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September 2015
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November 2015

Let There Be Light at the End of This Tunnel

We have lights! (Well, two of them. We're converting the light over the sink next, and probably swapping the hanging fixture on the other side at some point.) We said a happy farewell to the big fluorescent plastic box of dead bug corpses yesterday and put these industrial-ish style fixtures up, which may or may not have been chosen primarily because there is no place for bugs to crawl inside and die. Also, Edison bulbs are warm and glowy and happy-making. These were actually the very first fixtures I looked at and was like, "BAM THOSE," but then the dude supervising the remodel told me no, those are too big, you want something smaller. And so I've spent the last couple weeks searching for a smaller alternative, while this particular fixture followed me all around the internet via programmatic advertising. Finally I just went WHATEVA I DO WAT I WANT I'M A LIGHTING REBEL and ordered them. They are NOT too big. And even if they are, I don't care, because I MADE A DECISION!!!!!1! I am also !!!!!!!1!!!ELEVENTY! excited to have a working sink and dishwasher again. Although: Whoops. Today the rest of the cabinet hardware gets installed and... Read more →

Kitchen, Hair & Spiderman's Hot New Look

We have counters! In real life the counters have a bit more brown/putty color in them and the floors have more gray, so it all ties together in a really nice neutral-as-shit boring way. But I still have some lingering pain from our house-hunting days when we're walk into a (clearly expensive as hell) remodeled kitchen that was chock full design choices. Things we do NOT have: 1) The back panel for the peninsula because mystery. 2) Non-hideous lighting because I only just finally made up my mind. 3) The correct cabinet for this spot (it was supposed to be drawers for pots and pans, not doors) because we needed SOMETHING to go wrong and hold up everything else on this list, including getting the fridge out of the dining room. 4) A functioning dishwasher, sink or disposal because of that damn cabinet. 5) Cabinet hardware because of that fucking piece of shit cabinet. 6) A useless desk in this spot, sized for a hobbit. (This is a good thing.) 7) A pantry door because backordered. The (asshole) cabinet should be in this week, at which point the crew will come back and knock out all the remaining loose... Read more →


I did! I really did. But not a book for you. It's you know, for kids. (But I guess since kids don't have all that much money of their own, and the target audience is probably in the pre-Tooth-Fairy dollahdollahbills age range, maybe I did write it for you. To buy. With your money. YOU ARE SO WELCOME!!) After I wrote about the incredibly helpful pre-moving book I made for Ike through, they reached out to say thanks, and then a couple emails later they asked if I could write a new book for them in time for Halloween. This book is essentially a much more beautiful looking version of a social story I created for Noah when he was a preschooler, back when EVERYTHING about Halloween terrified him. The costumes, the decorations...anything vaguely Halloween-like stressed him out to the point that just leaving the house became difficult. The costume shop at the mall! The billboard advertising the haunted hayride! The CANDY AISLE IN THE GROCERY STORE. As with All Things Noah, we eventually learned that letting him acknowledge and actually feel his fear worked much, much better than having him fight it, or trying to logic him out... Read more →

Shoes, OMG

Ike is currently at school, wearing rubber rainboots. It is not raining; it is not going to rain. I simply could not find his shoes this morning, anywhere. The shoe thing, SERIOUSLY. Now I will completely admit that my patience reserves are not always overflowing with zen-like parenting chill, but the shoe thing manages to tap them out completely like nothing else*, because every goddamn day, people. Someone's shoes mysteriously go missing, usually right at the exact second that particular someone needs to get out the door like NOW I MEAN IT. We have a closet. There is a shelf for shoes in this closet. The shelf, it is ample, and the closet, it is the first dang thing you encounter when you enter the house. I don't even care about the shelf; feel free to use that as a general suggestion and just take off your shoes and toss them in. For all that is holy, please just get your shoes somewhere in the general vicinity of the shoe closet. Nobody ever puts their shoes in the shoe closet, and this fills me with an irrational amount of eyebrow twitching rage. Especially when the words "I can't find my... Read more →

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 →


(I planned to have a video montage ready for today, but have been completely foiled by a combination of technical difficulties with my current PC, a missing charging cable for my old Mac, and an even older machine that refuses to play nice with wifi anymore so I gave up. For now, anyway. Sorry, Ez. I'll let you play on my phone later and watch the hundreds of movie clips I've shot of you dancing/mugging/being awesome this past year.) He requested carrot cake for his birthday, because it's Jason's favorite. He plans to use his birthday money to buy a Bionicle, but one that Noah wants. He left for school this morning with a handmade card for the education student who's been assisting in his classroom, because it's her last day today. "I'm going to miss her so much," he sighed. "But I'm so happy she won't miss my birthday!" Meanwhile, I found a worksheet marked as incomplete in his backpack, because he spent his time drawing hearts and "I LOVE MOM" all over it instead. He is our sweet and gentle heart, our giver/fixer/pleaser, our lover of everything and everyone. He is Noah's champion and support system, Ike's indulgent... 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 →