Thursday, July 30, 2009

More on the Bathroom

Heidi and I stayed out of Shawn's way for a long weekend so he could work on the bathroom. Unfortunately the inspectors do not work on Friday's so he did not get as far as he had wanted.

But he got a lot done. Here are the pictures of what it looked like when we got home on Monday.

Ceiling above the tub/shower

The new tub and plumbing. I got to take a bath in the tub on Tuesday morning which was very nice.
Here you can see the new sub-floor, plumbing, and the tub. This is looking in from the doorway.

Now all the sheet rock is up and the first round of taping and mudding is completed. It's drying and then one more coat will probably do.

We picked up the paint and the "accessories" last night. We got a towel rack, a small towel holder, a toilet paper holder, a rob hook for the back of the door, and a new flusher for the toilet. I think the only left to pick out is the stain and the trim.

He plans to start hanging tile when we get back from Justin and Dawn's house on Monday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bathroom Renovation Day 2 and 3

Shawn is making good progress. He is working long hours and has made a lot of trips to Menards. We sure miss the corner Hardware Hank on Camden!!

Here are some pictures of what the bathroom looks like after the demo was completed.

This picture is of the ceiling up to the attic. I was caught off guard that we would be able to see the attic. When I think about it, it makes perfect sense but when we did the bathroom in the Mpls house we had a second floor so we just saw the studs. Shawn put Heidi up into the attic so she could look around. She thought it was pretty cool.

Justin asked if we found anything cool up there. The answer is no :) Just insulation. We bought the house from a couple who were heavy pot smokers. Maybe Justin thought we would find their stash...

Here is the doorway. The old door is still on but we will be installing a new door. We picked out nice 6 panel doors that will go in all of the rooms that lead to the hallway.

This is where the bathtub had been / will go. You can see how bad it really was. Shawn has replaced the bad studs and pulled out all of the insulation since this picture was taken. And is working on putting new studs and insulation in place as I type. He is hoping the inspector will come out today so he can get the backer board up and start the tub install and tiling. If all goes well there will be a shower early next week!

There will not be any pictures of what happens throughout the weekend as Heidi and I are heading to the cabin and taking the camera with us. He will be happy to have us out of his hair but we sure will miss him!

Here is a picture of my silly cat Eddie. He is not happy that it is so hot and noisy. We don't have the air on because of all the dust. It's really nice in the mornings but a little hot in the afternoons. Not to mention how humid it was last night and is this morning.

I will post more when I return on Tuesday - fingers crossed for tile pictures!! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bathroom Renovation Day 1

Okay, so not really day 1 because day 1 would have been months ago when we started to plan. But here we are, Tuesday July 21st, 2009 and the bathroom project is officially underway! I am so excited to see the end result and enjoy a bathroom that has never been used by people outside my family (unless invited by me).

For those of you who really know me, you know that I cannot stand other peoples "yuck." Yuck is stuck in a bathroom no matter how much you clean it. Since we (read Shawn) are going all the way down to the studs on the walls, floor, and ceiling there is no way any yuck could hang around.

Here are the before pictures. Or as close to before as I am capable of taking. For some reason I always forget to take the before pictures until after we (again, read Shawn) have started the project. But at this point, from this view, all that is missing are the things that sit on the sink and some rugs. And the shower curtain is open. Add in the trash bucket, wheel, broom, and wonderbar and you have a bathroom renovation!!

This is the old flooring.
The old vanity.
Here Shawn has started to remove the wall. It is very interesting. We (read Shawn) renovated the bathroom in the Minneapolis house about 6 years ago. That house had plaster and lath. It was a mess! When we moved I swore I would never own a house that was plaster again. Purchasing a house built in 1955 (instead of 1928) seemed to get me out of the plaster window. Shortly after we moved in we realized we still had plaster. This time it's plaster over sheet rock. Interesting but equally as dusty.

And here is a shot from inside out. You can kind of see the floor in the hallway where Shawn removed the carpet. It is covered in Masonite to protect to hardwood until the bathroom project is done.

Shawn's time line is not as aggressive this time around. For the Minneapolis Bathroom project he had 3 days. This time he has a few weeks if needed. My only "suggestion" was that we try to keep the lack of shower down to a few days as I will be heading to my parents house every day.

I was informed that the shower outage starts tomorrow morning. I greatly look forward to my last shower in the "yuck" and to my first shower in the new "pretty."

And for a sneak peak - here is the display we are loosely copying at the Tile Store.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Trip to the Phoenix Zoo

One of my favorite places to visit is the zoo. I really like to visit zoo's in other cities when we travel. The best so far was the San Diego zoo but I also like the Phoenix Zoo. They have done a wonderful job blending in the habitats so you don't see to much cage.

For example, I am standing right next to this sleeping bear. I did not use the zoom, I really could reach out and pet it. The only thing separating me and the bear was some bamboo. At first I thought it was real but it was actually steal bars painted to look like bamboo. Very cool

However, in other habitats, where the animal would escape if there isn't a cage, I was happy to know they fully caged them in. Like this jaguar.

At this zoo there are some randomly placed items that have nothing to do with the zoo but make you feel like you are in whatever part of the world the animals are from. It really adds to the experience if your surroundings are the replication of a jungle when you are seeing animals who live in the jungle.
One of these places is set up as if explorers had been living there. Heidi found this butterfly in one a drawer and took a picture.

