Monday, April 16, 2012
Steph was VERY excited to get these bad boys in. She was going through laundry withdrawl. AND they even sing to you when they are done. Almost makes laundry an enjoyable pastime…
The delivery guys called it "Big Boy" - this thing is a beast. I'm pretty sure we could fit a body in here…
A few short days later, the cabinets came - and boy were we in for a surprise. The guys show up and I ask them if we have enough room in our dining room for all the boxes… they look at me and almost with scorn tell me that our cabinets are taking up more than a quarter of their truck. I have no idea how we have this many boxes - I think we have enough for 2 kitchens!
I'm not quite sure how we're going to be able to walk through here.
Our massive lazy susans spilled into the living room….
This is going to be the true test of will-power and organization… We need to make sure that everything is perfect since we spent so much time designing everything, making sure that each detail was taken into account. We are so amazed that our kitchenless existence is slowly coming to an end. So far, we have been living on a Wegmans $6 meals (which are amazing) and various Crock Pot meals (also delicious). It will be nice when we don't have to dig through boxes to find a cutting board, or eat using plaster forks, but we know that things could be MUCH worse. In the end, we will look back on this as the "Dark Times" and laugh… hopefully… ;)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Now, we are definitely not people to look a gift horse in the mouth. However, when this horse is your only toilet, and it appears to have "issues" with its main function (i.e. flushing -- apologies for any nasty mental images this is conjouring up so far), that's when there is a problem. On a beautiful Sunday at approximately 6 pm, the decision was made -- we needed a new toilet, and STAT.
Off to Lowes we go, only to find that the Kohler Memoirs High-Performance toilet that we (Steph) ABSOLUTELY NEED is not in stock. With just 20 minutes remaining until the nearest store with it in stock closes and about 10 miles to travel on NJ roads -- which are known to be treacherously slow on Sundays -- we rush off, risking life and limb with just one thought in mind: "power flush technology."
We arrive with 1 minute to spare and run into the store, greeted by the angry looks of employees who loathe people like us. We make a beeline to the "Fashion Bath" section, and are greeted by the most wonderful site… a plethora of porcelain, all ours for the taking. We race through the store as gracefully as two people who are pushing a squeaky cart with a toilet on it can muster, use the self-pay option at checkout, and off we go with smiles on our faces.
It was at this point we decided that we needed to be the masters of our restroom destiny -- we decided to install this toilet ourselves. Alone. On a Sunday night at 9 pm. Armed with my newfound plumbing prowess, some borrowed tools, and a blog post from Young House Love (http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/02/loo-re-do-on-my-to-do/), we were ready to begin.
Step number one was to turn off the water. Now this might have been the scariest thing I have ever done -- all I was thinking about was a flooded bathroom and ripping up another round of tile floors -- but alas, all went according to plan.
After a couple flushes, most of the water was out of the toilet. With a cup in hand, we scooped out the remaining water from the bowl and the back.
We used a sponge to get up the rest of the water, and were left with a nice dry toilet that was ready to be removed.
We had to take the two screws off the base of the toilet, rock it slowly to break the line of caulk, and then carefully lift it up and out of the bathroom and onto our porch (where it still sits today. Our neighbors must love us by now). We were left with a very gross ring of wax around the flange...
...and a line of caulk that I had to scrape off. Lucky me…
Next, we had to attach the new wax ring onto the new toilet, making sure that it is tight around the hole.
We had to carefully place the new throne on the screws attached to the flange. To make sure that the wax ring has a nice firm seal, we had to take a seat (and a nice photo op?) and squeeze everything down nice and tight. How cute…
Now in reverse! Perfect time to catch up on reading material.
The final step was to attach the screws to the base and to attach the tank onto the top. Steph's tiny, flexible arms were perfect for this!
After the final hookup, we gingerly turned the water on without any issues. There were no leaks so we caulked around the base, flushed often with glee, and patted ourselves on the backs for a job well done!
Ta-Daaaaa! What a beautiful sight to behold…
We had done the plumbing in the bathroom in a bit of a hurry so a couple things needed to be adjusted. Now, I am no plumber, but I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders (and I'm not afraid to read the instruction manual), so I thought that I could figure it out.
First of all, the shower would not get hotter than a mild lukewarm. As much as we like to save money on water heating costs, a hot shower is essential, especially at 5am before work. After a little bit of fumbling around and reading on the internet, I found a tiny plastic piece under the handle that you can adjust to make the water hotter. A twist here and a tweak there and we are good to go.
Next our vanity faucet needed to be adjusted. The hot water side was off-center and the nozzles were loose. Also, they were up too high and the brass screws were showing. Luckily I have a pipe wrench in my possession... After spending a little bit of time figuring out how it works (haha), I made some minor adjustments and the faucet is perfect now. Personally, I'm just impressed that I figured all this out on my own. I think I missed my calling in life!
Next step is the toilet...
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
We had hired a moving company to move our furniture, and we were planning on moving everything else ourselves. In theory, had we planned a little better, we probably could have packed everything up and had them moved it for us - but hey, we have a ton of stuff in our kitchen (not to mention the rest of our apartment) and a serious lack of free time. All I want to know is how we (*I*) acquired so much stuff in such a short amount of time!
All in all, the movers were done in about 4 hours with no issues at all… they even put the old appliances out into the yard (classy?)…
Even though we had our furniture moved, we still had until Saturday @ 5:00 to turn in our key. We spent the rest of the day Friday packing up what we could. I even had a couple friends drop by for a couple hours to help. Luckily I have save EVERY SINGLE appliance box… ever.
We ended up finishing up around 3am and still had a fair amount to do. Steph and her mom headed over Saturday morning to finish up, but (as predicted) there was no way they were going to finish on time. I got the call while I was working on the house and got "permission" to rush out the door and head over the the apartment to clean up. 3 hours later and as many trips back and forth, we were finally done… at 4:55 - we like to keep things interesting.
Of course, now that we were moved, we have to do that annoying thing known as "unpacking".
As you can see by her closet, Steph is MUCH better at it than I am.
Day 3 in the house, and I still have my junk everywhere!
Since we don't have a kitchen yet, all of our kitchen stuff is sitting in the basement. Of course that means that we are running up an down the stairs anytime we need a cup… boo…
It is still surreal that we have made it this far and are actually sleeping in our house. We know that we still have work to do, but it is starting to feel less like a house, and more like our home...