Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I did it! I dusted. Dusted! And I'm not even pregnant! AND I went through all the piles of papers and shredded what should be shredded and recycled what should be recycled and made neat piles of the stuff that should be filed! I'm only human, you know.

My current problem

There is absolutely nothing stopping me from dusting the living room right now, except for possibly dusting the bedroom.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I can't begin to describe the depths of my hatred for that drawer

You know, I never know if I should comment about a long break between posts. This time I will, and I'll say that I haven't been posting because I've been too busy putting the finishing touches on the kitchen. These "finishing touches" are naturally taking forever, because the kitchen is as determined as ever to thwart us in our remodeling plans. "We'll just clear off the pantry shelves and shore them up before we reload them. It will only take fifteen minutes," we'll say, mere seconds before the pantry shelves fall completely off the walls. Why didn't they fall down before, when they were loaded with heavy, fragile, expensive things? Your guess is as good as ours. But I will say that these Closet Maid support brackets are the dumbest design ever.* They hook onto the top of the shelves despite the fact that gravity generally pulls things bottom-ward, so if anything bumps into the support bracket, the shelf pops out of the hook and it's all over.

Today we bought new shelf supports and Andrew installed them, and then, while I was trying to sort through our hundreds of baking dishes, Andrew installed the cabinet drawers. Except he didn't, because the house's complete lack of right angles struck again and we were thwarted. Thwarted! After about an hour of painstaking drilling, measuring, and leveling while crouched inside a small cabinet, Andrew discovered the drawer is not so much a rectangle, and does not fit on the carefully squared and leveled drawer rails. It's not even a parallelogram. No, the best the drawer can do is "quadrilateral." It's incredibly frustrating, but it does at least explain why this particular drawer used to fall off the rails just about every time we pulled it open.

So. The kitchen is progressing, but slowly. The good news is that the cabinet hardware might actually be here by the time we get the drawers and countertop installed, so the after pictures won't make you say, "That looks really good! Except... are those the door pulls you are keeping?"

The kitchen was not able to stop me from meeting my blogging friend Becca, however. No, I was able to mess that up all by myself. Becca, Ryan and Charlie were going to stop and visit with me and Jack on their way from Maine to Cape Cod last Wednesday. They called me when they crossed into Massachusetts, just like we arranged, and right on time! Jack and I were miraculously ready to go when they called, so we headed down to the ice cream shop I selected for a meeting place. It was right on their way, it only required they get off Route 128 one exit early and - post ice cream - get on Route 93 one exit late. I gave them fantastic directions, complete with landmarks and amusing commentary. Well, fantastic except for the part where I said they wanted exit number 28 when in fact they wanted exit number 38. In my defense, I did say exit 28 FOR route 28 - the correct route number - so I am not entirely responsible for their near miss at divorce. Still, I am very sad that Jack and I did not get to meet the lovely Becca and her toddler who dances like this. Becca and I have eerily similar interests, by the way. On her site, she has sidebar links to cloth diapering, church choir music, and Matlab. We're clearly meant for each other.

In other general news, Jack is still sleeping in his crib, but we put some pillows down in case he ventures over the rail again before we get the toddler bed set up. We experimented briefly with putting the mattress on the floor - it didn't go over well at all. He also gave himself five a bunch of times the other day. He'd slap his own hand and say, "Aw-wight!" He did it about twenty times. It's just getting more and more fun, people.

*Second place goes to the bottle for Method dish soap. Look at it! There is absolutely nowhere to grip it if your hands are slippery, like if they are, say, COVERED IN DISH SOAP.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The angels are singing

Andrew and I just finished hanging the doors. The doors are UP! There will no longer be any need to announce, "I am going to use the bathroom," in order to keep parties out of the kitchen! And I did finish the painting yesterday afternoon, and then last night, we hung 2/3 of the cabinets, completely without incident. The place looks like a room! That people live in!

It helps that today I hung the blinds and curtains, and was therefore able to remove the beach towel cum privacy screen from the window.

I'm so happy, I could cry. We still have a couple of cabinets to hang, and installing the base units and countertop is going to take forever thanks to the undulating wave that is our floor. (The counters and stove need to be level, you see, or we'll get slanty cakes.) Still, you have no idea how much easier today was with Jack after having picked up all the knives, sharp screws, drills and whatnot from the kitchen floor. I even moved his little table in there so he could watch me install the curtains, and he was thrilled.

I have a pricking in my thumbs that tells me there will be pictures next week, my friends.

Microsoft, I will restart LATER. Later, I tell you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kitchen remodel what now?

I assume you are all on the edges of your seats, desperate to see pictures of my newly finished kitchen. And trust me, I would LOVE to show them to you. Unfortunately, we are in some sort of endless loop of hanging and rehanging cabinets and I firmly believe the kitchen is not going to be finished before I die.

