DIY*

*Please note that in today's performance of DIY, the role of "Yourself" will be played by "Your Husband" because Yourself has had bronchitis for over a week now and feels like shit, but really, You know Yourself would've come up with some other excuse anyway. So when we last left off with the Saga of the Bathroom That Absolutely No One Cares About Except Me, Deeply, this was the state of things: (A reminder that all this chaos was self-inflicted fallout from a simple leak in the shower door. We were completely fine with this basic-ass, late-90s bathroom until a new shower door turned into a new shower and ZOMG, the new shower is so nice! And now everything else in the room looks like hot garbage! Like me, in every group photo ever. I feel you, basic-ass bathroom.) We forgot to take any official "before" photos, so here is a suspiciously elongated one from our house's real estate listing: (Oh yeah, sure, you literally keep nothing on your sink counter except a jar of decorative seashells and I totally didn't unplug our toothbrushes and dump them in the next room along with the half-empty handsoap and my hairspray for... Read more →


Some Comforting Idiocy in Times of Trouble

(I always feel the need to hedge Posts Like This [mundane, complain-y, privileged AF] during Times Like These [seriously, how many national emergencies/tragedies/horrors do we have deal with right now?] and be like: I know. I know! I'm really upset and distressed about it all too in real life. But here is where I come to try and be kind of funny on the Internet. So Imma do that. Hugs for everybody.) Once upon a time, several blog posts ago, I revealed the secret shame of the demogorgon shower sludge, and our less-than-super-adult approach to doing anything about it. (At least anything that would cost us more than a tube of Denial Caulk.) But finally we had a plan and an contractor and things started happening: Demolish-y things! Gateway to the demonscape things! We decided to bump the shower out to the edge of the wall and tile up to the ceiling, and replace the shower basin with a mosaic tile floor. We had three and half boxes of tile leftover from our kitchen/foyer remodel, which wasn't going to be quite enough. Which at first was a big old ARGH because we'd bought discontinued tile (discounted to only $1.50 a... Read more →


The Purge (Yellow House Style)

I've been on a bit of a purge-and-organize closet bender around the house lately -- what most people would probably consider "spring cleaning" except it's now September because I'm not a slave to your calendars, man. This place has a legitimately amazing number of closets and built-in storage options, but of course the downsides to all that storage means you can simply wall up all your crap for years, out of sight and mind like the Tell-Tale Heart, until one day you open a door and BLAM. You are dead under a pile of regifting candles and suitcases and board games nobody likes. So I've been waging the War on Crap one closet at a time. Lesser victories (aka ones I forgot to take a "before" photo of, like wow it's almost like I've lost the compulsion to share every minute of my day with the Internet or something) include the boys' bookshelves and a linen closet: (Note that I separated and organized sheets by SIZE! And added corresponding labels to the shelves! And made SEVERAL attempts at properly folding the fitted sheets as per YouTube demo instructions before saying fuck this and balling them up into a semi-flat wad... Read more →


Parahousenormal Activity

Hello! And welcome to my home. Please ignore the demonic horror-movie sludge growing through the wall in the bathroom. It's not yet fully sentient so you should be okay. So siggggghhhhh and bleeeeeearrrrgh and welcome to homeownership. The shower door in the master bathroom started leaking over the summer and like good responsible adults we immediately did the following: 1) Ignore it. 2) Google it. 3) Caulk it. Just...caulk the shit out of it. 4) Watch it. 5) It's getting worse, isn't it? 6) Like a lot worse. 7) Honey, I don't think the caulk did the trick. 8) MOAR CAULK!!1! 9) Ignore it some more. 10) ALL RIGHT FINE WALL, YOU WIN. We're about 90% sure the leak is limited to the shower door frame (and there's no mold, for the record, just mildew and run-of-the-mill water damage that hasn't spread beyond that spot). But since there's really no way to know for sure without ripping out all the drywall and wall tile (and since replacing the door isn't exactly cheap on its own and wow, that would suck to replace it and then be all, OH LOOK THE DEMON SLUDGE IS BACK), we are redoing the whole shower.... Read more →


Sticker Shock

You know what my kids love? Stickers! Do you know what they don't love? Sticker books. Or paper of any kind. Please do not send them any more stickers. I feel like they have enough. Go ahead and bookmark this for any upcoming Gift Guides For Parents You Secretly Hate, though. Wait, didn't I scrape you off already? Are you respawning? Shit. The weirdest thing about stickers is even after you've gotten rid of all the stickers, kids will always -- always -- find more stickers. TRULY. LIFE FINDS A WAY. (One time Ike ran out of stickers and decided to cover the entire bottom half of his door strips of Scotch Tape, which I guess was a little worse than stickers.) (Still, though. Please no more stickers. I could use more Scotch Tape, but only if it comes in a locked safe of some kind.) Read more →


