So, we have been in the house for a week and this is our first weekend in a while (November?) that one of us hasn't worked nonstop. We both worked, but we also watched tv and cooked food and stayed in our pajamas all day (okay, just me). There is still an endless amount of work to be done, but we felt that Lowe's had enough of our money for now. We are sleeping in our living room and Rosalind's room still needs to be trimmed out. The kitchen still has no proper ceiling and we have yet to paint it. Our laundry has been set up in the kitchen for the foreseeable future. We need new trim in the living room and to paint all the window frames (replace them). Plastic covers a majority of our windows. We still have piles of stuff to be thrown out all around the house. The upstairs is blocked off by a piece of sheetrock and there is still a water heater where our bed will eventually go.
And best of all, we are the reluctant owners of the world's smartest rat. It lives between the kitchen and living room. Despite our best efforts, it eludes us. It seems to know exactly how to set off the trap without harm, and then eat whatever we have used as bait. It thinks we are a convenient buffet that also warmed up the house. My students, being kind and loving souls, told me that rats eat babies. And they like me. Can you imagine if they didn't?
BUT, let me also talk about what has been accomplished. All of our doors close, lock, and keep the weather out. Our house has been heated and closed off to the elements. We have running water. Rosalind has insulation, a new floor, and painted walls in her room. We installed all new faucets, pipes, shower heads and a new dishwasher where there has never been one. The cabinets have been doused in bleach, cleaned of mildew and mold, and lined with clean laminate. Our roof has been entirely replaced. Our house is entirely free of dead animals, old nests, and layers of old dirt. Our yard has been mowed and our sidewalks found. Our hallway has been ripped out, insulated, and resheetrocked. Our bathroom now has a mirror and a toilet and shower we aren't afraid to use. We replaced the old breaker box with a new one and moved it from the bathroom to the hallway. We installed all kinds of new outlets. We have replaced rotting outlet covers with new ones. We have fixed all the leaks. We have three heaters (two gas and one electric). We have the stringers for the stairs in place, but can't finish until we move our furniture up. We are as moved in and cleaned up as we can be until we finish the upstairs and our house is already quite a bit better than the rental we just left.
There have been times (many, many, many, many...many times) that this project has overwhelmed me to the point that I would simply sit down and stare off into space. I should point out here that when I said "we" all those times above, I meant Sergio, our dads, our moms, my brother and sister-in-law, and some of our friends. Especially Sergio and our dads. They took note of my sitting and staring panic attacks and stepped in to make this place livable. I could not be more grateful.
I can safely say now that we have reached this point in the process, I am quite pleased with where we are. I look forward to continuing to work on things now that the projects can be taken a step at a time. We have come a long way already from the weekend we put on the new roof, and I stood in my daughters future room downstairs (which had no walls and was covered in old dirt dobber nests and dust and spiderwebs) and looked straight through her ceiling, into our room, and straight through our ceiling to the sky above and thought, "we're idiots."
Pictures to follow this week. Keep in mind that these are just the "make livable" renovations and not the ultimate plan.