It Occurs To Me That Everything About This Entry Is Somehow Related To Gas
Oversharing, Even More So Than Usual

Home Implosion, Part Infinity, Plus One

Hey! Remember when we moved? That sucked. Fuck that.

But we did it. We sold our little condo in DC -- a condo we loved so very much, particularly and especially once we put it on the market. We're ridiculous like that. "Hey! All we really needed to do was move half of our crap into storage, maybe clean it occasionally and get that vile hussy of a toaster off the countertop! Let's call the whole thing off!"

We almost did, actually. We told our agents that we didn't want to be listed over the holidays, so if we didn't get an offer by Thanksgiving we'd go off the market and try again in a few months. The DC market was terrrrrrible at the time, and while we were itching to snap up one of the many bargain-priced places out in the 'burbs where the market was even worse, there was no way -- NO WAY IN HELL -- we were going to buy something before our place sold.

(Ironically, the only reason we could afford our new house was because the owners had already bought their new house and were so financially strapped that they slashed the price by $50,000, and then STILL let us lowball them.)


Anywaaaaay...we were actually counting on taking the condo off the market and secretly plotting to "lose" our agents' phone numbers in all the "hustle and bustle of Christmas" and just maybe stay put after all. Then we got an offer just three goddamn days before Thanksgiving. Well. FINE.

We had to be out by Christmas. We didn't have a new house. We hadn't decided on a neighborhood. We hadn't even picked a STATE.

(Why? Why am I going into all this detail? I sat down to frame a little story about something else entirely and now I am writing paragraph after paragraph about things that have already happened and I cannot stop. HALP.)

Anywaaaaaaaaay...we found our house and bought it and everything was lovely.

Except for the carpet. I hated the carpet. But we agreed to live with it for awhile.

Then summer hit. And the humidity the carpet. Something...smelly. Smelly like...pee. Old, old pee.

So you know what we did? You know what I recommend you do NOT do, unless you are really and truly ready to live with the consequences?


We bought a blacklight. The same kind you can use to squick yourself out in hotel rooms. We turned off the lights and looked at the carpet.


We submitted paperwork for a home equity loan THE NEXT DAY.

(Oh my God. OH MY GOD. When I just THINK about what that light showed us. When I just THINK about it.)

(pulls knees to chest, rhythmically rocks back and forth, weeps.)


It all starts tomorrow. No more carpet. No more Pergo. Just me, some hardwoods and the millions of dustbunnies. Invest in Swiffer stock today!







Other projects on the nearish horizon include new windows, since I don't think windows should require PACKING TAPE in order to stay closed.


Verrrrry sneaky, previous owners. Now you know why I kept all your issues of People.

And then there's Noah's room. His old room was the hardest thing to leave behind. I cried. My mother-in-law hugged me and told me she could paint it all over again at our new place, that his new room would be even better, that it was totally okay that we were leaving behind the very paint that I painted, myself, with my own pregnant hands.

(Longtime readers may remember that I painted exactly three goddamn leaves in the whole room. But they were MY LEAVES. PAINTED WITH LOVE. AND A STENCIL.)

After a few months of insisting that I wanted the exact same room all over again...with the tree and the leaves and the butterflies and sweet fuzzy animals...I finally admitted that it was probably better to paint something a little less babyish. I hung all of Noah's old animals in the downstairs bathroom and asked my mother-in-law if she knew how to paint planes.


She's only done one so far, but yeah. I think she knows how to paint planes.


My lone contribution: Noah's name. Stuck to the closet doors.

With packing tape.



Am I first? No way! I am totally gonna have to get me one of those lights... then the cat is catching some serious hell!


OMFG. that plane? at first glance i thought it was a mobile, because it looks so damn real. those clouds? i want them.


I feel your pain. I don't own yet, but I kind of wish I did - the couple we're renting from stopped paying the mortgage and the house is under foreclosure. So, we have to be out within a month. Yay!

I would never try one of those blacklight things, I think it would give me nightmares for years.


Bah!! The blacklight. Get behind me, Satan. I blacklighted a placed I rented once and nearly fainted.

And I have only one word for Pergo. HATE.

