Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Beirut in the 80's? Or my living room yesterday?
Another view, equally war-torn:
This week is the worst of the worst, as far as construction chaos goes. Tom has had a hard time getting past the rubble, the omnipresent dust, and the mounting expense. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel - whee! In contrast, when we were dealing with on-again/off-again plumbling, it was me that was Freaking. The Hell. Out. Tom was all, pee in a bucket? Sure. Whereas I was scrabbling through the yellow pages frantically booking a hotel room and hollering for the girls to pack their overnight bags.

The secret to a good marriage is that both spouses are not allowed to lose it at the same time. I believe the Great Electrical Fire Panic of 1998 illustrated that neatly.

(Sidenote: If you call 911 because you smell something weird and burny in your townhouse, and ask the dispatcher if he could just please send one guy out to check the wiring because it's probably no big deal? They will send a minimum of three enormous fire trucks and an ambulance. And when it turns out that your electrical fire was a skunk that sprayed right on your front porch rendering a smell so evil and potent that it was unrecognizable as skunk? They will all laugh their asses off at you).

In other news, the cats are enormous fans of our new "wall-less" concept. Mittens, in a move straight from Ringling Brothers, enjoys jumping straight through the wall, down into the basement, completely foregoing the stairs. They remain unimpressed, however, by the many workmen in stompy boots swarming through the house and interrupting their naps.
Today the drywallers are scheduled to come. I'm heading to Starbuck's and a friend's house for the morning. When I get back, I will have WALLS.

Friday, October 23, 2009

If You Give a Kid a Sledgehammer... will make her very, very, VERY happy. Especially if, after you have handed her the sledgehammer, you point her toward her old bedroom wall and tell her to "have at it." Bug delightedly complied.She lined up her first shot quite carefully, did an experimental tap-tap on the sheetrock with her hammer, then turned to me to say, "Whatever you do, don't show these pictures to Grandpa. He would FREAK OUT." Then she took a mighty swing and buried the head of the hammer in the wall with a resounding ker-CHUNK.

(Hi, Grandpa! Look! She's wearing safety glasses and leather gloves! It's all cool).
She was slightly proud.
After her first success, she caught on quickly and happily moved from room to room leaving sanctioned destruction in her wake.
Within thirty minutes, her old room looked like this as Tom reached into the holes made by Bug and pulled down the old wallboard:
By the end of the day, he had finished with walls and was pulling up the flooring. Light switches dangled whimsically from the ceiling by their cords. The newly exposed subfloor showed evidence of old water damage not disclosed to us by the previous owners.

Supposedly this whole space is going to be a beautiful living room with bamboo flooring in one month's time. At this point, I'm taking the contractor's word for it and trying not to hyperventilate.
Later in the day, I walked into the house to discover that Tom's parenting philosophy apparently involves allowing the preteen to use power tools. (extreme ennui courtesy of preteen spotting me with a camera). It was one of those mothering moments where you just keep on walking and think determinedly about fluffy bunnies and pretty flowers and not at all about severed fingers or trips to the emergency room.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


We've shifted our belongings from the main house out into the addition. ALL of them. Meaning that, in addition to the pieces that belong in each bedroom, (like beds) you also have the odd coffee table, bench, wing-back chair, and sofa crammed in. It's very Early Flea Market.

Here's a peek at some of the painting I've done over the past month. The kids each got to choose the design scheme for their new rooms. I retained full veto power just in case someone voiced a desire for all black walls or a reproduction of Guernica painted in their room.

This is Bear's room. Since she got all new bedding and curtains for her birthday in February, she was pretty much stuck with the same color scheme of teal and brown. Luckily, she still loves it. She mixed it up a little by having me paint polka dots on the one brown wall. They came out cute, but dear GOD is it hard to get the edges just so on all of those little dots. I took an entire day just to perfect them, and I'd like that mentioned in my obituary some day.
Bug wanted something "bright and sunshiney" and "like a summer meadow". She found a picture in one of the many painting propaganda handouts at Lowe's and asked me to reproduce it. One wall of her room is yellow, three are pink, all with wacky Spongebob-esque flowers. It's whimsical and energetic, much like Bug. She adores it.
For the master bedroom, I wanted something serene and peaceful. I used a soft sage-y green with white trim, and dark wood blinds and ceiling fan. The adjoining master bath is a pale glacier blue. The carpet is NOT pink in the bedrooms, but a soothing light taupe. I don't know why it photographed that way.
For that matter, I don't know why I photographed this way either, but here I am in all my paint-splattered, non-lipsticked, slightly-manic-from-paint-fumes glory.
My part is done for now. Tom is busy demolishing walls and ceilings in the old house. Once Mr. Awesome Contractor does his magic in there, I'll have more painting to do. That's still a month away, and in the meantime I get to enjoy my new bedroom and catch up on the past month's worth of DVR'd shows. While wearing lipstick and real clothes. It's like heaven.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moving Day! Finally!

Oh, right. I have a blog. Kidding. Sort of.

It's moving day around here, and we're shifting our belongings (which feel more and more like years of accumulated crap with each armful) into the addition.

My house is currently une catastrophe. It sounds prettier in French, no?

I have pictures! They're just, um, still on the camera because I'm exhausted, sore, and kind of suck.

The upside is that by the weekend, my part is done. Saturday we (Tom) begin demolition in the main part of the house, and I return to things like blogging, latte-drinking, and wearing non-paint-stained clothes. And possibly makeup, but let's not get crazy here.

Right now, I get to lug boxes of my kids' books and dusty stuffed animals into their new bedrooms. Later, I plan to have an asthma attack. And maybe a back spasm, but I'm just pencilling that in until I check my schedule.

It's all very glamorous around here.