Sunday, July 31, 2005

How in the world did I collect so much stuff?

This weekend has been very productive so far. Yesterday we finished painting the kitchen and the main areas, and P installed the light fixtures in the kitchen and the dining room which took a little longer than we thought since our light boxes in the kitchen were small and had to be adapted (of course). But they are all up now and they look fabulous! The kitchen ones are round fluorescent fixtures with brushed nickel framing, and the one in the dining room is a pewter with alabaster light cups, and they just look great. I couldn't be happier with that part of it. And the light is much brighter and prettier, so it's easier to see now in the house.

I also started lugging in stuff for the garage sale, and what a pain this is. I will never have another garage sale again. At this point, I've labeled so much stuff that I'm committed now and we are going to do this next weekend, but I don't know that I will ever want to do another garage sale again. Ugh. It's just unbelievable. And we probably won't even make that much money! I told P that if we clear $250, I'll be happy, but there are so many things that are 50 cents and 25 cents, I don't even know if we'll clear that. I just know that I never want to amass this much junk in my life again. Ever! And that stuff is not coming back in the house. I told P that whatever we don't sell is going straight into the cars and we're taking it to Goodwill. A big part of me just wishes that we had done that to begin with and just gotten the tax deduction! This labeling and pricing of everything is just a LOT of work!

Today, P promised me he would finish sanding the dresser so I can start staining it. I read all the instructions for the conditioner, stain and finish that we bought, and it's definitely a doable one day thing if I can get started in a few hours. The conditioner only needs thirty minutes to set, the stain needs two hours between coats, and then the final coat needs three hours before I can put the top finishing coat on it. I'm really excited about this...I've been dying to do this to the dresser for MONTHS now. I might be able to do the bookcase too, but we'll see...the bookcase only has polyurethane on it and no stain, so I would think it would be much easier to sand and prep for staining, but I don't know.

That's all that's new from this corner of the universe. We're just keeping very busy and counting down the days until the kitchen is done. One week and five days to go.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The light at the end of the tunnel

Drama over. We have an end result.

The contractor faxed me today that he will be picking up the cabinetry from the manufacturer on August 9 and will be finished in our kitchen by August 12. We can then have our flooring put in the following Monday and Tuesday and then install our baseboards that weekend.

Yes, I'm pissed. Yes, I'm disappointed. Yes, I'm irritated at the thought of two more weeks without a kitchen. But what else can I do?

One thing I am though is relieved...relieved to know that there is an end in sight. P talked to him at length today and the contractor really is sorry and feels bad about what happened. Doesn't help us at all right now, but at least he did apologize again.

I had to work tonight until about 9:30, so it wasn't enough time to get our stuff organized for a garage sale this weekend, but we're waking up bright and early tomorrow to get started working. Here's our to-do list:

-finish painting kitchen, install light fixtures
-finish painting main area, install dining room chandelier
-organize garage sale stuff and label for next weekend
-finish sanding dresser and get it stained
-sand bookcase and get it stained

At least we're keeping busy.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I didn't think it could get worse...

...but it did.

If you are still coming back to visit and read about how sucky my life right now is due to the battle with the house and the contractors, I applaud you. I wouldn't be coming back if I were you, but I guess in a weird way, this is like a car just can't help but rubberneck.

This morning I woke up bright and early to get ready for my first day back at work (which was AWFUL, by the way, just as I anticipated it would be) and while I was walking the dogs, P drove by to let me know that the contractors had shown up to texture the new drywall. Great. Glad to hear it. I went back, started getting ready for work, and by the time I was drying my hair, they were done and gone.

So, I get in the car to drive to my first appointment, and I call the general contractor and leave him a message to ask him if he still has any interest in doing my windows, since I'd like to have those done next week while we are waiting for the cabinets. If not, I'm going to hire someone else.

By about 2 pm, I haven't heard from him, so I call him from the office (sneaky me) so he won't know it's me calling, and of course he picks up the phone. We proceed to have a very calm discussion about how disappointed I am about the whole situation, how I just want things to move forward, and then he asks if we can talk in a few minutes when I have some privacy, ie, when others are not around to hear me scream at him, I suppose.

Let me recap on what has happened here as far as a timeline.

June 29 I gave him a check for the cabinets.
July 8 was when he supposedly ordered them according to his fax that I got last week.
July 24th was when we all anticipated that they would arrive.

I call him back from the car when I'm on my way home, and he proceeds to tell me that it looks like the cabinets may have not been ordered until July 15.

MAY HAVE NOT BEEN? Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?

Apparently, he went and took the check to the cabinetry place on Friday, July 8, and left the order and check for this guy he buys cabinets from, but wasn't aware that the guy was on vacation until July 15 and didn't bother to call the next week to follow up. I asked him if he knew for a fact that the cabinets were on the way here, and he never answered me. He said that he would call the manufacturer right then and find out a) if the cabinets were on the way, b) where they were in transit, and c) if there was anything I could do to speed them up.

The shock of what he did didn't really hit me until I got home and was explaining to P what happened...and looking at the calendar.

I realized that if the cabinets weren't ordered until July 15 and they take 3-4 weeks to arrive, they may not arrive until August 12, and if they don't arrive until then and the contractors work on the same schedule that they have worked on thus far, we won't have them installed for a week and then my floors the following week.

Thus, we're looking at the end of August to have the kitchen done and the house back to normal at best...Labor Day at worst. That's over a MONTH of eating out due to not having a kitchen.

This of course brought on even more tears and a good old-fashioned panic attack, which then resulted in me calling him and absolutely reading him the RIOT ACT. He promised yet again to call me as soon as he had talked to the manufacturer, even if that was late tonight, and would call me to tell me what's going on. It's now 11 pm and I have not heard from him.

At this point, I am totally at a loss as to what to do. Granted, the whole thing with the air conditioner repairmen was our fault since we didn't research who those guys were before signing up with them, but I've known this contractor for nearly five years. He's done work on our house before. Shame on me? SHAME ON HIM!

And herein sits my kitchen, beautifully painted but with only four walls. I'm tired of eating out. P's going to set up the microwave and an electric skillet on the floor in the kitchen this weekend so we can at least make some food at home since it appears that we are looking at QUITE a while before this is resolved. I am so depressed. How did this go from having my kitchen done by last weekend to no end in sight??

P and I discussed it over dinner tonight and we both agreed that if L calls tomorrow morning and tells me that the cabinets were never ordered, I'm demanding a refund of what I paid him for the cabinets and I'm firing him on the spot. At this point, I would not be surprised one bit if that is what he tells me. Working with Home Depot would have been better than this.

So this is our Plan B if I end up firing L:

-order cabinetry directly from the manufacturer and pay them to install the cabinets
-have Lowe's install our countertops and backsplash..and hopefully maybe getting them to install the below items including the sink/faucet/dishwasher/garbage disposal/range/microhood
-hire a plumber to come install the sink, faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher if not
-talk to Conn's or someone about installing our range and microhood if not

We're already in the process of getting window estimates, since I already told him not to bother with that. At least we can move forward with that piece of this whole mess.

I really don't know how this could get any worse, but I guess I don't want to find out.

And if ONE MORE DAMN PERSON tells me to relax, to calm down, to breathe, or that getting this stressed out is not good for the baby, there will be bloodshed. Especially if that person has a penis. I practically knocked myself out yesterday getting into my Honda and almost gave myself a concussion, and when I went to the urgent care facility to have my head looked at, they took my blood pressure at 118/76 or something close to that, so apparently I'm just fine despite all this bullshit I'm having to put up with.

