“Don’t Touch That Saw!” and other tales from bathroom remodel HELL

Without sounding like I am complaining about living in the house we waited over 6 months for please let me whine to you about trying to renovate our bathroom with two little ones running around.

The weekend before last my husband got the itch to start this huge project.  We knew before buying the home that gutting the bathroom was the first thing on the list if we got it.  Seashell sinks, a rotting 36 year old particle board vanity, and a pink/brownish dirty tub were not exactly up to snuff in my world.  After waiting for 6 months to even GET this house I started dreading that we woudn’t be settled in for a long time.  The sheer number of projects -big ones- were suffocating me.  Having a home is great and I am so grateful this sale worked out but there are days when I wish we were in a turn key home instead of one with “character” but in need of TLC.

He started by gutting it and removing the toilet, vanity, mirror, bathtub, and tile.  Suddenly we had dirty bathroom items in my livingroom.  “Mommy why is the toilet in here?”  A 4 year old is endlessly amused by a tolet in the livingroom.  It was stressful times 10 having these items, broken to pieces, within reach of the children.   Both are old enough not to eat anything and know they aren’t toys.  That doesn’t mean they won’t get curious and dig in.

Fletcher is a big boy and he wants to help.  This has been adorable but time consuming.  My husband and I understand that we can’t just ignore the children while we labor so there are times he is included.  Steven has been really great at finding things Fletcher can help with.  I was actually impressed with his patience and creativity.  Other times, like when I was ripping down drywall and rusty nails were flinging around the room, required our big boy to stay in another room.  I found myself wishing that someone would come to rescue my kids and play with them so that I could focus on the task at hand and not feel so guilty about my children.  We don’t have any family or friends here so once again, like it was in Syracuse, we have no village.

The insanity of working on major renovations while the boys are in the home is just crazy.  You might be thinking that we are amazing and our kids are great at entertaining themselves.  You are wrong.  I have been using the iPad and television as babysitter during this process.  That being said, we do take breaks and during intricate work (like plumbing) I have taken the kids out to do something fun or get a treat so Steven can concentrate.  Since we do the biggest amount of work on the weekends I also make sure we go swimming and to the park during the week to make up for it.

Fletcher has been caught picking up a saw (hence the title), trying to bust drywall with the sledgehammer, and trying to caulk things with the caulk gun.  The measuring tape is a favorite toy and he enjoys wearing daddy’s big gloves and putting on the ear protection and face mask too.   It’s like big boy dress up.  Everett has been surprisingly indifferent.  As long as I take breaks to sit with him, snuggle, and nurse him he could care less what is going on in that room.  Every so often he comes by but we shoo him out.

As much as it sounds like the kids aren’t hindering the process they are, but only because I am stressing over them not getting hurt/ getting tetanus/ breaking our supplies.   We keep losing instructions and parts only to find them in another part of the home.

Regardless of having children in the home the remodel is more time consuming than we anticipated (I watch DIY Network so I should have known this!) but we’ve managed alright.  Fitting the bathtub in was the hardest part and has taken 2 days of work and finesse.  In the end Steven had to cut an access panel to the pumbing from Everett’s room.  Luckily I haven’t painted that room yet.

The tub was the hardest part and took to days to get corectly fitted and in place.  Now we can move on to putting up the drywall, tiling, putting in the new toilet, vanity and sinks, and paint.  Once I typed that out I had a mini panic attack.  We will survive and my kids will be able to recite Little Einsteins episodes.  Still, when I catch my breath and take a look around I’m glad we are here.  I’m living the American dream, minus having a pet.  We live on a beautiful and quiet street, on a cul-de-sac, in a {soon to be} beautiful home with a pool, and we have shady oaks and plenty of yard to play in.  The Guard Lizard is just icing on the cake.


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