Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Busy, The Boring and The Vomit

This is how we spent the days leading up to the last week of school:

Packing.  Packing.  And More Packing.

We had to pack up our entire second floor.

We packed toys, furniture, books, rugs.. everything had to be boxed up and moved out to make room for the new hardwood floors and baseboard moldings.  

Gordy and I  purposefully chose the last week of school for Phase Two of our reconstruction project.  I figured that the end of the school year, with all its many events, parties and performances would provide the perfect distraction from this:

The Marriott Residence Inn.  

Seven Days, five people, three tiny rooms and no beach in sight.  It was the worst kind of staycation.

While we made do with the dull knives and two pots in our new hotel kitchenette, back home the work was beginning:

In addition to new floors and moldings, we were also having foam insulation put into our attic with hope that it will help solve our problem with ice dams.

The children and I got up early every morning and drove back to the house in time to let the workers in and then we had to stop by at the end of every day to lock up and set the alarm.  The hotel was about 20 minutes from our house when there was no traffic, but we found out the hard way that traffic is a very random thing.  For the most part, we slipped into a routine right away.  The kids still went to school each morning and we still had our usual after-school activities to keep us busy.

 I also had a  packed calendar of events to attend to.  We had International Day in Georgia's class and Henry's Creature Feature presentation.  Josie had a breakfast party that I had to attend and there was Henry's Moving Up Ceremony on Tuesday.  The days were definitely busy, which was a good thing, since when I planned out life during the reconstruction, I had not really taken into account where I would be during the down times.   At no point during all my intensive planning, had I thought about where I would go during the odd hour between activities.  I guess I assumed that I would just go home.  After all, I needed to be at home to monitor what was going on and make sure all was running smoothly.  At home, I would be able to update my blog, check my email, read the paper and stay organized.  Being at the house throughout the day made the most sense... as long as I ignored the fact that it wasn't safe for me to do so.

On the first day, the only real problem was the terrific noise of the damaged floor boards being removed but by mid-week the toxic fumes of the foam insulation forced me out into the fresh air pretty quickly.    Even with my schedule packed with school-related events, I had a hard time keeping busy during the week.  There is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait involved with stay at home parenting and I really had no where to wait.

The hotel itself wasn't bad.  It was a lot like living in a small apartment.  

It even had a pool:

Gordy had to travel for work at the beginning of the week, so I saved swimming in the pool for the first night he was gone.  Single parenting is always easier when the children are good and tired.  

Sadly, the hotel pool had a little too much chlorine and Georgia had to get out due to a bad case of burning eyes.

All in all it was a long, tiring week.  The novelty of hotel living wore off pretty quickly and seeing our beloved home under massive construction was depressing at best.  It was hard making the trip back and forth from hotel to town and we all missed sleeping in our own beds.

Back home, the construction seemed to be moving at a snail's pace with the subcontractors showing up late and leaving early.  I started to get worried that we might have to extend our stay and become permanent Residents at the Inn.  It's hard to live in a small space with so many people and the children were Not Getting Along.  Gordy and I weren't doing much better.  We were getting along, but we weren't enjoying the chance to relive our New York City years, this time with three children and a smaller living space.  The night before we were scheduled to move back home was the absolute worse.   I won't bother to go into gory detail but let's just say that there was a hotel-clearing fire alarm and a vomiting child involved and it wasn't pretty.

We left quickly the next morning and not just to get away from the soiled linens.  

We're home now and readjusting to the extra space.  There is a terrible odor of polyurethane and massive quantities of dust and dirt on every surface.  We spent most of yesterday vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the floors but now the rooms are mostly put back together and we are starting to feel back to normal.  

The builders will have to return on Monday to fix a few problems and finish the insulation project.  And then the painters will come... 

I recently read an article on BlogHer about how as bloggers, we tend to paint only rosy pictures of life.  We omit the fights we've had with our husbands or the bad grades our children received on their report cards and we only write about the good moments and the cute things our children have done throughout the day.  The article challenged people to write more honestly in their blogs.... so here is my contribution:

We were too busy, we were not so busy and there was too much vomit.

Construction sucks.

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