Thursday, July 15, 2010

And now for something completely different!

We've just finished mid year school holidays.

During all this renovating the children have been so great, helping out and not demanding too much attention so we had a few days off and did some more exciting things with them - rollerblading, movies and one day we went to the COSMODOME! What is a Cosmodome you ask? That's what I was wondering.

My sons teacher told us about this great Cosmodome we could visit at a shopping centre not too far away and best of all it was FREE! We had no idea what it would look like, imagining it was an indoor planetarium to learn about space and the wasn't quite what we expected.

We arrived around 10am for the 11am show. We were told to go to the information kiosk and ask for tickets. What we weren't told was that you actually had to book them over the phone first. Ahhemmm....of course we didn't. So then the kind lady at the information desk told me that we could just go and stand in line and if the spaces weren't all filled we might just get in anyway.

We stood waiting for a round fifteen minutes while the man who runs the show counted heads and tickets. He explained that the Cosmodome is a 3D show all about space, dinosaurs and animals. Sounded fantastic.

Then I had a look at the Cosmodome

As you can see it's a huge BIG black igloo shaped air filled structure - kind of like one of those kids jumping castles they have at fetes and fairs. Only it had just one entrance, no windows, no fresh air going in or out and thirty people were going to be sitting on the floor inside watching this 3D movie. See that tight door way at the front here - you have to push it apart and squeeze through trying to balance yourself on the sides as you work your way through to the inside.

The longer we waited in line the more I could feel a panic attack coming see I am claustrophobic!!! I so wanted to do this for the kids so I took deep breaths. He finally told us after everyone else had entered that there was space for just four more...YAY!!! I thought - NOT!....the kids went in first and then I shut my eyes and squeezed through the tunnel entrance. I took one look inside around at the all the other Mums and kids sitting tightly squeezed together on the floor. The man came through the entrance and I turned and looked at my kids and said "I'll be waiting for you outside". He had told us that children had to be accompanied by an adult and had turned away a few children who had turned up without their parents. I apologised and said in fast forward mode.... "Sorry I can't stay, I'm going to suffocate in here, my kids are very well behaved, I have to get out of here!" Phew.....I enjoyed my cup of tea and snack in the coffee shop right next to the Cosmodome. Half an hour later the children emerged, excited and bubbling over with descriptions of what they'd seen...I was glad their panicky mother didn't dampen their fun.

Moral of this story......Know your limits!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moving along…..

It’s been eleven days since the renovations started and so much has been accomplished…but still a long way to go. We were hoping to have it all done within two weeks but it’s looking more like a three week project....or perhaps longer....sigh!!! Can't wait to get back home.
Marley and Jasper have been sleeping with us at Oma and Opa’s place. They have their beds right next to me on the floor – one inside and one outside of the wardrobe.
One morning last week as I was getting ready to go out Marley sensed there was something happening and so he ran into his bed and pretended he was asleep so that he wouldn’t be locked outside while we were out.

The plumber came and replaced all the old dodgy pipes that have been causing us so much grief over the past nine years. Everything is copper now (at least in the bathroom). Eventually we will have to replace the pipes going to the rest of the house – kitchen and laundry, but for now at least there will be no more problems in the bathroom.
Before the plumber could connect the outdoor plumbing to the main feed coming in from the street Daddy had to dig up the underground pipe and found a long trail of ants heading for ‘Little Sissies’ room.

So that’s where they came from….

The bathroom is now fully lined and waterproofed and will be tiled within the next two days.

Some of the new tiles (a lovely French cream gloss) have been put down since yesterday and we’ve chosen a new wall colour - 'Paper Bark' - to match the outdoor room. It’s okay in some rooms, but very dark in others. We may have to reassess the colour choice and go for a lighter strength in those rooms that don’t get much sunlight filtering in. Grouting and then skirting boards need to be done still too.

Our one and only bathroom has transformed a number of times over the past nine years. From very ugly early 80’s (top left) to cottage denim blue and cream late 90’s and then an attempt at bringing it into the 21st century with a more neutral colour called Hogs Bristle. I actually still loved the last bathroom renovation we did only last year, but sadly it was destroyed with the leaky pipes and we couldn't get the same tiles anymore, so we are now going with the same floor tiles all the way up the wall and a more modern white gloss vanity and a different mirror to match. The shower is also being remodelled to a semi seamless modern shower screen. THAT....I am REALLY excited about as it will mean no more struggling to control the mould that kept growing between the grout and the old shower screen.

