Friday, March 11, 2016

Cathedral Turned Bedroom

Wasted space, Really! In my opinion.

I have never been a huge fan of our Cathedral Ceiling, but my husband loves the overhead space. He loves the open feeling it creates, and the dramatic presence. We disagree on design a lot. We both feel the other is unwilling to compromise. But in my opinion, he is the builder, so he really is the one who has the power to compromise. if he does not agree, he doesn't do it.

In the end, we both finally decided to do away with our Cathedral ceiling after 9+ years of being in our house. So we closed a the majority of the cathedral. It is still open above our door entry which is also home to our stairway to the second floor. 
BUT, over the living room, the cathedral is gone!

Reason being, we have 4 kids, and he(we) decided to give them each their own rooms. Now this was not an easy renovation to deal with 6 people LIVING in the house. But we managed, with some tension and frustration. I have moderate-severe Asthma, and the construction mess and dust really gets things rolling into an Asthma attack, fairly easily.
Originally the plan was for my to take the kids on a weekend away in February, but earlier that planned week, 2 of them came down this a wonderful stomach bug(vomit, etc.). So.. that plan was put to an end. Needless to say, my husband began the project anyway. He tore out the v-join along the gable wall and at the base of the cathedral(where the floor system was going to be joined into the main building).

I had suggested a small playhouse to be incorporated in the room, since the roof line meets the floor and it would not be very good usable space otherwise.
My husbands thought I was CRAZY, of course. But in the end, he decided to do it anyway(he compromised). I am so glad he did, my daughter spends a lot of time in there!

The stages of this project were so exciting. It was a huge change to the house.
So I took plenty of pictures to document!
I will add ASAP, some reason I can not get them to load, today.

This project took a looong time. Starting in February 2015 and not being complete in July 2015. Almost a year after it was promised(September 2014). But "Life" got in the way, as it usually does.
But was totally worth it!
My youngest Daughter was so Happy though! I just hope she stays happy for a little while.

Next step is to finish up the living room, we still lack paint on the ceiling... months later in March 2016. But it is hard to paint with it being the main part of the house. maybe once summer comes, and they can all get outside, it will be easier.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Plexus Body Cream VS Warts

My new favorite Product!

Okay, if you read my last post, you know I recently became obsessed with Plexus Body Cream!

Amazing stuff!
Really, no joking!

So after a week of using it for my KP(Keritosis Pilaris) I noticed inadvertantly, that the wart I have struggling to get rid of on my finger had reduced in size, by almost half. I have been treating this thing with freezing, wart goo, wart tabs, duct tape.. But with my constant hand washing most treatments came off, and were ineffective. And for some reason freezing seemed to stimulate it to grow more rapidly.
I looked at my hand the other day and was like what the, my wart is smaller. 
I haven't done any treatments in a few month, just sort of leaving it alone, giving up on it. And the only thing I had changed was using the Plexus Body Cream.  Could it be?

So I decided to document any further change. So starting today, this is what my wart looks like:
FYI: I am also taking Xfactor, MegaX, bioCleanse, Probio5 and Plexus Slim.

February 8, 2016
It's that dry crusty bump just below my upper knuckle.
(Looking at this picture brings back a memory from school. I was kindly told I had very old hands. They have always been very wrinkly. Almost 20 years later, I still see my hands as looking old. But perhaps it goes with the old soul my MorMor told me I had...Fond Memories...{sigh}..)

I am going to continue using my Plexus Body Cream, and I will update this post when I see some change.

We will see see what Plexus' "miracle cream" is capable of!

Update, March 4, 2016:
My wart is pretty much gone! What!?
Seriously! There is very little sign of it at all. I am more than ecstatic about finally being rid of it.

My family was so impressed with what plexus has done for me, they are no on board with trying it out. Even my husband, who has been skeptical since I started it.

He is starting the Xfactor, bioCleanse, and ProBio5, this month. He hasn't been very good about remembering to take it, but we will get him there.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Minimalists Bare Basics for a baby.

