Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beige, With a Hint of Bite Me

I am so done with this house renovation. Seriously.

We are approximately five weeks away from moving day. I am contemplating spending this remaining time in a state of perpetual drunkenness. But first I have to confirm a few things. Namely, will being drunk exempt me from having to look at a single other sample of tile? How about paint samples? If I promise to show up completely reeking of hard liquor, will I be allowed to just sit in the car outside the showroom?

At this point, actually, the majority of the picking out has been done. As of this morning, in fact. Thanks to Boyfriend and Contractor - who took it upon themselves to make Trip Number Three to stand outside in the beating hot sun and stare at giant slabs of rock with the purpose of selecting just the right slabs from which to carve bathroom countertops - I no longer need to fear that we will be taking turns brushing our teeth outside with the garden hose. Trip Number Two should have gotten the job done. I know, because I was involved in Trip Number Two. As was the paid consultant with whom we spent it. Said consultant paraded chunk after chunk of rock in front of us at the counter in her showroom until we all agreed that rock # 18 and rock #35 were absolutely perfect. Sadly, said consultant did not confirm that pieces of rocks #18 and #35 were actually available in inventory. She was smart enough to know that the chunks of rock retrieved by Boyfriend during Trip Number One were all wrong, but apparently was not smart enough to know that the actual available inventory could be found online. Hence, Trip Number Three.

Now the key will be for the vanities to show up on time to be installed so that the Slab of Rock People can take the proper measurements for cutting the chosen slabs of rock. Of course, even if they show up on time, it will be important that Contractor first get the staircase leading to the second floor rebuilt. Because the last time I stopped by? No staircase. Curious.

For the record, our original plans called for new paint. That's all. Okay, maybe take out some old carpets and sand the floors. But primarily it was paint. How hard is paint? I'll tell you how hard. Somewhere around three hundred dollars worth of paint samples, generously swabbed on every available wall, only to find that most things called "gray" are actually purple. And oh! Sometimes they change the names of the paints without telling you! And green? Is really, really hard to get right. The Tornadoes both want green bedrooms, preferably lime green, but not the SAME lime green. You can say eww, it's all right.

I believe that trying to solve the lime green crisis is how we ultimately ended up with the paid consultant. She claimed finality, and an end to the color swabs, and the clouds parted and the cherubim sang. Then she arrived for the first consultation, and she was armed. With questions. About bedding and window treatments and furniture and WHERE IS THE DAMN TYLENOL? This, on top of the fact that, as I mentioned, the countertop samples were all wrong, led us to spend two hours last Sunday in her showroom seeking to once and for freaking all get these colors picked and be done with it. So we did. W picked beige. Oh sorry, I mean sandstone. And cabot something or other. I think. Something about a field, or a garden, whatever. Beige. And for Fifth Grader, something called Stem Green which is a lot like lime green but not disgustingly neon. For Seventh Grader, Mermaid Green. Mermaid Green is actually blue. It's distinctly different from Stem Green. Because it's blue. And Seventh Grader hates it. She cried giant, colorless tears.

So sometime next week, Seventh Grader and I are going to see the consultant together. She seems to have moved on from lime green and would now like electric blue. So this should only take three or four more trips.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why I Might Run Away

I made a decision this year to scale back on the amount of summer camp to which I subjected the Tornadoes. And, subsequently, to which I subjected my wallet. So it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. Last summer, as I was only a few months into the New Job, I pretty much drove them straight from the last day of school to a 10 week succession of adventure camps, acting camps, gymnastics camps, run-around-in-a-bathing-suit-all-day-and-learn-slightly-crude-limericks-from-other-kids June it all sounded like fun, but by mid-July it dawned on all of us that we had not been free of a regimented schedule in a full year. And it was worse for them, I thought, because they were still being told at what time they could eat their lunches or go to the bathroom. By the middle of August, when all the camps rolled up their sign-in tables and sent their counselors back to college, we were completely fatigued. We had exactly nine days of actual summer vacation left. And we still had to go school shopping.

So this year, after much contemplation, I decided to cut the camp schedule down to about half. Gymnastics came first, which means one week away and two weeks locally. I did a little "Tornadoes will be away, Boyfriend and I will play" dance. And then I offered my ladies a variety of brochures describing a plethora of experiential opportunities for their other-activity-selecting pleasure. Ultimately, we ended up with a few weeks apiece of art camp. Oh, and Fifth Grader chose a week of bird-watching at the local Audubon Society, but I suspect that was mostly for the opportunity to learn new songs on the bus trips.

Things were looking up. The girls were going to get some actual downtime in between camp weeks. I would be able to hoard a bunch of days off for when The Move takes place, possibly work from home for part of the summer, and feel like a competent mother AND a responsible professional all at once. Plus, that week they would be going away for gymnastics? Pure gold. They get to have a weeklong sleepover with their friends while training intensively at their beloved sport. I get actual private time to spend with Boyfriend. Possibly with dinners at actual restaurants. Or not. Whatever. No kids! And we don't have to get on a plane and go far, far away! Which, by the way, is so not in the cards for us this summer. Because of The Move.

Well that was all fine and dandy until Seventh Grader projectiled herself over the uneven bars in May and landed all wonky on her arm. Many weeks of physical therapy and orthopedic evaluations later, guess what? No gymnastics for you, little girl. Not away, not locally, not on a house, not with a mouse.

Of course this upset her at first. But she seemed to settle into the idea that she could now potentially have absolutely no reason to leave the house - or maybe even sit upright - for the majority of the summer. She has essentially assumed the form of a cooked noodle.

Fifth Grader is upstairs right now, packing. She leaves for Away Week tomorrow afternoon. Without her sister. Naturally, she is overjoyed. Seventh Grader is in the family room right now, with a guest Tornado. They were up until 3 a.m. They just woke up and they are already bored. They want me to take them swimming.

There are eight weeks of summer left.