Kitchen Project, Week 4

I'm not sure if anyone came to our house Monday or not...??
Our contractor called me and said that their flooring installer had a family emergency so he wouldn't be able to install on Tuesday like planned, and therefore another installer would be coming on Wednesday. Okay no problem. Per our phone conversation, I assumed that no one would be working on Tuesday so I left the dogs out.... Oops, people did come and had to work around the dogs.

 Not sure what the contractors did, but I know they were there :-)

The floors were installed.
OMG! They look amazing!
As I mentioned before, we were not planning on getting new floors, but we found out the sub-floor under the tile was rotten, so a new floor was necessary. The wood floors are beautiful and they make the cabinets look like a million bucks!
I am thrilled with the floors!
(In this photo the floors have more of a reddish look to them, but in person they are more of a true brown-- I LOVE the floors!) 

 The baseboards were installed and some of the trim was painted.

I didn't really see anything that was done to the kitchen on Friday, but I know someone was here...? 


Henry's First Birthday!

Happy FIRST Birthday Henry!

Oh how fast time goes!
Henry you are one very special boy, hearing you laugh is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! I love you SO much!
Happy first birthday buddy!

Great job Lora!
Sam and I had a blast!


Kitchen Project, Week 3

The cabinets were delivered. 
I told two different men (contractor and delivery man) to place them on the LEFT side of the garage because the right side gets water.... 
I explained how you can see that all of our belongings are on the left side so that is where the garage stays the most dry. Don't worry about filling the garage, we are not parking in there. 
I want the cabinets to stay dry!! 
So when I came home you can probably guess what I found.... 
Cabinets nicely lined up on the right side of our garage where water freely flows. 
But, thankfully the contractor laid down some 2X4's so (most) everything was on top of those to help protect them from moisture. 

The demo guys kicked butt inside and ripped up ALL the layers and layers of flooring. 
There were five layers or tile, plywood and various vinyl flooring... 
Some was pretty ugly too. 
This is the day the basement became covered in sawdust, which you can read about here...

Originally I was going to save money by painting myself. I am pretty particular about paint, and can do a pretty good job--- I have painted MANY walls in my time.... 
But, Evan decided he would rather pay to have the kitchen painted rather than have me spend the weekend doing it.... Okay :-) 
So the guys painted their first coat of paint.
I decided to go with a nice light greige color. 
The same color exact color that is in the sunporch and in Sam's nursery. 

I knew it was going to rain Wednesday so I texted the contractor about my worry with the cabinets in our garage, he decided to go ahead and unbox and bring in most of the cabinets. 
Whew! Huge relief!
Thank you!

It did rain a TON. I actually got a text message about flood warnings in our area, which you can read about here
And this is the day the basement flooded and sewage water got all over the kitchen items that were boxed in the basement and water mixed with the sawdust from Monday. 
Special day... really fun.... 

The cabinets started being installed!!! 
It was really cool to come home and see the cabinets and get a vision for what the kitchen was going to look like!
I am very pleased with the cabinets.
I was a little nervous because I picked them out by saying "I need the CHEAPEST white cabinets in a shaker style you have"....
So the cabinets are not real wood and therefore I was worried about what they would actually look like....
They look great!
No one will be able to tell that we don't have "real wood"... They were a great pick!

Then I about fell over because there is a special bonus with the cabinets......
Yes, you read that right-- a BONUS---
They are self closing!!!!! 
I closed one of the drawers and was like, Wait? What?! These are self closing cabinets?! '
Yeah, so I never asked about that because literally I wanted them to be as inexpensive as possible so I figured that adding a cool, (but unnecessary) feature like self closing drawers and cabinets would be an added cost... Nope, that is standard with this line of cabinets!

I did ask for the pantry cabinet (shown below) to have pull out drawers and I think those will be so nice to help with actually seeing what we have. Those are of really nice quality too!
And because we got this added feature, it bumped us into a price range where we got another set of pull out doors "free". So in the picture above, the bottom cabinet to the far left will have pull out drawers as well.

