So after we last talked (about tearing out major walls in our house) Michael went right to work. He quickly realized that the plaster dust was not good for the kids and he shipped us off to the grandparents for four days. We got back this afternoon, to find that he has been working his tail off. He and a good friend pulled an almost-all-nighter (5am) last night trying to get demo, plumbing, structural supports, etc wrapped up before we got home! Lots and lots of work. His hands are so torn up. (Thanks for working so hard, honey!) We must adjust our kitchen layout and here are two quick options we will discuss in the morning.
We both like the sink in the island, and the dishwasher next to it. The microwave will also be built into the island. I like that this keeps the back cabinets clean. Ideally we would have no upper storage, to keep it open. The central, square island seems to maximize the layout and provides more seating.
It's like we had a baby idea (similar to the cartoon above!) that turned into a very large project! That's what happens when a "dreamer" is married to a "doer" I guess.