Stay tuned for the final finish….

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Renovation Rescue

It's Day 4 of the renovations here at the mad house! Marley and Jasper have been sleeping over at Oma's along with the rest of the family. Oma has set up a lovely room just for the kids with a craft table and beds and a TV and even room for big brothers computer.

Marley and Jasper get to sleep in with the kids which was a bit of an experiment because they're used to sleeping on their own in the laundry at home, but so far it's working out fine.

The past three days were mayhem at home. Finding ever more damage as we pulled off tiles in the bathroom and then realized that the water had damaged the adjoining wall into the toilet. Happily the insurance builder came today to start on fixing it all up and will fix up the damage to the two toilet walls as well.

Marley and Jasper have come home today with Mummy and big brother to help Daddy. M&J are sleeping under my feet as I write in the one and only room that we've left set up during renovation stage - the office.

We will renovate that last - it means Mummy's sanity to have a place to sit during the day while the work is going it's tax time and there's bookkeeping to do.

The professionals are here today - plumbing, carpentry and the tiler just arrived. So hoping that the work will only take two weeks before we can move back in permanently. Tiling the house, while it has always been on our mind to do at some stage, was really a last minute decision brought about by the need to redo the bathroom anyway. We thought one disruption is enough so let's get it over with all in one hit. So that's why we are doing a lot of the work ourselves. We've always preferred to do our own renovating as far as we can. Except for plumbing and electrical Daddy is an amazing handyman which has saved us a lot over the years. However, we are really tired of it all now.

M&J could have stayed at Oma's today but after Jasper so lovingly woke Mummy up at 5.45 this morning and Mummy got up thinking he needed to go out to the toilet only to find him grabbing his ball and heading for the swimming pool to play 'let's throw it in and retrieve' (his favourite game at Oma's - see previous post). Mummy thought "no way am I drying you off before 6am in the morning in the middle of winter." So a very disappointed Jasper was sent straight back to bed and then Mummy decided to take both the puppies home so that Oma didn't have to contend with wet dogs today while I was away.

Sorry but I have to use some random old photo today as I am working on the office computer and don't have any new photos stored on here. I wanted to keep this a bit interesting. I promise not to bore you with too much more renovating and get back to puppy adventures soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stress Puppies

Something BIG is happening this weekend! But we don't know what....we don't understand...everything is changing and the people are running around emptying the house...everything is gone and our home looks chaotic.... here we lay on our day beds in the kitchen...nobody told us to come here but we can feel it when things aren't right, so we cower in our beds and stay here all day...

....they've ripped up all the carpet...we hear that our Mummy has been wanting to do that for years because our big brother suffers from allergies and breathing problems...they're going to put down tiles throughout the whole house.

...hours later and we're still here...

Mummy was so shocked to find a "sand pit" under the carpet when they ripped it up...inches of thick dirt and fine sand from six years of heavy unhealthy!!!

Marley is particularly stressed. Are they going to leave us here and go away....I'd better follow Mummy around from room to room as she works.

Sunday morning and now what is Daddy and big brother doing...ripping up the bathroom??? Mummy says that the insurance builder is coming to fix up the damage that the leaky burst pipes made a few months ago, ruined the vanity and underneath the bath. Daddy is taking the opportunity to get rid of the old bath and put in a new adult size one.

"Mummy, you won't leave us here with all this mess will you? Marley and I are worried, we don't understand why everything is upside down."

The kids are working hard! Mummy and Daddy are very impressed with the way they love to help. long is this going to go on?

Now what!!! Daddy found an ants nest in big sissy's bedroom when he pulled up the carpet in there. Eeekkk!!! Mummy sprayed them but they keep coming back. What a disaster. Better ring pest control tomorrow morning. Daddy says they're not termites so that's a relief. They're just the normal black house ants...still they're annoying. Mummy said "hmmm, so that's what that black dirt was I found under the window sill every now and then!"

I'm getting a bit bored!....Is it nearly over?

More ants....they're in every wall of sissy's room.

Last night the whole family camped out in the loungeroom with the heaters on and had Thai food take out for dinner. Mummy was so worried about us stressing that she even put our beds in there for the night. Daddy said "Just this once!" We usually sleep in the laundry, but Marley was so stressed he just went on back to his own bed and didn't come out until daylight! I slept in between Mummy and big brother most of the night but then I went to look for Marley to keep him company. this space for more destruction on the way...
BUT....a light at the end of the tunnel. By next weekend all new tiling and no more allergies hopefully!