Monday, August 31, 2009

Blog Soaking

Well, now we're just living at Cassidy. It's kinda known... "When are you going to the building?" "Around 10. You?" "8" "Cool, see you there."

They're finishing with the turf today. Go drive by and check it out. It's really cool looking. Some of the playground guys are still hanging around finishing the sand pit and cleaning up. I think we'll have them lower one of the arbors they installed. I think they measured it for adults...

Lots of boxes are arriving daily now... toys, furniture, tools, games, paints, rugs, costumes, little kitchens. The teachers were busy again putting everything together. It's coming along.

The painters are now touching up the doors and baseboards and finishing little spots around the school that need a little attention.

I met with the ADT guys for the fire alarm system today. They're installing everything tomorrow and Wednesday.

Tomorrow we get everything we bought in April out of storage. I think both Crys and I have no idea how much stuff is in there. Can't wait to see it all set up.

All of this has been such a part of our lives for about 2 years now, it doesn't makes sense that someday soon I'll have nothing to organize, correct, resubmit, order, engineer, design, contract, paint, decide on, email the city about, or maybe even blog about... soak it up moms and dads, soak it up.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


My biggest fear of IKEA is getting stuck in there during an earthquake. No one actually knows how big it really is inside (because of the magic-maze), so it would seem my chances would be slim. Maybe I'd end up in Sweden. Not the worst thing that could happen I guess.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dinner and a Football

First off, the fridge fits. We didn't know if it would, but it does. Super.

Today (yes I'm writing on Saturday again) we invited all the teachers to come down and help paint stuff, build other stuff, and clear-coat some other stuff. Most everyone already had plans by the time Crys got around to emailing at 10pm last night, but a few showed up. You know who you are... and thanks. We got a lot done today. So much so, that we don't have to go in again tomorrow. Which is nice because Crys needs to catch up on Z's. She's on her last order right now.

We ordered way too much pizza for lunch. I strongly overestimated how much people liked pizza and how many workers didn't bring their lunch. Granted, I told everyone they could only have 1 slice as I unloaded 10 boxes for about 11 people. Some unfortunately listened. Backfire.

The baseboards are done. Painting continues. The AC works and is glorious. Washer and Dryer hooked up. Water heater installed. Kitchen looks great. We actually decided today that there's a good chance we'll be cooking dinner there quite a bit. It's nicer and bigger than our own, and much closer to work. That thought bled into Sunday football upstairs with a big screen and surround sound. If you don't know how big a football fan Crystal is, you'll learn. If any of you all are from Cleveland, Dallas, or Oakland, just don't say anything... it could get ugly... and may even affect the enrollment status of your child.

UPDATE: Crys has added Cincinnati to the list.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Tennessee Part

There's a part of me that thinks I love manual labor. I think it might be the Tennessee part. I do like working on cars, fixing electronics, painting random people, and building tunnels. But, as I wrote that last sentence, I realized manual labor is far more taxing than what happens to be fun for me... thus, making it not so fun. I had the idea to build a bookshelf from the left over wood out of our ceiling. I gathered up Helen's son Jesse (great name), some tools from both our places, and headed off to build.

If you live in the Santa Monica area, you know it's been kinda crazy hot the past few days... today included. When I got to the building, our wood was there waiting on us... full of nails, splinters, and screws. Our first task... remove all weaponry from what would soon be our bookshelf. Four boards later, we started cutting, hammering, and sanding. Sadly, only for my own ego, it took us all day. Looking at it, you might think some of the Raspberries built it, but there's a fair amount of Jesse's (Helen's son) and my pride nailed together in there. I showed it off to anyone willing to look... yeah, that's right.

The lesson for me is that manual labor is not as glamorous as I thought. Moreover, I don't think I like it as much as I thought. I have so much more respect for the guys standing in the heat for 8 hours a day working on the playground, cutting wood, pouring sand, and ripping up asphalt. Still, now cool and in the comfort of a TV and couch, I long for another project.

On the bright side, Crys loved it. If you want, I'll show it to you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Catching Up

Where do I begin? Sorry for the skip in days. I know most, if not all, of you depend on this blog to get your day started... like a cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, or having your dog go fetch the newspaper. So, for my absence, I apologize. I'm surprised West LA hasn't imploded, but I'm glad you all pushed on without me. Okay, enough.

