Shannon over at hellomynameistubeless.wordpress.com recently pointed out that we are very similar, so I thought I would continue with that theme and briefly move away from infertility to talk about our home renovations. I know this is a blog about my struggles with infertility, but I’m off treatment until 2014 so I thought it would be a neat idea to share some non-fertility related stories and give you all some extra insight into my life. Shannon is demolishing her bathroom right now and I’m glad to say my renovations are nowhere near the same scale or ferocity, but they are nonetheless a ridiculous source of frustration for me.
I have mentioned previously that we sold our house and purchased a new one (you can read a little about it here if you’ve forgotten – kindly ignore the plentiful mentions of my vagina in that post). The great news is that a little over a week ago we finally took possession of our new home. My husband was particularly excited about this fact and seemingly reverted to his childhood self. By that I mean he ran from room to room squealing loudly and clapping his hands like a demented seal.
I understand why he was so ecstatic. We have upgraded from a two bedroom, one bathroom house with a tiny backyard to a four bedroom, three bathroom house with multiple living areas and a large backyard with a pool. This new house is great and obviously a significant step up from our first house, but it’s definitely not our “dream home” if you know what I mean. The living spaces and bedrooms are smaller than our ideal, and it’s a bit further out from the city than we’d hoped for. But it’s not exactly realistic to expect to find your dream home when you’re 27 years old!
Basically, this house is supposed to be our “medium-term” house. The place where we will bring our newborns home from the hospital and they will spend the first years of their lives. We plan to upgrade to a house that is closer to our dream home when our youngest child starts school. So essentially the plan is to be in this house for around 7 to 10 years, depending on how long it takes me to fall [and stay] pregnant, and how much money we can save.
The great thing about this house is that the previous owners renovated about 80% of it. They put in a new kitchen, the pool, repainted the exterior, extended the outdoor entertainment area, erected a brand new double carport, and built a huge shed which we are going to convert to a “man cave” for Doug. This was really the kind of house we wanted, because by renovating that remaining 20% we are able to put our own stamp on the property as well as add a lot of value when it comes to resale.
We decided to get a few big jobs done before we moved in, so that we wouldn’t have to manouevre around furniture or worry about damaging walls or floors while we worked. That was a big sacrifice for us because temporarily living with my parents has been a super tough gig (think 5 adults living in a cramped house with only one bathroom) and Doug is chomping at the bit to set up his man cave. With that in mind, we wanted to get everything on our initial list completed in three weeks, so we could be all moved in prior to our holiday to Malaysia.
At first things were going swimmingly. Within twenty-four hours of taking ownership of the house, we had pulled up all the carpets in the bedrooms and upstairs hallway, and arranged for the floorboards to be polished.
We are also repainting the entire interior a crisp off-white colour. It’ll be a huge improvement on the mish-mash of colours at the moment – yellowy cream in the living areas, green in the laundry, blue and brown in the bedrooms. Yuck! After spending a week trying out 15 different shades of white, I settled on “Cotton Sheets” by Taubmans and the painting job has finally begun. So far it’s going really well. Last night alone we managed to paint the laundry, main living area and part of the kitchen.
Downstairs we are also replacing all the tiles in the living rooms and kitchen. For some reason the kitchen features small white tiles with black grout, and the living room tiles are marbled grey with murky grey grout. This makes no sense because it’s an open plan living space so the two different tile types just weirdly meet in the middle of the downstairs area.
After visiting about 100 tile shops we finally picked out a new tile. And by we, I mean me. I picked out a new tile. I put an extreme amount of thought and effort into selecting the tile, knowing it would be something we would need to live with for almost a decade and also improve the value of the house. I transferred all my IVF and baby-making energy into the process. And that’s a lot of energy! I finally chose an extra large white glossy tile with a light cream fleck to help hide the dirt, because I’m not insane and don’t plan to wash the floor every day. We also managed to find a tiler who could do the job for us almost straight away, and for a decent price.
It was perfect! Everything was perfect! No issues at all! Nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing! Renovated house, here we come!
And then the problems started.