On Being a Work-At-Home-Crazy-Cat-Lady

I've been working from/in my actual "office" every day for the first time in awhile, to better bounce back and forth between laptops (three) and email addresses (four), and to have room to spread out piles of documents and keep everything separated by client (five) and basically not rely on keeping everything straight in my head, oh god no, let's not do that, that's how things end up forgotten about and/or on fire. I haven't worked down here in awhile because one time, not long after we adopted them, the cats hid in the closet and got accidentally trapped overnight, and both of them panic-peed on the carpet. And unlike the Lego bins, getting cat pee odors out of carpet is basically impossible. We've managed it PRETTY well, with both professional cleanings and buying our own carpet deep cleaner and using it regularly (like pretty much every time we vacuum), along with throwing just about every pet stain/odor related product on earth at the problem. So it usually smells just fine (though I think vaguely carpet-cleaner-ish), but other times the smell starts emanating from the padding below and I'm just like, I'm out, I'll be working from the couch again... Read more →


Salad Days Ahead

This weekend we started work on Big Serious-Ass Vegetable Garden 2.0... By setting up the world's lamest grow operation ever in the basement. We're planning once again on two jam-packed raised beds and about a half-dozen containers. It's a lot. Please note my use of the word "we," which is a lie. I helped clear out some boxes and assorted junk and Jason did everything else. I went back upstairs, poured a glass of wine and took pictures of my pets. Weekend productivity: NAILED IT. Last year none of our seedlings grew and we ended up buying plants instead. We started them too late, I think, and didn't account for colder temperatures in this basement vs. our old one. So in addition to the starter trays and grow light, a heat mat and digital thermostat have joined the setup. We're going with SLIGHTLY fewer tomato plants this year, but probably still too many. Summertime visitors to Yellow House should once again expect to have large bags of tomatoes hurled politely handed to you, no really, I insist, come on, you're not leaving until you take some, Jason, block the door, they're trying to escape without taking any tomatoes, etc. Read more →


My Minions

We celebrated the beautiful weather (and everyone's so-so recovery from the cold that wouldn't die from last week) by getting outside and tackling some yardwork. Lots of leaves and twigs and small branches to collect. Our trees like to shed many different things all year round. My contribution: ...aaaaand my children's: We paid them a dollar. Got what we paid for, I guess. Today is a professional day at school so everyone is home for the fourth straight day. We're running out of entertainment options, although my "Anybody Who Whines About Being Bored Gets Assigned Housework"rule is working out splendidly. The house has never been cleaner! (This broom and dustpan combo set is the perfect size for your littlest servants, incidentally.) Ezra eventually caught on, and decided to get ready for our next family protest instead. Can't argue with that last one. Read more →


Merry Laddermas

So this arrived a couple days ago. An early (and gigantic!) Christmas present from Jason's parents. It is a ladder. A proper, tall-enough ladder that will allow us to 1) paint some of the stupid-high walls and ceilings, 2) dust the ceiling fan blades, and 3) decorate the top of our Christmas trees without the use of a rake and Swiffer Duster extend-o handle thing. (That does not extend enough to dust the ceiling fan blades, ironically enough.) It is so fancy it comes with a whole DVD on how to use it. This is officially the most grown-up gift we have ever received. Or maybe the most obvious of hints to get our shit together. (Nahhhhhhhh.) But seriously, painting! Can possibly realistically happen! Goodbye beige and various beige-y shades of brown! Say hello to...oh God, hopefully not something that looks like a different color at first but then mostly comes out beige once it's on the whole wall. I should probably get the ladder out of the box and out of the foyer first, although y'all know our incredible track record on that sort of thing. And with that, #LADDERWATCH has officially commenced! Peace and blessings to your family... Read more →


Onward, Upward & a Little Bit Sideward

Onward! To the next holiday! After missing out on much of the Christmas season last year due to Zombie Pinkeye (shudders) (phantom eye twitch) (emergency eyeball check), I decided we were wasting no time this year. Time to chop a tree and deck some motherfucking halls. We went SLIGHTLY less ridiculous with the tree size this time around, and as a momentous first, not only did my children not break a single ornament, they actually helped decorate the tree. As opposed to "helping" "decorate" by "hanging 40 ornaments on the same two branches." We also found all the outdoor decorations we bought on sale last January, so we're no longer that One Sad House with no lights or wreaths or other holiday whimsy. (Although we technically still have no wreaths, because although I am 110% sure I bought some red ribbon for both bows and hanging-purposes, it has yet to resurface. And Amazon is all, "oh, you want some outdoor ribbon? at this time of year? that'll be over a hundred damn bucks, you slacker." So our wreaths are still stacked up in a corner until I can go buy some non-price-gouged ribbon at an actual store, which: Christ. That... Read more →