Spring Break 2019

Sorry I have been so MIA lately! We were in LA and AZ for “spring break”. The boys’ spring break isn’t actually until the end of April since theirs always falls on Passover, but we decided to go away at the end of March instead so that we don’t miss Passover. It was so nice to get away from the cold here in Chicago. The boys had a blast seeing my family in LA and swimming throughout the entire day in AZ, and they did amazing on the plane which is all I could ask for.

The week before we left for our trip, we got a new front door, and the week we got back from our trip, David installed a new backdoor.  Once I am settled back into our routines I will show you the new changes.

MIA

You guys, it’s been about two weeks since I gave an update. It’s not that there hasn’t been any progress.  David installed the hardware and the light fixture in our laundry room and I will post about that soon.  But,  all of a sudden the season has quickly changed from Fall to winter, and with the snow and coldness, I needed him to clear out the garage so that I could park in there.

To be honest, I haven’t been too motivated to write or even read the blogs that I try to keep up on.  Not sure if I have mentioned this here or not, but I am from Los Angeles. I was born and raised there and lived there until I got married in 2011. I grew up in a suburb called Calabasas which is really close to Thousand Oaks.  The horrific shooting that occurred last week just put me in such a funk.  Between that and the shooting at the synagogue, it was just getting a little depressing looking at happy Instagram photos and reading blog posts about recipes and beauty and fashion while so many people were suffering.  I totally get that you have to live your life and unfortuntely these disgisting events are becoming the norm here, but I think that these two specifically hit home to me since my kids go to a Jewish preschool and since T.O is my home.

Then the devastating fires started.  It was heartbreaking to watch the news and read about the “Camp Fire”, but then the “Woolsey Fire” started.  I am so thankful that all of my family is safe, but it was really scary that they all needed to evacuate and to see the damage that has been done to my hometown.  My sister lives in Malibu and she still can’t go back to her house. It all just made me feel so helpless being so far and not being able to do anything. It also made me feel extremely unmotivated to do anything on the computer except for pay bills and check some emails.

Now that things have somewhat settled down, we have a very busy and fun weekend coming up and an even busier week next week! It’s Eli’s 4th birthday party on Saturday, and we are so excited that my dad is coming into town to celebrate.  He turned 60 today, so we will celebrate him too! Next week we have E’s birthday celebration at school, and then his actual birthday Wednesday, Thanksgiving on Thursday, and my family Hanukkah celebration on Saturday! Oy.

So bear with me as I am slow on the updates these days, I promise there will be more soon.  David is taking the week off so I am putting his butt to work!

Our Almost Flood

Living in the Midwest, we have some crazy weather.  I love it because you never know what you are going to get.  The weather report can say rainy all week, and we are surprised with sun…or vice versa!

Last night we had some crazy rain, but not really anything we aren’t used to.  At about 10 PM our power went out which was so annoying.  All of our devices had about 10% battery except for mine, so between that and no TV, what were we supposed to do? I decided to brush my teeth and go to sleep but as I was brushing my teeth it dawned on me that I hadn’t heard the sump pump go off for a while.  Ours is super loud, so you can hear it from the basement all the way to the top floor. I mentioned it to David and he jumped up as if I told him our house was on fire, and ran to the basement.  He soon sent me a picture that sure enough, the backup battery was not plugged in and was dead, so there was no back up and the water was filling up quickly.

For those who don’t have sump pumps, if they stop working, and the water fills up, you can most definitely expect some flooding.  Well, ours was just about full, so David called his dad all the way in Oregon to figure out what the heck to do. The power wasn’t expected to come back on until after midnight, and the rain wasn’t getting any better.  David got a bucket, and literally started filling it with water to avoid the sump pump to overflow.  He filled over 3 buckets, and saved the night because we didn’t have any flooding. Phew!

If we learned anything from this event it’s that a. always make sure your backup battery is working b. have working flashlights c. maybe make sure at least one cell phone has at least 70% power in case of a real emergency or longer term power outage

So fortunate for my spur of the moment thought,  because the last thing I wanted to do or spend money on is more basement carpet.

Bye Bye Spiders

My family starts to arrive tomorrow to celebrate Dax’s first birthday! I still am in such disbelief that he is going to be one.  This year has been one of the craziest of my life and I really think that I deserve a celebration more than Dax does- sorry Daxy!

