Snakes on a Yellow House

This morning I successfully shooed a tiny baby snake off my front porch with a snow shovel. This afternoon I successfully gazed upon a squirming heaving pile of tiny baby snakes without losing my shit. Really growing as a person, over here, guys. I predict full-scale capable adulthood by the age of 55. So I never told this story, as it seemed unwise to write about at the time, but a couple weeks before we listed the townhouse for sale, I was straightening up the basement (AKA OBSESSIVELY DECLUTTERING AND FAKE STAGING) and discovered a huge wet spot on one of the futons. My first thought was CEIBA YOU ASSHOLE, until I felt something dripping on my head. I looked up at the ceiling and the stucco-textured ceiling was wet, bulging, and actively dripping water. HOUSE YOU ASSHOLE. It was coming from the dishwasher, specifically (as discovered by the emergency plumber we immediately called in) from a plastic water reservoir that had been CHEWED THROUGH. BY MICE. Now, we had not seen any evidence of any mice since Jason's Great Ethical Catch & Release Crusade of 2010, which coincidentally ended around the same time I spotted a big-ass garter snake... Read more →


The Great Digging Out

So we got a little snow. Twenty-seven and a half inches of snow, to be exact, which piled up in massive drifts thanks to the blustery, blizzardy winds. And on our driveway, over and over, until we finally gave up on shoveling. ("I like how far back the house sits from the road," I said, once upon a time.) Luckily, unlike LAST TIME, ALL THE OTHER TIMES, we did not lose power. Or water or cable or wifi or even our damn minds. Yellow House withstood the onslaught and kept us warm and dry and Xboxed and jacuzzi tubbed, And we thank you, Yellow House, but oh dear God next year we're buying a snow blower. Our cul de sac is about evenly split right now between the original owners who bought during the 90s, and new families like us, who all moved in over the past year or so. And who were all experiencing our first real snow all over our nice new houses and big fat driveways and winding front sidewalks, armed with shovels, while the other half of the houses were firing up gasoline-powered snow throwers and nodding at us like, "welcome to the deep 'burbs, city... Read more →


Dress Rehearsal

Last night we received a little appetizer to the Big Blizzard-o-pocalypse that's headed our way, in the form of maybe an inch and a half of snow. It was just enough to strike fear in our hearts and fire under our asses to clean up the garage enough so we could fit our cars inside. We have NOT ONCE, EVER, actually parked our cars in the garage. Despite a 2-car garage being Jason's main non-negotiable house hunting feature, we very quickly filled it up with crap and garbage and bikes and old kitchen cabinets and fancy new tools and extra floor tile and extra wall tile and Blue Apron boxes and pallets pallets PALLETS. Ta-da! Cars inside, basically just in time for the snow to stop. Of course, we did sort of run out of steam (and room in the storage area) after awhile. So that's...happening. We've definitely got our organizing-while-snowbound work cut out for us. This morning, the inch and a half was more like an inch, but schools were delayed two hours anyway, which screws with my work productivity more than an actual full snow day for some reason. I decided to just keep Ike home from preschool... Read more →


You Can't Stop the Lego

Just came here to post evidence that for a brief moment in time, my oldest child had a floor. A floor completely devoid of Lego. Because I spent an entire afternoon turning this: And this: Into this: (Why yes, those are Ikea bins with glued-on Lego collection logos I cut out of instruction books after personally separating out every applicable minifigure, accessory, vehicle, spaceship, Ninja Warrior Jungle Cycle Whatever The Fuck.) (Why yes, I am in-between projects at work and a new contract gig starts next week but in the meantime I have a lot of extra time on my hands HOW DID YOU GUESS.) And this: Which is basically EVERYTHING ELSE, but I assure you is 100% Lego, as I also pulled out everything non-Lego from our now woefully too-small Lay-n-Go bag : (Why yes, that IS an entire package's worth of green cocktail-sized napkins. Where do you keep yours?) The giant rando bins aren't the best long-term solution but until I can settle on the right Lego-organizing Ikea Hack, they'll have to do. I'd say more smaller, categorized bins but HA HA LOOK AT HOW WELL THOSE ARE WORKING: That's Noah's room right now. I hung up some... Read more →


The Great Purge

As you may recall (because I didn't stop talking about it for like, over a month), our move into the Yellow House was...kind of stressful. As a result, we still have a lot of furniture that the movers just randomly positioned in rooms without much thought or plan, because Jason and I were too busy panicking over our disastrous closing/paperwork nightmare, plus all the various property laws we were breaking. JUST PUT IT ANYWHERE! JUST GET IT OFF THE TRUCK! THEN GET THE TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY SO WE CAN PRETEND NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING! The boys' bedrooms got the worst of it -- the beds were all plunked right in the center of the rooms, we didn't really divide up side furniture very well, so Noah's room seemed big and cavernous while Ezra and Ike were stuck in overcrowded smaller rooms, and the little floor space they had around their beds quickly became a embarrassing swamp of toys/clutter/laundry. We'd tell them to go clean their rooms and they'd look at us all helplessly, because they had zero idea where to even start. And I can't say that I blamed them. Their rooms were just not very nice... Read more →


