Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Bathroom Remodel Hell

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

We interrupt this all-Disney, all-the-time blog to talk about how stupid my house is.

My house is STUPID. REALLY STUPID.

That’s what you get when you buy a house built in 1913. Especially a house built in 1913 that’s had most of the work done by half-assed do-it-yourself-ers over the years, so every time you start any project you immediately discover 10 more things that need to be fixed. It’s the worst.

I am trying so hard to remember that being forced to design a new bathroom is a first world problem. I mean, we still have a (A.¬†One. Uno.) working toilet, so I am still living a first world life (even if I don’t have a working tub or shower). I have access to a line of credit to pay for the repairs so I don’t have to live with a hole in my kitchen ceiling. We have homeowner’s insurance that may help fix that giant hole in the kitchen ceiling. I get to choose which tile and which light and which flooring I want, I don’t have to use whatever is the very cheapest option.

But looking on the bright side and being grateful is taking up SO MUCH of my mental energy I’m completely exhausted. There are people in and out of my house all day, we have a million decisions to make (and they all involve both money and math, the two things that stress me out the most), I feel like an idiot trying to understand plumbing and electrical issues. Feeling like a broke, unshowered idiot is not a fun way to spend your summer vacation.

We had absolutely planned to remodel our upstairs bathroom at some point. We’ve been talking about it for years. Whoever did it last time (a curse upon them) used discontinued/scratch and dent/overstock/ugly ugly ugly stuff and we’ve hated it since we moved in. So when this disaster is over I’m going to have a bathroom I don’t hate. That’s the good news.

It’s also going to have heated floors. That’s the REALLY good news.

But right now, every time I walk past this room, all I can think about is living in bathroom hell.

bathroom remodel during

 

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My Week(179) in iPhone Photos

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Forgive me, it was party week, so I am late. Basically everything between now and August will be late, although my only real excuse will be “pregnant” or “giving birth”. Those actually sound like better excuses than a 5 year old’s birthday though.

Sunday:

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Random 6 am barfing = morning bath

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Clearly she felt much better a few hours later

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This is not actually very good, but that did not stop me from eating it with a spoon

Monday:

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I HATE YOU SNOW

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TA-DA!

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Helping

Tuesday:

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Pirate Fairy Day. It was really all we did.

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Dancing to the pirate song

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Flip-flop weather!!

Wednesday:

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She accessorized.

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Swim class is their favorite

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Helping me make frosting is THE BEST THING EVAAAAAR

Thursday:

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We had houseguest coming, so I cleaned while the kids had a lazy day.

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Very, very lazy.

Friday:

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I found these two like this.

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Bump.

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Helping Bumpa clean our yard

Saturday:

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AHOY! BIRTHDAY AHEAD!!

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Front porch party mess

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Evan got TWO of these rockets for his birthday and they are both his favorite. Highly recommend for any kid.

Even for us, that week involved a lot of dress up. My laundry pile is sort of insane right now, but I HAVE TO FINISH MY TAXES. I HAVE TO. RIGHT NOW. NOTHING ELSE IS BEING DONE UNTIL I FINISH THEM.

I figure if I type that enough times I might actually do it. Anyone want to barter tax prep services for a photo shoot next year? Or you can come punch me repeatedly in the face. Or how about a kid? I will give you this next baby if you agree to do my taxes forever. (Not really, but it’s tempting. I’m really, really overwhelmed.)

p.s. It is supposed to be 65 degrees tomorrow and I will probably take the kids to the beach. Because that’s how we roll in New England.

p.p.s. My birthday is Thursday. I’m getting my teeth cleaned.

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Six Kitchen Timesavers

Friday, June 29th, 2012

My first tip for saving time in the kitchen is really easy…if you have a huge kitchen and a pile of money: two dishwashers. It’s amazing. You always have one to put dishes in so you don’t end up with a pile in your sink or doing a load half-full just because you don’t want them to sit in the dishwasher getting crusty. Of course, that’s not exactly the most practical kitchen tip for everyone (including me) so here are a few that might be more helpful: (more…)

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Home Tour – June 2012

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Oh hai, want to see where I live? I’m wicked nosy when it comes to houses (I became a real estate agent for a while pretty much just so I could see the insides of more homes) and I figure some of you guys are too. I was going to make this a linky hop party but I’m not organized enough to get one set up – but if you have a home or room tour (old or new) PLEASE leave me a link in the comments!!

I lot has changed since my last home tour in April 2010, and although I’ve documented most of our renovations step by step I thought it would be fun to show you the whole house at once. (Although the original tour has a lot more good pictures of my collections and furniture.) I’ll try to include links to the updates so you can see some of the “before” type pictures, or check out my Home & Garden category for a whole roundup. For the record, I’d like to state that although I love my house I am not an interior designer, professional painter, a home photographer or even a very good DIY-er so don’t judge me too harshly, OK?