Since my last posting:

Public Works came out and requested a few items. We took out the South wall and are widening the driveway. Our neighbors were very cool about the whole deal. We're using the same fencing that's around the playground and adding some shrubbery around the perimeter. We took out the ramp that was into the parking lot... that is now the playground... they're pouring new concrete today.

The plumbing is now done and all appliances installed. The classroom sinks are in. All of the baby toilets and sinks are in and they're adorable.

The painters are done except for the windows... they're sanding the edges.

The flooring is done... except for a little space up front that no one knew what to do with. Looks pretty amazing if I do say so myself... which I am.

They're cutting and installing baseboards today.

Our teachers are sanding and clearing our little chairs and putting together some of our furniture.

The playground turf is being installed today. The structures are almost done now, too. They're finishing the sandpit and putting sand in tomorrow.

I'm sure there's more, but I need to get back over there.

Whole Foods smells like my grandmothers cooking right now... comforting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City Camping

Today our phone lines were installed. We're official. No turning back now.

The painting area outside is being constructed. Woodworking is done. The dramatic play stage was getting final touches. They're saving great old wood for the woodworking area, too... splinters and all. Don't worry, I doubt anyone is actually allergic to splinters. It only hurts.

The paint is looking pretty amazing. The flooring guys are nearly done with prep as of today. Starting tomorrow.

The electricians were installing lights and outlets today. Not that many of them will ever be on, but for inspection we needed them. It was an energy thing. We're actually saving MORE energy than required. Take that to the bank.

Started shopping for speakers and receivers today... my mind is spinning.

Right now, I'm camped out at our architects office waiting on a set of revisions per Transportation. Fun. I'm hungry.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Knock Knock... Knock Knock Knock

Today was kind of a big deal. I won't go into details, but some money has been reallocated to the kids... instead of the city... and that's always nice.

I've decided to start an esoteric cigar club for all of the dads interested (and maybe moms, too... haven't decided, but probably not... maybe there will be a vote). There's a new hatch to the Cassidy roof and yes we'll have a secret knock. I'm thinking velvet couches, a grill, a bigscreen for sports, and of course, the walk-in humidor/wine cooler. I guess it's not that esoteric being on Google-Blog, but the knock will for sure be.

They're prepping for the floor installation. I think he's starting on Thursday and working through the weekend.

Sinks and Toilets are going in. We had to reorder the faucets for the kids because they weren't sized right. Should be here tomorrow.

Nearly the entire West side of the building is painted inside. Looks really good.

Busy busy busy with licensing.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Left my kid at the airport again today. Crystal stopped by to check up on things. She said the paint was amazing so far. They started to paint the windows, too. They initially had done a test with primer, stain, paint, and then the rustic scuffing. I guess they're used to doing that because most windows (if not all) are at least half outside. We suggested just a light coat of paint and then the rustic scuffing. I didn't see them, but Crys said it looked great.

I dealt with a few things with the city today... rainwater stuff, drainage stuff, sidewalk stuff. We have a meeting with Public Works tomorrow morning. Phone lines go in on Wednesday... we got a phone number!

We're also still in need of a good stereo system and speakers. I've been looking around, but there's so much to choose from. If any of you parents have suggestions or companies to go with, please let me know.

We finally got the kitchen sink specs, so they measured for our countertops.

So close I can taste it... tastes like berries.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It Just Goes Our Way Sometimes

Went downtown to look for rugs today. Most everything was either way too ugly or way too adult for Cassidy. I don't think the gold-spun, hand-woven silk rug would be appreciated enough by the kids... and whatever food, dirt, and/or play-doh soon-to-be embedded deep within the fibers. We got caught up in Santee Alley... quite an experience. Then we got caught up in fabrics... yes, I'll admit, I was right there in the excitement... thinking about football, steaks, and muscle cars, but still jazzed on fabric designs.

