LIFE WITH A CHILD

Here it is, my I'm a parent post.

It will be long. It will be a mash up of my feelings. It is only the beginnings of my thoughts.

Let's back up a little about me.....when I was younger I was always the one who said "I am never getting married, I am never having kids" I wanted to be a free spirit. Travel the world. Live in a big city. Then I met Branko and marriage was certainly a step I wanted to take. Before we were married we had already decided that living in the country was going to be best for us. We took our time on the kids front though. We both knew we wanted to have a child one day but we had so many other things we wanted to do first. We traveled to Florida twice a year, we visited Boston and New York City. We built a home (sold it) and in the process of building a second home.

Then last September we found out I was pregnant and due in May 2015. I was so naive, I knew having a child was hard but I also thought I would still be able to do all the things I used to do. I thought once he was born I would put him in the car and trot off to the mall and stroll around. Visit friends and family freely. Was I ever wrong.

I am not a home body kind of person unless I am building something with Branko.

After my first solo car ride with him to the hospital when he was one month old I knew then and there that car rides were not going to be our thing together! Remember I live in the country, the closest grocery store is 15 minutes away. That day he had a complete melt down driving home. Screaming his head off to the point of not breathing. I panicked pulled over and tried to sooth him for 30min in the car. Finally I was able to get him in his car seat and get home. That day I felt so disappointed in myself. Like I was failing at this parenthood thing. I see other mothers all the time out and about with their little ones.

Passed out while being pushed around in the grocery store. Shoes are baby converse. Shorts, sweater and socks are all from baby gap.

I was jealous. Living in the country with a newborn was going to be much more difficult then I thought.

Everybody told me to be patient, he will change. Become easier to handle during the day. And he did. He really is a great kid. He is mostly awake during the day and takes small naps. Night time he sleeps from about 9/10pm till 4/5am.

Two weeks ago I finally attempted the car ride alone with him again. It went fairly well, I quickly walked thru the grocery store picked up what I needed and went home. Last week I tried again and it was a fail. Once I arrived into town he woke up and started crying and trying to get out of his car seat. I decided to just go home. The following day I tried again and that time was much better. He fell asleep on the car ride there, woke up in the grocery store and was just looking around. He fell asleep on the car ride home again. Any long drives are with somebody in the back seat with him. My mom has been great and coming up on the weekends. We made a trip to the mall even!

In the last two weeks he has changed so much. His smiles are natural now and come all the time. He loves to talk and have conversations. He eats well and chews on his fingers and thumb like crazy. He is getting so much better at holding his head up on his own.

I'll admit buying baby clothes is addicting. Donaldson Blue Jays Jersey and baby mocs that I won from Minimoc. These mini mocs are amazing quality and Canadian made in case you are looking for a pair.

I am looking forward to the days ahead as I am already noticing them get easier. I can get laundry and cleaning done. I can take time to sit and have a coffee. I am looking forward to Christmas when we light up our big Christmas tree and watch his eyes go big with excitement.

Life with a child is amazing and I couldn't imagine a day without him. I feel forever blessed that he came into our lives and I could sit and stare at him for hours.


On the Forever Home front, we will be getting back into things full force starting at the end of August. Branko has plans to have the garage finally closed in before the winter. We are changing the roof on the entrance of house(the only remaining old roof) The new fireplace will be installed following that and then Geo-thermal. This will have the house ready for the winter with heat. Once all of that is done we will complete the drywall and continue working inside the house during the winter months.

Hope you continue to follow along our journey to building our Forever Home. I am really looking forward to sharing with you our custom Ikea closets for the bedrooms, plans for the kitchen along with all the new appliances we decide to buy,  and which flooring we choose. Basically every step of building a home. We need to choose paint colours, buy all new furniture, pick out tiles for our bathrooms, choose our soaker tub, toilet, custom vanity counter top. Sooooo much to talk about!


baby news and forever home update

Hi!!!!!!!!!! Anybody out there????

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you are probably fully aware we had a baby!!!

Dominik arrived on May 20th @ 1:15pm weighing in at 7lbs 9oz. I will spare you the birth story since it was not anything overly dramatic. Thankfully he was born healthy and happy. I feel so blessed to have such a happy little baby. He sleeps all night with waking up only once to eat. During the day he is pretty peaceful and is starting to really smile more and more.

Some pictures below and then more on the forever home!

Dominik - 5 weeks

Dominik -8 weeks & 4 days

Dominik - 8 weeks & 4 days. He was such a champ at his first wedding!