I am working on a slow process of minimizing our house. With 6 people thrashing around the house, I find that we have little room to move and stay organized with the amount of "things" we "need" to have.

I have had 4 babies. And I know how tempting it is to get all kinds of gear for your baby, and I have succumbed to the hype more than I like to admit. If I could do it right the first time around this is what I would limit it to.
We started fresh with baby #4. I wanted to keep it simple, but quickly found that I want a bit out of my plan. 
I should have wrote myself this outline prior to getting ready for baby.
So instead, I am writing up an outline, for those who want to start simple and get the rest as they need.

If I could do it all over again these are my essential bare basics that I would need to get through the first several weeks/months.

1. Clothes: 
You will need a variety of bodysuits/gowns/footed playsuits, caps, mittens, booties or socks to keep little feet warm. We ended up not using baby mittens, as our bodysuits and gowns had fold over cuffs.

2. A safe place to lay baby down; 
a crib, playpen, even a box or laundry basket with a fitted mat placed inside. 
Some people opt for a bouncer or reclined seat to keep baby safe while in the living areas (I eventually got an infant seat that transitioned into a toddler rocking chair. I prefer to buy items that will be used for long periods of time, rather than a few months)

3. Something to take baby with you. 
A stroller, baby carrier and/or a car seat. Depending on your living and traveling situations you may only need 1 or 2 of these things.
I did use all 3, but that was my preference. Living in a rural area, a car seat is a must, I used a carrier and stroller for walks and when shopping.

4. 5 or so large baby blankets blankets to swaddle. 
I liked the 42" square gauze style. The Smaller receiving blankets were outgrown quickly. Get the larger size for longer life. My son still snuggles them at 20 months.

5. A pillow for breastfeeding is helpful at first, but does it really need to be a special nursing pillow? No!

6. Feeding a newborn. 
breast fed and stayed home to no bottles or pumping was necessary. 
You may need formula and bottles if you are not breastfeeding. 
You will need a  pump if you breastfeed and plan to go back to work.

7. Baby essentials:
Diapers and wipes (whether cloth or store bought), a diaper cream (my babies tend to rash, no matter how often or quickly I changed them)
Believe me you will need to change the baby a lot! 
i also likes to have a gentle baby wash, baby thermometer, baby nail clippers (some moms bite the nails off, but I can not bite nails, if gives me the willies) and aspirator on hand. 
But really less is more.

8. Diaper bag.
You can get away with a standard tote, if you are not picky,
My nemesis...Diaper bags will be the death of me. They are my biggest weakness. I have an obsession with finding the perfectly functioning bag. I go through several withe every baby. 
i had a great one with number 2 & 3. Huge, but it needed to be with 2 in diapers, it had loads of pockets. I was able to stay Very organized. I got rid of it, thinking we were done. Unfortunately, it is no longer made. :(

9. The rest. 
Most of your needs can be found around the house!
Standard washcloths or hand towels work for bathing, burping, washing gums and teeth, your standard towels will be fine for baby as well. Lay a hand towel in your sink or tub with a little water for a bathing mat.
A comfortable chair to nurse or rock in is nice. I use an old rocking recliner, the steak and creak seem to soothe baby to sleep on fussy nights.
Pillows for proving baby up when learning to sit up.

There is definitely a lot out there that I find ridiculous, such as wipe warmers. If wipes are cold, ball them up in your hand for a few seconds, it does the trick.

Remember: You can always get some thing as you feel you need it. Walkers, highchairs...

My must have, when coming home from the hospital.
1. Infant carseat.
2. Newborn clothing essentials. Also prepare for seasonal needs.
3. Large gauze receiving blankets.
4. Diaper bag or tote.
5. Baby bed/place to sleep.
6. Diapering essentials. Diapers & wipes.
7. Aspirator, nails clippers.
8. Stroller. I have a travel system/larger stroller. After 18m I switched to a mountain buggy nano for compact storage. 4 kids in the car, limits space for a large stroller.
9. Carrier. I liked the baby ktan.

