Saturday, December 28, 2013

Well, this is it for far.  Still need to tile backsplash. So many issues with the remodel that I am not even excited about it at all.  How sad it that?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So where are we?  Ah, yes. Kitchen remodel.

Not much progress. Last week if anyone asked I told them that I could not talk about it.  Since then though I suppose we have a had a little progress so I should not say no progress.
  • floor guy did the best he could do without refinishing floor.  Floor will be refinished in January. Carpenter is not happy with my decision but I am not happy that he brought someone in who wrecked my floor.  The difference in price between what I held back and what will be charged is about $200 (including tax) so if the carpenter does not reimburse me that $200, I can eat it but I am sure my designer will pay if carpenter does not
  • painters took doors away last Friday and will return them tomorrow or perhaps Monday. No rush. I do  not want them damaged during transportation again.  Designer paid for the additional gallon of paint required. However, I paid her more than 3x that to manage this fuck up so...
  • lights went in on Tuesday. electrician moved outlets and sockets. Dimmer control to kitchen is running hot so I have to replace it. Why is nothing straightforward and simple?
Isn't this attractive?

Monday, December 02, 2013

I am very disappointed in our kitchen.  Cabinet doors came back but so many got banged up on the voyage home that the painters will need to come BACK and take them out again to repaint them. I am sure they are not happy either.  There are at least 12 that need to be redone (12 of 25!).

My floor is still gouged. Second attempt to fix did not work.  Floor guy needs to come back again. I am not sure if he is working in trade with the carpenter but he is not right on top of things here in terms of replying to my texts and letting me know exactly when he will be here.  Super frustrating.

I am disappointed that the tile will not be here until January. The blue glass knobs for the cupboards above the sink will be another week as will the pendant lights.

Christmas is coming and I am so ill-prepared.

Our Christmas tree is being delivered on the 4th and I have no room to put it.

Dex has a staph infection on his foot.

A crown on my molar broke off while I was eating a steak bowl from Chipotle on Saturday night.

I took a Xanax to get through yesterday.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Here we are so far.  Cabinet boxes painted. Waiting for painters to return doors and drawers which carpenter will install in 3 days.  Pendant lights ordered.  Tile ordered. Door/drawer hardware purchased/ordered.

Still living out of boxes in the dining room.

Love the colours so far.  Cannot wait to see it all pulled together.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Driving me Crazy

Kitchen stuff is coming along. We had a busy weekend and were out of the house for much of it which was good.  Carson's game was in Everett yesterday so we all trekked up there for an afternoon game.  Then we drove to Bellevue to go see "Thor".  Stephen slept through out. 

Today this was my day:
9:40am leave house drive to Kingsgate arena in Kirkland
11:15am leave Kingsgate arena and drive to Chipotle in Redmond
12:30pm Leave Chipotle in Redmond and drive to Safeway Gas bar in Renton
1:15pm leave Safeway gas in Renton and drive to Castle Ice Arena in Renton
2:00pm leave Castle Ice Arena and drive to Crossroads
3:10pm leave Crossroads mall and drive to pediatrician's office in Bellevue
3:50pm leave pediatrician's office in Bellevue and drive home
5:45pm leave home and drive to Mod Pizza
5:50pm leave Mod pizza because there are 40 million people in line and drive to McD's
6:00pm leave McD's and drive home
6:20pm leave home and drive Dex to church for youth group
6:29pm leave church and drive home
7:51pm leave home and drive to church
8:01pm leave church and drive home

And that was just me. Stephen left the house 30 minutes before me to go take Jax to his game and Cars, Dex and I followed.  Then we divided and conquered again while I took J and D, Stephen took Cars and had him running around to his things and they did not arrive home until about 8:15pm.  What a day.

And we have no kitchen.

Sneak peak:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ok. Kitchen cabinets are emptied.  New doors are off. Drawers are out. New countertops are IN (white quartz on perimeter and black honed granite on island). New crown moulding installed.  Painters are to clean and prep cabinets then primer and spray.  Fingers crossed that it all goes well and looks good!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The kitchen renovations are coming along.  The new cupboard doors are up and drawer fronts are on.  Well except for the one that literally fell off because the cabinet side cracked.  Hopefully the carpenter will be able to repair it when the comes tomorrow to put up crown moulding since the painters are coming to start prep in two days.

The carpenter brought a buddy to help out last week and buddy dented my hardwood floors. I am pretty upset about it. I told our designer I would not accept anything but a complete fix on it.  Carpenter brought a flooring guy the other day who tried one thing that did not really work but he should be back tomorrow to try something else. I am so torn too because the carpenter is a really nice guy and while his buddy will be the one paying for it, I will not pay the carpenter until the floor is fixed.  Ugh - I hate this. Why can't things just be easy  and straightforward with no problems?

As I said, the painters are coming on Tuesday so we will be without access to our kitchen for about a week. I haven't finished packing everything up just yet either. I had planned to do it tonight but will do it tomorrow afternoon, after the carpenter leaves.

