The Push

In early September my awesome sauce mother-in-law came out from California to watch the
baybehs so that Gavin and I could make a big push forward on the house.  Specifically the time had come (FINALLY!) to put up the walls.  A giant boom truck came to the house and delivered over 200 boards of drywall -half of which was flown in through an upstairs window via a giant crane (!) so as to save the epic shlep of the boys carrying it all upstairs.  I was mercifully kiddo-wrangling the day it arrived but I am told a great deal of man-power was spent carrying the downstairs boards in- they are heavy and awkward and yeah, I'm glad I was a good 30 miles away...

But once they were there the time had come to get them hung.  And I had like, a bizillion little (big) projects that had been nagging at me since we closed on this monster that I wanted to dig into, and having a sitter for a whole week was like a gift from God.

We got So. Much. Done.  The biggest impact was by far having those walls going up again- all that lovely white light filling up the place made us realize how dismal the gutted, brown-and-taupe of the exposed beams and insulation truly was.  It's so much easier to be optimistic when things look clean and new! My uncles worked tirelessly as always and as always I don't have words for how grateful I am for them. (BTW, I recommend clicking on photos should you wish to biggify them...)
Gavin and his new favorite toy: The Impact Gun
After walls!
Everyone pitching in- my friend Zac even took the train in from
Brooklyn to help- What a guy!
Overcoming my fear of power-tools....
And I finally tackled (and tamed) the hopeless kitchen floor. If you remember, we'd peeled up about three layers of old linoleum only to find glue and paper stuck to the hardwood.  The first day I tried a citrus-stripper and paint scraper to get it off but it was an endless, pointless nightmare. Seriously, that glue was so tenacious I wonder why they didn't just make the whole house out of the stuff... I slept on it and did some googling and finally found a method that worked- using my clothes iron and a wet rag I steamed section by section and scraped off all that nasty paper and adhesive bit by bit.  There is some discoloration and warping just under the sink but we will repair that and then stain the whole thing nice and dark so you won't see the flaws.
Ironing the Floor= Good Times!
OH! And the week before the big push my Uncle A put a major hurting on the bathroom.  He tiled the floor in my beloved penny round chosen and purchased months ago. Then he installed the toilet (THANK GOD!), the vanity and sink combo, and the wainscoting.  The difference between the bathroom now and the dingy nightmare-hole that was there previously gives me heart palpitations and every so often I look at a picture of it to give me strength.  My name is Nicole and I am addicted to my new bathroom (Hello, Nicole!).

On the very last day of the week off (on) Gavin and I decided to stay late and begin tiling the shower.  We had bought the subway tile a couple of weeks prior, and although we were intimidated, my Uncle A gave me a quick tutorial and off we were to the races.  I won't say it wasn't hard (or that I didn't have to pull down the first two rows and re-do them after noticing they were leaning a bit hard to starboard so to speak...) but we got a good start on it and I really felt so damn proud.
Harder than it looks...
Getting really late at night.  Much swearing at the tile cutter...

Not bad for first timers! Still have a ways to go though...
We ended the week sore and tired but so, so much better off than before it began, and with a true sense that things are moving toward completion.  The past couple of weeks have been spent "taping", which is the process of filing in all the seams between the drywall pieces with tape and spackle and making the whole thing smooth and lovely.  Gav's been dropping in every day off but most of this has fallen to The Taper (who is called that for a reason) and he's been there damn near every day working his magic.

On the bad news side, doesn't look like it's possible to keep the old kitchen cabinets. We had to tear them out to repair the kitchen wall which was one of the last bastions of plaster (now gone!) and needed to be bumped out a bit to accommodate the plumbing waste pipe.  Turns out the cabinets were kind of chintzy to begin with and many of them didn't fare so well during the tear out.  So...Boo! More money we don't have! And...Yay! New cabinets!  I have some truly lovely plans for that kitchen, y'all.  But that's for another blog....Mwa ha ha ha!!!

Still crossing our fingers for a move-in date before Thanksgiving- what a thing to be thankful for!  Updates a' plenty coming- things are moving fast-and-furious now!! But:
Remember all that potential? Coming back into focus....ONWARD!