Party Hard & Clean Even Harder

We threw a party! This is the only picture we took, the next morning: Okay wait I took this one too: In the lower right corner you can see our second, back-up recycling bin, similarly overflowing with bottles. Good show, friends, jolly good show. We were not partying with Guns N' Roses, pinky swear, but did manage to pack over 50 people into our house, most of whom were jam-packed into the new kitchen because we need to revisit our food/booze party flow mapping. But all in all, I think it went well! This was the biggest party we've ever attempted, and also our first Friendsgiving potluck. The turkeys came out delicious, everybody brought amazing apps/sides/desserts, kids and adults alike all seemed to have fun. I was a slightly nervous twitchy wreck about the party all month, but after we finished cleaning up on Sunday I asked Jason when we could throw ANOTHER party, because that was fun, but he just kind of stared at me silently for awhile and then took a nap on the couch. ...the couch right by our new COFFEE TABLE! Yayyyyyy. Wheeeee. Of course, now that the table is there it basically changes EVERYTHING and... Read more →


PalletWatch Pt. 2

Hey remember all those damn pallets? It's okay if you don't. I practically forgot about them too until this week and I walked by them every single day, so thoroughly resigned to their continued existence that they ceased to register in my brain at all. But then stuff started happening! Cutting stuff! Staining stuff! COFFEE TABLE STUFF! And...well. That's actually as far as stuff has gone, because the hairpin legs we ordered haven't arrived yet. Today, hopefully. Because tomorrow we are hosting a huge-ass Friendsgiving/housewarming party and invited way, way too many people because we figured only half of them liked us enough to trek out to the new far-flung 'burbs but then almost everybody said they could come and gaaahhhh omg I don't have enough chairs or bowls or coffee tables. We should have enough turkey, though. I picked up two hefty-sized birds from a local farm yesterday which are currently brining away in coolers. The smaller one is getting deep fried, because I'm starting to suspect that moving to this house was all just a ploy to give Jason an excuse to buy himself toys like tile saws and Dremmels and deep fryers. (Although I mainly moved here... Read more →


Ta Mothereffing Da

The tile backsplash was installed almost entirely without incident. I KNOW RIGHT? I believe this is a direct result of me not really helping, other than providing Jason with rags occasionally and then getting the hell out of his way. And now the kitchen is done, mostly on schedule and well under budget, thanks to some nice Angie's List discounts, the seriously marked-down floor tile, and us sticking to our DIY guns on the painting and tile work. (Also plain white subway tile is seriously inexpensive. It's like the manufacturers haven't figured out that plain white subway tile is practically the new mason jar on Pinterest right now.) (Also also, black triangle thingies are vintage glass planters I got on Etsy. Top one holds our corkscrew and other small wine accessories and the bottom one catches the caps from the beer bottle opener in between. These were ABSOLUTELY the first order of hanging-up business once we painted.) Okay, I fibbed. We're installing some under cabinet lighting soon-ish and that lamp above the sink is still up for debate. I love it but it's too bright and hangs too close to eye level for Jason. I vote dimmer switch but he's... Read more →


I'm Sure This Will All Go Fine & Be Super Okay

(PRAY FOR US IN OUR MISGUIDED DIY HOUR OF NEED.) Also, since my site was utterly borked post-Halloween I couldn't post any photos, but figured the ones I'd posted to FB/Instagram were all anybody would be interested in but APPARENTLY NOT so here are some Halloween pics which are now positively ancient in social media years but I have to go deal with that tile up there and also end this goddamn sentence already. Ike's face. IKE'S FAAAACE. Please note the addition of white tissue paper to the eyes of this Steve from Minecraft costume. This is because Noah is Herobrine, NOT Steve, and if you understand what I'm talking about here I can only say, I'm sorry. Bluen dressed up in my old Cabbage Patch doll's cowgirl outfit and went trick-or-treating with us. (Translation: I carried a stuffed bear in cowgirl clothing around the neighborhood all night while her boots fell off approximately 400 million times.) Ezra and Ike were positively insistent that I dress as Black Widow to complement their Avengers costumes. (Somehow Jason escaped being asked to be Thor.) I was like, okay, I can be fun, ordered some cheap-o Age of Ultron polyester thing from Amazon... Read more →


Like Watching Paint Dry

Our original plan for the kitchen was to keep everything expensive (or labor-intensive) as neutral as possible, and then have some fun with the cheaper, easy-to-swap out elements. Like the wall color! We were going to go EARTHY and BOLD and SPICY, like we were a TACO BELL CRUNCHINATOR SUPREME up in here. It sounded good in theory, but after bringing home a variety of BIG BOLD colors and testing them out on several walls around the kitchen, they looked less like "fun pops of color" and more like "drunk uncle vomiting Skittles all over his Tommy Bahama." (Somebody get me a job naming paint colors. I will give them super-specifically accurate names so no one will ever come home with a can of "Elderwood Green" and discover that it's more of a "Slimer From Ghostbusters.") None of the colors were technically hideous on their own (the kids are still so mad about us not going with that orange in the middle it's probably going to end up in the dining room), but they. Did. Not. Look. Good. In this kitchen. Especially since we went a little bigger and blacker with the chalkboard walls this time -- the bright paint... Read more →