My blog was supposed to be renewed on May 30th. I came home and was overwhelmed with a newborn that I completely forgot to go in and make these changes. The blog went down and since then I had one heck of a time trying to get my domain back. Google had since made some changes and since I use square space now I had to go through GoDaddy directly to renew my domain.

I'm not going to lie since having a newborn home the building has slowed down but it sure hasn't stopped.

We have completed the drywall and priming two bedrooms that we are currently living in. One room has our bed, baby crib, and clothes. The next room is set up as a mini living room with a coffee table, tv, couch, and a small twin bed for a guest. The remainder of the inside is at standstill and will not be continued until late September.

Below are some pictures of the deck that Branko has been working hard on and some plans on what we want to do with landscaping and decor.

For the main entrance we have plans of lots of Armour stone like in the below picture and hopefully a hanging chair. We opted to go with pressure treated wood and will eventually paint it to suite our colours that we choose for the exterior of the house. We did price out composite decking but it was three times the price of pressure treated. Our siding is going to be grey board & batten with stone features all around the house. The peaks will be finished with cedar shakes.

The above picture is close to what we have planned but our siding will be vertical and our stone features will be on the corners. We plan on using cedar shakes but only on the peaks. Original image found here.


 This Armour stone will be used all around our house with a similar layout as the above picture. Original image found here.

Currently how the forever home is looking below. This will be the main entrance of the house, in September we are planning to re-do the mudroom entrance to the house to align with the new roof we put on last year so the peak will be different. We will have a 8 foot double door and windows around the door.

I found this swinging chair at Pier 1 imports and fell in love immediately. I can picture this hanging on the entrance area of our porch.

Swinging chair link found here at Pier 1.

For the back portion of the deck we have a door that enters the kitchen. This will make entertaining so much easier! We plan on installing a TV on the back wall so Branko can catch his sports while being outside. I love the idea of hanging curtains and lights off of the support posts.

I tried searching for the proper image location but couldn't find it! But I really LOVE all of this! The seating, lighting, curtains, and wood paneling on the ceiling.

Here is a picture of how our current porch looks! So much to do.

A second tier is going to be built to this deck next year.  It will stretch into the trees and make more room for a large dining area.

The morning coffee & tea will be perfect with this morning sunrise back here. This is the view from the seating area in the above picture.

Any thoughts on the above? Any ideas that you would love to share in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Looking forward to getting back to sharing our journey here on building our "Forever Home". So far it has truly been a labour of love. Each and every day we feel more blessed to be able to build such beautiful home for our family. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram where I share many instant updates of what is happening around here!

Drywall Party #2 & Drywall taping Dilemma part 2

It happened! It finally happened!!! It really is unreal how much a home can change once you put up drywall.

Branko had another drywall party weekend, two of his friends (who he is paying) came up for two days while I vacated the house again. They managed to finish almost ALL of the remaining drywall in the house other then above the dining area and kitchen. During the week Branko hustled and finished all of the remaining drywall that needed to be done because we had found tapers to come and finish the work. See this post (more on this fail later after the pictures).

Now for some pictures of the rooms. You can see the changes from my Drywall Party #1 post to now.

Kitchen - one of the best decisions we feel we made was to add a door to the back yard where we will build a large deck. The second change we made was adding the small wall to the ceiling to hide the view of the fridge from the living room.

Master bedroom - this room is very large but I couldn't be more happy with the size. It will be a true retreat bedroom with an area for two sitting chairs and a small table.

Bedroom one - this room is slightly larger then the second bedroom. Both rooms have three windows for great natural light.

Bedroom two - This room will have natural light all during the day. The one window is lower then the two side windows so that the front of the house windows would all align.

Hall way - The first door is the master bedroom and then the hall way leads to the linen closet, two bedrooms, and second full bathroom for guests and the two rooms.

 

Our attempt to hire tapers to finish the house ended up being a fail. In the end they felt the job was much more then expected and wanted to be paid more then we could afford to pay. They did do a small amount of work for two days but because of the miss-communication they refused to take the money we offered them for two days of work. I truly think they thought we would just agree to the higher price and pay them but it was something we were not ready to commit to pay.  Branko will now finish the taping and sanding himself with some help from my dad and his friends that he has been paying to help out with heavy lifting work. But 75% of the work will be done on his own.