The range and dishwasher were delivered.
(Again, I am hoping for no rain because they are in our leaky garage). 
The knobs and pulls were installed and they worked on the crown moulding.
I chose a standard oil rubbed bronze pulls and knobs that Lowes carried,  I am really pleased with the contrast they provide with the white cabinets. It was an added charge to have the knobs and pulls installed, but I decided I would rather have them mess up and have to make it right, rather than have me mess up and ruin my new doors-- Wise choice I think!
Our ceiling isn't level (older sagging home), so they have yet to figure out how to fix the crown, so that will come next week.

It is really cool seeing the kitchen start to come together!
It is exciting! 


So what is living with a remodel like?

It is very dusty. 

The dining room is now our kitchen.
Having the kitchen closer to the living room I do not mind at all, I can keep an eye on Sam a little easier. And space wise this actually works out okay. I have about the same amount of counter surface as I did in the kitchen- ha!
See that bronze bucket on the floor? That is where I put all the dirty dishes, then I carry the bucket downstairs to the utility sink to wash everything. I then let things dry on top of the dryer.. kind of a funny concept, lol. 

So far so good! Totally worth the mess and inconvenience in exchange for having a functional kitchen!
Not a big deal at all! 


Then the floors were ripped up.....
When I walked in the door, the upstairs looked about as you would expect, dusty but not too bad. I was so excited about the progress they had made; the floors were gone, part of the subfloor was installed, the LIGHTS were in and working!!! And the cabinets were delivered!
I was on cloud nine.
Then after the workers left I went downstairs to do some washing......

(Insert horror music).... 

Remember back in elementary when you would ride the bus and someone would puke and the driver would pull over and put that sawdust mixture on the puke and it would stink and be gross....
Um yeah, it was like that was tossed ALL OVER the basement.
All the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling of the basement that we normally wouldn't notice were covered in this sawdust mixture.
So imagine the puke-sawdust mixed with a hamster cage of shavings and 76 years of mouse POOP and BUGS and filth covering everything in your basement.
WHAAAAAA!!!!!! Scream cry!

This scene actually wouldn't be too bad if the basement was empty.
But the basement if FAR, FAR from empty.

I have boxes of overflowing garage sale items in the basement.
Now those said items are covered in sawdust... So much dust that I would need to shop vac each item and then wash it down... Do I want to take the time that is needed to clean up these said items so I can sell them for a few bucks? Um no. Dang it! There goes my fast spring cash stash and that means I am going to be taking some dusty items to Goodwill soon. Dang it!

When we got Lora's couch this spring, Evan insisted on keeping his couch and chair so that is in the basement. Do I want to take the time to clean every little piece of saw dust and splinter that has now made his green couch brown? Um no. I don't even like that couch. But do I want the above nastiness just sitting on upholstered fabric in my basement? Um no.  So there is a huge chunk of my time that I now have to spend cleaning that up. Awesome.

I have portfolios of artwork piled up in the basement and LOTS and LOTS of art supplies down there... Art supplies out in the open--- paint brushes and kneaded erasers. Does sawdust come out of a sticky kneaded eraser- nope. So I now have lots of art supplies that I will now be tossing. Fantastic.

***The flash was on for the above pictures because the basement is so dark, so this doesn't really demonstrate the amount of sawdust and yuck we are talking about here.*****

I did have the foresight to put most of Sam's baby things in tupperware bins so they will need cleaned off. But some things like his carseat base, Who would think to cover that? Now needs to be hosed off.

And of course everything that was in our kitchen that we are not currently using: wine glasses, plates, serving-ware, etc. etc. is now covered....
Good thing I am getting a dishwasher!!!!

In the grand scheme of things I guess having your basement look like one huge hamster cage isn't
"the end of the world", but seeing it on a day when I already felt like I was behind in all aspects of life.... Behind at school, behind in all aspects of taking care of our home, and missing my time I used to spend with Sam over the summer, it really hit me and upset me that I now have a basement full of SHIT to deal with. Oh, and I can't deal with it when Sam is sleeping because the shop vac will wake him up..... Wonderful.
--- Insert a scream cry----
And, to be honest I was mad at myself that I didn't think to cover everything in our basement with sheets or something so those could be tossed. I just didn't think about everything coming through the floor joists since we originally weren't removing the floors....