A dream for me would be to visit the Galapagos Islands and see a Galapagos Tortuous in the wild. Until that happens, the one at the zoo will have to do. We don’t have these at the Como Zoo in St. Paul because it’s way to cold here most of the year.

I love this picture because it reminds me of what I was thinking when we approached this habitat. I thought, Oh, that's a nice little dessert area. I wonder if anything is supposed to live in it...
Well, something does live in there. It's the Rhinoceros Iguana. Do you see it? It's huge and has a horn on its head. It's on the log in the middle of the picture.

Of course we have to spend time with the Orangutans!! They spent a lot of time swinging around and having a great time. It was fun to watch but there were a lot of people watching and it was crowded.

This lion is another example of how close you really are to the animals.

We walked up to the lion from a side path. The male lion was standing on top of a hill watching us approach.

Shawn says “I think that Lion is staring me down.” And I said “sure looks like it!” We kept walking towards the lion when Shawn stepped to the side a little and the lion broke its gaze.

Turns out it was staring him down or sizing him up for that matter! It was crazy! I guess the lion thought that we were sneaking up on him.

It was not scary because we know that the lion is in a cage and cannot get out. But remember how I was saying that sometime it looks like they are not in cages? This was one of those times. And after I told the story a few times Heidi told me she did not want to go back to that zoo. I guess to a 4-year old it looks like the lion can get out.
I was only able to get a picture of the female. She paced the entire time we stood there. The male was around the corner laying down after his excitement of wanting to eat Shawn.

Heidi rode the carrousel a three times. Each time she rode a different animal. This may have been her favorite part of the zoo. We found a carrousel in the mall when we were picking up lunch before heading to the airport. She rode that one also.

This is just a cute picture of Heidi, Pinky, and Moose riding a giraffe.

We had such a good time at the zoo. I hope to see many, many more!

If you want to see more pictures from our trip to the zoo check them out on Flickr:

Swimming in Arizona

I am finally getting around to uploading our Arizona pictures onto Flickr and posting them on our site. Sorry for the delay, I know some of you have been waiting for these!

We spent a week in Mesa with Grandma Sibben in March. We had such a wonderful time! It's so easy for us to vacation with Grandma.

We spent at least an hour in the pool every day. We love to swim as a family and will find a pool a few times a month all year round but this was a special treat because we got to swim out in the sun in March (not something you can do in Minnesota!!)

Kids swimming does not start until 11 am. Heidi was trying so hard to wait for the clock to strike 11! She picked a flower and put it in her hair. What a beautiful girl!

Heidi loves to be tossed around, on land or in the water. Here Shawn is tossing her to me. She would do this all day but mom and dad are always tired before she is ready to be done.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip. Thanks to Pam for taking the picture!! It really shows how happy we were to be together as a family on vacation.

Heidi is a fish. I was like this as a kid too. She has been in swimming lessons on and off since she was 12 months. She has completed 5 sessions and will be in level 2 when she goes back this fall. In this picture she is swimming across the pool. She had gotten even better since this was taken in March.

The bottoms on Heidi's swim suit wore out so we went to Target and picked up two new suits for Heidi and one for Shawn. I like to have Heidi wear swim shirts since she gets cold easy at the in door pools and it helps to keep the sun off when we are outside. Here is one of the new suits.

Oh, and that's her tatoo. We went out to dinner and they had tatoos in a machine. Heidi LOVES tatoos! She wanted this on her thigh. It was a riot because it's a huge dragon. You can see it in some of the pictures throughout the trip but the spray suntan lotion takes it off pretty quickly.
If you want to see the rest of the swimming pictures check them out on Flickr:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I do believe I have been tricked…

Right now Heidi has two frogs that turned out to be toads in an old fish tank in her room. She loves telling people that she has frogs (toads). She loves that they are named Froggy and Sara. She loves going to Petco (it’s where the pets go!) to buy food. She really loves the idea of her own pets.

The problem is that Shawn and I are the ones taking care of the frogs (toads). Last night we told her that the frogs (toads) are done on their vacation and are ready to return home. They liked staying with her but they need to go home and see their families.

We will be camping at the swamp this weekend and will be returning the frogs (toads) to their pond. We told her she could visit them every time she is up there. She was okay with that.

Shawn told her she could refill her fish tank with a lizard. She is very happy about this.

I have been tricked. This was all an elaborate plan to get a lizard.

This time I am really not taking care of it. It’s all Heidi and Shawn.

Yeah. Right.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Last night when putting Heidi to bed she said “if you don’t live with someone you can’t be their family.”

I asked her why she thought this and she said “families all live together. Kristen moved out and so she isn’t family any more.”

This broke my heart. I am clearly not doing a good enough job teaching Heidi about the power of family. That you don’t even have to be blood related to be family let alone live in the same house or state for that matter.

I heard her tell Kristen the other day that she wasn’t family any more and I thought Kristen was going to cry. I told Kristen to remember that Heidi is 4 and does not mean everything she says.

Now I understand that while she may not be able to say what she truly means, she really is confused by the definition of the word family.

I told her that everyone we love is our family, even if we never lived with them. Grandma and Grandpa are our family. Granny and Papa are our family. Everyone in that house is our family. But also that Shannon is our family.

I probably made her more confused but now I know that I need to do a better job explaining family to her. And help her to understand that we are family first people.

And help her understand that her words have a bigger impact on the people who hear them than she will ever know.

This will all help her be a good person. And that’s all I want.