Tune in tomorrow. I'm sure there will be more drama.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Image hosted by

This is what I painted last night on the kitchen wall where my cabinets are going to go. It's completely reflective of my mood right now.

The contractors showed up yesterday and as promised, they tore out the cabinets, sink, garbage disposal, counters, and removed the range and dishwasher. What they did NOT do was to repair the drywall in the kitchen. I called the general contractor and left him a message, but it took my husband calling from his cell phone (a number the GC didn't recognize) to get the guy to get his guys back there. They worked for another hour and got the drywall all ready. It is now an empty room.

I spent last night painting the kitchen as much as I could up to the wet areas of drywall, and the color looks very nice, but I am so frustrated not having a kitchen and I can't believe our cabinets haven't arrived yet.

Worst of all, I can't believe that we are now at a halting point until they do. No more painting, no counters, no floors, nothing.

We went over our to-do list last night. It's short.

-paint the doors and trims in the kitchen with semi-gloss
-finish touch-ups in the main areas
-install dining room light fixture
-move everything back into the linen closet

That's it. There is no more to do until the kitchen is done. We can't move our furniture back into place. We can't hang pictures up on the wall. There is nothing more to take out. We are in limbo. AND I HATE IT!

P had the great idea though this weekend of buying some metallic spray paint to paint this gold-painted coat rack to match our outlet covers and light fixtures, so we did that last night and I'm very pleased with the results. He also took apart our ceiling fan in our kitchen and spray-painted all the brass parts to it, so it's going to match our new kitchen. Much cheaper than buying a new fan, that's for sure!

Anyway, that's the status. Today I am spending the day running errands since I don't want to go back to work and I don't have much to do around the house. I have to get the registration on both of our vehicles, get one inspected, change my Social Security card (yup, six years later and I'm finally doing it), get dog food, one more outlet cover for the kitchen, and lunch with a pal from work.

Then I'll come back and paint a little more.

I have a feeling that we're going to be spending this weekend either working on the dresser and bookcase for the nursery, or having a garage sale. Either would be peachy with me.

Oh, I forgot to mention that our mesquite laminate was delivered yesterday on time and it looks great. We love it!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Them young girls they do get wearied...or appetite for destruction?

I can't even remember when this remodeling project started or how it took on a life of its own. I had to go back and look through my blogs to find out when the starting date was. We began with the nursery at the end of May.

Eight weeks now that we have been slaving away on our house. I can't believe it. It feels like the end will never be in sight.

I came home from another day of shopping (more baby clothes and books) to find a very apologetic groveling fax from the contractor asking if they can come tomorrow to work on the kitchen. Which of COURSE they can...I took off work specifically so they can come work.

So we spent yet another night getting ready for them. We moved the washer and dryer back into the utility room (that room is completely done except for the floor and shoe), cleaned out the rest of the kitchen, and finished demoing the Pergo so the courier can bring the flooring tomorrow morning. I rescheduled the delivery since there is really no rush anyway...the kitchen is not going to be done by this weekend unless a miracle occurs.

I hope and I pray that this kitchen looks as good as the kitchen in my dreams.

Anyway, our entire laminate floor is now sitting in our front yard waiting for the trash men (who are going to curse me in the morning) and we are ready for more destruction! Bring it on.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The satisfaction of destruction

Nothing is quite as satisfying as destroying something that you decided while calm to destroy.

That was me while removing the gold metallic tile backsplash in our kitchen. It is now off. It was great, even though I did nick my fingers in the process. With every piece that came off, it was like saying, "Up yours" to my contractor. He he he.

Status of to-do list that I posted this morning:

-finish painting main area trim/bifolds and touch up
**main area is done, bifolds are done, but we still need to go back through and touch up...we'll probably do that after we do the baseboards
-install outlet plates
**DONE and they look GREAT with our light fixtures!
-move furniture back into its temporary position in the living room
-move furniture out of the dining room
**DONE but we left our table for the time being so we'd have somewhere to eat
-move furniture out of the kitchen (there's not much)
-empty/move freezer into garage
**DONE except freezer is now on our back patio thawing out
-demo Pergo floors
**P did about 1/3 of the hall and 1/3 of the dining room before he pulled a muscle in his leg, so that put an end to that, at least for now
-move refrigerators into dining room for now
**DONE...the dining room is now our kitchen
-move washer and dryer into garage for now
**they are sitting in the kitchen and will go back in the utility room tomorrow night
-remove baseboards in kitchen and utility room
**DONE in the kitchen; we decided to leave the existing ones in the utility room because, well, it is JUST a utility room!
-paint kitchen and utility room
**Utility room is done and looks fantastic...we're going to do the kitchen tomorrow night
-put blinds and drapes up in living room
**Blinds on 2 of 3 windows are up, but no drapes yet

I know now why it only took us about two minutes to pick our paint color at Lowe''s because it is EXACTLY the color that we both envisioned in our head. We seriously couldn't have picked a better color. It is just LOVELY.

I'm really proud of the progress that we made today. Really. I would have been happier if we had gotten the kitchen painted as well, but I guess there's no rush. As soon as the kitchen is done, there is nothing else for us to do but wait. I'm hoping I can talk P into installing the dining room chandelier tomorrow night but we'll see. We're both pretty tired from the weekend right now.

No word from the contractor, but I just sent him a fax a few minutes ago reminding him to call my personal cell instead of my work cell since I have it turned off for the next few days...I can just see him using that as an excuse for why they didn't come do the work. The flooring people are going to call tomorrow about bringing the laminate flooring. Other than that, I plan on spending the day shopping with my dad and stepmother on their last day of their visit.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Oh, as an aside, if anyone is interested in taking over the Sunday Brunch for me, please let me know. I'm just running out of ideas, quite frankly, and pretty soon I won't have time anyway. I'm kind of there now, really. Email me if you are interested.

The ongoing paintathon

Still painting. I can't believe how long it took to paint those main areas! The trim just seemed like it went on forever. But we are almost done. All we have left today is to put the second coat of Lighthouse Shadows on the ceiling beam, mantle, posts, and front door (and it looks fabulous with the Sweet Slumber), I need to put one last coat of paint on our linen closet bifold door, and then do some touchups everywhere with the wall paint. P needs to take off the old dining room light fixture, paint around that, and install the new one, so that should be exciting. It looks great! Very clean and fresh.

We bought our kitchen/utility room paint's a soft gray titled "Voyage" and will look very nice with our countertops and stainless steel appliances. It took us about two minutes to pick out the color. I think we're both getting tired of selecting paint colors, because neither one of us put up a fight. We also exchanged our broken granite sink for an 18 gauge 9" depth stainless steel brushed silk finish sink, so that's done. I sure did love the idea of a granite sink, but I like the idea of a noncracked one much better.

But the most productive part of yesterday is that P started the demo of our cabinetry himself. As of right now, all of the upper cabinetry is off, the range hood is gone, and about 1/3 of the yicky gold tile backsplash has been peeled off. So we're making progress. I don't know how much this is going to save us on the total contractor bill, probably about $200 or so, but it'll be worth it to do it so they don't stall anymore. We have found some drywall patching that needs to be done, so P's going to hopefully get that taped off today so it can dry.

