Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17 - All decked out for Christmas ...

For the first time last night - and for the first time in a long,long time, actually - things are beginning to feel settled. The house is in order. We are living here, mostly alone, without too much interruption from our contractor and trades friends.

It feels ..... sorted out.

We even have Christmas lights and garlands, courtesy of the husband and the five year old who helped his Dad put them up. The tree is even in its' stand, ready for the decorating party we are having later tonight.

Check. Check. Check. (Have a few more gifts and visit to Santa to squeeze in, but we are getting there ..)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 15 - Garbage Be Gone

Look at us - the honking piles of garbage, cardboard and debris are GONE. And just in time for the holidays!What a difference this makes. With the debris piles gone, the floor coverings in the remaining rooms are now also gone. We see how some of the rooms are meant to look. Big difference.

Check out the house from the street now:

And the library, it's so lovely. The picture of my unwrapped nail head chairs was too blurry to post, will revise and add it in for you all later on. We definitely need a rug, now that the floors are unveiled. Still to come, the window seats, which should be not too much longer. They will be dark brown fabric and then I plan to go a bit nuts with toss cushions.

Also accomplished: the stain on the stairs. This was a very, very stinky process (the husband and the ten-going-on-sixteen-year-old had to leave one evening, for the stink) - it but makes the whole first floor look DONE.

Check it out:

Still one more coat of verithane protector to go on. The stain was tricky because the floors are bamboo, but the stair treads aren't. We had to match as closely as we could. Good folks at Randall's made it happen as closely as it did.

And also, I would be remiss if I did not also show you all this:

Yes, despite my reservations, here is the "one remote" system, in place. Working. Easy. All that the husband said it would be. What more could a gal want?

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11 - A glimpse

Things a bit more settled now. Last night, with the gas stove finally connected, I was able to unpack the 14 kitchen boxes. Did a preliminary what goes where 'til 11 pm.

Looking great. Note there is still cardboard on the floor - quartz counter guy coming tomorrow to do final fix on the island.

Doing laundry is pure pleasure in the new laundry room. Great to have such space. We'll put stainless steel counters in place on the lower portion and then plain white laminate on the top. There is also some polka dot tile to put in a few places. I also plan a steamer to eliminate the need to ever iron again. Pictures of laundry room to come.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10th : Overview of the current state

Just to give you an idea of how we are living every day. It's been two weeks now, we have been living in the midst of all of this. It starts anywhere from 7 - 830 am ... and is almost always done by 5ish, but often goes til past six, depending on who is there. We have to be fully dressed at all times, and there is not one scrap of privacy. We also have to clear all of our personal stuff, dishes, homework, etc. out of the way so the various folks can get at what they need to get at.
When we get home the cardboard mountain is larger, debris is spread everywhere, and we have to hunt around for things that got misplaced. Two more days. We are pretty sure it will be all gone and done by Saturday.
There are issues with the counters that remain and that will be fixed on Saturday. They broke the master bathroom counter, and will be bringing another one on Saturday and the legs of the island are uneven. Sigh. Soon ... soon.
As for the husband's tantrum, today seems to be a much better day than yesterday. The fuming is over. There is still an edge, but he has come down considerably.

The glass is still a big problem. The backsplash glass STILL did not arrive 'from Montreal" .... so we cancelled it. We don't really need it, after all. We wanted the glass backsplash behind the stove to go all the way to the ceiling, it goes half way, right to the top white shelves. It's fine. It's good. We can install the hood fan and we are good to go. Gas stove got hooked up today. We can use it now.

It still scares me a little, that stove. I've never cooked with gas and it's rather large.

In other news, the glass railings for the stairs are being installed today. The glass company still managed to screw up a few of the panels, which were supposed to be made from TEMPLATES. But, most will be in place by the end of the day. Have been pretty terrified of kids - mine and others' - falling through and down the stairs. Will be very relieved to have those in.

We also have laundry now. The guys hooked up the washer and dryer, and placed them on a properly supported pedestal.

Funny story:

Last weekend, tired of more than a week of running to the rental house to do laundry - we tried to do a load in the new washing machine. The husband hooked it up. After a time, we could feel and hear this intense rattling and shaking sound from the laundry room. I was downstairs helped the ten year old with some French. It was deafening. And worrisome.