I love my new countertop and am so glad that the ceramic tile counter with the impossible to clean wide grout lines is gone!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stephen has been having some throat issues and went to see the ENT who performed surgery on his a number of years ago.  The doctor told him he would have to put a scope up his nose and down his throat to see what was going on. As Stephen was being scoped, the ENT commented that it was tough getting around his deviated septum.  Stephen looked him in the eye and said "You mean the deviated septum that you repaired when you operated on me?"

The doctor explained that yes he did operate on it but it was so bad it could not be completely fixed.  Hmm...

Anyway, Stephen loves this doctor because the doctor has no bedside manner.  He is very matter-of-fact and blunt. Stephen says you can tell the guy is a total asshole.  I would totally hate to have this guy as a doctor.  Stephen hates our dentist because she is chipper and cheerful and talkative.  He does not want that - just the facts. I like doctors who are confident but also who also take the time to know me.

At the dentist yesterday they asked about the kids (even though a bad experience with Jax lead me to take them to a new dentist this year). I like that.  My primary care provider (whom I rarely see herself - usually just her nurse practioners) is also a rheumatologist and they spend lots of time with you when you go in and always ask how things are (personally).  Again, I love that!  Stephen just wants to be all business and be quick about it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Math Woes

We got the email from the Algebra teacher suggesting that Dex step down to grade 8 math because he did not have a B in the class after the first unit test. Man, that is not what we wanted to hear. It had seemed that Dex finally had a handle on Algebra and the work load but he bombed the test because he forgot to label his graphs.  So the details, right?  Anyway we had so many questions, like if we transferred him to grade 8 math would he go in with the same grade (a D+!) or start from scratch.  Would he be expected to make up all of the work that he had missed and since he was planning to do a make up test to increase his grade (the teacher would take the average of both tests), would him scoring higher on the test make a difference?  I sent an email to the teacher and counselor asking these questions.

The school counselor said that he would not be expected to make up the work in grade 8 math and he would go in with a clean slate and no grade. Also, his schedule would not change as there was a grade 8 math class at the same time.  The teacher said virtually nothing about what would happen if he got a better grade but said ultimately that decision was up to us if we wanted to leave him in Algebra or not. Hmmm, that is not what the first letter seemed to indicate.

Stephen was angry at the school for the whole thing. We purposefully chose not to have our kids tested into Algebra during 6th grade because we did not think that they needed to jump ahead like that.  We both have our reasons for believing that kids need to work at their grade level (unless of course they are 'gifted' which our children are not - they are very smart, intelligent and hard working but not gifted). One of the other reasons is that the test was 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday morning and we just thought that would just make them resentful and they probably would not do well on the test.  We are happy with them progressing at grade level through math. Jax is doing nicely in Geometry in Grade 10.

However, last year, the school decided to test EVERYONE for Algebra placement (and they did it during the school day). Dex did extremely well on that test, he earned an A in grade 7 math and then scored high again on the state testing in math so they automatically put him in Algebra this year. The school put him in the class and now they want him OUT of the class because he did not have a B after the first unit test.  Stephen is pissed because Dex wants to STAY in Algebra because somehow the school had convinced him that by being "ahead" in math and able to take calculus in grade 12 he will get into a better university.

Dex got an A on the make up test because he labeled his graphs this time.

So, since the teacher said it was ultimately up to us, we decided to leave Dex in Algebra knowing that he probably won't get an overall A in the class or perhaps even a B.  But he thinks he will be happier in there so...

If, when the time comes, and Cars is placed into Algebra before his time (meaning before high school), we will immediately take him out and keep him in his proper grade's math. Of course, I really do not think that will happen with Cars (Dex does have more of a mathematical mind than my other two kids).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jax's 504 Plan review meeting went well.  He grudgingly accepted that it was good for him after all.  Then a few days later we received a letter in the mail about the free practice SAT test that the school was going to be offering to all sophomores during school time.  The letter apologized and said that they were not able to accommodate students who had 504 Plans issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Jax freaked out and said "What?!  I am considered DISABLED because of that?!".  "That" being the 504 Plan. 

I tried to explain he is only considered eligible because he has a condition that could affect a major life function (breathing if he has an anaphylactic reaction).  And of course he does not need any accommodations for taking tests so I told him it was just a form letter sent to every family and student with a 504 Plan.  He is still fuming about it because he is embarrassed.  :\

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I feel a little defeated at the moment.  I set up Jax's 504 Plan review for this year and told him about it when he got home from school. He asked me if every kid with a peanut allergy has a 504 Plan.  I replied (jokingly, of course) that no, it was just that I loved him more than other parents loved their children.  He told me that he did not need it anymore and it was overkill.  I asked if he felt that it made him stand out and he said yes! 

