Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nursery: Done!

At last, I feel comfortable nudging that Project Tracker up to 100% for the nursery. We got the border up, and we are happy with it.

We don't have any real "before" pictures of this room, but the walls were blue and the carpet was green. We thought that was a strange color scheme until my sister Laura pointed out that the walls were the sky and the carpet was the grass. It was a nice enough looking room, but of course we wanted to personalize it for the girls.

The only thing we really didn't like was the color of the carpet. Which is why everyone thought it was rather funny when we painted the walls (with help from my Uncle Gary and Aunt Becky):

Yes, somehow we chose a shade of green for the walls that was very similar to the carpet we didn't like. So maybe that carpet wasn't so bad after all...

But we still think the hardwood floor that were under the carpet looked better:

Here is the room now. We're rather limited in terms of arranging the furniture: three cribs take up most of the wall space. But we love it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I heard on NPR today that this is the most depressing day of the year. Or maybe the most depressing day is coming up -- I was in the shower and couldn't quite hear the radio, and when I googled "most depressing day year" I found conflicting news stories saying that January 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th are each the most depressing day of the year. Nothing on January 21st.

But that's beside the point. They say this period is most depressing because it's when you a) get the bills from Christmas shopping and b) realize you have completely failed at keeping your New Year's Resolutions.

That must be why I'm so chipper. I haven't looked at the mail yet, and I'm actually doing fairly well on my resolution. Our nursery is 99.983% finished now, and I managed to paint the little access door in the basement. I made some more progress on the storm windows over the weekend, so things are really taking shape around here.

Now as long as I can avoid seeing those bills...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cool Bathroom Stuff

A post on the Old House Web forums led me to a site I've never seen before, Mac the Antique Plumber. Someday we plan to completely renovate the kitchen and bathroom on the main floor -- most of the main floor has the original woodwork, the push-button switches, the original glass knobs on the closet door, etc., but the kitchen was redone in the 60s. It was probably a good idea at the time, but blech. Boring woodwork and cabinets, and a bathroom that opens directly into the kitchen (perhaps we're prudes, but that just feels wrong). Someday, that bathroom door will be around the other side, where at least the person washing dishes won't be the first to mention you have toilet paper on your shoe. Mac the Antique Plumber could get us into trouble when renovation time comes. Of course, this is after the triplets are out of college we're talking about, so who knows what will be around by then.

The site has some very cool stuff. Some of it I don't think I'd actually want it in my house, though. For example, the Pillbox Toilet would be quite a conversation piece, but I rarely have conversations in the bathroom. But for the tub, you can't beat a thermostatic leg tub faucet. Very cool.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's a Small Blogosphere After All

My mother knits, and since she's a Net-savvy knitting grandma, she reads the immensely popular blog written by the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). The other day, Mom sent me an IM (see? told you she was Net-savvy) telling me that I might like a house blog she had read about on this post by the Yarn Harlot. The blog she was referring to was Stucco House, which is a blog that I read anyway after I discovered it on Pearl-McPhee's octopus furnace had gone out, and she linked to Stucco House's post about theirs. Just thought it a funny coincidence.

Another house blog I read is Delano Bungalow. It's another house blog from Wichita, except they are far, far better at updating it. A couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to see that they had noticed our blog too! And had very nice things to say about us.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Why I Never Throw Anything Away

We make a gallon of formula every day, so a few months ago we bought a Pur water filter. The pediatrician said that plain tap water was fine, so maybe it's a waste, but we like the piece of mind. Tonight, as I was washing bottles, the faucet started spraying water everywhere when I turned it on.

I fiddled with the tap a little, and found the problem. The aerator that came with the Pur filter is a little cheap black plastic thing, and the plastic had actually split. No idea how that happened -- I wasn't washing bottles that enthusiastically. But, since I am a packrat, I still had the original aerator for our faucet and all the little adapters that came with the filter. And I even knew where they were!

After a couple of minutes of trying to stick adapters together like a monkey assembling a carburetor (a really smart monkey, mind you), I got everything hooked up and working smoothly. Just think what would have happened if I threw things out!

As I was organizing the boiler room over the weekend I found, at the bottom of a pile on the workbench, the old broken hinges for the saloon doors in the kitchen. My first thought was, Wow, there is no reason I could ever possibly need these again. We don't have more swinging doors, and these are broken.

My second thought was, Where should I put these?

Don't worry. I found just the right place.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Project Progress

We may actually finish the nursery before the triplets turn one! I bumped the "Nursery" entry on the Project Tracker up to 99%. I really thought I would be able to move it to 100% yesterday, but we had a problem with the border, so we need to make some small adjustments for it to be complete.

We cut ourselves some slack when dealing with the nursery -- after all, we thought we'd have at least another month, maybe two, hopefully three, before the girls arrived. And since then it's been difficult to work on the nursery, because the best time to do house projects is, of course, during nap time.

I did finish insulating the steam pipes, though. It's definitely making a difference. The basement is probably ten degrees cooler than before they were insulated, which means all that heat is getting up to the living area now. I hope it makes a big difference in our gas bill, too.

Here's a side view of the 1.5" insulation:

I had wondered what sort of tape I needed to join the pieces. Fortunately, the big shipment included strips of tape:

It was a pretty simple project, and not even too expensive.