First we received a phone call from the floor polisher to let us know he had injured his leg and would not be able to do the job. This is a huge problem because we can’t move anything upstairs until the floors are done. The exposed floorboards are gross and sticky from old carpet glue so we can’t even really walk on them, let alone live on them. We simply can’t move in until the upstairs floors are polished.
Thankfully the floor polisher had one last available spot on 5 December, and promised his leg would be better by then. He’d better be there!! We can’t move any furniture into the rooms for at least a week after the floors are polished so we’ll be cutting it close if we want to move in before our vacation.
Then, this morning, the tiles were delivered. Perfect timing, because our tiler begins his work in three days. The delivery driver was supposed to call me 90 minutes before he arrived so that I could leave work and drive home to let him in. When my phone buzzed at about 10.30am I assumed the phone call was to let me know he’d be there at midday.
“Hi Sadie, this is Mark.” the delivery man said. “I’ve got your tiles for you.”
“Great!” came my reply. “What’s your estimated arrival time?”
“Um, now.” he said gruffly. “I’m standing outside your front gate.”
“What!” I spluttered. “You were supposed to call first!”
“Yeah,” he said, chuckling a little. “I forgot.”
Luckily my new house is 5 minutes down the road from my parent’s house, my mother was home and I’d already given her a spare set of keys to my front door. She agreed to duck around to my place to unlock the gate. Crisis averted!
Then, 20 minutes later my phone buzzed again. My mother’s name flashed up on the screen.
“Are you calling to let me know it’s all done and the tiles have been delivered?” I asked hopefully.
“Actually,” Mum said nervously. “I’m standing here with Mark and we’re both a bit concerned that you’ve been sent the wrong tiles.”
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
No. That was not a possibility. I needed the correct tiles because I had ordered the correct tiles and already paid for them in full. And because our tiler could start in three days, but this was the only time he could fit us in.
“Why do you think they’re the wrong tiles?” I asked, trying to remain calm.
“The sample tile you have here in your living room is white with light speckles. The tiles that arrived today are sandstone beige with brown speckles.” Mum said. “Did you want beige and brown?”
Did I want beige and brown? No. No I did not. I wanted white and cream. The entire house has been themed in shades of white and cream. That’s why I had painted the walls white. That’s why I had gone out and chosen all new white furniture. It was my theme. My theme! And I don’t take too lightly to people messing with my theme. Not the one I’d put all my obsessive baby and IVF energies into.
So while Mark waited patiently in my driveway, I called the owner of the tile shop and explained the situation to him.
“Oh I see,” he said rather dismissively. “Yes, the new batch of your tiles is darker than the previous batch I had in stock. But it’s still the same tile.”
“But I don’t want the new darker batch!” I argued. “I want the white batch. Because that’s the tile I chose! Had I known the new batch would be beige I would not have purchased eighty square metres of it!”
“Well all batches of tiles are different.” the owner replied, still uninterested. “I can order you in a new batch but it’ll take two weeks to arrive and there’s no guarantee they won’t also be beige. Best just to keep the ones you’ve got.”
Whyyyyyyyyyyy is my life so friggen difficult?!? I do not want beige tiles. Is that too hard to understand? Had I wanted beige tiles, I would have ordered beige tiles.
So now I just don’t know what to do! Even if I go tomorrow and pick out some new tiles, it’s very unlikely they’ll be able to get them delivered by the time our tiler wants to start the job. Never mind the fact that I started looking for tiles weeks before we took ownership of the house and it took me forever to find this tile that I liked. What are the chances I’ll walk into a shop tomorrow and just find the perfect tile for me?
I really honestly don’t know what to do here. I currently have about 100 boxes of beige tiles in my garage that I don’t want. I have a strong suspicion that when I get home from work Doug is going to try to convince me to compromise and get the tiler to just install them. But I don’t want them! I just don’t!
I need to take a few deep breaths here and try to clear my head so I can figure out what my next move will be. Any suggestions or helpful tips would be much appreciated!!
Also, if you read to the end of this post I offer you my sincere congratulations. I didn’t set out to write such boring dribble. Sorry about that!