Because we have a baby due to arrive any day now we have had to change our game plan on getting the drywall done. Since August we have been living in a 400 sq ft area of the house that we turned into our room, along with TV, couch, and clothes. We've decided to set up the crib in here as well which still leaves us with plenty of living space (really surprising how much you can fit in 400 sq ft.) until we can have all of the drywall completed. During the time sanding will be done I will pack up the baby and head to my parents house.  It is not the most ideal situation but the baby will be warm and safe. Also, he will probably never remember this part of his life so I am OK with this. We should be able to move into our master bedroom and use our other rooms in about a month and half.

 

As always come and follow along on Instagram! I post many up to date changes involving the #foreverhome construction process!

 

 

 

Drywall Taper Dilemma

The title of this post is pretty clear, will I even have pictures to share probably not but I feel like sharing our dilemma so we can look back one day and laugh - or not.

You see back in February. yes wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back then. We called a guy for pricing and asked if he would be available the last week of April. We specifically advised April 27th - 30th. As any contractor who probably had no work over the winter he said YES! Yes, I am available. GREAT! Branko called him again late March and said I will be ready for you still, are you still available. YES! That was his answer. We advised him everything about the house.

April 25th the dude comes to our house to see what the work will be like and the conversation goes like this:

Contractor: OH man those ceilings, they are so high!

Branko: Yes, I told you that.

Contractor: OK, I will write up a quote for you and get back to you.

Branko: YA, but will you be able to start work on Monday?

Contractor: WHAT?? No, I only work on weekends.

At this point I am pretty sure Branko was not impressed. He told him to send him the quote and asked what weekend he can start. The contractor told Branko he needs SIX WEEKENDS to finish the job.

WHO IN THERE RIGHT MIND HAS SIX WEEKENDS TO SIT AROUND AND WAIT.

You can't do any other work until drywall is done. PLUS we have a baby coming!!! MAY 13th!

WTF!

By some grace of god our neighbour stopped by asking Branko if he had a certain tool he needed to fix his car and they got to talking. The neighbour gave Branko a phone number to a guy he used a couple of years ago.

We called the guy that night and thankfully he didn't have any work lined up for the next two weeks. Probably because he just got back from Vietnam.

AND there you have it, this new guy will start on Sat. May2nd but he advised us he might need at least 10 days. That gives us 3 days before baby's due date.

YES, I am hoping baby stays in for a couple days longer. Five days maybe??? Baby if you are listening I need five extra days to clean and put together a crib OK!

YOU GOT THAT!

I'm now talking to my baby over the blog which means I've probably lost my mind.

I will you leave you with one picture because sunsets at the #foreverhome are glorious and I love this quote.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and these hashtags #foreverhome #foreverhomebabyprep #countryliving #webuild

Drywall Party #1

The forever home is quickly taking shape! Two weekends ago Branko had a "drywall party" while I spent the weekend at my parents place. To be honest, it was hard being away and knowing so many changes were happening so quickly! I kept harassing Branko for pictures but he really wanted me to be surprised.

When I arrived home Sunday night the guys were all gone and all that was left were some really pretty white walls! We've been staring at insulation for so long you forget how pretty white space can be.

Between 4 guys and 2 days of working they managed to put up 120 sheets of drywall! The job certainly isn't done and he is having them over again during the last weekend of April. Branko had already scheduled tapers to come from April 27th - April 30th to complete the job! This is very exciting considering "foreverhomebaby" is due to arrive May 13th!

****Important note - these guys failed on us. They told Branko they can now only work weekends which doesn't work for our situation. We are now resorting to Plan "B" to be ready for a baby living under this roof*** More on that another day when I won't feel like I will be crying writing up that entire post.

The pictures are not so glamorous yet but still oh so very pretty to look at! In my eyes anyways!

Living room windows, some drywall needs to be cut out still. The fireplace is directly across from the windows.

Master bedroom - the room faces the back yard which will be great for privacy.

Master bedroom - back wall across from the windows.

Master bathroom - a soaker tub will sit under the window and to the left will be a standing shower. Across from the window is the vanity with the toilet to the left of the vanity across from the shower.

Master Bathroom

Hall way - we ensured the hall way is 4ft so it didn't look too narrow. This leads to the linen closest, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms.

Bedroom 1 - each bedroom has 3 windows.  This room has one facing the backyard and two facing the side yard.

Bedroom 2 - One window faces the front yard and 2 windows facing the side yard.

