Friday, April 20, 2007

Toddlerhood & The Art Of Home Maintenance

Ok, so I really mean Home Restoration, but I kinda prefered that title, juxtaposing Zen with Toddlerhood. I mean that there's a certain fine line between blissful parentage of little ones and the desire to run out the door screaming. Fixing up an (overly?) idealized old home seems quite akin to this. And only moreso because in the battle for my weekend time, the girls always win, and the house is left with late night stealth restoration leaving me feeling like a ninja (props to Home Improvement Ninja), high in tension yet strangely in the zone. It also doesn't help that I am notoriously clumsy and am penchant for dropping hammers and such. But these silent restoration sessions are now the order of things since we have moved in and my girls cry "Daddydaddydaddy!!!" while I am home, rather than "going to the house to work" while we were still renting not long ago.

To give you an example, the (single) window I recently replaced on the front door was done with only 5 well timed semi-silent whacks of the hammer so as not to awaken the sleeping occupants, so stealthy was I. And the back door upgrade was effected while the almost 3 year old napped in the adjacent room. I opted for my aphonic hand tools over my "get it done quick" powered ones that time, and I actually perferred them afterall.

So this is the first actuall weekend since moving in that we plan on devoting to our restoration efforts. This has come about because (a) our almost 3 year old will soon be 3 years old, and we plan to host a little birthday party for her at the new home as she still calls it and the house isn't quite ready for prime-time, if you follow me. The other reason is (b) we were able to procure a day of babysitting with a grandmother. While other married with childrens take these opportunities to date like teenagers, married with children and old homes use it to do that dusty, messy, noisy, paint-fumey work that has been staring at them from the To-Do list since Day One. And maybe, just maybe, we might sneak in a quick little date at the end of it all.

We will be trying to focus on the work we could not do while the girls are in the house, so stay tuned to see what we really could get accomplished. This is what we hope to do:
- prep the plaster walls in the living & dining room for a primer coat of paint
- paint those walls (after we actually decide on the color & technique)
- finish the last bit of flooring in those rooms (yes, we have some bare spots still)
- get the built-in seats sanded and re-hinged
- finish stripping the built-in buffet...the countertop cavity where the mirror is

Wish us luck!

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At April 20, 2007 5:39 PM, Blogger sarah said...

yeahhh, you'll probably want to invest in some heavy-duty baby or pet gates, for those whole room projects like painting or varnishing. that way at least you don't have to worry quite as much, and you can move them as needed. not a fashionable decorating statement, but preferable to the alternative delay in work.

At April 20, 2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Oblio70 said...

yupp, got those, but it's the fumes that keep us worried; Our 3yo has a serious congenital heart defect and issues with getting enough oxygen. Openning all the windows isn't really an option for us, cuz our cats would see that as a "jail break"...not that they'd go far. We just needed the girls out of the house to do the painting & stripping.


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