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UPDATE: recovering from my week(s) and how Maisie’s birthday bash went (condensed version)

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in a bday present princess nightie (her bday dress was removed due to cake residue)- playing a guitar art project made by my cousin’s talented daughter. My new fave pic ūüôā

Had the HUGE baby Maisie birthday bash this week- over 60 people showed up to celebrate with us and stayed on until the wee hours.

Maisie was a perfect hostess- she was able to hang on til about midnight, without having any meltdowns and playing well with all the children and guests.

We had an adult cake smash fight at one point, when my cousin bet my mother a dollar to put the icing on my face… needless to say, about 6 people ended up with cake on their faces. It was hilarious. We are not a sedate, quiet bunch. My parties tend to be kind of raucous, to say the least…

We had a huge full sheet cake with bavarian cream filling- and I cooked a huge spread: 25 lb plus brisket, Persian food, collard greens, appetizers… and people also brought food and drink. Everything- EVERYTHING- was eaten. The only thing I had left after was bottles of vino, vodka, hard cider, beer, soft drinks, juices. I ended up having to cook again the next day, just so we’d have food in the house while we cleaned up.

It was more a party for adults, really… or one of the type of parties I remember attending as a kid with my folks back in the ‘old days’, with the parents having a good time and the children running about playing. Nothing fancy, just lots of people and lots of good food/drink.

My mother went back to Manila this morning, so it was also a sort of bon voyage for her- as well as my cousins’ 35th wedding anniversary.

I am completely EXHAUSTED now. We’re still cleaning up, even though the party was Saturday. I have to do what I can with my back… which feels much better. I am finally (knock wood) off the narcotic pain pills. The procedure seems to be doing what it was supposed to do.

Maisie now wants to sing “Happy Birthday” CONSTANTLY and clap her hands/say “YAY!” after. Poor thing sounds like a screech owl when she sings, so that’s pleasant… lol.

My house guest went back to Houston and now things are much more quiet. Maisie is a bit clingier now that the house is minus one more person, though. That is to be expected.

I bought a gym membership for the entire family this week, too. Hoping I am cleared to start using it soon. I also bought a Buti Yoga DVD set, which I am hoping to utilize as well. I am itching to work out and finally lose this baby weight.

My child has not been allowing me to do much. Her walking is now in full swing and you CANNOT.TAKE.YOUR.EYES.OFF.HER.FOR.EVEN.A.SECOND. If you turn your back on her, she will be climbing something or off in another room. This kid is FAST and my house is HUGE. I will have to call someone in to carpet the front stairwell soon. I swore I’d never cover the wood, but now I’ve changed my mind since this child is a climbing fiend.

I think I’ve spent the most time in years away from the internet/phone/macbook. She’ll steal my phone, my mouse, try to run off with the laptop- you name it, she’ll do it.

The ironic thing is, my house is actually CLEANER now after the party than it was BEFORE. I have no idea how that happened at all. We’re STILL cleaning up, as I said earlier. Maybe it’s all my time away from the internet- I don’t know. Maybe it was the new Dyson Animal I bought. That thing is Ahhh-MAZING. Dysons (and Shop Vacs) are a MUST if you have 3 Newfoundland dogs, like we do.

We WILL be baby proofing the hell out of this place this week. It needs it. I found her eating half of my brand new sugar scrub lip gloss this morning. The resulting farts and regurgitations were disgusting. I have no idea how she opened it- it was in a flat tin and she’s never seen me use it before. Scared the crap out of me!

One thing is for sure- the minute my head hits the pillow nowadays, all I want to do is SLEEP. That is exactly as it should be. I like the fact that I am busy from the time I wake until the time I go to bed. It feels GOOD (well, sometimes) to move. After spending most of the year moving about gingerly, I like this.

Probably not good for blogging, though.

I have an Ipsy review, 2 Birchbox reviews, a ton of food posts to get up and I have no idea how/when these will happen.

I haven’t even really opened/looked at her gifts. I also have a ton of thank you thingies to send out. They’re still (mostly) piled up on the daybed in my office.

Time for me to sleep now… *yawn*

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Part 14 of the Dumpster Diaries: Finishing the Back Room AND Bye Bye Dumpster! (plus other updates).

I *thought* I had a half finished blog post draft saved, but when I went to find it, it was gone.

It’s been SO BUSY around here that I have had barely enough time to think, much less write.

