This time last year I had just finished my first trimester of pregnancy and Eric and I were busy planning our kitchen remodel. We were steeped in layouts (which we did using IKEA design software). We probably had 150 different designs. It didn't really feel like we were ever going to get started and I couldn't really envision how it was that we were going to get from our computer layouts to an actual brand new kitchen. Just like I couldn't really envision having an actual living, breathing child in just a few short months (shorter than anyone expected, as things turned out). Fast forward 12 months and we have both of those things and have started all over again. Well, sans the pregnancy (noooo... we are not having another child!) I mean we're starting in on the remodeling again! Only this time it's the bedroom and the bathroom. Both the bedroom and the bathroom were part of the kitchen remodel, as you may recall, but we staged it in such a way as to give ourselves time between rooms. Indefinite amounts of time, really. I suppose we could just leave some of the carpet torn up in the bedroom, the closet half-finished (there's no shelving) and the walls mis-matched and unpainted in part. Or, we could leave the bathroom at it's current size and never knock down the wall in the bathroom that presently leads to an empty crawlspace. See, when we did the kitchen, we actually made it SMALLER and, at present, there is an 18" crawlspace (fully walled over at the moment) between the bathroom and the kitchen. All we have to do it knock down that wall in the bathroom and - presto - our bathroom is a foot and a half larger (larger, but with exposed pipes and no floor and no sheetrock... we have to put all that in, of course. And take out the shower. And install a tub. And move the sink and the toilet. OK... it's not exactly a presto thing. I wish.) But, you really can't tell that we have unused space at the moment - so, I suppose, we could live with the bathroom as it is (and forego the precious 18 inches!! Our house doesn't really have 18 inches to spare!!) But, as you may have gathered, we aren't exactly the sorts to sit back and wait.
No, now that we have gotten more on top of the whole working parent thing, it seems we're diving into the next set of projects. I've known it was time for phase 2 for awhile -- ever since the reappearance of the house plans and home renovation books coupled with the sound of the tape measure after 8 PM (when Kai and I crawl into bed, and Eric begins his job as house renovator extraordinaire).
After Kailey was born, we agreed to just get the kitchen done, as quickly as possible (without compromising quality, of course) and then take some time to settle into parenthood and the new juggle. And we did that. We scrambled during the NICU weeks to get ready for Kai's homecoming, and then we took a month at home together, and we've each had time at home with Kai by ourselves. For the last eight months, we have managed to keep atop of our jobs while taking turns as the primary caregiver of Kai. We've been practicing coordinating our schedules around childcare duties. At the moment, since I have been the one working FT and Eric has been at home, it's supposed to be that I take Wednesdays off to be home with Kai and, on that day, Eric goes to work to stay on top of as much of his work as is possible in only one day a week. But, in reality, the actual day that I'm home and that Eric is in the office seems to change every week. The thing is, Eric and I have been together a loonnnggg time and we've never really had to coordinate our schedules much - we've both been used to working whenever we want and whenever is necessary. Sure, we've had some issues around carpooling (because for many of those years, we've only had one car and so had to coordinate a bit to get go and from work), but there was always public transportation (if absolutely necessary... I am not exactly a fan of public transportation!) and, also, there was just the fact that Eric and I both have jobs that never really end -- so, we were both almost always willing to just stay late while the other person finished whatever needed finishing. But now, we have definite start and stop times as well as days at home. So, it's been an adjustment to look at our schedules the week before and realize, "oh, hey! I'm in LA on Wednesday this week - so I need you home with Kai." The first few times this happened, Eric was likely to reply, "ummm... I scheduled three meetings that day because I thought it was my day at work." But, we're getting better at coordinating and we're also good at being flexible and switching things around when necessary.
So come January - we start yet another chapter. Kai will be with Penny and Doug three days a week. We'll be coordinating our schedules on the other two days and also in the mornings and evenings to drop Kai off and pick her up. And, we'll be digging back into our remodeling. We ordered new bedroom furniture this weekend and it arrives January 17th -- which means we have a closet to finish, a room to paint, carpet to install and old furniture to sell in the next month. Onwards home renovators!