The thing is, we never have to even deal with the 504 Plan except for the annual reviews now because there have been no issues. But his 504 Plan stopped his 5th grade teacher from using peanut butter in a science lesson.  And his 504 Plan allowed him to have a separate desk in 5th grade so he did not have to sit at the shared desk beside the kid who brought in peanut butter for lunch

I feel a little sad about him saying this.  I know he is speaking only as a teenager who only sees that it makes him "different" (except that no one even knows except his teachers unless Jax tells them!).  All of the fighting that we had to do with the school district to get this 504 plan in place - from the school nurse, school psychologist, principal to the nursing supervisor and risk management lawyers).  It was a huge fight - a battle!  And it was all for Jax and it feels like he just does not even care about all of that - just how it affects him now.

And logically I know he is a self-centered teenager who does not want to stand out and does not want to seem different.  It is bad enough that he has this allergy let alone having a plan at school that labels him as having a "disability".  He does not realize all of the acrimony and nasty comments from that friggin school nurse that we had to endure.  He does not know all of the hours of research done to prepare for his eligibility meeting. He knows he is a teenager who does not want to be the center of attention.

So I am trying to get over my hurt feelings. And we will go to the meeting and he will sit sullenly and act all embarrassed that I am there but I will know that his teachers will have reviewed his 504 Plan and he will be safe at school.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

No longer Haywired

The electrician came back on Friday and replaced the red wire nut with a blue (or purplish blue) wire nut. I called the inspector and left a message to find out what happens next and he called me yesterday morning and asked if he could stop by.  He took a look at a photo I took of the change (before the electrician closed the box back up) and said all was A-ok.  Hurray!  Now I just need to double check on the state website in the next couple of days to make sure that the permit is indeed approved.

No more work on the house for a bit.  Too exhausting!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Haywire Continued...

So you may remember my Haywired post.  We had an electrician come out two days after I posted it and he made the corrections and I waited and waited and waited to hear from the state but never did. I did check online a couple of weeks later and our permit cleared.  And I waited and then school started and I forgot about it.

Then last week I received a note from the state telling me that I had failed to respond to the corrections within 15 days.  The problem was that I never received a report from the state!  I called them immediately and the guy who said he would need to do research and call me back which he did 2 days later only to pass me along to another guy.  That guy told me that (I cannot believe he told me this) the original inspector was diagnosed with "something that you never want to be diagnosed with" and was out on disability.  So it seems that I never received the report that I was supposed to and this warning letter that I received was supposed to go to the appliance store.

So, he called the appliance store who put him in touch with the installer who called me and said I had to apply for a new permit and they would pay for it.  The permit would bring a state inspector out.  So, I applied for the permit and they sent me a check while we waited for the inspector. 

In the meantime, I got another letter from the state saying that I had failed to respond to the warning letter (so not true) and I was going to be fined $250 AND my electricity might be cut off!  WTF?!?!

So I called in a panic and they told me to ignore the letter because it was sent in error.  And then the inspector showed up.  We went over all of the details again and he asked for a copy of the check from the appliance store and then checked out the electrician's corrections.  He told me all looked good ...except that there was a red wire nut on the wire and it needs to be blue.  Again, WTF!!  Were they just being uber picky (as appliance store believes) or was this really a problem?! 

My designer (who hooked me up with this electrician) got the electrician to send someone out today to "fix" it but now I wait to see if yet another permit is required or if we are good with the way things are.

This cooktop has been a friggin' pain in the ass.  If it did not boil water so quickly (and look so great) I would say it has not even been worth getting!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dex is still struggling with the workload in Algebra this year.  When I suggest that he transfer into grade 8 math a meltdown always ensues.  I guess we will just wait until the first unit test and if he does not get a B I think the teacher will automatically transfer the kids out.  I can only hope the hours of moaning and ranting is wearing on me.  He gets stuck in these thoughts and will focus on one particular thing and no amount of rational explanation will get him out of it.  It reminds me of how he was a few years ago when we had to take him to counseling (where he was subsequently diagnosed with anxiety) only it seems worse now because he is 13, 5'8" and one does not expect a teenager to act this way (irrationally at times, yes.  But not for hours).  I think sometimes that we may be headed back to counseling and perhaps treatment for anxiety?  Or at the very least, have the counselor teach him how to calm himself down and get out of these irrational thought cycles.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I let Jax drive to his hockey practice the other night. He hadn't yet driven to this particular rink but knew the way.  I had to tell him occasionally that he was riding a bit too far to the right.

The rink is off a two lane highway and as we approached the intersection to turn left, he had a green light so he turned.  The problem was that there was a car coming in the opposite direction and he turned in front of that car!  Fortunately, the car wasn't close enough to hit us.  

Me (yelling) : "Why didn't you stop?"
Jax:  "Because I had a green light!"
Me: "So did the other car!"
Jax "That makes no sense!"
Me (thinking): WTF!!

Then I realized that around here, virtually every intersection has a dedicated green light (usually green arrow) to turn left so he is not used to turning left if he does not have the right of way. 

