Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kitchen renovations start

They say that women start to get the urge to nest somewhere late in their 3rd trimester. They want to clean everything and put everything in order. Throughout my pregnancy, I’d been sort of happily waiting for this to happen and using it as an easy excuse to put off doing any real cleaning or organizing. I mean, look, I’m going to filled with energy and the need to do this later, so why not wait for that time when I really WANT to do it all, as I’m kind of tired now and would prefer to sit on the couch with my feet up?

What the books don’t tell you about is the male version of nesting. I’d say it was just my husband, but a good friend of mine experienced something similar when her husband decided that they should buy a bigger place and move in her 6th month. My husband’s version was to redo the kitchen. We’d been wanting to do this for awhile and putting it off for quite awhile too. I should give some background. My husband is very handy. Really, he’s done some amazing work in our place. He’s totally redone the bathrooms – gutted them and put new walls up. He’s carpeted the bedrooms, put up chair rail and crown molding. He’s good. But he’s not a contractor. He has a full time job – more than a full time job as he’s constantly also taking classes or teaching classes or doing something more. So these projects happen around the full time job schedule. This means that when he redid the master bathroom, all my bathroom supplies were in a few brown paper bags at the foot of our bed for about 4 months. I’d look over past the closets to this gaping construction project – no walls, remember? - and be horrified. Dust and dry wall and God knows what would get traipsed through the whole place and I’d have to climb over his tools to get to my closet to get dressed. I’d try to bite my tongue as I know he does good work and it would look awesome (and the homespun approach was saving us a bundle overall), but every few weeks I’d have a freak out at the total mess that we were living in. There’d be some push to move forward and some cleaning up of tools / remnants that would last for a little while and then it would all spread throughout our home and lives again until the next freak out.

Now this was bad enough for a bathroom, as we do have two. I was VERY worried about the kitchen though – as we don’t have a spare. My husband had wanted to start the project in November in the “break” he had between two classes. To define the break – the classes were all above and beyond his normal workload and unpaid – so he’d have class from 8-5 Mon – Fri and have to take time off if his shift fell on one of those days (and then go to work after class till it was time to go to class in the morning). He’d still have to work his shift on the weekends – and sometimes make up for a weekday missed. The classes lasted 2 weeks – so he went 10-14 days without a single day off. During this break, he had only his normal shift and didn’t have to also go to class. It was his “slower” week so he only had one 24 hour shift, but still. I finally convinced him that using the one week that was “semi” off between 2 sets of working 14 days straight (many of those 24 hour days) was crazy and exhausting. He agreed but insisted that this would get done before Christmas as that was his last chance before the baby came. I figured I’d deal with that when the time came and hope to convince him otherwise. Maybe he’d forget…

But no. At 33 weeks pregnant, he told me he was starting the kitchen renovations. This involved ripping down a wall (and rewiring everything in the wall), retiling the kitchen (and the hallway from the front door), putting in new countertops and painting. He also adding some crown molding, new doors and other “small” touches, but you’ve got the basic picture. Oh, I forgot the fridge / icemaker were located on the wall that was coming down, so the pipes would need to be replumbed to another wall.

He promised me this would all be done by Christmas (about 10 days away). I suggested that he could have till New Year’s, as it was really a lot to get done, but by early January I really wanted our house totally in order as this baby could arrive anytime then.

So even if I wanted to clean and nest like crazy now, the option isn’t so much there – as the contents of my kitchen fill my living room and dining room and the kitchen is no more. Baby, I hope you’re comfortable / not planning an early visit.

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