Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Welcome to [the second half of] my house

Last post I left you with my creepily-lighted laundry room, er, closet. Probably not the most attractive note to end on. But if there's one thing I'm learning while living here in paradise, it's that you need some rain to make a rainbow. So let's start the second half of our house tour with our house's lil' pot 'o gold--the patio.

Yes, I called it a patio. Everyone else here would probably call it a lanai but according to my extensive research, a lanai is covered. And since I'm already super apprehensive about my shaky grasp on the Hawaiian language, I'm just going to stick with what I know. This patio is not covered. At least, it wasn't for the first two months we lived here. We went through a few different options, including a giant sail shade, before settling on this arrangement--a gazebo over the table and a large umbrella over the sitting area.

You may remember the big mess this spot was when we first moved in. The cement was covered in a layer of algae that made a spongy noise when you walked on it and smelled like a dirty fish tank. Not to mention hid about a dozen rusty staples that my kids kept stepping on. So we bought a power washer and Jon went to work revealing a whole new floor. Then he repainted and sealed it, a process that took longer than expected since he could only work on non-rainy days. We threw down some outdoor rugs, got a good deal on patio furniture, and wa-la, the transformation was complete.

It's practically like having another room. The only thing missing is a TV. Outdoor televisions on lanais are a thing around here and the only reason I suggest it is because Sunday nights get a little dicey around here when PBS Masterpiece is on at the same time as football.

We love to hang out here or eat dinner--and I'm not just saying that because it's so much easier to clean up. It also tends to be cooler/breezier and a little less claustrophobic. I'd say we eat here all the time but the truth is, we don't. We'll go through a few rainy days, get in the habit of eating inside, and then forget we have the table out here for a few weeks. And then we'll have guests over or throw a party and remember again.

Once again, we love our dreamy backyard. Even though we are just a few feet away from our neighbors on either side, tall fences + thick foliage give us the illusion of privacy. You don't realize how close you are until someone starts to get loud. Like last night at dinner, when Jack was yelling back and forth with his classmate next-door. Or when the typically-quiet neighbor on the other side starts on this hacking/gagging cough thing that freaked me out a bit when we first moved in. Let me just say, living almost on top of one another in a climate where everyone keeps their windows open all the time is interesting. And I'm not just saying that because I'm super-convicted about the way I talk to my kids sometimes.

Speaking of those little guys, you may have noticed the second door and windows along the patio wall. That would be Jon's and my bedroom door and the bathroom windows. When I'm in the bathroom and the kid's can't reach me, (and I do mean just me, the kids never bother Jon) they usually run outside and start talking to me through the window. I feel like they purposely wait until I'm in the shower to ask for a snack.

And then there's the door. It's been a bit of a creepy adjustment having an outside door in our bedroom. We didn't sleep so well the first few nights feeling a tad "exposed." It's also an adjustment when the kids leave it open all.the.time and all sorts of creatures end up in our bedroom. But it is a nice alternate route to the back of the house--like when I want to sneak to my room without Joci spotting me. Or when I want to sneak out to the hammock with a book for a few minutes. Or when I want to sneak out of the house to make a quick grocery store run without a bunch of kids asking to go with me on a "date." I know it sounds like I do a lot of sneaking about. But living in around 1600 feet with 6 people causes you to really value your personal space!

Back to the main house! Off the kitchen/dining/living area is the hallway to the rest of the house. It's also the location for our linen closet and craft/game closet (because storage space is everything here, have I mentioned that enough times yet?) First door on the right is our guest room. It's not much, but it is a room, with a door and a closet. The one disadvantage to this room is that it's right next to the living room, and the windows are perpendicular to the living room window. Which means that if you are a guest sleeping in our guest room, and my kids wake up at 5:55am and start playing not-so-quietly in the living room, it probably sounds like they're right next to your head. But at least you'd still be a guest in Hawaii, right? Rain/rainbows, baby.

We've already had our first two visitors--my parents and Jon's parents--come test things out. I feel like this room is not being used to its full potential. I'd love a Murphy Bed in here so it could function in other ways when we don't have visitors. But for now, it's my music room (we put the keyboard under the bed when people are visiting.) The study (when I have to separate the boys during homework time.) And the trampoline (just kidding, the kids are not supposed to be jumping on this bed.

Across the hall is one other disadvantage for guests, whether overnight or just here for a few hours, they have to share a bathroom with my offspring. In my dream house, the kids would have their own bathroom. Or even just a urinal for the boys would be nice. Like, in the garage or something. Boys are so gross. That is all.

The kids' rooms are very similar--same size and layout. Both the boys and girls have Ikea bunk beds--great for saving space, not-so-great for keeping your head when the ceiling fan is on. Windows yet again play an interesting role here. Since their rooms are side-by-side, you can often hear Team Girl and Team Boy yelling back and forth to each other after lights out.
Girls Room

Not much has changed in the kids' room since our move. We've cut back on clothes and stuffed animals--both of which seem to grow despite my efforts. And while we keep most of our toys out in the main living space, the have their Legos in their room and the girls have their dolls and dress-up/pretend play stuff in their room so we can still maintain something resembling "room time" aka, mommy needs you in your own little space for a time.

Boys Room

We're at that age where I find little notes everywhere.

And last but not least, the Master Bedroom. As far as fitting old furniture into new spaces, this room presents the biggest challenge. While the square footage would probably be fine, the fact that the room is a rectangle rather than a square makes things difficult. There's not enough room for two bedstands. And we're definitely putting that king size bed dream on hold for the next few years. Because of our the type of windows we have, our only option for AC (which is pretty much a must in the summer) is that massive portable unit in the corner.

We do have two closets though (something we didn't have in the last house), but we end up sharing them anyway since Jon's half is almost entirely taken up by a chest of drawers. And we actually leave the doors open like this most of the time. Not so much because we're lazy, but because (a) they're old and really hard to close and (b) it helps cut down on mildew in the closet. Lovely, right? Rain and rainbows. It's all just rain and rainbows.

And we'll finish the tour in the master bathroom--yet another room that makes us wonder "what were they thinking?" For instance, instead of making this side a vanity + a sink, it's a vanity on the left connected by a pipe to the sink on the right. I just don't get it. Again, notice those great views of the back patio (and easy communication avenue) from our toilet and shower.

And from here I think we'll just sneak on out the back door to hammock for some quiet time, which is pretty precious around here. And that wraps up the tour of our FIFTH home since we got married over 10 years ago. Mahalo for joining us here on the beautiful island of Oahu!

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