Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here is my take on the different types of Adults in America

In America there are many different groups of "Adults."  These can be broken down into distinct categories, each with their own unique features.

  Here is how I see them:

 1.  DINKs (Dual income, no kids): These are the people who have worked hard at their careers and have decided either by choice or circumstance not to have kids.  To those of us with kids, these people live the high life.  They tend to have fancy toys, go on vacations, have no clue about that particular torture other parents call "kid(s) in team sports", or limitations on spending money.  I have some of these friends, and I can honestly say I am jealous of their lifestyle.  When my other parented friends discuss this we always go back to the "Oh well, we can do that when the kids are grown."  The failing I find in that logic is, I will OLD when my kids are grown.  Will I really WANT a camper, boat, big house, huge yard, cottage, etc when I am in my 60's?

2.  Partnered Parents with 1 kid:  I like to call these parents "Practice Parents."  When you have only one child you are really not that inconvenienced.  1 kid is portable and sharable.  Each parent can have equal share (even though most times we know Mom's do most of the work).  If one parent has something they'd like to do, it isn't too big of a deal for the other to keep the child occupied.  It is also easy to hire a babysitter or ask a family member to keep one child.  Start adding complexity to the equation, and your social life ends.  Most of my friends with one child still seem to lead pretty fun lives.  Their facebook pages claim they are going on vacations, many have boats, cottages, etc.  I know when I only had one, I pretty much did everything I wanted to do...I just brought Manudo with me...she was portable like that.

3.  Parents with 2 kids:  These are the justice scale parents.  They either have 1 kid for each hand, or divide the kids up equally between the parents.  Extra lucky are the parents that get one kid of each sex.  Then they can divide by gender and everyone is happy!  It is still somewhat feasible to ask a family member to watch them so you and your partner can have some alone time...just don't do it too often, as that leads to:

Friday, August 19, 2011

9 Circles of Hell Kitchen Remodel, pt. 3

For those of you behind....come on already, keep up!  Just kidding...Here is  Part 1 of the saga, and for your continued amusement at our expense you can read Part 2.

Circle 7: Violence
Oh heck yeah, remodeling a Kitchen is nothing if not violent.  You should have seen the glee in the eyes of the kids when I said: "Oh you want to hit your sister?  Here's a hammer, go hit the nasty cabinets instead!"  Those kids were all about violently beating the crap out my old kitchen like stink is on you-know-what!  I will say they did a fantastic job of tearing everything apart....why am I not surprised?  I guess I should have looked in their rooms more frequently, as after a month of me being distracted by said kitchen their rooms pretty much resemble the demolished kitchen too.

Of course, when violence is involved, it doesn't seem to limit itself to inanimate objects.  Take this lovely picture of me, for example:
Vice grips -v- Thumb...Vice Grips WIN!
I was pulling nails out of the baseboards with a pair of torture implements from the early 1900's vice grips when the hook and eye type closure decided to latch....right on my thumb.  I had a VERY attractive blood blister for about a month.

HH and I would spend our 20 minutes we took before collapsing asleep in exhaustion at night taking inventory of the day's battle scars.  We combined had a total of 9 head bumps, 3 lacerations, 1 million bruises, 1 pulled bicep, 2 swollen wrists, 10 nail puncture wounds (yes we checked and we were both up to date on our tetanus shots), and various other injuries.  In the war of the Kitchen -v- Us, I'd say the kitchen won most of the battles.

In the end we did end up winning the war by getting the old kitchen to relinquish its dominance over our home, and we celebrated greatly...for 5 minutes...before we passed out in exhaustion.

Take that you old ugly kitchen.  We win, you are going
to the landfill...right where you belong!
Circle 8: Fraud
Oh yeah! This circle was probably the hardest for a couple of nerdy geeks to accept.  I mean, we spend our lives deciphering the B.S. from the truth statistically (yes, 90% of it really is B.S. too).  Our acquiescence to being frauded came mostly from the web, instruction manuals, and other people who claimed to be PROFESSIONALS! 

