Makey Makeovers

OH RIGHT ROOM PHOTOS. PREPARE TO LOOK THE HELL OUT OF SOME FURNITURE AND SHIT. Ezra and Ike's room, before: (Minus a generous floor-coating of toys and clothes and there was an IKEA dresser on the verge of complete structural collapse just behind the door. It has since been burned in the fire pit.) Ezra's OWN ROOM, which is HIS and NOBODY ELSE'S, now: Those curtains were in the family room when we moved in. After I replaced them Ezra claimed them for his own room because they were "fancy." They are also gold damask and the kid literally chose a paint color called "Damask Gold," so I can probably stop writing about him now, because that tells you everything you need to know about who Ezra is as a person. I upgraded to a standing desk in my office (that I am currently...sitting at, because I am tired) and gave Ezra my old one. Ezra chose EVERYTHING else -- from the furniture to the bedding, which he (correctly) predicted would coordinate perfectly with the wall color. "This is all very me," he declared. He also decided he was ready to be a plant father to some bamboo. We're still... Read more →


(Gasps for Air)

aaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii It's spring break, bitches. Although pretty light on the "break" part for me, personally. We're heading up to Killington, VT for a few days for our semi-annual "let's cram eight humans into a two-bedroom condo" visit with Jason's brother and family, where there is still SNOW and ICE and BULLSHIT. The seven other humans will probably ski and snowboard while this chicken human will stay inside and likely end up working most of the time. Work has kind of exploded all over the place for me, in the usual freelancing feast/famine cycle where I go from frantically emailing every work contact I know to remind them that I exist to suddenly juggling 25 deadlines at once. And of course the timing lined up perfectly with us deciding to go nuclear on the boys' bedrooms, so for the past week I've been either 1) working on Very Exciting & Important Technical Documents, 2) up to my eyeballs in IKEA furniture and Lego storage, or 3) just sort of lying on the floor and staring at the ceiling for a sec. I'm happy to report that the bedroom makeovers are about 99% complete, and everyone is very, very happy with the... Read more →


Trading Rooms, Part 2

(Thank you everyone for all your kind words and thoughts. Last week suckkkkkked but I am okay.) Once upon a time, when we ripped up all the carpet in Yellow House and had wood floors put in, we decided to cut a couple corners and save ourselves a couple dollars. The corners we cut were the boys' bedrooms, which all had somewhat newish-looking carpet. We figured we'd leave those rooms as-is and wait for the carpets to get destroyed over time and replace them only when we absolutely needed to. (Much like our approach to the kitchen appliances, and if you're keeping track I am STILL cooking and baking with an oven I hate with the fire of a million faulty oven coils, because the fucker fucking sucks but just won't DIE ALREADY.) (On the other hand, this happened, so it's like I got a brand-new dishwasher all over again.) ANYWAY. FLOORS. CARPETS. TRY TO STAY ON TOPIC FOR ONE BLEEDING SECOND. We regretted our decision almost immediately, because the boys' rooms became Animal Accident Central. Why pee outside in the snow or rain or your litter box when you can pee on some soft, inviting carpet? Especially if that... Read more →


Trading Spaces

When we first moved to Yellow House, everybody got their own room, and we made the room assignments by age and room size. Noah got the biggest room and Ike got the smallest, with Ezra taking the medium-ish one. But we REALLY assigned Ike to the smallest room because we wanted him to have as little space for rock-star-trashing-a-hotel-room shenanigans as possible. That room is big enough for a twin bed, a nightstand and one small toy box. Everything else is kept in the basement or on the hallway bookshelves. This would naturally limit the about of shit that he could dump all over the floor every night. (Right. "Naturally." My ass.) Sure enough, every morning I'd find the entire contents of his toy box on the floor, along with 20+ picture books he'd managed to drop riiiiiight into the small space between his bed and the wall. What I wouldn't find in that room, however, was Ike. Once his room was satisfactorily wrecked, he'd sneak into Ezra's room and crawl into bed with him. "Ezra keeps the bad dreams away," he told us adorably at the time, so we allowed it. We also, eventually, allowed Ike to just start... Read more →


Green Thumbs

We spent all winter mapping out grand plans for our yard and gardens. We've now spent most of spring waiting for the weather to cooperate and let us actually plant some damn things. If it would just stop SNOWING, at least, or plummeting down to near-freezing temperatures every night. That would be a nice start. On Saturday we had a rare burst of summer-like warmth and sun, and so we opened all the windows, dug out evertbody's shorts and t-shirts, then joined approximately 56,231,000 other Vitamin-D starved people buying ALL THE GREEN AND FLOWERY THINGS at the local Home Depot. The Adventures of Zah In the Enchanted Forest Minivan The kids all whined horrifically the entire time about the heat and the sun and the sweat and the my baaaaack hurts my leggggggs hurt I am too pale and video-game soft for such torrrrrrture. So once we got home and got everything unloaded and watered and debated ideal shrubbery placement all that, it was on the late side so we planned to wake up early on Sunday and get planting. Of course, by the time we got up it was grey and nasty and cold all over again. And then... Read more →