I drove home that night and we discussed right of way and other important intersection tips.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Today, a gunman shot 12 people dead at the Navy Yard in Washington.  Here is the first sentence of the article that I read on MSN:

A former naval petty officer who apparently had a grudge against the Navy sprayed an office building with bullets at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, killing 12 people in a rampage that paralyzed part of the nation’s capital, authorities said.

The next sentence continued...

It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since

As I was reading this I was wondering what the next part of the sentence would be and continued...

the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.*

WTF!  I was thinking it might be since a few years ago but no, since last year.  And by last year they mean December which was actually less than a year ago. 

Something has to be done about guns and this shoot-em-up mass shootings!  It is crazy!  Why are we so complacent to allow this to happen again and again and again?  I know that gun advocates will blame mental illness or whatever but the simple fact remains is that guns are glorified here in the United States of America and they are still so easy to obtain, 

Please, let's work together to get this to stop.  Now.  I do not want to read about another mass shooting. 

And meanwhile this has taken away news reports of the over 1000 people in Colorado still missing after the rains and floods.

~shaking head~

* link to article At Least 12 killed in shooting...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

TOmorrow starts the third week of school for this year.  Jax was upset that he had no friends in any of his classes but I guess things have gotten better because he has not complained about it since the first day of school.  This past weekend I had him take a practice SAT at the high school and he complained about THAT though.  It was 4.5 hours of testing and I had him go in cold just to get an idea of what it was like so most likely he bombed part of it, especially the math sections. He had hockey evaluations this weekend and last and it will continue this week and next weekend.  Looks like there will be just one Midget team this year (vs the three Bantam teams last year).  I guess as kids get older they stop playing.  I'd like to see him play through high school.

Dex is enjoying school although he got into Algebra and is a little overwhelmed with the amount of homework.  I suggested that he could drop down to Grade 8 math but then he had a meltdown, so sure that by doing so would ruin his "career".  Whatever.  I could not talk to him like that (this meltdown happened last Monday night).  He has been ok since but we will wait until his first test and if he does not do well I will move him back to Grade 8 math. He says he "guessed a lot" on the placement test.  Hmmmm....

Cars is very happy at school. He likes his teacher and the girls in his class!  Today he told me he was ready for his birthday party and gave me a list of people to invite.  There were 4 boys and 4 girls on the list.  Uh-huh. 

Cars was cut the from rep hockey team today.  He mad it further into the tryouts than he did last year which is great.  He really did work his butt off and looked better than some of the kids who made the team but...he can be lazy and sometimes does not give 100% and two of the coaches who are coaching the rep teams know him and know what he does sometimes (claims to be tired and skates around the ice like he just does not care) so they clearly did not want him and influenced the third coach (we know this because Stephen talked to them).  But that is ok.  Cars will do just fine in rec hockey and our lives will be easier with no travel except for perhaps one tournament over the holidays.  He is devastated that he will not be playing with his bff though (who did make one of the rep teams).

We are having rare thunderstorm right now.  Well, they used to be rare but we have had so many of them this year.  Climate change perhaps?!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Wake me up when September Ends

September is always so busy.  Besides the kids starting back to school (which was today of course), this is the month for Curriculum Nights, High School Community events, hockey tryouts and evaluations, appointments to be made that had been put off all summer while the kids were home (carpet cleaning, mammograms, dentist appointments, oil changes, new tires, MOMS group starting back up, wood carving classes starting back up, etc).  Busy busy busy! 

I have decided to cut back even more with volunteering at the school and have limited myself to art start for Cars' class and donating items for the staff appreciation at the middle and high school (yes, sign me up to bring in a case of Diet Dr. Pepper or a tub of grated parmesan cheese from Costco!).  And already I feel so much better about it all.  No room mom or party planning.  No vision and hearing screening (although I did enjoy doing this), no health room, no photocopying or selling popcorn at events.  There is no Art Gallery night at the elementary school this year (they have decided to alternate years with Science night) so I won't be doing that either. 

And I will not be volunteering to be Cars' (or Jax's) hockey team manager.

I am busy enough without adding that stress to my family.  While I would love to be someone who handles pressure and stress with grace, I do not and I have learned to accept that about myself. Only took nearly half a century!

So I will breathe breathe breathe away the busy this month and come October, just be not busy.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Here is our lovely new granite counter with our new induction cooktop that we cannot use.
It is a terribly long story but the bottom line is that Washington State's Labor and Industries came to inspect the wiring job that we had done (new circuit to accommodate our new cooktop).  They also inspected the cooktop since it happened to already be installed.  The guy said it was installed incorrectly and told us not to use it and we have 15 days to have it fixed.  He wrote up the problem against the appliance store who seem to be crying foul over this, saying he was being super picky.  We, in the meantime, have hired the electrician to come back and install the wiring of the cooktop correctly and the appliance store says they will reimburse us for that cost (but nevermind the original $300 that we paid them to do it correctly, which they did not).  Apparently a new permit has to be submitted (at a cost of $85) which I have told them I am in way am paying for.  And we have 15 days to have it corrected or we will be fined or something.  Un-friggin-believable.
Pizza for dinner tonight.  Should be arriving at the door very soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Fun

We are back from our second vacation of the summer and have no plans to go anywhere for a long time. The past few weeks have been busy and we are all glad to be aback in our own beds with nothing on the agenda.

