Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kitchen - nearly done

After 30-ish hours of painting (including all of the freaking primer that had to go up!), not to mention the multiple "vacation" days that I took off from work...we got the kitchen into a pretty good state. We still need to do the countertops - and the pressed tin ceiling - and fix the damaged tiles, but things look much, much better than when we started!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchen project - part deux

So I took Monday as a "vacation" day so that I could spend some quality time in the kitchen. All I have to say (well not exactly all I have to say...since I do have a Blog to keep, after all!) is THANK GOD I HAVE AN EDUCATION!!!

I hurt all over!

There are some cracks in the floor - as a result of settling in a 94-year-old home. At some point, before the Dorthy Draper pink & green laminate flooring went down, a leveling compound was poured in strips over the cracked portion. Yesterday I chipped away at the leveling compound and did an initial scrubbing of the floor (from the entry of Elizabeth's playroom - across to the dishwasher and down to the entryway. It wasn't a Sue-Baby scrubbing, but a scrubbing nonetheless. I still have lots more scrubbing to do to get that section of the kitchen acceptable.

After work this evening, don't ask me why...I must be a glutton for punishment...I went back at it for a bit. When Reid got home from taping Coach Waialae's tv show, he got after it for a bit, too. Elizabeth is a wonder at running the shop vac!

Every muscle in my body hurts. No exaggeration. This is much worse than any preseason that I endured (sans injuries requiring surgery, of course!). I have blisters on my right thumb and the outside left part (near the knuckle) of my right index finger -- bad ones. My fingers are swollen - right hand worse than the left. And for some bizarre reason, the top part of my left foot is swollen (yes, that is the same foot as the ankle reconstruction, but I doubt those two are related.)

We're nearly done at the chipping away of the leveling compound so that the additional scrubbing can commence. Then we'll need to figure out what to do with the areas where there is wood - as there is a different, larger floor plan for the current kitchen from its 1915 layout. We will need to figure out what needs done to repair the problem areas - cracks, bad tiles, etc. Will also need to figure out whether or not this floor is worth keeping or whether or not we need to look for a replacement.

Calling Bob Villa...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kitchen - minor face lift

Although we love our home, I don't think it has been any secret of how much we hate the kitchen. With its carpeted floors -- how unsanitary, older cabinets, and hideous wallpapered walls (throw back to the "step bitch" - there must have been one heck of a sale in 1989 of this crap!)

Here is a picture of me assessing the situation on the day we toured homes in Wheeling. Wondering whether or not I could live with a kitchen like this. One that didn't have a dishwasher (gasp!) and with a small refrigerator. And the carpet...

Sadly, not much has changed since this photo was taken. We've added a new refrigerator - moving the other one to the basement. We added a dishwasher - as I couldn't live with dishpan hands. And all of the previous owners' nick-nacks are gone. On the cabinet that is in front of me in the picture is where my KitchenAid stand mixer has been - and my TV. Other than that, what you see is what you get.

I've been back and forth in my head as to what colors I should paint in there. I had settled on Benjamin Moore Million Dollar Red for the cabinets (as I would never do something so HGTV crazy as to paint kitchen cabinets, but we're being sensible and waiting until the house in Fairmont sells before really renovating the kitchen!), Benjamin Moore Wheeling Neutral for the walls, and a white trim that as closely as possible matches the trim in Elizabeth's play room.


Yesterday, Reid and Nick, a nice young man who is a freshman on West Liberty's basketball team, started the demo work on the floor!

The carpet was glued onto pink & green linoleum tile (think Dorthy Draper & the Greenbrier pink & green), which had adhesive and leveling compound under that, which has the original 1915 hexagonal gray marble tile with a pattern of green flowers & white centers. (Now I'm totally at a loss for what colors to use when I get to painting - all ideas are welcomed!) But for now, we'll be dealing with the floor to restore as much of them as possible, we hope! If not, we'll at least be down to the lowest level of flooring to put something on top of them...

What were Elizabeth & I doing during much of this demo work, you might ask. Aside from me getting a sunburn, we were planting tulips and crocuses in the front walk way of our house. I planted a few crocuses in two of the planters in back of the house (that are against the garage). I finished clipping the irises (dang perennials that require work in the off-season -- this isn't basketball!). I removed the mint that was in the landscaped area next to the driveway (and trust me this was enough mint for the Kentucky Derby!). I will be planting tulips and crocuses in some of that landscaped area, but Elizabeth wasn't being as mindful at that point, so we had to go in back of the house where she could be gated in.

Later in the evening, Elizabeth was "allowed" to help. She is so excited to help get to use the tools it's not really even describable!

So, this is basically the end of one long day's work. We are still trying to figure out what we can do in certain areas (like in the back wall of the kitchen, the tile stops, but a previous owner added the width of 10 boards when the kitchen was expanded at one time...and there is wood, too, in front of the sink where the tile ended in an odd area...not to mention that the cabinets were put over the Dorthy Draper tiles...)

Still lots to be done so that Elizabeth can realize her dream of wearing socks and skating on the kitchen floor.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Engaging News!!!

We're so excited with the engagement of Rikki & Doug!!! Rick & Carol were up in Wheeling when we got the phone call from Rikki that Doug had popped THE question! We celebrated with a champagne toast -- Elizabeth got a juice. Congratulations to the happy couple!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Payoff

The potty-training is slowwwwwly but surely coming along. We've resorted to all sorts of rewards. (For those of you who have has success with stickers or M&M's - I really don't want to hear it! We've tried just about everything...but a combination of stickers, M&M's, juice (which is otherwise forbidden at our house!), and other random rewards, including but not limited to getting to jump on the bed) seem to have us in business - for the most part.