A few unanswered calls later and I dashed upstairs to find the husband braced against the wall, with both hands holding the machine in place as it rattled and shook like a small earthquake. Luckily the cycle was a short one.

So now, we have it all done up pretty and properly. How lucky am I to be able to do some major laundry tonight? Isn't my life exciting?
And if that wasn't enough, with the stove now in place, ready to use, I can even unpack the kitchen!! That's my big plan for tonight. I will be up for hours.
It's strange because I don't know yet how I will use the kitchen, where I will do my stuff, where I should put everything. It's larger than I am used to and since there are almost no uppers, it's throwing me a bit.
Must experiment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9 : Fuming

The husband is not happy. The husband is steaming. He is by all accounts an extremely good natured person. Rarely have I seen him lose it in 15 years. However, yesterday his good nature reached full capacity. He's on edge. He is ready to have all of these lovely hardworking people .... out of our house!!

We've been in for two weeks now and are ready to actually settle in. We've been patient, we knew there would be additional stuff to do. But we are ready for it to be done, signed off. We are ready for them to be gone. We're there, but we've yet had a chance to enjoy it. Christmas is coming, and we need to unpack!!

The reason? Yesterday, almost nothing got done. He got home mid-day and there was almost no change. When you are living day to day, waiting for certain things to get done so that certain other things can get done, this is not a good thing.

Oh, they've all got their reasons. The cabinet guy couldn't finish the cabinetry and panelling on the bar area because it turns out ... the quartz counters over there were never actually installed. They should have been siloconed and leveled, but are actually just sitting on top! You will recall the countertop installers woke us at 730 am last Saturday to 'install" our counters. Not installed. Nope. Just kind of ..... resting. This means Brian, our cabinet installer can't exactly install cabinetry around it. So he left for the day.

Then, the glass backsplash, on which absolutely everything around the stove depends ... just didn't come, no real explanation. Maybe they will come tomorrow, they said. They already made a mistake with the first attempt - this was a rush order and was to be installed asap. Didn't come.

The glass railings were supposed to go in. That guy didn't come either. The glass was dropped off. It's nicely wrapped and sitting there. Not in the rails, on the floor. That guy called us a 8 pm to let us know he wasn't coming. He might come on Thursday.

Some debris was hauled away. Some AV stuff happened. But not all. The house was unchanged.
Overall, we still have closet poles to be installed, window cranks to be put in, closet doors to be fixed, a house number to go on, painting to be done, drywall repairs to be made ... blah, blah, blah ...

Today will be, hopefully, a busy day. We have our gas guy coming to install our hood fans, and turn on our fireplaces. Which would be great because we are having a winter storm and our floor heat is a little .... ahem, uneven. A fireplace or two wouldn't hurt to keep the place warm.

I think the floor need to be "bled" or adjusted or something. The heated floors are warm and toasty - almost too warm and toasty - in several parts of the house. In others, it's chilly. Apparently this is normal and adjustments are required. That is supposed to be this week.

On a happier note, check out the husband's office. We did some decorating over the weekend. That's a giant "W" for .... "Husband" whose name really starts with a "W". And a giant map of the world. Both available at your friendly neighbourhood IKEA.

Also quite lovely, our bedroom wallpaper. Check. It. Out.

Love it!!
Will send happiness update later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7: Long, long overdue post and explanation/excuses

I was totally beating myself up for not posting before this, then I cut myself some slack, realizing how much has been going on over the past week or so.
For one thing, my camera conked out so my only source of photos is the husband's I-phone .. and that works very well actually, providing there is ample light. These days, we are barely home when there is any natural light, given winter's sunlight hours, so that is a bit far between, I am afraid. Without photos, a blog post isn't much interesting, so that leads to a pretty big dry spell.

Add to this the fact the youngest child had a fifth birthday and there is that thing called Christmas that keeps creeping up, plus all these kind folks who are popping in to visit ... really not much time for picture taking or blogging. After all, this is my current kitchen. We are living out of the downstairs kitchen, which is fine, I have only the bare minimum stuff unpacked, the rest is here. This was only ever going to be for three days or so, we are now going on ten. It's fine, really. We are very well set up down there.

We also didn't have Internet for about five days - or sporadic Internet as things got sorted out. The joys of moving.

And, as I often say to the the husband and kids "I am only one woman" and this is true of blogging, I guess.