It was considerably colder on the Oregon Coast this year than the past two years. And foggier. We still had a great time.  We did the usual - boogie boarding, climbing Cape Kiwanda, crabbing, exploring, etc.  

We also celebrated Carson's 10th birthday while we were in Oregon. I cannot believe my baby is 10! 

Here are some photos from our trip:


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Home today after being away for 12 days.  That is just too damn long.  The kids and I left for Toronto (pronounced Torono btw) on the 17th and we arrived in the middle of a heat wave.  And it wasn't just hot but it was hot and HUMID.  Close to 100F and HUMID.  So gross!  We stayed in my mom's apartment the first three nights and she only has a window air conditioner.   Stephen took the red eye in and arrived on the 20th at 7:30am and we later checked into a hotel for 8 nights.  The trip was a visit and we told the kids to be prepared to be bored and they were.  We spent way too much time sitting in grandparents' living rooms chatting.  But, the grandparents were happy and we can check the obligatory trip to "home" off of our TO DO list.

Now to prepare for our "real" summer vacation.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gas-less kitchen

So we had another plumber come and give us an estimate for the gas and the price was right about the same as the first guy.  Perhaps a little less - he said it would depend on actual work hours.  I know that we could afford to pay that price but I did not want to.  Plus, we would have a gas line wrapping all around the house from the side of the garage, around the back and then down beside the kitchen before it went into the crawlspace and through the kitchen and continuing into the living room (for future gas fireplace).  Even if we painted the pipe (which we would have to because it would be a black iron pipe!), it would still look ugly wrapped around the house like that. 

However, our current cooktop is crappy as only two burners can heat anything in a timely fashion.  So we are going with an induction cooktop and new downdraft filter.  This will mean all new cookware except for my enamel cast iron Dutch oven and our cast iron skillet since the rest of our cookware is not magnetic so won't work with the induction cooktop.  The new cookware will be far less than the plumbing for gas too. ;)

I have hired the second plumber to come out and replace my hoses on my washer and install a lever shut-off.  It is something that I have always wanted to do and while he was here, he mentioned that the washer hoses should be replaced.  I actually know about 5 people who have had their washer hoses explode on them and flood their houses so I think will be a good thing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Final Final Reveal

So here is the bathroom with the glass shower doors installed.  I love it!  The room is so much brighter without the metal frame shower doors cutting off the light from the window.  And so far the boys have kept it mostly tidy.  Hurray!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Darn, I think my hopes and plans for a gas cooktop and gas fireplace insert have been dashed.  I had a plumber here today to give me an estimate to run the gas line and it turn$ out that it will be quite pricey.  Our house is a side split and the side of the house where the ga$ comes in is on a concrete slab.  The gas line would need to run around the outside of 1/2 of the house before it could go into the crawlspace and then across the crawlspace and up into the kitchen and living rooms.  I had priced it out in my head based on rough ideas from the fireplace places that I had visited and was e$timating $1200.  It turns out that it will be more than DOUBLE that.  Egads!  I do not want a gas fireplace that badly.  I mean I really do want one and a new gas cooktop but that adds so much more to the cost of the project.

And we are STILL awaiting the glass shower doors to be installed.  Tomorrow, hopefully.  The installed showed up last week and the glass panel was the wrong size - off my about 1/2 inch!  He had measured it and then someone typed in the measurement wrong when they sent in the order to the manufacturer.  So frustrating! 

Anyway, I will post the final photo once it is in.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Never Ending Indeed!

The glass company came to install the shower doors today BUT the fixed panel was made to the wrong specification.  Well, it was made to the correct specification but somehow the notes made by the measurer were input into the system incorrectly and voila!  A panel that was too narrow by almost 1/2".  It will take another 4 business days or so to fabricate a new one so with the holiday we have an estimated installation date of next Wednesday. I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back to an ordinary day

Today it is hot!  DH and I spent the morning cleaning out the garage, cutting up the pallets that the bathroom furniture came on and loading up the back of the SUV with junk for the dump (transfer station actually).  We put away the leftover tile and grout and threw out a lot of broken toys (mostly lightsabers and Nerf shooters).  Stephen can now park his car back in the garage for the first time in 5 weeks.  And the garage is tidy and clean for our party on the 4th.

