Friday, August 31, 2007

Five Long Days

After five days back at work, I am exhausted and happy. And still looking at a mountain of work. The good news, our room is no longer condemned. Just yesterday I had serious doubts if it would be ready by Wednesday. Now it inhabitable and appealing.

Unfortunately, I don't know what I am doing with 29 eager (I hope) fifth graders in just a few short days. That must be why we start school after Labor day. I get to labor all weekend getting ready.

But only after my kiddo's go to bed. They have missed me this week. Their Mom-mom has been here (my mom-in-law, love her!) to play with them, keep them safe and do my dishes and laundry. I would be sunk without her. And buried under Mount Laundry and Dirty Dish Hill.

All good things must come to an end and she is headed home tomorrow. That signals a return to routine and new adventures. SweetP starts first grade on Tuesday. SweetE starts preschool the following week. I am back in the classroom for the first time in five years. Still fitting in soccer, swimming and all of those grown-up things (committee meetings, book group, grocery shopping) that we do.

Every now and then I want to be a kid. Then I remember having to eat liver and onions and the feeling passes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Perfect Partner

I started back to work today. I changed from my role as a specialist back to being a classroom teacher. I worked with my new teaching partner today and we are a perfect match. We think a like, are both pretty laid back, communicate well and laughed a lot. Since we will be sharing a classroom until retirement, these are all really good things. Part time teaching is pretty much the best of all possible worlds for us.

The only problem is that we both can easily get off task. But at the end of the day we both get the job done. Like any good teacher we spent a better part of our afternoon scavenging for more useful furniture for our room. Our search was highly successful. We made minor adjustments to the layout of our classroom to make it more appealing and user friendly. And while we didn't get as much done as I'd envisioned (ever the optimist), it was a successful day.

The year is off to great start. Amusing student anecdotes are on the horizon.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Whirlwind Weekend

As my last weekend before the start of the school year and work, it has been a doozy. My brother and his soon to be wife came in on Friday. So after a "quick" trip to the airport during rush hour, we hurried home to celebrate my sweetE's third birthday.

Poor kid fell asleep half way through his birthday dinner. He didn't even get to open his presents. Being the thoughtful mommy that I am, the presents were all still up in my craft room and had not been torturing him all day. We had gone to Target earlier and he got to pick (I use the term loosely) a toy with his birthday money. It was a great pick and both boys played with it all afternoon without any squabbling!

Saturday morning there was a ten foot debris field around the birthday boy after he made quick work of discovering his new stuff. I think it is adorable that he went to sleep last night with his new tool bag, filled with tools, next to him. I would have taken a picture, but the camera had run out of battery. Bummer.

Then as all weekends with guests go, we have been busy entertaining, chatting and eating. This afternoon my mom-in-law comes (love her! ) and tonight T&D leave.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Frustration, Clarification, Movin' On

I was painting my new closet doors night and thinking about my last post. My frustration is with the lack of attention to doing your best. Before I could paint the door, I had to sand off the saw dust that had been primed when it was made. Is it too much to ask that they wipe off the dust before they paint it?

So to clarify my D student comment, it is the person that is perfectly capable, but is satisfied with "close enough". When I taught high school I had a bunch of students that were in remedial math because of their lack of effort, not their ability. That darn perfectionist within me sometimes thinks everyone else should be too. Or at least always do your best.

So moving on. My favorite greeting card of all time (I am still kicking myself for not buying it) said, "Pick up the shattered pieces of your life and move on." So I am. The project only has a few nail holes to fill with putty and some touch up paint. And the stair treads. Once it is 100% complete, I will post pictures.

So I am back to work on Monday. New adventures await.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

D Student

Do you ever wonder what kind of student someone was to get the knowledge they needed to do their job? I have decided that the people who built our house must have been D students that just scraped by. A D is technically passing (I disagree that it should be passing). But those students that just scrape by and do the bare minimum are not the ones that I want fixing my car, or me or building my house. Unfortunately, I appear to have gotten a house built by D students. Square, plumb, level, straight and a whole host of other building related terms have not been applied to my house.

