Last time I did a post on the whole kitchen, it looked something like this:

kitchen before progress
kitchen before progress

And before I show you what it looks like now, I want you to know that these are PROGRESS shots. This kitchen is no where near finished.

Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that everything you see wrong in these pictures; everything that you think is "off" -- will be fixed.

Now that you're properly prepared, here you go -- the kitchen now:

turquoise kitchen after progress concrete cement countertops

Don't worry. I know about those off-center plates and the nicks in the island -- maybe we should have the kids park their ride-on toys somewhere else?

I've thought a lot about why most kitchen makeovers don't speak to me. I'm not interested in white cabinets or subway tiles or marble countertops or any of that stuff. I mean, common! What's wrong with me?? Because there's no denying that they're beautiful. It's just not what I see myself living in.

I think that part of it is that most people want a kitchen that is clean (pristine?), calm, soothing, even luxurious. These are all good things, but what I want is a kitchen that's fun, homey, different, unpretentious and yes, even kitschy.

And no, I don't know why I want that, but I think that's exactly what we have here.

turquoise kitchen after progress concrete cement countertops
turquoise kitchen after progress concrete cement countertops

I shot this dark picture straight into the window just so I could show you the light that I salvaged from the original master bedroom and spray painted.

Big glass orb with a fun pattern? That's exactly the kind of thing that I like, but it looked tiny in the bedroom and giant (as it should) over the sink.

turquoise kitchen after progress concrete light cement countertops

This shot showcases the wall of wallpaper, and also every sore thumb in the room: the laundry room (that is so ugly, I put a sheet over it), the plywood counter on the island, the desk and chair that need a makeover, the disco ball hanging from the ceiling fan (wait, that might stay in some form), and the duct-taped door to the basement.

turquoise kitchen wallpaper after progress concrete cement countertops

Maybe you can imagine the duct-taped door replaced with a new one with a window and painted to match the cabinets and the back door?

turquoise kitchen door after progress concrete cement countertops

No, it's not perfect, but it's a far cry from what we started with. (P.S. That's the old dining room you're seeing on the right.)

kitchen before progress

Thanks, Apartment Therapy for posting our dining table
My favorite comment: Ummmm....can we see a picture of the husband? #dreamman

Also, those of you who've had trouble commenting -- I think it's fixed (Thanks, Woo!). I'm considering writing a post about it in the future. Title: Linkwithin Exposed (dunh, dunh, dunh!)

Another thing, I'll be introducing a new feature this afternoon. Stay tuned.

And just one more thing, someone found my blog yesterday by googling "worst kids rooms." Thanks.

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Day By Day

Monday: Woo springs for the Nest. This is the kind of stuff Woo's dreams are made of. I never thought I'd be that into a thermostat, but I have to admit it's pretty nice.  Plus, I'm happy to get rid of the ugly old one proped up by a pen.

old thermostat instagramnest thermostat man baby girl instagram

Jury's still out as to whether the plate (painted) or the patched wall behind it would look worse, so we're living with an unpainted plate for now. 

Herbie goes to school alone.

little boy snow instagram

Ruby carries over her late night/early morning sneaking from last week, and starts the morning very, very tired -- to the point of not being able to function. We send her back to bed, and she naps until 11. (I think we've gotten the problem solved *cross fingers*. She's been much better since then.)

little girl looking in mirror instagram

Woo does a dramatic, impassioned reading of an email he got from Olga of Russia. Which gives him a great, new app idea ... great enough to actually write?

Tuesday: Archie and I get a baby shower. Archie gets swooned over and basks in praise for falling asleep while just sitting in someone's lap.

baby boy sleeping instagram

Wednesday: Linus tries on Archie's new clothes. 

little boy long hair smiling instagramlittle boy long hair smiling instagram
little boy long hair smiling instagramlittle boy long hair smiling instagram

Moses and Penelope also try, but Moses is too big (for us to allow it), and Penelope is too little (to have any success).

baby girl instagram

Thursday: Moses and I show up an hour early to Herbie's class Valentines party. We sit and watch Herbie's class, which Moses loves. (Herbie loves it too.) 

little boy classroom instagram

Except that going out to recess terrifies Moses. "A big kid won't let me go down the slide!!" Bad experience last time, I guess. 

Woo plays a romantic mix: Sergio Mendes, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, Burt Bacharach, Josh Rouse, Johnny Cash, The Cure, Air Supply (for romantics who want a good laugh) -- every song that I loved 10 years ago, and still do. I guess I'm getting old.

Friday: After some laundering Archie finally gets to try on his own new clothes

baby boy chevron instagram

Tummy time is a big hit. As usual.

baby boy crying chevron instagram

How was your week?


Babies, Birthdays and Books

I always think that because I feel so much better not being pregnant, I'm going to get tons done after having a baby.

But I've discovered that even if I have a wonder baby like Archie, nursing makes me sleepy, so very sleepy (thank you, Oxytocin). So after feeding Archie I spend the rest of the hour just holding/looking at him.

We've spent a lot of the last few weeks just camping out in the living room in blankets and pajamas. 

Which is probably as it should be.

newborn boy instagram

We were sick this week, also. Just a cold, but I've started to notice that being sick definitely affects my outlook on life, and not for the better. I caught myself wondering: Why doesn't some delightful, wonderful surprise happened to me??

And then I remembered sweet baby Archie and how he's been a baby beyond my wildest dreams -- how quick we (I) forget our good fortune.

newborn boy instagram

Also, Linus turned three! Of course, he had no idea it was coming, and when I came into his bedroom in the morning singing Happy Birthday, he was so, so excited!

He sang, "Happy Bwirfday, Winus!" to himself all day long, and asked us to call him "Bwirfday Boy,"

little boy birthday cake candles instagram

He got to open his presents (apparently, there was something of a red theme going on),

little boy firetruck instagram

Went snowboarding and to lunch with Woo,

little boy snowboarding instagram

And a few days later Grandma and Grandpa came for a shared Pretend Birthday with Moses.

little boy birthday cake candles instagram

Linus carefully took each present out of the bag and inspected it before placing it in the appropriate pile.

little boy treats instagram

Moses dumped them all out on the floor.

little boy birthday present instagram

We can't figure out if Penelope's going through a growth spurt or she just looks that way compared to Archie. Either way is still cute -- we're always wishing that our babies were fatter.

I especially like to see her shove her chin down into a double chin, shake her round cheeks back and forth, and grunt while telling me no.

I like it so much that I like to ask her questions that I know she'll say no to.
Me: Do you want me to change your diaper, Nell-pea? 
Penelope (vigorously shaking her head back and forth): Un! 
Me: Do you want your nose wiped, Nell-pea? 
Penelope (more shakes): Un!
Me: Do you want to go to bed, Nell-pea?  
Penelope (even more shakes): Un! 
baby girl instagram

And then sometimes I think my kid is so smart that I take a picture of his amazing spelling skills,

kid handwriting states instagram

Only to find out that he wrote the whole thing while on top of a placemat of the United States. 

He still has nice handwriting, though, right? 

(You're still A+++ in my book, Herbie.)

little boy snow instagram

Ruby's finally turning into the bookworm I always knew she could be. Which mostly makes me happy, except for when she sneaks a book to bed and stays up way too late or wakes up super early to finish some irresistible book -- I certainly would never dream of doing such a thing myself.

little girl reading book instagram

Woo's first semester of his online course has been something of a mixed bag. I guess some parts are rewarding?? 

The course itself has a few kinks, and there are far too many students who like to turn in excuses rather than work. 

Who knew?