In the garage we have a stash of booze - Mike's Hard Lemonade, beer, champagne, etc. I was thinking with the kids the ages that they are now, I should think twice about keeping it readily in view.  And not just for my kids but for their friends who pop buy.  How easy would it be to slip a bottle into their jacket pockets when they walked by the wall of beverages (pop and water bottles are there too).  I don't think my kids are bad kids of course but they are teenagers and I remember drinking beer that my friends had taken from their parents.  My parents rarely drank anything other than wine and gin so we only ever had 1 bottle of gin and my mom knew exactly how much there was so there was never any sneaking anything out of it!

And along with kids growing up, my oldest just got his learner's permit and started driver's education this past week.  He has not actually been behind the wheel of  a car yet.  I am nervous!  He is nervous!  My children are growing up and I cannot believe it is happening so fast.

I saw a link to this on facebook today and I had a good little cry as I watched it:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 24

Well, lots of pain but lots of gain!  The bathrooms were virtually finished today.  We are awaiting the shower doors for the upstairs bathroom.  But here goes...
Downstairs bathroom

Downstairs bathroom with teak-coloured vanity and cabinet

Downstairs bathroom with teak-coloured vanity and cabinet

Downstairs bathroom mirrored medicine cabinet and light fixture

Upstairs bathroom - mirrored cabinet and light fixture

Upstairs bathroom - espresso floating vanity with acrylic countertop with integrated sink

Upstairs bath - shower doors to be installed NEXT week

Upstairs bath with Benjamin Moore Castlegate on the walls (which I thought for sure was going to be too dark but it isn't)

Upstairs bath - mirrored medicine cabinet and light fixture

Upstairs bath - we replaced the hinges and level handles on the doors - they were brass but are not satin nickel.  In process of changing out whole house now

And finally a black door (not burgundy or dark blue!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 20 - The Reveal...NOT!

So, like you, I was expecting the bathrooms to be done today.  However, they are not.  Mostly there (besides the shower doors which we knew would not be here until next week).  The guys came and they did not have the right drill bit today to drill through the porcelain tile although they have known for MONTHS that they need to drill through the tile and the drill bit has been an "issue" for at least 2 weeks when they kept pointing fingers at each other to say "he should drill the holes" and "No, *he* not he should drill" etc because I gather the drill bit is expensive and no one wants to buy it.  I had told our designer I would buy the friggin thing if it meant the bathroom would get done on time.  She assured me it would get worked out and here we are, not worked out. 

I am mad and disappointed.  I want the boxes gone. I want the pallets gone. I want to try to scrub the ground in grime on my carpet (don't get me started there - so much for carpet mask).  I want my house back and I want to be able to enjoy my beautiful bathrooms!  Wah!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 18 (bathrooms not done yet and it is the last day of school!)

No bathroom action.  Nothing until Friday which will be Day 20.

Today was the last day of school for my boys.  Bittersweet.  Jax finished his first year of high school.  Just 3 more years and then he is off to college. I am trying not to think about that too much.  I think because I lived at home while I went to college (and after!) that I find it really hard to imagine that he will be gone then and may never be back to live here.  :'(

Dex really enjoyed 7th grade in middle school this year and he met a lot of new friends.  It was a great year for him to go directly into the middle grade of middle school with the school district's changes from jr. high to middle school.  One more year and then he too will be in high school.

Report cards for those two will be coming in the mail soon.

Cars, oh what can I say about him.  Finished grade 4 and I would love to say with flying colours but I cannot. His grades were more than fair - he actually did quite well in a few subjects.  Below standard in geometry and measurements in math but the test for that was when we were away at his hockey tournament in Richmond BC so he did miss two full day so instruction and review.  I hope that is all it was.  The biggest ding on his report card were under the life skills section.  He got "approaching standard" in almost all of them.  This was the teacher's comments on his report card this term:

I have truly enjoyed sharing this year with Cars.  I love his ability to find humor in life, and the joy he carries with him each day.  He continues to work on the fine line between humor and disrespect, and appropriate vs not appropriate behavior at school.  Cars is very bright, yet likes to do the minimum required.  This can tend to give him too much time to fill with socializing which distracts others during work time.  In his writing Cars learned the pattern for expository almost too well, and repeat the exact phrase from the sentence before when he supports his reason, detail and fact.  Reading remained somewhat inconsistent for Cars.  He never found a book that really excited him, and I hope he can find that soon,  He worked hard in math on the new concepts we learned.  He was successful for the most party though did struggle with units of measurement and area and perimeter.  He was a good leader in his Oregon Trail Sim group, and during this time really made an effort to move away from distractions and focus on his work.  he did an amazing job on this Pacific Northwest Native American carving research and PowerPoint presentation.  He was proud of what he did, and completely focused on learning as much as possible about his topic.  This focus and effort will be helpful to embrace in all learning.  It would be wise this summer to practice writing (especially expository), go on IXL (our online math program) and practice math concepts, and continue to read and discuss books for a great start to 5th grade next year.


I did email the teacher after reading the report card and told her that it was disappointing to see all of those 2s in his life skills and that hopefully maturity will come quickly for him.  She was quick to respond to me that he is "so delightful and smart" and that he just struggles with thinking before he acts and speaks sometimes.  And that he does respond well to her "teacher eye" and redirection.

