Palettes and Pallets

We have floors! And a full set of cabinets! Including one that is wrong and needs to be re-ordered! (Arrived with doors instead of drawers, nobody noticed at first because we were simply blinded with joy over having cabinets again.) Now we're just waiting on the countertops and new light fixtures to arrive, and to settle on a paint color. We went to the paint store yesterday, because for some reason we mistook ourselves for Confident Proactive Decision Makers and thought we'd be able to pick out not only a color for the kitchen, but an entirely new color scheme for the entire main level of the house. We'd start with the kitchen and then move into the dining room, living room, the foyer and all the various big ass walls and we'd come home with a whole slew of paint and FUCK YEAH HOME IMPROVEMENT. Instead, we were promptly overwhelmed with all the choices and frustrated by our inability to remember/recognize any of the paint colors we liked from the old house. (Although the million barely different shades of yellow-ish beige that tormented our touch-up/patching efforts for nine damn years are still all seared into my brain, probably forever.)... Read more →

Of Cabinets & Cat Pee, aka a really weird hodgepodge of a post

We have (some) cabinets! That was as of last night, actually. By the time I left to take Ike to school we already had a few more, and the foyer looked like it was getting the final prep for tile. IT'S ALL HAPPENING. It turns out getting your kitchen remodeled is a bit like being pregnant. "How long will it take?" is the new "So what's your birth plan?" and then everybody really just wants to talk about how they were in labor for 175 hours before an unmedicated breech birth and also THEIR kitchen remodel started five years ago and STILL isn't done, so ha ha good luck with your "two to three weeks" and also your vaginal delivery. So far, so good, is all I can and will say. It probably helps that we're not doing any major structural changes, and also that the house isn't that old so we're free of the "WHOOPS THAT'S A LOAD BEARING WALL THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT BEARING THE LOAD" snafus you get with older (or previously remodeled but maaaaybe not done very well) houses. (Our old condo in the city was built as a dormitory for war workers in the... Read more →


So as it turns out, the "putting shit back together" phase of the kitchen remodel is EVERY BIT AS LOUD AND IRRITATING as the initial "smashing shit to hell" phase. It's just a bit more rhythmic and water torture-y. The crew's been installing cement board since Saturday, and it's like: jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT jangling of nails DRILLLLZZZZZTTTT ...for hours and hours on end. Our children are handling the chaos and noise just as I expected, which is terribly. Even though I'd generally describe the breakfast time decibel level around here as OMG WHY ARE YOU ALL SO LOUD STOP YELLING HERE PUT MORE FOOD IN YOUR FACE HOLES I HAVEN'T HAD COFFEE YET, they are all suddenly very Downton Abbey about their morning meal being disrupted by construction noise. Covering their ears and expecting me to DO SOMETHING about it, they cannot CONCENTRATE on the important task of eating an entire box of Corn Flakes in a single morning, also, where are the WAFFLES, Jeeves? In the freezer, staying frozen, because the toaster is in the family room and I don't feel like walking that far. much dismay and dramatic weeping We planned to spend... Read more →

Demolition Derby

HELLO HAPPY FRIDAY! HOW ARE YOU? ANY PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND? SORRY YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO TALK LOUDER BECAUSE OH MY GOD THE NOISE. THE NOOOOOOIIIIIIIISSSSSSE. (Speakers on for that link to join in my misery and also Ike's amazing napping prowess, particularly for a child who was #NOTTIRED.) So. Day one resulted in some terrifically smashy progress. (Small dog gazing woefully at pantry wondering where her foodz went included for scale.) (Also someone tell me what to do about that center light, besides banish it to the depths of Bad Lighting Hell, obviously. Basic recessed lighting? A couple cool flush mount fixtures that I suppose exist but have been unable to find myself, at least for not an insane amount of money?) So as it turns out, the tile was not original to the house after all, but was installed at some point later, over a layer of plywood, which was then liquid nailed over some SUPER ATTRACTIVE peel-and-stick linoleum. Getting through all these layers of flooring is taking considerable effort and jackhammering and pulverizing and again, SO MUCH GODDAMN NOISE. Shit is starting to fall off walls in the basement, or migrate towards shelf edges, so yeah. Really... Read more →

And So It Begins

So after finally unpacking (most of) the boxes and fully settling into the new digs, we decided it was high time to re-pack everything in the kitchen and blow some shit to smithereens. The kitchen was...obviously not a big selling point/major attraction for Yellow House. Everything is original and builders' grade, the floor tile is cracked, and there's just a lot of wear and tear on the cabinets and countertop. Sagging shelves, warped hinges, chips and scrapes. We knew going in that we needed to factor a kitchen remodel into our offer and budget. (Also could never figure out who, exactly, that SUPER LOW desk was intended for, as no chair or stool we own is the appropriate height. It's a desk for ants!) We also knew we were NOT going to do that thing where we waited and waited to do anything, only to invest in improvements right before we needed to move. We keep doing that. Stop doing that! Old Kitchen of Bland Blahness is getting demo'd to hell today. New Kitchen of...well, probably still Bland Blahness but at least more of a this century variety, with less floor cracks/Haunted Tiles and a countertop that's dark enough to... Read more →