We put in the closet door last night. It should not have been a challenge, but it was. The opening was not wide enough or straight enough to properly install the door. So we fudged it. And that bugs me. A lot. I like to do things right and have them be as close to perfect as I can get. So now I can only hope that the trim will hide any noticeable flaws and everyone will just see my beautiful new door.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Original Child

Velcro, our original child has acquired a rather nervous look about him lately. I think he is afraid of some kind of more drastic upheaval than the remodel has created. I keep reassuring him, but after two moves and two demotions in his 10 years, I don't think he believes me.


There is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, three loads of laundry that need to be done, remodel clean up and a shorter list of remodel items on the to do list. And I am writing here instead of doing any of it. There are just some days when you just don't wanna. And today seems to be one of those days.

But I am a responsible adult, so when I am done here, I will eat some breakfast, start a load of laundry, do the dishes, call the door place, fill some holes with putty, make a new shorter to do list, make lunch, get sweetP into swim stuff and go to swim lessons. Then with any luck I can install a closet door when I get home so tonight after soccer practice and music in the park I can install the trim around the door and seal the grout and put a big old done stamp on my project.

Now I'm tired and I haven't even started. Maybe I will eat slowly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Grout is in. Quarter round is in. There is some furniture in! Yippee!

The to-do list is still much longer than I like, but the fact we can do some living and dining again is sooooo satisfying. I think most of it will be crossed off by Friday.

Amazing how life can revolve around one aspect of life. There is so much else going on in my life, but it seems like the remodel is consuming all my energy and attention. My poor sweeties have learned to entertain themselves this summer. My wonderful neighbor has semi-adopted them for hours at a time in the last few weeks. I shall have to give her the life saver award. In the coming weeks, there will be new misadventures as I hope to wrap this one up. At least it has lived up to my blog title.

And yes, I am glad we did it. And I am already planning the next remodel project.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day Late, Dollar Short

Or so it seems to go on our little remodel project. The list of things left to do is shrinking. But it is so very frustrating when you think you will get to cross something off the list and then you can't.

Tonight, the main project was getting the grout between the tiles. But wouldn't you know it, we ran out with the perimeter of one tile left to go. Arghhh. Now I get to hunt for more grout that matches so maybe tomorrow night we can finish up.

It does look fabulous. Ah, well. It will get done.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Rest For the Weary

The flooring did get here on Wednesday. Hurrah!

A review of the end of last week.
Wednesday: Flooring arrived. Window and door trim is cut and painted.
Thursday: Sanded and primed window frames.
Friday: Ripped out subfloor, installed hardibacker for tile entry, paint window frames and level the floor.

And then the big weekend. Ducky took the boys to the beach for two days of Daddy time. So while they perused a sand castle building contest, were awed by sharks and touched starfish, I became a one woman remodeling show.

After seeing the boys off, I set to work on the tile. Or at least that was the plan. A little help was enlisted from down the street to get those big 18 inch tiles installed. But by early-mid afternoon, there was a beautiful, level, perfect tile floor just inside my front door. Yahoo, off to a great start. We'll be ready to move in tomorrow!

Moving down the list, measure and cut baseboard. Have I mentioned that I don't love bay windows? Now having to compute angles and get them to match when our house is anything but precise. So forget the bay window baseboards for now, my window for sawing is limited. I still want the neighbors to speak to me after all of this.

The fabulous click-lock flooring shouldn't take that long to put in, right? It should be in by bedtime.

Oops, laying plastic underlayment is much more time consuming and challenging that it appears. 9pm. There are three half rows installed. Uh-oh. And I have not had dinner. So clean up the mess, drive to the nearest drive-thru, get dinner, eat dinner and get back to work. Put up the saw horses in the kitchen and commence painting those baseboards. 1:30am. Collapse in bed.