Before all of the chaos happens, I thought I would share a basement update.  With the weather changing to 95 degrees and humid- we are seeing a lot more bugs around here. Specifically- spiders. I absolutely hate spiders, and it’s shocking Eli does too since “Itsy Bitsy” is his favorite nursery rhyme.

My friend here has serious arachnophobia, so she told me about this man who apparently is a bug guru. He can smell your house and tell you what bugs you have. He came over last week and he is quite the character. I kind of want more bugs just so I can hang out with him again. He walked through our entire house and sprayed inside and out in all of the places where Dax wouldn’t be able to get to. When he took a look at the basement he commented on our open wall.

We had a flood in our basement around when we first moved in. We got everything fixed properly, but David decided to save money and patch up the dry wall himself. Go figure, right? We obviously have had so much going on, so fixing the wall just didn’t seem important and we have had opened walls ever since. The open walls also mean many spiders according to the bug guy. He informed me that he could spray and spray and spray but until that wall is closed off, there’s no way the spiders will stay away.

David got a ton done this weekend- all of our closets have doors now yay!!!! There’s obviously still major projects and minor details too but we thought it was time to finally close up the basement walls. It didn’t take him long, and I feel so much more comfortable knowing the spiders will stay away for the most part now!

Obviously we still need to mud, sand, paint etc, but the most important part is done so that’s what counts- for now!

Wallpaper Dilemma

Before our contractors were finished here, they started working on Eli’s wallpaper in his big boy room. They noticed that it was bubbling up a bit, so they decided to stop until the weather became warmer.  Apparently freezing cold walls can mess up wallpaper installation, who knew? Our contractor told us to call them once it got warmer so they could finish the project.

I mentioned this week, that we decided to make Eli’s new room our next priority, and that meant finishing up the wallpaper install. Instead of calling our contractor, we decided to look for a professional wallpaper installer since there were more projects in the house that will eventually need wallpapering.  This way we could test them out and see if we wanted to hire them again in the future.  After receiving a few quotes, we were shocked with how much it would cost to do a tiny portion of a room.  I looked on Thumbtack and TaskRabbit, that was a no go.  So, our next best option was…David.

David thinks he can do everything, and he can, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can do everything extremely well. Cough cough closet cough cough. He was convinced that he could do this project too.  So after searching Pinterest, watching some YouTube videos, and reading some articles, he decided to do it himself.  I was super nervous considering wallpaper isn’t cheap, but if he thought he could do it, I trusted him.  Oy.

After we purchased the materials, it was time to get to work.  As David was setting up, he noticed that the contractors completely screwed up the wallpaper. They didn’t cut correctly- you are supposed to leave an extra two inches on the top and bottom. They didn’t line it up well according to the pattern, and the seams didn’t look good (which could be weather related).  David had to work some magic to make the remaining wallpaper fit properly. He had some issues with creases, and the seams, but overall it looks really good.

Because of the botched cut job, there wasn’t enough wallpaper to cover both the top and bottom.  We had to choose if we wanted the top of the wall to have “wall” showing, or the bottom.  We decided to leave room at the top, because we can always add crown molding to cover up the cutting flaw. Yes, this will take up more time and is essentially another project, but I think crown will look so good in this room!

Besides the top having some wall showing, you would think that a professional installed the wallpaper, so that is great.  Would I allow David to do it again, eh probably not, but it saved us some money in the meantime, and now Eli’s room is that much closer to being completed!

Big Boy Room Progress…Kind Of

Guess what?! The pantry floors are done.  Woohoo!!! Can’t wait to show you the finished product, but incase you all were wondering, Eli’s big boy room has not been touched since November.    This room has served as my temporary room while David was living in the basement, to my closet, to David’s closet, to storage, etc.

Obviously I love Eli more than anything, and want him out of his nasty temporary room, but it is just not a priority for us right now.  We discovered that it is really expensive to get wallpaper installed on the North Shore, so our contractor told us that they would install the wallpaper for us.  So great of them, but the only problem has been that the weather has been so freaking cold, that the walls are cold which is making the wallpaper bubble up.  They installed one little piece before they realized what was going on and decided to stop until the weather warmed up.  Well, now the weather is warm ( I mean how to we go to getting a foot of snow to 60 degrees?)and I am not sure when they are returning to our house.  Hopefully soon because I can’t wait to see this wall finished.  It looks amazing so far!