Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Updates- mostly about the house for now

It has been a very busy month around the Malone house. The most important thing that's been going on (besides FINALLY getting our internet restored after about 2 weeks- hence the length btw. posts) has been the renovation of the downstairs apartment and the renting of the upstairs.

For about 2 weeks we had a barrage of phone calls, thanks to Rodney's wonderful little blurb about the apartment on Craig's List. I was showing the apartment sometimes twice a day, which was exciting but also a bit tiring as the place was always on display, even during dinner time. We ended up signing up for the free property management program that our neighborhood assoc. runs which really is awesome. In addition to doing free background checks on potential tenants, they take care of the application process, which requires a non-refundable $30 fee for each person 18 or older applying to live in the unit. By the middle of the 2nd week of showing the place we got an applicant that was approved and we decided to accept. She came over Friday night to sign the lease and informed us that she wouldn't need to move in until the middle of October. This couldn't have been better news because we had planned on moving downstairs the very next day so that Rodney could paint the upstairs before she moved in. The reason we were both very happy to postpone this can only be understood by browsing the following pictures:

Where the drop ceiling used to be in the kitchen

That's the quarter-in. round we pulled up to finish the floors

Our plan (lest I have a heart attack) was to clean things up as much as we could and get to each project when we could, prioritizing things like floors and paint. I realize that most of the living world hires contractors, but we have chosen not to go into debt and live in a construction zone. It's definitely requiring tons of patience and faith on my part (and hard work and anxiety on Rodney's).

I'm a dork and didn't take true before and after pictures (Connie was a saint living in the place, indeed, but it didn't look exactly like this when she moved out). I do at least have some project-progression photos.

The minute Connie moved out Rodney pulled up the nasty carpet in the dining/liv. room and the equally nasty linoleum in the kitchen, hallway, 2nd bedroom, and sunroom. He then proceeded to rip out the drop ceiling in the kitchen and parts of other rooms. The next week or so was mostly dedicated to refinishing the hardwood floors, with the aid of a book from Lowe's (thanks to the Hustons), lots of advice from home depot workers, and David and Jeffrey Wood (former ACA/Paraguay students who now attend Greenville College).

Master Bedroom:
Phase-One floors
(Notice the particles in the air? I took these beginning-project photos quickly as I could hardly breathe.)

Master Bedroom:
Finished floors
(Yes, that is a kitchen cabinet in the bedroom.)

Living Room/Entry:
Phase-One Floors

Finished Floors

Ripped-Up Floors

Almost Finished Linoleum

Ripped-up Linoluem

Almost Finished Linoluem

Updates on other aspects of our lives to follow some other day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Black Eyes and the Fire Department

For the most part I feel like I am a good parent. Over the past few weeks, however I have had more than one moment in which I question whether or not I am the best person to be in charge of such a fragile little being. Here is the evidence.

Example A1:

Two weeks ago while we were hanging out on the deck I reached over to put a shirt on Will and at that exact moment he tripped, fell and hit his eye on the the lower beam of the deck.

It was completely healed when just two days ago this happened:

Example A2:

He fell and hit his eye (note the same one) on Rodney's childhood bike (it's made of pure metal) while we were in the garage.

My little boy looks like he belongs on a hockey team.

Example B:
In between these two mishaps, about a week ago, Will got locked in the car while we were at Walgreens in the 85 degree heat. I decided to jump in the back and change his diaper before getting on the road and as I got out and shut the door all four locks engaged (with my keys and cell phone in the front seat). I ran into the store and proceeded to declare "I just locked my 15 month old in the car." They hurriedly called the police for me and and within minutes both they and the fire department arrived. The firemen assured me that if they could not get him out speedily that they would break the window. I thought, I sure hope they don't have to do that but if they do I really don't care because I just want my child out. Luckily it took them about 60 seconds and through tears I thanked them.

All I know is that this smile brightens my day and reminds me that the rewards of being a parent far outweigh the scary moments.

Thank God for that.