Cowgar Family Adventures

Monday, January 19, 2009

In General Life Update

Over the weekend we had our niece's 9th birthday party to attend. The family is doing well. We figured that sometime soon (maybe as soon as this weekend) we need to get together for a newborn photo shoot, so hopefully we will have an entry on the photo blog in the next 2 weeks.

We had a section of our piping to our washer break the other night. Right above that piece of drywall we just put up, so the drywall got wet, and the walls, and staircase as well. Luke is at Lowe's as I type this, picking up piping supplies to fix the leak, as well as picking up trim and tile for the bathroom project. I have an agressive schedule this week to finish the bathroom tile, but I just got a call from Luke that the trim tile we need 40 pieces of is low stock, and there is only 27 pieces there, I'm not sure how far that will get up around the edges, but we will see, and hopefully we get it finished this week.

Lilly had her 18 month checkup today. She is actually 20 months old, but we got behind last fall when school started and all the older kids needed sports physicals. She weighs 30 pounds 2 ounces, and she is 2 foot 9 inches tall. The doctor says she looks great, but if her weight continues to increase at the rate it did from the last visit to this one, and her heighth doesn't match it, then we may have a weight problem developing. I think she is gearing up for a growth spurt, and I'm sure everything will even up for her 2 year checkup...hopefully.

I think that's it for now. Hopefully I have some home improvement updates soon.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mini Home Improvement Projects

This week we have had below zero temperatures at night (-11.6 last night, without the wind-chill), leaving the house freezing cold. Our furnaces don’t work very well (yes we have two, since it is a duplex), so it is cheaper to heat the house with electric heaters right now. We are running everything we have, but it’s still cold. Our kitchen is blocked off by a big piece of fabric in the door, and the temperature in the kitchen now averages between 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit. We actually moved a heater in there yesterday, fearing the pipes would freeze. Today, the water to the dishwasher actually did freeze for a while. We have been doing mini weatherproofing projects around the house to try and block out any cold air we can. So far we have:

-plastic on both of our bedroom windows
-foam door to foyer in our bedroom
-plastic on both of the girls’ bedroom windows
-plastic on kitchen window
-more insulation in pantry since the drywall isn’t finished yet
-roll up fabric on floor underneath doors to stop airflow
-put a piece of drywall in the ceiling in the back staircase to stop some airflow

Needless to say, we haven’t made our trip to Lowe’s yet for the bathroom. It’s been so cold, and Luke has to fix his air compressor leak before we can get started anyways. It’s been so cold in the basement, that he has been avoiding it. Here's the drywall patch...

I am crafty after all...

I dove into another craft venture Monday night. We stopped at Pat Catan’s and got a few items to start making chain necklaces with beads and crystals and pretty things. I got enough beads to make two necklaces, just to see how I did. I modeled them after a necklace Luke’s sister made and gave to Lexi over the weekend. I don’t think they came out too bad, but I have to say the most expensive part is the beads, so I think I’ll be doing some online researching to see if I can find some in bulk for cheaper. Right now it looks like each necklace cost around $6.00 to make, and would probably retail for twice that. The two I made just have silver coated chain, and the beads actually contain Swarovski crystals, along with Swarovski crystal pendants on them. I placed a bead order to make a few for gifts, and a couple for the girls. My next purchase will focus back on candle-making though. Here's a few pictures of what I made!

Declutter/Organize Project 1: Finished Bedroom

Well I got the bedroom finished up Monday afternoon. I still have a ton of containers in there, but it’s school and crafting supplies, and at least I know what is in them! I also reorganized the top bunk in the girls’ room. There are lots of clothes and blankets, but hopefully in another couple years, I will have a massive yard sale of all things baby. Here are the after shots.

My de-cluttering project has kicked it in to high gear. I have made a deal with Luke, that any money he makes with fixing computers, photography, or selling his things, he can keep to buy stuff he wants (mainly lenses right now), and anything I make with candles, jewelry, babysitting, and selling my things will be used by me for my hobbies. He is running around the house finding all of his big-ticket items to sell on eBay or Craigslist, and I couldn’t be happier! Little things are still being stored in the foyer for a yard sale this spring, although I don’t know how much more room we can spare in there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our Snowy Adventure and some Crafty Inspiration

We looked out the window Saturday morning to find 7 inches of snow covering everything! This is the biggest snowfall we have had of the season, so I wanted to get pictures of the girls in it. We bundled them up and took them out for about a half hour. Lilly absolutely loved it. She couldn't walk very well, but she didn't care at all. Lexi just complained about being cold, and actually started crying towards the end. We had a lot of fun though. Later that day, we had Luke's dad's birthday party to go, where I've been influenced to get into some different crafty avenues...

