Friday, September 26, 2008

First Dance Class!

Laura had her first dance class this week. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited. I couldn't wait, and I was really anxious about whether she would like it or not. (OK, OK, I'm sure I would be fine if it didn't end up being her thing, and I would never push it on her if it wasn't. But, I have to admit that, in my heart of hearts, I want to share of love of dance with her. I really, really, really wanted her to like it. )

Yippee! She loved it and can't wait to go back. (I'm a total dork- but I almost cried with joy to see how much she took to it all.) Everyday she asks me if it's time for dance class. What a love!

An Update- Finally!

I lost my Internet connection last week due to some some confusion with Verizon. It has taken them an entire week to get me back online!! So Frustrating!!! I called their "helpful" technicians every single day for the past week, and finally found one today who actually new what he was doing. Yeah!!

I didn't realize until this experience how much I rely on the
Internet. Sure, I use the web for communication- but most importantly it has become my friendly "Great Big Book of Everything" that I turn to with all the constant questions that plague me. Such as: How much Motrin do I give to my kid again? Is this weird lump cancer? How do I make that yummy pizza dough? And, especially at a time like this when I am trying to be my own contractor- What grade of plywood do I need for a subfloor? Should I use nails or screws? I had to borrow friends' computers to research all this stuff- and I'm sure they did not appreciate me hogging their personal screen time!.... Verizon, Schmizon!!!

With that said, here is all the latest on our Kitchen:

We finished the demo and then had some new plumbing and a ton of new electrical done.
After all the hard labor with demolition we were left with calloused hands, sore backs and a patio that looked like this:

Thus, we ordered one of these lovely dumpsters and filled it to the very brim! ( When it came time to fill this sucker my sister-in-law happened to be visiting and I convinced her to help me "woman-handle" the mess. Kimberly you are awesome! Thanks a million!)

Next Step: Stanton and I stayed up late for a few nights to lay a new layer of sub floor. ( Our old one was terrible and could hardly support my 3 yr.old!) Doesn't it look so pretty?
Then the drywall company came. They still have to finish with the second layer- but just looking at the new walls as they are now makes me feel all giddy inside.
The wood floor company is here today to install my new wood transitions and the tile guy comes on Monday. It will be so nice to have a real floor again! So far everything is moving along according to schedule. (Knock on wood!!)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Latest Fancy Pants Item

Fruit Basket Set

Polka Dots (no matching shirt yet)

close up of fish- love 'em!

The "twirl skort"

Laura loves to wear skirts and, to avoid the constant "panty-flash" that comes with that, I try my best to only purchase ones that have built in shorts underneath. Unfortunately most of those seem to be shorter skirts that on her height come off as way too short for my liking.

But, then I found this great pattern at one of my favorite websites. (If you love to sew clothes and projects this is a great site for you!) It is adorable. It looks like a layered skirt but really it's shorts underneath! I just bought t-shirts and embellished them to match.I've made three of these outfits in different fabrics. They are great!

Now Laura can look girly and still maintain a polite decency!

Kitchen- Steps 3 & 4

In our last kitchen update we still had our lovely sea-foam tile floor. After 6 hours of "I think I'm going to fall-over a die," hard labor with a a hammer and crowbar, I got it up. In all honesty it actually took about 8 hours, but the last two were accomplished by my friend's husband. (Marianne and Michael I will owe you forever!!) Stanton was conveniently on a business trip for this stage of the demolition and by the end of the day I was falling apart in tears, so Marianne made me shower and whisked me away while Michael stepped into watch the kids and finish hacking away at that wretched tile. Seriously, show me better friends....impossible!

So- after banishing the ceramic beast we were left with the vinyl floor/press board dragon. ( see above photo) Decorating in the 60's was especially lovely wasn't it? It took another 8 hours of that before mentioned self-torture to get it up ( including a few more hours help from the same great friends)

All I can say is I am so glad that I started a more serious weight-lifting routine this past month! In fact if you ever plan on doing a similar project- make sure you spend a few weeks in the gym doing a lot of dead-lifts. It will save you! I know it did me. Another thing that helped me was my constant mental soundtrack of,"She's a maniac, maniac on the floor!" ( If for some crazy reason you're not familiar with this classic song you can listen to it here.)

So now we are here with only the sub-floor: (which we have discovered is very poor quality and needs to be replaced as well. Of course....)

Last step to demo? Saying goodbye to the stove, sink and dishwasher. For the next month it is barbecue and paper products only- with a side of microwave meals from Trader Joe's( they have some good ones) and generous donations from good neighbors. :)

The adventure continues this week with electrical and plumbing work.