In the Sticks

We spent our weekend turning this: Into this: Our trees lost a TON of branches during the wind storms, though we're lucky we didn't lose an entire tree like many of our neighbors. (Noah's social studies teacher lives just down the street and had a tree crash through her bedroom window, barely missing her bed, which she was in at the time.) It was a lot to clean up, but hey! Free DIY firewood! (Ike is wearing a very old Coach logo-print rain hat, circa the year I started this blog and was inexplicably and basic-white-girl obsessed with all things Coach. I didn't even know I still owned this, but Ike has taken a liking to it and insists on wearing it all the time.) Poppy was not happy to be confined to the backyard while Ike and I cleaned up the front. Also not happy that we cut up or threw out all those big, delicious sticks. The firewood will be used to fuel our new fire pit (that old inherited-from-the-former-homeowners one there is completely rusted through because we...uh, forgot about it all winter and also did not inherit a cover), which we shall enjoy before/during/after dips in the... Read more →


PatiOHHHHHH

Well look at that! It's a patio. (Weird pipe thing is the conduit for powering the hot tub, which arrives on Tuesday, so look for updates typed by severely pruny fingers every day after that.) Those are some of the most uninspiring photos on earth, but they were all I could snap before they had to cover the entire thing with plastic sheeting to protect it from the coming snow storm. It's still wrapped up, waiting for the crew to come back tomorrow-ish for the final touches, including replanting all the grass that got mercilessly destroyed and churned into swampland during construction. And we did indeed get snow! And for the first time in the history of my children's existence on earth, waking up to some fresh snow on the ground did NOT automatically equal a day off from school, or even a delay. They were LIVID. Downright INDIGNANT. What do you MEAN. How do you DARE. We are being sent out in the frozen WILDERNESS to DIE or GET OUR SHOES WET. When I informed Noah that no, I would not be driving him two whole blocks to the bus stop because the sidewalks were perfectly clear, he collapsed... Read more →


Whoosh

Hello! Is everyone continuing to enjoy this ass-bonkers March weather? Tomorrow it's pgoing to snow, on Sunday I walked to Starbucks in a hoodie, and on Friday all our outdoor furniture tried to make a break for it and blow off the deck. (#TIREWATCH2018 #ISEEYOU) I bundled up and battled the wind for awhile and got all the furniture and cushions back in place and securely covered, only to look outside like 20 minutes later at this: Yes, that's much better. The kids are LOVING all the canceled school days, although I predict much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in a few weeks when they realize they're losing most of spring break to make-up days. Pro-tip: If you have to go to Target in the middle of a N'oreaster, try a ponytail! We still do not have a completed patio, and therefore no hot tub either. It's been a lot of stop-and-go trying to get work done in-between all these wind/rain/snow storms. I'm hoping they'll manage to finish up today but who knows. The whole patio-building process is a lot more complicated and labor intensive than I realized (I thought it was more like, "Here are the bricks,... Read more →


Pave the Swamp

Look, it's a patio! Er...well, not quite yet. We admittedly chose the worst time of year to start an outdoor project, as the crew can't work in the rain or whatever the hell kind of INSANE WIND STORM swept in last night that canceled schools and sent everybody's trash cans dancing up the street. So right now we have a lot of dirt and rocks and pallets of pavers beautifying our yard. Also this! Which is delighting the boys to no end. Look at them, not even wearing jackets three days ago and now we're trapped in a sub-freezing bomb cyclone vortex of some kind. All very fine and normal and I am feeling really great about the climate right now!!! We're getting a patio for two three reasons. One, that area behind/under the deck gets absolutely zero sun and is basically a perpetual, unusable swamp. So trying to do anything in the backyard (be it gardening or s'mores or magical berry gathering) requires you to first wade through several inches of mud worthy of the Fire Swamp. Not pleasant, also take off your shoes take off your shoes omg children stop coming inside with those damn muddy shoes. Reason... Read more →


The Storches Did A Thing!

Not long after we moved in, we hat electrician come by and do a couple random jobs -- fixing some faulty plugs, installing extra outlets, etc. We also asked him to wire up some wall sconces and switches in our bedroom. Which he did, and when he called me to come observe that everything was working, I realized that he'd sliced out a huge slab of the drywall rather than...I don't know, I'm not an electrician but I've had this exact job done at two previous residences and neither time resulted in a giant gaping hole running between the outlets. "I know a good drywall guy for that," he said very nonchalantly. I bet you do, I thought bitterly, imagining some sinister organized electrician/drywall referral racket. I told him we'd make the repair ourselves. Which, of course, we did not. We simply pushed the bed back in front of the hole and figured we'd deal with it whenever we finally got around to painting the room. We did not paint the wall, but we (Jason) did fix the hole. And then we (both of our asses) did something else: We hung wallpaper. Wallpaper! Who does that anymore? Nobody at all,... Read more →