Friday, July 9, 2010

Now I hope you can see why I haven't had time to update the blog!!

I will try and keep it more up to date from now on but I can't promise anything!

Just a few more projects to complete (new front door unit, rest of flooring, new stairs/landing carpet, new boiler to be installed and the outside of the house to be painted to name a few) and the we can enjoy the end results.

Mr H and I have decided to treat ourselves and our bedroom is going to get a makeover as it is the only room in the house not to have been touched since we moved in!!!

Somehow amongst all that we have to fit in a trip to Liverpool to see the grandparents and a 2 week holiday.

I am estimating that it may all be finished by about September if we are lucky - just in time for the nights to draw in and the weather to get colder!!!!

Moving up day at school

Both AJ and little Z spent the day at their new classes on Tuesday this week. Both are really excited about moving to a new class and little Z was most put out on Weds when she was dropped off at her normal classroom - she wanted to go to the new one and a full blown strop was only just very narrowly averted!!

I can't believe that my 'little boy' only has 1 more year left before he moves up to high school and my 'baby' is starting full time school in September!! Yikes - where are the years going to???

Project update - internal door replacement

We decided it would be a really good idea to replace every internal door with a new oak one. Wow, you know that dust I mentioned, well boy has that got everywhere!!!! The doors are now up but we have to wait for our decorator to come back and varnish them all. In the meantime, all you can hear in our house is "don't touch the door", "move away from the doors", "stop swinging round that .... near the doors" etc. They are untreated and therefore stain really easily as the conservatory doors proved when they were hung!! Little Z's fingermarks were nearly sealed in for ever more!

Project update - the electrics

We have had a large number of the internal lights replaced with new modern ones. Outside has been lit up with a number of new lights and replacements to some existing 'ugly' ones. Mr H has lights in his loft so he can see better how much rubbish he really has stored up there!!

The simplest toys are often the best fun....

Little Z had been bought what is best described as a ribbon on a stick - similar to the kind gymnasts use in floor competitions. She spent hours playing with this and as you can see, was quite handy with it the moment she picked it up!!

As the weather has been getting so much nicer...

Saturday mornings have turned into a family outing to watch AJ at footy practise. We take along coffees, a picnic rug and entertainment and Mr H and I actually get to sit down together (as in next to each other) and gasp - actually talk to each other for an hour!!!!!

Little Z enjoys taking control of the camera and here are some of her better offerings!!

It's that time of year.....

School sports days!!! Both children were excited and Daddy and I dutifully attended both days. AJ did really well and his team won their relay race. He also took part in the voluntary long distance race which was 2 circuits of the school field (all credit to him as that is quite a big field!) and finished very respectively in the middle of the pack.

Little Z was determined to 'run as fast as I can Mummy' and bless her, so she did, winning her pre-school flat race. She was so proud and excited as was Mummy who was cheering her on with so much enthusiasm that the camera wasn't even focused on little Z so we missed capturing the winning moment anyway!!

Developing fencer(s)

AJ is proving to be quite adept at fencing and has entered into a few competitions. He has only been fencing since Sept 09 and is showing real promise. We arranged to get him his own set of equipment before the latest tournament and he has been practising with Daddy since (as Daddy also is quite nifty at fencing too!).

Budding ballerina

In TT week, Mrs H spent a week in Liverpool at Grandma's house and we visited the family in Altrincham. Thank you to Cousin A who kindly gave little Z a ballet dress and some leotards. She hasn't been out of them since and I am sure you will agree, she really looks the part (and a lot older than 4!!!). I promise everyone that I am going to do my best to get her enrolled in dance classes in September!

Project update - the hallway

Next on the schedule was the hallway. Now much as Mr H and I are capable of picking up a wallpaper paste brush or paint brush - this is one area that I simply refused to consider and we were always going to 'get a man in'. Enter Barri - fab decorator who literally got stuck in from day 1. Again the results have transformed the hallway and we are really pleased.

Project update - the bathroom

This is one of my most favourite improvements we have done so far. We had the services of an excellent plumber Paul who allowed me to design what I wanted and then carried it out for me. What a welcome relief to have someone so accomodating to let me do what I wanted in my house!! The results are fab and I am so pleased with the bathroom - shame me and Mr H don't actually really use it and the children and visiting Grandparents are the ones who benefit the most (however this has not bothered me enough to consider getting anything further done to our en-suite!!).

In the midst of all the chaos....

AJ and little Z have actually been quite laid back about the upheaval going on in their home. Mostly they like to get on first name terms with the tradesmen working in the house and enjoy having chats with them upon their return from school!!

Project update - the decking

Whilst the kitchen and flooring were being completed the outside space was getting a bit of a makeover as well. The front garden had already been landscaped so it was the turn of the back of the house. A new decking area was constructed and Mr H and I got our hands dirty and built the children a new wooden swing set (don't believe any instructions that say it only takes 2 adults 2 hours to construct - they are lying!!).

Project update - the flooring

This has been one of the most labour intensive 'improvements' for me and Mr H. The 'hardwearing, industrial strength' flooring actually scratches if you so much as look at it! We have had to stick protective felt pads to the bottom of every piece of furniture and that is after we have gone through the initial cleaning process.

Once the plywood base has been laid and the flooring finally put down, we (yes Mr H and I) have to go through a process which takes about 3 hours and which includes mopping with special solution to strip excess adhesive, scrub to lift the aforementioned adhesive, clean, dry and then apply two coats of glow polish (in opposite directions) and then leave to dry overnight!!!

The results are impressive but we didn't realise there would be quite so much manual labour
involved on our behalf (and it has to be repeated every 6 months!!!). The whole process has meant that our formal dining room has been used as the main store room for all our belongings out of every room and has resembled something out of Steptoe and Son for the past 4 months and still does!!!!

Project update - the kitchen

The kitchen is really coming together and we are only waiting for the sink granite worktop and the installation will be complete. Mr H and I have some decorating to do but the major work will be finished.

OK I really have been slack about updating this blog

I do have a perfectly good excuse in that the house improvements have taken up every spare minute of my time when I am not in work (and a fair amount of work time as well!!!) If I haven't been deciding, planning, calculating, then I have been querying, chasing, complaining, paying, collecting, shopping, researching and generally stressing. BUT - it has all been worth it and whilst we are still in the midst of it, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel (if you can see the light through the layers of dust on the windows)!!

By the way, isn't dust an amazingly resilient by-product of home improvements - it gets everywhere, it looks lightweight and insignificant but takes an age to get rid of completely and just when you thought you had got rid of it, you find a load more when you move an item!!!!!!