-finished, with the addition matched to the original. Continuous/transitionless throughout, with the exception of tiled bathrooms and foyer. 
  • Waste: As much as humanly possible diverted from landfill via recycling, upcycling, or donation. 
  • Design: Jordan and Tracey Trousdell. ALL OF IT OURSELVES, after about a thousand hand drawn iterations of possible layouts (with the final plans drawn up by Piet Jonker). Inspiration came from Houzz, Dwell, every known accessibility resource in print and online, and a shared love of mid-century modern design. I'd also be remiss if I didn't give some props to my nephew "Colours by Grady" because in the absence of Jordan (constantly working on the house or working at his job) I made a lot of great finishing choices with Grady's help! Plus if Piet had an idea about how something should look, we listened. Leaving finicky decisions in your trusted builder's hands is really a dream.
  • Accessibility: Elevator access to the lower floor and back yard, completely level entrance to front door from both street and vehicle, doorways all 3 feet, walls removed to create open concept, all light switches at wheelchair height, all door handles levered, all eating/working surfaces at seated height, kitchen and bathroom sinks with wheelchair access, main bathroom and boys' bedroom in close proximity with reinforcements for grab bars and a ceiling lift in the future if required.
  • Total cost: You don't even want to know. Let's say we *might* be mortgage free in our 70s. Cross those fingers. But you can't put a price on happiness and quality, right?!
So there you have it. Our labour of love for about two years. Finally done, livable, and oh so appreciated. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rio's 9!

Today my sweet baby girl is 9.

9! Where did the time go?

She's out of a booster seat (woot woot!) and one year away from the double digits. She's sweet, funny, smart, silly, intuitive, annoying, and has attitude for days. All the things a nine year old girl should be.

We celebrated with friends yesterday in the form of an ice cream party (to see some party photos click here). But every day she deserves to be celebrated for the amazing little girl she was, is, and will become.

Happy Birthday Riri. You are the glue, the rock, and the core that has kept this family strong through the good times and bad. You are so loved and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms in my life! And thank you to the women, moms or not, who support me and make me a better mother!

My thoughts today are especially with the moms out there who are missing their babies, or their own moms, or the women who want to be moms but for whatever reason are unable. I know that today is not the easiest day. May you be surrounded by peace and love.

And lastly, how can I not mention the little sweeties that make me a mom. Without you, I'd be incomplete.

Happy Mother's Day, ladies. You deserve the best. xoxo

Sunday, May 3, 2015

More Randoms

Ok, I'm dropping the ball on the blog, my goodness. I can't bring myself to write anything of substance but get this - last time I did a "random" post, people seemed to like it, so I'm going to go with that again! First 12 (yes 2 extras, you lucky ducks!) things that come to my mind. Ok GO:

1. I did so much this weekend. Like SO much. I am not trying to brag (ok maybe a little), I am just blown away by the magnitude of it. I think I am sitting down for the first time all weekend in order to write this post. In the midst of my psychotic cleaning/organizing binge, I got a text from a (childless) friend saying she had watched 10 straight hours of House of Cards. While poking needles into my voodoo doll replica of her, I assured her that this is exactly how she should be spending her time before kids. Jealllllllous.

2. Jordan got a temporary job (starting tomorrow) that has him working Monday to Friday until August. Although it will be a change to have him without days off during the week to accomplish things, I cannot tell you how excited I am to have him home on weekends and evenings for summer! When summer is over he goes back to shift work but we will definitely enjoy it while it lasts!

3. The boys have their "prepare for Grade 1" IEP (individualized education plan) meeting coming up. I am traumatized. Partly because it's always really hard, no matter how amazingly they are doing, to focus on the things they need help with. But mostly because my babies are going into Grade 1. WHAT?!

4. This afternoon I made the kids slushies. Nothing fancy - real lemon juice, sugar, and ice cubes in the blender. It was delicious. So delicious in fact that I thought "Hmm, this would taste good with alcohol". I got a stool so I could get right into the back of the cupboard and see what we had hiding in there. Then I made the mistake of looking at the clock: 3:25 pm. I decided to abstain and got down off my stool because I thought it was a little early. Now the slushie is all gone and I'm regretting it! Poor abandoned stool. 

5.When spray painting with cheap paint today, I dyed my hands and knees bright blue, and left my feet a pale enough color of blue it looks like I'm losing circulation at a rapid rate. This is after scrubbing. Guess I'm not wearing shorts for a while. 

6. I recently finished "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories" by BJ Novak. Ya, that BJ Novak from The Office. It was really funny, if a little "out there" compared to what I normally read. There was one story about a principal who decides to take math out of the curriculum because you never need all of the stupid math they teach you in school anyway. It was so well written and funny (and frankly made such perfect sense) that I have told several people about it. And now I've told all of you.

7. On a related note, I have "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" sitting on my nightstand. Like forever. I have read several different books since I started it, as I keep putting it down. It don't dislike it, but I obviously don't love it enough to power through. Anyone read it? Is it worth continuing?

8. I watched a two hour episode of Grey's Anatomy. I've watched that show off and on for years but hadn't watched a single episode of this season until I heard they killed off McDreamy. Three thoughts on the show: 1. HOW AND WHY DID THEY KILL OFF DR. DEREK SHEPHERD? 2. Man, I love Owen. 3. The blond from Mad TV was on it. (Sidebar: She also co-stars with Stephen Colbert in an alphabet video my kids used to love.) Anyway, I thought that was a weird casting choice. 

9. My kids are obsessed with colouring. OBSESSED. The bar at our island is constantly covered in papers and felts, as is the floor. I can't just leave it though, so several times per day I make stacks of paper and pick up felts off the ground. It drives me mental but it keeps them so happy so I have to suck it up.

10. I made myself an espresso today and for the first time in my life, I got the shakes from caffeine. I drink espresso regularly. I can also drink literally five cups of coffee in a row without noticing the caffeine effects - I really only stop drinking coffee because of the bladder effect. I've always thought people who don't have another coffee because "it gives them the jitters" were babies who needed to suck it up. Today I apologize to all the people I've silently said that about in my head. The caffeine jitters are weird!

11. Don't watch Orange is the New Black. Watch Wentworth instead. Aussie women's prison drama. Soooo much better.

12. We've always had a vacuum but it's rarely used because we have all hardwood floors that I've previously only swept. Mostly that was because our vacuum was a clunky hunk-o-junk, so I preferred using a broom, time consuming as it was. But after living with my sister and seeing her use her vacuum regularly on her hardwood floors, I realized it was time to buy one I would actually use. I researched and read reviews and finally made the investment. A whopping $59, and let me tell you that is the best $59 I've spent in a long time. That little dirt devil is a dream, and based on the price I'm going to say the best kept secret in the vacuum industry. Secret no more! That baby is the bees knees. Who knew a vacuum could bring me such joy?! That's a sad, sad statement.

So on that note, there you have it. I made it to 12 and I could easily keep going, but I think I'll stop after that riveting bit about my vacuum. Besides, that's life in a nutshell so I'm quitting while I'm ahead.

What's new with you?