Then there are still all these people in our house all the time, trying to finish it for us. The place is a beehive. The husband and I are either here constantly answering questions etc. or at work, letting things unfold. The husband normally works from home, rarely going to his office. But I think he's been there every day this week - it's just been too distracting staying here.

But here we are back on line. In my previous post, you'll see where I left us. As you will recall, it was very early the day after we moved in - a week and a bit ago. I wrote the post and only had to post pictures of the couches. That took until today!

Since then, things have been unfolding in our home-that-is-a-construction-zone .... everyday we get closer to done. Still not at done, but we get closer. Each day the house feels more and more like it will "when it's done".

I do change management in my real job, communications around change. We call the end result of a change the "desired state" .... So, the desired state in in sight. We have a few days to go til we get there. We are starting to experience the desired state.

We got 3/4 of our kitchen and bathroom counters last Saturday (at 730 am!!) same day as we hosted a birthday party for ten kids as well as two games of the oldest's basketball tournament, which the husband coaches, plus a dance recital dress rehearsal, the recital and a trip of two to Ikea and Home Depot....)

The counters look like this. The gap is where the end pieces will go, the island will end up looking like it's wrapped in the brown quartz. We have a three level island. There is different quartz on the smaller part and that's butcher block joining the two together. The end pieces come Wednesday so I'll take a picture of the completed island once that's done.

The kitchen is really coming together. Note: Poinsettias!! My only current Christmas decoration.

The glass back splash arrived and then wasn't right, so half of it went up. The other half was wrong and had to be re-done. Supposed to be in tomorrow. Then there is the stove fan. The gas stove can't be connected until there is a fan. The fan can't be installed until there is glass. I think the glass needed the quartz ledge to be installed. Can't recall exactly, I am sure SOMEONE knows how this is supposed to unfold. I believe the glass comes tomorrow, as does the glass for the railings.

As well, all week, our trusty audio visual team has been installing our audio, sound, lighting, security and other components which are all connected. It's pretty cool actually, we have these "pads" in the house that we use to turn on our music/itunes/radio/phone/security/temperature etc. I hope I will be able to make them work. The lighting past is really cool, actually. We can select these lighting "scenes" that are pre-programmed. Needless to say we are having a few laughs developing the "scenes" ...

Key pads look like this:

And then there are the remotes. The husband has promised that this will all be "wireless" - and that everything will be combined into one easy to use remote control and that it will not be ridiculous.

Well, readers, judge for yourself. Here is the remote collection currently in the TV room. As if I can even turn anything on. I hear promises of this changing very soon ... we'll see. these are required for the television, blue ray players, (there are two), cable, sound system and some other stuff. I have no idea.

Also, our TV in the main room - in the planning center -- is a TV/computer screen. It switches back and forth between both, which is actually pretty cool. It's here:

This is all still not done, it's quite a feat. I think they should wrap up this week.

I have been unpacking areas as they are unfinished. So far, here is what the library looks like:

Need more books. When I see the new shelves, I realize how many books we lost. We had an equivalent library shelf in our old house and it was packed with books. In time, we'll get there again, I am sure.

Those are our outdoor porch chairs. We had to remove them from the porch to give the exterior finishing guys space to do their cutting. The new ones arrives from Toronto last week, but we haven't' unwrapped them yet. Best to keep them protected.

As you may have guessed, the house is still crawling with people every day - electricians finishing, plumbers installing as things progress. We are all here, hanging out all day together. Yesterday was my day off and I couldn't find a place to sit and do some online stuff .... I left to run errands.

For a solid week, we brushed our teeth in the bathtub of the kids bathroom - which was our only working bathroom for five or six days. We now have toilets everywhere, but are awaiting the rest of our counters for the rest of our sinks and faucets. The counters - these ones marble - come Wednesday. Hopefully the sinks and taps can be connected the next day.

The exterior is so close to being finished, but our trusty installers had a mishap - the son of the installer, fell off a ladder and injured his elbow. He will be off for quite a while with surgery and a cast. Although I am dying to get it done, the front cleaned up and my Christmas lights installed, I completely understand and wish him a speedy recovery.

Speaking of cleaning, can I tell you the worst part of all of this? THE MESS! There is construction debris everywhere in our yard, the back is especially bad. It's not safe for the kids to go out. Snow is just starting to fall in the next few days so I threw a fit and made sure a bin and some strong backs are going to be taking care of this asap. We can't have that debris sitting in the yard over the winter. Can't. So, tomorrow is the day for that.