I am NOT going to post more pics of the back room til I get more decorating done- most people are shocked currently by the incredibly orange walls LOL! It has to be entirely finished to understand… I am doing a hippie dippy music theme melange in there. I feng shui’d the CRAP outta that room, to boot.

Here is a rundown of what happened:

~Finished the back room drywalling and painted the walls/ceiling.
~Added an area rug that the neighbors didn’t want anymore
~Moved the sofa bed from the front porch(!!) to the back room
~Assembled and set up the desk
~They took away the dumpster(and I miss it already)

We still have to:

~Finish decorating back room
~Move the rest of our clothes from the back room closet to the master bedroom walk in closet
~Get all of Sam’s crap that’s piled to the ceiling out of the dining room
~Hang the Ikea Kirp shelves for his video games and books
~Wait for the art to arrive from Thailand

What else I did (mostly purchases for back room):

~Ordered curtain panels from India

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

ordered 4 panels of these ganesha elephant curtains

~Ordered white wooden plantation blinds for the windows

plantation blinds

plantation blinds

~Ordered some awesome throw pillows for the sofa

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

I admit, I ordered this one because it appealed more to me than it would to my son

this album isn't his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

this album isn’t his fave, but I love the quirky cover art

The dumpster was taken away last Friday… I must admit, I am really sad to see it go.

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View from my porch… it was almost TOO full by the time they came to get it

bye bye dumpster...

bye bye dumpster…

We will probably be renting another one in a month when we start the downstairs bathroom renovations. This thing was almost TOO full by the time they took it back. R and the rest of the guys spent the last day filling it with refuse and junk from the basement and garage. They didn’t even bother telling me what they were tossing out- I told them not to.

Sam leaves tomorrow for the Pax Prime¬†convention in Seattle and will be gone for a week. My dad has cataract surgery tomorrow morning and will be spending the night here because it’s closer to his doctor’s. Connor and Maisie’s birthdays (and my dad’s) are coming up in the next 2 weeks- and school starts on the 8th!

I have to devote my time to finding birthday presents, planning parties, getting back-to-school supplies, AND CLEANING THIS F*CKING HOUSE UP! I am toying with the idea of hiring some of the cleaning out at this point.

2 of our Dyson vacuum cleaners decided to die within a week of each other. The last one started going out 2 days ago. This is not good when you have 3 giant, perpetually shedding Newfoundland dogs.

Also, last but not least, Maisie is finally starting to walk!

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Part 13 of the Dumpster Diaries: Getting the Walk in Closet Organized With A Fast Moving Toddler And Falling Short of Goals…

Today’s set of tasks seemed simple:

“Move clothes and makeup upstairs, put everything away, and clean up the mess in in there and my bedroom… plus get my bed linens washed.”

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everything from the closet has spilled into my bedroom

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the bed sheets need to be washed ASAP

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what awaited me on the counter

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piles of CLEAN laundry dumped by my sons (UGH) and needing to be sorted/put away by ME

Except I forgot one crucial thing: I have a crawling, curious cyclone of an 11 month old baby.

And OH, she learned to do this today, too:

Cutie pie

A post shared by Miss Maisie & Mommy (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

I got the closet reasonably organized while she napped. By the time she woke up and I was in the swing of things, all bets were off. If I put stuff away in drawers, she wanted to remove them from drawers. The dresser scarf FASCINATED HER and she tried to pull that (and the box on the dresser) off about 10-20 times. If I turned around, she was pulling shoes off the racks. C accidentally left my bedroom door open and I found her trying to climb into the bathtub.

“What could THIS be?”

“Let’s pull it and everything else out and check”

I swear, training puppies is¬†easier than human babies. Thank goodness she’s cute.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time. I think puppies are easier to train than people.

pulling the dresser scarf and box off for the 10th time.
I think puppies are easier to train than people.

When I sat to fold laundry and sorted her pile onto the floor, she tried to help, which was ADORABLE:

Maisie helps with her laundry #cute #adorable #sweet #cutebaby #baby #momlife

A post shared by Miss Maisie & Mommy (@missmaisiebabyfashionista) on

With the help of C, I was finally able to corral her long enough to get things put away. All the tools were brought back downstairs.

makeshift sink vanity

makeshift sink vanity

I hauled some of my makeup upstairs and constructed a sort of vanity over the sink- effectively KINDA disguising the old faucet. We can’t remove the damned thing yet because there’s no shut off valve under the sink ūüė¶ It was put in too long ago…

No, you can't see the faucet... shhhh... don' tell me!

