Monday, July 29, 2013

Bathroom Upgrade: Rainwashed & Lightened

I'm so excited - I set out to redo a room - and I actually did it.  Finished it and everything.  (well, close enough).

We have a tendency to talk about things to death and never actually do them.  Sometimes because of budget, sometimes because of practicality,  sometimes because we are just lazy.  And I totally have project issues - I start on something, half finish it, move on, lose steam, get sad. 

So, I'm pumped I finished this, especially since this was a project all my own - no help from Tony.

 Hall Bathroom!  Smallest room in our house!  Take that!

When we moved in, this room was a peach/cream color.  I hated it so badly and itched to paint, so I decided to eventually paint it using a can we had gotten for some other room but ended up not using.  I know paint isn't that expensive, but I was trying to be frugal and use what we had.

It's kind of a ... poop yuck brown.  I was in denial for a long time, but really, it is - and it's in the bathroom.  You can see it in this old post from 2009 (ugh, my commentary is atrocious!) (still is!).  Going the cheap route hardly ever pays off...

But I lived with it for like 4 years before deciding something had to be done.  There were many other things I wanted to fix in that room too, so I set out to redo it all.  I've found that focusing my efforts on one room helps me concentrate - and projects only take like 6 months instead of years that way...

Here are the awful befores:

From move in day:

Nothing screams classy like shower doors and a Broadway stage light!

Oh, hips of 2007, I miss you.

Luckily, they had sort of upgraded the bathrooms before selling, with new vanities, sinks, faucets, and tile.  I am ok with all of those.  They aren't fancy, but they are not old or icky.  

After my mini redo a few years ago:

It's hard to get a good shot of a tiny room with no window...

We set about to remove that terrible light fixture.  This is the part that Tony (and my dad!) did help with - I don't do electrical.  Those lights would blind anyone in the bathroom and the mirrored backplate wasn't doing anyone any favors.

Apparently I never cleaned the mirror either...
Baby Harper! (this is like from, February)

Tony hung a new fixture we bought a few years ago for $20.  It's simple but modern and fits the space nicely.

However, the idiots who installed the other one were terrible handymen.  See that big hole in the wall?  Yeah, they messed up which side of the stud they put their box on, so they just made another hole, left that one gaping, and then put the whole ugly fixture over it all.  

Insert my dad helping us patch drywall....

And a royal mess.

The best change was paint.  I used Sherwin Williams Rainwashed (colormatched to Behr).  I love this color!  It is blue and beachy and grayish green, without being baby blue.  

(It's brighter in real life - I just couldn't get the right light in here - check out these pins to see it better)

Another huge difference?  We took off those awful sliding doors.  I mandated this when we had Harper so I could actually bathe her in here (it's still really hard since the toilet and the wall leave you little room).  The only bad part is the track.  It's drilled into the side of the tub, so we can't just remove it and leave the holes.  I've heard there is a patch kit - we just need to do that someday.  For now the track is still there, you just have to step over it.  

I love the new shower curtain.  It ties in all of the colors really well (Ross!).

I also learned the fine art of caulking with this room.  The areas around the tub and sink were pretty gross.

See here where it was just separated from the wall entirely??

I used the handheld tube of DAP Alex Fast Dry (found at Walmart - I liked to not have to use the caulk gun in this tight space) and used the taping method.  You line up Frog Tape on both sides of your area to caulk, run the caulk, smooth with a wet finger, then remove the tape immediately.  A nice clean line awaits you!  It was so easy and looked so good, I became a bit obsessed with caulking things.

Next I added some trim molding where the vanity met the wall.  Some of my old brown paint had gotten on the laminate of the vanity, and it just didn't look good.  The trim piece helped cover and make things look more polished.

I'm not in love with things like the knobs and towel bar and etc, but this was a minimal budget rework, so since those are nice enough, they stayed.  I kept a lot of the same decor too for the same reason, not because I'm so in love with it.  Oh the joys of staying within a (small) monthly budget.

I was pretty proud of myself for being able to semi-successfully frame out the mirror.  The old one was good enough - it just looked a little unfinished.  I've seen a million bloggers do this, so it's nothing special, but I was surprised it actually worked.  I used leftover trim we already had, cutting it just big enough to fit the perimeter and hide the bevel.  Since this is a hung mirror and not a permanently installed one, my method for attaching was suspect at best.