Debris (covered in snow)

Can I also say that the cardboard is endless? We are buying and unwrapping so much, it has become a mountain. The boxes and packaging material. The garage is full, we are recycling our little butts off ... and still, there is cardboard. Cardboard:

Followers, I must go. Will report back to you all very soon, and much more frequently. Also will arrange a guest post from the husband so he can fill in the details behind the electronic component of this project, for I know nothing.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28th - Good Night's Sleep

Note: Wrote this post the day after our move at some ungodly hour the Sunday morning morning. Didn't have the photos, so am just adding them now.
We're here. The bed is here. The mattresses are here. The couches are here. Waited for them all day, those couches. Was quite worried about them - given I'd essentially ordered them from a catalogue (Direct Buy). Wasn't sure how the colour, size, scale, and placement would all come together. They didn't arrive until very late yesterday, after four. We'd all but given up on them.

See for your self, here is orange one:

Our new bed is pretty great too. Slept like a baby in it last night. Slept WITH a baby last night, too. The four year-old, soon to be five year-old is just not sure about the new digs. LOVES his room, but not sure about it all, I think. We let him stay with us for one night .... give him some time to feel more comfortable.

New bed:

No window coverings on bedroom windows - THAT feels strange. Must order blinds immediately.

Speaking of, the kids went bananas yesterday when they got to see the house for the first time. It was like Christmas. We had the video camera going, Will try to see if I can post video later. They were running from room to room, checking it out. We hadn't really shown them around for a few weeks, so it was a big surprise.

Much more to report, will do in dribs and drabs over the next four days. We are still very much in a state of flux in terms of finishing things. Like, mainly we have no kitchen upstairs, we are using the one downstairs (which we had to clean out and "reveal" last night). Today's plan is to unpack what we need down there so we can function for a week or so.


Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27th - Moving Day!!!! It's here!!!!

It's moving day ..... I am plowing ahead, with my puffy eyes.
It's all pure adreneline now...

No time to write much. Movers on their way. Still need to pack a few boxes.

A glimpse of the kids rooms.

Pictures speak louder than words. Here you go. Our TV room (the room that will contain the orange couch. Stay tuned for a pic of that when it arrives...). Below that is the guest room, with the giant window.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 27th: Very, very early on moving day

Forgive errors for this post. Forgive no pictures.
It's late, like, 2 am. Just got back from a gruelling night. Heading to bed, am exhausted, but first must wind down a bit with a post. It went something like this:
pack entire kitchen (total of 16 boxes), drink one glass of white wine provided by Monique, cart two huge carloads of stuff (mostly fun new stuff) to new house, assess situation. The husband and I agree that there is no possible way we can move our brand new stuff and our children into the complete and utter mess that is our new home.
We pace and think a bit, then, slightly overwhelmed by the challenge of cleaning a 2900 sq ft. construction site, we start small. One room. The guest room. Empty so doesn't take too long. We have to pull up the floor coverings, sweep, vacuum, scrape bits and then spray some bamboo cleaning stuff and give it a damp mopping.
One room.
Then we do the same to the husband's office and then both kids' rooms .. while there we assemble the rooms, place the lamps and rugs etc. and the husband even assembles the remaining Ikea piece - a fold out futon chair thing for under the ten year old's loft bed (for sleepovers, of course). Both rooms are looking fab, hope the kids like them. We have a moving tradition of having their rooms completely done when they get home from school on moving day. It's exciting and they love it. Tomorrow I'll unpack their rooms first. ... fun for me, too.

Then, we move to our masterbedroom and bathroom and closet. Same thing, only we have to move tons of construction gear, extra tile, extra trim, pices of closet (extra I hope) wood, paint cans etc. out. Not fun.
Then we pull up the floor protection and do the drill. Room is huge, and it takes forever. It's now after one am at this point. I am starting to get that very, deep achey feeling in my body that I used to get only after a ten hour shift waitressing in university days. We have to assemble the bed. It arrived and we need to prepare it for the mattresses. Room is really big, even with the king size bed in. I had no idea. Room is looking better, though. Like a real bedroom.
The husband and I assemble the bed. I am feeling nauseous and getting shaky. It's almost one thirty now ... I have to go home. Big, big day tomorrow. Movers arrive at storage locker at 830 and it's in the middle of the suburbs somewhere ...

i know the husband will stay up all night, or close to it. We still need to clean out the TV room, ready for the orange sectional (which I am terrified is going to be hideous). He may even straighten out the garage and do the mudroom and kids bathroom ... If I know him well, he'll crash for two hours or so on the newly put together Ikea futon bed/chair .....