We would wonder how to put in a 3 way switch for a light fixture....being nerds, we turned to the almighty Google for the answer.  Those search engines are EVIL as well as fraudulent! We looked at this one page from an electrician and the title was "Putting in a 3 way switch is so easy a blind monkey can do it."  Being neither blind nor monkeys we figured "no problem!"  Well....2 hours and 20 combinations of Black-White-White-Green wires later we felt like this :

Blind and NO thumbs...Doh!
Then there were the "experts."  These folks must have gotten some really great laughs at HH and my expense.  We'd go to the Orange Box From Hell (OBFH) store and ask a question...they'd give us an answer that basically made us feel like were were idiots for not figuring it out...you know the "Oh that's so easy, you should be embarrassed for even asking that" type of response.  We'd get home and try to replicate what they said only to find out 1. They told us wrong (probably on purpose, EVIL Frauds!), or 2. the tool they told us would work fine for the job actually did not so we'd have to go back to the OBFH store and spend more $$$ there.  I swear, my paycheck for the next 6 months is just signed over to the OBFH. 

Nicism....every project you do takes twice as long as you think and costs 3 times as much money. 

Manuals.....what a joke.  Those damn things should have a warning on them! Part A does not fit in Part B, and how about including all the damn parts next time???

Circle 9: Traitors
We like to call the traitors, vendors.  These are the folks who promise something will be delivered on a certain date, but then don't show up or call.  Or the "nice people" who PROMISE that they are the best and have the most awesome customer service...until they get your money!  We had a delivery company put a ding in our brand new refrigerator.  When I called them (before the check cleared, I may add) they were all like: Oh momginerd, we are SO sorry, we will be sending out someone to look at that right away, we pride ourselves on our customer service!"  Ironically the check cleared the next day and we are still waiting for our replacement door....3 weeks later!

All in all, HH and I are proud of our accomplishment.  The Kitchen isn't perfect, but it is 10000% better than the 1970's special we had before.  We went from avocado appliances to stainless....boring white walls with 8 cabinets on soffits to 28 new cabinets and gorgeous Canyon Sunrise walls. 

Will we ever do a project of this magnitude again....HELL no!

Till next time,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Circles of Hell, pt 2

As we continued on our Kitchen remodel, we continued to fall through the mythical Circles.  For those of you new to the blog, check out pt. 1 here: http://momginerd.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html

If only I had THIS bed!
Circle 4: Hoarder and Spendthrifts
Yes, we became bi-polars who constantly went over and over through this circle.  While sitting with the Kitchen Designer she informed us: If you spend $120 more, you will get $500 off!  She was a cruel mistress that lady!  HH and I were like, "Yippee!  Spice rack, built in trash, and other thingamagiggies we don't need here we come!"

Then, when it came to times we REALLY needed something, we would be cheap.  We'd be making modifications to a 2x4 that took 2.5 hours instead of spending $8 on a 2x6!  At our combined hourly rates that 2x6 cost us about $100!   BUT....when you are in full-on home improvement mode, you think a penny saved is a penny earned.  When in all actuality a penny saved is a thousand pennies flushed down the drain.  That is a Nicism when it comes to projects!

Circle 5: The Wrathful and the Sullen
This circle is one of the worst experiences, because when you are doing a project of this intensity with your life-mate, one of you is the wrathful and the other is always the sullen.  Both of us worked full-time while doing this project....fortunately HH gets to work at home quite often...me not so much.  So, we would be having lots of "discussions" over who did what, who sweated more, who was more sore, who was the bigger Pain in the Ass, etc.  Then, we would both switch roles the next day.  I'd take a vacation day to paint while he worked (at home, on the couch, drinking coffee, I'd like to add).  I would become wrathful that I was sweating my a$$ off, and he would become sullen because he really DID have to work.

Let's just say we more resembled this:

Than this:

Cirlcle 6:  The Heretics
Oh yes, those darn Heretics!  They were the ones who said "you guys can't do that!" Who doubted our tenacity, knowledge, strength and integrity.  To all of them I say:


All we need are our Contertops, but OUR portion is done

And, TAKE That!

