The cubby house situation

I figure the house is equally as much bubba’s as it is ours and that we need to allow for dedicated space for her to play and keep toys in the areas where we spend the most time, and not just in her room.

Ya. Good thinking mum.

It’s gotten slightly out of hand. We currently have no less than three (that’s THREE folks) cubby houses in the living room.

The actual on-purpose cubby. Never mind the blue masking tape. She has a thing for masking tape and tapes everything. EVERYTHING.

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The accidental “cubby” (cardboard box) that she claimed from a furniture delivery (dining chairs). (We’re nothing but class and good taste over here).

IMG_9497And the day the new sofa arrived she commandeered me to move the Kivik boxes (still unpacked) in to a formation she declared a cubby, moved her pillows inside the formation and plonked herself down.

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Now that the sofa is unpacked, the largest of the boxes is a cubby house (I managed to squirrel away the smaller box for recycling).

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Seriously. Who lives like this?!

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Posted in Living room | 4 Comments

Have a seat, whydontcha

We wanted a second sofa when we moved in to the house, and with a long-stay house guest coming soon-ish we really needed to get on it. There’s something about three adults sitting side by side, all facing forward, that feels a bit awkward from a conversational point of view. With two sofas facing each other we can spread out but also have a conversation without straining our necks.

There is of course my birthday present, but as soon as I sit in it the daughter has a spell. She doesn’t use it much but if I sit down in it… the drama is hardly worth it. Right now it just sits there by itself being all pretty by itself. Oh well. I still adore it. Maybe I can use it when she moves out.

I didn’t want the sofas matchy matchy but still needed the two of them to be friends. The AGONY of choosing colour, fabric, and style ended up with me not being able to make any decisions at all. As usual. This has been going on for about three months. Then Sunday night I had a look at the list of things to do before our guest arrives mid-December (remember: awkward neck-straining conversations), and I just surrendered to one website (Ikea if you must know), found two good enough contestants, packed up family in car Monday morning (was public holiday here) for an Ikea-dash and a sofa jumping session and picked this one.

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I didn’t realise how seriously Ikea takes their Flat-Pack policy. The sofa arrived in flat packs!

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I LOVE the grey fabric. The fabric is soft but feel durable, the sofa is firm and comfortable and with the armrests being so low it doesn’t take up much visual space, and they also work beautifully for stretching out horizontally. Never mind the toys, please.

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I didn’t have time to tidy up the mess by the time I had wrestled the cushions in to the covers so try to look past that for now. A plan is in the works for how to curb that daily chaos. Won’t happen today though so for now pretend everything colourful and plastic is actually invisible.

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Funnily enough the fabric on both sofas are very similar to each other, just different colours. Kivik can also be undressed and get a new outfit so if we get bored with this safer colour there’s always the option to go bold for not a lot of dough, which is pretty exciting.

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And someone has already claimed her territory. (Maybe now I can get to use my birthday chair?)

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Come on over and have a seat, whydontcha!

Posted in Living room | 7 Comments

We built a pool

One of the things we planned loooong before we even bought a house was to get a pool. When house hunting we mostly looked at houses with pools and some without that had room to get one built. House prices are not affected much by a pool since people are quite divided as to their value. Seems a lot of people think the maintenance far outways the perks. We knew all along however we would get a pool even if the house we bought didn’t already have one installed.

And then we feel in love with, AND bought a house without a pool, and with no room for one.

Doh!

Introducing the Splash Pool.

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Apologies, did you think we actually had one built?

This one IS built. By our own hands. Took all of 30 minutes to get it up and then an additional hour to fill it halfway.

It’s been in use two afternoons so far and is a massive hit with our two youngest family members (that would be our daughter and my husband).

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Our property is all sandstone so a future in-ground pool is not too likely to happen unfortunately. For now this is it. At least this sucker can easily fit 4 sitting adults (and if full the water level would go up to armpit level) and we can also stand up straight under the canopy, no hunkering down.

It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I was thinking of becoming a pool owner…

I’m off to eBay some trashy inflatable drink holders. Flamingos anyone?