Another aspect of living with a kitchen remodel is that while at work I have anxiety about things going on at home on various days.... Like for example, the cabinets being stored in our garage--- which gets so much run off water in it, that the walls of the garage are rotten----
Not a great place for super expensive new cabinets to be stored!
So I texted my worries to our contractor and he said if he had time he would go and try to move them since we had rain coming that day....

I typically get at least one phone call a day about something. Which is fine, but if you are a teacher it isn't super easy to stop teaching, answer your phone, and then get back to work....
***Super glad we went with Lowes (ONE company) and we have a general contractor, because there is no way I would have been able to teach and deal with all of the scheduling, deliveries etc. on my own while working... *******

The day of the above mentioned rain, our basement flooded with sewage water.
(The above image was a text message I got on my phone alerting me about the streets.... 
Oh don't worry WTHR- the streets will clear right into my basement!!)
This has happened before and life has gone on....
But this time was a little more irritating... 
As you know our basement was already looking like a hamster cage, because of all the sawdust and other nasty debris coming from the flooring removal, so that mixed with sewage water-----
WONDERFUL combination.
Then all the kitchen items that I DID BOX, and were saved from the sawdust; were then floating in sewage water.
Again, Good thing I am getting a dishwasher!!!! 

I think I might have to take a day off work sometime soon to bleach all of my kitchen-wares and to bleach and throw things away in the basement.
Really fun.

So yes, that is how living with the kitchen remodel is going!


Seriously, it is fine.
The guys are doing an AMAZING job.
They make progress each day and if I ask about something, it is fixed quickly.
This crew is the easiest and best group of guys I have ever dealt with.
(I have dealt with a lot of "handymen" who give me the run around and keep pushing things back and take HOURS to complete simple tasks, so this crew is a welcome change)...

I am proud of the dogs for keeping their cool (and pee contained) while all the work is going on.
Evan and I have always eaten out a lot so that's no big change for us :-)
Evan has been a trooper for paying for everything and the additional costs.
And the dining room is functioning nicely as our temporary kitchen.
So it really is going fine.
It is just very messy in ways I didn't expect and for someone who doesn't like surprises, at the end of a long day of working and being a mommy it is a little draining.

But it will be SO worth it in the end! 


Stand Up Sam

Sam LOVES to stand up. 
He loves to pull up on anything and everything. 

He found the door stop recently. 

He's a man on the move. 

He's my sweetie.


Kitchen Project, Week 2

Due to Labor Day, we only had 4 work days during week two of the kitchen remodel.
This week was slower than the first week and not as exciting...
The drywall was installed, mudded, sanded, and repeated all week.
Friday they got the primer up and it started to look like a real room! 


A quilt and a surprise!

Over the summer Sam really liked having me watch him play. When I would leave the room he would start crying; and while I liked watching him play, my hands like things to "do"... I mean, I like playing too! Haha! So, I decided to use up some of the left over fabric I purchased for Sam's bunting, that my friend Marcia made, and make a little quilt top. Extra emphasis on little....
This was the perfect little project, Sam played and I hand sewed little strips of fabric together. When Marcia gave me the slipcovers she had made, seen here, I gave her my little quilt strip and asked her to finish it up for me. Last weekend I got this beautiful quilt and a surprise pillow she made! 
So exciting!!
 So I sewed this little patterned strip together and Marcia quilted it on white fabric with red stitching. The picture doesn't do it justice, it is so cute when it is all laying out. Then she used the scraps to make the binding-- it is adorable!!!

Then Marcia said that when she was at JoAnns she saw this "Sam I am" fabric and couldn't resist getting it and made this sweet little pillow for Sam! 
So thoughtful!!! 
It is the perfect little size for his head to sleep on in the car or when he gets older and lays down for nap time. 
Look at those details!!! 
Thank you SO much Marcia!
 You are amazing!