So. We did manage to get the majority of the new floor laid over Thanksgiving. It took most of three days to do it, but it's in enough to have kids running around here again, and that's all I can ask from a volunteer (my Dad) in his spare time.
The new vinyl is that stick-together stuff from Home Depot called "Allure." It floats, like vinyl (doesn't stick to the floor) and has sticky strips to bind each piece to the next piece. It was incredibly easy to install and we put it right over our old, ugly vinyl. It has the illusion of tile with a fraction of the effort. I'm all about simplicity.
And it looks so much nicer. The picture doesn't do it justice, especially with the funky, angled transition (necessary for the way the walls lined up). But trust me, it's better.
During the last few days, I've experienced the joy of seeing EVERYTHING that falls on the floor. It has been enlightening. All of that crap was previously ground into my carpet, because I promise that I didn't get the vacuum out every day. Now I can just sweep it up. I like that a lot.
It's a little echo-y in here, which is the one big downside...especially with loud kids chasing each other in my house five days a week. But we've added a few rugs and books...and it's getting better. I've also noticed that I can hear footsteps, which were silent with carpet-on-concrete. But that's something of a benefit...I can hear Olivia coming when she wakes up in the middle of the night instead of startling awake to find a little face right in front of me.
Overall assessment...New floors = YAY! Also, early Merry Christmas to us because our Christmas budget just took a swift kick to the gut.