Here's our to-do list for today...continued from yesterday:

-finish painting main area trim/bifolds and touch up
-install outlet plates
-move furniture back into its temporary position in the living room
-move furniture out of the dining room
-move furniture out of the kitchen (there's not much)
-empty/move freezer into garage
-demo Pergo floors
-move refrigerators into dining room for now
-move washer and dryer into garage for now
-remove baseboards in kitchen and utility room
-paint kitchen and utility room
-put blinds and drapes up in living room

It's going to be a busy day.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Shopping makes everything all better

Not much has changed with the contractors, I'm afraid. I faxed L a two-page letter Thursday night informing him of my displeasure with him but advising that yes, I still want him to do the work as I don't want to wait any longer, but now I'm stuck with waiting on HIM to dictate the schedule. And I've not heard from him since I faxed that letter.

This is something that I'm going to have to accept and live with.

At least the guys working on the house are nice. M, the drywaller and the guy that will be doing the majority of the work, showed up right on time yesterday at 8:15 to finish the drywall repair to what used to be the pantry and as promised, he was gone in fifteen minutes. He was very nice about it, gave me some tips for demo if P decides to rip out the kitchen himself (which he's seriously considering doing this afternoon), and told me that if L gives him direction to come back on Monday, he'll try to call me Sunday night or first thing Monday morning at the least. So at least that's something...I really would have no qualms leaving the house while he's here doing the work next week so at least that's one ray of sunshine.

The flooring people called yesterday morning and I had to explain to them the whole situation. They were ready to come bring the laminate yesterday to start acclimating for Pete's sake...that irritates me in itself. How is it that laminate flooring arrives within days but cabinets take a month? I want someone to explain that to me. Anyway, I pushed back the delivery to Monday and they understand that the installation may not take place till the end of next week, if even then. At this point, I just don't know anything and I told them that. They are being wonderful and super-flexible about it.

So, bottom line, my house looks like total CRAP in every room except the bathrooms because every room is being used to store something.

Best solution for cheering me up when I'm in a bad mood? Shopping!

Yesterday I went to the Movie Trading Company, Half Price Books, and the Allen outlet center with my dad and stepmom and just had a blast. P and I decided that we are committed now to replacing our whole video collection with DVDs, so I took in what remained of our VHS collection (about 130 tapes) to the Movie Trading Company, got store credit for it, and bought a bunch of DVDs with it, which was fun, and then took what they wouldn't take to Half-Price Books and bought more books for my daughter, which was fun as well! But the BEST fun was going to the outlets and baby shopping. Between what I bought and what my stepmom brought for me from New Hampshire, my daughter now has sixteen new baby outfits ranging from sleepwear to onesies to a Christmas dress to spring dresses to shorts/shirts outfits. Everything was on sale and I just couldn't stop myself! It was GREAT fun. Shopping for her was more fun than shopping for me by a long shot.

I also saw some beautiful entry tables on sale at Bombay that I wanted to get but since P doesn't trust me to make that big of a purchase on my own, we're going back today to check it out.

So, by the end of the day yesterday I was in a much better mood, but now it's Saturday morning at 8 am and I'm wide awake thinking about all that we have to accomplish this weekend. We have quite a to-do list:

-go to Lowe's to exchange our sink, our Howe casings that we bought for baseboards for the main areas, and buy our paint, moldings and outlet covers for the kitchen
-go to Bombay for the table
-take my wedding veil to the dry cleaners (I took my dress and petticoat yesterday to be heirloomed but didn't even think to take my veil to go with it like a dummy)
-finish painting the living room and the trims
-move everything out of the dining room so the laminate can be delivered on Monday
-remove the laminate flooring
-remove whatever we are going to remove in the kitchen (P is saying he thinks he's just going to take down the upper cabinets)
-paint the kitchen and utility room
-empty and defrost the freezer
-move the furniture back into position somewhat in the living room and hang our pictures back on the walls (they are taking up way too much room in our bedroom)

So, I'm going to see if I can't prod my husband into waking up so we can start our day. We have a lot to do.

I do like the image of chasing my contractor with the nail gun though...that's a GREAT picture. Thanks for the laughs, and more importantly, thanks for the empathy. Anyone that has dealt with contractors says that this is normal and that unfortunately, contractors work on "contractor time" and no one else's. Even the lady I'm working with on the flooring said that this happens on about 95% of the jobs that she sells that have other work going on at the same time. So that's giving me a little comfort, but if I end up just sitting around the house on my days off next week, I'm going to be pretty pissed.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The contractor wars

I knew it was only a matter of time before I started battling with the contractor I hired for the kitchen. I just didn't think it would be today that it started.

Things over the last twenty-four hours just have not been good in general. P and I spent ALL NIGHT last night packing up our kitchen and moving it into the nursery so our kitchen was ready for the demolition today that was scheduled for 1 pm.

Last night before we went to bed, we started looking at our countertop card samples to make our final decision and decided to go look at our granite sink one more time. I'm SO GLAD we opened the box...we opened the box to find the sink broken in half. This sink that is supposedly indestructible. Needless to say, we are returning it this weekend for a stainless steel one. Irritation #1.

This morning, I wake up early with plans of going to Home Depot before my meeting to get more counter selections (I had looked on the website and found the one that we wanted but wanted to see what it looked like in person) and also to stop at Smoothie King for a Angel Food smoothie. My plan was to leave at 9 am. I realized at 9:01 am that my wonderful dear husband had left with the keys to my car, and I had no way to leave the house. I had to wait for him to turn around and come home, and by the time he got there, there was no time to go to Home Depot OR get anything of sustenance. Irritation #2.

My meeting, which was only supposed to last an hour, lasted two. Irritation #3.

I went to Home Depot on the way home from the meeting, realized when I got there that they had no Formica samples (how retarded is that?!), and had to drive across town to Lowe's to pick up the samples. Fortunately, they did have the color that I wanted, and we LOVE it (it's called Basalt Slate and is a black rock with white swirls) but it caused me to be thirty minutes late to meet the contractors. Irritation #4.

Irritation #5 and the BIGGEST one of all was when I arrived home to meet the contractors. I know these guys from before because they have worked on our bathroom. I let them in, let them greet Katie and Simon, put the dogs in the office, and then walk them into the kitchen to start showing them what they are going to demo.

They look at me with this blank look and say, "We are only here to demo the pantry."

I was in utter shock. I told them that wasn't what I understood and that I was under the impression that L had told them to demo the kitchen so we could paint. They said no. They call L. He confirms that no, they are there to demo the pantry. I call him on the phone and we get into a raging argument which ended up with me hanging up on him and him faxing me a letter of apology and an offer to refund my money, which of course I DON'T want to do because doing so will just delay this whole process for at least a month. I want my kitchen done!

But it was another day of tears. He's now saying that the cabinets may not even come in this weekend and that if they do, we are looking at two to three days next week for them to install them, install counters, and install the appliances, which means that my floors will be delayed as well. And the worst thing about this whole mess is that I have NO CHOICE whatsoever. I am totally at this guy's mercy.


The best thing about today was going out to dinner with my dad and stepmom to Boi Na Braza, and I do have the day off tomorrow to do some shopping. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And the battle continues...

I am determined to illustrate to the powers that be at my office that this job can NOT be done in 38.75 hours a week, whatever they might tell themselves.

I can tell my supervisor is just hanging on by a thread and probably complaining to all the fellow supervisors at his office about the excellent performer, albeit very very high-maintenance, on his team that is torturing him at the moment. He can't say he wasn't warned...I told him the day I found out he was going to be my new boss that I was high-maintenance.

