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Thursday, September 18, 2008
Close Enough
The backsplash hasn't been grouted (or fully installed, I don't think), but it's close enough to done that I will stop holding all two of you in suspense and will finally post photos of the transformed kitchen.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
First Word
Daniel gave Jay a big smile last week and said, crystal clear, "Geek!"

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Still Holding Out on Y'all

The kitchen backsplash ought to be installed by the weekend (I hope), so you can wait a few more days (Mom). To tide you over, here are some photos of the bathroom with the platinum grout applied to the hex tiles and the screen across the laundry area. While it does hide the washer and dryer, it doesn't really hide the ugly. Paint is in order for the ceiling and some more decorative containers would be helpful for the top shelf. We'll get there someday... BTW, it turns out a leaky toilet can keep tile adhesive from drying even better than vinyl flooring underneath. Never a dull moment.

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Craft Day
The boys and I took advantage of an otherwise quiet (not to mention rainy) day to do some crafts. They are using their nifty 6-in-1 crayons while Daniel sits on the floor, waiting for me to be done with this foolish photography so I can pick him up.

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Friday, September 12, 2008
By Request

Mom wanted to see bathroom photos. Kitchen photos are being held pending the installation of countertops (the counters are scheduled to be delivered Tuesday, the dishwasher on Monday), but bath photos are here. Unfortunately, the adhesive has taken a long time to dry (Steve thinks it's because it was applied over the vinyl floor), so the floor grouting did not take place today as planned. I bought the "Platinum" color at the recommendation of many housebloggers. Hopefully the grout will make the hex tile look like it belongs! (OK, I included a sneak preview of the kitchen backsplash).

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Monday, September 08, 2008
Heavy Lifters

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From this


this today!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008
Spiralling Out of Control
So I realized it'd be a good idea to buy a soap dish to mount in the wall by the tub and one by the itsy-bitsy sink. We could also use a toothbrush holder and a toilet paper holder. The PO's had installed the folksy oak ones. *Wrinkling nose* I found ones that match the towel bar I installed the first week we owned the house- at the site that delivered my sink two days after my order. I really like, and this time I even got free shipping. I decided we needed the towel ring, too. We'd been using a basket which was holding various hair accessories as a towel rack. Moving on up, baby.

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Friday, September 05, 2008
It's Gonna Get Worse Before it Gets Better

So we have a few gaping holes in the kitchen at the moment. You may be able to make out the beadboard ceiling under the drywall in the missing-top-of-the-doorframe photo. I'm probably going to ask about taking down the drywall, but it's probably much more difficult than removing '70s den paneling, and much less egregiously out-of-place. Most of the beadboard looks like it's in good shape, but it's going to need a good scrubbing before it'll take a coat of paint. I'm leaning towards yellow like the one you can see in the chaos photo, since we have roughly that color left over from the "nursery" and I was liking the idea of yellow anyway. I'm not sure there's enough, though. Would it be a bad idea to mix it with white? We could always go back to SW and get some more "Jonquil", I'm sure.

So, the green paint was not a revelation, since I'd been able to spy some out in a gap between the paneling. There's some beadboard patchwork which would indicate that the windows are replacements for a 3' x 5' original, which are in all the other rooms except the bath (and there were already some minor ridges visible in the bathroom which would seem to indicate the casement window is shorter and higher than what used to be there). There's also a large hole in the beadboard towards the back of the kitchen that makes me wonder if there was a chimney there. I may share that photo later.

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By Popular Demand

Or at least at the birthday girl's request (that would be Heather), more photos of small fry below (including some larger fry).

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Fingerpainting isn't so scary when it's done outdoors right before bathtime. We still put the boys in old Mama t-shirts. I knew I was keeping them around for some reason...

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Thursday, September 04, 2008
Fun With Toxic Fumes and Backbreaking Loads
I am not even kidding! Despite the fact that it was not my idea, I bought a jar of mod podge and went after the cheap world map I bought for the kids. I was going to use contact paper, but my younger brother (who is wise beyond his years) suggested I paint something on. The maps are something like 3' x 5', so contact paper would probably have been an exercise in frustration. I already checked with our local print shop- when I asked if they did laminating, the fellow said (eyeing my 4' tube with obvious doubt) "Yes, up to 12 by 18 inches." Oh well. Anyway, the podge is kinda fumey, but painting is fun!!

Earlier in the evening, #1 son and I went out looking for subway tile, bullnose tile, a medicine cabinet, and possibly a light fixture for the "new" downstairs bathroom. I called our local Lowe's, since Home Despot in B-ton underwhelmed me with their helpfulness when I was trying to order our sink. Despite the fact that subway tile is nowhere to be seen (a new favorite expression of Jay's, incidentally) on, the gentleman I talked to on the phone said that it was in the store and gave me the item number in case I had trouble finding it when I came in.

It wasn't too hard to find, but it was quite hard to lift and gingerly deposit in the race car shopping cart. Paul had offered to come along, and asked me if I'd be OK handling the materials, and I thought I'd be fine, but wow, that stuff is heavy! Jay wanted to help, being an extraordinarily helpful caterpillar, but I had to refuse his aid. It was hard enough maneuvering the stuff when I was in control of all the forces being applied. I cleared the shelf for them, incidentally.

We bought black bullnose tile to accent the black dots in the floor (the contractor suggested it might look nice, and I think he's right) and an octagonal beveled-mirror medicine cabinet (which I really, really hope can be sunk into the wall- the lip is resin and looks tacky, but will be hidden behind the door frame if it's mounted inside the wall), and even a more vintage-looking over-sink light (for $13!). It's got a pull-chain like the ugly fixture we have, so should not require much to install. Then I went to B-ton to pick up my special order tile, which I could have had delivered for $8 if I had ordered online, which I intended to do, but for the sink. Long, frustrating story, but I have the sink (ordered elsewhere with a $90 delivery fee) and the tile I want. I just hope it all looks good together!!!

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the purchases, and I need to hurry and get a "before" picture! The guys are coming tomorrow to start tearing out the kitchen paneling and getting the beadboard underneath touched up. Monday, the plumber is supposed to be here, and then things are going to get very interesting very quickly. Especially since our beechwood counters from Ikea won't be shipping until maybe the 24th. *Sigh*

Maybe we'll use the 5-panel door lounging around the bathroom (taken off of the office doorway) as a temporary countertop.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Toddler on a Mission
Isaac's all about education. He's educating his poor benighted parents on the subject of the terrible twos. Jay waited until he turned three to become obstinate and strong-willed. Isaac, my friends, is another story.

Thankfully, we've seen this animal before, though the last time one appeared, he was about six months older and 10 pounds heavier. Carrying flailing, screaming Isaac upstairs and dropping him in his crib is, well, child's play by comparison. [Not fun, but familiar territory in any case.]

In a few years, he will have caught on that screaming "I want insert widget here" will not get him the widget. Sooner, if we're lucky.

When he's not screaming or ignoring instructions, he is (of course) a charming little boy. He was pretending that a bundle of crayons in his hand was a telephone and saying, "Hello, police? The monkey ate all the grapes.", which is a twist on the "Hello, police? This is Isaac Carlisle Baxter. Jay Bear [pronounced 'Burr'] is in trouble [with Mama]", which he plagiarized off of Jay's version (in which Isaac was in trouble or screaming or something). He's an adept little mimic.

Maybe he can be VP someday...

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Helpful Information
Jay just let Isaac know that, "You need to be 3 years old to play German music."

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