Note: new babysitter…

Note: new babysitter from yesterday, Yuri, very nice. Kavi liked her a lot. Maybe pink-eye a blessing, in that we now have another back-up babysitter. Particularly now that Jarmila has left the country for six months. Eep.

Mostly posting to note that I'm much busier than normal this week and next week. We're starting up work on the grant (I told you that we actually received the $2 million grant that I helped apply for, right? Which is great, but is also a lot of extra work), and I have a metric ton of grading due back Monday, and of course the kids being sick last week (and again this week, with different sick) completely destroyed the house, so that I had to spend four hours furiously cleaning yesterday morning just to return it to basic sanitary conditions -- but mostly it's renovation stuff.

The framing is almost completed, the HVAC and plumber are working at the house now, the electrician starts early next week, and there are a million decisions to be finalized. Well, not a million, but a lot, and some of them require hours of research, either online or in stores. We could just decide fast, of course, but that's likely to cost us money we don't have. So we research. (We're academics, it's what we do.)

Every minute of every day is getting eaten by this -- literally, I'm even spending commuting time researching on my iPhone, and after the kids fall asleep, Kev and I are staying up hours into our sleep time researching decisions (and arguing choices, sigh). So if I owe you anything, I'm sorry, but I should be much more sane in two weeks. Or so.

(And yes, I'm still very aware that we're very lucky to be able to do this project at all. But if you're thinking of taking something like this on, let me just reiterate that you'd better have 10-20 spare hours a week for the next year or so. 'Cause it will eat that up before breakfast, and spit you out by lunchtime. :-)

In case you're curious, here's my current house to-do list. Not everything needs to be done this week, of course. But all of it needs to be done very soon:

Master House To-Do List

- Finalize exterior colors / layout
- Finalize interior colors (decide on BM vs. clay paint)

- Confirm exterior placement of lights
- Confirm doorbell working (electrician) (may need to choose chimes)
- Do we want a doorbell at rear as well? (electrician / Pam)


- Check lighting

Laundry / Brew:
- Check why no washer/dryer down there
- Choose utility sink and inform plumber
- Kev ok on electrical / plumbing / venting?

Main area:
- Cable for tv in right place?

- Meet with Cal. Closets re: layout
- Finalize layout with Dave for Dobek
- Make sure there are sufficient studs (tell Dobek) for hanging heavy bags, winter coats, etc.


- Give Pam specs on sink (Dickinson in Sea Salt)
- Lighting changed to two pendants over island (electrician)
- Under-cabinet lighting (electrician)
- Toaster oven on circuit with sufficient capacity (electrician)
- Call fridge people about door
- Get estimate from Pam on price of hood vent (to run up to ceiling), and into her schedule
- Choose shelving (Deb suggested stainless from IKEA, 30)
- Have Dave finalize niche plans for Dobek
- Have Dave finalize seating / cantilever for Dobek
- Make sure puck lighting for niches is on electrical plan
- Choose zinc manufacturer: for a 2 x 6 (not accurate  get correct measurements) qu oted (Avenue Metal - Mark) zinc: $940 -- matte finish (+ $100) -- $75 for their wood ($1120 + tax); (2-4 weeks production); get quote from Soupcan as well; ask about decorative dentil work, as in online company (pretty!)
- Compare PPs soapstone counter price with Damarstone in Northbrook; David of DM stone and his cell is 773 470 6478

Powder room:
- Choose recessed medicine cabinet
- Choose (or have Piotr build? Ask Pam) 24 w x 18 d cabinet to recess under stair

Butlers pantry:
- Decide if we can afford it now / order, if so
- Make sure the electrical is correct, regardless

Family room:
- Decide on cable for tv  wire yes / no?
- Decide on adding floor outlets  yes / no? (I think yes, at least one; need to figure out where)
- Talk to Fringe (LeeAnn?) about layout

Dining room:
- Make gas fireplace operable? Not in budget  get details from Pam

Front parlor:
- Talk to Fringe about layout

- Decide on window guards and/or window stops  one option (; another (

2ND FLOOR - Finalize floor choice (Carlisle final quote $5.35/sq. ft., 4"-17" length, avg. 11", 5" or 7" width (or both))

Ms office:
- Loft???
- Remove desk-height electrical
- Decide on turret framing

Ks office:
- Choose table / sink
- Give plumber details
- Finalize layout
- Choose lighting and layout (electrician)
- Espresso machine needs sufficient capacity + GFI (electrician)

- Make sure bookcase lighting works (electrician)
- Build-in seating (Piotr?)

