Thursday, February 21, 2013

What's new since, oh, this time last year

So about how this was supposed to be a shelter blog about my new house and all the fabulous things I was going to do to it.  And then about how I got married and hubs and I did all kinds of fabulous things to the house, but my camera was broken and I didn't really record any of them.  And then we were too cheap to pay for internet at home, and my laptop decided that it didn't want to get on home internet connections anyway.  All that happened in the past two years or so.  So, you know, there's some stuff to catch up on.

Two summers ago we renovated the bathroom, but in typical fashion when I was taking pictures of the house today I didn't feel like taking pictures of the bathroom (... possibly because it needed to be cleaned and I felt like taking pictures more than I felt like cleaning the bathroom.  Don't worry - it eventually did get cleaned).  So the big bathroom reveal will have to wait.  But yesterday the little guy was cooperative and happy to sit in his bouncy seat for a bit while I deep cleaned the kitchen, so I took pictures today of my fabulous renovated kitchen, which was this summer's home improvement project.  (Warning - this will probably turn into an epic, next-great-American-novel style post.  Unless the little man freaks out, in which case it may turn into a to-be-continued.)

A bit of back-story: when we started the kitchen (Labor Day weekend, appropriately enough), I was 31 weeks pregnant and we had just gotten back from two weeks in France and Spain with my little sister.  The old kitchen was pretty tiny - something like  47 square feet, with a teeny pantry off it that was mostly unusable because of a water meter sticking up out of the floor, a dinky hot water tank taking up the rest of the floor and the shelves way off to the side so they were almost unreachable.  So the plan was to bust out the old pantry and open that wall up for some fabulous counterspace (the old kitchen had about twelve inches of usable counterspace), remove the upper cabinets that were on the left wall and put in a fancy new sink and an all-in-one washer/dryer so that we could wash diapers in our own house instead of going next door to my cousin's house.  So fancy!

So to set the stage for the renovation, here I was:
August 29.  Already so preggers...

After moving the appliances into the front room, we spent a delightful weekend tearing apart the old kitchen. Mmm... asbestos.  

(Don't worry - I wore a mask and Paul did all the really iffy stuff.  Little man came out fine, so it couldn't have been that big of a deal, right?)

We made an epic trip to Ikea to pick out and buy our kitchen cabinets, sink, faucet, and countertop.  And while we were at it, we also got a daybed and two mattresses.  And a cowhide rug for good measure.  It all fit in my Element.  We were impressed.

Long story short on the installation {because little man is starting to fuss} - it took longer than we expected because the water lines all had to be moved, we installed a new hot water tank in the attic, we ended up replacing all the gas and hot water lines... it was a lot of work.  So fast forward to November 1st.  Approximately 38 weeks pregnant, kitchen gutted, floor reinstalled - time for tile.  Paul's view of me helping him with this step looked like this:
One month later, my belly had gone from little watermelon-sized to BIG watermelon-sized

You might also notice the fancy window above my belly.  We cut a pass-through in the wall where the fridge used to be for a breakfast bar.  I forgot to take pictures of it today, so it'll be the subject of another post one of these days.

So the floor was down and it was finally time to install the lovely Ikea cabinets that had been sitting patiently in our garage for the past two months.  I spent the next few days assembling cabinets while Paul was at work and we hung a few a night until they were all in.  (Spoiler alert: I spent all day assembling cabinet components and hanging doors the day I went into labor. You ready for that baby to come?  Build some cabinets.)

Once the cabinets were installed, we (and by "we" I mean Paul with me standing by for moral support) cut the gorgeous butcher block blanks for our countertops.  That was the evening I went into labor, and, by happy coincidence, Lexy text me demanding a picture, so here's the last picture of me pre-baby the night we cut the countertops:
T-15 hours until the easy part of being a parent would be over

So anyway, we fit the countertops and laid them in place before calling it a night.  Except that it was a short night because I went into labor around 11 and little man was born at 8:13 the next morning.  (Maybe someday I'll write out our birth story for public consumption. I have a paper mama-journal that I'm keeping, but I don't know yet how I feel about sharing the birth with a wider audience.  My thoughts on that are fodder for another post anyway.  Carrying on...). 

So when we came home from the hospital, the appliances were still in the front room and the countertops needed to be screwed down.  We hadn't installed the trim pieces on the cabinets yet, nor had we tiled the backsplash.  Paul quickly moved the appliances in that weekend and the kitchen was up and running!

So here are some pretty pictures of our new kitchen three months later (... still lacking the backsplash and trim pieces, but just squint a little and pretend they're there, ok?)

So there you have it.  The project started on Labor Day and ended (... well... sort of ended) with going into labor.  How's that for poetic?

Also, you thought you thought for a minute that I was actually going to publish a post without a gratuitous baby picture, didn't you?  Hah.

He's discovered wiggling, which I'm all for, but it makes it very hard to get a non-blurry picture.  Seriously, though, look at that face! Hee.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I'm still alive!

And I have the internet at home again thanks to my lovely, initiative-taking husband.

And a snazzy new laptop!

And I appropriated my mom's camera!  (... like that?  "Appropriated" instead of "stole"?  I should be a politician.)


Hopefully somewhat regular blogging will resume soon (... who I am kidding?  When has my blogging ever been what one could call "regular"?), but I wanted to check in, let anyone still lurking around here know that I'm not dead, and that my time has been taken up with one of these lately:

...well, ok, not "one of these" but that one up there specifically.  Isn't he cute?  Somehow I find myself already the mom of a three-month old.  Weird.

So, I started That Cardboard Box as a shelter blog about my new (then... I've already lived here three years.  Weird again) house, and, as the house has had some rather major renovations since I last had a proper camera and regular internet connection, I have some catching up to do.  I also have high aspirations for doing crafty and cook-y type things that I'd like to chronicle.  Oh, and I'd like to finish my dissertation one of these days and I'm hoping that writing here will make staring at blank pages and blinking cursors slightly less intimidating.  Sort of desensitization therapy or something.

So anyway (for the zillionth time tonight), I'm back.  And maybe this time I'm even back to stay.