Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The 2015 Challenge

Prior to making our announcement to my parents, Husband speculated that they might offer us money or make some other grand gesture after learning that we needed to do IVF. The discussion made me uncomfortable, as it brought me back to my conversation with Myrtle, where she thought I was entitled to ask my parents to fund a night nurse because we had spent so much to give them a grandchild. I instructed Husband that he was only to discuss the financial aspects if specifically asked, and that he should reply with vague answers. It didn't take much prompting. After one question, Husband sung like a canary and divulged the full amount. Although we had agreed that we would only give each other one gift less than fifty dollars as Christmas presents, my parents announced that they would get us new garage doors. (As you read this, remember to pronounce the word gar-ege rather than gah-raghe.) Ours are wooden and they're pretty ratty.

The prior home owners removed the automatic operators, so they need to be opened manually and propped up...

Nonetheless, neither car has seen the inside of our garage since we moved in almost five years ago. The garage has served as a workshop during our renovation products as well as a location to store all things random crap. Finishing the garage has been on our grand to-do list, but relatively low on the priority ranking. In addition to the pregnancy and infertility announcements, the weather may have encouraged my parents' offer. It was pouring rain and unseasonably cold on the night they arrived. Getting wet and cold while lifting suitcases out of the boot yielded concerns about getting a baby in and out of the car seat. I was tempted to voice that the cold and rainy days are rather few, but Co-worker convinced me how useful a functional garage can be. "Your kids fall asleep while you're driving, and you just pull into the garage, put the baby monitor in the car, let them sleep while you go in the house and get shit done." So, we thanked my parents for their very generous present. However, this gift has become a little like one of those If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books...

Prior to mounting the garage door openers, we should dry wall the ceiling...

If we'll be dry walling the ceiling, then we finish the walls...

If we're going to be pulling cars into the garage, then we'll need to improve our "organisation" system

So, we should create some extra storage space above the rafters...

And we might as well give the floors an epoxy treatment...

Not to sound ungrateful, but this gift of the garage doors is going to involve a bit of money and work on our part, which we weren't quite expecting. My Dad suggested that he and Husband could tackle the project while he and my mother come to visit/help after Jate's arrival. I quickly rejected that suggestion. Firstly, I know how all-consuming renovating can be, and I want Husband to learn his fatherly duties. Specifically, nappy changing. Although, I know it's good to have normal volume in the house, as a fetus is exposed to a lot of sounds in utero, pure quiet can be startling, but I don't think the loud noises from power tools will be particularly soothing. I'm also not a germophobe, but no matter what room you renovate, the dust and dirt invade the entire house. Finally, although we've said that we'll fit baby into our lives, rather than revolving our lives around the baby, after all this time, he or she will have earned their moment in the sun... It later occurred to me that my Dad may not really know how to help care for an infant. Paternity time wasn't a concept in 1976. I was born on a Saturday, came home on Sunday and he probably went back to work on Monday. Scheduling conflicts don't allow my dad to come out before Jate's due date, so it will be up to us to complete the garage before Jate's arrival, which could be earlier than anticipated. Long time readers may recall our 2013 Challenge, when I tried to become pregnant before finishing painting and installing all our kitchen cabinets. Watch this space for updates on our progress.


  1. This is just your British-est post ever. Gar-ege. Boot. I'm surprised you didn't talk about tea and scones! :P Yeah, your dad is blissfully unaware of the havoc even a garage renovation will wreak, which will be totally unwanted in early baby days.

  2. At this very moment, my dad is at our house putting a second bathroom in our basement while Bobby and I are at work. He's retired, and bored, and needed a project. It's becoming quite expensive for us despite the free labor, but we'll be grateful once it's done. But I did tell him it needs to be done by April. I'm excited to see your updates!

  3. I'm sure once it's done you'll LOVE having your garage!!

  4. Ha ha! Such a Brit post. It will be so nice for you to have a new and improved garage ;)

  5. Wow, that's ambitious. I do hope the garage reno goes well though! when we were expecting my FIL helped us with some things like changing all our basement windows. It was great to have help with things that we probably wouldn't have gotten to ourselves. I hope that you don't end up with too much more work on your hands.

  6. While a lovely thought, there are many more practical things your father can do around your house once Jate is here. My MIL decided to do random projects like re-grout our sink and clean the grout between the kitchen floor tiles. Um, thanks? She completely ignored the projects we requested she actually do. Like cook us dinner.
    If it makes you feel better, construction noises don't really seem to bother babies. Our landlord just renovated our downstairs neighbor's bathroom and it involved lots of jackhammering. The girls slept right through it. Though not something you want when your newborn first comes home. Good luck with the reno. It will totally be worth it. Co-worker has the right idea.

  7. Well, at least it looks good, right? Haha! That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to have an automatic garage doors, if ever the time comes that you really need to put your cars in there. Though I would agree that keeping it as a toolshed of sorts seem more convenient at this point. Anyway, thanks for sharing! Cheers!

    Greg Marshall @ Crawford Door of WNY

  8. Although the garage renovations may seem inconvenient today, you may want to get through this time by thinking about the positive side of the situation. For example, once your little one is born, you will have the ability to pull your car into the garage during inclement weather conditions, thus enabling you to protect your newborn from outside elements quite easily.

    Machelle Ledoux @ Total Garage Repair

  9. When you take on a challenge you really go all out I see. That garage door looks like one of those projects that would take me a year to complete. I always get excited to start the project and then find I am at the hardware store looking for the only piece of hardware that they don't seem to carry in stock.

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware