Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Michael Lake House, The Kid's Bedroom - Part 4

This bedroom is what we decided to make into the "kids bedroom" I have three beautiful children and my sister has two.  They can't all fit in this room, but all of the girls can or they can all cram into it if they are in the mood (and they are all still pretty small!)  This room had wonderful "bones"  The wood beam ceiling and hard wood floors both extended into this room and two of the four walls were wood plank.  These were a nightmare to paint, but we were very happy with the finished product.  There were also holes and gaps in the floors and wall everywhere. Our contractor built new trim and filled up the missing floor planks with pieces from the floor in inconspicious spots.  We lighted up the walls to balance out the dark wood everywhere and got a great single over a full pottery barn bunkbed on craigslist (for $50!) A little paint and it was like new!

I wanted the room to feel bright and fun, but to also be tasteful.  I started by stenciled starfish all over one of the gray walls in white. The two bead board walls stayed all white.  
Here is the finished product! The kids adore it and I am pretty happy with it too!
Here is the side by side before and after. Some improvement, right??

Michael Lake House, Master Bedroom, Part 3

The master bedroom in our Lake House was a peach, let me tell ya!  First off, it had mint green/light bluish walls, ceiling, trim...EVERYTHING.  Wonderful, right?  It also had peel and stick tiles on the floor, covered by wall to wall carpet and padding that wasn't actually placed wall to wall, but laid in the center of the floor, like an area rug! And, as I mentioned before, it was missing a door (see KITCHEN CEILING, in post #1)

We decided since we are going to tear out the closet and redo the master bath in the near future, we would leave the floors for the time being and deal with it more later than sooner.  The walls had a lovely old damask wallpaper that shows through the paint.  After an extensive amount of time on pinterest, I decided to do a camel color and light blue room (to match the ceiling!! ha ha!)  with black and white accents. I did this very much on the cheap, but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. We did buy standard 2 inch white blinds for the entire house. It really seemed like a neccessity and something I'm glad we purchased. Conrad was an old pro at installing them, especially after passing the tenth installatin or so! Here is the before, in all it's mint green/bluish glory:
The color turned out darker than I intended, but I like it, and it works because of all of the windows in the room. Here you can kind of see the pattern on the wallpaper, not to mention our cool "area rug" situation. 

Below is the room after we finished it.  I couldn't be happier!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next installation of the Lake House.

Michael Lake House-The Big Room, Part 2

So our little Lake House is about 1,100 square feet with three small bedroom.  It has a lovely large room that is surrounded with large windows, exactly what you'd want living on Lake Erie.  But I'll admit it needed work!

We hired a friend who is a wonderful contractor to renovate for us.  The first order of business was to remove the carpet and strip the paint from the wood floors.  The wood floors extended to the entire great room and the two bedrooms that were off of the room on the right hand side in this picture.  The walls (and floors) were also full of holes and cracks and other wierd things, so our contractor also re surfaced all of the walls in the big room. 
This is his progress and what it looked like after he worked his magic
We also wanted to work through a couple of the room oddities, like the weird fireplace wall and the mirror that was embedded in the wall on the right. It would be a matter of replacing the whole wall to remove it, so we decided to work with it.  Our contractor found old reclaimed barn wood and built a fireplace feature over the odd chimney.  He also found old wood in the garage of the house and trimmed out the mirror.  Both of these things work really well with the style and era of the home! We also decided to white wash the fireplace to brighten up and update the room.
After he finished the floors, walls, and replacing oodles and oodles of trim, Conrad and I came in and painted.  It tooks us a LOT of time to prime and paint this large room.  I choose a light gray, as I was trying to keep the house a light color since the walls and ceiling were dark.  I also wanted the colors of the rooms to reflect sand and sea.  I refinished an old dining set and coffee table I found on craigslist, scoured thrift stores for accent pieces and rummaged through our own house to finish the room.  I was happy with the outcome!

 These chairs were the only big items we bought new for the house.  And after searching and searching for the just the right thing, these from Walmart actually, did the trick.  I choose burlap fabrics and wood accents to use throughout the house, and feel like it really worked! 
We have done even more since these pictures were taken, like mounted a big screen TV over the fireplace, installed a nice electric fireplace, and restuffed the saggy pull out sofa, which came from our home, and endless other small details!
Couch Before and After
Bad picture of TV and fireplace..

Old table and lamp refurbished.

Here are some side by side before and after's

 Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned for the master bedroom makeover!

Michael Lake House, the Beginning. Part 1

Life is moving swiftly along for the Michael Family. As you can see, I don't blog much, but I did want to document our newest fun adventure.  We began looking for investment properties several years ago. We look, we wait, we go back, we look again.  Last spring we found this lovely little house in Huron, Ohio, just a block from the beach.

We had decided that we would like to try a vacation home rental, and it was a good fit for us since we had family up in the area willing to help out.  It's a couple of miles from Cedar Point Amusement Park and had beach access.  The house was old and worn out, build somewhere between 1900 and 1950, depending on what local is telling the tale, or which property record you were reading.  It's quaint on the outside, but when you looked inside, well...most of our visitors said, "Meh." But oh, how it looked to me, in my head! Fortunatley, my husband trusted me and my "visions of sugar plums."

