Extreme U11: We. Are. Done!


(click the pic to see it full-sized)

I am so tired. The rest of our house is trashed. But Ursula’s room is DONE. And it’s only 3pm.

The dresser top is looking a little sparse, but that is because she will probably bring stuff home from camp and want to do some rearranging.

I am really happy with it. And really, really tired.

Extreme U11: Day Four

So very tired. It’s like every day we are sleeping later and staying up later and it is catching up with both of us. Our spirits are (mostly) good.

This morning, we brought in the bookcase and I loaded it up.

(white) bookcase full of stuff.

We mounted the mirror storage unit thing that I built yesterday and installed some hooks in her closet. Her closet is a reach in, but it’s deep, so we have hooks on the side walls, in front of the clothes. Then it was more organizing and putting things away. I found places for all sorts of things and did VERY IMPORTANT jobs like put her markers in rainbow order.

The light fixture showed up late morning. I was thrilled – we didn’t order it til late Sunday night. I tried to expedite the shipping, but couldn’t because it was drop shipped. I tracked it on Tuesday and saw it would be here Friday. Our UPS usually comes around dinnertime, so I was expecting we’d be installing it in the dark on Friday night. Then they moved it up to today, and it showed up in the morning = win!

New chapeau

If it looks that good on my head, I’m sure you can imagine how nice it looks on the ceiling!

We had one not good incident – we re-hung the blinds and they fell down when I tried to close them. Which put a giant dent in her desktop (it’s from Ikea, so no biggie $$ wise – but it means I have to trek to freaking Ikea tomorrow). I am really mad about it. When I redid this room for Dan, I just bought the ready shades they trim in store at Home Depot. They cut them too small and I had to fight them to get them recut. The details are fuzzy, but now I’m thinking that I only made them recut one and not both – because this one fits between the brackets, but is really to small. So, I’m mad at myself for not fighting for a better fit in 2009. But, that’s over and done. Dan was able to shim them so they won’t fall out again, and buying a new Ikea desk top is cheaper than buying more blinds.

Things we did today:

  • move and fill bookcase
  • hang mirror unit
  • install hooks (closet and wall)
  • install new lights in office and bedroom
  • lots of organizing in both rooms
  • clean/mop
  • touch up paint (we didn’t repaint the trim, so there were a few areas on the door casings I wanted to hit due to wear)
  • Home Depot for lightbulbs and more fire pit rocks (with Trix)
  • Container Store for containers (with Trix)

That doesn’t look like much, but believe me, there was SO MUCH STUFF to go through. And I am tired.

Tomorrow we have to assemble rug (Flor Tiles – not hard but I want to play with pattern), hang pictures and put out a few more things. Like the 16 wolves that she keeps on her bed… Thankfully, I will have my niece, Zoe, here to help!

Extreme U11: Day Three

Today was not the most productive. Yesterday’s delays caught up with me in a big way. We aren’t “behind”, but I just couldn’t do much. It’s VERY hard to organize a room when your biggest piece of storage (the bookcase) is drying and can’t be filled. It would seem like “just deal with the books later”, but she displays a lot of things on it. And I’m not sure that I want her bookcase tchotkes back on the bookcase – I really want EVERYTHING ready to go before I start filling things. That, combined with exhaustion, meant that I did a lot of aimless wandering in and out of the room.

I *did* get the bedding on. And love it.

Bedding :)

I usually tuck the top comforter, but this way (aka “how the PB Teen catalog does things”) shows off the bedding and will hide some of her bazillion stuffed animals.

We also got most of the furniture back into Dan’s office and I set up his closet. We had an awesome lunch with friends and hit Home Depot for all sorts of things (cable! cable ties! screws! hooks! drill batteries! sand! rocks!). There was an outside vendor type person at Home Depot – he was trying to sell us cabinet refacing. Dan is nicer than me, but he’d still told this guy no and we walked off. The man followed us down the aisle and said “I don’t want to pressure you, but…” and I said “well it’s hard not to feel pressured when you followed us down the aisle and won’t let me buy screws.” He got all huffy, but I didn’t care. I was on a comeback high all afternoon.

Once we got home, the inside work mostly stalled while “we” built a firepit. I did make a spray paint line.

"We" made a firepit

We need more lava rocks for the bottom – but that’s fine because I already have Home Depot withdrawals.

This praying mantis liked it too

Preying mantis friend

Things we did today:

  • set up Ursula’s new chair
  • bedding on bed
  • assemble mirror/storage unit
  • make fire pit
  • rehang blinds in U’s room
  • random small organizing things – desk, American Girl stuff, etc

Trixie was unable to come to Home Depot since she didn’t join us for lunch, but I did take her to our happy place tonight…

Container Store! Hooray!

…she LOVES the Container Store!

Extreme U11: Day Two

We had some sadness and some gladness today…

Our plan was: move furniture from Ursula’s old room to her new room, empty everything else in that room, paint room in new office color (which is the same as old office color. So a blue room was painted grey and a lavender room was painted blue). The only furniture we’re keeping from her former room is her bookcase and bunk beds. This is (by far!) the part of the project I have been dreading the most. Both pieces need to be disassembled to move – bookcase is too tall to fit through door, and the bunk beds are freaking bunk beds.