Why do we have to rehang the cabinets you ask? Well, because of the stupid microwave vent. All the cabinets have to be exactly right or the microwave won't fit over the vent. Andrew hung the first cabinets on Saturday, but then we realized he made a very uncharacteristic measuring mistake, so we had to rehang them. And then we realized that the vent was originally placed according to the height of the old floor, and the new floor is an inch higher. So we had to start over again. It was awesome.

You know what else? I put the second coat on the trim last night while Andrew was busy cursing the microwave and its vent to an eternity in hell, and guess what happened! The painter's tape ripped off huge chunks of the wall paint, because the wall paint, it turns out, was not quite dry even though it had been on the walls for about 72 hours. Stupid humidity. So now we have large patches we have to touch up.

We are close to finishing. So very, very close. But there are still a million things to do, all of which are difficult to complete whilst toddler-wrangling. And then, when we're done, we're going to have to paint the inside pantry, the thought of which makes me want to weep.

But the good news is that the trim in the pantry will be done already. Painting the trim is only slightly worse than painting porch railings. There are just so many surfaces! One of the corners in the kitchen has three door jambs, and that is approximately 32891 square feet of surface area. So you paint and paint and paint but never get to move. The trim in old houses would be an excellent substrate for catalysis, is what I'm saying. (That there is an extraordinarily nerdy chemistry joke. It's also a terrible chemistry joke, so don't worry about it.)

But Jack is currently napping, so I am going to go finish the stupid trim once and for all, and then fold laundry. My life is a neverending thrill ride, I know.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Let's sing a song of five!

Or let’s not. I’d really rather not, actually. OK? Brain? Can we please STOP singing a song of five?

Jack is very into a certain CD these days. It’s called either “Deet,” or “Sesame Street: The Original Cast Recording,” depending on whom you ask. It’s a great album, full of fun, educational songs and a bonus helping of nostalgia, as I used to listen to that record myself on a regular basis.

Hey, Mom? Sorry about listening to that record on a regular basis. I now know what I was doing to you, because lately, we listen to it in the car, during breakfast, during lunch, and all the rest of the entire day. If I dare try to put on something else, Jack responds with the plaintive whine of “Deet! Deet! Deeeeeeeeet!”

I swear, if I have to hear Gordon sing “Rub, rub, rub rub rub, rub, rub, rub rub rub, rub, rub, rub rub rub, rub! Sing a silly song!” one more time, I will be forced to do something drastic. Just what this drastic act will be, I don’t know, because every time I try to think of one, my brain responds with, “Five! Five! Five! Five! Let’s sing a song of five! How many is five?”

On the other hand, Jack no longer skips “five” when he counts to six. So that’s something. On the other other hand, the trade off of my non-stop mental singing is kind of not worth it.

One, two, three, four, five!

Jack’s favorite song is “Deet.” You might know it as the show’s theme song, the first song on the album. Frankly, I’m lucky I’m allowed to hear any of the other songs, as Jack would be perfectly content with the theme song on endless repeat. My favorite song, by far, is “Up and Down,” as sung by Cookie Monster and an unknown monster voiced by Jim Henson. It is classic. Would that I could get THAT song stuck in my head, but I can’t even remember how it goes right now, because it is being crowded out by the “Song of Five.”

And that’s a song of five!

I suppose it could be worse. I suppose it could be Barney.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Me. Me me me me me. Me me. Me.

Does the word "me" look weird to anyone else now?

I've always considered myself to be a thoughtful, considerate person, but since Jack was born, I've noticed that I am actually incredibly self-centered. This is a particularly startling revelation given the timing; usually one would expect a person to become more selfless after becoming a mother, but, then, I've never been one to follow a trend.

It's not like I'm walking around completely ignoring other people or anything, it's just that, when, in the course of small talk someone asks me how Jack is doing, I tell them. I tell them he's fantastic, he's so smart, he did this really funny thing yesterday, yada yada yada, and - whoops! Gotta go. Then, as I'm walking away, I realize that at no point did I ask this person how HER son is doing. Her son who is the same age as Jack.

But here's the thing: I think I do this when people ask me about other things as well, like, say, home renovations. Or work. Or any other of the myriad of things I'm interested in, but which - let's be frank - the people with whom I'm making small talk are not.

I must, therefore, have been doing this for years. But now I am aware of it, and have been training myself to take an interest in others. Thus, small-talk conversations with me are now more along the lines of, "Jack? He's great! He's so smart! He did this really funny thing yesterday where he.... but how's YOUR son?" And I hardly talk about the kitchen at all!

Speaking of the kitchen, we are moving into the final stages. The caulking is pretty much done and the nail holes are mostly filled and sanded. So tonight we need to finish patching up a few spots on the walls that got damaged, and start polyurethaning the doors. The poly is apparently going to take us at least two nights because each side needs two coats, but if all goes well, we will be ready to paint by this weekend. And painting is the last step before putting it all back together!

I promise to post a picture when it is complete.