Friday, July 19, 2013

Woodmill Drive: Before and After

I love before and after photos of people's homes. And so many projects that we completed at our home in  Fishers I wished so badly that I had taken a photo of what it looked like before.  Alas, I was never that diligent.  What I do have are photos of our home when we were house hunting and the photos of our home our realtor took when we put the house on the market.  It isn't as detailed as having a photo of every project we did on the house - but it's good enough for me to have memories of all we accomplished!

Before:


After:
 
We didn't do much to the exterior of the actual home but we did spend a lot of time building up our flower beds, planting new flowers and adding paver stones around the front flower beds.

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In the dining room we put in laminate floor (thanks to the Jansen's help), replaced the chandelier, painted and put up wall paper.
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 In the family room we replaced the carpet, painted (which included the ceiling, baseboards, and replacing all of the light switched from beige to white).
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In the kitchen we replaced the light fixtures, replaced all the appliances, replaced the flooring and painted.
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In the backyard we planted two trees (one for Lucy, one for Hank), built a vegetable garden, and built up our garden beds around the house and deck.
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The downstairs bathroom was the saddest room to leave because it was everything I ever wanted in a bathroom and we only got to enjoy it for about a month before selling the house.  This is one of the few projects we hired out help on.  My Uncle did pretty much all the work in the bathroom for us- replacing all the fixtures, the mirror, the countertop and the toilet, and putting up wainscoting. (He also helped us repair a ton of other random broken things in the house which we were so thankful for because right after he finished we found out we would be moving!). I was in charge of painting and picking everything out :)

I didn't get any other before shots of the house, but below are pictures from the upstairs as we left the house.
Master Bedroom and Bath:
 In the entire upstairs we painted all the walls, ceiling, trim, replaced all the light switch plates and replaced all the door knobs from gold to brushed silver.  We also replaced all the carpet, although we didn't really get to enjoy it because we did it the week before we put our house on the market.  Boo.
 Hank's Room:

 Kids Bath:
 We actually did almost nothing to the kids bath.  Not even paint the walls.  Just something we never got around to!
Lucy's Room:
 This house will always have a special place in our hearts.  We brought a puppy home to it, and two babies, had a number of parties and celebrations, and hosted even more Bible studies.  We learned a lot about landscaping and taking care of a home (and what's easier to hire out vs do yourself) and grew up a lot in general. 

Hotel Living

 I meant to do an update mid-way through our stay at the hotel, but despite sitting in a dark quiet room every day for at least an hour while the babies napped, I somehow never got around to it.  So here is a post with probably way too many pictures, highlighting our first few weeks in Akron and what is what like living in a hotel for 3 weeks.

One of the first places we went to was the +Akron Zoo.  One of the fun parts of moving to a new town is getting to explore the city as tourists.  While there isn't a ton to explore in Akron, the zoo is a cute little spot in town that provided for a great day out with the kids.

  One of the tricky parts of moving to a new town is figuring out the best kid spots.  I found myself spending much of my free time trying to figure out what exactly moms with young children do here in Akron.  None of the YMCA's here have outdoor pools (what!?!?) and I couldn't find any information about splash parks in the area (despite the fact that there is one probably every 2 miles in Indy).  I did find that one of the neighboring towns has these cute little "wading pools" - basically small baby pools for kids 9 and under to swim in.  These pools are free and are actually perfect the my kids considering we would probably spend most of our time in the baby pool at the YMCA anyway.
 We also went to the library several times for a few free activities and then one day I decided we'd go out and get some new toys at walmart for our activity.  Surprisingly, while I feel we have too many toys in our home, I did realize that one bucket of toys and one bucket of books is not going to cut it when it comes to entertaining a 3 and 1 year old. 
 Some of our purchases: play dough, bubbles, candy land and swim toys.
 Here is what our sleeping arrangements looked like at the hotel- Hank not only slept in a big bed, he also shared a room with Lucy... quite a jump from sleeping in his own room in a crib back at home. The reason for the move - Hank had been waking in the middle of the night screaming crying and since we couldn't just leave him to cry at the hotel, we figured it was easiest to comfort him in a bed (rather than getting him in and out of the pack n play and rocking him all night).  More on this later, but he basically got into the habit of waking once in the middle of the night, during which I would go in and end up sleeping with him and then he would always wake once mid nap, during which I would go in rub his back for 5 minutes and then he would continue to sleep. 
 He also woke pretty much every day at or before 6:30am (I usually wouldn't get him till 7:15/7:30am at home) so we spent most mornings trying to stay quiet in Ben and my room watching PBS kids until Lucy woke up.  This sleep arrangement was not ideal, and I could tell Hank was cranky and over tired most days (many times falling asleep while we were driving) but unfortunately no matter how much you try you just can't make an 18 month old sleep.
 Another outing we did was to Hale Farm which is basically like a smaller Conner Prairie.  This was pretty fun, but probably not some place I would go back to with our kids being so young.
Staying in a hotel with a 1 and 3 year old and a dog for 3 weeks had a lot of pitfalls - toddlers are very loud (and I'm assuming annoying to other guests), there isn't much space, and it's difficult to get outside (especially when you live on the second floor and especially when you have to take the dog out.  I've always thought that we could live in a smaller space and on less, but I'm realizing there are a few things that are just not worth the sacrifice and we need more than a 2 bedroom "apartment" with no outside space in order to thrive as a family.  A combination of the tight quarters, the heightened rules (don't jump on the floor, stop screaming, don't knock on other peoples doors), and the lack of support and community led to probably some of my worst mommy moments.  I was starting to go a bit crazy towards the end, but tried to take lots of deep brothers and appreciate the good things we had going for us.

Despite all of the above, we did have a pretty sweet set up.  Our food and lodging were paid for while we were in temporary housing, so one thing I didn't have to worry about was meal prep, cleaning, or any of the other household things we moms try to fit into the day while watching our kids.  We ate breakfast at the hotel every morning, the kids and I would go out for lunch or pack a lunch (it was fun to try out lots of natural/organic groceries while we didn't have to pay for it!) and then we would go out for dinner once Ben got home.  We tried to make the most of our situation and try out all the local favorite restaurants.  I would say we did a pretty good job of this, but there were also many times when time/hunger/and our sanity got to us and we would just run through the McDonald's drive through and grab something fast to eat.  Getting free meals is sweet and would be a great time to try out all the fancy restaurants, but taking a 1 year old and a 3 year old out to eat just isn't worth the hassle most of the time!
And another advantage of your entire family being up before 7am is getting to go out for breakfast before church (and still be on time for church)! This is something we never would have accomplished in Indy.
On this night we went to a little food truck rally where 7 different food trucks were parked at a park.  It was great food, the kids got to play and we made a pit stop at the best little mom and pop ice cream store on the way home. Yum!
These next couple pictures are from an afternoon Hank and I spent together while Ben took Lucy to her first movie (I got movie tickets for Ben for Father's Day). A few things Hank loved about the hotel were the rocks surrounding the parking lot and the construction that was going on next door... every day we would have to walk over and see the trucks.
While Ben and Lucy were gone, Hank found Lucy's paci and walked up to me like this... I was cracking up laughing! He looks just like Lucy did 20 months ago!
Lastly, a few shots from the hotel... we made a lot of forts...
and spent a lot of time playing in the fenced-in court yard (which was nice to take Ruthie to every once in a while)...