General Mom

Mom-of-5, building a home in California, step by step, with Faith and Feistiness ~ by General Mom Contractor

Month: September, 2012

Exhausting Research

Research is exhausting. It’s that feeling like no sleep in college after researching all night for finals/projects combined with the feeling of being a parent of a newborn.

I turned in my fourth revisions of the first floor plan. I think I love it. I cut and pasted old plans and pulled all my Houzz and Pinterest ideas together. I have imagined 7 bodies moving around this floor plan. My designer actually liked my blend of his ideas and mine. I bribed him with treats to hard line it by Friday. 😉



Are the Rolling Stones Right?

“You can’t always get what you want.  You get what you need.” – Rolling Stones.  I am officially unreasonable right at this very late moment.  Once again, I have looked at thousands of photos on Pinterest and Houzz today and internally I am having a toddler roll-on-the-floor temper tantrum.  Why?  I see so many beautiful things and amazing ideas and they are just unreasonable for the average girl.  My appetite for cool things is growing and what a danger my heart is under.  We are not to set our minds on earthly things says Phillipians 3:19.  How ironic that as I type this, I have my DVR playing my recorded Kay Arthur’s program, Precepts for Living and she is drilling Christlikeness vs. focus on earthly things.

So how do you build a home without imitating the world and feeding appetites of wants vs. needs?  God help me to figure out what would work for our family, be humbly cool and help me with my most awful problem areas such as laundry, dishes, homeschool and paperwork for 7 people.  Who wouldn’t love this kind of laundry room? Double washer and dryers!

Midnight and Posion Oak

Researching until midnight every night is not producing any final decisions about what I want in a house plan but is making me crazy. I do admit the silence from a long day of homeschooling 4 kids and chasing another one is the main motive for staying up late. It takes a long time to decompress!

Today I received new revisions from Scott at D&Z Design today. He was pumped. He even said he loves the new direction the plans are taking. He has been studying my Pinterest and Houzz pictures! Good boy Scott! Love that kind of customer service! He went out to the land and even dragged another associate out there to figure out the garage angle and driveway approach.

Now I am up until 1am now scouring to see if I can love a new design twist Scott presented of the dining room in the great room/ family room. I reviewed about 200 photos and I am going to have to sleep on it. If I had an endless budget vs. a nail biting one then I would say “no!”, just give me a separate dining room and a pool and two laundry rooms and every single photo idea I pinned on Pinterest including the trip to Tahiti already!

Also, I have all my Civil Engineer quotes in and I have to get my thinking cap on to see which one includes all components and which ones will try to nickel and dime me. So far I have found some glaring issues and one thing is clear, I know for sure one has an excellent reputation at the County and that could be the deal clincher.

I have been itching to tell you how wonderful it is to get poison oak. Somehow I got it and I probably got it out at the land since I was admiring (a new plant to a girl from IL) a shiny oak like leaf with a beautiful orange burning bush color to it. So I had poison oak for a solid four weeks. I eventually broke down and went to the doctor to get a prescription cream since nothing over the counter worked. On top of it, after Adam cleared the site which I showed a picture of, he ended up getting poison oak head to toe and then had to go to China on business. I researched that goats like to eat that stuff. So I will be getting some goats in the near future to eat all 13 acres of it. In fact, Morgan Hill rents herds of goats to mow down grass in town. Yes, it’s an environmentally sensitive way to get the job done I guess. See a photo of my snapshot of it if you don’t believe me. Can you imagine 5 kids, 2 parents and a dog spreading poison oak around continually? Could not think of anything worse.


Making all my Pins come true!

I am so glad that I have Pinterest and Houzz to make me crazier of a Type A personality. These websites show you 1,000s of fabulous photos of interiors, exteriors, kitchens, staircases, you name it and something will inspire you!

I printed off all 15 pages of ideas of many big discussion topics and dropped it by D&Z Design. Of course I was warmly greeted with my unannounced self. But grandma’s watching the baby so off I go!

Scott the designer is driving out to the land before work to see the stakes we put in the ground to show how massive the garage looks to me. Add a gable roof on it and it wil look ridiously massive. So before I committ to it and the angle, he is going out to see it for himself.

Do I love it? We are getting there. Pretty please make all my pins come true!!


Cold Feet

If you are ever married, per say, to any part of the process of building a house, it’s to your houseplans. We are doing a delicate dance with these houseplans keeping the ridge of the land, the driveway, how the sun rises and sets and how a family of 7 lives in a strcuture.

We have edited the first and second floor plans and now we have a bit of cold feet as we imagine the front elevation of the house and where the windows are and how the light comes into the house.  The light will effect rooms that we spend a ton of time in and most of those face the North view of the mountains and water.  This is cooler light and we are putting all of our big communal areas facing those areas.  Problem is not having sufficient Southern exposure light flowing into those rooms.  So they would be on the grayer, darker sides and boy does that give us cold feet.  So, I made an appointment with our Design Team to go over our thoughts.  Out came a red marker as you can see…Scott is our designer and puzzle solver extraordinaire. (He is usually smiling all the time…my camera was a bit slow and he was caught off guard, so that’s his “I can’t believe your taking my picture grin”).  He assures me he is awesome at the game Tetris which by the way should be a prerequisite for an architect or designer.  🙂  So, he will replay these pieces and place them into a slightly different pattern to accommodate light, glorious light.

Speaking of pattern, I am going tomorrow to pick up a book that I wish I read earlier called “A PatternLanguage“.  I like reading any cerebral book on design.  This book promises to help you explain concisely to your designer what you want in a house.  I have a little experience with this from designing our last house but our family size has more than doubled and there are things I would change and somewhat keep the same.  It’s good to get cold feet early on rather than right before you walk down the permit isle at the County!


Sunday Drive

Sunday before everyone went to bed, we took a ride out to the land. The sun was going down and the cool evening wind was picking up. It’s a breathtaking spot where I feel so much peace looking at so much beauty. The kids love running around there, so I’m glad Adam got rid of the thistles and now we need to avoid the poison oak. I showed them where the dead 4 pointer buck is under a bush in the back slope. Not sure if a mountain lion got it or if it was sick or shot. Anyway, some of the kids thought it was cool and they want the antlers. We already found two antlers and Blake is proudly showing it. We also found 6 skulls on our hike in one particular area in which we have named “The Dining Hall.”

I took a picture of the kids standing in the future home school room. It should have a lovely stream of sunlight in the mornings!




Saturday Clean Up

Cleaning up the site pad where the house will be was a all afternoon project for Adam. He weed whacked over and acre of land plus 300 feet of driveway and chain sawed tree limbs too. He was beat! He’s not used to hard labor since we moved from IL since we have a gardener at the
rental. He loves hard work and he’s used to that for sure. Hardest working guy I know.

I took the first floor house plan and measured out the house by kicking lines in the dirt. We need to go get stakes to see it more clearly. This step is so important to orienting the house properly. It will also enable us to see if any changes to the plans need to be made. We think the angle of the garage might need to change. While walking around my lines in the dirt, I am trying to imagine where every room is and where the sunlight comes in the house at different times of the day. Overall I like it a lot with minor changes coming.