There used to be a window where the Stove is

Perhaps HH and I are going to be residing in the circle of PRIDE, because if nothing else, we did it and to us it looks great.  Better yet, we did it and we are STILL married! 

I will say that we both used to be perfectionists.  Doing a home project like this will change you...we are now all about "It looks pretty damn good" and that is okay!

Pt. 3 coming soon!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My 9 Circles of Hell Summer Remodeling my Kitchen Pt. 1 of 3

I have been living through the 9 circles of Hell this summer, and I am not even speaking of how HOT it has been.  You see, my HH and I decided that we were smart enough, strong enough, and yes just that GOOD enough to remodel our kitchen from the floorboards to the wall studs all by ourselves with minimal labor/help from anyone else.  There are many lessons we learned about ourselves and each other throughout this journey, and baby, not all of them were good!  Most importantly, I learned the value of working hard and making a lot of money so that I can hire someone else to do this work for me in the future!

So, exactly how is remodeling a kitchen the equivalent of living through the 9 Circles of Hell you may be asking? 

Let me break it down:

Circle 1 Limbo
When living without a functioning kitchen for 6 weeks you really feel like your life is in limbo.  And by limbo, I don't mean the dancing kind.

If only it were this much fun!
I mean the kind where you never know up from down, right from left or right from wrong!  For example, is it really all that wrong to write "messages" to any future homeowners behind the cabinets where they will only be seen if they decide to be disrespectful and tear out all my blood, sweat and tears hard work?
Yeah what the sign says, and GOOD luck
 cuz this kitchen has no even walls or floors!
Circle 2 The Lustful
Let me stop you...no I don't mean the lustful as in "Hey baby, come on over here for some somthin' somthin'!"  kind of lustful.  It is the lustful kind that means more of a Veruca Salt type of lust.

I want my fancy spice rack and
I want it NOW!!!
There is nothing that creates lust in my heart more than looking through hundreds of Kitchen Design magazines and seeing all the cool gadgets.  I am a nerd like that.  If there is a gadget that makes potatoes into curly fries, I want it...even though I don't eat fries.  I feel there can never be enough gadgets in the world...especially the electronic types. 

Circle 3 The Gluttonous  

NOT HH, but his is what he looked like
having REAL food for a change.
Reason would ascertain that living without a kitchen would make one less gluttonous, but I beg to differ.  I am an avid cook and prior to the fateful day of June 28, 2011 my family probably ate restaurant or take-out food about once per month.  I am the type of anal retentive Good Mom that almost always plans a weekly menu filled with a variety of healthy and mostly delicious meals for my family.  We belong to an organic food co-op and eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit....especially in the summer.  This summer, our diet has consisted of things I put in the microwave, crock-pot or on the grill.  Did I mention that WE were doing the entire remodel ourselves while working full time?  I was/am exhausted too!  So, let's just be honest and say my kidlets have eaten more than their fair share of pizza, Taco Bell, hot dogs, and burgers this summer with not too many balanced meals (read, not many fresh veggies/fruit) as an added bonus.  Also, my sanctified family dinner time has gone down the tubes too.  We have what is charmingly called a country kitchen.  Basically this mean our postage stamp sized house has a huge kitchen and NO dining room.  Since it has been so hot, the kids have been eating in the basement in front of the TV every single meal, every single day because it has been 10000 degrees with 1000% humidity all Summer long.  You know it is bad when a family member takes pity and brings a home cooked meal and we ALL attacked it like a crack addict getting a fix.  We ate every single morsel she brought still warm from her kitchen and Princepessa even was caught licking the gravy off her plate....Yes, that was a VERY gluttonous day!  Most of our family conversations these days have been centered on the discussion of what meal we will make in our new glorious kitchen when it is finally finished.  Like I am going to mess it up right after all this hard work.
Pts 2 and 3 coming soon!  I will also include some pictures if y'all would like.  HH and I charge $500/hr for design and installation ;-).