Luuurve your blog. Delurking for a change. Must go now as my baby boy is waking from nap..damn.


We are currently in the middle of the house selling-buying-moving mess and I have to stop myself from blabbering on and on about it to everyone I know. And showing the pictures of the new house... Like anyone really wants to see a picture of the linen closet...

And now I want clouds on the ceiling at my own house. That looks incredible.

Heather Sanger

Long time reader, first time commenter. I've needed to say this for a long damn time and I don't know what in the world is making me finally do it other than me trying to prolong the amount of time my ass is glued to the sofa and not in the kitchen making dinner.

You. Are. Fucking. Funny. As. Hell.


Umm, and WOW. There were a lot of swearing-type words in that debut comment. Oops.


i must borrow your blacklight. i've been telling the husband for years that we need to get rid of our fugly carpet...maybe this will convince him!


Still think you picked the WRONG state. But I am learning to forgive.

Now please tell me you've HIRED someone to install those floors. And then lend me your blacklight because although our carpet was new when we moved in, I still think it would look exactly like yours with that thing turned on.


I am so freaking jealous! Our carpets seriously need replacing, preferably with hardwoods, but new flooring just isn't in the budget right now. Can't wait to see your new flooring in place!


Everytime I stay in a hotel room I think of a certain black-light examination I saw on Dateline and then I'm completely squicked out. Which is why I dress like a Puritan when I sleep in hotel rooms, because I want as little skin as possible touching those sheets.

Good luck with the renovations!


HAAAAA. Oh, the very idea of me installing hardwood floors myself is making me laffff so hard.

Yes, we've hired someone. A whole team of someones.


I cannot ever imagine buying a blacklight for fear that I would take one look around my house and decide that a tent outside looks like a better option.

good luck with your new floors.


Hey, at least you don't buy blacklights to look for scorpions like we do here in AZ. :-)

Our last house had this PINK carpet in it that we couldn't afford to replace for about 2 years. When we did have it ripped out the non-English speaking flooring guys refused to carry it out to their nasty truck bed because it was so disgusting. I feel your flooring pain.

His new room is going to be a new kind of big-boy perfect! No worries.


I have all hardwoods. In my tiny apartment in Chicago. All I ever wanted was all hardwood floors. Tis classy.

Then I decided to get cats. The two sheddiest cats in the entire fucking universe.

And now hate hardwoods. Especially since they are old, not shiny hardwoods that need to be sanded because swiffer gets stuck on them. With all the cat hair. Have I mentioned the cat hair?

Oh, and even cat-hair-hardwood is better than pee-stained carpet. Ewwww.


You are BRAVE with that blacklight. Whoa. Brave. The hardwoods will be awesome.

Your MIL is seriously talented. I hope she makes money with her talent. If I had 1/10th that kind of artistic talent, I'd be trying to make money with it. Just checked out the old nursery. Holy moly guacamole! The sky & airplane (& Noah's name ;-) ) are amazing too!! Does she want another daughter-in-law? My whole house could use her touch. Seriously. Just thought I'd ask... I wouldn't tell my own MIL that I'd been adopted. We could keep it secret...


I've been trying to convince my parents that they need to replace their carpet with hardwood floors instead of MORE CARPET. Now I know exactly how to win them over to my side! Black light! Muahahahahah!


Looks like pre-finished hardwood? Get them to put a cross-linking finish on top of the existing finish to hermetically seal the whole thing up. Pet urine down in the little cracks between the boards is almost as bad as pet urine on carpet!!

Daily Tragedies

Please oh please tell me the blacklight revealed bodily fluids left by pets and not, um, the previous owners. Please?

Also, you should start renting out your mother-in-law. Your 20% cut off the top could be some serious cash.


Old carpet. The horrors! THE HORRORS! You are causing me flashbacks. Our apartment had old carpet all over and it was visibly disgusting WITHOUT the blacklight. Thank heavens I never thought to shine a blacklight on it, because I would still be in therapy.

The old carpet in our bedroom had - brace yourself - a crunchy spot. It was sort of mostly under the bed, but every once in a while we would accidentally put our naked toes on it and then go "Augh! I stepped on the crunchy spot! Ew ew ew ew ewwwww!" And then we'd shower for 45 minutes.