I put one just piece up against the hung mirror and leveled it, taping it on really well in place.  Then I glued (heavy duty Liquid Nails) down my other pieces around that one, using a T square thing (right?) to keep it level.  It worked, magically!  It's actually level and not crooked.  I did have one small issue with glue coming up too close under the edge that is reflected in the mirror, but it's not too bad.  Remember to paint your edges that will reflect!

I kept our dogs in the water collage.  It fits well enough and they are cute.

So there you have it.  A tiny room that took me upwards of 6 months to redo.  It functions as our hall and guest bath, so I'm glad it's not a ick brown cave anymore.  This look much more suits our style and I like to think our guests can now shower in peace.  If they don't mind a whale-covered spout.  Or a rubber duck or two.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Weeks and Months

Ok, so I know everyone is sick of hearing about my daughter turning one year old, the same thing a billion other babies do.  Sorry.  Can't be helped.

But just one more post about it then I am done - promise!

I took her last weekly photo this week - and actually this is the first one out of 52 where I couldn't get her to lay still.  Late mobility worked out well for me here!

I'm glad I took all of these weekly pics.  By using her crib sheet as my background, it was as easy as putting her in real clothes and laying her in her crib.  She always smiled for me (once she was able to!).  I'm glad I got to document her milestones and activities each week too.  But I'm also glad to be done with it!

I also took her 12 month picture.  It's funny - she went from having to be propped up in that chair to rocking it back and forth on her own.  I love these pictures and being able to see the bell curve of her chubby cheeks (big, bigger, big, smaller).  

I will probably keep taking her monthly picture in this chair, but just in regular clothes, as I am out of stickers and she keeps wanting to eat them anyway.  

All of her pictures are on the Baby Harper tab.  I hope to make a photo book out of all of these.  

(no one tell my future second kid I did all this, k???)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

To My Baby

Today, my sweet little baby turns one year old.  I cannot believe this day is here. I have a one year old.

But, just yesterday, you were this chubby, snuggly, finger-chewing, feisty little newborn.  You loved to eat, you slept like you had your own little internal alarm clock, and your hair twisted in one little curl above your forehead.  Your little foot turned inward and you hated to be swaddled up.  You rarely cried and we counted our blessings.


You grew so fast.  The days passed and we were overwhelmed with love.  

We learned about you and you learned you had us wrapped around your little finger.

You taught us patience.  You taught us joy in little moments.  You taught us how to live life in little bursts, fits and starts.

You taught me fear, a mother's fear - that gripping, consuming sensation of caring more for someone else than you ever have for yourself. 

But you also taught me joy.  Pure, uncomplicated joy.

There were days when I felt like I was doing it all wrong.  Days when I felt like I finally got it right.

There were days we cried together.  Days when I laughed uncontrollably with your shrill, piercing screech of happiness.

There were milestones reached and lessons for parents that babies take their own sweet time in how they choose to conquer this world.

Some days we played dress up. 

You learned to ham it up for mama's camera.

Some days were diaper days.

Or naked days.

Your personality burst forth and there was no holding you back.  

You ate anything I gave you and were most at peace with your fingers in your mouth.  You love tickles under your chin and watching your dogs run around.  

You found your voice and your rhythm, dancing to any beat and flapping your arms with excitement.  

And then, sweet girl, I woke up one day and you were grown.  


No one warned me it would happen so fast.

You started moving and shaking and never looked back.  

You baby cheeks and endless arm "links" began to fade, and I could start to see the little girl you will become.  

I didn't know it would happen so fast.  

You see, my little Harper, you will always be my little baby.  You will grow big and tall and confident and strong.  You will reach and reach and I will champion your every victory and cry with your every struggle.  I will celebrate your beautiful life each and every day.  One day you will be a big girl, a woman, hopefully a mom yourself.  I pray I can be there as you take every difficult step in life - a phone call, perhaps just a drive away.  You will grow and I will love you every moment.  

Your heart, and my heart - they are inextricably entwined.  

Yes, you will grow up.  But, just know:

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always.  As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

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