Archive for August, 2014

This is going to be hard

So, Thursday was a real game changer for our family. You see, as I said just a few days ago, Mollybear’s last day in her beautiful classroom was Tuesday. She was all set to move right next door to her new beautiful classroom on this coming Tuesday. We’ve known that we were headed to this new classroom since February. I admit that in February, when we got the news, I had mixed feelings. I was happy that her transition would probably be pretty easy, as she already spent many afternoons in the “new” classroom anyway, and I was happy because the Toddler House is probably the best place on Earth, but I was a little concerned because most of the other kids around her age were moving up to the NEXT classroom, which is in the school next door. I worried maybe something was wrong and the teachers were troubled by some things they weren’t telling us. I didn’t want to sound like a crazy person, so I tried to address gently. I was assured that nothing was wrong and it was based solely on age. I thought, “But so-and-so is younger than Bear….” I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and tried to just focus on the good: we’d get to stay another year in the greatest place ever.

On Thursday, we had our orientation in her new classroom. It was really lovely, which we knew. Because she was off from school, she had been at my mom’s, so my mom and Severa came along for orientation, too. Molly loved the place, as I knew she would, but I kept having the same mixed feelings. I felt so safe and secure, but part of me wondered if I should be asking for more for her, wondering if she would need more to challenge her. I got tears in my eyes a few times thinking about how wonderful a place it is. And yet. Shouldn’t she be at the school next door? Well, part way through the orientation, I got a hint. The head of the school came through and asked if there was room in Molly’s new room for So-and-So because, it turned out, he wasn’t old enough for the toddler classroom housed in the school. But who IS old enough? Spoiler alert: Molly.

That afternoon, we received a super nice phone call from the head of the school explaining that she thinks the mix-up was made back in February and that Molly was supposed to go to the school and So-and-So (a really sweet boy who has been speaking in full sentences since birth, I think) was supposed to be in the Toddler House. Sigh. We were told that we were welcome to stay in the Toddler House, but that the general thinking was that Bear would probably fare better next door. As I spoke with Aaron about it, and my friend and co-worker Chris, I knew what our choice had to be, but I also knew that I will really miss the greatest place on earth. And I’m sad that I didn’t the months to process the move. And I’m sad that I didn’t realize that, on Tuesday, I would never again get to see her biking in a circle around the playground with her pals (always in the same direction, like the Farmers’ Market). I thought we were getting another year there. Oh well. It is right next door.

On Friday, we returned to school and had our orientation in her new classroom. It’s really lovely and I think she’s going to be very happy there. After we left, though, she walked right over to the greatest place on earth and asked me to open the door for her.

Another checkmark!

I’ve been trying to figure out a rug solution for our front living room for months. I wanted something cheerful because it’s the first full room you really see when you walk in the house, and the first thing we see when we come down the stairs in the morning. I thought I wanted yellow, but I worried I was really overdoing the pops of yellow in the rest of the house and turning the house into a sunshine zone. I wanted something inexpensive for obvious reasons, but also because it’s my experience that we are a family that is somewhat abusive to our rugs. I don’t think it verges on criminal or anything, but we probably deserve a warning or two. And, with a puppy in our new future, I didn’t see us improving on that front any time soon. So, after looking at nearly every rug on Overstock, One King’s Lane, Joss & Main, Wayfair, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, CB2, Pottery Barn, etc., I was stumped. Then, I started looking at the Flor carpet tiles. I was intrigued, but did not love the pricing. Basically, if I loved a rug, it was somewhere north of $500. Most of the rugs I found that I liked, I was more tolerant of than truly into. I placed dozens of rugs in my online shopping carts over the months. I nearly pulled the trigger on several. Finally, though, it was the combo of a 15% off coupon, $4.95 flat fee shipping and a color that matched our pillows that led me to buy the carpet tiles from CB2. At $7.95 a pop, paired with the coupon, let me get an 8×10 rug for about $237. Hooray! You can imagine my excitement when I came home to the tiles last night and set out to put the rug together today! And then what happened? Oy vey. It’s not an ideal story.

First, I realized that somehow I ordered three more of the swoon color, and three fewer of the heather gray, tiles than I had intended. So, my pattern was going to be different than I had pictured. Second, the rug gripper that is sold to use with the carpet tiles is just not that great nor is it easy to use. In addition, I don’t think I ordered enough of the sticky gripper, but I didn’t see any amount recommended on CB2’s website. I’ll be ordering more.

Ok, so I started out by moving the furniture, vacuuming the floor and setting the tiles in the pattern I wanted (well, Plan B of the pattern I wanted). Then I flipped them over, cut the rug gripper and began to attach it to corners and other seams of the squares.

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Here is a close-up of this fascinating process.

