Friday, April 22, 2011

Poison Control and Sleet in April

If you didn't read my Motivation post from a few days ago, you should start there, because that will make all the rest of this make sense.  Although, if you really want to know what's going on, I recommend just starting at the beginning of the whole blog.  Yeah, that's really the best course of action.  Trust me!

For the last couple of days I've been carrying out many of my tried and true procrastination tactics, including making a to-do list filled with things that I had already done..

and tweeting about how I was doing so:
Also yesterday I: 1) googled "how to do Charleston"  2) tried to teach my three year old son to do the Charleston  3) attempted to do the Charleston to the melodious tune of the Black Eyed Peas' "Good Night" while holding a one year old on my hip and 4) turned the play room into a miniature bowling alley.  True story.

But then I started thinking that perhaps I was being LAZY, which is totally a four-letter word in this house.  Honestly, it's probably a four-letter word in your house too.  If it's not, you might be spelling it wrong.  So I says "What the aych ee double hockey sticks is my problem?  I'm just gonna quit my stalling and DO something.  Tomorrow."  Well, tomorrow is today and I am here to tell you all about how I tried to just DO something (finish removing the old floor) and why I am apparently incapable of just DOING something without tripping a breaker and, unrelated, needing to call the Poison Control hotline.

The hallway in our house (you know, a hallway.  Like, a long narrow swath of floor with doors on either side?  I know your new fangled houses with their "open floor plans" and their "fully functional electrical systems" would never dream of having something as crusty and outdated as a hallway, but maybe just try and imagine such a thing, okay?) was covered in the same yellow and dirt-colored textured vinyl  that we saw in the kitchen and in the entryway.  For weeks I've been making slow-and-not-at-all-steady progress on pulling it up and replacing it with our uber-fancy-you-only-wish-you-could-be-so-highbrow adhesive linoleum tiles (like gigantic grey stickers.  good times!).  As of this morning, the project was stalled at this:
I don't know if you can really tell what's going on here, but that's the new floor in the foreground (sans base boards. They're piled up in the living room.  But don't worry...we still have eight days!) followed by a space of empty sub floor and then the old floor on the second half of the hallway.  Piece of cake, right?  Just pull up the rest of it, slap down the stickers, and voila!  Ready for house guests.  And that was very much my plan today.  In fact, I thought that I would finish it so fast that I would have ample time to move on to painting the trim around the windows!  Because I live in some kind of parallel dimension where the laws of time, physics, and toddlers are the complete opposite of what the standard human being who resides on the planet Earth has become accustomed to!  I'm really fortunate, it's true.

But then, upon closer inspection, I am reminded that there is some mighty fine craftsmanship going on at the doorway to the bathroom that will need to be addressed:
as well as a little issue with the floor being somehow installed (only partially, hallelujah) underneath the carpeting of the babies' room (also note the frayed edge of the carpet begging us to hurry up and get that little metal strip back on before it disintegrates into an oblivion):
And speaking of the base boards, have I mentioned that the previous owners slapped this floor on right over the old floor without removing any of the trim?  Yeah, they just kinda smashed it all up on there, real fancy-like. 
Trying to take up the floor without damaging the base boards is...challenging, but taking the base boards off first is physically impossible.  So.  Moral of the story: they are evil.  Or were evil.  They may have changed their lazy house-ruinin' ways since then.  You know, once they ran out of money for all the drugs they must have been taking back when they did all this superdy-duper awesome and smart stuff.

So there I am, outside the babies room, still in my pajamas and slippers (do I ever wear anything else in my stories to you?  Not so far.), crowbar in hand, prying up the floor while the baby walks on it (you see how I don't abide by the laws of physics?) and I think I'm making all kinds of progress when I go out the back door to dispose of the first hunk of old floor and realize that it is sleeting.  It is SLEETING in APRIL and I am in the out-of-doors clad in the attire of a person who might be snuggled in their cozy bed, indoors, where it is not sleeting.  So ask me if I care that the wind blew that hunk of nastiness right into the recycling bin.  Go ahead and ask me...I DARE YOU!
Ahem...sorry.  Back to the floor.  I then discover this lovely space between two pieces of the sub-floor which will have to be patched and made level before I can continue with the floorin' fun:

So then I get out the flexible floor patch (check me out, knowin' the names of things and stuff like that!), but then remember that first I have to remove all these itty-bitty pointy little staples individually:
But the baby, oh yes, first she has to take her nap.

Are you seeing where this is going?  Can you see how I have, thus far, accomplished only, like, 1/17th of this project and the day is practically half over already?  This is why I procrastinate, folks.  Because it is approximately exactly as productive as actually trying to DO something, especially with the little humans around.

But did I give up?  Oh no, dear readers, I did not.  I pressed on!

After the nap, I filled that gap in the floor.
 And when the baby stuck her fingers in it before it dried, I put both of them in baby jail.
Because I was going to finish this project today by golly!

