Thursday, March 22, 2012

Before/The Beginning

My house, which was largely unpacked and generally clean and organized on Sunday, is now a construction zone. Our contractor is great and is working as neatly as possible, but when you're ripping up tile and concrete there's a fine layer of dust that just floats in the air and lands wherever it pleases, often 2 rooms away. The good news is, it should all be done by mid-late April. The bad news is, it won't all be done until mid-late April.

master bath, tub area

Selecting tiles and fixtures and trying to find and follow an overall design when you have no design experience or background has been rather stressful. For one, both JP and I have full-time jobs that require our full attention. We're both trying to impress a lot of people- me because I'm new, JP because he's trying to convince his bosses that teleworking can work. This does not mesh well with 2-hour visits to tile warehouses. Also not helping is the fact that I am incapable of visualizing anything without a picture. Anything at all. Spatial reasoning is something I was simply born without.

future new, greatly expanded master shower

Weirdly enough, JP told me tonight at dinner that Roger, our contractor, made some mention about how I come across as intimidatingly smart. This shocked me because (1) I do not think I am at all intimidating for any reason and have actually worried in professional, opposing party type situations that I come off as too friendly and (2) the only conversations I've had with Roger involve measurements and picturing things that aren't yet built and I am absolutely terrible at that. We had to put a piece of paper on the floor and draw a diagram of our master shower from two different perspectives- that's how much I couldn't grasp the concept of our new bench. I think it must be because he's only seen me in suits and heels whereas he sees JP working in burnt orange basketball shorts and a t-shirt. The same burnt orange basketball shorts and t-shirt ever single day. I had to explain last night that "working from home" is not an excuse to forgo bathing and laundry.

new laundry room wall thanks to a pipe leak and rotted walls

In the midst of everything else, I got sick over the weekend. I lost my voice on Sunday and by Monday I could only squeak. This was awesome, as I got to meet the other 80% of the office that was out for Spring Break the week before while sounding alternatively like a munchkin or a bull frog. That's also the voice I got to use while meeting the teachers at daycare, talking to utility companies, and ordering tile and plumbing fixtures. My voice has improved (though I talked to a friend today who thought I sounded terrible- she has no idea, I didn't squeak or drop sounds once on that call!), but most of my co-workers have no idea what my normal voice sounds like.

the most hideous guest bathroom ever

The kids started daycare on Monday. Landon is doing GREAT. This class is much more school-like, with way more learning (his teacher was appalled at how few words he knew... this was one issue with our old daycare; it was the warmest, most loving place on earth, but academics were not a focus -- which was fine until now, but it was time for Landon to start learning things while we paid $1,000/month for "school"), and he's loving it. He told me he has 15 friends (i.e., the whole class) and the teacher said she was amazed at how quickly he fit in with the group (basically, in the first 2 minutes). He loves the work and is so excited to show me his sheets and projects when I pick him up. On the first day, I picked up Claire first and then went up to his room. As I walked in the door a little boy ran up to me and said, "Is that Clairebear?!" He'd already told the whole class about her. Freaking love that kid.

floral wallpaper be gone!

Claire, on the other hand, is having a more difficult adjustment. On Monday she sobbed like her heart was broken at drop-off, reaching for me and crying with tears rolling down her cheeks, screaming "mama mama, no mama, no mama". I got to the car and said "fuck" about 6 times in a row with tears pricking my eyes before I could drive the 6 blocks to my office, where I sat in the parking garage for about 10 more minutes before I felt I could go upstairs and smile and laugh and introduce myself to 50 new people. Dropping off a sobbing child just flat out fucking sucks and there is nothing I can do to spin it more positively. Each day has been the same- I actually made JP drop her off today, even though he has to drive downtown right past by building to do it, because I needed a day off from the emotional trauma. The good news is, of course, she has a great day and is extremely happy and smiley (and busy!) when I pick her up. We really like the teachers and the director and Claire already has many fans, so I'm hoping she'll adjust soon.

really, everything be gone- we're starting over on this one

Things are good overall, especially given that today is only our seventh day living in an entirely new city. My job is awesome, I just wish I had a voice and didn't feel like crap. JP's transition is going well, I just wish he wasn't working till midnight every night (as does he). Landon is doing fabulous in the new school, but has managed to get himself sent to his room every night we've been home. Claire is doing slightly less awesome with the new school transition, but is absurdly adorable in the evenings. The house is a mess, but will look great in a few weeks and I will force myself to deal with it until then. On the upside, we closed on the sale of our Austin house today (we think- funds get transferred tomorrow).

future master tub faucet that I spent way too much time selecting

But still, I'm really looking forward to next month's "After" post.


  1. Phew, almost there! I watched our nanny carry a sobbing, reaching for me James out of my office on Wednesday and it was so awful (especially because I technically could have left work at that moment, but wanted to stay and get caught up so I wouldn't have so much to do at night). I hope things get better soon!

    Two bathroom renos at once! You are a brave family!

  2. My daughter is deep in separation anxiety stage right now. I have the sobbing girl drop off at least three times a week... and my own breakdown in the car at least twice a week... and it fucking sucks.

    Good luck with the renos -- I love that you have no spatial awareness / can't envision something done. Neither do I -- drives my carpenter father absolutely nuts. I didn't get that gene.

  3. Things are *happening*--the after will be here soon. Hope your throat's better--that's the #1 priority.

  4. Good luck with all of the changes! I couldn't imagine watching her cry for you like that. I'm sure it will all become normal soon.

    Also, my boyfriend is always telling me things he's going to create, and I never have any idea what it's going to look like until it's already done. NO spatial reasoning.

  5. That's a lot to deal with! I think Timmy is still transitioning from the move and it's heartwrenching. The other day, he pulled out his class picture from old-school, sat there studying it for a while, and then said, "Mommy, I want to go back to [old-school] and see [old-teachers]." He last was there 4 months ago! We don't like his new school (although it's ok, it's just not as good as the old one) and have looked at 3 other schools since he started, but nothing would work out well. It breaks my heart to know that he misses them still. Kids move on and as long as they're safe and well-loved at home, I think anything is ok temporarily. But as parents we always want the VERY best for our kids.

    No advice, just know that this too shall pass and it sounds like you know that. I think your life will be a hundred times better this summer!