So, when faced with the mounting levels of anxiety piling up over busted-cabinet budgets, six weeks in a house without a shower, and a mad-scramble to secure new childcare, I am trying to channel that uncorrupted joy of a little girl basking the sunlit breeze of her favorite season.
It's also taken a fair amount of alcohol and binge-eating, but I think I'm coping okay. When I'm not composing delicately-worded, but essentially angry emails to our contractor, I have found some aspects of this renovation to be fully enjoyable. Turns out, picking out light fixtures and accent tile gives me a total rush. It's like all my HGTV dreams have come to fruition and made me the star of my own little renovation show (step aside Joanna Gaines...) Now, if we could just figure out how to mimic those 30 minute formats and impossible budget stretching (we updated and expanded the entire house for 25 grand!), I'd be in freaking heaven.
Not everyone, however, shares my opinion here. Yesterday, after narrowly escaping Lowes with our sanity in tact and amazingly with all three boys still somehow accounted for, I pointed out how much pleasure I was deriving by piecing together a bathroom of our own design. 'Isn't this part fun?' My husband didn't skip a single beat before replying with a resounding 'No!' I guess he finds less amusement in weighing the the aesthetics of brushed nickel versus chrome while also periodically asking a small herd of tiny diapered people to please stop crawling between the boxes of kitchen sinks (can you blame them?)
Still, it's safe to say the novelty of operating a kitchen out of plastic bins, speed-showering at the gym, ambling down steps for a midnight pee, and taking the shit-show that is bathtime on the road (I think my BIL went sterile right before my very eyes while overhearing the desperate shrieks of a 2-year-old who's suddenly developed an inexplicable bath-phobia) has just about worn off. Our bathroom was projected to take 2-3 weeks and we are now officially entering week seven. For you non-math majors out there, that's more than double the projected time. I spend my time wafting between resignation and fury; it's a place familiar to anyone who's been brave enough to undertake a home renovation project and trust the execution of that project to someone else.
When I came home this week to find someone had decided to spend the day doing kitchen demo instead of making forward progress on the bathroom, I lost it a little. I spent at least 3 hours scrubbing renovation dust from the uncovered kitchen bins and their vast contents as well as from the piles of toys left scattered about, almost as if to intentionally join in on the filth-fest, and petty much every surface of the main level of our home. I acknowledge it was an exercise in complete futility, but I needed a physical outlet for my massive frustration, and scrubbing dirt seemed to fit the bill.
I am reminded frequently, by friends and family who've been through this before, that it is totally worth it. It's a massive headache of a process, but just keep the end-results in your sights and someday (though much further off than initially projected by your contractor),. it will be done.
I am, of course, lucky. Lucky to have a beautiful home to renovate; the resources to make it happen; healthy children to bathe (even if it's at someone else's house and at deafening volumes); and family and friends willing to listen to me bitch and moan about the process.
And it's springtime. I was greeted by the strong, sweet fragrance of our lilac bushes as I returned home from my shower tonight and it was downright glorious. I go to bed tonight with a little less anxiety, knowing we've found a new nanny, and with the scent of springtime drifting in our windows. It's a pretty good life, even if it's somewhat dusty and without an operable shower.
Urine update: You may not be surprised to hear everyone is still in diapers. However, the 4-year-old insisted on underpants this evening and kept them dry for over 3 hours with one pit stop (#small victories). Earlier this week, the 2-year-old peed on one of our child-sized potties, then abandoned it and his pants. I was frantically trying to cover his exposed man-parts when I noticed from across the room, the 1-year-old dumping the pee into the floor.
Tile AND grout!