Monday, March 25, 2013

dungeon - part 4, window install

As I mentioned in my last dungeon post, we needed to get an egress window for our basement to be code. After talking with many many contractors (who were all really really expensive), Terry decided to hire a concrete cutter to cut the window hole and then to install the window himself with his dad's help. This was the most cost effective. We did really well on the cost I think. Even the window we were able to get pretty cheap.

I was so incredibly excited to see this truck outside our house on Saturday morning, despite the mini-spring blizzard we had received the night before (since the window is under our deck and the wind didn't blow and drift, we were good to go).

It was colder than I thought it would be when I went out to snap some secretive paparazzi photos of the man doing his job. Glad he didn't see me. I was just so excited and actually, just curious to see how he was doing the cutting. He had this special circular saw on rails that he attached to the concrete to get a precisely square cut. I was really glad Terry didn't do this himself.

After that he used a chainsaw to cut out the corners. He said the steel rebar in our foundation was good quality and gave him some trouble. Also, their saws all used water so it was a bit of a muddy mess for the poor guy. And he was a mess. And dude, it was cold out there.

 Inside his wife was using a wet vac to suck up all the water and junk.

And then they pushed the concrete backward into the hole! LET THERE BE LIGHT!!!

The last thing he did was jackhammer the concrete pieces into manageable chunks for us to leave there or remove. Not sure which he's going to do.

And as for the window well, we'd like to do this awesome tiered thingy. That way it's pretty (AWESOME!), lets in more light, a natural ladder in case of escape, and keeps the overhead clearance where it needs to be for code. But that won't be for a while.

And as a side note, Terry's dad bought this gas stove that we are thinking of using to heat the dungeon. We are an all electric house so it gets expensive and we like the idea of using gas. But it's a little complicated to install. We'd have to hire the concrete cutter again and then a gas guy. So yeah, that's in the back of our minds. Oh, and you can just see the little blue electric box to the right that Terry and his dad got up. They are also starting on the wiring!

It was quite cold with the window not in yet, so the kids, having nothing else to do, watched Grampa and daddy work.

And so did comatose Samuel after his nap. Ha ha, look at his little face!

Here's a shot from the other side of the room so you can see where the window is located in the dungeon.

The framing of the window gave them some trouble. The hole was a bit too big. Their framing boards were a little too big. So they had to trim those down and then cut a bunch more boards to close up around the window. But after several hours, they got it done and it looks great! It's SO wonderful having real light down there!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

dance party

You may not be able to tell exactly what my three kids are doing based on this photo alone, besides that they all appear to be in motion. Yeah, they're in motion alright. They're dancing. 

I was just hanging out in the kitchen, on the computer, like a bad mom, and the kids just threw together this impromptu dance party. It was awesome. Of course, they were dancing to last year's VBS, which was Go Fish. Not my favorite band. But their favorite band. It was so cute because Samuel was joining in doing his version of their twitchy little dance moves. So cute.

And it made me smile. I had wretchedly awful sleep last night and was moving really slow this morning. My kids are so great. They didn't bug me or whine at all. They've done a wonderful job of entertaining themselves all day today. I worked out (late), we ate lunch (late), we got school done (late) and I now finally have some time to myself. And I gotta say, I love my kids. They really are great.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I'm not sure where this photo came from, but I like it. I think Terry must have taken it about a week ago, right before Noah's haircut. Samuel's was cut about a month ago. Just today a stranger remarked how Samuel was having a crazy hair day. Yeah, Harry Potter hair every single day. Like he just got off a broomstick. Love it. And love my boys!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

dungeon - part 3, egress window

Terry had made up his mind that he wanted to get a building permit for the dungeon before he went any further with electrical work. When he went down to their office, they informed him that he had to have an egress window installed in any living area. Even if it wasn't a bedroom. 

So he came home, decided that's precisely what he was going to do and I helped him measure and decide where the new window would go. I think it's great, aside from the added expense. It'll help the dungeon no longer be a dungeon!

The window is going to go under the front deck because that's the easiest place for it to go (won't have to cut up the back deck or dig down as far):

As you can see, he got straight to work. That day. I was so proud.
moving rock

And this is about how far he got in a hour, after which we had to leave to visit some friends. He was already about half way down!
pretty red dirt

The next day our friend Damon (and son Henry) was kind enough to come and help him out with the digging. Here he is shaking his head as he watches Terry dig farther than he needs to due to his extreme perfectionism coming in to play regarding the hole not being perfectly square or level. Come on!

Henry and Evie in the pit of despair.

And here's Noah in there so you can see how deep it is. We've been talking to contractors all week and getting bids, trying to decide how to move forward. Either we will hire a guy to cut the concrete for us and Terry will install the window. Or we will hire someone to do it all. I'm betting Terry will end up doing it because of his perfectionism. But we shall see!

destroyer baby...4?

A couple weeks ago, the kid's toothpaste went missing. I figured who was responsible. The one they both call "Bad baby!"

A few days later, I found the toothpaste while making a favorite afternoon snack...
No. The toothpaste should not go in the graham cracker box Destroyer Baby. No it should not. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

monster trucks

I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but Noah has this new great interest in monster trucks. I think it's as a result of Grampa B recording monster truck shows on his tv for Noah to watch when they're at the ranch. Evie is less into them. In fact, she groaned when they put one on to watch last time we were out there. So I thought she would not be interested in going to the monster truck show at the civic center last weekend with daddy and Noah. I was wrong. 

Daddy took Noah and Evie to the monster truck show! Terry texted me during intermission to say that he didn't remember the place being so small. Guess he's all grown up now. We did mutually think it was a little lame there was no dirt to cover the cement. I guess it made the motorcycle stunts that much more impressive. 

Here's some proof they were there. What's the deal with not starting a kid thing like that until 8pm? They didn't even get to bed until after 11! Also, they are totally right on in their marketing of kid sized ear muff protective thingies. Terry took little squishy ear plugs for them but had a hard time getting them in their ears. As a result Evie got lots of Ring Pop sucker in her hair from covering her ears and they were both were pretty jealous of all the other kids in the place whose parents shelled out $10 a piece for the lame thingies. They survived and had a great time.

I think this was one of the best happenings on the night. Terry had to show me this photo before we went to bed (late). They had to use a crane to get it right side up. But he was also very impressed with the motorcyclists. Evie liked best the pink car who won a race.

Close up

Monday, March 4, 2013

dungeon makeover - part 2

 Time for a dungeon update. It's been a month and Terry has got some good stuff accomplished. 

Two weeks ago I had jury duty. Ug. Terry spent two mornings home with the kids and worked on framing up the utility room.
The utility room is to the left. You can see where the door will go, behind which we'll store some toys, games and other stuff.

Here's the framed utility room from the opposite corner of the room. This side of the room will be where our big couch sits and the tv will be on that utility wall. 

A better shot of where the utility room is situated in the dungeon.  

Isn't it beautiful? I think it is. But that's not all Terry's done. He spent all day Friday anchoring the framing into the concrete and ceiling. Those walls don't move now and they're ready for wiring and then insulation and drywall. Right now I'm basking in this accomplishment, though I know Terry is already thinking forward to his next steps (he was starting into space this morning at breakfast and said he was thinking about the dungeon). Hopefully we will be about done in 3 months time when the baby arrives.

Finishing the last anchors! Oh yeah!