Home improvements

Last summer, we redid the kitchen, which was a big, dramatic improvement to the house. This summer, we’ve made some more subtle improvements that will save us some money over the long run.

First, we insulated the attic. The upstairs of the house has no insulation, and it would get uncomfortably hot in the summer. The air conditioner would run constantly, but it would never cool off, really. We have window units in the bedrooms, but not all of them, so at night we’d have to run window units and the central a/c.

So we looked into insulation, and after much research, we settled on spray foam insulation in the attic. It was done in early August, and the difference has been dramatic. The guys doing the installation said it was the hottest attic they’d been in all summer (one of the companies that came out to give an estimate said it was 140 degrees up there.)

The day after it was done, I stuck my head in the attic and was amazed at how not-hot it was. And we just got our first post-insulation electricity bill, and even though it wasn’t for the entire month, our average daily usage has already gone down compared to the same month last year. Woot!

Actually, that wasn’t the first thing we did. The first thing we did was pay someone to finish off the doorway to our bedroom that George and his dad started, cough, six years ago. So now we have a door that closes! And no more bare studs!

The door. It is not exciting, but my sister wanted to see it. So here it is.
The door. It is not exciting, but my sister wanted to see it. So here it is.

Which leads to…

…some updating of our living room. Hooray! I’ve been waiting so long to paint up here. Haven’t done it yet, but I’ve started working on making it a nicer space. The IKEA coffee table is gone, replaced by a velvet ottoman that I adore and George tolerates. New light blocking curtains also help with the heat. The toys and Wii U were banished to the boys’ room, as well as the LEGO table, which I replaced it with something more grownup.

Definitely there’s more work that will need to happen in here, but this is a start!

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Finally, the pièce de résistance: a new fridge! I just couldn’t stand how small our old one was, plus we’re paying for water delivery every month. So I sweet talked George into letting me get a new one (I mean sure, over time, it’ll pay for itself since we can cancel water delivery. I mean, it might take ten years, but still.) We now have almost twice as much freezer space! A necessity with three boys who are starting to eat more and more. Do you have any idea how many waffles I can now fit in there?!?!

Just little things

I keep thinking of little things to say, then I forget. Let’s see if I can remember.

  • Went swimming last night with the girls. Adults only, had festive beverages from the club’s bar. Too bad our membership runs out at the end of next week. There’s going to be a lot of evening swimming in the next two weeks, I hope!
  • School starts Monday! Second grade. Nuts.
  • The attic is getting insulated tomorrow, just in time, since it’s about a thousand degrees here.
  • I started running again, even though I am still dealing with Achilles tendinitis. I’m trying to do my stretches, icing, and rolling my calf muscle in hopes that I’ll survive the Jazz Half Marathon at the end of October.
  • Helpful hint: Don’t put the digital food scale too close to the hot element on your flat top stove. Unless you want a new digital food scale.
  • Promised I’d take the boys to see Pixels while we have to be out of the house for the attic stuff. I am not optimistic about the quality.
  • Took the boys to the dentist last week – no cavities!

Some pics ‘n’ stuff:

Oliver uses his head:

 

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What is the deal with these? I have seen “Asia” like eight times, but never a Linus, Oliver, nor Miles. But I had to buy these when I saw them both at Target. Sucker.