He does these things. It's for our family. That's how he rolls.

Morning will tell. Now for sleep.


November 26th - A very long evening methinks

Update: So, it's the end of the day now. I haven't been over there since noon - the husband tells me he thinks things are in good shape. Here's the inside of the ten year old's closet. Notice that Tanner painted the backs of them - same colour as the walls. He couldn't face the span of white - it looks great and I am so glad he is a perfectionist! She is going to love it.

For now, I am facing packing. Packing the kitchen and packing all the coats and shoes and hats and stuff. After packing, the husband and I are heading over to the new house to pull up the floor protectors (in places) and do a quick vacuum and dust - to ready the place for the furniture.

The bed arrived earlier this afternoon, apparently. The wallpaper - which was supposed to be up by now - didn't. So, we have a giant white wall behind our bed, where the funky wallpaper was supposed to go.

So we don't have wall paper, but we do have: An almost finished desk area (pic actually from Wednesday .. it's all done now) to give you an idea of what this is like.
It's right beside the kitchen in the open room, I call it "command central" or we call it the "planning centre. Whatever it's called, it's pretty nice. We'll keep the family computer there, craft stuff, recipe books, family files .... the stuff. All the stuff that I like to tuck away, but always creeps up. This time I am taming that beast! Look at all that storage. We'll have two chairs there and there's room for our work laptops, in the event we want to do some work there. There are to be no cords in our planning centre - everything is wireless, so I am told. My pet peeve, tangly wires and cords everywhere. The drawers on the left will hold the printer and other things, to get them out of the way. I need art above it. No idea what is going there.

Dinner almost done. Monique on her way. Gotta go.


Nov. 26 - 1 pm - 24 hours to go - Are We Crazy?

Yes, 24 hours. You read that right. Tomorrow. Cabinetry is in. Closets are in and assembled.

Check out the master bedroom closet. See the purse holder under the window? I'm not sure I have purses nice enough for that purse holder... most of mine are from Winners! Can't wait to have a great closet again - we had a huge walk in two houses ago, last house was small, but nicely organized. This one is nicely organized, walk-in, and has a window! I may never leave that closet.

So the kitchen is in and assembled, and appliances supposed to be moved into place this afternoon. ONE MORE toilet will be installed tomorrow - so that's two, more than enough ... Won't really have any working sinks, except for downstairs - where we have a kitchen sink and bathroom sink. Need the counters for the sinks. All in good time ...
There is still the glass back splash, and the hood fan, that all have to come together sometime soon - not before we move in, I think, though.

Working from home today, so just stopped by to bring over some pizza for the crews working flat out to help us get done by tomorrow. Will do another post later today or this evening.

My wonderful friend Monique is coming by to help pack the kitchen. That's pretty much all that's left.

We may not have counters, but we DO have a really, really nice dining room light. It's made of shells and its from the Philippines. You may remember an earlier picture, it looks like a flower.

I think it's really beautiful, adds tons of texture to the room. Please note the husband in full business suit, helping install when he stopped by at lunch:

While he was there, he might as well help Mark, our project manager, install the microwave:

Did I tell about the microwave? It's a drawer. The door pulls out instead of swinging open. We installed in in our island, supposed to be very convenient. I think it will feel weird.

Right now - it's kind of bedlam over there. It's pretty hard to imagine us actually delivering furniture there tomorrow ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 22 - I know, I know ... I haven't been posting ...

Things HAVE been a bit crazy, but really, not too many pictures to show you over the past week. Things are sort of the same - must more cabinetry installation. Really, we've been shopping. And shopping.

Last weekend was shopping crunch time - we needed hooks and towel racks and baskets and pulls and light bulbs and door handles and rugs and throw pillows and shower curtains and plate racks and organizers and and and ...

Here we are at Home Depot (photo courtesy of the ten year old who stole her dad's IPhone ...)

Here is the four year old, yukking it up at Home Depot. Great hat, huh?

