Friday, July 22, 2011

Remodel Stage III - Pretty Things

The cabinets arrived and were installed.

Then the granite.

Yay the kitchen is looking so pretty.

Houses built in the 1960's did not have the technology that we do now
and all of the windows in the house were shiny silver and very inefficient.

So we hired a retrofit company.

They specialize in removing old windows and replacing them with lovely
vinyl clad LowE vapor barrier double paned beauties.

Not an inexpensive option with a house full of so many windows

but one that very quickly updates the curb appeal
and gives the whole house a clean and bright feeling.

Hero Husband and I had a hard time choosing a front door we both liked.
The living room felt darker than the rest of the house and 
we were sure of two things.

1.  We wanted to incorporate windows to brighten the room

2. We did not want traditional "Side Light" windows

Considering the size of the opening that was left when we took out the original double doors
we had a lot of space to work with.  I originally wanted a full panel glass door and Hero Husband argued that it would be too much and not offer any privacy.

After a bunch of digging around I found this door online at Home Depot and fell in love.
Paired with the lovely 24 inch windows on either side we got the light we wanted and the esthetic feel we needed from the curb.

I'm sure the people who buy the house will end up covering them in 
some way, but for now you can look in the front window and see 
through the glass back door all the way to the back of the .79 acre lot

It came out exactly like I had hoped, and yes, that means that
 Hero Husband was right about not choosing a full glass door.

You might have also noticed that around the same time the wood floors were installed.

I love these floors.

They are and engineered hardwood, have the hand scraped finish and are 5 inch planks.

It's a good thing I love these floors because I am going to be the one on my hand and knees cleaning and polishing them when we are done.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I wade in a morass

Super Son is away at camp.

I miss him.

I have painted Miss Things nails 264 times since he left.

I'm fairly certain that he didn't even crack open the bottle of sunscreen,

that he changed his clothes only when mandated,

and that he had an absolutely wonderful time.

Which leaves me trying to find my place in the universe when this piece of my heart is off experiencing life and creating memories of his own that I will never share.

A certain member of my family is preparing to leave for college in the fall.
His mother is my grandfather's wife's youngest daughter.
She is also my father's grand children's great Aunt.

She was until very recently the only other mother in my 
family with sons within a decades age of my own.

So I'm all angsty and wandering in the morass of
"Every moment of magnitude in his life I have been by his side and now I'm not.  
I will never know him in the way these people are getting the chance to.  
He's creating a life of his own out there and I'm not in it"


and so I text her (on the day of her youngest's Freshman orientation)

What am I to do oh wise Mother of boys Guru

She responds

"I always said I wanted my boys to dance on stages I'd never seen."

Thank you wise Guru.  That too is what I want.
 An exceptionally uncommon life that makes him happy and lets him touch all of his dreams

and then I get the second part of her text

"Basically I'm a liar."


Apparently this thing does not get easier.

My mind and my heart need to have a serious weekend getaway 
together and get with the plan, cause facts are facts, he is growing up.  

I love the small glimpses of the man he will be 
but in equal measure with the hugs he still craves and asks for freely
and so maybe therein lies the answer.  

The exchange of one energy for another.  
As the energy of a child is traded for that of a boy 
and that of a boy is traded for that of a young man.  
The energy still remains, yet changed.  

Push and pull
Ebb and flow

Change can be hard, but change isn't necessarily loss.

Some things will be lost to time and some given more freely
but he and we will still remain...yet changed.

Change I can deal with.
In small doses.

Remain present...


Some whiskey probably wouldn't hurt either.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Glow in the Dark Putt Putt

I found a place where you can play glow in the dark putt putt

It did crazy things to my pedicure

My progeny found the snake wrestling gorilla particularly amusing

I found the shark particularly scary

but the best part was explaining to the kids what a Kraken is.

I have a feeling they won't want to go fishing at the coast anytime soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gay Bingo!

What does a good wife do when her husband is working hard on a remodel
putting in crazy 16 hour days, besides providing regular back rubs?

She packs him off to Dallas for a night of drag queen spectacularity that is Gay Bingo!

This is Jocelyn.

She has gravity defying boobs.

I am working on coming to terms with gravity.

Jocelyn will throw your booty in Gay Bingo Jail if you don't follow the rules.

Thankfully we are all good at following the rules.

Cause the only way to get out of Gay Bingo Jail is to

1. Have your friends bail you out.  Assuming that they didn't bribe the jailers to lock you up in the first place you are out of luck if you have cheap friends.

2. Strip.  On Stage.

3. Make out with the Bingo Ball Caller.

I really should have bribed the jailers.

Hero Husband won a t-shirt


even though we didn't win a game of bingo we had a few drinks and a lot of fun.

If there was any question that we had a good time
it was cleared up when I rolled over the next morning and found 
Hero Husband covered in bingo dauber ink.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Remodel Stage II - Kitchen choices

We bought this house.

And now its time to put it all back together.

The weird sunken atrium had to go and so we floated the 
floor up to match the living and kitchen

We liked the brick in the fireplace and the kitchen and decided to keep those elements.

With the walls sheetrocked, taped, floated and textured we had the actual measurements needed to order cabinets and countertops.

We chose to order them through IKEA.

They offer a handy design tool that is user friendly and allows you to see everything in several convenient views Aerial, 360 etc. while you move things around and jet it just right.

They also happen to have pretty rockin' cabinets with dampers on all the drawers and doors.
Never in this house will a cabinet door or drawer be slammed.

If we ever re-do our kitchen at home we will seriously looking at these for ourselves.

They also offer cabinet installation and countertops.

The weekend we placed our order they were offering 20% off your entire kitchen order if you bought 3 appliances.

Eureka!  We just happened to need a fridge, dishwasher and range.  