Last night after dinner, Elizabeth told her Daddy that she wanted gum (from the gumball machines left over from her Candyland birthday party...super fresh!). We said no.

Elizabeth, "But I want one."

Daddy, "Well, I want a million dollars, but that's not going to happen."

Elizabeth: "I will give you a million dollars. I want a gum ball."

Elizabeth then promptly left the dining room and went to her play room. After retrieving her mad money, (which looks like a Tony Soprano wad of cash before he is going to spend an entertaining evening at the Bada Bing), she came back into the dining room with cash in hand.

Elizabeth: "Here you go! A million dollars! Now can I have a gum ball?" She said as she handed her Daddy her wad of cash.

(It should be noted that Elizabeth didn't give her Daddy a million dollars, but she did give him all of her monies, mostly in ones...$84 dollars actually - for two gum balls!)

She later pooped in the potty. Her Daddy rewarded her by giving her back her million dollars! Maybe the million dollar reward will be the one that does the trick!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • A good imagination! This evening, Elizabeth's right eye has been "gunky" (some kind of goopy build-up in it that had to be cleaned out a few times.) The eye is also pretty red. I asked her if anything had happened during the day to make her eye that way. She told me that 5 aliens punched her in the eye to make it like that.
  • New wheels...good riddance to the Infinity...hello Ford Focus! (Seriously loving the improved gas-mileage!)
  • A nice visit with Anne, Sean, & Alex - despite Sean-e-boy's back issues. (Hope he's able to find a good doctor and quick relief upon their return to NYC!)
  • The start of the college football season! (If summer must end, at least I get some college football!) Let's Goooooooo Mountaineers!
  • That Coach Rod seems to be having a rough week - you reap what you sow, a-hole!
  • A long's always nice to have that to look forward to!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Playing Catch-Up!

It's been forever since I last posted. I'm an ass!

So...Reid's high school reunion was a great time. Kudos to Andrea McElroy and others who planned the weekend! From the weekend in Fairmont we took off for DC (with Nana) to visit Rikki & Doug.

The week in DC was filled with activities -- 1 day at the Museum of Natural History (so E could see dinosaur bones and "The Hall of Apes"), 1 ridiculously full day that included 6 hours at the National Zoo + 3 hours at the Air & Space Museum (E insisted on seeing some "arrow planes"), 1 (albeit cranky for the most part) day at the American History Museum (my favorite!), 1 minor league baseball game, Reid & I got away for an evening in Baltimore to hang out with Jake and see his new place, and lots of fun!

If you haven't seen the American History Museum since the American Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem has been restored - it is a must! I visited the museum on several occasions while the flag was being restored, which was really neat to see...but now that it is restored -- it is simply breathtaking! (You can learn more about it here:

Stories from the game that tickle my funny bone:

The minor league baseball game we went to was the Bowie Baysox (a Baltimore Orioles affiliate) vs. the Portland Sea Dogs (a Red Sox affiliate). We were happy to have Elisa Gladstone join us all for the game - it's always good to see Elisa! E was especially glad to have her friend, Elisa, join us as Reid & I were quickly ditched so she could hang out with Elisa. The Baysox mascot, Louie, was this big muppet-looking green "thing." Really cute, actually. When Elizabeth first saw him from a distance, she jumped from Elisa's lap onto Doug's.

Then E obsessed a bit (shocker!) and would tell us that after the game, and after the fireworks, and after she ran the bases, she would meet Louie. Reid, having played these reindeer games before, got Louie down to our section to meet Elizabeth. (Louie was quite a sport, too, I must add!) Needless to say, Elizabeth didn't want him at all near her. Doug tried to show E that Louie was a good guy and gave him a high 5. (Meanwhile, Louie is hugging & kissing on Reid's head...while Doug is sniffing his hand that he just high 5'd with Louie!) Doug later told us that Louie's hand was really wet, which made his (Doug's) smell like stinky feet. E never warmed to Louie...but she survived. Rikki & Doug (after a thorough scrubbing of his hand, I'm sure) bought Elizabeth a stuffed Louie. Upon receiving her Louie Baysox stuffed mascot, E observed, "Hey! His hand isn't wet!"

More obsessing -- here's a bit of my conversation with Elizabeth later that evening:
E: Is Louie tired, Mommy?
Me: Yes, Elizabeth. Louie worked hard tonight. I'm sure he is tired.
E: Am I tired, Mommy?

Reid nearly caught a foul tip. (To do so, min you, he would have had to have knocked down a 12-year-old kid...he's so not as competitive as I am!) Afterwards, Elizabeth came down next to Reid and said, "Next time I'm going to catch the ball, Daddy!" That's my girl!

After the fireworks, Reid tried for some time to get Elizabeth to run the bases. (Louie was blocking home plate so he could high 5 all of the base runners with his wet, stinky feet hand!) He even got E so far as getting her feet on the field to no avail. (At least there was no crying - as there is no crying in baseball!) Eventually, Reid & E headed back to join the rest of us. Fewer than 10 minutes later while on the way to the car, Elizabeth tells me, "Hey! I forgot to run the bases!"

We've had a great summer! Elizabeth is swimming a bit -- easily goes under water and can hold her breath for 10 seconds (no holding of the nose, either!). She's the Coppertone baby. (I'm quite savage, too! Tanned enough that you can tell the difference between my skin and the white on my t-shirt!) We're making some progress on the potty training...although I'm ready to start looking to see if we can easily transition from pull-ups to Depends as it doesn't seem as if this is ever going to end!