No, you can’t see the faucet… shhhh… don’t tell me!

All the clothes that were in tubs were put up. I haven’t gone through anything in the dressers yet, because I’m not in the mood. This was so overwhelming as it is.

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I have a ton of vintage linens, which comes in handy for times like these

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my antique-ish piggybank collection

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my ‘helper’

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after throwing out so many clothes, I am kind of freaked out by how empty my closet is. I KNOW I have way more than this! WHERE IS IT?!

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my Louis Vuitton collection, up and away from people who might mistake it for trash. I really need to clean the leather on a couple of em.

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under the hamper: cleaning products that I need to have a strong male bring downstairs to be put away safely

In the end, I got about 75 percent of what I set out to do done, which I am ok with. The bedroom and bedding will be cleaned tomorrow or bust. I will also be sorting through all of my makeup downstairs and continuing to bring it to the closet.

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AFTER!

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MORE AFTER

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I couldn’t bear looking at the plaster damage by the light any longer- and we can’t spackle it til next week- my quick fix

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Part 12 of the Dumpster Diaries: NO MAJOR CLOSET RENOVATION HAPPENING- but We Got the Ghetto Walk In Closet Installed!

11880343_10153244967374024_8626816994711455902_n 11233773_10153244967354024_7552789740213235370_nI have to say: I am getting burnt out.

This has been the theme song for the kitchen to closet renovation:

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He had a hard time with the gas line- it was so old that the valve took a lot of work to shut off

We decided NOT to do a full redo on the closet… for a couple of reasons:

1. We’re freaking TIRED of living like this
2. We have no place to put our clothes
3. We discovered that our kitchen sink lines are SO OLD upstairs that there’s no turn off valve for the water!!! ¬†The main also is difficult to turn off and we don’t need the additional cost right now of a plumber.
4. We are going to do a REAL redo of the upstairs bathroom and this old kitchen NEXT YEAR and gut the entire thing- enlarging the existing bath and redesigning the walk in closet.

Anyway, so ghetto closet renovation is what we ended up with!

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My friends graciously came and removed the appliances, plus an old airconditioner and toaster oven- which was a great relief! I dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed the disgusting walls and floor… then we put down a large, almost new area rug that the neighbors didn’t want.

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here is the BEFORE- just to remind everyone

Of course, while putting up the closet system, ANOTHER thing went wrong when we discovered (or remembered) that the house’s chimney runs along the corner where the closet was going up. Luckily, he worked that out.

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A closet full of vintage fiesta ware in my pantry- yeah, my closet has a closet

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how disgusting is this? What it looked like after appliances left

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after washing walls and floors, he unrolls rug to cover the ancient linoleum

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Maisie in beast mode!

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helping Daddy install closet system

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Maisie checking out the new room

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the install

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the corner is where the house’s chimney is- and where we momentarily ran into trouble

AFTER!!

AFTER!!

Tomorrow I have to hang clothes, do laundry, put away stuff, bring makeup up, etc. R is back at work til Wednesday, so the big stuff will have to wait til then.


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Part 10 of the Dumpster Diaries: We Have Drywall UP AND Electricity Done!

the ceiling getting covered

Words cannot describe how happy I am that the drywall’s been installed and the electricity has been redone! R (with occasional help from the other guys and me) spent the entire day in there- from about 3 pm til nearly midnight.

the part of the ceiling with plaster damage is now covered!

The back room ceiling had plaster damage from an earlier flood in the upstairs bathroom and kitchen.

breaker box in my scary basement, next to my canning stuff. I don’t know which is scarier- the basement or the electrical in this house

R also added a breaker and isolated the room. That way, if someone trips a breaker in the kitchen (where it was hooked up previously), Sam’s internet show isn’t shut down. (He works online and does a live broadcast daily)

doorway to bathroom is going bye bye

One of the walls used to lead to the downstairs bathroom, but we covered that, too.

He hung a ceiling box where the old gaslight lines were

Wall ready for mudding!!!

