It’s a President’s Day Miracle!

This was the scene today at our house when Cortney came home from work for lunch. That is the UPS freight guy bringing us our President’s Day gift: Ed’s furniture!

Yes, it’s all still in boxes in the garage, so you’ll just have to be patient to see what it looks like all assembled and in place.

I had the day off today for mid-winter break, so I cleaned everything that I could out of Eddie’s room and made piles of heavy stuff for Cort to bring downstairs. Now it’s in Cort’s hands. He is in charge of the heavy lifting and cleaning the carpets and then the assembly of the furniture.

I think he’s almost as excited as I am about all this new stuff, so he will probably make good on getting some (or all) of that done within the next week…and you KNOW I will keep you posted with pics!

Until then…happy President’s Day!

Prenatal Home Chores

Lots of people have been asking us how things are coming with getting ready for Baby Sluiter to arrive. Do we have the nursery done? Have we shopped for baby furniture? Have we started on the unfinished rooms downstairs? With only five months until my due date, you would think this overly prepared, list-making, organizational freak would have all of those things checked off and ready to go.

In actuality, the answer to ALL of those questions is…no.

We DO however have a list (see…I DO have a list) of Prenatal Home Chores…things we would like to see done BEFORE our new resident moves in. And we HAVE started those.

Last weekend, while being snowed in, I tackled the downstairs closet while Cortney built us some new bookshelves for the downstairs family room.

Don’t get me wrong, I DO love organization, but I underestimated the amount of crap I had jammed into that closet. That look on my face was NOT staged. That was me mid-whine.

I did get it done that afternoon…with room to spare! This was the important part. I was hoping there would be some room to move stuff in from…well…you will see if you keep reading.
Cort got the bookcases together and put into place. The stuff on them isn’t “right” yet, but that is a job for me…later. But we now have room for more stuff. The goal is to make the family room more kid-friendly. We used to have shelves of 1000’s of CD’s sitting there just waiting for a toddler to yank from the shelves. Not so good. Now, we will hopefully be able to put kid stuff like books on the bottom shelves, and non-kid things, like records and such on the higher shelves.
The next task is the nursery. Yeah…this is it right now. Not good.
It’s basically a hodgepodge of crap that we don’t know what to do with. In the beginning it was a spare room/office. Now it is a dumping ground/ironing room/storage for off-season clothing room/baby gift storage. In short, it’s a headache. Now you know why I had to clear space in the downstairs closet. I need room to pack our crap. It’s probably not surprising either that I keep the door to this room CLOSED.
So our goal in the next couple weeks is to clear out this room of everything NOT baby-related. After that, we can tackle the two unfinished rooms (another bedroom and a bathroom) in our basement. Can we do it all in five months? I guess that really IS the question!

Friends, Meet The Patio. Patio, Meet the Friends

Today Phil and Liz, Jer and Tonya, and Mat came over to check out the patio and see how it sat before they had to head back to their respective states. Liz and Tonya thought the chairs were comfy enough to sit in. And Cort, Jer, and Mat found the patio quite roomy and a perfect spot for a cold beer on a hot day. Ah, summer! Good times!

Shots and Cement

No one was spared any excitement today! The morning started with Louis’s yearly trip to the vet! Doesn’t he look excited?

The vet was very impressed with Louis’s good behavior during his examination. He didn’t even hiss or cry when he got his shots! So now he is all caught up on his rabies shot, so he can bite you and you’ll be fine. Fun times!
Equally as fun is the fact that cement was mixed and poured today! Look at all those bags of cement waiting to become a part of our home! All in all 12 94-pound bags of cement, 2 1/2 yards of gravel, and 7 beers were used to make our cute little patio.
Cortney took a half day today to accomplish this huge feat. He didn’t do it alone, though! My dad, who also took a half day, came over with all the proper equipment…including my grandpa Riemersma. They developed quite a nice assembly line: Grandpa mixed, Dad transported the cement from the mixer to the patio hole, and Cort shoveled and spread the dumped cement.
That’s a whole lot of work being dumped!
But it was all worth it! Look at that smooth -looking patio!
Cortney finally sent my dad home around 9:30 tonight, and came in himself around 10:00 and took a shower and drank a beer. Big day! However, as you can see below, just before I took this picture of him finally relaxing, I reminded Cort that now he can get started on finishing the basement! Yeah!