Guest bedroom:
- Do layout; see if desk / chair / cabinet fits in corner
- Choose ceiling fan / light

Guest bath:
- Buy tile (RO for the window is 38 1/8 x 52 ; also need ceiling height and tub size to place order) -- I think the patterned version is Porcelanosa's Deco Silk Blanco; the plain is just Silk Blanco. Porcelanosa - Deco Silk Blanco (pattern $15.75 / sq. ft. (regular price); cartons: 9.36 sq. ft. / carton (3 tiles); each tile: 17 x 26; each carton $147.42
- Discuss possibility of tiling in front of tub
- Have Pam order tub (needs specs  right-hand white Villager)
- Decide on pedestal vs. vanity
- Choose cabinet or shelving for above toilet (I think just two shelves; one for toilet paper, one for tampons / pads, ibuprofen, soaps, lotions, shampoos)
- Choose hooks for backs of doors (both doors  one pair for towels, one pair for robes; Anthro cygnets?)
- Confirm outlets in useful places (electrical plan)

Laundry / closet:
- Review layout wit h California Closets
- Decide on whether can fit island
- Decide on stackable washer/dryer (and purchase; Roshani recommends Maytag from Sears)  give Pam specifications
- Decide on laundry cart
- Decide on sink
- Decide on table
- Choose closet storage options

Master bath:
- Decide on door for WC  (why cant we do pocket door again?) If not, definitely not in-swinging. Kev leans towards swing left. M wants to check space for storage unit / size of units before deciding. If swing-left, can we put in a stopper or something so it doesnt swing open all the way and bang into unit?
- Install rod above exterior of shower door at correct height (check height of curtain / door)
- Install rod above interior? (will tiling be an issue?)
- Order quartzite tile (Pams person)  decide on how many metal accents and order
- Choose cabinet (or just shelf?) above toilet
- Review lighting  pendant over tub, lights at vanity, ceiling mount too? Or perhaps a wall sconce?
- Confirm recessed medicine cabinet plan with Pam (no electric)  mounting mirrors to hinge on wall instead of cabinet doors; make sure sufficient studs; check size of Palace Window mirror; purchase cabinets and mirrors
- Purchase washstand from RH, bath sale after 1/4

Master bedroom:
- Buy bed
- Check tv cable wiring (electrician?)
- Check studs for wall lamps (purchased, I think)  maybe mask out bed and nightstands on floor first?
- Choose ceiling fan / light

- Check electrical for computer components under stair


Kids Bath:
- Paint tub purple - Visit Corna; get price on tile; order tile
- Buy ceiling lamp (ocean)
- Floor drain?
- Paint room light grey

North bedroom:
- Decide which is whose (affects interior painting)  Kavis is orange/ Anands blue or green
- Bench under window? If run all the way over, interferes with desk / dresser. Check ducts.
- Confirm final closet / door / cubby plan with Pam (minimal)
- Plan for bed / dresser
- Choose ceiling fan / light

South bedroom:
- Confirm final closet / door / cubby plan with Pam
- Choose ceiling fan / light

- Choose carpet for entire third floor / order
- Confirm sufficient lighting with skylight removed (check plan)
- Confirm bench / duct plan with Pam
- Paint light grey / castle mural
- Make sure there is strong enough support to suspend tent

1 thought on “Note: new babysitter…”

  1. Mary Ann,
    OMG I think I am looking at journey to insanity. Even without family or work your back is against the wall.
    I would cross off anything that doesn’t involve interaction with one of your trades people. That is priority #1. The other stuff can be done later. Its a shame you have to go with a stackable W/D unit. Why not just keep some dry cleaners bags to carry the soiled sheets to the bathtub to soak. A stackable W/D unit in such a large house will not be a positive item if you ever sell it.
    If you don’t have a fixture(s) bought, have the electrician rough in the junction boxes with enough supprts to hang stuff later. The important thing is to locate the boxes and outlets now. I would dispense with floor outlets since they are attractive nuisances for kids. If you need one install a blank cover plate until the kids are older.
    Good luck with your list.

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