Here's the four year old, again, "shopping"for TVs and stuff with his dad. Bored. That's his new bath duck. He told the lady at the store his "old duck burned down". That's a nice one to try to explain to strangers in mere seconds. Always a bit embarrassing to talk about.
I can't even begin to explain what happened at the TV store - the husband is in charge of this area. There's a "system" - I think I will have to have him explain. Perhaps a guest blog?? Husband - you up to it??

So where are we?
We move in this Friday - we will be missing a few things, counters mainly. They are scheduled for the 1st of Dec - three days later. We decided we could live with this, although it was touch and go for a while.
I long wanted our move in day to be like Ty Pennington's Extreme Home Makeover - with a "Move. That. Truck." thing and the entire house all set up.
See, the setting up is my favourite part. It really appeals to my inner type A, anal side. I love sorting and organizing.
The husband and I have moved a few times over the years. We are rather good at it by now. So, I thought we could do it really smoothly. Especially since we aren't moving that much from our rental home. In essence, this move is actually a series of deliveries, mostly new stuff.
I've been sorting through our stuff in the rental, and I swear the first few months after the fire are such a blur, I can hardly remember which stuff is ours and which was given and which belongs to our landlord. I've decided to just move what we are taking first - clothing, some furniture, outdoor stuff, sports equipment and kitchen and bathroom stuff - and then deal with the rest after. We are keeping the house for a while so it's no real hurry.
So for a time, we debated postponing by a week so that everything would be perfectly ready for us. However, it's almost as logistically inconvenient to re-schedule an entire move as it is to live in some disarray for a few days - so we opted to proceed. And also, I was sure if we postponed we'd also just be post poning the finishing as well. So, off we go.
Four more sleeps.
Here is the exterior as of this morning. Looks great - don't think they'll be all done by Friday, but close enough. They will finish up early next week.

And here are the newly installed railings - all polished and nice. The glass gets installed sometime - not sure when exactly.

Cabinetry is the big thing - lots of pressure to get them done by end of day Thursday. We'll see how it goes - it's a big week for them.
We still have tile and grout in places - have spent the past few days chasing down this subway tile bullnose tile. Went to no less than 20 stores, finally got it at one of the Home Depots. We also had the wrong tile delivered - for the powder room - and we had to wait for it to come in again.
Tiles will finish up in a few days. There's on going toilet installation and plumbing stuff, plus fireplaces, and other various infrastructure stuff. Always ongoing painting and touch ups.
More pictures tomorrow. Will have to use the husband's phone, mine takes terrible, foggy pictures.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16 - More progress

As promised, here is a pic of our stair railings. These are actually just the "rough" version of them. They install them loosely, get them perfect, then take them down and grind down the bumps where the attachments are visible, then buff and powder coat them. They bring them back and do a permanent installation.
They will be a stainless steel colour, much like the garage door. We will also be putting tempered glass panels in. It's extraordinarily meticulous work. We love the result. Our railing company is called Dunbar Railings:

We are hoping to get them to do our exterior railings as well.

Below is a pic of the front landscaping - including new driveway. There is still some slab work to be completed to match up with landscaped side. Nice to see some green there finally - with the boxwood border. Not sure what we'll do inside these, that is a spring decision.

November 15 - Is Calm Around the Corner?

Check out the finished landscaping on one side ... the fence is even back up. Looks so clean and nice. Have photos of the front to come tomorrow, we have plants! Stay tuned.

On the left, we have the new back deck stairs and - very faintly - the new tree we planted. Not as large as the big on at the back, but just as pretty.

So, sadly, I am writing this at 3 am, looking at a stack of cardboard boxes and realizing .... crap, I've got to MOVE. Moving. Again. Sigh.
We are big movers - the husband and I. Those who know us well, already know this. We are a bit nomadic that way, hard to keep our attention for long. We love new experiences and get excited at the promise of new surroundings on a regular basis. In 15 years of marriage and co-habitation we have lived in two apartments and six houses - if you include the rental we are now in waiting to get "back" to our actual - and presumably - forever address. Never say never, of course, but the new house stands a very good chance of gaining the acclaimed "forever" house label.

Did I show you the painted hot tub? Much better don't you think? We had a 16 degree day last Sunday and painted away on our sunny deck.

So back to 3:30 am musings.

