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Approximately one million years ago (BC)* we started renovating.

On and on and ON it has dragged and while the tradies we’ve had by all accounts have not been ‘that bad’ it has still taken a long time. And by ‘not that bad’ there’s still the plasterer who almost got into fisticuffs with the painter and then threatened that he’d come back and rip off all of the plaster he’d put up, but y’know apart from that – not too bad.

But I have had to go to the next level of nagging the man to follow up with tradies to get them to come back and get the bloody thing FINISHED. Like ULTRA nagging. If nagging was a sport I would be competing in the Olympics. He’s over it. I’m over it. OVER IT.

But finally, finally the concrete downstairs was ‘cured’ whatever the hell that really means and we could continue with getting downstairs finished. Then finally the flooring guys showed back up and put the flooring in. Then sanded it. Then polished it. Then sanded it again. Then polished it. And then we WAITED for it to set properly, and only started walking on it in bare feet a few days ago.

Then yesterday our usually excellent builder showed up (or one of his lackeys did) and put the skirting boards back on. I’m sure I mentioned the new flooring to him, well he commented on the flooring anyway….and initially he had socks on.

Anyway, flooring guy comes back today and the floor is FROOTED thats right, its FROOTED which is a nicer way of saying it is EFFING ROOTED.

The builders boots or the skirting boards or SOMETHING has been dragged all over it.



Floor guy says it needs to be resanded and repolished and then we will have to wait until the end of time before we can walk on it or put any furniture on it.

Because we are TRYING (perhaps currently failing!) to be more positive people the nice thing is that the floor guys are not going to charge us for fixing it.


– Jen

*BC – before Crankgus (little man) was born

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Home is wherever we are if there’s love here too

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I haven’t blogged much about the progress of our renovations for awhile because they were making me very cranky, so cranky in fact that the little man and I moved out! 

But we’re home now! And it’s fantastic. Still a little way to go, but the major work is done and its almost all downstairs anyway. The house has that ‘new house’ smell. A heady mix of the chemicals used to polish the timber floors and fresh paint. Mmm mmmm.


The kitchen is *almost* finished – the splash back gets installed today, and we need to replace our mdf shelving with glass in our cabinets as well as get a couple of our servo drive cabinets which you just touch to open resynched so they don’t touch the cornices when they open. I am hoping the colour of the splash back is what I wanted – so hard to pick a colour from a teeny weeny colour chart.

We have to have the painter come back and finish a cornice that the plasterer finally returned to finish on the weekend as well as touch up some skirting boards which got knocked when the flooring guys were sanding and polishing the floors. We’re pretty happy with the floor considering the new stuff had to be spliced in with the old, its difficult to tell which is old floor and new floor which is what you want!

We are going to re-tile our upstairs toilet and put in a new toilet too, but the old bathroom will stay for awhile yet. We also need to re-tile the front steps/verandah which we’ll do soon.

Speaking of tiles I am in love with the tiles I picked for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. They’re all the same tile..but I love them. Nice and big and…well I just love them.

Downstairs we need to have some concrete replaced which needs a month to cure before the flooring guys can come back and finish off the floorboards. The tilers need to come back and silicone the laundry and ensuite and we also need doors made for the linen press and the WIR. Hopefully the plumber comes back today or Tuesday to fit off the laundry, toilet downstairs and the ensuite!

I really want downstairs finished or at least tidied up as we have a lot of ‘stuff’ to find a place for – stuff which is taking up valuable real estate upstairs which is bugging me no end. And yes, a large percentage of the stuff is Lego.

Today we’re also supposed to be having our new dining table delivered. It’s pretty big, I think it seats 10 but should fit well as we have a big space to fill perfect for it. 

Thats the ‘stuff’ part of where we are at. I am just so happy to be home. I wish the start of little man’s life hadn’t been so chaotic but I think I/we coped okay…just…maybe. Its very nice to be out the other side that’s for sure. I know in a few years time we’ll laugh about how stupid we were and we’ll tell him about how when he was a baby we lived with Nanny and Poppy for the first few months because I was worried about falling through the floor in the middle of the night.

If I get time I might put together some before and after photos. It really is quite amazing!