My point is, that we stumbled across some great trees for the interior. They're pretty unique and will look great in the classrooms. Also, when we were leaving, I was just cutting up through various streets to get back to the 110 when Crys saw a rug store. I dropped her off told her to call when she was done. She called within 2 minutes... she wasn't done. She found what she had been looking for all day.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Met with our fence guy this morning. Little cosmetic snag getting handled this weekend. They put in the final piece today. Looks great.

If you drive by, you're sure to see the playground is coming along nicely. The stage looks amazing. I can't wait to see what he does with the sand pit. The turf should be going in soon, too.

They are painting this weekend. I think the bathrooms and kitchen will be done. They might get to some of the ceilings as well. You know it's close when paint is going on. They usually don't do that until the end because of it getting scuffed up.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fine Motor What?

When I was a kid (maybe 4), my grand-dad used to bring me home worthless electronics to tear apart... old typewriters, phone systems, etc. I remember him saying they were broken and I needed to fix them. He'd give me tools and I'd go at it... without the capacity of ever fixing them, much less the intention of even putting them back together. I just loved taking things apart.

Having those memories and being able to implement them into Cassidy means the world to me. If only one little kid takes to the screwdrivers and wrenches, it's good enough. Funny enough though, it was just tools and machines when I was a kid. Now it's called fine motor skills. I never knew how good I had it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Live and Learn

Guess what. I didn't go to the building today. Felt kinda nice, but it also felt like I left my child at the airport. You know that feeling? No? Hmmm.

Crys walked around with the painter today and spread her colorful gospel (no religious reference intended). Should have a painted preschool within days.

The lower cabinets are in and our countertop guy comes by tomorrow for measurements. Top cabinets should go in tomorrow. Here I was thinking I could install cabinets by myself in a day... live and learn.

The classroom orders were finalized and we should be making an order this coming week. The teachers are coming up with really good ideas. Some things had to be switched around because of how we laid out electrics and such, but all in all good stuff.

All the interior (but really exterior) windows are in as of today. I say exterior because Crys chose to put exterior windows inside creating a home feel for each classroom.

I think I forgot to mention yesterday, but our front and back doors came in. We also realized the door handles, that are clearly marked ADA, will not suffice. If anyone would like to go shopping with Crystal to take my place at this point, I'm accepting essays. Well, she just needs to choose from a catalog, so no biggie. Oil rubbed bronze, oil rubbed bronze, oil rubbed bronze.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Feet

I stopped by today to make sure the cabinet guy had what he needed and knew what we wanted. It was the first time I'd actually seen the cabinets other than a demo door at the shop. They really look great.

Crys stopped by and picked out how she wanted the upper cabinets to hang. Leaves a nice little spot for you parents to hang out... but not for too long.

The mudding continues... who knew?

Our play structure in the playground is nearly complete. We walked around and laid out ideas for the stage and sand pit. I can't wait to see the little feet running around.

Nearly all of the primer is on for the paint inside. Crys is meeting the GC to go over paint colors tomorrow. They're actually walking around and tagging everything this time. He called me today and asked if all the ceiling colors were the same... I just laughed and passed the phone to Crys.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Don't Think Puttied is a Scrabble Word

Today we had a meeting-of-the-minds with everyone involved. Just making sure everything's still on track and good to go... we are.

Tomorrow, they're installing the cabinets in the kitchen. We'll be painting the bathrooms and kitchen soon. Our base tile is going in today... gracious gift to our school from the GC. The front doors were delivered. The playground structure is nearly built. The basement has been cleaned up. The ceilings were puttied and primed for paint. The taping and mudding is nearly done. More and more, it's looking like the vision.

A few teachers stopped by today to check out their space. They started working last Monday and are putting together their wish-lists for furniture and materials. It's a really good group of people. I can't wait to see what they do in action.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Much More About the Car

Okay, so blogging on a Sunday isn't a big deal. I'm really on here to gloat. I just took out my first engine. It's out, broken down, and in a terrible wreck of pieces in our laundry room. It's the first time I've ever seen the inside of a car engine. What amazes me more than just seeing a bunch of metal that actually creates power is the fact that the engineers designed every little piece without a computer. Yes, I feel a bit "young" saying that, but it's across-the-board amazing. Don't worry, it balances out Crys' girly side.