Yesterday I worked for twelve hours, peppering him with authority requests for approvals. Today was ten hours of the same. It's probably good that we only have three people on our team, because I have a feeling that with the amount of work I'm giving him, I qualify as three people all on my own.

And now? Well, counting my personal day on Friday, I am now at 38 hours for the week with a full day to go tomorrow. I can work one hour of overtime without prior approval. And I have a meeting at 10 am that will last for two hours. See where this is going? They will have to give me some overtime tomorrow or else my vacation is starting a day early! Personally, I'm kind of hoping my boss calls in the morning and tells me to stay home from the meeting, but that's just me. And I doubt it will happen. The only thing I care about is that I'm here by 1 pm to let the contractors in to tear up the kitchen.

Right now I am sitting here, digesting my Wendy's I just had for dinner since we have NOTHING to eat in this house whatsoever (and there's no point in going grocery shopping since we have nowhere to put the food) and getting ready to pack up my kitchen. I'm not looking forward to it. Even though I decluttered it a month ago, that WAS a month ago and I'm sure I've accumulated lots of crap since then.

Anywho, I guess I better get to it.

As for the painting, it is almost done with a section of ceiling over our living room and coat #2 to go on ALL of our trim and doorways. Painting trim takes a long time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Up at the crack of dawn

Waking up before six am on ANY given day of the week is what happens when I have way too much stuff on my plate to do.

And here it is, 5:50 am and I am wide awake.

Yesterday was a pretty crappy day, I don't mind saying. It started out with me getting a lightning claim that I had NO business whatsoever getting, a long drive out to it in the country and getting lost, twice, a huge argument with my boss over the fact that he's not keeping any semblance of control over what assignments I'm getting at ALL, getting yelled at by the guy on my lightning claim over things that happened at the hands of the after-hours adjuster this weekend that I had no control over, and just loads and loads of tears all day. I can't believe how poorly I am handling things lately. I'm sure it's just pregnancy hormones, but it just is terrible right now. I am SO due for a vacation. It was amazing that working on the house actually helped me unwind a bit, but now I'm up very early to get some work done today and get my "work" house in order before I stop for four very much needed days off on Friday. I'm exploring some options of trying to take another position within our office until I go out on maternity leave, but it doesn't look very good, I'm afraid.

We heard back from the flooring place, and the quote for our floors is doable, so we're moving forward there. We've narrowed it down to two choices...Cherry Rose (my first choice) and Mesquite (his first choice). Here is the product palette if you want to see what we are debating. It's not really much of a debate at this point since Cherry Rose is his second choice and Mesquite is my second choice, so we're just trying to figure out which one would look better. I'm leaning towards giving in and going with Mesquite because the Cherry Rose does have a very distinct blush color to it that would look quite excellent with the paint color we chose, but might not be the best color to go with our furniture, new couches (and those are coming since the dogs continually destroy ours more every day) and decor, not to mention that when we sell this house in five to ten years, we are counting on these laminate floors to be a big selling point since Wilsonart has a twenty year warranty. I'm going to chew on it today and then later this afternoon or tomorrow I'm going to head down there to sign all the papers so they can order the materials.

I called the contractor again and forced him to pin down on a time when they can start the work since the flooring place DID tell us they can't lay our laminate until the vinyl is installed in the kitchen, which can't be done obviously until the kitchen is done, which means that we're going to be living with a torn-up house for at least another one to two weeks. He finally agreed that he will have his crew come over and start the demo on our kitchen Thursday afternoon, which is great, but I have to really be productive the next two nights. Our painting of the main areas is going great...all we have left is the living room half of the ceiling and the beam, which P has to do, and then the trims, mantle, exterior door and support posts, which I am going to work on tonight. I got the first coat on a great deal of the trims and doors last night, but everything needs a second coat, and then I want to go through and install all the outlet plates. Before we start working, we decided that we need to go ahead and move everything out of the dining room since we are definitely getting new floors now, no question, and we need to start making room for the stuff in the kitchen. Which brings me to tomorrow night...that night will be spent packing the kitchen contents out into our nursery, office and master bedroom, which aren't going to look so clean anymore now that we are going to be using them for storage bays. I also want P to install our new dining room light fixture, but we'll see how far we get. I just want to be ready for the contractors when they show up Thursday afternoon so they can finish the demo and drywall repairs by Friday afternoon, and then I can spend the weekend painting the kitchen. It would make my YEAR if I could have my house back to normal by the next weekend. Having it in this state of clutter now that I have tasted what it is like to be organized is making me crazy.

I guess that's it for the time being. I wish I had some positive stuff to report, but quite honestly my life is just in chaos now. My father and stepmother are coming into town to visit this weekend (not staying with us, obviously) and I'm really looking forward to seeing them and glad I have some time off so I'm not tearing my hair out with work all weekend. I just can't wait to get stuff in order.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The house is winning

This weekend has been a combination of good...and bad. I didn't even know what to title this post other than the obvious.

Our remodeling weekend started out great. We started yesterday by going to the flooring store that we selected and chose our kitchen/utility sheet vinyl. It's a very thick European style titled "Sacramento Pavers-Quartz". It has the look of stone ceramic tile, but of course, it's not. The store gave us a special 50% discount (since I know them through work) and they are going to order it tomorrow.

We then came home and started getting the house ready for painting. This weekend was earmarked to paint the main areas. The first things we did were to start pulling off the light fixtures, framed pieces from the walls, etcetera, and P started pulling off the baseboards and shoe since we had decided weeks ago to replace it. And I'm SO glad that we are, because that old baseboard was just NASTY.

I have Pergo laminate wood flooring in my dining room, entry and hall that my father-in-law installed three years ago. When we had our foundation repaired and our ceramic tile cracked all over the place, we decided to refloor our home and did most of the labor ourselves. We removed all 500 square feet of ceramic tile BY OURSELVES. We did the bathroom vinyl tile BY OURSELVES. My father-in-law got us the carpet and laid it for us. And for the Pergo? Well, since we read on the Pergo website how EASY it is to install, our father-in-law offered to install it for us if we would just buy the materials. I love my father-in-law, and he was just trying to help us.

The website should have said, "Easy to install if your house is a normal house with straight walls." Which ours is not. We also were under the impression that my father-in-law had installed laminate wood flooring before, which, while it is not as hard as installing pure hardwoods, is a little tricky if you have to make special cuts and things. He informed us that he had never installed Pergo before the morning that he came over to install it.

So, the result was that while the floors looked somewhat decent, they were not the floors that I had envisioned in my dreams. They were not cut properly to go under the walls and they were not cut properly to go under our door casings. After we scratched them a few times, we basically just decided about two years ago that they were going to be replaced at some point.

We never thought that now would be the time this would happen.

On with my story. So, yesterday after we yank off all the baseboards, we take the Howe casing that we bought last weekend and put it against all the walls where it will go to see if it will cover the gaps. It does in every place...but one. The wall outside our nursery. There is a slight gap because the planks was cut too narrow, and you can see the neon green of the moisture barrier underneath poking out of it. Since we have an extra box of Pergo out in the garage, P decides to be the ultimate weekend warrior and try to repair it, thinking that if we just pop out one or two pieces and replace it with new ones, the problem will be solved until we have a flood from our hot water heater or washing machine and then we'll get new floors at that point in time.

