Monday, September 18, 2006

The Bathroom Remodel: Life in the Chaos

Today is a big, big day, folks. I am currently at home. I took the day off so that I could be home for... The Plumber! Yes, right this second, as I sit here typing, The Plumber is installing the toilet, the vanity, the shower head, the tub faucet, the radiator, and the hookup for the washing machine! Tonight, we shower.

So this means that the “After” pictures for the bathroom half of the remodel are on their way. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you the nightmare of living in a house undergoing a major renovation. Following are pictures which should explain why I have spent much of the last thirteen weeks crying into my paintbrush. You see, I am not a person who tolerates clutter very well. So when you mix that with a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones and force me to live in chaos for four months without the possibility of a shower, you get a very frustrated and weepy pregnant lady who can’t quite get all of the shampoo out of her hair.

I present to you: The Chaos.

Kitchen, during:
Please do not judge us by the ugliness of our kitchen. Remember: Our apartment’s last tenant was the guy who that a soap dispenser in the bathroom was a good idea. He also apparently cooked via the “throw grease directly at the walls” technique. There was even grease on the bathroom walls. We were totally going to replace the kitchen walls this summer when the bathroom was done, but that is obviously not happening now. Next summer. And please do not suggest that in the meantime, we just strip the wallpaper and repaint, or wallpaper over the current wallpaper, or anything like that, because there is no way we are doing that. We can live with it another year. We’ll just close our eyes or look into the bathroom.

Dining room, during:
That picture does not even include the filing cabinets which are currently occupying the space where the plant is.

Living room, during:
The living room has been acting as a sort of catch-all for any extraneous nursery stuff that couldn’t fit in the dining room. This turned out to mostly be books that we are not planning to leave in the nursery.

We plan to move the books, the file cabinets, and the extra bookshelves and dresser to the landing/office area, but we have so far been thwarted in our organization by the devious Bathroom Remodel. Witness the landing/office area:

Landing, during:
Yeah, not much room for more furniture. And it has been like this for FOUR MONTHS.

Amusingly, behind the dishwasher box are located the towel rods and various other bathroom hardware that we rushed out to buy in June so that we would have them ready when the time came to install them. That time has not yet come.

This weekend, The Husband and The Carpenter finished installing the woodwork in the bathroom, and we were planning to get the woodwork all painted before The Plumber came today, but we were foiled once again by drying times. I didn’t realize that the woodwork all needed to be caulked, and then caulk needed two hours to dry. But we powered through and caulked and painted the woodwork that would be behind the radiator and vanity so we wouldn’t have to try to get behind them after they were installed. And then I cried some more, because we are so close to the end, but are constantly being held up by tiny annoying little jobs like caulking the woodwork.

The Husband, to his credit, refrained from saying anything to me during this latest crying jag. But I know The Husband pretty well, so I could read his thoughts, and his thoughts were screaming, “Oh, for the love of… she’s crying again? I’ve been doing hard labor for the past seven hours for the millionth Saturday in a row, and all she did was go food shopping and take a nap, and now she’s crying because the flipping woodwork isn’t painted? OK. OK. Remember: she’s pregnant. Cut her some slack, slide her the box of tissues, and just keep your mouth shut.” And he did. So after we finished priming the woodwork, I went to cry by myself in the bedroom and let him take a nap, and later that night we had well-deserved ice cream sundaes.

The ice cream and a good night’s sleep helped me to reevaluate the situation and I feel more optimistic now, even though The Plumber has just informed me that he is, in fact, unable to install the vanity after all. It seems we need to cut out wedges in the baseboards for the legs of the vanity so that the vanity will be flush against the wall. Neither will he install the radiator today because he doesn’t have the right valve with him. But it’s OK! It’s fine! He’s still installing the shower, and the new toilet, and the washer hookups. So what if we have to keep washing our hands and brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. We will be able to shower. It’s fine. And we don’t need to turn the heat on yet, so we don’t even need a radiator. It’s fine! It’s a minor delay! I will remain optimistic!

And, looking on the bright side, we can still leave the vanity in the bathroom which clears up the landing and will allow us to put away all kinds of things. Things that are currently making the nursery look like this:

Before I sign off, I feel I should explain that the boxes of books now in the nursery are the same boxes that used to be in the living room. We have a lot of books, but not that many. But once we got the nursery painted, we reverted back to using it as a storage room for the tons o’ stuff that has no home during the remodel.

So the after pictures will be delayed several more days as we try to figure out a way to notch out the baseboards. Actually, they’ll probably be delayed several weeks because we will have to get back on the plumber’s schedule, and he’s two weeks out.

But in the meantime, we can shower and do laundry, so I probably won’t cry tonight. No promises.


Maggie said...

There may be lots of clutter, but that is a super cute nursery. Did you paint little pink things by the crib?

Anonymous said...

The nursery looks great!
Wish we could be there to help!
- Jen, Brian and Eli

Mo said...

I did, in fact, paint the pink things. Well, I stamped them. They are zoo animals, and I am immensely pleased with how they came out. When the nursery is set up with only the nursery furniture, I will post some before and after pictures and a close up of the zoo animal border.