It had lovely lovely old wood beam ceilings and under old carpet and paint were beautiful hardwood floors.  The walls were this and that, among it, old fashioned patterned wall paper and real wood beadboard.  It was love at first site, although you are going to have a hard time believing it....

 This little house has some oddities, to say the least. For one thing, the chimney had a wall build over one side of it…perhaps in an effort to even out the “look” of it?? Besides, the fireplace wasn’t functional, as it needed a new liner and was a terrible fire hazard.

The kitchen had a drop ceiling, that was falling down and under the drop celling was a celling put together with this and then, including some kind of shingles and a door, presumably taken off of the master bedroom at some point and installed in the ceiling.  The hatch to the attic was then sawed out of one of the door panels (of course!)

But I haven’t even told you about the most interesting piece of the house. The bomb shelter! Yep, this house comes complete with a bomb shelter.  The old home owners told us it was a storm shelter.  They also told us that they had gotten quotes of $1,000-$2,000 to remove it.  But, one gentlemen who lives down the  street, stopped by to chat with us and told us that he grew up in the house and his mother was quite afraid a coming Soviet nuclear attack and had it installed in the 1950’s.  Other rumors include that they only had money to buy braces for their daughter or a bomb shelter and choose the later.  The mum was also rumored to be a beautiful, if eccentric, ballerina. 
Needless to say, the quotes we have gotten to remove our little piece of history range from $5,000 (from the contractor working next door, willing to do it, while the garage next door is being removed) to $10,000, since it’s difficult to get heavy machinery into the small space.  I currently have it listed on craigslist..free to a good home, if you are willing to move it!
In all reality, it will probably become a lovely conversation piece or odd destination attraction, perhaps we’ll side it in cedar and put a deck/hot tub on top of it! You just never know!

So, back to the house.  The full bathroom that was in the house is terrible.  It’s walls, and ceiling are old fashioned mylar and in terrible shape.  The bathtub and walls are currently being held together with duct tape of some kind and the window is cracked.  It needs fixed and it’s next on the agenda for next summer, although we have run out of time and money for this year! I have beautiful ideas of what I want this room to look like.  There is a half bath off of the master which is comical.  It has pink plastic tile on the walls and cork on the ceiling. It was all held together with duct tape when we bought the house.  Our wonderful contractor, removed the duct tape and put up a temporary, but much improved fix.  It is like a mobile home half bath, with s mini sink and mini mirror, and almost mini toilet.  Our plans are to remove the wall to the closet and make it a full bath.
Currently we are well toward finished on this project and I couldn't be happier! Stay tuned for my next post!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hudson's Birth Story

In May, we had our 20 week ultrasound and the both girls and Conrad went with me.  We had the ultrasound tech write the gender of the baby and seal it in an envelope.  Dr. Summers had told me that there was a great chance that , since we had already had two girls, that we would have a third, statistically speaking.  I suspected (hoped?) it might be a boy when the tech told me, “Oh you’re gonna be surprised.” She was right…

We really wanted a boy, but were trying to gear ourselves up for another girl! The next day, as soon as possible, I took the envelope to Piece of Cake (bakery) and asked them to bake it into a cake for us with blue or pink filling in the cake.  I needed that envelope out of my hot little hands so I wasn’t tempted to peek! 

A couple of weeks later, on Memorial Day weekend, our whole family gathered at Doc Holiday’s ranch for a cook out and the “Gender Reveal.”  Doc was kind enough to add some fun extras like blue and pink ribbons for Team Boy and Team Girl.  Everyone donned the color ribbon that corelated with the gender they believed the baby would be.  Team Boy far out numbered Team Girl, consequently.  We cut into the cake with much anticipation and everyone (including Conrad and I) were totally shocked when we saw the blue frosting…”It’s a boy!” and there was much rejoicing! That’s when we knew Hudson William was on his way. 

If the baby was a girl, we were going to name her, Charlotte Marjorie Michael.  But we always knew what a baby boy would be called.  I had that name picked out since college.  Hudson after the great English Missionary to China, James Hudson Taylor. May our son have his great sense of sacrifice, adventure, devotion to the Lord and the lost. 

My pregnancy with Hudson was similar to the girls, in that I was always still sick and nauseated. But, different, in that medication actually took the edge off.  Different, in that, I was extremely fatigued.  So tired, I often couldn’t do the smallest things! Also, I lost weight, my hair grew in thick and was always manageable and I looked great! All my other pregnancies I looked (as well as felt) green, but this one proved the old saying that, “Daughters steal your beauty and sons steal your brains!”

Being 39 years old, I have felt like this was my last pregnancy so I cherished my pregnant belly and my time carrying my little one around with me everywhere I went , even more so than with the girls. I was less nauseated, so I enjoyed my pregnancy a little bit more.  And, I actually had less complications (although many “precautionary” measures) than with either of the other two, as well.