My poor husband. I felt really bad for him. He gave it the old Texas try, but it just didn't work. Not only did he break surrounding pieces trying to get the old pieces out, he also broke every one of the last remaining pieces of Pergo that we had in the garage. Pergo, if you are not aware, is basically nothing more than particle board, and we had the cheapest Pergo available at the time since that's all we could afford.

So after some tears (me) and some cussing (P), we decide to go down to Home Depot with one of our old planks in hand and see what they have, and maybe buy an extra box of whatever is closest, make the repair, and hope for the best. Granted, it won't match, but it'd be better than just having open slab exposed right now which is exactly the situation in our hall at the moment.

We realize when we get to Home Depot that not only do they not sell the Pergo Express that our floors are, but that NONE OF THE TONGUE AND GROOVE SYSTEMS on any of the other styles are the same and there will be NO way that we can make this repair.

More tears (me) and LOTS of hyperventilating...I've never actually hyperventilated before, but I'm pretty sure that is what that was.

We get home, look on the Pergo website and realize that the Pergo Express has been discontinued. More hyperventilating and tears.

I went to bed early in tears, tossed and turned for a while thinking about this dilemma, and we both woke up with the realization that we are buying new floors now. There is no way around it. We have no choice. We can't install carpet without redoing the whole house since our sunken living room and all bedrooms are the same color, not to mention that carpet is not what we want. We wanted laminate. That's what we had. And there is absolutely NO way to repair these floors since we can't get anything that has the locking system that our old Pergo has.

So today, we went back to the flooring store and picked out a Wilsonart laminate that is on sale...and I'm waiting for the sales manager to call me back tomorrow with the estimate that will be discounted at the special rate since I'm a "special customer". It's going to be MUCH more affordable than it could be, but this is definitely a crimp in our plans.

What else can we do? We're just going to have to go with the flow, I suppose.

So, the house is staying true to form, and every room that we work on has another undiscovered problem that we weren't aware existed. Fortunately, that was the only one we found in the main area that we are aware of so far. It just so happens to be the priciest one. Thank GOD that store is giving me an insurance discount.

The good news is that the main areas are about two-thirds painted. We started today around 2 pm after we got back from the floor store, and the hall, linen closet, entry, hall off the dining room, dining room and one wall of the living room are done. P's working on the ceiling now. It's going pretty well, although painting the great room is a LOT harder than painting the other rooms with 8' ceilings since it's a continual alternation between standing on the floor with the roller and standing on the stepladder with a roller on the extender pole. Plus, since the color is basically a variation of white, it's not AS easy to see as some of the other rooms have been. But the color looks wonderful, that's for sure. We went through our two gallons easily this afternoon and tonight went back to Lowe's to buy two more and a quart of semi-gloss in Lighthouse Shadows (a very light gray-blue) to paint our mantle, ceiling beam, support posts and our front exterior door. It'll just be a nice touch, and I think the two colors will go very well with our kitchen colors and also our brand-new Cherry Rose laminate flooring. *sigh*

Anyway, that's been my weekend. I don't anticipate that I'll have any more finished pictures to share for quite a while since the main areas won't be finished until the flooring is in nor will the kitchen be finished until the flooring is in. I'm trying VERY hard to be patient. I also switched my vacation around a little bit so I'm off this entire Friday and then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. My hope is that the contractors come and work while I'm off so it'll all get done in a timely manner, but we'll see.

Pregnancy is still going fine, and my daughter is still moving on a regular basis. Other than my little outie realization Friday night, I've had nothing else happen this weekend. Pretty uneventful.

Our main areas right now are a total disaster since all the furniture and everything is right in the middle of the room. And we have stuff being stored in our bedrooms at the moment...all of my framed cross stitch is in our bedroom, our linen closet is in the nursery, and our office just has random miscellaneous things in it that need to be put away. Right now our focus is just on getting the main area painted, which I am hoping is done either tomorrow night or Tuesday night. Then, we'll put all our stuff up on the walls, install the outlet plates, and just put all the things in our dining room in our nursery so the main areas are empty for the new floor installation. P's going to take out the old Pergo sometime this week so that we can save money on the total price by doing our own demo.

Then, we wait. Wait for cabinets, wait for contractors, wait for our new floors to cure in our home for 48 hours before installation, wait, wait, wait.

I can't wait to have my house back. Although, of course, with all these changes, it won't BE our house anymore. It'll be like a new house. The one comfort I have in this whole process is knowing that if we tried to sell our house and buy a new one, something that we have discussed often in the last two years, we'd probably be spending a great deal more money than we are now on closing costs, etcetera, so this is definitely more affordable. And we both have heard of people that have had much worse nightmare stories with their houses than us.

But I have to be honest, I feel like I'm fighting a battle with the house and right now the house is winning. How many other homeowners buy a home as first-time homeowners and have to repair a slab leak, make significant repairs to two bathrooms due to mold and rot, make massive foundation repairs, replace the roof due to hail damage, and replace the entire air conditioning system with the first five years? And I'm terrified that when these contractors get into our kitchen and start ripping stuff out that they are going to find some other problem that we aren't aware of. Like that we have a pipe in the wall that has been leaking for twenty years. Or that the wiring for our range hood is not up to code. Or that our stud walls won't support the cabinets we ordered. There are so many scenarios that could happen, and every one of them is running through my mind.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Outie to perfect innie to...outie?

When I was seven, I had an umbilical hernia repaired. In layman's terms, my belly button was an outie and was fixed to be a perfectly beautiful innie. P has always said in the nine years that we have been together that he's never seen a woman with such a perfect belly button as mine. And I seem to remember my mother once upon a time when asked why I had to have my outie fixed telling me that if I didn't have it fixed, I would get a huge hole in my stomach when I had a baby of my own one day, many many years from then.

Tonight we went out to dinner at Uncle Julio's (a Mexican restaurant in the area, NOT an inlaw of mine!) and I noticed in the bathroom that my perfectly beautiful and tucked in innie is starting to pop out! Craziness!

So far, my navel ring is still sitting nice and flat and truthfully is not bothering me at all. In fact, it's actually the most comfortable at this point than it has been the whole pregnancy.

But it was a WEIRD realization when I saw it tonight. My belly is really starting to look like a pregnant's crazy! And my daughter? Well, she's moving more and more every day. She was active just about all day today it seemed...until dinner when she quieted down and then I guess the lemon-orange flan I had for dessert woke her up because she started moving around again.

I'm going to hit the sack and get some shut-eye...we have an early morning appointment tomorrow to select our flooring for our kitchen and then it's right back here to start painting. I've been doing laundry like a mad woman the last two days and resting up for this paintathon...this is going to be the task for sure. All I can see when I look at my living room is JUST HOW MUCH WALL SPACE I HAVE!

And I'm hopeful...the master bedroom has now survived forty-eight hours and still looks JUST as clean as it did Wednesday night when we went to bed. Maybe there is hope for us to be organized human beings after all. I sure hope so! It's wonderful having such a clean house!

Just don't go in my kitchen. I'll leave you with this thought...if I'm using it to wash out my paintbrushes, and we're going to throw out the sink next week when the contractors come to start the demolition, what is the point of cleaning it? If you are still scratching your head imagining an answer, think about how colorful that sink looks with splotches and whorls of Alice Blue, Honest Blue, Ancient Olive, Thundering Storms, Star Command Blue and Blue Balloon. It's loverly, I tell you, just loverly! And I'm soon to add Sweet Slumber to it!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My finished master bedroom

P hit a hot streak last night and finished putting up the rest of the crown molding, so I got busy, got it painted, cleaned up, and this morning I changed the bedding. We're ready to go! (That's Simon on the bed.)

