Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Really, there IS a kitchen under all that stuff

Saturday was a gorgeous day. Blue skies, warm, sunny. I was going to go to the montly flea market early, then hit the playgound with the kids later while my husband was planning to finish the floor tile in one of the basement rooms. Then Max didn't really sleep well, so that was the part about getting up early and leaving for the flea market before everyone else woke up. Oh well. Then we decided we'd quickly fix that issue with the door one of the kitchen cabinets. I didn't even take a before picture because I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. Couple hours later the kids were off to the playground with my mother (thanks, Mom!) and the kitchen looked like this:

What happened? Well, same thing that always happens when you try to do something real quick: you either run into some unexpected difficulty or it just spirals out of control. Or both. What we discovered was what I've been saying for two years now, ever since we moved: the oven is not level. Therefore, the door above doesn't really close. And now in the last few days, adjacent doors and our pantry pull-out cabinet didn't close right.

You see, when we moved two years ago, Max was just three months old, my husband couldn't take much time off at work and I had just started to work 2 days a week shortly before. And those of you who have moved with small kids now what it means. Before you have kids, moving is stressful, but basically it's just yourself or the two of you and all you really need is a mattress on the floor, a coffee maker and a functioning bathroom (my husband would probably add a cold beer to that list). You can work until dark unpacking boxes and setting up kitchen cabinets, you can go out for dinner if you're hungry or have a sandwhich on the dining room floor. With kids, two things change:

a) you don't really have more than 30 minutes uninterrupted time to do anything, at least if you're the mommy
b) everything kid-related such as their rooms, the kitchen, dining room and some sort of play area need to be ready asap.

Now, of course these things don't go very well together. So we really tried to enlist help everywhere we could, we had my mother-in-law help with the kids. She used to take walks with Max when he didn't need to be nursed (which felt like every 20 minutes at the time) and play with Henry in the dirt piles surrounding the house. We had a the movers pack all of our stuff and move it within 1 1/2 days (still meant that I had to unpack every single of those 156 boxes myself). And we had help setting up the kitchen because the kitchen moved with us so it had to be moved and re-assembled the same day. And of course I had to add to the existing kitchen - it's an Ikea kitchen so that was easy from a planning perspective, but it still meant that old and new cabinets had to be put together in a new kitchen plan and with new countertops. Nice plan. Except that our kitchen help was obviously not all as familiar with building Ikea kitchens as we've become over time.

So what does that have to do with these pictures of total chaos? Well, reason the doors weren't closing and the oven was not level was that the cabinets weren't level either and reason for that was that the cabinet feet had been put up completely wrong, putting all the weight on the bottom of the cabinets and not on the sides, and also the feet under that pull-out cabinet left from the fridge were screwed so high that they actually pushed the bottom of the cabinet up so much that it broke. So what we discovered Saturday was that the cabinet was about to break and had only not fallen down yet because it was leaning on the fridge. Oh great, just great.

That's how a sunny day at the playground (and, oh yeah, a not so sunny day down in the basement putting down tiles...) turned into a giant kitchen mess. Anyway, we (ok, make that my husband) fixed it and I cleaned it and put everything back in. So by around 4:30 in the afternoon it looked like this again:

Still not as clean or organized or clutter-free as I'd like, but hey, there was sunshine outside! So that's where I went. Finally. Have you had any surprises years after moving? Any kitchen stories to share? Hope you had a great weekend!


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