Sunday, July 26, 2015

Preparation is Progress

Each time I stop by the fixer upper, I feel a bit surprised that it doesn't look much different yet. It seems like we've done so much, but alas...we're actually just in the preparation stage. Nate has spent hours creating 2D and 3D models, carefully removing trim pieces from windows and doorways, walking through with energy/insulation experts, draining the radiators, mowing the jungle of a lawn and starting demolition in the basement.

While my tasks have been much less hands-on, I also feel like I've done enough work that things should look better. I've talked to energy experts, bankers (for our home equity line of credit), dumpster rental companies, and arborists. It's funny that one morning you can wake up and have no idea how much it costs to have a dumpster in your driveway for 30 days, let alone who offers the best deal in Madison, and by that afternoon, be placing an online order. Sometimes I've thought that the best (paying) job for me would be to be a personal assistant to a very busy person. I enjoy checklists and being organized. Nate is the very busy person and so far, I've enjoyed the tasks he (very politely) asks me to take care of each week.

A typical weekday around here looks like this: we all wake up between 7 and 8. Nate leaves for work at 7:30 and usually one or both girls are eating breakfast at our island (we're in the apartment downtown Madison for one more week). After breakfast, dress-up clothes are donned and legos are dumped. The apartment becomes a bit of a disaster area while I make calls, send emails and scan documents. Usually around 9:30 or 10, I get cabin fever and we rally to get things cleaned up before leaving for an outing.

The weather has been amazing, so we've had fun going to the zoo, beach, parks and the children's museum. On Friday morning, we went to Oma's house to make these tasty cookies for a party we had that night. On Thursday mornings, Louisa has dance class and tomorrow she starts a week-long theater camp. Peter is proving to be a very easy-going third child, napping when and where he can and smiling at anyone who will smile at him. Cora is mostly content to follow Louisa's instructions on who she's pretend-marrying that day or whether it's time for swim lessons or dance class (each activity takes place in a different room of our small apartment) and always happily goes down for a nap when we return home from our morning outing.

We don't actually have our permit for the renovation yet, but Nate is close to having everything ready. We hope to have it by early next week, because technically, a permit is required to have a dumpster in your driveway. The tree removal on the calendar below is crucial because the removal crew will likely need the driveway to get their equipment to the backyard. Here is the schedule for the next few days:
  • Thursday, July 30: the massive walnut tree will be removed to make room for the new garage
  • Friday, July 31: the 30 yard dumpster will be delivered & we move out of the apartment
  • Saturday, August 1: our first community demo day
  • Monday, August 3: I start work & we move into the rental house
Whew. Life is full, but good! I'm hoping that Peter starts to sleep through the night more frequently, because when our days are so packed, a good night's sleep is crucial. He had two nights this week where he slept straight from 10 pm until 5 am, which felt magical. Go, Peter, go! Sleep, Peter, sleep!

Here are some different new before-photos that Nate and Louisa took last week while I stayed at the apartment with Peter and Cora.

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