Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Living room hardwood floor finished!

Finally, we have finished the living room floor! We've been waiting for this since we moved in, basically, and things kept getting in the way of working on it, and then when we finally did get to it, it took much longer than I had anticipated.

A bit of background for those that don't know: the majority of our house had hardwood originally, and I refinished it all before we moved in. This room, however, was originally the garage, and so didn't have any hardwood, because carpet was installed when it was converted. Since we were restoring the wood floors in the rest of the house, it made sense to install hardwood in this room as well.

We waited a long time to start, because once it started raining in the fall, we discovered that the roof had leaks in that room. I went up on the roof on several different occasions squirting roof goop in various places hoping to stop the leak - there wasn't anything hugely obvious, instead, there were many small things that could have been contributing. Once we felt that the leaks were taken care of, we finally started working on the room.

A before picture from May 2016 when we bought the house. There was laminate in the dining room and kitchen, and terrible
carpet in the rest of the house. This was before we knew about the hardwood underneath everything (except for this room).
Lauren observing some of the beginning stages. The row of new looking plywood was new because what was there was actually
T1-11 siding, which in addition to being too thin, i.e. not the right height, is not nearly stiff enough to be used in a floor. The blokes
who did the floor in this room were clearly not professionals.
Lauren showing her Bow Bow what Dada is doing.
Viewing the room through a cardboard tube. At this point the cardboard boxes have ceased to act as an effective barrier for Lauren.
Before we started laying the floor, we had to blow cellulose insulation into this exterior wall, as there was none.
It made sense to do this before we had a nice new floor to potentially mess up.
Watching Dad and Josh (a friend from church) blow in the insulation - very dusty work.
Adding blocks to screw the hole plugs to in order to patch it all up.
Mudding. It's a sturdy woodstove.
After finishing the insulation and painting the floor to seal it off from things beneath it, we got started laying the hardwood. I had a friend
(Josh again) help me get started, and am very glad I did, as he and I worked through some previously undiscovered issues with the
peculiar way the floor curves.
This is how much we got done the first day - doesn't look like much, but it took a lot of prep work to get this far.
After renting a nailer for a two-day stretch on a long weekend, I realized that this would take a lot
longer than I expected, and ended up purchasing a refurbished nailer which was about the cost of
3 days of rental. It has since paid for itself.
Lauren using the boxes of hardwood as a stepping stool for looking out the window.
Our newest flooring installer
Getting it lined up just right
Need a longer piece
Things begin to get interesting as I reach the stone work around the woodstove area
First diagonal cut complete. All of the acute angles like this that I couldn't do on the compound miter saw were done freehand on the
table saw. Especially fun when two different angles land on the same piece due to a change in the direction of the border boards.
Looking good, Dad!
Progress shot
Lauren hanging out with her Mow (pronounced Mau, meaning Meow)

Floor complete!
Putting a couple last coats of paint on the baseboard
Baseboard installed and room cleaned out. Only 10 months after we bought the house... :P
Though it's not perfect, I'm really happy with how this part turned out. I plan on filling the gap between the wood and the stone with
some mortar that matches the stonework mortar. Note: the baseboard on the right side looks bad because it's not actually installed yet.

All in all, we're really happy to have it finally done, and glad that we will at last be able to unpack our books and set up our living room in a more usable manner. Many thanks to all the helpers - Josh, Ali, and Lauren :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lauren's first steps

When Lauren and I traveled to BC this summer to visit my parents, Jonathan really hoped Lauren wouldn't start walking until we returned home. She had been pulling up on furniture and walking herself along it for a few weeks by then, and we imagined she might start standing soon and then walking not too long after.

But Lauren seems to be a girl who does things her own way in her own time. She took her time starting to roll, army crawl, and crawl on all fours, and she seemed to feel the same way about walking. She's really enjoyed this phase of pulling up to stand using furniture, walls, cabinets, and legs, and walking along holding on to objects, and didn't seem to be too interested in exploring further transportation methods. I've been trying to follow the RIE approach in regards to physical development, and have given Lauren opportunities to practice her gross motor skills but let her take the lead in what she's comfortable doing. It's been really beautiful to watch her grow and progress on her own terms. I haven't minded at all that she hasn't been an early or even an on-time walker. I know that life will change drastically with a walking baby and I was more than happy to postpone that new stage for several extra months.

A few weeks ago, Lauren started to let go of objects and stand alone for a few short seconds. Slowly, she's built up her balance to stand for longer amounts of time and has become much steadier on her feet. Soon she was standing alone in the bathtub (because of course she needs both of her hands to rub shampoo into her hair) and on the soft surface of our bed, which takes some skill.

For the past week or so, I've been periodically setting Lauren out in front of me as I knelt on the floor and asking her if she could walk to me. Until today, she's always fallen to her knees and crawled on over, crawling being the obviously faster method. But today, when I decided to try it again, she stood steadily for a few seconds and then took several steps over to me and fell into my arms. Even though I knew it was really close to happening, I was still quite surprised. Then I realized that I should document it and ran to grab my camera so I could show Jonathan in case Lauren didn't feel up to replicating her efforts in the evening once he was home from work. When I asked her to walk to me again, with the camera recording her efforts, she happily obliged and then did so several more times throughout the afternoon. And thankfully, Lauren was happy to show Dada her new skill this evening!

We can say with certainty that our girl is truly a toddler now!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pumpkin farm visit

On Sunday afternoon, we went to a nearby pumpkin farm as a day-early Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. Before leaving, I was sure I had Lauren's shoes along but I couldn't find them once we got there so she looked a little unkempt, but it didn't seem to faze her much. She definitely made the most of our visit and thoroughly enjoyed herself! She especially loved watching (and trying to pet) the animals, waving to the hayride- and train-goers, and playing in the dirt. :)

Lauren really wanted to play in the dirt
rather than get her picture taken with the sunflowers.
Lauren gets a wagon ride.
Heading to the car with our pumpkins.