While my other two kids also struggled with the inappropriate humor (more so when rather than actual inappropriate humor) but not to this extent.  Let's hope that 5th grade brings some changes for him.  And to be fair, with an August birthday he is the second youngest in his class.  But maybe by this age it should have sorted itself all out. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 17 (and Day 16)

Faucet and new light in upstairs bathroom. 
Nothing happened yesterday. Well that is not entirely true. I spent over 2 hours scrubbing pencil marks off my tile. Gabby tile guy wrote on the tiles when measured before he cut but because the tile is slightly textured, it would not easily clean off. Aargh!

Plumber had to cancel yesterday but came today while I was at my woodcarving class. He installed the final sink faucet then looked at our gas plumbing (looking ahead at next project). 

The electrician came tidy too and the light fixture I bought for downstairs would not work so our designer ran to Home Depot and bought a new one. It looks really nice. I hope I can find my receipt for the other one!

Cabinet guy was supposed to come tomorrow but he has a job that is taking longer. I am not available on Thursday so he will come out Friday morning. 

This project will never end!
New lighting fixture in downstairs bathroom

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 15

Hurray!  The boys showered in the downstairs bath today!  Took some pressure off my small bathroom.

I also packed up all of our towels that are not white to be donated.  Well, I guess not all towels that are not white as I kept 5 beach towels and the boys colour-coded bath towels (J is Green, D is orange and C is blue).  I need to figure out where they will hang their towels because I will not put the large towel hook rack but up but just a single towel bar.

And today was Father's Day and we just had a very low-key day.  Stephen slept late then went to get a hair cut.  I worked in the garden.  Cars played outside, Dex puttered about and finished up a project for Gen Tech (wood shop) while Jax studied for final exams.  He just informed me that he gets out at 10:30 tomorrow!

This is the last week of school.  I have to get my act together for Cars' class party on Tuesday.  We are just having rootbeer floats and will play a couple of minute to win it games and have the kids sign year books or memory books.

I am really glad that this year is over.  It was exhausting for me mostly because of after school activities and so much driving around or arranging for pickups.  Having three kids at three different schools was a bit of a challenge, even though the schools are so close!

Ok, let's just get through this week and we are golden!  Then it will be time to plan summer activities!  Yikes!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 14

Nothing happening today.  We have no one coming or going this weekend at all which is nice.  We all slept in and lazed about the house for a while this morning which was very nice.

I cleaned the two bathrooms and there are a few small issues that I have to bring up to our designer. 
  • There some markings on the wall upstairs that the tile guy made to remind himself of where to cut the tile.  I scrubbed but cannot get them off
  • Some grout remaining on the accent tile that I cannot get off
  • The bathtub stopped leaks and the tub drains.  Not too fast but enough to notice and it would suck to take a bath in there
  • Downstairs there are some black marks on the light taupe tile that I could not get off while scrubbing
  • Writing on one floor tile that does not come off (says FLOOR so I think the tile guy just wrote himself a note about which tile was floor and which was wall tile)

And of course the chip in the brand new tub that will cost $300 to repair.  Looks like gabby tile guy (no consistent name for him here) dropped a tile on the tub and there is a gouge in the acrylic.  It is in a "good" stop for being able to try to hide it but I friggin' spent hundreds of dollars on the tub and several hundred dollars more to have it installed and there is a gouge in it.  Aargh!  We held back $300 of the fee for the tile guy to pay for it.  My designer thinks it will be about $250.  I told her it had better not come in at $300 plus TAX because then I would be out $30 for taxes and I will be very angry about it.

No action tomorrow either but on Monday the plumber $hould arrive to in$tall the faucet and drain in the up$tair$ bathroom.  Tuesday the electrician is coming to finish up that work.  Wednesday are the guys to install the medicine cabinets, storage cabinet, towel bars, tp holders, etc.  Friday is the tub repair guy and the following week is the frameless shower door for upstairs (curtain rod for down!).  I will be so happy to be done!

Edited to add photos of gouge in tub:
Close up of gouge.  You can tell it was hit with the corner of something hard.  Like a porcelain wall tile!

It is hard to see it because of the shadows (we only have the heat lamp for lighting in there right now) but the gouge is along the little lip in the tub, just down from the edge of the tub.  It is a good location in terms of it will be hard to see once the glass shower doors are on (hard to see from outside of the tub).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 13

The painters were back today and finished up the bathrooms. I also hired them to paint my front door black but there was a problem. 
The door is BLUE!!  A charcoal-blue.  The paint store screwed up the formula.  And the painters have no time to come back to fix it for about 2 weeks!  Thankfully the blue is not too blue.  But aargh!  Always something!
No action this weekend (we need the rest). Then the plumber returns on Monday to put in the final faucet.  Electrician on Tuesday and carpenter guys on Wednesday to put up the cabinets and towel bars, tp holders, etc. 
The bathrooms need a good scrubbing too.  Designer suggested we hire a cleaner but I will keep my money and clean it myself.  After the restful weekend.  ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 12

We have paint!
Upstairs:  Benjamin Moore Castlegate
Downstairs:  Benjamin Moore Smoky Taupe

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 11

The countertop with integrated sink went on the vanity in the upstairs bath today. I am wondering what is going to happen to the chipped one in my garage. Maybe no one will claim it and I can sell it to recoup some of the plumbers' cost!  Yikes!