The bookcase is a piece my dad made U when she was 1 or 2 – it’s really pretty. Getting it apart was a little tricky – we missed a screw and then one of the screws was stripped. But we made it work. Keep in mind – I emptied the bookcase thinking I’d be putting everything back in it 20 minutes later. So I sort of just threw everything in Ikea bags or stacked in piles. Stuff everywhere.

As we were taking it apart, I was thinking that I was surprised we’d picked such an off white color – I thought it was a brighter white. I see it all the time – but it’s filled with stuff and I just hadn’t inspected it closely. Once we got it in the new room and looked closer, we realized the varnish had yellowed. Dramatically. There were a few unvarnished areas and the color was completely different.

I freaked out. I sort of wanted Dan to say “oh, it’s fine” but against the pale walls and white trim in the new room (the bookcase is going right next to a window, so lots of trim) it looked SO bad. So, hooray! New painting project! It was painted with oil and there was just NO WAY I could get several coats of oil to dry this week. Plus I hate working with it and it would take FOREVER to brush a giant bookcase. So, this happened:

Project detour - didn't realize howuch this piece had yellowed til we put in in new room. 5 cans of spray paint later, it's all good!

5 cans and 4 coats of spray paint and it is looking awesome. I used the new fancy Rustoleum (because it’s what Home Depot had) and it looks great. And it’s white.

In between the realizing we needed to paint the bookcase and the actual painting, we did get the bunk bed moved! It looks great (this pic is a little dark – it was really bright outside)

We have bunk beds!

With the bed moving and the shelf painting and emptying U’s room, we didn’t even start painting the office til close to 4:00. I have to take back my Behr Marquee comments from yesterday – today’s paint covered SO much better. I don’t really understand it – because yesterday it wasn’t like you could see the other color through the paint – if was just a lacier, less covered look. Maybe it’s because I was painting over satin yesterday and eggshell today? Neither color was one of Behr’s one coat coverage guaranteed colors, though today’s color was a regular Behr color (yesterday was a custom match).

Office gets some paint. Love Dan's chandelier?

Since the room is small and we had paint (and cutting in always needs 2 coats) I went ahead and rolled a second time, but I think if I was more careful we could have gotten by with one. The areas I needed to retouch were clearly Melissa error and not paint error…

While the paint was drying, I did a little bit of work. It seemed like it was getting darker but the sky I could see was still blue. Suddenly there was an INSANE downpour – and I had a bookcase drying in the car port. That was SUPER FUN, but we got it into the garage and it’s totally fine.

Final bit of gladness: I just looked up the order for our new light – it shipped and will be here Friday!!!

Things we got done today:

  • empty and dissemble bookcase
  • move bunk beds
  • empty & clean U’s old room
  • dissemble closet
  • paint closet
  • 3 trips to Home Depot for spray paint (1 for me, 2 for Dan)
  • paint bookcase
  • paint office (2 coats)
  • set up desk in U’s room
  • get bedding and new nightstand from attic
  • wash sheets

Things I did not do today (shockingly)

  • cry
  • yell

Obligatory Home Depot shot

Home Depot again?!?!?

This is ~90 seconds before she jumped out of the cart in the parking lot. So maybe I *did* yell today?

Extreme U11: Day One

I am not REALLY counting yesterday as a full day, so this is day one. (Oh, in case I did not mention, Dan is off ALL week to help me. Which is SO nice – I am not used to having help!)

It rained ALL DAY. Thunderstorms in the morning – a mess. 100% humidity and home repairs are not friends. (Thankfully, U’s camp looked like it was mostly clear per the radar maps).

My morning started like this:

100% humidity = blow drying spackle

Yes, I was blow drying spackle. I mentioned the drywall anchors – those are the WORST hole to fill. One screw would NOT separate from the anchor (it didn’t even seem stripped – was just really tight). Dan and I both worked on it and eventually the whole thing ripped out together and pulled some drywall and was a trainwreck. But it was FINALLY fixed this morning. After lots of drying.

BTW – if you are installing things, please for the love of God, buy the screw in anchors NOT the hammer in kind. You will thank me if you ever remove them. Heck – you might even thank me now – they are easier to install. Or rather I should say they SEEM easier – anchors intimidate me and Dan does them. (I did almost all of the removal work though).

Because it was so humid, the paint took FOREVER to dry.

