Family, The Grand House

Daddy’s Little Sidekick

Guess where Mark and Henry spend most of their father-son bonding time?

Yep, you guessed it…Home Depot, Lowe’s and Busy Beaver.

Hank the Tank loves going to the hardware store with his dad…at least that’s what we think. We’ll continue to drag him there until he starts to talk and tells us otherwise. 🙂

Mark is prepping our Victorian house this weekend for the new windows that are coming.

My dad is going to help, and those two will have some “guy time” which consists of donut and hot dog breaks between working. Ha!

Awesome throwback pic of Mark’s beard!!

Henry and I will be hanging together which is our very favorite thing to do.

And I don’t care if people think I share too many pictures of my baby…how can I not? LOOK AT THAT FACE!!

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The Grand House

We almost power washed our kid.

Hank got this new kick ass stroller (which is nicer than my car) and we’ve been spending most of our time outside!

We visit Dad while he works on the new house at least 5 times every weekend.

Last Saturday and Sunday, Mark power washed the new brick addition and the front facade of the house.

I told him to be extra careful because he is not allowed to fall off the ladder or scaffolding because I am not raising this baby by myself. 🙂

Mark’s first attempt at power washing didn’t go well because the machine he rented wasn’t strong enough…he said he could rinse Henry off with it. Ha!

He got a stronger one and blasted away.

Next step is to order windows…we’re getting new ones that look like the old original ones to go with the feel of the house…can’t wait!

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The Grand House

Major Milestones

We’ve hit some pretty big milestones this week…with Hank the Tank and with the new house!

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Our big boy has figured out how to roll over.

Now, he won’t stop. Put him on the floor and the kid will roll to the next room…or under the table…or anywhere else to freak us out!

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The major masonry work on the new house was also finished this week.

Even though Mark probably permanently damaged his arm from cleaning 3,000 bricks…all that hard work paid off.

I’ve got to do a blog post with a full reveal of the brick work complete with before and after shots…promise I’ll get to that!

Also exciting for us…Henry slept a full five hours without waking up and when you hold him on your hip, he can now keep his back, head and neck very straight.

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This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but this is our world now and we get excited over the smallest things with this sweet boy!

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Family

Renovating a house vs. Raising a kid

Mark and I are trying to figure out what’s harder…renovating a house or raising a baby?

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I think the time we put into both might be comparable.

When I’m with Henry on the weekends, Mark is at the house for a full 8 hours working his butt off.

The only difference is that I get big coos and toothless smiles and Mark just gets a face full of dust.

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The money is not comparable. Renovating a house is EXPENSIVE…even when you’re doing most of the work yourself!

Hank the Tank is super cheap (right now!). My breast milk is free and people bought so many cute clothes for him, I have not purchased an outfit for him since he was born. (Thanks Aunt Sabrina for this snowsuit!)

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The reward is different. Progress on a house can be more of a long term reward with parts of immediate satisfaction sprinkled in between.

I know Mark and I would feel SUPER accomplished after a hard day of renovating and even more proud when it was all done.

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With Henry…I feel very accomplished when I get him to sleep…or get the boogers out of his nose…or get a great big smile out of him! I think the long term reward with Hank will be when he is a happy, fully functioning adult and we can breathe a sigh of relief!

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The Grand House

Does Anybody Need A Tub?

For those of you following along (we love you!)…you are well aware that Mark and I tore down the entire front brick wall of our Victorian home.

While we were at it we thought…what the hell…let’s tear down the back too! 🙂

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Tony G and his crew demoed this white structure which was a tiny kitchen on the very back end of the house.

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The upper level of the brick addition on the home came down as well.

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That’s where we had the bathtub sticking out for all to see! Does anybody need a tub?! 😉

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The bricks that came down were used to rebuild the front brick wall…and the plan is to turn this portion into a second level outdoor patio with an outdoor fireplace.

You might think a newborn baby has slowed us down, but Mark and Hank are already designing the new outdoor patio and kitchen.

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And all of you know that Mark’s eye for style is on point and the rough draft drawings of the patio and kitchen are FAB-U-LOUS.

Can’t wait to show you!

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The Grand House

A Cover Preview!

We got our favorite West Elm catalog in the mail and I about FELL OVER!

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“That’s our house!!” I screamed to Mark.

I mean…it’s what our house will eventually be!

You can’t tell from the outside right now, but this home we’re renovating is a beautiful Victorian that screams old school grandeur.

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Mark and I have more of a modern, casual style.

So…as soon as I saw this catalogue picture…I knew instantly that’s how we’ll decorate the inside.

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See the big windows and the crown molding? That’s exactly what we have.

We also have original wood floors and a large entryway.

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I absolutely love how they combined the Victorian features with modern furniture and splashes of color!

Even though we are not even close to that yet…it’s nice to have a visual image to work toward and get excited for!

Right now, the only visuals we have are dirty construction sites…

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And crumbling brick interiors!

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Hopefully we’ll finish this passion project before Henry graduates college! 😉

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The Grand House

We had to put Baby Hank to work…

Totally kidding, but we thought about it…for just a millisecond.

Doesn’t he look ready to join the construction crew as he stretches out on this bearskin rug?! Hahahaha!

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Mark had no time to sleep on a bearskin rug as he spent this weekend and last weekend cleaning bricks. Like 1,500 of them.

No joke. 1,500 bricks.

You saw in the last blog post that we had to tear down the front brick wall on our Victorian house.

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Our favorite “Tony G construction crew” also started tearing down the top floor of the second brick addition on the house.

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We’re eventually going to make that into a rooftop deck. We promise it will be awesome…I know it’s hard to see now.

We wanted to keep the character of the house and reuse all the bricks, if possible, when putting the front brick wall back up.

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In order to use those old bricks, Mark had to brush all the old mortar off of them.

A super tedious job, but an important one since our goal with this home is a Victorian RESTORATION!

Because the front of the house is completely open to the elements, the crew wrapped it in a plastic tarp and put heaters in the house while they worked in the frigid weather.

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I sent this picture to my friends and jokingly said the house is almost ready…my girlfriend, Susie, replied…”Lots of natural light there!”

HAHAHAHAHA!!! 🙂

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