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It was at about this point that I realized that I did not have enough rug gripper tape and I had to stop doling it out like it was growing on trees. As you can see from this next picture, the right side of the rug did not fare as well in Rug Gripper Wars.

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You see all that yellow? All of that is called, in the rug gripper world – of which I am now an esteemed member – ‘liner’ and it needs to be removed. And this is a process that is, for lack of a better phrase, a total pain. At this point, I solicited AO’s help. I really shouldn’t be the one having all the fun. So, we set in to remove all of that liner and that’s what we did. Even if it meant taking off the rug gripper that I had just worked so hard to put down and secure in place. That liner had to be removed! Ok, so after that step was over, we realized we were now going to have to flip this rug over. I sort of thought we should do this in the same way one removes a band-aid: fast and without over-thinking it. It turns out, though, we just aren’t nearly fast enough. AO had barely raised his end to knee-height when the rug started to fall apart. So, we essentially needed to start over. We flipped most squares individually, though a foursome stayed sweetly together, and put it together with the rug part facing up. In the end, we got this number:

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I’m pretty pleased. It was supposed to be just two stripes, but this isn’t too bad.

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I was hoping the little T-bar design would be hidden by the couch, but I don’t really mind it. I assume it will make people ask (I hope only to themselves), “What on earth was she thinking?”

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This view kinda makes a cool cross, or plus-sign design, in my opinion. My opinion that it’s cool. I think it’s probably undisputed that it is a cross or plus-sign.

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And one more view for you to marinate on. Once we get rid of the house’s inappropriate, omnipresent beige, I really think we’ll all feel better about things.

Last day (sniff)

Today’s is Bear’s last day in her Toddler One classroom. While she’s just moving next door to Toddler Two, a room she has spent a lot of time in, I nonetheless found myself pretty emotional this morning. It’s just been such a fantastic year for the three of us, and while I know we just have lots to look forward to, I sometimes catch myself feeling like I just want to hit pause, stay right where we are and snuggle in. But that’s not possible, right? And I probably wouldn’t want it to be anyway.

Instead, I’ll take some time to reflect on the last year and remember how lucky I am.

September 2013

September 2013

Sorry for the weird screen shot, but I’m working with limited resources.

August 2014

August 2014

RIP, Robin Williams

I can’t say anything meaningful on the passing of one of the world’s most vibrant talents. I’ve been devouring the tributes and the memories that have recently been written about him. Given how much of him we have seen and heard over the years, it’s obviously not shocking to learn that he was dealing with such horrible demons, but it’s nevertheless devastating to hear that he fell to such ultimate pain. I am immensely sorry for him, his family and, frankly, for all of us. Robin Williams was one-of-a-kind and, I think, that this is a brilliant story that beautifully illustrates his importance. Kudos, once again, to Dahlia Lithwick for having such a lovely (and I mean that literally) voice.

We’ll get there (but it’s going to be awhile)

I’ve come to realize that when you’ve purchased a house that has been flipped and the flipper is not someone you’ve seen on HGTV, you may be looking at a lot of unexpected work down the road. Particularly if you made your offer in, say, January when Wisconsin does not allow transparency of a lot of parts of a house that are important. Like, for just one example, the roof.

Anyway, one thing that I knew we were going to want to change was all of the window treatments. I knew it would be expensive, but I also knew (a) it’s not exactly like you ever buy a house because of the window treatments so needing to swap them is super common and (b) it wasn’t a change we needed to make immediately. Or so I thought. Having lived here now for three months, the cheapness of the craptastic blinds is driving me bonkers. Still, we simply don’t have the money to do anything about it right now. So, I wait.

On the other hand, I really couldn’t stand what had happened to Bear’s blinds for much longer.

Ew

Ew

So, I ordered a roman blackout shade from Pottery Barn Kids on Thursday and it was at our door when we came home on Friday. I was a little freaked out by the speed of the delivery, and the lack of a packing slip, but not enough to let it stop me from asking AO to sub out the abandoned house-style blind for a creamy new white one with an aqua blue stripe. And this morning, we got this:

Ta da! (Sorta)

Ta da! (Sorta)

I’m mostly happy with the wrinkly new shade, but there’s something a little odd about it. While it doesn’t fit perfectly, and allows for some light on the sides, that doesn’t really bother me because that sort of imperfection feels rather inevitable when not ordering a custom product. What’s weird to me is the little pinpricks in the fabric that seem to be spelling out some sort of constellation code. Pottery Barn doesn’t appear to allow reviews on their site – something I never noticed before – and it’s not enough of a bother to put in a call to customer service, but it’s a little surprising and irksome.

In all, I feel it’s been a rather satisfying morning.

A much nicer view

A much nicer view


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