Tiny bit of history: the house was built in 1913 by Mr. Church, who ran a funeral home here in town. His funeral home business actually still exists, and is just a couple streets over. My house is turning 100 next year and I think I’m going to throw it a birthday party.

Our property goes from that hedge on the left to the driveway on the right, although technically the lines fall closer to half-way through the house on the left and 3 feet into our yard on the right. I suspect we’ll have to have a survey done if (when) we sell.

Front steps

Flowers

More Flowers

Front door

This is going to be a REALLY long, REALLY picture heavy post, so if you’re on the home page you can click though to see the rest… (more…)

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Mrs. Homemaker or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Laundry

Friday, February 11th, 2011

I had a MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH this week. It is epic. Truly life-changing. I actually cannot believe it took me this long to get here, because now it seems so totally obvious. Are you ready to hear about it? Are you super excited?

OK, here goes…

I am a homemaker.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

I’m serious though. In 6 1/2 years of marriage (the last 2 1/2 of which I have not had an outside job) I have never thought of myself as someone who is in charge of a home. I thought of all the stuff that keeps this place running – cleaning and laundry and cooking and dishes – as CHORES, chores I hated, chores I tried to avoid. I spent a lot of time and energy being pissed off that I was expected to do these things. It’s because I’m a WOMAN. It’s so SEXIST and UNFAIR and DAMN THE MAN for pushing me into this gender stereotype!

Until I realized wait a minute…I wasn’t pushed into a role I was unhappy with. I wanted this. Yes it’s true that the other option – me working and E staying home – wasn’t ever really on the table (the Navy doesn’t exactly let you quit just because your wife is tired of doing the dishes) but his job stability and paycheck was part of why I signed up for this marriage. Wait, that sounds bad. What I mean is knowing E could provide for me and our future children was one of the things I liked about him from the start. Wait, that still sounds bad. Before we even GOT married we decided I would stay home once we had kids. We just forgot to negotiate out what “staying home” included.

(If you still think the previous paragraph makes me sound like a gold-digger, let me assure you, there is no gold to dig. There is maybe a frappuchino or two and possibly a new toilet seat – SO SEXY – to replace the broken one. But no gold.)

My “ah-ha” moment came the other night while I was trying to make dinner. I say “trying” because it is difficult to cook while a toddler throws his entire weight against the back of your knees and screams for more milk. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you’re much more likely to cut off a finger and I kind of like having a nice even number. So, in a conscious act of gentle patient parenting (something I am working on SO HARD with mixed success and/or results) I got down on Little Evan’s level and said, “Honey, Mommy needs you to go play in the family room. Mommy is making dinner right now, which is part of her job. You know how I watch you during the day while daddy works? Well, right now I need Daddy to watch you while Mommy works.”

It was like a light bulb went off in my head. MY JOB. Making dinner is my job. Housekeeping is my job. I should have work hours and a lunch break. I should be allowed to do my job without the toddler climbing up my butt. People DO get paid for these things – a cook, a housekeeper – so why shouldn’t I value my work?

(Of course, none of that applies to motherhood. Kids don’t give a crap about my stupid “job” theory, especially when they need something something right now NOW I WANT IT NOW MAMA SOMETHING FOR ME NOOOOOOW. That also means parenting duties during hours we are both home are still 50/50. I’m not some kind of June Cleaveresque mommy martyr.)

So while E is off doing…nuclear Navy stuff, I am here doing the house stuff. There’s stuff that needs to be done every day, stuff I hate to do, stuff that has to be done a zillion times a day, and stuff that only needs to be done every once in a while. So I made a list. Actually, I made three lists:

Do these every day
– Laundry
– Dinner
– Empty and clean sink (my tribute to the FlyLady method and the ONLY part of her plan I’m adopting)
– Put all the toys in the toy box
– Feed animals
– Scoop cat box

Do one of these each day
– Clean a bathroom
– Sweep/mop downstairs
– Vacuum upstairs
– Dust
– Clean out fridge
– Declutter flat surfaces

Do these as needed
– Menu plan
– Grocery shop
– Buy bulk items (toilet paper, diapers, etc)

Yesterday I scrubbed down the powder room and it felt AWESOME. Today I straightened up the dining room and feel FANTASTIC. If someone were to stop by for an impromptu dinner I could not only feed them, I could serve it to them on a clean table. The best part is I am no longer overwhelmed and angry about all this housework. When I’m not spending all my time putting it off and sending E angry glares for not helping it doesn’t really take that long to load a dishwasher. Of course, on the weekends there WILL be helping. And when I am sick/need a scheduled day off (and there WILL be scheduled days off) I’ll have a concrete to-do list E can follow. It’s not fancy and it’s not worthy of a book deal (or even an Excel spreadsheet) but I do feel like this is a major change for the better.

Secret bonus part of my new “job?” I get paid in impromptu shopping trips to Target for new black flats and bright colored tights, guilt free.

Now excuse me, I have to go shine my sink.

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