Phew, I can't believe a month has passed since I last updated. I'm not sure where it all went, except that there was the week (which I should have photographed) in which our kitchen AND our garage were all in my office, and then I was gone at Fashion Week for nine days doing our usual coverage. That really only accounts for half of my absence, though, so maybe the other part is just the emotional fortitude required to empty the kitchen cabinets into my office and then clean dirt and cobwebs off the baby gates that were in storage and then use them to keep two very confused beans out of the kitchen (except one of the barriers doesn't quite stay put, so there was the added, sexy element of danger, because Liam is always two seconds away from throwing himself through it and landing on the floor).
A few short updates:
1) The Kitchen. As with most projects from just about every contractor on the face of this planet, it sits at about 90 percent complete, and hasn't been touched in two weeks. He'll come back tomorrow to even out the tile around the range and then replace the three tiles that were cut too far. No, wait, first, they're still making the new cabinet doors, but they should be finished today. Wait, they just need to be sanded and varnished, but that ought to be done today. Wait, they're still ordering the wood to match the detail that goes around our cabinet doors, but that's due in today. You get the idea.
I still love our contractor, though, and I'd recommend him, because the 90 percent of what he's gotten done, we're really happy with, and that's important. Having the entire contents of our cabinets in my office was... interesting. We packed three huge Rubbermaid bins full of things, then stacked other things randomly. The microwave and toaster oven were still in play, off to the side, but we couldn't cook anything any other way for about five days. Which really isn't so bad -- like, we blocked off the kitchen on a Wednesday, or whatever, so Tom could remove the cabinet doors, mark them, and then sand them. Then on Monday, they came in and cut out the stovetop and the cabinet underneath, and removed the oven and dead microwave. Tuesday and Wednesday, Tom sanded the kitchen and began varnishing. Thursday, he finished the staining and the coats of lacquer, and on Friday the doors that still exist were reattached (we're missing the ones being replaced or added), and then that evening everybody pitched in to install our appliances. So when we had their attention, MAN, did we have it.
We went with a dark stain on the cabinets, and that's worked out nicely with the existing grain in the wood, and we LOVE the pantry. Seriously, this pantry is my new obsession. Sometimes I get things out of it just so I can put them away again. Perhaps if I put a pantry in my bedroom, I would put away my clothes. We are also enamored of the new range, although one negative of the pro-style gas range is its lack of electric temperature gauge, and a dial that only labels every 50 degrees, with another mark on the 25/75s, but the dial is big enough that you can't always tell where exactly it is set. I have to use, gasp, an oven thermometer. This is deeply old-school, and also, really not that hard. But it requires some getting used to after having an oven beep at me when it's hot enough. Still, there is an absurd sense of accomplishment when I get the temperature right and something pops out cooked to perfection because I have successfully managed the oven temperature. It's feels like solving a physics word problem: I kind of can't believe I did it, and yet also, realistically, it was not that hard and why did I think it would be?
There are some pics, but I'd rather wait and share a proper before-and-after, at this point.
2) The Man Cave. This also sits at 90 percent finished. Because on day two of epoxying the floor, our neighbors along the back fence decided to empty their giant 4-foot-deep, 12-foot-long temporary pool into their yard, and the leak we thought we'd fixed in our garage turned out not to be. So water flooded the back of our garage, staining and damaging the epoxy, because the clear coat hadn't gone down yet. We had Pat and his guys go around to the other house and fix the leak issues from behind our garage, but the cement wasn't drying in the drainage trench they cut, because that house's yard doesn't even get enough natural light to grow proper grass. So we waited and waited for it to try, and somewhere in there, that's when we got lost to the morass of other projects and one of Pat's employees' sons is having kidney trouble and yada yada yada that aspect of it is actually quite terrible, and makes me so sad. But my point is, in this arena, It's Always Something. And we knew that going in, but at the same time, that still doesn't explain why our garage door hasn't come in yet.
3) Dylan doesn't hate me anymore. Phew! Within a couple days of Kevin going back to work, Dylan got comfortable with me again, so clearly this was all Kevin's fault and he was whispering rude anti-mother nothings into my child's ear the whole time he was on hiatus. Also, I think Dylan just started seeing more of me again and realized I love him and am there for him. He still really worships Kevin, and clings to Maria a bit during the day, but on the latter front it's not as much and sometimes he'll even reach for me; on the former, it's rather adorable, and not in a way that makes me feel like the thought of me horrifies him. Like, I love seeing my little guy be so enamored of my big guy. Daddy is the hero, and that's just fine. Mommy is the lousy songwriter who just sang a whole five-minute ballad about her having a lettuce face (long story) just to keep Dylan from squirming off the changing table. Hey, we parents do whatever we can, however we can. And if that means holding up a stuffed piece of lettuce from a Melissa & Doug picnic basket in front of my mouth and then intoning a lengthy opus about Why Does Mommy Have A Lettuce Face But I Don't, well, so be it. Hey, it got laughs. I might be a disaster in front of other adults, but on the changing table with sub-two-year olds? I KILL.