Image hosted by

Here is the elusive crown molding with the plinth block. (To answer the question in my blog about how I knew about plinth blocks, it's my construction background with work. I know a lot of contractors!)

Image hosted by

Another shot of the crown with our new clock:

Image hosted by

And our new CD holder since our old one broke the other day!

Image hosted by

Those are really all the changes we made in here except it's SO clean now. Anyone that has been in my bedroom probably is like, "Wow, the carpet is blue in there?" The paint is Alice Blue, but that was the color it was it just looks much brighter and cleaner. P also finally screwed our bed frame to the headboard (only took us eight years to do that), we cleaned up a bunch of stuff, and it just looks much better. Punch list is the carpet, of course, new window (the contractors are going to put that in when they do the window in the kitchen) and new blinds for the new window. I also at some point would really really like to sand down those dressers and nightstands and refinish them with new hardware. It is my parents' old bedroom suite, and they have a lot of scratches and dings on them.

I can't believe that my house is almost halfway finished. We have all three bedrooms with closets done, cross stitch closet done and both bathrooms. We are making progress!

The living room needs to be cleared out AGAIN before I can start painting...P has all of his hunting stuff out, there are boxes and boxes and boxes of garage sale items, and I still have about eight or nine loads of laundry to do, but I'd say we are in very good shape and I am LOVING my new and improved version of my house!

Baby update...I had an appointment today to check up and everything looks great. Blood pressure is normal, weight gain is normal (or if it was too much, my doctor kept her trap shut) and she said I look great and the baby is actually measuring a little ahead of schedule so it's all good! Next appointment I get to do the gestational diabetes test with the times. She also signed my paperwork so I can apply to donate my cord blood and gave me a release to get a 3-D sonogram in six weeks or so, and it was a good appointment. The baby is moving on a regular basis now and the doctor said that is a GOOD thing and that I should expect it to pick up in the next few weeks.

So! That's all from the world of Moira at the moment. I'll post more pictures this weekend as we get the main areas done. I pointed out all the drywall areas to be fixed with P this weekend and he's going to get started on that tonight or tomorrow.

I hope. *wink*

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Finally, we're getting somewhere!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really really really can! (Or, at least the light past all the boxes and piles of stuff that are slowly but surely dwindling away.)

I alternated today between working on work stuff and the house, but I think I was successful and look at all the finished rooms that I have to show for it. In one sentence, this pretty much sums it this what it feels like to be organized?

First off, the office...THIS is the grape explosion. I'm sorry it's so dark, but it's hard to get a good picture with the glare from the window.

Image hosted by

Here is a better picture so you can see the Lilac Glimmer on the walls before painting...

Image hosted by

And the beauty that is my wonderful organized office now...painted in Thundering Clouds and with a new addition...that sheer scarf on top of the drapery hardware.

Image hosted by

This is my desk area...

Image hosted by

And this is my lighthouse decor, which has found a new home here after being quietly asked to vacate from the kitchen...

Image hosted by

And best for last, my beautifully organized new closet with new shelving! And the best part is that I STILL HAVE ROOM UP THERE and I can open and close the doors without bated breath!

Image hosted by

Next room that has been a labor of love by P is our master closet, freshly painted in Alice Blue and complete with a brand-new Closet Maid shelving system!

Image hosted by
Image hosted by
Image hosted by
Image hosted by

And lastly, my cross stitch closet, which is now clean, organized somewhat, and painted in the remnants of Lilac Glimmer and Thundering Clouds...and I swear never again to try to paint a room two colors. Definitely one of the stupider ideas I've had, even if it did come out well.

Image hosted by
Image hosted by

So that's it for now...P worked on the crown molding in the master bedroom all day today and is half done. It's very tricky because our walls are not straight, which we anticipated, but it's hard to get the crown nailed in correctly. But it's getting there. He set up the headboard tonight, and as soon as he is finished mounting the crown molding, I'm going to finish the painting.

Then, it's time to move on to the main areas! I can't wait! Later this week for sure...I have promised myself I will finish that defensive driving class FIRST. Must. Get. That. Done.

Anyway, it's time for me to hit the sack...I have a long day tomorrow.

Thanks for looking at the pictures!


I never thought I would work so hard on MY CLOSETS. I am dead tired and ready for bed, but I just had to come and post about my productive evening! It better have been productive too...I canceled game night with Sharon for my closets.

We went to Lowe's yet again today for our last big trip...we've now acquired everything that we need to finish this remodeling project. We bought more closet stuff, a new dining room light fixture, new kitchen light fixtures, new plantation faux wood blinds for our dining room window, paint for the main areas, moldings for our main areas. The trick with our moldings (we agonized over this decision!) was that we really wanted to find one that was wide enough on the bottom so that we didn't have to install base shoe as well as baseboard. We lucked out...fortunately there is a Howe door casing that is PERFECT for what we want, so we bought a ton of it for our main areas with Pergo (the areas that need shoe) and then some regular 3 1/2" base for our carpeted areas.

The paint we finally decided on for our main area is called Sweet Slumber. I thought we were going to have another fight in the paint aisle (such entertainment for the Lowe's staff) but not this time...he gave in a little, I gave in a little, and the color we got is a white with a very subtle blue tint to it. It's very pretty and I can't wait to see how it looks on the wall. We have NO idea how much paint we are going to need and can't even guestimate it. I've done so-so with guestimating the other rooms, but with an area as big as this, forget it. We decided to start with two gallons of flat and one gallon of semi-gloss for trims and see where that gets us. The Lowes guy talked us into upgrading to satin after noticing that I was pregnant and pointing out that satin will hold up much better to children (he was the first person that noticed I was pregnant without me saying anything!!!), and our plan is to just start with what we've got and go back to get more as we go, although I personally think it's going to take five gallons.

After we got home from Lowe's, I took a deep breath, forgot completely about taking a before picture of my cross-stitch closet, and dug in. It really wasn't that bad...mostly just stuff that needed to be put into the appropriate bin. At some point, I will need to devote a weekend to putting my loose charts into binders by subject, a project that I began a year or so ago, but this ain't going to be that weekend. All I'm going for right now is to see my closet in an orderly state. Once I removed everything, threw away some stuff, and put everything into its appropriate bin or place, I got started painting. And this is the idea that I came up with. My old office color was Lilac Glimmer, a color that I just so happened to have a full quart of sitting in the garage. Since we never plan on painting any room that color again, I really wanted to use it up so it wouldn't go to waste, so I decided to use that on my walls. It was tight, but I made that paint stretch a long way. I just hope I can get through the final touch-up stage without having to go to Home Depot for another quart, which, even though it's only $10, is still a pain, and with the amount of paint we have already, we do NOT need any more! My ceiling I painted with the Thundering Clouds (new office color) and the baseboards, door, trim, and shelving I painted also with the Thundering Clouds semi-gloss. Sounded great in theory, but I can't believe I spent THAT much time painting A CLOSET. I think it took me longer to paint my teeny little closet than it did to paint my whole office. Oh, well. Live and learn. The shelves are drying now...tomorrow I plan to put the shelves back up and see what needs a second coat on the trims, and then touch up and move back in later in the afternoon. Of course, no room would be complete without some sort of unexpected repair. There was an area at the top of the wall near the ceiling that I thought was a nail coming up since they are like that all over the house, but when I smacked it with the hammer to go back down, the drywall just crumbled. P thinks the termites that this house had before we moved here got it. Oh, well. Another drywall repair that is drying as I type.

