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,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday November 5 : This is the month

Finally, we turned the giant fridge calendar to uncover ..... November!! It was like trumpets going off. We are now crosssing off the days and counting down (25 more sleeps) until we move in.
Quick post this morning. The latest:

Booked movers. Best movers ever - we've moved a lot, and we have used these guys multiple times. If you are moving in our area any time soon .... use Adam's Movers. Owner is a great guy who treats his employees very well. The result is a moving company that really cares.

In other news, our downstairs kitchen arrived from Direct Buy. Was on time. Of course, we hope to have an "after" shot very soon. Planning to install it this weekend, if the stars align correctly.

Also underway, the downstairs entrance stairs were built, the back entrance has now been made possible.

A little stressed about the quartz and marble counters. It seems our original (like, two months ago) request for a quote was never recieved (GRrrr.... DB!!) so we have taken the reins and are now hoping they will come through for us. Will know today. Schedule for move in is now tight, Tanner and his team of installers coming on Monday for the cabinetry, we need to template the counters, and then they need enough time to order and get them ready for installation. It's one of the last pieces of the puzzle -- counters installation currently scheduled for Nov. 26th, move in date is November 27th. No time for delays!

Stay tuned.