I just wrote my annual Christmas letter and realized that I desperately needed to continue updating my blog. In case anyone has actually been keeping up with us, I apologize for the huge gaps!
The kitchen project and the "clutter monster" are both under control. The front room is now useable as a playroom/my sewing room again, and the kitchen is also totally functional. The crown molding still isn't up, and there are one or loose ends still, but I'll still post some pictures.
We are almost ready for Christmas, I still have a couple of things to purchase for Marvin and something for my nephew, but that's it. We went all out on the decorations this year, celebrating the fact that I wasn't preggers!!! ;-) this time, and the house looks really pretty, if I do say so myself. The kids are getting really excited (well, Alec and Benji are), and I'm really looking forward to Christmas break- a whole week of wallowing in our pj's with everyone home. Hopefully we can refrain from making too many plans.
I actually for a moment forgot that I had a blog! The post-remodel clean up is now mostly complete, but has taken it's toll on us. The actual "dirty" cleaning is finished, all the remains is the terrible clutter monster lurking in the front room. I"ve made pretty good progress- the kids can now get to their toys and actually have some floor space in there, but it's still not a desirable room to be in.
I haven't taken any "after" pics yet, because the crown molding still isn't up on the tops of the cabinets. Maybe that will get finished before Christmas. . .
Speaking of Christmas, can't believe the year is almost gone and Ava will soon be celebrating her first birthday! She's crawling now, at nine months, and is extremely agile- pulling herself to standing on nearly everything she sees. This is all new to me- the boys just basically sat still until they were 12 months!
Today the sink and dishwasher got installed! I had an uncontrollable grin as I turned on the faucet and let the water run over my hands. . .I think next to the birth of the kids and the day I got married, today ranks right up there with one of the best days of my life! The kitchen is now officially fully functional, and all that is left are some cosmetic (but no less important) details. The carpet cleaners are coming on Friday morning to hopefully make the past 18 or so weeks of food spills on the living room floor disappear. That means, however, that I've got a very long day ahead of me tomorrow trying to get everything else cleaned up and off the floor in the living room and bedroom.
Fortunately, McSarah is coming to help me in the morning, and maybe if I pull an "all-nighter" tonight, I'll be finished. . .
Today was Alec's first day of Skyhawks soccer camp at our local park. He had a good time and is looking forward to the rest of the week. He always does so well in social situations once he gets over the initial hump of not knowing anyone. Hopefully he'll adjust just as easily to first grade!
KItchen update: this past weekend was supposed to be "wrap everything up weekend". But, as all projects go in this house, that didn't happen. The counter is finished, though, and looks great. Here's a rundown of what we've got left to do: two thresholds, two pieces of trim, toekick, cabinet crown, connecting one outlet in the basement, screens and storms, put together table and chairs. Then, of course, there is my massive personal list of things to do to add the finishing touches. I've been picking away at the gargantuan piles of kitchen-related who-knows-what littering our entire house, and it's slowly getting better. The boys were able to access some of their toys today out of the cabinet in the playroom, which made them ecstatic. Hopefully that will keep them occupied tomorrow and Wed. while I finish sorting/unpacking during Ava's naps.
Today our tile guy, Wayne, came out to get started on the counter tops. So far, so good, except for the fronts (the reveal) seemed a tad too large. I'll have to talk to him about that when he comes back tomorrow to start on the tile (he did prep work tonight).
We ended up finding a table on the Target website, instead of the project table at the Goodwill store. The one from Target was exactly what I had in mind the whole time, but just didn't think we could afford it new. Turns out that it was right in our budget, so it's ordered and should arrive sometime before Monday.
This whole kitchen thing is just a bit much for me right now. We're down to the last few details (some trim work, installing the sink and dishwasher), and it just seems like it will never end. I've decided that I can't clean up anymore or move anymore into the kitchen till Marvin clears out all his tools and the massive piles of Home Depot bags lying everywhere.
We've just got 1 week left of July and three weeks ofAugust to fit in a belated birthday party for Alec, a vacation to Lakeside, clean up the disaster everywhere in the house and start back to school. I can't believe how long this is taking, what a horrible summer we've had and how overwhelmed I'm feeling. I kind of almost feel angry about it, but have no one to blame for it or to take out my anger on. . .
