Monday, September 26, 2011
It seems like our lives will never be "normal" again.
I think back to the days when all we had to do was a few chores in the evening. Make dinner. Do dishes. Wash and prep Nora's bottles, make our lunches for the next day. Maybe a few loads of laundry. Clean a bathroom. Then? Collapse on the couch with the laptop or the remote control. I had time to upload and sort through pictures. I had (some) time to blog.
Weekends were full of errands--some fun, some not. We had family dinners. We occasionally went out to eat. We spent plenty of time playing with Nora. Once she was in bed, we'd watch TV, or maybe rent a movie.
Life is just so much different right now.
I don't really mean to complain--I know how lucky we are to have a house, even if it is one that takes up so much time. And despite the imperfections and the amount of work it is requiring, I really do love it. I love having space. I love having a driveway, and a backyard. An actual dining room. Multiple bathrooms. It's just that I guess I thought that after five weeks of living here (six since closing), we would be able to sit back and enjoy it a bit more.
I never intended for us to end up with a fixer-upper. I knew that this place needed some work, but it all seemed so minor when we were looking at it. But it turned out that things that seemed small ended up being a bigger deal than we thought. And simple things take more time than we planned. The funny part is that compared to other houses we looked at, this place needed considerably less work. Can you imagine if we had ended up with one of the other ones? Good god.
Before Nora's birthday party, the pressure was enormous. My dad was coming to stay with us, and if we didn't get the upstairs in decent shape and prepared for new carpet--and then get the carpet installed--we couldn't get our new bedroom furniture delivered, and my dad would not have had any place to sleep. Plus, we invited like 50 people (we are crazy) to our baby's first birthday so we wanted the house to look at least somewhat decent.
During those first weeks, we worked ourselves ridiculously hard. There was no rest. During the week, we worked full-time jobs, came home with Nora, fed her, (briefly) played with her, bathed her, and put her to bed. Once she was down, we maybe ate something, and then we worked, worked, worked until we collapsed into bed at midnight. The next day, we'd do it all over again. Weekends consisted of multiple trips to Lowe's and Home Depot. My mother-in-law generously offered to take Nora for a few hours each day, so that we'd be able to get more work done. When we did have Nora, one of us took care of her while the other did some kind of project around the house. It was exhausting.
The week leading up to the party was crazy, but we did it. The carpet was installed on Thursday, my dad arrived on Friday, and our bedroom furniture came a few hours after he did. The party on Saturday was a success.
After all of that, you'd think we would give ourselves a little break.
You'd be wrong.
On Sunday morning (Nora's actual birthday, mind you), two of our (very handy and do-it-yourself-savvy) friends arrived at 10:00 a.m. I took Nora on a very hefty Home Depot run while Michael, our friends, and my dad ripped down nearly all of the drywall in our family room and started to replace it.
Two weeks later, we are still working on that damn drywall project in the family room. Last night, we went to put primer on the new walls and ceiling (finally!) only to be faced with a fairly significant setback. :::sigh::: Such is life.
Last week, I came down with something--extreme nausea and dizziness--so I was down for the count for five days. On the one hand, it totally sucked to feel like that, and to be so unproductive. On the other hand, OHMYGOD IT WAS SO NICE TO CATCH A BREAK. But as soon as I felt decent again (on Friday), I put myself back to work.
The past two weekends, we've slowed down a lot. We do our projects when Nora is napping or in bed for the night, but otherwise, we are trying to treat our weekends like normal weekends. Still, I just want to know when this is all going to be over. If you've moved into a house that had a lot of "projects"--how long was it until you were truly settled? (Please don't tell me never.) I know that "constant" home improvement projects come with the territory of homeownership, but this is just ridiculous.
The place is starting to feel like home, but like I said before--I just want to be able to enjoy it. Is it too much to ask?
On the bright side, Nora's room is nearly complete (finally) as we have been working on hanging things up on her walls. And we just finished the dining room this past weekend, so that's something. Photos to come soon. :)