Move: Complete!

I type this blog, while sitting in our new master bedroom (master suite as I like to call it–it just sounds fancy), listening to the soft rain on the garage roof, content as my 3 little people sleep soundly in the room next to us.  Just perfect…..

Now let’s step into the reality of what actually is at the project house, AKA Maple Street Estate, as of now.

I’ll start at the beginning.

3 weeks ago I coincidentally ran into a post on facebook in a local group of a family looking for a home to *rent* in Cedar county.  They came and looked, we liked them, they signed a lease. Awesome! Our home is rented out to a nice family and our prayers have been answered. We can now move into our new house! (ie the Maple Street Estate, as we like to call it).  Just one little problem; they need to be in before the end of September, and our  it’s still majorly under construction!  The 2nd floor of the home was 1 step from being 100% done, but the rest was a work in progress, to say the least.

2 weeks ago I frantically started packing, moving things into our massive 3+ car garage/shed at the new house. We could not move anything into the house yet due to the construction.

1 0 days ago the drywallers began hanging drywall.

7 days ago the drywall finishers arrived and began taping, mudding, texturing and priming the first floor of the house. We have done mostly all of the work ourselves and with some very talented family members, but we decided to hire this out due to the *ahem* time constraint.

5 days ago the carpet layers arrived, and had a showdown with the drywall finishers, who were both trying to complete a job simultaneously; one very messy, one not messy at all.  By the end of the day they had the drywall finished in the first floor and the carpet installed in the 2nd floor.  The 2nd floor was now move-in ready.

3 days ago we moved the remainder of our home into the garage and 2nd floor of the house.

2 days ago we gave the renters the keys to the old house and said goodbye to our house of memories. We were completely moved out. WE MADE IT.

So reality is this:  I sit in my newly remodeled master bedroom, with a heap of clothes in the one half of the room because we don’t have a clothes washer hooked up yet, although we have 3 possible hookups in the house, 1 on each floor. (side note, I LOVE our master bedroom/bath/closet! We have never had anything like this before!)  The rain is tapping on the roof of the garage that is full to the brim of our stuff, lumber, drywall. We have a makeshift kitchen as of now that includes a refrigerator, utility sink, crock pot and microwave. (side note, you have to switch out the extension cord to run the crock pot vs the microwave–just fyi). The kids are actually sleeping soundly in the room next to me. The kids will be the first to tell you that you have to wear your shoes on the first floor, but take them off if you step one foot on the new carpet beginning at the base of the stairs.  I cannot find much of anything.

Half of my current kitchen. Notice the carpet remnants covering the plywood  and lovely halogen lights ;)

Half of my current kitchen. Notice the carpet remnants covering the plywood and lovely halogen lights 😉

We still have a ton of work to do in the house.  We are hoping to get the downstairs painted this weekend so the electricians can return to finish the wiring job and we will hopefully have working outlets, switches, and lights/fans by the end of next week. After that will be getting the kitchen a bit more, modern?, shall we say, and getting the first floor hardwood floors figured out. One step at a time.  There are a LOT of steps to be done, but it’s a home that is going to be great for us!

It’s a mess. It’s an adventure. It’s a lot of work.

As Lucy said a few days ago, out of the blue, “Mom! This is a GREAT house!!!”

Agreed, Miss L. Agreed.

-The {remodeling} Costellos





Summer bucket list

Summer rocks! 

$1 birdhouses and 69 cent paint makes for 2 happy, very entertained kids for an afternoon project

$1 birdhouses and 69 cent paint makes for 2 happy, very entertained kids for an afternoon project

Last summer we did not get to do much fun stuff. I was already uncomfortably pregnant and was not handling much in terms of heat or activity, let alone the two together. So this summer we made up for it. We squeezed as much as we could into this summer, especially these past few weeks before the kids returned to (pre)school.  There is such a nice array of active fun family things to do around here that I want our kids to have an appreciation (and love) for! That and my kids behave better, are in better moods, and get along better when we are out and about and active.

We took our kayaks out a handful of times.  Lost Grove lake and Bennett park a few times. G and L have each been out on the water with us.  Lucy really loves it, G is still trying to get over his fear of water that he cannot touch the bottom in.  J and I are hoping to take out the kayaks at least 1 more time for a day-long paddling trip.

One morning I took all 3 kids hiking at Wildcat Den, a State Park only about 30 mins from here.  We gathered ‘nature stuff’ (per G) and put some miles on those little legs!  The kids loved the rock formations, the wildlife and the trails.  We explored around the old Grist Mill and even got to go in and get a tour. The kids waded in the creek water and got to help grind corn themselves at the mill.  2 massive diaper blowouts, courtesy of Amelia rounded out the day and we were ready to pack it up!

We trekked over to West Lake Beach for an afternoon with some friends.  The kids had free passes from their summer reading program, but I am not sure why we had not went to the beach earlier in the summer.  They have a nice little wading area for kids and the 6 of them had a blast all together.  Sand + sun = 3 tired kiddos and a good afternoon nap!

Spray parks are my new favorite summer activity for the kids. They are A) FREE. B) Easy to watch your kids while there and less worry about deep water C) Hours of entertainment for little people. D) A nice way to cool off. E) Did I mention they are FREE?!  We went to 2 different spray parks this summer and had plans for another that fell through due to rain. All 3 of the kids really liked them, and now that Amelia is mobile she is even more of a fan. 

Amelia is getting quite curious

Amelia is getting quite curious

This past weekend we went to the Old Thresher’s Reunion.  Based on the name I could hardly contain my excitement (note sarcasm) but I was pleasantly surprised.  The ‘reunion’ is more like a fair with a lot of demonstrations and re-enactments of yesteryear. We saw grain threshing powered b a 2 horse treadmill, the kids rode a steam-powered carousel, rode  a train to the ‘log village’ of pioneer days, and watched people make sugar from sorghum.  Everything was really interesting and we all had a good time.  


Zonked after the Old Thresher’s

Pony rides!

Pony rides!

This past weekend we also went to Backbone State Park for an annual family picnic.  That place is so pretty!!  We had gotten a shelter by the beach and hoped to let the kids splash in the water all day.  Good thing we checked the DNR website a few days prior as the park was one of several in Iowa rated unsafe to swim in due to abnormally high levels of E.Coli bacteria in the water earlier in the season.  Yikes! No kids were allowed in the water, and It rained off and on all day but we had a great time.  My kids LOVE getting together with their cousins and we hear about it for weeks afterwards.

This week the kids returned to school and our summer bucket list concluded. (Now onto the fall bucket list–apple orchards and pumpkin patches here we come!) G was beyond ready to return to school.  He thrives at school, does well with his peers and really enjoys his teachers and activities.  I cannot tell you how EXCITED Lucy was to begin preschool and how much she BAWLED on the first day when she realized she had to go home after class was over. I guess that is a good thing?!

-The {active} Costello’s