Three Important But Hopefully Unrelated Things

1) We signed the contract and placed a deposit on a kitchen remodel yesterday! Sadness Kitchen of Bland Blahness will soon be no more, although it only JUST occurred to us that oh, this means we have to pack up everything in the kitchen AGAIN and live out of boxes and on crappy takeout food AGAIN. Pfft. NOTE: We are not doing any of it ourselves, nope nope nope sirree, other than a modest project of relocating some of the cabinets to the garage. This hopefully means the remodel go mostly smoothly, with only about a 75% chance of disaster, like us causing the back wall of the garage* to collapse in on the laundry room. The thing I am MOST looking forward to, actually, is replacing the floor tile, which extends from the kitchen all the way to the front door, and is similarly blah but pretty cracked up in places, and also possessed by a vengeful rage spirit from an early 2000s remake of a J-horror movie starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer. FACT. On our very first night in the new house (during which we MAY or MAY NOT have been residing there 100% legally), I woke up... Read more →

Decorating, Trial & Error (& Error) Style

We're at the "decorating" part of the moving in process. All the essentials are out of boxes and in their (tentative, until I change my mind and redo everything in a fit of work procrastination) proper places, and our running list of things to buy is now mostly decorative as well. (Previously it was: "MOAR TRASH CANS!!" and "ALL THE PAPER TOWELS!!") We need a coffee table or two, and some non-see-through curtains on a couple windows, but everything else I've written down is like: "A Vase Or Basket Or Some Shit For Stairwell Landings," or "Something Big For Big Wall And Other Big Wall." Clearly, I have a true and singular design vision. "Something Big." "And Preferably On Sale." I found a cool wooden starburst mirror on sale in downtown Ellicott City, which was on sale probably because I'm the only person STILL referring to starburst mirrors as "cool," but it was 1) Big, 2) On Sale, and 3) Not Too Heavy So I Was Pretty Sure Could Carry It To My Car. It really wasn't THAT heavy, but oh God, it was definitely big. And awkward. I took up most of the sidewalk and could barely see over... Read more →

Everything Is Awesome

(I apologize for the earworm post title. But it popped into my head and now I'm stuck with it and now you all must suffer with me.) Ike started preschool yesterday. Once upon a time I suppose that would have been a Whole Entire Long-Winded Blog Post in and of itself, but...nah. At least three different people asked me if *I* was okay yesterday, probably expecting a lower lip tremble or a soft, off-key rendition of Sunrise, Sunset, but...nah. I drove him to school at 9:30. We walked in and he gave me a couple big-eyed wary looks about me leaving him, but then there was some Play Doh so bye Mom, I'm good, I got this. The school is barely five minutes from our house, so I came home, got some work done, then went and picked him up at noon. (He'll stay for lunch three times a week starting next month, but it's not a full-day program.) We came home and Ike promptly dozed off face first into his lunch because I guess that was some crazy intense Play Doh session. It's only been two days, but he seems to really enjoy it and looks forward to going... Read more →

Scenes From the Before

Since our move did not, exactly as planned, or even remotely smoothly, I ended up skipping over a whole slew of stuff that happened BEFORE everything went sideways/haywire/to shit. Thanks to a certain super helpful competent way good at their jobs relocation company (who I was giving the chance to privately make a few things right before publicly outing them but ha ha ha yeah that never happened thanks so much CARTUS CARTUS CARTUS), I was unable to enroll Noah and Ezra in their new school until just a few days before school started. Certainly not ideal, but amazingly I was far from the only parent who showed up that day with multiple kids and new county residency paperwork in tow. I handed over my triple-checked stacks of required documentation for my particular children, and then got to work filing out what felt like a million additional forms while the boys slowwwwwwwly slid off their chairs and into little whiny boredom puddles. About 15 minutes later, Noah's birth certificate vanished. Like: POOF. It never existed. I was told I never handed it to anyone, could I please get that to them, which hahahahahahahaha yeah no except I totally already... Read more →

Well I Don't Know What I Was Expecting

I spent most of Sunday tackling the kids' toys. I sorted stuff into baskets and bins and organized everything into these two (amazing! deep! illuminated!) closets in the basement. And I mean ORGANIZED. The contents of the play kitchen may or may not be sorted by FOOD GROUP. So, naturally, five minutes later... That was ALL IKE, by the way. Two-plus years of Montessori education in action, yo. Luckily, it was a pretty quick and painless clean-up thanks to the bins! bins! I am obsessed with bins!!, and Ike and I had good long talk about playing with ONE THING AT A TIME and with less of an...aggressively nuclear kind of play style. (Not pictured: the play kitchen at the end of that hallway, dumped completely over on a pile of defeated Ninja Turtle villains.) My next project was setting up some bookshelves in the kids' bedroom hallway, so they can pick books out before bed. And it actually looked JUST LIKE THIS for almost a full hour. That's a damn personal household best. Read more →