The second dry wall party happened over the weekend. Looking forward to snapping some pictures of all of the work that was done and sharing our progress!

 

Stay Tuned and watch for these hashtags on my Instagram feed! #foreverhome #countryliving #webuild #foreverhomebabyprep  #may13th #itsaboy

 

We Passed!!!!!!

A quick update on the Forever Home!!!

Today we had the inspection done on all of our electrical/framing and WE PASSED! I really had no doubt that we wouldn't but you still wonder if they are going to make you re-do anything which would have delayed us some more! I cannot handle anymore delays - we have baby coming remember!!!

Branko and his father did all of the electrical work in the house. I may have helped pull a few wires but bending over and being pregnant was no easy task! I really miss being able to help out more but this darn belly keeps getting in my way!

The electrical was all pulled through the basement and then into the floor joist to the panel.

This means more updates coming to the blog as we get started on the drywall! The walls itself will be pretty simple but the ceilings are going to be zero fun. I'm sure much swearing will happen.

No joke, our kitchen wall.

I'll be sure to follow up with a new post soon and better pictures of our kitchen wall. As you can see in the above picture the wall is 15ft high and we will be having zero cabinets. There will be a nice range hood to the left of the window and 2 lights right above the window but that is about it.

Have any ideas??????? Please feel free to share below and in my next post I plan on sharing what our thoughts our & how we plan to approach the wall.

 

With that being said I will leave you with this pretty view.....when driving home from town I have two options. Take the paved road home or take the side dirt road. On nice days I always take the side roads and that's my advice to all you country living people.

The side roads let your mind be free.


living through a renovation and exciting news

 

I've determined that if and when I survive the winter of 2014/2015 in a home with barely any heat I am a super woman. It was cold over the weekend, the evenings are dipping into the -20s some nights and running to the bathroom is an adventure.

When we started the renovations on the home we gutted everything. This included the old heating system. We plan on installing Geo-thermal in the early spring so our plan was to tough out the winter heating the main part of the house with a wood fireplace and an industrial heater.

We are using our new entrance area as a living area. We have fully insulated the room and installed a door to the room.  The space is 450 sq. ft. We have our bed, tv, coffee table for eating, all of our clothes, batteries for the tools, and coffee machine in this room. The coffee machine is in here because the water was freezing in the tank and basically broke my Tassimo! YAY for an upgrade to the Nespresso Virtuoline. Our heat source in the sleeping room is 1 oil heater & 2 baseboard heaters. One heater is left on during the day so when we come home the room is warm.

The bathroom has one baseboard heater that is left running at all times. When we shower or take "longer bathroom breaks" we have a small industrial heater that runs on a 20amp that we turn on. It actually works really well and sometimes the bathroom can become so hot it can feel like sauna.

The main living area which is the kitchen, living room, and dining room is being heated by the wood fire place. Truthfully we only use this space when preparing food. So far we have managed to keep this area above 10 degrees on the weekends. During the week if its a sunny day that area will stay at a balmy 4 degrees.


Our pipes have froze maybe a total of 6 times. Not bad considering the circumstances.

Many people have been asking or commenting on our situation with the most common statements being:

  -  How do you do it?

  - I could NEVER live like that!!!

  - Don't you just wish it was over!

  - You are crazy!

  - You live way toooooooooooooooooo far!!!!!!!!!!!!

You get the drift.....most days I don't get the comments. I certainly don't go over to other people's houses and say "Look! I can see your neighbors making out! OR "WOW, can your backyard be any smaller?" I would never say these things because at the end of the day you probably love your home and I respect that. You bought it for a reason.  Any time I walk into somebodies new home I always find something nice and respectful to say about it.

The point here is that yes we are roughing it currently and yes it can be tough at times. We have saved tons of money doing this work on our own. It has been well worth the time BUT it's not just the money saved. It has been about the experience. It has showed us that we accommodate well, we can communicate our concerns, we can laugh about the worst situations. One night we cooked a dinner in our winter coats and toque's.(we have a picture for proof, but Branko would kill me if I shared it)

At the end of the day I would hope that anybody who comes across our story respects our choices as I would yours. I hope that by following my journey you may want to step out of your own comfort zone.


AND for the exciting news:

YES!!! I am finally ready to share that we will be welcoming a little bundle of joy in MAY!!! We are both excited and nervous of course. Branko already has dreams of building a Cadillac bed :)

 

It's safe to say we need to hustle but I am excited about what our future holds with this new addition to our family coming soon!