Archive for August, 2012

Let’s try a poll

Lately, I’ve felt I’ve lost a lot of readership. And because I didn’t have that much to begin with, the loss is heartfelt. I worry that I’ve abandoned my readership in writing about topics my dear readers might not care for. Did I go into too much detail about my post-labor tribulations? Answer: yes. Have I bored all of you with my incessant talk about a new closet and bathroom? Answer: yes. Have I neglected to write anything about the coming football season? Spoiler alert: see above answers. In short, please help me get this blog back on track so I can have a more meaningful relationship with, my favorite people: people who read my blog.

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Today

Today is one of my favorite days of the year and I didn’t even know it until about an hour ago. It’s the day The Isthmus distributes the best little present a Madisonian could ask for, the Annual Manual.

There are many things I love about the Annual Manual and just one of them is arguing with the insanity that is sometimes the result of the best happy hour poll. It’s nonsensical that anyone could answer the question without responding, ‘Genna’s.’ I mean, it’s so obvious it almost feels like a trick poll.

A new thing I love about this year’s guide, though, is the surprise I found on pages 50-51. There before me lay two pages devoted to (some) clever people’s responses to how to summarize Madison in a tweet. What are the limitations on a tweet? 140 characters, I believe. Is that right, GAOOG? [She’s an expert in all things Twitter, by the way.]

Here are my three favorites -‘ Madison in a tweet ‘- in ascending order:

3. Me: Why doesn’t everyone live here? Father-in-law: I don’t know.

2. Bikers are neither cars nor pedestrians. Discuss.

1. My cab driver is smarter than your honor student.

There are quite a few I didn’t like at all and because I didn’t like them, they will not be featured on this blog. The end.

Bathroom 2.0

In reinventing our entire home (at least it felt that way), one of the priorities was redoing the downstairs bathroom. It really wasn’t that bad, but if it was going to become our main bathroom (which it was and now is) I really wanted some updates. Number one (no pun intended) necessary new item was a toilet. I swear the old one was about six thousand gallons per flush. I also wanted tile flooring (it had vinyl tile) and a new sink. Oh, and a tiled shower. Eeks! I didn’t think this was too crazy, but the contractor we had do some things for us insisted that we did not want a tiled floor or a tiled shower. We didn’t? I really thought we did. Hmm. Upon hearing this, my mom insisted we head out to Nonn’s to see whether they believed us when we said we wanted things tiled. They did. Thanks mom! They took my credit card number and the rest is history.

I took crappy before shots and my after shots aren’t great, either. It’s a small space so it’s kinda hard to photograph. I think you get the sense of the thing, though.

Old toilet and toilet paper holder

Old toilet and old toilet paper holder

New toilet

New toilet!

Toilet paper holder

Thanks to Home Depot for the awesome new (and so easy to use) toilet paper holder! Why companies make such craptastically hard-to-use models is beyond me.

I think you get a pretty decent sense of the flooring difference in the above photos, too. Vinyl versus tile. Though our contractor guy insisted “they make really beautiful vinyl these days,” I have to disagree. I’m not against vinyl as an immutable rule, but geesh: it can’t compare to tile in a bath. Plus, because the bath is teeny it seemed the one place in the house we could probably afford to tile. Alright, what’s next? Ah! The shower! There wasn’t really anything wrong with the previous shower stall, but it just wasn’t very welcoming. And as someone who already showers a lot less frequently than she should, I didn’t need yet another excuse not to rinse off. [I had never showered in the downstairs bath — that’s seven years of avoidance — until we got the new shower.]

Shower stall

The previous shower stall

One of the loves of my life: white subway tile

Shower stuff

And let’s have one more, shall we?

From the doorway

And let’s look at some sink-on-sink action:

A very loft-vibe with its exposed piping

And the pedestal sink with its pipes covered up like the Puritan it is

What else? Well, I kinda wanted to glam the space up. I suspected divorce could be in my future if I asked Aaron to paint again, so we kept the wall color (which I actually like even more now), and I just added some bling with chrome-y accessories and some cleanliness with white, ceramic toiletry necessities.

Glass shelf with what-nots

Storage

Deer head

That last piece was just added tonight (it cost me $20, but honestly I think it’s my favorite thing in the room after the tile). We’re still waiting on one light fixture, and we need a little caulk here and there, but this is pretty much our new bathroom. I really hope you like it.

A list

Just because I feel like making a note of it, the following are the home-related tasks that were done during my leave (not by us, but by other people who took our money to make our abode better):

  • Heating and air conditioning checked for the first time in the over-seven-year period I have owned the condo;
  • Several new windows and window parts were replaced (this took awhile and a couple of trips and a bizarre greeting to the GAOOG — “Namaste,” the window guy send upon their meeting);
  • Dryer maintenance (this also took multiple trips and was probably necessary because of cloth diapering, which has led to unprecedented amounts of laundry); and
  • Bamboo flooring put in on the rest of the first floor (we had put it in our bedroom in early 2011, if you recall).

Now, since Aaron has been on leave, we have accomplished even more. And, by ‘we,’ I again mean that AO & I have accomplished it by asking other, more experienced and talented people to do the work:

  • A walk-in closet was built with new shelving (ordered from Easy Closets, a company I could not recommend more) and racks and lighting;
  • A remodeled bath, which includes new floor tile, a tiled shower, a new toilet and sink, new towel bars and shelf and accessories; and
  • New carpet for the downstairs.

Essentially, we have a whole new house! Now, who wants to see pictures?

Becoming a parent

I have thought a lot about the kind of parent I want to be and the kind of parent I don’t want to be. Obviously, I don’t know if I’ll be successful in either of those pursuits, but I’m going to try. In the ongoing Mommy wars, the task of how to actually raise children to be responsible adults seems to have been pushed to the periphery, in favor of discussions on breastmilk, co-sleeping and babywearing. Thus, I was heartened to read this in Sunday’s paper. This article articulates how I strive to parent. (Well, except maybe the withholding praise part). I know I will fail often, but I intend to try my best.


August 2012
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