Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'll look back on this some day and laugh, right?

The kitchen makeover continues... Whatever possessed us to think that we could: a) Tear down a big piece of a weight-bearing wall to expand our kitchen, b) put in new flooring, c) do all of the work ourselves without killing one another, d) do all of this without breaking the bank, and d) complete it all by Christmas? I mean, seriously. What the hell were we thinking? Well, for starters, we began this whole project a couple of months ago, full of starry-eyed optimism. (For a little more on the genesis of this whole insane idea, see "OK, the wall is gone. Now what?" ). A couple of months ago, this all seemed possible. In fact, we naively thought we'd have it done by Thanksgiving. Ho ho ho... A couple of months ago, we were still looking at one another and sharing giggles and little jokes about it all, as we labored side-by-side. A couple of months ago, we at least had a functioning (albeit, not attractive) kitchen in which to prepare and eat our meals. A couple of months ago, we thought we had enough money in the bank to cover it all. Ahhhh, such wide-eyed innocence...

All that joy, optimism, and hope was before we discovered that the previous owners of our house used a nail gun with unbridled enthusiasm and added in lots of sticky tar-like glue, just to make sure it was physically impossible to simply tear up the top couple of layers of old flooring to put down the new stuff. And, because there are multiple layers and the current flooring is so torn and warped and nasty that we can't just put the new stuff over the top, we found ourselves having to saw down to the original sub-floor -- a process which resulted in a fine layer of sawdust covering every single surface in the kitchen and living room. Then, after sawing the floor into a giant grid of squares, we had to pry them up with crowbars and hammers and lug each heavy, nail-covered square of flooring out to the truck. In the rain and snow, no less. I'm not kidding! Fun, fun, fun!!! I still can't put my poor, bruised palms down on anything without wincing, and I'm pretty sure my right wrist will never regain full range of motion.

Now, in the process of ripping up this extensive amount of flooring, we discovered...MOLD! A big, sloppy area of moldy water damage. Where is it coming from? Unknown. It seems to be coming from the shower in the bathroom...As I write this, my poor hubby is doing his best to get to the bottom of this new discovery. SIGH.

So, here we are, with only ten days to go until Christmas Eve. We have no functioning stove, washer, or dryer, as they are currently shoved into a corner of our bedroom, because we have no room in our garage. The kitchen table and chairs, along with the refrigerator, are smushed into our tiny little living room, right alongside the couches and our Christmas tree. Let me tell you, meal times are an exercise in comic craziness right now. So is getting the kids ready for school, myself ready for work, and all of us out the door in the morning. We're elbow-to-elbow, hip-to-hip, shimmying around each other to reach the things we need, with the dogs winding themselves around our legs and generally adding to the insanity, while the boys do their best to poke, prod, and antagonize one another.

Truthfully, it's been pretty funny, overall. There's definitely been more laughing than anything else during all of this craziness. John and I still love each other. The kids are managing all of this without too many meltdowns. We're still finding humor in it all. Still, Christmas is next week, my parents are arriving on Christmas Eve Day, we're supposed to be throwing a big dinner for the whole group plus the in-laws, and we have no stove, no living space to move around in, no place for everybody to sleep, because the guest room is packed with everything else we had to remove from the kitchen, and pretty much total chaos in every other room of the house. Oh, and did I mention that my parents are bringing their dog, Sam, along for Christmas as well? So, four adults, two rambunctious little boys, and three big dogs all packed together under these unique circumstances? Sounds like a recipe for disaster... It could be like that famous old science experiment where they cram all the rats together in a much-too-small living space, and they all start to eat each other. But, hey, then I wouldn't need to cook Christmas dinner! Now, there's a silver lining for you...

Anyway, I'll let you know how it all turns out after Christmas... If I'm still sane enough to tell the tale, that is. Happy holidays and a healthy, peaceful, joyful new year to us all!



  1. So clearly you need invest in wine by the case. I am sure it will all work out and you will look back fondly at this time (not now of course, but later, much much later) A suggestion for dinner Boston Market they make full dinners with the fixings (my best friend who is an amazing cook did this last year and swears she will never cook again). My second suggestion have a hotel on standby, if not for your parents for you!

  2. uh, Beth? If you feel the urge to hop a plane at any point, feel free to come to Boston and visit. Our kitchen is in working order (though two years ago we were in your boat) and my boys are now sleeping in a room together which offers your family a whole bedroom to share! I really hope this is all over soon...(EAT OUT!)

  3. All right ladies, that's it. I'd definitely do the Boston Market thing, if I could, but we don't have one in our neck of the woods. Unforgivable, I know. So, microwave burritos for Christmas dinner? heh, heh. And, Kami, I'm showing up on your doorstep for the holidays, wine in hand! That's it!

    Thanks so much for the support. I love my blog buddies! Have a very happy holiday. Cheers!

  4. I hope it gets completed soon! Glad to hear you have a sense of humor about it. That's the kind of thing the will create the lasting memories, the times you could laugh instead of cry.

    I love the idea of Boston Market too. Sounds delicious. Too bad it's not closer. Maybe there's a local restaurant offering dinner for pick-up? I know a lot places do that for Thanksgiving. I would think they would do so for Christmas too. Good luck!

  5. Holy cow, what a project! I'll pray for a Christmas miracle for you :)

    This is why I told my husband instead of doing renovations we should just buy a house where someone else already did the work (hmmm...is yours going to be for sale anytime soon?!)

    P.S. Order To Go from Olive Garden! And tell everyone you made it yourself!