A Painted House

Archive for the ‘Just, Ack.’ Category

How to drive yourself crazy with a project that was supposed to be fairly simple, if a bit time consuming:

1.  Decide you want a ginormous gallery wall of family pictures.

2.  Stalk your local Goodwill  on 50% off days, raid your Mom’s basement, and eventually collect 58 frames.

3.  Disassemble 58 frames for painting.

4.  Have a stroke of genious and number each frame and its corresponding glass/innards for easy reassembly later.

5.  Lay out all 58 frames on the garage floor.

6.  Spray paint 50 frames and then run out of paint.

7.  Make a special trip to the hardware store.  Buy an extra can just in case.

8.  Paint a second coat to cover all those places missed the first time around.  Watch in irritation as the paint on 55 out of 58 frames bubbles up in one place or another.

9.  Don’t panic.  Let them dry overnight and hope it will be better in the morning.

10.  Hand-sand 55 frames with steel wool to remove cracked paint.

11.  Attempt to touch up the sanded spots on a half dozen frames with your final can of paint.

12.  Feel like screaming when the paint not only bubbles up again, this time it’s worse.  Wonder if perhaps you’ve managed to accumulate 58 frames with some form of Frame Cancer.  Or Paint Repellant Syndrome.



13.  Give up.  Chuck the entire pile in the garage and call it a night.

Moral of the story:  Always, always, always prime before you paint.  Just, ACK.

I hate unloading the dishwasher (though thankful to have one, as we didn’t for our first several married years) so instead how about a bullet post?  I think so.

  • Point of order:  we paid off a chunk of debt this week!  SO exciting to watch that balance drop to $0.00.   Only med school and the house left to go. 😉
  • THE SUN IS OUT!   That is all.
  • We leave tomorrow for my parents’ house!  I’m so stinkin’ excited to get out of town a bit.  We haven’t left the city limits since September of last year.  Having a winter baby = hibernation.
  • I haven’t packed yet.  As we’ll be gone five days and we’re taking four people, two of which are under the age of three, I’m considering just stuffing the entire house into one of those extra large vaccuum seal bags and calling it a day.
  • If only we’d bought the standard length van instead of the shorter one.
  • James has been counting down the days for two weeks.  Fourteen sleeps.  We don’t tell him we’re going somewhere until the day of to avoid just that experience, as he still doesn’t have much of a sense of time, but somehow he knew that this trip was coming.  Fourteen days of, “Should we go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today?”   But now there’s only ONE sleep left.  And it’s all he can talk about.  He’s walking around the house changing, “Just ONE sleep left.  Just ONE sleep left.”
  • We made it through a haircut last night with NO crying.  You have no idea what an accomplishment this is.  James was born with a lot of hair and by ten months either he had to have his first haircut or I needed to invest in some (manly) barrettes.  He’s been screaming, writhing and snotting his way through haircuts ever since.  It’s really just such a pleasure; not at all embarrassing when your toddler acts, in public, as if the hairdresser is cutting off his ears.  But last night we revisited a sweet girl who lets James spray her squirt bottle at the mirror the entire time she’s cutting.  And gives him stickers, asks him questions, and still manages to give him a decent haircut.  Thank God for you, Kayla.  My Public Embarrassment quotient just went down.
  • And I could use the help, because I dropped a gallon of milk in the grocery store yesterday and it cracked open.  Milk, everywhere.   
  • Baby E turns four months next week.  WHERE is time going?  He’s doing a ton of funny and adorable things but I’ll save them for his four month letter.
  • What he’s NOT doing?  Sleeping through the night.  Or more than three hours in a stretch, ever.  Unlike the half dozen other babies we know born after him who sleep hours and hours.   Just, Ack. 
  • Mental note:  never, ever, ever buy a used Boppy pillow.  I have a fairly eager eater and he still decides to look up and smile at me just as his breakfast really lets down in force.   Again, with the milk, everywhere. 
  • If I’d taken him to the store with me yesterday I could totally have blamed it on him.  He owes me.  (See:  the not sleeping at night.)
  • There is a tent in my Reading Room, Hot Wheels and a changing table in my dining room, a play kitchen and a bouncy seat in my kitchen, a plat mat and swing in my living room, bath toys in my tub, a pack-n-play in my bedroom, and train tracks, a slide, and an airplane rocker my basement.   We may pay the mortgage on this house but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong to us.
  • I gave up chocolate for Lent this year.  I know, predictable and cliche.  But it’s my first year trying it so I decided to start with something small.   Except we’re introducing potty training to James and our motivation at the moment is M&Ms.  If he goes potty he gets three M&M’s…and therefore by extension each time I go during the day he thinks I should get to have three M&M’s.  He’s made the connection between the action and the reward and gets SO excited for me.   How exactly does one explain to a toddler that a Lenten sacrifice takes precedence over a pottytime reward for someone whose been pottying for twenty-eight years?   So I’ve given up chocolate for Lent, except when I’m busted in the act of pottying.
  • I bet God understands.

 Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  August 20, 2010.

Remember waaaay back three months ago when we moved in, the very first decor-related thing we did was to redecorate the laundry room out of necessity?   No?  See:  this post.  And remember how I’ve been promising you ever since that I’d show you pictures when it was done?  The thing holding up this post is apparently impossible to find: a yard of fabric that incorporates all three colors in my new laundry room.  One.single.yard.  But it seems I’ve chosen a color combination that which is growing in popularity these days, has not yet reached the fabric designers of the world.  So then I went to scrapbook paper as an alternative…..only to strike out there, too.