I’d better wrap it up as little man is doing his pre wake up routine (sort of like a backwards version of ‘the worm’) I’m watching him on the baby monitor waiting for that shriek of displeasure at finding out he was tricked into sleeping again. One point to me. 

– Jen

Everyday gratefuls

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So apart from having an awesome baby, lately life has been more on the not so fun side.

Of course I’m permanently tired because of the baby – but thats kind of a given so I’m over that.

Its mostly because I’m not at home because of the renovations dragging on. What was meant to be a few days at Mum and Dad’s out of the dust and noise has dragged into about six weeks. The man doesn’t stay out here much and we usually see him only for a couple of hours a night then he’s home to bed and work the next day.

Now I’m not upset about where I’m staying and its great that Mum and Dad have got to spend so much time with little man, that they wouldn’t have otherwise had – and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’re doing for us. But its not home and I miss the man. I feel like we are living in limbo and I just want to get home.

Its getting me down because I just feel like I’m whinging all the time.

So for this week we’re giving positivity a try! I thought a good way to start would be by doing #everydaygratefuls, everyday I will post something I am grateful for. I will also try to generally be more positive!

So today I am grateful for the smiles and fun I had in the car with little man while we were driving home from Berrigan this morning. Note the wet strap..he likes gumming on it!


– Jen

Dale dug a hole, tell ’em Dale

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So we finally have some action happening with the renovations. The plumber started today and we arrived home to lines drawn on the concrete in the old garage AND a hole in the backyard! (Dale dug a hole!). The concrete cutter is arriving tomorrow presumably to cut along the lines which should be even more impressive!

photo 2 photo 1

We did a little bit of work on the kitchen last Friday, just removing a small breakfast bar and also a unit that the fridge was sitting under. We were able to move the fridge around and it has opened up the kitchen a lot! This Friday we’re finalising the kitchen plans with Muz which will be exciting.

We’ve pretty much finished painting the bedrooms, one room has a coat of gloss to do on the skirting boards but other than that – all done! We will do the lounge room over the next few weeks – it won’t take long now we’ve got the hang of it. That will be it for painting until the renovations are done. Not looking forward to the rest of it, thats for sure!

We are getting someone around on Thursday to measure up for blinds in the bedrooms, and the carpet goes in soon too – 13 days!! I’ll be super happy when that is done because of all the clutter everywhere while we keep those rooms empty.

We did a big clean out on the weekend to clear out the old garage and we took a couple of loads to the tip and also did a bit of gardening as well. The yard is not looking too bad considering we did nothing on it all winter although the front yard is still a shambles. I figure there’s not much point doing anything with it as having it empty means the builder/plumber can leave stuff there and we can get a skip in if we need to.

I think that’s about it for now. So things are finally happening, getting home and seeing that someone had actually been in and STARTED was great to see!

– Jen

If I had a hammer (renovation update)

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Its been a big day here today, we got a LOT of painting done. Our bedroom is just about finished! That’s almost two rooms done. There’s a good chance depending on how much we get done tomorrow that we might get to putting colour on the third room too!

I think we will end up tackling the lounge room next. Its really the last room we’ll get done before Grape arrives and is about as far as we can go as the rest of the house will get finished after the renovations are done. Its also really bugging me now seeing how good the other rooms look!

Today we also went and got some carpet samples..its pretty hard to choose carpet colour. I shouldn’t be surprised, its hard to choose everything. We’ve got someone organised to come around next week and measure up though which is good. And we also organised a blinds place to come and measure up too. But once the carpet is in it means we can move furniture back into the rooms. Right now our loungeroom has all our bedroom furniture in it and I’m over it!

We are super excited about setting up Grape’s room! (but more on that in another post).

We finally got our building approval from council and the plumber has said he will maybe start next week. The builder is away on holidays for another week but hopefully can start soon after that too. Fingers crossed! Please don’t let me down tradies, my patience is wearing very very thin!

We’ve likely got some asbestos that needs taking care of as well. It won’t impact our start, but its under the eaves of the house where we’re extending to put in the new entrance so it needs addressing. I’ve contacted a place in Melbourne who talked us through taking a sample to send to them for testing (us taking a sample = the man taking a sample). 