With the discount it was very affordable to increase the granite order
and use it for the countertops in the addition (otherwise known as the poker room),
laundry room and bathrooms.  

We chose the tan-brown granite for the kitchen and laundry and a variety of beautiful swirly tans blacks and golds for the others.

Before the countertops are in I have to go shopping (big sacrifice I know) and choose sinks, faucets, fans and light fixtures.

Hero Husband often says that I have a super power.  The uncanny ability when presented with three nearly identical choices to always pick the most expensive of them.

Let's hope for the sake of the budget that I carry some kryptonite with me.

IKEA is just awesome. 
They have never heard of me and did not pay for or sponsor this post.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I woke up one morning not long ago and stepped into a puddle.

It was not the best way to start the day.

I was certain that Eli had relieved himself on my rug,

Bad dog.

I began the clean up effort and quickly realized that unless Eli had grown to the size of an elephant overnight there was no way that the "puddle" could be of his making.

This was a relief until after moving furniture, rolling up rugs and turning on fans

I found my beautiful wood floors ... buckled.

The washing machine was just on the other side of the wall.

And I had found my culprit.

There is a rubber thingy that connects the soap dispenser to the big part of the washer that spins.
All of the water used to wash the clothes comes through this thingy.  

I'm all about being technically correct as you can tell.

 The rubber thingy... It had exploded.

My clothes had not been washed and now all of the water had been lapping
under the wall into my bedroom.

Maybe that's why I slept so well that night.

The sounds of water lapping gently against my baseboards and night stand.

Of course to add insult to buckled Brazilian koa wood floors I had waited way to long to do laundry.

Super Son had no underwear.

Miss Thing had no Monkey Bar Buddies and was prevented from wearing dresses.  Oh the horror.

By the time we figured out that the thingy that had exploded was the problem and not a
sock stuck in the drain line (because yes that has happened too) 
Sears was closed and didn't have the part in stock anyway.

This is the time that resourceful Mamma's grab their cameras, dollar bills and 
all of the laundry and head to the laundromat.

We had so much laundry it almost didn't fit into the back of my SUV with the seats all folded up.

I learned something about myself this Friday night.

I love the laundromat

Irrationally, devotedly, love the laundromat.

I loaded my 142 loads of laundry into machines and all of the clothes were washed simultaneously and in half the time it takes for a single load at home.

Then I transferred everything into the dryers.

Where they dried.

All at the same time.

And in half the time it takes to dry at home.

Without destroying my floors.

Everything emerged warm and fluffy.  
There were rolling baskets that were exactly the right height.
I folded, stacked and returned to my baskets the evenings work.

I did in two hours I did what would have taken 10 or more at home.

I met some really nice ladies,

returned home with underthings for my Wee Ones

and stopped at Sonic and bought Hero Husband a milk shake to celebrate.

I am now actively trying to convince him to buy me another 
washer and dryer so we can have our own laundromat at home.

Maybe red ones that don't have exploding rubber thingys on them.

I'll keep you posted on that.

The End.

P.S. I ordered, picked up and installed the replacement rubber 
thingy and fixed the washer all by myself. Hero Husband cheered for me, 
wiped the grease smudge of my cheek and made me cookies.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Last Days

The last month has marked a number of milestones

Super Son finished 3rd Grade

meeting his goals along the way

and still managing to have a bit of fun with his friends

He's ready for camp and the rest of the fun we have planned for summer

Miss Thing enjoyed the last day of preschool

she had some nerves about being a kindergartener

but Mr. Tom helped to make sure she was ready for
everything the classroom might throw her way

And now summer is in full swing.

Someone please slow it all down.  Just a little.

I love where they are right now and I want it to all last just a bit longer.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Remodel Stage I - Find the bones

The first stage in any remodel is a plan.

Some houses reveal themselves clearly and simply.

This house was was not one of them.

Originally built in the early 1960's we were pleased to find that the closets were generously sized.  
Unfortunately sometime in the last 20 years there was an addition built.  
Extra square footage can be a good thing, when carefully thought out and constructed.
This was not one of those.

It was situated across from the Master Bedroom (to the right) and then the roof lines were joined in the middle.  The ultimate result was a tunnel and a roof that held water and windows from the master bedroom looking into the bathroom of the addition.

The deck was situated above the slab and the tree was dead.

All three had to go just to be able to see what was really there and what we could do with it.

The addition also took what used to be the back porch and brought it into the house.

What it didn't do was tie the spaces together.

It was a sunken tiled room that almost felt like an atrium.

and walled off the kitchen turning it into a galley with very little countertop space

The entrance to the hallway was just off the living room.
Putting the guest/hall bath down the hall and the "kids" rooms visible from the living room.

We knew that these things had to change and we thought that closing up the entrance in the living room and moving it to the sunken atrium would make the kids bedrooms more protected from noise and make the hall/guest bath more easily accessible.  

That meant tearing down walls and seeing if it flowed the way we thought it would.

The most difficult room that we found in this house though, was the master bathroom.

It was a narrow room with very little space and only a shower.

A small shower at that.

The space was also divided.

Inside the bathroom was a sink, toilet and shower.

Outside was a dressing area and closet.

The other spaces we had an idea and just need to see it manifest to be sure it would work.

The master bath was a conundrum.

We drew it 14 different ways and still couldn't figure out a good way to make it work.

Demo then design was the only way we could proceed.

We absorbed the unusual closet with the stairs inside and the hall closet 
to create a much larger space and give us the room we needed to 
enclose the toilet area and allow enough space to install a soaker tub.

By bringing the hall closet into the master bath we opted to carve out some space from the master bedroom and create a nicely oversized closet/utility/storage room.

Major layout decisions are out of the way.

Next:  cabinets and kitchen layout