Today I was on a mission to find a kitchen table at a thrift store that I could paint/customize to fit my "vision" for the room. My first stop, the the local Goodwill store, yielded an almost perfect specimen. However, much to my dismay, it was 10 inches too long. I made a quick phone call to my dad to see if my idea of chopping it in half and cutting out 10 inches and then putting it back together with supports underneath was too outlandish. To my surprise, he didn't burst into uncontrollable laughter, but actually said that he thought it could be done. The problem with this is that it is just one more thing that has to be worked on before the kitchen is officially finished, and I don't know if I'm willing to spend Marvin's time on that. I've sent out a couple of inquiries to some Craigslist postings, so we'll see what transpires. . .
We had a terrible snafu with our sink. . .the woman at Lowe's who designed our cabinetry area in the kitchen gave us a 33 inch sink base. Having never done a kitchen remodel before, we weren't aware that the 33 inch size was not the standard sink base size. We blithely purchased a couple of 33 inch sinks to try out to see which style I liked best (single or double bowl), assuming that a 33 inch sink fit into a 33 inch sink base. Well, reality slapped us in the face on Sunday when we went to cut the hole in the plywood counter top for the sink and realized that the standard sink base was 36 inches and a 33 inch sink fits into one of those. We also figured out very quickly that a 30 inch sink was not very easy to come by. After several hours spent online, I finally found one company (Kindred) out of the 8 or so out there that make stainless steel sinks that makes a 30 inch, single bowl. (no one at all makes a double bowl that size). We had to pay through the nose to get the sink and get it shipped here in time for our tile guy to start on the counter top. I am soooooooo ready to have this nightmare over with, and am really dreading clean up. I'll post a picture of the way our house looks right now. . .
Ok, so now Ava's rash is gone! Wow, that was quick. . .she's still irritable, though :-(
The plywood for the counter top is in now and the dishwasher is attached, and hopefully the rest of the trim will be finished today also. Well, except for that darn crown molding on the cabinet tops- what a nightmare to figure out. I"m just hoping that gets done sometime before next month!
Tomorrow I've gotta finish the second coat of red paint on the backsplash area and fill in a zillion nail holes in the wainscoting and caulk and paint that. Hmmmm, maybe I need a babysitter. . .
Ok, surprise, Ava has Roseola! The boys didn't get it at all, but according to all the online info, it's extremely common. She started with a decent fever on Tuesday, which climbed to around 106 degrees by Wed. evening. We were a tad nervous, and I actually had the audacity to look up Dr. Lyss' home phone number and call him at 7:30 pm. Hey- we'll do anything for our kids, right?!
Anyways, she's on some immune-building, anti-viral supplements and her fever is gone, and the rash is extremely mild. The only negative side effect currently is extreme irritability. . .she got this on the tail end of cutting her bottom two teeth, so there has been a week or so now where I've done nothing but tote her around the house with me all day long. At 18lbs., she's no lightweight- I'm a tad tired!
Today, Marvin and dad got the wainscoting finished with the exception of a tiny, two inch strip, and put down the plywood underlayment for the counter top. I'm trying to decide on our faucets, hoping to make up my mind and order tomorrow. I'll be really mad at myself if I'm so wishy-washy that they're not here by the time we need them! (hopefully next weekend)
Well, the kitchen is almost finished. What possessed us to start this leg of our renovations after we had three kids, I'll never know.
We started the last week of March, so I guess we're in about our 13th week or so. All we have left to do is finish putting up the trim, connect all the electrical in the basement, and install the counter top and sink. That may sound like a lot, but we had completely gutted the room, down to the bare, bumpy, plaster walls! We've come a long way, but it's been a very hard uphill climb.
Today I started moving some stuff into the cabinets. I'm having a difficult time adjusting to their size- I had only a few cabinets before, but they were quite large and cavernous and required much less thought as to where to put stuff.
Alec is at a pool party tonight, and Ava is in bed, so maybe Benji can go to bed a little early and I can get some more done.
Check out these "during" pics of the kitchen, and some of my darling Ava!!
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