The drywall guy came too and the walls and ceiling repairs are all textured to match. Painters come at 7:30 am!  We are in the home stretch!

Upstairs vanity with countertop installed. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 10

No new photos as there was not a lot of action done today.  Some tiles had to be taken out and refitted because they had slipped in the thin set (mostly the glass tile in the backsplash downstairs).  Also, the replacement vanity/sink arrived and I freaked out because the box was damaged and attached was a HUGE PINK NOTICE that said that the shipper was not responsible for any damage.  I made the delivery guy sit and wait while I opened the box and checked over very slowly and carefully.  I figured this was fair since was (once again) 1.5 hours late past the delivery window of 11am-3pm (it was the same late delivery truck driver as two weeks ago!).  Anyway, it all looked fine as far as I could tell.

So tomorrow morning the tile that was fixed will get regrouted.  The sink will be installed upstairs.  The drywall guy will come in the evening to texture all of the places that need texturing.  Hopefully the painters will come by to give us a bid.

After the painting is done (hopefully by Tuesday), the guys will come and install the medicine cabinets, the storage cabinet, the towel bars, toilet roll holders.  Another week after that the glass shower doors will be installed upstairs  (we'll just use a tension rod with a shower curtain in the meantime).

And now it is on to plan for the next project.  Gas cooktop and gas fireplace.  I think the cooktop will happen first although I have been talking about the gas fireplace for ages.  We'll have the gas lines plumbed for both at the same time though.

Ok, more pictures tomorrow!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 9

We have progress!  We have toilets!  Showers/tub too but the tile is not yet sealed so we have to wait a couple if days to use them. No sink in the upstairs bath yet. The replacement will arrive tomorrow and be installed on Wednesday.
Upstairs bathroom with no sink/countertop
Downstairs vanity/sink.  Drawers are very difficult to reinstall (they had to be removed to hook up plumbing).  A couple of the glass tiles slipped while they were setting so they have to be removed and reset.  Then grouted.

Downstairs shower and look!  A toilet!  Still thinking about that paint colour on the wall...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Day 8

Slow tiler came back in the morning. We chatted for a moment and then I ignored him. I know he was trying to make eye contact whenever he came downstairs but I was having none of that. Then I took Cars out to the club for a swim so I did not have to hear about how slow tiler was missing his son's last soccer game (he had mentioned to me several times on Saturday that he was missing time with *his* family to tile my place. (Emphasis his!). Whatever!  Don't take the job next time.

Anyway, the tile looks really beautiful though. 

I am looking forward to this being done so I can be less crabby!  ;)  I am really not a crabby person so when I get this was it makes me crabbier because I feel crappy about myself. Carb loading!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Day 7


A broken floor tile left us short a tile in the upstairs bathroom. So we decided to tile the closet with the wall tile rather than the floor tile. No one will notice unless they are rooting around in the closet and move the Costco sizes toilet paper packages. Otherwise we would not have the replacement time until Monday sometime. Too late!

Slow tile guy finished the floor that and then buggered off for 3 hours. I was out and he told Stephen he'd be back in an hour and 2 hours later I was calling our designer to track him down.  He showed up another hour later.   Needless to say the tile did not get grouted. Then he said he would be back sometime tomorrow after his son's 1pm soccer game. I think not!  If the game was at 1pm he would show up at 3 or 4pm and he said he had 3 hours of grouting to do which means he would be here until like 10pm (remember he is so slow!).

I pitched a fit with our designer and said he would either be here tomorrow morning and be done by mid-afternoon or he can come Monday afternoon and she can reschedule the plumbers, the carpenters, the drywall guy and the painters.  At this point I don't care how quickly it gets done. I just do not need people in my house for 12+ hours a day who are not accomplishing their tasks.

Needless to say, she scrambled and called the other tile guy who will come at 8am tomorrow.  We will see what happens in the A.M.  

But, the tile looks so beautiful. 

Downstairs bathroom

Upstairs bathroom (not grouted!) Grrr!

Mismatched tile in the closet.  It is back far enough past the doorjam that it will be ok, right?

Friday, June 07, 2013

Day 6

Someone needs to take chatty tile guy's cellphone away from him. 
He promised that he would start
Laying the floor by noon or 1pm. He started after 5pm!  We are so behind!!

Downstairs bath is on schedule. This tile guy works with noise canceling headphones and works quick!