Here are some other photos of the newly hung drywall:

Bedtime… so glad the ceiling and wall are done

he put the old light back just for now so that we could have light in there

ceiling and wall covering old plaster damage

ceiling completely hung

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Part 9 of the Dumpster Diaries: Less Dumpster-More Diary. Good News and Bad News…

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

Sam FINALLY agreed on the wall art

The GOOD NEWS:

I bought the ‘inspiration piece’ for the back room.

Sam is SOOO picky about the art I put on the walls and liked this one. He was worried it would¬†scream “I’m a little kid living at Mommy’s house!” or be too ‘busy’… he won’t like the fact that it’s going to be bigger than what he wants, but he gets no choice in that since he has no sense of scale.

This is hilarious and will tie in all the colors of that back room.

All the drywall, paint, and things (we think) that we need so far have been purchased, too.

$_12 (4)

I ordered this canvas print tonight from Thailand- was a good deal at $45US for a 3 ft print.

We found a light fixture in a burnished wood that we LOVED.

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude's office, I think

this is masculine and unusual enough for a dude’s office, I think

We also bought the paint at Home Depot- R prefers Behr products. The color we’re using is a bold orange for the walls- white for the ceiling.

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange

yes, the chosen wall color will be a super bold orange- and that gouge above the swatch is ready to be filled with drywall mud-

We installed a new electrical outlet and are running entirely new lines to the breaker box. All of the electrical will now have it’s own breaker in that room, which will safeguard Sam’s show if another breaker in the house pops.

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

this outlet is going to be near his new desk- the other outlets were further away and in weird places

drywall waiting to be installed over light fixture on ceiling

Now for the BAD NEWS:

After getting the cracks scraped out to fill and fix, the new electrical boxes installed, buying all the stuff, and putting up exactly HALF A SHEET of drywall, we discovered that the light fixture in the ceiling was connected to AN ANTIQUE GASLIGHT PIPE.

Our house was built in 1912 by a German wagonmaker and his family. 1912 is kind of late in my area for gas lighting, but he must have thought it was a cheaper option or something when he built this house.

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

ONLY half a sheet of the thinnest drywall was up and then we ran into a problem

It now requires a new thingamajig (don’t ask me the name of it, I don’t know) in order to connect the new light fixture.

see that pipe? It's for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

see that pipe? It’s for an old-timey GASLIGHT!

Plus Sam was doing his internet show, so we couldn’t turn off the electricity like we needed to on R’s last day off this week. Everything is on hold until next Wednesday (R’s next day off). Hopefully, we will be able to finish the drywall, plus mudding and sanding- and hopefully paint the new ceiling/walls then.

We have less than 10 days left of dumpster rental. I was hoping that all of this stuff would have been finished by now. Everything has been SO slow going.

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Part 8 of the Dumpster Diaries: THE BACK ROOM IS *FINALLY* EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!! Drywall starts TOMORROW!

getting MUCH more filled now

getting MUCH more filled now

After being pretty half-assed about the project this week, the males dove back in with less-than-gusto (but more than the usual half-assery).

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Hoping we get this project done and this dumpster full

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I threw away a perfectly good stainless trash can if anyone wants it

I¬†had a ladies’ ‘mom night’ on my porch last night with my cousin, her friend, and bottles of vino- which I sorely needed!¬†I probably could have done without the hangover the next morning, though. I don’t drink much and am a horrible lightweight.

My cousin and Miss Maisie

My cousin and Miss Maisie

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my little urchin in her fave place- the front porch

We lost my youngest son to a weekend away at his friend’s, which leaves just the remaining 2 (and me- kinda-since my back is on the fritz again). I am not going to lie, I’ve had to resort to screaming at this point to get anything done around here… I hate that. When I simply asked for others to help, they all ‘had things to do’.

 walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom


walls ready for drywall over the plaster- the former door once lead to the downstairs bathroom

No. FUCKING. Way.

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we're finally going to cover it with drywall

walled off the doorway to the downstairs bathroom about a dozen years ago and we’re finally going to cover it with drywall

In the end, it’s finally coming together. Thank goodness. The carpet in the back room is even clean enough now (for the moment) that Maisie could crawl around tonight and play while we discussed the future decor.

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a little bit of playtime with Daddy

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yay!

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the ceiling also needs drywall- a flood from the upstairs bathroom previously ruined the plaster

Tomorrow we go to Lowe’s and buy the thinnest drywall to cover the ceiling and back wall- and new lighting, new electrical boxes, mud, paint, primer- you name it.