Hudson was due October 15, but was scheduled to be induced October 9th at 39 weeks and 1 day.  I began to pray that I would go into labor naturally, since I wanted to experience that, at least once. I had heard everyone say it was so much easier!  The week before I was scheduled to be induced Grandma Margie came to stay with us, “just in case” I went into labor.

On Saturday, October 5th, we went to the mall and took the girls to get a pedicure for Grace’s 5th birthday.  We had a great dinner with the family and went home. I was really uncomfortable with what I thought was heartburn.  I went to bed and slept for a couple of hours.  At about 4am I woke up with slightly uncomfortable pains. Not too bad, so I just rolled over. Pretty soon I started to notice that they were pretty regular.  I started timing them and realized they were 5-6 minutes apart. I got up and started to finish packing my hospital bag and folding clothes.  At about 5am, I woke up Conrad and told him I thought it was “time.”  He was sleeping up with Isabelle, where I had sent him since he had been snoring keeping this pregnant mama awake!  Isabelle woke up too and was super excited about us going to the hospital!  She got up and started getting herself ready to go with us.  She was mildly surprised when I told her she would not be coming with us right then. She was so excited to meet the baby!   We then woke up Grandma, who jumped up too, she was also excited about the baby coming!

We arrived just before 6am at the hospital and they checked me.  I had been 3cm dialated at my last doctors appointment on Monday and I was only dialated to 3.5cm when we got to the hospital.  The nurse told me to walk around for an hour and if I didn’t dialate anymore they’d probably send me home.  I was a little annoyed because I knew this was really it.  By 6:00am the contractions were bad enough that I had to stop and breath, so I knew this was the real thing!

We started walking. By the end of the hour, my contractions were about 1.5-2 minutes apart and were very painful. I definatly couldn’t talk through them!  When the nurse checked me again I was 5.5-6cm dialated!  They checked me in!

We quickly got to the labor room and I got an epidural at about 8:30am.  We called everyone and Oma drove frantically from Norwalk to get there. She went back to our house to pick up Grandma and the girls and headed to the hospital.  Since it was Sunday, whoever the doctor on call was would be deliverying our baby…and as luck would have it, Dr. Summers, my OBGYN was on call! How wonderful!

Things slowed down as they tend to with an epidural and I didn’t progress past 8cm for a while. I finished my book and took a little nap and Mom, Grandma, and the girls dropped in to tell us they were there, and Dr. Summers arrived at the hospital.  I was ready then to have the baby!  I asked the nurse to set me up in the bed.  My experience with my pregnancies told me that simple gravity will get me fully dialated very quickly.  And sure enough, within 10 minutes I had progressed to a 9.5-10cm.  The epidural had worn off enough so that I was very very uncomfortable to the point of being in pain, with almost no breaks in between contractions, and I was also very motivated to push!

At 11:35ish, the nurse said, if you feel like you have to push, push. So I did! I felt more with this delivery than the other ones and I could feel the baby move down, it was pretty painful.  With the second push I felt his head move down and the doctor said, “wait just a minute!” as the nurse said, “Push!”  I said, “can we have this baby by noon?” She said, “Oh, we’ll have it before noon. One more push and he’s out.”  I was shocked, “Really?” And, again, very motivated. On the next contraction (about two and a half pushes!) he was out and crying!

At 11:38am, Hudson William Michael was born.  7 lbs, 20 inches long and a head full of dark hair.  He looked more like me than the other two babies and he was perfect in every way. I was able to hold him and nurse him right away and Oma was in there for his delivery so she got lots of good pictures!

I had a more of a “birth prayer” than a “birth plan” and things went exactly how I prayed they would. Even better. Although, I have to say, it’s kind of a myth (from my limited experience) that pain with an induction is more painful than naturally (they are both PAINFUL!) The experience of letting my body do what it was designed to do, including experiencing the pain of labor, was an empowering experience and I was in awe of what my body could do and what God designed it to do. Creating life is an amazing miracle. Every. Single. Time.

Not long after delivery the staff discovered that his temperature was low and he had a difficult time regulating it.  He was admitted into the NICU for about 12 harrowing hours and it was scary for us!  I spent that night making trips back and forth between my room and Hudsons to nurse him and really just to be near him as it was the first time I had ever been without him in his entire existence.  It was difficult! I was terribly upset(hello, raging hormones!), but at the same time, peaceful and knew the Lord had things under control.  Thank God that things seemed to right themselves by the next morning and he was released back into my room and then with me right on schedule on Tuesday morning.  Thank you Lord for a healthy baby and a safe delivery, exactly the way he had placed it on my heart!

I love this little man and am so thankful for him! maternity leave was wonderful as we enjoyed having the girls being in school in the day time and our time alone with the baby.  We have had Daddy, Mommy, and Hudson lunch dates and Conrad has been able to really help me rest during the day after sleepless baby nights! So far, maternity leave has been a blessing…love my life as his Mama