So much fun!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Stanton!

Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday to You.
Happy birthday dear Stanton.
Happy Birthday to You!!!!!!!!

I'm so glad your mine!

I won't embarrass you by posting a picture or saying all the corny things I really want to (at least not here). Instead, I'm giving you huge birthday praise by sharing with everyone a picture of your awesome pumpkin! I even put a standard size drinking glass next to it, so people could see just how big it's growing. I can't wait to display it on the porch for Halloween.

You should have been a farmer!

Kitchen- Part 2

We took out the fridge as well as the cabinets above it. The peninsula is gone as well. Boy does my kitchen feel huge!

I knew that my cabinets were pretty "bargain basement," but I was still surprised to find that they were mostly made of a cardboard material- not even plywood! Worse than that- they were not even screwed to the wall. They were nailed on like swiss cheese! Crazy!! I guess the previous owners didn't want to bother finding any studs so they just threw in a bunch of nails and hoped they would stay put. Double Crazy!! I'm lucky they didn't tumble off the wall and squish me! I had no idea they were this bad! I'm so glad to be rid of them.

Hopefully the last section of cabinets will hold to the wall for another week or so....

Saturday, September 06, 2008

New Hair?

I saw this add in a magazine and pulled it out to put on my refrigerator. Could I pull this look off? I love it on her, and I WANT to love it on me.

It's a little bit sassy, and slightly messy- which my hair always is anyway (the messy part, I mean)- so maybe that would be the way to go, rather than struggling with a roll brush and flat iron everyday.

The sticky part? I think I would need to get a perm which I have not done since the 80's. ( do salons still give those?) Once upon a time my hair was naturally curly enough to do this- but not anymore. Do they have really big rollers so i don't get the Q-Tip look?

The big worry? What if the stylist doesn't do it just right? This is a haircut that could very easily look bad, and stick me in the 1980's "Mom-Do" category, and I can't wear a baseball cap to church.

Thoughts anyone? Should I go for it, or is it too big of a risk?

Friday, September 05, 2008

When you Die....

Kimball- fishing and thinking about all the odd things he thinks about....

This is the latest from my 6 yr. old:

KIMBALL: "Dad, you know how when people die they give some of their things to other people?"


KIMBALL: "You know that thing that you stab into meat and it tells you how hot it is?

DAD: "Yes"

KIMBALL: "When you and Mom are dead, can I have that?"

Great!.... My son is dreaming of the day his parents die- all so he can inherit a cheap meat thermometer.

I am truly valued.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Mess Begins- Yippee!!!

A skinny little doorway- finally nice and open!

Anyone who lives close enough to be in ear shot of me on a regular basis knows that for the last 5 years I have been slightly obsessed with the idea of redoing our kitchen. It's not terribly ugly- but it has a host of "unusual" ( translation: awful, gross and disastrous) elements to it. This is all due to some previous owners who, while ambitious, were not good with tools.

The often heard quote at our house, when referring to one of these said owners various home improvement projects is, "So Wong! So Wong!" (No, that is not mis-spelled- it is a direct quote from an Asian cable guy who came to our house for a ten minute job- which turned into a nightmare 3 hour experience in which he finally came to me with a bewildered and horrified expression and said, "This is all so wong,, soooo wong.") I still feel bad for that man. His was the inaugural visit that kicked off the many visits we have since had from electricians, plumbers, AC service men, contractors, phone service-men, pest control........ you name it, they have been here, and in one form or another have professed that same horrified phrase..."so wong!"

Anyway, above all the other "unusual" hidden elements of my home, the kitchen is the biggest thorn in my side. The floor sinks, the counters slope, the lights flicker, the tile is chipped with yucky grout that seems to get dirtier the more I clean it, and the list goes on and on....It is finally time to say adios to it all! Yippee!! Hallelujah!!

I can hardly wait. We are trying to do most of the work ourselves, and bring in various professionals where needed so that future home owners don't also bemoan any amateur details. If all goes according to schedule we should be done in about 6 weeks. My plan is to expect it to be a bad experience- and that way when the inevitable problems arise I won't be frustrated and disappointed.

Above is a picture of the first wall we removed. We'll start re-framing it in the next couple days. (Thanks due to a highly talented friend. Thanks so much Michael!! We owe you once again) Already I love the open feel from the family room into the kitchen. It's great!

My son once told me that my kitchen re-do was "like the Cold War. You talk and talk about it, but it never actually happens." At the time- his insight could not have been more correct. But, for lack of a better analogy, we are finally going to war! I hope we come out the victors!


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