Home repair


Last week I told you about our trip to Arizona, but what I didn’t tell you was that at the first game in Yuma, we ended up sitting next to the head of the biology department of the local community college.  We got to talking and he admitted that they were having a horrible time finding someone to fill a professor (they call them instructors) position because no one wants to live in the middle-of-no-where, AZ).  To make a long story short, the conversation ended with him basically offering me a job on the spot.

Susan and I talked about it a little, but we weren’t really sure that we would want to live in Yuma, so after the game on the second day, we had a realtor take us out and look at houses.  We found a double-wide trailer that wasn’t that bad (it was kind of nice on the inside), but it only had 3 bedrooms and we wanted a little more space.  So the realtor went next door and got the neighbor to agree to sell his trailer to us as well.  Late last week, we decided to buy them both and take the job (housing costs are so low, that we don’t really need to have Susan work).  They’re in the process of building a walkway between the two trailers and that will give us 6 bedrooms total.

Which happens to be a really good thing, because we’ve decided to adopt 3 more children from Ethiopia.  We figure that bringing 3 home at one time last time was pretty easy, so why not just double up.  It’s a sibling set of 3 girls (Estifanos and I are a little bummed). Their ages are 5, 3, and 1, so between May and September, we’ll have every age from 1-6 represented.  We found a wonderful homestudy agency in Yuma, and as soon as we officially accept the referral, I’ll post the girls names and photos.

Those of you thinking that we are crazy should probably look at the date of this rare Sunday post.  Those of you who figured it out before this paragraph, let me know in the comments because I’m thinking about starting a fiction writing career, and I need to know what wasn’t realistic. 🙂

I’ve always wondered what I would answer if I were ever became a famous actor, made it onto Inside the Actors Studio, and had to answer the question, “What is the one profession you would not want to do?” After this weekend, I think I know my answer: tile layer.

The first layer of stick on linoleum came up no problem (15 minutes work, tops). I didn’t think to take a picture until it was already in the trash (easy tasks don’t make good blog entries):

first layer of tiles in the trash

Unfortunately, there was a second layer underneath the first. I should have figured this wasn’t going to be easy; the second layer didn’t come up as easy as the first. I fact each 1ft square broke into about 144 pieces as I scraped it up. Here’s what it looked like towards the end after a few hours of scraping.

2nd layer of tiles broken up

Finally I was able to go rent the tile saw and cut all the pieces.  I’ve never been so happy to have such a small bathroom.  I’m not a total perfectionist, but it seems like there’s always a little more you can cut (especially on the curved parts). Finally at 10 minutes to midnight I laid the last tile. Here it is with the blue spacers still in their spots:

tiles layed no grout

Yordie seems pleased (the next morning when she saw it, don’t worry we don’t keep them up till midnight):

yordie likes it

When I woke up on Sunday, boy was I sore. But the grout still had to be done, so another few hours on my hands and knees. The final product looks pretty good (new baseboard needs to be put down, but that will have to wait for another weekend):

tiles finished with grout

But man am I sore. I could barely walk when I woke up on Monday. All day at work I was walking around like I just got off a horse.  Today is a little better, but getting up and down out of chairs is a real problem still.

I’m not sure the couple hundred dollars we saved was worth giving up a weekend of playing with the kids. Of course, we don’t have the money to pay someone right now, so if I hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t have been done for a few months.  But I don’t know, I think the wait might have been worth it unless my legs get back to full functioning in a day or two.

You may have too much stuff from Ikea when you go to put the hex wrench they give you in your tool box and you find a drawer full of them.  But Meron has a nice new desk….which already has crayon writing on it; perhaps white wasn’t the best color to choose, although it does look good with the rest of the furniture in her room.

We went to Sea World on Saturday.  It’s great having annual passes because you can stay for just  a few hours and not feel like you wasted money by not staying from opening to closing.  Plus you don’t end up with overly cranky tired children.

When we decided to become parents, I don’t think I was prepared for this: Children can be so childish.  We had 3 meltdowns before breakfast on Saturday.  I don’t even remember what they were all about (because they were so childish).  I guess this is something you just get used to?  I’ve been trying to see it though their eyes, which helps a little, but sometimes I just want to shout, “GROW UP!!”

Didn’t get to the library.  Instead we decided to get Meron’s room finished up.  We’ve been trying to get her out of her room and into the extra bedroom for a little while.  Their current bedroom is a big room (10 x 20?) but 3 kids in one room has started to take its toll on us, mostly when the baby is trying to nap and the older kids can’t use their bedroom.  Meron has shared a room for all her life, so we could see how she didn’t really have a desire to move into her own room.  So we did what all good smart parents do…we bribed her with Dora sheets.

We’ve been working on the room for a few weeks, but we still had to paint, frost the windows on the French doors that open onto the living room, rearrange furniture, and move her in.  Painting got done on Saturday.  The kids helped with one wall and didn’t make too much of a mess.  We got most of the paint off them although I think E. still has some in his hair this morning.  The frosting got finished on Sunday (I had already done one of the doors).

By the end I felt like one of those home improvement shows where they have a have to finish by a certain time (bed time in our case).  They start taking shortcuts and throwing stuff everywhere just to finish up.  Her closet doors still aren’t done and the closet needs some more shelves.

But it looks pretty good; a lot better than when we used it as an office/junk room.  Dora on the comforter is pretty close to life size, which is a little shocking when you walk in to the room.  Boots isn’t quite as big, but still, a big blue, yellow, and pink monkey(?) is a bit alarming too.