Posts Tagged ‘ Home Improvement ’

How I Get Home Improvement Projects Done, As A Parent

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

These “before and after” pictures actually pretty well illustrate the cure for Mommy and I not being able to get home improvement projects finished, in the little amount of time we have together as a family.

By the way, it’s completely unintentional that this letter to you has by default become the 3rd consecutive one to talk about my parents, who you know as Nonna and Papa. (And there might even be a 4th after this.)

But just as our 2 and a half hour trips to their house serve as a sort of “time out” for us, it’s their trips to our house that serve as the perfect time for Mommy and I to complete “major” projects; just the opposite. Instead of relaxing while they are here in town… we are productive!

Exactly 3 months ago, it was a backsplash.

As for Labor Day weekend, we painted our living room and installed brand new curtains; taking down the blinds. And because we made such good time, we decided to paint the downstairs bathroom, too.

During all the labor, there was always one adult to entertain and play with you, while the other three worked on the project.

In case you’re wondering why I’m not featuring any pictures of our home’s new makeover, it’s because I know in the upcoming months, the pictures I daily take of you playing downstairs will be featuring the changes.

There will be more than enough… too many, probably…

So instead, I wanted to point out a notable milestone in your life. As a reward for completing our projects early, we decided to do something we never do as a family.

We went to “the city” and dined out.

It’s funny how the last time I remember being in the heart of Nashville, not just on the outskirts of the city limits where we live, was at last June when we went to that random drum circle.

Our family never goes to the city and we never go out to eat.

But this weekend, we did. And it went well!

I was telling Mommy, how a year ago, if we were to have done this, we wouldn’t have made it through the entire meal without me having to escort you outside and distract you from being restless.

However, at 2 years and 9 months, you are able to handle dining out.

Hashtag, “I didn’t see that one coming.”

Admittedly, the fact that Mommy and I let you have a vegan chocolate cupcake certainly helped the situation.

Seriously, this is epic for me, as your Daddy.

I feel so accomplished after this Labor Day weekend!

We painted the living room and the bathroom, put up a new curtain rod and curtains, and you proved you can handle going to the city and dining at a restaurant… way past your bedtime.

The plan was to officially potty train you this weekend, too. Oh well…

With the grandparents in town, we were able to be very productive in other ways.

Actually though, I think we might need a completely separate trip where they come up and the only project is just to potty train you. Not a bad idea.





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A Yogurt And Tortilla Backsplash

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Some people just love doing home renovations. I wish I was one of them.

Walking into Lowe’s not only intimates me because of my lack of knowledge and skills as a handyman, but also because I know there’s no such thing as walking into Lowe’s just once for a project.

It’s simply the first of many times I think I have everything I need. Typically, a medium-sized project ensures at least four Lowe’s trips.

The dollar signs associated with those trips, plus knowing that I’ve underbudgeted my money as well as my time, well… it just helps explain why I’m not one of those people who loves doing home renovations.

Fortunately, Papa (my dad) knows how to do ceramic tiling and was willing to spend his Memorial Day weekend doing a backsplash for our kitchen while Mommy and I… assisted.

And by that, I mainly mean that we prepared our delicious vegan meals for him and Nonna.

I had feared that the whole time that while Papa was trying to work, you’d be trying to hang all over him, saying, “Papa, Papa! Play with me! Hold me!”

Instead, you chilled out with everyone. Thank you for that.

I appreciated your demonstration of becoming more independent.

You were soaking it all in, though. During lunch, you declared, “I tiling!”

After watching Papa glue the tile panels on the wall, you decided you would do the same with your yogurt and pieces of wheat tortilla.

In hindsight, I now can clearly see why you asked for those two items for that meal.

Fortunately for you, your yogurt and tortilla project wasn’t your only hands-on exposure to doing a backsplash last weekend.

Nonna took a couple of pictures with her phone and sent them to me while Mommy and I were at church.

I have to admit, you actually looked like you knew what you you doing… definitely compared to me, at least.

Ah, at last, our backsplash project is finally complete!

That’s one major milestone for our family as we work our way closer to moving our way out of our townhouse and eventually into “a real house.”

A real house where there will be more room- in case we end up needing it.






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Extreme Makeover: House Painting Edition

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Ten months.

I think the best way to begin is to share a few things that I would rather do than paint two bedrooms with vaulted ceilings:

1) For the next three months, I would have to replace my bio picture here on The Dadabase (featured right) with one where I have an un-ironic mustache.

2) For three nights in a row, I would have to sleep on one of those inflatable alligator pool toys in the middle of a swimming pool in Wisconsin, where it’s colder. Also, I would have to sleep fully dressed so that when I regularly fell into the cold water, I would remain that much colder.

3) Fly to Sacramento and back with my infant son, again.

Some of our very good friends have been kind to take us in as we have waited for the renters in our townhouse to move out. This weekend, we will finally move back into it and make it our own.

For me, making our townhouse our own means the three of us moving ourselves and our stuff back into it. And the guest room officially becomes Jack’s bedroom. I would say that pretty much makes it our own.

But my wife helped me realized that in order to truly make our townhouse our own, we would need to paint the two bedrooms.

It didn’t matter that neither of us had ever actually painted the interior of a house before, nor did we have any painting supplies or equipment, or even someone to watch Jack on short notice. Painting had to be done to make this townhouse of ours our own.

On Saturday, I was able to recruit my highly experienced friend Jason to teach me how to tape off the walls and how to, basically, paint a room. He also had a ladder for me to get the job done with. Then the next day, our friends who we have been staying with watched Jack as Jill and I tackled his bedroom.

Ultimately, something I have realized about my wife and I is this: When we really want to get a job done, no matter how outlandish and impractical it may seem, we find a way to get it done.

We did it; painted both bedrooms (with vaulted ceilings) within a weekend. My preconceived ideas about painting were accurate: painting is a miserable experience. But we survived it!

I want to brag on my wife’s ability to pick out colors. For our bedroom, she chose a very light green named “River Reed,” which has a breezy Caribbean feel  to it. Jack’s bedroom is Ranch Mink; a chocolate brown. We’re calling Jack’s bedroom his “boy cave.”

Want to see finished pictures of our fine work? Wait until we move in this weekend and I will surely deliver.

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