What else? We’re waiting to hear back from ‘pool fence guy’ on replacing the fence before October when it has to be registered in NSW. He gave us a pretty good quote so we’re keen to get it done ASAP. 

We need to contact the heating & cooling place and work out getting refrigerated cooling put in (we had our ducted system set up for it but haven’t paid the extra to get it done yet). But not sure how Grape will go with an Albury summer and no air conditioning anywhere but the lounge room. Depending on the price for that Grape might need to toughen up!

Also waiting on a quote from the flooring place about floorboards for the entrance and downstairs, they are confident they can match the rest of the house so will be interesting to see the price on that.

We’ve had some issues with the whiz bang IXL light we put in the bathroom. Ironically it is pretty crap compared to the one we had in there before hand. I think part of the crapness is that it came with CFL globes. Apparently you can replace these with 50w halogens so we’re planning on doing that once its working properly. But the worst thing is that it makes a ‘clicking’ noise every few minutes. We’ve tested the fan, light and heater separately and its the heater making the noise. So IXL sent an electrician to replace the unit with a new one. Still clicking. Apparently its a known problem? 

I sent a sharply worded email to the service centre on Friday afternoon about how unimpressed I was. Especially because the IXL electrician said he’d be there between 8-9am on Friday. He arrived at 9:30am. Then it took him 90 minutes to install. And it STILL isn’t fixed. Only 30 minutes late, but still. Do they think people don’t have to go to work? Turning up at 9:30 when you tell me you will be there ‘first thing’…?

Speaking of electricians, ours finally got back in touch. I think he must have been nervous about giving us the bill. He said he still had some adjustments to make so I pretended to be horrified at the price and said I hoped the ‘some’ adjustments were a LOT of adjustments. Another new bike gone. And they still have probably a days worth of work to go. The price wasn’t horrific but we kind of hoped for the amount it is that that would have been for the whole job. But we really did love the guy they sent out. 

Anyway, phew. That’s enough for now! But we’re super proud of how its coming along. 

Its also kind of fun!

– Jen


That’s the power makes the world go ’round

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My recent ‘get stuff done’ campaign is going pretty well. I’m not really procrastinating about anything anymore, anytime I have a thought like “I should do…” I do it instead. But renovating is frustrating in that a lot of the time you just have to wait. Mostly its waiting for people to return your calls. As a Gen Y, where everything is ‘instant’ this drives me mad!

But this week was great. I got onto the electrician on Monday who promised he’d send someone out on Wednesday. And on Wednesday Tim the Sparky arrived. By Wednesday night he’d done almost two rooms which meant we could get the rest of Grape’s room painted on the weekend.

By Friday he’d done all the bedrooms, the bathroom, toilet and installed 8 downlights.
We like Tim the Sparky! And the house looks amazing. He’s still probably got another few days here which will include upgrading the mains power as we’re only getting about half the amount of power in that we should be.

Friday afternoon we had a fencing guy around to give us a quote on getting the pool fence up to scratch. Tomorrow or Tuesday I’m supposed to hear back from ‘my’ builder and plumber with quotes and the man is supposed to hear back from his. We’ll see if that happens!

This weekend we finished doing all the undercoats on Grape’s room, and I think we’re both a bit nervous about putting the colour on the walls. My job is the roller. I find painting a bit nerve wracking. But I think by the end we’ll be experts.

That’s about it for renovations this week!

– Jen


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I finally got around to sugar soaping the walls in the baby’s room today. I had no idea what I was doing, and still don’t. It seemed pretty easy, and while the walls look cleaner it wasn’t as complicated as the results from my google search of ‘how to sugar soap walls’ led me to believe it would be.

While I was cleaning the window sill I noticed all the dirt and grime built up in the sliding window thinger and set about cleaning it. An hour later it was a little bit cleaner but not so much I felt I’d achieved much. Dirt that isn’t your dirt is sooo frustrating. Short of replacing the windows, it will never be really clean. And that is so annoying to me.

There is only one person I know who will definitely understand this frustration.

Hi Mum.

– Jen