I've gotten the majority of the kitchen painted. Yay! The current speed bumps we're working around are some drywall cracks. There are three and they're all in corners. Two of them in fact are on either side of the semi-wall between our kitchen and dining(play) room. The third is along the same side of the house, in the back corner of the kitchen. We have similar cracks on our second level as well, but that's a different project!
I think the problem is really that the walls were just not done properly. We've long suspected some water damage on this side of the house (all along our far left wall). When we first bought the house one of the conditions in the contract we presented was repair to what was obviously water damage on that wall in the dining room. The upstairs bathrooms are right above the dining room and kitchen on that wall and whenever water is running upstairs you can hear what sounds like dripping if you're on the main level. We have yet to see any visible damage from said dripping and are honestly just too paranoid to open up the drywall and investigate. All of this is to say that I'm pretty confident that the walls along that side of the house have been repaired/replaced since the house was built. At that, they were not done very well. It's possible that the owner prior to us (we're not exactly sure how many there have been, but the house was built in 1999) repaired/replaced the drywall only when they were ready to sell. The entire house was spray painted - poorly - all one off-white color in a flat finish (which hides imperfections) and I kind of doubt anyone lived like that.
It appears to me that in some spots drywall tape may have been used without any drywall joint compound. In other places it looks like compound was used without tape. To be honest, it doesn't even look like drywall tape. I don't think I'd be at all surprised if it turned out to be blue painter's tape. Gah.
Dining(play) room -- clearly some tape, but what kind?
Corner just on the other side of the wall from the photo above. Also some visible tape (see that wavy spot?). This makes me wonder if it's painter's tape and not actual drywall tape which should have been scraped down onto joint compound then covered by joint compound. I think that's just tape with paint over it!
The back corner of the kitchen (so, damaged left wall of the house meets back wall of the house). I can't even tell if there is any tape here. The crack is directly in the corner with no visible tape edges.
So we're going to pick up some tape and compound and get those corners patched pronto so that the painting can finally be finished! I can't wait to put the kitchen back together. It's pretty much a nightmare. On the bright side of that, I have sold a bunch of stuff we don't use/need anymore and made about $100! I'm just using the cragslist-like board that my school district has and listing stuff on there. It's nice because I can meet people at the schools where they work and not have to worry about strangers coming to my house or going to their houses. Plus you have to pass a background check to work for a school system and that makes me feel better too (not saying there aren't any weirdos working in school systems, I've encountered a few of them myself).
Also, our appliance delivery has been pushed back to March 14. Apparently Best Buy didn't properly account for the number of appliances they would sell during their Presidents' Day sale. But we have a dinner meeting tonight with our architect and tile guy! Hopefully it's all good news and we'll have a tile layout and possible install date by the end of the night. Hooray for some progress :)