Luke's sister has gotten into making jewelry, and his mom is crafty in every aspect, but right now she is knitting hats and scarves and other things. Both look easy enough to do, so I'd like to experiment with them sometime in the near future. I've been getting into candle making. We made a test batch of four 4oz strawberry scented candles made from soy wax. We just purchased everything at Pat Catan's, and gave it a go with baby food jars we have collected. It was very easy to do, but the only wick Pat Catan's had for soy wax candles doesn't have any type of a core in it, so after 13 hours of burning one, our wick curved and fell into the wax and put itself out. I have the other three to my MIL and two SIL's to see what they think. It cost us about $2.3oish to make, but ordering bulk from online, we can take that cost down to $0.80ish. So I am in the process of saving some money to make that happen. We'll see how that pans out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Declutter/Organize Project 1: Finished Living Room

We got the living room finished up last weekend. This is as good as it gets until spring hits and all those toys can go back into the sunroom. It will be our project this year to make that sunroom as weather-proofed as possible, so hopefully next winter we can keep it open all winter. It helps open the house up so much, and it keeps the living room de-cluttered. I’m still working on finishing the bedroom, Luke’s been making a temporary office downstairs in the dining room since it’s cold and cluttered in the big office upstairs, so things have been moving around to the bedroom some.

I am also going through baby clothes containers I have stored on the top bunk in the girls’ bedroom. I have 3 large containers and 3 boxes full of clothes that are too small for the girls. I plan to keep most since we aren’t finished having kids, but there are some things I am sure I can put in the yard sale pile.

We haven’t made it to Lowe’s yet for the bathroom supplies. We need to get to my dad’s house first to get our tile saw, and then we can start that project. Hopefully next week we can start work in the bathroom.

Here are the living room "after" shots, along with the "before" shot of the bunkbeds. I'll post after pictures of the bunkbeds when I post for the bedroom after this weekend.

A job change and a new baby Cowgar

I am officially a stay-at-home-mommy again! In the end, it all boiled down to the emotional strain on the family, since I have been home for two years. We did some extensive talking and decided it was worth a lot more for me to stay home than to stick at a crap part-time (no hours this time of year) job. They had wanted to register train me, which means I could have picked up hours doing mandatory cashiering, which I did not want to happen. My feet can’t handle cashiering. The budget will be tight, but we can manage, and so far this week I have been really focused on the house and getting stuff done.

On a side note, Jeremy and Crystal finally had the baby! Claire Marie was born Monday, January 5th, at 10:36AM. She was 8lbs, 1oz and 21” long. They went to the hospital since they were considered high risk, but the birth was routine, no complications, and they were discharged later that day. She did great until this morning, when we got a call that they were concerned with a choking episode she had this morning. They couldn’t get it completely cleared fast enough, so 911 was called and they took her up to Akron Children’s Hospital for observation. The doctors think she may have reflux, so necessary precautions are being taken to help combat this without needing medication. Hopefully she outgrows it really soon. We hope to see the family tomorrow for Luke’s father’s birthday party, but we are supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow tonight, and another 6-10 inches tomorrow, so I don’t know if the party will go on as scheduled or not. It’s coming down really good right now, and Luke is out taking some pictures.

Here is my favorite picture of Claire from the hospital, and the two pictures below are of the snow we had so far today, and Luke's artsy fartsy berry in the snow picture.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year...I still have a job!

I worked 5pm-9pm today, and went in a bit early to talk to HR about my hours. Apparently she lost the note I wrote her about changing my availability to Wed.-Fri. 5pm-10pm and anytime Saturday. I may have an occasional Sunday in there when someone goes on vacation in electronics, therefore, next week I get register trained. WooHoo! (insert sarcasm here) I also had a verbal warning for my attendance for me being sick before Christmas. It's standard protocal for retail. I remember being so mad at Lowe's for going over my attendance because I missed the first week and a half of work because of a surgical complication and was placed on bedrest. Retail has no heart, they don't care what a doctor says. Unless you are dead, your lack of attendance is counted against you. So I guess I don't get to be that full-time stay-at-home-mom again...just yet. I will stick it out since they graciously started me out at more than minimum wage when I started. It will be slow the next couple of months, so I shouldn't get too many hours.

We took all of our Christmas decorations down today and packed them in the basement. The house looks a lot cleaner now. Looks like I'll be working on the living room the next 2 days to keep my deadline. We also plan to do grocery shopping tomorrow sometime...and hopefully soon, we will head up to Akron General for a baby. As it slowly approaches Tuesday, I'm afraid that we will have to sit through an induction, and all the induction stories I have from friends are bad. Hopefully it won't turn out that way.

We are staying on budget so far this month. Hopefully that won't change after the grocery shopping trip tomorrow. I'll check back in when I have more exciting news to share.