What I got later on. Get second hand to save money.
1. Highchair. I opted for a clamp on seat for our table.
2. Infant to toddler seat. Found a deal on a brand new one & paid $10 with using reward dollars.
3. Walker. We got a good deal basic walker for around $25, the. Later sold it for $20
4. Push walking toy for assistance when learning to walk on their own. We got a push wagon, as it grows with baby for playing. Splurged on this, using the $20 from the walker and then some. But we have been using it for last 8 months and still going strong with daily use.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cathedral Ceiling turned Bedroom.

As I stated before our house is always under construction. I mean always. Sometimes it's little things, other times it's bigger. Well here is a BIG project. We actually finished it a few months ago, but I haven't taken to the time to look at the photos.

We had an open floor plan with cathedral living room, to an open loft in the main part of our house.
We closed in the loft leaving a hall/catwalk for a nursery in 2014. Baby number 4.

We then promised number 3 she would have her own room. And how we decided to do this was be closing in the cathedral ceiling. Well, at least most of it.

Please forgive the mess yo see while we live through the demolition and construction.
The tearing out of the loft railings(I never liked them anyways)

Framed floor system and sheeted new ceiling!
Walls frames for new room.

The walls have been sheeted.

And yes, that is a little built in playhouse! 
There a few small touches that have not been finished but she is moved it. Closet shelving was completed and the ceiling fan installed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Struggling with Dry Skin, Keritosis Pilaris, and Stretch Marks. How Plexus Body Cream Helped!

BUnfortunately I have not taken before pictures. I wish I had.

I have been struggling with keratosis pilaris(KP) on my arms and legs for most of my teen and adult life. Along with dry itchy skin, 
As a teen, my Doctor instructed me to use a lotion on my arms to help with KP.. and it would help, a little. But I never found something that helped enough. 
When wearing short sleeves I would constantly be asked if I had a rash or something on my upper arms. I got to the point where I live in long sleeves and cardigans most of the year to cover my symptoms.
For those of you who don't know what KP is... It's also called chicken pumps or chicken skin. Tiny red bumps commonly found on the back of your upper arms, but can also plague your legs & lower arms, and other parts of your body. Mine was most sever on my upper arms and legs. Although I did have mild problems all over.

Now, I have been using Plexus Slim  for a year now. And although, I am not 100% consistant, I try my best to take it as regularly as I can.
I purchased the Plexus Cream several month back. And it has set on my shelf staring me in the face for quite some time. I guess I was shocked by its small size vs. cost. For some reason, I put off using it.

I have tried most every lotion and cream out there. Some very expensive, some thick & sticky. 
I have also used Coconut oil and many other natural oils and creams.
Most recently I have been using Cetaphil cream and seemed to be ok. Although, I still has some KP symptoms.

Last week, I FINALLY decided to try out Plexus Cream, since I have been staring at it for so long. 
May as well not let it go to waste!

I could not believe the improvement after one week. I was completely impressed. My KP on my arms is barely noticeable. So, about half way through the week, I just started slathering it ALL over my body.
May as well!
I have stretch marks from my chest to my upper thighs(4 pregnancies can do that to you), and KP on my thighs & calves. I have extras dry skin on my heels and hands. And a wart on my pointer finger that has tripled in size after many treatments to get rid of it. It can't hurt right.. 

Within this week:
1. The KP on my arms is barely noticeable.
2. My wart on my finger has reduced in size by half! I don't know if it is a coincidence or a direct result. But it's true. 
3. I am by far, less itchy overall. I am flaky and dry all winter thanks to have a woodstove for heat and the dry winter air.

This is today, February 2, 2016:

I wish I had taken pictures for comparison, but if you don't believe me. Talk to my mom about how bad my arms. I am sure she can confirm my KP.
I can not wait to see what my results are for after a month!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's funny what starts you remembering.