My WONDERFUL husband finished both the master closet AND the office closet tonight. I can't believe it. Our master closet looks like something out of a catalog advertising organization. It's just going to be amazing to have places to PUT stuff. If I'm this excited about wire shelving, think how excited I'll be in a few weeks when my cabinets are installed!! My shoe rack is even up. Even though I'm so tired, I made myself go and touch up the rest of the paint on the baseboards and the walls in both closets so they are dry and ready to go tomorrow. And they both look great.

Tomorrow is going to be a somewhat busy day for us...P is going to try to get the crown molding up in the bedroom and the drapery hardware back up, and I probably won't do much except finish the touching up on my cross-stitch closet and move all my stuff back in to the three closets. Unfortunately, I really really need to get some work done, I need to do some laundry to get ready for my little road trip on Monday, and at some point, I HAVE to do defensive driving for this speeding ticket I got a few months ago. Blah.

I can't wait to start on the main areas. Now that the whole house is painted except for it, the kitchen and utility rooms, it's time! This house is starting to look GOOD!

The people at Lowe's are really starting to know us and know us WELL. The same cashier rung us up Thursday night, and twice today. (P went a fourth time, but thinks the guy was off.) The second time I went, the guy was like, "Wow, you're going to be so organized after this, you're not going to know what to do with yourself." Is that a bad sign when the Lowe's people recognize you?

Come back for pictures tomorrow of the closets...

Friday, July 08, 2005


I have never been so glad to see the end of a week come as I was today, although today was a horrible day at work. I got a fire today (my third of the week) and it sparked a huge argument with my boss. At least I did get overtime approved....eight hours worth...but I'm not looking forward to working this weekend at all. I wanted to spend the whole weekend working on the house, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, at least, not for the whole weekend. But we'll see how it goes. If I work a little here and there in the mornings, it'll be all right.

I spent all night tonight getting my office all settled again, and it looks GREAT. I needed to touch up the baseboards, and P had the brilliant idea of using a spatula to hold back the carpet. Oh, what a GENIUS I married...that was a great idea and I can't wait to use that idea when I touch up the baseboards in the master closet. The office is neat, clean, organized, all my lighthouse decor is hanging on the wall, and it's just gorgeous in here. Of course, P is strutting around thinking he's the color master since he picked this Thundering Clouds color...ha! (I still think my turquoise would have looked JUST as good!) I have all my closet contents sitting on the floor though since the closet hardware is not installed yet, and we want to buy some new blinds tomorrow for the window and then put our drapes back up, but we're close...very close indeed and I couldn't be happier. I hope to have a picture posted by the end of the weekend.

My punch list for this room is pretty short and sweet...we need new carpet in this room like crazy. There are such distinct wear patterns from walking, my office chair, the dogs,'s crazy.

P has been working yet again on the master closet, and he's SO close...he ran out of drywall toggles (again) tonight so we have to run out and get some more of those, but the end is in sight for sure, and I can't wait to start putting my stuff away. First though, I have to paint and correct all the mistakes that P made when he was putting up the hardware, so the second he is finished, I'm going to get in there with paint and the vaccuum and clean up the room. Hopefully I'll be all set to start moving stuff back in on Sunday.

I'm not sure what else P is going to accomplish this weekend, but his short list includes the crown molding in the master bedroom (we bought some corner plinth blocks at Lowe's the other night, so it should make it much easier) which I will have to go back and paint, installing the headboard onto our bed frame, installing my closet shelving in the office closet, putting up the rest of the bathtub trim in our hall bath, and, if we get that far, pulling off the baseboard and shoe throughout the main areas. We'll see how that goes...I'm thinking that I'm probably just going to get things ready to paint the main area next weekend instead. This weekend I have the rest of the rooms to finish, my overtime, and I'd like to paint and clean up my cross stitch closet if I can. I have some really creative ideas for my cross stitch closet since P said I could paint it any way I wanted as long as I used the existing paint colors that we have, but I'm going to sleep on it tonight and see how it goes. We did pick our main paint color for the main's a white with a slight seafoam green tint to it called Cool we may just go and buy that stuff tomorrow so I can get started on the hallway if I feel productive.

So much to do, so little time! But the house is slowly and surely coming together.

Great weekend wishes to all!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quickie check-in...

Just wanted to post real fast and let everyone know how I'm doing! Work is killing me this week...I got a fire Tuesday and another one today and no overtime in sight. It's blecccchhy, that's for sure. And I'm still not caught up from last week. Oh, well...I can only do what I can do, right?

Status of the house: I have my office completely painted and the Thundering Storms looks FABULOUS. I can't wait to post pictures and show you all how wonderful it looks! P repaired the drywall damage tonight and the office is ready to go tomorrow except for those areas that are still drying, a second coat on the baseboards in the closet, and of course, the illustrious shelves, which hopefully P will get installed soon so I can start putting my things away.

P has been working so hard on installing the closet hardware in our master bedroom, and it's finally turning around, but it's been a long and arduous journey for him, complete with many Wal-Mart runs for more items needed to complete the job. I'm really hoping that he'll get it done tomorrow or Friday night so I can start touching up the paint job that he has botched and then start putting my stuff away. Now that we are getting caught up on our laundry, our nursery looks like a bomb went off in there. There are piles and baskets of clothes everywhere.

I guess that's it for now. I'm feeling my daughter move...on her busy days it feels like I'm going to hurl from a nervous stomach. Wait...that's now!

Monday, July 04, 2005

In the shoes of a slob

Ever since I was little, I have really envied those lucky people who are just naturally neat people. My friends D and S that live a few minutes away from me are prime examples. Their house is always in neat order (except when they are costuming for Scarborough Faire), everything has its place, and you can tell that that they never live in fear or in CHAOS (a Flylady term for Can't-Have-Anyone-Over-Syndrome). I have other friends like that too...we are friends with another couple in Frisco, K and J, who are just like that, and their house is always immaculate.

P and I, on the other hand, are not that way. AT ALL. We constantly live in a state of chaos. Every time someone just wants to "drop by", we scramble around and make sure that anything embarrassing is put out of view. It's really terrible. Until about a month ago when we started this journey to declutter our house, we had pretty much given up on ever being neat and organized people. It's a crappy way to live.

Lately, it's been much better. When P asks where the batteries are, I can tell him with certainty. When he asks what I did with his Phillips head screwdriver, I can answer with an 80% probability of being right. It's very nice to know that we are working towards everything having a place in this house and knowing where everything is at all times instead of just guessing. We still have a long way to go, but we're closer than we were.

My office is a prime example of what slobs we are. I did remember to take before pictures this morning before I started cleaning up, so you all will get to see the TRUE Erica at work. My dad probably remembers the true Erica from when I was a mother had to threaten me with grounding to get me to clean up my room. It was pretty bad. And not much has changed in fifteen years, I'm sorry to say.

The good news is that the office is now completely decluttered. And I do mean completely. I ended up using a fair number of the bins that I bought in anticipation of this miracle, and filled up THREE more trash bags full of trash, old bins, etcetera, and our dining room now is FULL of stuff to move out to the garage for our garage sale. But it is ready for painting. Our numerous electronics are disconnected, our furniture is in the center of the room with everything in the room piled on top of it, and all I have to do tomorrow is run around and spackle the nail holes, throw some drop cloths over the mountain, and go for it. And going for it I will be, since I am relegated to working in my bedroom until my office is done. I might actually go work at my office some this week...I'm going to see how it goes and if my back hurts from sitting on my bed.