Posted in Backyard | 4 Comments

Spring time

When we first bought the house we had big plans to attack the landscaping first thing. Back yard, the front and curb appeal. The works. We quickly realised we would be better off “getting to know” the property first. See how it changes with the seasons for a year before we started tearing in to it. Turns out that was a smart plan.

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We never would’ve known those uninteresting trees and bushes in front of our house could do this.

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At the back of the house there’s a similar flower explosion going on.

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We don’t know yet how we’re going to handle that. While we adore the colours and blooms, the backyard isn’t currently working that well for our family and the way we want to utilise it.

Whoever planted this garden must have really loved it. We certainly do, and feel so grateful for having all this prettiness surrounding us every day.

We’ll bring in a landscape designer eventually to help us keep the feel of what has been created here, but make it work for our lifestyle. I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with any of it so we definitely need a professional.

We just bought a slippery slide and a cubby house that both need some room. And we’re about to purchase an outdoors dining set that also need some room. So for now it will be a wee bit crowded out there until we get some people out to help us get organised.

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For now we’re still working on the inside. It’s been a very slow progress. Pretty much as soon as I had posted the Two Months recap I got two months of work from an old client who caught me on a day when the housewife/stay-at-home-mum thing felt very challenging and I needed to do something else. It was fun and felt good to do something “different” (it’s been three years since I did some honest work, gasp), but it took up every evening, all weekends and a bit during the day as well the few times bubba cooperated enough to allow me some computer time. Needless to say, there was not a minute left over for any house improvements.

So four months after we moved in we still have an unmade guest room that still houses our daughter. Our daughter’s actual room houses paint cans. A study full of moving boxes. A living room full of toys still yearning for that toy cabinet I wanted to build. Ya, I’ll save you photographic evidence, you get the drift.

The GOOD thing is, we have a house guest coming to stay in December and we simply must get the nursery done so daughter can move in so guest room can be done so bed can be bought so guest can move in, AND, a study to be emptied so study/craft area can be available for Christmas crafting and jibberings and wines etc etc etc. There’s quite a few things more to be done but I’ll spare you the details for now.

Let’s just say we have a very long list of things to fix/primp/purchase in the next nine weeks. So I’d expect to see you back here for some updates during the next few weeks.

There’s simply nothing like a tight deadline and full blown panic to get stuff done.

Giddyup.

Posted in Backyard, Curb appeal | 9 Comments

This is a love story

About wheels.

I’ve owned two cars. They were both filled to the brim with character. Each other’s polar opposites. And pieces of junk. And I loved both more than one probably should an inanimate object.

My first car was a Ford Taunus 17M 1971 bought for about $200 and that included four new spare tyres.

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Yeah that’s me. Pulling hair out of my mouth, awesome. And now it’s on the internet. You’re welcome. It was actually taken on my graduation, hence the hat. And note it’s a photo of a PHOTO. There were no digital cameras back then, not mainstream anyway.

The owner came up to Stockholm in the car, saw something he liked better, bought it, and was left with this wagon of a car and needed someone to just take it off his hands so he could drive back home.

I drove it while I was still in school. The battery would die if I left it connected so I had to disconnect the battery whenever I parked the car, step out between each class, reconnect the battery, rev the engine for a while, disconnect the battery and then go back to class, to be sure the car would start at the end of day. Buy a new battery you say? Yeah we tried that. Didn’t work.

The shift stick was initially just an iron pipe slid on top of the 5 cm stick that was left after it broke a few years earlier. The boyfriend welded a new shift stick for me so it was slightly safer.

The car seat was so low (and had no other settings) I sat on a phone book to even be able to see above the steering wheel. The steering wheel was way wider than my shoulders and made of red bakelite. In winter the steering wheel was so freezing cold it stung my hands and made me loose feeling.

Also, in winter I not only had to scrape the windows on the outside of the car but also on the inside. Aaaah the memories. “Skorpan” was its name, makes no sense in English but the closest it translates to may be “Crusty”. Gosh I loved that car.