So I give up, I’m calling it done.  Should said fabric or decorative paper ever appear on a retail shelf or online, I’ll come back and show you were I want to use it.  In the mean time, the laundry room:

Here’s where we started. Builder’s grade honey-colored cabinets, wire shelf, empty spot where the new washer and dryer would live….

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….empty white corner where the tallest, largest cabinet known to mankind was sitting and white wall behind it where they didn’t paint.  I wish I’d remembered to take a picture before we took out the huge cabinet so you could see how imposing this thing was.  Oh, and four different tries at matching the beige walls with the paint left in the basement.  Awesome.

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P.S.  It’s hard to take good pictures in a teeny room with no windows. I stood in the garage for most of these shots.  Anyway.

Here’s where we ended up:



First I painted the walls Sherwin Williams’ Optimistic Yellow and the cabinets SW’s Passive grey.  Travis built me a new shelf that ran the whole length of the room.  Next I asked Travis to build me in a shelf unit on the right side, where the cabinet used to be.  The final touch was crown moulding on the top, all painted to look like one custom piece:

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I wasn’t happy with the grey color at first, as it read blue-ish to me next to the yellow.  Makes sense, as blue and yellow are complimentary colors, but it was not the look I was going for.  I figured out that the problem was the old cabinet nobs, which were brushed nickel.  Up next to that steely color, my cabinets were reading blue.  I found these guys with their cute grey detail at Menards for $2.50 each, and problem solved!


I accessorized it with black and white items and photos.  The white basket on the ledge has clothes pins it and the black box contains dryer sheets.  The wall shelves have a white birdhouse left over from a floral arrangement I received when James was born, a B&W photo of Travis and I at the beach, and a glass jar of sand from my 21st birthday on the Jersey Shore. 


On the little bit of floor space between the washer and the wall, I keep two trash cans.  One for dryer lint and used fabric softener sheets and the other to hold items to be washed with the next load.  I didn’t see the sense in carting dirty socks and kitchen towels up to the second floor laundry baskets when they’d just have to come back down again. 


The coat rack was hanging on the opposite wall  next to the garage when we moved in.  However I didn’t like hanging purses and coats there because it often obstructed the garage door opening and took up valuable space in a small room.  So I moved it to the opposite wall for hanging damp items that won’t be immediately washed: swimsuits, dish rags, clothes that have recently been puked on and rinsed out (oh wait, that’s probably just our house).

There you have it, our new laundry room!   I like that it has its own sassy little personality instead of just being a pass-through on the way to the garage.  Guess it probably helps that laundry is my favorite chore!

Note:  This is a repost from my former blog, for the sake of archiving all home-related projects.  Original publish date:  June 5, 2010.

Many of you have hounded asked me about the painting project to which I eluded earlier this week.  I will come right out at the beginning and say that I don’t have pictures for you yet because the project is still in progress, but I will soon.  Please don’t eat me.

So what are we painting?

Well, it all started with my nemesis our washer and dryer which were equal parts helpful and obnoxious.  The dryer being the helpful one, and the washer obnoxious, in case you were wondering. We tried to leave them behind when we moved, but they refused to be abandoned.  The buyer of the old house did not want because she had her own, and the sellers of the new house took theirs with them when they moved.  So, despite the washer’s crankiness and inability to run an entire cycle without being restarted four times, they made the move with us.

Unfortunately when we got here and Travis tried to hook the dryer up, he realized that the detail-deficient previous owners failed to install a high enough voltage electric line in the laundry room to power an electric dryer.  And after almost a week of attempts to circumvent this problem he decided we’d have to bite the bullet and invite an electrician out to rewire the laundry room. 

In the mean time we decided to hook up the washer, which could be run on the existing outlet, so that we might at least have clean, if wet, underpants.  Unfortunately when it was hooked up and we turned on the rinse cycle as a test, the washer gave us both a figurative and literal wet willy and immediately dumped all that water onto the laundry room floor.  What is it with us and floods in new houses?  Thankfully it was a small amount of water this time and was cleaned up quickly. 

However we were now stuck with a broken washer and a working dryer that could not be plugged in.  Awesome.  So we spent Memorial Day morning shopping the appliance sales and by day’s end had bought ourselves a spankin’ new set of working appliances.  They’re not fancy stackables or front-loading, they don’t have enough dials to power a nuclear reactor, and they don’t use four drops of water to clean an entire load of towels, but they do just what we need them to do – wash and dry.  Underpants, if you please.

When Travis got home from purchasing said appliances he regretted to inform me that they would not be arriving until Saturday.  It was only Monday.  And by my math there were not enough pairs of underoos left to bridge the gap.  Thankfully we have very good friends who don’t mind lending their washer for an emergency load of skivvies. 

As the new set were wider than the old, we had to remove one very tall storage cabinet from the laundry room and put it in the garage instead.  When we moved the cabinet we found that Mr. and Mrs. Cuts Corners had just painted around it instead of behind it, and we were left with a big white corner of wall.  No problem, I reasoned, there are about sixty-four gallons of paint in the basement; I’ll just find the one that matches and touch it up. 

Four different colors of beige paint later, I did not have a match.  It seems the exact laundry room color does not exist in this house, other than on those walls.  Oh for crying out loud.  So, my rational, logical thought was, “FINE.  I’ll just pick a color, any color, and we’ll paint the whole STINKIN’ room and be done with it.”

And that’s how my laundry room became the very first room to be painted in the new house. The color we picked?  It’s called “Optimistic Yellow.”  Go figure.

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