Sunday, November 28, 2010

all i want for christmas is a construction crew

It's Sunday night and our house is a disaster.

One might think our house would be GLEAMING, considering I've had the past nine days off of work. But alas, in those nine days, I started a whole fleet of projects ... none of which have been entirely completed.

Also, we celebrated Thanksgiving. My mother and Jim were in town to celebrate with us, but unfortunately, the children were so sick they could only eat Jell-O (served up on the good china).


Since the children were feeling so sick for much of the past week, they were perfectly content to either sleep or lay on a couch watching movies. This gave Charlie and I ample opportunity to continue disassembling every thing as we proceeded with our home "improvement" activities.

(Someone told me it always gets worse before it gets better.)

(Although I'm not sure how much worse it can get.)

(Oh wait yes, I can. PLEASE forget I wrote that, Universe.)


We hung a ceiling fan AND curtains (which still need to be hemmed, item #2,147,247 on the list of things to do) and have folded at least 14 loads of laundry. I'm not sure why there was so much laundry considering the children didn't get out of their pajamas for three days straight?


From the 16 empty paint cans in the basement, I surmise that we also painted a lot. For the most part, we're very happy with our results. Except for the SUNBURST yellow that we've painted above the chair rail in our basement.


On the bottom is Basketry. Not just because we really like the color but also because we had two extra gallons left over and we hate to see it go to waste. Oh, and also, it's non-returnable.


Charlie and I were up painting SUNBURST late Friday night, when the virus that has plagued our children, without warning, struck the both of us - simultaneously.

(But not before I stuck my finger straight through our ceiling. Serves me right for trying to inspect that "black stuff." Hello Mold, Goodbye at least $200!)


We crawled off to bed, pleading with the Good God above to save the both of us from falling sick, just as our children were on the upswing. Our prayers went unanswered. Because by Saturday morning, the kids were feeling great and promptly began climbing the walls while Charlie and I were feeling like death rolled in Behr eggshell.

When we walked down in to the basement to check out our painting results from the night before, we couldn't tell if the reason our eyes hurt so badly and we had a sudden wave of nausea was because of the bug or because of the SUNBURST?

We're now planning to donate the untouched gallons of remaining SUNBURST to Habitat for Humanity. Because you never know if someone might want to paint a room in their home the vibrant color of a radioactive chicken's egg-yolk / severely dehydrated urine?

Have I mentioned that we once painted a room in our home in San Diego bright red?

And another room bright yellow?

And then we painted over both of them, immediately?

I've always loved the color red for a home. I've also always loved the color yellow. But apparently, it takes me spending $40.00 per gallon on several cans of paint and the better part of a day carefully applying those colors to our walls, before I realize I don't love them as much as I think I do. At least not in our home.

We also started to paint the fireplace in our basement. Fortunately, I really do like the look of bricks painted white because there would really be no going back with that one...


If I'd taken a sufficient "before" picture, you'd see that this fireplace was very dull and dirty looking. The plan, here, is that we'll eventually pull out the glass doors and get a wood burning fireplace insert, which will eliminate the smoke turning the white bricks black issue.

But before we do that ... we need to paint over the SUNBURST and finish painting the baseboards. AND THEN, we are planning to replace the 40+ year old carpet and padding, which Charlie started to rip out, today. (While wearing a respirator because I'm sure his family would be worried.)

As my husband tackled the task of pulling up carpet, I started to rearrange the living room. I recognize that it's not very Feng Shui to have a 2,000-pound wall unit sitting in the middle of the doorway, but since it took all four moving men to get that beast in to our house in September, we'll need to hire professional help to move it downstairs.

(But not before we get the new carpet installed.)

(Which means we need to HURRY UP and finish painting.)

(If my blog isn't updated for two weeks, you'll know where I am.)

(Possibly in full traction because I tried to move a 1-ton wall unit by myself.)


This afternoon, we also worked on Elizabeth's STAR OF THE WEEK poster. Since there were two of us (adults) working on this project, the effort only took four hours as opposed to more than eight.


I'm pleased to announce we allowed our child to partake in her school assignment. She colored the picture, helped apply glue stick to one (1) photograph and signed her name on the bottom.


It dawned on me last night, as I was watching HGTV, the reason that I've kicked in to overdrive on the home renovation stuff is because Christmas is right around the corner and there is absolutely NO WAY I can bring another thing in to this house until we organize what's here, already.

But most importantly, we need to get a lot of these projects wrapped up so we can re-focus our attention on our children. Our children who, when Mommy and Daddy are busily painting and unpacking boxes, drag trash cans over to counters, hoist their little three-year-old bodies up, and hastily ambush the cabinets.


Henry's sweet tooth will be sorely disappointed when we once again are honed in to what he is doing.


  1. Amazing progress! You must feel like you're a million miles from being done, but you really have done a lot! It's fun to see what you've done (looks great) and to be glad that it's you, and not the rest of us.

    Just an idea on hemming the drapes. Could you use iron-on tape? (sold in fabric stores, for projects like this) Unless they are ones that you will be washing, the tape (with a few safety pins for reinforcement, if necessary) could quickly get the job done. One more thing to cross off of your list.

  2. Love the title, looks like things are in full swing. AHH painting. It's probably better to keep the colours lighter and more neutral so the rooms look bigger and not too dark. It's looking great. Hope you are all feeling better.

  3. Poor Henry - he's gonna wish that the renovations go on forever!

  4. I think my whole house is the same yellow . . .seriously!


    PS - in NYC with Brit and Tuck . . heading out to the S of liberty!

  5. instead of donating the paint can you have it re-tinted? not sure if you were going to go with a similar color but I know lowe's will retint paint if you purchased it there. just a thought to possibly save you some money!

  6. It's coming along. I love it! I can't wait to see the basement without that HORRID orange carpet. With the SUNBURST and that orange carpeting, it's a wonder your retinas didn't start bleeding.

  7. It is starting to look great! You don't need to hem those curtains - raise your curtain rod to the top of the wall (just below the ceiling). You will be amazed at how much bigger the room will look!

  8. Don't bother hemming the draperies - tuck the excess fabric closer to the wall to get that casual "puddled" effect that's so popular (and easy!)

  9. I second the idea for the hemming tape. You don't even have to iron with some of it! As for the paint, you can always take your cans in to where you bought it and have them tone it down by adding white or a lighter color. It might save you some big money. I hope that you're all feeling better. I sure missed your blog over the weekend. I feel like we're re-living our horrific remodel through you!!

  10. I don't know if this will help you or not, since you were looking at mold, but my father accidentally put his foot through the living room ceiling while in the attic (installing speakers). He was, naturally, PISSED at himself (and hurt!). His cheap solution? Seal the hole with plastic and put a furnace register over the hole. Yep, for $15 he took care of the problem and it looks like it's just another furnace thingie in the ceiling! Could that work for you?

  11. You could just raise the drapes up higher than the window and make it look extra tall. Then you wouldn't have to mess with hemming them at all! :)