7:24am. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, work is waiting. Shut the blinds, crawl back in bed and go back to sleep. 10:34am. Stagger out of bed, irritated, I wanted to be up at nine. 11am. Back to work.

Working backwards always complicates things. To get the floor to line up on one side of the stairs with the other side, I have to figure out how they should be cut and get them all cut and then assemble with crossed fingers. One small problem, our walls are not related to straight lines.

1pm. My floor is living up its name, it is floating right into the kitchen every time I try to lock the pieces together. Arghhh. I need weight and the entire neighborhood seems to be out right now.

2pm. On to the easy part. The long straight (ish) stretches with no cutting. I should be done before the family comes home. I am getting good at this, but I won't be quitting my regular job any time soon.

5:30pm. The good news - The family is home. The bad news - The floor is not quite done yet. I have a part of one row and the bay window left. Have I mentioned that I really, really don't like bay windows.

6:30pm. The floor is in. I get to hear all about the coastal adventures of three boys.

10pm. The boys are asleep. So turn on the air compressor and test how much noise small children can sleep through. Apparently it is a lot. Attach all that window trim I painted last week. Clean up mess.

12:07am. Go to bed. 12:47am. Still awake. Arghhh.

And that brings us to Monday. With the boys back in residence, work is once again at a snails pace. Fortunately, I have wonderful neighbors that like to borrow my children for a couple of hours. So, I can finally finish cutting and painting the bay window trim.

5:04pm. Shoot, soccer practice starts in 26 minutes. And we haven't even found all the soccer stuff yet. Uh-oh. 5:30pm. We made it to soccer.

7:30pm. Plant boys upstairs in front of the TV and start nailing up the baseboards.

10:30pm. Head meet pillow, pillow meet head. Good night.

Which brings us to today. And I just want a day off to catch up on laundry, read a book and recover. But this evening will most likely bring something that must be done. I really do love to remodel. Alone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And It Drags On

The project continues, slowly. I really thought we would be done or very close by now. Even with my conservative estimates on time, we should be nearly ready to move back in. But alas, if the floor is not here, it cannot be installed. If the floor is not installed the trim cannot be put in. And if the trim is not in, the furniture cannot move in. Darn domino effect.

But progress has been made none the less. The painting is done. And it looks fabulous! And we picked an accent color and I have painted three walls the last two nights and those look fabulous. The slider is gone from the back of the house and the new patio door is in. Unfortunately, that means that yet another room has been put out of commission. We are dining, playing and living in the family room. So, dear family room, I dub thee, the Great Room.

As with all things, a lesson has been learned. Building/Remodeling Commandment: Thou shalt have ALL supplies present and accounted for, before any work may commence.

The floor is supposed to be here tomorrow morning. I'll believe it when I see it. (Yikes, I am getting cynical.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In the Interest of Progress

I feel that I need to turn in my DIYer badge. We have painters here at the house at this exact moment in time. It is really hard to for me to agree to pay someone to do something I am highly capable of. Painting is one of the those tasks that falls in that category. Except the vault, I have never had any desire to paint that. But all those normal height walls, were my project. I do it pretty well too. But I am slow, methodical, and that drives Ducky nuts.

But after my Monster Migraine on Tuesday when all progress came to a screeching halt, my Ducky got ants in his pants about getting this thing done and rounded up some painters and here we are. And in the interest of marital bliss, I am cooperating nicely and staying out of the way. And keeping two really cute boys out of the way too.

The plan now is to pick the colors for the accent walls, paint those tomorrow. The flooring should be here today or tomorrow. Do I smell weekend project? Then the moulding and then we can move back in. Hurrah!

I should really review my priority list for the summer. I don't think I am working on it at all. I think the fort has been put off until fall. Yikes, broken promises to boys! Mommy guilt. I might be able to work on the favorites books during the remodel. Well, I am off to be a little bit nosy and see how the progress is going.