Hello, my long lost friends! When last we spoke, MommyEnnui headquarters was undergoing The Renovation that Wouldn’t Die. (Click the link to be reminded of the sad state of our bathrooms before renovation.) I so wish I could tell you that nightmarish chapter of my life was past and now I just sit around now reminiscing and chuckling to myself. In reality, our new bathrooms finally look fantastic. No holes in walls, no F’ed up tile job; they are a thing of beauty. But, as you know, sometimes horror lies beneath even the most beautiful façade.
Let me paint a picture for you. A very excited Biggie and Smalls are taking the inaugural bath in their now functional tub (well, the shower is functional). They’re happily splashing around together despite the fact that they’re humongous and are wedged pretty tightly in there these days. I’m looking on, pleased to have finally closed the renovation-from-hell chapter of our lives, when I hear Ad Man calling from downstairs. I think, “What the hell? He knows I can’t hear him with the tub running,” sigh to myself and go to find out what all the excitement is.
I find him standing in the downstairs bathroom, with an odd look on his face. He says, “Do you hear that?” I, of course, assume he’s gone off the deep end, but humor him and try to make out the phantom sound that’s the source of his discontent. Turns out, it’s not a phantom sound at all. Alas, it’s the distinct sound of water leaking and dripping inside the walls.
I take off up the stairs like a bat out of hell, pull the drain on the girls’ bath and tell them to get out of the tub NOW! There’s water leaking into the basement! This does not please them. I tell them they’ll have to shower in my bathroom instead and the mood goes from bad to worse. Smalls is now crying and Biggie is throwing an epic fit. I mentally thumb through all the parenting books I’ve read in rare moments of optimism, reject all advice contained therein, and instead yell, “DO YOU THINK I’M HAPPY ABOUT THIS SITUATION?! GET. OUT. OF. THE. TUB!!!!” So, long story short, the nightmare continues.
Now, a rational reaction to the foregoing would be to swear off any future home projects, right? Unfortunately, Ad Man and I rarely make rational decisions. Instead, we’re doing the exact opposite. As of two weeks ago, we are now the owners of a crumbling bungalow on a large lot in Decatur, Georgia. We’re planning to tear down the crumbling bungalow and build a brand new, modern Maison MommyEnnui where it once stood. Yes, we’re building a house. Yes, we’re f*cking insane. And yes, by the time our dream house is built, there is a very good chance Ad Man and I will no longer be on speaking terms. After the closing, our banker said, “You own quite a bit of property now” which I thought was hilarious. Yep, that’s us. Atlanta land barons.
There’s good news for you, though, dear readers. In an attempt to preserve my sanity, keep a record of the all the gory details, and give you ample opportunities to write “Today, I’m feeling grateful I’m not MommyEnnui” in your gratitude journal, I will be blogging about the process of building a modern home on a modest budget with absolutely no previous experience with designing or building a house. Sounds like fun, huh?
Since one of our northern friends called us rednecks for moving just outside the city limits, I feel compelled to point out that Decatur is one of the most liberal spots in the South, which suits Ad Man and I perfectly. It’s very family friendly (for families of all races and sexual orientations) and has top-rated schools through high school. Redneck it is not. We love Decatur and have lots of friends who live there, but it’s really the schools luring us there. The thought of not spending $50,000 plus per year to send two children to private school was very enticing and, despite my determination to stay in the neighborhood and house that we love, Ad Man’s argument in favor of great public schools won out in the end. This leaves me with ample bargaining power, a fact which I plan to remind Ad Man of often when it comes to designing and furnishing the new house. “You got free schools…I get a pool. And a hot tub. And a pool boy.”
I’ve narrowed down our list of dream architects to three, each of whom I love for a different reason. Next steps are to choose one of the three and start the months long process of designing the house. We also need to get our current home in shape to list. We were able to buy the lot without having to uproot our poor children, but we’ll have to sell it before we can close on our building loan. I sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I? Well, it’s been a steep learning curve and I’m sure I’ve still just scraped the surface of the knowledge one should have before beginning such an ambitious project.
On top of all this change, I’m hoping to be able to share some more big news with you very soon that will make it painfully clear I’m a masochist with the worst possible sense of timing. No, I’m not pregnant. (Oh sweet Jesus, no!) Stay tuned.