One day Skorpan drew its last breath. It was taken to the junk yard. I cried for a whole day and saved the car key. I still have it.

Then came this little beauty. Fiat 500D 1960-something.

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That’s my car. It was so cute I died every time I looked at it. Just about. “A love stronger than thousand deaths…” Ya, a poet I am not.

A better picture of a Fiat 500D (same model but not my actual car, and I didn’t have a sunroof). See how the door handle is up front. See the adorableness. That’s a word. Now.

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It was deserted in an industrial yard where the boyfriend and I used to take our evening walks and I would see it almost every day, through the seasons, and entirely snowed under in winter without any cover. One day we had enough of seeing that awesome little car so unloved, we managed to track down the business owning the yard and then the owner and he was happy to sell. It was one of the proudest days of my life, owning that piece of junk.

The floor was rusted through so I could see the road when driving. The door hinges were behind the seat rather than by the rearview mirrors so it opened opposite to what you’re used to, suicide doors I believe they called them.

I could get the speed up to 100km/h on the freeway if going downhill. The car would then shake and rattle so badly I always expected nuts and bolts to fly off. I called it “Smulan” (“Crumbs”) because it was so much smaller than Skorpan (“Crusty”).

People would congregate around the car and older generations of people would stop me and tell me stories about their old Fiat 500s. I once had a cortege of Italian motorcyclists all beeping me and waving as they passed me on the freeway. Good times.

I had to leave it behind when I moved countries. I still mourn the loss of that car.

Then today this arrived at my door step.

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Number three. It’s got big shoes to fill.

 

 

Posted in Such is life | Leave a comment

Another boring and costly progress update

When we had the positive pressure system installed we found out our circuit board was asbestos.

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I have a list as long as my arm on electrical things we want to update, a lot of them are new installs which means new breaker switches, which meant drilling holes in the circuit board, which wasn’t possible because it was asbestos. (That black background board is the nasty stuff apparently).

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We figured the electrical updates we wanted done were important enough for us to go through the very costly process of having the asbestos removed and a new fancy pants circuit board installed. Sigh. More money spent on stuff you can’t really see.

We were told it’d be a very fancy super sensitive and intelligent top of the line (enough adjectives in there yet?) circuit board and THAT sounded very exciting. The electrician was so excited when he told me about the stuff he could install for us, I was imagining something sci-fi-looking thing like this:

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Yeah, I never exagerrate. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS.

We were going to lose power for the day so bubba and I evacuated to the sister-in-law to stay warm and be able to eat warm food.

When we came back home I basically ran around the house to see what had been done. Blinking lights here I come!

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Eeeeh… Where is my chrome and cold blue blinking lights? Oh well, I suppose there’s no reason to exchange what’s “good” so fair enough.

And then I opened the case and found this.

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Womp womp. Quite the anti climax.

I may need to work on my expectations in the future.

Posted in Reno | 3 Comments

Houseversary – Two months

Yesterday we had been in our house for two months. I feel like I’m treading water a bit and not really getting anywhere with getting the house pretty, so I thought maybe looking back at the past two months to see what’s been done might make me feel better:

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  • installed book cases in dining room
  • removed annoying tree that was knocking on our bedroom window at night
  • removed weird blinds hardware in bubba’s bedroom window
  • created a little play space for bubs
  • tore out all skirting in bubba’s room
  • tore out the innards of her wardrobe
  • removed clingy plant off front porch railing
  • bought two pretty rugs and planted some indoor plants

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  • bought new sofa and got rid of the old one
  • removed redundant old yucky chairs in the backyard
  • toddler proofed front door
  • had pestman over to spray for spideys (was disgusting, and still is, it aggravates the spiders and they come out in FORCE before they cark it)

Ok. I look at that list and I can see now we’ve done a fair bit, although most of it is stuff you can’t SEE, or things that are functional rather than pretty, hence the lack of feeling any real progress.

Onwards.

Posted in Houseversary, Such is life | 3 Comments