The carpet is all gone now. What remains is ugly, plaster and paint-spattered hardwood in desperate need of refinishing which we were totally going to do this summer but then we ran into some issues and now we can't do it till next year. Sob. Still, they are better than the skeevy, skeevy carpets. And it's an old house, so once the hardwood is refinished it will be gorgeous.


This entry is just further proof that we're cosmically linked somehow... We're going to the inspection on our first home purchase tomorrow... can I bring a blacklight and talk my way into new hardwood floors in the bedrooms?

Also - I have a great idea: let's switch mothers-in-law! Mine is in Rockville and would LOVE to babysit! For free! Anytime! We'll have to make sure yours does cars, though - I don't think Ollie knows "plane" yet.


I also used the black light once when I first had my baby and thought I should know what he was crawling on. We have all new carpet/wood floors now, thankyouverymuch.
Also, the new room. LOVE IT! May I suggest the following bedding-of-so-much-cuteness (although you may need another home equity loan)(also it says the sheets arent available but they are if you buy them seperately, wierd.)


I thought that plane was a stencil. Your mother-in-law is muy talented! Noah's big boy room looks so cool! Oh ... and congrats on the hardwood floor. They're one of God's most wonderful gifts; especially for us pet owners.

mama speak

OMG, I so wouldn't want to know. Our playroom is carpet, cause it's soft. Since my baby has been crawling on it for the last year maybe it's better if I don't know (you know I'm totally pulling one out the garage tonight. We have them to light our tombstones for Halloween, doesn't everyone?)

You might as well as have Ciebe legs cut off at the knees now. She's gonna scratch up the hardwood--I know we have it, had it all refinished before our move & certain "high traffic" areas are very scratched up (top of stairs)already. Less then a year.

If it makes you feel any better our window are orginal (40 years) and don't even sit correctly in the sill anymore--duct tape wouldn't hold them in, much less packing. When it's windy, no one sleeps. But it's CA, so I'll deal.


oh Amy, that room is darling. You should loan your mother in law out! Can she come do my two year olds big boy room?


Those clouds in Noah's room make the ceiling of Caesar's Palace look amateurish.

Effing luhve the plane.


First off...Great first line! Made me laugh right off the top.

Second...WOW on the plane/clouds painting. It looks fantastic!


I love those letters! I'd be sad leaving that awesome room that your MIL painted, but you did move on to bigger and better things. Now you just need ABall painted all over his room. That'll make him happy!

Arkie Mama

Oh ... the blacklight. I, too, used one in an old apartment.

Shrieking and spasms followed.

Love the plane. I also thought it was a toy or mobile. Any chance of your MIL heading south (by way of Arkansas, ahem) anytime soon ... ? ... and does she happen to paint trains?


Awesome! Another Amalah Tooltime series!


I loved Noah's old room too. You probably lay awake nights crying because the new owners probably painted over the clouds and bunnies and little hidden chipmunks.

Me, on the other hand... People walk into our home and ask when we moved in. Ummm...18 months ago...?

What? Paint??

*mumble* *mumble* *mumble*


Left a cool urban neighbourhood last June to move to a house in the suburbs so I feel your pain. We re-roofed last September (did it our own damn selves!) and are now re-painting the exterior and replacing the front up MUST be the floor - totally getting a black light to convince husband that the carpet is disgusting. Even when it's clean it's disgusting. Also, totally jealous of the plane. Amazing.


Wow. You are one brave woman. It would have never even occured to me to look at my carpet with a black light. (Do you watch a lot of crime dramas? How did you think of that?)


Soooooooooooo jealous! We were thisclose to putting new hardwood in our home when my father-in-law talked us out of it because we have a big retarded dog who will scratch it and then he said something about it being easier on the baby's knees when he starts to crawl.

I think we may need to seriously reconsider our decision after reading about your violet light. I'm sure when Nate is 80 and has athritis in his knees from crawling on wood all day he'll forgive us when I tell him we've saved him from crawling with bacteria that probably has scales and feathers and 76 squirmy legs. Oh, and our dog pretty much got potty trained on this carpet so, um, yeah, up the gross factor.

tracy (ollie's mom)

Please tell me I can pay your mother in law to come paint oliver's room. I LOVE the plane!!