The office closet has a little setback, the process of ripping out the old closet hardware, P discovered that one of the supports is nailed crookedly into the stud, and in the process of removing it, he ripped a small hole in the drywall which must be repaired before painting and installing the new shelf hardware. Boo. But that's a minor detail. The main room is ready to go, so I'm going to start painting tomorrow night. I can't WAIT to see how the paint looks! And I am so glad we decided to paint. It's amazing what you discover about the condition of your walls when you take everything off them and move the furniture away. Ew! That office is nasty!

The other part of the team started cutting the crown molding, realized that it is a lot harder than it looks even though our neighbor offered to come over and show him how to do it, and switched to installing the master closet hardware. He was still productive, but I'm going to have to go buy more crown molding for our little bedroom project later this week so he has some waste to play with. Good thing I have plenty of paint!

It is VERY late, so I'm off to bed...just wanted to post a progress update on where we are!!!! The house looks like a wreck, but it IS getting better.

The rise of the tomato

Installation of the exhaust fan took a little longer than we thought...when P repaired the drywall, we realized that the old fan was hanging on literally by a thread...just caulking was holding it in place. So he had to go into the attic to fix it. But we're all set now and look at our beautiful bathroom!!! Posting these pictures really warms my heart. This poor bathroom has been through SO much. Those of you that remember seeing this bathroom through the years as it's been in various stages of repair (remember the exposed stud walls?) are probably sitting there thinking, "Is that the same room?" I'm proud to say that it IS!

Here is the overall view from the doorway. As you can see, the dominant color here is a pale green.

Image hosted by

Here is the miracle...the tub. This used to be a standard builder's grade tub that we upgraded last year to a garden tub, had the tile repaired and replaced the hardware. Believe it or not, under that white paint there are THREE shades of tile...the original nasty turquoise, the white that it became after the previous owner painted it, and the off-white that the contractor repaired the surround with last summer. P worked VERY hard on this tub surround to get it painted so it looks like the same tile.

Image hosted by

A close-up of our Ancient Olive paint, our new baseboards, and our new sage green towels...

Image hosted by

A view of our toilet rugs, new tissue box cover, new wastebasket, new toilet tissue holder, and new toilet brush holder.

Image hosted by

And finally, a close-up of that new shower curtain, the shower rings and shower rod, and our wall art that matches it all perfectly.

Image hosted by

The only things I can see that I want to do to this room is buy a piece of art to hang on the wall opposite from the toilet (which I'll look for passively over the next few weeks, but not break my back doing it), replace the door and door hardware, and replace the medicine cabinet and light bar, but a lot of that is way down the road for Round #2.

Bathrooms + nursery = three rooms done. SO happy.

And now, P and I are rotating rooms as usual...he's now working on the crown molding in the master bedroom (which is harder than he thought!) and I'm working on the grape explosion, otherwise known as my office. It's just as bad as I thought in here. The only thing I have managed to accomplish in the last six hours is to fill up one complete bag of trash and made the decision to refinish my bookshelf for my nursery instead of buying a new one, which is what I was going to do.

Back to the grind.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A Celestial Paradise

For those of you that have seen my master bathroom before, this probably won't be much of a shock, and I didn't take any before pictures, not before we redid this bathroom in 2002 or yesterday before I repainted it. But just to give you an idea of what we have done to this bathroom since we bought this house...

-replaced vanity and toilet
-replaced tile floor with vinyl tile
-replaced exhaust fan
-replaced baseboards (twice)
-painted it (twice); it used to be just plain white

It's been a long time work in progress...almost as long as our hall, I mean bathroom.

We have had this celestial shower curtain since we got married in 1999, and it's kind of been the cornerstone of our decor. I can't believe it has lasted this long, but we continually use liners with it and just wash it in cold, and I guess it just is very durable. Plus, I love celestial themed things, and at the time we chose that theme for our bathroom, it was very popular and very easy to get bathroom stuff at Target and Wal-Mart to fit with the theme.

Here we go! This is the overall view from the entrance...that is our new toilet topper system that P put together today and which I LOVE! Best $15 I ever spent at Target. That thing is holding ALL of my makeup, scrunchies and body sprays. Fantastic.

Image hosted by

This is the view of our vanity area. Not much is new here...except for the GFI outlet cover:

Image hosted by

These are our brand-new non-funky smelling rugs...we also bought the toilet cover to match, a new toilet scrubber, and a new wastebasket. You gotta love Wal-Mart.

Image hosted by

This is the shower curtain I spoke of above, and we just updated it with some new hooks, a new navy blue liner, and that clock above is the clock from our master bedroom. I had decided to move it in there not so much because I need a clock in the bathroom, but just because it matches the celestial theme and it does not match the color of my master bedroom at ALL.

Image hosted by

And lastly, my beautiful new baseboards.

Image hosted by

So! I'm a happy girl. My bathroom is clean, freshly painted, organized, and looks GREAT! Down the road I'm sure we will replace the floor again and of course, there's the shower project to be done at some point (notice how I didn't photograph the shower?) and I'd kind of like a different light bar or a lighted medicine cabinet. But that's for another day. For now, I am counting this room as DONE!

I was SO hoping that the hall bathroom would be done tonight too, and we came SO CLOSE, but we realized after P installed the exhaust fan that there is some bare drywall showing and he quickly fixed that, but it can't be repainted until the joint compound dries thoroughly, so I'll have it done tomorrow. But it's close. He installed the toilet and vanity, nailed on the new baseboards, we both cleaned the tub up and he put up the sealer trim on the tub, I put up the new outlet and switch covers and finished touching up the walls and base, and thoroughly decluttered and cleaned the vanity and medicine cabinet. We now have bins under our vanity for first aid supplies, medicines, and foot care. Ah, it's a wonderful feeling to be organized and know that everything in the house has its place...I've never known this feeling before! Anyway, I'm going to finish painting the ceiling tomorrow morning so P can reinstall the exhaust fan, and then we can put our decor up and take some photographs and count that room done.

In other remodeling news, we did MAJOR shopping at Lowe's and Conn's...our range and microhood have been purchased and will be delivered this week. At Lowe's, we bought the granite sink that we were drooling over yesterday plus a new stainless steel faucet set and a 5/8 HP Insinkerator (garbage disposal for those that don't speak plumber), paint for the office, and a TON of shelves and hardware for our master closet. Getting organized, while it is a good thing, is an expensive thing, but fortunately, it was within the budget that we anticipated. What color did we pick for the office, you might wonder? Well, P waited until we got to the paint aisle at Lowe's to pick a fight with me over my desire to paint the office a beautiful oceany blue-green. His theory was that if he waited until we got to the store to do that, I wouldn't make a scene. Ha! It wasn't a scene, but it was a good thirty minutes of negotiating over a COLOR. Finally we agreed on Thundering Storm...which is a gorgeous dark blue slate color and I think will make our office look great, even though it wasn't my first choice. So tomorrow, I'll begin the very long and arduous task of cleaning out this room. And it's going to be a long journey. If I am ready to paint by the end of the day tomorrow, I'll be shocked. P, on the other hand, plans to work on our closet.

And with that, I'm off to bed. Happy July 4th, everyone!