As Pippo and I were on our way to the store the other morning, my mom and I were on the phone, discussing her oxbow lakes post and all your great comments.
We were laughing over the futility of it all, when I drove past the house in our neighborhood that has three pretty horses in their little field, and Pippo called out,
“Look, Mama! Cows!”
See? It’s never too early to feel like there are gaping holes in your child’s education! At least I know I’m in good company.
(For the record, he does actually know the difference between cows and horses, though he’s seen more sea lions than either in real life. Isn’t that bizarre?!?)
So, here’s our new house!
We’ve been working on settling in, which means we’re going through stages of unpacking boxes, moving furniture around, transferring piles of stuff from one place to another, finally establishing some sort of order, and then undoing it all by unpacking more boxes and starting the process over again.
|Our living room after the movers did their thing. Which was, apparently, to put all the sofas and chairs back-to-back in the middle of the room and surround them with boxes.|
We’ve also been painting. One of our requirements in a house was that it not have too much work needing to be done, since we’ll just be here for a few years, and between babies and jobs figured there’s only so much we’ll be able to do in that time. And the house is in good shape. But we have some painting to do.
Most pressingly, the two smaller bedrooms were green and blue when we got here. Make that GREEN and BLUE.
I hope those little peeks of color look as shocking on your screen as they do on mine, because that’s how they looked in real life. We’re talking about walls that are practically glowing.
The green one was earmarked for Pippo, so we did that one first, getting started on it as soon as we closed on the house, before the movers came. Unfortunately, after only half a day of helping to prep and prime in a wimpy sort of pregnant girl way, I realized that I wasn’t going to be as much help in the painting department as I hoped.
(Does anyone have any tips for relieving pregnancy-related sciatica? I had a bit with Pippo towards the end, but this time around it’s hit me from the start. Turns out that unpacking- and especially painting-related movement really aggravates it. I have trouble walking by the end of the day when I take it easy; when I do too much, I’m crippled before dinnertime. While I’m sure the rest is good for me, I admit it’s a little frustrating to look around and see so much to do and be able to do so little of it. But I’d rather have a baby than a freshly painted house. And, thanks to my hardworking husband, I might just end up with both!)
Luckily, though, my husband is much stronger than I am, and we had Pippo moved into his new (less) green room (green at his insistence, actually, which saved me some hemming and hawing) by the end of the weekend.
It’s by no means done (the other half of the room is not nearly as presentable looking as this one), but at least now he has his own, relatively settled space while we make messes in the rest of the house.
|Hmm, this doesn’t look particularly blue here. We will revisit this room at another time.|
Next he tackled the guest room, which went from BLUE to a sweet, subtle blue. But I didn’t even have a chance to take an after photo before we dismantled the kitchen and piled most of its contents into there.
As for the kitchen, this is probably the biggest project we want to tackle in this house. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:
I unpacked all the kitchen boxes, found spots for everything, got it all settled, and then we decided that we did in fact want to go ahead and paint the cabinets right away. The way we figure it, if we pull the kitchen apart six months or a year from now, it will be a huge disruption to our lives. If we do it now, we sacrifice very little in the way of order, not having established any yet!
(This project was already on our list; it was just a question of when we were going to tackle it. The cabinets weren’t in great shape, but the granite counters and tile backsplash, while not necessarily exactly what I would have chosen myself, are much newer and higher quality. I think a little paint and some hardware will go a long way in here).
So we carefully took everything out again, popping our most useful dishes and supplies on bookshelves in the breakfast nook and stashing everything else in the freshly painted guest room. Off came the doors, and the day before he went back to work, the Lt got the frames sanded while Pippo and I ran some errands.
|Probably should’ve covered the cooktop, too. Luckily it wipes down easily.|
This created an enormous amount of dust — more than we anticipated, and we anticipated a lot. The kitchen is very open to the rest of the living areas, and despite our best efforts with plastic sheeting, it made quite a mess of the whole house.
Oh well. Do you know that feeling when you’re unpacking boxes, and you think to yourself, “I really should clean/organize this thoroughly now, before I put it away”? But then you don’t actually have the energy to do more than unpack the box and put the things away, and tell yourself you’ll deal with it later?
Turns out nothing inspires you to actually do it like a thin layer of dust over everything.
|Pippo and I have counted four bird nests in our yard so far.|
Since then, we’ve gone through a few more rounds of cleaning and unpacking, with the cabinets still a work in progress in the background (we’re in the priming stage now). I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
And that’s where we are, two weeks after move-in day. Little by little, we’ll get there!