Until this baby right here, free ranging again as she is wont to do, decided she was going to EAT, with her own mouth, some of the floor patch which she found on the floor, all sneaky-like and babyish.  Which resulted in me calling Poison Control, because I was NOT going to call my husband at work today, no siree I was not.  Nope, nope.  I am a competent, independent woman, darn it!  I can totally take care of babies and do renovations at the same time.  Jeez!  Plus, she was going to be just fine, they said (and suggested I put the lid on the container.  Wow, thank you so much for the sage advice, call-center lady) I pressed on.
Until suddenly the lights flickered and went out, and the little space heater, which I had scrounged up to help speed the drying of the flexible floor patch which had to be applied to repair the mistakes of the fine individuals who constructed this house o' whacky, turned off.  Because I had tripped a breaker by plugging in the space heater to a plug that is on the same breaker as the microwave.  Which resulted in me doing that which I vowed not to do: phoning my husband thereby acting like a helpless female because the breakers aren't labeled and I couldn't tell which one was tripped and I should just give back my awesomeness card right now and sit down with a copy of some magazine that only women who can't use tools read.


So you see, after all that, all day of trying and prying, pounding and pulling, chasing and jailing, the dang hallway, which has been under construction for weeks now, still looks like this:
But hey, I still have eight days, right?
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  1. Hm, your baby jail was our Schnapps' jail. That's right, our dog's name was Schnapps. When I was seven...

    Anyway, nice hall, we have one too, only it only has carpet, padding and sub-floor.

    Lists are great. I keep my short so I can crumple them sooner. Ya know, it might be time for some wine...

  2. At the moment when you tripped the breaker, I would have recommended what might have been the saving grace of the day...... an ice cold Corona. CHEERS!

  3. Oh Michael, if only I hadn't given up beer & wine for Lent! And there is the small matter of it being the middle of the afternoon, which is sometimes frowned upon if it's the middle of the week and only one parent is home... ;)

  4. I think you need a drink or two to go with your house projects! I love this post, although I know you are not loving that floor :) It will get done, I know it will. And it will look great. Or, just stick a rug over it all, haha

  5. I think I would procrastinate as well. I was laughing the whole time I was reading this. I don't have a parcel of kids and my day would still go the same way as yours did. *lol*

  6. LOL I don't want to laugh but this did make me giggle a bit. As much as I complain, reading this has made me infinitely more happy to have survived toddler hood and made it to the teen years. And thank goodness to the sweet sweet person who invented the baby gate! That person should get a holiday.

  7. It's so much more fun reading about all this than actually doing it! Happy Triduum.

  8. Love the Baby Jail part; give you much, much credit for all this hard work. Think of the satisfaction you'll be feeling when it's all completed!

    Enjoy the day,


  9. Hi there visiting and now following from FTLOB. It's nice to see people attempting their To Do lists! It's definitely helping to motivate me a little more, hehe so thanks!


  10. The Poison Control ladies are so nice, aren't they? It's almost a pleasure when I "get" to call them. :-)
    Happy Easter! I can't wait to see the latest TDG video ... it's got to be of Mijita ending her Lenten sacrifice, right?

  11. Hah! Mitzi, it was so funny because Donkey did not attend the Easter festivities with us and my cousins and aunts were all VERY disappointed. So he did not have the opportunity to comment on my beverage consumption, much to his dismay... :)

  12. Oh, house least you are maintaining your sense of humor. And that baby jail, gotta love that name. I admire your determination.

    Just to clue you in, although my children are mostly now all grown (I have a 17-year-old at home yet), I still have unfinished house projects. For about 18 months now I've had a cardboard wall in my dining room where my husband, son and I removed a brick chimney. A carpenter recently fixed said chimney hole in an upstairs bedroom. Luckily no one fell through the rabbit hole.

    I called poison control twice when my girls were little. Once one stuck a red hot up her nose when we were decorating Christmas cookies. The second time she sprayed furniture polish in her eye. You are not alone. Kids will get into things no matter how cautious you are.

    Great, laugh-out-loud post, as always. Love your writing style and your honesty.

  13. Well, I have to say that it was worth it. I took the advice you wrote in the first paragraph and I just went ahead and went back to the very beginning and started reading...just so I could read THIS post! It was totally worth it. Not only did I get (another!) belly laugh from the exploits with the hallway floor and baby jail, but I feel like I have gotten to know you a little in the process. You are simply too fun! I can relate to just about every single story you have told. You are very accessible and real and I wish I lived right next door to you! Thank you a million times for writing and sharing and having fun with your kids. Thank you for being imperfect and whacky and ballsy. Thank you for owning chickens and dogs and babies and toddlers. And thank you most of all for being you and telling me all about it. I just love you for that!

  14. HAHAHAHAHA! *ahem* Sorry, had to compose myself. When you first mentioned it, tearing up the floor sounded like such a FUN project. Guess not, huh? I'm still laughing over the baby jail comment...hehe. And darnit, you work so hard to not have to call your man...I understand that feeling completely. I am An Independent Woman, and I absolutely HATE having to call my hubby to do anything...unless it's killing spiders. That he can take care of. I am not woman enough to perform that task...nope.

  15. OMG, yes!! I can SO relate to how kids make it impossible to do anything and even undo the things you are trying to get done and then add more things to your to-do list while you are in the middle of dealing with that mess!

  16. Baby jail...stealing that one! And definitely still enjoying reading from the beginning.

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