Things we did today:

  • finish drywall patching and sanding
  • vacuum (again)
  • tape
  • paint 2 coats in room and closet
  • assemble cabinet for desk
  • buy more paint
  • un-tape
  • touch up
  • put closet back together
  • move U’s clothes into closet
  • swap out gross old outlets for new ones, including one super awesome one with USB ports
  • turn a mirror into a corkboard, and also touch it up with spray paint
  • take things off walls in U’s old room/fill holes

Tips, reviews, random thoughts:

  • ALL painting projects must start with a very specific playlist: “It’s Blitz” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and “We are Pilots” by Shiny Toy Guns. This is VERY important to my success. After we paint the new office, every room in this house will have been repainted in the last three years and the projects ALL start the same way. Once in a while I will get all crazy and play Shiny Toy Guns first, but really, I prefer to stay in order, the way God intended for all painting projects to start.
  • Frog Tape is the bomb dot com. I would say it is worth every penny – because it IS – but I am not even sure if it costs more than blue tape. Now, you will notice I had some touching up to do. That is NOT the tape’s fault. We had NO bleed-through. At all. However, what we do have is a 65 year old house and the line between wall and trim is a bit blurred. So the touch up we did was related to covering up where the old wall paint was on some trim. If you have a new house this may sound baffling, but there are just not crisp edges. In a perfect world, I’d have repainted all the trim, but it’s been done in the last 5 years and it is not a heavily used room and I am just done.
  • We tried the newBehr Marquee paint. I am not a fan. I generally likeBehr paint, even more that $$ paint in most applications. If nothing else, eggshell is important to me and Sherwin-Williams doesn’t have it (I also am not a clear base lover, but that is irrelevant to my light blue-grey paint which would have a white base from any manufacturer.) Anyway – the Marquee. It is not one coat. I *knew* it wouldn’t be because I just don’t see how you can cover in one coat. It covered the previous color extremely well – but I just can’t comprehend how you can roll paint in a way that offers 100% coverage. This necessitated a trip to Home Depot for more paint – because if it HAD covered in one coat, I’d only have needed one gallon and I don’t buy and tint $42 gallons of paint for kicks. Thankfully, Home Depot is 2 miles away.Because it is thick and I followed the paint guys directions and coated thickly, it was drippy. However, it is not drippy when it goes on (this is actually the neatest paint I have ever worked with – it really did NOT drip). But – it would slowly drip, so I kept having to check on it. I did the 2nd coat with my regular (thinner) technique - still no mess going on and much less dripping. BUT – I think I would just save $7/gallon and stick with Premium Plus Ultra next time.
  • If you forget your wallet because you were ordering a light fixture late at night, Home Depot can magically take a check sans ID. Do not even ask why I had a check in my purse – I have NO IDEA. Even though Home Depot is only 2 miles away, I didn’t want to have to go back home for my wallet in the rain.
  • If you want to make a corkboard, I suggest the rolled cork (I think mine is 5/32″) PLUS foam core. You can spray mount them together. Oh and you can cut foam core with scissors. It’s not gorgeous, but neither was the serrated knife job I was doing. Toss it in a frame – no one can see your edges.

And some pics from today…

One coat of paint (it is “Icicle” by Sherwin Williams, color matched to Behr Marquee. But this picture is terrible – it’s all blotchy and drying)

One coat down.

Hanging at Home Depot (she hates the cart and cries for me to hold her. Yet I ALWAYS take her.)

Getting more paint. Refusing to sit in cart.

And the paint is DONE!

Painting - done!

And now I will sleep for 100 years

Extreme U11 – Day .5

We got home from taking U to camp at 6:15.

By 9 (?) we had emptied the room including the closest (except for the Ikea dressers that are staying), filled all the holes (floating shelves = LOTS of anchors), vacuumed, prepped (drop cloths) and painted the ceiling.

We also realized that her old light fixture will NOT work and ordered a new one (which I don’t think will make it before she gets home – I’m SO bummed). I am really, really frustrated by it. I kept looking at lights, but I drew a stupid line in the sand – I kept saying “I want a light, but we are not spending ANY more money”. Invariably, something (or 57 somethings) would come up and I’d add to the budget, but I held firm on the light. Because I am dumb.

The old light (you can see it here) is just too low. When she was little it was okay. Now it’s close to (but not touching) her bunk, so there is already a visual barrier. In the new space that won’t be the case – it will be smack in the middle with no furniture adjacent. Our house is almost 65 and has fairly low (8′) ceilings. The old fixture touches the top of my (5’4″) head. BAD PLAN.

Furniture is EVERYWHERE – my living room looks like this:

Every room in my house is like this - extra furniture everywhere.

I am super stressed, but glad we are off to a good start. I hope?

Extreme U11

We started planning U’s birthday gift just about 6 months ago. While she’s at camp, we are moving her from her teeny room (below) to the much bigger office.

Before: U's current room. Taken from doorway. You can see the corner of the bookcase that is along the right wall

This is the old room – the drawers barely open because the bunk is in the way. The right side of the picture is her book case – that’s the edge of her room. It is LITTLE! (It was fine when she was a baby and we never thought we’d still be here for this long…)

She will be keeping her bunk beds and bookcase. She’ll be using some Ikea dressers that were already in the office. We have a new desk, mirror/storage thing, desk chair, beanbag, rug, bedding and a bunch of accessories. I have been buying things for almost six months, so I am not even 100% sure is going to come out of the attic.

Even though the office is downsizing, it will still sort of be a win for Dan – right now, everyone has stuff in the office. The new office will be JUST him.

Office before-ish

New room progress, day 1 (started at 6pm) Empty room (almost), fill holes, paint ceiling.

(you can see more pics here)