The more I walk around the new space, the more I am getting a feel for what it will be like to live there. Each home has a certain personality or aura about it. This one is exuding a sense of calm. Maybe it's the colours and airy spaces. Maybe it's the imagined state of life beyond "this" - this constant state of flux - all the decision making, scheduling, updating, list-making, shopping, picking and hunting, arranging, delivering and physical labour (more the husband than me) and just mostly a complete and utter lack of time ....

We are normally busy people, let's be clear. Even without a new home build, we aren't exactly the sit around in our jammies kind of people (but man, does that sound nice right now ...!) and, I expect, never will be. But the husband and I joke about the post-move state and how we have totally exaggerated life beyond the move. "In the new house ...." precedes every sentence. We will have time again, we will read again, we will entertain again, we will exercise again, we will be able to resume some of the activities we dropped, the kids will be happier, the dog better behaved ..... a sense of calm will prevail.
Like the ten going on sixteen year-old says:

Any sense of calm has left me completely for now, however. It IS 3:30 am after all. The boxes are over there and it is kind of hitting me that I have to fill them up with our stuff. And then unpack them. The hodge podge of this move will be strange. Most of the stuff in our rental was generously donated to us and we are going to do our best to see that this stuff finds a good and worthy home. The rest -mostly clothes, books, kitchen stuff, toys, sports equipment and linens etc. - will have to be packed and moved. Our current living room looks like a warehouse - chairs and boxes, lamps and rugs. There are just too many deliveries to coordinate -we still have to get those chairs from Toronto. I have just under two weeks to do it, and I have started to fill about ten boxes so far ... but man, oh man, it's seeming like a crushing task.

To cheer myself, here are some snaps of the finished downstairs bathroom, the one in the nanny/nana/guest suite. The husband installed on Saturday and I really love the cabinet and mirror. Even better, it was a huge sale item.

Meanwhile, this week-end the work continued. Check out the tile wall in the dining room the husband completed on Saturday. Love it, looks great and really adds warmth to the space. Which is weird, because it's made of stone.

Must go to sleep now. Tomorrow will have pics of the railings that got temporarily installed over the weekend. And a drive way is coming tomorrow morning. And more cabinetry. And an update on blinds. Will the fun never end?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11 - Hive of Activity

As my ten-going-on-sixteen year old daughter would say: "O.M.G. - it's totally awesome."

The kitchen is going in - started this week and now is actually there, in place. As we speak they are drilling, measuring, installing. Squeeeee.
Here (left) is what it looked like last night all lined up:

And here is what it takes to put it all in - a virtual hive of activity at the house today:

And as my four year old would say "it's super nice". He says "super" for everything. He's super hungry, he super likes it, he's super tired. It is, though. I am thrilled beyond my wildest dreams at how it is coming together. I still can't believe it's ours and we will get to live there. Feels very, very strange.
I am getting super excited, though.

Our one glitch is the counters - we are installing quartz and marble counters in various places all over the house, all the bathrooms, three different places in the kitchen - the kitchen island actually has three levels with three different kinds of counters - two colour of quartz and butcher block. We also have stainless steel counters on either side of the stove area (you can see them under wraps in the first picture).

The large past of the island has quartz "wrapped" around the whole thing, so it will look like the island legs are made of quartz. It's very nice, but kind of complex. The installers ( have to template everything and then will take a few weeks to measure, cut and get it ready to install.
We are really hoping it takes closer to two weeks, to coincide with our move in date on the 27th. Three weeks puts us living there with no counters for a week - not the end of the world, but there are counters everywhere ... not just the kitchen. The counter guy said it would only take a half day to install them all ...... it's just getting it started. All the bases will be in by Friday, so they can come and template, then go and do their thing. Haven't heard from them yet, fingers crossed. Every day counts.
In other news, our landscaping is underway. Check out our front walkway:

And our side walkway (narrow, huh?) our foreman, Rick is building the stairs - this entrance is to our mudroom and is the one we will use day to day. Front one is just for fancy people.

Driveways go in on Friday. Ours and our neighbours. Imagine, we will have a driveway to call our own in a few days. Exciting.

Meanwhile Roger and his son continue working on our exterior. They took a break for a few days, Roger wasn't feeling 100%, but they are back today. We think their work is excellent and love having them on site every day. Really great, talented and hard working guys. Here is the cedar they put on the ceiling and sides of the covered deck:

Much more to come today - am too busy for words. Will have pictures of the downstairs (installed) kitchen. The husband worked on it all weekend and it's in!
More later,