Framing It In!

Even the rain couldn’t stop the Patio Project from moving forward today! My dad was over today around 11:00 am and he and Cort went to work! First they broke up the little cememt pad that was original to the house. Then they put in two frames for two cement pad next to each other. I’m told this will provide a place for the cement to shift so that, theoretically, the cement won’t crack.
This is the last step before cement will be poured, hopefully on Monday! If the weather holds this week, we will have a patio by next weekend!

A Water Snafu

As you know, we have been SLOWLY working on creating a patio behind our house off downstairs slider. Today my dad came over and was prepared to help Cort start framing off our patio preparing it for concrete. They ran into a slight snafu…standing water. Remember all that rain we’ve had in the past week? Apparently we now have quicksand in our backyard. If we went ahead and let it dry and put concrete over it, eventually the clay under the patio would still collect water, it would freeze in the winter, and we would have a cracked patio on our hands. Not so wonderful.

As a solution, my dad found out about tiling–basically putting a big tube under the concrete that has lots of holes in it to soak up the excess water. This tube is connected to a series of more tubes that drains the water out past our yard into the woods. The tubing was cheap, but it did mean a bunch more work. While Cort went to Lowes for tubing, my dad dug the whole trench. Yeah, he’s a machine. There he is taking a Sprite break on our deck. Hey dad!Once dad had the trench dug, they put the tubes in it and Cort worked on filling it all back in. Now he just has to make the lawn pretty again. Oh, and wait for the water to dry up in the patio area so he can bury the tiling tube.
Yup, we are watching water dry here at our house. Seeing as it took about a month for the melted snow to dry up back there, I am not holding my breath for the patio to be done by our party in two weeks…but you never know! If we get some nice, dry days, you all may be sitting on the finished patio after all. Otherwise you will be keeping the small children out of the quicksand. Either way, it will be entertaining!

Sand in the Hole

As many of you know, this has been the scene in our backyard for quite some time (well, at least seven months). There has been talk of a patio under our deck for awhile now, and many of you ask how it’s going. We always chuckle, because this is how it is going. However, Thursday, something miraculous happened. Cort got 5 yards of filler sand delivered to our house! He stopped by the place on Waverly across from Ice Cream Junction, and found out it was far less money than he origianlly thought it would be, so Thursday night, as I sat in the garage, up drove a big truck and dumped a load of sand in the unfinished part of our lawn.
Clearly Cort was excited about the new chore he had of moving the sand to the back hole.
Whew! Hard at work! It’s mostly filled now. With the rain we got over the last couple days, Cort is waiting for it to become less soupy so he can smooth it out and fill in more if it has settled.
The next step will be framing it in and then my dad will come over and mix up some concrete! People, we may have a patio for the June 29th party after all! Maybe we will have to change it from a graduation party for me to a patio completion party for Cort! Stay tuned!

A Dash of Color

This week being spring break for me, and with the Sluiters not into traveling over spring break, I needed a project…er…I needed a project to direct. After staring at our kitchen walls for a few weeks, I decided they needed some color…some PUNCH! So Cort and I went to Lowes and for a few more weeks, little color samples stuck to the walls. Week by week the number of those samples decreased, until we had our color: Hubbal House Parajarito Red. So Sunday night I cleared out the kitchen and Cort taped to avoid my messy painting technique getting on the rest of the kitchen.
Did I mention I hate heights and climbing? Oh, and most of our kitchen is high up…I think Cort ended up doing more than he planned on MY project!
But I think it turned out really well! With my taste for color and Cort’s excellent handy-man skills, we hammered it out Monday night. Nice!