Today, Crys and one of our teachers went shopping. I thought they were just going to the building for labeling, but they came back with a car full of toys, chairs, buckets, baskets, and spools. It's all really perfect.

We ended the day with a nice dinner, wine, and conversation with friends. Does it get any better?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Live On

Okay, so blogging on Saturday isn't a big deal. Plus, we found a really great furniture guy. I was driving in Burbank the other day and noticed a small shop on Magnolia... logged it for later and kept on driving. I told Crys about it today and we set off to see what they had. Turns out, this guy can get us just about all the furniture we need in raw form. Given how Crys wants everything to look weathered, I think we're going to turn our carport into a paint shop soon. Wanna help? I can promise that no lead-based, CFC ridden, animal tested paints will be used, but I can't promise there won't be a paint fight at the end. Hey, life's short and it's water-based. Live on.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Today we went out and bought quarts of our wall colors to test in the building. We're up to 8 now. We're gonna go by tomorrow and plan out what goes where for the painters.

Tomorrow they are priming the kitchen and bathrooms so we can install fixtures and cabinets. That'll clear some floor space. Then again, today we got all of the kid's toilets delivered. You can almost hold one in your palm, so they don't take up much room.

The back door to the playground was installed today. We had moved it from facing South to now facing West. It looks great.

I probably won't be on here tomorrow, but I'll be using a hobby-break on Sunday taking the engine out of my '65 Corvair. I hear getting greasy clears your mind... we'll see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Barn Doors

Leave it to an architect to design a perfect barn door. What? Aren't architects city folk with small cars and black frame glasses? You say it might be as easy as looking at a few pictures, but these barn doors are perfect. There's been so much to think about over the past few months, that when our GC asked us about the barn door design, we had either forgotten what it was, or never really looked at it. A barn door is a barn door, right? Well, we set off to see the design on our plans and it's actually much cooler than what I had in my head. It's like the perfect blend of old-country and retro-modern. Once Crystal gets a hold of it with a grip full of sandpaper, we'll be in business.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Now It's a Preschool

From the outside, it might still be your mom's old doctor's office. Now it's official. The playground equipment was delivered today and installation starts tomorrow. It's very cute. We should be pouring the play surface within a week or so.

I think we're going to be using some of the old wood from the building for little things like a mirror frame, a book shelf, woodworking, etc. I couldn't stand thinking about them just hauling it off to the Never Neverlandfill.

Today they're mudding and taping the walls. It's where they essentially take the seams out of the drywall and make it look even across everything. They tape, mud, sand, mud and sand again. Then we primer and paint... I think we got the colors by the way.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I got a sweet email today from my grandmother about a photo she was getting printed for Cassidy. My ideal situation was to have our grandmother's photos in each of their classrooms at preschool age. I'm still working on the rest, but I think one's on it's way. She told me that she had found one of herself when she was 3 and had it scanned, retouched, and printed for her room. Maybe I'll set it on our family piano.

We talked more paint colors today. I think we're getting close to a decision... but then again, it's just paint... it can always be painted over.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Playful Day

It was nice to leave the cellphones in the room, check emails once a day, and forget the weight of West LA is on our shoulders. Great trip and very relaxing. Good to be back.

We left early to make the Preschool and Kinder Kids playdate in Santa Monica today. I can't tell you how cute these kids are... my goodness. I guess you probably already know.

I know I didn't get to meet everyone, but let me go ahead and throw this out there... please come up to me and introduce yourself if I don't float around the room. I'm not a great floater... I think I've mentioned that on here before.

Deena, thanks so much for organizing the playdate. For all of you parents and kids who came, thanks to you, too. It was precious to see all of the little ones running around and meeting each other. Equally as precious were the little Cassidy shirts actually being worn. I saw them in the box when we ordered them, but I had no idea.

Dropped by the building right after. We're completely drywalled now. The fence is about 95% complete. Some more goodies were delivered. The teachers got to see it for the first time, too. My good friend, who's investing in Cassidy, is in town this week. The last time she saw it, it had dentist's offices all down the side and half of it was demolished. Needless to say, it will be quite different. I can't wait to see her reaction.