We rent but both mr.kelly and I are dedicated hardwoord people. No carpet. Icky. But we do have a couple of rugs, which I could do without but, you know, marriage, compromise. There is one particularly ancient & hideous rug that mr.kelly keeps wanting to keep. But! Black light! Must get! And then we can look at our teeth in the darkened bathroom. And then we can buy some Whitestrips while we're out getting a new area rug. (Note clever connection to the Smackdown!)

I love the sky, clouds, and plane as well. Amazing.


I would totally commission your MIL to come to my house to do my little boys room-now please excuse me while I also go and find the black light bulb in the black and orange plastic halloween storage tub from Target....


Hey! Isn't this your picture? How did it end up on their site?


No worries, that's just a royalty-free graphic we were using for the Smackdown until Jon Armstrong designed us a better one. Just a weird coincidence that TMC chose the same photo months later.


Ooh, I love hardwood floors! I have them in my house, and you should definately get a Swiffer sweep n vac. They work great. But you know what the best part is? My 2 year-old LOVES to push it around the house. Because, you know, those toddlers have to earn their keep ;-)
Noah's room is going to be adorable!


I feel so old to have remembered the post about you painting noah's last room! But those planes look mighty impressive!


Yea! Hardwood floors! I know you missed them so and now you will be so much happier. I had the joy of being the first in my apartment, so the carpet is brand new and only my funk is involved. Otherwise, I cannot stand carpet. My area rugs are really missing me sitting in storage all by their lonesome.

I also love Noah's new room. The plane is awesome. Does your m-i-l want to come to my house and paint?


Amy, I so wish you took a photo of the blacklighted carpet. Is it too late? Oh please oh please? Can we then magnify it a gajillion times to see what creatures lurk within?

I didn't know you could do that. Will you at least tell us what you saw? Radioactive urine stains? Inquiring minds want to know.


I just saw that the blacklight is named Stink Finder.

That has killed me dead.


I thought about you today when I started downloading new music on iTunes instead of packing, and then I came over here and read this entry, and then I spit on myself when I laughed before I could swallow my beer. So, thanks.

problem girl

Um, would you be interested in trading MILs for a couple of days? Seriously, I'll pay you.


Speaking of your oh so very talented MIL, please tell me that you brought the painted, wallpaper version of Max with you to the new house.


Have you blacklighted your toilet? Or the bathroom walls? Because that could be bad.

Also, your MIL? Can I have her? Considering "Max", I'm not surprised by the plane. I'm stunned, I tell you. STUNNED!! Be sure to show the final results. And your name sticking skillz are nothing to scoff at.


Resisting the urge to go buy a black light...


Your mother in law is awesome! I wish I had had rooms like that growing up.


Yeah on the wood floors. I HATE carpeting because I can't get passed the germs that live in it.

She is off to an awesome start. The sky and plane look authentic.


Very exciting about the hardwoods.
But I do suggest getting rugs for under the couch a.s.a.p. You can read about our recent fall off the couch onto hardwood horror story here:
And no that's not a blog pimp. Just my first thought when I saw those lovely hardwood boxes that are all too familiar and exciting.
And your MIL's skillz are amazing. And I'm jealous. :)


Damn, can your motherinlaw paint planes. Jeal-ous.

I did get the black light. The cat had fleas, and he was pissed about it. No pun intened. The horror.

Wacky Mommy

Amy, I love house stories. You can tell me house stories all day long and I will just keep coming back for more.

Enjoy the new floors! We ripped up our carpet in the living room and haven't looked back since.


Hey Amy.. this is kind of random and has nothing to do with your post, (and I'm also delurking.. HI!) but I know how Noah loves the Veggie Booty. The makers are recalling all packages because of cases of salmonella poisoning.

From MSNBC! Has to be true!


I won't blacklight a damn thing because I love living in ignorance.

Noes on the Swiffer. Get the Method mop. The stuff you polish and clean the floors with smells so good I actually tasted it once. (Tastes like hell, smells great!)

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