Talking of Easter last night, I started reminiscing of my childhood Easters at my grandparents.
The carrot salad Grandma Duffy always made, and even though I never ate it, it seems it should be present with the easter dinner spread.

Then I started recalling other things that remind me or come to mind when I think of my Grandma Duffy. The Johnny Carson show, weeping willows, ribbon candy, maple syrup, satin nightgowns, making beds(which I can't do without hospital corners; the way she taught me), perfectly decorated Christmas trees, Bing Crosby...

Grandpa Duffy; The Price is Right, clipping coupons, slow drives to the dump, warm cheap beer in cans (Keystone, Milwaukee's Best and Genesee beer), laying on his big belly, talking about the weather, 

Things that I associate with my MorMor; aprons, wildflowers, picnics, walk through the woods/field, skin so soft, the fuzzy warm Christmas, Friday bus rides, 

Poppy Kelly; Pipe Tobacco, Double Mint Gum, the green house, hen houses, barns, Sunday drives in the back of his mint green Crown Victoria, rocking by the cook stove, fresh snow on "Christmas" trees, looking at the clouds, mint ...

These are just a few that come to mind, but there are so many more small things in life that bring each one of them to mind during my daily routines. It's funny how memories are triggered; A smell, something visual, a taste... The mention of angel food cake instantly brings to mind Grandma Duffy.

The mind is a funny thing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Will our house ever be completed?

Our house is about 10 years old. We built it in a hurry. So we took the word of the architect and kitchen designer and didn't think much of it.

This was my first house, we rented 2 places, for a short time. After an exhausting house hunt, to find something in our price range, we decided building was the best option for us.
But this was our first home. And I didn't have a clue.
Thîngs were missing in our plans (not nearly enough closets).

We were able to build on an affordable budget, because my husband built it.
We moved in before the kitchen and bedrooms were usable. and we slowly completed things as we needed them, and as we could afford to.
We slept in the living room at first; my husband, myself and our 2yo Daughter.
This is what it looked like shortly after we had moved in.

(Summer 2005?)

Since then, things have changed A LOT. And it is still changing.
For one, we added 3 more kids to the house, for a total of 4!

A porch was added. Later a portion was framed in for a mudroom (The far left of the porch in the photo below). This is just the outside. I can't even begin to list what has changed on the inside.

(Summer 2014)

We have plans to wrap the porch along the right side of the house, and have started an addition on the back for a larger kitchen including a walk in pantry! This will include a relocation of the laundry room, adding a half bath, and replacing the stand up shower with a tub/shower.
One bathtub is just not getting the job done.

But right now, we have a major interior re-construction/changes in the works, within the existing structure..
We had a cathedral Ceiling with an open loft over the living room portion of the house when you first walked into the front door.
The loft was closed up to a make a nursery last winter, for our newest family addition. Now we have taken the cathedral ceiling and framed a floor and walls for our daughters bedroom. This will give each child their own room. 
The 2 older kids bedrooms will remain downstairs and the 2 younger kids will be upstairs with Mom and Dad.

Now most of you must think, this must cost a fortune. 
Generally, yes it would. But it is pretty affordable for us. All we need to come up with is the materials. and some we reuse leftovers from my husbands past jobs, so we save a little out of pocket money there.
Our biggest savings, my husband does it all... Plumbing, electrical, framing, sheetrock, trim.... all of it. On occasion, he will call in a friend (or wife, or son, or daughter) to give him a hand. But most of it, he does himself. Pretty amazing!

I honestly think he enjoys it. And I enjoy throwing ideas out at him, some he thinks are crazy. Like a playhouse built into our daughters bedroom. I will be posting more on this another time.

We live in a never ending construction zone. If ever we run out of things to do... I am sure we will go crazy with the lack of air compressors, nail guns, construction debris, dust (Okay, I could definitely live without the dust)...